If that trend continues, says Serreze, sea ice will be -6 feet thick by 2050

Someone refererred be to As Effects of Warming Grow, U.N. Report is Quickly Dated . It’s yet another piece of the std.nonsense that one swallow does a summer make, and anyone who feels like quoting the odd warming factoid can throw away the IPCC, whilst of course sneering at the people who say it hasn’t been getting warmer recently, ‘cos obviously *that* is just weather.

So, what do we have? Since the late 1970s, satellite observations have shown a steadily growing retreat of Arctic sea ice in summer. Earlier [obviously it is too much trouble to say exactly which studies are meant; but this looks consistent with IPCC] models projected that between 2050 and 2070 the north polar sea would be essentially ice-free for at least part of the year. But in 2005, a steady downward trend in summer ice started to plunge more sharply. It got worse in 2006 and 2007, and moderated only slightly this past summer [Don’t know what the author thinks is going on at this point. 2005 was nothing special. Nor was 2006. Only 2007-8 are off the long-term declining trend. However, the 2008 ice was more extensive than in 2007. Clearly, the year-to-year trend is positive for 2007-8. That is obviously meaningless. For some reason, however, the 2006-2007 yearly trend *isn’t* meaningless, presumably because it indicates warming]. The area of the Arctic Ocean now covered by sea ice in summer is only about half as large as in 1950, according to satellite photos [Photos???] and data from earlier studies. The year-round sea ice is also appreciably thinner, often only three feet deep as opposed to nine feet a half-century ago. If that trend continues, says Serreze, “the move to ice-free will come a lot earlier, say, around 2030. Some people are even saying it could happen as early as a decade from now.”

“Some people” think the moon landings were faked, and that aliens abducted their sister.

Which trend does Serreze mean? The one about ice getting thinner? That’s the one I faked the headline from:clearly if we linearly extrapolate 9′ 50 years ago through 3′ now to 50 years in the future, its going to be -6 ‘ thick. Thats obvious nonsense. Or we cold take the area, which halved between 1950 and now. So again, by about 2050 (or a bit later, really) we’ll be down to no ice. But obviously that’s far too boringly slow. So instead I suppose Serreze must be drawing trend lines through 2007, which is obviously valid, as we all know that a single year is a valid trend, if it’s heading in the right direction.

Elsewhere, the text mentions Greenland melting, but it is by no means clear how important or long-term that is. Yes CO2 grew a lot in the great boom years, but no we’re still pretty well on IS92a and who wants to bet that 2009 will still show a huge growth? See-also stoat passim.

Need more evidence that IPCC is out of date? How about Pfeffer, of the University of Colorado, along with several colleagues, recalculated the projections of sea-level rise and came up with a range of .8 to 2 meters. Except… oh dear, this is an utter travesty of what Pfeffer actually does. See yet more stoat. P waves their hands and produces some numbers; they don’t mean a lot though. They certainly don’t replace IPCC and they very definitely aren’t definite.

5 thoughts on “If that trend continues, says Serreze, sea ice will be -6 feet thick by 2050”

  1. Politicians and media always wants to use the newest stuff. But but but… Should not one say that there is a possibility that we see a new patter in the polar sea that could be due to anthropogenic effects, such as stratification and changing wind patterns? That for me is not the same as saying that we might have a global cooling for the one odd year since we don’t have any physical ground for that?

    [I’m entirely happy with scientists talking about possibilities. But you see what rubbish it gets written up into? That needs to be laid into -W]


  2. Yes that is not good… I simply stopped caring about the minor outlets, smaller newspapers and “evening newspapers”. I don’t know how accurate the picture from them on GW is but in Sweden I think the big once are doing okay… (Except the headlines which can be ridicules)


  3. Basically your -6 is the same mistake that is made in a lot of economic models. Distributions are not symmetric, there are “walls” beyond which you cannot go. This is called bankruptcy.

    [I agree. Which is why saying “if this trend continues…(London will be 10′ deep in horse shit)” is such a bad idea -W]


  4. Hmm it was Eli’s impression that you thought the droppings in Westminster were about that deep. Perhaps it is a local occurrence not well represented in global horseshit models?


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