Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cool. Really, really cool. Cooling.

Maybe Greenland isn't melting after all. (From Newsbusters blog.)
For years, climate alarmists in the media have loved showing video footage of Greenland glaciers slipping into the ocean in order to evoke feelings of global warming gloom and doom in the citizenry.

On Friday, the journal Science is publishing a seventeen year study of Greenland's ice sheet that flatly contradicts all such hysterical reports and claims.

In fact, the paper concludes that such melting is a normal summertime event, and that when looked at over a longer period of time, there has been little change in the ice sheets in this region, and even possibly a slowing in glacial movement.

Imagine that.
Yes. Imagine.

NYT dot earth link to article.

Still poking around doing some googling and so on, and what do I find: Daily Arctic Sea Ice Maps, you can compare the sea ice on any two dates... go on, have a go. It's a fun new smack-a-believer game.


Tenney Naumer said...

Hello, I am a non-scientist student of the effects of climate change. I have posted some 266 articles on my own blog. The article concerning Greenland that you mentioned was only in reference to a particular location on the Greenland ice sheet which generally does not exhibit as much melting as other regions of Greenland. The Science article is not available to non-subscribers, so it is not possible for me to read the entire article, but one of the authors did leave a caveat on the Dot Earth blog that you linked to.

With reference to the comparison of two dates on the Cryosphere site, I look at their depictions, every day, and I compare the present date with the same date in 2007. One must remember that sea ice extent is generally measured in area, not volume, so that "extent" does not give a true picture of what is actually going on. This year, the ice is melting a lot from the warm water underneath, instead of being blown out of the Arctic by strong winds as it was last year. You can see an update at the National Snow and Ice Data Center's page which talks about current conditions.

Please don't take what you read at first glance. Dig, and then dig some more. This is the only way to really learn the facts.

Wand said...


So you are a non-scientist student. Hmm I’m not sure what that means but reading your post here, I’m not sure what points you are trying to make.

You seem to be suggesting that even if the ice sheet is larger now than predicted by the National Snow and Data Ice Centre, then something else is happening.
You say one of the authors left a caveat. Who was it and was it this? “Dr. van de Wal said the picture of what makes Greenland’s ice stable or unstable is still evolving. “This time we do not predict a disaster, but who knows what the next finding will [teach] us,” he said.”

And you look at the data each day and you say that no matter what the area of the ice happens to be, it is melting from warm water underneath. And you say please don’t take what you read at first glance but dig for the ‘facts’.

Tenney, one interesting fact about all this AGW / climate change debate is that it has become highly politicised. The extent of the deceit and corruption of science for personal and collective agendas would make a good script for a spy novel but the tragedy is that it is being used as a means to take control over people’s lives and livelihoods. I’m not sure if you are aware of a little more of the debate but try here and here and here.

Irrespective of what you say may be happening in Greenland, it is not the harbinger of some impending climate catastrophe. BTW, if you are a believer in the AGW theory that increased levels of CO2 is dangerous and responsible for increased global temperatures (that actually have not increased over the last ten years), then a little elementary Thermodynamics will tell you that heat can only flow from a warmer to a colder body and the rate of the heat flow is a function of the temperature difference. If the atmosphere is warming and the seas warming as a result of increased temperatures, the thermal mass of water is so great that any warming from the air will be a very long and slow process. In fact the research finding that historically CO2 levels have increased about 800 - 1,000 years after an increase in global temperature provides an indication of the time taken for the oceans to take in any additional heat in the atmosphere. So if the ice sheets in Greenland are melting from warm water underneath (faster than previously?), that process cannot be due to any warming of the atmosphere (that has not warmed over the last ten years anyway). The process, if it is occurring, is due to other factors.

Actually one thing that strikes me about all this ‘stuff’ is how unscientific it gets. For example extrapolating a time varying series (which really describes the climate) in a linear fashion. You could take almost any of these curves that show temperature or sea levels over time and apply a polynomial trend instead of the ridiculous straight line favoured by the alarmists. But if you do that, you get a different picture. Oh dear, I’ve done it with a few of the graphs using the data in the public domain. See here and here. These curves use the raw data from the University of Colorado (web address on curve). The trend line fitted to the first figure is a third order polynomial whereas the trend line fitted to the second figure is a sixth order polynomial with the higher the order, the better the fit. If you look at theses curves you will not see any reason for being alarmed about the evidence. No doubt that is why you never see this type of graph. And you can do the same thing with just about all the other data like this pushed by the global warming believers.

But enough of this. The sun is the true driver of the climate on earth. I suggest this link for starters. Then go digging wide and far. “Dig, and then dig some more. This is the only way to really learn the facts.”

BTW each link on your most recent blog entry links back to the same page and not the particular site.

SmartlikeStreetcar said...

How about this clarification from the scientist who wrote the article.

The relevant quote: The bottom line, Dr. van de Wal said, is that Greenland is still losing much more ice than is being added through snowfall, and more losses will come in a warming world.

Wand said...

The relevant quote: The bottom line, Dr. van de Wal said, is that Greenland is still losing much more ice than is being added through snowfall, and more losses will come in a warming world.

Hmmm - I think we have our own version of people like that. Have you ever heard of Tim Flannery who has made all sorts of false claims?

I guess Van de Wal hasn’t read this story. Still Tim Flannery lives on a different planet too.

Wand said...


If you’re still around, here’s another excellent summary of the current state of play in this saga.

Remember, in your own words,
Please don't take what you read at first glance. Dig, and then dig some more. This is the only way to really learn the facts.