Quiet Storm of Lucidity

Lucidity refers to insight: an understanding that arrives in a flash, like lightning or a light bulb overcoming the darkness. It involves seeing things as they are, (not how they should or might be) and how those things fit together into a coherent whole. Socrates and other great teachers down through history saw that lucidity is the coming together of knowledge that is already within but not yet realized.

Turning to our understanding of the climate, we have to ask this question:

Is that light the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train?

In the run up to Paris climate conference, skeptics and the general public are looking into an oncoming train of pressure and propaganda. But lately there are voices pointing to light shining through the fog of consensus climate science. They are not very loud yet compared to the amplified mass media fear-mongering, but it is more pronounced than in the past.  Consider some of the recent media events.

Honest Talk Regarding the Models’ Uncertainties

David Roberts writing here:

Basically, it’s difficult to predict anything, especially regarding sprawling systems like the global economy and atmosphere, because everything depends on everything else. There’s no fixed point of reference.

Grappling with this kind of uncertainty turns out to be absolutely core to climate policymaking. Climate nerds have attempted to create models that include, at least in rudimentary form, all of these interacting economic and atmospheric systems. They call these integrated assessment models, or IAMs, and they are the primary tool used by governments and international bodies to gauge the threat of climate change. IAMs are how policies are compared and costs are estimated.

There is a school of thought that says the whole exercise of IAMs, at least as an attempt to model how things will develop in the far future, is futile. There are so many assumptions, and the outcomes are so sensitive to those assumptions, that what they produce is little better than wild-ass guesses. And the faux-precision of the exercise, all those clean, clear lines on graphs, only serves to mislead policymakers into thinking we have a grasp on it. It makes them think we know exactly how much slack we have, how much we can push before bad things happen, when in fact we have almost no idea.

In the view of these researchers, the quest to predict what climate change (or climate change mitigation) will cost through 2100 ought to be abandoned. It is impossible, computationally intractable, and the IAMs that pretend to do it only serve to distract and confuse.

More CO2 is Good for the Planet

London 12 October: In an important new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, former IPCC delegate Dr Indur Goklany calls for a reassessment of carbon dioxide, which he says has many benefits for the natural world and for humankind.

Dr Goklany said: “Carbon dioxide fertilises plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10-15%. This has not only been good for humankind but for the natural world too, because an acre of land that is not used for crops is an acre of land that is left for nature”.

In the Forward (here), world-renowned physicist Freeman Dyson says this:

“To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.”

Dyson also makes this lucid comment:

The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence. Those of my scientific colleagues who believe the prevailing dogma about carbon dioxide will not find Goklany’s evidence convincing. . .That is to me the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?

Prominent French Weatherman and Mathematicians Speak Out

Recently France’s best-known TV weatherman, Philippe Verdier, was sacked for publishing a book debunking consensus climate science. And now people wonder what punishment will be visited upon the prestigious Société de Calcul Mathématique (Society for Mathematical Calculation), which recently issued a detailed 195-page White Paper that presents a blistering point-by-point critique of the key dogmas of the global warming. Synopsis is blunt and extremely well documented.

Here are extracts from the opening statements of the first three chapters of the SCM White Paper:

Chapter 1: The crusade is absurd
There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way ‘disturbed.’ It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras. Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable. Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest. Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming. As for extreme weather events — they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes….

Chapter 2: The crusade is costly
Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as ‘virtuous’ runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013. But the highest cost lies in the principle of ‘energy saving,’ which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed — it is the price we have to pay for our virtue….

Chapter 3: The crusade is pointless
Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let’s not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way. To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.

Additional discussion and links are here.

Push Back on the Climate Policy Proposals

Eric Worrall expresses a burst of clarity here:

It’s difficult to know what impact Putin’s overt skepticism will have on the Paris climate meeting. The meeting is reportedly already in a lot of trouble, because even our economically illiterate leaders seem to be balking at the prospect of borrowing money from China, so they can gift the principle they just borrowed back to China as climate development assistance, then repay the loan back to China a second time, with interest.

A Lucid Summary of IPCC Climate Policy:
Borrowing money we don’t have
to pay countries having other pressing needs
for a solution that won’t work
to solve a problem that doesn’t exist
while asserting imaginary legal authority.

Conclusion

Switching metaphors, maybe we are starting to see some damage to the Good Ship Climate Alarm:

Final Word to Charles Mackay

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

― Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

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Greenland Is Melting! Really?

The media blitz ahead of the Paris climate conference is well underway and you can expect sources like the New York Times to publish many stories along these lines. This one evokes the WWII headline, Paris is Burning, and it happens now to be all over Facebook.

Greenland Is Melting Away (link)

What you get is not science, but a compelling human interest story with great photos about a team of researchers working to study rivers on the ice sheet, and then an appeal to share in their fears. A scientific report would at least provide some snippets of findings, and then provide contextual facts for people to interpret the significance of observations.

Instead of that, the story makes an incredible claim:

The scientific data he and a team of six other researchers collect here could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.

Not only is there no evidence presented, the article is silent about the contextual facts that contradict that claim.

Here is what you need to know, and what they should be telling you:

1.The Greenland ice sheet is massive and has persisted for millennia.

Doing the numbers: Greenland area 2.1 10^6 km2 80% ice cover, 1500 m thick in average- That is 2.5 Million Gton. Simplified to 1 km3 = 1 Gton

200 Gton is 0.008 % of that mass.
Annual snowfall: From the Lost Squadron, we know at that particular spot, the ice increase since 1942 – 1990 was 1.5 m/year ( Planes were found 75 m below surface)
Assume that yearly precipitation is 100 mm / year over the entire surface.
That is 168000 Gton. Yes, Greenland is Big!
Inflow = 168,000Gton. Outflow is 168,200 Gton.

So if that 200 Gton rate continued, an assumption not warranted by observations below, that ice loss would result in a 1% loss of Greenland ice in 800 years. (H/t Bengt Abelsson)

2. The melting and refreezing depend on multiple factors, principally the runoff rate (which these scientists are studying) and the snow accumulation which is poorly understood and not yet predictable.

That’s not surprising since the ice sheet rebuilds during wintertime, the harshest time of year. Because of the difficulty of doing polar research, the emphasis is understandably on the summer observations. But we should also not make the mistake of the drunk looking for his lost car keys under the street lamp because the light is better.

For an ice sheet that neither grows or shrinks, there is at all points averaged over the year a balance between

the amount of snow that falls and is compressed to ice
the amount of snow and ice that melts or evaporates (sublimates) and
the amount of ice that flows away due to the ice motion
The two first contributions make up the surface mass balance. For the ice sheet as a whole, there is a balance between the surface mass balance and the amount of ice that calves into the ocean as icebergs.

3.Greenland ice is the most stable land ice in the world despite its location in the lower latitudes. Greenland ice sits in a bowl with a ring of mountainous edges constraining the runoff and is unlikely to ever completely melt. That is why it is preferred as a site for ice core sampling to study paleoclimates.

Topographic map of Greenland bedrock

4.The changing of Greenland ice mass waxes and wanes over years, decades and centuries. The fastest rates of melting recently were in the 1930s and 40s. Discoveries were made of Medieval Viking settlements showing when it was much warmer than now.

The resumption of melting recently is reported by GRACE, a new technology that is promising, but researchers caution against trusting it until calibrations are completed and the longer record is built.

DMI has been studying Greenland for a long time and they report this:

Greenland’s ice sheet has seen more growth so far this year than in the last four years. Greenland’s ice sheet growth in 2015 is also higher than the mean growth for 1990 to 2011.

5. Sea levels do rise from melting ice in warm periods such as the Roman era, but this comes mostly from land glaciers not the polar ice caps. For example, Ephesus was a port on the Aegean Sea in biblical times, but is now several kms inland. Many other such examples exist in times when it was much warmer than now and when Greenland ice was still massive.

6.The Danes know and care the most about the Greenland ice sheet, and they are not alarmed.

The Danes originally colonized the place and still subsidize the national government there.  Their scientists have studied the issue and have this to say:

Scientists have long believed that Greenland’s ice sheet is melting with increasing speed and that this will result in considerable rises in water levels in the world’s oceans over the next 100 years.

But the foundation for this view now appears to be completely wrong.

Greenland’s ice mass shrinks periodically. The ice mass around and on Greenland shrinks because of two effects:  Ice melting and the amount of precipitation – these two factors give a negative net result which means Greenland’s ice mass shrinks.
Ice that flows out to sea and calving – ice that breaks off from glaciers. This form of loss of ice mass is called ‘dynamic ice-mass loss’ and it can be many times higher than the loss of ice due to melting.

Until now, researchers have believed that the dynamic ice-mass loss accelerated constantly. Most climate models are based on this belief.

We can see that the dynamic ice-mass loss is not accelerating constantly, as we had believed,” says Shfaqat Abbas Khan, a senior researcher at DTU Space – the National Space Institute.

“It is only periodically that the ice disappears as rapidly as is happening today. We expect that the reduction in Greenland’s ice mass due to the dynamic ice-mass loss will ease over the next couple of years and will reach zero again.”

http://sciencenordic.com/aerial-photos-greenland-topple-climate-models

Conclusion:

Is Greenland ice melting? Maybe. . . Probably a little.

It has melted a lot faster in the past, and only restarted recently, while the ice sheet has persisted over many millennia. No one knows how long it will melt and when it will reverse. Some Greenland ice loss is a good thing, since it means we are still in a warm period and not yet sliding into the next Ice Age.

So it is something interesting to watch, but not a reason to lose sleep. And it is nothing that we can fix.

Additional informative discussion is here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/30/greenland-ice-melt-due-to-global-warming-found-not-so-bad-after-all/

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Arctic Ice Race Tied Oct. 25

Meltponds and leads in the Arctic ice cap show evidence of refreezing

Day 298, October 25, 2015 Arctic ice extent virtually matched 2014 on the same day. For the first time in 100 days, July 17, ice extent is again 8.5M km2. MASIE shows 8.47M compared to NOAA at 8.11M.

2015 has gained steadily the last 10 days at a daily rate of 181k km2.  As a result, 2015 lhas reached a virtual tie, lagging behind only slightly.

masie day 298

The rate of ice recovery this year since minimum day 260 is 109k km2 per day, 11k greater than 2014, and the highest in the last decade, except for 2013 and 2008.

The BCE region (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian) is now 105% of 2014 at this date. Most seas exceed 2014 at this date. The largest remaining differences are Barents and Kara, which melted early and have not yet recovered. CAA has recovered after the August 2015 storm and now exceeds last year, through the Central Arctic still lags behind.

From MASIE

Ice Extents 2014298 2015298 Ice Extent
Region km2 Diff.
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 8531378 8470311 -61067
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 874812 1046413 171601
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 445204 436170 -9034
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 746853 786087 39234
 (4) Laptev_Sea 817198 897757 80559
 (5) Kara_Sea 774019 567237 -206782
 (6) Barents_Sea 237519 13282 -224237
 (7) Greenland_Sea 390963 430467 39504
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 168991 257335 88344
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 775255 823421 48166
 (10) Hudson_Bay 63494 73546 10052
 (11) Central_Arctic 3232620 3137455 -95165

Summary

The comparison with 2014 informs us whether this year will “bend the trend” of recovering ice extent since 2007, and by how much.  The pace of refreezing this year is impressive and the end result remains to be seen.  It seems unlikely that the previous two years can be overtaken this late in the calendar.

My guess: 2015 Average Annual extent will finish as the 3rd highest in the last 10 years, ahead of the years before 2013.

Still a Bronze Medal is not bad for a year that started with a lower March maximum, had the Pacific Blob melt out Bering Sea a month early, saw a negative AO most of the summer ensuring higher insolation and melting, and finally underwent a strong storm late August when ice edges were most fragile.

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What is Climate? Is it Changing?

Updates October 27 below

Thanks Arnd for another provocative comment.

EXXON, as many others, deserve no regret when „charged with all kinds of misdoing with respect to climate science“. EXXON’s fault is not strongly opposing a meaningless language with regard what ‘climate’ is.Full Comment is here:

Dr. Bernaerts raises a number of issues and goes into some depth at his website, especially this page.

I am prompted by this to respond with three points.

1. Climate Alarmism Depends on Equivocation

There is something like a lawyer’s frustration in Dr. Bernaerts’ writing about climate. It is customary in a legal document for the first section to define all the terms, and then in later sections to respect those definitions in making arguments. He is right to criticize climate science for lacking such discipline.

Going further, it can be said that the anti-fossil fuel movement is built upon equivocation. That is a fallacy in which the meaning of a word changes in the course of a logical argument, so that a change of subject occurs in a hidden way. Alarmists frequently refer to CO2 as “carbon pollution” when the harmless trace gas is essential to life in the biosphere. A slight change of ocean pH toward 7.0 is called acidification. And so on with assertions that climate will cause all kinds of catastrophic weather: extra rain in wet places, drought in dry places, melting glaciers, sea level rises, destructive storms, etc. Much is made of the “greenhouse gas effect” to raise concerns about CO2, without acknowledging that H2O is by far the most important IR active gas in the atmosphere.

Without obfuscation, there would be no cause for alarm or for 40,000 people to gather at the Paris COP.

2. Climate Itself is a Human Construct.

Andrew John Herbertson, a British geographer and Professor at Oxford, wrote in a textbook from 1901:

By climate we mean the average weather as ascertained by many years’ observations. Climate also takes into account the extreme weather experienced during that period. Climate is what on an average we may expect, weather is what we actually get.

Mark Twain, who is often credited with that last sentence actually said:

Climate lasts all the time and weather only a few days.

The point is, weather consists of events occurring in real time, while climate is a statistical artifact. Weather is like a baseball player swinging in the batter’s box, climate is his batting average, RBIs, bases on balls, etc.

In a previous post, The Climates, They are A-changing, I wrote about seasonal climate change, which farmers in a place like Canada rely on to plan their planting and harvesting, knowing their actual activities may be earlier or later depending on this year’s weather. Meanwhile in equatorial zones, like the Caribbean or Tahiti, the seasons shift between wet and dry, rather than hot and cold. Of course, even the notion of years divided into named months is human imagination imposed over nature.

In other words weather is natural events while climate is a pattern imposed by humans upon the weather. And so, to speak of “climate change’ is engaging in a double abstraction: the derivative (change) in our expectations (patterns) of weather.

When the anti-fossil fuel movement began, it was at least honest in its claim of Global Warming. That assertion has some content to it: an expectation that future temperatures will be higher than the past. And climate models were built to project those rising temperatures as an effect from rising CO2. Once people noticed the exaggeration of those projections compared to observations, the issue was renamed “climate change”, with the advantage that any weather can then be cited as proof.

3. Weather is the Climate System at work.

Another distortion is the notion that weather is bad or good, depending on humans finding it favorable. In fact, all that we call weather are the ocean and atmosphere acting to resolve differences in temperatures, humidities and pressures. It is the natural result of a rotating, irregular planetary surface mostly covered with water and illuminated mostly at its equator.

When activists say that climate change causes more or worse storms, they are obfuscating. Climate is the result of weather, not the cause. What they really mean to say: “The climate system has changed because of our burning fossil fuels, and the weather will be worse for us.”

That statement is plainly ridiculous as Dr. Ball has illustrated:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/24/water-vapour-the-big-wet-elephant-in-the-room/

Update 1

In the comments below both ElCore and Frederick Colbourne helpfully emphasize an important aspect of this topic: namely that humans invented “climate” in order to describe local realities. Climate is not global, it is local and even micro in its uniqueness.

Some years ago Roger Pielke Sr. did excellent research on a set of weather stations in Colorado to investigate a strange phenomenon. The regional average from the 11 stations did not reflect any of the individual records that went into the calculation. The study linked below showed that numerous differences in the landscapes at each site meant that temperature and precipitation measurements differed significantly from one to the other, even when located a few kms apart. Not only absolute differences, such as altitude would create, but also the trends of changes differed due to terrain features. Thus the averages are not descriptive of any of the local realities. In my studies of temperature trends, I took Pielke findings to heart and focused on the pattern of change observed in each specific site.

The paper is available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.706/abstract

Update 2

Thanks to smamarver for reminding me of a pertinent quote from Dr. Bernearts

It seems Dr. Bernaerts struggles with this question since long, writing a letter to the Editor of NATURE 1992, “Climate Change”, Vol. 360, p. 292; http://www.whatisclimate.com/1992-nature.html:
“SIR – The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the earlier struggle for a Convention on Climate Change may serve as a reminder that the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea has its tenth anniversary on 10 December. It is not only one of the most comprehensive and strongest international treaties ever negotiated but the best possible legal means to protect the global climate. But sadly, there has been little interest in using it for this purpose. For too long, climate has been defined as the average weather and Rio was not able to define it at all. Instead, the Climate Change Convention uses the term ‘climate system’, defining it as “the totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions”. All that this boils down to is ‘the interactions of the natural system’. What is the point of a legal term if it explains nothing? For decades, the real question has been who is responsible for the climate. Climate should have been defined as ‘the continuation of the oceans by other means’. Thus, the 1982 Convention could long since have been used to protect the climate. After all, it is the most powerful tool with which to force politicians and the community of states into actions.”

IPCC Racketeers Order Hit on Exxon

A lot of alarmist voices are charging Exxon with all kinds of misdoings with respect to climate science. The usual suspects are implicated, including Bill McKibben, Naomi Oreskes and Bob Ward.

InsideClimateNews broke the story, with the others piling on. Exxon is fighting back and tell their story here:  http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2015/10/21/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-read-the-documents/

The documents referred to are here.

Exxon’s Position:

“Reading the documents shows that these allegations are based on deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to various ExxonMobil employees to wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago by company researchers. These statements were taken completely out of context and ignored other readily available statements demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time which, in fact, mirrored global understanding.

What these documents actually demonstrate is a robust culture of scientific discourse on the causes and risks of climate change that took place at ExxonMobil in the 1970s and ’80s and continues today. They point to corporate efforts to fill the substantial gaps in knowledge that existed during the earliest years of climate change research.

They also help explain why ExxonMobil would work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and leading universities like MIT and Stanford on ways to expand climate science knowledge.”

The Royal Society

The list of documents includes an interchange with the Royal Society, and their spokesman, Bob Ward. He criticizes Exxon’s publications for not saying the same things as IPCC documents. He accuses Exxon of funding “organizations that have been misinforming the public about the science of climate change.” That sounds so much like the RICO20 letter.

Kenneth Cohen of ExxonMobil responded in a letter to Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society at that time:

“The Royal Society should welcome the diversity of opinions on all scientific issues. Taking the position that any person or organization that disagrees with the Royal Society on an important scientific issue should be publicly vilified is surely counterproductive for the development of scientific theory, ignores freedom of expression and is hardly consistent with the Society’s stated objective of promoting excellence in science.”

Cohen’s full letter is here:
http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/Exxon%20Letter%20to%20Royal%20Society%20%282006%29.pdf

Exxon says that they are part of the solution and not the problem, and are asking people to read the documents and decide for themselves.  Sounds reasonable.

Background on RICO and IPCC:

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/anti-racketeering-initiative/

To My Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Congratulations on winning a majority in the election and now to form the government. I voted for Ramez Ayoub, your newly elected MP in my riding north of Montreal.

The point of this letter is to alert you to the issue of climate change. It was little discussed during the campaign, but it will be immediately forced onto your attention due to the conference next month in Paris.

The knee-jerk reaction would be to declare the Conservatives wrong on this issue and that Liberals will demonstrate change by reversing Canada’s position. That would be unfortunate and premature, considering all of the pitfalls and ramifications tied to this.

For an example of how to mismanage this issue, you need only look south to the US self-imposed predicament. President Obama picked a radical environmentalist, John Holdren, as his science adviser. Uncritically following that advice, Obama has now painted himself into an ideological corner, and will find it difficult to deny claims for payment of reparations from dozens of developing countries.

You could make the same mistake by appointing David Suzuki as your science adviser. He is a renowned environmentalist and biologist, but has no expertise in climate science, energy or economics. The so-called climate consensus surveys of scientists carefully excluded anyone not working for government or academia. That sort of unbalanced approach is wrong-headed.

Despite the pressure to make early commitments on this issue, I urge you to keep a cool head, have a scientific curiosity, and pick a team of advisers providing a balance of environmental and industrial perspectives. You might want to make an announcement that your government will respect the scientific and economic realities concerning the climate, including attention to cost-benefit analyses of policy proposals.

Sincerely,

Ronald R. Clutz
Therese-De-Blainville Riding

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/category/science-and-society/

 

Arctic Ice Great Leap Upward Oct. 17

Meltponds and leads in the Arctic ice cap show evidence of refreezing

Day 290, October 17, 2015 was a day with several significant events regarding Arctic ice recovery. For the first time since day 218, August 6, ice extent is again over 7M km2. MASIE shows 7.32M compared to NOAA at 7.15M.

The gain yesterday was 557k km2, twice the largest previous increases.  As a result, 2015 lags behind 2014 by a single day.

masie day 290r

The rate of ice recovery this year since minimum day 260 is 100k km2 per day, 10k greater than 2014, and the highest in the last decade, except for 2013.

The BCE region (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian) is now 105% of 2014 at this date. Hudson and Baffin Bays combined exceed 2014; Kara and Laptev combined are also larger; Greenland Sea is slightly higher. The largest remaining difference is Barents, which melted early and has not recovered. CAA is slowly recovering after the August 2015 storm, and the Central Arctic is down in recent days.

From MASIE (2014 dataset is missing day 290):

Ice Extents 2014289 2015290 Ice Extent
Region km2 Diff.
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 7328164 7321971 -6193
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 834187 887355 53169
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 401082 447166 46084
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 591126 720793 129667
 (4) Laptev_Sea 365434 697481 332047
 (5) Kara_Sea 454119 265291 -188828
 (6) Barents_Sea 266907 1589 -265318
 (7) Greenland_Sea 394133 404860 10727
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 69086 113255 44168
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 731010 655865 -75145
 (10) Hudson_Bay 30471 17006 -13465
 (11) Central_Arctic 3188655 3110169 -78486

Summary

The comparison with 2014 informs us whether this year will “bend the trend” of recovering ice extent since 2007, and by how much.  The pace of refreezing this year is impressive and the end result remains to be seen.  My guess: 2015 Average Annual extent will finish as the 3rd highest in the last 10 years, ahead of every year before 2013.

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Just Say No!

There was a time when our leaders appealed to reason and common sense:

But today, CO2 Fever is upon us, and there is no CO2 rumor too outrageous to be broadcast, repeated and exaggerated.

Just in the last few hours, we have these headlines (from Google News) threatening global warming:

Climate change clips wings of migratory birds
Miami and New Orleans will sink
Global warming could lead to worldwide wars
Coral reefs are dying
25 million Americans could lose their homes to global warming and rising seas
Ocean food chains will collapse
Climate change major threat to global economic stability
Etc., etc. Etc.

Meanwhile, the good news about CO2 is not mentioned in the press, unless you look very hard for it.

London 12 October: In an important new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, former IPCC delegate Dr Indur Goklany calls for a reassessment of carbon dioxide, which he says has many benefits for the natural world and for humankind.

Dr Goklany said: “Carbon dioxide fertilises plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10-15%. This has not only been good for humankind but for the natural world too, because an acre of land that is not used for crops is an acre of land that is left for nature”.

http://www.thegwpf.org/climate-doomsayers-ignore-benefits-of-carbon-dioxide-emissions/

In the Forward, world-renowned physicist Freeman Dyson says this:

“To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.”
The full document can be accessed here:
http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf

CO2 hysteria is addictive. Here’s what it does to your brain:

Just say No!

Auspicious Day for Arctic Ice

Meltponds and leads in the Arctic ice cap show evidence of refreezing

Day 282, October 9, 2015 was a day with several significant events regarding Arctic ice recovery. For the first time since day 229, August 26, ice extent is again over 6M km2. Also, the BCE region (Beaufort, Chukchi, East Siberian) is now the same as 2014 at this date. Another happening is NOAA and MASIE showing exactly the same number for NH ice extent.

The rate of ice recovery this year since minimum day 260 is 72k km2 per day, 12k greater than 2014, and the highest in the last decade, except for 2013.

Hudson and Baffin Bays combined are the same both years; Kara and Laptev combined are the same both years; Greenland Sea is the same. The remaining difference is mainly Barents, which melted early and has not recovered, and CAA, slowly recovering after the August 2015 storm. From MASIE:

Ice Extents 2014282 2015282 Ice Extent
Region km2 Diff.
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 6433593 6101239 -332354
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 760258 768857 8598
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 342532 420027 77495
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 524382 444172 -80210
 (4) Laptev_Sea 161386 302302 140916
 (5) Kara_Sea 160370 52762 -107608
 (6) Barents_Sea 170701 1589 -169112
 (7) Greenland_Sea 346102 346143 41
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 65565 98692 33128
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 687420 497592 -189828
 (10) Hudson_Bay 35404 3423 -31981
 (11) Central_Arctic 3178330 3164538 -13792

Summary

The comparison with 2014 informs us whether this year will “bend the trend” of recovering ice extent since 2007, and by how much.  The pace of refreezing this year is impressive and the end result remains to be seen.  My guess: 2015 Average Annual extent will finish in 3rd place, ahead of every year before 2013 in the last decade.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Arctic Ice Made Simple

People are overthinking and over-analyzing Arctic Ice extents, and getting wrapped around the axle (or should I say axis).  So let’s keep it simple and we can all readily understand what is happening up North.

I will use the ever popular NOAA dataset derived from satellite passive microwave sensors.  It sometimes understates the ice extents, but everyone refers to it and it is complete from 1979 to 2014.  Here’s what NOAA reports (in M km2):

X-ray Ice Mirror5

If I were adding this to the Ice House of Mirrors, the name would be The X-Ray Ice Mirror, because it looks into the structure of the time series.   For even more clarity and simplicity, here is the table:

NOAA NH Annual Average Ice Extents (in M km2)

Year Average Change % Change
1979 12.532
1994 12.183 -0.348  -2.8%
2007 10.685 -1.498 -12.3%
2014 11.003   0.318    3.0%

The satellites involve rocket science, but this does not.  There was a small loss of ice extent over the first 15 years, then a dramatic downturn for 13 years, 4 times the rate as before. That was followed by a recovery almost offsetting the first period in half the time.  All the fuss is over that middle period, and we know what caused it.  A lot of multi-year ice was flushed out through the Fram Strait, leaving behind more easily melted younger ice. The effects from that natural occurrence bottomed out in 2007.

Kwok et al say this about the Variability of Fram Strait ice flux:

The average winter area flux over the 18-year record (1978–1996) is 670,000 km2, ;7% of the area of the Arctic Ocean. The winter area flux ranges from a minimum of 450,000 km2 in 1984 to a maximum of 906,000 km2 in 1995. . .The average winter volume flux over the winters of October 1990 through May 1995 is 1745 km3 ranging from a low of 1375 km3 in the 1990 flux to a high of 2791 km3 in 1994.

http://www.ccpo.odu.edu/~klinck/Reprints/PDF/kwokJGR99.pdf

Conclusion:

Some complain it is too soon to say Arctic Ice is recovering, or that 2007 is a true change point.  The same people were quick to jump on a declining period after 1994 as evidence of a “Death Spiral.”

Footnote:

No one knows what will happen to Arctic ice.

Except maybe the polar bears.

And they are not talking.

Except, of course, to the admen from Coca-Cola