New Record Low for Arctic Sea Ice, Plus More Sobering News About Western U.S. Snowpack

By Tom Yulsman | April 9, 2015 1:14 am
record low

Where Arctic sea ice typically has existed in the past at this time of year, open water is visible in the Fram Strait in this image acquired by NASA’s Terra satellite on April 3, 2015. The island of Svalbard is visible in the upper right corner. Greenland is out of the frame toward the lower left. (Source: NASA Worldview)

| See update below|

The extent of Arctic sea ice in March hit a record low for the month in the satellite era, according to the latest update from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Back on February 25, a record low winter ice extent was set.

SEE ALSO: It’s Now Official: Arctic Sea Ice Sets a New Winter Low

The satellite image above, acquired on April 3, shows dark open water in the Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland. At this time of year there is typically more sea ice here.

As for those lovely cloud formations, they’re called cloud streets, and they tend to form parallel to the direction of the winds.

record low

Source: NSIDC

Click on the thumbnail at left to see how the evolution of Arctic sea ice extent this year compares to what happened in 2012, when a record low minimum extent was reached. So far, 2015 is well below that year. But that doesn’t mean that a new record low minimum extent will be set this year. We’ll have to wait and see.

In fact, after Arctic sea ice began shrinking on Feb. 25 — considerably earlier than normal — it experienced a renewed period of growth for awhile during March, largely in the Bering Sea, Davis Strait and around Labrador. But that was not enough to offset the large-scale losses that had already occurred.

The culprit has been an unusual pattern of atmospheric circulation during the winter of 2014/2015 that allowed unusually warm air to spill across northern Eurasia, the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk, as well as Alaska and into the western part of the United States. Meanwhile, the same pattern was responsible for the brutal winter conditions that battered the eastern half of the United States this winter.

The warmth in the West has had a withering effect on snowpack in the Western United States, as the following map shows.

record low

The black dots indicate a rank of 1, corresponding to the lowest snow water equivalents in the SNOTEL record. (Source: Andrew Slater, NSIDC)

The map shows the rank of snow water equivalent measured on April 1 at sites across the western United States. All those black dots are indicative of record low snowpack. April 1 is typically about the time that snowpack in the mountains of the West peaks.

As the map makes clear, this year, there was not much of a peak.

SEE ALSO: North of Drought-Plagued California, Snowpack in the Cascades is at Record Lows Too

This could turn out to be a very interesting year — and I don’t mean that in a good way.

After sputtering and stuttering, El Niño finally has taken hold, and appears to be strengthening. If that continues, it could help to make 2015 quite warm, possibly the warmest on record. It might also help bring desperately needed moisture to California next winter, although that is a long way off and much can happen between now and then.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center should release it’s monthly update on El Niño in the next day or so. But already we know that above average sea surface temperatures have expanded into the eastern Pacific Ocean in the tropics during recent weeks — a hallmark of El Niño.

Time to fasten our seat belts: Possible weather and climatic turbulence ahead.

|Update 4/9/15: The CPC released its update this morning, upping the odds of El Niño continuing through Northern Hemisphere summer to 70 percent, from 50 to 60 percent. Currently, however, El Niño conditions are weak. The CPC also notes this:

…model forecast skill tends to be lower during the Northern Hemisphere spring, which limits the forecast probabilities of El Niño through the year. At this time, there is also considerable uncertainty as to how strong this event may become. |

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  • Timothy Chase

    The “see also” blue text “It’s Now Official: Arctic Sea Ice Sets a New Winter Low” is missing its hyperlink to:

    • Voodude

      …as of last month, the thickness of the ice is climbing…

      • Timothy Chase

        Citation? It actually wouldn’t surprise me if thickness increased when extent increased during the latter half of the month, but the extent didn’t reach the earlier maximum, and as such I doubt the thickness did, either.

      • Timothy Chase

        Voodude, I see that since my last comment you have edited your old comment to include some new charts to try to support your earlier comment. Alright. You had stated “…as of last month, the thickness of the ice is climbing…”

        Regarding the first chart…

        Do you know what the difference between thickness and volume is? Hint: thickness is measured in meters whereas volume is measured in cubic meters.

        Do you know what PIOMAS stands for? Hint: “M” stands for “model”. When it was stated that this year’s annual sea ice extent maximum is a record low, this was based on measurements. The numbers in those charts? They are coming from a model and currently we do not know how well the model is reflecting what is happening to the ice.

        But lets take the PIOMAS data at face value for the moment. Do you know what the difference between the light grey and the dark grey shading means? Hint: assuming a normal distribution, 32% of the time you should be outside of the dark grey and 5% of the time you should be outside of the light grey. The chart shows us as being just barely outside of the dark grey.

        The fact that we broke the record for lowest annual sea ice extent maxima and record for earliest sea ice extent maxima speaks to the current state of the ice. Now it is too early to tell where we will be when we reach this years sea ice extent minimum. There is a fair amount of natural variability, and day to day weather seems to be having a greater effect on the minima nowadays. But we shouldn’t be surprised if there is a regression to the trend, or for that matter, if minimum sea ice extent and sea ice volume actually shoot below the trend.

        Regarding the second chart…

        The chart itself is from PIOMAS modeling. However, the arrow pointing to “prediction” has been added, as has been the circle “reality”. But whose prediction? The chart shows how an exponential trend has an especially good fit, at least going up to the 2011 minimum. However, drawing an exponential trend based off of the data is not the same thing as making a prediction. Regarding the circle… I see that it’s center is just a little below 8,000 cubic km. Now this can’t be the current value since 90 days into this year PIOMAS had us pegged at 24,036 cubic km. And it can’t be the 2014 minima since PIOMAS gives us 6,812. So where is this volume that’s been labeled “reality” coming from?

        As for when we will first see a sea ice free Arctic, mainstream opinion among the experts has been that we will see our first sea ice free Arctic some time after 2030. Maslowski is a notable exception who, in 2009, based on a constant rate of volume of sea ice loss, argued that if current trends held we would see our first effectively sea-ice free Arctic in 2016, +/- 3 years, but he is an outlier.

        Please see for example:

        “Published projections, though with varying definitions of what constitutes ice-free, all project an ice-free Arctic ocean somewhere between 2037 (Wang and Overland, 2009) and the end of the century. Predictions of earlier ice-free dates so-far seem to be confined to conference presentations, media-coverage, the blogosphere, and testimony before to the UK parliament.”

        Arctic Sea Ice Volume: PIOMAS, Prediction, and the Perils of Extrapolation
        Axel Schweiger, Ron Lindsay, and Cecilia Bitz, 11 April 2012

        • Voodude

          “Regarding the circle… So where is this volume that’s been labeled “reality” coming from?”

          At the end of December, 2014, I modified that chart (which comes from AlGore’s prediction). I used a computer graphics program to “freehand” circle into the spot, where the chart I had at the moment– at the end of December, 2014 – the PIOMAS figure’s “anomaly” end was. That chart being translated from the Anomaly, to km^3, was October. No deception intended; no prediction or extrapolation – that is just a transfer of the end spot from the “real” October 2014 {just less than 8 km^3} PIOMAS chart to the faked, AlGore-prediction chart. The AlGore chart was taken from the URL indicated (truth-out[DOT]org) and had been slightly modified from the one found at http://www.campaigncc[DOT]org on 04Nov2012. The file was called, arctic_sea_ice_volume_freefall400%20.png

          The correct value should have been about 7 km^3, as it should have been the september minimum, not the october value.

          The green arrow is an “arm-waving” gesture of the upward trend, present in the last few years.

          If you can point me to the numerical PIOMAS data, instead of the graphic, I’ll be glad to calculate the RMS linear regression to calibrate that arm-waving. Post a URL.

          • Timothy Chase

            I wrote:

            Regarding the circle… So where is this volume that’s been labeled “reality” coming from?

            Voodude responded:

            At the end of December, 2014…

            The chart you are adding that circle to is of the “Annual Minimum Arctic Sea Ice Volume.” The title of the chart says so. You might as well be adding a March maximum. It is like arguing that global warming has ended because summer was really hot and now you are in the depths of winter.

            Voodude continued:

            I modified that chart (which comes from AlGore’s prediction).

            Al Gore generally doesn’t make predictions, not with respect to the climate, anyway. He isn’t a climate scientist.

            Voodude continued:

            … AlGore-prediction chart. The AlGore chart …


            Explaining why he added an arrow to a chart, Voodude continued:

            The green arrow is an “arm-waving” gesture of the upward trend, present in the last few years…

            You are basing your “upward trend” based on just three years of data. But surely if you cherry pick even shorter periods you should be able to show even higher positive trends — or extremely negative ones…

            Given the amount of natural variability in the system, what in statistics might be refered to as noise, someone who honestly wants to analyze what is happening to the trend in either sea ice extent or volume will pick a longer period. Probably in the neighborhood of at least ten years. This is what Maslowski did, and it seemed justified at the time, given the amount of natural variability we had seen in the system in previous years. However, as sea ice declines, the amount of natural variability in the system appears to be increasing. The system is becoming more sensitive to weather. As such ten years may not be enough to estimate the trend.

            However, as I indicated earlier, if we estimate the trend and natural variability based off of 1978 to present, we find that the current trend in modeled volume is just outside of one standard deviation from the mean, and assuming a normal distribution, it should be outside of one standard deviation 32% of the time. As such, given the performance of the model, it would seem there is little justification for claiming that its behavior has deviated from the long-term linear trend.

            Voodude continued:

            If you can point me to the numerical PIOMAS data, instead of the graphic, I’ll be glad to calculate the RMS linear regression to calibrate that arm-waving.

            If you fill out a form you can get the data for modeled sea ice volume here:


            However, if you use it in the way that you suggest, calculating a very short-term trend for a three year period, you will be doing so with far less justification than Maslowski’s 10-year trend when it wasn’t at all clear that the natural variability in system had greatly increased.

          • Voodude

            The alternative (to the short-term, arm-waving trend) is to Give in and join the woe-is-me “warmers” who say this is the end of the world and I won’t do that. A trend is, well, a trend… you can argue that it is “too short”. I’m not going to.

            There are some trends (example below) where an “optimistic” trend cannot be drawn… I admit that some data sets look real bad … but, when a favourable trend … however small, can be drawn, I will draw it. I expect you will say it is “cherry picking” – I don’t consider cherry picking to be applicable when the end of the data is current. If one picks a period, like, 1966-1968, both end-points “picked” … then, that is cherry picking. But specifying one point, as in, a temperature series, while the other point is “now” … that’s a bit different. What, then, are the alternatives? If the end-point is “now”, either I pick the starting point, or you do… somebody has to pick the starting point… So, then, what is the point in labelling a data series (that has the current point at one end) “Cherry Picking”? The current month is taken as the starting point –no cherry picking– and the root-mean-square, linear regression analysis is computed, going back in time, as far as possible, such that the trend is COOLING. The slope, as returned by the linear regression analysis, is negative. Some temperature time-series do not support any cooling at all. If the data supports the conclusion, then IT IS COOLING. You may argue about the length of the trend, as many are short; or about the statistical significance, because temperature series tend not to be significant, but if the data support the conclusion, IT IS COOLING. So, here is California, for which a favourable trend is mathematically impossible… and, a CARTOON ABOUT IT! … and look at all the cities/sites that are cooling

          • Timothy Chase
          • Timothy Chase

            Voodude writes:

            If the end-point is “now”, either I pick the starting point, or you do… somebody has to pick the starting point…

            Not really. If you are trying to estimate the a linear trend then you should insure that your analysis is relatively robust, independent of the starting point. That is the argument I made with respect to PIOMAS sea ice volume. If you construct a linear trend over a sufficiently long period and calculate two standard deviations from that trend, with the dark grey representing one standard deviation and the light grey being two standard deviations, for an apparent change in trend to be regarded as statistically significant it must lie outside of two standard deviations of the original trend.

            Looking at the chart you had used it the upward swing had placed us just outside of one standard deviation from the trend, and assuming a normal distribution this should happen 32% of the time. However, things have changed since the time that someone grabbed the chart from the PIOMAS website. The modeled volume anomaly rose to nearly 1.5X the standard deviation from the linear trendline.

            I have included the updated chart as my first chart below, but came from .

            Given a normal distribution, there would be only a 5% chance (or “p-value”) that at any given time the anomaly would be more than 2X the standard deviation from the trendline. This is what is normally regarded as statistically significant. If you haven’t reached “two-sigma” typically your evidence isn’t seriously considered evidence of anything. But at 1.5X the chances are 13%. However, even if it were to exceed 2X this wouldn’t necessarily mean that the trend has actually changed. After all, what happens 5% of the time will happen sometimes.

            However, if you are a bit more sophisticated than myself, you might try something called change point analysis.

            Using global average temperature anomaly as there example, Real Climate describes the method here:

            It is the proper statistical technique for subdividing a time series into sections with different linear trends. Rather than hand-picking some intervals to look at, like I did above, this algorithm objectively looks for times in the data where the trend changes in a significant way. It will scan through the data and try out every combination of years to check whether you can improve the fit with the data by putting change points there. The optimal solution found for the global temperature data is 3 change points, approximately in the years 1912, 1940 and 1970.

            … and they provide a link to a website that describes the method in greater detail.

            I have included the chart for change point analysis provided by Real Climate as my second chart below.

            There is another approach, one explored by a professional statistician who on the internet goes by the handle “Tamino”, one which seems particularly relevant to your nailing down the end of your range for calculating the trend with “now” but regarding the selection of starting point as arbitrary. (He presents it at .) What he asks is whether given a later starting point (some time after 1970) we are justified in rejecting the null hypothesis that the rate of warming has changed from what it was prior to that later starting point.

            He then states:

            Only if we can contradict that null hypothesis can we say there’s valid evidence of a slowdown.

            Then he calculates the p-value using as a starting point each year from 1990 to 2008 with the end point being the last complete year of 2014. Furthermore, performs the same analysis for GISS, NOAA, HadCRUT, Cowtan and Way, CRUTEM4, Berkely, UAH TLT and RSS TLT — just to show that his results are robust to the choice of temperature index. The result? For all indices there is no starting point between 1990 and 2008 that one may pick where a deviation in trend from the original linear trendline rises to the level of statistical significance.

            I have included the chart showing the results of Tamino’s calculations as the third chart below.

          • Voodude

            Did I give you any links to
            I don’t even click on “skepticalscience” links. Make your own point, and cite journal-published, peer reviewed scientific literature.

          • Mike Richardson

            I actually like that cartoon. :)

        • Voodude

          “you have edited your old comment”
          Nope. I didn’t edit the old comment. Disqus does not allow modification of graphics, once posted. Can’t delete a graphic, can’t add a graphic. One can delete the entire comment, but half the time, the old comment remains, but the “from” is changed to “guest” … Perhaps you just clicked on the “more” to see the graphic “below the fold”?

        • Voodude

          “Do you know what the difference between thickness and volume is? Hint: thickness is measured in meters whereas volume is measured in cubic meters.”
          Do you know that, if the extent is reduced (as the article claims) yet the volume is larger, that something changed? Hint: thickness must increase, if extent is reduced and volume is the same, or larger.

          • Timothy Chase

            Voodude wrote, “thickness must increase, if extent is reduced and volume is the same, or larger.”

            You can’t get thickness by dividing volume by extent.

            First, while average thickness is volume divided by area, sea ice extent isn’t the same thing as sea ice area. Sea ice extent is the sum of the area of cells above a certain concentration threshold where concentration is measured in terms of area covered for each cell. In this context, cells are non-overlapping rectangular regions of the same uniform dimensions which jointly cover a given area. With the NSIDC the cells are 25 km by 25 km. The concentration threshold is 15%. In fact, it is possible for extent to to decrease while area increases if the concentration in what cells are included in extent increases.

            Please see:


            Second, the chart for modeled volume anomaly is just that: anomaly, not volume. It is deviation from the average, the average volume minus the current volume. A further complication is that climatologists will not necessarily use in their calculations the average over an entire period but the average for the same month over the entire period, comparing the current January with the average January. This removes the “annual cycle” so that it is easier to see the trend. In the case of the PIOMAS modeled volume anomaly it looks like they haven’t tried to remove the annual cycle, but I honestly don’t know.

        • Voodude

          “Do you know what PIOMAS stands for? Hint: “M” stands for “model”.” I hate models. Can you post any other metric for volume of Arctic sea-ice, updated monthly? PIOMAS postings are the only game in town, as far as I know. Go ahead, post something better than PIOMAS.

          • Timothy Chase

            Voodude wrote:

            Can you post any other metric for volume of Arctic sea-ice, updated monthly?

            I don’t know of any monthly volume data that exists as an alternative to the modeled results of PIOMAS, but you could try looking up CryoSat-2…

            Open Access: Laxon, Seymour W., et al. “CryoSat‐2 estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume.” Geophysical Research Letters 40.4 (2013): 732-737.

            It is measuring both volume and thickness. They go into PIOMAS in some depth, comparing their radar altimetry results against its results. According the CryoSat-2, an early version of PIOMAS’ algorithm appears to have overestimated the ice loss in some areas. PIOMAS has since modified its algorithm, showing less ice loss.

            However, even assuming CryoSat-2 is estimating monthly thickness and volume, the data can’t go back any earlier than April of 2010. The satellite was launched on the 10th of that month. IceSat (2003-9) focused on ice sheets, and does not appear to have been sensitive enough for sea ice. IceBridge (2009-16) is limited by coverage due to the altitude from which measurements are taken.

          • Voodude

            Cryosat reports that Arctic sea-ice is thickerer.


          • Timothy Chase

            I stated earlier:

            It actually wouldn’t surprise me if thickness increased when extent increased during the latter half of the month [of March – which according to the above article saw the earliest a lowest winter maximum extent in the instrumental record]…

            The same would hold for a few years at least for winter sea ice thickness. Days or years do little to affect the long term trend.

            “We’ve already found that, although Arctic sea ice set a record this year for its lowest ever winter extent, it was about 25 cm thicker, on average, than in 2013, when CryoSat recorded its lowest winter volume,” explained CPOM researcher Rachel Tilling.

            Fast Access to CryoSat’s Arctic Ice Measurements Now Available


            This brings up two points. First, 2015 saw the lowest ever winter extent. This being the case, there would have been less of the thin first year ice than in other years. If so, the ice that would have been left would likely have been the thicker multi year ice, bringing up the average thickness.

            Second, record low volume (and thickness) were set back in 2013.

            For thickness, please see:

            The thinnest winter ice it has ever seen was in 2013. This February, in contrast, the Arctic floes were about 25cm (17%) thicker on average.

            The long-term trend is, however, still downwards, the Cryosat team cautions.

            ‘3D Cryosat’ tracks Arctic winter sea ice

            By Jonathan Amos (BBC), 17 April 2015


            In a quasistationary world we speak of regression toward the mean. In a nonstationary world it is appropriate to speak of regression toward the trend. It is not at all surprising that one or two years after a new record minima we might see ice increase in thickness or volume, particularly if a great deal of fresh water is being dumped into the ocean by Greenland, resulting in the slowing of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Fresh water has a higher melting point than saltier water. Additionally, more fresh water means greater ocean stratification, reducing heat exchange with the warmer water below.

            Greenland has been losing a great deal of mass within the past decade.

            Please see:

            NOAA Arctic Reportcard: Greenland Ice Sheet


            … the source of the first image below.

            As for the slowdown in the AMOC, attributed to both Arctic sea ice melt and and fresh was drainage from Greenland, please see:

            Because the AMOC is driven by density gradients related to deep-water formation in the high-latitude North Atlantic, a weakening of the AMOC could be caused by a regional reduction in surface ocean density. Ref. 29 describes an ongoing freshening trend in the northern Atlantic in which the net freshwater storage increased by 19,000km3 between 1961 and 1995, and the rapid AMOC drop in 1970 was preceded by a large-scale freshening known as the Great Salinity Anomaly.

            Additional sources of freshwater addition are increasing river discharge into the Arctic Ocean32 and meltwater and iceberg discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). Because surface flow is directed northward and freshwater tends to remain near the surface owing to its low density, it is difficult to remove freshwater from the northern Atlantic, so an accumulation over longer timescales is plausible….

            Perhaps as a consequence of the cooling in the Greenland region starting in 1970, the GIS subsequently was closer to mass balance for three decades until AD ∼2000(ref.33). Since then the GIS has started to lose mass again at a rapidly increasing rate, consistent with the surface warming of the region which has been attributed to a recovery of the AMOC based on model simulations initialized with observations38.

            Paywalled: Rahmstorf, Stefan, et al. “Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation.” Nature Climate Change (2015).


            … which is the source of the second image below.

            For something more informal, please see:

            Atlantic Circulation Weakens Compared with Last Thousand Years

            By John Upton, 24 March 2015


            But winter or spring sea ice thickness or extent aren’t what we are most concerned with here. People typically focus on the Arctic sea ice extent, area and volume minima set in the fall. But climatologically the minima isn’t what is most important. In terms of the amplifying positive feedback, what matters most is the reduction in sea ice area while the sun is still high in the sky, during the summer. As such, a seasonally sea ice free Arctic in itself isn’t as grave a concern as it is sometimes made out to be, but the more sea ice is reduced during the high sun of the Arctic summer, the more it will tend to amplify the warming due to our carbon emissions.

          • Voodude

            “…if a great deal of fresh water is being dumped into the ocean by Greenland… Fresh water has a higher melting point than saltier water. …”

            NSIDC: “…the change in saltiness is too small to significantly affect the freezing temperature…”


          • Timothy Chase

            Voodude, in the very same paragraph devoted to sea ice growth in Antarctica, they specifically state:

            While the change in saltiness is too small to significantly affect the freezing temperature, the increase in slightly less dense water surrounding Antarctica inhibits mixing, creating conditions that favor ice growth (as we discussed in our July 17 post).

            This point that “slightly less dense water… inhibits mixing” is something I cite in the sentence that comes immediately after the sentence from my comment you chose to respond to.

            Please see:

            Fresh water has a higher melting point than saltier water. Additionally, more fresh water means greater ocean stratification, reducing heat exchange with the warmer water below.

            It is also worth keeping in mind that the article you chose to quote from is speaking of Antarctica, not the Arctic. Now it may be the case that the higher freezing temperature of fresh water coming off of Greenland does not play a significant role. But even if we assume it is, fresher water is less dense water and will therefore lead to greater ocean stratification, reducing the transfer of heat from the warmer, saltier water below, favoring the creation of more ice. This is a point both I and the article you cite make.

            Furthermore, ocean stratification weakens the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, reducing the transfer of heat from the lower latitudes. This will also tend to result in more ice formation. As such melting of Greenland’s glaciers and ice sheet will tend to promote sea ice formation. And as such, it is not that surprising that we had more sea ice in 2015 than in the 2013 record low sea ice volume and thickness maximums. (References in the comment Voodude was responding to.)

    • Timothy Chase
  • OWilson

    Two world visions.

    The liberal view – day after day, month after months the Arctic ice is melting. Irreversible, accelerating, past the point of no return.

    The real world view – We still can’t replicate Amundsen’s wooden sailboat trip of 100 years ago,

    And the BBC/Gore prediction that the Arctic ice would be gone by 2015. … well! LOL

    The Northwest Passage is still frozen solid! And will be through the summer.

    How can that be?

    • Neil Blanchard

      What are you talking about? The northwest passage has been open several years now.

      • OWilson

        That’s the same idiotic reasoning that saw the ill fated cruise ship full of true believers get stuck in the Antarctic, and took the navies of three nations to rescue them.
        That was quite a carbon footprint. All done with fossil fuels, of course.

        • Neil Blanchard

          Straw man.

          • OWilson

            Nah, it actually happened.

            There’s even a name for that sort of thing now.

            “The Gore Effect”.


          • Neil Blanchard

            Still a straw man argument.

            Northwest passage is often open. They are planning an extreme yacht race through it.

            You sir/madam are a science denier.

          • OWilson

            Another cheap, “ship of fools” stunt. Well, so far they have a web site. Lol

            ” Climate change has made this sailing race possible”, they say.

            Not yet, it hasn’t.

            Let us know when they come out the other side. Lol

            Or even when they get their first stupid entrant to pony up $2,500.000.00.(total estimated crew cost)

            Remember P.T Barnum? He was right!

            And don’t forget the guy who said, “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

            “According to the organizers, one purpose of the race is to raise awareness of issues facing a melting Arctic. They’re also raising money — according to the STAR website, all teams that wish to race must pay a $50,000 entrance fee, and will need to purchase a specific boat that costs between $800,000 and $1 million”

          • Neil Blanchard

            So, you are wrong about the Arctic ice and the northwest passage. And climate change is happening here and now – we humans are causing it, this time.

          • OWilson

            Feel free to believe what you want to believe. It will take more than “belief” to open the Northwest passage by 2017 for a sail boat race.

            The publicity stunt may impress low info voters, I grant you.

          • Neil Blanchard

            One doesn’t “believe” in science. Look up the data – the northwest passage has been open several years recently.

          • OWilson

            We know that!

            Flash! some guy sailed through on a wooden boat over a hundred years ago. Lol

            We are talking about last summer and this summer, as I recall.

          • Neil Blanchard

            Yes, but that is the only time we know about. And it is not for a lack of trying. A little earlier there was a ship that tried, and it remained frozen in the for almost 3 years.

            Now it is happening fairly regularly, and will likely happen every year in the near future.

            Anthropogenic climate change is happening here and now. As science tells us.

          • OWilson

            “will likely”

            There you go again, devining the future. Need a licence for that? Or just an E-bay crystal ball.

            I can see why Mike gave you the thumbs up.
            He’s thinks he is good at fortune telling too.

            But, we live in THIS world, and the forecasts from the warmistas have unilaterally failed!


          • Neil Blanchard

            The trend is strongly going for less and less ice. That much is clear. But the exact time is not knowable.

            That’s what “likely” means.

          • OWilson

            That’s why only idiotic liberal warmistas would plan such a costly date certain event as a 2017 STAR ARCTIC RACE on such a flimsy weather forecast.


            On a more serious note, we can only hope that the money wasted on such foolishness will come out of their own naive pockets, and not be subsidized in someway by the taxpayer through their liberal politicians.

          • Neil Blanchard

            It’s those liberal facts intruding on your fantasy world again?

            Here’s a clue for you: weather and climate are quite different. The long term trends are climate, and the specific day-to-day events are weather.

            When you conflate weather predictions with climate trends, you reveal your lack of understanding.

          • Mike Richardson

            I gave him the thumbs up because he’s been stating simple fact, and remaining much more respectful than you have been of him, which I can entirely relate to. It get’s pretty difficult at times. “Warmistas?” Really? Be good, Wilson.

    • deebles

      On the contrary, many people have sailed the route since:

      Generally without spending a couple of years iced in, as Amundsen had to, or having to traverse routes only 3 feet deep.

      • OWilson

        But not today, after all your “rapid” and “irreversible” Global Warming, then Climate Change melting. (Or last summer either)


        • Mike Richardson

          So ice still freezes in winter. Spring’s just arrived, and there’s a good chance of an open Northwest Passage this summer. Is this where you’ve moved the goal post now? Will you accept there’s warming only when the passage is open every summer? Or both summer and winter? When all the ice is completely gone? The article you linked to pointed out that this March’s average ice cover was a record setting low. And that’s not a liberal interpretation, it’s fact based on the satellite data you’ve kept pointing to. Good day to you, sir. :)

          • OWilson

            I will accept the warming, when any of the multiple failed predictions below, actually occur in real life.

            (I’ll just add your own, ” there’s a good chance of an open Northwest Passage this summer” to the following, LOL).

            New Scientist, 1960
            “open year round before the end of the twentieth century”.

            AP, May 1972
            “a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice free Arctic Ocean by the year 2,000”

            BBC News, 2007
            “Arctic summers ice-free by 2013”

            John Kerry, 2009
            “Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.”

            Olav Orheim, Head of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat, 2007

            “is placing his money on this summer. Noting that its ice sheet had reached a historical low of 3m sq. km last summer – it covered around 7.5m sq. km as recently as 2000 – Orheim told Xinhua that “if Norway’s average temperature this year equals that (again) in 2007, the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away.”

            and, of course, no doomsday scenarios would be complete without our old pal Al:

            Timesonline, 2009

            ” Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years”


          • Mike Richardson

            Really? You’re dredging up predictions made 40 or 50 years ago, and statements from politicians, who aren’t typically the most scientifically literate folks in either party? But if you want to play guilt by association with Al Gore and John Kerry, I guess I could always post the near daily idiocy of Ted Cruz, James Inhofe, and numerous other Republicans who’ve demonstrated their own scientific ignorance, despite being placed in positions to influence science policy in America. Or why stop there — you’re conservative, so why not just generalize the way you do about liberals, and hold you accountable for the lunatic ravings of Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, or Michael Savage (Weiner). I could, but I won’t stoop to that level. You’ve provided no hard data to refute the well-established fact that the planet’s average temperature has risen due to the effects of greenhouse gases, and argue even as those effects become more apparent in the arctic and in the American West. You keep referring to a “scam,” but the only one being scammed is you, Wilson, by your own ideologically imposed blindness. You certainly aren’t winning over anyone here, but perhaps it’s therapeutic for you to vent. I hope you’re at least getting that from your posts. Good health to you, Wilson.

          • OWilson

            This gets a little weird with you warmers.

            I only post facts (from NSIDC, NASA) and statements actually made by your own side of the debate (politicians, and U.N. Officials who are leaders of your Global Warming brave new world order) and you reject them out of hand.

            These are not MY statements, opinions or data, but from YOUR side of the debate.

            Doesn’t that tell you something?

            You even make my point that predictions by warmers are invalid “40 or 50” years out.

            Weird stuff man! :)

            (By the way, since you insist on bringing up psychological issues, your passive/aggressive attitude on display here, could be the subject of a whole textbook on psychology!)


        • deebles

          Are you serious? It’s March – the annual peak in ice levels. The ice-free conditions we’ve been seeing at the trough point (the other end of the year) in recent years are unprecedented in the record. Please see this article for more information:

          • OWilson

            I have some advice for you.

            Stick to photos of sad polar bear cubs. Your low info voters ate that up. I still see the pictures in classrooms.

            That worked for your far more than your feeble attempts at cherry picked science.


          • deebles

            OK, I’ll spell it out to you in words you can understand.

            Winter is cold. Summer is warm. When it’s cold you get more ice.

            But a winter can be less cold than the last, or a summer more warm, and if this goes on, it becomes a trend, and it leads to less ice as the years pass. Which is what we see both in March (when there’s the most ice, at the end of the cold period and September (when there’s the least ice As the years pass, we see less and less ice.

            And the only person I’ve seen cherrypicking in this discussion is you – as in cherrypicking the most pessimistic worst case scenario predictions ever made, while missing the elephant in the room, which is that the overall prediction of less ice per year has held up very well indeed.

          • Voodude

            You’ve no idea what goes on up there.

            First off, there is (naturally) so much heat in the deep (saline) arctic waters, all the time, that, if it were to surface, would show the same amount of detriment to the sea ice. In fact, that is how it happened.

            Shimada, Koji, et al. “Halocline structure in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean.” Geophysical Research Letters 32.3 (2005).


          • Voodude

            A cyclonic storm devastated the ice in August 2012:

            ”A new record low Arctic sea ice extent for the satellite era, 3.4 × 10^6 km2, was reached on 13 September 2012; and a new record low sea ice area, 3.0 × 10^6 km2, was reached on the same date. Preconditioning, through decades of overall ice reductions, made the ice pack more vulnerable to a strong storm that entered the central Arctic in early August 2012. The storm caused the separation of an expanse of 0.4 × 10^6 km2 of ice, that melted in total, while its removal left the main pack more exposed to wind and waves, facilitating the main pack’s further decay. Future summer storms could lead to a further acceleration of the decline in the Arctic sea ice cover and should be carefully monitored.”

            Parkinson, Claire L., and Josefino C. Comiso. “On the 2012 record low Arctic sea ice cover: Combined impact of preconditioning and an August storm.” Geophysical Research Letters 40.7 (2013): 1356-1361.

          • Voodude

            Highly linked to cyclonic storms and oceanic cycles…

            “Strong relationships are revealed between the September sea ice changes and the number of cyclones in the preceding late spring and early summer.”

            Screen, James A., Ian Simmonds, and Kevin Keay. “Dramatic interannual changes of perennial Arctic sea ice linked to abnormal summer storm activity.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 116.D15 (2011).


          • Voodude

            Oct 2009: “… more energetic cyclones will exert greater mechanical forcing on the ice, with the potential during this month of minimum extent and thickness to disperse ice (moving some into warmer waters)…”

            “… The analysis reveals that the trends and variability in September ice coverage and mean cyclone characteristics are related, and that the strength (rather than the number) of cyclones in the Arctic basin is playing a central role in the changes observed in that region, especially in the last few years.”

            “…also apparent in cyclone behavior and atmospheric circulation [e.g., Serreze et al., 2000; X. Zhang et al., 2004, 2008; Simmonds et al., 2008], and precipitation and river runoff. … This investigation explores the extent to which changes in Arctic cyclonic activity are associated with these striking September trends over the last 30 years (1979–2008) and in the very recent past.”

            “Cyclones play a central role in the interaction between the surface and atmosphere and are a key component in the climate mix in the Arctic basin. Studies have shown strong relations between cyclone behavior and Arctic sea ice [Murray and Simmonds, 1995; Sorteberg and Kvingedal, 2006]…”

            Simmonds, Ian, and Kevin Keay. “Extraordinary September Arctic sea ice reductions and their relationships with storm behavior over 1979–2008.” Geophysical Research Letters 36.19 (2009).


          • Voodude

            In September, 2009, mechanical fracture affected Arctic sea ice.
            “… Long waves can propagate deep into the pack ice, thereby causing flexural swell and failure of the sea ice. This process shifts the floe size diameter distribution smaller, increases floe surface area…”
            “…flexural fracture event which occurred in the Beaufort Sea region on 6 September 2009 affected
            [about] 40,000 km^2.”
            Asplin, Matthew G., et al. “Implications of fractured Arctic perennial ice cover on thermodynamic and dynamic sea ice processes.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119.4 (2014): 2327-2343.


          • Voodude

            Busted up ice exposes more ice to the wave action, which busts up more ice.

          • Voodude

            A cyclonic storm devastated the ice in August 2012:

            “On 2 August 2012, a dramatic storm formed over Siberia, moved into the Arctic, and died in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on 14 August. During its lifetime, its central pressure dropped to 966 hPa, leading it to be dubbed ‘The Great Arctic Cyclone of August 2012‘. The pressure of the storm was the lowest of all Arctic August storms over our record starting in 1979, and the system was also the most extreme when a combination of key cyclone properties was considered. Records show that SIE dropped rapidly between August 4 and August 8…”

            Rudeva, Irina, and Ian Simmonds. “Great Arctic Cyclone of August 2012 and associated sea ice anomaly.” EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts. Vol. 15. 2013.


          • Voodude

            Cyclones stir up the warmer, saline layer, plus, they bust up the ice (and the ice is exported beyond the Arctic, as icebergs)

          • Voodude

            advected … exported … icebergs

          • Voodude

            Jan 2014: “Covariability between sea ice and Atlantic multidecadal variability as represented by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index is evident during the instrumental record, including an abrupt change at the onset of the early twentieth century warming. Similar covariability through previous centuries is evident from comparison of the longest historical sea ice records and paleoproxy reconstructions of sea ice and the AMO. This observational evidence supports recent modeling studies that have suggested that Arctic sea ice is intrinsically linked to Atlantic multidecadal variability.”

            Miles, Martin W., et al. “A signal of persistent Atlantic multidecadal variability in Arctic sea ice.” Geophysical Research Letters 41.2 (2014): 463-469.


          • OWilson

            You left out the legend on the charts, ya know, the one for the September chart htat says “Average loss of ice13.7% per decade since 1979”, and your latest one for March that says “Average loss of ice 2.6% per decade since 1979”

            Really? in only six months? We went from 13.7% loss per decade to only 2.6%? per decade sine 1979?

            What happened?

            And, of course, the last time I checked, we had TWO poles.

            Junk science for low info voters and we are on to
            their game.


          • deebles

            “Really? in only six months? We went from 13.7% loss per decade to only 2.6%? per decade sine 1979?”

            Now I think you might be just trolling me.

            Look at what those percentages mean in absolute terms, and it’s a net loss of about 2 million square km at the peak portion of the year (out of 16 million square km) vs a net loss of 3 million square km (out of 8 million square km) at the trough portion of the year. The two are slightly divergent, but the key difference is that they have very different denominators.

          • OWilson

            Oh I see, you have an explanation!
            But in the real world, the Arctic has not lost ice cover in the last 10 years?
            How do you finagle that?
            Lol (Should be interesting).

          • deebles

            “But in the real world, the Arctic has not lost ice cover in the last 10 years!”

            Sorry, what? I suggest you look back at those two graphs I posted again. The Greenland data is also worth a look, incidentally – see mass data here:

          • OWilson

            When you stop squirming and dissembling to Greenland, we can get to that later, Lol

            But for this discussion: Let us know from this NSIDC link how much Arctic ice cover has been lost from THIS day, 10 years ago, to THIS day today:


          • deebles

            You can’t see the loss by date from that graph because it doesn’t spell out exact dates, only trends over a year, although surely you can see as I can that the average anomaly is greater in 2014-15 than 2004-05.

            You can, however, get the exact figures by date from the NSIDC’s charctic tool, and here, certainly you can see that for this specific day, 2015 is indeed tied with 2005 for extent. But there’s a lot of noise in the way of variability by specific days; look at the overall lines for 2014 and 2015 and compare them with 2004 and 2005, and you’ll see which tend to be lower.

          • OWilson

            So no change in Arctic ice cover in the exact last 10 years, according to NSIDC.

            And of course, Global sea ice is above the mean for the satellite record, according to the same NSIDC.

            Thank you.

          • deebles

            You’re being massively selective in favour of data to prove your initial position, picking high points on a very variable distribution, while ignoring the average trend of said distribution. Take global sea ice area – only in recent years, e.g. 2006-2007, or 2011-2013, has it dropped well below the average line that it normally hovers around Or take the downwards trend shown in arctic sea ice data, year on year. Or any of the land ice data that you’ve been completely ignoring. (All linked previously).

            The only reason you’d want to take single day snapshots to look at as your major data source would be to deliberately skew the results.

            Anyway, I’m off and away for the next few weeks, and am done with this chat. But please look at the data with an open mind – it should be used to enlighten, not support.

          • OWilson

            I posted the entire series record, 1979 to 2015

            Global ice is above the average (mean) over the ENTIRE period.


            You are arguing (squirming) about 2006-2007 and 2011-2013. which show Global ice below the average (mean) for those years.

            A non starter!

            (and cherry picking at it’s most blatant!) Lol

          • deebles

            “Global ice is above the average (mean) over the ENTIRE period.”

            If you mean by that what I think you mean, you’re talking about a statistical impossibility. Ice cannot be above the mean for a period over all of said period.

          • OWilson

            Let me re-phrase it to make it clearer for you.

            Global ice is presently above the mean for the period 1979 to 2015, which consists of the entire satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC)

          • deebles

            “And, of course, the last time I checked, we had TWO poles.”

            I was wondering when this bit of whatabouterry would make it into this discussion on the NW Passage… but hey, I’ll indulge you.

            Most ice in the Arctic is either in the form of sea ice or Greenland’s ice cap, both of which are shrinking. The vast majority in the Antarctic is land ice. And that’s showing a clear downwards trend over time.

          • OWilson

            Please stick to accepted scientific organization data, say NASA, or NSIDC.

            It shouldn’t be THAT hard to find, what with “97% of your scientists saying that the science is settled”
            (and try and find something that is at least up to date?)
            (and STOP picking your nose!)

          • deebles

            NSIDC don’t track this, but here’s NASA’s data:

            And they should be able to tell us even more after their next icesat mission launches in 2017.

          • OWilson

            Again with the scam.

            2009 data?

            Go sell it to your low info pals!

          • deebles

            Using more up to date data really doesn’t help your case:
            And “low info”?  I’ve been putting all the information into this debate of ours, while you make spurious claim after spurious claim, simply making new ones up each time I show you that the data doesn’t support the statements you’re making.  How about you bring some info to this chat?

          • Voodude

            “When it’s cold you get more ice.”

            It isn’t that simple. The cold, fresher water lies above the warmer, but saltier water below. Even if it is colder in air temperature, a disturbance to the layering of waters can cause ice to melt more rapidly. Conversely, a warmer air temperature, with intact layering, can isolate the warmer waters below, and cause ice increase, even though the air temperature is relatively warmer.

            ”heat from the [warm and salty Atlantic water] might rise to the surface, where even a few watts per meter squared can melt substantial amounts of ice [Maykut and Untersteiner, 1971].”


            Steele, Michael, and Timothy Boyd. “Retreat of the cold halocline layer in the Arctic Ocean.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans (1978–2012) 103.C5 (1998): 10419-10435.

            ”Isolated from drifting ice by a fresh and cold surface layer, the intermediate [warm and salty Atlantic water] carries vast quantities of heat. … Released into the upper ocean, this heat has the potential to melt substantial quantities of Arctic ice.”

            ”Enhanced transport of warmer air from lower latitudes (Serreze et al. 1997) leads to increased arctic surface air temperature (SAT; Martin et al. 1997; Rigor et al. 2000) associated with decreased arctic sea level pressure (SLP), increased polar atmospheric cyclonicity (Walsh et al. 1996), and storminess (Zhang et al. 2004). Concurrent with these atmospheric changes are reductions in arctic ice extent (Johannessen et al. 1995; Maslanik et al. 1996; Cavalieri et al 2003; Vinje 2001) and a decrease of ice thickness (Rothrock et al. 1999; Tucker et al. 2001).”

            ”Both observations (Woodgate et al. 2001) and modeling (Karcher et al. 2003) indicate a highly variable nature of the [warm and salty Atlantic water] flow, with abrupt cooling/warming events that complicate the investigation of long-term variability in the [warm and salty Atlantic water].”

            Polyakov, I. V., et al.. “Variability of the intermediate Atlantic water of the Arctic Ocean over the last 100 years.” Journal of Climate 17.23 (2004): 4485-4497.


          • Voodude

            “When it’s cold you get more ice.” … ” and if this goes on, it becomes a trend, …” Lots of cooling trends, documented in the Arctic. When it is colder (documented below) … do we get more ice?

          • deebles

            Those graphs aren’t even trying to produce trend lines, they’re just cherry picking peaks and drawing lines from them.

            On the other hand, there’s this:

          • Voodude

            The graphing software at data.giss dot gov doesn’t produce a trend. The graphing software at NCDC.NOAA dot gov does.

            For the GISS data, I have calculated the RMS Linear Regression Analysis, and I assure you, the statements of cooling are correct. I don’t consider cherry picking to be applicable when the end of the data is current. If one picks a period, like, 1966-1968, both end-points “picked” … then, that is cherry picking. But specifying one point, as in, a temperature series, while the other point is “now” … that’s a bit different. What, then, are the alternatives? If the end-point is “now”, either I pick the starting point, or you do… somebody has to pick the starting point… So, then, what is the point in labelling a data series (that has the current point at one end) “Cherry Picking”? The current month is taken as the starting point –no cherry picking– and the root-mean-square, linear regression analysis is computed, going back in time, as far as possible, such that the trend is COOLING. The slope, as returned by the linear regression analysis, is negative. However small, if it is negative, it is cooling. Some temperature time-series do not support any cooling at all. If the data supports the conclusion, then IT IS COOLING. You may argue about the length of the trend, as many are short; or about the statistical significance, because temperature series tend not to be significant, but if the data support the conclusion, IT IS COOLING. Like this one, California – no cooling trend there (statewide). There are cities, or sites, that are cooling…

          • Voodude

            deebles, you could communicate better, by telling us what is in the URL that you are offering us, to click. I live out in the country, and I have a sloooooow internet. I don’t click on things (most of the time) so whatever point you are trying to make it is lost. So, tell us some tantalizing detail of what is in that URL and give us a reason to click it….

          • Voodude

            I did click on that, and I see a 65-year COOLING trend, at -0.07 …

          • deebles

            Your confirmation bias is lying to you if that’s what you take away from the graph.

            If you choose to measure from a peak, of course you’ll skew the data.

            And if you look beyond 2000, you can see that the current trend in arctic temperatures continues upwards:

          • Voodude

            Pick a temperature time-series chart, and I’ll send you the data, complete with the RMS Linear Regression Analysis… and, I’ll show you how to do it yourself, using easy web sites….

          • Voodude

            “Stick to photos of sad polar bear cubs”

    • DavidK

      What does ‘liberal’ have to do with anything. Facts are facts, whether you’re a fascist, communist or even US republican [laughing stock of the world]. It’s not a political issue. Its a scientific one. Is smoking causing cancer a political issue? Oh yes, I forgot. In the US, you don’t have democracy, your corporates run your government, and damn the truth if it doesn’t make them money.

      • Voodude

        Science is not above politics

      • OWilson

        In the U.S. the Corporations answer to the public.

        In the U.S. the public answers to the government!

        • DavidK

          Your corporates own your Govt. They buy your senators, fund your presidential campaigns, and set govt policy by way of their lobbies and tame senators. And they fund misinformation campaigns to dupe your public, who tend to be very unaware of the wider world anyway.

          • OWilson

            Can’t really disagree with you there!

            They’ve been relatively successful selling the Global Warming scam to low info voters.

          • Mike Richardson

            They’ve been relatively successful selling the anti-Global Warming scam to low info conservative voters.
            FIFY :)

          • OWilson

            Not at all, all scientists agree with your side.

            Haven’t you heard?

            The science is settled. Lol

  • Shannon

    It astonishes me how things are getting worse and worse yet very few people actually do anything about it. Our leaders spend too much time worrying about where to get more resources when we have already depleted the others, and too little time trying to fix the damage we’ve already done.

    • Voodude

      “…yet very few people actually do anything about it”

    • Voodude

      Gallup took a poll … “Global Warming” = dead last.

      • Voodude

        The majority of Americans don’t think Mannkind is responsible. For those that think Mannkind is responsible, the above surveys show that it isn’t a high priority … in fact, of the choices offered, it comes in dead last.

        • Voodude

          When it comes to “the environment” … less and less, over time.

          • Mike Richardson

            And this pleases you? Sad. Really sad.

          • OWilson

            Don’t you guys realize that by running around crying wolf, and the “sky is falling”, every day, you youselves create complacency, amongst those with real jobs. (not government make work jobs)
            Ah, liberal schools and low info voters!
            A lot to be said for home schooling.

          • Mike Richardson

            Most of us federal workers put a great deal of ourselves into our work, and believe in serving the public as something that aligns with our values and gives us a sense of fulfilment. Your comment, on the other hand, is the kind of over-generalization that really reflects a low info kind of post. Try to be a little more thoughtful, Wilson. Your posts reflect poorly on you, and that could easily be rectified by thinking a little more before typing. Good evening, sir.

          • OWilson

            In reality government (as in the IRS) blame the GOP for not providing the money (10 million) needed to bring the Department into line with my small company that archives all of it’s email, at low cost.

            While at the same time giving $90,000,000.00 in bonus’s.

            You and your “government” are just an expensive joke, that perpetuates the VA, State Department, Justice Department, IRS, Secret Service scandals.
            And excuses the incompetence!

          • Mike Richardson

            Well, I guess it would have been too much to expect an apology for yet another over-generalization slurring an entire group of folks for the bad behavior of a well-publicized few. What if I were to say that all businessmen are crooks, and that you got what you deserved? That, too, would be a stupid overgeneralization, which is why I avoid such sweeping statements. I’m sorry if you had trouble with the IRS (which I don’t work for by the way), but that agency too has hardworking and conscientious employees, trying to deal with the system as it currently exists — which is a hodge-podge of regulations passed by members of both parties over the years, judicial rulings, and executive actions. Most of us do approach our work hoping to be as helpful to the tax-paying public as we can. So try to be a little more selective with your ire. It doesn’t make for a good argument when you sweep up a whole group based on your bad personal experience with a few, or the well-publicized accounts of outrageous malfeasance in certain cases, when you hardly ever see the press reporting on the vast majority of public servants who never abuse the public trust. No hard feelings, but try to be a little more considerate, selective, and well-informed in the future. Be well, Wilson.

          • OWilson

            You have no problem stereotyping corporations as “corrupt”, but in actual fact they are more responsive and accountable to the consumer, than is government.
            What used to be our “civil servants” are now our lords and masters, deciding what we can eat, drink, say, earn, keep, treat our illnesses, teach our children, and now even breathe.
            Already they are salivating at the prospect of “regulating” the internet, so that voices of dissent can be further silenced.
            What you naïve liberal folks never understand, is that while you are cheering a government that does what YOU want it to do, you are also giving them the ultimate power at some other time, to do exactly the opposite.
            A future Lois Lerner could just as easily target blacks. Hispanics, gays, and yes, Global Warmistas.

          • OWilson

            Today, the Tea Party.
            Yesterday, gays, blacks and Hispanics.
            All the same to totalitarians.

          • Mike Richardson

            Alright, now this is just outlandish. Comments like this are the ones that have people either wondering if you’re pulling a Colbert or losing your grip on sanity. You’re seriously comparing the “plight” of poor conservatives, Republicans, and Tea Party folks with what the groups you listed went through in the past, and to some extent, even today? I might have missed it in the news, but when did 6 million conservatives face genocide? Republicans today face lynching, rampant discrimination, laws forbidding them from mixing with other folks or even voting? Economic exploitation and laws specifically targeting them as a group? Getting hassled by the IRS is wrong, but it doesn’t put you anywhere near the category of the groups you aspire to join in victimhood. And if you think there’s totalitarianism in the present United States, you’ve lost all sense of perspective. If you want to be taken seriously, Wilson, you’ve got to drop this ridiculous hyperbole. You can make some good points, but posts like this really hurt your credibility. Try to look at some of the things you say from a more objective view, and you’ll see what I mean. I hope you think of that the next time you post. Anyway, good evening to you.

          • OWilson

            I’m just saying that discrimination of any sort should not be allowed to stand.

            That includes your politicians.

            Obama, -“We won”, and about the GOP joining Democratic efforts for reform: “They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”

            He exhorted Latinos to “punish their enemies”, and that includes half the country that don’t agree with his policies.

            That’s the talk of a street organizer, not the leader of a country.

            Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.

            Reid: Tea Party Republicans Are “Anarchists” Taking The Country Hostage.

          • Mike Richardson

            Nope, you’re the king of stereotypes and broad overgeneralizations, as I pointed out and tried to talk you out of in my last post. Not surprisingly, a futile gesture. I’ve never stereotyped all corporations as corrupt, but you have no problem lumping me and all other government workers in with your “lords and masters” comment. A shame you can’t see people as individuals, rather than stereotypes to rail against. Try to do better, please.

    • Voodude

      The United Nations took a poll. “Action on Climate Change” = dead last

  • Richard

    I don’t think people quite understand the kind of deep hole that
    we are digging ourselves into. That or we just don’t care. Our priorities are so far off where they need to be it’s a joke. Here we are trying to get the most money, they nicest cars and the biggest houses when in the big picture, all of that won’t matter, even in the smallest way, if we kill ourselves off like we are currently doing. As Shannon and Voodude pointed out, our leaders, the few people that could have the biggest impact on fixing this situation, have placed probably the biggest problem we face today lowest on their list of priorities when it will probably kill us off faster than any of the other “issues” that they place so much value on. You have got to question our logic. You would think that the smartest life-forms on this planet should have the intelligence to make this world better than it has ever been, instead we are all so wound up in our own lives that last just a fraction of time in history to even think about the consequences of our actions. The Earth is an amazing thing, every single thing that is required for life has been provided by Earth and it’s is time to start respecting it rather than destroying it. Without this amazing planet we occupy we would not be able to live. Without humans the Earth would still live on and as things are going, a lot better without us. 15063896

    • OWilson

      Gee, wouldn’t it be great to live in that beautiful world without humans. lol

      Trouble is we have deal with reality. Which is that the Earth does not “provide” us with the necessities of survival. Life forms have struggled to survive a molten earth, a snowball earth, massive volcanism, catastrophic sea level rise as new oceans form and retreat.

      Most of the species that have ever existed struggled on this planet have been wiped out. There is no “Mother Nature’.

      You can hug a tree all you want, but you have a good chance of being killed by flood, earthquake, volcano, tornado, drought, landslide, avalanche, asteroid, bad genes, deadly disease, or even one of your fuzzy warm polar bears. Life is always a struggle.

      Unfortunately, this spoiled and protected Iphone Kardashian generation, who think food comes from the family fridge, have never been in touch with real life, and figure there’s an app for climate, or should be.

      They enjoy homes with piped water, electricity, cable, natural gas, oil, petroleum for their cars, cellular phones all which require land for dams, pipelines, transmission corridors etc., but are stupidly and selfishly against these things in principle for others.

      To build a major dam, pipeline or Interstate highway system would be virtually impossible today. The spirit and the energy that built America is now derided by more than half the population.

      Once a population collectively forget the sacrifices that were made by their forebears to give them freedom and prosperity, well, just look at history!

      • Richard

        The Earth provides us with a means to live, albeit a difficult one. Humans have managed to overcome these difficulties through, as you pointed out, our ancestors, to create a very comfortable style of living. There is nothing wrong with living comfortably, i mean who wouldn’t choose comfort over struggle, the problem with the way humans live comes down to the fact that we are greedy. We don’t stop at just living comfortably, we constantly want more and when we get what we want, we just work towards getting the next thing. It is this greed that has caused us to keep taking and taking from this Earth and before we realize it, there wont be anything more to take. 15063896

        • OWilson

          The problem with you would be do gooders, is that you project your own selfish attitudes, guilt, onto others, and then come up with a cure that you would force on them.

          You would even steal their own hard earned money to finance it, and when that runs out, you’ll just borrow more in their name. That’s used to be criminal

          In the old days, Al Capone ran the drugs, gambling, liquor, loan sharking, numbers and prostitution rackets.

          Today it’s your government who rakes in the profits.

          (Your Jimmy Carter even had to change the law when he was reminded that charging over 10% interest was against a law designed to control loan sharking – he had rates up to 18%) Lol

          You work for them, so naturally you are protected for life, and if you are found out to be lying for them you’ll be well rewarded and may even get a promotion once the collective memory of the low info voter has passed (currently about 6 months, if the Hillary obscenity is anything to go by).


          • Richard

            All the money in the world, no matter how powerful money is, can’t fix these kinds of problems. We can pour money into fixing these problems but unless humans change our ways of living money wont change anything, which just simply isn’t going to happen. I’m not trying to sit here blaming everyone else while trying to steal their money, I am also a human after all. I’m not trying to change the world, humans live selfish lives, that is just how we work and that wont change. I’m just simply pointing out that we could have done something better with our existence other than allowing our greed to kill ourselves off faster than any species has done before. I am not worried about the Earth in any way, if we go the Earth will return to the natural beauty it once was in no time at all. Us as humans should be worried about the fact that we have set ourselves on a path of self destruction. We aren’t killing the Earth, we are killing ourselves. 15063896



ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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