« Previous | Main | Next »

Arctic Ice extent heads for satellite record low

Paul Hudson | 12:56 UK time, Monday, 25 July 2011

Exceptionally warm weather across the North Pole during the first half of July, with temperatures up to 8C above normal, could lead to record low ice extent this year according to experts, based on data collected by satellites which started in 1979.

Arctic sea ice is already lower than at the same time in 2007, shown below, the year which currently holds the satellite record for the lowest ice cover.



The continued decline in Arctic sea ice continues to confound climate sceptics who have consistently predicted a rebound from the low point in 2007.

According to The National Snow and Ice Data centre, sea ice is 23% below the 1979-2000 average.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Paul

    wind has a big influence on ice melt in the arctic but nice to see you are getting back on message as a good BBC man should and I suppose your readers are to infer that if it is caused by warming then that warming is caused by man-made CO2. Sorry Paul - null points on this one

    smoke me a kipper

  • Comment number 2.

    There are some things that we know we don't know!

    'The dynamic response to warming, however, remains a very large uncertainty, which currently can not be conclusively taken into account in the models. This is a result of the lack of adequate representation of ice/ocean coupling, ocean
    forcing and outlet glacier geometry. Some of this is related to limitations in understanding of the basic physics involved, and some of this is a result of the lack of detailed knowledge of ice bed topography, ice thickness, bathymetry in the
    fjords into which floating ice tongues extend, and ocean properties. One important advance since AR4 is the understanding that the effects of basal lubrication and associated summer acceleration are of considerably less consequence than the processes at the ice/ocean interface. These effects are not negligible, and meltwater penetration can significantly alter the englacial thermal structure, but their potential effects are now thought not to be as large a
    driver as was assessed at the time of AR4.
    Because the forcing of rapid dynamic changes at the margins is not well understood, and because, as has been learned since the AR4, the timescales of response and adjustment are extremely short (i.e., years), the value and validity of
    extrapolating recent mass balance beyond several years is very questionable. The transition of glaciers in southeast
    Greenland from accelerating mass loss to stable or decelerating mass loss suggests that dynamic loss processes probably have upper limits and slow down as they adjust to their new configurations and boundary conditions. Surface
    balance processes change more slowly than dynamic processes, and thus reduce the errors that may be associated with near-term extrapolation, but the dynamic component renders extrapolation very risky. Equally as important is the fact
    that there is no reason to believe in stationarity in the system. Thus any extrapolation must be rooted in an understanding of the ice physics and some insight into the variability of the system. Despite the likely nonstationarity of
    the system, records from the past, in particular over the last century, will be extremely valuable in putting today’s changes into their appropriate context, and provide insights into the ways and rates at which the ice sheet can change'

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/SLW_WorkshopReport_kuala_lumpur.pdf

  • Comment number 3.

    But Bastardi said the Artic was recovering....

    2007 was the perfect year for ice loss, the temps, wind direction etc.

    2011 does not have such 'favourable' conditions yet is on track to be close (or beat 2007).

  • Comment number 4.

    We still have a warm AMO pushing warm water under the ice past Spitzbergen.

    At the ame time we have more meridional jetstreams pushing more warm air above the ice.

    The combined effect has led to a melt close to 2007 at this point.

    In due course the AMO will turn negative pushing less warmth under the ice and the mid latitudes will cool as a result of the meridional jets which will reduce the supply of warm air available to flow into the Arctic.

    At that point 2 to 3 years hence the ice recovery should be well under way.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thermodynamics my dear boy....

    A seasonally high air temperature will make little difference with 1000x the heat that has pushed the air temp up 8C above normal required to do the same to the water.

    Again this will be ice movement and importing of heat via currents. The multi-year ice is a lot better than in recent years so the inflection point is now. I don't expect a low to beat 2007 unless there is a significant change in the weather, and in fact the ENSO is starting to have another stab at a La Nina for yet another freezing NH winter for many of us.

    As ever calling records two months out is the same problem the MO have calling record warm years in October, the result come September could be very different.

    It is then we can pass judgement.

  • Comment number 6.

    The more open water there is at the Arctic, the more heat is lost from the Poles. Open water loses vastly more heat than ice-covered water.

    This does not bode well for our winter.

  • Comment number 7.

    #6. - PingoSan wrote:
    "The more open water there is at the Arctic, the more heat is lost from the Poles. Open water loses vastly more heat than ice-covered water.
    This does not bode well for our winter."
    In what sense?

  • Comment number 8.

    Already there is a "cold-winter consensus" following the UK climate shift in 2007. More heat loss in the Arctic could make things even worse next winter. How I long for the mild winters from before global warming stopped.

  • Comment number 9.

    Paul

    Have you looked in to the effects on the ice of soot?

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2005/04/05/is-soot-not-co2-to-blame-for-the-loss-of-arctic-ice/

    Thank you Mr Wilde, I was thinking the same sort of thing - but your description is much more eloquent and better researched than anything I could write.

  • Comment number 10.

    Still no sign of the June HadCRUT3 anomaly figure, and here we are almost at the end of July.
    Just a reminder that my estimated figure is 0.4c +/- 0.05c.
    I have now estimated the hemispheric anomaly figures using the same method and they are 0.48c for the N.H. and 0.34c for the S.H.
    I know that the average of these figures is 0.41c, but that is still within the expected range of the global anomaly.
    The AMSU CH5 anomaly for July has settled down at about 0.26c, which translates into a UAH of between 0.29c and 0.39c, or an RSS of about 0.38c (probably more reliable than the UAH estimate), which would be equivalent to a HadCRUT3 of about 0.5c

  • Comment number 11.

    "with temperatures up to 8C above normal, COULD LEAD to record low ice extent this year"

    COULD LEAD...COULD! Then again, I guess the BBC does now have a responsibility to post its Mann Made Global Warming (tm) partners alarmism now impatiality doesnt have to be followed for Mann Made Global Warming (tm).

    Mailman

  • Comment number 12.

    And let's not forget the billions invested by the BBC Pension Fund in to Big Renewables.

  • Comment number 13.

    re Pingosan and QV 6,7,8
    perhaps our host can explain this for us. I think that during winter, a warmer polar region creates a blocking pattern, which has the effect of pushing down cold air over britain and causing more snow.

  • Comment number 14.

    #13. - lateintheday,

    I must admit to being slightly confused by PingoSan's explanation.
    The marginally lower ice extent is now, in the summer, and presumably the winter, the sea ice will have returned, more or less, to "normal" winter levels. In any case, does "more heat loss", whether in the summer or winter, not mean it will be "cooler", resulting in an increase in sea ice extent?
    I only ask these questions because I haven't made a particular study of sea ice extent, so I am largely ignorant on the subject.

  • Comment number 15.

    Ice thickness is also important. Commenting on area alone gives part of the story. If winds have been strong this summer ice will have been stacked into ridges and this data is available from the US Navy.

    We have good data of ice cover since 1979 before that data is scant to nonexistant in most areas. We do know that the 1940's had lower ice cover than now, fron navigation logs from aircraft and ships, the N pole was ice free in 1959 when 3 nuclear subs surfaced there. So do we have a problem? No, the Arctic climate cycles appear to run at an 80 year cycle and we have 32 years of data in that cycle.

    Historically the MWP was warm enough to get Viking emigration to Greenland where they lived for 400 years before the ice returned where it remains today. Further back there is good evidence of the Romans growing red grape vines north of York. Today the same varieties grow at the latitude of central France. So warmer for the Romans as well.

    Climate fears are based on ignorance not on science.

  • Comment number 16.

    #15. - John Marshall wrote:
    "We do know that the 1940's had lower ice cover than now, fron navigation logs from aircraft and ships, the N pole was ice free in 1959 when 3 nuclear subs surfaced there. "
    Presumably that was in summer?

  • Comment number 17.

    QV@14
    Well that's both of us then. Hope Paul Hudson can explain this for us.

    My best guess is that ocean heat is released from open arctic waters more readily. This process warms the air and creates a high pressure area. The air currents from the south west which might normally be expected to head into the arctic are subsequently deflected by the blocking polar air mass and pushed back south over Britain and Scandinavia. Any of these air masses that are carrying high moisture levels will then dump it as snow.
    Seem to think that high pressure over Greenland has something to do with it too.

    I also don't see how a putative return to la nina would necessarily affect any of this. I understood that the atlantic was the driver of our weather here in the UK.

  • Comment number 18.

    Please can someone advise how many million tons of shipping have past through the north-west and north-east passages in the last five years without the aid of ice breakers?

  • Comment number 19.

    Re 15. John Marshall:

    You say "Further back there is good evidence of the Romans growing red grape vines north of York. Today the same varieties grow at the latitude of central France.".

    I have heard that claim before but never with any mention of the the specific varieties in question so I am skeptical.

    A lot of these climate tales tend to get exagerated through chinese whispers over time. Grapes growing on hadrians wall was one I recently heard. Soon no doubt someone will be claiming the Vikings were growing grapes in submarines at the north pole in the 50s.

    On that subject, submarines surfacing at the North Pole does not imply the North Pole was ice free, it only means the submarines found a lead at the north pole to surface in. Could they not do that in any year?

  • Comment number 20.

    17.At 12:58 26th Jul 2011, lateintheday

    According to the UKMET

    the influence of La Niña on European climate is weak: composite anomalies are smaller than year-to-year variations
    http://www.lasg.ac.cn/inys2008/pdf/AncaBrookshaw.pdf

    But there are some studies that relate Asian monsoons with North Atlantic climate:

    Like ballroom dancers on a crowded floor, climatic phenomena like El Niño, the Asian monsoons, and the North Atlantic influence each other's patterns. Sediments from the floor of the Arabian Sea near Oman were studied by researchers looking for evidence of the strength of monsoons in the region over the past 10,000 years. There is a suggestion that the link between the North Atlantic climate and the Asian monsoon is a persistent aspect of global climate. The link was demonstrated previously by various researchers, but the new research examines a much longer time period (the past 10,000 years). The new study reveals substantial natural variation in climate and the monsoon in a time prior to any significant human influence. The new information may lead to improved predictions of the monsoon in the coming decades.

    Leading to:

    The significance of these results lies in demonstrating a pattern of persistent variability in monsoons throughout the Holocene (from 10,000 years ago to the present) that may be linked with episodic warming and cooling of the North Atlantic. The results highlight the need to improve our understanding of abrupt and difficult-to-predict weakening in monsoon strength, which could accompany major climate shifts in the North Atlantic in the future.

    So a direct link from La Nina to climate in the UK is not apparent but there is thought that the North Atlantic climate and Asian monsoons, being affected by Pacific climate, could have a broader relationship.



  • Comment number 21.

    Haha the sumbmarine one is a cracker. Ice free? No, there was a thin area of ice somewhere in the arctic (not at the exact north pole) and a nice picture was taken. The arctic wasn't ice free, far from it. As the ice is moving there are different thicknesses, breaks, crevices, etc. The submarine picture means nothing in terms of extent or average thickness. It's a good picture though.

    Also it's great that ships logs are classed as scant evidence (we have good data from logs and the coastguards from the early 1900's...) but the vineyard stories are taken as a fact? The grapes grown in roman times are not the same varieties grown now. There are vineyards now well above york. No mention of wine quality, etc.

  • Comment number 22.

    @19 Quake
    "On that subject, submarines surfacing at the North Pole does not imply the North Pole was ice free, it only means the submarines found a lead at the north pole to surface in. Could they not do that in any year?"

    Yes they can break the ice (if thin enough) or find a lead at anytime of year and in any year. Means nothing. Much the same as whale's breaking through thin (30cm) ice.

  • Comment number 23.

    I am unclear why you have waited till July to post this. The ice extent was further below the norm in June and has recovered somewhat since. We will have to wait till September to see where it bottoms out.

    Perhaps we should wait till then before jumping to any conclusions.

  • Comment number 24.

    Does anyone know if you can obtain up to date data on the Earths Cloud Albedo or Cosmic Ray input. I wonder if Clouds could be trapping heat in the Arctic. Either that or there is a trend of warm water moving into the Arctic during a Hale magnetic Solar Cycle cooling phase. This is the first one of these in the Satellite era.

  • Comment number 25.

    #24. - paulcottingham wrote:
    "Does anyone know if you can obtain up to date data on the Earths Cloud Albedo or Cosmic Ray input. I wonder if Clouds could be trapping heat in the Arctic. Either that or there is a trend of warm water moving into the Arctic during a Hale magnetic Solar Cycle cooling phase. This is the first one of these in the Satellite era."
    Have you tried the "climate and clouds" section of the Climate4You website:

    http://www.climate4you.com/

  • Comment number 26.

    Where does Paul get his info. Arctic tempetures from?
    Looking at my info at

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    The arctic temperatures have been below average for the past three months

  • Comment number 27.

    #26. - NeilHamp wrote:
    "Where does Paul get his info. Arctic tempetures from?
    Looking at my info at
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
    The arctic temperatures have been below average for the past three months."
    I don't know the source of Paul's temperature figures, but he does say "at the pole", which may be referring to a smaller region than the entire Arctic.
    Judging from the following map, you can get small regions of tempertures well above normal and adjacent areas well below normal, so the average is about normal.
    http://coaps.fsu.edu/%7Emaue/extreme/gfs/current/raw_temp.html


  • Comment number 28.

    @Quake #19 - Always happy to help mate, I believe that the variety of grape in question is the antecedent of the Wrotham Pinot ;-)

    You could always have Googled it if you were that interested you know....

    By the way, I'm not personally claiming that the Romans had vines north of Hadrians Wall, only that there's a Roman Occupation Era Terrace that (suspiciously) looks a lot like a vine terrace just outside Rommano Bridge, which might in part help to explain the persistent rumours of wine production that far north... Alternatively, it might really be a vine terrace......

    But there was most definitely a Roman Vineyard in North Thoresby on Humberside and the Romans were producing wine in the UK in large amounts, the estimated production for the Nene Valley alone was around 30,000 bottles.

    You pointed out that there are more vineyards in the UK now.... And I don't dispute that at all, but given the differences in the both the amount of farmed/commercial land and number of people in the country to both cultivate the vines and consume the wine that's being produced that's hardly surprising now is it?

    If you want to use them as Shelly does, as a kind of temperature proxy, then it's not the number of them that's important it's simply their northern most ranges and their relative yields...

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 29.

    Interesting stuff. The current theory of man-made global warming suggests that warming should be highest at the poles. However, what we have here is an impact only in the Arctic and not in the Antarctic. In fact the satellite measurements of total ice area in the Antarctic (which go back only to 1979 - the same as the Arctic data) show that current ice is at the average for July - and in recent years the tendency has been for Antarctic ice to increase in area relative to average. This is the reverse of the Arctic and doesn't this suggest that the phenomenon of recent years of low Arctic summer ice area is more likely related to ocean circulation or some specifically Northern Hemisphere phenomenon rather than Global Warming?

  • Comment number 30.

    to lateintheday#17 (and others)

    I have said this before, last winter, when it was a hot topic.

    I don't see why an ice free(er) Arctic ocean - warming the air above -causing same to rise (presumably?)- would encourage anticyclonic (basically sinking air) conditions to develop.

    Greenland is of course quite different, being a landmass, elevated and ice covered to boot, it would encourage high pressure to form over it in winter, as often it does. Large strong anticyclones are also normal over Siberia and northern Canada during winter, so are nothing new at all.

    The "high pressure over the arctic due to reduced sea ice - causing temperate blocking" theory was widely aired as a cause of last winter's exceptional cold. No obvious yet reasonably simple explanation was offered at the time, to the (possibly naive) question - as to why this might be the case.

    But since you bring it up again.......

    It would be nice , I agree, if someone, could help us with this. Perhaps these sort of people never read the blogs. (I wouldn't be surprised!).

  • Comment number 31.

    29.Chris_in_Leeds wrote:

    "This is the reverse of the Arctic and doesn't this suggest that the phenomenon of recent years of low Arctic summer ice area is more likely related to ocean circulation or some specifically Northern Hemisphere phenomenon rather than Global Warming?"

    The Antarctic ice sheet - the ice on the actual Antarctic land mass rather than the annual sea ice gain - is losing mass. West Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass at an accelerating rate since 2002 (http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml%29. East Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass since 2006 (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n12/full/ngeo694.html%29.

    The southern ocean has also warmed in the past decade or so: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst2/diagnostics/hemispheric/southern/. Clearly these observations cannot be explained by ocean circulation or Northern hemisphere influences.

    The Antarctic sea ice has been increasing slightly in winter extent, but all of this new extent melts away again in summer. Whereas the seasonal loss in Antarctic land ice is not, so far, being replenished.

    These observations are consistent with AGW theory.

  • Comment number 32.

    Re 31: The first two links above do not seem to have loaded correctly. The references are:

    i) Velicogna, I. (2009), Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19503, doi:10.1029/2009GL040222.

    ii) Chen et. al. (2009), Accelerated Antarctic ice loss from satellite gravity measurements; Nature Geoscience 2, 859 - 862 (2009) Published online: 22 November 2009, doi:10.1038/ngeo694



  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.

    I think it's too early to call as using the 2Xsd data that is entirely missing from the 2011 data it's impossible to tell whether it is lower than 2007 or not.

  • Comment number 35.

    #32

    If Earth is experiencing increasing ice mass loss in Greenland and the Antarctic, where is the melt water going?

    Recent published data indicates that the minimal increases in sea-level are slowing.

    Surely this alone warrants some more research before conclusions can be drawn?

  • Comment number 36.

    @Paul Latham #32

    Yep I'm with you on that, the two bits of information do not tie up at all. Maybe that's why a certain Dr. Mann has invested so much time in this recently. What with temps not behaving as they should and the IPCC predictions looking more and more outlandish by the day there's the faint scent of warmist panic in the air...

    But, hey, at least the ice is still melting, no idea where all the water's going, but it's still melting and by the way it really is much worse than we thought....

    Bless....

    Perhaps, Trenberth is hiding all the missing water with all that missing heat of his ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 37.

    Oopsies, obviously that was @Paul Latham #35

    Mea Culpa

  • Comment number 38.

    31 "These observations are consistent with AGW theory."

    Can you tell us what observations would be inconsistent with AGW theory?

  • Comment number 39.

    Newdwr54

    Why did you refer us to Hadsst2 in your #31? It been replaced by Hadsst3 which is substantially different and may not support the same conclusions?

  • Comment number 40.

    bandythebane,

    According to the UKMO website, HadSST3 only runs from 1850 to 2006, so aren't much use for recent changes in temperature.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst3/

    The site also says that "regular updates will be available soon".
    I wonder how long it has been saying that?

  • Comment number 41.

    33. QuaesoVeritas:

    Thank you for doing that. I'll avoid brackets in future.

  • Comment number 42.

    35. Paul Latham and 36.blunderbunny:

    The question of whether sea level rise is accelerating or not is a matter of academic dispute at present. There is no question that sea levels are rising, however.

  • Comment number 43.

    38: PingoSan wrote:

    "Can you tell us what observations would be inconsistent with AGW theory?"

    Something like a short series of below average annual temperatures globally in the absence of any forcing that might counteract AGW would give the theory a serious headache at least, and probably call it into question completely for me.

    At present this looks very unlikely. If you take UAH for example, within the past year they shifted their base anomaly period from 1981-2000 to 1981- 2010. As you can imagine, this has the effect of 'raising the bar' on the zero level for the anomaly.

    But even despite this, UAH have only recorded one below average annual GST in the past 10 years (2008, -0.04 C). 2011 looks like it will be inside or close to the top ten on record, despite significant La Nina cooling until May.

    I'm not saying AGW theory is definitely true. It could be completely wrong, for all I know. All I can say is that the observed data is consistent with it.

  • Comment number 44.

    39. bandythebane wrote:

    "Why did you refer us to Hadsst2 in your #31? It been replaced by Hadsst3 which is substantially different and may not support the same conclusions?"

    As far as I know Hadsst3 only runs to 2006? Hadsst2 is still the data set published by the Met Office/UAH to my knowledge. If not, I'd be grateful for a link to the data if you have one.



  • Comment number 45.

    To blunderbunny #28 and quake#19

    Regarding the discussion of Roman grapes; I tend to agree that Roman grape growing in UK probably suggests warm climate particularly given that Roman grape varieties were probably more warmth demanding than those generally grown here today (being closer to original Mediterranean stock).

    However I think you also have to be careful when dealing with human motives from the distant past. As well as climate you would have to consider factors like the quality of the wine produced and whether it was actually valued as fine drinking material. Economics of importing over local production might be a critical factor. Some vinyards might have been purely experimental; others mere hobby vinyards - like some today. Testing horticultural limits is a common obsession with many gardeners today- so why not then? Even pure aesthetics or sentiment may have been a motive. I grow grapes myself - but mainly to create a "Mediterranean" ambience in the garden; any grapes produced I regard as a bonus. A Roman living in Britain might have felt a similar sentiment or homesickness himself!

    As a rule, wild plants or animals are a better indicator of past climate - particularly insects. E.g. a species of beetle now confined to southern England was unearthed during Viking excavations of York. The obvious conclusion being that in Viking times York had a temperature akin to southern England today.

    However , even here one has to be careful unless the exact ecology of the creature is known. There have been suggestions that the current northward march of butterflies etc in Britain is more closely influenced by post industrial increases in sunshine rather than temperature itself. Many of the species were found here before 19th C. industrialisation, when temps were supposedly colder than now.

  • Comment number 46.

    43:

    "38: PingoSan wrote:

    "Can you tell us what observations would be inconsistent with AGW theory?"

    Something like a short series of below average annual temperatures globally "

    Climate changes only gradually, and the climate has been improving since the end of the Little Ice Age. Can you please choose something realistic.

    Does Greenhouse Gas Warming not have a particular hotspot perhaps?

  • Comment number 47.

    @jkiller56 #45

    Sorry, I would have posted some links to the papers in question, but they are all behind paywalls so there didn't seem to be that much point - you can look for "Roman vineyards in Britain: finds from the Nene Valley and new research" as an example.

    Roman wine production in the UK was on an industrial scale, but I'd happily accept the premis that the terraces at Rommano Bridge might have been constructed/planted by some homesick centurion who’d been sent to the @#-% end of the Empire. As far as I know there's no preserved pollen evidence from that particular site, though I'll happily wait to be corrected on that one.

  • Comment number 48.

    To blunderbunny#45

    Thanks blunderbunny, very interesting.

    I was surprised to learn, until this Nene valley research, how tenuous the evidence for Roman grape growing actually was.

    With the possible exception of Lincolnshire, the vinyards mentioned all seem to have been based in the most favourable parts of the country however - as one might expect - and just like today. No mention of vinyards in the frozen north.

    I was also intrigued by the quality of the wine infered and brewing technique described in the articles. The premature harvest and generous addition of honey might suggest that the fruit could not reliably be expected to ripen and that its sugar content was rather low.

    How would such a wine go down at Oddbins or Sainsburys one wonders? Industrial production or no, it seems unlikely to have been sought after by the decerning palate!

    Still, research is obviously in the early stages and I await more with baited breath.

  • Comment number 49.

    PingoSan wrote:

    "Can you tell us what observations would be inconsistent with AGW theory?"

    1) Day time temperatures warming either the same or more than night temps.
    2) The rise in CO2 in the atmosphere, new coral etc, not having the isotope normally released by fossil fuels.
    3) Satellites not measuring less heat escaping out to space at the particular wavelengths that CO2 absorbs heat.
    4) No warming of the lower atmosphere and cooling of the the upper.
    5) No increase in ocean acidification.

    The opposite of any of these would seriously call AGW into doubt. The presence of them all has only been attributed to increased GHG effects and the increasing amount of Carbon 13, which is released on burning fossil fuels and not by natural carbon cycles (carbon 12) or cosmic ray action upon nitrogen in the atmosphere (carbon 14) indicate that the increased in GHGs is predominately human caused.

  • Comment number 50.

    Paul Latham wrote:

    "If Earth is experiencing increasing ice mass loss in Greenland and the Antarctic, where is the melt water going?"

    Into the sea, the oceans are very big you know, and into the atmosphere, warmer air holds more water vapour (which being a GHG increases warming and produces more rain, snow and flooding in some areas), there’s about on average 4 percent more water vapour over the oceans than there was in the 1970s.

  • Comment number 51.

    Lazarus - not sure about these points you make.
    1) surely any increase (no matter what the forcing) in global temps would lead to higher atmospheric water vapour content. This alone would lead to an increase in night time temps would it not?
    2) I don't think anyone is suggesting that we haven't added to atmospheric CO2 levels by burning fossil fuels - surely the point is, does it make any significant difference. Conflation methinks.
    3) CO2 and water vapour have very similar 'absorption' wavelengths - can we actually state with any certainty which might cause this reduction. Bearing in mind the the relative quantities of each in the atmosphere - perhaps your 4% increase is WV is the more likely culprit?
    4) Back to water vapour again - can you actually dismiss this? Bear in mind that OHC has risen over the same 20thC period and is most likely to affect the lower tropospheric temps.
    5) Ocean acidification? Conflating issues here I think. Yes, we've put more CO2 in to the system and some of it will end up in the ocean. Has nothing to do with temperatures though since warmer oceans absorb less CO2. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if we've messed up the ocean ecology more through over fishing and other industrial pollution.

    Newdwr54
    "Something like a short series of below average annual temperatures globally . . "
    Well that's quite a sensible approach - at least it makes sense to me. Trouble is, I can't see how this can happen until OHC also reverts to 'average'. If the cause of warming is entirely natural, it could be thirty years or more before this happens.
    Would you settle instead for a twenty year flat or slightly declining trend - starting say 2000?

  • Comment number 52.

    @Lazarus #50

    The point was if the melts from Antarctica and Greenland are increasing as claimed, then sea level rises should also be accelerating and according to most sources outside of the Team they are either still constant or slightly decelerating….

    Indeed, as far as I’m aware, it’s only the Team’s latest hockey stick revival attempt that is actually claiming an accelerating sea level rise… Hence, my little joke and newdwr54’s mentioning of academic disputes.

    Nothing like a bit of CAGW self validation...

    Extra water in the system can either come from melting ice or from extracted ground water... For ages now we've been told by the Warmist Hegemony that sea level rise is mostly attributable to melting ice and not ground water extraction…. So, if this is actually true, then sea levels should primarily be related to the melts of ice from glaciers scattered around the world and in particular those in Greenland/Antarctica and if these are all melting as recently claimed, then sea level rises should on average and taking other geological processes into account, be accelerating in almost lock step with all of that melting ice….

    So far, this does not seem to be the case.

    The only the recent work to show any acceleration at all is the very hotly debated(possibly torn apart - depending on your world view) Kemp and Mann paper and the predictions of sea level rise that were made by Vermeer and Rahmstorf in 2009, which are starting to look as though they were bordering on the delusional…

    So, there you go… hence, the very reasonable question where’s all the water?

    What you seem to be saying is that the atmosphere has conveniently absorbed almost exactly amount of water that has either been melted or extracted from the ground, a tad convenient don't ya think....

    Need I point out the green house properties of water vapour to a warmist? Which, neatly, bring us right back to my little joke about Trenberth and his ever so popular missing heat ;-)

    Either way you try and slice it, something's not quite right.

    Mind you, we may have just found the earth's thermostatic control ;-)

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 53.

    @Me

    Oopsies... Apparently my new favourite word.... I didn't mention thermal expansion of the water in question.... but given all the other problems with the initial premis I'm not sure it's really that important... Still, there you go, thermal expansion mentioned... Tick

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 54.

    lateintheday wrote:

    “1) surely any increase (no matter what the forcing) in global temps would lead to higher atmospheric water vapour content. This alone would lead to an increase in night time temps would it not?”

    But what alternative forcing do you suggest? The Sun is our main source of heat. If the Sun was the cause of additional warming then daytime would warm more, some heat might be carried into the night but nights would not warm as much. What we see is the day warming some, as you would expect with additional forcing in the ‘green house’ effect but nights warming more because this additional effect reduces the amount of heat loss during the night. Are there any other candidates that would cause this observation?

    “2) I don't think anyone is suggesting that we haven't added to atmospheric CO2 levels by burning fossil fuels - surely the point is, does it make any significant difference. Conflation methinks.”

    It does in classroom experiments. Simply doubling CO2 increases temps by about 1C. Do you know any scientific mechanism or negative feed back ‘in the wild’ that would prevent this effect?

    “3) CO2 and water vapour have very similar 'absorption' wavelengths - can we actually state with any certainty which might cause this reduction. Bearing in mind the the relative quantities of each in the atmosphere - perhaps your 4% increase is WV is the more likely culprit?”

    They do not have the same 'absorption' wavelengths. To suggest this is hoping for something that the actual evidence does not support.

    “4) Back to water vapour again - can you actually dismiss this? Bear in mind that OHC has risen over the same 20thC period and is most likely to affect the lower tropospheric temps.”

    What theory do you have to account for the rise in OHC? The only theory that we know of that can account for the way the layers of the atmosphere are warming and cooling is AGW. This was predicted by the theory but was not confirmed until more recently.

    “5) Ocean acidification? Conflating issues here I think. Yes, we've put more CO2 in to the system and some of it will end up in the ocean. Has nothing to do with temperatures though since warmer oceans absorb less CO2. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if we've messed up the ocean ecology more through over fishing and other industrial pollution.”

    By accepting that OA is occurring and that CO2 has increased by man in both oceans and atmosphere you must accept that the latter should have warmed by some human caused degree.

    The question was what observations would disprove AGW. The lack of any of these 5 would. The presence of the all (which you seem to accept as true) only needs a single theory to account for them – AGW. But your criticisms show that you need several theories, some which seem to not exist yet or are directly contradicted by some of the evidence.

    Science predicated over a century ago that increases in GHGs would produce global warming. Man kind has increased GHGs and the globe has warmed. That warming has all the signatures of an increased GH effect. Why feel compelled to scratch around for several alternative theories to account for the evidence when the basic physics supports the one theory that all the world’s scientific academies and almost all the scientists researching and publishing in this field agree is the most likely?

  • Comment number 55.

    blunderbunny wrote:
    "Extra water in the system can either come from melting ice or from extracted ground water..."

    Have you any idea how much ground water would have to be extracted above natural replaceable to raise the level of the planets oceans by any noticeable degree?

    This reminds me of a 'theory' I saw to account for sea level rise - it was due to the increase in ships displacing the water!

  • Comment number 56.

    #52 blunderbunny,

    Trenberth agree's that the models are rubbish.

    State-of-the-Art Climate Models and Extreme Meteorological Events and Consequences
    Volume 14, Number 30: 27 July 2011

    In the concluding sentence of his paper's abstract, the U.S. researcher -- a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research -- states that model-simulated precipitation "occurs prematurely and too often, and with insufficient intensity, resulting in recycling that is too large and a lifetime of moisture in the atmosphere that is too short, which affects runoff and soil moisture," while in the text of the paper he writes that "all models contain large errors in precipitation simulations, both in terms of mean fields and their annual cycle (such as the spurious migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone into the other hemisphere), as well as their characteristics: the intensity, frequency, and duration of precipitation, plus the amount (e.g. IPCC, 2007; Bosilovich et al., 2008; Liepert and Previdi, 2009)." And he states that "it appears that many, perhaps all, global climate and numerical weather prediction models and even many high-resolution regional models have a premature onset of convection and overly frequent precipitation with insufficient intensity," citing the work of Yang and Slingo (2001) and Dai and Trenberth (2004).

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V14/N30/EDIT.php

    In light of these several observations, Trenberth concludes that "major challenges remain to improve model simulations of the hydrological cycle." And until such is accomplished and it is proven that the models can at least correctly simulate something as basic as precipitation, it would seem unwise in the extreme to make major global-economy-impacting political decisions on so flimsy a basis as what today's climate models are currently predicting, not only with respect to the meteorological phenomena that are discussed by Trenberth, but with respect to the many other extreme weather and climatic events that the world's climate alarmists use to terrorize the public on a never-ending basis via their over-the-top rhetoric about impending catastrophic consequences if anthropogenic CO2 emissions are not drastically reduced.

  • Comment number 57.

    Submarines surfacing at the North pole:- Photographs are available on the US Navy web site, which page will require a dilligent search because I have forgotten them, but the sun was visible as were three subs, two US one RN. What wa also less than visible was much ice.

    Since the Arctic climate cycle is 80 years long we are far from knowing what is happening apart from the cycle continuing so whether we are at the low point of the ice cover cycle yet is difficult to work out since these cycles do not work with an alarm clock but with all the other cycles that drive climate.

  • Comment number 58.

    #35 blunderbunny

    Perhaps this answer is simplistic: 'where does the melt-water go?

    When it is summer in the Arctic Ocean and the ice is melting, it is of course winter in the Antarctic when the water is re-freezing and the ice reforms.

    I find no panic in the ice melt at all as it re-freezes come the return to the colder seasons. One of the Earth's natural balances and perhaps one that the scientists ignore in the face of AGW-theory and hypotheses.

  • Comment number 59.

    NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

    http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-data-blow-gaping-hold-global-warming-alarmism-192334971.html

    Ooooh what a lovely summer.

  • Comment number 60.

    @Lazarus.

    I was not suggesting extracted ground water as the primary mechansim for sea level rise, I was merely pointing out that there are really only two sources of potentially "new" water, aside from any cometary collisions and I guess the water vapour from all the combustion sources around the world as well.

    If, as is claimed, the extra water is coming primarily from melting ice and the melt of that ice is accelerating, as is also claimed.... then where is it? There should be an equivalent delta v in sea level rises and apart from a disputed outlier (Kemp and Mann), all of our data sources indicate that this is not happening....

    It can't all be in the atmosphere... Sure, the hydrological system will absorb some of it and there may well be generally more of it hanging around as water vapour... big lover of clouds me... but you're still going to be left with both some missing water in terms of altered sea levels and a shed load missing heat if it's all floating around as water vapour in the atmosphere....

    So the simple question is:

    Where are they?

    It's really not that complicated... In the consensus warmist CAGW world added water vapour, plus Added C02 should equal remarkably… scorchio… higher temps....

    Yet as both have apparently increased dramatically, the rate of temperature change has not.

    Similarly, whilst more and more water has been released into the Hydrological system, the rate of sea level change has not been showing an equivalent rate change.

    Also, as pointed out so kindly by ukpahonta, even Trenberth is a tad unsettled by aspects of this little conundrum, and the models are not (when did they ever??) helping ;-)

    So, if you don't find these very simple points at least vaguely interesting, unsettling or indeed annoying, then I'd humbly suggest that you're not really qualified to have a discussion about them.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

  • Comment number 61.

    The June HadCRUT3 figure published at last!
    Global anomaly 0.426c, up 0.104 on May.
    NH anomaly 0.539c, up 0.147c on May.
    SH anomaly 0.313c, up 0.06c on May.
    Actually the NH figure doesn't seem to be in the file yet, so I have calculated the
    above figure using the global and SH figures.
    The global figure is a bit higher than I predicted, but well within the limits of +/- 0.05c. The NH is quite a bit higher and the SH lower than I expected.
    As a result of the above global figure, the running mean for 2011 goes up from 0.302c to 0.323c and the 12 month average goes down from 0.385c to 0.375c,
    although the M.O. figure for 2011 to date doesn't seem to have been updated.
    The 10 year linear trend has fallen from -0.0756c/decade to -0.0768c/decade.
    The global figure makes this June the 8th warmest on record according to HadCRUT3.

  • Comment number 62.

    #59. - ukpahonta wrote:
    "NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing."
    How many times is "alarmist computer models" used in this article?
    Of course, Dr. Roy Spencer is a sceptic and no doubt these findings will receive a great deal of scrutiny from those scientists who are not. I only hope that the research stands up to the scrutiny. I look forward to seeing Richard Black's report on this and the attitude of the BBC in general.
    Hopefully if there is general acceptance that warming is going to be less than predicted, we will be able to divert attention to more pressing and "real" environmental issues.

  • Comment number 63.

    mmm.... over the top article I think. Smacks of the same one-sided/over confidence that skeptics (like myself) usually attribute to the pro AGW reports. Hope the study turns out to be more important than the dreadful reporting - but doubt it.

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    That seems to be just a regurgitation of the Forbes article, which a lot of web sites do, but it doesn't really add anything.
    I am waiting for the BBC to pick up on it. Perhaps Paul will do so in his next blog?
    I notice that one of the comments refers (amongst other things), to the possibility of a magnetic field flip in October 2011 and while nobody can know the exact date, there is one overdue and it could happen at any time.
    I am surprised that more has not been made of this, since it presumably could have serious consequences for life on Earth.
    Just to take one example, apparently Turtles and presumably other creatures, navigate around the globe using the magnetic field.
    If the poles were to switch, then that would presumably result in them heading in completely the wrong direction.
    It is also true that if the field "goes down" prior to or during a flip, we will lose the protection the field gives us from the solar wind.

  • Comment number 66.

    lazarus @54 I'll keep this brief.
    1)Mechanism. Sun heats oceans, oceans heat atmosphere. Major solar forcing throughout 20thC.
    1b) atmospheric water vapour
    2)Other 'classroom' experiments have shown little to zero effect. No lab experiment has been devised that can replicate the complexity of nature.
    3) Not same - similar. Absorption wavelengths overlap somewhat. Water vapour much more powerful GG (abundance), in fact AGW depends on this being the case.
    4) see 1.
    5) More confusion. I accept more CO2 - our fault. Ocean acidification - not convinced this is happening to any alarming degree. It's alkaline and will remain so. Again, this has nothing to do with AGW.

    The rest of what you wrote is meaningless drivel.

  • Comment number 67.

    QV.

    Stranger things have happened but I don't imagine Spencer putting his neck on the block without being totally sure of the data. We live in interesting times!

  • Comment number 68.

    Further to my #61, the MO cumulative figure for 2011 seems to have been updated now and is 0.306c, compared to 0.323c, based on the simple mean of all of the months.
    In order for the simple mean to reach the M.O. estimate of 0.44c by December, the average anomaly for the remainder of the year has to be about 0.55c.
    Presumably it would have to be higher than that to reach the figure based on the M.O. method of calculation, but not necessarily.

  • Comment number 69.

    The Roy Spencer paper has made it onto the "Irish Weather Online" site, although I am not sure of the status of that site:
    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/news/climate-news/u-s-scientists-pour-cold-water-on-rapid-global-warming-theory/28942.html/comment-page-1
    Still nothing "mainstream" as far as I know, and I am still awaiting some comment on this from Richard Black. I haven't seen it mentioned on the BBC t.v. news bulletins, but I may have missed it. If it had been a paper in support of climate models, I feel it would have been given more prominence on the BBC.

  • Comment number 70.

    There are so many papers published on climate that don't get in the news that I wouldn't expect Spencer's paper, which was published in a rather obscure journal, to get a mention in any mainstream press.

  • Comment number 71.

    Dr Roy Spencers paper already under attack.
    Gavin Shmidt, Kevin Trenberth, Andrew Dessler(?) from Texas A&M University and Daniel Murphy from NOAA

    http://news.yahoo.com/climate-change-debunked-not-fast-234403696.html

  • Comment number 72.

    lateintheday wrote:

    “The rest of what you wrote is meaningless drivel.”

    Thanks for those kind words. Although this does come across to me as someone needing a psychological crutch to give them a reason to ignore inconvenient science and the fact that they cannot express a coherent argument that accounts for the evidence.

    First things first;

    “1)Mechanism. Sun heats oceans, oceans heat atmosphere. Major solar forcing throughout 20thC.
    1b) atmospheric water vapour”

    What MAJOR solar forcing during the 20th century? There hasn’t been one and the Sun has been very quiet during the first decade of the 21st.

    If you still assert there is then prove me wrong by linking to the science that shows that solar forcing during the 20th Century was stronger than normal natural variation, and some figures (by a credible scientist or two) that determines how much additional heating this caused and that it can account for the measured temperature increase.

    While you are at it you might also like to tell me why this increased solar forcing has not increased average day time temps (when the Sun is shining) more then the nights. You are either wrong about this or there must be another, so far undiscovered mechanism that appears to defeat the laws of physics.

    “2)Other 'classroom' experiments have shown little to zero effect. No lab experiment has been devised that can replicate the complexity of nature.”

    Oh dear. These classroom experiments do demonstrate the effect starkly and are similar to those that have been done for over a century based on the physics worked out by Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius and Chamberlin. This really basic schoolboy physics so either you have sadly missed some level of rudimentary education or this is one of the worst cases of fingers in ears and head in a bucket I have seen.

    “3) Not same - similar. Absorption wavelengths overlap somewhat.”
    Why are you telling me this? Satellites have detected a decrease in IR from space in EXACTLY the corresponding wavelengths attributable to CO2 – NOT water vapour and NOT any over lap that could confuse the two. This is now well established science supported with hard data and confirms predictions.

    “4) see 1.”

    1 is irrelevant with regard to the warming and cooling layers in the atmosphere. What has been found matches what was predicted and should happen with an increased GHG due to CO2 – not just an increase in water vapour.

    “5) More confusion. I accept more CO2 - our fault. Ocean acidification - not convinced this is happening to any alarming degree. It's alkaline and will remain so. Again, this has nothing to do with AGW.”

    The original question was what observations would disprove AGW. No OA would – simples.

    But it is interesting to note that you are not convinced it is happening to any alarming degree. What research do you base this on as it seems to contradict a growing body of evidence that this is not going to be the case?

    So the inconvenient science remains. All the evidence from basic physics and heating patters in both daily cycles and in the atmosphere point to an increased green house effect caused by additional green house gasses, particularly CO2 with satellite data clearly showing this is what has been restricting heat leaving the atmosphere, warming the troposphere and cooling the stratosphere.

    Increased solar (even if it exists) and increased water vapour (that can only occur with an already warmed planet) do not fit the evidence.

  • Comment number 73.

    blunderbunny #60

    There is no missing water. We know for sure that glacier ice is melting so like you say it can only end up in a limited number of places. It will be either in the atmosphere, in the sea or bodies of water, or as moister content in soils etc. There is no mystery and none is missing. In fact according to research I have seen most sea level rise is currently due to thermal expansion not melt water.

    I feel I may have lost what point you are trying to make as I see no issue here.

  • Comment number 74.

    Unfortunately Spencer has chosen to publish this in an online journal and one can only assume that if is not up to scratch. It just seems a way to circumvent peer review and create controversy rather than actually add anything to science.

    And before the usual suspects start with the conspiracy theory nonsense about scientists being block from credible journals, John Christy never has had the problem.

  • Comment number 75.

    Instead of worrying about a bit of ice loss in the Arctic Ocean there is currently a situation that could develop and cause real problems.

    On Thursday 28 July on the Canaries island of El Hierro there was an earthquake swarm of over 700 quakes. El Hierro is a volcanic island with over 500 vents and the last eruption was in 1793. Prior to that the island had a period of gravitational settling causing massive landslides. The largest of which was 300 cu Km in volume and caused a tsunami over 100m high which reached the east coast of America. There is geological evidence of this event in a few places even now.

    The Canaries has suffered such events, termed edifice failure, on every island and the evidence is still seen on the sea floor around the islands some slides covering thousands of sq Km in area.

    There have been quake swarms today and they continue. Whether these are indicative of another eruption it is not possible to say for sure but magma is certainly on the move below. Whilst an eruption may not be too serious these often start landslides. It is the tsunamis generated by these slides that are a real problem as Japan proved a few months ago. The east coast of America, west coast of Africa and Europe are all at serious threat and that includes the UK.

    So it might be better to prepare for real threats rather than the imaginary climate problems.

  • Comment number 76.

  • Comment number 77.

    Lazarus - my end comment was rude. Sorry, was in a bad mood.
    However, to say that there hasn't been any significant solar increase over the course of the 20thC is simply ignoring the evidence. There is no dispute here - not even from the AGW side. They simply argue that since a correlation divergence occurred mid century which undermines the solar forcing stance. It doesn't. (Interestingly the AGW followers never seem to complain about the lack of correlation between CO2 and temps.)
    Lots of papers on how solar forcing can affect temps. Suggest you read up on it and pick your preferred mechanism. Could be a number of different processes involved.

    Classroom experiments. I'm not a scientist but I've read enough to realise that these experiments prove only one thing - CO2 and water vapour are greenhouse gases. However, how they may respond in a non-closed, chaotic system is a million miles away from the lab.

    Daytime/night time warming. I don't think you understand the AGW theory. CO2 is not powerful enough (by abundance) in itself to make any significant difference. It's only by amplification through increased water vapour that we would notice the difference. Thus - increased water vapour through any forcing mechanism would lead to the effects you describe.

    Then you say "The original question was what observations would disprove AGW. No OA would – simples."

    You know what the letters AGW stands for I take it? Your comment is irrelevant to this discussion. Ocean acidification has nothing to do with warming. And as to why I'm not alarmed so far by OA is simply this. I no longer blindly trust any report/study which has received funding to back up alarmism. I'm beginning to think that the green movement (which I'd like to believe in) has become too political. Rather like a young, idealistic politician, who learns that the only way to get results is to play the 'dirty' game that everyone else plays.

  • Comment number 78.

    John Marshall . . .
    well that's just typical - I've just booked a couple of weeks in the canaries. As far as my previous holiday misfortunes go, this would top the lot. Now what shall I pack - gas mask and fireproofs or emergency inflatable and lifejacket?

  • Comment number 79.

    Lazarus

    Having read and considered all your posts, my suggestion is that you widen your reading a little to include some of the more recent scientific facts that have surfaced. Past peer-review does not make a theory become a scientific fact.

    Much of the opinion you are expressing is out-of-date hypotheses.

    For example: a study of recent history shows that sea levels have dropped over the past two millennia, the minor changes over the last 150 years are really of no consequence. It is the land surface in parts of both hemispheres, N & S, that were previously glaciated that has re-bounded.

  • Comment number 80.

    @lateintheday

    Whilst the swarm has not gone away, it does seem to be tailing off a bit...

    Daily Counts:

    http://www.avcan.org/?ln=i

    Pretty Pictures:

    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/07/28/earquake-activity-below-el-hierro-volcano-canary-islands-spain/

    So you and the rest of us might be okay...

    Regards,

    One of the (Thankfully more than 60m above sea level) Lobby

  • Comment number 81.

    lateintheday wrote:

    “However, to say that there hasn't been any significant solar increase over the course of the 20thC is simply ignoring the evidence.”

    I’m not ignoring the evidence – you haven’t presented any!

    Check the graph here;
    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2006/12/perspective.html

    It shows the number of sunspots during the twentieth century (considered to relate to solar intensity). The peaks during the last three decades are not even as high as those of the 50s – 60s. I can’t find a graph with trend lines but by eye it looks like a decline from the 60s just when global temperatures really started to increase last century. So simply saying that ‘AGW followers’ complain about the lack of correlation isn’t an argument because there is a clear lack of it in recent times. I agree they should, and have correlated in the past so what driver could have broken this trend? Believe it or not, the vast majority of publishing climatologists have a theory with a high degree of certainty.

    As to some real evidence of how much solar has increased temps, look at actual science papers, (mostly .pdfs so I can’t link them);

    Benestad 2009: "Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980."

    Lockwood 2008: "It is shown that the contribution of solar variability to the temperature trend since 1987 is small and downward; the best estimate is -1.3% and the 2? confidence level sets the uncertainty range of -0.7 to -1.9%."

    Lean 2008: "According to this analysis, solar forcing contributed negligible long-term warming in the past 25 years and 10% of the warming in the past 100 years..."

    Ammann 2007: "Although solar and volcanic effects appear to dominate most of the slow climate variations within the past thousand years, the impacts of greenhouse gases have dominated since the second half of the last century."

    Foukal 2006 concludes "The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978 are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming over the past 30 years."

    So do you actually have any of the science I suggested you present to support you claims that a MAJOR increase in solar output is responsible for current warming. As a true skeptic I only accept credible evidence – you should try to do the same.

  • Comment number 82.

    lateintheday wrote:

    “Classroom experiments. I'm not a scientist but I've read enough to realise that these experiments prove only one thing - CO2 and water vapour are greenhouse gases. However, how they may respond in a non-closed, chaotic system is a million miles away from the lab.”

    Of course they may, and don’t, respond the same in a chaotic system. That is why there is uncertainties as to how much a doubling of CO2 will warm the globe – but at this stage there is NO uncertainty that warming wont occur. Anything else would defy known physics.

    The problem with your position is that you need to positively suggest the laws of physics won’t work as expected in the real world. But using Occam’s razor which is most likely? Would a true sceptic select the least likely over the most likely to form an opinion they would feel comfortable defending.

    There is no difference from this position and knowing that a the speed of a ball dropped in an experiment can be measured but suggesting if dropped outside it might actually fall up.

    If you really are going to make such arguments then you really need a ‘theory’ to suggest why Co2 will actually act in a different way to its established physical properties. To ignore it and suggest it must has no credibility.

    “Daytime/night time warming. I don't think you understand the AGW theory. CO2 is not powerful enough (by abundance) in itself to make any significant difference. It's only by amplification through increased water vapour that we would notice the difference. Thus - increased water vapour through any forcing mechanism would lead to the effects you describe.”

    I’m afraid it is you who is ignoring AGW theory and are trying to confuse basic science with some conflagration about water vapour. Lets use real logic – water vapour does not behave differently as a greenhouse gas in daylight compared to the dark. You appear to need that to happen. The physics is simple – really simple – If warming can be attributed to an increased solar forcing then temperatures during the times when this happens (The Day) will increase on average more than when it doesn’t (the Night). It doesn’t matter about any change in water vapour because it will just be as potent as a GHG day or night. Any increase it directly causes will be the same day or night.

    So without requiring the need for any ‘special physics’ you haven’t provided any answer to why night temps have increased on average more than day which supports AGW and debunks solar somewhat.

    “You know what the letters AGW stands for I take it? Your comment is irrelevant to this discussion. Ocean acidification has nothing to do with warming.”

    You keep misunderstanding. I was asked what would disprove AGW. I know that OA is a side issue to AGW, but AGW requires an increase in CO2 in the environment. Some people even deny this is the case and do not accept it as you do and my original answer was not directly to you. OA proves that there is a very measurable build up of CO2 in the environment, even more than that in the atmosphere as much more CO2 is absorbed by the oceans than remains in the air. So while I agree that OA has nothing to do with AGW the lack of it has everything to do with disproving it. Do you now understand?

    But can I assume that you are not willing to provide any science to support your belief that OA isn't going to be much of a problem?

    Good to see you have now stopped trying to suggest science can't measure the difference between IR absorption bands of water vapour and CO2.

  • Comment number 83.

    Paul Latham wrote:

    "Much of the opinion you are expressing is out-of-date hypotheses."

    I can assure you that my opinions are based on the most recent science. But I only accept credible scientific based sources. No blogs unless what they claim is referenced and I'm confident that the conclusions from blogs are supported by those references.

    "For example: a study of recent history shows that sea levels have dropped over the past two millennia, the minor changes over the last 150 years are really of no consequence. "

    A good example indeed. I can easily find research that suggest sea levels have dropped in more ancient times. However I can't seem to find your conclusion in any of them that 'changes over the last 150 years are really of no consequence.'

    Perhaps my sources are really out of date? Can you furnish me with the peer reviewed research that explicitly says current and projected sea level rise is 'really of no consequence' showing that this isn't just unqualified opinion?

  • Comment number 84.

    Lazarus wrote "......."

    This exemplifies warmists doctrine, nothing to see here, the science is settled, move along, the consensus is right, sceptics know nothing, scientists are the keepers of truth, no new information is required, peer review is infallible, the computer models are infallible, historic warming is irrelevant, cold weather is irrelevant, warm weather is proof (unless we decide vice versa in the future).
    The whitewashes, the so called independent inquiries, the conflicts of interest in the media and other bodies, the financial incentives of scientists, lobby groups and media, the carbon exchange debacle the green jobs fiasco, the fuel price extortion, the green energy technology lies ....I could go on and on and on.

    It just all stinks to high Heaven. The trouble is the politicians have pies in the warmists oven so we're stuffed.

  • Comment number 85.

    El Hierro seems to have quietened down for now, which is good for the locals and the Atlantic rim. But a sudden start of quake swarms, which this was last week, is not the type of event that is calming on a volcanic island especially one that has been quiet for over 200 years.

    Vesuvius is also a volcano to watch as it is overdue an eruption, the last being 1944 on a 20 year cycle. If it did erupt, as bad as 79bc when Pompeii was destroyed, then the Mafia problem in Naples would no lomger exist. The Italian Government has had an evacuation exercise, that 50,000 actually turned up to, and stated that their plan was good. Over 5m people live in Naples and trying to move 5m people away on one motorway might be a problem.

    There is another active volcano under the western edge of Naples which has shown signs of activity in the past 60 years but not any further than raise the land levels by 2m then recovering to the previous levels. Non of this has encouraged people to move.

    There are far more important events to wory about than varying ice levels in the Arctic about which we still know little.

  • Comment number 86.

    lazarus . .
    "The physics is simple – really simple – If warming can be attributed to an increased solar forcing then temperatures during the times when this happens (The Day) will increase on average more than when it doesn’t (the Night). It doesn’t matter about any change in water vapour because it will just be as potent as a GHG day or night."

    You're not getting this are you. I'm not looking for new undiscovered physics here. I'm applying the same logic that the 'alarming' part of greenhouse gas theory relies upon. According to AGW, if there were no amplification of warming through H2O, there wouldn't even be a potential warming 'disaster' with CO2 - even if you tripled current levels. AGW relies entirely on the H2O feedback mechanism.
    Want some basic physics? Ask yourself why it gets cold at night over a dry desert and why it stays warm at night in the tropics. Ask yourself why the arctic will proportionately show higher atmospheric temp increases than the tropics.
    You see without H2O, the CO2 greenhouse effect is meaningless. There is just not enough of the stuff in the atmosphere to make a significant difference.
    As for Solar influence. As I've stated many times on here, it seems entirely plausible that the increase in Solar Cycle activity over last century (historically, 4 of the 5 highest ever cycles being recorded 1950 - 2000) could have caused the increase in OHC. This in itself being the main driver of atmospheric temps. Just think of the temp record in El nino/la nina years to see how much effect the oceans have.
    The mechanism for warming the oceans. I wouldn't expect it to be related to TSI since this varies little. However, different wavelengths have been shown to change much more significantly - UV up to 10% throughout a cycle from memory. From there on in, I'll let the scientists explain since there are a number of competing theories which you must already be familiar with.

  • Comment number 87.

    86. 2011, lateintheday:

    The climate sensitivity of CO2 is its total projected impact on climate, as you say, not just the effect of CO2 itself. However whereas CO2 is a climate 'forcing', water vapour is a 'feedback'. You need the forcing to activiate the feedback.

    If the forcing for the observed surface temperature rise, sea level rise and ice melt, etc seen in the past 60-odds years was the result of a build up of heat in the oceans during the first half of the 20th century caused by the highly active Sun, then this should be quantifiable. We should expect to be able to predict roughly when this build up of heat energy will start to decline, since solar activity has been decreasing since 1960.

    Not sure if QV has posted on this yet, but he was pretty darned close with his June 2011 HadCRUT3 prediction. He forecast 0.41; it was 0.43 (rounded). This means that June 2011 was the eighth warmest June in HadCRUT's 162 year old global temperature record. It fits into a top ten of June temperatures that *all* occurred within the past 14 years (25 of the last 30 have occurred within the past 30 years).

    According to you it is reasonable to conclude that this is all be due to a rise in solar output that ended over 50 years ago. This is not a position supported by many working climate scientists, as far as I am aware. It also begs the question posed by Lazarus: if CO2 hasn't been very active in 'forcing' the observed warming, then why not?

  • Comment number 88.

    #87, newdwr54

    I have posted about the June HadCRUT3 figure (see #61), and I agree with your 8th warmest ranking.
    However, the official M.O. mean for the first 6 months of 2011 is 0.306c, and the simple mean of individual months is 0.323c (see #68), so it's going to have to be very warm for the remainder of the year if the MO prediction of 0.44c for 2011 is going to be correct.
    The simple mean of 0.323c puts this year in 12th place for the first 6 months, using the same method of calculation.
    As I also pointed out, the June figure continues the decline in the 10 year linear trend, from -0.0756c/decade to -0.0768c/decade.
    To be fair, my first prediction for the June global figure was 0.40c and 0.41c was the average of my subsequent NH and SH predictions but both figures were within the margins I originally specified.

  • Comment number 89.

    88. QuaesoVeritas:

    That all seems to be right. I would just issue my standard caveat that a 10 year rolling trend is of fairly limited value in a multi-decadal data set.

    For instance, using annual figures, I calculate that the 16 year period 1961-1976 in HadCRUT3 shows a 'cooling' trend of about -0.5C per century. Yet the overall trend from 1961-2010 was about +1.4C per century warming.

    In fact there are four periods of 15 years between 1950 and 2010 that show either nil or negative trends, despite an overall warming trend 1950-2010 of +1.2C. Perhaps you can verify this?

    If true, then clearly prolonged periods of stasis, or even cooling, have a fairly limited impact on overall surface temperature trends.

  • Comment number 90.

    Lazarus
    #71 #81.82 & 83

    I note that you have embarked upon an attack of the paper submitted to 'Remote Sensing' the on-line website by Dr Roy W. Spencer and William D. Braswell entitled 'On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from variations in Earth's Radiative Energy Balance'.

    This is a new study just published on line on 27 July. Your remark that publishing this study on line to avoid 'peer review' is a disingenuous way of saying you do not believe any of the contents.

    I am myself sceptical as to the value of much of the quality of peer review at present because so many scientists are presently in the pay of the EU Commission. Why? To conduct research, prepare papers and publish papers on CAGW, hundreds of millions of Euros are available for this work upon application. Just visit the EU Commission's own website if you require confirmation. Bought-and-paid-for academic scientists are hardly objective and unbiased in judgement. Just like the EU Commission itself; also consider that an official Opposition is not permitted in the EU parliament such as we have in Westminster to maintain balance in parliamentary debate.

    I maintain that your posts are a poor show.

  • Comment number 91.

    #74. - Lazarus wrote:
    "Unfortunately Spencer has chosen to publish this in an online journal and one can only assume that if is not up to scratch. It just seems a way to circumvent peer review and create controversy rather than actually add anything to science."
    I'm slightly confused, since the initial reports of this paper stated that "Remote Sensing" was a "peer-reviewed" science journal. Is this not the case?


  • Comment number 92.

    Wow! Looking at the latest sea ice data there seems to have been a drop off in the rate of decline. Can anyone explain what is happening?

  • Comment number 93.

    #89. - newdwr54 wrote:
    "In fact there are four periods of 15 years between 1950 and 2010 that show either nil or negative trends, despite an overall warming trend 1950-2010 of +1.2C. Perhaps you can verify this?
    If true, then clearly prolonged periods of stasis, or even cooling, have a fairly limited impact on overall surface temperature trends."
    I haven't done any trend calculations over 16 year periods, but I don't doubt that you are correct.
    I don't wish to imply that the current negative trend over a 10 year period is anything other than a temporary one, and that ultimately the trend will return
    to a positive one. Based on the 50 year trend, I expect the current negative phase to last until about 2025, reaching a low point around 2023, after which there will be a positive phase, although there will probably be reversals in both directions during each phase.
    The last negative phase in the 10 year trend was around 1977, reaching about -0.088c/decade and before that around 1967, reaching -0.2c/decade. The current phase is already approaching 1977 and I think it will ultimately be lower than 1967. The negative phase before that was around 1951, reaching -0.44c/decade, but I don't expect this one to be as low as that.
    The importance of these short-term negative trends is that they contradict the "impression" that warming is a continuous and uninterrupted process, which will result in an overall warming of up to 6c by the end of the century, when in fact, so far, the overall rate of warming has been much lower than that, i.e. about 0.11c/decade.

  • Comment number 94.

    cmdocker #84.
    Instead of accepting the science what do you propose? Not being very sceptical of fringe views, pseudo-science, unqualified opinions, perhaps magic?

  • Comment number 95.

    Paul Latham and , QuaesoVeritas:
    I didn’t say that it wasn’t a peer reviewed journal, but it isn’t one listed on Web of Science and it has no speciality in the subject of Surface Temperature Feedback.

    I’m haven’t seen who the reviewers were but I suspect they are not the most qualified peers.

  • Comment number 96.

    lateintheday wrote:
    “You're not getting this are you. I'm not looking for new undiscovered physics here. “

    Actually you are looking for undiscovered physics – and quite a lot of it too.

    H2O as a GJHG simply does not have the properties you suggest it must have to support your ‘theory’. I looked at the science again just to make sure I wasn’t going off half cocked (see: Braganza 2004, Alexander 2006, Zhou 2009). Your desert and tropics theory doesn’t hold up because nights are warming faster than days all over, including deserts and the tropics. I also came across a paper by Braganza et al in 2003 which shows that winters are warming faster than summers. So how does standard physics cater for water vapour behaving differently, not only night and day but at opposite ends of the planet?

    You also need special physics to explain how the physical properties of CO2 are completely different in the real world from that determined by physics over a century ago. Lets not underestimate this, to use another analogy, it is like a poison being developed in a lab that kills rats 100% of the time and scientists suggesting it might only be 90% effective in the real environment but your ‘theory’ would actually need rats to thrive on the stuff.

    So your theory relies on scientists being wrong about how water vapour acts as a GHG, i.e. different night and day, summer and winter.

    You need many scientists being wrong about how much any change in solar output has added to current warming, which is now low .

    You need the science to be totally wrong about how CO2 that traps heat in the environment compared to the lab.

    You need the satellites measuring heat escaping the earth to be mis-calibrated just so, to give the effect that the science has actually predicted but they are actually measuring H2O instead of CO2, and this mis-calibration hasn’t been noticed or apparently affected the rest of the absorption spectrum.

    You think this series of misfortuneate events has happened and real sceptics should find it more credible than a century old theory based on the basic physical properties of gasses that says if you increase GHGs in the atmosphere it should warm. GHGs are increasing GHGs and it is warming.

    So what really is most credible? Ask yourself why you think the science is so wrong on this one subject but I assume that you trust it on every other subject that has fringe views like evolution, homoeopathy, MMR vaccines, age of the earth and the big bag?

  • Comment number 97.

    #95. - Lazarus wrote:
    "I’m haven’t seen who the reviewers were but I suspect they are not the most qualified peers."
    So now there are degrees of "peership"?

  • Comment number 98.

    #92. - NeilHamp wrote:
    "Wow! Looking at the latest sea ice data there seems to have been a drop off in the rate of decline. Can anyone explain what is happening?"
    The slight slowing down of the decline in ice which was evident in mid July, seems to have increased slightly. I suppose that could be because the ice has melted earlier and so there is less to melt now.
    Will the slow rate of decline continue long enough to return the amount of ice to "normal" territory by the end of August I wonder.
    I have noticed recently that there have been less areas of extreme warming in the NH according to the maue map, and the worst warming seems to be at the south pole at the moment.
    http://coaps.fsu.edu/%7Emaue/extreme/gfs/current/raw_temp.html
    Please note the following note in relation to the above page:
    http://coaps.fsu.edu/%7Emaue/extreme/gfs/current/raw_temp_c.html

  • Comment number 99.

    UAH just in - The global average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly for July, 2011 increased to +0.37 deg. C.

  • Comment number 100.

    QuaesoVeritas wrote:

    "So now there are degrees of "peership"?"

    You think experts on "the science and technology of remote sensing and the applications of remotely sensed data" is best qualified to review a paper on Surface Temperature Feedback (not the technology used to record it) ?

    http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=0143-1161&linktype=1

    Why not ask a dentist, veterinarian or biologist?

    This is not a credible journal to review and publish research on climatology and you must know there are far better options for a scientists to publish credible research that he intends to stand behind as an addition a body of scientific evidence.

    Believe it is credible if you want but please be a true sceptic and don't give it any more bias compared to the far larger body of scientific research that suggests the conclusions of this probably isn't the case and factor in the criticism it is already receiving from other, more qualified peers.

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.