Sunday, December 06, 2009

Nature on Climategate

Some emails among scientists were stolen recently and posted on the Internet, and some who have gone through those emails claim to have found evidence that research has been faked regarding the warming of the earth. I don't know if the earth is getting warmer or not or why the temperature fluctuates, and I do not know climate science well enough to evaluate their research results, but I am interested in the effort by agenda-driven people to cast the pearls of science before swine. Of all the gifts that liberal democracy brings us, I would have thought that science would be one that we would all agree on. Of course there are errors in science and sometimes fraud and everything else human, but the paradigms of science have given much to our modern lives, knowledge of the world and advances in tools as well as touching the leisurely moments of our lives. You have to say one thing about science: it works.

But not everybody seems to appreciate science so much. Some propagandists would like to assign science a value equivalent to one of Sarah Palin's off-handed comments about foreign policy, science is treated like just another opinion, and as we know, everybody's got one and they all stink.

You can understand the climate-science email controversy by reading conservative columnists and bloggers, or you can find out what scientists in the field say about it. Nature has an editorial this week on the issue called "Climategate" (and isn't it great that the White House party-crashers controversy can be called "gatecrashgate?").

Here's what Nature says:
The e-mail archives stolen last month from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA), UK, have been greeted by the climate-change-denialist fringe as a propaganda windfall (see page 551). To these denialists, the scientists' scathing remarks about certain controversial palaeoclimate reconstructions qualify as the proverbial 'smoking gun': proof that mainstream climate researchers have systematically conspired to suppress evidence contradicting their doctrine that humans are warming the globe.

This paranoid interpretation would be laughable were it not for the fact that obstructionist politicians in the US Senate will probably use it next year as an excuse to stiffen their opposition to the country's much needed climate bill. Nothing in the e-mails undermines the scientific case that global warming is real — or that human activities are almost certainly the cause. That case is supported by multiple, robust lines of evidence, including several that are completely independent of the climate reconstructions debated in the e-mails. Climatologists under pressure

This editorial is a little long, and this isn't really the place to repeat and reexamine the evidence about global warming.

The thing that worries me is a trend away from critical thinking, a tendency of some members of our society to reject clear reasoning in favor of oversimplified visceral responding to complex events. At the local level it is a rejection of education itself, and disrespect for scholarly accomplishments. In our county we saw this when a small group of extremists wanted to keep valid medical and scientific facts out of the public schools' health curriculum, other regions have seen the attacks on the teaching of evolutionary facts in biology, there are lots of ways this tendency manifests itself. The attack on climate science advances a corporate agenda that has nothing to do with the truth or validity of scientific results, and we are seeing that some would like to broaden the excitement gleaned from these stolen emails to taint all of science.

This is the important point, I think:
A fair reading of the e-mails reveals nothing to support the denialists' conspiracy theories. In one of the more controversial exchanges, UEA scientists sharply criticized the quality of two papers that question the uniqueness of recent global warming (S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick Energy Environ. 14, 751–771; 2003 and W. Soon and S. Baliunas Clim. Res. 23, 89–110; 2003) and vowed to keep at least the first paper out of the upcoming Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Whatever the e-mail authors may have said to one another in (supposed) privacy, however, what matters is how they acted. And the fact is that, in the end, neither they nor the IPCC suppressed anything: when the assessment report was published in 2007 it referenced and discussed both papers.

Scientists are people, they have all the weaknesses of ordinary people. But the formal system of science works pretty well in spite of being nothing but human beings. Peer-review is nothing more than social influence, but it is conducted in a certain atmosphere, with certain well-qualified participants, according to certain strict rules, and over time it has allowed human civilization to accomplish amazing things. Published research results are one thing, chit-chat among scientists is another.

Nature closes their editorial warning researchers to be careful in the way they discuss their work.
In the end, what the UEA e-mails really show is that scientists are human beings — and that unrelenting opposition to their work can goad them to the limits of tolerance, and tempt them to act in ways that undermine scientific values. Yet it is precisely in such circumstances that researchers should strive to act and communicate professionally, and make their data and methods available to others, lest they provide their worst critics with ammunition. After all, the pressures the UEA e-mailers experienced may be nothing compared with what will emerge as the United States debates a climate bill next year, and denialists use every means at their disposal to undermine trust in scientists and science.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim says: "The thing that worries me is a trend away from critical thinking,"

This worries me too. Like the Montgomery County Council declaring that the new definition of gender is well....anything anyone wants it to be at any given moment.

Or, pro-abortionists declaring that a baby isn't a baby, even though science allows us to look into a womb and see a human baby.

Where has the critical thinking gone?

Hope it comes back.

December 06, 2009 10:04 PM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Anon complained:

“This worries me too. Like the Montgomery County Council declaring that the new definition of gender is well....anything anyone wants it to be at any given moment.”

Actually, Bill 23-07 states:

“Gender identity means an individual’s actual or perceived gender, including a person’s gender-related appearance, expression, image, identity, or behavior, whether or not those gender-related characteristics differ from the characteristics customarily associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.”

EVERYONE has a gender identity, even anonymous bloggers. Some people have a masculine gender identity, some have a feminine one, others somewhere in between, some neither or neutral, and some a combination of both. It’s great that I work in a county that can no longer fire people simply because they have a gender identity that some folks aren’t comfortable with, or get confused by.

I personally have a hard time understanding why there are some people who want to force other people to act, dress, groom, and talk in a certain way simply because of what kind of genitals they have… I mean it’s not like they’re ever going to have personal experience with those genitals anyway. They shouldn’t even be seeing them, unless they have been given explicit permission, or they are some kind of pervert who somehow managed a sneak peak. This is America – you know, the one in “This is America, it’s a free country.”

These folks seem to be operating under the presumption that all behavior stems from a person’s genitalia. While the hormones that the gonads produce certainly influence mood in relatively predictable patterns (take away my Premarin and I’ll start to PMS in a few days) they are simply not the source of one’s gender identity.

Presuming that everyone’s behavior is entirely based upon one’s genitals also entirely fails to explain another simple fact. Namely that some people are not accurately characterized by their genitalia at all, but they are rather far more precisely described by an anatomically proximal structure known as the colon.

Have a nice day,


December 06, 2009 11:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

“The thing that worries me is a trend away from critical thinking…

…it is a rejection of education itself”

I second.

December 07, 2009 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the guys at East Anglia are the ones who rejected critical thinking

they decided they would suppress data so others couldn't examine the basis of their findings

they didn't want to enable critical thinking to take place

one of the believers in global warming here last week said man-made global warming would "survive" the climategate scandal

interesting choice of words

sounds like the writer is hoping global warming is happening for some advocacy purpose

liberals do indeed ignore the scientific understanding that has developed since 1973 about the human fetus because none of it supports their desire to make it optional to kill inconvenient babies

gender identity is a subjective concept not detectable by scientific analysis yet it hasn't stopped its supporters from trying to usurp scientific authority for its theories

the threat to critical thinking and scientific integrity is because liberals have incessantly tried to shoehorn scientific theories into their political causes and scientists have too often played along

Wall Street Journal today summarizes the skeptics major issues with man-made global warming theory and the response of global warming believers:

December 07, 2009 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In an interview with NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press," Sen. John McCain came to Srarh Palin's defense, saying she is "what the Republican Party needs to regain power in the midterms and ultimately in 2012." He also said he continues to have a "wonderful relationship" with her and that he enjoyed her book in spite of the negative things it has to say about his campaign.

"I am entertained every time I see these people attack her and attack her and attack her. They say she's irrelevant, but they continue to attack her. I am so proud of her and the work that she is doing," McCain said."

December 07, 2009 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Do you even know where East Anglia is?


December 07, 2009 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

East Anglia's in England, Robert.

December 07, 2009 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had thought it was SW of London but I just looked it up on a map and it's in Norwich, NE of London, straight across the North Sea from Amsterdam.

Why is the location of this bastion of anti-scientific miscreants important to you, Robert?

December 07, 2009 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"I am entertained every time I see these people attack her and attack her and attack her. THEY SAY SHE'S IRRELEVANT, but they continue to attack her. I am so proud of her and the work that she is doing," McCain said."

Lying again, Anon?

Per the WSJ piece, "McCain Lauds Palin, Then Calls Her Irrelevant," here's the actual John McCain quote:

"I am entertained every time I see these people attack her and attack her and attack her. SHE'S IRRELEVANT, but they continue to attack her. I am so proud of her and the work that she is doing," McCain said.

December 07, 2009 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain has said he either misquoted or misinterpretted.

Call him and ask him.

His point is the same any objective observer makes: despite saying she has no chance of succeeding at anything, liberals are so scared of her potential that they attack her as if she's about to take over the entire free world unless she can be stopped.

December 07, 2009 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Video of John McCain on Meet the Press yesterday

Thirty seconds into the video, McCain laughs and says "She's irrelevant, but they continue to attack her..."

December 07, 2009 3:39 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

It is unclear whether Sen. McCain was, himself, calling Sarah Palin irrelevant, or was saying the people who attack her call her "irrelevant." I suspect the latter, from the tone of his voice in the interview and all the surrounding discussion.

If John McCain was telling the truth about his feelings about Sarah Palin, then the country dodged a bullet in more ways than one when it voted to elect Barack Obama rather than John McCain.

Back to the original post, however, I want to thank Jim for a very thoughtful discussion of the issue. Wish there was more of it out there.

December 07, 2009 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Merle said...

This is great -- Aunt Bea just caught Anon totally fabricating a quote to make John McCain say what he wants him to say.

Anon, you're a moron.

Aunt Bea, you're the best!

December 07, 2009 3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

which was meant exactly as he said, sarcastically

here's how the reporters usually do it when the context needs to embellished to preserve the meaning:

"[They say] she's irrelevant, but they continue to attack her."

by your twisted interpretation, it wouldn't make any sense when he said she is "what the Republican Party needs to regain power in the midterms and ultimately in 2012."

how could that be irrelevant?

how could they let you get into the computer room at the funny farm again?

December 07, 2009 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If John McCain was telling the truth about his feelings about Sarah Palin, then the country dodged a bullet in more ways than one when it voted to elect Barack Obama rather than John McCain."

You've got to be kidding, David.

In less than a year, Obama already has the approval of less than half of Americans.

He has lazily passed off all policy development to Congress, insuring the comtinuation of the partisan deadlock he promised to end

He has been a disaster at representing our interests overseas

He has let unemployment rise to 10% after promising not to allow it to go above 8%- most experts predict it will stay bad until November 2012

Sounds to me like we put a national bullet to the head by electing him

December 07, 2009 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"by your twisted interpretation, it wouldn't make any sense when he said she is "what the Republican Party needs to regain power in the midterms and ultimately in 2012." "

Unless he was being sarcastic then.

December 07, 2009 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

believe me, like most Americans, John McCain will vote for Sarah Palin in 2012, who will then appoint him Defense Secretary

I wonder who the Democrats will run

Palin will have no trouble with anyone other than Jerry Brown

December 07, 2009 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The thing that worries me is a tendency of some members of our society to reject clear reasoning in favor of oversimplified visceral responding to complex events."

I know what you mean.

Here's a couple of examples:

1. cap on head, boots and suit of red, special night, beard that's white: must be santa

2. warm winter, more cars: must be global warming caused by humans

"Climate-change skeptics, fired up by the controversy over a series of British scientists' e-mails, are putting President Obama on notice: Don't commit the United States to any long-term goals at next week's climate summit in Copenhagen.

One of the strongest such warnings has come from a member of the president's own party, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.

"Recent statements by Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern indicate that negotiators may be intending to commit the United States to a nationwide emission-reduction program," Mr. Webb wrote in a letter to the president.

"As you well know from your time in the Senate, only specific legislation agreed upon in the Congress, or a treaty ratified by the Senate, could actually create such a commitment on behalf of our country."

Some prominent skeptics are going further, arguing that Mr. Obama should not attend the summit at all.

"Every time he attends, he will give something away," said Fred Singer, a professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia.

"He is expected to bring presents. If he doesn't attend, less will be expected of us, and that is better," Mr. Singer said. "My hope is that the U.S. Senate will not approve any kind of treaty obligation."

Referring to the British e-mails, he said, "We finally have proof of what we have always suspected - that these guys have been fudging the data. My hope also is that there will be an independent science panel who will go over their data and methods and come up with a report that will set the matter straight."

Whatever one's views on the science of climate change, the so-called Climategate scandal could not have come at a worse time for those who hope to see the world's major industrial countries take strong action at the Copenhagen climate summit, which opens Monday with more than 10,000 participants.

Contained among thousands of e-mails released last month from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit are a number of remarks that suggest the scientists there distorted some data to conform to their expectations. The center's chief has stepped down pending an investigation of the e-mails.

"It's getting into a card game without a lot of cards," said Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and retired University of Virginia environmental sciences professor. He portrayed Mr. Obama's decision to attend the summit as a "panicked" response to the e-mails' release.

The leaks also have left the American public more confused about whether to believe in global warming, according to a Rassmussen Reports telephone survey released on Thursday.

It found that 46 percent of Americans say global warming constitutes a major problem, with 36 percent disagreeing and 18 percent undecided. Fifty-nine percent, however, contend it is at least somewhat likely that some scientists could have falsified their research in an effort to bolster global-warming claims. Thirty-five percent said it's very likely, while 26 percent said not very or not likely at all that the researchers falsified their work.

The Rasmussen poll also found little confidence among Americans in climate research carried out under the auspices of the United Nations. Just 22 percent of Americans said they consider the global body a reliable source for global-warming information, while 49 percent said it is not reliable. Another 29 percent said they weren't sure."

The reputation of scientists took a serious hit at East Anglia.

December 07, 2009 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama approval rating numbers released in December so far:

Gallup 47%
Ramussen 49%
CNN 48%

Dems need to start looking for a viable candidate in 2012

George Will:

"WASHINGTON -- With 20,000 delegates, advocates and journalists jetting to Copenhagen for planet Earth's last chance, the carbon footprint of the global warming summit will be the only impressive consequence of the climate change meeting. Its organizers had hoped it would produce binding caps on emissions, global taxation to redistribute trillions of dollars, and micromanagement of everyone's choices.

China, nimble at the politics of pretending that is characteristic of climate change theater, promises only to reduce its "carbon intensity" -- carbon emissions per unit of production. So China's emissions will rise.

Barack Obama, understanding the histrionics required in climate change debates, promises that U.S. emissions in 2050 will be 83 percent below 2005 levels. If so, 2050 emissions will equal those in 1910, when there were 92 million Americans. But there will be 420 million in 2050, so Obama's promise means that per capita emissions then will be about what they were in 1875. That. Will. Not. Happen.

Disclosure of e-mails and documents from the Climate Research Unit in Britain -- a collaborator with the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- reveals some scientists' willingness to suppress or massage data and rig the peer review process and the publication of scholarly work. The CRU materials also reveal paranoia on the part of scientists who believe that in trying to engineer "consensus" and alarm about warming, they are a brave and embattled minority. Actually, never in peacetime history has the government-media-academic complex been in such sustained propagandistic lockstep about any subject.

The Washington Post learns an odd lesson from the CRU materials: "Climate scientists should not let themselves be goaded by the irresponsibility of the deniers into overstating the certainties of complex science or, worse, censoring discussion of them." These scientists overstated and censored because they were "goaded" by skepticism?

Were their science as unassailable as they insist it is, and were the consensus as broad as they say it is, and were they as brave as they claim to be, they would not be "goaded" into intellectual corruption. Nor would they meretriciously bandy the word "deniers" to disparage skepticism that shocks communicants in the faith-based global warming community."

December 07, 2009 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Skeptics about the shrill certitudes concerning catastrophic manmade warming are skeptical because climate change is constant: From millennia before the Medieval Warm Period (800 to 1300), through the Little Ice Age (1500 to 1850), and for millennia hence, climate change is always a 100 percent certainty. Skeptics doubt that the scientists' models, which cannot explain the present, infallibly map the distant future.

The Financial Times' peculiar response to the CRU materials is: The scientific case for alarm about global warming "is growing more rather than less compelling." If so, then could anything make the case less compelling? A CRU e-mail says: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" -- this "moment" is in its second decade -- "and it is a travesty that we can't."

The travesty is the intellectual arrogance of the authors of climate change models partially based on the problematic practice of reconstructing long-term prior climate changes. On such models we are supposed to wager trillions of dollars -- and substantially diminished freedom.

Some climate scientists compound their delusions of intellectual adequacy with messiah complexes. They seem to suppose themselves a small clerisy entrusted with the most urgent truth ever discovered. On it, and hence on them, the planet's fate depends. So some of them consider it virtuous to embroider facts, exaggerate certitudes, suppress inconvenient data, and manipulate the peer review process to suppress scholarly dissent and, above all, to declare that the debate is over.

Consider the sociology of science, the push and pull of interests, incentives, appetites and passions. Governments' attempts to manipulate Earth's temperature now comprise one of the world's largest industries. Tens of billions of dollars are being dispensed, as by the U.S. Energy Department, which has suddenly become, in effect, a huge venture capital operation, speculating in green technologies. Political, commercial, academic and journalistic prestige and advancement can be contingent on not disrupting the (postulated) consensus that is propelling the gigantic and fabulously lucrative industry of combating global warming.

Copenhagen is the culmination of the post-Kyoto maneuvering by people determined to fix the world's climate by breaking the world's -- especially America's -- population to the saddle of ever-more-minute supervision by governments. But Copenhagen also is prologue for the 2010 climate change summit in Mexico City, which will be planet Earth's last chance, until the next one."

December 07, 2009 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Jan-Dec Global Mean Temperature over Land & Ocean plots these mean temperatures from 1880 to 2003.

NOAA's October 2009 State of the Climate Global Analysis reports:

Global Highlights

-The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for October 2009 was the sixth warmest on record, with an anomaly of 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F).

-The global land surface temperature for October 2009 was 0.82°C (1.48°F) above the 20th century average of 9.3°C (48.7°F), and ranked as the sixth warmest October on record.

-The worldwide ocean temperature was the fifth warmest October on record, with an anomaly of 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F).

-For the year to date, the global combined land and ocean surface temperature of 14.7 °C (58.4 °F) tied with 2007 as the fifth-warmest January-through-October period on record. This value is 0.56°C (1.01°F) above the 20th century average.

Today's WaPo shows another NOAA graph (without specifying if the date is of land, sea, or combined temperatures), with a note stating:

"...nine of the world's hottest years have occurred this decade."

All this squawking about what the stolen emails supposedly show, but as the Nature article Jim linked to in this thread points out, the papers and arguments the emails talked about suppressing, ended up in the reports anyway!

Whatever the e-mail authors may have said to one another in (supposed) privacy, however, what matters is how they acted. And the fact is that, in the end, neither they nor the IPCC suppressed anything

Further, NOAA's data confirms the IPCC data. Even Alaskans relocating their villages as the permafrost melts confirm the data: Earth is warmer than ever recorded.

December 07, 2009 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eskimos in Alaska?

if they're unhappy with more moderate temperatures, they can always move to Antarctica

while sea ice has been decreasing in the Northern Polar regions, it has been increasing in the Southern Polar regions so globally the net effect in negligible

the surface land temperature comparison are all suspect because the urban island effect

comparing temperatures collected at stations in the 1800s skew data because many of these stations were rural at the time and are now in urban areas

prior to the mid-1800s, data used by scientists was mostly from East Anglia which was manipulated to hide the effect of the ice age in the last millenium

temperatures have risen since but are simply returning to normal and are now similar to temperatures prior to that time

there is no evidence that temperatures are currently accelerating and, thus, no evidence that human activity is causing it

there is no discernible reason why temperatures have not risen since 1998 based on the human-based global warming theories

solar output is much more determinative and is, currently, unpredictable

there has never been a period in which the climate was stable, it's always changing

December 07, 2009 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Where did you get the idea that the southern sea ice is increasing? Rush? Shawn? Sarah? The ice-packs in Antartica are breaking apart at unprecedented rates.

As for East Anglia, just promoting Geography.

Do you know which counties East Anglia comprises?

December 08, 2009 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a link to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado for the uninformed Robert

it doesn't get a lot of publicity but here's a quote from the above link:

"Passive microwave satellite data reveal that, since 1979, winter Arctic ice extent has decreased about 4.2 percent per decade. Antarctic ice extent is increasing."

there are charts and discussion of the causes

while they say that human caused changes is the probable cause of the Arctic decrease, they do discuss the fact that there are other possibilities and, epiphany time, climate change is very complex and hard to draw definitive conclusions about

December 08, 2009 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"Passive microwave satellite data reveal that, since 1979, winter Arctic ice extent has decreased about 4.2 percent per decade. Antarctic ice extent is increasing."

The second sentence of this quote does not end with "increasing" does it, Anone? The full quote is:

"Antarctic ice extent is increasing (Cavalieri et al. 2003), but the trend is small."

And in the intervening six years, that small trend has been revealed as a blip, but Vigilance readers are well aware Anone is quite willing to spin any minor statement into big fat lie.

More recently than 2003, NOAA reports:

What’s happening to Antarctic ice shelves?

In the last thirty years, scientists have observed a series of unusual ice shelf collapses on the Antarctic Peninsula. Although it is not unusual for ice shelves to calve large icebergs, that process normally takes months to years, as cracks slowly form in the ice. Following a calving, ice shelves generally recover over a period of decades.

In recent years, ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula and along the northern coast of Canada have experienced rapid disintegration. In March 2008, the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica retreated by more than 400 square kilometers (160 square miles). Later that summer, several ice shelves along Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada broke up in a matter of days.

In contrast, the collapses in previous years happened over a period of weeks,
leaving a soup of chunky ice and small icebergs. The remaining ice shelves retreated by as much as 90 percent, and several have experienced repeated collapses. For more information on recent collapses, see Wilkins Ice Shelf Breakup Events and Larsen Ice Shelf Breakup Events. To learn more about the current state of ice shelves, see State of the Cryosphere: Ice Shelves.

December 08, 2009 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here's more of what Anone omitted from the University of Colorado link:

"Decline Causes

Greenhouse gases emitted through human activities and the resulting increase in global mean temperatures are the most likely underlying cause of the sea ice decline, but the direct cause is a complicated combination of factors resulting from the warming, and from climate variability. The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is a see-saw pattern of alternating atmospheric pressure at polar and mid-latitudes. The positive phase produces a strong polar vortex, with the mid-latitude jet stream shifted northward. The negative phase produces the opposite conditions. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the AO flipped between positive and negative phases, but it entered a strong positive pattern between 1989 and 1995. So the acceleration in the sea ice decline since the mid 1990s may have been partly triggered by the strongly positive AO mode during the preceding years (Rigor et al. 2002 and Rigor and Wallace 2004) that flushed older, thicker ice out of the Arctic, but other factors also played a role.

Since the mid-1990s, the AO has largely been a neutral or negative phase, and the late 1990s and early 2000s brought a weakening of the Beaufort Gyre. However, the longevity of ice in the gyre began to change as a result of warming along the Alaskan and Siberian coasts. In the past, sea ice in this gyre could remain in the Arctic for many years, thickening over time. Beginning in the late 1990s, sea ice began melting in the southern arm of the gyre, thanks to warmer air temperatures and more extensive summer melt north of Alaska and Siberia. Moreover, ice movement out of the Arctic through Fram Strait continued at a high rate despite the change in the AO. Thus warming conditions and wind patterns have been the main drivers of the steeper decline since the late 1990s. Sea ice may not be able to recover under the current persistently warm conditions, and a tipping point may have been passed where the Arctic will eventually be ice-free during at least part of the summer (Lindsay and Zhang 2005).

Examination of the long-term satellite record dating back to 1979 and earlier records dating back to the 1950s indicate that spring melt seasons have started earlier and continued for a longer period throughout the year (Serreze et al. 2007). Even more disquieting, comparison of actual Arctic sea ice decline to IPCC AR4 projections show that observed ice loss is faster than any of the IPCC AR4 models have predicted (Stroeve et al. 2007).

Last updated: 13 November 2009

Faster than the IPCC predicted? So even with the out-of-context emails that supposedly show a bias toward some supposed "global warming consensus agenda," the IPCC still underestimated the effects of global warming on ice loss!

December 08, 2009 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Here's the link I forgot to include to the NOAA's report "Quick Facts on Ice Shelves" that includes a section called "What’s happening to Antarctic ice shelves?"

December 08, 2009 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you might not notice if you're sane and didn't bother to read inane-B's typical exercise in using 100 words when 10 will do, but my statement was correct

arctic sea ice is decreasing but antarctic sea ice is increasing

as far as ice shelves breaking off, they always have and her NOAA link has this statement:

"Because ice shelves already float in the ocean, they do not contribute directly to sea level rise when they break up."

truth is, no one think Antarctica will be warm enough to sustain a self-sustaining population of human life during the life span of anyone alive today

if you think so, inane-B, you might want to build a summer home now while the prices are low

in short, it's not warming up

December 08, 2009 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from today's Forbes, the East Anglia "scientists" behaved like priests whose orthodoxy needs to be protected from heresy:

"Though professional hysterics may seek to "hide the decline," there has been a noticeable drop in the number of Americans who believe that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. Pause on that for a moment. Though Americans have been harangued about global warming for more than a decade, only 35 percent told a recent Pew survey that global warming is a serious problem, compared with 44 percent the previous year.

This skepticism predated the exposure of the East Anglia e-mails -- those playful missives that reveal some of the most prominent climate researchers to be, if not outright charlatans, at least partisans.

Why don't people buy global warming? Doubtless the poor economy has pushed less immediate worries to the background. But even before the e-mails revealed that supposedly neutral truth seekers were prepared to "redefine peer review" and engage in statistical sleight of hand "to hide" inconvenient truths, there were ample reasons for skepticism.

It's chilly: There is the pesky fact that, contrary to the dire predictions of climate alarmists, there has been no measurable increase in world temperatures since 1998. Yet the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere has continued to rise. The computer models immortalized by Al Gore did not anticipate this; in fact, they predicted that temperatures would continue to rise steeply more or less forever, except that human beings would all die in 50 years or so with unknown (though presumably salutary) effects on the by-then Venus-like surface of planet Earth.

Bullying: Every time a scientist or policymaker slammed his hand on a desk and growled "The science is settled!" he demonstrated how remote he was from the scientific method. In true science, nothing is ever settled.

It's Freudian: The Viennese analyst taught that if you say you hate your mother, you hate your mother. And if you say you love your mother, you are in denial about hating your mother. Climate change believers are like Freudians. If the weather is warm, it's proof of global warming. But if the weather is cool, this, too, is evidence of the sinister tricks global warming can play.

Sunspots: Look at the graphs comparing sunspot activity since 1860 with global sea surface temperatures. They look like matching S curves (unlike the graphs comparing temperatures with CO2 output). Harvard astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon notes that 2008 may have been a cold year because sunspot activity was low. The sun has been quiet in 2009, too. "If this deep solar minimum continues," Dr. Soon explains, "and our planet cools while CO2 levels continue to rise, thinking needs to change. This will be a very telling time and it's very, very useful in terms of science and society in my opinion."

Nuclear energy: Global warming priests, while sermonizing about the need to spend trillions on new energy sources, almost never have a kind word for nuclear power -- casting doubt on their motives. If the goal were really to reduce our carbon output (and not to recast our way of life), clean, efficient, affordable nuclear power would be the obvious choice."

December 08, 2009 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Fool me once: The same people whose hair is on fire now about climate change have dressed up in fright masks before. Thirty years ago, they were (no joke) enormously agitated about the coming new ice age. From these same precincts (the Club of Rome, 1972) we were warned that the world was rapidly running out of oil, gas, aluminum, lead, zinc, copper, tin, and uranium. (We didn't.) At the same time, all of the smart people were absolutely convinced that overpopulation was the greatest threat to the globe and to humanity itself. Paul Ehrlich, author of "The Population Bomb," offered in 1980 that "If I were a gambler, I would bet even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." That same year, the Carter administration issued a global forecast predicting that "the world in 2000 will be more crowded, more polluted, less stable ecologically ... and the world's people will be poorer in many ways than they are today." Um, no.

The scaremongers' track record is poor. For people who seem to worship Mother Earth, they are oddly arrogant about their ability to understand complex systems like climate. Every day brings new discoveries about the incredibly complicated interplay of oceans, atmospheric gases, algae, wind, plants, animal excretions, solar radiation, and so forth.

The East Anglia e-mails reveal a priesthood becoming more and more hysterical as their certainty evaporates. Like all orthodoxies under duress, they are making war on heresy.

It's not illegal. But it's not science."

December 08, 2009 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Anone claims "arctic sea ice is decreasing but antarctic sea ice is increasing"

He derived this partial truth from his friends at the University of Colorado, who wrote:

"Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice Extent, 1979-2009: Although Arctic sea ice extent underwent a strong decline from 1979 to 2009, Antarctic sea ice underwent a slight increase. The Antarctic ice extent increases were smaller in magnitude than the Arctic increases, and some regions of the Antarctic experienced strong declining trends in sea ice extent. See the Arctic Sea Ice FAQ for more information. Image provided by National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder."

Ice losses from the "strong decline" in Arctic ice extent plus the "strong declining trends" in some regions of Antarctic ice extent were not offset by the "slight increase" in other regions of Antarctic ice extent. The net result is a loss of global ice extent.

UC's Arctic Sea Ice FAQ reports:

Wintertime Antarctic sea ice is increasing at a small rate and with substantial natural year-to-year variability in the time series. While Antarctic sea ice reached a near-record-high annual minimum in March 2008, this does not indicate a significant long-term trend. To borrow an analogy from sports, one high day, month, or even year of sea ice is no more significant than one early-season win would be in predicting whether the hometown team will win the Super Bowl ten seasons from now.

Another important point is that the increase in Antarctic sea ice extent is not surprising to climate scientists. When scientists refer to global warming, they don’t mean warming will occur everywhere on the planet at the same rate. In some places, temporary cooling may even occur. Antarctica is an example of regional cooling. Even our earliest climate models projected that Antarctica would be much slower in responding to rising greenhouse gas concentrations than the Arctic. In large part, this reflects the nature of the ocean structure in Antarctica, in which water warmed at the surface quickly mixes downward, making it harder to melt ice.

In terms of sea ice, climate model projections of Antarctic sea ice extent are in reasonable agreement with the observations to date. It also appears that atmospheric greenhouse gases, as well as the loss of ozone, have acted to increase the winds around Antarctica. Perhaps counter intuitively, this has further protected the Antarctic from warming and has fostered more ice growth.

The one region of Antarctica that is strongly warming is the Antarctic Peninsula, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and is thus less protected by the altered wind pattern. The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing ice shelf collapse and strongly reduced sea ice.

Finally, even if wintertime Antarctic sea ice were to increase or decrease significantly in the future, it would not have a huge impact on the climate system. This is because during the Antarctic winter energy from the sun is at its weakest point; its ability or inability to reflect the sun’s energy back into space has little affect on regulating the planet’s temperature.

Anone blathered epiphany time, climate change is very complex and hard to draw definitive conclusions about


using 100 words when 10 will do, but my statement was correct

Your statement was partially true, but missing important relevant facts. Sorry Anone, but 10 words do not suffice when discussing causes that are "very complex and hard to draw definitive conclusions about". Reading comprehension suffers when you skip over "inconvenient" details.

December 08, 2009 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Reading comprehension suffers when you skip over "inconvenient" details."

Interesting that it doesn't bother you that the East Anglia scientists did exactly this.

They not only skipped it, they refused to release it and erased it to prevent others from "comprehending" it.

Responsible parties are calling for a cessation of agreements on action until the investigation of the East Anglia manipulations is complete.

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have informed Sir Barry O that he doesn't have the authority to commit the U.S. without Congressional approval.

The O-man has retorted that he has the power to skip Congressional approval because of the power of the EPA.

Obama looks to be about to put another nail in his political coffin.

Reading comprehension suffers when you skip over "inconvenient" details.

"FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Dec. 8) -- A howling winter storm barreled through the West, hitting the mountain states with snow and fierce winds as it headed toward the country's midsection on Tuesday.

The far-reaching storm system stretched from California to Indiana, gathering strength as it raced eastward.

Parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin were bracing for blizzard conditions and up to 10 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service."

Our loquacious old crow is at it again but two points remain:

sea ice is increasing in the Southern hemisphere

collapse of Antarctic ice shelfs doesn't affect sea level, the shelfs are already in the sea so it doesn't matter whether they're attached to land or not

more propaganda from the polar bear defense league

December 08, 2009 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COPENHAGEN – The 20,000 or so participants in the international climate change conference here begin Day 2 of their proceedings with clarity about just one thing.

This is still going to be hard.

For all of the clock-is-ticking rhetoric, for all the pleas to stop “restating well-known positions,” for all the gauzy good feeling that comes with the coming together of old friends and foes, the difficulties of Day 1 showed that negotiators will need to work overtime to get even a treaty-lite “political agreement” finished by the time everyone goes home at the end of next week.

The Obama administration provided an opening-day boost with the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that it was issuing an “endangerment finding” on global warming. But it may have been enough only to counteract some of the damage being caused by “climategate,” the stolen-email controversy that has emboldened critics like Saudi Arabia – not exactly a fan of ending the world’s dependence on fossil fuels – to demand an investigation before the U.S. takes further action on greenhouse gases.

Outside the U.N.'s high-security perimeter, other climate-change critics and skeptics converged on Copenhagen to argue that the Earth needs more carbon dioxide, not less. Inside, Sweden's minister of environment worried that neither the United States nor China is willing to take the hard steps necessary to keep global warming in check.

And back in Washington, a senior House Republican took the EPA to task for declaring that greenhouse gases pose a danger to human health without investigating the e-mail scandal first.

"Why the rush? What's to hide?" California Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked in a statement.

December 08, 2009 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

This supposed email scandal, released three weeks before the world's leaders were to meet to discuss climate change and what do to about it, is a tempest in a tea pot. The science is sound and the next time somebody asks for the data, researchers will get it.

One of the world's leading authorities on climate change has dismissed the contents of controversial e-mails leaked from the University of East Anglia as nothing more than friends and colleagues "letting off steam."

"Well, I can tell you, privately when I talk to my friends, I use language much worse than that. This was purely private communications between friends, between, colleagues, they were letting off steam. I think we should see it as nothing more than that," Rajendra Pachauri, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) told CNN...

...Pachauri told CNN there was no way that unreliable climate data could have made its way into the IPCC report.

"There are so many checks and balances in the processes and procedures that we follow at the IPCC, there is not one iota of possibility that something like this would happen," he said.

He added he would not hesitate in using the unit's information in any future IPCC reports.

"Well why not, if they are qualified in professional terms I certainly would," Pachauri said.

"I don't see any reason why they should be excluded. The fact is that their actions, their contributions have been totally above board. And they've been completely objective in what they've carried out. So I don't have any reason whatsoever to leave them out if there's a requirement and they qualify," he added...

December 08, 2009 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Reading comprehension suffers when you skip over "inconvenient" details.

"FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Dec. 8) -- A howling winter storm barreled through the West

What are you saying Anone? That a single winter storm in Flagstaff on December 8 disproves global warming? Sorry Charlie.

collapse of Antarctic ice shelfs doesn't affect sea level, the shelfs are already in the sea so it doesn't matter whether they're attached to land or not

more propaganda from the polar bear defense league

The propaganda is yours. Do you think all ice shelves are the same? Read carefully, comprehension is important:

Anone's favorite University of Colorado site reports:

"Ice shelves fall into three categories: (1) ice shelves fed by glaciers, (2) ice shelves created by sea ice, and (3) composite ice shelves (Jeffries 2002). Most of the world's ice shelves, including the largest, are fed by glaciers and are located in Greenland and Antarctica...

...In a stable glacier-ice shelf system, the glacier's downhill movement is offset by the buoyant force of the water on the front of the shelf. Warmer temperatures destabilize this system by lubricating the glacier's base and creating melt ponds that eventually carve through the shelf. Once the ice shelf retreats to the grounding line, the buoyant force that used to offset glacier flow becomes negligible, and the glacier picks up speed on its way to the sea..."

And again Anone's favorite University of Colorado site reports:

"Because ice shelves already float in the ocean, they do not contribute directly to sea level rise when they break up. However, ice shelf collapse could contribute to sea level rise indirectly. Ice streams and glaciers constantly push on ice shelves, but the shelves eventually come up against coastal features such as islands and peninsulas, building pressure that slows their movement into the ocean. If an ice shelf collapses, the backpressure disappears. The glaciers that fed into the ice shelf speed up, flowing more quickly out to sea. Glaciers and ice sheets rest on land, so once they flow into the ocean, they contribute to sea level rise.

Research suggests that glaciers behind ice shelves may accelerate by as much as five times following a rapid ice shelf retreat. To read about a recent study on such glacial acceleration, see the 2004 news release, Antarctic Glaciers Accelerate in Wake of Ice Shelf Breakup.

December 08, 2009 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, if ice shelfs totally collapsed that would cause a problem but that's not happening

btw, global temperatures haven't increased sinced 1998

all rhetoric

the antics at East Anglia has doomed the Copenhagen summit where Obama will again look like his ineffective self

do you know how many overseas trips this will have taken by new Year's Day?

he needs to focus on creating jobs

a new cap and trade tax won't help at all

December 08, 2009 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

yes, if ice shelfs totally collapsed that would cause a problem but that's not happening

Yes, that's exactly what's happening. Ice shelves fed by glaciers are collapsing and the glaciers fed them, rather than being held on land, are pouring out into the sea, raising sea level.

From Anone's favorite global warming research site again:

8 April 2009
Media Advisory: Ice Bridge Supporting Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses

An ice bridge connecting the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula to Charcot Island has disintegrated. The event continues a series of breakups that began in March 2008 on the ice shelf, and highlights the effect that climate change is having on the region.

Images from the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on the Terra and Aqua satellites showed the shattering of the ice bridge between March 31, 2009 and April 6, 2009. The loss of the ice bridge, which was bracing the remaining portions of the Wilkins ice shelf, will now allow a mass of broken ice and icebergs to drift into the Southern Ocean.

The Wilkins is following a pattern of instability and rapid collapse that many Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves have experienced in recent years. Scientists think that the dramatic loss of these ice shelves, which have existed for hundreds to thousands of years, is an important sign of climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. The loss of an ice shelf can also allow the glaciers that feed into it to start flowing ice into the ocean at an accelerated rate, contributing to a rise in global sea levels.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf first began to break up in the mid-1990s. Last March, the Wilkins lost another 400 square kilometers (160 square miles) in a rapid retreat (March 2008 Press Release), and the ice shelf continued to form new cracks over the winter.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is located on the southwestern Antarctic Peninsula, the fastest-warming region of the Earth. In the past 50 years, the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by 2.5 degrees Celsius (4 degrees Fahrenheit)...

Is lying some sort of compulsion for you? You don't seem to be able to stop yourself.

December 08, 2009 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, the ice bridge at Charcot Island is not the only connection to land

Wilkins is still attached to land

several scientists have said the crack in this thin bridge at Charcot was more likely due to longer ocean wavelengths from distant storms than rising temperatures

"To a certain degree, Ted Scambos of NSIDC explained, the importance of the bridge had diminished by the time it broke up. A line of fractures had already appeared south of the bridge, connecting various islands and ice rises, which are likely to become the new front of the ice shelf after the current break-up ends, he said. That’s where the bergs are now dropping into the ocean.

“When the ice bridge collapsed, these rifts re-activated,” he said prior to the new activity reported by ESA. “But it doesn't appear that there are new rifts forming even further into the shelf. I don't think we’ll see a complete break-up of the remaining southern two-thirds of the Wilkins this year.”

Furthermore, there aren't many glaciers in the Wilkins region so even if the shelf broke free, which scientists aren't predicting anytime soon, there would be little sea level rise.

And, remember, overall sea ice in increasing in the Southern polar regions.

December 08, 2009 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting story

shows how scientists have been saying the Wilkins Ice Shelf is about to collapse every summer for at least 15 years and recycling the same photos year after year as proof

it's actually healed and reformed several times during that period

more propaganda

December 08, 2009 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people in Iowa might want to let their cars run all night to try to warm things up

today is December 8:

"FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Dec. 9) -- A fierce winter storm was moving into the nation's midsection Tuesday, promising to wallop the region with heavy snow and strong winds.

Officials were warning residents in parts of the west and Midwest to stay close to home.

"Anybody traveling tomorrow morning is really taking a huge risk I would say — a risk of being stranded and not having anybody be able to help you for 6 or 12 hours, probably," Karl Jungbluth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Johnston, Iowa, said Tuesday."

if this globe gets any warmer, I'm gonna throw up!

December 08, 2009 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you just grow up

December 08, 2009 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the one trying to defend a bunch of charlatans

December 08, 2009 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

I'm not the one trying to defend a bunch of charlatans

Yes you are. One of the charlatans you've defended for years right here on Vigilance was on Rachel Maddow's show last night. His name is Richard Cohen, and he's an ex-President of PFOX.

Excerpts of the transcript of last night's show follow:

MADDOW: But you have told them, particularly in your book, “Coming Out Straight,” which I understand you donated multiple copies of to this organization that‘s promoting this bill. You‘re telling them exactly what they need to hear in order to justify the kill-the-gays bill. I mean, your book portrays gay people as predators who must be stopped to protect the innocent.

COHEN: Oh, no, no, no.

MADDOW: It doesn‘t?

COHEN: No, no, no. Not at all...

MADDOW: Let me try to make more comprehensible to you. The legislator who sponsored the bill told the Associated Press today, that he insists these strict measures, which I know you abhor -


MADDOW: But these strict measure they‘re proposing, including execution, are necessary in their country to prevent homosexuals from recruiting school children.


MADDOW: Let me ask - I‘ll just read from your book, OK? Page 49, “Homosexuals are at least 12 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals. Homosexual teachers are at least seven times more likely to molest a pupil. Homosexual teachers are estimated to have committed at least 25 percent of pupil molestation; 40 percent of molestation assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.”

This is the claim that you make in your book that exactly feeds these folks who want to execute people for being gay, what they need in order to justify that. Do you stand by what you said in your book?

COHEN: Actually, you know, that one particular quote, when I do republish it, reprint it, we will extract that from it, because we don‘t want such things to be used against homosexual persons.

Where did he get the information from for those passages?

MADDOW: That quote is cited - you cite somebody named Paul Cameron as the source of that book.


MADDOW: Paul Cameron has been kicked out of the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and the Canadian Psychological Association.

COHEN: Yes. Right.

MADDOW: Then, he tried to make himself a sociologist. He got kicked out of the American Sociological Association. This is - I know you say you‘re not going to include it in edition three. I‘m reading from the second edition here.

COHEN: Right.

MADDOW: But this is made up information, fake authoritative stuff that, in other countries, is being taken as science and used to justify quite literally killing gay people. Do you see now why you‘re being used in a political context here?

COHEN: I see that they‘re using it, but you took that one little quote out of a 300-page book [that has been in print with that "one little passage" since 2000 - see "Copyright"].

December 09, 2009 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

What are Richard Cohen's credentials?

MADDOW: But you are not licensed?

COHEN: No, I‘m not. But I‘ve always practiced within the legal requirements of every state. [except having a license, apparently]

MADDOW: The American Counseling Association kicked you out in 2002...


MADDOW: ... or 2003 for ethical reasons. Are you certified as any sort of clinician at all?

COHEN: The American Counseling Association - actually, I‘m glad you brought that up. I‘m a victim, Rachel, of a hate crime. [Where's his legal case alleging this hate crime?] They took the heinous complaint of one client and used that as an excuse to kick me out of their non-licensing trade organization.

The acting president was a gay man. They don‘t like our work. And it‘s a lack of tolerance on their part. They don‘t allow people the right of self-determination to choose if they wish to come out of homosexuality. So shame on the ACA for their intolerance.

MADDOW: I will say that the ACA kicked you out because of ethical concerns about your financial relationship with your clients and using them to promote yourself ... [He's no longer President of PFOX, since while President, PFOX was referring clients to him.]

COHEN: Do you know what -

MADDOW: ... not because that you‘re anti-gay. But I think it‘s important to note though, and I want - just in case this gets heard in Uganda or in any other country where they‘re considering basing anti-gay legislation to remove all human rights from gay people on the basis of your claim that gay people don‘t have to be that way if they don‘t want to be.

If anybody‘s watching this anywhere in the world because you‘re considering using this, I want you to know that Richard Cohen is not licensed by any American or any other licensing body whatsoever. And I think you have represented yourself, especially by putting your master‘s degree behind your name on the cover of your book, as if you‘re an authority here, as if you represent some sort of -

COHEN: I am a professional psychotherapist, Rachel. And my credentials are that I came out of homosexuality. I‘ve been married 27 and a half years to my beautiful wife. We have three great children. And again, over 20 years, I‘ve helped thousands of men and women in this country and worldwide come out of homosexuality.

He should release his client list so a licensed professional with research experience can conduct a survey of these thousands of clients and report how many of them are still ex-gay and how many of them have become ex-ex-gay.

December 09, 2009 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Furthermore, there aren't many glaciers in the Wilkins region so even if the shelf broke free, which scientists aren't predicting anytime soon, there would be little sea level rise.

Except Wilkins is a composite ice shelf according to Anone's University of Colorado climatologists.

Antarctica has 15 major ice shelf areas, and 10 of the largest appear in this map. The Wilkins Ice Shelf is an example of a composite ice shelf comprised of both glacier-fed ice and fast ice thickened by snowfall. The others are glacier-fed, but ice formed from direct snowfall accumulation is a significant part of all permanent ice shelves.

The world's ice shelves don't seem so "permanent" these days. Nowadays they have been breaking up more than then have been reforming, sometimes even during winter months.

Most of the other Antarctic ice shelves are glacier-fed according to Anone's University of Colorado climatologists.

Antarctic Glaciers Accelerate in Wake of Ice Shelf Breakup: Why Glaciers Accelerate

In Antarctica, glaciers flowing to the coast form ice shelves — thick platforms of ice that float on the ocean. Together, the glacier and ice shelf form a stable system, but this system can lose its stability in response to warmer temperatures.

Warmer summer temperatures sometimes result in glacier acceleration as melt water percolates through the glacier to its base. Here the water lowers the friction between the glacier and the underlying rock. This effect is seasonal, and with the ice shelf in place, the glacier returns to a lower flow speed once summer (and surface melting) ends.

Warmer summer temperatures can also lead to rapid ice shelf disintegration. As temperature rises, melt water accumulates on the shelf surface. Although only a tiny fraction of the ice shelf melts, the water infiltrates the shelf through small cracks in the ice. Over time, the weight of the melt water in the cracks shatters the shelf. This happened in the Antarctic Peninsula in 1995 and again in 2002. To read more about these events, see Larsen Ice Shelf Breakup Events.

Removal of the ice shelf causes much more dramatic glacier acceleration by reducing two forces that counteract glacier flow. One counteracting force is "backstress" produced by islands or coastline underlying the original shelf. Another is the buoyant (hydrostatic) force of the seawater against the front of the shelf or glacier. A full explanation will require numerical modeling of glacier flow, but observations to date suggest that ice shelves act as "braking" systems on the glaciers behind them.
(Diagram by Ted Scambos and Michon Scott, NSIDC)

recycling the same photos

You mean like FOX NEWS recycles news photos of teabagger protests? (See: Hannity: Jon Stewart Was Right About Protest Footage) I don't remember Anone complaining about FOX reusing old photos. Maybe the reuse of old pictures was "accidental" for the scientists just like it was for the journalists.

December 09, 2009 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

A story worth looking into:

Apparently, Alameda California has a lesson for kids discouraging anti-lgbt bullying in school. A group of parents has sued the school board and launched a recall effort, and the school board has blinked, changing it's policies.

California School Board withdraws anti-bullying program under religious pressure

How does one hold one's head up defending the right to teach one's children that bullying gay kids is OK?

What would Jesus do?

Here's the link to the anti-lgbt/pro-bullying group's recall website: Showerhead's form franchise in California?

December 10, 2009 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How does one hold one's head up defending the right to teach one's children that bullying gay kids is OK?"

remember, these are elementary school kids

it isn't appropriate to teach them that deviant sexual practices are normal

the schools already have a generic anti-bullying program but are eliminating the one that singles out those who are involved in homosexual activity as a special protected group

I don't think elementary schools kids should be thinking in sexual terms so I assume this program was pointed toward kids who have a gay parent

while hopefully a unfortunate child stuck in that circumstance won't be harassed, schools shouldn't be teaching that the situation is normal or pressuring kids to act as if such a situation is normal

families headed by homosexual couples are not a good idea and should be discouraged by our society

December 10, 2009 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Families headed by anonymous trolls are not a good idea and should be discouraged by our society.

December 10, 2009 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

So Jesus would hope that queer kids not be harassed, but wouldn't actually discourage it?

December 10, 2009 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

instead of trying to pigeonhole circumstances into categories that advance your agenda, why don't you give an example of what you're talking about?

December 10, 2009 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Honey, I'm responding to your comment. You are the example. Don't you realize that?

December 10, 2009 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no, you weren't

you brought up the topic and said that anyone that doesn't want this curriculum taught in the SF Bay area school wants "to teach one's children that bullying gay kids is OK"

you also want to know: "What would Jesus do?"

lay out a scenario and we'll speculate

and, in the future, don't ask questions you don't want answers to

December 10, 2009 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"bullying gay kids is OK?"

there are now "gay" elementary school kids?

Robert, this is one of those comments, like the one you made a few months back, that show how unplugged from reality you are

December 10, 2009 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Of course there are lgbt elementary school kids.

Dearest, you said that hopefully kids wouldn't be bullied, but that schools shouldn't do anything about it.

Do you not get that "What would Jesus do?" is questioning whether people who claim religious reasons for their bigotry really believe in their religion and its principles, or just use it as an excuse to aggrandize themselves at the expense of people less powerful. Surely you are not that dense.

Honey, your posts here place you on a spectrum with the Ugandan legislators, Scott Lively, Paul Cameron et. al. Do you really think Jesus would agree with you? I myself doubt it, at least as I understand his message. But you are welcome to your opinion, though one wishes you might perhaps state it less often and less offensively.

December 10, 2009 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked for specific scenarios, Robert, because terms like "bullying" are very fluid in their meaning with nuts like you and "gay" apparently is too, since you think there are "gay" elementary school kids

let's hear a scenario

"you said that hopefully kids wouldn't be bullied, but that schools shouldn't do anything about it"

see, here's an example

what do you mean here?

here's what I said:

"while hopefully a unfortunate child stuck in that circumstance won't be harassed, schools shouldn't be teaching that the situation is normal or pressuring kids to act as if such a situation is normal"

so you apparently think that not endorsing the normality of sexual deviancy the same as bullying

you probably don't think about what you say very deeply before you talk but this is classic postmodernism, to think disagreeing with you is an act of violence against you

everyone is against bullying when it means physical harassment but propagandists try to conflate this with mere disapproval to try to do what homosexual activists are famous for: trying to suppress freedom of speech and religion

no, kids from families that hold that homosexuality is deviant shouldn't be forced to accept its normality in any way

get over it

even the wackos in SF know that's going too far

December 10, 2009 4:45 PM  
Anonymous ha-ha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 10, 2009 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

You are mistaken. Schools and other institutions of society should encourage acceptance of queer people. Social deviance such as trollery should be discouraged however, as cowardly and obstructive.

Sweetheart, you really haven't a leg to stand on. Your record of posts here indicates that you ally yourself with the worst of bigots and tacitly (and sometimes explicitly) endorse the efforts of bullies and worse.

I ask again: would Jesus deliberately and explicitly oppose efforts to prevent bullying of queer students, or would he say "we shouldn't endorse this deviancy" and do nothing. His record is clear. So is yours.

To be clear, I don't think you bully or do violence to me; that's a straw man, typical of blog trolls. I simply think you're rude, a little arrogant, and mean. We've all suggested you find other people to play with, but you apparently are unable to do so.

Does not play well with others.

December 11, 2009 6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert is apparently afraid to give is a case study to discuss so we can get to the bottom of what he means by "bullying"

Jesus isn't an abstraction, he was real

give us an actual scenario to discuss and we can all talk about what we think Jesus would have done

you're on the right track with that, btw,

you simply need to finish what you start

December 11, 2009 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Those cohorts of the oil industry global warming deniers over at FOX NEWS are spreading lies again. Apparently FOX can't afford fact checkers OR math checkers...

Rasmussen Reports:

Evading the challenges of climate change -- and the human responsibility to save the planet -- is simple enough even for the laziest citizen. Pay attention only to the theories that support the comforting skepticism of the oil industry. Focus on a set of purloined emails that prove nothing except that scientists can be as unpleasant to each other as any other group of people. Get the "facts" from Fox News Channel, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Moonie-controlled Washington Times and all the other conservative outlets that are as fair and balanced as an Exxon press release.
And be sure to ignore the mounting evidence, most notably the actual temperature studies released by the United Nations this week, that proves beyond a doubt that the Earth is warming as carbon-based industrialization spreads across the developing nations.

It is hardly surprising that Fox News would emphasize the use of terms like "trick" in a stolen message from the University of East Anglia without mentioning that the word has an innocent meaning when used by scientists. It is even less surprising that in their zeal to exploit those emails and influence public opinion, the Fox News crew would concoct their own stupid deception.

As the email controversy unfolded, pollsters at Rasmussen Reports asked respondents the following question: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to their survey, 35 percent believed that it was "very likely," 24 percent thought it was "somewhat likely," 21 percent thought it was "not very likely," 5 percent thought it was "not likely at all" and 15 percent were unsure.

But those results weren't damning enough for Fox, which displayed a full-screen graphic on the poll claiming that 59 percent considered scientific deception to be "somewhat likely" and 35 percent considered it to be "very likely," with only 26 percent feeling it was not very likely. Add up those numbers, and the total comes to 120 percent (with the uncertain 15 percent discarded).

Should we trust the science reporting of a network so challenged by basic arithmetic? Perhaps that question is unfair -- or it would be if Fox and the propagandists of climate skepticism had not indulged in so many earlier episodes of fakery.

Consider the career of Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the leading skeptic and former chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who has vowed to travel to the Copenhagen Climate Conference as a one-man "truth squad." Back when he still chaired that Senate panel, Inhofe sent out a press release with the following bold headline in huge typeface: "Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007." Described as a U.S. Senate report, this release claimed to debunk the scientific consensus on climate change.

December 14, 2009 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

When examined more closely, however, the Inhofe report was an amateurish fraud. Those 400 prominent scientists included more than 80 who had received funding either directly or indirectly from the oil and coal industries and more than 90 who had no scientific expertise in climate science, along with 49 retired scientists and 44 television weathermen.

The Oklahoma senator's attempt to obscure the verdict of actual scientists reflected the advice of Frank Luntz, the GOP public-relations adviser and pollster who authored a notorious 2002 memo telling Republicans that they could only "win" the global warming debate by doing exactly that. Over the past several years, Republican allies in the fossil fuel business have funneled millions of dollars into that effort, while often concealing the true sources of funding behind the studies that question warming and its causes.

Meanwhile, the scientific consensus remains unshaken and profound. From the thousands of scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the National Academy of Scientists, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Royal Society and the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies published over the past 15 years, the findings are plain enough. Global warming is real, with serious consequences for humanity. Hiding from the truth won't change it.

VIDEO of FOX NEWS' false report

December 14, 2009 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Those 400 prominent scientists included more than 80 who had received funding either directly or indirectly from the oil and coal industries"

why does that taint one's finding any more than if the scientists were being funded by large and wealthy environmental groups?

there are a lot of people who have a financial stake in the perpetuation of the idea of anthrogenic global warming

December 14, 2009 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Those 400 prominent scientists included more than 80 who had received funding either directly or indirectly from the oil and coal industries

"...and more than 90 who had no scientific expertise in climate science, along with 49 retired scientists and 44 television weathermen..."

80 + 90 + 49 + 44 = 263

More than half of the 400 "experts" in Senator Inhofe's press release and "amateurish[ly] fraud[ulent]" report have questionable motives or expertise.

Per Anone, forty-four of 'em are "clowns!"

December 14, 2009 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, it's true that meteorology had its roots in the circus, that doesn't mean all weatherman are clowns

I just noted that the guys at East Anglia were trying to take the field back to its roots

it's called "Fun Facts"

CRU had a lot of fun with the "facts"

they might be getting tips from Ronald McDonald

December 14, 2009 11:23 AM  

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