Don't Believe The Blogs!

Earlier this week, Roger Pielke Sr posted a discussion about a new paper by Knox and Douglas on Recent Energy Balance of Earth. This was immediately picked up by some denialist blogs and completely mis-represented, leading to Roger having to make a clear and unequivocable statement on his blog, which I post here in full:

The website Prison Planet has posted Paper: Global Cooling began in 2003 which refers to my weblog post below. I want to emphasize two issues here. First, the data does NOT support a conclusion that the global annual heat content has been declining. It shows a lack of statistically significant warming. Second, and an even more important issue, is that the Knox and Douglas study does NOT

”falsif[y] the entire anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.”

Overstatements on all sides of this issue are what is preventing an effective scientific discourse on this subject.

I can't agree more which Roger's last comment there. And I post this here as a salutary warning about taking what blogsters say about research at face value.

And another example, from The Hockey Schtick (who also ran the Knox & Douglas story) - and since repeated in WUWT - is a paper from McKay etal on Holocene Fluctuation in Arctic Sea Ice Cover which the blogger boldly exclaims shows that Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the 20th century was more extensive than most of the past 9000 years.

No it doesn't. What it finds is that for the Western Arctic (specificly 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 eastern Arctic where sea-ice cover was substantially reduced during the early to mid-Holocene and has increased over the last 3000 years
And further suggests
that 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.
The abstract itself also clearly states
The results of this study clearly show that sea-ice cover in the western Arctic Ocean has varied throughout the Holocene. More importantly, there have been times when sea-ice cover was less extensive than at the end of the 20th century.
(my emphasis throughout)

So, the truth - as opposed to what they want us to believe is that a part of the Arctic has had less ice cover than it did at the end of the 20th century, at some points (at least 3 occasions) over the past 9,000 years. But I guess that doesn't quite fit their agenda? Of course, there is also notably less summer sea ice in the Arctic now than there was at the end of the 20th century.

On W&ES News I try to represent the truth as much as I can. I may make mistakes, but I will never deliberately mislead anyone.

Also, for reference purposes with regards Arctic sea ice cover:

Arctic sea ice at low point compared to recent geologic history

Less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean 6000-7000 year ago


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