Destabilization of Arctic Sea Ice Would Be Game Over for Climate

From Climate Story Tellers:

by Subhankar Banerjee,
September 27, 2013

The Arctic sea ice is the most famous visual indicator of climate change. This year the climate deniers took the lead to explain what’s going on with the Arctic sea ice. “And now it’s global COOLING! Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year,” by David Rose in the Mail on Sunday, and “Global warming? No, actually we’re cooling, claim scientists” by Hayley Dixon in The Telegraph—both published on September 8—led the parade. Quoting all these irresponsible disinformation, on September 10, Greg Gutfeld of Fox News put an end to global warming with these words: “Global warming? Yes, it’s finally dead.”

Soon I’ll get to the science of Arctic sea ice. But first a few words about “climate zombies.”

Last year I participated as a panelist in The Anthropocene: Planet Earth in the Age of Humans symposium at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. I was on the panel “Energizing the Anthropocene: Science for Smart Decisions” with eminent climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley. Richard first gave a long view of global warming, and then provided a road map of how with a $1 trillion investment, the US can move away from fossil fuels entirely. He is a great communicator of climate science, especially when it comes to debunking the deniers’ bogus claims. I’ll pull some quotes from a talk he gave earlier this year in June at an American Geophysical Union–Chapman conference “Communicating Climate Science: A Historic Look to the Future” at the Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado. His remarkable solo act is a journey through his own life and explains in less than three minutes—how climate zombies can survive on this earth, and keep reappearing.

Richard Alley (June 2013): This particular climate zombie is back in force again. While warming continued, the “global warming stopped” had a new birth of noise.

Then he shows a map of global temperature data from 1957 to now, from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

RA: Is it getting warmer? Yes. If you take a long enough interval, it’s up.

He then explains how the climate zombies can keep saying—global warming stopped, it’s cooling.

RA: I was born in 1957. There is the data from 1957 up to a little later. The regression line through the data, and you can see I was born—at the start of a cooling trend.

RA: I married my dear wife Cindy in 1980. We got married—at the start of a cooling trend.

RA: We moved to Penn State in 1988—at the start of a cooling trend.

RA: We came here to show our daughters the mountains here [in Colorado] in 1997—at the start of a cooling trend.

RA: They named a glacier after me in 2002—at the start of a short but steep cooling trend.

RA: Our daughter became a Penn Stater in 2005—at the start of a cooling trend.

RA: So my whole life…[big laugh]

When you look at the map you see that the temperature steadily went up from 1957 till now, but had many local minima that Richard Alley refers to as “start of a cooling trend.” He then gives an astute career advice to aspiring climate zombies.

RA: If there is a year of rapid warming, shut up! And then you can go right back to claiming global warming stopped, until the next rapid warming, then shut up, then go right back to claiming global warming stopped…ad infinitum!

This time the Arctic sea ice reporting by the climate zombies was quickly debunked: “No, the World Isn’t Cooling” by Phil Plait on Slate, “No, Arctic Sea Ice Has not Recovered, Scientists Say” by Andrew Freedman on Climate Central, “With Climate Journalism Like This, Who Needs Fiction?” by Tom Yulsman on Discover Magazine—are just a few examples.

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