Friday, September 18, 2009


Scientific Nonsense From NSIDC in Boulder

Here is the press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center affiliated with the University of Colorado at Boulder. Here is the new posting on the blog of the NSIDC. Here is what they predicted at the end of July, 2009 (about 7 weeks ago).

The Warmie scientists of the NSIDC admit the bleeding obvious--that probably the extent of the Northern Ocean sea ice has reached its Summer minimum. They also admit that the minimum is larger than last year, which was larger than the 2007 minimum, which was the lowest minimum ever recorded by satellite in the 30 years satellites have been measuring sea ice extent. That's about all they admit.

They use different numbers than those recorded with the new, state of the art ASMR-E satellite but they're not that different.

So, what do they say?

While this year's September minimum extent was greater than each of the past two record-setting and near-record-setting low years, it is still significantly below the long-term average and well outside the range of natural climate variability, said NSIDC Research Scientist Walt Meier. (Emphasis added).

"Long term average", that's rich. With only 30 years of data, which is like a mere microsecond of even the current climatic epoch, how can any real scientist say he or she knows what really is "the range of natural climate variability"? No real scientist would say that. A propagandist would say that. The NSIDC is hamstrung by the lack of long term precise measurement, but won't admit it. It is a severe limit on its ability to state anything as even a probability, much less with certainty; yet the scientists state things about the 30 year record with certainty, which is fatal to their credibility. Here's more:
The minimum 2009 sea-ice extent is still about 620,000 square miles below the average minimum extent measured between 1979 and 2000 -- an area nearly equal to the size of Alaska, said Meier. "We are still seeing a downward trend that appears to be heading toward ice-free Arctic summers," Meier said. (Emphasis added).
Wait, if the Arctic sea ice extent minimum has been improving each of the last two years from the 2007 record low minimum, wouldn't the current trend be away from an ice-free Arctic Summer? Using either the higher ASMR-E numbers or the lower NSIDC numbers, 2009's minimum is 23% higher than the 2007 minimum. Isn't that a significant trend away from zero ice? Isn't that a recovery trend rather than a trend towards ever lower minimums?

The obvious Warmie response to this short recovery is to say two years is too short a time period to say definitively there is a trend, but the NSIDC scientists don't go there. I believe they don't because 30 years is an absurdly short period of measurement to use to set, definitively, what is the range of natural climate variability. They know not to take that route, and merely state they see things the data doesn't, well, actually support.

Oh, and how did our NSIDC scientists do with their predictions about 7 weeks ago? They said the minimum would be 4.69 million square Km, and it was 5.10 million square Km, using their numbers, much higher on ASMR-E. Their prediction was at least 8.74% wrong.

Can I now say that I see a downward trend in their ice minimum prediction accuracy?

UPDATE: Let's see if I can predict more accurately than the NSIDC scientists: The Arctic Sea Ice Extent (as measured by ASMR-E) will peak on March 8, 2010, at 14.42 million square Km and will reach minimum September 15, 2010, at 5.68 million square Km.


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