Crabeater seals on ice floe, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica

New Study: The 2016-2020 Antarctic Sea Ice Decline May Be Traced To Natural Processes

from the NoTricksZone

By Kenneth Richard

Defying climate models, the sea ice surrounding Antarctica steadily increased during the 37 years from 1979-2015.

Even after many decades of studying climate processes and a supposed “consensus” that hemispheric-scale sea ice should decline in a rising CO2 concentration world, climate models cannot simulate the causative mechanisms for sea ice variability.

“Over recent decades Antarctic sea-ice extent has increased, alongside widespread ice shelf thinning and freshening of waters along the Antarctic margin. In contrast, Earth system models generally simulate a decrease in sea ice.”  – Ashley et al., 2021

“Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) has slightly increased over the satellite observational period (1979 to the present) despite global warming. [F]ully coupled Earth system models run under historic and anthropogenic forcing generally fail to simulate positive SIE trends over this time period.”  – Blanchard-Wrigglesworth et al., 2021

Not just around Antarctica, but the sea ice in the entire Southern Hemisphere steadily increased from 1979-2015, in concert with the trends (cooling) in Southern Ocean sea surface temperature (Comiso et al., 2017).

Image Source: Comiso et al., 2017

New Study: Ice-Breaker Ship Saved By Cyclones

In contrast to the rising sea ice trends from 1979-2015, there were “record low” values of Antarctic sea ice recorded from 2016 to 2020. This short-term decline likely excited those who have a penchant for attributing any warming or decreasing sea ice trend to human activity (as they dismiss 37 years of cooling and sea ice increases).

But as a new study (Jena et al., 2022) once again shows, natural processes dominate as the causal mechanism driving sea ice variability in the Southern Hemisphere.

In April, 2019, a cargo ship was perilously stuck in sea ice in the Southern Ocean’s Lazarev Sea. The ice was so thick the ship’s ice-breakers could not forge a way out.

A causal mechanism analysis affirms that an anomalous series of “explosive polar cyclones” led to about a 10°C sea surface temperature increase (17-25 April) in the region, melting the ice surrounding the ship sufficiently enough to free it from the ice trap.

“We show that the anomalous sea ice variability was due to the occurrence of eastward-moving polar cyclones, including a quasistationary explosive development that impacted sea ice through extreme changes in ocean-atmospheric conditions. The cyclone-induced dynamic (poleward propagation of ocean waves and ice motion) and thermodynamic (heat and moisture plumes from midlatitudes, ocean mixed layer warming) processes coupled with high tides provided a conducive environment for an exceptional decline in sea ice over the region of ship movement.”

Nowhere in the paper do the authors mention anthropogenic CO2 emissions as a factor determining sea ice trends.

Image Source: Jena et al., 2022
4.3 7 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
D. J. Hawkins
May 31, 2022 6:14 am

Not so “settled” after all, eh?

David Elstrom
May 31, 2022 6:38 am

Natural processes…..well, DUH!

jeffery p
May 31, 2022 6:53 am

I’m wondering if maybe, just maybe, every instance of climate variation is not evidence of climate change?

Reply to  jeffery p
May 31, 2022 7:31 am

If you do that, you will find the climate changes on a daily basis and then constantly changes back. Hot/Cold, Hot/Cold, Wet/Dry, Wet/dry, on and on. You will find the climate oscillates constantly between light and dark.
It is like the difference between night and day.

Richard Page
Reply to  TonyL
May 31, 2022 8:57 am

Or the difference between summer and winter!

May 31, 2022 7:01 am

“Nowhere in the paper do the authors mention anthropogenic CO2 emissions as a factor determining sea ice trends.”

For that sort of thing simply read The Guardian….

“Antarctic areas reach 40C above normal at same time as north pole regions hit 30C above usual levels”

Don’t forget to see your climate counsellor.

I’m waiting for the Met Office’s 5 heatwaves to start showing up. It isn’t looking good, below average temperatures, grey and wet with occasional heavy hail. Must be a La Nina…

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  fretslider
May 31, 2022 7:57 am

You must live in the same UK as I do rather than the one in a parallel universe where the Met Office are located

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
May 31, 2022 8:26 am

Indeed I do

Richard Page
Reply to  fretslider
May 31, 2022 9:00 am

Yup, got that same weather today – heavy downpour with icy hail, dip in temperatures; the heating came on this morning, very nearly the beginning of June and the temperatures are like February. Brrr.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Richard Page
May 31, 2022 10:20 am

Watching a beach webcam sipping a tropical umbrella drink can break the winter blues.

Relax, enjoy!

john harmsworth
Reply to  fretslider
May 31, 2022 9:59 am

If you’re reading the Guardian, you need to see a counselor all right.

Reply to  john harmsworth
May 31, 2022 11:07 am

I tend to laugh at it. What a miserable lot

May 31, 2022 7:37 am

Natural processes??

The Climate Scientists are flummoxed and confused. They have worked endlessly to make their models more and more powerful. But at the end of it, the climate still refuses to be driven by the models. Indeed the climate acts as if to models have no effect on it at all. The Climate Scientists are sore disappointed and curse the natural processes. They do not know what else they can do to get the climate to follow as the models command.

Richard Page
Reply to  TonyL
May 31, 2022 9:05 am

It’s pretty obvious that the UK Met Office, for some time now, have been giving modelled output as forecasts rather than use real world observations. I’d suggest that people will be urged to shut their curtains and ignore what is happening outside but believe wholeheartedly what the models are predicting!

May 31, 2022 9:07 am

“Nowhere in the paper do the authors mention anthropogenic CO2 emissions as a factor determining sea ice trends.”

Good thing this report is on an electronic medium. That makes it so much easier to make “corrections” to their flawed report.

Mike Maguire
May 31, 2022 12:19 pm

Increasing Antarctic ice for 36 years = natural climate no humans
Decreasing Antarctic ice for 4 years = absolute proof of man made climate change!

Gunga Din
May 31, 2022 4:01 pm

I’ve always found it odd that those who claim “MAN MADE” this or that is unnatural refuse to admit that Man is a part of “Nature”.

June 1, 2022 12:46 am

Nowhere in the paper do the authors mention anthropogenic CO2 emissions as a factor determining sea ice trends.

Obviously funded by Big Oil or else they’re looking for an early retirement payout from the taxpayer.

June 1, 2022 4:41 am

What decline?

Janice Moore
Reply to  VOWG
June 1, 2022 11:30 am


Antarctic sea ice has been growing.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the continent’s annual maximum sea ice has grown for three straight years. The annual mean is increasing and the annual minimum has also expanded for three consecutive years.

(Source: )

H. D. Hoese
June 2, 2022 10:18 am

As for cyclones, wonder how many such ‘catastrophic’ events with varying degrees of energy are less often examined because of all of these other distractions. Some excuses are real, many not?

Verified by MonsterInsights