While Arctic sea ice has declined remarkably since 1979, Antarctic ice has been unexpectedly stable. Experts acknowledge that existing climate models–which assume that CO2 emissions drive global sea ice loss–had predicted Antarctic sea ice would have declined over the last several decades–and would decline even more in the future. They’ve finally admitted they were wrong.
John Turner (British Antarctic Survey) and Josifino Comiso (NASA) in a NATURE paper in 2017:
“Current climate models struggle to simulate the seasonal and regional variability seen in Antarctic sea ice.“
A new model released earlier this year suggests the virtually stable Antarctic sea ice cover that has existed over the last four decades can now be expected to continue for almost another three decades, until at least 2050, and decline only slowly after that (Rackow et al. 2022).
However, emperor penguin researchers used the old flawed models to get the species listed as ‘threatened’ in the US just a few months ago due to predicted sea ice loss (Jenouvrier et al. 2009; Jenouvrier et al. 2020; Trathan et al 2020; USFWS 2022).
In other words, it’s not just that penguin researchers picked the most pessimistic and totally implausible ‘worst case’ scenario to make their case, as polar bear specialist so love to do (Crockford 2019; Hausfather and Peters 2020): sea ice experts now say those old sea ice models are quite useless for predicting future sea ice conditions and have known this for more than a decade (Blanchard-Wrigglesworth et al. 2021, 2022; Comiso et al. 2017; Turner and Comiso 2017; Turner and Overland 2009; Turner et al. 2013).
Sea ice experts knew the models were wrong about Antarctic sea ice and CO2–and wrote about their concerns in the scientific literature–yet penguin biologists ignored that evidence and continued to insist that penguins are doomed to near-extinction by future sea ice loss in the Southern Ocean. See graphic below, from Jenouvrier et al. 2020:
ESA protection for emperors was granted by US Fish & Wildlife on 25 October 2022, even though a new Antarctic sea ice model was published more than eight months earlier, on 2 February 2022. This means both the petitioners for the ESA listing and the USFWS ignored years of evidence provided by trusted experts that Antarctic sea ice models were not fit for purpose plus a more plausible option offered, then called it all “best available science.”
The new model may also be crap but that doesn’t warrant ignoring solid evidence that the old one was seriously flawed.
The graph below is from the Turner and Comiso paper and shows the discrepancy of concern: summer Arctic ice vs. Antarctic winter ice (September for both) from 1979-2017, with max for Antarctic ice hitting 20.11mkm2 in 2014 (when Arctic ice was its 6th lowest at 5.02mkm2):
That graph ends in 2017, now five years ago. Below was the extent at 19 September 2022, near the maximum for that year, eventually reaching 18.19 mkm2. Plenty of ice for emperor penguins, who uniquely lay their eggs and raise hatchlings over the winter/spring, primarily on land-fast ice:
As an aside, I couldn’t help but notice that emperor penguin researchers working in the Antarctic focus on winter sea ice with regard to future health and survival while polar bear specialists and other Arctic biologists are most concerned about summer sea ice loss. In both cases, the ice-dependent species of concern require sea ice in the winter/spring for reproducing and/or feeding. The difference is that summer sea ice in the Antarctic has always virtually disappeared over the summer (down to 15% or less than winter extent) and no one pretends that any Antarctic animal requires summer sea ice for survival. Odd, that.
BirdLife International. 2020. Aptenodytes forsteri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T22697752A132600320. Downloaded on 26 October 2022. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22697752/157658053
Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E., I. Eisenman, S. Zhang, et al. 2022. New perspectives on the enigma of expanding Antarctic sea ice, Eos 103. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022EO220076.
Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E., Roach, L.A., Donohoe, A. and Ding, Q. 2021. Impact of winds and Southern Ocean SSTs on Antarctic sea ice trends and variability. Journal of Climate 34(3):949–965. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0386.1.
Hausfather, Z. and Peters, G.P. 2020. Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading [“Stop using the worst-case scenario for climate warming as the most likely outcome — more-realistic baselines make for better policy”]. Nature 577: 618-620
Jenouvrier, S., Caswell, H., Barbraud, C., Holland, M., Stroeve, J. and Weimerskirch, H. 2009. Demographic models and IPCC climate projections predict the decline of an emperor penguin population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 106: 1844-1847. Available here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/23951047_Demographic_models_and_IPCC_climate_projections_predict_the_decline_of_an_Emperor_penguin_population
Jenouvrier, S. et al. 2020. The Paris Agreement objectives will likely halt future declines of emperor penguins. Global Change Biology 26(3): 1170-1184. [paywalled] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.14864
Rackow, T., Danilov, S., Goessling, H.F. et al. 2022. Delayed Antarctic sea-ice decline in high-resolution climate change simulations. Nature Communications 13:637. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-28259-y
Trathan, P.N. et al. 2020. The emperor penguin – Vulnerable to projected rates of warming and sea ice loss. Biological Conservation 241:108216. [open access] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108216
Turner, J. and Comiso, J. 2017. Solve Antarctica’s sea-ice puzzle. Nature 547:275-277. https://www.nature.com/articles/547275a
Turner, J. and Overland, J. 2009. Contrasting climate change in the two polar regions. Polar Research 28(2):146-164. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v28i2.6120
Turner, J., Bracegirdle, T.J., Phillips, T. et al. 2013. An initial assessment of Antarctic sea ice extent in the CMIP5 models. Journal of Climate 26(5):1473-1484.
USFWS 2022. ‘Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status for Emperor Penguin With Section 4(d) Rule.’ Federal Register 87(206):64700-64720.
What a surprise (not).
Nothing about current climate science (climate witchcraft and superstition ) is fit for purpose.
I was about to correct you that yes, it is very fit for the purpose of alarming the public. But it doesn’t even do that well, since polls consistently show climate change to be at the bottom of people’s concerns.
HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW
This is pseudoscience baloney since their models don’t have demonstrated forecast skill to lean on which is why it is WORTHLESS!
How come they don’t try to model their way into winning the Powerball lottery?
That’s what the IPCC AR5 report said as well. Scientists have a poor track record with sea predictions though. For example, the IPCC AR3 predicted that annual Arctic sea ice would not drop below 10.5e6 km2 until at least 2040. It first happened in 2007…and then 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
On the other side, Antarctic sea ice was behaving as expected until 2017 when it hit a record low in at least the satellite era. A new record low was just set for 2022 at 10.6e6 km2. And as of Jan. 30th it is on track to break the previous summer minimum set all the way back in 2022.
Globally sea ice is at a record low in at least the satellite era for Jan 30th as well.
Scientists are clearly struggling to keep up with the pace of sea ice declines. Rackow et al may end up being correct on the stability of the Antarctic sea ice over the long haul, but previous predictions and the short term suggest that their prediction might go the way of all the others before them…woefully underestimating the decline.
‘Scientists have a poor track record with sea predictions though. For example, the IPCC AR3 predicted that annual Arctic sea ice would not drop below 10.5e6 km2 until at least 2040. It first happened in 2007…’
‘Scientists’ have a poor track record with Arctic sea ice predictions because they have a poor track record of data tampering, specifically by ignoring any data before 1979 when Arctic sea ice extent hit its most recent peak. Tony Heller has written several times on this, one of them is here:
Walsh et al. 2016 goes back to 1850.
Kinnard et al. 2011 goes back to circa 600.
Thanks for the hockey stick! Who knew that nothing ever happened up there prior to our driving around in SUVs, but I’ll still go with what the US Navy and a pre-corrupted DoE had to say about Arctic ice extent prior to 1979. Btw, one of the easy tells that Walsh et al is junk science is that it is completely inconsistent with NASA’s own temperature data, which is why they have been tampering with it over time.
I can understand that for people like Walsh and the researchers mentioned in the head post, the pressure to produce junk science in order to get funding and published has probably been immense over the past 30+ years. However, they should realize that in doing so, they’re supporting the nefarious goals of a global Left that has no qualms about tearing down civilization. They, and you, should consider that.
Walsh et al. uses US Navy Oceanographic data. The reconstruction is based in large part from land and ocean based observation reports not unlike those you see in the newspaper clippings. The Walsh et al reconstruction is of Arctic sea ice; not global or even Arctic temperatures so you can’t compare it to GISTEMP.
If Walsh et al used US Navy data and still came up with a hockey stick, then it’s indeed junk science. Yes, we are talking about Arctic sea ice, so, yes, Arctic surface temperatures, provided by Icelandic meteorologists, before being tampered with by NASA GISS, are relevant. Again, there’s no hockey stick, which even the IPCC used to acknowledge. At some point, even the Left’s most useful idiots will have to realize what’s in store for them should the former’s designs come to fruition.
You might be looking at something different. I don’t see a hockey stick in the Walsh et al. dataset. Not that it matters since since the shape of a plot does not determine if it is junk or not. What might determine if it is junk is to show 2 or more independent Arctic wide reconstructions from 1850 to present that show a significantly different shape.
Regarding the temperature…GISS does not “tamper” with data. They don’t even make the adjustments necessary to correct for known biases caused by changes in time-of-observation, station moves, changes in instrumentation, changes in measuring procedures, etc. The only adjustment they make is for the urban effect. That is in step 2 of the procedure. You can comment out step 2 in the source code and rerun the analysis without that adjustment. It doesn’t make much of a difference though. You can download the source code here and run it on your own machine to see for yourself. Of course, that is all moot since neither global nor even Arctic temperatures are the only thing that modulates Arctic sea ice. Ocean currents, wind, pressures, sunshine, salinity, etc. all have an effect. Arctic sea ice is not inconsistent with any of the global or Arctic temperature datasets.
‘I don’t see a hockey stick in the Walsh et al. dataset. Not that it matters since the shape of a plot does not determine if it is junk or not.’
Look at Walsh et al again – a gentle, slightly noisy decline until the the IPCC went to war against CO2 – then, boom!, off a cliff. That’s a hockey stick and it’s just completely out of character with the variability of climate over time, witness your Kinard et al graphic.
And yes, the shape does matter – anytime highly variable data goes into a climate ‘model’ and comes out as a hockey stick, one can be certain that one is looking at junk science. Ironically, that’s the ONLY good thing about hockey stick-like results promulgated by climate alarmists.
A gentle sloping shape is a hockey-stick?
Anything with a hockey-stick shape or gentle slope is junk?
Do you disagree with the evidence that says large changes in CO2, temperature, and sea ice have occurred in the past as well?
How broadly do you apply your rule to the many scientific disciplines out there?
‘Do you disagree with the evidence that says large changes in CO2, temperature, and sea ice have occurred in the past as well?’
Actually I don’t disagree!! But changes to all three were caused by plate tectonics. See here:
Fortunately any penguins from the Halley Bay colony will have left already since the Brunt Ice Shelf has left!
It’s terrible they can’t swim!!!
Yes it is, fortunately the young ones had finished their moult in time so they were able to swim, good job it didn’t occur earlier! Next year they’ll need somewhere else to breed.
You misunderstood my sarcasm.
Have you worked out why the open season at the coal port in Spitsbergen went from 3 months of the year before 1920 to over 7 months of the year by the late 1930s yet? Can’t have been CO2 because that didn’t really get going till after WW2.
No. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be doing that. My post is about the difficulties scientists have had in predicting sea ice extents and keeping up with their decline in both hemispheres. The state of sea ice in Spitsbergen in the 1920s and 1930s has no relevance to my post whatsoever.
As graphically evidenced in recent times by the “climate scientist” Chris Turney led “Ship Of Fools” debacle in Antarctica.
They couldn’t predict the sea ice extent as it came and mugged them in the course of a few hours.
I’m not talking about predicting the ebb and flow of sea ice extent on daily time scales. I do know that many weather forecasting global circulation models like the GFS are sea ice coupled, but I’m not sure what the skill of that forecast parameter is exactly. If you know the exact time and place where this happened I could load the GRIB files from the NCEI archive and see what happened.
What happened was that this boatload of numpties had been convinced by climate “scientists” that all the sea ice was melting at an “unprecedented” rate.
So they parked their ship in a bay in Antarctica in a patch of clear water, and lo & behold, the ice pack did what it’s always done – freeze up in a matter of hours and stayed that way until conditions unfroze it for a little while.
If they had watched a few episodes of “Deadliest Catch” they would have known that these things happen.
That’s not what happened, it was a breakout of multiyear ice from the Mertz glacier.
It was about 23rd Dec 2013, and was a breakout of multiyear ice from the Mertz glacier.
The “Best available science” has been fouling up the world for centuries as bureaucrats point to it to enforce their agendas. After all, it’s only been 500 years since the earth was round and 400 years since it orbited the Sun.
A round Earth was proposed by Pythagoras around 500 BC. Eratosthenes calculated the diameter around 2200 years ago.
Aristarchus of Samos first proposed a heliocentric solar system around 2300 BC and Copernicus produced a mathematical model in “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” by 1532 but was a afraid of being branded a heretic. So, it was not published until he was near death in 1543.
All known for a while but ignorant people do cause problems. We even have some today.
They may be useless for predicting future sea ice but are apparently quite useful for pushing fraudulent agendas.
No, not really. I almost made that same mistake above. But polls consistently show climate change ranks at the bottom of people’s worries, so it isn’t even useful for frightening enough of the public.
Polar bears and penguins, two very polarizing subjects.
I only read on the BBC just over a week ago that another colony of Emperors had been found
Emperor penguins: New colony found after satellite images spot their poo
Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey say this brings the total of known emperor penguin sites around the continent to 66.
Despite this discovery
Rising temperatures caused by climate change melts the ice, giving the penguins a lot less space to have and raise their babies.
This is having a drastic impact on their population.
It’s thought that 80% of Emperorer penguins will be gone by the end of century
BBC NewsRound is a junior news feed so they are hyping Climate Change for children
Don’t they realise that Emperor Penguins like to keep themselves to themselves and are sick and tired of BAS scientists trying to find their breeding sites?
Well they have to form new colonies since some of their old ones break off and float away.