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Arctic/Antarctic Sea Ice - what to make of it?


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Arctic ice is decreasing at the rate of 2.33% per decade while Antarctic ice is increasing at the rate of 2.88% per decade. Yet the media focus is continually on the Arctic. You'd be hard pressed to find any mention of Antarctic ice - except when there might be a negative "study" linked to it. In simple terms though, what are we to make of one pole decreasing while the other increases and more than offsets the other? Do they cancel each other out in terms of ice-melt apocalyptic predictions?

We know that the Arctic has melted before - probably to where it is now - reports of an open Northern Passage come from around1900 to as recent as the 1940's. Likewise, it would seem logical that the Antarctic has also gone through its decrease/increase periods. Stepping back from the minutiae, it would appear that there is indeed some sort of balancing act in play.

To this hayseed, it seems that its all part of the Natural Climate cycle - a cycle that has an intrinsic balance to it.....and before we embark on the typical anthropogenic argument - let me concede that humans - by our GHGs, land-use, and activities - have injected ourselves into that natural cycle - and have become part of it. How much is still up for debate.

But darn, the increase/decrease of ice at the poles is interesting.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

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Well I have read studies that suggest the fresh melt water from the ice cap is diluting the salt water near the surface and making it easier for it to freeze, thus increasing the size of the ice shelf around Antarctica, idk if that's really a thing, it is something to consider that this might be the planets way of reflecting more energy back into space and moderating the temperature as a result. Who knows. The arctic sea ice extent is low again, but the overall mass is a little better with thicker and more multi year ice, so the extent may catch up to it's more normal numbers later in the season, the extent has been a little higher over the last few years. It has been very warm in the northwest so far this spring, temperatures nearing 30 along the arcitc coast for at least one day last week, im sure that hasn't helped, and now with el nino reappearing its difficult to predict what sort of weather patterns we will see that might affect ice concentrations. I think it's important to remember that science isnt perfect, and we really don't have a good handle on any of this, but it is probably safe to assume that if the temperature keeps increasing, more ice will melt.

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Arctic ice is decreasing at the rate of 2.33% per decade while Antarctic ice is increasing at the rate of 2.88% per decade. Yet the media focus is continually on the Arctic.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Probably has something to do with these measurements being for the month of May which means we are heading into summer in the Northern Hemisphere while heading into Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

That and regular deviation from averages is probably at play.

One would hope that Arctic ice would decrease and Antarctic ice would increase at this time of year - and one would expect deviation from year to year.

But really, I dunno.

Would just like to know what the annual average net increase/decrease is (for land and sea ice) on some kind of rolling basis over the past several decades - that would probably give us some kind of trend line that would be of interest.

Edited by msj
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I read an article that said as the ocean-salt water rises, it could backup into the Great Lakes, making them salty and places on both side of the border, get their drinking water from the lakes, so what happen then? Spend big buck for the machine that takes salt out of the water and how many could afford it?

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I read an article that said as the ocean-salt water rises, it could backup into the Great Lakes, making them salty and places on both side of the border, get their drinking water from the lakes, so what happen then? Spend big buck for the machine that takes salt out of the water and how many could afford it?

Lake Ontario is the lowest lake and has a elevation of 74m above sea level. Even if you melted both Greenland and Antarctica, it would still be above sea level.

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Lake Ontario is the lowest lake and has a elevation of 74m above sea level. Even if you melted both Greenland and Antarctica, it would still be above sea level.

Im sure that is comforting if you live in Florida, or the Maldives, or the Marshall Islands, or Bangladesh, or the Phillipines etc., etc.,

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Im sure that is comforting if you live in Florida, or the Maldives, or the Marshall Islands, or Bangladesh, or the Phillipines etc., etc.,

How about people who live in Holland? They are already below sea level.

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Arctic ice is decreasing at the rate of 2.33% per decade while Antarctic ice is increasing at the rate of 2.88% per decade. Yet the media focus is continually on the Arctic. You'd be hard pressed to find any mention of Antarctic ice - except when there might be a negative "study" linked to it. In simple terms though, what are we to make of one pole decreasing while the other increases and more than offsets the other? Do they cancel each other out in terms of ice-melt apocalyptic predictions?

why do you think it makes any sense to try to equate... draw equivalencies... between sea-ice across the earth? Per the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC):

Question: Why don’t you publish a global sea ice extent number?

NSIDC Answer: The combined number, while easy to derive from our online posted data, is not useful as an analysis tool or indicator of climate trends. Looking at each region’s ice extent trends and its processes separately provides more insight into how and why ice extent is changing. Sea ice in the Arctic is governed by somewhat different processes than the sea ice around Antarctica, and the very different geography of the two poles plays a large role. Sea ice in the Arctic exists in a small ocean surrounded by land masses, with greater input of dust, aerosols, and soot than in the Southern Hemisphere. Sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere fringes an ice-covered continent, Antarctica, surrounded by open oceans. While both regions are affected by air, wind, and ocean, the systems and their patterns are inherently very different. Moreover, at any point in time, the two poles are in opposite seasons, and so a combined number would conflate summer and winter trends, or spring and autumn trends, for the two regions.

Antarctic sea ice makeup is principally single-year ice (ice which melts almost to its entirety each year). Alternatively, Arctic sea-ice has traditionally been made up of degrees of multi-year ice and new single-year ice formed through each years annual freezing cycle... of course, Arctic multi-year ice has continued to disappear in line with the degrees of melting encountered, particularly since the 70s. And, of course, that Arctic first-year ice formed is the first ice in the melting cycle to melt, never getting a chance to become multi-year ice. The following graphic showing the seasonal melting versus freezing cycles (per the same NSIDC)... and the effective annual melting of the Antarctic sea-ice, almost to its entirety:

climatology.jpg

These images using satellite-derived sea ice concentration data show average minimum and maximum sea ice during March and September for the Arctic and Antarctic from 1979 to 2000. Seasons are opposite between the Southern and Northern Hemispheres; the South reaches its summer minimum in February, while the North reaches its summer minimum in September. (March is shown for both hemispheres for consistency.) The black circles in the center of the Northern Hemisphere images are areas lacking data due to limitations in satellite coverage at the North Pole.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

in terms of Antarctic land ice-sheet melting, the following graphic per NASA Grace Satellite measurements: "The continent of Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion tons of ice per year since 2002"

1AI1eeT.jpg

scientific based reasons why the Antarctic sea-ice extent has been increasing the last few years:

1 - the warming ocean is causing slightly fresher sea surface water around the margins of the continent’s melting ice shelves; additionally rain and snowfall increases are also freshening ocean water. These changes are altering the composition of the different layers in the ocean there causing less mixing between warm and cold layers and thus less melted sea and coastal land ice:

2 - ozone levels decreasing over the Antarctic with an accompanying increase in the strength of cyclonic winds,

3 - this increasing cyclonic wind strength which, in turn, creates polynyas (open water areas) that freeze to increase sea-ice

.

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NSIDC....serving Canada (and the world) every day.

Wish we could get some real Canadian data to help save the world from global warming doom.

It goes beyond that - Stats Canada is awful compared to what you guys get in the US.

But StatsCan has always been awful.

I suspect waldo could make a case that Canada is getting worse on the science front thanks to the Harper government.

I also think his case would be right.

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I suspect waldo could make a case that Canada is getting worse on the science front thanks to the Harper government.

I also think his case would be right.

and that case has been made many times over through an assortment of past MLW threads. NSIDC is a great site... that does take related input from Environment Canada... from the Canadian Meteorological Centre, etc.. As has been stated many times over in regards to that most unusual need to perpetually pump the U.S.A tires, I certainly have no qualms in presenting data/information/graphics from U.S. sources... that are easily and readily available. As always, the guy avoids discussing the actual relevant post details in favour of noise distraction. Deniers gonna deny!

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What’s a TRF error? That stands for Terrestrial Reference Frame, which is basically saying that errors in determining the benchmark are messing up the survey. In land based geodesy terms, say if somebody messed with the USGS benchmark elevation data from Mt. Diablo California on a regular basis, and the elevation of that benchmark kept changing in the data set, then all measurements referencing that benchmark would be off as well.

Taken from here.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/03/why-ice-loss-and-sea-level-measurements-via-satellite-and-the-new-shepard-et-al-paper-are-highly-uncertain-at-the-moment/

WWWTT

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And then there's this now famous flip flop

http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6040/20130911/global-cooling-arctic-ice-cap-60-photo.htm

“Gravimetric measurements from the NASA GRACE satellites have been shown to be subject to large errors and have established nothing ‘beyond doubt,’” he said.

“In addition, scientists have only a few years of gravimetric data. Such data are subject to short-term fluctuations in ice and do not have an estimate of what has been occurring over decades of time for either Greenland or Antarctica.”

Goreham said he believes Greenland is only “melting near the edges as the Earth warms naturally from the cold period of the Little Ice Age, but is getting thicker in the center from accumulating snow.”

He cited an example of a group of airplanes left on Greenland in 1942 that was found hidden under 270 feet of ice.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/polar-ice-is-melting-or-is-it-301228.html

WWWTT

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...Goreham said he believes Greenland is only “melting near the edges as the Earth warms naturally from the cold period of the Little Ice Age, but is getting thicker in the center from accumulating snow.”

He cited an example of a group of airplanes left on Greenland in 1942 that was found hidden under 270 feet of ice.

Oh yeah...that's another great story that keeps on giving. The guys who melted ice down to those planes didn't know they would come up in the climate change circus years later. Thanks Glacier Girl ! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Girl

As for all the other references from the denier nation, they must be false and misleading because they are....'Murican !

Claiming some Canadian content (CanCon) just makes it funnier.

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And then there's this now famous flip flop

http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6040/20130911/global-cooling-arctic-ice-cap-60-photo.htm

“Gravimetric measurements from the NASA GRACE satellites have been shown to be subject to large errors and have established nothing ‘beyond doubt,’” he said.

“In addition, scientists have only a few years of gravimetric data. Such data are subject to short-term fluctuations in ice and do not have an estimate of what has been occurring over decades of time for either Greenland or Antarctica.”

Goreham said he believes Greenland is only “melting near the edges as the Earth warms naturally from the cold period of the Little Ice Age, but is getting thicker in the center from accumulating snow.”

He cited an example of a group of airplanes left on Greenland in 1942 that was found hidden under 270 feet of ice.

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/polar-ice-is-melting-or-is-it-301228.html

WWWTT

Yep. Or they just flat-out change data to reflect their desired outcome.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have found a solution to the 15-year “pause” in global warming: They “adjusted” the hiatus in warming out of the temperature record.

New climate data by NOAA scientists doubles the warming trend since the late 1990s by adjusting pre-hiatus temperatures downward and inflating temperatures in more recent years.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/04/noaa-fiddles-with-climate-data-to-erase-the-15-year-global-warming-hiatus/#ixzz3cOQnPcGL

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What’s a TRF error? That stands for Terrestrial Reference Frame, which is basically saying that errors in determining the benchmark are messing up the survey. In land based geodesy terms, say if somebody messed with the USGS benchmark elevation data from Mt. Diablo California on a regular basis, and the elevation of that benchmark kept changing in the data set, then all measurements referencing that benchmark would be off as well.

Taken from here.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/03/why-ice-loss-and-sea-level-measurements-via-satellite-and-the-new-shepard-et-al-paper-are-highly-uncertain-at-the-moment/

WWWTT

in the context of this thread's focus on sea-ice/ice-sheet melting... what's your point? All you've done is throw down a cut-&-paste quote and a link to a denier blog. Again, your point?

with the article's TRF uncertainty stated at 0.45mm/year (Jet Propulsion Lab sourced), this has no relevance to ice-sheet related measurements that are in the magnitude of meters... in certain profiled areas within Antarctica, in the 4-to-8 meter range of ice-sheet thinning... even 10 meter drops have been noted. Your provided reference is simply more/standard noise from the renowned denier blog, 'WTFIUPT'!

IPCC WG1 AR5 provides a summary assessment on Antarctic ice-sheet loss with related uncertainty (cumulative ice mass loss (Gt))... per the following graphic, 'Figure 4.16':

mQorTy5.jpg

.

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huh! "Flip-flop"??? What "flip-flop" are you referring to? Other than speaking to a single years circumstance, what's your point? Apparently, you're not well versed in trending... long-term trending - the thing that factors in yearly changes, whether increases or decreases. What does this following graphic suggest to you? (per the NSIDC '2014 melt season in review'):

JVrLkrI.jpg

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Yep. Or they just flat-out change data to reflect their desired outcome.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have found a solution to the 15-year “pause” in global warming: They “adjusted” the hiatus in warming out of the temperature record.

New climate data by NOAA scientists doubles the warming trend since the late 1990s by adjusting pre-hiatus temperatures downward and inflating temperatures in more recent years.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/04/noaa-fiddles-with-climate-data-to-erase-the-15-year-global-warming-hiatus/#ixzz3cOQnPcGL

from the DailyHowler, no less! ... drawing on the "expertise" of, as stated, "Climate expert Bob Tisdale and meteorologist Anthony Watts" :lol: . Bob Tisdale the "expert" who has never published a single scientific paper or formally challenged any other scientific paper... the "expert" who principally writes for the denier blog 'WTFIUPT'! And... "meteorologist" Anthony Watts... a former TV weatherman who has absolutely zero formal degrees in meteorology, atmospheric, oceanic, hydrologic, etc. sciences... the guy holds no degrees in anything whatsoever... he simply "runs" that same denier blog 'WTFIUWT'. Now Shady, you know what happened the last time Watts accused NOAA of fraud, right? How did that work for him? In any case, the whole denier manufactured "pause" misinformation campaign notwithstanding, the pertinent question relative to this latest NOAA paper is whether or not the NOAA data adjustments affect the long-term warming trend - and they don't.

as an aside, in the past I've shown details related to the affect of limited station readings from areas of the earth warming the most (the Arctic, parts of Africa)... keyed to work of Cowtan/Way dataset/reconstruction (re: infilled by kriging the HadCRUT4 land and ocean ensembles). A mainstream media article that speaks to their initial work... pause? What pause?

Global warming since 1997 more than twice as fast as previously estimated

.

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Sure. No warming, adjust data, double the warming! Shazzam! It's comical. It's Enron type accounting. No profits, adjust data, double the profits!

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Sure. Clear signs of warming; claim people are adjusting data; warming is a fraud! Shazzam! It's comical. It's Enron type accounting. Want more profit; invent a conspiracy based on a lack of comprehension of the science; double the profits!

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