Anthony Watts posted a press release from AGU14. That's all the "scientific" reporting he's capable of I'd say. The articles he's written himself are science-free, but he has managed a couple of press releases (he didn't have to go to any AGU meeting to copy and paste a press release).
Anyway, one of the press releases was from NASA, which you can read in full here. Or if you prefer, you can read it on the archive of Anthony's blog here. Here's an extract (my emphasis):
NASA satellite instruments have observed a marked increase in solar radiation absorbed in the Arctic since the year 2000 – a trend that aligns with the steady decrease in Arctic sea ice during the same period.
While sea ice is mostly white and reflects the sun’s rays, ocean water is dark and absorbs the sun’s energy at a higher rate. A decline in the region’s albedo – its reflectivity, in effect – has been a key concern among scientists since the summer Arctic sea ice cover began shrinking in recent decades. As more of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the climate system, it enhances ongoing warming in the region, which is more pronounced than anywhere else on the planet.
Since the year 2000, the rate of absorbed solar radiation in the Arctic in June, July and August has increased by five percent, said Norman Loeb, of NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. The measurement is made by NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments, which fly on multiple satellites.
While a five percent increase may not seem like much, consider that the rate globally has remained essentially flat during that same time. No other region on Earth shows a trend of potential long-term change.
When averaged over the entire Arctic Ocean, the increase in the rate of absorbed solar radiation is about 10 Watts per square meter. This is equivalent to an extra 10-watt light bulb shining continuously over every 10.76 square feet of Arctic Ocean for the entire summer.
Regionally, the increase is even greater, Loeb said. Areas such as the Beaufort Sea, which has experienced the some of the most pronounced decreases in sea-ice coverage, show a 50 watts per square meter increase in the rate of absorbed solar radiation.
|The Arctic Ocean is absorbing more of the sun's energy in recent years as white, reflective sea ice melts and darker ocean waters are exposed. The increased darker surface area during the Arctic summer is responsible for a 5 percent increase in absorbed solar radiation since 2000. |
Image Credit: NASA Goddard's Scientific Visualization Studio/Lori Perkins
Wondering Willis Wonders why they didn't look in winter time
This got perpetual wonderer Willis Eschenbach thinking and he went to his personal store of CERES data to see if he could prove the scientists (who don't know nuffin') wrong. Here is what he said and I quote:
...Now, to start with they’ve done something strange. Rather than look at the changes over the whole year, they’ve only looked at three months of the year, June, July, and August. I disagree strongly with this kind of analysis, for a couple of reasons. The first is because it allows for nearly invisible cherry picking, by simply choosing the months with a particular desired effect. The second is that it makes it hard to determine statistical significance, since there are 12 possible 3-month contiguous chunks that they could choose from … which means that you need to find a much greater effect to claim significance.
So I’m not going to follow that plan. I’m looking at what happens over the whole year, since that’s what really matters. ...
I read that and then I read it again. I couldn't really believe what I was reading. I wasn't alone. This is what appeared in the comments:
December 17, 2014 at 11:47 pm
“Now, to start with they’ve done something strange. Rather than look at the changes over the whole year, they’ve only looked at three months of the year, June, July, and August.”
Its dark in the Arctic in winter time. Good luck looking for changes in reflected light in perpetual darkness.