Saturday, December 30, 2006

Statistical Russian Roulette part II....

or global warming claims another victim.

In August the Ayles Ice Shelf broke off Ellesmere Island. However, with Arctic ice loss being in the news and on the blogs, Eli thought he would play another game of statistical Russian Roulette with the snow gun gang.

The latest issue of "The Earth Observer"** has an article by Stefanie Renfrow and Jim Scott (pp12) describing how the arctic sea ice is retreating as temperatures rise, (and why, you ask the Bunny. Hey guy, if you are still asking those questions, Lab Lemming has some Special Chocolate Easter EggsTM for you)

Including 2006, the September rate of sea ice decline is now approximately –8.59% per decade, or 60,421 km2/year (23,328 mi2/year. NSIDC Research Scientist Julienne Stroeve said, “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean will have no ice in September by the year 2060.” The loss of summer sea ice does not bode well for species like the polar bear, which depend on the ice for their livelihood, she said.

Ice extent from January through the middle of July 2006 was well below 2005 conditions, which, if it had continued, would have led to a new record low. Figure 2 shows a timeline of sea ice extent from June through October; the long-dashed line that indicates 2006 trails beneath the short-dashed line of 2005 until mid-July.
but this is mere conventional wisdom, more interesting to us statistics torturers is Figure 2:
Not only did the extent decrease, (see our unmatched archives for a graph of the change in minimum extent) but if you look at the form of the curves, the minimum has moved almost half a month later in the year, from early to late September. This means that melting is continuing for a longer time AND that the freeze starts later. Moreover the bottom of the curve is wider, meaning that ice is open longer. Certain bears are rumored to be interested in this as is their food in Churchill, CA on Hudson's Bay.

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Senior Research Scientist Mark Serreze said
“I’m not terribly optimistic about the future of the ice. Although it would come as no surprise to see some recovery of the sea ice in the next few years—such fluctuations are part of natural variability—the long-term trend seems increasingly clear. As greenhouse gases continue to rise, the Arctic will continue to lose its ice. You can’t argue with the physics.”
The last would be contested by the regular denialists.

**The Earth Observer is a newsletter reporting on Earth Observation System related news, including satellite planning and operation and the scientific implications of the observations. Very worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

"The last would be contested by the regular denialists."

Some of these people would deny the ice is melting if they were sitting on a small, rapidly melting iceflow in the middle of the ocean with no one around for thousands of miles to rescue them.

Question: If an AGW denialist drowns in the middle of the ocean with no one around to hear their cries for help, do they make a sound?

Gareth said...

If there are more than one on the rapidly diminishing floe, can I propose they be dubbed a "gurgle" of denialists?

Anonymous said...

good suggestion,

and a "den of denialists" describes the place where they hang out.

Climate Fraudit, for example.