A Few Things Ill Considered

Greenland Used to be Green

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

Greenland used to be a lovely hospitable island when the Vikings settled it. It was not until the Little Ice Age that it got so cold they abandoned it. During that time, it was clearly not the frozen wasteland it is today.

Answer:

Firstly, Greenland is just a part of a single region and as such can not be assumed to represent any kind of global climate shift. See the article on the Medieval Warm Period for a global perspective on this time period. In short, the available proxy evidence indicates that globally warmth during this period was not particularly pronounced though certainly some regions may have experienced greater warming than others.

Secondly, a quick reality check shows that Greenland’s ice cap is hundreds of thousands of years old and covers over 80% of that island. The vast majority of land not under an ice sheet is rock and permafrost in the far north. Just how different could it have been only 1000 years ago?

Here is a brief account of the Viking settlement, which was an actual historical development, based on the chapter on Vikings in Greenland in Jared Diamond’s "Collapse".

Greenland was called Greenland by Erik the Red (was he red? :-) who was in exile and wanted to attract people to a new colony. He believed that you should give a land a good name so that people want to go there! It very likely was a bit warmer when he landed for the first time than it was when the last settlers starved due to a number of factors, climate change, or at least some bad weather, a major one. But it was never lush and their existence was always harsh and meagre, especially due to the Viking’s disdain for other peoples and other ways of living. They attempted to live a European lifestyle in an arctic climate side by side with the Inuit who easily out survived them. For heaven’s sake, these people starved surrounded by oceans and yet never ate fish! (Note: this was not a typical European behaviour and is in fact a bit of a mystery to this day).

Instead of hunting whales in kayaks, they farmed cattle, goats and sheep despite having to keep them in a barn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a full 5 months out of the year! It was a constant challenge to get enough fodder for the winter. Starvation of the animals was frequent, emaciation routine. The pressures of grazing requirements and growing fodder for the winter led to over production of pastures, erosion and the need to go further and further a field to sustain the animals. Deforestation for pastures and firewood proceeded at unsustainable rates, leading, after a couple of centuries, to such desperate measures as having to cut precious sod for housing construction and even burning it for cooking and heating fuel.

When finally confronted with several severe winters in a row, they, along with the little remaining livestock, simply starved before spring arrived.

The moral of the story for the climate controversy? Much as you can not judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge the climate of Greenland from its name.

A bit of related trivia: further indications of their stubborn reluctance to learn from the Inuit is that there is no evidence of any kind of trade whatsoever, this despite centuries of being neighbours. In fact, the first of only three accounts of encounters the Norse had with the natives refers to them as "skraelings" (wretches) and describes rather matter of factly how strangely and differently they bleed when stabbed with fatal and non-fatal wounds. How’s that for diplomacy!?

See also the entry on Vineland if it happens to come up.


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“Greenland Used to be Green” was first published here, where you can still find the original comment thread. This updated version is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

Comments

  1. #1 Dennis Roht
    August 20, 2008

    Do you know, during Greenland’s warm period of several hundred years, what percentage of Greenland was covered by glacers? Also, at that time, how thick were the glacial ice sheets?

  2. #2 coby
    August 21, 2008

    Hi Dennis,

    No, I do not know those details. My focus in debunking this argument is to demonstrate that its naive appeal is not merited. You think Greenland today is a cold and inhositable place? Yes, it is and it has been for a many millenia, a struggling Viking settlement hundreds of years ago does not fundamentally alter that picture.

    It is interesting and informative to delve into the details of its regional climate but in terms of providing evidence against the global picture that has slowly emerged over the last few decades, it is just one region and does not represent global climate.

  3. #3 GrecRI
    December 14, 2008

    I can’t help but find it humurous when on one had, alarmists point to Greenland as a prime example of global warming. And then in the next sentence suggest that it’s climate 1,000 years ago was only a regional phenomenon.

    Pardon my cynicism, but you can’t use an example for one side of the argument, then claim that it isn’t valid for the other side. Yet, it seems that GW alarmists do this continuously. I honestly don’t think they even realize that they are doing it, but it is quite humurous to observe.

  4. #4 GrecRI
    December 14, 2008

    Another example:

    You state:
    “The vast majority of land not under an ice sheet is rock and permafrost in the far north. Just how different could it have been only 1000 years ago?”

    Isn’t the claim of the alarmists that it is about to become vastly different in less than 100 years from now?

    By the way, aside from the antedoctal Viking stories, there is oxygen isotope evidence of a warmer climate in Greenland at that time.

  5. #5 coby
    December 14, 2008

    Hi GrecRI,

    The Vikings never settled in the northern part of Greenland, presumably because it was then, as today, frozen rock and permafrost. The only habitable areas were in the southern end. But I grant you that the wording there is clumsy and really the point is best made by mentioning the 100k year old ice sheet.

    I am not sure what you mean about people using Greenland as an “example of global warming” today. I think the melting icecap it is rightly used as an example of the consequences of global warming. The point is that today the warming is global, in the MWP it was regional, primarily in northern europe.

    I do not dispute that Greenland had a milder climate during the Viking settlements, just that it was much warmer (ie Green then, white now) or that the warmth was global.

    Thanks for the comment!

  6. #6 Mrs. W
    January 3, 2009

    I learned once in school that Iceland was named as such because Iceland was such a club med paradise compared to Greenland that the vikings wanted to keep the secret of it to themselves and named it such a discouraging name to discourage visitors. Any truth to that? I’ll admit that history is a weaker subject to me than science.

  7. #7 coby
    January 3, 2009

    Hi Mrs. W,

    I have not heard that one before, but I am positive that the Vikings settled Iceland long before they went to Greenland.

    Thanks for your visit!

  8. #8 gutsmo
    March 26, 2009

    on march 24, there was a report of a study by an MIT team studying methane gas. It concluded the data they developed was contradictory to the AGW models and theory.

  9. #9 Adam
    March 27, 2009

    gutsmo –

    Perhaps you’d like to enlighten everyone with who reported the study, who performed the study, what their specific conclusion was, how it contradicts the current theory, and why it should be considered more valid than the existing theory.

    Unintelligible verbal vomit certainly does not support your case.

  10. #10 Slioch
    April 18, 2009

    Hi Coby

    I think it is also worth pointing out that, according to Jared Diamond, the only places settled by by Eric the Red and his followers were two deep sheltered fiords on the SE coast of Greenland. Greenland was never widely settled.

    Your final comment about the settlers’ “stubborn reluctance to learn from the Inuit” puts me in mind of the Franklin expedition of the mid-1800s which perished with all 129 hands whilst attempting to find the north west passage. Here the emphasis was in equipping the two ships of the expedition with European comforts and technology. The result was that the crew were unable to hunt seals or build igloos for shelter and the the expedition was far too large to for the environment to support even if with those skills.

    It seems to me that the real lessons of the Greenland settlements (and the Franklin expedition), of far greater relevance to our present predicament than anything they might (or might not!) tell us about climate change, is that human populations that fail to understand the workings and the limits of the environment in which they live will sooner or later perish.

  11. #11 coby
    April 18, 2009

    Hi Slioch,

    Yes, that is a good point about the very limited extent of Viking occupation of Greenland. And it would be nice if we learn those lessons without feeling the pain for ourselves.

    Thanks for the comment!

  12. #12 Dennis D
    August 9, 2009

    Actually from 800 to 1300 AD Greenland experienced very mild temps and was farmed and grazed.Then of course the Little Ice Age started. But natural cooling and warming of earth has always happened.

  13. #13 badfrog
    August 9, 2009

    You are obviously ignorant of the greater facts in this case, and are merely regurgitating talking points. I wrote several college papers on climate change for my history degree back in the early eighties, and used the experience of the Greenland colonies often, as it was well known and the ice cores were well attested.

    Starting about 950 A.D. a warming cycle began, pretty much destroying the American Southwest culture called Anasazi, but resulting in increased warmth and food supply for Europe, Canada, and the Asian steppe. This brought about the rise of the Native Americans that would recolonize the southwest as Navajo, Comanche, Apache, etc. It also engendered the final end of the European dark ages, the rapid rise in prosperity and population of the Vikings, the conquest of England, the discovery of Iceland and Greenland, and Scandinavian exploration of Russia and extended trade, also the rise of the Turks and Mongols.

    Eventually global cooling damaged these areas and economies, freezing the rivers in winter and injuring crops, and forcing the Canadian Native Americans south. The Zuider Zee and other bays and rivers in Europe also froze, damaging trade and bringing about the primacy of Venice and Florence in Italy, and, of course, the end of the Greenland colonies.

    Going back in time, in 406 A.D there was another cooling event, finally destroying the Western Roman Empire–the rivers froze and the Visigoths were able to cross en masse, sacking Rome; three centuries later the empire of Charlemagne was formed at the end of a more short lived warming period.

    Obviously I am painting with a broad brush; these are merely three paragraphs, I wrote many pages about this during my college career. The Greenland colonists came from a rough cold land, and made a life for several centuries. Scandinavian sources show that in the mid 1300’s the smaller colony was abandoned, with most choosing to go to Denmark, in the early 1400’s the larger colony evacuated, leaving a small remnant that eventually starved.

    The effects of global warming and cooling are obvious over millenia to those who take the time to honestly study the facts. You seem to have a quasi religious fixation, and this talking point sheet seems suspiciously like a paper that a Mormon friend showed me from when he was doing his two year mission. You might want to consider this similarity at length, and perhaps study Eric Hoffer’s book True Believer.

    Please stop ruining my civilization.

  14. #14 Philip Machanick
    November 19, 2009

    badfrog, have you put together the fact that Greenland is a source of ice cores going back hundreds of thousands of years and your claim that it was a nice toasty place to live c. 950?

  15. #15 Marco
    November 20, 2009

    Badfrog, care to explain what you mean with the primacy of Venice and Florence? Linking it to the supposed onset of the LIA has the minor problem that Venice in particular lost its position as a prime trading city in the 15th century. Moreover, the Dutch and English trading system really kicked off in the 15th century, while the Zuiderzee did not even exist until 1200 (there were just lakes), and did not become of relevance for trade until the 15th century.

    But well, you are the one who wrote the college papers, I’m just the one who asked the local (European) historians who have studies these things all their lives. The words “not even wrong” passed around a few times…

  16. #16 Johnny Wezel
    December 13, 2009

    [removed for lack of relevant content – admin]

  17. #17 Nils Hafrolic
    March 8, 2010

    > “Erik the Red (was he red? :-)”

    Most probably he or one of his ancestors.
    (Red that is in hair colour probably, in case you were wondering)
    You’d be surprised how often names back in history were based on real or alleged traits.

    As regard to the naming ot Greenland, here is what most interestingly Wikipedia says :

    ‘When Erik returned to Iceland after his term of banishment had expired, he brought with him stories of “Greenland”. Erik deliberately gave the land a more appealing name than “Iceland” in order to lure potential settlers. He explained, “people would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name”.[5] Ultimately, though, he did this to gain favor among people, as he knew that the success of any settlement in Greenland would need the support of as many people as possible. His salesmanship proved successful, as many people (especially “those Vikings living on poor land in Iceland” and those that had suffered a “recent famine”) became convinced that Greenland held great opportunity.’

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_the_Red)

    Regards,
    Nils

  18. #18 Nils Hafrolic
    March 8, 2010

    Oops ! you had that part about Greenland. Please disregard ! ;o)

  19. #19 mandas
    March 22, 2010

    It would appear that Greenland has the potential to be green again. This paper presents some very scary findings – that the Greenland ice sheet has the potential to destabilise at CO2 concentrations of only 400 – 560 ppm. In other words, just around the corner.

    It must be emphasised that this does NOT mean it is going to break up and fall into the ocean in the next couple of years, but if CO2 concentrations are not reduced below those levels, over the course of a few hundred years the ice sheet would probably disappear completely, with consequent rises in sea level of up to 7m.

    Howwever, if CO2 levels were to continue to increase to above 1,000 ppm, the speed at which the ice sheet disappeared would increase, with potentially catastrophic results.

    If these findings are true – and they would need to be validated by further studies before being accepted – then there could be very serious consequences at even relatively minor levels of climate change.

    Here is the link to the abstract. The full paper can be accessed by clicking on the link on the page.

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/4/233/2010/tcd-4-233-2010.html

  20. #20 skip
    March 23, 2010

    But this is the part of the abstract that will be quoted in the Denialsphere:

    “When all boundary conditions and forcings are simultaneously changed to the newer datasets the ice-sheet is 25% larger in volume compared with observation and 11% larger than that modelled by EISMINT-3.”

    I can see it now on ClimateAudit:

    “EUROPEAN SCIENTISTS ADMIT GREENLAND ICE SHEET NOT MELTING!”

  21. #21 Joseph
    March 23, 2010

    if CO2 concentrations are not reduced below those levels, over the course of a few hundred years the ice sheet would probably disappear completely, with consequent rises in sea level of up to 7m.

    That’s 7m from the ice that’s on top of Greenland alone. A thousand years from now, I seriously doubt cities like Manhattan will be above water, except through some technological miracle.

  22. #22 PaulinMI
    March 23, 2010

    “A thousand years from now, I seriously doubt cities like Manhattan will be above water, except through some technological miracle.”

    Now, with that being said –

    Look at what we were concerned with in 1900.
    Look at the pace of development and obsolescence and how it has increased as population rises.
    Look at your statement referring to not one century, but 10.

    And tell me you’d like to rephrase.

  23. #23 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Post 19,

    The word if appears 3 times, the word potential appears 3 times and the words scary, could, probably all appear as well.

    To write this post another way one could say “If the dog did not stop for a shit before it crossed the road it probably would not have got run over”.

    Post 20,

    No Skip most deniers will read post and merely shake the heads in dismay.

    I know the 3 of you will probably find it hard to sleep tonight with the immenent biblical flood only a couple of gigatons away. Seeing how i am such a nice guy i will let you in on a little secret, this like all other green land studies is nothing more than speculation.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N2/EDIT.php

    Have a read and all will become clear, sleep easy tonight.

  24. #24 Joseph
    March 23, 2010

    Look at what we were concerned with in 1900.
    Look at the pace of development and obsolescence and how it has increased as population rises.
    Look at your statement referring to not one century, but 10.

    @PaulinMI: Historical arguments are not particularly convincing. You can’t necessarily extrapolate. Some problems are harder than others, etc.

    Besides, if the mindset is “well – someone will figure it out at some point in the future” then no one will figure it out.

  25. #25 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    crakar

    The word ‘if’ and ‘potential’ appeared many times on my post because that’s how science works. I said ‘if’ the study is correct, because it has yet to be verified. I said ‘potential’ to destablise, because it hasn’t happened yet and nothing in the future is certain. I said ‘scary’, because the consequences of the Greenland icesheet destabilising are very scary indeed – do you not agree? I never said at any time that there was going to be an imminent ‘biblical flood’. You know – the part where I say this: “…It must be emphasised that this does NOT mean it is going to break up and fall into the ocean in the next couple of years…”. You need to actually read my posts and comment on my words, not on your spin of them.

    And you might think that this study is nothing more than speculation. But that is just a completely uniformed opinion based on nothing more than prejudice. There is far more than speculation in the study – which you would have discovered if you had actually read it.

    So instead of linking to someone else’s opinion on the subject, why don’t you go an actually read the paper I provided for you, and form an opinion of your own for a change? (and please make it based on science and fact, not prejudice and spin)

  26. #26 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Paul,

    One of the main concerns in 1900 was what to do with all the horse shit, this problem was solved by the invention of the internal combustion engine.

    I get your point but others never will because they live in the now. They dont have the ability to look at and learn from the past and their only means of looking to the future is via guesswork and “the end is nigh” predictions.

    The greenland ice sheet holds 5% of the world total non sea ice holdings (yes thats all). Glaciers hold a further 5% and the largest in the Himalayars are increasing, the remaining 90% is found in the Antarctic which is showing no signs whatsoever of melting anytime soon.

    But low and behold after one study contradictes another we have the latest “my model said” study from the latest “i want to make a name for myself” scientist claiming the end is nigh once again. These people grab this stuff and run with it without a moments thought. I am not sure if they do this in a vain attempt to be proven right or if they just wish to witness the demise of man. Only they can answer this question and as they have an aversion to answering them i will not bother to ask it here.

    Regards

    Crakar

  27. #27 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Mandas,

    I have read studies that refute what your study claims, i think i will accept them rather than yours.

    IF co2 rises THEN the greenland ice sheet MIGHT melt in 1000 YEARS, but then again IT might NOT because we are using MODELS to tell us. TRUTH be known we have NO IDEA what MIGHT happen next week.

    Good luck with building your ARK. In the meantime i am looking to snap up some pretty cheap coastal property around Adelaide.

  28. #28 PaulinMI
    March 23, 2010

    Joseph,
    With all due respect, it’s not about history or extrapolation, but perspective and paradigms.

    Crakar, of course, nailed it.

    It must be an “age” thing.

  29. #29 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    crakar

    Antarctic ‘showing no signs of whatsoever of melting’. Oh really? You do need to read a little more (no – not Joanne Nova).

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/311/5768/1754

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/22/east-antarctic-ice-sheet-nasa

    I could provide more, but too many links forces a post into review. You could try doing some research yourself for a change.

  30. #30 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Mandas,

    One link said

    “Uncertainties in the model gave the scientists only a broad estimate of ice loss in the East Antarctic ice sheet of between 5bn and 109bn tonnes a year.”

    Is it too much to ask for a bit of accuracy Mandas? Do you read this? Did you accept this? With an error margin this big do they really know what they are talking about? I dont think so.

    Your second link was just the abstract so i could not see what type of model they used to predict biblical floods but i am sure it would be as accurate as the first.

    Then of course you have this http://www.co2science.org/subject/e/summaries/eais.php

    Of course you will attempt to discredit this in some way as it does not conform to your beliefs.

  31. #31 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    crakar (sorry – this section should have been posted in this thread)

    So, let me get this straight. I provide you with a link to a 2006 paper showing ice loss in the Antarctic – it wasn’t just an abstract, you need to open the whole paper and read it – and you counter with AN OPINION PIECE from a denialist website which contains links to studies from 1999-2002.

    Shall we ask the whole world – which should we place the most reliability on?

  32. #32 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Look Mandas the last thing i want to do on my birthday is get into a pissing contest with on who has the biggest study Ok.

    For all the studies you can produce i can produce just as many to refute you so lets just leave it at that. Now run away now yelling the sky is falling at someone else.

  33. #33 mandas
    March 23, 2010

    Happy birthday crakar – mine was yesterday.

    There is no pissing contest about biggest study. I provided a study – you provided an opinion piece. No contest.

  34. #34 crakar24
    March 23, 2010

    Happy belated birthday to you Mandas, gotta go will talk later

    Cheers

  35. #35 crakar24
    March 24, 2010

    Against my better judgment i will continue with this tit for tat conversation.

    Here is one study which shows the greenland ice sheet is not melting away as some here beleive.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V8/N44/C1.php

    I am ready for the “ah but thats not a study i accept” line of attack.

  36. #36 mandas
    March 24, 2010

    crakar

    Firstly, the tit-for-tat conversation is about Antarctica, not Greenland, but I will go along with your post anyway.

    And despite your assertion, I am not goint to adopt the ‘its not a study etc’ line of attack. It’s true that you linked to an opinion website, and the rant contained within can be quickly discounted. But I really want to thank you for the post, because the page does contain a link to a valid science study on the Greenland Icesheet, and like a good scientist, I actually read the study – something that the morons at CO2Science obviously failed to do. Do denialists EVER read the papers they are commenting about? Here – for everyone reading pleasure, not just yours crakar – are a few paragraphs from the paper:

    “….The observed correlation between the NAO and ice-sheet elevation changes suggests that future trends in the NAO could influence the Greenland Ice Sheet surface elevation. The winter NAO index trend has been generally positive since the 1960s, although during our 1992 to 2003 study period, the trend happened to be slightly negative, hence the observed increase in elevation. Model experiments with increasing atmospheric concentrations of GHGs generally indicate an increasing (positive) NAO and a slight northeastward displacement of the Icelandic Low in the future (17, 18)—both implying less winter accumulation over Greenland.

    Nonetheless, as mentioned, the NAO can explain about three-quarters of the surface elevation changes, leaving us to speculate on other factors. A modeling study (30) of the Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance under greenhouse global warming has shown that temperature increases up to 2.7°C lead to positive mass-balance changes at high elevations (due to accumulation) and negative at low elevations (due to runoff exceeding accumulation), consistent with our findings, which implies that perhaps a quarter of the growth may be caused by global warming in Greenland (31) in our observation period. Furthermore, the observed elevation change implies that ice-sheet growth in the interior of Greenland may partly offset the freshwater flow of the retreating subpolar glaciers needed to explain the freshening rate of the world ocean, which can be explained almost entirely by Arctic sea-ice melt (32).

    In conclusion, we have presented new evidence of (i) decadal increase in surface elevation (5 cm/year) within a study area comprising most of the Greenland Ice Sheet, 1992 to 2003, caused by accumulation over extensive areas in the interior of Greenland; (ii) divergence in elevation changes since the year 2000 for areas above and below 1500 m, with high-elevation increases and low-elevation decreases, the former in contrast to previous research (10, 13); and (iii) negative correlation between winter elevation changes and the NAO index, suggesting an underappreciated role of the winter season and the NAO for elevation changes—a wild card in Greenland Ice Sheet mass-balance scenarios under global warming.

    There are, however, caveats to consider. First, we cannot make an integrated assessment of elevation changes—let alone ice volume and its equivalent sea-level change—for the whole Greenland Ice Sheet, including its outlet glaciers, from these observations alone, because the marginal areas are not measured completely using ERS-1/ERS-2 altimetry (see Fig. 1). It is conceivable that pronounced ablation (e.g., 10, 11) in low-elevation marginal areas could offset the elevation increases that we observed in the interior areas. Second, there is large interannual to decadal variability in the high-latitude climate system including the NAO, such that the 11-year-long data set developed here remains too brief to establish long-term trends. Therefore, there is clearly a need for continued monitoring using new satellite altimeters—including advanced ones with improved ice-sheet ranging in steeper coastal areas—and other remote-sensing and field observations, together with numerical modeling to calculate the mass budget through net losses and net input from snow (33)…..”

    For those too lazy or stupid to figure that out (like the people at CO2Science), the authors are stating that the increase in ice mass at the centre of Greenland is due to the North Atlantic Oscillation, and is CONSISTENT WITH GLOBAL WARMING. It is also offset by mass loss and melting at the coast, with consequent freshening of the Atlantic ocean from meltwater.

    So thanks crakar. Are there any other papers you wish to show us that confirm global warming?

  37. #37 crakar24
    March 24, 2010

    Mandas there is no need to thank me and i must be one of the stupid people you speak of but before i go any further lets get one thing straight. When it comes to Greenland ice extent yoy are no more a scientific expert than i am so lets drop the “i am a scientist so i should know” routine OK.

    The first para claims that a positive NAO would decrease ice elevation and their trusty climate models predict the NAO to remain or be more +ve over time further reducing ice elevation.

    But yet it appears that since 2003 the NAO has remain strongly -ve.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao.timeseries.gif

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao_index.html

    So from this we can deduce that their models are crap, further more they claim the NAO can explain 75% of ice accumalation/loss obviously in this case it must be accumulation….yes?

    In the second para they make this statement

    “which implies that perhaps a quarter of the growth may be caused by global warming ”

    So do they think GW causes ice to decrease or increase?

    All in all they beleive their study shows:

    1, decadal increase in surface elevation (5 cm/year) within a study area comprising most of the Greenland Ice Sheet, 1992 to 2003, caused by accumulation over extensive areas in the interior of Greenland.

    Put in non science speak most of the green land ice sheet has INCREASED

    2, Above 1500m ice has increased and below 1500m ice has decreased along with all the standard caveats which you produced. Some of which state quite clearly that the NAO and winter seasons are underappreciated.

    And of course lets not forget that the very areas that they claim to melting below 1500m is not adequately measured by the satellites.

    And yet after reading all of this you have the gaul to call me stupid and/or lazy and then continue with the blantant lie that the NAO is now caused by GW.

    Let us assume that for a moment this is all consistant with global warming, what you would have us beleive is that an increase in atmospheric CO2 causes the NAO to be strongly negative which INCREASE the amount of ice above 1500m. But not only that it also reduces the amount below 1500m, how much it is reduced we dont really know because our sats are not the good at seeing the edge of the ice.

    All this on top of the fact that their models have been clearly demonstarted to be inadequate.

    And you call me stupid and lazy WTF!!!!

  38. #38 mandas
    March 24, 2010

    crakar

    It would appear you either never read anything, or you fail to understand even very simple statements. Let’s just take a couple of your assertions.

    “….When it comes to Greenland ice extent yoy are no more a scientific expert than i am so lets drop the “i am a scientist so i should know” routine OK….”

    What I said was this:

    “…and like a good scientist, I actually read the study – something that the morons at CO2Science obviously failed to do…”

    So I never claimed to be a climate scientist, just a scientist, and that I read things before commenting on them.

    And I am really interested in your attempts to discredit the paper. Let’s remember here, IT WAS A PAPER THAT YOU LINKED TO!!!!!!!!!!! I never made any claims about the veracity of the paper – I just told you what it said, which is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE TO WHAT THE MORONS AT CO2SCIENCE CLAIMED. You know – the things that you discover when you actually read the paper before commenting.

    This statement of yours:

    “…Let us assume that for a moment this is all consistant with global warming, what you would have us beleive is that an increase in atmospheric CO2 causes the NAO to be strongly negative which INCREASE the amount of ice above 1500m. But not only that it also reduces the amount below 1500m, how much it is reduced we dont really know because our sats are not the good at seeing the edge of the ice….”

    No. No. No. A thousand times no. Go back AND READ WHAT I SAID!!!!!!!! I am not trying to ‘have you believe anything’. I am just telling you what the paper claimed.

    And this:

    “…and then continue with the blantant lie that the NAO is now caused by GW….

    No, I am not making that claim at all. The paper says that a combination of NAO and AGW has caused the increase in the extent of the icesheet – I am just pointing out what the paper says.

    So either the paper is good – and the ice sheet is increasing because of a combination of NAO and AGW, or it is a crap paper that should be discarded. I take it from this following statement that you think the paper is flawed:

    “…So from this we can deduce that their models are crap,…”

    So that begs the obvious question. WHY THE FUCK DID YOU LINK TO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE???????

    You don’t need to answer, because it is VERY obvious why you did. You linked to it because you thought it proved your point. When it was pointed out to you that the paper suggested exactly the opposite to what you thought it said (because you never read the paper in the first place), you are now attempting to disown it by critising me.

    So there is the answer to your last question …WTF? I think that explains WTF perfectly. You have been shown to be lazy, by linking to things BEFORE YOU READ THEM. You have shown to be stupid, BY FAILING TO READ AND COMPREHEND EVEN SIMPLE ENGLISH. And probably worse, you have shown to be so totally and utterly blinkered by your own prejudices, BECAUSE YOU DENY EVIDENCE WHEN IT IS THRUST UNDER YOUR NOSE – evidence that you yourself presented to us. You would make a great creationist.

  39. #39 skip
    March 25, 2010

    Ouch.

  40. #40 skip
    March 25, 2010

    Mandas:

    You took Crakar’s bait–as I often have. Before you traded with him you should have asked up front: “Ok Crakar, so what do you think this proves?”

    Because its just another cherry pick of a short term trend–Greenland isn’t melting (yet). The fact that the models are consistent with global warming makes no difference to someone like Crakar, because he was only interested in the cherry in the first place.

    Am I wrong, Crakar?

  41. #41 skip
    March 25, 2010

    That being said . . .

    Come one, Crakar, you have to admit, its pretty disingenuous to say, “Here, read this link about Greenland’s ice sheets not melting . . . its cites a study–not that you can trust that study.”

  42. #42 Franko
    July 3, 2010

    It is unfortunate that your debunking of Greenland’s warm period takes such a flippant tone. One only has to read a recent issue of National Geographic to learn that it indeed WAS warm for a few centuries when the Vikings first arrived. Rather than waxing profound on the stupidity of the Vikings for ignoring the Inuit, you would have done climate science a service by discussion the facts of that era.
    In case you have not noticed, the well-organized global warming skeptics are scoring a lot of points. Those of us who believe in science need to keep the discussion scientific.

  43. #43 coby
    July 4, 2010

    Hi Franko,

    Fair points, I might use a different approach if I were to rewrite that today. I do think the argument in its essence is an appeal to naivete though, so taking it too seriously does have its disadvantages, (probably outweighed by the advantages of taking the higher road as you suggest).

  44. #44 adelady
    July 4, 2010

    “For heaven’s sake, these people starved surrounded by oceans and yet never ate fish! (Note: this was not a typical European behaviour and is in fact a bit of a mystery to this day).”

    Not so uncommon. I recall that Lewis and Clark had trouble feeding their crew because they had no beef – the rivers they were navigating were teeming with enormous salmon. In Australia, plenty of people have died surrounded by “bushfoods” they either failed to recognise or refused to eat because they were *native* tucker.

  45. #45 rb
    September 7, 2010

    “they bleed when stabbed with fatal wounds”??

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