Archive for the ‘sea ice’ Category

Arctic Ice Hockey Stick August 2021

Posted: August 26, 2021 by oldbrew in sea ice
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It will be interesting to see what, if anything much, happens when solar minimum finally fades and the sunspot numbers pick up.

Science Matters

Arctic2021235 w HS

The graph above shows August daily ice extents for 2021 compared to 14 year averages, and some years of note.

The black line shows during this period on average Arctic ice extents decline ~2M km2 from ~6.8M km2 down to ~4.8M km2.  The Hockey Stick shape refers to the 2021 cyan MASIE line starting ~227k km2 below average but matching average by day 230, and in the last five days produced a surplus of 414k km2.  The Sea Ice Index in orange (SII from NOAA) started with the same deficit and also matched MASIE average day 230, but tracking the downward average since.  2019 and 2020 were well below average at this stage of the summer melt.

Why is this important?  All the claims of global climate emergency depend on dangerously higher temperatures, lower sea ice, and rising sea levels.  The lack of additional warming is documented in a post

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We look forward to the usual climate scare merchants telling us how pleased they are. Or perhaps a deafening silence?

polarbearscience

This year near the end of May the distribution of thickest sea ice (3.5-5m/11.5-16.4 ft – or more) is a bit surprising, given that the WMO has suggested we may be only five years away from a “dangerous tipping point” in global temperatures. There is the usual and expected band of thick ice in the Arctic Ocean across northern Greenland and Canada’s most northern islands but there are also some patches in the peripheral seas (especially north of Svalbard, southeast Greenland, Foxe Basin, Hudson Strait, Chukchi Sea, Laptev Sea). This is plenty of sea ice for polar bear hunting at this time of year (mating season is pretty much over) and that thick ice will provide summer habitat for bears that choose to stay on the ice during the low-ice season: not even close to an emergency for polar bears.


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Arctic Ocean


Something new for ice age theorists to consider, in particular the ‘sudden melting’. This sequence of three sketches illustrates the processes thought to be involved (see below for explanatory caption).
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The Arctic Ocean was covered by up to 900-meter-thick shelf ice and was filled entirely with freshwater at least twice in the last 150,000 years.

This surprising finding, reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature, is the result of long-term research by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute and the MARUM, says Phys.org.

With a detailed analysis of the composition of marine deposits, the scientists could demonstrate that the Arctic Ocean as well as the Nordic Seas did not contain sea-salt in at least two glacial periods.

Instead, these oceans were filled with large amounts of freshwater under a thick ice shield. This water could then be released into the North Atlantic in very short periods of time.

Such sudden freshwater inputs could explain rapid climate oscillations for which no satisfying explanation had been previously found.

Continued here.
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The caption to the sequence of three sketches says:

In glacial periods with low sea levels, exchange with the Pacific was halted and exchange with the North Atlantic was extremely reduced, while the Arctic basin was still receiving freshwater input. Exchange could only occur through narrow gateways in the Greenland-Scotland-Ridge. The sequence of three sketches shows (1) a period of freshening of the Arctic Ocean followed by (2) the release of freshwater to the North Atlantic, when saline water entered the Arctic Ocean and (3) sudden melting of the Arctic ice sheet upon contact with the relatively warm and salty Atlantic water. Credit: Alfred Wegener Institute/Martin Künsting

Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


Warming, but not global – is the polar see-saw hypothesis in play here? In any case, it seems climate models are falling short again.
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Sea ice in the Southern Ocean defies predictions.

Observations show that ice extent in the Antarctic has been growing slightly, reports The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

Paul Holland, a climate modeler with the British Antarctic Survey, has spent the last ten years studying Antarctica’s sea ice and the Southern Ocean.

Lately, he has been scrutinizing the seasons of Antarctica and how fast the ice comes and goes.

Holland thinks these seasons may be a key to a conundrum: If Earth’s temperatures are getting warmer and sea ice in the Arctic has been shrinking fast, why then is sea ice in the Antarctic slowly increasing?

Opposite poles

Sea ice is simply frozen seawater. Although found only in the Arctic and the Antarctic, it influences Earth’s climate in big ways. Its bright surface reflects sunlight back into space. Icy areas absorb less solar energy and remain relatively cool.

When temperatures warm over time and more sea ice melts, fewer bright surfaces reflect sunlight back into space. The ice and exposed seawater absorb more solar energy and this causes more melting and more warming.

Scientists have been watching this feedback loop of warming and melting in the Arctic. To them, Arctic sea ice is a reliable indicator of a changing global climate. They pay the most attention in September when Arctic sea ice shrinks to its smallest extent each year. Measured by satellites since 1979, this minimum extent has been decreasing by as much as 13.7 percent per decade.

Antarctic sea ice, on the other hand, has not been considered a climate change indicator. Whereas Arctic sea ice mostly sits in the middle of land-locked ocean—which is more sensitive to sunlight and warming air—Antarctic sea ice surrounds land and is constantly exposed to high winds and waves.

According to climate models, rising global temperatures should cause sea ice in both regions to shrink. But observations show that ice extent in the Arctic has shrunk faster than models predicted, and in the Antarctic it has been growing slightly.

Researchers are looking much closer at Antarctica, saying, “Wait, what is going on down there?” Holland is one of those intrigued.

“The Antarctic case is as interesting as the Arctic case,” Holland said. “You can’t understand one without understanding the other.”

Minding the models

To Holland, the discrepancy calls parts of the climate models into question.

Continued here.

NASA pdf: https://cdn.earthdata.nasa.gov/conduit/upload/756/NASA_SOP_2014_unexpected_ice.pdf

Chinese icebreaker


H/T The GWPF

Had those markets fallen into a computer-modelled global warming stupor? If so, real world weather has brought a rude awakening, requiring urgent actions to get the means of heating to millions of shivering people.
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China’s coldest winter in decades meant state-owned energy giant Sinopec was desperate to unload heating fuel from a vessel headed to a northern port, yet freezing temperatures that have swept parts of Asia froze a thick sheet of ice and blocked access, says Bloomberg.

With the help of an icebreaker ship and a cannon loaded with hot water, workers spent 20 hours clearing a pathway for the tanker to dock and discharge its cargo of liquefied natural gas in Tianjin.

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Arctic Adds 3 Wadhams of Ice in November (so far)

Posted: November 25, 2020 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, sea ice
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Recent Arctic sea ice alarm turns out to be yet another nothingburger.

Science Matters

After concerns over lackluster ice recovery in October, November is seeing ice roaring back.  The image above shows the last 3 weeks adding 3 M km2 of sea ice.  (The metric 1 Wadham = 1 M km2 comes from the professor’s predictions of an ice-free Arctic, meaning less than 1 M km2 extent) The Russian shelf seas on the left filled with ice early on.  On the CanAm side, Beaufort at the bottom center is iced over, Canadian Archipelago (center right) is frozen, and Baffin Bay is filling from the north down.  Hudson Bay (far right) first grew fast ice around the edges, and is now half iced over.  A background post is reprinted below, showing that in just 23 days, 2020 has added 3.1 M km2, 50% more than an average 30-day November.

The graph above shows November Arctic ice extents for the 13-year average and some other notable…

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: BBC/Getty Images]


Arctic sea ice doesn’t undergo natural seasonal melting any more — it ‘dies’, according to the latest climate alarm propaganda. But researchers still need an icebreaker to ‘kill’ a bit more of it in order to study its supposed demise.
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An icebreaker carrying scientists on a year-long international effort to study the high Arctic has returned to its home port in Germany carrying a wealth of data that will help researchers better predict climate change in the decades to come, reports AP News.

The RV Polarstern arrived Monday in the North Sea port of Bremerhaven, from where she set off more than a year ago prepared for bitter cold and polar bear encounters — but not for the pandemic lockdowns that almost scuttled the mission half-way through.

“We basically achieved everything we set out to do,” the expedition’s leader, Markus Rex, told The Associated Press by satellite phone as it left the polar circle last week. “We conducted measurements for a whole year with just a short break.”

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


One of the researchers said: “These results strongly suggest…that these things can occur out of the blue due to internal variability in the climate system.”
Oh, really? Now fast forward to the 21st century…

On the question of a ‘regional’ Little Ice Age, Encyclopedia Britannica says: ‘Little Ice Age (LIA), climate interval that occurred from the early 14th century through the mid-19th century, when mountain glaciers expanded at several locations, including the European Alps, New Zealand, Alaska, and the southern Andes’. That’s a big *region* 😎
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A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing, reports Phys.org.

The study, published in Science Advances, reports a comprehensive reconstruction of sea ice transported from the Arctic Ocean through the Fram Strait, by Greenland, and into the North Atlantic Ocean over the last 1400 years.

The reconstruction suggests that the Little Ice Age—which was not a true ice age but a regional cooling centered on Europe—was triggered by an exceptionally large outflow of sea ice from the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic in the 1300s.

While previous experiments using numerical climate models showed that increased sea ice was necessary to explain long-lasting climate anomalies like the Little Ice Age, physical evidence was missing. This study digs into the geological record for confirmation of model results.

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Still waiting


Climate modellers have a fairly dismal record in trying to predict sea ice patterns in the Arctic, always erring on the side of too much warming. Will this research do anything to improve matters? They seem to be using Earth’s past climate as a guide, while asserting that human-caused carbon dioxide is the main problem today.
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A new study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, supports predictions that the Arctic could be free of sea ice by 2035, reports Phys.org.

High temperatures in the Arctic during the last interglacial—the warm period around 127,000 years ago—have puzzled scientists for decades.

Now the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre climate model has enabled an international team of researchers to compare Arctic sea ice conditions during the last interglacial with present day.

Their findings are important for improving predictions of future sea ice change.

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Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Greenland [image credit: notsogreen.com]


Less than a year ago NASA was reporting from Greenland: Jakobshavn Glacier Grows for Third Straight Year, and ‘The glacier grew 22 to 33 yards (20 to 30 meters) each year between 2016 and 2019.’ So this new report may be, to some degree at least, already obsolete since it says: ‘The largest thinning rates were between 4 and 6 m a−1 in Jakobshavn and Kangerlugssuaq glaciers’.
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Sea levels have risen by 14mm since 2003 due to ice melting in Antarctica and Greenland, scientists have said.

Nasa launched a satellite to measure global heights in 2018 and spotted the rise after bouncing laser pulses against sheets of ice, says the London Evening Standard.

The study found that Greenland lost an average of 200 billion tonnes of ice per year, and Antarctica lost an average of 118 billion tonnes.

One billion tonnes of ice is enough to fill 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

A team led by researchers at the University of Washington compared the data with measurements taken by the satellite between 2003 and 2009.

The findings, published in the journal Science, found the loss of ice from Antarctica and Greenland outweighs any gains from accumulated snow.

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The MOSAiC crowd ignored the fact they would be in the Arctic at solar minimum, and a deeper than usual one at that. Here’s the result.

Sunrise's Swansong

In my last post I mentioned that the Russian icebreaker  Kapitan Dranitsyn had to battle thick sea-ice to resupply the Polarstern at the MOSAiC site. Contact was successful, and cranes began to  unload and load supplies that were hauled by tractor between the two ships.

PS1 polarstern-1-e1583402517868

A fresh crew of scientists relieved the crew that has been working there.

PS2 polarstern-unloading-2-credit-michael-gutsche

With temperatures down around -30ºC, the open water in the wake of the Kapitan Dranitsyn froze over swiftly. Men could walk on the new ice within 24 hours.

PS3 polarstern-and-icebreaker.1f7f58

By the time the transfer of men and supplies was complete the ship was frozen so fast it could not extract itself. The news is now that the Russians are sending a second icebreaker, the Admiral Makarov, to help the first icebreaker free itself. (Note the twilight in the above picture. The are located close enough to the Pole to see a very swift…

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Still waiting


More so than the climate alarm movement thought, anyway. Hence all the failed predictions of disappearing summer sea ice in the Arctic, and erroneous claims of ‘rapid melting’ that no longer hold water 😎
Observations show a ‘sideways trend’ in Arctic sea ice volume since around 2010, which perhaps not by chance follows a significant downturn in solar cycle intensity.
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In recent years the Arctic sea ice has shown great resiliency and is currently at higher levels for this time of year when compared to all but two years going back to 2005, says meteorologist Paul Dorian of Perspecta Inc. (via The GWPF).

Overview

Sea ice covers about 7% of the Earth’s surface and about 12% of the world’s oceans and forms mainly in the Earth’s polar regions.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


The headline is straight from the research press release. Of course that suggests alarmists can only hope to blame human-caused ‘carbon emissions’ for the other half of any recent warming, by invoking their own version of a planetary ‘greenhouse effect’.
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Ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) may be responsible for nearly half of Arctic warming from 1955 – 2005, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change.

These findings highlight an unrecognized source of twentieth-century Arctic climate change.

ODSs – halogen compounds that destroy the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere – were used as propellants, refrigerants and solvents during the twentieth century.

Since the 1987 Montreal Protocol, ODS emissions have been curbed, and the ozone layer is now in slow recovery.

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Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica


Is there an element of circular reasoning here? Carbon dioxide levels have historically followed temperature changes, bringing any supposed causation into question.

Upside-down “rivers” of warm ocean water may be one of the causes of Antarctica’s ice shelves breaking up, leading to a rise in sea levels.

But a new study suggests an increase in sea ice may lead to a much more devastating change in the Earth’s climate — another ice age, reports Fox News.

Using computer simulations, the research suggests that an increase in sea ice could significantly alter the circulation of the ocean, ultimately leading to a reverse greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide levels in the ocean increase and levels in the air decrease.

“One key question in the field is still what caused the Earth to periodically cycle in and out of ice ages,” University of Chicago professor and the study’s co-author, Malte Jansen, said in a statement. “We are pretty confident that the carbon balance between the atmosphere and ocean must have changed, but we don’t quite know how or why.”

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


This time researchers plan to get stuck on purpose, unlike several earlier notoriously over-ambitious climate-themed ship fiascos in the supposedly ‘vanishing’ polar sea ice in recent years, like this one. With such a massive budget this time, what could possibly go wrong? (That’s rhetorical of course.)

It’s being described as the biggest Arctic science expedition of all time, says BBC News.

The German Research Vessel Polarstern is about to head for the far north where it intends to drift in the sea-ice for an entire year.

Hundreds of scientists will visit the ship in that time to use it as a base from which to study the climate.

The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) project is expected to cost about €130m (£120m/$150m).

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Where is Iceberg Alley?

Posted: August 6, 2019 by oldbrew in History, Natural Variation, sea ice
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Iceberg alley [credit: U.S. Coast Guard]


On the day Belfast’s Harland & Wolff – famously the builders of the Titanic – goes bust (it seems), let’s look at a question posed by the U.S. Coast Guard…

WHERE IS ICEBERG ALLEY?

The area we call “Iceberg Alley” is located about 250 miles east and southeast of the island of Newfoundland, Canada. Iceberg Alley is usually considered to be that portion of the Labrador Current, that flows southward from Flemish Pass, along the eastern edge of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, to the Tail of the Banks. This area extends approximately from 48 to 43 degrees North Latitude at 48 degrees West longitude. Icebergs and sea ice flowing south from Iceberg Alley created the Titanic disaster of 1912. This is the area of the ocean we patrol and monitor most carefully. [bold added]

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=iipWhereIsIcebergAlley

What is the latitude and longitude for the Titanic?
Latitude: 41° 46′ North
Longitude: 50° 14′ West
Was Titanic’s last reported position when it sank.

https://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_latitude_and_longitude_for_the_Titanic

(For a perhaps surprising comparison, the latitude of Italy’s capital Rome is almost the same.)

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But not as shockingly thick as those who claim the sea ice is all melting rapidly and assorted drastic measures must be taken, no expense spared.

polarbearscience

In late June, one of the most powerful icebreakers in the world encountered such extraordinarily thick ice on-route to the North Pole (with a polar bear specialist and deep-pocketed, Attenborough-class tourists onboard) that it took a day and a half longer than expected to get there. A few weeks later, in mid-July, a Norwegian icebreaker also bound for the North Pole (with scientific researchers on board) was forced to turn back north of Svalbard when it unexpectedly encountered impenetrable pack ice.

Franz Josef Land polar bear 2019 no date_Photo by Michael Hambrey_smA polar bear on hummocked sea ice in Franz Josef Land. Photo by Michael Hambrey, date not specified but estimated based on tour dates to be 22 or 23 June 2019.

Apparently, the ice charts the Norwegian captain consulted showed first year ice – ice that formed the previous fall, defined as less than 2 m thick (6.6 ft) – which is often much broken…

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Antarctica


Growth of polar sea ice is of course mainly a winter phenomenon, each polar region being continuously dark for several months during that period. The researchers here looked at the role of clouds during the dark Antarctic winter and as one said, “Fewer clouds mean more heat is lost from the ocean.” This then led to higher summer sea ice in some areas.
Which begs the question: why were there fewer winter clouds?

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H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) — Researchers have discovered that lower cloud coverage in the Antarctic can promote sea ice growth.

Unlike the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice in the warming climate, Antarctic sea ice witnessed a modest extension over the past four decades, according to the paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. […]

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Antarctica [credit: Wikipedia]


It’s hard to be too surprised by this news even though it’s well into the Antarctic summer.

A British-led expedition to find the Endurance, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, has been defeated by horrendous weather and pack ice – the very conditions that trapped the explorer’s vessel in Antarctica more than a century ago, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The expedition was called off on Thursday after “extreme weather conditions” led to the loss of an autonomous robotic submarine that, it was hoped, would have located the wreck.

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Latest buzz in Arctic tourism is a floating city

Posted: January 25, 2019 by oldbrew in innovation, News, sea ice, Travel
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Arctic Ocean


Sounds like a cruise ship that doesn’t go anywhere.

Developers in Singapore intend to ship thousands of Asians to a tourism machine in Arctic waters, reports the Barents Observer.

«People want to visit new places and experience something different,» says Aziz Merchant. He is Executive Director of the Keppel Offshore & Marine Technology Centre, a unit under the powerful Keppel Group, and participated in this week’s Arctic Frontiers in Tromsø, Norway.

«From the Asian perspective, tourists want new challenges, they want to explore areas that has not been explored before. Like with space tourism,» Merchant said in an address delivered at the conference.

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