2011-09-17 13:20:45Polar Propaganda - Warming Island.


I am researching what I hope will be a series of articles on some of the propaganda which has been put out to establish doubt about Arctic / Greenland warming.  I say 'propaganda' because it is cherry picked and out of context information which any self-respecting scientist would know to be bogus in the wider context.


The first article will be about Warming Island.  Following an article in the NYT, Patrick Michaels was quick to produce an article that the separation of the island was nothing new.  He used a sketch map from Arctic Riviera by Ernst Hofer published in 1957. Neither the book nor the author is widely known. (The book was brought to Michaels' attention by Paul Knappenberger.)   If you check the wikipedia article on Warming Island, you will see a rebuttal of Michaels based on a pilot's experiences of fog.


I have many reputable citations on Arctic flying which describe the dangers of low visibility.  Further, I have a sketch map from a 1945 scientific expedition in the area which does not show the island.


I have an order for a copy of Arctic Riviera but it will take about 2 weeks before I get to read it.  I intend to read it from cover to cover so as to put the sketch map which Michaels relies on into its proper context.  Considering that Ernst Hofer was a photographer rather than a cartographer, the map is almost certainly intended as a rough draft only and not an aid to navigation.


The Wikipedia entry for Greenland says of Warming Island:

"Some controversy surrounds the history of the island, specifically over whether the island might have been revealed during a brief warm period in Greenland during the mid-20th century."


If there is any controversy, it lies only between Michaels' sketch map on the one hand and a wealth scientific evidence on the other hand.


Unfortunately, the schools version of Wikipedia quotes an older version of the Greenland article.


"... ice sheet was discovered to be shrinking rapidly in 2002, and by 2007 had completely melted away, leaving the exposed island. This however was not the first occurrence of the island distinction. In Arctic Riviera, published by Ernst Hofer in 1957, in maps, and pictures, Ernst Hofer showed the distinct three fingered island separate from the mainland, during a similar warming event."


The assertion 'not the first occurrence' is stated as fact, rather than controversy, and is not up to Wikipedia's standards.



Michael's World Climate Report interpretation of the sketch map and his disingenuous use of climate data from GISS notwithstanding, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that this island was ever separated from the mainland by water within historic times.



"Figure 3. “Warming Island” and its relation to annual temperatures at Angmagssalik, Greenland, one of the nearest long-term temperature recording sites. "


Ammassalik is south of the Arctic Circle at approximately 65°50′N. Warming Island is north of the Arctic Circle at about 71°29′N. That distance, about 330 nm or 600 km is not "near" in any scientifically meaningful sense of the term. One may as well use temperatures in Egypt to 'prove' the climate of Cyprus.



Help needed:


I would be most grateful if anyone could help me by making a better quality GISStemp graph than that used by Michaels. Error bars and one or more trend lines would help. I want to show to what degree it may or may not be relied on to show a general pattern or trend in that part of Greenland's east coast.