Polar Bear numbers

Inel drags me into the polar bear wars again by quoting the Heartland Institute: “Real-world evidence shows polar bear numbers are increasing rapidly throughout the Arctic”. She offers no evidence against this, which is fair enough as they offer no evidence for it past the bare (geddit?) assertion.

So wot is happening to PB numbers? As in, now, not as in, wot might happen in the future.
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Betting on sea ice?

Looking back over the past sea ice record, I see that a min year is very rarely followed by another record. But some people are getting so carried away by this years ice, they might not realise that. So does anyone want to put an interesting amount of money, at (say) even odds, on there being a record minimum in the arctic next year? I get the no-record side. And we use the record as presented by cryosphere today. Any (credible, non-anonymous) takers?

[Only £20 on offer so far, plus an indeterminate amount of beer; roll up, roll up -W Plus another £10 from PH by email]

[This was the first of the series. I won. Here is 2008’s version -W]

[Also David B. South has tried to get the “2013-ers” to stump up, with no success so far -W]

Antarctic sea ice

i-641e3c9a49d4b9ad0b3b2b2c8de87551-arctic-ice-2007-sept-12.jpg A reader writes… why don’t I write about the Arctic sea ice? The answer is, what is there to say that others haven’t already? Cryosphere today seems to be a good source, from which my graph is taken. Actually there is something to say which others don’t seem to, which is “don’t get too carried away with one years anomaly”. 2007 is exceptional; so was 1995 which wasn’t exceeded until 2005.

[Update: oh dear, Ctoday have now corrected themselves: the Ant ice *wasn’t* quite a maximum after all: Correction: we had previously reported that there had been a new SH historic maximum ice area. Unfortunately, we found a small glitch in our software. The timeseries have now been corrected and are showing that we are very close to, but not yet, a new historic maximum sea ice area for the Southern Hemisphere. -W]

The other thing to say, now that RP Sr is orf, is that the Antarctic ice has hit a record (since 1979) max: The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area has broken the previous maximum of 16.03 million sq. km and is currently at 16.26 million sq. km. This represents an increase of about 1.4% above the previous SH ice area record high. The observed sea ice record in the Southern Hemisphere (1979-present) is not as long as the Northern Hemisphere. Prior to the satellite era, direct observations of the SH sea ice edge were sporadic. Seems fair enough. Sea ice is “supposed” to be declining in the SH according to the GCMs, but not by much, so this isn’t desperately anomalous. But it is a bit.

Google vs ESA: sign o’ the times

I happened to be visiting ESA’s page, and found its image of the week, which is Rotterdam. So I thought I’d look at googles version and – its much better. And of course you can scroll in to far better detail.

And conveniently embed it here, so lets have a play:

[Update: several people have complained that this post is unfair, and/or silly, because it compares the incomparable: while google looks pretty, there are lots of exciting things you can do with ESA imagery. That misses my point, which was: once upon a time, not very long ago, an ESA image like this really would have been interesting. Nowadays it is but a commonplace. ESA will, no doubt, continue to provide an image of the week because its on someones task list; but unless they can add some value by interpreting it, why would anyone bother look? -W]

Just in case you feel inclined to trust Monckton

I don’t suppose you are, but this rather indicates his casual attitude towards the truth: “I was selling the house anyway and they asked me if I would be willing to tell people I was selling the house because I was afraid somebody might solve the puzzle too fast. I said ‘yes’. They said, ‘Don’t you mind being made to look an absolute prat’, and I said, ‘No – I’m quite used to that’. History is full of stories that aren’t actually true. We sold shed-loads of extra puzzles and I made an handsome profit – and I sold the house as well.”

DSCOVR / Triana / Goresat

The title tells you what I’m going to say, doesn’t it? Ah well.

Desmogblog seems to have gone hyperbolic: Dr. Robert L. Park, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, was more blunt about the importance of DSCOVR’s data: “Not knowing may kill us.” He is on record as stating that sending DSCOVR to L1 is “the most important thing we could be doing in space right now.”. And “Project leader Dr. Francisco P. J. Valero, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, described the mission as “an urgent necessity”.” Weeeell… you would expect the project leader to be in favour of it, wouldn’t you.
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Bees

On another topic… I did my bees last sunday. Only a little honey, and I left them that for the winter. Disappointing: it must have been a poor summer. It *was* a fairly rainy summer. Hopefully this isn’t the first sign of colony collapse: presumably not, as there were plenty of them.

[Maybe I should say… mine may be disappointing but my friends ones are dead 😦 -W]