2010-09-12 13:04:56Basic Rebuttal: Glaciers are Growing, rough copy-Revision2
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.205.242
Although Glaciologists measure year-to-year changes in glacier activity, it is the long term changes which provide the basis for statements such as "Global Glacier Recession Continues". Some Skeptics confuse these issues by cherry picking individual glaciers or by ignoring long term trends. Diversions such as these do not address the most important question of what is the real state of glaciers globally?

The answer is not only clear but it is definitive and based on the scientific literature. Globally glaciers are losing ice at an extensive rate (Figure 1). There are still situations in which glaciers gain or lose ice more than typical for one region or another but the long term trends are all the same.


Figure 1: Long term changes in glacier volume adapted from Cogley 2009.

It is also very important to understand that glacier changes are not only dictated by air temperature changes but also by precipitation. Therefore, there are scenarios in which warming can lead to increases in precipitation (and thus glacier ice accumulation) such as displayed in part of southwestern Norway during the 1990s (Nesje et al 2008).

The bottom line is that glacier variations are largely dependent on localized conditions but that these variations are superimposed on a clear and evident long term reduction in glacier volume which has accelerated rapidly since the 1970s.
2010-09-12 18:11:28Nice
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104

This is clear, straight to the point and admirably economical. My only concern was with this line: "The answer is not only clear but it is definitive and without any dispute". You could rephrase that to be a bit more cautious, since I'm not sure anything in a non-linear system is entirely free of dispute e.g. "The answer is not only clear but it is supported by robust evidence from numerous sources".

I also think you might consider mentioning WGMS and perhaps linking to their assessment, but its a minor point. Immediate thumbs up from me.

2010-09-12 18:11:57God I hate it....
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104
...when I forget to tick the Thumbs box.
2010-09-12 18:38:07Some critique
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.43.165

- "year to year changes" should => "year-to-year changes"

- I don't see any reason for this link to WUWT at this line: "those who wish to confuse the issue". You already linked to a specific topic on that site one line above, and this link is just to their homepage. I don't see any point, it's just antagonistic.

- "and without any dispute": This statement is not true, or we wouldn't have this topic. This is unnecessarily combative.

-  "Overall the take home message": Please, no "take home messages": This gives the impression of someone planning a public-relations campaign, not presenting a conclusion from the science. Conclusions, summaries, bottom lines: all these are OK.

 

2010-09-12 20:04:22
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.229.63
I don't see the need to link to WUWT at all, just free publicity for the loons. With the suggested amendments above, a thumbs up from me.
2010-09-12 20:25:24
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.100

I think we should always avoid to refer to any particular site/blog/person unless we're rebutting a scientific paper. Very strong statements should also be avoided; science can always be disputed, it admit the possibility of errors/alternative ezplanations/etc.; I'd use "evidence" or even "overwhelming evidence" instead of "without any dispute".

For the rest, concise and clear. Thumb up.

2010-09-13 02:38:58Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.205.242
Yeah I don't really know why I put in the link to WUWT. I guess I was in a little bit of an mood at the time haha... Uh yeah i'll get rid of the take home message part and revise the without dispute. That being said, I know that it is not the right way to say it but truthfully there is no reputable dispute about glaciers globally at all but I can see how it would be misinterpreted.
2010-09-13 03:31:20"No reputable dispute"
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.43.165
Even if you're 100% convinced that your disputant (who could be a reader) is wrong, you must start off with the presumption that there are grounds for dispute. Otherwise there's no purpose in writing; and it becomes obvious to the reader that there's no point in reading, either.
2010-09-13 07:33:00Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.205.242
Incorporated all changes, but left one of the initial WUWT links in because it is linking to a cherry picked story..
2010-09-13 18:34:19minor corrections
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.124.246

a) "to confuse the issue  but"

=>

"to confuse the issue, but"

 

b) "based in the scientific literature"

=>

"based on the scientific literature"

 

 c) "occasions whereby glaciers"

 =>

 "situations in which glaciers"

 

d) "very important afterall to"

=>

 "very important to"

 

 e) "occasions whereby warming"

=>

"situations in which warming"

2010-09-13 23:52:33Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.13.137
revisions incorporated
2010-09-14 00:03:16Tone
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.124.246

"Although Glaciologists measure year-to-year changes in glacier activity, it is the long term changes which provide the basis for statements such as "Global Glacier Recession Continues". Skeptics often try to confuse these issues by cherry picking individual glaciers or by ignoring long term trends. This is a common practice among those who wish to confuse the issue, but what is the real state of glaciers globally?"

This paragraph accuses the skeptics of arguing in bad faith. This is not good strategy. In order to be convincing, we need to keep to the high road.

I suggest omitting all the words in boldface underline.

 

2010-09-15 14:45:31Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.13.137
We can get as frustrated as we like with each other but here is the ultimate thing that just ticks me right off

I've got to show you guys an extremely,extremely frustrating forum.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/12/pacing-the-glacial/



Look down at the comments near the bottom.
2010-09-15 15:50:59
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.202

"Therefore, there are in which warming can lead to increases in precipitation..."

I think there might be a word missing between "are" and "in".

2010-09-15 16:00:37What do you expect?
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.32.54
The frustration you're having at WUWT should not be dragged over to burden readers at SkS. That's called "baggage": There's no point in allowing it to make what you write for SkS less effective.
2010-09-16 00:57:18
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.11.249
nealjking,

I was just showing the link because I thought it was interesting. Your accusations are over the line and completely unfounded. If you have an axe to grind, take it somewhere else. This forum is about addressing the argument presented. Personalized remarks should be taken somewhere else.
2010-09-16 02:49:43
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

I'm in the process of a minor rethink of my own approach here, leaning to the conclusion that highlighting obvious errors as opposed to speculating on intent may be more productive and less distracting. Thus my inclination if this were mine would be to change:

"Some Skeptics try to confuse these issues by cherry picking individual glaciers or by ignoring long term trends."

to

"Some Skeptics become confused by cherry picking individual glaciers or by ignoring long term trends."

 

2010-09-16 03:15:28Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.13.137
I agree with that change and have revised it.
2010-09-16 03:57:50
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.32.54

Robert, I'm addressing concerns with the text.

In this situation, that's all I care about.

2010-09-16 07:46:40typo
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.249

The typo mentioned by Ari still remains.

Therefore, there are in which warming can lead to increases in precipitation (and thus glacier ice accumulation) such as displayed in part of southwestern Norway during the 1990s (Nesje et al 2008).

The missing word is probably "scenarios" or something similar.  Other than that I think it's quite good.

2010-09-16 11:13:34Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.13.137
mistake corrected with scenarios
2010-09-16 15:33:14
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.202
Thumbs up #004.
2010-09-16 19:47:14Published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62

I like that graph, going back to 1850. Always a sucker for a good long-term graph. Particularly a hockey-stick shaped graph :-)

Slight digression, have read two recent papers - one a hockey stick graph from South America, another a hockey stick graph of ocean water temperature. Would be cute to do a hockey stick post, just pulling together a variety of hockey sticks - CO2 levels, CO2 emissions, glaciers, ocean temp, etc. Doesn't really prove much but waving hockey sticks around before skeptics is like waving a red rag before a bull :-)

2010-09-16 20:24:08
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.198.88

John,

Funny I was thinking a similar thing after watching one of those TED lectures. Hopefully those non-skeptics in the comments section might chime in with further hockey sticks previously not considered. A hockey league?. Wouldn't prove anything new, but might a very powerful message to see all those graphs showing the same thing. Personally I think it's important, because skeptics always try to draw attention away from the big picture.

 

2010-09-18 04:51:18Basic rebuttal: Glaciers are growing
jimalakirti

jimalakirti@gmail...
63.231.109.109

Very well done. Concise, clear, convincing.

 

Green thumb. 

2010-09-18 07:41:59Rebuttal needs updating
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62

It's always a good thing when a scientist comes to Skeptical Science and posts critiques (but a little scary for the author). In this case, we're lucky to have Kooiti Masuda drop by and post an update on the situation with Himalayan glaciers and water security. Note - he's published a buckload of peer-reviewed papers on these issues.

I also received an email from Erik Svensson, a scientist from Goteborg University in Sweden:

The Kehrwald article, which I myself wrote a blog post about (http://uppsalainitiativet.blogspot.com/2009/01/who-cares.htm) actually does not provide any support of the 500 million number. It instead cites the now infamous AR4 WGII, the Barnett et al. 2005 article (attached) and the publiction 'Watersheds of the world' which is available online and contains maps of population density etc. The number 500 million does not seem to be substantiated by any quantitative analysis at all.

After the 2035 debacle there has been some scientific articles and the message seems to be that the fears over water supply in Asia are exaggerated. Obviously, this does not mean that the problem is non-existent, but we should be cautious what we are saying in this issue.

I think it's testament to how much people are now paying attention to this website that I made all the same errors back when I first blogged about "Himalaya-gate" and didn't get any scientists leaping into the fray to point out the errors. So this much attention is a good thing in identifying errors and quickly fixing them. Robert, I'll be fixing my intermediate rebuttal and if you don't mind, I'll make similar changes to your rebuttal.

2010-09-18 23:04:13Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.13.137
John You can do whatever you like to the rebuttal I wrote. That being said I haven't touched the himilayas topic so? haha
2010-09-19 07:18:50Whoops
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62
Sorry, posted this in the wrong thread :-(
2010-09-19 09:24:16
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.110
Yes, it's great to know that those scientists read SkS and that they judge valuable to correct errors. And definitely it's a strong confirmation of the good job you've done.