Antarctic Ice Melt at the dogmatic “Skeptical Science”

Have just posted the following at BishopHill (who has being looking at review comments

The comments are not the major issue with skepticalscience. It is the analysis. It picks from the peer-reviewed data to give the most alarmist spin, often ignoring the more rounded, more recent and less alarmist articles or data. (a pattern familiar to those who have read the Hockey Stick Illusion)

On Antarctic ice melt, this is certainly the case. SkS relies on a single author – Velicogna (two papers 2006 & 2009) – to substantiate the claim that the Antarctic pack ice is not just melting, it is accelerating. The 2009 paper looked at only six years of data. Yet less than two months ago there was published a paper that looked at a much longer period, looked at various studies (including Velicogna) and at different ways of estimating. It concluded that there may be some ice loss, but no acceleration. Anthony Watts summarises this paper quite nicely at

Watts’s article also links to the original article. Do not take the word of a (slightly) manic beancounter. Do the comparison and you will find that the SkS is anything but sceptical and far from scientific.

I would suggest that this is not an isolated incident either. I have found at least two more. Perhaps others could have a delve?

Would anyone like some suggestions where to start comparing SKs with other (more rounded) viewpoints?

  1. Why has it not warmed since 1998? SKS – It is because the oceans have been warming instead says Sks. But their data stops in 2003 – just when we started to get far more accurate data from some fancy buoys (search wattsupwiththat). It has stabilised since then. The air is not warming, neither are the oceans, so the alarmists have to go beyond the measurable.
  2. The economic case for carbon pricing has been made. If you take economic models as being reality, ignore the contrary arguments and most importantly ignore the public policy problems. I explain in theoretical terms here. Alternatively read books by Roger Pielke Jnr (the Climate Fix), Nigel Lawson (An Appeal to Reason), or Tim Worstall (Chasing Rainbows) for a better understanding of why policies will necessarily fail.

Will add others when I come across them.


  1. Skeptical Scientist (Not a representative of

     /  23/09/2011

    Well, how long have you got?

    There’s the misrepresentation of IPCC projections (they said 0.12 degrees/decade, in fact it is 0.2) discussed at Lucia’s.

    There’s the misrepresentation of Pat Michaels at the top of the Antarctica page, mentioned by Shub on one of the BH threads.

    Then there’s the 104 examples found by Lubos Motl at
    or pdf version at

    Click to access lubos_motl_skeptical_science.pdf

  2. manicbeancounter

     /  23/09/2011

    Thanks for your comment and I will follow your leads.

    PS I have added a disclaimer to your handle. I am sure you are sceptical in the true sense of the dictionary, and not in Dr Cook’s sense. (i.e. someone who accepts weak evidence from one side without question)

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