9 September 2013

Arctic freeze, Greenland melt

David Rose writes again in the Mail on Sunday, reporting a 60% increase in North Polar ice cover. Ha ha! That's one in the eye for all you global warming experts, etc.

On the other hand, Professor Jason Box continues his Dark Snow researches in Greenland and finds that the melting continues as predicted. About half of it, he thinks, is down to reduced albedo [index of light reflection] because of a soot layer from the burning of fossil fuel and forest, but there are other factors, too, including a secondary partial-melt effect that causes ice crystals to become more rounded.

And Rose's article ignores regional variation in air temperature, even within Greenland. "Heat transport into the Arctic bypassed Greenland to its east. Svalbard [an archipelago in the North Norway region] has had a warm summer."

Meltfactor blog: http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=1222

Greenland had a record warm episode in July (not due to the North Atlantic airstream), but then there was fresh snowfall in the south that brightened the surface more than usual; yet in the northwest the albedo was unusually low.

Journalists, whichever side you take (should you be taking sides?): it's just not that simple. And the polar ice cap cover is only one of a wide range of measures being assessed and discussed in the climate change debate.

I don't suppose Rose is likely to listen - he's doing too well out of incompletely-researched contrarianism. Unfortunately, he's writing in the most-read newspaper in the UK.

He's not the only professional side-taker: look at Matt Ridley, the self-styled "rational optimist", whose home farm promotes organic and traditional farming while the lord of the manor makes a reputation by telling the world that there's nothing much to worry about. Seems like Greenland isn't the only place where it blows hot and cold.

"How they are related" footnote:*

"Environment Secretary Owen Paterson’s wife, Rose, is the sister of Viscount Matt Ridley."

Paterson is the Minister currently championing biodiversity offsetting so the developers can have a clear run at the land they want to build on.

Just so you know.

*Even more interestingly, this information appears to have been recently edited out of the Wikipedia entry, but the same fact appears in this Mail article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346246/Why-did-Tories-change-tune-GM-food-We-expose-secret-summit-slick-lobbyists-bio-tech-giants-seduced-willing-Ministers.html

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