Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years

Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years. A blogger discovers a paleoclimate paper by McKay, in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences from 2008 and Anthony Watts is on it like white on rice. “Peer reviewed!” “More ice now than ever!” “Natural!!!!”

Oh, it’s only referring to a bit of the western Arctic. Oh, they’re only comparing to Arctic Sea Ice extent of a decade ago, when there was in fact rather more sea ice. Oh, they aren’t suggesting that such low ice extents were common. Oh, dinocyst proxies are a bit dodgy. Oh, the paper is merely titled Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea, not “there’s more ice than ever now!”

6 thoughts on “Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years

  1. Or else: long-term slow decline, sharp uptick at the end: it seems they dug up another hockey-stick.

    [Indeed. But it’s not exactly the same as the Mann hockey-stick! That seems to be as close as the denialists can come to “the final nail in the coffin.” It’s a nail in the coffin alright, but the coffin is denialist credibility. – Ben]

  2. I was being sarcastic.

    If we go by WUWT, ‘denialist credibility’ is about the worst oxymoron I encountered yet, as you well know :)

    Last week A. Watts managed to call polar lows ‘hurricanes’, adding a picture of Igor cs below an article explaining how incidence and intensity of polar lows could be expected to decline as global warming progresses. He only just didn’t get away with that.

    [Anthony’s always trying to see just how much he can get away with, but he’s not subtle enough to make it stick. – Ben]

  3. One day he might crack. Impression I have.

    He may not be subtle, but he has an influence. He has a measure of success. There are a lot of believers in any electorate.

    [To wit, the “Tea Parties”. – Ben]

  4. Hi Ben, have you seen the paper by Polyak et al. (2010)?

    WUWT are distorting again… quelle surprise.

    E-mail me if you would like a copy of the Polyak paper.

    [I found the paper’s public link here. Interesting paper! No question that natural long-term variations such as orbital forcing can have a significant impact on the Arctic climate, but it’s funny to read Anthony lame declarations that the current abrupt sea ice losses are just business as usual on the basis of a minor and now superseded paper. Of course anyone that works with other scientists, like Polyak did, must be part of “the Team”. – Ben]

  5. “Surprise: Peer reviewed study says current Arctic sea ice is more extensive than most of the past 9000 years” (WUWT, Sep 23, 2010)

    The Weather & Earth Science News (24 Sep, 2010) website adds emphasis to quotes to let the paper itself debunk the denier interpretations. The paper covers ‘…the Western Arctic (specifically the eastern Chuckchi Sea)’

    “sea-surface conditions, notably sea-ice cover, have fluctuated significantly during the Holocene. Since the early Holocene, sea-ice cover exhibits a general decreasing trend. This is in direct contrast to the the EASTERN ARCTIC where sea-ice cover was substantially reduced during the early to mid-Holocene and HAS INCREASED OVER THE LAST 3000 years”

    “the EPISODES OF REDUCED SEA-ICE COVER and corresponding relatively high sea-surface salinity and temperature that ARE CENTERED AT *7500, 5000, AND 2000 YEARS BP might correspond to episodes of stronger vertical mixing in the upper water column.”

    Once again, A WUWT report dies when someone actually reads the paper.

    One of the authors of this paper, Leonid Polyak, is the lead author of the 2010 review of nearly 300 other papers.
    “Their conclusion: the current extent of Arctic ice is at its lowest point for at least the last few thousand years.” (Press Release)

  6. Ben…This paper and the Chukchi Sea situation are mentioned in the Polyak review that you link to: on page 1771, second column, in the last full paragraph.

    “…show a more complex long-term pattern than expected from insolation changes alone.”

    The rest of the paragraph just reinforced this point, and left me a little dumber for the effort.

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