Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an Ice-Free North Pole

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on April 23, 2009

It would appear that the North Pole is not cooperating with the kayakers who want to go straight through from Canada to Russia.  This, according to IJIS:

IJIS Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Despite the hot air emanating from politicians who continue to tell us the ice cap is melting, the current level of ice is at a peak for this time of year based on recent history.

Data only goes back a few years, so I’m not claiming any records. But it’s worth pointing out in the context of the message of the day that the ice cap is melting.

Why can’t we just be honest about things?   A couple years ago, the ice extent most certainly hit a trough.  That was an accurate assessment.  And boy, did we hear about it.   Currently, ice extent is at a peak.   Crickets. I’m finding a lot of lack of integrity enters when it comes to this issue. (That cuts both ways at times. I have my own opinions about things, but let’s confront the data for what it is and not brush it under a rug.)

Theory is great and all, as are people who become experts.  But quite honestly, I trust the data and some simple analysis more than I trust all these complex uber-theoretical models.  They may have some assessment value, but their predictive value has time and time again been worthless.

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5 Responses to “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to an Ice-Free North Pole”

  1. But ice area> doesn’t matter anymore, it’s only its age> and volume> that matters. Please do try to keep up with these moving targets.

  2. Magnus said

    Also the NSIDC Arctic ice extent data is almost average now:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/daily.html

    (Let’s hope the politicians will notice and wake up.)

  3. jeroen said

    Thickness is not importend. Thickness has no influance in surrounding tempratures. The thickness hass alsow a maximum of 9feet.

  4. iceman said

    to the ‘diatribe guy’: just wait a few months. and while you are waiting, you may want to go outside between visits to the rush l. blogs or whatever it is that compels you to speak publicly–and with such certitude!–about things that you do not appear to know much about. spending more time outside, particularly in the arctic basin, might actually cure what ails you. (hint: our problem is physical, and though debate is most often healthy, the measure of our success or failure as a species will also be physical, not rhetorical).

  5. The Diatribe Guy said

    Thanks, Iceman. Now, I’m trying to figure out what the hell you’re talking about. Nonetheless, dissenting comments are always welcome.

    But getting to your points: (1) just wait a few months: First of all… why? Why is it that only the minimum counts, and the rest of the year that shows a rebound in ice doesn’t matter? Why is it that the fact that 2008 had a higher minimum than 2007 means nothing? And I have said at least a couple times on my blog that a fully expect the 2009 melt to accelerate in the coming months, with a minimum somewhere between the average minimum and the 2008 minimum. So, below normal, but still on a net rebound. Why is that such an extreme position? It isn’t. When I’m shown to be correct, I anticipate you will revisit the blog and acknowledge it. I will most assuredly acknowledge that I was incorrect if 2009 melt is more dramatic than I say it will be.

    (2) you may want to go outside between visits to the rush l. blogs or whatever it is that compels you to speak publicly–and with such certitude!–about things that you do not appear to know much about: Honestly, do you really think this is a worthy contribution? Any credibility you may otherwise lend is immediately erased in my mind based on your immediate plunge into ad hominems. If you are intellectually honest, you will read through my blog posts and understand why I am taking the positions I do. Politics aside, it’s because of my analysis of the data. You are free to dispute my idea of the story that the data tells, but refusing to acknowledge that I have looked into this as honestly as I can and presenting my findings, and instead implying that I simply form my opinion based on what others tell me – Rush or anyone else – is simply showing your ignorance of my position. It’s also telling of your own. If you believe this is inspired purely by politics and lack of understanding, then I can only assume that is your experience, which means you must just listen to Gore, Hansen, and automatically have a filter in your head that assumes any dissenting opinion is paid off by big oil. Since I don’t wish to form those stereotypical conclusions about dissenting voices, I ask that you don’t jump to conclusions on the opposing side.

    (3) I’m in fricking Wisconsin, and we’ve been BELOW normal goiong on 2 years. That’s close enough to the Arctic, thank you very much. But seriously, what exactly are you disputing? Are you saying the chart is wrong? I’m not even sure what your beef is, other than I’m pointing out where we’re at. It’s a chart I refer back to every now and then, and not only when the ice area is high.

    (4) our problem is physical, and though debate is most often healthy, the measure of our success or failure as a species will also be physical, not rhetorical. There is no more amplified rhetoric than on the pro-AGW side of things. You have to know that. Even if you accept the theory, you can’t with a straight face tell me that there isn’t a dozen sensationalistic stories about climate change versus every story given any airplay about skepticism. And ususally when those are given airplay, every pain is taken to make the opinions look isolated and/or goofy. Please explain to me exactly what the physical pains will be if the Arctic melts? Here’s a hint: Look at the chart above. Maximum extent is 15-ish. Minimum in 2007 approached 4. about 75% of the area melted. But it doesn’t really matter, anyway, because ice takes up more area than water. So all this intrigue about the Arctic ice cap? It’s all symbolic. Yes, I know that the theory is that this will lead to Greenland melting and we’ll all get flooded. I suppose we’ll see, but I find it somewhat amusing that you lambast my own certitude, and then you seem to claim a certain amount of certitude about these supposed physical effects.

    Many scientists actually believe warming will be a net benefit to mankind. But expressing that opinion – true or not – is political suicide. You see, we’re supposed to just believe that these changes are bad because we cause it. That’s the premise. Unsubstantiated claims of impacts of warming abound, and they are all negative. Strangely, during the period where we’ve experienced this catastrophe, the world has never been more productive. You want famine and disease? It won’t come from warming. It will come from an extended “Little Ice Age.” In no way do I hope for cooling, other than to halt stupid political decisions.

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