Arctic Adds 2000 Cubic Kilometers Of Ice – Despite Reports Of Accelerating Ice Melt

Last week it was reported almost everywhere by the German media that North Atlantic currents were the warmest in 2000 years and melting the Arctic at an unprecedented rate.

Labrador and North Atlantic currents (Chart from US Coast Guard)

These media reports were based on a study published in Science. The authors write in the abstract (emphasis added):

Here, we present a multidecadal-scale record of ocean temperature variations during the past 2000 years, derived from marine sediments off Western Svalbard (79°N). We find that early–21st-century temperatures of Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming.”

I’m not sure what they mean by “early 21st century”. Perhaps the years 2000 to 2007? The study says the waters are about 2°C warmer. Here it has to be noted that they are presuming, i.e. postulating. The CO2 link here is a bit of wild speculation.

Here’s how Der Spiegel puts it in a report titled Atlantic Current Is Heating Up The Arctic:

The experts suspect that the accelerated reduction in sea ice and the measured warming of ocean and atmosphere in the Arctic over the last decades, among other factors, was the result of an enhanced transfer of warmth from the Atlantic. The Fram Straits is even about 1.4° C warmer than during the Medieval Climate Optimum, a time when temperatures in Europe were significantly increased.”

And Der Spiegel writes:

‘Cold sea water is decisive in the formation of sea ice, which in turn cools because it reflects sunlight,’ says Thomas Marchitto of the University of Colorado in Boulder. The melting is accelerating by itself.”

Media reports like the one in Der Spiegel of course emphasized the supposed vicious circle of the melting Arctic ice dynamic: more melting leads to more warming, which then accelerates the process – all unleashed of course by man-made CO2.

If anything they are, perhaps unwittingly, admitting that the Arctic sea ice reduction of the 2000s can be traced back to ocean currents.

And as things stand right now, just the opposite is occurring. The Arctic is NOT melting, it’s freezing up again – recovering from its low in 2007, and quite impressively.

The Global Rumblings website here reports that 70 trillion cubic feet of ice have been added to the Arctic core since January 2009. That translates to 2000 cubic km – enough to cover Manhattan with 20 miles of ice (or 32,000 Manhattans with 1 meter of ice).

The US Navy PIPS 2.0 graphic shows ice thickness. The following comparator shows how it’s the Arctic that has gone green.


Source: Global Rumblings

Some will say that PIPS is not a reliable indicator of Arctic ice thickness, and so cannot be used reliably. But you can put that rumour to rest, see PIPS WUWT.

So why is the Arctic thickening and regrowing, and no longer melting at an unprecedented rate as claimed by the media?

This could have to do with the Labrador Current, which flows southward between Greenland and Labrador. Reports say it is slowing down. That means cold water is not getting transported out of the Arctic. A Der Spiegel article just 2 weeks ago titled “Feared Atlantic current is now weakening” suggests that this current is at its weakest level in 1800 years. What is it caused by? According to scientists, Der Spiegel says:

As a cause for the change, scientists suspect climate change. The coincidence that this has happened during the warming of the last decades allows this to be the conclusion, they believe. But the knowledge about ocean currents still has many holes says Wallace Broecker of Columbia University in USA – a pioneer in ocean research.”

Changes in the atmosphere controls the ocean currents? Right. And as usual, they’re sure – yet admit there are many holes in the knowledge and so they are not sure.

Meanwhile, the ice keeps growing.

114 responses to “Arctic Adds 2000 Cubic Kilometers Of Ice – Despite Reports Of Accelerating Ice Melt”

  1. Juraj V.

    Atlantic goes up and down, but any resemblance to unprecedented change is simply not there
    How do those ocean current scientists explain the 30-year cycle, which is obviously going down again? How come North Atlantic is as “warm” as in 40ties, even late 1870s?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Tamino explores the issue here:

      Basically, you guys have your cause and effect mixed up.

      1. Ed Caryl

        Yes, we read it. All he proved is that the North Atlantic sea surface temperature and the GISS temperature record track each other. We knew that. Why wouldn’t they? Most of the measurement sites are close to the North Atlantic. If you get further away, the relationship breaks down. Then other ocean regions, such as the PDO and the ENSO show up.

  2. salvatore del prete

    Again the global warmers are clueless.

    They are so pathetic and this decade does them in ,once and for all.

    This will be the decade of global cooling.

    Right now we are in the process of showing how their models have predicted the atmospheric circulation EXACTLY opposite of what has been happening.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Salvatore said… “They are so pathetic and this decade does them in ,once and for all.”

      Careful there! That’s a double edged sword you’re playing with. If the coming decade shows warming with a neutral or negative PDO/AMO that’s going to make your side look pretty shabby.

      1. Ed Caryl

        If. There’s that word again.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Ed… I’m willing to accept all possibilities. This is not dogma for me. It’s science.

  3. salvatore del prete

    The global warmers will go down kicking and screaming, but they are going down.

    The denial of past temperature data, current data, their own models being wrong, the amounts of OLR increasing, Antarctica sea ice amounts increasing, the atm. circulation being opposite of their models, the low solar activity, the pdo/amo correlations to temp.with those being in a warm phase mostly, soi oscillation being mainly warm El Ninos, low volcanic activity,upper levels of oceans cooling for past 7 years,etc etc, is to say the least amusing.

    They think instead a trace gas co2 ,I take that back, they think a trace increase in a trace gas due to man, is going to turn the whole climatic system of earth upside down. Oh, that is not right,(lol) they think it is not just co2, but the PHONY positive feedbacks associated with increase co2. One famous example ,is their famous troposheric hot spot, positive feedback, which is still missing in action.

    Amother item of course is their +ao circulation that was suppose to evolve as a result of stratospheric cooling, due to man ,get that due to man increasing co2.

    In the meantime we have an increase of co2 going on, which according to them, the earth’s climate is suppose to be so ,so, sensitive to, and yet global temperatures are now on the way down ,and they leveled off around 2002.

    Not to mention the rise in temperatures over the last 100 years has only been .6c and that was during a time when solar activity was high,volcanic activity was low,pdo mostly warm,soi mostly El Ninos, and of course ,of course CO2 on the rise, and results are a mere.6 or .7 c rise in temperatures, one of the smallest changes in temperature up or down over the last 18,000 years,actually last 100,000 years.

    Yet ,yet the co2 is not only on the rise, which within itself is suppose to send temperatures zooming upwards,but in addition it had help from the natural items that control earth’s climate, and yet temperatures still only went up .6 c in 100 years.

    That says co2 is a myth a non factor ,non player ,when ot comes to temperature changes on earth, and if they don’t get it by looking at past history, maybe they will get it ,when they see the temperatures this decade on the decline ,while their co2 continues on the increase. Even that will probably reverse, as the oceans continue to cool, and lock up more co2 in time.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Salvatore… Are you in on the climate bet yet? Sounds like you should be!

  4. R. de Haan

    Rob Honeycutt
    31. Januar 2011 at 18:56 | Permalink | Reply
    “I hope you guys realize that you are throwing all your eggs into this AMO/PDO basket. If I win this bet about the next decade you’re going to have to reconsider that my side may actually be correct about CO2 after all.”

    The bet is about colder or warmer, not about the the causes.

    But every day brings new evidence CO2 or greenhouse gases are NOT responsible for temperature fluctuations. See my latest posting at Cool CO2.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      R de Haan… Yes, the bet is about warmer or cooler but there are inherent implications for the result. You guys are hammering hard on the idea that this decade is absolutely, positively going to cool. You’ve got your charts and notion that CO2 has little to no effect on global temperature. If you guys end up being wrong, you should be man enough to reconsider the very basis of the science you’re purporting to believe.

      If you can’t challenge yourself to believe that you might be wrong then you are not engaging in science.

      Quite honestly, I’m very open to the current understanding of global warming being wrong. Science does sometimes get things wrong. It’s just that when I read the literature and compare it with the challenges… I’m just not convinced that the prevailing view of climate scientists is wrong.

      Based on the 100 or so papers I’ve read, I’m convinced that science is getting this mostly right and that we have a very serious problem on our hands.

  5. R. de Haan

    By the way, why do we see a red hot colored Greenland in these maps.
    The true color representing the temps is deep dark blue.

    1. Ed Caryl

      That’s altitude, not temperature.

  6. MR 166

    Notice how figures from the Antarctic are missing from these sky is falling global warming reports. Could that have anything to do with the cold temperatures there???? They have been running about 15 degrees C below normal there this summer.

  7. Pascvaks

    The only “Global Thermometer” (actually it’s more like a camera in the sky) we have is the polar icecaps (North & South). We’re not real good at measuring the ice, yet. But one day we’ll get it right and be able to answer ‘Was ist loss?” Till then, not to worry.
    Are the next ten years going to be different than the last ten years?
    Bet on it!
    Which way?
    Who cares, it will be different.
    But what’s going to happen?
    Who knows! Who cares!
    But the Global Temperature may go up. Or down.
    So what?
    But the Climate will change.
    So what, doesn’t it always change?
    You’re not playing right!
    Sorry, don’t like kid games.
    But, you must play!
    Everybody who’s anybody is playing!
    I guess that makes me a nobody.

  8. Dave72

    What is Honeycutt, a phrenologist or an astrologer?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      I just read the scientific literature.

      1. Ed Caryl

        Only 100 papers or so. I read that many last week!

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Good. You are definitely ahead of me. I challenge you then to read Science of Doom’s entire section on CO2:

          1. Ed Caryl

            I did.

          2. Rob Honeycutt


          3. Ed Caryl

            Part 7 has the basis of the log (ln) function I used in my calculations on “CO2 is Cool”. His temp increase number before forcings is quite reasonable. The science is quite good in all his articles.

          4. Rob Honeycutt

            I agree, he’s quite good. And he’s quite compelling. And he very much sticks to the science.

            But the 800 lb gorilla? He’s telling you that CO2 is an important GHG. And if you read more of his articles he takes little exception to any of the conclusions in the IPCC reports.

            He’s presenting very clear and well researched science on climate change.

          5. DirkH

            The 800lb Gorilla is the gravy train of AGW, billions of dollars in the trough for him. Let’s call it the 800 lb pig; that fits better.

          6. Rob Honeycutt

            Oh, come on Dirk… You know what I’m going to say. As opposed to the $47Billion (Billion with a B) in profits (not revenue, profits) that Exxon Mobile made last year alone?


            Just how much research money do you really think ends up in researcher’s pockets? Venture to guess?

            One oil company CEO’s compensation is likely more than the combined salaries of all the thousands of scientists who work on climate research.

            So, give me a freaking break.

  9. salvatore del prete

    Rob Honeycutt, you donunderstand the theory is dead , because it has not predicted the atmospheric circulation correctly. You lost already.

    You also lost last century because the items that control the climate were mostly in a warm mode, and despite that,global temperatures only rose .6 c in 100 years!

    My eggs are in many baskets,those being solar,volcanic,atmospheric circulation,albedo increases,pdo/amo/,soi oscillation,past temp history,past solar minimum history,cosmic ray c14/be10 and how temp correlates with it,co2 and it’s lack of correlation with past temp. changes etc etc etc .

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Salvatore… So, when I win this bet I want you to remember exactly how utterly and completely sure you were in your position.

      1. Jimbo

        Honeycutt…So, when I win this bet I want you to remember exactly how utterly and completely sure you were in your position. :O)

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Actually Jimbo, I am the one person here (other than maybe Pierre) who offers anything in the form of uncertainty. I have said here numerous times that there are no absolutes. I may be wrong. The prevailing science may be wrong. BUT what I read of the literature, to me, seems more that compelling. I believe a lot of researchers have put in a lot of hard work to come to the broad conclusions that are accepted today. The picture they paint is consistent (unlike the skeptical arguments) and nuanced (also unlike skeptical arguments).

          I believe that the “biggest control knob” of CO2 is coming to dominate over other variability in the climate and it going to define the temperature rise in the coming decade.

          Based on the prevailing science, I believe I will win the bet. My admonitions to the absolutists, like Salvatore, is to remember this time now.

  10. Gator

    So how do they explain the lack of ice in 1959 & 1960? Alien abductions?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      No lack of ice in 1959 and 1960.

      1. Ed Caryl
        24k Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.
        US Navy photo courtesy of
        17 March 1959. North Pole. No ice.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Surely you’re joking, Ed. You’re the guy that reads 100 scientific papers a week.

          1. Jimbo
          2. Peter Wilson

            Tell me Rob, how many papers does one need to read to recognize a photograph of a submarine in open water. As to the fact it was at 0 degrees north, we have to trust the US Navy on that issue – not sure why they would lie about it, especially as that picture has been around longer than the global warming debate.

            What does this picture prove? That on 17 March 1959 there was at least one patch of clear water around the North Pole. Can you imagine this happening today without the words “catastrophic” and “unprecedented” being bandied about?

            Oh thats right, it hasn’t happened today, or in all our much celebrated satellite record (ie since 1979). But it did happen in 1959.

            What paper are you going to link me to to refute that?

          3. Rob Honeycutt

            Peter… I remember a teacher of mine once said, “Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see.”

            Photographs can very easily be misleading. You certainly can NOT tell anything at all about ice extent or mass from a few 50 year old photos. That is the very definition of cherry picking.

          4. Rob Honeycutt

            Jimbo… The issue is not ice extent during the holocene. We’re talking about 1958.

            The holocene is well understood. Look at multiple core records and talk to Ed about obliquity and you’ll find that the north pole pointed more toward the sun some 8000 years ago. It’s been in a slow process of tilting back and producing a slow cooling phase over that period (Miller 2010, section 12).

          5. Rob Honeycutt

            Jimbo… From the Harvard paper you linked:

            “We therefore conclude that for a priod in the Early Holocene, probably for a millenium or more, the Arctic Ocean was free of sea ice at least for shorter periods in the summer. This may serve as an analogue to the predicted “greenhouse situation” expected to appear within our century.”

          6. Rob Honeycutt

            Jimbo… From the Quaternary Science Reviews paper you linked:

            “One important motivation for studying the amplitude of past natural environmental changes in the Arctic is to better understand the role of this region in a global perspective and provide base-line conditions against which to explore potential future changes in Arctic climate under scenarios of global warming.”

          7. Rob Honeycutt

            Jimbo… From the

            “Calcareous nannofossils from approximately the past 7000 yr of the Holocene and from oxygen isotope stage 5 are present at 39 analyzed sites in the central Arctic Ocean. This indicates partly ice-free conditions during at least some summers.”

            You’re not presenting any new news here, Jimbo. Everyone understands all of this.

            What I’m challenging is a few photos from submarine expeditions 50 years ago and using those to suggest that we’re already somehow seen what we are now seeing today in the Arctic. Nothing could be more absurd.

            This past year several passages of the Arctic were made that could never have been made before. One man sailed the entire NW passage in a few weeks in a small sailboat. That was not possible in 1958 when we know global temperatures were not the same as what they are today, or during the holocene thermal maximum.

  11. Edwin Adlerman

    There’s nothing in the above discussion that negates the overall trend:
    Once again, showing one dataset that only covers 3 years, while ignoring the others, is the definition of ‘cherry-picking’.
    And the proof of a ‘lack of ice’ in 1959 is a single photo? Again, meaningless unless you have areal plots or data to back it up.

  12. Ed Caryl

    Many more pictures, verbal descriptions, and an arial.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Of course you could read an actual scientific paper on the issue rather than just taking the word of WUWT.

      1. Jimbo

        Here is another:
        Twentieth century bipolar seesaw of the Arctic and Antarctic surface air temperatures

        1. Jimbo

          Here is another:
          “Results indicate a decrease in sea-ice cover and a corresponding, albeit much smaller, increase in summer sea-surface temperature over the past 9000 years.
          The results of this study clearly show that sea-ice cover in the western Arctic Ocean has varied throughout the Holocene. More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.”

  13. slimething

    So I wondered if the Arctic is “heating up”. That would mean it should be in the oceans, namely OHC. Upon checking for 65N-90N and 82N-90N OHC (NODC), the results don’t bode well for those claiming “accelerated heating” of the Arctic region.

    Further, I wanted to determine what the Atlantic is doing as well, but not having the geographical information (lon/lat) for that region on hand, fortunately a recent paper concerning the sub-tropical North Atlantic, which feeds the North Atlantic, which feeds the Arctic, has some interesting information on OHC there. I did not purchase the article, so if someone else has more details beyond the abstract, please chime in.


    Strong interest in multidecadal changes in ocean temperature and heat transport has resulted in the occupation of the North Atlantic Ocean hydrographic transect along 24.5°N five times since 1957, more than any other transoceanic section in the world. This latitude is chosen because it is where the northward ocean transport of heat in the Atlantic reaches its maximum. An analysis of the five oceanographic cruises at this latitude shows that there has been a significant cooling of −0.15°C in the upper ocean (600–1800-dbar range) over the last 7 years, from 1998 to 2004, which is in contrast to the warming of 0.27°C observed from 1957 to 1998. Salinity shows a similar change in tendency, with freshening since 1998. For the upper ocean at 24.5°N, 1998 was the warmest and saltiest year since 1957. Data from the Argo network are used to corroborate the strong cooling and freshening since 1998, showing a −0.13°C cooling in the period between 1998 and 2006 and revealing interannual variability between 2005 and 2008 to be much smaller than the decadal variability estimated using the transect. The results also demonstrate that Argo is an invaluable tool for observing the oscillations in the tendencies of the ocean.”

    That does not sound like it is describing “accelerated warming” of the North Atlantic either. As stated previously, the AMO is at or near peaked in the warm phase, and based on the OHC data it sure looks like the oceans are winding down from several decades of warming, heat is exiting rapidly, and darn, will all that CO2 in Arctic “trap” the heat before it reaches space? What is north of the Arctic? 🙂

    P.S. Rob Honeycutt, did you read my inquiry as to the claim made the stratosphere is cooling? Please provide evidence it has cooled as a result of rising CO2 levels. All the data I’ve come across shows it is not cooling, but actually has warmed since ~1994/1995, and the previous “cooling” appears to have resulted from volcanic activity. For years I took it for granted the stratosphere cooled just as AGW promoters have been parroting like a broken record.

    Are there any observations at all that support the AGW meme?

  14. Ed Caryl

    No room for error or bias there!! “All ice-draft measurements seasonally adjusted to September 15 using a sea ice model…” From an observation on March 17th?? They lost me at that point.

  15. richcar 1225

    This is no surprise. This is what the Polar ice center estimated happened to sea ice volume when the NAO went negative during the 1960’s.
    I am sure that cryosat 2 is confirming the pips data and is being withheld until the proper spin can be made.

  16. richcar 1225

    Meanwhile the Mass. global warming twins have their hands out for the coldest winter in recent memory.

  17. R. de Haan

    In the mean time Sowzilla is coming the USA

    I wonder where that cold comes from but I’m sure our warmist friends will tell us it’s caused by the heat at the Arctic, hell they even bet on it.

    It’s all hot ice and hot snow.

  18. R. de Haan
  19. salvatore del prete

    Rob, I am going to be right ,you will be wrong.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      You don’t understand, Salvatore. That’s all well and good for you to believe that. But when I win, you’re going to have to remember exact HOW wrong you were.

      1. DirkH

        *If* you win, not *when*…

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Dirk… Shhhh! I’m trying to get him to actually put money down on the bet. You guys have yet to manage to match my $5k.

          Salvadore… Don’t listen to Dirk. It’s *when* I win…

  20. salvatore del prete

    ABOUT THE STRATOSPHERE-more important is ,is the stratosphere cooling less in the high latitudes then in the lower latitudes. The answer for this year and last few is yes. That is the key to global cooling going forward. The less contrast between the high/low latitudes the more neg. AO will be ,which will lead to a cooler N.H.


  21. slimething

    The point is, despite the back pedaling by AGW prognosticators now claiming the tropical tropospheric ‘hot spot’ is not a fingerprint of AGW, a tenet if you will, it is written in stone amongst the myriads of published material including IPCC. See ‘Gavin and the Big Red Dog’ at CA.

    The hypothesis says as the troposphere warms with height, the stratosphere cools.


    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Slimething… If you bother to read the literature you will find out that the tropospheric hotspot has NEVER been considered a fingerprint of AGW. It is a fingerprint of warming, period. Always has been.

      The hotspot was only an issue back when the satellite record was not agreeing with ground station data. Scientists were trying to track down the hotspot to confirm whether warming was actually occurring or not. After the UAH satellite data was corrected for orbital decay all the global temperature records then came into agreement and the hotspot was a moot point.

      Also, the tropospheric hotspot in not about tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. That’s a completely different issue (which, btw, also confirms enhanced GHG’s). The hotspot is a function of the moist adiabatic lapse rate (Bengtsson 2009, Trenberth 2006, Ramaswamy 2006) where latent heat is released as air cools in the upper troposphere.

      1. Peter Wilson

        Another thing Rob. A picture of a submarine is not cherrypicking, its not data, its a photo. And it clearly proves what I say it does – that there was at least some clear water around the North Pole in March 1959. Attempt to misdirect the debate as much as you like, it doesn’t alter the fact that you are very unlikely to be able to get a photo like that today, or this March, after 50 years of Global Warming.

        It therefore proves there was less, or thinner, ice at that point then, than there is now. Thats a limited claim, but still a significant one.

        And one that’s very difficult to refute with a graph or a peer reviewed paper, I suggest.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          So, please tell me Peter, if a photo is proof, what was the ice extent in 1958? Where was the extent of multi-year ice? What was the trend?

          No. A photo is little more than one piece of anecdotal evidence about an extremely small portion of the Arctic.

          This is really NOT very skeptical the way you’re approaching this.

          1. Peter Wilson

            Rob, such a photo gives no clue as to ice extent, except for one. It shows, beyond doubt (given that we believe the USN), that there was NO ice at THAT point, being the North Pole, March 1959

            This fact alone sets it apart from any point in time during the satellite record. No paper or graph is going to alter that.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Peter, the photo shows that there was no ice in a very small area. You can clearly see the ice near and around the sub but there is no quantifiable data that you can infer beyond about 1/4 from the vessel.

          3. Peter Wilson

            I agree, thats all it proves. Thats enough, you wont find even that big a hole there any recent March. Not even ice thin enough to surface through.

            It would be quite a coincidence if they surfaced in the only ice free part of the Arctic.

          4. Rob Honeycutt

            Then, Peter, why did we not see multiple passages of the Arctic mid-century?

            I challenge you to watch this lecture by a scientist who has spent his entire career studying Arctic ice:

  22. Peter Wilson


    Your explanation of the significance of the tropospheric hotspot is fascinating. But misleading. It is true that the satellites are now in broad agreement with the surface temperatures, but they shouldn’t be, thats the whole point, they should be substantially warmer. Just how did the hotspot become moot? – what it became was missing!

    It doesn’t really matter if its a fingerprint of warming or greenhouse warming does it, its still not there, and if warming, or AGW, were happening, it would be. What is your explanation for the fact that its just not there, despite the warming your claim is continuing?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Who said it’s not there? It’s merely devilishly hard to pin down. Read a few papers on the tropospheric hotspot and you’ll see what I mean.

      No! WUWT and JoNova are not the same as reading actual scientific research.

      Can you please explain to me why the satellite data should be significantly warmer than the surface data? If you watch the data you can see that there is some amplification in the signal for satellite data, presumably this is because the satellite data is more sensitive to changes in temp. But “significantly warmer?” No. They’re trying to measure essentially the same thing. They should agree.

      1. Peter Wilson

        “Can you please explain to me why the satellite data should be significantly warmer than the surface data?”

        Because the surface data is just that, at the surface (it’s also hopelessly corrupted and unreliable, but thats another issue). The satellites are able to measure the tropospheric temperature, and it is this (as I’m sure you know) that is well below the trend expected to be consistent with the surface temperatures, and the models.

        Devilishly hard to pin down, eh? You know its there, you just cant find it. Its a travesty

        The models predict it. You cant find it. Its not there.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Peter… The satellite date measures lower tropospheric temperature. As in, near the surface. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

          Again, if you take the time to read the papers from the guys studying the radiosonde data you might find out a little bit of why they are having trouble measuring the hotspot. There are a number of issues. One, the devices are not intended to measure small temperature increments. Two, they had problems due to the sun warming the devices and affecting the measurements. But just go read up on it.

          The irony is that you so want there NOT to be a hotspot but you don’t even understand what the tropospheric hotspot represents.

          1. Peter Wilson

            You know Rob, continually making like you are the teacher setting us silly students homework assignments is unlikely to convince anyone here, most of us are somewhat more sophisticated than you seem to believe.

            The predicted temperature increments should be easily measurable by the satellites – why bring radiosondes into it? They aren’t measured – most reasonable observers would conclude its not there. Unless you really know in your heart that it is. Then you grasp at straws, as you so eagerly do.

            You appear to believe the tropospheric hotspot is required as evidence for surface warming – is this your understanding?

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            The tropospheric hotspot should be a signature of global warming (regardless of the source) due to the moist adiabatic lapse rate. More heat means more moisture in the air. That means as warm air rises and the moisture in the air condenses it releases latent heat creating a “hotspot.”

            John Cook gives a much better description here which is fully cited.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      Oh, and the tropospheric hotspot is a moot point because everyone is in complete agreement that global temperatures have been warming over the past 40 years.

      1. Peter Wilson

        So its warming. Or it did warm for a while. This in no way makes the tropospheric hotspot moot. It was never cited as evidence warming was occurring – I’m not sure what you thought

        The point is that in the absence of a hotspot, there is no reason to take any notice of the GCM models, as they unanimously predict its presence – and to a degree which shouldn’t be ‘devilishly hard to pin down”! Its absence is powerful evidence falsifying claims for the predictive power of these models, on which so much of the AGW case relies.

  23. salvatore del prete

    Rob Honeycutt is the typical global warmer spinner. That is all they are left with that being spin. He is in denial of ice core past temperature records, he is in denial of solar /temperature correlations such as what happened during the Maunder Minimum,and Dalton Minimum, he is in denial of the solar/volcanic connection, he is in denial that the global warming pathetic models have forecasted everything ass backwords when it comes to the atmospheric circulation,he is in denial that despite al the natural causes of climate being in a warm mode for most of last century, along with co2 increase, the temperatures only went up .6c.

    LET’S ADD MORE- He is in denial that Antarctica sea ice has been for the most part above normal, he is in denial that the ocean temperatures have been cooling for the past 7 years, etc etc. You get the picture. When one is in denial on all of these facts,the only thing left to do is spin.

    The troposheric hot spot was a cornerstone positive feedback, of your RIDICULOUS global man made warming theory. Again missing in action.

    All the models predicted a +AO ,ROB, SHOW ME OTHERWISE. I AM WAITING.

    SPIN AWAY, and make a fool out of yourself.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Salvatore said… “He is in denial of ice core past temperature records…”

      Can we start here? Please tell me what part of the “ice core past temperature records” I’m in denial about.

  24. slimething

    Rob Honeycutt said:
    “Oh, and the tropospheric hotspot is a moot point because everyone is in complete agreement that global temperatures have been warming over the past 40 years.”

    Now the logic is “I am, therefore…..”. Please, that is as lame as it gets.

    Well Rob, why then did Santer 08 and the rest of the ‘Team’ to go such extremes to refute Douglass et al 07 if the ‘hot spot’ is a moot point? The whole exercise was to show observations agreed with models.

    A 200-400% discrepancy between models and observations is a moot point? Really Rob? Really?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Why did they go to such lengths to refute Douglas? Because he was getting the science wrong.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      slime… You really have to start reading something other that what WUWT points you to.

  25. slimething

    @ Rob Honeycutt:

    I missed this comment you made:

    “Slimething… If you bother to read the literature you will find out that the tropospheric hotspot has NEVER been considered a fingerprint of AGW. It is a fingerprint of warming, period. Always has been.”

    Well Rob, then everything we’ve read and been told for the last 20+ years has been misunderstood by everyone, even those that published it.

    “Tropospheric warming is a robust feature of climate model simulations driven by historical increases in greenhouse gases (1–3). Maximum warming is predicted to occur in the middle and upper tropical troposphere.”

    Apparently Rob, it is you that haven’t bothered to read the literature?

    What’s next, we misunderstood Hansen 05 when it stated the upper 700m OHC was the “smoking gun” proof of AGW?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Dude, you are completely NOT understanding what Santer et al are saying in this paper. Once again you are providing me with a link to a paper that fully supports my position.

  26. slimething

    @ Rob Honeycutt

    I’m having a Columbo moment.

    Again you said:

    “Slimething… If you bother to read the literature you will find out that the tropospheric hotspot has NEVER been considered a fingerprint of AGW. It is a fingerprint of warming, period. Always has been.”


    “Also, the tropospheric hotspot in not about tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling. That’s a completely different issue (which, btw, also confirms enhanced GHG’s).”


    Well, according to our good friend John Cook (with references):

    “As the lower atmosphere warms due to an enhanced greenhouse effect, the upper atmosphere is expected to cool as a consequence. The simple way to think about this is that greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the lower atmosphere. Since less heat is released into the upper atmosphere (starting with the stratosphere), it cools.”

    Hmm, that seems to quite different from what you said. Is this another case of an unfalsifiable hypothesis, in that no matter what happens, there’s always something somewhere to provide an out. Was the ‘hot spot’ and cooling stratosphere just “old” science, and now has been replaced with “new” science? You guys really should get your stories straight.

    According to this paper, which is part of the literature I presume you referred to, the stratosphere is not cooling, but John Cook did not reference it (I notice he defers from mentioning papers that put “the science” in a bad light). They postulate that ozone may be responsible for the warming, but nothing definitive. Why was it assumed the cooling that did occur was from GHG, mainly CO2? It looks like it was caused by two large volcanic eruptions in the tropics.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Slimething… You are conflating two separate phenomenon.

      Stratospheric cooling is evidence of an enhanced greenhouse effect.

      The tropospheric hotspot is a function of the moist adiabatic lapse rate and a signature of warming whether it’s from greenhouse gases or from solar forcing.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      If you take a little time to read everything that you’re referring to on the Skeptical Science site I believe you’ll find that it agrees with what I’m saying.

      1. Peter Wilson

        Rob you really need to stop referring to Skeptical Science as if it had any credibility whatever

        It doesn’t. Every article I have ever read there is easily refutable without further research, if you are reasonably well read on the matter. You damage your own credibility by linking to it as if that proved something.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Skeptical Science is one of the only blogs presenting articles that are fully cited. If you have any issues with the articles and believe you can refute them why aren’t you over there making your case? I know John Cook pretty well. His intent is to get the science right. If you can show where they are the science wrong then let him know.

  27. R. de Haan

    From Joe Bastardi:


    Dr. Ryan Maue’s GFS global temp site is a must for people of good will that are really interested in that debate. For the umpteenth time, I want to make sure that link is there for you.

    I would put it here but again… no Movable Type. I try to show it on the free site once a week.

    In any case, the forecast made HERE last February for 16-18 hurricanes, a La Nina, the global temp crash for 2011 after the spike of the nino (if people can’t see the relationship between the Pacific and the global temps, it’s their own fault) was a hit as far as the spirit of the law… though the details were bedeviling. (Eighteen storms should have had a greater U.S. impact, and the global temp was not supposed to hit normal until March, it’s there already, and then some). In any case between Dr. Maue’s site, Dr. Spencer’s site and the AMSU site (which is not updating again for some reason), you have everything you need to monitor temps objectively. It says in scripture, we will get the leaders we deserve (old testament). Well in this debate, you will get what you deserve if you don’t pay attention. You can monitor this all the time now. The runs of the GFS on Ryan’s site are showing temps falling back to .3C below the 30-year running mean again. It seems that the warmups get us to normal, the downtrends well below. I do have a dog in this fight, another duel with the UKMET office that has 2011 at .44 above normal, I am around normal (plus or minus .05).

    I think my visibility in the commercial sector takes away from the seriousness of the work I do sometimes. In other words, the suspicion is that people like me are just trying to hype things, and if you don’t have a PhD you cant be taken seriously. Well there are many PhDs in this fight, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Maue, Dr. Gray, etc., that can be taken seriously. My take is that if I keep showing I can nail such things, it shows that I am working behind the scenes and that TV and hype is something that a side issue. That being said, it is refreshing to see a young guy like Dr. Maue go to where the facts take him, rather that being led like a sheep to the slaughterhouse by the nose by those that refuse to acknowledge the obvious, which is that there is a reason to believe the big natural drivers are in control here.

    In any case, these sites are great to watch, and we shall see what the 2011 global temp does. It’s starting off about a degree F colder than last year, and for the month of January, the battle with the UKMET looks to be going my way.

    Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Ciao for now.

  28. slimething

    Basically what I get out of Rob Honeycutt is AGW is anything you want it to be. Nothing can be nailed down, and nothing can be falsified.

    It doesn’t matter if climate models fail miserably, but they are reliable predictive tools.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Sorry, that’s not the case at all. Your claims that the models fail is only the claim of a very few scientists. The broader scientific community thinks otherwise.

      If the large body of scientists come out saying that the models are flawed then I think you might have something. So far, from everything I’ve read McKitrick is way out on a limb, grinding his own ax.

      1. slimething

        Everything you’ve read? Where’s that? What is out on a limb is excluding data like Santer et al did to support the models. That is cognitive dissonance at the least, junk science most certainly, and possibly purposeful deception, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of suggesting that. 🙂

        Show me mathematically that McKitrick/McIntyre’s analysis of the data is erroneous. I’m not interested in opinions.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          McKitrick and McIntyre have been shown wrong so often it hurts. These guys are just on a witch hunt. They aren’t doing science.

          1. Peter Wilson

            Now that really is what I call denial! And backed up by a 2004 quote from RealClimate no less. Well that proves it!

            M&M have been right on the money with everything they have accused the Team of doing (or not doing, such as archiving) – or can you find even one claim they have made which didn’t pan out?

            Thats what I thought.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            Peter… Every independent team that has reviewed the material do not back up M&M.

  29. salvatore del prete

    rob honey cut what ever his name is,Al Gore AND ALL GLOBAL WARMERS ,as far as I am concerned are BS spinners,and nothing more. Your theory is going up in smoke.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Salvatore… I’m sorry but if you actually spend time reading the science you find that AGW theory is more solid than it has ever been. You’re just spending all your time in the anti-science echo chamber. Step out into the bigger world.

  30. John Brown

    The article makes it appear that arctic ice is making a recovery. Of course during the winter the artic ice extent will grow, this is a normal seasonal change.

    You need to compare like for like data. When you look at that, the current arctic ice extent is at its lowest on record for this time of year, below the 2007 levels. (That is as of Feb 2, 2011).

    If this trend continues then we’re likely to see the 2007 records broken this summer.

  31. Green Sand

    “If this trend continues then we’re likely to see the 2007 records broken this summer.”

    It ain’t necessarily so!

    2010 was also below 2007 at this time last year; it did not finish that way in September.

    1. John Brown

      You are correct 2010 did not break the 2007 record, but it came pretty close, and for some months of the year was below the 2007 levels.

      Another point to make is the fact that old multi-year ice is almost completely gone.

      I’m not making an arguement for or against global warming, just pointing out the facts.

      1. Green Sand

        “just pointing out the facts.”

        Good so am I. September will produce the actual extent number and include further indications on multiyear ice.

        The use in this post of the US Navy PIPS2 prediction system is interesting. I have been checking it against other ice data for months. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. I don’t know about the “quantitative analysis” in this post, transposing into cubic kilometres is beyond me. But it does show thicker ice now than last year. So I now have to wait and see if that is indicative of the final September number.

        Time will tell.

  32. salvatore del prete

    As Rob, dreams on in his denial. It is a bunch of BS. You just wait and watch what happens to the temperatures this decade. Then again knowing you and your kind, you will probably still insist the global man made warming theory is alive and well. lol

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Salavatore… The only thing that could possibly cause the next decade to be cooler would be two or more large low latitude volcanoes. Throw and couple of Pinatubos into the decade and I lose the bet but would maintain my position on AGW. If there is cooling without such events I’m going to be on other blogs hammering scientists about why this is happening.

      The science is well understood. The major forcings are known. The uncertainties in the science are low enough to come to clear conclusions about what is driving warming over the past 40 years.

      So, did you ever get in on the bet?

  33. Kurt Hanke

    Mr. Honeycutt

    It seems as though sometimes we focus on the minutia and forget the big picture.

    A good “big picture” view is to look at the ice-core proxy data for the earth’s temperature. There is good correlation between samples taken in the arctic, antarctic, and Greenland. They all show a regular periodicity to ice ages, with the more “normal” state of being for this planet to be covered with ice.

    The interglacial periods between ice ages are rather short. The current interglacial that we are in now started about 10,000 – 12,000 years ago or so, depending on what criteria you use for the start. This extended interglacial warm period has been a boon for humanity. Picture if you will, farmers attempting to farm the mid-western U.S. while under 500 to 1000 feet of ice.

    The important point to note is that the average temperature for this interglacial is HIGHER than the current supposed average temperature of the earth. This average was mostly accumulated prior to the industrial age, which has only existed for a few hundred years.
    So if these higher temperatures occurred naturally without destroying the planet, then how is that you arrive at the conclusion that man-made global warming will?

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Kurt… Please compare this exact same time frame to the growth of civilization. When did agriculture begin? Throughout the holocene global temperature has been very stable. This is what has allow humanity to prosper.

      What we are doing today is throwing a huge wrench into the climate machine. We do not know exactly how it’s going to respond. We know without a doubt that CO2 will have an impact. We don’t know to what extent.

      We are performing a planet level experiment. And we live in the test tube.

      With regards to temperatures being higher in the past, everyone involved understands this. We also know very clearly that dramatic climatic events in the past have produced massive extinction events. If this warming were taking place slowly over the next 10 million years, no problem. But we have managed to introduce a new climate forcing that the planet has never known, at a rate that the planet has never known.

      It’s a big roll of the dice on the future.

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