Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Arctic Sea Ice Rebounding Rapidly










BBC Polar Bear Tragedy Porn Dressed Up As Science


In this newsletter:

1) Arctic Sea Ice Rebounding Rapidly
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 15 September 2016
 
2) Arctic Sea Ice Turns The Corner For The Year
Vencore Weather, 16 September 2016


 
3) Your Time Is Up Professor Wadhams
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 17 September 2016
 
4) Christopher Booker: The BBC On Thick Ice Again
The Sunday Telegraph, 18 September 2016
 
5) BBC Polar Bear Tragedy Porn Dressed Up As Science
Polar Bear Science, 17 September 2016
 
6) Arctic Ice Plateau Continues
Science Matters, 18 September 2016
 
7) Arctic Ice Stabilizes As Sea Surface Temps Plummet 3°C
No Tricks Zone, 17 September 2016
 
8) Greg Goodman: Is the Arctic Sea Ice ‘Spiral of Death’ Dead?
Climate Etc., 18 September 2016
 
9) Matt Ridley: Ice Scares Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be
The Times, 29 August 2016

Full details:

1) Arctic Sea Ice Rebounding Rapidly
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 15 September 2016
Paul Homewood

It is now safe to confirm that the minimum Arctic sea ice extent has now been passed this year, with an area of 4.083 million sq km on 7th September. This is 22% greater than in 2012, despite two major storms in August that led to break up of ice.

osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_enosisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en
The ice has been regrowing remarkably rapidly for the last week, and already stands above the start of the month. Tentatively, we may be seeing one of the fastest September growths on record.

image
ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_nrt_v2.csv

This was also one of the earliest minimums on record, indeed the earliest since 1997. This is a good indication of just how cold it is in the Arctic at the moment.

Already, ice extent is above that of 2007 on the same date, as well as 2012.

image
ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/

Full post & comments

2) Arctic Sea Ice Turns The Corner For The Year
Vencore Weather, 16 September 2016
Paul Dorian

Source: using EUMETSAT satellite data to determine Arctic sea ice extent where sea ice concentration is greater than or equal to 15%; http://osisaf.met.no/quicklooks/sie_graphs/nh/en/osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years.png

Source: using EUMETSAT satellite data to determine Arctic sea ice extent where sea ice concentration is greater than or equal to 15%; 
http://osisaf.met.no/quicklooks/sie_graphs/nh/en/osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years.png  

Overview
Arctic sea ice extent has seemingly just passed its low point of the melting season with a rather sharp uptick in recent days (circled region). Arctic sea ice generally shrinks every year during the spring and summer seasons until it reaches its minimum yearly extent around this time. Sea ice then typically regrows during the frigid fall and winter seasons when the sun is below the horizon in the Arctic. The apparent end to this year’s melting season in the Arctic around September 10th was actually a bit sooner than in some recent years and perhaps the earliest turnaround since the late 1990s.  For example, in the record low year of 2012 for Arctic sea ice extent, the turning point marking the end of the melting season took place around September 16th.

Observed AMO index, defined as detrended 10-year low-pass filtered annual mean area-averaged SST anomalies over the North Atlantic basin (0N-65N, 80W-0E), using HadISST dataset (Rayner, et al., 2003) for the period 1870-2015.;  courtesy NCAR: https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/atlantic-multi-decadal-oscillation-amo
Observed AMO index, defined as detrended 10-year low-pass filtered annual mean area-averaged SST anomalies over the North Atlantic basin (0N-65N, 80W-0E), using HadISST dataset (Rayner, et al., 2003) for the period 1870-2015.;  courtesy NCAR: https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/atlantic-multi-decadal-oscillation-amo

While Arctic sea ice extent appeared to be headed for record lows earlier this year, the melting rate changed pace and actually slowed down in the summer months. The low point just reached is clearly still below the normal value for the 1981-2000 time period, but it is actually quite comparable to the minimums seen during each of the last three years - and safely above the record low seen in 2012.  The Arctic sea ice extent has been generally below normal since the middle 1990’s at which time the northern Atlantic Ocean switched sea surface temperature phases from cold-to-warm and it is likely to return to pre-mid 1990’s levels when the ocean cycle flips back to cold. 

Full post

3) Your Time Is Up Professor Wadhams
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 17 September 2016
Paul Homewood 

image
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/17/arctic-collapse-sea-ice

Time’s up, Professor Wadhams.

It is now exactly four years ago that you forecast the demise of Arctic sea ice this summer:

One of the world’s leading ice experts has predicted the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years.

In what he calls a "global disaster" now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for "urgent" consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures.

In an email to the Guardian he says: "Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward."
 
So, what does the Arctic actually look like now?

CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20160916CICE_combine_thick_SM_EN_20160916
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/thk.uk.php

Of course, this was not the first time you made a fool of yourself, was it? At various times in the last few years, you have issued many predictions of ice free Arctics by 2013, and then 2015.

Even as recently as June this year, you were still forecasting:

“The Arctic is on track to be free of sea ice this year or next for the first time in more than 100,000 years”

Be honest. You are not actually very good at your job, are you?

4) Christopher Booker: The BBC On Thick Ice Again
The Sunday Telegraph, 18 September 2016

We have regularly over the years been regaled by the BBC with the exploits of those intrepid climate activists who travel up to the Arctic to prove that, thanks to global warming, its ice is melting away so fast that there will soon be none left.

BBC
 
In 2008 there was the bid by Gordon Pugh to paddle a kayak all the way to the North Pole. Alas, after only a few days he found it was so cold and the ice so thick that he had hastily to be rescued. In 2009 it was the expedition led by Pen Hadow which planned to walk 600 miles to the Pole, measuring just how rapidly the ice was thinning. They too found it so cold and the ice so dangerously thick that they soon had to be airlifted to safety.

This year’s expedition, led by David Hempleman-Adams, hoped to make history by sailing right round the north of Europe and North America, guided by a legendary Russian yachtsman, Nikolai Litau. Last week they triumphantly ended their journey in Canada; but only after several hairy weeks dodging huge lumps of ice in the Laptev Sea off Siberia. They were lucky, because this September the Arctic has begun its annual refreeze earlier than at any time for 19 years.

In fact the NSIDC’s satellite record shows that there is now 22 per cent more ice than there was at this time in 2012. And, far from these people being the first ever to sail in a yacht through both the North West and North East Passages, Nikolai Litau himself – as revealed by Paul Homewood on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat website – not only made both those journeys between 1996 and 2002; he took in the Antarctic as well. But we didn’t hear about that from the BBC. It wouldn’t have fitted their “narrative”.

5) BBC Polar Bear Tragedy Porn Dressed Up As Science
Polar Bear Science, 17 September 2016
Susan Crockford

Watch the BBC programme and weep not for the plight of the polar bear, but for the downfall of science journalism.

This new effort by the BBC would make the PR department of the Center for Biological Diversity proud, with it’s prominent use of animal tragedy porn pretending to be science. In contrast, the actual science shows something quite different: though summer sea ice since 2007 has declined to levels not predicted until 2040-2070, there has been virtually no negative impact on polar bear health or survival, a result no one predicted back in 2005.

 bbc-video-15-sept-2016-screencap-breaking-ice-02
Bizarrely entitled  A 3-million-year ice age is coming to an end (15 September 2016), this slick video pretends it’s promoting the recently released paper by Harry Stern and Kristen Laidre (2016) that got a lot of media attention last week (see here and here).

Who exactly suggested the profound prophesy stated in their chosen title, the BBC Earth folks don’t say: the Stern and Laidre paper certainly does not. And the use of a bear that appears to drown before our eyes is Hollywood-style emotional manipulation. Note the careful use of “might” (above) and “could” (below).

bbc-video-15-sept-2016-screencap-breaking-ice-01

Watch the videos below and weep not for the plight of the polar bear, but for the downfall of science journalism.

A 3-million-year ice age is coming to an end : A dramatic animation shows how much of the Arctic sea ice has melted away in the last 35 years. The ice loss poses a terminal threat to polar bears” (15 September 2016, BBC Earth).


Compare the above to the  2014 TV ad run by the Center for Biological Diversity to generate cash donations, which I discussed here. [....]

ABOUT THE PAPER
That summer ice loss has occurred is not news: this paper simply defines a new standardized method of describing summer sea ice loss across all polar bear habitats. As I pointed out previously, the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) added this metric to it’s polar bear status table in early 2015 (more than a year before this paper describing the method was submitted for peer review).

The Stern and Laidre method includes June as “summer” for Lancaster Sound through Southern Hudson Bay (even though bears in the Central Canadian Arctic (like Lancaster Sound) continue to feed successfully in June and July but bears in Southern Hudson Bay have pretty much finished feeding by the end of May): most Arctic analyses consider June to be spring (e.g. Pilfold et al 2015).

Full post

6) Arctic Ice Plateau Continues
Science Matters, 18 September 2016
Ron Clutz

A year ago MASIE results showed clearly that the decline of ice prior to 2007 had stabilized and increased a bit.  The graph below displays the plateau of annual average ice extents based on October 1 to September 30.  In 2 weeks we can add 2016 and see how the trend changes.

arctic-ice-ann-to-sept30

The monthly average extent for September is the climate statistic, since daily reports vary greatly due to weather, ice movements and darkening conditions, just some of the factors making it difficult to measure anything in the Arctic. […]
The rate of refreezing in the next 2 weeks should keep 2016 well ahead of 2007. The average gain of ice from now to Sept. 30 is 26k km2 per day, or 333k km2 added to the day 260 extent. In 2007 the rate was the decade’s lowest: only 3k per day for 41k km2 added by end of Sept. Last year 2015 was one of the fastest recoveries, more than twice the average.

Full post

7) Arctic Ice Stabilizes As Sea Surface Temps Plummet 3°C
No Tricks Zone, 17 September 2016

German climate and weather analyst Schneefan here Looks at the current ENSO conditions. What follows are excerpts of what he presents.

The global cooling weather phenomenon La Niña in the equatorial Pacific is steadily increasing in strength – and the NOAA has not recognized this: NOAA Cancels La Niña Watch While La Niña Conditions Exist.

The NOAA has even removed its “La Niña-Watch” last week from its ENSO weekly reports even though the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the main Niño-area 3.4 around August 31 had -0.7 K.

Der Plot zeigt den Verlauf der Abweichungen der Meeresoberflächentemperaturen (SSTA) im Niño-Gebiet 3.4. von 1990 bis Anfang September 2016. Die Abweichungen liegen Ende August/Anfang September 2016 mit - 0,7 K klar unterhalb des La Niña-Wertes von mindestens -0,5 K. Quelle:

The plot SSTA in the Niño area from 1990 to early September 2016. The end of August/early September 2016 was clearly in the La Niña range at a value of -0.7 and thus has plummeted by more than 3°C since March. Source: NOAA Cancels La Niña Watch While La Niña Conditions Exist

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is considered as the two-month leading indicator for the development of the easterly trade winds at the equatorial Pacific, and thus for the development of the ENSO. The 30-day index shows the difference between the surface atmospheric pressure between Tahiti and Darwin (Australia).

Currently it’s at +10.6 and thus clearly in the La Niña range of over +7 and rising steeply:

 Laufender 30-Tage-SOI der australischen Wetterbehörde BOM für die letzten beiden Jahre mit Stand Mitte September 2016 mit +10,6 klar im positiven Bereich. La Niña (oberhalb von +7,0) ist da,...und bleibt. Quelle: http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/
30-day SOI of the Australian BOM weather office over the pastz 2 years. Mid September 2016 the value was 10.6, well into La Niña range. That’s the highest level in over two years: La Niña is here and will be around for awhile. Source: www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

The warm surface water of the Pacific is driven westwards towards Australia, and thus bringing cooler water from the depths to the sea surface: Cold upwelling is created and leads to the La Niña.

The SOI shows a clear La Niña path for at least the coming two months.

Full post

8) Greg Goodman: Is the Arctic Sea Ice ‘Spiral of Death’ Dead?
Climate Etc., 18 September 2016

This year, as every year, there has been much excitement in the media about ‘catastrophic’ melting of Arctic sea-ice, run-away melting, tipping points, death spirals and “ice-free” summers.

There has been the usual guessing game about when exactly the minimum will / has occurred and what the ice area or extent will be on that day.

Claims of ‘ice-free’ conditions at some time in the summer have been bandied about for years in various forms but as the reality sinks in that it’s not as bad as some had claimed, the dates when this is expected happen have often been pushed out beyond the life expectancy of those making the claims.

The meaning of “ice-free” has also been the subject of some serious goal-post relocation efforts, we are now told that ‘ice-free’ does actually mean free of ice, it means there will be less than one million square km of ice left.

This special branch of mathematics is apparently based on the axiom that zero = 10^6

The problem with this obsessive focusing on one single data point out of 365, is that there is a lot of short term, weather driven variability that can affect the exact timing and size of the minimum in ice coverage. Since the main interest ( outside maritime navigational requirements ) is the hope to find some indications of long term changes in climate, this is not a very instructive way to use the detailed data available.

There have been three notably low summer minima in recent years: 2007, 2012 and 2016. The 2012 event was the lowest in the satellite record going back to 1979. The other two years tie for second place, meaning the current minimum is indistinguishable from the one which occurred nine years previously and the lowest one lies between the two. This incompatible with claims of run-away melting. This was a reasonable hypothesis and cause for concern in 2007 when the relatively short record could be characterised as an increasing rate of change but this interpretation is not compatible with what has happened since.

In the golden days of “run-away” melting, leading up to the ‘catastrophic’ 2007 Arctic sea-ice minimum, this was often presented as the ‘canary in the coal-mine’ for global warming and climate change. It is still referred to as such.

The aim here is to try to separate the changes in the annual cycle from the weather-driven and other short-term variability and to see if we can learn something about the life expectancy of our canary. […]

Full post

9) Matt Ridley: Ice Scares Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be
The Times, 29 August 2016

Doom-mongering scientists telling us that the melting Arctic is a disaster conveniently overlook vast chunks of history

Image result for Peter Wadhams crying wolf

The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is approaching its annual nadir. By early September each year about two thirds of the ice cap has melted, then the sea begins to freeze again. This year looks unlikely to set a record for melting, with more than four million square kilometres of ice remaining, less than the average in the 1980s and 1990s, but more than in the record low years of 2007 and 2012. (The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has been increasing in recent years, contrary to predictions.)

This will disappoint some. An expedition led by David Hempleman-Adams to circumnavigate the North Pole through the Northeast and Northwest passages, intending to demonstrate “that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through”, was recently held up for weeks north of Siberia by, um, ice. They have only just reached halfway.

Meanwhile, the habit of some scientists of predicting when the ice will disappear completely keeps getting them into trouble. A Nasa climate scientist, Jay Zwally, told the Associated Press in 2007: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012.” Two years later Al Gore quoted another scientist that “there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years” — that is, by now.

This year Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has a new book out called Farewell to Ice, which gives a “greater than even chance” that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free next month. Not likely.

He added: “Next year or the year after that, I think it will be free of ice in summer . . . You will be able to cross over the North Pole by ship.” The temptation to predict a total melt of the Arctic ice cap, and thereby get a headline, has been counterproductive, according to other scientists. Crying wolf does not help the cause of global warming; it only gives amusement to sceptics.

Would it matter if it did all melt one year? Here’s the point everybody seems to be missing: the Arctic Ocean’s ice has indeed disappeared during summer in the past, routinely. The evidence comes from various sources, such as beach ridges in northern Greenland, never unfrozen today, which show evidence of wave action in the past. One Danish team concluded in 2012 that 8,500 years ago the ice extent was “less than half of the record low 2007 level”. A Swedish team, in a paper published in 2014, went further: between 10,000 years ago and 6,000 years ago, the Arctic experienced a “regime dominated by seasonal ice, ie, ice-free summers”.

This was a period known as the “early Holocene insolation maximum” (EHIM). [...]
To put it in context, the EHIM was the period during which agriculture was invented in about seven different parts of the globe at once. Copper smelting began; cattle and sheep were domesticated; wine and cheese were developed; the first towns appeared. The seas being warmer, the climate was generally wet so the Sahara had rivers and forests, hippos and people.

That the Arctic sea ice disappeared each August or September in those days does not seem to have done harm (remember that melting sea ice, as opposed to land ice, does not affect sea level), and nor did it lead to a tipping point towards ever-more rapid warming. Indeed, the reverse was the case: evidence from stalagmites in tropical caves, sea-floor sediments and ice cores on the Greenland ice cap shows that temperatures gradually but erratically cooled over the next few thousand years as the obliquity of the axis and the precession of the equinoxes changed. Sunlight is now weaker in July than January again (on global average).

Barring one especially cold snap 8,200 years ago, the coldest spell of the past ten millennia was the very recent “little ice age” of AD1300-1850, when glaciers advanced, tree lines descended and the Greenland Norse died out.

It seems that the quantity of Arctic sea ice varies more than we used to think. We don’t really know how much ice there was in the 1920s and 1930s — satellites only started measuring it in 1979, a relatively cold time in the Arctic — but there is anecdotal evidence of considerable ice retreat in those decades, when temperatures were high in the Arctic. [...]

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

No comments: