David Rose has an article in the Daily Mail about the increase in Antarctic sea ice. The implication is that the increase in Antarctic sea ice somehow compensates for the decrease in Arctic sea ice. Well this isn’t really correct as what David Rose is referring to is the increase is sea ice area, not volume. According to Holland et al. 2014, the Arctic sea ice is losing mass/volume 10 times faster than the Antarctic sea ice is gaining mass/volume. Also the impact on our albedo of decreased Arctic sea ice in the NH summer is very different to the impact of increased Antarctic sea ice in the SH winter.
The only climate scientist who David Rose quotes with regards to the actual science is Judith Curry, who is quoted as saying
it was becoming increasingly apparent that long-term cycles in ocean temperatures were responsible for a significant proportion of the ice decline in the Arctic – a process that may be starting to reverse.
I presume that this refers to Judith Curry’s Stadium Wave idea which – as far as I can tell – is just an elaborate curve-fitting exercise. Also, I don’t think that this is consistent with what most others think is happening. One idea is that the melting of Antarctic ice sheets is adding cold, fresh water to the Antarctic ocean (Bintanja et al. 2013). Fresh water freezes more easily than salt water, and so this is one explanation for the increased Antarctic sea ice extent. There is also a chance that it is just natural variability (Swart & Fyfe 2013) but even if true, this doesn’t mean that it somehow compensates for reduction in Arctic sea ice.
The article also has an entire section devoted to the views of Andrew Montford – a UK-based climate blogger. I recently spent a couple of days commenting on his blog. Based on the comments and on what he himself says, it appears that his understanding of climate science is remarkably low. That’s also a positive interpretation. Why a journalist writing an article in a major UK newspaper couldn’t find someone more suitable is beyond me. It can’t be that hard. It, however, might be hard to find someone credible who would be willing to be quoted by David Rose, and who would not say something that fundamentally contradicted what he was trying to get across in his article.
Andrew Montford does comment that
In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings.
This is based on some recent claims by Steven Goddard, whose real name happens to be Tony Heller. In my experience (and in my opinion) Heller/Goddard is one of the most dishonest individuals I’ve encountered – and that is saying something. I also find it remarkable that those who criticise me for using a pseudonym have no issue with someone else using a pseudonym that wasn’t obviously a pseudonym. Anyway, if you want to know why this is probably just a red herring, you could read some of Nick Stokes’ recent posts about infilling, climatology, and anomalies.
So, I find these kind of articles remarkably frustrating and really wish this kind of nonsense was called out more broadly. I’m trying to my best, but it’s pretty hard going. It’s also hard not draw some fairly uncomplimentary conclusions; namely that David Rose is either an ignorant fool or willfully misrepresenting our current understanding of climate science. I’ll leave it to the reader to make up their own mind. I will ask, however, that if you do comment, that you keep the comments civil and on the correct side of the libel/personal opinion boundary.