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CCNet 09/06/14

Antarctic Sea Ice Grows To New Record Extent 

Earth Scientists Split On Climate Change Statement 



 
 
Antarctic sea ice has set a new record for May, with extent at the highest level since measurements began in 1979. At the end of the month, it expanded to 12.965 million sq km, beating the previous record of 12.722 million sq km set in 2010. --Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 June 2014



 
S_daily_extent

 
 
1) Antarctic Sea Ice Grows To New Record Extent - Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 June 2014
 
2) Earth Scientists Split On Climate Change Statement - The Australian, 4 June 2014
 
3) Activists Fail To Force Canada To List Polar Bears As ‘Threatened’ - Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 7 June 2014
 
4) Scientists Admit Polar Bear Numbers Were Made Up To ‘Satisfy Public Demand’ - The Daily Caller, 30 May 2014
 
5) Susan Crockford: Healthy Polar Bears, Less Than Healthy Science - The Global Warming Policy Foundation
 
6) Professor Christopher Essex Joins GWPF Academic Advisory Council - The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 9 June 2014
 
7) And Finally: The Poetry Of Global Warming - Bishop Hill, 9 June 2014
 
 
 
 
 
Australia’s peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue. After more than five years of debate and two false starts, Geological Society of Australia president Laurie Hutton said a statement on climate change was too difficult to achieve. Mr Hutton said the issue “had the potential to be too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole.” It undermines the often cited stance that there is near unanimity among climate scientists on the issue. --Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 4 June 2014
 
 
 
 
The Center for Biological Diversity has failed in its bid to use the North American Free Trade Agreement to pressure Canada to list polar bears as a species ‘threatened’ with extinction. Since the argument that polar bears may be threatened with extinction sometime in the future is based not on their current status but on perceived future threats that may occur if future predictions of global warming also occur, I see this as good news indeed. --Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 7 June 2014
 
 
 
 
 
This may come as a shocker to some, but scientists are not always right — especially when under intense public pressure for answers. Researchers with the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) recently admitted to experienced zoologist and polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate given for the total number of polar bars in the Arctic was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.” “So, the global estimates were… ‘simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand’ and according to this statement, were never meant to be considered scientific estimates, despite what they were called, the scientific group that issued them, and how they were used,” Crockford said. --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 30 May 2014
 
 
 
 
The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that Professor Christopher Essex has joined the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council. Christopher Essex is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Applied Mathematics at The University of Western Ontario. He co-discovered the entropy production paradox, computed the first accurate entropy production rate for the Earth, the first accurate temperature for laser radiation, and pioneered the concept of computational over-stabilization, which has implications for climate models. --The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 9 June 2014
 
 
 
 
 
Dame Julia Slingo [the Met Office’s chief scientist] has, like so many of her colleagues, been turning her mind to climate change communication, and reckons that talking about the science in dull technical reports may not be the way forward. Getting the message of impending disaster out requires a dose of funky, a dash of sexy, and a whole lot of poetry. I can see it now - Andrew Motion doing atmospheric circulation, JK Rowling doing the temperature trends, and of course flood warnings from Peter Gabriel. --Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 9 June 2014
 
 
 

 
 
 
1) Antarctic Sea Ice Grows To New Record Extent
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 June 2014
 
Paul Homewood
 
Antarctic sea ice has set a new record for May, with extent at the highest level since measurements began in 1979.

 
S_daily_extent
 
At the end of the month, it expanded to 12.965 million sq km, beating the previous record of 12.722 million sq km set in 2010. This year’s figure is 10.3% above the 1981-2010 climatological average of 11.749 million sq km.
 
The lowest extent on record was 10.208 million sq km in 1986. 
 
It is a similar story for the average monthly extent, below.

 
s_plot
   
Ice extent has been consistently and continuously well above climatological norms for the last 12 months.

 
image
 
Full post
 
  
 
 
2) Earth Scientists Split On Climate Change Statement
The Australian, 4 June 2014
 
Graham Lloyd
 
Australia’s peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue.
 
After more than five years of debate and two false starts, Geological Society of Australia president Laurie Hutton said a statement on climate change was too difficult to achieve.
 
Mr Hutton said the issue “had the potential to be too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole.”
 
The backdown, published in the GSA quarterly newsletter, is the culmination of two rejected position statements and years of furious correspondence among members. Some members believe the failure to make a strong statement on climate change is an embarrassment that puts Australian earth scientists at odds with their international peers.
 
It undermines the often cited stance that there is near unanimity among climate scientists on the issue.
 
GSA represents more than 2000 Australian earth scientists from academe, industry, government and research organisations. [...]
 
In a short statement published in the latest edition of the society newsletter, Mr Hutton says: “After a long and extensive and extended consultation with society members, the GSC executive committee has decided not to proceed with a climate change position statement.’’
 
“As evidenced by recent letters to the editor … society members have diverse opinions on the human impact on climate change. However, diversity of opinion can also be divisive, especially when such views are strongly held.
 
“The executive committee has therefore concluded that a climate change position statement has the potential to be far too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole ,” the statement says.
 
Full story
 

 

3) Activists Fail To Force Canada To List Polar Bears As ‘Threatened’
Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 7 June 2014
 
The Center for Biological Diversity has failed in its bid to use NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) to pressure Canada to list polar bears as a species ‘threatened’ with extinction - wrapping up a story I wrote about twice last year (here and here)
 
The CBC reported on June 6, 2014 (“NAFTA panel won’t review Canada’s polar bear policy“):
 
Vote rejects request for investigation into why Canada won’t designate bears threatened, endangered.”
 
“An international trade panel has decided not to review whether Canada is enforcing its own environmental legislation to protect its polar bear population.
The Commission for Environmental Co-operation voted 2-1 to reject a request for an investigation into why Canada has chosen not to designate the bears as threatened or endangered. A U.S. environmental group had filed a submission claiming that decision leaves the bears without protection, despite the ongoing loss of their sea-ice habitat and resulting projections of declining numbers.
“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Sarah Uhleman, lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the complaint.”
 
Since the argument that polar bears may be threatened with extinction sometime in the future is based not on their current status but on perceived future threats that may occur if future predictions of global warming also occur, I see this as good news indeed.
 
Full story
 
 
 
 
4) Scientists Admit Polar Bear Numbers Were Made Up To ‘Satisfy Public Demand’
The Daily Caller, 30 May 2014
 
Michael Bastasch
 
This may come as a shocker to some, but scientists are not always right — especially when under intense public pressure for answers.
 
Researchers with the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) recently admitted to experienced zoologist and polar bear specialist Susan Crockford that the estimate given for the total number of polar bars in the Arctic was “simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand.”
 
Crockford has been critical of official polar bear population estimates because they fail to include five large subpopulations of polar bears. Due to the uncertainty of the populations in these areas, PBSG did not include them in their official estimate — but the polar bear group did include other subpopulation estimates.
 
PBSG has for years said that global polar bear populations were between 20,000 and 25,000, but these estimates are likely much lower than how many polar bears are actually living in the world.
 
“Based on previous PBSG estimates and other research reports, it appears there are probably at least another 6,000 or so bears living in these regions and perhaps as many as 9,000 (or more) that are not included in any PBSG ‘global population estimate,’” Crockford wrote on her blog.
 
“These are guesses, to be sure, but they at least give a potential size,” Crockford added.
 
PBSG disclosed this information to Crockford ahead of the release of their Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan in which they intend to put a footnote explaining why their global population estimate is flawed. [...]
 
PBSG’s admission also comes after academics and government regulators have touted their polar bear population estimates to show  that polar bear numbers have grown since the 1960s. PBSG estimates have also been used to show that polar bear populations have stabilized over the last 30 years.
 
“So, the global estimates were… ‘simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand’ and according to this statement, were never meant to be considered scientific estimates, despite what they were called, the scientific group that issued them, and how they were used,” Crockford said.

Full story
 
 
 
5) Susan Crockford: Healthy Polar Bears, Less Than Healthy Science
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
 
A lecture by Dr. Susan J. Crockford 


 
 
When: 11 June 2014, 6pm
Where: House of Lords, Committee Room 3, London
Introduction: Matt Ridley
 
This lecture focuses on recent research results that have shown that polar bear populations are not responding as predicted to recent declines in Arctic sea ice. Despite the fatalistic attitude of many polar bear field biologists, real-world evidence indicates that polar bears are well equipped to survive substantial variations in their Arctic sea ice habitat and have not been harmed by recent low ice coverage. Such resilience over the short term is hardly surprising, since polar bears are now known to have survived a multitude of past climate shifts of almost inconceivable magnitude. 
 
Dr Susan Crockford is an evolutionary biologist and an expert on polar bear evolution. She has been working for 35 years in archaeozoology, paleozoology and forensic zoology and is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of Rhythms of Life: Thyroid Hormone and the Origin of Species. Susan writes a popular blog called PolarBearScience - see also her GWPF paper Ten Good Reasons Not To Worry About Polar Bears.
 
Attendance at this lecture is by invitation only.
 
 
 
 
6) Professor Christopher Essex Joins GWPF Academic Advisory Council
The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 9 June 2014
 
The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that Professor Christopher Essex has joined the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council.

 
 
Christopher Essex is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Applied Mathematics at The University of Western Ontario. He is the co-author, with Ross McKitrick, of Taken By Storm: The Troubled  Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming (revised edition 2007).
 
He co-discovered the entropy production paradox, computed the first accurate entropy production rate for the Earth, the first accurate temperature for laser radiation, and pioneered the concept of computational over-stabilization, which has implications for climate models. He is the chairman of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Climate of the World Federation of Scientists.
 
The GWPF Academic Advisory Council is composed of scientists, economists and other experts who provide the GWPF with timely scientific, economic and policy advice. It reviews and evaluates new GWPF reports and papers, explores future research projects and makes recommendations on issues related to climate research and policy.
 
The other’s members of the GWPF Academic Advisory Council are:
 
Professor David Henderson (Chairman)
Adrian Berry
Sir Samuel Brittan
Sir Ian Byatt
Professor Robert Carter
Professor Vincent Courtillot
Professor Freeman Dyson
Christian Gerondeau
Dr Indur Goklany
Professor William Happer
Professor Terence Kealey
Professor Deepak Lal
Professor Richard Lindzen
Professor Ross McKitrick
Professor Robert Mendelsohn
Professor Sir Alan Peacock
Professor Ian Plimer
Professor Paul Reiter
Dr Matt Ridley
Sir Alan Rudge
Professor Nir Shaviv
Professor Philip Stott
Professor Henrik Svensmark
Professor Richard Tol
Dr David Whitehouse
 
 
 
7) And Finally: The Poetry Of Global Warming
Bishop Hill, 9 June 2014
 
Andrew Montford
 
Dame Julia Slingo [the Met Office’s chief scientist] has, like so many of her colleagues, been turning her mind to climate change communication, and reckons that talking about the science in dull technical reports may not be the way forward. Getting the message of impending disaster out requires a dose of funky, a dash of sexy, and a whole lot of poetry.
 
“We have to look increasingly at what society requires of us… We increasingly recognise that to reach the general public we have to use all sorts of different channels of communication,” Dame Julia told a recent gathering of leading climate change scientists at the University of Exeter.
 
“And it’s not through tables and graphs. Sometimes it is through art, through music, through poetry, and storytelling and that is increasingly something we have to think about – how we communicate in a more humanist way.
 
I can see it now - Andrew Motion doing atmospheric circulation, JK Rowling doing the temperature trends, and of course flood warnings from Peter Gabriel.
 
 
 
 

 
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