Strange new paper on NZ climate – Part 1

Cooling consistent with warming

Rodney Hide’s column in last week’s NBR commented on a recent article in Nature Communications:

The glaciers are retreating. The glaciers are retreating. Humans are cooking the planet! Hang on, the glaciers are advancing. They’re advancing. Humans are cooking the planet!

The paper, Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming, by Andrew Mackintosh, Brian Anderson, Andrew Lorrey, James Renwick, et al. (“MAL2017”), has some quirks.

It claims that “regional cooling” caused some of our glaciers to advance, which the authors claim is “consistent with a climate system that is being modified by humans.”

Rodney takes issue with that, suggesting more cautiously that regional cooling is “not inconsistent” with a human influence, and he makes a good point. You’d think that man-made global warming would be unquestionably inconsistent with regional cooling, since the cooling must be caused by natural factors—by definition, since the single human factor is warming.

Still, I don’t have a problem with the general idea of coexistent regions of warming and cooling, since there are always regions above the global average temperature and regions below the average. It’s not remotely remarkable—that’s what average means.

But since we cannot have caused the regional cooling, it’s quite a deception to describe cooling in terms of a human influence on climate and thus imply we’ve had something to do with it. For we had no hand in the cooling, and of course the paper did not study it.

Because these scientists side with the alarmist view of man-made global warming and, since their study made no finding on the matter, for no other reason, they exploit the study to send a message that we’re dicing with death by warming.

Which is incongruous here, because while the paper seems harmless, this addendum to its conclusion is conspicuous in its propaganda. The obsequious tone of it reeks of a desire to curry favour with those who might either prevent publication or limit future prospects.

I’ll post shortly on the credibility of the paper’s model assumptions, the astounding turnaround it represents on recent NZ warming and I ask what changes Brett Mullan will make to the 7SS as a result. It’s all taking a bit long, I’m afraid, and this first part has been lying around for a week, but the second shouldn’t be far away.

16
Leave a Reply

avatar
16 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
Bill AlexanderMike JowseyDennis N HorneIan CooperMaggy Wassilieff Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Simon
Guest
Simon

It’s a nice paper, I’m not sure why you think it’s strange. NZ’s glaciers are clustered in a part of the country that is exposed to roaring 40’s weather systems and directly affected by southern Tasman Sea temperature anomalies. That’s not true for all of NZ.

I’m not sure that Rodney’s opinions are valuable enough to warrant putting behind a paywall.

Andy
Guest
Andy

I was under the impression that NZ is warming, and that NZ glaciers had dramatically retreated in recent years

Therefore, this paper comes as a bit of a surprise

Andy
Guest
Andy

The paper notes that the Tasman and Murchison glaciers are retreating rapidly, but Fox and Franz were until recently advancing.

I always thought that the advance might be due to increased precipitation, and the main conclusion from the paper would appear to imply this is not the case.

However, the paper also notes that the rapid retreat of the Tasman is mainly due to the terminal lake causing rapid melt at the snout.

It seems to me that the claim that NZ glaciers have had huge ice mass loss over recent decades might be skewed by the Tasman and other low angle glaciers. I wonder how the picture would look if the Tasman was removed from the result set.

Andy
Guest
Andy

The Tasman Glacier has a large terminal lake, that has been rapidly expanding over the last few years. The water is accelerating the ice melt at the snout, and this will make the glacier retreat up to the point where it starts to climb up the valley at a more pronounced angle

The guides at Mt Cook are now offering “Glacier Sea Kayaking” trips to explore the lake

The mechanism by which this is occurring is well documented in the literature and not necessarily anything to do with anthropogenic forcing. It is an actual case of positive feedbacks though

I imagine that it would take a fairly large cooling to reverse this trend

Andy
Guest
Andy

I think the “consistent with” bit is a standard CYA clause that they put in the paper to make sure it gets published

Maggy Wassilieff
Guest
Maggy Wassilieff

What I find most strange about this paper is that the authors do not address/model the very obvious decline in length of Fox, Franz & Stocking glaciers that seems to commence somewhere in the mid 1930s.

Ian Cooper
Guest
Ian Cooper

The 1930’s, Maggy, was a decade of real extreme’s. For Palmerston North, 1935 was both the sunniest & wettest year (until that latter title went to the infamous 2004). That would be unusual for anywhere. In ’35 when it was sunny it was ‘very’ sunny, and when it was wet, it was ‘very’ wet! We also had the two hottest summers on record since records began in 1928. They were 1934-35 & 1937-38. This is in contrast to the winters of 1931-32-33 which are all in the top ten of coldest winters on record for Palmy. I believe that Palmerston North wasn’t alone with those hot summers. That may have helped start the glacial decline that you talk of.

Dennis N Horne
Guest
Dennis N Horne

Over a longer period, S.I. glaciers have shrunk. https://theconversation.com/new-zealands-southern-alps-have-lost-a-third-of-their-ice-28916 Most (93%) of the energy retained by the abrupt increase in CO2 (>40%) is going into the oceans. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/mar/10/earths-oceans-are-warming-13-faster-than-thought-and-accelerating John Abraham. Friday 10 March 2017 [Summary] New research has quantified how much Earth has warmed over the past 56 years. Human activities utilize fossil fuels for many beneficial purposes but have undesirable side effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere. That increase – 40%, with most since 1980 – traps heat in Earth system, warming the entire planet. At any time the direct effect of this blanket is small, but the accumulated effects are huge and have consequences for our weather and climate. Over 90% of the extra heat ends up in the ocean and hence perhaps the most important measurements of global warming are made in the oceans. [3500] Argo floats are spread out across oceans where they rise and fall in the ocean waters collecting temperature data to 2000m. When they rise to the ocean surface, they send their data to satellites. Hence we can now map the ocean heat content quite well. But what about the past? Putting data from these… Read more »

Mike Jowsey
Guest
Mike Jowsey

RT check http://www.nzcpr.com/newsletter/
Muriel Newman discusses the changing US political landscape wrt CAGW. Some of her questions regarding NOAA regarding data availability and reproducibility have parallels with NIWA and the 7SS.

Bill Alexander
Guest
Bill Alexander

Mr Horne says “…Additionally 2015 was a year with record hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, and wild-fires around the world…” From what sources did Dennis N Horne obtain this extraordinary statement. ?
See “… Similar to the past three years, tornado activity across the U.S. during 2015 was below average….” , according to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Tornadoes for Annual 2015, published online January 2016, retrieved on May 26, 2017 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tornadoes/201513.
As for “record ” heat waves, droughts and wild fires he appears to have simply made some wild presumptions in the face of the known greening of the planet thanks to CO2. See https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/16/study-increased-carbon-dioxide-is-greening-deserts-globally

Post Navigation