Ever been had? The Observer of July 26 under the engaging title Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide makes the following claims:
Photos from US spy satellites declassified by the Obama White House provide the first graphic images of how the polar ice sheets are retreating in the summer. The effects on the world’s weather, environments and wildlife could be devastating.
Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military…The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanise Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
One particularly striking set of images – selected from the 1,000 photographs released – includes views of the Alaskan port of Barrow. One, taken in July 2006, shows sea ice still nestling close to the shore. A second image shows that by the following July the coastal waters were entirely ice-free.
Here are the images
We will show in this post that this is a hideous piece of lies and propaganda. It is very revealing since not only does it show the biased propagandizing of the Guardian/The Observer stable, but also demonstrates the crude and shameless progagandizing of the Obama Administration (which also confirms the case made in the post All who hate Me love Death that Obama was dissembling when he claimed that he wouldn’t interfere with science). We will show in this post, with additional evidence from the air and the ground, that the satellite pictures have been deliberately selectively cropped and chosen for maximum propaganda effect to mislead the public (and politicians, no doubt). It is akin to taking beach photographs of low tide one year and of high tide the following year, and putting them side by side in an argument about sea level rise. Put on the finishing touches about a Bush conspiracy and Obama’s openness and you are home and dry with something the Nazis would have been proud of.
Even the University of Alaska, Fairbanks felt compelled to comment:
Annual break-up of landfast sea ice off the coast of Barrow, Alaska received international media attention in July 2009 after the USGS made available high resolution-satellite imagery that show inter-annual variability in coastal ice conditions…However, unlike suggested by some, comparing summer ice conditions in July 2006 and July 2007 is not sufficient evidence to verify a trend.
In other words, all they show is that one year differs from another and no trend can be inferred. In the nicest possible way, this says that someone is up to no good here by distorting the science. Shame on the US Geological Survey for being prepared to become the mouthpiece of propaganda.
Firstly, it should be noted that the breakup and melting of ice around Barrow, Alaska happens every year, once a year, and it typically occurs around early July. The timing varies from year to year due to the weather. The timing depends on many factors, including solar radiance and cloud cover, wind speed and direction, and sea currents, as well as air temperature. In extremes, breakout can occur in mid-June and it can take until as late as early August for the coastal sea to be ice free. But in a typical year, in July it is possible to see landfast ice at the beginning of the month and ice-free sea at the end of the month: July is the month the sea ice disappears from the north coast of Alaska!! Now, note that the photographs do not specify the date in the month. They could easily have been taken only three weeks apart in the same month of July in a typical year. So for example, here are shore pictures from Barrow showing the disappearance of the ice over a period of three weeks in July 2002:
Since these are both from July of the same year, then two satellite images taken in ‘July’ of different years suddenly look perfectly ordinary and expected, don’t they? We would find the same with all sorts of other phenomena that happen once a year – such as the blossoming of cherry trees in April: we can find them in blossom or not in blossom at different times of the month in any given year, or in different states of blossom on the same date or on different dates within the same month in different years.
Secondly, note the years selected. For the record, the dates of shore-fast landfast ice break/drift/melt out at Barrow for the last ten years are as follows:
July 10, 2000; July 5, 2001; June 30, 2002; June 25, 2003; June 18, 2004; July 8, 2005; July 6, 2006; June 27, 2007; July 8, 2008; July 11, 2009.
In 2006 the ice breakup was rather earlier than in 2007. This is a gift for the propagandist because he can show a difference between two consecutive years and so con the unwary into a believing in a trend rather than natural variation. Of course, two can play at that game because in 2008 the breakout was even later than in 2006. So if we were to choose the years 2007 and 2008 instead then we could easily produce an ice-free picture from July 2007 (breakout June 27) and an ice-bound picture for July 2008 (breakout July 8). Using the same spin and propaganda we could falsely assert rapid global cooling. We will show some examples of this propaganda method below.
Thirdly, the satellite pictures have been very selectively sized and cropped. If the pictures had been extended to show a larger area, rather than just a mile out from the Barrow shore, the supposedly ice-free 2007 picture would have revealed ice to the north. And if the 2006 picture had been similarly extended it would have shown that the ice in the picture was a thick bank of ice near the shore, beyond which was some ice-free water. But that would simply have weakened the propaganda, so such an inconvenience has been avoided by judicious cropping and hiding the evidence from the reader. We don’t expect our readers to take our word for this though, so here is the proof.
Here is an aerial photo of Barrow on July 10, 2006
And here is an aerial photo of Barrow on July 13, 2007
In both pictures the ice has broken away from the Barrow shoreline and is drifting along the coastline. In the 2006 photo there is a bank of ice left near the shore after the main ice has broken away. We can now see how very crafty the US Geological Survey has been to crop the pictures and select the dates as they did.
Here are photos taken from the shore showing the same thing around the turn of the month. Firstly, 2006, with ice close to shore
Then in 2007, with ice more distant:
Finally, on the very same day the following year (2008), and a lot more ice:
Shock horror! Evidence of rapid global cooling!
We could do the same for the years 2001 and 2002, with a parody of the Observer article, to propound dangerous global cooling:
“Photos from US webcams not classified by the Bush White House provided graphic images of how the polar ice sheets are advancing in the summer. The effects on the world’s weather, environments and wildlife could be devastating.
“Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global cooling in the Arctic have been released by webcam users…The pictures, not classified by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, are now a source of embarrassment to the Obama White House since President Barack Obama is currently trying to dupe Congress and the American public.
“One particularly striking set of images – from a webcam not classified by George W. Bush, but now highly embarrassing to President Obama who would like to stop such material being in the public domain – includes views of the Alaskan port of Barrow. One, taken in July 2001, shows the coastal waters entirely ice-free. A second image shows that by the following July sea ice is still nestling close to the shore.”
Wow! Advancing sea ice! Dangerous global cooling!
It should by now be obvious that the media and the Obama administration are indulging in some of the crudest forms of propaganda