Archive for the ‘Antarctic’ category

Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Melt – NSIDC Cherrypicks

July 10, 2010

My local newspaper Osnabruecker Zeitung (OZ) has an online story here about the dramatic ARCTIC sea ice melting in June. This is typical of German media climate reporting. The introduction reads:

Arctic sea ice last month melted faster than in any June since measurements have been taken, since 1979. 88,000 square kilometers of white area disappeared daily, reports the American NSIDC in Boulder.

The OZ peppers the story with dramatic details like:

Also the extent of northern ice this June reached a record low average of 10.87 million sq km. According to the NSIDC, this ice area is 190,000 sq km below the previous June record set in 2006.

The air temperature is very high, and the ice continues to melt very rapidly.

The OZ then brings in the WWF as experts and polar bears for emotion to round out the propoganda effect.

So let’s stop right here. This is why it’s so important to keep an eye on the 11 Climatic Indicators which I have provided on the right side of my homepage. They allow a sure way to quickly debunk all media climate propaganda. The 11 Climatic Indicators are links to updated charts and graphs that treehuggers and alarmists don’t want you to see.

Have Arctic temps really been very high lately? Judge for yourself, see below, or click here:

Arctic temps

Clearly the chart shows that since the start of June temperatures in the Arctic over 80°N latitude have not been “very high”. Most of the melting ice was ice that had formed in the cold late spring at lower latitudes.

What about the claim that Arctic ice is melting rapidly now. Again, look at the chart under my 11 Climatic Indicators as follows or, click here (Sea Ice Arctic IJIS).

Arctic Sea Ice

If you look closely you’ll observe a few things: 1) There was a record high ice extent in April, 2) the ice indeed melted rapidly in May and June, but 3) the melting rate has slowed down considerably over the last 10 days, averaging only 59,000 sq km – something the media forgets to mention.

The media also forgot to mention that total global sea ice is dead-on normal, see next chart. They completely ignore Antarctica at the South Pole. Here’s where total sea ice stands now. It’s actually been increasing over the last few years.

Total sea ice, north and south poles

Now let’s take a look at what the sea ice in Antarctica alone is doing, see below or click here. Indeed Antarctic sea ice is near a record high!

Antarctic sea ice anomaly. Sea ice extent is far above average and trending upwards.

Moreover, look at the trend (blue line which I eyeballed in) over the last 25 years or so. Have we heard any reports about that? Perhaps the journalists at the OZ ought to take a closer look.

Elephant Seals Gather Climate Data

June 3, 2010

Elephant seal Gustavo - Alfred Wegener Instritute photo

Meet deepsea diver Gustavo. Gustavo is a a 3-ton elephant seal that scientists at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute have put into service to collect ocean data. Some elephant seal bulls were tagged with state-of-the-art satellite transmitters at the Dallmann Laboratory on King George Island, Antarctica. Read about it here:  Alfred Wegener Institute.

The scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association furnished some elephant seals with transmitters that operate using the satellite-aided ARGOS location system. Here’s how it works:

During the annual migrations to their oceanic feeding grounds elephant seals cover thousands of kilometres. They dive down to depths of over 2000 metres and remain under water for periods of over an hour. When a seal with a transmitter dives, it collects data – even under the ice – and then appears on the surface again to breathe after some time. While it breathes fresh air, the recorded data package is sent to a satellite that passes on the signals received.

The elephant seals will gather and transmit data during the Antarctic winter, a time when ships are not able to perform this job because of too much sea ice.

Heads Up – Coming: AWI Climate Reconstruction 400,000 to 4 Million Years Ago

May 14, 2010

The Polarstern ice breaker of the government-funded Alfred Wegener Institute is now returning from a 7-month long expedition to the Antarctic, putting 37,000 nautical miles behind it. A total of 150 scientists from 15 countries have taken part in the Antarctic research expedition. here

Onboard in the ship’s cargo bays are 1000 meters of sediment cores, weighing 11 tonnes in total. These cores will now allow the researchers to extract climate information for the period from 400,000 to 4 million years ago. 

There’s already considerable knowlege going back about 600,000 years.

But beyond that it starts to get awfully fuzzy. We do know that it has been trending colder over the last 5 million years.

The period from 400 thousand to 4 million years back is not well-researched, and so the sediment cores will certainly deliver key information on how the climate developed in leading up to the periodic ice ages, clues about ice behaviour, and ocean currents. Surely it’ll take some time to extract the data and digest them. We’re certainly looking forward to the first results.

Normally the AWI provides a translation of their press releases in English. I expect one will be out shortly.

Russian Scientist: 4% More Antarctic Sea Ice – Ozone Hole Cooling Antarctica

April 24, 2010

The April 21, 2010 German edition of the Russian news website RIA Novosti has a piece with a possible explanantion as to why Antarctic sea ice is expanding while the rest of the globe is warming.

A Russian scientist believes it is due to the ozone hole over the South Pole. According to Alexander Klepikov of the Research Instritute for Arctic and Antarctic at the Conference Maritime Research of Polar Regions of the Earth in the International Polar Year:

Over the last 3o years of satellite measurement, the growth of the ice amount in the Southern Ocean which surrounds Antarctica was more than 4 percent.

Klepikov emphasised that sea ice growth around the Antarctic coast was irregular and occurred at different areas. There was an especially large amount of sea ice growth in the Ross Sea located in the western part of the Pacific sector. Klepikov says British researchers, using mathematical models and analysis of meteorological data, could attribute the increasing sea ice trend to the so-called ozone anomaly in the South Pole region.

Reduced ozone concentrations over the South Pole leads to cooling of the upper atmosphere, and eventually leads to a strengthening of the circumpolar circular flow – winds that blow along the Antarctic coast and protect the Antarctic zone against the effects of warmer air. The same mechanism has the opposite effect on the Larsen Ice Shelf, causing increased melting.

Russian Scientist: Expect Cooling – Pols Sitting On The Wrong Horse

April 23, 2010

In the German edition of Ria Novosti, Russian scientist Oleg Pokrovsky of the Main Geophysical Observatory says the world should expect cooling – and not warming – and that this will interfere with Russia’s plans to exploit the Arctic’s rich resources. The climate has been cooling since 1998.

At a climate research conference for the Arctic and Antarctic in St. Petersburg, Friday, Pokrovsky said the Earth’s temperature fluctuates in 60-year cycles.

There isn’t going to be an ice age, but temperatures will drop to levels last seen in the 1950s and 1960s.

Pokrovsky adds:

Right now all components of the climate system are entering a negative phase.  The cooling will reach it’s peak in 15 years. Politicians who have geared up for warming are sitting on the wrong horse.

The Northeast Passage will freeze over and will be passable only with icebreakers.

Pokrovsky also claims that the IPCC, which has prophesized global warming, has ignored many factors. He also noted that most American weather stations are located in cities where temperatures are always higher.

We don’t know everything that’s happening. The climate system is very complex and the IPCC is not the final truth on the matter.

UPDATE,  4/26/2010: Here’s the RIA NOVOSTI English version:

UPDATE 2: Dr Pokrovsky replies here: