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Earth Stats Science Politics

Arctic Ice Cap Rebounds From 2012 — But Does That Matter? 400

Posted by timothy
from the ask-me-in-a-few-decades dept.
bricko writes "There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, the equivalent of almost a million square miles. In a rebound from 2012's record low an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin. The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes. A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century." "Some scientsts" in this case do not include Dana Nuccitelli, who blogs cogently in reaction at The Guardian that the 60 percent increase observed in Arctic ice is "technically true, [but] also largely irrelevant." He has no kind words for the analysis in the Daily Mail (and similar report in The Telegraph), and writes "In short, this year's higher sea ice extent is merely due to the fact that last year's minimum extent was record-shattering, and the weather was not as optimal for sea ice loss this summer. However, the long-term trend is one of rapid Arctic sea ice decline, and research has shown this is mostly due to human-caused global warming." If you want to keep track of the ice yourself, Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis offers frequent updates.
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Arctic Ice Cap Rebounds From 2012 — But Does That Matter?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 09, 2013 @02:54AM (#44794923)

    Out there on some Canadian glacier with a bon fire and fans trying to get them to melt again.

    • by WarJolt (990309) on Monday September 09, 2013 @05:01AM (#44795425)

      I doubt it....He's too busy chasing ManBearPig.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It only "matters" when they melt.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Aonghus142000 (908581)

      Don't know if anyone else noticed this, but here in the Eastern United States, every time Al gives a major speech on global warming, sorry, climate change, sorry, climate chaos, we're in for extremely cold weather.

  • by Elgonn (921934) on Monday September 09, 2013 @02:55AM (#44794927)
    60% increase. Yet no relevant data for scale to understand the shift. No wonder someone else called it 'technically true'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by durrr (1316311)

      It's business as usual in AGW-land. Yet another unforseen event? No worries, blame it on CO2 and add another complexity layer on the model.
      I expect their models to start matching reality at about the same time as global climate control becomes reality.

      Hopefully they will stop predicting catastrophes all the time by then.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Thus proving that "science" is just a set of unproven theories based on speculative models with assumed constants and extrapolated approximations.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `8691tsaebssab'> on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:05AM (#44795213) Journal

          Or it could be that the whole AGW platform has been hijacked by those pushing "cap and trade" [youtube.com] who will make a mint thanks to the scam being written by the ones who came up with credit default swaps [nakedcapitalism.com], you know, the ones that nearly wiped out the economy when their make believe numbers turned out to be bullshit?

          I'm sorry but I don't give a shit WHICH side you are on, if crap and trade didn't cause a giant bullshit sign to appear over your head you frankly haven't been paying attention. Crap and trade is a classic reverse Robin Hood where all the poor and middle class will pay more while those like the Rev Al Gore farts around in his private Lear jet, rides in a fleet of SUVs, goes to his McMansion with indoor ACed basketball court, yet has the brass balls to say he is "carbon neutral" because he pays himself credits from his own company which would be like me moving money from my right to left pocket, calling it "wealth redistribution" and demanding and GETTING a tax break for it!

          You wanna cut down on AGW? Fine by me, there are plenty of common sense ways to get started like putting out a "people's car/truck" that gets over 40MPG and is cheap enough the poor can afford to replace all those used gas guzzlers on the road, paint roofs and roads white to stop the heatsink effect, plenty of things we can start doing tomorrow to get the ball rolling...but you will never hear about any of those, why? Because it don't let a handful of rich douchebags like fatass Al Gore help themselves to your wallet and the government teat, THAT'S why.

          A gesture that would go a looong way to getting the skeptics onboard would be to tell that fat hypocrite Gore to jam his Lear Jet up his ass, if you want a spokesman? Got the perfect guy, Ed Begely Jr. That man actually walks the walk, lives in a modest 3 bedroom, drives a small electric with a bike rack so he can bike short errands, he does everything in his power to cut down on waste and pollution. You look at Al Gore and pals and what you see is the classic "do as I say not as i do" bullshit of the rich and spoiled, and until Gore and his ideas get pushed off an iceberg a lot of us will simply call it what it is, a scam, and vote against anybody who supports him and his bankster buddies.

          • by reboot246 (623534) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:10AM (#44795229) Homepage
            Hold on there. You're making too much sense to post on slashdot. The people here aren't used to common sense and may react violently.
            • by hairyfeet (841228) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `8691tsaebssab'> on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:42AM (#44795337) Journal

              The ability to spot a scam is VERY easy, here is how: If a bunch of really REALLY rich people are banging the drum of support, ask yourself THIS question....what is in it for them? From Gates "donations" of software and support for USA style copyrights in the third world to Al Gore and his crap and trade bankster buddies you can be damned sure there IS something in it for them, the rich rarely do anything that doesn't give them at least some ROI, that is why they are obscenely rich after all.

              In the case of crap and trade what is in it for them is trivial to spot, the "rules" are being written by Goldman Sachs, right up there with Halliburton and Monsanto on the "rich evil muthafuckers" scale, so you KNOW its gonna have loopholes up the ass and wadda ya know? They ALSO own offshore crap and trade businesses to sell credits, isn't that amazing? Who would have thought? Oh and watch the video, you'll see that many corps will get grandfathered in, so your biggest donors...err...polluters? they'll get a pass, its YOU, the poor dumbass that can't buy a lobbyist, that will have his wallet raped.

              If I told you I could sell you a magic rock that for a billion dollars from every country on the planet would stop AGW, would you believe me? So why are you willing to believe Rev Al Gore when he has NOT ONCE, not a single fucking time, said a God damned thing about closing trade to countries that have already said they won't let Al and pals rape THEIR economies, like ohhh...China and India? Oh right, Al and pals make crazy money off the Chinese and Indians, how silly of me.

              DO NOT BE SCAMMED FOLKS the scammers are using a combination of appeals to emotion and "we have to DO something!" but their "something" merely empties YOUR wallets into THEIR pockets and does about as much as my magic rock, IE nothing. All crap and trade will do is kill any chance of businesses building shit here, since they can build in Asia crap and trade free with ZERO penalty, Al and pals will make money both on the cheap Indian and Chinese labor AND on taking what little is left in your wallet, and all you'll get is told "Oh well this isn't doing enough to "save the planet" so we need to raise prices by 30% for carbon indulgences....err credits, yeah that will save the Earth!". Bullshit, the only thing it will "save" is a seat for Al and pals in the billionaires club, you will get a magic rock and a big bill.

              • by nadaou (535365) on Monday September 09, 2013 @05:10AM (#44795453) Homepage

                The ability to spot a scam is VERY easy, here is how:

                You'd do better to learn from the master:

                Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit

                http://www.xenu.net/archive/baloney_detection.html [xenu.net]

              • by Rob Y. (110975) on Monday September 09, 2013 @10:33AM (#44797219)

                It's kind of silly to lay cap and trade on Al Gore's doorstep. Cap and Trade is the 'business-friendly' version of carbon regulation - i.e. the only kind of regulation that stands a chance of passing in today's lobbyist-owned government. I'm sure Gore would tell you a carbon tax would be a more efficient way to reduce consumption - even a revenue neutral one (that distributes the proceeds back to the public). But try proposing a tax as a solution to anything (and calling it a tax). Recipe for gridlock. Anyway, we have gridlock regardless, and cap and trade isn't gonna happen - so why are you railing on about it?

          • by nadaou (535365) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:51AM (#44795377) Homepage

            the laws of physics care not what Al Gore thinks or does.

            it does not matter if it is Al Gore, JP Morgan & Co., or Colonel Fucking Sanders who points it out: internalising the market externalities around the burning of fossil fuels is the single greatest tool we have to do something about this before it is too late.

            we know pretty much how many barrels oil, gas, and coal we sell (and so extract and burn) each year. We know quite well how many molecules of CO2 that will release. We know, pretty much, since the mid-1800s (starting with Fourier) what effect that CO2 will have on our atmosphere. We monitor it both in amount and radioisotope and it matches expectations pretty much spot on.

            arguing over the minute details or the character of the messenger is both totally irrelevant and short sighted, not to mention intellectually dishonest.

            A cap and trade marked based solution worked beautifully for SO2, there's absolutely no reason it wouldn't work for other pollutants as well, beyond intentional and sociopathic sabotage that is.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              internalising the market externalities around the burning of fossil fuels is the single greatest tool we have to do something about this before it is too late

              Actually no, the single greatest tool against climate change is Managed Intensive Rotational Grazing [wikipedia.org] to reverse desertification and sequester CO2 in grassland soil. [youtube.com] Proponents claim if all US beef were produced this way, it would sequester all the CO2 emitted since the industrial revolution in ten years.

              [posting as AC to preserve mod points]

            • the laws of physics care not what Al Gore thinks or does.

              it does not matter if it is Al Gore, JP Morgan & Co., or Colonel Fucking Sanders who points it out: internalising the market externalities around the burning of fossil fuels is the single greatest tool we have to do something about this before it is too late.

              The problem with your argument is that, while what politicians do is irrelevant to *science*, coming up with a solution to the physical problem is part of a *political* process, where we can of course discuss whether Al Gore, JP Morgan & Co, etc are working in the our (the unprivileged) interests.

              For example, to take things to an extreme as an illustration, science tells us that if we kill everyone on Earth, the warming will be stopped. Shall we do that? Going down the ever slippery slope, we could ask

          • by Bongo (13261) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:59AM (#44795415)

            As an environmentalist (she worked as an environmentalist involved in carbon trading) explained to me, it doesn't matter if CO2 doesn't turn out to be a problem, because by cutting CO2 you force a reduction in production, and a reduction in consumption. Then she added with emphasis, "it's about reducing greed."

            You just have to look at the "solutions" people are proposing to see their worldview and political outlook. If the science didn't support their worldview, they'd look for some other way to justify it. A worldview (and we all have one) is self-justifying, self-validating, it-looks-like-a-duck-because-i'm-obsessed-with-ducks.

            Note the environmentalists who hold up signs saying "we come armed only with peer reviewed science" (UK's anti-airport groups) but they don't hold up those signs when they protest against GM. Their worldview comes first. Gee there's no evidence that GM is bad? Well we'll protest against it anyway because we know better.

            Unfortunately they seem to have a worldview which operates at a lower level of complexity (huuumans baaaad) and so the money-wheelers-and-dealers and corporate types who actually have to work and excel and network and create results (even if only made up results) run rings around the environmentalists, not by defeating their aims, but by exploiting them. Oh carbon trading, what a great made-up-money paper thing, fantastic. Oh windfarms, great let's soak up all that subsidy for our big landowners, etc. "Every wind farm is a gas plant" they say at their corporate conferences. Many activist environmentalists are too stupid and lacking in skills to find good answers to environmental problems (and to be fair they are very hard problems), and instead have this "new-age" culture of oh how lovely if we all went back to pre-industrial levels where we can all live in a small village and sing songs around the fire. Which kinda ignores that in pre-industrial times, you needed many to be in slavery just to provide the "cheap energy" -- today, oil and gas is our "slave power", which is why we can live daily, as if with the energy of hundreds of slaves at our disposal.

            So excuse the wild rant, but that's just to illustrate (not prove) a point, that you can put the science aside and say, ok, what if we're facing AGW, what's the solution? And then the "solution" will be a function of people's worldview. Many answers are from pre-modern world views, maybe new-romantic, maybe Marxist, and especially from people who can't count. Oh if we all made a small change... yeah it would all add up to a SMALL change. Try living without electricity, see if you can handle that change.

            The rest are power and money drives. Real solutions are basically coming just from the gradual improvements in technology and systems, improvements which have been going on for hundreds of years anyway.

            I honestly think they should go live in Third World countries for at least 10 years, and see what the majority of the world is like, and what problems they are facing. Live like the locals do, not just drive around in your SUV lecturing people on how they should live. Heck even my grandmother never had a fridge. I mean the arrogance is astounding, if not, you know, also kinda cute for its naivety.

            Anyway this is just a rant, nothing real to see here, move on. Have a nice day.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by AlphaWolf_HK (692722)

            The problems I have with the climate change movement in general (ignoring Al Gore types) is a few things:

            - Empirical Science isn't a democracy. The majority consensus doesn't dictate the right answer, and I'm tired of the AGW movement trying to paint it that way. Somebody once created a pamphlet called 100 Authors Against Einstein, where they wanted to gather enough opinions to discredit Einstein. Einstein simply said "If I were wrong, one would be enough."

            - Patrick Moore left greenpeace (which he helped cr

            • by Nemyst (1383049)
              And the problem I have with those in the opposition, so to speak, is that they take the stance that until absolute proof has been given, nothing should be done. That we're faced with obvious issues and have a potential cause we can do something about that a lot of scientists agree upon, but for whatever reason it still isn't good enough.

              Your entire post is basically "but what if they're WRONG!?", to which the answer is... We'd have reduced pollution dramatically, we'd have pushed cleaner, less dangerous,
            • by Alef (605149) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:31PM (#44801469)

              - Empirical Science isn't a democracy. [...] Somebody once created a pamphlet called 100 Authors Against Einstein, where they wanted to gather enough opinions to discredit Einstein. Einstein simply said "If I were wrong, one would be enough."

              And they all failed to prove Einstein wrong, in the same way everyone who has tried to prove the climate models (fundamentally) wrong have failed. For anyone who isn't a physicist, don't you agree that it is relevant to note that the vast majority of physicists agree that Einstein's theories of relativity are correct?

              - Patrick Moore left greenpeace (which he helped create) because it bothered him that the entire movement was basically hijacked by socialists. [...]

              Then don't listen to Greenpeace! It doesn't matter what they say, listen to what climate scientists say. Forget about Greenpeace.

              [...] This means we could have periods just like the ones we are in now where there's a sudden heat spike, followed by cooling, and what we're seeing now may even be something that happens all the time. [...]

              For what reason would there be? If that were the case you suddenly have two new problems to find explanations for: 1) There would have to be a mechanism that can cause sudden spikes in the Earth's energy exchange at a planetary scale, other than greenhouse gases; and 2) You need to find a reason why the current increase in greenhouse gases, which should have exactly that (heating) effect based on pretty basic physics, for some reason doesn't.

              - Besides all of that, we already have well known periods where the earth was so much hotter than it is now and had a CO2 PPM ten times what we have now, and very large scale life thrived pretty damn well. In fact, quite possibly the "greenest" period in history:[...]

              Apart from the somewhat dubious claim that it was the "greenest" period in history, then yes, there has been periods with much higher CO2, and consequently a much warmer climate (despite a weaker solar radiation back then). Nobody, who knows what they are talking about, is claiming that a hotter climate precludes life -- that isn't the issue. The issues are that:
              1) Many current organisms will not be able to adapt that quickly to a climate change, meaning we will lose much biodiversity for some millions of years until new species have developed. This isn't a problem for "life" itself, but a loss for humanity.
              2) Human societies will take a pretty big hit in adapting to a hotter world. For one thing, during such warmer periods as you refer to, the sea level was 50 to 70 meters higher than it is today. We are of course not talking about any such increases in the near term, and we could probably adapt to even such extreme changes without going extinct if we had to, but the cost of for example moving portions of coastal cities (to name one of a long range of potential consequences) just so we can continue to use oil for a few decades longer than we otherwise would have (since it runs out anyway), is completely disproportionate. There are other energy sources.

              By the way, I find it somewhat interesting that you say we have "well known periods where the earth was so much hotter", talking about periods hundreds of millions of years ago, a few sentences after you declare your distrust for historical temperature records because "we weren't actually there to measure it proper thousands or millions of years ago". Which way do you want to have it?

          • by rasmusbr (2186518)

            Painting roofs and outer walls white would have a negligible effect on the global climate. It's a great idea if you live relatively close to the equator because it'll save you a lot on air conditioning and if everyone in the neighborhood does it your neighborhood will be a bit cooler. This will become more important as heat waves become hotter because of climate change. But again, negligible effect on the global climate.

            There are cars that get 40 mpg, but people prefer to take out improvements in efficiency

        • by Dunbal (464142) *
          In real science, only a proven hypothesis gets to be called a theory. But since this is pseudoscience, and political pseudoscience at that, any wild speculation gets to be called "theory". But please don't think less of real science because bullshitters get caught bullshitting.
      • by sjames (1099) on Monday September 09, 2013 @04:54AM (#44795387) Homepage

        More like business as usual for the deniers. 60% up from 75% down is still way down, let's do the math:

        Start with 1. 1-0.75 = 0.25. 0.25*1.6 = 0.4. So, even after the rebound we're still 60% down.

        • Hey NOBODY talked about an increase: the summary, wait, the page title, talks about a rebound.
          The problem is that credible scientists should anticipate it, or have an explanation for it... it doesn't matter, climate change debate is a diversion, the problem is human caused pollution.

      • by amaurea (2900163) on Monday September 09, 2013 @05:38AM (#44795539) Homepage

        80% of climate scientists who were asked last year expected more ice this year than 2013. So this is hardly an unforseen event. The blog link mentioned in the summary [theguardian.com] explains why, but I'll repeat it since you didn't read it.

        Arctic ice volume has a falling long-term trends, but on top of that there are short-term year-by-year changes. You effectively have a long-term signal with short-term noise on it. As you can see from this figure [nsidc.org], the trend is about -0.065 million square kilometers per year, while the year-to-year variations are 0.5-1 million square kilometers. Hence, on a short timescale you can basically only see the yearly random variations. If you suddenly see a large jump, it is much more likely to be a short-term change than a long term one, and several years of observations are needed to see if the long-term behavior has changed or not.

        The point now is that if you happen to get a particularly low value of the random yearly variations one year, you are likely to get a larger value the next year. Much like if you roll a die and get a 1, you are likely to get a larger value the next time you roll, simply because there are more values (2,3,4,5,6) that are larger than 1 than those that aren't (1). In general, extreme values are unlikely, and the chance of getting several of them in a row is much lower than getting one of them followed by less extreme values. This is called regression toward the mean [wikipedia.org].

        So to summarize, this was expected, and predicted, and no models will have to be changed based on this observation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DarkOx (621550)

          The trouble is this explanation may well be correct, but when we hit a minimum ice level like last year it's ZOMG TEH GLOBAL WARMIN! But when it's not something that supports AGW then it's just weather.

          Can't have it both ways

          • by locofungus (179280) on Monday September 09, 2013 @07:56AM (#44796049)

            Yes we can.

            2007 was an exceptional year for ice melt, a 1 in 1000 event. In a stable climate we wouldn't expect to see that record beaten for ages.

            But just six years later we saw that record broken. That tells us that either there is a trend in ice extent (there is) or, alternatively, variability is increasing (also generally not a good thing as most living things need a fairly stable environment to survive) or both.

            Even after the exceptional rebound this year, we're still one SD below the long term trend line. Things are not looking good in the arctic at all.

            • by khallow (566160) on Monday September 09, 2013 @08:05AM (#44796097)

              2007 was an exceptional year for ice melt, a 1 in 1000 event.

              Or it could have been a 1 in 100 event and we hadn't paid attention before. Observation bias is an ugly thing.

            • We have no idea if it was an exceptional event or not. We simply do not have long term enough measurements.

              A meteor strike is an exceptional event as well. This will in no way prevent three meteorites from bombarding the same location in successive years. You are mishandling statistics.
      • by rasmusbr (2186518)

        It's business as usual in AGW-land. Yet another unforseen event? No worries, blame it on CO2 and add another complexity layer on the model.
        I expect their models to start matching reality at about the same time as global climate control becomes reality.

        Hopefully they will stop predicting catastrophes all the time by then.

        A temporary bounce back after an extremely rapid decline can hardly be called unexpected. Regression to the mean.

        Which climate model predicted catastrophes all the time? None that I've heard of.

        Follow the link http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ [nsidc.org] and scroll down to the chart that shows month of August ice extent 1979 to 2013. That really puts it into perspective. Also notice how they've made things look better than they are (not worse as conspiracy theorists would expect) by fitting a line instead of say a se

      • when they tell me "yes we're ok with nuke power." (I know I know, we can't do nuke because Fukushima) BTW Kyoto was stupid because all you had to do to comply was move your plants to China and India.(Which come to think of it happened anyway, I guess we should have signed on with Kyoto to shut up Al.)
    • by rossdee (243626) on Monday September 09, 2013 @08:45AM (#44796277)

      The temperature just dropped 3 degrees in 20 minutes, if it kept dropping at that rate, by the end of the week it would be below absolute zero
      Quick, PANIC !!!

      (Don't worry, it will be 0K )

  • One data point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:02AM (#44794947)

    Looking at a single year doesn't tell us much about the trend. Here is some real data.


    • by dgatwood (11270)

      Oblig. xkcd: extrapolation [xkcd.com]

    • Re:One data point? (Score:4, Informative)

      by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:50AM (#44795173) Homepage

      Yes, you're right. Here's a load of data points showing that the Antarctic Sea Ice Area is well above the long term average and has been growing slowly for at least 15 years.

      http://sunshinehours.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2013_day_45_1981-2010.png [wordpress.com]
      http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/image1.png [wordpress.com]

      Perhaps sea ice extent oscillates between the North and South Poles

      • by riverat1 (1048260)

        Perhaps you could put some meat on your hypothesis that sea ice extent oscillates between the poles. But in reality there is little or no connection between the two. The situations are quite different, the Arctic being an ocean surrounded by land whereas the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by ocean.

        There are some explanations for the increase in Antarctic sea ice. One part of it is that the winds that circle Antarctica have strengthened, possibly related to the ozone hole over the continent. This t

      • by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday September 09, 2013 @06:02AM (#44795619) Journal

        Perhaps sea ice extent oscillates between the North and South Poles

        Yes, it's also been noted that the frequency of that (rough) oscillation seems to be synchronised with the seasons, weird huh?

        Seriously, the ice at the two poles behaves in totally different ways. Just pause for a second and think about the geography, Antarctica is a land surrounded by deep oceans and a strong circumpolar ocean current, the Artic is a (relatively) shallow sea surrounded by land. Melting at the south pole INCREASES* the extent of the Antarctic sea ice.

        This is because in Antarctica the majority of the sea ice comes from glacial outflows, this ice breaks up with the mechanical action of the waves and floats away as icebergs. Whatever bergs (or ships) that are still close to the coast in autumn become part of that years sea ice. The mouths of these glaciers are enormous and create permanent ice shelves that are several hundred feet thick.

        These ice shelves are the best indicators that the warming trend is impacting Antarctica [wikipedia.org], we are seeing Antarctic ice shelves that have existed for at least 4kys breaking up disappearing at the rate of roughly one a year for over a decade now.

        OTOH Greenland and the Antarctic peninsula have a lot in common and are both effected by something called Polar Amplification [wikipedia.org], a phenomena predicted by the much maligned climate models BEFORE it was observed in the data. There are a whole bunch of such phenomena that were predicted by models and subsequently observed in the real world, "stratospheric cooling" is another well known example.

        In other words sea ice extent is basically meaningless without some context, What you really want to know for the Artic is sea ice volume. I've been following the subject for over 30yrs and the best estimates of volume that I have seen use data gleaned from cold war sonar maps that were declassified sometime in the last decade. According to those figures Artic sea ice volume is now less than 1/5th of what it was when I was born (1959).

        Some (perhaps unwelcome) advise, forget about climate science for now and spend a year or two working on your technical research skills, the best way I know of doing that is to skip church (or some other overrated social club), and spend the time browsing WP and "double checking" the theories and assumptions you hold most dearly. Science is intelligently designed to evolve towards the ideal of "truth" (google "the relativity of wrong" and read it, I can't be bothered to link it). Not only that but for the last couple of centuries the rate of these changes has been increasing over time, Meaning that the older you get the faster it changes, and the more neural archives you will need to update (a personal "theory" that I use to explain my "senior" moments).
        I jumped on the quote above because I first heard it in the mid-90's, I'll concede that on the surface it sounds plausible as it did to me when I first heard it. However as with most of the anti-science "talking points" pushed by a minority group within the FF industry via extremely effective (but surprisingly cheap) professional lobbyists, the theorised "oscillation" soon melts under a skeptical eye. This is why "deniers" don't normally give an alternative explanation. let alone one that stands up to rigor of broader peer-review process. I strongly suggest you use a reputable source [skepticalscience.com] to check out the next climate meme before you infect others with it. As stated in the title your particular meme is #113.

    • by bhcompy (1877290)
      On one side, but then last year there was a whole mess of shit thrown on the AGW fire about how the sea ice is all but gone. Stop media sensationalism, then maybe we can have rational debate and rational resolutions
    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      Yeah, looking at a few years doesn't tell us much about the trend. Here is some REAL data:


  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:06AM (#44794961)

    And makes this year look good in comparison but the overall trend is still downwards.

  • Time scale (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sqr(twg) (2126054) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:09AM (#44794969)

    Pointing at year-to-year variations in order to prove or disprove a phenomenon that has a time-scale of decades is stupid, no matter which side of the argument you're on. This is like saying you don't believe winter will be cold, because the weather is actually warmer today than it was last week.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have been watching the thermometer since midnight, which has been steadily declining. If this trend keeps up, it may snow in Florida by Saturday, and we should look for temperatures to fall to -450 oF by Thanksgiving. Please, please take precautions now. Buy some warm clothes. Add extra insulation to your home, and buy a furnace if you don't already have one!

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Except that year-to-year variations are REGULARLY trotted out as "proof" of AGW when they appear to benefit that argument.

  • 'Analysis' (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:10AM (#44794983)

    You won't find an analysis in Daily Mail. Use some other word.

  • by nadaou (535365) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:21AM (#44795017) Homepage

    To put this in some context, have a look at Jim Pettit's "spiral" graphs and consider that the grey zone in the NSIDC plots linked from the summary are still two standard deviations from the norm, and this year we're almost touching that (if that doesn't mean much to you now would be a good time to brush up on your statistics). So compared to last year we've gone from holy shit batshit insane outlier to just plain old holy shit.

    https://sites.google.com/site/pettitclimategraphs/sea-ice-volume [google.com]

    To anyone about to complain that the number of samples is too short, 1) these measurements start when humanity invented the satellites to measure it - can't change that, and 2) we have deep Greenland ice cores for a pretty good idea of what was going on before.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tp1024 (2409684)

      > 1) these measurements start when humanity invented the satellites to measure it - can't change that,

      Exactly. This means that the data is bad and you can't change that. Period.

      The absence of a possibility to improve upon the quality of data is NOT a redeeming quality, if you want to find out the truth about something. It is only a redeeming quality if you want to do politics.

      • by nadaou (535365) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:42AM (#44795129) Homepage

        are you so obtuse that you can't see what's happening here?

        http://iwantsomeproof.com/extimg/siv_september_average_polar_graph.png [iwantsomeproof.com]

        or are you purposefully keeping your head in the sand until this all blows over?

        If nothing else, I hope we can agree that the outlook for polar bear cubs born today is pretty fucking grim.

        • by Splab (574204)

          Nah, it's no big deal, the grown up polar bears are dying faster than they can breed, so no cubs to worry about.

        • by khallow (566160)

          are you so obtuse that you can't see what's happening here?

          Not at all. A similar thing happened with satellites and the ozone hole over the Antarctic. We don't know if that hole has always been there or not either.

          If nothing else, I hope we can agree that the outlook for polar bear cubs born today is pretty fucking grim.

          If we're going to do something dumb, we might as well do it for the polar bear cubs.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        The fact that the data is limited doesn't make it "bad data". You are just proving you don't know how data works.
      • by epine (68316) on Monday September 09, 2013 @06:55AM (#44795791)

        Exactly. This means that the data is bad and you can't change that. Period.

        By the prudent norms of science, this is an excellent first approximation. For the first hundred years, the satellite data will support at most modest convictions. Our accumulated climate record will really hit its stride two centuries from now. And actually, from nearly every perspective of human progress, this represents a tremendous leap over what was known previously. Why should the earth's climate prove easier to decode than Mendel's peas? We finally found the actual genes and we're still pretty sketchy about how they really work. Complicated little buggers they are.

        That said, the satellite data isn't actually bad, it just falls way short of historical norms of scientific prudence. We're stuck wandering around in the uncanny valley between one sigma and five sigma.

        This doesn't mean society can't choose to draw a tentative, intermediate conclusion and act on that basis. However, the consequences of human political resolve are even murkier than the climate science itself, and the scientists can't help up sort this out, unless they have a giant boner for N=1. We have no control planet. Any choice we made can only be compared to counterfactual outcomes grounded in a proto-science itself still slowly gaining clearance from the null hypothesis on its major claim and with error bars a mile wide on the magnitude and immediacy and severity of the presumed effect.

        I think we should be paying plenty of attention to the impacts of climate variability whether or not the cause is anthropogenic. Let's just not put the knee-jerk "all change is bad" types in charge who once decided that forests should never burn. Blockading change is change, too. One of the consequences of embarking upon a global economy is that you soon reach the situation where there's no such thing as somebody else's problem, whether the root cause is anthropogenic or not.

        I have severe reservations about whether it's a good idea to instigate novel political initiatives on a global scale (e.g. abandonment of the hydrocarbon economy) against a back-drop of alarmist proto-facts. Much of the time our best, well-cured, time-proven facts barely suffice to move the political dial in any coordinated way. That's going to radically change over the twenty years? I highly doubt it. Of course, change has to begin somewhere, however bleak the early returns.

        I was reading about some dude yesterday knowingly infected with HIV who had sex with 300 partners, none of whom he informed, and many he lied to. The ultimate self-gratifying scumbag. But what if he only worried he had HIV and never got himself tested? Would he still be a scumbag? Yes, I think so. Even if his worry is only 1.5 sigma? Yes, I think so.

        But if Exxon has only 1.5 sigma belief that carbon emissions could prove disastrous, it's business as usual. "We didn't know!" Not with scientific certainty, anyway, which is unfortunately true. Any certainty worth having is late to the party. This is, however, entirely the wrong standard of prudence and concern. While 1.5 sigma is merely a proto-fact, not yet conclusively proven, it nevertheless demands proper consideration. Facthood in the moment is way too high a standard (and harlot to corporate convenience).

        In retrospect, we will know the difference. Just as we do now about the impact of CFCs on the ozone layer. Whatever doubt remained about this in 1970 is now totally busted. We could confiscate their profits in retrospect. That would make them think twice about not knowing in the first place. I understand that it's bad form to suddenly shout "New rule!" so we could instead begin by suggesting that existing companies take out insurance against future confiscation of profit derived from embarking upon unproven, potentially destructive lines of business—as soberly judged by a future generation with a vastly superior knowledge base (subject to the same hor

        • by khallow (566160)

          This doesn't mean society can't choose to draw a tentative, intermediate conclusion and act on that basis.

          But it doesn't provide a reason to do so.

          But if Exxon has only 1.5 sigma belief that carbon emissions could prove disastrous, it's business as usual.

          What 1.5 sigma belief? What is Exxon's responsibility supposed to be here? And Exxon is scooping renewable energy funding as well.

        • by tp1024 (2409684)

          > That said, the satellite data isn't actually bad, it just falls way short of historical norms of scientific prudence.

          That is WHY it is actually bad. Scientific prudence is no joke, but results from hard-earned experience of heads hitting desks at significant velocities, when it turned out that "scientific discoveries" of confident scientists turned out to be figments of illusion and statistical artifacts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gatzke (2977)

      Arctic is shrinking and Antarctic is growing. Global mean appears flat to me.

      http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg/ [uiuc.edu]

      I thought we were going to all be killed by global warming hurricanes? Or is that off topic?

    • by argStyopa (232550) on Monday September 09, 2013 @07:25AM (#44795915) Journal

      Isn't it curious that *most* of the discussions on arctic ice coverage were solely about extent until recently? Now when ice area is increasing, the discussion switches critically to volume of ice.

      The regular amount of goalpost-shifting by "global warming" - sorry, "climate change" - alarmists is frenetic.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Monday September 09, 2013 @03:23AM (#44795027)
    We have been heading for the next Ice Age, and a disastrous period of global cooling. It is only by the release of more CO2 that we can save ourselves. Some people with their own self interests (research budgets) are trying to stop that, as well as some people doing so simply because they are pure evil (Al Gore).
  • Why should we listen to fossil-fuel sponsored shills like Nuccitelli?


    Why does the above question only matter when a person questions AGW?

    • by Xest (935314)

      Because it means there's high potential for conflict of interest. If however they're defending the theory of AGW then there's clearly no conflict of interest is there?

      • If however they're defending the theory of AGW then there's clearly no conflict of interest is there?

        Most of the 'fossil-fuel companies' are actually energy companies now, and will happily sell you solar panels, wind generators, and so on, and be the first in the queue for government subsidies on these things. There's a conflict of interest when they make claims in both directions, the difference is that in one case they are making the same claims as people with less of a conflict.

        • by Xest (935314)

          Sure, I wasn't commenting on the company and question though, the GGP was talking about people who work for fossil fuel companies.

          I agree that anyone working for a solar panel firm similarly has a conflict of interest in defending the theory of AGW, but to date they've been strangely absent from the debate - presumably because they're way smaller in size and so don't have the money to pay the shills like the classic oil/gas companies do (and those with fingers in both pots probably simply give not a shit).

  • http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2000/09/Figure31.png [nsidc.org]

    Or see third chart on left if that link dies:
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ [nsidc.org]

    • by riverat1 (1048260)

      And as your picture shows the august 2013 Arctic sea ice extent may be 60% higher than 2012 but it's still lower than any year before 2007. As the AC below posts it's a regression to the mean. Wake me up if 2014 and 2015 are higher still.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"