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Global climate report reveals 2012 to be record-breaking year

A review of research data from almost 400 scientists in 52 countries has concluded that policy makers need to adapt to “the…

Heat levels in the world’s oceans keep rising. dustinphilliips/Flickr

A review of research data from almost 400 scientists in 52 countries has concluded that policy makers need to adapt to “the new normal” of rising world temperatures and the changes they bring.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual State of the Climate 2012 report, released today, is a compilation of ocean, atmosphere and surface temperatures, measurements of sea level, sea ice extent, permafrost thickness, humidity, greenhouse gases and many other indicators of global climate.

Things are hottin' up, and not in a good way. NOAA

The peer-reviewed data, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, has been described as a “score card” that allows scientists to build up a picture of the world’s changing climate each year over many years.

And the data shows that 2012 was a record year – for all the wrong reasons. Thomas Karl, director of the NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said: “In 2012 practically every variable we had broke a record. But there’s a lot of variability in the climate system year to year, and that’s the importance of this work – to put a year’s data in its historical context.”

Greenhouse gases are rising, not falling. NOAA

Record levels of greenhouse gases were pumped into the atmosphere, with CO2 levels approaching 400ppm, something not seen on Earth for 800,000 years. Methane and nitrogen oxide levels have also increased, with the cumulative warming effect on the atmosphere increasing by 32% since 1990. Overall, 2012 was among the top 10 warmest years since 1958.

The average sea level was 3.5cm above the average since satellite records began in 1993, with sea levels rising around 2.8-3.5mm per year. Oceanic heat levels, which have been steadily rising, in some areas reached as high as 4 gigajoules/sq m. That’s enough energy per square meter of water to power a 100W lightbulb for almost a year.

The planet’s oceans keep getting warmer. NOAA

But it is the Arctic that has seen some of the most severe changes. Jackie Richter-Menge, a research civil engineer and cold regions specialist from the US Army Corps of Engineers, said: “The Arctic continues to be a region where we have some of the most compelling evidence of warming temperatures, where surface temperatures are increasing more than twice the rate of the rest of the world.”

Among the evidence recorded last year was record low snow cover across Eurasia and North America, where the rate of snow cover decline is faster than that of sea ice. Much of this has been attributed to strong, southerly airflows throughout the spring and summer that brought warm air over the Arctic. The extent of sea ice over the Arctic reached a new low of 1.3m square miles, an 18% reduction on projected levels.

Arctic ice sheet levels and sea ice extent fell to their lowest ever. NOAA

And where the ice retreats, plants now grow, as Richter-Menge explained: “The drastic and persistent reduction in summer sea ice cover can be linked to the growth of vegetation. These are no longer anomalies or exceptions, but the norm that we expect to see, and which looks set to continue for the future.”

Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator, said it was up to policy makers to draw lessons from the report. “This is the ‘new normal’. Many of the models that infrastructure planning relies on assume the future will be like the past, but the trends we see here should lead us to question whether that will be the case,” she said.

Thomas Karl said: “It’s critical to compile a picture of Earth’s changing climate, so every year we try and address further data as we improve our technological ability to record additional measurements.” Some surface and ocean measurements go back to the mid-19th century, many date to the use of weather balloons and aircraft measurements in the 1950s, and others from the start of satellite recordings in the 1970s.

“The report does not try to explain what we’re seeing; this report is focused on the data,” he added. “But all the signs are of a warming world.”

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91 Comments sorted by

  1. Felix MacNeill

    Environmental Manager

    There's really nothing to say, is there?

    I therefore await the hair-splitting and paranoia of the usual crew who know better than the NOAA to turn up and cast concocted 'doubt' on solid science.

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    1. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      "the 2012 State of the Climate report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The peer-reviewed report, with scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., serving as lead editors, was compiled by 384 scientists from 52 countries "
      http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20130806_stateoftheclimate.html

      But apparently there is a climate crank blog run by a former TV weather presenter that says it is all crap.

      Seems like a fair contest to me. :-)

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  2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    And how are dealing with the threat from climate change?

    Under Labor Australia plans to increase our 1990 domestic emissions by 43% in 2020 when land clearing is excluded.

    Who knows what the Liberals would do if they won - but it is unlikely to be better.

    And both Liberal and Labor want to rapidly expand our coal exports so that if all goes to plan we would export enough coal to provide 30% of the carbon needed to take the world to 2 degree warming.

    Yet most people who say they accept the science will vote Labor thinking they are voting to take action on climate change.

    And apart from my posts, you wouldn't know that the Greens know that much more has to be done and they have the policies to do this.

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    1. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Exactly right Michael.

      You have to wonder how often that scientists, scientific organisations, and universities etc have to keep sounding the warning bells before our politicians wake up to the facts.

      Neither of our two major political parties are making the slightest attempt to deal with this issue. They won't be getting my vote.

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      If I remember right, Malcolm Turnbull said on Q&A earlier this year that we had 40 or 60 years to respond to climate change.

      Some models are predicting that if we keep going as we are then we could have 4 or more degree warming as early as 2070.

      What Abbott, Rudd and Turnbull really think about climate change we will never know, but I fear that one thing they have totally wrong is that we have plenty of time to deal with this.

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    3. Mike Brisco

      Scientist at Flinders University of South Australia

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Our politicians have woken up to the facts.

      They made a decision, based on those facts

      The decision is: it is more in our general interest to continue business as usual, than to prevent warming.

      The decision was taken around 10 years ago.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Mike Brisco

      I think you mean our LNP and ALP politicians, as the Greens have never joined the business as usual side.

      And though I agree that the LNP and ALP do all act as if business as usual is best, I doubt anyone can make a rational justification for this when the facts are examined.

      Since Stern we have known that the economic cost of warming is much greater than the economic cost of preventing warming.

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    5. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Brisco

      Mike

      They have made a decision, but it was not on the facts - it was on ideology.

      "Facts" do not include statements like "Climate science is crap", or "it was warmer during Roman times".

      So no - they have not yet woken up to the facts. And the only interest which is being served by continuing with business as usual is their own electoral prospects - it isn't in 'our' interests or the long term interest of the nation.

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  3. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    Another record breaking year - climate science is beginning to resemble the Stakhanovite movement in the USSR.

    Comrades! Climate quotas under the five year plan were over fulfilled by 200% for the 3rd year in a row!

    *Cue climate scientists giving a standing ovation nervously sneaking sideways glances to make sure they are not the first to stop clapping*

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    1. Davd Mitchell

      Hydrologist

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      Ok I will bite
      how can any of this be questioned
      The reports are presenting measured data
      you know stuff you go and measure things like temperature, sea ice coverage, ocean heat content, permafrost thickness, humidity. These are routinely measured DIRECTLY by sensors, logged on to dataloggers and QA'd then stored in databases then reported on as per the above reports. The reports show the trend and the changes in the MEASURED data

      Which bit of this process is do you think is wrong? and you could access the data yourself and referring to the data as EVIDENCE. Or you could blindly say " no i don't believe it" I guess that is your choice

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    2. Sean Lamb

      Science Denier

      In reply to Davd Mitchell

      Disputing it? I am not disputing any of it.

      I am just pointing out climate science is in danger of slipping into a state of Weimarian hyper-inflation where it starts printing more and more papers which are worth less and less.

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    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      The classic comment from a climate science denier. Complaining about climate science pointing out that temperatures are going up!.

      Sean is so deep in denial that even when irony smacks him clean between the eyes, he does not even blink.

      Is self-satire a new directive from denier central? I spotted this comment this morning from a different climate crank.

      "every year I read that “this was the hottest year ...”

      ...in the northern hemisphere
      ...in north America
      ...in Europe
      "

      Duh!

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  4. James Jenkin

    EFL Teacher Trainer

    A genuine question from a complete non-expert - I'm not trying to buy into this climate change argument.

    How significant is air temperature? Do we know why it hasn't been mentioned?

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    1. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to James Jenkin

      James, if you click back through the links several times you will find some discussion on surface temperatures.

      "Since 1976, every year including 2012 has had an annual temperature above the long-term average. Including the 2012 temperature, the rate of warming is 0.06°C (0.11°F) per decade since 1880 and a more rapid 0.16°C (0.28°F) per decade since 1970".

      You can see that the stated rate of increase is between 0.6C and 1.1C per century. Absolutely nothing to worry about.

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    2. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      "You can see that the stated rate of increase is between 0.6C and 1.1C per century. Absolutely nothing to worry about."

      Because of course the global economy is not growing or going to grow, we are not pumping increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, apparently China is not going to build 1000 new coal fired power stations ...

      LOL Mark Pollock 5 days ago.
      "The Chinese may be "shutting down old, dirty coal-fired power plants, constraining coal consumption" but they are building lotsa new ones, thereby increasing consumption (so are the Indians)."

      So we can use the rate of increase from 1880 as an infallible guide to the rate of increase for the rest of this century.

      Of course we could ignore the climate science denialists and revert to science.

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    3. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      As you know, a previous article contained a claim that the Chinese, along with many others, had swallowed the Kool-Aid. The proof of this was their supposed decommissioning of dirty coal fired power stations. This statement, like most climate change advocacy, is at odds with the facts. Context matters.

      In that regard, this article, although a summary of a summary, is remarkably calm on the supposed dangers the planet faces. It may be illustrated by the obligatory cooling tower belching harmless…

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    4. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I was quoting from the summary on which this summary was based. "Antarctica sea ice extent reaches record high:, etc, etc."

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    5. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      You said "Antarctic ice". There is a huge difference between the vast Antarctic ice sheets and seasonal sea ice.

      From the NOAA report

      Warm temperature trends continue near Earth’s surface:
      La Niña dissipates into neutral conditions
      The Arctic continues to warm; sea ice extent reaches record low
      Antarctica sea ice extent reaches record high
      Sea surface temperatures increase
      Ocean heat content remains near record levels
      Sea level reaches record high
      Ocean salinity trends continue
      Tropical…

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      "Antarctic sea ice extent reaches record high" - true.
      Meanwhile, Antarctic terrestrial plus sea ice volume reaches record low - also true.

      ie ice discharge from terrestrial (land, before you ask) increases faster than increasing snowfall onto Antarctica due to warming Southern Ocean and faster than ocean surface freezes over during austral (southern hemisphere, before you ask) winter.

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    7. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      So when do you think the "pause" will end, and temperatures start to go viral again, I have great problems understanding how you can be so casual. Most climate scientists think rapid rises in temperature will start to happen again, and when they do, the consequences will be nothing to laugh about, and something which will impact every aspect of our lives, world economy, wars, famine, etc

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    8. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to David Arthur

      So terrestrial means land? Thanks for that.

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    9. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I have no idea. Nor do "most climate scientists". However, most of these people have been saying that the climate is going to go viral any time now. For the last twenty years or so. And yet no tipping point and no hoards of frying polar bears.

      I think the authors are trying to accommodate this lack of alarming data by toning down the hysteria. This is a welcome sign.

      We were previously assured that there would 50 million climate refugees by 2010. Evil Giai violating deniers questioned this assertion. Could you give me a hint about when these wars, famines, etc might occur? To the nearest ten years will be fine.

      I'm casual about it because I have lived through numerous baseless scares whipped up by people with base motives.

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    10. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Mark, you might be interested in Richard's recent PNAS paper, "Time-dependent climate sensitivity and the legacy of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions".

      Here's a quote from Zeebe's abstract: "Here, I introduce the time-dependent climate sensitivity, which unifies fast-feedback and Earth system sensitivity. I show that warming projections, which include a time-dependent climate sensitivity, exhibit an enhanced feedback between surface warming and ocean CO2 solubility, which in turn leads to…

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    11. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to David Arthur

      I am not quite sure I understand. Are you saying that the paper implies these climate catastrophes in the next couple of decades or somewhere between 23,000–165,000 years in the future?

      Also, what makes this paper different from those that predicted that we should already be experiencing climate catastrophes?

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    12. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      "We were previously assured that there would 50 million climate refugees by 2010. Evil Giai violating deniers questioned this assertion. Could you give me a hint about when these wars, famines, etc might occur? To the nearest ten years will be fine."

      I think you exaggerate about the extent and effect of these claims, Evil Giai? lol.

      Non-linearity is a real phenomena that could be have a significant and unknown effect on the way climate change happens. Okay?

      So even if everybody in the climate change 'industry', if that is how you want to characterise climate change science, is also exaggerating the possibility of really bad things happening, that possibility still exists. Okay?

      You might be willing to take a chance with your children's future but I am not.

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    13. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Mr Pollock, Professor Zeebe's findings are explained in layman's terms in news releases accompanying publication of the paper, for example http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130805152422.htm; I should have directed you to it first up, sorry.

      Prof Zeebe finds that, so long as atmospheric CO2 remains above ~350 ppm, further deleterious climate change will occur, sooner or later.

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    14. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Previously you claimed that climate science was wrong because when you looked at a graph, your eyecrometer could not see the correlation between CO2 and climate.*

      Now apparently climate science is wrong because there are not enough refugees.

      "We were previously assured that there would 50 million climate refugees by 2010."

      Here is the web site for the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) from last year.
      http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/

      Would you like to point to the claim in the report.

      *You would at least get credit for honesty if you admitted that your constant whining about climate science was down to the fact that it offends your conservative ideology.

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    15. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Yes Mark.

      And as the article that you link to explains, it is no longer on the UN website because the claim was wrong. It is not in the IPCC report because the claim was wrong. The article quotes lots of other researchers on this issue who point out that the claim was wrong.

      The claim comes from Norman Myers.

      "Myers' widely cited work on 'climate refugees' has been criticised by social scientists, and migration scholars in particular. Myers has himself described his conclusions regarding 'environmental refugees' as 'heroic extrapolation'[6] due to a lack of actual data on the phenomenon."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Myers

      So according to Pollock, climate science is wrong because Myers, a "populationist" was trying to bolster his reactionary neo-Malthusian ideas of too many people in the world.

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    16. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Julie Thomas

      I completely agree that the climate is not only non-linear but also chaotic. I also agree that there are many unknowns in the way that climate change happens. I also agree with the "possibility" of bad things happening.

      It's just that given the uncertainties you mention and the resulting difficulty in making accurate predictions, that possibility seems very very low.

      Given the uncertainty about what the climate is going to do, is it not absurd to make such firm prediction like we are going to have wars and millions of climate refugees and the rest?

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    17. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      None of the models used by the IPCC for the predictions/projections/scary guesses picked up the ongoing pause in global warming. Yet, as noted again in the article, atmospheric CO2 continues to rise. If you have one favourite model that you think is particularly accurate please mention it and I will have a look.

      The claim about the 50 million refugees was made by a leading climate change advocate and was uncritically used as a propaganda tool in several influential publications. It's been totally discredited but don't worry, there are others to replace it. In this case it is wars and famines and other scary things at some unspecified time in the future - up to 165,000 years it would appear.

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    18. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      a "leading climate change advocate". I suspect Mark that you would have a lot more in common with the reactionary Mr Myers than me. The idea that the overbreeding poor in the third world are responsible for the world's environmental woes is a popular meme with conservatives.

      As for my favorite climate model Here it is.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

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    19. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "Pollock"? Manners please. And context too. I was responding to another wild alarmist claim that "climate science" promised more war and famine.

      Nonetheless, it is pleasing to see an acknowledgment that at least one of the previously widely accepted scary stories was "crap". Someone should tell Lord Sterne.

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    20. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      No, that's not a model that's a graph with some least squared trend lines drawn on it.

      Sadly I am coming to the conclusion that you can not engage in a discussion or an argument. You seem to spend a lot of time and energy on this topic so it shouldn't be too hard for you to point me to a model that you believe has some skill. It's possible that you don't know what a model is, so I will indulge you one last time.

      Once again, point me towards your favourite predictive model so I can have a look.

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    21. Julie Thomas

      craftworker

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      You see that the uncertainties are very very - however many veries you want to add - low and 'judge' that is good enough reason to do nothing.

      I see them as being a distinct possibility.

      You 'read' things as 'firm' predictions. I read the same things as people presenting possibilities that I need to know about.

      Why is your judgement about the level of threat better than mine? Is this your planet?

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    22. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      On the contrary.
      "Professor Rowan Sutton, of Reading University, said computer simulations or models of possible future climate scenarios often show periods of ten years with no warming trend - some even show pauses of 20-25 years.

      And Professor Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said observations and models showed that on average there were - or would be - two pauses in warming every century." - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23409404

      The MET office has…

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    23. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      That is a model. Or do you believe that there is a place on the planet where they measure global temps? The feature of this model is that it shows that the current popular meme among the climate cranks that global warming has stopped is nonsense.

      You continue to highlight your scientific illiteracy Mark. And your arguments are little more than the old tobacco industry strawman - "you said they would get lung cancer - look he lived until he was 99".

      But all is not lost - with your qualifications - conservative, scientifically illiterate and master of the logical fallacy and strawman argument, you could be lead science writer for any climate crank blog.

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    1. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Owen White

      Nice. The scale is not well defined and it would be good to have the slope but it looks like .08 C over 15 years. That would be a global temperature increase of, roughly, 0.6 degrees per century.

      Any of the IPCC models come remotely close to that? Anything to be worried about? Haven't you got something scarier?

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  5. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    The scariest 'fact' is the complacency of the major political parties - Tony Abbott thinks 'direct action' is enough - wot rot! And Kevin Rudd has yet to come up with some more policy initiatives to encourage the majority of individuals and companies to switch to renewable forms of energy.

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    1. Davd Mitchell

      Hydrologist

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Just curious about the Journal Impact Factor or the Journal Citation Report for CO 2 Science (The journal reporting that on sea level rise over the last 9 years the third link in the above post)?
      Can't seem to find it, or some other metric to evaluate the scientific worth of this journal?
      can any one help?

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    2. Davd Mitchell

      Hydrologist

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      I followed the link to look at the Arctic ice extent (2 nd link in the above comment), and what it shows to me is that
      the major trend is seasonal follows a sine wave pattern, peaking in March and the minimum in late Sep-Oct
      for 2013 the maximum was just over 14 x 10^6 km2 which was about the average for the 2000 decade
      but below the average for the 1990's and 1980's

      The minimum in 2013 was 3.5 x 10^6 km2 and this was well below the average minimum of the 2000 decade which was about 5.5 x 10^6 km2.
      The 2000 decade minimum average was also well below the 1990 decade minimum average of 6.5 x 10^6 km2 which in turn was below the 1980 decade minimum average of about 7.5 x 10^6 km2

      after 30 or so years you could nearly call that a trend

      The decade average maximums show declines (ie 1980 had more coverage than 1990 which in turn had more coverage than 2000) but not to the same extent as the minimums

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    3. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Geoffery,

      Here is a great link for sea level rise debate:

      "A new book on the history of New Zealand has inadvertently stirred the climate change debate by revealing a near zero sea level increase over the past century.

      The shoal is comprised of rock and pebbles, making it an ideal weathervane for sea level increase as it’s less prone to erosion than shifting sands.

      Even the narrowest and lowest part of the bar, marked with a black squiggle on the 1912 map, remains the same in 2012."

      http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/2725/old-map-throws-doubt-on-climate-change-sea-level-claims/

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    4. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Antarctic ice EXTENT as opposed to volume (which is at record LOWS) is largely dependent upon snowfall, which increases with more moisture in the southern hemisphere, which is a prediction of global warming models.

      Artic ice extent "recovers" because 2013 (so far) is "almost" (but isn't) as high as the average of the 2000s, which were lower than the 1990s, which were lower than the 1980s, which were lower than the 1970s? Can you read a graph?

      And it's nice of your schtickers to neglect to mention…

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    5. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Account Deleted

      Hi James,

      Can you link and highlight what this CO2 science website denies?

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    6. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      The "CO2 science" website, run by Craig Idso, (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Craig_Idso_arg.htm), denies that CO2 emissions have or will affect the temperature of the earth. http://www.co2science.org/about/position/globalwarming.php, that ocean acidification will have any harmful effects on corals, that global warming/CO2 increase will have any harmful effect on agriculture, and a whole host of other denialist memes.

      In fact, it's pretty clear that Dr Idso's POV is that nothing done by humans could ever have any negative effects on the biosphere (snark).

      And before you start on any tedious rants about the Holocaust, the word has been in use since the 1800s. If it makes you feel better, you can pretend I wrote "Adullamite".

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    7. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Account Deleted

      Wow! 2-3 mm per year. Well within the realms of natural variability. Well below that forecast but a lot of alarmist organisations. And still a lot of uncertainty exists.

      And some say the science is settled! Dreamers!

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    8. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Account Deleted

      James,

      Thanks for the reply.

      NO WHERE on the page you linked does it mention ocean acidification or coral.
      Ditto for "co2 harmful effect on agriculture."

      Can you link and highlight what they deny?
      http://www.co2science.org/about/position/globalwarming.php

      Co2 harmful for agriculture?
      NASA scientists react to 400 ppm carbon milestone
      http://climate.nasa.gov/400ppmquotes/
      ~ 8/7/2013: Yemeni fruit production sees record growth
      http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=111902

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    9. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Maybe you should look at the brightly coloured sidebars titled "Ocean Acidification project" and "Do plants like more CO2", on the page I linked to (By the way, while on the topic of nitpicking, where is the photo of a cooling tower you claim headlines this article?)

      I assume that if I was to give as proof of global warming that there was a record temperature in Yemen, Louisiana and Russia one year, you would claim I was cherry-picking. Kindly do me the same courtesy and refrain from showering us with sugar beets and blueberries.

      There is a good overview of the effects of greenhouse warming and CO2 on agricultural yields here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-plant-food-advanced.htm

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    10. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Actually, current sea level rise is right at the top of the range of potential rises predicted by that well-known alarmist organisation, the IPCC. http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/SLR_models_obs.gif

      "The science" is settled, as far as the existence, causes and likely effects of global warming go - I'm afraid all you are doing is showing your ignorance of it.

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    11. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Account Deleted

      IPCC projections were for between 2 mm per year and 6 mm per year. Current rates of sea level rise (around 2-3mm per year) are at the lower end of this projection and well within the realms of natural variability.

      Please don't waste my time by linking to the pseudoscience practised by Cook and his team of warmist zealots at SkepticalScience.

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    12. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Hey, I read the pseudoscience you linked to, you can do the same.

      I very much doubt you can substantiate either of your claims: that the IPCC projected up to 6 mm per year, or that 2-3mm a year (actually, 3.2 mm/year is the average for the last 20 years), is "within natural variability". Feel free to prove me wrong.

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    13. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Co2 harmful for agriculture?

      No - unpredictable rainfall and more extreme weather events are harmful for agriculture.

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    14. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      You are assuming a linear trend increase, which is not what the IPCC's models say. The rate of sea level rise is proportional to temperature (Rahmstorf 2007), so as the temperature rises, the sea level rise accelerates. You can see graphs of the IPCC projections on pages 38-41 of "The Copenhagen Diagnosis", they clearly show a non-linear curve.

      Worth noting that that 18-59 cm projection deliberately left out ice melt because the rate was too uncertain. So one would expect it to be an underestimate.

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    15. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Account Deleted

      The IPCC models remain unvalidated. They have all been shown to significantly overestimate observed temperatures. They all assume positive feedback, but there is ample evidence that in fact negative feedback is occurring.

      Interesting to note that the lower end of the IPCC's estimate would be easily met without any acceleration in rates.

      Also interesting to note that the upper limit of 59 cm is around 10 times less than that predicted by James Hansen which is indicative of what an alarmist fool that man is.

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    16. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      * Wrong, wrong, wrong. And, as always, unsupported.

      * The lower end estimates were generated by a scenario which assumes the world drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.

      * Unsupported abuse.

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    17. Geoffrey Henley

      Research Associate

      In reply to Account Deleted

      Right, right, right!

      The models significantly overestimate warming. Hence if the models are unvalidated, any estimates of sea level rise are just wild guesswork.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/

      Hansen has a history of making exaggerated claims. Not abuse, just reality.

      http://www.cato.org/blog/current-wisdom-hansens-extreme-sea-level-rise-projections-drowning-hubris

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    18. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      It's pretty well accepted that the IPCC models are way out. The scientists are running around in circles trying to explain the lack of warming, and coming up with some strange and wild theories. They all seem to be missing the bloody obvious - the models are wrong.

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    19. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      Sideshow Roy is pulling a swifty here. It is well known that some measurements - particularly older balloon-based measurements - of tropical troposphere temperature don't match models of what it should be like with current surface temperatures, whether or not the current surface temperature is caused by greenhouse gases. Other measurements and attempts to find reliable proxies for the tropical troposphere do match the models (as do measurements from non-tropical areas and measures of other atmospheric…

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  6. Ross James

    Engineer

    Can someone explain to me how oceans absorb temperature with no increase in atmospheric temperature, or surface ocean temperature? What is the mechanism supposed to be? Also, I have a problem with statements like "with CO2 levels approaching 400ppm, something not seen on Earth for 800,000 years". I've seen plenty of research that suggests otherwise. I'm not suggesting it's wrong - I'm suggesting they really don't know. I hear about record low Arctic ice, when I know submarines surfaced at the North Pole 50 years ago, and the NW passage has been open many times in recent past (before the start of satellite records 30 years ago.) Too many things aren't making sense.

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    1. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Ross James

      Don't worry Ross, someone will be along soon with a link to a peer reviewed article on the SS website to explain it all.

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    2. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Ross James

      Because the deeper parts of the ocean are still colder than the shallower parts (even if the temperature at the surface hasn't increased). The mechanism is mainly ocean currents.

      Co2 levels: Ice cores have tiny bubbles of ancient air trapped in them. That is one of the ways we know.

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    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Well Mark Pollock is not going to be able to provide any help Ross because he is completely scientifically illiterate. But by studying the collected works of Ayn Rand, he has been able to see that the science is wrong.

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    4. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      This tells me nothing. To increase heat content of the ocean, there has the be a driver - eg increased air temperature (conduction) to increase the temperature differential, or increased surface temperature from radiation.

      Ice core samples are no longer considered reliable. Three problems are the the presence of liquid water in the ice, the formation of clathrates, and contamination from the drilling process.

      You'll need to to go a lot more technical.

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      There's another way to increase heat content of oceans, and that's to insulate those oceans from a heat sink.

      It may therefore be that relatively rapid temperature increase of lower atmosphere over decades 1980's and 1990's, and subsequent slower further temperature increase, results in greater thermal energy remaining in the oceans.

      Consequences may include net warming of deeper ocean (very large heat sink) and increased heat transfer to polar regions - hence observed changes to cryosphere.

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      "Can someone explain to me how oceans absorb temperature with no increase in atmospheric temperature, or surface ocean temperature?"

      Five seconds' pondering brings two possibilities to my mind:

      1) ocean functions like a car's circulating coolant, transferring heat from low to high latitudes where rapid changes to cryosphere have been increasingly observed for a couple of decades.

      2) ocean is so big, (~5000 times heat capacity of atmosphere) it can absorb a huge amount of heat before instrumentally detectable.

      Do you want a further five seconds' thought, or will that suffice for the moment?

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    7. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Ross James

      It is not an instantaneous process. You do not need an increased temperature differential for the oceans to continue absorbing heat.

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    8. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Perhaps try 30 seconds thought if it's not too much for you - your reply wasn't very good. For the oceans to absorb more heat, something has to change to drive it - either increased air temperature for conduction, or increased radiation.

      Your first attempt was better, with a suggestion of insulating the ocean from an existing heat sink - at least showed some original thought. However, what is this mysterious heat sink, and what is the amazing insulation layer? surely not the bottom of the sea, which has an abundance of volcanoes - at least 5,000 known which are dumping heat into the ocean. I don't think the "insulating the ocean" theory will be convincing.

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    9. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      Thanks Mr James for pointing out some conceptual problems. It works like this:

      Our discussion needs to be predicated by noting that contributions to sea level rise include
      i) loss of terrestrial ice (melting)
      ii) thermal expansion of oceans.

      So that we are starting from an adequate conceptual level, this might be a suitable point for us both to review the publicly available (and funded) information provided for us by the CSIRO's Sea Level Rise website http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/index.html

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    10. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      So we're expected to believe that there's been no surface temperature change for at least the past 16 years, or increase in surface ocean temperature because suddenly, all the increased heat in the atmosphere from increasing CO2 is somehow absorbed by melting ice, and transferred to deep ocean with no change to air temperature.

      Sea level has been increasing for the past 20,000 years (the CSIRO report conveniently didn't mention this). What was the cause of this - nor global warming.

      I've done…

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    11. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      "Sea level has been increasing for the past 20,000 years (the CSIRO report conveniently didn't mention this). What was the cause of this - nor global warming"

      Err, not quite: the Holocene Epoch (interglacial) didn't get started until ~12,000 years ago, so for the first 8,000 years of your claim of monotonic sea level rise, sea levels were over 60m lower than present. After the onset of the Holocene ~12,000 years ago, sea levels rose by ~60 m over 6,000 years (ie average of 1 m per century…

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    12. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      This is all based on computer models that have failed to match real data. The time has come when the scientists have admitted that the models need changing. If the data doesn't match the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is changed. So far, they've tried changing the data (eg Hadcrut, GISS), but instead of running around in circles trying to explain the lack of warming, they don't seem ready to consider the obvious possibility that the models are simply wrong.

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    13. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      "... based on computer models which ...". Err, no: the paleoclimate history I'm reporting are conclusions drawn from observations.

      My expectation of minimum 1m sea level rise by end century is entirely consistent with observations of
      i) rates of sea level rise from mid-20th century
      ii) acceleration in rates of sea level rise from mid-20th century

      By the way, scientists aren't running around trying to explain a lack of warming: I've already apprised you of what's going on, based on my reading. The notion that there's been no warming in the last 16 years is comprehensively debunked by BoM's Jones, Trewin, Braganza and Smalley right here at the Conversation: http://theconversation.com/2013-shaping-up-to-be-one-of-australias-hottest-years-on-record-16295

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    14. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Did you give me the wrong link? That was all about Australia. I follow data from Hadcrut, RSS and UAH, and see no significant warming for at least 16 years, and this grows with each month, including July last past.

      Based on available data on sea level rise trend data (which has slowed significantly over the past few years), the best I can come up with is 180mm by the end of the century. I'd like to see where you get your data to predict 1m, if not from the failed computer models.

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    15. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      Sorry about giving you a link to an article that comprehensively shows Australia is continuing to get hotter. The link for the whole world is https://theconversation.com/global-climate-report-reveals-2012-to-be-record-breaking-year-16797 - which, oddly enough, is the page on which we are having this conversation.

      Finally, you've returned to the "no warming in 16 years" meme. If thermal energy reports to the atmosphere, we observe it as rising atmospheric temperatures. If, on the other hand…

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    16. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      Gday Mr James, Murphy et al's 2009 paper "An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950", Journal of Geophysical Research, v114, D17107, doi:10.1029/2009JD012105, 2009, uses a energy conservation approach to account for a good deal of overall climate change since 1950.

      Regarding the relationship between atmosphere and ocean, they observe that

      "An important feature of the Earth’s energy budget is that the amount of infrared radiation leaving the Earth is determined by locations…

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  7. Mark D. Roberts

    failure

    gobal warming good, canada becomes one big wheat field solving world starvation, more heat, rain and carbon dioxide mean more plants, the world biosphere is current 4C - water between a hundred yards and three miles down, this is dangerously low - what a relief its going to heat up, the earth's climate is going to be more like it has been for most of the past 4.5 billion years.

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    1. Gary Murphy

      Independent Thinker

      In reply to Mark D. Roberts

      Experts say no. Climate change will lead to less predicable rainfall and more extreme weather events. All bad for agriculture.

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    2. Mark D. Roberts

      failure

      In reply to Gary Murphy

      that sounds like experts asking for more resources like bigger computers to make more accurate predictions, overall global warming must be a good thing, think of all that water currently at 4C that has got to be high risk, a small perturbation to the system and everything freezes over....

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