I felt the chill before the winter came

By Gareth Renowden 21/10/2012

Being keen on accuracy in all things, I feel I should draw the attention of the readers of Hot Topic to a prediction failure. Back in August, in a post called Arctic Sea Ice Forecast: It’s going to be tough to stay cool, I made a number of predictions about how the climate crank echo chamber would respond to the record-breaking Arctic sea ice summer minimum that was then on its way. A number of those predictions came to pass, as this recent accounting demonstrates, but I made some longer term predictions that we can now examine.

Here’s what I wrote on August 12:

When the re-freeze starts, and the Arctic basin is covered in ice once more (early December), Anthony Watts will report on the record rate of ice formation, calling it a “stunning recovery“.

I wish to apologise to Mr Watts, because I got both the timing of his statement and his precise words wrong. Here’s what he said in a post dated October 18 – Sea Ice News Volume 3 Number 15 – Arctic refreeze fastest ever:

After all of the news about a minimum record ice extent last month, this is interesting. As we know when water loses its ice cover, it allows a lot of heat to radiate into space as LWIR. many predictied that as a result of the extra open ocean surface, we see a very fast refreeze in the Arctic. It appears they were right. In fact, this is the fastest monthly scale refreeze rate in the NSIDC satellite record going back to 19791. [My emphasis]

He couldn’t wait until December before commenting on the freeze-up, but perhaps he’s saving the phrase “stunning recovery” for later use — or leaving it for his friend Steven Goddard, who has been exploring novel metrics for the autumn freeze. Sorry, Anthony.

[Elvis Costello]

  1. Copied and pasted from µWatts, so the typos are his.