What A Difference 4 Months Make!!!!!

Last August I wrote a post about how climate change had caused the global sea ice anomaly to be exactly zero!  I thought it pretty funny.  At the time, the Northern Hemisphere anomaly was –1.152 million square km, while the Southern Hemisphere had +1.152 million km2

I don’t know if we’re going to reach the + million mark, but, we’re going to get darn close.

Now, recall, this is anomaly.  I am not a statistician.  But, I’m familiar with some concepts about reading into trends in data.  You see, a person can find a trend in anything.  The difficulty is trying to find if there’s any relevance to the trend.  As has been discussed here a few times, start and stop points make a huge difference in whether or not a trend holds any significance.  But, there’s also another consideration, which is related but, slightly different.  Because I’m not a statistician, I’ll probably word this poorly, but, hopefully others more familiar with the concept can articulate better then my humble attempt.

In data, especially concerning nature, you have a natural variance.  The graphs above illustrate this nicely.  In nature, we have natural variances which we all understand.  Trends, and more specifically trend lines attempt to smooth over the variances and give us a sense of what is happening.

Now, I’m sure there’s a clever formula which produces a value of some sort to quantify this, but, maybe not.  When I’m doing serious work relating to whether or not a trend holds any real meaning, I apply a simple test.  Does the trend reverse course regularly at certain intervals, preferably quasi-random intervals.

Most warmists will tell you the recent changes in the ice extent are not a lengthy enough intervals to determine a proper trend.  In other words, they would characterize this near increase of ice anomalies as an anomaly.  This may or may not be true.  It’s difficult to determine a start of a new trend.  But, I will say this, if what happened this year continues, this time next year, we will have a greatly altered trend.  If I were in a professional setting, and if the next year increases like what this year has brought, I would say that the “long term” trend holds no meaning, and that the data either isn’t long enough to determine anything, or that there’s no real changing that is occurring.  And, that there may be a cyclical nature in play.  Or, because of the timing, the arctic ice started a marked decrease in about 1996-1997.  The increase in the Antarctic, while less marked started about 10 years earlier, so, there may be a compensatory mechanism in play.

Lastly, when looking at the graphs above, I would also ask a couple of questions relating to the validity of the data.  In the bottom graph there are two points which jump out at me.  About 1986 and about 2001-2002.  It looks wrong.  Something happened in those two events which is not normal over the course of the data.  What happened?  I’ve no idea.  Did some other event of nature alter the data?  Did we change data recorders or the way we interpret the data?  I don’t know.  But, I do know they don’t fit with the trends or the regular noise of the rest of the data.  On the top graph, 2007-2008 marks a start of something which screams for attention.  Forget, for the moment about the position on the Y-axis, but, look at the near uniform wave lengths after that moment.  Now compare them to the near indecipherable wave lengths prior, starting about 1996-1997.  There was an event.  Something happened.  What happened?  I don’t know.  But, again, it starts a new pattern.  Were I in a professional setting, and if it were my job/mission to track and explain sea ice, these things I would seek a satisfactory explanation for.  Data on a graph doesn’t just do these things.

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14 Responses to What A Difference 4 Months Make!!!!!

1. DirkH says:

Jeff Bezos’ WaPo: Uh, climate science is hard on the brain.
“Ultimately, it’s apparent the relationship between ozone depletion, climate warming from greenhouse gases, natural variability, and how Antarctic ice responds is all very complicated. ”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/09/23/antarctic-sea-ice-hit-35-year-record-high-saturday/

NatGeo: Uh, the South Pole is moving all the time because…
“Let’s remember, the South Pole is essentially on a huge chunk of ice, which means the continent of Antarctica is constantly shifting around and moving.
Throw in global warming and ocean currents and you’ve got the recipe for a South Pole that moves about 33 feet (10 meters) per year.”
h/t Jason Calley
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131226-russian-ship-stuck-ice-mawson-trek-antarctica/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20131016_rw_membership_r1p_intl_ot_w#finished

• philjourdan says:

SO continents move faster than floating ice? Natgeo must think they are preaching to morons.

Wait, I guess most of their remaining readers are morons.

• DirkH says:

Natgeo doubtlessly didn’t even notice that they describe an impossibility. They are as incompetent as a Spiegel reporter whose name is not Bojanowski.

2. HankH says:

The Antarctic event you note in 2001 to 2002 was the break up of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea. Some 3,250 square kilometers broke off over the course of 40 some days and floated out to sea. It occurred around January 31, 2002. Then there was an increase of geothermal activity in the Western peninsula around the time as I recall too.

I think there is cause to look at the late record SH ice extent and conclude there may be a regime change. It may be too early to tell the underlying driver(s) though. Ask an alarmist and they will tell you this proves global warming, LOL!

• suyts says:

Hank, I thought about the Larsen B even but, we’re talking 3,000 km2, when the graph shows nearly a 2 million km2 drop.

• HankH says:

Ah, okay. That’s the only natural event I can think of then. So, it was prolly Mann made or something.

• suyts says:

Probably, but, I never see this stuff questioned, much less explained.

• DirkH says:

“Ask an alarmist and they will tell you this proves global warming, LOL!”

It’s very simple. The ocean is getting warmer yet the sea ice is growing, which could not happen under natural circumstances. This proves that the natural balance is disturbed, by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Now things happen that violate the natural order of things. And that is terrible.

• HankH says:

I was reading a lame theory where more land ice is melting causing the surrounding seas to become less salty, resulting in an increasing ice mass. But that begs the question; how is it that ice on land, which freezes at a higher temperature, is melting to create ice in the sea that freezes at a much lower temperature? They don’t think these crazy theories through much. Again, they’re making ice in an oven.

The check is in the mail 😉

• DirkH says:

Sea water at typical salinity (3.5%) freezes at -2C. For each 1% increase in salinity, the freezing point drops about 1C.

So, it’s not that much lower. Yeah well, but anyway, their evasive theories are just epicycles. Just smack’em over the head with long term temperature and sea ice charts and the failure of their models. Never enter these sideshows. That’s just mud wrestling.

3. leftinflagstaff says:

‘Most warmists will tell you the recent changes in the ice extent are not a lengthy enough intervals to determine a proper trend.’

As if their ‘trend’ for less ice was based on a valid interval. The only true ‘start point’ is billions of years past.

4. The English should count their blessings – for getting floods. That floodwater goes away in a day or two.

If Arctic had ”less” ice – would have being much colder and that rainwater would have being coming as snow and blizzards – extra snow stays longer on land than rainwater; because when is less ice on Arctic’s water -> water releases more heat / accumulates more coldness without ice as insulator from the unlimited coldness in the air and that coldness goes south, turns the rain-clouds into snow clouds. More ice on the polar caps means warmer / milder climate for the rest of the planet

5. kim2ooo says:

Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.