Sunday, September 8, 2013

Denier weirdness - On WUWT it's Arctic ice-breakers causing global warming!

Sou | 2:29 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has posted an article by one of his regular guest authors, justhefactswuwt (archived here).

The article goes on about how the sea ice isn't declining to a new record minimum this year, as if that means that global warming is at an end or some such nonsense.  And that Antarctic sea ice has been above the maxima this winter, as if ice in winter means global warming isn't happening.

The following charts give you an idea of what has been happening to the sea ice in the Arctic over the past few years and decades.  Click images to enlarge them.

This first chart shows the change from 1979 to now.  It's a very disturbing trend.  The Arctic sea ice all year around has had a huge decline.  It's not just summer sea ice that's declining, though that's arguably the most dramatic ice loss.

Source: Cryosphere Today

This chart only shows from 2002 to 2013.  Even just this decade the sea ice extent in summer has declined to a remarkable degree.
Source: JAXA

This next one shows the stark difference between sea ice in early September 1980 and that of the same day this year.
Source: Cryosphere Today

The WUWT guest writer and WUWT readers are oblivious to the fact that the Arctic summer sea ice is the fifth or sixth lowest it's ever been in recorded history. It's lower than all but one year (2007) or maybe two years (2007 and 2009) of the first decade this century, though not as low as 2011 or the record low of last year, 2012.

Ice breakers in the Arctic are causing global warming!

One sadly hilarious lot of comments from justthefacts and several other people is that they speculate that ice breakers are causing the Arctic sea ice to decline.  Seriously.  They are suggesting that a ship that breaks up a path through ice so that they or ships behind them can make it through are responsible for the melt of an additional two to three million square kilometers of ice in summer.  It's true.  Here are some comments (archived here) so you can read for yourself just how ignorant is the audience that Anthony Watts, denier blogger, aims for:

Eve says:
September 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm
Loved that US sailer on a boat in the Arctic saying the Canadian government should learn good PR and provide gratis Icebeaking service. I wonder how much ice breakers have contributed to the “soon to be ice free Arctic”? There are Russian and Canadian icebreakers out there now breaking up the ice.

noaaprogrammer says:
September 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Eve wrote: “I wonder how much ice breakers have contributed to the ‘soon to be ice free Arctic?’ There are Russian and Canadian icebreakers out there now breaking up the ice.”
By so doing, they’re allowing more ocean heat to escape into the atmosphere and space.

justthefactswuwt thinks it "measurable but not major" and says there are 110 ice breakers in the entire world.  He says (excerpt):
September 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm
Eve says: September 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm I wonder how much ice breakers have contributed to the “soon to be ice free Arctic”?
I have not seen any substantive research on the subject, thus cannot answer with any confidence. However, if I had to guess, I’d say measurable, but not major. 

Some of the WUWT commenters appear to be finally coming to the realisation that an ice free Arctic is not a good thing.  When WUWT-ers suggest that Neven and others who report on the subject are happy about it (are WUWT-ers insane?  Yep, or verging on the irrational at least), there are a few comments like this one from Kevin Ryan who says:
September 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm
“Next year will probably be better.” – Neven
If that means what I think it means then what the heck is wrong with some people. Hoping for bad things to happen. Imagine someone saying, “Well your cancer is in remission, but next year will probably be better and it’ll come back.”
No, Kevin.  If you ever visited Neven's excellent sea ice blog you'd know very well it doesn't mean what you think it means.  But it's good that you realise that the disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice is a disaster of major proportions.

Other WUWT-ers are still in deep denial. Josh M talks about "fictitious runaway global warming", he is very confused about what the science says (it's neither fictitious nor runaway):
September 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm
Anyone dumb enough to extrapolate an exponential trend from a chaotic natural process shouldn’t be running a science blog. It’s quite clear that variation in arctic ice extent can be largely ascribed to wind patterns (+ – dipole anomalies) and oceanic cycles such as the PDO and AMO rather than some sort of fictitious runaway global warming.

BarryW isn't aware that Arctic sea ice extent is way, way below what it used to be and is declining much more quickly than scientists had projected.  He says:
September 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm
The warmist’s are no different than any other cult that believes the “End of the World” is nigh. Even when the signs they predict don’t happen, they just push the date out and rationalize why the sign didn’t appear. Their frustration is that though they are sure they are right regardless, the sign was to convince the unbelievers of their revealed TRUTH.
Update: Smokey aka dbstealey proves the points I made in my latest blog article and is even deluded enough to claim that Arctic sea ice is "completely normal".  He combines the scaredy cat delusion with his anti-social lack of values and says:
September 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm
Jeff Allen says: “I’ll also say ‘shame on you’ to Anthony for taking quotes on Neven’s blog out of context.”
Relax, Jeffy. The world is not ending. Arctic ice is going through its normal cycle. There is nothing to be concerned about. Nothing at all. But they have you all scared, which is what they want.
The Chicken Little [U.S.] / Chicken Licken [U.K.] brigade has you all frightened. That is their intention, and you fell for it. Now, open your wallet. Wide. Then you will feel much better!
The fact is that global ice cover is completely normal. There is nothing either unusual or unprecedented about what you see. It has all happened before, and to a much greater extent.
So don’t let the scary people make you pucker up. Their reason is to separate you from more of your tax money, nothing else. You need to be able to discern motives, or you will just be their chump. You don’t want that, do you?

It truly is the 8% dismissives that Anthony Watts sells his wacky ideas to.  These days he doesn't bother to aim for an audience of rational, informed people.  He's targeting the scientific illiterati and hitting the bullseye.


  1. David Rose in that limp organ of ill repute the 'Daily Mail' (Mail on Sunday), has weighed in with a particularly mendacious piece of disinformation about the miraculous recovery of Arctic sea ice this summer.


    I'm sure the Press Complaints Commission will robustly defend his right to print such imaginative drivel.

  2. Som choice quotes from Rose's article:

    "Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century – a process that would expose computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming as dangerously misleading." (No source is given).

    "Nonetheless, the belief that summer Arctic ice is about to disappear remains an IPCC tenet, frequently flung in the face of critics who point to the pause.
    Yet there is mounting evidence that Arctic ice levels are cyclical. Data uncovered by climate historians show that there was a massive melt in the 1920s and 1930s, followed by intense re-freezes that ended only in 1979 – the year the IPCC says that shrinking began."

  3. A picture might help to show just how spectacularly stupid the claim about the 1930's is:


    This graph from Kinnard reconstructs 1400 years of ice cover from proxies, with modern observations marked with the dotted blue line - it shows a 500-year peak in the beginning of the 20th Century followed by the so-called "massive melt" (actually a return to more normal conditions), a very slight increase (hardly "intense refreezes") before falling off a cliff in recent years.

    I wonder who Rose's "climate historians" even are...? None that I've seen.



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