Archive for the ‘sea ice’ Category

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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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


Yes, it does say ‘slows’. There’s some rather convoluted logic about the present and future of Arctic sea ice going on here. Good luck to readers who think they can unravel it. But NASA does have to concede there’s a winter negative feedback going on, while doing its best to downplay possible consequences so as to keep the usual warming obsessions afloat.

New NASA research has found that increases in the rate at which Arctic sea ice grows in the winter may have partially slowed down the decline of the Arctic sea ice cover.

As temperatures in the Arctic have warmed at double the pace of the rest of the planet, the expanse of frozen seawater that blankets the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas has shrunk and thinned over the past three decades.

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Northwest Passage routes [image credit: NASA @ Wikipedia]


Probably not, but this report loses some credibility and misleads readers when it claims: ‘But in 2014 the Nunavik became the first cargo ship to traverse the [Northwest] passage unescorted when it delivered nickel from the Canadian province of Quebec to China.’ It fails to mention the obviously important fact that Nunavik is an icebreaking bulk carrier.

Wikipedia says: ‘She is strengthened for navigation in ice according to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Polar Class 4, which allows year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions. Furthermore, she fulfills the requirements for ice class ICE-15 by Det Norske Veritas.’ So hardly the run-of-the-mill cargo ship that the BBC pretends it is.

Having tried to talk up the prospects of opening up this sea route, a note of caution is sounded: ‘However, some Arctic experts are not convinced that the Northwest Passage will ever be a busy commercial trade route.’ As well as unpredictable sea ice, unfavourable geography and disputed territorial claims are among the issues.

Climate change is increasingly opening up the Northwest Passage, an Arctic sea route north of the Canadian mainland, says the BBC.

Could it herald an era of more cargo shipping around the top of the world?

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With about the same minimum Arctic sea ice extent this season as 2008 and 2010, persistent claims of ‘rapid decline’ are looking more than threadbare, and polar bears don’t seem too bothered either, judging by the numbers. Climate scare merchants may have to look elsewhere to try and generate a headline.

polarbearscience

We’ve hit the seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum for this year, called this morning by US NSIDC for 19th and 23rd of Septmeber: 4.59 mkm2, the same extent as 2008 and 2010. This is not a “ho-hum” year for polar bears: it means that since 2007, they have triumphed through 10 or 11 years1 with summer ice coverage below 5.0 mkm2 —  levels that in 2007were expected to cause catastrophic declines in numbers.

polar-bear-on-thin-ice_21-aug-2009_patrick-kelley-us-coast-guard.jpg

Summer sea ice below 5.0 mkm2 were not expected to occur until about 2050, according to 2005/2006 sea ice models and polar bear specialists at the US Geological Survey (USGS). Polar bear survival models predicted 2/3 of the world’s polar bears would disappear when ice levels reached this threshold for 8 out of 10 years (Amstrup et al. 2007, 2008; Hunter 2007) but polar bears have been more resilientthan expected (Crockford 2017, 2018; Crockford…

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Screenshot from NASA video


The reporter here is obviously sold on endless warming of planet Earth, but ignoring the propaganda, there are some technical details of the mission which is due to last three years but could be extended up to ten. NASA says: ‘The ICESat-2 laser will pulse 10,000 times a second; each pulse will release about 20 trillion photons. Only about a dozen photons hit Earth’s surface and return to the satellite.’

NASA is poised to launch Saturday its most advanced space laser ever, ICESat-2, a $1 billion dollar mission to reveal the depths of the Earth’s melting ice as the climate warms, says Phys.org.

The half-ton satellite, about the size of a smart-car, is scheduled to blast off atop a Delta II rocket on September 15 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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