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Just a quick and dirty poll to keep people entertained until the August polls open up.

Premise one: human bodies to an extent generate their own body heat, primarily in response to the actions of their muscle mass; more muscular and physically active bodies generate more body heat than less muscled and less active bodies.

Premise two: muscle mass tends to peak in a person's twenties

It follows that each year would tend to feel warmer than the last to people until they hit peak muscle mass in their 20s, after which each year would tend to feel colder

It would seem to follow from this that climate change would seem more in keeping with subjective experience for younger people, and less in keeping for older people. Might this not extend to how people at different ages respond emotionally to climate change, and differing political beliefs regarding the need for action?  (Speaking in terms of overall population tendencies with many individual variations, of course).

Arctic sea ice / 365 day average extent poll
« on: September 12, 2019, 11:37:24 AM »
Based on Gerontocrat's 365 day Arctic sea ice trailing average extent graphs. When would you next expect to see a new record low 365 day trailing average?

Currently the average is about 160k above the record in 2016 (eyeball estimate from said graph, so please take with a pinch of salt).

EDIT: As pointed out by Gerontocrat, please note that we're talking about JAXA extent here.

Arctic sea ice / September predictions challenge 2019
« on: June 09, 2019, 10:06:22 AM »
And it's back! Many thanks to Richard Rathbone for setting this up last year. Rules copied over from last year's thread:

This is a challenge which accumulates scores across all the monthly polls on September sea ice to come up with an overall rating of how good the predictions made are. In addition to making a prediction, entrants are required to rate their confidence in that prediction. The higher the confidence, the narrower the margin of error you are allowed, but the higher score you get if the September ice ends up where you predicted it (and the bigger penalty you take if you miss).

Currently included polls are: JAXA daily minimum area, NSIDC September average.
Other polls may be added during the course of the season if their structure fits this challenge.

Points are scored as follows:
Very High Confidence: 10 points if you pick the correct bin, -10 points for all other bins.
High Confidence: 6 points for the correct bin, 2 points if one bin out, -2 points if two bins out, -6 points for all other bins
Medium Confidence: 4 points for the correct bin, 2 points if one bin out, 1 point if two bins out, -1 if three bins out, -2 if four bins out, -4 points for all other bins
Low Confidence: 2 points for the correct bin, 1 point if within 3 bins, -1 point if 4-6 bins out, -2 points for all other bins
Very Low Confidence: 1 point if in the correct bin, no score (or penalty) for any other bin.

Note on portmanteau and end of range bins: these are excluded from the challenge, you may either select a bin within the portmanteau range, or extend the range beyond the poll endpoint for your challenge entry. If the September values fall out of the normal range, scores will be assessed by extending the bin structure. e.g. an end result of 5.9 counts as two bins out for a 5-5.5 entry.

To enter, post guess and confidence in this thread before the closing date of the poll. Editing a post to change the prediction before the closing date is allowed, editing for any reason after the closing date for a poll will result in disqualification from the challenge.

List of entries


JAXA:  3.75 - 4.25, medium
NSIDC: 4.25 - 4.75, medium


JAXA: 3.5 - 4, medium
NSIDC: 4 - 4.5, medium


JAXA: 3.5 - 4, high
NSIDC: 3.75 - 4.25, high


JAXA: 3.75 - 4.25, high
NSIDC:  4 - 4.5, high


JAXA: 3.75 - 4.25, high
NSIDC: 4 - 4.5, high



JAXA: 3.5 to 4.0, medium
NSIDC: 4.0 to 4.5, medium

Juan C. García


JAXA: 3.5 to 4.0, médium
NSIDC: 3.75 to 4.25, médium

Richard Rathbone


Jaxa: 3.75-4.25, Medium
NSIDC 4.0 - 4.5, Medium



Jaxa: 3.75-4.25, Medium
NSIDC 4.0 - 4.5, Medium



JAXA: 3.5-4.0 high.
NSIDC: 4.0-4.5 medium.



JAXA 3.75 - 4.25 medium
NSIDC 4.25 - 4.75 medium

slow wing


JAXA: 3.75 to 4.25, medium
NSIDC: 4.00 to 4.50, medium



JAXA: 4.25-4.75, low
NSIDC: 4.50-5.00, low



JAXA: 3.75 to 4.25, High
NSIDC: 4.00 to 4.50, High



JAXA: 3.5 to 4.0, medium
NSIDC: 4.0 to 4.5, medium

The politics / Brexit...
« on: April 12, 2019, 07:14:38 PM »
So, as a thoroughly pro-Remain Brit, I'd be curious to know the general forum views. Not that I expect that our horrible tangled political mess will affect climate much (the economic harm to the UK if and when Brexit goes ahead and general knock to trade, travel and to life expectancy might even reduce our emissions slightly, although this may be balanced out by the emissions boost caused by deregulation if the Moggians get their way).  I'm generally just curious.

The rest / Relative sanity of fringe groups
« on: March 05, 2019, 12:17:28 AM »
Which of the following groups with minority beliefs and attitudes do you personally sympathise with least? Please rank from least to most mad (in your view):

(Ranked alphabetically for now)

Astrology believers
Climate change denialists
Doomsday preppers
Flat earthers
Moon landing denialists
UFO believers
Young Earth Creationists

Please feel free to write in extras, or to specify where you draw the line between the mad and the sane.

Apologies to anyone I've offended by the groupings. I don't personally hold all these groups to be mad, or their majority counterparts to be sane; I was just going for a scattershot selection of minority beliefs from across the spectrum of human ideas.

Arctic sea ice / Guess the date of the max
« on: February 21, 2019, 07:58:43 AM »
Take a guess on when we'll hit the Jaxa maximum. No overlapping bins this time - apologies. And you have just 4 days from now to pick a date because we're getting close to it.

Feel free to post an exact date below as well.

Dates of the max from previous years can be seen on the sea ice extent thread (thank you Gerontocrat).

You can change your vote any time until the poll closes. You can see the poll results pnpy after the poll closes.

Have fun!

EDIT: I'm tempted to go super early for Feb since temps are forecast to rise the next few days, but I'm settling for a middle of the road March 11h - 15th, guessing that it'll be about March 12th.

Antarctica / January Poll 2019: JAXA Antarctic minimum
« on: January 15, 2019, 12:26:43 AM »
Please give your best guess in answer to the poll title.  The poll closes at the end of January; you may change your answer at any time up to then.  Narrow overlapping bins have been used.

Figures from previous years (with thanks to Darvince for his post in 2016 with most of these):

2018: 2.21 (2nd lowest)
2017: 2.15 (lowest on record)
2016: 2.66
2015: 3.59 (2nd highest)
2014: 3.54
2013: 3.69 (highest on record)
2012: 3.22
2011: 2.32

2006: 2.41

1997: 2.25 (3rd lowest)

1993: 2.37

1986: 3.01
1985: 2.58
1984: 2.53
1983: 2.91
1982: 3.01
1981: 2.74
1980: 2.53
1979: 2.87

Last year's poll results can be found here:,2240.0.html
Give it your best guess :-)

Arctic sea ice / January Poll 2019: JAXA Maximum
« on: January 05, 2019, 01:02:13 PM »
What do you think the max will be this year? Poll closes end of January, and you can change your vote any time before the poll closes.

Previous maximums in million square km:

2018: 13.89
2017: 13.88
2016: 13.96
2015: 13.94
2014: 14.45
2013: 14.52
2012: 14.71
2011: 14.13
2010: 14.69
2009: 14.66
2008: 14.77
2007: 14.21
2006: 14.13
2005: 14.4

Link to last year's poll here:,2236.0.html

Arctic sea ice / Arctic sea ice minimum early prediction
« on: March 27, 2018, 09:46:16 AM »
A poll for very early guesses. You have two weeks to reply, but can change your guess if you want to.

I'm aiming to add a list of the jaxa minima from previous years here later, but if someone else wants to do that first, please feel free.

Antarctica / January Poll: JAXA Antarctica Sea Ice Minimum Extent
« on: January 18, 2018, 12:06:55 PM »
Please give your best guess in answer to the poll title.  The poll closes at the end of January; you may change your answer at any time up to then.  Narrow overlapping bins have been used.

Figures from previous years (with thanks to Darvince for his post last year with most of these):

2017: 2.15 (lowest on record)
2016: 2.66
2015: 3.59 (2nd highest)
2014: 3.54
2013: 3.69 (highest on record)
2012: 3.22
2011: 2.32 (3rd lowest)

2006: 2.41

1997: 2.25 (2nd lowest)

1993: 2.37 (4th lowest)

1986: 3.01
1985: 2.58
1984: 2.53
1983: 2.91
1982: 3.01
1981: 2.74
1980: 2.53
1979: 2.87

Last month's poll results can be found here:,2212.0.html

Arctic sea ice / January Poll: JAXA Maximum
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:09:05 AM »
Poll closes end of January. Give us your best bets on the outcome for maximum sea ice extent this freezing season. You can adjust your vote any time before the poll closes.

Bins and format are the same as for the December poll, ie narrow overlapping bins.

Previous years:
2017: 13.88
2016: 13.96
2015: 13.94
2014: 14.45
2013: 14.52
2012: 14.71
2011: 14.13
2010: 14.69
2009: 14.66
2008: 14.77
2007: 14.21
2006: 14.13
2005: 14.4

<modified the title, as IJIS doesn't put out data anymore; Neven>

Policy and solutions / Poll: Relative importance of countermeasures
« on: January 04, 2018, 10:57:55 AM »
Another poll, 1 week to click as you choose. Personally, I believe that we should be addressing all of the above, but I also have my own opinion on which is most important.

Feel free to also respond by ranking them in order of importance if you so wish.

EDIT: You may change your vote if you so choose.

The rest / Climate friendly politicians
« on: December 19, 2017, 08:23:05 AM »
On a more positive note than the Trump thread, how about a thread to flag up politicians and parties worth supporting? Green parties everywhere are obvious, but we could also pick out individuals, such as this person in California who claims to be running to be the only earth scientist in the house:

Anyone have any further endorsements to make?

Antarctica / December poll: Antarctic sea ice minimum extent
« on: December 13, 2017, 11:02:39 AM »
Question as in the poll title.  Poll closes at the end of December; ]you may change your answer at any time up to then.  Narrow overlapping bins have been used.

Figures from previous years (with thanks to Darvince for his post last year with most of these):

2017: 2.15 (lowest on record)
2016: 2.66
2015: 3.59 (2nd highest)
2014: 3.54
2013: 3.69 (highest on record)
2012: 3.22
2011: 2.32 (3rd lowest)

2006: 2.41

1997: 2.25 (2nd lowest)

1993: 2.37 (4th lowest)

1986: 3.01
1985: 2.58
1984: 2.53
1983: 2.91
1982: 3.01
1981: 2.74
1980: 2.53
1979: 2.87

EDIT: Drat; no button has appeared to allow people to remove their vote and change it.  Mods, if you see this are you able to fix it?  Sorry to have to ask! EDIT 2: Fixed! Thank you Neven

Arctic sea ice / December poll: JAXA maximum
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:25:24 AM »
Poll closes end of December. Give us your best bets on the outcome for maximum sea ice extent. EDIT: You can adjust your vote any time before the poll closes.

I've gone for narrow overlapping bins to allow people to be fairly precise in their guesses.

Previous years:
2017: 13.88
2016: 13.96
2015: 13.94
2014: 14.45
2013: 14.52
2012: 14.71
2011: 14.13
2010: 14.69
2009: 14.66
2008: 14.77
2007: 14.21
2006: 14.13
2005: 14.4

Policy and solutions / Resilience to disasters
« on: October 17, 2017, 09:33:07 PM »
I was just thinking about what a horrible last few months the USA has had in terms of assorted disasters (Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma; the California fires; and on a different front the nevada shooting) and then I had a look at this list: List_of_disasters_in_the_United_States_by_death_toll . They really don't rank very high [total financial costs are a very different matter, of course, and there's likely a great deal of indirectly attributable mortality for the fires and all the hurricanes that doesn't get counted... however, I'm getting sidetracked). Also, perhaps because I'm British, I was also thinking about smaller disasters here in Europe with even smaller impacts (Hurricane Ophelia, fires in Spain and Portugal).

High income nations generally don't experience massive death tolls from hurricanes or similar events any more. Low and middle income nations do to an extent (the deaths in south asian flooding in particular dwarf the total deaths across all the above american events put together).  But even so, the total mortality worldwide attributable to natural disasters is a fraction of what it was back in 1900; just about all the world is more resilient to such disasters than it used to be.

What I'm wondering is... how can we improve this further? It seems likely we'll need to, as some events in particular seem scheduled to increase (particularly heat waves, floods, fires, droughts, and major hurricanes). So I thought I'd start a general thread on the topic of building resilience to such disasters, partly those related to climate change, for people to post thoughts, ideas, and examples of helpful policies.

Walking the walk / Clicktivism
« on: April 27, 2017, 11:11:54 AM »
A relatively small way we can walk the walk would seem to be through our internet use.  I currently do the following three things in this way, from most to least productive:

- Using as my search engine, so that when I search for stuff, it ends up in trees being planted.
- Signing online petitions, which I doubt makes any real difference at all.
- Internet arguments / putting the right information out there (on forums, news comments etc.), which I fear is a often a complete waste of time, but can't quite give up on. (Although I hasten to add that those producing good quality material on the blogosphere are certainly not wasting their time)

Do people here take part in any other things in this line?

The rest / UK Snap General Election Poll
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:19:47 AM »
Fellow UK voters: Which way do you plan to vote on June 8th? Personally, for a number of factors including their widespread adoption of climate change denial, I'm an "Anyone But the Tories" voter, likely to prop up my solid Lib Den candidate in West Ealing. It would be good to hear a range of views though.

Policy and solutions / Water management
« on: April 03, 2017, 12:29:15 PM »
I've just read an article suggesting better management of water, green space and wetlands as a means of ameliorating Climate change:

How much mileage do people here think there might be in this approach?

Policy and solutions / Lists of current elected denialist politicians
« on: February 28, 2017, 02:36:55 PM »
I was thinking we could do with lists of elected politicians that we particularly need to challenge on climate change. After a little research, here's a shortlist of denialist UK MPs, sorted by party:

Peter Lilley (Con)
John Hayes (Con)
Owen Patterson (Con)
John Redwood (Con)
David Davis (Con)
Christopher Chope (Con)
Andrew Tyrie (Con)
Nigel Evans (Con)
Sammy Wilson (DUP)
Graham Stringer (Lab)
Douglas Carswell (UKIP)

If anyone has any modifications to suggest to this list, and/or any lists from other countries to suggest, they'd be very welcome :-)

Arctic sea ice / NSIDC Arctic sea ice news
« on: February 08, 2017, 05:52:49 PM »
February edition is out:

I'm planning to start a monthly update on this, if that would be useful - please feed back on whether it would.

Key figures in the first paragraph:

"Arctic sea ice extent for January 2017 averaged 13.38 million square kilometers (5.17 million square miles), the lowest January extent in the 38-year satellite record. This is 260,000 square kilometers (100,000 square miles) below January 2016, the previous lowest January extent, and 1.26 million square kilometers (487,000 square miles) below the January 1981 to 2010 long-term average."

Developers Corner / Overall summary of ice on earth
« on: January 09, 2017, 06:53:47 AM »
If you were to do an overall summary of the trends in ice mass or volume on earth broken down into the following categories, how would you go about it?

Antarctic Ice sheet mass
Greenland ice sheet mass
Arctic sea ice mass
Antarctic sea ice mass
Glacier ice mass worldwide
Permafrost ice mass worldwide

(Listed in approximate order of size)

I was thinking of using annual averages, and doing a simple comparison of the long term average to the past five year average to the most recent year where these figures exist (no idea if they do at all for permafrost).

Antarctica / Poll for 2017 IJIS daily minimum Antarctic sea ice extent
« on: January 02, 2017, 05:13:43 PM »
Poll for the daily minimum as requested. I went for narrow 250000 square km) bands; any strong preference for future polls between these and 500000 square km bands? Voting ends in the middle of January, changing your vote is possible up to that point, and I'd be very grateful if someone could post a list of recent prior minimums.

EDIT: added in one more band at the top, apologies if your vote was reset.

Arctic sea ice / 2017 IJIS extent maximum prediction
« on: January 02, 2017, 02:11:06 PM »
As suggested. Any objections to the format?
(Specified Jan to May because of the remote possibility of a December peak).

The politics / The Trump Presidency
« on: September 27, 2016, 08:11:49 AM »
Forum members from the US: who are you going to vote for?

EDIT: The poll allows you to change your mind; I intend to close it on election day.

EDIT 2: Thread renamed due to thread drift and electoral outcomes.

Walking the walk / Pat yourself on the back
« on: September 08, 2016, 09:03:49 AM »
A thread to post about steps you've recently taken in the direction of sustainability.

For me, just a tiny step to report recently: getting and using a travel mug so I'm no longer going through endless disposable cups to fuel my caffeine habit.

Walking the walk / Pets
« on: August 22, 2016, 01:54:37 PM »
With regards to pet-keeping, what can we do to reduce the climate impact?

The big thing, to me, would be to rescue rather than incentivise the breeding of new pets where possible. With a side mention of also feeding them as sustainably as possible, while keeping them well-nourished (cats need meat/fish, for example), and neutering where appropriate. Anything else?

Walking the walk / Top climate-friendly actions
« on: August 22, 2016, 01:49:34 PM »
If you could put together a top X list of ways to walk the walk, as a general call to arms / summary of good ideas, what would they be?  Here's mine (it worked out as Top 6, but the number is not fixed)

1) Reduce meat and dairy consumption.
2) Plan to have fewer children later
3) Reduce personal fossil fuel consumption, in particular, cycling and walking when you can
4) Reduce what you consume otherwise, reusing, recycling, etc. where possible
5) Source whatever you consume more sustainably
6) Vote, campaign, and generally speak up more for the policy changes that we need

Arctic sea ice / The Central Arctic Basin
« on: July 17, 2016, 05:39:19 PM »
So I've been following the regional figures (mainly on Neven's own regional graphs page for a while, and it looks like the CAB (Central Arctic Basin) may be melting / opening a little earlier than usual. Do we think this is a genuine effect, if so, what do we think is driving it, and do we think it's going to matter later in the season where the amount of ice left there would be the main statistic making up the total area and extent?

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Northern hemisphere snow cover
« on: June 02, 2016, 05:03:26 AM »
Which sources are best used to track northern hemisphere snow cover?

Policy and solutions / Bicycles
« on: August 12, 2015, 12:58:51 PM »
So, bicycle production worldwide has climbed rapidly over the last four decades, from a little over 20 million in 1970 to 130 million in 2007.

Not sure how usage compares, but this seems like a good thing (TM) in climate and health terms.  On the other hand, however, cycle use has dropped sharply in some key areas, particularly China.

Science / Predicted reduction in solar activity
« on: July 12, 2015, 11:25:15 PM »
So apparently there's been a prediction of an upcoming reduction in solar activity which has just been presented at a UK National Astronomy Meeting.  They're basically saying that their model predicts less activity over the next two solar cycles, and that there may be a "mini-ice age" between 2030 and 2040 due to a 60% drop in solar activity.  Can't seem to find any hard data on this anywhere though.

EDIT: Here's the original press release that everything I've seen in the papers seems to draw from.

The rest / Other slow races to watch
« on: July 08, 2015, 02:25:49 AM »
Polar ice tracking has been described as akin to watching a very slow race.  If the finishing line is an ice-free Arctic, then it's likely to be out there somewhere, although we don't know how many years it will take to reach it.

Are there any other slow races that you like to watch?  I'm guessing that global temperatures, CO2 levels etc. will be commonplace here, but what else (especially things unrelated to the ice)?  For me, it's disease control programmes in general, and particularly the eradication programmes vs polio and guinea worm (even though neither is now remotely important as a threat to global health since they've been pushed back so far, it'll be good to see the day when they're gone entirely).  Also, the millennium development goals, and human population trends, to an extent.

Medvedev's planning to increase the capacity of the Northern Sea Route by 20 times over the next 15 years, from the current 4 million tons to 80 million tons, alongside planning other developments in the region.  The heat released from, turbulence caused by, and direct mechanical damage to ice from cargo ships passing through in this way are doubtless all tiny things compared to the major inputs for sea ice melting, but this is probably not good news for arctic sea ice, all the same.

How does the amount that Greenland melts affect arctic sea ice, and vice versa?  I can imagine lots of putative positive and negative feedbacks, particularly the following four:
- loss of albedo due to melt on land -> increased warmth -> increased melt on land and at sea
- loss of albedo due to melt at sea -> increased warmth -> increased melt at sea and on land
- a flow of cold fresh water from Greenland slowing the loss of arctic sea ice
- altered rates of iceberg calving also affecting arctic sea ice

What do the numbers say, though?

Based on the NSIDC's Charctic graph so far, I reckon this is the lowest May average extent we've seen.  (Not quite the lowest area, though).

EDIT: The question is, though, what does this mean, if anything, for the rest of the melting season?

Science / Relative importance of ice based indicators
« on: May 20, 2015, 04:21:56 PM »
I'm basically an only moderately well-informed amateur on this topic.  I'm aware of five main things to track in terms of the world's ICE:

Arctic sea ice, trackable by area, extent, or mass (trending downwards)
Antarctic sea ice, trackable by area, extent, or mass (trending upwards)
Greenland ice sheet, trackable by mass (trending downwards)
Antarctic ice sheet, trackable by mass (trending downwards)
Glaciers worldwide, trackable by mass (trending downwards)

How would people rank these in terms of importance?  I'd be tempted to put the AIS first as the single greatest amount of ice, followed by the Greenland ice sheet, arctic sea ice, antarctic sea ice, and finally glaciers worldwide, but I'm sure there are other interpretations.  Also, am I missing anything important?  (Permafrost, maybe?)

Antarctica / Antarctic land ice mass
« on: May 20, 2015, 02:37:11 PM »
Is there any continuous, up to date tracking of the land ice mass in Antarctica, equivalent to the GRACE data on Greenland which NOAA reports on annually?  The latest estimates which I've been able to google are a few years old.

Apologies for my ignorance, btw!

Has anyone calculated what scale of positive feedback may be expected from increasing human activities within the arctic circle as a result of the ice melt leading to further ice melt?  I can see five main ways in which human activity seems set to increase:

1) Increased freight shipping, especially via the Northern sea route
(Numbers are up from 4 ships in 2010 to 46 vessels in 2012, shipping 1.26 million tonnes, to a predicted 20 million tonnes shipped in 2020)
2) Increasingly northerly fishing
3) Exploratory drilling
4) Infrastructural upgrades, mainly to support 1-3, e.g. harbour expansion and floating nuclear power plants
5) Science and tourist traffic

I'm particularly wondering if the extent to which this has all increased already might be part of why the melt went on longer in 2012 than prior years, and hence if we might expect a repeat of the long melt this year as shipping etc. looks set to rise further.  What I haven't found is any numbers on the likely impacts of such changes, to tell me whether I'm barking up the wrong tree or not.  Can anyone help me out on this?

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