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Discussion > Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming nearly twice as fast as previously thought

Surely a valid reason to be alarmed? But wait what's this -

"Previously scientists were unable to draw any conclusions from the Byrd data as the records were incomplete.
The new work used a computer model of the atmosphere and a numerical analysis method to fill in the missing observations.
The results indicate an increase of 2.4C in average annual temperature between 1958 and 2010."

So missing observations have been fabricated and the fabrications paint an alarmist picture. You couldn't make it up! Except they can and did!

BBC in alarmist nonsense shocker

Dec 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Haha

Yes.

"a numerical analysis method to fill in the missing observations" = "we made up the missing numbers"

Dec 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

If it is 'worse than we thought', then all the previous worry was wasted.

Dec 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Registered Commentershub

At least the hockey stick gang substituted real information into a model and not the other way round, this lot have no scruples.

Dec 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Not only did they use a model to fill in the missing temps, they "corrected" the actual temp record before doing so! How on earth do they get away with this kind of stuff?

Dec 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

@shub : I'd say that if the problem turns out twice as bad as expected, then the previous worry-level was insufficient rather than 'wasted' - for those who are prone to worry. Of course back in the real world if you make an estimate which is 100% wrong then (if you had any pride) you'd rightly be quite ashamed of your lack of predictive skill. And maybe find some work that was better suited. I don't detect an air of remorse or sorrow here though..

@Laurie Childs : Its not really science is it?

Dec 24, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Have any of you read the paper you condemn?

Dec 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Purchase article full text and PDF: €30

You offering?

Dec 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

If I were slagging off a research paper, I would at least take the trouble of reading it.

Dec 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Dec 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM | BitBucket

I think they were mocking the BBC report of it.

From the paper I find these bits amusing

"Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation."

"A continued rise in summer temperatures could lead to more frequent and extensive episodes of surface melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. These results argue for a robust long-term meteorological observation network in the region."

I especially love the now obligatory tentative grant proposal now stuck at the end of every paper and pointing out how bad the scientists who originally took the observations were.

The reanalysis data is using a model to generate the 'observation data'. ie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCEP/NCAR_Reanalysis

Dec 24, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

NSIDC seem to have been rather coy about updating this page since 2007. Why?

http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/sotc/sea_level.html

Antarctica and Greenland, the world's largest ice sheets, make up the vast majority of the Earth's ice. If these ice sheets melted entirely, sea level would rise by more than 70 meters. However, current estimates indicate that mass balance for the Antarctic ice sheet is in approximate equilibrium and may represent only about 10 percent of the current contribution to sea level rise coming from glaciers. However, some localized areas of the Antarctic have recently shown significant negative balance, e.g., Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers, and glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. There is still much uncertainty about accumulation rates in Antarctica, especially on the East Antarctic Plateau. The Greenland Ice Sheet may be contributing about 30 percent of all glacier melt to rising sea level.

[...]

In contrast to the polar regions, the network of lower latitude small glaciers and ice caps, although making up only about four percent of the total land ice area or about 760,000 square kilometers, may have provided as much as 60 percent of the total glacier contribution to sea level change since 1990s (Meier et al., 2007).

[,,,]

Meier et al. (2007) conclude that with the current acceleration of glacier contribution to sea level rise, the total contribution from small glaciers and ice caps by the year 2100 is expected to be 240 +/- 128 millimeters, which represents an average annual increase of more than 2.0 millimeters per year.

Woohoo! 2 cm per decade, 20 cm per century.

And of course Steig2009 was thoroughly debunked, even though the clowns over at RealCimate never admitted it.

Dec 25, 2012 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

That is why you see Steig so generously passing on the baton to the authors of this new paper.

Dec 25, 2012 at 12:59 AM | Registered Commentershub

@BitBucket : In the cold light of day, here we have an incomplete dataset from which it would be inappropriate to draw conclusions. The data set is then tortured and all of a sudden provides 'evidence' strong enough to support policy decisions?

Which ever methods have been used to fabricate data samples, they result in an estimation at best and a blind guess at worst. I'd love to see the sensitivity figures to the model parameters. A small tweak here another small tweak there and hey presto, completely different results! But the paper has been peer reviewed so its safe right?*

* "I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Dec 25, 2012 at 4:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

Dec 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM | BitBucket

BB, There are quite a view good comments on this issue over on WUWT. It looks like Jeff Condon is looking at the paper and going to write something up on it.

Jeff says

"The highest temperature reported in the entire reconstruction was -9.7 Celcius." so it is hard to see where any serious melting is coming from.

Dec 25, 2012 at 7:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

If I were slagging off a research paper, I would at least take the trouble of reading it.
Dec 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM BitBucket

I did not need to.

Using the same approach as the authors ["Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation." ]
I did the following:

- I corrected the text, as observed, of the abstract presented by Nature Geoscience.

- I filled the gaps between the abstract and the unavailable (to me) full text by use of global reanalysis data* and textual interpolation.

I then carried out a complete and rigorous analysis of the paper, leading to my earlier comment.

__________________________________________________________________________________

* whatever "global reanalysis data" actually means. The fact that I was not sure of the meaning in no way invalidates my results.

Dec 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Rob Burton, you are being kind. But no, they were mocking the paper, which they hadn't read. It is a bit like those sad people writing book reviews at Amazon for book the haven't read. Embarrassing for them when they are found out. Your cherries are at least from the abstract - did you read the paper?

I have no idea whether the conclusions reached by the paper stand up to examination (I have not read it either and do not have the necessary expertise to judge). But what if they do? If any commenters have a truly 'sceptical' view of AGW, as opposed to just knee-jerk rejection, you might consider that the Byrd temperatures could indeed have risen without it challenging your world view.

Martin, you do have a sense of humour after all!

Dec 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

BitBucket its Christmas :) Lets call a truce for the day shall we? Merry Christmas mate

Dec 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Thanks Dung! Happy Christmas and new year to all on the Hill.

Dec 25, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

It is not the Byrd temperatures that challenge the world-view, but the paper's methods that do. Some would still like to live in a world where such junk doesn't manage to rise to the top, get published in so-called top journals and begin to 'influence policy'. The pyramids were not built by rats.

Dec 25, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Registered Commentershub

This is from the product description for "The Terminator Zapper" sold by Don Croft, on Amazon.com (the US site)

The Terminator Zapper by Don Croft is a parasite removal device and may help aid the body in the elimination of parasites such as bacteria, worms, yeast, and fungi. All parasites and diseased tissues are positively charged. The zapper introduces negative ions through the skin and into the body's living tissue, killing the parasites by reversing their polarity and also helping to heal the diseased tissue. Healthy tissue is negatively charged. The zapper's circuitry is built around a 555 timer integrated circuit which emits a nice, positive offset square wave of direct current from a nine-volt battery (stepped down to around 4.5volts and 3.5milliamps) at a frequency of about 20,000 times per second. "Positive offset" is a wave form that has alternating current characteristics. This may be important in the long run because it won't alter the body's natural electromagnetic field polarity.

The device costs $108.

Here are comments following a 'review', evidently by a person (a chemist) who hasn't used the product before writing his review:

... Besides, you should only comment on items you have purchased and had a chance to evaluate.

Pseudo scientist claiming the big claim yet haven't scientifically tried it. Sounds like a religious fanatic ranting and raving about science yet don't even lift one finger try to verify it work or not. Hogwash yourself and your unscientific mouth first, roll up your sleeve and do the earnest test Dr.......

This chemist apparently is very narrow minded and ignorant.

Dec 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Registered Commentershub

The paper's methods - what were they then? Give us an explanation of those methods, beyond what we can read in the abstract.

Dec 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Unfortunately for you, I have access to the full paper. They did exactly what they say they did - take a high-quality dataset which sadly developed large gaps, fill in those gaps with model outputs to get a final reconstruction.

It is what it is. It is not good enough for non-climatologists to get excited about. You want to grab my interest - show me real data. If you can't - let it go. I just looked at Warwick Hughes' website yesterday and he has *real data* for the same region for the same duration this paper covers which shows the exact opposite conclusion.

Look at Figure 2 (you can see the thumbnail even if you don't have access to the paper). It so happens that significant amoutns of real data is missing for exactly a period when substantial global cooling is known to have occurred (the 70s), and for periods when global warming is known to have occurred (the 80s, 90s and 00s). Obviously the magnitude of the made-values during these time periods is going to affect the trends that you see after making them up.

I work in a discipline where lack of data leads scientists, not to shy away from venturing guesses, but to know that their guesses are guesses nevertheless. We can do experiments to figure them out. You can't do experiments to figure out the past - however sophisticated your models might be.

Dec 25, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Registered Commentershub

Martin A said:


I did not need to.

Using the same approach as the authors ["Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation." ]
I did the following:

- I corrected the text, as observed, of the abstract presented by Nature Geoscience.

- I filled the gaps between the abstract and the unavailable (to me) full text by use of global reanalysis data* and textual interpolation.

I then carried out a complete and rigorous analysis of the paper, leading to my earlier comment.

__________________________________________________________________________________

* whatever "global reanalysis data" actually means. The fact that I was not sure of the meaning in no way invalidates my results.

LMFAO. Exactly. If you don't have the observational data then you can't do an analysis of observational data. Making up the data points seems a bizarre choice and is certainly problematic in the context of a lack of integrity shown by alarmist scientists as exposed by ClimateGate. Or should we pretend that CG just didn't happen and that alarmists are to be trusted or given the benefit of the doubt?

Dec 25, 2012 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

It is interesting that on the Real Climate site, Steig welcomes this paper with great enthusiasm as an endorsement of his 2009 paper in Nature. Strangely he makes no reference to O'Donnell et al 2010 which, in a disgraceful abuse of the peer review process, he tried to filibuster out of publication because it demolished the S09 findings.

Nic Lewis makes an interesting comment on the WUWT thread.

Dec 25, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

shub, "Unfortunately for you...", not really. As I said, I have no idea whether the paper is mistaken or not, but like true sceptics, I have no need to jump on such new research just because it does or does not fit my preconceptions. The paper is just an interesting addition to the literature. My world view will not be changed by whether it stands or falls. This contrasts with some here who need to reject that which they have not even read because it challenges their ideas.

Dec 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket