The slipping tipping point

Back in ’07, there was alarming news coming out of NASA as to disappearing arctic ice:

Joey Comiso reports that this year’s large Arctic sea ice decline may be the tipping point for perennial ice and a recovery may no longer [be] possible in the foreseeable future.

I would love to know what Mr. Comiso thinks about this more recent report:

Scientists say current concerns over a tipping point in the disappearance of Arctic sea ice may be misplaced.

Danish researchers analysed ancient pieces of driftwood in north Greenland which they say is an accurate way to measure the extent of ancient ice loss.

Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago.

They say changes to wind systems can slow down the rate of melting.

They argue, therefore, that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely.

Talk amongst yourselves.

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  • Al BS Gore is confused! #tcot

  • herddog505

    They say changes to wind systems can slow down the rate of melting.

    Winds?  What winds?  I thought that it was all CO2.  Didn’t the models account for winds?

    Oh, that’s right: the models have been shown consistently to be horribly inaccurate because they don’t account for little things like winds, cloud cover, sulfur emissions from Red Chinese coal plants, etc.  But we gotta trust the models anyway, because failure to do so could lead to a catastrophe like flooding Algore’s new coastal mansion.  And we can’t have THAT, can we?

  • Anonymous

    “concerns over a tipping point… may be misplaced.”Check the last place you saw them. Then go to all the usual places where you leave things. Finally check all places you’ve been since you last saw them. If you can’t find them they’re gone, not misplaced.

    Seriously, the polar ice pack story was no more honest the the mountain snow caps story.

  • Anonymous

    But…but…Algore said the science was settled!

  • So when do all the perps who profited from this scam go to trial?  Will they lose the millions they made off the lie?

  • Anonymous

    You mean there were big blow-harded  full of shit shuckster’s like Albert here 5000 years ago? Perish the thought..

  • Anonymous

    The Neanderthals did it!

  • Anonymous

    From the BBC link given, “I think the effect of temperature and global warming may cause a change in the general wind systems which maybe will delay the effects of the rapidly rising temperatures a little bit.
    Your side, the AGW, global warming deniers, must be really losing the debate, if this little bit of delay of the effects of rapidly rising temperatures, from one study, is the cause for such celebration, in the otherwise bleak picture of the continuing inexorable loss of Arctic ice cap ‘Arctic sea ice at record low for July’ , If you look at what the ice cap was in 1979 and what is remains now, it looks like the so-called tipping point (which is really only a metaphor) has already been reached.

    • Anonymous

      If the loss is truly inexorable, then no action, no prayers or anything else can change the outcome.

      So, the usual question: What is normal, and how was normal determined?  

    • Anonymous

      The article says that the ice was about 50% lower than now 5000yrs ago. Wouldn’t that be the record low? I will accept your “little bit” if you accept that as the record.

  • Anonymous

    SCSIwuzzy, with the caveat that I am not a scientist and don’t have the time at the moment, to research or even google this so based on memory …it is inexorable given the steady incremental rise of CO2 emissions. There may be negative feedback loops and positive fedback loops or mixed such as  the BBC report alluded to, more global warming therefore more  changing wind paterns than expected  to delay” a little bit” the declining ice cap. In Antartica, I believe they are having more snow storms, because they are caused by wind changes, warmer water air  moving south, meeting colder polar air, so there is more snow, and the appearance of more ice.

    Our best chance, pretty remote, if we don´t lower carbon emissions, which have explained all previous global warmings even the most intense, such as 56 milion years ago, as the continents were ripping apart, is that there will some as yet hitherto  unknown reverse natural switch to counter the increase in carbon emissions. The real problem is not the height of global warming, yes, there have been much warmer periods in the past, but the unnatural speed this global warming is occuring, and the fact that it will be very difficult for species, vegetation to adapt. July´s Scientific American, which I read on a plane, the Last Great Global warming article lays this out.

    • They let YOU on a PLANE???  Another strike against TSA . . .

      BTW, do you know how many “peer reviewed” articles in Scientific American and Nature over the last 15 years have proved to be utterly fraudulent?  Not counting the global warming nonsense, of course . . .

    •  ” is that there will some as yet hitherto  unknown reverse natural switch to counter the increase in carbon emissions.”

      Think they’ve already found that – it’s called by a very technical term.  Something that starts with a ‘C’, and defines suspended masses of semi-opaque, very reflective material.

      Oh, heck, what’s the word.  It’s all those white things you see when you look at a picture of Earth from Space.  ‘Loud’ something, maybe.  C-Louds?  Ah, yea… that’s it.  C-Louds.

      The more water vapor in the air, the more C-Louds.  The more C-Louds, the more reflectivity of heat.  It’s a self-regulating system – if it hadn’t been, we’d be at Venus temperatures by now.

      • Anonymous

        Jlawson, funny how  all the great climate scientists hadn´t thought of that? But  because ofthe greenhouse effect of the atmosphere which  traps  heat.. maybe we are headed to become hot like Venus. The effect of combustion-produced carbon dioxide on the global climate, a special case of the greenhouse effect first described in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius, has also been called the Callendar effect.
        Because it is a greenhouse gas, elevated CO2 levels contribute to additional absorption and emission of thermal infrared in the atmosphere, which produce net warming.

        “A runaway greenhouse effect occurs if positive feedbacks lead to the evaporation of all greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.[32] A runaway greenhouse effect involving carbon dioxide and water vapor is thought to have occurred on Venus.[“

        • They’ve been pointing it out, Steve.  Repeatedly.  For years.

          The AGW cultists haven’t been listening, and they were pushing (and controlling) the narrative.  You know – the ‘consensus’?  ‘Cause science is all about ‘consensus’, instead of facts any more. Agree that something is so, and it is – regardless of evidence otherwise. If the model says “X”, and reality indicates “Y”, then “X” is the reported ‘fact’.

          But anyway, re ‘greenhouse’ effect…

          You also have to figure the amount of solar activity into the mix.  Venus is considerably closer to the sun, therefore it gets a lot more heat, and – unless I mis-remember – the surface temperature there without the clouds and atmosphere was estimated to be about 220F. (Seen 154F, seen 250c, let’s just go with the boiling point of water.) 

          Earth’s would be about -18c.  I’d say that it’s a good thing we’ve got a greenhouse effect going.

    • Anonymous

      So… no, you don’t really know what that word meant when you chose to use it.  And you don’t even understand the SCIENCE you are using as both sword and shield.

      This is why we say you treat AGW as a matter of faith.

  • Crickmore, you are full of it as usual.  Earth temperatures cannot be correlated to what amounts to minor changes in CO2 in the atmosphere, that’s why none of the computer models that predict all these dire consequences cannot be back-tested with known data to produce an accurate “prediction” of our current conditions.

    In science, when a computer model fails this test, its predictions are considered invalidated – EXCEPT by the AGW crowd.  Only they can insist failed models are accurate predictors, only they can dump raw data so it cannot be examined, only they falsify graphs and statements to correspond to their predictions, only they can violate the law to delete emails which show their conspiracies, and still expect to be taken seriously.

    It’s never been about climate or environment, though – it is only about seizing control over the economy by a self-appointed elite. 

    Ah, if only there was some factor which could adequately explain global temperature changes . . . it would have to be something pretty big and powerful, though, close to the magnitude of the sun itself.  Perhaps one day some mere non-scientist such as yourself will discover this force, and we will all see the light.

    • Anonymous

      You are going out on a limb Adjoran. I hope in about ten years it will be instuctive to read how convinced you were. How do you explain this phenomenal year we have had in terms of climate in the USA: record droughts, floods, heat waves, and tornados. Fasten your seat belts it will continue, maybe not next year but as increasing trend with fluctations, due for example  to el nino, volcanic activity, different feedback loops but moving inexorably in  one direction  slightly warmer, with more drastic climate change in every part of the globe.
      Models, are improving- it is developing science, like every nearly every other study of what is occurring in the universe. No one can predict  with certainty such as the passing of a comet, when earthquakes or volcanoes are going to erupt, but we have a rough idea what is happening, and why?  and your self -appointed elite-  you referred to, are you talking about the Bush admistration and their pressure on their scientists to excise the words¨”global warming” as if it didn´t exist from their reports? Maybe you should fire or excommunicate all the 87% of general scientists and 98% of climate scientists who believe in it.

      • Anonymous

        Dogs and Cats Sleeping together!

        Better call GhostBusters, Steve!

      • Don’t confuse models with reality.

        Everyone knows it takes a lot of makeup and lighting to make ’em look that good – and we won’t even talk about the retouching in Photoshop.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t these scientists take up cow tipping.  

  • Anonymous

    This was written before the worst montly  heat wave, setting records in every single state since records were kept, and these are early days,  of what is in store for us, in the coming years and decades.. I wonder why Jay Tea never enters in these discussions on climate change and global warming, curious?

    • Anonymous

      That’s weather not climate… oh wait it supports your position sorry my mistake.

    • Anonymous

      you link to an opinion piece to bolster your SCIENCE based faith?  Classic.
      Are you for or against the Otters in this particular Passion Play?

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  • Anonymous

    There was a “glitch” in the measurement of Artic sea ice last week that probably had many of these doomsayers saying the “tipping point” had finally arrived, but alas it was a “glitch” and the current trend is more ice than 2007 (the worse year in the last 15 years of so).

    • Anonymous

      Im not sure how much relevance a tipping point has. Anyway these are complex issues. You simplyify at the risk at being inaccurate The problem is we tend to use a time scale based on seasons and years when, we should be talking about minimum four or five years as a measuring stick. The earth is how old, three or four billion years, so these changes are occuring very fast, but almost impercepbtly.
      I really hope global warming sceptics  are right and there is some natural phenomenon which  we don´t know about will rectify agw, such as  the el nino current moving so far north it becomes cooler  Im just making this up- but  the more winds a stronger wind chill, will only delay by  a little bit , what we are headed for. And we as humans always make decisons on our actions based on the best available information on the probabilities, not  just having faith that global warmers will be proved wrong.

      •  We are like mayflies trying to make sense of what’s going on, and attempting to forecast tomorrow’s weather by looking at the last five seconds.

        Looks like your mind is starting to open, Steve.  I really recommend you take a look at about a month’s worth of postings over at, and check out  The grid in the US has 70% of the stations with potential error over 2c, and 6.2% with a potential error of 5c. 

        If you depend on computer models to make decisions, you really need to compare them with hard data. 

        “The fact that
        nighttime minimum temperatures are warming, while daytime maximum
        temperatures are not is symptomatic of the urban heat effect – i.e. not
        climatic warming, but heat retention due to increasing amounts of concrete
        and paved areas.”

        “To be completely free of the urbanisation
        problem, a site needs to be strictly `greenfields’, where there
        is no urbanisation whatsoever. Such sites are few and far between,
        but they do exist, and most of them do not show warming or show weaker
        trends than is claimed for the globe as a whole, as shown in the station
        records in the Appendix.”

        I could also refer you to Ruddiman’s work on Anthropogenic Global Warming from methane – but his work indicates that if it weren’t for the invention of agriculture (and a corresponding spike in methane levels) we’d be equator-deep in an ice age at this point.  And I don’t know about you, but after 8 years in Wyoming I’m no fan of cold weather any more…

        • Anonymous

          I will look at it, when I have the time. No one can deny that downtowns, such as Manhattan are much warmer than  surrounding green belts. But Wyoming doesn’t have any large cities? I have always had a sentimental spot for Wyoming; nearly went with that for a name for my  first daughter, but chose its capital, Cheyenne instead.

          • It’s a nice city, for about two weeks.  After 8 years? (Shrug.)  It’s cold, it’s windy, after the first blizzard I had no love for the place.  27 years since I left Cheyenne, feel no great need to revisit the place.  Global warming would be a godsend for the state.

            No time to check things? Steve, in two weeks you’re going to be completely on the AGW train again, railing against the deniers and not letting any doubt cloud your thinking. The possibility that the models might be in error will have been completely wiped from your mind.

            Really, man, check the links, examine the records. The more ‘adjustments’ need to be added in the processing and analysis, the less they reflect reality.

  • Anonymous

    Yes methane in the atmosphere traps heat much more effectively than CO2 but it converts quickly to CO2