sea ice

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:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000410/epdf

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

New study shows Antarctic sea ice is the same as it was 100 years ago

The following is from an article in the London Telegraph by Science Editor Sarah Knapton.

The study was based on the ice observations recorded in the logbooks from 11 voyages between 1897 and 1917, including three expeditions led by Captain Scott, two by Shackleton, as well as sea-ice records from Belgian, German and French missions.

Antarctic sea ice had barely changed from where it was 100 years ago, scientists have discovered, after poring over the logbooks of great polar explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

Experts were concerned that ice at the South Pole had declined significantly since the 1950s, which they feared was driven by man-made climate change.

But new analysis suggests that conditions are now virtually identical to when the Terra Nova and Endurance sailed to the continent in the early 1900s, indicating that declines are part of a natural cycle and not the result of global warming.

“We know that sea ice in the Antarctic has increased slightly over the past 30 years, since satellite observations began. Scientists have been grappling to understand this trend in the context of global warming, but these new findings suggest it may not be anything new.

Read full article

Read press release from the European Geosciences Union

The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw

Shouldn’t global warming be global? Much has been made in the media about the “record” sea ice melt in the Arctic this summer. Typical is the headline in the Arizona Daily Star: “Arctic ice shrinks to all-time low; global warming cited as the cause.” There are two problems with that headline, which I will get to below. Meanwhile, it is little mentioned in the press that Antarctic continental ice is growing and sea ice has reached record or near record maximums extent. If global warming is the cause of “record” Arctic sea ice melt, why is the Antarctic sea ice reaching record or near record maximums? Should not global warming temper Antarctic sea ice formation? The graphs below show the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent as of September, 2012.

Arctic-sea-ice-sep15

Antarctic-above-average

As for the headline “Arctic ice shrinks to all time low….”, it’s an all time low if you start counting in 1979, the modern satellite era. But, as I’ve shown in another post, Ice Follies and Hiding the Decline, a 1990 report from the IPCC records earlier  data which show that in 1974 Arctic sea ice melt was as great or greater than it is this year.

As for the headline “Global warming cited as cause” we see that when the Arctic reaches a minimum sea ice extent, the Antarctic reaches a maximum extent. There is a seesaw effect. That is shown most dramatically this year and in 2007 when the Arctic reached the previous “record” low, and the Antarctic sea ice reached a “record” maximum high extent.

Doug Hoffman discusses this seesaw effect at Resilient Earth. This oscillation seems to be related to natural, solar driven variations.

The basic difference between the Arctic and Antarctic is that the Arctic is mainly ocean surrounded by land, and the Antarctic is land surrounded by ocean. The Arctic is therefore more subject to solar-driven oscillations such as the Arctic Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation which are responsible for changes in ocean currents that can drive ice south toward warmer water or create warmer currents in the Arctic ocean. That, coupled with storms, have a significant effect on Arctic sea ice. As I reported in the post referenced below: the National Snow & Ice Data Center said of this year’s Arctic melt: “Sea ice extent dropped rapidly between August 4 and August 8. While this drop coincided with an intense storm over the central Arctic Ocean, it is unclear if the storm prompted the rapid ice loss.” NSIDC called the storm “The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012″ and noted the storm caused “mechanical break up of the ice and increased melting by strong winds and wave action during the storm.” Nothing to do with global warming.

Meanwhile, 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 Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent can be explained by natural cycles.  Those invoking “global warming” must explain why warming causes Antarctic ice to increase and Arctic ice to decrease.

As for the low sea ice in the Arctic this year, it has happened before:

Skate

And before:
Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, …, 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. -Washington Post, November 2, 1922.

And before:
“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 of ice with which the Greenland Seas between the latitudes of 74̊ and 80̊N have been hitherto covered, has in the last two years entirely disappeared.” -Royal Society, London. Nov. 20, 1817. Minutes of Council, Vol. 8. pp.149-153.

Perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said: “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

UPDATE: NASA now admits that the storm caused most of the melt: “This year, a powerful cyclone formed off the coast of Alaska and moved on Aug. 5 to the center of the Arctic Ocean, where it churned the weakened ice cover for several days. The storm cut off a large section of sea ice north of the Chukchi Sea and pushed it south to warmer waters that made it melt entirely. It also broke vast extensions of ice into smaller pieces more likely to melt.” See statement and video animation here.

See also:
Arctic ice reached record low extent in 2012 – or maybe not

Paul Homewood’s article on Arctic vs Antarctic temperatures

The Arctic tipping point, will there be an ice-free Arctic?

It is an article of faith among global warming alarmists that continued warming will precipitate a tipping point at which all the Arctic sea ice will melt and usher in even more warming. Typical of this is a 2007 ABC news story: North Pole Could Be Ice Free in 2008,

The rationale behind this view is that ice reflects sunlight back into space providing a cooling effect. But if enough ice melts, the darker ocean water will absorb the heat of the sun and accelerate warming. This sounds logical, but:

Researchers at The Centre for Geogenetics at the University of Copenhagen found “that there have been large fluctuations in the amount of summer sea ice during the last 10,000 years.”

They also state:

“During the so-called Holocene Climate Optimum, from approximately 8000 to 5000 years ago, when the temperatures were somewhat warmer than today, there was significantly less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, probably less than 50% of the summer 2007 coverage, which is absolutely lowest on record.”

“Our studies show that there are great natural variations in the amount of Arctic sea ice. The bad news is that there is a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. And there is no doubt that continued global warming will lead to a reduction in the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. The good news is that even with a reduction to less than 50% of the current amount of sea ice the ice will not reach a point of no return: a level where the ice no longer can regenerate itself even if the climate was to return to cooler temperatures. Finally, our studies show that the changes to a large degree are caused by the effect that temperature has on the prevailing wind systems. This has not been sufficiently taken into account when forecasting the imminent disappearance of the ice, as often portrayed in the media.” (Source)

And yes, the polar bears survived the much reduced ice level.

The Danish study builds on previous research such as a 1996 study which also found large fluctuations in the amount of Arctic sea ice.

And there have been other reports of disappearance of Arctic ice:

“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.” (Royal Society, London. Nov. 20, 1817. Minutes of Council, Vol. 8. pp.149-153)

Or this 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.

The chart below, from The IARC-JAXA Information System (IJIS) satellite data shows the current extent of Arctic sea ice and the seasonal variation.

 Arctic-sea-ice-sep15

 For comparison, the chart below from The Cryosphere Today satellite data shows Antarctic sea ice extent. Notice the seasonal maxima and minima are little changed in spite of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Antarctic-ice

It seems that the Arctic tipping point is just another scary story designed to alarm the populace and justify government action. But think, if Arctic ice were to be much reduced, it would be a boon to transportation and energy exploration.

UPDATE: Model shows polar ice caps can recover from warmer climate-induced melting

A growing body of recent research indicates that, in Earth’s warming climate, there is no “tipping point,” or threshold warm temperature, beyond which polar sea ice cannot recover if temperatures come back down. New University of Washington research indicates that even if Earth warmed enough to melt all polar sea ice, the ice could recover if the planet cooled again.

Read the rest here.

See also:

Natural Climate Cycles

Your Carbon Footprint doesn’t Matter

Why climate science is corrupt

Possible consequences of the coming solar minimum

Pained Earth’s summer to forget: the rest of the story

On Friday the 13th, the Arizona Daily Star printed, on page one, an AP gloom and doom story about “floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat” that they claim “It’s not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way.” It was an editorial pretending to be news. The story is full of misleading information, omissions, and inaccuracies. Let’s take a closer look.

IPCC predictions

The story states: “The U.N.’s network of climate scientists – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – has long predicted that rising global temperatures would produce more frequent and intense heat waves, and more intense rainfalls.” But the U.N. IPCC has never made any predictions. They just propose scenarios or projections. The IPCC itself says “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” (If you check this reference see third bulleted point from the bottom.)

IPCC senior scientist Kevin Trenberth noted in Nature magazine: “In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers ‘what if’ projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent ‘story lines’ that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.”

Russian temperatures and Pakistani floods

The story states: “It’s been the hottest summer ever recorded in Russia…Russia’s drought has sparked hundreds of wildfires in forests and dried peat bogs, blanketing Moscow with a toxic smog…” There are two issues here: are the warm temperatures due to “predicted” global warming and has drought dried out the peat bogs.

The bogs: according to the New York times, “As early as 1918 Soviet engineers drained swamps to supply peat for electrical power stations. That approach was abandoned in the late 1950s, after natural gas was discovered in Siberia, but the bogs were never reflooded, though the authorities are currently weighing the idea.”

The temperature: Russian scientist, Michail Kabanov, member of the Academy of Sciences and advisor of the Institute For Climate And Environmental Monitoring says the regional heat wave taking place in Russia is not a sign of catastrophic climate change and that the permafrost has been thawing since the last glacial epoch 10,000 years ago, and its rate of thawing is also not catastrophic. “Deviations in one direction or the other, in this region or the other, are explained completely by the instability of the climate system. It meanders constantly and reaches various anomalies as a result, and does include extremes. The weather conditions of this year are precisely a result of this.”

The high temperatures in Russia and the heavy rain in Pakistan have a common cause unrelated to global warming according the an article in New Scientist. “According to meteorologists monitoring the atmosphere above the northern hemisphere, unusual holding patterns in the jet stream are to blame. As a result, weather systems sat still. Temperatures rocketed and rainfall reached extremes.” “Stationary patterns in the jet stream are called “blocking events”. They are the consequence of strong Rossby waves, which push westward against the flow of the jet stream. They are normally overpowered by the jet stream’s eastward flow, but they can match it if they get strong enough. When this happens, the jet stream’s meanders hold steady creating the perfect conditions for extreme weather.”

The Arctic

The story states: “Researchers last week spotted a 100-square-mile chunk of ice calved off from the great Petermann Glacier in Greenland’s far northwest. It was the most massive ice island to break away in the Arctic in a half-century of observation.” That statement is almost true, but it lies by omission. Such ice calving is not unusual. In 1962, a 230-square-mile chunk of ice broke off the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. The Petermann glacier, itself, spawned smaller ice islands in 2001 (34 square miles) and 2008 (10 square miles). In 2005, the Ayles Ice Shelf disintegrated and became an ice island (34 square miles) about 60 miles to the west of Petermann Fjord.

The story states: “In the Arctic Ocean itself, the summer melt of the vast icecap has reached unprecedented proportions in recent years.” Technically true but misleading. Arctic summer sea ice melt has been relatively consistent and sea ice extent returns to normal in the winter. The article failed to mention that Antarctic sea ice reached the maximum extent ever recorded in 2007, and is currently more extensive than normal. For many graphics of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, see Anthony Watts’ Sea Ice Page, a compilation of data from several sources.

Sea level

The story states: “The melting of land ice into the oceans is causing about 60 percent of the accelerating rise in sea levels worldwide, with thermal expansion from warming waters causing the rest. The WMO’S World Climate Research Program says seas are rising by 1.34 inches per decade, about twice the 20th century’s average.” The pretended “acceleration” is the result of cherry-picking starting and ending points. The rate of sea level rise is cyclic, but the overall trend is downward. For a detailed analysis of sea level rise, and to see why the WMO statement is dissembling, see my article, Sea Level Rising? Also, a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research, says “The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 ± 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration.”

Overall temperatures

The story states: “Worldwide temperature readings show that this January-June was the hottest first half of a year since record keeping began in the mid-19th century.” This implies that we are experiencing something unprecedented. Isn’t it strange that 60% of the U.S. had cooler than normal temperatures during this period. The article statement is untrue and due partially to NOAA computer programs actually manufacturing temperature readings where none exist.

It didn’t take me too long to do some fact checking of this AP story. I wonder why AP or the Arizona Daily Star didn’t bother checking the facts. Could there be some political agenda in running such stories?

P.S. For your amusement, see the Warm List, a compilation of everything the press claims is caused by global warming.

Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Due to Waves

Research Review #1:

From time to time I will summarize new science research from recently published, or about-to-be published papers. Usually, notice of the research comes in the form of press releases from universities that are made available to the media. Here are some reports that the Arizona Daily Star apparently missed.

Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Possibly Triggered by Ocean Waves

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Background: In the summer of 2007, Arctic sea ice melted more than it had previously. The media made much of that, but failed to mention that the same year, Antarctic sea ice reached the greatest extent ever recorded. You may also remember that in 2008, several large chunks of Antarctic sea ice broke off to become very large icebergs. The general media trumpeted this as evidence of global warming. Scripps has an alternative theory.

The research findings:

Storm-driven waves in the North Pacific break along the coastlines of North and South America where “they are transformed into very long-period ocean waves called ‘infragravity waves’ that travel vast distances to Antarctica.” The authors “propose that the southbound traveling infragravity waves may be a key mechanical agent that contributes to the production and/or expansion of the pre-existing crevasse fields on ice shelves, and that the infragravity waves also may provide the trigger necessary to initiate the collapse process.” “The study found that each of the Wilkins Ice Shelf breakup events in 2008 coincided with the estimated arrival of infragravity waves. The authors note that such waves could affect ice shelf stability by opening crevasses, reducing ice integrity through fracturing and initiating a collapse.”

Press release and photo:

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/2042

Does Global Warming Threaten Alpine Ecosystems?

Research shows that the combination of genetic diversity within and among alpine species and the high diversity of micro-habitats in alpine terrain precludes any profound effects of warming on alpine species survival. See analysis from CO2Science.org here:

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V13/N7/B3.php

The mammoths’ swan song revised

University of Copenhagen

The researchers claim that by using DNA in soil samples they found that mammoths existed back to between 10,500 and 7,500 years ago, and are therefore remained between 2,600 and 5,600 years after their supposed extinction from mainland Alaska. “Our findings show that the mammoth and the horse existed side by side with the first human immigrants in America for certainly 3,500 years and were therefore not wiped out by human beings or natural disasters within a few hundred years, as common theories otherwise argue.” The research does not address the ultimate cause of their disappearance.

Press release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-12/uoc-tms121409.php

Team finds subtropical waters flushing through Greenland fjord

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

“Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland’s glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss…”

Press release: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=3622&cid=69134

Arctic Temperatures: Not So Hot

A new study claims that Arctic temperatures have risen 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last decade, bringing to an end a 2000-year cooling trend. The study authors claims thathuman CO2 emissionsare the cause.

corp1013

The authors claim: “Our reconstruction shows that the last half-century was the warmest of the last 2,000 years. Not only was it the warmest, but it reversed the long-term, millennial-scale trend toward cooler temperatures. The cooling coincided with the slow and well-known cycle in Earth’s orbit around the sun, and it should have continued through the 20th century.” “The evidence was found by generating a 2,000-year-long reconstruction of Arctic summer temperature using natural archives of climate change from tree rings, glacier ice and mostly from lake sediments from across the Arctic, a region that responds sensitively to global changes.”

Why did they use proxy data for the last 100 years when they could have just looked at thermometer records? Oh, but thermometry shows that is was warmer in the 1930s and 1940s.

The new study presents a curve which is reminiscent of the thoroughly debunked “Hockey Stick” of Michael Mann. The new proxy reconstruction fails to show the well-documented Medieval Warm period of 1,200 yeas ago when temperatures were higher than now. It appears that authors of the new study are using the same statistical malfeasance and cherry-picking of data that were used for the old hockey stick.

Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit discusses the new study. “The problem with these sorts of studies is that no class of proxy (tree ring, ice core isotopes) is unambiguously correlated to temperature and, over and over again, authors pick proxies that confirm their bias and discard proxies that do not.”

Records from the Danish Meteorological Institute show no warming since 1958 and that the 2009 temperature variation is almost identical to 1958. DMI says that the Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now.

A Duke University-led analysis of available records shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean’s surface waters warmed in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000, the sub-polar regions cooled at the same time that subtropical and tropical waters warmed. This pattern can be explained largely by the influence of a natural and cyclical wind circulation pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)

A 2008 study by Håkan Grudd of Stockholm University’s Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, found that “The late-twentieth century is not exceptionally warm in the new Torneträsk record: On decadal-to-century timescales, periods around AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were all equally warm, or warmer. The warmest summers in this new reconstruction occur in a 200-year period centred on AD 1000. A ‘Medieval Warm Period’ is supported by other paleoclimate evidence from northern Fennoscandia.”

Besides the controversy over temperatures, there is also media attention given to Arctic sea ice extent. For instance, news media made much of the fact that during the summer of 2007, Northern Hemisphere sea ice area was at a historic minimum (2.92 million sq. km). What was little reported, however, was that in 2007, Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent broke the previous maximum record of 16.03 million sq. km and reached 16.26 million sq. km. (August, 2007). [Source: The Cryosphere Today, a publication of The Polar Research Group, University of Illinois]

To put things in further perspective, consider these 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] 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.”

These paragraphs, however, are not the latest scare story from the greenhouse industry, but extracts 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, 192 years ago, the planet was in the midst of the Little Ice Age. How could the ice disappear in a Little Ice Age?

There is also the following story:

 

“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, 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.

Could it be that carbon dioxide and global warming have nothing to do with it? Well, yes.

A study conducted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, says unusual winds caused the 2007 Arctic minimum. Their press release says:

“Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.”

“The winds causing this trend in ice reduction were set up by an unusual pattern of atmospheric pressure that began at the beginning of this century.”

The fact that a 192-year-old report on Arctic ice is very similar to one today lends credence to the contention that changes in ice cover are natural cyclic phenomena and not due to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.  AccuWeather says the changes in wind may be due to changes in the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) which are large atmospheric circulations that have major impacts on the weather in certain parts of the world.

Perhaps reporters should do some investigation so they can report all of the news and put things in perspective. Ah, but only sensational headlines sell papers.

Sea Level Rising?

Climate alarmists put forth scary scenarios saying that global warming is causing unprecedented sea level rise and the rise is accelerating. Well, don’t sell your beach-front property yet.

post-glacial-sea-level-rise

Measuring sea level is more complicated than pounding a stake into a beach. There are daily and seasonal variations, storm surges, and effects from periodic oscillations such as El Niño. And there are tectonic events: is the ocean rising or is the land sinking?

Ideally, global sea level would be a rotating oblate ellipsoid of polar radius of 6365.752 km and equatorial radius of 6378.137 km in absence of any other forces. Gravity, distorts this ideal shape to make it lumpy. Or, as the National Geodetic Survey of NOAA puts it, global mean sea level is “The equipotential surface of the Earth’s gravity field which best fits, in a least squares sense” the ideal geoid.

Since the end of the last glacial epoch, sea level has risen 120 meters (393 feet), about one meter per century.   The graph above is a reconstruction of sea level rise since the end of the last glacial epoch. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/co4q82 ).

Larsen and Clark (2006) studied the rate of sea level rise for the past 6,000 years, based on geologic evidence and the historic record. The researchers found that there has been no acceleration of sea level rise in response to increased temperature or CO2 levels.

In another study, Holgate (2007), using data from worldwide coastal tidal gauge records, shows that the rate of sea level rise is decreasing. Specifically, the mean rate of global sea level rise was “larger in the early part of the last century (2.03 ± 0.35 mm/yr 1904-1953), in comparison with the latter part (1.45 ± 0.34 mm/yr 1954-2003).” [NOAA puts normal rise at 1 to 3mm per year, about the thickness of one or two pennies.]

Sea-level-1992-2009

The second graph shows satellite measurements of sea level. Notice there has been no acceleration of rise and that the rate levels off beginning in 2006. But the rate of rise is 3.2±0.4 mm/yr. This rate is higher than Holgate’s 1.45 mm/yr and thus gives the impression that the rate is increasing.

However, it depends where you start looking. Holgate’s study shows that the rate of sea level rise is cyclical. See the third graph below.

It just so happens that the satellite measurements were taken during an upswing of the cycle, thereby giving the false impression that the rate was accelerating. (Unfortunately, Holgate’s graph stops at the year 2000.)

Notice that although the cycles have greater amplitude, the general trend of the rate of sea level rise has been decreasing since the 1950s.

Sea-level-Holgate_update_fig1

Holgate does not address possible causes of the rate cycle. However, Kolker and Hameed2007), report “a major fraction of the variability and the trend in mean sea level at key sites along the Atlantic Ocean are driven by shifts in the position and intensity of the major atmospheric pressure centers that reside over the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores High and the Icelandic Low,” which they refer to as atmospheric centers of action. Apparent sea level is also affected by variability of storms, winds, floods, waves, shifts in major ocean currents, volcanically-induced ocean heat content variations, the El Niño Southern Oscillation, subsidence, uplift, tectonics, and freshwater fluxes.

These data show that the current rate of sea level rise is neither unprecedented, nor is it accelerating.

Note also, that even if all Arctic and Antarctic sea ice melts, it will have no effect on sea level because floating ice displaces an equal weight of water.

References;

Holgate, S.J. 2007. On the decadal rates of sea level change during the twentieth century. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2006GL028492

Kolker, A.S. and Hameed, S. 2007. Meteorologically driven trends in sea level rise. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2007GL031814

Larsen, C.E. and Clark, I. 2006. A search for scale in sea-level studies. Journal of Coastal Research 22: 788-800.

Graph #1, Post-Glacial Sea Level Rise, created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art