SEA Ice -- Cooling The Fear Of Human-Caused Climate Change

Sea ice in Earth's Northern Hemisphere is melting and growing erratically, while sea ice in Earth's Southern Hemisphere is growing steadily.  Both trends indicate that human beings are NOT causing global warming.

What Is Sea Ice?

Sea ice is ice formed in ocean water that freezes, in the oceans of Earth’s North and South Poles. Sea ice is not the same as ice bergs, which are chunks of glaciers that break off and float in the ocean.

Sea ice occupies about 7% of planet Earth’s surface area. Sea ice thickness and spatial extent change rapidly in response to seasonal changes and in response to longer-term climate changes. Sea ice occupies ocean waters of the North Pole (Arctic) and South Pole (Antarctic) year round to some degree. Generally, however, the seasonal melting and reforming of Arctic sea ice is less than the seasonal melting of Antarctic sea ice. In other words, more Antarctic sea ice melts per season than Arctic sea ice, due to geographical differences between the two Polar Regions. [REFERENCE -- Ole Humlum (Professor in Department of Geoscience, University of Onslo), Sea Ice, Climate4You website, (an extensive website section with numerous graphs on sea ice), http://www.climate4you.com/SeaIce.htm]

Arctic And Antarctic Geographical Differences

Refer to the two maps below, and notice that the Arctic and Antarctic are vastly different geographical regions. The Arctic (North Pole) is an ocean surrounded by land, while the Antarctic (South Pole) is land surrounded by an ocean.

There is NO Arctic continent – there is only sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, which is surrounded by extremities of the various Northern Hemisphere continental landmasses.  On the other hand, there IS an Antarctic continent – a landmass twice the size of Australia, or the size of the United States and Mexico combined. [See comparison map below]  The Antarctic landmass is entirely covered by an immense, thick glacier, and this entire continent (consisting of land and glacier) is surrounded by ocean waters that freeze to form sea ice.

NASA Photo
NASA Photo

To clarify, sea ice at the Arctic (North Pole) is all there is, while sea ice at the Antarctic (South Pole) is in addition to the immense glacial ice that covers the land.

Fear Of Melting Sea Ice

In the news, Arctic sea ice seems more of a focus (and more of an issue) because at the Arctic, if all that sea ice melted, then there would be only ocean underneath. Consequently, the phrase, “polar ice cap melting”, means entirely different things for the North and South Poles. For the North Pole, it means that the sea ice melts (0.01 % of the world’s ice). For the South Pole, it means that a thick glacier twice the size of Australia, in addition to the sea ice, melts (90% of the world’s ice). [See World Ice Inventory Table]

It is important to keep these regional distinctions in mind, when considering climate change and threats of global warming.

Because sea ice appears and disappears with the seasons, it lends itself to many misperceptions. From year to year, even on the same day of the same season, sea ice extent can differ considerably. A person could easily become alarmed to find a million square kilometers less sea ice than on the same day of a previous year where there might have been a million square kilometers more. This seemingly huge difference is a normal variance. [REFERENCE -- National Snow and Ice Data Center, All About Sea Ice, Characteristics: Arctic vs. Antarctic, http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/difference.html]

The following graphs [see below] show Arctic (Northern Hemisphere) and Antarctic (Southern Hemisphere) sea ice area for years 1978 to 2008:

These graphs of sea ice area show:

  • the extent of Arctic (Northern Hemisphere) sea ice appears to be shrinking a bit, with a slight recovery in 2008 from a 2007 record low,
  • the extent of Antarctic (Southern Hemisphere) sea ice appears to be the same or slightly growing, with a thirty-year record high during the same year the Arctic experienced its record low.

Now look at the next graph [see below], which compares Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent to total global sea ice extent:

Notice that the decrease in Arctic sea ice appears balanced by the increase in Antarctic sea ice, which means there is NO DECREASE in global sea ice over this period. Sea ice, therefore offers NO compelling evidence of alarming global warming. Furthermore, to attribute sea ice loss and growth to CO2 forcing of global temperature is even less plausible.

Even so, people who are alarmed by human-caused global warming insist that the normal variance of Arctic sea ice has become abnormal (considerably more ice lost per season than previous seasons). They also insist that the greater-than-normal increase in Antarctic sea ice offers no evidence against human-caused global warming.

Setting The Record Straight

The Arctic is a semi-enclosed ocean that ordinarily keeps sea ice more stable, while the Antarctic is a continent with surrounding oceans that expose sea ice to more open ocean currents. This partly explains why the seasonal loss and growth of Antarctic sea ice is more dramatic than its Arctic counterpart.

The Arctic’s 2007 record low occurred, however, because something out of the ordinary happened: Atmospheric pressure conditions caused wind patterns that compressed the old thick sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then increased its flow rate out of the Arctic along East Greenland. The perennial thick sea ice in March 2007 essentially was confined by winds to the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. Consequently, a larger than normal amount of thinner seasonal ice dominated most of the Arctic Ocean, melting faster. In addition, this thin ice compressed more easily and responded more quickly to winds pushing it out of the Arctic. The thinner seasonal ice conditions helped reduce the amount of ice, leading to the 2007 record low amount of total Arctic sea ice. [REFERENCE – NASA Study, http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html]

Atmospheric pressure conditions such as those described above are indicative of atmospheric and oceanic cycles that scientists (only in recent years) have started to recognize. For a more detailed description of how these natural cycles influence climate, see [REFERENCE -- Global Warming Science, Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/AO_NAO.htm]

Long-Term Record

The previous graphs show a thirty-year period where reliable satellite data has been in existence. On a geological time scale, this is minuscule. A more correct view of sea ice is only possible by examining its fluctuations over longer periods. A more correct view of sea ice also is only possible by examining the specific manner in which it has oscillated up and down over the years.

During the 1930’s, temperatures in the Arctic were nearly as warm as during recent decades [see temperature anomaly graph below]:

In 1922, newspapers also reported considerable loss of Arctic sea ice. [See copy of original report upon which newspaper stories were based]

Going back even farther, I. V. Polyakov and others examined Russian historical records of Arctic sea ice extent and thickness starting from the year 1900. They concluded:

“…examination of records of fast ice thickness and ice extent from four Arctic marginal seas (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi) indicates that long-term trends are small and generally statistically insignificant, while trends for shorter records are not indicative of the long-term tendencies due to strong low-frequency variability in these time series, which places a strong limitation on our ability to resolve long-term trends…. Correlation analysis shows that dynamical forcing (wind or surface currents) is at least of the same order of importance as thermodynamical forcing for the ice extent variability in the Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi Seas.” [REFERENCE – I. V. Polyakov et al. (2003), Long-Term Ice Variability in Arctic Marginal Seas, Journal of Climate, 16, 2078-2085]

What Polyakov’s study means is:

  • thirty years is a short period,
  • observing a large loss of sea ice over a short period is misleading,
  • ups and downs over these short periods can be so erratic that long-term predictions are impossible,
  • wind and ocean surface currents are as much or possibly even more important than temperature in driving sea ice variability.

Another researcher, Norwegian scientist, Torgny Vinje, has done the painstaking work of collecting observations made by ships since 1864 for sea ice in the Nordic Seas. He discovered that in the Nordic Seas, the maximum extent of sea ice (April) has decreased around 33% since 1864, much of that before 1940, demonstrating that sea-ice reduction is not a new phenomena, but began long ago. He further observed that while the mean annual reduction of the April ice extent has been decelerating by a factor of 3 between 1880 and 1980, the mean annual reduction of the minimum (August) ice extent is proceeding linearly. [REFERENCE – Torgny Vinje (2001), Anomalies and Trends of Sea_Ice Extent and Atmospheric Circulation in the NordicSeas during the Period 1864-1998, Journal of Climate, February 2001, 255-267]

What Vinje’s study means is:

  • the trend of reducing Arctic sea ice began in the 1860’s,
  • the trend of reducing Arctic sea ice was most severe before 1940,
  • the trend of reducing Arctic sea ice for April actually decelerated by a factor of 3 between 1880 and 1980,
  • the trend of reducing Arctic sea ice for August remained the same between 1880 and 1980
  • the 2007 Arctic sea-ice record low was a record low only for a 30-year period, NOT unusual when looking at the longer record that shows the decline really started in the 1860’s, BEFORE widespread fossil fuel use.

Both Polyakov and Vinje help confirm findings about glaciers, which tell us that Earth’s melting ice trend operates on a millennium scale, driven by millennium-scale forces other than carbon dioxide (CO2), and driven concurrently by natural climate cycles that dominate carbon-dioxide forcing of temperature.

Earth is still emerging from the last severely cold epoch of the last glacial age of the current great Quaternary Ice Age. We are fluctuating in the cold/hot rhythms-within-rhythms that characterize Earth’s millennium-scale climate.

Sea Ice Rhythms Are Out Of Sync With Climate Model Predictions

Recent Arctic sea ice behaviour is jerky, sometimes showing a seasonal growing trend and sometimes showing a seasonal declining trend. One decade, it looks like the extent is increasing; the next, it looks like the extent is decreasing. [REFERENCE – Singer and Idso, Climate Change Reconsidered, Chapter 4, Section 4.2, Sea Ice, [ http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2011/pdf/04Cryosphere.pdf ]

On the other hand, Antarctic sea ice behaviour is steady, showing a constant or slightly growing trend for thirty years. If global warming were affecting sea ice (as climate models predict), then Arctic sea ice should be declining in a less jerky manner, and Antarctic sea ice should not be as steady as it is.

Opposing Arguments

People who are alarmed by human-caused global warming still argue that Arctic sea ice extent is varying by smaller and smaller amounts each season. What they fail to understand is that their argument stems from a shortsighted view of a longer-running trend that started BEFORE widespread use of fossil fuel and BEFORE human CO2 production increased.

Ice melts. Ice has been melting since before the twenty-first century, in line with an Earth exiting the last severe glacial epoch within a greater ice age that will melt down even further, thousands of years from now. Ice melts because of long-term climate cycles of galactic-sized forces. Ice melts because of short-term climate cycles of atmospheric pressure and ocean currents. Some of these cycles have periods of oscillation longer than civilizations. Some of these cycles have periods of oscillation approximately decades long. Some of these cycles even go through cycles themselves (of predictability and unpredictability), which is characteristic of a fluid dynamic system such as Earth’s air/ocean system.

How can human CO2 production continually increase and cause only some decades of Arctic sea ice to decline, while enabling other decades to increase? Similarly, how can human CO2 production continually increase and cause Antarctic sea ice to remain the same or to grow?

Proponents of human-caused global warming might claim that climate models predict increased snowfall in the Antarctic, because more warmth draws more moisture into the air that snows out. These same proponents, however, seem to forbid those climate models from predicting increased rainfall and more cloud cover reflecting the sun’s heat, both mitigating increased warming.

Credible evidence (presented above in this article) seems to indicate that climate models are NOT realistically simulating the rhythms of ice-age forcing and atmospheric pressure patterns. Other evidence [which I will present in future articles] seems to indicate that these same climate models are NOT realistically simulating such factors as atmospheric water vapour, clouds, solar energy fluctuations and cosmic ray effects, Earth’s changing geomagnetic field, and Earth’s interior heat with consequent surface heat variations.

CONCLUSION – Keeping It Real

We might do well to view erratic variations of sea ice (over a few decades) with patience. We might best temper any perception of accelerated melting with the longer view over a century or many centuries, where evidence allows such determinations. When we assemble the broadest range of evidence within our current abilities, we see that any accelerating sea-ice melting trend in the Arctic really is a continuation (or even a deceleration) of the same trend that started at least 150 years ago, BEFORE increased human CO2 production. Furthermore, we see that any accelerating sea-ice growing trend in the Antarctic is in line with this region’s prehistoric behaviour, which has been to thrive during some of Earth’s hottest eras.

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Comments 31 comments

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Extremely informative and very well written hub. I learned a lot form reading this hub.

Thanks,

Sage


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 6 years ago Author

Hi Sage,

The whole issue is maddening. We can only hope that the expert sources opposing the mainstream view are correct.

I've never seen an issue with such complexity, twists, turns, spins and different interpretations as the global warming debate.

Robert


Tom 6 years ago

The best perspective I have read yet


WillSteinmetz profile image

WillSteinmetz 5 years ago

Great hub, thanks for the page.


JSmith 5 years ago

You state that : "[t]he Arctic’s 2007 record low occurred, however, because something out of the ordinary happened.."

How, then, do you explain he melt during 2011, especially when one of your sources (NSIDC) state the following :

'Ice extent for September 2011 was the second lowest in the satellite record for the month. The last five years (2007 to 2011) have had the five lowest September extents in the satellite record. The linear rate of decline is now -84,700 square kilometers (-32,700 square miles) per year, or -12% per decade relative to the 1979 to 2000 average. In contrast to 2007, when a "perfect storm" of atmospheric and ocean conditions contributed to summer ice loss, this year's conditions were less extreme.'

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2011/100411.html

If this year's conditions were "less extreme" (i.e. NOT "out of the ordinary", as you state), how come the extent ended up being the 2nd lowest ever ?

You also state that "[a]tmospheric pressure conditions such as those described above are indicative of atmospheric and oceanic cycles that scientists (only in recent years) have started to recognize".

How, then, do you account for the knowledge exhibited here :

'Over most of the past century, the Arctic Oscillation alternated between its positive and negative phases. Starting in the 1970s, however, the oscillation has tended to stay in the positive phase, causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and northern Eurasia.'

http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/glossary/arctic_oscilla...

Here :

'This zonally symmetric seesaw between sea level pressures in polar and temperate latitudes was first identified by Edward Lorenz and named in 1998 by David W.J. Thompson and John Michael Wallace.'

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

And here :

'North Atlantic oscillation A pressure oscillation between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High. It is one of three important oscillations identified by Sir Gilbert Walker in the 1920s.'

http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/glossary/north_atlantic...

Doesn't sound, to me, like something that "scientists (only in recent years) have started to recognize".

Polyakov and Vinje were two of the dozens of references (found here : http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/e... used by the last IPCC report, which came up with the following conclusion based on those dozens of references :

'In spite of the large uncertainties, the data that are available portray a rather consistent picture of a cryosphere in decline over the 20th century, increasingly so during 1993 to 2003.'

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/e...

Why do you highlight two references out of the dozens ?

Could you reveal the source of your Arctic Temperature Anomaly graph ?

Could you give more details about those "cold/hot rhythms-within-rhythms" and "climate cycles of galactic-sized forces", and how they relate to the current warming ?


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 5 years ago Author

WillSteinmetz,

A key phrase that you keep using is "satellite record".

The satellite record is really ONLY a blip on the geologic time scale of climate change. ANY human historical record, in fact, fails to take sufficient account of eon-long variations that are well within the range of the "norm" observed in paleo-cimatological data.

As for my references, I focus on a few that seem to be very cridible, as human language cannot squeeze every single reference into the alphanumeric-left-to-right progression of symbol strings in our communication system, in a reasonable amount of time that readers generally have to digest it all.

I stand by my references, and I stand by my charts. I suggest that you Google picture search any key phrase in my article, and you will find the sources of my images first hand. This way, you don't even have to trust me.

Robert


Mary 4 years ago

Satellite records started in 1979. It is a coincidence that this was almost exactly the end of a significant cooling period for the earth and arctic. Had the record started in 1930, the trend line would look far less scary.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

With all due respect, Robert, this Hub is a prime example of spin. There is no indication at all that we have seen a comparable decline in sea ice for thousands of years--certainly not in the 1920s, as we know from ship's observations.

And while the duration of the satellite record is indeed short compared to geological time spans, the decline is highly significant statistically.

Morover, I think you really should look at more recent work by Polyakov--say, his 2012 paper, "Recent Changes of Arctic Multiyear Sea Ice coverage and the Likely Causes." It's quite a bit more up to date than work from 2003. From the conclusion:

"This article addresses probable causes of the observed reduction of the Arctic Ocean’s coverage of MYI over the past decade. There is evidence of the increasingly important role of atmospheric thermodynamic forcing in shaping recent changes of the arctic MYI. In addition to direct MYI melt due to high-latitude warming, the impact of enhanced upper-ocean solar heating through numerous leads in decaying arctic ice cover and consequent ice-bottom melting has resulted in an accelerated rate of sea ice retreat via a positive ice-albedo feedback mechanism."

In other words, "we are more and more rapidly losing multiyear Arctic sea ice, and it's due to a warmer atmosphere and ocean."


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Doc Snow,

Did you even take the time to read what I have written? I have presented clear details about the trends. All you have done is to call these details "spin", and then simply say that the conclusions drawn from these details are NOT true. This is no argument, Doc - this is simply denial of the facts and renaming the facts with a negative word, in order to hold on to your false, cherished beliefs.

I would ask that YOU look at more modern ocean temperature data, collected buy a new network of floating detectors, which indicate NO warming trend in ocean temperatures.

Again, all you are doing is parroting back your cherished convictions that the facts disprove.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Certainly. I wouldn't have commented on a half-read Hub.

Where I think you are 'spinning':

1) There is information on pre-satellite sea ice extent. See this graph from the University of Illinois:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/sea...

Or refer to the Polyakov et al study I mentioned above:

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D...

There is also Maslowski et al 2012, which clearly shows the recent acceleration of melting:

http://www.oc.nps.edu/NAME/Maslowski%20et%20al.%20...

As for the Vinje study, you can't generalize from the 'Nordic seas' to the whole Arctic Ocean--especially in direct contradiction to studies which do consider the whole Arctic. ALL the conclusions you draw from that limited study are unwarranted--and, from other work, flat wrong. For instance, this 2009 review article (also with Polyak as lead author) examines the literature pretty comprehensively and reaches a very different picture than the one you try to draw:

http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/polyak_etal_s...

As to 'modern ocean temperature data', this 2012 study again reaches quite different conclusions than you suggest:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.503...

Or, more briefly:

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

Lastly, you incorrectly impute 'cherished' convictions to me. It gives me no pleasure to think that we are in a dangerous situation due to our own collective foolishness. I would be very happy to relinquish those convictions, if presented with good evidence. I could stop writing about climate change, which is unprofitable and difficult, and just potter about happily with music and handyman Hubs. Glorious! The worst worries I would have for the boys I raised is that they will continue to struggle in the search for really good jobs.

Unfortunately, I haven't yet seen such evidence, so I'm forced to continue to try to draw attention (in my small way) to what appears to me to be an extremely serious threat to our well-being and prosperity.

But perhaps you cherish your convictions a tad more than I cherish mine? After all, they have got to be more comfortable to live with.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Interrupted during previous, and never got to point 2!

So, 2:

The Antarctic increase is 1) considerably smaller than the Arctic collapse, and so does not "balance"; 2) is a due to a strengthened circum-polar vortex, which will not indefinitely counteract continued warming; and 3) has little climatic effect since it is largely a feature of winter, not summer.

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/antarctic-s...


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Doc, the melting of Arctic ice that you feel compelled to emphasize is just NOT that unusual, historically speaking. Northwest Passage sea ice, for example, has melted COMPLETELY numerous times in the past, but this has NOT occurred even once during the modern era.

According to Natural Resources Canada, a Canadian government research organization, Northwest Passage sea ice has melted during the following periods:

10,000 years before the present

9,500 years before the present

9,000 years before the present

8,500 years before the present

4,500 years before the present

1,000 years before the present

http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/climate-chan...

Regarding ocean heat content data, Bob Tisdale concludes:

"... ocean heat content is not a reliable dataset—and—it’s not a dataset in which we should have confidence." He gives an exhaustive explanation here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/is-ocean-hea...

But even if such data DID inspire more confidence, let's look at some graphs of such data. Let's start with this one:

http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/15a-...

NOT alot going on, eh? - the trend looks pretty flat to me.

Or how about this one:

http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/15b-...

Again, FLAT - there is NO scary warming to be seen here.

Or maybe this one:

http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/16b-...

Again, roughly the same old story - NOT a significant trend, especially during the past 15 years.

Your graph from the University of Illinois illustrates Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent going back a mere 110 years, and the graph shows NOTHING really happening until ONLY 58 years ago, which is a ridiculously short interval to claim any UNUSUAL trend.

The Polyakov et al study that you mention goes back an even SHORTER time than this - a mere 30 years - again, a ridiculously short span to get hysterical about, when other evidence shows that significantly larger changes have occurred numerous times in the past.

Your references, like yourself, if I may be candid, appear to be rather shortsighted. Your fear is founded on TOO short a time frame, when Earth has shown far greater variability in the past, which require much longer time frames to assess. And to attribute these SHORT-term changes to human activity is even more suspect.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Also, Doc, regarding your observation that Arctic sea ice loss is greater than Antarctic sea ice gain, you are correct. But still, given that larger losses seem to have occurred in the past, this is nothing to get hysterical about.

Antarctic snow, by the way, is THICKER than Arctic snow, so I wonder how this might figure in, given the HUGE size of the Antarctica continental land mass, compared to the relatively small size of the Arctic ocean.

Two entirely different geographical regions might not make a good comparison, in this respect, if I had to rethink it.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

I'm afraid Bob Tisdale cuts no ice (pun intentional, hope you don't mind!) with me. He has not proven very accurate in the past.

But even leaving that aside, I am amazed by your interpretations. Just one quick instance--you cite this one:

http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/15a-...

Your comment is "NOT a lot going on, eh? - the trend looks pretty flat to me." Well, it sure doesn't to me. Eyeball Mark I suggests that deeper waters (OHC to 700 meters) have probably warmed about 1.5 C since 1955, and the surface a bit less--maybe .8 C or so? It would take a proper regression to say for sure what the numbers should be, be that sure ain't trendless.

You are certainly right about the thickness of the Antarctic snow, and the point goes double for the ice sheet--that's why fluctuations in the AIS can cause tens of meters of sea level rise.

And that's where we differ, too--you are saying, well, it doesn't look so bad now. I'm saying, sure, but if this very credible physical forcing is real--and the huge weight of evidence says it is--then this trend is just going to continue over longer time spans. And if it goes on long enough, then even the AIS will be affected--as you correctly point out that it has in the deeper past.

On the Arctic melt numbers--the second Polyak review article goes into all that--the 2009 one. Basically, my comment is that it's no surprise that there was ice melt during the height of the warming during this interglacial. But even then, we didn't see decadal melt *rates* like these. Check the article for more details.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Okay, let's look at ... http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/15a- ... again. Here's approximately what I see:

1958 .............. trend is 0.5 (slightly upward)

1960 ............. trend is -0.1 (slightly downward)

1964 to 1967 trend is 0.0 (nothing)

1970 to 1973 trend is 0.5 (slightly upward again) ... same as 1958

1975 to 1980 trend is 0.1 (very slightly upward) ... less than 1958 ... less than previous 10 years

1983 to 1988 trend is 1.1 (upward) ... ONLY 0.6 more than 1958

1990 to 1995 trend is 0.6 (very slightly upward) ... ONLY 0.1 more than 1958

1998 .............. trend is 2.0 (more significantly upward) ... more significant for this ONE time, but we're still talking about ONLY two degrees ... what else was happening in this PARTICULAR year?

2004 to 2007 trend is 0.5 (very slightly upward) ... way down from 1998's 2.0 and SAME as 1958

2009 ............. trend is 1.1 (upward) ... SAME as 1983 ... ONLY 0.6 more than 1958

2010 ............. trend is 1.2 (upward) ... about the same as the previous year

2011 .............. trend is -0.1 (downward) ... same as in 1960

Most of the time we are talking about FRACTIONS of ONE degree. And we are seeing changes ONLY within these VERY SMALL fractions, and sometimes oscillations to previous lower fractions.

As I said, and as I continue to say, "Not much going on here." And by "not much", I mean "not much UNUSUAL, beyond reasonable oscillations".

These sorts of ups and downs, again, are NOT unusual, and to attribute them to human activities is, again, extremely suspect.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Robert, dividing the curve into tiny segments and saying, "Look how small the warming is! Just a tiny fraction of a degree!" doesn't make the warming go away.

Of course it's only a bit at a time. Of course there are 'ups and downs.' But if you look at the curve over its whole extent, you find that there are more ups than downs--in fact, that's what you DID find.

Trying to get a little more quantitative, I went to woodfortrees to check out the trend for something similar--in this case the HADSST2 global sea surface temperature anomaly data. I picked the same start date (1955), smoothed the curve with a 13-month running mean just as in the Tisdale graph, and did a trend estimation with the OLS tool. The warming trend is about a tenth of a degree per decade, very much in line with what all those crazy mainstream climate scientists say.

It's not huge, but it keeps on coming--and physics says it will do so as long as we keep adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. And it's enough to add up to real trouble over time.

It's definitely NOT an 'oscillation.'


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

[["Robert, dividing the curve into tiny segments and saying, "Look how small the warming is! Just a tiny fraction of a degree!" doesn't make the warming go away."]]

Doc, but it DOES show how ridiculously small of a fraction you are making such a big deal about. I am not trying to make the warming go away. I am trying to recognize the miniscule warming that you hype as alarming. Warming is not evil. It is part of the physical processes of the Earth.

[["Of course it's only a bit at a time. Of course there are 'ups and downs.' But if you look at the curve over its whole extent, you find that there are more ups than downs--in fact, that's what you DID find."]]

The UPs:

+0.5

+0.5

+0.1

+1.1

+0.6

+2.0

+0.5

+1.1

+1.2

AVERAGE UP = +0.23 degree (23 hundreTHS of ONE degree)

The DOWNs:

-0.1

-0.1

AVERAGE DOWN = -0.2 degree (2 hundreTHS of ONE degree)

Nine UP instances averaging +0.23 degree does NOT trample two DOWN instances averaging nearly the same amount. The trend overall is virtually zero.

Or you can just eyeball the graph and see how basically straight across the whole appearance looks roughly. Again, the bumps you make mountains out of are graphic distortions. There are no wild ups OR wild downs. It's like taking a pencil line and putting it under a microscope and making a big deal out of the discontinuities seen at the microscopic scale. Stand back a reasonable distance, and these bumps are really not significant, practically speaking.

[["Trying to get a little more quantitative, I went to woodfortrees to check out the trend for something similar--in this case the HADSST2 global sea surface temperature anomaly data. I picked the same start date (1955), smoothed the curve with a 13-month running mean just as in the Tisdale graph, and did a trend estimation with the OLS tool. The warming trend is about a tenth of a degree per decade, very much in line with what all those crazy mainstream climate scientists say."]]

A tenth of ONE degree per decade! Again, what is the alarming reality in one TENTH of ONE degree, determined in the SHORT span over which we have possibly been able to arrive at this small number? You brushed aside my point about the Northwest Passage ice melting numerous times over many hundreds of spans of decades that we were not able to measure in the moment as we are able to do today, because we were not around with our technology to do so then. But paleo-evidence suggests that your tenth of a degree is not even a fly's worry, when it comes to how Earth's ocean temperatures vary over much longer spans.

[["It's not huge, but it keeps on coming--and physics says it will do so as long as we keep adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. And it's enough to add up to real trouble over time."]]

It keeps on recurring maybe, .... rhythmically, ... as is Earth's "habit". And physics says no such thing about the relationship between this miniscule heating and greenhouse gases. Distorted physics, maybe, but not correct physics. Also, the "real trouble" that you mention is needless worry placed in the wrong place. There are far greater worries that should occupy us now.

[["It's definitely NOT an 'oscillation.'"]]

Firstly, you cannot state this so categorically and absolutely. Nobody can. Secondly, we can look at patterns in the universe and extrapolate such patterns into the future through reasoned judgement that leads to the conclusion that it most likely IS an oscillation, or, more likely, a series of little oscillations within bigger oscillations, within yet bigger oscillations, whose actual characters are out of the range of human longevity to presently determine for sure.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

*It's not 'a tenth of a degree.' It's a tenth of a degree per decade, amounting now to about a half a degree C since '55, more when considered WRT the pre-Industrial value. And that's just the sea, which is the slowest to warm.

*The physics of greenhouse warming are not 'distorted.' That could be a conversation of its own, no doubt, but the mainstream view is very solidly established--it has, after all, been about two hundred years in the building, if you start with the work of William Charles Wells:

http://hubpages.com/education/Global-Warming-Scien...

You're probably correct that I can't categorically rule out an 'oscillation' in principle. However, we have a physical non-oscillatory cause--the enhanced greenhouse effect--and no positive evidence that this is an oscillation whatever (despite numerous attempts to derive one.) Occam's razor says its a pretty safe bet this is not an oscillation.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

By chance, came across this post:

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/too-little...

Note that these are all statistically significant--meaning (without getting too technical) that there is a 95% probability that they are not due to random variation.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

[["*It's not 'a tenth of a degree.' It's a tenth of a degree per decade, amounting now to about a half a degree C since '55, more when considered WRT the pre-Industrial value. And that's just the sea, which is the slowest to warm."]]

A tenTH of a degree per ten years, ... 5 tenTHs of a degree per 50 years, ... LESS than ONE degree, no matter how you look at it. What's the big deal?

Ocean temp data before fairly recent times is sparse at best, so I wonder how much confidence we can really place in it anyway. Even the most recent ARGO float project, with its over 3000 floats sampling the ocean are spread pretty thin, given the immense size of the ocean. Even with those 3000 or so floats, assuming they are evenly spaced, that would mean one float measuring the heat dynamics of tens of THOUSANDS of square miles EACH.

And pre-ARGO data was collected in even smaller areas than this, by ships that just happened to be going in the exact spot where the temp was being determined.

"Global Average Temperature" is a shaky enough concept with the many thousands more temperature stations, let alone global average ocean heat determination. The data here just does not seem to be all it's cracked up to be.

And then you add all the reanalysis, re-correcting, retrospective re-dos, etc., and this makes one wonder how reliable the data really is in the first place, if it is so malleable to choices of statistical handling. Like the fluid oceans themselves, the data about oceans seems to flow in whatever directions the data analysts want it to.

[["*The physics of greenhouse warming are not 'distorted.'"]]

Oh really:

http://hubpages.com/education/CO2-Greenhouse-Theor...

http://hubpages.com/education/Questioning-The-Gree...

http://hubpages.com/education/CO2-Greenhouse-Theor...


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

"What's the big deal" with .5 degrees Celcius? 2 degrees C is thought to be the sort-of-safe threshold--the level after which the negative consequences of warming really start to pile up. And .5 since 1955 for SSTs is about .8 for the globe generally since pre-industrial times. We don't have much room for error, and we don't know for sure how much warming remains 'in the pipeline' from CO2 already emitted. So we are in quite dangerous territory with that seemingly modest amount.

As to the ocean data, basically you are saying that you don't like the conclusion, so you will use the 'sparsity' of data--which you allege without any analysis whatever--as an excuse to ignore what that data actually says. It's not a line of argument that does you credit.

Finally, I read the first Hub you linked. It's frankly a farrago. I've been through Gerhard & Tscheuschner (did I spell that right?) in detail a couple of times. They do not understand the theory they claim to 'falsify'--which is not surprising, given that, according to their own bibliography, they've never read it. Instead, they spend inordinate amounts of time finding fault with the wording of simplified explanations of the greenhouse effect intended for laypeople.

Disturbing is your comment: "Instead, the critics seem to deflect readers back to the very literature on the Greenhouse effect that is under question."

Well, sure. The professional literature is where science happens--quite as much as in the lab. And the literature on the greenhouse effect is historically broad and deep. Had G & T, and some of the other folks you cite, actually worked through that literature, they would have spared themselves some spectacular misunderstandings.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

[["What's the big deal" with .5 degrees Celcius? 2 degrees C is thought to be the sort-of-safe threshold--the level after which the negative consequences of warming really start to pile up. And .5 since 1955 for SSTs is about .8 for the globe generally since pre-industrial times. We don't have much room for error, and we don't know for sure how much warming remains 'in the pipeline' from CO2 already emitted. So we are in quite dangerous territory with that seemingly modest amount.]]

"... is thought to be." ... by whom? These "thought-to-be" speculations are what I am contesting and what my own reading has led me to believe are unfounded in fact.

You are just repeating the popular arguments, trying to assert them as new supporting facts, to be taken at YOUR insistence. Insistence on the truth of what I have already demonstrated as questionable is just unfruitful repetition.

[["As to the ocean data, basically you are saying that you don't like the conclusion, so you will use the 'sparsity' of data--which you allege without any analysis whatever--as an excuse to ignore what that data actually says. It's not a line of argument that does you credit.'']]

No, this is NOT basically what I am saying. I neither "like" nor "dislike" the conclusion. I merely spot the inconsistencies with it. My alleged allegations regarding data sparsity is based on detailed reading, the source of which I did not cite. But choosing not to cite the specific reference (very long and tedious reading) does NOT indicate that authoritative references backing what I say do not exist. These sources DO exist, and they are convincing.

[["Finally, I read the first Hub you linked. It's frankly a farrago. I've been through Gerhard & Tscheuschner (did I spell that right?) in detail a couple of times. They do not understand the theory they claim to 'falsify'--which is not surprising, given that, according to their own bibliography, they've never read it. Instead, they spend inordinate amounts of time finding fault with the wording of simplified explanations of the greenhouse effect intended for laypeople."]]

Mathematical physicists do not understand what they are talking about. I always find this amusing. Simplified explanations are what exist in the public mind and in the minds of policy makers. Consequently, inordinate amounts of time spent correcting these is time well spent, practically speaking.

[["Disturbing is your comment: 'Instead, the critics seem to deflect readers back to the very literature on the Greenhouse effect that is under question.'

Well, sure. The professional literature is where science happens--quite as much as in the lab. And the literature on the greenhouse effect is historically broad and deep. Had G & T, and some of the other folks you cite, actually worked through that literature, they would have spared themselves some spectacular misunderstandings."]]

Laughable twisting of the facts, Doc.

G & T and "other folks I cite" have deep understandings. Those who criticize them most are the ones with the true misunderstandings. No two people seem to understand thermodynamics quite the same way, and so we seem to end up with different people claiming that other people do not understand, when the wording should properly be, "they do not have MY understanding of thermodynamics." I tend to trust mathematical physicists who have spent hours and hours perfecting understandings of the math in this specialized area. Climate scientists have not spent those hours understanding the basic foundations of the science that should support their claims. Disturbing is your failure to grasp this.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Well, Robert, I can see that your mind is completely closed. Since this is your Hub, I will leave the last word to you. But you will see with time that it is not your scientific 'heroes' who really have the 'deep understandings.'


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Doc, my mind is certainly NOT closed.

I have answered all of your claims, and you are falsely characterizing my ability to do so as "closed minded". Ridiculous! I answered your claims with equally convincing counter claims, which brings your position into serious question.

Do not so label my efforts incorrectly. To do so is little more than a childish name calling tactic.

You speak with a conviction that is faith-based on your misguided biases, instead of with a willingness to see the truth.

It might surprise you to know that I once was a die hard believer in human caused global warming, but, at some point, it all started appearing to be a little too heavy on emotions and a little to light on reality. This switch in my own position on the matter certainly is NOT indicative of a closed mind. So, again, your labeling me as such is plainly wrong. I have been where you are, and I opened my mind to get where I am now.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Robert, as an example help you to understand my perception, go back and look at what you said about oceanic temperature data.

Did you do any analysis? Cite any analysis?

Or did you simply dismiss it--even though, IIRC, you were the one who brought it up (via Bob Tisdale?)

But I'm failing to live up to my word--I really *will* let you have the last word now.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Let's focus again on one of Doc's earlier comments:

[["Finally, I read the first Hub you linked. It's frankly a farrago. I've been through Gerhard & Tscheuschner (did I spell that right?) in detail a couple of times. They do not understand the theory they claim to 'falsify'--which is not surprising, given that, according to their own bibliography, they've never read it. Instead, they spend inordinate amounts of time finding fault with the wording of simplified explanations of the greenhouse effect intended for laypeople."]]

First, this comment presents a confusion of two separate names: (1) Gerhrard Gerlich and (2) Ralf D. Tscheuschner. Second, this comment claims that accomplished mathematical physicists do not understand what they are talking about, alleging that the two spend inordinate amounts of time finding fault with the wording of simplified explanations for lay people. I assume that "lay people" would also include children in our schools who learn about science from organizations such as NASA, which provides educational illustrations such as the one found here:

NASA Global Energy Budget Illustration

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBa...

... whose explanation is, and I quote, "Because greenhouse gas molecules radiate heat in all directions, some of it spreads downward and ultimately comes back into contact with the Earth’s surface, where it is absorbed. The temperature of the surface becomes warmer than it would be if it were heated only by direct solar heating. This supplemental heating of the Earth’s surface by the atmosphere is the natural greenhouse effect."

The above quoted explanation is found here:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBa...

NOTICE: "Backradiation" in the diagram.

Fiction!


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Hope you enjoyed your last word.


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

What I enjoyed was putting YOUR words in a slightly more balanced perspective.

Thanks for participating in the dialogue.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

You're welcome. However, for some information on whether or not 'backradiation' is "fiction," I would invite you to consider my Hubs:

http://hubpages.com/education/Fire-From-Heaven-Cli...

http://hubpages.com/education/Global-Warming-Scien...


Robert Kernodle profile image

Robert Kernodle 3 years ago Author

Thanks for the invite. I hope this would invite me to comment within those hubs too. I have done my homework on this topic, and you would find my point of view, again, in conflict with yours. You might not want this conflict in your hubs.

I, however, welcome such conflict, as you have seen, within mine.

I have spent a lot of time studying all this, remember, as a once-upon-a-time true believer in human-caused global warming. Because I have now been on both sides of the debate, I feel better established on the side where I am now.


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 3 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

You are quite welcome, and I will certainly respond to any comments you may choose to make.

If you do, I think you will find that I, too, have spent much time studying this.

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