New Lows: Sea Ice and “Steven Goddard” credibility

September 14, 2011

“Steven Goddard” is a pseudonym used by an anonymous climate denialist crank, so incredibly sloppy that he even embarrassed arch climate denier Anthony Watts, as shown in this link, and as I showed in one of last year’s “sea ice wrap-up” videos.

At least Chris Monckton has a medical condition that explains his break with reality.  As for this “Goddard” character, well, I have to let you see this headline to believe it.

Which he chose to illustrate with the graph below –

What’s really refreshing and amusing is how “Goddard” was immediately taken to task by none other than Julienne Stroeve, National Snow and Ice Data Center researcher whose iconic graph of accelerated sea ice loss I recently featured in a post. See here:

“Steve chose a graph that shows what he wants to portray while ignoring all the other institutions that show either a record low for 2011 or a “tie” with 2007. University of Bremen already announced it is a new record low. In my opinion, given the error margin of the measurement and algorithms, 2007 and 2011 basically tied in their extent this year. NSIDC will likely show 2011 as the second lowest, but again it’s within the error margin (which is about 50,000 sq-km).”

The arm waving we’ll be seeing this year, if NSIDC does not declare a new record, and U. Bremen does, will all be over a distinction without a difference, which is further evidence for my theory that climate denial is a form of autism -deliberately losing itself in a maze of details and completely unable to grasp a gestalt.

Stroeve tagged an addendum to her post, with an assessment of current ice conditions (as of Sept 12)

Remember last September though it looked like the minimum had been reached and then it went down further again. So best to be patient a few more days… 

For now, a look at one of the most telling of ice graphs, the ice volume picture from the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington.

I’ll be featuring more examples of off-the-reality-rails rants from climate deniers in my sea ice update, which I’ll post as soon after the minimum as I can crank it out.

For more from Stroeve, see the video here:


200 Responses to “New Lows: Sea Ice and “Steven Goddard” credibility”

  1. omnologos Says:

    Mrsircharles – are you a person or just a mouthpiece for whatever you happen to read? If the discussion has to end with an invite to talk to somebody better than you, there’s no point starting it, no?

  2. mrsircharles Says:

    You guys are getting megalomaniac now.

  3. daveburton Says:

    Latest NSIDC data has Arctic sea ice extent now much greater than same-day-of-year extent in 2007, and slightly greater than 2008 & 2010:

    DMI has it greater than 2007 and 2008, but less than 2010.

    NORSEX has it greater than 2007, and approximately tied with both 2008 and 2010.

    Breman has it ahead of 2007, and approximately tied with 2008, but slightly less than 2010.
    (But look at their graph of Antarctic sea ice extent: )

    • mrsircharles Says:

      So what? A “recovery” back to 2008 for a couple of days? That’s only coverage, not volume. You guys make a headline with “recovery” out of this and that? What is that then? The new normal?

      Here the answers:

      => Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?

      => Has Arctic sea ice recovered?

      And much more here:

      => => Scholarly articles for sea ice volume

      Some “recovery” indeed. I wish there were brain recovery.

      • daveburton Says:

        Why do you keep wanting to change the subject, Charles?

        The “recovery” in Arctic ice extent that commenced in July of this year was the topic of the conversation between Steven Goddard and Julienne Stroeve which triggered Peter’s scathing attack. (That’s also the “recovery” that so disappointed the alarmists who were hoping we’d finally see a year with less Arctic ice than 2007.) They weren’t talking about decadal trends.

        But I agree with you about the need for “brain recovery.” The alarmist misinformation on climate is sometimes so riddled with elementary errors that it makes me very sad to think that this is what has become of science, these days.

        Exhibit A: The National Science Foundation

        • mrsircharles Says:

          There is neither a “recovery” in sea ice extend, nor is there a “recovery” in arctic ice mass.

          => The National Snow and Ice Data Center, September 15, 2011, Arctic sea ice at minimum extent: “Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its lowest extent for the year. The minimum ice extent was the second lowest in the satellite record, after 2007, and continues the decadal trend of rapidly decreasing summer sea ice.”

          It shows that Peter Sinclair is spot on.

          But the worst barefacedness is reading the word “misinformation” from a climate change denier like you. Boo!

          Misinformation is coming from websites like “real science” (run by a pseudonym who is not a scientist at all) and WUWT =>

          End of story.

          • daveburton Says:

            Charles, I gave you an example (at, no less) of the misinformation I’m talking about. Why no comment on that?

            The NSIDC link confirms exactly what Steven Goddard said, and confirms that Peter was wrong, so why do you persist in attacking Steven? You certainly do not know that he’s not a scientist, and he certainly was right this time (as he usually is).

            WhatsUpWithThat is the #1 science blog on the Web, and you could learn a lot from it. Why don’t you try reading it?

            But, returning to the topic at hand: what do you have to say about “Exhibit A,” the National Science Foundation link?

            Note: that nonsense has been on the NSF web site for over six and a half years. Apparently in all that time nobody at NSF recognized that it is in error. You certainly won’t find any errors of that magnitude at WUWT or RealScience.

          • mrsircharles Says:

            Were you not just complaining I would have gone off topic? But now you’re coming with more nonsense from climate change deniers. Not even coming to the point. Cheap tactics of confusion. Doesn’t work with me.

            Even I, who is not a scientist at all, could debunk “real science” last year, the first time I popped into that site. This “Steven Goddard” was coming out with a (homemade) false graph. Seemingly the whole page disappeared after. I’m no more bothered with that cheater since.

            Anthony Watts has been disproven so many times. => => BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature)

            But that doesn’t make you climate change deniers hesitate spreading more lies and misinformation, far away from any real science.

          • daveburton Says:

            Charles, you’re very mistaken. The graphs Steven used weren’t “homemade.” The one Peter reproduced was an unaltered copy of the NORSEX graph, the latest version of which you can view here. Steven also linked to one of NSIDC’s own, graphs, after which Julienne retreated from her criticism, admitting that, “it certainly could be the minimum has been reached.”

            The whole conversation is still there, on the RealScience site. (Peter posted the link to it in his original rant, and the link still works; click on “let you see this headline to believe it.”)

            Now, tell me what you think of that NSF “Exhibit A” misinformation link.

          • mrsircharles Says:

            You don’t even read my post, do you? Go back and read it, daveburton.

          • daveburton Says:

            Which of your posts do you suspect I didn’t read, Sir Charles? There have been several, but I think I’ve read ’em all. Give me a link, please.

            You are mistaken about what you thought was Steven Goddard’s “homemade false graph.” It was not homemade, and it was not false. It was copied from NORSEX (and says so at the top), and there’s a link to the source at at the bottom.

            You are also mistaken in your statement that, “seemingly the whole page disappeared after.” It is all still there, and if you read it you can see the full exchange between Steven and Julienne, including the NORSEX graph he posted, and the NSIDC graph he linked-to, and including Julienne’s admission that “it certainly could be” that Steven was correct (as, indeed, it turned out that he was). Here it is:

            That means you are also mistaken in calling Steven a “cheater,” and you are probably mistaken in claiming that he’s not a scientist. At the very least, we can say with certainty that he is overqualified as a scientist to work at the NSF.

          • mrsircharles Says:

            You also didn’t read that post. At least not properly. I was talking about a case that happened “last year”.

            So, you’re not reading my post properly. Also, you’re not reading a paper from Kay, Holland & Jahn, but call them “blowing smoke”. I think you’re some kind of a weisenheimer, daveburton, a “blowing smoke” weisenheimer.

  4. mrsircharles Says:

    Here another peer reviewed study.

    Geophysical Research Letters publishes short, concise research letters that present scientific advances that are likely to have immediate influence on the research of other investigators. GRL letters can focus on a specific discipline or apply broadly to the geophysical science community.

    Inter-annual to multi-decadal Arctic sea ice extent trends in a warming world (published 11 August 2011):

    “Consistent with AR4, this analysis demonstrates that observed and modeled late 20th century Arctic sea ice loss cannot result from natural variability alone. Indeed, an anthropogenic influence on the most extreme observed 1979– 2010 negative trends is now evident for all trend lengths examined (2–54 years).”

    • daveburton Says:

      There They Go Again.TM

      Q: How many years have elapsed since the (1979) start of reasonably reliable data for Arctic ice extent? (Hint: 2011 – 1979 is not 54 years.)

      It really irks me when people conflate modeled “data” and outright speculation with real measurements.

      We all know that temperatures were colder in the 1960s and 1970s than they are now. So it is not surprising that there’s been a reduction in Arctic sea ice since the 1970s. However, there’s no uniquely anthropogenic signature to it.

      The variability of Arctic sea ice results from the variability of weather patterns, and the general downward trend since the 1970s results from the fact that it is warmer now than it was then.

      Can we at least agree about that?

      That means that the question of why Arctic sea ice is down over the 1979-2011 record is simply a restatement of the question of why the climate warmed over that period. Only by assuming the warmist hypothesis, that anthropogenic forcings caused warming, can you reach the conclusion that anthropogenic influence caused the 1979-2007 Arctic ice retreat. How much (if any) of that warming was due to anthropogenic influence is very much an open question, which means that how much (if any) of the ice retreat was due to anthropogenic influence is also an open question.

      Over the period 1979-2007 atmospheric CO2 increased from about 335 ppm to about 380 ppm. MODTRAN calculates that change to be equivalent to a 0.566 W/sq-m forcing, which (in the absence of feedbacks) would raise the temperature only about 0.16 +/- 0.03 C, which is much less than the (admittedly flawed data for the) observed average temperature increase over that period. The warmest hypothesis is that the warming effect was multiplied by 3x or 4x, by positive feedbacks, principally from water vapor and surface albedo changes. But the best evidence, IMO, indicates that that is greatly exaggerated, and that only a small part of the warming over that period was due to anthropogenic influence. Kay, Holland & Jahn are blowing smoke.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      nice. hadn’t seen that.

      • mrsircharles Says:

        I doubt you even read that paper, Inter-annual to multi-decadal Arctic sea ice extent trends in a warming world, daveburton. Instead you’re defaming the authors.

        daveburton is claiming to know better than scientists who produce peer reviewed studies.

        I call that just megalomaniac.

        End of story.

        (You cannot teach a monkey playing the piano)

        • daveburton Says:

          Good guess, Charles, that I haven’t read the whole article, since it is behind a paywall.

          Have you read it?

          How about what the NSF says about sea ice? Have you read that? What do you have to say about it? (Do you think that whoever wrote it was playing the piano?)

          • mrsircharles Says:

            Maybe you google a bit then you will find the whole article.

            Unbelievable. You’re defaming Kay, Holland & Jahn as “blowing smoke” and haven’t even read their paper. Who do you think you are, daveburton, that you present us that much ignorance?

          • mrsircharles Says:

            And of course did I read that paper from Kay, Holland & Jahn myself. Else I hardly could have quoted it above.

          • daveburton Says:

            Will you send me a copy of Kay, et al, please? My email address is here.

            And please give me your thoughts on what the NSF says about sea ice, too.

          • mrsircharles Says:

            As someone who is running a Systems Software company you are not showing much knowledge how to find an article in the web. Amazing. But see, I’m spoon-feeding you now even after you already defamed the authors, Kay, Holland & Jahn, as “blowing smoke” without having read the article.


            What specifically do you criticise in the article, “The Importance of Sea Ice”?

          • daveburton Says:

            The appalling part that I highlighted.

          • mrsircharles Says:

            “All of which, of course, raises questions about the nature of the warm weather associated with sea ice melting. Over the last one hundred years, overall global climate has warmed, on average, about 0.9ºF with the Arctic leading the way: temperatures at the North Pole have risen nearly 3.6ºF per decade in the last thirty years, significantly faster than in other regions of the world. The Antarctic is warming up, as well. Ice shelves from the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula have been shrinking; according to some reports, the 502-square-mile Wordie Ice Shelf disappeared completely between 1966 and 1989.”

            What’s wrong with that?




            “The Wordie Ice Shelf on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula was reported to have undergone a major areal reduction before 1989. Since then, this ice shelf has continued to retreat and now very little floating ice remains.”

            All true.

            I think, daveburton, it’s time to stop conversation now. You’re seemingly a spoofer. Waste of time.

          • daveburton Says:

            Thanks for the article link. I see that the authors do make clear what was not in the posted excerpt, that they were working with a computer model, not real data.

            So, what do you think about the NSF’s blunder on sea ice?

          • mrsircharles Says:

            See. You seemingly don’t get it at all. They have tried to explain the ice loss with climate models and came to the conclusion that it is impossible to model such ice loss just with natural fluctuations.

            It doesn’t make sense to debate with you any further, daveburton.

            1) You are prejudging climate scientists

            2) You are rejecting any learning process

            3) You are misinterpreting and ignoring facts and science

            If you wanna have the last word, so be it. But despite me delivering strongest evidence and proof, despite scientific consensus, you don’t accept that AGW is there. Doesn’t make any sense any more to keep on corresponding.

          • daveburton Says:

            Perhaps, Charles, you missed the message above where I quantified AGW. I do not disbelieve that AGW exists. Rather, I believe that it is much smaller in magnitude than the IPCC claims, I believe it is not worrisome, I believe it has caused and will cause no discernible acceleration in rate of sea level rise, I believe that is what the best scientific evidence indicates, and I even quantified it for you. Since you apparently missed it, I’ll repeat the relevant part. I wrote (modulo one single-character typo corrected here):

            …Over the period 1979-2007 atmospheric CO2 increased from about 335 ppm to about 380 ppm. MODTRAN calculates that change to be equivalent to a 0.566 W/sq-m forcing, which (in the absence of feedbacks) would raise the temperature only about 0.16 +/- 0.03 C, which is much less than the (admittedly flawed data for the) observed average temperature increase over that period. The warmist hypothesis is that the warming effect was multiplied by 3x or 4x, by positive feedbacks, principally from water vapor and surface albedo changes. But the best evidence, IMO, indicates that that is greatly exaggerated, and that only a small part of the warming over that period was due to anthropogenic influence…

            I also believe that there is a huge amount unscientific nonsense being spread by CAGW alarmists, from Al “million degree magma” Gore, to Michael “hockey stick” Mann, to even the U.S. National Science Foundation, which has had a major & remarkably elementary error on their web page about sea ice for more than 6.5 years.

            In addition to informing the NSF of their error, I’ve also told a few other folks. Here are some responses I’ve received from a few scientists:

            Dan (a climate alarmist) wrote:

            Bad mistake on their part. They need to have a talk with whoever prepared that page. That doesn’t change the fact that the Arctic ice cap is disappearing and that the effects will be dramatic. I think that’s a lot more depressing than a misstatement on the NSF site.

            Walter (a climate realist) wrote:

            Unbelievable. It seems that physics itself is having a meltdown in the face of Global Warming.

            Warwick (another climate realist) wrote:

            Written by somebody affected by decades of IPCC / Warmists / Green propaganda

            Do you understand what’s wrong with the NSF’s page, Charles? How about you, Peter? Do I need to explain it for anyone here?

  5. mrsircharles Says:

    See, daveburton. In the 1980s when the issue global warming due to carbon emissions was getting public I thought that would be a minor case, only some tens of ppm, the oceans could filter that out.

    Now 30 years later, I got convinced that AGW is happening and the oceans are getting more acidic. Both is a rapid impact on nature which cannot just be compensated or adapted. 40% more CO2 in just 150 years (not even an eye-blink in geologic time) is more than a lot and anything but natural fluctuations. We know for 130 years now that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We are experiencing global warming for more than 100 years now. Oceans are getting more acidic. The impacts are dramatic. That is all well recorded.

    But you guys are sitting in front of your PC and try to deny everything. Learning = zero. Are you getting paid for spreading misinformation about climate change? Do you know that this is a crime on future (and existing) generations? Increasing occurencies of extreme weathers… century floodings, droughts… almost every single year, not only in Asia and the US. All over the world. And you want to tell us the arctic ice is “recovering” when there is not any evidence for that (=> sea ice volume)? How dare you?

    In Europe hardly anybody would listen to your lies anymore. It is getting more and more obvious that climate change deniers are telling myths and lies to confuse the public. What’s the agenda when even the petroleum industry admits that AGW is happening? => Companies Address Climate Change

    What double-edged game is being played here?

    => Another Climate Denialist Admits He is Paid by the Oil Industry to Advocate on Their Behalf.


  6. omnologos Says:

    It’s always amazing to read “where’s your peer-reviewed paper” as an answer in a blog.

    If the only way for people to discuss a topic is by way of publishing peer-reviewed papers, then there is no point in having a blog, unless it contains only your own peer-reviewed papers. Even a celebratory collection containing only peer-reviewed-research would be meaningless, given that any commentary to it would not be peer-reviewed and therefore would not be considered a sensible contribution.

  7. daveburton Says:

    Charles wrote:

    > Polar ice caps melting at rate never before seen

    Thank you for proving my point about the remarkable amount of nonsense being promulgated by the CAGW alarmists.

    1. Note the date: 4 years ago. This news report was done right after 2007’s record-low (since at least 1979) summer Arctic sea ice extent. But, guess what? Arctic sea ice hasn’t been quite that low since then. The low Arctic sea ice in 2007 was caused less by human activity than by capricious weather, which blew the floating ice into warmer water, where more of it melted that usually happens.

    2. Note the misleading title. The “polar ice caps” aren’t melting.

    In the southern hemisphere, the Antarctic ice cap is not melting at all, and (as any competent scientist could tell you) there’s absolutely no chance that human activity could ever cause it to melt.

  8. […] the bizarre insistence of climate deniers (see below) that, any time now, the world is going to plunge into their long forecast […]

  9. daveburton Says:

    Here’s a nice graph of the full 32-year record of global sea ice extent:

    You can definitely see the effect of the late 20th century warming, but it’s not very scary, is it?

    • daveburton Says:

      Correction: s/extent/area/

    • mrsircharles Says:

      “Not very scary”. An average sea ice loss of about 2,000,000 km3, “not very scary”. That’s about 9 times the area of Great Britain, “not very scary”.

      You guys think nobody can read a graph or what?

      Go hifreann leat!

      • omnologos Says:

        Once upon a time, man was the measure of al things. Nowadays, it’s mrsircharles.

        ps Four million tons of mass disappear from the Sun EVERY SECOND. Run for the hills!!

      • daveburton Says:

        You must be the nervous sort, Charles. You scare easily.

        First off, it’s km2, not km3, and smoothed it looks more like 1 million than 2 million down compared to the 1979-present average.

        That 1 million km2 compares to an average total sea ice area of about 18 million km2 (i.e., it’s 6%), with annual variablility of about 7 million (i.e., it’s 15%).

        6% and 15% aren’t very scary numbers, to me.

        • mrsircharles Says:

          Typo, sorry. Area is square, not cube.

          So you make a million km2 out of more than two (snip)…

          But the trend is even accelerating. If you take into account the sea ice mass we’re coming to an exponential function.

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