Antarctica

Prins Willem Alexander op Antarctica

De prins zal ondertussen wel weer in het vaderland zijn. Op zijn weblog konden we zijn avonturen volgen. Het gewone volk mocht echter geen commentaar plaatsen. Het was het gewone twee-richtingsverkeer: belastinggeld naar de prins, en speeches terug. Het commentaar daarom maar hier. Op 6 februari schreef de prins:

Rothera station, sinds begin jaren 90 in gebruik door BAS, ligt aan de westkant van het Antarctisch schiereiland, één van de drie hotspots op de wereld (de andere zijn noord Siberië en noord Canada/Alaska), waar de gemiddelde temperatuur over de afgelopen 50 jaar met 3 graden Celsius is gestegen.

Laten we dit eens goed lezen: vanwege global warming, globale opwarming, gaat de prins naar één van de drie plekken op aarde die warmer worden. Als eenvoudige burger zou je denken dat als je over global warming praat, het overal warmer wordt, dus dat je ook gewoon in Nederland de effecten kan bestuderen. Maar nee, er zijn maar drie plekken op deze aarde die opwarmen. Dus zo globaal is die opwarming niet moet de prins toegeven.

Het tweede wat hier mis mee is dat het op Antarctica nu juist kouder wordt. Slechts op een punt, ja, het westelijk schiereiland, wordt het warmer. Aan de oostkant wordt het nu juist kouder. Als kranten het over het opwarmen van Antarctica hebben moet je altijd goed opletten. Als ze het correct doen, zullen ze het over het Westen van Antarctica hebben, de Antarctic Peninsula. In het oosten wordt het nu juist kouder.

Dus naar de plek waar het opwarmt, ga je heen om de opwarming te bestuderen zoals de prins vervolgt:

De plek dus om de gevolgen van die opwarming op de omgeving te bestuderen.

En inderdaad, hieronder ziet men Willem Alexander bij het bestuderen van de global warming. Met een 1000x vergroting is global warming inderdaad goed te zien:

Ja, ik kan global warming nu duidelijk zien

Maar alle grapjes terzijde, waarom niet naar de oostkant om de gevolgen van de afkoeling op de omgeving te bestuderen? Dat veroorzaakt ongetwijfeld minder nieuws. En als prins kan je natuurlijk ook niet tegen de heersende menigte ingaan.

Weather station Harry

Let's hope Dutch minister of science has some time to look at weatherstation Harry, which recently has become famous. Here two photos from 2006, first one is on arrival. As you can see Harry is hardly visible:

These people came here to dig out the weather station. Supposedly it is melting all around on Antarctica, so a weather station buried under metres of snow is quite a sight (yes, I'm sarcastic). Here what the weather station looks like after it had been raised on top of the snow again:

What is the problem with a weather station burried under metres of snow?

Why is this important? Well, as anyone skilled in cold weather survival can tell you, snow makes an excellent insulator and an excellent reflector. Snow's trapped air insulative properties is why building a snow cave to survive in is a good idea. So is it any wonder then that a snowdrift buried temperature sensor, or a temperature sensor being lowered to near the surface by rising snow, would not read the temperature of the free near surface atmosphere accurately?

And:

This regular burial and digging out of stations brings the whole network of AWS [Automatic Weather Station] stations to be used as sensitive climate measurement stations into question.

Dutch minister of science to look at global warming

As I wrote a while ago, the Dutch prince is going to Antarctica, at taxpayers expense of course, to look at a non-problem. Accompanying him is minister of science, Ronald Plasterk, who is quoted as:

The poles are the wrists of the climate, the effects of climate change are visible first there.

And they are most visible in the annals of Nature:

Professor Eric Steig last month announced in Nature that he’d spotted a warming in West Antarctica that previous researchers had missed through slackness - a warming so strong that it more than made up for the cooling in East Antarctica.

Whew! Finally we had proof that Antarctica as a whole was warming, and not cooling, after all. Global warming really was global now.

One of the authors was Michael Mann, most famous for inventing the hockey stick of temperature change. If you're snowed in in Britain right now, warmer weather is just around the corner:

This hockey stick has been so thoroughly debunked that the latest IPCC report didn't dare to include it.

Here's how Professor Steig and Michael Mann detected global warming:

Previous researchers hadn’t overlooked the data. What they’d done was to ignore data from four West Antarctic automatic weather stations in particular that didn’t meet their quality control. As you can see above, one shows no warming, two show insignificant warming and fourth - from a station dubbed “Harry” shows a sharp jump in temperature that helped Steig and his team discover their warming Antarctic.

But it gets worse:

Harry in fact is a problematic site that was buried in snow for years and then re-sited in 2005. But, worse, the data that Steig used in his modelling which he claimed came from Harry was actually old data from another station on the Ross Ice Shelf known as Gill with new data from Harry added to it, producing the abrupt warming. The data is worthless.

Also read Steve McIntyre's original post on this subject.

Adding data from two different climate stations, and publishing it in a peer reviewed journal. Kids doing their science fair can do better than that.

There's even more. When these climate scientists became aware of Steve McIntyre's poking, they pulled and corrected their data set!

The whole affair is now in the Proceedings of the National Accademy of Sciences.

I suggest that our Minister of Science has a good look at weather station Harry. No global warming to see there. And leave Nature closed for a while.

Dutch newspapers

Dutch newspapers are similar to the New Zealand one's, and actually that's true all over the world. TV viewers and newpaper readers are pawns in the information wars: if you repeat a lie long enough, it will be true in the end. For example the Reformed Dutch daily, "Het Reformatorisch Dagblad" writes about a visit of the Dutch Prince of Orange to the South pole:

De koninklijke gasten willen zich op Antarctica ook verdiepen in de effecten van de klimaatverandering. Het ijs van de Zuidpool smelt steeds sneller.

Translation: "The royal guests will inform themselves on Antartica about the effects of climate change. Ice at the South pole melts faster and faster".

As usual this is not true.It's just as true as the story that the Norh pole was melting and that you could circumnavigate it last summer. If you just google for "South pole melts" you will find stories claiming that the South pole isn't actually melting. But I suppose the taxpayer wouldn't cough up for the prince to look at increasing ice. That's not a story and the prince might have had to pay the trip himself! No, climate change is the word if you want handouts.

First of all, the theory that if the ice melts, temperatures would rise, is not true. For creationists this is well-known. After the flood we had enormous evaporation, leading to a great drop in temperature, which gave us the Ice Age. So does evaporation on the Antartic lead to a drop in temperature:

One of the most popular global warming feedbacks is considered to be changes in the extent of polar ice.  The story goes that as the ice melts, more heat gets absorbed in the ocean, leading to higher temperatures.  Today we test that theory. ... The effect is exactly opposite of what has been predicted by global warming modelers.  Antarctic ice is increasing and temperatures are cooling.

As it goes, we happen to have fairly good data on the extend of the ice of Antartic since 1979. Since that time we have satellite photos. Before that we have nothing reliable, so any calculations with extend of ice before that are highly suspect. And here the latest data on what is actually happening at the Antarctic:

Over the last 30 years Antarctic sea ice has been steadily increasing, as shown below.

Just look at the graph which comes from The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

According to the newspaper article the idea for a royal visit was concocted in the Antarctic centre Christchurch, which the prince visited in 2006. So not sure what they told him there. Probably not much helpful as New Zealand is full of global warming believers as well.

The prince will also visit a glacier in Chili. This is melting bcause of global warming. When we visited the glaciers in New Zealand, the Fox and the Franz Joseph, we were told they were growing because of global warming...

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