Friday 30 September 2011

The Loss of the Ellesmere Ice Shelves

In April 2001 the Journal "Polar Record" published a paper by Vincent, Gibson and Jeffries entitled: "Ice-shelf collapse, climate change, and habitat loss in the Canadian high Arctic." hereafter referred to as Vincent et al.
They started their discussion by stating:

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Summer Daze.

I've recently posted about an apparent dip in temperature in the Central England Temperature series and it's apparent support of my notion that since 2007 our summers have been dominated by low pressure weather. In that post I said I couldn't do the required analysis because NCEP/NCAR didn't have the functions for me to do monthly studies. I was wrong, in the intervening time I've found the relevant page.

Sunday 18 September 2011

What's up with D'Aleo?

Well known denialist Joseph D'Aleo has recently written a load of specious claptrap at the internet's great repository of specious claptrap; Watt's up With That. Tamino exposes D'Aleo's cherry picking (denialists so love their cherries). That noted, my disagreement is with the overall gist of D'Aleo's post. Which is essentially a boring re-run of a tired denialist meme that Arctic sea-ice loss is due to natural processes in the atmosphere and ocean.

Cooling of the Arctic Stratosphere since 2007

In comments on my earlier post "Arctic Dipole: A Positive Feedback" Kevin O'Neill raised an intriguing point regarding stratospheric cooling and tropospheric warming in the post 2007 period during the summer (June - August).He also pointing out that there was a mixed picture previously, see here. Kevin's graphic is here.

This has had me puzzling over it for the last few days, so yet again the posts I was going to do on the recent cold winters will be delayed. However I think I now have a reasonable explanation for the observations Kevin raised.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Cool wet summer.

Here in the UK we've had another cool wet summer dominated by low pressure systems. UK temperature is notably very variable, this is due to our location and the interplay of weather systems. We're in the battleground between continental European, and maritime Atlantic air masses, at the end of the Jetstream's path across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately the NCEP/NCAR interface doesn't allow me to compare a string of years seasonally, and looking for any changes in the summer weather needs to be seasonally based (by definition). However there is a publicly available dataset that does allow me to look at temperatures, the world's longest instrumental temperature series, the Central England Temperature series (CET).

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Australia's Big Dry and AGW.

The Big Dry in South East Australia is a classic case of the complexity with which AGW affects climate. I've chosen to write about it because the linkage is more subtle even than just an AGW interaction with a mode of variability in the atmosphere. Yet the AGW role is as clear as it has proven devastating for South East Australia.

Sunday 11 September 2011


On September 11 2001 I was working as a technician involved in the commissioning of a new private branch phone system and callcentre switching system for a large firm here in the UK. Having installed successfully, I was one of the technicians remaining on site to be quickly available to deal with any teething problems.

At around 1400 the callcentre system appeared to go down. Incoming calls dropped to barely nil, callcentre agents were sitting in their seats doing nothing. We technicians weren’t; both software and hardware side swung into action to sort the problem out. We couldn’t find a problem. British Telecom confirmed that there were barely any calls to put through.
Then the news started to come in, staff in the callcentre, and colleagues of mine receiving emails and text messages relaying what was happening over in New York. What we were hearing seemed unreal, work lost it's importance.
As I sat in my hotel room that evening I wept tears of sorrow and anger as I watched the horror on TV news. Despite thousands of miles of ocean 9/11 was a tragedy I felt part of. It still affects me emotionally, it always will. 

Saturday 10 September 2011

Has 2007 been beaten?

According to University of Bremen a new record low has already been set. NSIDC and IARC-JAXA still show 2011 lagging 2007, this confirms the pattern this year - Bremen have shown consistenly less of a gap between 2011 and 2007. Cryosphere Today's sea ice area also shows a new record, but in this post I'll concentrate mainly on extent so as not to compare apples and oranges. Sea ice extent considers any area with over 15% sea-ice as ice covered, sea-ice area adds up the concentrations in individual areas.

Monday 5 September 2011


Via the ever-excellent (and somehow missing from my blog-roll - doh!), ArcticIO - daft questions asked by tourists from a polar expedition guide.

My favourite has to be: "Does the midnight sun set above the horizon?"

I'd suggest visiting the ArcticIO page first if only for the photo at the top of the post. But there's more at the original source: Dioclese's blog.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Arctic Dipole: A Positive Feedback.

In a previously discussed paper, Zhang et al open their closing discussion with the following line:
"The atmospheric circulation change identified here
could be a mixed response to rising greenhouse-gas-emissions
forcing or unexpected natural climate variability, or both."

Friday 2 September 2011

An Honourable Decision.

Wolfgang Wagner was editor of  the Journal 'Remote Sensing' when the journal published a paper by Roy Spencer and William Braswell entitled "On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance." link.

Spencer and Braswell was glowingly received at Watts Up With That (aka WTF), which is to be expected as WTF is heavy on the applause of anything that bolsters their increasingly bizarre stance, but light on the analysis. It was similarly received on Faux News and other wingnut media. Meanwhile more reputable commentators actually read the paper and pointed out the obvious flaws.