From NCAR an "unexpected new result" – "Arctic ice… likely to expand as it is to contract"

It seems that the Serreze “death spiral” might be on hold. From UCAR/NCAR:

Arctic ice melt could pause in near future, then resume again

BOULDER—Although Arctic sea ice appears fated to melt away as the climate continues to warm, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.

The computer modeling study, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, reinforces previous findings by other research teams that the level of Arctic sea ice loss observed in recent decades cannot be explained by natural causes alone, and that the ice will eventually disappear during summer if climate change continues.

But in an unexpected new result, the NCAR research team found that Arctic ice under current climate conditions is as likely to expand as it is to contract for periods of up to about a decade.

“One of the results that surprised us all was the number of computer simulations that indicated a temporary halt to the loss of the ice,” says NCAR scientist Jennifer Kay, the lead author. “The computer simulations suggest that we could see a 10-year period of stable ice or even a slight increase in the extent of the ice.  Even though the observed ice loss has accelerated over the last decade, the fate of sea ice over the next decade depends not only on human activity but also on climate variability that cannot be predicted.”

Kay explains that variations in atmospheric conditions such as wind patterns could, for example, temporarily halt the sea ice loss. Still, the ultimate fate of the ice in a warming world is clear.

“When you start looking at longer-term trends, 50 or 60 years, there’s no escaping the loss of ice in the summer,” Kay says.

Kay and her colleagues also ran computer simulations to answer a fundamental question: why did Arctic sea ice melt far more rapidly in the late 20th century than projected by computer models? By analyzing multiple realizations of the 20th century from a single climate model, they attribute approximately half the observed decline to human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the other half to climate variability.

These findings point to climate change and variability working together equally to accelerate the observed sea ice loss during the late 20th century.

The study appears this week in Geophysical Research Letters. It was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor.

Rapid melt

Since accurate satellite measurements became available in 1979, the extent of summertime Arctic sea ice has shrunk by about one third. The ice returns each winter, but the extent shrank to a record low in September 2007 and is again extremely low this year, already setting a monthly record low for July.  Whereas scientists warned just a few years ago that the Arctic could lose its summertime ice cover by the end of the century, some research has indicated that Arctic summers could be largely ice-free within the next several decades.

To simulate what is happening with the ice, the NCAR team used a newly updated version of one of the world’s most powerful computer climate models. The software, known as the Community Climate System Model, was developed at NCAR in collaboration with scientists at multiple organizations and with funding by NSF and the Department of Energy.

The research team first evaluated whether the model was a credible tool for the study.  By comparing the computer results with Arctic observations, they verified that, though the model has certain biases, it can capture observed late 20th century sea ice trends and the observed thickness and seasonal variations in the extent of the ice.

Kay and her colleagues then conducted a series of future simulations that looked at how Arctic sea ice was affected both by natural conditions and by the increased level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The computer studies indicated that the year-to-year and decade-to-decade trends in the extent of sea ice are likely to fluctuate increasingly as temperatures warm and the ice thins.

“Over periods up to a decade, both positive and negative trends become more pronounced in a warming world,” says NCAR scientist Marika Holland, a co-author of the study.

The simulations also indicated that Arctic sea ice is equally likely to expand or contract over short time periods under the climate conditions of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Although the Community Climate System Model simulations provide new insights, the paper cautions that more modeling studies and longer-term observations are needed to better understand the impacts of climate change and weather variability on Arctic ice.

The authors note that it is also difficult to disentangle the variability of weather systems and sea ice patterns from the ongoing impacts of human emissions of greenhouse gases.

“The changing Arctic climate is complicating matters,” Kay says. “We can’t measure natural variability now because, when temperatures warm and the ice thins, the ice variability changes and is not entirely natural.”

About the article

Title: Interannual to multidecadal Arctic sea ice extent trends in a warming world

Authors: Jennifer Kay, Marika Holland, and Alexandra Jahn

Publication: Geophysical Research Letters

Link to the paper is here

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erfiebob

Oh, come on. They’re just padding their bets now. No matter what happens with sea ice, they’ll be able to say “See we told you so global warming will still kill us all!”

imoira

Ice cycles.

Now that we are beginning to see probable cooling (apparently) from a reduction in solar activity. expect to see more and more of the models predict a pause in warming in order to claim they saw this coming and not to worry, warming is still going to occur, it’s just delayed.
Handy way for them to try to keep the climate change money flowing in for another 10 years…

Theo Goodwin

Some of the Warmista have reached the bargaining stage.

DJ

….In other words, research indicates that arctic ice could do anything, and we’ve got a weasel clause that will allow us to blame it all on anthropogenic forcing, right?
If you can’t measure natural variability now, then you can’t make any definitive claims at all, because you can’t attribute specific anthropogenic, non-quantifiable influences. The mere claim that “…the ice variability changes and is not entirely natural” is a manifest statement that you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
Girls, why don’t you go do something productive, and just go shopping. At least that’ll stimulate the economy, something the IPCC says we need, something you CAN quantify.

KnR

‘the paper cautions that more modeling studies and longer-term observations are needed ‘
A call for more grants well there is a shock , meanwhile that they saying when you get down to the bottom line is . We don’t know what is behind changes in Ice levels for sure and we can’t tell you if they will decrease or increases with any accuracy worth a dam. But anyway its AGW to blame , doom oh doom .

Tim Fitzgerald

“Computer model” is just another way to say “untestable hypothesis”.

1DandyTroll

Ah, the old A.C.M.E. simulation trick again. You know they’re too far gone in their heads when they make statement prediction based on their models that has yet to be correct on even simpler stuff.
At least religious people believe in an entity that can only be tested by faith. Belief in buggy climate machinery simplified and derived from buggy weather machinery doesn’t really have the same ominous connotation. :p

The conclusions of the study sounds to me something aimed to reassure the warmists. “Even if you see a stop or even a recovery in the ice extent, be faithful that eventually the ice will disappear!” Al Gore docet.

Everyone with half brain can compare AMO natural cycle, closely related to Arctic temperatures and sea ice extent and come to conclusion, that since AMO has switched recently back to negative mode, gradual decrease in Arctic ocean /and air/ temperatures resulting in increase of the ice extent are about to be expected. Oh, and put your stinkin’ models somewhere!

Lee from WA

Even though the observed ice loss has accelerated over the last decade, the fate of sea ice over the next decade depends not only on human activity but also on climate variability that cannot be predicted.

Isn’t that what a lot of us have been saying all along?

Katherine

PlayStation “science.” Of course they need more funding to keep playing their games.

Oh fer cryin’ out loud what claptrap. No matter where you turn, there’s someone hedging their bets and covering all the horses in this rigged race.

RHS

By analyzing multiple realizations of the 20th century from a single climate model, they attribute approximately half the observed decline to human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the other half to climate variability.
When did human emissions of GHGs go down?

TERRY46

Notice how they conviently stopped at 2007 ,which was lowest year on record .But then that fits thier agenda to a T.
REPLY: The photo choice was mine, not theirs – Anthony

Latitude

warmcold, wetdry, droughtflood, snowrain……………………….

glacierman

So, CO2 hasn’t changed the physical world so much that water won’t freeze? Man, i thought it could do anything.

Fred from Canuckistan

The latest version of Climate Scientology . . . we have covered all our bases for the next ten years so our models MUST be working.
Please send a few hundred million more research $dollars so we can continue to run the con and grift the taxpayer.

R. de Haan

There is no escape to the folly of the “all knowing” scientists of doom.

Ian H

Wheeee…this is fun. I’m waiting for the next model to tell us all Arctic sea ice will be gone by the year 2250…or depending extraneous conditions it will cover 1/3 of the globe. Either way it will definitely be caused by anthropogenic global warming.

Latitude

DJ says:
August 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm
….In other words, research indicates that arctic ice could do anything, and we’ve got a weasel clause that will allow us to blame it all on anthropogenic forcing, right?
=================================================================
DJ, it’s worse than that……
..they couldn’t find an anthropogenic signature…..and they tried

Gary

It’s nice when you can tune models to observations, isn’t it? /sarc

What I was going to say has already been said by everybody else so far (at this stage the first 5 comments) so I’ll just keep stum and nodding my head.

Jeremy

1) prediction made.
2) prediction falsified.
3) prediction altered such that all results are expected.
4) prediction now impossible to prove incorrect.
5) Meanwhile, real scientists still not making predictions, leaving that to soothsayers.

Wot, wot?! Ice increasing, you say, sir? Nothing to see here …move along now.

Paul Vaughan

Since they are based on untenable assumptions, more modeling studies can’t produce the needed insight. Funding should be diverted to proper data exploration.

mkelly

I think I see a Norhwest Passage in the 2007 photo. Did it get used?

Cassandra King

It still amazes me how intelligent, indeed some of the most intelligent people the world has yet produced can be so alarmingly stupid and so utterly determined to defend a failed theory. Anyone might reasonably think that they has a financial stake in prolonging the shelf life of a failed theory, so fanatical are they to produce the most ridiculous fabrications as to why CAGW will cause any and all possible effects from no ice to more ice,from hot to freezing and any state in between, more floods and less floods, more snow and less snow, drier and wetter, its all in there and all supposedly point to just one conclusion and root cause?
A consensus it most certainly aint, more like an emotional ailment I think, a psychotic detachment from reality where the sufferer cannot accept a reality where all their work for decades means nothing, the ultimate scientific blind alley. And yet even Einstein made the same mistake with his cosmological constant and before him one of the most brilliant minds humanity has yet produced in the form of Lord Kelvin unable to grasp the age of the earth even when presented with a direct method of measurement. Letting go and admitting failure is very hard to do, especially when so many years of effort has been invested and so many reputations on the line. Nobody likes to admit that much of their working lives have been squandered.
You can imagine a climate scientist at 40yrs old having spent two decades trying to make CAGW theory fly only to find it is a lemon, what will that person do next? The investment of irreplaceable time, the loss of prestige and position the very act of acceptance itself near impossible to comprehend and yet if Einstein could do it and so many others then it is not an impossible mountain to climb. The collapse of so many careers, the wrecking of so many reputations, not only personal but institutional. The very act of admitting failure will blow many a house down around a great many red ears, this particular ‘phlogiston’ aint going quietly.

phlogiston

So if Arctic ice decreases, the models predicted it, and if they increase – then they predicted that as well!
“This I had also forseen” (The soothsayer, Asterix and the Soothsayer, Goscinny & Uderzo.)

Everytime I see studies like this I want to involuntarily gag. No explanation as to why “one of the world’s most powerful computer climate models” couldn’t see this when they were gleefully pronoucing a “death spiral”. No explanation of what they updated to get the result they did. They can’t quantify natural variabilty but human emissions are still responsible for half of the warming we’ve observed in the recent decades. They even managed to introduce “climate variability”. In what way is this different from climate change. And of course, the obligatory “more study is needed”. Yeeuch.

Ack. Models again. They look at the model output and imagine it reflects reality, when it’s really still just a guess, based on incomplete knowledge and semi-arbitrary assumptions. As Nils Bohr said: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” That these people believe their models can make these kind of predictions with anything approaching accuracy says a lot more about their lack of humility than it does about the climate. And yes, I know they call the model output “projections” rather than “predictions” but that’s just weasel words.
This is just a setup for when the arctic starts it’s recovery over the next couple of decades, they can say that it is all just a brief respite, and it’s still “much worse than we thought.”

So. Ice melts when it is warm, water freezes when it’s cold.. What a major scientiffic breakthrough. As the world is emerging from a major and a minor ice age one would sureley be expecting ice to melt and overall temperature to be warmer, might even welcome it. And with co2 steadily rising and global temperature not, what will it take to shut down alarmism and let common sense back into play? (we should be more concerned about a case of global cooling..)

john gault

“BOULDER—Although Arctic sea ice appears fated to melt away as the climate continues to warm, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.”
Wow…the next few decades, hmmm, seems like they’re giving themselves some breathing room.

Gerald Machnee

**Even though the observed ice loss has accelerated over the last decade, the fate of sea ice over the next decade depends not only on human activity but also on climate variability that cannot be predicted.”**
They just have to get that human activity in. Bust they found a chair to crawl up on the fence so they have their butts on both sides now.
Tomorrow I am going golfing. If my wife wants to we will go shopping instead.
Every angle covered.

Nuke

Another example of the wonder of AGW theory — either a growing icecap or a shrinking ice cap is consistent with the models! Who cares if the model can’t accurately predict anything — it doesn’t matter! It’s like predicting the results of a coin toss will be heads or tails. You can’t lose.

u.k.(us)

Just what are people supposed to take from an article that says:
“When you start looking at longer-term trends, 50 or 60 years, there’s no escaping the loss of ice in the summer,” Kay says
And says:
“Since accurate satellite measurements became available in 1979,…….”
And continues with:
“The simulations also indicated that Arctic sea ice is equally likely to expand or contract over short time periods under the climate conditions of the late 20th and early 21st century.”
==============
It is not fair to cover ALL the bases like this, and when did a decade become the new measure of climate trends.
Seems like a desperate attempt to explain the current lack of warming, and the very real possibility of some cooling due the Sun’s activity.

Eimear

Did they even bother to mention that the other models they ran where rubbish.

There may be a halt to the loss of the ice, but we expect it to become rotten.

Keith

Mindless. Cut all federally-funded climate change related budgets this year for every department, agency, and research institution. Eliminate IPCC funding completely.

pat

So they admit the models are horribly wrong? And there is no global warming. Which means there is no AGW. Which means it is science fiction as of today. Right?

Robertvdl

1856 : “‘vast open iceless Polar Sea”
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/1856-vast-open-iceless-polar-sea/
1923 : Arctic “radical change in climatic conditions, with hither- to unheard-of high temperatures”
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/1923-arctic-radical-change-in-climatic-conditions-with-hither-to-unheard-of-high-temperatures/
1939 : Global Warming – 20% Ice Loss In The Arctic – Both Poles To Overheat – Fish Migrating North
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/1939-global-warming-20-ice-loss-in-the-arctic-both-poles-to-overheat-fish-migrating-north/
etc etc etc.
That is why I like Godfrey Bloom .

scam scam scam

Peter Miller

This is bad science/unscrupulous prophecy at its best.
“So OK, the world didn’t end at 10.00am this morning, but it will definitely end at 10.00am on August 11th 2021, so please keep the contributions/grants rolling in to the 4th Gospel Alliance of Saint Hansen”.
“Just remember folks, this is your only chance for salvation and a free organic T-shirt, so keep sending the checks so we have the funds to keep you informed of what’s really happening – as it happens!”

tom s

“Although the Community Climate System Model simulations provide new insights, the paper cautions that more modeling studies and longer-term observations are needed to better understand the impacts of climate change and weather variability on Arctic ice.”….OR ELSE WE WILL LOSE OUR FUNDING.

Ian E

Oh, the sweet sound of alibis being forged. Next they will be saying that we might get a mini-Ice-Age, but it will surely be followed by more warming!

By analyzing multiple realizations of the 20th century from a single climate model, they attribute approximately half the observed decline to human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the other half to climate variability.

Well, you are half way there, at last. Just a little further, and reality will welcome you…..

Fred Allen

As an immigrant to the USA and a fan of college football on TV, I used to wonder what disciplines contributed to the curriculum of General Studies for football players. Maybe the college administrators thought so too and have broadened the application base for college scholarships by including Climatology. I’m not a scientist, but these conclusions are childish, asinine and worthless. Is the term “scientist” so debased and the high-paying private jobs so hard to come by that these nuts will put their name to any conclusion for the sake of personal dogma? Are these “scientists” cut from the same tree as the people who fake resumes to get that “great” job? Do they still teach ethics in the home, or is it something that is left at home when these tyros start college?

AJB

You can’t have an each way bet with only two runners or even four. Put your money on the nose or take your modelling elsewhere; no place betting allowed. Nobody is interested in 50:50 odds.

DCC

These Emily Litella moments are quite frequent lately.

R. Gates

Well, since skeptics don’t believe the models anyway, it doesn’t matter what they say the ice will do.
As it is, we’ve got no sign of expansion and the arctic will be ice free in the summer sometime this century, probably eariler than later. No models needed to see that…

Earle Williams

The dramatic (increase|decrease) in (Arctic|Antarctic) (sea|continental) ice is not inconsistent with (global warming|climate change|climate disruption|irritable climate syndrome) theory.