Unprecedented(?) Arctic warming. Part II

by Marcia Wyatt

UPDATE:  Addendum from Marcia Wyatt

UPDATE:  Giff Miller responds

Miller et al.’s 2013 paper – Unprecedented recent summer warmth in Arctic Canada – splashed into the public eye last week with the declaration that current average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic are warmer now than in any century in the past 44,000 years, and perhaps in the past 120,000 years.

The authors note that solar insolation today is 9% less than solar insolation during the early Holocene. They further reason that because current summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic are greater than those during the early Holocene when solar insolation was greater, the only explanation for the current excess summer warmth can be found in anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions. They express confidence in ruling out natural climate variability as the reason for the warmer summers.

From a few samples of long-dead moss exposed by a couple of receding ancient ice caps atop Baffin Island to the conclusion of unprecedented global warming due to mankind, the reasoning is intricate. Many assumptions made.

Field research for this study was conducted on Baffin Island between 2005 and 2010. The first goal of the study was to determine the history of summer average temperatures in this Arctic region west of Greenland. Remains of ancient moss, recently exposed via current snowline retreat, reveal this history. Snowline is the elevation at which winter accumulation equals summer snow melt.

The reasoning behind using moss to determine the history of summer average temperatures begins with the fact that moss grows when the ground is ice-free. It grows until climate chills and the snowline advances. When the snow advances, it covers the moss, thereby killing it. Locked within the dead moss’s relics is carbon, some of which is C-14 – a radioactive isotope of carbon created from the interaction of galactic cosmic rays and nitrogen in the atmosphere. C-14’s half-life is 5730 years, allowing this chemical signature to be used to date the last ‘breath’ of the once living carbon-consumer. Complications adjusted for, reasonable age estimates to ~50,000 years can be obtained. A sample’s radiocarbon age would mark either the last time the snowline had retreated to the current snowline’s position or the maximum age identifiable by radiocarbon dating.

What does snowline elevation have to do with temperature? Miller et al. point to a study by Koerner 2005 that finds strong correlation between ice-mass balance and summer temperatures in the Canadian High Arctic between 1960 and 2003. Thus, Miller et al. use snowline as a proxy for summer average temperature in this study. When the snowline was last at the elevation recently exposed is determined from the moss’s age. That is the time at which temperatures are inferred to have been matched by, or exceeded by, today’s temperatures.

How does one know if the moss was only now uncovered or if it had been uncovered one or more times between when it was alive and now? The researchers note that erosion rapidly removes any newly exposed moss; therefore, such a previous unveiling would be unlikely.

Miller et al. took hundreds of samples. Many were of young moss – moss that had re-grown on the area left bare by the retreating snow mass. Of the older samples, most of them dated back to ~5,000 years ago, in the mid-Holocene. A few samples dated back to 44,000 years. Limitations of radiocarbon dating cannot go much beyond this date, so this is the moss’s minimum possible age. Forty-four thousand years ago, Earth was in the midst of a glacial period and nearby Greenland was buried in ice – an unlikely time for sprouting moss on nearby Baffin Island, so the moss is likely older than 44,000 years. Information captured in oxygen isotopes in the Greenland Ice Sheet reflects timing of the last interglacial, when conditions were warm enough for moss growth. This was ~120,000 years ago. Putting all of this together, researchers infer the likely age of the moss from Baffin Island dates to the last interglacial, 120,000 years ago. If this moss had not seen daylight for 120,000 years, Miller et al. reason, then summer temperatures during the last 10,000 years (the Holocene) of the current interglacial have not been as warm as now; otherwise the moss would have been previously exposed. One might argue that snow accumulation could have been so great that temperatures as warm as or warmer than today may not have been able to etch away the pile clear down to the moss-covered ground. Miller et al. have an answer for this. They argue that the ice caps from which the samples of old moss were taken could never have been thicker than 70 meters. This, they say, is due to topography – a flat summit surrounded by steep slopes – and snow dynamics – a snow accumulation greater than 70m atop this summit could not be physically constrained. They further argue that modeled scenarios show that a 70m accumulation of snow would melt if a one-hundred-year stretch of warm temperatures had prevailed. Because the pile remains, that one-hundred-year stretch must not have occurred prior to now.  And now must be warmer than the early-to-mid Holocene. The next question to answer is why.

The research team attempts to ascertain cause for temperature amplitudes, both for today’s temperatures and those of the early-to-mid Holocene. Primarily, the question is, could the excess of today’s temperatures be due to natural forcing? What Miller et al. call ‘natural’ variability or forcing is actually no more than direct solar insolation. They look to the Holocene summer surface temperature record for answers. This requires use of snowlines. 1) First they must estimate snowline elevation changes between the early Holocene and now. 2) Then they must estimate what factors determined the snowline-elevation changes – summer surface air temperature or solar insolation. And 3) once they calculate the contribution of solar, then they estimate the surface temperatures.

Many of the collected moss samples were around 5,000 years old. Their elevations can be plotted against their sample ages. This exercise reveals the evolution of snowline-elevation changes. Of course, nothing is so straight-forward. It must be determined first just what snowlines can be considered to be ‘regional’, i.e. representative. Some moss samples do not follow the average snowline.

Koerner explains why. Ice-mass balance at low elevations has been increasing or staying the same over the 1960 to 2003 interval. This is because of increasing exposure of the Arctic Ocean, allowing for fog formation, which creates conditions of ice growth and persistence at low elevations. Miller et al. dismiss the low-elevation values, identifying them as outliers. Using their established ‘regional’ snowline, they estimate snowline elevations lowered between the mid (~5,000 years ago) and late Holocene, on average, about 650 meters.

Once they determined what snowline elevation was ‘regional’, and how much that snowline elevation had changed over the last 5,000 years, the next step was to assign cause to elevation changes. How much of the snowline change between the mid Holocene and the late Holocene was due to changes in surface air temperature? How much was due to natural causes – i.e. to short wave radiation from solar insolation? Today the latter contribution is considered to be minimal. In the early Holocene (b/n ~12 and 10 kya), solar insolation in June at 65ºN is estimated to have been ~9% higher than it is today. To answer the question about cause of snowline-elevation changes, the Greenland Ice Sheet is once again invoked. Model estimates of solar contribution to changes in snowline elevation on Greenland during the last interglacial (> 120,000 years ago) are scaled to current-day anomalous short-wave radiation in the Arctic. From this, the researchers determine that 95 meters of the estimated 650-meter snowline lowering between 5,000 years ago and the mid-20th century could be assigned to solar, independent of surface air temperature. They adjust their snowline elevations to reflect the elevation change not due to solar short-wave radiation effects so they can next focus on reconstructing summer air temperature of the early-Holocene.

More assumptions are brought into the calculations. Using the present-day moist adiabatic lapse rate of ~6ºC/km [Correction: Lapse rate used ~4.9ºC/km (+/- 0.4ºC/km), derived from measuring lapse rates on glacier surfaces in Arctic Canadian region in summer], they estimate the inferred snowline lowering between 5,000 years ago and the mid-20th century represents a decrease in summer temperature of 2.7 +/-0.7ºC. This estimate is based upon the assumption that there have been no significant changes in precipitation patterns, despite the observations of Koerner regarding the increasingly open Arctic Ocean’s impact on moisture, at least at low elevations. They invoke support for their estimates via borehole temperature profiles through the Greenland Ice Sheet. These measurements reflect a similar magnitude of temperature decrease. On the other hand, models in the 5th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) show smaller temperature decreases, on the order of only 0.7ºC to 1.4ºC. The authors suggest the models underestimate Arctic amplification. Continuing with the same method and assumptions, they determine that since 1960, the summer temperature has increased over 3.7ºC. Thus, it is concluded that present-day summer temperatures in the Baffin Island region are higher than those of the warm mid-Holocene. And if some moss samples were just recently exposed, the temperatures today are likely warmer than any since the last interglacial. Furthermore, they argue that because solar insolation was substantially higher in the early Holocene than today, and because temperatures are higher now than then, this must mean today’s excess warmth cannot be accounted for by natural variability.

A few points to consider before accepting this line of reasoning and conclusions: First, they cite the work of Koerner 2005 regarding the summer air temperature relationship to ice-mass balance in the Canadian High Arctic – a region including the Miller et al. study area of Baffin Island. Koerner points out that between 1960 and 2003 summer warming has been slight, less than 1.0ºC. This stands in contrast to the 3.7ºC increase assigned to the Baffin Island region over the same time frame. Trends of ice ablation are not necessarily apples to apples in the Koerner study, as some include the persistence of snow accumulations at low elevations due to fog resulting from the exposed Arctic Ocean; some do not include this persistent snow cover. Thus some trends of ice-mass-balance decrease statistically linked to increasing summer temperature are artificially steep. In addition, trends are not temporally consistent. Negative trends were strongest between 1980 and 2001, but the last two years of the Koerner study showed a weakened negative trend. He goes on to note that a single very negative-balance year (e.g. 1962) can have a disproportionate effect on trends, cancelling out the effect of several years of increasing snow levels. To illustrate that point, he notes that three very warm summers on the northwest side of Devon Ice Cap (1962, 1998, and 2001), together, cancel out the combined impact of all the positive-balance years in the other 43 years! Koerner also notes that there appears to be no trend in winter balance, despite modeled prediction of increased precipitation with increased temperatures. This is why he ultimately concludes that with no identified winter trend in ice-mass balance, the net changes of the ice measurements in this particular region are due to variability in summer climate, with the caveats mentioned above taken into consideration.

Koerner further cautions that the summer balance is evaluated over a very short time span – a two-to-three-month period. This summer ice-mass balance does not necessarily follow any annual temperature trend. His point is that annual temperatures should not be used in attempt to gauge impact of climate on glaciers in the Canadian High Arctic. He also notes that in regions outside the Canadian High Arctic, the role of summer climate in determining the net ice-mass balance variability is not as strong. In many regions, parts of Alaska, for example, winter climate dominates the calculation. Furthermore, in regions such as Svalbard and northern Scandinavia the influence of summer climate on the variability in the net ice-mass balance is not strong. So, with the seasonal diversity of behavior seen in different parts of the Arctic, is it reasonable for Miller et al. to assert such bold conclusions about anthropogenic global warming based on summer-temperature impact on ice melt in a small region of the Arctic?

Re summer melt on Baffin Island, Koerner found that the maximum rates of ice thinning and glacial retreat occurred in the Penny and Barnes Ice Caps on Baffin Island. These are the ice caps in the Miller et al. study. Koerner suggests that the higher thinning rates there are atypical, most likely due to the fact that these caps are essentially Pleistocene relics of the last glacial (~20,000 years old) – remnants of the Laurentide ice sheet from the last glacial interval that covered much of Canada. They have been continually thinning throughout the Holocene (Fisher and Koerner, 2003). Koerner’s work concludes that the ice-mass balance in some of the study area has weakly decreased over the last 100 years, with a greater increase over the last 50, but not as much decrease as occurred during the early Holocene 10,000 years ago. While Miller et al. base their use of snowline elevation as a summer temperature proxy on Koerner’s work, much of Koerner’s conclusions appear to diverge from those of Miller et al.

What about the warming? The Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) is often assigned the age between ~10kya and 5kya; yet maximum temperatures occurred at different places at different times. Solar insolation played a large role in the HTM, but that role was modified temporally, spatially, and in magnitude depending on feedback responses related to land-surface changes, sea-ice distribution, ocean-current dynamics, and atmospheric circulation patterns.

During the early Holocene, at the end of the last glacial period, Earth’s axis tilt was at a maximum and precession positioned the Earth so that it was closest to the sun during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. Total annual insolation b/n 12 and 10 kya was ~1W/m^2 higher at 60ºN and 5W/m^2 greater at the pole than it is today. During the month of June, that translates to 10% higher insolation at 60ºN, according to Kaufman et al. 2004. Miller et al. 2013 cite Kaufman et al. regarding the observation that insolation at the NH poles was strong and conditions were conducive to ice melt in summer in the early Holocene. But this is the general overview. Kaufman et al. go further than this. They note that the peak summer insolation occurred b/n 12 and 10 kya, not 5,000 years ago when many of the Baffin Island dead-moss samples last were exposed. Clearly, insolation effects were not felt at the same time in all regions of the Arctic. And clearly, the link between solar insolation and timing of the warmest summer temperatures over Baffin Island must be viewed within this more detailed context.

The Pacific sector of the Arctic was relatively in-phase with insolation changes in the Holocene; the Atlantic sector, including Baffin Island and the Canadian High Arctic, was not. Changes there in response to solar insolation were delayed by thousands of years.

According to Kaufman et al., whose research was based on numerous and diverse proxy data across the Arctic region within the western hemisphere, because much of the Arctic region of northwest North America and westward remained unglaciated during the last glacial maximum, when solar insolation peaked in the following interglacial, warmth was concentrated here, where land surfaces could absorb, rather than reflect, incoming radiation. Furthermore, no ocean exchange took place between the Arctic and the Pacific through the Bering Strait due to its elevation relative to the low sea level of the time. This absence of flow impacted ocean circulation in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Peak warmth occurred b/n 12 and 9 kya in the Pacific/northwest North American region, followed by continued, albeit lesser warming, b/n 10 and 8 kya, coinciding with resumption of flow through the Bering Strait. While warmth was pronounced in this region, with greater ice retreat in places like the Brooks Range and north-central Alaska than today, it was likely moderated over time by rising sea levels that converted continental interiors to maritime environments in the region. The rising waters also increased the moisture content of the troposphere over the region.

To the east, in the Canadian High Arctic, home of Baffin Island, influence of the residual Laurentide Ice Sheet, which was retreating slowly to the northeast, delayed peak warming there for another couple of millennia, peaking between 7 and 5 kya, and in some of the northern areas of this region, peak warmth did not occur until about 3.7 kya – a time when solar insolation had decreased considerably since earlier in the Holocene. Delayed response to that early Holocene occurrence of strong insolation is attributed to influence of the large residual ice masses (related to Laurentide Ice Sheet). They directly affected atmospheric advection and indirectly affected ocean circulation, mostly through impact on the North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean freshwater balance and exchange. General circulation models estimate that the effect of the ice-sheet remnants on atmospheric-circulation moderated the solar-insolation-induced warming by 2ºC over the northeastern North American Arctic and downstream. This modeled estimate may be low, as it does not consider the additional indirect effects on ocean circulation and the exchange of water between the Arctic and North Atlantic – a feature critical to multidecadal climate variability during the 20th century. Where Atlantic inflow was blocked, as in the region of the Canadian High Arctic, temperatures remained cool. Where inflow was not blocked, temperatures increased by up to 5ºC (Koc et al. 1993). This natural variability related to feedback responses of the coupled ocean-ice-atmospheric system clearly is a strong factor in climate of the Arctic – then and now. It cannot be accurately assessed from estimates of solar insolation intensity – this latter quantity meaning little without specification of season, location, and distribution of that insolation, and meaning even less without consideration of the temporal and spatial variety of feedbacks to that insolation.

With no straight-forward pattern of uniform Holocene warming emergent, only a time-transgressive behavior of warming, paired with strong spatial diversity, especially longitudinally, Kaufman et al. note that the spatial pattern of warming observed in the early to mid Holocene resembles the modern-day pattern. The common denominator is the influx of the North Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic Ocean and its subsequent impact on sea ice, and in turn, on sea-level-pressure in the Arctic High, thereby affecting atmospheric circulation patterns. Regions tended to cool in the same order as they warmed. Could this be a long-term-scale version of a stadium-wave???  Kaufman et al. conclude with the following: ‘the longitudinally asymmetric pattern of warming during the early Holocene exemplifies the contrasting response of the Pacific and Atlantic sectors to symmetrical forcing’. On multidecadal timescales, the stadium-wave hypothesis attempts to put these asymmetries in context. How it might operate on longer term time scales is unknown. My interpretation of work by Kaufman et al. suggests it may be worth exploring.

Can Miller et al. reasonably support their conclusion dismissing natural forces as strongly contributing to the warmth of today’s temperatures, basing this conclusion on summer air temperatures inferred from snowline-elevation changes in one small area of the Canadian High Arctic, where maximum temperatures in the past followed maximum natural variability (i.e. insolation) in the area by thousands of years? This conclusion carries with it the implication that the varying feedbacks responding to a natural forcing play no additional natural role in scripting climate profiles. While anthropogenic greenhouse emissions, along with anthropogenic modifications of land surfaces and other related changes, no doubt influence surface air temperatures, the arguments laid forth in this study fall short of making a strong case for their dominant role, in my view.

 JC comments:  This is a guest post, please keep your comments on topic and civil.

UPDATE:  Giff Miller responds, sent via email:

Miller responds

Wyatt does an admirable job of describing our recent work.  However, there are several errors in her report that weaken her skepticism regarding our conclusions
1. We do not use the present day moist adiabatic lapse rate.  Rather we use a more conservative figure derived from surface measurements on glaciers over a wide elevation range in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, as described in our article.  This gives a significantly lower magnitude of late Holocene cooling.

2. Snowline may change due to increased accumulation or greater melt (warmer summers).  We minimize the effect of increased accumulation by noting that there is no trend in annual accumulation layers from adjacent Greenland over the past 8000 years, as summers have cooled, nor over the historical period when temperatures have been warming.  Hence summer temperature is the dominant determinant of snowline over our 5 ka record

3. Wyatt questions the magnitude of current summer warming that we derived from our snowline records and NASA repeat lidar altimetry that shows the nearby Penny Ice Cap is losing mass at all elevations.  Koerner’s 2005 paper did not have temperature records of the past decade that are much warmer than any other decade in the record. Furthermore, our calculation of recent summer temperature increase is similar to that independently derived from adjacent Greenland, as we note in our paper.

4. We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming, despite what Wyatt writes.  Read the ms carefully, please.  Our current research is expanding this study to other Arctic regions to evaluate the spatial domain of the Baffin Island pattern

5. Wyatt writes that our study was done on the Penny and Barnes ice caps.  This is false.  None of our samples came from either of these ice caps, which are known to have persisted through the HTM. Look at the figures in the paper carefully, please.  Koerner wrote his paper more than a decade ago….at that time, he went on the best available data.  New data are now available.  That’s the way knowledge progresses

6. During the early Holocene Earth’s axial tilt was not at its maximum [Clarification: Axial tilt was greater during the early Holocene than it is today (although not at its maximum)].  But Earth was closest to the Sun during NH summer, which resulted in 9% more insolation in June and July than at present 11 ka.  By 5 ka, as we note in our paper, that difference was down to 5% as Earth moved farther from Sun in NH summer.  It was this slow, but steady reduction in insolation since 11 ka, that eventually lowered the snowline to where it intercepted the summits where mosses were growing; highest summits first, lowest summits last.

7. Most proxy records from the Eastern Canadian Arctic show peak warmth in the earliest Holocene consistent with peak insolation, and gradual, but irregular cooling subsequently, especially after 5 ka.  There is an extensive literature on this.  Few records show peak warmth after 5 ka.
8.  You are left with our observations that some small, thin ice caps did not melt during the early Holocene warm period but melted in 2010 (the year we collected the “old” samples).  Summer insolation is now 9% less than the peak warmth of the early Holocene.  Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth.

Addendum from Marcia Wyatt: 

Addendum to the Wyatt-Miller discussion, submitted by Marcia Wyatt with permission from Gifford Miller:
.

In private communication, Dr. Miller and I further discussed aspects of our differing views on the conclusion of the Miller et al. paper. He elaborated details regarding the foundation of the study’s ultimate conclusion, stating that:

“The mosses that were killed 5000 years ago by a drop in snowline were almost certainly living on a site that had been vegetated for centuries to millennia before that time. They do not date peak warmth. They date the onset of persistent cold. And they tell us that summers now are as warm or warmer than summers then. There is no reasonable alternative to that scenario. And it is fully consistent with insolation being just as effective over the Eastern Canadian Arctic as Alaska.  It just had a different job to do.”

I appreciated the added detail. It provided greater clarification of, and insight into, the structure of the Miller et al. conclusion.

There remained an outstanding matter regarding a misimpression about the Wyatt posting. From Dr. Miller’s posted reply, point 4, Miller states: “We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming, despite what Wyatt writes.  Read the ms carefully, please.  Our current research is expanding this study to other Arctic regions to evaluate the spatial domain of the Baffin Island pattern.”

I agree with this point made by Dr. Miller. They never stated that their data demonstrated Arctic-wide unprecedented warming. But I never suggested that they had. Upon my request, Dr. Miller graciously agreed to re-read my posting. His answer was equally gracious:

“I did re-read your piece.  Indeed, you did not assert that we claimed the entire Arctic was experiencing unprecedented warmth. Sorry aboutmthat. mI thought you did an excellent job in explaining our paper…..”

I appreciate Dr. Miller’s openness and fairness in our dialogues.  I have learned many a lesson from this experience.

 

 

 

392 responses to “Unprecedented(?) Arctic warming. Part II

  1. An Excellent post! One a layman can follow and understand. It is indeed perplexing about the moss on Baffin island. It would appear that parts of the arctic warm at different times, since it is also evident that Greenland was much warmer a mere 1000 years ago due to the evidence of farming under the permafrost and the Vatican tithing records.

    We have a dilemma! But at least we appear to have a good start to resolving it.

    • One interpretation~

      We are where we are today because Earth climbed out of an ice age and given that Earth has been in a cooling trend over the last 10,000 years, during which time we assume the moss in that part of Eastern Canada was covered by ice (according to the study), we also can assume the Earth’s average global temperature was high enough over the last tens of thousands of years to roll back that ice-age-moss-covering ice that existed 10,000 years ago to where it was at least 44,000 years ago.

      • Another interpretation –

        Saying ‘this has happened before’ with Climate in order to suggest that therefore it automatically must be background forcings EVERY time.. while failing to give appropriate weight to the unique feature of billions of people and modern industrialised civilisation as a forcing, does not qualify as science.. wishful thinking, yes.. but science, no.. because Ozone depletion demonstrated that anthropogenic forcings can affect the entire planet.

        There is also this interesting conundrum –
        1. Climate Contrarians claim that because a couple of scientists where concerned about global cooling back in the day, there is therefore nothing to worry about if most scientists are now concerned about AGW.. because its just ‘alarmism’

        2. Climate Contrarians also claim that AGW is the only thing stopping the disaster of global cooling causing a New Ice Age.. therefore failing to keep liberating CO2 means millions will freeze to death.. or starve… possibly both.. although Anthropogenic CO2 obviously has no effect on climate, at the same time as providing all these benefits by affecting climate.. illogical, yes.. but apparently not ‘alarmism’.

        Imho, its actually just running a Rapa Nui experiment on a much larger scale, with more variables and seeing if we get a different result.. which appears unlikely.

      • …you mean, Ozone depletion…?

      • Lamna nasus,

        With respect, your opinion, humble or not, cannot be proven to be any more or less useful than mine.

        Someone said opinions are like backsides, everyone’s got one, some look better than others from a distance, but don’t pass the sniff test when examined closely.

        It is often hard enough to draw a correct conclusion from facts, without clouding the picture by inserting opinion.

        Please don’t take offence, as none is intended.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike, unless you are posting here under more than one pseudonym, I’m not certain what you are referring to.. as far as I’m aware, I have not replied to anything you have posted.. where have I stated my opinion is more important than yours?

        If you are making a more general comment on ‘opinions’, then I would respond that given the nature of most blogs.. many of the ‘conclusions’ posted (correct or otherwise) are in reality, going to be opinions.. indeed a debate could be held as to whether the difference between ‘conclusion’ and ‘opinion’ is frequently vanishingly small.

        If however you are suggesting that the discussion here should be confined to the respectful academic analysis of the data..it would seem from an investigation of the response threads to articles, that there is an existing statistical bias towards the WUWT (opinion and ad homs) end of the spectrum.. rather than qualified, academic analysis.. indeed the fact contributors appeared surprised that Giff Miller responded, gave me pause for thought (as did an apparent shortage of permanent links to Scientific Institutions).

        So the question is, whether that is editorial policy, as it is at WUWT, Climate Audit and the Jennifer Marohasy blog?.. or is it purely coincidental, because contrarian contributors, currently see JD as a figurehead and rallying point due to her profile in the media.. and have turned up en masse as a result?

        I think the trendy proposal in some quarters, that ‘peer review’ might be conducted in some way other than ‘traditional’ channels confers fairly obvious benefits to some interested parties.. but would be a retrograde step for reputable scientific studies from qualified individuals.

        If of course you are actually posting a rebuke, in the role of an official moderator for this blog, I understand it is generally regarded as good web etiquette to formally identify yourself as such.. rather than make oblique references to “sniff tests”

        Live long and prosper,
        Lamna

      • You do understand that a hot of hoaxes have been put forward in the name of science, right–e.g., acid raid, ozone hole, polar bears dying because of the effect of billions of people and modern industrialized civilization as a forcing has been overweighted by government scientists and not for scientific but for ideological reasons.

      • ‘You do understand that a hot of hoaxes have been put forward in the name of science, right–e.g., acid raid, ozone hole, polar bears dying because of the effect of billions of people and modern industrialized civilization as a forcing has been overweighted by government scientists and not for scientific but for ideological reasons.’ – Wagathon

        I understood that part of the reason the ‘healthy’ Polar bear populations claim was contested, was because it included decades old data from a Soviet Russian study, that only covered a relatively small area of the Arctic..and that data was then extrapolated across much larger parts of the Arctic.
        I believe that is similar to the criticism Judith Curry is currently making about Miller et al.’s 2013 paper.. are you stating the basis for JC’s objection is wrong?

        The Contrarian blogosphere is full of attempts to minimise Anthropogenic weighting.. either on the basis that the planet is ‘too big’ for Homo sapiens to effect or because ‘God’ wouldn’t let it happen.. however both those claims are ideological (not to mention wishful thinking) not scientific.

        I’m intrigued by your comment about Ozone depletion because of CFCs, and Acid Rain.
        I understood that technologies used to reduce emissions causing Acid Rain, made a number of industries more efficient and increased profits, this meant corporate objections to regulation were largely withdrawn.. and that Du Pont provided major funding for the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy’s, campaign against regulation.. DuPont then developed new products that gave them a (patented) commercial edge over their competitors.. at which stage DuPont changed sides (pure coincidence, obviously) leaving the rest of the industry swinging in the breeze.. however DuPont’s involvement with a scientific study that confirmed CFC’s where responsible for Ozone depletion (leaving the industry at risk of massive international legal action) was almost certainly the major influence on the management decision.
        .. but you think both cases were more global conspiracies by the scientific community?

      • Communism and environmentalism – we are talking about two ideologies that are structurally very similar. They are against individual freedom. They are in favor of centralist master-minding of our fates. They are both very similar in telling us what to do, how to live, how to behave, what to eat, how to travel, what we can do and what we cannot do. There is a huge similarity in this respect. ~Vaclav Klaus

      • lamna

        I am not a conspiracy theorist so do not want to get into that area of your discussion with Wagathon.

        However, as regards the ozone layer, several years ago I took a passing interest in this from the historical angle, which is the aspect that usually interests me on such things as climate.

        I asked both Cambridge University and the Max Planck institute that, bearing in mind the ozone hole could only be measured since the 1950’s as appropriate means were developed, how could they be sure that the ozone hole had not always existed-or came and went..

        They said they couldn’t know for sure, but hoped to be able to hindcast in due course. As far as I am aware that remains the case today.

        tonyb

      • Fear of global warming has been great for academia and the Left from the beginning because it, “makes industry and capitalism look bad while affording endless visuals of animals and third-world humans suffering at the hands of wealthy Westerners,” Van Dyke noticed, plus: “Best of all, being driven by junk-science that easily metamorphoses as required, it appeared to be endlessly self-sustaining.” If you believe government scientists saved the world from overpopulation, acid rain, the ozone hole — just as they have rescued polar bears from the brink of extinction and stopped the seas from rising – then, I have a photograph you might want to buy of George Bush and Big Foot playing hockey on the Whitehouse lawn.

      • @ “ideologies that are structurally very similar….”makes industry and capitalism look bad..” Van Dyke – Wagathon

        You are saying its a communist, scientific global conspiracy?

        So, problems in manufacturing cities like Detroit, the Subprime mortgage crises, etc.. those are not corporate management or capitalism looking bad through gobsmacking incompetence and avarice?.. capitalism is not being bankrupted by illusory profits based on endless recycling of credit and debt, rather than genuine wealth creation.. in exactly the same way junk bonds and over extension of credit, created economic mayhem in the 1980s?.. its not leveraged buyouts saddling good companies with unsustainable debt and corporate ‘externalities’ being funded by the tax payer?.. rather than Occam’s razor, its something else?

        @ ‘Cambridge University and the Max Planck institute ‘ – Climatereason

        Both are large organisations.. so with the greatest respect, specific CFC research sources should to be cited, when making such an authoritative claim.

      • The abandonment of the scientific method by the global warming alarmists creates an entirely new problem for them now. They have become so disconnected with reality (CFC’s are dangerous, CO2 is a poison, manufacturing causes acid rain, polar bears are dying, seas are rising, our children will never know snow), and so disconnected from guiding principles — from the goals of individual liberty and free enterprise to Judeo/Christian ethics of honesty and personal responsibility — and, so paralyzed by self-defeating nihilism, that they are desperate to find a theology that will provide future meaning. And, to that end, they have dreamed up the illusion that their feeding off of the productive like government-funded gadflies provides a worthwhile service to society

      • Lamna

        I asked the correct authoritative people at both institutes and received replies to those emails from the relevant person..

        People send me lots of interesting stuff because I am discreet and don’t spread private correspondence around the internet. If I wanted to name the people involved I would have to ask their permission first.

        It was a passing comment I made to you, and one on a subject that I am not interested in pursuing at the present as I have too many climate related studies to pursue. You can believe me or not as you wish.
        tonyb

      • @ ‘….Judeo/Christian ethics…’- Wagathon

        You are saying its an atheist, communist, scientific global conspiracy?

        It would be interesting to see a dark skinned, long haired, bearded, Palestinian Jew (wearing ‘arabic’ style clothing) turn up at a Tea Party rally and give a speech about world peace and the redistribution of wealth to the poor.. I think the chances of him being crucified a second time, would be about 99%…

        @ “…discreet and don’t spread private correspondence around the internet’ – Climatereason

        I didn’t ask you for private correspondence.. I asked you to cite the research papers published by your ‘authoritative’ associates.. otherwise your claim is meaningless.. since you are stating some unnamed people at two institutions, told you something, at some unspecified point in time, but they were not sure, gave you no data and you haven’t checked back since.

        Study that demonstrated Ozone Depletion was caused by CFCs –

        Molina, M. and Rowland, F.S. (1974) Stratospheric Sink for Chlorofluoromethanes: Chlorine Atom Catalyzed Destruction of Ozone. Nature. 49(5460), 10-12

        Report that confirmed multiple studies data demonstrated Ozone depletion had an Anthropogenic forcing –

        Ozone Trends Panel, “Executive Summary” (Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Feb. 8, 1988)
        Dr. Mack McFarland, DuPont staff scientist, was on the Ozone Trends Panel and DuPont were one of the largest corporate manufacturers of CFCs.

      • However, the real problem isn’t questionable or fake science, hysterical claims and worthless computer models that predict global warming disasters. It’s that they’re being used to justify telling Africans that we shouldn’t build coal or natural gas electrical power plants. It’s the almost total absence of electricity keeping us from creating jobs and becoming modern societies. It’s that these policies KILL… Al Gore uses more electricity in a week than 28 million Ugandans together use in a year. And those anti-electricity policies are keeping us impoverished. (Fiona Kobusingye, Africa’s real climate crisis)

      • LM, you oughta review the sort of administrative power that crucified that skeptic. Also, I’m neither Max Planck nor Universe Cambridge, but even I know the chemistry is controversial, and we’ve not very well, or long, explored UV variability or UV/Ozone interactions. Hey, might be more worth exploring than the Northwest Passage.
        ============

      • Documentary Exposes the Horrific Human Cost of the DDT Ban:

        “DDT is a preventive measure. It just turns malaria on and off like a switch,” said Dr. Art Robinson, biochemist and president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. “The number of children slaughtered by the ban of DDT is greater than any other genocide in world history.” Robinson challenged Dr. Rutledge to go find out for himself, inspiring what became a five-year project including a journey through Africa, India, and Indonesia to witness the carnage firsthand, and several trips to Washington, D.C., to answer the question, “Why did they ban that chemical?”

        A compelling and controversial documentary, 3 Billion and Counting is named for the number of malaria victims worldwide throughout history. It exposes genocide in poor countries committed by bureaucrats in wealthy nations who kill with the “stroke of a pen.”

        But even more compelling than the numbers of dead are the faces of individual children in hospitals of sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia suffering intensely as the disease escalates from uncontrollable shaking, extreme muscle pain, and high fever to anemia, cerebral meningitis, or renal failure. Those who survive are often left with chronic pain and fatigue and sometimes permanent brain damage.

        Dr. Rutledge juxtaposes interviews of mothers and hospital workers weeping over these dying children with those of smug bureaucrats and environmentalists lamenting fabricated dead birds. With detailed research he exposes as counterfeit the many myths surrounding DDT as a supposed carcinogen, infertility agent, and ecological threat. Finally, he reaches the inevitable conclusion that policies stifling DDT are rooted in the lies of blind-faith environmentalists who fund a concerted, racist population control movement that believes the world would be a much better place with fewer people in it.

      • This thread is about AGW, Waggy, if you want to stagger out onto the Off Topic freeway and hurl accusations about lack of investment in Africa and DDT resistant mosquitoes, at passing traffic, you are on your own chap.

      • … you brought up CFCs which along with other Leftist wet dreams make a mockery of science.

      • CFCs were used to illustrate an Anthropogenic forcing that affected the planet, so it was relevant to a debate where Climate Contrarians claim it is impossible for Homo sapiens to affect the planet.

        You can sledge as much as you like, but both science and the major CFC producing corporation (DuPont) were in agreement that CFCs cause Ozone depletion.. you can’t crowbar capitalist industry into a ‘secret communist conspiracy’.. and the 1987 Montreal Protocol gave industry a very generous phasing out timetable.. just let it go Waggy.

        Opportunities to have a dust up over investment in Africa and the DDT debate are bound to come up in other threads, I have plenty of material and will be more than happy to cross swords with you over those subjects, at that point.. but it would be off topic here.

      • Just had a thought, you could use the ‘Open thread’ opportunities for those two subjects.. post links here and we can debate those matters on specific threads?

      • Fear of global warming has been great for academia and the Left because it gives school teachers and the UN a chance to save the world while it, “makes industry and capitalism look bad while affording endless visuals of animals and third-world humans suffering at the hands of wealthy Westerners.” But, that’s not all: “Best of all, being driven by junk-science that easily metamorphoses as required, it appeared to be endlessly self-sustaining.” (See–Ibid. @Marc Sheppard, American Thinker)

      • American Thinker is a neocon echo chamber, not a scientific journal.. if that is best reference point you can dredge up in scientific debates, you are in for a rough ride.

      • CFC regulation accomplished one thing only: recharging your air conditioner went from $15 to $150.

        “The CFC ban empowered and emboldened the eco-left. It paved the way for their next big scam. The environmentalists scored a big win when they finally banned DDT and doomed millions to a bleak death. Their subsequent eco-scares were not so successful. They were never able to affect global action in their belief in zero population growth. Widespread starvation and scarcity of resources has not happened. Pesticides and herbicides have proven not to be deadly to children. Acid rain has not resulted in widespread deforestation. High power transmission lines do not cause cancer. The use of chlorine produces more safe, potable water than any other intervention. The CFC ban gave them a “win,” and it was based on some of the most specious, tenuous science one can imagine.” ~ David Van Dyke

      • Actually recharging air-conditioning with a CFC-free product is now cheaper than it used to be, here in the UK and Fridges are cheaper than ever.. are you pulling as fast one and comparing figures from the 1970s with today and not adjusting for inflation, Waggy?.. or did your just fail to get competitive tenders and therefore stitched-up by your supplier?

        David van Dyke is a lawyer writing for a neocon propaganda blog, I have absolutely no interest in his scientifically unqualified, neoconservative idealogical dross.
        However the irony of you wittering on about parasitical lifestyles and then quoting a lawyer is duly noted.. as is the attempt to sneak DDT back into this debate.. start a separate thread.

      • The hubris of the Left embodied in the certitude they invest in consensus science when it supports their ideology is commendable is the way a family is proud when their son demonstrates obedience to his God by blowing himself up in a Jewish café.

      • Hey..Waggy…are you one of the guys hired by right wing think tanks to throw gasoline on the anti-agw fire?? If so, could you tell me who I could talk to so I could get a job like that. I need the $$$. Thanks.

      • If the elderly in the UK are again forced to burn books to stay warm this winter they may be willing to work for energy.

    • David Springer

      Since there is dead moss being uncovered by retreating snow it cannot be as warm now as it was when the moss was alive. Ergo the temperature today is not yet outside the bound of natural variability. When the snowline retreats and there is NO MOSS then we are talking newly discovered country.

      QED

      • David Springer

        In any case this just serves for further confirmation of my hypothesis that Arctic sea ice acts like the thermostat in an automotive cooling system. When the engine has more energy coming into it the thermostat opens up wider allowing more water to reach the radiator. The engine doesn’t run hotter in this way the radiator runs hotter dissipating heat faster.

        The engine is the tropical and sub-tropical ocean. The thermostat is Arctic sea ice. The radiator is the cold clear Arctic sky with little water vapor to hold in the heat. The working fluid is water and the water pump is thermohaline circulation.

        The vaunted global circulation models are deficient in modeling how ocean heat is transported from low to high northern latitudes. It sped up and melted more of the otherwise insulating sea ice which exposes more water surface to the frigid arctic sky. It’s not rocket science just simple reverse engineering through observation of cause and effect.

        This also explains the pause which, not surprisingly, began when Arctic sea ice extend began falling. It’s just a simple thermostatic cooling system doing what cooling systems do.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Springer: In any case this just serves for further confirmation of my hypothesis that Arctic sea ice acts like the thermostat in an automotive cooling system.

        That idea is developed in greater detail by Henk Dijkstra, “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics”, sections 11.3 and 11.4. though not with specific reference to short time scales.

      • David Springer

        re; Nonlinear Climate Dynamics

        Section 11.3 talks about albedo effect which works in the polar (pun intended) opposite manner. Sea ice albedo doesn’t make a whole lot of difference as most of the year the sun is either absent or so low in the sky that open ocean surface is highly reflective. The modus operandi, which is correct, is that ocean is darker than ice so melting is a positive feedback. I believe this, because of the sun angle on the Arctic ocean, is overwhelmed by the opposite effect of exposing water so it can both cool evaporatively and radiatively into a very clear dry sky as opposed to being covered by a very effective heat-trapping evaporation-blocking layer of ice.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=vaFKLXvfSaUC&pg=PA277&lpg=PA271&focus=viewport&dq=Nonlinear+Climate+Dynamics

        Section 11.4 doesn’t mention anything like my hypothesis either. It’s also about ice-albedo feedback. I have no argument with that on the longer time scales of glacial/interglacial cycles. But the ice has to build southward and be land-based for that to become significant i.e. no doubt southward advancing continential glaciers beget even more glaciers in a positive feedback that results in an ice age .

        http://books.google.com/books?id=vaFKLXvfSaUC&pg=PA282&lpg=PA271&focus=viewport&dq=Nonlinear+Climate+Dynamics

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Springer, you are right. I was being associative, and addressing the “thermostat” idea, which can have more than 1 mechanism. Thanks for the response, and the links.

      • Matthew R Marler

        I hadn’t known you could read the whole book online. Or else I had forgotten.

      • David Springer

        You can’t read the whole book online for free but in this case enough of 11.3 and 11.4 were freely available to get the gist of those sections.

      • Thanks David S for a very interesting hypothesis of the basic mechanism that underlies natural climate variability and for the link to the Dijkstra book on non-linear climate dynamics Matthew Marler.

        My instincts tells me that what David has described is plausible and fills a huge hole in the climate modelling currently being done bt orthodox climate science.

      • David Springer

        Thanks Peter. There are two glaring flaws in GCMs. They are running too hot for global average temperature and running too cold for Arctic temperature. An obvious explanation is that heat is being shuffled from warmer parts of the globe to the Arctic and that somehow the Arctic has become a more efficient radiator. This results in a warmer than expected Arctic and a cooler than expected global average.

        I think there are other deficiencies as well with the major one being so-called “water vapor amplification”. Clouds have negative feedback as evidenced by tropical deserts having the highest mean annual temperature of all climate types. Where there is more water vapor there are more clouds and where there are more clouds there is a lower mean annual temperature. This simple proven relationship is ignored and water vapor amplification was invented out of whole cloth to transform a welcome, beneficial CO2 sensitivity of 1.0C per doubling to a frightening 3.0C per doubling. No doubt 3C is scary-expensive for human civilization built near sea-level but the evidence isn’t there to support it. More water vapor results in more clouds and more clouds results in more shade and more shade results in less solar heating of surface water and that results in fewer clouds. Clouds cap the maximum surface temperature where water is present to form them. If you believe the climate change hysterics clouds would result in a runaway greenhouse which is absurd on the face of it given what has been taught in Physical Geography 101 since forever that tropical deserts not tropical oceans or tropical rain forests have the highest mean annual temperature. Clouds have a net cooling effect. Water vapor amplification is a myth.

      • At a micro/macro scale, a recent article points out that coral emits sulphurous vapour when water temps rise, seeding local cloud formation, cutting temps back.

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-24/coral-reef-destruction-marine-life/5042212

      • The biome has undreamt of feedbacks.
        ============

      • When polar sea ice is thawed and the polar waters are wet it snows more and builds ice on land. It snows more than enough to replace ice that melts every summer.

        When polar waters are cold and frozen it snows less than enough to replace the ice that melts every summer.

        Polar Sea Ice is the Thermostat for Earth.

        Earth uses Water, in all of its states to control the Climate and Temperature.

        CO2 is used by earth for other purposes.

      • David Springer | October 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
        Since there is dead moss being uncovered by retreating snow it cannot be as warm now as it was when the moss was alive. Ergo the temperature today is not yet outside the bound of natural variability.
        ================
        It was cavemen driving around in SUV’s that caused it to be so warm.

    • The ~9 K rise in average surface temperature from the Last Glacial Minimum to now was mainly from biofeedback – mainly much higher growth kinetics in the Oceans of phytoplankton as the thermohaline circulation cranked up, extra land vegetative growth and now Asian industrialisation. There has been very little CO2 warming.

      The way it works is to reduce cloud albedo (Sagan’s aerosol optical physics is wrong as is easily shown by rain clouds being much darker underneath than clouds with a unimodal droplet size distribution).

      So, today’s high Arctic climate temperature rise, which is real, is probably a result of the industrialisation of China allowing more SW to hit the surface. CO2-AGW is near zero!

  2. Thanks for the post, this summary helps me make more sense of the ‘moss’ paper than other articles I have read. Their reasoning loses me when they start to go into their reconstructions of temperature and insolation, not just the snow line. There seems to be some circular reasoning, but I can’t put my finger on exactly where.

    • Note when flow turns turbulent, circularity all around.
      =============

    • Jonathan Abbott – Circular logic? I think it’s actually just bad logic. They argue that observed correlation between ice mass and temperature over the very short period from 1960 to 2003 allows them to use the melt line as an accurate temperature proxy over many thousands or tens of thousands of years. That’s a ludicrous stretch because the correlation does not cover even one complete climate cycle of any type, and is for ice mass, not melt line.
      Some of the samples were about 5,000 years old. By their reckoning therefore, temperatures 5,000 years ago were as warm as or warmer than today’s. Yet they claim that the existence of some samples 40,000+ years old shows that temperatures were cooler over the last 120,000 years. Since this is based on some samples and ignores others, it’s just a cherry pick. To my mind, the fact that the samples were all in the same area, and some were at 5,000 years while others were at 40,000 years, shows only that the melt line is not a good proxy for temperature. There is more, but that should be enough to dismiss the paper’s logic as nonsense.

  3. My head spins. One thought is that if the moss is only being uncovered now, at 3.7 degrees warmer than 1960 then it must have been that warm or warmer 5000 years ago when the 5,000 year old moss was growing and also 10,000 , 20,000 and 44,000 years ago.
    Does this mean we have been at least this warm multiple times in the last 44,000 years?
    On a sadder note maybe the moss adapted to the temperature changes and now grows at colder temperatures. Perhaps it was 7.4 degrees warmer 44,000 years ago reflecting the higher insulation at the time.

    • Again ! The area where the moss was found is not as warm as it was when the moss and other plants originally grew.

      Therefore, nothing is unprecedented.

    • David L. Hagen

      “Unprecedented” = fishing for a new grant?
      Who can make sound the greatest alarm?
      Pacific Ocean waters absorbing heat 15 times faster over past 60 years than in past 10,000

      a new study in the leading journal Science adds support to the idea that the oceans are taking up some of the excess heat, at least for the moment. In a reconstruction of Pacific Ocean temperatures in the last 10,000 years, researchers have found that its middle depths have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than they did during apparent natural warming cycles in the previous 10,000.
      “We’re experimenting by putting all this heat in the ocean without quite knowing how it’s going to come back out and affect climate,” said study coauthor Braddock Linsley, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “It’s not so much the magnitude of the change, but the rate of change.”

  4. The routine is all too familiar by now. MSM trumpets spectacular CAGW findings the subtext of which is “we’re all doomed.” In the following weeks and months the paper is found to be riddled with bad science. MSM’s reaction?

    Deafening silence ….while all the poor, trusting New York Times readers remain forever oblivious to what will one day surely be regarded as the greatest science fraud in history.

    • pokerguy, you write “deafening silence”. But even more important is that the people who matter do not take any notice of this sort of scientific follow up. The Royal Society, the American Physical Society, the AGU, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and All, are not listening. All they hear is the initial study which supports their previous, wrong, biases.

      It is a shame when this sort of analysis goes unnoticed by those who matter. Is there no scientist of the necessary stature who, in the words of Roy Spencer, has he gonads to stand up and be counted?

      • I share your frustration, Jim, scant comfort though that is.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim Cripwell: It is a shame when this sort of analysis goes unnoticed by those who matter.

        Not to worry. Marc Morano and others bring these detailed analyses to the attention of the staff of Sen. Inhoff and others in power.

    • pokerguy,
      I misread what you said and thought there was an article in the NYT about that paper. I didn’t see that it was there but it did make the Huffington Post:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/24/arctic-temperatures-highest-44000-years_n_4157863.html

      I liked this one in particular:
      “The Arctic has been heating up for about a century, but the most significant warming didn’t start until the 1970s, Miller said in the statement. “And it is really in the past 20 years that the warming signal from that region has been just stunning,” he added. “All of Baffin Island is melting, and we expect all of the ice caps to eventually disappear, even if there is no additional warming.”

      I think for the general public like me this sort of thing just goes through the regular political filters and ends there. If someone is apolitcal and they run into something like that they see things like — scientist — moss — glaciers etc and probably trust it on face value. Most of us wouldn’t know. I know I haven’t told you anything new.

      I’m glad to have this perspective from Marcia Wyatt, I fear it is a lot of good work wasted though. Although addressing every matter is important if the science is ever straightened out some day. The only way I see that happening is if we reach a tipping point where it is over’whelmingly conclusive and climate is not even really generational in human terms. I think there is enough stuff popping up right now for AGW and CO2 to rule the day. I hope to live long enough (2030ish) to see if we get a solar minimum. I don’t necessarily know what things will look like then though. It will continue to look like the same bad B movie being played over and over again.

      • Thanks ordvic. My fault as I in rereading I don’t think my comment was clear on that score. I agree with you for the most part, but would add that if we get actual cooling in the next few years (some would argue we already have), that might be fatal,

  5. Hank Zentgraf

    Thanks, Marcia. You raise excellent questions.
    Will Miller et al. respond with answers?

    • she would have to publish a paper. It’s how things get done. sorry

      • I suspect that’s changing. Didn’t Marcott eventually come up with a response to Internet crits?

      • she would have to publish a paper.

        Perhaps she is, or is trying to. Perhaps we’ll get a blow-by-blow account of the review/acceptance process.

        I have a theory speculation (just guesswork) that our hostess’s call for an end to the IPCC may be related to the review process around the Stadium Wave paper. Perhaps there’s a suspicion of communications similar to those of “Climategate” but better hidden. If there was a too blatant effort to keep the paper from being published until after the deadline, this would clearly indicate that IPCC politics was in control of “Science”.

      • k scott denison

        Steven Mosher | October 29, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
        she would have to publish a paper. It’s how things get done. sorry
        ================
        You post as if publishing a paper is today, now and forever “how things get done”. Perhaps for those stuck in the past, yes. But hey, with the internet, it’s not likely to be “how things get done” for much longer.

        That is one of the many things that is wrong with science these days… stuck on the past practices, not moving forward.

      • Steven Mosher

        “You post as if publishing a paper is today, now and forever “how things get done”.

        Err. no i dont. and as one of the many people supporting open publishing I’m surprised you think that’s my position.

        The simple fact is that today is today.
        The question was “will they answer her?”
        My prediction is : no.
        Why?
        Because they are trapped in the past.
        Of course some authors will defend their work on blogs.
        I will say that it is not the best forum to ask questions or to get them answered. It could be different, but that would require some changes.

      • It’s another fallen souflee, moshe. What’s different?
        ==================

      • Well, miller did respond. Science moves forward.

      • Mosher is wrong! They answered.

      • So how many of the ‘skeptics’ noted any of the problems with the Wyatt critique??

        Only fawning and gushing!?

        Whodya thunk it!

      • ‘Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=13

        Without going into details – it is reasonable to take any paleo research with immense provisos. Not so the space cadets Michael?

      • Chief,

        Hopefully you were likewise immensely dubious regarding the recently discussed ‘stadium wave’ paper?

      • Wrong again Mosher – you’re really starting to come apart at your AGW seams…

    • Highly doubtful.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Forgive me – but wasn’t all the data used for the stadium wave 20th century?
      The idea originated a few years ago now. The stadium wave is one on those ideas that really are self evident after the fact. The essence is that climate is a global system with interacting components – indeed a dynamically complex system with all that implies. Nothing less than a new climate paradigm – as stated by the NAS a decade ago.

      ‘Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.’ http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

      The contrast between this and the stadium wave concept couldn’t be more stark. But despite high powered support in science – it is an idea that seems generally to go over the heads of most scientists even. It is a threshold concept. You need to be ready to understand. Before that you can read the words and nothing clicks. I know – having been on both sides of this doorway now.

  6. Marcia, I tend to glaze over when I see rebuttals of less than stellar temperature comparisons when the comparisons are not of the same species. The choir has the message already, but very nice job.

    This might be of some interest :)

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/10/land-use-land-amplification-and-general.html

    “Arctic” temperatures are a blend of interpolations that tend to amplify the modern portion of the record and de-amplify the past. Imagine that?

    • Mine eyes were glazing too but I tried to read to the end…

      It seems like this analysis would lend itself nicely to a flow chart where all the processes of elimination needed to attribute the exposure of Eeeeeemian moss to AGW were dealt with in sequence. Assuming there is not a dating mistake; unfortunately the CA thread seems to have focused mostly on that, at least in the comments.

      • bill_c Sea ice and glacial Ice are not stable references. It is easier to look at other places, include an appropriate margin of error like +/- 10 degrees, tell the author, “That’s nice. Your mother will be so proud.” then move on to more interesting stuff.

        Then convincing all the sophisticated geniuses at the NYT that a patch of moss can be calibrated to +/- 0.25 C is not that hard is it?

      • captain you need to up your inductive reasoning game ;)

      • Inductive reasoning? You mean like if your tire blows out is it due to CO2 enhanced tread wear traceable to snow accumulation on unicorn mating grounds 5.673 ka ago? :)

        Or my current favorite; Charring causes carmelization which concentrates radioactive isotopes in only hamburgers miraculously, which leads to cancer in 0.0001% of the .0025% of the statistical population that submitted to the free colonoscopy examination. That means the extinction of mankind will be due to fire, just wait and see.

  7. “Most scientists will discern in the above quotations no support for the criticisms that Marcia Wyatt’s Climate Etc essay ascribes to them.”

    You’re obviously quite bright Fan, which is why your leaps of illogic are so interesting.

    • David Springer

      What makes you think John Sidles is “quite bright”? I think he’s not playing with a full deck. Has a few screws loose. Bats in the belfry. A few sandwiches short of a picnic. His elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top. Not firing on all cylinders. Lost his marbles. And so on and so forth.

      • “His elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top. Not firing on all cylinders. Lost his marbles. ”

        Always thought he was a she. I would have bet money. I agree there’s something amiss psychologically, which is what I was trying to gently hint at.

      • David Springer

        Your intuition wasn’t completely off base IMO.

      • Alexej Buergin

        What is most amusing is that Sidles looks just like his formatting.

      • The Goldilocks Optimum.
        ==================

      • David Springer

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Search&term=Sidles+JA

        Hasn’t published anything since 2009 which is when he started trolling climate blogs. Too bad he didn’t stick with his expertise but something may have happened to make that not possible or practical i.e. went bonkers. John and James Hansen share an undergraduate Alma Mater in physics from Hawkeye University.

      • Ah, good to see the denizens playing at their usual ethical standard.

      • David Springer

        Good to see Michael expressing solidarity with his fellow trolls here.

        Very tribal of you, Michael, whoever the phuck you are.

    • “Temperature changes recorded in the GISP2 ice core from the Greenland Ice Sheet show that the magnitude of global warming experienced during the past century is insignificant compared to the magnitude of the profound natural climate reversals over the past 25,000 years, which preceded any significant rise of atmospheric CO2. If so many much more intense periods of warming occurred naturally in the past without increase in CO2, why should the mere coincidence of a small period of low magnitude warming this century be blamed on CO2?” ~Dr. Don J. Easterbrook

      • Why, indeed?

      • Retrograde Orbit

        Don’t you realize that this is a statement of staggering stupidity?
        I am stunned that anybody – especially a Dr. – could say this in public.

      • Ragnaar. Fortunately some of us know enough to treat those Easterbrook publications about the same as we would poison ivy.

        This is how the guy writes in his journal articles:


        The lame excuse that sulfur emissions during the cool period caused the cooling is not credible because the cool period came to an abrupt halt in 1977 with no change in atmospheric sulfur or CO2
        .”

        Wasn’t the phrase “lame excuse” used quite often by Enrico Fermi in his research work? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        If you don’t like Dr Easterbrook’s phraseology, have you considered admonishing him in writing?

        If you are trying to say you disagree with his opinion, why not just say so?

        If you believe he is presenting factually incorrect material, why not present opposing facts?

        Please note that I am not telling you what to do, I am just seeking clarification. I realise that devout Warmists are warned against the dangers of clear speaking as well as clear thinking, but I am sure you will try hard.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        markx froths “devout Warmists are warned against the dangers of as well as clear speakingclear thinking

        Paranoia by Mike Flynn, science-and-culture by FOMD!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Fixed links!

        markx froths “Devout Warmists are warned against the dangers of clear speaking as well as clear thinking

        Paranoia by Mike Flynn, science-and-culture by FOMD!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Flynn wants clarification

        “Please note that I am not telling you what to do, I am just seeking clarification. “

        Easterbrook resorts to publishing his so-called research in journals that don’t have any kind of peer-review or editorial control. That’s why he can write subjectively on how “lame” something is. The editors of those journals don’t care about content.

        No way that would ever get through a reputable journal.

        Is that clarification enough for you?

      • David Springer

        Easterbrook is an emeritus professor of Geology at Western Washington University. He’s far more qualified in natural sciences than, say for instance, Paul Pukite a non-descript engineer at BAE.

        Just sayin’.

        Easterbrook’s publications on climate science:

        http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/climate/publications-climate.html

      • Retrograde Orbit,

        I am not sure what you mean. Which facts in the statement do you consider to be staggeringly stupid?

        I am sorry it takes so little to stun you. I can offer some tips on building up stun resistance, if you like. I have practised my method for many years, and can confidently assert I have achieved a state of unstunnability.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • With so many to choose from I’m not sure to which RO is alluding to? Can only assume that the nesting has been corrupted.

      • Hee, hee, ‘especially a Dr.’. Retrograde, I’m staggered by your stunning naivety. Besides, the last fifteen years has been balm to the blame, but no amelioration to stupid.
        ===================

  8. Dr. Wyatt, a very clear dissection of the study. Thanks.
    Once again a shaky paper that got more MSM attention than it deserved.

  9. FYI and entertainment. (I have not had time nor sufficient background to fully digest these.)

    Ermolli, I., K. Matthes, T. Dudok de Wit, N. A. Krivova, K. Tourpali, M. Weber, Y. C. Unruh, et al. “Recent Variability of the Solar Spectral Irradiance and Its Impact on Climate Modelling.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13, no. 8 (April 17, 2013): 3945–3977. doi:10.5194/acp-13-3945-2013

    The lack of long and reliable time series of solar spectral irradiance (SSI) measurements makes an accurate quantification of solar contributions to recent climate change difficult. Whereas earlier SSI observations and models provided a qualitatively consistent picture of the SSI variability, recent measurements by the SORCE (SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment) satellite suggest a significantly stronger variability in the ultraviolet (UV) spectral range and changes in the visible and near-infrared (NIR) bands in anti-phase with the solar cycle. A number of recent chemistry-climate model (CCM) simulations have shown that this might have significant implications on the Earth’s atmosphere. Motivated by these results, we summarize here our current knowledge of SSI variability and its impact on Earth’s climate.

    We present a detailed overview of existing SSI measurements and provide thorough comparison of models available to date. SSI changes influence the Earth’s atmosphere, both directly, through changes in shortwave (SW) heating and therefore, temperature and ozone distributions in the stratosphere, and indirectly, through dynamical feedbacks. We investigate these direct and indirect effects using several stateof- the art CCM simulations forced with measured and modelled SSI changes. A unique asset of this study is the use of a common comprehensive approach for an issue that is usually addressed separately by different communities.

    We show that the SORCE measurements are difficult to reconcile with earlier observations and with SSI models. Of the five SSI models discussed here, specifically NRLSSI (Naval Research Laboratory Solar Spectral Irradiance), SATIRE-S (Spectral And Total Irradiance REconstructions for the Satellite era), COSI (COde for Solar Irradiance), SRPM (Solar Radiation Physical Modelling), and OAR (Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma), only one shows a behaviour of the UV and visible irradiance qualitatively resembling that of the recent SORCE measurements. However, the integral of the SSI computed with this model over the entire spectral range does not reproduce the measured cyclical changes of the total solar irradiance, which is an essential requisite for realistic evaluations of solar effects on the Earth’s climate in CCMs.

    We show that within the range provided by the recent SSI observations and semi-empirical models discussed here, the NRLSSI model and SORCE observations represent the lower and upper limits in the magnitude of the SSI solar cycle variation.

    The results of the CCM simulations, forced with the SSI solar cycle variations estimated from the NRLSSI model and from SORCE measurements, show that the direct solar response in the stratosphere is larger for the SORCE than for the NRLSSI data. Correspondingly, larger UV forcing also leads to a larger surface response.

    Finally, we discuss the reliability of the available data and we propose additional coordinated work, first to build composite SSI data sets out of scattered observations and to refine current SSI models, and second, to run coordinated CCM experiments.

    “LISIRD – Historical Total Solar Irradiance.” Scientific. LISIRD, 2012. http://lasp.colorado.edu/lisird/tsi/historical_tsi.html (1610 – 2012) TSI Range 1.6817 (1611 to 1981)

    h/t sigurdur and cuttydyer at http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/thread/2098/suns-influence?page=11

    • Oops! Forgot one:
      Dhomse, S. S., M. P. Chipperfield, W. Feng, W. T. Ball, Y. C. Unruh, J. D. Haigh, N. A. Krivova, S. K. Solanki, and A. K. Smith. “Stratospheric O3 Changes During 2001 – 2010: The Small Role of Solar Flux Variations in a Chemical Transport Model.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13, no. 19 (October 15, 2013): 10113–10123. doi:10.5194/acp-13-10113-2013

    • All photons are equal, makes no difference if you have 1 W/m2 of uv or IR, the result is identical; Pekka told me.

      • But some are more equal than others. That green photon told me.

      • David Springer

        Yeah, that’s one of the biggest physics boners evah. The same kind of matter reacts differently to different electromagnetic wavelengths and different kinds of matter react differently to the same electromagnetic wavelength. Thus there are huge differences that must be taken into account between rocks and water and the different wavelengths of the photons falling upon them. The warmists are all about the difference between CO2 and nitrogen but neglect the difference between rocks and water. The dummies.

      • But not in energy of effect (Ozone)?

      • But not in energy or effect: (Ozone?)

  10. You should probably see Gabriel Wolken’s earlier work since it is DIRECTLY relevant to this topic.

  11. Couldn’t such warming just be attributable to the ‘stadium wave’ passing through ?

    Furthermore, warming in the East Canadian Arctic when the globe is in cooling mode with more meridional and equatorward jets could simply be because at such times the wind direction across that region incorporates a greater frequency of flows off the Atlantic to the south east.

    We already see that the sea off Newfoundland warms up at such times due to the changed air circulation.

    It is far from a reasonable speculation to propose that humans have any influence on the matter.

  12. “and perhaps in the past 120,000 years”

    Why did they pick 120,000 years?

    Right …. The Eemian. It peaked 125,000 years ago. And it was warmer.

    “The warmest peak of the Eemian was around 125,000 years ago, when forests reached as far north as North Cape (which is now tundra) in northern Norway well above the Arctic Circle at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E. Hardwood trees like hazel and oak grew as far north as Oulu, Finland.

    At the peak of the Eemian, the northern hemisphere winters were generally warmer and wetter than now, though some areas were actually slightly cooler than today. The Hippopotamus was distributed as far north as the rivers Rhine and Thames. Trees grew as far north as southern Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago instead of only as far north as Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec, and the prairie-forest boundary in the Great Plains of the United States lay further west — near Lubbock, Texas, instead of near Dallas, Texas, where the boundary now exists. The period closed as temperatures steadily fell to conditions cooler and drier than the present, with 468-year long aridity pulse in central Europe, and by 114,000 years ago, a glacial period had returned.”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Sea-levels were higher in the Eemian too (obviously):

      The Eemian Sea

      The Eemian sea was a body of water located approximately where the Baltic sea is now during the last interglacial, roughly 130,000 to 115,000 years BP.

      Sea level was 5 to 7 metres higher globally than it is today, due to the release of glacial water in the early stage of the interglacial.

      Much of north Europe was under shallow water. Scandinavia was an island. The salinity of the Eemian sea was comparable to that of the Atlantic.

      Although “Eemian” rightly applies only to the north European glacial system, some scientists use the term in a wider sense to mean any high-level body of water in the last interglacial.

      It’s eerie to contemplate that when these Arctic mosses last saw sunlight, much of Florida was a shark breeding-ground.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • much of Florida was a shark breeding-ground

        And that’s different from today…how? :) :) :) :) !!!!

        But thank you for inspiring me to try to figure out how to make Scandinavia an island. I didn’t know there was enough low ground connecting it to the mainland. Come to think of it I’ve got no idea what’s south/east of finland on a map. time to look it up.,

      • Re Eemian insolation forcings: that is surely reason for re-assurance! – According to researchers it took temperatures of 2°C warmer (equivalent to future IPCC ‘no action’ projections) and a massive increase in isolation: 60 Wm−2 compared to the 0.85 Wm−2 loading estimated to occur from CO2 increases.

        Eemian near-surface summer temperatures were higher than today, by about 2 K in Europe and 2–4 K in the Arctic, comparable to the temperature rise in 2100 following Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections for a business-as-usual scenario.
        During the Eemian, global sea level peaked at levels that were 4–7m above present. The contribution of the GrIS to this peak in Eemian sea level is estimated to range between 2.2 and 4.5 m, representing a loss of 30–60% of its present-day volume…….
        ……Eemian summertime top-of-atmosphere insolation in the Northern Hemisphere was up to 60Wm−2 higher than today
        Hence, we suggest that projections of future Greenland ice loss on the basis of Eemian temperature–melt relations may overestimate the future vulnerability of the ice sheet.

        Significant contribution of insolation to Eemian melting of the Greenland ice sheet (2011) van de Berg etal

        http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~berg0138/Download/Berg011a.pdf

      • Matthew R Marler

        Markx: Significant contribution of insolation to Eemian melting of the Greenland ice sheet (2011) van de Berg etal
        http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~berg0138/Download/Berg011a.pdf

        thank you for the link. I follow most informational links.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        markx becomes interested in paleo-calibration of CO2-forcing “Re Eemian insolation forcings: that is surely reason for re-assurance …”

        Markx, if you work through all the details of paleo-calibration, then you will be led to embrace James Hansen’s climate-change worldview.

        Thank you for assisting Climate Etc readers to a more clear appreciation of this fundamental principle of climate-change science, markx!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • “Sea-levels were higher in the Eemian too”

        Correct. Therefore it is colder now than the peak Eemian warmth. And one of that warmth was caused by manmade CO2.

        The CO2 increase of 100ppm was the result of the warming.

      • AFoMD …you might have missed this bit:

        Hence, we suggest that projections of future Greenland ice loss on the basis of Eemian temperature–melt relations may overestimate the future vulnerability of the ice sheet.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        You are making good progress markx!

        Now complete the paleo-link to climate-change CO2 sensitivity:

        Glacial-to-interglacial climate change leading to the prior (Eemian) interglacial is less ambiguous and implies a sensitivity in the upper part of the above range, i.e. 3–4°C for a 4 W/m^2 CO2 forcing.

        It is a pleasure to assist your steadily increasing appreciation of climate-change science, markx!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Thanks to its sad gulag-associations, the little-known White Sea – Baltic Canal will be rank among the least-regretted works of humanity to be submerged by the rising seas of AGW.

      It is a pleasure to help increase your appreciations of sea-level geography and ideology-driven technological assessments, Bill_C!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      PS  Cambridge University’s Quaternary Paleoenvironments Group maintains the BALTEEM Project Web Page, which is a gold-mine of scientific information relating to inter-glacial climate and sea-level.

      Climate Etc readers who wish to know more about the warmer, higher sea-level world in which the Baffin Island mosses last saw sunlight, are well-advised to visit the BALTEEM Project web page.

      Best wishes for happy learning are extended to all Climate Etc knowledge-seekers!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan

        The Cambridge element of the EU funded Balteem project concluded in 2002.

        You might find a more up to date insight into Cambridge University’s work in this link

        http://www.qpg.geog.cam.ac.uk/

        I came across members of this group at the Scott Polar institute library in Cambridge last time I was there carrying out research into the Arctic.
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Your links are excellent TonyB! The (2002) BALTEEM link had the advantage that it specifically addressed Bill_C’s interest in high-water inter-glacial.”Scandinavia is an island” navigation from the Baltic to the White Sea.

        Thank you for your many excellent scientific links TonyB!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • But thank you for inspiring me to try to figure out how to make Scandinavia an island. I didn’t know there was enough low ground connecting it to the mainland. Come to think of it I’ve got no idea what’s south/east of finland on a map. time to look it up.,

      The lowest-lying present connection between the Baltic Sea and the White Sea goes through lakes Ladoga and Onega in Russia. There the lowest point on the water divide between Lake Onega and the White Sea is not much above 100 m. Going through Northern Finland the water divide is above 200 m.

      All these areas were much lower-lying when the ice sheets were just disappearing. The post-glacial rebound continues even now at the rate of almost 1 cm/year in some parts of Finland.

  13. Besides natural causes (sun variance, natural temp variance), aren’t they also completely ignoring the possibility that anthropogenic black carbon/soot could be a significant/dominant cause of increased modern melt? I would love to hear a comment on this from Judith and/or Marcia: does the black carbon ice melt theory have any legs; has it been looked into?

  14. Berényi Péter

    Need to say no more.

    Science 7 September 2007
    Vol. 317 no. 5843 pp. 1381-1384
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1144856
    20th-Century Industrial Black Carbon Emissions Altered Arctic Climate Forcing
    Joseph R. McConnell, Ross Edwards, Gregory L. Kok, Mark G. Flanner, Charles S. Zender, Eric S. Saltzman, J. Ryan Banta, Daniel R. Pasteris, Megan M. Carter, Jonathan D. W. Kahl

    “Beginning about 1850, industrial emissions resulted in a sevenfold increase in ice-core BC concentrations, with most change occurring in winter. BC concentrations after about 1951 were lower but increasing. At its maximum from 1906 to 1910, estimated surface climate forcing in early summer from BC in Arctic snow was about 3 watts per square meter, which is eight times the typical preindustrial forcing value.”

    • For some reason I can’t open that Nature linked pdf file. The quote addresses that BC is greatly increased, and that it effects the albedo and therefore the surface temp forcing. Unfortunately it doesn’t directly speak towards ice melt speed (you and I know it must be increased as well, I just wonder if it’s been quantified; wish I could open this link!)

    • David Springer

      IPCC swept black carbon forcing under the table in AR4. No other than James Hansen’s extensive research on the topic was

      The following article is yours truly writing about it in May 2007.

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/science/ipcc-ignores-studies-of-soots-effect-on-global-warming/

      Figures reproduced from Hansen (2005) showing forcing from black carbon equal to 0.8W/m2 compared to CO2 at 1.5W/m2. This is huge. Black carbon responsible for over half as much forcing as CO2!

      However, in the 2007 IPCC report we find black carbon assigned a forcing of 0.1W/m2 while CO2 is essentially unchanged at 1.66W/m2.

      Hansen got bitch slapped in other words for pointing to anthopogenic warming that couldn’t be blamed on the United States of America but instead the responsible nations are those which practice slash & burn agriculture, burn biomass for heating and cooking, and have a love affair going with soot belching diesel engines. In other words poor nations (largely in Asia and Africa using slash & burn, biomass heating and cooking) and Europe (a great many older diesel engines) are pumping the soot into the Arctic while North America is innocent due to implementation of the US Clean Air Acts beginning in 1963. We effectively halted black soot production because it’s nasty stuff turning everything black including the lungs of American citizens. No one else in the world followed suit.

      Global warming has never been about global warming it’s always been about curbing the economic growth of the world’s only remaining superpower which is flush with domestic fossil fuel to continue consolidating its economic and military prowess. It’s really just that simple and Americans are such a generous people it’s easy to use the politics of guilt on them which is exactly what has been happening. Phuck that.

      • Well, Dave, I think you’ve got aholt of the elephant, but it’s a black part.
        =========

      • 1) Hansen not only attributed forcing but also concluded that black soot warming was 3 times more efficient in warming than an equivalent forcing of CO2.

        2) The 0.1 W/m2 value is an average over the whole earth. Because most of the surface is neither covered by ice or snow, specific values for such areas are much higher. Another doubling comes from the fact that almost the entire soot is located in the northern hemisphere.

      • David Springer

        What leads you to believe that Hansen (2005) value of 0.8W/m2 for BC forcing is not an average value for the whole earth when all the other values in the table are for the whole earth?

        FAIL

      • I did not talk about the 0.8 W/m2 which is mostly the radiative forcing of black carbon, but the 0.1 W/m2 for black soot on snow/ice.

        If IPCC AR4 did not report the radiative part – I don’t know. It may still have been part of the aerosols.

        Yes, these are global values,

        and because only a fraction of the earth is covered by snow and ice,
        because almost all soot is in the northern hemisphere
        and because BC warm 3 times more effective than equal forcing CO2 these 0.1 W/m2 translate into several Watts/m2 for northern hemisphere glaciers, the elephant in the Arctic.

  15. Steve McIntyre

    Marcia, thanks for this.

    I think that you’ve passed too quickly through one of Miller’s assumptions that looks very much at issue to me. You summarized Miller’s ice cap thickness argument as follows:
    “they argue that the ice caps from which the samples of old moss were taken could never have been thicker than 70 meters. This, they say, is due to topography – a flat summit surrounded by steep slopes – and snow dynamics – a snow accumulation greater than 70m atop this summit could not be physically constrained. They further argue that modeled scenarios show that a 70m accumulation of snow would melt if a one-hundred-year stretch of warm temperatures had prevailed. Because the pile remains, that one-hundred-year stretch must not have occurred prior to now. And now must be warmer than the early-to-mid Holocene.”

    I’ve been browsing the specialist literature on this point: over the past few decades, there have been opposing views on whether the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) overrode the high-elevation plateaus near the ocean. Flint had proposed “big ice”; in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a movement to “small ice”, but there has been movement partially back and there is “uncertainty” according to Briner, a specialist. In Dyke et al 2002, the LIS would not cover the CUmberland Peninsula ridges, but some literature eg. Sugden and Watts 1977 note high-elevation erratics in this area and show LIS overriding the local inter-fjord plateaus.

    My understanding of this is that an overriding LIS would call the 70 meter maximum assumption into issue.

    I haven’t parsed this line of argument before, but it is presented sketchily in Miller et al 2013 and needs to be parsed.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steve McIntyre, thank you for that comment.

    • It’s typical of the climate consensus kind of research that preconceived results are supported by assumptions based on sketchy arguments.

    • I agree, Steve. It was one of many assumptions in their getting from moss to AGW that could use greater investigation from an inquiring public!

      • Dr. Wyatt,
        Your analysis and descriptive skills are a pleasure to observe. The Miller paper and conclusions were really not an easy read (IMO). The questions you posed to the Miller conclusions really helped me understand. They were constructive and reasonable questions.

        You bring out the best from this blogs contributors (on both sides). That is rare a gift which I can only assume comes from professional respect. That work at the U. of Colorado must have been challenging?

        Do you see the Wave as a dynamic platform for integrating a wide variety of climate research and climate model development?

        Keep us informed on your work. It is great to see a young scientist that is modest, highly knowledgeable and already possessing highly developed collaborative skills.

        Thank you for the review

      • Great job Dr. Wyatt ! Interesting to read and very understandable. +100

    • I mentioned your suggestion at Jim Bouldin’s site (http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/bad-study-on/#more-1797), and he didn’t think that the mosses would have “survived” a glacier sliding over them.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Steve McIntyre: “My understanding of this is that an overriding LIS would call the 70 meter maximum assumption into issue.”
      I don’t understand this argument. If the LIS had prevented those ice caps to melt then there would not have been any of the early and middle Holocene moss that is now being uncovered, in addition to the Eemian moss.

  16. While Miller et al. base their use of snowline elevation as a summer temperature proxy on Koerner’s work, much of Koerner’s conclusions appear to diverge from those of Miller et al.

    A divergence problem in “climate science” is glossed over. Who’d a thunk it?

    Assuming that an observed 40 year relationship between temperature and snowline has remained unchanged in both scale and absolute value for a period 1000 times longer is asinine. That would be true even if there were not contraindications to that assumption present in both the prior work, and in Miller’s study itself. Yet there are.

    Koerner suggests that the higher thinning rates there are atypical, most likely due to the fact that these caps are essentially Pleistocene relics of the last glacial (~20,000 years old) – remnants of the Laurentide ice sheet from the last glacial interval that covered much of Canada.

    Contrast with Miller’s assertion:

    “Surface-elevation contours of the continental Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) show that all four ice caps with pre-Holocene dated plants were above the surface of the LIS at its last glacial maximum (LGM [21 ka]; Fig. 1). These sites thus supported only local ice caps then as now.”

  17. According the global temperature reconstruction below it’s possible that, at least 44,000 years ago may actually be about 130,000 years ago, as follows:

  18. Marcia

    This was a very nice analysis. The Miller et al paper takes the words ‘highly speculative’ to undreamed of new heights.

    You say;

    “More assumptions are brought into the calculations. Using the present-day moist adiabatic lapse rate of ~6ºC/km, they estimate the inferred snowline lowering between 5,000 years ago and the mid-20th century represents a decrease in summer temperature of 2.7 +/-0.7ºC. ”

    I often see this figure for Malr used, but surely using an averaged figure for it -such as 6DegreesC- is not very helpful when the real world Malr at the time in this one specific unique location may have been substantially different. See the formula below.

    http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/161/

    tonyb

    • Nothing wrong with using 6C/km.

      • Web

        Mosh uses 6C as an average I think he said once. What would the results be for the Miller paper if recalculated using the plausible extremes?

        tonyb

      • It would make the warming even more severe. As it is, he is using 4.9C/km which reflects the higher frequency of temperature inversions in that kind of climate.

      • In the arctic?

        I’d be concerned about temperature inversions

      • Mosh

        What malr would you have used for that elevation on Baffin island?

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        Malr is not the right concept for Arctic. The lapse rate is lower than dry adiabatic lapse rate, but it’s also lower than malr for the moisture levels of Arctic. The Miller et al paper uses the empirical value for Arctic Canada of 4.9 C/km.

        Adiabatic lapse rate is the maximum locally stable lapse rate. With persistent vertical convection the lapse rate is close to the adiabatic value (either dry or moist) but in practice it can have other values less than the dry adiabatic rate. In Arctic the average value is less than adiabatic.

      • Pekka

        Thanks for your reply. Why would Mosh mention A temperature inversion? Is it relevant?
        tonyb

      • Tony,

        Temperature inversion does have a major influence on the temperature profile in particular in Winter and during the nights, but perhaps not much effect on the melting of ice.

        A strong temperature inversion is familiar to me from skiing trips to Finnish Lapland. It’s common to have before noon a temperature around -25C in the low-lying areas, while the temperature is -10C a little higher (like 200 m) up on the hillsides.

      • Pekka

        Yes, I am a skier too and the temperatures you mention are too cold for me I would wait for it to warm up a little!

        Is the temperature inversion sufficiently common for it to be factored in to the equation?

        Perhaps you are suggesting that when we have an inversion the temperature would still be so low that ice would not melt?
        Tonyb

      • Tony,

        I don’t think that the inversion has any significant role on the melting of ice because that happens in the summer during the warmest period. Where it may be significant is in the data on average surface temperatures, as the surface temperatures get extremely volatile during such an inversion. That applies in particular to the daily minimum temperatures during Winter months.

        For the above reason I would put rather little weight on changes in the average temperatures if the change comes mainly from daily minimum temperatures in cold climate, like Siberian Winter. Those temperatures may vary strongly while the overall heat content of the Earth changes very little. Such effects are, however, likely to average out in longer term unless there are other persistent changes in climate.

  19. Climate agnostic

    It’s no news that ice caps and glaciers are melting at an increasing rate in many parts of the World, in the Alps, the Andes and in particular in Scandinavia. In Norway a 2000 year old wollen tunic was found recently in thawing ice near the top of a mountain. And in Sweden professor Leif Kullman has observed the receding glaciers in the Swedish Scandes for the last 40 years. He states that temperatures now are as warm as 5000 BC. Here’s an interview from 2008 with Kullman (google translation):

    “Global warming makes glaciers melt and in the thawed areas scientists make new discoveries. Professor Leif Kullman, Umeå University, together with a colleague is working at Karsa glacier some miles west of Abisko. Field work started last fall.
    The research team has found parts of both pine and birch trunks, a total of four different pieces which for several thousand years have been embedded in the ice, and thus preserved from the ravages of time. The bark is almost completely intact and small branches are still intact on part of the trunks. In contact with air and water, they would have quickly disintegrated. Similar artifacts have also previously been found in Jamtland mountain chain. The thawing shows that today’s climate is warmer than in many thousands of years.

    These findings provide information showing the 1900s is likely to have been the warmest century in 7000 years. That the climate during this century is so unique indicates that we must question whether it is really one hundred percent due to natural mechanisms, says Professor Kullman. Carbon-14 dating of tree remnants indicate that pine and birch grew in the area some 7,000 to 11,800 years ago. The glaciers advanced and receded during this period. The oldest tree, a pine, lived and died at the scene approximately 12,000 years ago. The discovery shows that the Ice Age ended much earlier than scientists thought. – Previous research indicated that Lapland at this time was covered by ice, says Leif Kullman.The place where the pine grew is located several hundred meters above today’s treeline and shows a warmer climate than today just after the ice age.Then it got a little colder and glaciers advanced. And now they melt again. – We cannot say whether its cause is natural or if human influence is to blame for the current climate, it can be a combination.”

    • Matthew R Marler

      Climate Agnostic, could you link to a specific paper? I would appreciate it.

    • The role of black carbon (BC) does need to be parsed out more thoroughly, as several commenters have pointed out. In the Alps, for example, BC apparently caused melting of Alpine glaciers from the mid-1800s, even as a cool spell should have caused them to grow. Ref. is Painter et al. (2013), “End of the Little Ice Age in the Alps forced by industrial black carbon,” PNAS. Publicly available at:

      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/28/1302570110.full.pdf+html

      Of course, what happened in the Alps doesn’t necessarily mean that BC caused melting on Baffin island to the same extent, this is just analogy, but it needs to be looked at in some detail.

    • This part:

      The thawing shows that today’s climate is warmer than in many thousands of years.

      Is false reasoning. The evidence used to draw that conclusion does not rule out warmer temps than present during the period between exposures.

      • All ice is local, and these ‘investigators’ have only the haziest notion of relevant local conditions. It’s almost bad enough to say they should be ashamed for drawing conclusions with the certainty that they did.
        ==================

  20. Matthew R Marler

    This was an excellent post. Thank you and congratulations to Marcia Wyatt.

  21. Excellent analysis Marcia. “Many assumptions made” Indeed!
    Reverting to my old bean counter self, I wanted to quantify how many assumptions, implications, adjusted, infers, estimate, caveats, proxies, likely, unlikely, assign, underestimate, most likely and contribution references there were in the write up. I counted over 50 such terms or implications of the use of judgements and deductions and assumptions in their work. When I counted over 50 my eyes began to cross and I felt a need to have a stiff drink. Seems like a stack of inverted pyramids. One assumption wrong and their arguments collapse.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      dennis adams gets quantitative “Reverting to my old bean counter self, I wanted to quantify how many assumptions, implications, adjusted, infers, estimate, caveats, proxies, likely, unlikely, assign, underestimate, most likely and contribution references there were in the write up.”

      That is the same argument that a minority of toxicologists uses to dismiss concerns regarding harmful effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs, for example DDE, PCB, etc.), isn’t that right dennis adams?

      Whereas a majority of toxicologists, reasoning from the same data, reach opposite conclusions. See for example this month’s lead editorial by Andrea C. Gore, editor-in-chief of Endocrinology, titled An International Riposte to Naysayers of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, which was co-signed which was signed by 20 editors-in-chief and 28 associate and senior editors of endocrine, neuroendocrine, environmental, and other peer-reviewed journals.

      Conclusion  As with EDCs and their effects upon human health, so with CO2 and its effects upon the global environment … the scientific/economic/rational/moral parallels are very nearly exact. Not least because the environmental effects of EDCs and CO2 are *both* felt earliest and most strongly in the Arctic!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Dennis, that struck me as well. The assumptions seem to leap from crag to crag like a mountain goat, with nary a glance below. It is not “reasoning” in any sense that is familiar to me in either my professional life or my academic studies.

      Oh, and R. Gates below, the author’s name is Marcia Wyatt (she is not related to Anthony Watts, AFAIK). Hope your eye for detail is better when you talk about science. :)

  22. Heh, plenty enough sketchy assumptions to assure that the results are meaningless. This is blatant grasping at straws, such that one wonders why straws must be grasped. Paleo is bound to suffer the generic disability of history, a veil has been drawn.
    ===============

    • Surely there is something more substantial in the wreckage to cling to than this. C’mon, survival depends upon remaining afloat.
      ==========

  23. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    Marcia Watts has some well-reasoned skepticism here, though it of course does not mean that Miller et al. might not be right on target in their research. It just means that reasons for being skeptical are justified. But from a larger perspective, and in conjunction with both numerous model runs as well as a wealth of paleoclimate data now coming from Lake El’gygytgyn in Siberia, the Miller et al. research fits in extremely well with the notion that the Arctic is undergoing some rather significant warming that is unlike anything since perhaps MIS 5. It must be closely noted that the Milankovitch astronomical forcing during MIS 5 was greater than we have now, and it is only the greenhouse gas forcing that is greater during this interglacial because of the anthropogenic additions. Furthermore, if CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to accumulate, the next few centuries could find the Arctic changing into a climate similar to the mid-Pliocene.

    • ‘might not be right on target’. Spraying arrows in all directions, bullseyes every time. Bafflin’ Sharpshooting!
      =====================

    • Marcia Watts has some well-reasoned skepticism here, though it of course does not mean that Miller et al. might not be right on target in their research. It just means that reasons for being skeptical are justified.

      It means that Miller’s breathless exclamations of “unprecedented” this and that are entirely precedented examples of “climate scientists” ginning up dramatic conclusions from thin air.

      But from a larger perspective, and in conjunction with both numerous model runs …

      Among Miller’s results is demonstration that numerous model runs are run on numerous models that are wrong.

      It must be closely noted that the Milankovitch astronomical forcing during MIS 5 was greater than we have now, and it is only the greenhouse gas forcing that is greater during this interglacial ….

      Really. Of all the numerous forcings, ONLY the ghg forcing is greater now. Due tell, the means by which you know this.

      Furthermore, if CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to accumulate, the next few centuries could find the Arctic changing into a climate similar to the mid-Pliocene.

      More baseless speculation. No wonder you like Miller.

      • It is chimeric science.
        =========

      • Sham-Wow.
        Bow Wow!
        ======

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        JJ,

        The higher insolation during MIS 5 (also called the Eemian Interglacial) is fairly well known from many sources, but here’s a “bit of science” for you:

        “During the period (MIS 5) the insolation, so the amount of incoming solar radiation, was -on the northern hemisphere- larger than during the current interglacial, the Holocene.”

        Source:

        http://www.bitsofscience.org/eemian-greenland-ice-melting-warming-solar-2962/

        So the big difference in this interglacial, which is now approaching MIS 5 warmth, is the level of CO2 and other GH gases. It appears that MIS 11 is probably looking to be an even better relatively nearby correlary for where this interglacial is headed with the addtional GH gases, and of course, a great deal of very interesting research is being done looking all the way back 3.2 Million Years ago (the last time CO2 was at 400 ppm), and the mid-Pliocene climate.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Kim said:

        “Bow Wow!”

        ___
        Very appropriate response from you.

      • LMAO sham-wow I love those infomercials.

      • Rgates blathered in lieu of a response:

        The higher insolation during MIS 5 …

        … is irrelevant to the question asked of you. Unless of course, you are laboring under the misapprehension that the only climate forcings are Milankovitch and CO2. I can see how you might think that, as your are afflicted with the warmists binary worldview, wherein the ONLY climate determinants are (insert situationally-dismissed factor here) and CO2.

        Sorry, but no.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        JJ,

        Please do let us know which combination of forcings matches the comings and goings of glacials and interglacials better than the astronomical Milankovtich effects on insolation combined with the positive feedback enhancement of CO2.

        Please do tell…

      • Rgates asked the telling question:

        Please do let us know which combination of forcings matches the comings and goings of glacials and interglacials better than the astronomical Milankovtich effects on insolation combined with the positive feedback enhancement of CO2.

        We aren’t talking about the comings and goings of interglacials. We are talking about the comings and goings of a particular ice cap. The combination of forcings that best matches the comings and goings of that ice cap is the combination of all of the forcings that act on that ice cap.

        Obviously.

    • ” Furthermore, if CO2 and other greenhouse gases continue to accumulate, the next few centuries could find the Arctic changing into a climate similar to the mid-Pliocene.”

      In 3 centuries we could have climate more similar mid-Pliocene, and in 6 centuries it might be even more similar to mid-Pliocene. And it’s possible
      that 10 centuries it’s getting real close to same climate as mid-Pliocene.

      So in thousand year we might move away from conditions, which most common during the last 3 million years. We might approach the climate
      where the human species look more like strange primate and human like.
      Or unprecedented condition in the ice box climate we have been in
      for last several million years.
      Or in thousand years we could in conditions very similar to the Little Ice Age.
      It seems the people in thousand year from now may prefer to live
      in unprecedentedly warm period in a Ice Box climate rather than being
      condition like the Little Ice Age. Or they would prefer to be 2 C warmer rather than 2 C cooler. Just we would prefer current conditions rather than be 1 C cooler.

      But if in 1000 years we are in conditions very similar to mid-Pliocene
      there must be differences which fundamentally different. Our entire ocean average temperature will not be as warm. In 1000 year the ice cap in Antarctic will not have changed much. And Greenland ice cap may have melted considerable, but there will still be more ice caps in Greenland than there was during mid-Pliocene. And in 1000 year one will still be able to ski in California. So when human visitors from Mars arrive California in will still be able to go skiing at Mammoth. They call Mammoth a refreshing change from skiing on crowded slopes of Olympus Mons.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        gbaikie said:

        “In 1000 year the ice cap in Antarctic will not have changed much.”
        ____
        Based on recent rapid changes, this is an unsupportable declaration.

      • “In 1000 year the ice cap in Antarctic will not have changed much.”
        ____
        Based on recent rapid changes, this is an unsupportable declaration.

        It’s supported by numerous facts.
        One: the ice cap in Antarctic is huge and very cold in comparison to to Greenland ice cap.
        Two: we have had many warmer periods within the past 2 million years.
        There has no evidence of the Antarctic ice cap having changed much during all this time. If it had there would evidence of such a dramatic increase in sea levels. There is evidence of past periods within last 2 million years of higher sea levels. Which thought to due to warmer and oceans and Greenland losing some mass. No one thinks or at least has attempted to argue this sea level rise is due to any significant change in
        Antarctic ice cap. Because it simply is unsupportable.
        What is focused on in Antarctic is the Antarctic peninsula, which is not a significant portion of the Antarctic ice cap. Any imaginable change in the Antarctic peninsula would be included in my statement “ice cap in Antarctic will not have changed much”.
        Are changes in Antarctic peninsula possible as are changes in Greenland ice cap, the answer is yes, but this doesn’t mean it’s a significant change in ice cap in Antarctic. It’s possible but not likely much change and possible the warmer Antarctic peninsula could increase and/or stay roughly the same.
        Three: It’s not likely Antarctic peninsula will melt as Antarctic polar ice is presently increasing. The increase of Antarctic polar sea ice, may make Antarctic generally drier, and it’s possible increase in rate of sublimation
        is possible- but this is a slow process.
        Four: The sheer mass of Antarctic ice cap is enormous heat sink in regards energy needed transition ice to solid. It true that in term amount H20, the antarctic ice cap is insignificant compared to the ocean. But to convert ice to water requires 334 kJ/kg. And cool or warm a kg of water
        requires about 4.2 kJ/kg. So ten kg of water is 42 Kj per temperature change of 1 C. So 10 kg of water at 10 C mixed with 1 kg of ice, makes
        11 kg of water at about 2 C.
        Or put the antarctic ice cap in the tropical ocean and it significant cools
        the tropical ocean.
        Or in the battle of masses the tropical ocean which is warmer part down to 100 meter depth, doesn’t make the antarctic so insignificant.

        Thought experiment:
        Greenland: 2.8 × 10^6 km
        Antarctic: 30 × 10^6 km
        Put 1 × 10^6 km of ice in the tropic ocean
        So, 1 million square kilometer of ice I km deep meets water which is
        24 C at the surface.
        So block of ice 1000 km by 1000 km by 1000 meter high.
        So how fast would it melt, and what consequence of it melting.
        That would take awhile, decades.
        So, let’s make it 10,000 km by 10,000 km by 10 meters
        Hmm, still going to take a while. Let submerge in
        so it’s 10 meter under ocean surface. Nah, lets crush it
        into ice cubes, so it all melts in one day.
        So 10 meters meets 100 meter of water at average temperature
        of 24 C. So 10 kg of water at 24 C and 1 kg of ice, makes11 kg
        at about 14 C.
        So if made 100 million square km of equatorial water with warmest surface temperature of about 15 C how long does it take to warm up this spot back up to 24 C? [not just top meter, but 100 meters]
        Whatever that number is, times it by 30.
        So 1 × 10^6 km of ice could cool about fifth of entire surface area of Earth, and it would the fastest rate one could imagine that the Antarctic ice cap to melt.
        Or much faster than if one flip the axis of Earth so that Antarctic was at the equator [though it could be one way, that instead of making the world warm, could result in something approaching a snowball earth- due to elevation of antarctic, the antarctic continent could add snow and grow in size even at the tropics- but that’s different topic, and ignore the regional affect on climate of an antarctic continent.

        Another aspect not included is the temperature of the ice. Ice has about 1/2 the specific heat per kg as compared water, but glacier ice in Antarctic can around average temperature of Antarctic which around -50 C.
        The average air temperature of the Antarctic is the main factor as to why it’s thought it might possible for Greenland ice cap melt as average temperature is cold, but it’s somewhere 20 C warmer.

        So whereas perhaps in 1000 years Greenland might loses around 1 × 10^6 km of it’s ice, it’s not plausible that Antarctic will lose 1 × 10^6 km of it’s ice. And without Antarctic losing more 1 × 10^6 cubic km or more or more than 1/30th of it ice, one can’t say there has been much change in Antarctic ice cap.

    • R. Gates: “… and it is only the greenhouse gas forcing that is greater during this interglacial because of the anthropogenic additions”

      Really? The ONLY difference is the CO2 forcing? Really?
      So you can show in the peer-reviewed literature that:
      * sea level was the same
      * solar TSI and SSI were the same
      * albedo was the same
      * cloud cover was the same
      * LU/LC was the same
      etc etc.

      It may certainly be the case that CO2 is the only known and measurable change that we are aware of, however that does not mean that:

      * other less well constrained and measured parameters that affect climate (such as, but not limited to, those above) have changed significantly (known unknowns);
      * other currently unrecognised and perhaps even un-hypothesised forcings have changed significantly (unknown unknowns).

      “…the next few centuries could find…”
      Indeed. Or the opposite. Or no significant change. Or aliens from another star might land.

      That’s what happens when you “assume a spherical cow” as it were. Complex, heterogeneous, dynamic systems such as climate are somewhere between “difficult” and “impossible” to model with current knowledge and tools, and insistence that ANY model must be correct because it relies on “basic physics” is so far around the bend from reasonable, the bend is over the horizon! And climate models are so far from an engineering level validation and verification that… well, words escape me here, so I will attempt to explain just ONE problem that I am aware of that – AFAIK – has yet to be addressed by the climate modelling community: grid size. So here is how I see climate models – by using an analogy with engineering/construction FEA models. Would you place your life, your family’s future and your life savings on the line by trusting a model of a bridge that used a grid size of 10m and 1 day? No? Because you KNOW – and more importantly can use the model itself to demonstrate – that this grid size (spacial AND temporal) is too large, right? And we can use the model itself to determine if, and at what grid size, we get convergence between the discrete and continuous solutions – we want to ONLY use the model in mission-critical situations where we can demonstrate such convergence, true?

      Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to show me in the lit-chur-chur where someone – anyone – has even attempted this for climate models. Good luck. (BTW, I am aware of one paper that attempts this, but ONLY for temporal step size. I would honestly and truely be interested in seeing any other papers on this matter that you can find)

      This message will be deleted in 5 seconds – oh wait, sorry, thought I was at RC for a second… ;-)

  24. David Springer

    “The Pacific sector of the Arctic was relatively in-phase with insolation changes in the Holocene; the Atlantic sector, including Baffin Island and the Canadian High Arctic, was not. Changes there in response to solar insolation were delayed by thousands of years.”

    This is likely due to the Younger Dryas being caused by an ice dam in the US Great Lakes region breaking open flooding the north Atlantic with a floating layer of fresh water and taking the wind out of the early Holocene meltdown’s sail and sparing Greenland”s glacier in the process. Sea level rise in the Holocene stopped about 9 meters short of where it stopped very early-on into the Eemian interglacial presumably that water is largely still locked up in the GIS today.

    This may very well be why the Holocene Interglacial is lasting much longer than average. Exiting an interglacial period may very well require the melting of GIS, raising sea level 9 meters, which primes the northern hemisphere snow-making machine to start rebuilding the southward advancing continental glaciers which then reach a tipping point due to albedo feedback and then we need to dust off our woolly mammoth hunting skills because we’re in for 100,000 years of snow and cold and a falling line.

  25. Dr Wyatt hi
    Is the Buffin Iceland’s ancient moss the best proxy for the early Holocene global temperatures?
    I doubt it.
    However the geomagnetic flux of the nearby Hudson Bay area (N. Hemisphere’s strongest until 1995 when the Central Siberia took over the primacy , hmmm.. …the 17 year GW pause comes to mind) , might tell us more:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HudsonBay.htm

    • Biological membranes are altered to maintain the same fluidity, at different temperatures.
      Take the sample, soaponify, methylate and run GC-mass spec; the lipid profile can be compared to the same species grown at different temperature levels, when you have the same finger-print, you have the growth temperature.
      Its just basic biochemistry.

  26. Black Carbon

    Hansen and Nazarenko have some data on black carbon on ice/snow for the Arctic

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2004/2004_Hansen_Nazarenko.pdf

    Table 1, measured albedo change is around 3%-10% (observed albedo values 90-97%)

    That may easily outplay insolation changes during the holocene.

    Even when summer insolation was 10% higher, assuming 90% is reflected by white snow, heat uptake would have increased only from 10% to 11%, thus an increase of 1% of incoming radiation.

    Above increases due to black carbon caused albedo change are 3 to 10 times higher.

    • David Springer

      When Arctic summer insolation is 10% higher due to orbital mechanics winter insolation is 10% lower. No mention is made of that fact. At this point I’m pretty certain the authors have discovered an effect of anthropogenic black carbon deposition on pristine snowfields and blamed the melting effect thereby on CO2 instead. Typical confirmation bias at work possibly confounded by being poorly informed. Either way there’s no excuse for it being published. Peer review should have caught it before the fact. Pal review overlooks such things. The paper is just now getting a critical review.

      • Local insolation changes in summer and winter do not add up to zero, even if the distance sun/earth remain unchanged. Only total incoming radiation over the whole globe remains unchanged.

      • David Springer

        You might think so but the difference is negligible. While it’s true that the hemisphere pointed at the sun during perihelion gets more energy this is mostly negated by the fact that orbital velocity is faster at perihelion so it’s a shorter exposure than the opposite hemisphere gets at aphelion.

        Thanks for playing.

        FAIL

  27. UPDATE: Giff Miller responds, see update at end of main post

    • John Carpenter

      Wait, scientists don’t read blogs. They don’t respond to blog posts, it just doesn’t happen. Real scientists don’t comment here with detail or substance. Only pretend scientists and amateurs comment on blogs. The only way to have a professional scientific discussion is through the peer reviewed literature. In no way you can have real scientific expertise in blog comments. I know this to be a fact because David Appell, an independent writer who follows his very own code of conduct said so. /Sarc off

    • Thank you for posting his response. Kind of makes my comment irrelevant.

  28. Steven Mosher

    wow. I was wrong

  29. Congratulations to giff miller for turning up and defending his article. This illustrates the benefits of a blog such as climate etc where the issues can be instantly debated back and forth.

    I queried earlier the use of the standard malr which tends to obscure many records and am pleased to note his comment.

    Tonyb

    • Yes indeed, very good of him to respond! Raises his credibility for me a lot. Class act there considering how some others have characterized Climate etc maybe it wouldn’t be so good for his rep. to mingle.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      I 100% agree Tony. In this manner, Judith has provided an invaluable service and has set the groundwork for honest scientific debate in the modern age.

    • I agree, good on Dr. Miller.

  30. Thanks for the thoughtful reply Dr. Miller.

    We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming….and Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth.

    Richard Telford is making a similar defense, however these statements contradict each other.

    You are indeed generalizing from increased summer temperatures in the study zone to a global phenomena. Or is anthropogenic co2 raising the temperature only in the “Eastern Canadian Arctic?”

  31. I don’t see why Miller is talking about planetary energy balances while discussing small regional changes. When you can point to many locations with similar results perhaps a discussion of planetary energy balances would be appropriate. Assuming the data is accurate and it actually is warmer than the last 44k years, the most likely cause would appear to be heat transport from irrigation combined with a warm AMO and a long term increase in poleward heat transport in the Atlantic.

    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=nasapub

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n6/fig_tab/ncomms1901_F5.html

    • “I don’t see why Miller is talking about planetary energy balances while discussing small regional changes.”

      He isn’t. He’s talking about planetary energy balances while discussing microclimate changes at six tiny spots in very close proximity to one another.

  32. David Springer

    Alternative Title:

    Global Warming Breathes Life Into Habitat Barren for Past 44,000 Years

    It’s all a matter of perspective, innit? :-)

  33. “8. You are left with our observations that some small, thin ice caps did not melt during the early Holocene warm period but melted in 2010 (the year we collected the “old” samples). Summer insolation is now 9% less than the peak warmth of the early Holocene. Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth.”

    They are so convenient, almost eliminates the need to think.

    Like why the lower portion of the globe that is closing in on 9% higher TSI and the same GHG forcing is not responding at any where near the NH’s impressive rate. Why the difference between land “surface” temperatures and sea “surface” temperatures increases by northward latitude even with the SH getting the higher TSI and the same CO2 forcing. Why the 30N to 60N latitude band has twice the land “Surface” warming aka “amplification” as the rest of the global and more amplification than the projected polar amplification. And of course, why the tropics and Lake Tanganyika show temperature anomalies just outside the dating range of 14C.

    Thankfully, CO2 simplifies everything or this might be a really hard problem :)

    • Summer insolation is now 9% less than the peak warmth of the early Holocene.

      Conversely SH insolation is now 9% greater,the problem is ill posed.

      • Indeed – one is curious as to why NH temps went up, but SH temps remained stable, given that the 9% change would seem to indicate we should expect the exact opposite.

      • See StevieMac @ climateaudit.org for how easy it is for the IPCC to turn the world upside down. Surely Nature is more powerful than those pusillanimous nations of men united.
        ===========================

      • Kneel, Northern Hemisphere temperatures went up but how much remains a mystery.

        I think part of the dramatic NH warming spike might be questionable.

      • David Springer

        You boys got your orbital mechanics wrong. Mean annual insolation remains unchanged in both northern and southern hemispheres due to orbital and axial precession. The distribution of insolation between summer and winter is what changes. Orbital and axial precession may be in sync or out of sync either increasing or lessening the seasonal difference respectively.

        The reason why the northern hemisphere is more sensitive to seasonal redistribution of energy is because the northern hemisphere has twice the land surface of the southern hemisphere. The ocean greatly reduces the difference between winter and summer temperatures so it doesn’t make as much difference in the southern hemisphere when winter and summer insolation becomes more or less equal. In the northern hemisphere with far more land surface it makes a big difference. Northern glaciers are aided by warmer winters and cooler summers. The key is that 30F is just as good at preventing snow from melting as 0F but more snow falls at the warmer temperature. So you tend to get greater snow depth in the warmer but still sub-freezing winters. In the summer the situation is not the same. Snow melts a lot faster in 60F air than in 50F air so every additional degree above freezing in the summer works to melt winter’s snow accumulation. Cooler summers thus preserve the greater snowfall of the warmer winter. This is the basis of the Milankovich cycle where glacial epics begin when northern hemisphere winters and summers are closer to equal in insolation and end when winters and summers farther from equal. Axial precession is (working from memory) an approximate 24,000 year cycle and orbital precession is about 40,000 years. When the asynchronous peaks or troughs align the chit hits the fan one way or another.

        Adding immensely to the complexity over larger spans of time is continental drift which changes the distribution of land between northern and southern hemispheres and probably just as critical determines whether one of both poles are covered by water or land and also any channel width/depth that can equalize (or not) uneven heating across major oceans.

      • Springer, most people get the precessional impact wrong. There are four season with transitions. Hot summer/cold winter, warm spring/cool fall, cool summer/warm winter and warm fall/cool spring. Because of the different transistions there are 4 main precessional modes not two producing ~5000 year “sub-harmonics”. in the precessional temperature reconstructions with an internal lag of ~1700 years in the deep ocean settling time. You end up with ~5000 year “pulses” with up to 1700 year sub-“pulses” due to the lag. That ends up producing the ~1450 +/- 500 year Bond Events.

        Miller noticed the ~5000 years pulse exposed as the ~20,000 years ice melted and ignored the cause of the 5000 year event in favor to the ~21,000 year 9% NH variation in TSI. Warm spring rain is a pretty good reducer while heavy warm winter snow is a pretty good snow accumulator.

        A short hot summer with warm fall moving into cold winter with and cool spring would tend to build ice. Since the total annual insolation doesn’t vary much, which sequence is involved is more important than the summer insolation. That is why I included the Tierney reconstruction which shows the ~5000 year “pulses”.

  34. Interesting, you would think sublimation over a period of 44,000 years would amount to a sizable amount yet I find no reference to sublimation at all in either post/articles here. Maybe someone has found the figures allowed for within the journal?

    • “Interesting, you would think sublimation over a period of 44,000 years would amount to a sizable amount yet I find no reference to sublimation at all in either post/articles here. Maybe someone has found the figures allowed for within the journal?”

      I believe they said it was in balance that moist air [dew] adds ice [sublimation goes both ways:"To transform directly from the solid to the gaseous state or from the gaseous to the solid state without becoming a liquid."]
      It also seems if conditions are moist enough to have “dew”
      [this relative as deserts also add moisture at night]. Some regions
      in polar regions are considerably drier than any desert- but this island
      and not as high elevation.

    • I really don’t know what to think of this paper. Seems that in especially the arctic, colder is dryer. So at some time after 44,000 ka a maximum or a set of maximums occurred, seems reasonable. As the irradiance dropped it became colder and dryer and I don’t personally buy in without some logic or evidence that sublimation may have not played a part of the decrease in the ice thickness that they just assume away as a constant because of the cooler temperatures between. I’m very well aware of the balance that is present in sublimation and depositation as evaporation and condensation, but that is assuming even temperatures and humidity averaged over time and critical at zero Celsius. That would cause an ever cooler climate as irradiance dropped to whittle away on the thickness so they can then find moss at the same elevation logically but at lower temperatures between now and maybe some 5,000-40,000 years ago. Too many assumptions for me to swallow without more evidence on the humidity involved. I really don’t think they know to that precision what has happened over the last 40,000 years but I am sure they have convinced themselves after reading the abstract.

  35. We minimize the effect of increased accumulation by noting that there is no trend in annual accumulation layers from adjacent Greenland over the past 8000 years, as summers have cooled, nor over the historical period when temperatures have been warming.

    What? The data shows that accumulation increases in warm times and decreases in colder times. That is the reason temperature is tightly bounded.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page9.html

  36. I’d like more detail on the moss. Close up pictures, how big was the eemian sampled area, how flat the surface, the micro climate within the rocky surface, is some it still covered with ice?, boundaries /interface, and all the possible erosion mechanisms (glacial, solar, wind, etc).

    Was the eemian sample “contaminated” with other carbon of different age? Has new moss already started to grow near the old samples, etc.

    It’s just with these types of studies the potential experiment(er) error is huge.
    I have no problem with this interglacial being as warm as the last. I’d say that’s quite likely… It’s like being surprised that today is as warm as yesterday (or perhaps two days before the day after tomorrow.)

    • “I have no problem with this interglacial being as warm as the last.”

      It isn’t as warm as Eemian- not by any measure. But your interglacial
      period may get as warm in the coming centuries.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Depending on how old you are right now, you’ll likely see this interglacial easily exceeding the temperatures of MIS 5 (the Eemian), perhaps even MIS 11.

      • And how do you know it isn’t? Because I don’t but into regional ice core data meaning anything in particular besides for that region. If only a few centuries could make the difference, then you’d be are kidding yourself…

      • “Depending on how old you are right now, you’ll likely see this interglacial easily exceeding the temperatures of MIS 5 (the Eemian), perhaps even MIS 11.”

        I think depends on medical technology.
        But assuming I was 4 years old, and assuming their medical breakthroughs and lived until climate approached or exceeded Eemian warmest temperature.
        Why is there important? Assuming such an improbably could happen.

        We know that there rapid warming in the beginning of the Holocene- lots evidence.
        But such rapid warming did not rapidly warm the ocean, nor remove our polar ice caps, though did increase temperatures in polar region [caused tree lines to go furthest poleward].
        Likewise a rapid warming [some number less 1000 years] will not increase
        ocean temperature more than would 5000 year of gradual warming which reaches the same warmest temperature achieved with supposed rapid warming.
        Or even if global temperatures were to rise 2 C before 2100, it’s not going also have ocean warmed by 0.225 C or glaciers melting anymore than glaciers melting over the last 2 centuries. Whether the glaciers are in temperate zones or near the poles. [2035 was "typo" of 2335]
        Or 2 C warming by 2100, will not give us 1 meter or more of sea level rise by 2100.
        Nor is any reason to assume more severe storms, nor any reason animal species will die [human activity rather than climate [or the change climate which human may have caused human activity] has been cause of any recent extinctions]

        I am granting that greenhouse theory is correct. Though not the part of the theory of insane runaway effects: CAGW- Hansen, Gore, Ted Turner, etc.
        Unless you want to support the nutty stuff? Because the sea level of Eemian before 2100 is Al Gore delusions.

      • “It isn’t as warm as Eemian- not by any measure”

        By some measures, it is indeed possible to show that our current interglacial is by average warmer than the Eemian, in exactly the same way one can argue the 1987 El Nino was warmer then 1997, even though the event in 1997 reached an all time record since at least 1950.

        It has to do with how one defines “an interglacial”. Going on temperature alone, then yes it was probably warmer, however, if one considers the ever important dimension “time” as well, then the holocene is the clear winner.

        This all assumes the marine benthic records are of good enough resolution /quality to make such statements. They’re not. Where are we now in the record? Nobody could tell you within an error of around
        +,- 2000 years

        Both interglacial (as far as interglacial are considered) are about the same….

      • David Springer

        anonymous

        You’re clutching at straws. Eemian sea level was ~9 meters higher. Ice cores Greenland and Antarctica show it reached a higher temperature than anytime in the Holocene. Sediment cores corroborate ice cores. It’s about as factual as factual gets in paleoclimatology. Deal.

      • Springer, deal………… although there is no credible definition of a phenomenon that cannot be predicted. And with out prediction, there is no definition, and without a definition, I can make up anything I like (just like the climate scientist do)….. The Holocene is somehow special because of the Ruddman hypothesis? Give me a break. Either define a week, a month ,a year, a century, a millennium, a time frame which has meaning or at least some consistency, or go home. Most late interglacials have a similar amount of warmth, how it is distributed through time is only relevant for those interested in “sensitive climates” and radiative forcing. In reality it is unlikely to make the slightest bit of difference.

  37. David Springer

    Unprecedented? Maybe recently but very much within the range of natural variability during previous interglacials.

    For instance:

    Fossil DNA Proves Greenland Once Had Lush Forests; Ice Sheet Is Surprisingly Stable

    Ancient Greenland was green. New Danish research has shown that it was covered in conifer forest and, like southern Sweden today, had a relatively mild climate. Eske Willerslev, a professor at Copenhagen University, has analysed the world’s oldest DNA, preserved under the kilometre-thick icecap. The DNA is likely close to half a million years old, and the research is painting a picture which is overturning all previous assumptions about biological life and the climate in Greenland.

  38. “If this moss had not seen daylight for 120,000 years, Miller et al. reason, then summer temperatures during the last 10,000 years (the Holocene) of the current interglacial have not been as warm as now;”

    The mitochondria clock of the moss species will have been ticking during 120Ky. It should be relatively easy to do a mitochondrial DNA genotype on the recovered moss and to compare it to its modern species.
    Vise versa, one can get biotica from known dated regions and use this to calibrate the nuclear/mitochondrial clocks of different mosses.

    • This is rather a nice paper:-

      Detection and Isolation of Ultrasmall Microorganisms from a 120,000-Year-Old Greenland Glacier Ice Core

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1317422/

      “Because some bacterial isolates showed nearly identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, we performed ERIC PCR genomic fingerprinting in order to either confirm identity or detect differences. Our results showed that all isolates, with the exception of the highly similar, SO3-2 and SO3-3N, had unique strain-specific profiles, demonstrating that we were not reisolating identical strains (data not shown)”

      So you already have a measure of genetic diversity. Take a deep core, fraction, and then do 16S rRNA analysis. Then use this clocked phylogogy and cladistics to date horizontal cores into exposed ice on the top of mountains.
      There are microbiologists who would rip you arm off to do this sort of stuff.

    • David Springer

      There’s a virtual war going on between paleontologists and geneticists over placements on the tree of life. I wrote a few mockumentary articles about it which can be found among these:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%22the+sound+of%22+exploding+site%3Auncommondescent.com&btnG=Search&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461

      This was one of my favorites where I took a spy vs. spy comic and re-labeled it genotype vs. phenotype:

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-sound-of-taxonomy-exploding/

    • David Springer

      Genotype and phenotype delineate differences between sub-species and populations and allele frequencies within sub-species. So your point is pointless. My point, which I didn’t frame in so many words, is there’s a cottage industry sprung up around the calibration of genetic clocks like you described in mitochondrial DNA. It’s not as reliable as you seem to believe and is so subject to pencil whipping it makes tree ring temperature proxies look reliable in comparison. Neutral changes aren’t really neutral as generally believed either. Substitution of redundant codons subtly (in some case not so subtly) changes how a protein folds upon exit from the ribosome. It’s because even though the redundant codons code for the same amino acid the processing speed through the ribosome changes and thus the exit speed of the protein product changes. Liken the polymer output from a ribosome to grease coming out of a grease gun. If you vary the speed of the grease coming out of the gun it varies the way the grease folds.

      I wrote more about this in one of the “sound of …xxxx…. exploding” and in this specific case it’s The Sound of Neutral Theory Exploding”. Neutral theory as you know is the basis of so-called genetic clocks. Thus the cottage that has formed around calibration of these clocks.

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-sound-of-the-neutral-theory-exploding/

      • David Springer

        I forgot to mention environmental factors that change the rate of neutral SPMs. Ionizing radiation is a biggie especially ultraviolet. Also chemical mutagens and any kind of environmental stress such as changing temperature. The latter really screws up genetic clocks in plants and cold blooded animals where metabolic rate and hence DNA replication rate is temperature dependent. I’m here to tell you calibration of genetic clocks is an industry within an industry.

    • David Springer

      I never read of anyone talking about mitochondrial DNA in mosses before. As you know mitochondrial DNA is only significant in organisms which reproduce sexually and have a mechanism which destroys the mtDNA of the sperm cell making mtDNA always descending unchanged from the female of unaltered by recombination.

      So I decided to check up on the reproductive cycle of mosses. In a prime example of learning something new every day frickin’ moss are unique in the plant kingdom in that they are normally asexual haploid organisms but have a sexual reproduction phase that requires water because they produce flagellated sperm that must swim to fertilize an egg cell producing a recombined diploid spore!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moss#Life_cycle

      So how do you calibrate a molecular clock like that one? LOL

      And here I thought I knew everything already. ;-)

      • David

        So what is this significance of this piece of information? That it is impractical to use mosses to calibrate temperatures?

        Are mosses the new tree rings in as much they may have a certain utility for recording a limited variety of useful matrix but they aren’t mossnometers??

        tonyb

      • David Springer

        The original article uses genetic clocks to establish the age of the dead mosses beyond the 50,000 year limit imposed by carbon dating. I know a whole lot about genetic clocks and was simply saying they are chock full of problems so take the age with a grain of salt especially if it isn’t large difference and/or done with extreme care and a great many samples at large expense. Dating fossils beyond 50,000 years is usually done by knowing the age of the strata in which it was deposited. Strata are dated by many independent means and are identifiable without much time or cost.

        More here if you’re interested:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_clock

    • Good suggestion – Perhaps Giff Miller can get the test performed to get a more accurate reading.

  39. I’m an actuary, not a climatologist, so this not be right. However…

    It seems to me that this moss measurement is a one-way test. It can only show spots that are warmer today than in the last 44,000 years. For all we know, there may be other areas of the arctic that are cooler today than at various points in the last 44,000 years. However, this study wouldn’t identify that type of area. Such areas ( if they exist) might be still covered by glacier, so that moss couldn’t be carbon dated. Or, the moss in those areas might have disappeared at some time in the past, when that area was warm enough to melt that section of glacier.

    • In a world where variation in microclimates (some warming, others cooling) is all that is really happening, certain underlying changes can’t be observed, while others can. That’s a very astute insight–the kind a good actuary brings to the table!

  40. David Springer

    Unprecedented speed of warming.

    We’ve all heard that one too, right? That never before in history has the earth warmed as fast?

    Au contraire.

    A mere 8,000 years ago something very abrupt happened. Temperature plummeted from (at least) Greenland to Germany by 4C in the course of a single century then shot up 5C in the same length of time.

    Natural variability happens.

    Write that down.

  41. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    Miller response was quite interesting, and IMO serioiusly undermines the skpetical points made by Marcia Wyatt, but the best (as expected) is saved for last:

    “Summer insolation is now 9% less than the peak warmth of the early Holocene. Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth.”

    This is extra meaningful considering that the area in question may not have been exposed since MIS 5 (the Eemian interglacial), when solar insolation was greater than this interglacial.

    • “Summer insolation is now 9% less than the peak warmth of the early Holocene

      That is NH insolation.The SH insolation is greater now then at the same time ( the variation in the annular mode being two orders of magnitude greater then the so called agw growth rate.)

      http://lasp.colorado.edu/lisird/sorce/sorce_tsi/

    • David Springer

      Annual mean insolation remains unchanged. So there’s 9% less in the NH winter now than before. Wouldn’t the colder winter add as much snow as the warmer summer removes? Please explain why not.

    • When I read that, I thought this is the WORST part. Anything else is at least based on some reasoning, but this is just given away like an isolated treat for alarmists.

      Missing is the phrase, “if all our assumptions are correct”,
      missing are other presumably known explanations, such as black carbon (an elephant in the Arctic),
      missing is the reference of the isolation of this result in the context of the whole Arctic,
      missing are further known and unknown unknowns possibly contributing

      • Even if we assume the Laurentide ice sheet did not cover these hills (and all other assumptions), it still must have cooled the regional climate during early/mid holocene.

        Isn’t then the disappearance of the LIS the main reason and not GHG / black carbon ?

    • “Summer insolation is now 9% less than the peak warmth of the early Holocene. Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth.”

      Lets see:

      1) Conflates an extremely local event with aggregate planetary metrics.

      2) Takes the form of the false dichotomy that drives the warmist argument from ignorance.

      3) Accomplishes 1) & 2) by evidence free bald assertion.

      Of course you like it.

  42. Chief Hydrologist

    I am an accidental sceptic. Always much more concerned with rainfall regimes than simple radiative physics. Recent warming has the same origin – in large part – as decadal rainfall regimes. Large fluctuations in ENSO states at times of climate shift in 1976/977 and 1998/2001 providing most warming – and shifts in cloud associated with shifts in in ocean and atmosphere circulation providing most of the rest. The residual attributable to greenhouse gases is at most 0.05 degrees C/decade. This puts ‘unprecedented warming’ in context.

    Rainfall variability goes well beyond decadal regimes to centennial and millennial variability. The most significant Holocene change was the shift from La Niña to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that is implicated in the drying of the Sahel. It is more than suggestive of changes in the most significant determinant of variability in the global energy budget in changes in albedo caused by changes in dust, ice, snow, cloud and biology – changes that cannot be captured in any current paleoclimatic technique. Nonetheless – the lack of data on this makes any paleoclimatic conclusions problematic. It is an insurmountable problem that should be acknowledged.

    Modern records show variability in albedo – to assume a lack of variability over much longer periods is very unsafe.

    http://www.igbp.net/news/features/features/asilverliningtoarcticclouds.5.19b40be31390c033ede80001115.html

    http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=127438&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

  43. I thought Dr. Miller’s comments were pretty thoughtful — which is what I also thought about Dr. Wyatt’s original post. It would be useful if Dr. Wyatt could offer her thoughts to what Dr. Miller had to say.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      John says “I thought Dr. Miller’s comments were pretty thoughtful — which is what I also thought about Dr. Wyatt’s original post.”

      Agreed 100%. Despite reaching opposite conclusions, *both* posts were respectful and fact-based, with verifiable citations and rational arguments.

      More such dialogs are welcome, please!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • “..both* posts were respectful and fact-based, with verifiable citations and rational arguments.”

        Seen the light, Fan?. This is emphatically not what you said this morning in your first comment regarding M.W.’s work, which I now can’t seem to find.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Oh, it seems to me that Miller’s arguments are stronger (both logically and factually) than Wyatt’s … however the now-expunged posts contained links that were critical of NAME REDACTED which is known for its advocacy of PRACTICE REDACTED.

        Hopefully this clarifies matters pokerguy!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • AFOMD,

        Congratulations, I agree with the way you expressed yourself, if that makes any difference to you.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        I am beginning to suspect that you have a sense of humor Mike Flynn! This admirable trait allies you with folks (like pokerguy, TonyB, and Beth and several more) whose thought-provoking posts I respect and enjoy … even when disagreeing with them. A hearty “cowabunga” is extended to you, sir!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  44. patience, patience; northern winter is coming, will be colder than all the previous years. Les ice on Arctic means more blizzards in USA, Europe – they are all back to front

  45. All the skeptics on all their blogs failed to understand the paper sufficiently to be able to review it. It required Telford and Miller to come along and raise points that everyone else missed.

    I think what this highlights is that skeptics do not understand their own limits. If Telford and Miller had not responded, skeptics would now be happily laboring under, and worse spreading, any number of false misconceptions about the paper!

    The problem is skeptics don’t just stop and admit “I don’t understand, I don’t know” (ironic no?). Instead they assume they understand a study or subject enough to “throw it in the trash” just because they’ve imagined some problem with it.

    One has to wonder about all the other studies and subjects that skeptics attack where no scientist replies. That post about the Caribbean and sea level rise for example a few days ago. Lots of conclusion making by skeptics, but no actual experts on hand.

    • McIntyre and Bouldin raised points. Telford responded. Wyatt responded. Miller responded. At that instant, you jumped up with your comment. Are you completely sure that no one will have an effective response in turn? What will you do if that happens? Post again, but with all the words “skeptics” and “scientists” interchanged? Or do you only post at every other iteration?

      • The cult runs deep with lolwot.

      • The fact is the discussion started with laypeople like you and on various blogs and you all thought you’d come up with some “problems” with the study.

        Left to your own sordid little devices you’d have all collectively ditched the paper and accused the author of fraud wouldn’t you?

        All because you are biased.

        Once actual experts turned up the debate shot right up above your heads and showed that none of you had any business claiming to have understood the paper.

      • Still I don’t know what’s bothering you. This is how it should be. There are specialists, experts, and laymen. Most of us here are laymen, and the fine details of the discussion were over our heads from the very start. Jim Bouldin is certainly not a layman, he’s a real expert who does that kind of stuff for a living. If it’s not obvious to you that Wyatt is an expert as well, you didn’t read her post or are very biased. On the other hand, neither of them is a specialist in Baffin Island ice, as Miller is. So they need to be brought up to speed, and they will make mistakes initially in understanding. On the other hand, they are close enough that they may be able to make important suggestions, or find real mistakes.

        It’s always going to be like this: The one who writes a paper is more familiar with it than those who read it. Plus, he may not have explained something as clearly as he thought he did. That doesn’t mean that he’s always going to be right, or that they shouldn’t be making suggestions or asking questions, or that he can pull rank on them (which Miller hasn’t done, but you are trying to do on his behalf.)

        What’s left? The questions should be raised in a private email instead of a blog post? Dunno; I enjoy watching the science get worked out in real time. The politics is a little annoying, but both sides are doing it: one side wants this to be the highest temperature in 40,000 years, the other side doesn’t want that. Whatever, it has nothing to do with the scientific issues; this is how science gets done.
        We non-specialists should not dare to question the specialists, who will always be right? Doubt it; that’s not how expertise works in any field. Even in courts of law, the rest of us don’t argue with expert witnesses, but we retain the right to fail to be convinced by them. In this case too, Miller is doing a good job (so far) defending his points, but all of McIntyre, Telford (on the issue of soot at least), Wyatt, and Bouldin have said that they are not convinced that the lengthy chain of inferences is airtight.

        On one point I will agree with you: It is very good that Miller showed up here to support his points. All authors should do that; it is 1000% more effective than, say, Tamino “proving” that he’s right on some website that he fiercely moderates, so that his supporters (who wouldn’t come here or to climateaudit) will never see a rebuttal. When I see discussions here or at Lucia or climateaudit, with mainstream scientists showing up to make their points directly, I see science at its best, and generally it’s not one-sided at all. If anyone wants to convince skeptics, that’s the way to do it. And contrariwise, if they don’t show up – each of the three I mentioned have extremely liberal comments policies, I’ve never heard a complaint that a rebuttal was deleted – people are likely to conclude that they don’t believe in their cases as Giff Miller does.

      • Excellent speech miker613, and I’m here to tell you that I appreciate the attention you’ve paid to this conversation; you’ve certainly enhanced it for me.
        ===========

    • You’ve missed the most important point: by responding here Miller has contributed to validating blogs as a proper venue for Science. Those to whom the arguments on both sides were not already clear no longer have to wait for critiques and responses to be published in regular journals. They are also not at the mercy of biased publishers who are trying to impose their own preconceptions of the results.

      The chorus of ignorant shouting on all sides in blog comments is part of the pressure to respond: if no response had ensued, by the time the issues had reached the peer-reviewed journals, they might well have been decided in the blogosphere, at least in public perceptions.

      In many people’s opinions, including mine, when “Science” is used to support policy decisions, it is incumbent on its practitioners to provide adequate explanations for the properly informed public. There was a strong tendency in the late ’90’s to treat “climate science” as a sort of hierarchical religion: only the inner priesthood needed to understand how it worked and everybody else was required to accept and obey. The rise of the blogosphere has, IMO, reversed that trend.

  46. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jqs.1286/abstract

    http://wwwgeology.nsm.buffalo.edu/Faculty/briner/buf/pubs/Thomas_et_al_2010.pdf

    ‘If glacier extent was dominated by summer ablation, then glaciers should have been absent or most reduced during the early Holocene, perhaps between ca. 10 and ca. 7ka. Although summer insolation was higher than present in the early Holocene, seasonality was enhanced. Summers were likely warmer than today, but also were shorter, due to insolation and the presence of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (Berger and Loutre, 1991; Kaplan and Wolfe, 2006), and a short ablation season would have resulted in less overall glacier melt. Another explanation for why alpine glaciers may have persisted during this interval of enhanced warmth is increased precipitation. Although proxy reconstructions for precipitation are lacking from this region, warmer surface ocean waters would likely have led to
    increased precipitation, and if some of it fell during the long arctic accumulation season then winter snowfall may have counteracted the elevated summer ablation.”

    And soot? http://aoss-research.engin.umich.edu/faculty/flanner/content/ppr/Mccnnl07.pdf

    • David Springer

      Excellent points about winter/summer insolation differences. Nowhere did I see the authors acknowledge that if summer insolation today is 9% less than early in the Holocene interglacial then winter insolation today is 9% greater. What is lost in summer is gained in winter. To their credit glaciers grow best when summers are cooler and winters warmer due to increased snowfall in the warmer winter and less ablation in the cooler summer. But this isn’t a continental glacier it’s an island so the same rules probably don’t apply as the ocean greatly moderates summer/winter temperature differences that are so critical to glacier growth or retreat in continental interiors.

  47. Dr. Strangelove

    Miller,
    Your statements are contradictory. It only shows you are biased.

    “We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming,”

    “Most proxy records from the Eastern Canadian Arctic show peak warmth in the earliest Holocene consistent with peak insolation, and gradual, but irregular cooling subsequently, especially after 5 ka.”

    “You are left with our observations that some small, thin ice caps did not melt during the early Holocene warm period but melted in 2010″

    So far, all the above statements are consistent. Then comes this contradictory conclusion:

    “Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth.”

    Suddenly logic is thrown out of the window. If all evidence points to peak warmth in early Holocene and your data do not apply to the whole Arctic, much less the whole world, where did you the gall to make such sweeping conclusion? Are you saying GHG operates only in a small part of the Arctic? Shall we dismiss the 15-year global warming pause because you found exposed snowline in Canada?

    This is the hallmark of bias. Make a little observation and make a general conclusion that does not follow the observation.

  48. Why wait until the moss is uncovered?

    Why not drill down to the soil surface in a hexagonal pattern and sample the moss before it is exposed? It would be easy to see whatever patterns there are. And while they are at it, take some ice cores to supplement the study.

    • Retrograde Orbit

      jim2, where are you coming from???
      Miller says – presumably based on his research (concatenating two sentences with “BUT”):
      “Of the primary factors determining the planetary energy balance, GHG remain by far the most likely term to explain such unusual summer warmth BUT We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming”
      There is a difference between “most likely” and “demonstrates”. Miller is very conscious of that and points it out very carefully.

    • A good number of data points of moss sampled from under the ice and an expertly applied PCA would answer a lot of questions about what the moss has to say.

  49. Richard Telford as an interesting visualization of the process here

    http://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/more-on-mosses-miller-et-al-2013/

    • No. Richard Telford has an interesting visualization of a process there. Which he baldly asserts is the process, despite the fact that there are a number of other processes that are consistent with Miller’s data and thus also candidates for being the process.

      He doesn’t illustrate those. They don’t fit his narrative.

  50. Retrograde Orbit

    If A causes B then yes we positively should blame A for B.
    Whether A has or has not also caused C is irrelevant. If A caused B it should be blamed for it regardless.

  51. Greg, I appreciate the memo from you on the errors in my discussion of the Miller et al. paper. I have been away from my computer most of the day. I apologize for my delayed reply.
    I am especially apologetic that I did not interpret your figures correctly. I have looked again at Figure 1 and see that on this one, I admittedly am unable to make full sense of it. This is my deficiency, I realize. But again, my apologies.
    Regarding the lapse rate, again, my error and my apologies. I do see that you make a point in your paper of saying you did not use the free-air moist adiabatic lapse rate of ~6 degrees C/km. Rather you used the lapse rates recorded on glacier surfaces in Arctic Canada. I did make that error. The one point in my description of that specific method that remains in tact was the assumption made of no ‘durable changes in precipitation’. This may be true, but this is one of many assumptions.
    It is not that any of your methods are questionable. It is certainly not that your expertise is lacking. Far from it. But for those of us not immersed in the same discipline as you, digesting the details of the procedures can be difficult. What jumps out, at least for me, is that strong conclusions are asserted by the authors; yet the strong conclusion requires confidence on the reader’s part in the numerous assumptions and estimates necessary to carry out your study. One or two assumptions are easy to manage intellectually. When there are many, the cumulative effect is to send up red flags.
    Regarding the axis tilt ~10,000 years ago. It was my understanding that it was at its maximum tilt of the approximate 40,000-year obliquity cycle and has been decreasing since. My reference is a book, Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery by Imbrie and Imbrie. I gleaned this from a figure (fig 41) in the book. Of course, I’m not bragging about my ability to decipher figures after my misstep with Penny and Barnes, so I won’t argue that one…but I am puzzled.
    As far as my information on dates of insolation versus different timings of warming in different regions being outdated, this I cannot comment on. If information has recently been updated, this I did not know.
    Not dismissing my errors, but my concern with the chain-of-reasoning used to support your conclusion remains. Your conclusions may indeed be spot on. I do not pretend to know. I simply find your paper confusing, filled with numerous assumptions and estimations, and concluded with strong assertions that seem to override those numerous assumptions that were used to arrive at the conclusion.
    As a scientist and a citizen, I am frustrated to witness the power of a paradigm. It may be a flawless paradigm, but if information is being used to support a flawless paradigm, I still want to understand the argument supporting it and to be convinced by that argument. It is quite possibly because I don’t understand your argument that I’m not convinced by it.
    Hypotheses evolve – e.g. it used to be the CO2 signature would be detectable mostly in winter, not summer – and complexities in data sets and methods grow, while the conclusion becomes more simplified, streamlined, absolute, and entrenched. We, as scientists not in your discipline and as interested citizens, may want to critically evaluate how a conclusion was derived, but difficulties in so doing become insurmountable. I am sure I speak for many when I say that I do want to understand the reasoning. I do not think it is obtuseness on my part for not being able to follow your arguments with satisfaction to the finish line. Point #8 (the conclusion) in your memo-response sounds tidy in its succinctness, but it’s the in-between part that still has me unconvinced. Maybe you would post an analysis on Judy’s blog that will help re-direct the discussion. I would be one of many who would welcome the opportunity to become better informed.
    Marcia

    • “Not dismissing my errors, but my concern with the chain-of-reasoning used to support your conclusion remains. Your conclusions may indeed be spot on. I do not pretend to know. I simply find your paper confusing, filled with numerous assumptions and estimations…”
      -Marcia.

      But let me dismiss these errors and say that my critique still stands.

      Hmmm.

      Well, all the same points could be made by anyone reading the ‘stadium wave’ paper, which puts your critique on rather thin ice.

      Perhaps a timely reminder to ask for clarification in the first instance, rather than accuse.

      • Michael, I did not say let me dismiss these errors, quite the contrary. I was accepting responsibility for the mistakes I made, even though I might like to debate a tad more on certain points, but know it would be unproductive. This medium of exchange has many advantages. But some disadvantages. Good intentions can go awry, especially when not seeing things from another’s point-of-view. I see yours. I accept your reminder to ask for clarification first. You have a good point and I will take it to heart.

      • Yes, you said quite the contrary and then prroceeded as if there were mere trifles.

        And while you are taking thingsto heart, perhaps you could adopt the good faith stance of the utmost accurate rendering of the arguments to be critiqued. For instance,

        “Our results indicate that anthropogenic increases in greenhouse
        gases have led to unprecedented regional warmth”
        and
        “These findings add additional evidence to the growing consensus that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases have now resulted in unprecedented recent summer warmth that is well outside the range of that attributable to natural climate variability. ”

        Which you charaterise as,
        ” their conclusion dismissing natural forces as strongly contributing to the warmth of today’s temperatures”, I think a littleunfairly as they make no statement about to what extent natural variabiity has a role, only that their findings suggest current temps outside the historical record over a significant period.

        And you say ” From a few samples of long-dead moss”. A rhetorical device?

        I doubt over 300 would be considered “a few” in normal usage.

      • In many fields of science original papers that present new results are written solely for an expert audience. The papers are brief and dense (longer are perhaps not accepted for publication), references are given to earlier work, but knowledge taken from that is described very briefly. Scientific practices known for the experts of the field may be taken as self-evident. That has been the way papers are written, and that’s the way in many fields right now. Whether that’s the best way even for an expert audience may be questionable, but the negative answer is not self-evident.

        A paper written as I describe in the above is not the most informative for scientists of different expertize and even less for interested laymen. It raises questions of the type Marcia presents.

        We can observe that blogs offer a good supplementary forum where these issues can be clarified. Clarification of the issues may serve also an essential auditing task. Questions presented by non-specialists may reveal weaknesses in the paradigm of the field. It’s to be expected that the scientists have good and valid answers to most of the questions, but in research fields like paleo-climatology it doesn’t seem unlikely that some serious problems are revealed in the discussion. (I think that paleo-climatology is a field based on methodology understandable to non-specialists and therefore a good one for this approach.)

      • “In many fields of science original papers that present new results are written solely for an expert audience. The papers are brief and dense (longer are perhaps not accepted for publication), references are given to earlier work, but knowledge taken from that is described very briefly. Scientific practices known for the experts of the field may be taken as self-evident. That has been the way papers are written, and that’s the way in many fields right now. Whether that’s the best way even for an expert audience may be questionable, but the negative answer is not self-evident.

        A paper written as I describe in the above is not the most informative for scientists of different expertize and even less for interested laymen. It raises questions of the type Marcia presents. ”

        So one could say, that such papers should not be published for public consumption, unless the intention is they *should be* transformed by a discussion in which the material can made more understandable to a broader audience.
        Thereby making them actually relevant to a broader public.

      • Pekka, it doesn’t take expertise in the field to detect when the chain of reasoning has so many links that some must be weaker than the others. This chain is so long, that it is a stretch to believe it has pulled the conclusion to such certainty.

        You can sell a lemon to a dubious customer more easily than persuade with this Goldbergian chain.

        Pekka, this is bias in action; every one of the shaky assumptions have to go correctly for the conclusion of unprecedented warming to be correct. Truly, how likely is that?
        ==============

      • Kim the longer the chain the easier to pull and everything gets flushed away?

      • Then maybe somebody should actually tug on the chain instead of pulling off another very typical blog smear job.

      • JCH, GM admits that the results only apply locally, so the conclusion about the GHGs being causative is broken. This chain circles your ankles rather than pulling you safely over the line.
        ======

      • Kilroy, the investigation in your link is warped from the gitgo with the assumption that pre and post internet can yield useful information about the differences between 911 conspiracies and Kennedy assassination ones.
        ===============

      • Kilroy | October 30, 2013 at 9:01 am |

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24650841

        Pretty funny:
        – “The minute you get into the JFK stuff, and the minute you sniff at the 9/11 stuff, you begin to lose the will to live,” he told the audience in Cambridge. –

        I think this interesting:
        -“Actually the conspirators are often the paranoid and crazy conspiracy theorists, because in their attempt to cover up the cock-up they get drawn into a web in which their self-justification posits some giant conspiracy trying to expose their conspiracy.

        “And I think that’s consistently true through a lot of political scandals, Watergate included.”-

        In this way- our political leaders almost routinely succumb conspiracy theories. let’s not forget Ms Clinton in her “rightwing conspiracy”.
        And with Nixon and Clinton there were actual conspiracies.
        To keep simple, let’s do Ms Clinton, Bill was getting blow jobs. How people were involved aiding Bill?
        Anyhow, I think it’s almost natural that political leadership gets sucked
        into paranoid conspiracy theories.
        And I think this paranoia is communicated in indirect or direct way to the citizens.
        So with paranoid leaders one gets paranoid citizens.

      • BS, Kim. Complete BS.

      • “I think a littleunfairly as they make no statement about to what extent natural variabiity has a role,”

        Uh, yeah they do. You quoted them saying it. Marcia is correct.

        “And you say ” From a few samples of long-dead moss”. A rhetorical device?

        I doubt over 300 would be considered “a few” in normal usage.

        The number of moss samples upon which the Miller paper’s breathless conclusions were based is not 300. It is four. “A few” is a perfectly reasonable description of four. Marcia is correct.

    • That response is an excellent of intellectual honesty. You have learn well from an excellent mentor.

      Perhaps you can teach Michael Mann and some of the other members of the hockey team how to behave. And, once you’ve finished with them, perhaps you can make a trip down under and tackle the 13 ‘climate scientists’ who wrote and the 87 professors and other academics who endorsed this lot (see the list at the end of the post): https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

    • Marcia, From what I can gather you are young and altruistic. You are also behaving the way a proper scientist ought to behave. Don’t be too apologetic. The Team is getting desperate, with all the empirical data showing the hoax of CAGW is just plain wrong The Miller paper is just another in a long line of papers who use a miniscule of science to shore up the mantra. The paper needs the sort of criticisms you have provided, and the fact that some of your points are not quite right, doesn’t alter the fact that the paper is not very good. Thank you for your efforts.

    • David Springer

      I’m fairly confident that black carbon is the culprit here not CO2. Given that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere but black carbon is deficient in the southern hemisphere the authors badly need to duplicate this study in the southern hemisphere. If the results are identical I’ll concede it’s CO2 and not black carbon. Black carbon is highly selective in that it has zero effect when the sun isn’t shining whereas CO2 warming is at work 24/7 with or without shortwave heating. The authors stressing summertime warming in the arctic is a red flag indicating it’s black carbon not CO2.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_carbon#Effects_on_Arctic_ice_and_Himalayan_glaciers

      Effects on Arctic ice and Himalayan glaciers[edit]

      According to the IPCC, “the presence of black carbon over highly reflective surfaces, such as snow and ice, or clouds, may cause a significant positive radiative forcing.”[69] The IPCC also notes that emissions from biomassburning, which usually have a negative forcing,[70] have a positive forcing over snow fields in areas such as the Himalayas.[71]

      According to Dr. Charles Zender of the University of California, Irvine, black carbon is a significant contributor to Arctic ice-melt, and reducing such emissions may be “the most efficient way to mitigate Arctic warming that we know of”.[72] The “climate forcing due to snow/ice albedo change is of the order of 1.0 W/m2 at middle- and high-latitude land areas in the Northern Hemisphere and over the Arctic Ocean.”[73] The “soot effect on snow albedo may be responsible for a quarter of observed global warming.”[74] “Soot deposition increases surface melt on ice masses, and the meltwater spurs multiple radiative and dynamical feedback processes that accelerate ice disintegration,” according to NASA scientists Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Larissa Nazarenko.[75] As a result of this feedback process, “BC on snow warms the planet about three times more than an equal forcing of CO2.”[76] When black carbon concentrations in the Arctic increase during the winter and spring due to Arctic Haze, surface temperatures increase by 0.5 °C.[77] Black carbon emissions also significantly contribute to Arctic ice-melt, which is critical because “nothing in climate is more aptly described as a ‘tipping point’ than the 0 °C boundary that separates frozen from liquid water—the bright, reflective snow and ice from the dark, heat-absorbing ocean.”[78]

      More at link…

    • Marcia, thank you for replying in an honest and humble way. This is the way things should be. You’ll do much better in life reacting the way you did, than stonewalling, the way people like Michael Mann and Peter Glieck do. It is alright to still have a bit of skepticism about Gifford’s work, based upon remaining assumptions, but you did well to ackowledge that even if some doubts remain for you, he may be entirely right.

      I don’t have the expertise in the required fields to know how to evaluate the paper, or your views on it. That is why I read Climate Etc., because sometimes people can decipher for me, on issues that I don’t know adequately.

      All that said, it seems to me that perhaps the biggest unanswered question here may be the influence of black carbon (BC) on the Baffin Island site. We certainly know that considerable amounts of black carbon have fallen on the Arctic, from human industry and transport, for up to about 150 years. We have seen estimates of how much BC has caused warming in the Arctic, both where it falls (by darkening ice or snow, making it warm more quickly) and over large areas (because as sea ice melts more quickly, the dark sea absorbs heat rather than reflecting it, and as snow and ice on land melt, darker surfaces absorb sunlight as heat). None of this happened in the Eemian, so it is arguable that the effects seen on Baffin Island might not have occurred if CO2 emissions stayed as they are, but there had been no BC falling on ice.

      Recently, Russia allowed scientists into the area of Siberia where they produce so much natural gas. It now appears that the ~ 3% of world BC emissions that come from Russian natural gas production may be responsible for about 42% of the BC falling in the Arctic. Source:

      http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/13/8833/2013/acp-13-8833-2013.pdf

      Press:

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=oil-and-gas-production-drives-arctic-ice-melt

      http://carbon-based-ghg.blogspot.com/2013/09/gas-flaring-and-household-stoves-speed.html

      So I wonder if Gifford could give us a sense of what he might think about the role of BC in warming Baffin Island, at his location?

      • John

        I suggested to Judith a few weeks ago that Black carbon would be a suitable topic for discussion, she confirmed she had the expertise but not at present the time, but hopefully the subject is on her radar.

        When researching material for my series ‘Historic variations in Arctic ice’ I was very struck by the references to soot on the snow made by the early explorers around 1820. They attributed it to the growing industry in America.

        The BBC recently had a series on the arctic where soot was evident on snow, ice and even at the bottom of ice caverns. It was everywhere.

        Having used soot to thoroughly deice paths back in the 1960’s when the UK had a genuine LIA type winter, I can vouch for the astonishing efficacy of the material in melting snow and ice rapidly and preventing it from returning.

        Yes, I think it is a sadly neglected area. Yes, I think it probably has something to do with past and present melting but how much needs to be quantified.
        tonyb

    • Who’s Greg?

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Marcia,
      The reasoning of Miller is if it’s warmer in Baffin Island now than 5 kya then the cause is anthropogenic CO2. This is false. We are still in an interglacial period. The warming did not stop 5 kya. It continued with the Minoan warming (3.3 kya), Roman warming (2 kya), Medieval warming (1 kya). Sea levels rose 1 to 2 meters since 5 kya. This is due to melting glaciers and thermal expansion of seawater. If indeed it is warmer in Baffin Island now, that is also consistent with natural global warming plus local anthropogenic causes such as changes in land use.

  52. I am bot surprised that a part nor the Canadian Arctic is so warm, After all. one would expect there would be a more or less permanent plume of warm CO2 over that part of north America. As I have said many times, it is not the total CO2 that matters but the proportion of hot CO2 over our heads.

  53. Matthew R Marler

    Thanks also to Giff Miller for a detailed response.

  54. Dr. Strangelove

    Miller,

    Try to be objective. Your data comes from Baffin Island whose area is only 0.1% of earth’s surface area. That’s one tiny sample. You cannot logically extrapolate the result to the whole world. GHE is a global phenomenon. Your observation is local. You should be looking for local causes.

    CO2 is well-mixed in the atmosphere. It cannot be operating only in Baffin Island. There are plausible local causes. Water vapor is the most abundant GHG. A small 2.3% increase in absolute humidity equals the increase in atmospheric CO2 since pre-industrial era from 280 ppm to 390 ppm. A small 1% decrease in cloud cover equals the CO2 forcing (1.7 W/m^2). since pre-industrial era. Humidity and cloud cover vary locally.

    Another plausible local cause is urban heat island effect. Baffin Island was uninhabited 5,000 years ago. Now it has over 11,000 population. People build houses, roads, farms, ports, etc. There’s mining exploration in the island since 1960s and iron mining production of 170.000 tons of ore. This is the local anthropogenic cause you should be looking at.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Another plausible local cause is urban heat island effect. Baffin Island was uninhabited 5,000 years ago. Now it has over 11,000 population.”

      The population density of Texas is 38/km^2. For Baffin Island it’s 0.02/km^2.

      • Dr. Strangelove

        The mining area in Baffin Island covers 17,000 hectares. That’s almost 3 times larger than Manhattan island. Mining is one of the most environmentally destructive activities of man. Trees are cut with chainsaws. Vegetation and top soil are removed by bulldozers and power shovels. Rocks are blasted with high explosives. Hills are literally flattened. Tailings ponds the size of lakes are filled with toxic wastes. I know because I used to work in a mining operation.

      • “The mining area in Baffin Island covers 17,000 hectares. That’s almost 3 times larger than Manhattan island. Mining is one of the most environmentally destructive activities of man. Trees are cut with chainsaws. Vegetation and top soil are removed by bulldozers and power shovels. Rocks are blasted with high explosives. Hills are literally flattened. Tailings ponds the size of lakes are filled with toxic wastes. I know because I used to work in a mining operation.”

        Mining would make an area darker so like parking lot add regional temperature. But, Baffin Island is 507,451 square km.
        Texas is 691,030 sq km. Since Baffin Island is elongated,
        It’s like West Coast of US [or East coast].
        And 17,000 hectares. is 170 sq km.
        So if the mining operation is within say 10- 20 km of it.
        Or other urban develop is near it, it could have an effect.
        I think black soot, since black soot is found on Greenland’s ice cap
        is most likely.
        But changes in regional weather, variation of kinds, could account for it.
        Nor do you really need to account for it- it’s one data point, most
        data shows that arctic was warmer in early Holocene.

        Plus more importantly: Giff Miller responds:
        “4. We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming, despite what Wyatt writes.”

      • Heh, GM’s #4 utterly destroys the certainty of his conclusion that it’s GHGs to blame. Experts, bah, and ignorance. This would be funny except for the destructiveness of the spawned meme.
        ===============

      • Pierre-Normand

        The Baffin Island iron mining project was approved late in 2012 and cargo has begun shipping to the site this year. The samples for this study were collected between 2005 and 2010.

      • Dr. Strangelove

        Mining exploration since 1960s. 170,000 tons of ore was shipped in 2008. To get that much ore, you need a lot of drilling activities. You need to clear the land and build roads for the drill rigs. You need to cover vast area because in exploration you’re trying to determine the areal extent of the ore deposit.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Dr Strangelove, you had written: “The mining area in Baffin Island covers 17,000 hectares. That’s almost 3 times larger than Manhattan island.”
        But that’s not a reference to the old mining operations. That’s a reference to the new projects that hasn’t begun yet and was still in the planning phase when Miller’s samples were collected.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Also “In 2008 a 150,000 t (150,000 long tons; 170,000 short tons) sample was shipped to Europe for testing.[19][20] The ore was transported to Milne Inlet, where it was carried by barges to a freighter waiting off-shore.”
        This is part of the new project, not older mining operations and only took place in 2008.

      • Dr. Strangelove

        Collecting 170,000 tons of ore will alter the land where it is gathered regardless whether exploration or production. In fact exploration covers a greater area than production.

      • Dr. Strangelove

        Checking Baffinland maps and website confirm my initial guesses. The mining exploration area is huge. The map of the Mary River Project showing Deposits 1, 2, 4 and 4 has areal extent of 35 km by 5 km or 175 sq. km. Three times larger than Manhattan Island. Just as I thought.

        The map is dated Nov. 2000 and it already has ore reserve estimates. They have drillings since 2000. Otherwise they cannot come up with ore reserve estimates. My guess that it requires a lot of drilling activities is also confirmed by Baffinland:

        “Detailed exploration drill programs have been completed across the Mary River project area at Deposit No. 1. Over 30 km of drilling, in more than 200 drill holes, have been completed on the deposit.”

  55. Would this paper have attracted as much attention if it had been something like “Mystery 44,000 year cold snap now over. Temperatures returning to normal. Moss hoping for return of summer.”

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  56. I would like to add a couple of questions after reading (quickly, I must admit) the paper.

    Miller et al say:

    “With equal confidence they also indicate when a particular site was last ice free prior to its modern exposure [Thompson et al., 2013; Miller et al., 2013] and, by extension, that recent summer temperatures at the site have been as high or higher than when those plants were alive.”

    I can see some support for the first claim, not for the second, and an additional test to date exposure time would be interesting (e.g. thermoluminiscence). The equal or higher temperature claim is not supported until the same type of vegetation grows again. Samples were collected within one meter of a cold based glacier, which means that is unlikely that liquid water is available long enough for plant growth at present.

    These glaciers are cold based, that means that the ice at the bedrock interface is below the pressure melting point of water. In these types of glaciers sublimation can be a very important part of total ablation, and I don’t think that point has been addressed very thoroughly. There is a discussion on solar radiation, but it refers to exoatmospheric radiation. The incoming solar radiation at the glacier will be determined by local cloud cover. An increase in solar radiation due to a decrease in cloud cover can have a very large impact on sublimation (by increasing ice temperature at the surface and therefore increasing the specific humidity gradient with the atmosphere).

    There is much talk about melt, but in cold based glaciers the amount of melt is necessary limited, otherwise by the release of latent heat by refreezing the ice becomes temperate.

    There is a mention to a constant accumulation rate in Greenland over the last 8 ka, but no further discussion on the temporal resolution of those data.
    Box and others have found decadal variations ranging form -25% to +16% since 1840 (1)

    Drinkwater and others (2) also found recent variations in accumulation rates and also on the regional circulation patterns that may affect Baffin Bay. Therefore, I think (like in all climatic influences) that the forcings and triggers are way more complex than a simple change in temperature, which is also not so simple to attribute to a single cause.

    (1) Box, Jason E., and Coauthors, 2013: Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Balance Reconstruction. Part I: Net Snow Accumulation (1600–2009). J. Climate, 26, 3919–3934. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00373.1

    (2) Drinkwater, M.R et al. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 106, NO. D24, PAGES 33,935–33,950, DECEMBER 27, 2001
    “Results of applying the simple empirical relation yield accumulation differences that indicate changes in the spatial patterns of Greenland snow accumulation and melting during the intervals 1978–1996 and 1997–2000. Observed changes are interpreted as a recent large-scale reversal in the net accumulation trends along large parts of the northwestern flank of Greenland that indicate more frequent cyclonic activity in Baffin Bay and in turn more frequent negative phases of the NAO.”

  57. FWIW

    I feel fairly privileged to have witnessed this discourse and wish that more scientists were willing to take part in such a civil exchange. I’ve read many papers that referred to previous literature and either supported or to some extent refuted previous claims. It should be the normal flow and not be ridiculously contentious.

    I also enjoyed the content of the information. Although Miller made technical corrections he didn’t further persuade me of the underlying question about AGW. I would still weigh in toward Wyatt’s direction. I do understand how the last warming would certainly have the GHG component, it is still a question of degree for me. I don’t find that Miller demonstrated conclusively that it has to be almost entirely AGW over variability as to what is the cause here but I don’t dismiss it either. I think he certainly offered support for the conclusion it just wasn’t overwhelming for me. I also don’t understand how one can conclude that there is irreversible change toward continued melting when nature has done just that (reversed things) over and over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more melting but then again it’s still when and how much for me.

  58. Black soot can also melt ice.

  59. Miller states: ‘Here we use 145 radiocarbon dates on rooted tundra plants revealed by receding cold-based ice caps in the Eastern Canadian Arctic to show that 5000 years of regional summertime cooling has been reversed, with average summer temperatures of the last ~100 years now higher than during any century in more than 44,000 years, including peak warmth of the early Holocene when high latitude summer insolation was 9% greater than present.’

    However, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jqs.1286/abstract ‘Chironomid-inferred summer temperatures from lakes on northeastern Baffin Island and the melt-layer record from the Agassiz Ice Cap define a period between ca. 10.5 and ca. 7ka with peak summer warmth that was perhaps 5-8C warmer than today (Fisher et al., 1995; Briner et al ., 2006a; Axford et al., 2009). Other records, like the d18O record from the Agassiz Ice Cap, show a broader period of warmth between ca. 9 and ca. 3ka (Fisher et al., 1995; Kaufman et al ., 2004). In addition, the peak in abundance of radiocarbon-dated thermophilous molluscs from northeastern Baffin Island occurred between 9.5 and 7.5ka, and then remained elevated until 3.5ka, indicating that surface ocean water between 9.5 and 3.5ka was warmer than today’
    ‘If glacier extent was dominated by summer ablation, then glaciers should have been absent or most reduced during the early Holocene, perhaps between ca. 10 and ca. 7ka. Although summer insolation was higher than present in the early Holocene, seasonality was enhanced. Summers were likely warmer than today, but also were shorter, due to insolation and the presence of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (Berger and Loutre, 1991; Kaplan and Wolfe, 2006), and a short ablation season would have resulted in less overall glacier melt. Another explanation for why alpine glaciers may have persisted during this interval of enhanced warmth is increased precipitation. Although proxy reconstructions for precipitation are lacking from this region, warmer surface ocean waters would likely have led to
    increased precipitation, and if some of it fell during the long arctic accumulation season then winter snowfall may have counteracted the elevated summer ablation.’

    • Nature lags and integrates with explicit information of conditions. Miller, not so much. This paper illustrates the power of the human imagination better than it does humans’ power to warm the Earth.
      =============

  60. Does anyone ever read Fannie’s links?

    • Yeah, I’ve held my nose and done it several times. They’re usually off-topic or outdated, or just complete BS. You also have to check his/her/it’s math – not reliable at all. Hansen is an obsession. I think there’s a shrine to the man in FOMTrolling’s bedroom, with candles incense, etc.

      I’ve asked for pictures, but so far none have been forthcoming.

  61. I have read the discussion, and from what I can gather, Miller et al have used some empirical data, and some complex logic, to concluded that there is a temperature discrepancy in the Arctic. Then they speculate that this discrepancy was caused by too much CO2 in the atmosphere, but they do not prove that the CO2 caused the discrepancy.

    I then set this off against the fact that there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. So I find it difficult to see why the Miller paper matters.

  62. Marcia,
    As an ‘independent scientist’, is it fair to say that you strive for excellence in critical and comprehensive analytic skills?

    Please consider why you were not able to demonstrate this here; could not or did not do a proper analysis; and have projected helplessness in your response to the author corrections.

    And please do not mistake improved or ‘open access’ with the promotion of excellence. Excellent is still distinguishable, anywhere from not excellent.

    • I’ll reply to this. Marcia emailed me some impromptu comments. I thought they were interesting. I suggested she prepare a blog post, which she graciously did. She raised important points in her post; one point was incorrect which was pointed out and acknowledged. Her post played an important role in broadening the discussion on this paper and pointing out key questions and shortcomings.

      Marcia has other things to do with her time, and she is new to the blogging world. After ungracious comments particularly by Michael (and your comment doesn’t help), Marcia can be hardly motivated to spend any more of her time blogging.

      • Martha’s as ‘excellent’ a mess as Michael is. Marcia’s point about the fragility of the chain of reasoning is devastating and unrefuted.
        ===================

      • And that is a real shame. While she may not be a blog master, her communication is clear and easy to understand. And her topics are interesting.

        let me express my thanks for her taking the time to write the blog and educate many of us on the subject. Whether I agree with all she wrote or not, I appreciate she took the time to do so.

        Thank you Marcia Wyatt for your essays.

      • Ted Carmichael

        Hi, Judy. You said, “After ungracious comments … Marcia can be hardly motivated to spend any more of her time blogging.” I hope that is not the case. I also thought some of the comments directed at Marcia were unnecessarily combative. This of course is quite common in the blogging world, but can still be distasteful to see for those of us who appreciate the informed discussion.

        It was a good blog post that raised substantial issues, and clearly put them in the larger context. (The larger context being, “natural variability” is probably not as simple a process as Miller, et al., indicate.) We need more of this in the scientific process, where conclusions based on many links / assumptions are critically examined. The conclusions may be right, as Marcia mentioned. But such conclusions should not be accepted without a good exploration of alternatives.

        This is particularly true when, as in climate science, modest conclusions are often exaggerated or too broadly interpreted by the media. Miller states, “We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming.” This may be pedantically true, but that is not how the media portrayed this study. Particularly since the university’s own press release was titled: “CU-Boulder-led study shows unprecedented warmth in Arctic.”

      • I’m sorry, but I disagree. I’d like to have some assurance when you post a leading blog, that the author has done a better job of checking out their assertions and critiques.

        Sure, encourage her to continue blogging, but also point out she should check out her facts for the LEADIN blog.

      • There is no guarantee of accuracy in lead posts, whether they are by me or a guest poster. If there are errors, presumably they will be uncovered in the discussion. The point of the posts here are to promote critical thinking and discussion. If I posted only things that I was 100% sure was completely correct, i wouldn’t be posting much, and there wouldn’t be much of interest to discuss.

        Further, there are mistakes and inaccuracies in published papers that have gone through peer review. This is one of the main benefits of the blogosphere: scrutiny and discussion by multiple people acts to sort these things out.

      • @Pat…

        I disagree. There needs to be a venue where people with limited expertise can question the conclusions of the experts and get a response. As long as Miller includes references to the political hot-button of “global warming” in his papers, he’s responsible for supporting this venue. This is not a remote field of “Science” which nobody cares about except a few specialists. It’s right in the center of one of the most important, and vituperous, political/ideological debates of our time.

        Marcia, I certainly hope you won’t be put off from future blogging by the vituperous comments here, they are part of the fringe of ideological nastiness that exists on all sides in any debate carried out in a public venue.

        There is a decadal trend in science today for previously distinct fields to merge as chains of evidence, and conclusions from that evidence, progressively more often cross from one field to another. Often, theories whose defects are well known to those within a narrow field are treated as incontrovertible fact by many outside it. As Science changes, it will become ever more incumbent (IMO) on specialists in each field to assure that good explanations of their conclusions (including honest discussions of caveats and questionable assumptions) are available for outsiders.

        The World Wide Web, IIRC, was actually envisioned as supporting this function, or even designed (partly) for it. When somebody has provided standard explanations of specialized fields, anyone else who considers them valid may link to them, rather than “reinventing the wheel” by writing such explanations into their own work.

        As for Miller’s response, It was IMO somewhat harsh, although I can guess at his reasons for it. The paper in question is at the heart of a propaganda effort, and the burying of important caveats where non-specialists could easily miss them, followed by unjustified conclusions ignoring those caveats, invites such questions. By responding harshly to them he aligns himself with that propaganda effort.

      • “After ungracious comments particularly by ” – JC

        Oh noes – how dare anyone question the High Priess of the ‘Pause’ !

    • John Carpenter

      Interesting how Martha feels she is an authority on what is and isn’t excellence in critical and comprehensive analytical skills. How she can be so confident in that distinction is beyond my grasp to know because, IMO, I have yet to read any critical and comprehensive analytical skills in any of the comments she has made herself. Martha, please consider why you have not been able to demonstrate this ability to distinguish what is or is not excellent critical and comprehensive skills in your comments here. Or at least express them as what they are… Your own opinions.

      • Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

      • +1. Right on John.

        The back and forth between Wyatt and Miller should be commended because it makes the paper and motives easier to understand. There is room for civil disagreement on most scientific papers and science in general. The objective should be to have scientist’s review paper’s with dispassionate objectivity. Martha seems to want to make the Miller paper beyond reproach.

        Not having grey areas in a paper with such a small sample and such a dramatic conclusion would seem nearly impossible. “The science is settled” crowd is pretty intolerant even when the reviewer is respectful..

      • Martha reminds me of Hillary Clinton for some reason.

    • I’ll reply too. As I am a real skeptic, not a fake skeptic, I have no dog in this fight. I don’t care whether the paper turns out to be correct or worthless or somewhere in between. If you’d ask me which I prefer, (a) questions and answers within the few days after publication, with the authors and other experts participating in real time, some still getting up to speed on the issues, some completely up to speed already, working out various questions and clarifying them, or (b) the paper is out for six months before experts can respond with published comments or other similar papers, giving their own work on the subject, maybe never addressing any of these points at all, maybe leaving everyone but the most focused experts in the particular specialty pretty fuzzy on what exactly is understood and what not, maybe missing important mistakes because the viewpoint isn’t diverse enough – well, I like (a) a whole lot better. It’s just better for science. This post is producing a lot of light.

      Ignore most commenters, especially if they aren’t polite. That’s just the background noise.

    • Maybe another comment. Dr. Wyatt, you sounded a little crestfallen in your response, like you think you posted too soon. You don’t need to be. You had a lot of specialized knowledge on the subject; if there was some more you hadn’t known, that’s normal in any field. This was a good way to raise the level of the discussion for the rest of us, way up.
      Mistakes are no big deal. Blog posts aren’t magnum opi. Many of your points are worth pursuing.

    • Martha-
      I am terribly sorry but every time I see your name and then one of your snide and snarky comments, my mind wanders back to another Martha on screen with Richard Burton and Sandy Dennis and George Segal at a small New England college. Liz was wonderful. But that was her role. Lets hope the similarities to Edward Albee’s Martha and you end with the name. But from your demeanor here, I wonder.

  63. David Springer

    What controls were used to eliminate black carbon from the list of possible causes for the anomalous ice melt? I’m betting not a single precaution was taken in this regard. I could be wrong but the odds are against it.

  64. This is all nonsense, warming in Baffin Island is a sign of global cooling = negative NAO conditions:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/23/the-medieval-warm-period-in-the-arctic/#comment-1398577

    • Poor fool, where’s human guilt in that one? It can only be the CO2 Control Knob, because otherwise the Human Control Knob quits working.
      ====================

      • But one cannot say that CO2 or solar forcing promotes more negative NAO and AO conditions that are responsible for warming in Baffin Island.

      • October 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm
        *positive* solar forcing….

  65. This is all nonsense, warming in Baffin Island is a sign of global cooling = negative North Atlantic Oscillation conditions:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/23/the-medieval-warm-period-in-the-arctic/#comment-1398577

  66. “For every inch of sea-level rise, you have an additional 300 ft. of reach inland for floods,” says Leonard Berry, director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University.

  67. “For every inch of sea-level rise, you have an additional 300 ft. of reach inland for floods,” says Leonard Berry, director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University

    Wow! That means that ten inches will extend floods by 3000 feet! And ten inches is close to a century’s worth of sea level rise. Works out to about 6000 feet of coast lost to flooding since the Revolutionary War. Chao, Yu & Li (Scieince April 11th 2008) determined that sea level rise has been linear for the last 80 years, with a slope of 2.46 mm per year. That is 24.6 cm per century, just under ten inches. Ten inches is less than twenty feet that Al Gore claimed in his Nobel Prize-winning movie. He did not pull this out of thin air but got it from James Hansen, the erstwhile boss of NASA GISS in New York. That is the type of nonsense emanating from the highest levels of global warming dogma.

    Note: I was interrupted and lost track of the source of the original quote but did not want to waste the comment.

    • “Ten inches is less than twenty feet that Al Gore claimed in his Nobel Prize-winning movie. He did not pull this out of thin air but got it from James Hansen, the erstwhile boss of NASA GISS in New York. That is the type of nonsense emanating from the highest levels of global warming dogma.”

      Ouch.

      FOMTrolling should be feeling that one right where Hansen pulled the twenty foot sea level rise claim from. Oh, I forgot, being an AGW troll means never saying you’re sorry. Fan will just laugh it off like he/she/it always does, and supply more garbage posts filled with off-topic and meaningless links.

  68. Thanks to Drs. Miller, Wyatt, and Curry for the postings here.

  69. The bad news is we now know that the world is as warm as it has ever been for the last 44k years. The good news is the next artifact uncovered from the MWP or the HO will cool the world considerably.

  70. “We never claim that our data demonstrates Arctic-wide unprecedented warming”

    In that case no problem. But then somebody else must have claimed that. Who was it?

  71. There are surprising indications AGW is as fraudulent as the warm climate-induced brush fires now burning in Australia.

    http://theinternetpost.net/2013/10/31/australian-military-apologises-for-starting-bushfire-in-nsw-no-compensation-for-victims/

  72. My opinion is that the Miller et al 2013 made a choice that temperature is the principle driver, which is a contestable assumption. Especially considering the other information in the Koerner paper he cites as supporting his assumption. After using this assumption to infer higher than insolation forced temperatures, he uses this local result to then argue for global CAGW forcing. This requires another whole host of arbitrary assumptions.

    Here is one more paper regarding the region (Western Greenland), which more soberly addresses these issues:

    1)Early Holocene temperatures only 2-3c warmer than present 2) Climate variability exceeds insolation forcing

    http://isen.northwestern.edu/doc/pdf/news/scholarlypapers/AxfordY_HoloceneTemperatureHistory_2013.pdf

    From the abstract:

    Gradual, insolation-driven millennial-scale temperature trends in the study area were punctuated by several abrupt climate changes, including a major transient event recorded in all five lakes between 4.3 and 3.2 ka, which overlaps in timing with abrupt climate changes previously documented around the North
    Atlantic region and farther afield at w4.2 ka.

    Discussion:

    The onset of this transient event in West Greenland overlaps with the timing of abrupt climate shifts documented at many sites far from West Greenland w4.2 ka, including evidence for drought in central North America (Booth et al., 2005), glacier advance in western North America (Menounos et al., 2008), increased wetness
    and cooler conditions in northern Britain (Langdon et al., 2004; Langdon and Barber, 2005), and hydrologic changes implicated in cultural upheavals in the Middle East and south Asia (deMenocal, 2001; Staubwasser et al., 2003). More locally, Moros et al. (2006) record substantial environmental changes in Disko Bugt sediments at w4 ka based on diatoms and sediment physical proxies.
    Masson-Delmotte et al. (2005) highlight an abrupt drop in GRIP deuterium excess at 4.5 ka, and suggest that this change in isotopes of precipitation over central Greenland may have recorded a shift in regional hydroclimate.

    The conclusion:

    The occurrence of abrupt climate shifts in West Greenland during the Holocene reinforces the notion that Holocene climate, which at high northern latitudes was primarily driven by gradual changes in summer insolation, exhibited non-linear sensitivities that may hold clues to the potential for abrupt future changes in climate.

  73. It is fascinating that they claim the last few decades show unprecedented warming, while admitting they cannot resolve layers more than a century apart. The logical disconnect is complete. Same fakery as Mann’s, comparing recent hi-res variation with ancient smoothed records.

    Phagh.

  74. @ Pat | November 3, 2013 at 8:59 am | says:

    “I’m sorry, but I disagree. I’d like to have some assurance when you post a leading blog, that the author has done a better job of checking out their assertions and critiques.”

    I nominate Pat the official “Blog Reviewer.” Do we have a second?

    • I kind of wish Giff Miller had reviewed his assumptions and chain of logic before making his assertions.
      ===============

      • It is called Tunnel Vision. Most people suffer from it. And the reason for Peer review. I am an engineer by trade, and often I will ask for a second set of eyes because I am stuck in the tunnel.

        Unfortunately in some cases, when peer becomes pal, it does not work. But thanks to Dr. Wyatt and Easterbrook, they can think outside the tunnel and call attention to the issues with the assumptions.

  75. They further argue that modeled scenarios show that a 70m accumulation of snow would melt if a one-hundred-year stretch of warm temperatures had prevailed. Because the pile remains, that one-hundred-year stretch must not have occurred prior to now. And now must be warmer than the early-to-mid Holocene.
    ===============
    That does not follow. It simply means that you cannot have both high temperatures and long time scales. However, our current warm period does not have a long time scale, so nothing rules out similar short warm periods in the past.

  76. WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | October 30, 2013 at 8:21 am | Reply
    Easterbrook resorts to publishing his so-called research in journals that don’t have any kind of peer-review or editorial control.
    ============
    Copernicus and Galileo had the same difficulty with peer review and editorial control in their day. It didn’t make them any less correct.

    Peer review in no way means the science behind a study is correct. Only that it meets certain standard, largely secret and not subject to outside scrutiny.