Record Antarctic sea ice still ‘a mystery’

Posted: February 22, 2015 by oldbrew in climate, sea ice, Uncertainty

Tackling Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC / BAS]

Tackling Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC / BAS]

There seems no end in sight to the long-term growth of seasonal Antarctic sea ice, reports RTCC (link below). This continues to ‘baffle scientists’, to quote the usual expression.

‘Conventional’ climate theories can’t account for this phenomenon except by stretching the existing logic to the limit and beyond.

Sea ice coverage in the Antarctic continues to increase, according to data released on Thursday by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The ocean’s sea ice levels were 44.6% higher than the 1981-2010 average, breaking a previous record set in 2008 by 220,000 square miles.

The growth came in a month NOAA says was the second warmest January on record since 1880, 0.77C above the 20th century average.

NOAA says the warmest January was back in 2007, 1.84C above the average.
In contrast to Antarctica, the Arctic’s sea ice coverage was down 6.3% on the 1981-2010 average.

RTCC asked Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, to explain the high Antarctic sea ice levels.

Here’s what he had to say..

H/T Talkshop contributor Brett Keane

  1. Paul Clark says:

    This ice will cool us down.

    AGW’ers try to downplay the significance of Antarctic sea ice gain by saying there’s more loss in extent in the Arctic. On average, over last couple of decades, there may more loss in Arctic than Antarctic. But Antarctic sea ice is more important for increasing earth’s albedo (hence lowering its temperature) for two main reasons:

    1) Antarctic sea ice is at a lower latitude, hence has more opportunity to reflect sun’s rays.
    2) Earth is closer to the sun during southern hemisphere summer, so more southern ice means even more sunlight reflected away than if it was in the NH.

    Hence, Antarctic sea ice has more cooling effect on earth then Arctic sea ice.

  2. ivan says:

    Strange, I always thought that if your theory didn’t fit reality you should change your theory NOT try and find excuses. But then this is in the relms of climate change which must be in an alternative universe where heat produces cold and all actual measurements must be adjusted to fit that alternative reality.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Can we say ‘unprecedented’, ‘accelerating’ and suchlike favourites?

    If this is a result of warming, what would cooling look like?

  4. Stephen Richards says:

    ‘Conventional’ climate theories can’t account for this phenomenon except by stretching the existing logic to the limit and beyond.

    WEll, there yer go. It’s the ice’s fault. It’s not obeying the climate scientists.

  5. Stephen Richards says:

    Paul Clark says:

    February 22, 2015 at 9:54 am

    It is just possible that the Arctic is much more important than the Antarctic. The south is closes to the sun in winter so can have much less significance for global cooling. The arctic faces the sun in summer. Some scientist think that an ice age comes with summer cooling.

    Have I got that right ? My altzeimer has just kicked in.

  6. rod says:

    Global computer climate models remind me of the parable of three blind men examining an elephant.
    Each was certain of their knowledge.

  7. Paul Vaughan says:

    Look at all the trouble these folks went to — and the money they spent — to accomplish at an excruciatingly slow pace effectively nothing:

    Their sun-climate article was the final tip that they were 100% untrustworthy BSers. That was when I wrote them off permanently.

    I regard the release of ERSSTv4 as a serious indicator from the establishment. They’re clearly saying that the climate agenda will be pushed through no matter what needs to be done to make it happen. That’s the point they’ve reached.

  8. Jaime Jessop says:

    So that’s it then. According to Ted Scambos of NSIDC, it’s the man-made ozone hole and the man-made changes in wind patterns wot ‘ave dunnit. Nature couldn’t possibly have outdone anthropogenic CO2 in such an ostentatious manner, especially when climate change IS affecting Antarctica causing ‘profound warming’ to happen in West Antarctic and the Peninsula. What he means of course is that there has been localised REGIONAL warming in Antarctica, not a continent wide increase in temperatures – something which would be more consistent with natural variability. AMOC anyone? It has declined in strength much more rapidly than expected over the last decade or so according to RAPID.

  9. Paul Clark says:

    Stephen Richards says:
    February 22, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I think not. True, the ice age ice sheets form on the northern continents. But adjacent sea ice may not be the most important factor. Wouldn’t surprise me if Antarctic sea ice has at least as great an effect on world & northern hemisphere temps as Arctic ice. Although it might take decades for oceans to transfer the cooling effect of increased sea ice from one hemisphere to another.

    We’ve had Arctic summer ice diminish a lot & the promised positive feedback loop to further diminish that ice didn’t materialise, nor did that decline increase land temps. Furthermore, Arctic ice is limited by continents to the Arctic sea. Whereas in Antarctic ice can grow without bound. So Antarctic sea ice could be a bigger factor in global temps.

    Anyway, we only need to worry about new ice age if land snow doesn’t melt in the summer & accumulates year on year, in which case we’re in big trouble!

  10. oldbrew says:

    ‘NOAA says the warmest January was back in 2007’

    Eight years ago. So much for the predicted ‘accelerating’ warming, in January at least 😉

    Maybe it’s happening in the Arctic though? Well, no…

    ‘Cryosat’s five-year October average now shows pretty stable volume – even modest growth (2014 is 12% above the five year-average).’

  11. Richard111 says:

    And of course there is the mandatory mention of ‘ozone’. No mention that ozone is continuously created by sunshine and has a half life of just 30 minutes. The sun doesn’t shine on the poles for a considerable portion of each year so ozone levels will drop, but no, it’s all our fault for using non-explosive gases in our fridges. I despair, I really do.

  12. p.g.sharrow says:

    The article sites several cases of cause and effect that are reversals of reality. Such as faster freezing of the surface waters that have become fresher, less salty, from continental ice melting and it is colder over the Continent due to increased Ozone.

    Freezing of the sea water drives out the salt and in summer melt the freshened water floats over the denser salty sea water to accumulate for the next winter freeze. Ozone reduction is caused by wind and cold not the other way around. A fact that has been known for at least 50 years.
    There is a reduction in continental ice as the interior dries out because of increased cold causes the snows to be dumped out on the sea ice.

    Any refrigeration man can tell you that the amount of ice is a good indication of the energy balance in a water system.
    The southern hemisphere is losing energy as the sea ice increases. We don’t need no stinking man warmed thermometers to tell us otherwise. The Earth itself is telling the tale. pg


    As one can see the reason Antarctic Sea Ice is above normal is because the southern ocean water temperatures are trending lower. This flies in the face of AGW. One of countless items.

  14. linneamogren says:

    The oceans are not warming under Antarctica because of GW as stated in the report, but oceanic volcanic activity which is releasing energy or heat within the deep ocean and was discovered to spread much further than scientists ever thought possible. Was posted right here by Roger last year

  15. Anything is possible says:

    Antarctic sea ice area MAY have reached its minimum for the summer on the 15th February at 2 473 675 sq km.

    If that holds up it will be a new record* high low for the satellite era.

    * – OK, it would only beat 2003 by a massive 625 sq km, but we can always let the alarmists find that particular detail out for themselves.

  16. Anything is possible says:

    That should read 2 473 675 sq km. [fixed – mod]


  17. Anything is possible says:

    Thanks, mod.

  18. sabretoothed says:

    Isn’t it Grade 6 Geology, when Antarctica grows, Arctic shrinks and vice versa, read Prof Ian Plimmer (a real scientist) its in his book

  19. oldbrew says:

    sabretoothed: yes, see the ‘bi-polar seesaw’ link at the end of the post (above).

    Global sea ice trend since 1979-80 is currently around ZERO.


    The reason why Antarctic Sea Ice is above average is because the ocean temperatures have been below average. Of course those who want to convey AGW can not except this fact.

  21. Graeme No.3 says:

    Well, I believe him. It is well known that warm water causes more ice. And the ice would naturally have a lower salt content than the ice that forms from normal sea water which I guess is ‘just loaded’ with salt.
    And the reduction in the strength of the ozone hole 70 years earlier than predicted must indicate global warming is happening. That penguin in the picture will drown when the ice melts under it.

    Excuse me – time for my medication.

  22. I think Antarctic Sea Ice will be at record high values at times this season, due to the cold Southern Ocean.