Sea ice, coming and going

By Phil Plait | August 19, 2010 7:00 am

One of the biggest predictors of global warming is the retreat of sea ice in the high northern latitudes. As oceans warm, the ice will take longer to form in the winter, and retreat faster in the spring. Scientists, therefore, have been watching the ice north of Canada very carefully.

What they’re seeing isn’t very hopeful.

terra_seaice

This picture, from the Terra Earth-observing satellite, shows the state of sea ice as it was on August 17. This region is the so-called Northwest Passage — a waterway through the Canadian archipelago connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Usually the sea ice prevents regular trade routes from being utilized there. But over the past few years — <sarcasm>coincidentally</sarcasm> the time when scientists say global warming is accelerating — the sea ice has thinned considerably.

In 2007 the sea ice underwent a record thinning and the passage opened enough for navigation. This year, the ice has thinned even faster, though overall the ice is not as thin as it was in 2007; in some places it is thicker. What this means is that it’s very difficult to read what’s going on in detail. But we knew that already: global warming also predicts changing currents, changing salinity, changing everything.

It’s a complex system that interacts with itself, and those are notoriously difficult to model. Positive feedback systems are exquisitely sensitive to small changes. That’s precisely why images like these are so disturbing: they are showing that the system is changing, and it’s the change itself that indicates trouble is brewing.

Image credit: NASA’s MODIS Rapid Response Team

Comments (102)

  1. Doug Little

    And here we go again.

    Can someone bring extra salsa, this is gonna be a long one.

  2. jasonB

    Phil

    As you obviously spend a lot of time thinking about global warming/climate change, do you have any concrete, economically viable solutions that you would recommend?

    I am asking this without any snark, nor am I trying to be a “dick”. You have a large following and many may be interested in your proposed solutions.

  3. Chris

    Actually even though sea ice extent and ice thickness tends to be what people focus on, the sea ice volume is much more telling and disturbing.
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/05/13/arctic-ice-volume-nsidc-polar-science-center/

  4. M.K. Oestby

    An icefree northeastern passage would knock several thousand miles off the shipping routes between rotterdam and china/korea/japan…

    That would be a great boost for trade and economy.

    Except for that, global warming pretty much sucks…

  5. Misora

    Stunning pic.

    it’s a shame we didn’t have satellite technology like this 20+ years ago (and further back!) i would be very interested in seeing changes in the thickness of the ice 100, 500, or even 1000 years ago.

  6. Daniel J. Andrews

    For anyone interested, you can see daily sea ice extent updates here
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    And the cryosphere today is a good spot to browse for reliable information too.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    As Phil alludes, it isn’t just the extent of sea ice that is important. After all, every winter it freezes up (eventually–this past year it took a while longer) and every year the antiscience and political websites holler about how it has all recovered.

    The more important measure is ice thickness. Seasonal ice will melt away quickly. Thicker sea ice stays around. The arctic is losing its thicker ice.

    See Peter Sinclair’s videos on Polar Ice Melt.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MozcU7woNNQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3dYhC_AlYw&feature=related

  7. I'd rather be fishin'

    I have had a few (too many IMHO) discussions with AGW types. One of them blamed the melting polar ice on the “fact” , her word not mine, that the magnetic poles wander and currently they are in that portion of the Arctic Ocean.

    She didn’t know if 1 pole, both or some other number were causing the melting. I applied Phil’s Rule (“Don’t Be a Dick”), smiled and walked away. In the words of my old physics teacher “Ignorance is bliss, but why do I get so many blissful students?”

  8. Utakata

    Yes, likely he does jasonB @ 2,…but one that will likely get some of our Ferengi posters’ lobes all in a twist.

  9. Gary

    Wind plays a huge role in the sea ice extent and thickness. Ignoring it’s effects leads to erroneous conclusions. Likewise, ignoring antarctic sea ice extent now at a recent high and seemingly in an inverse relationship with arctic ice also can lead to a fallacious conclusion. Moral of the story: don’t cherry pick data to support an hypothesis.

    Oh, and btw, systems are ALWAYS changing. If that’s a sign of trouble then trouble is a constant and really not something to panic over. To watch, yes; to insure against, of course; but panic??

    Finally, the earth’s climate history, although variable, doesn’t seem to be that sensitive to small changes. As you say, it’s a complex system (made up of interacting subsystems each of which may be prone to positive or negative feedbacks). Evidence suggests that they balance out.

  10. Ray

    How does the current picture compare to both recent and past history?

  11. Tom Epps

    Back in the 1960s there was a tanker, I believe named ‘Manhattan’, which was equipped with a special ice-breaking bow for the purpose of completing a voyage thru the NW Passage. It was quite an achievement and trumpeted a new age of trans-oceanic commerce. TODAY you could drive a fleet of tankers thru the Passage without any interference from ice floes or bergs. I’d say that makes for a pretty serious difference in just forty years or so.

    One of the more disgusting articles I ever read as a joyful piece in ‘Proceedings’ magazine about how nice it will be when the polar cap shrinks forty percent–we can increase shipping in the region by 230 percent! I know the old saying about making lemonade, but PLEASE…

    Tom Epps
    USNS Arctic
    North Atlantic (no Ice in sight!)

  12. Antarctic sea ice phenomena is also slowly being understood. How come Anti-GW folks rarely do their own science?

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/antarctic-ice-future

    why do antiGw folks always repeat things that the GC folks already know and understand and have already accounted for?

    am I being a dick?

  13. Peter Laws

    But Al Gore is fat!!

  14. rob

    global warming is a plot to destroy the economy of Panama by shunting shipping traffic through the NW passage rather than the canal!!11!!1

    i blame Van Halen!

  15. Carl

    For JasonB @ 2 … “In one 2009 analysis, scientists led by Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University estimated that household-based steps—as opposed to national policies like cap-and-trade—such as weatherizing homes, upgrading furnaces, switching to higher-mpg cars, changing air filters in a furnace, and not wasting power would cut U.S. carbon emissions by 123 million metric tons per year, which is 20 percent of household direct emissions and 7.4 percent of U.S. emissions.” http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/17/why-we-re-so-clueless-about-being-green.html

    And efficiency improvements are economically viable. Though, it does take intervention to implement a societal good when the incremental individual benefit is not immediately obvious (and thus individuals make decisions that show immediate, direct benefit to themselves but at a longer-term detriment to society.)

    Hope this helps.

  16. Trebuchet

    Didn’t take long for the first denier on this one.

    Gary, Phil is indeed providing a single data point in this single post. And he’s provided many, many others in previous posts. He hasn’t claimed that any of these single points proves AGW, nor is this blog claimed as a scientific study. The overwhelming bulk of evidence, studied by many real climate scientists, indicates that the atmosphere is warming and that human activity is a major contributor. No cherry picking, that’s mostly what the deniers do.

    Off Topic:
    On the small island — Emerald Isle according to Wikipedia — north of Melville Island and east of Prince Patrick Island there’s a feature that looks like an impact crater, or possibly a volcano. Anyone know what that is? No luck on Google so far.

    And what a singularly inappropriate name for that island!

  17. Coincidentally Northwest Passage is one of my favorite songs and for everyones enjoyment:

  18. Messier Tidy Upper

    @^ Davidlpf : Thanks. :-)

    I guess one of a few positives from global warming is that it has made exploring and developing the Arctic and Antartica regions much easier.

    In other possibly Global Warming related news :

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1324677/Huge-ice-island-threatening-shipping

    A big chunk of ice has broken away from Greenland.

    Greenland’s glaciers pump out thousands of icebergs into Arctic waters every year, but scientists say this is the biggest in the northern hemisphere since 1962.

    Of course, we can’t say this *is* caused by global warming & it does happen naturally anyhow but still ..

    Also of considerable concern is the methane locked in the permafrost which is being released by global warming – &, dramatically, so much methane is coming from certain methane hot spots that it can actually be ignited :

    .. in one those “crock of the week” videos [snip!] methane bubbling up from melting permafrost and greatly escalating / contributing to global warming. People go up and light into flame the methane gas . Two people walk out onto a lake bed that’s frozen over, pointing out, in passing, the slumping of the ground from the sub-surface melting, chip away at the ice creating a hole – then ignite the gas pouring out from under the ice.

    see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MozcU7woNNQ&feature=related

    at the 6 minutes 10 to 6 minutes 40 in.

    Thinking of those Peter Sinclair ‘Crock of the Week’ YouTube clips I’d recommend anyone denying Climate Change have a good look through all of these ones :

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=029130BFDC78FA33&sort_field=original&page=2

    Before commenting here – because they’ll find all the usual “Climate skeptic” lines bedunked there.

  19. amphiox

    Finally, the earth’s climate history, although variable, doesn’t seem to be that sensitive to small changes. As you say, it’s a complex system (made up of interacting subsystems each of which may be prone to positive or negative feedbacks). Evidence suggests that they balance out.

    Over 10 000 years they might. Over a few hundred, not so much.

  20. Messier Tidy Upper

    I’ve posted this comment before – my apologies if it breeches netiquette or anything like that – but I do think it worth re-posting here further upthread earlier in an AGW topic here & also because I’m not sure if the person who it is intended for (are you out there somewhere Buzz Parsec ?) has seen it yet :

    *****

    # 152 Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 3rd, 2010 at 11:03 pm
    @ 59. Buzz Parsec : [July 27th, 2010 at 3:24 pm]

    From this old thread :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/07/26/that-nasa-look/#comment-285539 Link to return to this will be added there too.

    MTU – Re: AGW, next time a global warning thread rolls around, perhaps you could discuss what you found convincing? Or did you already do that in a comment to some post I missed recently (I’ve been intermittent here lately.) I hope this was a rational conclusion based on evidence, and not because the rest of us Global Warming Thugs beat you into it!

    Okay, now is the right time & I’ll keep my promise in comment #65 there :

    Well it wasn’t just *one* thing or discussion but rather a whole *lot* of them over time taking out argument after argument and it was a long cumulative process I’ll say that much now. I’ve discussed this before here – so long ago that I’ve forgotten exactly which thread – but I’ll do so again maybe on the next AGW thread the BA posts here.

    Well, I’ll start by saying no I wasn’t bullied into changing my view but very gradually convinced. My personal experience here is as follows :

    I’ve been interested in this issue for ages – growing up in the late 1980’s I initially felt concerned and alarmed by the Greenhouse Effect (Global Warming) issue.

    Some years later – after some of the over-hyped predictions from then hadn’t quite materialised – I encountered the geologist, skeptic and AGW denier Prof. Ian Plimer. I attended a few of Plimer’s lectures against the reality of AGW – some through an astronomy group. I spoke with him in person – and he came across very well as a good, sincere bloke who is genuinely committed to science with a valid if un-orthodox perspective. I read Plimer’s book ‘Heaven + Earth’ which, I can assure you, seems very scholarly and convincing. Thus, yes, I did become very strongly convinced by Plimer’s case there that AGW is bunk.

    With the zeal of a convert, I then argued this case to others – incl. & esp. here on the BA blog. In doing so, I had to argue with a number of people who of course, disagreed vigorously and provided evidence against what is was saying. There were a number of passionate arguments with a number of posters over a long time. Very gradually, painfully, I found that what I was now convinced was true wasn’t so much.

    I was convinced that 1998 being the hottest year alone (which okay is what I then thought – 2005 was almost certainly slightly hotter) just about ruled out the notion of dangerous Global Warming on its own – that we had, in fact, been cooling down over the past decade. I still think it is a major point against AGW and will be happier when we have a much hotter, much more recent record hot year but I’ve had to accept that, yes, it is possible for 1998 or 2005 to have been record hottest years but yet the trend is still going upwards.

    Plus that the selection of 1998 as a starting point is misleading and doesn’t provide the full picture, that 1998 was an outlier and that a decade by decade comparison shows that the last period has indeed been unnaturally hot. Eventually, I had to accept that and acknowledge that the ‘1998 = hottest year thus no AGW’ argument while initially highly convincingly is misleading and wrong.

    I’ve argued it was a natural process, a natural cycle and not caused by humans – that it’s our Sun or Milankovitch cycles or lack of volcanic eruptions etc .. NOT us. But when you look at the evidence you find that these have been taken into account by the climatologists. That they don’t add up to the full picture.

    The Sunspot cycle explains and follows our climate pattern to a large extent but then at a point in recent decades the relationship breaks down. The Sun should be causing the climate to cool but instead it warms. Why? The Milankovitch and other natural cycles say we should be cooling down – but the upwards trend is still there. Why?

    I still think there may be a natural component or two – that some factors may explain a small part of Global Warming. But it is now clear that these cannot explain *all* or even most the warming. That some natural factors, (eg. the solar cycle) are out of synch with rising planetary temperatures and cannot be the cause of them. That, when everything is taken into account – & it has been by the climatologist’s involved – natural processes and cycles are insufficient to cause the warming we have experienced. So I’ve had to acknowledge, slowly and painfully, that yes, Humanity is behind at least a very large percentage of the Global Warming we’ve undergone.

    I’ve also had to acknowledge that the climatologist conspiracy theory doesn’t work. That all these individuals aren’t frauds or charlatans but genuine scientists who have trained and understood the science aren’t all just working a con to gain grants and drive a political agenda. That the climategate emails can be explained as being taken out of context and misinterpreted. It has been very hard to convince me that things like “hide the decline”, “we can’t find the warming and it’s a travesty we can’t” & “don’t tell them England has a Freedom of Information request” don’t have the obvious negative readings they seem to have. That these don’t add up to a disproof of the science of AGW & a proof of conspiracy. I’ve had to face the reality eventually that the science is solid despite some nasty leaked emails. The words used by a few have been overblown, cherry-picked and taken to mean things that they just don’t.

    I still wish there was an enquiry or two more – and more visible independent from the bodies involved with more clearly neutral judges. I still think some of the content of the emails is disturbing and that the CRU scientists are far from above reproach. For instance, I think the “change the meaning of peer review” attempt – which I now get was NOT actually successful – was still a deplorable and disgraceful thing to say that reflects very badly on the individuals involved. That the threat to delete emails and the loss of raw data is very worrying.

    I am a huge believer in science needing to be open to scrutiny and that information should be made public and available for everyone to see. But I now accept that this doesn’t invalidate the whole science itself. That the rising temperatures, the melting glaciers, the biological indicators all point conclusively to undeniable evidence that our planet is indeed warming.

    I’ve also, perhaps most painfully had to accept that Ian Plimer’s book is NOT an entirely valid and comprehensive and conclusive disproof of AGW. A couple of posters here have pointed me to a number of reviews that show instead that it is badly flawed and not what it seems. Plimer isn’t telling the whole story at best. He comes across as very sincere and armed with compelling evidence all well sourced and cited but a lot of things in the book are wrong or misinterpreted. A lot of the studies he cites don’t mean what he claims they mean & the arguments made in his book don’t actually stand up to further scrutiny – as I’ve noted in the paragraphs above.

    There’s more I could say, these are just some of the main points & I might see if I can find some of the more powerful comments here and reference them for you.

    EDITED to Add : And I then went & did this in three posts (#188 to #190) here :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/03/new-study-clinches-it-the-earth-is-warming-up/comment-page-5/#comment-288074

    I’ll also note again Peter Sinclair’s “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” videos which I found among the final straws that broke the camel of my former “AGW = bunk” belief.

    I’ll stress again, it wasn’t any *one* single thing that finally convinced me but instead a cumulative process of many things and eventually being forced to concede argument after argument that was no longer tenable.

    I’ll also note that name-calling and being rude to me never worked. providing the evidence and arguing calmly, logically and politely eventually did.

    Finally, I know this blog has changed a lot of people’s minds on various things and even changed people’s lives sometimes quite dramatically. All for the better. Mine is one of one of those – and I will say Thanks for that to the BA and to some of the commenters here. :-)

    ***

    PS. Yes, I already know I was wrong and a bit messed up, & yes I could be mistaken again. Mea culpa. I’m a fallible human being, I do the best I can within the limit of my conditions.

    ———————–

    I hope folks here find this interesting and /or helpful. My apologies if not.

  21. This year, the ice has thinned even faster, though overall the ice is not as thin as it was in 2007; in some places it is thicker. What this means is the whole thing is crap, like the Ozone Hole that has not changed since the International Geophysical Year (but just wait until 2100, or 2500!)
    .

  22. SLC

    Re Uncle Al @ #20

    Well, a CFCs/ozone depletion denier has shown up. Naturally, he provides no link to a source for his comment.

    On the subject of being a dick, here I have to take issue with Dr. Plait. In some cases, a knee to the groin approach is appropriate.

  23. really not something to panic over. To watch, yes; to insure against, of course; but panic??

    *Raises eyebrow*

    Is anyone suggesting panic as a course of action?

  24. Paul

    Not disputing AGW (so, don’t be a dick, right?), but a bit of history. The passage has been navigable in the past.

    from wikipedia:
    “In 1906, Roald Amundsen first successfully completed a path from Greenland to Alaska in the sloop Gjøa”

    Sail powered. Sure, it took 3 years, but the navigable season is short, and the GPS and satellite images of all the islands were a few years away. Pretty impressive feat.

  25. TravisM

    Well, I really like it when people say that the earth is always changing.
    If you like change, then here: several billion years ago (that’s right, not 6,000) the atmosphere had 90 times the pressure it does today. Humans would be squashed flat agasint the ground.
    In the palozoic era the oxygen contetnt was so high when lightning hit the ground it would cause massive explosions. Change?
    Siberian and Deccan Traps were million and 30,000 year massive crustal fracturing events that spilled lava and spewed noxious chemicals. Change?
    Carbon dioxide and methane levels have indeed fluxated sporadically over the last 400,000 years.
    Doesn’t mean I would invite hurrying any of these changes up.
    Any change in this dymaic system has a chance to tip our fragile social system into the dark ages.
    Hell, our own monetary system can tip us into the dark ages.

    If we can do something about it NOW, lets do it.

  26. Messier Tidy Upper

    Another YouTube video on the melting Arctic sea ice that’s worth looking at is here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqjO8rwB-GI&feature=related

    Ice cover reflects 80% of sunlight.

    Open ocean absorbs 80% of sunlight.

    Once this albedo feedback takes over its out of our hands.

    We’re probably too late already. We’ll get convincing proof that Global warming is real – convincing enough even to get Inhofe admitting it. Averting Global Overheating disaster would deny us such proof, natch. But that now seems unlikely we’re going to have it probably in (most?) of our lifetimes and our childrens lifetimes. Let’s really hope its not as bad as we fear it is.

  27. TravisM

    http://jwocky.gsfc.nasa.gov/ozone/today_v8.html

    And ozone hole? Really? I must have woke up in 1989…

    We stopped using CFCs and *gasp* magically the ozone hole started to shrink! (Not being a dick, but fairly sarcastic. :))

  28. Messier Tidy Upper

    @23. SLC Says:

    On the subject of being a dick, here I have to take issue with Dr. Plait. In some cases, a knee to the groin approach is appropriate.

    Other times its not.

    Perhaps both approaches are useful. But attacking and insulting people means they stop listening to you and get angry at you and they’ll often respond in kind. Which gets you angry which gets them angrier which .. etc .. That’s how you get flame wars and shouting matches and nasty polarised, unhelpful arguments.

    Want to actually convince somebody? Kneeing them in the groin won’t work.

    Talking patiently, politely and logically will – eventually. Sometimes. I can vouch for that personally.

    Needless to say, I agree with the BA’s approach. ;-)

    ****
    PS. McClure Straight – really? Surely it wasn’t named after a character from The Simpsons cartoon :

    “Hi, I’m Troy McClure, you may remember me from such geographical features as the McClure Straight in the Arctic!” :-)

  29. Paul in Sweden

    Ship find shows Arctic Sea Ice conditions similar to 1853
    “The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage. The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to “climate change,” archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship’s location:

    Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-André Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.

    Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing “unprecedented” global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?”
    -http://tinyurl.com/38yx4h5

    “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change” — Seems we have had climate change in the arctic that allowed wooden ships to explore and transverse the arctic in the past, prior to any possible anthropogenic influence.

    A few years ago there was a much publicized arctic flotilla spearheaded by not one but two Russian nuclear powered ice breakers in a touch and go voyage that would not have been possible without the aid of satellite reconnaissance mapping the path of least resistance.

    Watchdog smacks Times for bogus climate claim
    “An advertising campaign touting the depth and quality of the Times newspaper’s environment coverage has been slapped by an industry watchdog for inaccuracy. The paper has agreed to modify the advertisements, which are based on a false climate change claim.

    The Times ads claimed that global warming had caused the North East shipping passage, the icy Arctic route which in summer links Russia’s European ports to the Bering Strait, to be opened for the first time. In fact, the North East Passage opened in 1934, and was opened to overseas traffic after the fall of the Soviet Union. Modern technology, specifically radar, has permitted a safer passage in recent years.

    News International has agreed to amend the ad, which instead of claiming that “Climate change has allowed the Northeast Passage to be used as a commercial shipping route for the first time,” now claims that “Climate change has allowed the Northeast passage to be more accessible as a viable commercial shipping route”.

    Although that depends on the kind of climate change, though. With the climate cooling, the route is less accessible than it was in warmer times. In the leaked East Anglia emails, scientists who confidently predicted continued warming ahead confess they can’t account for the refusal of the climate to conform to their models.”
    -http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/05/times_asa_wrong/

    Here are pictures of the open water at the North Pole:
    -http://tinyurl.com/29cb9gf

    Here is a great image of the ice up at the North Pole:
    -http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic.2010229.terra.1km

    Arctic ice extent has been at a low recently when compared to the last 30 years, however it is certainly comparable to observations in our recorded arctic exploration records. The Antarctic is seldom mentioned regarding ice extent as the Antarctic ice extent has been growing in leaps and bounds. True CAGW believers in the past would argue that the MWP was limited just to Europe and North America until climate realists presented temp. proxies from Antarctica and elsewhere throughout the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere. Turnabout is fair play. How can there be Global Warming, anthropogenic or otherwise if sea ice extent is growing on one pole and shrinking on the other? Yes, I know we have about 0.7C warming since the end of the little ice age…and ice extent is but one of the many factors that CAGW believers attribute to anthropogenic global warming.

    Here is an graph of global sea ice extent covering the sattelite period 1979 to present:
    -http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    and here is a site with extensive polar coverage:
    -http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    Prior to 2005 or so I didn’t let the Global Warming non-sense bother me until some polar ice news report seemed to come off the page at me. That is when I started downloading the sea ice data and running the numbers for myself. A mountain was being made over a mole hill regarding polar sea ice and as I explored further I found that many of the other claims made by CAGW proponents were specious as well.

  30. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ 29. Paul in Sweden :

    …as I explored further I found that many of the other claims made by CAGW proponents were specious as well.

    Such as for example?

    If the sea ice really *is* such a molehill mountain as you suggest then why are so many climatologists and glaciologists so concerned?

    1. Don’t you think these experts know how to do the science they qualified for and practice in often with decades of experience? Why are your qualifications and experience better than theirs in this area?

    2. Are the climatologist experts all stupid or missing something that your analysis reveals but theirs doesn’t? If so, then what factor exactly would they be missing & why haven’t they picked it up yet?

    3. Or are these professional trained climatologist scientists all involved in some sort of conspiracy for financial &/or political gain? If that’s true, how are they hiding this from other scientists in other nations and their own brighter students?

    Can you answer – and back up your answer – these questions for me honestly please Paul in Sweden?

  31. Jason B asks, “As you obviously spend a lot of time thinking about global warming/climate change, do you have any concrete, economically viable solutions that you would recommend?”

    Some kind of global population control initiative would be a start, since our ever-upward-spiralling consumption of energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and deforestation can all be traced to this. I’m 51, and in my lifetime alone the human population of Earth has more than DOUBLED. This should give anyone pause. Yes, such a population control initiative, if successful, would result in an older demographic, but what are the alternatives? By all estimates “carbon-capture and storage” technology is at least 15-20 years away, and by then the population will be closing in on NINE BILLION. These are people who will have to be fed, housed, employed, transported, educated, clothed, and had all their medical and sanitary needs met. How will Earth’s environment be able to sustain economic growth and prosperity for all of them?

    But I’m not hopeful. In West Virginia where I live, coal is king, and the coal industry wields ENORMOUS political power. More often than not, the SUVs you see screaming down the highway have big oval “Friends of Coal” stickers on the back. Most people here seem far more interested in getting their electricity as cheaply as possible, and to Hell with the environment. All over the state you’ll see billboards that read, “Yes, COAL. Clean, carbon-neutral COAL,” even though it’s a big contradiction in terms.

    I believe that we are WAY past the tipping-point here.

  32. llewelly

    jasonB August 19th, 2010 at 7:33 am :

    As you obviously spend a lot of time thinking about global warming/climate change, do you have any concrete, economically viable solutions that you would recommend?

    I recommend Joe Romm’s book Straight Up. Alternatively – check out Joe Romm’s blog climateprogress.org .

  33. Messier,

    good for you! its a hard road, and its a road similar to the one I took when trying to understand vaccines (although honestly, the “dicks” were right, knew it, and I knew I had to be right when I was responding to them).

    you said:
    But when you look at the evidence you find that these [natural explanations] have been taken into account by the climatologists. That they don’t add up to the full picture.

    This is what I find all the time. climate change skeptics always assume they have not been heard. they have been heard! and the valuable critiques have been incorporated and the stupid ones tossed out. That is why proxy data is constantly re-evaluated and re-entered. That is why satellite data was scrubbed so much before they found an error. And that is why they went to look for understanding about antarctica (link above). The scientists listen and do the work, denialists just clamor.

    The reason we think climate change is real is because we do not have an alternative explanation that is as good and supported by the evidence for why the current temperature is higher than we predict when we dont include anthropomorphic sources.

    Please please please, denialists, show the alternative explaination. Create you own verified model. Show how it is as predictive or better than the ones these dopey climatologists are using. Find the new negative feedback mechanism that we currently dont know about that would falsify it. Do something constructive. I know, it takes work. It’s hard. Welcome to science.

    damn it. I was a dick again.

  34. ” Clean, carbon-neutral COAL”

    HA HAAHAHAHAHAHHAAH HAHAHAHA HAHA

    omg. how can 4 words be so wrong?

  35. “How can 4 words be so wrong?”

    I know. It’s appalling.

  36. Gary

    #17 – Trebuchet. And it didn’t take you long to totally mis-read what I said. Sigh. In his first sentence Phil said, “One of the biggest predictors of global warming is the retreat of sea ice in the high northern latitudes.” But it’s not as simple as that is my point. How big? What about contradictory evidence to this very claim? Even blog posts by knowledgeable people ought to be circumspect.

    And btw, calling people names (“denier”) is just silly and makes you look bad. Actually, I pretty much agree with your statement: “The overwhelming bulk of evidence, studied by many real climate scientists, indicates that the atmosphere is warming and that human activity is a major contributor.” It’s still uncertain how “major” a contributor, though, but nonetheless certainly more than zero. So let’s cool it with the leaping to the defense routine, OK?

  37. papertiger

    33. llewelly Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I recommend Joe Romm’s book

    Well that’s all for you. Might as well recommend clorox for mouthwash, or toe fungus.

    In that same spirit I recommend meat cleavers for juggling – especially for beginners.

  38. papertiger

    Gary makes a good point.

    Why would someone point to one of the least studied, most remote regions on Earth, most of which has only thirty years of scrutiny, but includes a rather large amount that is still a blank spot on the map, then claim changes in that small area (smaller then the contiguous United States) is their main predictor/evidence?

    The answer is because they are perpetrating a fraud.

  39. M

    “Finally, the earth’s climate history, although variable, doesn’t seem to be that sensitive to small changes.”

    Um. The Milankovitch cycles aren’t the biggest forcers in the world – they don’t really change how much warmth the Earth receives, but rather where the peak latitude and timing of the max solar incoming light is – and yet, these cycles have pushed Earth into ice ages and then into nice happy interglacials like the one we’re in now. That’s a decently sensitive system. There’s a reason why the best estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that a doubling of CO2 will lead to a global warming of at least 2 degrees, most likely about 3 degrees, and possibly 4.5 degrees or more.

    “Moral of the story: don’t cherry pick data to support an hypothesis. ”

    Fortunately, NOAA has provided a nice interactive widget so you can look at 11 key indicators of global changes over the past decades and century at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/. While every single indicator has noise based on ocean cycles (El Nino/La Nina, PDO, whatever), solar cycles, local winds and precipitation patterns, and so forth, there’s pretty overwhelming evidence for warming in the past several decades and couple of centuries.

    Re: HMS Investigator:
    The ship entered the west end of the passage, apparently didn’t make it very far, and was stuck in the ice for two years before it sunk. That doesn’t sound at all like today’s conditions!
    Edit: See http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/blog/spitting_graves for more details.

    -M

  40. papertiger

    Hey Phil , have you taken a look at the cover photo on September’s issue of SkyandTelescope?

    Did you see those sediment layers on Mars!

    Any time you want to talk about weather on Earth and Mars both being controlled by coal burning powerplants, I’ll be here.

  41. Ema Nymton

    Papertiger, do you realize you’ve got absolutely nothing of value to add to a conversation? Just wanted you up to date on that fact.

  42. amphiox

    Any time you want to talk about weather on Earth and Mars both being controlled by coal burning powerplants, I’ll be here.

    Then I will be looking for you in the next space colonization thread.

  43. Gary

    #39 – papertiger
    C’mon, let’s not be silly in the other direction. Don’t use my measured comments to support such an accusation. Your premise has some merit (the polar regions don’t have good long-term descriptive datasets), but it absolutely does not support your conclusion, let alone prove it.

  44. Gary

    #40 – M
    A 120kyr cycle that ranges about 18 degrees C isn’t particularly strong evidence for a “sensitive” climate response to forcing. Temperature changes like that from one day to the next would be dramatic; over 120 millennia, not so much. But now were descending into semantics… ;-)

  45. amphiox

    Temperature changes like that from one day to the next would be dramatic; over 120 millennia, not so much.

    Semantics indeed. What’s your definition of “dramatic”? Producing/ending an ice age seems pretty dramatic to me.

  46. amphiox

    but includes a rather large amount that is still a blank spot on the map

    What century do you hail from? There are no “blank spots” on any map of the terrestrial earth in this one. There are regions we know less about than others, but there are no blanks.

  47. M

    Well, the Milankovitch forcings were applied really slowly, so its not surprising that the response was, for the most part, slow. Note that we do know of exceptions to “fairly slow” like the Younger Dryas event.

    And of course, we’ve now applied 1.6 watts/meter^2 forcing in the past two centuries, and are on route to apply at least several more watts/meter^2 of forcing in the next century. That could very well cause large (several degrees C), fast (less than a century) changes. With potentially huge changes in related weather patterns (see shifting of the ICTZ, or changes in Arctic dipole behavior) in addition to the obvious changes like continued sea level rise and increased temperatures.

    -M

  48. Trebuchet

    Gary, glad you to see you agreed with my statement. My reaction was mostly to your accusation of “cherry picking”. I don’t see that being the case with this post at all, just another of the many data points and examples available.

  49. Lorne

    teckskeptic,says,
    Please please please, denialists, show the alternative explaination. Create you own verified model. Show how it is as predictive or better than the ones these dopey climatologists are using. Find the new negative feedback mechanism that we currently dont know about that would falsify it. Do something constructive. I know, it takes work. It’s hard. Welcome to science.
    Nice strawman there just like always got to ask have you read the M W 2010 paper yet give it a read and come back and try and change me to your religon again it hasn’t worked so far.

  50. Brian Too

    @18. Davidlpf,

    Love the post, love Stan Rogers. We lost him far too soon.

  51. Lorne,

    I am unable to see the strawman. What did I misrepresent and attack? Most contrarians do exactly what I was talking about. Now provide a link to whatever it is that you are talking about, and pray that it hasnt already been addressed here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com

  52. Brian137

    Hi papertiger,
    In comment #39, you said,

    The answer is because they are perpetrating a fraud.

    I find this unlikely. It doesn’t fit with my experience of human nature. One person, or perhaps a small coterie of people might, but an entire profession virtually across the board seems very difficult to believe. If you were a climate scientist, would you (personally) perpetrate a fraud?

  53. Or any conspiracy. Please point to one single conspiracy in the history of man that was able to be perpetuated on the scale of what you are proposing. It’s a preposterous supposition.

    Even the Family of politicians residing at C street, doesnt even come close to comprising the scale of conspiracy you are trying to convey.

    Always claims of fraud, never evidence. (don’t start in with the email nonsense. That ship sailed long ago)

  54. OK, let’s assume that global warming is occurring. Let’s say that man’s emissions (sorry honey) are contributing to that increase. I haven’t seen any discussion that goes meaningfully to the next level.

    How big an impact does mankind have?

    To what extent can a decrease in the increase of carbon emissions impact climate change? (Does anybody seriously think that the planet will decrease emissions in the next, say, 50 year? Emissions are going nowhere but up, the only question is the acceleration rate.)

    How long will it take to develop technologies that would let us control the climate in other ways? (I’ve already seen proposals for injecting both water vapor and sulfur compounds into the atmo.)

    What will the cost be of trying to slow emission increases? How does that compare to the cost of the man caused portion of climate change?

    What is the optimum temperature for the earth? (Wouldn’t warmer actually be better?)

    All I hear from the AGW crowd is “Ooooh, global warming is bad and it’s our fault. We need to really, really, really increase taxes to slow down our economies.” No cost benefit analysis at all.

    My belief is that we need to unleash our technologies and economies. Increase global wealth and we will be able to more easily afford adaptations to warming and technologies to reverse it, if needed. The political proposals that claim to address global warming seem much more about political power than practical science. It feels more like a transparent ploy to increase government control over people’s lives. Particularly when our leaders like Barry O, Michelle Antoinette, and Al “Release My Chakra” Gore continue to live such wasteful, unsustainable personal lives. No “offsets” don’t count. Do you rally think buying an expensive diamond is an adequate offset for cheating on a spouse? Didn’t think so.

    Which takes us to the conspiracy part of the issue. The AGW conspiracy is of exactly the same nature as the Journ-O-List conspiracy. A bunch of leftists getting together to move a political agenda forward. More concerned about the outcome than the method. So while I can believe that there may be a man based component to global warming, I find it impossible to have any faith whatever in predictions about the amount of warming, the depth of impact made by man, the consequences of warming, or the desirability of the proposed taxes to solve the problem.

    I’ll believe that AGW is a serious problem when the people who are telling me that AGW is a serious problem start living their lives as though AGW is a serious problem.

    Hairy

  55. Jeremy Thomson

    Put these into Google earth to see where on the globe this area is.
    75°31’21.04″N 107°39’53.55″W

    I though the ‘North West Passage’ was a movie? Thats what you get when you live a hemisphere away. Try search for ‘Banks Island’ from NZ. First you hit Australia, then British Colombia…

    Jeremy Thomson

  56. Brian137

    In regard to comment #55 by Hairy Buddah:

    Some of the issues you raised are scientific, and others are social and political. The scientific ones are easier to address. Most climate scientists seem to think that the Earth is becoming warmer and that a significant portion of that warming is anthropogenic. The job of the scientists is to give us the most complete and accurate assessment possible. It is far easier to study the present and the past than to predict the future. Such predictions about where this could lead and what, if anything, can be done about it are filled with assumptions and speculations, yet seem to me to be worthwhile.

  57. Nigel Depledge

    JasonB (2) said:

    As you obviously spend a lot of time thinking about global warming/climate change, do you have any concrete, economically viable solutions that you would recommend?

    I am asking this without any snark, nor am I trying to be a “dick”. You have a large following and many may be interested in your proposed solutions.

    Well, it’s obvious you don’t read NewScientist, so I’d suggest that as a starting place (there’ve been bucketloads of articles in the last few years about GW and what we might be able to do about it).

    Here’s a list of fairly simple things you can do:
    1) Write to your representatives and ask them what they’re doing about GW.
    2) Join a group such as Friends of the Earth – they’re lobbying governments all over the world to do something about GW (other groups are, too, it’s just that this one stuck in my mind).
    3) Don’t use your car for journeys under (say) 5 miles. Instead, cycle or get a bus or walk. Obviously this assumes you have the option (for instance, if you live your life in a wheelchair, these aren’t really options for you).
    4) Insulate your home so you use less energy for heating in winter and aircon in summer.
    5) Buy your electricity from a company that advertises that they use low-carbon methods for power generation.
    6) Next time you buy a car, consider the CO2 emissions as a part of your decision.
    7) When buying replacement light bulbs, go for energy-saver types instead of incandescent Tungsten (these are about 10x the price, but they’ll pay for themselves within a year unless your ‘leccy is much much cheaper than mine!).

    There are plenty of other options, but this is what I’ve come up with in about 15 minutes.

  58. Nigel Depledge

    Gary (9) said:

    Wind plays a huge role in the sea ice extent and thickness.

    Reference?

    Ignoring it’s effects leads to erroneous conclusions. Likewise, ignoring antarctic sea ice extent now at a recent high and seemingly in an inverse relationship with arctic ice also can lead to a fallacious conclusion. Moral of the story: don’t cherry pick data to support an hypothesis.

    Yes, and I notice that you ignore here the critical data about the Antarctic land-based ice that supplies most of the sea ice. Across Antarctica, glaciers are moving faster. Why then is the sea ice not expanding? The only reasonable conclusion is faster melting.

    Oh, and btw, systems are ALWAYS changing.

    Actually, for nmost of human history, the climate has been unusually stable. In fact, our civilisation requires a stable climate.

    If that’s a sign of trouble then trouble is a constant and really not something to panic over. To watch, yes; to insure against, of course; but panic??

    By the time it’s time to panic, it’ll be far too late to do anything about it. What do you see as the harm in lessening humanity’s impact on the planet that sustains us?

    Finally, the earth’s climate history, although variable, doesn’t seem to be that sensitive to small changes. As you say, it’s a complex system (made up of interacting subsystems each of which may be prone to positive or negative feedbacks). Evidence suggests that they balance out.

    Wrong again. While we don’t know the details, we know that the climate has changed dramatically and relatively rapidly in the distant past. That rapid change could easily have involved positive feedbacks.

    The evidence suggests that the changes balance out only over time scales that are far too large to be any use to us now. Do you have the odd 50,000 years to wait while the climate cools off again?

  59. Malakyp

    @Trebuchet #19:

    I’m reasonably certain that the topographic feature that looks like a crater on that image of Emerald Isle is just the result of glaciation. Other images of Emerald under different lighting conditions (such as http://www.oceandots.com/arctic/canada/emerald-isle.php) don’t show any crater-shaped topography. I suspect that Emerald has neither an impact feature nor a volcanic history.

  60. stompsfrogs

    I never understood *exactly* what the AGW deniers are fighting for. Do they own stock in fossil fuel companies? Are they just anti-tax, and they’re afraid the government will tax them more to pay for green R&D, or something? Do they love pollution? Do they hate manufacturing jobs? Why are they almost always republican?

    I spent some time on “Watts up with that?” the AGW denial blog where most of these trolls copy & paste their tl;dr rants from. I never got a good answer to my questions. I decided it’s probably the taxes thing, and that they’re selfish people who don’t care about making the environment cleaner or adding jobs to the economy. They already got theirs.

  61. Trebuchet

    Thanks Malakyp. Link is slightly broken due to a parenthesis that tagged along but I’ve made my way there.

  62. Jason

    @Stompfrog 61

    I would say it boils down to control overall. Many of the proposals for fighting AGW require Massive investments of capital to be funneled through Government or quasi-governmental agencies. And from what i have seen, groups that will be appointed, not elected, and potentially have enormous control over our ability to travel, engage in commerce and generally live out our lives with a maximum of personal freedom. Once you assign a Carbon value to every economic activity and begin to tax it it comes under regulation and control.
    Additionally, will all these proposals really have a measurable effect? If we give up Freedoms in the name of environmental protection and it turns out that 1) they weren’t really needed, or 2) there is no measurable difference anyway, do you really think these massive programs would be shutdown and the money and power returned to the people?

    Should we do our own part personally to conserve and reduce energy usage? Of course, that makes sense. But it should be from the ground up and done voluntarily. To enforce from the top down is rarely the best solution to any problem. And finally, I have yet to see any kind of massive program such as the kind that are supposedly needed go into play and not be filled with massive amounts of waste and power abuse.

  63. Chip

    @Stompfrog 61
    “They already got theirs” – maybe I am still trying to “get mine” and want to make sure like @Jason 63 that this is really controllable and even caused by man before “mine” gets taken. Why name call? “Selfish” – I already pay out over 50% of what I get in taxes for crying out loud. You think I want to breath dirty air? I’m GLAD for controls on smoke stacks. Dirty water? I’m GLAD for controls on dumping into rivers. Sheesh.

    The bottom line is this whole thing should be rock solid science and it’s NOT settled. When so many politicians jump in it just makes me very suspicious.

  64. Jason

    @64 You said you already pay over 50% of what you get in taxes.
    I never said I was advocating pollution, just that there has to be a better way than a top-down command solution that as you has the politicians jumping in. That is my very point. Every solution so far seems to involve getting politicians intimately involved in our daily lives even more deeply.

    No, I don’t have all the right answers, but Even if I don’t know which ones are best, I see that a political solution is one of the worst.

  65. You know, I’m still not 100% convinced on the whole global warming thing, but I also know that I don’t know everything, and I’m willing to accept that people who know a lot more than me accept it as true, so that’s good enough for me. Also, I just noticed that I used the word “know” way too many times in that sentence.

    Anyhow, one thing I’ve never been quite clear on is why I should really care about global warming. I know that sounds odd, but I’m already dead-set against pollution and I figure it’s worth stopping just for the sake of clean air and water. If it fights global warming, that’s a nice side-effect. I haven’t seen anything in the science that’s made me change my mind or increase that desire to do away with pollution.

    I know all that sounds strange and possibly quite ignorant, and I’m always willing to consider the possibility that I might be dead-wrong, but I just don’t care about global warming. Pollution, yes. But specifically global warming, not so much.

  66. Chip

    @Jason – sorry for the confusion – I was actually agreeing with you.

  67. “All I hear from the AGW crowd is “Ooooh, global warming is bad and it’s our fault. We need to really, really, really increase taxes to slow down our economies.” No cost benefit analysis at all.”

    Well either your hearing is awful or you just put up one of the biggest strawmen I have ever read.

  68. chris,

    ” I also know that I don’t know everything, and I’m willing to accept that people who know a lot more than me accept it as true, so that’s good enough for me. ”

    While I agree with your efforts to reduce pollution overall, this is the attitude that leads people to be religious. Its an argument as populum. Its important to still check for veracity. Recently, at wired, some idiot was making a claim that Gore bought a beach house and that just proves its all bullshit (becuase if AGW is real, then his land will be valueless soon). Lots of people were agreeing. Sadly, for them, it took only a few minutes to demonstrate how this was wrong (hint: ocean view is not the same as beachfront, although it may be beachfront in a hundred years or so). But this is the sort of thing where a lot of people report and agree that the “fact” was true, it was in lots of news sites. Its just an example.

    Secondly, the problem with your sort of efforts, while they are fine is that they have little or nothing to do with the largest sources of CO2 and other GHGs like SF6. These are industry based emmisions, the only way to get those down is to have an market that includes free information (it does not and never will, which is why “free market” is a pipe dream) or through regulation, or through massive investment that makes alternative energy more cost competitive than the fossil fuels (or taxing f fossil fuels to bring them in line with the costs of alt energy).

    So while your personal choices are good, it represents a tiny minority of the efforts of the population at large, and even if everyone made your efforts, it still wouldn’t be enough.

  69. Chris Winter

    Chip (#64) wrote: “The bottom line is this whole thing should be rock solid science and it’s NOT settled. When so many politicians jump in it just makes me very suspicious.”

    Two things:

    1. When you ask for “rock solid science,” let’s be clear about what you want. If you want precise prediction of future conditions along the lines of “average temperature will increase by 4.7 degrees C by 2050, leading to a 2.9m rise in sea level,” you’ll never get it. (Those are made-up numbers.)

    However, the main features of climate-change science are well settled. Some of them have been well settled for over a century. If you question any aspect of the science, you need to be specific. Otherwise, you just sound like you’re repeating Denialist talking points.

    2. You have every right to “get yours” — to make a decent living, and to expect that your kids will be able to do the same. And politicians are able to wreck that, so you’re right to be suspicious. But I think your suspicion is misdirected. Take a look, for example, at the politicians who seek to end the estate tax — a move which would cost the nation almost $1 trillion over ten years while benefitting only its wealthiest people — and who also object to extending benefits to 9/11 first responders as fiscally irresponsible.

    OK, this is not a political blog so I’ll get off that particular soapbox. But think about it.

  70. Chris Winter

    Two reasons why “being a dick” is well nigh irresistible at times:

    1. PaperTiger, #39:

    Why would someone point to one of the least studied, most remote regions on Earth, most of which has only thirty years of scrutiny, but includes a rather large amount that is still a blank spot on the map, then claim changes in that small area (smaller then the contiguous United States) is their main predictor/evidence?

    The answer is because they are perpetrating a fraud.

    Certain people have been asserting that AGW is a fraud for decades. AFAIK they have yet to produce one shred of proof. (E-mails stolen from disgruntled scientists are proof of bad temper and poor judgement, but not of deception.)

    This has gotten extremely tiresome.

    And speaking of alienating people, PT, you’re alienating people would could be your allies, like Gary.

    Hairy Buddah, #55:

    All I hear from the AGW crowd is “Ooooh, global warming is bad and it’s our fault. We need to really, really, really increase taxes to slow down our economies.” No cost benefit analysis at all.

    Have you looked for any? It’s out there. I hope you don’t reply by asking for a link. Why should I have to hold your hand and lead you to the answers? Do your own homework.

    Now this is my attitude. It’s not Phil Plait’s, more power to him. He’s somewhat younger than I am, and I’m sure he hasn’t seen so much repetition of this sort of thing, about everything from pesticides to the moon-landing hoax claptrap to perfectly adequate shareware to AGW. I have, and I’m not that reluctant any more to act like a dick when provoked.

  71. papertiger

    Data. Lets play data. Here’s a map from NOAA covering Jan to June. Zoom in (it clicks) on California. I don’t know a thing about the rest of the world, but I live in California. Eye witness.
    NOAA claims that California was 1.7 degrees F above average this Spring. This is absolutely not true. Not just me saying it.

    Why is NOAA reporting a warm Spring in California? Why are they lying?

  72. Dupes

    Great post – I just have one nit-picky comment. The ice isn’t ‘north of Canada’ – it’s actually in northern Canada.

    Just exerting my territorial sovereignty :)

  73. Raymond Payne

    The solution is stop burning oil in 1970. Any other solution is unfortunate for people and other living beings,

  74. Messier Tidy Upper

    @34. techskeptic : Thanks. :-)

    @39. papertiger Says:

    Why would someone point to one of the least studied, most remote regions on Earth, most of which has only thirty years of scrutiny, but includes a rather large amount that is still a blank spot on the map, then claim changes in that small area (smaller then the contiguous United States) is their main predictor/evidence?

    Well you are making an assumption there that this *is* their main predictor /evidence of AGW which is not entirely accuate in my view.

    One reason which makes good sense is that the polar regions are warmer faster than the more equatorial ones. The effects of Global Warming seem to be most pronounced at polar regions as that’s where glaciers, icesheets and ice shelves are melting changing the planetary albedo most rapidly and noticeably. We’re also getting more heat waves, fires, biological seasonal shifts (earlier springs, warmer winters, hotter summers) as found in numerous studies, stronger hurricanes (although I’ll admit the last one is a contentious linkage) etc … as well. There’s a lot of evidence out there for climate change.

    The answer is because they are perpetrating a fraud.

    Your supporting evidence to convince us of this extraordinary claim is?

    @ Paul in Sweden : No answers to the questions that I asked you in comment 31 yet? Please respond.

    PS. I’m rather surprised to find only 73 comments here so far. On past form I expected there’d be well over a hundred comments by now.

  75. Messier Tidy Upper

    @41. papertiger Says:

    Hey Phil , have you taken a look at the cover photo on September’s issue of Sky and Telescope? Did you see those sediment layers on Mars! Any time you want to talk about weather on Earth and Mars both being controlled by coal burning powerplants, I’ll be here.

    See : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXgiml5UwM&feature=player_embedded

    It is not clear whether or not Mars is warming now & the causes of it, if it is happening, are very different to what is happening on Earth.

    Mars has a more eccentric orbit and an orbital axial tilt that varies far more than our planets. Planet-wide dust storms also change the albedo (light & dark thus heat reflecting or absorbing) patterns of Mars and thus can affect its climate too as these evolve and fluctuate over time depending what the Martian dust covers and uncovers. Put together these factors, I gather, explain the climate change cycles on Mars.

    They don’t explain what is happening on Earth with its less eccentric orbit, more stable axial tilt and less extensive and climate altering dust storms. Human activity, the climatologists will explain, does explain a lot of why Earth is currently warming when other factors – like Solar activity and Milankovitch orbital cycles – should be making our planet cooler instead.

    For the BA’s piece on the other planets supposedly warming simultaneously (which it turns out is not actually the case) see from here on this blog :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2007/04/29/is-global-warming-solar-induced/

    For more on the scientific evidence for Global Warming see :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9SGw75pVas&feature=PlayList&p=029130BFDC78FA33&index=9

    & also strongly recomend the other videos there. Set aside the off-putting insulting title (& I’ll note that the term “Denier” is insulting and its use is unhelpful & best avoided.) and go look at them – its worthwhile, and they’re informative rather than insulting – really.

  76. Paul in Sweden

    “13. techskeptic Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    am I being a dick?”
    _________

    Accelerated Warming of the Southern Ocean and Its Impacts on the Hydrological Cycle and Sea Ice

    Jiping Liu
    Judith A. Curry

    Abstract

    The observed sea surface temperature (SST) in the Southern Ocean shows a 2
    substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated SST variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models’ internal variability is too strong, leading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.
    […]
    Many studies suggest that the large-scale atmospheric circulation variability in the Southern 9 Hemisphere is dominated by the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO). The AAO is characterized by 10 nearly zonally symmetric north-south vacillations in the middle latitude atmospheric westerly jet 11(13). EOF analysis on the simulated annual-mean sea level pressure (SLP) south of 20ºS for 12 PIcntrl show the correlation between the PCs of the first SLP (representing the AAO) and SST 13 EOF modes is 0.51 for CCSM3 (Fig. 2b) and 0.71 for GFDL-CM2.1 (Fig. 2c), which are 14 statistically significant at the 99% confidence level. The spatial pattern of SST anomalies 15 associated with the high index polarity of the AAO (warm SST anomalies in the iddle latitudes 16and cold SST anomalies in the high latitudes) bear strong resemblance to the structure of the first 17 SST EOF mode. This indicates that the AAO is the dominant mechanism responsible for the 18 dominant SST variability in the Southern Ocean in the unforced control experiment, which is 19 also consistent with previous observational and modeling studies (14-16).

    -http://www.eas.gatech.edu/files/jiping_pnas.pdf

    Speculation on anthropogenic forcings are based as always — on sparse data and computer models.

    Liu and Curry examine the period of 1950 to 1999. Sea surface temperature data south of 40S is very sparse prior to the satellite era. The HADISST data began to include satellite-based SST readings in 1982. Considering the NCDC deleted satellite data from their ERSST.v3 data (making it ERSST.v3b) that dataset and their ERSST.v2 continue to rely on very sparse buoy- and ship-based observations. ICOADS is the ship- and buoy-based SST dataset that serves as the source for Hadley Centre and NCDC. Figure 1 shows typical monthly ICOADS SST observations for the Southern Hemisphere, south of 40S. The South Pole Stereographic maps are for Januarys in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000.
    […]
    -http://i37.tinypic.com/x1wtvm.jpg
    As you can see, there is very little data as a starting point for Hadley Centre and NCDC, but they do manage to infill the SST data using statistical tools. Refer to Figure 2. It shows that the three SST datasets provided complete coverage in 1950 and 1999, which are the start and end years of the period examined by Liu and Curry.
    -http://tinyurl.com/2u9z7lf

    Climate changes techskeptic, what is your point?
    -http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev_png

  77. @69

    I agree that it’s very important to check for veracity. But I also recognize that I’ll never truly grasp the science behind this concept (failed… oh, all sorts of science classes in high school). As a result, I’ll defer to those with more learning and wisdom in the matter, which is why I’m willing to accept that human-caused global climate change is more likely to be true than false.

    Secondly, the problem with your sort of efforts, while they are fine is that they have little or nothing to do with the largest sources of CO2 and other GHGs like SF6. These are industry based emmisions, the only way to get those down is to have an market that includes free information (it does not and never will, which is why “free market” is a pipe dream) or through regulation, or through massive investment that makes alternative energy more cost competitive than the fossil fuels (or taxing f fossil fuels to bring them in line with the costs of alt energy).

    That’s fine with me. Bring on the regulation, please! Industry gets away with way too much in this country under the guise of job creation. I’m also not sure how this contradicts my central point that pollution = bad and therefore should be stopped for the sake of stopping pollution regardless of anything else. Ultimately I get to the same destination as you do (a cleaner world), I just get there for different reasons.

    So while your personal choices are good, it represents a tiny minority of the efforts of the population at large, and even if everyone made your efforts, it still wouldn’t be enough.

    Oh, if everyone lived like I did, it would probably help at least. I don’t drive, after all, which believe me, living in a city like Phoenix, with a… shall we say “challenging” mass transit system is not an easy thing. It’s one of the few reasons I miss Seattle.

    Oh, and all that said, thank you very much for the feedback! :)

  78. Paul in Sweden

    16. Carl Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    For JasonB @ 2 … “In one 2009 analysis, scientists led by Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University estimated that household-based steps—as opposed to16. Carl Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    For JasonB @ 2 … “In one 2009 analysis, scientists led by Thomas Dietz of Michigan State University estimated that household-based steps—as opposed to national policies like cap-and-trade—such as weatherizing homes, upgrading furnaces, switching to higher-mpg cars, changing air filters in a furnace, and not wasting power would cut U.S. carbon emissions by 123 million metric tons per year, which is 20 percent of household direct emissions and 7.4 percent of U.S. emissions.” -http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/17/why-we-re-so-clueless-about-being-green.html

    And efficiency improvements are economically viable. Though, it does take intervention to implement a societal good when the incremental individual benefit is not immediately obvious (and thus individuals make decisions that show immediate, direct benefit to themselves but at a longer-term detriment to society.)

    “economically viable” is the key Carl.

    Andy Revkin after years of being a populist and an eco-activist and spokes person for the AGW fringe movement realized he does not walk the walk of his prolific talk with as he rationalized because of the same reason that you pointed out “economic viability”.

    A Snakeskin Where Insulation Should Be – Dot Earth Blog – NYTimes.com
    Eco-Activist Andy Revkin
    August 6, 2010, 9:00 pm

    “When the oil gusher in the gulf was at its worst, I wrote about how anyone, including me, who relies on oil for heat or transportation “owns” some of that mess.

    I’d long sought to cut our energy appetite, but often ran into inertia, confusion or — most often — costs. As a result, after considering expensive alternatives like a geothermal heat pump, I’d reluctantly bought a new tank for heating oil to replace the pair of rusting tanks in the basement of our house, which had been built in 1930 by the family we bought it from in 1996.
    […]
    The good news is that most of our windows and doors were already well caulked or sealed (we replaced our downstairs windows with extra efficient ones a few years ago). Our oil burner was deemed a good choice, if we keep it well tuned and maintained (something I’ve let slip). Our major appliances were Energy Star approved. I said we’d finally break down and get a stove-like insert for our fireplace (something we sorely missed when the power was knocked out by a blizzard last winter, forcing us to live the “imposed low-carbon life” for several days).

    The biggest surprise was the snakeskin I discovered in a space beneath our attic floorboards where insulation should have been. Even where there was insulation, it was only about two thirds of the insulation value of R-30 that we would need even to meet the minimum modern codes.”
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/a-snakesin-where-insulation-should-be/

    It is good that Andy has insulated like many of us do without thinking upon purchasing a new home. Maybe Andy will learn the virtues of lowering or shutting off the heat to unused rooms, closing doors, lowering the thermostat and using space heaters, blankets and sweaters too….

    When back home on my property in New England and the wife and family are not there I have no problem turning the heat down to 50F and using a space heater in the room that I am occupying. It gets cold where my house is located back in the states and we have to fuel with kerosene as regular heating oil will not pump in cold temps. Frozen pipes are a fact of life in cold climates but so are fuel costs. My heating system pumps hot water to radiators which can be individually controlled so I can turn them down or off in infrequently used rooms. I also ensure that I have antifreeze in my heating system so that when I am here in Sweden I can basically have the the heating and most of the electricity off in my home in America. The hot and cold water pipes before I close the house in America are not only drained but blown out by my compressed air tank. Breaking out the torches and repairing burst pipes sucks. However the crunchy weekender crowd think nothing of running their second and third homes at 70+F while they are away for months at a time….

    Economic viability

    Oil, Inertia and the Energy Quest – Dot Earth Blog – NYTimes.com
    Eco-Activist Andy Revkin
    June 2, 2010, 8:06

    “I looked into geothermal heat pumps, but they were far too pricey (although our library is preparing to switch to that source of heat and cooling). We had already added insulation and replaced old drafty windows.

    We live on a rural road, so we get deliveries of propane for the stove, but don’t have a gas line for that cleaner source of heat. In the end, then, through a lack of reasonable affordable alternatives, I ended up replacing the oil tanks.”
    -http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/oil-inertia-and-the-energy-quest/

    Andy Revkin realizes that the cost of certain so called enviornmentally friendly technologies are beyond the benefits however he later suggests that if someone else pays via tax credits this is a different story. Sure I wouldn’t mind if someone puts costly inefficient PV solar panels on my roof and increases my “green rating” so my resale value is better. Heck I wouldn’t mind if my neighbors were forced to pay for the installation of a swimming pool on my property to help my families health and increase the value of my property.

    Andy Revkin realizes as you do that there are cost benefits when it is close to home. Why does this common sense stop at home and not into our municipalities where costly inefficient wind & Solar farms are being mandated?
    national policies like cap-and-trade—such as weatherizing homes, upgrading furnaces, switching to higher-mpg cars, changing air filters in a furnace, and not wasting power would cut U.S. carbon emissions by 123 million metric tons per year, which is 20 percent of household direct emissions and 7.4 percent of U.S. emissions.” -http://www.newsweek.com/2010/08/17/why-we-re-so-clueless-about-being-green.html

    And efficiency improvements are economically viable. Though, it does take intervention to implement a societal good when the incremental individual benefit is not immediately obvious (and thus individuals make decisions that show immediate, direct benefit to themselves but at a longer-term detriment to society.)

    “economically viable” is the key Carl.

    Andy Revkin after years of being an eco-activist and spokes person for the AGW fringe movement realized he does not walk the walk of his prolific talk with as he rationalized because of the same reason that you pointed out “economic viability”.

    A Snakeskin Where Insulation Should Be – Dot Earth Blog – NYTimes.com
    Eco-Activist Andy Revkin
    August 6, 2010, 9:00 pm

    “When the oil gusher in the gulf was at its worst, I wrote about how anyone, including me, who relies on oil for heat or transportation “owns” some of that mess.

    I’d long sought to cut our energy appetite, but often ran into inertia, confusion or — most often — costs. As a result, after considering expensive alternatives like a geothermal heat pump, I’d reluctantly bought a new tank for heating oil to replace the pair of rusting tanks in the basement of our house, which had been built in 1930 by the family we bought it from in 1996.
    […]
    The good news is that most of our windows and doors were already well caulked or sealed (we replaced our downstairs windows with extra efficient ones a few years ago). Our oil burner was deemed a good choice, if we keep it well tuned and maintained (something I’ve let slip). Our major appliances were Energy Star approved. I said we’d finally break down and get a stove-like insert for our fireplace (something we sorely missed when the power was knocked out by a blizzard last winter, forcing us to live the “imposed low-carbon life” for several days).

    The biggest surprise was the snakeskin I discovered in a space beneath our attic floorboards where insulation should have been. Even where there was insulation, it was only about two thirds of the insulation value of R-30 that we would need even to meet the minimum modern codes.”
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/a-snakesin-where-insulation-should-be/

    It is good that Andy has insulated like many of us do without thinking upon purchasing a new home. Maybe Andy will learn the virtues of lowering or shutting off the heat to unused rooms, closing doors, lowering the thermostat and using space heaters, blankets and sweaters too….

    When back home on my property in New England and the wife and family are not there I have no problem turning the heat down to 50F and using a space heater in the room that I am occupying. It gets cold where my house is located back in the states and we have to fuel with kerosene as regular heating oil will not pump in cold temps. Frozen pipes are a fact of life in cold climates but so are fuel costs. My heating system pumps hot water to radiators which can be individually controlled so I can turn them down or off in infrequently used rooms. I also ensure that I have antifreeze in my heating system so that when I am here in Sweden I can basically turn the electricity off. The hot and cold water pipes before I close the house in America are not only drained but blown out by my compressed air tank. Breaking out the torches and repairing burst pipes sucks. However the crunchy weekender crowd think nothing of running their second and third homes at 70F while they are away for months at a time….

    Economic viability

    Oil, Inertia and the Energy Quest – Dot Earth Blog – NYTimes.com
    Eco-Activist Andy Revkin
    June 2, 2010, 8:06

    “I looked into geothermal heat pumps, but they were far too pricey (although our library is preparing to switch to that source of heat and cooling). We had already added insulation and replaced old drafty windows.

    We live on a rural road, so we get deliveries of propane for the stove, but don’t have a gas line for that cleaner source of heat. In the end, then, through a lack of reasonable affordable alternatives, I ended up replacing the oil tanks.”
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/oil-inertia-and-the-energy-quest/

    Andy realizes that the cost of certain technologies are beyond the benefits however he later suggests that if someone else pays via tax credits this is a different story. Sure I wouldn’t mind if someone puts costly inefficient PV solar panels on my roof and increases my “green rating” so my resale value is better. Heck I wouldn’t mind if my neighbors were forced to pay for the installation of a swimming pool on my property to help my families health and increase the value of my property.

    Andy realizes as you do that there are cost benefits when it is close to home. Why does this common sense stop at home and not into our municipalities where costly inefficient wind & Solar farms are being mandated?

  79. Paul in Sweden

    17. Trebuchet Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Didn’t take long for the first denier on this one.

    Gary, Phil is indeed providing a single data point in this single post. And he’s provided many, many others in previous posts. He hasn’t claimed that any of these single points proves AGW, nor is this blog claimed as a scientific study.

    ————–Trebuchet you should have stopped there—————
    ————–but you seem compelled to go on……

    The overwhelming bulk of evidence, studied by many real climate scientists, indicates that the atmosphere is warming and that human activity is a major contributor. No cherry picking, that’s mostly what the deniers do.

    There are beliefs and opinions but there is no evidence that has been presented to date that supports anthropogenic catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming or moving away from the IPCC characterization, Global Warming for that matter.

    Should you stumble across any observational data or evidence linking anthropogenic activity to the global climate please alert the authorities. As far as Phil goes I visit his blog daily I love the various posts he presents however I feel somewhat cheated that Phil posts titillating topics but does not participate often in the dialog.

    In reality, Bad Astronomy is not Phil, it is all of us and our dialog.

  80. Radwaste

    Gee. Some people say that burning billions of gallons of oil does… nothing? Do these people know anything at all about physics?

    One of the emissions sources is the automobile. I was surprised that so many know absolutely nothing about those. Look here.

    And lots of people parrot their favorite demagogue or editorial source, not once going to data. Many don’t even bother to examine what is going on in the environment – they concentrate, instead, on what other people are doing or saying. Make sure you see this, too.

  81. Paul in Sweden

    OT, but some may be interested.

    Defenders of Mann stage protest rally at UVA
    “Protestors, angry with the way Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has tried to make his case, rallied on grounds at the University of Virginia Friday afternoon.”
    -http://tinyurl.com/25b8n9c

  82. Messier Tidy Upper

    @80. Paul in Sweden :

    There are beliefs and opinions but there is no evidence that has been presented to date that supports anthropogenic catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming or moving away from the IPCC characterization, Global Warming for that matter.

    Actually there’s plenty of evidence. Have you seen the third videoclip I linked to in my comment # 76 above? Look at it please – you’ll find it presents a good case and stacks of real evidence.

    Also please, Paul in Sweden, stop being rude and answer or admit that you can’t / won’t answer the questions I asked you back in comment # 31 above – & now repeated for your convenience below as well :

    ****

    @ ^ 29. Paul in Sweden :

    …as I explored further I found that many of the other claims made by CAGW proponents were specious as well.

    Such as for example?

    1. If the sea ice really *is* such a molehill mountain as you suggest then why are so many climatologists and glaciologists so concerned?

    2. Don’t you think these experts know how to do the science they qualified for and practice in often with decades of experience?

    3. Why are your qualifications and experience better than theirs in this area?

    4. Are these climatologist experts all stupid or missing something that your analysis reveals but theirs doesn’t? If so, then what factor exactly would they be missing & why haven’t they picked it up yet?

    5. Or are these professional trained climatologist scientists all involved in some sort of conspiracy for financial &/or political gain? If that’s true, how are they hiding this from other scientists in other nations and their own brighter students?

    Please answer – or people will have to draw their own conclusions from your failure to do so.

  83. Paul in Sweden

    @Messier
    I skimmed through the list and am going down the line. I’ll keep an eye out for the video link. :)

  84. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Paul in Sweden :

    Okay, I look forward to your response & your answers to my questions above.

    The video with multiple evidence for AGW is the third link in comment 76 above. I’m surprised you haven’t seen it yet & keen to hear what you think of it.

  85. Paul in Sweden

    19. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    @^ Davidlpf : Thanks. :-)

    I guess one of a few positives from global warming is that it has made exploring and developing the Arctic and Antartica regions much easier.

    In other possibly Global Warming related news :

    -http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1324677/Huge-ice-island-threatening-shipping

    A big chunk of ice has broken away from Greenland.

    Greenland’s glaciers pump out thousands of icebergs into Arctic waters every year, but scientists say this is the biggest in the northern hemisphere since 1962.

    Messier, I am a sucker for natural disaster and extreme weather. The little boy in me still lives. I remember reading the early explorers ship logs and their descriptions of Ice-Islands 50-60 miles long. Their tales of being locked in the ice pack knowing that the winds or currents could change and that one of these Ice-Islands could plow through the pack ice and there would be nothing they could do but abandon ship onto the desolate ice.

    You mention that global warming has once again made arctic and antarctic exploration easier but I would like to remind you that although the arctic sea ice has been recovering from the 30 year low in 2007 of the satellite record period during that same time the Antarctic has been growing in leaps and bounds. Nonetheless sea surface exploration of the arctic and antarctic is down right treacherous. However, because the winds and ocean currents have cleared some paths once again in the arctic it would be very interesting to see those fishing stations and mining communities from the 1800-s-1900’s that might possibly be exposed again

    You mention the new Ice-Island and check yourself realizing like the warmth of summer, the chill of winter and the rise of the sun in the morning that this is nothing more that something that happens from time to time only now because of satellite images we know of these events more frequently. I think they are way cool. I love stuff like this.

    We can look at the some total of North & South pole sea ice here:
    Here is an graph of global sea ice extent covering the satellite period 1979 to present:
    -http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    Nothing alarming in the numbers.

    The North pole has had it’s ups and downs for the centuries we have explored it:

    Here are pictures of the open water at the North Pole:
    -http://tinyurl.com/29cb9gf

    Both the arctic and the antarctic remain difficult to explore. Satellites are the only thing that has made observation easier. Unfortunately satellite records start after the cold period and only capture this 30 year warm period but when you look at the numbers there really isn’t a drastic difference.

    Greenland Ice Island Prompts Global Warming Debate

    And ocean science professor Andreas Muenchow says years of data on the glacier itself show that after this month’s event, the mass of ice is still, on average, discharging about the same amount of water it usually does – some 600 million cubic meters a year, or about 220,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. “Even a big piece like this over 50 years is not that significant. It’s just the normal rate,” he said.

    Muenchow warns people not to jump to conclusions. “An event like this, this specific event, all flags go immediately up, ‘Oh, let’s explain this by global warming.’ I cannot support that,” he said.”
    -http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/Greenland-Ice-Island-Prompts-Global-Warming-Debate-100590574.html

    “Fletcher’s Ice Island”
    -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher’s_Ice_Island
    Fletcher’s Ice Island or T-3 was an iceberg discovered by U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher. Between 1952 and 1978 it was used as a manned scientific research station that included huts, a power plant, and a runway for wheeled aircraft [1]. The iceberg was a thick tabular sheet of glacial ice that drifted throughout the central Arctic Ocean in a clockwise direction. First inhabited in 1952 as an arctic weather report station, it was abandoned in 1954 but reinhabited on two subsequent occasions. The station was inhabited mainly by scientists along with a few military crewmen and was resupplied during its existence primarily by military planes operating from Barrow, Alaska. The iceberg was later occupied by the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, and still serves as a base of operations for the Navy’s arctic research projects such as sea bottom and ocean swell studies, seismographic activities, metrological studies and other classified projects under the direction of the Department of Defense.[2] Before the era of satellites, the research station on T-3 had been a valuable site for measurements of the atmosphere in the Arctic.

    29. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Messier, here is a telling image of the ice island from the Danish Meteorological Institute(DMI) I would like you to be particularly attentive to the fact that these images do not show the ice-island ready to drift out into open waters as the images that the MSM has shown us. In fact during the minimum of the arctic ice during the summer of 2007 the images that were released portrayed waters that appeared to be ice free but in reality were quite congested with ice. In the DMI satellite images in the link below note the ice-island and the surrounding open waters. What the media tells us and what the actual scientists and instruments show us are worlds apart. I can only assume that once you see the images you would agree that the new ice-island will be locked and drifting for many years to come.

    “Grønlandsk gletsjer knækker – se billederne”
    -http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/groenlandsk_gletsjer_knaekker_-_se_billederne

    All the text is in Danish but the only significant text is that this new ice-island is from the most northern glacier. What I would like you to pay attention to is the color of the glacier and what is normally portrayed as open water beyond the glacier.

    You will see a big difference from the AP image. That Ice Island is not liberated into an ice free environment and will most likely depending on the currents remain there for many years to come.
    Fletcher’s Ice Island or T-3 was an iceberg discovered by U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher. Between 1952 and 1978 it was used as a manned scientific research station that included huts, a power plant, and a runway for wheeled aircraft [1]. The iceberg was a thick tabular sheet of glacial ice that drifted throughout the central Arctic Ocean in a clockwise direction. First inhabited in 1952 as an arctic weather report station, it was abandoned in 1954 but reinhabited on two subsequent occasions. The station was inhabited mainly by scientists along with a few military crewmen and was resupplied during its existence primarily by military planes operating from Barrow, Alaska. The iceberg was later occupied by the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, and still serves as a base of operations for the Navy’s arctic research projects such as sea bottom and ocean swell studies, seismographic activities, metrological studies and other classified projects under the direction of the Department of Defense.[2] Before the era of satellites, the research station on T-3 had been a valuable site for measurements of the atmosphere in the Arctic.

    Perhaps this new ice-island spawned by the Petermann glacier will be a new base for Arctic studies.

  86. Paul in Sweden

    must have had an open bold tag above…(an admin edit would make it easier to read :) )

    21. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:42 am
    […]
    I was convinced that 1998 being the hottest year alone (which okay is what I then thought – 2005 was almost certainly slightly hotter) just about ruled out the notion of dangerous Global Warming on its own – that we had, in fact, been cooling down over the past decade. I still think it is a major point against AGW and will be happier when we have a much hotter, much more recent record hot year but I’ve had to accept that, yes, it is possible for 1998 or 2005 to have been record hottest years but yet the trend is still going upwards.

    Plus that the selection of 1998 as a starting point is misleading and doesn’t provide the full picture, that 1998 was an outlier and that a decade by decade comparison shows that the last period has indeed been unnaturally hot. Eventually, I had to accept that and acknowledge that the ‘1998 = hottest year thus no AGW’ argument while initially highly convincingly is misleading and wrong.

    I’ve argued it was a natural process, a natural cycle and not caused by humans – that it’s our Sun or Milankovitch cycles or lack of volcanic eruptions etc .. NOT us. But when you look at the evidence you find that these have been taken into account by the climatologists. That they don’t add up to the full picture.

    The Sunspot cycle explains and follows our climate pattern to a large extent but then at a point in recent decades the relationship breaks down. The Sun should be causing the climate to cool but instead it warms. Why? The Milankovitch and other natural cycles say we should be cooling down – but the upwards trend is still there. Why?

    I still think there may be a natural component or two – that some factors may explain a small part of Global Warming. But it is now clear that these cannot explain *all* or even most the warming. That some natural factors, (eg. the solar cycle) are out of synch with rising planetary temperatures and cannot be the cause of them. That, when everything is taken into account – & it has been by the climatologist’s involved – natural processes and cycles are insufficient to cause the warming we have experienced. So I’ve had to acknowledge, slowly and painfully, that yes, Humanity is behind at least a very large percentage of the Global Warming we’ve undergone.

    Well Messier, that pretty much sums up the CAGW hypothesis.

    Scientists go further and state that they do not know all of the dynamics of our climate(forcings etc).

    So you like others alongside of you have concluded, as we cannot explain the increase in the earth’s temperature since the little ice age with our current understanding of our global climate that all other differences must be anthropogenic. That does not seem like sound science to me.

    I’ve also had to acknowledge that the climatologist conspiracy theory doesn’t work. That all these individuals aren’t frauds or charlatans but genuine scientists who have trained and understood the science aren’t all just working a con to gain grants and drive a political agenda.

    Messier this is only going down hill. Many climate scientists do believe in anthropogenic climate influence but recognize that CO2 is only a minor contributor. There are also scientists that believe it should not matter if CAGW is true or not the path for humanity is better without fossil fuels. I can’t say mankind would not be better without fossil fuels I just recognize that without a cost effective substitute we are just having a Utopian society conversation.

    That the climategate emails can be explained as being taken out of context and misinterpreted. It has been very hard to convince me that things like “hide the decline”, “we can’t find the warming and it’s a travesty we can’t” & “don’t tell them England has a Freedom of Information request” don’t have the obvious negative readings they seem to have. That these don’t add up to a disproof of the science of AGW & a proof of conspiracy. I’ve had to face the reality eventually that the science is solid despite some nasty leaked emails. The words used by a few have been overblown, cherry-picked and taken to mean things that they just don’t.

    Messier, after decades and billions upon billions of dollars flooding into the Global Warming Industry they have yet to show evidence showing that the warming since the little ice age is due to anthropogenic emissions. I do not feel that conclusive proof that negates the CAGW hypothesis which stands unsupported should need iron clad proof to the contrary or an opposing hypothesis explaining the warming since the little ice age. It is upon the holders of this radical hypothesis that although rapid changes in climate both up and down in temperature have existed in our instrumental record and in our geologic history that this one time it is due to mankind.

    The climategate whistleblower event showed that a handful of scientists act like gatekeepers to shelter the rest of us from the diverse scientific studies on our ever changing climate.

    This is how we stand today on climategate:

    1. The scientists involved in the email exchanges manipulated evidence in IPCC and WMO reports with the effect of misleading readers, including policymakers. The divergence problem was concealed by deleting data to “hide the decline.” Even the Muir Russell panel concurred, as was fitting, since the evidence was clear. The ridiculous attempt by the Penn State Inquiry to defend an instance of deleting data and splicing in other data to conceal a divergence problem only discredits their claims to have investigated the issue.

    2. Phil Jones admitted deleting emails in order to prevent disclosure of information subject to Freedom of Information laws, and asked his colleagues to do the same. But the inquiries have largely fumbled this question, or averted their eyes. Despite being asked y Parliament to conclusively resolve this issue, Sir Muir Russell did no attend the interviews with Jones and, as reported in UK media, his inquiry did not ask Jones if he had deleted emails.

    3. The scientists privately expressed greater doubts or uncertainties about the science in their own professional writings and in their interactions with one another than they allowed to be stated in reports of the IPCC or WMO that were intended for policymakers. Rather than criticise the scientists for this, the inquiries (particularly the House of Commons and Oxburgh inquiries) took the astonishing view that as long as scientists expressed doubts and uncertainties in their academic papers and among themselves, it was acceptable for them to conceal those uncertainties in documents prepared for policy makers.

    4. The scientists took steps individually or in collusion to block access to data or methodologies in order to prevent external examination of their work. This point was accepted by the Commons Inquiry and Muir Russell, and the authors were given gentle admonitions and encouragements to do somewhat better in the future.

    5. The inquiries were largely unable to deal with the issue of the issue of blocking publication of papers, or intimidating journals. These get into subjective, he-said-she-said disputes, and in some cases the documentation was too sparse. But academics reading the emails could see quite clearly the tribalism at work, and in comparison to other fields, climatology comes off looking juvenile, corrupt and in the grip of a handful of self-appointed gatekeepers and bullies.

    -http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/inquiries_response.pdf

    Messier you should read the climategate emails for yourself:
    http://tinyurl.com/yl8o3t8

    and you will be amused by the computer code that is being used to generate the progressively more fantastic predictions in the also climategate FOI released Harry read me file. I post a link later for you.

    Messier, I do not see any reason to believe as you now do that our global climate has been altered in any measurable way by anthropogenic influences much less our global climate being set on a runaway Global Warming or Global Cooling path.

  87. There’s now a new thread on the Peterman glacier ice calving – click my name to go to it.

    @ Paul in Sweden : I was really hoping you’d answer my questions from comments 31 & 83 here & tell me what you thought of the evidence in that Youtube videoclip I referred you to before in comment # 76 above.

    I think we’ve already discussed climategate to death here & it turns out that the emails while superficially damming have indeed been cherry-picked, taken out of context and do NOT actually refute the evidence for AGW. Despite those emails the papers did get through peer review and were published and it does not seem that any emails were deleted and there are human if not innocent explanations for them. In essence, climategate really doesn’t add up to a convincing case of malfeasence on the part of the CRU scientists – although they haven’t been shown in a good light by them.

    There actually *is* an awful lot of evidence for AGW as you’ll see in past discussions on this topic & in that videoclip I referred to before – among many other places.

  88. Paul in Sweden

    19. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 9:37 am
    @ ^ 29. Paul in Sweden :

    …as I explored further I found that many of the other claims made by CAGW proponents were specious as well.

    Such as for example?

    If the sea ice really *is* such a molehill mountain as you suggest then why are so many climatologists and glaciologists so concerned?

    1. Don’t you think these experts know how to do the science they qualified for and practice in often with decades of experience? Why are your qualifications and experience better than theirs in this area?

    2. Are the climatologist experts all stupid or missing something that your analysis reveals but theirs doesn’t? If so, then what factor exactly would they be missing & why haven’t they picked it up yet?

    3. Or are these professional trained climatologist scientists all involved in some sort of conspiracy for financial &/or political gain? If that’s true, how are they hiding this from other scientists in other nations and their own brighter students?

    Can you answer – and back up your answer – these questions for me honestly please Paul in Sweden?

    Messier you speak of ‘these experts’. – Are you referring to the experts that state that the generation of icebergs from glaciers is a natural process such as we have been alerted this past month is normal and has nothing to do with global warming, natural or anthropogenic? Are you referencing to the experts that tell us that global warming is responsible for increased prostitution, less snowfall, greater snowfall, droughts & floods and just about anything else under the sun? Which experts do you hang your hat on Messier?

    Messier I skimmed the thread and you seem to be pressing me to watch your video clip created by cartoonist and eco-activist Peter Sinclair who runs the ‘Climate crock of the week’ that has you all titillated. Is that what you call evidence of anthropogenic climate change?

    Messier, I tend not to take people’s word for anything. I take my time and I listen, read and then try to formulate my own opinion on matters.

    As I had pointed out the global sea ice extent has not varied much in the 30 or so years of satellite records(look up for link). I have also pointed to fluctuations in the arctic sea ice during times where proponents of CAGW state anthropogenic influences are not in question.

    Then there is the question of glaciers — “Of the 160,000 glaciers presently in existence, only 67,000 (42%) have been inventoried to any degree (Kieffer et al., 2000); and there are only a tad over 200 glaciers for which mass balance data exist for but a single year (Braithwaite and Zhang, 2000). When the length of record increases to five years, this number drops to 115; and if both winter and summer mass balances are required, the number drops to 79. Furthermore, if ten years of record is used as a cutoff, only 42 glaciers qualify. This lack of glacial data, in the words of Braithwaite and Zhang, highlights “one of the most important problems for mass-balance glaciology” and demonstrates the “sad fact that many glacierized regions of the world remain unsampled, or only poorly sampled,” suggesting that we really know very little about the true state of most of the world’s glaciers.”
    http://tinyurl.com/268ew8x

    Glaciers melting and exposing forests and villages that never had coal fired power plants and SUV traffic hardly counts in my book as evidence of anthropogenic climate change but nor does it discredit it.

    Since you went on to state why it was you became a (C)AGW believer I think I should say again that I was a disinterested party prior to 2004-5 regarding (C)AGW. My attitude was here we go again, now it is global warming and big oil is the culprit again… So I was dis-interested in this issue for ages. While I was pretty much disinterested in it I couldn’t say I flipped sides but I sadly watched as I saw some of my eco-friendly heroes die(PV solar power & wind power — but one day I hope to see them as viable). Growing up I built solar ovens and PV arrays and remained quite interested even to the present day.

    Watching the Citicorp building go up on the skyline of Manhattan I was heartened believing that the slanted roof would one day contain a massive solar array which would greatly contribute to the building’s energy needs and bring then President Jimmy Carter’s dream of a solar power nation to fruition. Reality is a bitch. Solar and wind didn’t cut it then and Solar and wind do not make economic sense now. One day I hope they both will make sense but to have my neighbor pay extra taxes or a charge on their electric bill so I can have the novelty of having PV or wind power doesn’t make sense. So Messier the first domino with CAGW to fall with me was global sea ice. The second domino with CAGW was this unreasonable belief in Solar and Wind power to magically provide not only the needs of our current society but our future expanding society. As late as the early 2000s I was still in favor for a wind project in my home town until I realized that the only benefit would be derived from federal funds which were generated on the backs of other citizens and not by the fictional energy benefits of the wind farm itself. And bio-fuel is the worst and on an environmental forum here on Sweden’s public television one individual summed it up so concisely. “It is wrong to burn the food of the poor to drive the cars of the rich”. Aside from that basic fact bio-fuels do more to expel anthropogenic CO2 into the environment than standard fossil fuels but this has not hampered the government subsidies. But there again the lack of efficacy of renewable energy does not make or break the speculative case for CAGW. It just got me thinking. How could these activists state that all we had to do was go green with solar and wind and we could adjust some giant thermometer in the sky and pick our climate temp? What else were they lying to me about?

    This got me a bit riled up. I had been lied to about green energy and I had been lied to about sea ice. More and more I raised an eyebrow to every fantastic tabloid article about global warming(what CAGW followers call evidence).

    Sometime later I started questioning the temperature records. I had been told that we had experienced massive global warming. This sounded serious. As I dug deeper I found that scientists were trying to make a 0.6C-0.8C increase since the little ice age out to be some big temperature swing[WTF is 0.7C can you even notice that when you go room to room in your home?]. Knowing a bit how temperature records are kept I wondered how the heck they could come up with tenth of a degree accuracy during the instrumental records when most records were kept by amateurs who like me have problems reading small type and the thermometers didn’t have tenth of a degree markings anyway.

    More recently I learned that 90 percent of the temperature stations in the USA(and outside the USA it is worse) were below the acceptable level of the US government standards. Messier an increase or decrease in temperature does not mean anthropogenic climate change exists or does not exist but these are the temperatures that are fed into the glorified ‘Sims’ games that we call General Circulation Models(GCMs).

    Messier, although this report is done by a couple of meteorologists who study temperatures and our climate and have done so for many decades and not by a cartoonist and not by an eco-activist like your Peter Sinclair of youtube fame read it anyway.

    http://tinyurl.com/qro9py

    Again I will state a rise or fall in our global temps do not indicate or preclude global warming or global cooling nor point to natural or anthropogenic causes.

    Messier, I found particularly offensive your pining to me to stop being rude and stating the obvious that there is no evidence of anthropogenic global warming and your insistence that I watch a youtube video produced by an eco-activist which you believe somewhere shows evidence of global warming. I did not see any evidence of global warming in your cartoonist’s youtube video.

    In your cartoonist’s video I saw mention of Tyndall, Fourier, Arrenius which shows the physics of the radiative properties of various gases as they behave in a vacuum(at one atmosphere) without regard for the physics of a column of our earth’s atmosphere or the yet unknown positive and negative feedbacks of our atmosphere.

    I also saw in your cartoonist’s youtube video the work of Harries, et. al, which shows us as most of us already know, the earth is not a perfect mirror in response to solar radiation. The blanket of clouds over our heads trap the heat. This is not something that any serious scientist has disputed as far as I know.

    There was also a graph which claimed that Hansen 2005 model predictions were in line with observational temperatures. I find this incredulous and feel no need to look into this claim any further. Although if you could provide me with more information regarding Hansen 2005 and the claimed correspondence with observational data I would be interested.

    Messier, I would not have watched the video you posted had it not been from you and had I not read the underlying tone in your latter post. I tend to shy away from those fringe populist productions. I cannot at this time begin to express my disappointment in you and the tone of your postings. Were there any actual evidence of anthropogenic global warming that might have slipped by my viewing in your cartoonist and eco-activist’s youtube video?

    If the world is facing a crisis with regards to runaway climate change, global cooling/warming it has not been made to myself or the rest of the world.

  89. Paul in Sweden

    efficacy40. M Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Re: HMS Investigator:
    The ship entered the west end of the passage, apparently didn’t make it very far, and was stuck in the ice for two years before it sunk. That doesn’t sound at all like today’s conditions!
    Edit: See http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/blog/spitting_graves for more details.

    efficacy40. I really enjoyed your link.(on another computer I was reading the log of one of the passengers of the HMS Investigator, it was image based and tedious I do not have the bookmark ATM) The depiction of the voyage of the HMS Investigator does in fact by my reading of the image of the ice in the region of M’Clure Strait and the text of your link bears this out. At that point in time no other ship had been able to reach the shores of Banks Island accept through the normal passage from the east. The HMS Investigator captained by M’clure was the first ship to navigate the normally impassible Northern Passage on the north side of Banks Island.

    I did also notice looking at my downloads of the sea ice extent over the past 30 years that back in 2007 the original path the HMS Investigator took through Prince of Wales Straight looked almost passable but as I illustrated in my earlier link to the Danish Meteorological Institutes presentation of the Peterman ice-island calving the ice is not always as pictured.

    The ice conditions as they are portrayed by satellite do seem to reflect the same conditions as the HMS Investigator experienced in the 1850s.

    Are you seeing things differently M?

  90. Paul in Sweden

    54. techskeptic Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Or any conspiracy. Please point to one single conspiracy in the history of man that was able to be perpetuated on the scale of what you are proposing. It’s a preposterous supposition.

    Even the Family of politicians residing at C street, doesnt even come close to comprising the scale of conspiracy you are trying to convey.
    ___________

    techskeptic although I do not believe that the scientists in the global warming industry are all involved in a conspiracy. I believe that many of them believe the ends justify the means and believe that remaining silent while the likes of Greenpeace that requires almost a million bucks a day to keep the lights on drum up more and more fantastic doomsday scenarios brings me to the conclusion that things should be looked into more closely, especially in light of the releases of correspondence derived during climategate and prior.

    As far as contemporary conspiracies go I think you need look no further than Enron one of the biggest proponents of carbon cap and trade. You do remember Enron?

    Always claims of fraud, never evidence. (don’t start in with the email nonsense. That ship sailed long ago)

    Yes that ship sailed long ago; and because you refuse to look at the sorry state of climate science I will show you that ship again:

    This is how we stand today on climategate:

    1. The scientists involved in the email exchanges manipulated evidence in IPCC and WMO reports with the effect of misleading readers, including policymakers. The divergence problem was concealed by deleting data to “hide the decline.” Even the Muir Russell panel concurred, as was fitting, since the evidence was clear. The ridiculous attempt by the Penn State Inquiry to defend an instance of deleting data and splicing in other data to conceal a divergence problem only discredits their claims to have investigated the issue.

    2. Phil Jones admitted deleting emails in order to prevent disclosure of information subject to Freedom of Information laws, and asked his colleagues to do the same. But the inquiries have largely fumbled this question, or averted their eyes. Despite being asked y Parliament to conclusively resolve this issue, Sir Muir Russell did no attend the interviews with Jones and, as reported in UK media, his inquiry did not ask Jones if he had deleted emails.

    3. The scientists privately expressed greater doubts or uncertainties about the science in their own professional writings and in their interactions with one another than they allowed to be stated in reports of the IPCC or WMO that were intended for policymakers. Rather than criticise the scientists for this, the inquiries (particularly the House of Commons and Oxburgh inquiries) took the astonishing view that as long as scientists expressed doubts and uncertainties in their academic papers and among themselves, it was acceptable for them to conceal those uncertainties in documents prepared for policy makers.

    4. The scientists took steps individually or in collusion to block access to data or methodologies in order to prevent external examination of their work. This point was accepted by the Commons Inquiry and Muir Russell, and the authors were given gentle admonitions and encouragements to do somewhat better in the future.

    5. The inquiries were largely unable to deal with the issue of the issue of blocking publication of papers, or intimidating journals. These get into subjective, he-said-she-said disputes, and in some cases the documentation was too sparse. But academics reading the emails could see quite clearly the tribalism at work, and in comparison to other fields, climatology comes off looking juvenile, corrupt and in the grip of a handful of self-appointed gatekeepers and bullies.

    -http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/inquiries_response.pdf

    Fewer people believe this CAGW talk each and everyday. The mere mention of global warming causes many to flinch. That Global Warming ship you speak of better be a submarine because it looks like it has submerged.

  91. Paul in Sweden

    52. techskeptic Says:
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Lorne,

    I am unable to see the strawman. What did I misrepresent and attack? Most contrarians do exactly what I was talking about. Now provide a link to whatever it is that you are talking about, and pray that it hasnt already been addressed here:
    ________________________________

    techskeptic, I think the gist is that you have presented Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, a new religion, god, garden of eden/man does wrong and doomsday prediction etc, etc… without evidence and now you stand boldly and ask the rest of us to prove your god does not exist. As you have seen decade after decade your evangelism and fire and brim stone sermons are not working. It is time to turn back towards science and get rid of the idiots who can’t even keep their data for review by actual scientists.

  92. Paul in Sweden

    @55. Hairy Buddah Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Looks like you are dialed in buddah. The way I look at things is that if there were a global crisis the idiots they have running the CAGW three ring circus would be out on their tail sides. Can you even imagine a business much less a global crisis being run with the efficiency of the Global Warming Industry?

  93. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 89. Paul in Sweden :

    Messier you speak of ‘these experts’. – Are you referring to the experts that state that the generation of icebergs from glaciers is a natural process such as we have been alerted this past month is normal and has nothing to do with global warming, natural or anthropogenic? Are you referencing to the experts that tell us that global warming is responsible for increased prostitution, less snowfall, greater snowfall, droughts & floods and just about anything else under the sun? Which experts do you hang your hat on Messier?

    The majority of climatologist experts who argue global warming is real and that it is most probably caused by human activity. There are a few dissenting opinions I know but it seems clear that the vast majority of qualified, practicing climatologists *do* believe AGW is real & we are at least partly to blame.

    If you want specific names then Tim Flannery, Richard Alley, the late Charles David Keeling, John F. B. Mitchell and the more than 2,500 scientific expert reviewers, more than 800 contributing authors, and more than 450 lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC are among those who I’d class as the experts here.

    Messier I skimmed the thread and you seem to be pressing me to watch your video clip created by cartoonist and eco-activist Peter Sinclair who runs the ‘Climate crock of the week’ that has you all titillated. Is that what you call evidence of anthropogenic climate change?

    Yes, I do call some of the many points raised in that video evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming or at least I’d say that video (& the others in that series) presents strong evidence making a good case for AGW.

    Just because Peter Suinclair is a self-confessed eco-activist does that necessarily make him wrong or an unreliable source of information?

    I’m not “titillated” by that videoclip as you put it – but I *am* impressed by it and it did help convince me – gruudgingly and along with much else – that, yes, AGW is real.

    Part II to follow later ..

  94. Paul in Sweden

    @Messier

    Beliefs should be left with the rest of the faithful. Beliefs like consensus is not science.

    The world has warmed since the little ice age, there is little doubt about that. Your link to cartoonist Peter Sinclair’s youtube video presented zero evidence of anthropogenic global warming.

    The 2007 4th assessment report produced by the IPCC likewise did not offer any evidence of anthropogenic global warming. Search high and low for evidence of AGW, knock yourself out. I am pretty sure that if evidence for anthropogenic global warming materialized it would make it to the news headlines and the United Nations would have a parade up Broadway.

  95. Paul in Sweden

    Messier,

    I think this post that I found today basically sums up our future dialog:

    Climate Science™: We must act now, the end of the world is coming.

    Science minded individual: That’s scary, what do you mean?

    Climate Science™: The globe is warming from CO2 emissions, glaciers will melt, storms will strengthen, droughts will become commonplace, plantlife will die, the oceans will rise, the polar ice will melt, oceans will acidify, we must act now!

    Science minded individual: Wow, CO2 causes all that? How do you know?

    Climate Science™: We have dozens of lines of evidence, Models, measurements, paleoclimate data, environmental data, it’s all in agreement. We must act now.

    Science minded individual: Let’s see, I’ll start with the paleo reconstructions. Hmm, it seems that the unprecedentedness is due to your mathematical techniques and special proxies. Why is it that we can remove some key data series and the whole thing loses the unprecedented shape?

    Climate Science™: There is uncertainty in science, engineers and physicists have trouble understanding. These reconstructions don’t matter anyway, there are dozens of other branches and they are all in agreement. We must act before it’s too late!

    Science minded individual: But you agree the paleo reconstructions are in error?

    Climate Science™: They are unimportant, when you combine the whole of climatology the answer is clear. We must act to save mankind now!!

    Science minded individual: Then why have them?

    Climate Science™: Models project 4 C of warming by the end of the century, they agree with paleo reconstructions. Warming on this scale will bring destruction across the globe.

    Science minded individual: Ok, moving on, I see that models all seem to assume a positive feedback to a small temperature rise.

    Climate Science™: It’s caused by water vapor in the atmosphere. The water vapor increases the global warming effect, crops will die, fish will shrink, people will starve if we don’t act.

    Science minded individual: I see also that there is quite a bit of uncertainty in the amount of feedback.

    Climate Science™: There is uncertainty in all science, perhaps you don’t understand that concept. We know it’s bettween 2 and 6 C of warming in the next century alone.

    Science minded individual: Wow, that’s a lot of uncertainty. Why aren’t the measurements which show a negative feedback being used?

    Climate Science™: Consensus says that a positive feedback is correct we must act now.

    Science minded individual: But some believe the feedback is negative and what about the recent proofs on the internet and in publication that models have overshot measured data by 2 to 4 times?

    Climate Science™: The IPCC represents the whole of climate science, the bulk of the evidence is in favor of 2 to 4C of warming. The sea ice and ice caps will melt, the ocean is rising, low lying land will flood, storms will grow stronger.

    Science minded individual: Hurricanes haven’t grown stronger, they’ve weakened.

    Climate Science™: You don’t understand the difference between weather and climate.

    Science minded individual: But you said they will strengthen just 10 years ago, they didn’t.

    Climate Science™: In time they will strengthen, especially if we don’t act, remember Katrina.

    Science minded individual: Each year for say 10 years you’ve predicted stronger storms and each year you’ve been wrong, what’s happening?

    Climate Science™: You have to look at 30 year trends, and other lines of evidence, the sea ice is melting, antarctic is loosing mass, the ocean is acidifying, we must decarbonize the economy.

    Science minded individual: I notice that globally the total sea ice isn’t melting, yet all we read about is the Arctic.

    Climate Science™: Models show clearly that the Arctic is more sensitive than the Antarctic to global warming.

    Science minded individual: But you are missing my point, you predicted a decline in sea ice in the Antarctic as well, yet we have an increase? Globally, sea ice is basically at the 30 year average.

    There is more click the link for the rest.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/understanding-climate/

  96. Messier Tidy Upper

    Part II :

    Messier, I tend not to take people’s word for anything. I take my time and I listen, read and then try to formulate my own opinion on matters.

    Generally speaking me too. ;-)

    But when there are experts who have trained & practiced their whole lives in order to really know what they’re talking about then don’t you think their expertise is worth respecting & listening to? Just as if you go to a doctor you’d trust them with advising you about suitable medical treatment rather than self-diagnosing wouldn’t you? So too with climate change.

    If nine out of ten doctors said someone you care about has an urgent medical problem that needs to be addressed – would you ignore all of them and go with the one dissenting doctor or your own inexpert opinion? I think its an analogous situation here.

    As I had pointed out the global sea ice extent has not varied much in the 30 or so years of satellite records

    Well I think a lot of the glaciologists as seen in some of the videoclips and sources linked to here will disagree with that – and it isn’t the *only* signal of AGW happening.

    So Messier the first domino with CAGW to fall with me was global sea ice. The second domino with CAGW was this unreasonable belief in Solar and Wind power to magically provide not only the needs of our current society but our future expanding society.

    I agree there that progress regarding solar and wind and other renewables have proven disappointing. I don’t think they’re necessarily the solution. But with due respect that’s not saying anything much relevant to whether AGW is real or not – simply observing that one of the proposed counter measures keeps failing to deliver. Other more realistic, less warm & fuzzy solutions eg. nuclear power may have to be adopted instead.

    More and more I raised an eyebrow to every fantastic tabloid article about global warming(what CAGW followers call evidence).

    I don’t think this is a fair characterisation. I don’t buy or believe tabloids. I get my information from a range of sources – incl. this blog – & there are multiple sources and linked sites available. Have you read some of the scientific sites linked in some of these AGW threads?

    Messier, although this report is done by a couple of meteorologists

    Well, a meteorologist isn’t a climatologist – would you get a local GP to perform brain surgery on you? The climatologists aren’t dumb – they’ve looked at such issues and taken them into account.

    I did not see any evidence of global warming in your cartoonist’s youtube video.

    Really? I saw stacks of evidence there. Let’s note just three of many :

    1.) 2 minutes in – spectroscopic analysis showed without a doubt that the increasing levels of Co2 being observed were from humans burning fossil fuels.

    2.) Four minutes in – satellite measurements tracked over decades & then plotting the graph of change of outgoing radiation as direct evdience of the greenhouse effect.

    3.) Six minutes in – ecological shifts, not models or calculations but living things behaving and even the seasonal phenomena such as the date of spring melting, etc .. “over 29,000 sets of physical and biological data 90% of which are trending consistent with global warming.”

    That’s not evidence you think worth considering?

    Messier, I would not have watched the video you posted had it not been from you and had I not read the underlying tone in your latter post.

    Well I’m glad to know you saw it. :-)

    I tend to shy away from those fringe populist productions. I cannot at this time begin to express my disappointment in you and the tone of your postings.

    Clearly we disagree on this issue – but I have tried and will keep trying to be polite and civilised about this intellectual disagreement and keep the debate reasonable and rational. I’m sorry you seem to have taken offence at something in my “tone” – may I ask what in particular about my earlier post has offended or disappointed you?

  97. Paul in Sweden

    97. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Really? I saw stacks of evidence there. Let’s note just three of many :

    1.) 2 minutes in – spectroscopic analysis showed without a doubt that the increasing levels of Co2 being observed were from humans burning fossil fuels.

    Thousands of observations of wind turbines and detailed analysis have shown without a doubt the increased numbers of wind turbines are from humans building wind turbines. Like the increase in CO2 the increase in observed numbers of man made wind turbines is not evidence of anthropogenic global warming(CAGW).

    2.) Four minutes in – satellite measurements tracked over decades & then plotting the graph of change of outgoing radiation as direct evdience of the greenhouse effect.

    And you point is what? Without the incorrectly named “greenhouse effect” the surface of the earth would be unsuitable for human life. So four minutes into your video an obvious fact is pointed out. Energy from the sun comes through the atmosphere which contains greenhouse gases(of which the overwhelming majority is water vapor) and less energy is measured bouncing off the earth into space. No surprise there and again no evidence of anthropogenic CO2 forced catastrophic global warming(CAGW).

    3.) Six minutes in – ecological shifts, not models or calculations but living things behaving and even the seasonal phenomena such as the date of spring melting, etc .. “over 29,000 sets of physical and biological data 90% of which are trending consistent with global warming.”

    There was a re-branding of the Man-Made global warming movement. ‘Climate Change’ does not mean that humans have caused it. It simply means the climate as always…changes. Sometimes the climate becomes warmer in regions and sometimes the climate becomes colder in regions and sometimes the changes are so profound that a generalization can be made that the earth’s climate as a whole has become warmer or colder.

    There is enough actual data to conclude that since the ending of the little ice age the earth has become slightly warmer by about 0.6C-0.7C degrees. That is it. There is no evidence that the changes in global climate since the little ice age are due to humans.

    We could have 1 million sets of physical and biological data all stating that the earth is cooling or the earth is warming. Appending a statement to those sets of data “and we ‘believe’ this is due to anthropogenic forcings” without evidence means nothing. Evidence of warming is not evidence of anthropogenic warming.

    As I continue to state, you fail to present a single article of evidence showing that any warming measured on this earth is due to anthropogenic sources.

    Clearly we disagree on this issue – but I have tried and will keep trying to be polite and civilised about this intellectual disagreement and keep the debate reasonable and rational. I’m sorry you seem to have taken offence at something in my “tone” – may I ask what in particular about my earlier post has offended or disappointed you?

    83. Messier Tidy Upper Says:
    August 21st, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    @80. Paul in Sweden :

    Also please, Paul in Sweden, stop being rude and answer or admit that you can’t / won’t answer the questions I asked you back in comment # 31 above – & now repeated for your convenience below as well :

    Messier, when I go down the list I go down the list in order especially in the case where I have posted earlier so that I can follow up. Links posted by users are often very interesting and lead to tangents that I very much enjoy following through on my own. They take time. As I had not yet worked down to your post #21 where I noticed you had posted your reasons for conversion to a AGW proponent. I thought this would be interesting and would have very much liked to spend time understanding your reasons and spend some time to review the references you provided backing up your logic.

    Instead, you felt that what was important was for me to Jump to your demand for references in a post that I had not traveled down the thread to as of yet. And you repeated this demand. It seems you had a burr under your saddle.

    Messier, I take the comments in order. Once I reply to a thread I bookmark the thread so I can return to it for follow up as time allows. I skim all the comments each time I return to the thread for links that might stand out. There are still now quite a number of comments I have not gone through but because it was important to you I jumped to yours. I was however disappointed after your wind up that what you put forth as evidence was in fact a youtube video produced by a cartoonist that contained obvious facts but none regarding anthropogenic climate change. The items you felt were important I demonstrated above to you that they do not in fact present any evidence of anthropogenic climate change.

    Back to sea ice
    I stated in a reply that arctic ice has been recovering from a 30 year low and that antarctic ice has been growing and that when you add it all up there is very little variation in total sea ice. This is fact not conjecture as I referenced in comment #30.

    Here is an graph of global sea ice extent covering the satellite period 1979 to present:
    -http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

    and I later posted:

    Then there is the question of glaciers — “Of the 160,000 glaciers presently in existence, only 67,000 (42%) have been inventoried to any degree (Kieffer et al., 2000); and there are only a tad over 200 glaciers for which mass balance data exist for but a single year (Braithwaite and Zhang, 2000). When the length of record increases to five years, this number drops to 115; and if both winter and summer mass balances are required, the number drops to 79. Furthermore, if ten years of record is used as a cutoff, only 42 glaciers qualify. This lack of glacial data, in the words of Braithwaite and Zhang, highlights “one of the most important problems for mass-balance glaciology” and demonstrates the “sad fact that many glacierized regions of the world remain unsampled, or only poorly sampled,” suggesting that we really know very little about the true state of most of the world’s glaciers.”
    http://tinyurl.com/268ew8x

    Arctic sea ice fluctuating again as we have documented since the early days of wooden ship exploration and Antarctic sea ice increasing year after year bringing the net sea ice change near zero I see nothing more than our ever changing climate.

    During this interglacier period with the lack of available data on our glaciers and knowing that we have seen increases, decreases and the status quo with the observed subset of glaciers even a net negative glacier mass I cannot make the jump to conclude that changes are due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

    Messier, I will also make efforts to be civil and polite. Different perspectives open up a whole world of possibilities. There is only so much time in the day but I will also try to put more effort in so that you or anyone else who asks for a direct response does not feel that I am leaving them hanging. Now I think there are 40 or 50 comments on this thread I have not reviewed and there is the new Peterman glacier thread also. Don’t think I will have time until this evening.

  98. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Paul in Sweden :

    Messier, I will also make efforts to be civil and polite. Different perspectives open up a whole world of possibilities.

    Agreed. I think the ability to hear & debate a wide range of views is one of the great things about this blog. I do believe in listening to all sides of an issue and getting a good range of perspectives.

    There is only so much time in the day but I will also try to put more effort in so that you or anyone else who asks for a direct response does not feel that I am leaving them hanging. Now I think there are 40 or 50 comments on this thread I have not reviewed and there is the new Peterman glacier thread also. Don’t think I will have time until this evening.

    Fair enough. Time always seems to run short I know. I meant to come back & respond here earlier but instead got caught up on other newer threads. I think this one has now become a bit too old. I’m sure there’ll be more AGW threads here in due course.

    Instead, you felt that what was important was for me to Jump to your demand for references in a post that I had not traveled down the thread to as of yet. And you repeated this demand.

    Because I thought at the time – rightly or wrongly – that you were just deliberately ignoring me. I thought I had allowed a fair time for you to respond but clearly not. I’m glad that wasn’t the case. :-)

  99. @ 98. Paul in Sweden :

    As I continue to state, you fail to present a single article of evidence showing that any warming measured on this earth is due to anthropogenic sources.

    Click on my name* and it should take you to another site “Skeptical science” looking at a whole range of arguments on AGW and making a strong case for global warming being – at least to a significant extent – caused by humans. I do think, as I’ve said already, that there is an awful lot of evidence favouring that interpretation of the data.

    * I could’ve posted a few of the more relevant specific links here but chose to present the link this way so as to avoid a likely endless “awaiting moderation” delay here. I think its worth looking at that whole site too.

  100. Paul in Sweden

    @Messier
    I’m a familiar with John Cook and his “Skeptical science” website.

    The Reference Frame: John Cook: Skeptical Science
    “March 25th, 2010″
    Point by point by by Dr. Motl

    -http://tinyurl.com/26yb3sj

    “The New “Skeptical Science” Website: What is Going On Here?
    by John Droz Jr.
    August 13, 2010″
    -http://www.masterresource.org/2010/08/skeptical-science-website/

    “How John Cook unskeptically believes in a hotspot (that thermometers can’t find)”
    -http://tinyurl.com/2g5qtox

    Messier, I believe if you make the links inactive with a hyphen(like I often do) or with quotes your posts will bypass the moderation queue. I could be wrong though. :)

  101. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Paul in Sweden :

    Okay – thanks for the tip. :-)

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