Reflections on the Arctic sea ice minimum: Part II

Judith Curry

Pursuant to Part I, i ask the following questions:

  • Whence an ‘ice free’ Arctic?
  • Does an ‘ice free’ Arctic matter?

Whence an ‘ice free’ Arctic?

‘Ice free’ is put in quotes, because ‘ice free’ as commonly used doesn’t mean free of ice, as in zero ice.  The usual definition of ‘ice free’ Arctic is ice extent below 1 M sq km (current minimum extent is around 3.5 M sq km).    This definition is used because it is very difficult to melt the thick ice around the Canadian Archipelago.  And the issue of ‘ice free’ in the 21st century is pretty much a non issue if your require this thick ice to disappear.

The sea ice minimums in 2007 and 2012 have triggered numerous predictions of an ice free Arctic. Following the 2007 minimum, Jay Zwalley of NASA predicted ice free by 2012.

There have been numerous recent articles based on interviews with sea ice and climate scientists, that include predictions of when we can expect an ice free Arctic:

The most alarming prediction was from Paul Beckwith, who made a prediction on Aug 10 that there would be zero ice in the Arctic Ocean by the end of September.

Peter Wadhams is predicting ice-free by 2015, as are several others.  Many experts are predicting ice free within a decade or by 2020.  Andy Revkin at Dotearth poses an interesting question: do you agree with the statement that there is a 50-50 chance of ice free in the next two decades?  The respondents seem to think that is about right, cautioning that natural variability is a wild card.

What do the climate models have to say?  Wang and Overland’s analysis of CMIP5 simulations find ice free by the 2030’s for the culled selection of ensemble members.

For the next two decades, natural variability will trump any direct effects from AGW by a long shot.  This statement from Levina and Lenton  makes sense:

However, all early warning indicators show destabilization of the summer-autumn sea-ice since 2007. This suggests the new low ice cover state may be a transient feature and further abrupt changes in summer-autumn Arctic sea-ice cover could lie ahead; either reversion to the normal state or a yet larger ice loss.

The issue is whether the ice is now sufficiently thin that it would be difficult to reverse the decline.    Growing and diminishing the sea ice pack are not symmetric processes:  ice export that contributes to diminishing the sea ice pack does not have a reverse counterpart; at best you stop the export and stop the decrease.

So the question then becomes what processes could contribute to a recovery of the Arctic sea ice on the time scale of two decades?

Recovery (?)

Here are some processes that would  contribute to a recovery:

  • Reduction of the sea ice export through the Fram Strait
  • Reduction of warm water inflow from the Atlantic and Pacific
  • Fewer clouds in winter and/or more clouds in summer
  • Less snow fall on ice in autumn and more in spring
  • No rainfall on snow covered ice before mid June
  • Fewer storms in summer causing  ice breakup and more storms in autumn/early winter causing ice ridging/rafting

These processes depend on both random weather patterns and the teleconnection climate regimes.   Can I predict how this might go over the next two decades?  Heck no, other than that I suspect that the cool phase of the PDO will persist and at some point probably within two decades we will switch to the cool phase of the AMO.

And then there are the known unknowns:  what solar radiation will do (looks like cooling), volcanoes are always a wild card, and then there are the less known unknowns such as cosmic ray effects, magnetic field effects, etc.  And in terms of climate shifts, there may be something happening on much longer time scales (e.g. AMOC) that could influence the next climate regime shift.  Focusing on CO2 as the dominant influence on the time scale of two decades seems very misguided to me.

Does ‘ice free’ matter?

I will leave the issue of ecological and socioeconomic and political implications for another post.  Here, lets discuss the implication for the global and regional climate.

The first issue to debunk is that an ‘ice free’ Arctic is some sort of ‘tipping point.’  A number of recent studies find that in models, the loss of summer sea ice cover is highly reversible.

The impact of September sea ice loss on the ice albedo feedback mechanism is interesting.  The minimum sea ice occurs during a period when the sun is at low elevation, so the direct ice albedo effect isn’t all that large.   Less sea ice in autumn means more snowfall on the continents, which can have a larger impact on on albedo.

The impacts of the freeze-thaw over the annual cycle influences ocean circulations.  But sea ice would continue to freeze and thaw on an annual cycle.

Clouds would change, atmospheric circulation patterns would change.  The net effect on climate outside the Arctic Ocean would be what?   More snow during winter on the continents is the most obvious expected change.  But we really don’t know.

There would likely be regional triggers that could feedback onto larger scale regime shifts.  Would any of these patterns or extreme events fall outside the envelope of what we have seen over the past century?  Hard to know.

Would melting sea ice trigger some sort of clathrate methane release into the atmosphere?  Well in terms of thawing permafrost, it seems like more snow fall on the continents would inhibit permafrost thawing.  Same for the stability of the Greenland ice cap.

These are all qualitative speculations, but I am not seeing a big rationale for climate catastrophe if the see ice melts?  I would be interested in other speculations on this.  Like I said, I will discuss ecosystem, socioeconomic, national security impacts in a future post.

480 responses to “Reflections on the Arctic sea ice minimum: Part II

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Short-term forecasts are problematic due to decadal-scale variability (as Judith notes).

    Long-term forecasts are pretty clear, eh?   :shock:   :oops:   :shock:

    Should we rationally care about the future, past the horizon of (for example) our own retirement & death?

    Neodenialist economics asserts “It is irrational to care”, eh? Which is dumb, eh?   :shock:   :oops:   :shock:

    That is why the Pope (and others) say “It is good and wise to care about the future”, eh?   :smile:   :grin:   :lol:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      To be plainly clear, econonomic neodenialism — as advocated here on Climate Etc by posters like Peter Lang, Latimer Alder, and Tomas Milanovic — is morally wrong because of evil harms done to children by short-sighted future discounting associated to economic neodenialism.

      That is plainly evident, eh?   :shock:   :oops:   :shock:

      • 1. “To be plainly clear, econonomic neodenialism is morally wrong.” – A fan

        2. “For the next two decades, natural variability will trump any direct effects from AGW by a long shot.” – Professor Curry (above)

        3. “This suggests the new low ice cover state may be a transient feature and further abrupt changes in summer-autumn Arctic sea-ice cover could lie ahead; either reversion to the normal state or a yet larger ice loss.” – Levina and Lenton http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.5445

        4. “. . . we make a statement that we are living not at the end of history, but at the beginning of history; that we believe in freedom and not regimentation; in progress and not stasis; in love rather than hate; in life rather than death; in hope rather than despair.” – Dr. Robert Zurbin

        http://tinyurl.com/c6ucp7u

        Conclusion: We need not be led by fear mongers. We were “. . . endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . . Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness . . . to secure these rights Governments are instituted . . . whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it . . .” – USA Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

        http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

      • If the fear mongering doesn’t stop, some of us are prepared “to alter or abolish” the government that cannot govern because it is addicted to fear mongering like a carpenter who sees every problem as another nail.

        Data from the US General Accounting Office shows real problems:

      • @ A Fan of John Sidles

        What the f..k? is ‘economic neodenialism’?

        If I am advocating it (and I tend not to discuss economics on this forum) an it is so terrible, at least do me the courtesy of letting me know what awful sins I am supposedly committing. And once you’ve done that a few links to places where I have supposedly advocated it would be instructive.

        If you cannot or will not do this, I think that others – like me – will conclude that there is a great deal of BS in your posts.

      • fan,

        Any time someone starts talking about “the children” in the manner you do, one can almost assuredly conclude that the speaker has little interest in children.

        It is perhpas one of the most bankrupt, yet most frequently used arguments for people trying to push an agenda that has nothing to do with children.

    • There is no such thing as “neodenialist economics”. Doing a web search on the term only finds a couple of comments like this one. No other use. So you are, ahem, making “stuff” up. Oh, and I’m an economist, so know a bit about economics. There’s no such “term of art” either.

      Perhaps you are using “humpty dumpty words” that mean whatever you want them to mean?… Makes it easy to fabricate straw men out of nothing…

      • You are right, E.M.Smith, “humpty dumpty words,” i.e., “gobblydegook” are used to obscure the force, reality, truth, God (FRTG) inside the giant “sphere of influence” of the Sun’s pulsar core.

        The radius (r) of the “sphere of influence” that AGW believers and other consensus scientists want to ignore is r ~ 18 x 10^9 km

        http://tinyurl.com/c5tbesm

        This video by a biologist and physicist may better communicate reality.

        Living inside that giant “sphere of influence”, we are either

        a.) Humbly connected to FRTG, or
        b.) Arrogantly living in a false illusion of control.

        - Oliver

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1075

    • Spartacusisfree

      According to the DMI,. Arctic ice has just started growing: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

      Notice the early August fall? It was the intense storms breaking and piling up the ice. These were caused by the high temperature difference across the Arctic, mainly a weak El Nino giving a warm N. Pacific near Siberia yet cold in other parts of the Arctic.

      Now the future: anyone who believes the ‘GHG blanket’ needs serious remedial physics. At its core is the claim that the Earth emits IR as if it were an isolated black body in a vacuum. They add to net IR UP [the difference between the UP and DOWN Poynting vectors, what you measure with a radiometer], the DOWN Poynting vector leaving just the UP vector, most of which cannot do thermodynamic work.

      This breaches Poynting’s Theorem and with other errors exaggerates lower atmosphere IR warming by 5x, in turn exaggerating evaporation so the positive feedback is an artefact. You get the real GHE from correct radiation physics, which is that thermal IR from the lower atmosphere blocks surface IR emission in GHG band centres, reducing total emissivity. Surface temperature rises to maintain the necessary heat flux.

      So, there can be no CO2-AGW and the GHE is fixed for a given tsi by water vapour >~2000 ppmV. Climate is controlled primarily by solar effects. The unusual Arctic weather is a symptom of the northern jet stream shifting south as the World cools. So far the warmth in the Pacific has hidden things but that will only last a while.

      Abdussamatov thinks that by 2020, the Arctic will be as cold as in 1900 and I suspect he’s right. This is why I have warned UK authorities that they will need inshore ice breakers from that date to keep some ports open. Those living in Canada and the northern Great Plains must prepare for the bitter cold to come; it’ll last 50 years at least!

      • “According to the DMI,. Arctic ice has just started growing: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

        Yes, by the middle of winter, it should be nicely iced up.

        “You get the real GHE from correct radiation physics, which is that thermal IR from the lower atmosphere blocks surface IR emission in GHG band centres, reducing total emissivity. “

        Read this part closely: “thermal IR from the lower atmosphere blocks surface IR emission”

        Are you that fookin stoopid? Radiation of one form can’t reduce radiation of another form. Photons are indistinguishable particles that can’t interact (coherent radiation nothwithstanding). It’s not like I can place a protective shield of radiation aura around my body and expect to repel incoming photons.

        Honestly, who can read this garbage?

      • @web hub colonos…….

        I just checked your graph. And I see that back in mid-March the Arctic ice extent was just about the biggest that had ever been recorded.

        How can this be? If AGW means the seas are getting consistently warmer, how come there was *more * ice late last winter than in the previous ten years? Either it ain’t getting warmer, or the AGW isn’t the only thing that causes ice to melt (or refreeze).

        Please explain.

      • Spartacusisfree

        Read Kirchhoff and he tells you why his Radiation Law appliesin a particular wavelength interval. Radiative equilibrium means IR from the second emitter modifies the emissivity/absorptivity of the first. When temperatures are equal and there are no other forms of heat transfer, effective emissivities fall to zero otherwise no radiative equilibrium.

        You see, the trouble with amateurs is they fail to realise the S-B equation gives the radiation Poynting vector and net radiative flux at any point in space is the vector sum of all those vectors arriving at it.

        So, at the Earth’s surface the GHG band specific IR from the lower atmosphere forms a lower vector sum with the same band IR from the surface, reducing its emissivity in those bands. There’s a bit of subtle physics to this in that the effect is amplified for self-absorbing GHGs.

        The overall reduction in surface emissivity and coupled convection causes most of the GHE. The rest is the residual 23 W/m^2 IR, mainly water side-bands not in self-absorption.

        If you don’t believe me, hard luck. I helped build the first non-contact pyrometers to measure temperatures of non grey body materials. Climate science has got this part of the science horribly wrong out of ignorance. Indeed, most science teaching fails to point out that radiation and convection are coupled so no analytical solution to such problems.

        As for the engineers, they aren’t taught it any more because it’s built into the software so they don’t understand the principles. The Trenberth Energy budget is so childish as to be embarrassing

      • Spartacusisfree

        PS, your problem is that you like most people are fixated on photons. You must go to Planck to understand he only used it as a throwaway idea to solve problems; later it solved the ‘Ultraviolet Catastrophe’.

        Photons aren’t real. They’re a sort of soliton in a radiation field. It’s the latter which interferes destructively. Part of that process is to modify the four rate equations you need for every IR wavelength interval to give the net rate of conversion of kinetic to EM energy.

        This is difficult physics and I know good physicists who think of a photon gas bouncing off filled quantum states. Planck dumped photons because he hated that conceptual mess….

        To mix up net energy flux and a Poynting vector, even though Meterologists are taught that’s a real energy flux, is very bad. There should be a label on every Pyrgeometer: ‘Virtual energy in a vacuum’.

      • No, I am fixated on science.

        Quantum mechanics of indistinguishable particles, photons, establishes the density of states within a black box volume. That’s what determines the Planck distribution.

        You are just a fukin shthead, Spartacusisfree.

      • Spartacusisfree

        So, you looked something up to make yourself appear clever but appear not to understanding practical heat transfer, plus having a foul mouth when someone refuses to accept your ill-educated diktat

        Climate science uses a trick to make it appear that the Earth emits 6.2 times as much IR as reality, According to the 2009 Energy Budget, 40% of the incident SW energy is emitted as IR, and that seems high.

        Have you EVER thought why the proportion of the heat radiated from a surface in an atmosphere is much less than the S-B equation predicts? And have you EVER thought why you get radiative equilibrium?

        GHGs reduce the Earth’s surface emissivity in their wavelength interval because that emitted radiation by definition [Poynting's theorem] offsets surface emission. There is also coupled convection and evaporation from the same activated sites.

        A good example is the UHI which, by reducing convection, increases temperature therefore the proportion of the incoming SW energy that is lost by radiation. The GHE is the temperature increase needed to overcome higher thermal impedance plus some atmospheric warming.

        By shifting a higher proportion of the IR towards the atmospheric window, less is absorbed in the atmosphere and that has to be primarily water vapour side-bands. No discipline can get away with a perpetual motion machine, not even Hansenkoism……

      • Spartacusisfree,

        I will keep on calling you a fookin shtferbrainz until you explain how the radiation measuring instruments that you claim to have invented are able to interpret and transform the signals into quantities that we can relate to.

        Is there an algorithm buried in the instrument? Is that algorithm protected as intellectual property? If not, provide a reference that explains the algorithm quite clearly. Give credit to Mosh for this line of reasoning. It tends to shut up the poseurs quickly.

        Besides, you ain’t talking to a noob, and I have done EMI clutter analysis and can derive the Rayleigh distribution either via vector summation of randomly directed signals or by applications of maximum entropy to the energy distribution. This all comes from basic statistical mechanics, which seems to be a foreign language to you.

      • Spartacusisfree

        Two colour pyrometers use IR filters to isolate emission bands of the target [in our case hot, oxidised aluminium]. You fit these via an experimental look up table to deduce real temperature.

        Net UP IR in any wavelength interval from the Earth’s surface in radiative and convective equilibrium with the atmosphere is the vector sum of UP and DOWN fluxes in the opposing emission spectra. The former is grey body, the latter far from it. There’s strong interference of H2O with CO2.

        The neat twist is IR self-absorption, for CO2 nearly complete by ~200 ppmV, water vapour ~1800 ppmV. UP IR turns it off because non thermally activated GHG molecules near the surface that absorb UP photons can’t absorb DOWN photons. So DOWN signal rises near the surface, a major emissivity increase sharply reducing UP band emission.

        This is a powerful control system. There can be no CO2-AGW because very little of its IR can be emitted from the surface. Most GHE is set by the first ~1800 ppmV water vapour, restricting atmospheric GHE to non self-absorbing water side-bands, the 23 W/m^2 absorbed in the atmosphere. The 40 W/m^2 atmospheric window emission is enhanced by increased surface temperature.

        A rider to this is that TOA reduction of CO2 IR is self-absorbed thermal emission from dry, cold upper air so no proof of CO2-AGW.

        If you think I’m wrong,. please tell me so I can correct it, But I do have a good track in solving complex science and someone had to ridicule the stupid IPCC ‘consensus’ and put forward the real explanation….;o)

      • Ok, the next step is for you to go to

        http://forecast.Chicago.edu/models.html

        Run the online modtran model with your premise in mind and disprove the results for a given set of parameters. Unless you do this, you are a lazy SOB and a supreme blowhard with no interest in advancing science.

        Pretty darn simple really, but the clowns know they can’t pass the test without getting embarrassied.

      • Spartacusisfree

        I have answered your questions and still have the abuse. I suggest you reflect on your own character first. it is not a nice one. Get some help.

        As for MODTRAN, it can’t do what I want so I am developing my own theory. It’s quite simple. The upper limit of emissivity is linear. The problem is identical to some in spectroscopy – line inversion.

      • “I have answered your questions and still have the abuse. I suggest you reflect on your own character first. it is not a nice one. Get some help”

        It is truly ironic that a commenter named after SPARTACUS !!! turns out to be a cry-baby.

        “As for MODTRAN, it can’t do what I want so I am developing my own theory. It’s quite simple. The upper limit of emissivity is linear. The problem is identical to some in spectroscopy – line inversion.”

        Jeez, I have two spectral analysis models named after me, and they have been running for years on a respectable research lab’s web-site much like MODTRAN has been. So I suggest what you do is get your act together, lay out your theory and algorithm and then present it to David Archer at the U. of Chicago. He can take a look at it and consider giving it to one of his grad students to code up. If Archer doesn’t want to have anything to do with it, then maybe you can set up a web-site yourself, and host an online SPARTACUS! spectroscopic tool.

        It’s not hard to do. I am setting one up myself using an Amazon Cloud EC2 server. As long as you only run a single instance, it is free. I made the mistake of having a couple of extra instances running and spent $40 extra a month as a learning experience.

      • Science ignorant plus climate modeling result fanatic. You have been on LSD for too long on government funds.

      • peterdavies252

        When I was visiting the UK in June this year, the jet stream moving southwards was the cause of wet and cloudy summer season there, according to weather experts.

        I sincerely hope that Addussamatov turns out to be wrong because a colder world will spell disaster for the NH grain growing centres in the US, Canada, and northern Europe and food shortages that will follow.

        In any case, the AGW hypothesis will have been well and truly falsified by then but it will be cold comfort to the sceptics and their descendants, not to mention everyone else as well.

      • I wouldn’t worry about Addussamatov being right. Here he is getting the Arctic Sea ice completely wrong:

        “Consequently, we should expect not the catastrophic melting of ice, but, on the contrary, the gradual growth of ice caps at the poles. It has already begun: the area of ice cover in the Arctic in September 2008 (4.52 mln. km2), in spite of all forecasts, rose by 390 thousand km2 above that of a year ago (when it was 4.13 mln. km2) and in the subsequent four months it grew substantially further (Fig. 6). ”

        http://www.gao.spb.ru/english/astrometr/abduss_nkj_2009.pdf

  2. An ice free (or almost ice free) Arctic seems to be hardly news.
    Less Ice In Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 Years Ago

    Did it have terrible impacts? Hmm, maybe:
    First dairying in green Saharan Africa in the fifth millennium bc

    • That was toward the end of the Holocene Thermal Maximum, itself the drawn-out response to peak orbital (Milankovitch) forcing and associated feedbacks that terminated the last glacial 11.5ka. It has nothing to do with modern Arctic melt, which appears to be largely if not entirely down to human activity. No meaningful parallels with present climate can be drawn.

      If you don’t know anything about paleoclimate, don’t rummage about in it looking for ‘support’ or you’ll end up looking daft, as here.

      • Nonsense. If you’re going to blame humans today, you should at least be consistent and blame them for the past climate changes. I propose it was human activity that led to the Holocene Climate Optimum, and the later gradual cooling.

        The Holocene warming was related to the over-hunting and extinction of the mega-fauna. During the age of the mega-fauna, vast expanses of land were artificially maintained as open parkland by the ruminants and other grazers. This would have the affect of increasing the earth’s albedo, and keeping the climate cooler. When these animals were hunted to extinction, we saw an ecosystem collapse. This caused closed forests to expand over the savannahs and prairies. Forests have very low albedo, and promote climatic warming.

        The subsequent cooling trend was related to the human destruction of these closed forests. Humans learned to use fire, and soon set fire to vast expanses of land. The Native Americans are especially noted for their use of fire to create artificial savannah and parkland, which is why many of the old-growth forests were dominated by fire-proof species. This deforestation lowered the earth’s albedo enough to enable temperatures to begin falling. This was the case even despite the flux of carbon dioxide from the burning biomass. The increased CO2 moderated the climate change, preventing full-scale glaciation, but nevertheless was insufficient to prevent some cooling (until the Industrial Revolution, of course).

      • Jim

        Why are you spouting bollocks?

      • It’s FUD, that’s what it is. FUD feeds the uncertainty monster.

      • FUD feeds CAGW and AGW + Webby and family (may be or may not be).

      • BBD
        which appears to be largely if not entirely down to human activity

        Very curious. I thought this was the thesis to be demonstrated, not the point where we start.

        But then, Judith’s question was: Does ‘ice free’ matter? And you seem to think it matters depending on the cause. I would say if you don’t know anything about reasoning, you better listen to the adults. This way, we won’t notice.

      • plazeme

        I would say if you don’t know anything about reasoning, you better listen to the adults. This way, we won’t notice.

        Perhaps it is childish to reason that an ice-free Arctic ocean in the summer is *not* going to have significant effects on the NH climate.

        Such effects would affect the NH mid-latitudes, where much of the global food supply is cultivated. Agriculture is adapted to >6ka of climate *with* a summer Arctic ice cap.

        Perhaps it is childish to cling to the very small probability that the net effect on agricultural productivity will be positive.

        Perhaps reference to the HTM is a childishly transparent misdirection, since what matters here is the effect on large-scale temperate latitude agriculture which did not exist >6ka.

      • BBD:

        Where did I say it is *not* going to have significant effects on the NH climate? As far as I know I showed a possible significant effect. And, the fact that it is a good one does not imply there cannot be some bad ones. You didn’t address your faulty logic problem, but you add one. Be my guest.

      • plazaeme

        You didn’t address your faulty logic problem, but you add one. Be my guest.

        There was no faulty logic problem. That’s just you struggling for a counter-argument and failing to find one.

        The problem here was addressed:

        Perhaps reference to the HTM is a childishly transparent misdirection, since what matters here is the effect on large-scale temperate latitude agriculture which did not exist >6ka.

      • ‘Dave Springer’

        If I cared what you thought I would ask your opinion. You can take it that since I have not done so, I don’t give a stuff what you think. Let’s make this the last gratuitously offensive comment from you shall we? It lowers the tone unnecessarily.

      • David Springer

        FYI – my first reponse was deleted in seconds. Curry must be sitting on the deletion stick as we speak.

      • I doubt it, she is far too busy, may be there is an undergrad who is keen to help out. And anyway your fault not talking the icebergs.

      • My comment just disappeared too. Maybe they’re lost in the spam filter.

      • @BBD

        Wow, simply wow.

        Did you turn off your self-awareness meter? Or were you never fitted with one?

        For you – who within a few interactions started throwing around accusations of dishonesty – to complain of another’s ‘gratuitous offensiveness’ takes the biscuit.

        Pots and kettles, mon brave….pots and kettles.

      • LA

        You didn’t read the references and pretended that you had. That is dishonest. Remember next time: I will notice.

      • @BBD

        I’ll leave your remark as a testament to your attitude to this blog.

        And like the Climategate e-mails it is so much more authentic when it comes from your own hand.

        Toodle pip, my little ray of sunshine and bonhomie. A bientot!

      • BBD
        “If you don’t know anything about paleoclimate, don’t rummage about in it looking for ‘support’ or you’ll end up looking daft, as here.”
        Hardly rummaging: incisive, imaginative response to Curry’s remarks.
        Loon in the mirror for ‘daft.’

    • You really need to look up the definition of “news”.

      Are we seeing a greening of the Sahara? news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/07/090731-green-sahara.html (actual news) reports this is undisputably so, except where it’s uncertain. Extent of desert is expanding in some places, extent of greening and species migration toward greener spots is also seen, too. If the Sahara ever did green as a result of AGW on the scale of the Arctic response (over longer than a couple of decades), then we’d see impacts unlike anything else on the world Economy since the dawn of Industrialization. An explosion of agriculture and population in Africa that followed the Arctic Sea Ice extent rate would be staggering. At the same time we’d likely see effects as well on transmission of disease as new vectors teleconnect currently isolated regions.

      The odds remain low that this is the case. Likelier, green transients will collapse or continue to shift and drift without much permanent impact. It’s why desert nomads have been nomadic.

      • Bart R. Apart from being pure speculation what you bring, you misunderstood me. Read again:

        Did it have terrible impacts? Hmm, maybe

        And don’t imagine irony if you are not sure. It seems to have had impacts. Whether terrible or not, we don’t know.

        It’s why desert nomads have been nomadic. Yea, great. Were they more nomadic than other humans six thousand years ago?

      • plazaeme | September 17, 2012 at 11:59 am |

        If I misunderstood what you’re saying, it appears that makes both of us.

        Nothing in what you yodaspoke added to the understanding of the issue. The dairying article from Nature asserted a green Sahara that need have been no more green than it is today for its thesis or its evidence to be true. That lack of parsimony calls into question the balance of its Scientific approach, though its main conclusions might be valid.

        And what is this obsession with prehistoric things? Do you wish you were a caveman? Do you long nostalgically for a simpler era?

        Nasty, brutish and short: not what we need more of.

      • Bart R:

        The dairying article from Nature asserted a green Sahara that need have been no more green than it is today for its thesis or its evidence to be true.

        I thought we were talking about something widely known. As easy as Wikipedia:


        The Neolithic Subpluvial — sometimes called the Holocene Wet Phase — was an extended period (from about 7500-7000 BCE to about 3500-3000 BCE) of wet and rainy conditions in the climatehistory of northern Africa. It was both preceded and followed by much drier periods.

        The Neolithic Subpluvial began during the 7th millennium BC and was strong for about 2,000 years; it waned over time and ended after the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900 BCE). Then the drier conditions that prevailed prior to the Neolithic Subpluvial returned; desertification advanced, and the Sahara desert formed (or re-formed). Arid conditions have continued through to the present day.

        North Africa enjoyed a fertile climate during the subpluvial era; what is now the Sahara supported a savanna type of ecosystem, with elephant,giraffe, and other grassland and woodland animals now typical of the Sahel region south of the desert, along with some now extinct megafauna such as Sivatherium and Pelorovis. Historian and Africanist Roland Oliver has described the scene as follows:

        In the highlands of the central Sahara beyond the Libyan desert,… in the great massifs of the Tibesti and the Hoggar, the mountaintops, today bare rock, were covered at this period with forests of oak and walnut, lime, alder and elm. The lower slopes, together with those of the supporting bastions — the Tassili and the Acacus to the north, Ennedi and Air to the south — carried olive,juniper and Aleppo pine. In the valleys, perennially flowing rivers teemed with fish and were bordered by seed-bearing grasslands

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Sahara#Date_ranges

        And what is this obsession with prehistoric things? Do you wish you were a caveman? Do you long nostalgically for a simpler era?

        If you were not obsessed in biting something, you would have understand:

        1) Did it have terrible impacts?
        2) I showed one possible impact. Possible, due to the same conditions with Arcitc ice, if it does matter.
        3) Of course, it doesn’t exclude other impacts.

        It’s just a curiosity to remember. But you are running around, mad for hunting, and you don’t see what you have in front of your eyes.

      • plazaeme | September 18, 2012 at 11:13 am |

        Short version: you believe in a benefit of something some are doing for their own benefit to everyone else without their consent.

        I don’t recall the election where everyone on the planet elected you to decide whether the possible benefit of a possibly greener Sahara was worth the probable cost of the probable droughts and floods, extreme snows and shifting weather patterns where they happen to live.

        So if you’re willing to pay all the rest of us some suitable compensation for that Risk you’re imposing on us without our consent, maybe that’s a conversation you should start having.

      • Bart,

        Why do you say any “greening” of the Sahara is likely to be transient? As far as I know there is no confirmation on what is causing the “greening”. If we don’t know specifically why it is occuring, how can we (or you) be so sure it will collapse?

      • timg56 | September 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

        Shifting climates under external forcing, if they follow the general behaviors of other complex systems with Chaos, don’t generally form stable states during the perturbation, and especially if the perturbation itself is irregular.

        Hence, transient states.

      • Bart,

        No disrespect, as I am sure you know far more about chaotic systems, but your reply sounds like too much time working with models.

        Even if you correctly understand and can predict the effect of external forcings, you don’t have any assurance whether or not the perturbations will be irregular or not. For all you know, the forcings at play in the Sahara will ultimately transition that climate to one of increased percipitation, supporting increased vegetational growth. You might not think so, but you don’t really know. An educated guess at best.

        What I do not understand is how any potential benefits from a warmer climate always seem to be down played, assumed to be transient in this case, yet all of the identified harmful effects are talked about, with no mention of them possibly being transient.

      • timg56 | September 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

        None taken. I don’t often say this, certainly not often enough, but I find many commenters at Dr. Curry’s salon extremely amiable correspondents, yourself a model of civility, courtesy and interesting contribution, among them.

        I don’t know whether by too much time working with models you mean I’ve sniffed too much airplane glue, or I’ve boughten into some modeller’s groupthink.. But please, don’t clear it up for me if you’d be so kind. ;)

        I don’t pretend to correctly understand or predict the effects of external forcings. That’s a feat beyond Chaos Theory at this time, though there are some truisms of the field. But see, I don’t discount the possible greening of the Sahara because I think Chaos Theory tells me it’s not going to happen (merely that the certainty of it happening is low); I discount the possible greening of the Sahara s a benefit because it’s an unsought benefit. No one’s contracted for it, paid for it, ellicited it from some agency: it’s a benefit in the abstract only, though great benefit it would be in that abstract sense.

        All I can dismally consider is the unsought, unconsented, losses at Risk.

        Because that’s all the other fields of valuation let us reliably explore, until someone invents a way to hold an election to choose the person who speaks for everyone as to what is, or is not, the benefit that will change their life in unpredictable ways.

        You are very sharp-witted to note that the benefits compared to the harms are considered asymmetrically. This is the result of the rational study of poleconomy and policy; I don’t pretend to be qualified to set out all the logic that leads to that outcome, and I’m not going to ask you to just trust my word for it. Most serious students of the topic take decades to develop a nuanced view of it, which also I don’t pretend to. I can at best offer an analogy: can you unwound someone, unkill them, unassault them? There is no symmetrical way to undo harms; if you inadvertently benefit someone who doesn’t appreciate it but doesn’t have any objection either, well who cares?

  3. Judith asks:

    Pursuant to Part I, i ask the following questions:
     Whence an ‘ice free’ Arctic?
     Does an ‘ice free’ Arctic matter?

    My answer is to ask: So what?

    What is the relevance of it?

    What is the significance of it?

    How does it change the cost benefit analysis of climate change?

    How does it affect policy?

    What difference does it make to what I see as the three main parameters that affect cost benefit analyses and there for the main effect on policy decisions?

    They are (IMO):

    1. The damage function

    2. Climate sensitivity (T2xCO2)

    3. Decarbonisation rate

    How does Arctic sea ice extent affect these three key inputs to cost-benefit analyses?

    • The damage function?

      Dr. Curry affirms that one likely commonplace outcome of low Arctic sea ice is increasing snow — (dramatically so, if I’m understanding the literature) in parts of Europe, Asia and North America that historically have not been especially snowy. If Buffalo-style winters invade London, Paris, temperate Asian population belts, and as far south in the USA as Dr. Curry’s own Georgia, then that’s one huge damage function.

      The cost of snow-clearing, lost productivity due snow, traffic incidents due snow, and so forth in Buffalo would stagger or bankrupt cities that haven’t built their infrastructure to cope with 5′ snowfalls in a single day.

      And then there’s the flooding that follows on such huge snowfall winters as might result directly from an ‘ice free’ Arctic.

      And where there’s such a huge precipitation shift, because the amount of moisture isn’t changing that much in the air as a net, there will be droughts as well, too, more frequently.

      It’s not a “so what”. It’s a pretty large Risk.

      Dr. Curry seems to think the dynamic impact on climate sensitivity might be balanced, however looking at the scale of the factors Dr. Curry lists, simple estimation leads to the conclusion that there’s about a 10:1 ratio of likelihood Arctic Sea Ice loss would increase climate sensitivity, and perhaps significantly.

      As for carbon removal, a warmer Arctic shifts the exchange rate toward less Arctic CO2E absorbtion in natural sinks.

      I too share your concern that people are not doing the work that allows better understanding of the higher order implications of the Arctic Sea Ice loss caused, very clearly, by AGW over a period of longer than two decades.

      • How stunning would be the albedo change of the NH if 5 feet of snow fell as far south as Georgia?

      • Bart

        If what you fear actually occured, what human actions would prevent it from occuring again? Answer- none

      • Rob Starkey | September 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

        There you go again, ascribing to me a level of empathy I simply lack. No one who grew up in the Lake Effect snowbelt fears 5′ snowfalls, and I don’t live in London, Paris, the major Asian population centers or Georgia, so no emotional attachment there.

        I simply look at the cold logic of what the facts are telling us. I know it’s hard for you, but do try to buttress your guts and face the consequences of human activity to climate Risk like a man.

        A don’t find the answer you assert of “none” to be likely, unavoidable or certain. Mathematically, chaotic systems characteristically begin to return to less complex states when external forcing cease to perturb their action. While it’s true the longer the forcing and more convolved the new state from the old the longer it takes to restore the natural state, and the more complex the phase transition to return to old stability, it is the dominant outcome. If you stop poking hornet nests, they stop swarming more.

        260+ years to get here, maybe it will take 260+ years to get back if we curtail the perturbation by CO2E level increase below whatever threshold value is effective. Maybe it will be a multiple of that timespan spent under forcing. But will the effects of AGW on extreme weather curtail if we curtail anthropogenic forcings? That’s what mathematics predicts.

        Don’t you like math? Is that where the problem is? Are you a mathophobe?

      • Bart R says:
        “But will the effects of AGW on extreme weather curtail if we curtail anthropogenic forcings? That’s what mathematics predicts.”

        Assuming that temperature is rising and that this is because of GHG effects (not arguing otherwise, just stating the givens), one would do well to look at data from other worlds in our solar system to determine where the “wild” weather is – and it is in the colder places, not the hotter ones. (Neptune is the windiest of the gas giants, then Uranus, then Jupiter). Ditto with historical data from here on our planet (cold periods show the greater storminess). Warming over the past 3 decades is closely correlated with reduced ACE too. So if your math predicts more extremes from hotter climates, while empirical data suggests otherwise, then I would suggest that the math you are using is missing something, or certain assumptions used are incorrect.

        This falacy has lived long enough – time to kill it. You seem to push this a lot, but as I say, the empirical evidence points in the other direction – a strange state of affairs, given your propensity to tell people to learn more science and your willingness to say words to the effect of “the facts speak for themselves”.

      • Neil Fisher | September 19, 2012 at 6:37 am |

        You’re ringing up “No Sale”.

        Colder places? Perhaps, but with higher temperature and pressure gradients.

        ACE appears, despite much hullabulloo, and huge investment on the say-so of Gray acolytes, to be a way of measuring nothing actually significant. An expensive device for recording the wingbeats of flying pigs, and no more. Or have you ever seen it used in any way that was both significant and verifiable?

        Frequency count of events? That’s up. Even discounting better monitoring, higher populations, population shifts, the frequency of extreme events is up.

        The Arctic meltdown, which is reported as the most extreme such in thousands of years to a fair degree of confidence?

        The expansion of the creche of hurricanes and Pacific typhons outside the traditional range where cyclones originate? The extension of cyclone seasons by weeks or months? The more erratic, longer storm paths?

        We expect the distribution of record breaking events to decrease over time in a stable system: they’re increasing across the board. We expect an equal distribution of cold and hot record breaking: they’re hot by a ratio of over 2:1.

        You could only come to your conclusion through disconfirmation bias, invincible ignorance, pious fraud or cynical hucksterism. Which is it?

      • Neil has got his physics wrong. Colder temperatures lead to less thermal activity, with absolute zero leading to zero thermally excited states. Thus less and less wind with colder average temperatures.

      • But wait – doesn’t more snow mean more water in reservoirs? I think Georgia would be pretty happy with a growing water supply. But I’m confused – I thought climate change was supposed to bring more droughts? No?

      • Wayne2 | September 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

        Short term albedo shifts from a 5′ snowfall that disappears two days after wreaking havoc on the city?

        I’d say it balances with the rounding error of considering as Dr. Curry does the albedo effects diminished because of the low angle of the Arctic sun in the months the arctic sea ice is diminished. That’s a pretty silly claim on Dr. Curry’s part if you consider that in the months the arctic sea ice isn’t diminished, there’s never really so much sunlight as you’d count it against the average, so whatever albedo changes there are during the half of the year that matters, they’re when the sun is at its highest angle.

        Also, more snow in some places may mean less snow in others, and could mean less cloud cover, we just don’t know from the evidence presented. From the evidence not presented — and why wasn’t it? — we have cause to expect greater extremes both directions.

        jimmy | September 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm |

        You’re mistaking averages for uniform distributions.

        More snow in some regions in some years, less snow in other regions, on top of the other extreme events and shifting attractors of AGW, not uniformly more reliable water supply. Only a pronoiac looks for the silver lining in everything while skeptical of the harms; only a tyrant is willing to make those decisions for others without their consent to give up their rights to say for themselves what risk they’re willing to accept.

        Peter Lang | September 18, 2012 at 5:05 am |

        Yeah, I’ve read Nordhaus; whom it appears you understand poorly.

        http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/weitzman/files/1aMultAddLatest.pdf may help.

        I also — though it’s been demonstrated I have low irony perception — know what a play on words is. Shame you don’t.

      • BartR,

        reveals he has no idea what the damage function is. Yet he prattles on as if he thinks he has an understanding of climate science. What a laugh

      • Bart,

        Don’t you find it odd to be arguing that a potential damage scenario from Acrtic icecap melt due to global warming being more snow and harsher winters?

        I suspect you may be right on the increasing snow result, as that sounds like a plausible feedback mechanism to cool the climate . But unless you believe we will see runaway winters to the point of a “Day After Tomorrow” movie script, it is hard to believe human existence is seriously threatened by some colder than normal winters.

      • timg56 | September 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |

        Odd? Not at all. If one third of the time winters are harsher — but warmer — and two thirds of the time droughts are harsher — but warmer — while there’s 20 times more monster flood peaks with one third less water in the water tables, that’s pretty much what could be described as a new level of chaos in the system. Which is exactly what mathematics would predict, in round terms.

        However, Mathematics isn’t Climatology. Mathematics doesn’t give us the details like ‘flood’ or ‘drought’ or ‘snow’. While no Mathematics other than Hollywood Accounting could possibly support “Day After Tomorrow” as a realistic scenario, ergo the end of human existence before the natural end of your days, actual real world accounting tells us those who are Free Riders are getting the benefit without paying while the rest of us through our future valuations are suffering a financial loss. To our wallets. Because they’re damaging our stuff. For their benefit. Or because they just don’t care.

        Don’t you find it odd to defend people stealing from you?

      • Bart,

        RE your last question:

        Yes I’m bothered by people stealing from me. As much as you are, I’d wager. The difference is how we each apparently define what belongs to us. You refer to “they” and “our stuff”. I don’t know who “they” are or what you think “our stuff” is. I guess I have a more traditional concept of what constitutes property and my rights to it. I consider money that I earn to belong to me. I do not believe someone else has a right to it simply because they do have any of their own. I also do not believe that the unborn own any property. I doubt you’ll find a legal precident supporting that concept.

      • timg56 | September 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

        Take a breath. Go ahead. It doesn’t make you a taker. Everyone has the right to breathe. Because everyone has that right to breathe, they own a common interest in the air. It’s an inalienable right: we literally cannot submit it, sacrifice it, give it up or transfer it from ourselves to any other agency; without it we die. We own that right.

        The air we breathe is the product of the Carbon Cycle. By inherent right, we all own a common interest in the Carbon Cycle. It’s an unsurrendered right, by virtue of being inalienable. We own that right.

        It is, however, a Commons. That is simply a matter of administration of its ownership right, of standards for owners drawing from it, and of owners’ responsibility for its maintenance.

        Well, Commons is not always the best way to allocate resources or maintain them for the interests of owners. If a resource is very valuable, then owners want to consider its efficient allocation and stable maintenance as a priority: that’s what value is, precedence in consideration of enjoyment and protection.

        If a resource is rivalrous — that is, if when one person uses up part of it that part is denied to any other user — then we know our precedence and the precedence of other owners will compete. Owners must administer, or bargain (and Coase is useful here), rivalry over value by some means, and Commons is inferior for a number of reasons for owners’ interests.

        If a resource is scarce — that is, if it is diminished by use — then not just precedence but also sustainability become higher concerns to owners, and protection is an imperative where before it was only a consideration. At this point, makers gain incentive to innovate new or alternative sources, which grows the whole economic system and creates added value.

        But if a resource also has excludability — the property that access to it can be denied — then we may apply the most powerful tool of beneficial administration of resources known to Man, and by logic demonstrated to be the most efficient possible allocator of scarce, rivalrous, valuable commodities: Capitalism.

        Indeed, for owners, the reason there is government is to set standards to maintain an orderly Market whereby Capitalism can maximize satisfaction and minimize misery by exchange of fair value in an economy.

        Privatization is the mechanism a government uses to turn a Commons into a Market Good. It’s the opposite of Nationalization, in that sense.

        A government that fails to privatize a valuable, scarce, rivalrous, excludable resource is failing to deliver the entire reason owners have to support the existence of government.

        Which is where we stand with the Carbon Cycle. Your government is failing you. And someone is stealing from you because of it.

  4. Judith asks whence “an ice free Arctic”?

    The implication is that is someone predicted this to happen and came up with a premature answer then there is nothing to be concerned about.

    Let’s take a look at the graph:

    So we see see ice has fallen, using the linear regression line, 2.5 million square Km in 33 years. There are 6 million sq km left so that means in another
    6 x 33/ 2.5 years = 80 years (the end of the century) we will have an ice free Arctic.

    Having said that the linear regression line might well give an overestimate if non-linear effects are accelerating the melt rate, but even if not, there is no cause for complacency.

    • tempterrain

      You calculate that if the current trend continues, we should see a late-summer ice-free Arctic in 80 years (or in 2092).

      I’ve made the same calculation, and come up with an earlier date of 44 years (or in 2056).

      This is based on the assumption that the end-September trend since satellite measurements started in 1979 will continue.

      This trend is -0.09 million square km/year.

      The current record low extent is 4 msk.

      There are some caveats.

      First, although there were no satellite records, other studies have shown that Arctic sea ice receded to a low in the 1930s and 1940s and then recovered again to a high level by the late 1970s, when satellite measurements began. IOW the current shrinking may be part of a longer cyclical trend.

      Second, as Judith has mentioned, there are many variables at play other than simply global warming caused by anthropogenic GHGs.

      Third, as Judith has also mentioned, solar activity is at a low; how long this will continue and what the impact will be on late-summer Arctic sea ice, is anyone’s guess.

      In either case (2056 or 2092), you and I will most likely not be around to witness this, so it is hardly something I am going to lose a lot of sleep over.

      Max

  5. For background on the key inputs refer to Nordhaus ‘A Question of Balance’ to get an understanding. In particular refer to Table 7-2 (p130)

    http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

  6. So Judith’s devolution continues::

    Following the 2007 minimum, Jay Zwalley of NASA predicted ice free by 2012.

    Really?

    Judith actually has gone full-on Anthony Watts.

    Here is what Zwalley actually said:

    At the current rate the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012″

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good spin, Judith.

    • Joshua
      Especially when you let cursory reading get in the way of the facts. Your burden is to show any difference between Zwalley and what Curry actually said:

      ‘Ice free’ is put in quotes, because ‘ice free’ as commonly used doesn’t mean free of ice, as in zero ice. The usual definition of ‘ice free’ Arctic is ice extent below 1 M sq km (current minimum extent is around 3.5 M sq km). This definition is used because it is very difficult to melt the thick ice around the Canadian Archipelago. And the issue of ‘ice free’ in the 21st century is pretty much a non issue if your require this thick ice to disappear.

      • Here let me offer some assistance for the reading impaired.

        Ice-free = less than 1M sq. km
        Nearly ice-free = some value close to, but greater than, 1M sq. km

        “At the current rate” is a qualifier meaning the statement is not meant to have predictive value, but is merely an extrapolation from the large decrease observed in 2007. HTH!

      • @joshua

        What Zwalley actually said was

        ‘”At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

        Note ‘much faster than previous predictions’

        He was making a prediction.

        Reference: National Geographic

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071212-AP-arctic-melt.html

      • Latimer –

        He was making a prediction.

        Oy.

        Here. Let me make it more clear.

        If you start thinking things through more clearly and with less bias, it is possible that within the next couple of weeks you might write a reasonably logical post – which would be considerably sooner than WHT would predict.

        However, I am most certainly not predicting that will happen.

      • Joshua,
        You can read my mind. My prediction for Latie writing a logical comment is a tad short of never.

        BTW, I have a neat statistical analysis for Minnesota lake ice-out days for the last 100+ years.

        This covers the latitudes from 43N to 49N, and the results are interesting. I will write a more complete comment tonight.

        Latimer doing such a thing = never.
        It helps that I am an outdoors nerd.

      • It helps that I am an outdoors nerd.

        I once canoed in the Boundary Waters for a couple of days. I have to say, it was miserable. We’d be going along and it would start raining so we’d pull out the rain gear. Then it would stop raining and the sun would come out and we’d start broiling – so we’d take the gear off. Then it would start raining again – rain gear back on. Then the sun would come out – rain gear back off. It continued like that constantly for days. And of course, with the rain came wind which always seemed to be against us no matter which direction we were headed.

        Also, some locals had a good time scaring us with stories about recent bear attacks as we stocked up in a grocery before we went in. We were a bit jacked-up about the whole bear thing; never saw one bear – or not even any scat. We just knew the locals were back at that store laughing their heads off. Felt like sucker flat-landers.

        At one point we realized that if we canoed extra hard one day and added an extra portage we could cut the trip short by a couple of days and spend some time hanging out with friends in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The next evening we were enjoying some good Thai food. One of the best things about outdoorsy stuff is that it helps me to not take the outdoorsy stuff for granted.

      • @webbie

        Please make sure that your article is worth waiting for. I will barely be able to sleep tonight with anticipation.

        And please assure me that it will not mention oil depletion – either directly or indirectly.

        Please also ensure that it mentions the Silverlake in Rochester Mn. Happy memories from my time in IT.

      • “And please assure me that it will not mention oil depletion – either directly or indirectly.”

        Rationalization is a powerful human thought process. Quite predictable that with the reality of sea-ice disappearance and the gradual warming of freshwater lakes, that people would start to rationalize this turn of events by asserting that it would lead to previously undiscovered stores of crude oil!

        Or that the warming would provide a cookie crumb trail to seething methane clathrate deposits … just follow the stream of bubbles !!!!

        “Please also ensure that it mentions the Silverlake in Rochester Mn. “

        Latie promised he would get this specific data hisself, because he would much rather do some data collection and analysis than engage in empty rhetoric.

      • web,
        an outdoor nerd who has been left out in the cold too long. Made you bitter and nasty.

      • David –

        Questioning predictions that people actually make is certainly fair game. It is needed.

        Saying that people made predictions that they didn’t make is not fair game. It is tribalistic.

        As a review:

        1) In a post over at WUWT, Anthony distorts what Zwalley said.
        2) Shortly thereafter (possibly related to Anthony’s post?), Judith says that predictions (note the plural) were made for an ice-free Arctic by the end of this summer.
        3) When asked who she was referring to, she didn’t respond.
        4) Judith makes a prediction about Arctic ice
        5) Judith says that she didn’t make a prediction about Arctic ice.
        6) When again challenged about #2 – Judith offers links to one thread with such predictions that were made after Judith’s post saying that multiple predictions had been made. She offers another link to a prediction that was made prior to her statement that multiple predictions were made. She also quotes a prediction that the Arctic might be ice-free by 2015 (apparently forgetting that the end of this summer occurs before 2015?).
        7) She then distorts what Zwalley said in exactly the same way that Anthony did.

        Again, questioning predictions and over-confidence seems perfectly valid, and in fact important, IMO. But what Judith has been doing lately should not pass scrutiny of a skeptic. That fact that it does seem to pass the scrutiny of many here suggests that we have “skeptics” in our midst.

      • And David –

        I will also offer for you this related comment made by decon – where he asks her what I think are quite reasonable questions:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/08/25/week-in-review-82512/#comment-240700

        Read Judith’s response immediately below decon’s post. Again, IMO, she is completely ducking accountability.

        I’ve said this before, but it can’t hurt to say it again: I first came to this site because I heard Judith making what I felt to be valid criticisms w/r/t accountability among climate scientists. I thought it interesting that someone from the field itself would have that insight. I was interested in this debate as an example of how confirmation bias plays out more generally in discourse around controversies that overlap with social, political, cultural, or personal identifications. I think it is an important issue – and offers useful information that can be leveraged to advance resolving conflicts. My hope was that Judith’s observations and input would help advance resolving conflicts in the science of climate change.

        IMO – since I first came to this site, I have seen Judith more further and further into the same kind of unaccountable and tribalistic input which she validly, IMO, criticized in others. That she has devolved to the level of Anthony Watts is unfortunate, IMO.

      • @joshua

        The direct quote from Zwalley as reported in National Geographic is

        ‘At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions’

        Please explain a)

        why he said it all if to a guy from a prestigious global magazine if he didn’t mean it to be a prediction, and

        b) specifically why he included the phrase ‘much faster than previous predictions’ if he was actually talking about something else entirely.

        The common reading of his words is that he too was making a predcition and poiting out that it was different form earlier ones.

        If you cannot sensibly answer these points, there is no case to answer and your lengthy case falls at the first hurdle. Do try!

      • chirrup………….chirrup……………chirrup

        Of course Zwally made a prediction.
        Only a CAGW apologist with an overweening belief in his powers of propaganda like Joshua would attempt to argue otherwise.

        “‘At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions”
        -Jay Zwally 2007-

        He went on to say:
        “The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming…Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines.”

        Never mind Jay, only out by several million square kilometers. Thanks for playing.

        The Parrot might be dead, but the orutund lady has yet to take the microphone.

      • Joshua
        I endorse comments by Curry, Latimer and Tallbloke. See Curry’s technical publications on uncertainty to begin understanding the magnitude of the challenge in predicting climate.

        I have yet to see Global warming models include natural oscillations. e.g. WJR Alexander shows Southern Africa precipitation/runoff correlating with the 21 year Hale cycle. See Nicola Scafetta’s model and its ability to track over centuries. His 2000 temperature projections continue to be more accurate than the IPCC’s. (See the bottom of his page.)
        The standard deviation of natural fluctuations are typically double that of conventional standard deviations. See
        Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in paleoclimate reconstructions

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Joshua is a dependable jester for the extremists.

    • Joshua all predictions have conditionals, either stated or implied.

      If you jump from the empire state building, you will get hurt.
      The fact that you never jump from the building doesnt magically change the linguistic structure of your utterance. Jay made a prediction. Like all predictions it contained conditions(poorly expressed). Those conditions were not met, his prediction is neither true or false, it is UNTESTED.
      The fact that it wasnt tested doesnt change the linguistic facts.

      I also made a prediction for 2012. “If we get the right weather, it will be ice free.” That prediction wasnt true or false it was untested as the conditions were not met.

      Predictions are
      1. testable or not testable. His was testable, but not in a controlled fashion.
      2. If they are testable they can either be tested or untested.
      His was untested because the conditions for testing were not met.
      The rate of melt changed.
      3. If they are testable, and they are tested, then predictions are
      either confirmed or disconfirmed.. you might say “true” or “false”

      If you really want to complain about his prediction the proper complaint is that it was a tautology pretending to be a prediction.

      • Oy.

        Steven. If you jump off of the Empire State Building, you will die, and you will die earlier than would otherwise be predicted.

        Yes, I have just predicted that you will die if you jump off the Empire State Building.

        No, I have not just predicted that you will jump off the Empire State Building.

        Judith said that Zwalley predicted that the Arctic will be ice free by the end of the summer of 2012. That isn’t true. He “predicted” that if trends continued as they had in 2007 (they didn’t), the Arctic could be ice free by the end of the summer of 2012. Her statement about what he predicted was false. It is beneath her to: (1) make such a false statement and, (2) refuse accountability for making false statements. Particularly since it seems to be a growing tendency on her part.

        Your loyalty to Judith is admirable, steven, but it doesn’t change the fact of her lack of accountability on this and other issues.

        As I said before – at one level, this he said/she said stuff really is rather trivial. None of it changes the science one iota. But all of this is relevant to who is showing accountability, and who is being held accountable, and by whom. Within the larger context, there is nothing new in Judith’s tribalism. The tribalism is ubiquitous, and characterizes the vast majority of the debate Ion both sides) – particularly in the blogosphere). But in my view, Judith is increasingly wading deeper into the tribal end of the pool. That is unfortunately, IMO, because I think that she is in a fairly unique position to lessen the impact of tribalism as opposed to contributing to it.

      • Sorry Joshua you are wrong. This has nothing to do with Loyalty to Judith. I’ve said the same thing over and over again defending models.
        Basically, they make predictions ( what people term projections ) but that the predictions are not really tested. It has nothing to do with Judith. You are wrong. It is a position I’ve staked out elsewhere both on Zwaly and on GCMs. Your motivations are clear. You are engaging in fact free nonsense, yet again. To repeat. I’ve used this same argument to defend GCMs. I’ve used the same argument to characterize what Zwaly did, BEFORE Judith said word one about it. You could substantiate a charge of “loyalty” if I changed by argument based on who I was supporting or criticizing, but you havent done that. There is plenty in this piece I disagree with. perhaps you should read more science and focus on the substantive issues

      • Analytical thinking B 2 hard. Critical thinking R funny & money$
        ====================

      • Joshua said:

        “He “predicted” that if trends continued as they had in 2007 (they didn’t), the Arctic could be ice free by the end of the summer of 2012. “

        True, he made an extrapolation (“at this rate”), not a prediction.

        Dead reckoning extrapolation, seafarers do it all the time. If we continue at this rate and in this direction, we will hit that thar iceberg.

      • BTW – steven

        If you really want to complain about his prediction the proper complaint is that it was a tautology pretending to be a prediction.

        I agree with you there. It really is, I think in balance, counterproductive to make the statement that Zwalley made. It wasn’t a particularly scientific comment. Calling people out for that is just fine with me. Maybe his statement was made in carelessness. Or maybe it was made for rhetorical effect. Either way, it can, and should, be fairly criticized.

        Just as the statements that Anthony or Judith make can and should be fairly criticized when they are made for rhetorical and unscientific effect.

      • Joshua

        It is also true that neither of those two are telling people that a disaster will occur if everyone does not do what they are telling them to do.

        Joshua

        To the basic point of the post- what is it that is bad about the arctic being more melted in the summer? In truth, isn’t the position of the luke warmers becoming more logical to you? Yes it is warming, but not nearly as fast as some feared and not with the amount of worldwide negative consequences.

      • Joshua,

        Nobody is above criticism. However, if I look at your behavior it is clear that you do refuse to treat everyone you read equally. The other thing that is annoying is that you never take a balanced view of things. you don’t even try it out as a different way of engaging with people. As much as I personally dislike Tamino, for example, when he does good work I hop over to tell him I like his work. And you seem allergic to science and numbers. Which means all discussions with you devolve into food fights.. he said, she said, blah blah blah.

      • Rob –

        In truth, isn’t the position of the luke warmers becoming more logical to you?

        I see an internal logic to a lukewarmer position, to the “realist” position, to the “skeptic” position, to the “sky dragon” position, etc.

        I am not intelligent enough nor technically qualified to interpret the science.

        I see examples all the time, however, of people from all positions in the debate displaying tribalistic qualities – manifestations of the phenomenon of motivated reasoning.

        I find that process interesting. Because I’m a lefty, I take a particular interest in pointing out when smart people, inclined towards rightwing ideology or climate “skepticism,” display obviously motivated reasoning and/or tribalism. One of the reasons is because to the extent that it is visible and obvious, it clearly distinguishes between skepticism and “skepticism.” As someone who was raised in a tradition of skepticism, I don’t like seeing “skeptics” give skepticism a bad name.

        None of that means that I don’t observe similar phenomena among my tribes. Of course they exist in my tribes as well. IMO, it would be completely illogical to say that motivated reasoning exists as a relevant influence and then to turn around and say that it applies to one group as opposed to another. But even more laughable would be to say that it applies only to other groups and not to my own. If there is anything that is proof of motivated reasoning and a lack of skepticism it is when someone makes that kind of a claim – particularly if it is not accompanied with any kind of attempt to prove validated quantification of evidence.

      • Joshua

        I am not intelligent enough nor technically qualified to interpret the science.

        My “BS detector” just calmed down.

        Thanks for an honest admission.

        Max

      • Josh,

        Your last comment in this thread was nicely put. That’s the Joshua I think is worth the time to read. The Judith bashing version not so much.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | September 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply

        “I also made a prediction for 2012. “If we get the right weather, it will be ice free.” That prediction wasnt true or false it was untested as the conditions were not met.”

        I made a prediction that I’d win the lottery in 2012 if I got the right numbers. It wasn’t true or false it was untested as the conditions were not met.

        ROFL

        Are you high? I want some of whatever you’re smoking!

      • David Springer

        Hey Mosher – I went to the track the other day and put $20 on Mueller’s BEST because if he ran at the right speed he would win. It was untested because the conditions were not met. When I went to the window to get my money back because the bet was invalid they said it doesn’t work that way. What’s up with that?

    • Joshua

      My “BS meter” became active again following your last post.

      You are mincing words.

      Zwally made a statement that indicated that a late-summer (nearly) ice-free Arctic could occur as early as 2012; he qualified this saying if the current rate continued

      In view if the fact that Zwally is a scientific expert on Arctic sea ice, this statement caused many people to believe that a late-summer (nearly) ice-free Arctic could [actually] occur as early as 2012, whether he intended to convey this message or not.

      As it turned out, the 2012 melt season has ended and the current rate of shrinking has continued, yet there are still 4 million square km of Arctic sea ice that have NOT melted – so Zwally’s (qualified) prediction was wrong.

      That was Judith’s point.

      Follow your own advice: Never let the facts get in the way of a good spin, Joshua.

      Max

    • I think I would agree there may have been some rash predictions made about the rate of depletion of Arctic sea ice. Not by the IPPC though. They’ve underestimated. If you are going to give them a hard time about Himalayan glaciers , give them a hard time about this too.

      Does it matter just exactly when the NSIDC will proclaim that the day has arrived? It could be anywhere between 2040 and the end of the century. The real question is about the Greenland ice mass. If the sea ice melts that’s going to melt too, and increase sea levels by approximately 7 metres.

      The point is that its all disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless humanity starts to bring CO2 emissions under control.

      • “The point is that its all disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless humanity starts to bring CO2 emissions under control.”

        It’s noticeable that warmists don’t know what natural climate forcings have managed to overcome the alleged power of co2 and his imaginary friend water vapour feedback for the last ten years.

        Given this clear state of ignorance, we can confidently say that their further apoclyptic ramblings aren’t worth the bits they’re made from.

      • tempterrain

        IPCC in no way understated the shrinking rate of Arctic sea ice, TT.

        Here’s what IPCC (AR4 WG1 SPM, p.15) has to say about Arctic and Antarctic sea ice:

        “Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and the Antarctic under all SRES scenarios. In some projections, arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century.”

        So far, the Antarctic is not following the IPCC prediction (or projection), but the late-summer Arctic sea ice seems headed for disappearing by the latter part of the 21st century, as you and I have both extrapolated, using the most recent data.

        But, as Yogi Berra said, “Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future.”

        [Let's let our grandchildren tune back in around 2060 to 2090. In the meantime, let's leave it to the Inuits and polar bears.]

        Max

      • Nice to see you standing up for the IPCC. There’s a first time for everything :-)

      • tempterrain | September 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply

        “The point is that its all disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless humanity starts to bring CO2 emissions under control.”

        Given that the planet as a whole is cooling as Arctic sea ice is melting that is indeed alarming.

        Humanity isn’t going to bring CO2 “under control” anytime soon unless you figure out a way to make billions of people in India and China stop wanting the higher living standards that only increased energy consumption can bring to them. You’re preaching to the wrong people. Suggest you learn Hindi and Mandarin and preach to those people instead.

  7. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Two encouraging scientific inputs today:

    (1)  Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice (ASI) has a terrific survey Models are improving, but can they catch up? that strongly affirms Naomi Oreskes’s thesis “In recent years, climate scientists have been overly conservative in their AGW predictions”.   :)   :grin:   :lol:

    (2)  Neven also points us toward glaciologist Julienne Stroeve’s fabulous new weblog Ice Edge 2012: In Search of Large Ice Floes. This looks to be a terrific science-oriented weblog, Julienne!   :)   :grin:   :lol:

    Now, aren’t these clean, factual, adventurous, science-oriented weblogs a whole lot more educational (and fun too) than the navel-gazing neodenialist economic dogma that increasingly pollutes the Climate Etc? discourse?   :)   :grin:   :lol:

    • Climate Weenie

      That temperature trends have all been lower than Hansen’s scenario C, the multi-model mean, and the IPCC low trend contradicts the prominent exaggerations.

    • Fan

      It looks a good blog. Do you think the owner realises that her comment about 40percent ice at 83N north almost exactly matches that quote I posted for you last weel taken from nearly two centuries ago?

      Tonyb

    • Julienne Stroeve’s is good example to follow. Heck she even engages Goddard and manages to maintain her pleasent helpful patient demeanor.
      More like her and Walt Meier and Richard Betts and Tasmin and Tim Palmer, and Judith, and Lucia.

      • You even tak it as constructive when Lucia points out when you are acting grumpy lol

      • SM does get grumpy at times, but he’s still in second behind Willis E.

        That said, both are among my favorites for what they have to say. I’d love to spend a day with either. And I’d buy.

        PS – I am probably the last person to have a problem with grumpiness. My brothers and sister – laws would regularly refer to my nephews and nieces as “Uncle Tim” whenever they acted grumpy. And my coworkers are regularly reminding me of “tone”.

    • Oreskes? Really? You can do better than that.

    • Heck, they just got the polarity of warming wrong for recent years. No big deal. It was a probably a transcription error that no one noticed. Or maybe not. I mean who would have guessed (other than me) that as the Arctic warms the rest of the world cools.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2010/plot/wti/from:2010/trend

      Let’s just hope they didn’t get it more wrong than that because if the trend since 2010 continues we’re in deep Bandini.

  8. This is an another graph which would indicate a slightly earlier ice free date

    PS I’m just wondering why all those who criticise the IPCC for getting their predictions wrong have let them off the hook on this one? It looks like they got it well wrong to me!

    • My next little data analysis project is to tale ice-out dates from northern freshwater lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin and see if there is a similar trend. Ice-out dates have no problem with calibration.

    • It’s very embarrassing for IPCC, rainboy. Their narrative was that global warming is amplified in the Arctic. As it turned out it’s an anti-amplifier. As the Arctic gets warmer the rest of the globe gets cooler.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2010/plot/wti/from:2010/trend

      Who knew? Other than me with my stupid but somehow accurate prediction made by analogy to an automotive water cooling system with Arctic sea ice being the thermostat. When the engine (the tropics) warms up the thermostat opens up wider and then the radiator (open water in the Arctic) starts getting warmer even as the engine gets cooler.

      What I don’t know for sure is the response time or hysteresis of the thermostat. If it’s too slow the result could be extreme with very large overshoots. Stuff like the MWP and LIA could happen due to slow response time.

      Oh wait… stuff like the MWP and LIA do happen. Uh oh.

    • That’s only correct in terms of conservation of energy. A case in point is the kinetic energy in the prevailing winds. Integrated over the entire world, the kinetic energy in the cumulative wind is more-or-less constant over time. If the wind is calm in one place, it has to be blowing somewhere else. Integrated kinetic energy cannot change on a dime with respect to something as massive as the earth.

      Same goes for temperature, which is a measure of the thermal energy content. That also can’t change on a dime, other than by external forcing functions.

  9. Very timely

    My old Mum heard some geezer from the Met Office on the telly saying that if we had an ice-free Arctic because of global warming, we in UK would expect our winters to get colder.

    And she quite rightly says

    ‘Well if its global warming causing the ice to melt, surely our winters should be warmer, not colder’

    Seems to me she has a point. Can anyone explain? Why should a warmer Arctic mean colder winters in the UK? Is there a fixed amount of coolth that has to go somewhere?

    • eems to me she has a point. Can anyone explain? Why should a warmer Arctic mean colder winters in the UK?

      Poetic justice.

    • Latimer,

      You ask “Why should a warmer Arctic mean colder winters in the UK?

      The UK is quite northerly, being about the same as Canada’s Hudson Bay. However, due the influence of warm Atlantic currents, the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift, the UK’s climate is much milder.

      So, whereas warmer Arctic winters will also mean warmer winters nearly everywhere, on average, there may well be some exceptions. The risk for the UK, and Europe, will be if changes in Arctic ice cover cause changes in these currents.

      Although I’d probably have to agree with Judith that its more a question of risk than certainty.

      • Mark B (number 2)

        How convenient that the British Isles and Europe, where we have the best kept thermometer record stretching back 2 centuries, is going to be immune from global warming.

      • “immune from global warming.”??

        The Central England Temperature record which I’ve linked to previously on this thread is another of those hockey sticks. So no immunity , I’m afraid.

        Even if there were, there is always the question of sea level rise which you can hardly expect to happen everywhere else except the British Isles.

      • warmer Arctic means more snow and colder in much of the northern hemisphere. Pay close attention to the cold period of 2012-1013.

      • @herman alexander pope

        ‘warmer Arctic means more snow and colder in much of the northern hemisphere’

        Why? This is totally counter to common sense.

      • Latimer,
        This makes perfect common sense.
        When the oceans are warm and the arctic is open, the fierce arctic wind picks up huge amounts of moisture and delivers it on land and water around the northern hemisphere.
        When the oceans are cold and the arctic is closed, there is no place to pick up the moisture and it snows much less around the northern hemisphere.
        This is why a warm period always follows a cool period and why a cool period always follows a warm period.
        We are in a warm period and the cooling has started. It will take some time so we will have many more years of these warm summers and cold winters.

      • The early snows in October do relocate the jet stream and then it picks up more moisture from even more warmer water and that produces additional snow. Last year it even snowed in Rome.
        Read the publications by Judah Cohen to understand more about this. http://web.mit.edu/jlcohen/www/papers/

      • @herman alexander pope

        It would make perfect sense if we in UK didn’t have the (relatively warm) North Atlantic Ocean to our west and northwest. And if our prevailing winds weren’t westerly. The precipitation we get is often picked up off the NAO not the Arctic.

        But we do, they are and it doesn’t.

      • Latimer,
        The (relatively warm) North Atlantic Ocean makes it make more sense. More moisture is picked up from relative warm water than from cold water with the same wind. Warm Ocean water is the starting place for snow. In the Arctic, more moisture is picked up because of the fierce winds. In North Atlantic, the winds are less fierce, but the warmer water makes up a lot of difference.

      • @herman a p

        The proposition is that the winters we experience will be *colder*. I really cannot follow how you can suggest that it will be colder because the prevailing winds will come over warmer water.

        I sort of understand your point about snow. But given that a decade ago a ‘respected’ climatologist and mate of Phil Jones at CRU told us that snow will be a very rare event indeed, you’ll forgive the general public for being increasingly convinced that most climatologists can’t tell their arse from their elbow and certainly can’t be trusted to organise a pissup in a brewery.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

      • Phil Jones at CRU told us that snow will be a very rare event indeed
        I really can not tell which side you are on. Phil was wrong, that means i am right. Who are you agreeing with and who are you disagreeing with.

      • @herman alexander pope

        I am not on any ‘side’ here.

        I am trying to get a simple answer to the simple question

        ‘Why will melting ice in the Arctic cause colder winters in the UK?’ as proposed by our Met Office.

        At first sight this is counter intuitive. And when somebody comes on the telly to tell you this counter intuitive statement. ‘why?’ is a pretty obvious question.

      • @tempterrain

        Hmm
        I don’t think that your analogy is quite right. Though on roughly the same latitude, Hudson Bay is pretty much in the middle of the continent and so has a continental climate…hotter in summer and colder in winter. They aren’t really comparable.

        The nearest analog for London seems to be Vancouver. Both on the eastern side of large oceans. And at a similar latitude…51N and 49N respectively.

        And indeed the two climates seem to be fairly similar.

        Are there predictions that Vancouver too will suffer colder winters as a result of global warming?

      • If the Arctic keeps getting warmer UK kids will be at no risk of forgetting of what snow looks like. The real problem is the current occupants have forgotten what the Thames looks like when it’s frozen solid.

    • Latimer Alder

      See Cohen et al. (2012) Artcic warming, increasing snow cover and widespread boreal winter cooling.

      Abstract
      The most up to date consensus from global climate models predicts warming in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) high latitudes to middle latitudes during boreal winter. However, recent trends in observed NH winter surface temperatures diverge from these projections. For the last two decades, large-scale cooling trends have existed instead across large stretches of eastern North America and northern Eurasia. We argue that this unforeseen trend is probably not due to internal variability alone. Instead, evidence suggests that summer and autumn warming trends are concurrent with increases in high-latitude moisture and an increase in Eurasian snow cover, which dynamically induces large-scale wintertime cooling. Understanding this counterintuitive response to radiative warming of the climate system has the potential for improving climate predictions at seasonal and longer timescales.

      • @BBD

        Thanks. I looked at the paper.

        A better abstract is ‘the climate is not behaving the way the models tell us. Northern Hemisphere winters aren’t getting warmer and the pesky public have noticed…it is making them sceptical of the whole AGW thing. Here’s a desperate attempt to shore up the theory with some waffly hand-waving about snow in Siberia’

        I’ll also note that the best they can do in terms of evidence is ‘concurrent with’. Which is even less strong than the meaningless but ubiquitous ‘not inconsistent with’.

        So, thanks for the link, but I am none the wiser.

      • See Cohen et al. (2012) Asymmetric seasonal temperature trends for a seasonal analysis of NH warming poleward of 20N.

        See Fig. 3: note the flat DJF trend of 0.07C/decade.

        Now consider the rest of the year:

        MAM: 0.39C/decade

        JJA 0.38C/decade

        SON 0.49C/decade

        Cold comfort for deniers :-)

      • @bbd

        I’m not really interested in ‘cold comfort for deniers’. I am trying to find out why the climateers tell us that cold winters in the UK are a natural consequence of global warming.

        This claim seems to be in defiance of common sense. And with no evidence at all. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised any more……………..

      • BBD,

        Not much plowing and harvesting going on in the winter.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/08/more-land-use-stuff.html

        It still amazes me how desertification caused by ignorant communists agricultural policies had a cooling effect by reducing albedo? It is almost counter intuitive.

      • LA

        I’m not really interested in ‘cold comfort for deniers’. I am trying to find out why the climateers tell us that cold winters in the UK are a natural consequence of global warming.

        Then RTFRs properly instead of waving away relevant information in the standard, close-minded way so characteristic of denial:

        Here’s a desperate attempt to shore up the theory with some waffly hand-waving about snow in Siberia’

        And you wonder why you don’t get taken seriously. Try being serious.

      • @BBd

        I did read the paper. And I didn’t find anything of substance. It had lots of lovely graphs about lots of lovely things. But it was all totally circumstantial and speculative as far as I can tell. To my guess it was published only to meet the requirement to submit x papers per annum.

        If I missed the substantive point, please point out (page, para, sentence) where it was made and the probative evidence presented.

        Otherwise I stand by my interpretation.

      • Not reading any of this lame back and forth. It’s nice to see you complying with your predictable psychological straight-jacket by engaging the brilliant Master Alder. Touche.

      • @BBD

        And it’s not such a difficult question is it that needs a pile of reading?

        I just want a simple believable two sentence answer that I can give to my old Mum (88). She lives in a cold part of the UK (Scotland) and is dreading the coming winter already. Her state of mind is not improved by supposedly clever people telling her that global warming will cause colder winters.

        And, like me, she will not be content with ‘because the climate scientists told you so’.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Three strong pieces of evidence that AGW is real, serious, and accelerating:

        Evidence A  Glaciologist Julienne Stroeve’s ship is at 84° North and yet she reports helicopter reconnaissance shows no large ice floes within at least one day of sailing.”   :shock:   :!: :shock:   :!: :shock:

        Evidence B  On Neven’s ASI weblog, a comparision of PIOMAS volume versus CMIP5 models shows ice-mass loss far exceeding any climate model prediction.   :shock:   :!: :shock:   :!: :shock:

        Evidence C  The pace of Latimer Alder’s neodenialist spinning here on Climate Etc is accelerating faster than a child’s top!   ;)   :lol:   ;)

      • @ A Fan of John Simple

        So you can’t give an explanation either. Why am I not surprised?

        PS putting ‘neo’ in front of an adjective does not make you seem more intelligent or knowledgeable.

      • @A Fan

        PPS : even if your sources are correct, they do not represent evidence that ‘ AGW is real, serious, and accelerating’.

        To do the first you would need to show that AGW is the cause, the only cause and the complete cause of any change in ice. You have not done that.

        To do the second you will need to show that serious consequences will occur. You have not done that.

        And to show that it is accelerating , you would need to show an increasing trend over many years. You have not done that.

        A snapshot does not give any of these things.

        And, you’ll forgive me if I roll around a bit clutching my sides and chuntering to myself at the risible idea that because reality does not match a model, there is something dramatically wrong with reality! Maybe in your little universe, Johnboy, but out here where the grownups play we’d take that as evidence that the model was f***d, not that Nature was playing tricks.

        Repeat after me ‘We test the models against reality, not reality against the models’

        Maybe I should be surprised at the inability of alarmists to draw the correct conclusions. But I guess I’m almost immune to it now. I’m sure they were better a few years back, but I guess all the talented (?) ones have jumped ship leaving only the mediocre.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer Alder asks  “Why am I not surprised?”

        Thank you for your question, Latimer Alder!   :)   :)   :)

        The simplest answer is simply this: today’s ice-mass losses are unsurprising in view of James Hansen’s 1981 prediction of the ‘opening of the fabled Northwest Passage’ consequent to AGW. ;)   ;)   ;)

        Latimer Alder, that is why today’s neodenialists need not be surprised should it happen, that James Hansen’s 2011 prediction acceleration of sea-level rise this decade similarly comes true, similarly in consequence of AGW, eh?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        Because the simple explanation “James Hansen’s 1981 worldview has proven itself to be scientifically correct” explains much, eh?   :!:   :!:   :!:

        What is your next question, Latimer Alder?   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • @BBD

        You chose to answer my question by providing a reference to a paper. I read it and posted an interpretation. If I gave the impression that I didn’t think it was either very good or very relevant, then you’d be right

        But you then claimed that I ‘have not read the reference properly’. I asked you to point out where my interpretation is wrong. You have not been able to do so.

        You also accuse me of ‘being dishonest’. Au contraire, mon brave. I have been scrupulous in describing what I did and laying out the conclusions I drew.

        You may wish to disagree with that interpretation. You may think I have missed something. You may be disappointed that I did not immediately tug my forelock and defer to your superior wisdom without further question.

        All of the above emotions are of course your prerogative.

        But you should not accuse me of ‘dishonesty’. I am quite happy to stand by my actions and words in this matter.

      • LA

        But you then claimed that I ‘have not read the reference properly’. I asked you to point out where my interpretation is wrong. You have not been able to do so.

        Still pretending to have read the references *plural*? There were *two* Cohen papers – see how transparent your fibs are?

        Herman Alexander Pope tries to explain Cohen to you above and *again* you demonstrate incomprehension. Had you read the second reference, you would have understood the proposed mechanism properly. See how transparent your fibs are?

        You didn’t provide an ‘interpretation’. You said ‘it’s all crap’. My response is that you are not serious except about being in denial. This is self-evident from your commentary, as is your dishonesty in the matter of claiming to have read the references.

        You might be able to get away with lying to stupid people like this, but it doesn’t work with me. It would be useful to bear this in mind during future exchanges.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer Alder, for a simple-yet-joyful explanation of:

        (1)  Hansen-style climate-change physics, and

        (2)  the harmful freemarket destruction of commons,

        please allow me to suggest to you the (immensely popular!) Spongebob Squarepants in The Endless Summer.

        This deconstruction of neodenialism is childishly simple and fun, eh Latimer Alder?   :smile:   ;) :smile: :lol:

      • @BBD

        Not only do you accuse me of dishonesty, you are now making things up.

        I did not say ‘its all crap’.

        You can read what I wrote here

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/17/reflections-on-the-arctic-sea-ice-minimum-part-ii/#comment-240800

        and here

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/17/reflections-on-the-arctic-sea-ice-minimum-part-ii/#comment-240836

        And I invite you once again to explain in detail where my interpretation is wrong or where I have missed the point..

        I’m beginning to suspect that you haven’t a bloody clue what the answer to my simple question is either and that your diversions onto questioning motivations and honesty are little ploys designed to cover up this unhappy fact.

        Braggadocio and bluster are often used to try to conceal ignorance.

      • BBD | September 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

        “You might be able to get away with lying to stupid people like this, but it doesn’t work with me.”

        You have a smart friend to watch out for you?

      • Latimer Alder

        Still embarrassing yourself over this I see:

        And I invite you once again to explain in detail where my interpretation is wrong or where I have missed the point.

        This is how I *know* you didn’t read the references.

        It’s albedo change from increased autumnal snow cover at high northern latitudes. From the abstract, which I have *already quoted* for you:

        Instead, evidence suggests that summer and autumn warming trends are concurrent with increases in high-latitude moisture and an increase in Eurasian snow cover, which dynamically induces large-scale wintertime cooling.

        And from the paper:

        In this letter, we propose that the extensive winter NH extratropical cooling trend amidst a warming planet cannot be explained entirely by internal variability of the climate system. It has been shown that above normal snow cover across Eurasia in the autumn leads to a negative Arctic Oscillation (AO) and cold temperatures across the eastern United States and northern Eurasia in winter (Cohen and Entekhabi 1999). Therefore, we suggest that a significant portion of the wintertime temperature trend is driven by dynamical interactions between October Eurasian snow cover, which has increased over the last two decades, and the large-scale NH extratropical circulation in the late autumn and winter.

        If you don’t understand that more evaporation = more precipitation = more snow = higher albedo = winter cooling you have no business pontificating here.

        Next, a classic example of someone retreating into tactical literalism because they have absolutely nowhere else to go:

        Not only do you accuse me of dishonesty, you are now making things up.

        I did not say ‘its all crap’.

        No, you said:

        Here’s a desperate attempt to shore up the theory with some waffly hand-waving about snow in Siberia’

        And:

        To my guess it was published only to meet the requirement to submit x papers per annum.

        In other words, ‘this paper is crap’. This is typical of the pseudo-sceptic time-wasting nonsense that leads directly to the marginalisation and contempt ‘sceptics’ moan about continuously. I’ll say it again: if you want to be taken seriously, be serious. Stop playing childish games.

      • @bbd

        Lordy lordy – praise to the skies!

        You can actually manage to come up with something beyond hurling vituperation and insults. Who’d a thought it?

        Maybe you really do have some substance beyond the snarling misanthropy that you so delight in presenting to the world. Or maybe you are just pretending to have a softer, gentler, kinder side to lull us all into a false sense of security. If you stay around here for a bit, we shall see.

        But I don’t think that your currently favoured ultra-aggressive posting style is appropriate for this blog, however well it may go down elsewhere.

        You say

        ‘If you don’t understand that more evaporation = more precipitation = more snow = higher albedo = winter cooling you have no business pontificating here.’

        But this is totally counter to the idea that melted ice = more open water = lower albedo = general catastrophic warming. Which is also frequently promulgated.

        Seems to me that the two effects (if there are indeed two) might act as a feedback mechanism on each other

        Comments?

      • Latimer,

        While fan’s use of “neo” may not make him appear more intelligent, certainly his brilliant use of emoticons is proof of intellectual magnificance.

      • re; counter-intuitive Arctic warming and colder winters elsewhere

        It’s not counter-intuitive to me but to be fair my intuition is awesome on a scale that lesser evolved humans can’t quite comprehend.

        An emeritus comparative anatomy professor I knew who passed away recently told me once “Springer, hypotheses have to make sense. Facts don’t.”. So the global warming hypothesis complete with “Arctic amplification” had to make sense. As it turns the facts don’t make sense in light of it. But facts are facts.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2010/plot/wti/from:2010/trend

        We be in big trouble if the trend since 2010 (hey that rhymes) continues.

    • Latimer Alder said on September 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

      My old Mum heard some geezer from the Met Office on the telly saying that if we had an ice-free Arctic because of global warming, we in UK would expect our winters to get colder.

      And she quite rightly says

      ‘Well if its global warming causing the ice to melt, surely our winters should be warmer, not colder’

      Seems to me she has a point. Can anyone explain?
      _______

      Latimer, tell your mum to open her fridge door and stand close to the open fridge. She will feel cooler while the ice in the fridge is melting. While this isn’t exactly what’s happening to the UK when arctic ice is melting, it might make her more receptive to what the guy at the Met Office said.

      On second thought, just tell your mum to take my word for it. I wouldn’t want her standing there long enough for the ice cubes to melt.

      • @Max_OK

        Well that’s an interesting thought.

        And I could see how it might seem to be superficially plausible in the summer.

        But sadly in the winter the ice is freezing again. So – on your idea – she’d be warming up in the winter, not cooling down.

        Sorry.

      • No, that’s not right. The water in the ice cube trays will not refreeze if she keeps the fridge door open. Tell her not to fool around with this experiment. I’m sorry I even brought it up. I worry about all your mum’s food spoiling.

      • @max_OK

        Thanks for your concern. It did happen a while back that her old freezer broke down and all her food spoiled. She had a few sleepless nights over that. But luckily the insurance paid up for the contents and I was able to buy her a new machine which (touch wood) works well.

      • Not enough heat of fusion goes into melting the ice to make any difference. I’d call Arctic sea ice mass a drop in the bucket compared to ocean volume but that’s not accurate unless it’s a very big bucket.

        What mum should worry about is that the average temperature of the global ocean is a mere 4C and the only thing that separates us from a global average surface temperature of 4C is a thin layer of warm water that floats to the top because it’s less dense. If anything disturbs that floating layer so it starts mixing faster mum better break out the Shepherd’s Pie recipe that uses woolly mammoth meat instead of mutton, if you get my drift.

      • Freezer analogies are fun.

        Do you know what happens to a freezer that is not frost-free if you open and close the door very often? Ask around if you don’t. That’s what’s going to happen to the UK.

      • Max,

        I have to admit that I am impressed by the apparently bottomless well of explainations you keep coming up with. This open fridge one is almost as amazing as the one on money.

        I do hope that this is simply you just having fun and that you don’t really believe it.

    • Latimer,

      The UK has the world’s longest record in the Central England Temperature Record

      The climate in the UK is probably more variable than most, so any recent cold winters are more likely to be due to natural variability than any underlying trend.

      • tempterrain

        I’d agree with you (and so would many others) that “the climate in the UK is probably more variable than most, so any recent cold winters are more likely to be due to natural variability than any underlying trend”.

        But, as you will recall, we had all those silly forecasts by the UK Met Office of “BBQ summers”, “mild and snowless winters”, etc. (all caused by AGW, of course) – none of which turned out to be correct.

        The same Met Office predicted global warming trend of 0.3C per decade (caused by AGW), which also never happened.

        There were even a few who actually opined that the past cold winters across the northern hemisphere were caused by AGW!

        So it’s good to read that a self-proclaimed “warmer” agrees that natural factors (not only AGW and human CO2) play a major role in our planet’s climate.

        Max

      • So it’s good to read that a self-proclaimed “warmer” agrees that natural factors (not only AGW and human CO2) play a major role in our planet’s climate.

        I don’t believe there is anything at all controversial about natural variability. I suppose I could have written random variability. You just need to look at any graph of world temperatures or sea ice extents to see that it does exist. By applying statistical techniques, the most usual being smoothing applied to graphs of noisy data, it is possible to detect underlying trends. These can of course be caused either by natural or anthropogenic factors.

        Yes, there is a GH effect caused by the presence of GH gases in the atmosphere. Adding more gases will cause it to be “warmer”. (Is that the origin of the term?) Isn’t that what nearly everyone agrees on? Isn’t it just a question of how much and how fast?

      • No one denies that natural variability has a standard deviation of 0.1 degrees; large enough to mess up decadal forecasts, too small to matter compared to AGW over the century.

      • JimD, natural variability has a range of +/- 2 degrees on average for the global oceans. That is 2 whole degrees. It is based on the oceans since we have no friggin’ clue what the actual global mean surface temperature should be. The +/- 6 to 10 Wm-2 fluctuations in the satellite data is pretty much the natural range of variability.

        Now the assumed range of natural variability by the guys with the models that are tanking, is around 0.25 degrees. Those guys neglected to include the recovery from a few centuries in the past which was also “natural” variability. Since those guys are scared of satellite data, they can look at the Tmin from BEST for any location on the globe near a large body of ocean. The Central England Temperature will do in a pinch.

        If Herbert and Schmidt, (not the Gavin) have decent data, then
        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/whatssolargottodowithit.png that would give you a pretty good clue what long term natural variability is.

      • I am talking about the standard deviation of the global average which is 0.1 degrees C. By natural variation, I mean unforced, excluding solar, volcanic, and other forced changes, just internal ocean/land/ice/atmosphere energy exchanges.

      • JimD, then you are getting into an over precision situation.

        That is an example to how different oscillations can interact producing 0.2C range of “likely” natural variability. I say likely, because Pinatubo probably helped synchronize the oscillations. The 1940 peak was likely a longer term synchronization.

        starting in 1955 you can see that the nh and sh oceans tend to synchronize producing a step increase. That implies that the 0.1 is a product of smoothing. The ocean temperature are naturally smoothed so they would make like simpler than using the land surface temperature.

        Using the BEST Tmin for Oceania, which is pretty good for smoothing out the noise,

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/oceaniaTmin.png You can see that blaming all the jumps and dips on this or that is pretty much futile. The odd one is still the rapid drop at 1950 which doesn’t have a good explanation, making it likely natural.

        There is anthropogenic warming, mainly land use amplified by CO2 in my opinion, but assuming higher precision than is justified sets off the BS detectors. The range of error is still +/- 2 C, which should be obvious, since past climate has had 2C excursions.

      • I don’t believe the ocean has clockwork oscillations that synchronize themselves. It is purely chaotic, and some are fooled into seeing patterns in the noise. Likewise noise can’t lead to a net temperature change and the steady ocean heat content rise. It is forcing.

      • “Likewise noise can’t lead to a net temperature change and the steady ocean heat content rise. It is forcing.”

        Right on. Funny that people will apply this generic rule to phenomena in practical real-life situations, but when it comes to the entire world, they suddenly lose their intuition.

        Nutter politics will cause this as it replaces intuition with indoctrination via the rhetorical tools of propaganda, framing, projection, etc.

      • JimD, it is not a clockwork type of synchronization. The northern hemisphere has more land less ocean.that the southern hemisphere, Since the land loses heat more rapidly than the oceans, the higher heat capacity southern hemisphere will always transfer more heat to the north.

        Any type of forcing will have a greater impact on the northern hemisphere, which increases or decreases the rate of heat flow from the southern hemisphere.

        When a positive forcing is applied to the northern hemisphere, less energy is transfer to the south since the atmosphere has lower resistance to heat loss and the land has less thermal mass to retain heat to buffer the loss. When there is negative forcing in the northern hemisphere or the globe, the north will lose heat more quickly. Flow from the southern hemisphere north will increase to make up the loss, depending on the magnitude of the heat transfer, there will be an overshoot as a conditional equilibrium is approach. The heat transfer then has to change, you get a peak, or temporary pulse or bifurcation if you like,

        The volcanoes made neat perturbations so you can see how the northern hemisphere is more “sensitive” than the southern. The peak after Pinatubo was bigger because the thermal capacities between hemispheres was closer to equilibrium. That is the synchronization which produces this,

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/climate%20stuff/whatsnormal.png A change in the steady state or regime change.

        BTW, in a chaotic system, there is no noise, actually, the “noise” is the signal most of the time since every perturbation produces “noise” that will decay relative to the “sensitivity”. The “sensitivity” though changes with the shifts or regime changes so it is rather funny watching ya’ll scratch your heads wondering why the models don’t seem to work. :)

      • Robert I Ellison

        First we construct a network from four major climate indices. The network approach to complex systems is a rapidly developing methodology, which has proven to be useful in analyzing such systems’ behavior [Albert and Barabasi, 2002; Strogatz, 2001]. In this approach, a complex system is presented as a set of connected nodes. The
        collective behavior of all the nodes and links (the topology of the network) describes the dynamics of the system and offers new ways to investigate its properties. The indices represent the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO)[Barnston and Livezey, 1987; Hurrell, 1995; Mantua et al., 1997; Trenberth and Hurrell, 1994]. These indices represent regional but dominant modes of climate variability, with time scales ranging from months to decades.’

        https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf

        The entire Earth system is the complex and dynamic, deterministically chaotic system. An interconnected system with multiple negative and postive feedbacks in space and time that go well beyond the areas of the selected indices. In this formulation the collective behaviour of the indices reflects the behaviour of the system as a whole and enables the search for behaviour expected of chaotic systems. An increae in autocorrelation – synchonisation – extreme flucuations – dragon-kings – and a shift to a new state.

        That’s the math and it just makes sense. It matches these phases of decadal cooling and warming.

        But there are a couple of other misconceptions here. The changes are seen in TOA power flux as aresult of changes in cloud, dust, snow and ice, vegetation etc. The other thing is that we can say nothing about standard deviations because the variation is non-stationary and non-Gaussian. Variability is certainly much greater than seen in the instrumental record.

      • @tempterrain

        Thanks for that reminder. We are used to the idea that our weather changes a lot and very quickly. That you can have ‘all four seasons in a day’ is not a big surprise. Maybe we forget that other places have more stable and predictable weather patterns.

        Perhaps here lies an insight into some of the differences between sceptics and alarmists?

        Hypothesis to come:

        I hear the stuff about 2 degrees warming or whatever it is, and, because I live in a very variable climate, I genuinely am not worried or scared or surprised and cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Just seems to be no big deal for me. I’m used to rapid change and warmer/colder windier/calmer wetter/drier…and that’s all within a week.

        But if I were to live in a very stable climate where temperatures are pretty predictable for many weeks or months and weather changes are slow, maybe the idea of change is much more alarming.

        Similarly sealevel rise. In UK – by a fluke of physical geography – we have some of the highest tides in the world. I just checked Avonmouth(*). The tide today goes up 12.6 metres (41 feet) in 5 hours and 22 minutes (322 mins). The average rise is 1.5 inches per minute.

        It is very difficult to get too excited about a rise of 24 inches in a century, when the normal day-to-day tide does all of that in a quarter of an hour. And when you have 100 years to put a few extra bricks in the sea wall.

        But if you live a long long way from the sea (like the sealevel research guys perched high in the Rockies at mile-high Boulder, Co) maybe its easy to get it all out of proportion and scare oneself stupid.

        Maybe we should get somebody like Lewandowsky to investigate…or even somebody reputable. Ciao

        *http://www.tidetimes.org.uk/port-of-bristol-avonmouth-tide-times

      • Mark B (number 2)

        tempterrain, I have looked at your graph for Central England. I don’t know where you have got it from, but it can’t be right. It has temperatures from the 1600s! I don’t know how these have been arrived at, but they couldn’t have been from thermometers. And the increase over the last 150 years is much greater than the actual increase, which I have got from weather histories on the met office website. (I have plotted my own graphs.)
        The greatest warming is shown by the station at Oxford, and this is still much less than your graph shows (about 1 degree since the 1860s).
        This is also the station which suffered from the greatest urban heat island effect, due to it being located centrally in a fast growing city and, most importantly, in a garden next to the busy dual carriage way, the Banbury Road.
        If you compare this to temperature readings from other stations in Britain, where there is little, or no UHI effect, it is obvious that most of this increase is due to urbanization and the heat from road traffic.

      • “tempterrain, I have looked at your graph for Central England. I don’t know where you have got it from, but it can’t be right. It has temperatures from the 1600s! ”

        “The mean daily data series begins in 1772 and the mean monthly data in 1659. Mean maximum and minimum daily and monthly data are also available, beginning in 1878.”

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        It’s one station with very old thermometer. Here’s temperature reconstruction using it and older records [not temperature reading, extending back to 1540]:

        http://www.sott.net/articles/show/249643-Little-Ice-Age-Thermometers-Historic-Variations-in-Temperatures-Confirms-Extended-Period-of-Warming-Before-Rapid-Cooling

        So it’s taking temperature as done today [max/min] starting in 1878.
        It’s not a global temperature, but is some degree useful.

      • “tempterrain, I have looked at your graph for Central England. I don’t know where you have got it from:

        The data is from here:

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

        imported into excel and then produced as a graph.

        https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=18FA7F25181C7A17!135

      • Mark B (number 2)

        Thankyou tempterrain and gbaike. I will look into it.

      • Mark B (number 2)

        According to wiki, thermometers before about 1700 were not calibrated, did not use a standard scale and did not use mercury. Its not clear exactly clear where these readings were taken. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that proxies have been used extensively where thermometer data is none existent. And as I have said before, when I plotted graphs from the raw data from British weather stations I found no “hockey stick” and they looked nothing like the graph that you (tempterrain) have provided a link to.
        However, I must admit that I didn’t realize how long it is that we have had thermometers, so that was interesting and I’ve learnt something today. :)

    • Latimer, tell your Mum that the models said winters would be warmer but they weren’t turning out that way so now we know that AGW causes colder winters. There is a consensus that anything that happens is consistent with AGW and one can hardly argue against a consensus.

    • Latimer, this might get to you well after the discussion has died, but I believe JC was referencing a paper she co-authored. From the Abstract:

      While the Arctic region has been warming strongly in recent decades, anomalously large snowfall in recent winters has affected large parts of North America, Europe, and east Asia. Here we demonstrate that the decrease in autumn Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation that have some resemblance to the negative phase of the winter Arctic oscillation. However, the atmospheric circulation change linked to the reduction of sea ice shows much broader meridional meanders in midlatitudes and clearly different interannual variability than the classical Arctic oscillation. This circulation change results in more frequent episodes of blocking patterns that lead to increased cold surges over large parts of northern continents. Moreover, the increase in atmospheric water vapor content in the Arctic region during late autumn and winter driven locally by the reduction of sea ice provides enhanced moisture sources, supporting increased heavy snowfall in Europe during early winter and the northeastern and midwestern United States during winter. We conclude that the recent decline of Arctic sea ice has played a critical role in recent cold and snowy winters.

      The main effect of decreased sea ice, they believe, is to have an effect on the atmospheric circulation patterns, leading to weather conditions we have seen in the last few winters. In addition, open seas allows for more moisture to be picked up by prevailing winds. Together, this would constitute a negative feedback to Arctic warming – for whatever reason it warms. Therefore, the effect of warming in the arctic is cooling at the lower latitudes, from increased albedo from clouds and snow, and transportation of colder air from the arctic.

      On the plus, side, it should be a good skiing season.

      • @agnostic

        This is all beginning to sound a little like Alice in Wonderland. I’d have great difficulty in explaining it to my Mum in two sentences.

        But here goes:

        ‘Because its warmer it snows more and so it gets colder’.

        Hmm

        A couple of obvious questions

        1. If you have six feet of snow or three inches of snow the albedo doesn’t change. It is still a coating of snow. Why does the amount rather than the position matter?

        2. Does albedo count for much in NH winter anyway? There are short (in Arctic regions very short to non existent) days, the sun is never high in the sky and mostly its pretty cloudy (snow clouds etc). Surely the air will get its temperature from the warmer water it flows over, not the very limited Arctic Ice.

      • Latimer,

        You’d have to understand it first to explain it to your Mum.

        There is no scientific consensus that the UK will actually get colder anyway. Its just a possibility if Ocean currents are disrupted or if the prevailing winds cease to be from the West.

        The last UK winter wasn’t that cold was it? The Met office say for the 2011/2012 winter:

        “Mean temperatures over the UK were 0.6 °C above average during December, 1.3 °C above in January and 0.7 °C above in February. The UK mean temperature for the winter was 4.5 °C, much milder than the last three winters, and comparable with several other mild winters since 2000″

        Have you got it now? Your mother probably won’t have too much difficulty with that. My mother certainly wouldn’t, but that might lead us into a discussion about the heredity nature of intelligence!

      • @tempterrain

        OK

        I think the answer is that nobody has a f…g clue about the effect of lower Arctic sea ice on UK weather – if any at all. Some say it’ll be colder, others say it’ll be opposite. And the Met Office say we had a mild winter last time, which will come as news to many of us who work outside and remember the very cold weather. Seems pretty typical of climatology.

        I think I’ll just stick to Latimer’s trusty weather predictions

        It’ll be cold when there isn’t a warm spell and dry when it isn’t raining or snowing.

      • Well, I am not saying that it (the paper or the reasoning) is right – but that is what I think the idea is, which is at least plausible. As the Arctic warms, or for whatever reason there is a reduction in sea-ice, it is proposed that there is more snow fall in the NH. This presumably would have the effect of cooling the arctic eventually (but in reality not necessarily) and is a negative feedback.

        With regards to albedo, you are quite right, you only need an inch of snow to increase albedo due to snow, but remember last winter it snowed to quite low latitudes – even northern africa. As far as cloudiness goes – yes you are probably right – it’s probably not THAT significant. It is mentioned and discussed as a secondary effect. Most snow falls as a result of warmer moist air from the south meeting the colder air from the arctic. The main point is that the greater moisture in the air and reduced temperature differential affects the winds around the arctic with the result that we get blocking patterns leading to more snowfall.

        Your not so hidden point on ‘global warming means global cooling’ is understood. Global warming is a misnomer. ‘Climate change’ even, is misleading. Maybe it should be ‘Climate Fluctuations’.

        PS. As it happens I have fiddled about with Rutger Snow Data. It’s pretty interesting. At around 1988 ± 3 years, NH snow extent dropped by about 8%. Previous to that, the extent was highly variable. Since that time, at lower extents, it has been much more stable and very gradually increasing.

  10. “Would melting sea ice trigger some sort of clathrate methane release into the atmosphere? Well in terms of thawing permafrost, it seems like more snow fall on the continents would inhibit permafrost thawing.”

    I don’t get this line of reasoning myself. Firstly, we are seeing a considerable increase in the reduction of spring snow-cover i.e. an earlier melt-out over high northern latitudes.

    Secondly, the point fails to address the subsea permafrost in shallower areas such as the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Sure, we don’t know exactly what is going on up there (although a lot of fieldwork is underway), but I would not dismiss this area as a potential net source of methane given current data.

    “Clouds would change, atmospheric circulation patterns would change. ”

    Another potential feedback under investigation is increased meridionality of the polar jet and a slowdown in its easterly progression, leading to blocked synoptic patterns. Such patterns lead to prolonged periods of one weather-type or another such as the Midwest drought or the wet UK summer. It has been suggested that there is a link between these patterns and the strong warming of the Arctic (compared to other areas of the planet). If correct, a major knock-on in terms of steeply-rising prices of certain feedstocks is a worrying potential consequence.

  11. Wu et al.
    On the time-varying trend in global-mean surface temperature
    “…we showed that the rapidity of the warming in the late twentieth century was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillatory variation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08 deg C per decade since ~1980.”,

    http://bit.ly/PDBWyZ

    This mean that 0.2 – 0.08 = 0.12 deg C per decade warming is due to the multidecadal oscillation, which is natural. When the multidecadal oscillation phase changes to cooling, the sea ice will start to increase. That should happen in the next decade.

  12. I don’t normally pursue the the topic of “whence” because it falls into the “framing” trap of accepting the “whither”, which I do not.

    I’ll make an exception, but keep it short.

    No.

  13. Tallbloke, Anthony Watts, Lucia, JoNova, Dr. Curry, Tamino, Jeff ID, & others:

    There’s a good Arctic Sea Ice Blunder story here:

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/16/reflections-on-the-arctic-sea-ice-minimum-part-i/#comment-240690

  14. It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate inexplicable at present to us must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years greatly abated… This, with information of a similar nature derived from other sources; the unusual abundance of ice islands that have during the last two summers been brought by currents from Davies Straights into the Atlantic.

    Is the above evidence of GLOBAL WARMING? Yes, but, this is global warming as reported in “a letter from the President of the Royal Society to the British Admiralty” in 1817. Despite the fact that society clearly suffers from Hot World Syndrome today (see infra), AGW did not cause global warming back then just as it is not causing the globe to warm now.

  15. Temperature is right on schedule!
    Less see ice in autumn means more snowfall on the continents, which can have a larger impact on albedo. EXACTLY!
    That is why, after the low point in 2007 it took this many years to go low again. We will have more snow than after the 2007 and 2008 warm period and that will kick back for a few more years. The next record cannot be 2013, it will be later. We are getting the extra snow that always falls during the warm periods of the past ten thousand years and Global Warming is at or near the peak, similar to the Medieval Warm period and all the other warm periods of the past ten thousand years. The oceans are warm and we will continue to have open arctic for some years while the ice piles up and prepares to advance and take us into the next cool period.
    What has happened during every warm period of the past ten thousand years is happening again.
    The story is in the actual data. Forget flawed consensus climate theory and forget flawed consensus climate model output and just look at the actual data. Earth temperature is right on schedule if you follow the pattern of the past ten thousand years.

  16. Dr Curry, thank you again for two very topical posts. I wonder though if there isn’t a bit of tension between the statement in the previous thread:

    JC’s attribution assessment: likely (>66% likelihood) 50-50 split between natural variability and anthropogenic forcing, with +/-20% range.

    and in this one:

    Focusing on CO2 as the dominant influence on the time scale of two decades seems very misguided to me.

    Obviously attributing 40-60% of what we see now to anthropogenic forcing need not imply CO2 as the dominant influence for the next two decades. All the same, it makes it seem quite important. But is anthropogenic in the first solely to do with CO2 emissions? Does CO2 in the second refer to atmospheric concentrations? Care to elucidate how these two statements work together? Not a trick question. I respect your emphasis on uncertainty throughout.

  17. Earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age because Albedo has been decreasing. Earth will cool into the next cool period because now Albedo is increasing. Water and Ice are abundant, CO2 is a trace. Manmade CO2 is a fraction of a trace. I do believe it may have had a trace of influence, but Water and Ice are in control. Ice melts every summer. When the Arctic is open it snows more than enough to replace what melted. When the Arctic is closed it snows less than enough to replace what melted. This is clearly shown in the data. Every warm period is followed by a cool period and every cool period is followed by a warm period.
    The temperature that Arctic Sea Ice melts and freezes is the set point for Earth’s Thermostat!

  18. Alastair McDonald

    Judith,
    You wrote: “… I am not seeing a big rationale for climate catastrophe if the see ice melts? I would be interested in other speculations on this.”

    The big threat from global warming is the the possibility of an abrupt climate change. These have happened before i.e. at the start of the Bolling-Alerod inter stadial and at the end of the Younger Dryas stadial when temperatures in Greenland rose by 20C in about thirty years. The cause of these abrupt changes is not known, but it is known that during the Younger Dryas the Arctic sea ice had spread as far south as the west coast of Ireland. It seems most likely to me that the cause of the rapid climate change was the dissappearance of sea ice from the North Atlantic changing the climate there from quasi-continental to oceanic. Moreover, the loss of sea ice would have altered the planetary albedo, causing the planet to warm until clouds cover had increased enough for the radiation balance at the TOA to be restored.

    AISI, the loss of the Arctic sea ice will have the same consequences: a rapid warming disrupting the current climate system. This will disrupt agriculture on an over populated planet with catastrophic results. We have already seen the possibility that harvests in Russia and the US have been disrupted by only a partial loss of the Arctic sea ice.

    As was pointed out in a comment on Real Climate, if a small warming in the Pacific Ocean (an El Nino) can affect global weather, how much more efect will a large warming in the Arctic Ocean?

    Cheers, Alastair.

    • Younger Dryas is known. Melted glaciers suddenly dumped into the oceans to cause the cooling and the sudden warming was because ice was still retreating and the dumping had run out of water.

      • Alastair McDonald

        The cause of the Younger Dyas is not known. It was thought that fresh water from a pro-glacial lake spread across the North Atlantic and stopped the global ocean currents. It is now known that did not happen. The only fresh water to enter the Arctic flowed down the MacKenzie River.
        With your scenario the YD started abruptly because the lake burst its banks, but it does not explain why the YD ended abruptly. Did a proglacial lake suddenly suck the fresh water out of the Atlantic?

      • The water stayed in the oceans and is still there today.

        http://popesclimatetheory.com/page30.html

      • See also the 8.2ka Event. The same thing as Younger Dryas – a massive injection of fresh water turned off the NH THC, halting ocean heat transport northwards from the equator. As with YD the source was the huge meltwater reservoir Lake Agassiz.

      • Alasttair McDonald

        Not sure where you are getting this from. The abrupt drainage of L Agassiz that triggered the YD was into the Arctic ocean via Mackenzie R, not the N Atlantic. The 8.2ka event was probably caused by drainage from L Agassiz into Hudson Bay and thence into N Altantic.

      • AM

        The resumption of poleward heat transport by the THC produced the abrupt and very large NH warming. This is all fairly well understood. You seem to be trying to make some sort of false equivalence with or alternative explanation for modern warming. It doesn’t work.

      • It does not matter if we can not agree on which way L Agassiz drained or even if we got it wrong. Either way, it raises the oceans and helps get liquid water into the Arctic. You get abrupt cooling of the oceans by dumping in huge amounts of ice cold water and massive snows because there is liquid water in the Arctic. The Arctic freezes and the snow stops and the warming resumes. Later you get the snowfall that always happens when you have liquid water in the Arctic.

      • Alastair McDonald

        I am not comparing the current situation to the start of the YD., or the 8.2ka event. I am saying it is similar to the end of the YD and the start of the B-O when the sea ice suddenly melted and there were events with opposite and larger changes in temperture than at the start of the YD. You can see that here here with the B-O starting with the rapid warming at 14.5 ka. No amount of flows down (or up) the Mackenzie river could have caused these warmings.

      • Reply misthreaded – see above.

        Same message as to plazaeme upthread:

        Using paleoclimate as a grab bag of random, misunderstood factoids to back up wacky ideas about modern climate change is not a good policy.

      • Alastair McDonald

        BBD, Your Wikipedia article on the 8.2 ka event says:
        “The 8.2 Ka cooling event may have been caused by a large meltwater pulse from the final collapse of the Laurentide ice sheet of northeastern North America …” [My emphasis] Even your unscientific source is doubtful.

        The causes of the YD and the 8.2 event are not yet known with certainty. The idea that they were caused by a flow of pro-glacial water through the Gulf of St. Lawrence is now discredited, and the draining of Lake Agassiz through the Mackenzie River into the Arctic does not fit with a fresh water covering the North Atlantic. More credible is the expansion of sea ice into the North Atlantic which is known to have happened. That would have halted the Conveyor in the North Atlantic. It was the sea ice which caused the cooling and the stopped the Conveyor, not the Conveyor halting which caused the cooling.

        This is just simple logic applied to known facts. Of course if you have decided that catastrophic climate change is impossible then you won’t be able to understand it. Comments such as: “Using paleoclimate as a grab bag of random, misunderstood factoids to back up wacky ideas about modern climate change is not a good policy” are silly and insulting. It shows you are only interested in a flame war. Don’t expect further replies from me.

      • Alastair McDonald

        The Wiki link was a *courtesy* link. I might have known someone would attack me for providing an accessible gloss rather than an academic paper. Typical.

        As for your other stuff, back it up with some references please. I ask as you seem to have taken off on a tangent to the mainstream position, and I’d like to know where all this certainty is coming from.

        Specifically, what are your sources for the following dogmatic statements:

        – The idea that they were caused by a flow of pro-glacial water through the Gulf of St. Lawrence is now discredited

        – the draining of Lake Agassiz through the Mackenzie River into the Arctic does not fit with a fresh water covering the North Atlantic.

        – It was the sea ice which caused the cooling and the stopped the Conveyor, not the Conveyor halting which caused the cooling.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Why is the most powerful system on the planet – ocean surface warming and cooling over a good proportion of the global tropics and sub-tropics called small? Home of the most ecosystems on the planets? Home of zones of major upwelling?

      Experience over 2.58 million years suggests it is more likely to be a rapid cooling.

      • Alastair McDonald

        BBD,

        It is well known that Broecker’s original idea that the THC was halted by a flow from Lake Agassiz through the Gulf of St Lawrence was wrong. The flow was though the Mackenzie River into the Beaufort Sea. The proposal that it was sea ice is here.

        Robert,

        I am not sure what you are saying but the THC spends half it time flowing in the deep ocean well away form the atmosphere where it can have any effect on climate. Moreover it has two source: In the Arctic and in the Weddel Sea. Even if the Arctic source was vblocked the THC would still flow driven by the Antarctic sea ice.

        Cheers,Alastair.

      • Robert I Ellison

        2.58 million years is of course the Quaternary where we have a shift in climate from glacials interspersed with short interglacials. The cause of this might be the closing of the Isthmus of America or uplift of the Himilayas. This combines with insolation in orbital cycles to set the conditions for runaway ice and snow feedbacks. In a broad sense it is what Herman says. Warmth feeds evaporation which falls as snow. At a tipping point the accumulation of snow is rapid causing a chaotic shift to glacial conditions. Is THC involved? Perhaps. Is the AO and SAM involved? Almost certainly. But these are nodes in a global, dynamic system (in the terms of complexity theory) in which is included both the PDO and ENSO. The Pacific sst drive most decadal to cenntennial variability in climate. They work in sympathy. Will CO2 stop this? It seems more likely to add marginally to warming and increase the instability caused by warming. It is why it is cooling for a decade or three more at least. It is a balance hinged on a tipping point, a catastrophe in the sense of Rene Thom, a chaotic bifurcation or a phase transition. Sceptics hate it when I say this – but if we don’t watch it we could bite off a considerable chunk of icy trouble.

      • Alastair McDonald

        The proposal that it was sea ice is here.

        Broecker (2006) proposes the *amplification* of the effects of AMOC shutdown through increased N. Atlantic winter sea ice formation. It is not about the cause of the shutdown itself. This is explicit in the abstract:

        how were impacts of the Younger Dryas (YD), Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) and Heinrich (H) events transmitted so quickly and efficiently throughout the northern hemisphere and tropics?

        And:

        The requisite abrupt changes in the extent of sea ice cover are of course best explained by the turning on and turning off of the Atlantic’s conveyor circulation.

        Note: the abrupt changes in the extent of sea ice are best explained by the turning on and off off the AMOC. Not the other way around.

        The standard position nowadays is that the YD was not triggered by an ice-rafting event. In other words, the YD ≠ ‘Heinrich Event 0′.

        Broecker et al. (2010) doesn’t challenge the hypothesis that cumulative meltwater freshening of high latitude N. Atlantic surface water eventually halts the AMOC. It questions whether flooding from abrupt pro-glacial lake drainage is at most a *trigger* for full AMOC shutdown which would have occurred anyway.

        In either case freshening surface water is the *cause* of AMOC shutdown, not ice formation.

    • Alastair,

      Yours is the first comment I can recall that presented some sort of reasonable point for what could happen from a warming Arctic. Mostly we get doomsday stories with nothing to support them.

    • Alastair McDonald

      “The requisite abrupt changes in the extent of sea ice cover are of course best explained by the turning on and turning off of the Atlantic’s conveyor circulation.” (Broecker, 2006)
      A HREF=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandy_Rice-Davies#.22Well.2C_he_would.2C_wouldn.27t_he.3F.22″>Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

      Earth Science is not like geometry where once you have proved a theorem it stays true for eternity. Simple truths such as the North West Passage is not navigable due to ice, can become untrue. The cause of the YD can seem to be due to a pro-glacial discharge the the Gulf of St. Lawrence, then to be caused by an asteroid impact, which again gets discredited.

      If you want to believe that the ocean currents caused the sea ice then there is nothing I can say that will convince you or Wally Broecker otherwise. Moreover it is irrelevant to my argument, that when the Arctic sea ice disappears we will have a rapid warming. If you are convinced that CAGW is impossible, then there is nothing I can say that will make you change your mind. But in a few years time you will find that I was right :-(

      • Alastair McDonald

        “The requisite abrupt changes in the extent of sea ice cover are of course best explained by the turning on and turning off of the Atlantic’s conveyor circulation.” (Broecker, 2006)
        Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

        Earth Science is not like geometry where once you have proved a theorem it stays true for eternity. Simple truths such as the North West Passage is not navigable due to ice, can become untrue. The cause of the YD can seem to be due to a pro-glacial discharge the the Gulf of St. Lawrence, then to be caused by an asteroid impact, which again gets discredited.

        If you want to believe that the ocean currents caused the sea ice then there is nothing I can say that will convince you or Wally Broecker otherwise. Moreover it is irrelevant to my argument, that when the Arctic sea ice disappears we will have a rapid warming. If you are convinced that CAGW is impossible, then there is nothing I can say that will make you change your mind. But in a few years time you will find that I was right :-(

      • Goodness me Alastair, can’t you just graciously admit you were mistaken? And perhaps leave paleoclimate alone until you are more familiar with the nuances of current thinking?

        If you are convinced that CAGW is impossible, then there is nothing I can say that will make you change your mind.

        What are you on about? *Where* did you get the notion that I believe ‘CAGW’ to be impossible from? Have you read any of my other comments here?

        I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for a contrarian before ;-)

  19. Playing now on cable channel History International.

    “Little ICE Age – Big CHILL” – 90 minutes

    Much more dramatic in 3D but after watching this, how humanity was brutally clobbered by, and the overwhelming evidence of it one acquires a more profound loathing of Michael Mann et al who tried to erase it from climatology.

    • Mann wants to constrain the MWP.

    • David Springer

      There was no global, synchronous MWP. Various regional warming *and cooling* events occurred over the span of about four centuries. The problem arising here is one of ‘sceptics’ misrepresenting the true nature of the regional Medieval Warm Periods and then claiming that a conspiracy of commie climate scientists is trying to ‘get rid of the MWP’. In the sense ‘sceptics’ use the term, it never existed in the first place.

      • der, read CG correspondence from dendros.

      • Paleo reconstructions of the northern hemisphere have a lot more regional oscillations that tend to cancel. The MWP would be a SST event, kinda like the current Arctic sea ice melt. Most of the proxies with high correlation to sst show a warmer MWP and LIA. Even the Orsi et al, “Fresh Hockey Stick from the Southern Hemisphere” has MWP temperature indications that are not significantly different than today. Neukom et al Southern south American, same story.

        Denying that the oceans control climate is a touch odd, doncha know.

      • David Springer

        Whether the MWP and LIA were global and synchronous is debatable. What’s not debatable is that as Arctic Sea Ice extent is diminishing global average temperature of the lower troposphere is declining. So Arctic Sea Ice extent is definititely not global or synchronous. It’s a regional event and the globe is cooling even while it’s happening.

      • David Springer

        Another indication that the Arctic sea ice retreat is a “regional event” is that late-summer Antarctic sea extent has been growing (at a slower rate than the Arctic sea ice retreat).

        Max

      • BBD

        There was no global, synchronous MWP.

        That’s a mighty big statement for which there is no scientific or historical evidence.

        There are many studies from all over the globe, using different paleoclimate methods, which all conclude that there was a MWP with temperatures slightly higher than those of today.

        In addition, there are historical records from all over the civilized world at the time, which indicate the same.

        Historical and scientific evidence is not “proof”, of course.

        But the evidence definitely points to a global MWP that was slightly warmer than today.

        Max

      • manacker

        Standard ‘sceptic’ misrepresentation:

        There are many studies from all over the globe, using different paleoclimate methods, which all conclude that there was a MWP with temperatures slightly higher than those of today.

        There is evidence for a number of regional warming events during the 400yr period misleadingly called the MWP. The warming events were neither global nor synchronous.

        Sceptics cannot accept this because it removes a plank from the myth that there has been some kind of concerted attempt to ‘get rid’ of the MWP. As opposed to gaining a better understanding of its real nature.

        Of course if there was a global, synchronous MWP as a response to very minor changes in forcings then this is excellent evidence that the climate system is sensitive to small changes in radiative forcing. Something that is of course anathema to ‘sceptics’.

      • But the evidence definitely points to a global MWP that was slightly warmer than today.

        Let’s see some references for this claim.

      • peterdavies252

        Max, in view of the fact that “global” temp is at best a statistical device averaging out temps around the various zones around the world, I think that the MWP would most likely be a NH thing.

        The temperature stations used by Tony Brown seem to be mainly around the urban areas of Europe and the UK and these temperature stations would be the raw data that would be used for estimating the effect of the MWP.

      • “Of course if there was a global, synchronous MWP as a response to very minor changes in forcings then this is excellent evidence that the climate system is sensitive to small changes in radiative forcing. Something that is of course anathema to ‘sceptics’.”

        What a load of nonsense! The factors influencing global climate change (the so-called forcings) are unknown.

      • Is this global?

      • BBD

        You need to do your homework before you shoot off posts with silly comments such as this one:

        There is evidence for a number of regional warming events during the 400yr period misleadingly called the MWP. The warming events were neither global nor synchronous.

        In addition to the comprehensive study of Craig Loehle, which cites several peer-reviewed studies on the MWP and concludes that the temperature then was slightly warmer than today, there have been many other regional studies.

        I have seen studies made by 83 different scientists from 21 different locations all over the world, using different paleoclimate methods, all concluding that the MWP was warmer than today. The time periods covered by each of the studies are not identical, but they all fall within the climatic time period commonly called the Medieval Warm Period. If you would like to see the links to these studies, I’ll be glad to post them.

        BTW the current warming period is NOT “global” if this means that every spot on the globe has warmed – there are many locations (around one-third of the total), which are slightly cooler, even though the “globally and annually averaged land and sea temperature” is slightly warmer. The same may well have been true at any time during the MWP.

        Max

        Max

      • Lohle is a single, contentious paper. No confidence in loehle.

        I’m familiar with that CO2 Science map you are carefully avoiding linking to. Why not link to it? Then we can go through the dates together and you will see a series of distinct, regional warming events spread over ~400yr.

      • BBD

        Here are links to several studies, from all over the world using different paleo-climate methodologies, which all confirm a MWP that was slightly warmer than today.

        1. Global
        Loehle (2007):

        http://www.ncasi.org/publications/Detail.aspx?id=3025

        In this study, eighteen 2000-year-long series were obtained that were not based on tree ring data…The mean series shows the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) quite clearly, with the MWP being approximately 0.3°C warmer than 20th century values at these eighteen sites.
        Data: http://www.ncasi.org/programs/areas/climate/LoehleE&E2007.csv

        2. Greenland
        D. Dahl-Jensen et al
        Past Temperatures Directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet
        Science 9 October 1998: Vol. 282 no. 5387 pp. 268-271

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/282/5387/268.abstract

        MWP 0.8C warmer than latest average

        The Last Glacial Maximum, the Climatic Optimum, the Medieval Warmth, the Little Ice Age, and a warm period at 1930 A.D. are resolved from the GRIP reconstruction with the amplitudes –23 kelvin, +2.5 kelvin, +1 kelvin, –1 kelvin, and +0.5 kelvin, respectively.

        The HadCRUT Greenland temperature record shows an average annual temperature:

        http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/swgreenlandave.dat

        1926-1935 = -0.29°C
        1996-2005 = -0.61°C (most recent data reported)
        So 1930 was around 0.3°C warmer than the latest average

        MWP period high was around 0.5C°C + 0.3°C = 0.8°C higher than current highs.

        3. Greenland Summit
        Johnsen, S.J., Dahl-Jensen, D., Gundestrup, N., Steffensen, J.P., Clausen, H.B., Miller, H., Masson-Delmotte, V., Sveinbjörnsdottir, A.E. and White, J.
        2001. Oxygen isotope and palaeotemperature records from six Greenland ice-core stations
        temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period (~AD 800-1100) were about 1°C warmer than those of the Current Warm Period.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_gripsummit.php

        4. China
        De’Er Zhang 1994
        Henan Province
        0.9-1.0°C warmer than present

        http://www.springerlink.com/content/gh98230822m7g01l/

        5. Eastern China
        Ge, Q., Zheng, J., Fang, X., Man, Z., Zhang, X., Zhang, P. and Wang, W.-C. 2003
        0.4°C higher than today’s peak warmth

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_easternchina.php

        6. Pearl River Delta, S. China
        Honghan, Z. and Baolin, H. 1995
        1-2°C higher than that at present time

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_pearlriver.php

        7. Japan
        Adhikari, D.P. and Kumon, F. 2001
        warmer than any other period during the last 1300 years

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V9/N13/C3.php

        8. Yakushima Island, S. Japan
        Kitagawa, H. and Matsumoto, E. 1995
        about 1°C above that of the Current Warm Period

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_yakushima.php

        9. Sargasso Sea
        Keigwin, L. 1996
        ~1°C warmer than today

        http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/274/5292/1503

        10. Tropical Ocean (Indian Ocean, South China Sea, Caribbean)
        Alicia Newton, Robert Thunell, and Lowell Stott 2006
        0.4°C warmer than today

        http://earth.usc.edu/~stott/stott%20papers/Newton%20et%20al.,%202006.pdf

        11. New Zealand
        Cook, E. R., J. G. Palmer, and R. D. D’Arrigo 2002
        (MWP confirmed but no temperature difference cited)

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001GL014580.shtml

        http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/CookPalmer.pdf

        12. New Zealand
        Wilson, A.T., Hendy, C.H. and Reynolds, C.P 1979
        0.75°C warmer than the Current Warm Period

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_nzcave.php

        13. Barrow Strait, Canada
        Vare, L.L., Masse, G., Gregory, T.R., Smart, C.W. and Belt, S.T
        (MWP confirmed but no temperature difference cited)

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l3_barrowstrait.php

        14. Northern Gulf of Mexico (Pigmy Basin)
        Richey, J.N., Poore, R.Z., Flower, B.P. and Quinn, T.M 2007
        about 1.5°C warmer than present-day temperatures.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_pigmybasin.php

        15. Coastal Peru
        Rein B., Lückge, A., Reinhardt, L., Sirocko, F., Wolf, A. and Dullo, W.-C 2005
        Medieval Warm Period for this region was about 1.2°C above that of the Current Warm Period

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_perushelf.php

        16. Venezuela coast
        Goni, M.A., Woodworth, M.P., Aceves, H.L., Thunell, R.C., Tappa, E., Black, D., Muller-Karger, F., Astor, Y. and Varela, R. 2004
        approximately 0.35°C warmer than peak Current Warm Period temperatures, and fully 0.95°C warmer than the mean temperature of the last few years of the 20th century

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_cariacobasin.php

        17. Lake Erie, Ohio, USA
        Patterson, W.P 1998
        both summer maximum and mean annual temperatures in the Great Lakes region were found to be higher than those of the 20th century; mean annual temperatures were 0.2°C higher

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_lakeerie.php

        18. Chesapeake Bay, USA
        Cronin, T.M., Dwyer, G.S., Kamiya, T., Schwede, S. and Willard, D.A. 2003
        mean 20th-century temperatures were 0.15°C cooler than mean temperatures during the first stage of the Medieval Warm Period

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_chesapeake.php

        19. Sweden (Central Scandinavian Mountains)
        Linderholm, H.W. and Gunnarson, B.E. 2005
        Between AD 900 and 1000, summer temperature anomalies were as much as 1.5°C warmer than the 1961-1990 base period

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_jamtland.php

        20. Finnish Lapland
        Weckstrom, J., Korhola, A., Erasto, P. and Holmstrom, L. 2006
        0.15°C warmer than the peak warmth of the Current Warm Period

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_tsuolbmajavri.php

        21. Ural Mountains, Russia
        Mazepa, V.S. 2005
        Medieval Warm Period lasted from approximately AD 700 to 1300 and that significant portions of it were as much as 0.56°C warmer than the Current Warm Period.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_polarurals.php

        22. Altai Mountains, S. Siberia, Russia 2007
        Kalugin, I., Daryin, A., Smolyaninova, L., Andreev, A., Diekmann, B. and Khlystov, O.
        mean peak temperature of the latter part of the Medieval Warm Period was about 0.5°C higher than the mean peak temperature of the Current Warm Period.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_altaimountains.php

        23. Swiss Alps
        Schlüchter et al. 2004

        http://alpen.sac-cas.ch/de/archiv/2004/200406/ad_2004_06_12.pdf

        MWP and other earlier periods warmer than today, but no temperature estimate given

        24. Austrian Alps
        Patzelt 2009

        http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Patzelt_01.pdf

        MWP ~900 AD slightly warmer than today, earlier periods even warmer

        25. Silvaplana, Switzerland
        Larocque-Tobler, I., Grosjean, M., Heiri, O., Trachsel, M. and Kamenik, C. 2010. Thousand years of climate change reconstructed from chironomid subfossils preserved in varved lake Silvaplana, Engadine, Switzerland. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1940-1949.

        http://cmslive1.unibe.ch/lenya/giub/live/research/see/People/CK-Home/CK-Publications/Larocque-Tobler_et_al_2010.pdf

        mean July air temperatures were 1°C warmer than the climate reference period (1961-1990).

        26. Spannagel Cave, Central Alps, Austria
        Mangini, A., Verdes, P., Spotl, C., Scholz, D., Vollweiler, N. and Kromer, B. 2007. Persistent influence of the North Atlantic hydrography on central European winter temperature during the last 9000 years. Geophysical Research Letters34: 10.1029/2006GL028600.

        http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20070809/20070809_08.html

        the peak temperature of the Medieval Warm Period (AD 800-1300) was approximately 1.5°C higher than the peak temperature of the Current Warm Period.

        27. NW Spain
        Martinez-Cortizas, A., Pontevedra-Pombal, X., Garcia-Rodeja, E., Novoa-Muñoz, J.C. and Shotyk, W. 1999
        mean annual temperature during this time was as much as 3.4°C warmer than that of the 1968-98 period.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_nwspain.php

        28. Tagus River Estuary, off Lisbon, Portugal
        Abrantes, F., Lebreiro, S., Rodrigues, T., Gil, I., Bartels-Jónsdóttir, H., Oliveira, P., Kissel, C. and Grimalt, J.O. 2005. Shallow-marine sediment cores record climate variability and earthquake activity off Lisbon (Portugal) for the last 2000 years. Quaternary Science Reviews 24: 2477-2494.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_tagusriver.php

        The MWP was identified as occurring between AD 550 and 1300, during which time interval mean sea surface temperatures were between 1.5 and 2°C higher than the mean value of the past century, while peak MWP warmth was about 0.9°C greater than late 20th-century peak warmth

        29. Antarctica (Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica)
        Hemer, M.A. and Harris, P.T
        The MWP at ca. 750 14C yr BP was likely warmer than at any time during the CWP.

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l2_ameryshelf.php

        30. Bahamas
        Lund and Curry 2006

        http://www.c3headlines.com/2009/12/paleoclimate-scientists-find-proof-of-medieval-warming-in-waters-off-the-bahamas-climategate-scienti.html

        MWP (1200 years BP) roughly 0.2C warmer than today

        31. Northern Hemisphere (MWP = Present), Moberg

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/studies/l1_mobergnh.php

        There are more data out there. Here is a link to a database listing several studies world-wide

        http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • peter davies

        Yes. Actual historical data is hard to come by for the MWP; but there are records from all over the civilized world at the time that confirm a MWP that was slightly warmer than today.

        I am usually leery of paleoclimate studies, because you can use them to prove almost anything.

        But they are used and frequently cited.

        The links I posted were for several studies from all over the world, using different paleoclimate techniques, all confirming a MWP that was slightly warmer than today.

        The most convincing to me (as I live in Switzerland) are those based on actual physical evidence uncovered under receding alpine glaciers (old carbon-dated tree stumps and other vegetation). Of course, there are also abandoned settlements located altitudes too high for farming today, records of mass migrations, etc. which also give good evidence of a MWP in central Europe. Earlier warm periods can also be detected (and, of course, we have the historical record of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants).

        As I pointed out to BBD, there are many locations today that have cooled instead of warmed (tony b has done a study on this), so the fact that warming is not 100% uniform and 100% contemporary today (or in the MWP) proves nothing.

        We had no “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” indicator back in medieval times, so we have to rely on the information we can get from historical records and paleoclimate studies.

        This thread has to do with Arctic sea ice and temperatures and based on the medieval Viking settlements in Greenland, there is no doubt that the Arctic was warmer and had less sea ice than today.

        Max

      • manacker

        It speaks volumes that you yet again reference Loehler’s 2007 Energy & Environment paper which he was unable to get published in a proper journal. There’s a useful review of just how shoddy this study is here:

        In summary, this article is a poorly-described compilation of proxy data, with a conciseness in methodology that borders on farce. In the present form , it is unacceptable in any scientific journal that i am aware of. Though the approach is conceptually useful, it is not novel : the author himself acknowledges that Moberg (2005) and Viau (2006) have left out tree-rings from some parts of their reconstruction before. So what is new here ? It can only be the methodology. We have shown that its elliptic nature is naive at best, misleading at worse. Even with all the good will in the world, it is hard to grant the author the benefit of the doubt, given how loosely he handles his references and prose : this simply is not credible work. The author’s argument that his “strategy in writing this was to make it as short as possible to avoid complications during review” is distinctly unconvincing. Why not, then, bypass the whole ‘methods’ section, and simply give us a curve without any explanation ? Brevity is the soul of wit, yes – but when crucial information is missing, this “science” has an odd scent of disinformation.

        The vast majority of references in the list support the standard position that the discreet warming events making up the MWP are most pronounced in the NH. All are *local or regional* estimates. This is all part of the ‘sceptic’ *misrepresentation* of the true nature of the MWP.

        Since I know there’s no widely accepted body of work supporting the claim that the MPW was global and synchronous and as warm or warmer than the present I’m highly suspicious of the Idsos’ presentation of the work of others.

        That said, should you be able to make any sort of case for a global, synchronous MWP that was as warm or warmer than the present, we can continue by examining the implications for climate sensitivity to very small changes in radiative forcing.

      • peterdavies252

        Thanks for your reply Max. Sorry for delay in answering but missed it due to your use of my real name (with spaces). WordPress has certainly made my life more difficult but like you, I’m not stressing out and being generally polite to everyone! :)

        BTW I agree with you that MWP data is scant but it seems that wide areas have been involved. I guess that the civilised world would be the main data source to corroberate this phenomenon. The vikings and other assorted tribes presumedly did it tough.

    • Thanks David for the video.

  20. “Would melting sea ice trigger some sort of clathrate methane release into the atmosphere? Well in terms of thawing permafrost, it seems like more snow fall on the continents would inhibit permafrost thawing.”

    I mostly agree with your conclusion, but suspect that your argument is flawed. Fall and winter snow keeps the ground from losing heat during winter. An increase in fall and winter snowfall would increase the melting of permafrost, not decrease it, if all else stayed the same. As the snow cover in spring and summer seems to be decreasing as well, it seems likely that permafrost melting will increase, not stay the same or decrease.
    There are several papers discussing the potential rate of release, perhaps referencing these might make for a better discussion.

  21. “warmer Arctic means more snow and colder in much of the northern hemisphere. Pay close attention to the cold period of 2012-1013.”

    Effectively, but the snow cover during the high insolation months (May-June-July) is decreasing: a clear positive albedo feeback.

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=nhland&ui_month=5

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=nhland&ui_month=6

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=nhland&ui_month=7

    Winter snow cover has low impact on albedo, because low insolation during winter months. Moreover, it seems that a large potential of snow melting existed in the recent years, with record low area in may-june despite large snow cover in winter..

    • as the glaciers are still retreating at their tails, they are building at their heads. After some years of this, the more snow at the heads will squeeze the ice and force it to advance again. That is how we got from the Medieval Warm Period into the Little Ice Age. We are in the ice volume buildup stage which can only happen in a warm period. The ice advances later and takes us into cold period, even while the colder oceans allow the arctic to freeze and the snows will diminish, but the ice will continue to advance and continue to cool the earth. Consensus theory has the snow to fall long after the water froze and there is no source for moisture.
      Read this thread, multiple times, and think about it.
      It snows more when it is warm and then it cools.
      It snows less when it is cold and then it warms.
      Look at the Ice Core data for the past ten thousand years

      http://popesclimatetheory.com/page9.html

      • David Springer

        Your hypothesis at least makes sense which is more than can be said for the consensus claptrap.

      • Mark B (number 2)

        Herman, you have said, previously, that this interglacial is different from previous ones in that the thermostat is keeping temperatures within a much narrower band for a longer time period. Also you said that Greenland is covered with a huge ice cap which covers a much larger area than the one in the last interglacial did.
        Do you believe that the current high albedo of Greenland is keeping temperatures more stable in the Holocene?

      • Temperature is bounded in more narrow limits because the ocean level is such that water always flows through the Arctic. During warm ocean times the Arctic Sea Ice Melts and that causes more than enough snow to replace the ice that melts each year. During cold ocean times the Arctic Water freezes and that causes less than enough snow to replace the ice that melts each year. Greenland Albedo stays about the same during this cycle. In older times, Greenland Albedo did play a major role in the change from the warming and cooling. Now, Greenland Albedo is more near to a constant and does not play a major role in the change.

  22. Does it matter what happens to Arctic sea ice? The only reason for the interest, so far as I can see, is because the proponents of CAGW claim that the reduction of Arctiuc sea ice is caused by increased levels of CO2 in the atmopshere. Though the logic for this seems to be missing. There was also a claim, after the 2005 hurricane season in the North Atlantic, that hurricane activity was caused by more CO2 in the atmopshere. And several other such predicitons which have turned out not to be true. Arctic sea ice is one of the few doom and gloom stories from the proponents of CAGW that is still alive. Antarctic sea ice is now about 1 million sq kms over the recent average.

    Yawn.

    • @jim cripwell

      Y’all gotta care ’bout the polies. All 25,000 of them. They look cute in movies (and photoshop). And when they’re not eating people they’re fine

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14415592.

      That’s why.

    • Of course it matters to what happens to arctic sea ice. Shipping stuff from Europe to Asia or the Western US takes forever if you can’t shortcut thru the arctic. If the stuff melts it will be a massive boon to trade.

      • David Springer

        Not to mention ice-free means we (those nations with maritime borders there) can be drilling for oil in the shallow Arctic ocean. That ought to set the little anthrophobes hearts to fluttering. ;-)

    • Antarctic Ice Area Sets Record High

      “Day 258 of 2012 is the highest for this date since satellite scanning of Antarctic ice areas commenced 33 years ago” the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition announced today. “It is also the fifth highest daily value on record.”

      Coalition chairman, Hon Barry Brill, says the most remarkable aspect is the extent to which the 2012 area exceeds normal Antarctica averages. “The sea ice cover yesterday was 311,000 square kilometres above the 1979-2012 average. The surplus ice is more than twice the area of New Zealand”. . . .
      “Antarctic ice is much more important than that of the Arctic. The area of its sea ice is a million square kilometres larger than the highest value ever recorded in the Arctic. Then, of course, the Antarctic is an entire continent, with more than 90% of the earth’s glacial ice” said Mr Brill.

  23. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Andy Revkin at Dotearth poses an interesting question: do you agree with the statement that there is a 50-50 chance of ice free in the next two decades?

    With all of the diverse predictions out there, do we care what any person’s subjective probabilities are? Two decades from now, at least a few and possibly almost all predictions will have been disconfirmed by the accumulated evidence. By then, annual CO2 emissions from the US and EU will be somewhat reduced (my prediction, based on recent trends), CO2 emissions from industrializing nations will be higher, alternative sources of energy will be cheaper; and we’ll have 20 more years of experience with the natural disasters that will recur dramatically with or without global mean warming or cooling.

    This looks to me like a situation in which formulation subjective probabilities on various outcomes has no utility.

    • Matt –

      This looks to me like a situation in which formulation subjective probabilities on various outcomes has no utility.

      I agree somewhat, but I don’t fully agree that it has no utility. Within bounds, and with attempts at quantifying uncertainty, I think it has some utility.

      Basically, we could just say that this is all too uncertain and thus any attempts at prognosticating are useless or actually likely to be biased and/or counterproductive.

      I wonder if that may be true. But I often see people use uncertainty as a cop out, or use uncertainty as a tribal proxy. It reminds me of when right-wingers try to use uncertainty to bash Obama – as if businesses have ever been able to make decisions based only on certainty.

      In the end, I think that the political quagmire will prevent any significant policy adaptation until signals and/or signs are so completely unambiguous that only complete extremists will remain in opposition. My expectation is that will actually not happen within two decades.

      Still, again, I think that there is some utility in these kinds of speculation, and they will obviously continue irrespective of my view of their utility. That train has already left the station. Considering that inevitability, what I hope for is that maybe, in time, people will turn down the tribalism and more properly identify subjectivity.

  24. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    A question for Dr Curry: how do you appraise the simultaneous decrease in Arctic ice and increase in Antarctic ice? Please forgive me if you already wrote this and I missed it. In I you made mention of interhemispheric heat exchange, but I don’t think you wrote much about it.

    • No-one seems to want to respond to you, so let me try. I have tried several times to get someone to talk about Antarctic sea ice. There is extreme reluctance to do so. There seem to be three basic responses why this is so.

      1. Admit that Antarctic sea ice gives a strong indication that CAGW is not happening, as opposed to what is happening in the Arctic. None of the proponents of CAGW will touch this approach with the end of a barge pole.

      2. Claim that because the Antarctic is, topographically, completely different from the Arctic, it is to be expected that the Antarctic behaves completely differently from the Arcitc, so what happens in the Antarctic is irrelevant. I find these arguments to be without merit, but my physics isn’t good enought to prove them wrong.

      3, Ignore the issue; which is the approach our hostess seems to be taking.

      I ask the rather facetious question as to how is it that CO2 molecules can differentiate between the North and South poles. Needless to say, the question is not the most popular one with the proponents of CAGW.

      • Jim,
        Warm oceans cause more snowfall. Cold oceans cause less snowfall. The Arctic controls the temperature of Earth. The Antarctic does help. When the oceans are warm, it does cause more snow in the north and the south. When the oceans are cold, there is less snow in the north and the south. If CO2 causes more heat input, it does not matter because more Arctic Sea Ice will melt and cause more snow to limit the upper bound for Earth Temperature. It really does not matter if CO2 does change anything.

    • Warm oceans melt Arctic Sea Ice. Warm Oceans melt Antarctic Sea Ice shelves and allows the more snow that results from warmer oceans to fall on the land in the Antarctic. The Arctic Sea Ice has decreased, but the Arctic Land Ice has increased because of the increased snowfall there.

      • Herman, you write “Warm oceans melt Arctic Sea Ice. Warm Oceans melt Antarctic Sea Ice shelves and allows the more snow that results from warmer oceans to fall on the land in the Antarctic. The Arctic Sea Ice has decreased, but the Arctic Land Ice has increased because of the increased snowfall there.”

        I wont pretend to really understand this, but if warm oceans melt Arctic sea ice, why dont warm oceans also melt Antarctic sea ice? Maybe that is a stupid question.

      • I wont pretend to really understand this, but if warm oceans melt Arctic sea ice, why don’t warm oceans also melt Antarctic sea ice?

        I did say that warm oceans do melt Arctic Sea Ice and warm oceans do melt Antarctic Sea Ice.

        Do you want to reconsider the question?

      • Herman you write “Do you want to reconsider the question?”

        Thank you. No I dont want to reconsider the question. I want to ask another, and make some comments. Why is it that there is a significant negative correlation between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents? Currently, Arcitc sea ice is at record low extent, and Antarctic sea ice extent is at a record high extent. This must mean that when northern oceans are warm, southern oceans are cold, and vice versa, and this happens most of the time. So sea ice extent is a regional issue, and therefore nothing to do with CAGW or the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. So our hostess is wrong to speculate that CAGW might be having some effect on Arctic sea ice extent, and ought to have included a discussion of Antarctic sea ice extent in this thread.

      • Jim, you should realise that warmer air holds more moisture so you get more precipitation. Increased precipitation in a cold area does not mean that area has gotten colder.

        http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/explain/docs/snow.asp

      • @Holly Stick
        Isn’t Jim talking about increased sea ice?

      • Earth is huge and there is some phase shift between the Arctic Sea Ice and the Antarctic Sea Ice. They both melt when oceans are warm and the both freeze when oceans are cold.

      • Herman, you write “Earth is huge and there is some phase shift between the Arctic Sea Ice and the Antarctic Sea Ice. They both melt when oceans are warm and the both freeze when oceans are cold.”

        Fair enough. But since it has been established that there is a significant negative correlation between sea ice extents in the Arctic and Antarctic, it still follows that there must be a negative correlation between ocean temperatures in the northern and southern hemispheres, albeit with some form of phase shift. I fail to see how CAGW can have anything to do with this correlation. I am simply unable to accept that what is happening in the Arctic this year has anything to do with there being too much CO2 in the atmopshere. If the Arctic melt this year is caused by northern ocean temperatures being too warm, and the Antarctic freeze this year is due to southern ocean temperatures being too cold, how has this situation been caused by there being too much CO2 in the atmosphere?

      • Jim, you said you believe that what happens in the Arctic has is not because of CO2. I agree. CO2 is a trace gas and is not driving.

  25. Hi Judy – Interesting news report on the Arctic sea ice; see

    “Shell thwarted in plans to drill for Arctic oil this year” – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/17/shell-thwarted-in-plans-to-drill-for-arctic-oil-this-year/

    where it is written

    “But there was still the unruly Arctic to deal with. Shell was only able to drill for about a day before approaching sea ice forced the company to move its drill ships and support vessels out of harm’s way. And the damaged containment dome has forced the company to abandon drilling operations this year—the company said that “some days will be required to repair and fully assess dome readiness.”

    This latest setback for Shell comes after a number of snags throughout the year. Even though the extent of Arctic sea ice shrunk to a record low this summer, the ice happened to be exceptionally thick in several areas where Shell held leases.”

    Roger

    • What’s interesting about it? Is thickening in this area normal or predicted when Arctic sea ice approaches minimal summer coverage? Or is the interest just irony?

      THX

    • thanks roger, i can use this in a forthcoming post

    • Taking a cue from Judith, this post set off my bullshit detector. Turns out Roger Pielke simply misquoted the text in a way which completely changed the meaning. It actually says: ‘Even though the Arctic sea ice melted to a record low this summer, the ice happened to be exceptionally thick this spring in several areas where Shell held leases.’

    • Taking a cue from Judith, this post set off my bullsh*t detector. Turns out Roger Pielke simply misquoted the text in a way which completely changed the meaning. It actually says: ‘Even though the Arctic sea ice melted to a record low this summer, the ice happened to be exceptionally thick this spring in several areas where Shell held leases.’

    • Remember, when Shell issues a press release they are talking to investors and shareholders more than anyone. They are way behind schedule and way over budget for this little Arctic drilling adventure, and any excuse to blame their delay on mother nature they’ll take. I am very suspicious in their claim that “approaching sea ice” really was an issue at all. Satellite maps at the time showed no ice around their drilling area for many hundreds of miles– but perhaps the person responsible for drafting this release didn’t think that people might actually check their claim on such a detail level.

      • peterdavies252

        Hmm… Someone seems to be bull dusting. R Gates you might well be correct in your assessment that there is some management spin being applied. Satellite pictures don’t lie – or do they?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        “Bull dusting…” what a polite way of putting it.
        I would be that if you place an “x” on a Modis image of exactly where the Shell project is at the time they claimed “sea ice” was approaching, you’d be hard pressed to find any “approaching” sea ice any closer than 400 miles or more…possibly much more. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this so far, are way behind schedule and have not a drop of oil to show for it. How convenient to blame “approaching” sea ice during a summer of such dramatic melt. I guess they don’t figure that the average shareholder or mutual fund manager has any idea that such a claim can be easily checked…

      • R Gates.

        Interesting. The newspapers here talk about a huge ice island some 30 miles by 15 threatened the platform. That should be easy enough to spot on the satellite. Did you post a link to satellite images of the area in the days prior to the abandonment of the drilling? if so could you repost them here? Many thanks

        Tonyb

      • R Gates

        There just might be something in the Shell story after all. I found these two links from Alaskan newspapers

        http://www.adn.com/2012/09/14/2625077/ice-still-delays-shell-arctic.html

        http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/September-Issue-2-2012/Shell-halts-Chukchi-Sea-drilling/

        After reading Julienne Stroves blog it sems unlikely that such a huge block of ice, 30 miles by 12 miles and 85 feet thick, could be wandering round the arctic as they certainly hadnt seen any, and have commented that the satellites appears to be showing more ice than actually exists.

        Perhaps the satellite data that Shell used saw a bank of fog and misinterpreted it as being solid as it certainly appears Shell thought they saw something. Would be interesting to see current satellite photos of the area.

        Tonyb

      • I listened to this story on the way into work this morning. As I recall the threat from ice floes was mentioned as a secondary issue, with the primary one being their emergency response barge failing a key performance test. (FYI – barge is based here in Seattle.)

        Imagine that, greedy fossil fuel capitalists shutting down because they cannot ensure a proper reposne to a spill. Bill McKibben must be spinning in his grave.

  26. Howard- Thicker ice is not what one would have expected this summer. It perhaps suggest that some of the reduction in areal coverage occurred as ice piled up on top of other ice, and not due to melting. I have no idea of the area over which this occurred but it is certainly an issue to look at.

  27. ‘David Springer’

    Anonymity is widespread on the internet. It does not lower the tone. Abusive commentary lowers the tone.

    As for the logic here, who knows what your real name is? Harping on about anonymity when you could be anyone is an old, discredited tactic invariably betraying weakness on the part of the person using it.

    • “It does not lower the tone”

      Right. But you do.

      Andrew

    • David Springer

      BBD | September 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply

      “Anonymity is widespread on the internet. ”

      So is pedophilia. What’s your point?

      “It does not lower the tone. Abusive commentary lowers the tone.”

      Oh poor BBD, whoever you are, do you feel abused? I fail to see how it’s possible to abuse three random letters of the alphabet.

      “As for the logic here, who knows what your real name is?”

      You do. It’s at the top of all my comments. Run it through Google Scholar. Some patents assigned to Dell Computer with me as named inventor pop up. That’s me.

      “Harping on about anonymity when you could be anyone is an old, discredited tactic invariably betraying weakness on the part of the person using it.”

      Impersonating someone is a crime. Face the music, you’re afraid to associate your real name with the BS you write here. Can’t say that I blame you. Carry on.

      • ‘David Springer’

        Oh, so now I’m ‘like’ a paedophile am I? Nice.

        Some patents assigned to Dell Computer with me as named inventor pop up. That’s me.

        Don’t be fatuous. All this proves is that someone called ‘Dave Springer’ has some patents registered, not that you are he.

        We can’t see your email address but she can. I reckon’ it ends in .edu and she either knows you or knows of you.

        Wrong. You are a paranoid loon.

    • David Springer

      I’ve noticed Curry doesn’t usually protect anonymous cowards from ‘abusive’ comments unless she recognizes the person from their email address. We can’t see your email address but she can. I reckon’ it ends in .edu and she either knows you or knows of you. So is this how science works now, BBD, with anonymous authors? I bet some1 of the climategate fools wish they’d been using fake names right about now.

      ROFLMAO@U

      • David: It’s worse than that. I have it on good authority that Climate, Etc. is a “False Flag” operation designed to make reasonable upstanding skeptics feel uninhibited to post what is on their mind, like the public square in the olden days when everything was better. Just when all of your opinions are validated by fellow skeptics who venture out from the warm bosom of WUWT, wham. You get hassled and harangued by anonymous intellectuals who use multisyllabic words designed to confuse and hurt. They never get scolded or snipped even when they cross the line by comparing others to pederasts. It’s definitely the old-boyz in the achedemichood. I find using a thesaurus to be helpful. You have to learn to defend yourself because everybody is out to get you… because you are special.

      • David:

        I’m sorry. I made an error, the bad people did not imply you or skeptics were in the same category as a child molester. That was your implication to BBD. Since I’m sure *those people* do it all the time. It is obvious that you had no choice and the use of such a vile reference was not only justified, but was righteous.

  28. BBD –
    More of your delusions and bullying. Knock it off.

    • Chad

      ‘Bullying’? Let’s try and keep it real, shall we?

      • Exactly! Only someone with real firepower can be a bully.

      • True, look at pro athletes. They take advantage of weakness. Consider the anecdotal example of KG of the Celtics — he is just merciless at the expense of a player out of his element, trash-talking and intimidating to exploit any weakness. Just like every other competitive enterprise, that is what it takes, science is a contact sport like it or not.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Let’s translate. The climate war is an activity in which any abusive and repellant behaviour is acceptable. Bullying and intimidation is the order of the day rather than communication and civil discourse.

        Bullies don’t have fire power. Bullies are cowards and fools. In the blogosphere content less blustery drivel substututes for reasoned discussion from the literature. It the climate war narrative substitutes for data. Webwankerman’s most recent claim is that his asymtotic curves are nonlinear thermodynamics because the equation describe a curve. This simply confuses nonlinear thermodynmics with steady state thermidynamics. The ocean is a heat sink equivalent to the heat sink in your CPU. In the real world of complex ocean and atmospheric processes and interactions, of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, reducing complexity by an equivalent of statistical mechanics or 2nd law entropy production is not yet possible. Yet webwankerman says he does it. Amazing but unbelievable. His carbon model has one compartment for God’s sake.

        A depth of ignorance is allied with the height of arrogance. Isn’t that always the way. Whatever it is it isn’t science.

      • Robert Ellison

        Bullying requires an imbalance of power. The claim of being bullied is an admission of weakness and helplessness. I am sorry that BBD and *those people* have the power to bully you. You make my point when you said: ” In the blogosphere content less blustery drivel substututes for reasoned discussion from the literature. ” Don’t read their utterings, I certainly don’t. Relax, have some fun. Read what smart people have to say and skip over the BS. Poke sticks at people you find to be silly once in a while. There are no bully’s here. It’s completely safe!

      • Robert I. Ellison is clearly an incompetent scientist. He has never demonstrated any original and novel analysis and simply regurgitates what other people have written. To combat this FUD, all we can can do is keep contributing to the scientific knowledge-base and try to educate those that are swayed by what I call scientific word salad.

        “Webwankerman’s most recent claim is that his asymtotic curves are nonlinear thermodynamics because the equation describe a curve. This simply confuses nonlinear thermodynmics with steady state thermidynamics.”

        Read closely this word salad of his above. First I need to fix his badly written wording where I assume nonlinear thermodynamics means non-equilibrium thermodynamics, otherwise it makes zero sense. That said — and I am giving him credit whereby I should fail him on the spot — I actually work out transient diffusion problems, such as the Boltzmann equation. These are not classified as equilibrium thermodynamics, because the path is between a state with a forcing function applied and a state where the arrow of entropy points. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_equation if you need to be educated. Read a book on statistical mechanics or perhaps three.

        And what is this asymptotic curve of which he speaks? What is the asymptotic relationship? Is it asymptotic with respect to some other function? Who knows? This is the mind of a scientific poseur we are dealing with.

        ” His carbon model has one compartment for God’s sake. “

        Au contraire, I typically use a multiple compartment model as a premise, as that is how one works a slab calculation. But you have already demonstrated that you do not understand how to model non-equilibrium flow.

        Keep on digging that hole, as that is what sanitation engineers do.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Howard,

        I am not bullied by this twit. It is all too easy.

        Cheers

      • Robert I Ellison

        Actually – it doesn’t matter that I am not bullied. For how many people does it become just too uncomfortable to bother to comment on this site? Or indeed at all about climate etc. It was the ‘science is a contact sport’ statement that I objected to most.

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘Some concepts of particular importance for non-equilibrium thermodynamics include time rate of dissipation of energy (Rayleigh 1873, Onsager 1931, also, time rate of entropy production (Onsager 1931), thermodynamic fields, dissipative structure, and non-linear dynamical structure.

        Although nonlinear-thermodynamics is a subset of non-equilibrium thermodynamics – I did have in mind non-equilibrium thermodynamics.

        Webby has never referenced any scientific document at all. It is a failing for which I have chided him before. It is of little use to throw about names willy-nilly – such as Boltzmann – if there are no solutions in the atmosphere and oceans. I assume he means the Boltzmann transport equation – there are three Boltzmann equations. It is all of little use unless there is broad understanding of the scientific literature. We stand on the shoulders of giants – webby makes it up as he goes along. Try this if you will – http://urila.tripod.com/Boltzmann.htm

        ‘In analytic geometry, an asymptote (/ˈæsɪmptoʊt/) of a curve is a line such that the distance between the curve and the line approaches zero as they tend to infinity. Some sources include the requirement that the curve may not cross the line infinitely often, but this is unusual for modern authors. In some contexts, such as algebraic geometry, an asymptote is defined as a line which is tangent to a curve at infinity.’ Have a look for yourself which way his curves go. It makes little difference what the arbitrary function is – it is simply fitting a curve and they all have the same shape. This has all the hallmarks of an imposter and a dissembler.

        Have a look yourself for asymptotic curves – http://theoilconundrum.com/

        The one compartment model concept is well understood. In webby’s case the compartment is the ocean for both carbon and heat. Heat or carbon both move into the ocean – and perhaps out again in the case of carbon. With heat – he says that the energy comes from the atmosphere – but even if we allow that the energy in fact comes from the sun directly – it still leads nowhere because that quantity is both variable and approximate. As are the losses. The carbon model is even worse. There are literally hundreds of compartments in the carbon cycle.

        So if not adding to meaningless and misleading twaddle is the crime – I plead guilty.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Tell you what sunshine – you come up with an analytical solution for ocean heat content, publishand I guarantee it is Nobel Prize time. If so – I will personally send you 12 of Australia’s finest reds – at $600 a bottle not to be sneezed at – and a box of Cuban cigars signed by Fidel Castro.

      • The poseur is at it again. The extent of Chief Cappy’s research credentials is his study of why toilets flush in the opposite direction when one ventures south of the equator.

        The basic idea that these poseurs don’t get is that the world is not that big if you look at it from a distance. The chaotic perturbations that we seem to think are catastrophic on a human scale barely rate a ripple when the perspective aperture is opened much wider.

        I am not the only person whose experience covers all scales of physics, from the transport of electrons at the sub-micron level, to design of vehicles, and then beyond that to studying large-scale phenomena. The transport of carriers in an electronic device is much more violent than you can imagine, yet we are able to model that and predict that your computer will execute properly. Yet the nay-sayers assert that the mild variations in the earth’s environment are intractible due to chaos. Perhaps they are, just as noisy trajectories can differ, but the overall arc is not too difficult to infer based on knowledge of the forcing function. And it’s not me saying this, but Lacis and others who occasionally comment here, i.e. GCMs are not the long-range predictor that skeptics seem to think, instead it is a mean-value analysis of the response due to a forcing function that is the key.

  29. Judith

    Have you any opinion on the likely effects of the tides on arctic ice break up?

    http://www.esr.org/AOTIM/arctic_detail.html

    A wide tidal range during a period that coincided with high sunshine levels, storms, a change to prevailing winds etc could all have a notable effect on breaking or moving the ice around.
    Tonyb

  30. BBD –
    As for bullying, I read your responses to David Springer’s comments and need not say more.

    Mendacity and ad hominem are what lower the tone, not calling attention to facts which someone is delusionally ignoring.

  31. David Springer

    Actually my second response was deleted 10 or minutes later too. Curry never mentioned anyone else doing any moderating of this site AFAIK and anyone that has time for a vanity site like this is certainly not too busy.

  32. David Springer

    This is rich. Curry’s deletion of a couple of my comments royally screwed the WordPress comment nesting. Classic. WordPress is worth every penny you pay for it and maybe more!

    • Make constructive comments with some substance, rather than merely insulting someone, then we won’t have this problem

      • I know I stepped over the line now, but the rules seem to be inconsistently applied. That’s great, it’s your blog and I’m sorry to make extra work for you.

        My guess is that as long as the insults are formed in a passive-aggressive style and uses code words and dog-whistles, then they will pass filtration.

      • I can’t catch everything unfortunately. Seems to be flying pretty thick on the blog today, usually it isn’t this bad. Yes, if insults are subtle or eloquent, and the message has some actual content, it tends to get through.

      • As JC has told us, messages with “substance” get through (even if there may be a mild insult (using clean language) is included.

        Insults without substance are a waste of time and space, and I would not hold it against our hostess to trash can them.

        I have seen no evidence at all that JC censors out posts that express views that conflict with hers, as many blog sites do.

        Max

      • WebHub was calling someone “pervert” just a few days ago. It had nothing to do with the comment either. It was truly puzzling. That’s seems to be way over the line. Personally, I would have permanently banned him. Even judges say that the AGW industry use ad hominem as their preferred tactic – from the UVa FOI news this week.

      • I spotted that comment and deleted it, thx

      • David Springer

        I don’t consider it a problem.

  33. Judith asks: “Does ‘ice free’ matter?

    I’d like to water ski at the North Pole, so yes, it matters, and I don’t have another 20-30 years to wait. Common feedbacks.

    • Very funny Bob. As a more “mature” person, you can joke about such things as it is unlikely you’d face the worst of what an ice-free Arctic could actually mean to a world that needs a stable climate to feed the 7+ billion humans.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Oh for God’s sake. What is happening is something called conservation farming. It is a compendium of methods applicable to small farms and large. About 15% of Australian farmers have commenced CA and the number is growing because productivity increases 70% to 100% and input costs fall. At it’s core is building the soil organic content. A 1% increase in soil carbon on global agricultural lands takes 500 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

      • R. Gates, “stable climate” is an oxymoron.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Indeed Bob, and neither it is a random walk. Real forcings acting over a given time create real climate changes.

      • R Gates,

        I’ll start to get concerned about an unstable climate impacting food supplies after we have solved the far more pressing problems impacting mankind’s ability to feed itself.

        Lets try starting with the fact half of all food produced spoils before it reaches the end user.

        Or maybe we should take on the problem of corrupt governments that either use food as a weapon or serve as one of the primary causes of the spoilation problem.

        This one falls into the same category as the coral reef argument for doinf something about climate change. Real problems with real and well defined causal factors that get flooded out by the cries for action on global warming. As I said to lolwot a few days ago, you want us to worry about the wolf in the woods (though in your case I’d say the wolf is real) while the barbarians are at the gate, trying to break in.

      • I would say it’s the other way round. You want us to worry about the wolf that’s through the gate and not deal at all with the barbarians coming over the border (well perhaps we can just adapt to barbarians when they arrive). I am saying get some people to deal with the wolf and get others to “mitigate” the barbarians.

      • Well, there is nothing we can do about food spoilage. Irradiation carries a risk of cancer and might possibly reduce some of the nutrient content, fumigation cares a risk of cancer, aggravates allergies and voids “organic” labeling, canning impacts color and reduces nutrients, and preservatives have books of problems associated with them. At least starvation has not been linked to cancer so far :(

      • timg56 said ion September 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm

        “I’ll start to get concerned about an unstable climate impacting food supplies after we have solved the far more pressing problems impacting mankind’s ability to feed itself.

        Lets try starting with the fact half of all food produced spoils before it reaches the end user.”
        ________

        That wouldn’t be as much of a problem if CO2 fans would, as I have suggested, blow on fruit and veggies. But be careful about the spittle.

  34. Nevermind, just saw mine. Missed it the first time through.

  35. David Springer

    BBD Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    And they call me a troll…

    And the beat goes on. You were ID’d here as a troll in the first comment.

    The tone is lowered when you use the term “denier” which was orginally targeted at holocaust denial. Such as here were you describe anyone who thinks CC might be so much as exagerated is a denier.

    Tom Fuller Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 2:51 pm
    BBD: What is a denier?

    38.BBD Says:
    June 19th, 2012 at 2:54 pm
    Someone who argues that the mainstream scientific view of CC is ‘alarmist’ or wrong or a conspiracy or a fraud or otherwise mistaken or overblown.

    The above is found at:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/06/19/no-denying-the-implied-context-for-climate-denier/

  36. David Springer

    Y’all ought to read this:

    http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/dessler2012.pdf

    Observations of 1 climate feedbacks over 2000-2010 and comparisons to
    climate models

    A.E. Dessler
    Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
    Texas A&M University
    College Station, TX
    979-862-1427
    adessler@tamu.edu

    Control GCM ensemble using internal variability only got it right for the period 2000-2010. The GCMs using external variability (long term AGW) screwed the pooch.

    The author goes on to say we don’t understand clouds very well and warns not to get complacent about AGW just because internal variablity has stabilized the climate from 2000-2010.

    Too bad Dessler didn’t add on the period 2010-2012 because global average temperature took a real nose dive since then.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2010/plot/wti/from:2010/trend

    Wait for it. Facts eventually speak for themselves and in the meantime they have me to speak for them. ;-)

    • Robert I Ellison

      As Dessler says – the variations in this period are mostly ENSO related and indeed the 2010-2012 decline in temp is La Nina related. Internal variability doesn’t imply an absence of radiative forcing but includes albedo changes from clouds, dust, snow and ice, vegetation and volcanoes.

      The cloud changes in the Pacific that dominate variability seem more associated with sst than atmopheric temperature.

      For instance Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. ‘The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

      There is a little more here – posted long go in a galaxy far, far away – http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/

      Now that they have been dragged kicking and screaming to decadal variation – I think we should start pushing centennial and millenial variability. Judith – This is a brand new paper with brand new data as well – ripe for your week in review.

      ‘ENSO causes climate extremes across and beyond the Pacific Basin, however evidence of ENSO at high southern latitudes is generally restricted to the South Pacific and West Antarctica. Here we report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western Equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequently, reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD.’ I think perhaps the ‘high latitude zonal winds’ modulate ENSO by pushing cold water along the Peruvian Current.

      http://www.antarctica.gov.au/media/news/2012/ice-core-reveals-unusual-decline-in-eastern-australian-rainfall

      Here is an 11,000 year proxy that is very interesting.

      If you look carefully – the drying of the Sahel some 5000 years ago can be see along with the demise of the Minoan civilisation some 3,500 years ago and many periods of long droughts and massive flooding.

      ,

      .

      • There are still a few diehards that seem to think solar has something to do with climate changing to though. All those oscillations and time delays must be pretty complicated.

        There are some people that would look at the busy chart and think the “linear sensitivity” is has more to do with climate scientists than climate science.

        Oh! Did you know that the average flow through the Drake Passage is about 600 time the flow of the amazon? A mire pittance in the grand scheme of things I am sure, but for some reason, as the gap between continents has widened, the average temperature of the oceans has decreased. Dangest thing.

      • Some may resent the military despair of the original use of the term “die hard”:

        > Ordinarily in a duel between Allied line and French column, the greater volume of fire laid down by the line (where every single weapon could be brought to bear on the front and flanks of the narrower column) could be expected to be the decisive factor. In this case however, the French were well supported by artillery. More than compensating for the firepower disadvantage of his infantry formation, Girard brought guns up to just 275 metres (300 yd) from Hoghton’s line—close enough to enfilade it with a crossfire of grape and canister.[80] Early in this engagement Colonel William Inglis of the 57th Foot was wounded by grapeshot from the French artillery. He refused to be carried to the rear and lay with the Colours; throughout the battle his voice could be heard calmly repeating “Die hard 57th, die hard!”[81] In following his exhortations, the 57th earned their nickname: the “Die-Hards”.[78]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Albuera

    • David Springer

      There’s a good reason why Andrew Dessler in’t concerned about the recent cooling trend.

      He lives and works in College Station, TX

      [Now if he lived in Minneapolis, that would be a different story.]

      Max

  37. Ice-free Arctic Ocean? – not so much tipping point as tipping domino. Next one is the Greenland ice cap whose demise will be assured by the warmer Arctic waters around it.

  38. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    omanuel posts

    1. “To be plainly clear, econonomic neodenialism is morally wrong.” – A fan.

    2. “For the next two decades, natural variability will trump any direct effects from AGW by a long shot.” – Professor Curry

    To be plainly clear … these two statements are logically compatible, eh omanuel?   ;)   ;)   ;)

    Climate-Change Common-Sense  Economic neodenialism is morally wrong on generational scales, while natural variation is prominent on decadal scales.

    Spongebob Squarepants explains these matters plainly, omanuel! :)   ;)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    It’s Simple  Mr. Krabs’ neodenialist economic discount rate is immorally short-sighted, eh?   :)   ;)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    • Robert I Ellison

      There is a great similarity between the smileys and Al Gore’s penguin army – see if you can pick it.

      But having prevailed on decadal variability – we shall now move on to centennial and millennial variability.

      Science always prevails over Spongebob Squarepants – eh FOMBS.

  39. This may explain it all, with the CRL/AGW crowd’s smarmy stonewalling of all the data and facts that refute their position:

    “Die Skeptiker sein unser Ungluck.”

    Sound familiar, anyone? See if you can guess my paraphrase.

  40. Pingback: Low / No Ice Arctic 5000 BC | Musings from the Chiefio

  41. More data on “ice-out”. With all the interest in the Arctic sea-ice extent reaching new minimums in area and volume, it seems instructive to point out a similar phenomena occurring in habitable areas.

    I looked at the situation of Minnesota lakes and tracked the “ice-out” calendar dates over the last 100+ years. The premise is that if the earth is warming, the ice-out dates should occur earlier and earlier in the season. A similar situation occurs for “first-ice” later in the season, but the “ice-out” date occurs very abruptly on a given day, and therefore has less uncertainty.

    The time of ice-out actually occurs so suddenly on a typical lake that it takes patient observation skills to wait it out. If one is not paying attention, the ice breaks up and within a few hours it’s completely melted and gone. But this abruptness is useful in terms of precision, as the timing is certain to within a day for a given lake.

    Minnesota is a good test-case because it has many lakes and a hard freeze is guaranteed to occur every winter.

    For this reason, “ice-out” records have a combination of qualitative knowledge and calibrated precision. The qualitative knowledge lies in the fact that it takes only one observer who knows how to read a calendar and record the date. The precision lies in the fact that the ice-out date is unambiguous, unlike other historical knowledge. Since ice-out is also a natural integral averaging technique, the dates have a built-in filter associated with it and the measure is less susceptible to single-day extremes; in other words, real ice-out conditions require a number of warm days.

    The data can be collected from the Minnesota DNR web site. As presented, the data has been processed and expressed in a user-friendly geo-spatial graphic showing the ice-out dates for a sampling of lakes of a given year. First, I pulled out an animated GIF below (see Figure 1 ). If you look closely one can see a noisy drift of the tan/red/orange/yellow colors corresponding to March and early April moving northward.


    Figure 1 : Animated GIF of ice-out dates in Minnesota.(big 4MB)

    Fortunately, underneath the graphics is a server that generates the processed data from a JSON-formatted data stream. By directly reading from the JSON and processing, we can come up with the linear regression plots for various geographic latitudes as shown in Figure 2. The “ice-out” day on the vertical axis is given by the number of days since the first of the year. Obviously the lower this number, the earlier the ice-out day occurs in the year.

    This essentially pulls the underlying data out of the noise and natural fluctuations. Note the trend toward earlier ice-out dates with year, and of course, a later-in-the-season ice-out day with increasing latitude. Interesting as well is the observation that greater variance in the ice-out date occurs in recent years — in other words, the highs and lows show more extremes (see Hansen’s climate dice articles).

    Figure 2: Ice-out dates for lakes of a given latitude occur earlier in the season according to a linear regression model.

    On my blog site I presented logic code for retrieving and analyzing the ice-out dates from the Minnesota DNR site. The call-out to rplot interfaces to an R package linear model plot and curve fit. My processing is two-step, first a call to get_all_records, which stores the data in memory, then a call to lat_list which retrieves the ice-out dates for a given latitude. As an example, all lake latitudes for 45N are between 45N and 46N degrees.

    According to the data, ice-out dates have gotten earlier by about a week since 1950 (and assume that via symmetry the first-ice could be a week later on average). The table below shows the slope on a per year basis, so that -0.1 would be an average 0.1 day per year earlier ice-out. Note that the slope has increased more rapidly since 1950.

    Lat 1843+ 1950+
    ---------------------------
    43N -0.080 -0.19
    44N -0.056 -0.16
    45N -0.099 -0.15
    46N -0.040 -0.078
    47N -0.090 -0.13
    48N -0.22 -0.29
    49N -0.25 -0.25
    slope in fractional days/year

    The smallest decrease occurs in the center of the state where Mille Lacs Lake is located. No urban heat island effect is apparent, with a state-wide average of -0.138 days/year since 1950.

    Besides this direct climate evidence, we also see more ambiguous and circumstantial evidence for warmer winters across the state — for example we regularly see opossum in central Minnesota, which was very rare in the past. Something is definitely changing with our climate; this last winter had a very early ice-out, showing a record for the northern part of the state.

    • This is interesting topic WHT and the results seem to be a reasonable proxy for measuring the extent of warming, at least the extent of warming for the Minnesota Lakes area.

      I also appreciate the provision of your data and code and that IMO, should be the norm for all research papers.

      in the context of the global warming HO however, the coincidence of warming and cooling in various zones around the world seems to indicate that the HO is too nebulous to falsify.

      • The point is to build up the knowledgebase with as many different analysis angles as possible.

        Wisconsin, Scandinavia, Canada also have many ice-bound lakes, but they also likely have different standards for record-keeping and public availability. The Minnesota DNR is a top-notch organization, and coincidentally where the writer Greg Breining (featured in the “Too much advocacy?” posting) worked for many years. I got lucky that the data for Minnesota was in good shape. Wisconsin has two lakes in the Madison area where they have over 100 years of records, but that’s all I know right now.

        All it takes is for various interested scientists, pro or hobbyist both, to dig through the data that is available and work it. The protypical examples are Mosh, Tamino, and Nick Stokes of http://moyhu.blogspot.com/.
        Feel free, take a shot.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Well done. However, let’s have a look at the temperature graph for the US. The US is one the places that shows a distinct decadal signal along with Alaska, Canada, the Arctic, England etc. It’s a NH thing. So the problem is the length of record you used. A longer record will give a different result.

      For instance – I can show a severe rainfall deficit in many parts of Australia in the period from 1950.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/trendmaps.cgi?map=rain&area=aus&season=0112&period=1950

      But this is by no means as obvious in the period from 1900.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/trendmaps.cgi?map=rain&area=aus&season=0112&period=1900

      In the much bigger picture – for which data is mostly lacking – Australia and other parts of the world are commonly much wetter (and the US much drier) than in the last 100 years. This is shown for instance in salt in Antarctic ice cores. There are much longer term variations shown in sediments in a South American lake.

      The problem of attribution – of distinguishing natural variation from greenhouse gas modulated changes – is still not solved. The mere fact of warming or ice melting says nothing about the cause.

      As a natural philosopher I am entitled to follow Newton’s 4th principle of natural philosophy.

      ‘In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions.
      This rule should be followed so that arguments based on induction be not be nullified by hypotheses.’

      Compare this to the IPCC.

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 s 3.4.4.1

      As there are not one but two sources of satellite data to show that all warming in the satellite era resulted from cloud cover change – we should not allow mere supposition dissuade us until such time as other evidence prevails.

    • If you can get any reliable freeze dates, an interesting thing might be to take the freeze date and melt date trends and project the first year of no ice on those lakes.

      • peterdavies252

        Jim D, I would be careful not to make any projections as to when such an event is to occur. What has been done by WHT was to track the melt dates with a view to showing a trend that is consistent with current trends in the Arctic ocean – nothing more. There are too many variables at play which could overturn an otherwise stable series at any moment.

      • Freeze dates are problematic. One can get a thin layer of ice in the morning that melts by the afternoon. No one has a good recipe for when to call the freeze date. Ice-out dates are universally non-reversible and have a cardinality of 1 per year.

      • Your masters did not like your getting the dates which they afraid became jokes in the future like Hansen did in the past. Remember the clue for AGW survival is getting grants and funds and muddling thru and making gullibles faithful believe.

      • “Your masters did not like your getting the dates which they afraid became jokes in the future like Hansen did in the past. “

        Learn how to communicate, Shakespeare, and perhaps I can respond.

    • @Web Hub Telescope

      Nice work. But you left out Silverlake :-(

      Is there a way I can slow down the .gif?

      It flashes past so fast that I can see nothing much beyond a blur for me.

      • “Is there a way I can slow down the .gif?

        It flashes past so fast that I can see nothing much beyond a blur for me.”

        It has to go fast (1/4 second between frames) because that is the only way to trick your brain into filtering the noise. If you want to be deliberate, you can always go to the original website.

        http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out

      • @WHT

        ‘the only way to trick your brain….’

        An unfortunate choice of words, given Climategate history…….

      • What has some snarky emails containing competitive trash-talk have to to with psychovisual image processing? Nothing.

      • @wht

        On further study I see that the hard work was actually done by somebody else at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

        You just added ‘the trick’.

    • Now mebbe you should ask residents of Minnesota whether they prefer winters to be longer or shorter. I grew up around the same latitude a few hundred miles to the east and there’s one of those 97% consensus things where they prefer mild winters to harsh winters. Go figure. Wha’s wrong with those people? I spent the winter up there in 2010 which was colder and snowed far more than normal and I quite enjoyed the novelty and exercise I got shoveling the driveway, sidewalks, and patio every day or sometimes twice a day for an hour. Of course I didn’t have much else to do like a 9-5 job to interfere with my enjoyment of the fine winter weather. Maybe when you have to do that year after year and work 40-hours a week and watch the metal in your car disintegrate in few years from the salt they put on the roads… mebbe it gets old. I don’t recall enjoying shoveling snow when I was growing up and I know from 35 years of living in the southern US it’s nice to have a car that won’t rust out in 5 years and still look good at 25 years old. I guess I’m just weird that way.

      • You are just shoveling sht Springer.

        I don’t make value judgements with the scientific analysis, as that apparently is your job when you end up having to rationalize everything.

        “The science is wrong, but if it is right it doesn’t matter anyways.”. Spoken like a true 5-year old.

    • Web,

      Now this is interesting (particularly as I used to live in Minnesota).

      What would be the next indicator to look at if we wanted to see the impacts of this trend? Crop yields?

      • Look at the trends for Minneosta. Over the last 62 years, the trend is to lose 0.13 days of frozen lake state per year, which amounts to about a week total. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ice also appears a week later in the late fall. So that is essentially over two weeks total, or half a month of winter disappearing well within a century.

        I just noticed that my lake is on the compiled list. The water level is also the lowest that I remember. Something about the drought I gather.

        What happens after another 60 years? Will average temperature continue to rise so we get up to a month less ice days? Bizarre to think we can have essentially a month less of winter, and way farther south perhaps they have a month more of excessive heat.

        This is just not Minnesota, take a look at New Hampshire, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Winnipesaukee_Ice-Out . Check the graph out.

  42. Nice follow up to Part I Judith. Now, let’s take a look a few issues– specific ones first, and then some more general ones.

    First, related to the definition of an ice-free Arctic. Yes, of course the generally accepted definition has been an Arctic that has less than 1 million sq. km of ice left in it, and the most likely final bits of that 1 million sq. km. of ice will likely be clinging to the Canadian Archipelago or the northern tip of Greenland, but then related to ice in these specific areas you go on to say:

    “And the issue of ‘ice free’ in the 21st century is pretty much a non issue if your require this thick ice to disappear.”

    Our first disagreement. If your suggestion is that there will still be some ice left along these areas in the late summers by even 2050, I must strongly disagree. True enough these areas are going to be tough to completely melt out, but that metric is based on an old sea ice regime. Certainly, during the first “virtually” ice-free summers of less than one million km. there will be ice in these areas as these areas have both the thickest and most dense ice in the Arctic. But the Arctic is experiencing something quite unique and in this new regime it will be quite likely that these areas will be ice free as well, and by some August or September in the 21st century there will be zero ice in the Arctic. It won’t be “virtually” ice-free, it will be truly 100% free of ice. At least four factors will bring this about:

    1) The continued transport of warm water from lower latitudes into the Arctic, raising the overall heat content of all Arctic water. This effect cannot be underestimated and it is beyond simple natural ocean cycles. It is a longer-term steady increase in heat entering from primarily from the Atlantic but also the Pacific.
    2) The increased summer warming of Arctic waters caused by more open water earlier and earlier in the melt season. Imagine, for example when we are seeing only 4 or 5 million sq. km of sea ice in the Arctic at the height of summer insolation in late June and early July. The additional solar SW entering the Arctic ocean will be devastating to the remaining ice.
    3) The break up of the thicker ice off of the Canadian Archipelago and northern Greenland to become “unstuck” and be transported to warmer waters. We started to see a bit of this happen even this year as the Arctic Basin ice thinned so much that it allowed some pieces of the older thick ice to become “unstuck”.
    4) Increased cloudiness of the Arctic in the early fall months (from increased humidity levels from open water) actually allowing the region to stay warmer later into the fall freeze up.

    As far as when the first virtually ice-free Arctic summer will commence, based on the trajectory of the past 5 years, with nothing to indicate that this might change, Wadhams and Maslowski seem to have the most accurate estimate with their before 2020 projections, with the probability being over 50%. The odds of it taking until 2030 seem lower than they looked just a year ago, and 2040 or later is a long-shot.

    To the notion of a recovery- yes of course natural cycles and forcings (solar, ocean, volcanic) and natural variability could give the ice a bit of a bounce back up for year or two similar to 2008-2009, but the anthropogenic forcing is not going away, that is if you believe the contention of the vast majority of experts on Arctic sea-ice that the anthropogenic factors (namely CO2 induced warming of the planet) are ultimately what caused this new regime. Yes, it may have taken the right combination of natural variability plus anthropogenic forcing that “tipped” the scale when it did, but it was inevitable that the scale would eventually be tipped to a new regime. The combination of natural plus anthropogenic only dictated the exact timing.

    Finally, to the issue of “does it matter”? This is something I would expect to begin to be discussed more and more on the skeptical blogs over the next few years. The first line of defense was “it’s not happening”, the next line of defense was, “okay, but it’s natural variability” and and final line of defense seems to be “does it matter anyway?”

    In Part II of your discussion I find this statement:

    “The first issue to debunk is that an ‘ice free’ Arctic is some sort of ‘tipping point.’ A number of recent studies find that in models, the loss of summer sea ice cover is highly reversible.”

    What models can we trust in showing that the loss of ice is highly reversible? The same ones that have failed so miserably to forecast that we could have an ice-free Arctic by 2020? It should be obvious by now, and is obvious to many in the business that the models have missed some important feedback processes. We’ve all seen the consensus projections of an ice-free Arctic move rapidly move forward in the past 10 years. 2200 then 2100 then 2070 then 2030, and now? Though Wadhams and Maslowski might have been seen as “extreme” over the past few years by some, and some would also have said there was no way PIOMAS was correct, all three are looking remarkable accurate compared to the “consensus”. The conclusion of all this is that no faith or trust can be put into models that failed to predict such a dramatic loss of ice as we’ve seen these past five years, and thus, any of those that show an ice-free condition to be “reversible” must come under a high degree of skepticism.

    Going forward, we obviously need some new models. We have entered a new regime (probably did in 2007, but certainly by 2010) and the new dynamics that we are seeing related to the thinner ice need to be included. Also needing to be included is the activity of wave action and churning of warmer water from depth up to melt this thinner ice. (Neven’s “flash melting”)

    One last note: I have avoided the issue of methane release from melting permafrost and clathrates in any detail for many years because it seemed rather alarmist and there was little data to support it. But most of us know that we’ve seen reports now the past two summers of some rather large plumes of methane found coming up in the East Siberian and Laptev regions. Some of us are also aware that there is the AMEG group (http://www.ameg.me/) that formed last year (again, with one of the members including one of our sea ice “extremists” Wadhams). I still find this concern on the “way out there” alarmist side, but based on this summer’s melt and the research done finding these large methane plumes, I must confess to taking more active interest in the subject. Our models have certainly been very wrong about the rapidity of sea ice loss in the Arctic. I certainly hope they are NOT wrong about the potentiality for the occurrence of and effects from a relatively rapid release of methane from a rapidly warming Arctic.

  43. Chad Wozniak, September17@ 10 37pm, a response from Goethe’s Faust
    ‘Ach die Menschen so ungluckich sind .’
    i myself intend ter disregard it, I’m out ter practise some dance steps with a friend, preparing fer a tango soiree fer other friends. Go fer gluck, I say)

  44. Judith,

    “Whence an ‘ice free’ Arctic” ??

    Whence actually means ‘from where’ or ‘from what place’?

    Are you really asking ‘from where’ an ice free Arctic has come?

  45. The great seesaw of climate science ice data:

    “Well, Antarctica, the Climate Sci Records’ Team have great pleasure in hereby presenting you with this prestigious award for the eighth highest evah daily reading of regional ice extent.”
    (Sound of applause … and howling icy winds.)

  46. Artic sea ice lost is a blessing. More plantons, more stored sun’s energy, more sea food etc.

  47. Let me help you with that screw… I have a hammer. Let me suggest a whence and a whither.

    I have been unable to find out how much oil spill is coming off the North Slope in Alaska. However, there is an estimate of Siberian spills — 150 million US gallons per year into the Barents, Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas. Depending on whose figures you believe, that’s approximately one Exxon Valdez slamming into the coast every five weeks.

    Bacterial degradation of oil will be slow in the Arctic ocean and one can expect a concentration to build up over the decades. When the previously contaminated ice begins to melt, the oil will be released and pollution levels will increase.

    Oil smooth reduces aerosol production, reduces albedo, reduces emissivity. The seas adjacent to the North Slope, the Lena, the Ob and the Yenisei rivers are warming at a ludicrous rate, far above anything expected. If their oil spill is accumulating in the Arctic ice then one can expect a true tipping point and the eternal ice to fail.

    Q. If I pour a gallon of diesel onto the sea at the places mentioned, what happens to it? I don’t know. Maybe someone should look.

    JF
    As an exercise for the reader, have a look at melting ice floe images and count up how many show a tail of obviously smoothed water across the water surface nearby. Extra points if you include a forlorn polar bear.

  48. Judith Curry asks: Does an ice-free arctic matter?

    It might if you were an Inuit, one of the indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions. The loss of arctic ice threatens the Inuit way of life, making hunting and traveling more difficult and hazardous.

    http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/environment/indigenous_impacts.html

    • Poor Inuits will have have to adapt to ice-free Arctic or be perished like those lost jobs in the US, Greece, Spain … in the downturn economy. Is AGW or CAGW responsible for all these downturns?

      • Libertarians could teach the Inuits a thing or two about adaptation. Libertarians have adapted to embracing a hopeless cause and being regarded as losers.

      • Max_OK has adapted to CAGW. Preach the Inuits about the CAGW and good luck to the Inuits who have faith.

        Its a blessing to the Inuits when the Arctic is ice-freeeeee.

    • Unlike the rest of the world, Canadian will help the minorities like Inuits to make it thru the ice-free Arctic by all means.

    • “Does an ice-free arctic matter? ”

      Many would argue that yes it does, and not just Inuits, there are those who are concerned for the preservation of a natural environment. That may surprise some of the more pro-freemarket types whose sole interest seems to be on the $ value of everything.

      There are those who would argue that the dead canary in the mine didn’t matter either!

      • The dead canary was there to detect lethal poisonous gases that would kill the miners. They took the canary to protect themselves. It would have been a very foolish and soon to be very dead) miner who ignored the warning.

        And for those who wish to preserve a natural environment – laudable though that aim might be – at what date do you wish it to be preserved? If we go back 100,000 years then most of the NH was under ice – but ‘natural’. If 2000 years it was a wee bit warmer than now. But in 1600 probably quite a lot colder. I’m guessing that somewhere about 25,000 years ago humans first arrived on the shore of the Arctic Sea and started living there…..

        So which of these times do you wish to preserve? You can have only one. Because otherwise you are only preserving your impression of the natural environment – not like how it really was. People throughout history have looked back to Golden Ages of perfection … doesn’t mean they ever actually existed.

      • If it’s global government we are to have, let’s first vote, globally: eventually, we will narrow it down to several choices.
        That should take about a hundred years.
        Climate science may have matured, by then.

      • John RT,

        Ok lets have a vote. We can’t vote on climate, per se, as we all agree that natural factors do play a part in climate. Don’t we? No-one is saying otherwise. We can’t vote on the level of solar activity for instance.

        But we can vote on what sort of atmosphere we’d like. For a start, we can vote to keep the CO2 content (including other non- condensing GH gases rated as their CO2 equivalent) below 450 ppmv. Its now 390 ppmv. After that we can vote to get it back down below 400ppmv with the eventual goal of 350ppmv which is what it was in the 1980’s.

    • @Max_OK

      Hmmm

      I wonder if these Inuit hard luck stories are quite all they seem?

      Following the link that you give we come upon a true sobstory

      ‘Rosemarie Kuptana, a resident of Sachs Harbour on Banks Island gives the following summary (Johansen 2001):

      We don’t know when to travel on the ice and our food sources are getting further and further away….Our way of life is being permanently altered….We have no other sources of food. The people in my community are completely dependent on hunting, trapping and fishing….We have no means of adapting to a different environmental reality, and that is why our situation is so critical’

      So let’s look a little at Sachs Harbour where she lives. Here’s the wikipedia entry:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachs_Harbour

      Some points:

      ‘Bulk supplies of food and other items are brought by barge in the summer months and flights from Inuvik, some 325 mi (523 km) to the southwest, operate all year, (three times per week) via the Sachs Harbour Airport’

      It has an airport! It has ‘bulk supplies’ of food. Later on you read that it has a hunter’s store, a Health Centre with two nurses and a cop shop with two Mounties. There is a visitor centre for tourists, and seemingly good fishing.

      I’m sure that the place is pretty remote, and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to live there. But with such amenities it is not really the back of beyond of popular imagination. And the lady who says

      ‘We have no other sources of food. The people in my community are completely dependent on hunting, trapping and fishing….We have no means of adapting to a different environmental reality, and that is why our situation is so critical’

      is guilty of (at least) ‘noble cause exaggeration’.

      • Latimer,

        Great comment. Might add, after reading about the burg from your link, that natural gas production, in the area, once in operation will offer abundant, further employment to the locals along with their current employment opportunities in the local oil-extraction industry.

        And one of the links to the article also advised that the historical source of income, in the area, was the fur-trade. But, alas, the poor, indigenous people of Sachs Harbour (not a very Inuit-sounding name, you think?) had their livelihood eviscerated when greenshirt extremists made taboo the use of animal furs in stylish clothing and accessories.

        Maybe when the poor Inuit are on the very brink of mass starvation, the greenshirt sob-sisters will return animal furs to their former glory among the fashion conscious. But probably not, given their eugenics bent and indifference to human suffering unless it can be used to agit-prop advantage to promote one or another of their interminable, scare-mongering scams.

    • Ayn Randies are too self-centered, selfish, and ethnocentric to give a damn about the Inuits, so it’s not surprising the Randies don’t care if the loss of Arctic sea ice destroys the Inuit culture.

  49. Web Hub Telescope, hafta say that you are the most negative telescope that I have come across, evah, in my long association with telescopes. Say, WHT, how would yer like me ter teach yer how ter tango?

    • Beth,

      Please excuse any indelicacy you may find in this comment–which is prompted, on my part, by a pure, disinterested sense of scientific inquiry. But given Web’s normal “rest” position, do you think there might be value in suggesting to Web that he change his “handle” to “WebHubColonoscope”? I’m thinking that new moniker would better comport with the objective reality of Web’s condition and issues.

      • mike

        To your new name for our surly friend, Webby:

        The search for truth continues, even in the darkest places…

        Max

      • Real bullies don’t like it when the tables are turned.

        I’m a fake bully, like a heckler taunting from the sidelines. The climate birthers can’t take it and can barely resist the temptation to go into the stands.

        Restraint. Calm down. Restraint. :)

      • @webster

        What TF is a ‘climate birther’?

      • Web,

        Your “Restraint. Calm down. Restraint.” cum smiley-face

        Hey Web! We’re both ol’ coots so I was pretty sure you’d enjoy a bit of good-natured ribbing. From your response, I can see I was right.

        And I can take it too, Web. No need to rush it, naturally. Just keep track, and when I lead with my chin at some moment, nail me. The cat-and-mouse gamesmanship of the deal is part of the fun–the best part, I think.

      • Latimer Adler

        You ask:

        “What TF is a ‘climate birther’?”

        Not living in the USA, I had to look this one up on line:

        “birthers are opponents of US President Barack Obama, who claim that he is not a ‘natural born citizen’ (not born in the USA)”

        I can’t get too excited about this term, because I’m not too concerned about US President Obama’s geographical “roots”. As the saying goes:

        “I’m not too worried about where Obama comes from; I’m more concerned about where he is living now.”

        But a “climate birther”?

        Someone who believes that senior climatologist and AGW activist, James E. Hansen, was actually born on another planet?

        Maybe Venus with its runaway GH warming? (Explaining his unnatural, exaggerated fear of global warming?)

        Or that IPCC chairman, Rachendra Pachauri, was actually born in Nappane, Indiana, rather than Naintal, India?

        Hmm…the mind boggles.

        But leave it up to our friend, Webby, to come up with these zippy but unintelligible expressions.

        Max

      • Robert I Ellison

        It is ironic to hear the word restraint form webhubcolonoscope. On the origins of AGW space cadets.

        ‘The exact origins of a space cadet are unknown but rumor has it that their home planet was destroyed due to pollution caused by poor house keeping. Following this disaster they proceeded to disperse themselves throughout the universe and litter the gene pool. Space cadets are known for their poor skills in common sense areas such as coordination, food preparation, basic cleaning and processing simultaneous coherent thoughts.’

      • You guys are birthers because you believe that climate change must come from “naturalized” processes. It can’t be from any foreign sources such as man-made forcing functions, such as anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

        Much like the tea-party birthers, climate birthers won’t listen to reason and are driven by an underlying agenda.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Yeah – we heard you first time webhubcolonoscope – it wasn’t funny the first time let alone all the others.

      • They also demand a Birth Certificate so they can audit what actually happened. They’ll FOIA it if you don’t give it to them.

      • Maybe Climate Truther would be a more appropriate label?

      • FOIA and official birth certificate. The parallels are incredible lolwot.

        Get Donald Trump in the mix too, demanding evidence lest they wish to be fired.

      • WHT

        Well now, Web, you got it all wrong again.

        Most rational skeptics of the CAGW premise are rationally skeptical of the “C” in “CAGW” (not the GH theory, the fact that CO2 is a GHG, that humans produce CO2 or that its concentration has increased in the atmosphere).

        This begins with the IPCC claim that

        Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

        [Most?]

        It goes on to the estimates of the total net feedbacks, especially that of clouds, which IPCC models estimate is strongly positive, conceding, however, that “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”.

        Then there is the IPCC estimate that only 7% of the warming seen since 1750 was caused by solar forcing, conceding, however, that its “level of scientific understanding of natural (solar) forcing is low”

        Then there is the claim that “paleoclimate information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”. [Hmmm…break out the broken hockey-shticks.]

        Then there was the silly forecast that “for the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected…” (which hasn’t happened over at least the first decade). [Oops!]

        Most hilarious were the tables listing trends in “extreme weather events”, where the 66% “likelihood” of a specific trend in the past with a 51% “likelihood” of some (unquantified) “human contribution” (based on “expert judgment rather than formal attribution studies”) is parlayed into a greater than 90% “likelihood” that the trend will increase in the future. [Ouch!]

        This stuff is all a prelude to the forecasts (or projections) of ”global average surface warming” and “sea level rise” all the way out to the year 2100! [Whoa! But once you sift through the hype and cut out the exaggerations, you end up with relatively little predicted warming and not much sea level change.]

        All told, it’s the “BS meter” that goes off for most rational skeptics when they read (for example) IPCC’s AR4 WG1 SPM report.

        That’s what this is all about.

        Max

  50. This is a test

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Breaking News

    • Julienne Stroeve’s ship at 83°N is having trouble finding any large ice-floes at all. And the freeze-up has not yet started.   :shock:   :!:   :shock:

    • Neven’s ASI weblog documents ice-melt accelerating far faster than any models predict. Why is that? The world wonders.   :shock:   :!:   :shock:

    Climate Etc’s neodenialists are mainly focussing their efforts on whingeing, personal abuse, and conspiracy theories.   :roll:   :roll:   :roll:

    Gosh, don’t denialists have better things to do?   :)   :)   :)

    After all, “Nature cannot be fooled”, eh?   :!:   :!:   :!:

    Nature ignores whingeing, personal abuse, and conspiracy theories, eh?   :!:   :!:   :!:

    • @A Fantasist

      You ask

      ‘Neven’s ASI weblog documents ice-melt accelerating far faster than any models predict. Why is that?’

      Because the models are wrong.

      This is not new news to anybody except the climateers who are having to face up to the terrible reality that untested models are nothing but intellectual masturbation – and about as much use. Briefly satisfying to the participant but ultimately futile.

    • from the link: “According to the satellite data, we should have already reached nearly 100 percent ice concentration, yet at 83N, the ice concentration remains less than 40 percent. It could be that the heavy fog has resulted in an overestimation of the ice concentration from the passive microwave satellite observation.”

      The satellites are wrong! Those alarmist scienti..oh wait it means less ice so doesn’t fit the conspiracy theory. Nevermind.

  52. Always fascinating to read about things that first require re-definition of normal usage. “Ice free” for example. Always reminds me of Bill Clinton’s “is” issue.
    Climate science seems to be more social “science”, where new terms are defined all the time — cf Cornell Wests papers.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DEEBEE notes  “New terms are defined all the time [in climate science]“

      Your assertion is correct DEEBEE!   :)   :)   :)

      A good example is this week’s article by Otto, van Oldenborgh, Jones, and Allen, titled Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave whose key points are:

      • Former studies on the Russian heat wave 2010 are not contradictory

      • The Russian heat wave 2010 likely attributable to anthropogenic climate change

      Over on SKS, dana1981 gives a thorough review of the literature in this regard.

      Short Summary Recent studies verify that James Hansen’s recent Perception of climate change (2012) got the science and statistics of “heat wave” AGW right.

      DEEBEE, you are entirely correct that careful definitions are essential to our sobering appreciation of the accelerating reality, moral implications, and economic challenges associated to AGW!

      Thank you for affirming these scientific realities, DEEBEE!   :)   :)   :)

      • Sorry, fanny, DEEBEE didn’t “affirm any (so-called) scientific realities”.

        You are drifting off into verbal diarrhea again, and my BS detector is pinging.

        Max

  53. Who would doubt, mike, that yer prompted by a pure and disinterested sense of scientific enquiry? ) Bein’ as I am, but a humble jester, I think yer might address yer question to someone with a medical background .. ‘ Say, is there a doctor in the house?

  54. I discussed why our hostess excluded any talk of Antarctic sea ice on this thread, and postulated three possible reasons.
    1. Discussion would inevitably lead one to conclude that what is happening in the Arctic was a regional, not a global issue.
    2. Because the two regions are different topographically, Antarctic sea ice is irrelevant.
    3. Antarctic sea ice should be just ignored.

    As a result of some discussion with Herman Alexander Pope, I wrote the following at September 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

    @@@

    Thank you. No I dont want to reconsider the question. I want to ask another, and make some comments. Why is it that there is a significant negative correlation between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents? Currently, Arcitc sea ice is at record low extent, and Antarctic sea ice extent is at a record high extent. This must mean that when northern oceans are warm, southern oceans are cold, and vice versa, and this happens most of the time. So sea ice extent is a regional issue, and therefore nothing to do with CAGW or the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. So our hostess is wrong to speculate that CAGW might be having some effect on Arctic sea ice extent, and ought to have included a discussion of Antarctic sea ice extent in this thread.
    @@@

    I would have thought that these comments would be like a red rag to a bull for some people, but having slept on it, I find almost no comments at all. In the spirit of discourse between the two side of the CAGW debate that out hostess espouses, I would like to ask those denizens of Climate Etc. who are proponents of CAGW, and anyone else, to comment on my thoughts.

    1. Am I basically right in my assessmant of of what Antarctic sea ice is telling us? In which case it would be nice if this were to be acknowledged.

    2. Am i wrong in my thoughts? In which case it would be nice to know whyt I am wrong.

    Anyone?

    • Sorry, Cripwell, but over the years anarctic sea ice has not been increasing as much as arctic sea ice has been decreasing. See the anomalies for the two at http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/sotc/sea_ice.html

      • Max_OK

        Yes. The growing trend in Antarctic sea ice is smaller than the shrinking trend of Arctic sea ice.

        But the problem is that NSIDC hardly mentions Antarctic sea ice at all, while constantly barraging us with press releases about the imminent total disappearance of late-summer Arctic sea ice.

        In fact IPCC tells us the untruth that:

        Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show interannual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends.

        Yet there is absolutely no doubt in my mind if the Antarctic sea ice shrunk at the same rate that it has grown, NSIDC (and IPCC) would be all over it, even projecting its ultimate demise (as a result of human CO2, of course).

        That’s the dishonesty that Jim Cripwell is referring to.

        Max

  55. Dr Curry, can you do a post about the antarctic’s trend towards more ice? Why the two are different?

    • MrE, you write “Dr Curry, can you do a post about the antarctic’s trend towards more ice? Why the two are different?”

      If you will take the trouble to go over what has been written on this thread, and sort out my posts, I think you will see that I have demonstrated, by simple science and logic, that if there is a rational discussion of what is happening to Antarctic sea ice at the same time as Arctic sea ic is discussed, the only conclusion one can come to is that whatever is happening in the Arctic this year, it is purely a regional effect. CAGW and too much CO2 in the atmosphere has nothing to do with the current Arctic ice melt. Now I dont think our hostess wants to close the door firmly on the idea that CAGW does not exist, so I suspect that she will be extremely reluctant to add a discussion of Antarctic sea ice to this thread.

      • Agree, Anarctic sea ice is one of the inconvenient truths for the global warming or climate change (both embarrassingly unscientific names) consensus. I see Miller says (if it’s true) that the warming from 1753 to the present is essentially exclusively attributed to humans!

      • There is nothing inconvenient about it.

        The only way an oscillation that should be trending down can go up is if something external is forcing it. And it’s us. At ~400 ppm the PDO and the AMO will not do what they did in the past. They have no horsepower. ~400 ppm and rising has horsepower.

      • JCH, 400 to 280 is a 42% increase. 280 to 190 is a 47% increase, the impacts of each should be similar.

        In the past 400k years there are plenty of times that CO2 forcing did not produce the “global” impact expected. There are internal lags of 1000s of years. Response is no where near a few decades.

      • JCH, PDO is already low with more space to go, AMO is at the peak (plateau), solar activity is low and is getting lower (longer term). The scene is set.

        400 ppm is paper horsepower.

      • AMO better hurry up then. Judging by the “cycle” in the PDO graph will starting heading sharply upwards after 2020.

      • Yes, AMO will have to hurry up. The oscillations are not in perfect cycles. Frequency changes.

  56. Here ya go Webster and JimD

    If you compare the Vostok ice cores with the tropical oceans, they have a different memory of the past. Without knowing what you are comparing to what, you can get different interpretations of climate and primary forcings.

    CO2 tend to lag warming in the Antarctic and lead warming in other locations because CO2 is an effect, not a cause. It does have influence on climate, but with different impacts for different conditions.

    Since climate is chaotic due to the nature of the beast, you can only pick out less chaotic “regimes” to have any degree of confidence in predictions.

    Note the 150kyear “event” and the bifurcation following the event. That is a common signature on all time scales. It is kinda like reading tea leaves, but the wave patterns, like rogue waves in the oceans, have some degree of predictability if you use perturbations for initial conditions, like a reset button.

    The reset button got pushed in 1995, a new short term regime has started.

    • Is it a new regime of accelerated warming? because the world has continued warming past 1995, faster in fact.

      • No, settling into neutral until something happens. The prolonged solar minimum will give a good hint. Svaalgard thinks that will drop temperatures by about 0.1C, Hansen thinks about 0.25C, I think it is totally dependent of the duration since it mainly impacts UV which is absorbed deeper in the oceans.

      • lolwot

        You state:

        ” the world has continued warming past 1995, faster in fact”/blockquote>

        Let me quote you another observed fact:

        the world has stopped warming over the past 180 months (15 years) with no apparent resumption of the late-20th century warming after mid-1997 and an actual slight cooling trend since the new century started in January 2001.

        Kevin Trenberth has acknowledged this “unexplained lack of warming”, referring to it as a “travesty” and stating in an interview that the “missing heat” may have been “reflected out to space” with clouds acting as a “natural thermostat”.

        Makes sense to me.

        How ’bout you?

        Max

      • Judith

        Help!

        Did I just lock in the “italics” formatting?

        Mea culpa.

        Max

      • Looks like the italics formatting is fixed.

  57. Fred Singer, author of Hot Talk, Cold Science, who points to the positive side of the melting Arctic: “We spent 500 years looking for a Northwest Passage, and now we’ve got one.” You’ll quickly run across Pat Michaels, the University of Virginia climatologist and author of Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media . You might dip into TCSDaily.com, the online clearinghouse for anti-global-warming punditry. You’ll meet the Cooler Heads Coalition and the Greening Earth Society.

    The skeptics point to the global temperature graph for the past century. Notice how, after rising steadily in the early 20th century, in 1940 the temperature suddenly levels off. No — it goes down! For the next 35 years! If the planet is getting steadily warmer due to Industrial Age greenhouse gases, why did it get cooler when industries began belching out carbon dioxide at full tilt at the start of World War II?

    Now look at the ice in Antarctica: Getting thicker in places!

    Sea level rise? It’s actually dropping around certain islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

    There are all these . . . anomalies.

    The Tempest, by Joel Achenbach (Sunday, May 28, 2006)

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      “The skeptics point to the global temperature graph for the past century. Notice how, after rising steadily in the early 20th century, in 1940 the temperature suddenly levels off. No — it goes down! For the next 35 years! If the planet is getting steadily warmer due to Industrial Age greenhouse gases, why did it get cooler when industries began belching out carbon dioxide at full tilt at the start of World War II?”

      Hmmm…don’t suppose it occurred to anyone to check the amount of anthropogenic aerosols that were emitted during this time frame 1940-1970, or the fact that aerosols have an immediate cooling effect on troposphere temperatures that can mask the underlying warming caused by the CO2 emissions that also accompany the aerosols. However, the aerosols effect is short-lived relative to CO2, and then, when the Clean Air act was established in 1970 (with the U.S. being the largest emitter of aerosols at the time), we saw the aerosols decline rapidly over a few years, but the CO2 remained. Low and behold, mid-1970’s, we saw a rapid warming period begin.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Of course it occured to everyone. – check the numbers – http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha00110y.html – figure 1

        All you have is a silly narrative.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Robert,

        I’m quite aware that the 1940-1970 cooling period has been well studied, and the at least some of the cooling can be attributed to the rapid rise in anthropogenic aerosols during the period. Hence, it is more than a little tiresome to see the same old rants from skeptics who point out this period of rapid aerosol and CO2 rise as “proof” that CO2 can’t possibly cause warming since this period saw cooling. Thanks for the link…I’ve read the paper more than once before.

      • Why would you want to ignore an active sun at the end of the 20th century? An active Sun caused the decrease in cosmic ray intensity. A more active Sun meant fewer cloud-causing charged particles. This relationship that cosmic rays cause clouds is real: it isn’t a theory at all—it has been demonstrated in controlled scientific experiments in laboratories right here on Earth

      • Hokay climate skeptic mode *breathe*

        Lab experiments only prove it happens in the lab, not in the real world atmosphere which is chaotic and non-linear. Svensmark playing with his toys in the lab when a real scientist would go outside and run experiments in the real world.

        1) Please demonstrate cosmic rays have been empirically proven to change the climate in the real world.

        2) You need to provide real experiments involving direct observations of the actual atmosphere that prove it.

        3) Otherwise cosmic rays affecting climate is a worthless idea that is nothing more than a guess and Svensmark is just chasing taxpayer funding and grants and perhaps should be investigated for fraud.

      • Let me help you out here: Ponder the Maunder.

        Don’t be afraid to learn something from someone who is smarter even if Kristen Byrnes was just a teenager when she realized Al Gore was a tool.

        There is a relationship between transported energy and the light emissions from the photosphere and sunspots. It was thought that times of few sunspots are times of lower energy. Satellites were launched in 1980 to research this, and results were contrary to expectations. It became clear that these times were more energetic than periods of high sunspots. Periods of low sunspots have vigorous solar activity. The total change during sunspot cycles is usually .0.1%, from the Maunder Minimum to today the increase is .05%. The Maunder Minimum fell in the middle of the period of 1400-1800, the Little Ice Age, and it was theorized that this was due to a cut in solar emissions. The theory is that solar activity began to increase after that, and from 1800 global warming increased and recovery from the Little Ice Age began

        ["Japan's boffins: Global warming isn't man-made Climate science is 'ancient astrology', claims report," by Andrew Orlowski, Environment, 25-Feb-2009]

      • R. Gates

        Don’t make the silly mistake made by ICC to try to rationalize away the mid-century cooling cycle by attributing it to “human aerosols” (with reference to the London “killer fogs”. etc.)

        These were local phenomena and there are no empirical data supporting the notion that human aerosols caused a 30-year cycle of slight global cooling, despite rapidly accelerating increases in CO2 emissions and concentrations.

        It’s a red herring.

        The cause was most likely the same as the cause for the current “lack of warming”, i.e. “natural variability” (as the UK Met Office has told us) – or, as Kevin Trenberth has suggested in an interview: the “missing heat” may be “reflected out to space” with clouds “acting as a natural thermostat”..

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Hardly is the relationship between anthropogenic aerosols and the 1940-1970 cooling a “red herring”.

  58. How is AGW created?

    By claiming the multidecadal oscillation does not exist and claiming the warming due to this natural warming from 1970-2000 is man made.

  59. To summarize,

    Reliable Antarctic sea ice data indicates that we will have another Catastrophic Ice Age this winter. Skeptics have barely ttime to raise the alarm and inform their congressmen that Global Cooling is coming and demand governments around the world do absolutely nothing.

    The Arctic

    In contrast nothing remarkable is happening in the Arctic. There’s been some melting this summer but that’s expected. Arctic Sea Ice melts all the time, it’s perfectly normal. Graduates of better Texan oceanography homeschools will recall that in the year 1421, Viking Warmists surfaced a longboat at the North Pole and fought a pitched battle with the Imperial Navy of Ming the Merciless, who lost the laser-eyed cat battle because there is no such thing as back radiation.

    Details at :

    http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-ice-age-is-coming.html

  60. Is there even less Arctic sea ice than the satellites show?

    Only 350 miles from the north pole, possibly 50% of the sea is covered in ice, yet data says there is ice cover at this latitude

    Where is the ice? We are now at 83.20N which is very close to the north pole yet still there is no continuous ice cover (head here for more on my journey through the Arctic). We are mostly among small, thin, one- and two-year-old floes, with very little of the older, harder and more resilient “multiyear”, or permanent ice that you would expect in these latitudes.Our ice pilot, Arne Sorensen, went up in the helicopter and found little change even as far north as 83.50 – just 350 miles from the pole.

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/13/less-arctic-sea-ice-satellites?cat=environment&type=article

  61. Don’t forget to add Bill McKibben of 350.org to the list of Arctic ice shrill alarmists, another who’s strangely but predictably quiet about the record Antarctic ice gains.

    • Antarctic sea ice extent trend is 0.6%+-0.5% per decade for August. Just barely more trend than variation. Compare with Arctic trend of -10.2%+-2.2% per decade for August. (NSIDC BIST)
      While I’m sure that there are some interesting and subtle things that could be said about this difference (please do), it is roughly an order of magnitude smaller.

  62. LA

    Don’t lie to me in future and we’ll be fine.

    • @BBD

      I repeat what I said before

      ‘But you should not accuse me of ‘dishonesty’. I am quite happy to stand by my actions and words in this matter’

      You can reread the whole post here, as you seem to have forgotten it

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/17/reflections-on-the-arctic-sea-ice-minimum-part-ii/#comment-240882

    • BBD,

      What exactly is the “lie” you are asserting Latimer made? That is, what untruthful statement did Latimer knowlingly make? Specifically please.

      • Hey BBD!

        Had a bit of bad luck there with my last comment–got deleted and all. So we try again.

        It appears, BBD, you can’t provide any quotations to support your various contentions that Latimer lies, fibs, and otherwise conducts himself dishonestly. And, as we both know, your reticence in this area is due to the fact that Latimer did not lie, fib, or conduct himself dishonestly, as you knowingly and falsely claim.

        On the other hand, you, BBD, (who’d’a thought!) did tell a knowing untruth about Latimer. In particular, you said that Latimer used the words “it’s all crap” (you used quotes, guy) in Yr: Sept 17, 2:36 p. m. comment and then you further acknowledged (see Yr: Sep 18. 3:28 a. m. comment) you knew he didn’t say “it’s all crap” all along (Curiously, BBD, Latimer’s correction of your mis-quote instantly cooked-off, from somewhere deep inside you, a ready-to-blow-anyway, nutso, high-dudgeon, indignant, I-will-never-concede-a-mistake-to-deniers!, frenzied meltdown that, in turn, produced a truly remarkable, fuss-budget, trying-to-sound-like-mom-when-she-calls-me-a-bad-boy-but-failing chastisement of Latimer for pointing out your error(again, see your Sept 18, 3:28 a. m.comment). Kinda unexpected, I thought, since an apology normally follows a demonstration that one is in deliberate error. But I guess, in your crowd, BBD, the exposure of hive-bozo duplicity by a class-enemy like Latimer, even if true, is just a further demonstration of “denier” depravity.).

        So let’s put that all together, BBD, you knowingly spoke an untruth when you falsely attributed to Latimer lies, fibs, and dishonesty when you knew you had no examples of lies, fibs, or dishonesty on Latimer’s part. And you spoke a knowing falsehood when you attributed to Latimer the comment, “It’s all crap” when you knew he had said no such thing.

        Now normally, BBD, when I catch another out in a brazen, deliberate falsehood as I have caught you out in two–two!–brazen deliberate falsehoods, I’d play Mr. Nice-Guy and let it all go with something like “Ol’ BBD’s has sure been serving up some real super-deluxe, high-fiber, free-range, all-organic fib-filets on-the-half-shell here lately–don’t know just quite what to make of that boy.” and let it go at that. But since you’re such a weasel (and annoying), BBD, I’m just gonna cut to the chase and call you out. You’re a freakin, hive-hack LIAR, BBD! Remember, BBD, you (falsely) called Latimer a liar. So me calling you a liar seems fair enough, right?

      • @mike

        Thank you for your trenchant words. I appreciate them.

        I’d almost decided to leave matters as they were on the basis that BBD had made quite a big enough public ar*e of himself already. But on reflection perhaps it’ll take some powerful commentary such as yours to give him pause the next time he thinks about making false and unfounded allegations of dishonesty or other misbehaviour around the place. Maybe

        And you can usually tell when a Bovver Boy knows he’s losing the argument by his resort to such tactics.

  63. Bloke down the pub

    Apologies if this has already been stated, but my view on decreased Arctic ice cover is:- 1, as Judith pointed out, when ice is at a minimum the sun is already so low in the sky that there is no noticeable change to albedo, 2 when there is ice cover warm water is kept at depth by differences in salinity, When there is open water, storms mix the haline layers bringing warm water to the surface where it can more readily radiate it’s energy into outer space. As a result there is a strong negative feedback which would lead to global cooling.

    • I expect that too, but maybe someone will disagree. Does less arctic sea ice results in enhanced cooling to space in this region?

    • scepticalWombat

      “when ice is at a minimum the sun is already so low in the sky that there is no noticeable change to albedo”
      The problem is that it is not only the minimum that is trending down. The average extent in June and July is also falling. During those months the insolation at the top of atmosphere over the arctic is higher than anywhere else in the world. The surface insolation is of course dependent on cloud cover.

      I agree with you about the likely destratification of the Arctic Ocean, but I do not see this resulting in global cooling. Heat which is currently locked safely in the deep arctic can get released into the atmosphere. To me this implies warming of surface temperatures. (For what its worth destratification itself results in an increase in entropy and therefore a release of heat). And with more ocean exposed I would expect to see more water vapour in the atmosphere which implies that radiation of heat into space will be slower. So there are negative feedbacks and positive feedbacks. So far it appears that the positive feedbacks are winning.

      • Bloke down the pub

        Even at the end of June, although at the pole the sun may be shining 24hrs a day, it won’t get much above 24deg above the horizon(allowing for a bit of wobble). At low angle the albedo of water is about the same as fresh level snow/ice. As we are told that one of the causes of melt in the Arctic is soot pollution, which becomes more prevelant in summer as melting ice leaves the soot on the surface, the ice is obviously not fresh. In that case open water could(nice weasel word) be absorbing less energy than the ice was. The extra water vapour in the atmosphere would likely lead to more snowfall in the upper latitudes, also raising the albedo. Time,as they say, will of course tell.

      • scepticalWombat

        “At low angle the albedo of water is about the same as fresh level snow/ice.”
        Do you have some data to support this statement or is it just wishful thinking?

        Anyhow at the moment the North Pole is not the area of concern – it is still well within the 15% sea ice area. Further south the sun moves up and down still without setting.

        In any case the ice free part of the Arctic Ocean is not exactly a millpond. It has swells of up to 4 metres. This means that the angle of incidence of sunlight on the water surface will on average be substantially higher than if the surface was actually flat

        It would be nice if increased snow cover was making up for the reduced sea ice. However Northern Hemisphere snow cover in June has been trending down along with sea ice. This year was less than the previous record by a million square kilometres – so no help there, In fact reduced snow cover has been compounding the problem. (More snow may fall but it melts more quickly)

        If you can produce some references to back up your Hail Mary soot hypothesis we can discuss it further..

      • scepticalWombat | September 21, 2012 at 1:17 am |

        “At low angle the albedo of water is about the same as fresh level snow/ice.”
        Do you have some data to support this statement or is it just wishful thinking?”

        Wiki:
        “Although the reflectivity of water is very low at low and medium angles of incident light, it increases tremendously at high angles of incident light such as occur on the illuminated side of the Earth near the terminator (early morning, late afternoon and near the poles). However, as mentioned above, waviness causes an appreciable reduction. ”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo

        Though because wave angle both ways, they lower and increase angle of incident light.

        “In any case the ice free part of the Arctic Ocean is not exactly a millpond. It has swells of up to 4 metres. This means that the angle of incidence of sunlight on the water surface will on average be substantially higher than if the surface was actually flat”

        Strong wind and/or clouds do tend to nullify it. Not sure how high the waves are generally, but 4 meters in open ocean isn’t much and could be [far as know] around average- though it seems it could make ok surfing waves, when they reach shallower water. So I google:

        http://www.arcticsurfblog.com/

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2182048/The-surfers-really-know-chill-Daredevils-plunge-icy-ARCTIC-waves-ultimate-ride.html

        Doesn’t seem like many sunny days and waves occurring at same time- but they do surf it.

      • scepticalWombat

        gbaikie | September 21, 2012 at 2:53 am |
        Though because wave angle both ways, they lower and increase angle of incident light.
        The way I see it more light falls on the side of the wave closest to the sun ( the sunny side) than on the side further away (the shady side). The angle will be increased on the sunny side and decreased on the shady side. So (except in situations where the direction of the light is parallel to the crests of the waves) I would expect the overall effect to be a decrease in the reflexivity.

        I am still not convinced that reflectivity of water at 24 degrees would be equal to that of snow and ice at the same angle.

      • scepticalWombat

        OK good old Wikipedia has a graph for water reflexivity. When light is incident at 24 degrees above the horizon the reflexivity is approximately 0.1 which means that about 90 per cent of the energy is absorbed. At 2 degrees about 20 per cent is absorbed. I doubt that snow or ice absorbs anything like 90 per cent of incident solar energy – so throughout June and July and probably much of May and August the albedo of water is much lower lower than that of ice.
        Of course when the sun hits at an oblique angle the number of watts per square metre of surface is lower (proportional in fact to 1/sin(A) where A is the elevation above the horizon.). However the fact remains that in the absence of clouds the energy per unit area hitting the surface in the arctic in June and July would be higher than at the equator. Of course there are clouds in both places.

    • scepticalWombat

      Make that proportional to sin(A).

  64. I’m sure Judith Curry never wished to create a forum where those who don’t know what they are talking about can strive to outdo each other in impressing those who can’t tell science from cant, but that’s what she’s got.

    We all go to the climate wars with the troops we’ve got.

  65. Beth Cooper –

    I did enjoy your Goethe quote, and your apropos to it – seems like a good way to go. And I appreciate your comments here generally – as foul as AGW is, a little wit goes a long ways tiowards making the good fight against it more nbearable.

    But my quote wasn’t from Goethe – it was from a banner at one of the big Nazi Nuremberg rallies in 1938. The actual phrase was “Die Juden sind unser Ungluck.” (“The Jews are our misfortune.”)

  66. The interesting trend is that while Arctic glaciers have lost mass since the end of the LIA the loss has slowed. So, the loss is actually less than we’d expect if we actually thought increases in atmospheric CO2 was a factor.

    Ice loss is not unprecedented. It actually is prcedented given the rate of global warming has slowed since the LIA. “There is no obvious common or global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years.” ~Braithwaite

  67. Chad Wozniak, no, nothing to joke about there, a vile conspiracy theory that brought suffering and death to so many human beings. When you think of Beethoven and Goethe you wonder how propogandists of the BS power philosophies of the closed society are able to corrrupt a culture from within.

  68. +1 Edim on Antarctic ice

  69. The Ice Free Arctic is what causes the extra snow that always cools a warm Earth. The snow that falls around the Arctic does cause the jet stream to move more south and that does cause snow to fall more south, on the heads of glaciers and ice packs around the northern hemisphere. This warm period, much like the Medieval Warm Period, is at or near the peak and the snow is falling that always turns a warm Earth into a cool Earth.

  70. Pingback: Pondering the Path To an Open Polar Sea - NYTimes.com

  71. Pingback: Konsensus: Arktis kommer inte att bli verkligt fritt från havsis | The Climate Scam

  72. Oceans are warm and they will be warm for years to come. The Arctic Sea Ice Extent gets low every summer and this will continue for years to come. The open Arctic causes much snowfall around the Arctic and this will continue for years to come. This Snow Extent around the Arctic does move the Jet Stream and does cause much more snow at lower Latitudes and this will continue for years to come. Snow is piling up on the Heads of Glaciers and Ice Packs and this will continue for years to come. (and this will continue for years to come = TWC.) The Ice Volume will increase until the Ice starts to advance and cool the Earth. TWC. At some point, years from now, the advancing ice will cool the oceans and allow the Arctic to stay mostly frozen all summer. TWC. The ice will continue to advance. TWC. Earth will reach conditions similar to the Little Ice Age and the ice advance will halt. Then it will still not be snowing and the ice will start to retreat. TWC. Ice will retreat until we warm to a period, such as now with warm oceans and open Arctic and the next cycle will begin.

    • Crackpot. Instead of oscillating, it could reach a stable state This stable state will be a higher average temperature than we have now. You engage in Chauncey Gardner rhetoric that has no supporting foundation other than your musings.

      • It has toggled from snowing and then cooling to not snowing and then warming in the same narrow bounds for ten thousand years. There is no stable state that it can stay in. It must toggle back and fourth. Look at the data from the ice cores for the past ten thousand years.

      • There are TWO STATES
        When the Arctic is Open, the snow monster is turned on.
        When the Arctic is Closed, the snow monster is turned off.
        There is no way to stay in either state.

      • The last ten thousand years had periods of warming when it is cold and periods of cooling when it is warm. This did happen every time. Temperature never got out of bounds.
        There are no examples of temperature in a stable state.
        Talk about a crackpot. A crackpot says this next time will be different with no historical evidence that supports the claim.

        NOT EVEN ONE EXAMPLE!

        Something could happen that is different than anything that has happened before, but the most likely thing that will happen is something similar to what has happened, again and again and again and again for the past ten thousand years.

      • 1998 was the warmest year so far. That is in NOAA records.
        This is based on actual NOAA Data.
        Consensus Climate Theory and Model Output showed something much different in their forecasts.

        One or the other was wrong. I go with the data.

      • “1998 was the warmest year so far. That is in NOAA records. … I go with the data.”

        Not true! Warmest was 2010, anomaly 0.6558°C. Next was 2005, anomaly 0.6440°C. Third was 1998, anomaly 0.6307°C.

      • The warmest decade didn’t even contain 1998.

  73. “For the next two decades, natural variability will trump any direct effects from AGW by a long shot.”

    That statement, as written, is utterly nonsensical.

    By volume, 75% of the Arctic sea ice is already gone. “Natural variability will trump any direct effects from AGW,” insofar as it is not meaningless, has already proven to be false.

    “This statement from Levina and Lenton makes sense”

    Well, no, in point of fact it does not make sense. Maybe it did make some sense in April, when it was published. It is now September, and L&L’s statement is filed under failed predictions of historical interest to those hoping to avoid their mistakes.

    “These are all qualitative speculations, but I am not seeing a big rationale for climate catastrophe if the see ice melts?”

    Like “not apocalyptic,” “not a catastrophe” is a low bar, indeed. You claim that less sea ice will result in more snow, but the opposite seems to be the case. Anybody have any sources for this claim?

    The Arctic scientists I’ve read expect more permafrost loss, more erosion, slowing of the jet stream (more extreme weather), more land ice lost, potential slowing/disruption of the THC, more Arctic amplification. Without any sources to the actual science, your rosy portrait of an open Arctic seems like wishful thinking.

  74. “the direct ice albedo effect isn’t all that large”.
    Judith I spent a large chunk of yesterday trying to find some kind of figure for ice albedo feedback. Without success, except I now know that if earth were a snowball, albedo would be 0.84, if it were totally forested it would be 0.17 and at present if is about 0.30.
    Can you improve on that please?

  75. Look at the data. When oceans are warm it snows more and earth gets cooler. When oceans are cold it snows less and earth gets warmer.
    This is in the data, look at it.
    The warm ocean time with an open Arctic is part of a normal and natural cycle. This is when it snows to resupply the glaciers and ice fields. This ice will later advance and cool the earth, again, just like it did many times before. It snows more in warm times and it snows less in cold times and that keeps temperature bounded.

  76. Pingback: The melting Arctic – are we paying attention yet? | It's the Ecology, Stupid!

  77. RACookPE1978

    Coming in a bit late into this thread, but I may as well make it 476 comments. 8 80.9 degrees (rounded to 81 latitude)
    4 million km^2 => 79.8 degrees (rounded to 80 latitude)
    5 million km^2 => 78.6 degrees (rounded to 79 latitude)
    6 million km^2 => ~77.5 degrees latitude
    7 million km^2 => ~76.4 degrees latitude (the “official” sea ice nominal minimum value)

    (This is a slight approximation: As noted above, there is a little bit of sea ice near the east coast of Greenland, and the actual center of the sea ice circle is slightly offset away from the pole. A very little triangle of Greenland between 81 north and its tip at 83 north would be technically considered “land ice” rather than sea ice. But this land area within the 81 north “cap” (like that of central Ellesmere Island), remains ice covered and does not change the analysis by more than 2%.

    B) Arctic sea ice maximums do have a near-physical limit: The Arctic Ocean shores limit sea ice once the region ices over, and any increase in maximum must occur in very, very small regions down the east and west shores of Greenland, in the narrow gap between Asia and North American continents, etc. Smaller areas inside the southern seas and bays are also “area limited”: Hudson Bay ices over every year, then melts again very spring -> It’s ice area can’t get any larger, and the melted area can get no larger. The Barents Sea, Bering Strait, Norwegian Sea, North Sea, Baffin Bay, Davis Strait, Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea, etc. What parts freeze can’t freeze any more: what melts each spring already completely melts. There is no more Arctic sea ice that can melt anywhere on earth except that little cap up north between 81 north and the pole.

    So, the only question that can be asked about Arctic sea ice is: if additional sea ice melts (the minimum gets lower than 3.5 million km squared) – or if it all suddenly melted one September – would net heat energy be gained, or lost, to the earth?

    Classic CAGW “positive Arctic feedback” holds that increased global temperatures melt more arctic sea ice, which exposes more (dark, low albedo) ocean water to the sun, which heats the newly exposed water, which heats the air and the water below the nearby ice, which melts more sea ice … The Arctic spirals out of control.

    C) All of the Arctic Ocean that now freezes will continue to freeze each winter – average winter temperatures at 80 north latitude are -25 degrees C, and regardless of any IPCC/CAGW projection, the region will continue to freeze over every winter. Even at sea ice minimums, DMI air temperatures up where the sea ice actually is, are about -15 C.

    D) Arctic sea ice minimum (and maximum) extents have declined since measurements began reliably in 1979. However, at the border of the sea ice minimum, during the only melting season that exists, air temperatures have remained steady. Measured daily air temperatures by the DMI at 80 north latitude through EVERY summer since 1958 have remained steady between 1958 and 2000, and, in fact, have declined between 2000 and 2012 – which included record low sea ice extents in 2007 and 2012. Thus, it is hard to spot the “hot air” arctic feedback -0 again, NOT in the mid-latitude tundra and forest in central Canada, but up north where the sea ice is. (Used to be.) Further, global temperatures have remained high, but steady, for 16 years now, yet Arctic sea ice extents – almost none of which is older than 4 years old, continues to be lower each year. Something else must control sea ice minimums – other than land temperatures 15 degrees further south,

    E) Yes, the sun shines every hour above the Arctic Circle (66.5 degrees) during the summer. It doesn’t matter, since minimum Arctic sea ice extents DON’T occur while the sun is above the horizon. Minimum sea ice extents occur each FALL very near the equinox in mid-September. Further, at mid-summer when the sun is shining, high latitude arctic air temperatures have not been rising. Lower latitude land tempertures ARE rising, ARE above earlier normals, most likely because of the darker albedo of increased plant and tree growth across the tundras, grassland, and forests. (And that growth, of course, IS due to higher CO2 levels. ) At minimum sea ice extents near the equinox, the sun is below the horizon for 12 hours each day, and rises only a little bit (less than 10 degrees) above the horizon for a few minutes each day at solar local noon. Thus, at 80 north near the edge of the sea ice, the sun is only at 10 degrees incidence angle at noon.
    At 82 north, it is 8 degrees above the horizon at noon.
    At 86 north, it is only 4 degrees above the horizon.
    At 88 north, the ice is exposed to solar rays at maximum of 2 degrees above the horizon.

    Every other hour of the day, the sun is even lower than its maximum (obviously!) and the ice can only absorb even less radiation.

    Bluntly put, “Arctic amplification” cannot “heat the water” with sunlight that isn’t shining.

    F) Air Mass. The inbound solar energy so greatly feared by the CAGW community for its ability to reflect off of the Arctic Ice, but get absorbed by newly exposed sea water and thus warm the globe, must transit the earth’s atmosphere before it can get reflected – or absorbed. Note that solar energy loss calculations through the air mass do NOT account for reflections off of either high clouds or low clouds or atmospheric dust and turbidity: they are based on “clear sky” conditions regardless of clouds, dust, storms or wind.

    On the equator,at 0 latitude, by definition, the air mass = 1.0
    Again, only at solar noon. At all other times of the day, the air mass is calculated based on the incident angle of the sun – the angle of the sun above the horizon.

    It’s easiest to simply read the air mass charts:
    Following from NOAA website for the equator this year.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/neubrew/SolarCalc.jsp

    yyyy MMddHH * * AirMass * * SolarZen * * Elev * *
    2012 09 23 06 * * 18.27621 * * 87.77073 * * 2.22927 * *
    2012 09 23 07 * * 3.38948 * * 73.01902 * * 16.98098 * *
    2012 09 23 08 * * 1.88462 * * 58.04187 * * 31.95813 * *
    2012 09 23 09 * * 1.36700 * * 43.04926 * * 46.95074 * *
    2012 09 23 10 * * 1.13247 * * 28.05277 * * 61.94723 * *
    2012 09 23 11 * * 1.02615 * * 13.05633 * * 76.94367 * *
    2012 09 23 12 * * 1.00030 * * 1.97674 * * 88.02326 * *
    2012 09 23 13 * * 1.04498 * * 16.95005 * * 73.04995 * *
    2012 09 23 14 * * 1.17772 * * 31.94691 * * 58.05309 * *
    2012 09 23 15 * * 1.46286 * * 46.94272 * * 43.05728 * *
    2012 09 23 16 * * 2.11834 * * 61.93305 * * 28.06695 * *
    2012 09 23 17 * * 4.33480 * * 76.89906 * * 13.10094 * *
    2012 09 23 18 * * -1.00000 * * 91.96936 * * -1.96936 * *

    Note the high air mass at sunrise and sunset. To illustrate, even at the equator, yes, at sunrise and sunset, you can look directly at the sun. [It would be interesting to request funds to study the "albedo of sunlight at low solar angles on open ocean waters under varying cloud conditions, wave heights, and wind speeds" by studying sunsets at a convenient location, such as Key West or Oahu, for several months. 8<) ]

    But, back in the real world, “look” at the sun (without squinting!) at latitude 81 north. (Same day, same month.)
    yyyy MMddHH * * AirMass * * SolarZen * * Elev * *
    2012 09 23 06 * * 30.14076 * * 89.39174 * * 0.60826 * *
    2012 09 23 07 * * 16.53731 * * 87.37416 * * 2.62584 * *
    2012 09 23 08 * * 10.93514 * * 85.35191 * * 4.64809 * *
    2012 09 23 09 * * 8.35603 * * 83.59536 * * 6.40464 * *
    2012 09 23 10 * * 7.06556 * * 82.26159 * * 7.73841 * *
    2012 09 23 11 * * 6.45947 * * 81.45777 * * 8.54223 * *
    2012 09 23 12 * * 6.31717 * * 81.24726 * * 8.75274 * *
    2012 09 23 13 * * 6.59312 * * 81.64740 * * 8.35260 * *
    2012 09 23 14 * * 7.38032 * * 82.62837 * * 7.37163 * *
    2012 09 23 15 * * 8.98921 * * 84.11485 * * 5.88515 * *
    2012 09 23 16 * * 12.27159 * * 85.98700 * * 4.01300 * *
    2012 09 23 17 * * 19.78169 * * 88.06450 * * 1.93550 * *
    2012 09 23 18 * * 37.66657 * * 89.98293 * * 0.01707 * *

    At very high angles, the horizon can be assumed flat, but at the low angles of interest in the Arctic (and Antarctic lest we forget) the earth’s radius must be included. More exotic air mass calculation include factors (corrections) for varying atmosphere density with altitude and temperature varying from the ground through the stratosphere, height of the observer, and assumed atmosphere thickness. Technically, we’d need to correct for the lower atmosphere temperature in the Arctic (increasing density compared to the rest of the earth), and the lower atmosphere thickness at the poles (decreasing air mass compared to the simple NOAA approximations for all values from the equator to the poles).

    But, for what they are worth, the above are from the NOAA – good, bad, and approximations as found.

    G) Rough water DOES increase albedo (the relative absorption of sunlight compared to the reflection of sunlight. However, the effect of waves depends on the wind, and the net result fro measured results for clear days very closely approximates the reflection of P polarized light from smooth water at high sun angles: the "classic" water albedo of 0.06 is a good approximation between 90 degrees and 25 degrees solar angles.

    However, the few rough water albedo studies for low solar angles – solar elevation angles below 20 degrees – that I've found all confirm open ocean (rough water) albedo increases dramatically to a maximum between 0.35 and 0.60 at 4-6 degrees. Below 4 degrees, some studies simply stop, some report a 0.06 albedo, and some report 0.30. Results are definitely mixed – but it doesn't really matter. Below 2-4 degrees solar elevation, very little sunlight penetrates the atmosphere to be either reflected or absorbed.
    Note: Indirect solar radiation at high latitudes DOES get absorbed into the exposed water since it is coming from all "overhead" angles and "sees" an ocean water of classically "low" albedo. But this "indirect" solar energy is (at most) 0.25 to 0.35 of available direct sunlight at the equinox. And even 1/3 of little sunlight is even less.

    H) Thus, at low angles of solar incidence, less than 25% of the available solar direct energy is absorbed into open, rough water. The rest of the direct energy is reflected. Given an air mass of 6.6 at latitude 82 north on Sept 21 at noon, I calculate 70 watts per m^2 direct radiation and 18 watts indirect radiation is available at noon on Sept 21 – if you assume clear skies. (Rare actually at that time of year.) Of those 88 watts hitting the water, 46 are absorbed from direct radiation, and 17 are absorbed from the indirect radiation. Hardly enough to heat the water much. And this is at the southern edge of the sea ice, at the "hottest time" of the day. If in some future year, some future sea ice extents are less than 2012's record low extents, that sea ice extents "edge" will be even further north, and will see even less radiation.

    Repeating the above for each hour that the sun is above the horizon, I calculate that only 428 watts/m^2 are absorbed each day from the sun at 82 north this year under clear skies, low winds, and waves under 2 meters. Clouds would reduce net solar energy available to the surface.

    I) Evaporative heat losses from open Arctic waters are constant, regardless of latitude – I understand slightly more than 113 watts per meter square are lost from the water by evaporation in this area (3 degrees water temperature, -15 degrees air temperature). If the water is ice-covered, no evaporation occurs.

    Once the sea ice has melted off of any given square meter, but evaporation would continue every hour it remains melted, right? Thus evaporation losses each day are 113 x 24 = 2712 watts lost to the atmosphere above each newly exposed sq meter of ocean water.

    J) Radiative heat losses from water (or ice-covered water) into the sky depend only on the emissivity of water (or ice), and do not change with latitude.

    This is because upward radiation going INTO the Arctic sky radiates vertically into the sky, not at an angle back towards the sun. The air mass for radiation heat loss does NOT change with latitude or time of day. Also, radiation heat losses from the ice at 5:00 AM at latitude 80 north are the same as they are at Noon (local solar time) at latitude 84 north, and the same as they are at midnight at the pole.

    Radiation losses will depend on the small differences between the emissivity of ice and that of smooth water, rough water, rough ice (partially melted and dirty snow) typical of the end of season conditions, and of the temperature of what either is radiating "to" : clear skies and the blackness of space, mid-level clouds or low clouds, and temperature of the sky and clouds.

    I do not know those conditions, won't guess those values, and ask your help in providing such information.

    K) However, radiation heat loss does depend on the fourth power of radiating (sea surface or ice surface) temperature – which will be right at 273 K – 275 K for open water; but what might be as low as -12 to -20 at the equinox for ice-covered water exposed directly to the rapidly freezing Arctic air.

    Regardless of specific emissivities, temperature alone lets us state that ice-covered Arctic waters near the equinox at times of minimum Arctic sea ice extent will radiate more energy losses than ocean-covered sea waters at the same latitude and time of year!

    Net result for the Arctic?

    At solar angles below 10 degrees angle of incidence, each square meter of newly melted Arctic Sea Ice loses several times more energy by evaporation than it gains by absorption of the sun’s energy. Each square meter of exposed ocean water is significantly warmer than that of an ice-covered meter, and thus the newly exposed sea water will radiate significantly more energy than ice-covered waters.

    Thus, loss of sea ice INCREASES heat loss from the Arctic Ocean, and provides a net COOLING of the air and water in the Arctic Ocean. Phrased differently, the previously frozen sea ice acts as an insulator between the salt water below the sea ice and the Arctic air above the sea ice – preventing BOTH evaporation losses from the water AND radiation losses to the 12 hours of night air when the sun doesn’t shine. What little direct and indirect solar radiation is available is not enough to make up for the increased heat losses from the water.

  78. RACookPE1978

    My apologies: Cut and paste error killed the beginning of the previous comment: That paragraph is repeated below.

    I request each reader to review, analyze, and seriously critique each of the following points:

    A) Arctic sea ice minimums at the equinox in mid-September have only one real limit: they can continue to reduce to zero from their (typical) 4.0 million km^2 extent minimum. (This year, in 2012, that minimum was right 3.4 million km^2, or a “beanie cap” extending down from the pole to latitude 81 north.)

    Specifically,
    3 million km^2 => 80.9 degrees (rounded to 81 latitude)
    4 million km^2 => 79.8 degrees (rounded to 80 latitude)
    5 million km^2 => 78.6 degrees (rounded to 79 latitude)
    6 million km^2 => ~77.5 degrees latitude
    7 million km^2 => ~76.4 degrees latitude (the “official” sea ice nominal minimum value)

    Any analysis or discussion of “minimum Arctic sea ice extents” or “melting sea ice” must begin with a specific treatment of this remaining ice at these latitudes. Making assumptions or using constant or generalizations about generic ice absorption, reflection, radiation, or evaporation at any other location or any other solar angles at any other temperature or date of year or time of day is wrong. The effect any previous year of sea ice reflectivity or heat loss or heat gain has been lost over the previous winter, and each year’s energy budget must stand alone: That sea ice was near recent all-time highs in March and April 2012 indicates that an all-time sea ice low in September can’t be attributed to any particular sea ice measurement in 2011, 2010, or 1979. Thickness may be relevant to older-year ice, but thickness doesn’t change a current year heat budget through the summer.

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