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Posted on Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

University of Michigan study indicates Earth's shrinking snow and ice cover exacerbate global warming more than models predict

By Heather Lockwood

A new University of Michigan study indicates sea ice and snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere responded more to global warming over the last 30 years than was predicted by models, according to U-M assistant professor Mark Flanner.

“The Northern Hemisphere sea ice and snow cover has responded quite sensitively to warming over the last 30 years,” Flanner said of his findings.

Flanner said the research relied on satellite data to analyze changes to the Earth’s cryosphere — the planet's layer of snow, sea ice and permanent ice sheets — from 1979 to 2008. He said snow cover and sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere are “bright and reflective, and reduce the amount of solar energy Earth absorbs."

The analysis was conducted over the last year, he said.


Flanner’s article, “Radiative forcing and albedo feedback from the Northern Hemisphere cryosphere between 1979 and 2008,” can be accessed online here.

"If the Earth were just a static rock, we could calculate precisely what the level of warming would be, given a perturbation to the system. But because of these feedback mechanisms, we don't know exactly how the climate will respond to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide," Flanner said in a U-M news release. "Our analysis of snow and sea ice changes over the last 30 years indicates that this cryospheric feedback is almost twice as strong as what models have simulated. The implication is that Earth's climate may be more sensitive to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other perturbations than models predict."

In the Northern Hemisphere, the average temperature rose by about 0.7 degrees Celsius since 1979, whereas the global average temperature rose by about 0.45 degrees, Flanner said in the release.

According to the release, “For every 1 degree Celsius rise in the Northern Hemisphere, Flanner and his colleagues calculated an average of 0.6 fewer watts of solar radiation reflected to space per square meter because of reduced snow and sea ice cover. In the 18 models taken into consideration by the International Panel on Climate Change, the average was 0.25 watts per square meter per degree Celsius over the same time period.”

The news release continues, “Flanner points out that the models typically calculate this feedback over 100 years — significantly longer than this study, which could account for some of the discrepancy. Satellite data only goes back 30 years.”

"People sometimes criticize models for being too sensitive to climate perturbations," Flanner said in the release. "With respect to cryospheric changes, however, observations suggest the models are a bit sluggish."



Thu, Jan 20, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

Tom Teague - Assuming you are not trolling; the linked site is by and for truth seekers-scientists mostly-who, like many historical science pioneers, prefer facts to feelings, even against popular opinion. It's possible you missed the story there regarding the UM news release, though it's located just a bit below the story you cited as being on the site. To those who have not seen the site, the site contains thousands of articles - mostly scientific in nature, on planetology topics. Regardless, good science offers many interpretations of snow pack data; many are at odds with the recent UM paper. Check it out. While you are there, you might want to read about new data on solar anomalies; recent good data suggests the sun plays a larger role in warming and cooling all the planets and moons in our solar system than has previously been recognized. PS - the Climategate emails were not hacked. They were leaked by a CRU executive concerned with the highjacking of good science. But, that's another story... Good luck.

Tom Teague

Thu, Jan 20, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

I went where the link took me and felt that what I read was flawed in ways that I outlined in my response. I stand by what I said. AlphaAlpha, you and I have had too many positive exchanges for you to throw out that remark about "trolling" which is a serious web insult. For the record, though, I don't live under a bridge, prefer to cast rather than drag a line behind a boat, and don't attack other commenters personally or for the pleasure of stirring up an argument. I also don't think you post disingenuously. I'm sure you post out of deeply held beliefs. But I can -- and do in this case -- have a respectful disagreement with you . How about we don't call each other names? It will only confuse folks when they see us agreeing with each other -- as we've done -- on other issues.


Thu, Jan 20, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

Seriously, if scientists are in it only for the money, then they're wasting their time publishing studies which monitor the changes that result from global warming. Instead, they can earn far more lucrative incomes by working for the energy corporations who finance the so-called 'science' of denial. Polluting corporations, or the think tanks they underwrite, can offer plum salaries to scientists who will promote the company line rather than carry out genuine climate research.

Dog Guy

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 8 p.m.

In 1953, my grade school teacher taught us that we were coming out of several ice age cycles due to a concurrence of solar cycles and that Earth was warming up. College teachers had to wait fifty years to get paid to discover this. Pity any paid scientist who disputes even a tiny bit of whatever current dogma is--he will be an unpaid denier. Methane will be a greater cause of greenhousing than carbon dioxide; so burn me at the stake. As used in today's all comments, "scientist" refers to anyone whose income requires adherence to current political dogma.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

Below are links to two science blog posts intended to help readers debunk the multitude of talking points employed by climate change deniers: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> (click on each rebuttal for more information) <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> A comment above brings to mind a comparison between the current denial of climate change and the outrageous, tobacco company-financed public campaigns which denied any link between cigarettes and cancer. Around a generation ago, these deceptive campaigns sought to make it 'controversial' and 'irresponsible' for anyone to claim a relationship between smoking and lung cancer. Just as the tobacco firms fought to the bitter end, then so, too, will today's polluting energy industries, to everyone's lasting grief.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

Yes, speechless, by all means, use Mr. Cook's talking points. He's almost right some of the time. The premise is entirely wrong. No one denies the climate changes. In fact, skeptics knew that long before alarmists. The thing is, skeptics know the climate is suppose to change. It always had, it always will. Reading these comments, I'm quit concerned that people aren't more skeptical of the information they receive. 30 comments into this discussion and only one raises the fact that I didn't include ice extent in my criticism of the study. All other alarmist posts were either gave no reasoning that my assertions were wrong, or gave errant reasons. This is disturbing. Many people supportive of the alarmist climatology can't articulate why they believe this way. BTW, AO(arctic oscillation) would be the primary driver of snow and ice extent. Is well research and documented. I really wouldn't suggest climate progress to anyone, in that it is well known that they don't allow for dialogue, which is probably the reason they are confused about denialism and exactly who engages in such.

Tom Teague

Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 5:17 p.m.

@AlphaAlpha - I went to the link you posted. It was a newspaper clip containing a warning from the 1980s of an impending environmental catastrophe leading to wars and civil unrest in case governments didn't act. The accompanying blog text suggests that it's just another example of scientists crying environmental &quot;wolf.&quot; The environmental disaster that the scientist in the story was predicting was un-named, so I don't know whether it was edited out or never part of the story. A little research, however, shows that governments did act in response to a number of environmental threats that crept into the public consciousness in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. There is an impressive list of some actions that the US and other governments have taken at this link: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> . If the blogger had been kind enough -- or knowledgeable enough -- to tell us what the scientist was predicting, we might actually say, instead, &quot;Crisis averted,&quot; much like we can point to major public health efforts that staved off a polio epidemic. So, what is the blogger in your link saying? That we shouldn't ever take any action to avert any environmental threat because there will just be another one? That we should never heed any warning about the consequences of leaving environmental problems unsolved? That scientists shouldn't worry about the future? Those leaps of logic just don't wash. If my doctor used that logic, I could eat fried eggs three times a day and enjoy a few cigarettes between meals, but, alas, he seems committed to keeping me alive for a long while.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

Wow. Deniers at their best. Clearly, several of you lack an understanding of complex systems and feedback mechanisms. And apparently, some of you can't count. Money, that is. As I said before... if you are a scientist and you are interested in making money, YOU DON'T WORK FOR THE UNIVERSITIES OR THE GOVERNMENT. You go into private industry, where you'd have more money, more time, and more of a life. And of course, you'll have the corporate agenda. (Think about how long the tobacco industries knew about the cancer and addiction... and denied it!) Additionally, the &quot;billions&quot; that go into research don't really go to the scientists, they go into the experiments and the facilities. Find me a scientist who's gotten &quot;rich&quot; off of their climate research. Good luck! If you're going to post otherwise, have some credible evidence that suggests otherwise. People need to realize that these studies don't cover EVERYTHING. Nothing does. But what they DO tend to cover is one specific aspect - one source of evidence, one connection in the system. for example, this study looks mostly at the northern hemisphere ICE (not snow) cover. The Steig study I referred to earlier referred to southern hemisphere ice - which is also decreasing rapidly. If you want to know about other aspects, read other articles. Not news articles, journal articles, because news articles tend to misconstrue the findings of studies. If you want to know about the system as a whole, then look into modeling articles. Like the models they use to design your car, these models are very complex, comprehensive, tested against real data, and get better and better results each iteration. The results? Well, we ARE getting warming, there's no denying it. And like in a model of the engine, heat doesn't appear out of nowhere, it has to come from somewhere, following physical principles. Those principles rule out &quot;natural&quot; changes. As for the southern hemisphere cooling? No. Ju


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;The Steig study I referred to earlier referred to southern hemisphere ice - which is also decreasing rapidly...&quot;--------No, that doesn't seem to be the case. This particular study doesn't cover anything. Like your reference to rapidly receding SH ice, it isn't based in reality. To turn on your phrase, Wow, alarmists at their (disinformation) best.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

I read/hear a lot about Climate Change (a term promoted by Frank Luntz, republican pollster, not as some have purported, by &quot;the left&quot; ) being a &quot;hoax&quot;. If thousands of scientists around the world are engaged in a &quot;hoax&quot;, what is the purpose of fooling the world? In order to believe in the &quot;hoax&quot; theory one must follow this logic ladder: 1: Scientists are trained at universities. 2: universities are hot beds of liberal thought. 3: scientists are corrupted by this liberal thought, but usually only climate scientists, as other scientists (chemists, biologists, geneticists) do not appear to be engaged in &quot;hoaxes&quot;of this magnitude. 4: the purpose of this &quot;hoax&quot; is to promote socialism/communism/Marxism or to bring about the collapse of modern capitalism 5: climate scientists have willfully conspired to promote said &quot;hoax&quot;, meaning thousands of people must have met in secret to decide to pull the wool over the eyes of the world, not in order to promote scientific research or to guide the world into better, sustainable use of limited resources and a cleaner, safer environment, but to overturn capitalism.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

Energy used today is energy not available for your kids and grandkids when they reach your age. So, even if Climate Change is not caused by humans your kids still win if you use less fossil fuels. It is just too rich for words to compare scientists chasing money to promote a &quot;hoax&quot; (scientific research) to those that reap billions of dollars a year promoting the wasteful use of fossil fuels, hold up research on &quot;green tech&quot;, and stand in the way of regulation that keeps poisons out of our air and water. Maybe a quick linguistics lesson is in order: Conservative: root; conserve, Merriam Webster; transitive verb 1: to keep in a safe or sound state ; especially : to avoid wasteful or destructive use of


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 8:55 a.m.

The most charitable thing I can say about some comments here is that they reflect accurately the chronic inability of the non-scientist to understand or distinguish Big Picture vs Little Picture scientific studies. There's always this ridiculous grabbing up any study which shows part of a larger picture to &quot;prove&quot; some unwarranted (propagandistic) &quot;conclusion&quot; about the total picture. Heather Lockwood merely reported on this ONE study _ which in fact is not contradicted by the Rutgers study. The Michigan report is clearly more comprehensive: it's based on ALL reflective cryogenic deposits in the North. Duh!! First rate (aka, Leaders and Best) scientists produce first rate results. That's all there is to it, the cigarette ad companies which now days promote the climate change denial idiocy not withstanding.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

I confess that I totally made up my comment. I was trying to see who would agree with me. I am glad to see that I didn't get any votes, but that may just mean that nobody read my post. It is unfortunate that science is in this position.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 1:29 a.m.

Studies by several major universities show that the feedback mechanisms expected from increases in greenhouse gases are not positive. There is no amplification of global warming, but instead the cycles are self correcting. One major study shows conclusively that increased moisture in the atmosphere is equivalent to the lost albido of ice cover. This results in a decrease in temps around the planet and a normalization of the Hadley zones. The end result, before the cycle returns to pre 2000 ice and snow pack coverage, is an overall decrease in arid zones and an increase in food production worldwide. The fact that this will decrease motivation for war and terrorism frightens right wing extremists and that is why they fight it so fiercely.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 1:24 a.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

Sigh, it is what I thought. Yes, I used tone and tenor to be provocative. I had hoped for an engaging, truth seeking discussion. Yes, I baited, in both tone and data presented. None, no one looked at the other data and said, &quot;Oh, there is no correlation between temps and snow extent.&quot; I shouldn't have had to be the one to point it out. It should have already been pointed out as soon as I gave the link. Yes, the is a declining trend in the NH spring snow extent, but not from 1990 to present, when most of our warming has taken place. The fall NH snow extent has a slight increase using the time frame the professor used. (30 years, 1981 to present.) And then there is the winter graph that I used as a tease. Here is the data, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Have fun. What happened to our youth; they are so willing to accept any tripe that comes out of authorities mouth?

Itsa Hoax

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

Ok Ryan, I thought I'd give the NPR article a chance, even though they are easily predictable. Lo and behold their first 2 &quot;facts&quot; are not facts at all, just as I had thought! &quot;The more carbon that gets released into the atmosphere, the higher the average temperature rises. That's a scientific fact.&quot; Nooo...just the opposite. The higher the temperature rises the higher the concentration of CO2. &quot;Human activities, such as driving, flying, building and even turning on the lights, are the biggest contributor to the release of carbon. That too, is a fact.&quot; Nooo...the biggest contributor to the minuscule trace particle (.0000032 ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere is NOT human created, but occurs naturally, and has been for thousands of years. Sorry, can't get past these blatant errors, but I tried!


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 10:18 a.m.

Forgot to point out: 320 ppm is now &quot;old figure&quot; - the current figure is now at just about 400 ppm - and rising rapidly. The most recent statement on CO2 content rise says that, at 500 ppm, we can expect catastrophic and possibly irreversible climate change. Time is running out- fast. But the monied minority and their (sometimes) innocent dupes continue to fight a propagandistic delaying action. Who ya gonna call?


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 9:32 a.m.

First: that statement is ambiguous but not incorrect. It should read: the more CO2 that gets released (&quot;carbon&quot; is just &quot;soot&quot; if taken literally), the greater the greenhouse effect which is what traps heat that normally reflects from Earth into space. Next: describe for us the mechanism which makes higher atmospheric temps the forcing factor for increased CO2 content. Next: FYI: &quot;.000032&quot; is incorrect: it's 320 ppm. You're off by a factor of 1 million. The worst that can be said for that NPR piece is that it's far too sloppily written. But the error is just a matter of writing ability, unfortunate because it misleads and causes doubts. (like a lot of news and pop science articles)


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

The problem I and I think most &quot;deniers&quot; have with the whole global warming debate is that the ( i hate to even say this) liberals who have it so well and feel so bad for that, blame humans. Because they are better off than 75% of the worlds people they castigate themselves as a way to assuage their guilt. The earths climate has been going through drastic changes, some far worse than predicted by global warming climate models, for as long as there has been a climate on earth. The mini ice age of the dark ages is just the most recent example. I believe that the climate is warming, I just have doubts as to the cause. It could be caused by human activity but if its not what kind of consequences are we in for if we try to fix something that is a natural occurrence. Also there are lots of respected scientists that have doubts as well. Google it if you don't believe me.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 9:18 a.m.

What you omit in your statement is that &quot;lots of respected scientists&quot; are (1) not all climate scientists and (2) they still are outnumbered 10 to 1 by the climate scientist who agree that the changes we see are human caused.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 2:55 a.m.

lol, yeh jim, Uhmm, no you're not correct. It has been suggested that it was a localized event, (the MWP) but anecdotal evidences suggests otherwise. Try archeology as opposed to climatology. But, you miss the point. Let us suppose for a minute that what you say is correct. That the MWP was confined to Greenland and Western Europe. Farms have been found recently uncovered by receding glaciers in Greenland. This suggests a significantly less ice coverage in the Arctic. According to the latest alarmism, the lessened albedo effect magnifies and perpetuates warming. you see any inconsistencies arising? Localized or not, we had much less Arctic ice coverage then, than we do now. But, somehow, the earth cooled and warmed since then. Strange. Hmm. How is this possible?


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

ronaldduck, you should do some research. The Middle Age warming period has been shown to be mostly a local event as was not global. The Greenland ice sheet has existed for at least 400,000 years. There may have been regions of Greenland that were 'greener' than today but this was not a global phenomenon. There are not &quot;lots of respected scientists that(sic) have doubts&quot;. There are a few who might be called &quot;respected&quot; by some but are mostly employed by EXXON, BP or some right wing think tank. Very few objective climate scientists don't accept the science that shows that human generated CO2 is warming the climate. You might try reading a more reliable source than a denier blog which you have apparently stumbled upon in your google search. These are infamous for misrepresenting and cherry picking facts.

Leah Gunn

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 10:13 p.m.

I would suggest that everyone who is commenting here read the book by Henry Pollack entitled &quot;A World Without Ice&quot;. He is a Professor here at the University of Michigan and one of those who shared the Peace Prize with Al Gore. It is well written, accessible, and, on the whole, quite scary.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

lol, selectively? Yeh, silly me, I was using a time period where snow is predominant in the NH and not expected to be as volatile. Today we have less snow in the spring holds less meaning and you're not contextualizing my statements with the assertion of the article. The assertion made in the article, &quot;The Northern Hemisphere sea ice and snow cover has responded quite sensitively to warming over the last 30 years,&quot; Now, go back to the graph I &quot;omitted&quot; spring NH, do you see that correlating with our temp history? How do you reconcile 1990 to present? In fact, look at all of the NH graphs in the 1990 to present. Now reconcile that with the assertion. I don't expect you to simply look at what I present without inspecting other data, but you should at the very least use a discerning eye. Or if you prefer, use the last 30 years as the article stated and go from 1981 for each and then attempt to reconcile the assertion. Sorry about the tone, but it is tiresome at times to have to point out the obvious to people that should have seen the obvious to begin with. Personally, I don't think snow and ice extent have much bearing one way or the other. I think its over sensationalized and doesn't have much to do with the relevance of CAGW, but when discussing such things we ought to base it on reality.

Ben Connor Barrie

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

@ nekm1 if we are to follow the money as you suggest, we should also look at who gets (stays ) rich off of the science that says climate change is not happening. The longer we fail to include the cost of climate change in the price of fossil fuels/GHG producing activities, the longer oil and coal companies (to name a few) stand to benefit. Exxon, or example, makes billions of dollars a year in net income, much more than the U spends on research annually (1 billion). The follow the money logic works, but I think it means we should look for who benefits on both &quot;sides&quot; of the &quot;debate.&quot;


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Ben, one of the slickest games companies ever played on people........ As recently as Feb. 2010 BP, Conaco, and Caterpillar were part of this group, too. Check the membership and then check their advocacy. It should be an eye opener.

average joe

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Ok, so why does the study only refer to the northern hemisphere temperature when talking about 'global climate change'? Global is the entire earth, and from what I understand, the &quot;other hemisphere&quot; is experiencing a gradual decrease in temperature, &amp; a increase in ice and snowpack. Also- as far as a blogger mentioning&quot;the facts are the Facts&quot;, the good prof stated that &quot;... we don't know exactly how the climate will respond to increases in atmospheric CO2.&quot; So how can he be sure which way it will go?(if at all)


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 9:42 a.m.

WHERE did you hear this stuff about the Southern Hemisphere?! Not in any reputable publication, I know that for a fact. Glaciers in So. America are receding just as fast as elsewhere around the globe and have you not read the reports on the rapid degradation of the Antarctic Ice Sheet? This is all current news - and widely distributed news at that.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

NPR had an interesting report on the politics behind climate change back in October: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:57 p.m.

Well, as long as your sources for information isn't biased...... Really? NPR bemoaning the fact the Repubs won an election?


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

Follow the money. Who gets rich off of these &quot;findings?&quot; Look no further than the billions of dollars in study grants that the University's receive. Forget politics....and follow the money! Remember too much coffee could hurt you? Now, the meds say at least 4 cups per day for good health! Look at Look magazine in 1978 - headline &quot;Next Ice Age?&quot;.....scientists then as now. Follow the money! We have measured weather for less than 200 years, and we call that science? That is barely a blip on the radar of history! If U of M doesn't do studies like this, where do the grants come from? And why? Bury your political leanings for a minute and use your God given brain, and follow the money. Please.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

Follow the money: look at the money sources for the Republicans: from power, oil and auto companies the money flows to the Republican strategist to the backward right wing congressmen and senators. Medical claims: change constantly. In 1860 they were debating whether or not cleaning surgical instruments was necessary. The Food Fads claims are endemic &amp; &quot;traditional&quot; in medical circles. They're not a basis for doubting a still-advancing branch of Science like climatology. &quot;Billions of dollars for grants&quot;! Yuk-yuk. Produce the federal budgets &amp; university grant lists which prove this wild claim. You can't because they aren't there.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 9:58 a.m.

Science: in the overall context, is still evolving itself. Past studies are often proven wrong or at least canted to a degree. That scientist CONTINUE to pursue greater accuracy for decades is a tribute, not &quot;proof&quot; that this or that particular theory is all wrong. In medicine this is particularly true: look at &quot;medical science&quot; over the past 150 years: in 1860 they didn't even know for sure that cleaning surgical instruments is necessary. Don't worry about coffee or even red meat: there's a fadish tendency in some areas of medicine. The &quot;next ice age&quot; thing started with one article and that was picked up by other NEWS writers who amplified and expanded on the original. It was irresponsible JOURNALISM (for profit) at fault, NOT Science or scientists. I know: I was about 30 at the time - it was a &quot;joke&quot; and not a good one. oh &quot;billions of dollars for grants&quot;: yuk-yuk. Produce the federal budgets and university account books which show this figure to be true.. Truth: tens of millions of dollars are spent every year by power, automotive and other companies to &quot;deny&quot; climate change. The SAME ad companies which were hired to &quot;debunk&quot; the cancer studies proving cigarette smoking increases cancer risks are NOW working to &quot;debunk&quot; human caused climate change. Your wrong: all the anti-science rabble rousing we see is coming out of Republican strategists offices - at the behest of that party's biggest contributors: oil companies, power companies and automotive companies. So, yeah, follow the money: it leads from the corporate &quot;sponsors&quot; to the Republican Party and then into the campaign funds of backward right wing congressmen and senators.

rusty shackelford

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

This comment is laughable at best. Um, if more money=more wrong, then it's clear that the forces who wish to cast doubt on these findings have much more money behind them. &quot;Follow the money!&quot;


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9 p.m.

I recently attended lecture by Eric Steig (from Univ. of Washington) at UM, about the same topic - the increased rate of melting of &quot;permanent&quot; ice. (As others have pointed out here, snow fall extent doesn't matter, what matters is where it stays, and doesn't get a chance to melt each year.) Steig was amused that he'd been told by climate skeptics that he was wrong and made things up. He suggested that the skeptics do there own research... and they DID! Lo and behold, their data show the same thing as his did - but they somehow still denied it, despite the fact that they had come up with data themselves! The climate science community was rather amused. We should probably stop using the term &quot;skeptic&quot; and replace it simply with &quot;denier,&quot; since most of the comments seem to fit into the &quot;I just don't believe it, no matter what the data says&quot; category... These denials often violate the laws of physics (like inertia, or conservation of mass or energy). They often don't seem to care that even if we don't care about melting ice caps, the practices of completely depleting non-renewable resources, and pumping stuff indiscriminately into our environment is simply not sustainable, and will eventually lead to massive economic, social, and ecological issues. I'd suggest people take a look at the bigger picture, and realize that these scientists understand the extremely complex problem WAY better than any non-scientists do. Chances are, anything you've thought of, they've already tried to account for. That's why they have a PhD. People should also realize that most of these scientists could easily get a job working for a big oil company and make 10X the salary, but they continue to work in research because they actually cared about how things turn out for the future of humanity, unlike corporations which (by law) must ONLY care about their own survival and profits. Or maybe take a class on the subject, and have an open-minded co


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 10:09 a.m.

Nor amusing to all, I'm afraid: when propaganda controls people's thinking and decisions: that's scary. Deniers, yes, that's EXACTLY what they are and they should be hounded and prosecuted into oblivion. It's not &quot;a right&quot; to lie and slander. There's no protection for that but there are punishments which can be applied. You're right about their &quot;math&quot; too: petroleum resources are huge but not infinite. They know that but plan to make billions in the near term and let our grandchildren worry about powering our civilization - if we have one to bequeath them.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

suyts Looks like you could do a little more research yourself in your own references. Click on the other two available seasons: spring and fall. You will see that both of those are in decline and when weighed in with the winter view, the overall year is in decline. Also, the tone and your choice of words is enough to discredit let alone the selectivity of how you present you data.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

lol, selectively? Yeh, silly me, I was using a time period where snow is predominant in the NH and not expected to be as volatile. Today we have less snow in the spring holds less meaning and you're not contextualizing my statements with the assertion of the article. The assertion made in the article, "The Northern Hemisphere sea ice and snow cover has responded quite sensitively to warming over the last 30 years," Now, go back to the graph I &quot;omitted&quot; spring NH, do you see that correlating with our temp history? How do you reconcile 1990 to present? In fact, look at all of the NH graphs in the 1990 to present. Now reconcile that with the assertion. I don't expect you to simply look at what I present without inspecting other data, but you should at the very least use a discerning eye. Or if you prefer, use the last 30 years as the article stated and go from 1981 for each and then attempt to reconcile the assertion. Sorry about the tone, but it is tiresome at times to have to point out the obvious to people that should have seen the obvious to begin with. Personally, I don't think snow and ice extent have much bearing one way or the other. I think its over sensationalized and doesn't have much to do with the relevance of CAGW, but when discussing such things we ought to base it on reality.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

Meme min: How about some facts to back up your opinions? They are opinions and you are entitled to them, but the facts are the facts. And the facts, study after study, time after time, point to serious climate change at our door while we argue about opinions. Bring those scientists to court then if you feel there are clear, undisputed, scientific studies showing that they are wrong and fraudulent. Please. I'd love to see that case play out.

Meme Mine

Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

Climate Change scientists have done to science, what abusive priests did to religion. Why are climate scientists not brought in court for not only discrediting science, but for leading the world to war against a false enemy and condemning billions of children worldwide to a death by CO2. This costly and needless panic and fear need not go unpunished with criminal charges. Pressure from the same voters that ended carbon taxes will rise in wave of anger and see justice done to these criminal scientists.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proofs. ON what basis do you claim that climate scientists are guilty of lying on the scale you describe? Where is your evidence - or are you just having fun slinging slander? You apparently don't want to bring up the actual history and known facts regarding who's lying and abusing truth for the sake of near term profits. Start with the Southern Power Company and their &quot;Climate Committee&quot; - the ones w/o accreditation who appeared at the Kyoto Conference and disrupted, intimidated and slandered real scientists. What about the unaccredited &quot;science writers&quot; like Ron Baker who was embarrassed in front of congressional investigators by the climatologist, Dr. Jeff Masters? Baker's still a feature writer for right wing blog-o-thons like Tech Central Station. Who are your sources for this alleged criminality?


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

Looking selectively at the winter snow cover tells you only that it's cold in winter and it snows. Extent is not a particularly useful measure at this stage of the process, as it doesn't respond as rapidly to the changes in the system presently taking place. Look at the springtime data. Look at its dramatic downward slope. This shows us something about the lack of depth in the snow that is falling in winter, the loss of underlying long-term ice and snow pack that would hold that snow on the ground, the warming of the ground that speeds springtime snow melt, the loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, the early onset of spring weather, etc. U-M is doing just fine in its hiring of professors, thanks very much. Oh, and 'dear'? Really?


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Oh fer crying out loud. Dramatic slope? 1/10th total in the last 44 years. Its the graph the puts the angle on the slope. For the rest, read my reply to Pitts.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Propagandists against global warming seek to recruit credulous believers into becoming a modern equivalent of the flat earthers. Often such efforts are financed by polluting energy industries, while Fox News helps spread FUD.


Wed, Jan 19, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

Really? I've read several Fox stories about climate change. Many of them are alarmist stories. I've written Fox to correct that behavior. You should go here, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Understand that ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar were members as of Feb, 2010. Since then, BP has teamed up with Berkley.....yes, Berkley CA and University in a bio fuel scheme. Conoco and Cat have started other alarmist endeavors. BTW, I think you're misusing the term FUD. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Fear comes from the alarmist side.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

While most studies predicting gloom and doom are financed by tax payer grants! Not to mention Al Gore's $200,000 speaking fee!


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

Well, Mikey, you could actually do the research yourself. That way you don't have to believe Michigan or a political party. Heather dear, when you're a journalist, you have an obligation to ensure what you're reporting has some truth to it. While I understand Rutgers is only a Big East team, they do some actual tracking of such frivolous things such as snow extent. Go here, <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;ui_season=1</a> and here, <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;ui_season=1</a> As you can see, there as been no decrease in snow extent. In both North America and the entire northern hemisphere. I would suggest that U-M be a little more discriminating when selecting assistant professors. Best wishes, James.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

Sure Pitts, you mean like here? <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;ui_season=4</a> Oh, darn that one shows an increase in the fall NA. Not that snow cover in October is that important. My point is there hasn't been a significant change one way or the other. A static line for here, a decrease there, a slight increase in other places. It in now way correlates to temps. Here's a pop quiz. In the NH, when snow is on the ground, how much direct sunlight are we getting? The albedo effect is dramatically reduced because when snow is on the ground is the time we get the least amount of direct sunlight. In other words, it doesn't matter much. What does the author and professor advocate? Snow on the ground in June? Because that's when reflection(albedo) matters the most in the NH. Forever, I'll not be patronizing if the author and assist. professor would quit insulting peoples' intelligence.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Suyts &quot;Dear&quot;, Check the other seasons in the links you provided, spring and fall. When compiling all three (summer not available) its easy to see that the net year long amount is decreasing.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

we could all probably do without the patronizing tone towards the author.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

I don't know who to believe; University of Michigan scientists or the Republican Party.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

I don't know who to believe; University of Michigan scientists or the Republican Party.


Tue, Jan 18, 2011 : 6:23 p.m.

now, now. There are two sides to this argument: scientific research designed to test and retest a hypothesis, and partisan opinion premised in campaign-funding lobbyist influence.