Islands of Reason
Posted by Jeff Id on April 3, 2010
This is an update to the sea ice situation. Yes, I’m a sea ice watcher. I keep waiting for it to melt away leaving us with nothing but corrosive liquid di-hydrogen monoxide. It seems that climatologists must be reading the Air Vent and WUWT pretty regularly as they have just released their conclusions on what caused some of the sea ice loss in the Arctic.
A new study scheduled for publication in Geophysical Research Letters supports the earlier research on the importance of winds in shaping the fate of sea ice both year to year and over recent decades.
The authors, Masayo Ogi and Koji Yamazaki in Japan and John M. Wallace of the University of Washington, concluded that the combined effects of winter and summer wind patterns have accounted for half of the change in the minimum sea ice extent from one summer to the next and about a third of the overall downward trend in sea ice extent over the last three decades.
We’ve been saying that the minimum in 2007 was a result of winds and water flow for over a year now. Of course the 1/3 or 1/2 numbers in the quoted paragraph are completely bogus in my opinion. I’m not saying fraudulent, there is a difference, but I’m extraordinarily skeptical of anyone who claims to know what percentage of sea ice was melted due to one effect or another. It is almost guaranteed to be nothing but handwaiving with some loosely defined regressions for evidence. Most of us are familiar with that trend in climatology – (some pun).
First, I’ve redone the video of polar sea ice. When my harddrive crashed two months ago, it lost the saved videos and frame images so I re-downloaded all of the data generously provided by the NSIDC which does a nice job archiving, and have recreated the movie and plots from scratch. For the non – regulars, the videos and movies are created from the EASE grid NasaTeam data presented by the NSIDC – here. The circle in the center of the ice is an area where the satellites can’t see due to their chosen orbits.
In 2007 we hit a record sea ice minimum in the Arctic for 30 years of satellite data. This is about as surprising as rolling snake eyes because of the very short time when records were kept. It turns out that there weren’t many satellites in 1910 but in the world of cliamtology we had predictions of an ice free pole in 5 years. Of course, the pole has been ice free in the last century so it’s another yawn but there is no money for yawning.
If you just want to see recent years, I’ve done that as well in a higher resolution and half speed.
Anomalies for this post are calculated using the standard method.
It looks like the alarmists are right that sea ice is disappearing so the anomaly makes a nice plot. What I like to do is offset the anomaly by the average amount of sea ice so that the reader can take the magnitude of the decline into proper context.
That looks a little different. The red line in the above plot is the average sea ice extent over the entire record. You can see the most recent point is near the zero average. Of course this is the Air Vent so the global warming advocacy crowd – in this case also from the NSIDC – deserves a shot. Fortunately, the climategate situation has not slowed the scientists one bit, the newspapers are another story. Teasing them requires little more than putting their quotes next to the graphs.
It’s called freaky Arctic weather. “All of the action is in the Bering Sea,” Serreze said. “For the past several weeks, we’ve been under a rather unusual weather pattern, a cold pattern, that’s given us this late spurt in ice growth in the Bering Sea. If you look at the rest of the Arctic Ocean proper, it is very warm.”
The Bering Sea, between Alaska and Russia, is caught between two low-pressure systems.
“This is weather,” said Serreze. “Don’t conflate this with climate.” Serreze notes that on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, ice is low.
And another quote from Serreze
“Once the winds change, temperatures change, we’ll probably lose it pretty quickly.”
As you can see in the video, Dr. Serreze is absolutely correct. The ice will melt — soon. It’s part of a conspiracy that we who are not part of the government global warming industry call — summer.
Antarctic anomaly has an increasing trend and is very low right now.
And the offset version.
Not exactly scary is it.
Global sea ice is sitting at a near average level also.
Of course the global sea ice level has been pretty well average for the entire record.
So there you have it, no doom this year on sea ice. I think it’s appropriate to put a quote from one of the linked articles below.
Memo to media: Ignore the misreporting on the Arctic that focuses on sea-ice extent or area. The big Arctic news is the staggering decline in multiyear ice — ice volume. No study has yet been published undermining our understanding that human emissions are the primary cause of that long-term decline — a decline that shows no sign of reversal.
Ya see, when studying religion there is no argument which cannot be redirected. Since the extent and area won’t change, and it is assumed that AGW cannot be exaggerated, we switch direction to talk about total volume. Trust me folks, if trees are a proxy for temperature, extent is a proxy for total ice. The reason the scientists have switched tack is because they know that the extent isn’t doing what they predicted and they know the huge loss of ice in the Arctic due to weather pattern changes caused a low minimum in 07 and 08, eliminating a lot of multi-year ice. So there are two plots presented at this link.
First actual data.
Note the second graph is modeled data, not real data. The articles claim that 09 is the lowest multi-year ice on record, currently having not read the study and having watched the videos, I’m skeptical of that also. The record is too short and of too low a quality to make that a significant claim either way. We should feel bad for the sea ice guys though as the multi-year ice is the only island of reason remaining for this particular advocate group. They should be pleased that Gaia has provided them this opportunity, because the only reason that this island remains is due to a recent 06,07,08 Arctic weather pattern clearly visible in the videos above.
Finally, please don’t consider this post a prediction of the future, it is only a recognition of the past, and the uncomfortable position that the (all too deserving) scientists have put themselves in. Unlike modelers, we’re not in the business of fortune telling.