Mr. Bill Visits Byrd Station: Oh Noooooo!

First the breath-taking headlines…

  • Scientists Report Faster Warming in Antarctica, New York Times
  • West Antarctic Ice Sheet warming twice earlier estimate, BBC
  • West Antarctica warming much faster than previously believed, study finds, NBC
  • Western Antarctica is warming three times faster than the rest of the world, Grist

Oh noes out the wazzoo!!!

What could possibly have caused such an out-pouring of Mr. Bill impersonations?

Apparently this did…

Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

David H. Bromwich,1, 5 Julien P. Nicolas,5, 1 Andrew J. Monaghan,2 Matthew A. Lazzara,3 Linda M. Keller,4 George A. Weidner4 & Aaron B. Wilson1
Nature Geoscience Year published: (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1671

Received02 May 2012 Accepted15 November 2012 Published online23 December 2012


There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise. In contrast, West Antarctic temperature changes in recent decades remain uncertain. West Antarctica has probably warmed since the 1950s, but there is disagreement regarding the magnitude, seasonality and spatial extent of this warming. This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature observations are restricted to Byrd Station in central West Antarctica, a data set with substantial gaps. Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation. The record reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between 1958 and 2010 by 2.4±1.2 °C, establishing central West Antarctica as one of the fastest-warming regions globally.


Nature Geoscience

The manufactured “record reveals a linear increase in annual temperature between 1958 and 2010 by 2.4±1.2 °C.” That’s a 50% margin of error on the reconstruction that supposedly corrected the recording errors.

I haven’t purchased access to the paper (nor do I intend to); however, the freely available supplementary information includes a graph of their reconstructed temperature record for Byrd Station. It looks very similar to the NASA-GISS graph that doesn’t show any significant recent warming trend.

Figure 1. Bromwich et al., 2012 compared to the GHCN data.

The NASA-GISS data (GHCN & SCAR) for Byrd Station are in two segments: 1957-1975 and 1980-2012. The 1957-1975 series depicts a moderately significant (R² = 0.19) warming trend of about 1.0 °C per decade. The post-1980 series depicts a statistically insignificant (R² = 0.01) trend of 0.3 °C per decade.

Figure 2. Byrd Station temperature record from NASA-GISS (GCHN & SCAR, not homogenized).

Bromwich et al., 2012 get their 2.4 °C of warming from 1958-2010 (0.4 °C per decade) by stitching together the fragmented data sets. If I just combine the two NASA-GISS series, I get a trend of about 0.4 °C per decade…

Figure 3. Composite of NASA-GISS segments show no warming since 1991.

But, almost all of that warming took place before 1988. And Byrd Station has seen no warming (actually a slight cooling) since 1991.

Furthermore, the corrected temperature record of Bromwich et al., 2012 actually depicts more cooling since 1991 than the uncorrected data…

Figure 4. NASA-GISS temperature series overlaid on Bromwich et al., 2012 “corrected” temperature series (black curve). My Mk I eyeball analysis tells me that the corrected data actually show more cooling since 1991 than the uncorrected data.


2 Responses to “Mr. Bill Visits Byrd Station: Oh Noooooo!”

  1. Darius Says:

    Enviromarxism is silly and just reveals an obvious bias, you should at least try suckering people with your drivel. I call your ilk, Corporate-facism so maybe that balances us out. Dope.

    • David Middleton Says:

      Wow! Debunkhouse just rated a comment from Darius, the poster child for mental greentardation! If Vladimir Lenin and Rachel Carson had a love child, it would be Darius!

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