German Analyses: Bevis et al 2019 Misrepresents Greenland Ice Melt Data, Falsely Claims Accelerating Ice Melt

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When Greenland ice melt data are correctly presented, Greenland it has in fact decelerated recently, thus contradicting alarmist claims by a new paper’s authors.

The “Illi omnia experti“ climate science

By Uli Weber
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)

Already in January 2019 a very peculiar scientific publication on the allegedly increasing glacier melt had been a topic here on Die Kalte Sonne under the title ‘Faktenwäsche’? (fact laundering?,) which came to a very different result.

Result: From the diagrams A to D by Bevis et al. (2019) it can be deduced that, contrary to the predicted trend, the loss of Greenland ice mass has decreased considerably since 2013.”

There a peculiar time axis jump in diagram “D” to support the alarmist statement in question had become apparent:

“In diagram ‘D’ it is also noticeable that the residuals are shown on a shortened time scale only until mid-2014, instead of showing the complete data set until mid-2015.”

The questionable depiction looks like this, paying particular attention to the black arrows between illustrations (B) and (D) in the area of the time axis of (B):

Figure: Diagram B to D from Fig. 1 of Bevis et al. (2019). Source: Michael Bevis et al.: Accelerating changes in ice mass within Greenland, and the ice sheet’s sensitivity to atmospheric forcing, PNAS published ahead of print January 22, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1806562116 (Open access article distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND))

We also stated at the time: “The residuals in diagram “D” are therefore missing for a whole year, although the corresponding data for the period from mid-2014 to mid-2015 have already been shown in diagram “B”. This circumstance was compensated for by stretching the time axis in diagram “D” to the time axis of diagram “B” and marking the time jump between the two diagrams of about one year with black arrows.”

It is a very peculiar situation when an erroneous and highly manipulative image is released for non-commercial reproduction, but no changes are allowed to display it correctly. Today, however, modern software offers functions with which such problems can be overcome, for example with an overlay over the unchanged original image.

If one scales the time axis of the residuals (D) to that of the ice loss curve (B) and adds the missing data in a separate overlay, there is no “pause” for the period 2013/2014, but rather a clear mass increase since 2013 for the glacier ice, which is supposedly melting more and more.

Figure: Overlay of the authors diagram plus original diagram (D) from Fig. 1 of Bevis et al. (2019) https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1806562116 (Merely changing the format never creates a derivative). Note: The red bordered overlay is an own work of the author, which shows the data missing from diagram (B) of Bevis et al. (2019) but only graphically.

The arbitrary shortening of a comparative time series while simultaneously stretching the relevant time scale, from which a decisive argumentative conclusion is then derived, is no coincidental technical oversight. It is clearly a targeted data manipulation to support an alarming statement, which, if the underlying data had been correctly presented, would show the opposite:

No more alarm: the ice melt on Greenland has slowed significantly since 2013.

Conclusion: The well-known “illi omnia experti” from Caesar’s “De bello Gallico” does not mean that all the experts mentioned there were experts, but rather that they merely tried everything. And this is exactly the same with the climate policy “experts”, as they as well are doing everything they can to help a global climate religion achieve a breakthrough. So they are not climate scientists at all, but climate climate religious missionaries – and they are cleverly misusing the credibility of science as a vehicle for spreading their climate ideology. Modern natural sciences, of all things, were once an essential instrument of the Enlightenment, which finally freed us from a strictly religious absolutism.

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8 responses to “German Analyses: Bevis et al 2019 Misrepresents Greenland Ice Melt Data, Falsely Claims Accelerating Ice Melt”

  1. John F. Hultquist

    Was there an editor and ‘peer’ reviewers involved in the publication of the original paper? Or, did someone pay to have this appear as a scientific finding?
    If the former, what happens next?

  2. David Johnson

    PNAS does not necessarily use a peer review system. Members can publish a certain number of unreviewed manuscripts.

  3. tom0mason

    “So they are not climate scientists at all, but climate climate religious missionaries – and they are cleverly misusing the credibility of science as a vehicle for spreading their climate ideology. Modern natural sciences, of all things, were once an essential instrument of the Enlightenment, which finally freed us from a strictly religious absolutism.”

    They are the ones who are absolute in their belief in CO2’s massive warming potential. These are the same ones who have absolute belief that the climate models have good (if not excellent) scientific merit. These are the ones that believe that the very economic system of the western world (and all who are part of it) must be change into something closer to the socialist (aka communist) model.

    What skeptics know is that ALL scientific knowledge is just part of a continually evolving ongoing process, and that there are few (if any) absolutes in science. It is not theory that settles what we believe to know, it is the evidence of our own approximate observations and measurements of everything about us.

    1. Newminster

      On the subject of “CO2’s massive warming potential”, I have a question to which I have never yet been able to find an answer.

      It’s well-known that fruit-growers, tomato growers especially, artificially raise the CO2 levels in their greenhouses to up to 1000 or 1200 ppm to boost plant development. My question is, does this 250% increase in concentration itself cause an increase in the house air temperature? If a doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere leads (supposedly) to ~1.2° increase in global temperature, then we should expect an increase of ~1.7° (allowing for the logarithmic effect) in that situation.

      If that doesn’t happen then surely the whole ‘CO2 drives temperature” hypothesis collapses. Or what am I missing?

      1. tom0mason

        No Newminster,
        You sound like one of those skeptics that think ‘climate science™’ should be driven by verified data and making disinterested measurements on the observed evidence. Wrong! ‘Climate science™’ is all about money, power, and politics, therefore its about strongly held beliefs in theory — accurate measurements need not apply.

        ‘Climate Science™’ indicates use of persuasion techniques and phraseology similar to that (mis)used by M.Mann, J Hansen, K. Trenberth, the UN-IPCC, and so many politicians.

        1. Newminster

          Silly me! Nonetheless, it’s arguable. A lot of the animosity — or simple ill-temper — is because the Warmers won’t (increasingly it seems because they can’t) provide evidence to support their hypothesis.

          Proving that increasing CO2 concentration in a greenhouse results in a temperature increase in line with their hypothesis would answer a lot of questions.

      2. Liz Howell

        An excellent comment! CO2 will make no difference but it certainly makes the plants grow faster….

  4. M E

    If you prefer to believe that there was no scientific progress during the “Dark Ages” and Middle Ages just go ahead . It is a fine 19th Century Idea of the “Past” and ‘Progress” as development from ignorance to knowledge. It pleased Marxist and similar philosophers. It has not borne scrutiny by those who have actually been able to consult the relevant documents of those periods in more modern times.
    One book I read changed my mind. ‘The God that did not Fail” by Robert Royal this ‘god’ is Marxism which has failed.
    I recommend it to those interested in science history . Those interest in evolution of thought about the Past. “The Idea of Prehistory ‘ by Glyn Daniel which deals with history ,too.
    available on line. free.

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