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He's a predictable one, that David Rose.

The "How skeptics view Arctic sea ice decline" animation is awesome. Well done, Dana.

All in all, it's worth stating unequivocally that 2013 was still a bad year for sea ice. Not as white knuckle as 2012, but definitely a confirmation of the continual downward trend. Major losses on the Atlantic side, a polynya near or at the north pole, fourth lowest volume, and likely sixth lowest extent. Climate systems change in timescales too slowly for human timescales to appreciate. Yet, the change in the Arctic has been fast enough to give us a peak into the future. If I had believed that every bounce in the stock market beginning in December 2007 was a "recovery", by March 2009, I'd have been a very poor man. In a physical system such as the Earth's climate, there needs to be a physical reason for any "recovery." So long as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate, we can reasonably expect the sea ice to continue declining. So to David Rose, I say veritas curat.

L. Hamilton

Work by Larry Hamilton demonstrates how fake skeptics who cried 'recovery' from 2008-2010 still has some folks thinking that Arctic sea ice is recovering.

The paper Neven refers to describes our carefully-worded survey question about Arctic sea ice, which has been asked on four surveys to date:

"Which of the following three statements do you think is more accurate?
Over the past few years, the ice on the Arctic Ocean in late summer ...
* Covers less area than it did 30 years ago.
* Declined but then recovered to about the same area it had 30 years ago.
* Covers more area than it did 30 years ago."

We'll be asking this question on a new survey in mid-October, watching for possible change in the percentage who think that late-summer sea ice has recovered to the area it had 30 years ago.


That's going to be interesting to follow, Larry, given the 60%-meme that is actively being spread as we speak.

L. Hamilton

Analyzing survey data, it's a point of interest not just whether something has changed, but for whom.

Jai Mitchell

Of specific interest to me is the graphic that shows how an orchestrated PR (read propaganda) campaign can reduce long-term coverage of climate change. The faked climategate non-scandal effectively reduced media coverage of climate change by 1/2, until hurricane sandy, then it spiked up for a bit.



Guys like Rose are as predictable as they are deluded. The sad part is, this muddy nonsense seems to stick in peoples mind forever. At least if this Greitemeyer-guy (from IBK btw ;-)) got it right: [Article retracted, but the message lives on]

For Neven and others who can make sense of German, here is more from the [Sueddeutsche]


Flogging a dead horse...

Dan Ellis-Jones

I've just posted on the (UK) Telegraph article in the comments. It's just such nonsense it drives me slightly crazy! :)

It doesn't help that it's come on the heels of the Australian Liberal Party (conservative)government win, which will 'stop the carbon tax'.

As I alluded to in my comments on the Telegraph site - I'm not sure if/who has stated that the warming tend has 'paused' - it hasn't. 1998 was a hugly anomalous, and 2005 and 2010 were within a hair's breath of 1998 - without El Nino playing a part.

I do think we know a great deal less about planetary and even polar climate than we think, and that there is a much greater desire (within the systems) for systems to return to normal. Negative feedbacks (I believe) will pop up more an more - in unexpected places. But I think it's clear we'll hit a point soon where a new normal is reached that is very different to the current one. The RATE of change is the killer (and unprecedented).

I seriously doubt that runaway GW is possible - the planet - over billions of years, has ALWAYS corrected itself - just not in human timeframes. Human civilisation (certainly globalisation) is on borrowed time, however!


The best way to counter nonsense is with reality. Often reality is more strange than fiction, which makes it quite interesting. The cited 60% percent increase is pure H S. Yet H S is far more interesting in its true form than shoddy journalism, smells less toxic and informs on the horses diet.

We need to study more about the true nature of 2013 melt. Werther touched it a bit by delimiting the hard compacted pack ice area in Km2. What is needed is to break down the numbers with a greater Eisenberg like effort. There is according to Bremen work, a great deal of persistent open water near the North Pole.


This is quite symbolic to the type of melt of 2013 season. Its not as some like to put it simple.


How to muddy things even farther: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/28/cooling-pacific-dampened-global-warming
I may be reading it wrong or the article may be missing some information that is in the report, but is it not dangerous to have a model that concentrates on current outcomes and not back tract in history. Unless of course they argue that they can not go back too far in history because of inadequate.data. But I still think if that is the case then their model is based on very short term data and should be suspect until it holds over a long period of time. The Arctic is a prime example of what happens when one creates models without enough long term data or ignores old data just because it is deemed unreliable.
As we are starting to see in the Arctic the models are starting to improve probably because older data is started to be included as 'reliable' now.
"Throughout the past month, an ocean heat dome had caused surface water temperatures to soar above 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) over a vast swath of the Pacific Ocean just to the east of China and to the south of Japan and Korea. This powerful pool of latent Pacific heat was a major factor in the delivery of record heatwaves to China, Korea and Japan which resulted in thousands of hospitalizations and at least 100 lives lost. But yesterday, the heat and moisture rising off the Pacific would play its highly energetic part in an entirely different anomalous weather event — the inundation of the Philippine capital city of Manila."
Guess the cool Pacific is no longer that wonder how fast according to their model we will see global temp rise.
On another thought know its hitting China hard, but wonder if that will effect the freezing around the Alaskan end of the Arctic this winter?
30C water? that is HOT.

Jim Hunt

Thanks for the mention Neven. On the specific topic of the "IPCC crisis meeting" Ed Hawkins had this to say on Twitter:

@StottPeter Yes - I told David Rose on the phone and by email on Thursday about the IPCC process and lack of 'crisis' meeting.

— Ed Hawkins (@ed_hawkins) September 8, 2013

Dan - I didn't get much joy out of flogging a dead horse on the Telegraph web site either, so I resorted to Twitter too:

@haylesdixon Where did your "60 per cent increase" and "Almost a million square miles" #SeaIce numbers come from? See http://t.co/RdVpTvJJpo

— Jim Hunt (@jim_hunt) September 8, 2013

I've received no answer to that question as yet however, from either the Mail or the Telegraph.


I had a shot debunking this. My attempt wasn't as good as the guardians probably. Anyway: http://realrealscience.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/daily-mail-record-return-of-arctic-ice.html


I tried to have a go on my own blog (http://realrealscience.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/steven-vs-trends.html) but I think the guardian did a better job. Its insane that articles like that DM one managed to get published with all that bad science.

Yves Minet
Yves Minet

@Dan Ellis-Jones: In your last two paragraphs, you are spot on. I think the IPCC-like projections are overly positivist in the sense of insisting much more on the knowns than the unknowns. This leads to a paradoxical result: as knowledge progresses, so does uncertainty. The public, more precisely the part of the public who doesn't want to face the reality of a major human impact on the planetary ecosystem, can be easily misled by contrarians, and think that climate science is definitely sloppy.

I think the importance of the time scales isn't fully understood by the public, especially in these times of instant, ever-changing information. I confess being caught myself in the fascination, this Arctic sea ice decline is kind of a movie. But in terms of time scales, it's an abrupt phenomenon, shorter than the scale of the underlying human intervention - massive GHG injection - which is ca. a century (at least 50 years). In a sense, a tipping point has been reached, but its nature is yet to be fully apprehended. We are bound to a new equilibrium point, yet to be characterized. Nevertheless, this is a major regional change, with global implications, and a good illustration that climate change is a hic et nunc reality... yet to be understood.

About a runaway GW, it depends of what means "runaway". Considering Earth history, I'd say that the worst plausible scenario is illustrated by the PETM, when massive injections of CO2 by volcanoes caused an initial GW which itself triggered a massive methane release (oceanic clathrates). That resulted in a 6°C warming in 20000 years, and partial massive extinction (benthic foraminifers). This is the best - or the least bad - natural analogue of what could plausibly happen: a 6°C warming ... by year 3000.


Yves, a number of people and groups are now talking about 6 or so degrees C by much sooner than 3000--more like 2100 or shortly thereafter. These include:

International Energy Agency (Fatih Birol)
James Hansen (formerly of NASA Goddard Institute)
Kevin Anderson (Tyndall Center)
Recent MIT studies

As you say, though, it all depends on what one means by "runaway." Obviously, it is physically impossible for the heating of the earths atmosphere to 'runaway' forever--it will never get warmer than, for example, the sun. But this seems to be the absurd standard those railing against the possibility of runaway warming appear to posit.

Colorado Bob

The Alaska Dispatch get's it right :
'Irresponsible reporting'?

On Monday, the lead scientist at the NSIDC, based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, blasted the articles on Monday for "playing games" with world opinion.

"It was very irresponsible reporting on their part," said Ted Scambos, a glaciologist with the ice center. "They know what they're saying and how they are saying it, and to say what they said they had to cherry pick facts."

Scambos said the Arctic this summer was 2 to 3 degrees cooler than average, and the extent of sea ice in August was a "big increase" for a year-to-year jump. The sea ice was about the size of four Alaskas, at 2.35 million square miles, a 45 percent increase from the same time last year.


There is another serious point that is very hard to get across and gets taken advantage of by denialist and that is how little changes can make big differences. Example: We talk about 2C-6C rise in temp., or melting of ice. those are concepts that are very hard for someone to understand if you live in an area that has temp variations of 60C+ from cold to hot seasons. Now what they do understand is bad weather that floods their homes or completely destroys them. Or getting no rain for their yards and everything dies. The difficulty then becomes as a scientist is that you can not tie one event directly to GW even though it in all likelihood would have not have happened if GW were not occurring.
It is my belief that most of the 1st world who have very good infrastructure to hide what is happening will not truly believe that GW is going on until major areas such as Manhattan or Florida become uninhabitable because of sea level changes or severe storms hit the same spot destroying everything in its path year after year forcing people to move. Only then will it then become pop knowledge that GW is occurring and then we can then lay out that facts that it is indeed AGW and we need to do something about it.

John Elliott

I've lurked for a long time, but now I have one question that I must have answered.

Isn't a "60 percent increase!" just about the worst thing that could be happening right about now?

When this greatly spread out slushee freezes in the next couple of months, it's going to prevent quite a bit of radiation out into space. Last fall there was lots of open water radiating out into space. This year, not so much.

I notice in looking at PIOMAS, that ice thickness is still lower year on year, so is this perhaps the set up for a complete meltout next year?


Hi John Elliott,

That is a scenario that slipped through my mind too. But I can’t fix the physical processes to realize this, in my mind. See, what you call ‘slushee’ still is 2 Mkm2 less than 75% concentration. It is a sea of floes and debris with a lot of ‘open’ water in between.
This open water (though by now starting to get covered by nilas and pancake ice) can still lose lots of energy.

As for the debris and floes (the average still is about 4 km area, quickly estimated) could very well be rotten ice. It could freeze again, but maybe the rotten structure will reach next season as vulnerable as it is now. It also could be covered in fresh snow. Then the rotten structure could even better be sustained through winter.

Let’s not forget that the mobility makes all this stuff very vulnerable to dynamical damage through incoming storms. It could still be a very interesting autumn.

Colorado Bob

"60 percent increase!"

Moreover, the Mail miscalculated the numbers, saying sea ice had grown by 60 percent year to year, Scambos said. In fact, it's been a 45 percent increase since 2012 -- still significant but quite different than what was reported, Scambos said.

Cherry picking?


Jim Hunt

Worse than cherry picking CB. Just plain wrong for the most part. David Rose and Hayley Dixon still haven't got back to me about the sources of their information, so I've sent some more "tweets" in their direction. I think this one's my favourite at the moment:

@rgnldprrn @MailOnline For more info on the #Arctic #SeaIce #GreatWhiteCon you might try googling: David Rose economical with the truth

— Jim Hunt (@jim_hunt) September 10, 2013

Yves Minet


"it will never get warmer than, for example, the sun."
The Venus scenario is also highly implausible: it would require all carbonates (lime) go back to atmosphere as CO2. Cf this French website I highly appreciate: http://www.manicore.com/anglais/documentation_a/greenhouse/sinks.html


How increadibly sad it is to watch this "Daily Fail crap" spread all over the world like a runaway virus, poisoning the minds of millions of people.

So much for the free press.

Hans Gunnstaddar

From my experience at the Oil Drum (now in the throes of shuttering) a parallel can be drawn here from many mainstream media reports that paint a rosy picture re: peak oil being a dead idea because of increasing US production (due to fracking of shale oil that has a very high decline rate). Some articles even falsely claim the US is now a net exporter of crude oil. Fact is we still import just less than before.

And here we go with overblown reports re: a rebound year in the Arctic in which a 60% rebound percentage is used, when in reality it's more like the 45% figure 'actually calculated' by CB above. Yet it also ignores thickness which is still dropping and may be a much more important metric.

We all have to keep in mind mainstream news is primarily in support of big business because of the associated billion dollar ad business from which they profit. It's not a pretty sight making for a very difficult uphill battle to even try and meet them half way, but that is the situation. AGW has to have 10 in the field gathered sources of well credentialed supporting info. for ever 1 randomly occurring upward weather fluctuation (on a steady downward trend) to support denial just to break even. So don't be disheartened folks. It just goes with the territory.

Jai Mitchell


don't be disheartened folks

I don't think we will be able to convince the media to take a different slant until the corporate advertisement buyers respond to a boycott and/or civil unrest based on some catastrophic scenario.

We already know that western state precipitation declines rapidly with reduced arctic ice cover

We also know that the arctic cover declines are about 40 years ahead of schedule from what was predicted only 10 years ago.

This years record-level low rate of tropical atlantic hurricanes is approaching the levels that were predicted in the outlier models for 2100, most had a much lower wind-shear effect due to GHG.

This non-linear system of feedbacks that we call the "climate" is already beyond the point of no return. Our only hope is to reduce long-term CO2 to close to 300ppmv.

This is WITH geo-engineering.

6C by 2100 is not only a likely result it is probably already scheduled for closer to 2080.

A Facebook User

Oh for Pete's sake it's the Daily Mail, it's not supposed to be truthful or accurate, it's fantasy for the right wing conspiracists. You'll be expecting them to be objective on immigration next! Now if it were the Guardian making statements that suggested there had been a pause or recovery in the Arctic that would be something to sit up and discuss. But by discussing the Daily Mail you are indulging in the intellectual equivalent of reviewing Viz or the Beano.

Jim Hunt

AFU - It's not just the Mail, it's the Telegraph too, amongst at least 4000 other "news" providers currently. As Tenney put it on the PIOMAS thread:

This meme will be spread far and wide by the players of the Climate Denial Machine.

Colorado Bob

Jim -
" Worse than cherry picking CB. Just plain wrong for the most part. "

No, they use the BBFF , the Butt Based Fact File , you just reach around pull that crap out of your ass.

Colorado Bob

The entire "Warming has stopped for 16 years" meme , came straight from David Rose's keyboard.

In eternity , David Rose will be endlessly eaten by starving polar bears.

Colorado Bob

" Oh for Pete's sake it's the Daily Mail, it's not supposed to be truthful or accurate, "

That's where plant your liar. So all the other wing nuts can point to.

There's more coming, the report is due on the 27th . They will stop at nothing, no lie too great, no BS too deep.


They same people and money the tobacco lobby up into the 90's are running this campaign. Their modus operandi is as old as the hills. Tell a big enough lie often enough and most people will start believing it as the truth.
Even today you still get smokers saying that they should be left alone as it is hurting no one but themselves. In the case of GW it is, there is nothing one person can do to change things and anyway doing so will kill the world economy so the best solution is to let this go as they are and nature will fix it before it hurts us.


Unfortunately the other side of that equation tends to be the cost of finding out the truth for everyone is directly proportional to the numbers convinced of that lie and how dedicated they are in believing that lie and defending it.

Doug Bostrom

OT, but hats off and moment of silence:

"A helicopter assigned to a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker has crashed into the Arctic Ocean, killing all three people on board including the icebreaker’s Commanding Officer.

The helicopter was on a reconnoissance mission with the Canadian Coast Guard research icebreaker, Amundsen, when it crashed into the sea in the Canadian Arctic on Monday.

The crash occurred at 8 p.m. ET (6 p.m. MT) Monday in the M’Clure Strait, about 600 kilometers west of Resolute in Canada’s northwest territories, Canada’s CBC has reported.

The three victims have been identified as Marc Thibault, Commanding Officer of the CCGS Amundsen; Daniel Dubé, the helicopter pilot; and Klaus Hochheim, a scientist with the University of Manitoba and affiliated with the ArcticNet project.

The bodies of the three victims have been recovered by crews aboard the Amundsen.

The icebreaker had recently departed Resolute on an Arctic research expedition and was at sea when the crash occurred.

The helicopter, a Messerschmitt BO 105S, was doing a recon mission on the state of the ice in the area when it crashed, the CBC report said."



Jim Hunt

My condolences to the families of those killed in the helicopter crash. The Coast Guard do a tough job in a tough environment, as do Arctic scientists. Sometimes they pay with their lives.

Meanwhile the Mail spouts nonsense about what's really going on up there. I spoke to the UK's Press Complaints Commission this morning, who suggested talking to the editor of the Mail on Sunday in the first instance. I've just received an email from their "Managing Editor", part of which reads as follows:

Regarding David Rose's article itself, please set out exactly the factual inaccuracies you believe it contains. Alternatively, we will be happy to consider publishing a letter from you that could address the points.

How do you suggest I reply? Personally I'd like to see an accurate Arctic article on the front page.


As someone who has been a host on the Daily Mail message boards, I'd say you have more chance of getting your point across in a letter. They are never going to correct their article and, even if they do, they will couch it such that "those radical climate changeers challenge our 'facts'". They will position it such that they are the lone voice in the world which is speaking the truth and that they are being forced to comply only because of the power of the climate change lobby.

In a letter (You would have to get a guarantee that they publish it in full, no matter the length), you will be able to put your full points across and the inaccuracies in David Rose's article.

Of course you don't get front page exposure. However that does not mean you can't use twitter, facebook and YouTube to give the letter the focus and relevance that the MOS/DM would not give it.

In the end the DM and the MOS have taken a very media stance. They stand For Nothing and Against issues which have a popular and vocal, minority of people who are willing to make a lot of noise. Then they rubbish facts to make a story. The more controversy surrounding the issue, the more they stir it.

I've stopped reading any "Daily Hatemail" articles because of the sheer volume of them which have one subject in the headline but content which actually refutes the headline....

Jim Hunt

Just in case there was any doubt that David Rose has hold of the wrong end of the climate stick the IPCC state in a press release today that:

In response to recent articles about forthcoming meetings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,the IPCC would like to note that: Contrary to the articles the IPCC is not holding any crisis meeting.

Jim Hunt

Here you go Neil:



What do you reckon?

Andy Lee Robinson

Thom Hartmann savages David Rose on RT, using my ice cube animation:

Politically Corrected - The Daily Mail on Climate Change

I have updated versions (July 2013) of the waterfall diagram, http://youtu.be/oFMDmS783Ro and a death spiral evolution: http://youtu.be/20pjigmWwiw

Regardless of the desperate "60%" cherrypick, we can all see the trend still stands.

Doug Bostrom

Wasn't there something in Rose's article about a collapse of shipping via the Arctic thanks to the "recovery?"

Port of Rotterdam Sees Arrival of First Commercial Ship via Northern Sea Route

Linda Serena

Sorry guys, but a 60% increase is a 60% increase and more remarkably, even volume increased, despite record low data at the start of the year. This is remarkable and fully admire Neven's admission of great surprise.

It is still the 4th lowest extent, but take another year like 2013 and imagine what this may accomplish in extent and volume charts.

But there have been quite a number of other discoveries and surprises this year, all rather brutally demolishing the previous perception of an CAGW death spiral.

Pre-satellite sea ice seem to be quite different from main stream opinion. Recently discovered records confirm a very substantial melt in the 1920s-1930s, and newly discovered satellite data places sea ice 1964 at 1990s average, far below previous estimates, and there is more data to come.

Black carbon has been strongly upgraded in its warming forcing by Bond et al 2012.

On top of that, another new papaer claims "gas flaring by the oil industry and smoke from residential burning contributes more black carbon pollution to Arctic than previously thought".


Research on the influence of ocean currents/cycles is just starting to go public, but may eventually support as well, what sceptics have been saying for years.

Judy Curry has announced a new papaer about a regional climate shift in the Arctic this year. Then 2013 may not have been an outlier in the coming years.

Until recently, only positive feedbacks have been associated with Arctic sea ice. Now we know that the albedo coooling of Antactic sea ice easily outweighs Arctic albedo warming. Further, significant negative feedbacks have been discovered, heat transfer of open sea to space and increased snow fall in the northern hemisphere due to increased evaporation.

Finally, the question is still unanswered if current sea ice is exceptional or "normal" A vast library of papers and data suggest, that temperatures in the MWP were at least as warm as today and even many Hockey Stick papers confirm this, once the main errors are corrected for. Then, the Little Ice Age was the exception and not todays melt, or otherwise, if todays melt is exceptional, it is not primarily temperature related, or signifcantly enhanced by something other than temperature, such as black soot.


@Jim, looks good for a start. Now the facebook and twitter are set up, they can be used an promoted to push the reality against the DM Rose article.

Looking at todays Bremen image, the ice continues to melt, even on September 12th.

It would also be useful to find the articles about the WOW OMG sudden loss of ice in 2005. Then compare it to 2013. Just to set the press reality factor.



You clearly have not seen the archive of hand drawn Arctic Sea Ice maps from the 1930's??

These hand drawn images were created from ship sightings and research reports.

None of them show Arctic conditions lower than the beginning of the 1979 satellite record for ice.

Every time this is brought up, a simple link to the actual archive refutes it.

Even if it did show a rapid retreat from even greater extent and area, this is only more evidence proving Global Warming. Human driven global warming through CO2 is not 3 decades old. It is 200 years old (industrialised) and ongoing climate impacts are to be expected.

Also you fail to note that since David Rose's article, the Actic ice has continued to fall. Not rise. That fall, at this time of year, pushes the Extent, Area and Volume figures lower and lower against the other years which had already stopped by now.

David Rose is an opportunist who has jumped on a specific point in time to try and sell a bill of goods which, quite frankly, stinks.

Trying to support him in such an effort marks you as one of the ilk who inhabit Wattsupwiththat. Those who believe anything which is against the evidence of human driven global warming, even if it conflicts or directly contradicts their own strong belief of why it's not happening.

It's a faith site. It is certainly not a science site.

Perhaps you have faith. I wish you well with it but it has no place in science, as has been proven throughout history.

Jim Hunt

Sorry Linda, Judy et. al. but that's all just a Great White Con.


Linda, I admire your certainty. You must have been just as certain in 2006, 2008 and 2009. I would now kindly ask you to refrain from posting Arctic Gish Gallops here. I know it's difficult - it is for me too - but one must be careful to jump to conclusions when something happens in the Arctic. Lots of ice thickening in winter, two more melting seasons such as this one, NH snow that starts to linger in spring, and then we'll start talking.

But we have to wait and see first, and I will try to analyse and report as good as I can.


Thank you for that restrained and polite response to poster Linda Serena, Neven.

It is her strategy to raise as many doubt subjects possible in a short post. In the expectation it would attract loads of hasty Flak that would draw down the quality discussion on our blog.

This is part of the denial storm, we have to prepare for some Pazuzu’s or Anemoi to stoke in.

Lot of the past stuff has been debunked again and again. Lot of the “news” is pure denialist speculation. Let it go.

Yvan Dutil

There is a very nice discussion on Tamino blog about the seasonal variation in heating today following Kosaka & Xie (2013).


Take home message : Recent "pause" is global warming is essentially a winter event, while summer temperature is still increasing. This as interesting consequence for Arctic ice that might thicken in winter while melting more in summer.

Yves Minet

The Arctic sea ice maps before 1979 are either accessible via NSIDC metadata:
Most are archives from DMI but there are also Russian data back to 1933 (http://nsidc.org/data/g02176.html), as well as a series called "The Dehn Collection" (http://nsidc.org/data/g01111.html)covering Alaska and West Canada.

As for early satellite data (Nimbus), for both Arctic and Antarctic, they have been analysed by W.Meier et al. from NSIDC and are accessible via an open-access journal: http://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/699/2013/tc-7-699-2013.html
Meier et al estimate the September 1964 Arctic extent to be 6.9+/-0.3 M km², thus comparable to the mean 1979-2000 value (the old baseline of satellite data), but much lower than the previous estimates from the UK Hadley Centre (8.3 M km², Rayner et al. 2003). This is probably the source of the contrarian drivel - unless some brilliant WTFUWT-like auditor joined the movement and proposed a lower value!
Nevertheless, Meier et al. believe in a relative stability of the ice prior to 1979 even if further data and analyses are necessary.

Yves Minet

Sorry for some half-sentences (a lone "either") and the hyperlink error. The Dehn collection is at: http://nsidc.org/data/g01111.html

Is it possible to edit one's own comment, and if yes, how ?


Sorry, Yves, no post-hoc editing. For the really egregious stuff you can always mail me, and I try to fix links and html when necessary. Other than that, a second comment does the trick just fine.



"NSIDC is closed today because of severe weather and flooding. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you."

Yves Minet

Thanks, Neven. Next time I'll preview several times before posting :)
About post-1933 Russian sea ice (the NSIDC link http://nsidc.org/data/g02176.html provides raw data) I've seen a very interesting article, Mahoney et al. 2008, available at
This article reanalyses these data and concludes to a sea ice extent more variable than the UK Hadley Centre historical estimations (HadISST) mentioned e.g. in the Cryosphere Today website. This, too, has been subject to contrarian drivel...

@NeilT: The weather conditions in Colorado are indeed very very serious. A thought for the people there.

Hans Gunnstaddar

Just got back from a business trip so just now getting a chance to reply.

Jai Mitchell, I agree with your post regarding the gravity of the situation and the information you provided is fascinating, however I did not mean to infer we should be complacent about AGW. Rather, that the system in my opinion is gamed in favor of any news to the contrary of climate change, and so we just need to be aware that we end up having to bang the drums much harder and longer to try and make a point. It also seems pointless to bang one's head against a wall of refusal to accept what is in my opinion obvious. If people are so easily swayed back in the direction of denial, then that's a reflection of human consciousness which can only change through hardship. We are all part of humanity and thus will have to endure the ravages of climate change to help them along the way.


Yves, your last comment ended up in the spam bucket. Sorry about that. The spam filter system has improved, but some comments still get caught.


some of the stuff that journos get to get away with under the garb of their journalistic credentials but its a necessary evil of a democracy

Chris Reynolds

Yves Minet,

The extra variance suggested can probably be taken care of by the larger error bounds one would apply to ice extent prior to the satellite record.

That Mahoney paper is another paper I've got, have read, and only remembered about when reading the paper on your link. :(

Chris Reynolds

With regards that jerk Rose.

Patience is all that's needed. The idiot has backed the wrong paradigm, and no amount of thrashing about will save him from being shown wrong by the process.


I just saw a Dutch TV programme that announced yesterday that a leaked IPCC report shows that there's 60% more ice at the North Pole compared to last year. David Rose must be thrilled. :-D

Jim Hunt

Chris - "With regards to that jerk Rose. Patience is all that's needed."

I'm afraid mine has run out:


Susan Anderson

Jim, thanks, that's nice and simple. I've been looking for straightforward and that's much better than the other rather complex explanations I've seen.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I don't see any sign of a minimum just yet. Couple more days? (yes, I know, this belongs elsewhere)

Chris Reynolds


Am I correct in assuming that's your site? If you need any help just ask, chris886222 at btinternet.com


The big question for 2013 (in my humble opinion) is: did changes in air and water circulation prevent heat from moving from warmer climes into the arctic, or did changes in cloud cover, ice extent, and snow cover cause long wave radiation from the earth to exceed insolation?

Jim Hunt

My pleasure Susan. I'm glad to hear you liked it. There's plenty more where that came from of course. Here's today's installment. Please note we're still on the Mail's very first sentence!


There's a bit of ancient art in this one, by way of some light relief from all the nonsense.




He's on a roll. Judith Curry, who disowned her own study on temperature records because it didn't produce the results she wanted, makes rich pickings for "reporters" like Rose.

Even when the report comes out, I doubt it will bear any resemblance to the figures Rose has reported.

Also, as far as I knew, the IPCC reported the rise in temperature, on average, since 1900. Not 1951 which sounds like a cherry picked figure which I've never heard of before.

Interesting that the graph only shows from 1980....


These are just the opening salvos to discredit the IPCC. Somewhere along the line they will probably bring out Micheal Mann's hockey stick charts. And on we go. The big question for me is where did that heat go. If not to air temps then it is hiding somewhere else and when it reveals itself we could be in for a very big bad surprise. Although based on all the favourite natural rhythm cycles such as the current Pacific decadal cooling period, distance from the sun etc. we should be in a major cooling trend not a hiatus.
Seems no mention of the fact the Arctic is decades ahead of the last IPCC report with respect to melt. And a few other things that were underestimated. Oh well we could be in a very rough ride as far as what nature has in store for us in the next few decades, because in the current clime of economic theory which is to cut deficits and do not spend on anything, by the time we find out that we are in very severe trouble, it will be way too late, unless we stumble on a solution by accident.

Jim Hunt

Recent experience suggests that the facts of the matter will be suppressed:

Interestingly, to me at least, I attended the Annual General Meeting of The South Brent Community Energy Society yesterday afternoon. The board graciously allowed me to announce the launch of the shiny new Great White Con website to the assembled throng. One of the directors told me he'd already heard about it, and a freelance journalist who works for Greenpeace and the Grauniad had a long chat with me afterwards.

Jim Hunt

I hope I'm not boring anybody as I continue to flog this particular dead horse?


You don't need to be a climate scientist like Judy to work out that David Rose is just a fairground performer. You only need to be able to work out the difference between half a million and one million.


This comment by Chris Reynolds further up the comment thread was relseased from the spam bucket:


Am I correct in assuming that's your site? If you need any help just ask, chris886222 at btinternet.com


I see 60% increase, after spending a day analyzing it, as alarming rather than blessing. From 1995 to 1996 ice volume increased by 2720 cubic kilometer yet the increase was just 24%. Assuming this years minimum is 5000 the increase will be 48%. That is basis has been eroded from 11200 to 3372. History shows that such variations are expected is just a noise, and now the noise is 60% of the new normal.

I made my best fit. Checked that residue had very low autocorrelation; about 10%. Standard deviation of residue was about 1000. So deviation of 2000 has about 5% probability.

Once the noise level reaches 100% we can not reject a null hypotheses that new normal for arctic ice volume is zero can not be rejected with high confidence.

This year increase could be 50% but if next years decrease is 40% we will hit the bottom. I, however, last years minimum was well below best fit and alarmist shouldn't have gloated. This years minimum would be well above the best fit an the deniers shouldn't be gloating. Once the new normal approaches zero we should expect such large % variations. It is well known thermodynamic principle that as the critical point is approached large fluctuations are to be expected until we the system moves far from the critical point.


Corrected last few sentences.

I, however, would like to add that last years minimum was well below best fit and alarmist shouldn't have gloated. This years minimum would be well above the best fit and the deniers shouldn't be gloating. Once the new normal approaches zero we should expect such large % variations. It is well known thermodynamic principle that as the critical point is approached large fluctuations are to be expected until the system moves far from the critical point.

Jim Hunt

Thanks Chris for the offer (and Neven for the heads up!),

Yes, that is my (hastily constructed!) site, and an email is now winging its way through cyberspace in your direction.

Peter Mizla

and this 'rebound' surely seals the fate of any climate deal going forward with any kind of impetus. Unless in 2016 we have another new low- C02 will continue to rise 2.5-3ppm till the early 20os- and likely well beyond.



I can assure you that when I was a host that comment would not have been removed. It breaches none of the rules as I was given to understand them at the time.

However, as the "new look" of the site was designed to use the popularity of the boards to boost the visibility of the news comments and drive up revenue (in my opinion as a result of my research), I can understand why this kind of comment would be removed.

It would not have been removed by me and I would have had words to say if it was removed when I was "on the inside".

Just another side of the decline of the newsworthiness of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.


I'd just like to make a comment here which is "sort of" off topic, but I believe it is firmly in the land of "messaging" on the topic of Climate Change.

For years now I've been arguing that trying to tax carbon to fix an energy use problem was stupid and also political suicide.

When I took Joe Romm to task over this, he overrode me by saying that it was the only action the Republicans were willing to deal on.

Erm, yes, of course they would. They LOVE socialists to talk about taxing the people. They LOVE the Greens to talk about reducing energy use. They LOVE people to tell us we can't have a modern lifestyle.

Because it is their main stance at the next election that they will tear down these "undemocratic" laws and "restore power to the people".

Australia electing the unelectable. Big issue? Carbon tax.

You cannot fix an infrastructural problem by taxation. Unless you are going to take every penny of that money and use it to generate clean energy from renewable methods which remove the need for people to burn fossil fuels.

Just look at it from the consumers perspective. They have NO CHOICE but to use fossil fuel energy. Because governments have not Given Them A Choice, by creating the infrastructure for them to use less carbon.

So, in the end, people are left with two stark choices. Vote in a government who is going to do nothing about climate change but is not going to punish them for something they can't change.


Vote in a government who is going to punish them for something they can't change and won't use the money to give them an alternative to paying the taxes.

Sorry for all my shouting but it is the WRONG MESSAGE.

Is it any wonder that people are keen to jump on articles by David Rose or by idiots like Watts? We give them no choice. We bind them into a stark reality and then punish them for the sins of their ancestors without giving them a path to redemption.

Every time I read stuff like Rose's idiocy, I am taken back to the fundamentals. How can people believe we are serious when our governments are not doing the first and most basic things to resolve the issue. It begins, continues and ends with clean energy.

I don't mean a few windmills. I mean a root and branch fundamental change to the way we produce power.

Because, after all, if we produce clean power, then what does it matter how much you consume? Why would there be a reason for highly polluting CFL lights if the power we produce does not produce CO2. How can we even consider a hydrogen economy when hydrogen is produced with electricity from fossil fuel?

Whilst fighting the good fight on idiotic articles from the likes of Rose, we also need to fight another fight. One of credibility. People can count. People can reason. People see that governments are not serious about fighting this.

In the end, all they see is more taxation for Zero gain....


I suspect that David Rose is relying on numbers by Steven Goddard. SG has been touting these huge increases repeatedly on his blog. And here is how he comes up with these numbers:


To quote (see the exchange in the comments): I’m using their maps and comparing with a higher concentration threshold than their 15% calculations.
Goddard is pixelcounting, cutting off at an arbitrary, undisclosed threshold of sea ice concentration. Apart from the arbitrary threshold, I'm not even sure the pixels correspond to equal areas across the map.


NeilT, I'm not sure if your post is logically coherent and I've just misunderstood it, and I don't want to go off topic either, but the kind of transformation in energy supply you are talking about will cost horribly large amounts of money. nobody will be willing to invest in low carbon technology unless we put a substantial price on carbon. it just wont happen. and that means a tax, or some kind of cap and trade. in my opinion, of the two, a steadily escalating tax starting from a low base makes far more sense; you can disagree with that if you want to, but the point is that right now carbon fuels are the cheapest, if you discount future environmental costs. switching to clean energy will inevitably look like a price increase in the short term, whichever way you dress it up


In my experience, renewable is being sold as a cheap option and the net cost, after infrastructure investment, is very low.

Reality of renewable is that the horrible cost is in the setup. The horrible cost in carbon technologies is the ongoing cost.

But, to put my point again. Whether we need to tax carbon or not, nobody and I do mean nobody, has advocated using the carbon revenues to transition to low carbon technologies.

What we've told them equates to taxing them into the 19th century. Honestly, that doesn't play well....

In the long run do you trust a government, who can't see far enough to invest in renewables long term, with the revenues of a carbon tax?

David Cameron is on record as wanting to give the tax revenues to families....


ring fencing carbon tax revenues to directly subsidise renewables would make sense, if that's what you mean.


It is.

Anything else is just music to the ears of republican oil magnates and people like David Rose...

Jim Hunt

Hopefully this will prove to be music to the ears of people like David Rose.

The Great White Con has now also been exposed on a music video! Episode #1:


Jim Hunt

At the suggestion of a fellow commenter over at Skeptical Science, here's the alpha version of our throw the "PCC book" at David Rose kit:


Jim Hunt

It's finally been revealed how David Rose came by his "almost a million more square miles" of extra sea ice:


It seems he read an NSIDC typo, neglected to check the data, and then still couldn't do his sums correctly

Wayne Kernochan

I am unsure where to note this (and unsure if this has been noted already). James Hansen has now come out with a study including a comprehensive climate model with yet more sobering conclusions (http://m.rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/2001/20120294.full). Of particular relevance to this blog are his findings on the importance of albedo change and the likelihood of full Arctic meltout given the present climate state, much less the one we are heading towards.

On a brief layperson's scan, I also have to say that this is an exceptionally comprehensive, well-founded climate model, and it appears to have a grasp on all the major factors driving changes in climate today. Its conclusion -- that we are headed for increases of 54 degrees F (obviously, more at night and in the winter) in the Arctic and 36 degrees away from the poles (not immediately, but inevitably, once all coal/shale/gas/tar sands is used) is therefore all the more agonizing to me. There are also interesting side notes on our methane vs. carbon dioxide wrt permafrost/hydrates discussions.


Thanks, Wayne K,

Think I'll go over to the Forum while reading the piece under your link. Even the abstract offers some proposals that rise way above discussing just this Arctic melting season.
Meanwhile, IPCC is coming out in Stockholm, working group I, 10:00 AM European time on Friday. What will their position be???

Jai Mitchell

Great read!

I find the Hansen paper to be very thorough in my layman's understanding of the process. I think that his estimation of the high end sensitivity (between 3 and 4 for a 2XCO2 is fair but he says that the Eemian optimum to Last Glacial Maximum needs further study.

He assumes a 25% radiative forcing component in future years due to NO2 and CH4. This assumes that we do not experience a sudden increase in methane emissions due to ESAS release (Shahkovah and Semiletov's paper to come out in October expects a potential 50Gt Methane release of CH4 in coming years on a multidecadal timescale. He does mention that this likely occurred after a 3,000 year warm period during the early PETM and indicates the reasoning for it due to "astronomical scales". So our current situation is likely going to be much accelerated.

Finally, he assumes that the Atmospheric Fraction (AF) of anthropogenic CO2 only goes to .66 from .55 this effect approximately halves the 10,000 Gt of Carbon to 5,000 Gt necessary to produce a total forcing of 12 W/m^2 (and temperatures of 16C above pre-industrial) This appears to be drawn from this paper which shows in figure 5 that the AF will go up to .8 by 2100.

What needs to be shown then, at this new higher AF what anthropogenic emission of Carbon is needed to produce 4C of equilibrium warming using the 2XCO2 of 4C?

The answer?

1,723 Gigatonnes of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide


570 Gigatonnes of Anthropogenic Carbon.

according to the current AR5 RCP 8.5 emissions scenario (the one we are currently on) we will surpass the 1,723 GT limit of additional anthropogenic CO2 in 2040.

Jim Hunt

The preliminary IPCC AR5 WGI "Summary for Policymakers" was published yesterday. Here's my somewhat idiosyncratic take on those proceedings:


"When will the world's policymakers stop spouting hot air and start taking practical measures to mitigate the inevitable climate change that we all must now face."

Jim Hunt

I have some modest success to report at long last. We have contrived to persuade The Mail to retract the most outrageous of the headline numbers concerning Arctic sea ice that they published on September 8th. They've reworded the "IPCC crisis meeting" paragraph too. They have of course endeavoured to blame the NSIDC for their own shortcomings:


Next we'll try and persuade The Telegraph to follow in the Mail's illustrious footsteps. Then of course there's all those other inaccuracies that they both still need to make amends for!

Kirrilee Loudon

I came across a discussion on the Daily Mail argument recently and after being debunked a skeptic suggested that there was increased variability in recent minimum extent compared to earlier in the graph used by the Daily Mail. I'm not sure what he was implying with this but I was curious as to if it was true and why this might be the case if so. Just from looking at it it seems to be true but I was wondering if anyone had actually calculated it and if they had an explanation.

Chris Reynolds


I'm not sure how the denialist has done their working out. But using NSIDC Extent, daily minimum...

The largest three year on year percentage changes are 2007 (-38%), 2013 (+34%) and 2012 (-29%), more typically percentage changes are below 9%. Standard deviation (SD) is a measure of the variability of data. I've calculated SD for windows of the previous 7 years from 1985 to 2013. This shows a large increase from 2007 onwards, but this is in large part due to the three large percentage changes outlined above.

However the windowed SD's do increase pre 2007, from about 0.4 up to approaching 0.6 (million kmsq).

There is reason to suppose variability will increase as ice thins. Using the PIOMAS model average thickness during August for three decades (and 2010 to 2012) are:

1980s, 2.15m
1990s, 2.02m
2000s, 1.65m
2010s, 1.09m

The pack is not all one thickness, it is thinner at the edges. So there is less volume to lose at the edges to reveal open water, even though there is less ice edge from which to lose volume.

So greater variability is to be expected, although the main outcome is an increase in the seasonal cycle, which has happened. Again using NSIDC Extent, the annual range of extent (from March max to September min) has increased: 2000 to 2006 is 9.46 million kmsq, 2007 to 2013 is 10.64 million kmsq.

A useful paper in this respect is Maslanik et al, 2007, "A younger, thinner Arctic ice cover: Increased potential for rapid,
extensive sea-ice loss." The title says it all.

Kirrilee Loudon

I don't think he'd done any sort of working out, just looked at the graph and said it looks more variable. Thanks for the numbers, and the paper, it helped.

Jim Hunt

Which Daily Mail graph are we talking about here Kirrilee? Their "IPCC Crisis Meeting" article didn't include one for some strange reason!

In case it helps further, here's my latest analysis of the Mail's recent "retraction", in which the intimate details of Santa's Secret Summer Swim amongst the Arctic sea ice are finally revealed:


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