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« Shale momentum | Main | Tip drive »
Thursday
Sep202012

Antarctic ice

An article at the Live Science website says that we sceptics are putting far too much emphasis on the current high levels of Antarctic sea ice. The title is a bit of a straw man:

Record-High Antarctic Sea Ice Levels Don't Disprove Global Warming

I don't think anyone has actually said this - certainly the article doesn't give any examples, although it does stoop to putting words into Steven Goddard's mouth:

He reasons that the Southern Hemisphere must be balancing the warming of the Northern Hemisphere by becoming colder (and thus, net global warming is zero).

The Goddard article is here - so you can judge for yourself whether the bit is actually something Goddard said or not.

More interestingly, the article quotes Mark Serreze of NSIDC as follows:

Projections made from climate models all predict that global warming should impact Arctic sea ice first and most intensely, Serreze said. "We have known for many years that as the Earth started to warm up, the effects would be seen first in the Arctic and not the Antarctic. The physical geography of the two hemispheres is very different. Largely as a result of that, they behave very differently."

This is very interesting, because I was discussing this very issue with Ed Hawkins and Doug McNeall on Twittter last month. Ed pointed me to AR4 on the subject;

In 20th- and 21st-century simulations, antarctic sea ice cover is projected to decrease more slowly than in the Arctic (Figures 10.13c,d and 10.14), particularly in the vicinity of the Ross Sea where most models predict a local minimum in surface warming. This is commensurate with the region with the greatest reduction in ocean heat loss, which results from reduced vertical mixing in the ocean (Gregory, 2000).

This seems to support Serreze on "more intense in the Arctic" but not on "first in the Arctic". Ed also pointed me to this article, which is cited by AR4. It says this in its abstract:

The climate change projections over the 21st century reveal that the annual mean sea ice extent decreases at similar rates in both hemispheres...

Here's the relevant graph

Changes in Arctic and Antarctic annual mean sea ice extent (a) and volume (b) at the end of the 21st century. For each model the left (right) bar represents Arctic (Antarctic). The model FGOALS-g1.0 was excluded from the model average.The extent projections, which is what Live Science are discussing, doesn't seem to make the case.

 

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Reader Comments (62)

As with all things said by both (or all?) sides in the Climate debate the mistake is as follows:

We have known for many years that as the Earth started to warm up, the effects would be seen first in the Arctic and not the Antarctic

Correct version :

We have believed for many years that as the Earth started to warm up, the effects would be seen first in the Arctic and not the Antarctic.

I stick with my view that the only sane position to take is that mankind can not currently predict anything about our climate because of our limited knowledge. Hopefully this will improve over time unless we are "bombed" back to the stone age by the greens.

Sep 20, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Registered CommenterDung

As well as being a bit of a straw man, the title leaves a rather obvious open goal. The first commenter gratefully accepts the tap-in.

Sep 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

does anybody know any event or phenomenon of any sort that would disprove (CA-)global warming?

Even if the Earth became a ball of ice tomorrow, they would still say: "CO2 emissions caused this weather extreme".

Sep 20, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

But this also assumes the IPCC climate modelling bears some resemblance to reality when that cannot be the case because of serious errors in the underlying assumptions!

Sep 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Here is what the IPCC AR4 SPM says, page 15:

Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic under all SRES scenarios.
No mention of any difference between the two poles.

In the summary of chapter 10 it says

There is a projected reduction of sea ice in the 21st century in both the Arctic and Antarctic with a rather large range of model responses
before going on to say faster reduction in the Arctic.

Sep 20, 2012 at 4:57 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Whatever they said about the Antarctic, they did not say it would experience record levels of sea ice, they said it would move slower than the Arctic.

What we have here are a bunch of activists being paid to study the climate who appear to have started with a preconceived view and are unwilling to take on board, or investigate, any evidence that challenges said pre-conceived view, but spend time trying to explain away the observations.

Sep 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Omnologos: http://notrickszone.com/2012/08/07/epic-warmist-fail-modtran-doubling-co2-will-do-nothing-to-increase-long-wave-radiation-from-sky/

This shows there can be no CO2-AGW for RH >~10% at ambient.

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

@omnologos

Leaf cutter ants use leaves to cultivate fungus to feed the colony.
The colony produces a lot of ant farts
The increase of man made CO2 helps plants to grow creating more food for leaf cutter ants

Man made CO2 is responsible for increased ant farts releasing a far more potent GHG than CO2 causing more global warming.

It's all in the "peer reviewed" literature in the AR5

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

I often attempt to see the warmist arguement, and am invariably disappointed. Apart from "Co2 up, Temp up", there is absolutely nothing of substance. On the Live Science website, the Ten Myths are all mis-quotes, with no logic. On our own website, our arm-waving pet troll cannot even spell its own name - what a farce ! Added to this the lies, bitterness, falsifications and obvious self-interest are perfect examples of warmists shooting themselves in the foot, so I always end up on the sceptic side.

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

Is it possible we could feed AR5 to the leaf eater ants?

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterDung

"Global Warming" means Global not local so therefore there should be no way that the Antarctic Ice should increase.
But as we know historically the 2 areas of ice oscillate, but Warmists have decided to ignore or re-write history.

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterA C Osborn

Common and fairly meanless statements from the alarmists

1. That is not inconsistent with global warming
2. That does not prove that global warming is not happening
3. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas
4. Sea levels are rising
5. Arctic ice and glaciers are melting
6. Spring is getting earlier each year

Why bother with real scientific arguments when you can waffle.

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

HTTS: I ask "Why of all disciplines is it only climate science which claims a grey body in the atmosphere emits IR as if an isolated black body in a vacuum, when convection and radiation are coupled?"

Then if we point out this childish mistake, they shout 'Denier' as if we were bit actors in 'The Invasion of the body Snatchers'. Indeed, that must be the explanation; this abuse of science is an alien invasion!

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

"We have known for many years that as the Earth started to warm up, the effects would be seen first in the Arctic.."

Is that because heat rises..?

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

@Dung

I'm not sure leaf cutter ants enjoy recycled trees, especially recycled tree garbage

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

ConfusedPhoton

OK you have covered the "meanless" statements by the alarmists so I will cover the "mean" statements:

People who disagree with us are:

Deniers
Cranks
In the pay of big oil
Luddites
Flat earthers
Lunatic (Real Climate)
Senders of death threats

My memory fails me but I am sure you lot can add a million more hehe

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Registered CommenterDung

"Global Warming" means Global not local so therefore there should be no way that the Antarctic Ice should increase.

Not really logically true.

While I don't for a moment beleive the following, it is still arguable that an increase of Antarctic temps from say an average of -20 to and average of -10 could result in an increase on total ice volume and extent.

Sep 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

What's the betting they won't be criticising The Guardian who have been in full "Low Arctic ice means end of the world - PANIC NOW!" mode for days. (Comments off, nach)

Sep 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

AlecM:

HTTS: I ask "Why of all disciplines is it only climate science which claims a grey body in the atmosphere emits IR as if an isolated black body in a vacuum, when convection and radiation are coupled?"

Then if we point out this childish mistake, they shout 'Denier' as if we were bit actors in 'The Invasion of the body Snatchers'. Indeed, that must be the explanation; this abuse of science is an alien invasion!

As I remember you believe that Richard Lindzen is one of the many who has made this "childish mistake", as you describe and frame it. Fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion. But do either of these two thoughts give you any pause:

1. In using "if we point out this childish mistake" you appear to be speaking for all sceptics but that clearly isn't the case.

2. You've interrupted this thread on Antarctic ice and are in danger of taking it off course, like so many before it.

In expressing these two points I am painfully aware that I am contributing to the second problem. But you have some brass AM. So here's a compromise. Why not limit yourself to one thread interrupted per week or less?

Sep 20, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

MDGNN has disappeared. Spartacusisfree has disappeared. AlexM seems to be the latest incarnation. Are they all in fact Doug Cotton? I think we should be told.

Sep 20, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

I think of "mydogsgotnonose" (aka mdgnn) as "IPCC", short for "I have a Proboscis-Challenged Canine."

I'll get my coat.

Sep 20, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

"Are they all in fact Doug Cotton?"

I think you mean Dot

I'll join you, Harold

Sep 20, 2012 at 7:16 PM | Registered Commentermangochutney

"Record-High Antarctic Sea Ice Levels Don't Disprove Global Warming"

It hasn't occurred to them that "record" low Arctic summer ice doesn't prove AGW.

Sep 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Oh dear

Look how Livescience is 'spinning' the Lewandowsky' story..

http://www.livescience.com/23027-link-between-climate-denial-and-conspiracy-beliefs-sparks-conspiracy-theories.html

Sep 20, 2012 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

It is tricky to keep track of all MDGNN's alter egos, especially as many of them seem to have subtly different personalities. My most recent discovery was Markus Fitzhenry who at one point at http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2012/06/05/3518659.htm channels pure doginess. He seems to be distinct from Doug Cotton and Claes Johnson: though there are certainly similarities of outlook the styles seem quite different. But it's very hard to be sure.

What I find so frustrating about him is that he frequently *almost* makes sense, but he will keep veering off on strange obsessions. All part of life's rich tapestry I suppose.

Sep 20, 2012 at 7:52 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Sep 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM | artwest

What's the betting they won't be criticising The Guardian who have been in full "Low Arctic ice means end of the world - PANIC NOW!" mode for days.

The Met Office takes a less extreme view than Peter Wadhams and the Arctic Methane Emergency Group - and some folks really don't like that - in fact note the use of the word "deny" to describe the Met Office view....!

Sep 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Thanks for the link Richard - as that article indicates it really comes down to how seriously you take the volume estimates. If they are right then the naive extrapolation to an ice free arctic by 2015 is not crazy, but how good is that data really?

Sep 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

And I liked

'Professor Slingo, Chief Scientist, MET Office, elaborated on this in his 14 March 2012 oral submission'

His?

Sep 20, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

The lead-linked article is yet another thread making much within of the supposed sceptic>believer manufactured 'conversion' of Richard Muller. Clutching at such straws reveals desperation.

Sep 20, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

If looking for a warming signal in polar ice wouldn't the area under the annual curve or even the winter extent be a better metric? Trying to measure it when it is scattered hither and thither seems necessarily prone to error from weather.

Sep 20, 2012 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

ssat

Yes, but sensation trumps science.

Sep 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

There has been a similar discussion on Jo Nova's site recently , started off with the observation of the increase in Antarctic sea ice. I asked the question --has anyone produced a graph of the combined sea ice extent ( Arctic and Antarctic) on a given day of the year for each of the last 30 yrs ? ( ie. since satellite measurements have been recorded).
If the exercise was to be done it probably would be better to do it for say 4 separate days spread over the year for each year

Sep 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Sep 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM | Jonathan Jones

Hi Jonathan,

The graph in that link is from PIOMAS, which is a data assimilation system, i.e.:part model, part observations. For ice volume you obviously need both ice extent and ice thickness, and although ice extent observations from satellite go back two or three decades now, ice thickness observations are harder to obtain and don't go so far back in time or have such good geographical coverage. So, what they do is to use a sea ice model which brings in the observations to constrain it - this ought to be better than merely extrapolating or interpolating the obs, as it also involves physical understanding, but nevertheless it still involves modelling. Hence it should be treated with a degree of caution.

Observations do show that summer minimum ice extent has generally declined over time, and the more limited obs of thickness also suggest reducing thickness, so there is confidence that summer sea ice is reducing in the Arctic to some degree. Estimating the future rate remains a topic of active research and intense controversy!

My understanding is that the large reduction this summer seems to be a combination of reduced thickness over last winter, which led the ice to be more susceptible to being broken up when conditions became stormy in the summer.

Cheers

Richard

Sep 20, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Richard Betts; "My understanding is that the large reduction this summer seems to be a combination of reduced thickness over last winter, which led the ice to be more susceptible to being broken up when conditions became stormy in the summer."

Two years ago I printed off the Arctic annual curves then measured the area under them with a planimeter. I found that the order of the years of max to min changed from that using minimum extent which begs the question: what does minimum extent tell us, if anything?

Sep 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Sep 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM | ssat

what does minimum extent tell us, if anything?

It helps us see how easy it is to get ships through the North West Passage and Northern Sea Route. Could have important trade implications.

The caveat there is that the North-West Passage is complicated by all the islands, so forecasting an ice-free route remain tricky.

Sep 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

How could the models predict polar ice when they can’t even predict global temperature?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?KEYWORDS=climate+scientists+panic

http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/podcast/climate-change-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2/

This was widely recognized twenty years ago. It does not seem to have improved.

Sep 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

Richard Betts: "Could have important trade implications."

But not in carbon credits based on trace gas perturbations. Besides, I would think the P&I clubs together with Lloyds underwriters will have more say on new polar trade routes than the Met Office. There really is no correlation between total polar ice, global average temperatures and (well mixed) CO2. The NW passage, should one emerge, will surely be no more than happenstance.

Sep 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

The main reason for the focus on Arctic sea ice is that almost everything else, from hurricanes to floods, refuses to cooperate to the CAGW narrative.

ps so...can we now call Richard B a denier?

Sep 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

"I think of "mydogsgotnonose" (aka mdgnn) as "IPCC", short for "I have a Proboscis-Challenged Canine."

I'll get my coat" - HaroldW
=====
"Are they all in fact Doug Cotton?"

I think you mean Dot

I'll join you, Harold" -MangoChutney

"It is tricky to keep track of all MDGNN's alter egos, especially as many of them seem to have subtly different personalities. My most recent discovery was Markus Fitzhenry who at one point at http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2012/06/05/3518659.htm channels pure doginess. He seems to be distinct from Doug Cotton and Claes Johnson: though there are certainly similarities of outlook the styles seem quite different. But it's very hard to be sure.

What I find so frustrating about him is that he frequently *almost* makes sense, but he will keep veering off on strange obsessions. All part of life's rich tapestry I suppose" - Jonathon Jones

Quote 1 + Quote 2 + Quote 3 = Strongly Agree
Context Added - I still regard his posts with a significant degree of warmth - a bit like I do to OM's iron sun thoughts. Both are clearly highly-talented individuals who are always given the greatest respect, and strangely enough almost total disregard, from CAGW sceptics.
An odd state of affairs to be sure but I find it peculiarly comforting.
Love the eccentricity, the fervour, the evident honesty and a stubborness that never goes away!
Thank God for blokes like these methinks. I'd rather have their honestly expressed opinion however far off base it may be than the hate-filled diatribes that pollute and deflect genuine discussion with an almost religious fervour from far too many CAGW supporters.

Gawd,

Sep 21, 2012 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Just a passing thought - how well does Mars polar cap growth and shrinkage line up with the ice over here on good old Gaia - if at all?

Sep 21, 2012 at 1:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTomO

ssat: "What does minimum extent tell us, if anything?"
See figure 3 of this paper by Hudson. Minimum extent is fairly well aligned with the average radiative forcing associated with the Arctic albedo reduction. When the minimum ice extent is zero (well, some negligible value), average radiative forcing from this effect will be about 0.2 W m-2.

Sep 21, 2012 at 2:37 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Richard Betts -
In Prof Slingo's testimony, she says that the PIOMAS estimate of volume loss (75%) is "inconsistent with our assessments." Can you point to an alternative estimation of Arctic ice volume?

[and P.S. Thanks to the Met Office for not amplifying the hue and cry.]

Sep 21, 2012 at 2:47 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Well done that Bishop. Keep your eye on the predictions. Precisely what was predicted. Precisely when. Words and numbers. Superlatives and units.

[And then look to see if something vaguely, slightly, or completely different was also predicted elsewhere by friendly "peers" and other seers. Some of them might have made Nostradamus blush with embarrassment.]

Sep 21, 2012 at 3:14 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Just a passing thought - how well does Mars polar cap growth and shrinkage line up with the ice over here on good old Gaia - if at all - orbits 'n precession 'n all ?

Some Danes have recently come up with some interesting observations

Sep 21, 2012 at 5:14 AM | Registered Commentertomo

steveta and RoyFOMR: Arctic ice extent is increasing rapidly: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php . The break-up did not prove any accelerated melt. NSDIC states the storm mixed stratified under-ice water to 500 ft; warm salt mixing with cold fresh water has negative partial molar enthalpy of mixing so there has been substantial cooling. The open water has also lost heat to space.

The freeze will be - there is no heating from underneath. As for radiant heat transfer from the Earth’s surface, no professional engineer who sees the ‘black body claim’ accepts it - you can’t claim the UP Poynting vector can all do thermodynamic work. The physics’ greats who live on as the dimensionless numbers knew this.Climate science cannot claim perpetual motion, the 'positive feedback' is an artefact.of one of the biggest mistakes in scientific History.

Sep 21, 2012 at 6:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

this is a copy and paste from WUWT

pat says:
September 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm

anthony, the lewandowsky/cook paper u mentioned in the thread:

5 Sept: Stephan Lewandowsky’s slow motion Psychological Science train wreck
It as been discovered that Cook is a co-author with Levandowsky on a similar paper:
Lewandowsky, S., Ecker, U. K. H., Seifert, C., Schwarz, N. & Cook, J. (in press). Misinformation and its correction: Continued influence and successful debiasing. Psychological Science in the Public Interest…
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/05/stephan-lewandowskys-slow-motion-social-science-train-wreck/

has now been published by Sage:

Misinformation and Its Correction
Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing
Psychological Science in the Public Interest December 2012 vol. 13 no. 3
http://psi.sagepub.com/content/13/3/106.full?ijkey=FNCpLYuivUOHE&keytype=ref&siteid=sppsi

and is already reported on here:

19 Sept: Health Canal: Misinformation: why it sticks and how to fix it
http://www.healthcanal.com/cancers/32346-Misinformation-why-sticks-and-how-fix.html

20 Sept Washington: NewstrackIndia: ANI: Why misinformation sticks
http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/09/20/237-Why-misinformation-sticks-.html


about the LooLoo paper

Sep 21, 2012 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterrobotech master

I'm suitably amused, by being told now that "Climate Change" will now cause the UK to have bitterly cold winters, as the Arctic ice melts, rather than the mild winters as promised previously.

Sep 21, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

We certainly live in interesting times for those interested in sea ice:
Antarctic at a record high extent for winter maximum (at least earlier this week), and having been 'average' or above basically for the last 12 months (well short of any record high anomaly though).

Arctic now being at a record low minimum (although appears by eye of the graphs to have not quite matched the record low anomaly from 2007, where the minimum was much later, so further from the 'average'), having fallen from pretty well 'average' soon after the last maximum. I'm also interested in the distribution of ice, where last maximum had a record amount of ice in the Bering Sea and around Alaska, but not so much between Greenland and Europe, but melting has been strong all the way around the north of Russia and into the Bering Sea - warm (relatively) surface waters penetrating further to the north from the Atlantic and circulating into the eastern Arctic ocean?

Sep 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan Blanchard

Adam: One of the fascinating aspects of the 'Arctic ice melt' is how the alarmists jumped on it to 'prove' their dogma. However, it was weather, the result of the jet streams moving nearer the Equator hence because of the weak El Nino, there was a much higher temperature gradient across the Autumn Arctic.

The Globe is cooling as the weak sun progresses to its sunspot-free state, always associated with cold periods of history. There can be no CO2-AGW because standard heat transfer physics, forgotten by too many, predicts that atmospheric thermal GHG band IR at nearly the same temperature as the surface will switch off surface IR emission in that wavelength interval. Otherwise you could never have radiative equilibrium!

Sep 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Dave Salt: I'm pretty sure that the scientific process involves a combination of creativity and meticulous checking. The "climate scientific" process however seems to involve rewriting history, concealing data, nature tricks, hiding the decline, statistical fakery, and finding that perfect tree in Siberia.

Sep 21, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterHeide De Klein

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