Tipping point or more ice? Which is it?

Last night’s 4 Corners program , “Tipping Point”, was about the dramatic reduction in Arctic Polar ice. The program had same great dramatic visuals on that amazing place. Taken on its merits the discussion sounded pretty convincing and would be a cause of concern about what is going on with AGW. And yes, the regulation polar bears made a cameo appearance.

If you missed it you can watch it here.

Go to Jennifer Marohasy’s site and there’s a thread discussing research that arrives at the opposite conclusion: that sea ice has actually increased in the Greenland/polar region. See here.

Frankly this really is a shitty situation because as a non-scientist you really don’t know who is right. Jennifer is often called a denialist and gets roundly rubbished at warmer sites. Meanwhile the ABC gets criticized for advocating what many consider to be an alarmist position and to be frank the senior reporters leave a lot to be desired in terms of objectivity particularly on political reporting.

So who’s right? Is polar region ice actually melting away or increasing? Both aren’t right with one group either wrong or lying.

62 thoughts on “Tipping point or more ice? Which is it?

  1. Maybe both are right! Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald had many articles about the polar ice, and one scientist pointed out that there are two systems in competition, and that the whole thing was complex. Ice could be thinning in some places, and thickening in others!
    Whatever you do, we are doomed!

  2. Wherever possible, it’s good to try to get to the original sources. In terms of Arctic sea ice research, the National Snow and Ice Data Center records data daily and reports monthly (or more frequently when there is rapid change).

    Their report seems to do a pretty good job of recognising the complexity – yes, there is more ice at the moment than last year, but still below the long-term average. I haven’t been able to find much in English on the site Marohasy was talking about, but my initial reaction is that they are reporting not on the Arctic as a whole but on a more limited regional study. I also tend to be concerned when the first link someone provides is to Piers Akerman’s column on the topic and the data source only comes later.

  3. Tobias:

    It really doesn’t matter if she’s channeling Al Gore instead of Ackerman. Ackerman could be be right or wrong. It’s not important who is saying something, what’s important is accuracy.

  4. JC, your comment would be true if they used only the one spot, but I bet they use different locations, and all claim that ‘their’ site is the best, or only really good, spot! Perhaps we should just average all of them?

  5. The trouble with this stuff, Nic is that it’s no longer simply an interesting scientific proposition. This is the sort of stuff that moves public opinion to incur a sacrifice of 1% of GDP for decades turning it into ” real” money. So it is important to know which view is right or wrong.

  6. Most of the media is running with the less ice argument. However from what I can tell the only accurate measurements started in the 1970s when satellites could take snapshots. Anecdotally the North West passage has been clear of summer ice on previous occasions. Some Norweigen bloke sailed across in the early 20th century.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen

  7. jc,

    Agreed, but neither Akerman nor Gore collected the data. I would prefer to be given a link straight to the original source instead of a secondary citation. Then you can evaluate the information for yourself and decide which claim you think is more accurate. This seems the only way to proceed, since the same data seems to be used to make different arguments (e.g., I’m pretty certain Four Corners cited the NSIDC that I linked to above when talking about below-average ice levels, but I have also seen Andrew Bolt use their graphics to note that the Arctic is unlikely to be ice-free this year).

    Of course, throw in multiple sources of data (possibly with different methods of data collection) and it gets even more complex. About the only thing I can suggest is that there has never been a time when it was more important in everyday life to be an informed consumer of science.

  8. What happened to Sukrit’s post on government distortion of the global warming ideas market?

    It was one of the best expositions of po-mo libertarianism that I’ve ever seen.

  9. The trend isn’t really down, Jarrah. It’s short term term trend is down since 2003. However between the started time series to 2003 you could draw a line along zero and you would be right in the middle.

    I thought short term trends weren’t a feature of climate science though.

    If people tell us we shouldn’t look at cooling trends in the short term since 2002 (when world temp has basically flat-lined to now), why are short term trends used for ice changes in the polar region?

    kinda strange to me.

  10. “between the started time series to 2003 you could draw a line along zero and you would be right in the middle”

    Are you looking at the same graph I am? 2003 is the last year the oscillations even touch zero, let along oscillate around zero.

    You can draw a line from peak to peak, or trough to trough, or middle to middle to find the trend (roughly speaking), but you can’t draw a line from trough (summer) to peak (winter) and say it’s valid!

    Another way to picture the trend is to mentally halve the size of the oscillations. Obviously the trend is down.

  11. Are you looking at the same graph I am?

    Obviously I’m not. I presume the + side means more ice, right? If that’s the case there were far more peaks in the + range up to 1998 from the beginning and only then began to slope down, which means actually that period had more ice. It was only after that period things began to slop down.

    Take another look and don’t hold the computer upside down.

  12. I honestly can’t see how your last chart correlates with the very first.

    The first chart clearly shows there was more ice from 1980 to 1997/98. However the second chart shows a downward sloping chart. They aren’t using the same data set obviously. Why not?

  13. You’re not reading the first chart properly, that’s why.

    The zero line is the mean ice coverage for 1978-2000. Therefore in a average year, the peak would be above zero and the trough an equal amount below zero (obviously this ignores natural variability).

    Superimposing the monthly data on top of single mean line shows you how the ice coverage has been decreasing, accelerating recently. The last graph is a smoothed version of the first, something that’s obvious if you look at them side by side.

    Another way to make clear the decline in the first graph is to follow with your finger the peaks (or troughs, or middles, as long as you pick one and stick with it) from left to right – what you get is a wobbly line trending downwards, funnily enough in the shape of the last graph. 🙂

  14. jarrah:

    Zero is the mean, right? If that’s the case the line through zero across the first chart looks near enough to the being the best fit for the period from 1978 to about 1997.

  15. The best fit is the last graph. What you’re seeing is how the decrease was more gradual before the late ’90s.

    But whatever. The answer to your question in the original post is – polar region ice is melting away in the medium and long term.

  16. Okay:

    As far as I understand it a temperature anomaly is the temp variance -for the period in question- from the mean. That’s correct, right?

    So the first graph shows the variance of the year from 1979 to 2007 (as the variance from the mean).

    The years above zero or at least higher than the mean indicates growing ice while the periods below zero indicate below average.

    If that’s right than the best fit of a trend line from 1979 to 2003 seems to me to be around where zero is plotted on the vertical axis of the chart. Wake up , jarrah. Take a look.

    The amplification for that period 1979 to 2003 seems zero variance.

  17. Smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer, the northern ice isn’t melting and god created heaven and earth in seven days. You will find people that believe all of these.

    Ice not melting will be the hardest delusion to maintain, it will be all gone in several years.

  18. No, not temp variance. Do you even know what we’re talking about? I think you’re confused by the word ‘anomaly’, also used in AGW arguments referring to temperatures.

    No, not growing ice – ice coverage in absolute terms (zero is roughly 10 million square km).

    Zero from two for your analysis, JC. Not good. I don’t think I’m the one who has to wake up 😉

    And I don’t care what “seems” to you to be the case. The figures don’t lie – the trend is DOWN. It’s right there in black and white.

  19. jarrah , stop being a tool. I meant ice. Apply some latitude to your blinkered “thinking’ sometimes as it helps you get along with people.

  20. Smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer, the northern ice isn’t melting and god created heaven and earth in seven days. You will find people that believe all of these.

    Ice not melting will be the hardest delusion to maintain, it will be all gone in several years.

    Charles, stop being a tool too. There are enough websites run by lefty 911 Truthers telling us Bush pushed down the wtc and bombed the pentagon to get to the Iraqi oil. they’ve even written books about it!….. That people have purchased!

    there’s also more than enough leftie economists that actually tell us unmolested labor markets don’t produce a better outcome. We had a government voted in telling people that nonsense. there’s more than your standard delusion on the socialist side. I would speculate that 6,000 year old earthers as being more centered than parts of the left. So please spare me that you have found science.

  21. charles, Jarrah:

    A commenter makes a good point at Marohasy’s site:

    “The record also shows East Antarctica (two-thirds of the continent) is cooling. When you read about Antarctica melting notice how it’s always West Antarctica they mention. Little or no mention will be made of the much larger East Antarctica cooling.

    Next we come to the massive Wilkins Ice Shelf is melting furphy. Remember that? The Wilkins Ice Shelf is 150 km x 110 km or 16,500 km^2.

    Now 16,500 km^2 sounds like a lot but as of June 2008 there was 14.5 million km^2 of ice around Antarctica.

    That compares with 13.8 million in 2007 and 12.6 in 1979 (the first year of satellite data).

    The June 2008 number is the record most ice for June in the short, 30 year history of satellite monitoring of Antarctica ice areas.”

    The next commenter also makes some points which would be hard to argue against:

    “Fact is, about a thousand years ago European’s hailing from Ann’s homeland settled in GREENLand, and ran milk cows. They sailed into the Northwest Passage in wooden long ships and left archeological remains. They were driven out of their colonies by global cooling because they would not adopt the lifestyle of the Inuit people. To this day, there is not a single dairy farm in Greenland.

    About 500 years ago elephant seals had colonies in Antarctica, where today they have been driven to out by expanding ice sheets.

    http://www.climatechange.umaine.edu/Research/Expeditions/2006/seals/index.html

    Polar bears survived both these warm periods, which were warmer than today. Homo sapiens thrived as well.

    To have a rational discussion it is important to frame the debate in the historical context, rather than popular mass delusion…

    Climate is not weather. Yet, our historical data for NH sea ice only goes back to 1979.

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries. png (Mark: I’ve neutered the url)

    That’s barely the length of a single PDO phase or 2.5 solar cycles. It’s weather, not climate.”

    Climate science shouldn’t be ignored…but likewise dissent shouldn’t be disregarded out of hand.

  22. Charles and Jarrah are now busy looking at a map to confirm that the polar region hasn’t moved off the coast of Auguila as a result of AGW.

  23. With or without climate change the air pollution of cities by cars and industry is intolerable. People have the fundamental right to clean air as a liberty.
    Furthermore, not moving to renewables is moving Australia even further behind behind the 8 ball economically as most countries with higher GDP are already highly involved with renewables or have made the shift to renewables.. ie Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Germany..
    Even UK, Italy etc have significantly less emissions per capita.
    So even without climate change the time has come to make the shift to renewables for economic growth and improved human health.

    The Norwegians are the dirty ones, who keep their own cities clean on the basis of climate change while continuing to export oil.

  24. “it helps you get along with people.”

    Says the guy who just gratuitously insulted me. No snark here, remember?

    “I meant ice.”

    LOL! You said “temperature” and then “temp” – how was I supposed to know you meant ice? Given the rest of #20, it was reasonable to assume you didn’t know what you were talking about.

    But anyway, case closed on Arctic ice. Boy, I’m glad that’s over.

  25. “Climate is not weather. Yet, our historical data for NH sea ice only goes back to 1979.”

    The standard minimum length of time that’s considered long enough for climate trends to be distinguishable from weather is 30 years. So satellite data about Arctic ice is valid.

    However, the SH isn’t showing the same ice reduction as the NH. It’s actually increasing slightly though that measurement is still within the bounds of error. Is this evidence against AGW? Maybe, but it’s no slam-dunk.

    Global warming is happening, but it’s not evenly spread – the Arctic regions are warming much faster than elsewhere, for example (hence the disappearing ice). But even in the NH it’s not cut and dried – the centre of Greenland is accumulating ice while it melts at the edges (overall a loss). The reason that’s happening is increased precipitation in some areas (as predicted in AGW scenarios) falls as snow there.

    That could be the reason why Antarctica is overall increasing its ice coverage, but again that’s not uniform, as the Marohasy commenter says.

    Another is suggested by a commenter at A Few Things Ill Considered:
    “Increasing Antarctic sea ice under warming atmospheric and oceanic conditions
    Author(s): Zhang JL (Zhang, Jinlun)
    Source: JOURNAL OF CLIMATE Volume: 20 Issue: 11 Pages: 2515-2529 Published: JUN 1 2007

    Abstract: Estimates of sea ice extent based on satellite observations show an increasing Antarctic sea ice cover from 1979 to 2004 even though in situ observations show a prevailing warming trend in both the atmosphere and the ocean. This riddle is explored here using a global multicategory thickness and enthalpy distribution sea ice model coupled to an ocean model. Forced by the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data, the model simulates an increase of 0.20 x 10(12) m(3) yr(-1) (1.0% yr(-1)) in total Antarctic sea ice volume and 0.084 x 10(12) m(2) yr(-1) (0.6% yr(-1)) in sea ice extent from 1979 to 2004 when the satellite observations show an increase of 0.027 x 10(12) m(2) yr(-1) (0.2% yr(-1)) in sea ice extent during the same period. The model shows that an increase in surface air temperature and downward longwave radiation results in an increase in the upper-ocean temperature and a decrease in sea ice growth, leading to a decrease in salt rejection from ice, in the upper-ocean salinity, and in the upper-ocean density. The reduced salt rejection and upper-ocean density and the enhanced thermohaline stratification tend to suppress convective overturning, leading to a decrease in the upward ocean heat transport and the ocean heat flux available to melt sea ice. The ice melting from ocean heat flux decreases faster than the ice growth does in the weakly stratified Southern Ocean, leading to an increase in the net ice production and hence an increase in ice mass. This mechanism is the main reason why the Antarctic sea ice has increased in spite of warming conditions both above and below during the period 1979-2004 and the extended period 1948-2004.

    “The other part of the explanation has to do with increases in snow fall. As the Antarctic warms there is more humidity in the air and this tends to fall as snow. Snow on ice will either insulate and increase melt or at a threshold help the ice grow.

    “Effects of snow depth forcing on Southern Ocean sea ice simulations
    Author(s): Powell DC, Markus T, Stossel A
    Source: JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS Volume: 110 Issue: C6 Article Number: C06001 Published: JUN 1 2005

    Abstract: [1] The aim of this study is to investigate the competing effects of a snow layer’s insulation and snow-ice formation on thermodynamic sea ice thickness growth in response to changes in precipitation. Using optimal interpolation to assimilate Special Sensor Microwave/ Imager satellite-derived snow depths into a dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice model, we create a daily assimilated snow depth product for the years 1992 – 2003. The assimilated snow depths are used to adjust National Centers for Environmental Prediction/ National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis precipitation rates which subsequently force the model’s snow depths and freshwater input. These adjusted precipitation rates are used to create a best estimate snow depth climatology. This climatology provides the basis for a series of sensitivity experiments. Precipitation rates are varied from 0.0 to a doubling of the present day precipitation. Initially, sea ice volume decreases with increasing precipitation rate multiplying factor (PRMF) because of the insulation effects of a deeper snow layer. The turning point at which the insulation effect becomes balanced by the snow to ice conversion effect ranges from PRMF = 0.50 to PRMF = 0.75, depending upon the snow thermal conductivity and density. This suggests that with present-day precipitation rates the snow effect on Southern Ocean sea ice is dominated by snow-ice formation rather than the snow’s insulation.”

  26. Keep it up boys, but in the end nature isn’t going to change to support your arguments, the ice is still going to melt. Anyone who has staked their political future on something else happening is going to be in deep trouble.

    JC I am a little confused as to how, bush, labor markets, “lefties” and ice are related, but no doubt it is clear to you.

  27. Charles, please tell me why the satellite monitoring noted over at Jennifer Marohasy’s site is wrong.

    Please also tell me why it will be so bad considering the archeological and paleontological evidence noted at Marohasy’s as well.

  28. charles:
    You think you’re the only one confused? We have people discussing the problems of AGW 100 years who also think Bush downed the WTC.

  29. Charles

    The problem with the NASA site is that we have James Hansen sticking his paws in all climate matters with the result that a great deal of NASA’s output may be considered tainted.

    Hansen was the guy who suggested oil company executives and carbon emitters ought to be jailed. Could you suggest another group that isn’t influenced by the likes of Hansen who isn’t as religiously dogmatic.

  30. JC, NASA are the people with the equipment that do the sea and ice height measurements, (you know the raw data that people try and cheery pick to deny reality), send people to the moon (or is that a Hollywood stunt?) and probes to mars ( another Hollywood stunt?).

    If you want to pretend the science is questionable, good luck to you. As I have pointed out, in the end it really doesn’t matter. It does matter if a political party is silly enough to come along for the ride as they will be left high and dry on the wrong side of reality.

    This is different to arguing against gay rights or whatever, such things have no clear answer, god is unlikely to show up to give his/her point of view. Ice melting is reality the outcome will not change because you argue it isn’t what it is.

  31. If there is no clear answer, why be so partisan about it?

    Since when has it been partisan to ask questions about the effect or the degree of the effect?

    This effect flows into public policy. There needs to be scrutiny of any estimates.

    Sure the crituques of Stern were often made by partisans – but their economics was right.

    There may be consensus that there is warming, and it is human influenced. There isn’t any consensus about the effects. This is where people get alarmist and the robustness of their predictions disappears.

    It is a shame since we need to know the impacts properly to assess 1) if we need to act and 2) to what extent.

    So far no action has been justified.

    Now Charles, it has been measured since 1990 that we have warmed by as much as 0.44 degrees. How much has the sea level risen? How much is it going to rise because of this?

    I contend that Arrheinus was probably right but the predictions of the impacts vary wildly to the archeological and fossil record.

    Arguing with science is not a fool’s errand. Much has been learned about physics because the Michaelson-Morely experiment has been repeated. Testing the causality between temperatures, carbon concentrations and ocean activity is not foolish either. At worst, we would know more about deleterious carbon forced warming.

    From a public policy perspective, how is this silly?

  32. Charles,

    The IPCC third assessement report said there would be 110-770 mm (11-77 cm or 0.11-0.77m ) global sea rise over 110 years.

    I think it is safe to assume that Sydney, Antwerp, Rangoon etc can build levees, and the world can switch to cheaper, more abundant power within this time period without copping 1% GDP growth and 8% of GDP (for Australia) every year in taxes to deal with this.

    How do you think we should deal with a 110 year sea level rise of four to thirty inches?

  33. “There isn’t any consensus about the effects. This is where people get alarmist and the robustness of their predictions disappears.”

    Absolultely. So why is it that the sceptics focus predominantly on questioning the science?

    “The IPCC said…”

    There is plenty of reasons to believe that the IPCC was too conservative in this respect (among others), largely because of political interference.

    And besides, you are forgetting the large number of other consequences of climate change – more rain some places, less in others, effects on arable land and water supplies (that’s a biggie), more extreme weather events, ocean acidification, ecological disruption and extinctions, maybe ocean current disruption, impacts on exposed infrastructure, more forest fires, greater potential for conflict in marginal areas….

  34. Mark

    The actual speed the sea level rises depend on how fast Greenland melts, that is how fast this chaotic system moves form one state to another. The reality is our science/maths isn’t good enough to model chaotic systems, that is why the date for no ice at the poles keeps changing. It is also difficult to know where it will all end.

    Arguing about the response to global warming is a lot more sensible than arguing that it isn’t happening, however I think you will be hard put arguing the level of pollution we currently have is a plus for humanity.

  35. Jarrah,

    I’m not forgetting them. There has been no reliable cost benefits analysis that says that we should take action yet (read Nordhaus).

    What you are saying about water supplies is strange. No one can predict rainfall and there is simply so much more sustainable groundwater in Australia as opposed to surface water. How will ocean acidification impact your welfare? The end of Australian droughts are typically preceded by cyclonic events. I simply don’t udnerstand what you mean by “impacts on exposed infrastrucutre”. Forest fires can be managed by good land management and use – recent fires have risen due to uneccessary restrictions on clearing and burning off.

    The speed of sea level recorded last decade was 0.3 mm per year from satellite data. 33 cm over 110 years. I’m simply not worried about this.

    What you are saying charles is if the results are alarmist, then the modelling is good (which you have accepted). Your response to the idea that the impacts would be at worst moderate was that “the modelling is too complex”.

    The level of pollution we have is a plus for humanity. Mitigating the pollution is not worth the costs. Yes we can internalise the externality in a Pigouvian sense…but the losses to the total economy are greater than these gains. This is of course is not a reason to encourage pollution through insufficient property rights or subsidies to polluters.

  36. A final note on your recent comments guys: 110 years is an awfully long time to adopt new technologies and make necessary changes in the capital structure to deal with changes in resource endowments and comparative advantages. If there was a reliable CBA that said we need to take action, basically it would be saying the opposite.

  37. Mark, if you’re not forgetting them, why did you mention sea level rises as the only thing to be dealt with?

    Water isn’t just rainfall (though the AGW changes to precipitation aren’t unpredictable as you claim). Glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau provide water for billions – what happens when they’re gone? Ocean acidification could impact food chains, and fish are important to humans. Infrastructure exposed to conditions they weren’t built for. Sure forest fires can be managed, but that’s a clear cost.

    “There have been no reliable cost benefit analysis…”

    What you essentially are claiming is ‘we don’t know’, or ‘we don’t know yet’. That’s fine, but that means you can’t advocate one course of action or another, yet you advocate waiting and seeing, a clear policy choice. Surely you should be agnostic on the issue instead?

  38. The problem for the denialers is that business is starting to see the bleeding obvious. There is money in them there hills.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24139290-5013480,00.html

    Now I know a liberal view and a positive view towards business is not the same thing but, who is going to be left to support the Liberal party if they team up with those that want to deny reality? A bunch of conservatives that want to pretend time stopped in 1950?

  39. I saw the column, Charles. Frankly I’m surprised it made it into a quality newspaper like the Oz. It was badly written and contained the most ill conceived economics i’ve read in a while other than what you would find in Fairfax.

  40. Charles,

    1. Mitigation hasn’t passed a reliable CBA.

    2. If the market is doing something without an ETS anyway, why take action?

    3. If the market will take action only after a loss generatiing mitigation scheme is implemented, this will not increase prosperty but is no more than industry welfare like the auto industry has gotten for years, at the expense of everyone else.

    4. How does one make money when sea levels are rising at 0.003 metres per year? The change is so gradual people don’t need a service to make the necessary changes.

  41. Mark

    2) The ETS will create the market, it is method used to put a price on the pain caused by carbon dioxide being placed in the atmosphere, a cost on destroying the air we breath for free if you like.

    Are you arguing resources should be free, polluting is the destruction of a resource.

  42. No,

    This is what I said to Graeme Brid, who has the view that CO2 is good. The same however aplies to you:

    “Something can create an externality and still have a net gain with or without the externality being corrected. Empirical analysis shows we don’t need to correct the carbon externality.”

    Do you understand this?

  43. “I can’t see how they can’t be both right, Nic. Either there’s less ice, or there’s not.

    Comment by jc | August 5, 2008”

    We’ve been getting progressively less ice there since about the time when Washington was freezing his ass off in Valley Forge. Sooner or later if that continues you will get clearing in September. But its not going to last. No evidence exists that CO2 has anything to do with it. Its no bad thing. We might want to give industrial civilisation the credit for it. But that would be speculation without any evidence. What the hell is all the fuss about? Greater growth of phyto-plankton as a result of the ice clearing is hardly a bad thing. Nor is access to a previously untapped region for oil and gas. But the fact is they will have to get used to submarine mining. Since once the North Atlantic Oscillation goes into its other phase the ice will return bigtime.

  44. Well-reasoned, Graeme.
    The Weekend Australian had a piece in the Inquiry section, about the Greenhouse evidence. The writer pointed out that both sides agree that 1998 was a very hot year, though Penny Wong is completely wrong to say that the past decade was the hottest in the history of the planet! Both sides look at the graphs for the past few decades, but see different things in them. Sceptics think that the current plateau is a peak, and we will now get colder, but warmists see no evidence for that. And the northern ice IS getting thinner.

  45. The evidence is all on the cooling side. Those who expect warming do not do so on the basis of the evidence. We don’t expect these things to be synchronised so that there is no great surprise that the melting continued in 2005 and 2007. We ought to be happy that we got the ice down this low. It will return with a vengeance as it always does.

  46. If, in fact, we start to enter an Ice Age again, with sealevels sinking by 300 feet or so, then we should be building a dam across Sydney Heads! Can’t spoil all that prime beach-side property. And Australia will have more land! Another Win-Win situation!

  47. Cooling is humanities real long term problem. I don’t get too worried about it but the climate record does suggest that things are typically a lot colder on this little piece of space rock.

  48. Oh come on, Terje, “Cooling is humanities real long term problem.” In what time frame? Warming is occurring now and is the immediate problem for the next few centuries. It’s one thing to read the regular extremists here say the usual stuff extremists say, quite another to hear you echo it.

  49. Thank the Good Lord for global warming! I am shivering in Sydney, but I think how much worse it could be if we didn’t have AGW!
    According to the records, this is a colder and wetter August than normal for Australia- we’re still getting snowfalls in the Snowies. When will we get the heatwaves?

  50. Charles,

    There is nothing new in that article.

    The skeptics are in the minority. There is no need to presume a grand conspiracy. The reasons for skepticism vary from pig ignorance of the details, tribal alliance to certain political positions, gullible acceptance of propoganda through to genuine issues of scientific concern. Which is also true if you analyse the mass of AGW believers.

    In democratic terms the AGW believers have the numbers. Lets see where they lead us.

  51. Trinifar – what is extreme about saying that cooling is humanities real long term problem. It is what the climate record suggests. Humanity and our current society are not the same thing. Obviously our current society should be more concerned with the more immediate issues. However I’d argue that the possible warm climate problems of 2100 are far less immediate than many other priorities.

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