My Photo
Mobilise this Blog





New Zealand Conservative


AmCam News Tips

  • Have you got mobile camera pix of breaking news, or a first-hand account you've written?
    email Investigate now on publicity [at] and we'll get you online
Blog powered by Typepad

« Groundhog Day at Hot Topic | Main | Bombshell: Monbiot calls on CRU head to resign »



At least TVNZ news has picked up climategate. About time!

Sam Vilain

Wow Ian still not sure about how this delayed response stuff works are you. Still clinging to this time delay system idea. What is the mechanism for that again? Tell me a fairy-tale.


When are you going to release all your own private emails Ian, so we can judge you by the same standards that you're judging all these people?


>>>>Basic law of physics.<<<<

They don't apply now, because some people sent some emails some years back.


Great work Ian, my god this subject drags up some tossers doesn't it?


I see TVNZ spun the story a bit on the midday news by playing a cellphone conversation with Jim Salinger, who made it sound like the scientists were hard done by and that people should be listening to the science.

Thomas Everth

Melting glaciers:

Ian you are posting total rubbish. Glaciers melt quite effectively due to temperature changes and instantly so. One degree of summer temperature change can melt about a meter off the ice surface of glaciers in our latitudes. And as more precipitation falls as rain than as snow in spring and autumn you loose out on winter snow accumulation. Further the increased melt water flows act to also melt the glacier from below.

A good summary here:

from which you will see that even volcanic eruptions with their known short time cooling effect leave marked spikes in the glacier mass analysis the very same year, virtually instantly, just to disappear as quickly as the temperature returns to normal.

So I am sorry Ian but with regards to glaciers you are simply adding more rubbish to the large bin that you have accumulated on this site already.

Ian Wishart

Ah, the inaccurate yet waspish SamV.

If you had read Air Con you’d see the cites.

You can also try
Paterson, W. S. B. The Physics of Glaciers 3rd edn (Pergamon, Oxford, 1994), glaciers respond in centurial to millennial timescales

Ian Wishart


From an NSF educational briefing:

How quickly an ice body responds to an environmental change is called the response time.

In general, the smaller the ice mass, the faster the response to a change in its environment. Valley glaciers will shrink much faster than a continental ice sheet if the climate warms and all other factors are equal. In fact, a large ice sheet might not react at all to temperature or precipitation changes that happen over the period of a year or even a decade. In effect, they do not "feel" the small-scale climate changes. Some response times of land-based glaciers to consistent climatic changes:

Glacial Type.............................Response Time

ice sheet..100,000 to 10,000 years

large valley glacier..10,000 to 1,000 years

small valley glacier..1,000 to 100 years

All factors being equal, if an ice mass is going to respond to a climatic change, the size of the ice mass is probably the dominant control on the response time. >

Obviously there are other factors that can have an influence, but generally this concurs with Salinger's own reference to "long response times".

You should read more widely outside the Hot-Topic echo chamber Thomas. Listening to people like Rob Taylor, Darroch and co can't be good for the brain matter.

Bamm Bamm

Its called the surface are to volume ration ... simple to understand.

Ian Wishart

There's also this, Thomas and Sam:

Century to millennial-scale temperature variations for the last two thousand years indicated from glacial geologic records of Southern Alaska

Gregory C. Wilesa, , , David J. Barclayb, 1, , Parker E. Calkinc, 2, and Thomas V. Lowelld, 3,

aDepartment of Geology, The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH 44691, USA

bGeology Department, State University of New York College at Cortland, Cortland, NY 13045, USA

cInstitute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA

dDepartment of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA

Revised 31 May 2006; accepted 31 July 2006. Available online 12 February 2007.

Comparisons of temperature sensitive climate proxy records with tree-ring, lichen and radiocarbon dated histories from land-terminating, non-surging glaciers for the last two millennia from southern Alaska identify summer temperature as a primary driver of glacial expansions. Two major intervals in the Alaskan chronology of glaciation, during the First Millennium AD (FMA) and again during the Little Ice Age (LIA), are evident as broad times of cooling and ice expansion. These two intervals are respectively followed by ice retreat coincident with the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and contemporary warming, and together correspond with millennial-scale variations recognized in the North Atlantic. The FMA advance appears to be of similar extent as the subsequent LIA expansions indicating a uniformity of forcing over the past two millennia.

Keywords: glaciers; tree-rings; climate change; North Pacific; Alaska

I'm bored with this. Any other Renowden inspired fallacies you want to me refute?


If global warming is melting the Antarctic ice etc., how come the icebergs survive to get to NZ in record numbers?

And don't say its variations according to latitude. If the temp is high enough to melt a 400m high wall of ice in Antarctica, it should melt it long before it got to NZ.

Bamm Bamm

The Day Global Warming Stood Still

Posted 11/20/2009

Climate Change: As scientists confirm the earth has not warmed at all in the past decade, others wonder how this could be and what it means for Copenhagen.

Maybe Al Gore can Photoshop something before December.

It will be a very cold winter of discontent for the warm-mongers. The climate show-and-tell in Copenhagen next month will be nothing more than a meaningless carbon-emitting jaunt, unable to decide just whom to blame or how to divvy up the profitable spoils of climate change hysteria.

The collapse of the talks coupled with the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put off the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill, the Senate's version of Waxman-Markey, until the spring thaw has led Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the leading Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, to declare victory over Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the triumph of observable fact over junk science.

"I proudly declare 2009 as the 'Year of the Skeptic,' the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard," Inhofe said to Boxer in a Senate speech. "Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked."

Inhofe added: "Today I have been vindicated."

The Ada (Oklahoma) Evening News quotes Inhofe: "So when Barbara Boxer, John Kerry and all the left get up there and say, 'Yes. We're going to pass a global warming bill,' I will be able to stand up and say, 'No, it's over. Get a life. You lost. I won,'" Inhofe said.

Now we have the German publication Der Spiegel, which is rapidly becoming the house organ for climate hysteria, weighing in again with the sad news that the earth does not have a fever so we really don't have to throw out the baby with the rising bath water.

In an article titled, "Climatologists Baffled By Global Warming Time-Out," author Gerald Traufetter leads off with the observation: "Climatologists are baffled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years." They better figure it out, Der Spiegel warns, because "billions of euros are at stake in the negotiations."

We are told in sad tones that "not much is happening with global warming at the moment" and that "it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year." But how can it be that the earth isn't following all those computer models? Is the earth goddess Gaia herself a climate change "denier"?

Sam Vilain

Ian. You missed the question. What is the mechanism for this delay in response. Don't simply point me at papers which you don't understand.

Ian Wishart

I didn't miss the question at all Sam. You chose to ignore the obvious implication of the answer.

The larger a glacier or ice sheet is, the longer it takes for climate to have a significant impact on it. Whilst it might respond to short term weather events, they average out over time.

Dump a bucket of ice on one corner of a football field, and three truckloads of ice in another corner, which will melt first?

We all know ice melts at zero degrees, but the larger ice mass is capable of absorbing heat for much longer before it reaches a tipping point.

Same with the wider environment.

It requires a sustained climatic change for sufficient heat to wear away at a large glacier. Hence, over the 400 year long LIA, the glaciers grew. As the LIA ended around 1850, the glaciers around the world have largely begun shrinking.

The smaller they are, the faster the shrinkage, the larger they are the less significant. The bigger the ice mass, the harder climate has to work to make an impact.

A few years of warming might have an impact on the Fox glacier, but it has next to none on a larger one. Fifty years of warming has a significant impact on a small glacier, and will begin to show signs on a larger one.

What the studies show is that widespread glacier melt, including in the Southern Alps, has been ongoing since 1850, long before human influence is attributable (1970 onward according to the IPCC).

As I spelt out in Air Con, which you failed to read and Renowden failed to understand, the planet is already in a natural warming cycle, and that brings with it glacial shrinkage.

In Salinger's own words, the "long response times" of the larger glaciers mean they are only now starting to show signs of significant retreat from their LIA maximums.

None of the major glaciers are anywhere close to the minimums they reached at the end of the MWP.

Thomas Everth

Glaciers: Ice is lost due to the processes of melting, evaporation, and sublimation. Its lost at the surface, edges exposed to air or melt water and the base exposed to melt water. No matter how thick the sheet is underneath, the surface loss is solely dependent on the ambient temperature, wind, air moisture content etc.
The response time in mass loss per surface area is rather instant if you crank up the temperature and especially if you also convert some of the winter snow to rainfall.

As per your 'global warming standstill': you would have checked on the phase of the 11 year solar cycle lately? We are at the bottom. From top to bottom the change in flux is about 7 years worth of CO2 increase at current rates. So why are you flumoxed that the actual temp is the sum of short term variations and the long term trend?

Ian Wishart

I thought you warmists argue that the Sun isn't a factor? :)

Winter snow doesn't become rainfall unless it is above freezing. By definition in the Arctic and Antarctic, rain is not an issue in winter, so the precipitation remains as snow.

And no, the surface loss is not quite that simply explained. The ambient temperature surrounding those icebergs floating up to NZ is clearly well above freezing, yet the ice crystals at the surface of the bergs will have the immense chilling effect of the rest of the ice block they are part of to slow down their melt.

Which is the point that seems to be escaping you. It is not that don't melt, it is just the bigger they are the harder they fall and the easier they shrug off short term warmth.

In the words of your icon Salinger, larger ice masses don't even "feel" annual variations that much.

Thomas Everth

We never said the sun was not a factor in the earths climate - short term cycles and long term changes. However the current warming TREND over the past century can not be blamed on the sun. The IPCC forecasts speak about the trend, not sort term fluctuations.

Ian, Ice is a relatively good insulator, somewhere close to soil. The 'chill' of the mass of the berg has not much effect on the melting of the berg on the surface. Those bergs are melting rapidly. They are the remains of a 30Km square ice sheet.


Thomas, go have a look at the the forest lines above the Franz and Fox. Clearly delineated and timed by the tree ages they give a record of advance [and retreat] Clearly the trend is retreat, over many many hundreds of years. I do not think there is cause for the psychotic fervor that is currently gripping our either terminally, laughably stupid [or sinister] government at this time. The science is settled?--like a pile of bullshit is settled; just waiting for some clod like Nick Smith to step in it and smear NZ's carpet with the results.


I was listening to the BBC World Service today. Commentators there said that the leaking of e-mails was of no great consequence. Changes nothing.

Which reminds me, I did not think that extreme right wing Christian fundamentalists were too keen on email links - well when it came from Don Brash!!

As for me - I say every email you send is potentially to the public domain. Assume that and you will keep out of trouble.

The comments to this entry are closed.