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North Pole notes

I always find it interesting as to why some stories get traction in the mainstream media and why some don’t. In online science discussions, the fate of this years summer sea ice has been the focus of a significant betting pool, a test of expert prediction skills, and a week-by-week (almost) running commentary. However, none of these efforts made it on to the Today program. Instead, a rather casual article in the Independent showed the latest thickness data and that quoted Mark Serreze as saying that the area around the North Pole had 50/50 odds of being completely ice free this summer, has taken off across the media.


The headline on the piece “Exclusive: no ice at the North Pole” got the implied tense wrong, and I’m not sure that you can talk about a forecast as evidence (second heading), but still, the basis of the story is sound (Update: the headline was subsequently changed to the more accurate “Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer”). The key issue is that since last year’s dramatic summer ice anomaly, the winter ice that formed in that newly opened water is relatively thin (around 1 meter), compared to multi-year ice (3 meters or so). This new ice formed quite close to the Pole, and with the prevailing winds and currents (which push ice from Siberia towards Greenland) is now over the Pole itself. Given that only 30% of first year ice survives the summer, the chances that there will be significant open water at the pole itself is high.

The actuality will depend on the winds and the vagaries of Arctic weather – but it certainly bears watching. Ironically, you will be able to see what happens only if it doesn’t happen (from these web cams near the North Pole station).

This is very different from the notoriously over-excited story in the New York Times back in August 2000. In that case, the report was of the presence of some open water at the pole – which as the correction stated, is not that uncommon as ice floes and leads interact. What is being discussed here is large expanses of almost completely ice-free water. That would indeed be unprecedented since we’ve been tracking it.

So why do stories about an geographically special, but climatically unimportant, single point traditionally associated with a christianized pagan gift-giving festival garner more attention than long term statistics concerning ill-defined regions of the planet where very few people live?

I don’t really need to answer that, do I?


827 Responses to “North Pole notes”

  1. 601
    John L. McCormick says:

    RE # 600

    Ringo, what will a continuation of “this positive trend” tell you? I am curious as to what that blue line tells you vis-a-vis AGW and the global warming trend which is also trending in the positive direction. Please reply.

    John McCormick

  2. 602
    Ringo says:

    I’m not sure what your question is exactly, John. The trend just tells me that, at this point, it does not look like 2008 is melting as fast as 2007 did. This is probably not significant one way or another to the overall temperature trends, but it is somewhat surprising, considering all the talk about how this year could easily surpass last year and set a new record for low ice extent. I have noticed that the temperatures in the Arctic this year have been a lot cooler than last year…which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising, considering the abnormally warm temperatures that dominated last summer.

    What do you mean the global warming trend is also “trending in the positive direction’?

  3. 603
    LG Norton says:

    Re: 600

    The NSIDC sea ice extent could still take a steep dive, as 85%+ of the remaining ice out their is first year ice, and is soon going to be in bad shape.

    Even if we don’t break any records this year, most of the remaining first year ice will flush out of Fran Strait this winter.

    And next year, it will be play it again Sam.

    Actually im in the pro global warming camp. There is nothing I would like more than an ice free arctic, to convince the politicians, that its time to take global warming seriously, before its to late (if it isn’t already to late)

  4. 604
    John K says:

    How has the increased ultraviolet radiation in the polar regions due to ozone layer depletion affected the ice there?

  5. 605
    Clarence says:

    I’ve put up some weather forecast plots for the Arctic at http://seaice.bplaced.net/ (GFS model output, including ice thickness and wind).

  6. 606
    Ringo says:

    A steep drop is certainly still possibe, LG. But as you have said, much of the ice this year is first-year ice, so one would think that it would already be melting at least as fast as 2007. The fact that it isn’t melting so fast is just evidence that the Arctic patterns drive much of the extent, and this year they have been colder and less favorable towards extreme melt.

    I understand your point about “waking up” the politicians, but at the same time, it is good to see Mother Nature fighting back – so to speak. But of course, it is too early to say too much.

  7. 607
  8. 608
    John K says:

    I can find no research into the effect of increased ultraviolet on snow and ice surfaces. Is the rate of melting altered?

  9. 609
    Gareth says:

    Ringo, you need to remember there’s a distinction between area and volume. The ice can be melting and thinning, without much change in the surface area. If you look at the GFS plots kindly provided by Clarence (thanks!) you can see that very large areas of the Arctic currently have very thin ice.

  10. 610
    Ric Merritt says:

    I getting awfully tired of breathless bulletins and endless back and forth, on RealClimate and elsewhere, concerning daily and weekly weather and ice, including Arctic sea ice. The short-term events don’t matter to most of us. The long-term trends are abundantly clear, and a yearly update would be plenty. Please get over it.

    Even scrolling through quickly is getting to be a burden.

  11. 611
    Hank Roberts says:

    John, tell us what search terms you are trying, if online, or what question you asked a librarian, if using human help, and we can suggest how to find what you’re looking for. Without knowing what you tried that failed, it’s just shotgunning to try to help you. Having said that, again taking a string from your posting:

    Google: http://www.google.com/search?q=effect+of+ultraviolet+on+snow+and+ice
    finds, among much else, this interesting recent paper (note, the higher the albedo, the more reflection)
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/7/2759/2007/acp-7-2759-2007.pdf

    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 2759–2764, 2007
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/7/2759/2007/
    © Author(s) 2007. … licensed under a Creative Commons License.
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
    Effective UV surface albedo of seasonally snow-covered lands

    “… The aim of this work was to determine the characteristic effective UV range surface albedo of various land cover types when covered by snow….

    “… fresh pure snow UV albedos near unity have been reported (Grenfell et al., 1994; Wuttke et al., 2006).”

    I’m pointing you to ways it occurs to me to find the research, rather than trying to give you an answer because, first, I don’t know anything, I’m no expert, I just like to read, and second, this is the International Polar Year. There’s a huge amount of field work going on, and the people who asked this question a few years before you did, some of them, got grants and places in programs and are out there trying to find answers.

    On a few minutes’ browsing, short answer, dry snow and ice reflects; once there’s meltwater, UV gets transmitted through, or absorbed in, the snow/ice. This plus a few field measurements are enough to start trying to understand what’s going on.

    Trying to focus the search, and using it in Scholar, helps:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&scoring=r&q=%2Bultraviolet+“snow+and+ice”+%2Bmelt

    Here for example:

    http://www.igsoc.org/annals/44/a44a162.pdf
    The interaction of ultraviolet light with Arctic sea ice during SHEBA

    From the abstract:

    “… Peak values of incident ultraviolet irradiance occurred in mid-June. Peak transmittance was later in the summer at the end of the melt season when the snow cover had completely melted, the ice had thinned and pond coverage was extensive. The fraction of the incident ultraviolet irradiance transmitted through the ice increased by several orders of magnitude as the melt season progressed. Ultraviolet transmittance was approximately a factor of ten greater for melt ponds than bare ice. Climate change has the potential to alter the amplitude and timing of the annual albedo cycle of sea ice. If the onset of melt occurs at increasingly earlier dates, ultraviolet transmittance will be significantly enhanced …

    From the body of the paper, telling you what they had to start with:

    “… observations of the incident ultraviolet irradiance on the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean are sparse. Also lacking is information on the partitioning of the incident ultraviolet light between reflection to the atmosphere, absorption in the snow and ice, and transmission to the ocean.”

  12. 612
    Cobblyworlds says:

    #610 Ric Merritt,

    In terms of 1 year being weather – I agree – generally. However… ;)

    For myself; following the ice this year has been fascinating. It’d be nice to talk more about it with similarly interested people. But at present I’m suffering denialist-fatigue: It seems impossible to say anything in public without them chipping in with their usual evidence-lite noise. It’d be good to think some of those people were genuinely interested, but it’s clear they are not. Had it not been for that factor I’d have had more to say on this thread.

    After last year’s volume loss, for this year to maintain the behaviour of “no new record year after a record year” is (IMHO) very interesting. I had been anticipating a drop well below last year, at least it seems we are to be spared that. I think this still holds open the possibility that last year was a blip which could be followed by some recovery, at least in the sense of the previous trend re-asserting itself (as seen in models).

    With regards daily products (Cryosphere Today and Bremmen’s AMSRE).

    I’d recomend following them in tandem with something like Environment Canada’s HRPT weather satellite products. It’s quite clear that some of the transient areas of apparent high concentration are more likely due to cloud masking the ice. Alternately using the Cryosphere Today 30 day timeseries of the Arctic Ice allows the general pattern to be visible and due weight to be given to transient high concentration areas.

    If I am wrong on this and the rapid changes from concentrations as low as 50-60% up to almost 100% (over large areas) are real I’d appreciate being corrected.

    PS, Anyone want to bet against Beaufort being ice-free this year?
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.11.html
    ;)

  13. 613
    John K says:

    Thank you very much Hank Roberts for helping me with research on ultraviolet’s effect on polar ice. How the increased radiation is transmitted through ice, and affects biological processes under the ice, was interesting but doesn’t get to my question. Specifically, does increased ultraviolet light increase the melting of ice? This seems so basic to the discussion here, and something so easy to test in the lab, that I am surprised it gets no attention. One thing that has really changed in the polar regions, aside from rising temperatures, is the huge influx of UV radiation. Does this make the ice disappear faster?

  14. 614
    CobblyWorlds says:

    #613 John K,

    Hank has given you all you need, even if you didn’t know it.

    See his link to “The interaction of ultraviolet light with Arctic sea ice during SHEBA” check out figure 2. It’s in cm^3 and the figures are in the microwatt range.

    In a square metre there are 100*100 = 10,000 cm

    A microwatt is 0.000001 Watts.

    0.000001 * 10,000 = 0.01

    So multiply that graph’s vertical axis units by 0.01 (or divide by 100) as a conversion factor to convert to Watts/metre-squared.

    Now click on the link in my post 516 above (panel 1, short wave radiation – observed). You’ll see that insolation values in the summer exceed 100 watts. But the highest UV insolation level in figure 2 is 30*0.01 = 0.3 W/m^2. Any increase will only be a small fraction of that.

    So in answer to your question:

    Specifically, does increased ultraviolet light increase the melting of ice?

    There will be an effect, but it’s tiny.

    Interesting paper, thanks Hank.

  15. 615

    Re #613
    John,

    Most of the UV radiation reaching the surface if the ice is reflected, just as visible light is. The reflection of UV light is the cause of snow blindness.

    Thus the loss of the ozone layer in the polar regions is not causing the ice to melt. In fact ozone is a greenhouse gas, and the loss of ozone will decrease the greenhouse effect there causing cooling.

    However, that is over-ridden by the increase in CO2 which acts in a more powerful region of the infra-red spectrum.

    HTH,

    Cheers, Alastair.

  16. 616
    Doug Bostrom says:

    #613 John K.:

    See this

    http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html

    for a comprehensive treatment.

  17. 617
    Hank Roberts says:

    John, albedo is reflection. UV mostly reflects from clean dry ice and snow, so wouldn’t be heating it; but once you get a film of water the UV is not reflected and you have to figure out what happens to it. It’s not as simple as you’re trying to make it. How much of the polar ice gets some surface melt? How much of the UV gets absorbed and turns into heat within the ice?

    And you’re probably aware that the ozone hole seems to be helping keep the Antarctic cooler — not for simple reasons. Look at the articles citing this article on that:
    Journal of Climate

    Article: pp. 1467–1479 | Full Text | PDF (280K)
    Cooling of the Arctic and Antarctic Polar Stratospheres due to Ozone Depletion

    You can’t get a simple answer to this question, unless I’ve missed one doing the above searches. Keep looking, it IS a good question being addressed by a lot of people.
    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0442(1999)012%3C1467:COTAAA%3E2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1

  18. 618
    Hank Roberts says:

    John, following up on “How much of the polar ice gets some surface melt” (and so, probably, absorbs rather than reflects ultraviolet): Just one example from a quick search, here, of how much area may be involved just on Greenland. You know I can’t tell you how much difference it makes. But this is the way to start trying to answer it. We can hope someone’s going to come along who actually knows something about this specific question and tell us more.

    http://cires.colorado.edu/steffen/greenland/melt2005/melt2005PS2.5inch.jpg

  19. 619

    Watching the ice, studying its daily movements, comparing with previous years, is the stuff
    of climate just as much as Autopsies of corpses are part of the science of anatomy. How can one possibly understand what happened to the ice caps in ancient times, without studying, what is going on now? Keep up the good comments guys! It is stimulating, and challenges us to have a better understanding of how mega ice floes behave, I cant think of anything more interesting in climate at this moment, than to see how Arctic ice behaves, especially after last years big melt. You may say its weather, glaciology, not part of any trend etc… But over all, when this year’s melt is over, it will be part of the climate record, The devil is in the details….

  20. 620
    Paul Melanson says:

    RE: #616 – At last, something I can apply my area of expertise to – UV absorption by water.

    The spectrum of pure water is interesting, but in the area where you get the most UV flux (near UV) it has almost no absorption. Real surface waters do, however, due to trace contaminants (some minerals, most particles, and many natural organics). For example, the absorption by humic acids (the brown in rich soil) in this region is quite intense. The exact level is probably only of interest in thin layers of water, UV light that makes it past the surface and into any thick water layers will probably get absorbed before it gets reflected out, especially by biofilms (which exist even in cold, very nutrient-limited environments).

    I have to wonder why this would even matter, due to the power spectrum of solar radiation. As they say, “follow the money,” and in this case the money is in the IR. Then again, I understand that denialists have been known to taunt advocates with claims about the “ozone hole” (or my favorite, acid rain) as if being able to address these problems somehow means they were overblown to begin with. See the “Aerosols, Chemistry and Climate” article here at RealClimate for an example.

  21. 621
    Hank Roberts says:

    Thank you Paul!
    In the image I linked earlier
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Solar_Spectrum.png/400px-Solar_Spectrum.png
    am I right that the size of the red area (watts per square meter per wavelength) is the ‘power spectrum’?

    And the little bit of red on the chart shown for both the infrared and ultraviolet, compared to the bulk of the red ink under the visual spectrum, is what you’re talking about? So whether that little bit of UV gets absorbed by the air, the ice, the water, the biofilm, it’s going to turn into a little bit of heat?

    PS, I hope our hosts get a thread sometime on biofilms and other biological material, however this relates to climate change. Biofilms are utterly fascinating!!

    (Perhaps I’m easily fascinated — oooh, slimy!)

  22. 622
    John K says:

    Muy gracias to each of you. I now see that the math to really solve this issue is way beyond me, and that the effect of ultraviolet on ice-melting is insignificant anyway, thus no study found. This website is the paragon of the internet!
    In no way was my question about the role of ultraviolet an attempt to excuse or confuse the role of GHG’s in the disappearing precious Arctic. Still, one thing about ultraviolet radiation continues to baffle me. I understand, perhaps wrongly, that the overall cooling effect of ozone depletion is entirely due to stratospheric cooling. Since ultraviolet light burns our skin and eyes and tender vegetation, does not this radiation raise tropospheric temperature at the ground level, which is then more than cancelled as it rises to space?

  23. 623

    In re #599 by Rod B:

    FurryCatHerder, I am aware of your position on the science and did not intend to imply otherwise, just because I have some GW science skepticism.

    The only “skepticism” on the basic science is “denialism”. Skepticism on the finer points of the environmental impacts, sure. Skepticism on the merits of focusing more on worst-case scenarios, sure. But on the basic science? No, that’s “denialism”.

    The basics are pretty simple — even if CO2 is a relatively weak greenhouse gas overall in parts-per-million, and even if it only contributes some small number of watts of additional energy, over time the concentration builds and those additional watts increase right along with it. It’s like wind erosion — not as dramatic as the water stuff, but over time all that wind makes a difference.

  24. 624
  25. 625

    John,

    You asked “Since ultraviolet light burns our skin and eyes and tender vegetation, does not this radiation raise tropospheric temperature at the ground level, … ?”

    The answer is no. The total amount of UV energy is very small, although each UV photon does have relatively high energy. It is this high energy which causes the radiation burning when the photons destroy the cells. It is not like heat from infrared radiation which makes the skin warm.

    Visible red and infrared radiation from a branding iron produces a similar reaction from the skin as UV, but you can feel the heat from the iron immediately. You cannot feel UV, only its effects later.

    HTH,

    Cheers, Alastair.

  26. 626
    Rod B says:

    FurryCatHerder (623), while I categorically reject the term “denialism” in the context of climate science, mostly because it’s simply a stupid ad hominem despite its appeal to many (and despite their vociferous denial that they mean it as an ad hominem), even within your definition I’m missing your point. I explicitly said “I don’t dispute the basic science” (594) of greenhouse gases. Would you clarify please?

  27. 627
    Phil. Felton says:

    Re #585
    Phil,
    That’s it then, the flow of ice should change soon, a High pressure is at the right place to make that big spot of loose ice near the Pole, head there.

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/data/analysis/jac18_100.gif

    The winds are right and some buoy drifts are looking a little more “normal”

    Wayne, You can see the effect now, the flow direction has switched over the last week:
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_arcticbasin.html

  28. 628
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Rod, says, “I categorically reject the term ‘denialism’ in the context of climate science.”

    Are there other sciences in which you would accept the term denialism? For example, are creationists “denialists” in the context of evolutionary biology?

  29. 629
    Anne van der Bom says:

    Rod B #626:

    ‘Denialist’ is the opposite of ‘alarmist’. Both camps call each other names. Is this bad? People have a need to ‘label’ others. I am not sure whether it is good or bad. I see it as a given, people are people after all.

    Many ‘skeptics’ flatter themself with that title, because they categorically reject any notion of anthropogenic climate change and have no intention of ever challenging that opinion (just like many creationists will always reject evolution). Labeling them ‘denialists’ has the advantage of reserving the title ‘skeptic’ for those that merit it.

    What if we start calling everyone ‘skeptic’ from now on? Will that change anything? Banning the word will not make the two types of people go away. We will still want to distinguish between the true and fake skeptics, so it is inevitable that a new name will be invented for either category.

    In my country I have seen the common term for elderly people being replaced by a new euphemism a few times, because the old word was considered stigmatising. Of course the problem was not in the word. Shakespeare already observed that changing the name alters neither the object, nor our perception of it.

  30. 630
    dhogaza says:

    Are there other sciences in which you would accept the term denialism? For example, are creationists “denialists” in the context of evolutionary biology?

    He’s an intelligent design guy, so at least he’s consistent … give him credit for that!

    Seriously …

  31. 631
    Hank Roberts says:

    Go to the source for definitions of terms. I recommend

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=857#comment-52757

    Dr. Lindzen, as quoted by Dr. Curry, nails this one I think — “industry stooges … “

  32. 632

    #627, Phil. Ice thickness would be really great to have, just about now, its very difficult to judge
    what is going on without that component. However I noticed some “normal” movement,
    and that plays badly for the ice drifting towards the open water North of NWT, Yukon and Canada.

  33. 633
    Rod B says:

    Jim, Anne, and a little dhogaza, actually you all make valid points. My problem with being called a denialist is in the context, the term being co-opted by a few in the AGW debate to associate us “aginers” with the Holocaust bad guys deniers. It’s unfortunate. As you point out, there is a valid objective distinction between skeptic and “denier” (repudiator??), though there are varying degrees of skepticism which can make it cloudy.

    It’s a little less gray, but creationism comes in degrees also. The hard core (strict literal Biblical interpretation) clearly repudiate (deny??) evolution. But that slides back toward “intelligent design” which doesn’t necessarily refute/deny evolution (or Big Bang), but doesn’t necessarily buy them hook, line and sinker, either. [This ignores that the hard core creationists co-opted (stole?) the term intelligent design by first coming up with "intelligent creation" -- like denialism was co-opted by some radical AGWers.]

    “Alarmist” in its pure form would be a perfectly valid term also, as, — in the strict sense, some AGWers are, like Hansen, e.g. But it too has been adopted (glommed?) by some repudiators because to some it implies a goofy chicken-little (which Hansen is not, e.g.), and generates blind, emotional and hopefully rabid support. I don’t use the term. (…though I have called people here goofy a time or two, I think… :-P )

    A minor disagreement with The Bard: true, changing the name does not change the object, but it can and does change perception. All kinda sad, really.

  34. 634
    dhogaza says:

    the term being co-opted by a few in the AGW debate to associate us “aginers” with the Holocaust bad guys deniers. It’s unfortunate.

    I’d like evidence that the term was co-opted in order to associate deniers with Holocaust deniers. The term “denialist” is describes a large percentage of the naysayers accurately.

    This ignores that the hard core creationists co-opted (stole?) the term intelligent design

    This isn’t the place for a discussion on biological science denialism, but please, do yourself a favor and get your history straight. You’ve got the history backwards. Read the Dover transcript for details. You are entitled to your own beliefs, but geez, fantasy history is a poor foundation for them.

  35. 635
    Clarence says:

    Re #632:

    GFS (weather forecast model) contains ice thickness. I don’t know however, how reliable it is. At least it has some obvious flaws. I have plots here:

    http://seaice.bplaced.net/gfs.html

    To compare: sea ice thickness climatology.

    I’ve also added an animation of sea ice with buoy positions:

    http://seaice.bplaced.net/buoy-pos/

    Re #612:

    I wouldn’t bet on an ice-free Beaufort Sea, because thick ice from the north of the Canadian Archipelago may easily drift in faster than it can melt. But I also wouldn’t bet against it.

    Clouds seem indeed to mask low ice concentration, but without clouds the ice concentration is sometimes displayed way too low on the daily products. Compare the 2007-06-08 IUP analysis with a MODIS image. There aren’t even large amounts of melt ponds where IUP has open water, and it also isn’t a one-time error; it’s similar for adjacent days.

    Re #621:

    I expect the solar spectrum to be quite dependent on the latitude (and also the season). In the Arctic, even less UV should reach the surface because of higher ozone concentrations and lower insolation angle, thus a longer way through the atmosphere and more absorption.

    Yesterday’s model based downward fluxes: UV-B, short wave, long wave.

  36. 636
    l david cooke says:

    RE: 625

    Hey Alistair,

    Just a quick note. By personal experimentation I believe your interpretation of the effect of UV does not match up very well.
    My first experience was when I was younger and at the beach I would attempt to tan and thought the temperature was in the mid-70′s I would perspire easily. Later in life having less time in the Sun I found that the heat I would feel was much higher. However, I could apply an SPF 60 UVA/UVB blocking lotion and feel immediately cooler.

    By the same token, here at home I have a palladian window which would allow direct sunlight to hit me at around 11 AM local time. The heat of the sunlight was significant. To resolve this I simply added a clear non-mirrored 70% UV blocking film. This film reduced the measured temperature by nearly 14 Deg. F on a wet bulb thermometer sitting in my chair.

    As a General Open Comment:

    To be unwelcome, if after 30 years of personal research, I do not perceive direct cause and effect evidence that supports the current conclusion of anthropogenic global warming of certain participants, is sad. Then again I can understand this response if this site is dedicated to self edification of experts; however, that was not the intent that Dr. Schmitt has indicated in the past. Word Salad terminated…

    I will retire from this site now. I am tired that my words get twisted and my comments or desire to reduce my ignorance appears not to be welcome. I thank Dr. Schmitt and the rest of the team for their forebearance as I have attempted to share and learn here.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

  37. 637
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re # 636 David Cooke – If you are still reading this thread:

    I am certainly no expert on UV radiation, but your UV-blocking film could also be blocking some IR (and possibly some visible) wavelengths, which would explain your greatly reduced solar heating. Here is an excerpt from an ad for 3M Window Film:

    Our spectrally-selective films reject up to 97% of the sun’s infrared light to keep your home cool and lower your energy bills.
    3M™ Window Films will also block up to 99.9% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, which are the single largest cause of fading.
    http://www.3m.com/us/arch_construct/scpd/prestige/residential.html?GCID=S17159x017&WT.srch=1&KEYWORD=Block+infrared&WT.medium=cpc&WT.term=Ad+%2318652&WT.mc_id=10120&WT.campaign=1201&WT.content=text&WT.source=google&cshift_ck=839884446cs501641294&WT.srch=1

  38. 638

    #635,

    Thanks Clarence, really good stuff indeed! Now if there was an ice thickness of say June 17 2008, just to see how fast it melted, even if thickness is suspect, the same method of measurement applied twice should give a good idea. Also to judge how well the less than 1 meter thick presently remaining large extent of ice will survive in the coming weeks.

  39. 639
    Dan says:

    re: 633. “..the term being co-opted by a few in the AGW debate to associate us “aginers” with the Holocaust bad guys deniers.”

    That is classic, inexcusable AGW denialist hyperbole. There was *never* “a few in the AGW debate” who said that. It was one person: Ellen Goodman in a Boston Globe op-ed. Naturally the denialist blogosphere hyped the story and exaggerated it so that their uninformed readers would regurgitate it somewhere else. Indeed, it’s unfortunate when all it takes is a simple Google search to check the facts.

  40. 640
    Rod B says:

    dhogaza (634), I’m totally missing your last point, as your history reference seems to support my contention. Unless for some reason you think the term “intelligence design” originated in ~2003 with the good folks of Dover…

  41. 641
    Hank Roberts says:

    Mentioned in EOS (AGU) 1 July v89 No. 28 — new paleo data working group for Arctic climate change. Website:

    http://www.pages.unibe.ch/science/arctic2k/

    “The PAGES Working Group (WG) on arctic climate during the last two millennia (Arctic2k) was launched in March 2008 to generate and synthesize high-resolution paleoclimate data to assess and elucidate both the timing and variability of the Arctic climate change during this period.”

  42. 642
    Rod B says:

    Dan (639), says, “….classic, inexcusable AGW denialist hyperbole. There was *never* “a few in the AGW debate” who said that. It was one person: Ellen Goodman…”

    Yeah. And I suppose the cherub AGWers jumped all over her, rejected the ad hominem vociferously, and gave it no quarter in their own use… Jeesz. And all us paranoid hyperbolic skeptics harangued in chorus, “Ma! They’re calling me a DENIER!”… Jeesz. Read the posts here or anywhere to find some. (But bear in mind I’m accusing only a probably small minority of AGWers; and you have to see past their standard disclaimers such as ‘Now I’m not accusing you stupid, blind, low-life, revisionist deniers of being like the Holocaust deniers, but….’)

  43. 643

    In re 626, etc.

    It’s a little less gray, but creationism comes in degrees also. The hard core (strict literal Biblical interpretation) clearly repudiate (deny??) evolution. But that slides back toward “intelligent design” which doesn’t necessarily refute/deny evolution (or Big Bang), but doesn’t necessarily buy them hook, line and sinker, either. [This ignores that the hard core creationists co-opted (stole?) the term intelligent design by first coming up with “intelligent creation” — like denialism was co-opted by some radical AGWers.]

    There’s a difference between, say, denying certain projected outcomes (what I do), and denying that certain things are happening, may happen, G-d might somehow allow them to happen, whatever. Which is to say, I’m unclear where exactly it is you differ from Gavin, et alia.

    Likewise, I’m a strict biblical literalist. But only when said bible is read by people who aren’t illiterate, particularly when it comes to the original language, and particularly when it comes to understanding the difference between “synopsis” and “detailed expository”. “Yiyeh ohr, va’yiyeh ohr” is not a discussion of underlying physics — there just aren’t enough letters — but I think it passes pretty good for Introduction to Big Bang Cosmologies.

    One should never confuse Cliff Notes for Shakespeare nor sacred texts for Physics texts. Likewise, one should never confuse ignorance for education, or an incomplete education for reasoned argument.

    (Off topic — the bible is generally a “why” kind of book, while science texts are generally “how” kinds of books. Two different objectives …)

  44. 644
    David B. Benson says:

    Kindly take ‘intelligent design’, bible, etc. over to

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/

    and try to stick to climatology here. Thank you.

  45. 645
    Rod B says:

    FCHerder, other than a few who have posted here recently and before, I don’t know which et alia agree or disagree with me, nor to what extent. I can imagine some inferring that my “denialist” charge applies to them (which it often would not) and taking umbrage. I don’t know Gavin’s position though suspect he’ll tire of Bible and ID posts pretty soon — though I think the analogy is appropriate ala co-opting terms to the detriment of the discussion.

    It was literal King James Bible thumping creationists, not Greek/Hebrew scholars, who burgled the ID term.

  46. 646
    Nigel Williams says:

    With all the butressing multi-year ice now gone from the shores of Greenland and the Canadian islands

    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/arctic_AMSRE_nic.png

    what effect is this having on the rate of glacier and ice-sheet movement (and consequential sea level rise)?

    Any pointers?

  47. 647
    Dan says:

    re: 642. You conveniently missed the main point. Which was that *one* person wrote it. You exaggerated it to make it sound like there were more. As did many uniformed anti-science denialist bloggers/regurgitators and other journalists. Sorry, all were wrong. But they could never admit it of course.

  48. 648
    Mark says:

    Rod B, maybe you could tell us what bits of the science in climatology you don’t believe are right. Your current exposition is bereft of any detail.

    Please note: you’ve already said that the climate models are exaggerating the climate change, so please, when you state what you have a problem with, ensure that you place also why you think the errors inherent in the point you think incorrect must make climate models over-estimate.

  49. 649
    Hank Roberts says:

    Here’s a feedback loop — emissions from shipping:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL033906.shtml

    Extensive measurements of the emission of light absorbing carbon aerosol (LAC) from commercial shipping are presented. … The highest emitters (per unit fuel burnt) are tug boats, thus making significant contributions to local air quality in ports. … This small fraction could have disproportionate effects on both air quality near port areas and climate in the Arctic if direct emissions of LAC occur in that region due to opening Arctic sea routes. …. Increases of 20–50 ng m−3 LAC (relative increases up to 40%) due to shipping occur

  50. 650
    Rod B says:

    re 647: Who was the absolute first with an expressed thought, by a nanosecond or a month, is irrelevant, insignificant, and ignores the essential true thrust of my accusation, which is that a minority group of folks that align themselves with AGW (scientists or not) glommed onto the holocaust-implied meaning of “denier” ands ran like hell and with much self-satisfying glee with its co-opting use as a clever ad hominem. When one robs a bank with flair and flourish, they’re not excused just because “but Willie Sutton did it first.”


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