About That Alarmist Antarctic Warming Meme…

Warmists have been up in arms recently regarding a recent report that claims that warming in a small section of Antarctica has occurred twice as fast as previously thought. Here’s the NY Times

West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century, new research suggests, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea levels.

A paper released Sunday by the journal Nature Geoscience reports that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. That is roughly twice as much as scientists previously thought and three times the overall rate of global warming, making central West Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth.

No mention by the Fish Wrap as to why they continue to kill trees to print their paper, use fossil fueled vehicles to distribute it, and use evil air conditioners within their offices.

A potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is one of the long-term hazards that have led experts to worry about global warming. The base of the ice sheet sits below sea level, in a configuration that makes it especially vulnerable. Scientists say a breakup of the ice sheet, over a period that would presumably last at least several hundred years, could raise global sea levels by 10 feet, possibly more.

They do realize that that has happened many, many times before, right? Anyhow, we finally see in the second to last paragraph

Much of the warming discovered in the new paper happened in the 1980s, around the same time the planet was beginning to warm briskly. More recently, Dr. Bromwich said, the weather in West Antarctica seems to have become somewhat erratic. In the summer of 2005, the interior of West Antarctica warmed enough for the ice to undergo several days of surface melting.

Actually, David Middleton, guest posting at Watts Up With That?, finds even more interesting information.

The manufactured “record reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between 1958 and 2010 by 2.4±1.2 °C.” That’s a 50% margin of error on the reconstruction that supposedly corrected the recording errors.

A 50% margin of error is Liberal Science.

The NASA-GISS data (GHCN & SCAR) for Byrd Station are in two segments: 1957-1975 and 1980-2012. The 1957-1975 series depicts a moderately significant (R² = 0.19) warming trend of about 1.0 °C per decade. The post-1980 series depicts a statistically insignificant (R² = 0.01) trend of 0.3 °C per decade.

Interestingly, from 1957-1975 people were concerned about a coming ice age. World temps were declining.

But, almost all of that warming took place before 1988. And Byrd Station has seen no warming (actually a slight cooling) since 1991.

Essentially, most of the warming took place during a short warm spell, something that can certainly be expected during a warm period which followed a cool period, preceded by a warm period, with a cool period before that, ect, all the way back to a glacial period.

And even if the study was 100% rock solid, without that pesky 50% margin of error, it still fails to implicate anthropogenic causation. But, hey, if you Believers think feel that it does, now’s the time to give up fossil fueled travel, take 2 minute showers, hand wash your clothes, walk to work, only purchase local, and make your lives fully “carbon neutral.” I triple dog dare you.

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7 Comments

Comment by brs
2012-12-27 12:45:48

So which one is true:
A. The Earth is not warming. This is all bad data.
B. The Earth is warming, but it’s part of a natural cycle and we need to adjust.

 
Comment by Blick
2012-12-27 16:29:14

The increase in temps is meaningless without the average temp for the station. If the average is -30 degrees F. a 4.4 degree temp rise is nothing. If the average temp is +30 degrees F then a 4.4 degree rise is important. With out all the facts its only a campfire ghost story. Boo.

 
Comment by Mike Miles Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-27 19:31:50

Not to mention that Antarctica is cooling as a whole and has been for decades and satellites are seeing the ice thicken where measurable blue ice exists. Cooling and heating have occurred for billions of years and will continue to do so.

 
Comment by brs
2012-12-28 01:19:06

Sorry…I’m confused. How does this tell me A from B in my Q above?

Or maybe you guys weren’t referring to my Q at all?

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-28 11:23:35

Comment by brs


So which one is true:
A. The Earth is not warming. This is all bad data.
B. The Earth is warming, but it’s part of a natural cycle and we need to adjust.

Depends on your timeline.

A: Over the last 16 years, the earth has not warmed.
Over the last 100 years, the earth has warmed. Over the last 1,000 years, the earth has warmed as it has come out of an ice age. Over the last known history – the earth has not warmed but has fluctuated around 3C.

B: Well, yes, the earth is warming. The earth is coming out of an ice age. As before, this has happened before. There are also times when the earth has cooled and we entered in to an ice age.

And yes, it is easier to adapt and adjust to fluctuating temperatures than to try and change the earth’s temperatures.

 
Comment by brs
2012-12-28 11:32:36

Hey Gumball,

So we’re in a warming trend, including the last 100 years with the exception for the last 16 years?

Why would that be? Maybe the warming is so slow that you will get ups and downs over any smal time period (like 16 years), sort of like the stock market (i.e., the trend is up overal, but there are many down periods and flat periods over smal time scales)?

And why do you say the last 100 years? Becasue that’s all we can spek to with temp records?

thanks!

 
Comment by Gumball_Brains Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-28 12:05:09

Hello BRS
yes, we are in a larger warming trend with fluctuations every few decades.

I mention 100 years because that is an easy starting point. However, our REAL confirmed data only really started in the 40s. Satellite data only started in the late 70s. And there are now reports that all that satellite data was never benchmarked.

While much of the earlier data is fixable and useful as a reference, data prior to 1900 is only useful in historical contexts and as part of larger proxies. Proxies also have their issues when attempting to tie them to today’s temperature records (see “hockey stick”).

The suggestion that rising CO2 is responsible for rising global temps falls apart with a solid analysis of temperature data over the last 50 years. Temps went up and down while CO2 rose. So much for a linkage. And now that temps have been steady over the last 16 years, this is further proof that there is no correlation with CO2.

And, we still haven’t the foggiest clue as to how our total system operates and what the forces are that positively and negatively affect our ecosystem. Heck, there is still massive debate as to how clouds work.

And now, the sun is going in to a quiet mode similar to when we went through our Little Ice Age.

 

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