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  1. RealClimate – never afraid to tell it like it is. It’s great how you guys make this complex stuff so accessible.

    Comment by Garry S-J — 1 Apr 2010 @ 1:59 AM

  2. Indeed.

    Indisputable and undeniable.

    This is how real scientific research progresses.
    A post like this is worthy to be on .

    Comment by Robert Day — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:07 AM

  3. It is April First.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:21 AM

  4. Yes … but …. surely that would mean that somewhere there must be a skinny Al Gore …..

    Comment by David Horton — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:34 AM

  5. Sounds like a very tall tale….

    Comment by VeryTallGuy — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:41 AM

  6. Reminds me of a paper I recently read from van Mondzijn.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:09 AM

  7. exhibits strange characteristics in addition to distant leaps in space. In addition to spreading, the ideas also change over time, morphing into new concepts, according to the McVenus paper.

    I wonder if Mike Hulme’s neoligism-meme ‘Post-Normal Science’ qualifies in this connection? At first blush a reasonable examination of the social / hard science nodal interface, with correct identification of Avery and Singer as proponents of idiotic design, the ‘distant leap’ was evident when it was morphed by anti-expert Melanie Phillips into

    ‘Self-evidently dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth seeking’ the truth of which statement seems to exist in a Heisenbergian indeterminate state of simultaneous truthiness and falsiness.

    Fascinating. I believe the Post Modern Science department at the University of San Seriffe have a major paper in preparation.

    Comment by pjclarke — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:25 AM

  8. So Hitchcock was right, it is all about the birds! There are so many of them – dear gods – global calamity shall befall us all!

    Comment by mummybot — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:33 AM

  9. Aye, it’s a good one, that.

    Comment by Bill McTaggart — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:38 AM

  10. A big thank you to Rasmus and Jim for this illuminating article. It is an elegant treatise which expresses, in very simple terms, a complex and difficult topic so that even nincompoops like me can understand it. It really has brightened up my day (which started here several hours ago).

    “…it is very likely that the confusion is spread by birds”

    I assume you are referring to the g-bird who has been identified by birdwatchers as cuckoo, and flies into threads smearing them with bird poo. This bird recently migrated from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere (where he suffered cruel treatment).

    Some people surmise the unusual northern migration was because the bird was confused as a result of climate change in its home territory. Thankfully for those up north, the bird now appears to have made its way back to the southern hemisphere.

    Comment by Sou — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:52 AM

  11. Magnificent!!!
    I am still trying to retrieve my head from the wastebasket, and my feet from the toaster!

    Comment by James Albinson — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:02 AM

  12. Being an agent-based modeller, I read on with growing alarm and confusion… damn you!

    Comment by Dan Olner — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:07 AM

  13. At first I thought you were describing a real paper… then I remembered the date.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:32 AM

  14. I’d forgotten it was April 1st for a minute there.

    Comment by Richard Lloyd — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:43 AM

  15. You had me up until bullgate. :)

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:44 AM

  16. But every day is fool day in the deniocene.

    Comment by Heraclitus — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  17. BTW, in the third last para, the link to Bart Verheggen’s blog, and the post where he used the term blogal cooling is incorrect – it should link to:

    Comment by Sou — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:46 AM

  18. In this Fools’ Paradise your piece will be cited as a refutation of AGW.

    Frank Johnston

    Comment by Frank — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:01 AM

  19. Best Poisson distribution of the day, please put a warning at the top, “remove eye make-up before perusal”

    Comment by oca sapiens — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:11 AM

  20. “The ocean rules. The atmosphere is a thin byproduct of the ocean” as Dr Jeffrey Glassman puts it. His new paper (27/03/2010) is titled;

    The Fingerprint of the Sun is on the Earths 160 year temperature record, contradicting IPCC conclusions, fingerprinting & AGW’.

    Have a good read and by all means submit your illusion that ecologies atmospheric plant fertilize, CO2, moves the oceans as well as Earths climate!! Enjoy…

    Comment by Velocity — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:28 AM

  21. Bullgate uncovered: Blogal Cooling is real!

    This is Epic.

    Comment by _Flin_ — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:43 AM

  22. You know, it makes more sense than most of what you read over at Micro-Watt’s place. Has anybody sent this to the South Dakota Leg?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  23. Good April fish!

    Comment by Fleury — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:01 AM

  24. Re:
    Heraclitus says:
    1 April 2010 at 5:45 AM

    “But every day is fool day in the deniocene.”

    So much for the term Anthropocene: Deniocene = Way Better. Classic!


    Daniel the Yooper

    Comment by Daniel the Yooper — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:10 AM

  25. Any bets on when this will be picked up by

    Comment by FM — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:22 AM

  26. Light is from the Sun.
    Jokes are from McVenus.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:55 AM

  27. Give it the silver, with the sheep albedo effect still on top.

    Comment by Brian Brademeyer — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:00 AM

  28. I dispute the disputed cowgate (or bullgate) issue. The denialists and confusionists (not to be confused with the Confuciusists) are always looking for a silver bullshit to explain global warming (or its lack thereof), when they should be considering the whole complexity of “Levy flight” type actions of ordinary people in their chaotic everyday lives.

    Not turning off the engine in drive-thrus, yes, is a contributor to AGW, but failing to order the veggie burger and ordering the cow (or bull) burger instead also has its place in the whole mess of AGW (and has ramifications of excessive use of medical facilities re the cholesterol clogging the arteries, and all those gas-guzzling trips to the docctor and phaarmacy).

    One cannot hide behind the “I recycle every Sunday” type of cover, especially when one leaves the engine running at the recycling center as they dump a week’s worth of (= a car-load full of) waste products because they failed to “precycle” and select items with less packaging in the first place, and were just downright gluttonous.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:11 AM

  29. Tuvalu is sinking!!! Save yourselves.

    Comment by Pete H — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:05 AM

  30. Oh Lord – teh stupid…

    BUT; had RC not published this article I would never have seen the link, in paragraph seven, to South Dakota’s House Concurrent Resolution #1009:

    “That there are a variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect world weather phenomena…”

    Not only ‘astrological’ (*sigh*) – and ‘thermological’ (can somebody tell me what that word means, please?) – but ‘effect’. EFFECT?

    A fine argument illustrating the benefits of educational requirements for elected office.

    I will now turn off my computer for the rest of the day. Nothing could possibly top this.

    Comment by Jaime Frontero — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:17 AM

  31. Sounds like an April fools post to me !!

    Comment by Rolan O. Clark — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:17 AM

  32. Thanks for this. It has real value and real humor, and must have required real work.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:20 AM

  33. Okay, it took me until the “Colgate” and “Billgates” jokes to realize what this was. I’m so frigg’n gullible (must be why I believe in AGW, the skeptics will say).

    Comment by Bob — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:34 AM

  34. Of course it’s the birds!

    Birds in flight have a larger shadow than sitting ducks, ergo they help to keep the Earth cool. When they sit down for a rest the world gets hotter, and when the world gets hotter it’s harder for birds to fly, and so we have runaway positive feedback. Lazy boids cause -> global warming -> lazier boids.

    Solution: go out and scare up some avians until there are enough of them aloft to block out the Sun.

    Comment by Sili — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:39 AM

  35. More things well said on RC. Collected, without attribution (but you know who you are), over the last several months and presented with minor editing and spell checking:

    We pretend that dumping effluent all over ourselves and our neighbors is perfectly acceptable, and even better free. Something about the “free market” and how efficient it is.

    I live next to a creek. I could hang a board with a hole in it over the back of my property and get away with “no” sewage bill, if I had the same attitude.

    Re a 100 page Watts report on how surface station data are deliberately biased: Suffice to say, almost the only truthful statements in the “paper” are the page numbers.

    Red herring served with straw man and a bottle of whine. Dissent that is a logical fallacy whipped into a froth argument from belief.

    But every argument you make only has “in my lifetime” attached to it. That sort of view will make suicide bombers innocent of murder: they won’t kill anyone in their lifetime, will they.

    He suggests we concentrate efforts on ghgs other than CO2 has merit–at least while we wait for rectal haberdashery to go out of style.

    Denialjection–1) A denialist’s tendency to project. 2) A denialist’s tendency to mimic the language of people they’re at odds with. 3) A denialist’s sense of sadness at not being able to keep up, often expressed as outrage.

    MetaGate: The scandal whereby journalists lack the imagination to come up with a better suffix than “-gate”.

    To say that there hasn’t been statistically significant warming over a short period is like a parent finding that his or her child has not exhibited any statistically significant growth this month. (Time to start prescribing the growth hormones!)

    “you warmers”
    What do you call the marine biologists concerned about pH change — acidifiers?

    “you warmers”
    How about this for those who believe in gravity — downers.

    “you warmers”
    Those who believe it’s natural cycles — unicyclists, bicyclists, tricyclists

    I’ve been wondering….What field of science makes one an expert on both the climate and the health effects of smoking?


    Getting hung up on paleo-climate reconstructions as the ‘issue’ is just missing the forest for the tree rings.

    It would be like trying to explain homotopic geometry to a giraffe with scrapie.

    I think there’s huge unconscious resistance to acknowledging that the American dream has become a planetary nightmare. Our gods are too small.

    What have you done to the cat? It looks half dead! –Mrs. Schrodinger

    Short ones:

    You are what you bleat.

    Septic think tank

    Snarkland institute



    Guilt by suspicion










    Kudos to the authors! Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:57 AM

  36. Bravo! Somewhere this idea is going viral, or perhaps growing Levy-flight wings.

    Comment by Larry Hamilton — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  37. They shoot birds you know! April 1st good entertainment but only Laughing Gulls get the message.

    [Response: I guess black birds will have a different effect to white birds ;-) ]

    Comment by John T. Tanacredi, PhD — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:14 AM

  38. RE #34, Sili & “Okay, it took me until the “Colgate” and “Billgates” jokes to realize what this was. I’m so frigg’n gullible (must be why I believe in AGW, the skeptics will say).”

    I’m so gullible that even though I knew it was April 1st & was longing for the RC April Fools post — it’s been a pretty bummer year for a person who expected back in 1990 to simply tell people about AGW and its money-saving solutions, who would tell others, who would tell others, and we’d be well on the road to cutting U.S. GHG emissions 50% or more by 2000 — that I expected this post to be an April Fools, but as I read it, I actually started thinking that it was a real post about a real study…..and thought, “Oh no, they forgot to do their April Fools post.”

    Thanks for the uplift, Rasmus & Jim. This ranks right up their one about the tennis racket graph (can’t find it now).

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:15 AM

  39. Here’s that post I just referred to — Doubts about the Advent of Spring at

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:18 AM

  40. But nobody has ever seen a Jupiter-tide or Saturn-tide here on Earth, and hence, they fear that critics convincingly will argue that the effect of the planets is pretty weak.

    Well, the critics will be washed away. This is perfectly consistent with The Grand Unified Theory and the research into Climate Change that is soon to be done at CERN’s LHC.

    Since Electrons, Photons, Quarks and Gluons all are just different manifestations of energy and the four forces, electromagnetic, strong, weak and gravitational (very very very weak)are really all one and the same, it stands to reason that the effects of the other planets in the solar system will affect the climate on Earth. It’s really gravity from Saturn and Jupiter added to the photons from the sun that is heating up our atmosphere by creating electromagnetic fields that block the heat from radiating back into space. Not to mention that all that dark invisible energy that exists between all the quarks on earth has a very high albedo.

    Of course since the LHC will soon create a black hole that will swallow up the whole earth it doesn’t much matter ;-)

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:19 AM

  41. @Brian Brademeyer
    “sheep albedo”
    The science isn’t settled, today Hendreck Svampmark has a preprint on about “cowsmic rays”: arXiv:1003.6043

    Comment by oca sapiens — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:24 AM

  42. RE #24, I’ve been looking for a term for the denialists’ science. How about “denioscience” where science is done backwards (I posted about agenda-driven science earlier, as opposed to science-driven agenda).

    The research hypothesis is their null, and their research hypothesis is that nothing is happening, and any argument will surfice or sigif. level, like .99, to reject their null, that AGW is happening & is harmful, and accept their research hypothesis that nothin’s happening.

    Strawmen, red herrings, and kicking dead horses can also be used to reject their null (that AGW is true). Or, if one totally lacks imagination, then “it’s my religious belief that AGW is not happening” also works, along with “Say, wasn’t there supposed to be the Apocalypse about now. Well, then it’s all God’s doing. Hallelujah!”

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:33 AM

  43. Give it the silver, with the sheep albedo effect still on top.

    The sheep albedo effect paper is unbeatable, so I agree – a silver to today’s piece.

    Jaime, above: “thermology” refers to thermal medical imaging. Every time you get scanned, the world warms a bit, apparently.

    Comment by dhogaza — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:35 PM

  44. @Lynn Vincenthnathan
    “I’ve been looking for a term for the denialists’ science. How about “denioscience” where science is done backwards”

    I call it “ecneics”. That sounds like an obscure and mysterious method, and it is science backwards.

    Comment by Stephan Matthiesen — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:38 PM

  45. Luna-Ticks.


    Puns are simply their own reward.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:43 PM

  46. :-)

    Comment by David B. Benson — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:53 PM

  47. Stephan, #44:

    I like ecneics. The science of ecneics. I love it. I’ll have to remember to use it when talking with or about citpekses (reineds? tsilaineds?).

    Comment by Bob — 1 Apr 2010 @ 1:38 PM

  48. The ‘Luna-Ticks’ started to make me wonder, so I Googled the journal name just to be sure. Good one, but it’s hard to top the SD House Bill for April Fool’s madness. Wait, that wasn’t a joke?

    Comment by Deech56 — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:11 PM

  49. Wow! It must have cost you guys a fortune to set up all those spoof websites you link to. Like the South Dakota legislature.

    What did you say? They’re real? Heh, pull the other one, I know what date it is.

    Comment by CM — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 PM

  50. This is just another attempt to close down the debate. Ian Plimer applied the phenomonon of Levy flights years ago in his SSAMAQTCOTWO theory i.e sunspot and magnetically assisted quantum tunneling of carbon dioxide . When circumstances are just right, vast amounts of ionised carbon dioxide tunnel from the Venusian atmosphere to that of the earth. It takes about 2 minutes to add more CO2 to the atmosphere than humans have achieved in 150 years.

    According to the up-market Spectator, there is no need to worry about global warming, because Plimer has devised a method of making the CO2 tunnel backwards. But thanks to the CRU’s scandalous manipulation his application to do the experiment has been rejected.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 PM

  51. “Ecneics”, that’s great. Best RC neologism since “rebunking”.

    It sounds vaguely like something L. Ron Hubbard might have come up with for Scientology. You know, like “engrams”, and “Dianetics”, and, what’s the name of that central practice of theirs…

    …oh yes, “auditing”.

    Comment by CM — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:49 PM

  52. And the very highest quality grade, of course, is:

    Ecneics Golb!

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:17 PM

  53. There’s plenty of things besides the climate being stochastic/random. I just figured my body weight is indepedent of what I eat, just as climate is independent of what we emit. ( )

    [Response: Bart, this is brilliant! Nicely done. –eric]

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  54. I would think that the denioscience with science spelled chaotically would be more likely to come out as senescience, sorry for the typo. After all they love the chaos caused by the climate so that we cannot know anything about it. It is also more likely because of the etymology. It comes from latin senex and it’s derivative senatus, meaning old and is best examplified by senescientist senator (even older) Inhofe.
    Add to that the fact that chaos (etymologically speaking) got bastardized to gas and you all know that the climate tragedy plays out mainly in the atmosphere which is also very chaotic i.e. full of gas. And so forth ex absurdo ad absurdum and ad nauseum.

    Comment by Joseph Sobry — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  55. There was a John McVicar , maybe an ancestor of the one quoted, who entertained the Scottish clansmen with fabulous tales on the eve of the battle of Culloden. That battle was fought on April 2nd (or sometime during the ensuing year). The Scots lost.

    Comment by doug de vos — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:22 PM

  56. I would argue that state change can also be easily accomplished when you consider the ‘Trip Mechanism’ similar to the ‘Butterfly Effect’, whereas by when applied to ‘Levy Flight’ and ‘Chaos Theory’ one can see that a random misstep can significantly alter a path.

    This can be applied to meta and well as physical systems in my estimation. Now, one can see that in meta systems be they figmented by the pathology of a belief system, or real, the confirmation bias may or may not align with the physical state of the system.

    But actual alignment of the meta and physical are not required to produce a figmented result that is satisfactory to the subset meta system. IN this sense we can deduce that belief systems, thought they can not override the physics of a particular system, certainly can produce the perception that a figment is real, at least when viewed form the perspective of the meta figment system in question.

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:35 PM

  57. I just looked up that climaterealist site you mentioned. The entire site seems to be an April Fools joke!

    Comment by Craig Allen — 1 Apr 2010 @ 6:58 PM

  58. Re. 20 Velocity

    “The ocean rules. The atmosphere is a thin byproduct of the tenth planet” as Dr Jeffrey Gassman puts it. His new paper (27/03/2012) is titled;

    The Fingerprint of the never-before observed tenth planet is on the Earth’s 6000 year temperature record, contradicting Rush Limbaugh’s conclusions: the liberals’ & Greenies’.

    Have a good read and by all means submit your illusion that the Sun, volcanoes, natural cycles, the Earth’s interior heat, the tenth planet, UFOs, the Mayan calendar and the “unseen one” moves the oceans as well as Earths climate!! Enjoy…

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:12 PM

  59. I did it. Just started my own blog today. Not only is the April Fools, but also Holy Thurday for Christians, so I wrote something about that….(link is on my name)

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:37 PM

  60. Levy T absolutely greater than 3. Bravo!

    Comment by TAC — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:46 PM


    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Apr 2010 @ 12:09 AM

  62. Maybe after peer review this could go into the Journal of Irreproduceable Results. I think my favorite was “blogal warming.”

    Comment by Mac Crawford — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:55 AM

  63. With Inhofe channeling Joe McCarthy, I wonder if “séance” might not be better than “ecneics”?

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Apr 2010 @ 7:48 AM

  64. In science “critical thinking” has always been the first step in the evaluation of scientific results and claims, then, comes under scrutiny methodology and replication, though the latter is not always possible. By critical thinking I mean the end purpose that scientific results and claims against received theory and established findings serve, as is the case of contradictory claims with tag of scientific research in the world of commerce.
    In my opinion persons who claim CO2 not responsible for climate change even felt by an illiterate person anywhere not aware of this discourse in the community of scientists, are themselves no more than themselves “agents” serving the cause of nations which are responsible for the state of climate affairs. The purpose of these arguments is to absolve them of their misdoings and let them continue spew CO2 so that they need not to compromise with their lifestyle and standard of living as well as to provide them logical grounds to turn away from their moral duty to undo their misdeeds. However, no amount of arguments and scientific claim can convince a majority of scientists interested in the process of climate change that CO2 is not responsible for it.

    Comment by Mohammad Firoz Khan — 2 Apr 2010 @ 8:28 AM

  65. The real issues in climate network connections mostly involve water vapor responses and associated flooding and drought. These “teleconnnections” (a poorly defined word of dubious value) mostly involve the year-to-year fluctuations, but it’s also clear the overall background water vapor is increasing, in line with climate predictions – but there’s a lot of regional variability based on atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns.

    The earlier claims, that global warming would lead to massive reorganization of global circulation, reversal of the Gulf Stream, the “Day After Tomorrow” scenario and so on – have been largely rejected. What you are seeing is alteration of existing patterns, such as the northward expansion of the Hadley Cell and the associated expansion of subtropical dry zones.

    Likewise, you have temperature and pressure differentials over land and oceans in many regions. In the southeastern U.S., this leads to drought – but as you go north into mid-latitude dominated regions, you get more rainfall and flooding.

    It’s kind of humorous how realclimate is restricting itself to criticizing (and hence publicizing) the most absurd blogosphere claims of a handful of diehard denialists, while entirely ignoring the real issues in climate.

    The usefulness-relevance factor is falling here – and as far as biogeochemistry and the carbon & nitrogen cycles, realclimate hasn’t a clue – witness the apparent support for coal-based carbon capture, idiotic cap-and-trade proposals with zero scientific backing – what is an offset, biogeochemically speaking, anyway?

    This points to some rather serious problems with the U.S. academic science community as well as within the U.S. media institutions, don’t you think? For example, a complete refusal to discuss drought and flooding in relation to climate change?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 2 Apr 2010 @ 12:12 PM

  66. Bart (53)–well done!! Wish I’d thought of that analogy myself.

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 2 Apr 2010 @ 1:07 PM

  67. RE- Comment by Ike Solem — 2 April 2010 @ 12:12 PM:

    Ike, you seem to have wandered off into non sequitur land. Please try to find your way back.


    Comment by Steve Fish — 2 Apr 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  68. “Where the devil is the devil in intelligent design?”

    Probably lurking in the details again. . .

    [Response: :-)]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:52 PM

  69. Bart, I don’t know diddle about econometrics, or stochastic pants sizes, but according to wikipedia “As noted above, a unit root process has a variance that depends on t, and diverges to infinity”. You may be facing some serious dry goods yardage issues.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 2 Apr 2010 @ 6:40 PM

  70. OT

    [Response: Au contraire! Your post here is far more appropriate than you realize–thanks for making the connections that would otherwise have escaped most of us.–Jim]

    Keep your eyes on this crappy link:

    Call it flippy floppy, wibbly wobbly, thin or rotten ice it shows the indadequacy of the climate computer models due to the admitted bias of modellers themselves.

    Modellers have an inbuilt bias towards forced climate change because the causes and effect are clear.”
    “General circulation modelling of Holocene climate variability”,
    by Gavin Schmidt, Drew Shindell, Ron Miller, Michael Mann and David Rind, published in Quaternary Science Review in 2004.)

    Comment by Jimbo — 2 Apr 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  71. I don’t want any of you warmists to be taken by surprise but here is SPIEGEL ONLINE 2010 which has its own take on climate scientists and the IPCC. (In English in 8 parts!!!),1518,686697,00.html

    Comment by Jimbo — 2 Apr 2010 @ 7:48 PM

  72. Jimbo, What a load of Sheist. Get back in touch when you have something from an actual science journal.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 8:50 PM

  73. You didn’t cite Wegmann and Said. Plagiarism.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 2 Apr 2010 @ 9:36 PM

  74. RE- Comment by Jimbo — 2 April 2010 @ 7:48 PM:

    Jimbo, I was able to get through parts 1 and 2 of the Spiegel Online piece. Do you really expect anybody with more than two neurons connected by a spirochete to pay any attention to an opinion piece that starts off with unsupported allegations regarding a scientist’s medications and emotional upset resulting from attacks on his character? Whether true or not, this sort of journalism is obviously not serious regarding the important scientific issues that inform us regarding how we all are going to deal with a future threatened by several looming ecological and economic problems. Evers, Stamph and you need to start looking beyond popular culture.

    Unfortunately I am not surprised. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 2 Apr 2010 @ 9:59 PM

  75. #69–Doesn’t sound like “its own take.”

    In fact, it sounds decidedly familiar. Faux news-style “balance.”

    Blah, blah, blah. . .

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Apr 2010 @ 10:01 PM

  76. German journalism lives! This is the greatest reporting since the Hitler Diaries.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Apr 2010 @ 4:55 AM

  77. Referring to April 2007… We happen to be near Easter 2010, and massive lamb feasts. There’s the rule that no dyeing is done during the festivities so the albedo should start decreasing on tuesday.

    Comment by jyyh — 3 Apr 2010 @ 5:51 AM

  78. The Apr 1 post was no more or less idiotic than the daily phlegm posted. OK, a little funnier, but not as funny as the concept of CO2 as a primary driver.

    Comment by john — 3 Apr 2010 @ 6:56 AM

  79. #70 Ray – Lets see, 460 comments under the Guardian Responds article – which is what, the fourth RC article dealing with Guardian coverage? And how many comments have complained about Andy Revkin or other British, American or Australian media coverage? It’s rather chauvanistic to dismiss Der Spiegel coverage because it’s not a scientific journal.

    Der Spiegel is a very influential, generally left-leaning and pro-environmental magazine in what is arguably the country that is most committed to climate change mitigation.

    I found the Der Spiegel article pretty disturbing. Maybe the left in Germany is mirroring the US GOP by opposing anything that Merkel stands for regardless of merit?

    Comment by JiminMpls — 3 Apr 2010 @ 7:10 AM

  80. I find the hard left in any country disturbing. They are as reality-challenged as the far right–look at Alex Cockburn. It is just that they are not in a position to impose their silly beliefs.

    I think that the basic problem is the same–journalists do not understand science and science does not lend itself well to the usual formats imposed by the “craft” of journalism. First and foremost, a story must hold the interest of the reader. It can do this by
    1)Telling the reader what he wants to hear–e.g. a feel-good piece about a group he identifies with or a hatchet job against a perceived enemy.
    2)Exploding myths about a subject that are widely held by the public–the Man bites dog story.
    3)Imposing a narrative–often the inspiring story of an individual triumphing over “the establishment” or against amazing odds.
    4)Imposing conflict, whether any is actually present or not. And the journalist tries to be impartial by taking a “middle road” between the antagonists.

    Science–especially mature science like that relating to climate change–does not lend itself to any of these, and some of its implications are disturbing. So when they cover it at all, the media tend to try to fit it into one of the above boxes. The narrative does probably the least violence to the facts–at least potentially. However, the Man Bites Dog and conflict formats are a very tempting to lazy journalists as well. The Der Speigel story seems to be trying all of the above.

    Frankly, I generally don’t read popularized accounts of science at all. They so rarely get anything right that I wind up angrily throwing the magazine/paper away. Andy tries, but he is especially guilty of “taking the middle road”, a tack that works poorly when the dispute is between scientists and liars.

    The thing to remember is that none of this affects the evidence. It’s still there. If we ask nature the same questions 10 years from now, she’ll give us the same answers. This is not a contest the liars can win. They can delay. They may even delay long enough to die fat and happy in their own beds. Ultimately, though, people will know the truth, and they’ll know they’ve been lied to. The only question is whether it will then be too late to do anything to avert catastrophe.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Apr 2010 @ 9:06 AM

  81. Poor John @77 doesn’t realize that he IS the joke.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Apr 2010 @ 9:07 AM

  82. Where is Plimer when you need him?
    What happened to him by the way- has he fallen from denier grace?

    Comment by Sue Jones — 3 Apr 2010 @ 10:24 AM

  83. #79 john

    I see poor john moved to 79. What john seems to not realize is that there can be different drivers of the same car at different times and if there is more than one driver in the car, side seat and back seat drivers can actually have an influence on the main driver.

    History of Climate Science

    Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade
    Sign the Petition!

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 3 Apr 2010 @ 11:37 AM

  84. Steve Fish, you wrote (#74): “I was able to get through parts 1 and 2 of the Spiegel Online piece”.
    I agree with you that Phil Jones’ state of mind is not the most important issue when discussing the global warming research. But by stopping at page 2 of the Spiegel overview, you have missed some important conclusions. I will mention here only 2 of them.
    About ‘The Reality of Rising Sea Levels”:
    ‘Two factors influence the sea level. The first one affects it directly: When water heats, it expands. This warming effect, which can be calculated with relative precision, is expected to cause the sea level to rise by about 22 centimeters by 2100. Another effect that is not as easy to calculate is the melting of mountain glaciers and inland ice in Greenland and Antarctica. Most of the melting today is happening in mountain glaciers, from the Andes to the Himalayas. According to IPCC calculations, this melting activity contributes 0.8 millimeters a year to the rise in sea level. Greenland and Antarctica each contribute another 0.2 millimeters.’
    So I suppose that this would all in all lead to approximately 32 cm sea level rise by 2100.
    ‘Der Spiegel’ then adds that there is a possibility that the contribution of melting glaciers might become larger but that this is quite uncertain:
    ‘Meanwhile, satellite observations indicate that the rate at which the ice is melting has increased. Glaciologists speculate that parts of the Western Antarctic and, to a greater extent, Greenland, are melting more quickly than initially assumed. But many scientists are reluctant to make new predictions, because the inner processes in the gigantic ice caps remain insufficiently understood. Reliable data on the behavior of calving glaciers has only existed for about 10 years. Greenland’s glaciers are currently spitting a particularly large amount of ice into the ocean. After such a phase, however, many ice flows become dormant again for a longer period of time.’

    About ‘The Myth of the Monster Storm’
    ‘Last month Landsea, together with top US hurricane researchers, published a study that finally disproves the supposed link between hurricanes and global warming. The study concludes with the assessment that “tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same.” Top wind speeds could increase somewhat, says Landsea, but the changes would “not be truly substantial.”’

    Wouldn’t you agree that it makes more sense to formulate counter-arguments, if possible, rather than ignore that an important opinion leader in Germany has written the statements above?,1518,686697,00.html

    Comment by wilt — 3 Apr 2010 @ 11:56 AM

  85. I’m sorry that the beginning of this article didn’t go on longer and in more depth. When I was in school, ten to fifteen years ago, I was really into metapopulation stuff, the design of conservation areas, and Wright’s shifting balance theory — all as applied to ideas. The notion that ideas evolved similarly to genes has been fairly popular probably since before Dawkins’s “Selfish Gene” and the coining of “meme”. It seemed to me that ideas in different environments would be freer to roam and explore different regions and peaks of an adaptive landscape if there was more limited exchange (more ‘sub-populations’ or fields of inquiry). That is, I kind of thought the world of ideas would be richer somehow if lines of division were strengthened (eg by supporting more non-English journals or something). And I bolstered that idea in my own mind by thinking of the SLOSS argument (Single Large or Several Small) in the design of conservation reserves. Like the metapopulation paper cited in this blogpost, I thought disease was an excellent motivation for restricting movement [of ideas] … because, unlike deleterious alleles which are set up to decline owing to natural selection, bad ideas can act more like aggressive diseases.

    Instead of going on with this, I’ll just point out the irony of me now coming to a climate website, reading this fun April Fool’s piece, and going away a bit disappointed that I didn’t learn much about what the latest research says about evolution of ideas in time and space.

    Comment by Steve L — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:03 PM

  86. Wilt, Der Speigel has simply chosen to regurgitate a decades worth of denialist lies. The only appropriate refutation would be to point them to Realclimate’s START HERE button or the Skeptical Science iPhone app.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:56 PM

  87. RE- Comment by wilt — 3 April 2010 @ 11:56 AM:

    You say- “Wouldn’t you agree that it makes more sense to formulate counter-arguments, if possible, rather than ignore that an important opinion leader in Germany has written the statements above?”

    I am sorry but I don’t agree. I find that “opinion leaders” are usually not a good source of scientific information and I have to waste time double checking them. For me, a good standard for reading anything that is supposedly factual is that if an article leads off with obviously biased, inaccurate, or in this case, irrelevant and inappropriate information, the rest can’t usually be trusted.


    Comment by Steve Fish — 3 Apr 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  88. wypożyczalnia samochodów dostawczych says: 3 April 2010 at 5:03 AM

    That’s a spambot not a person.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Apr 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  89. OT but I hope interesting.

    Is Google biased?

    A year ago my colleague and I did an analysis of popular climate blogs based on Google ‘page rank’. The page rank goes from 0 to 10. The higher the rank the more enquiries Google is likely to send to that site. What we have found is the while non-sceptic sites are more or less in balance, as many sites have moved up as have moved down, for sceptic sites this is not the case. The number of demotions is more than 5 times higher than the number of promotions.

    It is not due to changes in posting frequency. We have also found that non-sceptical sites with few visitors (according to Alexa) sometimes have the same page rank as popular sceptic sites with 100 times as many visitors.

    It seems as if Google is biased against climate sceptics.

    [Response:Hopefully that analysis is better than your tree ring discussion, which I assume was not an April Fool’s joke.–Jim]

    Comment by Ron — 3 Apr 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  90. Ron@90
    Site rankings are a result of links to that site, not number of updates or hits, it’s not google that’s biased, it’s everyone else on the net :)

    Comment by flxible — 3 Apr 2010 @ 4:44 PM

  91. Ron, the problem is there are so many people with so many mutually inconsistent ideas — the sum of all the different “Not the IPCC” opinions is large, but they don’t point to one another because they quite often contradict one another. A few examples here:

    The “Anything but the IPCC” sites do get and make more links than those for sites by people with one firmly held opinion. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but they tend not to link to other people’s.

    The climate scientists tend to point to one another a lot because they’re all working with attempts to find and understand the same facts — the real world.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Apr 2010 @ 6:04 PM

  92. Ron, if the effect you see is real, I imagine it is a result of frustrated users searching for answers to questions and seeing (and ignoring or demoting) credulous nonsense hiding behind the “sceptic” label.

    However, my personal experience is that denier sites are all over the results pages, and hard to avoid. All that oil money being put to good use, one assumes. Gaming search engines is a bad thing, and THAT is pretty much guaranteed to hurt pagerank when Google penalises the SEO attempts.

    Google don’t publish their ranking algorithms, and for good reason.

    Comment by Didactylos — 3 Apr 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  93. Hank wrote in 93:

    Ron, the problem is there are so many people with so many mutually inconsistent ideas — the sum of all the different “Not the IPCC” opinions is large, but they don’t point to one another because they quite often contradict one another. A few examples here:

    …. The climate scientists tend to point to one another a lot because they’re all working with attempts to find and understand the same facts — the real world.

    What Hank wrote really gets to the heart of the issue. The coherence of the scientific case is the result of thousands of scientists all attempting to adhere to reality. Since there is only one reality their views will tend to be more coherent. Those that support modern science will tend to be united by a great deal more than those who are united simply by their often mutually contradictory opposition to modern science.

    And consequently those who are united by science will tend to link to one-another a great deal more.
    However, it isn’t simply the number of websites that link to a given website that determines its rank. It is also a question of the “quality” of those links — where by “quality” one is considering the pagerank of those websites and weighting their links to a given website accordingly. So essentially what Google does is it begins by assigning every webpage the same weight. Then in the next stage it weights each webpage by the number of webpages linking to that webpage.

    In essence, those webpages that are referred to more often are considered more authoritative, and thus so are the links that they make to other webpages. Thus in the next stage it weights each webpage according to sum of the links pointing to it, but where the links are weighted according to the pagerank (from the previous stage) of the webpages making those links.

    This could be continued indefinitely — but in actuality only a few stages are required before the weight associated with each webpage settles on a specific value. And as a consequence of the nature of the algorithm, it has the effect of amplifying the asymmetry that already exists between those who support science and those who are united simply by their opposition to science — where very few of the websites making links are regarded as “authoritative” about much of anything.

    Anyway, to learn more about the pagerank algorithm please see:


    However, note that Google’s algorithm has become “more sophisticated” than the original algorithm — in part to take into account content and to avoid various approaches to game the system. For example, there was something called “Google Bombing” a while back which worked quite well back in 2006, but judging from at least one recent attempt late last year by some fellow called “Morano” it doesn’t seem to work all that well any more. And presumably Google might be taking into account the speed with which a webpage loads soon.

    Please see:

    Site Speed, Google’s Next Ranking Factor
    by Barry Schwartz, Nov 13, 2009

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 3 Apr 2010 @ 7:29 PM

  94. wilt, your (or der spiegel’s?) summary of the hurricane study seems a tad off the mark, according to the original press release (albeit we have learned that press releases are not always accurate!)


    The study offers projections for tropical cyclones worldwide by the end of this century, and some experts said the bad news outweighs the good. Overall strength of storms as measured in wind speed would rise by 2 to 11 per cent, but there would be between 6 and 34 per cent fewer storms in number. Essentially, there would be fewer weak and moderate storms and more of the big damaging ones, which also are projected to be stronger due to warming.

    An 11 per cent increase in wind speed translates to roughly a 60 per cent increase in damage, said study co-author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Apr 2010 @ 7:37 PM

  95. This RealClimate is post truly hysterical (even though my girlfriend tells me that word is about as sexist as they come)! But did you ever wonder what kind of jokes denier web sites do for April Fools day? They could do stuff like:

    “Al Gore gets fined for disconnecting his catalytic converter to get better gas mileage”


    “Climatologist gets frostbite from leaving his refrigerator open overnight”

    But they don’t. So far, I can’t find anything nearly as funny as the post here on RealClimate. What do you think it means when a countermovement lacks a sense of humor?

    [Response: Perhaps that they collectively lack the newly discovered humor gene?–Jim]

    [Response: They do have some funny cartoons, and they are funny according to Esquire. -rasmus]

    Comment by Craig Nazor — 3 Apr 2010 @ 11:19 PM

  96. I hope this is not an inappropriate request. If it is, please accept my apologies.

    Re “climate literacy,” I’ve drafted a KISS (keep it simple, stupid) description of global warming for my introductory survey on sea level rise. While I’ve used good sources in writing these few pages, I’m a mere generalist, not a climate scientist, and need to be 100% I have my global warming facts right.

    If (free of charge) you might want to glance at my current draft and tell me what mistakes it contains, please let me know at

    [Response: You forgot the link to your draft.–Jim]

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 4 Apr 2010 @ 2:30 AM

  97. john (79): The Apr 1 post was no more or less idiotic than the daily phlegm posted. OK, a little funnier, but not as funny as the concept of CO2 as a primary driver.

    BPL: Let’s see, so you think thousands of climate scientists are wrong about a major part of modern climate science. Just a few questions for you, John. Try to answer them WITHOUT going to Wikipedia or an Encyclopedia.

    1. Could you write down the equation of radiative transfer to save your life? Do you know what it is or what it’s used for?

    2. When do you think the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was first proposed?

    3. Do you think the greenhouse effect exists at all? If so, can you describe how it works?

    Just wondering.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 4 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  98. Sorry if this is terribly off topic, but I was revieweing the NCDC state of the climate report for Feb 2010 and thought to document some novice observations.

    What’s interesting to note is that the Southern Hemisphere established a record high temperatures for both land and ocean surfaces. For the Northern Hemisphere, the oceans were also near records highs, but the land surfaces were off from near record levels. NH land was still top quartile, but this seems somewhat odd.

    So, looking closer, I note that the snowfall extent for the NH was very high. It’s not too much of a stretch to realize that this was due to a large number of winter storms and that the extensive snow coverage reduced surface albedo and increased radiational cooling.

    Of course, 1 month or year does not make a trend. However, the IPCC has also observed that snow fall extent is generally trending downward for all months except Nov and December. Feb is removed from the Nov/Dec time period, but could still be part of the stormy winter season as we just witnessed.

    Most climate models pedict increased precipitation in the northern part of the NH, especially in winter. So, it may be that winter storminess may be working toward seasonal biases in the rate of global warming which could also help explain why sea ice extent tends to reach near normal levels in March only to reach abnormally low levels by Sept at the end of the traditionally low storminess period.

    Thanks for any comments.

    Comment by Andrew — 4 Apr 2010 @ 7:56 AM

  99. Jim et al, re my post no. 96, I did NOT send in the draft. It’s too elementary for the experts! If anyone wants to read it, let me know at, and I’ll send it direct to them. Thanks.

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 4 Apr 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  100. I think that this is the most elaborate April Fool’s joke I have ever read.

    Very well done.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 4 Apr 2010 @ 12:38 PM

  101. #95 Re. Jim’s response/link

    Classic! As Yoda would say: ‘the irony is thick with this one’.

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
    History of Climate Science
    Arctic Ice Melt

    Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade
    Sign the Petition!

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 4 Apr 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  102. #98 Andrew

    Snowfall extent most likely attributed to the negative phase Arctic Oscillation (AO) mixed with increases in atmospheric moisture content and localized events such as El Nino. Generally speaking, warmer oceans mean more atmospheric moisture and more atmospheric moisture in winter can reasonably be expected to precip more snow. But more snow does not always mean more snow extent. Without the neg. AO, maybe we would have just gotten more of a pile in N. lats?

    I’m curious about the strength of the negative AO. I doubt it can be connected to global warming but it is interesting that it seems to be the strongest recorded since 1950. Certainly it could just be an anomaly though, but an interesting one.

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
    History of Climate Science
    Arctic Ice Melt

    Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade
    Sign the Petition!

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 4 Apr 2010 @ 1:30 PM

  103. OT, but the denier sites are all ablaze with what they are claiming are extremely high current Arctic ice levels. I’ve been in a bad enough mood to go to their sites and try to wise them up, but would appreciate a few links so I will be better prepared.

    Comment by mike roddy — 5 Apr 2010 @ 10:19 AM

  104. > Arctic ice

    Mike, they’re getting excited about the weather.

    “About average” is the new “Extremely High” as you can see here:

    The NSIDC site updates usually in the first week of the month; they should have new information sometime this week.

    It’s not going to change the trend, unless hell also freezes over at the same time:

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Apr 2010 @ 11:50 AM

  105. > It’s too elementary for the experts!

    Funniest thing I’ve read yet in the thread.
    From your own postings here, you haven’t understood the subject yet, so you want your draft evaluated only by people who aren’t experts, because ….???

    Experts annoy writers who want everything simple?
    They worry over details?
    They want the reader to understand reality?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Apr 2010 @ 12:16 PM

  106. Mike@103 What counts is mass balance not extent, the thickness is what’s decreasing, less “multi year” ice all the time. Also see this page [and the video there]

    Comment by flxible — 5 Apr 2010 @ 12:31 PM

  107. Ref #103
    Firstly it is necessary to accept that Arctic sea ice has recovered since its low in 2007 and almost reached its long-term average value early in April. Northern hemisphere winter snow cover over land was also the highest since 1978. On the other hand Antarctic sea ice, which has generally been increasing, is currently below its long-term average. The reasons for this are as much to do regional circulation patterns as temperature changes.

    My recommendation is not to get involved in arguments over short term trends. The data show that the trend for total snow and ice cover over the last 30 years has been been for a reduction of a few percent.

    Comment by Ron — 5 Apr 2010 @ 12:51 PM

  108. #103 mike roddy

    hmmm, asked and answered but I already wrote this so hope it maybe adds

    Context is key.

    Ice extent is not ice mass/thickness/volume. When it is dark and cold in the Arctic, ice extent grows back. This happens every year. There is a nice little video on this page that might help:

    What is more important is the September minimum, when the sun is hitting the Arctic and the trend on summer minimum is clearly down which will allow the Arctic to absorb more heat energy, which of course reduces the ability to reform multi-year ice and the multiyear ice is trending down strongly.

    It is difficult for people to get their heads around the idea that winter is cold, especially when there is no sunlight. The Arctic is actually dark in the winter. It’s weird, but people still don’t seem to understand that the north pole gets very cold in winter????

    Kind of mind boggling!

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
    History of Climate Science
    Arctic Ice Melt

    Our best chance for a better future ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Understand the delay and costs of Cap and Trade
    Sign the Petition!

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 5 Apr 2010 @ 12:54 PM

  109. Denialists are always all over their narrow-minded sphere every time one of the zillion weather time series temporarily seem to support their view. Yesterday it was ASU satellite temperatures, today Arctic ice, tomorrow a rainy day in Texas.

    Comment by Petro — 5 Apr 2010 @ 12:54 PM

  110. Ray Ladbury wrote (#86), with respect to the overview in Der Spiegel, (,1518,686697,00.html): “Der Spiegel has simply chosen to regurgitate a decades worth of denialist lies”.
    However, the WMO consensus article in Nature Geoscience that they discuss
    ( was published less than two months ago. From the abstract: “Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes.” It seems to me that this conclusion is not coming from denialists, and that this consensus is new, not a regurgitation from previous decades.

    Comment by wilt — 5 Apr 2010 @ 2:23 PM

  111. ‘wilt’ – you’ve contradicted yourself, apparently misreading the Nature Geoscience abstract and missing some important sentences after the one you quote.

    They said
    “Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes …”

    You wrote “this consensus is new.”

    But: _remains_uncertain_ — has been the state of things for quite a while, that it’s uncertain. Don’t confuse uncertainty with consensus.

    That would be a denial-type talking point, “they all agree they don’t know.”
    That would be misreading what’s on the page.

    And the key part is what follows — the consensus about anticipated increases. That doesn’t appear to be new either.

    So — where are you finding something new here?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Apr 2010 @ 3:54 PM

  112. “Firstly it is necessary to accept that Arctic sea ice has recovered since its low in 2007 and almost reached its long-term average value early in April”

    Why is that necessary?

    And note: it’s still well on track for continuing the past 40 year decline average. Please explain how this is a good thing.

    I am all ears…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 5 Apr 2010 @ 4:12 PM

  113. There has been no meaningful recovery of Arctic sea ice, for reasons fully explained above.

    It’s really foolish (or disingenuous) to think that a couple of weeks of (admittedly startling) growth in ext has any long-term significance.

    Wait and see.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 5 Apr 2010 @ 4:55 PM

  114. 111: Hank quoted: “”this consensus is new.””

    I would argue that there is never “new” consensus. By the time consensus
    forms it is necessarily old. A new point is articulated. First people say “it is wrong.” Then they say “it is trivial.” Eventually it becomes the accepted view (aka “the consensus”) that it is both correct and non-trivial. By then it is no longer new and people will have forgotten who said it the first time.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 5 Apr 2010 @ 6:40 PM

  115. Wilt, I would contend that the jury is and always has been out on tropical cyclones. I remain to be convinced either way on that one. It is certainly a threat to take seriously, as it could have severe impacts, especially when combined with rising sea levels. (I think that this is a good example of a threat posing serious risk, but still uncertain.)

    Again, Der Speigel is looking for a “man bites dog” angle, but the authors are simply too clueless about what the science actually says. It’s a piss poor effort.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Apr 2010 @ 7:08 PM

  116. Veteran science journalist at the Australian public broadcaster, Robyn Williams, sports a wicked sense of humour, and has been known to run a few early April specials himself.

    Realers might be interested in his latest effort. Actually April 3 and nor even slightly funny … except to insiders. It amounts to both barrels directly at his organisation’s pompous chairman, who recently called for more “balance” (i.e. denialism) in ABC AGW coverage.

    (Err, guess that would be four barrels: Dunlap, Freudenburg, Oreskes and Schneider, from the AAAS San Diego. I liked Freudenburg’s “last below average month” thing, even if his (deliberately?) dubious stats might blow Tamino’s fuse.)

    Comment by GlenFergus — 5 Apr 2010 @ 8:03 PM

  117. Mike asks in 103 about arctic sea ice…

    Mike, the only way the ice could actually increase in extent this spring is for it to freeze.

    If it froze in March or April, how thick might it be? I’m expecting that it’s very thin indeed and will last about as long as the last snowstorm of the year. As others have pointed out, it’s only stuck around due to unusual weather patterns that haven’t yet blown it out to sea.

    What I expect to happen is:

    1) In the next couple of months the weather pattern will change and all the new ice will blow out to sea. Even if that doesn’t happen:

    2) The thin first-year ice (it was warm up there when it should have been freezing – remember the “global warming can’t be happening because it’s cold in Florida” meme?) will melt at record rates.

    3) The multi-year ice was reported to be “rotten” last fall, and will also melt to new record lows in both extent and volume.

    4) The record melt this year will be assisted by el-nino driven warmer currents.

    My guess is that for these reasons we’ll see record low September minimums. And that at some point it’s going to melt at record rates – best odds are with the new ice that built up in march disappearing in a hurry.

    To the guys who run this site – great post. I’m sure you had a lot of people going until halfway through the post. The sheep albedo was obvious from the start.

    Comment by David Miller — 5 Apr 2010 @ 9:25 PM

  118. “Firstly it is necessary to accept that Arctic sea ice has recovered since its low in 2007 and almost reached its long-term average value early in April.” Ron — 5 April 2010 @ 12:51 PM
    I downloaded the Arctic Sea Ice extent data for January, February, and March 2010 from, and averaged the values, getting ~13.6 million km^2. Compare this with the numbers for JFM average extent (blue line) on the graph at The peak extent being delayed to the end of March, and looking at daily averages gives a deceptive picture of what’s happening. I think the shift of the peak represents a response to weather rather than climate, because the sea ice is predominantly thin first year ice. As the AO changes in future years, changing the wind stress on the thin first year ice, spreading it out in some years, and compressing it to lower extent in others, I think we will see larger variability and a continuing, albeit noisy, overall decline.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 5 Apr 2010 @ 9:51 PM

  119. > Mike, the only way the ice could actually increase in extent
    > this spring is for it to freeze.

    I think that’s wrong. Remember the “extent” is the area with 15 percent ice cover. So an area covered with ice that breaks up and spreads out also makes the “extent” greater.

    I’d guess that what we see is an increase of area covered by frozen ice as it’s freezing up, then a further increase as that frozen ice starts to break up and spread out. I don’t know where that falls on the curve, if so.

    It would be followed by a drop as the ice thins out to below that 15 percent cover amount — or gets concentrated again by the wind for that matter — per pixel, and remembering there’s adjustments for angle and cloud cover that have to be made, which is why the final numbers take a while.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Apr 2010 @ 10:04 PM


    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Apr 2010 @ 10:08 PM

  121. What Hank said. . .

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 5 Apr 2010 @ 10:42 PM

  122. A new documentary several years in the making “There Once was an Island” releases this week. Beautifully and intimately filmed it’s more or less a labour of love from Lyn Collie, a New Zealand woman based in Auckland.

    “Three people in a unique Pacific Island community face the first devastating effects of climate change, including a terrifying flood. Will they decide to stay with their island home or move to a new and unfamiliar land, leaving their culture and language behind forever?”

    Comment by RedLogix — 6 Apr 2010 @ 1:20 AM

  123. My #107 comment on #103
    Some commentators have picked up on the first sentence of my comment, about the current level of sea ice, and ignored the final conclusion, that the long term trend is downward. ( After 2007 too many people rushed to claim that Arctic ice would disappear before the Himalayan glaciers. It’s not surprising that others jumped on the current situation to disprove it. Climate change is about long-term (>30 year)trends not extreme events.

    The parallel discussion in this thread on the consensus on tropical storms is also relevant. Long-term data from 1850 suggest that cyclone activity has increased during periods of increasing temperature (1870-90, 1910-40 and 1975-2005) and fallen between these periods. Overall there is a slight upward trend.

    I have worked with climate data all my professional life and recently have spent a lot of time putting together data sets of long-term data. If I was to write the next IPCC report (which of course I won’t be) my message would be “It’s not as bad as we thought but we are more certain.”

    Comment by Ron — 6 Apr 2010 @ 2:22 AM

  124. This may be a foolish question but I’ll ask it anyway:

    – I am told that if a huge glacier suddenly collapses, sea level will quickly rise by several meters. How much advance warning, if any, would we have of such an impending collapse?

    [Response: This is very strange. What ‘huge glacier’ are you talking about? There is no single glacier that large (i.e. the whole of Greenland!) that is going to ‘suddenly collapse’. If your question is more related to the speed of propagation of sea level anomalies, then this is related to the ‘shallow water’ wave speeds = sqrt(gH) or about 150-200 m/s in the deep ocean – the speed of a tsunami. – gavin]

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 6 Apr 2010 @ 3:01 AM

  125. Ray Ladbury (#115), thanks for your response to my earlier remark (#110).
    In your initial comment (#86) you suggested that Der Spiegel only presented ‘denialist lies’. With respect to tropical cyclones you now write: “I would contend that the jury is and always has been out on tropical cyclones”. I can agree with that formulation. In my perspective the suggestion had always been that the greenhouse effect was somehow responsible (IPCC-report: “It is more likely than not (>50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity”. Therefore for me (and perhaps for some other people as well) the WMO consensus report discussed by Der Spiegel had news value.

    Comment by wilt — 6 Apr 2010 @ 3:07 AM

  126. #102 John P. Reisman said:

    I’m curious about the strength of the negative AO. I doubt it can be connected to global warming but it is interesting that it seems to be the strongest recorded since 1950. Certainly it could just be an anomaly though, but an interesting one.

    I second that and would gladly welcome an article or two on the subject of possible synoptic scale weather patterns in a warmed-up world. I know as the oceans warm they’ll keep the heat during autmuns better than the continents but is this enough to change the AO mostly negative during winters? The evaporation during dark months might lower the average pressures over the warmer open ocean giving higher pressures over the continent (as happened last winter) but is this effect seen in models, and are there other things affecting the atmospheric circulation? No doubt the exceptional weather events will continue to happen what with all the extra energy in the system and the imbalance of radiative equilibrium, but I for one would like to see some weather maps of a warmed-up world. I’d think those as a guidance of what might be coming my way, as it is clear weather is not climate. But knowing this site is about science and not weather forecasting I doubt I won’t see those here…

    Comment by jyyh — 6 Apr 2010 @ 4:04 AM

  127. Might be worth mentioning that the only spot where the arctic sea ice area is well above the anomaly from the 1979-2008 mean is the Bering Sea, which completely melts every summer. I think I read the ice is being blown out there. (And the mean is the warming period – including up to only two years ago, not the distant past.)

    Everywhere else in the arctic it’s just sitting around the 1979-2008 mean, some below, a couple just a smidgen above. So in a few short weeks, the deniosaurs will move onto to something else.

    Comment by Sou — 6 Apr 2010 @ 4:07 AM

  128. Hank, you realise that to a denialist, that graph shows the March measurement for 2010 to be above the line.

    They of course omit the fact that the line is a decreasing trend…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 6 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  129. Hey! You’ve pinched my idea for an FP7 proposal on the epidemiology of not-even-wrong ideas in the denialosphere :-p

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 6 Apr 2010 @ 6:15 AM

  130. “After 2007 too many people rushed to claim that Arctic ice would disappear before the Himalayan glaciers.”

    I believe you’ll find the assertion was about an ice-free North Pole.

    NOT an ice-free arctic.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 6 Apr 2010 @ 8:12 AM

  131. PS: “If I was to write the next IPCC report (which of course I won’t be) my message would be “It’s not as bad as we thought but we are more certain.””

    would be wrong.

    It’s WORSE than the IPCC projected in most measures of “worseness”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 6 Apr 2010 @ 8:13 AM

  132. wilt, the Der Spiegal article is not a collection of denialist lies unless one takes the extreme position (note I am not saying incorrect, just extreme) that journalists are unable to accurately cover climate science unless they confine themselves to illuminating the struggle of scientists vs. liars. The article is a useful summary of the plight of Jones, the IPCC and climate science in general as a result of the exposed UEA emails now under formal investigation. It is not welcome news here, but while I am sure the article has inaccuracies such as all summary articles must, that the news is unwelcome does not make it untrue. Might be a good idea for a new RC thread to allow folks to pick at the 8 parts that comprise the thing — it is a major article in a major magazine in an important country.

    Comment by Walter Manny — 6 Apr 2010 @ 8:42 AM

  133. > Ron
    > Climate change is about long-term (>30 year)trends

    Well, the number depends on the particular data set you’re looking at; you need to assess the natural variability to determine how many data points, over how much time, are needed to have a reasonable chance of saying a trend exists.
    Robert Grumbine has a good explanation of this aimed at high school level.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Apr 2010 @ 9:00 AM

  134. RedLogix (#122) pointed our attention to the release of “There Once was an Island”, where “Three people in a unique Pacific Island community face the first devastating effects of climate change, including a terrifying flood.”
    From your description, it sounds like this may be a nice movie, a piece of fiction. But why should it be called a documentary? A reasonable prediction for sea level rise during the rest of this century would be about 30 cm (see also the earlier thread about Sealevelgate). Which island are we talking about, that would soon be devastasted by a terryfying flood? Unless you are referring to the effects of a tsunami, of course, but since you mentioned climate change I suppose this is not what the ‘documentary’ is about.

    Comment by wilt — 6 Apr 2010 @ 9:22 AM

  135. Walter Manny (#132) wrote:
    “wilt, the Der Spiegel article is not a collection of denialist lies.”

    In order to avoid misunderstandings: I have never said it was. In a previous comment (#110) I took distance from a remark by Ray Ladbury (#86) who initially had written that der Spiegel “has simply chosen to regurgitate a decades worth of denialist lies”.
    And I agree with you that it would be better to have a serious debate about the summary in der Spiegel, rather than ignoring it or calling it just old lies.
    PS I should give credit to Ray Ladbury that in a later comment (#115) he admitted that with respect to tropical cyclones, one of the topics discussed in der Spiegel, the jury was still out.

    Comment by wilt — 6 Apr 2010 @ 9:42 AM

  136. “unless one takes the extreme position that journalists are unable to accurately cover climate science unless they confine themselves to illuminating the struggle of scientists vs. liars.”

    I call strawman.

    Who says that, apart from you Wally?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 6 Apr 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  137. Thanks, Gavin, for your comments on my post no. 124. My question was indeed pretty foolish but it initially arose in my mind thanks to another climate-issue website.

    There a writer asserted that a major catastrophe would be needed to mobilize enough political will to deal with rapid sea level rise. What do you think about this hypothesis? Excluding a mega-ice collapse, what other catastrophe might prod the developed world into action?

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 6 Apr 2010 @ 10:23 AM

  138. #123 Ron

    Are you including the feedback mechanisms in your considerations?

    Also consider that the feedbacks are not merely physiological but also tied to human economic systems in relation to natural economies.

    The term “not as bad’ is relative. Not as bad as who thought?

    Who cares if the Himalaya beats or does not beat the Arctic? It’s all bad on different levels. Climate state change, albedo, Northern Amplification Effect, Loss of fresh water supplies from the Himalaya, etc.

    Also, slight increases in cyclone activity (or strength) can easily translate into large economic impacts on landfall TC’s

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:25 AM

  139. #126 jyyh

    I should have said ‘I doubt it can be connected to global warming yet’.

    It may be that state changes tied to circulation pattern changes and ocean cycle changes may show that strong negative AO events may be tied to global warming.

    Just don’t know yet.

    I think all these pressure changes latitudinally certainly will have impacts and am curious if anyone is playing around with that yet?

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:27 AM

  140. “In a previous comment (#110) I took distance from a remark by Ray Ladbury (#86) who initially had written that der Spiegel “has simply chosen to regurgitate a decades worth of denialist lies”.”

    Um, they are lies.

    And denialists often repeat them in a zombie argument fashion.

    The ONLY point which you can debate Ray’s accuracy is the “simply” bit. But since there doesn’t seem to be any attempt at fact checking, this is very much supportable by evidence available.

    If you have any insider information to change that conclusion, please show it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  141. “A reasonable prediction for sea level rise during the rest of this century would be about 30 cm (see also the earlier thread about Sealevelgate).”

    More like 80cm – 200cm.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:47 AM

  142. NSIDC just released their update on ice extent:

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
    History of Climate Science
    Arctic Ice Melt

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:56 AM

  143. Completely Fed Up (#140) asked me for “insider information” that could change his conclusion. I suggest that he first reads my previous comment (#110) including the link that I provided to the WMO consensus article on tropical cyclones ( For a more in-depth analysis of this article, see

    Comment by wilt — 6 Apr 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  144. John P. Reisman (#142) provided a link to the new update on sea ice from NSIDC. There was a remarkable brief interview with NSIDC’s director Mark Serreze in the London Times a few days ago. Mark Serreze was surprised by the Arctic’s recovery from the great melt of 2007 when summer ice shrank to its smallest recorded extent. “In retrospect, the reactions to the 2007 melt were overstated. The lesson is that we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event,” Serreze said. Times Online April 4, 2010

    Comment by wilt — 6 Apr 2010 @ 1:17 PM

  145. CFU, strawman constructed here: “Andy [Revkin] tries, but he is especially guilty of ‘taking the middle road’, a tack that works poorly when the dispute is between scientists and liars.”

    Comment by Walter Manny — 6 Apr 2010 @ 3:03 PM

  146. wilt@144 quote Mark Serreze: ” (…)The lesson is that we must be more careful in not reading too much into one event”
    Yes, such as the event of late expansion of sea ice extent in March 2010. Wait for Sept 2010 to make comparisons of summer sea ice extent.

    Comment by flxible — 6 Apr 2010 @ 4:25 PM

  147. #144 wilt

    Which is why climate is the examination of trends and associated influences that drive the forcings involved in inducing the trends.

    You have presented a classic red herring. SO, you want fries with that?

    Context is key. Your focusing on information out of context is silly.

    Video: A Climate Minute
    History of Climate Science
    Arctic Ice Melt

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 6 Apr 2010 @ 8:00 PM

  148. #108 John, speaking of sea levels, in going to the National Oceanographic Center
    I started checking the sea rise, and fall, over the past few decades. In going down the west coast of North America, starting at Juneau the sea level dropped by a couple of meters. At Victoria B.C. it was about flat, Neah Bay, it dropped, while farther down the coast to Montery it was about flat over time. Any ideas why that would happen if the sea levels are rising?

    [Response: If you are seeing 1 m changes then you are looking at earthquakes (take a look at Juneau, AK, around 1964), or at isostatic rebound (yup, the land in BC and Alaska is going UP so sea level seems to be going down, because the land is still responding to the loading of ice (2 km of it or so) that sat on it 14,000 years ago.–eric]

    Comment by J. Bob — 6 Apr 2010 @ 9:04 PM

  149. Great post I love a good April Fools post no matter which forum! Keep on keepin on. I’m more of a skeptic/denier but I really enjoy and appreciate this forum and the excellent posts and debate. Thank you and have a great day!

    Comment by grzejnik — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:00 PM

  150. J. Bob:
    (note the rates of change)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Apr 2010 @ 11:34 PM

  151. Flxible (#146) you are right. I have never claimed that the recent “expansion” of Arctic sea ice is saying much about the summer minimum this year. And even if it does, then data from one year only should not be taken out of context. That is exactly what happened in 2007 (as M. Serreze now admits) and we should not make the same mistake again. I fail to see why such a remark would be silly, as Reisman does (#147). In my view extremists on both sides are often making precisely the same mistake by completely focusing on one piece of (welcome) information and ignoring everything else.

    Comment by wilt — 7 Apr 2010 @ 1:43 AM

  152. Wilt, that is a rebunked issue. Which if there had been ANY research would have been seen fairly easily.

    Still nothing to prove an alternate interpretation.

    Please try again.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 7 Apr 2010 @ 2:47 AM

  153. #124 Hunt Janin; (what Gavin said) I guess the writer in the climate issue site was referring to West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is being monitored quite closely. And anyway the whole sheet will not come down at once, if a large break happens there (due rain or meltwater pores decreasing the integrity of the sheet) the upper rest of the glacier will stop as it is thicker and will touch the ground after the break has happened (someone please correct if that is totally out of line). (that’s why the breakup -story on my blog is Science Fiction.)

    Comment by jyyh — 7 Apr 2010 @ 2:58 AM

  154. #150 Hank, I don’t think wave erosion to have an effect on sea level measurement. The scales I’ve seen are set in concrete for wave action to significantly effect results.

    As far as geological raising (2-10 m/1000 yrs.), that would not be the case for Juneau.
    Juneau Alaska’s sea level dropped 8m since 1940, that’s a lot of earth rising, a lot of sea dropping or questionable data taking.

    Comparing Victoria BC (up ~0.5m since 1910) and across the sound at Neah Bay, WA down ~1.5m since 1935. Alameda Naval Air Station flat since 1940, La Jolla (Scripps Pier) up ~1m since 1940. And that’s just along the NE Pacific coast

    Looking at the data it would seem like there is to much variability and contradictions in the data, at least of what I have looked at so far, to come to any real conclusion.

    Comment by J. Bob — 7 Apr 2010 @ 10:00 PM

  155. P.S. eric, that Juneau data was a continuous line with NO sharp breaks so as to indicate a earthquake. The Anchorage did however have a discontinuity in it’s data.

    Comment by J. Bob — 7 Apr 2010 @ 10:08 PM

  156. J.Bob, you didn’t get the point. Try that animation again. Notice that sometimes it’s the sea going up or down, and other times it’s the land side going up. That’s typical on this side of the continent. The terraces mark places where the sea and land happened to line up at some time in the past for long enough to erode some of it.

    The PDF file describes some of the erosion terraces along the N. Ca. coast — and points out that pieces are rotating and tipping as well as moving along the faults and being eroded, and includes mention of rates at various points. It’s not simple. All the pieces and the sea level are changing at the same time.

    Yes, you’re right that after looking at this for a few minutes you won’t understand it all. Science is like that, people can spend a lifetime working on a little piece of the big puzzle. Once they do they try to explain it to people like us.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Apr 2010 @ 11:26 PM


    —excerpt follows—
    As Alaska Glaciers Melt, It’s Land That’s Rising
    Published: May 17, 2009

    JUNEAU, Alaska — Global warming conjures images of rising seas that threaten coastal areas. But in Juneau, as almost nowhere else in the world, climate change is having the opposite effect: As the glaciers here melt, the land is rising, causing the sea to retreat….

    The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch. The land is ascending so fast that the rising seas — a ubiquitous byproduct of global warming — cannot keep pace. As a result, the relative sea level is falling, at a rate “among the highest ever recorded,” according to a 2007 report by a panel of experts convened by Mayor Bruce Botelho of Juneau.

    Greenland and a few other places have experienced similar effects from widespread glacial melting that began more than 200 years ago, geologists say. But, they say, the effects are more noticeable in and near Juneau, where most glaciers are retreating 30 feet a year or more.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Apr 2010 @ 11:36 PM

  158. “The geology is complex, but it boils down to this: Relieved of billions of tons of glacial weight, the land has risen much as a cushion regains its shape after someone gets up from a couch.”

    It’s a bit more like a water bed for a giant.

    Rebound occurs, unlike a couch.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Apr 2010 @ 8:21 AM

  159. Hank, I chose Juneau, due to the rapid change in sea level. It is much higher the then normal continental uplift, and out of the norm. But that is one big change in 60 years. Now it could be geological in nature, I will grant you that, but it started a thread, so I went down the coast and compared Victoria and Neah bay reading. Relatively close but the sea level at Victoria is essentially flat, while Neah Bay is down about 1m. All since 1940. Do you have an explanation?

    As far as “terracing”, or wave action,we are not talking long term, but within the last say 60 years. Good meter stations are set on bedrock, unlikely to be effected by wave action in 40-60 years.

    P.S. Did you look at the Juneau plot? The downward trend looks fairly consistent.

    Comment by J. Bob — 8 Apr 2010 @ 10:39 AM

  160. J. Bob

    I noticed you have not signed the petition yet? Why?

    You said in post #281 in

    that you only needed my thoughts on the ice extent before you signed the petition. You have now heard my thoughts, but you have not yet signed the petition?

    Or did you mean my other thoughts?

    VIDEO: A Climate Minute
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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:19 AM

  161. To continue my answer to Hunt Janin: When the earth warmed up because of the Milankovich Cycles at the end of the Last Glacial Period, it took quite a while ( about 5000 years see f.e. ) of sustained warming to warm up the Laurentide Glacier to form Lake Agassiz that produced the Meltwater Pulse 1A with an ocean level rise of 5m/century. The only glaciers currently on the planet that may produce such massive floods are the Greenland Ice Sheet and East Antarctic Ice Sheet and while there are some signs that the core temperature of GIS has risen they’re not yet near melting point. I’m not very good with numbers, but judging from different images this warming of 6 degrees at the end of last glacial happened in appr. 5000 years, that is 0,012 degrees/decade so the current warming of ~0,2 degrees/decade (with a possible increase in speed) is currently about 17 times faster. If the glaciers behave as they did when the glaciers last melted with speed, this would mean appr. 300 years before a meltwater pulse occurs. This very rough approximation does NOT include the gradual ocean level rise from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (+6m) that likely happens before as is evidenced by the fluctuations of Ocean levels during the Eemian Period.

    Comment by jyyh — 9 Apr 2010 @ 2:41 AM

  162. #160, Hi John. My comments were about the accuracy of the sea ice data. That is, what is the error band we are working with, on the sensors and calculations. In the discussion you seemed to use accuracy and confidence level interchangeably, which they are not. I believe you were going to replay, which I have not seen yet. So you still haven’t convinced me that Arctic sea ice area, extent, much less volume has continued to decrease. One comment, I wish they would not use the term “ice mass”, as the density of the volume is not known. Kind of picky, but this is a scientific discussion, and “ice mass” could be misleading to some.

    Unfortunately, we have somewhat realistic data, to the accuracy we need for evidence of AGW, only in the last few decades. and even that is sometimes questionable. It was interesting to look at sea levels, and interesting results. Getting sea levels from:

    some interesting sites stood out, Jeueau had a high measured decrease in seal level sincen1940 (~ 8m). Some one can attribute to geological forces. But going down the coast, a couple of sites presented a problem, Victoria and Neah Bay. Both in proximity to each other, facing the same water. Victoria mostly flat since 1910, and Neah Bay WA dropping about ~1.5m since 1940. So unless there is some significant fault line between them, something doesn’t make sense, to me anyway. Unless the data taking is that bad.
    Someone suggested wave erosion, but the few measuring stations I’ve seen are set in bedrock and concrete.


    Victoria BC:
    Neah Bay WA:

    Any ideas? If you want you could post your reply on the thread “Making of a Sea Level Study”, it might be more appropriate.

    Comment by J. Bob — 9 Apr 2010 @ 10:32 AM

  163. JBob@162 Victoria and Neah are NOT “facing the same water”, beyond it all being salty.
    The relative locations, with Victoria being on the inland side of the Island in the Juan deFuca Strait and Neah [just above the “U”] on the continent, no doubt has much influence, particularly with respect to the plates. Vancouver Island was weighted down with glaciation to below sea level and is still uplifting. The area is called “the Triple Junction” in tectonics and no doubt the spreading Juan deFuca ridge [new ocean floor being created] has an influence. So yes, there may be some “significant fault between them”.

    Comment by flxible — 9 Apr 2010 @ 1:50 PM

  164. #163 fixable
    Neah Bay is about 55 mi west of Victoria BC, both facing the Jaun de Fuca Strait, and both on the same N. Americian plate.

    I added a couple more stations from the same general area, with 60+ yr records:

    Neah Bay:
    Friday Harbor:

    Victoria and Friday Harbor Ocean Labs are closest, about 15 mi. apart. Victoria level is about flat from 1940, while Friday Harbor Ocean Lab’s level is up about 0.5 m in the same time frame. From your reference both are about the same distance from the plate face. So is the sea level difference between Victoria and Friday Harbor due to geological differences, or in measurement methods? Or just how many significant digits are valid in the sea level measurements, with the difference of two relatively close stations above?

    Unfortunately most of the ocean boundaries are along fault lines, or were buried under miles of ice. Oslo’s sea level reading dropped about 2m since 1940:

    so about the only place where the earth seems to be relatively stable, and some longer sea level records is along the east coast of S. America, which will be my next visit.

    Comment by J. Bob — 9 Apr 2010 @ 6:17 PM

  165. JBob – Sorry, I live on Vancouver Island, Victoria faces [south]east [where the weather stations are] on the inside end of the strait [toward the Strait of Georgia], Neah faces [north]east and is at the mouth of the Strait much more exposed to oceanic effects [I’d expect Neah to get double the amount of rain Victoria does, which is actually one of the driest cities in Canada], also with Puget Sound nearby, that whole area is an ecology of it’s own – not to mention that much of the Victoria area is pure rock, not sure about Neah

    THEN, open both windows, Victoria and Friday Harbor, if you can and compare them side by each – note that the the graphs have different start dates [and scales?] – compare about 1982/3 to the end, they definitely varying pretty well in lock step, and with Neah as well – who knows what the numerical difference means? And what happened at that giant drop after ’82? And what effect does ElNino temperature change have? And how much tidal difference is there between Vic and Neah? You’re welcome to the can of worms that regional sea level is. :)

    Comment by flxible — 9 Apr 2010 @ 7:34 PM

  166. > Do you have an explanation?

    Try Google Scholar, look for each place name and associated search terms.
    Or go to a college geology department and ask if they have a graduate student who’d like to make some money tutoring you on the field, if looking the details up yourself doesn’t suffice.

    Ask how long it takes to become an expert on a particular geological location, while you’re at it.

    Don’t forget to insist on recent photographs of every location, in case there’s some obvious alteration that all the scientists have missed seeing.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 9:53 PM

  167. Remember the discussions about the difficulty of detecting a small climate trend in a noisy data set? How noisy do you think sea level data is?

    This may help:

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:06 PM

  168. PS seriously, once you have some of the key words used in the field, you can use those and search out an education, or at least the beginnings of one, yourself. Just as an example, 30 seconds of effort:


    Brief excerpt follows:

    “… Complicated responses
    Changes in relative sea level can become quite complicated in coastal regions adjacent to ice sheets. The effects of both crustal depression/rebound and eustatic sea-level changes are involved. The coastal area of western British Columbia shows the possibilities. Most of the shelf of Queen Charlotte Sound was ice covered and depressed during maximum glaciation, >15,000 years BP. When northern Vancouver Island was deglaciated by 13,000 years BP, the shelf and coastal area was submerged under the Pacific–see Fig. 9-14. Marine shorelines were locally as much as 200 m higher than today.

    Crustal rebound then took place; the coastal region was uplifted, and parts of the present shelf were eventually exposed as dry land–see Fig. 9-15. Soil development and forest growth took place about 10,500 years BP. Meanwhile fjords to the east were still depressed well below sea level. Between 10,500 and 9000 years ago, most remaining glaciers on the mainland melted and eustatic sea level rose. The results were rebound of the fjord-head region (emergence) and drowning of the shelf area (submergence)….”

    (the above from an ordinary Google search)
    Using the exact same terms, here’s



    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Apr 2010 @ 11:44 PM

  169. #165 fixible, I agree Victoria & Friday Harbor do track pretty well,they both, and Neah Bay, have many of the same peaks and valleys. My basic question is a explanation as to WHY these had their trending differences. If one is saying the rising sea level is due to AGW, and one has these unknowns in sea level readings in the same local, it would be nice to know why the differences. If it’s plastic flow under the earth’s surface so be it. When you are measuring things to mm or cm units, it’s not nice to have discrepancies in m.

    #166 Hank, yes I know what is is to tutor, I had to help a student taking a geology course. Geology was also part of a course I had in Rheology.

    Comment by J. Bob — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:20 AM

  170. JBob – I wouldn’t expect to find a simple answer to an extremely complex question concerning decimal values on a chart plotted in thousands. Martin Vermeers thread about sea level demonstrates just how complex sea level is, as do the mechanisms in the study Hank points to. What counts is the anomolies at any given point and overall, not the base measured value.

    The simpliest explanation of the discrepancies in the base measure is that water in a moving container tends to slosh around. :)

    Comment by flxible — 10 Apr 2010 @ 10:43 AM

  171. > J. Bob
    > rheology

    Looks like you’ve got a good start.

    Instead of asserting that “one has these unknowns” why not say “I don’t know but I’m curious and I know how to look this stuff up” — and look into it?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 2:17 PM

    How will sea level respond to changes in natural and anthropogenic forcings by 2100?
    “… With six IPCC radiative forcing scenarios we estimate sea level rise of 0.6–1.6 m, with confidence limits of 0.59 m and 1.8 m. Projected impacts of solar and volcanic radiative forcings account only for, at maximum, 5% of total sea level rise, with anthropogenic greenhouse gasses being the dominant forcing. As alternatives to the IPCC projections, even the most intense century of volcanic forcing from the past 1000 years would result in 10–15 cm potential reduction of sea level rise. Stratospheric injections of SO2 equivalent to a Pinatubo eruption every 4 years would effectively just delay sea level rise by 12–20 years. A 21st century with the lowest level of solar irradiance over the last 9300 years results in negligible difference to sea level rise.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Apr 2010 @ 4:03 PM

  173. some kitchen thermodynamics for fun (sadly one needs a very accurate scale and a micrometer to do this properly):”Make similarly sized salty ice cubes in a freezer, wrap those in kitchen paper for insulation, warm up from upside by applying a match over it. Repeat with increased amount of matches applied at the same time. Draw a graph of melt water vs. IR-radiation (in the form of matches) from the top (hint: the weight of the paper). At which point of time does the ice cube crack ion each case? Is this because of a)water seepage to inside the cube b) unequal heating of the cube c)permeability of the ice for salts d)other, what? Do the ice cubes enlarge when warmed slowly to melting point from the freezer temperature of -20C? (apply your micrometer :-( )”

    Comment by jyyh — 13 Apr 2010 @ 2:21 AM

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