Climate FAIL: Antarctic Sea Ice Did The Exact Opposite Of What Models Predicted

By Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 2 March 2015

Climate models can be good tools for predicting future sea ice levels — unless, of course, they are completely wrong. In the case of Antarctica, the climate models were dead wrong, according to a new study by Chinese scientists published in the journal Cryosphere.

The study found that most climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice coverage would shrink as the world warmed and greenhouse gas levels increased.

The opposite happened. Most climate models analyzed in the study predicted Antarctica would shrink between 1979 and 2005, but instead south pole sea ice levels increased during that time. Going a step further, sea ice levels have only increased since 2006, hitting all-time highs for sea ice coverage in September of last year.

“For the Antarctic, the main problem of the [climate] models is their inability to reproduce the observed slight increase of sea ice extent,” researchers wrote in their study.

“Both satellite-observed Antarctic [sea ice extent] and [satellite measured] Antarctic [sea ice volume] show[s] increasing trends over the period of 1979–2005, but [climate models’] Antarctic [sea ice extent] and [sea ice volume] have decreasing trends,” researchers added. “Only eight models’ [sea ice extent] and eight models’ [sea ice volume] show increasing trends.”

Chinese scientists only looked at sea ice projections until 2005. Had they kept going, they would find more than a trend of “slightly increasing” sea ice levels. Last year was the first year on record that Antarctic sea ice coverage rose above 7.72 [million] square miles.

By Sept. 22, 2014, sea ice extent reached its highest level on record — 7.76 [million] square miles. Antarctica is now in its melt season, but even so, sea ice levels were very high for late December and early January.

The same can’t be said for Arctic sea ice coverage. The Chinese study notes that for the Arctic “both climatology and linear trend are better reproduced.” Climate models predicted Arctic sea ice extent and volume would decrease as the world warmed, which it has.

Full story

150 thoughts on “Climate FAIL: Antarctic Sea Ice Did The Exact Opposite Of What Models Predicted

  1. Climate models are political action tools. Nefarious intent in, wealth redistribution justification out. It is actually a simple program. All results yield doom and gloom which is what made me a skeptic years back. All that doom and gloom was so perfectly choreographed and consistent…well, until the actual data appeared.
    Now we know why Al Gore was in such a panic to turn the world economy into a carbon based exchange. He knew that the models were rigged and the books were cooked and he knew that it was only a matter of time that the general public would find him et al out.
    Well, now we know.
    Interesting fact that Antarctica is the coldest place on earth. And it is the coldest of the coldest now.
    Can this be tied to the tilt, orbit, and solar radiation level?

    • The IPCC is aware of the failure of the models to project the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent. Their confidence is being shattered by reality.

      IPCC SPM – 2013
      Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
      Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis
      Summary for Policymakers
      Most models simulate a small downward trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, albeit with large inter-model spread, in contrast to the small upward trend in observations. {9.4}
      In the Antarctic, a decrease in sea ice extent and volume is projected with low confidence for the end of the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. {12.4}
      http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

    • You give Al Gore waaay too much credit! He’s too ignorant and arrogant to have known anything about the models, except that they were tailor made for his own self-aggrandizement. Ok, he might have known the scheme had a limited shelf life as well, but not exactly why.

      • …except that they were tailor made for his own self-aggrandizement….
        yep…He would not have cared had they been made with Crayola crayons, so long as they fit the gloom and doom narrative. He was a major investor into a carbon exchange. On the other hand… I could have referred to anyone of 1000 panic stricken AGW hype artists. Pick your favorite! Hanson, Jones, Mann, etc

    • Antarctica is the closest place on Earth because of altitude. Ascend from sea level from any place on Earth and it will get colder as the air gets thinner. The arctic is at sea level so it is warmer. Simple

  2. There were four possibilities:
    Both down
    Arctic ice up, Antarctic ice down
    Antarctic ice up, Arctic ice down
    Both up
    I guess their pin just hit the wrong one.
    Close though.

  3. Well, the authors of this paper should expect to be savagely “Soon-ed” for their traitorous attack on the AGW -ISIS mullahs.

  4. Oh How could we be so wrong; Then what does this bode for sea levels. Lets have the truth? Have sea levels fell or have they rose? Oh what a tangled web?

  5. And yet Lui Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press published an article just a few days ago (date varies from paper to paper) saying “if experts are right, and the West Antarctic ice sheet has started melting irreversibly, what happens here will determine if cities such as Miami, New York, New Orleans, Guangzhou, Mumbai, London and Osaka will have to regularly battle flooding from rising seas.

    • Michael – I recently read that the W. Antarctica glacier is melting due to AGW and the U.S. is to blame. (I’m still trying to get my head around that one.) For me this begs a couple of questions:
      IF AGW is causing the W. Antarctic to melt, what’s happening in the rest of Antarctica? It’s GLOBAL, right? And:
      What about the geothermal activity under the ice in W. Antarctica?
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/09/uh-oh-study-says-collapsing-thwaites-glacier-in-antarctica-melting-from-geothermal-heat-not-co2-heat-effects/#more-111163

      • The key fact is that overall Antarctica is cooling, not warming. The melting seen in West Antarctica is due to the geothermal heating there. But the much larger East Antarctica is cooling:
        Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response – Nature
        http://www.nature.com › Journal home › Archive › Letters to Nature
        by PT Doran – ‎2002 – ‎Cited by 406 – ‎Related articles
        Jan 13, 2002 – Antarctic climate cooling and terrestrial ecosystem response. Peter T. Doran1, John C. Priscu2, W. Berry Lyons3, John E. Walsh4, Andrew G. … The average air temperature at the Earth’s surface has increased by 0.06 °C per …
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v415/n6871/abs/nature710.html
        That climate scientists are disregarding this fact seriously undercuts their credibility. The fact that the ONLY reason why they don’t acknowledge it is because it disagrees with their theory makes it even worse.
        However, what is a contributing factor to climate scientists not acknowledging this is the poor coverage by temperature stations there. Why is that? You mean we can have the Rosetta spacecraft travel in the near absolute zero temperatures of outer space for ten years unattended and wake up in just the right time to observe the comet, and we can’t figure out how to have unattended weather stations in Antarctica? The same problem is also true in the Arctic, which seriously affects the reliability of global temperature measurements when the Arctic is so poorly covered.
        With all the billions being spent on climate change research a key focus should be on developing automated weather stations that can operate in the polar regions and on insuring that both poles are well covered.
        Bob Clark

    • Sorry but this is a silly thought. If it was true about 30% of my homecountry the Netherlands wouldn’t be in existence other than as a shallow sea bottom. We started fighting the sea centuries ago with nothing more than dikes built with manual labor and pumping out the water with windmills. There is so much more that can be achieved today with modern techniques. Glimmering example are the Deltawerken in the province of Zeeland and movable dams to protect the port of Rotterdam and in the Thames Estuary. And such protecting measures are costing only a pittence compared to the trillions and trillions now thrown away in efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

    • For Mr. Clark: I think if you look on the Sea Ice page, you will notice the ice in the Arctic is floating and moving. It might be rather challenging to locate long term permanent stations there, and even if you put some there, they might all sink to the bottom of the sea, once all the ice melts at some future still to be determined date. The more I learn, the less I know. Dan Sage

  6. ” … 7.72 square miles.” — penultimate paragraph.
    “… 7.76 square miles” — last paragraph.
    Missing a scaling factor, presumably “million”.

  7. This is a blatant misuse of innocent models. Model results should only be compared to other models, never to reality.

    • ROTFLMAO!!! Yes, let’s compare apples to apples. Models against other models. Believe it or not, I am imagining watermelon scientists thinking that we have come up with a valid point.

    • Yes, please be fair. Models are the “gold standard” of some rather shoddy scientists and the mainstream media. As people have said here, it is much like astrology in content … manipulation, deceit, just so stories, and obfuscation. Seems really almost to be the opposite of science!

    • LOL! OMG, you mean we’re stuck with the climate we have right now … forever? Arrrrrrrghhh! 😉

      • Living in the northeast (North-Central PA) with all the cold and snow this winter (and last) that IS a scary thought! I’d think it would have folks in Boston dirtying their undies.

  8. By Sept. 22, 2014, sea ice extent reached its highest level on record — 7.76 square miles.
    Only 7.76 square miles? is that a typo?. Can that be correct?

  9. Simply take the difference between reality and models, filter it to make it smooth, chart it as AMO and PMO…

  10. I think the units in sea ice extent are wrong. 7.76 square miles are shy by six orders of magnitude or so.
    Please add the word “million” somewhere in there.
    http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum/#.VPXlFPnF98E
    [The lost “million” has been found and is now inserted, thank you. Usually, the site prefers to stay with metric terms for consistency across languages and units. Here, the original used square miles. .mod]

  11. The wonderous thing about New Age Climate Pseudoscience is its practioners can cherry pick those few climate models whose results projected more Southern Ocean sea ice to affirm to their faithful all is well with Climate Change theory.

      • Perhaps models are used by proctioners considering where some of the results seem to be pulled from.

    • “So many models, So little time…”
      Reminds me of the old story (probably apocryphal) of the student who went to his advisor one Friday for help fitting his observational data to theory. The following Monday the advisor told the student, “Well most of the data was easy. These few points here were a real problem, but I was able to make them fit nicely with a little work.” To which the student replied, “OMG, no! That’s not part of the data, those are the legend!”

    • The current Arctic sea ice anomaly is largely due to large ice free areas in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. The rest of the Arctic is at near seasonal averages. Multiple plausible reasons for those 2 anomalies can be put forward without any need to invoke manmade CO2 caused Arctic amplification.

    • Francisco

      Well, the Arctic is melting because the developed countries generate more CO2.

      And, so, if mankind’s CO2 emissions are well-mixed, as CAGW theory requires, and if the Arctic sea ice is melting because of man’s CO2 release, and if man’s CO2 release is causing the Arctic to warm more than the rest of the planet’s natural warming since 1650, why is the Antarctic setting all-time satellite record high values for anomaly, extents, and area? The Antarctic continental air temperatures are going down!
      And, it’s not “Antarctic land ice is melting” either: The average Antarctic land ice never gets above freezing -> The land ice down south cannot be melting across the whole continent across all seasons of the year uniformly around the whole continent – which is where the Antarctic sea ice is uniformly increasing at every longitude.

    • Either you left off the /sarc tag or you are just another idiot troll. Eighteen years of minute or no temperature increase with rising CO2 levels. The Warmist theory is busted.

    • Ad hominem attacks are the favored tool of the climate change faithful. Not here at WUWT. Ignorance can be cured with education, but the affliction affecting AGW faithful is typically more pathologic.

      • joelobryan,

        Ad hominem attacks are the favored tool of the climate change faithful. Not here at WUWT.

        Wow. What blog have I been reading then?

      • I’m very sorry if people have been unkind to you, Brandon. By the way, have you noticed that global sea ice extent is about average and Antarctic sea ice extent is at record levels?

      • I didn’t say ad hominem attacks are not employed here. I implied they are not the favored tool to correct a climate alarmist. Sometimes all the alarmist suffers from is naiviete of the state of climate science and observational data. Given the complicity of many media outlets, this is not surprising.
        So first, AGW adherents who comment here and offer unsupported views, they usually get presented with factual and data-based arguments. When they reject the data that disproves their view in favor of failed model outputs (or can’t see anything wrong with adjusting temperature records in a demonstrably biased manner), then they expose themselves as “trolls on a mission” and deserve any and all ad-homs hurled at them.

      • Brandon Gates, I’ve taken a few attacks here for my political views but I have tried not to reply in kind.
        We are all responsible for own conduct. I am responsible for mine.
        Yet I am still allowed to speak here even though I am considered wicked and evil by some of the regulars (even some who try to be nice and cheerleadery).
        My point? That I am not censored here but I am censored elsewhere.
        And that’s not for my aggression or lewdness.

      • Brandon Gates March 3, 2015 at 9:49 am
        I note and appreciate your comment.
        It seems to me that there has been an increase in ad hominem attacks [from a low level, for sure] over the years I have been reading and, occasionally, commenting on, WUWT.
        In a big way – I find it a turn-off.
        An occasional smart comment – well, I’ll smile!
        And I am well aware that blogs, etc., by the Defined and Verified Religion are not noticeably in favour of less-than-admirational-and-credibility-affirming comment.
        But I’m not sure that we need to emulate ‘Them’.
        Us & Them.
        Are we not all seekers after truth? Mods – MUST I add /sarc?
        Auto

      • cant undertand the repeated attacks on Brandon Gates. I dont often agree with him but his arguments are reasoned and he is always responsive. It doesnt surprise me that he gets touchy himself when so many attack him for anything he says no matter how innocuous.
        To say WUWT does not do trolling and then to attack the man not the idea is at the least showing a degree of being lacking in self awareness.
        I like the fact that all comers unless completely OTT or continuously off subject or seriously tedious get to speak here and I would like to think that anyone who keeps to the rules is welcome.
        Or perhaps BG’s detractors are after hijacking this blogsite for their own private echo chamber

      • mwh:
        Gates has nothing to add here but cut & paste CAGW boilerplate.
        Do you find that interesting?
        His sneers and jeers against skeptic points of view are regular, see above for an example. And you defend that? And pile it on behind Gates?
        You should feel more at home at HotWhopper or SKS.

      • MP it would seem you are incurable, I still have no idea how you make his comment an ad hominem sneer, seems you are out to get him no matter what.
        Highly amused by your Hotwhopper comment though, sounds like you know the site well

      • @ mwh…are you Brandon,s friend or just another sockpuppet? Brandon has been confrontational over the entire time he has interacted here at WUWT. Almost all of his comments are pointless arguments. Many of those include ad hominen attacks as a regular feature of his comments. I fully agree with mpainter,s assessment of Gates.

      • No not his friend, not a sock puppet, I dont agree with him. However he does provoke debate and I mean provoke. However the tone of his posts and the way he words them is generally on topic and should not elicit the ‘attack dog’ response he gets – I personally find the attacks on him and a few others unnecessary and unpleasant and I cannot see how his posting is ‘trolling’ anything. Attacks on the person however – no matter how frequent a presence one might have – I would consider is trolling or at least similar.
        He doesnt tend to get personal until the attacks on him get personal.
        I dont know him, I have debated with him when I think hes wrong. I just dont like te way he is treated the moment he posts

      • Anyway trolls on the whole are out for attention and wish to deflect the debate into a more emotive direction. If anyone thinks a poster is a troll – why engage with them at all – thats what they want, thats what they need. If a troll annoys you and you respond, he has succeeded. Dont respond – they will go away – their words just do not matter.

      • Also don’t think highly of attacks on B. Gates. Haven’t found anything offensive in his posts. I don’t agree with his analysis, but I welcome his input. How else do we avoid group think ourselves if we don’t welcome dissent?

  12. I think you mean 7.62 MILLION square miles… right? It is not likely to be 7.62 square miles I think.
    [The 7.62 Million sq miles (19.735 Million sq kilometers) has been corrected.
    By the way, that value is for the mid-September Antarctic sea ice extents, not sea ice area. Antarctic sea ice area reached it maximum at 16.808 million sq kilometers (6.48 million sq miles) on Sept 19 2014. The Sept 19 sea ice coverage was also a record-high area.
    The Antarctic sea ice anomaly (difference between measured area and average area for that date) set its record high at 2.06 Million sq kilometers earlier, in June 2014. .mod]

  13. The 2 sigma level is +/- 12 X 10^6 Km2….. Does not inspire much confidence in the measurement.

    • skeohane

      The 2 sigma level is +/- 12 X 10^6 Km2….. Does not inspire much confidence in the measurement.

      Please explain your question, and where you see that value: The two sigma level for Arctic and Antarctic sea ice varies by day-of-year for each: Smaller at each region’s maximum (14 Mkm^2 for the Arctic, 16 Mkm^2 for the Antarctic), larger (as a measurement) at each year’s minimum extents of now 3.5 – 4 Mkm^2 for the Arctic, now 2.5 Mkm^2 for the Antarctic.) The specific two-sigma value for each region also varies by laboratory reporting the sea ice extents (or area), and whether that lab reports sea ice area, or sea ice extents.
      At no time is the two sigma value 12 Mkm^2. Even 1.2 Mkm^2 is too high historically.

      • @RACookPE1978 thanks for responding, it didn’t make sense.
        I was looking at the +/- 1 sigma bars on the left graph. Each bar is roughly 12 Mkm^2 in length. Since the dang thing is so small, I did not previously see they apply to the CMIP5 simulations, not the satellite observations. That in itself trashes the value of the models.

  14. The great thing about CAGW is that this all actually helps prove global warming exists! Because it shows that the results of climate change are even less predictable than they previously thought (I.e it’s worse than they thought)
    /sarc off

    • ren

      Antarctica, the current temperature.
      http://oi59.tinypic.com/ej6kjn.jpg

      Note that, of the stations pictured on the Antarctic continental edge, half have wind direction parallel to the coastline, half show winds blowing towards the land mass away from the sea.
      This is the usual case for the Antarctic as a whole: There are three very specific areas of extremely high winds flowing out away from the very high, very cold, interior land icecaps down to the sea, many thousands of kilometers of rotary winds that average parallel to the coasts to slightly inland from the coasts, and a few areas where the winds blow directly from ocean to land. Remember, on average, every gram of high-speed air blowing sea ice away from the continental area has to be matched by other winds blowing a replacement gram of air inland.

      • Grams in = grams out. Over time that’s correct of course, but you ignore altitude. It’s still theoretically possible for the wind to blow offshore at every point on the coast.

  15. “For the Antarctic, the main problem of the [climate] models is their inability to reproduce the observed slight increase of sea ice extent,”
    Slight? If the sea ice extent had reduced by the same amount, would they describe it as a slight decrease? One expects politicians to spin like this, not scientists.

  16. I thought the Alarmists would do pretty well following my advise. Forget the models just predict anything and everything, sooner or later you’re bound to hit on something. But it appears I was wrong I’ve never seen a group this unlucky.

    • Extreme Weather mantra follows your advice: and now they don’t even have to predict anything. Every weather anomaly, every storm, every blizzard, every drought, every flood, is caused by AGW, er Climate Change, oops I meant Extreme Weather – sorry. /sarc

      • When they blame extreme weather just ask them for the peer reviewed evidence AND showing its link to man-made greenhouse gases. That usually shuts them up because almost every paper that makes such claims says they are not sure or talks about the future.

  17. I think the nuclear bomb destroying every model has already gone off and no one else noticed:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/24/are-climate-modelers-scientists/
    http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/a-climate-of-belief/
    As an engineer, I have to deal with errors, often in real-time systems. Otherwise we could measure distance with the accelerometers on your phones. Distance is the double-integral of the acceleration. But the error gets double-integrated as well, so you get something like 5 feet +/- 30 feet.
    I think the model was perfectly good and predicted a good result. The sea ice would change X +/- Y, but Y was never calculated or published and is probably an order of magnitude greater than X, and the actual result is within the range of X+/-Y.
    Even better, I’m no longer a “Climate Skeptic”. I believe the models totally – but the entire part of the result, that the earth will warm 2 degrees C, plus or minus 18 degrees C.

    • I concur, the error part of the climate models are poorly, if at all, represented. The fact the models use cyclic feedback (they feed off their own output) means there is a defined point which the error term dominates to such an extent that all you are seeing as an output is noise… Most climate models, to me, operate well into the noise space.
      To properly account for error, it would have to be carried along with all the processing done. Although to do that would soon show your producing expensive garbage as an output – not a career progressing move for those who care more about their pay packet than the integrity of the science.

    • So let’s cripple our economies, condemn the developing world to poverty, hand over our liberties to the whims of UN bureaucrats, empower authoritarian governments to seize their neighbors, all just so a few petty dictator-wannabes and their politically favored elitist class can keep their yachts, private jets, chalets in Davos, just to watch the world’s “global temperature anomaly” do whatever it is going to do in a 36º C window.

    • Yes, well, maybe the question is: why was this specific study chosen, that ends at 2005. Surely there’s been much more research done about the topic.

  18. “For the Antarctic, the main problem of the [climate] models is their inability to reproduce the observed slight increase of sea ice extent,”
    ..and yet the imperceivable amount of temperature rise and sea level rise spells doom
    Give me a f’in break

  19. In general, we look for a new law by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong. – Dr. R. Feynman
    Problem is that the escathological cargo cult of the CAGW does not contain scientists.

    • Feynman actually didnt follow his own procedure.
      Be that as it may, all models are wrong. The hard part is figuring out which models are best and then improving them.

      • Actually it’s easy. You start by figuring out which models are the worst and discarding them. whatever you have left over may be worth improving.

      • “The hard part is figuring out which models are best and then improving them.”
        I’ll give you a hint… if you are hind-casting to Hadley or Giss temperature data, your models will always have a unrealistic, fabricated trend in them, and your variables, such as sensitivity to CO2, will be totally unrealistic.
        But what can they do, they can hardly start hind-casting to a more realistic temperature series can they !
        …. because that would destroy the whole warming meme.

      • But that Feynman didn’t always follow his own words does not invalidate the truth of those words.

      • I think that it is best to just forget the whole climate thingy and just go off and find something else to study.
        Back in the olden days climate and weather just happened and you dealt with it. Why create a whole new industry around it? other than an excuse to use that expensive Phd

      • Mosh;
        But that’s not what the modelers say, they and their proxies say that science is settled and that the models work. All models fail but some fail a lot better then others, these fail completely because they are based on a predetermined assumption that has political purposes, they are not science they are dogma and religion and nothing more.

      • Steven,
        As usual you make a claim with no context or evidence.
        I can’t wait to see what inane trivial nit you use to justify “…Feynman actually didnt follow his own procedure…”.
        As long a CAGW modelers refuse to compare their models to actual data, their ain’t gonna be much improvement.

    • “cargo cult of the CAGW does not contain scientists”
      And there’s Mosher, right on cue !

    • I’ve written this before as a nod to Feynman’s classic wit and insight to the scientific method, but it bears repeating (IMHO).
      The Climate modelers continue to adjust their bamboo control towers erected next to their island runways, with “controllers” in those bamboo towers trying to faithfully replicate the actions they remembered from another time. And yet to their bewilderment, the airplanes still do not land. (as in, actual global temperatures do not cooperate with their models).
      What is the fundamental lack of understanding the climate modelers are missing? Or is it simply hubris? Or both?

    • That’s a lot of Austral summer solar energy being reflected back into space.
      Meanwhile, at the antipode, during the Boreal winter, sea ice is again at a low anomaly, when sunlight is gone most of the day or at very low angles such that that exposed water is venting tremendous amounts of heat to space.

  20. From the original article,

    Chinese scientists only looked at sea ice projections until 2005. Had they kept going, they would find more than a trend of “slightly increasing” sea ice levels. Last year was the first year on record that Antarctic sea ice coverage rose above 7.72 [million] square miles.

    I would further amplify this statement by pointing out that the Antarctic sea ice has been steadily increasing since 1992.
    Further, the Antarctic sea ice anomaly (the daily difference between the measured sea ice and the 1979-2010 “average” sea ice areas has been greater than 2 standard deviations almost every day for the past three years!
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
    2014 was no single isolated “extreme” exception to an assumed CAGW-caused decline in Antarctic sea ice – it is instead a continuation of a 22 year long trend of continuous sea ice growth!

  21. Might we just be seeing a situation where Chinese scientists are becoming more active in the climate field and feel less constrained to toe the CAGW party line than their Western counterparts?
    If so, it will be a very interesting development indeed.

  22. There is a Warming World scenario that could produce an increase in Sea Ice from a warming Antarctic region. If the Antarctic Land Ice were Decreasing in overall mass, and this Fresh Water pouring into the Southern Ocean Basin, It could conceivably act to desalinate the water in the region to a sufficient amount that would allow a greater area to freeze at the surface.
    The saltier the water is, the colder it has to be to freeze but less salty water freezes at slightly higher temps so a more diluted ocean will freeze over a greater surface

    • Bryan A

      There is a Warming World scenario that could produce an increase in Sea Ice from a warming Antarctic region. If the Antarctic Land Ice were Decreasing in overall mass, and this Fresh Water pouring into the Southern Ocean Basin, It could conceivably act to desalinate the water in the region to a sufficient amount that would allow a greater area to freeze at the surface.
      The saltier the water is, the colder it has to be to freeze but less salty water freezes at slightly higher temps so a more diluted ocean will freeze over a greater surface

      Nice claim. I have read it many times.
      Now, show your math. Calculate just how much the claimed difference in Antarctic land ice is, show how much that much of an assumed loss in land ice is going to dilute the the 16 million sq kilometers of ocean under the sea ice (to a depth of 50 meters) so that the salty ocean water will freeze at higher temperatures.
      Oh. By the way, show how that mechanism works at 2.5 Mkm^2 of sea ice after mid-summer in the Antarctic, and how it works at 16.0 Mkm^2 of Antarctic sea ice at mid-September maximum, and at 6.0 Mkm^2 at mid-winter (-35 to -50 deg C air temperatures) at air temperatures, and how that melted “freshwater” doesn’t immediately freeze when it hits the cold salt water right at the coast lines!
      ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tlt_southern%20polar_land_and_sea_v03_3.png
      Oh, one final thing: The actual continent-wide Antarctic air average air temperatures have NOT been going up, but have been steadily decreasing the whole time CO2 has been rising.
      Nice theory, but every assumption it requires, and every conclusion it makes, fail the measurements test.

      • Some additional facts regarding the Salt Water freezing point and the effect of Fresh Water dilution that even those with a basic understanding of Physics can’t dispute, unless your knowledge of basic physics is differs from my own then you shouldn’t find anything to disagree with. If you do, feel free to prove where the physics is incorrect.
        A few simple facts about the physics of Ice formation in Ocean waters
        Salt water is denser (heavier) than fresh water and colder water is denser than warmer water. As ocean water freezes, it forces the salt out making the ice fresher water and increasing the salinity and thereby the density of the water beneath the ice
        Fresh water freezes at 0 deg. C (32 deg. F), but the freezing point of sea water varies. For every 5 ppt increase in salinity, the freezing point decreases by 0.28 deg. C (0.5 deg. F); and so, in polar regions with an ocean salinity of 35 ppt., the water begins to freeze at -1.8 deg. C or 28.8 deg. F.
        The reciprocal would also be true in that for every 5 ppt. decrease in salinity the freezing point increases by .28deg C or .5deg F
        According to Grace Satellite measurements, Antarctica is losing land-fast ice mass at a rate of 41gt to 85gt annually or a median of about 63gt of ice mass. 65gt of ice equals 143,300,470,420,250 (143.3 Trillion) pounds of ice mass loss annually or 17,171,472,172,000 (17.17 Trillion) Gallons of fresh water flowing into the Southern Ocean annually.
        Now exactly how much water is this? 17,171,472,172,000 gallons @ 7.48 gal per cubic foot is 2,295,651,359,893 cubic feet of water or 330,573,795,824,598.9 cubic inches of water. 1 sq. mi. is 27,878,400 sq. ft. so the amount of Cubic Feet is sufficient to cover 82,345 sq. mi. of ocean by an additional foot of water or 11,857,703 sq. mi. of ocean by an inch of water
        This water dilutes the salinity of the surface waters though the effects are gradually lessened at distance from the continent. As the salinity changes, the temperature at which water freezes also changes
        At a Salinity ppt of 35.5 water freezes at -1.959 C or 28.485 F
        At a Salinity ppt of 34.5 water freezes at -1.901 C or 28.578 F
        At a Salinity ppt of 33.5 water freezes at -1.844 C or 28.681 F
        At a Salinity ppt of 32.5 water freezes at -1.787 C or 28.783 F
        At a Salinity ppt of 31.5 water freezes at -1.730 C or 28.886 F
        At a Salinity ppt of 30.5 water freezes at -1.674 C or 28.987 F
        Now, given that Salt water is denser than Fresh Water and thereby fresh water will, for a time, float on top of the ocean before gradually mixing with the more saline waters beneath from the action of both Wind and Waves, the upper portion of the ocean will be less salty than the lower portions and will also have a lower salinity ppt closer to the Antarctic continent and closer to the surface
        So diluting the ocean surface by a factor of about 15% (35.5ppt to 30.5ppt) acts to increase the temperature where freezing can occur by .3C or .5F thereby allowing for slightly warmer water (as much as ½ deg F higher) farther from shore to freeze and could play a factor in the increased ice extent.
        Again, If you disagree or find fault with any of these physical facts then feel free to (without the use of attacking as I won’t attack you) indicate where and how they are in error
        One of your own errors
        Oh. By the way, show (snip) how that melted “freshwater” doesn’t immediately freeze when it hits the cold salt water right at the coast lines!
        ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tlt_southern%20polar_land_and_sea_v03_3.png
        (3 possibilities depending on the method of transport:::
        1) the water does freeze at the coastline which forces the ice mass farther out to sea though if this were the case the edges of the ice would by necessity be fractured as the mass spread out at the edge
        2) The fresh water could travel to the edge of the ice before freezing (through a similar mechanism to Lava Tubes that are at 2100deg F but don’t melt the rock above)
        3) The fresh water could also travel under the ice between the ice and the ocean surface again not freezing until it hits the Air at the edge of the pack ice
        (Sufficient pressure has a way of keeping cold liquids from freezing which is why Vostoc Lake is still in a liquid state even though it is buried beneath over 11,100′ of ice)
        Oh, one final thing: The actual continent-wide Antarctic air average air temperatures have NOT been going up, but have been steadily decreasing the whole time CO2 has been rising. (I didn’t say anything regarding ambient air temperature and CO2 nor express any relationship between the two)

      • Mr Cook,
        Thanks for the civil response. It is difficult to be tame sometimes when the subject is something you feel passionate about. I have been unable to locate any data regarding current ongoing salinity measurements for the Antarctic region. Could you link to the Antarctic leads database you spoke about?
        In advance, Thanks

        • i have several “saline measurement” papers (Arctic and Antarctic) that I’ve recently reviewed, but I will not be able to get back to them until tomorrow.

      • And, although correlation isn’t indicative of causation, it is interesting to note that, per the Grace Satellite measurements, the West Antarctic area is indicating an annual rate of ice loss that is almost twice the rate of the remainder continent at 117gt per year and the Weddel Sea area is the spot with the greatest area of sea ice gain

    • This would be easy to prove if it were happening, and if true, would likely have already been proven. It doesn’t keep the ironically named Skeptical Science crowd from throwing it out there though.

    • Bryan A,
      Is this the same scenario that explains how global warming causes global winters?
      Bets take it to SKS or HotWhopper, someplace like that.

      • thats 2 of us now! Are you in the pay of these blogsites to get their numbers up. I think its you who needs to find solace in an echo chamber blogsite – seems noone can voice an opinion that you consider misplaced. Sometimes people are just plain wrong – pointing it out is educational – attacking the person plain unpleasant

    • I find this entire argument extremely frustrating, as follows. To quote Cook:

      Ozone levels over Antarctica have dropped causing stratospheric cooling and increasing winds which lead to more areas of open water that can be frozen (Gillet 2003, Thompson 2002, Turner 2009).
      The Southern Ocean is freshening because of increased rain, glacial run-off and snowfall. This changes the composition of the different layers in the ocean there causing less mixing between warm and cold layers and thus less melted sea ice (Zhang 2007).”

      The first point that increased wind opens up area to be frozen is true enough, but it also increases the total volume by stacking and buckling ice (recently confirmed and reported here) and contradicts other statements made that the extra ice is thin and due to a thin layer of fresher water at the surface.
      The second point that the S. ocean is freshening appears to be partially confirmed by NASA measurements, but where is the fresh water coming from? Ice cap melt data is different everywhere you look, with ranges from +a few gt/yr to -300 or more gt/yr. Even the Antarctic temp trend is currently hotly debated, but IMHO the best conclusion is that it is declining to static over most of the continent except the peninsula where it is increasing.
      Good luck finding comprehensive precip data for the S. ocean. I’ve tried to find data for McMurdo, Palmer and Rothera and have so far only found a lengthy PDF explaining why precip data for Antarctica and the S. ocean is very hard to collect. (anybody got any links?) There should be data somewhere for at least McMurdo going back at least to the IGY. In any case the NASA salinity anomaly chart shows freshening in some sectors but also little or no change in others, and what I see in the NSIDC extent charts for the last year or 2 is increase in sea ice essentially everywhere around the continent. A little more where it’s fresher and a little less where it’s not, but above the average everywhere.
      To a non-professional-working-stiff-without-the-free-time-to-dig-endlessly-through-all-this-stuff such as myself, the most convincing argument is entirely anecdotal and thus not acceptable the the professional types. And that is Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ships log from 1914 reporting they first encountered “heavy sea ice” at exactly the same place it was 100 years later in 2014. Where was all that fresh water coming from then?

  23. “Most climate models analyzed in the study predicted Antarctica would shrink between 1979 and 2005, but instead south pole sea ice levels increased during that time. Going a step further, sea ice levels have only increased since 2006, hitting all-time highs for sea ice coverage in September of last year.”
    This makes no sense at all. For a start, we don’t have records for ‘all time’. And what does ‘going a step further, sea ice levels have only increased since 2006’ mean? They increased between ’79 and ’05, as the previous sentence says.

  24. ” Climate models predicted Arctic sea ice extent and volume would decrease as the world warmed, which it has”.
    But they did NOT anticipate of predict the reversal in 2013: 50% increase in ice volume in ONE year.
    It would appear that there was a complementary reversal in Antarctica , so in fact at both end it apparently has little to do with “global warming” and everything to do with some that nobody has any clue about.
    Oops.

  25. Wait, I’ve just read at least a half dozen Yahoo linked articles claiming the Antarctic is ~melllttting~! at an ALARMING rate and that something needs to be done about it RIGHT AWAY! or we’ll all drown! Like, pictures of all our drowneded cities and everything!
    So, uh, is it or is it not melting?

  26. I read it or heard it somewhere, that the NH and SH air masses do not mix a lot, I wonder if CO2 is the same north and south. If it is higher in the north then the green blob might have an axe to grind, but I doubt it.

  27. It strikes me that the Chinese’ interest in research conclusions that oppose the current consensus of ‘settled science’ might just be related to their agreement that they do nothing about CO2 “pollution” for several decades. They now have a stake in disproving it before they are pressured into expenditure.

  28. Climate models are no better than a coin flip. If they were worse then a coin flip, then they might have some counter-predictive skill.

    • Well, if you’re a betting man, the climate models are MUCH better than a coin flip – at least 97% of the time they come up “CAGW”.

  29. Note that the article says “Antarctica is now in its melt season.” It actually has passed the low point of the melt season and sea ice extent is again growing. I assume the article, although the byline shows March 2, was actually written a while ago, since it mentions late December-early January…

    • Indeed. It looks as though the minimum was reached on 28th February, compared with the long term average of 26th Feb. Assuming there is no further dip over the next few days, this means that 2015’s minimum of 2.469 million sq km was second only to the minimum of 2.473 million, set on 1st March 2003.

  30. ‘Climate models predicted Arctic sea ice extent and volume would decrease as the world warmed, which it has.’
    If you guess which side a coin will fall on you got 50:50 chance given there can be only two possibilities.
    In this case they had the same situation, guessed right once , and wrong once .
    Still no sign of any skills in predicted in any scientifically meaningful sense .

  31. Models frequently look better than reality. Those who let the imagination run wild often depart from reality. Lots of divorces have resulted from such departures.
    Don’t get me wrong. Many who have married models are thankful. But they are thankful to live with the reality, not the fantasy of the pictures that made the model famous. When time has taken it’s toll, they remain thankful because the fantasy is not what they loved.
    Which climate models have stood the test of time? Might those who still cling to them be more in love with the fantasy than reality?

  32. I recently took a National Geographic tour to Antarctica. A beautiful place, literally almost nothing but ice, just a few cliffs and rocky beaches that aren’t covered in ice, and the tour is only on the Peninsula. The tour guides said that they have had difficulty getting to many places they normally go because of more ice in recent years, and this is supposedly the part of Antarctica that is warming. The scientists who were accompanying the tour, mostly in a begrudging manner, acknowledged that sea ice extent and concentration are increasing in recent years (total ice mass changes in Antarctica is very hard to measure and we heard some fascinating lectures on the satellite and other methods they are trying to use to do this). They also said that the circumpolar current, which runs all around the continent, has cooled in recent years. One told me that should be of concern because there are theories that this current is a major control on the overall global climate. And these scientists generally pooh-poohed the idea that warmer waters are melting the large ice shelves from underneath, since the water is in fact cooling. Another interesting fact I learned, which they showed from satellite imagery, is that the very large, state-sized chunks of ice that do break of the ice shelves don’t go out to warmer waters and melt, they tend to get caught in the current and end up reattaching somewhere else in Antarctica. And the wildlife in Antarctica is thriving, the biggest threat is not climate but overfishing of krill by some countries, i.e. Japan and Russia.

  33. The word, “most” indicates that some computer models did not forecast a reduction. To be fair, the question is how many computer models predicted melting and how many did not. Then provide a balanced report on both predictions. Perhaps the word, most is used without regard for what it indicates.

    • I think what will happen in the press is not what you are asking for. What will happen is that reality will be ignored unless some connection to a Man-made-cause can be forwarded. Much like the record cold in parts of the US is being spun into proof of CAGWARMING.

  34. Ice surface area around Antarctica has been increasing recently, however the NASA Grace satellite data says Antarctica land ice has been decreasing at an average rate of 147 billion metric tons per year since 2002. I don’t understand how Antarctica is losing land ice, according to the USA today the average HIGH temperature in Antarctica during December, the WARMEST month of the year for Antarctica, is -16°F, thats 48°F below freezing. The average high temperature in July, the coldest month of the year for Antarctica is -76°F, or 108°F below freezing. How can Antarctica be losing ice with these kinds of temperatures? Even McMurdo station, 12 degrees in latitude off the pole has an average daily temperature of below freezing all year long, even in their summer. The sun can warm surfaces up above air temperatures, but how can a continent with an average yearly temperature of -52°F (84°F below freezing), be losing ice? Its getting a lot of new snow every year, but if the net is -147 billion metric tons of ice it must be sublimation because that land ice can’t have a net loss due to melting in warmer weather.

    • The only areas losing ice are glaciers which have geothermal warming below them. The ice is melted from below and then flows out into the ocean where it helps to melt the glacial grounding points. This allows the glaciers to flow at a higher speed. All perfectly natural.

    • CO2. its very scientific and you wouldn’t understand…..
      You see, to put it simply in laymans terms, the CO2 is a very sneaky molecule, it will first trap some air and hijack its heat. Then, it will take this heat and hide it under the land ice. This will obviously cause rapid catastrophic melting and kill the penguins. The mechanism is of course very complicated. The temperature at The south pole is very cold but ice is warmer so it melts . it is also very expensive to study this phenomena

  35. “The same can’t be said for Arctic sea ice coverage. The Chinese study notes that for the Arctic “both climatology and linear trend are better reproduced.” Climate models predicted Arctic sea ice extent and volume would decrease as the world warmed, which it has.”
    There is a near consensus amongst the IPCC models that increased forcing of the climate will increase positive North Atlantic Oscillation conditions. Yet the NAO turned increasingly negative from the mid 1990’s, in the same time frame as the accelerated warming of the AMO and Arctic. It is true that increased forcing of the climate will increase positive NAO, but not true that increased positive NAO will cause the AMO and Arctic to warm. And by definition, the increase in negative NAO since the mid 1990’s must therefore be due to a decrease in forcing of the climate. And how anyone could model warming at both poles in denial of the polar see-saw effect is astonishing.

Comments are closed.