The dark art of falling albedo

Ruapehu eruption 2007

A story on Mother Jones last July by John Vidal described the world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, turning visibly darker as particles of fine dust, blown by fierce winds, settled on the bright, fresh snow. “One-week-old snow was turning black and brown before my eyes,” said American geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj. Unfortunately she lacked the presence of mind to make a photographic record of this startling event. Continue Reading →

Renowden’s foot again finds his mouth

Renowden continually misquotes me.

I wrote about the summer low achieved by Arctic sea ice. He maligns me for saying the ice didn’t melt until winds pushed it away into warmer water.

Gareth, criticise me for giving voice to heresy; and by all means, fault my scholarship, my knowledge of climatic or arctic affairs; feel free to mock my “disconnection from reality”; I hope you even pull out a paper by Notz and Marotzke and share the authors’ speculation that, as is apparently obvious to the rest of you, “the most likely explanation for the linear trend [in sea ice decline] during the satellite era from 1979 onwards is the almost linear increase in CO2 concentration during that period.”

But I didn’t say it. NASA did.

So now please kindly redirect all that rude, inaccurate mockery to the proper quarter.

UPDATE 30 SEP

Renowden’s friend Rob Taylor, in comments below, cites one John Yackel in Science Daily. Yackel makes a couple of howlers.

First, he contradicts NASA and insists on talking about the summer Arctic ice “melt”. Obviously he didn’t get NASA’s memo explaining about the storm that shifted the sea ice before it melted.

Second, he asserts that, with the ice gone and the sea surface exposed to the air, “more moisture off the ocean’s surface” will “get into the atmosphere”, making for more violent storms.

Remarkable. Here’s a geographer who doesn’t know that the amount of water vapour in the air depends on the temperature. I learnt that in high school but somehow he missed it at university.

But he also apparently imagines that “the water vapor in the atmosphere makes for more violent storms” – it doesn’t need a higher temperature at all! Well, it’s a new concept, but I’m not sure how it works.

I think it’s nonsense.

Finally, I observe that Rob Taylor claims I’m wrong about something, but none of our friends from the dark side deny that Renowden disagrees with NASA. Renowden is wrong to call this record ice disappearance a “melt” and blame it on global warming and therefore on our considerable, unforgivable sins.

Arctic sea ice dispersed by storm – not hot air

Arctic sea ice

NASA admission

Arctic cyclone in August ‘wreaked havoc’ on sea ice

via NASA finally admits Arctic cyclone in August ‘broke up’ and ‘wreaked havoc’ on sea ice — Reuters reports Arctic storm played ‘key role’ in ice reduction | Climate Depot.

NASA has announced that an Arctic storm played a ‘key role’ in a dramatic new summer minimum ice extent recorded in August.

Reuters news service filed a September 21 report based on NASA’s video admission titled: “NASA says Arctic cyclone played ‘key role’ in record ice melt.” The news segment details how the Arctic sea ice was reduced due to “a powerful cyclone that scientists say ‘wreaked havoc’ on ice cover during the month of August.” (Reuters on “Arctic Cyclone” — 0:47 second long segment — Rob Muir reporting.)

Video: Arctic storm breaks up sea ice

Why does everyone feel guilty about the disappearance of the Arctic ice? All it proves is a bit of warming; it most certainly does not prove a human cause for that warming. Continue Reading →

Lawless misled by the clueless

Lucy Lawless, famous actress and newly-minted Greenpeace activist, claimed yesterday:

“…make no mistake, due to the harshness and remoteness of the Arctic environment, an oil spill up there will make the Gulf of Mexico look like a children’s party.”

I agree that it’s a distinct possibility, and precautions should be taken to prevent and, at need, to clean up such a spill. No doubt about it. But then our eco-warrior says boldly:

“To see the melting of the sea ice not as a warning to humanity but as an invitation to drill for more of the stuff that caused the problem in the first place is the definition of madness. What Shell is doing is climate change-profiteering.” (Emphasis added. H/T Richard Cumming)

Lucy, turn towards your Greenpeace advisers and say after me: “What is the evidence?” Continue Reading →

Multiple meltings of Arctic sea ice

The Skate at North Pole in 1959

Australis posted this link to Steven Goddard’s Real Science list of newspaper articles for us here in comments. I highly recommend it.

Whenever anyone – anyone at all – becomes anxious over apparently excessive melting of Arctic sea ice, this long list of previous such meltings will demonstrate that Nature can cope with it and bounce back from it.

Whenever anyone tries to alarm others with the modern, allegedly excessive, melting of Arctic sea ice, this long list of historical events will stop them in their tracks and prevent alarm.

It’s what we might call proof that modern sea ice melting is not unprecedented, despite the efforts made by the likes of Greenpeace to make us believe that it is.

Speaking of Greenpeace

For example, in August 2009, Greenpeace were caught in a lie. Continue Reading →

More ice in scary melting

Arctic ice

The Associated Press chills our blood again with a story on record Arctic sea ice melting.

Arctic sea ice melted this summer to the second lowest level since record-keeping began more than 50 years ago, scientists reported Thursday, mostly blaming global warming.

“This is not a random event,” said oceanographer James Overland of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It’s a long-term change in Arctic climate.”

Only in 2007 was there less summer sea ice, which has been dramatically declining since scientists began using satellites to monitor melt in 1979.

So, unless I’m mistaken, in each of the last four years there has been more ice than there was in 2007. That sounds like a recovery — it’s certainly not getting worse. Continue Reading →

Taking the chill off the Arctic

burning ice

What a joke, doctor

At the Huffington Post, “field biologist” Dr Reese Halter talks of the “unprecedented warming of our globe” and claims that “missing” Arctic sea ice is a “wake-up call.” He says the news of Arctic sea ice reaching its lowest point since the start of satellite observations in 1972 (actually 1979) is “outright heartbreaking.”

The heartbroken biologist meanders through observations on the climate, economics and some waffling, brainlessly misleading arguments against climatic scepticism. Continue Reading →

Cool that ice nonsense

Arctic ice

Georg Heygster, head of the Physical Analysis of Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen’s Institute of Environmental Physics, announces a new record Arctic ice minimum today.

Ignoring the fact that they actually report 140,000 square kilometres more ice today than in 2007 (the previous record minimum) because of altered methods, the good Georg raises more questions than he answers. Like any good climate scientist. First (though this could be the AFP reporter):

Arctic ice cover plays a critical role in regulating Earth’s climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar region cool.

QUESTION: At the last minimum, in 2007, how much did global temperature rise due to the reduced ice cover? ANSWER: Global temps did not rise in 2007 — they fell about 0.4°C. Any albedo effect reducing global temperatures is likely to be insignificant. Continue Reading →

Revkin declines Joe Romm’s bet on Arctic sea ice

Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin – Dr Who?

Warmist internecine strife has never really appeared on my radar, but now it’s actually spoiling the image. How encouraging it is to my sceptical heart to hear leading warmists brawling in their little playground. They express perfect hatred for each other.

Are they frustrated that their warmist preferences for scientific conclusions and policy recommendations are becoming as last season’s fashions? Does it sting their vanity that they can do nothing to halt the loss of face that now disfigures their darling beliefs in global warming?

Does the sudden, inexorable and widespread use of the terms “scam”, “myths” and “fallacies” associated with “climate change” drive them insane with rage? We can but hope. Continue Reading →

Arctic ice definitely melting

iceberg melting

From the Washington Post

Associated Press

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 metres showed the Gulf Stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

 


Continue Reading →

Why is Greenland losing ice?

New report seems to assume it’s melting, but is it?

Greenland is the world’s largest island, about 2600 km long and 1100 km wide at its widest point. Most of the interior is covered by the world’s second-largest permanent ice sheet. Average temperatures rise above freezing only briefly, during the summer. Here’s a simplified graph of monthly temperatures taken from a tourism site.

Greenland temperatures

Yesterday the NZ Herald reported a study finding faster melting of Arctic and Greenland ice. The scientific team thinks global sea levels could rise by as much as five feet (1.5 metres) this century. Continue Reading →