By way of a change we start this month’s look at all things Arctic with some sea ice statistical analysis. Anthony Watts’ Arctic porky pie production line has been speeding up recently, and I am not the only one who has noticed. As part of his takedown of the latest “skeptical” allegations against the United Kingdom Met Office Tamino has been looking at trends in Arctic sea ice extent over at his “Open Mind” blog:
First and foremost, the yearly minimum is only one day out of the year. We have sea ice extent data throughout the year, and what happens during the rest of the year counts. Instead of using the annual minimum, let’s use the annual average. To avoid losing the most recent data, I’ll compute the yearly average for October through the following September rather than the usual (but arbitrary) January through December. I’ll also omit October 1978 through September 1979 because that year is incomplete. I get this:
The annual averages show much less fluctuation than the annual minima, so we can estimate things like rates of change with greater precision. I find that there is statistical evidence that the rate changed over time. One model of such changes uses three straight-line segments with their changes chosen to best-fit the data, like this:
Polar amplification, the phenomenon that external radiative forcing produces a larger change in surface temperature at high latitudes than the global average, is a key aspect of anthropogenic climate change but its causes and consequences are not fully understood.
We have previously mentioned the Wall Street Journal’s assorted activities promoting the new book by Steven E. Koonin which possesses the rather long winded title of “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.”
Climate change is top of the G7 agenda along with Covid-19, and you can rest assured that vested interests will not miss any opportunity to promote those interests over the next two months and beyond.
That has indeed proved to be the case! Let us count the ways.
Steven Koonin’s new book “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters” is being promoted (left?), right and centre by a veritable cornucopia of the usual suspects. In an endeavour to explain (to the mythical (wo)man in the street?) the ways in which “A lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is getting its boots on” I’ve performed a Google search for the phrase “climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly demonstrably false” by way of a demonstration:
65 “demonstrably false” clones of the WSJ article, and counting……
[Edit – April 24th]
This morning’s update on my “demonstration” Google search.
There are now 241 “demonstrably false” Kooninism clones, and counting……
It may not have come to your attention yet, but a long list of over 400 climate scientists have recently signed an “open letter” to the UK and other Governments requesting:
As academics researching climate and environmental change, we have been encouraged to see increased focus on climate in politics and society in recent years. Considering the current trajectory of planetary change, such attention is welcome, even though action is still lacking. We know that our research alone was not enough for this recent awakening to climate breakdown as an existential crisis for humanity, and recognise that protest movements around the world have raised the alarm…
But around the world today, those who put their voices and bodies on the line to raise the alarm are being threatened and silenced by the very countries they seek to protect. We are gravely concerned about the increasing criminalisation and targeting of climate protestors around the world…
With the upcoming Conference of the Parties of the UN Climate Change Convention (COP26) in Glasgow, and the urgency for global action accelerating as global warming already reaches 1.2°C, 2021 is a critical year for climate governance. It has become abundantly clear that governments don’t act on climate without pressure from civil society: threatening and silencing activists thus seems to be a new form of anti-democratic refusal to act on climate.
See for example this tweet from “Scientist Rebellion”, the militant academic wing of Extinction Rebellion UK?
The signatories to the open letter include a long list of well known names:
We, the undersigned, therefore urge all governments, courts and legislative bodies around the world to halt and reverse attempts to criminalise nonviolent climate protest.
Professor Julia Steinberger, Universities of Lausanne & Leeds
Dr Oscar Berglund, University of Bristol
Distinguished Professor Michael Mann, Penn State University
Professor Piers Foster, University of Leeds
Dr Leah Goldfarb, Universite Paris Saclay
Professor Catherine Mitchell University of Exeter
Dr Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, University of Potsdam
On Monday the Guardian newspaper published an article about the climate scientist’s open letter:
So far this winter export has been remarkably subdued, but that has now changed. A persistent dipole with high pressure over Greenland and low pressure over the Barents Sea is generating strong northerly winds in the Fram Strait, and even bringing some April snow showers to South West England:
Precisely how high the pressure has been over Greenland is the subject of much debate. See for example this discussion on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum about whether a new world high pressure record has just been set. Different weather forecasting models have come to very different conclusions about the mean sea level pressure of a high pressure area situated over the Greenland ice sheet, which reaches an altitude of over 3,000 metres. Here’s GFS for example, showing 1097 hPa at 06Z on April 4th:
whereas the Canadian Meteorological Centre synopsis for the same time shows a mere 1070 hPa:
At least all the assorted models agree that the isobars are closely packed over the Fram Strait, and hence some of the thickest sea ice remaining in the Arctic is currently heading towards oblivion in the far north Atlantic Ocean:
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