Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is the Better Climate Change Indicator

Guest essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University

Global warming theory predicts that rising levels of CO2 will gradually warm the air and cause an increasing loss of sea ice. As temperatures rise, ice nearer the equator was predicted to be the first to disappear and over the coming decades ice closer to the poles would be the last to melt. However that is not the reality we are now observing. Antarctic sea ice is mostly located outside the Antarctic Circle (Figure 1) and should be the first to melt due to global warming theory. Yet Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and expanding towards the equator contradicting all the models. As Dr. Laura Landrum from the National Center for Atmospheric Research wrote, “Antarctic sea ice area exhibits significant decreasing annual trends in all six [model] ensemble members from 1950 to 2005, in apparent contrast to observations that suggest a modest ice area increase since 1979.”10 (see Figure 2)

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In contrast, most of the Arctic sea ice exists inside the Arctic Circle and should be last to melt. However during the Arctic’s coldest winters, Barents Sea ice still melts deep inside the Arctic circle. While cold March air temperatures maintained maximum ice further south in the Hudson Bay and Bering Sea, much of the Barents Sea has been ice-free. In 2012 the more southerly Bering Sea ice set records for maximum extent, similar to the maximum sea ice currently observed in the Antarctic. Clearly global greenhouse gases cannot be the cause of melting inside the Arctic, while simultaneously sea ice is expanding in the Bering Sea and the southern hemisphere. However ocean currents and natural ocean oscillations readily explain such behavior. Counter to the media hype, it is Antarctic sea ice that should be the most sensitive indicator of climate change caused by greenhouse gases because the Arctic sea ice is affected by too many other confounding factors.

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Arctic vs Antarctic sea ice

1) Sea ice melts deep inside the Arctic Circle during the coldest of winters because warm water from the Atlantic and the Pacific intrude and melt the ice from below. During the past two decades scientists have observed an increase in the volume of warm water penetrating deep inside the Arctic Circle, which then preconditioned the polar ice cap for a greater loss of summer ice.3,8 Changes in the North Atlantic/Arctic Oscillation affect how much heated water is driven into the Arctic, which then causes the widespread melt seen in the Barents Sea and adjoining Kara Sea. Similarly the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation drives more warm water through the Bering Strait into the Chukchi Sea.2,5,8

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In contrast for millions of years the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) has created a formidable barrier that prevents any similar warm water intrusions. (The ACC is discussed further at the end of this essay). Therefore changes in Antarctic sea ice are not confounded by warm water intrusions, making Antarctic sea ice a better indicator of the effects of rising CO2 concentrations.

2) Any trend in the degree of summer melt in the Arctic is further confounded by the fluctuating concentrations of thin first year ice. Because continents surround the Arctic Ocean, Arctic Sea ice undergoes cycles of accumulating or reducing the amount of thick, multi-year sea ice that resists melting.2 When the winds pile sea ice against the Arctic shoreline, thicker multi-year ice accumulates. When the winds shift, that thicker ice is blown out past Svalbard into the north Atlantic, and is replaced by thinner, first-year ice that more readily melts each summer. The amount of multi-year ice in the Arctic is controlled by the direction of the winds and the Arctic oscillation.2 It was not warmer temperatures that removed the thickest Arctic Ice, but sub-freezing winds blowing from the coldest regions in the northern hemisphere.4,5

Due to the constraints of the continents, the maximum extent of Arctic sea ice in 1979 covered about 15 million square kilometers. In contrast, Antarctic sea ice is unconstrained by continental boundaries and each winter winds blowing from the cold Antarctic interior push the sea ice much further towards the equator. By September the sea ice covers 16 to 17 million square kilometers of the Antarctic Ocean, nearly 40% of the southern hemisphere’s ocean surface. Because sea ice is less likely to be piled against a shoreline to form thicker multi‑year ice, most of the Antarctic sea ice is relatively thin, first‑year ice.

(Measurements of sea ice extent differ depending on what concentration of ice cover is used as the threshold between ice and “no ice”. For example, by using a lower concentration, some authors report that Antarctica’s maximum coverage reaches 20 million km2. Here we use statistics supplied by the University of Illinois’ website The Cryosphere Today to allow an accessible comparison of the Arctic and Antarctic)

Despite more extensive winter ice, each summerAntarctic sea ice retreats much more rapidly than Arctic sea ice. Antarctica’s first-year ice can quickly shrink to a less than two million square kilometers. Even during the Arctic’s “historic” summer lows of 2007 and 2012, the Arctic still retained more sea ice than the Antarctic.

When the Arctic Oscillation shifts and blows thick multi-year ice out into the northern Atlantic, the Arctic is dominated by first year ice that behaves just like the rapidly melting Antarctic sea ice. A season of rapid summer melt is normal wherever first‑year ice predominates, whether it occurs in the Arctic or Antarctic, and is not an indicator of rising air temperatures. For example off the coast of Alaska, climate scientists reported a more rapid summer melt even though air temperatures were colder than average, simply because the winds had removed the thicker multi-year ice which was replaced with more rapidly melting first year ice.

Climate scientists acknowledge that due to Arctic Oscillation’s natural variability, “detection of possible long-term trends induced by greenhouse gas warming [is] most difficult.”3 Therefore because the confounding percentages of trapped multi-year ice fluctuates greatly in the Arctic, trends in Antarctica’s sea ice are again a much cleaner indicator of global climate change.

3) There is so much warm, salty Atlantic and Pacific water lurking just 100 meters below Arctic Ocean’s surface, that it could melt the winter ice completely several times over. As climate scientists noted, ““There are arguments in support of an important role for oceanic heat in shaping the Arctic pack ice. They are often keyed to the presence of warm intermediate-depth (150–900 m) water of Atlantic origin” 3 Sea ice insulates the ocean surface from the stirring effects of the wind that will raise those warmer waters from intermediate depths. However once the insulating layer of ice is removed, the formation of thicker ice is delayed because the winds will now stir and raise warm subsurface waters. For example even when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation shifted to its cool phase and the volume of intruding Pacific water was reduced, the stirring effect of the winds still caused greater summer melt.6

4) When the effects of ventilating heat are removed, air temperatures show little warming. Most of the warming in the Arctic has not been caused by CO2‑warmed air from above, but from the ventilated warmth from Atlantic and Pacific waters. In addition to raising warmer water from below, thinner ice also allows more heat to ventilate than thicker ice. In fact before the insulating ice cover was blown out of the Arctic, climate scientists in the 1980s and 90s had measured a cooling trend writing, “In particular, we do not observe the large surface warming trends predicted by models; indeed, we detect significant surface cooling trends over the western Arctic Ocean during winter and autumn. This discrepancy suggests that present climate models do not adequately incorporate the physical processes that affect the polar regions.”1

Similarly if we examine winter air temperatures over the South Pole where heat from the ocean is not a factor, again there is no warming trend (Figure 4). In fact there is a slight cooling during the months of April May and June, which is consistent with the increasing Antarctic sea ice.

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A Natural Experiment Has Begun

In 2010 Michael Mann and 8 other climate scientists wrote to Secretary Ken Salazar suggesting climate change had imperiled the polar bears stating, “Scientific studies and observations indicate that climate change is more rapid and pronounced in the Arctic than in other areas of the world. Data and modeling studies repeatedly document that the geography, ice albedo feedback and cloud feedbacks make this region extremely sensitive to climate forcings. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) found that the Arctic has warmed at twice the rate of the rest of the globe on average, and some areas have warmed even faster. Mean annual temperatures in Alaska have increased by 1.9 degrees Celsius in the past 50 years, almost three times the global average over the same time period, and by 3.5 degrees Celsius in winter, as reported by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.” They predicted, “Under current greenhouse gas emissions trends, Arctic summer sea ice has been projected to disappear in the 2030s or before, as reported by several recent studies.”

Oddly, Mann did not address the changes in intruding warm water or the Arctic Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). It was the greater volume of warm water that had passed through the Bering Strait that had caused the extensive loss of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea in 2007 resulting in the historic summer low. But all that is now changing. Mann’ alarming trend of rising Alaskan temperatures has already reversed with the shifting to the PDO cool phase and Alaska is becoming the most rapidly cooling region on the globe, cooling by 1.3°C for just the recent decade.9 As the PDO trends to its cool phase and less Pacific water enters the Chukchi Sea, its sea ice is also recovering.

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Likewise the Barents and neighboring Kara Sea are most affected by warm intruding Atlantic water, but as the Arctic Oscillation trends negative, less Atlantic water is pumped towards the poles. The 2013 increase of Kara Sea ice is likely a result. Unlike the Arctic, Antarctic waters are not so affected by cycles of intruding warm water, and its growing sea ice suggests that rising greenhouse gases exert a very trivial effect.

As the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation shift to their cool phases and solar activity wanes, natural climate cycles predict that Arctic sea ice should recover within the next 5 to 15 years. Climate models have demonstrated that Arctic sea ice can recover in just a few years after the winds change.7 Allowing for a lag effect as subsurface heat ventilates and thicker multiyear ice begins to accumulate, recovery could be swift. If so, CO2 advocates like Mann and his allies who have based their political and scientific authority on predictions that Arctic Sea Ice will disappear by 2030 will likely suffer embarrassing unprecedented scientific and political repercussions.

Antarctic Circumpolar Current

Antarctic Circumpolar Current’s (ACC) oceanic barrier was first established when continental drift separated Antarctica from the other continents several million years ago. This allowed an unimpeded flow and the ACC became the world’s greatest and most powerful current, moving a hundred times more water than the all the earth’s rivers combined. As it strengthened and isolated the seas inside the ACC, Antarctic waters cooled dramatically. Inside the ACC species requiring warmer water soon became extinct, and the ACC still maintains a formidable thermal barrier that has thwarted invasions by cold-blooded marine species. Since its establishment, true sharks, true crabs, and some families of barnacles are uniquely absent inside the ACC, and many of Antarctica’s remaining cold-blooded species are found nowhere else. In contrast, the Arctic Ocean has been invaded by many North Atlantic and Pacific species that can persist at lower depths in warmer subsurface waters that circulate throughout the entire Arctic. The ACC’s thermal barrier is also why the Antarctic pack ice symmetrically extends far beyond the Antarctic Circle (Figure 1).

Literature Cited

  1. Kahl, J., et al., (1993) Absence of evidence for greenhouse warming over the Arctic Ocean in the past 40 years. Nature 361, 335 – 337.
  2. Venegas, S. A., and L. A. Mysak, 2000: Is there a dominant timescale of natural climate variability in the Arctic? J. Climate, 13, 3412–3434.
  3. Polyakov, I., et al., (2010) Arctic Ocean warming contributes to reduced polar ice cap. Journal of Physical. Oceanography, vol. 40, p. 2743–2756. doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4339.1.
  4. Rigor, I.G. and J.M. Wallace (2004), Variations in the Age of Sea Ice and Summer Sea Ice Extent, Geophys. Res. Lett., v. 31, doi:10.1029/2004GL019492.
  5. Rigor, I.G., J.M. Wallace, and R.L. Colony (2002), Response of Sea Ice to the Arctic Oscillation, J. Climate, v. 15, no. 18, pp. 2648 – 2668.
  6. Shimada, K. et al. , (2006) Pacific Ocean inflow: Influence on catastrophic reduction of sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 33, L08605, doi:10.1029/2005GL025624.
  7. Tietsche, S.,et al. (2011) Recovery mechanisms of Arctic summer sea ice. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 38, L02707, doi:10.1029/2010GL045698.
  8. Woodgate, R., et al. (2006) Interannual changes in the Bering Strait fluxes of volume, heat and freshwater between 1991 and 2004. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 33, L15609, doi:10.1029/2006GL026931
  9. Wendler,G., et al. (2012) The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska. The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2012, 6, 111-116
  10. Landrum, L., et al. (2012) Antarctic Sea Ice Climatology, Variability, and Late Twentieth-Century Change in CCSM4. Journal of Climate, vol. 25, p. 4817‑4838.

Adapted from Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism

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107 Responses to Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is the Better Climate Change Indicator

  1. Mooloo says:

    Silly man! The Antarctic ice is the wrong sort of ice so we can safely ignore it.

  2. Of significance is that the area covered by Antarctic sea ice has the least local to regional scale anthropogenic influences of anywhere on Earth. Thus it will be the place where any global climate change signal will clearest.

    The increasing Antarctic sea ice indicates that the cooling that began around 2006 is a real global climate signal. Further, the late 20th century surface resulted from local to regional scale anthropogenic effects and not from a global effect.

  3. pat says:

    ***take a bow, anthony et al:

    22 July: BBC: David Shukman: Why has global warming stalled?
    In many ways, this event was long overdue: climate sceptics have for years pointed out that the world is not warming as rapidly as once forecast…
    ***Gradually the words ‘pause’ and ‘hiatus’ which first featured in the blogs have crossed to the media and then to the scientists professionally engaged in researching the global climate.
    The headline – which the scientists will not thank me for – is that no one is really sure why the rate of warming has stumbled…
    There are plenty of possible explanations but none of them adds up to a definitive smoking gun…
    On top of that, the scientists say, pauses in warming were always to be expected. This is new – at least to me.
    It is common sense that climate change would not happen in a neat, linear away but instead in fits and starts.
    But I’ve never heard leading researchers mention the possibility before…
    Professor Rowan Sutton, of Reading University, said computer simulations or models of possible future climate scenarios often show periods of ten years with no warming trend – some even show pauses of 20-25 years.
    And Professor Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said observations and models showed that on average there were – or would be – two pauses in warming every century.
    I asked why this had not come up in earlier presentations. No one really had an answer, except to say that this “message” about pauses had not been communicated widely…
    But what about another possibility – that the calculations are wrong?
    What if the climate models – which are the very basis for all discussions of what to do about global warming – exaggerate the sensitivity of the climate to rising carbon dioxide?
    Dr Stott conceded that the projections showing the most rapid warming now look less likely, given recent observations, but that others remain largely unchanged…
    But until the pause can be properly explained, many people will take a lot of convincing – especially if the pause lasts longer than expected.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23409404

    ——————————————————————————–

  4. FAH says:

    Great post. Thank you very much. I am leaning 60-40 toward buying your book, instead of waiting for the library to get it.

    It seems clear that the “consensus” view toward AGW has been shifting as more data becomes apparent. At first the clear indicator would be CO2 forced runaway growth in global atmospheric temperature and “everybody” knew that. Now it seems that hypothesis is heading toward rejection. Then the clear signal would be extremes of weather, and every storm or heat wave was a sure sign of that. Dr. Pielke seems to have done a good job of rejecting that hypothesis for the present, and showing that any signal to that effect would not be evident for decades. Then the clear signal was sea ice and rising ocean levels. Now that one seems in the process of being rejected as a clear signal as well.

    The mantle of the clear indicator seems to be falling on ocean heat content, and secondarily an associated sea level rise. Even SkS now has a post titled “Why doesn’t the temperature rise at the same rate that CO2 increases?” (Don’t bother to look). But it is significant that even a bastion of enthusiasm for AGW such as SkS is now admitting temperatures are not going up according to predicted model forcings. The argument now is that AGW is pumping up the heat content of the oceans, somehow bypassing the atmosphere, and that an inexorable and catastrophic rise in ocean heat content will wreak havoc soon.

    I have poked around googlescholar for references on ocean heat budgets and the like without much success, but I am not even a climate scientist, much less an ocean specialist. However, I can wade through clearly written papers that are fairly free of large scale and arcane manipulations of databases. The ocean pages here have several good references with respect to currents and decadal oscillations, but I have yet to find some good references on global ocean heat budget. What I have found scares me in that it looks like much of what happens is somewhat local, not global, and that convection plays a pivotal role, negating all my simple minded excel calculations involving volumes of water in shells 700m-2000m apart, the specific heat of sea water, etc. Can someone supply some good references on ocean heat content and budget? The content seems covered fairly well. On the budget I have found less.

    Thanks again for a good post.

  5. William McClenney says:

    Presume yourself to be awake, here, at the half-precession-cycle-old Holocene extreme interglacial.

    Then consider the bipolar-seesaw-effect at the most recent end extreme post-MPT interglacial….

    http://eg.igras.ru/files/f.2010.04.14.12.53.54..5.pdf

    “…the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events….”

    Whereas in further consideration of:

    “We propose that the interval between the “terminal” oscillation of the bipolar seesaw, preceding an interglacial, and its first major reactivation represents a period of minimum extension of ice sheets away from coastlines.”

    ““…thus, the first major reactivation of the bipolar seesaw would probably constitute an indication that the transition to a glacial state had already taken place.”

    If you take the half-precession-old Holocene, plus a few centuries change into account, add Antarctic sea ice recently with respect to Arctic sea ice recently, did we just witness the “first major reactivation represents a period of minimum extension of ice sheets away from coastlines.”?

    It appears to me that the most fundamental question we chould be asking in terms of climate change is just how long the Holocene will last………?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-out-like-a-madoff-climate-change-insurer/

  6. William McClenney says:

    Wordmess (wordpress). Love it or whatever it.

    Another stab at the link I posted earlier.

    http://eg.igras.ru/files/f.2010.04.14.12.53.54..5.pdf

  7. Larry Kirk says:

    The Arctic and the Antarctic are incomparable in many ways. Another obvious factor affecting the extent of sea ice in one or the other area is that the Arctic polar ice cap floats on water, whereas the Antarctic polar ice cap sits on top of a land mass.

    Thus, if the two icecaps were to be suddenly thickened from above by the same amount of additional ice, they would respond entirely differently:

    The Arctic ice cap would respond by sinking down further into the underlying Arctic ocean, by at least 90% of the thickness of additional ice that was added (and possibly melting some of the base of the ice cap in underlying warmer waters). There would be virtually no outward spreading of ice by glacial flow and no resultant increase in sea ice extent.

    The Antarctic ice cap on the other hand would respond almost entirely by flowing outward, glacially, supported on the solid surface of the underlying bedrock. The Antarctic ice cap would therefore spread out over the adjacent ocean surface, increasing the area of sea ice.

    So as you can see, the two poles are completely incomparable in terms of the forces affecting the extent of sea ice, and of course we see this in reality, in their very different current modes of sea ice growth/shrinkage.

    I don’t know much about sea ice formation in detail, but I would imagine that a large proportion of the Antarctic sea ice is generated by this flow outwards from the polar landmass, whilst almost all of the Arctic sea ice is generated by freezing of surface waters by cold air and then moved around, and is then moved around and accreted or dispersed / melted or further frozen by winds and ocean currents.

    If so, the dominant factor affecting Antarctic sea ice extent would be precipitation over the Antarctic landmass, whereas the dominant factors affecting sea ice extent in the Arctic would be the temperature and direction of moving ocean and air currents.

  8. Stephen Wilde says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/20/antarctica-warming-ice-melting-not/

    Stephen Wilde says:

    September 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Changes in the northern ice pack are primarily a consequence of the temperature of the water flowing into the Arctic Circle from El Nino events (or the lack of them) some 5 to 10 years earlier.

    A secondary influence is wind but that depends on the position of the air circulation systems which are closely linked to the average global rate of oceanic energy emission with a lag of only a few weeks.

  9. William McClenney says:

    Jeez…. You may have to invoke google.scholar.com and search for a portion of the title:

    Instability of climate and vegetation dynamics

    Copy the above into the “exact phrase” line of the expanded google.scholar.com main page….

    Is this as far as we have come as a species or what?

  10. I don’t know much about sea ice formation in detail, but I would imagine that a large proportion of the Antarctic sea ice is generated by this flow outwards from the polar landmass

    No it isn’t.

    Increases in Antarctic sea ice around maximum extent are far, roughly a thousand kms, from the icesheets that originate on the land. And we can differentiate sea ice from land origin ice by its thickness. Thus measures of sea ice versus land origin ice are likely accurate with 1% or so.

    Precipitation over Antarctica has no effect on sea ice extent.

    There are factors other than temperature that affect sea ice in the Arctic, particularly surface albedo, but Antarctic sea ice is almost wholly an effect of air and sea temperature.

    Larry, everything you said was wrong. As I have previously note, evidence of the declining quality of warmist trolls.

    [italics corrected. Mod]

  11. Dang, messed up the italic close.

  12. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Larry, you could always look at the actual temperature, of course…

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=700895120000&dt=1&ds=14

    This is fairly typical of the very few recording stations that have a reasonable amount of data, i.e. there is no show of a rise in temperature in Antarctica. ALL the evidence of changing temps would seem to indicate a drop, not a rise. This is why ALL the talk is of the Arctic. Warmists don’t really want the Antarctic ice mentioned…and its run toward a record ice extent.

  13. steveta_uk says:

    Does this mean you’ve found Kevin’s missing heat? It was there all along, hiding underneath the Artic ice!

  14. Mk Urbo says:

    Sorry, but I find the first few paragraphs (and references to figures) confusing. They take away from an otherwise significant article.

  15. Antarctic sea ice formation is not only controlled by temperature, but also salinity, decoupling any simple temperature-ice extent relationship. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI4136.1

  16. GeeJam says:

    Thank you Jim Steele for your article. The part that says ‘mean annual temperature in Alaska has increased by 1.9°C in the past 50 years – but has now cooled by 1.3°C for the last decade’ is interesting.

    See Pat’s link (above) to the BBC’s science reporter, David Shukman, who asks why global warming has stalled?

    pat says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm
    ***take a bow, anthony et al:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23409404

    Yet another recent example of the BBC finally beginning to cast serious doubt on their CAGW principles. If this is so, I look forward to Chris Packham (from BBC’s ‘Spring/Autumn Watch’) admitting to his audience how Climate Change/Global Warming poses no real threat after all and that he, his fellow presenters and the producers have ‘cocked up’ over the last few years.

  17. Sven says:

    What seems to confirm to me as a layperson what’s been written here is the fact that at least for the last couple of years the “missing” ice compared to the long term average at the time of ice maximum in March seems to be uniquely in the open area close to and around Novaya Zemlya. And that seems to be the only area out of normal. In most of other regions there is no important decline (during the ice maximum, that is, minimum in September is different). I haven’t seen any explanation or even discussion of that. Usually there is only talk about the extent of the anomaly and not about the regional or zonal particularities. If the cause for the decline of Arctic sea ice would be rising global temperatures, the ice sheet would be declining everywhere, not just in one particular area, wouldn’t it? Has anyone witnessed the same thing and would anyone have a comment?

  18. Sven says:

    The other weird thing – NSIDC is always showing ice in the Gulf of Finland late into the summer. On their map, most of the Gulf of Finland is still covered with ice today, when people are swimming and the temperature of the water at the beaches is about +20C. That’s absurd! The ice disappeared in April, the last remnants in May, latest, like it always does, gentlemen.

  19. Larry Kirk says:

    Philip Bradley, what is a ‘warmist troll’? And how did you come to conclude that I might be one of these imaginary creatures? Actually I am a rather old geologist, who is inclined to a natural explanation for everything, particularly ‘global’ temperature change and related phenomena. You had me reading your comments seriously until you dropped suddenly into the name-calling cliches of the irrationally prejudiced. The last time I saw a troll, it was a small plastic toy with orange nylon hair in the hands of a five year old, but perhaps I am not up with the insultese of the Facebook generation.

  20. David says:

    Humm? All this additional ice creates more bottom water, (AABW)sinking to the ocean bottom, No missing heat here.
    Per wik
    “Antarctic bottom water is formed in the Weddell and Ross Seas from surface water cooling in polynyas and below the ice shelf. A unique feature of Antarctic bottom water is the cold surface wind blowing off the Antarctic continent. The surface wind creates the polynyas which opens up the water surface to more wind. This Antarctic wind is stronger during the winter months and thus the Antarctic bottom water is more pronounced during the Antarctic winter season.”

    One of the other contributors to the AABW is brine rejection. When seawater freezes the salt works its way out in the form of very cold, very salty water. (I have seen a cool video of this) As this water is much saltier and much colder than the rest of the ocean water, it settles to the bottom. So, on the one hand, the source of AABW from brine rejection has increased, about 500,000 sq K or more over the past three decades, on the other hand there is that much less ocean to be affected by the winds. Humm? So far no source found on quantifying how much is produced by either of the two mechanics.

  21. richard telford says:
    July 23, 2013 at 1:02 am
    Antarctic sea ice formation is not only controlled by temperature, but also salinity, decoupling any simple temperature-ice extent relationship.

    A model.

    Forgive me if I only trust empirical measurements. Of which incidentally there are none.

  22. Larry Kirk says:
    July 23, 2013 at 1:25 am
    Philip Bradley, what is a ‘warmist troll’?

    Your post had all the hallmarks of the warmist trolls we get here. Everything you said was wrong. Seemingly your only intent was to muddy the the waters, by throwing in false red herrings, if I may mix metaphors.

    If your post was genuine, then I apologize.

    I’d point out that increasing Antarctic sea ice extent is a huge problem for the AGWers, for the reasons I explained above and in previous threads. It normally brings the warmist paid trolls out in force.

  23. Larry Kirk says:

    Philip, you were doing alright up until the full stop after ‘Larry, everything you said was wrong’. But then, instead of enlarging on that statement and giving us the benefit of your scientific reasons for making it, all you had to offer was a self-aggrandising slur. Dang, as they say!

    If you have relevant expertise and feel that you know what you are talking about, you might like to substantiate the above comment.

  24. Grey Lensman says:

    Possibly, the huge Russian nuclear Ice breakers also have an effect. They break the ice between sea and shore, thus enabling it to be blown away when the wind is right.

  25. <i<Larry Kirk says:
    July 23, 2013 at 2:01 am

    See my post above where I messed up the italics. Everything after the first paragraph is my response.

    And you are right my response to your response was self aggrandizing.

    If you feel you have a substantive point from your first post worth persuing then do so.

  26. Other_Andy says:

    Everybody can see that the sea ice in Antarctica is growing.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1979/to:2013/trend/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1979/to:2013

    I don’t know where Dr. Laura Landrum from the National Center for Atmospheric Research is coming from.
    Anybody?

    The Antarctic glaciers might be a different story.
    Does anybody know what’s going on with those?

  27. John Spencer says:

    Ok there are some Warmists that claim we will
    be under 5 meters of water with melting ice.
    And there are some Warmists who claim the north
    pole will be gone in 5 years. So what do those
    predictions look like against current ocean trends.

    2005 = 1mm. Trend, mass. Actual.
    2006 = 1mm
    2007 = 1mm
    2008 = 1mm
    2009 = 1mm
    2010 = 1mm
    2011 = 1mm
    2012 = 1mm
    2013 = 1000mm. Warmist 5 Meters.
    2014 = 1000mm
    2015 = 1000mm
    2016 = 1000mm
    2017 = 1000mm

    http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/documents/NOAA_NESDIS_Sea_Level_Rise_Budget_Report_2012.pdf

    This might be a clue to the strange melt::

    http://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/global-warming-caused-cfcs-not-carbon-dioxide-study-says

  28. John Marshall says:

    Interesting, many thanks Jim.
    Another nail in the GHE coffin.

  29. Other_Andy says:

    Though I found it.
    She takes the 1950-2005 period.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1950/to:2005/trend/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:1950/to:2005

    Still no “significant decreasing annual trends”.

  30. StuartMcL says:

    I have noticed over the last few years at this stage that there was a volume of rapid ice movement out through the Fram Strait into lower latitudes, caused by wind patterns..

    This year the wind patterns have kept the ice going round in circles in the higher latitudes with much less loss through that route.

  31. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    John Spencer says:

    July 23, 2013 at 2:44 am

    This might be a clue to the strange melt::

    http://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/global-warming-caused-cfcs-not-carbon-dioxide-study-says

    Now that I can believe, and while governments are rushing up the wrong path the real cause is ignored.

  32. FerdinandAkin says:

    Pray tell where all this “ventilated warmth” is going. Could the warmth be exiting the Earth out the top of the atmosphere? The roll back of Arctic ice could be another thermostat effect that controls the Earth’s temperature.

    Another topic I rarely see addressed it the effect of fresh water diversion from the Arctic Ocean to agriculture in Asia. I believe that it is a layer of less dense fresh water on the surface of the Ocean that initiates the freezing of the water. Without the layer of fresh water, ice formation is pushed back into the winter when the air temperatures are lower.

  33. steveta_uk says:

    When penguins leave the water, they do a nice high-speed jump onto the ice several feet from the edge. And they don’t weigh very much.

    Polar bears, in the other hand, climb out with their big fat bodies, and break up the edges.

    And so the Arctic sea ice is bound to erode faster than the Antartic.

  34. Bruce says:

    David Shukman is predictably getting a lot of flak from warmist sycophants who hung on his every word when he was saying what they wanted to hear on his BBC blog. It would be great if WUWT readers could go over there en masse and give him some support by leaving comments and downrating sub-par warmist comments.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23409404

  35. markstoval says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I have a simple question. Can anyone point me to a prediction made more than ten years ago about the total ice coverage of planet earth that was made due to the CO2 theory that has come true? Karl Popper was big on making predictions as I recall from those long ago science classes at University.

    We have had slow glacier melt for centuries, so predictions of a continuing slow melt would not count. I am looking of a risky prediction that came true. Anyone?

  36. Richard M says:

    Thank you, Jim Steele. This is almost exactly what I have been explaining to alarmists for the last 2-3 years. The oceans, PDO/AMO/NAO, control the amount of sea ice in the Arctic and I predicted it would return to much higher levels in about 10 years as the AMO cools.

    Now I have a set of good references to back up my claims.

    On the BBC article I just had to laugh. Once again they repeat all the alarmists excuses without informing their readers of all the facts. They ignore Antarctic sea ice and land ice increases; they ignore the pause is different than the ones found in the models, i.e. ENSO neutral at both ends and RSS starts well before 1998; they ignore the ocean cycles correlate to the last 100 years of global temperature at .98 while CO2 is .46 and matches Pacific Ocean temperatures almost perfectly; they ignore the Arctic sea ice is explained by the warm PDO/AMO; they ignore we have been cooling while approaching a solar maximum, etc.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23409404

    None of the main skeptic points are provided. While they have mentioned the pause they are still neck deep in propaganda.

  37. Dr. Deanster says:

    So …. how does this play in the picture

    http://www.nature.com/news/global-warming-expands-antarctic-sea-ice-1.12709

    It would make sense to me that more fresh water runoff would lead to more antarctic ice. I by no means am an advocate for CAGW … but I am an open mind to mechanism. I don’t see any link between the increase melt in ice and CO2, but warmer oceans producted by decreased clouds as noted here:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/5/1721/2005/acp-5-1721-2005.html

    … would be consistent with an increase in antarctic ice formation. Thoughts??

  38. MattN says:

    2012 set a new record high for ice extent around Antarctica, but Figure 2 does not reflect that. Why?

  39. Larry Kirk says:

    Hi Philip,

    My only point was that the Arctic and Antarctic polar caps are so fundamentally different, the one floating on water but enclosed almost entirely by landmasses, the other sitting on a continental landmass but surrounded entirely by ocean, that one cannot really compare the two in order to prove a point, one way or the other. It’s just not comparing apples with apples.

    So it seems ridiculous to look at one pole and say: “That proves my point!”, or to look at the other pole and say: “No, that proves my point!”

    In reality I don’t think anybody has very much clue what is going on at either end of the Earth. The North pole is quite probably just melting a bit because it does that sometimes, and the south pole is probably doing whatever it is doing because it does that sometimes too.

    And the two polar ice caps are so different that you cannot consider either of them separately, or the two of them together, and come to any definite conclusion as to what is happening to ‘global’ temperature or heat retention.

    As for the question of ‘Warmist’ or ‘Coldist’ trolls, pixies and troglodytes, you should probably leave Anthony to police them. He seems rather good at it in his own entertainingly acerbic way.

    You don’t have to divide people into ‘for’ or ‘against’, good or evil, or friends and enemies of the cause. Most people aren’t anything of the sort. Most of them are just open minded and curious. The few who choose some extreme stance, and then rush to attack anyone they think isn’t singing their tune, are probably being a bit irrational.

    With regards,

  40. Gail Combs says:

    FAH says: @ July 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Try Niv Shaviv (physics professor) – The oceans as a calorimeter

  41. Gail Combs says:

    Grey Lensman says:
    July 23, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Possibly, the huge Russian nuclear Ice breakers also have an effect….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I have often wonder about just how much effect Ice breakers have had. Smaller chunks of ice + wind + warm water ==> more ice melt

  42. Gail Combs says:

    FerdinandAkin says: @ July 23, 2013 at 3:23 am
    …Another topic I rarely see addressed it the effect of fresh water diversion from the Arctic Ocean to agriculture in Asia….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Do you have any links backing that information up? I could not find any.

  43. jim Steele says:

    @richard telford says: Antarctic sea ice formation is not only controlled by temperature, but also salinity, decoupling any simple temperature-ice extent relationship. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI4136.1

    The paper you link to is laughable and one of the many attempts to suggest growing sea ice is caused by warming. The argument is warming causes melting, causes more fresh water that freezes more readily. If realistic it should hold true in the Arctic. Such failed logic is also possible only when they use an obscuring global average. Studies that break down the local dynamics find where the temperatures are colder there is more ice.

  44. richard verney says:

    steveta_uk says:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:29 am
    /////////////////////////////

    Save the Arctic ice, exterminate the Polar Bears.

    I wonder when we will see that eco slogan!

  45. Gail Combs says:

    markstoval says:
    July 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I have a simple question….

    We have had slow glacier melt for centuries, so predictions of a continuing slow melt would not count….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How about this?

    Norway Experiencing Greatest Glacial Activity in the past 1,000 year
    … I point out many examples of glaciers that have only formed in the past few thousand years. I am always looking at new data as it becomes available and recently there was a nice study in Quaternary Research that did a study on glacial activity in Norway for the past ~8,000 years. This is the kind of study I love to find because it covers a long period of time that includes the current period. It is surprising how few studies cover a range like this….

    This study is not an anomaly either. Any study of the Northern Hemisphere shows this exact overall behavior. The NH was warmer several thousand years ago, even though the CO2 level was lower. There has been a general cooling trend throughout the NH over the past 4,000 years. It is not steady by any means over a period of a few hundred years, but over the course of thousands of years it is very steady. This is simply one more study that shows the same thing.

    ABSTRACT:
    We explore the possibility of building a continuous glacier reconstruction by analyzing the integrated sedimentary response of a large (440 km2) glacierized catchment in western Norway, as recorded in the downstream lake Nerfloen (N61°56′, E6°52′). A multi-proxy numerical analysis demonstrates that it is possible to distinguish a glacier component in the ~8000-yr-long record, based on distinct changes in grain size, geochemistry, and magnetic composition. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) reveals a strong common signal in the 15 investigated sedimentary parameters, with the first principal component explaining 77% of the total variability. This signal is interpreted to reflect glacier activity in the upstream catchment, an interpretation that is independently tested through a mineral magnetic provenance analysis of catchment samples. Minimum glacier input is indicated between 6700-5700 cal yr BP, probably reflecting a situation when most glaciers in the catchment had melted away, whereas the highest glacier activity is observed around 600 and 200 cal yr BP. During the local Neoglacial interval (~4200 cal yr BP until present), five individual periods of significantly reduced glacier extent are identified at ~3400, 3000-2700, 2100-2000, 1700-1500, and ~900 cal yr BP.

    The authors simply state that most glaciers likely didn’t exist 6,000 years ago, but the highest period of the glacial activity has been in the past 600 years. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    Of course it shows exactly the opposite of what you are saying.

  46. JJ says:

    Global warming theory predicts that rising levels of CO2 will gradually warm the air and cause an increasing loss of sea ice. As temperatures rise, ice nearer the equator was predicted to be the first to disappear and over the coming decades ice closer to the poles would be the last to melt.

    Where are these predictions documented? This is contrary to my understanding of the ‘global warming’ predictions, which included polar amplification …

  47. Rob Ricket says:

    Well, this is an interesting read and I closely monitor polar sea ice extents. Dr. Steel’s thesis fails to Account for the apperent inverse relationship between Arctic and Antarctic ice extents. If the ACC contained singularly insular properties, the Antarctic sea ice extent should not exhibit the variability observed over the past 35 years.

    Clearly, other factors (besides very modest delta t’s) are influencing the Antarctic sea ice extent. Nonetheless, the current aggregate polar extent is running well above the 30 mean. IMHO, the Antarctic extent will smash previous records in September.

  48. Dr. Lurtz says:

    As the Sun’s output is reduced, UV down to long term low levels [easily monitored by the Flux], the Trade Winds will decrease. This will cause the Oceans currents [forget that ridiculous salinity thing], to decrease. The PDO and AO will “go away” since they are driven by the currents. Both Arctic and Antarctic ice will “increase suddenly”, actually due to reduced deep warm currents and limited Summer melting.

    As the Earth’s orbit [and Earth tilt] causes the apparent moving of the Sun to the Tropic of Capricorn, this year will be the essential end of Solar Cycle 24. Between Cycle 24 and Cycle 25 [25 is projected to be less than 24], we will experience the “New Cold” due to non-existent Solar heating [simply a quiet Sun with virtually no Sunspots or Flux activity].

    Glaciers will begin to increase in depth and movement to the Oceans will be reduced. Oceans levels will begin to fall and the Indonesian, Gulf of Mexico Bulges will shrink.

    The most interesting event will be the “immense cold and snow” that East Anglia will experience this coming Winter! Reduced Gulf Steam flow and temperatures will be ignored, or stated as a natural event, or due to rising CO2.

  49. An Inquirer says:

    Mr. Steele’s article sounds plausible and logical. Yet, I do not believe that fluctuating ocean currents are the total answer to trends in Arctic ice. Carbon deposits from China’s industrialization seem to also play a role.

  50. OssQss says:

    Nice read,, thankyou

    Now a question related to sea ice.

    The focus seems to always be on melting ice. I find very little information on ice creation and the massive brine injection into the deep water and the deep water currents they create on a global scale. I have read that virtually all of the water on this planet cycles through the antarctic over time.

    My question is,,,,,, how can we study the ice without studying the massive release of brine from ice creation process, the brine currents at depth, and have a reasonable understanding of the overall cycle of sea ice and its impact on our climate?

    To me, they go hand in hand.

  51. Gail Combs says:

    Dr. Deanster says:
    July 23, 2013 at 5:03 am
    ….. I don’t see any link between the increase melt in ice and CO2, but warmer oceans producted by decreased clouds as noted here:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/5/1721/2005/acp-5-1721-2005.html

    … would be consistent with an increase in antarctic ice formation. Thoughts??
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is a very interesting study. There has certainly been a shift in the jets from zonal to meridional circulation.

    Abstract. A decadal-scale trend in the tropical radiative energy budget has been observed recently by satellites, which however is not reproduced by climate models. In the present study, we have computed the outgoing shortwave radiation (OSR) at the top of atmosphere (TOA) at 2.5° longitude-latitude resolution and on a mean monthly basis for the 17-year period 1984-2000, by using a deterministic solar radiative transfer model and cloud climatological data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) D2 database. Anomaly time series for the mean monthly pixel-level OSR fluxes, as well as for the key physical parameters, were constructed. A significant decreasing trend in OSR anomalies, starting mainly from the late 1980s, was found in tropical and subtropical regions (30° S-30° N), indicating a decadal increase in solar planetary heating equal to 1.9±0.3Wm-2/decade, reproducing well the features recorded by satellite observations, in contrast to climate model results. This increase in solar planetary heating, however, is accompanied by a similar increase in planetary cooling, due to increased outgoing longwave radiation, so that there is no change in net radiation….
    A detailed analysis of the inter-annual and long-term variability of the various parameters determining the OSR at TOA, has shown that the most important contribution to the observed OSR trend comes from a decrease in low-level cloud cover over the period 1984-2000, followed by decreases in middle and high-level cloud cover. Note, however, that there still remain some uncertainties associated with the existence and magnitude of trends in ISCCP-D2 cloud amounts. Opposite but small trends are introduced by increases in cloud scattering optical depth of low and middle clouds.

    Also see” NASA: Solar Variability, Ozone, and Climate

  52. Gail Combs says:

    Dr. Lurtz says:
    July 23, 2013 at 6:41 am

    As the Sun’s output is reduced, UV down to long term low levels [easily monitored by the Flux], the Trade Winds will decrease. This will cause the Oceans currents [forget that ridiculous salinity thing], to decrease. The PDO and AO will “go away” since they are driven by the currents. Both Arctic and Antarctic ice will “increase suddenly”, actually due to reduced deep warm currents and limited Summer melting.

    As the Earth’s orbit [and Earth tilt] causes the apparent moving of the Sun to the Tropic of Capricorn, this year will be the essential end of Solar Cycle 24….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
    I have a few nits to pick.
    [forget that ridiculous salinity thing]“ Can’t do that because it has a lot to do with ocean circulation. That gets very interesting in regards to Drake’s Passage which restricts the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) and sends part of it up the coast of South America towards the equator. Think Bob Tisdale and ENSO.

    this year will be the essential end of Solar Cycle 24‘” Again, I doubt it. It may be the solar cycle maximum but if other weak sunspot cycles are anything to go by Solar Cycle 24 will drag on for more than the usual number of years before minimum and the start of cycle 25.

  53. milodonharlani says:

    Excellent addition to the growing list of failed CACCA predictions. The model-forecast tropical tropospheric hot spot is still missing. The atmosphere is still warming less than the surface & later, contrary to the Mann-made GHG hypothesis, in which it should warm first & more. Now this puts the icing on the cake.

  54. jim Steele says:

    @Rob Ricket says: Clearly, other factors (besides very modest delta t’s) are influencing the Antarctic sea ice extent. Nonetheless, the current aggregate polar extent is running well above the 30 mean. IMHO, the Antarctic extent will smash previous records in September.

    Rob I never intended to argue there were no other factors contributing to changes in Antarctic sea ice extent, but I was arguing the Arctic sea ice extent is confounded by 2 major factors that are not significant in the Antarctic. Antarctic sea ice is indeed very dynamic due to battling winds.

    Much of the sea extent depends on the strength of the katabatic winds blowing from the interior. Those winds create the open water polynya (that the penguins depend on) and that open water is a major ice factory- new ice is continuously made and then swept equator-ward. Katabatic winds are as reliable as the trade winds and affected by the continental temperatures which have not risen. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Ninos, the Southern Annular Mode and blocking high pressure systems impact the strength, duration and direction of any winds that may oppose the ice-expanding nature of those katabatic winds. For example the Amundsen Low circulates in such a way that it can counteract the katabatic winds and drive sea ice towards the peninsula while simultaneously enhancing the katabatic winds and expanding sea ice over the Ross Sea. The Amundsen Low shifts from east to west depending on the seasons and the PDO and EL Nino.

    CO2 advocates point to less sea ice along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula as an omen of things to come. However that is the only region where there is less ice and it is not due to melting. The opposing direction of the winds near the peninsula will push the sea ice against the coast, causing sea ice there to expand less in the fall, and retreat more rapidly in the spring. Statistically that creates less sea ice extent in the Bellinghausen and Amundsen Seas, but the ice was simply compressed and concentrated along the coast. Counterintuitively more coastal ice caused one of the greatest breeding failures for Adelie Penguins. The loss of sea ice cover allows greater ventilation of heat which is why they observed a dramatic warming during the winter ice season along the western peninsula. During the summer when the ice has mostly melted, that dramatic trend disappears.

    From Massom, R. (2006) Extreme Anomalous Atmospheric Circulation in the West Antarctic Peninsula Region in Austral Spring and Summer 2001/02, and Its Profound Impact on Sea Ice
    and Biota. Journal of Climate, vol. 19.

    “The net dynamic effect of the strong and persistent north-northwesterly winds was extreme compaction of ice into bays and against the western Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent islands.”

    “Strong winds with a dominant northerly component created an unusually compact marginal ice zone and a major increase in ice thickness by deformation and over-rafting. This led to the atypical persistence of highly compact coastal ice through summer. Ecological effects were both positive and negative, the latter including an impact on the growth rate of larval Antarctic krill and the largest recorded between-season breeding population decrease and lowest reproductive success in a 30-yr Adélie penguin demographic time series.”

  55. milodonharlani says:

    Grey Lensman says:
    July 23, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Re: Russian nuclear ice-breakers

    Is this suggestion in response to Sven’s question about the ice around Novaya Zemlya, or in general for the whole European & Siberian Arctic Ocean coast?

    Either way, it is IMO a good question.

  56. Dr. Lurtz says:

    Gail,

    The salinity issue came about from the floating/mixing of fresh water with salt water. Where the Gulf Stream sinks, there is no fresh water, it is all salt water [between England and Iceland]. The Gulf Stream is a warm salt water current with the same approx. salinity as the rest of the ocean. This the confluence of warm salty ocean currents and cold dense salty Arctic waters.

    http://www.planetextinction.com/planet_extinction_gulfstream.htm

    The “essential” end of Solar Cycle 24 is my determination due to the low values of Flux; the area under the Flux curve as supplying the total energy warming the Earth. Cycle 24 will continue as measured by spots, but Flux values between 70-100 means that the heating is over!

  57. Sedron L says:

    In fact, increased Antarctic sea ice with moderately increased CO2 and warming was predicted over 20 years ago by Manabe et al 1991:

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/sm9101.pdf,

    page 795.

  58. Sven says:

    “milodonharlani says:

    July 23, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Grey Lensman says:
    July 23, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Re: Russian nuclear ice-breakers

    Is this suggestion in response to Sven’s question about the ice around Novaya Zemlya, or in general for the whole European & Siberian Arctic Ocean coast?”

    I don’t really think so, as they had these ice-breakers already in the sixties.

  59. Jimbo says:

    It was not warmer temperatures that removed the thickest Arctic Ice, but sub-freezing winds blowing from the coldest regions in the northern hemisphere.

    According to DMI is is the coldest melt season since their records began in 1958. You can check out their interactive dates. Just click a date and see the temperatures. NB the link is:

    “Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year.”

  60. Bob Kutz says:

    Just a thought, as I read through this, it occurs to me that length of day (LOD) has been considered as a governing factor in ice-ages. I do not have a reference handy, but I know it has been discussed in some papers.

    I have spent considerable time thinking about forcings as ‘tipping points’, realizing that the ones mentioned in the popular press, such as the decline in arctic albedo causing increased warming and so forth are bogus and may actually serve an opposite effect. One forcing that serves as a ‘thermostat’ is, no doubt, the fact that water covered with ice gives up less heat to the atmosphere than water not covered with ice. Since the sun is going away from the north pole about the time the arctic ocean’s albedo is bottoming out, I don’t see that that is a positive feedback. The open water in the absence of sunlight may serve as a negative one though.

    But here is one physical characteristic I had not previously considered; LOD combined with polar sea ice as a positive mechanism for cooling. Like a figure skater pulling in her arms to spin faster; take water away from the tropical oceans and deposit it at the poles in the form of ice and what happens? The arctic polar ice cap may not be nearly as effective in shortening LOD as the antarctic ice cap, but even so, the effect would be to speed up the Earth’s rotation.

    We have experienced some truly massive earthquakes in the last 3 or 4 years. The 9+ earthquake that occurred in Chili reportedly shortened LOD by 7 milliseconds. Several others had an effect on LOD as well. I don’t know what effect that has on our climate, but, to the extent that it does, I believe increasing polar ice caps, especially in the antarctic, would have the same effect, based on the fact that mass is being transferred closer to the axis of the sphere.

    Does anyone see a flaw in that? Does LOD govern global surface temps moreso than other factors? Could a shortened LOD drive increasing polar ice caps which drive LOD yet shorter? Could that be the beginning of the end of the current interglacial?

    Just occurred to me as I read this article.

  61. beng says:

    Oh no! The Antarctic sea-ice disappears every year! That must be why polar bears went extinct there. /sarc

    Good post, Jim Steele.

  62. Rob Ricket says:

    Thanks for engaging Dr. Steel, the clarification is appreciated.

  63. Dr. Deanster says:

    Gail … it is an intriguing study indeed. Particularly the observation by Satellite of a “decrease in OSW! As we all know, SW is visible light, and a decrease in OSW would be indicative of a decrease in albedo. GHGs play no role in SW radiation, only longer wave IR.

    Couple that with the fact that SW penetrates the oceans, and you get an increased deposit of heat in the subsurface layers of the ocean .. which then can be carried away to other parts of the globe.

    My problem with GCM’s is their insistency of holding the entire “input” side of the equation as a relative constant. For example, the NASA article you noted focused on the Stratosphere/Troposphere interaction, but says nothing about Clouds, which was the primary driving force of the decreased OSW in the study. Less OSW equals an increase in energy input into the system. Granted, they said it was accompanied by an increase in LW radiation to space thus maintaining equilibrium which again doesn’t quite jibe with the GHG theory, .. there should have been an imbalance and increase in temperature. … instead we have a balance with an increase in temperature, which, IMO, means we have some additional heat input from some other source, [maybe the stratosphere], or that stored heat was being released from the ocean, and it’s movement around in the system caused the increase in temps.

    At any rate, Just trying to fit pieces together. Either way, I don’t necessarily see a role of CO2 in this picture … soot maybe, warmer ocean currents probably, but not CO2.

  64. Jimbo says:

    Oddly, Mann did not address the changes in intruding warm water or the Arctic Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

    Is Michael Mann an honest broker? I only ask because in his bio page he lists among his

    “Research Specialties:”…..”Oceanography:”

    http://ploneprod.met.psu.edu/people/mem45

  65. Jimbo says:

    In contrast, the Arctic Ocean has been invaded by many North Atlantic and Pacific species that can persist at lower depths in warmer subsurface waters that circulate throughout the entire Arctic. The ACC’s thermal barrier is also why the Antarctic pack ice symmetrically extends far beyond the Antarctic Circle (Figure 1).

    The northern north Atlantic Ocean once suffered from an invasion of cod. :)

    The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic
    Abstract
    During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish. Boreal species of fish such as cod, haddock and herring expanded farther north while colder-water species such as capelin and polar cod retreated northward. The maximum recorded movement involved cod, which spread approximately 1200 km northward along West Greenland. Migration patterns of “warmer water” species also changed with earlier arrivals and later departures. New spawning sites were observed farther north for several species or stocks while for others the relative contribution from northern spawning sites increased. Some southern species of fish that were unknown in northern areas prior to the warming event became occasional, and in some cases, frequent visitors. Higher recruitment and growth led to increased biomass of important commercial species such as cod and herring in many regions of the northern North Atlantic. Benthos associated with Atlantic waters spread northward off Western Svalbard and eastward into the eastern Barents Sea. Based on increased phytoplankton and zooplankton production in several areas, it is argued that bottom-up processes were the primary cause of these changes. The warming in the 1920s and 1930s is considered to constitute the most significant regime shift experienced in the North Atlantic in the 20th century.

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2006.02.011

  66. Jimbo says:

    Jim Steele,
    you could also have added soot. As you point out there are so many factors, aside from co2 induced air temperature rise, that it’s very difficult to disentangle. Many Warmist climate scientists are fully aware of the factors but remain mostly silent and let the uninformed activists scream from the top of their lungs about a tropical Arctic. It’s really sad. When things do turn around they will push the ice-free forecasts forward. This is how they work.

  67. Jimbo says:

    In another “it’s just the weather and not the climate”.

    Abstract – 7 June 2013
    Recent snowfall anomalies in Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica, in a historical and future climate perspective

    [1] Enhanced snowfall on the East Antarctic ice sheet is projected to significantly mitigate 21st century global sea level rise. In recent years (2009 and 2011), regionally extreme snowfall anomalies in Dronning Maud Land, in the Atlantic sector of East Antarctica, have been observed.

    ………………….We examined several regional climate model projections, describing various warming scenarios into the 21st century. Anomalies with magnitudes similar to the recently observed ones were not present in the model output for the current climate, but were found increasingly probable toward the end of the 21st century.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50559/abstract;jsessionid=A84C069D1D6265E35BD953F0FFDF5750.d01t02

    Abstract – 2 Nov 2012
    Snowfall-driven mass change on the East Antarctic ice sheet
    …………….. In this study, we describe the causes and magnitude of recent extreme precipitation events along the East Antarctic coast that led to significant regional mass accumulations that partially compensate for some of the recent global ice mass losses that contribute to global sea level rise. The gain of almost 350 Gt from 2009 to 2011 is equivalent to a decrease in global mean sea level at a rate of 0.32 mm/yr over this three-year period.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL053316/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

    It’s just not going according to plan. This is a sure sign of an impending ice age. :-)

  68. jim Steele says:

    @Sedron L says: In fact, increased Antarctic sea ice with moderately increased CO2 and warming was predicted over 20 years ago by Manabe et al 1991.

    It wasn’t actually predicted, and in fact he suggested initial surprise. Manabe then suggested an increase in freshwater as the best explanation for his modeling results writing, ” It is surprising, however, that the sea-ice thickness in the G integration increases significantly in the immediate vicinity of the Antarctic Continent despite the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This is consistent with the slight reduction of sea surface temperature mentioned earlier (Fig. 10a). It will be shown in section 9a that, owing to the intensification of the near-surface halocline caused by the increased supply of water at the oceanic surface, the convective mixing of cold near-surface water with warmer, underlying water becomes less frequent, resulting in the increase of sea ice and slight reduction of sea surface temperature.”

    If we look at real life observations, the freshwater “explanation” for growing Antarctic ice is not supported as we find the freshest water by far is in Arctic. Here’s a link to the global salinity from the NASA’s Aquarius project: http://www.earthtimes.org/newsimage/nasa-aquarius-satellite-maps-salinity-oceans_229.jpg

  69. jim Steele says:

    @Jimbo you could also have added soot. As you point out there are so many factors, aside from co2 induced air temperature rise, that it’s very difficult to disentangle.

    Indeed we could add many other factors but it becomes overwhelming fro an essay and even a book. What is scientifically dishonest is the attempt to reduce the cause every weather event to single variable, CO2.

    Dr. Richard Lindzen from Massachusetts Institute of Technology says, ““That climate should be the function of a single parameter (like CO2) has always seemed implausible. Yet an obsessive focus on such an obvious oversimplification has likely set back progress by decades.”

  70. jim Steele says:

    @Jimbo When things do turn around they will push the ice-free forecasts forward. This is how they work.

    I think that is only true for the Michael Mann’s and Kevin Trenberth’s of climate science who have hitched their wagon of fame and fortune to catastrophic global warming and yelled the loudest. There are hundreds of climate scientists investigating the role of natural variations on recent trends. They typically conclude that they still can not separate natural causes from human. Without clear cut observations, they remain quiet because being branded a “denier” by Trenberth or Mann could ruin their careers and squelch any funding. Like Dan Shectman who just got the Nobel for quasi-crystals, he was labeled a quasi-scientist by Linus Pauling and thrown out of his research group for not recanting his observation of a quasi-crystal, and the science of crystals does not even approach the politicization of climate science. Scientists can be a self-promoiting and vengeful lot. However I believe, if and when things do turn around, we will see the floodgates open as those scientists sitting on the fence will then have defensible observations to support their skepticism, and fend off the speculation of bad models.

  71. milodonharlani says:

    jim Steele says:
    July 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Hope you’re right.

    Shechtman’s grueling experience is sadly common in the history of science. If citizens knew how common, they’d pay less heed to the false prophets of climate doom & their co-conspirators in the media & government.

  72. Sparks says:

    Dr. Lurtz says:
    July 23, 2013 at 6:41 am

    “As the Earth’s orbit [and Earth tilt] causes the apparent moving of the Sun to the Tropic of Capricorn, this year will be the essential end of Solar Cycle 24. Between Cycle 24 and Cycle 25 [25 is projected to be less than 24], we will experience the “New Cold” due to non-existent Solar heating [simply a quiet Sun with virtually no Sunspots or Flux activity].”

    Solar activity is expected to remain weak and much the same for the rest of this year and next year, then decline through 2015-2020, as a weaker solar cycle I’d expect there to be smaller sunspots and for the sun to be blank more often for the rest of this cycle but, having said that, the sun has a tendency to “sputter” towards solar minimum.

    If I understand you correctly; you mean that by the end of this year, the heat reduction from the sun will become evident and more noticeable to us on earth as we experience the effects of the reduction in the suns output in comparison to recent solar cycles, which sounds plausible.

  73. Phil. says:

    MattN says:
    July 23, 2013 at 5:16 am
    2012 set a new record high for ice extent around Antarctica, but Figure 2 does not reflect that. Why?

    Because it’s anomaly data which doesn’t necessarily peak when the absolute maximum is reached.
    Apart from that the CT data is area not extent.

  74. taxed says:

    My interest is in weather rather then climate, so l look at these things from the bottom up.
    Like “what would the weather / jet stream need to be doing so a ice age could form”.
    After taking a interest in this since the end of 2010 l feel am begining to understand what was happening. Over much of the NH the Polar jet would need to split in two and go zonal. Then the southern part of the jet would need to push up north and join up again and go deep into the Arctic.
    A jet stream that is swinging north and south will cause cooling, but not a ice age.

  75. dbstealey says:

    Phil. says:

    “…the CT data is area not extent.”

    What Phil really means is volume, not extent. Because area and extent are pretty much synonymous, no?

  76. Lars P. says:

    FAH says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm
    I have poked around googlescholar for references on ocean heat budgets and the like without much success, but I am not even a climate scientist, much less an ocean specialist.

    Jo Nova had some posts about – see here ARGO data against models:

    Bob Tisdale several, just search on his site.

    There are some other calculations but the ARGO data is the sole relative reliable measurement we have – funny thing, it needed some special calibration, as before it, it was showing cooling :).

    Sea surface temperature is showing… nada:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/global-microwave-sst-update-for-may-2013-0-01-deg-c/

    And sea surface temperature is the key, no matter what warmista try to invent. I haven’t seen any reasonable explanation anywhere to how the DLR would heat the oceans without warming the sea surface.

    The warming of the oceans through long-wave infrared is such an impossible story, it is also nicely explained here:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/09/realclimate-admits-doubling-co2-could.html

    In a nutshell, to warm the oceans through infrared, the downwelling infrared needs to increase the sea surface temperature in order to reduce the negative temperature gradient that exists at the surface of the oceans.

    Only the sun is warming the deeper levels (deeper then 10 microns) of the ocean.
    Of course the warmista say there is mixing of the water etc, etc, but mixing of the water does not transfer additional heat that cannot be measured by temperature? The water at the surface should be warmer and then through mixing the heat would get down :)

    Oh yes, “the ocean ate my global warming” I love junkscience for this sentence, not sure if it originated there but it tells what it has to tell…

  77. Phil. says:

    jim Steele says:
    July 23, 2013 at 11:06 am
    @Sedron L says: In fact, increased Antarctic sea ice with moderately increased CO2 and warming was predicted over 20 years ago by Manabe et al 1991.

    It wasn’t actually predicted, and in fact he suggested initial surprise. Manabe then suggested an increase in freshwater as the best explanation for his modeling results writing, ” It is surprising, however, that the sea-ice thickness in the G integration increases significantly in the immediate vicinity of the Antarctic Continent despite the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This is consistent with the slight reduction of sea surface temperature mentioned earlier (Fig. 10a). It will be shown in section 9a that, owing to the intensification of the near-surface halocline caused by the increased supply of water at the oceanic surface, the convective mixing of cold near-surface water with warmer, underlying water becomes less frequent, resulting in the increase of sea ice and slight reduction of sea surface temperature.”

    That he was surprised by his prediction doesn’t make it less of a prediction.

    If we look at real life observations, the freshwater “explanation” for growing Antarctic ice is not supported as we find the freshest water by far is in Arctic. Here’s a link to the global salinity from the NASA’s Aquarius project: http://www.earthtimes.org/newsimage/nasa-aquarius-satellite-maps-salinity-

    His prediction that the sea around Antarctica will become fresher than it formerly was isn’t connected with the Arctic waters being less salty than the Antarctic. In any case it would be more relevant to look at the Antarctic in the austral fall not during the boreal fall.

  78. Phil. says:

    dbstealey says:
    July 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm
    Phil. says:

    “…the CT data is area not extent.”

    What Phil really means is volume, not extent. Because area and extent are pretty much synonymous, no?

    No, I meant what I said and they aren’t synonymous, a record in one does not necessarily mean a record in the other.

  79. dbstealey says:

    Wrong again, Phil. Here’s why:

    I didn’t say that area and extent are synonymous. Did I?

    No, I didn’t.

    I was just needling you, and you took the bait.☺

  80. Phil. says:

    jim Steele says:
    July 23, 2013 at 11:31 am
    Like Dan Shectman who just got the Nobel for quasi-crystals, he was labeled a quasi-scientist by Linus Pauling and thrown out of his research group for not recanting his observation of a quasi-crystal, and the science of crystals does not even approach the politicization of climate science.

    Which research group was he thrown out of? Granted that Pauling didn’t accept the idea but many others replicated the results after the publication of the paper. His host at NBS where he made the discovery was a co-author.

  81. Lars P. says:

    Dr. Deanster says:
    July 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Gail … it is an intriguing study indeed. Particularly the observation by Satellite of a “decrease in OSW! As we all know, SW is visible light, and a decrease in OSW would be indicative of a decrease in albedo. GHGs play no role in SW radiation, only longer wave IR.

    Couple that with the fact that SW penetrates the oceans, and you get an increased deposit of heat in the subsurface layers of the ocean .. which then can be carried away to other parts of the globe.

    Interesting indeed. I remember Earthshine project had also some interesting results about it:

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/science_may28.html

  82. Phil. says:

    dbstealey says:
    July 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    Wrong again, Phil. Here’s why:

    I didn’t say that area and extent are synonymous. Did I?

    No, I didn’t.

    I was just needling you, and you took the bait.☺

    You said that I meant ‘volume’ which I did not, thanks for admitting that you’re a troll.

  83. jim Steele says:

    @Lars P.Only the sun is warming the deeper levels (deeper then 10 microns) of the ocean.

    As reported by Xue,Y., et al., (2012) A Comparative Analysis of Upper-Ocean Heat Content Variability from an Ensemble of Operational Ocean Reanalyses. Journal of Climate, vol 25, 6905-6929.

    In accord with the waning solar activity, the Argo data reveals dynamic changes in the ocean’s heat content. As of 2012, a consensus analysis of the oceans’ upper 900 feet determined that ocean heat “increased from 1984 to 1992 followed by a short cooling episode in 1992/93, and then increased from 1994 to 2003/2004, followed by flattening or a decrease.”

    Likewise since 2003 Tisdale and Pielke reported the cooling has been observed in the surface of tropical oceans and the southern hemisphere ocean in a web post “Sea Surface Temperature Trends As A Function Of Latitude Bands.”

  84. milodonharlani says:

    Phil. says:
    July 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    D. S. was at Johns Hopkins when he made his eventual prize-winning discovery.

  85. Sven says:

    Phil: “Which research group was he thrown out of?”

    I can only rely on wikipedia (I know, not the best or resources), but it states there:
    “The head of Shechtman’s research group told him to “go back and read the textbook” and a couple of days later “asked him to leave for ‘bringing disgrace’ on the team.”[13] Shechtman felt rejected.[11] On publication of his paper, other scientists began to confirm and accept empirical findings of the existence of quasicrystals.[14][15]“

  86. Stephen Wilde says:

    “In accord with the waning solar activity, the Argo data reveals dynamic changes in the ocean’s heat content”

    TSI has not changed enough to yield such a result.

    One needs an amplification factor such as my proposal that changes in global air circulation result in changes in global cloudiness so as to alter the amount of solar energy able to enter the oceans.

    The changes in cloudiness result from shifts in jet stream tracks. Zonal results in less clouds. Meridional results in more clouds.

    The Svensmark hypothesis involving cosmic rays and the observed changes in the solar flux are not the direct cause, merely coincidental proxies for the solar changes.

    The real cause is changes in tropopause heights as a result of stratosphere temperature changes induced by changes in atmospheric chemistry involving ozone when solar variability occurs.

  87. Sedron L says:

    Lars P wrote:
    Only the sun is warming the deeper levels (deeper then 10 microns) of the ocean.

    Not so. Ocean currents (viz. the ocean conveyor belt) carry upper waters far down, as in the North Atlantic; the AMOC is as much as 150 Sverdrups.

  88. jim Steele says:

    @Sedron “Not so. Ocean currents (viz. the ocean conveyor belt) carry upper waters far down, as in the North Atlantic; the AMOC is as much as 150 Sverdrups.”

    Currents can not carry water deeper unless the water is denser. In order for warm water to sink it must be denser than its surroundings so warm water sits on the surface unless it is saltier than the water below. When tropical waters are heated and evaporation exceeds precipitation, dense warm water is created that will carry heat to lower depths. However that is a function of the tropical sun and the currents are a function of the winds. In the polar regions the brine ejected during ice formation sends the coldest waters to the greatest depths.

    regards the conveyor belt MIT’s Carl Wunsch writes “it is important that anyone studying climate should be able to distinguish science from science fiction. Among the more troublesome distortions now widely accepted one must include the notion that the ocean circulation is a simple “conveyor belt” and that the Gulf Stream is in danger of “turning off.”

    “The reduction of the complex turbulent flow of the real ocean to a one-dimensional steady
    flow if useful would represent an astonishing breakthrough in the physics of turbulent fluids that
    would be landmark in the history of fluid dynamics. Purely verbal arguments about how the
    ocean circulation must change in the climate system should be regarded as science fiction.”

  89. Lars P. says:

    Sedron L says:
    July 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    Not so. Ocean currents (viz. the ocean conveyor belt) carry upper waters far down, as in the North Atlantic; the AMOC is as much as 150 Sverdrups.

    And how was that water that was carried down warmed?

  90. Dr. Deanster says:

    [i]Stephen Wilde says:

    July 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    “In accord with the waning solar activity, the Argo data reveals dynamic changes in the ocean’s heat content”

    TSI has not changed enough to yield such a result.
    [/i]

    Steve … Changes in SW radiation hitting the ground is not dependent on the TSI. That is the problem with the GCM models .. they have the same perspective as you .. thinkiing something has to change in the TSI for there to be a change in SW reaching the surface.

    An increase in cloudiness, thus increasing albedo and reflecting more of the sun’s “constant” TSI, would achieve the same result as if the Sun itself went dimmer.

  91. jim Steele says:

    @ Stephen Wilde “TSI has not changed enough to yield such a result.”

    I am not so confident about that claim. When computing the global average, climate scientists like to divide by 4 to average the TSI over the globe, averaging the polar regions with the tropics . However the heating of the tropical oceans is not affected by how much sunlight reaches the poles, and TSI’s effect on tropical ocean heating should not be divided by 4. Second there is no doubt the stratosphere dynamics play a role as you claim but I hesitate to suggest it is the “real cause” or state how much it serves as an amplifying mechanism. However mode water formation is a way of amplifying the ocean’s surface heat. Hot salty “mode water” sinks below the surface as it is carried away from the equator and cools slightly. It then recirculates back towards the equator where it reemerges and is re-heated.

  92. Phil. says:

    milodonharlani says:
    July 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm
    Phil. says:
    July 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    D. S. was at Johns Hopkins when he made his eventual prize-winning discovery.
    A joint program with NBS, as I said his NBS host co-authored the paper.

    Sven says:
    July 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    Phil: “Which research group was he thrown out of?”

    I can only rely on wikipedia (I know, not the best or resources), but it states there:
    “The head of Shechtman’s research group told him to “go back and read the textbook” and a couple of days later “asked him to leave for ‘bringing disgrace’ on the team.”[13] Shechtman felt rejected.[11] On publication of his paper, other scientists began to confirm and accept empirical findings of the existence of quasicrystals.[14][15]“

    Shechtman finished his sabbatical and returned to Tel Aviv where he wrote the paper with a colleague. When he had difficulty getting it published he approached his host at NBS who suggested changes and became a co-author and it was soon published. Since he remained in Tel Aviv I wondered which lab he had been thrown out of?

  93. FAH says:

    Lars and Gail:

    Thanks very much for the references and information, even though the net result is to divert even more of my intellectual energy and time from my day (and, well, night too) job. The more I learn about climate science, the more I appreciate the clarity and control of simple experimental physics.

  94. Phil. says:

    jim Steele says:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm
    @ Stephen Wilde “TSI has not changed enough to yield such a result.”

    I am not so confident about that claim. When computing the global average, climate scientists like to divide by 4 to average the TSI over the globe, averaging the polar regions with the tropics . However the heating of the tropical oceans is not affected by how much sunlight reaches the poles, and TSI’s effect on tropical ocean heating should not be divided by 4.

    Well the tropics have about a 12hr day/night so it should at least be divided by 2. Since at sunset and sunrise the angle of incidence goes to zero you should use the average of cos(theta) from pi/2 to -pi/2, which is less than 1.

  95. milodonharlani says:

    Phil. says:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    You are correct. It was the NBS program, according to his Britannica entry:

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/539368/Daniel-Shechtman

  96. Phil. says:

    milodonharlani says:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    Phil. says:
    July 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    You are correct. It was the NBS program, according to his Britannica entry:

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/539368/Daniel-Shechtman

    Thanks, the story that he was kicked out of the lab seems strange since his collaborator at NBS and co-author apparently had no problems there and was in fact promoted the same year that the paper was published.

  97. Phil. says:

    It was Technion not Tel Aviv, sorry.

  98. Robertv says:

    Michio Kaku

    “We’ve past the point of no return.There is so much co2 in the atmosphere we’re gona lose the North Pole. min 1.24.00

    This was some years ago so maybe he changed his mind

  99. Nargun says:

    The alarmists are all over this piece on twitter – but their main response so far has just to say that it’s “wrong” without any further counter evidence. One such is Australian Government Radio Propagandist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki who seems to delight in his role as Useful Idiot Extraordinaire

  100. dbstealey says:

    Phil. says:

    “You said that I meant ‘volume’ which I did not, thanks for admitting that you’re a troll.”

    Heh. If I were a troll I would admit it. I wear my heart on my sleeve, as has been noted here by others more than once. That is just Phil’s lame response at being hooked; of course, I am not a troll. Phil is just trying to get off the hook.

    What I wrote, verbatim, was: “Because area and extent are pretty much synonymous, no?”

    “Pretty much” is not synonymous with “synonymous”. Is it? No, it is not the same.

    You probably are too thin-skinned to admit it, but you’ve been bested because you were sloppy in your reading comprehension.

    And as a result, I am thoroughly enjoying this exchange. I baited the hook. You bit.☺

    Ball’s in your court, Phil. Keep digging.

  101. milodonharlani says:

    Phil. says:
    July 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I knew what you meant. Haifa isn’t so far away from Tel Aviv as the drone flies.

  102. phlogiston says:

    Some much needed sanity and ocean circulation facts concerning Arctic and Antarctic ice, many thanks to Jim Steele.

    This post on the AMO four years ago showed the strong correlation between the AMO and water temperatures 100-150m below the surface. This strongly implies that with the AMO, the strength of the North Atlantic drift (gulf stream) carrying warm water to the Arctic varies in step with the AMO. Here Dr Steele goes further and points to why there is added inertia from the warm water carried to the Arctic from the warm phases of both Atlantic and Pacific multidecadal oscillations remaining blow the ice-covered surface at the Arctic, and the biological species indicator data is very convincing supportive data.

    A testable prediction also emerges – that as the PDO remains negative and the AMO slowly turns negative also, within a few years Arctic ice should start a recovery.

  103. phlogiston says:

    “water temperatures 100-150m below the surface” in the Barents sea, I meant to say.

    This could be the subsurface warm legacy water that Jim Steele is referring to. This is what likely causes the long inertia of Arctic ice melt from PDO and AMO warm phases a decade or two previously.

  104. Kristian says:

    Stephen Wilde says, July 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm:

    “One needs an amplification factor such as my proposal that changes in global air circulation result in changes in global cloudiness so as to alter the amount of solar energy able to enter the oceans.

    The changes in cloudiness result from shifts in jet stream tracks. Zonal results in less clouds. Meridional results in more clouds.”

    I agree that it’s not the TSI directly. However, global OHC (like SST, only in a slightly different way), is slave to ENSO. The ENSO state determines where and how thick the cloud cover over the tropical oceans will be, strongly influencing the amount of absorbed solar radiation. And also the strength of tropical winds, strongly influencing the ocean’s latent heat loss (evaporation). To aid in (or hinder) the propagation of the tropical heat north and south towards the poles, you have the annular modes (AO and AAO). But ENSO is generally what ‘decides’ how much solar energy will be absorbed (and released back; there’s a balance here) by the Earth system at large.

    Then there’s always the chicken-and-egg discussion … The thing is, global OHC and global SSTs (as NINO3.4 – the ENSO state) all progress in a conspicuous recurring pattern sequence, distinctly and strictly following the solar cycle since the 70s:

    The Sun is the ultimate string-puller, but its direct impact on the global climate system is hard to point out, its main executive being the (tropical) ocean.

  105. Jack Frost says:

    In any complex model one can spin the interpretations either way. Let’s not ignore the big picture. For last century… during solar max is when we lose the most Arctic Ice…during minimum we regain the most sea ice. Period! During 2007 we saw a complete reversal of this trend for the first time. Also seen were increase in global temps, sea level, and a spike in Arctic Methane. Do we ignore all of that too? If the 2007 anomaly was due to an ocean current intrusion, it was the first time in our lifetimes. Really? Any climate article that leaves out arctic methane, solar irradiance and inductions can’t be scientifically objective. This year arctic sea ice fracturing in Feb. was the most extensive for how early it was seen observed. Blame the wind? Please! Let’s also ignore the precip. records, heat records, cold records influx of xrays and then call our article scientific. Please!

  106. RACookPE1978 says:

    Dr. Deanster says:
    July 23, 2013 at 5:03 am

    So …. how does this play in the picture

    http://www.nature.com/news/global-warming-expands-antarctic-sea-ice-1.12709

    It would make sense to me that more fresh water runoff would lead to more antarctic ice. I by no means am an advocate for CAGW … but I am an open mind to mechanism. I don’t see any link between the increase melt in ice and CO2, but warmer oceans [protected] by decreased clouds as noted here:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/5/1721/2005/acp-5-1721-2005.html

    … would be consistent with an increase in antarctic ice formation. Thoughts??

    If I understand the premis of their excuse (for increasing Antarctic sea ice) while protecting their religon (that must maintain melting glaciers and loss of Antarctic land ice) , they are in similar other stories claiming that “The land ice is melting, this water under the glaciers lubricates the land ice caps, so the land glaciers are moving towards the sea, and the sea ice is then “pushed” further out … so the sea ice might “appear” to be expanding. But it really isn’t.” Here, in your link, somehow they (the writers/propagandist) are claiming that meltwater from the continent “slides under” (??) the sea ice moving it around and protecting it from the (??) hot air/hot water elsewhere? Perhaps soeone can explain the heat transfer and physics involved. Makes no sense. The other stories/excues at least make some limited sense, but fall apart in the big picture of the continent as a whole.

    OK. Let’s pretend somehow they are correct.

    Antarctic sea ice has been expanding, and is now near-constant at +1,000,000 km^2 over the previous thirty years average.
    This sea ice is almost all “first-year-ice, and so is about 1 meter thick. Almost none is 2 meters thick. NO Antarctic sea is “10 of meters high (100 meters total thickness) but is low and freshly frozen.
    OK, but we need to “move” 1,000,000 km^3 x 1 m of sea ice “out” from the coast = > 1 x 10^6 km x 1 x 10^6 sq meters per sq kilometer, that is equal to 1.0 x 10^12 cubic meters of “new” glacier ice that must be moved.
    And that 1 x 10^14 cubic meters of glacier ice must be “moved” out from the coast all around the continent evenly and uniformly – since the Antarctic sea ice DOES even and smoothly expand away from the continental edge evenly and smoothly. For the most part.

    OK. So, at the edge of the glaciers, I have never seen kilometer high glaciers – more like 10 to 30 meters high, WHERE are the pictures of Antarctic’s 100 meter tall glacier ice ends breaking off – and then immediately melting down to 1 meter tall smooth sea ice parts and pieces, and then pushing the rest of the sea ice away from the coasts?

    The CAGW dogma needs to “find” 10^12 cubic meters of “new” but freshly lost glacier ice. Perhaps they should look for their missing heat as well before concocting more propaganda.

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