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Why is Antarctic sea ice growing?

Recently NASA reported that this year’s maximum wintertime extent of Antarctic sea ice was the largest on record, even greater than the previous year’s record. This is understandably at odds with the public’s…

This winter there was more sea ice than ever in Antarctica. Flickr/august allen

Recently NASA reported that this year’s maximum wintertime extent of Antarctic sea ice was the largest on record, even greater than the previous year’s record.

This is understandably at odds with the public’s perception of how polar ice should respond to a warming climate, given the dramatic headlines of severe decline in Arctic summertime extent. But the “paradox of Antarctic sea ice” has been on climate scientists' minds for some time.

Continental v. sea ice

First off, sea ice is different to the “continental ice” associated with polar ice caps, glaciers, ice shelves and icebergs. Continental ice is formed by the gradual deposition, build up and compaction of snow, resulting in ice that is hundreds to thousands of metres thick, storing and releasing freshwater that influences global sea-level over thousands of years.

Sea ice, though equally important to the climate system, is completely different. It is the thin layer (typically 1-2m) of ice that forms on the surface of the ocean when the latter is sufficiently cooled enough by the atmosphere.

From there sea ice can move with the winds and currents, continuing to grow both by freezing and through collisions (between the floes that make up the ice cover). When the atmosphere, and/or ocean is suitably warm again, such as in spring or if the sea ice has moved sufficiently towards the equator, then the sea ice melts again.

Antarctic v. Arctic

Secondly, we need to understand that the Arctic and Antarctic climate systems are very different, particularly in sea ice.

In the Arctic, sea ice forms in an ocean roughly centred on the North Pole that is surrounded by continents. A relatively large (though diminishing) proportion of the ice persists over multiple years before ultimately departing for warmer latitudes through exit points such as Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard.

In the south, on the other hand, sea ice forms outwards from the continental Antarctic Ice Sheet, where it is exposed to and strongly influenced by the winds and waters of the Southern Ocean. Here, there is a much stronger seasonal ebb and flow to sea ice coverage as over 80% of the sea ice area grows each autumn-winter and decays each spring-summer. This annual expansion-contraction from about 4 to 19 million square kms is one of the greatest seasonal changes on the Earth’s surface.

Area v. volume

Finally we need to remember that “extent” or “areal coverage” is only one way with which we monitor and study sea ice.

Sea ice turns out to be a very complex and variable medium that is very difficult to observe over large-scales. It is also constantly moving and restructuring. Until we achieve the “holy grail” of monitoring total sea ice volume from space and how it changes over time (and there are great steps towards this with European Space Agency’s environmental research satellite CryoSat-II), we are limited to interpreting its global behaviour through area.

What happened this winter?

This winter, the maximum total Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be 19.47 million square kilometres, which is 3.6% above the winter average calculated from 1981 to 2010. This continues a trend that is weakly positive and remains in stark contrast to the decline in Arctic summer sea ice extent (2013 was 18% below the mean from 1981-2010).

To further complicate this picture, we find this net increase actually masks strong declines in particular regions around Antarctica, such as in the Bellingshausen Sea, which are on par or greater than those in the Arctic.

So while there is much greater attention given to the Arctic decline and the prediction of “ice-free summers” at the North Pole this century, Antarctic climate scientists still have their work cut out to understand the regional declines amidst the mild “net” expansion occurring in the southern hemisphere.

Here are some of the leading hypotheses currently being explored through a combination of satellite remote sensing, fieldwork in Antarctica and numerical model simulations – to help explain the increasing trend in overall Antarctic sea ice coverage:

  • Increased westerly winds around the Southern Ocean, linked to changes in the large-scale atmospheric circulation related to ozone depletion, will see greater northward movement of sea ice, and hence extent, of Antarctic sea ice.

  • Increased precipitation, in the form of either rain or snow, will increase the density stratification between the upper and middle layers of the Southern Ocean. This might reduce the oceanic heat transfer from relatively warm waters at below the surface layer, and therefore enhancing conditions at the surface for sea ice.

  • Similarly, a freshening of the surface layers from this precipitation would also increase the local freezing point of sea ice formation.

  • Another potential source of cooling and freshening in the upper ocean around Antarctica is increased melting of Antarctic continental ice, through ocean/ice shelf interaction and iceberg decay.

  • The observed changes in sea ice extent could be influenced by a combination of all these factors and still fall within the bounds of natural variability.

The take home messages is that while the increase in total Antarctic sea ice area is relatively minor compared to the Arctic, it masks the fact that some regions are in strong decline. Given the complex interactions of winds and currents driving patterns of sea ice variability and change in the Southern Ocean climate system, this is not unexpected.

But it is still fascinating to study.

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  1. Jack Bowers

    Learning Adviser

    "19.47 million square meters"? I only have one square meter, which measures my electricity.

    I hate to be a pedant - it's a really interesting article - but this sort of carelessness hardly engenders credibility.

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    1. Jane Rawson

      Editor, Energy & Environment at The Conversation

      In reply to Jack Bowers

      Thanks for spotting that, Jack. US spelling is apparently meters, which I guess is why spell check doesn't pick it up.

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    2. David Rennie

      IT Contractor

      In reply to Jane Rawson

      Jane,
      I think the point was 19.47 million sq KILOmeters not 1.97 million sq mtrs.

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    3. Jack Bowers

      Learning Adviser

      In reply to David Rennie

      My point was both, actually, that the ice seemed to have shrunk so drastically, and it had become American...

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    4. JD Eveland

      semi-retired professor

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      We Americans, once again, are forced to take up (figurative) arms to defend what the Commonwealth won't (bring back the Empire!) - units of measurement so incomprehensible as to impede transactions with the outside world, much as the Russian rail gauge was deliberately set to be different from the European standard so that in the event of invasion German rail equipment couldn't be easily transferred to Russian tracks. To further implement this policy, I hear that Tea Party activists are pressuring American auto manufacturers to switch speed measurement from MPH to furlongs per fortnight. This did not actually make it into the list of Republican demands to avoid government shutdown, but we can probably expect further pressures along these lines down the road.

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    5. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to David Arthur

      But still they come David despite the best efforts of our Founding Fathers ... sneaking over our pourous borders bringing their insane football games and deranged pronunciations of prefectly sensible words like "pool" and "castle". They'll never assimilate - never change - clinging together in sullen discontented enclaves, praying to their strange gods and weeks of time honoured cultural tradition.

      When will Scott Morrison turn his hawke-like gaze on the real borderline perils that confront us from within?

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    6. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Jack Bowers

      Jack

      Now I don't want to be a pedant but the areas given are in square kilometers not square meters. A 10,000 fold difference.

      Like you said, this sort of carelessness hardly engenders credibility.

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Jack Bowers

      Given how much material these days is published by American academics and the tendency to standardise to American styles in so many other areas, the fact that an academic working in the English language falls into the habit of adopting an American usage is barely an example of the 'sort of carelessness [that] hardly engenders credibility' so much as it is evidence of a tendency to work internationally. So, I'm afraid I think you're corrrect about only one thing: you are being a pedant.

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    8. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Arthur

      Yup, the original joke about the Englishman, the Scotsman and the Irishman...

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    9. Mike Jubow

      forestry nurseryman

      In reply to David Rennie

      David,just to make sure everyone grasps the extent of 19.47 million sq kilometres, how many football fields is that?

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  2. John Newlands

    tree changer

    It was strange that during the Blue Mountains NSW bushfires Tasmania was up to 20C cooler. It snowed on Mt Wellington while NSW was in flames, That seems consistent with the first theory of a strengthening polar circulation. I speculate that southern winters are arriving and finishing later say August to December, then the heat rapidly catches up in January. Perhaps the overall annual heat flux is similar to before but there is now a longer cool period.

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    1. David Maddern

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Newlands

      That seems entirely consistent with Australian region cold front progression. The fact that the strident Northerlies on the fire ground, and snow on Mt Wellington talks to the strength of the front.
      Tasmania only seems to burn when there is a strident Northerly.

      But fronts are colder air slipping under warm air and they typically weake and slower moving r the more north you are. The warm air is lifted and due to the rotation of the Earth pours Southward, while some of it forms clouds and can result in precipitation

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    2. Paul Whyte

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      Good point Mike. I've been noticing that fronts passing through Sydney seem to be on the decline in mid summer and also soem times in spring and autumn. I have clear memories of big heat in February and a howling southerly following it 45 years ago. I wonder if those charts are still around to check if it's real or not?

      I have also been watching the jetstreams deviations in NH summer. But here is seems to be that the climate is simply changing to what would have happened a bit further north decades ago.

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  3. Mike Farrell

    Former Penny Wong employee (DSP)

    I though all this global warming alarmism was "settled science". Manne and his hockey stick computer projections, which are still OK according to the 97%, had produced the answers. And now you tell me scientists dont know what's causing this massive ice flow for the second year running. I think Flannery or some other expert had told us Antarctica was going to disappear, just like we wouldn't get rain to fill our dams and cyclones would increase.

    I'm still waiting for answers on why Canberra (according to the SMH) had its coldest morning on record, when bushfires were raging 250 kilometres away. Of course, this is a regional anomoly, but as record temps form part of global warming, so too should low temps.

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    1. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Farrell

      No, the Arctic ice was supposed to disappear in summer by 2013. Instead, it had a healthy rebound, though still relatively low. Antarctic ice has been steadily increasing for at least the past 30 years. This isn't talked about, as it was a bit of a nuisance. Of course, the fact that the Northwest Passage has been open many times in the past (before satellite records began about 30 years ago), and submarines (eg US Skate 1959) have surfaced at the north Pole, are totally ignored. Facts tend to mess up good theories.

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    2. David Maddern

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Farrell

      Scientists never know something. It remains the most likely explanation on the current evidence. This article presents hypotheses which may all turn out more likely as more evidence is gained. That is how Science works.

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    3. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to David Rennie

      David, I disagree with your assertion that science is settled. You can only say that in a very general sense - ie theat human induced emissions have had an effect. The exact effect is being determined. This very morning a drilling expedition to the Antarctic to drill more ice cores- in order to answer more questions- has been announced.
      The reason that it is important to look beyond the big, general statemements is because the specifics will affect the type, extent and efficacy of our response. Iti is pointless undertaking action that will have no measureable effect.

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    4. Mike Pope

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Ross James

      Facts do not mess-up good theories. They mess-up bad ones.

      The only credible estimates I have seen are ice free Septembers in the Arctic by 2030.

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    5. Mike Pope

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Mike Farrell

      Mike - Canberra had it coldest morning on record. I don't think so but then I don't use the SMH as a reliable source of temperature record. I use BOM.

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    6. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Mike Farrell

      In what paper or reputable report does is say that global climate models are perfect and that our understading of the impacts of andthropogenic global warming at all scales is perfect? I think you might find that the overwhelming consensus is that global warming is real and the main cause is, almost certainly, anthropogenic impacts. Beyond that we have many, certainly, imperfect models giving us a broad insight into the future agw impacts.

      Now heres the, main, problem with your "logic". Scientists acknowledge knowledge gaps and seek to fill those gaps by formulating and testing hypotheses while numpties like you point to the same gaps and try to use those gaps to deny a massive and overwhelming body of peer reviewed evidence.

      Simply put, denying the existence of a jigsaw puzzle because some of the pieces are missing or improperly positioned is very flawed argument indeed.

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    7. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Ross James

      So the increase in Antarctic sea ice is not talked about, well except for this article and many more like it, dozens of peer reviewed papers and the IPCC V report.

      Well if, that's people hiding things and ignoring facts I love to see what happens when they want to talk about something.

      One should never confuse the actual science with the media's representation of that science.

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    8. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mike Pope

      I live in Canberra, an di can't say I recall the 'event' Mike claims...

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    9. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Shaun Molloy

      Equally, expecting a vast, complex system like the whole planetary climate to somehow march in linear lockstep is simply childish, though it is a popular canard with people like Mike.

      One of the key points made about climate change has always been that, while overall global average temperatures will rise, there will be plenty of anomolies - indeed, extreme winter cold in certain places is actually consistent with expectations. I always liked the argument that said it should really be refered to as 'global wierding' rather than just 'global warming'.

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    10. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Shaun Molloy

      Have a look at the ratio of references to Antarctic decrease vs Arctic increase. You'll find most people have heard that Arctic ice is increasing. You'll be lucky if 5% of people have any idea that Antarctic ice has been increasing for over 30 years. In fact, the media often incorrectly talks about "polar" ice decreasing).

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    11. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Shaun Molloy

      True Shaun, but until the 'jigsaw' is complete it is still a 'puzzle' is it not?

      As there still is a plethora of gaps on said issue how can you then claim its more logical to push terms like overwhelming consensus?

      That is only a reflection of broader scientific opinion at any given point in history but does not fill in the gaps of uncertainty on the science itself.

      As you stated...."Scientists acknowledge knowledge gaps"

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    12. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Ross James

      "In fact, the media often incorrectly talks about "polar" ice decreasing)." Hmmmm .... Ross, the Arctic sea ice is decreasing faster than the Antarctic sea ice is growing, so it is perfectly correct to say that polar ice (ie the sum of changes at both poles) is decreasing.

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    13. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Ross James

      Polar ice IS decreasing. Ice MASS is decreasing at both poles. Even if you're only talking about sea ice extent the Arctic decrease FAR outweighs the slight Antarctic increase.

      Do I need to dig up another link for you to ignore?

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    14. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      'Plethora' is rather a large word.

      There are some gaps and there will probably always be some gaps.

      However, and this is the key that you keep refusing to accept, there are more than enough joined up bits to make it crystal clear what's going on, what's causing it and what we need to do about it.

      The gaps relate to some parts of the system, but much of it - and plenty that will have staggering impacts on us - is more than sufficiently understood to provide reliable warnings.

      What you…

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    15. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Wade Macdonald

      No Wade, you intentionally miss (and misrepresent) the obvious. But I figure you do a great deal of that. Maybe that's just what makes you feel good about yourself.

      As a physicist friend one pointed out: "Although our understanding of the nature of matter is incomplete the earth, and all the fools on it, continues to exist.

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    16. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      So you don't believe the science on venting oceans as touted on this forum then?

      How does the ocean expell co2 then if the experts are wrong and meaningless?

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    17. Wade Macdonald

      Technician

      In reply to Shaun Molloy

      Shaun spare me the riddles advocated by scientific bigots.

      Any ecologist would be well aware that one new piece in the puzzle (perhaps the one mentioned by Peter Ormonde) could be the catalyst for a major rethink on our understanding of said science.

      I now see that your certainty is more a reflection of your poor professionalism.

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    18. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      @Ross re "the Arctic ice was supposed to disappear in summer by 2013" Says who? Wasn't the IPCC nor any climate scientist that's for certain. What a silly comment. But yes, facts tend to mess up good theories, and beliefs, and simple errors of fact.

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    19. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      re "Do I need to dig up another link for you to ignore?" May as well throw up 100 links and a crayon drawing but all will be ignored too. Pretty sad really. :( But that's the way it is.

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    20. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      Ross, James, Gordon, whoever you are ... I don't use blogs nor tweets to inform me as to the facts. Please take this ludicrous before-kindergarten level trollish spam and place it gently where the sun does not shine. Should you wish to have an intelligent debate or discussion it would be useful if you came armed for the task.

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  4. David Atherton

    Chairman, Freedom 2 Choose

    You can guarantee your last Dollar if it had shrunk you would have said, like in the Life of Brian where the bush catches fire, "it's a sign," that AGW warming was rampant.

    So arctic and antarctic ice has grown considerably so lets come up with a plausible, pseudo-science explanation why this is so.

    Could it be that historically we are due the next ice age and is a sign of global cooling?

    Any in the same scene in the Life of Brian, he told his followers to ^&*$ off. His followers then asked "how shall we ^&*$ off."

    I am all ears.

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    1. Jonathan Kelly

      IT Consultant

      In reply to David Atherton

      > So arctic and antarctic ice has grown considerably so lets come up with a plausible, pseudo-science explanation why this is so.

      the article actually states that Arctic ice has not grown significantly but has declined and that the growth of sea ice in the Southern Ocean is minor compared to the loss in the Arctic.

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    2. David Atherton

      Chairman, Freedom 2 Choose

      In reply to Jonathan Kelly

      From the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

      "This summer, Arctic sea ice loss was held in check by relatively cool and stormy conditions. As a result, 2013 saw substantially more ice at summer’s end, compared to last year’s record low extent. The Greenland Ice Sheet also showed less extensive surface melt than in 2012. Meanwhile, in the Antarctic, sea ice reached the highest extent recorded in the satellite record."

      http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

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    3. David Atherton

      Chairman, Freedom 2 Choose

      In reply to David Atherton

      A quick PS on Greenland and meting ice.

      “The Greenland ice sheet is melting from below, caused by a high heat flow from the mantle into the lithosphere,” says the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).

      “The melting is very variable spatially and has its origin in an exceptionally thin lithosphere,” says a GFZ press release issued just last week. “Consequently, there is an increased heat flow from the mantle and a complex interplay between this geothermal heating and the Greenland ice sheet.”

      “GFZ scientists Alexey Petrunin and Irina Rogozhina have now coupled an ice/climate model with a thermo-mechanical model for the Greenland lithosphere.

      http://iceagenow.info/2013/08/greenland-ice-melting/

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    4. David Crock

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Atherton

      Mr Atherton, that data is all well and good but it compares 2013 to 2012 only, and indeed mentions nothing of any growth in sea ice cover, saying only that the loss is not as severe as last year's. It says nothing to counter Mr William's comment above:

      "This winter, the maximum total Antarctic sea ice extent was reported to be 19.47 million square metres, which is 3.6% above the winter average calculated from 1981 to 2010. This continues a trend that is weakly positive and remains in stark contrast to the decline in Arctic summer sea ice extent (2013 was 18% below the mean from 1981-2010)."

      You'll notice that compares 2013 to a 30-year average figure.

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    5. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to David Atherton

      "...As a result, 2013 saw substantially more ice at summer’s end, compared to last year’s record low extent."

      Seriously? You think Arctic ice is on the rebound because of ONE year of data?

      ONE. Year.

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    6. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Jonathan Kelly

      Arctic ice did have a healthy rebound this year (although still on the low side). It took no notice of the predictions that it was supposed to be ice free by now.

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    7. Mike Farrell

      Former Penny Wong employee (DSP)

      In reply to David Crock

      I bet you 1981 had huge amounts of sea ice and 1980 had a huge loss of sea ice. Marvellous what you can do when you shift the parameters.

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    8. David Maddern

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Atherton

      Can't you understand that the atmosphere has about 4% more vater vapour, so increased precipitation. It freezes on the sea in Antarctica because it is very cold down there. Presto, more sea ice.

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    9. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Ross James

      @Ross James et al.

      This article has a good explanation of why Arctic sea ice is not "recovering".

      Here is a sample.

      "The bit in red is the "recovery" of this year. If you think that means that things are getting better, you genuinely must be an idiot. It's not. The overwhelming long-term trend is still towards much less ice."

      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100237031/you-genuinely-have-to-be-an-idiot-to-think-that-arctic-sea-ice-is-recovering/

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    10. David Atherton

      Chairman, Freedom 2 Choose

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      I have to say that is very witty.

      Touche and full marks.

      Some scientists have hypothesised if my two grey matter brain cells collide the resulting force could run all the world's baths for the next ten years.

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    11. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      I didn't say anything about "recovering". It was predicted that the Arctic would be ice free in 2013. Instead it increased from 2012. Long term is anyone's guess. The Northwest passage has been op[en many times in recent history (before satellite records began). Submarines have surfaced at the North Pole before (eg US Skate 1958). Why do people think that low Arctic ice is unusual? We here reports of "lowest ice on record". They don't mention that "record" is the last 30 years only.

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    12. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Atherton

      Well then David, that's a real worry.

      It's not 'my' science - it's science. But you appear to prefer opinion and dogma over evidence and reason, so I guess there isn't a lot more to say is there.

      Go in peace with your ignorance.

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    13. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ross James

      "....Long term is anyone's guess..."

      Not so Ross. In science we prefer to use data and evidence rather than to guess. So you can 'guess' all you like about what will happen to Arctic sea ice in the future - those of us who base our views on evidence are pretty clear what the trend is.

      And please, stop cutting and pasting your views from WUWT, and have a look at what the REAL evidence is showing. If you really think that extent of Arctic sea ice is at its lowest in only the last 30 years, you are being seriously misled.

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    14. Mike Pope

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to David Rennie

      David Rennie - you make an important point in differentiating between the area covered by sea ice and its mass.

      The continuing loss of sea ice mass is indicative of faster and more extensive melting in years to come, almost certainly reducing area covered to below the 2012 record low.

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    15. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Sorry to disappoint you - I haven't looked at WUWT for about a year - I have direct access to the same data, so I draw my own conclusions.

      I'm impressed that you can predict the future. You are even brave enough to take a cyclic system, and assume that you can tag a straight line to the end of it, and call it a trend.

      I look forward to your explanation of why the Northwest Passage has been open so many times in the past, and how a submarine surfaced at the North Pole in 1958 (US Skate - I'm sure you've seen this). The one I really want to see is the evidence that Arctic ice hasn't been lower than this more than 30 years ago (US Skate must have been a super submarine to break through all that ice). Amundsen must have had a decent icebreaker when he passed through the Northwest passage in 1903!

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    16. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ross James

      "....I'm impressed that you can predict the future..."

      I can't. But I can look at a trend.

      "....You are even brave enough to take a cyclic system, and assume that you can tag a straight line to the end of it, and call it a trend...."

      No-one would be stupid enough to do that.

      ".... look forward to your explanation of why the Northwest Passage has been open so many times in the past..."

      There was no ice there at the time.

      '....how a submarine surfaced at the North Pole in 1958...."

      It blew the water out of it's ballast tanks and was made positively buoyant - that's how submarines always surface.

      "....The one I really want to see is the evidence that Arctic ice hasn't been lower than this more than 30 years ago....'

      http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/polyak_etal_seaice_QSR_10.pdf

      So since you have now seen the evidence, I expect you will admit you are wrong and accept it won't you? (naaaah - I'm joking. I know you are a denier)

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    17. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      So you say Arctic is hasn't been this low before. Then you tell me that Arctic ice was so low in 1905 that the Northwest Passage was discovered, and you have no sensible explanation of why there was so little ice in 1958, that a submarine surfaced at the North Pole.

      I downloaded the paper you referenced. It attempted to link three sets of data together, covering different time periods. You'll also notice there is significant disagreement between the data sets where they overlap. This procedure…

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    18. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ross James

      As I said Ross, I didn't really expect you to accept any evidence that didn't fit your worldview nor to apologise when you have neen shown to be wrong. But well done with your hand waving and dismissal of that inconvenient paper. Did you like the link that Andrew provided going back to 1900?

      The issues of the NW passage and the submarine aren't a problem that I need to re-visit. The NW passage is not the whole Arctic, and it takes a special sort of denial to think that it is. And submarines can break through up to 2 metres of ice - which is quite common in the Arctic, even in 1958.

      How are you going with that link I gave you to your favourite denier website? You haven't commented yet....

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    19. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Atherton

      re: "A quick PS on Greenland and meting ice." and, so, this means 40 years of climate science and the IPCC AR5-WGI is what? All wrong, suspect, questionable, faulty, accurate except for Greenland Ice melts? or something else. After following nsidc for a decade and some, I don't get the point, if you have one. Is "2013 saw substantially more ice at summer’s end" a smoking gun to you that we are on the cusp of an mini-ice age or something David?

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    20. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      "It was predicted that the Arctic would be ice free in 2013" Who do you believe predicted that? Show the quote and reference you're relying upon please. "The Northwest passage has been op[en many times in recent history (before satellite records began)." bzzzt nope, sorry. " Why do people think that low Arctic ice is unusual?" By people you mean scietists and researchers and historians and sailors and explorers who have accumulated a century or so of info about it? Maybe because it is.

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    21. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      Ross, you have no sensible evidence of why someone could sneak thru the NW passage, and zero evidence what the total Arctic sea ice extent and PIOMASS was in 1905. That a submarine surfaced at the north pole, (or whatever that was , recall this form years ago, not looking again) in 1958 has NO relevance on what the sea ice extent piomass was then, or that year as a whole across ther arctic. Was the NW passage open in 1958? If not why not ... on BOTH occasions you're making a claim of "so little ice" in 2 distinct locations. So what? So what nothing actually. But enjoy your trolling drive thru.
      https://theconversation.com/astroturfing-the-climate-wars-five-ways-to-spot-a-troll-19011 If you're looking for an intelligent debate or fight, it would help if you came armed.

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  5. Andrew Glikson

    Earth and paleo-climate scientist at Australian National University

    It would help if the article had a few references to the sources of its observations in the peer review literature and NASA's and NOAA's technical reports.

    Otherwise the following factors are relevant:

    1. As mid-latitude high pressure ridges migrate pole-ward with global warming, wind intensity would tend to increase in polar regions - a factor in sea ice formation.
    2. As indicated by paleo-climate studies periods during which large-scale melting of continental ice sheet occurred (cf. at the Younger dryas 12.9 - 11.7 kyr ago and at ~8.5 kyr ago) resulted in cooling of the surrounding oceans.

    In line with the latter, if and when advanced melting of Greenland ice takes place and the North Atlantic cools by several degrees due to ice melt water, those who do not accept the science will be talking about "global cooling".

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    1. David Atherton

      Chairman, Freedom 2 Choose

      In reply to Andrew Glikson

      So we can conclude that AGW global warming will induce weather patterns that will not melt the polar ice. So New York or anywhere else will not be under water.

      So why the panic, higher taxes and lefties with government jobs?

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    2. Nick Hopkins

      logged in via email @dodo.com.au

      In reply to David Atherton

      Yes, the lefties have so much to answer for - rainforest destruction, ozone depletion, species extinction, pollution, toxic chemical spills, etc and now global warming. Why on earth would we spend Government money (our money) addressing such seductive myths?

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    3. David Atherton

      Chairman, Freedom 2 Choose

      In reply to Nick Hopkins

      I am not of the right but a libertarian.

      However are us "righties" or free marketeers responsible for bringing 750,000,000 Indians and Chinese out of absolute poverty?

      "The United Nations has just published a report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, which says that “Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast.”

      The numbers look impressive. Absolute poverty, defined as "a condition characterised by…

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    4. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to David Atherton

      Oh my goodness what a sadly abused term is this "US libertarianism".

      Not the place to be discussing it - this is about icey things ... but there are all sorts of libertarians ... even anarcho libertarians and libertarian communists ... Have a read of Pyotr Kropotkin's wonderful little book Mutual Aid and we'll no doubt find an appropriate forum for a decent slanging match.

      Here's a neat potted history of leftist libertarianism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

      Excellent ideas - pinched and deformed by the right and the rich.

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    5. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Andrew Glikson

      Quote: "In line with the latter, if and when advanced melting of Greenland ice takes place and the North Atlantic cools by several degrees due to ice melt water, those who do not accept the science will be talking about "global cooling". "If & when?" Egad. That is not science. Testable & falsifiable is what we need, like "ice free by 2013." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztz3ZdPbdKo&feature=player_embedded .Conclusion: False. Here is another example of a scientific statement: 2013- "Less Arctic sea ice—which is caused by global warming—alters atmospheric circulation in a way that leads to more snow and ice, ..." http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/2013/03/130326-arctic-sea-ice-global-warming-science-environment-spring/ .As begrudgingly acknowledged in this post, there is more ice in the Arctic in 2013 than 2012. If it is a cold winter in the NH in 2013/14, will those who claim the science is settled, be talking about colder winters caused by less ice?

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    6. Mike Pope

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Andrew Glikson

      "global cooling" Andrew? Regional cooling more likely - not that disruption of the Gulf Stream would do W. Europe much good.

      I thought mid latitude high pressure cells always migrated polewards in the warmer months. Are you saying that global warming is likely to see those cells intensify or just move further south? With what effect, please?

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Atherton

      Funny, I thought it was mainly the Indians and Chinese working hard and using the fruits of science and technology but, lo an dbehold, it was salvation by wealthy Western libertarians. What other super powers do you have?

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    8. Mike Pope

      logged in via email @hotmail.com

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Mark - My understanding is that Dr Zwally said that “the Arctic could be mostly ice free by 2013” which is a bit different from your assertion that he said it would be ice free in 2013.

      Youtube is of course an interesting media outlet -but a long way from being peer-reviewed publication.

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    9. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mike Pope

      Greetings Mike. Suggest you look at the video before commenting.

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    10. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      So Mark, is it your assertion that if one person says something wrong about climate change, then the whole thing must be wrong?

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    11. Mark McGuire

      climate consensus rebel

      In reply to Mike Pope

      Mike, you got me. An assertion I have indeed made. Would be no ice by 2013, could be no ice by 2013. "There could be no ice by 2008," says Mark Serreze, http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4728737&page=1#.T69QYu2EYqY , who appears in the NASA approved youtube video above, which must based on the best peer-reviewed settled science, as Dr Zwally demonstrates on his computer models. But, it's 2013, and ice there is. More, not less. Could be no ice, would be no ice? Could be more ice? Would be more ice? Wrong? Right? Semantics, or facts?

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    12. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Atherton

      @David Who's panicking? Besides yourself, that is? :)

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    13. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Andrew Vincent

      @ Andrew, re: "Sea ice doesn't." actually melted sea ice does as well. Marginally less than land ice. Mainly through thermal expansion as an after effect. For years I too thought it didn't, along the way a cpl years ago I saw how it does. Sorry that I don't have a handy quality ref, but check realclimate.org or skeptical science sites. or somewhere in the IPCC AR5 WGI http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/#.Um-u4flmh8F
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/sea-level-in-the-5th-ipcc-report/

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    14. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Atherton

      re: the Libertarian ... "However are us "righties" or free marketeers responsible for bringing 750,000,000 Indians and Chinese out of absolute poverty?" Short answer? No.

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    15. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      @Mark omg .. 2008.01.09. "The sea ice is decreasing faster than all the models predicted," yes that was and is still true.video title : NASA: Arctic Ocean Could be Mostly Ice Free in 2013 omg, that's NOT a valid prediction, or forecast, nor a projection by IPCC or NASA. It's the dude talking about what the issues were in 2008 and trying to to explain it to non-science people. This is too ridiculous for words. COULD BE MOSTLY ... is twisted into this instead -- **It was predicted that the Arctic would be ice free in 2013.** This is silly = Sept 2012 minimum is 18% below 2007 and 49% below the 1979 to 2000 average Minimums. Including this year, the nine years from 2004 to 2012 are the nine lowest maximums in the satellite record. Max = 15.8 mill/sq/klms Min = 3.4 mill/sq/klms = 20% of max. = 80% was ICE FREE. Does that = MOSTLY? or Almostly? :)

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    16. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Sean Arundell

      fwiw this Yale video is a good summary of the Gulf stream causing "regional" shifts from year to year as direct result of CC. Besides Australian pressure systems tending southwards, I am not sure what the go is re Antarctica and the circular weather systems around the continent. they work differently than the north pole jet stream, sorry cant recall a ref atm. Climate, Ice, and Weather Whiplash (jetstream) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u7EHvfaY8Zs
      Given others Ice interest - Greenland Ice Sheet: "Starting to Slip" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkpFNteryX8 and Greenland: A Ring of Mountains (old sea in the middle) http://youtu.be/WmC7-DrAuJU
      also http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/12/the-heat-is-on-in-west-antarctica/ and http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/11/weighing-change-in-antarctica/ cheers sean

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    17. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Do you really expect people to watch and listen to all 2:30 mins of it? :) OK, did that, now what? http://www.englishmaven.org/Pages/Reading%20Comprehension.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance http://psychology.about.com/od/bindex/g/blind-spot.htm 'sharing is caring' maybe this could help too, I don't know:- Active listening can be developed with practice. Listen consciously and improve your communication, avoid misunderstanding and enjoy better relationships. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_listening

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    18. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Mark McGuire

      Could be woolly thinking too. Or the man of la mancha tilting at windmills. Who knows? Who cares? Complain to youtube, that might help. Get it deleted lest others get totally bent out of shape over a 2008 NASA video. Stress is a killer you know, not good.

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  6. Gordon Alderson

    Management Consultant

    Can we agree that fluctuations in the extent of floating sea ice cannot effect sea levels? According to Archimedes principle, which is not in dispute, floating ice that melts will not result in a rise or fall in the level of the water in which it floats. This can be observed when ice in a glass of drink is allowed to melt; as it melts the glass does not overflow.
    As I understand it, all Arctic ice is floating. Hence the ebb and flow of Arctic ice cannot change sea levels.
    The premise in the second chapter of this article is at odds with the Head of the IPCC’s statement at Deakin University earlier this year. The temperature of the atmosphere has not changed for the last fifteen years (some say 17 years). There has been no global warming. The only skerrick of truth in the second paragraph is that the public perceives that global warming is occurring.
    The global warming propagandists have been winning but surely with the efflux of time their deceptions will be revealed.

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    1. Andrew Vincent

      Marketing . Communications . Multimedia

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Surface temperatures are just a proxy for global temperatures - which includes sea temps.

      The planet is still warming.

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    2. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      That's correct - floating ice won't change sea level if it melts. Only ice melting on land will change sea level, assuming it flows to the sea.

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    3. Jack Bowers

      Learning Adviser

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Sorry, Gordon, you're not having a good morning are you. About 10% of ice sits above the water line (hence, icebergs sit mostly submerged but not quite): as ice melts, so it obviously become part of the water surrounding the ice, and so the water level effectively increases. To try this with your G&T, you'll have to fill it right up to the brim, and not drink any!!

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    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Jack Bowers

      This is the general principle.

      "Just like an ice cube melting in a glass of water, melting Arctic sea ice does not contribute to sea-level rise, except by the expansion of seawater with heat. "
      http://www.eo.ucar.edu/basics/cc_2_b.html

      However there is a twist to that tale in that

      "The common misconception that floating ice won’t increase sea level when it melts occurs because the difference in density between fresh water and salt water is not taken into consideration. Archimedes’ Principle…

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    5. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to Jack Bowers

      Hi Jack
      An ice cube, with a relative density of about 0.91, will float. One of the wonders of nature is that as water freezes and becomes ice it becomes less dense. If this were not the case we would not see icebergs because they would have dropped to the ocean bed.
      There the denser than water icebergs could have joined all that ocean heating that has fallen there to avoid investigation as to how it got there without heating the rest of the ocean. (Smile)

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    6. Ian L. McQueen

      Retired

      In reply to James Whitmore

      HI James-

      Please tell us WHERE it is "well established that there has in fact been warming over the past 15 years". The temperature (to the extent that it can actually be measured, which is a discussion in itself) has gone up and down, but is no higher at the end of the 15 or 16 or 17 year period than it was at the beginning. Your repeating incorrect information is not helpful to us.

      Best regards.

      IanM

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    7. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Jack Bowers

      Just to humour you, I did as you suggested. Three ice blocks in a glass of water and filled it with as much water as possible, until there was a bulge as the water was on the edge of overflowing, and the ice blocks sitting above the top of the glass. When the blocks had melted, not one drop had overflowed. Obviously you've never done this yourself. The additional volume of the ice blocks is taken up by their contraction when they change to water (that's why bottles of water explode when they freeze - the water density decreases when it freezes - water expands to ice).

      I suspect Gordon is having a better morning than you, Jack

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    8. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to James Whitmore

      Hi James,
      Let's not quibble about what Pachauri said or meant to say.
      Referring to your own last sentence: If we were to accept that "there has in fact been warming over the past 15 years, although at a lower rate than the years before" and we also accept that the rate at which human sources of CO2 has been increasing over those same past 15 years, doesn't this lead to the conclusion (or at least a worthy subject for research) that human sources of CO2 might not be the prime source of energy for "warming over the past 15 years"?
      In summary "Correlation and Causation" are not coincident here. Is it conceivable that human CO2 is not the guilty (or benevolent) party? Perhaps it's that big bright ball in the sky.

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    9. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to James Whitmore

      "It is well established that there has in fact been warming over the past 15 years, although at a lower rate than the years before."

      But according to an article co-authored by Nathan Gillett there was no significant increase in global temperatures between 1998-2012.

      http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Climate%20model%20results/over%20estimate.pdf

      "The inconsistency between observed and simulated global warming is even more striking for temperature trends computed over the past…

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    10. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Part of the decrease in rate of atmospheric warming (which you describe as "no global warming") is due to accumulating heat being diverted into melting ice.

      Greenland, Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica are all losing terrestrial ice and hence adding to sea level rise. Ice cover on East Antarctica seems to be holding about steady at present.

      "The global warming propagandists have been winning but surely with the efflux of time their deceptions will be revealed." True: the propagandists are those who have been misrepresenting the observations aka climate change Denialists.

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    11. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Try https://theconversation.com/is-global-warming-in-a-hiatus-18367

      Perhaps this "inconsistency between observed and simulated global warming" is because they didn't factor in terrestrial ice melt (Greenland, Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica) in the simulations?

      After all, IPCC WG1-AR5 (2013) is the first time the IPCC has had enough information to START loking at ice mass loss.

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    12. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to James Whitmore

      "The rate of warming over 1998–2012 (0.05°C [–0.05 to +0.15] per decade) is smaller than the trend since 1951"

      So the IPCC report suggests that there was no significant warming between 1998-2012 so Gordon's statement is not factually incorrect as you have suggested.

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    13. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to John Phillip

      No it hasn't. Warming over the last few years has ocurred more strongly in the oceans than in the atmosphere. this can be measured objectively and has been. Doesn't seem like much of a 'big issue' to me.

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    14. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      Go tell the World Meteorological Organization that it is 'repeating incorrect information' when it points out that each of the preceding four decades at least has been hotter than the preceding decade. That is how you measure true trends - not arbitrarily drawing a line from the exceptionally hot 1998 and claiming that the temperature is now no higher than then.

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    15. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      No Geoff, how many times are you going to have to be told that 1998 was an exceptionally hot year, so any line drawn forward from there will, for a considerable period of time, be flatter than the average trend since 1951. Try drawing lines from almost any point other than 1998 (unless the almighty has provided a revalation to you that 1998 was in fact the holy standard year from which everything else must be measured) and you'll see a rather different pattern.

      Try comparing decadal averages to reveal real trends and you'll see a very different pattern indeed.

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    16. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Yes, I actually wrote "meniscus" first, but then changed it, as I didn't think Jack would be familiar with the term.

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    17. Paul Whyte

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      "The evidence, therefore, indicates that the current generation of climate models (when run as a group, with the CMIP5 prescribed forcings) do not reproduce the observed global warming over the past 20 years, or the slowdown in global warming over the past fifteen years."

      So who is making factual errors here? "

      Well I'd say that you are the one making the factual error here by thinking that air temperature readings are the be all and end all of global warming and not just the minor and almost…

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    18. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to John Phillip

      Phase change. It takes far more ENERGY, ie that heat trapped by the CO2 blanket, to MELT the ice and turn it into water than it takes to raise the water temperature one degree...... EIGHTY times as much energy in fact (unless my ageing memory's doing me in again...)

      So all the energy required to melt the ice is now in the water.... and raising the now liquid water one more degree is a piece of cake...

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    19. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      ok - so I looked up Hadcrut (actually, I collect and plot this myself every month). Just visually, I tried starting in 1997 and1999 (seeing you don't like 1998) - still looks flat. I tried starting from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, - still looks flat. I went back to starting in 1990, and ignored 1998 as you suggested - it still looks flat. Which year would you like me to cherry pick so I get an increase?

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    20. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ross James

      You do know that you don't determine a trend by 'looking' at the data on a graph, right?

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    21. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Yes, but sometimes a trend, or lack thereof, doesn't need linear regression to show whether it's moving significantly up or down. If the trend is so slight that it needs a stat analysis to pick it up, then it's not going to be particularly significant. For example, look at Hadcrut, which goes back to 1851 surface data. There were clear upward trends 1910 - 1940, and 1970 - 2000, with other periods flat. It doesn't need statistical analyisis to see it.

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    22. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Phillip

      Why has this shift occurred? Reconfiguration of ocean currents, (ENSO, PDO, Indian Ocean Dipole, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc) relative to atmospheric surface heat distribution has altered overall rate at which heat transfers between atmosphere and ocean; recall that 1998 was one of the biggest recorded El Nino events, since which time we've had more La Ninas.

      As well as the oceans having ~1000 time more heat capacity than the atmosphere, it's also worth remembering that the oceans…

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    23. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ross James

      Thanks Ross. Based on your comment I will just accept that you know nothing about statistics and move on.

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    24. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Just for interest, I used to work as a research scientist, and stats was very much a part of it. Should I assume you can't see the upward trends of 1910 - 1940, and 1970 - 2000 without using your calculator?

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    25. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Phillip

      No John, I can't.

      As I have tried to point out, you can't eyeball a graph and determine whether or not the trend is significant. And since I don't have the raw data, I can't do the calculations.

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    26. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Phillip

      NATURE | LETTER
      "Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling", Yu Kosaka & Shang-Ping Xie
      Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12534

      paper discussed for we of the hoi-polloi in a couple of articles such as
      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/global-warming-hiatus-tied-cooler-temps-pacific
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/28/cooling-pacific-dampened-global-warming
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/sep/03/global-warming-pacific-ocean-puzzle-piece

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    27. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to John Phillip

      'A more meaningful response' as in, we should crap our pants in ten years or we should crap them in fifteen?

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    28. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      Wrong, sorry. Melting sea ice decreases albedo, warms the ocean in the arctic = thermal expansion, loss of ice will also have climatic changes of additonal forcings (?) that then lead to more/faster land ice losses, plus other warming of the oceans leads to thermal expansion and THAT raises the sea levels. Therefore, melting sea ice does directly lead to sea level rise. Fact. It's Physics

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    29. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      @Gordon re "...the last fifteen years (some say 17 years). There has been no global warming." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047vmL6Q_4g + http://youtu.be/Qbn1rCZz1ow + http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/
      What’s new? ‘Extreme Weather Events in Europe: preparing for climate change adaptation‘. The new report provides information that is more specific to Europe than the SREX report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…

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    30. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Brilliant yes, that was the other aspect I had forgot that ... good show !!! "Thus, when freshwater ice melts in the ocean, it contributes a greater volume of melt water than it originally displaced."

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    31. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ian L. McQueen

      Sept 2013 Global warming - It is now considered even more certain (> 95%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Natural internal variability and natural external forcings (eg the sun) have contributed virtually nothing to the warming since 1950 – the share of these factors was narrowed down by IPCC to ± 0.1 degrees. The measured temperature evolution is shown in the following graph. http://www.scilogs.de/wblogs/gallery/16/previews-med/AR5_temp_obs.png

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    32. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon re "Perhaps it's that big bright ball in the sky." Clearly you need to educate yourself about the FACTS. It is and has been for DECADES now that there has been NO increase in the warming effect (aka Forcing) by the Sun. Thousands of scientists from across the world have a specialty in the Sun and with the $ Billions spent of high tech equipment, space probes and satellites and more this fact is unquestionable. Period. Please do yourself a favour stop talking, stop asking questions, stop reading…

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    33. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      It is not a matter of "factual errors" it is more an issue with interpretation of those *facts*, mistakes made in words/semantics (and their meanings) as well as misconstruing what the prior IPCC Projections and Forecasts really were (in print), and the severe constraints placed upon those as to *uncertainty* and *likelihood* and *ranges* plus natural variability and what that means in reality.
      Geoff the fact is that the actual Global Mean Surface Temperatures from 1998 to 2012 are within the…

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    34. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      (0.05°C [–0.05 to +0.15] per decade) IS SIGNIFICANT IN AND OF ITSELF ..... in geological timescales these kinds of average temp increases across a decade would historically take a century and more. It is still ONE indication of "rapid global warming". As another has said above, the antarctic ice sheet plus arctic sea ice, plus greenland ice sheet plus glaciers etc are NET melting and flowing into the Oceans as the end point. To do this that ice has to absorb HEAT ..... where does most of that heat come from? Air and oceans ... if heat is transferred from the air and oceans then what happens to the temperature of the air and oceans? Does it tend to rise or fall, according to Physical Laws, all other things being equal?

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    35. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to John Phillip

      Why wouldn't it do this now, or next year? It's a dynamic actively changing system Heat and moisture content transfer is fluid and constant 24/7 across the planet... The Climate system has always done this. Just that no one was ever really recorded all this info in this manner before. Man was building pyramids, towers of london, and railroads across the US, and then flying man to the moon instead.

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    36. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      Which year would you like me to cherry pick so I get an increase? = 1850, try that one. <shaking my head> What does "still looks flat" mean scientifically Ross? Besides nothing. The world "looks flat" in places too.

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    37. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      Re: " If the trend is so slight that it needs a stat analysis to pick it up, then it's not going to be particularly significant". Who says? What is your scientific definition for the word "significant" exactly, and I mean exactly. Not merely, oh it "looks insignificant, or looks flat". Please go read up on this - www.realclimate.org or similar sites for all these kinds of questions have been asked a gazillion times and answers and explanations and helpful help given by scientist and those who work this area, plus others who have gone thru the same learning curve as your own now. Just sit back with a cuppa and go see what's already out there. If you wish to, I am only saying there is a better easier option than the currently methodology being used here and now. and be patient as it isn't alwasy easy and does take some time to get one's head around this stuff as it is so complex and interconnected in ways an above avg intelligence person wouldn't guess in a hundred years.

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    38. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Ross James

      Aha, classic disingenuous TROLL response. Bait, draw in then Switch. So clever Ross, give it 1/10 for effort. Meanwhile the page is full of really good ref sources and explanations that others who are serious and genuinely wish to learn more can use from now and however long TC and/or the internet still runs .... nothing is wasted. It's free pixel recycling on auto. Maybe best if Ross has a break from climate stuff, goes back to his engineer work at Cogsley's Gogs in Bedrock? :)

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    39. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to John Phillip

      @John re " It would give a more complete picture" .. Yes it would, and it still wouldn't be complete.

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  7. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer at University of Queensland

    Thanks for this fascinating article. However, while the surface area of sea ice might be expanding, you haven't mentioned its thickness. It's the total volume that counts. A shift in the Antarctic Convergence could readily explain changing areas, but it could also produce a thinner layer of sea ice, meaning unchanged or even diminished volume. Surely, the location of the Convergence, which constrains the extent of sea ice, is affected by sea temperature changes, ocean current variations, wind-shifts and other factors?

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    1. ian cheong

      logged in via email @acm.org

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Thickness might count in a physics based model than computes with energy and mass and temperature. GCMs are a bit different. Bo Nordell models than thermal pollution could explain global warming. (makes sense from core physics)

      Climate scientists think it's all about radiative balance. ALbedo makes a big difference, which has nothing to do with thickness.

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  8. Michael Brown

    Professional & academic

    Bennartz et al say that the variable nature of clouds affects ice melts, so there are clearly many more factors than CO2 affecting our climate, and most of them appear to be poorly understood.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7443/full/nature12002.html
    "Our results may help to explain the difficulties that global climate models have in simulating the Arctic surface energy budget".

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  9. John Crest

    logged in via email @live.com.au

    The cause is clear - man made global warming.

    Because as the earth gets hotter, it creates more ice.

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    1. Paul Whyte

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Crest

      John well done!

      "The cause is clear - man made global warming.

      Because as the earth gets hotter, it creates more ice."

      I think that you have got it!

      If someone put more water vapour into your fridge warming it slowly your ice box would for quite some time make more ice.

      Well done to you.

      Of course eventually your fridge when warmed with too much water vapour would pass the ablity of your ice box to cool it and even your ice box would warm and eventually melt.

      Since Antarctic sea ice is like the worlds freezer in mid winter and that climate models have been predicting more ice in winter due to the increase in water vapour from global warming your point is in good agreement with the general predictions.

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  10. Geoff Henley

    Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

    So using the same reasoning contained in this article, then perhaps the general downward trend in Arctic ice extent could be the result of a complex series of factors and have nothing to do with increases in human carbon emissions.

    Interesting to note that in 2013 there has been a significant rebound in ice extent (back to roughly 2006 levels) in the Arctic so the CAGW brigaders aren't so excitied about the Arctic this year. Don't forget that a number of scientists, including Tim Flannery were forecasting that the Arctic would more than likely be ice-free by 2013. yet another dud prediction.

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Here's what Prof Flannery wrote: “In the summer of 2005, the rate of ice loss accelerated dramatically and has remained high ever since, the summer of 2007 seeing the greatest loss of Arctic ice ever. The scientific community is split on how the melting will turn out this year. A recent survey of Arctic specialists indicated that the majority consider a loss as great as that of 2007 to be unlikely, yet by June 2008 signs of a great melt were emerging and a senior adviser to the Norwegian government…

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    2. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to David Arthur

      It actually requires EIGHTY TIMES as much energy to melt ice at 0 C than is needed to heat the water from 0 C to 1 C.

      It's called phase change, Physics 101.........

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    3. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to David Arthur

      Perhaps that most evil of global warming phenomena - The Sun - will apologize to Flannery. Maybe the volcanoes can do some apologizing as well.
      But humankind owes no apology to Flannery. Indeed he owes all Australian taxpayers many apologies for scarring the votes away from politicians so much so that they foolhardily spent our money on desalinisation plants that are currently mothballed because of the plentiful rains that spoiled Flannery's ridiculous portents of unfounded fear.

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    4. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Bridging science and the community is a hazardous thing. There will always be scientists who accuse you of oversimplification, there will always vested interests in the community who, incapable of dismissing the science, will attempt to discredit you through misrepresentation and the use of some very selective hindsight. Regardless, Tim Flannery has put his head in the lions mouth and kept it there in an attempt to inform the general public on a matter of vital importance to the future of us all.

      I reckon that earns respect and gratitude more than apologies.

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    5. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to David Arthur

      Tim Flannery in 2006:

      “Before 2004, the rate of melt was such that scientists believed the icecap would melt entirely by about 2100. At the trajectory set by the new rate of melt, however, there will be no Arctic icecap in the next five to 15 years.”

      James Hansen in 2008:

      “in five to 10 years, the Arctic will be free of sea ice in the summer.”

      James Hansen on June 26 2013”

      “The alarming loss of sea ice which has grown worse each summer over the past several decades, has taken a sharp turn for the worse: this year the loss is right in the middle, the most resilient part of the ice cover. This could lead to a completely ice-free Arctic Ocean by September.”

      Al Gore December 2008:
      “entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years.”

      No apology necessary.

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    6. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      So Gordon, in light of all the data out there, and cited in this discussion, AGW isn't happening because of a couple of years of near average rainfall in Melbourne (although we looking at a 3rd desal plant in Perth) and, if I am to understand you, "volcanoes". And, in your mind, this justifies personal attacks on Flannery in the name of "humanity".

      Maybe you could be just a little harder on your opinions.

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    7. Mike Stasse

      Retired Energy Consultant

      In reply to Shaun Molloy

      In fact the whole "volcano" thing is such a joke I always laugh my head off when I see anyone mentioning them....

      When that Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name erupted a few years ago, so many planes were grounded that even though the volcano spewed substantial amounts of CO2 into the air, the level of CO2 dropped because so few planes were flying...

      http://s3.amazonaws.com/infobeautiful2/planes_volcanos.png

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    8. Paul Whyte

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Quite frankly I've very happy that the desal plants were built as in the long term we are looking at decreased rain fall and increased weather extremes.

      Look at QLD rainfall this year and it's only neutral SOI! Just wait till its a big El Nino and see how much water we get from rain fall!

      So desal plants will be very useful at some point and not at others. I feel safer that they are there and that the poor bastards that own them have good contracts so they don't go bust when it rains a lot…

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    9. Shaun Molloy

      Ecologist at Edith Cowan University

      In reply to Mike Stasse

      I hear ya Mike. My response varies between laughter and despair.

      It's just that I can't credit some of the garbage some people choose to believe. Neither can I understand how they can then twist this sort of false logic around to justify viscious personal attacks on individuals.

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    10. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Thanks Mr Henley. I found the text of the Flannery quote in a October 2006 opinion piece for The Age (http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/climates-last-chance/2006/10/27/1161749313108.html), and I must say you've not quite understood Flannery.

      I read Flannery as saying that Arctic melting in 2005 and 2006 are a marked acceleration from previous trends, which if continued could see ice-free Arctic in summers at some time between 2011 (5 years from 2006) and 2021 (15 years from 2006).

      Leaving aside the issue of a paleontologist making projections based only on 2 years of climate-related observations, any pretence that Flannery asserted an ice-free Arctic in 2013 does amount to misrepresentation.

      The veracity of any statements by Al Gore and James Hansen is irrelevant to whether any of us misrepresent Tim Flannery.

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    11. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      I ask Mr Henley for what Prof Flannery stated, and he provided the following quote from Tim Flannery in 2006: “Before 2004, the rate of melt was such that scientists believed the icecap would melt entirely by about 2100. At the trajectory set by the new rate of melt, however, there will be no Arctic icecap in the next five to 15 years.”

      Following is how I clarify the issue for Mr Henley, which I reproduce here in the hope that it will help you:

      "Thanks Mr Henley. I found the text of the Flannery…

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    12. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to David Arthur

      Interestingly, the Age article contains this bizarre claim;

      "James Hanson, director of NASA's Goddard Institute, is arguably the world authority on climate change. He predicts that we have just a decade to avert a 25-metre rise of the sea. Picture an eight-storey building by a beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof. That's what a 25-metre rise in sea level looks like."

      Even the IPCC's upper estimate for sea level rise by 2100 is less than a metre. Simply more evidence that Tim Flannery and his hero, James Hansen, are serial exaggerators.

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    13. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Tsk, tsk, Geoff. From your quote, it is clear that Hanson did not stipulate a time frame. The equilibrium under climate change will not be reached for many centuries. No-one is saying we will see 25 metres of sea level rise by 2100. If you were in school, your comment would get 2 out of ten for comprehension.

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    14. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Thanks Mr Henley. While I cannot speak for Prof Hansen personally, any statement along the lines you give might relate to "Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide", Hansen et al, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 28 October 2013 vol. 371 no. 2001 20120294, http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/2001/20120294.

      I don't like copy and dumps, but the abstract of that paper begins: "Cenozoic temperature, sea level and CO2 covariations provide insights into climate sensitivity…

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    15. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      I am well aware that no time frame exists. However, such prognostications are nothing more than wild speculation. The fact that no time frame exists, says more about Tim Flannery than me.

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    16. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      So it looks as though you believe that newspapers accurately quote what people say, and that you get all your information on climate change from the media.

      That explains a lot.

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    17. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The quote is from an article actually written by Tim Flannery which appeared in the Age. The link appears in David Arthur's post above. Again you just make assumptions before checking the facts.

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    18. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Tim Flannery is not a fool. What he said was technically correct, but irresponsible as a scientist. To indicate that a short term trend could predict a long term future (extrapolation), knowing that it would be abused by the media, was irresponsible, and of course, has made him look like a fool.

      However, we have to remember that he was being paid to frighten the public so much, that they would feel comfortable - even charitable - towards a carbon dioxide tax.

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    19. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      And in what way was I wrong Geoffrey? You were the one quoting from the Age article about what James Hansen supposedly said.

      But I did what you suggested and checked what Hansen really had to say about sea level rise. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

      ".....Well, the problem is that the climate system in general has a lot of inertia and that means that it takes time for the changes to begin to occur but then, once they do get under way, it becomes very difficult to stop them and that…

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    20. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      I understand Prof Flannery to be a mammalogist and paleontologist; not much stats there.

      Not much economic expertise displayed in his endorsement of cap-an-trade schemes, either; it makes much more sense to use revenue-neutral consumption taxes to drive fossil fuel use out of the Australian economy (and out of any imports to Australia along the way). Ref: Oxford Energy Policy Professor Dieter Helm's http://e360.yale.edu/feature/forget_kyoto_putting_a_tax_on_carbon_consumption/2590/

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    21. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      His point clearly was that if we don't take decisive action in the next ten years we will have locked in 25-metre sea level rises, not that they would happen in ten years.

      That's very basic reasoning that most high school students could understand.

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    22. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Ross James

      Ross, unless you can provide some tangible evidence to back your libellous claim that 'he was being paid to frighten th epublic so much, that they would feel comfortable - even charitable - towards a carbon tax.'

      As soon as you provide that evidence I will cheerfully remove my accusation that you are a liar.

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    23. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Sorry, I missed where you called me a liar, so no need to consider retraction.
      Flannery's brief was (quoting Climate Change Minister Greg Combet) " build the consensus about reducing Australia's carbon pollution". I (and it seems most others) interpret that as "scare the hell out of everyone so we can tax them"

      Flannery invested in geothermal energy (Geodynamics), then convinced the government to invest $100 million dollars into it. He told them the technology was straightforward, whereas, it…

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    24. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to Ross James

      Hi Ross,
      And there's a lot more where that comes from.
      I would drive to anywhere in Australia to be present when the Royal Commission cross-examined Flannery under oath.

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    25. Geoff Henley

      Research Associate in Health Statistics at Flinders University

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      It's been 7 years since he made that claim and global temperatures have hardly budged. I'd say his prediction is looking very shaky.

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    26. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Typical Troll spamming the same drivel - bait and switch copy paste bait and switch

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    27. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Arthur

      And Flannery does not speak for the IPCC nor the Climate Science community, his role was to do his best to try and communicate the state of the science to the general public. - he was hired to compile Peer-reviewed science reports - He did well, and not so well. Every not so well time, he was pilloried by the denialis activists and rusted on media hacks, shock jocks. . Flannery has nothing to do with the actual Science knowledge and facts. The summer melt period is down to 20% of total ... only 3.5…

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    28. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, keep the possibility open that they are one and the same person using different IDs, though I do not know for certain yet. >70% confidence atm. :) James could check their IP addys to be 100% sure. It appears as a classic anon/troll pattern here though ime.

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    29. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Geoff Henley

      Couldn't be the Age, oh no I'm aghast at the thought re "He predicts that we have just a decade to avert a 25-metre rise of the sea." absolute total BS and verbal of Hansen. Why do you bother wasting time finding and copy/paste this crap when you could be reading what the scientists actually say in context via original sources from the horses mouth???

      [rhetorical, no need to answer, I know why, seen it all before x1000]

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    30. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Arthur

      [for the brave of heart, maths minded souls] In the new AR5 SPM (pdf), there is an analogous statement: "It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period." This includes differences in the likelihood statement, drivers and a new statement on the most likely amount of anthropogenic warming. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/the-ipcc-ar5-attribution-statement/

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    31. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to David Arthur

      RE: " it makes much more sense to use revenue-neutral consumption taxes to drive fossil fuel use out of the Australian economy (and out of any imports to Australia along the way) " yeehah! Yes. Assuming you mean redirecting those taxes into concessions grants to drive new economies of scale alternatives strategies technology development roll out for a period - and a restructuring reform of the fossil fuel electricity market from top to bottom tearing up every single "old world" agreement contract…

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  11. Ian Alexander

    Reader

    Gee, someone poked the climate denier nest with a big stick didn't they?

    I think any rational reader can see the vehement denial in the comments here; the cherry picking and the blatant disregard for facts shows how desperate the climate change deniers are becoming.

    The denialist zombie memes also keep popping up from those too lazy or too ideologically blinkered to look at the facts - Manns hockey stick (always a classic), sea ice growing in Arctic (too funny), CO2 not the problem (alternative reality) - boy it's hard to kills the lies of the undead.

    And can be get a couple of sane US commenters? Looks like the Tea Party found this website...

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    1. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to Ian Alexander

      Let's see if this brings out the best in all those interested in the truth being revealed in this divisive debate.
      I have called for this in the past so here we go again:
      I call on the Abbott government to convene a Royal Commission into Climate Science.
      May those who are afraid of the truth being revealed come to the surface by asserting that such a Royal Commission is an expensive waste of time and money because "The Science is Settled"
      Really??
      Looking at all these comments tells me that is far from true.

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    2. Ian Alexander

      Reader

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon

      If blog posts are how you get your climate science then I feel bad for you.

      The 'science is settled' zombie meme has been addressed so many times, it is really boring. Read the IPCC report. More than enough 'truth' there to satisfy any rational reader.

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    3. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to Ian Alexander

      Hi Ian,
      I do read IPCC Reports but the recent AR% IPCC Report for Policymakers gives me much concern.
      I ask Tim Flannery face to face about climate science and am dismayed that he chooses to not answer my questions such as "Is the atmospheric concentration of CO2 rise as a consequence of temperature rise or the reverse?"
      I also like to talk face to face with Will Steffen on such matters.
      I have not yet read the full scientific AR5 Report. I am dismayed that IPCC Summaries for Policymakers are…

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    4. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon, I share your concerns with AR5, and the fact that the summary was written by politicians before the scientists met. However, this is not unusual for the IPCC - the scientists don't write the summary. It's things like this that have made so many good scientists distance themselves from the IPCC. (Also, "reviewed" doesn't mean "agreed with" - we often read about how many scientists reviewed IPCC reports).

      I recall it was Prof Bob Carter and a few other scientists who first proposed a royal commission. I also proposed this at a forum a couple of years ago. However, I'm sure the government feared the likely outcome, so it never happened.

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    5. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      "I repeat my call for a Royal Commission into this vexed and divisive issue." Gordon, I fully support your call for a Royal Commission into Climate Change, because such a commission would rely on verifiable evidence, provable facts, repeatable observations and accurate science. For these reasons, you can bet that Tony Abbott will oppose such an idea to his last dying breath: he knows very well that the facts are irrefutable. AGW research would benefit greatly from the exposure of the denialist zombies and their contrarian memes.

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    6. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Ross James

      Ross we are obviously using the word 'scientist' fairly loosely here ... Carter is a geologist and a paleontologist with expertise in bivalve molluscs. To my knowledge he's never published anything in the scientific literature on climate.

      My understanding of science is that it is a collaborative venture ... Mr Carter shows new evidence of such a willingness to collaborate.

      Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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    7. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Bob Carter has published scientific literature on climate. One that comes to mind was in the Journal Of Geophysical research Vol 114 2008 "Influence of the Southern Oscillation on Tropospheric Temperature.

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    8. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Ross James

      Well if Prof Carter is so prudent as to learn from the exters, he might find Enlightenment here:

      NATURE | LETTER
      "Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling", Yu Kosaka & Shang-Ping Xie
      Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12534

      paper discussed for we of the hoi-polloi in a couple of articles such as
      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/global-warming-hiatus-tied-cooler-temps-pacific
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/28/cooling-pacific-dampened-global-warming
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/sep/03/global-warming-pacific-ocean-puzzle-piece

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    9. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon, before you use terms like 'ad hominem' it helps if you understand them. That comment might be described as an 'ad meminem' as it attacked a meme, rather than a person.

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    10. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Ross James

      Carter was only a co-author on that paper.

      Its main author John McLean made history by using the "science" in that widely debunked paper to make the following claim

      "It is likely that 2011 will be the coolest year since 1956, or even earlier, says the lead author of a peer-reviewed paper published in 2009"

      http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7349

      Still gets a chuckle.

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    11. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to Doug Hutcheson

      Hi Doug,
      Bring on the Royal Commission!!
      At least we can agree on that.
      If you are to give evidence you are well advised to rid yourself of derogatory remarks beforehand. They bring no goodwill to your cause.

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    12. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Ross James

      Thanks Ross...

      That'd be the article that the authors subsequently corrected when they realised they'd made some rather significant errors in the graphs and tables. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD013006/full

      Now this journal is published some 80 times a year (!) and purports to be peer reviewed ... I'm wondering how such substantial and glaring errors could slip through myself.

      The same journal then published a subsequent refutation of the original maths in 2009 ... here's…

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    13. Ian Alexander

      Reader

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon, what you repeat is a zombie meme, not a fact and not what scientists say. Just repeating it doesn't make it correct.

      Please read the IPCC Report and then you will be in a position to comment more rationally. We can then discuss the science and the uncertainties around it.

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    14. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      You said that Carter had never published anything on Climate, and I showed you were wrong. I checked your first link and found you were getting all excited about a typo correction. You must have spent quite a bit of effort to try to save face with this. Now, would you like me to come back with list of critiques of Mann's peer reviewed Hockey Stick that most of the alarmist case is based on? We could go back and forth this way for ever more.

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    15. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Ross James

      Not a typo ... two mistakes in the descriptions of what their graphs and tables were purporting to describe. This is a tyrpo ... one doesn't publish corrections for tyrpos. One publishes corrections of mistakes. And mistakes don't occur in properly peer reviewed papers.

      The journal subsequently published a comprehensive refutation of the Carter paper ad no one has leapt to a defence.

      Seriously Ross, this is a piece of discredited bad maths explaining bad science.

      Do you have any seriously scientific papers that this bloke has actually published?

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    16. Ross James

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Your description "a piece of discredited bad maths explaining bad science" reminds me of Mann's Hockey stick. Unfortunately, I don't have time right now to go through the old report of Bob's, and also the critiques - I'll try towards the end of the week. I'm seriously interested to read the details.

      There is a list of his publications under James Cook University (I'm not currently familiar with any of these, though I've read some in the past) - http://eprints.jcu.edu.au/view/jcu/0E1B7C242D2D38976FAFA3141EB3F276.html
      However, I fear we are getting way off topic here.

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    17. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      Gordon, judgement, sound reason, and common sense obviously isn't your strong poinst. "Looking at all these comments tells me that is far from true." We all have our weaknesses though. no biggy, just sayin'. But good luck with it. If I was you, and I ain't, I'd write directly to brandis and abbott and whomever. Waste of time asking them here.

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    18. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      re: "I have not yet read the full scientific AR5 Report. " = well it's only been a month. Don't wear yourself out or anything. "I repeat my call for a Royal Commission into this vexed and divisive issue." .. even though you have no idea what the science says ... be it true or not, you;ve not read the first AR5 report, but you already know it's "concerning". Aha, sure.

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    19. Sean Arundell

      Uncommon Common Sense

      In reply to Gordon Alderson

      re: "... well advised to rid yourself of derogatory remarks beforehand. They bring no goodwill to your cause." As lack of reason, limited credible knowledge, and deficient intellectual rigour brings no goodwill to your cause Gordon. :)

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  12. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    Ice cover on Southern Ocean is not evidence of Southern Ocean cooling. I understand sea water freezes ~-2 deg C, so when melt water running off the Antarctic peninsula at 0 deg C loses heat to sea water at <-2 deg C, instead of mixing with that sea water it may well just refreeze.

    As luck would have it, a reconciled mass balance of the world's major terrestrial ice caps was published last year ("A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance", Shepherd et al, Science 30 November 2012: Vol. 338…

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    1. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to John Sayers

      All that Anthony Watt-mo Gizmo or whatever his name is could find is that the error bars are still pretty large: if you read what I wrote, you'll note
      "Overall, Antarctica has lost 71 ± 52 gigatonnes ice year−1."

      Far from "debunkment", Shepherd et al's results simply confirm what is known.

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    2. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to David Arthur

      "The difference between tide gauge data and space based data is over 100% in the left graph, 1.5 mm/yr versus 3.2mm/yr. Of course those who claim that sea level rise is accelerating accept this data without question, but obviously one of the two data sets (or possibly both) is not representative of reality, and JPL’s GRASP team aims to fix this problem they have identified:

      TRF errors readily manifest as spurious sea level rise accelerations"

      100% error is acceptable? .......71+/- 52 is an…

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  13. John Sayers

    Designer

    As the author says, the sea ice forms on top of the cooling ocean. According to the 3000 Argo buoys the ocean has been cooling since 2003, (despite the missing heat) hence the increase in sea ice extent.

    So why not in the arctic? Perhaps the arctic melt is due to the 100 active submarine volcanoes recently discovered in a mountain range running off the coasts of Greenland and Sweden between Iceland and Svalbard. Some of these volcanoes are within 20m of the surface and they predict a new island chain will soon form.

    Additionally these volcanoes combined with the previously known active volcanoes along the 2000 km Gakkel Ridge north of Svalbard will be warming the waters of that region which explains why the arctic ice in that region appears to be melting more that the ice in the western region around the Bering Strait.

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  14. Rene Oldenburger

    Haven't got one

    Obviously the reality that Antarctic ice is reaching record levels is due to global warming. It's like the hole in the ozone layer, the Antarctic becomes a hole in global warming

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  15. Philip Dowling

    IT teacher

    The AGW proponents would appear to be following in a long scientific tradition, that of the Ptolemaic astronomers.

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  16. John Walters

    Retired simpleton

    Could we please get back to the real discussion here?

    Clearly we should be discussing the spelling not the science. Personally, I am switching to the American way, meters and centimeters, so much more sensible.

    Not sure about rumors of more changes tho'.

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    1. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to John Walters

      I think there's perhaps more sense in brawling over meters vs metres than wading into this endless mousewheel of 'tisses and 'tisn'ts John.

      Quite clearly for some DIY shed-based sciencey types, no theory, no data, no evidence whatsoever will ever be adequate or sufficient to shift them from their barnacle like attachment to their intuitive understanding of the world. Not until some real expert like Alan Jones or Jennifer Marohassey recants and repents at least.

      But until then the future will…

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    2. John Walters

      Retired simpleton

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Congratulations, Peter! A perfect understanding of the argument and the solution. Well reasoned, balanced and nuanced.

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    3. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      You have to be kidding - maybe it fine to build a quaint old log hut up in them there hills using feet and inches but when it gets serious on the large scales like new modern skyscrapers or on the small scales like different thicknesses of roofing iron even the US resorts to the more user friendly metric system more and more these days.

      The more pertinent aspect of your post is that the Fahrenheit reading given over the crackling wireless was in fact the figure obtained by the diligent public…

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    4. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Sayers

      Yeah, you tell 'em John.

      Temperature and rainfall readings were much more accurate when the weatherman went outside and looked at the thermometer and the beaker in the little white box and wrote down what he saw on his trusty notepad.

      Computers which adjust for differences in altitude or time of day or UHI etc? Who needs it!

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    5. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      We don't need to adjust for altitude or time of day and anyway UHI is a myth isn't it?
      What we need to know are trends and the consistent readings of the many outposts throughout Australia, unadjusted tell us the trends. Sure produce another adjusted data set but don't ignore the long term consistent data sets that we have on record. BoM have stopped adding the new temperature and rainfall readings to the old data set as they used to. Such a shame.

      Eyes looked up recently when the Hadley Centre published data relating to a 1850 - 2013 Australian temperature data set. Maybe they still have our old temperature set on file.

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    6. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The rot set in when they started enclosing the gear in those little beehivey Stevenson screen boxy arrangements Mike ... he was the father of Robert Louis Stevenson - an obvious proto communist...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevenson_screen.

      But it was the foolhardy rush to centigrade that brought the whole business of wither the weather to a catastrophic collapse. Now I don't believe a word they say. I look outside and I do all my prognostications in fathoms, leagues and cubits.

      They're all on the take these meteorology types... lining their pockets with the largesse of the IPCC, the UN and the Bureau des Poids et Mesures.

      I have the terrorism hotline on speed dial (No 1) so every time that grinning loon Gavin the weatherdude on local TV smiles as he announces another hot day - I dob him in. Be afraid Gavin, be very afraid. Me and John Sayers are right onto you son.

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    7. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter - yes you may be flippant and think you are amusing but if you actually researched the history of Australia's temperature record you would see that there is possibly cause for concern. When temperatures are adjusted at Sydney Observatory hill downwards by .5C because of a stevenson screen and a further .7C due to moving the screen that's 1.2C in total. That's some serious adjustment. Sydney now shows serious warming where previously it showed slight cooling.

      Simon J. Torok and Christopher J.G. Morris, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia and Carol Skinner and Neil Plummer, National Climate Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, Australia adjusted the whole temperature record in 1996. Della Marta added further adjustments in 2004.

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    8. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to John Sayers

      How would these people survive when cross-examined under oath before a Royal Commission?

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    9. Gordon Alderson

      Management Consultant

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,
      Counsel assisting the Royal Commission would ask a series of questions of these subpoenaed witnesses that expose their tinkering with "evidence" (the temperature records).
      IMHO this would lead to discounting their credibility as reliable witnesses.
      This in turn would also lead to disallowing acceptance of all temperature records this side of their fiddling with (adjusting) them as evidence before the Commission.

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    10. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter - it's all laid out in their paper as to what tinkering they did and why. As I said before to drop all temperatures prior to a particular date by 1.2C is a serious move, yet Toorok answered to no one, it was part of his PhD and he learnt the methodology from The University of East Anglia.

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    11. John Sayers

      Designer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Sorry Peter - I'm not avoiding you.
      I'm not sure, I'm not alleging conspiracy, I'm simply asking if it is acceptable to totally alter the empirical record of Australia's temperature data then to use the altered data to make bold claims about hottest this, and record that.

      As I pointed out in a previous post the record of 40.2C for Halls Creek was in fact not a record if you use the total empirical record instead of your new cherry picked, adjusted record.

      I'm with Gordon Alderson, a Royal…

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    12. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to John Sayers

      Now hang on John... you are actually claiming that the BoM has 'cooked the books'. You name the individuals at the centre of the plot. And now you say you are 'not sure"?

      Admitting one has a problem is the first step towards recovery mate.

      Now put your cards on the table - spell it out for us (and for yourself).

      The motives please John.

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  17. Robert Tony Brklje
    Robert Tony Brklje is a Friend of The Conversation.

    retired

    Logically could increasing precipitation in the Antarctic account for increased sea ice. With higher precipitation you have decreased salinity in the surface layer of water and with that decreased salinity ice can more readily form at higher temperatures.
    The can also increase the rate of growth of ice formations during periods of increased precipitation, where fresh water is being directly accumulated by ice formations.

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  18. Leigh Burrell

    Trophy hunter at Trophy hunter

    More ice, less ice, whatever. It's all climate change. Doesn't have to make sense any more. Just has to change.

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  19. Berthold Klein

    Civil-Environmental engineer

    It appears that most of the comments are more concerned with grammar and spelling than science.
    The following has appeared in the UK. and I will be posting another article that show with the use of physics that the Greenhouse gas effect is a Hypotheses that has never been proven with credible clinical studies /experiments.
    Real risk of a Maunder minimum 'Little Ice Age' says leading scientist

    Monday 28 October 2013, 06:22
    Paul Hudson

    It’s known by climatologists as the ‘Little Ice Age…

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    1. Berthold Klein

      Civil-Environmental engineer

      In reply to Berthold Klein

      Here is the physics that shows that the GHGE is a hoax.

      Written by Joseph E Postma
      Steel Greenhouses and General Electric Lightbulbs

      What is heating…

      The “steel greenhouse” provides a basic schematic for the meme of the atmospheric greenhouse effect, among other sources. Sometimes the terminology goes by the phraseology of “backradiation”, and sometimes it goes by that of “heat trapping” or “heat flow restriction”, and others, as the need arises. There is little consistency, and these…

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  20. Berthold Klein

    Civil-Environmental engineer

    After reviewing many of the comments on this subject I haven't see a more half assed approach to science as is exhibited here.
    Lets start with "Climate models"- not one of the 120 or so have work. What would you expect when they are all based on a hypotheses that has never been proven by "creditable experiment /credible clinical studies" The Greenhouse gas effect does not exist.
    See my earlier post if it has not been scrubbed by the AGW editors.
    Next lets examine the fact that every AGW study…

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    1. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Berthold Klein

      Berthold,

      Why do you cut and paste slabs of material from these dodgy sources - these pieces you are posting all turn up on the same sites - verbatim, and put them here as if this suggests a discussion.

      This is astroturfing mate.

      We use our own words and our own thoughts here ... it is a conversation ... not a vacant lot crying out for carpet.

      If you want to come here and participate please use your own ideas - or if they are in short supply - at least use your own words.

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