Nothing much going on with sea ice at the moment, but people are getting excited about it, so why shouldn’t I contribute to the smoke?
[A little concept I just created in the comments but am so pleased with I'm going to put it here: is 2007's Arctic sea ice like 1998's global temperature?]
First up in the stupidity stakes is Tim Flannery, for his Words of warming in the Grauniad, in particular for by June 2008 signs of a great melt were emerging and a senior adviser to the Norwegian government was warning that this may be the Arctic’s first ice-free year. Even in June, that was blatantly silly. Repeating it now is worse. The Arctic will not be ice free this summer. Or next summer. Or the one after that. Or… The rest of the article is full of the usual over-excitement but isn’t very interesting.
The grauniad has another go at sea ice in Meltdown in the Arctic is speeding up, which spends a lot of time saying “we don’t know”, then continues Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Using US navy supercomputers, his team produced a forecast which indicated that by 2013 there will be no ice in the Arctic – other than a few outcrops on islands near Greenland and Canada – between mid-July and mid-September. ‘It does not really matter whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for Arctic ice,’ Maslowski said. ‘The crucial point is that ice is clearly not building up enough over winter to restore cover and that when you combine current estimates of ice thickness with the extent of the ice cap, you get a very clear indication that the Arctic is going to be ice-free in summer in five years. And when that happens, there will be consequences.’ (HT ES in globalchange). But I dont believe it. Nor is it clearly true that ice doesn’t have time to rebuild over winter.
Sea ice is still well above last year (e.g. nsidc [update: the IARC pic is better]), even if its taken a little downturn recently. Anyone who actually believes any of these prophets of doom is still welcome to join my betting pool… remember all those people who were advising me to close it a few months ago?
That was all Arctic. Eli has noticed that the SH ice has suddenly gone from a large positive anomaly to a small negative. Thats interesting.
Since I’m G-bashing, I suppose I should continue to On a planet 4C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction by Oliver Tickell. We need to get prepared for four degrees of global warming, Bob Watson told the Guardian last week. At first sight this looks like wise counsel from the climate science adviser to Defra. But the idea that we could adapt to a 4C rise is absurd… The collapse of the polar ice caps would become inevitable, bringing long-term sea level rises of 70-80 metres. All the world’s coastal plains would be lost, complete with ports, cities, transport and industrial infrastructure… Yes: 70m of SLR rise would be a disaster if it occurred within a century. Or even a millenium, at an even rate. But it won’t. The entire issue here is how fast it would occur. Current estimates are ~0.5m over the next century. There are arguments that it could be more, but suggesting 70m on a timescale that matters is unrealistic scaremongering. Or just careless; who knows with these people.
[Note: for those following the OT comments: sorry folks, but this is *not* going to degenerate into yet another interminable discussion of the HS. You want to talk about the HS? Fine. Get your own blog - they're free. You're even free to post a link to it here. But this is my site, and one of the facilities I provide is a signal to noise ratio. You want unmoderated discussion? Go and drown in usenet, which I abandoned years ago -W]