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Al Gore recently said: "These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr. [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years."
All you people in here who profess to love science so much should immediately vomit at the above statement. A scientist will calculate the chances something will happen or won't happen but you will not see a scientist calculate the chance something "could" happen. The statement makes no sense. It's like saying there is a 100% chance the Patriots could win this Sunday. OK, sure, but there's also a 100% chance the Bills could win so you haven't told us anything with your artificial made-up statistic.
Well anyway, the scientist that Al Gore was supposedly quoting pretty much smacked Gore down for impropoerly quoting him. Ouch!
"It's unclear to me how this figure was arrived at," Dr. Maslowski said. "I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this."
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Gore's office later admitted that the 75 percent figure was one used by Dr. Maslowski as a "ballpark figure" several years ago in a conversation with Gore.
Which from the context of the quote seems pretty clear. This is a headline in search of a story. In fact, as we have all witnessed over the last 10 years, it is trivial to take a small error that in no way affects the overall message and paint it as an inaccuracy or a lie if one is so inclined. We all understand that Gore is not a scientist, so things like this are bound to happen. Does it alter the truth of the message? Of course not.
"Some guys play in all-star games, some guys don't. I don't know who picks all those all-star teams. In all honesty, I don't know who picks the combine, for that matter," Belichick said. "How does (Miami-Ohio offensive lineman Brandon) Brooks not get invited to the combine? How did Vollmer not get invited to the combine? I don't know. We can't really worry about that. We just have to try to evaluate them the best we can."
The graph doesn't chart a "normal range" at all, only values from 2002-2008, with more recent years being the lowest years. This conforms perfectly with other reports on the matter.
Arctic sea ice extent during the 2008 melt season dropped to the second-lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979, reaching the lowest point in its annual cycle of melt and growth on September 14, 2008. Average sea ice extent over the month of September, a standard measure in the scientific study of Arctic sea ice, was 4.67 million square kilometers (1.80 million square miles) (Figure 1). The record monthly low, set in 2007, was 4.28 million square kilometers (1.65 million square miles); the now-third-lowest monthly value, set in 2005, was 5.57 million square kilometers (2.15 million square miles).
The 2008 season strongly reinforces the thirty-year downward trend in Arctic ice extent.
The Danish Climate Centre's brochure cites Maslowski's models and claims and reaches nearly the same conclusion as Gore: “Projecting the trend into the future indicates that autumn could become near ice free between 2011 and 2016 (Maslowski, 2009).”
Gore's error, if any, was to say "ice free" and not "near ice free."
Some scientists say that Arctic summers might be ice-free within the next decade. Oceanographer Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Post-Graduate School spoke to EarthSky about an accelerating melting of Ďmulti-year ice.í Thatís thick, old ice that didnít used to melt from season to season.
Wieslaw Maslowski: Weíre suggesting that sometime between 2010 and 2016, we might melt all this multi-year ice cover during summer in the Arctic.
Other estimates have predicted we wonít see ice-free summers for decades yet. But Maslowski said that these estimates donít account for the loss of ice thickness.
Wieslaw Maslowski: This total volume loss, which is mostly controlled by the ice thickness loss, has been basically twice as fast as the surface loss observed by satellites.
Maslowski said the Arctic ice loss is a continually accelerating cycle thatís being amplified by global warming. When the Arctic sun shines on open water, rather than reflective ice, the ocean absorbs and stores more of the sunís heat. Warmer ocean temperatures melt the ice from below, while warmer air temperatures melt it from above.
Wieslaw Maslowski: Itís basically a positive feedback loop, which is saying one change leads to even further changes.
ďWe like to say that dependability is more important than ability,Ē Bill Belichickism....