The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Is the Arctic melting?

Yes...but it happens from time to time and, in all probability, the trend will reverse over the next few decades as it always has before.

George Taylor gives an authoritative guide to the scientific studies which paint a far more ambiguous picture than you would imagine if you listened only to the mainstream media.


If we want to understand variability of Arctic sea ice (and, for that matter, sea and air temperature) we should take our eyes off greenhouse gases, at least for a moment, and study multidecadal phenomena. We should also avoid the temptation of taking the last 20-30 years of data, computing a trend, and assuming that that trend will continue for 50-100 years. History tells us that long-term linear trends will not occur. In the words of Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Or make bad forecasts.

2 Comments:

At 10 March 2005 at 16:45, Blogger Jorgen said...

I have read several articles that state that while some ice does melt here and there in the arctic due to local conditions, the vast part of the arctic were becoming cooler - latest at http://armor.typepad.com/bastardsword/2005/01/now_heres_a_dum.html and I think Crichton has a reference or two.

 
At 11 March 2005 at 08:02, Blogger rexie said...

re Arctic "Warming"

The station data is here.

There may be a slight warming trend detectable - e.g. at Vardo - but it is not very "hockey-sticky" and appears unrelated to the cyclical pattern of ice melting.

 

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