Archive for the ‘Arctic’ Category

Nothing new in Greenland


“Annual Greenland temperatures were higher in 1930 than today. The rate of warming in the past was much greater than the current rate of warming. Greenland warmed fastest before the concentration of greenhouse gases increased substantially. Greenland cooled substantially from 1930 to 1980 … during a period of greenhouse gas concentration increase. Box et al. note in their abstract that “The annual whole ice sheet 1919–32 warming trend is 33% greater in magnitude than the 1994–2007 warming.”” “A Christmas story: some facts about Greenland


Quote of the day


The great truth-monger Al Gore claimed yesterday that 40% of the Artic Ice Cap has already disappered, and that the other 60% will be gone in 5, 10, or 15 years. If almost half of the Artic ice has already melted, then why aren’t London, New York, Miami, Venice, Houston, Singapore, etc., under water?” — Christopher Monckton

Chill out, John, get some perspective


“John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and President Barack Obama’s top science adviser, told Congress last week that the Earth could be approaching a series of “tipping points” that could drastically alter the climate and Earth’s natural systems and cause the sea level to rise dramatically.” “Obama’s Top Science Adviser to Congress: Earth Could Be Reaching Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’ That Would Be Followed by a Dramatic Rise in Sea Level

Holocene Arctic warmer than today


“Chapter 15 of the Working Group 2 report in the IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report (AR4) deals with the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions. It draws heavily upon the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report (2005) (ACIA, 2005) and, indeed, praises ACIA, 2005 in the following words: “[ACIA, 2005]… has substantially improved the understanding of the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, is a benchmark for regional impact assessments, and may become the basis for a sustainable management plan for the Arctic.”

[C]hapter 2 [of the report,] “Arctic Climate: Past and Present” and, specifically, Section 2.7 “Arctic climate variability prior to 100 years BP” (pages 46 to 54) … documents the climate changes in the region from 2 million years ago up to the recent past.

The information on the Arctic climate during the Holocene (the past approx. 11,000 years to the present), some of which is summarised below, provides an interesting contrast with the alarmist views of today:

* climatic conditions were significantly warmer than today,

* marine mammals were present far north of their present day range,

* over most of Russia forests advanced to or near the Arctic coastline between 9 and 7 thousand years ago, and retreated to their present position by between 4 and 3 thousand years ago,

* during the period of maximum forest extension, the mean July temperature along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5 to 7 deg C warmer than present,

* the period from 1550 to 1900 may have been the coldest period in the entire Holocene… The Little Ice Age (LIA), during which glaciers advanced on all continents, and

* Glaciers started to retreat around 1850 but between 1880 and 1890 there were glacier advances. In the early 20th century, glacier recession continued, with interruptions by some periods of advance. The most rapid glacial retreat took place between the 1920s and 1940s.

Those of your readers interested in exploring ACIA, 2005 in greater detail will find it at


George Lloyd
Sydney, Australia” Email to Benny Peiser, CCNet

Media, alarmist blogosphere, breathless over Baffin


Many of you have probably read the breathless media reports ( here, here, here) trumpeting that “changes occurring at a remote Arctic lake are unprecedented over the past 200,000 years and likely are the result of human-caused climate change, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder”. Of course, the alarmist blogosphere went predictably nuts. Patrick Michaels takes the reports apart (read his entire post):

“There is a bit of press covering a just-published paper that concludes that the current climate and ecological conditions in a remote lake along the north shore of Canada’s Baffin Island are unique within the past 200,000 years—and anthropogenic global warming is the root cause. Which of course, spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

Somehow, that temperatures there were several degrees higher than present for a good third of the past 10,000 years and that there has been virtually no temperature trend in the area during past 50 years—the time usually associated with the greatest amount of human-caused “global warming”—was conveniently downplayed or ignored.

Go figure. …

Figure 1 shows the summer (June, July August) average temperature from the weather station located at Clyde, Northwest Territory, which is located on Baffin Island very near the site of the lake. There is no trend here from 1943 to 2008, the period of available data. The most remarkable events are a couple of very cold summers and one very warm summer—all in the 1970s. Summers in the most recent decade are little different than summers in the 1950s—hardly a sign that human-caused “global warming” has made environmental conditions there particularly unique.” “Baffling island



(The bit of alarmism below is the subject of a Marc Morano editorial here.)

“Global warming will leave the Arctic Ocean ice-free during the summer within 20 years, raising sea levels and harming wildlife such as seals and polar bears, a leading British polar scientist said on Thursday.

Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, said much of the melting will take place within a decade, although the winter ice will stay for hundreds of years.” “Arctic To Be Ice-Free In Summer In 20 Years: Scientist

Yamal cherry picking


[I’m late on the Yamal tree ring story — ‘been away for two weeks — but I’m including it here for completeness]

“Most of the proxy data does not show anything unusual about the 20th century. But two data series have reappeared over and over that do have a hockey stick shape. One was the flawed bristlecone data that the National Academy of Sciences panel said should not be used, so the studies using it can be set aside. The second was a tree ring curve from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia, compiled by UK scientist Keith Briffa.

Briffa had published a paper in 1995 claiming that the medieval period actually contained the coldest year of the millennium. But this claim depended on just three tree ring records (called cores) from the Polar Urals. Later, a colleague of his named F. H. Schweingruber produced a much larger sample from the Polar Urals, but it told a very different story: The medieval era was actually quite warm and the late 20th century was unexceptional. Briffa and Schweingruber never published those data, instead they dropped the Polar Urals altogether from their climate reconstruction papers.

In its place they used a new series that Briffa had calculated from tree ring data from the nearby Yamal Peninsula that had a pronounced Hockey Stick shape: relatively flat for 900 years then sharply rising in the 20th century. This Yamal series was a composite of an undisclosed number of individual tree cores. In order to check the steps involved in producing the composite, it would be necessary to have the individual tree ring measurements themselves. But Briffa didn’t release his raw data.

Over the next nine years, at least one paper per year appeared in prominent journals using Briffa’s Yamal composite to support a hockey stick-like result. The IPCC relied on these studies to defend the Hockey Stick view, and since it had appointed Briffa himself to be the IPCC Lead Author for this topic, there was no chance it would question the Yamal data.

Despite the fact that these papers appeared in top journals like Nature and Science, none of the journal reviewers or editors ever required Briffa to release his Yamal data. Steve McIntyre’s repeated requests for them to uphold their own data disclosure rules were ignored.

Then in 2008 Briffa, Schweingruber and some colleagues published a paper using the Yamal series (again) in a journal called the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, which has very strict data-sharing rules. Steve sent in his customary request for the data, and this time an editor stepped up to the plate, ordering the authors to release their data. A short while ago the data appeared on the Internet. Steve could finally begin to unpack the Yamal composite.

It turns out that many of the samples were taken from dead (partially fossilized) trees and they have no particular trend. The sharp uptrend in the late 20th century came from cores of 10 living trees alive as of 1990, and five living trees alive as of 1995. Based on scientific standards, this is too small a sample on which to produce a publication-grade proxy composite. The 18th and 19th century portion of the sample, for instance, contains at least 30 trees per year. But that portion doesn’t show a warming spike. The only segment that does is the late 20th century, where the sample size collapses. Once again a dramatic hockey stick shape turns out to depend on the least reliable portion of a dataset.

But an even more disquieting discovery soon came to light. Steve searched a paleoclimate data archive to see if there were other tree ring cores from at or near the Yamal site that could have been used to increase the sample size. He quickly found a large set of 34 up-to-date core samples, taken from living trees in Yamal by none other than Schweingruber himself! Had these been added to Briffa’s small group the 20th century would simply be flat. It would appear completely unexceptional compared to the rest of the millennium [see graph].

Combining data from different samples would not have been an unusual step. Briffa added data from another Schweingruber site to a different composite, from the Taimyr Peninsula. The additional data were gathered more than 400 km away from the primary site. And in that case the primary site had three or four times as many cores to begin with as the Yamal site. Why did he not fill out the Yamal data with the readily-available data from his own coauthor? Why did Briffa seek out additional data for the already well-represented Taimyr site and not for the inadequate Yamal site?

Thus the key ingredient in most of the studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series, depends on the influence of a woefully thin subsample of trees and the exclusion of readily-available data for the same area. Whatever is going on here, it is not science.” “Ross McKitrick: Defects in key climate data are uncovered

Arctic armageddon!


Let’s see, the planet’s been cooling for a decade, the oceans have been cooling in recent years, ice is accumulating in the antarctic, the arctic was warmer in the 1930s and 1940s than today, but recently ocean currents have shifted, as they periodically do, temporarily bringing warmer water northward, and somehow this must be a man made calamity:

“Scientists say it’s a natural process — in one period the cold waters will have the upper hand, and in the next it’s the other way round. But the rapidly increasing temperatures of the subtropical oceans suggest that the balance could be tilted beyond natural variability, [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute scientist Ruth] Curry says.

“We’ve actually measured the waters at their source and have seen their temperature going up, up, up in a way that can’t be explained without taking into account human influences,” she says. …

Helge Drange, professor of oceanography at Norway’s University of Bergen [says] “This can only be understood as a combined effect of natural variability and manmade warming” …

To many scientists, however, the shifts in ocean currents are no cause for celebration. Even if there’s natural variability, there’s concern that global warming may make the fluctuations more extreme.

And while some species thrive in warmer water, others that live on the edge of the Arctic, such as polar bears and seals, find their habitat melting away.

We’re heading off to a climate extreme and this is just going to snowball,” says Curry, reflecting on the state of the global climate on the Greenpeace icebreaker hosting the Woods Hole research team.

I think that we’ve done it, really kicked Earth’s climate system. And that says a lot,” she says. “It’s a beast. It’s huge. And to have moved it in as short a period of time as a 100 years, basically, to have done that is enormous.”” “Warming ocean melts Greenland glaciers, alters marine ecosystems” h/t reader Larry

Jeff Id is pissed


I don’t know what to do with this rubbish paper. It’s so damn bad that people won’t believe it, yet it’s deliberately constructed in a way to make the whole thing difficult to fix. The only way I can see would be to publish a dozen papers showing non-hockey stick graphs from similar data. These would be ignored and fought back with the claim that we had chosen the wrong proxies, yet the only difference would be we had not deliberately chosen hockey stick proxies.

I propose new global policy on data handling and safety. Under my plan, the ever functional UN government would form an independently funded arm called – The Data Rights and Safe Treatment Commission (DRaSTiC) to protect innocent data from confessing under extreme duress created by scientific torture. In similar fashion to the IPCC it should be founded on three principles.

1 – Does data get tortured

2 – If the data get’s tortured, was the torture caused by man and is it dangerous to the data’s conclusion.

3 – If problems are found, how can we mitigate the problem to create a safer world for innocent data.

It would be interesting to see what that independent organization found, how expensive a solution to #3 could be developed and whether it still exists after a century. Yes these are analogous to the founding principles of the non-scientific political organization masquerading as an authority, the UN IPCC and yes you need to understand the history of the IPCC to understand them.” “Waterboarding

Arctic: no hockey stick here


Lucy Skywalker’s site shows all the individual arctic temperature graphs full size. Note the graphs show the 1930s to be warmer than today, e.g., view the Ilusissat, Greenland, graph. H/t Jeff Id