Guardian : Arctic Has 50% Less Ice Than Zero

Rate of arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted | Environment | The Observer

That is amazing, because it was predicted to be ice free already.

NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

Because climate change in the Arctic region is occurring faster and to a greater extent than anywhere else, the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free for a short period of time as early as the summer of 2015, according to the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report completed by the eight Arctic Council Nations.

MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2008
Polar ice cap melting away in 2008 ?

The latest salvo comes courtesy of Xinhua, which reports that Olav Orheim, the head of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat, is placing his money on this summer. Noting that its ice sheet had reached a historical low of 3m sq. km last summer – it covered around 7.5m sq. km as recently as 2000 – Orheim told Xinhua that “if Norway’s average temperature this year equals that in 2007, the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away.” Barring this disaster, Orheim predicted that excess carbon dioxide emissions and higher average temperatures would unpredictably alter the region’s fragile ecosystems. On a separate note, he said that Asia would likely be hardest hit by rising sea levels, estimating that a one meter rise would affect “nearly 100 million people on an area of 800,000 square km in Asia and direct economic loss will amount to 400 billion U.S. dollars.”

December 15, 2009

There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday.

The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

Global warming is a direct threat to biodiversity in all corners of the world, but nowhere are its effects more visible than in the Arctic, where the impacts of the climate crisis are hitting earlier and with greater intensity than anywhere else. Winter temperatures have increased by almost 10 degrees Fahrenheit since 1949. And by the end of this century, the Far North’s annual average temperatures are expected to rise 9 degrees or more over land and up to 13 degrees over water.

We can see the frightening effects of the Arctic’s rising temperatures in the quick and devastating melt of the region’s sea ice. In 2008, Arctic summer sea ice reached the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era — and winter sea ice reached its lowest recorded extent in 2011. Now climate scientists say the Arctic could be completely ice free in the summer by 2012.

With its unforgiving winds, tremendous cold, winters that never see the sun, and summers that never see the end of it, the Arctic seems like a hard place to eke out a living. Yet it’s home to highly specialized species that have evolved to make the most of their harsh environment, including its vast expanses of sea ice. Without enough sea ice, the entire Arctic ecosystem will unravel and its species will die.


the summer melt could lead to ice-free Arctic seas by 2016 – “plus or minus three years”.


There are credible scientists who are now predicting an ice-free (summer) arctic by as early as 2013. The implications are mind boggling. The impact on wildlife, humans and the rest of the world’s weather patterns is impossible to predict for specific areas and to exact detail.


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188 Responses to Guardian : Arctic Has 50% Less Ice Than Zero

  1. kirkmyers says:

    The Warmists don’t have anything else to hang their hat on, so they keep talking about declining arctic sea ice. Their claims about vanishing ice are as bogus as their claims about a tropospheric hot spot over the tropics, rising sea levels, increasing ocean temperatures and runaway global temperatures. There are plenty of news stories from the 1920s about the rapid decline in arctic sea ice. Even then, scientists were speculating about the opening of the Northwest Passage.

    The fact is, there has not been any planet-wide warming in 15 years (see RSS and HadCRUT records), despite a steady increase in CO2 levels. That alone falsifies the Warmist theory connecting greenhouse gases to global warming. Moreover, whatever warming effect human CO2 emissions have (and that is still a subject of debate), it is so minuscule that when compared to naturally caused temperature variations, it is mere background noise.

    Climate science is no longer science; it has become political science. The politics driving the AGW scare were unmasked when the alarmists had to change their rallying cry from “global warming” to “climate change” after it became clear that the globe was no longer warming despite rising CO2 levels. The new tactic is to blame any severe weather event or anomaly on greenhouse gases, while ignoring the last 15 years of flat or slightly declining global temperatures.

    • Tony Duncan says:

      That’s right that damn commie, Frank Luntz orchestrated the whole damn “climate change meme. And Hanson, Mann and the team destroyed all the shipping records from the 20’s and thirties detailing all that transport between New York and Barrow. And with all that multi year ice and the melt season ending a month early as Steve has just determined you will probably be able to ice skate from Churchill to Murmansk next July.

      • johnmcguire says:

        Tony , have another cup of coffee and see if you can get your disjointed thoughts together

      • Tony Duncan says:

        Don’t drink coffee. try googling Frank Lutz and climate change and see how many hits you get. And am still waiting to see those shipping records.

      • johnmcguire says:

        Hey Tony , if you don’t drink coffee that just leaves more for me haha. As far as shipping records go , occasionaly some one will post some old records of people from several generations ago daring to take their little ships with their old compasses and their barrels of preserved food and attempting to discover what was going on in their world. Today we have all these technological marvels and vast ships with promise of rescue by others if we get in trouble and we still aren’t navigating the arctic with any reasonable regularity. As to the ice , the records show that the ice has been more or less at times and I think it will continue to be more or less at times and I will not worry about it. Remember that most of this climate change idiocy started over co2 levels and the claim that they drove the climate ? Well , we are seeing the evidence both from the past and the present that co2 has no reasonable amount of influence on the climate at all . What has happened to the supposed warming for the last 15 years ? CO2 has risen and the temperatures haven’t risen appreciably at the same time. No , it has reached the point where those who are promoting anthropogenic globall warming are doing so in the face of contrary evidence . Now we are seeing outright manipulation of the data in order to maintain the fraud . The house of cards is coming down.

      • rw says:

        Where do you see anything in the post you’re replying to about shipping records? (You’re certainly a devious little mouse, always changing the terms of an argument that you appear to be replying to.)

    • David Appell says:

      First off, the 15-yr trend for HadCRUT4 is +0.14 C/decade (sigma=0.02 C/decade) as of Dec 2011.

      Second of all, there is clearly something wonky going on between RSS and UAH. Ten years ago their monthly anomalies differed by about 0.15 C; now UAH is a little higher. It’s not clear at the moment what’s going on.

      Third, 15 years is too short of a time interval to draw meaningful conclusions about AGW, since natural fluctuations, especially ENSO, can cause global fluctuations of 0.3 C or so, which is currently about 2 decades worth of anthropogenic warming.

      Fourth, the ocean continues to warm strongly (and sea level rise is back at its former), which is a far better indicator of an energy imbalance than what’s happening on a 2-dimensional surface — its heat capacity is 1000 times that of the atmosphere.

      • Whatever says:

        FINALLY! Finally someone has posted some real science on REAL SCIENCE. You have restored my faith in humanity : – )

  2. Andy DC says:

    The alarmists hang their hat on a place that no ordinary person ever sees. Enough people live along the shoreline to know that sea level rise is a farce. But no one sees what it going on in the Arctic, so they get away with their lies.

  3. tckev says:

    An appeal for your help.

    Obviously we haven’t tried hard enough. Without this meltdown many, many high powered egos will look very foolish. In these days of political correctness this is wrong – making people look foolish lowers their self-esteem, hurts their feelings, and could push them passed the tipping point that leads to feelings of inadequacy or worse. You can help save these great bladders of egoistical pomposity before it’s too late.

    So everyone lets get with the program, get out and burn some oil, some coal, or if you must burn some wood. AC and heating on full will help.
    We must stop the Arctic screaming by killing that canary in the coal mine.
    Remember this is for your children’s future.

    Can we get CO2 levels higher? – YES WE CAN!

  4. johnmcguire says:

    What good comments from kirkmyers , ANDY DC , and tckev . From analysis to common sense to humor . I love reading the skeptic blogs as the level of honest intelligence is so far beyond the agw crowd .

  5. papiertigre says:

    Boy, that is one sphincter tightening stream of consciousness. Help me Mommy… I’m scared.

  6. Just for the record:

    1) You can’t validly compare a rate (sea ice decline) with a quantity (sea ice extent.) (Yeah, I know–or think I do–the headline wasn’t meant all that seriously.)

    2) Zwally’s comment was not a prediction–this *will* happen–but a projection–this *could* happen *if* trend x continues. (It didn’t, at least over the short term.)

    3) As stated above, Maslowski’s prediction (I believe it does qualify as that) was for 2013, plus or minus three years, and last time I checked it was still 2012.

    In the context of most climate modelers, Maslowski’s prediction was unbelievably bold–current thought among those scientists expects an ice-free summer around 2030 or 2040. However, based on extrapolation of ice volume, Maslowski’s model looks pretty credible today. Now, perhaps (as Steve has argued in the past) those volume numbers are wrong. But that doesn’t seem to be what the preponderance of evidence is saying.

    I don’t know whether next year will in fact see an ice-free minimum. (And I seem to recall that Maslowski’s projection wasn’t strictly for ‘ice-free’ anyway–IIRC, it was couched in percentage terms, but worked out to something under a million square kilometers of ice.) But looking at the current situation, a 2013 minimum that is effectively ice-free would not surprise me.

  7. Steve Tabor says:

    In public discourse (and private psychoanalysis) there is the concept of the fetish.

    [Webster’s Dictionary: “fetish: a material object regarded with superstitious or extravagant trust or reverence”]

    Such is “Arctic Ice in Summer” (AIIS). AIIS is a fetish, an obsessed-about stand-in, for something else more terrifying: a catastrophic rise in sea level ala’ some Hollywood movie like The Day After Tomorrow, Lost City Raiders, or 2012, or An Inconvenient Truth.

    The narrative seems to be:

    Ice Melt >>> open water >>> increased sunshine heating the water plus no more ice equals lack of albedo >>> increasingly warm air >>> more rain not snow, washing away the remaining ice >>> still less albedo >>> melting Greenland icecap >>> rising sea level >>> obliterating LA and NYC and Washington DC equals DEATH.

    That’s a long string of causation implicit in a single concern, “Arctic Ice In Summer”. It is narratives like these that propel the CO2 game. This is what makes the CO2 game folklore, not science.

    As long as the sun only strikes a glancing blow at the water and ice in Arctic latitudes, nothing much will happen in this string. For the sun to heat the air and water up there, the earth would have to turn on its axis to allow a more direct sun stream. As it is, the sun’s rays melt little at that latitude except cliff faces or certain ice walls that provide a vertical surface 90 degrees to the sun’s rays.

    Over more than half the year, there is no sunshine at all, making refreezing inevitable. Most of the melting up there is done by warm water or air drawn in from lower latitudes, bringing in heat, as happened with the reputed “90% of Greenland is melting” fiasco earlier this year (remember all that scary blood-red pigment?). The Arctic is incapable of warming itself without help from the outside (thank goodness).

    A better measure of change in the Arctic would be ice extent in Winter. If the ice disappeared in Winter, that would be something to talk about. That would really be a journalistic case of “man bites dog”, but I see few measures of it. Scientific theories, like any other meme or virus, have a way of focusing on narratives that draw attention and therefore resources (money) to themselves. They have “an interest”, it is said, in doing so.

    The baby in the corner of the cave that doesn’t cry will never get the attention, the whiner does. Science itself is not immune to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    Reference: Wikipedia List of Disaster Films
    [No, don’t watch them all.]

    • Whatever says:

      A better measure of Arctic ice is not extent but volume which is why the Arctic is showing such an acceleration of melt. The thinning ice is melting more quickly and reducing the reflecting white surface sooner in the summer season than we have seen before. Open water is now exposed longer to incoming solar radiation which will, of course, speed the melting even further until the the water refreezes.

      Even if an abnormally large area of the Arctic refreezes this winter, it will be single year thin ice which will melt off quickly next summer producing yet another season of solar absorption. Sounds to me as if the Arctic is whining — shouldn’t we be paying attention?

      • Eric Webb says:

        Shouldn’t YOU be paying attention to the fact that the Antarctic sea and continental ice has been growing since 1978? When the AMO turns cold around 2020, the Arctic sea ice will begin to grow back to the levels seen in the late 1970s.

      • David Appell says:

        Why do you think the Antarctic is particularly important? Arctic ice has a much bigger effect on climate (especially northern hemisphere dynamics), and the Antarctic and Arctic are very different situations (one land surrounded by water, the other water surrounded by land). The ice-albedo effect is much stronger in the Arctic than Antarctic, and the tile of the Earth’s axis means the Arctic has a much bigger effect on regulating the planet’s temperature.

      • Glacierman says:

        David Appell says: “Why do you think the Antarctic is particularly important?”

        It was before Steig, et al was shown to be a joke.

      • Glacierman says:

        If that study would have held, the alarmists would be screaming about the Antarctic Peninsula at everry opportunity. Now its just….lalalalal can’t hear you!

      • David Appell says:

        Hardly. It has been clearly from nearly when satellite measurements began that the Antarctic was slowly gaining sea ice. 5 years after these measurements began (Nov 1978), Antarctic SIE fractional change was +7%/decade. Over the 33 years of records it’s now +1.3%/decade. Meanwhile Arctic SIE is -4.2%/decade, and global sea ice extent is -1.5%/decade. And advancing science has shown the Arctic is much more important to global climate than the Antarctic, for the reasons I gave earlier.

      • Glacierman says:

        O.K. David. That is your opinion. We remember full well the media blitz and science by headline when the original Steig paper came out with that flaming red color all over Antarctica. It was important then because it was going to be used for alarmism. Now its not important because it cannot be used as desired. Also, the super fancy and accurate climate models said Antarctica should be warming and Steig et al would have delivered that to be used by IPCC. However, the problems with the paper were published in time to prevent that. Now it’s not so important.

      • David Appell says:

        First of all, my data is on sea ice extent, not the continent as a whole, as was the Steig et al 2009 Nature paper.

        Second of all, it’s a paper, not holy writ — part of the scientific process. Are there results that contradict it — not an email from someone who won’t even reveal their name (“Ryan O”), but real science? Blog posts aren’t science.

        Third, the Antarctic is simply not as important for global climate as the Arctic, nor are the factors there the same.

      • David Appell says:

        Yeah? Show me a calculation of the amount of sunlight reflected off Antarctic sea ice, as an annual average, compared to the Arctic. If you want to begin simply, you can assume the Antarctic continent, Antarctic sea ice, and Arctic sea ice are all circles with appropriate diameters.

        • Look at a map.

          Antarctic sea ice is at 60 to 70S Arctic ice is 70-90N Antarctic sea ice receives much more intense direct sunlight than Arctic ice.

          Do you think there is a reason why we don’t find sea ice in Scotland?

      • Eric Webb says:

        David, Arctic Sea ice is only several feet thick, Antarctic ice is MILES thick, and the Antarctic has over 90% of the world’s ice. The Antarctic clearly is more important.

      • David Appell says:

        So show me the calculation, as a function of the Earth’s tilt axis and its orbital eccentricity, and using the observed trends in Arctic and Antarctic SIE.

      • David Appell says:

        The ice-albedo feedback does not depend on the ice’s thickness, but its surface area.

      • Peter Ellis says:

        OK,two significant factors Steve isn’t mentioning.

        i) As you move north of the Arctic circle, or south of the Antarctic circle, yearly insolation actually *increases* the closer to the pole you get. Antarctic sea ice is located pretty close to the inflection point, so the more northerly parts of the sea ice actually get more sun than the more southerly parts. Strange but true.

        ii) ~2/3 of the Antarctic sea ice melts out before the solstice. It can’t reflect sun after it’s melted!

        Taking these together, it seems eminently likely that the net effect of Arctic sea ice is greater than Antarctic sea ice, though I’d want to run the maths to be sure. The effect of the Antarctic land ice of course puts both to shame, but that wasn’t the question being asked.

        • The effect you are referring to happens in June and early July when the ice covers the Arctic Basin. By August, when the ice starts to disappear out of the Arctic basin, there is much less solar isolation at the pole than at lower latitudes. So your point is moot.

      • David Appell says:

        You haven’t comprehended the issue at all — merely made a hand-waving argument that people are supposed to accept prima facie. That doesn’t cut it in science.

      • David Appell says:

        Of course it depends on how much sunshine it receives. That’s why I’ve asked to see the calculation. It’s straightforward, once you take care to get all the angles right, and you can assume the eccentricity << 1 to make the integrals easier.

      • David Appell says:

        You haven’t done even a back-of-the-envelope calculation — just waved your hands. And incident solar insolation’s interplay between axial tilt and eccentricity is not obvious at all.

      • David didn’t pass fractions in the 3rd grade, that’s why he has to demand that other people do his maths for him.

      • David Appell says:

        Why don’t you do it (if you even can) — you’re the one making the claim.

        I’ll do it someday, but I can’t today and I need to think about it to be sure and get all the geometry right.

      • Me says:


      • David Appell says:

        Here’s a tough one for you: insolation depends on the axial tilt and the distance from the Sun. For the Earth tilt = 23.4 degrees and (perihelion/apehelion)^2 = 0.935; the latter alone implies a average difference in solar constant of 93 W/m2, or 6.8%.

      • David Appell says:

        And yet the average temperature of the Arctic is higher than the average temperature of the Antarctic. And here’s a tough one for you: Arctic SIE is diminishing faster than Anarctic SIE is increasing, which is relevant to the overall ice-albedo feedback.

      • David Appell says:

        Bzzt. There will be a 1+e*cosine in the denominator of the Earth-sun radial coordinate, a sine of the tilt angle to account for the slanted sunlight, and a sine or cosine of latitude in the differential area element.

        Clearly you haven’t thought much about how to actually prove your claim.

      • NoMoreGore says:

        Oh Gawd, it’s true! We’re gonna dieeeeeeeee!!! Aaaaaaaaaah!

      • David Appell says:

        > What is the ratio of solar isolation at 60S to that at 90N on Sept 21?

        The question is about the integrated annual average, not one particular day.

      • Glacierman says:

        David Appell said: “And yet the average temperature of the Arctic is higher than the average temperature of the Antarctic.”

        It was pointed out the differences in elevation and continents in one and not in the other. Then you changed the subject to the temp over sea ice in both hemispheres….wtf. So…..since you pointed this out, what is your explanation for the temp difference? Is there a CO2 bubble over the Arctic just wreaking havoc on the poor defenseless, fragile sea ice? If it is not the presence of a continent in one hemisphere and not the other, what is your explanation? Is it the tilt of the Earth and insolation as you have also eluded to? If so, show us your proof.

    • David Appell says:

      It must be, because no tangents will be involved — it would be some sines and cosines.

    • David Appell says:

      Sea ice is at sea level, for both the Arctic and Antarctic.

      • In case you didn’t notice, there isn’t any ocean within 1000km of the south pole. The Antarctic Peninsula is much warmer than the North Pole.

      • Eric Webb says:

        David, what you don’t understand is that the sea ice change shown by NCDC is a percentage of the ice available, there’s a lot more ice in the antarctic, in fact the sea ice in many areas is tens to hundreds of meters thick, unlike the Arctic which is only several feet at best. Also take into account that the ocean has 1000x the energy capacity of the atmosphere, and that since Antarctica is surrounded by ocean, any change in sea ice much more significant than the Arctic, which is surrounded by land. Sea ice isn’t at “sea level” 1/8th of the ice floats ABOVE the water because ice is LESS DENSE than water. You seriously have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Eric Webb says:

        Ice FLOATS ABOVE WATER, thus it is above sea level.

      • David Appell says:

        Sea ice is essentially at sea level, not 10,000 feet elevation.

        • You made a claim that Antarctica is colder. I doubt very seriously that the average temperature over Antarctic sea ice is colder than that over Arctic sea ice.

      • Me says:

        True there, Capt. Obvious, but that isn’t what steven said now is it! LMAO!

      • Eric Webb says:

        David you just said that “sea ice is at sea level for both the Arctic and Antarctic.” Now you said it is “Basically at sea level.” It clearly isn’t AT SEA LEVEL so aren’t you now admitting that your baseless claim was wrong?

      • Eric Webb says:

        However, Antarctica’s CONTINENTAL ice is kilometers thick in many areas, and even though it is considered a desert, it snows every year down there, and the ice is only accumulating, and when you combine this with sea ice it clearly shows that Antarctica counter acts any loss over the Arctic.

      • Glacierman says:

        David Appell, why don’t you just show us the math and prove your point?

        You ask why its colder at the south pole than the north pole and Steve points out that the south pole is at a much higher altitude because it is on top of a continent and the north pole is at sea level and you misdirect by giving some statement about sea ice being at sea level in both hemispheres! Wow, chalk one up. If you have time for that kind of in depth analysis, you should have plenty of time to show the scientific rationale behind your statements about Antarctic ice not being nearly as important as Arctic ice….which by the way was your statement, so you should show the proof. Quit saying it is Steve making the claim – it was you.

        I think we all know what the response will be.

      • Eric Webb says:

        David, Antarctica itself is WAY colder than the arctic, but the sea however, is not, because it is surrounded by ocean, and that keeps temperatures modified over the sea ice pack. Continental temperatures drop below -100 F, but that cold air stays inland because the air is drier, the closer you get to the ocean, the warmer it gets. The continental ice isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, temperatures rarely get above 0 inland.

  8. Julienne Stroeve says:

    Kevin, thanks for pointing out that Zwally’s comment was not a prediction. I would be surprised if the Arctic Ocean became nearly ice-free next year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in the next 20 to 30 years. Some of the climate models from the CMIP5 archive (models that are participating in the next IPCC report), show it could happen as early as 2020 but most are around 2040-2060.

    This summer is shaping up to be a new record low however. Current ice extent is a half million sq-km below that in 2007. And 2007 did not have particularly fast ice loss in August/September. So if typical ice loss rates continue until the minimum, a new record low will be reached.

    • Julienne

      Proper scientists don’t say “could” unless they have real evidence. Clearly if Zwally had such evidence, it was obviously hopelessly in error, and he should explain why he was so wrong.


      • Where do you get the idea that scientists have the word “could” removed from their vocabulary. Clearly, if the rate of loss seen in 2007 had continued the result would have been ice free. That statement is just math. simple math. Its not a scientific statement should not be treated as a scientific statement and not everything a scientist says has to be science. they get to be human beings. The error here belongs to the journalist who took it as a scientific statement and the to the uneducated who also take it as a scientific statement

      • David Appell says:

        Yes, Steven — the phrase “at this rate” couldn’t be clearer. But this isn’t about trying to be clear or honestly evaluate what was said; it’s about people distorting what was said in order to use it as an attack. This is the main tactic of of all deniers, and for many the only tactic. That’s what’s really going on here.

      • yes goddard, if the current rate continues (say 50K per day) it will take around 60 days to be ice free. Your statement is a mathematical statement. The way you check that is by doing the math.

        When october comes you can also check the statement.

        if the area in october is greater than zero then you can conclude the following:
        the rate changed.

        Your statement is not incorrect. Your statement is a conditional. conditionals dont have truth values. or rather you test the truth value of a conditional when the hypothetical element actually obtains.

        If you jump off the empire state building, you will die.
        You dont test this by jumping off a chair.

        If the current rate continues, then the ice will be gone in 60 days.
        if its not gone in 60 days, then one can surmise that the current rate did not continue.
        or that your math was wrong

        Logic is a good class. you can probably find an online course

        • The earth is curved and much less sunlight reaches the pole than lower latitudes after July – thus only a seriously substandard scientist would extrapolate ice loss at 70N out to 90N

          You might want to sign up for that logic class you were talking about

      • suyts says:

        steven mosher says:
        August 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm
        “Where do you get the idea that scientists have the word “could” removed from their vocabulary.”

        The thought is that when someone of particular expertise and study says could, people often listen and take them seriously. But, more often than not, in cli-sci, when we hear or read “could“, it is to be ignored, or ridiculed.

        Mosh, words carry meaning. If some dolt wants his words ignore, why give the interview?

      • NoMoreGore says:

        A giant purple unicorn COULD urinate on the arctic and melt it later this year.

    • RDCII says:

      I makes me sad when people I respect, such as Julienne Strove and Steve Mosher, act to defend a statement like Zwally’s from being held to task.

      Zwally’s statement is literally, logically, mathematically correct, but is functionally and logically meaningless and stupid. He was suggesting what would happen if a trend based on a SINGLE UNUSUAL event (the unexpecedly large drop in arctic ice in 2007) was linearly extended. No real dedicated scientist would do that…but an activist might. No rational NON-scientist would do that…except, of course, an activist.

      There was simply no basis whatsoever to think that this event established a trend. It is possible to use a baseless premise to create a perfectly logical syllogism that can prove anything you want (yes, Mosher, check your own advice on a logic class; premises have to be credible to create a meaningful syllogism). To show how absurd this is, in 2008 the ice recovered. Zwally could, with equal literal, logical, MATHEMATICAL correctness, have said that if THAT trend continued, we’d be facing a new ice age. Silly, silly syllogism, right? Both are beautiful examples of sophistries.

      Mosher says “…not everything a scientist says has to be science. they get to be human beings” True that. However, when Zwally uses his cachet as “Nasa climate scientist Jay Zwally” to get the special attention necessary to get his statement published in the papers (a privilege not held by us normal “human beings”), he’s not speaking as a “human being”; he’s representing Nasa, and climate scientists (since, you know, climate scientists are in consensus). I truly don’t understand why you would want to defend his statement. If I were you, instead of definding this kind of nonsense, I’d be actively trying to distance myself and the mainstream scientific climate community from statements like this. They only serve to tarnish your profession.

      My concern is to make Zwally uncomfortable enough that he doesn’t make such a damaging statement again, I would hope you two would ALSO be interested in making sure he doesn’t repeat this kind of counterproductive mistake; after all, it’s people like you who take the peripheral damage when you don’t police your own.

      Skeptics are going show how shamefully wrong it was to make this statement by comparing his premise to the reality. If you wanted to prevent that, you should have dealt with it, and dealt with Zwally, when Zwally said it; now, it’s had time to age, and set, and do its damage. It has had its impact, and thus deserves to be judged rather than excused.

    • NoMoreGore says:

      If NOAA keeps tweaking the algorithms, you could accomplish it much sooner!

  9. DirkH says:

    Kevin McKinney says:
    August 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm
    “2) Zwally’s comment was not a prediction–this *will* happen–but a projection–this *could* happen *if* trend x continues. (It didn’t, at least over the short term.)”

    A professional.

    Never forget the coulds and mights. While insisting that something MUST be done.

    Well, how about we COULD or MIGHT pay you. That would be a funding agreement I could live with.

    • A special price for you! 😉

    • David Appell says:

      “Coulds” and “mights” are the hallmark of good science — that is, of knowing how well one knows something.

      Would you keep smoking if you doctor was unable to tell you the exact year you would get lung cancer — or even if you would get it at all?

      • Me says:

        Good one Toshinmack, you know the weasel words well and how to spin it. 😆

      • DirkH says:

        You warmists never tire of drawing unwarranted analogies with the tobacco industry.

        Maybe you can continue with the flat-earth analogy, then with the gravity-denial meme, and then maybe creationism.

        Zwally and all the other alarmists do only projections. In a projection, anything is possible.



        So why do we keep paying people for saying nothing definitive at all, and why is what these people are supposed to be doing called Science, Mr. Genius Journalist?

  10. rw says:

    Why are these guys so complacent about the fact that even in their own eyes their models are always wrong? This directional test of models seems to be another novel feature of climatology.

    • Zwally’s comment wasn’t based on modeling, it was a simple extrapolation of the 2007 loss rate. That’s one reason why it wasn’t a prediction. The Maslowski, as I understand it, is based upon regional-scale modeling, but then his prediction ain’t wrong–not yet at least.

      • DirkH says:

        Zwally is an alarmist and an alarmist NEVER makes a prediction. Only projections.

      • Tony Duncan says:


        Unlike Steve who is a clear headed analyst. he ONLY makes predictions which are based on all the info, therefore his predictions are almost always way more accurate than scientists. One only needs to look at his predictions of Arctic sea ice extent over the last few years. Starting in March of this year he clearly was predicting Arctic ice extent would be normal for the ’79 to 2000 baseline come September. Something NONE of those fool climate scientists were astute enough to do

      • Tony Duncan says:

        you must be confusing me with someone else. As I have repeatedly stated on this blog, but you have yet to acknowledge I predicted 4.9 M KM2 minimum this year. Oven with a margin of error of 5 M KM 2 you would in all honesty need to round up from that. I have since had to admit I was WAY too conservative and have revised downwards to 4.4. Each passing day however seem to point toward a greater possibility of a new record
        And what was YOUR prediction again, Steve? OH, I forgot you don’t MAKE predictions anymore. You just post blogs that imply a recovering arctic, and then you try to goad people with the ridiculous idea that NOT having a record minimum proves the arctic isn’t melting. In March the arctic was “normal”, and since then, with the precipitous drop in ice each day, you have floundered around with red dots and cold fronts and the air is so there CAN’t be much more melting, and the multi year ice is increasing. And then as it gets closer you start to acknowledge the possibility of a record minimum, all the while frantically trying to figure out how to spin it if that does occur.
        Come on Steve, Please tell us, if there is a record minimum how ARE you going to spin it. Somehow it HAS to be more proof that ACC is a scam.

      • Me says:

        Soooo, is that how the temp adjustments are decided, they always round up from before? Ya know with the error margin of Whatever the +- is?

      • Me says:

        Well is it Tony?

      • Tony Duncan says:


        I really don’t know how the temp adjustments work. I am waiting for Inhofe to bring Steve to Congress and bust open this fraud. I have been for almost 3 years now. I assume they are just waiting until they have it all completely sorted out so they can take down the entire scientific establishment, kind of like with Fast and Furious.
        SOMEONE should tell the arctic that he temp adjustments are fraudulent, becuae obviously with the REAL temps that Steve has shown here repeatedly it is not getting warmer.
        You do notice that Steve won;t answer any of my questions. Just those origianl one sentence responses that ignore any of the content.
        So me can YOU tell me what your prediction for the minimum SIE for this year was. Or even what you think it will be now, sInce the arctic is already starting to refreeze. 5.0?
        or is it below my ALARMIST prediction of 4.9?.

      • Me says:

        Yeah I figuerd I’d get the juggling assclown answer from ya!

      • Me says:

        So if ya figured if ya waited long enough that I wouldn’t bee here?

      • Me says:

        Well, if ya figured that, you’d probably be right, but not tonight.

      • Me says:

        And it’s funny how you can make conclusions on how ice adjustments are made.

  11. donald penman says:

    Compare with?

    also temps in arctic now below freezing.

  12. tckev says:

    The basic unanswered question is whether or not this loss of ice is anything more than a natural variation. It’s timing and depth certainly makes it look so.
    Humans’ effect on this natural cycle, judging by history, negligible. CO2 effect? Cannot be seen for the noise.

  13. Whatever says:

    Good luck getting tckev to provide scientific references in support of his arguments.

  14. NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

    Note the words “than previous predictions”. Of course this was a prediction, albeit one within a wider range.

    I assume he would not have made such a forecast if he did not believe there was a realistic probability of it occurring (as opposed to some theoretical possibility).

    • Whatever says:

      If the Yankees win the next 20 games in a row, would the statement: “At this rate, the Yankees will win the pennant much faster than the previous predictions.”

      Would that statement also be a prediction or just simple math?

      • According to the article

        One scientist (Zwally) even speculated that summer sea ice could be gone in five years.

        This was clearly a statement meant to be taken seriously, not an idle moment of simple math.

        Zwally then goes on to say

        “The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming,” said Zwally, who as a teenager hauled coal. “Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines.”

        Clearly his statements were designed to carry a political message, which raises the question, was his speculation serious or simply designed to amplify this message?

  15. Whatever says:

    When “At this rate” is added to a statement, the statement ceases to be a prediction. Just like when you refinance your loan at X rate, you will know exactly the date of your the last mortgage payment. A prediction is a prediction for the simple reason that the rate or some other critical value is not known. When these values are known, then its simply a matter of getting out your calculator.

    Perhaps Zwally does have an agenda or perhaps you want him to have an agenda, but on this point he was accurate and above criticism.

  16. Whatever says:

    Or Zwally could have stated “I think this ice loss is noteworthy because, at this rate, the Arctic will be ice free by the summer of 2012”.

    • Is it looking ice free to you?

      • Whatever says:

        The subject is Zwally’s 2007 statement on the RATE of ice loss in the Arctic during a period of unprecedented melt.

        However, if you are asking my personal opinion, I would have to say that, yes, the Arctic appears to have a rump of ice left as of August 13, 2012. Although, I would also have to add that there is another 5 weeks of summer left and based on current trends, there is a high probability that Arctic ice volume will be at the lowest point ever recorded by mid-September.

  17. Whatever says:

    Good one. How about this one: If temperatures continue to rise at the rate they have for the past 3 decades, global temperatures will have risen 2 degrees C in the space of 6 generations.

    • If you measure the slope of a sine wave from one inflection point to the next one, you are guaranteed to be an idiot

      • Whatever says:

        That is why I like your site Steven, full of facts and figures. That and the civil discourse.

      • suyts says:

        Dude! There’s been nearly 70 comments because some people believe scientists shouldn’t be called out on their inane press releases simply because they used the word “could”. How civil can you expect it to be?

  18. gator69 says:

    I wonder what Louis Fortier studied in school. Apparently it had nothing to do with Earth’s climate, or the Arctic. Unless he is lying when he says that the Arctic has not been ice free in over a million years.

    Ice melts, big deal.

    These frauds will say anything…

    • Whatever says:

      Louis Fortier, O.C., O.Q.

      Professor, Department of Biology, Université Laval (Québec City, QC)

      In addition to his position as a professor at Université Laval in the Department of Biology, Dr. Louis Fortier is the scientific director of ArcticNet, a Canadian research network, and project leader for the Canadian research icebreaker, Amundsen.

      Dr. Fortier received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at Université Laval (1976, 1979), his PhD from McGill University (1983), and an honorary PhD from the University of Manitoba (2007). In 2001, he created Québec-Océan, an inter-institutional research group that coordinates the efforts of oceanographers based at Quebec universities and government laboratories. He also holds the Canada Research Chair on the Response of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change. Dr. Fortier has led the Canadian efforts on several international programs such as the Saroma-Resolute Study (SARES) with Japan, and the Northeast Water Polynya Study (NEW) with Germany. Since 1997, he has spearheaded the International North Water Polynya Study (NOW) and the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES), two international research endeavours that study the effects of global change on the Arctic Ocean.

      Université Laval awarded Dr. Fortier the title of Grand Diplomé and the Gloire de l’Escolle Medal of the Alumni Association in 2006. In 2007, Dr. Fortier was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2008, the Government of Québec made him Officier de l’Ordre National du Québec. He received the Stefansson Medal from the Explorers Club in 2009, and the prestigious Prix Armand-Frappier of the Québec Government in 2010.

    • Whatever says:

      Gator69, does this look like the resume of a fraud to you? Perhaps you can convince us by providing some evidence as to why Fortier is a fraud. Evidence was the key word in that paragraph.

  19. kwik says:

    So is really Olav Orheim saying there will be fooding in Asia if the Arctic is ice-free ? He should try to put an ice-cube in a glass of water, and let it melt.

    Will the water-level rise or fall?

    Hint; yes,yes, I know, the water at the north pole is salty.

  20. gator69 says:

    kwik asks…

    “So is really Olav Orheim saying there will be fooding in Asia if the Arctic is ice-free?”

    Fooding in Africa… now that would be a pleasant change…

  21. glacierman says:

    David. Show the calculations and prove yourself.

  22. Whatever says:

    Gator69, I asked for evidence of Fortier fraud, not further pontification.

  23. Whatever says:

    “So if a scientist MISREPRESENTS WHAT HE KNOWS ARE THE FACTS, to meet his desired end, is that not fraud?”

    Who are you specifically referring to and what facts have been misrepresented?

    I would expect most climate scientists’ “desired end” would be to gain further knowledge about the natural world. Why would misrepresenting facts give them greater knowledge?

    • DirkH says:

      “I would expect most climate scientists’ “desired end” would be to gain further knowledge about the natural world.”

      …further control… not knowledge… Knowledge would be easy, as going up from zero is not too difficult…

      • gator69 says:

        Funny how they conjure up Big Oil conspiracies and yet miss the really BIG bucks. Guess that’s why they ‘teach’, instead of do.

      • Whatever says:

        Climate scientists are in it for the control?

        You know, I would have never thought of that. Do all scientists get the same amount or is it on a sliding scale? For example, would an atmospheric physicist working for the Chinese Space Agency for 12 years get more control than a glaciologist working only 3 years in the South American Andes?

    • gator69 says:

      Logic has always been a problem for alarmists.

      Either the man knows what he is speaking of, or, he is a fraud.

      Which is it?

      Quit avoiding they core of the issue. No more dodge ball!

      Good night, and good riddance…

      • gator69 says:

        Sorry, meant to say, that either the man is ignorant of the facts or he is a fraud.

        Very simple concept, I can provide peer reviewed literature to show he should know better than to make such ridiculous statements.

        But alas I am speaking in logical terms, to the emotional.

  24. Whatever says:

    Yes please, Gator69. I would love to see your peer-reviewed literature. I presume that it is regarding the unprecedented Arctic ice loss of summer 2007 and that it proves Zwally is a fraud.

    • gator69 says:

      Click to access mckay_etal_CJES_08.pdf

      This paper shows that there is more ice now than the average of the past 9000 years.

      It is widely known that the current ice conditions are nothing special…

      “Arctic Ice Loss Has Been Much Worse Historically”

      “The meltdown underway in the Arctic is remarkable, but an international team of beachcombers has uncovered evidence it’s been much worse before.”

      “Based on the paleoclimate record from ice and ocean cores, the last warm period in the Arctic peaked about 8,000 years ago, during the so-called Holocene Thermal Maximum. Some studies suggest that as recent as 5,500 years ago, the Arctic had less summertime sea ice than today. However, it is not clear that the Arctic was completely free of summertime sea ice during this time.”

      “The next earliest era when the Arctic was quite possibly free of summertime ice was 125,000 years ago, during the height of the last major interglacial period, known as the Eemian. Temperatures in the Arctic were higher than now and sea level was also 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 feet) higher than it is today because the Greenland and Antarctic ice.”

      Once again, either the man is ignorant or a liar. Take your pick.

  25. Whatever says:

    “Once again, either the man is ignorant or a liar. Take your pick.”

    There is a third choice — Zwally’s time machine was in the garage for repairs.

    You just accused Zwally of fraud because his August 2007 statement did not acknowledge a paper that wasn’t published until October 2008. Plus the paper only dealt with the Western Arctic. From your own reference: “The data show a long-term warming that is opposite to what is reconstructed for the eastern Arctic and point to a bipolar behavior of the Arctic Ocean at the timescale of the Holocene.”

    • Is the Arctic ice free?

    • gator69 says:

      Ummm… we were discussing Louis Fortier. What have you been smoking?

      Do you not remember this post?

      “Whatever says:
      August 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Louis Fortier, O.C., O.Q.

      Professor, Department of Biology, Université Laval (Québec City, QC)…”

      Do all alarmists have memory issues? Or all of them liars?

      • Whatever says:

        At 11:02am you posted your reference in a direct reply to the following statement: “Yes please, Gator69. I would love to see your peer-reviewed literature. I presume that it is regarding the unprecedented Arctic ice loss of summer 2007 and that it proves Zwally is a fraud.”

        I do not see Fortier mentioned there — only Zwally. But, I am flexible, if you still want to use your 2008 paper as proof Fortier’s November 16, 2007 “fraud”, you will need to fix that time machine.

      • gator69 says:

        Keep dancing! We have known for decades that the Arctic has wide variability. It was not just discovered. I knew it when I was a high school student (longer ago than I care to mention).

        So again, is Fortier an idiot, or a liar?

        When you knowingly misrepresent the facts to gain personally, or otherwise, it is fraud.

        Dumb, or criminal, you decide…

  26. Whatever says:

    Evidence gator69, evidence. You just can’t go around slandering people and not back it up.

    At least in this dimension.

    • gator69 says:

      So you are an Arctic variability denier. OK.

      Fortier has the credentials necessary for him to understand that the statement he made is fraudulent. Sorry you still do not get it.

  27. Whatever says:

    I deny nothing — show me any statement I have made that argues against natural variability. You, on the other hand, make unsubstantiated and libellous claims against people with very impressive looking resumes about the very fields they are qualified in.

    This is very much like Steven Goddard’s own campaign against Hansen.

    You have failed to make your case and yet you continue to repeat that “he is a fraud” as if repeating it often enough will actually make Fortier or Zwally or Hansen into frauds. You need to produce evidence — germane evidence — my friend if you truly want to be taken seriously.

  28. Whatever says:

    Germane means relevant — pertaining to. For example, criticizing someone for ignoring a study that hasn’t been published would not qualify as germane.

  29. suyts says:

    Tony Duncan says:
    August 15, 2012 at 4:46 am

    So me can YOU tell me what your prediction for the minimum SIE for this year was. Or even what you think it will be now, sInce the arctic is already starting to refreeze. 5.0?
    or is it below my ALARMIST prediction of 4.9?.
    Tony, I’m pretty sure Arctic temps don’t have a thing to do with the ice extent. My prediction is that the precipitous decline of the arctic ice extent will manifest itself by being very near the same extent it was 5 years ago. ……….. Yes, this does mean, we’re all dead for this. Which is sad. I could have been a contender!!!

  30. HL Mencken says:

    I am weary of the argument. But instead pose the question: who resorts more
    often to ad hominem? Answer: it is no contest.
    HL Mencken

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