April 30, 2009

Catch of the day

Besides the obvious of what is so bad about increasing fish populations of so many species, I note they don't report any decreasing as they surely would have, had they found any. Is such an important oceanography institute such as Scripps unaware of the PDO? Or did they just choose to leave that bit of information out of the press release, as not being quite so catchy.

Does the actual report explain the PDO influence on ocean temperatures? Please note that in the story they call it climate driven ocean warming without mentioning that this is part of a natural cycle, leaving the impression intended or not that this is man made. If the now negative PDO causes a decrease in fish population, will this too be the result of climate change and wil they then produce another study funded by-?. Or is this all just another example of using the ever popular scare of climate change to scare the heathen humans from reeking haddock uh...havoc on the Earth? Inquiring minds want to know.

FROM-Yuba Net

Via- Tom Nelson

"a significant increase in the population of 25 fish groups from a cold period (1951-1976) to a warm one (1977-1998), "

Dramatic Climate Change-Driven Impacts Documented Across Marine Life Spectrum
Scripps-led study, the first of its kind, finds warming causes shifts in habitats of open-ocean fishes

By: Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego

April 30, 2009 - In the first broad study of its kind, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and their colleagues have found that the effects of climate change are being felt across a wide ensemble of sea life.

Their report, published in the journal Global Change Biology, describes climate-induced changes ranging from migration pattern alterations to key population shifts.

"This is the first evidence in the ocean that climate change can have dramatic effects on large-scale fisheries ecosystems," said Scripps Professor George Sugihara. "These are some very interesting consequences that people haven't really thought about. These warming events could actually cause a constellation of species that normally don't interact to begin to interact and that could have potentially large effects on what we think ought to be the natural ecosystem."

The study, led by Chih-Hao Hsieh while he was a student at Scripps Oceanography, and who is now at National Taiwan University, is based on data from the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI), a program based at Scripps that has monitored the marine environment of the California Current for nearly 60 years. Hsieh, Sugihara and their coauthors used the CalCOFI database to decipher the sensitivity of fish habitats in response to climate-driven ocean warming.

To arrive at their results, the researchers studied quantities of larvae for 34 fish groups. Numbers and geographic locations of fish larvae -- a quantity known as "biomass" -- are indicative of the abundance of fish species. They compared that information with physical measurements, including water temperature.

Among their findings, the researchers describe a significant increase in the population of 25 fish groups from a cold period (1951-1976) to a warm one (1977-1998), including species such as dogtooth lampfish, longfin lanternfish, California lanternfish and Panama lightfish.More...
They also found that fish species that typically migrate vertically in the marine water column shifted geographically northward to colder waters, a change that wasn't seen in other fish that don't migrate as such in the water column. The authors speculate this may be because the upper layers of the water column warmed considerably more than deeper levels, leaving the bottom dwellers less impacted. Migrating species would have sensed the warming more readily and moved in response.

The researchers also discovered that groups that typically reside in the far open ocean shifted closer to shore between the cold and warm period, and species that normally reside in coastal areas moved even closer to shore.

"These sensitivities to climate can cause different fish species to start interacting," said Sugihara. "It's almost like seeing ocean invaders come into the coast and these ad hoc mixed ecosystems could potentially have large ecological and commercial consequences down the road."

"Open-ocean fishes that were rarely studied due to their low economic values may in fact provide important clues signifying how marine organisms are responding to climate variations," said Hsieh, now a professor at National Taiwan University. "The interactions found between oceanic and shallow water coastal species also imply that anthropogenic disturbances, for example fishing, could have profound indirect effects on other components of the marine ecosystem."

In addition to Hsieh and Sugihara, coauthors include Hey Jin Kim (Scripps Oceanography and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute), William Watson (Southwest Fisheries Science Center) and Emanuele Di Lorenzo (Scripps graduate now at Georgia Institute of Technology).

The study was funded by NOAA Fisheries and the Environment program, the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Science Council's (Taiwan) Long-term Observation and Research of the East China Sea and National Taiwan Ocean University's Center for Marine Bioscience and Biotechnology

The Oceans Are Rising Faster Than Ever!


Greatest Lie Ever Told?

Let's Review Place #25:
Reykjavik, Iceland

For years (decades?), climate alarmist scientists have been claiming that the oceans were rising with "unprecedented" speed due to human-caused global warming. These scientists claim that because of all the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, due to human-caused warming, the sea levels are rising at an accelerated pace and will continue to so - up to a 20 foot rise by the end of the century is predicted. If this accelerated sea level rising is happening as claimed, then it should be evident across the world. Fortunately, the sea rise at Reykjavik, Iceland is averaging less than a foot per century. This is just but one example of ocean facts countering sea-rise alarmism hype - more to follow. (On average, recent satellite measurements put global ocean level increases at 3mm/year or 1 foot/century.)


Skeptics From Around the Globe


David H. Douglass Professor of Physics-Experimental Condensed Matter Physics University of Rochester

"The usual discussion is whether the climate model forecasts of Earth's climate 100 years or so into the future are realistic. Here we have something more fundamental: Can the models accurately explain the climate from the recent past? "It seems that the answer is no."

The Other Side Of The Story

This Episode brought to you by World Climate Report

Science Fiction Down on the Farm

The January 9th, 2008 issue of Science, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, contains a remarkable article by University of Washington atmospheric scientist David Battisti and Stanford co-author Rosamond Naylor. Science reputedly is the world’s most prestigious refereed science journal in the world.

Not in this case. The article is remarkably bad. A colleague of mine, looking at an advance copy asked, in all seriousness, if this was an editorial rather than a scientific paper. Sorry, I replied, it’s the real deal.

Actually it’s pretty bad science fiction. Good science fiction is at least plausible.

Battisti’s argument seems straightforward. Take all 23 of the climate models used by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Over a substantial portion of the moist tropics and desert subtropics, there is a 90% chance that average summer (June-August) temperatures in 2100 will exceed today’s record values, resulting in massive rises in commodity prices as a result of extreme food shortages.

You know the paper’s going to be bad from the first sentence: “The food crisis of 2006-2008 demonstrates the fragile nature of feeding the world’s human population.”

Never mentioned is that this “crisis” was largely due to a knee-jerk political reaction—huge ethanol mandates—in response to climate science alarmism. That crisis was caused by papers like this.

There’s a central problem in Battisti’s analysis. It assumes that projected temperature changes will have such detrimental effects because there’s no economic incentive to adapt to the slow climate change that takes place over a century. Apparently people are so stupid that they won’t do this. Instead, the paper states that “…adaptation can be developed globally but will be costly and will require political prioritization.”

What? Check your mailbox. If you live in the ‘burbs or further out, you’ve already received your Burpee seed catalog, you’re going to see a tomato called “Heatwave,” originally developed about ten years ago in response to the need for plants that set fruit on hot nights. This extends the range of our favorite garden vegetable into the tropics and preadapts it to a warming climate.

You can bet that genetic engineers at Monsanto, DuPont/Pioneer and the other big seedsters of the world are already testing varieties of corn that are more water efficient and will set fruit in hotter weather. As it is, corn grows from Minnesota to the tropics. It’s extremely likely that this corn will be developed pronto, as a very close relative—sugar cane—thrives in the hottest moist environments on the planet.

What about soybeans, the largest source of primary protein in the world? The U.S. produces more than any other nation on earth. If we didn’t cram most of them into pigs and chickens, the amount of nutrition from this remarkable crop could feed a substantial portion of the world by itself. They grow from the northern Great Plains down to Mississippi. Yields are about the same in both places. Summer temperatures in Mississippi average 12.5°F warmer than in Minnesota, a much greater mean temperature change than is projected by the IPCC. Further, beans in general are pretty good at tolerating both heat and drought (which is one reason why Mexican food is so tasty!).

If it really got warm, much of our agriculture could switch to grain sorghum, another great source of carbohydrate and protein. Right now, you’ll find it growing largely in hot, dry climates, because it likes hot, dry climates. And that’s without any genetic engineering to make them it even more adaptable.

The first example of global warming horrors that the authors cite is the 2003 summer heat wave in Europe, which they say is “one of the deadliest climate-related disasters in western history.” Their citation? An unrefereed grey literature publication from an environmental advocacy group, the Earth Policy Institute.

They forgot to mention that there was a similar heat wave in France in 2006. In 2003 there were more deaths than should have occurred, according to heat-mortality models. By 2006, in a similar heat wave, there were far less—mortality was so relatively low that few people outside of Europe are even aware that there was a 2006 summer heat wave.

What happened?

People adapted. We see the same thing in the United States. It would have been nice, at this juncture, if the authors had cited a voluminous literature, mainly authored by University of Virginia’s Robert Davis (admittedly, I am a co-author on many of these papers), which shows something that will surprise no economist but apparently is shocking to climatologists: the more frequent urban heat waves become, the fewer people die from them. There’s gold in the hills of adaptation to climate change, and cities have been warming compared to their countryside ever since there have been, well, cities.

And so does agriculture adapt.

Take a look at our figure below (Figure 1). It shows U.S. corn yields since 1900 along with global temperatures from the IPCC. Temperatures rose about 1.6°F. In 1900, the average corn yield was about 30 bushels per acre. The national average is now around 150, a 500% increase! Global warming sure is bad for agriculture in the world’s breadbasket.

Figure 1. U.S. annual average corn yield, 1900-2008 (top), global annual average surface temperature, 1900-2008 (bottom). (Data sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service; Climate Research Unit).

Apparently that doesn’t matter, because Battisti and Naylor’s paper say this: “It will be extremely difficult to balance food deficits in one part of the world with food surpluses in another.”

Huh? OK, it’s a little outside of their field (my [PJM] PhD thesis was on climate and agriculture), but there’s this thing called a market. If there weren’t, almost everyone in New York would be malnourished.

Will today’s poor nations be able to afford food that they can’t produce for any reason (including climatic)? Indur Goklany, author of The Improving State of the World, assumes the absolute worst about global warming—temperature rises to the max, an unbelievably low discount rate—all the bad things assumed in Britain’s influential (and wrong!) Stern Review on climate change. He still finds that today’s developing nations—largely in the same places projected to experience today’s record temperatures as average—will have twice our current GDP per capita (in constant dollars) by 2100. Think they’ll be able to afford our corn (or soybeans, or sorghum)?

We forgot to mention one other little problem. The average warming given by the IPCC in the scenario used by Battisti and Naylor is almost certainly too high.

Figure 2. Models runs (thin colored lines) for the 21st century under the SRES A1B middle-of-the-road emissions scenario and observed temperatures (red circles) along with the extension of the observed trend (since 1977) to the year 2100.

The 23 different models share a common characteristic. They produce, in ensemble, a constant (rather than an increasing) rate of warming. And, indeed, the warming that began in the mid-1970s is remarkably constant in the statistical sense (despite a lack of net warming since 1997) at about 0.16°C per decade (see our Figure 2). Their median scenario is around 2.6°F. To get to that value by 2100 would require a violation of the central tendency of the models, which is a constant rate of warming. If that’s the case, then the models are pretty much useless, anyway.

My colleague was right. Science has just published bad science fiction hiding as a rigorously peer-reviewed paper. No serious reviewer who is a serious student of global warming would let such document stand unless he or she wanted to for other reasons. Did we mention that the Congress is about to debate global warming legislation?


Battisti, D.S., and R.L. Naylor, 2009. Historical warnings of future food insecurity with unprecedented seasonal heat. Science, 323, 240-244.


"Warm hands too please !"


"He has said greed and corporate profits are behind the studies disproving his alarmism. Maybe it's his desire for profits that's behind his manipulation of the truth."

Cap-And-Trade: Al Gore's Cash Cow

Global Warming: At the cap-and-trade hearings, it was revealed that not everyone will suffer from this growth-killing energy tax. A congresswoman wanted to know why sea levels aren't rising but Gore's bank account is.

When Gore left office in January 2001, he was said to have a net worth in the neighborhood of $2 million. A mere eight years later, estimates are that he is now worth about $100 million. It seems it's easy being green, at least for some.

Gore has his lectures and speeches, his books, a hit movie and Oscar, and a Nobel Prize. But Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was curious about how a man dedicated to saving the planet could get so wealthy so quickly. She sought out investment advice we all could use in a shaky economy.

Last May, we noted that Big Al had joined the venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers the previous September. On May 1, 2008, the firm announced a $500 million investment in maturing green technology firms called the Green Growth Fund.

Last May, we noted that Big Al had joined the venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers the previous September. On May 1, 2008, the firm announced a $500 million investment in maturing green technology firms called the Green Growth Fund.

Last Friday, Gore was the star witness at the hearings on cap-and- trade legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Blackburn asked Gore about Kleiner-Perkins, noting that at last count they "have invested about a billion dollars invested in 40 companies that are going to benefit from cap-and-trade legislation that we are discussing here today."

Blackburn then asked the $100 million question: "Is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?" Gore gave the stock answer that "the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it but every penny that I have made I have put right into a nonprofit, the Alliance for Climate Protection, to spread awareness of why we have to take on this challenge."

Last May, we also noted that on March 1, Gore, while speaking at a conference in Monterey, Calif., admitted to having "a stake" in a number of green investments that he recommended attendees put money in rather than "subprime carbon assets" such as tar sands and shale oil.

He also is co-founder of Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offsets that allow rich polluters to continue with a clear conscience. It's a scheme that will make traders of this new commodity rich and Bernie Madoff look like a pickpocket. The other founder is former Goldman Sachs partner David Blood.

As Stephen Milloy, author of "Green Hell," points out, Goldman Sachs is lobbying for climate change legislation and is part owner of the Chicago Climate Exchange, where carbon credits from cap and trade would be traded.

Others hope to cash in along with Gore. On Earth Day 2007, the various NBC networks gave 75 hours of free air time to Gore to hype climate change. NBC is owned by General Electric, perhaps the largest maker of wind turbines and other green technology in the world. It, too, stands to benefit financially from cap and trade, as Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly has noted, connecting dots others won't.

Gore's altruism is phony. According to a March 6 Bloomberg report, Gore invested $35 million of his own money not in green nonprofits, but with the very profitable Capricorn Investment Group LLC, a Palo Alto, Calif., firm that directs clients to green investments and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products.

As reported on Green Hell Blog, Capricorn was founded by the billionaire former president of eBay Inc., Jeffrey Skoll, who also happens to be an executive producer of Gore's Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

Gore has not taken a vow of poverty even as he advocates legislation that will push millions into it. He has said greed and corporate profits are behind the studies disproving his alarmism. Maybe it's his desire for profits that's behind his manipulation of the truth.

"Notable Quotes"

Freeman Dyson
"The climate-studies people who work with models always tend to overestimate their models, they come to believe models are real and forget they are only models.”


There is a solution

FROM-Master Resource

Al Gore: “We must protect the ice!” (Scientists: arctic ice twice as thick as previously thought)

At a recent conference in Oslo, Al Gore pounded one of his favorite drums. “We have to act, and we have to act quickly because we don’t want to cross this tipping point,” he warned. This particular tipping point (among the many tipping points in Mr. Gore’s collection) is the proclaimed melting of the world’s polar ice packs and glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.
Mr. Gore regularly worries about ice melting in the Southern Hemisphere as well. In recent testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Gore warned:

“We already know that the Antarctic Peninsula is warming at three to five times
the global average rate. That is why the Larsen B ice shelf, which was the size
of Rhode Island, already has collapsed. Several other ice shelves have also
collapsed in the last 20 years. Another large shelf, the Wilkins ice shelf-which
is roughly the size of Northern Ireland- is now beginning to disintegrate right
before our very eyes. A recent study in the journal Science has now confirmed
that the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming.”

But Mr. Gore really needs to keep up with the news. In a recent study of Arctic ice, (results thoughtfully translated by Benny Peiser of CCnet), researchers found that arctic ice is, in reality, about twice as thick as they’d previously thought. “ Normally, the researchers point out, newly formed ice measures some two meters in thickness after two years. “Here, we measured ice thickness up to four meters,” said a spokesperson for Bremerhaven’s Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. At present, this result contradicts the warming of the sea water, according to the scientists.”

As for the Antarctic, it’s true, the Antarctic Peninsula is warming and melting some, but the bulk of ice in the Antarctic is growing, not shrinking. A study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters (reported in The Australian) observes that “Sea ice around Antarctica has been increasing at a rate of 100,000sq km a decade since the 1970s.” The researchers attribute this growth to the Ozone Hole, but as Steven Goddard points out on the great Watts Up With That Blog, “Oh, and one minor problem with the ozone hole theory “The ozone hole occurs during the Antarctic spring, from September to early December” - but the positive ice anomaly occurred during the autumn and winter (March through July). And while the ozone hole was present, ice was normal. So the ice excess probably has nothing to do with the ozone hole.” The authors of the study attempt to address the issue, but their explanation seems less than convincing. But whatever the cause, the observed growth in sea ice around Antarctica contradicts Gore’s general claims that the ice is melting there.

Mr. Gore claims the mantle of science when he speaks about climate change, and he loves to talk about the “consensus” of political scientists, but the world would be better off if he paid a bit more attention to the data, and a bit less to the drama of climate change.

Tell it to the judge

FROM-American Thinker

Global Warming Ruled a Religion by British Judge

A fired British executive is suing his former employer on the grounds that he was unfairly dismissed due to religious views – his belief in global warming.

According to the Independent:

“In the first case of its kind, employment judge David Sneath said Tim Nicholson, a former environmental policy officer, could invoke employment law for protection from discrimination against him for his conviction that climate change was the world's most important environmental problem.”

The judge ruled that Nicholson’s extreme green views fit the definition of “a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations, 2003.” So strong were these “beliefs,” that they “put him at odds with other senior executives within the firm.” The 41-year-old told the employment tribunal that, as head of sustainability at Grainger plc, Britain's largest residential property investment company, he constantly tangled with fellow-executives over the company’s environmental policies and corporate social responsibility.

Nicholson complained that senior executives obstructed his attempts to lower the company’s “carbon footprint,” and that while Grainger advertised green policies, executives actually drove "some of the most highly polluting cars on the road". He also griped that chief executive Rupert Dickinson refused numerous requests to change the company’s policy toward employee air travel. Nicholson even included this personally upsetting example in his written complaint: "He [Mr Dickinson] showed contempt for the need to cut carbon emissions by flying out a member of the IT staff to Ireland to deliver his BlackBerry that he had left behind in London."

All of which offended Nicholson’s green beliefs, which he says dictate his very existence, "including my choice of home, how I travel, what I buy, what I eat and drink, what I do with my waste and my hopes and my fears".

Harry Trory, counsel for Grainger, argued that Nicholson’s “views on climate change and the environment were based on fact and science, and did not constitute a philosophical belief.” But the judge agreed with Nicholson, finding that “his belief goes beyond a mere opinion.”

The decision makes Nicholson the first person ever to be allowed to sue for religious discrimination with environmentalism listed as the affronted creed.

What next, Earth Day declared a religious holiday, tax-exempt status extended to recycling plants, or defacing effigies of Al Gore prosecuted as a hate crime? Not likely.

On the other hand, greenies scoffed when Michael Crichton first called environmentalism “one of the most powerful religions in the Western World” over five years ago, insisting that “settled science” was on their side. Since then it’s become increasingly evident that alarmists’ warming beliefs are based not on reason or evidence, but a trusting acceptance in the absence of either. They outright refuse to discuss it, debate it, or abide those daring to question it.

Antitheist Sam Harris once wrote:

“The difference between science and religion is the difference between a willingness to dispassionately consider new evidence and new arguments, and a passionate unwillingness to do so.”

If British carbo-chondriacs now choose to capitulate which better exemplifies their position in an effort to exploit victims’ status, we can only hope their American counterparts soon follow their lead.

It’d be well worth a few silly law-suits to establish precedent necessary to keep this nonsense out of our public schools on those very same grounds.

And that’s just the tip of the expanding iceberg.


The Real Party Of NO


FROM- SF Environmental Examiner

All environmental issues can be solved with money--except global warming

If you look at the environmental issues that dominated the 60s, 70s and early 80s, air and water pollution, particulates, ozone, depletion of water tables and deforestation, two things are clear.

First, environmental activists took the wrong strategic approach by focusing on the negative; what Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger call in Breakthrough the environmental obsession with limits. Their call to action was always a call to stop. Stop having babies, stop driving, limit growth, etc. They won many tactical victories, but haven't made progress in the war for the environment.

But progress has been and is being made, simply by development and the natural growth of economies. As people get wealthier, they have enough leisure time to be concerned about the environment and pay enough taxes to actually get something done. The rate of population increase has slowed to a crawl, and our current population density of 115 per square mile (45 per square kilometer--let's get metric!) would rank at 154th if the world was an individual country, between Tajikstan and Afghanistan (the U.S. comes in at 177, with a density of 31 per square kilometer). As countries get rich, they address the pollution they caused while getting rich.

The exception is, of course, emissions of greenhouse gases. The richer a country get, the more gases they emit. It explains some of the fervor found on both sides--now, when environmentalists call for us to stop or to limit, they're talking about stopping our getting rich, limiting our wealth. Sadly, it's not just our wealth. The inescapable conclusion of alarmist rhetoric is that for us to stop global warming, the developing world will have to stop developing.

As a liberal Democrat that is unacceptable to me. I'm glad the science is on the skeptic's side, pace what the alarmists (and even the administrations's new members) say. But, it's also why I support green technology and investment--because we will need to help developing countries grow more cleanly. It's not just CO2 that gets emitted, and there's no reason that people have to die in the future from pollution we can prevent today. And locally generated clean energy makes it less likely that the money developing countries need will get shipped to oil plutocracies.

The brute truth is, according to the IPCC, that the grandchildren of those in developing countries will be richer than we are here today. They will be able to take care of themselves. We should do what we can for those here and now.

But at the end of the day, the rhetoric from some of the alarmists sounds like they just want us to stop having a good life--and global warming is just as good an excuse as any for them to push for it.


The Other Side Of The Story

This Episode brought to you by SPPI

Some things we know-and don't know-about Polar Bears

Susan J. Crockford, Ph.D.
Oct. 14, 2008


Much of what you hear about polar bears these days - their status, their plight - is distilled from a literature dominated by studies done within very limited portions of the Arctic: those that are accessible to researchers. Logistical and technical difficulties prevent scientists in all disciplines from traveling to, and working within, the ever-changing sea ice that exists well offshore. As a consequence, the picture that gets painted of polar bear existence sounds more completely understood than it really is. Due to the nature of the beast and the habitat in which it lives, there is in reality a profound uncertainty regarding polar bear population status, some of its life history features and conditions of its habitat, and the status of its primary prey, the ringed seal. However, it is clear from their long-term success surviving within this habitat that the tight association polar bears and arctic seals have with moving sea ice gives them tremendous flexibility and adaptability to changing climatic conditions.

My purpose here is to address some of the bias that mars virtually all general information sources one might consult on polar bears and ice-dependent Arctic seals, in point form for easy reference. Most references cited here are available on request as pdf files. This document was compiled from several papers published on associated topics (Crockford 2004, 2006; 2008; Crockford and Frederick 2007; Crockford and Frederick, in review) and material collected in the course of reviewing the January 2007 draft of the Report for Congress on Polar Bears prepared by Library of Congress researcher Eugene H. Buck, filed April/07. This update incorporates information amassed since that date.

Note that in regard to ice:
1) pack ice and sea ice both refer to large sheets or broken chunks of ice that drift with the
currents and wind as the seasons change (Rigor and Wallace 2004) - most Arctic ice is sea ice
(Ferguson et al. 2000) and the ice edge is the southern-most limit of the drifting pack.
2) fast ice, grounded fast ice, landfast ice and shorefast ice all refer to ice attached to land,
although shorefast ice is perhaps the least ambiguous terminology.More.......


- Polar bears world-wide are divided into 19 subpopulations for management purposes (Figure 1).

- Two of these populations, genetically indistinguishable from each other (Cronin et al. 2006), occur within US territory
1) the Southern Beaufort Sea population (SB, shared with Canada, half in US territory) is
estimated at 1,526 animals (Regehr et al. 2007b, “1211-1841 at a 95% confidence interval”);
2) the Chukchi/Bering Sea population (CB, shared with Russia, half in US territory) is tentatively
estimated at 2,000 - no population survey has yet been done (Aars et al. 2006).

Figure 1. The nineteen designated polar bear subpopulation boundaries (courtesy IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group, see Aars et al. 2006)

- Globally, less than one third of the nineteen populations are currently estimated as declining, more than one third are increasing or stable, while the remaining third have insufficient data available to estimate population trends: the SB population is currently declining, based on presumed consequences of some bears in poor condition, not an actual decline in numbers over time ( Regehr et al. 2007b; Rode et al. 2007), the CB trend is unknown (Aars et al. 2006).

- Four out of the five subpopulations listed as declining in 2006, as well as several others (including CB), are considered at risk from over-harvesting (i.e. hunting), not reduced sea ice (Aars et al. 2006).

- Some population estimates are based on “mark/recapture” methods, others on aerial survey; due to fog and cold, aerial surveys seldom extend beyond 125km north of the sea ice edge (e.g. Aars et al. 2006, 2008, Barents Sea), with at least one exception (Fischbach et al. 2007, Southern Beaufort Sea).
- The status of the polar bear in the central Arctic Basin (see Fig. 1 above), the largest of the nineteen designated regions, is completely unknown (Aars et al. 2006), although bears have been reported there (e.g. Van Meurs and Splettstoesser 2003).


- Most of what we know about polar bear biology is based on the easily-accessible animals of Western Hudson Bay (WHB), see references below, which comprise only 3-5% of the global population and are anomalous for a number of reasons (Aars et al. 2006; Dyck et al. 2007, 2008; Mauritzen et al. 2001; Regehr et al. 2007a; Schliebe et al. 2008; Stirling et al.1977):
1) WHB is the most second most southerly subpopulation worldwide, so their ice always melts earlier in the year than most of the others (however, the Southern Hudson Bay (SHB) subpopulation is the furthest south and its population has remained stable over the last 20 years (Aars et al. 2006).
2) WHB population is the most easily accessible and has been under scrutiny since the late 1960s.
3) WHB is the only subpopulation, out of the five considered to be declining, where the population trend is based on a statistically significant decrease in population estimates over time (Aars et al. 2006).
4) WHB is one of the most geographically constrained subpopulations, so they easily get trapped ashore - usually for about four months at a time - when summer sea ice retreats (however, this also happens to the SHB subpopulation, without an associated population decline).
5) most of the females prefer to den on land or shorefast ice rather than on offshore sea ice
(compared to the Southern Beaufort, where about 40-60% den offshore (Fischbach et al. 2007).

-Virtually the only areas studied in any detail for polar bears and ringed seals, are the coasts of Hudson Bay in Canada (e.g. Amstrup et al. 2007; Derocher et al. 2004; Ferguson et al. 2005; Holst et al. 1999; Lennox and Goodship 2008; Lunn et al. 1997; Regehr et al. 2007a; Stirling and Derocher 2007; Stirling et al. 2008a), the Beaufort Sea off Alaska and Northwestern Canada (e.g. Amstrup 1995; Frost et al. 2004; Regehr et al. 2007b; Schliebe et al. 2008; Stirling 2002; Stirling et al. 2007, 2008b), and the Svalbard region in the Barents Sea, off Norway (e.g. Aars et al. 2008; Derocher et al. 2002; Holst et al. 2001; Krafft et al. 2006; Labansen et al. 2007; Lydersen and Gjertz 1986; Mauritzen et al. 2001; Wiig et al. 1999). Some studies have also been undertaken in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (e.g. Ferguson et al. 2000; Hammill and Smith 1991; Kelly and Wartzok 1996; Kingsley et al. 1985; Smith and Hammill 1981; Smith et al. 1991; Stirling and Øritsland 1995) and the Davis Strait/Baffin Bay region of Canada (e.g. Ferguson et al. 2000; Finley et al. 1983). Information on populations elsewhere in the Arctic, including regions north of Greenland and Russia, is very limited or nonexistent (e.g. Aars et al. 2006).

- Polar bears are capable of fasting for more than four months at a time while fully awake and mobile, regardless of the season (they do not need to den or hibernate as other bears do - only pregnant female polar bears hibernate over the winter in true bear fashion): as a consequence, polar bears are known to biologists as walking hibernators (Lennox and Goodship 2008; Stirling and Øritsland 1995).

- While polar bears that spend extensive time on land during the summer months (such as those in WHB) may fast for up to four months, previous research has shown (Stirling and Øritsland 1995) that bears in most regions are at their lowest body weight in spring (i.e. March). This suggests that winter fasting leading to starvation may be a more limiting factor for polar bears and this may be particularly true if winters are associated with development of especially thick shorefast ice. Such cold winters in the past, as occurred during the mid-1960s, mid-1970s, mid-1980s, and early 1990s, led to marked reductions in polar bear numbers (Stirling 2002; Stirling and Lunn 1997) due to dramatic declines in availability of young ringed seals. In Greenland, ringed seals are known to move offshore when shorefast ice becomes too thick for them to maintain their breathing holes (Vibe 1967).

- Over most of their range, most polar bears remain on the sea ice year-round or at most spend only short periods on land. Schliebe et al. (2008) found that from 2000-2005, on average 3.7% of all Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears in Alaska spent time on land between mid-September and the end of October. While nearshore-dwelling Davis Strait bears were found to spend two-three months on Baffin Island (Ferguson et al. 1997), polar bears in WHB are unique in routinely spending about four months on land from summer through fall (Regehr et al. 2007a; Schliebe et al. 2008).

- In October and November, male polar bears head out on the sea ice where they spend the winter. Pregnant females either seek sites on offshore ice, or on shorefast ice/shoreline areas (snow covered land), to dig large dens in snow where they give birth and spend the winter.

- Den locations chosen by female polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea region have varied since the early 1980’s: 62% of dens were on offshore sea ice from 1985-1994 but only 37% of dens were offshore from 1998-2004 (Fischbach et al. 2007). It is possible that world wide, the general pattern for polar bear dens is an almost equal number on offshore sea ice and shorefast ice/land (with WHBay being anomalous). Dens are known to be difficult to spot from the air (e.g. Ferguson et al. 1997).

- Polar bear females appear to have individual habitat and denning preferences: females do not require mainland or shorefast ice sites for denning but some individuals prefer them. (Mauritzen et al. 2001):
1) bears that choose “pelagic” habitats generally live on offshore drifting sea ice year round.
2) bears that choose “nearshore” habitats generally live on shorefast ice year round.

- When seasonal ice recedes north in summer, as it does every year in most areas, pelagic-dwelling bears stay on the drifting sea ice while nearshore-dwelling bears move to land. Both pelagic-dwelling and nearshore-dwelling individuals of both sexes are known in all subpopulations studied (Mauritzen et al. 2001; Ferguson et al. 2000; Schliebe et al. 2008).

- The fact that pelagic-dwelling bears not only exist but behave differently than nearshore-dwelling bears to reduced sea ice is critical to predicting how polar bears as a species might react to changes in ice conditions: unfortunately, we simply do not know how many bears den out of study range.

- While there is extensive evidence that virtually all Arctic marine mammal populations are negatively impacted by increased sea ice conditions (Stirling 2002; Laidre et al. 2008; Harington 2008), evidence for how these animals react to decreased sea ice is extremely limited, coming from extensive studies in the anomalous WHB region and a few short term studies in the southern Beaufort Sea. In other words, what we know for sure is that increased sea ice is associated with a decline in polar bear and ringed seal numbers; we don’t really know what impact decreased summer sea ice might have on polar bears and ringed seals that inhabit other regions of the Arctic.
- Computer models that predict extinction of polar bear populations within this century due to human-induced global warming (e.g. Derocher et al. 2004) do not take into account adaptations of bears and their prey to reduced sea ice extent (Armstrong et al. 2008; Bodkin et al. 2007), even though both bears and their prey have clearly done so in the past (e.g. Kochnev 2006; Vibe 1967). Such adaptation would likely involve living year round within the mobile offshore sea ice that is now beyond study range (wherever it occurs), without a shift to land.

- Even if substantial declines in polar bears and their prey do occur because of anthropogenic global warming, as predicted by Amstrup et al. (2007) and others (e.g. Laidre et al. 2008; Stirling and Derocher 2007), this does not doom them to extinction: many species have recovered from far more dramatic declines in population than predicted by even the most pessimistic scenarios conceived of by climate models, including humpback whales (Dalton 2008), gray whales (Reeves et al. 2002), northern fur seals (Reeves et al. 2002), Atlantic cod (Bigg et al. 2008), and sea otters (Doroff et al. 2003; Estes 1990), among others. Contrary to common biological assumption, small populations often retain sufficient genetic variation for significant recovery (e.g. Aguilar et al. 2004; Kaeuffer et al. 2007).

- Adaptation of a species is not the same as adaptation of individuals: the death of some individuals during changing conditions is likely inevitable but this does not mean the species (i.e. the entire population) is not adaptable (e.g. Grant and Grant 2002; Grime et al. 2008). Polar bear populations may have declined and recovered many times in the past in response to changing sea ice conditions, without us knowing.


- Survival of polar bears is dependent on available prey, which consists primarily of ringed seal, Phoca hispida and (depending on region and/or season) bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus (Derocher et al. 2002, 2004; Stirling and Øritsland 1995). They occasionally take walrus, Odobenus rosmarus and small whales (such as beluga, Delphinapterus leucas, and narwhal, Monodon monoceras) and scavenge large whale carcasses (such as bowhead, Balaena mysticetus).

- Ringed seals have a circumpolar distribution and are associated with ice year round. They give birth and mate on ice and are not known to haul out on land. Some ringed seals prefer to over-winter and give birth on shorefast ice while others live their lives well offshore in the drifting sea ice (Born et al. 2004; Davis et al. 2008; Ferguson et al. 2000; Finley et al. 1983; Wiig et al. 1999), similar to the known “pelagic-dwelling” and “nearshore-dwelling” preferences of individual polar bears (see discussion above). Ringed seals feed throughout the darkness of the Arctic winter and are available prey for polar bears wintering in the offshore pack ice (Kelly and Wartzok 1996).

- Most marine mammal researchers working in the Arctic assume that ringed seals breed primarily in shorefast ice habitats (e.g. Burns 1970; Derocher 2004; Frost et al. 2004; Hammill and Smith 1981, 1991; Holst et al. 1999, 2001; Kingsley et al. 1985; Krafft et al. 2006, 2007; Lydersen and Gjertz 1986; Smith and Hammill 1981; Stirling 2002; Stirling and Øritsland 1995), despite several well-documented studies that conclude a significant portion of all ringed seals must live and breed well offshore, out of study range (Born et al. 2004; Davis et al. 2008; Ferguson et al. 2000; Finley et al. 1983; Wiig et al. 1999).

- Ringed seals eat primarily young polar cod, Boreogadus saida, which live under the ice (e.g. Born et al. 2004; Labansen et al. 2007), although they eat other types of fish as well as the amphipods and small copepods (shrimp-like invertebrates) that polar cod themselves eat.

- Both polar cod and their prey live under ice of all types, including multi-year and first year drifting sea ice regardless of the ocean depth (Lønne and Gulliksen 1989): in other words, cod do not require ice that is positioned over shallow, continental shelf waters and therefore, neither do ringed seals or polar bears, contrary to common assumption (e.g. Derocher et al. 2004). While Arctic deep water is often assumed to be of low productivity (e.g. Fischbach et al. 2007), this has not be demonstrated. If offshore sea ice over deep water is suitable habitat for polar cod, it should be suitable for ringed seals and polar bears also. This assumption is supported by reports at the North Pole of “small fish” (estimated as 5-8cm, presumably young cod,) thrown up by ice-breakers, algal growth noted on the underside of broken ice, and the presence of ringed seal (Todd et al. 1992), as well as reports of polar bears themselves (Van Meurs and Splettstoesser 2003).

- As for polar bears, much of ringed seal habitat, especially the drifting sea ice that lies well offshore, has not been surveyed, leading to much uncertainty regarding population size and status of ringed seal: the current estimate used for the global population numbers for ringed seal is about seven million (Davis et al. 2008; Wiig et al. 1999; Nowak 2003; Reeves et al. 2002).

Although climate models predict that future summer pack ice declines will decimate polar bear populations (e.g. Laidre et al. 2008; Stirling and Derocher 2007), forecasting a loss of from 66% of the world total population by 2050 (Amstrup et al. 2007) to outright extinction (Derocher et al. 2004), such conclusions do not take into account the fact that polar bears can fast for more than four months when required and are capable of living entirely at sea, in the ice that lies well offshore where there are substantial numbers of seals, without ever setting foot on land. Nor do such dire prophecies take into account the kind of adaptability described by a Russian researcher: “our investigations on Wrangel Island have shown that the polar bear is a very plastic animal: it can rapidly change its way of life, spatial distribution and behavior according to new ecological conditions” Kochnev (2006:163).


-Polar bears evolved from brown bears (Ursus arctos) during the last Ice Age and while they are thus a relatively new species (no more than 200,000 years old, probably much younger), ringed seals and bearded seals have been around for at least two million years (Arnason et al. 1995, 2006; Davis et al. 2008; Kurten 1988; Harington 2008).

-Polar bears are close genetically to brown bears although they are a distinct species (Cronin et al. 1991; Talbot and Shields 1996). Mitochondrial DNA sequences of polar bear are closer to one particular population of brown bear from Southeast Alaska than some dogs are to wolves (Crockford 2004, 2006). Although we know polar bears can successfully interbreed with brown bears (Duff-Brown 2007), this reflects their recent common ancestry - it does not call into question their status as a distinct species or detract from their divergent ecological, morphological and physiological features (Crockford 2004, 2006; Cronin 2007).

-The polar bear survived two major warm periods over the last 11,000 years (The Holocene):
1) The Early Holocene. At the end of the last Ice Age, the Northern Hemisphere in particular
entered an extended period of rapid warming, with temperatures in Arctic regions eventually
reaching levels several degrees warmer than today. At that time, the sea ice above western
North America is known to have retreated substantially, allowing arctic species such as bowhead
whales and walrus to move northward into areas of the Canadian arctic they cannot reach today
(Dyke et al. 1999, Dyke and Savelle 2001; Fisher et al. 2006).

The Early Holocene Climatic Optimum peaked at about 11,000-9,000 years ago near Alaska and at 8,000-5,000 years ago near Greenland & northern Europe: in both areas, temperatures rose rapidly 10-150C to a point significantly warmer than present (about 2.50C warmer) in most places and up to 70C warmer in Northern Russia
(MacDonald et al. 2000)
about 5-100C of that warming
took place within 30 years or less
(Alley 2000; Bennike 2004; Dahl-Jensen et al. 1998; Jennings et al. 2002; Kaufman et al. 2004; Steffensen et al. 2008).
The rate of warming that took place in the early Holocene far exceeds any climate model predictions of warming over the rest of this century.

2) The Late Holocene. Another significant but shorter warm period occurred about 1000 years
ago, when arctic temperatures were slightly warmer than today. This warming, known as the
Medieval Warm Period, also triggered sea ice reductions in arctic regions and was accompanied
by significant reductions in Greenland glaciers, that created so much arable land that Viking
farms established in west Greenland were occupied for 400 years. During the Medieval
Warm Period, ca. 800-1200 A.D., temperatures in Greenland rose about 10C above modern levels
(Fagan 2000; Soon and Baliunas 2003), allowing establishment of Viking settlements in areas of
western Greenland that today are covered in glaciers; in Finland, pine forests existed further north than they do today, with temperatures ca. 0.50C warmer than present (Kultti et al. 2006).

- There is no evidence to suggest that ice in the Arctic Basin disappeared entirely during either the early or late Holocene warm periods or that any ice-dependent species disappeared: polar bears (and their known prey species, ringed seals, bearded seals and walrus) existed before the last Ice Age and significant populations of them remain today (although we don’t know how large any of the ancient populations actually were).

- Based on the evidence of extensive polar ice (Bradley and England 2008) and fossil remains of seals and polar bears found outside the Arctic, most Arctic populations appear to have been displaced south during the last Ice Age (Dyke et al. 1999; Harington 2008; Kurten 1988).
- Note that during previous Holocene warm periods mentioned above, skeletal remains of bowhead whales and walrus on shorelines mark the their prior distributions (Dyke et al. 1999, Dyke and Savelle 2001; Dyke and England 2003; Fisher et al. 2006): there are no bones of polar bears found amongst these (Art Dyke, pers. comm., 2007).

- Fossil and subfossil remains of polar bears (who presumably died of natural causes, not killed by humans) are exceedingly rare: there are exactly 6 (six) Pleistocene age specimens of polar bear worldwide (Harington 2001; Kurten 1988) and one major Holocene deposit from a natural trap cave on the Pribilof Islands, in the Bering Sea, that is about 4,500 years old (Veltre et al. 2008). More polar bear remains are found in Late Holocene archaeological deposits in the Arctic than in natural-death contexts, although they are still quite rare (e.g. Murray 2008; Harington 2001, 2008).

- In other words, the suggestion that polar bears would have moved to land during early Holocene warm periods (in response to reduced ice cover worldwide) is pure conjecture and not supported by any evidence. Virtually all polar bears must die on the ice where their remains sink to the bottom of the ocean: fossil finds are rare because the Arctic sea ice habitat is not conducive to discovery.


- Many statements made regarding sea ice thickness in the Arctic do not acknowledge the incompleteness of this data: one frequently cited study (Laxon et al. 2003) surveyed (via satellite) only ½ of permanent sea ice and did not include ANY of the region in the central Arctic Basin (above 810 N).

-Another frequently cited reference (Lindsay and Zhang 2005) concludes that Arctic sea ice is experiencing a continual decline that cannot easily be reversed, but this is not a data-based paper - it is a model based on what is now considered old, substandard data from coastal submarine surveys.

- Sea ice thickness in the huge Arctic Basin region is based on very few actual measurements that have been extrapolated to represent the entire region and used in various climate models to predict future conditions (Rothrock et al. 2003; Yu and Rothrock 1996); ice extent data from satellites used in these models have been available only since 1979; these data are insufficient for assessing long-term trends.

- Limited coverage of some of these surveys, in addition to the fact that the models do not take effects of wind into account, have almost certainly led to overestimates of sea ice reduction and ice thinning (Holloway 2001; Holloway and Sou 2002): wind can temporarily concentrate ice in areas that are not surveyed.

Polar bears that live in regions of extensive sea ice routinely hunt on newly-formed ice that is less than 30 cm thick (about 1 ft.) and are quite capable of utilizing “thick” first year ice (more than 120 cm thick, or about 4 ft.) for over-wintering activities, including denning: they do not require thick multi-year ice (Ferguson et al. 2000). First year ice in March of this year was about 1.6m thick (NSIDC 2008).

- Recent predictions of future sea ice conditions, as they might impact polar bears, are adaptations of unverified “general circulation models” intended to forecast global temperatures (Amstrup et al. 2007; Armstrong et al. 2008; Koutsoyiannis et al. 2008). Such models are conditional on global temperatures being amplified by an hypothesized amount over the entire Arctic (Polyakov et al. 2002; Serreze and Francis 2006). None of these models take into account the fact that Arctic climate is subject to profound regional variation and influenced by a host of little-understood drivers of wind and weather patterns, including the Arctic Oscillation (e.g. Overland and Wang 2005; Polyakov et al. 2002) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (Biondi et al. 2001; Newman et al. 2003), which are known to shift precipitously on decadal and multidecal time scales.

- Models of future climate change in the Arctic predict sea ice reductions to occur primarily in winter, while all observed sea ice changes so far reported have occurred in spring and summer (NASA 2007; NSIDC 2008; Overland and Wang 2005) and most of these reductions are not Arctic-wide but confined to the western Arctic (Rigor and Wallace 2004; Rigor et al. 2002).

- So far, there is no firm evidence that there has yet been “unidirectional” warming in the Arctic over the last 100 years (e.g. Fisher et al. 2006; Kahl et al. 1993), nor an unprecedented, irreversible decline in either sea ice extent or thickness (Holloway and Sou 2002) — neither is there firm evidence that an “Arctic amplification” effect is markedly and uniformly magnifying circumpolar Arctic temperatures (Polyakov et al. 2002; Serreze and Francis 2006).

- Note that the computer model results presented late last year (Amstrup et al. 2007), which forecast dramatic declines in polar bear numbers based on predicted reductions in seasonal sea ice thickness and extent due to human-generated increases in atmospheric CO2, have not yet been tested against even a single years worth of independent data.


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Dr. Susan Crockford

Susan Crockford (Ph.D., University of Victoria, Canada) is an evolutionary biologist with more than 30 years experience in the specialized field of archaeozoology and is a world-renowned expert in the identification and analysis of animal bone (including fish, birds and marine mammals) recovered from archaeological sites and animal digestive tracts. She is particularly interested in vertebrate evolution, especially of dogs, polar bears, and humans. She has written a book for non-scientists based on her dissertation topic ("Rhythms of Life: Thyroid Hormone and the Origin of Species") and in 2006, appeared prominently in the PBS NATURE documentary "Dogs That Changed the World." She has many peer-reviewed academic publications (see and ) and recently published a paper with colleague Gay Frederick on the effects of climate cooling on marine mammal distributions in the North Pacific Ocean within the past 5,000 years (Sea ice expansion in the Bering Sea during the Neoglacial: evidence from archaeozoology. 2007. "The Holocene" 17:699-706). She runs a private research firm (Pacific Identifications Inc.) with two colleagues and holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Victoria.

New line item on the budget?

No matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to get rid of that darned ice. Sea Ice in Arctic now at 7 year high for this day if melting accelerates much more we might have to invest in ice breakers down here in Sebastian Florida!

Larger View

April 29, 2009

Today's Thought

"But at the end of the day, the rhetoric from some of the alarmists sounds like they just want us to stop having a good life--and global warming is just as good an excuse as any for them to push for it. "

Thomas Fuller

Skeptics From Around the Globe


George Taylor Ph.D. -Former State of Oregon Climatologist- faculty member at Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Past president of the American Association of State Climatologists. A member of the American Meteorological Society

"I just don’t believe that greenhouse gases dominate the climate system. I’m skeptical that we can control the climate. I don’t think we can. Some people think we should try geoengineering approaches like injecting particles into the upper atmosphere and blocking the sunlight. I don’t know if that’s practical – I’m not an engineer.... There are plenty of good reasons to conserve more, drive less, reduce our dependence on foreign oil that have nothing to do with climate change.

People have the attitude that the current climate is the ideal one and that we should try to maintain it indefinitely. But you know, in reality it changes all the time."

"Hey buddy can you spare a dime?"

Well of course we ought to help China out! After all this is all our fault right? We can just borrow some more money from them to pay them to emit more while we emit less. They get to grow their economy by industrialisation which helped them to become rich but because we originally became rich by industialisation we are now responsible to clean up their emissions and reduce ours, why because we started it?

"Such reductions would allow the developing world to raise emissions as their economies continue to grow."
FROM-China Economic Review

China joins call for $200b in climate change aid

China, India and South Africa have called on the developed world to contribute at least US$200 billion to help them fight climate change, Bloomberg reported. The three countries, which are among the developing world’s biggest green house gas emitters, said in a proposal to the UN that the funds would equal at least 0.5% of developed nations’ economic output. China also called for industrialized nations to commit to a cutting emissions to at least 40% of 1999 levels by 2020. This is twice the size of cuts the EU has already pledged to make. Such reductions would allow the developing world to raise emissions as their economies continue to grow.



Skeptics From Around the Globe


William Kininmonth - former Head National Climate Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology, Scientific and Technical Review

"Scientists' continuing inability to predict with confidence a season in advance should be cause for hesitation when projections of decades to centuries are made. Computer models are not reality and alarmist predictions have no sound basis." ....

.... The models systematically underestimate the magnitude of the overturning circulation and atmospheric energy transport. As a consequence, there is erroneous warming of the model troposphere. Deep equatorial convective clouds and the overturning atmospheric circulation of the Hadley Cells are critical processes necessary to distribute excess tropical solar radiation through the troposphere.
• The models systematically underestimate the poleward transport of energy by the ocean circulations. Although the ocean circulations transport only between 10 and 15 percent of the excess energy of the tropics, the spatial sea surface temperature distribution is dependent on the energy budget in the surface mixed layer and is a crucial determinant of the intensity of the atmospheric circulation.
• The models are inconsistent in their representation of longwave radiation at the earth's surface and, on average, overestimate the exchange in the tropics and underestimate the exchange over high latitudes. Net longwave radiation at the surface is the crucial interaction between greenhouse gases and the energetics of the climate system. The magnitudes of the differences between models and the systemic biases, when compared to the expected radiative forcing from increased greenhouse gas concentrations, make nonsense of computer projections of future climate.