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No Climate Crisis: A Note from Marc Morano in Greenland

Ilulissat, Greenland – The July 27-29 2007 U.S. Senate trip to Greenland to investigate fears of a glacier meltdown revealed an Arctic land where current climatic conditions are neither alarming nor linked to a rise in man-made carbon dioxide emissions, according to many of the latest peer-reviewed scientific findings. Recent research has found that Greenland has been warming since the 1880’s, but since 1955, temperature averages at Greenland stations have been colder than the period between 1881-1955.

A recent study concluded Greenland was as warm or warmer in the 1930’s and 40’s and the rate of warming from 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than the warming from 1995-2005. One 2005 study found Greenland gaining ice in the interior higher elevations and thinning ice at the lower elevations. In addition, the often media promoted fears of Greenland’s ice completely melting and a subsequent catastrophic sea level rise are directly at odds with the latest scientific studies. These studies suggest that the biggest perceived threat to Greenland’s glaciers may be contained in unproven computer models predicting a future catastrophic melt.

As a representative of Environment & Public Works Committee Ranking Member, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), I made the trek to the Arctic Circle with the Senate delegation to the land the Vikings once farmed during the Medieval Warm Period.

Senators and their staff viewed majestic giant glaciers and icebergs in the Kangia Ice Fjord and in Disko Bay via helicopter, boat and on foot, during the three day 24 hours of daylight trip which began in the Arctic city of Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.

In an informational handout, participants of the Senate trip to Greenland were shown a depiction of coastal flooding that illustrated what would happen if most of the ice on Greenland was to melt and sea levels rose nearly 20 feet. The handout on Greenland was written by UN scientist Dr. Richard B. Alley, who is also a professor of Geosciences at Penn State University and traveled with the Senate delegation. Dr. Alley noted that the illustration of coastal flooding was not a forecast or a prediction, but merely an illustration of what could happen.

Dr. Alley’s handout stated in part, “We don’t think Greenland could melt completely in less than many centuries, but it might get warm enough this century to start complete melting.”

During the trip, a Danish scientist and Danish government officials appealed to the U.S. government to act now to address global warming and used the prospect of Greenland melt fears as a wake up call for such action. But the very latest research reveals massive Greenland melt fears are not sustainable. According to a survey of some of the latest peer-reviewed scientific reports, current Greenland temperatures are neither alarming nor linked to a rise in man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

Sampling of Recent Scientific Studies:

1) A 2006 study by Danish researchers from Aarhus University found that “Greenland’s glaciers have been shrinking for the past century, suggesting that the ice melt is not a recent phenomenon caused by global warming.” Glaciologist Jacob Clement Yde explained that the study was “the most comprehensive ever conducted on the movements of Greenland’s glaciers, according to an August 21, 2006 article in Agence France-Presse. “Seventy percent of the glaciers have been shrinking regularly since the end of the 1880’s,” Yde explained. [EPW Blog note: 80% of man-made CO2 emissions occurred after 1940. Niels Tvis Knudsen of Aarhus University co-authored the paper.

2) A 2006 study by a team of scientists led by Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Space and Remote Sensing Sciences found the rate of warming in 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995-2005, suggesting carbon dioxide ‘could not be the cause’ of warming.

“We find that the current Greenland warming is not unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods (1920-1930 and 1995-2005) are of similar magnitude, however the rate of warming in 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995-2005,” the abstract of the study read.

The peer-reviewed study, which was published in the June 13, 2006 Geophysical Research Letters, found that after a warm 2003 on the southeastern coast of Greenland, “the years 2004 and 2005 were closer to normal being well below temperatures reached in the 1930’s and 1940’s.” The study further continued, “Almost all post-1955 temperature averages at Greenland stations are lower (colder climate) than the (1881-1955) temperature average.”

In addition, the Chylek led study explained, “Although there has been a considerable temperature increase during the last decade (1995 to 2005) a similar increase and at a faster rate occurred during the early part of the 20th century (1920 to 1930) when carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases could not be a cause. The Greenland warming of 1920-1930 demonstrates that a high concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is not a necessary condition for a period of warming to arise. The observed 1995-2005 temperature increase seems to be within natural variability of Greenland climate. A general increase in solar activity [Scafetta and West, 2006] since 1990’s can be a contributing factor as well as the sea surface temperature changes of tropical ocean [Hoerling et al., 2001].”

“To summarize, we find no direct evidence to support the claims that the Greenland ice sheet is melting due to increased temperature caused by increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.” The co-authors of the study were M.K. Dubey of Los Alamos National Laboratory and G. Lesins, Dalhousie University in Canada.

3) An October 2005 study in the journal Science found Greenland’s higher elevation interior ice sheet growing while lower elevations ice is thinning. According to a November 8, 2005 article in European Research, “An international team of climatologists and oceanographers, led by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) in Norway, estimates that Greenland’s interior ice sheet has grown, on average, 6cm per year in areas above 1 500m between 1992 and 2003.” Lead author, Ola M. Johannessen of NERSC “says the sheet growth is due to increased snowfall brought about by variability in regional atmospheric circulation, or the so-called North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO),” according to the article.

4) A February 8, 2007 peer-reviewed paper published in Science found two of Greenland’s largest glaciers have “suddenly slowed, bringing the rate of melting last year down to near the previous rate,” according to the New York Times blog (2-8-07). The report found that the Kangerdlugssuaq glacier’s “average thinning over the glacier during the summer of 2006 declined to near zero, with some apparent thickening in areas on the main trunk.” University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory researcher Ian Howat, the lead author of the report, explained “Greenland was about as warm or warmer in the 1930’s and 40’s, and many of the glaciers were smaller than they are now.” “However, it does suggest that large variations in ice sheet dynamics can occur from natural climate variability,” Howat, also a researcher with the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, explained. “Special care must be taken in how these and other mass-loss estimates are evaluated, particularly when extrapolating into the future because short-term spikes could yield erroneous long term trends,” Howat cautioned.

5) A July 6, 2007 study published in the journal Science about Greenland by an international team of scientists found DNA “evidence that suggests the frozen shield covering the immense island survived the Earth’s last period of global warming,” according to a Boston Globe article. (6-6-07) According to the article, the study indicates “Greenland’s ice may be less susceptible to the massive meltdown predicted by computer models of climate change, the main author (Eske Willerslev, professor of evolutionary biology at University of Copenhagen) said in an interview. “This may have implications for how the ice sheets respond to global warming. They may withstand rising temperatures,” Willerslev said. The article explained, “The discovery of organic matter in ice dating from half –a-million years ago offers evidence that the Greenland ice sheet remained frozen even during the Earth’s last ‘interglacial period’ – some 120,000 years ago – when average temperatures were 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than they are now.” Willerslev addressed scary computer model predictions of a massive Greenland melt. “[The study] suggests a problem with [computer] models” that predict melting ice from Greenland could drown cities and destroy civilizations, Willerslev said. The study found “Greenland really was green, before Ice Age glaciers enshrouded vast swaths of the Northern Hemisphere…somewhere between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago,” according to the article.

6) Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels of University of Virginia and the Virginia State climatologist wrote the scenario promoted by former Vice President Al Gore and others showing Greenland’s ice melting and raising sea levels by 20 feet is not supported anywhere in scientific literature, not even by the United Nations. “Where is the support for this claim? Certainly not in the recent [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] Policymakers Summary from the United Nations. Under the [IPCC’s] medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100. Gore’s film exaggerates the rise by about 2,000 percent,” Michaels wrote in a February 23, 2007 article. “According to satellite data published in [the journal] Science in November 2005,” Michaels wrote, “Greenland was shedding ice at 0.4 percent per century.” “Nowhere in the traditionally [peer-reviewed] refereed scientific literature do we find any support for Gore’s [Greenland melt] hypothesis,” Michaels concluded.

7) Geologist Morten Hald, an Arctic expert at of the University of Tromso in Norway has also questioned the reliability of computer models predicting a melting Arctic. “The main problem is that these models are often based on relatively new climate data. The thermometer has only been in existence for 150 years and information on temperature which is 150 years old does not capture the large natural changes,” Hald, who is participating with a Norwegian national team in Arctic climate research, said in a May 18, 2007 article. The article continued, “Professor Hald believes the models which are utilized to make prognoses about the future climate changes consider paleoclimate only to a minor degree.” “Studies of warm periods in the past, like during the Stone Ages can provide valuable knowledge to understand and tackle the warmer climate in the future,” Hald explained.

8) Polar expert Ivan Frolov, the head of Russia’s Science and Research Institute of Arctic and Antarctic Regions, said atmospheric temperature would have to much higher to make continental glaciers melt. “Many hundred years or 20-30 degree temperature rise would have made glaciers melt,” Frolov said in a December 14, 2006 Russian news article. Frolov noted that currently Greenland’s and Antarctic glaciers have the tendency to grow. The article explained, “Frolov says cooling and warming periods are common for our planet – temperature fluctuations amounted to 10-12 degrees. However, such fluctuations haven’t caused glaciers to melt. Thus, we shouldn’t be afraid they melt today.”

9) Physicist Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, the former director of both University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center who has twice been named “1000 Most Cited Scientists” told a Congressional hearing in 2006 that highly publicized climate models showing a disappearing Arctic were nothing more than “science fiction.” “All the papers since (the advent of satellites) show warming. That’s what I call ‘instant climatology.’ I’m trying to tell young scientists, ‘You can’t study climatology unless you look at a much longer time period.’”

10) In addition, current climate fears tends to ignore the fact that the Vikings arrived in Greenland around 1000 A.D. and found it to be habitable settlement that they farmed for hundreds of years. A 2003 Harvard University study found the Earth was warmer than today during the Medieval Warm Period from about 800 to 1300 A.D. without modern SUV’s or man-made CO2 emissions. The Vikings abandoned Greenland when the Little Ice Age took hold.

11) Another problem for predictions of catastrophic sea level rise due to polar ice melt is Antarctica is not cooperating with the man-made catastrophic global warming models. “A new report on climate over the world’s southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models,” reads the February 15, 2007 press release announcing the findings of David Bromwich, professor of professor of atmospheric sciences in the Department of Geography, and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University.

“It’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now,” Bromwich explained. The release explains that Bromwich’s research team found “no increase in precipitation over Antarctica in the last 50 years. Most models predict that both precipitation and temperature will increase over Antarctica with a warming of the planet.”

Top UN Scientist Explains Why Climate Models Predictions Are Failing

Recently, a top UN scientist publicly conceded that climate computer model predictions are not so reliable after all. Dr. Jim Renwick, a lead author of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, admitted to the New Zealand Herald in June 2007, “Half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don’t expect to do terrifically well.”

A leading scientific skeptic of global warming fears, Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, former CEO of the Netherlands’ Royal National Meteorological Institute, took the critique of climate models that predict future doom a step further. Tennekes wrote on February 28, 2007, “I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate modes are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society.”

Ivy League geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack of the University of Pennsylvania noted “for most of Earth’s history, the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has rarely been cooler,” Giegengack said according to a February 2007 article in Philadelphia Magazine. The article continued, “[Giegengack] says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct linear way.”

Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball explained that one of the reasons climate models fail is because they overestimate the warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ball described how CO2 stabilizes in the atmosphere and its warming impact diminishes. “Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint,” Ball explained in a June 6, 2007 article in Canada Free Press.

New data is revealing what may perhaps be the ultimate inconvenient truth for climate doomsayers:

Global warming stopped in 1998.

Dr. Nigel Calder, co-author with physicist Henrik Svensmark of the 2007 book “The Chilling Stars: A New Theory on Climate Change,” explained in July 2007:

“In reality, global temperatures have stopped rising. Data for both the surface and the lower air show no warming since 1999. That makes no sense by the hypothesis of global warming driven mainly by CO2, because the amount of CO2 in the air has gone on increasing. But the fact that the Sun is beginning to neglect its climatic duty – of battling away the cosmic rays that come from ‘the chilling stars’ – fits beautifully with this apparent end of global warming.”

Perhaps the conversion of many former scientists from believers in man-made global warming to skeptics (LINK) and the new peer-reviewed research is why so many proponents of a climatic doom have resorted to threats and intimidation in attempting to silence skeptics. (See: EPA to Probe E-mail Threatening to ‘Destroy’ Career of Climate Skeptic – LINK )

One final note: To many residents of Greenland, a little warming may not be that bad. A June 7, 2007 Washington Post article detailed how Greenland’s residents were “cheering’ on warming. “I can keep the sheep out two weeks longer to feed in hills in the autumn. And I can grow more hay. The sheep get fatter,” said one resident.

from Marc Morano in Greenland

This is a cross post from the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Inhofe Press blog. Links to the various recent scientific studies can be found at the original post by Marc Morano entitled ‘Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt’: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=175b568a-802a-23ad-4c69-9bdd978fb3cd&Issue_id

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40 Responses to “No Climate Crisis: A Note from Marc Morano in Greenland”

  1. Comment from: Ender


    Jennifer – “As a representative of Environment & Public Works Committee Ranking Member, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.),”

    Not sure anything needs to be said here.

  2. Comment from: SJT


    “One final note: To many residents of Greenland, a little warming may not be that bad. A June 7, 2007 Washington Post article detailed how Greenland’s residents were “cheering’ on warming. “I can keep the sheep out two weeks longer to feed in hills in the autumn. And I can grow more hay. The sheep get fatter,” said one resident.”

    Once again, the bugger you jack, I’m alright attitude.

  3. Comment from: Nexus 6


    Pat Michaels is the Virginia state climatologist? I never realised that. I guess that means he’s important and should be listened to.

  4. Comment from: Ian Mott


    “Tennekes wrote on February 28, 2007, “I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate modes are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society.”

    Damn, was that the wheels falling off the “consensus”.

    Sort of knocks the green right out of Greenland, don’t you think. Note well, climate cretins, most of the above mentioned work appears to have been done by Danes and Norwegians, who, one understands, know a thing or two about Arctic climate.

    Gosh, do you think they might have actually spoken to some greenland locals?

    But thats OK, there must be a cold wet hole under a rock somewhere that you could crawl under. Ta ta now.

  5. Comment from: Luke


    Well Tennekes wouldn’t know. I think hooking up the flux coupler to the doody wozit in the model might take a tad of knowledge. I think the lead post is just a pile of selective sludge and if you don’t that by now Mottsa I’m not going to bother digging you out. Just more CEI and Inhofe crap for the cheer squad. Try some bread – it will help you swallow it.

  6. Comment from: Ender


    Ian Mott – “I am of the opinion”

    So this person is a god??? How does his opinion shift the scientific consensus?

  7. Comment from: Toby


    Isnt it even a bit interesting that: Greenland was warmer pre 1955 than post? That the rapid warming of 1995-2005 is less rapid and a smaller increase than from 1920-30? (I know you will just say cherry picked data, but……)

  8. Comment from: Allan


    I suppose you could just change the names to Mann, Hanson, Jones, Wang et al and apply the same cynicism.
    Still doesnt add to the debate!
    At least McIntyre argues his case.

  9. Comment from: Jennifer


    Yes Toby, interesting. Much more interesting than the continual name dropping.

  10. Comment from: Luke


    Gee Nexus interesting question: I’m not sure.

    http://www.cvillenews.com/2006/08/10/state-climatologist/

    http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP%2FMGArticle%2FCDP_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149190060797&path=

  11. Comment from: Luke


    And interesting what you don’t get told too to their point 5 in the lead post :

    http://www.ku.dk/english/news/?content=http://www.ku.dk/english/news/fossil_dna.htm

    “The dating of dust particles also showed that it has been at least 450,000 years ago since the area of the southern part of Greenland, was ice-free.

    That signifies that there was ice there during the Eemian interglacial period 125,000 years ago. It means that although we are now confronted with global warming, the whole ice sheet will not melt and bring about the tremendous sea-level rises which have been the subject of so much discussion.

    Attention:
    The wording of the last sentence is not precise and can give rise to misunderstanding. Please notice the additional description:

    The scientists do not want to put into question the rise in sea level during a global warming. During the last interglacial period 125.000 years ago, temperatures in Greenland were 5 degrees higher and global sea level was 4-5 meters higher than it is today. However, since the new scientific results show that the ice sheet also covered southern Greenland, the melting of the Greenlandic ice cap can only have caused a sea level rise of about 2 meters. Therefore some of the ice contributing to the sea level rise must have come from other sources, for instance the Antarctic. Furthermore, thermal warming of the oceans will cause expansion of the sea water and result in a sea level rise of half a meter, and the melting of small glaciers around the globe will result in an additional half meter rise.

    Posted on 5 July 2007 {ENDS}”

    Nothing like the full story. And just getting warmed up.

  12. Comment from: rog


    You must be hating this Luke, “Greenland was once truly green”

  13. Comment from: gavin


    Jennifer: I’m very interested in what the Senators have to say on their return

    ‘Boxer, who chairs the Environment and Public Works committee, didn’t go so far as to say that the two Republicans on the trip – Sens. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Bob Corker of Tennessee – would now be supporting one of the half dozen cap and trade bills that have been introduced in the Senate. In a telephone interview with Tennessee reporters, the Associated Press reports that Corker said he is “leaning” toward supporting a cap and trade system.

    “In my opinion they will both play a very constructive role,” Boxer said’-

    http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1791625.php

    Monday, July 30, 2007

  14. Comment from: SJT


    Toby it is interesting, as the say here.

    When Europe was at it’s coldest, Greenland was at one of it’s warmest. Just goes to show what an interesting planet Earth is.

    “The ranking of the five extreme warmest and coldest seasons and annual averages over the standard century 1901–2000 is given in Table III. The majority of coldest seasons and years occur before 1920, with the exception of cold years that appear to be the result of large volcanic eruptions, such as the 1992 cold associated with the 1991 Mt Pinatubo eruption (Abdalati and Steffen, 1997b) or the 1983 El Chich´on
    eruption. It can be said that coastal sea ice anomalies affect air temperatures and temperature anomalies affect sea ice thickness and concentration in a positive feedback loop. Compared with the 1978–87 period, −3 °C temperature anomalies in 1983 and 1984 are associated with 30% more sea ice in Baffin Bay, Davis Strait, and the Labrador Sea (Parkinson et al., 1999). January–March 1983 and 1972 were identified by Chapman and Walsh (1993) as the largest Arctic ice extent years from 1961 to 1990. 1972 was 2 °C below normal, but does not coincide with a major volcanic eruption. The warmest years were 1929 and 1947, generally from 1929 to 1941. Over the 1901–2000 standard century, European station temperatures (Oslo and Potsdam) from the GHCN indicate that 1941 was among the coldest years, while it ranks among the warmest in Greenland, illustrating the temperature see-saw between Greenland and northwestern Europe (e.g. Van Loon and Rogers, 1978). The climate conditions that lead to extremely warm years are uncertain, unless explained by extreme negative phases of the NAO or the absence of volcanic eruptions, as proposed by Robock (2000).”

  15. Comment from: SJT


    Link for quote.

  16. Comment from: Ian Mott


    Nice try, Ender, but readers will clearly see that a very well placed insider is of the opinion that a large part of the so-called scientific consensus is made up of the same sort of software spivs that gave us Y2K.

    And here we have Luke doing his standard pole dance (north pole?) for the punters and wondering why no-one will slip any money into his crutchless panties. Rrhheeetch.

    The problem with the models is that they keep predicting greenland ice melting, and it doesn’t. I love it.

    Tell us about the speeding Glaciers again, boys, you’re a laugh a minute. And then Luke gives us some spin about Antarctica delivering the missing sea level volume, only it isn’t doing it either.
    Guff, guff, guff guffaaaw.

  17. Comment from: gavin


    SJT: Beware of idle chat over toast. Looking at fringe sensitivity of one place or another is a bit like analyzing a bubble in the froth on you coffee. Can’t tell us much about what’s underneath.

  18. Comment from: Luke


    Well what a tedious withering little attack that was. Now hold on – what models are predicting Greenland melting? Quote is ?

    As for glaciers – it’s the same as last year – go and read what has been written again – the mechanics of ice sheet disintergration are not well known. Nothing has changed. We still don’t know.

    And you wish to debate the past sea level issue? Your data to refute are what? As for missing volume – WTF – jeeezzz – wait for it – we’re not fully warmed up yet.

    Again you’re not on the page and trying to spin your way out.

    I mean you’re not actually suggesting we believe a puff piece written by Inhofe’s little mate are you? Spew bags – these guys couldn’t lay straight in bed and you know it.

    You might be sitting there in fish net stockings with a feather boa for modesty but the rest of us are reading serious material not forestry nudist mags.

    Now what I was saying before Motty on his daily strafing run interrupted was that “duh models” are actually saying that Greenland is where you would last look for a anthropogenic warming signal – it’s multidecadal variable city. And it also doesn’t show up as a major warming spot on model runs. But enough to get the edges moving.

    And you have to laugh – on one hand the denialist dillberries are saying the world isn’t warming – it’s cooling – yet citing data that Greenland is warming – which is it? No anomalies there. Heehehehehe …

  19. Comment from: Ender


    Ian Mott – “Nice try, Ender, but readers will clearly see that a very well placed insider is of the opinion that a large part of the so-called scientific consensus is made up of the same sort of software spivs that gave us Y2K.”

    That a new angle. Try to spin that the scientific case for AGW is all in computer models. The problem is that the basis of AGW was done before the current models were built to try to investigate the effect of AGW on climate.

    The software spivs that made Y2K a non event do not set the science of the GCM only the tools. What you said is like a spade manufacturer claiming credit for a building because their spades were using in the construction.

    BTW you cannot possibly say that Greenland is not thinning. There is too little evidence from a very large and difficult continent to decide either way.
    Again what you are doing is like standing on the Ord River in the wet and cancelling water restrictions in Brisbane because there is plenty of water here so all of Australia should be the same.

    It is very difficult to assess whether the increased precipitation from AGW will accumulate snow faster than the warmer SST and higher temperatures, also from AGW, will erode the icecap at the margins and increase subsurface glacier flow. Here again you should be constrained by the same lack of data. One fairly recent fairly definative measurement, that of the GRACE gravity satellites is showing a net loss of mass.

  20. Comment from: gavin


    No one here it seems is asking the basic question about why ten US senators would fly off the Greenland for only a couple of days or why it’s highlighted on this blog when mainstream media in the US hardly mention their visit. Lets say after some frustrated internet searching. it hardly advances our knowledge of current science either to have up to ten senators commenting in their press.

    Guess I’m far more cynical than Marc Morano, when I say there is just an election in the wind.

  21. Comment from: Ian Mott


    Gosh, Ender, we really do live in a land of sweeping analogies, don’t we. GRACE tells us the mass is declining does it? Over what blink in the life of a continental ice sheet? There goes that old premature extrapolation problem again. Better click on the next junkmail offer.

    When GRACE can tell us what the mass was doing between 1880 and 1950 then we might have something to discuss.

  22. Comment from: Ender


    Ian Mott – “GRACE tells us the mass is declining does it? Over what blink in the life of a continental ice sheet? There goes that old premature extrapolation problem again. Better click on the next junkmail offer.”

    I can see that you are running out of rational arguments as your comments are now tinged with insults. However the point remains that you cannot possibly say that Greenland is not losing mass. One of the recent measurements, the GRACE satellites is measuring a net ice loss. I bring this up because the gravity measurement is one of the few that is not affected by the appalling conditions of Greenland that make measurements so difficult.

    Yes I agree that it is too premature to say one way or the other. GCM models as tools for research are telling us, albeit those that are listening, that if the warming trend continues we will see a loss of ice in Greenland. Most of the measurements that have been taken -
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2007/greenland_glaciers.html
    http://nwpi.krc.karelia.ru/climas/Permafrost/perm_start.htm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070327122328.htm
    are confirming what the models predict. I guess you can cling to the wiz kids tuning the computers if you like however as time goes on that argument will just get thinner and thinner however I am sure that will make you consider abandoning it. I would prefer to remain non-committal at the moment until there is 10 more years of measurements. This is still an fraction of an eyeblink in the life of a ice sheet however it is a long time for us humans that will be affected by what the ice does.

  23. Comment from: Luke


    Again what you are not told in the lead post puff piece.

    So we are treated to the usual “it’s been warm before” – “so now it’s warm again” style argument. They then deftly try to sidestep that this warming is different discounting CO2 by quoting a problematic phemonological paper instead of the more recent Lockwood & Frolich 2007 – wonder why?? http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/proceedings_a/rspa20071880.pdf

    Lead post says” A general increase in solar activity [Scafetta and West, 2006] since 1990’s can be a contributing factor as well as the sea surface temperature changes of tropical ocean [Hoerling et al., 2001].” ”

    And I’d also be very careful quoting Hoerling if I were them as he’s right global warming of oceans: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;299/5607/691

    If the current CO2 induced non-solar warming is just getting going all Maron’s ramblings don’t tell us much do they.

    Desperate and slippery stuff.

    I find Marono’s habit of skimming references tedious as check them all we will.

  24. Comment from: gavin


    Luke: I would naturally prefer the James Craig on a Bass Strait crossing to a multi hulled single masted ‘skimmer’ – anytime!

    http://www.shf.org.au/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?key=DVD0001&preadd=action

  25. Comment from: Aaron Edmonds


    Hey Jen why so much focus on creating debate over whether climate change is occurring or not when the supply of fossil fuels probably has more relevance to the future of the globe’s climate. A little You Tube video for your amusement …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QovBLFZhQME&mode=related&search=

  26. Comment from: Paul Biggs


    Aaron – climate change isn’t a new phenomenon and has to be judged against the background of natural variability, although actual records are short. The magnitude of any influence of fossil fuels on climate remains unknown, as does the date for the supply running out.

  27. Comment from: SJT


    Paul

    The climate has always been changing, but it has always changed for a reason. The prime forcings, the sun and Milankovich cycles, aren’t the reasons at this point in time. To say it has always changed, and that it is changing now, but we don’t know why, is an anti-scientific stance, just sitting back and saying we don’t know and we can’t know.

    Scientists have invested a lot of the their time in understanding what is going on with the climate. So far, their projections appear to be basically correct.

  28. Comment from: Pirate Pete


    Ender,

    While I was in Thailand a short time ago, I happened to strike up a conversation with a gentleman sitting at an outside bar. He said that he was from Greenland. I asked him if he was aware of the controversy surrounding melting glaciers in Greenland. Indeed he was. He owns the only decent hotel, and all of the researchers stay there.

    He said that the increase in flow rates of the glaciers is due to an increase of 3 degrees in sea temperature. This means that sea ice is not as extensive, and sea ice acts as a barrier to glacier flow. So the glaciers are flowing faster and longer because of reduction in sea ice.

    The increase in sea temperature has nothing to do with atmospheric temperature change. (atmospheric temp has increased 0.6 degrees in the past 100 years).

    He said tha the Innuit are not concerned at the melting – they have seen it before. It will come back.

  29. Comment from: Pirate Pete


    It is interesting to google “mass balance” +greenland.

    Lots of papers about ice gain and loss.

    When I reviewed Gores movie, it was full of conditional statements such “if”, “may”, “could”. The discussion about melting ice caps and glaciers were all preceded by “if”. Not “when”.

    The papers generally show a loss of ice at the coastal areas of Greenland, and an increase in ice thickness over the inland plateau. This results in a mass balance which is zero, or maybe a little positive. Far from the catastrophic statements from the IPCC et al. Don’t look for rapid rise in sea level in the near future (next 100 years).

    The IPCC estimates that in the worst case projected scenario of temperature rise over the next century, it will take 6,000 to 10,000 years for the Greenland ice sheet to melt.

    We will be well into the next ice age by then.

  30. Comment from: SJT


    “The increase in sea temperature has nothing to do with atmospheric temperature change. ” ?????

  31. Comment from: Paul Biggs


    SJT – the substantial ups and downs of the 12,000 year (so far) Holocene have not been driven by CO2, least of all anthropogenic CO2. On the basis of an IPCC LOSU of ‘low’ and ‘very low’ for solar factors, CO2 gets its best shot in the last 30 years. The period of relatively high solar activity, the highest for at least 1000 years is coming to an end. The ARGO network has shown litte or no ocean warming for the past 5 years. Much lower solar activity in the future, against a background of rising atmospheric CO2 levels, will demonstrate what the main driver of climate is. The argument is largely academic – the world shows no real sign of the will to give up fossil fuel use without a viable replacement. If oil, gas and coal run out, the perceived problem of man-made climate change will be solved, albeit after another 100 years or more. The argument would be even more academic if we weren’t in an unusually long interglacial period.

    We would all benefit from efforts being diverted from trading hot air and hand-wringing about a computer modelled future,to developing viable 24/7 alternative energy sources, as well as adapting to inevitable climate change.

  32. Comment from: Ender


    Pirate Pete – “The increase in sea temperature has nothing to do with atmospheric temperature change. (atmospheric temp has increased 0.6 degrees in the past 100 years).”

    Right – so the ocean is increasing in temperature how??????

    “The IPCC estimates that in the worst case projected scenario of temperature rise over the next century, it will take 6,000 to 10,000 years for the Greenland ice sheet to melt.”

    Not exactly. The IPCC scientists, being very aware of the non-linearity of Greenland ice loss, specifically say that flow rates could increase in the future. Their estimate is based on present flow rates. Most of the recent data suggests that flow rates are starting to increase very rapidly. We know from past events that ice sheets can melt very rapidly once they get started.

  33. Comment from: Ender


    Paul Biggs – “We would all benefit from efforts being diverted from trading hot air and hand-wringing about a computer modelled future,to developing viable 24/7 alternative energy sources, as well as adapting to inevitable climate change.”

    Why would we bother – according to you there is no problem releasing CO2 – we can just burn coal for ever.

    “The period of relatively high solar activity, the highest for at least 1000 years is coming to an end”

    What solar activity are you talking about? The sun’s output has not increased in line with recent warming and there is no proven link between sunspot activity and climate.

    “The ARGO network has shown litte or no ocean warming for the past 5 years”

    Thats absolute rubbish. The Argo network provided a new vastly improved body of data on ocean temperatures. Previously ocean temperatures were inferred from very few measurements and the ARGO network provided new data that showed that the previous measurement were not as accurate as scientists would like. To say that this shows cooling is just deceptive.

    “Much lower solar activity in the future, against a background of rising atmospheric CO2 levels, will demonstrate what the main driver of climate is”

    And what happens if you are wrong and CO2 IS the main driver of recent warming. Here you are campaigning and lobbying for energy security at all costs when you do not know whether you are correct or not. So what happens in 20 years if global temperatures keep rising – say sorry to everyone?????

  34. Comment from: Luke


    Paul- how can you say you’re a scientist with such a pretentious try-on as that last little burst. If there is a reduction in the solar forcing of course we’ll get a cooling – as we ALL KNOW BY NOW – it’s the combination of forcing factors. Are you now reduced to these sort of contrarian ruses.

    And of course most of Holocene hasn’t be “driven” by CO2 – it’s been aided and bolstered as you well know. Until humanity decides to liberate a few million years sequestration of CO2. Continual framing of the discussion and adding throw-aways like “computer modelled future” are hardly scientific.

    And if we are not going to do anything which looks increasingly likely – adaptation is “the” issue.

  35. Comment from: gavin


    “adaptation” starts with shifting your goal posts “On the beach”

  36. Comment from: Ian Mott


    I did say “premature extrapolation” Ender, nothing more. But here we go with the same old same old, although this time it is wrapped up in terms like “Greenland mass balance declining”.

    The simple facts are that last year the gross loss from speeding glaciers was only 245km3. The gross gain from the upper layers was in the order of 155km3. This was a net loss of 90km2. But this year some of the glaciers have actually stopped.

    And that means the net change will be much lower than 90km3 from a total ice mass of 2,850,000km3.

    So if it was OK for all and sundry to extrapolate from the speeding glaciers in the recent past then it must be just as valid for me to extrapolate from the stalled ones.

    And that means, assuming no ice ages intervene, it will take more than 28,000 years for the Greenland ice sheet to melt. And you want me to drop everything else and jump on the climate cart to nowhere?

  37. Comment from: Ender


    Ian Mott – “And that means, assuming no ice ages intervene, it will take more than 28,000 years for the Greenland ice sheet to melt. And you want me to drop everything else and jump on the climate cart to nowhere?”

    And assuming that Greenland melts at it’s present rate. We have only seen 0.6° of warming and this is the result. The models suggest that more warming introduces non-linearity into the Greenland ice melting process. This may not be true however you are betting the farm here. What if you are wrong?

    Do want me to assume that everything will stay the same despite large increases in CO2 just so you can have your McMansion with 2 plasmas AND your Prado????

    (Just to forestall the comment I am not suggesting that you personally have or want a McMansion, plasma or Prado I am suggesting that this is what the greater public wants at the moment)

  38. Comment from: Ian Mott


    They may well suggest the introduction of “non-linearity” into the equation but they also do so in a context of increased polar precipitation.

    and as that precipitation will be taking place in a location with annual mean temperatures in the order of -20C it means an unambiguous increase in ice formation on top of the ice sheet.

    The clowns who speculated, under peer review, that there would be some sort of sudden collapse in the shelf, based that speculation on an assumption that the altitude of the top of the ice sheet would decline to such an extent that the main ice body would melt continually.

    This is pure bollocks because the height of the 1500m thick sheet is 2000m. And as temperature changes by 1C for each 100m change in altitude, the very maximum temperature increase from the current -20C to -30C range is 15C. This, of course, is still in a range from -5C to -15C which will result in no melting of the main ice body at all.

    If any models are producing outcomes that involve melting due to the change in height of the ice sheet then those models are crap.

  39. Comment from: gavin


    It seems “Greenland mass balance declining” & “non-linearity” are real observations despite the arguments about ice height on land.

    Ian reckons “If any models are producing outcomes that involve melting due to the change in height of the ice sheet then those models are crap”.

    Arnost gave this link in the L&F thread above

    http://web.archive.org/web/20060207120009/arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.jpg

    Sure it’s on the major ice block fringe but I reckon we can see a sort of pattern with a five year oscillation and several wild seasons in terms of max min. However the downward trend is the key. In fact it’s the old hockey stick upside down that kicks in thoughts of derivatives rather than integrals in the short term.

    At this point the overall loss of ice is quite significant.

  40. Comment from: chrisgo


    Ender, forget your McMansions, plasmas and Prados – two thirds of the world’s population need and will demand cheap light, cooking, mobility etc. – things we take for granted.
    There is only one certainty, “everything will not stay the same”.