A Few Things Ill Considered

Summer ice in the arctic has recovered

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:

Sea ice at the north pole recovered a whopping 9.4% from 2007 to 2008 despite the doom and gloom predictions of the alarmists. Yet another wheel falls off the global warming bandwagon.

Answer:

It is true that the minimum summer ice extent in the arctic ocean in 2008 was 9.4% higher than the minimun in 2007. But calling this a recovery is simply not justifiable, not even by a long shot. Firstly, at 4.52 million square kilometers, this measurement is 2.24 million square kilometers below the average minimum observed since 1979 when accurate satellite observations began, so we are nowhere near getting back to normal levels of ice cover. (Source: NSIDC) Secondly, year to year flucuations are very large and simply reflect the chaotic nature of weather, the change over a single year does not say anything meaningful about climate trends.

So what is the trend?

(image courtesy of NSIDC)

There are several things worth noting that we can see from this image. Not only is 2008 below the average as noted above, it fell well below the downward trend line, the fourth year in a row to do so. So hardly showing sings of recovery, this year is consistent with an accelerating ice loss. We can also see that an almost 10% jump from one year to the next is not unprecedented. The jump up from 1995 to 1996 was even larger, nearly twice so. The differences between 1989-1990, 1994-1995, 2001-2002, and 2006-2007 all were larger as well than the difference between 2007 and 2008.

We can also see that 2007 was really an exceptional record setter and aside from that year, 2008 is lower than any other. This is hardly the "warming is over" news the climate denialist organisations and websites have been proclaiming or at least implying.

So that’s what has happened, but what were the "alarmist" expectations? It is true that a small number of media reports quoted people saying there might be another record this year, maybe even total ice loss (can anyone show me an actual prediction?), it makes a nice sensational headline after all, but if you look to climate science you see a predictive failure in precisely the opposite direction. No research papers from scientists in the field have been predicting ice loss at the rate it has been happening. Checking in the IPCC report from 2007, in the Summary for Policymakers[PDF] we find this on page 15:

"In some projections, arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century."

This is nowhere near a prediction of total summer ice loss by 2008 and it is looking more and more like it will be very wrong by being too conservative. This is not the hallmark of an "alarmist"!

So, I guess the reality is that 2008’s summer arctic ice extent observation is not a wheel off the GW bandwagon, it is one more nail in the coffin of denialism.


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.


“Summer ice in the arctic has recovered” 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 derek
    September 19, 2008

    That graph is its own worst enemy. Since joining the dots from year to year is meaningless, the dots should be left alone, with the regression line running through them.

    Is the raw data anywhere on the NSIDC site? I looked a few days ago, and gave up.

  2. #2 Chris Noble
    September 19, 2008

    That graph is its own worst enemy. Since joining the dots from year to year is meaningless, the dots should be left alone, with the regression line running through them.

    Obviously you should put cubic splines through the points!

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/03/remember_eg_becks_dodgy.php

  3. #3 Gar Lipow
    September 20, 2008

    Glad you are still posting these. Deniers and delayers will never run out of talking points, so I’m glad someone is willing to do the heavy lifting on gathering responses to them in one place.

    I came from the Gristmill post. Something you might note about Gristmill. If you want comments to only be over here, there is now a selection box that lets you disable comments. (If you apply it to an existing post, it hides all existing comments as well.)

  4. #4 coby
    September 20, 2008

    Hi, Gar,

    For a while I thought the denialism was fading (after Gore’s AIT), but clearly they will not give up that easily!

    Re comments: I figure I should let Gristmill readers speak their minds where they choose…I will follow those threads for the first burst of activity at least.

    Thanks for the visit and feedback!

  5. #5 Jay Alt
    September 20, 2008

    The other thing is that the average thickness is greatly decreased. The remaining older ice is thick, up to 5 meters. Ice that forms this winter will be only 1 meter. The reduction of the thick ice cover is conditioning the Arctic for additional record melts.

    Here is a very large NSIDC data page from last year.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2007.html

    3/4 of the way down an animation runs. Figure 4, brown landmasses. The ice is color-coded by thickness. Months and years spin past in the lower LH corner. Compared to 1981, today much of the thicker ice is gone.

  6. #6 Eli Rabett
    September 20, 2008

    One of the interesting things is to look at temperatures around the Arctic circle. Those on the Russian side (esp towards the east) are still well above freezing. Something tells me that the story is not over.

  7. #7 Mike
    September 22, 2008

    When your audience (gw deniers) wants to grab at any shred of hope, comments like ‘the wheel fell off’ will be all that’s remembered and the actual science or lack thereof will fade very quickly. A general feeling of ‘one less worry’ is all that will remain.

    A very small percentage of the (mostly) highly educated folks I run into at work or daily life know or care enough about the science to enable a sound judgment on any set of facts. Scary. Marx called religion the opiate of the masses. Orwell used a lottery. 21st century humans use politics scrapping over inanities rather than facing issues.

  8. #8 llewelly
    September 24, 2008

    Something tells me that the story is not over.

    Maybe that’s why there are methane bubbles rising in the Arctic Ocean off the north shore of Siberia.
    If the methane escaping from the seabed holds up to peer review – we may as well get ready for substantial melting of GIS this century.

  9. #9 paul
    September 24, 2008

    “holds up to peer review”. Good god, I must have missed that meeting. Essentially, you think people can guess how the most complex of complex systems will behave. Good luck with that.

    I’m going to open an airline, with the marketing theme that none of the planes have been tested, but their construction has instead been thoroughly peer reviewed. Can I count on you guys using it? I GUARANTEE things would snap into focus double quick then.

  10. #10 Brian D
    September 24, 2008

    Paul, what ‘testing’ is to aircraft (which, by the way, is primarily done through computer models), peer review is to science. If you miss this point, you don’t understand what either is.

  11. #11 coby
    September 24, 2008

    paul,

    How do you propose we test how much methane the seabed will release and what that effect on climate will be? Please be aware that due to relativistic constraints and the size of university research facilities, your proposal must not involve duplicate planet earths and time machines.

  12. #12 paul
    September 25, 2008

    I don’t think the methane content in the seabed (and many other climate variables) is testable in that sense, and so I’m being simplistic of course, some kind of modelling is required. My point is that the models are just that – models – and you can’t be sure about the behaviour of a complex system (climate, software, AEROPLANE etc.) until you actually run it and see. As someone who works on one, and is constantly proved wrong by it, this point is so obvious that I find it hard to even discuss.

    Sorry, I take that back, Brian D seems to be able to do this with aeroplanes. Ok, I should have been more precise – by testing, I meant actual flight time. I ask you Mr D, would you go on a plane that had not been flown yet, only thoroughly peer reviewed?

  13. #13 coby
    September 25, 2008

    Yes, modeling the climate is very difficult, but the level of confidence you can have in the model results really depends on how much detail you are after. The conclusion of warming of around 3oC at 2x CO2 is a very robust result now. CH4 is similarily complex in terms of its effect as a forcing agent, alos well understood.

    To continue with your testing/aeroplane analogy: there is only one model aeroplane that has been tested and that is the one with relatively stable CO2 and CH4 at around preindustrial levels. People who are unconcerned about greenhouse gas emissions are the one’s with the new and untested model, the one with rapidly rising GHG levels.

    Oh, and as for choosing to fly on it or not, there is no choice, we are all aboard right now and there are no parachutes.

  14. #14 timwells
    September 29, 2008

    This is just evidence that some arctic ice has melted.It does not show that CO2 is the cause.

  15. #15 Brian D
    September 30, 2008

    Paul:

    Coby’s right. There are no emergency exits. If I were on a plane in flight and unable to contact the plane’s designers or pilots (as is essentially the case with Earth), and all the aeronautics experts on the plane, who had been individually studying the plane’s motion for quite a while, argued amongst themselves on the merits of their observations until a clear picture emerged… if they were saying it wasn’t stable, I’d pay attention. If one greybearded retired expert who hasn’t followed aeronautics for a decade and several wealthy businessmen with business to conduct at our destination, say that everything’s fine, forgive me if I am less than assured.

  16. #16 paul
    September 30, 2008

    That’s a good one, I’ll have to remember that – a “clear picture”. If I were on the plane in the situation you posit Mr D, I might feel the same way IF a clear picture emerged.

    But when these aeronautics experts told me I had 5 mins to live one too many times, then kept insisting all their predictions had in fact come true in spite of the fact that they obviously hadn’t. And insisted the plane was diving even as my drink stood motionless on my table (“this is only a temporary suspension of a diving trend”)….

    Hmm, I’d go back and speak to the “greybearded retired expert who hasn’t followed aeronautics for a decade and several wealthy businessmen with business to conduct at our destination” and see if we could get that radio working.

    And anyway, if we can return to the point, I assume the refusal of either of you to answer my question directly (not a good sign I might add) means that you accept that planes are flown extensively during testing before being released to the real world? And that this is because, no matter how much time and thought is given by engineers, and no matter how clever they are, the system is simply too complex for this. And so you agree that there are systems so complex that you can’t ever be sure that your models of them are valid – and only OBSERVATIONS will do. This is obvious of course but is the level one has to sink too when faced with argument by assertion.

    Maybe some good models are in place, maybe they’re not. But anyone making statement like “the level of confidence you can have in the model results really depends on how much detail you are after” is not the person to ask. No, it’s to do with how well they fit with, ie. can predict, observations – what you say is, charitably, a secondary factor.

  17. #17 Brian D
    October 2, 2008

    As is par for the course for me, I tend to get trapped in poor analogies. Through Michael Tobis, I found that Herman Daly had a better one:

    To make the point more simply, if you jump out of an airplane you need a crude parachute more than an accurate altimeter.

    Now, Paul, would you prefer to bicker about how you’re not falling and the ground’s too far off and landing isn’t going to hurt anyway?

  18. #18 paul
    October 3, 2008

    No Brian, I would not prefer to “bicker” about hypothetical scenarios. My point about planes was a specific one about complex systems in general, not an analogy – one which you appear to accept. I certainly didn’t request duelling thought experiments. No, I would much prefer to discuss the matter at hand ie. how certain we can be that predictions about climate are correct when they rely on models and peer review rather than observations.

    That you link you posted hinges on one statement “Can we systematically continue to emit increasing amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere without eventually provoking unacceptable climate changes? Scientists will overwhelmingly agree that the answer is no. The basic science, first principles, and directions of causality are very clear. Arrhenius discovered the basics a century ago.” All the rest is irrelevant to the matter at hand – I’m interested in is whether that statement is true. He spends no time on this at all, he simply asserts that it is true. No different to Coby’s earlier statement in this thread, “The conclusion of warming of around 3oC at 2x CO2 is a very robust result now.”

    Yawn. I’ve heard the assertions before – they just don’t make sense to me. Why? 1) the 30% increase in CO2 so far has resulted in a temperature increase so small as to be within the experimental error. What you say is “robust” relies on being sure about second order effects, when we’re not even clear of the first order one yet!!! 2) no matter what painful-to-read contortions you go through, the temperature has stayed constant for at least 7-8 years (maybe 10) which NO climate model predicted 3) drop between 1940 and 1970 – aerosols? The “models” say so. Ha ha ha 4) I could go on….

    … but what’s the point? I came here for information – but when the arguments are just assertions, I’m learning nothing.

  19. #19 cce
    October 5, 2008

    The idea that “no models predict constant temperatures” is demonstrably false.

    9 out of 55 models projected flat or cooling temperatures between 2000 and 2007 for the AR4 A1B scenario. http://www.realclimate.org/images/trends_dist.jpg

    If you ran those same models again, with the same inputs, you’d get approximately the same number of models projecting flat/cooling, but they’d likely be different models. The models that had projected flat/cooling would likely show warming the second time around. That is because these outputs are single realizations, and just like reality, short periods are dominated by “natural” variablity — primarily energy sloshing between the ocean and atmosphere. But when you average multiple outputs together, natural variability drops out, leaving only the anthropogenic signal.

    As far as CO2 sensitivity is concerned, both “simple” models and full-blown AOGCM’s point to about 3 degrees. The instrumental record points to about 3 degrees. The temperature change since the Last Glacial Maximum points to about 3 degrees. The temperature change immediately following explosive volcanic eruptions point to about 3 degrees. When you have multiple independent observations and experiments all pointing to the same range of values, you can have reasonable confidence that they are correct.

  20. #20 paul
    October 6, 2008

    Okay, I had not seen such data, models predicting the levelling off of the temperature are news to me. Why is this?

    I was certainly interested to know more about them – but then you said “If you ran those same models again, with the same inputs, you’d get approximately the same number of models projecting flat/cooling, but they’d likely be different models.”.

    If this is true, then I’m confused. You’re not saying that there are inherent assumptions in these 9 models that allow them to better predict temperature variability (which I would want to know more about) – you’re saying that (no doubt very complex versions of) random seeding mean that you’d expect 9 out of 55 to do the same next time, just not the same 9.

    So, in other words, 46 out of 55 will always predict a rise in temperature. Applying the “When you have multiple independent observations and experiments all pointing to the same range of values, you can have reasonable confidence that they are correct.” principle, with 46/55 models predicting a rise, we should have reasonable confidence that a rise was likely. This is why these models were not widely publicised, and why I’ve never seen them before, because most people applied this principle and so thought there was a rise on the way.

    But we know that the rise did not occur. So this reasonable confidence in the rise was unfounded – demonstrating that we did not in fact have “multiple independent observations and experiments all pointing to the same range of values” ie. I suggest that the models are fundamentally flawed. This should be stated clearly and what these fundamental flaws are should be the focus of the research and discussion. That they are not, and that instead AGW proponents simply resort to ad hoc arguments to maintain their position that we’re all going to be barbequed regardless of the actual observations, is the fundamental problem here.

    So, ok, I retract my “No” models predicted it, and replace it by “almost no”, and my point stands. The models are fundamentally flawed – and your link proves this for me.

  21. #21 paul
    October 6, 2008

    As for your second point, about the 3 degree increase, let’s say all the things you say are true.

    So, can you explain how, after a 30% increase, there has been a rise of less than 0.6 degrees? (we know that much of this rise was before 1940 after only 20% of this CO2 had been released, so only some of it could possibly be due to human CO2).

    Why not more like 1 degree? And, it is established physics (is it not) that the higher the co2 level, the more of an increase you need to get a unit rise in temperature. So really, by now we might have expected a rise of more like 2 degrees? Why has this not happened? You can go on about models all day – but observations are far more important.

    Is this simplistic? Sure. But you must explain precisely WHY it is simplistic – a more complex explanation has to be earned and justified, not just asserted.

  22. #22 Richard Simons
    October 7, 2008

    no matter what painful-to-read contortions you go through, the temperature has stayed constant for at least 7-8 years (maybe 10)

    I just performed a linear regression on the global mean temperatures for the past 10 years. The slope was positive (b=0.0178). When you look at the data your brain is being fooled by the outlier of 1998.

    Regardless, 7 or even 10 years is too short to determine climate changes. Temperatures had been increasing for about 20 years before climatologists said much about global warming.

    Your point about flying in aircraft that have not undergone flight testing has me baffled. Are you arguing that computer models of the Earth’s climate provide absolutely no information? Or are you suggesting that we try not reducing CO2 output, see what happens and if it causes major problems, we start at 1990 all over again? Just what are you getting at and what do you suggest should be done?

  23. #23 Richard Simons
    October 7, 2008

    So, can you explain how, after a 30% increase, there has been a rise of less than 0.6 degrees?

    Inertia. It takes a lot of energy to melt ice or to raise the temperature of oceans. No doubt someone more proficient than I at basic physics could give you the calculations.

  24. #24 paul
    October 8, 2008

    My brain isn’t being fooled by anything. The temperatures in the years from around 2000 to 2007 are, given the error inherent in the measuring process, statistically indistinguishable from each other – I’ve seen data sets and analysis that show a tiny fall in the gradient of the line of best fit, some that show a tiny increase (like you did), but these are too small to be of any significance. There has simply been no rise in this period. You say 10 years is too short to say anything about “climate change” – yet 20 years seems to be just fine. Maybe you could explain your certainty in the qualitative difference between these two time periods.

    “Temperatures had been increasing for about 20 years before climatologists said much about global warming.”

    And you’re wrong about this anyway. Hansen’s first studies were 1986-88 – the temperature had been rising for less than 10 years then.

    My point about planes is I think fairly clear. No matter what design and computer modelling goes on in the design of a new aircraft (or any other complex system), these are only validated by actual flight time. And many problems are discovered and ironed out because of this. Of course, climate experiments are not possible. This doesn’t mean though that we treat the computer models as gospel – it means we should have a healthy respect for the complexity of the climate system and only treat these models as validated when they can make predictions. The levelling off of the temperatures over ten years is, I submit, not “weather”, but is something that these climate models should have predicted. They didn’t. I don’t trust them.

    “Or are you suggesting that we try not reducing CO2 output, see what happens and if it causes major problems, we start at 1990 all over again? Just what are you getting at and what do you suggest should be done?”

    I don’t know what “we start at 1990 all over again” means, but basically am guilty of the other things you accuse me of here. But changing the way we live, the way our society is organised, has a cost!!! We can’t just click our fingers and have all these things happen – money and time spent on a wild goose chase is money and time that is not spent elsewhere. I think there are better ways that we can spend our money and time – on REAL problems that exist NOW – in alleviating human suffering in clear and tangible ways. All these people flying around the world to “discuss” Kyoto, and the truly absurd amounts of money that lobbyists want to spend on its implemenation despite the fact it is clearly a waste of time – makes me sick, it is simply disgusting. These vast amounts of money and effort should be spent on real issues, ones where people are dying NOW – you do know this don’t you, not everyone cares about whether other people driving SUVs, some people care about what they’re going to eat that day? These people don’t have the luxury of sitting around and telling everyone else how to live their lives based on poorly understood science.

    We should also make sure the research is carried out to watch of for hot OR COLD periods (cold is much worse) – and not assume we know the answer and move on (we don’t). The sunspot data at the moment really is anomalous.

    We should only tackle problems that will exist in the future (GW is not a problem now – these temperatures are fine, and they’re not rising) when there is clear evidence. And if that clear evidence comes to late, then we’re out of luck. But I, personally, think the chances of catastrophic temperature changes leading to widespread death and famine are miniscule.

    And, for the record, I think we should implement policies to cut carbon emissions into the atmosphere and should gradually lower our dependence on fossil fuels and seek alternative sources of energy, because these are good things to do. But this has nothing whatsoever to do with the question here, which is about whether human generated CO2 causing global warming.

  25. #25 paul
    October 8, 2008

    “Inertia. It takes a lot of energy to melt ice or to raise the temperature of oceans. No doubt someone more proficient than I at basic physics could give you the calculations.”

    Yes, yes, but as I said before on this post

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/06/observations-show-climate-sensitivity.php#comment-1101763

    this would carry more weight if it was actually asked as a scientist would, who would also want to consider past effects which are only now, due to intertia, manifesting themselves. Those who consider only one side are not scientists, but sales people.

    And, incidentally, in that post, Coby claimed I had misrepresented the IPCC graph. I clearly showed that I had not. He also suggested i looked elsewhere for the data – despite any number of answers to questions on this site being “go to the IPCC reports”.

    So, ok, what past effects are now effecting the temperature, and how are you incorporating this information?

  26. #26 timwells
    October 9, 2008

    Paul your comments are very concise and accurate.I do,however,have to suggest that a warmer climate and higher CO2 levels will be wholly beneficial to the earth and it’s population.If anything we should be increasing our output of CO2 to enhance crop yields and to green-up arid areas.Higher temperatures will also lead to far fewer deaths due to cold.

  27. #27 paul
    October 9, 2008

    Tim – actually I agree with what you say, I could have phrased what I said better.

  28. #28 cce
    October 15, 2008

    Paul,

    The model runs that I linked are those in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report (AR4) describing one of the emissions scenarios (with hindcast of historical conditions). They are the most “publicized” models that exist. What skeptics don’t understand is that the IPCC projections are not individual model runs, but the “ensemble mean,” or an average of all the runs from multiple models. This eliminates (simulated) “natural variability.” What is left is the anthropogenic signal, which is currently about 0.2 degrees per decade. The 9 model runs that showed flat or cooling temperatures are balanced by runs showing significantly more than 0.2 degrees per decade over similar short time periods. According to these models, 7 years of flat or cooling temperatures (9 out of 55 or 16%) is about as likely as flipping a coin 2 or 3 times and getting heads. It’s going to happen.

    The fact of the matter is that if computer models didn’t “predict” short periods of cooling then we’d know that they were wrong. Natural variability dominates over short time periods and everyone knows this.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

    Re: 3 degrees
    The paleo climate data is independent of the models. The temperature increase of the historical record is independent of the models. The temperature drop after volcanic eruptions is independent of the models. You get a similar temperature rise with “simple” mathematical models, or full blown AOGCMs. All of these things point to a 3 degree rise in temperature for doubled CO2.

    The reason that we haven’t observed all of the surface warming that we are committed to is due to two things. 1) The thermal inertia of the ocean and 2) anthropogenic aerosols (“global dimming.”)

    And “all sides” HAVE been considered, and they have been rejected over the past 30+ years. The alternatives do not explain observations. AGW does.

  29. #29 paul
    October 17, 2008

    CCE – Ok. There is a fundamental problem with what you said.

    I understand the concept and reasons for multiple model runs and ensemble means. What you say though ie.

    “This eliminates (simulated) “natural variability.” What is left is the anthropogenic signal”

    is a massive leap. It does not just follow as a matter of course. Far from it. It is only roughly true if the models are, firstly, at least roughly correct, and secondly if a whole other host of assumptions (about the distribution of the errors) roughly hold.

    And whether these two propositions are true is what I have doubts about. The observations of the last 7-10 years suggest to me that the models are not doing a very good job at predicting. And your explanation of why this is so is torturous beyond belief – you are admitting, if we assume the models are correct, that 7-10 years of level temperatures was unlikely – a probability of say around 15%, for the sake of argument.

    So you are hanging your hat on a theory which predicted that the levelling off would have arrived by chance with only 15% probability. And yet at NO POINT do you suggest that there is any need for you to reevaluate any part of your theory – your argument is essentially nothing more than “these temperatures are not likely, but unless you show they are impossible or vanishingly unlikely, I will assume the models are correct.”

    That is not science, that is marketing, and I defy you to say otherwise.

  30. #30 paul
    October 17, 2008

    And as I said above, regarding the inertia in the oceans, how are you factoring in heat released from events many years ago into your current models.

    [it is not really a question of “heat released” from previous events, it is where the heat goes. The models incorporate this by the physical properties of water and radiation. The heat grows in the system as soon as an imbalance is imposed (a forcing) but it is by far mostly going into oceans which absorb a lot before showing much temperature change – coby]

    If the temperature increase of 0.2-0.3 or whatever over 20 years is enough to store heat to rise the temperature at some point in the future like you say, what about the heat stored from the similar but even stronger increase in the first half of this century? When was this released and where are you subtracting the consequent increase in temperatures from the measured temperatures when isolating the anthropogenic signal?

    And finally, maybe I will be accused of being simplistic, as I hae before. I read the link you posted on RealClimate, which essentially says the same thing you say, and I point out that if “Gavin” is the best you’ve got to offer, you’re in trouble.

    [Paul, “Gavin” is an expert in the field working for NASA, the people who put robots on Mars. There is no one “better to offer”]

    He bandies around plenty of technical terms and clearly knows a lot of stuff. But I did the identical undergraduate degree as him and did a phd in data modelling (in biomedical engineering) and i’ve seen his type before. He can’t speak clearly in simple laymans terms NOT because what he is describing is so complex, but because he, the emperor, is not wearing any clothes.

    [Your here response is not “simplistic” it is undeserved ad hominem]

  31. #31 paul
    October 17, 2008

    And so I can’t be accused of dodging your points, to these “anthropogenic aerosols and the “global dimming” that you speak of. Hmmm. Seems like begging the question to me (ie. deflecting the question from one poorly understood area to another).

    But I admit I have much more research to do before I would speak any more on this particular subject. But, nevertheless, convenient, isn’t it, that these only put their head above the parapet when it’s convenient for the AGW argument?

    Do you have, for example, a link to any actual agreed upon measurements of such particles in the air for the last 50 years or so?

  32. #32 coby
    October 20, 2008

    So you are hanging your hat on a theory which predicted that the levelling off would have arrived by chance with only 15% probability.

    paul, it is a 15% chance that it would have occured over these particular 7-10 years. The chance it would happen over some other 7-10 year period at least once approaches 100% as time goes on. We should expect it to happen an average of once every 7ish 7-10 year periods you might care to look at.

    In other words the models do predict it, they just can not say when, nor are they designed to say when.

  33. #33 paul
    October 22, 2008

    Coby – no, that is not correct.

    Forget climate science. Say I want to decide if a coin is biased before use it in an experiment. I can toss the coin 5 times. I get 5 heads.

    The chance of this happening – given the null hypothesis that the coin is unbiased – is low (0.5^5). I therefore would conclude, on this data, that the coin is biased.

    The fact that, if you toss the coin for a long time, you would eventually get 5 heads is true but totally irrelevant. On the data i have, the only proper conclusion is that the coin is biased.

    Hmmm, in theory. But if I took a coin from my pocket right now and tossed it and got five heads, I wouldn’t assume it was biased, I would assume that I was just unlucky. Why? Because I’m just assuming that all coins in my pocket are unbiased. I have no reason to believe otherwise – I’m basically, saying that, despite this run of 5 heads, I’m pretty sure that this won’t carry on.

    Back to climate science. You are doing exactly that. You are seeing the result and just saying you were unlucky – because you can’t even conceive that you are wrong or even that there is anything to prove. You are just taking it as read that CO2 causes global warming and any evidence to the contrary can be explained away with a wave of the hands.

    I, in contrast, am interested in what the data says – whilst I am pretty sure that the model that suggests coins land heads/tails with 50/50 chance is correct, I am, erm, somewhat less sure about the IPCC climate models and so will go where the data takes me.

    The models which are being discussed are from around 1996. So they have had a guess at their first ten year period – and the predictions are not good. If we assume they are correct, then what actually happened from 1996 to about now had only a (for the sake of argument) 15% chance. So, they are probably (ie. 85%) wrong.

    Saying that they are not wrong because, eventually, such a 10 year flatlining would happen, assumes – like I would with the coins – that the data in the future will not do this. In other words, you are (not explicitly, but in substance) “proving” my hypothesis about the current data wrong by citing WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

    This is absurd. Anyone doing such a thing either fundamentally misunderstands what statistical tests are or is simply wriggling out of a corner – eiher way, they have no business telling me anything about this problem.

    If that is the best you can offer on all the words I wrote above, something is badly wrong. And if you think I’m being a little rude, which maybe I am, statements like this on your latest post make my blood boil.

    “I’m not trying to claim that usually satisfies my skeptical visitors, but I don’t often go to more trouble than that. I try not to bang my head too hard against any brick walls that come my way!”

    What brick wall would that be, one of logic and statistics?

  34. #34 paul
    October 22, 2008

    As far as heat released by oceans goes, I don’t know enough about it to argue. Maybe you’re right. But I can tell a scientific argument from a sales pitch – and when people pull such arguments from the air, I don’t think it is at all undair of me to request that they demonstrate that they are considering its effect on both sides of the argument.

    And, yes, my comments on Gavin are ad hominem and, maybe, undeserved – I don’t know him – but I have seen the tone writes in, which is sometimes a little out of place, and I object to be being given links to his posts like what says is gospel. Like I said, I just don’t buy it – sorry.

  35. #35 paul
    October 22, 2008

    And to be triply clear, I’m not saying that this data is definitely enough to reject the null hypothesis (that the models are correct).

    I’m just incredulous that there is not even the slightest doubt from the AGW proponents, not any admission that there may be some rethinking to be done, that maybe someone somewhere says they are now less sure than they were. I haven’t seen this anywhere.

  36. #36 paul
    October 23, 2008

    “Do you have, for example, a link to any actual agreed upon measurements of such particles in the air for the last 50 years or so?”

    Does anyone have this? Does anyone know where the agreed upon place is to view the raw particles-in-the-air measurements on which the Cooling Due To Dimming and Aerosols Theory is based?

  37. #37 coby
    November 5, 2008

    Hi paul, sorry for the delay.

    I recommend looking at RC, here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/#Aerosols There are many substantive posts on this topic there and they generally contain links to the primary research. As a starting point, this post (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/07/climate-sensitivity-and-aerosol-forcings/) seems to have some good links to source papers and data. (eg http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/F.indiv.data.txt and descriptions/methods for where that data came from that should be nearby)

    As for the “agreed upon” qualifier, that may not exist to your satisfaction as it is still a poorly understood and controversial topic. I would guess the most conservative take on that issue (ie the most agreed upon material) will be found in the IPCC section on that topic – http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch02.pdf [PDF] (here is the older, but HTML, TAR chapter: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/160.htm)

    HTH.

  38. #38 paul
    November 12, 2008

    “it is still a poorly understood and controversial topic”

    So, the temperature anomaly in question has been attributed to the effects of a poorly understood effect by the unvalidated models. Not sure I have much else to say on that really.

    My point still stands. Gavin Schmidt said on realclimate that the models would be invalidated if temperatures changed by more than -0.2 degrees or 0.5 degrees over 10 years. A look at the recent climate record shows this is fairly/very unlikely to happen – would everyone agree?

    So the models are almost unfalsifiable over a decade, and can only be falsified if a “trend” turns out not to exist over multi-decadal timescales. What a wonderful world some people live in, where their professional opinion is only falsifiable in 2020 – mine is falsifiable in the next set of smoke testing – somewhere around Tuesday.

    How about a compromise? Is anyone prepared to admit that they still think AGW is a problem but they are less sure than they would be had the temperature risen by 0.2 degrees over the last decade?

  39. #39 John
    March 2, 2009

    Coby et al … can you clarify something for me? Is melting arctic sea-ice considered to be caused by global warming? Or caused by a change in ocean currents for which the reason is as yet unknown? I ask because I’ve seen various comments from both camps that seem unclear. Also, is it agreed in both camps that the melting of the Arctic ice-cap would not increase sea levels based on the same principle that melting ice in a glass of water does not cause the water to overflow? Thanks.

  40. #40 coby
    March 2, 2009

    Hi John,

    The long term downward trend is undoubtably caused by the regional warming the arctic has experienced. That warming is more than very likely caused by global climate change.

    The extreme record low of 2007 was the result of this warming trend plus wind and ocean currents and other local weather factors. Extreme events are always the result of a combination of factors.

    Melting sea ice will not cause sea level rise (SLR) for the reason you identify. There will however be some effect due to thermal expansion of warming water. Thermal expansion is the cause of the majority of the already observed 30ish cm rise over the last century.

    Melting of the greenland ice sheet will cause SLR. There is a total of 6m worth of ice there, though how fast it will melt is highly uncertain. It is not impossible that we get a meter or two from it this century, but it is also probable that it will take 100`s of years, or 1000 even, to melt completely.

    Thanks for the visit, and HTH!

  41. #41 Crakar14
    March 18, 2009

    Best place i could find to post this;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7897392.stm

    Looks like another AGW propaganda stunt gone horribly wrong.

    Cheers

  42. #42 Adam
    March 19, 2009

    Crakar –

    I’m starting to think that you’re a Poe with the arguments you make here and other places.
    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Poe%27s_Law

  43. #43 mikatollah
    March 19, 2009

    Crackar now you are just wasting our time, so Adam may be on to something here. You should stop spending your free time in an AGW denial war and go give your wife a break. Spend some time with your new baby.

  44. #44 Crakar14
    March 19, 2009

    Dont know what a Poe is but can guess it means you are a bit pissed off and i accept my use of the term “propaganda stunt” was uncalled for. So appologies to all i pissed off.

    My point was that what are these guys thinking? Did they think they could just walk up to the north pole at this time of year?

    They went there to prove GW, normally scientists begin research with an open mind and let the data take them to a conclusion but not this time. They even have their own website with all the bells and whistles etc.

    Did you know they have buoys there taking readings of ice thickness? They could have saved themselves a trip.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/18/arctic-ice-thickness-measured-from-buoys/#more-6321

    Just noticed your link about Poes law, interesting stuff. Poes law could be applied to alot of people i think.

  45. #45 crakar14
    May 11, 2009

    Well it looks like the wheels are indeed falling off, some selected quotes,

    “Ice in the Arctic is often twice as thick as expected, report surprised scientists who returned last week from a major scientific expedition.”

    and

    “Yet the latest satellite information from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (passed on by the Watts Up With That blog) shows that, after the third slowest melt of April Arctic ice in 30 years, the world’s polar sea ice is in fact slightly above its average extent for early May since satellite records began in 1979.”

    sources:

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/05/arctic-ice-twice-as-thick-as-expected.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5301082/Climate-change-The-elements-conspire-against-the-warmists.html

  46. #46 coby
    May 11, 2009

    Climate is about long term trends, not single data points.

  47. #47 crakar14
    May 11, 2009

    So by your own standards the point of this thread is?

  48. #48 coby
    May 11, 2009

    The point of this thread is to show that the talking point that “ice in month or year X was high therefore AGW is false” is either uniformed or intellectually dishonest depending on who is using it.

  49. #49 crakar14
    May 11, 2009

    Hang on second, first you call me a denier as opposed to a skeptic then you say the polar ice is melting due to AGW in other threads, but when ice shows recovery you pull out the old climate versus weather card.

    So who is the denier now? If you want people to play by the rules you have to aswell.

  50. #50 coby
    May 12, 2009

    Arctic sea ice is showing a dramatic long term decline (if only I could show you a graph..oh wait, there’s one in the main body of this post). Your “recovery” is claimed based on a single month of data. You dance around this simple point because your goal is not to understand anything, it is to deny the reality of a warming world and a dramatically warming arctic region.

  51. #51 Vernon
    May 12, 2009

    Coby,

    Read your article and then read the discussion, then checked the sources. NSIDC says that the mean was not 7.7 million sq km. They show that the 1979 – 2000 mean was 15.7 million sq km. The trend was -2.7 +/-0.7 percent per decade not -8.7 percent you listed. This is found at http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png which shows that the Arctic has been recovering from the 2007 low. The Arctic sea ice is within one standard deviation of the mean.

    When Arctic sea ice recovery is considered part of the global sea ice extent, we are either at or above the global mean. This can be seen at http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png . So, the trends are not as bad as you depict, further, recent measurements show that the sea ice is thicker than previously though.

    Oh and 1/3 or more of Arctic warming was due to carbon black (pollution) from Europe and Asia per a UC-Irvine stude a few years back.

  52. #52 Adam
    May 12, 2009

    Vernon –

    They show that the 1979 – 2000 mean was 15.7 million sq km. The trend was -2.7 +/-0.7 percent per decade not -8.7 percent you listed.

    You’re referencing the data for April ’09. Coby’s post is showing the data for August last year. These graphs are separated by month.
    “This graph plots ice extent anomalies (the difference in the extent for the month minus the mean extent for that month over 1979-2000) for the most recent complete month.”

    …which shows that the Arctic has been recovering from the 2007 low.

    Using the same logic, we can say that the ice in 1997,1998 and 1999 recovered from the “low” of 1996. But, the long-term trend continued downward. I’ll repeat what you seem unable to comprehend, no one expects monotonically decreasing ice (or monotonically increasing temperatures). You’re missing the forest for the trees.

    When Arctic sea ice recovery is considered part of the global sea ice extent, we are either at or above the global mean.

    I think you’re interpretting this graph wrong. The mean is the gray line. The 2009 data (blue) is below this line for all points by varying amounts (but still above the 2007 data).

    Oh and 1/3 or more of Arctic warming was due to carbon black (pollution) from Europe and Asia per a UC-Irvine stude a few years back.

    It’s unclear what point you’re trying to make here. Artic warming has been significantly higher than the global average, so it stands to reason there are more factors at play here. Also, this supports the contention that global warming is due to human industrial activity, so I struggle to see how you think this supports your conclusion that “the arguments for man-made warming are falling apart” posted in another thread.

  53. #53 coby
    May 12, 2009

    Vernon, the difference in your average extent and your trend is because as Adam points out you are looking at April values, I was looking at August values. This is actually not what I meant to do, I was meaning to look at the annual minimums. This will only be off by about 2 weeks though so I would not expect any substantial difference. Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum extent in mid September.

    The annual minimum is a much more meaningful data point than the April value.

    Your second point about being near the 79-00 mean is yet another appeal to weather to disprove a climate trend. I will not bother to say this again: individual year, and even more so, individual month values represent weather and do not by themselves contain one iota of information about climate trends.

    Trying to argue that the sea ice in the arctic is not shrinking is the essence of denialism and that is why very few intelligent people bother to take those arguments seriously.

    You are correct about black carbon and this should be emphasized more. James Hansen has been arguing for nearly a decade that we could do a lot to mitigate GW right now by reducing that kind of pollution while we try to tackle the much harder problem of CO2 emissions.

  54. #54 crakar14
    May 12, 2009

    Passage deleted by blog admin

    So just to make things clear we have 30 years of sat data on ice so according to you this past 30 years is the be all and end all of ice extent.

    [Well, we were discussing the available satellite data. Just a couple of comments up thread, you thought a single month in a single year was sufficient to discern a climatic trend. Now you are complaining that 30 years is too little? This is why I don’t believe your interest in the science is at all sincere, you change tactics and arguments and data sets soley to evade a conclusion you don’t like. That is not what skepticism is.

    I deleted the first part and the remainder of this comment because it is all abuse and no content. Please be civil, or at least insert some reason in between your invectives.

    – coby]

  55. #55 Adam
    May 12, 2009

    Crakar –

    Projecting much?

  56. #56 crakar14
    May 12, 2009

    Did not take long for the lap dog to start yapping did it.

    How come when you lot say “the Arctic is melting fasterthan ever, faster than ever i tells ya” its all caused by global warming.

    But when i present factual evidence to show the exact opposite i get “aw thats just weather your to stupid to know the difference”

    I will tell you why this is Adam because you are full of crap. You add nothing to the scientific debate you are simply someone who like to argue. You have not added one comment that is founded in science since your first post here.

    Here is an article that shows the sea ice is in fact in recovery now i am sure you will discredit the web site or the author but i bet you all the tea in china you will not go near the science. Not one of you will do that.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/AARI_PREDICTS_ARCTIC_COOLING.pdf

  57. #57 coby
    May 12, 2009

    Crakar, see replies inline for comment 54, and please refrain from the gratuitous insults.

    How come when you lot say “the Arctic is melting fasterthan ever, faster than ever i tells ya” its all caused by global warming.

    Because this is what the available evidence very clearly indicates.

    But when i present factual evidence to show the exact opposite i get “aw thats just weather your to stupid to know the difference”

    Because the fact you presented was just weather. I have no idea if you are unable or just unwilling to understand the difference. Well, I do prefer to assume that you are unwilling, because it really is a very simple concept.

    I have looked at the PDF you pointed to, and as they are also unable or unwilling to understand the difference between short term noise and a long term trend, there is clearly nothing to take seriously in there.

    Crakar, humor me while I try one last time. Look at the graph they present to show sea ice has “bottomed out”. Compare the “bottom” in 2007 to the following years: 1984, 1990, 1995. They could have presented the same case in 1985, 1991, and 1996 as they present now, and time has shown they would have been 0 for 3. The argument is wrong every time. Why do you think the argument is valid in 2009?

  58. #58 crakar14
    May 12, 2009

    Coby you said

    “I have looked at the PDF you pointed to, and as they are also unable or unwilling to understand the difference between short term noise and a long term trend, there is clearly nothing to take seriously in there.”

    The PDF states

    “The most competent polar scientific organization, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St. Petersburg, Russia”

    and

    “The authors showed that Arctic climate change is natural in origin and several orders of magnitude greater than the level of anthropogenic impact on the climate.”

    So are you saying that you are a higher authority than the AARI? They claim climate change in the arctic is natural you say it is not. Sorry but i will accept thier findings rather than yours.

    You said

    “Compare the “bottom” in 2007 to the following years: 1984, 1990, 1995. They could have presented the same case in 1985, 1991, and 1996 as they present now, and time has shown they would have been 0 for 3. The argument is wrong every time. Why do you think the argument is valid in 2009?”

    I fail to see your point since 2007, 08 and 09 summer melts have been less so yes it “bottomed” perse in 07. If your point is that since 79 there has been a gradual fall in ice then the eventual bottom maybe still ahead of us, then yes i agree it will be interesting how ice there is in September. But as the PDF states this is all due to natural climate variation and not increases of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Mind you the graphs do paint a scary picture dont they when in fact from the PDF they state;

    “It has returned to very near the 1979-2000 year average (NSIDC). Had NSIDC used the entire period of record as their base period (1979-2008), we would be at or above the average.”

    So from this we can see that the overall trend (79-08 or 30 years) is infact flat, agreed?

  59. #59 coby
    May 13, 2009

    So are you saying that you are a higher authority than the AARI?

    I see, so now argument from authority is just fine with you? Your inconsistency is the most consistent aspect of your comments. The NSIDC completely disagrees with AARI, do let us know why you prefer to shop Russian all of a sudden.

    This is textbook denialism, cite and argue anything that seems to agree with your prefered conclusion, ignore and deny everything else, change tactics midstream even if it contradicts your own previous points, it is an exercise in futility.

    We’ve been through the rest of your comment before, not interested any more. I only respond so that lurkers and the archives have everything they need to understand the various errors and fallacies you employ, and that job is done.

  60. #60 Paul in MI
    May 13, 2009

    Coby states:
    [ Look at the graph they present to show sea ice has “bottomed out”. Compare the “bottom” in 2007 to the following years: 1984, 1990, 1995. They could have presented the same case in 1985, 1991, and 1996 as they present now, and time has shown they would have been 0 for 3. The argument is wrong every time. Why do you think the argument is valid in 2009? ]

    From my position Coby is correct. And his last question is what we are trying to answer. My answer is, I don’t know. The models are trying to predict it. And as time goes forward, weather becomes climate. So we shall observe the reality as it unfolds. Time will test the model and we shall know the answer, but not until then.

  61. #61 crakar14
    May 13, 2009

    Coby and the soft shoe shuffle,

    Is the Arctic melting due to AGW? If so rather than make these claims based on a belief system show me the empirical evidence that shows it.

    And while your at it show me the empirical evidence as to why AGW makes the Antarctic colder so its ice extent has increased.

    We have 30 years of data showing Arctic ice extent, 30 years of a +PDO, multiple strong el ninos and the most active sun in the past 1000 years but ignore that its all caused by AGW.

    By the way you often quote the Vostok ice cores so what is wrong with russian data ?

  62. #62 crakar14
    May 13, 2009

    Oh almost forgot, just to prove a point here is a study from NASA which clearly states that CO2 plays no role in arctic clmate.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/09/arctic_aerosols_goddard_institute/

    Or is NASA as bad as AARI now?

  63. #63 coby
    May 13, 2009

    Regarding comment #62,
    here is a study from NASA which clearly states that CO2 plays no role in arctic clmate

    Of course the NASA study cited by that article says no such thing. Nor does the article.

  64. #64 crakar14
    May 13, 2009

    Regarding comment #63

    And i quote for the article link in comment #62 “New research from NASA suggests that the Arctic warming trend seen in recent decades has indeed resulted from human activities: but not, as is widely assumed at present, those leading to carbon dioxide emissions. Rather, Arctic warming has been caused in large part by laws introduced to improve air quality and fight acid rain.”

    and

    Dr Drew Shindell of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has led a new study which indicates that much of the general upward trend in temperatures since the 1970s – particularly in the Arctic – may have resulted from changes in levels of solid “aerosol” particles in the atmosphere, rather than elevated CO2. Arctic temperatures are of particular concern to those worried about the effects of global warming, as a melting of the ice cap could lead to disastrous rises in sea level – of a sort which might burst the Thames Barrier and flood London, for instance.”

    Now you knew it said this Coby but yet still denied it. So in summary you dispute the AARI because we cant trust the Russians unless its the Vostoks ice cores (re used by yourself and IPCC as a source of data) and then you religiously ignore the written word of NASA GISS and just pretend its not written. Are you aware of just how deep your denial is Coby?

    You cannot simply reject reality and substitute it with your own, well you can in computer models of course not in the real world.

  65. #65 coby
    May 13, 2009

    Crakar, there is a big difference between “CO2 plays no role” and “much of the general upward trend in temperatures … may have resulted from changes in levels of solid “aerosol” particles in the atmosphere, rather than elevated CO2″

    This is not a controversial finding, James Hansen has been identifying aerosols and black carbon (soot) as a major contributor to arctic warming for over a decade.

    No one has ever claimed that CO2 alone controls climate trends.

  66. #66 crakar14
    May 13, 2009

    Ah so this has been an English lesson has it, very well then.

  67. #67 Vernon
    May 14, 2009

    Coby,

    You do realize that all flap about the melting of the Arctic is red herring. The truth is that the Arctic is not the warmest it has been in the last 1000 years, it is not even the warmest it has been in the last 100 years. If it was warmer in the past, then may be, picking the current 30 year period with satellite coverage is pretty meaningless.

  68. #68 Dennis D
    August 9, 2009

    Obama…unemployment… [delete]

    coby here: at least pretend to be on topic. Thanks.

  69. #69 PaulinMI
    March 18, 2010

    ARCTIC SEA ICE,
    interesting, no comments on this (and of course not statistically significant)

    but go see
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    as Jan, Feb and now Mar look to be the hottest on record (also not statistically significant).

  70. #70 crakar24
    April 26, 2010

    If you look at Pauls link above and this one http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm it would seem as though sea ice is up a little higher tha it has been in recent years.

    With this in mind is anyone prepared to make a prediction as to what the minimum sea ice extent will be come September?

  71. #71 mandas
    April 26, 2010

    Paul and crakar

    Thanks for the link. Tell me, did you read the words at the links or just look at the pretty pictures? If you did read them, can you tell what you think of these quotes (near the bottom of the page):

    “…The late date of the maximum extent, though of special interest this year, is unlikely to have an impact on summer ice extent. The ice that formed late in the season is thin, and will melt quickly when temperatures rise…”

    “…However, this replenishment consists primarily of younger, two- to three-year-old multiyear ice; the oldest, and thickest multiyear ice has continued to decline…”

  72. #72 PaulinMI
    April 27, 2010

    All new ice is thin, it has to start somewhere. You complain about global warming, err “climate change”, point to the low ice extent as proof, then run away from it when it changes.

    Either it is a useful metric to discuss or it’s not.

    And did you read that the most likely cause of ice loss in the recent years has been wind blowing it out of the arctic more than usual? Or did you simply forget to mention that?

  73. #73 Dappledwater
    April 27, 2010

    “You complain about global warming, err “climate change”, point to the low ice extent as proof, then run away from it when it changes.” – PaulinMI

    As useful as sea ice extent is as a measurement, it’s only two dimensional, it tells us nothing about sea ice thickness i.e volume:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png

    The prognosis is still terminal for the Arctic summer sea ice.

  74. #74 skip
    April 27, 2010

    With this in mind is anyone prepared to make a prediction as to what the minimum sea ice extent will be come September?

    And let me guess: If we don’t get it within a cubic meter you will dance in glee at having again “refuted” AGW–sort of like your faux IPCC 10-year prediction.

    Nice try, Crakar.

  75. #75 Chris S.
    April 27, 2010

    “sort of like your faux IPCC 10-year prediction.”

    I notice crakar has seemingly ‘forgotten’ that he still has questions to answer on that front.

    I won’t hold my breath though…

  76. #76 crakar24
    April 27, 2010

    I was planning on being a little more lenient than that Skip.

    From what i have read the Arctic sea ice extent depends heavily on the AO which in turn is dependant on the NAO, the NAO has been in +ve phase since around 1976 (three years before sats started looking)on current trends of NAO i would guess that the summer extent will be higher than the previous years. If i were to give a figure i would say somewhere around 6.5 to 7 mil square K’s (about 2003 levels).

    Its a shame warmers are so childish.

  77. #77 skip
    April 27, 2010

    Amazing.

    Since you won’t answer the direct question of what hypothetical evidence it would take to convince that AGW is both real and potentially threatening, here’s another direct question:

    In the history of this forum, who has been more “childish”–you or me?

    Its really simple either-or. I suspect you’ll dodge it.

    And here’s another one while you’re at it: How can you measure “intellectual dishonesty”–I mean, what the are hallmarks?

    Just curious, although I also expect no answer.

  78. #78 PaulinMI
    April 27, 2010

    DW,
    nice graphic, I book-marked it.
    very telling.

  79. #79 crakar24
    April 27, 2010

    Hypothetical evidence is evidence that does not exist, how could i make a decision based on this?

    The childish comment should be attributed to all those that posted not just you Skip. I asked a question, a simple question really what do you predict the ice extent to be by Sept. However due to your very own narrative and this idea that your faith is being constantly challenged you did not respond to my question but simply took this as an opportunity to post some utter crap.

    I do not know how to measure intellectual dishonesty Skip, why dont you take the measurements and tell me the results.

  80. #80 Chris S.
    April 28, 2010

    crakar. What gives you the right to expect straight answers to your questions when you fail to answer questions posed to you, preferring to obfuscate and evade?

    FWIW you’ve missed the boat on the question of ice extent – the likes of stoat & James Annan used to make this the subject of a betting pool but have since stopped as no-one will take them up on it (due to them persistently being right). Last year the lab lemming had one too. In fact last year there was quite a few goes at predicting including this one at Bob Grumbine’s site: http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/06/connolley-grumbine-sea-ice-bet.html I’ll follow stoat’s method and say that this year’s minimum extent will fall on or near the 1979-2006 linear regression line.

  81. #81 Chris S.
    April 28, 2010

    Further to the above, here is the outcome of last year’s Grumbine-Stoat bet http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/10/sea-ice-finals-2009.html

    I’d recommend looking at the ARCUS link provided too.

  82. #82 skip
    April 28, 2010

    Hypothetical evidence is evidence that does not exist, how could i make a decision based on this?

    Blatant dodge. You have no answer and everybody including you knows it, but its important that we play this little game so I’ll keep asking and you’ll keep dodging.

    I’ll rephrase the question–yet again–because I’m starting to derive a bizarre sense of resigned satisfaction in watching you repeatedly dodge it.

    Direct Question (you will not answer): What would you accept as evidence, Crakar, that AGW is both real and menacing?

    Who cares what summer ice extent is in September, and how should I possibly have a basis for guessing? What does one month of extent have to do with the real issue at stake?

    Here’s an analogous question, Crakar: How many inches of rain will fall in Tasmania in September? By your logic, if you don’t answer, you’re dodging.

  83. #83 mandas
    June 15, 2010

    Interesting news from the National Snow and Ice Data Center on the extent of ice in the Arctic at the moment.

    “……Average ice extent for May 2010 was 480,000 square kilometers (185,000 square miles) greater than the record low for May, observed in 2006, and 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) below the average extent for the month. The linear rate of decline for May over the 1979 to 2010 period is now -2.41% per decade.

    The rate of decline through the month of May was the fastest in the satellite record; the previous year with the fastest daily rate of decline in May was 1980. By the end of the month, extent fell near the level recorded in 2006, the lowest in the satellite record for the end of May. Despite the rapid decline through May, average ice extent for the month was only the ninth lowest in the satellite record….”
    source: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Or if you wish, you can have a look at the graphical representation here:

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100608_Figure5.png

    What’s worse, is this is sea ice ‘extent’ – ie the area covered, and does not take into account the volume of ice (ie thickness), which has been much thinner over recent years. This may explain why it is declining so rapidly – thin ice obviously melts a lot quicker than thick ice. This is the information regarding volume:

    “…..According to PIOMAS (Pan-arctic Ice Ocean Modelling and Assimilation System), the average Arctic sea ice volume for May 2010 was 19,000 cubic kilometers (4,600 cubic miles), the lowest May volume over the 1979 to 2010 period. May 2010 volume was 42% below the 1979 maximum, and 32% below the 1979 to 2009 May average. The May 2010 ice volume is also 2.5 standard deviations below the 1979 to 2010 linear trend for May (–3,400 cubic kilometers, or -816 cubic miles, per decade)….”

    Of course, the conditions may change over the coming months, and it is difficult to make definitive predictions and statements re the longer term outcomes, but this suggests that the low in 2006/7 was not an outlyer, and will be exceeded this season. Not good!!

  84. #84 skip
    June 16, 2010

    Yeah yeah. But its hailing in Reno right now so AGW is disproved.

    (Where’s Crakar when you need him?)

  85. #85 crakar24
    June 17, 2010

    Here i am,

    here is an interesting article about the arctic

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/mobile/story.html?id=3158931

    This of course is not meant to disprove AGW but merely to shed light on the subject.

    Cheers

  86. #86 mandas
    June 17, 2010

    I read some interesting papers on Arctic sea ice today, which were either authored or co-authored by a scientist by the name of Christian Haas. Brilliant guy! Lots of experience with measuring sea ice. I believe he even gets interviewed by the newspapers.

    Of course, anyone with any intelligence always follows up what they read in the newspapers with additional research to check if what is reported is correct, and to shed light on the subject which is usually only touched on briefly in the media.

    He are a couple of things that Dr Haas has to say about ice in the Arctic:

    “….Measurements of second-year ice which still persisted at the North Pole in April 2007 indicate a reduction of late-summer second-year modal and mean ice thicknesses since 2001 of 20 and 25% to 1.65 and 1.81 m, respectively. The regime shift to younger and thinner ice could soon
    result in an ice free North Pole during summer….”

    source: http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Haa2008c.pdf (2007)

    “…..Satellite observations demonstrate a decreasing summer Arctic sea ice extent over the past ~37 years, as well as a smaller perennial sea ice zone, with a significantly accelerated decline in the last decade. Recent ice extent observations are significantly lower than predicted by any model employed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)….”

    source: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2009AGUFM.C41C0479L (2009)

    “….We conclude that older sea ice in much of the Arctic Ocean was of similar or even slightly larger thickness in April 2009 relative to conditions in 2007, but within the expected range of interannual variability. However, the volume of older ice may have been less overall due to a lower areal coverage, and because our surveys were still spatially limited. It seems that consequences of strong melt and ice export during and after the summer record minimum 2007 may have been compensated for by weather patterns in 2008 that were not conducive to high melt and ice dispersal in summer and may have fostered enhanced thermodynamic ice growth during a colder winter 2008/09 with less snow accumulation, as suggested by anecdotal in-situ observations in spring 2009…”

    source: http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Haa2010b.pdf (2010)

    Makes fascinating reading, and just goes to show that you should not rely on newspapers as a source for your science. If you want REAL light to be shed on a subject, I always believe it is best to go to the source. Don’t you all agree?

  87. #87 skip
    June 17, 2010

    Duly noted . . . but I still will ride you about Germany beating Oz in World Cup, mate.

    That is, until the Krauts smoke us just as badly (or worse) in playoff play.

    (Allow me my petty barbs, Crakar. I am a small and sad man in many ways.)

  88. #88 crakar
    June 18, 2010

    Thats OK Skip i understand, the big one starts tomorrow night for us as we take on Ghana in a must win game, which will be followed by another must win game against Slovakia or Slovenia or was that Serbia? Anyway we gotta win them both.

    SBN you still there or for that matter DW? Hows those Kiwis hey bro. I till you whot thiy are e but desiptuve those All Whites.

    Seriously guys good luck with your next two games i hope you get through to the round of 16.

    Cheers for now.

    Crakar

  89. #89 skip
    June 18, 2010

    Yeah, thanks.

    Just past 4:00 am and I’m already amped, not sleeping. I need a proper drug habit or something.

    U-S-A!

  90. #90 Matt Bennett
    June 18, 2010

    For what it’s worth Skip, thought you guys were robbed with that disallowed goal. God I need some sleep….

  91. #91 skip
    June 18, 2010

    Thank you for the sympathy, Matt, but . . . “robbed”?

    “ROBBED”??!

    Robbery is a property crime. That game was not merely stolen; we were bent over and publicly *violated* by Coulibaly and FIFA.

    Even the Limey bastard commentator admitted it was a hose job! Oh, for the love of God . . . That SOB . . . the Chris Monckton of soccer officiating. (Apologies, Crakar; it seems like a good analogy at the moment.)

    My feeble consolation is the poms (no offense) stunk up the field and tied Algeria . . . so we’re still in this thing.

  92. #92 crakar24
    June 20, 2010

    ROBBED!!!!

    We was robbed, the ball hits Kewell in the shoulder… result a red card and a gimme goal. It was the same prick that cost us the game last time (06) against the spagetti munchers.

    Speaking of which, the Kiwis had that game in the bag until the Italian player went down as if he was shot in the back of the head from a sniper in the grandstand.

    Our only hope now is the Krauts stung into action by their insipid performance against Serbia come out and belt the bejesus out of “we can only win games by getting dodgy penalties Ghana” and we beat Serbia.

  93. #93 skip
    June 20, 2010

    Ok, Ok . . .

    I started this line and I apologize. Not your fault Crakar, but we can’t turn Coby’s blog into a sports chat forum.

    That being said I still want the last word:

    We got ROBBED!

    Ok back to CO2 residence time . . .

  94. #94 skip
    June 20, 2010

    I mean

    RAPED!

    Ok I’m done, I swear. I *swear*.

    Back to arctic ice melt . . .

  95. #95 Chris S.
    June 21, 2010

    All I can say is: at least you’re not French.

    …tee hee…

  96. #96 skip
    June 21, 2010

    I said I wanted the LAST WORD.

    Ok, enough . . .

  97. #97 mandas
    June 22, 2010

    At post #83, I commented and provided some links on the extent of sea ice in the Artic, and remarked at the time that sea ice was declining at the fastest rate ever observed, but that the extent of sea ice was still only the ninth lowest observed for the month of May. A copy of the quote as follows:

    “….The rate of decline through the month of May was the fastest in the satellite record; the previous year with the fastest daily rate of decline in May was 1980. By the end of the month, extent fell near the level recorded in 2006, the lowest in the satellite record for the end of May. Despite the rapid decline through May, average ice extent for the month was only the ninth lowest in the satellite record….”

    I also remarked that even though the extent (area) of the ice was not the lowest observed, the volume WAS the lowest observed, with most ice being very thin. Consequently it would be subject to melt very easily. The quote I used was as follows:

    “….According to PIOMAS (Pan-arctic Ice Ocean Modelling and Assimilation System), the average Arctic sea ice volume for May 2010 was 19,000 cubic kilometers (4,600 cubic miles), the lowest May volume over the 1979 to 2010 period. May 2010 volume was 42% below the 1979 maximum, and 32% below the 1979 to 2009 May average. The May 2010 ice volume is also 2.5 standard deviations below the 1979 to 2010 linear trend for May (–3,400 cubic kilometers, or -816 cubic miles, per decade)….”

    Whilst I was cautious in my predictions about what might occur in the coming months, I finished on a pessimistic note that things did not bode well for the future.

    Well, the future is here, and sea ice in the Arctic is now at the lowest it has ever been at this time of year – below the record levels set in 2006 and 2007. Here is a link to the daily data for the 21st of June:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    In the September Sea Ice outlook published by the ‘Study of Environmental Arctic Change, estimates were examined from 16 different sources, with every single one being below the long term average, with one estimate (an outlyer admittedly)predicting ice extent as low as 1.0 million sq km. The mean of the predictions is in the region of the 2007 record.

    I wanted to finish this post by making some sort of pithy comment, but I think this time I will just let the facts speak for themselves.

  98. #98 skip
    June 22, 2010

    I would like to say Thank You, Mandas, but this is, as you say, depressing.

  99. #99 crakar24
    June 23, 2010

    Here is a link to cryosphere comparing May 1979 to May 2010.

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=05&fd=01&fy=1979&sm=05&sd=01&sy=2010

    Does the information in post 97 agree with this?

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=05&fd=01&fy=1979&sm=05&sd=01&sy=2000

    This is from May 79 to May 2000 as far as i can tell there is no difference.

    The site is quite good to compare from one year to the next just make sure you get the months the same though.

  100. #100 GFW
    June 23, 2010

    Crakar,

    1. May 1st <> “May”. Try comparing June 22s. http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=06&fd=22&fy=1979&sm=06&sd=22&sy=2010

    2. The lo-res comparison maps at CT seem to show a lot more ice in recent years than the hi-res main map for the same day. Compare the right hand image in the previous link to the hi-res version of the main front-page map for the same day. (Link in next post to avoid moderation.) Interesting differences. There’s more ice area on the lo-res even though it’s supposed to cut off at 30%, while the hi-res cuts off at 15%. One could then argue that maybe if we had hi-res for 1979 it would show less ice too, but the fact remains that in 1979 no one was thinking about using the NW passage, while in the last couple of years *pleasure* boats have done it.

  101. #101 GFW
    June 23, 2010

    This link will only show 6/22 today. Maybe someone else can post how to get arbitrary dates for the hi-res maps. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

    PS, the “>” in my previous post was supposed to be a not-equals. HTML strikes again. Or I should use different syntax – “!=” for not-equals.

  102. #102 crakar
    October 13, 2010

    Pssssst, looks like the winter freeze is off to a great start.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

  103. #103 mandas
    October 13, 2010

    Gosh thanks crakar. What’s your point?

  104. #104 crakar24
    October 13, 2010

    The winter freeze is off to a great start

  105. #105 mandas
    October 13, 2010

    Well thanks for that. Looks like winter in the Arctic will be cold this year.

  106. #106 mandas
    November 9, 2010

    Meanwhile, back in the Arctic…….

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20101102_Figure2.png

    “…..At the end of October, ice growth slowed, and at the end of the month extensive open water areas remained in the Beaufort, Chukchi, Kara and Barents seas. This region had the warmest ocean surface temperatures at the end of the melt season……Even with the rapid ice growth at the beginning of the month, October 2010 had the third-lowest ice extent for the month in the satellite record. The linear trend for October steepened slightly from -5.9% per decade to -6.2% per decade….”

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20101102_Figure3.png

  107. #107 mandas
    February 2, 2011

    Meanwhile, back in the Arctic:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    “…..Arctic sea ice extent averaged over January 2011 was 13.55 million square kilometers (5.23 million square miles). This was the lowest January ice extent recorded since satellite records began in 1979. It was 50,000 square kilometers (19,300 square miles) below the record low of 13.60 million square kilometers (5.25 million square miles), set in 2006, and 1.27 million square kilometers (490,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average…..”

    “….Air temperatures over much of the Arctic were 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal in January. Over the eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Baffin Bay/Davis Strait and Labrador Sea, temperatures were at least 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average. Temperatures were near average over the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Scandinavia…..”

  108. #108 mandas
    June 18, 2011

    The latest news from the Arctic just keeps getting more and more depressing:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

Current ye@r *