About That Alarmist Antarctic Warming Meme…

by William Teach | December 27, 2012 8:36 am

Warmists have been up in arms recently regarding a recent report that claims that warming in a small section of Antarctica has occurred twice as fast as previously thought. Here’s the NY Times[1]

West Antarctica has warmed much more than scientists had thought over the last half century, new research suggests, an ominous finding given that the huge ice sheet there may be vulnerable to long-term collapse, with potentially drastic effects on sea levels.

A paper released Sunday[2] by the journal Nature Geoscience reports that the temperature at a research station in the middle of West Antarctica has warmed by 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1958. That is roughly twice as much as scientists previously thought and three times the overall rate of global warming, making central West Antarctica one of the fastest-warming regions on earth.

No mention by the Fish Wrap as to why they continue to kill trees to print their paper, use fossil fueled vehicles to distribute it, and use evil air conditioners within their offices.

A potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is one of the long-term hazards that have led experts to worry about global warming. The base of the ice sheet sits below sea level, in a configuration that makes it especially vulnerable[3]. Scientists say a breakup of the ice sheet, over a period that would presumably last at least several hundred years, could raise global sea levels by 10 feet, possibly more.

They do realize that that has happened many, many times before, right? Anyhow, we finally see in the second to last paragraph

Much of the warming discovered in the new paper happened in the 1980s, around the same time the planet was beginning to warm briskly. More recently, Dr. Bromwich said, the weather in West Antarctica seems to have become somewhat erratic. In the summer of 2005, the interior of West Antarctica warmed enough for the ice to undergo several days of surface melting.

Actually, David Middleton, guest posting at Watts Up With That?[4], finds even more interesting information.

The manufactured “record reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between 1958 and 2010 by 2.4:±1.2 :°C.” That’s a 50% margin of error on the reconstruction that supposedly corrected the recording errors.

A 50% margin of error is Liberal Science.

The NASA-GISS data[5] (GHCN & SCAR) for Byrd Station are in two segments: 1957-1975 and 1980-2012. The 1957-1975 series depicts a moderately significant (R:² = 0.19) warming trend of about 1.0 :°C per decade. The post-1980 series depicts a statistically insignificant (R:² = 0.01) trend of 0.3 :°C per decade.

Interestingly, from 1957-1975 people were concerned about a coming ice age. World temps were declining.

But, almost all of that warming took place before 1988. And Byrd Station has seen no warming (actually a slight cooling) since 1991.

Essentially, most of the warming took place during a short warm spell, something that can certainly be expected during a warm period which followed a cool period, preceded by a warm period, with a cool period before that, ect, all the way back to a glacial period.

And even if the study was 100% rock solid, without that pesky 50% margin of error, it still fails to implicate anthropogenic causation. But, hey, if you Believers think feel that it does, now’s the time to give up fossil fueled travel, take 2 minute showers, hand wash your clothes, walk to work, only purchase local, and make your lives fully “carbon neutral.” I triple dog dare you.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[6]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[7].

  1. NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/24/science/earth/west-antarctica-warming-faster-than-thought-study-finds.html?_r=0
  2. paper released Sunday: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1671.html
  3. especially vulnerable: http://www.deas.harvard.edu/climate/eli/Courses/global-change-debates/Sources/18-West-Antarctic-ice-sheets/nature_mercer_1978_wais.pdf
  4. Watts Up With That?: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/27/antarctic-warming-courtesy-of-mr-fix-it/
  5. NASA-GISS data: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/findstation.py?lat=-80.0&lon=-119.4&datatype=gistemp&data_set=12
  6. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  7. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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