Data or Politics

The media advocates in AGW aren’t going to let facts get in the way of the data.  They will find any scientist which discusses data that show warming, melting and acidification whether it’s real or not.  Today I ran across an article which demonstrates more of the same mentality which is absolutely pervasive in AGW media.

Another tough summer for Arctic sea ice

The annual melt-back of Arctic Ocean sea ice is deepening — driven by the arrival of warmer weather and the thinness of the winter ice that rebuilt after last summer’s melt.

As of the latest readings posted at the National Snow and Ice Data Center on June 1, it looks for the moment like the melt-back’s pace is flirting with the 2007 record.

They then go on to report

How much farther the ice will retreat this year remains an open question. Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., say much depends on seasonal weather patterns through summer’s end.

May’s decline was about average, the center notes. But given the thinness of the ice that emerged from winter and its growing predominance over hardier multi-year ice, NSIDC researchers say they expect 2009 to be another year when the amount of sea ice left at summer’s end will fall short of the 1979-2000 average.

I’m impressed in general with the NSIDC, they do have their own advocates though.  We must not ever forget that their funding is dependant on how bad the climate crisis is – unlike big oil who’s profits go up when they cannot drill (another point we shouldn’t forget).  Oil companies will drill to gain market share if they are allowed, if they are not allowed by politics – higher profit.

Enter Jennifer Francis, a researcher at Rutger University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. She and four colleagues asked a simple question: If you look at real-world measurements, what sort of local and distant effects show up during years where summer sea ice scrapes bottom, figuratively speaking.

In a phone chat, she summarized what she and her team found.

During periods of larger than average summer sea-ice retreat, of course, more dark ocean is exposed to the sun. So the ocean absorbs heat, then releases it back into the atmosphere as fall sets in. This slows the pace at which the near-surface layer of air, the so-called boundary layer, cools.

In the Arctic, this layer typically tends to be very stable and very low to the ground compared with other parts of the globe. The extra warmth the oceans release, however, keeps this layer relatively warm. The warm air expands, increases the thickness of the boundary layer. This, in turn, enables it to hold more heat, Dr. Francis explains. This whole sequence slows the freezing process, retarding the return of winter ice.

This added warmth also allows the air to hold more moisture as seawater evaporates. Clouds increase. The clouds act as a blanket, trapping heat near the surface. And since the clouds appear in the fall, when the hours of daylight up there rapidly dwindle to zero, this heat-trapping effect offsets any cooling one might expect from cloud tops reflecting sunlight back into space.

So far, this is all local to the Arctic region.

It all seems reasonable.

But, Francis continues, her team also saw that the jet stream weakens during the fall and winter following a leaner than normal summer’s worth of Arctic sea ice. The jet stream is a high-altitude, high-speed river of air that spins off eddies that become storm systems. It also steers the storms. Its strength is governed by the size of the temperature differences between the southern and northern portions of the hemisphere. And the net warming effect of low-sea-ice seasons reduces that north-south temperature difference.

The weakened jet stream and shifted storm tracks bring drier-than-normal conditions to much of North America, Alaska, and northern Europe. Conditions tend to be wetter than normal along eastern Greenland, through much of the western and central Mediterranean, Japan, and a patch of the Pacific Northwest.

So we have a weather pattern change which will again apply to decreasing the arctic ice this year.

“Some models do get some of this right,” Francis says, pointing to yet-to be published work by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. The key, she says, is the impact of ice extent on the Arctic’s boundary layer.

Well what do you think?  Do the warmers models have it right this time?  The news article put up the NSIDC’s latest graph at the head of the post.

NSIDC Arctic Ice Extent
NSIDC Arctic Ice Extent
They used this graph despite the NSIDC’s own admission to bad data.

Update: May 26 2009 The daily image update has been temporarily suspended because of large areas of missing data in the past week. NSIDC currently gets its data from the SSM/I sensor on the DMSP F13 satellite, which is nearing the end of its operational life and experiencing intermittent problems.

NSIDC has been working on a transition to a newer sensor on the F17 satellite for several months. At this time, we have more than a year of data from F17, which we are using to intercalibrate with F13 data. The F17 data are not yet available for near-real-time updates. We will resume posting daily updates as soon as possible, either from F13, if the present problem is resolved, or from F17, when the transition is complete.

Actually the data going back several months has problems causing the removal ofNOAA 15 data from the record.  The NOAA 13 replacement then failed but fortunately NOAA 17 is flying so eventually that will be the satellite data for the continuing record.

We’ll see what that delivers.  You can see the May line dropping in the graph above pulling away from the mean.  In the meantime JAXA is measuring the same ice cap using a different satellite apparently on a different planet.

ASMR-E High Resolutiong Satellite Sea Ice Data
ASMR-E High Resolution Satellite Sea Ice Data

You clearly can see the red line for 2009 is tracking right along the average for the last 5 years and is currently higher than any year except 2003.

It’s likely leading into copenhagen this year predictions are going to become ever more dire and outlandish.  Unfortunately for the advocates, this is again a cold year with near zero anomalies for global temperature.  An average year, not warmer or cooler than the records show.

Watts Up With That has an interesting report reporting a near zero anomaly forUAH.

UAH_May09-520

UAH global temperature anomaly for May – down again, near zero

No global warming again but that won’t stop the media onslought.  The media won’t let the data slow them from continuing our march toward world-wide socialist governance.  You may find that statement extreme, in which case my opinion is – you aren’t paying attention.

35 thoughts on “Data or Politics

  1. #1 If I had any time, I’d do another post on that.

    Did you leave a link on WUWT so Anthony could see it?

    Anti-science! Maybe I’ll make time tonight.

  2. from climate progress thread:

    68. dhogaza Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    In the meantime JAXA is measuring the same ice cap using a different satellite apparently on a different planet.

    ASMR-E High Resolutiong Satellite Sea Ice Data

    ASMR-E High Resolution Satellite Sea Ice Data

    You clearly can see the red line for 2009 is tracking right along the average for the last 5 years and is currently higher than any year except 2003.

    I just looked, magnified the graph, and …

    1. The red line for 2009 has been right at the 2008 line – which became the 2nd lowest minimum recorded – until very recently.

    2. In the past couple of days, right past the June bump due to the semi-annual shift in measurement algorithm, the red line has taken a steep dive down with a slope greater than that shown in 2008.

    3. This means that your favorite source shows current extent less than 2008, and equal to 2002, with a much steeper slope.

    Matches very well with the NSIDC graph.

    Next time you post a data source, try not to pull an Anthony, i.e. make sure it supports your claim.

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/06/05/nsidc-director-serreze-death-spiral-arctic-ice-wattsupwiththat/#comment-67190

  3. #3

    And if you look at the actual data you’ll see that 2004 is below 2009 right now but came with the second highest minimum, so what’s your point? Where they are right now is not going to tell you where they wind up.

  4. Read the article carefully.””NSIDC researchers say they expect 2009 to be another year when the amount of sea ice left at summer’s end will fall short of the 1979-2000 average.”” This is probably true based the way ice melts whether there is lots of multiyear ice or not. The 1970-2000 average is higher than 2008 to 2009 ice. This should not be a suprise. It would be statistically naive to think that the ice rebound should occur in one year, or the two that we have. The increasing trend, if it occurs at all, should take years, not one year. With the wind patterns seen in recent years, it is even more of a certain bet, as linked above. The article correctly represents what many scientists’ current thoughts are about the Arctic in particular. They may be right. The actual answer remains open till the data come in. But the bet would be considered a safe one.

    “”But, Francis continues, her team also saw that the jet stream weakens during the fall and winter following a leaner than normal summer’s worth of Arctic sea ice. The jet stream is a high-altitude, high-speed river of air that spins off eddies that become storm systems. It also steers the storms. Its strength is governed by the size of the temperature differences between the southern and northern portions of the hemisphere. And the net warming effect of low-sea-ice seasons reduces that north-south temperature difference.”” What a great out. Possibility for press release June 2010. Press: “Francis, the Arctic did not melt as you predicted June 2009. What happened?” Francis: “As you know we predicted another major loss due to local effects that we stated in our 2009 prediction. The local effects were somewhat reduced with respect to 2007 and 2008 but within the expected variance. We expect this year’s melt to correspond better to the 2007 melt and see a decrease in ice as we predicted last year. If not this year, then the next. The long-term trend of the past twenty years will reassert itself shortly.”” Press “There you have it. Ice melt is within expected trends and the continued loss is expected to occur as long as we continue emitting so much CO2.””

    And this will be a correct or conservative estimate until the data shows different. One year does not make a trend. Just like temperature, one year does not a trend; 8 or 10 years and estimates might end up below the 95% confidence as has occured with temperatures.

    If the estimate that the heat pipe is about 5 years, and this year is cool with 2 years of increasing ice, we will be at that 8 years or so, and many “doom and gloom” ice predictions may be at or below that 95% confidence. IF and ONLY IF, the increase in ice continues.

    The data will tell.

  5. Models have been failing to predict the rate of decline up until now (it was happening much faster than they said it would) so I doubt they have any utility in the future.

  6. The warm air expands, increases the thickness of the boundary layer. This, in turn, enables it to hold more heat, Dr. Francis explains. This whole sequence slows the freezing process, retarding the return of winter ice.

    Could a meteorologist please explain this statement and whether or not it is entirely accurate?

  7. I think it’s the same reason why, if you’re trapped in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard, you build an igloo. Then, you take a candle in matches (which you’re sure to have on your person) and light it inside the igloo (you need a vent at the top, of course). The burning candle acts to heat up the air inside the igglo, and the inside layer of the igloo melts a bit and re-freezes, better trapping the warm air inside, keeping you nice and cozy.

    Actually, it’s entirely possible that this has nothing at all to do with what he’s saying, but I’ve been itching to find some way to use that little “Survivor Biology” tidbit for some time now. That was back in high school. Those were the days.

    My favorite day was when the teacher came in and announced, in very dramatic fashion, “Today, we’re going to learn how to make fire… (dramatic pause, enter low voice) from water!” It was about shaping a piece of ice into a lens and then using that to focus the sun. I have yet to see or hear of it being applied in practice, but it’s a great memory.

    But I digress…

  8. Re #9 When air is warmed it certainly expands and when the surface is warmer the boundary layer expands also but the way the statement is worded seems confusing to me. “The whole sequence slows the freezing process” yeah obviously if it is warmer the freezing process will be slowed.

    Sorry Page48 I am a meteorologist and it makes little sense to me.

  9. RE: #10 Were you trying to answer my question in #9?

    Weird. I want to hear about adiabatic stuff.

    I still wish a meteorologist would answer my question, though.

    Thanks, #10, for taking the time, though. LOL

  10. “Sorry Page48 I am a meteorologist and it makes little sense to me.,/b>

    Hey Scott – thanks for answering but there may be some confusion here. I didn’t make that statement. The statement was made by Dr. Francis and quoted in Jeff’s post.

    It didn’t make sense to me either, but, since you are a meteorologist, please explain why it doesn’t make sense.

  11. RE: #14

    Don’t take “facts” too literally. Measurement techniques have a huge impact on recorded data.

    Helloooooooooooooooooo!!!

    I didn’t read the paper you referenced, but the first viable weather satellite went up around that time, so I wouldn’t put any significance on temperature changes that occurred around then.

  12. Jeff if you go to the NSDIC website, there is this interesting comment:

    Arctic sea ice reflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate.

    Have you ever wondered what the difference in albedo for ice versus water really is in polar climes, given the nearly grazing incidence angle at these extreme latitudes?

    John F. Pittman:

    This is probably true based the way ice melts whether there is lots of multiyear ice or not

    Which raises my second question: Does it really get warm enough for the ice to melt, or are there other processes that are responsible for the ice loss?

    Just curious.

  13. #12 – Well, I started thinking I had an answer to your question, but then as I was putting my thoughts together and re-read the quote, I started to think that it wasn’t the answer to the question. But by that time, I had already committed to the story. If nothing else, I try to lighten things up a bit. You guys are all pretty serious. At the office, we would handle guys like you by switching letters on your computer keyboard or something.

    Not that I’m complaining. I learn a lot of good stuff here. And I’m really kind of a geek myself when it comes down to it. But every now and then you just need to build yourself an igloo and try to start an ice fire. Or maybe not. I guess it’s a choice we all have to make on our own.

  14. #17 – And you wonder why it’s difficult to take your blog seriously. You’re a moron.

  15. RE: #’s 17 & 18

    Cool – we all need all the lightheartedness we can get. Hell, when you find yourself on the verge of being condemned to slave labor, what else is one to do? I liked the igloo story.

    I’m not a guy – for some stupid reason that always bothers me.

    I still wish some meteorologist would answer my question!

    Meanwhile, it’s Friday night and I’m going to listen to my old Jan and Dean records. Wasn’t life fun in the 60’s!! Gulag Surf

  16. Is it not true that in the years of low extent it has been related more to winds and current pushing the ice out and south rather than local melt? The other item is that since the low extent happens at times of low insolation, does not the act of re-freezing end up with a net cooling the sea? The latent heat gets transferred to the air and radiated out. I have always understood the icecap keeps the ocean warm, just like the igloo analogy.

  17. re 9

    The warm air expands, increases the thickness of the boundary layer. This, in turn, enables it to hold more heat, Dr. Francis explains. This whole sequence slows the freezing process, retarding the return of winter ice

    The warming of the boundary layer increases its heat capacity. This means that more heat has to be withdrawn to lower its temperature so it stays warmer as heat is transferred to the ocean. So the ocean does not cool as fast and so does not freeze as fast.

    The process shows a hysteresis effect. The detailed physics of teh system will depend on its recent history. Freezing will be faster at the same air temperature depending on the history of the boundary layer. Hysteresis is used in electrons circuits for similar reasons. The operation of the circuit will vary depending on its history

    I don’t know if this reasoning has any merit but that is what it seems to say.

  18. Hi Jeff

    I’ve tried to post this several times but can’t see that it stuck, so am trying again

    Thanks for nominating me as official arctic historian over on WUWT. The extra money will come in useful 🙂

    It’s going to be a very hot summer here in the UK -according to our famously accurate Met office- so I don’t know if I can focus my thoughts on arctic ice for a few months. (update 46F at 3pm today!!) When I do, I will write an article on Arctic events and civilisations through the ages, with particular emphasis on how they demonstrate periods of surprising warmth-surprising to those of us who had previously believed the Arctic was a perpetually cold wilderness.

    A warmer arctic in the past is core to refuting AGW and consequently I can’t believe no one has written up the story before now. So if anyone reading this has come across a good article on the subject please let me know as it will save me a lot of trouble. 🙂

    If not I will put something together that is robust enough to stand scrutiny against the howls of outrage that will surely follow such a direct contradiction to the AGW narrative. Hopefully you will be able to provide a home for the article here.

    Best regards

    Tonyb

  19. #16, I wonder about that some so here is what’s been rolling around my head for a while. The problem is more complex than can be covered in a comment. I could do a whole post on this.

    I work in optics so when I think about the ocean it has a texture to the surface. From snell’s law we know there is contact surface reflectivity of the water based on the contact angle and index of refraction.

    If I imagine the incidence of high angle light on a wave surface the most grazing incidence light will come from a very small portion of the area (tip’s of waves or something). The rest of the water is in shadow (back of the wave) or the front of the wave has a very minimal specular (specular is like a mirror) reflective component.

    The color of the particulates in the water is fairly dark and creates an additional diffuse reflection but this reflection is not dependent on angle and has little effect on the specular reflection created by Snells law. Therefore I don’t believe there is much difference in absorbed energy between 60 degree angle light and 0 degree (overhead), it’s probably near 90% on water. The arctic is a different story however.

    After 60 degrees from direct overhead, the problem becomes more extreme and snells law begins reflecting about 17 percent of the energy that contacts the surface yet the texture of the waves will reduce that somewhat. At 80 degrees a the light can contact is the tips of the waves and a much higher percent is specularly reflected.

    In the arctic circle the light (on a sunny day) is primarily at a high angle of incidence where the color of the water is unimportant. This light is basically lost to the water. I think the Arctic water has a very high degree of reflectivity to the sunlight for most of the year – completely independent of color.

    Every summer, the ice retreats for a couple of months and springs back. During those summer months the water can see light up to about 43 degrees from normal on the summer day side on the night side it drops to zero. This light is absorbed by the ocean and reflected by snow at least in the visible spectrum.

    Snow on the other hand is a very rough surface which is highly diffuse with a higher base reflectance level. This creates a situation where the reflectivity is more independent of angle but not totally.

    In the end I think the net arctic albedo is higher for a very short period of time every year in late summer. The scientists are too quick to make conclusions about its color because most don’t study optics and the water looks dark so why not. They quote albedo change as though it is well known, something I very much doubt due to sensor limitations. However, I havn’t read any albedo studies for the water vs ices and if someone has one it might be fun.

    In the meantime even a mirror floating on the water would only show the blue of the sky unless you looked perfectly into it to see the sun.

  20. Snow on the other hand is a very rough surface which is highly diffuse with a higher base reflectance level. This creates a situation where the reflectivity is more independent of angle but not totally.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking too. You’d probably expect more polar warming from sun hitting the snow than from reflecting from polar water.

    However, I havn’t read any albedo studies for the water vs ices and if someone has one it might be fun.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t been done. I did a cursory look at this question and I found a lab exercise which did it wrong. They aren’t taking into account the shallow angles of incidence either.

    Regarding #20, this is an extremely point. I wonder if people have thought about what happens when ocean currents drag ice south out of the polar region, allowing it to melt…

    Doesn’t this represent a net loss of heat for the Arctic region?

  21. After some remarks on Alaska, I tried to access UAH’s page with temperature trend maps. No dice, it’s down. But I did find this somewhat dated map:

    Satellites appear to suggest a substantial Alaskan warming after the 76 climate shift seen at the surface. What’s up with that?

  22. The AGW community is climbing farther and farther out on the limb of specificity.
    They are predicting a big El Nino and a very little bit of ice in the North.
    And they are sawing away with great vigor.
    Which side will the AGW promoters be on this year?
    They were completely wrong last year.
    But they will not regroup or reconsider; only post more rhetoric and misleading studies.
    They have in effect become hooked on year-to-year weather, which the AGW community used to claim was no way to talk about climate.
    GISS, which is Hansen’s sock puppet, is now backing and filling about solar influences, when before, they used to disdainfully and forcefully reject any role of solar variability.
    The obsession with CO2, and the unwillingness to honestly discuss their claims, are putting a great deal of strain on the AGW leadership, since the climate and the weather that makes it us is declining to cooperate.
    The rhetoric level from the AGW community is going to get much more shrill before this blows itself out.

  23. #27 – I have noticed this as wll, and it is most unusual. I have heard repeatedly that the AGW crowd does NOT related the increase in temperature to El Nino. That argument is self-defeating, unless you are making the claim that the driving factor for El Nino is Co2. However, it can easily be shown that, overall, ENSO activity between the mid 70s and end of the 20th century was elevated, and – surprise! – temperatures were elevated. Life was good for the AGWers as they looked at the 10-15-20 year trends and saw a huge slope.

    But now, we see declining slopes over time, and some negative slopes for periods as long as 12 and a half years. But we can’t count that, we hear, because 1998 had this big El Nino and we’ve seen some sharper La Ninas in the last couple years.

    So, which is it? Do we count ENSO or not? And why isn’t CO2 overwhelming the overall ENSO effect if CO2 is the primary driver of temperature?

    Making things mre confusing is that they seem all giddy with excitement that an El Nino seems to be on its way. Why? They’re not suggesting that this, in some way, will be used to support AGW theory, are they? And what, then, will they do after this next El Nino passes?

    It’s silly. I mean, there are certain to be El Ninos even in periods of cooling, just as there are La Ninas in periods of warming. The PDO and ENSO long term phases are into the negative. This doesn’t mean the shorter cycles still won’t show themselves. It is less likely as we go through the next 30-40 years that we will see as many, as lenghty, and as severe El Ninos. It is more probable that we will see more, lengthier, and more severe La Ninas. The deviations from the “wave” don’t differ all that much, but the location of where we are on the wave is getting lower all the time.

    I believe it’s likely that we’ll see an El Nino event on the way, but I would guess it will be an average sized one.

    But what do I know? I just look at numbers. I’m not one of these really smart climatologists.

  24. Well, the wings mopped the floor with penguin feathers! 5-0 lol
    can’t win at foot ball try hockey . lions eat penguins?

    heat on yet again to night! i see uk is at 46?
    our low is 46? high of 56? is this June or April?

  25. #22 Tonyb said
    June 6, 2009 at 10:24 am
    The only thing I have seen is that Greenland was colonized and every one died do to starvation.
    Norseman legends? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Viking_Expansion.svg

    news flash…. 2-5 inches of snow prediction for northwestern USA and Canada, in the area of Montana and north Dakota… now I feel better about my 46F here. now back on topic…..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelanders

  26. #28 “I have heard repeatedly that the AGW crowd does NOT related (sic) the increase in temperature to El Nino. That argument is self-defeating, unless you are making the claim that the driving factor for El Nino is Co2.” It doesn’t stop them from making the case that the MWP was local only. Since it was an unknown local warming and IPCC has admitted to the natural warming post 1650, they have no way of determining whether or not the current warming is just two or three large local warmings occurring simutaneously using their methodology. This is where the faith of GCM’s comes in. I consider it faith, since faith is the evidence of things unseen. The modellers themselves say that if you want to know if the models are correct a 100 years out, you have to wait 90 to 100 years OR perhaps longer, that pesky statistical nature of AR(1) noise, not to mention long term persistence eefect. So it won’t be any of us in this argument who see whether the modellers got it right.

  27. RE: #28 “I have heard repeatedly that the AGW crowd does NOT related (sic) the increase in temperature to El Nino. That argument is self-defeating, unless you are making the claim that the driving factor for El Nino is Co2.”,

    Rational arguments involving cause and effect don’t matter to the AGWE’s anymore. All that matters to them is higher global temps. They can and will push the AGW agenda harder if higher temps prevail for a given period even if they know the reason for any given periodic higher temps has no direct connection to CO2. They know it’s all a matter of public perception. They count on it.

    RE: #21, Thanks for the explanation!

    Re: #22 – Tony, can’t wait to read your Arctic history. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

  28. #30

    “Well, the wings mopped the floor with penguin feathers! 5-0 lol”

    Of course, that’s after “the consensus” had it that the Red Wings were too old and tired to keep up with the fresher and younger Penguins. Which was, of course, determined after “the consensus” was established after the first two games of the series that the Penguins were too young and inexperienced to give the Wings a decent battle.

    A funny thing happens when “the consensus” can be tested on a less than a 100 year time frame…

  29. Jeff Id- If/when the MSM ever want the reality of “climate change” explained, I would like to nominate this gentleman, Mr. McNelis, as a spokesperson: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2009/jun/05/burger-king-climate-change-baloney

    #34 – John M

    That game 5 was unpredictable, but that’s hockey. The next 2 games aren’t so hard tho IMO. I want to see a friday night OT game 7. Those get the old heart pumpin!!

    #30 – FC
    the lions used to eat penguins, but after the 1950’s penguins moved north from Michigan due to GW, and the lions have been starving since (that’s my theory).

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