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Inuit Perspectives on Recent Climate Change

Posted on 27 September 2012 by robert way

This article was written by Caitlyn Baikie, an Inuit geography student at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a close personal friend of mine. I am posting this on her behalf.

My name is Caitlyn Baikie. I am a 20-year-old Inuk from NainNunatsiavut and have lived there all of my life. Nunatsiavut, in the Inuktitut language means “our beautiful land,” and what a beautiful land it is. Like Nunavut, Nunatsiavut is an Inuit self-governing territory within the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Nain is the northernmost community on its coast, with a population of ~1200 residents, 90% of whom are of Inuit descent.


Image 1: Geographic location of Nain, Labrador (56.5°N)

My life in Nain is very different than for those who live in the city. Nain is a very isolated community, there are no roads to or from Nain, the only way to get here is by plane or boat, and in the winter by airplane or snowmobile. Though our weekdays are school and work filled as it is in the south, our recreational and sustenance activities are very different. In the winter, we go hunting for small game like partridges, which can be found locally all around the town. On weekends we often go by snowmobile on the ice to our cabins near hunting grounds where we hunt seals, caribou, ukialik (arctic hare) and migratory birds. This is when we get the bulk of our meat for the year. It is very important to get good sea ice, it provides us with the means to travel and hunt, usually for 6 months of the year. The people of Nain and the north coast are often referred to as sikimiut, people of the sea ice.


Image 2: Photograph of sea ice conditions in northern Labrador by Gary Baikie of Parks Canada.

Inuit depend greatly on the sea ice also to travel to other nearby communities.  However, the past few seasons have not been good for sea ice - it was not until mid-January that people first went for a snowmobile drive. This is very late considering that we are accustomed to have already travelled these routes and filled our freezers with freshly killed caribou by then. We collectively wondered if these years could just be “off”. But how far do you go in saying it’s just “off”, instead of part of something bigger? We have been faced with precipitation, and week long periods of fog and cold temperatures during our summer instead of sun and warm temperatures. Summer blends into fall, without the usual chill and freezing ground. One extreme year, 2010, our winter began promising, with some snow. But this also changed with weeks of rain. Temperatures hovered at about 0°C when the norm would have been at least -10°C.  No longer are we experiencing single anomalous months but rather a change in climate which extends from season to season.

Image 3: Wintertime temperature departures for northern North America provided by Environment Canada during a newscast in 2010.

The elders have noticed this particularly. Their knowledge of our land and climate has sustained them and our people in their survival on the land for decades and it is scary to think that they have not seen a year like 2010 before. They know that our climate is changing because they have lived here for generations and these generations hold no knowledge of years like this. Our elders know from experience that our climate is changing; scientists have data that says our climate is changing (Way and Viau, In Prep).

In 2009 I had the opportunity to work alongside teams of scientists studying the climate of the Torngat Mountains National park, north of Nain. Many of the elders I know are from this land. Here, we used the knowledge of our elders and of scientists to collect data on permafrost, marine food webs, vegetation, glaciers and many other things. The results of these projects show that the park is experiencing a rapid shift in climate towards warmer conditions - glaciers are melting, vegetation growing rapidly, terrestrial biomes are greatly affected. Many universities involved in the research have begun outreach programs to help us prepare for eventual ramifications of these changes on both our physical knowledge of the land and our culture.

Image 4: Photograph of Inuit hunters in the Torngat Mountain National Park north of Nain.

Inuit have been collecting this data for centuries, and have been passing their knowledge to younger generations. A friend of mine, an elder of Nunatsiavut, recently wrote me a letter in which he told of a hunting trip last year with my uncle and what they had observed. 

“We were coming from your grandmother’s ancestral home of Nutak after a hunting and gathering trip when we went ashore to collect bake apples (cloud berries). In the area we observed that a small pond was dry even in late-September during a very wet summer.”

My uncle knew from experience and knowledge passed on to him that this boggy pond never went dry and it was in fact always a good pond to hunt geese and black ducks. The permafrost layer under the pond had melted so water could no longer be retained - this phenomenon was being observed by other Inuit hunters through northern Labrador.

There is a lot to gain from our elders’ stories, and knowledge of our land and I respect them greatly. Not only did I gain knowledge from a scientific perspective, I also spent evenings at the park with elders who shared their stories about our land. They spoke of childhood memories and what it was like to grow up on the land and how weather affected their very existence and ability to survive. The elders pointed out on maps their traditional hunting grounds, and others pointed out how some of these routes have changed over time.

As a collective, the elders have noticed that there is not as much snowfall as there used to be. They say that we don’t get near the amount of snow that they did when they were young. The elders have also noted an increased number of polar bear sightings further south. This is very unusual, and likely attributable to the lack of floe ice during the summer months, leaving polar bears no other option than to move to the land where people live. Unusual ice conditions have also brought tragedy to our communities. We have lost lives because of less predictability in ice and snow cover. A few years ago, two experienced Inuit hunters lost their lives while traveling a route that was known to them.


Image 5: Photograph of late-freeze up observed during 2011-2012's Fall/Winter.

As Inuit our lives are tied to nature and for that we have a great respect for mother nature’s strength. The land, the sea, and the climate define us as a culture, and our culture will forever be altered because of the changes we are undergoing today.

I have not come here as an expert on climate change, but as a person who sees firsthand how people are affected in every aspect of their lives by climate. I have observed that Inuit traditional knowledge supports scientific research, and it is wonderful to be a part of this collaborative effort. Inuit, collectively, do not greatly contribute to factors that lead to climate change, but we are surely amongst the greatest impacted.  It is a privilege to have been invited to tell my story, and to learn from others research and experiences.  Thank you. Nakummek.


Image 6
: Polar bear observed on the ice near the coast of northern Labrador.


Postscript: Research examining the extraordinary nature of recent climate change in Labrador is being explored from both a physical and social perspective by researchers at the University of Ottawa and Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Comments 1 to 31:

  1. Brilliant article.
    All the reports, all the data sets and all the measurements are about the real world and these people are the first witnesses of AGW and its extent.
    Its easy for my freinds and me to argue about whether climate change is real, what is causing it and what can be done but it is all just theory until you hear a real person describe first hand how it threatens a way of life many thousands of years old.
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  2. Thank you for sharing your personal perspective.
    A very much appreciated effort.
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  3. Don't want to sound cynical, but how much one does want to wager against my predictions that deniers either :
    - will question the authenticity of this testimony
    - will say that one shall not focus on the small picture, but rather on the global picture
    - will try and cheer her by saying there will be beautiful crop fields on Arctic soon (!)

    I voluntary left aside the "we have time to adapt" meme, since they already used IPCC AR4 (!) for that purpose by saying "models (!) show that sea ice will disappear only by 2070"

    And I omit of course the fact that they will be blind to the accumulation of testimonies like that around the world. For instance, in France, grape season arrives earlier than before - last year, I've seen call for workers from farmers during August (!!).
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  4. Wonderful post, a fresh and important view on climate change.
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  5. bratisa #3,

    See this paper which Ari had in the research post a couple of weeks ago. It is a study of the French grape harvest commencement.

    French Grape Harvest
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  6. Thank you for your contribution. I hope that your people can work out a way to the future.
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  7. Thanks for your article Caitlyn.

    The methods of Western science aren't the only ones that have provided humans with valid knowledge.

    There is a movie, Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, which can be watched online from its homepage.
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  8. Sadly, in the scheme of Western social response to the climate damage our culture has wrought, people such as the Inuit will simply be regarded as a bit of collateral damage in our progress to... somewhere.

    My heart breaks for Caitlyn's people, and their melting world.
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  9. Bernard J@8: took the words right out of my mouth. Well-said.
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  10. Thanks very much for this article on the human side and the immediacy of climate change impacts.

    Periodically the U.S. Congress holds climate-change-related hearings that often feature fake-skeptic speakers. It would be great if they could occasionally hear from directly impacted persons who have the eloquence of Ms. Baikie.
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  11. LarryM@10: perhaps we ought to start a fund? Someone who may have contact with Ms. Baikie could ask if she'd like to take a trip to DC/Canberra and speak to the folks there. If so, I'd chip in for it.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Fixed spelling.
  12. One thing that Inuit communities all over the North believe is that the sun and the stars have changed their position in the sky.

    Many scientists discouraged them from bringing the attention of the outside world to this observation because, as NASA explained to the makers of the movie Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, it was impossible.

    This has been the attitude of many scientists to Inuit knowledge.

    But NASA was wrong. Pollution has altered the atmosphere in the Arctic creating inversions in the North which makes it look to observers on the ground that the sun and the stars have changed their position. Toronto Globe and Mail article on the subject is here.

    The Inuit might tell us some other things, like we should not destroy the stability of the climate system, but I suppose what we're saying collectively by our inaction is that's another thing we think is impossible.
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  13. David @ 12, I am not convinced about the apparent position of the sun and stars being affected by temperature inversions, because it seems to make no sense at first blush. Perhaps this is a field for further research by scientists.

    On the other hand, as far as I can tell, Inuit elders saying this has happened have no obvious agenda that would be advanced by reporting the matter incorrectly. The warming and subsequent melt are more easily accepted, as they conform with what science expects.

    Writing off all the elders testimony just because it is hard to accept everything they say, without scientific backing, would be very imprudent. I predict, therefore, that this will be one of the reactions by those well-balanced folks that inhabit WUWT etc.
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  14. Doug H:

    Under standard atmospheric conditions, when the sun is on the horizon there is about a 0.5 degree shift in apparent position due to atmospheric refraction. This is due to the changing density between the surface (more dens)and the upper atmosphere (less dense), and is well-known. The refraction follows the curve of the earth, so that the sun appears slightly higher than it really is.

    The amount of refraction does depend on atmospheric conditions. The most obvious example is the mirage: over a hot surface, light follows a curved path (opposite to the earth's curvature), so that when looking at what should be the ground in the distance you actually see sky. The heated air at the surface is much less dense than that above (opposite to normal), Our brains interpret this as a reflection, making us think the surface is covered by water forming a reflecting surface.

    Less common (for most people) is the opposite of a mirage: a very cold layer at the surface (inversion) refracts light the other way (light path follows the curvature of the earth), and it is possible to see things that are supposed to be below the horizon out of site. Think of it as normal vertical density changes on steroids.

    I have personally seen the following, under these cold inversion conditions:

    a) short buildings or trees in the distance, looking like Manhattan sky scrapers or huge trees. The vertical exaggeration can be quite spectacular.

    b) two sunrises - one early, because of the refracting layer making the sun visible several minutes before it officially rises, followed by a second when the sun rises normally above the shallow refracting layer. This is really neat to watch: the sun rises, then just kind of disappears, then reappears higher in the sky (still very close to the horizon) and continues to rise normally.

    Several early arctic explorers were fooled by a), thinking that they saw towering mountain coasts in the distance when it was really probably just some ice floes on the horizon that were expanded upwards due to the refraction.

    No need for further research - well-known for about a century.
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  15. Thanks for the clarification, Bob. Would the effects of changed refraction include sunrise position being normal, but sunset being apparently shifted? This was mentioned in the movie linked by David @ 12 above.

    I intuitively thought the effect would be consistent at all times of the day, if it was pollution related. I suppose the heat of the day could cause the air to warm enough to change its refractive properties and cause sunset only to shift, but I am curious about the apparent difference in effect.

    Nevertheless, whether the sunset position and star locations have changed or not, the effects of melting up there are pretty dramatic.

    Interesting that a couple of speakers in the movie think the polar bear population is increasing, whereas environmental scientists are telling us the population is in decline. I suspect the lack of sea ice is concentrating the remaining population on the land, where there is likely to be more interaction with people, but that is a totally unqualified guess (I am not a scientist).

    It is tough on the Inuit to be the canary in the mine for the rest of us. My heart goes out to them.
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  16. Doug H:

    The upside-down mirage effect (there is, I think, a name for it, which I can't remember at the moment) is more common in the morning, after a long, cold night leads to strong inversions. It can, however, also be caused by something like an ice flow (cold) in warmer water. I have seen it most pronounced in very flat, but not perfectly flat, terrain, where a slight hollow with no air drainage leads to a pocket of cold air: you see the effect looking across the pocket of cold air. Depending on weather, you could get the right conditions at sunset - just less likely.

    It is most pronounced with the sun on the horizon: think of refraction when looking at a stick in the water: you don't get refraction if you are looking straight down through the water - only when you look on an angle. When the sun is high in the sky, the sun's rays pass perpendicular to the plane of constant density (like the water-air surface in the stick example), so refraction doesn't happen.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Fata Morgana?
  17. Thanks Bob and DB.

    My experience of mirages is average, but I do not recall one in which the image was displaced laterally to any degree. I have only experienced them when the false image was directly above or below its true position. In the Inuit movie, elders say that the sun is setting in a different lateral position from where it used to occur, but sunrise is normal.

    I am having trouble conjouring up a scenario in which a lateral-shifting refractive illusion exists in just the same manner day after day, which would mean the atmospheric condition causing it is exactly the same day after day and, at the same time, did not occur 'in the old days'. That is not what I have seen, but it could be possible and I am just curious as to whether a lateral displacement of an image is possible, or is a reasonable explanation for what the elders are seeing.
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  18. The refraction angle is dependent on the slope of the temperature inversion. If said inversion has not changed over time in the morning, but was altered due to warming (in a very general sense) in the evening, it may indeed explain the Inuit observations. Inversion strength is affected by surface radiative properties (T, emissivity), cloud cover (more clouds, less surface cooling), and (warm/cold air) advection. Historical vertical temperature observations would help ...

    Here is another another thought:
    If the Inuit live by the seasons instead of by a calendar as we do, then the lateral position shift could be explained by a shift in season lengths. In other words, the "sun sets in a different position" on 15 Sep compared to 10 Sep, and if the seasonal change observed by the Inuit and are used to now occurs on average on 15 Sep instead on 10 Sep, their interpretation may simply be reversed if they assume the seasons remain unaltered in their timing.
    This would be symmetric, however, if season expansion is symmetric ...
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  19. With a little astronomy and cold climate experience, I am unaware of any obvious explanation for mirage effects that would optically displace the Sun and stars laterally. I've seen Fata Morgana mirages, but as mentioned before, they displace objects vertically. Events like June's spectacular Venus transit, which happened just as predicted centuries in advance, tell us that the Sun and stars have not actually changed their position of course! But as mentioned, there's absolutely no reason to doubt the honesty of the Arctic observers. There's another possible explanation for an apparent lateral shift:

    If there is some kind of change in local conditions producing a strengthening or weakening of surface refraction (and it would only be apparent in Arctic areas where there are particularly stable surface layers), it might be possible for this effect to cause a apparent lateral shift in the object's rise point. In the Arctic, the Sun, Moon, stars and planets rise at a very shallow angle to the horizon. If a given level of refraction is causing the Sun to apparently rise in a particular location at a particular time, a change in the strength of the refraction would cause the Sun to appear to rise some distance to the left or right of the previous rising point. Because the rising angle is so shallow, a small change in the refraction strength would lead to a large horizontal shift in apparent rise position, rising a little earlier or later than expected.

    I cannot imagine that the surface conditions are sufficiently consistent for this change to be perfectly repeatable, but if the air temperature is on average X degrees warmer, perhaps the change in refraction strength is on average Y degrees in elevation, and consequently the rise position is moved +/- Z degrees laterally? All conjecture of course, but an interesting phenomenon to explain.
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  20. None of the inversion-related refraction effects are going to lead to a permanent shift in position - it's all temporary, and variable.

    As for the change in position: the refraction is purely a vertical shift. Why might someone think it has shifted horizontally? Well, if you haven't experienced a sunset at high latitudes, you'll be very surprised by how long it takes. The change in solar elevation is very slow, while the change in horizontal position is rapid in comparison. Thus, a sun that seems about to set will not set for another half hour, and will have moved horizontally quite a bit by the time it does.

    Now think of the sunrise: if refraction brings the sun "up" above the horizon early, it might be tens of minutes early, and it will be a different position on the horizon - roughly 15 degrees for an hour, so even 20 minutes would represent a five degree horizontal shift ...or so it would seem. After all, if you think of a society with a primitive technology and no good time keeping, they probably won't think of the sun rising early, because they won't have much a sense of time at that resolution. They will, however, have a very good sense of what their horizon looks like, so to them they don't think "it's higher than it should be at this time", they'll think "it's further left than it should be" without realizing that it's also early.
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  21. Bob, looks like we're in perfect agreement, though I like your explanation better than mine!
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  22. skywatcher:

    I'd formulated my comment to Doug in my head before I read yours in detail, and decided to post it anyway. One for the Department of Redundancy Department.
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  23. Thanks Caitlyn, a very touching account of how climate change is far from being the myth that some are even still trying to get us to believe.

    It would be a really nice gesture if the likes of Monckton, Lawson, Watts and countless others who work so tirelessly to ensure that Caitlyn's account can be matched by others who are also suffering from the effects of climate change to offer to take the lead snowmobiles when the next Inuit hunting season begins. Monckton in particular repeated tells his audiences that there is no problem with Arctic sea ice, so it would be a good chance for him to put his money where his mouth is, so to speak.
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  24. (-snip-).
    So how many other possible causes for the observed changes might there be?
    "Trends in secondary fields, such as frost and snow-on-ground, are generally consistent with expected results from trends noted in temperature and precipitation.
    Attributing these changes to 'global warming' or “anthropogenic forcing” does not address the specific meteorological changes resulting in these trends. A preliminary analysis of wind directional frequencies and “days-with” analyses does not provide even a preliminary indication of cause and further work is required to provide a better understanding of the reasons driving these trends."
    www.iemr.org/pdfs/confer/Waterfowl_Conference_Bruce_Whiffen.pdf
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Inflammatory tone snipped.
  25. Carbon500 missed to quote the first part of the conclusions of the linked paper. For the sake of completeness, here it is:
    "Temperature and precipitation trends at Labrador over the past half-century are generally consistent with those observed, on average, throughout North America and those anticipated, on
    average, under a global warming scenario. Temperatures have increased marginally inland, while minimal cooling has occurred along the coast. Precipitation increases have been observed, on average, throughout the region, with regional and precipitation-typing details."

    This conclusions tells me that
    - the data from Labrador are consistent with the global warming scenario
    - that attribution can not be done with data from a tiny region of the globe.
    None of them is that surprising and surely shouldn't allow anyone to talk about "CO2 hand-wringing". Superficiality, cherry picking and confirmation bias are not good allies of the scientific progress.
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  26. Riccardo: As a matter of fact, I cut the original extract I was going to post so as to get to the point. It seems I didn't cut out enough. I don't see how you can accuse me of 'cherry picking' when I gave a reference for my source. I'm hardly going to reproduce the entire paper to make a point about one aspect - I'm not arguing about global warming, nor am I arguing about the Inuit experience. Here's the sentence from my post which is the directly relevant one:
    "Attributing these changes to 'global warming' or 'anthropogenic forcing' does not address the specific meteorological changes resulting in these trends."
    I'd now like to add this from the paper:
    "The climatology of Labrador, then, is forced from a variety of factors, and consequently,is not easily categorized. The identification of changes, and isolation of the causes of those changes, is even more problematic."
    In other words, to immediately link such changes to atmospheric CO2 is simplistic.
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  27. Carbon500
    "to immediately link such changes to atmospheric CO2 is simplistic."
    As already noted in my previous comment, attribution can not be done with data from a tiny region of the globe. We agree, if it was that the only knowledge we have.
    Indeed, do you know anyone who did this simplistic link? In Caitlyn piece CO2 is not even mentioned, she just describes her changing environment.
    If instead you were willing to discuss the problem of attribution in general, I'd suggest to move it to the It's not us thread or any other more appropiate thread of your choice.
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  28. Great article. It is too rare to hear the first hand experiences of those most impacted by climate change. There is a series on traditional knowledge and climate published at National Geographic: Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living
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  29. Riccardo: Here's an extract from a report.
    Not about Labrador it's true, but I think it's interesting.
    'The arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen and hunters, and explorers who sail the seas around Spitzbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to radical changes in climatic conditions and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth's surface.'
    Also, the report states: 'so little ice has never before been noted' and 'Many old landmarks are so changed as to be unrecognisable. Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now often moraines, accumulations of earth and stones.'
    These extracts are from a report submitted to the State Department, Washinton D.C. by the American Consul at Bergen, Norway.
    In 1922.
    The above comes from NOAA archives. As far as I'm concerned, these observations are good historical reasons for caution about the causes of climate change.
    Let me also give you a quote from the book 'Climate Change' by meteorologist William James Burroughs. On p106, he refers to the Central England Temperature record, and the sudden warming from the 1690s to the 1730s.
    'In less than forty years the conditions went from the depths of the little ice age to something comparable to the warmest decades of the twentieth century. This balmy period came to a sudden halt with the extreme cold of 1740 and a return to colder conditions, especially in the winter half of the year. Thereafter, the next 150 years or so do not show a pronounced trend.'
    Articles such as the one by Caitlyn Baikie immediatley conjure up images which certainly lead many people to think that CO2 has to be the cause, and that these changes are anthropogenic. Given examples of climatic history such as those I've referred to, clearly there are other factors at work which are not understood. CO2 may or may not be playing a part in what is happening currently, but caution in attribution is surely necessary.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Please reformulate this and repost this comment on the "It's Not Us" thread, where it more properly belongs. This comment will be deleted in a bit after you've had a chance to see it.
  30. Carbon500,

    And what evidence do you have that your anecdotal evidence is equivalent to what we are seeing today?

    Why do you present the strawman that since warming was seen somewhere, for a while, once upon a time, warming today can be ignored (or at least until it gets so bad that it's too late to do anything)?

    We know the globe will warm because we understand the physics.

    We predicted the globe would warm decades ago.

    The globe is warming, as per our understanding of the physics and the predictions.

    Now you want to say that, well, it has warmed in the past, so how do we know the warming is really caused by greenhouse gases, maybe it's just an unlucky coincidence?

    By doing so, you neatly sidestep the fact that decades of research and thought about this pointed to this warming, and it is consistent with our understanding of the physics.

    The answer is that we don't rely on anecdotal evidence, simplistic thought experiments, or wishful thinking.

    "Given examples of climatic history such as those I've referred to..."

    Give examples you've referred to, you can fool people into thinking maybe they should just ignore the problem for a little while longer.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Carbon500 has been tasked to address this on the linked thread. It that happens, participants can follow up with Carbon500 there. Thanks!
  31. Sphaerica:
    Just to reinforce my point – more observations from the real world.
    Ice conditions in the Baltic Sea vary a lot from one year to another. The maximum ice covered area varies between 52,000 and 422,000 square kilometres(12-100 per cent of the total Baltic Sea area)
    Baltic Sea Portal: itameriportaali.fi/en/tietoa/jaa/jaatalvi/en_GB/jaatalvi
    It would seem that the Baltic Sea has remained free of the malign influence of CO2.
    Here’s more:
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 106, NO. C3, P. 4493, 2001 doi:10.1029/1999JC000173
    'Influence of atmospheric circulation on the maximum ice extent in the Baltic Sea'
    Anders Omstedt
    Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
    Deliang Chen
    Department of Earth Sciences, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden
    This work analyzes long-term changes in the annual maximum ice extent in the Baltic Sea and Skagerrak between 1720 and 1997. It focuses on the sensitivity of the ice extent to changes in air temperature and on the relationships between the ice extent and large-scale atmospheric circulation. A significant regime shift in 1877 explains the decreasing trend in the ice extent. The regime shift indicates a change from a relatively cold climate regime to a relatively warm one, which is likely a result of changed atmospheric circulation. In addition, the analysis shows that a colder climate is associated with higher variability in the ice extent and with higher sensitivity of the ice extent to changes in winter air temperature. Moreover, the ice extent is fairly well correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index during winter, which supports the results of earlier studies. However, the moving correlation analysis shows that the relationship between the NAO index and the ice extent is not stationary over time. A statistical model was established that links the ice extent and a set of circulation indices. It not only confirms the importance of the zonal flow but also implies the impact of meridional wind and vorticity. The usefulness of the statistical model is demonstrated by comparing its performance with that of a numerical model and with independent observations. The statistical model achieves a skill close to that of the numerical model. We conclude that this model can be a useful tool in estimating the mean conditions of the ice extent from monthly pressures, allowing for the use of the general circulation model output for predictions of mean ice extent.

    Finally, you state that the globe is warming? Is it?
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif
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