Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Twitter Drive-By Shooting: Whew! Just Blanks (As Always)

with 3 comments

So there I was Tweeting about the various observations that show the climate system is warming, when all of a sudden, BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! A few of my factually-challenged Tweeps were taking shots at me. Did I panic? Nah. These Tweeps rarely use real bullets.

I decided to post a series of Tweets about global warming because, frankly, I was a bit annoyed at the “it hasn’t warmed in x years” meme. Honestly, there are multiple lines of evidence that show how ridiculous that statement is. My Tweets appear below:


That’s when the shooting started.


Notice the cherry pick about Arctic sea ice and the Antarctica sea ice deflection?

These two Tweeps selected a tiny subset of Arctic sea ice data somehow thinking that information shot me down. Well, when I speak to global ice melt, I mean ALL ice which includes Antarctica, Greenland, Arctic sea ice, and mountain glaciers. So why are Goddard and friends so excited about Arctic sea ice in the previous few months?


Goddard and friends apparently can see the tiny red dot but not large blue line (grin). If you wish to know why sea ice has not melted as quickly as expected this spring, read Neven’s blog post So, how slow was this start?

Of course, the better measurement of sea ice decline would be ice volume. The image below shows us that the Arctic is rapidly losing ice.


Seriously, Goddard and friend’s Tweets are like discounting a person’s rapid weight loss over a few years by calling attention to that person’s increased hair length.

Here is Greenland’s trend:


And now Antarctica:


Do not be fooled by those claiming that Antarctic sea ice is growing. We are talking about TOTAL ICE. To understand this “deflection” please read How does Arctic sea ice loss compare to Antarctic sea ice gain?

And finally, global glacier mass loss trend:


So then I get the following Tweets:


Really? Let us take a look at the peer-reviewed article JWSpry points to in his first shot at me. It is pretty clear that JWSpry only quickly read the abstract. First of all, the data being analyzed is for 2005-2008. This is a classic cherry-pick. Of course, four years of data is not a trend, especially when it is five years out of date. All JWSpry had to do was read the Conclusions section where the authors note that the short-term 2005-2008 SLR “slowdown” was already over.


JWSpry could also have just visited and viewed this:


A cherry-pick pro would quickly see that 2005-2008 were “lame” years to use and that  between June 2010 and June 2011 sea levels really fell! This would have been an all-star cherry-pick. This very brief dramatic fall is explained in The 2011 La Niña: So strong, the oceans fell.

JWSpry’s other Tweet about New York City’s SLR was a real winner also. When one clicks on the link one sees:


This is supposed to be comforting? Looks like a big upward trend to me. But JWSpry thinks that this plot means the SLR is not accelerating so why should we worry? This Tweet is like somebody watching a drowning person sinking deeper into the pool and claiming that we do not need to worry because he is not sinking any faster!

So what do experts say about SLR along the northeast coast:


Boon (2012): “Evidence of statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise relative to land is found in a recent analysis of monthly mean sea level (mmsl) at tide stations on the Atlantic coast of North America.”

Sallenger, Doran, and Howd (2012): “Here, we present evidence of recently accelerated SLR in a unique 1,000-km-long hotspot on the highly populated North American Atlantic coast north of Cape Hatteras and show that it is consistent with a modelled fingerprint of dynamic SLR. Between 1950–1979 and 1980–2009, SLR rate increases in this northeast hotspot were ~ 3–4 times higher than the global average.”

This type of ill-informed drive-by happens often. I typically do not respond to these fake attacks but it is sometimes a good idea to shine light on them for those less-informed who might get fooled into thinking the blanks are real bullets to be taken seriously.

Written by Scott Mandia

July 8, 2013 at 5:10 am

3 Responses

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  1. Scott, this post reminds me of the joke about wrestling pigs. “You get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”

    G. Thomas Farmer

    July 8, 2013 at 11:51 am

  2. Nice work, Prof. I appreciate seeing the detail out in the open like this. You didn’t get dirty, and even pigs get annoyed when fingered as equivalent to smoke-flavoured snacks. *crunch!*


    July 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm

  3. Scott, a great article. I’ve also recently been tangling with the WUWT crew regarding sea-ice.

    Methinks I see a pattern of aggressively trying to shout down anyone challenging their misinformation.

    Watching the Deniers

    July 9, 2013 at 12:53 am

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