A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

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Antarctic Sea Ice Is Increasing

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic guide)

This article has moved to ScienceBlogs

It has also been updated and this page is still here only to preserve the original comment thread. Please visit A Few Things Ill Considered there. You may also like to view Painting With Water, Coby Beck's original fine art photography.



  • At May 05, 2006 6:37 AM, Blogger Heiko said…

    You are very good at explaining the climate science in this series of posts (how to talk to a sceptic).

    Low hanging fruit it may be, but you are attacking it rather well!

  • At May 05, 2006 9:18 AM, Blogger coby said…


    Thank you for the kind words!

  • At May 23, 2006 9:04 PM, Blogger alex said…

    I think this objection may also come from misunderstanding a couple recent studies published in the journal Science. There's two articles relating to the growth of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland (links go to abstracts, subscription is required for full articles). Reading just the titles may lead to this objection, but the articles show that growth is only inland. The papers do not address the total mass balance of the ice sheets, and the authors admit that the ablation at the edges may offset the gains on the interior. The cause of the growth is concluded to be due to increased precipitation caused by a warming climate.

    I originally looked up these articles because they are the ones featured in the ridiculous ads made in response to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth".

  • At May 24, 2006 8:33 AM, Blogger coby said…

    For me it came up a few times with the evidence being from reports of a particular (Russian?) explorer aroung the turn of the 20th century who charted sea ice extent.

    I have another article that targets the more general "the Antarctic ice sheets are growing" attack.

  • At May 27, 2006 5:49 PM, Blogger Peter K. Anderson said…

    The topic is regarding ice increasing, the point I am build is that Turbulence transports Kinetic energy.

    Whilst in transit that energy is not measurable by 'temperature', atmospheric turbulence is produced in notice of pressure differentials.

    Once turbulence 'lands' its kinetic energy load; a local regional temperature rise can be measured. This is noted when and after rain has fallen by a slight increase in local temperature.

    If however there is ICE present then that ICE will undergo a phase alteration and revert to liquid. This liquid will retain molecules now at a higher median kinetic velocity and so the kinetic energy measured as 'temperature' is 'dissipated.

    Increases in ICE however are a release of kinetic energy, due in liquids to increase in local volume. Notice the amount of 'heat' removed by your refrigerator. The expansion of Polar ice is however also due to local turbulence redistributions producing snow in altering locations.

    Just like water adds from rain into a river system 'source', the mass of snow will push down on the 'glacier head' and move the 'edge' of an ice shelf, or glacier, outward. This is often observed and commented on in relation to sea ice as 'growth', or a surface increase.

    Turbulence alterations induced in land rematerialing will infact keep suspended water vapor and so increased mass is transported, which will result in heavier rain or SNOW in those places that GRAVITY can overcome the intrinsic kinetic energy 'lift'.

    The Polar Regions are one such place. Geographic situations can also induce unseasonable SNOW, even here in Australia we have had heavy snow just west of the Sydney basin and it is not yet Winter, with our 'snow fields' already seeing very heavy falls (for Australia).

    Peter K. Anderson a.k.a. Hartlod(tm)
    From the PC of Peter K Anderson
    E-Mail: Hartlod@bigpond.com

  • At February 20, 2007 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is another one of those cherry picks....


    You mean like cherry picking videos showing summer thaws?

  • At March 07, 2007 12:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So it sounds like sea ice is growing in the Antarctic, which would seem to be an important piece of news well hidden by the alarmists in the media. I guess perspective would get in the way of promoting fear.

    In fact, this response doesn't counter the skeptical complaint at all -- unless you turn the skeptic's complaint into a strawman by making the skeptic insist that one piece of evidence proves there is no AGW. But that's not the complaint. The complaint is that the fear campain overplays the danger by ignoring inconvenient facts like the build up of antarctic ice reducing the risk of L.A. being flooded next week. Once this perspective is added there are less reasons to sell beach-side property and sacrifice your first-born to the god of alternative energy.

    And while you are keen to point out when some skeptic arguments aren't consistent with each other (why should they be if they're made by different people who believe different things) I note that you are inconsistent in arguing:

    1) implication that there wasn't any real warming in the south coz it was all in the north (not true, southern hemisphere warming of over 0.2 degrees c over last 30 years)*;

    2) the increased snow is due to higher rainfall due to global warming!

    It's becoming a game where everything that happens in the world is caused by global warming. Drought. Flood. Storm. Iraq war. Bad TV shows. Boy bands.

    * Or if this wasn't your intended impliciation then your comments about warming being most Nthn hemisphere is simply irrelevant, not wrong.

  • At March 08, 2007 7:16 PM, Blogger coby said…


    Sea ice forming or melting will have no effect on sea level either way, as it is already in the water, the ice is already a part of the ocean's volume and including the parts above the water line it is displacing equivalent volumes to what its melt water will occupy.

    So it sounds like sea ice is growing in the Antarctic, which would seem to be an important piece of news well hidden by the alarmists in the media. I guess perspective would get in the way of promoting fear.

    Mentioning that warming has been greater in the north is not an argument it is an observation. It is an observation that the GCM's and theory are able to explain. No one said the climate system was a simple thing. That is similar to the *fact* that warmer winter's tend to have more snowfall. Really cold winter's come with very dry air.

  • At April 05, 2007 6:50 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    But the rest of the continent has not shown any clear warming or cooling and sea ice has increased over the last decade or so.

    The above statement is in fact false. Much of the Antarctic continent has shown a cooling trend since the 1980's. This fact is readily available. Additionally, ocean temperatures have cooled recently. This fact has been dismissed as a "speed bump" in global warming. Facts that refute global warming are either ignored or some how worked into the global warming proof. A prime example of this is that increased snowfall on Greenland is causing the ice cap to get thicker. Apparently this increased precipatation only happens over the polar icecaps since droughts are also blamed on global warming. In fact, interior Greenland has shown a cooling trend. Anyone who has spent decent amount of time researching global warming and still buys into it is ignoring the facts. Frankly, the whole thing has become absurd.

  • At April 05, 2007 8:01 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Iceman,

    Would you mind providing a bit of substantiation for your claim that the Antarctic continent has shown a cooling trend? All my sources, which includes the British Antarctic Survey (is there a better source?) indicate very moderate warming, though not enough to indicate any serious trend. This is in fact in general agreement with the major GCM's which do not predict significant antarctic warming for some time. It is tempting but incorrect to think GW means uniform warming in all regions of the globe.

    I would also be interested in the source for your claim that interior Greenland has cooled. NASA's GISS institute certainly does not seems to think so.

    As for ocean temperatures, I would suggest that a long term trend can not be discerned from three years of data. How long has the world waited in the face of steadily increasing global average temperatures to finally accept that it is not natural variability, or statistical noise? You would jump on a single finding over a three year period to refute it?

    Thinkening ice sheets or glaciers in theface of warming is just not that hard to understand. Ice sheets grow when snowfall out does melting. This can be because of less melting OR increased snowfall. Very cold climates have very little snowfall. Moderate warming in such a situation leads to more snowfall but no additional melting.

    You're trying too hard to find problems, there are none, it is a simple concept.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • At April 06, 2007 6:50 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    I have included an article about cooling in Antarctica. As for your comment about descerning long term trends from three years, I would agree. In fact, I would go so far to say you can't discern long term trends from even 10 years, yet this seems perfectly acceptable for those who believe in global warming. Just for the record I was a firm believer in global warming just a few years ago. The more research I did, the less I believed. You might want to use the Weather Undergound site to search temperature trends on Greenland, Antarctica, Northern Canada, etc. You'll see this winter was in fact colder in many loactions than the last two. Also, Fairbanks averaged 1 degree below normal for the whole year. What does this mean? Nothing, but neither does a higher than normal temperature in any given loaction. Two other quick facts, Iceland had pack ice block some harbors this year for the first time since 1967. Also, New Zealand had it's coldest winter in 60 years. Again, may not disprove global warming, but a warmer than normal winter in Europe doesn't prove global warming either. I would cut and past an article about oecan cooling and Greenland. Also. I would suggest you watch the video "The Great Global Warming Swindle" which can be found on the web. It's certainly no more political than Al Gore's movie. Below is the article on Antarctica.

    Science News - January 23, 2002

    Antarctica is getting colder...
    For years, many climatologists have been predicting that world temperatures will rise because of atmospheric buildup of greenhouse gases released by human activities. Indeed, over the past few decades, average global temperatures have been rising, by 0.19 °C per decade, but this rise has not occurred everywhere. One important exception appears to be in Antarctica, where recently, Peter Doran of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a team of scientists, report finding a marked decrease in temperature—as much as 0.7 °C per decade since 1966.

    The researchers’ findings are based on measurements obtained from in-place meteorological stations at various Antarctic locations. The collected data contradict the predictions of climate models, which indicate that as a result of greenhouse gas buildup, there should be a warming trend in the southern polar region. The observed cooling, the scientists say, challenges models of climate and ecosystem change.

    Although Doran and co-workers believe that the observed cooling trend is associated with decreased wind flow over the areas that were studied, they are unsure what may have caused wind velocity to decrease. In addition, the data provide no clues about whether the observed cooling trend is likely to continue in the future.

    What is certain is that the declining temperatures are having a pronounced effect on terrestrial ecosystems in dry valley areas in Antarctica. The scientists report that primary productivity of lakes in these regions is reduced by 6–9%, and soil invertebrates are declining by more than 10% annually. (Nature, January 13, 2002, 10.1038/nature710).

    ... and the Antarctic ice sheet is growing

    Creating yet another challenge for global climate change modelers to consider, scientists report that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not thinning as previously believed, but is instead growing thicker. This finding, suggest Ian Joughin of the California Institute of Technology and Slawek Tulaczyk of the University of California—Santa Cruz, may indicate an end to the Holocene retreat of the region’s Ross Ice Streams.

    Although previously reported analyses of ice thickness indicate a long-term, ice-thinning trend, those results, the two scientists explain, were based on limited, in situ measurements of ice flow velocity. In contrast, Joughin and Tulaczyk’s analysis takes advantage of the much-expanded database available from ice-flow velocity measurements obtained using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar.

    The new data, which provide the best assessment yet of the mass balance of the Ross Ice Streams, indicate the ice sheet is growing by 26.8 gigatons annually, in contrast to older estimates that there has been an ice mass shrinkage of 20.9 gigatons annually. The researchers say that stagnation of some of the region’s ice stream flows is the primary contributor to the ice buildup.

  • At April 06, 2007 7:12 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Here is an article on the oceans and Greenland. By the way sorry about the spelling in my last post. I had a 7 year talking to me while I was writing.

    Sudden Cooling of World Oceans Revealed by New Research
    Friday August 18, 2006 The world’s oceans cooled suddenly between 2003 and 2005, losing more than 20 percent of the global warming heat they’d absorbed over the previous 50 years! That’s a vast amount of heat, since the oceans hold 1000 times as heat as the atmosphere. The ocean-cooling researchers say the heat was likely vented into space, since it hasn’t been found stored anywhere on Earth. John Lyman, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, says the startling news of ocean cooling comes courtesy of the new ARGO ocean temperature floats being distributed worldwide. ARGOs are filling in former blank spots on the world’s ocean monitoring system—and vastly narrowing our past uncertainty about sparsely measured ocean temperatures. The ARGO floats have even confirmed an earlier sudden cooling of the oceans—from 1980 to 1983. At that time, researchers lacked enough confidence in the sparse marine thermometer set to report that cooling publicly. Lyman says the discovery of the sudden ocean coolings undercuts faith in the global warming forecasts because coolings randomly interrupt the trends laid out by the global circulation models. As Lyman put it, “the cooling reflects interannual variability that is not well represented by a linear trend.” The new ocean cooling also recalls several NASA studies in the last five years that found a huge natural heat vent over the Warm Pool of the Pacific. Studies coordinated by Bruce Weilicki, of NASA’s Langley Research Center, found that when sea surface temperatures rise above 28 degrees C, Pacific rainfall becomes more efficient. More of the cloud droplets form raindrops, so fewer are left to form high, icy, cirrus clouds that seal in heat. As a result, the area of cirrus cloud is reduced, and far more heat passes out into space. This cools the surface of the world’s warmest ocean water Weilicki’s research teams say that the huge natural heat vent emitted about as much heat during the 1980s and 90s as would be expected from a redoubling of the CO2 content in the air. They used satellites to measure cloud cover, and long-range aircraft to monitor sea temperatures. Weilicki says the heat-vent’s previously unknown changes in the global energy budget were two to four times larger than scientists had previously believed possible. “Several of the world’s top climate modeling research groups agreed to take on the challenge of reproducing the tropical cloud changes. But the climate models failed the test, predicting smaller-than-observed variability by factors of two to four.” Layman says the sudden ocean coolings particularly complicate the problem of separating natural temperature changes from man-made impacts on the Earth’s temperature. The impact of human-emitted CO2 has been assumed to accumulate in a straight-line trend over many decades. Meanwhile, since the 1980s, the Earth’s ice cores, seabed sediments and cave stalagmites have been revealing a moderate, natural 1500-year climate cycle linked to solar irradiance. Temperatures jump suddenly and erratically 1-2 degrees C above the mean at the latitude of Washington and New York for centuries at a time, and more than that at the Poles. Temperatures vary hardly at all at the Equator during the 1500-year cycle and Bruce Weilick’s NASA heat-vent findings seem to indicate why. The Warm Pool of the Pacific acts like a cooking pot, with its “lid” popping open to emit steam when the water gets too hot. The more we look, the more we learn about the Earth’s complex climate forces—though not much of the new knowledge comes from the huge, unverified global circulation models favored by the man-made warming activists.

    March 15, 2004
    Greenland’s Secret
    Filed under: Polar, Arctic, Glaciers/Sea Ice —
    The recent hype in Nature notwithstanding, Greenland has been cooling for the better part of two generations.

    It’s hot news: Temperatures in Greenland have been rising like a rocket during the past 10 years or so—returning to the temperatures that characterized the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.

    Yet that bit of history—that temperatures were as warm or warmer in Greenland 50 years ago—appears lost on the global warming crowd. Instead, they have increasingly pointed a finger at the changing conditions there during the past decade as a clear sign of anthropogenic global warming.

    An article in the March 11, 2004, issue of Nature magazine even goes so far as to suggest that Greenland may be on a path of warming and ice loss from which it can never recover. Apparently, Nature writer Quinn Schiermeier is ignorant of the fact that 70 years ago, a similar temperature rise in Greenland was followed by six decades of cooling—it seems as if it recovered from that warming just fine!

    A refresher course on Greenland’s climatic history—one that somehow escaped the attention of Schiermeier and his ilk—appears in the March issue of Climate Change. The article, entitled Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet, is by a group of scientists from the United States and Canada. Remarkably, the journal editor is Stanford’s Stephen Schneider, who is widely recognized as one of the leading greenhouse firebrands alive today. The article’s title certainly leads a reader to believe that we are about to hear another story on warming in Greenland causing potentially devastating melting of the ice and sea level rise and so on and so on.

    But global warmers had better sit down and take a deep breath of CO2-enriched air before reading the second, third, and fourth sentences of Chylek et al.’s abstract:

    Since 1940, however, the Greenland coastal stations data have undergone predominantly a cooling trend. At the summit of the Greenland ice sheet, the summer average temperature has decreased at the rate of 2.2°C per decade since the beginning of the measurements in 1987. This suggests that the Greenland ice sheet and coastal regions are not following the current global warming trend.

    Greenland clearly hasn’t read its press. How many times have we heard that warming in Greenland is causing ice to melt, sea level to rise, ocean circulations to changes, and general climate calamity to proliferate? The Chylek et al. team reveals that from 1940 to 2000, annual temperatures in Godthab have cooled by 1.8°C, Angmagssalik has cooled by 1.6°C, and Egedesminde has cooled by 1.2°C from 1950–2000.

    Not that there hasn’t been any warming. On the contrary, the authors found warming, all right:

    …in the 1920s when the average annual surface air temperature rose between 2°C and 4°C in less than 10 years…at a time when the change in anthropogenic production of greenhouse gases was well below the current level.

    The busy beavers here at World Climate Report downloaded the temperature data for Greenland available from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These data are provided as monthly temperature anomalies (departures from normal) for the 30 5°-latitude by 5°-longitude grid boxes covering Greenland over the period January 1940–November 2003. Figure 1 shows the IPCC near-surface air temperature record for Greenland, which includes a highly statistically significant cooling of 0.11°C (0.20°F) per decade over the past 64 years!

    Figure 1. IPCC temperature anomalies (°C) available for Greenland from January 1940 to November 2003.

    For a little geographic tour, we’ve also included three individual records. Angmagssalik, on the southeast coast, shows around six decades of cooling, ending around 1990, and one really warm year: 2003. No one ever passed a doctoral exam in climate science who gets excited about one year that bucks a trend.

    Figure 2. Annual average temperatures at three locations: Southeastern Greenland, Southwestern Greenland, and Baffin Island (across from Northwestern Greenland).

    That trend isn’t evident at Greenland’s bustling capital, Godthab (Nuuk), on the southwest coast. Our search for a northern station with comparable temperature data led us to Clyde, just across the Davis Strait on Baffin Island. Same story: No story.

    Many of the warmest monthly anomalies in the Greenland temperature record occurred prior to 1950 and well before the largest increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. Variations in the data are strongly linked to an atmospheric circulation flip-flop known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)—and not to any global temperature increase.

    And now to the burning question: Has Greenland’s ice mass been declining (as suggested repeatedly by the greenhouse crusade), increasing, or remaining unchanged? A 1°C warming of the coastal stations would cause an increase in the melt area of 73,000 square kilometers, as the researchers note. Given the 1°C to nearly 2°C cooling found in the coastal stations, prompts Chylek et al. to conservatively state, “The results are inconclusive for the ice sheet as a whole, owing to the large uncertainties when balancing very large, difficult to measure, offsetting quantities.”

    “Even the direction in which the mass of the Greenland ice sheet is currently changing is in dispute,” they add. In other words, anyone claiming that Greenland is melting is certainly not well supported in the scientific literature.

    Global warmers who gleefully watch film clips from the upcoming movie The Day After Tomorrow may counter that the cooling in Greenland is a signal that the thermohaline ocean circulation is indeed changing and the catastrophic sudden cooling (caused ironically by global warming) is closer than the standard 10 years away. But all the cooling took place from 1940 to the early 1980s, as Figure 1 shows. Since that time, Greenland has been rebounding, but has not yet achieved the high temperatures of the 1940s. There is no evidence of any accelerated cooling in recent years that could signal the end of the Gulf Stream and the beginning of freezing temperatures in North America and Europe.

    Had Chylek et al. reported warming in Greenland of 1°C to 2°C over the past half-century, the article would have been front page news the world over. But they showed cooling in Greenland (and lots of it), a finding completely consistent with IPCC data. Greenland is obviously having a little trouble warming up to the numerical model predictions for substantial rise in temperatures given the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases.

    We appreciate the work of Chylek et al. and the honesty shown by editor Stephen Schneider to share Greenland’s best kept secret. But, you could have read it here almost four years ago, when we published a slew of Greenland temperature data in World Climate Report on August 14, 2000 (http://www.co2andclimate.org/climate/previous_issues/vol5/v5n22/index522.htm), in response to a Science magazine article that was profoundly misleading—just like last week’s Nature piece of work.

    Chylek, P., J.E. Box, and G. Lesins, 2004. Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Climatic Change, 63, 201–221.

    Schiermeier, Q., 2004. A Rising Tide. Nature, 428, 114–115.

    Krabill, W., et al., 2000. Greenland ice sheet: High elevation balance and peripheral thinning. Science, 289, 428–430.

  • At April 06, 2007 7:16 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Figures didn't show up. Here's the web site. http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2004/03/15/greenlands-secret

  • At April 06, 2007 7:43 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Here is good site regarding ice thickness on Hudson Bay.


  • At April 06, 2007 11:02 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Interesting article here.

    Also, for the record, I'm not trying too hard to find problems, I'm doing my homework to find the truth. I would suggest for anyone interested or concerned by this issue do the same. It's easy to get information from CNN or your local newspaper, information that is often distorted or false.

  • At April 08, 2007 3:00 AM, Blogger coby said…


    Thanks for the substantive and well sourced comments. But I was wondering if you could be a little more clear as to what you think the material demonstrates. Is it your position that there is in fact no global warming under way? Or that it has stopped?

  • At April 08, 2007 6:38 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    I've been interested in weather and climate my whole life. I became a teacher, but often wished I'd gone into meteorology. I'm one of those weather geeks. The thing is over time I've noticed some things. In weather there really is no normal. In Connecticut for example where I live December and January had above average Temps. February and March were below average. People were ice fiching in the central part of the state into the second week of March, which was far later then the last few years. April has been very cold so far. What's my point? I guess that that there is no normal. If climate never varied there would never have been any ice ages. Often when it's unusually warm one winter in one part of the world it's unusually cold in another. Examples of this this year would be, very warm in Europe, very cold in northern Canada. I guess if I have to answer your question I'll say this.
    Climate changes naturally. There is no normal. Some place may show warming trends, the Antarctic peninsula. Some will show cooling trends, the Antarctic interior. Many Glaciers are retreating, while many others are advancing. (By the way go to an Iceland website and you'll find that the glaciers there were retreating from the late 1800's until 1980 and have since become stationary. Also, the Hubbard glacier in Alaska has been advancing at 80 feet per year since 1895 and may block a fiord.) Nothing is constant. If it were we wouldn't have had the Little Ice Age or the Medieval Warm period. Personally I don't believe there's been any real warming. When I was kid the talk was the coming ice age. That was crap as we all no. Every time there is a large hurricane it's global warming. Every time there's a warm spell it's global warming. Yet cold spells go unnoticed. Remember two years ago when there were a record number of hurricanes, it was because of global warming. Yet last year when there were less then normal it was forgotten. Also, the ideal that Katrina was some super storm formed by global warming is absurd. In fact, it wasn't even one of the top 10 most powerful storms to hit the U.S. The Keys storm in th 1920's was the strongest. Finally I'll say this. If I had to take a guess I'd say we'll see a cool or cold period coming. To me the solar radiation theories make sense. Something caused the ice ages at fairly regular intervals and it wasn't humans.

  • At April 08, 2007 8:12 AM, Blogger Iceman said…

    I apologize for my spelling again. My little one gave me two minutes to get off the laptop. Kitchen timer was set, no time to proof read. Darn kids.

  • At April 08, 2007 8:41 PM, Blogger coby said…


    Your main argument seems to be that climate is always changing, but all your anecdotes are about weather. I do understand your point that it is a rare day when the temperature is in fact exactly the average for that time of year, but it certainly does not follow that there is no normal weather, it is a range. Highs and lows are common but extremes are in fact uncommon, as one would expect in a noisy data series over time. The simple empirical fact of the matter is that globally averaged temperature anomalies are alway high now.

    You just aren't thinking about this scientifically, who cares if media reports ignore cold spells? Do you think NASA only jots down the temperature when they read about it in the WaPo or NYT?

    As for the cause of the ice ages, it is generally but cautiously accepted that they were triggered by cyclical changes in the earth's orbital inclinations. Why must all climate change therefore be caused the same way? Again, you are simply not taking a logical or scientific approach to the questions.

  • At April 09, 2007 1:53 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Sorry bud I have to disagree with you. First of all global temperature anomalies are not always high. Interior Antarctica proves this. Second historical data shows that world temperatures have gone up and down for millions of years. Why now is the world going to end? Polar bears for example survived just fine during the medieval warm period
    A couple of questions for you. When it's reported that it's the warmest year on record do see the actual data from reporting stations? Have you ever seen the data from these reporting stations? Actually in hand? Also, how long have many of these stations been reporting the data? During WWII when the Germans were at the gates of Moscow, how much weather data was accurately recorded in Russia? This question can be applied to many places on earth? Another question for you, what percentage of CO2 do humans actually contribute to the atmosphere? What are the actual numbers vs say farm animals? We know oceans produce the most. I think you'll find humans contribute a small percentage. Bottom line is this Coby, I obviously can't change your view. You can't change mine. Too many inaccuracies in reporting global warming forced me to examine it closer. When I did I found too much hot air and not enough fact. (Or not enough hot air) I wish you well with your beliefs. I have no problem reducing pollution and emissions anyway for a lot of reasons. I just don't want to spend billions of dollar because some moron says the world's going to end. I'm not a scientist Coby, but plenty of scientist don't buy the global warming deal. The problem is if you speak out against it your cast as anti-environment, or in the pocket of big business. I can't see how that's good for science, can you?
    Good luck and I hope where you are it's been warmer.

  • At April 09, 2007 9:02 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Your concession on the substantive points we have discussed previously is accepted.

    A couple of brief points: interior antarctica is not the globe. Seriously, don't you understand the difference between a regional anamoly and a global anamoly? There are places on earth where the regional anamoly is +5oC already (hmmm, why don't the fear mongering scientists constantly tell us about that?) there are no places where the regional anamoly is even -1oC. The globally averaged anamoly is ~.8oC since circa 1900.

    There are other articles in my series that directly address your observation that climate has gone up and down for millions of years (the basic point is never has it moved so rapidly on a global scale since perhaps the PETM event) and that the oceans produce most of the CO2 in the atmosphere (the basic point is that there existed a balance for several thousand years prior to anthro emissions and never has the earth experience a 100+ppm jump in such a short time in at least the last million years probably 65 million years (PETM event)).

    The rapidity, pervasivness and extremity of the change underway today is what is different and dangerous.

    You can indeed obtain the temperature data from the CRU, I am not sure if NASA releases theirs. Have you ever seen the actaul data from *any* science that touches your life? Drug trials? Airline safety tests? EPA clean air act regulating? Structural engineering tests for the bridge designs you drive over everyday? It is not that I don't believe that conspiracy theories are sometimes real, it's just I require some evidence. Lee Raymond walked away from Exxon Mobile with a 400million dollar retirement package. How big is the head of the Sierra Club's salary? How much does Jim Hansen make? How many top gov't officials are former oil industry executives? How many former environmental activists? Sorry, Michael Crichton's fantasies just do not pass the sniff test.

    You could indeed change my mind if you presented a logical and substantiated argument but clearly you don't have one or you would be able to answer my objections to what you have put forth.

    Best wishes, thanks for stopping by

  • At April 10, 2007 12:55 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    When you say global temperatures have risen a certain amount, again I ask you, based on what reporting data? How long does this data go back? 1982? Satellite data reporting stations? What? How reliable is the data? You can't answer that. When you're talking globally how is that averaged? I'm sure you don't know. Here's some logic for you. When facts don't fit into your globl warming plan they're ignored, work into the global warming theory, called "speed bumps" in global warming, or simply dismissed as idiotic. Examples: 20 years or cooling on Antarctica=ignored, 10 years of warming on the antarctica peninsula=global warming. Shrinking of Greenland's ice cap around edges=global warming, thickening of Greenland's ice cap=more snow due to global warming. Cooling oceans="speed bump", warming oceans global warming. Retreating glaciers=global warming, advancing glaciers=more snow due to global warming.(this phenomena apparently only happens on some glaciers) Unusually warm winter=global warming, unusually cold winter=that's weather not climate stupid. More hurricanes=global warming, less hurricanes=ignored. Historically warm periods=polar bears do fine, present period=they're going to become extinct. Heavy sea ice(Alaskan peninsula this winter)=weather, not climate stupid. Less sea ice=yes of course global warming.
    Now I would think anyone with common sense would find a pattern there. I know it's tough to admit such a huge blunder as this, but will it take an ice age to prove that global warming is a joke. Oh, wait the ice age would be caused by global warming.
    You never answered my question. How much CO2 is put into the atmosphere by humans vs. other producers?
    I hate to break the news to you but Artice sea lvels seem to be dropping. Article below.


    Also, in case you didn't know it sea levels were considerably higher during the medieval warm period. Article below. And the earth survived. Wow!

    Coby, looking at only one side isn't the answer.

  • At April 10, 2007 5:19 PM, Blogger coby said…

    The T rise I quoted (.8oC) comes from the NASA GISS anlysis which is based on weather station readings and ocean going vessel air temperature readings from as many places around the globe as reliable data is available. The data is weighted according to the density of readings and used to get a grid of regional averages covering the globe. The average anamolies of each grid are then combined to get a global reading. As well as a single anomaly figure analysis is done to obtain month by month trends, changes in the diurnal cycle (day-night) and seasonal trends. The data is sufficiently reliable to have a +/-.1oC error margin in the most recent years and a +/-.2oC margin in the early years (due to poorer global coverage). The details are all publically available in the scientific literature with a good deal of information available on NASA's websight. This record has been scrutinized, discussed, refined for decades.

    Satellite data only goes back about 30 years and is in rough agreement with the surface analysis and model expectations of changes in the lapse rate.

    You accuse me of ignoring 20 years of cooling on the Antarctic. In fact not only have I directly addressed what it would imply if true I asked you for your source for this information and you did not reply. I find this is very typical of supposed "skeptics", when pressed for sources or the logic of their reasoning they change the topic and then bring it up later as if the issue was already successfully argued by them.

    You accuse me of implying 10 years of warming on the peninsula proves GW, this is a straw man of course I never said any such thing. Another common skeptic strategy.

    You previously acknowledged that warming can mean more snow, yet now you bring it up as a way to scoff at evidence that is simple consistent with all expectations.

    You previously accepted that 3 years is not long enough to establish a trend, yet here scoff at that argument.

    The rest is a similar mix of rehashing points you already conceded and attacking strawmen.

    You never answered my question. How much CO2 is put into the atmosphere by humans vs. other producers?

    I pointed you to another article on the site. The short answer is that the entire increase in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic. We can determine this from isotopic analysis of the CO2 molecules found in the air which identifies those molecules resulting from combustion of fossil fuel. The argument that the CO2 rise is not caused by humans is a fool's argument.

    As for arctic sea level dropping, see here:

    BTW, have you actually seen the data that was used in this finding? Or is this a standard of proof you only require of the findings you don't like?

    I checked the reference for sea level. It is an idividual college instructors course webpage. Why do you chose to believe this over all other sources of sea level information? I note that the only mention of sea level was for Florida, not a global indicator. It is not itself sourced. Have you actually seen the data that was used in this finding? Or is this a standard of proof you only require of the findings you don't like?

    You are clearly not sincere in your interest in this issue. As a father you really should be.

  • At April 10, 2007 5:44 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    I provided the data regarding Antarctica, which apparently means noting to you. Obviously it doesn't fit into your plan, so it doesn't exist. Coby, you must be a young idealistic person, who allows his political persuasions to influence his views. This may change as you get older and you experience the world more. Hopefully, in the future, as you mature, you will see the world more realistically. This is particularly important if you are to be a father yourself someday. It will be up to you to teach your children as adult, not as a child.
    I have hope for you Coby.
    Good luck

  • At April 10, 2007 6:09 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Apologies, I do see above where your provide a reference for decreasing antarctic temps. Antartica is huge, how many weather stations are there?
    Have you actually seen the data that was used in this finding? True skeptics apply the same rigorous standards to all the information they encounter.

    Even accepting this result over BAS's most recent, you have yet to clear the hurdle of antarctica /= the globe.

    As for your personal insinuations, I am 41 with an 19 yr old son. Is that really your best response to everything I wrote above? I expect it is.

  • At April 10, 2007 7:18 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Frankly I felt your comments to me in your previous post were derogatory, hence my comments. Honestly a comment such as the fatherhood remark to me shows, when you don't like what is said, you resort to throwing stones. You label me as the typical skeptic who has no facts, yet I have provided articles and information that apparently you don't like. Lastly, I say that there are plenty of scientists and scholars who do not believe in the manmade global warming. All of them, I would suggest, are not agents of the oil industry. Catergorizing people that way is an easy way out. No one, me, you, or anyone, should think close off their minds to other possibilities. Especially about issues that are, in fact, theories. I believe that's dangerous.

  • At April 10, 2007 8:08 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Pointing out that your points are strawmen or red herrings is not really throwing stones, IMO. The remark about fatherhood is personal and a value judgement, I am happy to retract it. And sorry if I find our discussion typical but it is.

    If there were to be only one point of mine I could choses to have you answer directly I think it would be why you have such different standards of evidence for one side of the argument versus the other. Why for example you are happy to rely on some random small town university prof but not NASA for instance.

    there are plenty of scientists and scholars who do not believe in the manmade global warming.

    Actually, I don't think this is true anymore, at least if we limit ourselves to people in the climate science related fields. The majority of arguing, and the only place where the arguing has any scientific merit, is in how much more warming we should expect and what precisely will be the consequences.

    All of them, I would suggest, are not agents of the oil industry.

    I don't think I said that.

  • At April 11, 2007 4:55 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Here is an example of why I question NASA. One study states that Greenland's icecap is thinning. The other states it has gotten thicker, due to more snow, of course. Whether you believe it's gotten thicker due to global warming or not doesn't matter. The fact is now they say it has gotten thicker, where as a short time ago they clearly stated it was thinning at an alarming rate. It can't be doing both. The article that discusses the icecap thickening states this has been going on for "the past decade". This, however, means it was, in fact, getting thicker when NASA stated it was "rapidly thinning". Again if they were wrong about this, what else are they wrong about. They certainly seemed sure of themselves when they stated it was "rapidly thinning". Yet, in fact, it wasn't. As for your statement about believing a small time prof and not NASA I would argue that NASA will do what it needs to do to get funding. This is understandable since it really is underfunded. Global warming is the hot issue and they need the money. These are the things that bother me Coby. Also, when things don't go according to plan, the more snowfall deal is thrown in to offset it. It seems a little too convenient to me. Either way they've contradicted themselves.




  • At April 11, 2007 5:18 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    The last two web addresses may not work here are two more.



  • At April 11, 2007 5:27 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    I don't believe that worked either. The web sites were found just by searching "Greenland's icecap thinning" on yahoo. There all there. Sorry about the problem with the addresses.

  • At April 11, 2007 5:56 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Another study claiming that Greenland's ice cap is melting. August, 2006. This one stated that the melting is "stepping up much more rapidly than before". "Three times faster than only five years ago." According to new studies this actually hasn't been happening. These are bold statements to be made without real proof, yet they are constantly made. If this address doesn't work, the site was found by searching "Greenland is not melting" on yahoo. It's SF Chronicle article.


  • At April 11, 2007 6:19 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Iceman,

    I would like to reply to other parts of your comments when I have more time, and also check out your references, but in the meantime I would like to make a general comment.

    I think you may have a bit of a misunderstanding about how science works and how it is almost universally mangled in media reports. Scientific studies are constantly differing in their conclusions and often contradicting each other when working on the leading edge of what is well understood. This is due to different, often brand new approaches used and different data sets etc. As time passes these differences are studied and hopefully reconciled and explained. The papers themselves will always be well caveated and full of error ranges and uncertainty, often so much that seemingly different results are in fact compatible at the edges of their respective error bounds. It often takes several years before landmark findings can really be considered reliable.

    When newspapers report scientific findings they *never* include the caveats and error ranges, especially not in the headlines.

    This is why the IPCC report is both very important and very conservative. WRT our current discussion of ice sheet dynamics, the latest IPCC report actually has *less* to offer in terms of icesheet change predictions precisely because there have been so many new findings and such dramatic changes in just the last few years. The IPCC report offers the best review of all the current literature and presents what has become the most robust findings you should get your climate science from this, the most extensively reviewed and carefully prepared scientific document in history, not the BBC or SFC. I too read those articles, but a) don't take it at face value and b) don't blame the scietists for the sensationalising or inaccuracies.

    More a bit later...

  • At April 11, 2007 6:55 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    Two of the articles were by NASA from NASA, not from newspapers. If the science is imperfect they shouldn't be stating things as fact. We are basing everthing on their word, yet they were clearly wrong. There's two possiblities. One, they were just wrong. Two, there first claim that the icecap was thinning was based on bogus information and was in fact a lie.
    Either way it's bad.

  • At April 11, 2007 7:07 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Science is always imperfect, and "facts" are rarely stated as absolute by scientific organizations, even in a press release. It has long been known that the edges of the GIS are thinning while the middle is thickening. Did you read the articles carefully? I won't comment more until I can review them myself.

    Please do not conflate unreliability or inaccuracy of press release headlines with unreliability of the research from working scientists. Your eagerness to see a lie is rather troubling to me. I would think you must have some very solid evidence of past outright lies to consider that even remotely likely in this instance.

  • At April 11, 2007 7:39 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    They claim in one study Greenland's ice sheet lost mass.(See below) Recent study states it has slightly gained mass over the past decade. Regardless of where it came from they've contradicted themselves.

    Date Released: Tuesday, December 20, 2005
    Source: Goddard Space Flight Center

    In the first direct, comprehensive mass survey of the entire Greenland ice sheet, scientists using data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) have measured a significant decrease in the mass of the Greenland ice cap. Grace is a satellite mission that measures movement in Earth's mass.

    In an update to findings published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team led by Dr. Isabella Velicogna of the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that Greenland's ice sheet decreased by 162 (plus or minus 22) cubic kilometers a year between 2002 and 2005. This is higher than all previously published estimates, and it represents a change of about 0.4 millimeters (.016 inches) per year to global sea level rise.

    "Greenland hosts the largest reservoir of freshwater in the northern hemisphere, and any substantial changes in the mass of its ice sheet will affect global sea level, ocean circulation and climate," said Velicogna. "These results demonstrate Grace's ability to measure monthly mass changes for an entire ice sheet – a breakthrough in our ability to monitor such changes."

    Second article.

    Impact of Climate Warming on Polar Ice Sheets Confirmed


    In the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken of the massive ice sheets covering both Greenland and Antarctica, NASA scientists confirm climate warming is changing how much water remains locked in Earth's largest storehouse of ice and snow.

    Image right: Antarctica lost much more ice to the sea than it gained from snowfall, resulting in an increase in sea level. Credit: NASA/SVS

    Other recent studies have shown increasing losses of ice in parts of these sheets. This new survey is the first to inventory the losses of ice and the addition of new snow on both in a consistent and comprehensive way throughout an entire decade.

    The survey shows that there was a net loss of ice from the combined polar ice sheets between 1992 and 2002 and a corresponding rise in sea level. The survey documents for the first time extensive thinning of the West Antarctic ice shelves and an increase in snowfall in the interior of Greenland, as well as thinning at the edges. All are signs of a warming climate predicted by computer models.

    The survey, published in the Journal of Glaciology, combines new satellite mapping of the height of the ice sheets from two European Space Agency satellites. It also used previous NASA airborne mapping of the edges of the Greenland ice sheets to determine how fast the thickness is changing.

    Image left: The Greenland ice sheet gained more ice from snowfall at high altitudes than it lost from melting ice along its coast. Credit: NASA/SVS

    In Greenland, the survey saw large ice losses along the southeastern coast and a large increase in ice thickness at higher elevations in the interior due to relatively high rates of snowfall. This study suggests there was a slight gain in the total mass of frozen water in the ice sheet over the decade studied, contrary to previous assessments.

  • At April 11, 2007 9:21 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Iceman,

    Fair enough, these two studies are quite clearly at odds with one another. I refer you to my previous observations about the way science works. This is a hard problem and is a new focus of research. You and I, and the world, will have to wait and see what further research reveals.

    I would also again caution you that we are not looking at the actual research papers and are therefore relying on someone else's summarizing and interpreting of what was actually presented in the journals.

    BTW, how do you think this rates as evidence contradicting the notion that scientists are all in collusion trying to scare people for their own greedy ends? Seems like honest disagreement to me.

    As another data point opposing that notion of fear based funding, I would note that during the time of James Hansen's most vocal and dire warnings about climate catastophies in our future over the last 5 or 6 years he has experienced gov't intimidation and suppression, NASA has seen its earth sciences budget shrink significantly and NASA has changed its mission statement to no longer include "protect our home planet". Seems the fear mongering is a little less profitable than Michael Chrichton would have us believe, no?

  • At April 11, 2007 9:29 PM, Blogger coby said…


    Upon more careful reading I note that the data used in the study showing net gain in ice mass stopped in 2002 and the other study was for a period of time subsequent to this. That also concurs with recent observations of a very large increase in glacial outflows from Greenland over the 2000-2005 period.

    So in fact there is not even any contradiction in these findings.

    The GRACE studies are also finding overall mass loss. But these being new satellite based readings we will not be able to compare them with the findings of the previous decade.

  • At April 12, 2007 2:50 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    The article below is from NASA. Not sure when it came out. In it I believe they clearly indicate Greenland's ice sheet was losing mass in the 1990's. This is in contast to the article I posted yesterday, which as you point out, reflects the period from 1992-2002.
    Below is a piece of that. The last sentence "contrary to previous assessments" I believe more or less acknowledges that there has been a contradiction.
    Obviously, I'm seeing this point different than you. Either way it doesn't matter. I stand by what I believe, at this time. I know you stand by what you believe. I will also concede that, unlike many who argue global warming, you know your stuff, and have a valid argument. I still don't agree with you however. I will continue to research this issue and look into any new reports that come out. If any thing hits me that I'd like to share with you I'll drop in. I would also like to apologize for any comments, remarks, or words that I used that were condescending, or just plain rude. Anyway good luck in the future and thanks for the time you've invested in this discussion.

    In Greenland, the survey saw large ice losses along the southeastern coast and a large increase in ice thickness at higher elevations in the interior due to relatively high rates of snowfall. This study suggests there was a slight gain in the total mass of frozen water in the ice sheet over the decade studied, contrary to previous assessments.


    The study of ice in Greenland has significance for the rest of our planet. It's one-seventh the size of Antarctica, but because it protrudes into more temperate latitudes, it may be a better indicator of climate change than the larger landmass found in the south.

    Global ice cover acts as the planet's thermostat, regulating temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. It also holds most of the Earth's fresh water (water that would otherwise swamp what are now coastal lowlands around the world).

    In this animation, we begin with a view of Greenland as it may have looked 100,000 years ago. A thick ice cap covers the outline of Greenland far beyond the actual boundaries of the landmass itself. Moving in closer, notice what happens as the climate begins to warm. Glaciers surrounding the edge of Greenland begin to melt, adding billions of gallons to the oceans. As the water rises and the ice recedes, warming continues around the planet, in part exacerbated by a growing paucity of ice to reflect warming sunlight back into space. Shown here, notice how the humid air above the place where the ice is melting causes the formation of clouds, which rise up onto the main portion of the land due to convection. There, at higher elevation, the moist air condenses and snow precipitates out, causing a slight rise in surface height in the interior.

    What we see as the camera ultimately pulls back is a Greenland that no longer has as thick or expansive ice cap. Notice how much of the ice perimeter is now inside the boundary of the landmass. The land itself has not changed significantly (at least not in the context of this research), but the effective surface area and volume of the ice associated with that land is now significantly smaller.

    While researchers agree that there have been significant changes to Greenland's ice in the planet's past, they are uncertain about the state of change found there now. A team of experts from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility conducted this research mission. One of the most important things they are trying to determine is how much of the currently visible change is a function of natural processes and how much is influenced by human factors.

    Airborne Researchers Measure Greenland's Ice (Reporter package)
    View Animation

    Greenland's coastal ice is disappearing fast enough that at its current rate of decline it will contribute to a rise in the world's oceans of a little less than a centimeter in the space of a single human lifetime. That's the finding of new research conducted by experts based at NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility. Flying a specially outfitted P-3B aircraft across the Danish territory, they used a laser to measure ice thickness there. By comparing changes in ice thickness taken in 1999 to measurements made earlier in the decade, they concluded that the continent is giving up nearly 50 gigatons--that�s 50 billion tons--of water per year, with greatest losses coming from the eastern coast.

    Climate change presents challenges to researchers because it often concerns combinations of many interrelated processes. But Greenland may be for climatologists what canaries used to be for miners: an early warning monitor. Though only one-seventh the size of Antarctica, Greenland protrudes into more temperate latitudes, and may be a better indicator of climate change than the land around the south pole. Global ice cover acts as the planet�s thermostat, regulating temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. It also holds much of the Earth's fresh water, water that if melted would otherwise swamp what are now coastal lowlands around the world.

  • At April 12, 2007 4:01 PM, Blogger Iceman said…

    I said I'd drop by if I found anything interesting. I didn't expect to find anything this quick, but here it is.


    April 11, 2007
    Correction To Paper on Recent Ocean Cooling To Be Available Soon
    Filed under: Uncategorized — Roger Pielke Sr. @ 4:29 pm
    The correction to the paper

    Lyman, J. M., J. K. Willis, and G. C. Johnson (2006), Recent cooling of the upper ocean,
    Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L18604, doi:10.1029/2006GL027033

    will be available soon. The cooling will be shown to have been removed; however, the warming of the 1990s and up to 2002 will be shown not to have persisted. This will still be a challenge for the global climate modelers to explain, since the IPCC perspective of global warming requires a more-or-less monotonic increase in Joules within the climate system, in the absence of a major volcanic eruption (i.e. see A Litmus Test For Global Warming - A Much Overdue Requirement).

    The possibility of the availability of the Argo data in near real time and displayed in the same format as the sea surface temperature anomalies (see) will be a very major contribution to climate science. This will include the comparison of the global climate models with this critically important metric to monitor global average warming and cooling, and its spatial variations. An important question is whether the lack of continued global warming in recent years will be temporary, or is this further evidence that the climate system is more complex than concluded in such assessments as provided by the IPCC.

  • At August 01, 2007 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have only just come across this thread whilst researching other material regarding climate change. I am afraid I remain a sceptic.

    My observations would be as someone who has worked professionally with statistics over the last thirty years. THere is truer saying than that there are 'lies, damned lies and statistics.' Much of the headline news-of which global warming is the major one at present-have been cherry picked by reporters because they can home in on one or two easily understandable 'facts'. However, upon close investigation of the statistics used these 'facts' often turn out to be nothing of the sort.

    As a practical demonstration of continual climate change I would comment that I live on the South coast of England at around 50 foot elevation. Close by we have a large (For the UK) upland area called Dartmoor that rises to 2000 feet. In this area much of recent mankinds history over 5000 years can be traced in an unbroken line.

    Firstly there are the bronze age Hut circles, then Roman times, then the medieval period, through to today.

    Around 5000 years ago at some 1500 feet elevation the bronze age people erected their huts, were settled and carried out farming including crops.

    The temperature eventually cooled around 2000 BC and they left. This area was repopulated by the Romans as the temperature had risen again (and they were able to grow grapes as far north as Scotland). Hanibals famous trek across the Alps to attack Rome was not carried out in snow and blizzards as he was able to cross the high alps as the glaciers-where they existed at all-were at a far greater height than now. Anyway, the roman empire declined at the same time as the UK temperature cooled again and our upland areas became inhospitable.

    The next phase of occupation of the moor came during the medieval period when people built houses and farmed at 1500 feet.

    It was at this time of course that the Vikings inhabited Greenland and farmed there for 300 years or so.

    The temperature cooled again and the farmers again left Dartmoor as the Vikings left Greenland.

    The bronze age hut circles and the Medieval ruins are still there to this day. It would be impossible to inhabit the moor at 1500 feet at present as it is too cold. Each of those periods mentioned were warmer than today.

    I think we are seeing nothing more than climatic varation caused by our orbit, sun activty and a number of other related natural factors, but the trouble is that we take a short term view of weather and think in terms of what we remember as Children not what has gone on in recent history-

    After all 5000 years is the blink of an eye in the context of the age of the earth and mans habitation of it.


  • At August 03, 2007 8:57 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Tony,

    There are really a number of issues your comment touches on, all of which are dealt with in one or more of the articles on this site's HowTo guide, so I would refer you to that general reading. Look for the articles on the MWP, Holocene climatic optimum, Greenland, glacial cycles, solar influences, "100 years is not enough" and "climate is always changing".

    I will make one response, in the form of rhetorical questions, specific to your interesting historical narative because you say you understand statistics: what confidence can one get about a global temperature record from sampling a single locality (Dartmoor uplands)? How much does this increase if you add a short additional sample from another locality in the same region of the globe?

    The answers to those questions should be obvious and renders the bulk of your point rather irrelevant as an attempted refutation of current understanding of recent global climate history.

    Thanks for the informative and substantial comment!

  • At January 11, 2008 6:08 PM, Blogger iceman said…

    Hi Coby,

    I hope you are well. I realize that Artic sea ice reached an all time low this year(since 1979). What are your feelings on the Antarctic sea ice anamoly and the record high level of sea ice there this past year.



  • At January 14, 2008 6:49 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi iceman,

    Sorry for the tardy reply, that pesky real life thing again... :)

    The reason there is so little excitement about the record high sea ice extent in the antarctic (aside from it having no appealing potential victims, like polar bears) versus the record low arctic sea ice is probably because the southern record is only a matter of 2% anamoly, whereas in the north we are now looking at levels over 40% below average. This is on top of very significant drops in average ice thickness. So I think what is happening in the SH is not very dramatic, as well as not being at a significant variance from model output.

    It is worth noting that the loss of ice in the NH *is* significantly different from the model expectations, in that the models are under predicting in a big way the arctic sea ice response to GW.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • At March 04, 2008 3:17 PM, Blogger Dave Percy said…

    Wow, the reasons the Global warming crowd through at us is just laughable. I'm a Sea Ice Forecaster in Alaska. there is at leat 33% more Antarctic Sea Ice than March 3, 2007. There was also an increase in 2007 from 2006 and maybe a minor one from 2005 to 2006. These so called climo experts say its due to warmer temps and water? Thats like telling me I'm cold because someone turned up the heat, or, my pop froze in the refrig beause I turned up the heat. How stupid do you think we are? The FACT is its getting colder. Antarctic cooling always begins first. You know the warmest earth year was 1998, 10 years ago. Maybe we have peaked the warming that began in the late 70s and now the earth is cooling. My gosh the Climo researchers might lose grant money over this. One more FACT...Temperature rises always LEAD CO2 increases.

  • At April 05, 2008 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Antarctic Sea Ice Is NOT Increasing.... The guys at NASA and the JPL proved this years ago: March 2, 2006 RELEASE : 06-085 NASA Mission Detects Significant Antarctic Ice Mass Loss Scientists were able to conduct the first-ever gravity survey of the entire Antarctic ice sheet using data from the joint NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). This comprehensive study found the ice sheet's mass has decreased significantly from 2002 to 2005.

    You can read it here: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/HQ_06085_arctic_ice.html

    I'm all for being skeptical but the "Antarctic Sea Ice Is Decreasing" and Elvis is dead.

  • At April 05, 2008 8:24 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hey, thanks for the comment! You are confusing sea ice and ice sheets. The GRACE study was about the ice sheets. Sea ice extent is quite high.

  • At April 06, 2008 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thank's for the correction Coby!

  • At April 22, 2008 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your answer is illogical. If overall global temperatures are increasing, then it would follow that Antarctic temperatures are still increasing, albeit at a slower rate. This is not the case. In fact, NASA has published that Antarctic sea ice is INCREASING, NOT STABLE, NOT EVEN DECREASING - but INCREASING.

  • At April 22, 2008 8:34 AM, Blogger coby said…

    If I tell you I rolled double sixes, that does not mean the average roll is no longer 7.

    Temperatures increasing overall does not mean temperatures increasing everywhere all the time. That is simple and logical.

  • At May 07, 2008 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Recently I have read several articles that explain the seeming paradox - I am condensing them to my own understanding of the various pieces.

    In the deep south of the USA (FLORIDA, LOUISIANA) it doesn't get cold at night because of the cloud cover. In the desert (some parts of New Mexico) the temperture plunges because of the lack of cloud cover. In Antartica it is like the desert because the hole in the ozone layer that allows for greater radiation heat loss.

    Any mistakes in content are mine. But that is my best condensation of my readings.

    This is an article that I just read that probably explains it better.


    NASA or NOAA has an article which was probably the basis of this one.

  • At May 07, 2008 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These sites might also be helpful in way of the explanation:


    This is the one is kind of more of the same: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-04/uoca-ohr042408.php

  • At May 07, 2008 6:47 PM, Blogger crocus said…

    this is a great site (cryosphere today) which documents the variation in global sea ice. The first link is variation the second is the main site.



  • At May 07, 2008 6:53 PM, Blogger crocus said…

    Coby, I like your site too (A Few Things Ill Considered). A good debate and it seems that everyone just wants to find out what is really going on.

  • At May 10, 2008 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here is that NOAA article:



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