back to article Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins

After using a submersible robot to probe the frozen waters of Antarctica, climate and ecosystem scientists conclude its sea ice "may be thicker than previously thought." Youtube video of the Linux-powered sub in action "Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and …

  1. getHandle
    Happy

    "...lines running left to right..."

    Is that your left or mine??

    1. TheVogon

      Re: "...lines running left to right..."

      ""Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice," "

      So presumably the massive levels of Antarctic ice loss measured by the Cryogen satellite are even higher than we thought! That probably explains how it lost so much ice it even effected the planet's gravity: http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/earths-gravity-dips-from-antarctic-ice-loss-141001.htm

  2. baseh

    Great word/Intel history play

    hopefully without floating point issues

    1. Darren Forster

      Re: Great word/Intel history play

      Yeah I thought so too - you don't normally hear about that now except occasional jokes about how many intel technicians does it take to change a light bulb.... funny one was when I asked one of my friends that joke he didn't get it at all - he just said well it only takes one person to change a light bulb - unfortunately like me he has Asperger's, but he does the literal interpretations thing way further than what I take it - I guess I must have learned over time how to take non-literal jokes!

      Btw also maybe they should have just used a Motorola 68060 instead - the 050 was scrapped by Motorola 'cos they too found the FPU bug, but scrapped it before it got to market - plus the Motorola 680x0 series was far superior to the Intel's 'cos it could do hardware multitasking unlike the Intel's which rely on software multitasking (which is why the mouse sometimes freezes on PC's but you never see the mouse freeze on an Amiga!)

      1. cortland

        Re: Great word/Intel history play

        I've never seen a mouse freeze on a REFRIGERATOR. Or a frieze!

  3. Monty Lovering

    Ah...

    ... the relentless cherry picking of El Reg regarding climate change. It makes me smile.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Ah...

      @ Monty Lovering

      I guess the facts dont match your preferred theory. Presenting a fact is just that, what you take from it is your own perspective and as you demonstrate 'beliefs'. What I took away from this was how awesome it is that Ubuntu was used as the OS of choice for an underwater probe and how I would love to be part of such a project.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah...

        Engineering has been my lifelong passion. Having an article like this appear brightens it. Now, back to reengineering my pet supercomputer. Serious fun!

      2. Fatman
        Joke

        Re: Ah...

        What I took away from this was how awesome it is that Ubuntu was used as the OS of choice for an underwater probe ...

        Well, they really couldn't have used Windows...now could they???

        You know with those Patch Tuesdays and all of that rebooting.

        It would have been a damn shame if the sub, while running Windows (for submarines) experienced a BSoD and went to the bottom, only to be never heard from again.

        </snark>

    2. Raumkraut
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ah...

      I was fully prepared for another tiresome climate-scientist-bashing article from Ol' Reg, but what I got instead was a proper report of an interesting scientific survey.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah...

        I was fully prepared for another tiresome climate-scientist-bashing article from Ol' Reg, but what I got instead was a proper report of an interesting scientific survey.

        There's a very good reason for that: Lewis didn't write the article.

        1. Thought About IT

          Re: Ah...

          He probably wrote the heading, though. Note the emphasis of the word "THICKER".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ah...

            @ Thought About IT

            You can admit it. You like him really dont you.

          2. Leslie Graham

            Re: Ah...

            Indeed - the implied message is obvious.

            But basicaly all this means is that we now have a more accurate measuring device which can access difficullt areas and the data updaptes the previous estimates. Good news.

            The bad news is that Antartica is now losing ice at 6 times the rate it was just 15 years ago.

            Between 1992 and 2001, ice was melting from the two main ice sheets at a rate of about 64 Gt a year.

            From 2002 to 2011, the ice sheets were melting at a rate of about 362 Gt a year – an almost six-fold increase.

            The Antarctic ocean is gaining 32Gt of temporary winter sea surface ice a year - 1% per decade.

            Holland et al, J Climate (2014)

            The maths isn't difficult.

            Land ice losing 362GT per year.

            Sea ice gaining 32Gt per year as a result of all that fresh water floating on top of the more saline water.

        2. Scoular

          Re: Ah...

          The article did point out that they have only surveyed one tiny portion of the relevant sea ice.

          The results are about as interesting as surveying a village in Kent and drawing conclusions about Scotsmen. They may or may not behave similarly.

          Useful research but a lot of data gathering to go before the conclusions become meaningful.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Monty

      The thousands of places where you can find stories with a pro-warming slant aren't enough for you?

  4. Ilmarinen
    Happy

    Good, measury stuff

    We likes it, not like the making it up moddely stuff.

    1. CCCP

      Re: Good, measury stuff

      Seriously?

      We measure thickness with more accuracy and you shout hurrah because it is more than previously estimated. WTF?

      Has it occured to you all this measuring goodness is carried out by people who mostly believe in AGW...

      Please, show me the anti-AGW studies carried out in Antarctica.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good, measury stuff

        What does AGW stand for (obviously GW is Global Warming) - seriously (no irony intended here) but depending on your use of the 'A' in AGW, completely skews the context of your post in a way that would make even a statistician proud. So 'A' could mean 'Anomolous', 'Artificial', or even 'Anti'

        1. Ilmarinen
          Boffin

          Re: Good, measury stuff

          What does AGW stand for?

          Anthropogenic - i.e. caused by humans.

          In order to justify the Zillions (that's a 1 with a squillion 0s after it) of dollars being spent and committed to "de-carbonize" the world, a rational person would need to show that 1) The world was warming, 2) The warming was in fact Anthropogenic, 3) The warming was likely to be Catastrophic (as in "CAGW" - or at least a big enough problem to justify the proposed remedy) and 4) That it was possible to do anything meaningful to prevent the warming. Even then, they would have to show that adapting to any change was a worse plan than trying Canute-like to prevent it.

          This is quite a tricky challenge, especially as there hasn't been much/any warming for about 2 decades, despite the continuing increase in CO2 (which is supposed to be the cause). Nevertheless, there are some people who still "Believe" in AGW.

          These tend to be anyone who's job depends on maintaining the scare or who makes a nice profit taking the green subsidies, as well as the genuine but gullible folks who just want to "save the world". Most politicians and regulators of course love it as an opportunity to raise taxes, impose ever more laws and regulations and to subsidise their friends.

    2. David Pollard

      Re: Good, measury stuff

      Presumably all previous measurements have been similarly underestimated. So although the absolute values of historical data may need to be corrected, the changes recorded using other techniques will be more or less correct.

  5. EnricoS

    More ice means more to flood us all if/when it all melts (as a result of man-made/natural climate change, which may/may not be happening).

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Sea ice

      This is sea ice, not land. So if it melts, there is no net change in sea level.

      This does, however, seem to add weight to the idea that the extra sea ice is a result of ice flowing off of the land masses, and given that the land ice is several kilometres thick, the thickness of the sea ice is largely irrelevant in terms of net ice gain/loss.

      GJC

    2. Elmer Phud

      "More ice means more to flood us"

      But it's thinner at the top end so stuff balances out.

      Not that I care -- It'd take one hell of a lot of meltwater to get up here to the edge of the last ice age.

  6. knarf

    Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

    Get Ready for some tin pot science

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

      Less ice/more ice.

      Both are indicators of global warming doom.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

        "Both are indicators of global warming doom."

        As is sun, rain, snow, wind, tornado and pretty much everything. Although applied the other way the weather is not the climate and so not valid. If nothing happens or we face some doom we can guarantee one group will call it man made climate change. Another group will call it the hand of god. Both equally valid which isnt much.

      2. Joe Zeff
        Stop

        Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

        By now, any change like this is regarded as proof of AGW, or whatever they're calling it today. (Note that for all practical purposes, the theory never changes, just the name.) There's no possible way to falsify the theory because all data are interpreted as proof. As Popper would put it, the theory is no longer anything but a meaningless noise.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

      'Get Ready for some tin pot science'

      I prefer 'pot still' science. Let me explain....

      Clearly, if sea level rises we need to find a way to use up some of the extra water.

      The answer? Whisky. According to Willam Grant, it takes 3.6 litres of water to create 70 cl of it's scotch. Make enough of it, and we can make a genuine difference to the global sea level.

      It's so simple, it's obviously taken a genius like myself to see it. Anyone suggesting that the 3.6 litres doesn't actually disappear, and who might use stupid things like 'facts' and 'science' to disprove my theory, just needs to show more faith.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

        Your theory is crap --- 2.9 litres disappear. (3.6 - 0.7)

        Get it right!

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Boffin

          Re: Your theory is crap

          Scotch is at least 40% alcohol, the good stuff closer to 60%. So a bottle only contains around 0.3 litres of water.

          Now, like any good scientist, I'm off to re-test my findings. The 18 year old Jura, I think...

          GJC

          1. Ian Michael Gumby
            Coat

            @Geoff Re: Your theory is crap

            Prophecy? ;-)

            Actually I'd prefer my 30 Bowmore, but that's already half gone.

            To some they'll claim it evaporated and its a sign of impending doom.

            For me, it means that I at least have some will power to save the good stuff for special occasions.

            Mine is the jacket with the extra cork stoppers. Need to deal with dry rot and replace the corks so that it doesn't evaporate. ;-)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Your theory is crap

            "So a bottle only contains around 0.3 litres of water."

            Bear in mind that sea water is salty and not conducive to manufacture of a good whisky. So first we need to distill the water to remove the salt which lots of left over salt laying around. Since much of the world is till in financial trouble, it might be time to return to using salt as a currency.

            Oh, look. Making whisky to reduce sea levels creates a "salary" too. Free whisky!! Profit!!

          3. ToddR

            Re: Your theory is crap

            Good stuff closer 60%?

            FFS that's dangerous levels of OH, not for drinking me old mucker, not for long anyway

            1. Geoff Campbell

              Re: Your theory is crap

              Well, obviously one adds a splash of water before drinking. I like my throat the way it is, you see.

              GJC

          4. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Your numbers are crap

            "Scotch is at least 40% alcohol, the good stuff closer to 60%. So a bottle only contains around 0.3 litres of water.

            Now, like any good scientist, I'm off to re-test my findings. The 18 year old Jura, I think...

            "

            Like any good scientist you should remember to tell people whether your alcohol percentages are by weight or by volume.

            2/10 See me after class.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

          It's this kind of detailed, peer reviewed analysis of my (frankly bloody excellent) theory that I was hoping to avoid. Here's me, coming up with a plan to save the world, and you are trying to shoot holes in it with so called 'maths', that a 7 year old could have done. Clearly you lack the vision required to save polar bears, penguins, and indeed civilisation as we know it. Luckily, I've got that one covered. You can thank me when you enjoying a future without flooding, and more importantly, one with exceptionally cheap and plentiful scotch.

          1. ToddR

            Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

            Hadvar, I like you, but no polar bears in the antarctic

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Windows

            Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

            "You can thank me when you enjoying a future without flooding, and more importantly, one with exceptionally cheap and plentiful scotch."

            If scotch is cheap and plentiful then who will care about a little flooding?

      2. Turtle

        Re: Thicker ice is a sign of increased temps

        "'Get Ready for some tin pot science' I prefer 'pot still' science. Let me explain...."

        *I* think it's "pot head" science and I don't think that there's any need to explain.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    As always observation >> climate model simulation.

    Thumbs up for a more detailed database to chew on.

    One question unanswered. Does it uplink the results or is it recovered and data dumped periodically?

  8. Mevi
    Trollface

    Pentium Anniversary Edition, 4.8Ghz overclock on liquid cooling. Great temps say research team.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article doesn't say whether the thickness of the ice is increasing or decreasing over time. It just says they have measured the ice and found it to be thicker than they had estimated. It is merely a snapshot of the current state, with no previous states to compare to.

  10. Elmer Phud

    S'obvious, innit?

    Antartica is at the bottom of the planet so it's only natural that the ice falls down there from the Arctic.

    Scientists eh? bloody hopeless!

    1. zen1

      Re: S'obvious, innit?

      While I appreciate the spirited debate of global warming/climate change, I think we're all overlooking one serious thing: Some moron down-voted Mr. Phud. I'll be the first to admit that humor and any sense of is quite subjective, but to down-vote something that was so clearly meant to be amusing to at least 17 people is just wrong!

      Mr. Phud, I salute you in your valiant attempt, and I support you 1000%. However, ice floats. Antarctic ice should be hot footing it up to the Arctic (pun totally intended).

      On that note, I will be drinking a pint and a shot in your honor and in the honor of the 16 other souls who upticked your post.

      God bless

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I blame the climate scientists for global warming

    There's a direct correlation bethween the amount of hot air put out by an increasing number of climate scientists and climate change.

    Shoot (or at least gag) all the climate scientists and everything will go back to normal.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You do realise that the Americans were actually measuring in feet and inches but the software says meters - so it's 'up to 17 feet' not meters. It's a classic Americanism and yes, we're all doomed.

    I for one welcome our iceberg overlords.

    1. FrankAlphaXII
      FAIL

      Considering that Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute are proper scientists and thus use SI measurements like virtually every other organization involved in scientific research or using scientific methodology worldwide (like Electrical Engineering, RF engineering/SIGINT, etc). I strongly doubt that they made that kind of mistake. Unless of course you believe in the AGW Religion, which left science behind in favor of pseudoscience and a pseudoreligious eschatological belief system which is a major disservice to actual science.

      Plus if you go and read their paper, or even the abstract from that paper, its pretty obvious that they don't use the Imperial system.

  13. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I don't understand why there's a need for these Linux-loaded robosubs to judge ice thickness.

    Did we lose the notes Captain Rock Hudson took?

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: Bah!

      Yeah, the Commander's notes got shredded around the time Rickover got fired. Plus, they were about the arctic anyway if you may recall.

      Joking aside though, there's less uncertainty and less error when they're directly observing it as opposed to scanning it with a Synthetic Aperture Radar system like a few scientific instruments on polar orbiting meteorological and climate satellites and some Intelligence birds up there do (or can).

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        "about the arctic anyway"

        Pfft! Tomato/Aubergine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      Those notes are WAY out of date.

  14. MassiveBob

    The twin-hulled sub's design means the vessel stays nicely stable

    I wonder if the two hulls align horizontally or vertically to each other.

    From the picture, it looks like they are aligned vertically.

    I guess if you make them align vertically by having one hull more buoyant than the other, it will be more stable than having two hulls with equal buoyancy align horizontally...

    But then I again, I could be wrong...

  15. DJ
    Holmes

    The missing link...

    Causality: (noun) - the relationship between cause and effect.

    Q: Is the Earth's climate changing?

    A: Always has, always will.

    Q: Is the current change in Earth's climate the result of human activity?

    A: Obviously. Not. Perhaps. Insufficient data for analysis?

    Q: Is reducing pollution of mankind's only home desirable?

    A: Not too bright, are we?

    1. Lomax

      Re: The missing link...

      No one has denied that the earth's climate has gone through dramatic changes in the past - in fact many of the same scientists who proved this to be the case have also been involved in research which proves the link between atmospheric CO2 and temperature. This link being proven, with human activity proven to be the major contributor to the recent rise in CO2 levels, and global average temperatures proven to be rising, you really ought to be asking yourself how bright YOU are. Insufficient data for you perhaps, not so for the vast majority of scientists working in the field.

      1. phil dude
        Boffin

        Re: The missing link...

        depends on what scale you are looking at doesn't it? Wait 4 hours that's weather. Wait 400,000 years that's climate.

        But the universe is founded on physics, as far as we know (and we'll rename it if we find more stuff *anyway*).

        There is no doubt humans made a great deal of CO2. The problem is we probably also made a load of CH4 (moo, anyone?)... It is a complex world we live in, and I suspect the climate models are just not there yet - I don't mean in a "it's wrong way". I mean in a "not containing sufficient parameters to make a prediction."

        The biosphere is pretty much the definition of a planet making engine - can you imagine a world without life? But we don't need to, we have sent robots to do it for us. No water, nice combinations of C, O ,N, S, P, H and you get life. So far as we know, we are the only life filled planet in the universe.

        Well look and see how climate models use biology. Do they? Estimates of tree growth? What about microbes under the ocean? In the Earth's crust?

        I am as bothered by climate deniers as I am climate champions. The modern world has opinions broadcast with usually no basis in reality, and the goal to silence investigation.

        For those that just want to know the facts, this was interesting.

        P.

      2. PeterM42
        Megaphone

        Re: The missing link...

        No one has denied that the earth's climate has gone through dramatic changes in the past - in fact many of the same scientists who proved this to be the case have also been involved in research which proves the link between atmospheric CO2 and temperature. This link being proven, with human activity proven to be the major contributor to the recent rise in CO2 levels, and global average temperatures proven to be rising, you really ought to be asking yourself how bright YOU are. Insufficient data for you perhaps, not so for the vast majority of scientists working in the field.

        WHAT A LOAD OF B****CKS! (Unless of course the PREVIOUS changes in climate were caused by the aliens who put us on Earth)

        Climate change (previously known as "global warming" is just a scam to screw more more taxes out of the public.

  16. cd

    First I heard of Linux-powered anything...

    Can I convert my car to run on it?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Science, bitches?

    The truth, despite El Reg's pathetic attempts at sensationalism, is that we really didn't know all that much about Antarctic sea-ice thickness before. To say that the ice is thicker than expected really doesn't mean much when our previous observations were limited to a few ice core samples and ice-breaker observations. Sorry chaps, it doesn't matter how you try to spin this; it simply has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of climate science - or the very real consequences of the greenhouse effect. You can stop grasping at straws now.

    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Science, bitches?

      the cool courageous AC. Maybe you should RTFA again. Thicker ice than assumed in models. Right ? An admission of insufficient data. All good and fairly written up. Given that a plausible explanation of the counter-intuitive increasing sea ice while Antarctic ice cap appears to be melting has been made, this article reports something that might, just might, reduce uncertainties in modelling, which is needed.

      The validity of what is jokingly called climate science is still open to ridicule until it makes predictions that match reality over a decent time interval, say, 1500 years. This time frame is chosen because it seems to be the medium term climate variability in last 4000 years. Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods with cold spells in between. Given that Viking farms in Greenland are still mostly under ice we could have more warming to go through, even if the Russian meteorologists are right and the next cooling phase is near.

      As for CO2 emission panic, I do not believe it for a simple reason. Greenies clearly don't believe their propaganda either. Nearly all their nostrums increase CO2 releases and don't help energy production much, if at all. Greenism has increased CO2 emissions, such as Germany burning more brown coal in old plants because their CO2 free nuclear plants terrify them, instead of the coal fumes. Same for Japan with its LPG imports. The CO2 reducing poster child, China, is investing in thorium and other advanced nuclear but this gets little press. If the warmists were serious, all conferences would be by video link, not expensive air trips to luxury resorts, old coal plants would be scrapped and twice as efficient new supercritical coal or gas plants built while some way of making cheap liquid transport fuels was worked out or decent batteries that can charge in 5 minutes or less and drive a 30 tonne truck for 500 km.

      Mines the coat with the heat resisting hood and scorch marks

      1. Lomax

        Re: Science, bitches?

        Oooh, it can speak! Shame you forgot to include anything of value - or even anything accurate. The historical warm periods, just like the current one, all have their explanations - it's the extreme excursions in the opposite direction which are more difficult to explain (i.e. ice ages). And guess what, most of these historical warm periods have been linked to increased levels of atmospheric CO2 - clear evidence of the greenhouse effect in action. The main differences with the current warm period are:

        1) the rapidity of the increase in CO2

        2) the level of the increase in CO2

        3) the source of the increase in CO2

        We have not seen CO2 concentrations of today's levels for at least 100,000 years. I notice that you conveniently throw out any climate data that hasn't been actively studied over a period of at least 1500 years - how fortunate you do not hold any position of influence in the field, or scientific progress would grind to a complete halt while we wait for your data to accumulate. And what do Russian meteorologists have to do with any of this? You do realise that there is a significant difference between the fields of climatology and meteorology, right? Or did you assume that just about any -ologist would do? Why not ask your urologist then - after all it's pissing down here!

        Panic? What makes you think I am panicking? Jesus, I hardly ever even think about global warming, I really don't care what happens one way or the other. For one thing I'm likely to be dead long before things get truly nasty, and more importantly I don't believe there is a chance in hell that any of the science is going to change our direction one iota. We're just too damn stupid, greedy and scared to even want to consider anything but business as usual. I'd even go as far as saying that a bit of a climate disaster will probably be good for us, nothing like a good old fashioned biblical flood to teach us all a lesson, eh?

        The point here is that there is no link between AGW and our willingness to mitigate it (or not). Our inability to deal with the facts doesn't change the facts, and it does precisely nothing to disprove them. Only children have yet to realise this.

        So no, I'm not particularly fussed - what really gets to me are uneducated jerks like yourself spreading half-truths and lies with the expressed objective of derailing our attempts at figuring out how our world works. I'm not here to try and convince you - I know there's no chance of that - I'm just buzzing by to see what the tinfoilhats are up to on El Reg. Same old tricks I see, and some light comic relief for me. You remind me of the Catholic Church trying to suppress the heliocentric model of the solar system. Good luck to you.

        1. Denarius Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Science, bitches?

          Lomax, Lomax, yep, beg the question and ad-hominem attack. We are so convinced now. Your own knowledge was delightfully shown by your alleged examples. One of which proved my point. An exercise for the reader to figure out which. :-) Oh, I also note that unsupportable claims are made, such as medieval warm period being only European local or more laughably, it did not exist. So climate science has little to do with meteorology ? That explains why one may be useful and the other is great for travel junkies in academia. As said before, history is not science. A discipline, yes. You can't rerun historical events with controlled changes. And so it is with historical weather. There may be explanations, one or two of which might be right. It still ain't science. BTW, the academics fixated on Aristotle wanted to suppress heliocentric model, even though it goes back to ancient Greeks. Church management only got involved as the two were closely linked at time while Galileo was good at alienating friends. Nothing has changed, science advances one funeral at a time.

          Your hysterical dislike of common humanity is illuminating. Ever sought counselling for self-loathing? Finally, if you had done _any_ actual reading instead of inhaling cultural myths, you would have noticed that the Biblical Flood taught humans nothing. Once changes start costing money, human rational self interest will respond. It's the lack of rational self-interest in warmist claims and goals that encourages my disbelief. As I told my kids years ago, don't emote, I can't hear you. Persuade me.

          1. Abel Adamski

            Re: Science, bitches?

            http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/weather-does-less-than-politics-to-sway-views-on-climate-science-study-finds-20141125-11tyns.html.

            Consider the major problem re the EBOLA Virus in Africa is the beliefs of the people.

            Many

            A) Do not believe the Ebola Virus exists

            B) Do not believe the Ebola Virus is a problem, they know people that survived without help (20-30% of those infected)

            C) Believe it is just another flu, it is all a scam by the UN/Foreigners/Government who are experimenting on them, they believe it is the experimentation and drugs that are killing people.

            Trying to educate or inform these people has been unsuccessful, when they fall sick they hide with their families to avoid the evil experimenters/murderers, or flee with their families, spreading the virus.

            What can we say, species suicide seems to be programmed into us, or we are dumber than we like to think

            One would expect plenty of calved bergs or chunks of ice in the Antarctic ocean, especially as land ice melt has increased as has glacier flow rate

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Science, bitches?

              @ Abel Adamski

              So continuing your analogy using the Ebola virus would you side with the people who want to know the facts? Wait for research and testing to provide facts? Wait for a real world solution supported by fact and science?

              Or would you give up on that and instead follow the witch doctor who says he knows what is happening no matter how many times his predictions fail because he can draw scary pictures and get a religious consensus of like minded believers and expelling anyone who does not just believe?

              Suicide seems to be programmed into some people. Religious beliefs too. That is why science is supposed to reflect reality not consensus otherwise we would have to presume the existence of god. As for your link, it is definitely a political influence over a scientific one otherwise we wouldnt have monuments to the sky fairies in the dream of it being a solution against all fact.

          2. Lomax

            Re: Science, bitches?

            @Denarius: I found your comparison with Einstein's theory of relativity entertaining. Einstein didn't just have a radical theory, he had a radical theory which was coherent, which fit with observations and which made testable predictions - testable predictions which when tested demonstrated the validity of his theory. That it provided interesting answers to burning questions in particle physics (and indeed in many other fields) was just an added bonus - great science indeed, but it's those other bits that really matter. A scientific theory can be boring as hell (most are!), can lead to all sorts of inconveniences (smoking causes cancer - ouch!) or scare the living daylights out of us (MAD) - none of this would have any bearing on the validity of the theory; emotional arguments have no weight here, you need EVIDENCE. Don't like it? TOUGH! And even then, even when you do have some evidence, you will still face the skepticism of your fellow scientists, who have all sorts of reasons to try and poke holes in your shiny new theory - particularly those scientists who are proponents of other, contradictory, theories. They are not easily convinced of ANYTHING, as demonstrated by the initial opposition to GR. But hey, we all know how it turned out in the end on that one ;)

            The bad news for you is that just like GR, AGW theory is also coherent, fits with observations - and makes testable predictions. And unlike GR, AGW theory has faced decades of concerted efforts by all sorts of shady players to kill it dead (Heartland Institute, anyone?) - and yet it moves. Of course, I cannot say it will never be disproven, but I wouldn't recommend holding your breath. In fact, partly because of the fierce, nay positively toxic, opposition to it, it is one of the most well supported theories in modern science, and one of the most heavily researched. Well waddaya know, at least you've contributed SOMETHING! But what else have you got? Ah yes, Theon. Argument from authority, nice.

            I have to admit I had never heard of the guy, but I shall refrain from the temptation to dismiss his credentials and try do deal with his claims instead, such as they are. It seems Theon has made essentially two claims that are relevant to this discussion. Firstly, he has complained that Hansen "embarrassed" NASA. In 2008 he suddenly appeared on the denialist bandwagon saying:

            “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress”

            I can understand that. I mean Hansen is a pretty outspoken guy, and probably not terribly easy to work with, especially if you prefer your colleagues to only speak when there is complete consensus. Note however that he makes no claims as to the veracity of his science. He's not saying "Hansen embarrassed NASA by publishing incorrect information" but that he did so merely by publishing at all. Well boo-hoo. The second claim Theon makes is that data has been "manipulated":

            "...some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy...”

            This is a much tougher claim; I mean it seems that Theon is accusing some unnamed scientists of performing some unspecified "manipulation" of some unspecified data, in order for it to match with some unspecified "model results". It is highly unfortunate, seeing as Theon appears to be sitting on evidence of serious scientific malpractice, that he offered NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER to back up this claim. He could have named one of these scientists, he could have pointed out WHICH data it was that was being manipulated - and how - but instead he chooses the much safer route of insinuation and conjecture. Are we supposed to merely accept this based on his say so? Why is he unable to explain himself further? This would all be pretty mystifying if it weren't for the fact that at the time he was on the payroll of, you guessed it, The Heartland Institute - an organisation that is famously generous towards ANY "scientist" who's willing to publicly smear the field of climate science, no matter how thin their evidence might be.

            It is also worth noting, that despite John Inhofe's smug claim that Theon was Hansen's "supervisor", this has been denied by Theon himself. May or may not be important. I mean if it ever was significant, in any way whatsoever, that Theon was supposedly Hansen's "boss", then surely the fact that he was NOT is also of some importance, no? He had budgetary influence, yes, but none of the other powers normally associated with bosshood. In fact he retired from NASA in 1994, seven or so years BEFORE this whole debate truly kicked off. It is also worth noting that for whatever reason Theon disappeared from the climate change debate only a year after his sudden appearance, seemingly without a trace. I'm not sure what to make of that, other than that he's clearly not sitting on any evidence that disproves AGW theory. So there. Who else you got? Monckton?

            Because, you know, you only need one! :D

            No but seriously, no more "authorities", show me the evidence that disproves AGW theory instead. You got some, right?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Science, bitches?

              @ Lomax

              I didnt read your whole comment but what I skimmed over was amusing. I found your argument that sceptics needed to disprove the MMCC co2 theory when in fact it is the pushers of that theory who must prove it and with testable and disprovable theory. This is where the climate science and the climate religion split up and disagree.

              The scientific part is still trying to figure out what is going on, taking measurements, refining theories and trying to get to the bottom of what is actually going on and how can it be tested/proven and of course used for accurate prediction. This is the ongoing process which has yet to be resolved and unfortunately gets delayed by having to test the occasionally extremely embarrassing claims of the religious group.

              The religious group seems to have given up on the science element apart from the select pieces that can be used to support the religious conclusion. That is actually quite a lot of supporting pieces because the religion can claim every weather event (or none) as proof of MMCC co2 theory but argue against weather being used in the other direction. Unfortunately the religion (as did Christianity) is permitted to influence the politics and stupid statements are made by both the religious group (passing themselves as science) and politicians with the followers never questioning why such bull is peddled.

              Of course the religion had a lot to do with our countries decision to abandon science and instead erect huge monuments to the sky god in an embarrassing backward step that is having a real impact on the affordability and availability of energy thanks to an innumerate politician (yey Blair). But the damage is not enough until we rely totally on the sky god and build magic mirrors to please it at great cost. And of course the believers are happy with it and display an amazing capacity for denial of the real world as the religion denies science.

              But for all the denial of reality and even science by the religious pushers of the MMCC co2 theory it is anyone else (from hard sceptic to not totally believing every little/HUGE lie) who is called denier which I can only assume is due to the word 'heretic' already being taken for other religions.

              So when you argue-

              "show me the evidence that disproves AGW theory instead. You got some, right?"

              I have to wonder where your evidence that disproves god is. Because you got some, right? And it is funny how the religions both conventional and MMCC co2 theory both cry about the end of the world coming. They both believe in building monuments. Both require belief. Both push their credibility based on their popularity in true XFactor style. And both claim certainty with constantly changing explanations, moving goal posts and of course faulty science. But they do shout louder than scientists.

              1. Lomax

                Re: Science, bitches?

                @codejunky:

                I cannot help but note that you offer no evidence, and make no claims, which in any way contradicts or disproves the widely accepted AGW theory. This is becase, as you freely admit, none exists - yet you remain convinced it is false. Just who is behaving like a religous nutcase here? Come back when you have some evidence, and we can talk.

                You all seem to think that there is some kind of controversy about AGW theory in scientific circles, but that is just plain wrong. There was plenty of resistance 30-40 years ago, yes, but as more and more scientists took part of the growing list of evidence in support of it - and as each subsequent attempt at disproving it failed - they ALL ended up being convinced of its validity. You denialists love bringing up examples of people like Theon, who've seemingly switched sides in the debate, and I cannot deny that there are a few others, but you're totally missing the glaringly obvious counterpoint: at one point 0% of climate scientists accepted the validity of AGW theory - but something about it has managed to, over time, convince 95% of them that it's correct. What do you propose that something could be? If side-switching is some kind of measurement of the veracity of a theory (and I suppose it is), then AGW theory is the clear, runaway, winner. No contest.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Science, bitches?

                  @ Lomax

                  "I cannot help but note that you offer no evidence, and make no claims, which in any way contradicts or disproves the widely accepted AGW theory."

                  Well spotted. I also provide no evidence or claims to contradict or disprove god. The onus of proof is not on me. Just because the consensus claims that god is real doesnt mean I accept it nor that for my lack of faith I will try to disprove the unproven. And the same applies to your beliefs. I accept it is plausible that we are doing something to the climate but the propaganda and cult like mentality does nothing to inspire any confidence, instead I wait for fact and testable predictions which so far are not accurate and so we dont have enough information. That is the only fact presented so far in the debate. So why is it my problem to disprove what so far cannot be proven?

                  "You all seem to think that there is some kind of controversy about AGW theory in scientific circles, but that is just plain wrong."

                  And XFactor reveals the truth. The popularity of religion proves it is right. Heretics are obviously wrong regardless of their actual standing on the matter. I think this answers who is acting like a religious nut when you claim no controversy yet the theory isnt proven. You are assuming a belief as fact and wonder why we look at you as nuts as you shout that jesus is coming and the world is about to end. My starting point is prove it. The nearest to proving it so far is 'there is a consensus' which is not a fact just a group of like minds. The political/religious wing of the AGW MMCC co2 theory we all gonna burn/drown/freeze/etc group which represent the theory publicly have proven themselves liers.

                  "You denialists"

                  Is that because heretic was taken? You are aware the the alternate position is 'you religious nutter'. Again answering who acts like a religious nut case that your argument as a denier of science is to denounce anyone not completely sold on your 'conclusion' as a denier.

                  "but something about it has managed to, over time, convince 95% of them that it's correct"

                  I hope your aware that a high percentage of Catholics believe in god! If you use the 'correct' criteria you can gain all kinds of support and of course the consensus is that most people on this planet seem to believe in some kind of deity so you too believe god is a scientific fact because pop idol is a way of proving fact! Sorry, I will stick with science.

            2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: Science, bitches?

              " AGW theory is also coherent, fits with observations - and makes testable predictions. "

              You don't have a good handle on your theory: the models do NOT predict. All the modellers seem to have resiled from that word. And as the models can't even hindcast, they've surely failed the "test"?

              We've had 18 years of no warming. How many years of no-warming do you suggest we wait for before the "predictions" have ben "tested"?

              When the temperature in the Arizona desert ceases to fall dramatically after dark, I will truly begin to believe that CO2 is a serious "greenhouse" gas. Until that time, I will equate humidity with night-time heat.

        2. TheVogon

          Re: Science, bitches?

          "it's the extreme excursions in the opposite direction which are more difficult to explain (i.e. ice ages)."

          No it's not. Milankovitch cycles.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serious question here

    Do we know how well/quickly CO2 disperses in the atmosphere? That is, let's say we had one dominant source of it, like a volcano or ultra gigantic Chinese factory city. How long will it take for that CO2 to be spread evenly throughout the atmosphere worldwide?

    What I'm getting at is, given that most human sources of CO2 are in the northern hemisphere, maybe that's why the major observations of warming (Arctic sea ice and Greenland) are in that hemisphere. While in the Antarctic we see conflicting information, like expanding areas of sea ice (which the warmists were excusing as "yeah, but it is thinner than it used to be" which seems may not be the case) and some areas of the continent where the ice is growing (though to be fair in other areas of the continent it is shrinking - hence the 'conflicting information')

    1. Lomax

      Re: Serious question here

      How "serious" you are is abundantly clear from your use of the term "warmists" to describe those who accept peer-reviewed evidence based science as the best method for figuring out how something works. As for your question, it is a well known pseudo argument amongst "denialists", similar in many ways to the discredited "heat island" explanation for the rise in temperature. The reality is that the atmosphere is a very well mixed medium and locally produced CO2 quickly spreads to produce a very even level of concentration globally. This is easily illustrated by comparing the data from one measuring station to the global average; they are the same to within a few ppm or so. Oh but wait, lookey-here, I'll be darned if someone's not already gone and done it:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/co2_global_mauna_loa.gif

      It's those pesky scientists over at NOAA again, pissing all over your "theory" with their nasty facts.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Lomax

          Re: Serious question here

          You are making the entirely false assumption that I am trying to convince others of the validity of the science. I'm flattered that you would think me so altruistic, but in truth I'm just here to laugh at you. If you're unable to digest the readily available science then that's your problem, not mine. But you sure do offer some quality entertainment! :D

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Lomax

          Re: Serious question here

          First of all, let me make this perfectly clear: I do not have ANY "causes" beyond my modest professional ambitions and a general desire to live a happy life. I'm not the one with a cause here, any more than a kid poking an ant's nest has a cause. I have no respect whatsoever for your delusional beliefs and "theories", but I am fascinated by the phenomenon. I am, however, firmly convinced that you are entitled to believe whatever you like, and to express those beliefs - just as I am entitled to ridicule you for your stupidity. We call it freedom of speech for short.

          As regards climate models, I have to ask, just how do you think these are created anyway? It sounds from what you say as if the only valid models would be ones which could accurately account for every quanta of energy from the birth of the universe onwards. Well let me tell you, since I happen to know a little bit about computing, that's not a very realistic proposition; not only would it be terribly difficult even for a very skilled computerologist with a very big computing machine to make one of those - it would also take an awfully long time to run. You know how the last hour in the workday seems to creep by so slowly? Well that hour is like a drop in the ocean compared to how long it would take to model the entire univerb. So what can we do? Well, we could give up entirely on using computer models for scientific study. Indeed many of you seem to think this is an absolute requirement, in which case please hand back any CAD/CAM produced articles in your possession - they are obviously badly flawed and possibly dangerous. Or, we could limit the scope and precision of our models to more manageable levels, thereby giving us a valuable tool for scientific study without tying up the entire world's supply of computer persons for generations.

          But how do you do that? Well, obviously, you have to start with a known state; a set of data about the world in its current state, ideally including historical data. As much data as you can get your filthy scheming scientist hands on! And it goes without saying that to have any hope of making an accurate model you will need accurate data. Now one area where our data hasn't been very accurate is to do with the thickness of the Antarctic ice-sheet (the Arctic ice-sheet is a whole different matter). Those of you who are uncomfortable with the idea of studying anything would of course STOP here, preferring to kick back with a couple of beers instead, pending more accurate data. So how accurate data do we need? When will your required precision be reached? Well, duh, we'll never reach that - why it might mean we would have to admit we were wrong, and we could forget about those beers too! Someone suggested "come back in 1500 years" - and you all like the sound of that!

          Meanwhile, those who do take the field seriously, and who do try to make progress, realised that in order to improve their (already very accurate) computer models they need to improve the quality of the data - and guess what; they decided that a more accurate measurement of the thickness of the Antarctic sea-ice would be helpful. That's why the AUV carried the logo of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and not The Heartland Institute. I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but the data from that AUV is going straight into the lying bastard climate scientists' models as soon as they can get their filthy paws on it - where it will be used to doctor up more climate change lies to feed the misled sheeple so that the NEW WORLD ORDER can be established. WAKE UP PEOPLE, you are sleepwalking into slavery under a greenist dictatorship! Help, I'm being repressed by people with degrees! LOL. You people are pathetic. And dishonest. Dishonest, because you all know that a more accurate measurement of Antarctic sea-ice thickness will do absolutely nothing to change the dire predictions of AGW, and that the change to any model's behaviour from this improved precision is as likely to show increased warming as the opposite. If you don't understand this, then you should refrain from claiming to understand the science of climate change.

          1. Preston Munchensonton
            Facepalm

            Re: Serious question here

            Given your three posts in rapid succession (tl;dr), may I strongly suggest that you attempt to unravel the snarling tangle of panties that underpins your current rage. No one believes your "entertainment" motive after such an immature show.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Lomax

            Well I guess I should have known better than to ask a serious question, since it quickly devolved into a pissing match between the supporters like you and the deniers showing graphs that somehow are supposed to indicate CO2 has no effect (maybe they gave the wrong link, because I sure don't see that)

            Anyway, regarding the models. Yes, I realize that additional data is always plugged into the models. I hope you realize that the way the models interpret the data is CONSTANTLY being modified. It is not as though they have a program called "climate.c" and as they add more input data its output data becomes more accurate. What really happens is that they're adding to the inputs, massaging data they think "doesn't look right" and constantly fiddling with the way the data is interpreted.

            Unfortunately many scientists are predisposed to show future warming, because results that conflict with the accepted theory will meet with resistance. This has happened time and again in the history of science. It should not in an ideal world, but scientists are people, and most people don't like to swim against the tide in their life's work, and a large majority is always successful at shutting them out for a long time. Sometimes the minority who are resisted are proven correct. More often of course, they are not, because they're just plain wrong. Maybe try not to be so willfully blind and simply accept what they say because that's what a large majority of climate scientists say, when they know their professional acceptance depends on toeing the line. They're probably right, but groupthink and echo chambers usually cause things to swing too far to the extreme until the proper balance is found.

            You were very quick to criticize me because I used the word "warmists" in my post. You'll find in my post history I refer to warmists and deniers equally. I personally think humans are having an effect on the climate, but I'm highly skeptical of the ability of scientists to construct working models considering how they predictions the models make are constantly running into problems (like Antarctica) and the way the input data is often massaged - seemingly always in the direction of helping the cause of warming - is very troubling to me.

            The worst offense though that causes me to be seriously skeptical of those advocating for the cause is the differing treatment of events occurring in the present. For example, in the eastern 2/3 of the US the temperature has been below average for I believe 14 months running. The state in which I live had its coldest July on record (going back nearly 150 years) If a denier makes the stupid claim that it is evidence that global warming is wrong, they'll be told that the long term trend is what matters, not what happens over very short time scales such as a year. And rightly so.

            However, warmists seem to have no trouble pointing out the record heat in most of the rest of the world over the past year, and all sorts of "extreme weather events" from California's record drought, to record flooding in parts of Europe, to major storms like Katrina and Sandy they say are "becoming more common", to the absence of major storms - yes, I did see a climate scientist from NOAA on TV claiming that the recent absence of hurricanes in the Caribbean over the past half decade or so is the sort of "disruption of normal climatic patterns" you'd expect from global warming!

            Basically the warmists want to count everything as a checkbox in their column, but there is no way for the deniers to compete. I feel confident that if we experienced a decade long drop of 1 to 2 degrees, the warmists would claim it is normal variation but the upward trend is still intact, look for reasons in solar activity, volcanos, climactic feedback cycles or whatever else to excuse it and keep pushing their cause.

            That's why I remain skeptical. I think we should try to reduce CO2 output through renewable energy, replacement of coal/oil with natural gas, conservation, etc., but the alarmist view that we're doomed if we don't make massive cutbacks in the next decade or two are just the product of the echo chamber most of those researchers are locked into.

        3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Denarius Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Serious question here

            Lomax, please read post before fuming. I did not compare you assorted mass murderers. I compared your manner to that of half educated self-righteous juniors who were their own worst enemy. BTW, shouldn't you use troll icon more ? Enough, I tire of this, there is real work to do sinking carbon into soil which is probably more than you will ever do until buried. Sylviculture for those who have completed high school. On second thoughts, you will be probably chose to be cremated, thus demonstrating you don't believe your own doctrine either.

      2. RumRunner

        Re: Serious question here

        "It's those pesky scientists over at NOAA again, pissing all over your "theory" with their nasty facts."

        And what say ye about this:

        http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an2020_LWup_toa.gif

        ?

        Heat rises. Radiation away from earth rises. Balance restored. Problem over.

        1. Lomax

          Re: Serious question here

          "Heat rises. Radiation away from earth rises. Balance restored. Problem over."

          Yeah, I went to school too, thanks. The obvious problem is that equlibrium will be reached at a higher temperature. You might want to pause and think for a moment here. Why not wrap up in a blanket. Get yourself warm and cosy. Now, how long before you will spontaneously combust?

          1. RumRunner

            Re: Serious question here

            Hey Up Lomax,

            " The obvious problem is that equlibrium will be reached at a higher temperature. You might want to pause and think for a moment here."

            [pause] and you may want to have a look at the chart again. You seem to have brushed over it. It's the timeseries of outgoing long-wave radiation from the earth. What we have been told we should expect with increasing GHGs is that less heat is radiated to space as it is "trapped" by GHGs**

            But what do we actually see in the plot? MORE LW radiation is escaping to space! Around 5Wm^-2 more! It seems that changes in surface temperatrure (for whatever reason) are corrected by changes in OLR very quickly. It's a very efficient self-regulaing mechanism

            ----------------

            ** [yes "trapped" is the wrong word - the escaping radiation has a longer path length is better - but "trapped" in the newspaper parlance].

    2. RumRunner

      Re: Serious question here

      "Do we know how well/quickly CO2 disperses in the atmosphere?"

      Meh.

      It's not as if CO2 can actually heat the atmosphere anyway... http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-68btvHpEmgQ/VHT8IaXdp7I/AAAAAAAAALg/mSu_OAdsZ3M/s1600/CO2_No_Warming2.gif

      1. Rik Myslewski

        Re: Serious question here

        Re: "It's not as if CO2 can actually heat the atmosphere anyway... "

        In all my years reading these comments, the link to which RumRunner pointed us may have been the most blindingly moronic bit of balderdash, crap, foolishness, anti-scientific horse manure, folly, stupidity, idiocy, imbecility, silliness, inanity, brainlessness, ignorance, dull-wittedness, doltishness, thickness, dimness, dopiness, and downright bullshittery that I have ever read here.

        That said, perhaps my all-too-naïve credulousness may simply have missed the crafty wit in RumRunner's post. You be fooling' with us, Señor Corredor de Ron?

        1. Lomax

          Re: Serious question here

          "In all my years reading these comments, the link to which RumRunner pointed us may have been the most blindingly moronic bit of..."

          You know having seen the title I never bothered to check the actual image; that CO2 (and some other gases, notably Methane) causes a greenhouse effect has been known since the 19th century - it is a very well established theory. If he could disprove it he'd get to shake hands with the Swedish king, I'm sure. I'm also wary of following random links posted by moronic lunatics on fringe forums, but I did a wget after reading your post: Yay! More comedy! That's just hilarious - I wonder if he made that all by himself :D

          1. RumRunner

            Re: Serious question here

            "CO2 (and some other gases, notably Methane) causes a greenhouse effect has been known since the 19th century - it is a very well established theory."

            The view you seem to have of how the GHE works in real life is wrong. Read Donohoe et al.

            http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~david/Donohoe_etal_pnas_2014.pdf

        2. RumRunner

          Re: Serious question here

          @Rik

          "In all my years reading these comments"

          Ahh so MUCH snark. So LITTLE facts by way of reply. The canonical view, the Arrhenius view, of AGW is that GHGs absorb LW radiation. The path length for a photon to escape to space is therefore made longer and there's more energy (heat) in the system.

          But that's not how it works.

          1)Donohoe et al (and the GCMs as it turns out) throw Arrhenius under a bus. He shows temperature changes are due to changes in absorbed solar, rather than changes in LW.

          2) We should see less LW escaping to space. But we see more 5 Wm^-2 more.

          3) How can an increase in radiative gasses - which are the main way our planet can lose heat - NOT result in our planet losing more heat? If We are outputting more energy (as shown by the graph in 2)), and receiving more or less constant energy in, the amount if energy in the system must fall. As per my animation.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Serious question here

        "It's not as if CO2 can actually heat the atmosphere anyway... "

        It does indirectly via the Greenhouse effect.

        1. RumRunner

          Re: Serious question here

          "It does indirectly via the Greenhouse effect."

          It doesn't make sense. The only way that earth can lose the energy that the sun inputs to it is by radiating it away. It's radiated away by radiative gasses. Increasing them increases the ability to radiate. The emissivity is increased.

          "Ah, yes", say the people with physics 'O'level, "but absorbtion is also increased". That's true, and if you split it up into layers - and fix all the molecules in those layers in space - then on a layer by layer basis, less emssion is given out from the top of each layer. However the layers in the real world aren't fixed (there aren't any layers either...). Heat rises in the real world. Stratosphere height rises.

          What we need is Real world observations! They should say who is right.

          If increasing GHG's reduce emissivity the outgoing LW radiation (OLR) should fall.

          If increasing GHG's increase emissivity then OLR should rise.

          Here is the result.

  19. Lomax

    This is the problem we face with these people - they do not understand the difference between an animated GIF (or a YouTube video, or a Lewis Page article), and a large body of thoroughly researched scientific evidence, built up over decades of painstaking work by thousands of scientists, while remaining 100% in accord with all known natural laws. They do not even begin to understand the basic principles of scientific inquiry (and would likely be bored by it if they tried), yet they are only all too eager to explain the TRUTH to anyone who'll listen. Suddenly everyone seems to have an opinion, the loonier the better, and everyone feels mysteriously entitled to being taken seriously. Is it just me or do these idiots seem to multiply at an alarming rate? Maybe the Russkies put some kind of stupid drops in our water supply? Or is it an invasion of an inferior alien race? Hmm... Maybe it's that "secret satellite" they sent up, beaming stupid beams at our brains?

    Nah, it's just the Internet. Fount of wisdom it is not. Good for quotes though:

    "The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless."

    - Alan Moore

    1. Rik Myslewski
      Pint

      As we old farts used to say in the 60s, "Right arm!"

      Well-put, Mr. (Ms.?) Lomax. Thanks.

    2. Denarius Silver badge
      Unhappy

      conspiracy ?

      never ascribe to conspiracy something that is more easily explained by stupidity as some wit put it. So how do you explain the dissident climate scientists like Hansens ex-boss who dare to doubt ? BTW, appeals to authority are also remind me of an Einstein response over the dozens of prewar German scientists who disbelieved general relativity (officially). "It only needed one to be right"

      1. RumRunner

        Re: conspiracy ?

        "also remind me of an Einstein response over the dozens of prewar German scientists who disbelieved general relativity (officially)."

        ..But..But he must be wrong... there was a CONSENSUS damnit!

    3. Mark Exclamation

      @Lomax, Your continued insults to anyone who disagrees with you, or has a different opinion than you, is becoming tiresome, but I have a hunch that you don't care about my opinion either. If you really think insulting people furthers your cause, then you should perhaps point your vindictiveness at yourself. How anyone can ever take you seriously is beyond me. But it is quite obvious you wasted a whole lot of time writing your drivel, because they contain no credibility as a direct result of your name-calling. I hope you are, at the very least, happy, and that you feel better now that you have relieved yourself of your venom!

  20. Leslie Graham

    With fewer and fewer straws to grasp at for denying the totaly obvious warming of the global climate system, climate change deniers have even resorted to pointing at the expanding veil of sea ice near Antarctica as ‘proof' that global warming is a 'communist hoax' or 'a scam' or whatever absurd conspiracy theory is doing the rounds of the denierblogs this week!

    Back in the real world, the last time the cold waters from a rapid Antarctic land ice melt formed a ocean surface skin of easily frozen fresh water, below-surface warmth ran beneath the ice and rapidly melted sea-fronting glaciers, leading to a sea level rise of about 14 feet in just one century.

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140929/ncomms6107/full/ncomms6107.html

    Remember - the climate has always changed.

    It only takes the tiniest nudge.

    Fact:

    Between 1992 and 2001, ice was melting from the two main ice sheets at a rate of about 64 Gt a year.

    From 2002 to 2011, the ice sheets were melting at a rate of about 362 Gt a year – an almost six-fold increase.

    The Antarctic ocean is gaining 32Gt of temporary winter sea surface ice a year - 1% per decade.

    Holland et al, J Climate (2014)

    The maths isn't difficult.

    Land ice losing 362GT per year.

    Sea ice gaining 32Gt per year as a result.

    Is it any wonder there is more ice in the seas surrounding Antarctica when there is 362 cubic kilometres melting into it every year now.

    If you are not 'alarmed' by these figures then you're clearly not paying attention.

    1. RumRunner

      It's a problem - but windmills won't help...

      @ Leslie Graham

      "If you are not 'alarmed' by these figures then you're clearly not paying attention."

      There's a bit more to those figures than you are letting on. Firstly it's only one main area of Antarctica that's losing land ice. True it's the massive western ice sheet, but there's something you missed out on saying: That it's always been losing ice to sea as far as can be told. It's a moving glacier, they speed up and slow down based on many factors particularly the topography underneath the glacier.

      Have a look at the GRACE image: HERE. It's only that one area around the WAIS that's losing land ice. To the north, Antarctica is *gaining* land ice, just as they are gaining sea ice.

      The interesting thing is: the only area that's losing land ice is the area with high geothermal activity....

      See Schroeder et al: :

      >>"This supports the hypothesis that heterogeneous geothermal flux and local magmatic processes could be critical factors in determining the future behavior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. "

      Note - NOT climate change. See also: Here

      For global warming to have effected the WAIS we would need to see a rise in southern ocean temperatures. What do we see?

      "However, in general, the Southern Ocean as a whole is showing a weak interannual cooling trend in SST."

      So, yes the WAIS is moving faster as far as we can tell. If huge chunks calf it will raise sea levels. But is it "melting due to climate change"? No. It's not.

  21. Faux Science Slayer

    Climate Alchemy using Carbon forcing is a FRAUD.

    Carbon climate forcing is the biggest fraud since the world was flat....speaking of flat Earth....

    See "Greenhouse Gas Ptolemaic Model" for summary of real atmospheric physics.

  22. Lomax

    @RumRunner:

    "1) Donohoe et al (and the GCMs as it turns out) throw Arrhenius under a bus. He shows temperature changes are due to changes in absorbed solar, rather than changes in LW."

    So it would seem, and in a paper so fresh the ink hasn't even dried yet (November 10th, 2014). Thank you for alerting me to it - it is without a doubt an interesting finding, and defnitely something to watch going forward. But as pointed out by Isaac Held, one of the co-authors:

    "While this study does not change our understanding of the fundamentals of global warming, it is always useful to have simpler models that help us understand why our more comprehensive climate models sometimes behave in superficially counterintuitive ways"

    Effectively, what they are saying is that the earth's potential ability to trap shortwave radiation is far greater than we thought, and that this is an effect which increases with a warmer climate (due to warmer air's increased ability to retain water vapour). If anything, their finding (if demonstrated), should give us more cause for concern, not less. In Donhoe's words:

    “I think the default assumption would be to see the outgoing longwave radiation decrease as greenhouse gases rise, but that’s probably not going to happen. We would actually see the absorption of shortwave radiation increase. Will we actually ever see the longwave trapping effects of CO2 in future observations? I think the answer is probably no.”

    Or in other words, if you are trying to use the Donohoe paper to somehow disprove AGW theory, then you are misrepresenting the findings in it - wilfully or not.

    "2) We should see less LW escaping to space. But we see more 5 Wm^-2 more."

    LW radiation will continue to increase until the earth's ability to trap the radiation reaches equilibrium with the incoming radiation. The earth will be warmer, and thus radiate more heat, but it will have stopped warming up. There is nothing surprising about this. If anything, the very precise measurements of the net imbalance performed by NASA's CERES satellites (http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/) clearly shows the second law working exactly as predicted. The god of thermodynamics will no doubt be pleased with this compliance.

    "3) How can an increase in radiative gasses - which are the main way our planet can lose heat - NOT result in our planet losing more heat? If We are outputting more energy (as shown by the graph in 2), and receiving more or less constant energy in, the amount if energy in the system must fall."

    Because their ability to "trap" the radiation also matters.

    1. RumRunner

      Chapeau!

      @Lomax:

      1) "Thank you for alerting me to it - it is without a doubt an interesting finding"

      You're welcome. Of course it would be very old news to you if you spent more time at the bar in the better class of "denier" blogs, rather than frivoling away your life eating lentils at the Skeptical Science cafe:-D.

      "Effectively, what they are saying is that the earth's potential ability to trap shortwave radiation is far greater"

      I thought you may focus on that bit, rather than the ability to trap LW being less. Or the part about LW radiative forcings being quick to pass through the system (in-built warming my foot).

      2) Congratulations are in order. You manage to combine this quote from Donohoe:

      “I think the default assumption would be to see the outgoing longwave radiation decrease as greenhouse gases rise, but that’s probably not going to happen. We would actually see the absorption of shortwave radiation increase. Will we actually ever see the longwave trapping effects of CO2 in future observations? I think the answer is probably no.”

      and this quote from me:

      "We should see less LW escaping to space. But we see more 5 Wm^-2 more."

      ... without, any irony, or it seems, seeing any connection! You even add (despite having seen the NASA graph) that the GHG's are "trapping" more radiation. Chapeau! You aren't going to let those annoying facts or reason get in the way of your conclusion. No Sir.

      1. Lomax

        Re: Chapeau!

        @RumRunner:

        Well but you missed the two operative words here, which are "probably" and "I think" - let's just wait until the ink has dried on his paper to see how that pans out. You are also failing to comprehend the implications of their findings (if demonstrated): that AGW is potentially a much more serious problem than we thought. The real news in the paper is not the lower LW radiation, but the higher SW absorbtion. That CO2 is warming our planet by "trapping" LW radiation is a well established fact, proven multiple times by multiple independent measurements. It is not being contested by anyone, and certainly not by Donohoe et al. What they do show is that thermal equilibrium will only be reached at a higher temperature, as the contribution to warming from SW radiation may be much greater than previously thought.

        For the benefit of other readers, who may have a genuine interest in the science, here is a good summary of the Donohoe paper:

        http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/study-suggests-short-wave-absorption-may-rise.html

        And since I know you won't read it RumRunner, seeing as you're terrified of the truth, here are an excerpt from the summary, which pertains specificially to your question:

        "When CO2 is first added, it does act as a blanket, trapping long-wave infrared energy coming off the Earth. The atmosphere then emits less of this long-wave radiation to space because the upper atmosphere is cooler than the Earth's surface, just as the top of your blanket is cooler than your body. But the Earth gradually heats up under this blanket, and hotter objects emit more long-wave radiation, so within about a decade the effect of adding the thicker blanket has been canceled by the warmer body emitting more energy.

        So what keeps the planet warming after the first decade? In the longer term, the study shows that the Earth begins to absorb more shortwave radiation - the high-energy rays coming directly from the sun. "

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Arbiter

    Who says global warming is a bad thing?

    The world changes. It gets better for some and worse for others.

    It sucks if you live on a South Sea island two metres above sea level. If you're a lawyer with a substantial investment in waterfront property and a tree hugging girlfriend it's a disaster.

    But if you live in Canada or Siberia a ten degree rise in average temperature means a huge increase in arable land. A return of its inland sea would be a godsend for Australia; a warm shallow estuary the size of France with natural protection from Indonesian and Japanese poachers. Water on both sides of the Great Dividing Range would mean reliable rainfall and a more temperate climate.

    The world has been in and out of ice ages more times than you can poke it with a stick. It spends the majority of its time under ice, and every so often it thaws. This happens without any help from us - as does global cooling and the return to glaciation.

    Possibly we are accelerating the warming. If so, hurrah! Ten metres of ice can ruin your whole civilisation.

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