$30,000 Challenge Submission – Antarctic Ice

Jim Steele
Christopjer says “That also debunks the deniers claims of urban heat island affect.”
Mr Keating you are a joke and obviously lack any scientific understanding of the dynamics of climate change. Your $30,000 is just a gimmick to satisfy some egotistical fantasy that you are the “Denier Slayer” and attract people to your website. The first clue is your bizarre claim “One of the reasons sea ice is increasing is because it is coming from the land ice that is sliding into the ocean”
No one can disprove CO2 warming any more than you or anyone else can prove it. I offered you $30,000 but you duck the challenge and every piece of scientific evidence I presented about the Antarctic. You again expose your complete lack of knowledge by offering the hilarious defense that warming on the peninsula “debunks the deniers claims of urban heat island affect”. You claim to teach logic????? ROTFLMAO. I am not distracted!
Your misdirection via another sophomoric attack on “deniers” is only an attempt to obscure your total lack of knowledge and critical thinking skills. Although CO2 warming should operate 24/7, the warming on the peninsul a varies dramatically by location and season. That should be a hint to any legitimate scientists that regional dynamics are in play.
On the west side, the changing direction and intensity of the winds has inhibited sea ice advance in the spring and promoted a greater retreat in the fall, in contrast to the ever increasing sea ice elsewhere. Much of the dramatic warming on the peninsula’s west side is occurs only in the winter when less ice allows more heat to ventilate. No such trend in the summer.
All those trends reverse on the eastern side, where identical latitude s experience temperatures 10 degrees colder, because sea ice is not similarly affected by those same winds. However those winds have shifted. Instead of going around the mountainous peninsula, the winds are currently flowing over the mountains causing more foehn storms, that can raise temperatures adiabatically by 20 degrees or more. Adiabatically means “no heat is added”.
These are just other non-CO2 related dynamics that , in addition to the urban heat effect, have driven a rise in the global average statistic. If the global average statistic was to accurately reflect the amount of heat accumulated due to CO2, then the dramatic warming over the peninsula should be subtracted from the average, not added to skew the trend.
5:27 p.m., Sunday July 13
Jim Steele
I forgot to suggest you improve your knowledge by reading some scientific papers about the dynamics causing the peninsula’s temperatures.
1. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Trends in
Antarctic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño southern oscillation and southern annular mode variability. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 113, C03S90.doi:10.1029/2007JC004269.
2. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Sea ice in the
western Antarctic Peninsula region: spatiotemporal variability from ecological and climate change perspectives. Deep Sea Research II 55.
3. Orr, A., et al., (2008), Characteristics of summer airflow over the Antarctic Peninsula in response to recent strengthening of westerly circumpolar winds, J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 1396–1413.
5:31 p.m., Sunday July 13
Jim Steele
Reply to
Christopher Keating says, “I keep hearing deniers
say Antarctica is cooling. This is not only false, but is irrelevant”
Mr. Keating, Your persistent denigrating use of deniers, and your graph of a warming Antarctica http://earthobservatory.nasa.g…
reveals your general lack of critical scientific analyses. I’ll give you $30,000 if you can prove CO2 is causing any of the changes in Antarctica!
It is most apropos that the NASA writes, “The image paints a different picture of temperature trends in Antarctica than scientists had previously observed.” Indeed it differs from what scientists had observed. Your map is based on a trend that
1) Cherrypicks the time frame,
2) statistically smears warming on the peninsula across the continent
3) and then erroneously assumes the warming around the
western peninsula region is due to rising CO2.
1) Cherrypicking the Trend.
Trends since 1966 shows a cooling trend. Read Chapman, W., and
Walsh, J., (2006) A Synthesis of Antarctic Temperatures. Journal of Climate,
vol. 20, p. 4096-4117. They reported “Linear temperature changes calculated using starting dates prior to 1965 are positive for land only, ocean-only, and total area. Starting dates of 1966– 82 have negative trends for the Antarctic land-only grid points with mixed results for ocean-only and total area.”
Furthermore the year before his “new warming trend,” Steig
himself co-authored a paper using ice core data to show it was warmer around 1940 as seen here http://landscapesandcycles.net….
He wrote, “This record, representative of West Antarctic surface temperature, shows extreme positive anomalies in the 1936-45 decade that are significant in the context of the background 20th Century warming trend. We interpret these anomalies, previously undocumented in the high-latitude SH, as
indicative of strong teleconnections in part driven by the major 1939-42 El Nino.”
However to suggest “previ ously unobserved warming” his next paper chose a starting point in the 50s after temperatures had plummeted.
Read Schneider, D., and Steig, E., (2008) Ice cores record
significant 1940s Antarctic warmth related to tropical climate variability.
Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 12154–12158
2) Statistically smearing the warmth
British Antarctic Survey Stations such as Dumont D’Urville show warming on the linked map when no such thing is happening as seen in the observed data
3) Finally the warmth along the peninsula has been repeatedly documented
to be caused when winds inhibited regional sea ice growth and allowed greater ventilation of subsurface heat on the western peninsula in the winter and more foehn storms causing ad iabatic heating on the eastern side in the summer.
I suggest you spend less time hurling insults and start
reading the scientific literature to get a more well rounded perspective.
12:53 p.m., Sunday July 13


So, let me see, your submission consists of making personal attacks. Not very scientific. Nor, are they very well informed, just like your misguided opinions on global warming. I don’t really hurl insults, I just point out the truth about deniers. It isn’t my fault that the characteristics of deniers are not complimentary. You are a perfect example. What part of science includes all of your personal attacks? Since you have no science to support your claims, you act like a jerk as if that will make you seem more credible. You really are denier. You not only deny global warming, science and the rights of other people to make up their minds without your lies, but you deny any kind of civility in a discussion on an open forum. Tell me, do you make this kind of example for your children? Do you act this way in front of your parents?  What an ass. And, your argument reflect that in you.

You make a bunch of senseless claims about the Antarctic ice without any supporting evidence. Well how about this for supporting evidence:

a, Mass anomalies observed by GRACE (January 2003–September 2012) for Greenland (red) and Antarctica (blue; arbitrarily vertically shifted for clarity). b, RACMO2 SMB, illustrating interannual variability (note the different scale for Antarctica). c, Estimated trend in the GRACE time series as function of record length since the start of the observations. For example, at x=6, trends in the six-year window for January 2003–December 2008 are shown for Greenland (red) and Antarctica (blue). d, As in c, but for accelerations; for explanation on error bars (95% range), see Supplementary Information. SMB, surface mass balance. Source: Nature GeoScience          

There are plenty more, but this is a good one. Figure a shows the mass balance for Greenland (red) and Antarctica (blue) for the period January 2003 – September 2012. You can easily see the total mass has decreased in both ice sheets during that time span. For Antarctica, there was a loss of about 1000 gigatons. that comes out to about 100 gigatons of ice loss per year. I’m not sure you can understand what that means, so I’ll translate it. A gigaton is 1 billion tons. So, Antarctica is losing 100 billion tons of ice every year. In fact, a study by NASA and the ESA shows that loss rate is accelerating.

As for CO2 warming the planet, it has most certainly been proved and the only ones that don’t accept that evidence are deniers that reject any science that doesn’t agree with their preconceived conclusion. If you are not intelligent enough to find that proof yourself, I suggest you check out several of the challenge submissions that have to do with the composition of the atmosphere and CO2 effects. You offered no science or logical argument there, just another senseless personal attack, so I don’t need to deal with that issue any further.

Let’s look at these scientific papers you referenced. You threw them out there without any kind of claim about how they supported any kind of logical argument you might make. At this point in your submission, you still have not made any scientific claims, just personal attacks, so I am not sure what your point is. But, let’s look at these papers and see what they have to say.

1. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Trends in
Antarctic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño southern oscillation and southern annular mode variability. Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 113,

Here is the abstract for this paper:

 [1] Previous studies have shown strong contrasting trends in annual sea ice duration and in monthly sea ice concentration in two regions of the Southern Ocean: decreases in the western Antarctic Peninsula/southern Bellingshausen Sea (wAP/sBS) region and increases in the western Ross Sea (wRS) region. To better understand the evolution of these regional sea ice trends, we utilize the full temporal (quasi-daily) resolution of satellite-derived sea ice data to track spatially the annual ice edge advance and retreat from 1979 to 2004. These newly analyzed data reveal that sea ice is retreating 31 ± 10 days earlier and advancing 54 ± 9 days later in the wAP/sBS region (i.e., total change over 1979–2004), whereas in the wRS region, sea ice is retreating 29 ± 6 days later and advancing 31 ± 6 days earlier. Changes in the wAP/sBS and wRS regions, particularly as observed during sea ice advance, occurred in association with decadal changes in the mean state of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM; negative in the 1980s and positive in the 1990s) and the high-latitude response to El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In general, the high-latitude ice-atmosphere response to ENSO was strongest when -SAM was coincident with El Niño and when +SAM was coincident with La Niña, particularly in the wAP/sBS region. In total, there were 7 of 11 -SAMs between 1980 and 1990 and the 7 of 10 +SAMs between 1991 and 2000 that were associated with consistent decadal sea ice changes in the wAP/sBS and wRS regions, respectively. Elsewhere, ENSO/SAM-related sea ice changes were not as consistent over time (e.g., western Weddell, Amundsen, and eastern Ross Sea region), or variability in general was high (e.g., central/eastern Weddell and along East Antarctica).

What are they saying here?

Very simply, they are saying the different parts of the Antarctic sea ice is melting and freezing at different times of the year and this change appears to be linked to El Nino – Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

What is relevant to any argument here? ENSO affects the sea ice around Antarctica. So what? This is important information and stuff we need to know, but it has no bearing on the reality of man made global warming, one way or the other. This information would not impact either scenario.

So, you submitted an irrelevant scientific journal to try and sound intelligent. It didn’t work. Maybe you’ll do better with the next one.

2. Stammerjohn, S., et a., (2008) Sea ice in the
western Antarctic Peninsula region: spatiotemporal variability from ecological and climate change perspectives. Deep Sea Research II 55.

Here is the abstract for this paper:

The Antarctic Peninsula region is undergoing rapid change: a warming in winter of almost 6 °C since 1950, the loss of six ice shelves, the retreat of 87% of the marine glaciers, and decreases in winter sea-ice duration. Concurrently, there is evidence of ecosystem change along the western Antarctic Peninsula (wAP). Since the life histories of most polar marine species are synchronized with the seasonal cycle of sea ice, we assess how the seasonal sea-ice cycle is changing in the wAP region. Four new metrics of seasonal sea-ice variability were extracted from spatial maps of satellite derived daily sea-ice concentration: (a) day of advance, (b) day of retreat, (c) the total number of sea-ice days (between day of advance and retreat), and (d) the percent time sea-ice was present (or sea-ice persistence). The spatio-temporal variability describes distinct on-to-offshore and alongshore differences in ice–ocean marine habitats, characterized overall by a longer sea-ice season in coastal regions (6.8–7.9 months) versus a shorter sea-ice season over the shelf (4.1–5.3 months), with on-to-offshore differences increasing south-to-north. Large perturbations in the seasonality of the marine habitat occur in association with ENSO and Southern Annular Mode (SAM) variability. The local atmospheric response to these climate modes is largely a strengthening of the meridional winds during spring-to-autumn, which in turn affect the timing of the sea-ice retreat and subsequent advance. These perturbations are embedded in overall trends towards a later sea-ice advance, earlier retreat and consequently shorter sea-ice season, the impacts of which are expected to affect ecosystem functionality in the wAP region. A suite of ocean–atmosphere–ice interactions are described that are consistent with the amplified warming in late autumn, early winter.
What are they saying?
The Antarctica Peninsula is a long peninsula that extends from the main continental body and projects towards South America. This paper says this peninsula has gotten 6 degrees C warmer since 1950 and has lost 87% of its land ice. They then discuss how they analyze this situation in the paper and give details on what they examine. 
At least you referenced a paper that was relevant this time, but it was relevant to showing AGW is real. The AP is getting warmer and is losing its ice. How can this help any argument you wish to make that AGW is not real? It certainly doesn’t help make you look more intelligent or to make you more credible in your rants and personal attacks. You are not doing very well. Two scientific papers and neither one helps you.
Third times the charm? Let’s see.
 3. Orr, A., et al., (2008), Characteristics of summer airflow over the Antarctic Peninsula in response to recent strengthening of westerly circumpolar winds, J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 1396–1413.
Summer near-surface temperatures over the northeast coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have increased by more than 2°C over the past 40 years, a temperature increase 3 times greater than that on the northwest coast. Recent analysis has shown a strong correlation between this striking warming trend and significant change in the summer Southern Hemisphere annular mode (SAM), which has resulted in greatly increased summer westerlies across the northern peninsula. It has been proposed that the strengthening westerlies have resulted in increased vertical deflection of relatively warm maritime air over the northern peninsula, contributing significantly to the observed warming and the recent collapse of northern sections of the Larsen Ice Shelf. In this study, laboratory and numerical modeling of airflow incident to the peninsula are employed to further understand this mechanism. It is shown that the effect of the strengthening westerlies has led to a distinct transition from a “blocked” regime to a “flow-over” regime, that is, confirmation of the proposed warming mechanism. The blocked regime is dominated by flow stagnation upstream (i.e., little vertical deflection) and consequent lateral deflection of flow along the western side of the peninsula. The flow-over regime is dominated by vertical deflection of mid/upper-level air over the peninsula, with strong downslope winds following closely to the leeward slope transporting this air (which warms adiabatically as it descends) to the near-surface of the northeast peninsula. The strong rotation typical of high latitudes considerably increases the flow over the peninsula, particularly strengthening it over the southern side (verified by aircraft measurements), suggesting that the warming trend is not solely confined to the northeast. Globally, flow regime transitions such as this may be responsible for other local climate variations.
What are they saying? 
They are saying that the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced warming of 2 degrees C over the last 40 years and that warming rate has been three times warmer than the northwest coast of the main body of the continent. They attribute this to changes in the airflow currents.
Oops! Third time wasn’t a charm! 
Did you even bother reading these papers, or did you just grab the papers to make you look smart? If so, it really didn’t work. Once again, you have shown that Antarctica, and the AP in particular, are warming. How does this help any argument you could make or justify your personal attacks?
Take a look the temperature change of Antarctica:
Source: Skeptical Science from O’Donnel et al. (2010)
This graph clearly show the average temperature in Antarctica has been going up. There is variation from year-to-year, but that is normal and expected. Look at the long-term trend (the dotted line) to show how the average temperature is going up.
And look at this graphic:
Source: Skeptical Science from O’Donnel et al. (2010)
The O’Donnell et al. paper refuted the Steig et al. paper and showed that warming in Antarctica is mostly concentrated in the peninsula area. There are two major things to take from this. 
First, the peninsula actually projects out beyond the circumpolar currents in the atmosphere and ocean as well as the ozone hole, so it is not in the isolated environment the rest of the continent is.The fact that the part of the continent that is not located within the isolated environment is experiencing the greatest amount of change in the southern hemisphere illustrates the point that the continent is, in fact, isolated and is a special case, not evidence what global warming is not occurring. (See the above temperature plot, anyway.)
The second major point of this paper is that it refutes a paper that the deniers hated, namely the Steig et al. paper that showed more widespread warming than previously claimed. 
So, what basically amounts to a paper supporting the denier side of the argument refutes any claim that it is not getting warmer in Antarctica. It also refutes any claim that the environment of the Antarctica Peninsula is not different than the environment of the main body of the continent.
I am still not sure what your argument is, but you state:
3) Finally the warmth along the peninsula has been repeatedly documented
to be caused when winds inhibited regional sea ice growth and allowed greater ventilation of subsurface heat on the western peninsula in the winter and more foehn storms causing ad iabatic heating on the eastern side in the summer.

All you are saying here is that wind currents have changed and that is what is causing the changing environment on the AP. But, you never address the question – what is causing the wind currents to change? Currents in the ocean and atmosphere don’t just simply change. There must be a cause. You never even address that issue.

Maybe you should have. Read what the British Antarctic Survey has to say about it here.

Here’s one more, just for fun.

Recent Changes in Phytoplankton Communities Associated with Rapid Regional Climate Change Along the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Martin Montes-Hugo, Scott C. Doney, Hugh W. Ducklow, William Fraser, Douglas Martinson, Sharon E. Stammerjohn, Oscar Schofield
Science 13 March 2009:
Vol. 323 no. 5920 pp. 1470-1473
DOI: 10.1126/science.1164533 


The climate of the western shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is undergoing a transition from a cold-dry polar-type climate to a warm-humid sub-Antarctic–type climate. Using three decades of satellite and field data, we document that ocean biological productivity, inferred from chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a), has significantly changed along the WAP shelf. Summertime surface Chl a (summer integrated Chl a ∼63% of annually integrated Chl a) declined by 12% along the WAP over the past 30 years, with the largest decreases equatorward of 63°S and with substantial increases in Chl a occurring farther south. The latitudinal variation in Chl a trends reflects shifting patterns of ice cover, cloud formation, and windiness affecting water-column mixing. Regional changes in phytoplankton coincide with observed changes in krill (Euphausia superba) and penguin populations.

You then conclude your rant by saying:

I suggest you spend less time hurling insults and start
reading the scientific literature to get a more well rounded perspective.

So, let’s recap. You never proposed any argument to prove man made global warming is not real. What you did do is provide a series of statements that were either irrelevant, wrong, or even supportive of AGW. You then mixed all of those misstatements in with a long barrage of personal attacks as if that was somehow suppose to make you sound more credible and intelligent (it didn’t).

You did not provide any scientific argument, and you did not provide any scientific evidence, to support any claim that man made global warming is not real.

So, in conclusion I can easily state you did not prove man made global warming is not real. But, don’t despair, you did prove you are an ass.



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