29 October 2009

Climate Whiplash

From NSIDC here at the University of Colorado in May, 2008:
Could the North Pole be ice free this melt season? Given that this region is currently covered with first-year ice, that seems quite possible.
From the UK Met Office this week:
. . . the first ice-free summer [is] expected to occur between 2060 and 2080. It is unlikely that the Arctic will experience ice-free summers by 2020.
Climate whiplash is a one good reason why efforts to motivate action should not be built on the backs of predictions.


  1. "one good reason why efforts to motivate action should not be built on the backs of predictions. "

    Indeed, but I would suggest that is merely corollary to:

    "the effifacy of hypotheses should be built only on the back of their preidictive abilities"

  2. Every year some Chicken Little screams about all the Arctic sea ice melting.

    Of course -- in 2008 and 2009 -- the Arctic sea ice had other ideas.

    And, the media -- always true to their marching orders -- are silent when it comes to reporting that 89% of the world’s land-based ice is growing.

    But, even if all the Arctic sea ice actually did melt, my reaction would be to yawn.

    Click here and know why.

  3. I'm puzzled. If the predictions are not the reason for motivating action, what is? Isn't the entire program built on predictions of future disasters?

    Regarding "whiplash," I'm not clear on the concept. Whiplash implies being snapped back and forth dramatically. The problem isn't whiplash, it's the "me-to-ism" that requires more and more extreme claims to get attention. This comes out of groupthink, and a confidence that no one will call you out as you leave reality. The only whiplash involved is in those rare times when the wacko claims are called out publicly and exposed to ridicule.

  4. Which sense of 'North Pole' was the NSIDC using? Synecdochic or specific? If the latter, there's no problem.

  5. -3-NWB

    See the next post and article linked there