the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The War on Reason Continues

Posted by Jeff Id on December 1, 2009

I’m oft accused of being a denier, a claim that I deny fervently.  Well today a paper was accepted as peer reviewed literachur and lauded across the land by the ever unbiased press — Antarctic warming is worse than we thought.  It turns out that the Ozone hole has been protecting the Antarctic ice from melting.  Now that the IPCC has ‘fixed’ the ozone hole, apparently that’s now the reason to cause the ice to melt.  In case I’m not clear later I’m going to have to deny denying that I’m a denialist on this.  After all where would we be without honesty, a truism handed down to us by reporters across the land.

In glorious fashion, hundreds of articles with wonderous and fearful titles were spread:

Melting Antarctic could double sea level rise

W. Antarctic melt to have big impact on rising sea

Sea level rise will double due to melting of Antarctica

Doubled Rise in Sea Levels Endangers Major Cities, New Study Finds

Well for those in the six figure salary press who full time report on environment  — don’t worry your pretty little heads about it, we unpaid bloggers have got this one too.  Lessee, we need science right – water melts at around 32 F or 0C at standard pressures.  So what is the temperature in the Antarctic:

The Interior
The interior of Antarctica receives the most indirect rays from the sun which makes it cooler. For long periods in the winter it receives no sunlight at all. The interior has a very high altitude which adds to the very cold temperatures.

Because the interior of Antarctica is a land mass and far away from the ocean, it gets no warming effect from the water.The interior is characterized by extreme cold and light snowfall. Raging blizzards often occur, however, when winds pick up previously deposited snow and move it from place to place. Almost continuous daylight occurs during the southern hemisphere’s summer and darkness during the southern hemisphere’s winter. On the polar plateau, temperature is controlled by solar input, latitude and altitude. The annual average temperature is -50°C (-58°F). Winter temperatures drop quickly, then level out. Summer is short, from mid-December to mid-January, however, temperatures can reach a balmy -30°C (-22°F)! This is partly due to the increase in solar radiation, but also the surface of the ice is a little darker and, therefore, less reflective after the winter. A small accumulation of fresh snow at the onset of winter quickly restores the high surface albedo.

From this link

We have average inland temperatures of -50 C, average costal temperatures of -12C and this translates into large scale melting how?  Perhaps we’re still missing the incredible complexity that is CLIMATE SCIENCE (booming voice).  Well the scientists and reporterologists claim this in the links above:

Previous research had predicted sea levels would only rise by a couple of feet (59cm) by the end of the century, however this does not include melting ice from the South Pole.

The most comprehensive study into the impact of global warming on the region by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) found ice is already melting in the West Antarctic region due to an increase in temperatures.

So the ice is already melting in the inland region in the West Antarctic,  I wonder if ‘running water has been sighted’:

The centre of the huge continent, that has been protected from the warming effect until now because of a hole in the ozone layer, is also due to warm in the future.

So the center of the continent, with an average temperature of MINUS 50 CELCIUS is going to MELT!!!  Sounds scary.  Lessee what West Antarctic temp station BYRD says about melting water….

I don’t see any temperatures above -10C  in the middle of SUMMER hmm…..  Let’s try West Antarctic Station Sipple ….

Nope nutin above -10 C, no bikini’s there either.

Ok here we go, Erin

In the December summer of 1996 we received a record high of -9.0 C .

Ya know, I ain’t buyin’ it.  I just am not a believer in this.  Can someone please tell me how these brilliant people  have determined doom and destruction from MINUS 10C ICE MELTING.

LONDON (Reuters) – Melting ice in West Antarctica could add tens of centimeters to rising sea levels over the next century, according to a report by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) on Tuesday.

I don’t think so my friends.

Climate “sceptics” said the cooling of the centre of the continent and the growth of sea ice was evidence that global warming is not affecting the region.

But Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey said the hole in the ozone layer has only temporarily protected Antarctica from warming. Since new rules outlawing CFCs have come into force the hole should “heal” and temperatures are likely to rise.

Odd statement—  Sceptics say cooling is evidence that warming is not affecting the region.  Ya know, I’ll throw in on that one.  Cooling is typically not warming unless you’re Michael Mann flipping proxies upside down. The deep irony of this is that the Ozone hole was the IPCC’s founding issue so it’s true again, politicians are responsible for climate.  It’s not weather or nature it’s politicians — and they screwed us again!! They took our money, messed up our Air Conditioning and melted the damn ice cap.

What about this:

Sea ice has actually increased by 11 percent around the Antarctic since 1980 due to stronger winds, changes in atmospheric circulation and the isolating effect of a hole in the ozone layer.

However, sea ice is declining around the Antarctic Peninsula as stronger winds bring warm, wet air into the region. Warmer water heats glaciers from underneath, causing them to break up.

Well lets see the sea ice trend from the NSIDC dataset.  I’ve plotted it here with the square in the bottom left being a zero trend.  Greener is growth, redder is shrink.  It doesn’t look like melt is that big of a deal in the peninsula regioin (finger on left side).  I see a little patch of red on the north side of the finger and at the tip.  I guess maybe there is some trend toward melting.


Of course we should show the actual increasing sea ice area over time as well.  This was also processed from the same NSIDC gridded data used for the above plot.

And of course I must finish this fun post with a reply to the comments about increased warming as it has been explored endlessly here.

Antarctic Area Temperature Trend maximum possible overlap

Since 1980 there has been no warming of the Antarctic.  Since 1950 there has been no statistically significant warming of the Antarctic.  So with a hand wave from our illustrious scientists and an green light from the ever vigilant press —- it’s the fault of the ozone hole.

trend 60 mont max overlap

Antarctic Temperature Anomaly (50 years)

Well don’t take my word for it though,  the paper is here it’s all based on fancy computer models and numerous other opaque studies.  I’m pretty sure that no matter how much redefinition of melting climate science does the actual thermometers say too cold, the sea ice data says growing, the temperature data says no warming.   I dunno what’s wrong with people when they buy this rubbish.

54 Responses to “The War on Reason Continues”

  1. Ian said

    Sigh…is there no chance that the reporters would exercise a least a little critical thought?

    Good post, Jeff.

  2. Brian B said

    So all this time the solution to global warming has been right in front of us.
    Crank up the R 12 and SPF 40.

  3. curious said

    Love it 🙂

  4. mrpkw said

    YIKES !!
    More “Doom & Gloom”
    Yes, it is “worse then we thought ” !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. curious said

    Another thing which is funny about all the present unleashing of criticsm of the “settled science” is that it is only happening because of the leaked file. No amount of reasoned, supported, evidenced argument on the blogs was getting through. And now there are still journalists reporting with disdain on the “stolen emails”. Would any of them have unearthed this story if it hadn’t been dropped into their laps? Oh, I’m forgetting – a taster was dropped at the BBC mid October but they didn’t follow up…. OMGIWTWT

  6. telecorder said

    A couple of QA/QC things…
    Are you guilty of inverting your Ice Area 30 Year trend (green square shows up in lower left yet your comment indicates lower right)

    Please link to jpg images – not png for

    [reply :] I fixed the description. Right and left were perverted thanks. I don’t understand the second comment about png.

  7. RB said

    “I don’t see any temperatures above -10C in the middle of SUMMER”

    Are you saying that there can only be frozen ice and no liquid water in Antarctica? That’s not what I see in those videos on teevee.

  8. Arthur Dent said

    I don’t remember seeing water in Antarctica, the Artic is a different kettle of fish

  9. Freddy said

    Is there any explanation of the mechanism whereby the alleged ozone hole has been preventing warming ?

  10. stan said

    Journalists signed up because they were told there would be no math on the tests. If you can’t handle the logic behind simple math, you can’t be expected to exercise much logic. Give the journalists a break. It’s not like they actually do anything any more. Someone gives them a press release and they rewrite it (mostly to put their name at the top). As long as they can spell their own names properly and they have a ready supply of press releases from their friends, they can crank out stories.

    At least until their publication goes bankrupt because fewer and fewer people are interested in reading their rewrites of press releases.

  11. RB said

    Does this water not count as part of the Antarctica studies?
    Or this one?

  12. Jeff Id said

    #11 – that’s water allright. They also have a really cool mission coming soon where they plan to drop a probe into an entrapped inland water body for exploration.

  13. matthew h said

    from page 262 of the SCAR assessment

    4.9 Long Term Sea Level Change

    The first three assessment reports of the IPCC arrived at similar conclusions with regard to
    global sea level change during the Twentieth Century. For example, the third report (Church
    et al., 2001) concluded that global sea level had changed within a range of uncertainty of 1-2
    mm/yr. Since then, there have been major workshops (e.g. World Climate Research
    Programme workshop on Sea Level Rise and Variability, Church et al., 2007), reviews by
    individual scientists (e.g. Woodworth et al., 2004), and, most recently, the publication of the
    ocean climate and sea level change chapter within the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
    (Bindoff et al., 2007). A consensus seems to have been achieved that the Twentieth Century
    rise in global sea level was closer to 2 than 1 mm/year, with values around 1.7 mm/yr having
    been obtained for the second half of the last century in the most recent studies (e.g. Church et
    al., 2004; Holgate and Woodworth, 2004). However, it should be noted that the Antarctic
    contribution to sea level now is small compared to what it was following the LGM Transition
    and through the Holocene.
    Fluctuations in the size of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets during the
    glacial/interglacial cycles resulted in sea level variations of over 120 m. However, in spite of
    the enormous sea level-equivalent of the ice stored in the two ice sheets (Table 11.3 of
    Church et al., 2001), both seem to have played relatively minor roles in sea level change
    during the last two centuries. The major contributions to Twentieth Century sea level rise are
    believed to have originated from ocean thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers and ice
    caps. Antarctica’s contribution appears to have been of the order of 0.1-0.2 mm/yr over the
    last few decades with some evidence for a slightly larger value in the 1990s (Bindoff et al.,
    The most recent data (i.e. from the 1990-2000s) from tide gauges and satellite altimeters
    suggest that global sea level is now rising at a rate of 3 mm/yr or more (e.g. Holgate and
    Woodworth, 2004; Beckley et al., 2007). The IPCC’s 4th Assessment Report cites 3.1 mm/yr
    for 1993-2003 (IPCC, 2007). However, according to Cazenave et al., (2009), and based on
    GRACE and altimetric satellite data and Argo ocean float data from 2003-2008, the rate has
    slowed to 2.5 mm/yr; this reflects a significant slow down in the thermosteric component,
    balanced by an increase in ice contributions (half from mountain glaciers and half from ice
    sheets). This is still a higher rate than typical for the Twentieth Century. As pointed out by
    Milne (2009) the latest results are not the last word and we need longer time series to be
    confident in the magnitude of the trend.
    Figure 4.45 shows a time series of annual mean sea level values from Vernadsky,
    suggesting an upward trend (uncorrected for local land movements) of 1.6 ± 0.4 mm/year,
    with a dip in the 1970s for which one has to be concerned about instrumental problems, and
    no evidence for recent acceleration. As an aside, one may note that observed Southern
    Hemisphere Twentieth Century sea level trends tend to be generally lower than Northern
    Hemisphere ones (e.g. see the long southern records studied by Hunter et al., 2003 and
    Woodworth et al., 2005).

  14. Andrew said

    Is that double the IPCC’s several inches, or double Hansen’s tens of feet?

    Sea level will rise like a foot and a half! No, wait Forty feet!

    Just assimilating these findings.

  15. Earle Williams said


    Telecorder’s comment has to do with the graphics format you use to present images. For most charts and maps the portable network graphic (PNG) format is preferable. It is a non-lossy format whereas with JPEG you generate artifacts from the lossy compression. Your graphs will appear sharper in PNG rather than JPG format. JPEG is preferable for photos, as the loss in information from compression is typically not detectable, or at least it is not nearly so pronounced.

    Wiki on image formats at

  16. Curt said

    The serious potential issue here is the ocean temperature at the edge of (and underneath) the West Antarctic ice sheet. There is melting of the ice sheet (which is not sea ice) here, and always has been. Otherwise, the ice sheet would keep pushing further and further out to sea.

    The question is whether the rate of melting here is increasing. I was recently talking to a serious earth (not atmospheric) scientist with substantial field experience in the Antarctic seas. His belief is that the ocean temperatures here have been increasing in recent decades. I find this somewhat hard to accept, given the increasing sea ice extent over those decades (and reports I’ve seen, but cannot track down now, that the temperatures have been decreasing in recent years), but this is the real issue here — not the interior temperature.

  17. Mike said

    Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) – why did they not make a clean job of this acronym: SCARE

  18. […] Criminal charges against alarmist scientists filed, Alarmist scientist steps down, Alarmist fraud exposed yet again […]

  19. Kon Dealer said

    Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey said the hole in the ozone layer has only temporarily protected Antarctica from warming. Since new rules outlawing CFCs have come into force the hole should “heal” and temperatures are likely to rise.

    The learned Professor is blowing smoke out of his a***.
    The ban on CFCs will have no effect whtasoever simply because the previous “model” (yes there’s that word again) of ozone drstruction has been shown to be fatally flawed (

    And in any case it might be down to solar cycles (

    Remember the Ozone hole scare? The Green’s jumping up and down? The Montreal Protocol?

    I do, I went to the Antarctic to research its effects. What I found (or didn’t) changed me from what you might call a “Green” to a Sceptic.

    Well it’s still up there and just as big. And guess what no blinded lifestock, fried crops or other climate didasters.

  20. stumpy said

    When will you learn that the model projections are always right, regardless of real life cooling temps and growing ice!!! Real life is simply wrong!!!!

  21. Ryan O said

    You know, even Dr. Steig admitted that the increasing surface air temperatures would not cause mass loss of the main Antarctic ice sheets. I still have the email. 😉

  22. Duh said

    warmer water on the edges=more evaporation=more precipitation=more ice

    more ice=more pressure=more movement down and out

    the cyclical water budgets were always the explanation for glacier advance and retreat until CLIMATE SCIENCE! fell in love with the CO2 molecule

  23. magellan said

    Click to access ACCE_25_Nov_2009.pdf

    Steig is one of the authorities on temperature.

    Is anyone familiar with SCAR?

  24. Jeff Id said

    #22 One of the main things that has been done here is work on an improved temperature reconstruction for the Antarctic. What we’ve all found in every post so far is that the warming trend is small and in my opinion unlikely to cause any melting.

  25. Layman Lurker said


    I believe the mechanism is less ozone = stronger polar vortex. A stronger polar vortex effectively contains the polar air within the continent and limits the influence of warmer oceans to coast/peninsula.

    As Kon Dealer stated, the notion of “anthropogenic” attribution of ozone depletion has been challenged. However, the proposed mechanism vis a vis the vortex seems plausible to me.

  26. Jeff Id said

    #25, Plausible but where’s the evidence. It’s like tree rings, there’s no evidence that this is actually what happens. I’m not disagreeing just thinking, if you read Anastassia’s posts at CA before all hell broke loose and we could no longer open the thing, she came up with a ‘very’ compelling explanation for the horsepower that drive hurricanes. The point of that is, there is a carnot engine explanation as well, both are plausible yet one is completely different than the other.

    The report read like a massive and expensive shoulder shrug to me with some cool detail inside. I admit only reading the interesting parts because of time constraints but several passages on ozone had zero support associated with them.

  27. conversefive said

    Time to get out the hair spray.

  28. Layman Lurker said


    Thinking back to all of deconstruction of Steig’s Antarctic paper, one of the things I wondered about was possible decadal scale oscillations in the polar vortex (strong to weak) due to solar cycles and the effect this may or may not have on temp covariance patterns on the same time scale. An inherent assumption of Steig et al is that covariances are stable over the temperature record.

  29. Ryan O said

    #28 If you do it right, the covariance assumption need not strictly hold. 😉

  30. Layman Lurker said


    “Right” – due to a method that is stable for higher order eigenmodes?

  31. Ryan O said

    Not quite. Directly regress the ground data against the satellite spatial structure. If the covariance between the stations change, it will emphasize certain spatial modes and de-emphasize others. The stiffness (or, conversely, flexibility) of the solution is determined by the number of satellite eigenvectors you include. There’s another way to do it, too . . . but it’s a longer explanation.

  32. Layman Lurker said

    Thanks Ryan. Makes sense. Now I am curious if there might be a detectable solar cycle signature in those covariances.

  33. curious said

    Ryan, Layman: Do the satellites do windspeed/direction data?

  34. Layman Lurker said


    Yes I believe there is such data but I am not familiar with it.

  35. Jeff Id said

    There is windspeed data, but like Layman I’m not familair. I’d like to add it to the arctic sea ice movies but it always takes time to understand the nature of climate data. Nothing is clean.

  36. Lazlo said

    The SCAR report does not appear to have been independently peer reviewed. Not sure what you mean when you refer to peer review in your intro…

  37. Layman Lurker said

    With a lit search on solar cycle, ozone, polar vortex I came accross this:

    Click to access MZ-Labitzke-2004.pdf

    Solar signatures are shown in the stratosphere and are associated with weak vs. intense polar vortex (modulated by phase oscilations in equatorial zonal winds in the stratosphere).

  38. seine said

    I agree with you ‘label’ change.

    The fraudsters are the deniers of the scientific method while the people looking for an open, honesty debate on one subject, the effect human produced plant food has on global temperatures are supported of science and human beings. Please keep up the good work, the manipulative bullies don’t deserve mercy.

    garret seinen

  39. Kondealer said

    Layman, I think you are getting cause and effect muddled “less ozone = stronger polar vortex”, rather it is “stronger polar vortex = less ozone”
    The development of the Ozone hole is thought to be a mainly Antarctic phenomenon because the strong circumpolar vortex which develops during the Austral winter effectively isolates the Polar atmosphere allowing Ozone depleting specise to build up (so the theory went) ready to be triggered by the returning sun in the spring. The Arctic does not produce this kind of vortex therefore no large scale ozone destruction.

  40. Mike said

    @Andrew, December 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    “Is that double the IPCC’s several inches, or double Hansen’s tens of feet? Sea level will rise like a foot and a half! No, wait Forty feet! Just assimilating these findings.”

    What’s your difficulty? It’s easy to work out:

    1. The science is settled,
    2. There is broad consensus,
    3. It’s worse than we thought.

    From these assumptions, we can deduce that both Hansen and the IPCC are right. So, it’s 41.5 feet, on the nose. (And not, as some might thing, 60 square feet.)

  41. Layman Lurker said

    #39 Kondealer

    Actually, you have stated the direction of causation the way I understood it to be, however, Turner’s press release implies there is causation the other way:

    “The most astonishing evidence is the way that one man-made environmental impact – the ozone hole – has shielded most of Antarctica from another – global warming.”

  42. Corey said

    water melts at around 32 F or 0C at standard pressures.

    Didn’t you mean ‘ice melts’.?

  43. jblethen said

    “Unlike in the Northern Hemisphere, where ice melt could be a major effect, most of this ice loss seems to be occurring through ice dynamics.” source

    The result is achieved by modeling GRACE satellite raw gracity data. The model converts the raw data to mass loss. The details of the model hold the key to whether the conclusions are accurate. Has anyone looked into the accuracy of the modeling of the GRACE raw data?

    This is from “”Raw” GRACE measures show increasing ice mass but, with sufficient statistical torture via the appropriate models, are made to confess ice loss. Curiously, media never seem to wonder about the missing ocean in the same processed data (large regions of open ocean “lose” hundreds of cubic kilometers of volume — essentially getting shorter by amounts greater than alleged ice loss — GRACE needs a very long grace period for calibration and testing prior to any claims being made).”

  44. jblethen said

    Note the mass loss in the ocean north and east of South America and south of Africa and the mass gain southwest of South America and northeast of North America. Do GRACE scientists claim the ocean is losing water? Obviously something else is going on, and the same something may be responsible for the gravity changes observed in Antarctia.

  45. Kondealer said

    Sorry Lurker, my mistake.

    However, Prof. Turner has clearly got his facts “arse about face” as we say “up North”.

  46. RB said

    Even with 1 or 2 degrees warming, most of Antarctica remains very cold. Loss of ice mass comes not from melting but from calving , the breaking off of ice as it flows to the sea.

  47. Jeff Id said

    #46 Right so how does 1 or 2 degrees translate into massive calving when the 1 or 2 degrees is still way below freezing.

    It doesn’t.

  48. RB said

    I’m not an expert on this, but since the headline says “sea level rise double of previous estimates” over the next 100 years, wouldn’t that imply a 0.7% increase per year over previous estimates? Not that I’m drawing a relation between the temperature change (1/32 = 3%), but we only need to see small changes to accumulate over 100 years to see a larger effect.

  49. Jeff Id said

    A sea level rise created by Antarctic ice melting on the order of meters is a big effect IMHO. I see no reason why the process changes at all from a degree or two, it’s fear mongering in my opinion- nothing more. The temps aren’t changing, the sea ice is increasing and inland measurements are horribly inaccurate. The whole thing stinks and my common sense says that ice that is too cold to melt prolly ain’t gonna melt. The hand waiving on ozone has been discussed since 1999 in the emails, it’s just now come to fruition.

  50. Layman Lurker said

    #45 Kondealer

    I may be wrong, but I believe the implication from Turner is that ozone depletion causes stratospheric cooling which in turn intensifies the temperature gradients and strengthens the vortex.

  51. You guys missed the obvious. They are relying on the Rahmstorf 2007 sea level paper for the 1.4M estimate. It isn’t anything new. And the Rahmstorf paper is a poor job anyway as I discuss here.

  52. Kondealer said

    Layman, you are probably right in your interpretation of what prof. Turner is saying.
    But however he says it he it clutching at straws

  53. Phil A said

    The best part about this particular scare story (that the ozone hole is affecting the weather) is that only last year they were saying that extreme cold in the Antarctic was worsening the ozone hole, indeed that “Weather is the most important factor in the fluctuation of the size of the ozone hole from year to year”!

    I wonder which way around it will be next year – probably depends if there’s more research money in ozone scare monitoring or climate scare monitoring!

  54. […] charges against alarmist scientists filed, Alarmist scientist steps down, Alarmist fraud exposed yet again, Climategate continues, being green gives you a licence to lie, making money out of a corrupt […]

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