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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 06/22/2010

Arctic sea ice melting unusually fast

By Andrew Freedman

* Hotter & more humid: Full Forecast | Tropical trouble? *


Daily sea ice extent through June 21, 2010. Credit: NSIDC.

Summer is off to a hot start -- not just in the Washington area, but also in the Far North, where if recent trends continue, Arctic sea ice could reach a new record low that surpasses the foreboding milestone set in 2007. (That's a pretty big if, however). The recent sharp declines are consistent with a world that is warming unevenly, with the Arctic experiencing about twice the rate of warming in the past several decades as the lower-48 states, for example.

As indicated by measurements of sea ice extent -- which the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) defines as "the total area covered by some amount of ice, including open water between ice floes," the month of May proved to be a punishing one for the shifting sea ice pack. After going into the melt season with more ice over a larger area than recent years, sea ice extent plummeted by a daily rate of 26,000 square miles per day during May, which was the highest rate of loss ever observed for the month since satellite records of sea ice began in 1979 (edging out May, 1980). By the end of the month, sea ice extent was near an all-time low for the month.

Despite the steep drop, there are still eight Mays on record with a lower average ice extent.

"But Andrew," you may be wondering, "doesn't sea ice normally, um, melt during the melt season? What's the big deal about this year?"

Ah, yes, of course the sea ice normally melts during the Arctic summer, with its 24-hour sunshine and all. But this melt season has already proven noteworthy for the rate of the melt and the potential for a new record low that, should it occur, would likely generate a media frenzy. It comes at a time when the decline of Arctic sea ice has become one of the most visible manifestations of global climate change.

It can sometimes be difficult to put the sea ice decline into perspective. Nick Sundt of the environmental group WWF framed it well when he wrote on May 29, "Since reaching a seasonal maximum of approximately 14,407,344 km2 on 31 March, the extent of sea ice has fallen a staggering 3,245,156 km2 or 2,016,446 square miles. That is an area roughly half the size of the entire United States (including Alaska) and represents a decline of roughly 55,950 km2 per day (34,766 square miles per day)" [bold is original emphasis].

The rapid melt this May is especially remarkable considering that ice had reached its maximum extent much later than it typically does, after "a late-season spurt in ice growth" in several parts of the Arctic, according to NSIDC. Part of the reason for the abnormally rapid melt is that sea ice cover today is much thinner and younger than it used to be, after successive years of depleted sea ice cover at the end of the melt season. This trend is occurring because of feedback mechanisms inherent in the Arctic climate system.

For example, as sea ice melts it exposes more areas of dark, open ocean to the sun's rays. The water absorbs far more energy than the bright ice would have, which leads to warming. This warming in turn melts more ice, which induces more warming.... and so forth. This is known as the "sea ice-albedo feedback."

Younger and thinner ice is more susceptible to spells of above-average temperatures, which is exactly what occurred across the Arctic in May and into June. As noted here previously, 2010 is on track to be the warmest year globally since instrumental records began, and much of that warmth can be found in the Far North, including Canada, Alaska and Greenland.

"In sharp contrast [to April], ice extent declined rapidly during the month of May. Much of the ice loss occurred in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, indicating that the ice in these areas was thin and susceptible to melt," NSIDC stated. The long-term thinning trend is evident from observations, as well as computer modeling of the Arctic climate.

A NASA study published last year found that Arctic sea ice thinned about 0.17 meters (seven inches) per year between 2004 and 2008, for a total of 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) over four winters. Also, the total area covered by thicker "multi-year" ice shrank by 42 percent. Other studies have documented longer-term declines in sea ice thickness, due to warming temperatures as well as winds and ocean currents that have transported thicker ice out of the Arctic and into the North Atlantic.

In the image below, one can see the sharp negative anomalies of sea ice volume this year, which is taking place against the backdrop of a general decline in sea ice volume since 1979.


Arctic sea ice volume anomaly and trend from the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS). Credit: University of Washington Polar Science Center.

Whether or not a new record is set this year will depend on the weather conditions throughout the rest of the summer.

A group of leading polar researchers is expected to release its sea ice outlook any day now, which may provide additional clues as to the likelihood of another record melt season. However, seasonal predictions of sea ice melt have not shown much skill, due to the inconsistent historical records upon which to base predictions as well as the high degree of variability in weather conditions and sea ice movement.

Still, one scientific group from the University of Washington's Polar Science Center, which issues sea ice forecasts that are based on statistical models, has steadily shifted its predictions for how much sea ice will remain at the end of this melt season toward the low end of the spectrum.


Prediction of the total sea ice extent in September. Credit: University of Washington, Polar Science Center.

The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.

By Andrew Freedman  | June 22, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, News & Notes, Science  
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Comments

Love it! Right in my wheelhouse!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 22, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

This melting of Arctic [and Antarctic] ice, as well as that occurring at high elevations in the tropics [no more "Snows of Kilimanjaro" or Andean ice caps!] tends to clinch the global warming argument IMO. Some villages in Peru and Bolivia are losing their water supply which depends on melt water from Andean ice caps.

There remains the possibility we could be in a natural warming cycle which last occurred during the height of the Roman Empire. The natural cycle may also be enhanced by manmade greenhouse gases, and methane is more efficient at this than CO2. BTW the Gulf oil spill is releasing plenty of methane into the atmosphere.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | June 22, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

You wrote/parroted, 'Nick Sundt of the environmental group WWF framed it well when he wrote on May 29, "Since reaching a seasonal maximum of approximately 14,407,344 km2 on 31 March, the extent of sea ice has fallen a staggering 3,245,156 km2 or 2,016,446 square miles. That is an area roughly half the size of the entire United States (including Alaska) and represents a decline of roughly 55,950 km2 per day (34,766 square miles per day)"'

The United States, depending upon whether you include territories and bodies of water within the United States is anywhere from 9.1 million square km to 9.8 million square km.

If you use the lower end of the scale, don't include territories and lakes and such, that would be 9.1 million square km. 9.1 divided by 2 equals 4.55. Which isn't even close to the stated decline of 3.2 million square km! 3.2 would be more accurately described as one third, not half, the size of the United States.

That's their first error.

Their second error is stating that 3,245,156 km2 equals 2,016,446 square miles. It does not. It is approximately 1,252,961. They are off by a WIDE margin. Not even in the ball park.

Lastly, the ice melts every summer. Do they freak out like this every summer? Do they also freak out during the winter when the ice freezes? Just curious.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

According to a 2003 Nature article, the shrinking ice caps of Kilimanjaro are the result of deforestation. Not global warming. And a British court agreed.


--begin quote--
Global warming, however, is not to blame for the retreating Kilimanjaro ice cap, according to a November 24, 2003, article published in Nature magazine.

Deforestation “More Likely Culprit”

According to Nature’s Betsy Mason, “Although it’s tempting to blame the (Kilimanjaro) ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain’s foothills is the more likely culprit.”

Forests at the base of Kilimanjaro have been steadily disappearing for decades. “Without the forests’ humidity,” Mason reports, “previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine.”
--end quote--


Source of the above quote.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, you say "But this melt season has already proven noteworthy for the rate of the melt and the potential for a new record low that, should it occur, would likely generate a media frenzy"

The drop is hardly noteworthy in history, and the potential for a new record low is, well, low. If you care to wager, I will send $50 to whatever charity you name if there is a new low. All I ask in return is that you publish an article in September if you are wrong. For one thing, ocean surface temperatures are falling rapidly as El Nino turns rapidly into La Nina.

Posted by: eric654 | June 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Although El Nino is rapidly going the way of La Nina, that doesn't mean all the world's oceans are also cooling. In fact the opposite is true this year for the North Atlantic, very warm.

Andrew, you mentioned that 8 other Mays had as little ice as this one, so you weren't sure this final tally in September would be a new low record.

I would suggest that if the thickness of the ice has continued to decline despite ice extent, then we will not only see a new low extent but may see it completely gone for good if not this year then possibly over the next couple of years.

The "rotten ice" information is new meaning that previous space images missed the thinning ice and that thinning ice is ice not worth much in a warming climate.

Wind and currents aside, this will be as close to a catastophic melt-off as ever witnessed by human eyes.

Problem is noone is for sure what an ice free Summer Arctic will have on regional climates across the continents.

It's a crap shoot or junk shot at best.

Posted by: ender3rd | June 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, none of what you're saying is terribly groundbreaking to those of us who have been watching sea ice data for the last few years.

But I'm curious why your editor appended this disclaimer at the end of your post: The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.

Incredible that even hinting at global warming warrants a full disclaimer. Arctic sea ice loss is not a theory, it's a measurable reality. The Washington Post does a disservice to "objectivity" by pretending a loud fringe of non-scientists constitutes a real alternative to global warming science.

And ironic since short-term meteorology, the CWG's bread and butter, is among the most unreliable scientific fields we encounter on a daily basis! Shouldn't the Post disclaim every forecast it makes, since Thursday is apparently unknowable on Tuesday?

Posted by: calliope_81 | June 22, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q,

Last time I checked, Kilimanjaro is not in the Arctic. Are you seriously trying to help debunk global warming with a single mountain? Even you know that's not how to make an argument.

Also, you may want to read beyond the third paragraph next time you post.

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | June 22, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

My Kilimanjaro comments were a response to Bombo47jea's comment.

DAK4Blizzard wrote, "Also, you may want to read beyond the third paragraph next time you post."

Are you seriously asserting that you know what or how much I read? Are you joking?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Q,

You didn't bother mentioning that this "study" you quoted was from the "Heartland Institute". What is that? From its "about" page:
"Heartland's mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include...market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies."
No bias there.

Posted by: cgindc | June 22, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't a Heartland study. Heartland was quoting Nature. That was clearly stated in the very first sentence that I quoted - "... according to a November 24, 2003, article published in Nature magazine".

Would you prefer National Geographic?

More detail can be found here (wattsupwiththat).

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q, you sound like you have a beef with the idea that global warming might be occurring and that man might be contributing to it. What's you basic maladjustment, dear?

Can't stand the idea that you might be wrong?

Posted by: nunovyerbizness1 | June 22, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand lies and half-truths.

But rather than attempt to do some long distance psycho analysis on a person you have never met and do not know, even tangentially, perhaps your time would be better spent analyzing the hypothesis of catastrophic, man made, someplace other than the United States warming?

Riddle me this -
If, God forbid, a virus wiped out every living human being on the planet, what would the average global temperature be in the year 2061? What would be the maximum and minimum sea ice extent in the year 2015?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity, how many people read this column by Mr. Freedman and concluded that this proves, if only in a small way, the hypothesis of catastrophic, man made, global warming?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 22, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The Arctic sea ice forecast, issued by a large group of ice specialists, came out just after this post's deadline today. As Andy Revkin explains at NY Times' DotEarth - http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/arctic-ice-forecasters-split-on-summer-retreat/ , the projections aren't exactly unanimous in showing another record melt. The outlook is available here: http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2010/june

From the Outlook: "The June Outlook for arctic sea ice in September 2010 shows reasonable arguments for either a modest increase or decrease in September 2010 sea ice extent compared to the last two years (5.4 million square kilometers in 2009 and 4.7 million square kilometers in 2008). However, it is important to note that the June 2010 Outlook indicates a continuation of the overall trend in long-term loss of summer arctic sea ice, with no indication that a return to historical levels of the 1980s/1990s will occur."

"Reasoning for an increase in sea ice extent from recent years assumes that the current presence of extensive second- and third-year sea ice that we saw in winter 2009/2010 indicates a build-up of multi-year sea ice and a more stable ice pack. Reasoning for a decrease in sea ice extent from recent years, perhaps approaching new record-low minimum, focuses on the below-normal sea ice thickness overall, the thinning of sea ice in coastal seas, rotting of old multi-year sea ice, warm temperatures in April and May 2010, and the rapid loss of sea ice area seen during May."

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 22, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

calliope_81: I share your concerns about the disclaimer in this instance, and I am hoping that someone above my pay grade, so to speak, from CWG will address this further.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | June 22, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

"I can't stand lies and half-truths."

This from the guy who claimed there were 700 scientists dissenting from global warming just because a right-wing senator says so even after someone went through the names and found plenty of non-skeptics and non-scientists. Mr. Q seems to be fine with lies and half-truths when he agrees with them.

Posted by: kevinwparker | June 23, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

kevinwparker wrote, "This from the guy who claimed there were 700 scientists dissenting from global warming just because a right-wing senator says so even after someone went through the names and found plenty of non-skeptics and non-scientists."

I can't stand lies and half-truths. If there are inaccuracies in Senator Inhofe's list of 700 scientists who made dissenting comments regarding global warming, I want to know.

The list in question is here. Point out the errors. Be specific. Any documentation supporting your claims would be helpful. Please list the scientist, what Senator Inhofe alleges they said or wrote, and what they claim they said or wrote.

I welcome your sincere interest at getting to the truth. I hope you are willing to follow your conviction for the truth, regardless of where it leads.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 23, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

There is another growing list out there. These guys are voluntarily signing the list. They are putting their name on the line.

They are signing a statement which reads -
“We, the undersigned, having assessed the relevant scientific evidence, do not find convincing support for the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing, or will in the foreseeable future cause, dangerous global warming."

The list grows every day. They are up to 111 scientists now. Most are Phd's.

Does the inverse exist? Is there a list of scientists who are signing a statement which is essentially the opposite of the above statement?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 23, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm... I may have answered my own question. According to this website, there are lists of scientists who appear to support man made, global warming. Not sure if they support the catastrophic part. And not all of them are scientists. At least some are economists and some are unknown. Still, it is worthy of investigation.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 23, 2010 2:59 AM | Report abuse

They support the catastrophic part in Bali by saying "If this [CO2] trend is not halted soon, many millions of people will be at risk from extreme events such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms, our coasts and cities will be threatened by rising sea levels, and many ecosystems, plants and animal species will be in serious danger of extinction."

Again I ask for just one thing (as opposed to the vague laundry list above). Heat waves and drought? See 1930's. Floods and storms? Measured by river level extremes (as opposed to single rain gauges here and there), there is no trend. Sea level? See MWP. Species extinction? The centrally dictated lowering of carbon usage will be a disaster for the environment, see Haiti. All I am asking for is one thing that points to catastrophe with supporting arguments, that way we can look at the details in depth. Laundry lists like the above require far too many details to make a full argument.

Posted by: eric654 | June 23, 2010 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Relevant paper in PNAS entitled "Expert credibility in climate change" by Anderegg et al.

PDF (3 pages): http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf

Excerpt:
(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

Posted by: imback | June 23, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=44333&src=eoa-nnews&src=recommend

1 of our analysts will be joining the Healy crew in July to assist in navigation in the ice covered waters. Hopefully, in next few years, it will be my turn!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | June 23, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Andrew mentions the feedback where decreasing ice cover increases the area of the open ocean being able to absorb solar radiation and thereby contribute to further melting.

One other aspect of this to consider: ice melting is the result of absorbing heat from the air above the sea surface and water below. Heat absorbed from the air is transferred to the ocean in the melt water, and hence contributes to atmospheric cooling. Heat used to melt ice from below is returned immediately to the sea with the ice melt.

All else being equal (including not accounting for differences between fresh and salt water), melting of the arctic ice cap should offset to an unknown extent the overall warming of the atmosphere, whatever the cause of that warming. Some of this warming might be from transfer of the additional ocean heat from solar absorption to the air, but must be limited and confined to near the surface, since there is little if any convection to transfer the heat vertically through a significant depth of the overlying atmosphere (as occurs, for example, with El Nino warm water).

My only point with this rambling, assuming it has any validity, is that the heat balance in the Arctic is very complex, and should probably be considered a component of some level of uncertainly in models mentioned above.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | June 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Freedman, if you believe that man is responsible for what will be catastrophic, man made, global warming, what solutions do you propose? Do you advocate replacing coal power plants with nuclear power plants? If not, why not? What realistic alternative to coal fired electrical plants is available, other than nuclear power?

People want their air conditioners and televisions and computers (your medium for this conversation relies upon electricity - talk about irony) and coffee makers and stoves and microwaves and light bulbs, etc... etc... etc...

Hospitals rely entirely upon electrical devices. What would power those devices at night, when the wind is calm?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 23, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

imback, the PNAS paper is very unreasonable and typifies the misuse of statistics on the CAGW side. It attempts to balkanize scientists who disagree about the politicization of science. I'm sure a lot on the "pro" side would disagree with the paper's premise as well.

Do you think the authors have read any of Dr Arie Bodek's work? I doubt they did. His only thought crime was to sign the very reasonable APS09 petition to eliminate the political slant from the APS climate change statement. The APS rejected it of course, but add some mush to try to salvage their original political screed. Read their attempt to backpeddle here http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm and the substitute statement which I will paste next...

Posted by: eric654 | June 23, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, accompany human industrial and agricultural activity. While substantial concern has been expressed that emissions may cause significant climate change, measured or reconstructed temperature records indicate that 20th 21st century changes are neither exceptional nor persistent, and the historical and geological records show many periods warmer than today. In addition, there is an extensive scientific literature that examines beneficial effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide for both plants and animals.

Studies of a variety of natural processes, including ocean cycles and solar variability, indicate that they can account for variations in the Earth’s climate on the time scale of decades and centuries.

Current climate models appear insufficiently reliable
to properly account for natural and anthropogenic contributions to past climate change, much less project future climate.

The APS supports an objective scientific effort to understand the effects of all processes – natural and human – on the Earth’s climate and the biosphere’s response to climate change, and promotes technological options for meeting challenges of future climate changes, regardless of cause.

Posted by: eric654 | June 23, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

During the day solar electric should be maximised, point of use means cutting coal-fire in half due to loss in lines. At night, hydrogen fuel cells, each located at the point of use.

People will use what they generate and learn to maximize the daily solar, wind and geothermal, and at night, go to bed.

It isn't any more difficult than that, but hey, it doesn't cost 20 billion like a nuclear plant, so you wouldn't be able to line the pockets of the super-rich nor keep the people on the teat of centralized energy, nor pre-position a dirty-bomb in your neighbors back yard.

Posted by: ender3rd | June 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

re inhofe's list, check this out:
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/Data_Set_for_web_viewing.pdf

it lists each signatory, their affiliation, specialty, whether or not they're actually a skeptic, whether or not they're actually a scientist, and a bunch of other interesting info - like WHY they are skeptics (if they are).

i reviewed (only) the first 4 pages (24 "scientists"). i found NO "yes" entries in the "climate scientist" column. 4 of the 24 are listed with a "maybe" or "?". of those 4, one (#8 Dr. Randy Cerveny) is not even a scientist... so, of the first 24 on the list 3 MIGHT be climate scientists.

what i found interesting also was their reasons for being skeptical. bear in mind that yesterday (after pointing me to an as-yet-unpublished paper denying co2's role in global warming) you said no serious people deny co2 could cause warming (i'm paraphrasing...).

skeptics #20 & #23 outright reject the role of co2 in global warming! so, they can't be "serious people", right? (#23 says it's just as or more likely due to water put in the atmosphere by jet planes...hahaha).

many blame the sun (skepticalscience.com false argument #1!) or or other natural causes. many said man's contribution to is small (this is plainly false). my "favorite" reason one is by #18, Dr. Oliver K. Manuel, who apparently thinks climate is more affected by solar magnetic field than human factors. (he also has a radical theory that the sun has an iron core....so...)

here's a summary of the qualifications of the signatories:

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/credibility__brochure.pdf

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Walter, cherry pick much? Ok, well I picked a name off the list too, but only because he was second out of 500 and I had never heard of him http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/skeptic_authors_table.html The next two APS09 signers are no slouches either (Rhoads and Brown).

Posted by: eric654 | June 23, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

eric,
how is that cherry-picking? i just went over the first 24 names on the list - sorry if only, maybe, 3 are climate scientists.

(as far as the not-so-serious scientists who see no connection btwn co2 and temperature, that was a private joke.)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 23, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The ones you chose to describe to the group (and not the others) are cherry picked. If you described the first five from the list, ordered by importance, I would consider that a more scientific sampling.

Posted by: eric654 | June 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Walter, I selected the top CAGW scientists from this list http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html chosen by (1) importance to science overall which is the order of the list and by (2) signing the Bali letter.

First is Sulston (Nobel prize winner, not climate but obviously a respected scientist). Second is Trenberth who is respected for his radiation budget work, but got bad reviews for AR4 by exaggeration of hurricane data (see Landsea criticism). Third is Hurrell, noted mostly as a Trenberth coauthor.

Fourth is Webster who is notable as the only researcher who obtained Jones' data (the data that couldn't be given out because of confidentiality agreements with some countries). He thought the data looked sloppily cared for, but is part of the hockey stick clique and signed the Bali letter. Webster has a long list of accomplishments. Fifth is Levitus who is the ocean heat storage expert from way back. Back in the day it was pretty crude. Now the data is better with Argo but the time interval is short.

All in all, the top two strike me as brilliant but the others as nothing special.

Posted by: eric654 | June 23, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

More drivel from an alarmist journalist who doesn't bother examining the science or the facts. The rapid area loss this year has been driven by stronger than normal currents which have served to compress the ice making it less susceptible to melt going forward. In fact, Arctic temperatures are running lower than normal!

Check out the reality:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/23/sea-ice-news-10/#more-20951

I wonder if Andrew Freedman issue an article in September when it is apparent that 2010 minimum sea ice extent is far higher than 2007? Somehow I doubt it!

Posted by: oilindustryshill | June 23, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Walter,

I'll address your criticisms one at a time, in the order you raised them.

1. "i found NO "yes" entries in the "climate scientist" column."

How do they define climate scientist? Are you familiar with Occam's razor? What seems more likely to you? None of those scientists are actually climate scientists? Or your source has some unusual definition of climate scientist, which they don't specify? Or your source is biased? Or your source is just flat out wrong or disingenous? (Or some combination of the last 3?)


2. "4 of the 24 are listed with a "maybe" or "?"."

See my answer for number 1.


3. "of those 4, one (#8 Dr. Randy Cerveny) is not even a scientist..."

Finally. A specific charge which can be factually investigated.

If I go to Dr. Randy Cerveny's Arizona State Directory profile, and peruse his "Publications/Intellectual Contributions" and his "Research Activity" I would say that not only is he a scientist, I would say he is a climate scientist. His last published paper was in the International Journal of Climatology and was titled Vertical moisture profile characteristics of severe surface drought and surface wetness in the western United States: 1973-2002. His research activity lists: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Climatological Variations in Isentropic Surfaces, INFLUENCE OF LOCAL CIRCULATION PATTERNS ON CONVECTIVE PRECIP. UNIV CORP FOR ATMOSPHERIC RES, CARBON MONOXIDE MODELLING. AZ DEPT OF ENVIRONMNT QUALITY, and ORBITALLY-INDUCED VARIA IN THE DIURNAL CYCLE OF RADIATION. NSF

Why would they say that he is not a scientist?

I don't think your source is very good.


4. "so, of the first 24 on the list 3 MIGHT be climate scientists."

See my answer for number 3.


Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Continued for Walter,


5. "what i found interesting also was their reasons for being skeptical. bear in mind that yesterday (after pointing me to an as-yet-unpublished paper denying co2's role in global warming) you said no serious people deny co2 could cause warming (i'm paraphrasing...)."

Without double checking, I would say that you have paraphrased me accurately. No serious people deny that CO2 could cause warming. You then appear to be drawing some sort of relationship between Ferenc Miskolczi's abstract and my comment. Is that correct?

I will provide the relevant snippet from his abstract yet again.

--begin quote--
By the line-by-line method, a computer program is used to analyze Earth atmospheric radiosonde data from hundreds of weather balloon observations. In terms of a quasi-all-sky protocol, fundamental infrared atmospheric radiative flux components are calculated: at the top boundary, the outgoing long wave radiation, the surface transmitted radiation, and the upward atmospheric emittance; at the bottom boundary, the downward atmospheric emittance. The partition of the outgoing long wave radiation into upward atmospheric emittance and surface transmitted radiation components is based on the accurate computation of the true greenhouse-gas optical thickness for the radiosonde data. New relationships among the flux components have been found and are used to construct a quasi-all- sky model of the earth’s atmospheric energy transfer process. In the 1948-2008 time period the global average annual mean true greenhouse-gas optical thickness is found to be time-stationary. Simulated radiative no-feedback effects of measured actual CO2 change over the 61 years were calculated and found to be of magnitude easily detectable by the empirical data and analytical methods used. The data negate increase in CO2 in the atmosphere as a hypothetical cause for the apparently observed global warming. A hypothesis of significant positive feedback by water vapor effect on atmospheric infrared absorption is also negated by the observed measurements. Apparently major revision of the physics underlying the greenhouse effect is needed.
--end quote--

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse


He isn't saying that CO2 could not cause any warming. He is saying that a "change in the greenhouse effect due to CO2 would likely have been detected if it had been present in the last 61 years". He is saying that had CO2 been the reason for the recent warming, it would have changed the atmosphere in such a way as to have been detected during their measurements over the last 61 years. And that has not happened.

He isn't arguing that CO2 could not cause warming. He is arguing that if it had, their measurements over the last 61 years would have detected the changes in the atmosphere. Assuming his model is correct, of course. And since those changes have not been detected, the current warming is not attributable to CO2.

Whether or not CO2 could cause warming is a theoretical argument. He is making an empirical argument that it did not cause warming (based upon his theoretical model - which is based upon empirical observations).

Clear as mud?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Continued for Walter,


6. "skeptics #20 & #23 outright reject the role of co2 in global warming!"

Not exactly. You could make a convincing argument that #20 (F. James Cripwell) holds that opinion, but you can't for #23 (William F. McClenney). And I would argue that what Mr. Cripwell (#20) objects to is the claimed linear relationship associated with the doubling of CO2.

Your source is playing loose with the facts.

Quoting Mr. Cripwell, according to Senator Inhofe's list

--begin quote--
“Throughout the discussion of doubling the concentration of CO2, there is absolutely no reference to the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere over which the increased amount of radiative forcing is supposed to increase linearly when the concentration of CO2 doubles. Presumably if you halved the concentration of CO2, you would decrease the radiative forcing by some linear amount. If you go on halving the CO2 concentration, then as the concentration of CO2 approached zero, it would appear that the CO2 was rapidly cooling the earth!! Clearly any claim that the doubling of the CO2 concentration results in a linear increase in the level of radiative forcing can have no credibility unless the range of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, over which the relationship is claimed to exist, is clearly established from sound scientific principles.” Cripwell concluded, “If there is no scientific basis for the claim that doubling the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the radiative forcing linearly, then any claim to put a numerical value on this increase has no basis in science.”
--end quote--

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Quoting THE SKY IS FALLING OR ON REVISING THE NINE TIMES RULE
PART III OF V

--begin quote--
CO2 is predicted to double in concentration from about 0.04% to 0.08% in the next 300 years. Should we be worried? Taking all concentration and thermal conductivity data and doing the math, if we take and double something (CO2) at a trace concentration which has two thirds the thermal conductance that the vast majority of the atmosphere has, this will increase the total atmospheric thermal conductivity by about 0.03%.

And this takes into account that the major components of the troposphere (N2, O2, and water vapor) absorb in the shorter wavelength end of the IR spectrum, around 5-6 nm or so. There are some big gaps in the spectrum around 10-12 nm, which is where CO2, CH4, and CFCs absorb but this spectrum is not yet saturated, although some bands for CO2 are saturated. Basically the IR absorption spectrum is fully saturated with N2 and O2 and usually with water vapor. The wavelengths open to allow IR radiation to escape are around 10-12 nm but these wavelengths are increasing blocked by increasing GHG emissions. So, if we assume no IR radiation can escape at all, then we would have a tiny concentration of CO2 absorbing all the heat it can, ending up with the numbers above.

...

So, now we have looked at some rather simple and complex data and learned that it would have been nigh on impossible for ice ages to have been terminated by GHGs, something that should have been obvious even to a caveman. We then looked at CO2 and find it not only didn’t cause all those many ice ages to end, it in fact could not have. The mathematics being used today is easily shown to be quite shonky such that CO2 is unlikely to be able to be a true participant in global warming. And unless we use such voodoo mathematics, having something at four one hundredths of one percent is really on the wrong side of the decimal point. We need to be on the left of the decimal point to do real damage to the environment. ...
--end quote--


He thinks CO2 could cause serious warming, just not at current concentration levels - or anywhere close to current concentrations.


Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Continued for Walter,


7. "so, they can't be "serious people", right?"

See my response to number 6.


8. "(#23 says it's just as or more likely due to water put in the atmosphere by jet planes...hahaha)."

Actually, it was F. James Cripwell (#20) who made that statement. Pretty silly in my opinion. But we all know that alarmists never make any silly claims.


Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Mr Q, I read as much of McClenneyPart_III.pdf that I could, but it contains numerous mistakes. In particular his statement that CO2 in the atmosphere is acting as an insulator which I asked about on a climate skeptics mailing list. My question there was why not use CO2 in thermal windows since it has a lower thermal conductivity than Argon. The answer was because CO2 transfers heat by both thermal conduction and radiation. It doesn't "insulate" as McClenney maintains, it reradiates.

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

A quick clarification on the CO2 effects above. It insulates AND it absorbs and reradiates. The insulation qualities are very good as indicated (much better than plain air and better than Argon). But the absorption and reradiation dominates to the extent that it is almost equivalent to putting the glass side by side since that is exactly what glass does with IR (it absorbs and then reradiates it in both directions).

Cripwell, another of the skeptics above, tries to defend his theory online. I'm not sure what his theory is in a positive sense, he only tries to disprove what amounts to a red herring. The thread is here http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=globalwarming&action=display&thread=1035

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

eric,
thanks for reading and absorbing (and reradiating?!) mcclenny's paper.

seems like mcclenny is saying something like "the co2 effect is weak", right?

http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm

as for miskolczi....riiiight....he thinks co2 could cause warming, but hasn't?

i honestly don't understand what "changes in the atmosphere" he expects to detect (other than increasing co2...). surely he's not disputing the rise in co2 concentrations, right? and surely he's not disputing the rise in temps, right? so, is his argument similar to the others? i.e., "co2 effect is weak"?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 24, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

In response Mr. Q's question of what will happen if a virus wipes out all mankind:
the planet will still be screwed. Imagine the methane produced by all those McDonalds cows that no one is eating? The western hemisphere would be overcome by them. Unless they eat up all the grass, which would have a dual effect of hurting the climate (no more CO2 absorbing grass), but it would irradicate them, thus improving the climate. I'm not sure what would happen elsewhere. No more man means all wildlife would return to normal. Not sure how much gas a moose passes. Maybe you can ask Palin when she's got some free time from putting lipstick on them? Just an idea.

Posted by: fatmoki | June 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Hi Eric,

You wrote, "Mr Q, I read as much of McClenneyPart_III.pdf that I could, but it contains numerous mistakes."

This is going far afield from the original comment. kevinwparker wrote, "This from the guy who claimed there were 700 scientists dissenting from global warming just because a right-wing senator says so even after someone went through the names and found plenty of non-skeptics and non-scientists. Mr. Q seems to be fine with lies and half-truths when he agrees with them."

He was insinuating that I am a hypocrite when it comes to the truth. I replied to his comment. I asked that he point out the quotations on Senator Inhofe's list that are incorrect. If there are quotations on the list that are untrue, contrary to what kevin insinuated, I do want to know.

Walter went out on the Internet and found a source attacking Senator Inhofe's list. He broadened my original request. I asked if the quotations were incorrect. But I accepted his criticisms and attempted to ascertain if they were accurate. They were not.

I am not here to defend every word that Mr. McClenney wrote. I won't even try. Nor do I care. I proved that Mr. McClenney believes that enough CO2 would be bad. He clearly stated so himself. I quoted it for Walter and provided a link to the source so that Walter could easily verify it. I proved what Walter's source claimed to be a complete falsehood.

Walter, have you ever considered taking your thirst for truth and using it to verify the accuracy of the claims by your own side? If you were confident in your side, you could do that. Why don't you start with the old canard that the IPCC has THOUSANDS of highly qualified scientists that worked on, and fully endorsed, their report. Give it a try. See if that claim is factual.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Walter and Eric,

To give you a better idea of the quality of Walter's source, check out number 4, David Packham. If you were to believe Walter's source David Packham's argument against the hypothesis of catastrophic, man made, global warming is "gravy train".

Now look at David Packham's FULL argument.

Go to Senator Inhofe's list and search for "Packham". He is on page 11. This is what is says under his entry -

--begin quote--
“I find that I am uncomfortable with the quality of the science being applied to the global warming question,” Packham, who now consults in fire management, told EPW on May 3, 2008. “This lack of comfort comes from many directions: A lack of actual measurements for terrestrial radiation and the use of deemed values for particulate radiation absorption; The failure to consider the role of particulates from biomatter burning; The lack of critical thought and total acceptance of the global warming models as conclusive evidence; The lack of transparency and obscuration of the critical weaknesses in the GCMs,” Packham explained. “Along with these discomforts goes an observation that research funding for environmental research in Australia, in my case mercury and wildfires, is almost impossible unless it is part of yet more greenhouse data gathering. There is also an atmosphere of intimidation if one expresses dissenting views or evidence. It is as if one is doing one's colleagues a great disservice in dissenting and perhaps derailing the gravy train. The effect of the group think is creating a corporate data gathering mind set amongst our young researchers that I think is dangerous,” he said. “As you can see there are many reasons that I would like to join my dissenting colleagues, some scientific and some social and political but all of them are sincerely held,” he added. “The global warming monopoly is seriously bad for science,” he concluded.
--end quote--

continued

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse


How would you characterize the accuracy of Walter's source when they stated that Mr. Packham's argument was "gravy train". Would you say they accurately presented/paraphrased Mr. Packham's argument? Or would you say they grossly misrepresented his argument?

I would have to say that they GROSSLY misrepresented his argument.

Heck, they didn't even want to count Dr. Randy Cerveny as a scientist! I think I have shown how wrong that was.

Walter, I wish you would put just one tenth of the effort in validating the accuracy of the alarmist's claims, and the qualifications of their scientists, as you do at attempting to disprove/discredit skeptical scientists.

You could start with an easy one. Verify the accuracy of WWF's assertion as quoted by Mr. Freedman, "Since reaching a seasonal maximum of approximately 14,407,344 km2 on 31 March, the extent of sea ice has fallen a staggering 3,245,156 km2 or 2,016,446 square miles. That is an area roughly half the size of the entire United States (including Alaska) and represents a decline of roughly 55,950 km2 per day (34,766 square miles per day)". Is that claim accurate?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Hi Walter, I'm still trying to digest Miskolczi. The skeptics had a very long argument about that paper, but I haven't figured out what they are talking about.

Hi Mr. Q, my main focus on the "lists" was in response to the comment by "imback". My response still stands which is that the skeptic list had lots of notable physicists who signed a letter to APS to amend their political statement to make it more scientific. I posted the full amendment above. Then I looked up the top 3 signers in the blacklist and found (through wikipedia and their own resumes) that they are strong contributors to science.

I did the same for the top five scientists who signed Bali which is an alarmist declaration. The first is a Nobel prize winner. The second is Trenberth. #3, 4 and 5 are science nobodies (basically publishers of hockey stick papers or whatever) They are not even in wikipedia which is biased towards their POV.

My response was then broadened (as yours was) to critiquing some skeptics' arguments because it helps to clear the air on skepticism in general. There are ample skeptic arguments against other skeptic arguments on the internet. Skeptics can be wrong and some on Inhofe's list are. But now I see that kewinwparker's attack was before the PNAS lists paper was even mentioned. Defending your POV as you did was clearly a waste of time since kevinwparker is not here to make his case.

The general problem is that people who argue the case for CAGW should make specific arguments and defend them as Walter does consistently. While I am at it, Mr. Q, you should be more polite to our host Andrew regardless of what he says.

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Eric,

You wrote, "Defending your POV as you did was clearly a waste of time since kevinwparker is not here to make his case."

So if someone accused you of being a hypocrite when it comes to the truth, you would not defend yourself?

How could you possibly know that "kevinwparker is not here to make his case"? Do you know kevinwparker? Do you know where he is and what he is doing right now?

You also wrote, "While I am at it, Mr. Q, you should be more polite to our host Andrew regardless of what he says."

Okay, now that is just plain silly! Andrew is not our host. The Washington Post Company is. And if Andrew said my wife was a wh0re, would I really need to be polite to him? I don't think so.

But I think I know what you meant to convey. I agree that civility is definitely best. I try very hard to be civil to Andrew. I think I have proven how hard I try to be civil to everyone here. Scroll up and read the way some of the commenters treated me. Even though many of them are rude, even Walter, I have been civil. Or is your criticism directed at some old comment that I made?

Do you have a recent example of me being impolite to Andrew?

Thank you,
Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q asked "Just out of curiosity, how many people read this column by Mr. Freedman and concluded that this proves, if only in a small way, the hypothesis of catastrophic, man made, global warming?"

I'm not a scientist, please don't dismiss me outright. I think that there is something to climate change but remain open to reading the science on both sides to better understand the issue. This article (which seems well-researched) did not change my views either way. I thought it was interesting and thought provoking--and if it wasn't, you all would be in such a frenzy over it.

Posted by: Farfalle1 | June 24, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't criticizing you for arguing against KWP, but criticizing him for a hit and run insinuation. If you then defend yourself, that's fine by me, I was just pointing out that you were wasting your time. You are better off switching to Walter's topic in this case. Same with me and imback who is "not back" at the moment.

Re: politeness. Your first comment in the thread, you said he "parroted" which implies repeating something without knowing the meaning. I certainly have said ad hom things in the past. But it helps explain why people hit back at you.

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Farfalle1, I am glad you are reading both sides. Please keep in mind that the both sides have a range of views that don't always conclude catastrophe. Also I have always asked people who claim catastrophe to be specific about what is catastrophic so it can be analyzed. In the article at the top the graphs are misleading since the y-axis doesn't start at zero. They are also misleading because they show satellite era data, and ice fluctuated up and down before that (e.g. in Russian data). In short, catastrophe is not well-defined and not imminent.

There is certainly a bit of frenzy in the thread above, but not much to do with the article, but rather a number of other topics.

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

mr.q,
when you say,

"...the old canard that the IPCC has THOUSANDS of highly qualified scientists that worked on, and fully endorsed, their report."

are you talking about mike hulme's recent "revelation" about claims of the IPCC's 2500 scientist consensus being "disingenuous"?

http://mikehulme.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Correcting-reports-of-the-PiPG-paper.pdf
-----------------

as far as "my source" perpetrating a "complete falshood" - that's baloney. what the heck are you talking about?? my source claimed cripwell "rejects role of co2; water put in atmosphere by jets is just as or more likely".

i take that to mean he does not think co2 is a cause of the recent warming. you quote from from the senate minority report where he discusses linearity and so forth, but THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE is "Whatever is causing warming, it is not an increase in levels of carbon dioxide. A more plausible theory is that it is water put into high altitudes by aircraft; this would have roughly the same time line,” Cripwell said.

that's EXACTLY what "my source" said....sheesh...

my source claimed mcclenny "rejects CO2/temp connection". you found a paper of his that said he thinks co2 concentrations would have to be about 1000 times higher than today (.04% on wrong side of decimal point) to "do damage". given that earth has never seen concentrations like that, i'd say it's fair to say he doesn't think co2 can/will cause global warming. (or are you mixing "warming" and "damage"?)

btw, do you have any idea where he gets the idea "CO2 is predicted to double in concentration from about 0.04% to 0.08% in the next 300 years." i don't know anyone who predicts co2 levels 300 years out. way too many variables. and i think we're increasing the concentration faster than that.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 24, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Eric,

You wrote, "Your first comment in the thread, you said he "parroted" which implies repeating something without knowing the meaning."

Hmmm... you have an interesting definition of parroted. I disagree with your definition. And so does Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster defines parroted as - "to repeat by rote".

Merriam-Webster defines parrot as "a person who sedulously echoes another's words". They make no mention that the person doing the parroting has no knowledge of the meaning of those words. And rote does not mean a lack of knowledge of the meaning.

On the contrary! I think Andrew fully understands every word he wrote. I give him 100% credit for understanding every single word he wrote.

There is a reason I said "parroted". I will try to briefly explain the reason/history of that.

There was a horrible drought in Australia caused by the IOD. Then, a sick arsonist set fire to the brush. He killed a lot of people. And what an absolutely horrible way to die. I shutter at the thought.

Andrew wrote a column on it and tried to tie it to AGW. He made no mention at all of the real reason for the drought, the IOD. He made no mention at all of the arsonist. I was absolutely appalled and thoroughly disgusted! I couldn't believe that Andrew was trying to use that horrible fire and those poor people's death to advance his belief in AGW. I rightfully admonished him.

Andrew's excuse was that it wasn't him that was tying the drought and fire to AGW. Oh no. It was the experts that he was quoting. He was merely quoting others.

So I feel completely justified in saying parroted whenever Andrew quotes anyone. After all, Andrew himself has used that excuse. But I hardly ever say that, even though I would be justified.

It was doubly justified in this case, because if Andrew had bothered to do any rudimentary fact checking, he would have found the WWF quote was complete nonsense, as I showed above.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Farfalle1,

Welcome. I would never dismiss you outright. I am thankful someone actually replied to my question. But I must confess, it was a loaded question. The question was designed to make a point.

My question was, as you accurately quoted, "Just out of curiosity, how many people read this column by Mr. Freedman and concluded that this proves, if only in a small way, the hypothesis of catastrophic, man made, global warming?"

I would argue that if you go back and take a more critical look at this column, you won't find any evidence of man's involvement or contribution to the temperature of the Arctic. Nor will you find any evidence that the temperature of the Arctic represents the temperature of the whole planet. Nor will you find any evidence that any current change in the rate of melt is indicative of any future rate of melt. Nor will you find any evidence that this portends catastrophe for the globe.

I suspect, I can not prove, that Mr. Freedman wants you to jump to those conclusions. But he doesn't actually make those claims. Nor does he provide proof of any such thing.

It is an old trick. Lead the reader to a conclusion without actually stating it. Assuming of course that some people, not necessarily you, made those false assumptions when they read his column.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

eric,
thanks for your efforts on miskolczi. i can't tell what's "new" in his claims. seems like more of "co2 sensitivity is low". not sure what he expects to see in the atmosphere that the hasn't that shows recent warming is not from co2 - which seems to be what he's saying.

mr.q, you said,
"You could start with an easy one. Verify the accuracy of WWF's assertion as quoted by Mr. Freedman, "Since reaching a seasonal maximum of approximately 14,407,344 km2 on 31 March, the extent of sea ice has fallen a staggering 3,245,156 km2 or 2,016,446 square miles...."

are you talking about the incorrect conversions into sq.mi.? uh...good catch there. or the comparisons to the u.s. land area? again, good catch. i've never said you're not thorough.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 24, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Hi Eric,

You wrote, "I wasn't criticizing you for arguing against KWP, but criticizing him for a hit and run insinuation."

I have no idea how or why you interpreted what I wrote in such a way as to describe it as a "hit and run insinuation". I don't understand that at all.

I specifically wrote to him, "I welcome your sincere interest at getting to the truth. I hope you are willing to follow your conviction for the truth, regardless of where it leads." I was 100% sincere.

I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that he saw my reply. You are the one who is assuming that he is not here. Which, I suppose in your mind, somehow makes my what I wrote a "hit and run". But I admit I am reaching. I am trying to understand how you interpreted what I wrote as a criticism for a "hit and run insinuation".

kevinwparker wrote, "Mr. Q seems to be fine with lies and half-truths when he agrees with them."

I characterized his comment this way - "He was insinuating that I am a hypocrite when it comes to the truth."

I thought my description/characterization of what he wrote was, if anything, kind and polite. In truth, kevinwparker didn't insinuate anything. He came right out and accused me of having a double-standard (being a hypocrite) when it comes to the truth.

How would you describe what kevinwparker wrote? Was my description anything but kind?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think I get it! You weren't criticizing me, your comment was directed at kevinwparker!! Doh! Slaps head.

Is that correct? Were you criticizing keviwparker and not me? If so, I apologize for thinking that your comment was directed at me and about me.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

kevinwparker's comment, and my reply to it, is a perfect example of my politeness and civility, even when that courtesy is not extended to me.

He accused me of being a hypocrite. But I nonetheless replied to him in a respectful and polite manner.

This happens all the time. And no one ever criticizes my critics for their lack of civility. But if I get even a little bit snarky when replying to such comments, I get instantly jumped upon. I am really quite sick of it. But it is what it is, and I will prevail.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q,

I'm just pointing out that deforestation is, in fact, a MAN-MADE event that affected the climate. Go figure, man can have an impact on the climate. It's possible that I may not know as much as you, but you don't have to be an ass all the time.

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | June 24, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Bombo47jea wrote, "This melting of Arctic [and Antarctic] ice, as well as that occurring at high elevations in the tropics [no more "Snows of Kilimanjaro" or Andean ice caps!] tends to clinch the global warming argument IMO."

Now, perhaps I am mistaken, but my understanding of the contemporary catastrophic, man made, global warming argument (which Bombo47jea referenced) is that the problem is the CO2 that man is emitting.

I pointed out that deforestation, and not global warming (quoting Nature!), was responsible for the melting icecap atop Kilimanjaro.

You, DAK4Blizzard, wrote, -
"Last time I checked, Kilimanjaro is not in the Arctic. Are you seriously trying to help debunk global warming with a single mountain? Even you know that's not how to make an argument."

"Also, you may want to read beyond the third paragraph next time you post."

I was taken aback by your comment that I only read up to the third paragraph. How you presume to know such a thing is beyond me. There were LOTS of snarky replies that I could have made, but I chose not to. I replied, "Are you seriously asserting that you know what or how much I read? Are you joking?" I thought the possibility that you were making some sort of joke was a distinct possibility, because your comment made no sense to me. It appeared to be some sort of baseless and derogatory flame. Some unkind replies to your comment ran through my mind, but I kept them to myself.

Now you write, "I'm just pointing out that deforestation is, in fact, a MAN-MADE event that affected the climate. Go figure, man can have an impact on the climate. It's possible that I may not know as much as you, but you don't have to be an ass all the time."

I don't know how a person can take the preceding comments and interpret them as you pointing out that deforestation is man made. But if you say so, I will take your word for it. I have never argued that deforestation is not man made. I have never argued that deforestation does not affect climate. Quite the opposite. I agree with Pilke, Sr. Deforestation is a serious problem which needs to be addressed. I have stated so in the past, on this very web site.

As far as me being "an ass", trust me, I wasn't. There will be no doubt in your mind if I ever decide to be "an ass".

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Yet another example of someone being rude to me and no one says a single word to them. Not a peep!

Instead, I get criticized for my use of the word "parroted".

It is downright comical.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mr Q, yes KWP was the hit and run. Happens from time to time here.

Walter I am still trying to dig up a copy of the Miskolczi paper, also been busy.

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mr. Q,

I apologize for the harsh comment I made. You do not have to accept, but I feel obligated, because I took your words the wrong way (and initially thought you were attacking my knowledge) and completely over-reacted. (And it would have been an over-reaction anyway.) Obviously, I was the ass in my reply, and I shouldn't have submitted it as abruptly as I did. Thank you for taking the high road and allowing me to recognize my irrational response.

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | June 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Andrew is back on his AGW propaganda bandwagon again I see. Its too bad his data is wrong. If he decided to look at the current data, instead of May, he'd find that the Arctic Sea Ice is perfectly normal.

That would force Andrew to use all of the information available, instead of just one source.

If you would like to see all 5 arctic sea ice studies, instead of just the one Andrew wants you to see, check here.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/23/sea-ice-news-10/#more-20951

Posted by: ecocampaigner | June 24, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi DAK4Blizzard,

I completely accept your apology. And I salute you for offering it. That puts you above the vast majority. You will go far.

I'm sorry if I wrote something in such a way as to cause you to think I was attacking your knowledge. I would not do that.

Very respectfully,
Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The list in question is here. Point out the errors. Be specific. Any documentation supporting your claims would be helpful.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 23, 2010 1:25 AM
___________________________________________

The Center for Inquiry's dissection of Inhofe's list has been out for nearly a year now, and I find it difficult to believe that someone interested in the issue would be unaware of it. Anyhow, you can find their materials here.

Posted by: kevinwparker | June 24, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

kevinwparker,

I guess I should consider it a compliment that you think I was aware of the Center for Inquiry and their report. I hate to admit it, but I had never heard of them until Walter linked to them above. In my defense, it is a very big Internet and I am but one man with a limited amount of time to invest in this.

I took a long look at the report that Walter linked to. I attempted to validate their findings/report. I found it very, very lacking. Horrible, to be honest.

I put quite a bit of time and effort into researching their report. What I found out is above. I am not going to rehash it unless you have an individual example that you want me to look at.

Have you seen this -
http://brneurosci.org/co2.html?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 24, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 24, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

from http://brneurosci.org/co2.html
"Geologists tell us that the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is on the order of five to ten years [23]. In contrast, the IPCC says it is 50-200 years. "

That's vague and misleading. The impulse response depends on the whole CO2 cycle and how the "extra" CO2 gets spread out into various sinks and eventually the deep ocean. It will depend greatly on ocean upwelling and other ocean dynamics. The curve will probably look something like this http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_csV48ElUsZQ/S9pVGuYpfAI/AAAAAAAAAQc/GVQ-wzzb2nc/s400/co2-a-b.gif

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Walter, the first link is downloading now, thanks.

Posted by: eric654 | June 24, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

eric,
you on dial-up out there in the mountains?

i just realize3d the second link doesn't work...(it was supposed to be a more technical version, i think).

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 24, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I have what Sprint calls "3G" although quite often lately it's 1xrtt.

Posted by: eric654 | June 25, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

eric,
i know life goes on, but have you studied that revolutionary paper by miskolczi? let me know when you have.

i'm conflicted. there is no doubt in my mind that humans are causing the climate to warm. to me that just so basically obvious. so...now...the question is, is that bad? i really don't know.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 25, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I will definitely read through it and I would also like to look at a large number of supporting and critiquing emails I have saved up. Today is party day but by tonight and tomorrow I should have time.

Posted by: eric654 | June 26, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Check out the bottom of pdf page number 23 and the top of page number 24.

--begin quote--
For this situation Ferenc Miskolczi has calculated mean global temperature increase as a consequence of the doubling of CO2 concentration; see table 6 in the 2004 IDOJARAS paper. The result is 0.48 °C, much too low to be measured in the noise of changing sea currents, volcanic eruptions, changing galactic cosmic ray densities, etc.
--end quote--

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 27, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Those are the IPCC numbers. Actually, he cleaned up what they wrote. If you think his interpretation of what they wrote is "vague and misleading", you should look at the actual document.

--begin quote--
Namely, emissions of a greenhouse gas that has a long atmospheric residence time is a quasi-irreversible commitment to sustained radiative forcing over decades, centuries, or millennia, before natural processes can remove the quantities emitted.
--end quote--

It could be 20 years or 2,000 years. Now that is what you call vague!

Then, in the table directly beneath the above quote, it shows the "atmospheric lifetime" of CO2 as "5 to 200 yr".

That is an older IPCC report. No doubt the current report(s) has/have raised the minimum residence time from 5 years to 50 years.

Source of the above.

Other than your criticism of those two sentences, did you find any other fault in his description of CO2 in our atmosphere, as currently accepted.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 27, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried!!

Sit down, take a deep breath, and read the whole thing. Unbelievable. Although it is what I have come to expect.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 27, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Mr Q, can't address the CO2 issue right now, although it is a fairly simple problem to determine impulse response. There will be some quibbles about ocean turnover which will cause variations in the curve, but the curve is the explanation, not "residence time" which means nothing.

For Walter: I'll try to look at the small GH experiment next, but first the flea market and some shopping before it gets too hot in reality. I'm not sure the experiment shows much that can be extrapolated to the atmosphere. Basically he's pointing out evaporative cooling without balancing heat release from condensation (I don't think his PE cover accomplishes that). But it is a valid point that the evaporation, convection, and condensation cycle is a cooling mechanism, but it is also in all the standard diagrams.

Then I will look at the tower measurements. Then try to address the full atmosphere with tropopause where the negative lapse rate turns positive. Apparently his system does not have that??

Posted by: eric654 | June 27, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's my preliminary thoughts: It's a stretch that physics alone can "prove" CAGW (some CAGW physicists still try though) nor do I think that CAGW can be disproved with physics alone although quite a few skeptical physicists like M try. I don't think either has been successful although the CAGW disproof should be easier. OTOH, IMO AGW is easily proven with physics and AGW cannot be disproved without ignoring some physics. M is not trying disprove AGW, only the magnitude, thereby disproving CAGW. So at least he is not out on that particular limb.

The real world is chock full of extreme cases like tropics and deserts without extreme warming (CAGW), only localized strong GW entirely caused by weather. That's because CO2 warming is diffuse and global both in theory and in measurements. So CAGW proofs must show that water vapor also increases greatly and evenly which doesn't match much of the temperate and tropical world due to weather (when it gets moister, it rains more). So instead they must prove that desert air will get moister and/or the dry upper atmosphere will get moister. But it is difficult to make a simple case for the upper atmosphere moistening because it is greatly controlled by weather. I think the deserts are just as difficult but I'm not sure.

For the CAGW disproof, skeptics must assume or show that weather stays somewhat constant in a world with a thicker atmosphere due to increased CO2. Or that it changes with a cooling effect (very difficult without weather simulations or the equivalent although Lindzen tries). Or they have to show that the humidity changes to mitigate some of that thickening which is what M is apparently trying to do.

Posted by: eric654 | June 27, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Eric,

Well "residence time" is what the IPCC documents. If your disagreement is with the residence time, then your disagreement is with the IPCC language.

I wanted to make that point because a great many true believers will read what you wrote and interpret your comment as a disagreement with T. J. Nelson's page. This may be difficult for you to believe, but a great many true believers will seize upon that one single criticism and dismiss EVERYTHING he wrote.

It is similar to the Oregon Petition or Senator Inhofe's list. The Oregon Petition had somewhere around 17,000 signers. The true believers found approximately one dozen people who claimed they had been tricked, or weren't real scientists, and they dismiss the entire petition because of those one dozen. It is insane, but true. There could be 16,000 honest scientists who signed that petition with full knowledge of precisely what they were lending their name and reputation to, and they are dismissed out of hand. Same with Senator Inhofe's list. They will look for a scientist, doesn't really matter how many, one will do, to discredit the entire 700. There are some brilliant, top of their field scientists are Senator Inhofe's list. And the skeptics will take the attention off of those people and focus it on someone they claim isn't even a real scientists.

And they will do the same with T. J. Nelson's page too. Because you wrote that you disagree with the "residence time".

I realize this is a lot to ask, but if you could please point out the true parts of skeptical arguments whenever you are pointing out the parts that you disagree with, it would be really, really, really helpful. Of if you could say whether or not you disagree or agree with the general thrust of the argument/conclusion, that would likewise be great.

Thank you. And please keep up the good fight.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 27, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The IPCC was indeed wrong with their bogus, non-peer reviewed, WWF Amazon claims.

Detail here.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 27, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mr. Q, I see your point. My philosophy is to argue for or against specific points with specific facts, so when I see a long post on multiple topics like Nelson's, I pick just a few and see if they look accurate. There are things in his presentation that I don't understand at all, such as the upper atmosphere cooling due to earth's curvature. Is that an explanation for stratospheric cooling?

On the other hand, he makes some very good points like the catastrophic scenarios mostly include unrealistically large increases in CO2 in future years. I say mostly, because the other way is to use realistic increases in CO2 (or no increases), but jigger the climate model to heat up the earth faster.

I think in general his presentation is far too broad and ends up delving into areas that he doesn't know about. My example above is one: "residence time" is meaningless. The IPCC implication is that if we stopped producing CO2 tomorrow it would be around 200 years. Absolutely wrong. His counter is that "geologists" say the residence time is 10 years. That is meaningless as it uses the average residence time of a molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere which makes no difference to the impulse response.

Here's the a better answer: if we stopped producing CO2 tomorrow the levels of CO2 would drop back to 33% above natural equilibrium in 30 years, and that is if you believe the alarmist curve I posted above! In all likelihood it will drop even faster (they have underestimated deep ocean turnover). So "residence time", "staying power", or whatever-you-want-to-call-it of CO2 is short and not a concern.

Posted by: eric654 | June 27, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Hi Walter,

I will keep reading but this is what I see so far. I don't yet understand the correlation of the Cabauw tower measurements with the model. I can see that correlating would be notable, but the key word in the explanation is "net". Measuring net flux and comparing it to a model of net flux is apt has multiple solutions (i.e. net can match, but upward and downward flux can be different in reality and in the model).

The author (not sure it is Miskolczi or someone explaining M's theories) seems to have a plausible explanation of a thermostat effect, but not a quantitative one, at least in the paper that I am reading. I'm not even sure about cause and effect since he shows that high clouds warm and low clouds cool (which is definitely true) but then states that a surface warming of 0.4K increases cloud top temperatures by 2K. Again that is plausible, low (warm topped) clouds could increase in relative quantity over high (cold topped) clouds in an increased evaporation scenario. But those quantities don't reveal the overall warming or cooling because they are just for the cloudy areas. But I could also argue the opposite, that warming produces stronger convection and higher clouds in general.

Also the cloud scenarios (and Spencer's measurements of PDO to cloud correlations) hold over water and not land. Also I believe it is tropics only. The same model and measurement comparisons would have to be done for the rest of the various surfaces of the earth and integrated. That's GCM territory and it is likely that M's analysis and submodels will agree with GCM's for those areas.

Essentially, M's theory requires the evaluation of the troposphere lapse rate to determine whether convection takes place to transfer large amounts of heat upwards to overwhelm the "back radiation" of the GH effect. That is a highly nonlinear effect and I don't see that expressed in the paper (I could be missing it though).

Posted by: eric654 | June 27, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Hi Eric,

Thank you very, very much for understanding. And thank you for your tireless effort on this topic at this website. I sincerely hope to simply fade away now that you and a couple others are making regular, consistent appearances.

As far as your question, "There are things in his presentation that I don't understand at all, such as the upper atmosphere cooling due to earth's curvature. Is that an explanation for stratospheric cooling?", I think he is referring to thermal gradients - local elevation vs global thermal gradient (curvature of the Earth). It really has no place being on the graphic, other than to confuse people. He didn't mention it at all in the text. It served quite literally no purpose, other than to confuse. (Notice that there are polar bears on the graphic. Representing the North Pole region.)

I like how he argued from an empirical perspective and not just a theoretical perspective. I like that, and respect that. It was fascinating when he pointed out that if the ocean's are indeed absorbing any heat (an argument the true believers try to use to explain the lack of warming), then that means the theoretical in their model is wrong, and from an empirical perspective that would mean that the proposed warming would take 282,000 years instead of 250 years. An excellent point that I had not considered previously. If the alarmists are correct that the "missing heat" is being absorbed by the oceans, then their models are wrong and the warming will take thousands of years.

But I am getting side tracked. Sorry.

Thanks again for your understanding.

Sincerely,
Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 28, 2010 12:19 AM | Report abuse

re "residence time";
it's like "half-life" or something. there's an asymptote, right? most is gone in X yrs, but theoretically it's never ALL gone. the graph is a perfect way to explain it.

mr.q,
what "missing heat" and "lack of warming" are you talking about?! temps keep going up.

eric,
thanks for your efforts on that paper. M says ~.5C for a doubling, mainstream scientists say ~3C. so M thinks he's shown 1/6 the co2 sensitivity. revolutionary...worthy of a nobel prize, no?

what do you think of these criticisms?
http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=Ferenc_Miskolczi

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/06/gigo-eli-has-learned-over-years-that.html

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 28, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 28, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

From one of their own leaked internal emails of the Climategate team.

--begin quote--
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
--end quote--

Their theoretical model does not align with real world observations. But fear not, they march on in lockstep!

The media is naturally mostly silent on the fact that their theoretical models do not match reality, and consequently, here you are, asking about "what "missing heat"".

Google - "climategate emails +travesty +ceres"

You have been misled and deceived. But that won't matter one bit to you, will it?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 28, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

mr.q,
thanks. interesting...missing heat...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 28, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

mr.q,
ha! as i was reading the NPR, NSF and science daily articles about the "missing heat", i was thinking, "wow...this would be great material for skeptics to quote mine" - and sure enough...they haven't let me down.

i thought for sure i'd see "glaring hole" mined too. no doubt it has been.

so mainstream scientists have identified a problem with either the data or the models or both and are looking to understand the discrepancy to improve their understanding of the heat cycle and so forth. that's how theories improve. no one (except skeptics) thinks the missing heat "travesty" means 40 (or whatever) years of global warming science will be thrown out. but who knows?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 28, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, "You have been misled and deceived. But that won't matter one bit to you, will it?"

Thank you for answering my rhetorical question.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | June 28, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Walter I can't say I understand M's equations and arguments enough to evaluate that specific criticism of them. It seems like they are talking past each other and it would be useful if M or Rorsch or someone else replied. My main problem is I don't have the critiqued paper, just the one linked above which doesn't jive with Stoke's criticism.

As for mainstream says 3C and only M dares to be different, that's a bit of a red herring. The 3C number is way too high for small areas like (as M points out), PDO shifts over tropical oceans. Extrapolating them to the earth as a whole is not valid, but it can suggest that the overall sensitivity might be a lot lower.

Posted by: eric654 | June 28, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

mr.q,
it would be crazy to overthrow the whole of climate change theory based on this one "problem". AGW is supported by numerous lines of corroborating evidence.

think of this as a learning opportunity. if/when we "find" the "missing" heat we will have learned something about heat cycles or deep ocean currents or who knows what. it's how science advances.

it's only since 2003? or 2005? that it's missing, right? same year the measuring equipment changed, right? now, if 10/15 yrs from now we still can't find that heat...well...then i'd be wondering. again it's the preponderance of evidence, not one anomaly.

now, it's true a theory has to account for all the data, so, this "missing heat" will require an adjustment (i.e., improvement) to current climate theory. really, it would be alarmist to think that this one area of uncertainty throws the theory into crisis.

if this heat really turns out to be "missing" - i.e. somehow "magically" absorbed by "the system" or an artifact of bad a bad theory - that would be great!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | June 29, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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