Nothing to see, move along: December lowest extent of Arctic sea ice; Hudson bay does not completely freeze over for the first time in recorded history


Hat tip Jeff Masters.

Should we now be talking about the Arctic “death spiral”?

Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in December 2010 was the lowest in the 31-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Ice volume in December was also the lowest on record for this time of year, according to University of Washington Polar Ice Center.

2010 saw the third lowest extent of sea ice:

Despite a late date of the maximum in winter sea ice extent, the minimum sea ice extent for September 2010 was third lowest in the 1979 to 2010 satellite record, above only 2007 (the record low) and 2008. The late summer of 2010 saw an open Northwest Passage: this year, the deep water channel (the northern route) from M’Clure Strait to Lancaster Sound was navigable. The Northern Sea Route along the Siberian coast also became briefly navigable.

Perhaps we should be concerned that Hudson bay did not completely freeze over for the time in recorded history:

At the end of December, the eastern portion of Canada’s Hudson Bay remained unfrozen, the first time in recorded history that Hudson Bay has not been completely frozen over at the end of the year. The unusual amount of open water led to temperatures that averaged 20°C (36°F) above normal over a region larger than Texas during the first ten days of January.

No, nothing unusal at all:

Quick deniers, assume panic stations!  

Claim these are isolated events!

Make sure you soothe your mounting anxiety by focussing on a few irrelevant facts!

Post some links to WUWT!

Read some pseudoscience peddled by “Lord” Monckton!

All the scientists are lying!

Every scientific measuring device on the planet is broken or wrong!

Make global warming go away!

Sit in a corner and tell yourself over, and over: “There is no global warming, there is no global warming…”

The more you say it, the more it can’t be true!


21 thoughts on “Nothing to see, move along: December lowest extent of Arctic sea ice; Hudson bay does not completely freeze over for the first time in recorded history

  1. fredorth says:

    I do believe that we are too late to prevent this.

  2. john byatt says:

    Thank goodness we have people like James Hansen on our side,
    new paper submitted by James,
    worth a read,

  3. Watching the Deniers says:

    Great link, thanks John.

  4. Don says:

    Call me when this has happened three consecutive years. Other wise, don’t bother me.

  5. Sundance says:

    More problems for CO2 emissions being the key driver of global warming.

    Physicist U.R. Rao (this guy has hundreds of papers and is well respected by Pauchuri of the IPCC) says carbon emission impact is lower than IPCC claim.

    Disputing IPCC claims

    According to the latest report by the IPCC, all human activity, including carbon dioxide emissions, contribute 1.6 watts/sq.m to global warming, while other factors such as solar irradiance contribute just 0.12 watts/sq.m.

    However, Dr. Rao’s paper calculates that the effect of cosmic rays contributes 1.1 watts/sq.m, taking the total contribution of non-human activity factors to 1.22 watts/sq.m.

    This means that increased carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are not as significant as the IPCC claims. Of the total observed global warming of 0.75 degrees Celsius, only 0.42 degrees would be caused by increased carbon dioxide. The rest would be caused by the long term decrease in primary cosmic ray intensity and its effect on low level cloud cover.

    This means that predicting future global warming and sea level rise is not as simple as the IPCC makes it to be, since it depends not only on human activity, but also significantly on the unpredictability of cosmic ray intensity.

    “We conclude that the contribution to climate change due to the change in galactic cosmic ray intensity is quite significant and needs to be factored into the prediction of global warming and its effect on sea level raise and weather prediction,” says the paper.

  6. john byatt says:

    Sundance you appear to know even less about cosmic rays than you do about the different global temperature data sets,
    here is a comment at skeptical science from muoncounter, on the cosmic ray post
    muoncounter at 13:13 PM on 20 March, 2010
    I’m brand new to this forum and a bit intimidated by some very good-looking and well-researched science in these posts.

    I’ve been involved in cosmic ray research for several years and have followed the recent cosmic rays-cause-climate-change brouhaha with some skepticism. Perhaps I can clear up a few subtleties of the argument that seem important to this thread.

    First of all, its best to define terms: nearly all cosmic rays (CRs) detected at the surface of the earth are of solar origin, the result of collisions between primary particles (mostly protons in the solar wind) and nuclei in the upper atmosphere. The energy of these collisions throw off a chain of secondary particle interactions; what we routinely see are the muons and neutrons.

    On the other hand, the primary particles of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) are protons and heavier nuclei (up to Fe) from distant stars.

    Now then:

    At #3, there’s a mention of CR energies and that only CRs of 10GeV or more produce secondary particles. Here is the standard chart of the CR energy spectrum, presented as measured particle flux vs. energy. Note that there are lots of 10 GeV CRs; what excites CR researchers these days are events around the “knee” — 10^6 GeV or more.

    But it is well known that secondary particles (mostly muons) are generated by lower energy primary particles. We can even stop these muons with appropriate detectors.

    At #6, alpha particles don’t get that far. As the decay scheme suggests, if any of these secondary particles are potential cloud-formers, betas (aka e- and e+) are the most likely culprits.

    At #12 there’s a mention of GCR flux and the statement that GCR flux is now constant. This is where it gets complicated: during low periods in the solar cycle, we observe more GCRs. GCR flux is hardly constant.
    NASA recently found the GCR level to be 19% higher than previous records. This article proposes several mechanisms for this apparent paradox, not the least of which is the weakened solar magnetic field.

    The 10Be ice core data is mentioned in #15: for the last 500 years shown here, there seems to be about a 100 year cycle to 10Be peaks. Some of these peaks are coincident with low sunspot numbers (which is true of the 2009 GCR high-sunspot low). Problem is those peaks aren’t very wide, so it seems that concluding much about causality or a 6 month lag or lead at this scale is a bit chicken and egg.

    • Sundance says:

      Again do you have a point? What does this have to do with a brand new paper by Dr, Rao that hasn’t yet been published? Maybe we should actually wait until we see Dr. Rao’s research. My only reason for the post was to give WTD a heads up that a renown scientist has alerted the head of the IPCC that 40% of the warming claimed by the IPCC is not caused by AGW. I made no direct claims on my own behalf and I certainly didn’t address cosmic rays. Your leap to any conclusion as to my knowledge about about cosmic rays could have only been achieved by psychic powers. Are you a psychic?

  7. john byatt says:

    here is the link , you need correlation at least

  8. john byatt says:

    Here is the link to “current science” sundance, find the paper and put a link here ,

  9. john byatt says:

    sundance thinks that Hansen is fudging the data so lets get rid of james,
    this is what you get

    • Sundance says:

      John – As I scrolled down this thread replying to your various comments and after some further reflection, it occurred to me that my comments to you on Hansen were inappropriate. I appologize

      WTD moderator – If you can, could you please remove/delete my comments and graph regarding Hansen in my reply to John Byatt (that would be my first post on this thread). Please also remove/delete my reply John’s comment with the link to Tamino (that would be my 3rd post on this thread). Thank you in advance.

  10. john byatt says:

    have only been here a few days as you know sundance so do not yet fully understand your scepticism of AGW yet , you do seem to accept the warming, noted by some of your comments, no apology required sundance , lets stay cool eh?

    Eh? = ” how a Queenslander ends a sentence

  11. john byatt says:

    scratch one or both yets in my last comment
    here are the model comparisons to data at RC

  12. john byatt says:

    Sundance the Rao paper has been put up in an open post thread at RC

    Gavin has kindly answered,,

    The analysis in the Rao paper is pretty weak – there is a lot of uncertainty in how figure 1 is put together (note that the observed neutron monitor CR records only go back to the 1950s and show no long term trend; also, different 10Be records show different 20th C trends). Figure 2 is a slightly modified (and controversial) figure from Marsh and Svensmark, but it has been recently updated to show more data and the relationship falls apart. For an up to date review of this (including that figure (fig 15)), see Gray et al (2010). My first guess would be that this report reflects an internal Indian political issue, not a scientific one… (note too that the ministry discussion paper included a short rebuttal from Ramanathan.) – gavin]

    • Sundance says:

      John – I did find direct links to all discussion papers as well as the Ramanathan review comments with his concluding discussion:

      The basic recommendation emerging from Rao’s model is that cloud albedo variations caused by GCR variations should be included in studies that attempt to attribute the observed temperature trends in terms of greenhouse forcing. Rao1 estimated a radiative forcing of about 1.1 Wm-2 due to the GCR-cloud link, which compares with the CO2 forcing of 1.7 Wm-2 from pre-industrial to 2005 (IPCC-AR4, 2007). Even if the GCR-Cloud forcing is smaller by a factor of 2 to 4, this mechanism should still
      merit attention. Physically as well as mechanistically, detailed aerosol modeling studies2, have concluded ionization by GCRs can produce cloud condensation nuclei. But serious difficulties have been encountered
      by studies that attempted to take this proposal beyond the mechanistic stage. Empirical studies that have attempted to either prove or disprove the GCR-cloud linkage are not conclusive since they have to rely on
      flawed satellite cloudiness data. One way to make some progress is to conduct detailed field studies with airborne instrumentation that experimentally examine the link between CCN produced by ions and cloud albedos. Given that the planet’s future hinges in quantifying the impact of
      greenhouse gases, such an attempt is worthwhile. To this extent, Rao’s paper should be commended for drawing attention to this important issue, which is struggling to gain entry into main stream climate change science.

      It is clear to me now that Rao’s cloud data has uncertainties and that more robust data is needed to determine the role GCRs play in decadal and longer climate periods. Whether or not Rao’s discussion paper is enough to prompt the IPCC to spend $$$ on seeking more cloud data remains to be seen. And then there is still the cloud experiment data which should provide very robust data one way or the other as to GCR effects.

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