Close your eyes. Think of glaciers. Now, exguesstrapolate.

This comment from Historical Imagery of Greenland Glaciers Lessens Sea Level Rise Alarm at WUWT is too good to be allowed to languish in the comments section:

Severian says:
June 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm

As for extrapolations and such, remember what Mark Twain said:

“In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

– Life on the Mississippi


Priceless wit from the word master. Remembering this would temper the rashest climate predictions.

h/t Ian L. McQueen

Visits: 32

18 Thoughts on “Exguesstrapolation

  1. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2012 at 2:21 pm said:

    Timely post, I’ve just responded to Nick in “cool fables” re Rignot:-

    “The new Bjørk et al. (2012) study (as well as a slew of other recent studies which we have discussed: see here, here, here, here, here , and here for example) strongly suggests that “present trends” will not continue—and thus the Rignot et al. extrapolation is grossly inaccurate (i.e., far too large).


    When I started work in govt highway design 1973 there were plans in the drawer for an 8 lane motorway from Auckland to Hamilton to cope with the expected (and extrapolated) traffic growth. That was the year of the first oil shock and in the drawer they stayed.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2012 at 2:40 pm said:

    Perceptive comments re cyclicity:-

    vukcevic says:
    June 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Don Easterbrook says:
    June 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm
    You are absolutely correct . If one looks at page 20 of the paper it is obvious that the temperatures quoted are directly correlated with the AMO, which is historically high, currently is at peak of its 65 year cycle, which goes back to 1700s, although sequence was broken in the Dalton min time.
    The AMO is about to turn down, as its precursor the northern leg of the NAO shows with some years delay.

    The AMO and NAO run synchronously until about 1910, and then the North Hemisphere temperature took off, and the NAO’s speeded up, while the AMO carried with its 9.1 and 65 year cycles. It is a bit odd, but should be of some interest, that if you squeeze the AMO it falls again into a perfect synchronism with the NAO.


    There is perfectly good natural reason for it, but climate people are more interested in puny radiative constants than essentials of the natural climate variability

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2012 at 6:01 pm said:

      Looking around Vukcevic’s (rather cryptic) website I see this graph on the contents page:-


      The “Natural Variability” cycle (derivation unknown) looks like Scafetta’s empirical model (unadjusted version). Vukcevic extrapolates the cycle (FUTURE IS ‘COOL’ insert) to 2150 .

      Puts 2035 at late 1700s levels.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2012 at 3:16 pm said:

    Worth repeating from Pat Michaels World Climate Report:-

    Bjørk and colleagues came to their conclusion [recently observed acceleration of ice loss from Greenland may not be a long-term phenomenon] by studying some recently unearthed historical photographs of the coast of southeastern Greenland that had been taken by early 20th century Danish expeditions to the region. The earliest photos were from the early 1930s. Combining those photos with a set of U.S. WWII military photos and modern satellite imagery, Bjørk and fellow researchers were able to build a photographic database of the behavior of the glaciers in the region for much of the 20th and early 21st centuries, and related that behavior to climate changes observed across southeast Greenland.

    They found that the glaciers respond rather quickly to climate changes. The well-known warmth of the region during the early 20th century was accompanied by relatively rapid retreat of both marine-terminating and land-terminating glaciers. As temperatures cooled from the 1950s through the 1980s, many glaciers advanced, and the warming of the past two decades has again been marked by rapid glacier retreat (Figure 1).

    This pattern of behavior of glacial dynamics is exactly like that of surface ice melt in Greenland that we documented in our paper (Fraunfeld et al., 2011) from last year and discussed here. In that paper, we concluded the following:

    The forces acting in concert with ice melt across Greenland to produce higher global sea levels currently, should also have been acting during the extended high‐melt conditions from the mid‐1920s to the early 1960s. There is some qualitative indication of an observable influence of the variations in input from Greenland in the decadal rates of sea level change over the course of the past century… However, there is no indication that the increased contribution from the Greenland melt in the early to mid 20th century, a roughly 40 year interval when average annual melt was more or less equivalent to the average of the most recent 10 years (2000–2009), resulted in a rate of total global sea level rise that exceeded ∼3 mm/yr. This suggests that Greenland’s contribution to global sea level rise, even during multidecadal conditions as warm as during the past several years, is relatively modest.

    The implications of the new results reported by Bjørk at al. are in accordance.

    Alarmism has a problem when their 2nd to last bastion falls (extreme weather their desperate last but tenuous and shaky stand).

  4. Billy on 06/06/2012 at 7:15 pm said:

    Hi Richard T and Richard C. Hope you don’t mind me coming on here for a wee chat. O/T, I had a chat with a blogger a month ago. All I wanted was an answer. Yes or no. It was like pulling teeth. My question was, was Dr David Viner right or wrong in 2000 stating snow is a thing of the past? According to the warmist Kari Norgaard, I need treatment, and others think I should be forcibly tattood.
    Then some dude in Oz wants to rip my teeth out to stop mercury leaching into the system. Nice people huh? Then I see some guy’s comments on your site with a closed parachute. He spouts so much hot air, he would be better off with a hot air balloon. He would then float gracefully back to earth.
    Sorry guys, don’t mean to interrupt your serious dialogue, but I see man-made global warming as a total hoax. Keep up the good work. Snip my comments if you wish. Cheers, Billy.

    • Not at all, Billy. Nice to see you back. Even the occasional off-topic rant is fine. It’s startling at times, the odious things people can say to each other when they disagree with them.

      One thing you might like to observe is that on this blog we don’t spend our time simply mouthing off at others, no matter how strongly they’ve offended us. Rather, we try to approach what they say in a rational frame of mind and show logically how they’re wrong, citing evidence in support or asking them to clarify as required. I say “try” because we all get upset occasionally! But that’s our aim, so we might learn from each other. It’s hard to learn anything from just a rant. 😉

    • Andy on 06/06/2012 at 8:37 pm said:

      Here’s a pic of my son and our 3 month old puppy enjoying a bit of global warming in South Canterbury, today 6th June 2012

    • Stunning. Nice composition.

  5. Billy on 06/06/2012 at 8:44 pm said:

    Yeah, ok, Richard. Sorry. I do get a bit hot under the collar when people cant see common sense. I have worked more with pollution than anything else, so leave global warming/cooling to you experts. I started working on tugs around NZ in 1967, and have seen a marked improvement in water quality in all the harbours I have been. Sorry to put you in a corner, but do you think David Viner was right or wrong that snow is a thing of the past? I have tried hard, but to no avail. Hey, you have a good site.
    Keep it up. Thanks for not snipping my rant. Cheers, Billy.

    • Look, Billy, I didn’t intend to extract an apology from you. I came across too thin-lipped and school-teacherish, so I’m sorry. I snip very little, actually.

      David Viner’s prediction that snow will almost vanish is politely described as hyperbole, itself a polite word for exaggeration or, in plain language, deception. The story was in The Independent of 20 March 2000. After some waffle about London snowfall trends (the southern-most city in England) it goes on:

      According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event.”

      “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

      Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

      I might post something on this. It shows the scientists at the CRU as capable of fact-free predictions and breathlessness.

    • Andy on 08/06/2012 at 1:52 pm said:

      Speaking of snow, this rather spectacular youtube video of a train plowing through deep powder at Arthurs Pass is a bit of a keeper

  6. Billy on 06/06/2012 at 9:27 pm said:

    Hi Andy. Kool pic. Hope he doesn’t suffer from heat stroke. The warming down there is becoming a prob.

    • Andy on 06/06/2012 at 9:41 pm said:

      Well Billy, here is some more of that pesky warming at Craigieburn today.

      They say that this is the biggest 24 hour dump of snow they have ever seen, and the ski season hasn’t even started yet.

    • Mike Jowsey on 07/06/2012 at 2:52 am said:

      So, if we use exguesstrapolation, by the end of the ski season there will be a new glacier formed at Craigieburn. Someone better tell the dude in the photo.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 07/06/2012 at 10:20 am said:

      He’s OK Mike, according to DOC it can take about 5-6 years for an increase in snowfall to bring about a glacial advance.


      Back in 2007, NIWA’s then principal scientist Jim Salinger said “The 12 big glaciers with these pro-glacial lakes have passed a tipping point” because the 12 largest glaciers in the mountain range were “melting due to rising temperatures” (no evidence given for this last statement, I think they are using “rising” loosely),


      But there was a “but”:-

      “But increased rainfall — which falls as snow and feeds the higher reaches of the glaciers — on the western side of the Alps has meant the results for smaller glaciers on that side are mixed, NIWA said. These ice sheets advanced during most of the 1980s and 1990s amid periods of higher rainfall.”

      So there you have it from NIWA. Large glaciers melt due to “rising” temperatures, smaller glaciers don’t. And no mention of the 5 – 6 yr lag time from snow dump to advance or as DOC puts it:-

      “However, for the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, this trend [retreat] has been punctuated by several minor advances because of huge snowfalls in their upper reaches during several periods.”

  7. Ron on 07/06/2012 at 10:07 am said:

    Heh. Looks like NZ data is again gaining notoriety beyond these shores, with the latest revelations of Climate Science’s dodgy methods.

    in the comments:
    Upside Down Urewera – the Down Under Tiljander!

  8. Richard C (NZ) on 07/06/2012 at 11:24 am said:

    Epiphany at WUWT:-

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    June 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    A year ago, I believed global warming was a gentle linear trend, starting around 1850 after the Little Ice Age, easily manageable and not a problem.

    Now, I’m wondering if there really is any sort of linear trend, from about the start of the 20th century to now, or if there are really just “surges” like the short 1998 Super El Nino and longer ones like a positive PDO, a “charging” of the global temperature systems, that wears off in time, a “discharging”. And if that noticeable long-term trend is only a result of the data mangling.

    And with the negative PDO and other indicators, we have about 20 years of global cooling coming which should knock down that slope, provided more adjustments don’t “hide the decline”.

    Is it now conceivable that the already-seen “climate change” the CAGW doomsayers insist foretells devastation to come, never even happened?


  9. Billy on 07/06/2012 at 4:55 pm said:

    Hi guys, go to WUWT and read the plight of the Thompsons in OZ to see where this train of thought is leading us.

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