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Jim Hunt
South West England
Recent Activity
Bill - If you had included the previous few words in your quote it would have provided the appropriate context!
Chris, Here's an ethics handbook for aspiring journalists: For those who might wish to follow the "WadhamsGate" story there's an appropriate thread on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum: Peter Wadhams in Murder Mystery? Back to the ice.
What "recovery" was that then Neven ;) A Professor from CPOM assured me it was merely a "temporary reprieve". The Daily Mail apparently thinks otherwise, so I'm having a good old moan about that, amongst other things: "An Open Letter to the Reader’s Editor of the Daily Mail" P.S. Have you tried NeilT's "Press F5 after authentication" trick when trying to log in? It works for me from Facebook, eventually.
By my reckoning there's now an "ice free" passage along the Northern Sea Route, albeit with a tight squeeze through the Vilkitsky Strait. To celebrate this momentous event here's a bang up to date version of the NSR video above:
Wayne - Doing my best impersonation of an investigative journalist I called The Times switchboard this morning and asked to speak to Ben Webster. I didn't get very far. First I got his voicemail, then the news desk told me: An extract from my notebook: No, sorry. I’m going to have to go because the other line is ringing, but if you call back later he’ll be in. All right, but that’s not very helpful, whoever you are.
You may well be correct Wayne, but in the latest news the Guardian now say that the Times say they have a recording of Ben Webster's interview with Prof. Wadhams, and the Telegraph interviewed him as well: The slideshow gets ever longer!
The full text of Prof. Wadhams complaint and a slideshow of the back story can now be seen at: Professor Peter Wadhams Complaint to IPSO
Prof. Wadhams has now spoken: Complaint made to IPSO (Independent Press Standards Office) by Dr. Wadhams: The writer of this article, Ben Webster, phoned me up cold in my office at Cambridge University on Thursday 23 July, saying that he was writing a piece on the retreat of sea ice in the Arctic, and whether it was increasing or not. We discussed the scientific data, then he asked who else was working in this field in the UK, in order to contact them. I mentioned that there are not many others in this field, since three of the leading figures died within a short space of time in accidents in 2013. He asked for further details. I asked that this be completely off the record because of (a) the sensibilities of relatives of the deceased (Prof Laxon's partner was particularly upset by the subsequent publication), (b) my own scientific reputation (I did not want to be made out to be a crazy person), (c) the fact that these deaths were investigated and were very clearly simply an extraordinary coincidence. He raised the question of whether they were murdered. I agreed that for a short time I thought that they were, since I had had the experience of being run off the road at the same time by a lorry, but that it was very clear afterwards that the three deaths were individually explainable accidents. I did not make any of the statements enclosed in quotation marks by the reporter. Webster promised that this was in confidence and that if he wanted to use it he would contact me first. The next thing I saw was the article plastered over Saturday's "Times". He had clearly done some research in procuring photographs, but did not bother to contact me, and broke his promise of confidentiality. The publication, subsequently picked up by the Sunday Telegraph and Mail on Sunday, has substantially damaged my reputation for scientific integrity, and I believe that this was the deliberate intention.
Whilst Prof. Wadhams may still remain silent that doesn't mean we all have to: Lesson 1 of our "Arctic Sea Ice Volume for Dummies" series, published earlier this morning by The Guardian.
Sofouuk - There's also no reason why an intrepid investigative journalist shouldn't ask Andrew Shepherd for a comment is there? After all, I did. So did Carbon Brief: Cool Arctic summer brought brief recovery in sea ice loss in 2013, study suggests Although the jump in volume means that the region is unlikely to be ice free this summer, we still expect temperatures to rise in the future, and so the events of 2013 will have simply wound the clock back a few years on the long-term pattern of decline. Perhaps his comment doesn't fit the preferred narrative of "Right thinking" UK newspapers though?
Re Peter Wadhams, I currently find myself more on Neil's side of the debate than Chris's. There are a number of "fishy" aspects to the "story" IMHO. Ostensibly the papers were seeking comment on the recent CryoSat-2 paper with Rachel Tilling as the lead author. In which case why call Wadhams rather than Prof. Andrew Shepherd? His name's on that paper after all. He's also testified to the UK Government on the subject and in the past he's been the go to guy, certainly for The Mail, on sea ice stories: That said, and like it or not, if Prof. Wadhams doesn't tell his side of the story soon lots of the mud recently flung in his direction is likely to stick. It seems he's too modest to mention it himself, but the definitive reference on Arctic sea ice volume is of course Andy's "ice cube" video: And as Ruth Mottram pointed out in another recent "Storify" of mine, according to the Polar Portal at least "Volume's back down now"! Inside the BBC’s Arctic Sea Ice Science As Andy points out above, "The ice is still going away. That is just a matter of time."
Chris, The Mail quotes The Telegraph. The Telegraph says "Prof Wadhams... told The Telegraph" The Times says "Asked by The Times for his response to the discovery that the total volume of ice grew 40 per cent in 2013, Professor Wadhams insisted..." Do you believe that all 3 of them are telling "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"?
I didn't think my contempt for these people could sink any lower, but it has. If there is any truth whatsoever in their latest attempt to assassinate the character of Professor Peter Wadhams then the Great British gutter press have recently been hounding the partner of the late Professor Seymour Laxon. Here are the edited lowlights so far: Lorryless Assassination for Dummies Disgusted of Dunchideock
You are correct Wayne:
Kris - Here's a recent image from O-Buoy 9: Click the image then scroll down a bit for some unprecedented views of the North coast of Greenland!
Bill - Here's the latest image from that section of the GWC resources. The "Laptev Bite" looks like it's back! Click the image then the date in the caption for a much closer look.
Allen - See also the Petermann thread on the Arctic Sea Ice Form. Andreas Muenchow is a contributor!,53.0.html For more on one "ice island" in particular that you may interested in see:,176.msg12179.html#msg12179 et seq. and search the forum for "PII-2012" There's also a large chunk of sea ice that's recently become detached from Northern Ellesmere: Is that what you're referring to?
Further to my "Shock News" above I've been informed by a fellow complainant that the Daily Mail have replaced the word "decades" by "years" in the online version of their ludicrously inept leader. Meanwhile I'm not entirely happy with BBC Radio 4's report on the same CPOM paper: Inside the BBC’s Arctic Sea Ice Science Arctic sea ice volume "is back down now". No mention of that by the Beeb though!
In yesterdays "Shock News!" the UK's Daily Mail has been promulgating porkie pies about Artic Sea Ice once again. We complain bitterly to all and sundry, including IPSO: An Inconvenient Truth About The Mail’s Climate Coverage Whilst searching [Rachel Tilling's] paper for the word “ice” returns lots of results a search for the word “cap” returns zero results, just like “recovery”.
Hooray! Typepad is back in action after a none too brief "hiatus". Eli - Please see the piccies at:
Tanada - How do you define "ice free"? Whether the NSR is navigable depends upon the ice class of your vessel and whether you have assistance from the likes of "50 Years of Victory" or not. I'm not aware of any "official list", but here's some handy links plus videos of ice movement along the NSR from 2012 onwards:
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2015 on Junction June 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice
For those interested in "the fetch wave-ice fetch feedback loop", my initial report on the unanticipated break up of the Norwegian Young Sea Ice 2015 camp northwest of Svalbard on June 22nd or thereabouts: R/V Lance Encounters Another Energetic Wave Event in the Arctic
Some pertinent comments in a personal communication from Peter Wadhams: A-Team - "Re. the Sikuliaq cruise, my own work on board will be a close-in wave-ice experiment where we will deploy 10 buoys just outside and just inside the ice edge to measure the microscale scattering of wave energy by individual floes at the edge. Since the ship will be staying around into the freeze-up period we will then measure wave penetration through the new ice (which may be in the form of pancake ice) Re press officer, I only wish we could do it, but we have had to battle for every berth just to do our basic work. The ship is really crammed. Which of course will raise an interesting question if there does indeed end up being an exceptional retreat this year. We sail on Sept 28, which is 10 days after the normal sea ice minimum, but we may end up having to go a very long way to find ice, and this would certainly be of interest to the media." Thanks for that analysis Rob, but as some small comfort - "My SIPN prediction is an outlier but it is in fact what is predicted by the 5-year trend in ice volume in September. In 2013 and 2014 the volume in summer came in above this trend, but since then we have started a new El Nino which tends to increase air temperatures more. I am just staking this area out as a marker, and expect to be shot down in flames."
Thanks for showing those videos here Neven. There is in fact a trilogy, now also including the Northern Sea Route hot from the GWC animation studio: Thanks A-Team - My current image processing pipeline uses solely ImageMagick. Can ImageJ2 likewise be used in "batch mode"? Doing everything manually would take until the proverbial hell freezes over. Or until the Arctic is no longer frozen over. Whichever occurs sooner.
AmbiValent - See this exchange on the HYCOM forum:!topic/forum/5Zw5E0-3peU and the related ASIF thread: What's wrong with HYCOM?
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2015 on Junction June 2015 at Arctic Sea Ice