University of Deleware Penguin Panic Paper Exposed As Flawed… Used “Tricks”

Antarctic climate models fail to handle natural variability: Adélie penguins continue to appear

By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin)

On June 29, 2016 the University of Delaware (UD) unleashed a climate penguin panic with its press release:

Penguins and climate change:
UD scientists report projected response of Adélie penguins to Antarctic climate change

It’s a big question: how is climate change in Antarctica affecting Adélie penguins? Climate has influenced the distribution patterns of Adélie penguins across Antarctica for millions of years. The geologic record tells us that as glaciers expanded and covered Adélie breeding habitats with ice, penguin colonies were abandoned. When the glaciers melted during warming periods, this warming positively affected the Adélie penguins, allowing them to return to their rocky breeding grounds. But now, University of Delaware scientists and colleagues report that this beneficial warming may have reached its tipping point. In a paper published today in Scientific Reports, the researchers project that approximately 30 percent of current Adélie colonies may be in decline by 2060 and approximately 60 percent may be in decline by 2099.”

That’s absolutely bitter. More than half of the penguins will be dead by 2099. In earlier times they benefitted from climate warming, but today heat is threatening to wipe them out. How has this come to be? The press release continues:

It is only in recent decades that we know Adélie penguins population declines are associated with warming, which suggests that many regions of Antarctica have warmed too much and that further warming is no longer positive for the species,” said the paper’s lead author Megan Cimino, who earned her doctoral degree at UD in May.”

Antarctica has warmed unusually over the past decades?

Unfortunately that is completely wrong, see here. Precisely on this subject a new paper by Jones et al. 2016 in Nature Climate Change tells us:

Assessing recent trends in high-latitude Southern Hemisphere surface climate
Understanding the causes of recent climatic trends and variability in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere is hampered by a short instrumental record. Here, we analyse recent atmosphere, surface ocean and sea-ice observations in this region and assess their trends in the context of palaeoclimate records and climate model simulations. Over the 36-year satellite era, significant linear trends in annual mean sea-ice extent, surface temperature and sea-level pressure are superimposed on large interannual to decadal variability. However, most observed trends are not unusual when compared with Antarctic paleoclimate records of the past two centuries. With the exception of the positive trend in the Southern Annular Mode, climate model simulations that include anthropogenic forcing are not compatible with the observed trends. This suggests that natural variability likely overwhelms the forced response in the observations, but the models may not fully represent this natural variability or may overestimate the magnitude of the forced response.

Perhaps the penguin researchers should first take a better look at this paper as soon as it gets published officially. It becomes necessary to explain why the Adélie-penguins are even alive today because the Antarctic Peninsula was warmer than today many times over the past thousands of years. By the way, the last warm phase in Antarctica occurred as an effect of the Medieval Warm Period.

When one looks more closely at the University of Delaware paper, the tricks the penguin researches are using quickly becomes clear. For assessing the danger, a middle of the pack climate model scenario was not used. No, instead the absolute most grim model by the name of RCP 8.5 was used. It just could not be worse. It’s like being sure you’ll have a car accident on the way to work today.

We at this blog constantly have to make official complaints when the media simply take over press releases without checking, and thus promote climate alarm. Finally, there is some good news: It appears people have in fact gotten more careful, as a search for the report turned up no result. That’s very praiseworthy. The sole exception is the Internet platform, who found it too much to resist – and took the bait.


10 responses to “University of Deleware Penguin Panic Paper Exposed As Flawed… Used “Tricks””

  1. Curious George

    Note that the researchers do not predict anything. They merely project. That way they can’t be sued, should the projection fail.

    1. yonason

      “…they can’t be sued, should the projection fail.” Curious George

      unless they’re Italian.

      Fortunately, the sentence was overturned.

      Still, from the facts I read, the geologists were very cavalier about the danger, rather than scientific. So I do think they acted irresponsibly, if not criminally.

  2. tom0mason

    As usual the researchers misused research funds to project their prejudices over a thin skin of data, and on to the rest of the public and scientific community.

    1. mcraig

      … using taxpayer money as well??

  3. Duke Silver

    It sounds like you’re saying the science ISNT settled after all.

  4. THX1138

    The “science” isn’t settled for a lot of things:

    “Antarctica Fossil Forests – Antarctic tropical forests fossilized – when, how and why?
    Posted on July 17, 2012

    Antarctica was not always so cold and remote. Geologist Molly Miller of Vanderbilt University discovered, in the Beardmore Glacier area of Antarctica, the remains of three ancient deciduous forests complete with fossils of fallen leafs scattered around the petrified tree stumps “These were not scrubby little things,” Miller said. “These were big trees.”

    Unlike any trees today, Glossopteris trees lived in stands as thick as almost a thousand per acre just 20 or 25 degrees from the South Pole, latitude at which today they would have received no sunlight for half the year. This powerful evidence that when they grew the Antarctic was in a semi tropical zone. As for what they looked like, Glossopteris tapered upwards like a Christmas tree. Instead of needles, they had large, broad lance-shaped leaves that fell to the ground at the end of summer.

    Miller says they lived at a time when the Antarctic climate was much warmer. Some are estimated to have attained heights of 80 feet (24.6 meters), based on their trunk diameter. Miller, Tim Cully and graduate student Nichole Knepprath came upon the three stands of the lost forests in December 2003.These trees are alive today but only grow in warm moist areas such as Queensland Australia.

    The change that caused the electric fossilization of the trees probably resulted in a dramatic effect which most likely caused severe climate change. The same process would have destroyed the fossils of marsupials discovered underneath Antarctic ice.

    Antarctic also harbor’s bones of extinct marsupials and Dinosaurs with massive coal beds full of once flourishing flora and fauna. The find consists of three inch-long jawbones, each with two or three teeth, that belonged to two berry-eating creatures of an extinct marsupial species called Polydolopus. The bones were dated to the Eocene epoch, and were similar to those of marsupials known to have flourished in South America at the time. They were recognized instantly by Dr Michael P Woodburne, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of California at Riverside, who is an authority on marsupials.

    The fossils were found on Seymour Island at the north-eastern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, which points toward the southern tip of South America. The team chose the island because it is free of ice and snow in the Antarctic summer and has the right kind of rock for preserving fossil remains. They also found numerous fossils of ancient lizards, giant penguins, bony fishes and plesiosaurs, huge marine reptiles that swam with paddle-like flippers.

    The classic interpretation that these fossils came from the Permian age is disputed by many revisionist geologists. New laboratory experiments are showing that fossilization is a rapid process under certain conditions. Furthermore new evidence is at hand that electric fossilization is the probably tool of fossilization and this has generally been ignored. High voltage electricity either from within the earth or from cosmogenic effects such as comets, coronal mass ejections, planets in disturbed motion or nebulae interactions from outside the universe may be the major cause of petrifaction and fossilization. What dies is thus quickly recycled biotically, unless some geological intervention occurs. And this intervention that fossilizes is almost always connected to the cause of death.

    Antarctica Fossil Forests and electric fossilization

    The fossil record therefore is distorted as to populations of the species and to a lesser degree to the kinds and numbers of species. A fossil is typically an accident, a disaster, an anomaly. This precisely describes the process of electric fossilization. Little is known about fossilization, and less is realized. Ardrey mentions that the waters of Lake Victoria (Africa) were once fossilizing animals quickly and well because of some unknown quality probably not now present.

    E.R. Milton describes his examination of a petrified tree trunk in Alberta (Canada)

    “The piece was pure clear silica inside, it was coated with a rougher opaque crust of partially fused sand. The tree whose stump was petrified was alive five years ago! After the tree was cut down to accommodate the right of way for a new power transmission line, an accidental break allowed the live high-voltage wire to contact several tree stumps still in the ground. The power was cut off within hours of the break. All of the tree roots which contacted the broken wire were fossilized. Obviously, electricity can metamorphose matter quickly.”

    Peter Mungo Jupp

  5. stan stendera

    The warmists are trying to introduce the penguin as the new polar bear. Unfortunately for them the evidence about penguins is as robust as the non existent evidence about polar bears. I will give them credit for picking a more sympathetic symbol. Polar bears are one of the most, if not the most, vicious carnivores on the globe. The are one of the few living species who stalk and kill humans for food. Orcas may at times, certain sharks may at times, the jury is out on wolves since they are so scarce, crippled and infirm great cats do sometime, especially when they acquire a taste for human flash due to a disaster (see Bangladesh), and of course the main culprit, man himself. Penguins are, well, penguins.

  6. yonason


    Instead of “penguins are endangered” that should have read “the penguin is dangerous.”

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

    I mean, come on, everyone knows penguins are evil.

    1. yonason

      …as are Russians who ruin a great cartoon by dubbing over it.

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