Do you think NASA is wrong?

Gus DiZerega, “taking one piece of data in isolation from everything else” is one of the things that Joe Romm very blatantly did in this article.

For instance, Romm didn’t bother to mention that:

1.) The sea ice extent numbers he touts are of dubious quality. Reported sea ice extent suddenly took a suspiciously sharp dive just when the two satellites which had been measuring it failed.

The problem is that the DMSP F19 and then F17 satellites, which measured sea ice extent, both failed last Spring. F19 failed in February, 2016, and then F17 failed in April.

As of May, 2016, the NSIDC has switched to using the old DMSP F18 satellite for their sea ice data, but only 10 of 24 SSMIS channels are still functional on that satellite.

When the satellites which were measuring sea-ice failed, the reported sea-ice figures went crazy.

Coincidence? I doubt it.

2.) Notice that the PIOMAS numbers featured in three of his four graphs show no confidence intervals. In fact, they are not actually measurements of ice volume. They are just computer model output.

The show numbers starting in 1979, but the reality is that we have no ice volume measurements prior to 2003 (IceSat), and only spotty measurements from 2003 to 2010 (CryoSat-2). Here’s a reference:

3.) Sea ice loss has only one significant consequence: it increases evaporation from the ocean.

An increase in open water due to decreased ice cover increases evaporation, which reduces sea-level, offsetting meltwater increases.

It also cools the ocean by evaporative heat loss (an important negative/stabilizing climate feedback).

The additional evaporation also apparently causes additional cloud cover, increasing albedo at altitude, and probably further cooling the surface. (I say “probably” because the effects of clouds are very complex, and not well understood.)

It also increases “lake-effect/ocean-effect” snowfall downwind. Some of that snow falls on the ice sheets and glaciers, increasing ice accumulation, and offsetting ice melt. Other snow falls on other land, increasing albedo and snowpack, decreasing land temperatures, and prolonging winter.

Note that snow accumulation has a very large effect on grounded ice mass, which in turn affects sea-level. The magnitude of ice accretion from snowfall on ice sheets was illustrated by the team which salvaged Glacier Girl from under 268 feet(!) of accumulated ice, 50 years after she landed on the Greenland ice sheet.

That is an incredible number. 268 feet of ice in 50 years is 5.4 feet of ice per year, which is equivalent to more than 80 feet of annual snowfall. That snow is mostly from evaporated ocean water.

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