What’s wrong with chinstrap penguins, fur seals, krill and leopard seals? Does anybody know?
Perhaps Elizabeth Royte, Fen Montaigne or Bill Fraser do, since it almost goes without saying that “warmer winter air and sea temperatures” around the Antarctic Peninsula are a Bad Thing because (by some quasi-magical mechanism) they negatively affect lovely Adélie penguins, leaving those other species to thrive amongst our indifference.
As the world gets warmer, plenty of Bad Things proliferate whilst plenty of Good Things dwindle in number or occurrence (popular species disappear whilst unpopular ones like jellyfish expand, and so on and so forth)
Hard not to notice that (just in case readers might get their attention diverted from the rapidly-vanishing Adélies) Royte/Montaigne go as far as to suggest that the brown skuas, dependent on the Adélie colonies and therefore equally doomed, exert a “Mafia-like domination” with gruesome chick-killing feeding habits. In the meanwhile, saintly Adélies “almost cut in half by leopard seals stagger back to the colony to deliver their load of krill“.
Is that an aureola I can see radiating from the Adélies’ heads? “For Fraser, the warming has a moral dimension“, we are told. One suspects, warming has a moral dimension to Montaigne and Royte as well, and the scientific or documentary value of a book like “Fraser’s Penguins” dubious to say the least. We are basically back to the XIX century, antropocentrists, looking for moral examples that involve something as absolutely nonmoral as Nature. And Stephen Jay Gould has written wonderfully complete essays against that very idea, for nothing.
Title of the post: I do not see any misrepresentation in Anthony’s use of the word “rebuts” […] There is nothing inconsistent between ‘rebuttal’ and ‘improvement’
Given the fact that Watts has not used the term “repudiate”, what exactly are you accusing him of insinuating?
Secondly, you ask how can the new paper be “achieving something potentially useful”. Well, you’ve answered yourself:
a rapidly warming peninsula is not a good situation either and is also likely to have anthropogenic causes, albeit complicated ones.
This should be welcome news to all interested in seeing climate science progress forward at a regional level. If O’Donnell et al are right – we have a rapidly-warming region that is called Antarctic Peninsula, and it stands out against its surroundings…let’s figure out what is happening!!
If on the other hand Steig et al are right – there isn’t much to do, is there, apart from putting a few more weather stations across West Antarctica to confirm the claimed trends…especially given the fact that the Antarctic Peninsula does sport a highly positive measured anomaly, as in NASA’s Earth Observatory note for Dec 10.
Of course this will soon to be shown to mean scientists have grossly overestimated the amount of CO2 in the past, that it’s worse than we thought, and that climate change is pushing curious shrimps and foot-long jellyfish on the edge of extinction.
It’s anybody’s guess if that’s related to the fact that those results clearly and evidently show that
the Earth’s climate has been wildly oscillating between cold and warmth for at least 800,000 years, long before any sizable man-made intervention
during that period, the record minimum has been reached around 20,000 years ago (10C less than today’s); that’s before agriculture
the record maximum still belongs to around 120,000 years ago (+5C more than today’s); and that’s before agriculture, too
the concentrations of CO2 have depended on the amounts of iron in dust, with higher availability of iron resulting in lower amounts of atmospheric CO2
and whilst temperatures have been at times warmer than today’s, and at other times much colder, corals, mammals, birds, trees and the rest of the biosphere have chugged along nicely (in a relative way)
AGW-related catastrophism is going the way of the dodo. Alas, so far there’s been no space to mention that in the vast majority of mainstream newsmedia.
(in the picture: green for temperature variations in degrees C; orange for iron fluxes, in milligrams per square meter; red for CO2 concentrations in ppmv; years are in thousands before-present (B.P.))
“an area where snow accumulates…25 millimeters per year“
According to the data, Earth has gone through 8 ice ages and 8 “warm ages” during the past 800,000 years. Barbante says
“we are now in one of the ‘warm’ phases. It started 10,000 years ago and, comparing it to what there’s been [in the past], it can be seen that it’s anomalous, because it has been lasting a long time and temperatures have been very stable”
Still, Beccaria points out that between 120,000 and 100,000 years ago, temperatures have been up to 5C warmer than today’s, at the upper end that is of the IPCC’s more catastrophic scenarios (or predictions). And just 20,000 years ago, the Earth was up to 10C colder (a negative record for the past 800,000 years, apparently). Barbante again:
“The cyclical nature [of temperatures] provides us with the right perspective concerning the climatic changes observed at the moment: if we don’t make the effort towards reaching a better understanding of the natural mechanisms [of climate change], it will be useless to keep trying to patch up predictions on what will happen in a century or two.”
Paleoclimatologists to the rescue then, cajoling to recover at least part of their past relevance after being outclassed by climate modelers as the main reference group able to talk to the politicians.
But there is more (apart from the confirmation of human-related pollution, in terms of methane, nitrogen oxides, chloride, sulfates, nitrates, and heavy metals). Barbante:
“in the core we have measured…the flux of iron in the dust. [Iron] is a biologically-active metal, as it underlies…the conversion of CO2 and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in organic compounds. [We know now that] during glacial intervals iron increases and the biological pump works at its best, whilst during the interglacials like today’s, that process is less efficient and CO2 increases.”
With iron availability near zero at the moment, it is therefore little surprise that CO2 has been increasing, admittedly to record levels compared to the past 800,000 years. In other words it may be not just a matter of human emissions, but also of momentarily-inefficient present-day “carbon sinks”.
Beccaria concludes that next step is to investigate the “warm periods” in order to find clues about the present situation.
For me the above demonstrates how stupid AGW catastrophism like Mark Lynas’, Al Gore’s and Jim Hansen’s is and has been for many years.
“Stupid” in the sense of hurting the rest of the world (by impeding an appropriate analysis of the history of climate change and past “warm” phases, thereby spreading blindness towards probable causes and possible effects); whilst hurting its own cause (by convincing people the magnitude of the challenge is so great, there isn’t much that can be done).
The most they can show is a cursory series of conferences leading to little promises for 10 years in the future, and grand promises for 50 years (so Governments have “only” 49 years to renege on their big promises).
On second thought, that may truly be a good thing.