Arizona State University researchers want to deploy 100 million ice-making machines to the Arctic

Fourteen researchers from Arizona State University want to save the Arctic ice sheet by deploying up to 100 million ice-making machines at a cost of about $5 trillion over the next 10 years. Essentially, wind-powered pumps will spread ocean water over ice where it will freeze and thicken the sea ice. Their proposal was published January 24, 2017, in Earth’s Future, an open access journal of the American Geophysical Union. You can read their full paper here:

The researchers claim that loss of Arctic sea ice is due to global warming caused by human release of CO2 (they don’t provide any evidence). Thus, there is an “urgent need to deal with climate change.” Within the paper they invoke all the usual boogeymen of dangerous global warming alarmism.

The paper abstract begins: “As the Earth’s climate has changed, Arctic sea ice extent has decreased drastically. It is likely that the late-summer Arctic will be ice-free as soon as the 2030s. This loss of sea ice represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system, as sunlight that would otherwise be reflected by sea ice is absorbed by open ocean. It is unlikely that CO2levels and mean temperatures can be decreased in time to prevent this loss, so restoring sea ice artificially is an imperative.”

Their ice-making machine:

“We propose that a wind pump mounted on a large buoy, could perform the function of capturing wind energy to pump seawater to the surface. The basic components of such a device would include: a large buoy; a wind turbine and pump, drawing up seawater from below the ice; a tank for storing the water; and a delivery system that takes the water periodically flushed from the tank and distributes it over a large area. The goal is to raise enough water over the Arctic winter to cover an area approximately 0.1 km2 with approximately1 m of ice. A system of such devices would have to be manufactured and delivered to the Arctic Ocean, probably repositioned each season, and would need to be maintained.”

The researchers recognize “it is a challenge to prevent the water inside the device (tank, delivery system) from freezing.” But, they provide no solution. Where will they get energy to heat the water to prevent a freeze? They also say that the buoy-turbine contraption must be sturdy enough to prevent it tipping over in the fickle Arctic environment.

The researchers propose starting small with only 10 million pumps at a cost of $500 billion. They say we would need 100 million devices costing $5 trillion to cover the entire Arctic.

In my opinion, this is just another wacky and completely unnecessary geo-engineering scheme. It is also a complete waste of money and resources. Within the paper is a discussion of the need for a multinational governance of the Arctic ice. This seems to me to be a plea for more bureaucracy and future funding. Why 14 authors for this paper? Maybe the group wants to get “publish or perish” credit, which is vital in academia, before President Trump pulls the plug. Or, it could be a class project with professors and students. By the way, a note in the paper says: “The authors received no funding to carry out this work.” That probably means they had no special grant funding. I presume that the University pays the professors a salary (with taxpayer’s money).

I saw no mention in the paper of an unintended consequence of freezing ocean water: it will increase the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. “When sea water freezes, all of the CO2 that is bound up in that water is forced out. Not only is the dissolved gaseous CO2 released, but all of the CO2 held in the carbonate form is released as well.” (Source)


See also:

Predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean

Wacky Geoengineering Schemes to Control Climate

The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw

Arctic methane scare – cancelled

polarbearpartyGlobal warming alarmists have long held that as the globe warms it will melt the permafrost in the Arctic and cause release of the powerful greenhouse gas, methane. New research from Princeton University, however, claims that methane-hungry bacteria in the soil will absorb methane and that ability will increase with rising temperature.

A Princeton press release reports on a new paper published in The ISME Journal: “An active atmospheric methane sink in high Arctic mineral cryosols.” (Paper is pay-walled)

According to Princeton:

“The researchers found that Arctic soils containing low carbon content — which make up 87 percent of the soil in permafrost regions globally — not only remove methane from the atmosphere, but also become more efficient as temperatures increase. During a three-year period, a carbon-poor site on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada’s Arctic region consistently took up more methane as the ground temperature rose from 0 to 18 degrees Celsius (32 to 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The researchers project that should Arctic temperatures rise by 5 to 15 degrees Celsius over the next 100 years, the methane-absorbing capacity of “carbon-poor” soil could increase by five to 30 times.”

“The researchers found that this ability stems from an as-yet unknown species of bacteria in carbon-poor Arctic soil that consume methane in the atmosphere. The bacteria are related to a bacterial group known as Upland Soil Cluster Alpha, the dominant methane-consuming bacteria in carbon-poor Arctic soil. The bacteria the researchers studied remove the carbon from methane to produce methanol, a simple alcohol the bacteria process immediately. The carbon is used for growth or respiration, meaning that it either remains in bacterial cells or is released as carbon dioxide.”

About two years ago, there was another Arctic methane scare that dealt with methane hydrates which occur in marine sediments and crop out on the ocean floor where the pressure is sufficiently high and the temperature is sufficiently low. Methane has been percolating from marine sediments for hundreds of years, at least, and has not suddenly appeared due to global warming.

Geophysicist Judith Curry notes on her blog: “Most scientists who have specific knowledge in the area say a rapid release of methane due to warming is highly unlikely…even if the ocean warms, most of the methane released by thawing permafrost could stay in the seabed or dissolve in seawater.” For more on this aspect, see: “The Great Arctic Methane Scare.”

A major tectonic event, however, could possibly release large quantities of methane from methane hydrates as has been postulated for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 million years ago. (See: Geologic History: PETM when it really got hot )

See also:

Arctic Ocean predicted to be ice free by 2013 – oops

Antarctic sea ice sets new high record

Of Polar Bears and Penguins

The walrus and the warmist hype


Predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean

Global warming alarmists and climate scientists have predicted that the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free by 1979, or 2000, or 2008, or 2012, or 2013, or 2015, or 2020, or 2030, or 2050 or…

There is some debate about whether an ice-free Arctic Ocean would be a good thing or a bad thing. On the good side is that an ice-free Arctic Ocean would allow faster shipping of goods between continents and open the area for mineral exploration. On the allegedly bad side is that the albedo of the Arctic Ocean would decrease and thereby absorb more sunlight that might cause warming. The sea level issue is moot because floating ice displaces it own weight of water and there is only a minor difference between the mass/volume of salt water versus fresh water, so sea level rise would be minimal.

Let’s look at some recent melting Arctic predictions in the press.

BBC December 12, 2007: “Arctic Summers Ice-Free by 2013”

The BBC’s 2007 report quoted scientist Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, who based his views on super-computer models and the fact that ‘we use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice’. This story was within a more rational story in the Daily Mail.

ABC News, April 7, 2008: “North Pole Could Be Ice Free in 2008” (source)

Because of the large ice melt in 2007, Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said “This raises the spectre – the possibility that you could become ice free at the North Pole this year.”

Sierra Club, March 23, 2013: “Why Arctic sea ice will vanish in 2013” (source)

“”For the record—I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean.”

Tony Heller (aka Steve Goddard) has compiled scans of newspaper articles predicting an ice-free Arctic:

The Argus (Melbourne) July, 17, 1954: “Arctic Ice Thaws” (source)

“The ice-packed Arctic Ocean may become navigable in another 25 to 50 years if the present warming-up tendency of the polar region continued.”

New Scientist, December 1, 1960 : (source, see bottom of second column)

“The Arctic Ocean will be open year-round before the end of the twentieth Century.”

Tuscaloosa News, May 18, 1972: “Arctic Ocean to be ice free by 2000?” (source)

“Washington (AP) -Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.”

National Geographic News, December 12, 2007, “Arctic Sea Ice Gone in Summer Within Five Years?” (source)

“This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

Huff Post October 16, 2009, “We Can’t Ignore the Security Threat from Climate Change “ (source)

Article by then Senator John Kerry in which he claims:

“The truth is that the threat we face is not an abstract concern for the future. It is already upon us and its effects are being felt worldwide, right now. Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.”

The Guardian May 2, 2013: “White House warned on imminent Arctic ice death spiral” (source)

“Senior US government officials are to be briefed at the White House this week on the danger of an ice-free Arctic in the summer within two years.” We will just have to see if the Arctic becomes ice-free this summer.

Now that previous predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean have failed to materialize, the alarmists are extending their wolf cry to predict it will happen in 2030 or 2050 etc.

Such are the predictions of “climate scientists” for whom, it seems, computer models are their reality.

Arctic sea ice melt is nothing new. To put things in perspective, consider these older reports:

“A considerable change of climate inexplicable at present to us must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been, during the last two years, greatly abated.”

“2000 square leagues [approximately 14,000 square miles or 36,000 square kilometers] of ice with which the Greenland Seas between the latitudes of 74 and 80 N have been hitherto covered, has in the last two years entirely disappeared.”

The paragraphs above come from a letter by the President of the Royal Society addressed to the British Admiralty, written in 1817 (Royal Society, London. Nov. 20, 1817. Minutes of Council, Vol. 8. pp.149-153). When this report was written, the planet was in the midst of the Little Ice Age. How could the ice disappear in a Little Ice Age if the melting was due to global warming?

Another story:

Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish And Icebergs Melt

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the waters too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen , Norway .

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are being found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

This is from an AP story which appeared in the Washington Post, November 2, 1922.

It seems that “predictions are hard, especially about the future.” – attributed to the great philosopher Yogi Berra.

As you can see from the graph below global sea ice extent is nearly on average since 1979 according to satellite measurement. Arctic sea ice is slightly below average and Antarctic sea ice is above average. The total sea ice extent shows no obvious influence from global warming.

To keep track of ice cover in both the Arctic and Antarctic, visit

Sea ice global

P.S. This one came in on April 11, 2015 after I wrote the article:

Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry Maurie Trewhella, of Victoria University (Australia), claims that both Arctic and Antarctic ice will melt away in the next decade or two.  See post at WUWT.



See also:

The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw




Claim-Arctic getting darker, making Earth warmer

In an attempt to grab headlines, the Arizona Daily Star printed, above the fold on the front page of its February 18, 2014 edition, an Associated Press article by AP’s chief climate alarmist, Seth Borenstein, see story here.  The story refers to a new paper: “Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice,” by Kristina Pistone, Ian Eisenman, and Veerabhadran Ramanathan. PNAS,

A critical analysis of the paper is posted on the “Watts Up With That” blog (WUWT)  here.

Wryheat observations:

The paper in question makes two claims as stated in the title of this post:

1) The Arctic is getting darker because more ice is melting, thus decreasing the albedo or reflectivity of the Arctic.  That claim is true.

2) That’s making the Earth warmer. That claim is false.

The researchers examined satellite sea ice data for the period 1979 to 2011 and show that sea ice has decreased during that period.  They posit that less ice means more dark open water which absorbs more sunlight and therefore gets warmer.

The graph below from shows the seasonal variation in Arctic sea ice area from  1979 through 2013.  The blue lines show the earlier period and the pink or red lines show more recent time.  The year 2013 is shown by the dark red line and is in the middle of the pack.

Arctic sea ice area

The analysis on WUWT agrees that less ice in the Arctic has decreased the albedo (reflectivity) by about 1.5 percent per decade.  However, total planetary albedo has remained steady.  This is because there have been more clouds in the tropics which have reflected back more sunlight.  There is, therefore, no positive feedback as claimed and Earth is not getting warmer because of less ice in the Arctic.

This inconvenient fact was not mentioned in the AP/Star story and it was apparently ignored by the researchers.  Another thing not mentioned is that 1979, when the major satellites were launched, happened to be a time when Arctic sea ice was at a maximum.  Had the study begun in 1975, the picture would be much different because then, according to the IPCC, Arctic sea ice extent was even lower than it has been since.  See graph below.


The Borenstein story contains the ominous sounding phrase: “… the entire Earth is absorbing more heat than expected…”  Phrases such as that seem to be required in global warming alarmist stories. It’s always “more than expected” or “unprecedented.”  What we should really be concerned about is that the projections of global temperature by climate scientists’ models are so wrong – because input assumptions are wrong, yet political policy is based on their erroneous assumptions.  As Dr. Roy Spencer puts it, rather tongue-in-cheek, “95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong.”

Temp models vs observation christy

Arctic Ocean predicted to be ice free by 2013 – oops

In 2007, when Arctic sea ice melted to an extraordinary low extent, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) predicted that, due to global warming, the Arctic would be ice free by the summer of 2013.  “The BBC’s 2007 report quoted scientist  Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, [Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California] who based his views on super-computer models and the fact that ‘we use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice.’”   At the time, the prediction was claimed to be a “conservative” forecast.

But then Nature intervened. Satellite imagery shows that the Arctic has 60 percent more ice now than it did in 2007 for the same date, almost one million square miles more.


Some adventurers had planned to sail the Northwest Passage this year to take advantage of the ice-free conditions.  Now about 20 yachts are trapped in the ice.  Some environmentalists tried to row through the Northwest Passage, but they, too, became blocked by ice.

The London Telegraph reports that a leaked document from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ” has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.”  The Telegraph notes that “The original predictions led to billions being invested in green measures to combat the effects of climate change.”  It appears that the money was wasted.

The “leaked documents are said to show that the governments who fund the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes to the Fifth Assessment Report” the UN document set to be published later this month.  See: The new IPCC climate report is already in trouble.

By the way, Antarctic sea ice extent is at or near maximum ever recorded for the month also.

How much longer can the IPCC maintain its scam to extract money from industrialized countries?

P.S. On March 23, 2013 Sierra Club Canada also predicted that Arctic ice would disappear this summer.


Greenland ice melt due to geothermal heat flux

Greenland-basal-ice-temps-300x269The Greenland ice sheet loses about 227 gigatonnes of ice per year and contributes about 0.7 millimeters to the currently observed mean sea level change of about 3 mm per year.  New research from the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, claims that “The Greenland ice sheet is melting from below, caused by a high heat flow from the mantle into the lithosphere.”  See press release here, and an enlargement of the graphic here.

The melting is quite variable spatially and reflects the relatively thin crust under Greenland. “The Greenland lithosphere is 2.8 to 1.7 billion years old and is only about 70 to 80 kilometers thick under Central Greenland.” Climate models fail to take this phenomenon into effect.

The German researchers say, “We have run the model over a simulated period of three million years, and taken into account measurements from ice cores and independent magnetic and seismic data. Our model calculations are in good agreement with the measurements. Both the thickness of the ice sheet as well as the temperature at its base are depicted very accurately.”

“The temperature at the base of the ice, and therefore the current dynamics of the Greenland ice sheet is the result of the interaction between the heat flow from the earth’s interior and the temperature changes associated with glacial cycles.”

Citation: Petrunin, A. G., Rogozhina, I., Vaughan, A. P. M., Kukkonen, I. T., Kaban, M. K., Koulakov, I. & Thomas, M., “Heat flux variations beneath central Greenland’s ice due to anomalously thin lithosphere”, Advance Online Publication, Nature Geoscience, 11. 08. 2013,

See also:

Greenland “melting” and media hype

The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw

State of the climate – August 2013

Even thought atmospheric carbon dioxide reached almost 400 ppmin May of this year, we see little evidence that it has produced any warming.  Although the press has been claiming that global warming is spawning extreme, usual weather, we see little evidence of that also.  Anthony Watts of WUWT blog has a review of real data showing the state of the climate (see his post here).   Below, I provide some highlights from that post.

The Arctic warmed above freezing later in the year than usual and has dropped (at least temporarily) below freezing earlier.  Arctic sea ice extent is higher for August than it has been in the last five years, although it is still below the 1979-2000 mean.  See the black line in the graph below:


“Antarctic sea ice extent at the end of July was the highest on record for that day, growing to 18.077 million sq km. The previous record of 17.783 was set in 2010, whilst the 1981-2010 average was 16.869.”


For the year to date (August 9), the number of tornados is the lowest in the last 8 years.  See black line at bottom of graph:


Satellite temperature measurements of the lower troposphere show a slightly declining trend since the super El Nino in 1998.


Surface temperatures as recorded by the British HADCRUT database of land and sea surface temperatures show a nearly flat trend since 1998.


The Rutgers University Global Snow Lab shows winter extent of snow cover in the northern hemisphere among the four highest since 1967.

Northern hemisphere winter snow

Even though we have had some devastating forest fires this year, the National Interagency Fire Center statistics show that compared to other years, 2013 has had the smallest number of fires and the second smallest number of acres burned to date since 2004.


Even though carbon dioxide has been rising in the atmosphere, we are seeing none of the predicted effects of global warming that it is supposed to produce.

See also:

Mystery of the missing heat

The great Arctic methane scare, again

A commentary posted last month in Nature: “Vast costs of Arctic change,” claims “A 50-gigatonne (Gt) reservoir of methane, stored in the form of hydrates, exists on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. It is likely to be emitted as the seabed warms, either steadily over 50 years or suddenly.” The authors also claim such an event would cost us $60 trillion.  Here, I will address only the probability of a rapid release due to gradual warming.

This scare is not new.  Here is a headline from a 2007 methane scare article in The Canadian: “Over 4.5 Billion people could die from Global Warming-related causes by 2012.”

Methane hydrates occur in marine sediments and crop out on the ocean floor where the pressure is sufficiently high and the temperature is sufficiently low. (See Methane hydrates could fuel the world)

Methane  has been percolating from marine sediments for hundreds of years, at least, and has not suddenly appeared due to global warming.  Methane, as a greenhouse gas, is much stronger than carbon dioxide, but weaker than water vapor.

As geophysicist Judith Curry notes on her blog:

Most scientists who have specific knowledge in the area say a rapid release of methane due to warming is highly unlikely, even NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, a proponent of AGW and proprietor of RealClimate thinks the chances are very low.

Some other comments from Curry’s post:

“Permafrost hundreds of meters thick simply doesn’t warm or thaw much in ten years on account of its thermal inertia.”

“It’s not a given all the methane will end up in the atmosphere. Some could be oxidized [broken down] in the water by bacteria, and some could remain in the sediments on the sea floor.”

“…even if the ocean warms, most of the methane released by thawing permafrost could stay in the seabed or dissolve in seawater.”

An earlier paper in Nature, by  Carolyn D. Ruppel, “Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change” gives a good look at methane hydrate conditions.

“Catastrophic, widespread dissociation of methane gas hydrates will not be triggered by continued climate warming at contemporary rates (0.2ºC per decade; IPCC 2007) over time scales of a few hundred years. Most of Earth’s gas hydrates occur at low saturations and in sediments at such great depths below the sea floor or onshore permafrost that they will barely be affected by warming over even 1000 yr. Even when CH4 is liberated from gas hydrates, oxidative and physical processes may greatly reduce the amount that reaches the atmosphere as CH4.”

“Even when gas hydrate dissociates, several factors mitigate the impact of the liberated CH4 on the sediment-ocean-atmosphere system. In marine sediments, the released CH4 may dissolve in local pore waters, remain trapped as gas, or rise toward the sea floor as bubbles. Up to 90% or more of the CH4 that reaches the sulfate reduction zone (SRZ) in the near-sea floor sediments may be consumed by anaerobic CH4 oxidation. At the highest flux sites (seeps), the SRZ may vanish, allowing CH4 to be injected directly into the water column or, in some cases, partially consumed by aerobic microbes.

Methane emitted at the sea floor only rarely survives the trip through the water column to reach the atmosphere. At sea floor depths greater than ~100 m, O2 and N2 dissolved in ocean water almost completely replace CH4 in rising bubbles. Within the water column, oxidation by aerobic microbes is an important sink for dissolved CH4 over some depth ranges and at some locations. These oxidizing microbial communities are remarkably responsive to environmental changes, including variations in CH4 concentrations. For example, rapid deepwater injection of large volumes of CH4 led to dramatically increased oxidation in the northern Gulf of Mexico in 2010.”

Warming is unlikely to produce a sudden great release of methane.  A tectonic event, however, could possibly release large quantities of methane as has been postulated for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 million years ago. (See: Geologic History: PETM when it really got hot)

The graphic below, from Ruppel, shows the “habitat” for methane hydrates:


Claim: global warming causes Arctic ice to melt and Antarctic ice to increase

Within just a few days in September, Arctic sea ice extent reached the lowest minimum ever recorded by satellites since 1979, while at the same time, Antarctic sea ice reached the greatest extent ever recorded.

In my post “The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw” I explained how natural forces work to produce these phenomena.  In my post “Challenge to the Arizona Daily Star – get the facts” I accused the Arizona Daily Star of content bias because they prominently reported the Arctic minimum, but until now, did not report the Antarctic maximum.

Now, 21 days after the Antarctic maximum, the Arizona Daily Star has reprinted an AP article which attempts to spin observations to fit AGW global warming theory: “Experts: Global warming means more Antarctic ice.”   The article author is Seth Borenstein, long known for bad reporting on climate change.     With global warming media bias, it’s “heads I win; tails you lose.”

The AP/Star story says, “It sounds counterintuitive, but the Antarctic is part of the warming as well.”  Really? Was this a surprise to some climate scientists and their models? Let’s see what the climate models said according to a study in the Journal of Climate:

“We examine the annual cycle and trends in Antarctic sea ice extent (SIE) for 18 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 models that were run with historical forcing for the 1850s to 2005. Many of the models have an annual SIE cycle that differs markedly from that observed over the last 30 years. The majority of models have too small a SIE at the minimum in February, while several of the models have less than two thirds of the observed SIE at the September maximum.”

A study from Ohio State University titled “Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions” says “temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.”  Also, there has been “no increase in precipitation over Antarctica in the last 50 years. Most models predict that both precipitation and temperature will increase over Antarctica with a warming of the planet.”

In other words, the climate models predicted less sea ice in the Antarctic as well as in the Arctic.

The AP/Star story says: “Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year – both related to human activity – are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say.”

The shifting winds affect mainly the West Antarctic peninsula and these winds have the effect of breaking up the ice, not increasing it.

From the Ohio State study:

“The westerlies have intensified over the last four decades or so, increasing in strength by as much as perhaps 10 to 20 percent.  There is a huge amount of ocean north of Antarctica and we’re only now understanding just how important the winds are for things like mixing in the Southern Ocean. The ocean mixing both dissipates heat and absorbs carbon dioxide….The peninsula is the most northern point of Antarctica and it sticks out into the westerlies. If there is an increase in the westerly winds, it will have a warming impact on that part of the continent, thus helping to break up the ice shelves…Farther south, the impact would be modest, or even non-existent.”

That Antarctic sea ice increase is due to global warming is without proof, only desperate speculation.

Even the Arctic sea ice minimum has little to do with global warming.  As I reported in Arctic sea ice reached record low extent in 2012 – or maybe not” the National Snow & Ice Data Center said Arctic sea ice extent dropped rapidly between August 4 and August 8 during what they called “The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012.”  That storm caused “mechanical break up of the ice and increased melting by strong winds and wave action during the storm.” So wind tends to melt and dissipate ice, not increase it.

In this era of alleged human-caused global warming, both continental and sea ice are increasing in Antarctica. “Satellite radar altimetry measurements indicate that the East Antarctic ice sheet interior north of 81.6-S increased in mass by 45±7 billion metric tons per year from 1992 to 2003.” (Source) And a new paper says in part: “Antarctic Peninsula ice core records indicate significant accumulation increase since 1855…” (Source). According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, total Antarctic sea ice has increased by about 1% per decade since the start of the satellite record..

It seems that the AP/Star story is mainly science fiction, agenda-driven spin,  and once again the Arizona Daily Star is doing disservice to its readers by not getting the facts.

And there is this other inconvenient fact: there has been no net global warming since 1997 in the lower atmosphere according to UAH satellite data nor any net warming of surface temperatures on land or sea according to the British Met Office.

NASA hypes Arctic algal blooms as “unprecedented” but they are common

The NASA headline reads: “NASA Discovers Unprecedented Blooms of Ocean Plant Life.” Within the article we find:

“Scientists have made a biological discovery in Arctic Ocean waters as dramatic and unexpected as finding a rainforest in the middle of a desert. A NASA-sponsored expedition punched through three-foot thick sea ice to find waters richer in microscopic marine plants, essential to all sea life, than any other ocean region on Earth. The finding reveals a new consequence of the Arctic’s warming climate and provides an important clue to understanding the impacts of a changing climate and environment on the Arctic Ocean and its ecology.”

“If someone had asked me before the expedition whether we would see under-ice blooms, I would have told them it was impossible,” said Kevin Arrigo of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., leader of the ICESCAPE mission and lead author of the new study. “This discovery was a complete surprise.” (See full article here)

Perhaps these NASA scientists should research the scientific literature more carefully. If they did, they might have discovered that Arctic algal blooms are not “unprecedented” or even unusual.

For instance, we have this paper from 1996 reporting on research in 1993:

Occurrence of an algal bloom under Arctic pack ice” by R. Gradinger, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 131.


“Summer melting of sea ice leads to the formation of under-ice melt ponds in Arctic seas. The biological characteristics of such a pond were studied in summer 1993. The chlorophyte Pyramimonas sp. (Prasinophyceae) formed a unialgal bloom with cell densities of 19.1 thousand cell per ml and a pigment concentration of 29.6 mg per cubic meter. A comparison with ice core data revealed differences in algal biomass and community structure. Physical data indicate that under-ice ponds are a common feature in the Arctic Ocean. Thus, communities within under-ice ponds, which have not been included in production estimates, may significantly contribute to the Arctic marine food web.”

I wonder if the Arizona Daily Star will, in a few days, report NASA’s “unprecedented” discovery just as the Star uncritically reported the last NASA “unprecedented” claim: Greenland “melting” and media hype.


See also:
The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw
Arctic ice reached record low extent in 2012 – or maybe not