Thursday, December 8, 2016

Just remember this moment, Anthony Watts! Dunning Kruger in the Arctic.

Sou | 4:26 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Today, finally, Anthony Watts has written about the record low Arctic ice extent that is being observed in the Arctic (and Antarctic) (archived here). He copied and pasted a press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (with no link to the original, as usual). What I'm writing about is the weirdly ignorant comment he added at the top. Anthony wrote:
It’s weather folks, but do remember this moment the next time we get a record high Arctic sea ice extent, the same people that are caterwauling on Twitter right now about this will tell you that it doesn’t matter. 

Yep - just remember this moment

Oh my! Anthony won't see a record high in his lifetime. It's highly likely that no-one will -  for thousands of years at least. Even just going back over the satellite record, since October 1978, there hasn't been a high record in the average annual sea ice extent since 1982. (Data is here - and the spreadsheet is here) If you analyse the monthly records, most months have the record high recorded in the first year of observations - 1978 or 1979 - almost forty years ago. The exceptions are the months of: May (1985), July (1983), August (1983), and September (1980).

In other words, the most recent record high sea ice extent in the Arctic was in May 1985, more than 30 years ago! And that's just the satellite record. If you go back to 1953, except for January when the record high was in 1979, the latest monthly record highs were in 1971 or earlier - 45 years ago.

Anthony added what I take to be his argument to stop monitoring what's happening, on the basis that what he doesn't know he doesn't have to worry about. He wrote:
Also note that before we had real-time satellite data to fret over and the Internet, the world would go on without a care.

Here is what's happening in the Arctic, from the National Institute of Polar Research:

Here's a chart of global sea ice extent, from Wipneus, and an article by Nerilie Abram at The Conversation:

Global sea ice area (including Antarctica and the Arctic) by year, 1977-2016. National Snow and Ice Data Centre.Wipneus/NSIDC

Note that the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents are subject to very different conditions, and so they should properly be considered quite separately. (Both regions are affected by global warming, but can respond quite differently.)

No time for more - just thought you might like this latest example of Dunning-Krugerism from Anthony Watts at WUWT.


  1. It's unfortunate that Anthony forgot to tell us when we could expect a record high ice extent.

    1. It'll only happen if the Mexicans pay for it.

  2. Ah, but you Greenistas are all thinking on the wrong timescale. There'll be a new daily high sea-ice record any day now, certainly within weeks, or the next few years, or a decade or two at most, or possibly longer. Well, perhaps there won't, not overall, but I'll find a bit where it will, possibly that bit in the Chukchi Sea, you know, that sort of long one on the left near the thing? Then you'll all say 'it doesn't mean anything'. Yes you will! Deniers!

    1. What the seekers of truthiness need is a hero who can stand against ice extent warmista propaganda in the same way as Nils Axel-Morner stands against sea level rise. Just as there is a sacred tree in the Maldives that proves all satellite data is wrong, we can rest assured that somewhere out there is a piece of frozen mammoth snot that shows nothing can be melting. Now is the hour for some retired professor to step forward to be champion of ice truth, and lucky recipient of entirely unconnected fossil fuel industry cash.

    2. Indeed, Mörner's, um, interesting photos of that, um, interesting tree the evil spiteful 'Strayan sciencey science types pulled out but he managed to restore, Praise the Lord, is still one of the great icons of the Climate Wars. Truth may well be stranger than fiction, but might also seem uncannily like it...

    3. bill: "There'll be a new daily high sea-ice record any day now, . . ."

      In all seriousness, I fully expect that sometime during the 2016-17 Arctic freeze season we'll see one or more record RATE of sea-ice growth meme originating from the GWPF or Heartland and pushed through the usual Daily Mail and Breitbart channels.

    4. was Nils Axel-Morner the same guy who presented a graph of sea level to the UK parliament and had it printed at an angle for some strange reason

    5. Yep. See tilted graph at bottom of this article:


    6. Yes, the 'tilted graph' was one of Nils-Axel Morner's creations.


  3. At this moment another heatwave is invading the Arctic. It is such dat there may be another actual downturn in extent. Anomalies on the eastern Siberian coast exceeding +30° C.

    We have commenced the apocalypse.

  4. Replies
    1. Spreadsheets are dangerous. Let's stick with the data. :)

  5. the next time we get a record high Arctic sea ice extent

    After ten years of blogging about climate change, Watts doesn't even understand the basics. Remarkable.

  6. Bear in mind summer minima is declining faster than winter maxima so we're likely to see more and more spectacular "recoveries" That'll put us catastrophists in our place!

  7. Huh - you all forget the great arctic sea ice recovery since 2007 and 2012

    'The Arctic sea ice spiral of death seems to have reversed' | Watts Up ...

    31 Aug 2014 - The many past years of sea ice recovery from low points in 2007 and 2012 prove .... “The apparent recovery in Arctic ice looks like good news for polar bears

    1. What happened to Anthony's "It’s weather folks" that time?

    2. Or its not weather, its Russian steam pipes?

    3. It's amazing how every year that isn't some sort of record low is a "recovery".

  8. Maybe, grasping at straws, there's a single day recently that could be pointed to as the highest on the satellite record. Nah. In the cryosphere today sea ice area record, the most recent highest-for-its-date record was in October 1996. And there aren't any lowest-for-its-date records pre-2006.

  9. In the NSIDC sea ice extent dataset, I believe the record for the month of September was indeed set in 1996 (by a short margin yes). But the record for highest daily min (folowing the NSIDC still, 5 day mean etc...) was set in 1980. By the way, the point is still valid, record high sea ice extent is a thing of the past now. In Siberia, temperatures are skyrocketing, reaching unbelieveble value. Omolon, in eastern Siberia, registers a Tx of 3.5°C, a new record beating a 3.2°C reading set in 2010... http://www.pogodaiklimat.ru/monitor.php?id=25428 Localy, it is almost 40°C -yes, celsius- above normal. Yeah, I know it's Siberia, acustomed to wild temperatures swings, but even for Siberia it is totaly crazy. And about records, British Isles are also breaching records (and not cold records...) with a Tn of 13.0°C at Valentia or a Tx of 15.8°C at Rhyl.

    1. Yes, I expect there may be differences depending on the data set and the way the averages are worked. I just did a monthly average on the daily data from the link provided (in the article) - using Excel pivot. (See the spreadsheet linked above.)

      What's been happening recently has been stunning. I wonder what impact it will have on the rest of winter, and next year's melt.

  10. Anthony Watts is the only person who would call a 40 year trend "weather".

  11. Nah, he's got more followers than a dog has fleas,and they all think like that

  12. Without a doubt there will be some colder than average days because of the movement of cold air circulating around the North Pole this will cause an avalanche of Post Truth articles saying that because it is colder here in WATS not town that this Glabbly Wabbling stuff is all wrong yes i know incorrect spelling on purpose.
    I expect snow falls over Europe and the USA to be higher perhaps with lower temperatures due to the loosing of the vortex which will send colder air further south.
    Because of the very self centered attitude of the American attitude they believe what ever happens there is the whole world they will grasp upon this during this winter in the northern hemisphere and say " No problem we are going into a global freeze"
    I do not think it is really possible to tell people that when they read articles that are totally made up and are correct, it has any effect on them.
    I encounter this attitude all the time the knowledge is deplorably bad in the community.
    I think actually we now have a pretty large section of society who are willfully ignorant and will stick to their dumb belief regardless of any amount of presenting the evidence to them.
    For peats sake we have dumb clucks elected to make decisions for you and me and they are dismal idiots on any measure of the science understanding scale.
    I really think we have moved into an area where the idiots are in charge.

    1. John.

      Seasonal regional cooling is easy enough to rebut, just ask them to look at the Global Mean Temperature. If they do not know why, then there is little point discussing it as they clearly do not understand Global Warming.

      The other trick it to get them to look at the ratio of record cold days to record warm days. The ratio in the continental US for November 2016 was 48 to 1! November 2016 was a very warm month for the US.

      Another thing to keep in mind is the Denier community is very noisy, but small. In my opinion most people have no opinion as climate change is not bad enough yet to interest the average person. If you only look at climate change denier media outlets, it is easy to come away with the impression the climate change deniers are running the media show.

    2. Harry:
      A good sarcy comment I often use is:

      The clue is in the G in AGW.

    3. The climate revisionist community may be small, but their influence is total if not totalitarian.
      So the accelerating acceleration (oh yes) of the Keeling Curve made 2016 jump with yet another record margin.

    4. Tony Banton.

      "The clue is in the G in AGW."

      Do not count on them understanding that. I recall a post from a Flat Earth group boasting that they had members all around the globe...

    5. cRR Kampen.

      "The climate revisionist community may be small, but their influence is total if not totalitarian."

      I don't think they do. Politicians are dragging the chain despite the denialist propaganda. They might use the propaganda from time to time as it is convenient, but the policy decisions are their own.

      It's all very subjective...

    6. Harry:
      "Do not count on them understanding that. I recall a post from a Flat Earth group boasting that they had members all around the globe..."
      HaHa - good one.

      One of my fave denier head-standing logic statements is....

      "I came to the conclusion it's all a hoax - by the use of critical thinking."

    7. Usually rational people would avoid these idiots like they avoid the mentally disturbed that voice their irrational beliefs at some city corner. This is where wuwt would be without the internet.

      I have seen them for many years from the south banks of the Yarra (1968) to the city centre of Melbourne.

      All these nutters have one thing in common. They have no evidence just assertions.

      When there is a Niagra of misinformation the best way to combat it is to be informed and to be critical.

      We can be smug but the stupid win every time.

      I am often asked why I bother as I am very comfortable and have a very good income. My answer is simply that I do not want to live in a society that does not look after its weakest members. To me this is a self evident truth.

      I sometimes try to make light of this absurd situation we all find ourselves in.

      The reality is that the PM of Australia is just another obfuscating liar. He will not take advice from experts!



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