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Global Warming: Cancel the Ice Melt Crisis -- Computer Glitch?

If you are a regular reader, you know that I regard computer models ONLY as analysis tools that might be useful in understanding the physical process which it purports to model. And, that I stress over-and-over again that the output of computer models is not scientific fact, nor can it be relied upon without experimental or observational confirmation. But what if the observational methodology was flawed or the measurement device faulty?

Cancel the crisis … for now!

The global warming alarmists were pleased to note that there a significant winter snow melt in Greenland – with the implications that this is yet another indication of global warming. Note the derision and demonization of the so-called “deniers.”

Ice Swirls off the Coast of Greenland…For Now

Global warming is real. Temperatures are changing, climate is changing, and most importantly, arctic ice is changing, melting. It is absolutely critical we understand this process better so that we can better understand the implications, and some of the most formidable tools in our possession are Earth-observing satellites. Their keen and unblinking eyes watch the planet below, recording a host of characteristics so that we may record their changes.

Right now, in the depth of winter, the ice over Greenland and the Arctic is growing. But come March, when temperatures warm, that ice will start to melt. Over the past few years the melting has been larger nearly every year, with the extent (area covered) and volume (total amount) of the ice decreasing rapidly. In late summer 2007 the historical record for lowest sea ice extent was broken, and then in 2011 that record was shattered again. Last year, Greenland experienced a melting season unlike anything that has been seen in a long time; there were unusual conditions that led to this event, such as a large heat wave, but the overall trend is clearly not good. And the reason is very, very clear; global warming, caused by human activity.

To be frank: there is no scientific controversy over this. None. The only arguing that’s being done is politically and ideologically driven, and we are way, way past the time when the conspiracy theorists and political climate change denial zealots should be taken seriously. They are in the same category as antivaxxers, creationists, and Apollo Moon landing deniers: The evidence is firmly against them, and all they can do is make noise and pollute the discourse.

In the meantime, serious scientists are using data from Aqua and its sister satellites to log just how much damage is being done and where. If we come up with a solution to the mess we made and are still making, it will be through observations, through understanding, and through science. <Source>

First, nobody denies that global climate is changing as global climate is a chaotic system based mainly on the Sun’s energy output, the Earth’s position relative to the Sun, the Earth’s rotational dynamics, vulcanology and plate tectonics, deep ocean currents and the largest greenhouse gas of all, water vapor.

Second, what is being questioned is man’s contribution to global warming and if it can even be measured against the natural variability of climate change. Basically, the Earth has been hotter, colder, with more atmospheric carbon dioxide and less atmospheric carbon dioxide – all before any period of gross industrialization. It appears that our eco-system is both self-healing and self-regulating based on as yet unknown factors which we are now beginning to research and discover.

Third, to demonize skeptics as “deniers” is to deny the scientific method itself. A process of hypothesis, experiment, publish, replicate, refute, confirm or modify. This, the entire scientific process is based on a healthy skepticism of every assumption. The fact that a single amateur researcher can make significant discoveries or provide credible analysis with respect to well-credentialed peers of the scientific realm has been shown to be true over and over again. Confirmation or denial of any theory is a matter of structured publication and refutation or acceptance. Only those pursuing a political agenda (Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals) attempt to use ridicule, credentialing or demonization to marginalize those who do not accept “their” political agenda.

Serious Scientists and their Satellites …

Yes, we agree that serious scientists have created marvelous satellites as observational tools to aid in the understanding of physical phenomenon such as global climate change. But, what if these tools were flawed?

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February 5, 2013 … An intense Greenland melt season: 2012 in review

Greenland’s surface melting in 2012 was intense, far in excess of any earlier year in the satellite record since 1979. In July 2012, a very unusual weather event occurred. For a few days, 97% of the entire ice sheet indicated surface melting. This event prompted NSIDC to build this Web site, with the help of two prominent experts on Greenland surface melting (Dr. Thomas Mote of University of Georgia, and Dr. Marco Tedesco of CUNY).

The Greenland Ice Sheet contains a massive amount of fresh water, which if added to the ocean could raise sea levels enough to flood many coastal areas where people live around the world. The ice sheet normally gains snow during winter and melts some during the summer, but in recent decades its mass has been dwindling. For more information about the significance of the Greenland Ice Sheet and its surface melt, see About the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Warm conditions in 2012 were caused by a persistent high pressure pattern that lasted much of the summer. Since September, temperatures have remained warmer than average, but dropped well below freezing as autumn and winter arrived. We review the year’s events, and introduce some general characteristics of the Greenland ice sheet. <Source>

March 18, 2013 … An early spring re-calibration for melt detection

The algorithm for the Greenland Ice Sheet Today daily melt extent has been revised to account for unusually warm winter snow layers and residual meltwater deep in the snow. Meltwater from last summer’s intense melt season did not completely re-freeze through at least mid December. The adjusted algorithm shows greatly reduced melt extent for early 2013. This much lower extent is more consistent with available weather and climate records. <Source>

Ho hum … there has been an algorithm adjustment showing a greatly reduced melt extent – more consistent with available weather and climate records.

But, if it weren’t for skeptics who analyzed the data and publicized their findings, the public would be left with the wrong impression derived from faulty data …

Greenland ice melt overestimated due to satellite data algorithm issue

This is an interesting admission:

The melt extent algorithm used by Greenland Ice Sheet Today has been overestimating the melt extent, and as a result, daily images posted on this site in February and March may have indicated melt where none occurred.

This makes you wonder what other kinds of issues remain undetected in the satellite data. NSIDC has had to issue corrections in the past, when it was pointed out that their data and reality didn’t match. <Source>

Winter Snow Melt in Greenland Grossly Over-Estimated

Back in February, satellite observations indicated that snow was melting — in the dead of winter — across large portions of Greenland’s eastern coast. But now, it looks like the algorithm used to process data coming from the satellite was grossly over-estimating the melt.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has revised the algorithm to better estimate conditions on the ground, and the result, posted to the Greenland Ice Sheet Today web site last night, is seen above. Whereas the original estimate seemed to show upwards of 50 days of melting in some places from the first of the year until now, the revised algorithm reveals very little surface melt at all.   <Source>

Bottom line …

As I said before, science is a process of structured skepticism and the public should be extremely skeptical of those who are pursuing public policies to advance their political agenda – and using science to minimize the backlash of the public when they find out that the global climate changes, the global climate will always change – and there is little or nothing that man can do about the inherent variability of nature at this point in time other than to measure, understand and adapt.

This is the type of information that is rarely reported in the mainstream media, and if it is reported, it is a footnote to screaming headlines. Read any peer-reviewed scientific paper on global warming and check out the weasel words that keep other scientists from laughing.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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