Asymmetric responses of Arctic and Antarctic

by Judith Curry

Rapidly melting Arctic sea ice, growing Antarctic sea ice, and concerns about the melting Thwaites glacier – can all of this be explained by anthropogenic global warming?

Two recently published papers provide insights and some food for thought:

The ocean’s role in polar climate change: asymmetric Arctic and Antarctic responses to greenhouse gas and ozone forcing

John Marshall, Kyle C. Armour, Jeffery R. Scott, Yavor Kostov, Ute Hausmann, David Ferreira, Theodore G. Shepherd and Cecilia M. Bitz

Abstract. In recent decades, the Arctic has been warming and sea ice disappearing. By contrast, the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been (mainly) cooling and sea-ice extent growing. We argue here that interhemispheric asymmetries in the mean ocean circulation, with sinking in the northern North Atlantic and upwelling around Antarctica, strongly influence the sea-surface temperature (SST) response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing, accelerating warming in the Arctic while delaying it in the Antarctic. Furthermore, while the amplitude of GHG forcing has been similar at the poles, significant ozone depletion only occurs over Antarctica. We suggest that the initial response of SST around Antarctica to ozone depletion is one of cooling and only later adds to the GHG-induced warming trend as upwelling of sub-surface warm water associated with stronger surface westerlies impacts surface properties. We organize our discussion around ‘climate response functions’ (CRFs), i.e. the response of the climate to ‘step’ changes in anthropogenic forcing in which GHG and/or ozone-hole forcing is abruptly turned on and the transient response of the climate revealed and studied. Convolutions of known or postulated GHG and ozone-hole forcing functions with their respective CRFs then yield the transient forced SST response (implied by linear response theory), providing a context for discussion of the differing warming/cooling trends in the Arctic and Antarctic. We speculate that the period through which we are now passing may be one in which the delayed warming of SST associated with GHG forcing around Antarctica is largely cancelled by the cooling effects associated with the ozone hole. By mid-century, however, ozone-hole effects may instead be adding to GHG warming around Antarctica but with diminished amplitude as the ozone hole heals. The Arctic, meanwhile, responding to GHG forcing but in a manner amplified by ocean heat transport, may continue to warm at an accelerating rate.

Published in Proc. Roy. Soc. full manuscript available [here].

There is some good background information in the Introduction:

Over the last few decades, the two polar regions of our planet have exhibited strikingly different behaviours, as is evident in observed decadal trends in surface air temperature. The Arctic has warmed, much more than in the global average, primarily in winter, while Arctic sea-ice extent has decreased dramatically. By contrast, the eastern Antarctic and Antarctic plateau have cooled, primarily in summer, with warming over the Antarctic Peninsula and Patagonia. Moreover, sea-ice extent around Antarctica has modestly increased.

Many mechanisms are at work in ‘Arctic amplification’. A positive snow and sea-ice albedo feedback plays a significant role in amplifying the warming signal. The albedo feedback operates in summer when solar radiation is maximal. Where sea ice is lost and water is exposed, warming due to absorbed shortwave radiation can be large and enhance sea-ice loss through lateral melt. In addition to these processes, the warmed ocean mixed layer delays sea-ice growth, and thus influences wintertime surface temperatures through a thinner ice pack. Because the Arctic atmosphere is stably stratified by thermal inversion at the surface, any warming that occurs there does not reach far up into the troposphere. Moreover, the surface energy balance is very sensitive to processes going on in the planetary boundary layer and cloud radiative processes. Additionally, as is emphasized in the work presented here, the climate of the polar caps is determined by more than regional and vertical energy balance, as lateral advection of heat by atmosphere and ocean circulation also plays a significant role.

The area poleward of the 70° N latitude circle receives more energy due to atmospheric transport than it does from the Sun. Moreover, this lateral heat-flux convergence is largely balanced by outgoing infrared radiation, with surface fluxes contributing a relatively small amount to the energy budget. The sensitivity of poleward atmospheric heat transports to climate change is currently under debate: polar amplification reduces meridional temperature gradients, which might be expected to reduce meridional atmospheric heat transport from lower latitudes, thus counteracting a portion of the amplification. Some studies argue that anomalous atmospheric heat transport, mainly due to increased moisture, have given rise to greater atmospheric warming above the surface of the Arctic. However, the validity of the analysed atmospheric trends on which such studies are based is disputed. Beyond atmospheric heat transports, the high-latitude response to greenhouse forcing may involve anomalous ocean heat transport into the Arctic; as we shall see, this occurs even if a weakened meridional overturning circulation (MOC) diminishes the heat transport at lower latitudes. In addition, the ocean can act as a reservoir for the heat gained in summer while the sea ice retreats, storing it through winter months.

The mix of ongoing processes in the Antarctic is rather different from those in the Arctic. The dramatic depletion of the Antarctic ozone since the late 1970s has introduced a major perturbation to the radiative balance of the stratosphere with a wide range of consequences for climate. There is strong evidence that ozone loss has significantly altered the climate of the Southern Hemisphere troposphere, including the surface, with implications for ocean circulation, the cryosphere and coupled carbon cycle. Observations indicate a poleward shift of the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation over the past few decades, predominantly in late spring and summer. This shift has been attributed to polar ozone depletion in the Antarctic lower stratosphere. The observed changes have the structural form of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) in its positive phase: the surface wind maximum, the storm tracks, and the edge of the Hadley cell all shift poleward. While similar changes, with the same sign, have been reproduced in models under GHG warming scenarios they are also found in response to imposed ozone depletion. In fact, on the basis of GCM studies in which both forcings were included, separately and together, it is believed that ozone depletion has been the primary cause of the observed wind changes. In the future, assuming ozone depletion weakens as expected, the effects of GHG and ozone forcings may no longer act in the same sense on surface winds.

Changes in the Southern Hemisphere westerlies (and SAM) have been linked to changes in sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) and sea-ice extent around Antarctica on interannual time scales. A positive SAM induces an overall transient cooling through the enhanced Ekman transport of cold surface waters northward from Antarctica promoting sea-ice growth. There is, however, debate about the cause of the observed decadal trends in sea-ice extent, which show a small net expansion around Antarctica but large regional trends of opposing sign. Coupled models suggest that initial (interannual) cooling around Antarctica induced by a positive SAM reverses to one of warming as time proceeds [36–39]. The warming tendency and sea-ice retreat is a consequence of enhanced upwelling of warm water from depth around Antarctica associated with strengthening westerly winds. Natural variability may also be playing a role in the observed signals, even if trends in the SAM itself were to be absent.

The links between the upwelling of deep water in the Southern Ocean (SO) and the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds and consequences for climate have long been an area of active research. Although changes in the slope of density surfaces in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) cannot yet be detected, ocean observations indicate a freshening of Antarctic Intermediate Water  and a substantial warming of the SO equatorward of the ACC at all depths which may be linked to atmospheric forcing. Modelling studies and theory, however, suggest that eddy transport in the ACC can partially compensate for changes in Ekman transport ameliorating changes in the strength of the MOC.

Enhanced communication of the interior ocean with the surface could have marked effects on the Earth’s climate through changes in rates of heat and carbon sequestration as well as consequences for ice shelves around Antarctica which may be vulnerable to enhanced upwelling of warm water from depth. The stratification of the SO is also delicately poised and sensitive to changes in the freshwater balance.

Geothermal sources of melt

Phys.org reports: Researchers find major West Antarctic glacier melting from geothermal sources.  Excerpts:

Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

The Thwaites Glacier has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks as other groups of researchers found the glacier is on the way to collapse, but more data and computer modeling are needed to determine when the collapse will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds. The new observations by UTIG will greatly inform these ice sheet modeling efforts.

Using radar techniques to map how water flows under ice sheets, UTIG researchers were able to estimate ice melting rates and thus identify significant sources of geothermal heat under Thwaites Glacier. They found these sources are distributed over a wider area and are much hotter than previously assumed. The geothermal heat contributed significantly to melting of the underside of the glacier, and it might be a key factor in allowing the ice sheet to slide, affecting the ice sheet’s stability and its contribution to future sea level rise.

The cause of the variable distribution of heat beneath the glacier is thought to be the movement of magma and associated volcanic activity arising from the rifting of the Earth’s crust beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The glacier is retreating in the face of the warming ocean and is thought to be unstable because its interior lies more than two kilometers below sea level while, at the coast, the bottom of the glacier is quite shallow.

Because its interior connects to the vast portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that lies deeply below sea level, the glacier is considered a gateway to the majority of West Antarctica’s potential sea level contribution.
The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would cause an increase of global sea level of between 1 and 2 meters, with the potential for more than twice that from the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

“The combination of variable subglacial geothermal heat flow and the interacting subglacial water system could threaten the stability of Thwaites Glacier in ways that we never before imagined,” Schroeder said.

“Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,” by Dustin M. Schroeder, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, and Enrica Quartini. PNAS, 2014: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1405184111
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

JC reflections

The Marshall et al. paper provides a mechanism for cooling in the Antarctic, and the Shroeder paper provides a mechanism for geothermal heating of the WAIS.  Clearly, there is a lot going on that cannot be explained directly or even indirectly by warming from greenhouse gases.  Climate models don’t simulate correctly the ocean heat transport and its variations, and they certainly don’t simulate geothermal heat sources. Integrating these factors with radiative forcing is needed to start making sense of climate change in the polar regions.

205 responses to “Asymmetric responses of Arctic and Antarctic

  1. What’s the status of your SH stadium wave paper?

    • David Springer

      David Springer | June 10, 2014 at 4:19 am | Reply

      Check out this crap-ass biased correction done by BEST to Amundsen Station temperature series:

      http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/166900

      Note a slight downward trend of 0.05C/century is massaged into a 0.23C/century rise.

      Note this is all due to “quality control failures” which are indicated by tiny pink circles on the data points in the top graph. Each and every failure is a low temperature measurement not a high temperature measurement.

      WTF? Amundsen Station is continuously occupied by scientists and technicians trained in reading and recording temperatures.

      The quality control failures are due to inept programmers using computers to process data and failing to validate their results.

      • Nice way to get a 1 degree rise in temperature.
        You can look at the daily data in most cases and see why all the low temperatures fail and the high ones don’t.
        I must agree, this is complete crap.

      • TimTheToolMan

        Wow, perusing the data shows that almost all the QC issues happened in Feb/Mar and some in Nov which is summer where the temperature was thought to be too cold. The anomalies don’t look wildly out at all. On the surface that looks just plain wrong to me and I’d want to see a statement justifying those exclusions.

  2. David in Cal

    Cynics say that everything seems to prove global warming, based on some after-the-fact analysis. I would have been more impressed with this paper if it had been published 15 years ago, before the beginnings of the rapid Arctic sea ice shrinkage and the Antarctic sea ice expansion.

  3. Matthew R Marler

    The Marshall et al. paper provides a mechanism for cooling in the Antarctic,

    Anything explicitly related to GHGs? As worded, they simply assume that the late 70s to late 90s warming is GHG driven.

    • Yes, sadly I tuned out pretty quickly once I saw that it was based on analysing model output from the usual group of broken, incomplete models and AGW mindset firmly build into their language.

  4. The Royal Soc’s latest show introduces an entirely new hemisphere, but it’s delicious viewing. All your favourite GHG characters will be starring, including GHG Forcing and GHG Warming. Look out for Ozone-Hole Forcing, an old star from the golden decades, in a major role.

    No need to go probing deep around the physical world. Don’t get wet feet and a whole bunch of confusion. Just get your info from Royal Society’s commentary team on “Here We Suggest”.

    • Since “Royal Society” has long since abandonned it prestigeous history of scientific endevour and now seem to see themselves are part of the mission to “save the planet”, that’s not a name that impresses any longer.

      • It’s a bit different to the Society of 1817, with “Aussie” Joseph Banks in charge. I know most have read this before, but it’s always nice to give it another run:

        “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.”

        Of course, Sir Joseph was likely in the pay of Big Blubber.

      • mosomoso

        Australian in what sense? I have a wattle brush in my garden and my sister is currently over from Adelaide. Does that make me an Aussie too?

        I used that quote in my article about the melting of the arctic. No, not the current one. No, not the one from 1920 to 1950. The one between the 1920 and 1730 melting. Around 1818. So many meltings so little knowledge of them.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/

        tonyb

      • And don’t forget why they made that very special hockey stick. Whack. Stupid Greenland settlements. Whack. Take that again.

        Aussie Joe Banks has more institutions named after him in Oz than anyone except Aussie Lachlan Macquarie. Unlike Pommie William Bligh.

    • I’ve been out of school for some time now, but when I took Atmospheric Physics and studyied ozone depletion and CFC’s, there was no good explanation for why the ozone hole was over Antarctica, rather than in the NH as hypothisized.

      Is there one now?

  5. There are too many variables. You can account for anything with them.

    I suggest abandoning climate science and just doing the bits of physics that it’s possible to do, without connecting them into something bigger.

    The rub being no grant money.

    On the plus side, you’d be doing physics for a change.

  6. This plays up dust from exposed Arctic and Greenlandic areas that have been exposed by previous melting caused by … wait for it … GLOBAL WARMING.

    I suppose all the soot from China and India have zip to do with it. Nope. No way it could be that.

    From the article:
    We suggest that the transport of dust from snow-free areas in the Arctic that are experiencing earlier melting of seasonal snow cover4 as the climate warms may be a contributing source of impurities. In our snow model simulations, a decrease in the albedo of fresh snow by 0.01 leads to a surface mass loss of 27 Gt yr−1, which could induce an acceleration of Greenland’s mass loss twice as large as over the past two decades5. Future trends in light-absorbing impurities should therefore be considered in projections of Greenland mass loss.

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2180.html

    • Same subject from that bastion of science, AAAS.

      Greenland’s white snow is getting darker. Scientists have generally attributed that darkening to larger, slightly less white snow grains caused by warmer temperatures. But researchers have found a new source of darkening taking hold: impurities in the snow.

      “It can increase the speed of melting,” says Marie Dumont, a remote sensing scientist at Météo France in Grenoble, who publishes today with her colleagues in Nature Geoscience.

      Scientists have known for years that Greenland’s snow is getting darker, based on satellite observations that have revealed lower albedos, or reflectivity. That’s a problem because the darker the snow is, the more sunlight it absorbs, and the faster it melts. Greenland’s melting ice sheets are already predicted to raise sea levels by 20 centimeters by 2100.

      But Dumont and her colleagues have found that, since 2009, there has been a darkening that cannot be explained by larger snow grain size alone. Using satellite observations, they found lower albedos at elevations and at times of the year that are too cold for larger snow grains to form.

      The researchers instead propose that impurities in the snow—dust, soot, and microorganisms—are responsible. Using satellite observations, they found higher levels of impurities in the snow and atmosphere between 2009 and 2013—a time in which impurity levels over Antarctica stayed constant. They suggest that dust could be arriving from snow-free land areas in Greenland and nearby in the Arctic that are experiencing earlier melting of seasonal snow cover due to climate change. Volcanic eruptions in Iceland in 2010 and 2011 are also important sources of material, they say.

      http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/06/greenland-getting-darker

      • Note how they tried to pin the darkening on larger snow grains due to … wait for it … GLOBAL WARMING! Fancy that.

      • Didn’t we have a rash of volcano eruptions in Iceland the last handful of years as well?

  7. Arno Arrak

    Rubbish. The difference between Arctic and Antarctic temperature is due to the Warm Gulf Stream water carried into the Arctic Ocean by North Atlantic currents. If it wasn’t for that it would be cooling at the same rate as Antarctica is now. I published that in 2011 (E&E volume 22. issue 8, pp. 1069 – 1083) but these people seem to be unconscious of peer-reviewed literature in their own field. And you, Judy, have my paper in your possession but are paying no attention to it. Arctic warming started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century, after 2000 years of slow, linear cooling. It switched to cooling for 30 years in mid-century, then resumed, and is still going strong. There was no increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the turn of the century and this rules out carbon dioxide greenhouse effect as a cause. The only logical cause can be a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the century that started carrying warm Gulf Stream water north. The 30 year reversal in mid-century would then be explained as a temporary return of the previous flow pattern of currents. It is quite impossible for greenhouse warming to to switch from warming to cooling and back again. Water temperature reaching the Arctic was measured directly near Svalbard and turned out to be higher than anytime during the previous 2000 years. There was a particularly noticeable increase of warming in 2008 that was caused by warm water carried into the Arctic by north winds across the Bering Strait. There was substantial melting of the ice cover directly north of the strait but the Russian Arctic on the opposite side of the ocean showed no change. Right now I have no idea whether any cyclical phenomena are involved. However, considering the fact that thirty years of cooling was interpolated into last century’s warming trend we must take the view that if it was possible then it just might be possible again. And extremely important for shipping and resource exploration in the Arctic.

    • “Rubbish. The difference between Arctic and Antarctic temperature is due to the Warm Gulf Stream water carried into the Arctic Ocean by North Atlantic currents. ”

      I thinks it more than that. This short of transport happens in both directions in all major basins due to the major ocean gyres.

      I have not explored this in detail but I suspect that the so-called polar see-saw is due to shifts in the inter-tropical convergence zone affecting the proportion of the heat input to the system in the tropics which gets transported north and south.

  8. Post-hoc reasonings are half a dime for two dozens nowadays. The asymmetric responses can be explained by careful reading of Nostradamus’ work, I am perfectly sure.

    Please somebody sound a bell when climate science wakes up.

  9. “Clearly, there is a lot going on that cannot be explained directly or even indirectly by warming from greenhouse gases.”

    Somebody bar the door. The consensus villagers are gathering their torches and scythes as we speak.

  10. A research team led by NASA has recently reported that key glaciers in West Antarctica (land) are melting; or as they put it ” are in an irreversible retreat”

    So that melting is happening despite the cooling from the ozone hole.

    That’s a major clue that GHG is still a major player, if not the dominant player.

    • Don’t be too concerned, Concerned.

      Despite attempts at over-fitting warming from West Antarctica
      by Steig, Gergis et Al, check out Steve McIntre re Steig’s
      flawed paper and likewise Gergis, (yer must remember this?)
      and despite an active sub-glacial complex of underwater
      volcanoes detected in Marie Byrd Land …
      and yet it (still) cools.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/17/volcano-discovered-smoldering-under-a-kilometer-of-ice-in-west-antarctica/

    • Why is NASA doing climate research? How many government organizations must be pursuing this at US taxpayer expense? It seems that one (1) would suffice and be more efficient.

      • The have responsibility for most of our non-military satellite deployments, including weather satellites and other systems used for measuring earth systems.

    • Concerned,If you read that report carefully you would see that they DO NOT link the process that is occurring to any GHG effect. From memory warm water is melt the glacier from beneath, This water was warmed at the surface hundreds of years ago and is now resurfacing at the glaciers. There is a possibility this process has accelerated due to stronger winds and these have intensified due to GHG. But that is speculation, the same stronger wind are also speculated to have inhibited antarctic warming and in that case speculation is around the cause being the ozone hole.

      You decide whether any of that points to a role for CO2

  11. maksimovich

    The asymmetric response (ie the result of the perturbation o3/ghg) is a large problem for CRF experiments.eg Previdi and Polvani

    the magnitude of the global annual mean radiative forcing due to
    increasing GHGs is substantially greater than that due to
    stratospheric ozone depletion. The former is the largest
    anthropogenic forcing, with an estimated magnitude (in
    2005 relative to pre-industrial) of 2.6Wm−2 (Forster et al., 2007).
    In contrast, the global mean stratospheric ozone forcing is not
    even significantly different from zero at the 90% confidence level
    (Table 1). This serves to illustrate an important point: although the
    global annual mean radiative forcing is a widely used predictor
    of climate change, this metric may not be suitable in cases
    where the forcing agent is unevenly distributed in space and/or
    season. Stratospheric ozone depletion is thus a prime example
    of an external perturbation for which the global mean radiative
    forcing is a very poor indicator of the associated climate-system

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2330/abstract

    The reduction in the potential forcing from CFC,which is the main driver of circulation changes in the SH (read weather) has a number of concomitant responses such as an increase in the SO co2 sink,changes to weather systems advancing equator-ward etc.

    • ” Stratospheric ozone depletion is thus a prime example of an external perturbation for which the global mean radiative forcing is a very poor indicator of the associated climate-system”

      I am shocked! Shocked I say. It is almost like some of the “skeptics” may have been onto something with the whole global average surface temperature thing is not necessarily a good way to average global energy. .

      • I like you and you have a bit of a point but this doesn’t really effect the global forcing / global temp function.

  12. I wouldn’t user the term “rapidly melting” for the Arctic.

    • I would

      • I would

        http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Arctic-Death-Spiral.jpg

        This is hogwash. Under clear skies, and depending what numbers you use, the oceans could easily be radiating 5 times the amount of energy out to space as what it receives.
        North of 80, albedo of open water is about 1/3 to 1/2 of ice and snow because of glare, plus a couple, 3 hours east and west of the longitude the Sun is over will also be very near the same albedo as ice/snow. The rest of the arctic while in daylight will not have any Sun over head, then when you calculate how much 32F water radiates to space (~600KJ/hr@Tzenith of -58F), open water is cooling the planet.
        Lastly I’ve been measuring Tzenith @41N of ~75F colder than surface temp under clear skies with an IR thermometer.

  13. Mike Flynn

    “Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,” by Dustin M. Schroeder, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, and Enrica Quartini. PNAS, 2014: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1405184111
    Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”

    Gee. Somebody just needs to realise that the Earth’s interior is quite warm, and they’ll be able to figure out why glaciers of sufficient thickness are warmer on the bottom than the top.

    Keep along that line, and you might even be able to explain why bodies of water such as Lake Baikal don’t freeze solid, not to mention the oceans. Or maybe it’s all just more magic, brought to you by that miraculous substance – Carbon Dioxide. Warms as it cools as it generates grant funds!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Mike,

      The missing heat has all gone to a spot under that glacier. So it is still due to CO2 after all.

  14. Curious George

    Apparently we don’t understand a “climate change” in polar regions. Or anywhere else. Big deal.

    A little modesty would do a lot of good to never-failing climate modelers. But they are modest already; they don’t care about their own well-being; they care about polar bears and emperor penguins. And the Planet, of course.

  15. They can always explain what happened after the fact, but can they predict anything?

  16. There are plenty of reasons for asymmetry between northern and southern hemispheres. Not the least being that there is far more industry and waste heat in the N. hemisphere. The S hemisphere is mostly ocean, so you would expect such asymmetry. Also the assumption of uniform mixing of the atmospheres of the two hemispheres is difficult to justify. For example, to the extent that CO2 affects climate, we would expect a steady f low of CO2 in a southerly direction as it is increasingly absorbed by the southern oceans.

  17. And yet, the sea ice anomaly has been above baseline for a good while lately.

  18. stevefitzpatrick

    Fore every discrepancy between climate model predictions and observed reality, there are a multitude of possible explanations. Each possible explanation is another opportunity to declare the models are basically right, and ‘it’s even worse than we thought’. Marshall et al is just the latest addition to this common genre of climate science papers; I think of them as ‘Model Apology Papers” (MAPS). You can count on the MAPS becoming even more popular as high sensitivity climate models drift ever further from reality. You can usually count on each such paper to a) vigorously support the likelihood high climate sensitivity to GHG forcing, b) discount natural variability as a likely contributor to climate change on decade and longer time scales, and c) declare, implicitly and/or explicitly, ‘it is even worse than we thought’. Marshall et al checks all three boxes.

    I suppose It is good the paper at least predicts something:
    “By mid-century, however, ozone-hole effects may instead be adding to GHG warming around Antarctica but with diminished amplitude as the ozone hole heals.”

    That is pretty weak tea (‘MAY instead be adding to GHG warming?’), and even if they turn out to be wrong, well, you know, they only said ‘may’. And mid century is a long time to wait.to see if a very feeble and hedged prediction is correct or not. I am underwhelmed; these papers are so predictable that they are tedious. I suggest they apply Occam’s razor: the models are running way too warm, so they most likely are too sensitive to GHG forcing….. probably because the parameterized cloud feed-backs are wrong..

  19. “Researchers find major West Antarctic glacier melting from geothermal sources.”

    Why won’t people give numbers? The paper does. Average 0.114 W/m2, with hotspots of 0.2. Average for continental is about 0.065, so this isn’t enormously higher.

    0.114 W/m2, if it went entirely into melting ice, would melt about a cm/year. Not nothing, but hardly keeping up with say snowfall.

    The main thing with “geothermal did it” is, well, why didn’t it do it before.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      You are right Nick, the heat flux is minimal. Not nothing, but minimal.

    • Geothermal is minimal but what about location? Wouldn’t you think that it could help lubricate the base?

    • But what about the positive feedbacks?

      1 meter of ice per century is not trivial.

      Add in 3:1 positive feedback and there would be catastrophic volcanic ice melting.

    • How can you be so sure that it didn’t do it before?
      If geothermal effects were constant then volcanoes would erupt regularly?

    • Nick

      I think that perhaps we do have evidence that it has happened before although obviously it would be difficult to prove. From my recent extended article on Arctic ice melt 1920-1950

      ‘This 1932 article demonstrates that, unlike the modern era, the warming affected both poles whilst highlighting the continued retreat of the glaciers generally and in Greenland and Alaska specifically;

      http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/23150667?searchTerm=greenland%20%20melting&searchLimits=

      “Some great world change is taking place on the Antarctic Continent. Its glaciers are shrinking. L.A. Bernacchi, who visited the South Polar land 30 years ago, says that the Great Ice Barrier which fronts the continent with a wall of ice for 250 miles has receded at least 30 miles since it was first seen and surveyed. Sir James Ross…on the earliest Antarctic expedition of the nineteenth century, and those who followed him, left clear descriptions of this tremendous ice frontage and its position. It was a cliff 150ft. high and 1000ft. thick. But now it appears to be continuing its century-long process of shrinking; and that process may have been going on for centuries. It might imply, unless it is offset by some increase of ice in another less explored part of the Antarctic, that the climate of the South Pole is changing and becoming warmer. The shrinkage of the Alpine glaciers of Europe is a well-known and carefully measured fact. Professor Buchanan, of. Edinburgh, drew attention to it twenty years ago, and showed from old and accurate drawings of (many) that they were retreating rapidly. This led to the continuous measurement of the Swiss glaciers (and) examination of other glaciers of the Northern Hemisphere, Greenland, Alaska, and elsewhere. Prom these measurements many geologists concluded that the northern part of the globe was still recovering from the last of its Ice Ages, of which the more southerly of its glaciers in Europe were a relic. If all the glaciers of the Southern Hemisphere as well as those of the Northern are shrinking, the geologists would have a new problem to examine. It would be whether, instead of areas of cold and ice having shifted on the earth, the whole globe is growing warmer. Even if that could be shown the change might prove to be temporary.”

      tonyb

    • It’s perfectly fine to deny past climate events because of a lack of data – if you don’t then proceed to make pronouncements on climate. That would be like blowing the whistle to start a game of footy and then deciding on the winner after five seconds’ observation of play.

      Not merely unscientific, but, when you think about it, irrational.

      • mosomoso

        Good analogy.

        Our historic observations tend to be ignored or glossed over. Obviously they are only ‘anecdotal’ so nowhere near as good as models…

        tonyb

    • “The main thing with “geothermal did it” is, well, why didn’t it do it before.”

      Why do you assume it didn’t? I think that glacier has been retreating since the Holocene optimum !

      This is the latest political football since they’d rather not talk about how Arctic ice volume increased 50% last year, so it’s suddenly time to obsess about the WAIS instead.

      The extra understanding is always helpful but are we’re now supposed to start worrying about geological scale events? This is getting beyond a joke.

    • Nick Stokes,

      You ask –

      “The main thing with “geothermal did it” is, well, why didn’t it do it before.”

      It seems that it did, more or less.

      There is apparently copious fossil evidence that the Antarctic continent was once green and lush. Whether it was in its present location a million years or so ago, I don’t know, but assuming a linear rate of travel of 0.1 m/y, it hasn’t been all that far from its present location. Who really knows?

      I’m not sure how far you go with your definition of geothermal, but I use it to include the Earth’s heat from the core to the interface between the atmosphere or hydrosphere. Therefore, the surface must possess a temperature between the say, 5500K of the core, and say, 4K of outer space, in the absence of a heat source such as the Sun.

      Given the existence of the atmosphere, the rotating Earth, and the inclination of the axis, I guess (and it is only a guess), that it appears unlikely that the surface temperature would drop much below 120K. This is not a lot colder than the 180K or so measured recently in Antarctica. So the influence of the Sun is maybe not so much. The point is that the Earth is a large blob of molten rock and iron, and as Fourier correctly pointed out, deeper than about 40 meters or so, the influence of the Sun is imperceptible, and any heat detected below that level is purely that due to geothermal effects.

      I believe there are lakes of liquid water below the Antarctic ice, and temperature soundings through the ice show, as would be expected, that the insulating effect of the ice creates elevated temperatures at the surface, compared to surfaces insulated from space only by a bit of atmosphere.

      Additionally, Antarctica is littered with volcanoes, a surprising number of which are either active, or have erupted fairly recently.

      I’m sorry to blather on, but many Warmists seem to do calculations based on the existence of an Earth initially at absolute zero, and being warmed only by the Sun. This is just not true, but I don’t know what other effects neglecting the surface temperature of the Earth in the absence of sunlight.

      If I have made any mistakes, it’s because I’ve dashed this off in a bit of a hurry. Please excuse my haste.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • You don’t regard a factor of 2-3X as significant? (I would need to see error bars, of course, to be sure). Also, if they are just now making new discoveries about this using newer methods, how would we know if it had happened before or not? Over the last millions of years, you don’t think there have been hot spots under glaciers??????

      • Krafft_follower

        Geothermal flux tend to be stable (and not that strong), because they are linked to geological processes.
        The only “natural”* case I could think of for a “quick” change in heat flux (one year timescale) is if a magma bubble is going up and making dyke systems. Such bubbles are usually associated with a recognizable seismic signature. Something to check on seismic stations (aren’t there a few near this area ?)

        * geothermal doublets can deplete the stored heat at the reservoir level, which is slowly replenished by the heat flux down below. From what I remember from doublets in Paris area, the timescale is something like 30 years.

    • Nick Stokes | June 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm | Reply
      “The main thing with “geothermal did it” is, well, why didn’t it do it before.”

      I’m sure you were not implying that the earth is static. I don’t, however, understand what you were implying. Can you elaborate?

    • PMHinSC | June 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Reply
      “I’m sure you were not implying that the earth is static. I don’t, however, understand what you were implying. Can you elaborate?”

      Something is happening on a geologically short timescale. The Thwaites glacier and the enhanced geothermal flux have coexisted for many millenia. Now it’s possible that it is just the culmination of a long process that just happens to coincide with all the other signs of warming, but it’s a big coincidence. If geothermal is forcing a melt, then why isn’t it already melted?

      • Nick Stokes, ” Now it’s possible that it is just the culmination of a long process that just happens to coincide with all the other signs of warming, but it’s a big coincidence.”

        Some have notice that the approximately 1450 year Bond event psuedo cycle is about due to peak. Bond events are unlikely to be atmospherically force more likely related to plate tectonics. So on a longer climate time scale, not so unexpected.

  20. the amount of ice on the polar caps has nothing to do with the ”overall’ global temp: Skeptics say: Greenland’s ice melted in the past; and because of that, the sealevel was higher by 7m than today, simple arithmetic. So, the Warmist ‘’predicted’’ that: Greenland’s ice will melt again from the non existent global warming and whoosh, will rise the sealevel again! Panic!

    Reality: on few places indicates that sea-level was higher, maybe by 7m, I will not argue how much exactly. 2] northern half of Greenland is almost on the north poll – which means: on the northern half of the island, the average temp is -70C, that’s 71C below melting point. If the planet was warmer by 71C, so that the ice can ”start” melting = on the equatorial regions the temp would have being 106C, that’s 6C above water boiling point. Everything, trees, animals and bacteria would have cooked in one hour flat, sterilized / evaporated everything… did that really happened?

    The truth: for over 100 000 years Gibraltar was closed. There was land bridge between Africa and Spain – the Mediterranean sea didn’t have any contact with Atlantic. 2] about 60 000 years ago, human discovered how to make fire artificially, by rubbing two sticks of wood. Before that, fire was only coming from electric storm – that fire didn’t spread, because was associated with rain; and fire was occasionally created by volcano eruption, which was localized and not regular.

    With artificial fire, was regularly, every season – after 20-30 fires on the same place – burns all the vegetation and nutrients; vegetation didn’t come back anymore. Human created deserts on every continent, just by rubbing two sticks. The mongrels had lots of fun with fires, wasn’t any helicopters, to put the fires off… (which means: human is powerful enough, to destroy the climate by creating deserts – also human is powerful enough, to bring water back in the desert and re-vegetate – only if it wasn’t today’s sick propaganda that: ‘’ CO2 changes the climate’’)

    So, they turned Sahara into desert- desert creates dry heat – evaporation in the Mediterranean sea increased. There wasn’t enough tributaries, to replace the deficit of water evaporated. Creeks and rivers in Sahara dried, Nile decreased water = Mediterranean sea dried – when I say Mediterranean, it included Adriatic, Ionian sea, Aegean and the sea of Marmara (they were all connected) When those seas dried, also Black sea, Aral and Caspian dried, because they are even further away from the ocean. Well, where was all that water gone? Yes, you are correct; that water was gone in the oceans. Those, then ‘’inland seas’’ now they contain twice as much water, than all the water that is trapped in the Greenland’s ice – that’s the water in the past that made the ocean’s level to rise, NOT water from Greenland’s ice! Please note: that scenario today is not possible, because Gibraltar is opened for business; there is direct contact from Atlantic to Black sea. Greenland not guilty!!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      10,000-year XKCD time-lapse, along with a WIRED interview/explanation

      “The unfolding story is set in the far future, at a time when the Strait of Gibraltar has long been blocked and the Mediterranean Sea has largely dried up leaving smaller, hypersaline seas behind.”

      “Megan and Cueball, living on the shores of one of these seas and unaware of its natural history, notice one day while building a huge sand castle on the beach that the sea level is starting to rise. …”

      —-

      Geographically, the comic takes place in the part of the basin between Africa and Europe, so Munroe researched and illustrated very specific plants and wildlife to offer readers hints about the location. “I got suggestions from botanists and herpetologists, and I had a file with details on every species the characters encountered or talked about, like dwarf palms, juniper trees, horned vipers, and sand boas.”

      More clues lay not only within the world, but above it. Astronomically-savvy readers finally got a chance to nail down the time period of the comic during a striking sequence later in the series where the night sky slowly rotated over the characters, revealing a distinctly different configuration of stars than our present sky.

      “The Earth’s axis wobbles over the millennia, and some individual stars move visibly, so I used a few different pieces of astronomy software–with a lot of hand correction and tweaking–to render the future night sky,” said Munroe.

      He also consulted with astronomer and science blogger Phil Plait and learned that while most visible stars would still be around 11,000 years in the future, the red supergiant star Antares could go supernova and vanish from the starfield.

      Conclusion  Recommended for science-and-history-minded Climate Etc skeptics who want to learn how to think scientifically, centennially, and millennially!

      And in so doing and so learning, HAVE FUN!

      \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}
      ——-
      The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

    • Curious George | June 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm said: ”Fan – do I understand correctly that “the strait of Gibraltar has been blocked” by rising seas?”

      No GEORGE, the sea rise OPENED Gibraltar Straights!

      • You could use google to see how deep the straight is.

        But that is what a skeptic would do.

      • bob droege | June 10, 2014 at 9:09 am said: ”You could use google to see how deep the straight is.But that is what a skeptic would do”

        Bob, exactly; if I was a regular ”Skeptic” I would have got my information from google & wiki, but I leave into reality.

        People put posts on google, especially for misinformation; most of them are in pdf, so one cannot comment and point that is wrong. I was just debating a ”skeptic” on another blog – he was showing me; on google a proof that: the forest reflects more sunlight than water – which is a complete lie .. but, in colour, looks convincing, and after all, hay it’s on google and Wiki. The Warmist are very clever conmen – they know in advance that the gullible ”skeptics” will look on google for informations – so, they dished lots of crap

        P.s. the ”dept” of a straight doesn’t say how old it is. Where water narrows – digs deeper, much deeper quickly. You can notice that in any creek: where is wide – is shallow, BUT, where the creek is narrowed between two rocks / it’s much deeper. because SAME amount of water needs to pas in same time, digs, to compensate for narrowing. Gibraltar straight is a funnel through which water goes in opposite directions every 6h from Atlantic into Mediterranean and back, so it digs deeper.

        Phosphorous strait is only 2660y old and is deep; even though had to chisel through a rock. I’m proud to be a denier.. Cheers!

  21. Periods during which El Ninos dominate produce warm temperatures in Canada and Alaska, causing retreat of snow and ice that is not replenished when El Ninos are repeated. This does not happen in the Southern Hemisphere. Add to that black carbon deposition, and maybe you have part of the story.

  22. Steven Mosher

    wow. if geothermal is melting the WAIS that makes taking action even MORE imperitive

    • Real But Exaggerated

      Against geothermal heat?

      • Absolutely !

        Increasing taxes always tames tectonic movements and associated volcanoes

      • Steven Mosher

        No.

        Let’s say that you find yourself getting broken fingers all the time.
        you go to the doctor and he says “its your diet, you can change that,
        eat more calcium”

        You see another doctor. He studies some more and uncovers
        new information
        Here is what he finds. “Yes, your diet plays a role, but its also genetics
        You cant change that. It will just get worse.”

        You: So its not my diet
        Doctor: its your diet AND your genetics.
        You: so I dont have to change my diet?
        Doctor. No, now its more imperitive that you change your diet because you have two factors at play. One you cant change, genetics, and the other you can change.diet.
        You: but the first doctor said it was diet
        Doctor. It is diet.. AND genetics. The first doctor was correct but his
        understanding was limited.
        You: but it has to be one or the other.it has be diet or genetics
        Doctor: slaps forehead.

      • Steve Mosher – that is a flawed analogy since there is no aspect of relative impact taken into account, nor time horizons. If my genetics will do in my fingers in 10 years and my diet will gain me 1 yr reprieve at best, maybe i would choose to eat, drink, and be merry.

      • Mosher,

        What if the genetics part has to do with you being a klutz and you keep breaking your fingers by smashing them every time you use a hammer or wrench?

        Changing your diet ain’t gonna help you.

      • Stephen Mosher,

        If you paid your debts on time, I wouldn’t have to send the boys around to break your fingers.

        It’ll be your legs next. If you keep making pointless irrelevant analogies, you’ll wind up with a broken train of thought, in all likelihood.

        Seriously, what’s wrong with discussing facts? Can’t Warmists handle the truth, or a reasonable facsimile thereof?

        Live well and prosper,

        Live well and prosper.

      • “Let’s say that you find yourself getting broken fingers all the time. you go to the doctor and he says ‘its your diet, you can change that, eat more calcium’

        You see another doctor. He studies some more and uncovers new information Here is what he finds. ‘Yes, your diet plays a role, but its also genetics You cant change that. It will just get worse.’

        Then a skeptic notices that both doctors hold stock in osteo clinics (diminishing their incentive to find the real problem). So he follows the guy to see what is actually happening in his real world. He finds out the guy is a really bad carpenter who can’t use a hammer properly.

        He advises him to change professions, collects no fee, and materially improves the guy’s life without charging him a dime.

    • Steve, why not just drill down to the liquid water, pump it to the surface and spray it out of a shower head as ice.

    • Steven
      I think your argument is flawed, because there is little evidence that the melting of outflowing glaciers in Antartica by warm ocean water has an anthropogenic cause. This water has not been warmed by man’s activities; it has not been near the surface for hundreds of years, there is just more of it upwelling and inflowing. The reasons for this are not really known.

      Jenkins et al (2010): “Observations beneath Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica and implications for its retreat” concluded that there was a continent-wide pattern of ice-sheet thinning at glacier outflows that started a long time ago – perhaps more than a century – which suggests a natural cause.

      • Steven Mosher

        “I think your argument is flawed, because there is little evidence that the melting of outflowing glaciers in Antartica by warm ocean water has an anthropogenic cause. ”

        Who said anything about the cause of the current warm water?

        not me.

        The cause of the current warming is immaterial to the argument.

        The argument is

        1. The ice is melting as the result of many causes
        2. One of those causes is something we can do nothing about.
        3. Another cause is warming SST.
        4. The cause of the current warming is debatable.
        5. Our best physics indicates that adding c02 will warm the planet.
        6. We can do something about c02.

        In short, none of the arguments I make rely upon a assumption about how much of the warming today is human caused. The issue is

        A) what is our best understanding of the future
        B) can and should we do anything.

        Note, youll find no reliance on a attribution argument.
        It is why judith and I disagree about the importance of attribution.
        it is why the HS doesnt matter

      • Steven,
        But this also implies that we are truly adding to the melting, and that remains to be seen.

    • Scott Basinger

      I think he’s trying to say that it doesn’t matter who or what is melting it, it’s making things ‘worse’. I’d agree if sea level rise was accelerating from its current rate, but it isn’t, so I just *shrug*.

    • James Evans

      “wow. if geothermal is melting the WAIS that makes taking action even MORE imperitive”

      Suppose we could all agree that naughty CO2 is causing some of the melting. What’s causing the rest of the melting?

      If the rest of the melting is caused by something other than naughty CO2 then that “makes taking action even MORE imperitive”

      Obviously, if the rest of the melting is caused by CO2, that would make taking action more imperative.

      So, taking action is more imperative, whatever the cause of the rest of the melting. More imperative than what, though? That’s the puzzle.

    • That’s right! We’ve got to build lots of geothermal power plants, so the energy goes into the electric grid rather than melting ice!

  23. If the Antarctic Sea Ice keeps growing at the current rate, no one will ever get to Antarctica by ship again.

  24. Climate research is a good example of science fiction (pop science?) in that the story always ends the way the author wants–i.e., in the service of the of reigning academic paradigms.

  25. Is the geothermal heating in the Antarctic increasing for some reason? Why wasn’t it observed before?

    • Geothermal activity has been known in the West Antarctic area for many, many decades. Whalers from the 19th century mapped some of this activity

      Professionally organised tourist ships have offered an opportunity during the SH summer, weather permitting, for the intrepid to bathe sans clothes in a small, warm, volcanically heated lake surrounded by glaciers at -2/-3C ambient temperature for decades

      Ain’t geology interesting ? :)

    • It’s also likely to be variable.

    • Geothermal doesn’t need to increase to have an effect.
      Ice traps the heat at the base over time ( millenial scale ).
      Enough heat melts the base which fosters shedding the ice.
      Then, heat escapes and ice accumulates ( millenial scale ).

    • Steven Mosher

      Read the paper.

  26. JC reflections says it all:
    They don’t know or even suspect what they wrote about.

    The Arctic and the Antarctic are following the same patterns of climate cycles that have been in place for eleven thousand years.

    They don’t understand what did happen, so they don’t understand what is happening, but the same thing is happening that has happened, many times before.

    We are in a warm period, and we were scheduled to be in a warm period now. This warm period will end with the next cold period, which is already scheduled.

  27. “The dramatic depletion of the Antarctic ozone since the late 1970s”

    Balderdash.

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov

    • Mike Jonas,

      How dare you bring a fact to a fantasy party? Begone, sirrah! Darken not
      the Warmist doors henceforth!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Jonas

      Too small a word. Perhaps we can add ‘utter’ to it. If William turns up perhaps he can clarify if the hole might have existed prior to the mid 1950’s when we first had the ability to measure it?
      tonyb

    • Pierre-Normand

      During the decade from 1979 to 1989, the size of the Antarctic ozone hole grew from about 1 million km^2 to 22 million km^2. Isn’t that dramatic enough for you? The daily ozone minimums dropped from 194 DU to 108 DU over the same period. The Montreal Protocol entered into force in 1989 and the Antarctic ozone hole rapidly stabilized after growing another 25% until 1992. That’s what your NASA link shows.

      • Pierre-Normand. Apologies for the brevity of my comment, which was made under extreme time pressure. Firstly, the size of the ozone hole is a lousy indicator of ozone levels, as it is defined as the area below 220DU, thus a small movement up or down in ozone levels can generate a very large variation (zero to/from x) in the ozone hole. Secondly, the second graph in the link I gave shows that the decline in ozone minimum ended around 1987, which is before the Montreal Protocol came into force. More ozone data is here

        http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/environment/o3cltable.html

        showing a step change in S Pole ozone in 1984-5, or possibly you might see it as 1980-5. It certainly bears no relationship to CFC levels, which increased steadily from 1966 to 1992 and then remained high.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “Secondly, the second graph in the link I gave shows that the decline in ozone minimum ended around 1987, which is before the Montreal Protocol came into force.”

        You responded “balderdash” to the claim that there was a dramatic depletion of stratospheric ozone in Antarctica since the late 70s. But now you are retreading to the claim the change is the depletion rate doesn’t coincide with the implementation of the Montreal protocol. The stratospheric chlorine ozone correlation seems very strong to me and your trying to exactly match inflection points is the noisy data is overfitting. But that changes nothing to the OP claim anyway. You also suggest that it’s more of a shift than a lineal decline. But the article cited in the OP also invokes the depletion as the cause of a shift in climate. So, that doesn’t contradict the OP either.

      • Pierre-Normand. My last comment was addressing your points, not my original one, ie. no retread. I explained why my original comment was shorter than I would have liked. In more detail : I’m tired of the balderdash promoted about Antarctic ozone, and the paper claiming that a “dramatic” fall in Antarctic ozone had driven the Antarctic climate was to my mind yet another episode in the stream of balderdash trying to demonise all atmospheric/temperature changes and to ascribe them to anything that can be blamed on mankind instead of natural causes. The ozone decline wasn’t dramatic, particularly because nobody knows how ozone normally varies anyway (though it obviously isn’t driven by CFCs), and the paper was an absurd collection of post-facto evidence-free speculation all seemingly flowing from the one word “dramatic”. In the few seconds I had available at the time, “balderdash” seemed a reasonable summary, and it still does.

      • Pierre-Normand

        OK, so your main point is that “dramatic” is to strong a word to characterize a 50% decline. That’s subjective. As for the stratospheric ozone/CFC causal link, I think it’s incontrovertible. The correlation is very strong and the mechanism rather well understood.

      • Yes “dramatic” is indeed too strong a word, and it’s emotional, unscientific and hence unjustified. The decline is nothing like 50%, and please note that (a) no-one knows by how much ozone has gone up and down in the past, and (b) CFCs cannot be assumed to have any effect.
        nature 26 September 2007:

        http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/449382a.html

        “Chemists poke holes in ozone theory
        Reaction data of crucial chloride compounds called into question.
        As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change.[…]”

        When the Montreal Protocol was signed, it was expected that the ozone “hole” would be fixed around the turn of the century, ie. in little more than a decade. Now the date has been put back to 2070 (ie they just don’t know anything). NBC report on AGU annual meeting 2013:

        http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/despite-cfc-ban-ozone-hole-wont-heal-until-2070-nasa-f2D11736034

        “Despite CFC ban, ozone hole won’t heal until 2070, NASA finds
        The banning of ozone-depleting chemicals hasn’t yet caused detectable improvements in the Antarctic ozone hole, new research suggests.
        Instead, changes in the South Pole’s ozone hole from year-to-year are likely the result of natural variations in wind patterns, researchers said here Wednesday in a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
        […]This [the large 2011 hole] is a meteorological effect, it has nothing to do with chemistry[…]”.

      • Mike Jonas,

        An interesting question to ask the odd ozone hole fanatic, is whether they can explain the creation and decomposition of O3 in the upper atmosphere. Generally, they seem to have nary a clue. Because O2 is non absorptive according to the Warmists, it couldn’t possibly react with short wave UV to form ozone.

        They think it just must be spontaneously generated purely to be destroyed by evil pollutants. And a good thing too, I would say. Ozone is just a wee bit too reactive for my liking, in my vicinity.

        I’m a bit surprised at the longevity of the CFC argument.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “Because O2 is non absorptive according to the Warmists, it couldn’t possibly react with short wave UV to form ozone.”

        Ozone is produced from UV interaction with ozone precursors such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Wikipedia has en entry on tropospheric ozone that details the whole chain of reactions. This process has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that O2 is transparent to longwave IR radiation — a fact that everybody also accepts, and not just “warmists”.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “When the Montreal Protocol was signed, it was expected that the ozone “hole” would be fixed around the turn of the century,”

        Sure, but then the stratospheric CFC concentration unexpectedly remained very high above 1970s concentrations and only fell back a little. So, while the CFC concentrations fell only a little bit, the ozone concentration only increased back a little bit. There still is a perfect correlation.

      • Pierre-Normand : “Ozone is produced from UV interaction with ozone precursors such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. Wikipedia has en entry on tropospheric ozone that details the whole chain of reactions.[…]”.
        Wikipedia, regrettably, is a lousy source of information in any disputed subject (such as global warming, ozone hole, etc).
        NASA : “In the stratosphere, ozone is created primarily by ultraviolet radiation. When high-energy ultraviolet rays strike ordinary oxygen molecules (O2), they split the molecule into two single oxygen atoms, known as atomic oxygen. A freed oxygen atom then combines with another oxygen molecule to form a molecule of ozone. There is so much oxygen in our atmosphere, that these high-energy ultraviolet rays are completely absorbed in the stratosphere.”

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Ozone/ozone_2.php

      • Pierre-Normand

        Thanks Mike Jonas. Indeed you’re right about stratospheric ozone. But the Wikipedia article was correct. The confusion was mine alone. I got the “troposphere” and “stratosphere” confused (as I also sometimes get “longwave” and “shortwave” confused in reading or writing — a language problem). The main ozone formation mechanisms is quite different in the troposphere and stratosphere. Wikipedia has distinct article on them. This however doesn’t detract from my main point against Flynn. The fact that O2 is transparent to longwave IR radiation doesn’t contradict in the least the fact that O2 can be dissociated by UV radiation.

      • Pierre-Normand : “There still is a perfect correlation.”.
        Data : In 1964/5, anthropogenic Cl in CFCs reached 1m Mg. From then to 1983, anthro Cl increased steadily to nearly 8m Mg while S Pole ozone showed no basic trend oscillating between 280ish and 300ish DU.
        In 1984-5, S Pole ozone dropped to 240ish (a drop of about 20%), and has remained basically trendless mainly in the range 230-250 since then. Over the same period, Cl just continued to increase steadily until 1992 when it topped 11m Mg. Since then, the level stayed up for a few years then slowly eased back to mid-1980s level. Perfect correlation? I say balderdash!

        http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/environment/o3cltable.html

      • Troposphere vs stratosphere – accepted.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Mike Jonas, you are looking at the noise while I was looking at the trends. If you look at the overall evolution curves from 1979 until now both for stratospheric ozone and CFCs, the curves are identical in their main (smoothed) features, only reversed upside down. I am talking about the very first NASA graph that you liked to. It is strikingly similar the the inverted CFC graph. The relationship may not account for interannual variability. That doesn’t negate the broad correlation. It just means that the correlation coefficient may be something like 0.7 or 0.8 rather than 1.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “I am talking about the very first NASA graph that you liked to.”
        I meant the Dobson Units graph, not the Hole Area graph. But that’s also true of the Hole Area graph, except that you don’t even have to reverse this one in order to match it almost exactly to the CFC concentration graph — again in it broad features.

      • Pierre-Normand,

        You might like to remind me what your main point against me is. You make so many careless mistakes I lose track. I apologise if you have difficulty with English – I mistakenly thought you were using it as an excuse.

        My main point is that CO2 induced global warming is nonsense, as demonstrated by its non existence, somewhat like the nonsensical and equally nonexistent TOA. Convenient but totally pointless, wouldn’t you agree.

        I guess not. If you believe the globe is warming, you no doubt have no problem believing in any number of similarly none existent things. As long as it keeps you happy, why not?

        I’m right. You’re wrong. Accept it or don’t, it’s all the same to me.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “You might like to remind me what your main point against me is.”

        I don’t have one single main point against you or anybody. I correct your mistakes as they occur and acknowledge mine when they are pointed out to me.

      • Pierre-Normand. We’ve drifted a bit from where we started. No, I’m not looking at noise. As I indicated I was looking at trends too, which turned out to be a lack of trend for 20ish years, a 20% step down, then a lack of trend for another 20ish years. Yes, I agree that you can look at the 1979+ graph and see the shape you’re looking for, but it’s a graph of a limited period with limited feature that could match other possible causes (eg. global temperature, PDO) equally well. The graph is also only of minima whereas the original paper discussed effect on climate, for which year-round ozone would be more appropriate. The more overall ozone data over a longer period that I posted is thus more relevant, and does not support the CFC match. The ‘nature’ paper I referred to also indicates that the CFC-ozone link has been badly over-estimated (subject to confirmation, and I don’t know where that has got to). All in all, it’s looking like the CFC-ozone link is nonexistent, or extremely weak at best, and that like DDT before it and global warming after it, the alarmist message has been pumped out all too readily and winding it back in is, as ever, very difficult.

      • Pierre-Normand,
        You wrote –

        ““You might like to remind me what your main point against me is.”

        I don’t have one single main point against you or anybody. I correct your mistakes as they occur and acknowledge mine when they are pointed out to me.”

        You wrote earlier –

        “This however doesn’t detract from my main point against Flynn.”

        Wiggly Warmist Waffle, anyone? First there is a main point, then there is not one single main point, then there is the excuse of not understanding English well. Maybe you could obtain assistance from a native English speaker before you post, to avoid misunderstandings.

        I am unaware of any mistakes of fact that you have corrected. If anybody points out that I have erred in fact, not supposition, unsupported assertion, or baseless bluster accompanied by vigorous hand waving, I change my thinking. Global warming is not a fact, as far as I know.

        Not even a good try. Better luck next time!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Mike Flynn, sorry, I didn’t realize that was the “main point” you were referring to. But if you had quoted me in full you would have realized that I restated the main point immediately after mentioning it.

        “This however doesn’t detract from my main point against Flynn. The fact that O2 is transparent to longwave IR radiation doesn’t contradict in the least the fact that O2 can be dissociated by UV radiation.”

      • Pierre-Normand

        Mike Jonas wrote: “The ‘nature’ paper I referred to also indicates that the CFC-ozone link has been badly over-estimated (subject to confirmation, and I don’t know where that has got to).”

        Yes, subject to confirmation or disconfirmation. The trouble that was uncovered in 2007 by Francis Pope and others at NASA was that “Cl2O2’s photolysis rate in stratospheric conditions was almost an order of magnitude lower than that needed to explain the rate of late-winter polar ozone depletion seen above Antarctica.”

        This was resolve shortly thereafter, when better measurements of the photolysis rate were effected by Jim Lin at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences in Taipei. See: UV Absorption Cross Sections of ClOOCl Are Consistent with Ozone Degradation Models.

      • Pierre-Normand

        See also “Ozone data conflict resolved” on the Nature website.

      • Pierre-Normand. Thanks for the Jim Lin paper, but I wonder if it really does resolve it. “we constrain the parameter A to currently recommended values” sounds like they may have a finger on the scales, and “Our results are in better agreement with the newly updated (2009) kinetics evaluation than with the previous (2006) recommendation.” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. My feeling on reading the paper was that it didn’t resolve the issue at all, and that we should expect further developments in future. And maybe I’m right .. in the Nature article “Ozone data conflict resolved”, Pope makes clear that the conflict has not been resolved : “Lin’s group has proposed another set of values, but its results may not be the last word on the issue”.

        We live in interesting times.

      • Another 2 points re the last Nature item : it says “Reassuringly, they [Lin et al] point to a photolysis rate that is large enough to support established models of ozone depletion and suggest that chlorine-catalysed ozone loss works even more efficiently in the polar stratosphere than thought.”.

        1. “Reassuringly” suggests bias.
        But more importantly (and I didn’t pick up on it first time through):
        2. The suggestion that the ozone loss mechanism ‘works more efficiently than thought’ is a serious problem if I’m understanding it correctly. What they are saying is that their measurements, although “consistent” with current establishment theory, are actually quite a lot weaker, so in order to get the expected ozone loss the mechanism must work more efficiently than previously thought. To my mind this is biased and unwarranted speculation, trying to cover up a weakness in the theory. ie, it’s bad science.

        We definitely have to wait for further developments …

  28. Berényi Péter

    sea-ice extent around Antarctica has modestly increased

    Come on. This (austral) summer Antarctic sea ice was some 30% above average. That’s not “modest”, it is alarming. For that matter, global sea ice was above average for the better part of last year, as it is right now due to unprecedented Antarctic sea ice extent. If there is an ice albedo feedback at work in the Arctic, it should be even more so in the Antarctic, working in the opposite direction.

    • It can be as alarming as you choose to make it out to be. The threat of AGW is for what comes in the future, as opposed to what already has been.

      Its too early for the sky to already be falling now

    • True, but the “excess” Antarctic sea ice problem is actually worse than even that.

      The Antarctic land aea = 14.0 Mkm^2. It is surrounded by 3.5 Mkm^2 of shelf ice – which the NSIDC does NOT include in the Antarctic sea ice totals. Around that 17.5 Mkm^2 of “permanent ice is the ever-varying Antarctic sea ice: About 2.0 to 3.0 Mkm^2 at minimum in February, increasing to 19.5 Mkm^2 at maximum in mid September to mid-October.
      But!

      Notice the difference: At its maximum, the Arctic sea ice is about 70-71 North. At its minimum under today’s conditions, the Arctic sea ice lies between 80 north and 82 north.

      At its minimum, the Antarctic sea ice is at latitude 70 south.
      At its maximum, the edge of the Antarctic is up at 59 south. Through September, the edge of the Antarctic sea ice extents is receiving five times the radiation that the Arctic sea ice is getting.

      So, what’s more important? Arctic sea ice retreating from a minimum of 3.5 to 3.0 Mkm^2? (From 81 north to 83 north latitude? )
      Or the Antarctic sea ice extents as it increases north from 60 south to 59 south to 58 south? Antarctic sea ice extents have been positive for years. This is NOT a “one season” unusual phenomenon. For example (from a energy balance) stand, the Antarctic sea ice extents has been increasing strongly positive since May 2011, and the anomaly increase in steady. Before 2007, the Antarctic sea ice anomaly was never higher than 1.5 Mkm^2. Now? it is routinely above that previously unheard of high.

      Today, 15 June near the summer (north) solstice, the “excess” Antarctic sea ice is now “only”: 1.43 Mkm^2 ….Larger than Hudson Bay, about 85% the area of Greenland. Would today’s press and NASA publicists “ignore” an ice melt up north 84% the size of Greenland?

      Now, throughout winter, the edge of the Arctic sea ice is in shadow 24 hours of every day. Lost sea ice in the Arctic winter (a negative anomaly) – which has happened since the 1970’s – cannot reflect anything into space. A positive sea ice extents “excess” sea ice in the Antarctic winter is close enough to the equator to still reflect sunlight every day.

  29. 1. “ocean observations indicate a freshening of Antarctic Intermediate Water and a substantial warming of the SO equatorward of the ACC at all depths which may be linked to atmospheric forcing”
    Ahem< the sun tends to be more over the SO equatorward of the ACC at all depths.
    Perhaps the sun done it.

  30. 2. “delayed warming of SST associated with GHG forcing around Antarctica is largely cancelled by the cooling effects associated with the ozone hole”

    how does this tie in with heating effects of an ozone hole? as in
    ” Increasing concentrations of CFC’s in the atmosphere lead to increases in Earth surface temperatures (CFC’s are also “greenhouse gases”), and to decreases in stratospheric temperatures, so they also may exacerbate the situation. In spring, levels of ClO are elevated in the hole compared to elsewhere, while O3 levels are way down.”
    I think more radiation gets through an ozone hole hence more heat plus the need to protect against skin cancer.
    Also SST measurement is one of the black arts still. How can it be consistently portrayed as up in Antarctica when everyone knows the sea ice extent is directly due to the coldness of the water , not the air temperature.

  31. At least the stadium wave has an explainable mechanism.
    The whole first article is a a warm and cuddly mist of nothing.
    Arctic amplification’. A positive snow and sea-ice albedo feedback. In addition to these processes, the warmed ocean mixed layer delays sea-ice growth [in the antarctic this makes the ice grow!!! according to others]
    In addition, the ocean can act as a reservoir for the heat gained in summer while the sea ice retreats, storing it through winter months. Just like a cuddly polar bear. Too bad we do not use hot water bottles with arctic water that will keep the heat through the winter months.
    The upshot is the positive feedback must lead to diminishing ice each summer and the magical Hansen pudding reservoir stores further heat to melt it even more next summer. Hey presto, can they tell us why there is any ice at the North Pole. This is a recipe for it to have melted many years ago [? ad if means antediluvian]

    • The whole first article is a a warm and cuddly mist of nothing.
      Arctic amplification’….

      Felt the same when I started reading it. Then I noticed they had a substantial model of ocean current circulation. Got lost trying to figure out if the model ‘anticipated’ and/or was merely ‘consistent’ with antarctic upwelling. They were impressed at how the ocean current appeared to contain almost all the real world dynamics (no need to bother with atmospheric circulation)

      They ran their simulation for a 100 years starting with and holding a 4 fold CO2 increase (forcing) at the very outset. From that extendened and severe interval of evolution, the sea only gained a couple of degrees C. or less so in their model.

      (Hope I have interpreted it correctly)

  32. I was interested to read this, having been told numerous times in the past that geothermal heat has no effect whatsoever;

    ‘Using radar techniques to map how water flows under ice sheets, UTIG researchers were able to estimate ice melting rates and thus identify significant sources of geothermal heat under Thwaites Glacier. They found these sources are distributed over a wider area and are much hotter than previously assumed. The geothermal heat contributed significantly to melting of the underside of the glacier, and it might be a key factor in allowing the ice sheet to slide, affecting the ice sheet’s stability and its contribution to future sea level rise.’

    Four years ago I remember posting that a volcanologist at Cambridge University told me that there were probably 10,000 times more underwater volcanos and vents than currently counted and that they must have a noticeable effect.

    Also interested to see the reference to soot which the first science expedition mounted by Scoresby nearly 200 years ago considered to be a factor in ice/snow melt. He commented on the appearance of the snow as being darkened by it and put the blame on US industrialisation. They also took SST’s of the arctic around 1820 in a scientific manner but no one will be interested in those. The Hadley interpolated ones are much more interesting.

    tonyb

    • “I was interested to read this, having been told numerous times in the past that geothermal heat has no effect whatsoever;”

      No natural variability has any effect on climate… until it has a reduction that _may be_ contributing to the current hiatus.

    • Steven Mosher

      “I was interested to read this, having been told numerous times in the past that geothermal heat has no effect whatsoever;”

      Hmm I think its more accurate to say people argued there was no evidence of a role for geothermal heat in this area. Not that there was evidence of no effect.

      Now of course as we have more observations and entirely new observations focused on this issue a small effect is found.

  33. David Springer

    Antarctic sea ice is interesting but Amundsen Station is 1000 miles inland and further isolated from ocean temperature by the Antarctic vortex. So it offers no explanatory power for why Amundsen Station continuous temperature series since 1955 shows no warming despite a 33% rise in atmospheric CO2 during that time. aCO2 warming is indistinguishable from zero in the location where the aCO2 variable is best isolated.

    • Steven Mosher

      The effect of C02 is not site specific. It doesnt change the boundary layer dynamics. It changes the TOA.

      • Phil Brisley

        Several years ago, Freeman Dyson in an interview with Charlie Rose said they (AGW advocates) “have no evidence”. Charlie, all smiles says “oh come on”. Freeman then conceded there might be some slight effect “at night, in the colder regions”
        By now we are all familiar with the Effective Radiation Level – Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity/Transient Climate Response stuff, however, it seems to me Mr. Springer asks a good question.

      • ” It changes the TOA”

        Naughty, naughty Mosher.
        You know and I know that it will have no change on the TOA, influx in will, on an annual basis, equal the efflux out.
        Recycling outgoing IR photons by thermalizing the air, due to CO2 absorbency, will have an effect on the steady state temperature, but not the incoming or out going fluxes.
        The Antarctic should show a change in the annual cooling at the onset of winter and an increase the rate of warming come sun up.
        We have records dating back to the late 50’s and present day real time measurement. No time of day adjustments needed, a simple analysis of delta T at T, 1960-1965 and 2008-2013 is all that is required to work out the effect of CO2 changes.

      • TOA might have changed, but clouds control surface temps (far more than any downwelling IR), I routinely measure an ~ -75F difference in the IR temp of the sky vs surface air temps. And cloud bottoms are always warmer, some near surface temps (depending on the type of cloud).

      • David Springer

        That’s not correct. More CO2 increases the resistance of infrared transmission from ground to space. This causes the ground temperature to rise until the increased resistance is overcome. It works the same way everywhere. Try again.

      • http://judithcurry.com/2014/06/07/open-thread-13/#comment-589281

        Thus, the greenhouse contribution by CO2 (and H2O) molecules near the ground surface will be negligibly small, while CO2 and H2O molecules near the tropopause and in the stratosphere will contribute strongly to the strength of the greenhouse effect. Lacis

        Saying the effect is high up. Which is to part way buy into the CO2 saturation assertion, until we get to the tropopause. Is this somehow a better way to trap heat at a high boundary rather than more evenly below? I’d guess that yes it is. It seems a smoother and delayed effect. Perhaps a more persistent one. I am kind of wishing an agreement could be reached here.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Ah yes. The marvellous Warmist TOA. Just as the infinite plane, the frictionless surface, and caloric, a convenient fiction. Not as useful as caloric however. You conveniently cannot define the TOA, except in circular terms. Even so, its radiative capability is zero, as the TOA has no mass, being an imaginary entity.

        Oh, but, you may say, electromagnetic radiation passes through the TOA – therefore it exists. Precisely. Just as a vacuum exists.

        The effect of CO2 on the TOA is the same as the effect of CO2 on any other Warmist figment of the imagination – precisely zero.

        Introducing the TOA is about as useful as the normal run of pointless and irrelevant Warmist analogies. The globe cools. Accept it, and enjoy life, or be as miserable as you wish. The choice is yours.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Ragnaar | June 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm said: ”while CO2 and H2O molecules near the tropopause and in the stratosphere will contribute strongly to the strength of the greenhouse effect”

        Ragnaar
        CO2&H20 molecules NEVER go into the stratosphere!!! Troposphere is as far up as there is oxygen&nitrogen, which is up to 27km; CO2&H2O go up to 10km max, but most of them are at about 4-8km altitude (that’s why aircraft go higher, to avoid clouds.During the day CO2 is getting lifted up by the sunlight – after sundown loses the benefit of sunlight and falls to the ground – that’s when the plants, trees are most active, gorging themselves on the essential molecule, because carbon is their building bloc.

        In the troposphere is the oxygen&nitrogen – those two gases warm up close to the ground and go up where is cold and waste the heat – shrink and come back to the ground for more heat. Stratosphere on the other hand has only ”some” aerosols, plus ozone and helium – those gases ”STAY” there and are orbiting around the earth, but don’t go up and down – so, they are useless for any cooling… Cheers

  34. “The ocean’s role in polar climate change: asymmetric Arctic and Antarctic responses to greenhouse gas and ozone forcing”

    This doesn’t make sense. The time scale is all wrong.

    Yes I can appreciate that the polar climates ‘behave’ in an asymmetrical manner. The land and oceans in the 2 hemispheres have different distributions. The anthropic forcing is overlaid on top of what is already a considerable asymmetry. Moreover we are talking about large masses of ocean water here. It takes a long time to heat up and alter the momentum of such a large mass. Aren’t decades, if not centuries required to make ‘attribution’ to ocean currents meaningful?

  35. Funny how when the question contains co2 then the answer contains co2 – it’s as if c02 is everywhere.

  36. David Springer

    Check out this crap-ass biased correction done by BEST to Amundsen Station temperature series:

    http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/stations/166900

    Note a slight downward trend of 0.05C/century is massaged into a 0.23C/century rise.

    Note this is all due to “quality control failures” which are indicated by tiny pink circles on the data points in the top graph. Each and every failure is a low temperature measurement not a high temperature measurement.

    WTF? Amundsen Station is continuously occupied by scientists and technicians trained in reading and recording temperatures.

    The quality control failures are due to inept programmers using computers to process data and failing to validate their results.

    • David

      Interesting observation that cooling was turned into warming due to quality control.

      Hopefully Mosh will be along to clarify it. Your long explanation please Mosh

      tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        Some fundamental misunderstanding of the data that comes from not reading the paper and not understanding the math.

        Here is the long version.

        1. The observations are not changed.
        2. based on ALL the observations we calculate a REGIONAL
        EXPECTATION. This is a prediction not an observation.
        3. The regional expectation is based on
        a) all the observations in the area
        b) the geophysical characteristics of the location
        b1. The altitude of the station
        b2 The latitude of the station
        c) the temporal characteristics — seasonality.
        d) the fundamental theorem of geo statistics : “if A is closer to
        B than C, then A will be more similar to B than C”

        based on 1-3 a regional expectation is calculated. This regional expectation minimizes the error of the fit. So, that means if you start to make observations at a new location, or discover old data from a location in that region, the regional expectation will be the best prediction for that data, GIVEN the data you have and Given what you know about the role
        of geography in determining temperature. If you accept the givens, the math merely follows. If you dont accept the givens, then you are free to supply Other givens and do different math. Absent a different set of givens, the math is what it is. A calculation of the expectation, Given the data and given the geophysical model of temperature.

        For users there are several data sets

        cont…

      • Steven Mosher

        jesus.. tony I will mail it to you

      • Steven Mosher

        Its mailed to you tony.. see if you can post it on this thread.

      • Mosh

        Thanks for that. I have no opinion on its merits or otherwise but would assume there is a good solid reason for the adjustments.
        Tonyb

      • David Springer

        Busted.

      • David Springer

        An algorithm determined that trained scientists and technicians in a research station where environmental conditions have been meticulously measured and recorded continuously determined that some winter temperatures were too cold, must be a mistake, and threw them out.

        This obviously took Mosher by surprise since I’ve never seen him at a loss for words before.

        It’s a smoking gun. There is no justification for it. This is what happens when you get English majors declaring themselves scientists and going to town writing computer code without the decades of experience it takes to learn the limitations therein. We’re to believe that Mosher and friends have created an expert system that can guess temperatures better than an instrument with a trained operator. What a joke.

      • “d. The fundamental theorem of geo statistics is A closer to B than C then A will be more similar to B than C. ”
        Steven linked to a paper by his respected friend Mr Way recently published at Skeptical science saying that the Cowtan and Way method showed that d was an incorrect assumption made by the nongs who did the previous assessments for infilling the Arctic. When you used the proper Kriging method, one could see that A was very unlikely to be like B just because they were close ( what a silly error this was he said). A is much more likely to be like D or E not closer stations like B or C, heaven forbid.
        Perhaps Steven should read Mr Ways paper or even better talk to him when he meets him in the corridor so that he can explain the mistake Steven has made in this obviously wrong assumption.

    • Yeah, you’d think they’d use the more skillful model to retrieve temperatures from – i.e. the one that actually resembles some kind of thermometer. If they are, and it has a cold bias they should replace it..

    • The “quality control failures” are all “regional outliers” which is addressed in page 14 of this document, which you would be better able to understand than I:

      http://static.berkeleyearth.org/pdf/methods-paper-with-appendix-may-14.pdf

    • whatever the reason, it’s apparently powerful enough that the time has come to ditch democracy in the U.S.

      http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/obama-s-thankfully-dictatorial-approach-to-climate-change-20140606

      Not sure if that means we get to increase emissions like China, or we need to stop cutting emissions faster than Europe, or if we just need to write checks to everyone. Probably C.

      • Jeff,

        I think it means we should recognize the fact that people like Laura are simply smarter, better educated and have a better handle on how everything should be run than the rest of us and get out of their way.

        Don’t you know everything is simpler when all you have to do is dictate to people.

  37. Regarding geothermal, something has been catching my eye for a few years now, namely the hot spot off the southwest coast of Svalbard. The hotspot has been very persistent in the course of the seasons. Here it can be seen in both SST and SST anomaly maps (June 9).

    The SST anomaly seems to be more than 8 deg C!

    http://iceagenow.info/2013/08/12218/

    Any comments?

    • Krafft_follower

      Iceland has a far greater geothermal activity, being a combination of active rift opening and volcanic “hot spot” (in the earth interior sense, not the meteo/climate one), but it does not seem to influence SST anomalies on your pictures.
      Unless a volcanic hot spot is appearing, I don’t think this particular anomaly is influenced by geothermal flux. Hotspot appearance should be easily checked using the numerous earthquake catalogs – volcanotectonic events should be numerous and easily seen on CTBTO / regional arrays.

    • I don’t think we know with any certainty that Iceland has a far greater geothermal activity, especially submarine activity (seafloor volcanos and vents), which is mostly ‘uncharted territory’. Both Iceland and Svalbard are sitting on an active extension of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, but Svalbard is much further North in otherewise colder waters and further from the warm atlantic currents. Svalbard is also seismically very active, especially the area off the southwest coast, see the map of earthquakes since 1973 here:

      http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2012/04/high-level-of-seismic-activity-in-2012.html

      More links:

      http://www.forskningsradet.no/servlet/Satellite?c=Nyhet&pagename=ssf%2FHovedsidemal&cid=1253978332822&lang=en

      http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=349805

      Anyway, I find the hotspot in SST (anomaly) and sea ice remarkable, especially its persistence in the last few years.

      • Krafft_follower

        If you wish a better image, I did a search on EMSC limited -30/60 E and 60-90N, including both Iceland and Svalbard

        We know that Iceland hosts a very active volcanic activity, generating volcanoseismic events (long periods, tremors, etc.) picked on the regional seismic arrays ; Svalbard has a mainly sedimentary geology. I searched for papers about an underwater volcanic activity picked up by the local Svalbard network, without any luck – however, there is the usual high activity coming from the ridge W of Svalbard, as well as a swarm in the bay S following the usual seismotectonic mainshock/aftershocks sequence (see for example Preliminary Analysis of the 21 February 2008 Svalbard (Norway) Seismic Sequence
        Myrto Pirli et al. Seismological Research Letters 01/2010; 81:63-75 ).

        I may be wrong, but I do not see how a sedimentary structure can host a geothermal activity higher than one of the most active areas in the world without any geological/seismological evidence found. If you happen to find something I missed in my bibliography searches, I would be very interested.

      • Krafft_follower

        to be totally clear, my answer did not dispute the possibility of a weather hot spot stable in this area for several years. I didn’t have time to look into that, I have small gremlins to take care of :) Just wanted to dig a bit a theory relevant to my professional interests.

  38. I need to update this graph, I may get another dot or two now.
    It shows the length of melting season derived after filtering out weekly scaled weather variability.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=206

    The generally complementary nature of changes at the two poles is clearly seen.

  39. http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=963

    UPDATE.

    The tendency that was showing seems to be accentuating markedly.
    So the rapid change in the Arctic conditions may be part of a planet-wide change.

  40. Krafft_follower

    Just a layman question : average heat flux at the surface coming from the Earth’s interior is around 0.1 W/m² for oceanic crust. This average value masks strong heterogeneities, such as rift openings (0.2 W/m²) . How does it compare to the average heat flux from sun ?

    Some people speculated about geothermal flux temporal variations. I do not know about such variations, I did a quick search only returning hits from papers using subsurface temperature to reconstruct surface temperature history. If anyone has a paper about that I would be interested

  41. I think the most logical explanation for the difference between the poles is that the AMO was in a positive phase. It would appear that warm water from the Indian Ocean is pumped or pulled into the Atlantic and from there heads north. This explanation would at least explain the lack of gain in OHC of the Indian Ocean from the early 80s to the late 90s while also explaining the rapid gain of OHC in the Atlantic. It would also explain why the Indian Ocean is now gaining heat content close to the time when a reduction in poleward heat transport in the north Atlantic was noticed

  42. catweazle666

    Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst, 29 May 2010:

    I remember Lord May leaning over and assuring me: “I am the President of the Royal Society, and I am telling you the debate on climate change is over.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10178454

    • Jim Cripwell

      And it is because of people like Lord May, Lord Rees and Sir Paul Nurse that the hoax of CAGW still persists in 2014.

  43. Ulric Lyons

    “We argue here that interhemispheric asymmetries in the mean ocean circulation, with sinking in the northern North Atlantic and upwelling around Antarctica, strongly influence the sea-surface temperature (SST) response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing, accelerating warming in the Arctic…”

    Warming of the Arctic seems to be dependent on increases of negative NOA/AO conditions and an associated increase in poleward ocean transport and atmospheric transport, as in 1995-1998 and 2005 onwards:

    This matches step changes in sea ice reductions from 1995 and 2005:

    Up to early 1995 during a more positive NAO/AO phase, UAH shows the Arctic ocean region cooling:

    None of the IPCC models predict any increase of negative NAO/AO with increases in GHG forcing, and most of them predict an increase of positive NAO/AO with increased GHG forcing:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

    The obvious conclusion is that it takes a drop in forcing to promote the negative NAO/AO conditions that warm the Arctic, and there can only be one culprit for that. And that’s the complete opposite of polar amplification.
    As for albedo feedback, surely there would be more cloud in the Arctic during negative NAO/AO episodes, offsetting sea ice loss albedo changes? And what if exposing more sea surface through ice loss allowed increased surface cooling of the Arctic ocean? That may help to explain the rapid rebounds in ice extent after a particularly low summer extent. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

  44. Has anyone measured the dissolved noble gasses in the melt water? Typically volcanoes release large amounts of helium, argon and neon. These gasses should be dissolved in the melt water and should be quite easy to finger print.

  45. The real message underlying the global warming alarmism of AGW theory that is being pushed by Western Academia is that the idea of personal initiative is dangerous to American society and, in fact, harmful to everyone and everything on the entire globe. Global warming is more social than science.

  46. Thomas Piketty has recently published a widely heralded book (“Capital”) that deals with the subject of economic inequality amongst people. In his introduction, he comments on his field of endeavor as shown below. One could apply the same statement to climatology?
    “Some people believe that inequality is always increasing and that the world is by definition always becoming more unjust. Others believe that inequality is naturally decreasing, or that harmony comes about automatically, and that in any case nothing should be done that might risk disturbing this happy equilibrium. Given this dialogue of the deaf in which each camp justifies its own intellectual laziness by pointing to the laziness of the other, there is a role for research that is at least systematic and methodical if not fully scientific. Expert analysis will never put an end to the violent political conflict that inequality inevitably instigates. Social scientific research is and always will be tentative and imperfect. It does not claim to transform economics, sociology, and history into exact sciences. But by patiently searching for facts and patterns and calmly analyzing the economic, social, and political mechanisms that might explain them, it can inform democratic debate and focus attention on the right questions. It can help to redefine the terms of debate, unmask certain preconceived or fraudulent notions, and subject all positions to constant critical scrutiny. In my view, this is the role that intellectuals, including social scientists, should play, as citizens like any other but with the good fortune to have more time than others to devote themselves to study (and even to be paid for it – a signal privilege).
    There is no escaping the fact, however, that social science research on the distribution of wealth was for a long time based on a relatively limited set of firmly established facts together with a wide variety of purely theoretical speculations. “

  47. Krafft_follower

    I just read the paper about geothermal flux. There is one thing that I couldn’t quite understand : how do they take into account the effect of basal friction on melting, and if it is significant in general.
    I would like to see if this methodology was applied to a better known glacier, for example in the Alps (geothermal flux is better known through the several logs done in the area). Using radar to characterize underground channels is well known, using radar on top of ice is also well known (thanks to superior power), combining the two is quite innovative – confronting the methodology on a better known area, if it wasn’t already done, would be a good idea, in order to reduce the uncertainties.
    But the basic idea is not stupid.

  48. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    From (celebrated mathematician) Terry Tao’s weblog

    When is correlation transitive?

    While reading the (highly recommended) recent popular maths book How Not To Be Wrong, by my friend and co-author Jordan Ellenberg, I came across the (important) point that correlation is not necessarily transitive.

    [For example] it is generally true that good exam scores are correlated with a deep understanding of the course material, and memorising from flash cards are correlated with good exam scores, but this does not imply that memorising flash cards is correlated with deep understanding of the course material.

    In climate-science this translates to:

    It is generally true that good predictive capability is correlated with a deep understanding of the climate dynamics, and cycle-seeking analysis is correlated with good predictive capability, but this does not imply that cycle-seeking analysis is correlated with deep understanding of the climate dynamics.

    The same principle applies to cycle-seeking economic analysis (“Economic Waves”) as to cycle-seeking climate analysis (“Stadium Waves”), needless to say!

    Now that the tropospheric pause is ending — as correctly and robustly predicted by the deep-dynamical understanding that energy-balance climate thermodynamics provides — the irremediable weakness of “flash card” cycle-seeking science and cycle-seeking economics is obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Especially young researchers? Who wisely reject the implicit denialism of short-sighted narrow-understanding cycle-seeking?

    \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}
    ——-
    The Seattle Lesson  A good person without a gun can stop a bad person with one.

    • Huh? What is ending? Not the tropopause warming. Go to: http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    • Fan logically points out:
      “…but this does not imply that cycle-seeking analysis is correlated with deep understanding of the climate dynamics.”

      A not so deep understanding is that waves are cycles:

      “As waves move toward a beach, the shallower water decreases the wavespeed, so the wavelength becomes shorter and the peak heights increase. The wavepeaks become unstable and, moving faster than the water below, they break forward.”

      Where would the Climate be if not for waves? Randomness without organization. A lifeless average.

  49. poker,

    I think you are reading a bit too much into fan’s comment. I’m figuring it has more to do with his views on gun ownership than climate science.

    One of my favorite quotes for explaining the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment:

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
    George Washington

    Another favorite:

    “Clarence, it is better to have a gun and not need it, than to not have a gun and need it.”
    from the movie True Romance

  50. JCH,

    And what lesson do you think can be learned from that?

  51. The Marshall paper is a rather elegant approach to the subject of how Antarctic warming is delayed relative to Northern latitudes, based on the different dynamical regimes between the two areas, and how they “advect the forcing” generated by greenhouse gases.

    • Chris Colose,

      You wrote –

      “The Marshall paper is a rather elegant approach to the subject of how Antarctic warming is delayed relative to Northern latitudes, based on the different dynamical regimes between the two areas, and how they “advect the forcing” generated by greenhouse gases.”

      May I ask you what the heck “advect the forcing” means in non Warmist terms? The rest of your statement appears slightly nonsensical, inasmuch as you assume that the Antarctic is warming (or maybe stopped warming before it starts again) – presumably due to the evil effects of CO2 – or is your assumption that the Arctic is warming whilst the Antarctic cools, but the Earth is warming on average? All very confusing.

      Have you located an experiment to demonstrate the greenhouse effect yet, or is more research needed? I recollect you intimated some time ago that experimental verification would be forthcoming shortly.

      It still appears non existent – no change to the situation, apparently.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Heh, heh, ‘advect the forcing’. We’ve got a camshaft tuned for torque, ooh, baby. I kinda like ‘force the advecting’.
      ==================

  52. When climate models are fully capable of properly simulating coupled ocean-atmosphere processes on annual, multiyear, decadal and multidecadal timeframes, they may have value. Until that time, they do not.

    • Until amateur spreadsheet monkeys learn to do some physics and then apply it, no one will listen to them.

      I am reminded of the last post by the guy correlating the stock market with the temperature rise.

  53. So what exactly do these (and other) underwater volcanoes do to ocean heat content?

    And why does the slightly warmer atmosphere claimed to be resulting from ACO2 have more impact on OHC than under sea volcanoes around the world? Other than it has to or the “pause” is unexplainable.

  54. I find the replacement of cosmic ray flux (CRF) with “climate response functions (CRFs)” interesting.

  55. Greg Goodman

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=964

    Correction to melting season graph I did yesterday ( got caught out by a change in data format that broke the processing I had in plance ).

    Polar see-saw quite noticeable in recent years.

    As is a shortening of about 9 days in Arctic melting period since 2005.

  56. Geoff Sherrington

    The way that guesses and postulates have become solidified to read as factual, is frightening.
    Is there really sound observation that Arctic temperatures are increasing faster than in many other locations? Or has the extrapolated, unconfirmed guesswork of Cowtan and Way become accepted as solid? Why?
    Do we really understand the ozone mechanisms well enough to assert that they influence SH climate as outlined above? I fear not.
    ……..
    Maybe I am being sceptical because of the way the words tumble in these papers. When an author writes that sea ice extent around Antarctica has “movestly” increased, I can almost hear teeth grinding from the stress of the admission.
    When I read of a high geothermal gradient affecting the dynamics of glacier flow, I think of its irrelevence because it would have been conttant over all relevant times and would have nought to do with changes in dynamics – or even with greenhouse hypotheses.
    Really, is there ANY credible hard meaningful measurement in any of the above? Getting tired of arm waving exercises.

    • “Modestly increasing” Antarctic sea ice extents?

      Today, 16 June the excess Anatrctic sea ice area = 1.43 Mkm^2. (1.43 million square kilometers above the normal.

      Well, when the excess Antarctic sea ice was +1.0 Mkm^2 in February with the minimum sea normal ice at 2.0 Mkm^2, does an excess of 33% seem “modest” ? What is “modest” increase? A value back in 2010 of +.25 Mkm^2 against an area in September of 19.0 Mkm^2? What value do they want to look at (er, cherry pick) to decide a “modest” ANtarctic sea ice excess? (And always remember to check “sea ice area” against “sea ice extent” .. the two are different.)

      Right now? We have an excess Antarctic sea ice area of 1.43 Mkm^2, but a total area of only 10 Mkm^2. Is a mere 14% excess a “modest” gain? Is the Arctic’s “devastating” or frightening sea ice loss of -.98 Mkm^2 at a total Arctic area of 10 Mkm^2? Is that Arctic loss really worse than +1.43 Mkm^2 gain down south if the Arctic loss occurs at very high latitudes with less solar elevation angle even at the solstice? Now (today) of course the Arctic sea ice is melting – it does every year. But today (mid-June and early July) that Arctic sea ice only has a 0.40 – 0.46 albedo. That excess Antarctic sea ice is increasing – and THAT year-by-year increase is not slowing at all.

  57. I repeat “the fundamental theorem of geo statistics” S Mosher. June 10th 1.50 pm.
    Mr Robert Way said this theory is bunkum, Mosher, in a link you provided in regard to his Kriging method.
    A fundamental theorem you said, overturned like that. Words fail me.
    Or is it an example, do you think, of the exception proving the rule?

  58. Abstract. In recent decades, the Arctic has been warming and sea ice disappearing. By contrast, the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been (mainly) cooling and sea-ice extent growing. We argue here that … blah, blah , blah … We speculate that …

    This illustrates the fundamental problem with “climate science”. Speculation presented as argument.

    Every conjecture is proof, provided that it (at least situationally) supports the desired political narrative.

  59. Is it possible that AGW could be triggering increased volcanism through shifting the glacial ice so fast?

  60. Pingback: 5 years later: checking up on the 2-minute hate at George Will about melting of the polar ice | Fabius Maximus

  61. Pingback: Blogiesittely: Climate etc. | Roskasaitti

  62. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  63. That’s what I hear in the information each working day.
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