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30 years of sea ice data. The red line indicates deviation from the seasonally-adjusted mean.  (Source: Arctic Research Center, University of Illinois)
Rapid Rebound Brings Ice Back to Levels from the 1980s.

An abnormally cool Arctic is seeing dramatic changes to ice levels.  In sharp contrast to the rapid melting seen last year, the amount of global sea ice has rebounded sharply and is now growing rapidly. The total amount of ice, which set a record low value last year, grew in October at the fastest pace since record-keeping began in 1979.

The actual amount of ice area varies seasonally from about 16 to 23 million square kilometers. However, the mean anomaly-- defined as the difference between the current area and the seasonally-adjusted average-- changes much slower, and generally varies by only 2-3 million square kilometers.

That anomaly had been negative, indicating ice loss, for most of the current decade and reached a historic low in 2007. The current value is again zero, indicating an amount of ice exactly equal to the global average from 1979-2000.

Bill Chapman, a researcher with the Arctic Climate Center at the University of Illinois, says the rapid increase is "no big deal". He says that, while the Arctic has certainly been colder in recent months, the long-term decrease is still ongoing. Chapman, who predicts that sea ice will soon stop growing, sees nothing in the recent data to contradict predictions of global warming.

Others aren't quite so sure. Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, says he sees some "very odd" things occurring in recent years. Michaels, who is also a Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute, tells DailyTech that, while the behavior of the Arctic seems to agree with climate models predictions, the Southern Hemisphere can't be explained by current theory. "The models predict a warming ocean around Antarctica, so why would we see more sea ice?" Michaels adds that large areas of the Southern Pacific are showing cooling trends, an occurrence not anticipated by any current climate model.

On average, ice covers roughly 7% of the ocean surface of the planet. Sea ice is floating and therefore doesn't affect sea level like the ice anchored on bedrock in Antarctica or Greenland. However, research has indicated that the Antarctic continent -- which is on a long-term cooling trend -- has also been gaining ice in recent years.

The primary instrument for measuring sea ice today is the AMSR-E microwave radiometer, an instrument package aboard NASA's AQUA satellite. AQUA was launched in 2002, as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS).

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RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By thepalinator on 11/7/2008 10:28:56 PM , Rating: 5
There's nothing "right wing" about presenting the facts straight up.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Moklar on 11/7/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By wookie1 on 11/10/2008 2:33:15 PM , Rating: 3
"Nothing provided there is a consensus that they are in fact facts."

What? I can't make sense of this statement, I can only guess that you're saying that nothing is a fact without consensus. Kind of like it not being a fact that the earth and planets revolve around the sun since the consensus (at one time) was that everything revolved around the earth. You must be one of those "flat earthers" I keep hearing about.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Fusible on 11/10/2008 3:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
Look I find it fascinating that when a person writes something contrary to somebodies beliefs it's not true. You can't at the same time discredit him either for providing information he has learned about. Most don't follow it religiously, but when it comes up and you see it; You will read it. There's politics in everything in the way it's governed even in DT. While you may disagree, I appreciate the information that is given by the editors and bloggers on this site.

We may agree to disagree, but this is why these forums are made for to discuss and express your opinions and thoughts. But not everybody will agree with what you have to say.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By johnsonx on 11/7/2008 11:37:48 PM , Rating: 5
If the left is afraid of the facts, then facts are clearly right-wing.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By lucasb on 11/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By masher2 on 11/8/2008 1:38:58 PM , Rating: 5
Wikipedia articles on GW are controlled by a tight cabal, led by Admins such as William Connelley, Raymond Arrit, or a few others. There isn't a single Wiki article on the subject they haven't extensively edited, as well as taking actions to ban anyone who posts disputing material.

In any case, this particular Wiki article is easy to discredit. Countless research indicates Antarctica doesn't agree with model predictions. Here's a small sampling:

Computer analyses of global climate have consistently overstated warming in Antarctica, concludes new research by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Ohio State University

A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.

While it is true that today, climate models tend to predict Antarctic cooling, that "prediction" was not made until long after experimental data showed Antarctic to be contradicting the warming predictions of models.

In short, is is an 'after the fact" correction to the models, to get them to align with reality. If you doubt this, look back at any of the older IPCC reports, such as AR3 (2001):

Climate models generally predict amplified warming in the polar regions...In the Antarctic, over the past half-century there has been a marked warming trend in the Antarctic Peninsula.**** Elsewhere there is a general but not unambiguous warming trend

The IPCC was, of course, flat out wrong...and there exists a concerted effort to rewrite history, and pretend those predictions and claims of Antarctic warming were never made, and that cooling was expected all along. Don't fall for it.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By lucasb on 11/8/2008 2:42:23 PM , Rating: 1
Antarctica doesn't agree with model predictions.

Why should it have to agree with models? The Antartic continent is a special beast, as demostrated by the uniqueness of the ozone depletion dynamics. Models are imperfect and are being refined periodically. Expecting the Antartic climate to adjust flawlessly to models is naive at best.
There are countless explanations for the milder warming (or even mild cooling) of the climate and the (disputed)* growth of the ice sheet:
- The circumpolar current acting as a sort of "buffer" preventing the arriving of warmer water from the tropics.
- It seems logical to observe a milder change in the south, where sea (a moderating fore in weather) is much more abundant than land (I live in Argentina so I know what I'm talking about)
- A warmer climate means more precipitation (rain or snow). So, if temperatures go from -30 ºC to -15 ºC, you're still well below the freezing point (no ice melting expected) but you may expect more snowfall and rainfall which can become new ice.
- The reduction in ozone, which is a greenhouse gas in itself.

Still, some people believe than mankind doesn't have the means to transform the environment on a worldwide scale.

The term Anthropocene, proposed and increasingly employed to denote the current interval of anthropogenic global environmental change, may be discussed on stratigraphic grounds. A case can be made for its consideration as a formal epoch in that, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has endured changes sufficient to leave a global stratigraphic signature distinct from that of the Holocene or of previous Pleistocene interglacial phases, encompassing novel biotic, sedimentary, and geochemical change. These changes, although likely only in their initial phases, are sufficiently distinct and robustly established for suggestions of a Holocene–Anthropocene boundary in the recent historical past to be geologically reasonable. The boundary may be defined either via Global Stratigraphic Section and Point (“golden spike”) locations or by adopting a numerical date. Formal adoption of this term in the near future will largely depend on its utility, particularly to earth scientists working on late Holocene successions

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By teldar on 11/8/2008 6:00:05 PM , Rating: 5
You want to completely throw out predictions which said that Antarctica was warming and accept all the portions of them that say the entire earth is warming?

I would think this is an all or nothing scenario.... Either the predictions are right or they are not.
I don't think you can just take out an entire continent's predictions. otherwise you'd have to throw out all the other continent's predictions as well....
There was a comment earlier about 'cherry picking' and I believe this conforms to that comment.


RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By lucasb on 11/8/2008 9:36:36 PM , Rating: 3
I would think this is an all or nothing scenario.... Either the predictions are right or they are not.

Amazing. Everything has to be black or white, right or left, with us or against us. What a wonderful mindset.
You want to completely throw out predictions which said that Antarctica was warming and accept all the portions of them that say the entire earth is warming?

There was a comment earlier about 'cherry picking' and I believe this conforms to that comment.

Interesting. I say that inconsistencies between the models and the dynamics of the Antartic climate aren't that surprising. I even recognize that this is a weak point in the theoretical framework of climate change. Yet you talk about 'cherry picking' evidence, when that's the behaviour commonly associated with climate change deniers (note that I'm saying deniers not skeptics).
Why not talk about the Antarctic Peninsula?
Why not talk about the correct predictions and general achievements of the climate change theory?

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Suntan on 11/10/2008 1:23:54 PM , Rating: 4
Amazing. Everything has to be black or white, right or left, with us or against us. What a wonderful mindset.

Ahh, yeah. That's called the scientific method. Your theory is either right or it is wrong. Shades of grey are a concept left for political and social topics. Not science.

I could see it being argued back then, "Ok, Ok. So the *whole* world is not flat. Surely vast portions of it still are! People, people come on, most of the world is still flat. yes, if you go in that direction you will be ok, but if you go over in that direction, surely you will fall off the edge!"


RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By foolsgambit11 on 11/10/2008 4:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well, not quite. The terms 'right' and 'wrong' don't really perfectly apply to the scientific method. Your model either agrees with or does not agree with current data, given a certain margin of error. It either explains or does not explain phenomena. It predicts the results of further experimentation or it is refuted by further experimentation. But it's not black and white.

Newton was 'right' for three hundred years. Einstein's special and general theories of relativity still aren't 'right' in the strictest sense - they can't explain quantum phenomena. Evolution is not seen the same way Darwin pictured it exactly, but that doesn't make him 'wrong', per se. (Although so far, evolution has been mostly an explanative theory, not so much predictive, outside of microevolutionary lab experiments.)

Quantum mechanics is a great example of an evolving theory, which has gotten better and better as more and more precise and varied data points were made available. It also has enormous predictive powers.

Unfortunately, climate theories still are in their infancy. No one would deny that modeling is evolving, and most would agree that it will never be perfect - there are just too many interacting variables. But there is good reason to believe we could get it 'close enough', like Newton's theory of universal gravitation was 'close enough' for hundreds of years, and had enormous predictive powers.

I think anybody with an open mind would acknowledge that it is possible for human pollution to do enormous damage to the environment (by which I mean make it a poor environment for humans, specifically). The exact risk is uncertain, but the risk of damage should be enough to compel us to make massive investments in improving the 'greenness' of our technology. After all, the threat of attack from foreign governments and non-state actors is enough for us to spend billions every year on our military and military technology.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By lucasb on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By wookie1 on 11/10/2008 2:40:19 PM , Rating: 5
I encourage anyone interested to go to, where they attempt to reproduce the work submitted to the journals, and especially, where they apply statistical tests of actual temperature data vs. the model predictions to determine their skill. Right now, the climate models have been falsified with 95% confidence interval.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By monoape on 11/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By greenchasch on 11/8/2008 5:26:07 PM , Rating: 5
Anyone can edit any article
No they can't. People have written stories about the GW zealots on Wikipedia, and how they shout down and supress any dissent. Here's a link to just one case, where a newspaper reporter (who had spoken directly to the scientist in question) was trying to correct an article's erroneous interpretation of that scientists views. His changes were continally removed by a group of people that paint every GW skeptic in the worst possible light.

I gave up a long time ago trying to correct Wiki GW articles. Put in anything that hints of dissent, no matter how well-sourced and a dozen people instantly revert your changes. Keep it up and they'll have you banned from editing.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By monoape on 11/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Ringold on 11/9/2008 5:05:00 AM , Rating: 3
Cato? Neocon? Cato is libertarian. Read your own beloved wiki entry on neoconservatism, and you'll find many deal-breaking issues with libertarian views.

From Cato's website:

The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato's work has increasingly come to be called "libertarianism" or "market liberalism." It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism.

Not that I fully expect a liberal to have a deep understanding of the opposite side of the track, but you got that one as wrong as you could have.

I also find it interesting that people can debate what "well-sourced" means. One university is superior to another? Some scientist has a better reputation or agrees with some viewpoint and must therefore be superior to others?

Back to attacking think-tanks, I don't know about science but on economics they often have widely respected economists -- I know Cato and Heritage both do. Ignoring their input on economic issues, for example, when they have legitimate specialists in the field would be willfully donning blinders.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By monoape on 11/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Ringold on 11/9/2008 3:19:26 PM , Rating: 4
I try speak about what I know, where as you flung out an ill-founded accusation about an organization that, apparently, somehow you have developed a knee-jerk reaction to. It's also not an obsession, it's being an informed citizen. I question your competence to vote if you don't understand the difference between a big-government loving "neocon" and a limited-government libertarian.

Also, while climate change may be real, "dangerous" is an open debate. Dangerous for.. certain species? Certainly. Dangerous for humanity? In that case, you've left the realm of climate science and entered economics, and the economic work done to date suggests something more along the lines of "rather annoying" than "dangerous." More so for poor countries. Perversely, the best way for them to leave poverty, asides from political stability, happens to be building cheap, easy to build coal and natural-gas fired power plants to attract heavy industry and walk up the same ladder China has.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By MamiyaOtaru on 11/9/2008 11:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea! If every country was like China (or the US) the oil crash would come that much faster.

Try not to dismiss me as an environut. I love our modern lifestyle. I'm just going to be sad to seee it go (or more likely, dead)

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By monoape on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By wookie1 on 11/10/2008 2:43:56 PM , Rating: 3
What is the correct temperature for the planet?

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By mezman on 11/10/2008 4:11:02 PM , Rating: 1
Just because you say something is doesn't make it so.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Klober on 11/10/2008 9:20:28 AM , Rating: 3
If only you knew how *stupid* you look to those of us with a working intellect....

Says the lonely gorilla... :P

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By teldar on 11/8/2008 6:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
Facts have a liberal bias.

That is perhaps the weakest statement I have ever heard. The facts are facts. They may be disputed, however.

And there are times that the 'facts' make one group happier than another group and are then touted by that faction. That faction may indeed be referred to as 'left' or 'right', but I don't believe the facts themselves are biased.

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