Posted: March 28, 2013 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

“The warming is driven by a strengthening of local westerly winds, causing warmer air from the sea to be pushed up and over the peninsula. In contrast to much of the rest of Antarctica, summer temperatures are high enough for snow to melt.”

Summit County Citizens Voice

Warmer temps linked with ice shelf break-ups

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The melt season on the Antarctic Peninsula is growing longer — in some cases it has doubled, and several major ice shelf breakup events in the region coincided with longer than usual melt seasons, according to a a new study that analyzed data from 30 weather stations.

“We found a significant increase in the length of the melting season at most of the stations with the longest temperature records,” said Dr. Nick Barrand, who carried out the research while working for the British Antarctic Survey. “At one station the average length of the melt season almost doubled between 1948 and 2011,” said Barrand, who now works for the University of Birmingham.

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  1. Kon Dealer says:

    The Antarctic Peninsula accounts for less than 2% of the Antarctic and is the most Northerly point.
    This puts this report in perspective

  2. The peninsular is also outside of the Antarctic circle.

  3. Roger Andrews says:

    The Antarctic Peninsula is another place where there’s been no warming since 1998, and arguably not since 1989.

  4. oldbrew says:

    This recent British Antarctic Survey paper (abstract) seems to basically say climate models have got Antarctic sea ice completely wrong.

    ‘Many of the models have an annual SIE cycle that differs markedly from that observed over the last 30 years…..suggesting that the processes responsible for the observed increase over the last 30 years are not being simulated correctly’

  5. michael hart says:

    You know you’re in climate-change science town when the null hypothesis is described as only “suggesting” that the models are not simulating correctly.

  6. Richard111 says:

    Been having some cold nights here in Milford Haven, Wales. Hitting -1c and -2c for the last few days in March. Unusual to say the least. The bird bath froze last week. I brought it into the house to warm it and then tipped the ice out into the garden. The ice was the size of a large dinner plate and about quater inch thick. Noticed it still hadn’t all melted by the following day. Melt pattern seemed to follow dark patches underneath. There had been some sun and temps went over +4c. Being curious I cast an ice block in my freezer. Half inch thick and 3 by 2 inches roughly. Weighed 130grams on the kitchen scale. Put it outside on a slab of white polystyrene. No sun, solid overcast, temps did reach +6c for a while. Anyway, that block of ice took 36 hours to melt away completely. I don’t think air much above freezing melts ice very quickly. Will repeat the experiment when the sun returns.
    I’m also emptying the birdbath every night now. 🙂

  7. w.w.wygart says:

    Ok, fine, they’ve essentially admitted that this localized phenomenon is being driven by a local change in the local weather pattern that does not effect the rest of the continent. Now why are we supposed to care? and what exactly is causing the Westerlies to flow over the WAP? Has this happened before?

    The West Antarctic Peninsula is also an entirely different climate zone: Maritime Polar, than the rest of Antarctica: Continental Polar.

    Interesting tid-bit. There was an article out in Feb. 2010 at Scripps describing how storm driven very long-period ocean infragravity waves reflected off the US west coast may have triggered the iceshelf breakups in 2008.

    Peter Bromirski of Scripps Oceanography is the lead scientist in a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that describes how storms over the North Pacific Ocean may be transferring enough wave energy to destabilize Antarctic ice shelves. The California Department of Boating and Waterways and the National Science Foundation supported the study.

    Now put that in your model and smoke it [it could actually strengthen your results if you’re clever].


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