Guest post by Steven Goddard
From The Washington Post :
According to the University of Illinois, Antarctic sea ice area is nearly 30% above normal and the anomaly has reached 1,000,000 km2. You could almost fit Texas and California (or 250 Rhode Islands) inside Antarctica’s excess sea ice.
According to NSIDC, over the last 30 years Antarctic sea ice extent has been growing at a rate of nearly 5% per decade, and set a record maximum last year.
And as you can see in the NSIDC image below, some Emperor Penguins have an extra long walk to their nesting ground – due to excess ice in the Weddell Sea and around West Antarctica.
Sadly though, biologists using computer models have forecast that some Penguins are headed for extinction due to loss of Antarctic sea ice. Maybe that gives the males something to think about as they huddle in -70C weather all winter long, trying to keep from freezing to death or dropping their eggs. I suggest a Catlin-like expedition to the South Pole for biologists.
Male Emperor Penguins huddling to stay warm
The 30% excess of ice has not been widely reported, but there has been lots of talk in the press the last couple of days about ice breaking off the Wilkins Ice Shelf – the broken area being about one pixel in the NSIDC image above. Looking at the Wilkins picture below, I’m having a very tough time seeing any evidence of melting around the fractures, or any evidence of water pooling on the surface. Normally, such fractures are caused by tensile or shear stress, likely due to a change in currents. Ice melts from the edges towards the center, and that ice is very thick – up to 200 metres. Blaming the clean fractures seen below on warming and melting seems highly questionable – at best. I suggest bringing some actual structural and mechanical engineers into the discussion – how’s that for a novel idea in the AGW world?
Meanwhile in the Arctic, sea ice area is about 500,000 km2 below normal, which means that global sea ice area (Arctic + Antarctic) is about 500,000 km2 above normal. You could fit Dr. Hansen’s home state of Pennsylvania plus Al Gore’s home state of Tennessee plus Gordon Brown’s Scotland plus Dorothy’s Kansas inside the excess global sea ice area. Sounds like a real global meltdown, doesn’t it?
Perhaps we should be worried – about those poor penguins struggling across an extra 200 miles of ice.