Posts Tagged ‘Antarctic’


‘Long-term’ here means really long-term. The 21k year precession period quoted looks like that of the perihelion.

In the past million years, the high-altitude winds of the southern westerly wind belt, which spans nearly half the globe, didn’t behave as uniformly over the Southern Pacific as previously assumed.

Instead, they varied cyclically over periods of ca. 21,000 years, reports ScienceDaily.

A new study has now confirmed close ties between the climate of the mid and high latitudes and that of the tropics in the South Pacific, which has consequences for the carbon budget of the Pacific Southern Ocean and the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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A reconstruction of the Anglian ice sheet in Precambrian North London (credit: BBC / The Natural History Museum, London)


This might rattle a few cages in climate-land.

An analysis of air up to 2 million years old, trapped in Antarctic ice, shows that a major shift in the periodicity of glacial cycles was probably not caused by a long-term decline in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, writes Eric W. Wolff in Nature.
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During the past 2.6 million years, Earth’s climate has alternated between warm periods known as interglacials, when conditions were similar to those of today, and cold glacials, when ice sheets spread across North America and northern Europe.

Before about 1 million years ago, the warm periods recurred every 40,000 years, but after that, the return period lengthened to an average of about 100,000 years.

It has often been suggested that a decline in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was responsible for this fundamental change.

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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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Image credit: theozonehole.com


Southern hemisphere spring, that is.

European weather scientists believe the ozone hole over the Antarctic this spring may be one of the smallest since the mid-1980s, says stuff(NZ).

Experts at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) have observed strange behaviours of the annual ozone hole this season.

Not only is it already shrinking and well on the way to being about half the size it usually is at this time of year, but also it began forming about two weeks earlier than usual and it is off-centre, away from the South Pole.

They say that is probably the result of the rare sudden stratospheric warming, which has been under way about 30km above Antarctica since last month.

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Antarctica


The lead oceanographer in this research says: “The deep oceans have been warming across much of the world for decades, so we were surprised to suddenly see this trend reversing and stabilizing in the Scotia Sea.”
Carbon dioxide up, warming down – surprising to some it seems.

The supply of dense Antarctic water from the bottom of the ocean to the Atlantic has declined in recent years, says Phys.org.

However, a new study explains for the first time how since 2014 this has stabilized and slightly recovered due to the variability in upstream dense waters, with implications for the global climate.

The study, led by British Antarctic Survey, is published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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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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Credit: British Antarctic Survey


The EPICA ice cores clearly showed CO2 lagging behind temperature increases – probably by centuries. But observed effects aren’t supposed to precede alleged causes.

European scientists from 10 countries have spent years scouring the Antarctic ice sheet with one ambition in mind: to drill for the oldest-ever ice core.

Now, they have zeroed in on just the spot says IFL Science.

The team have chosen Little Dome C – one of the coldest, most barren places on Earth. For the next five years, they will drill for a 1.5-million-year-old ice core – a frozen timepiece of Earth’s climatic past.

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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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They say “By shading and cooling the Earth’s surface, cloud cover plays a direct role in rates of global climate change”, but that’s only half the story. Cloud cover at night, i.e. the other 50% of the year, has the opposite effect and slows the rate of heat loss.

Everyday our atmosphere has to find a way to clean itself of the air, sea and soil pollution we throw at it, says Phys.org.

So, in order to study how this cleaning process works, the University of Melbourne’s Dr. Robyn Schofield is sailing through the pristine environment of the Southern Ocean to our most untouched continent, Antarctica—an environment with the least amount of pollution on the planet.

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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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Antarctica


Researchers describe this as ‘a major challenge to our current understanding’. The global carbon cycle model may have to be revisited.

More than 100 oceanic floats are now diving and drifting in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica during the peak of winter, reports Phys.org.

These instruments are gathering data from a place and season that remains very poorly studied, despite its important role in regulating the global climate.

A new study from the University of Washington, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Princeton University and several other oceanographic institutions uses data gathered by the floating drones over past winters to learn how much carbon dioxide is transferred by the surrounding seas.

Results show that in winter the open water nearest the sea ice surrounding Antarctica releases significantly more carbon dioxide than previously believed.

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Antarctica


A spot of light reading during the current UK heatwave…how does minus 98 degrees Celsius at Earth’s surface sound? This study of Antarctic data finds that ‘the air needs to be extremely dry to get temperatures this far below zero. Any water vapour in the air tends to heat it up, albeit slightly.’

So cold it would be painful to breathe says ScienceAlert.

Just how cold can it get on Earth? Colder than we thought, apparently. A new study of satellite data reports that valleys in Antarctica’s ice sheets can reach close to minus 100 degrees Celsius (or minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit).

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The edge of the Thwaites glacier [credit: NASA photograph by Jim Yungel]


This BBC report seems unaware that a study in 2014 found that parts of the Thwaites Glacier are subject to melting due to subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots”. The existence of this group of volcanoes has long been known.

British and American scientists will assess the stability of one of Antarctica’s biggest ice streams, reports BBC News.

It is going to be one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in Antarctica.

UK and US scientists will lead a five-year effort to examine the stability of the mighty Thwaites Glacier.

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Antarctic sea ice [image credit: BBC]


Another mystery in ‘settled’ climate science. Experts now say they ‘acknowledge that the Antarctic is an important factor in climate change, but still a poorly understood one’. Snowfall is arriving on the land mass while ice is drifting into the sea – as usual in that part of the world. What is needed is accurate data before reaching for the alarm bell.
H/T The GWPF

Previous climate change models predicted that global sea levels would rise by a meter by the year 2100 due in part to melting Antarctic ice, but those estimates have proven to be flawed.

Over the past century, the Antarctic has gone from being a vast Terra Incognita to a continent-sized ticking time bomb: according to NASA, Antarctica has lost “approximately 125 gigatons of ice per year [between 2002 and 2016], causing global sea level to rise by 0.35 millimeters per year.”

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Antarctic sea ice is still expanding [image credit: BBC]


The conclusion offered here is that ‘something must be fundamentally wrong with the climate models, for their predictions to be so far off from the observed sea ice trends’. No wonder climate alarmists focus on the Arctic.

Over the past several years, many researchers have examined the spatial extent of sea ice around Antarctica, says CO2 Science, consistently reporting an increasing trend (see, for example, our reviews on the previously published works of Yuan and Martinson, 2000, Watkins and Simmonds, 2000, Hanna, 2001, Zwally et al., 2002, Vyas et al., 2003, Cavalieri et al., 2003, Liu et al., 2004, Parkinson, 2004, Comiso and Nishio, 2008, Cavalieri and Parkinson, 2008, Turner et al., 2009, Pezza et al., 2012, Reid et al., 2013, Reid et al., 2015, Simmonds, 2015, He et al., 2016 and Comiso et al., 2017).

The latest study to confirm this ongoing expanse comes from the South American research team of De Santis et al. (2017).

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Giant berg mission thwarted by sea-ice

Posted: March 3, 2018 by oldbrew in News, sea ice, Travel
Tags:

Credit: coolantarctica.com


Not the first time something like this has happened, and probably not the last.

The UK-led expedition to the waters around the world’s biggest iceberg is forced to turn around, reports BBC News.
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Scientists have had to abandon their plan to investigate the waters around the world’s biggest iceberg.

The team, led by the British Antarctic Survey, was thwarted in its attempts to reach the massive block known as A-68 by thick sea-ice in the Weddell Sea.

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Antarctica [credit: Wikipedia]


Some parts of the media may try to give a different impression, but El Niño/La Niña events are natural phenomena with a range of consequences.

A new study published Jan. 8 in the journal Nature Geoscience reveals that strong El Niño events can cause significant ice loss in some Antarctic ice shelves while the opposite may occur during strong La Niña events, reports SpaceRef.

El Niño and La Niña are two distinct phases of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), a naturally occurring phenomenon characterized by how water temperatures in the tropical Pacific periodically oscillate between warmer than average during El Niños and cooler during La Niñas.

The research, funded by NASA and the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, provides new insights into how Antarctic ice shelves respond to variability in global ocean and atmospheric conditions.

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A fine day in Antarctica [image credit: BBC]


We’re told: ‘Environmental champion, who was first person to walk to both poles, uses Antarctic trek as green wake-up call.’ But who really needs to be woken up? The polar night means Antarctica is a dead zone for solar power for six months of every year, highlighting the fact that part-time sources of electricity can never be relied upon.

“Thirty years ago, I was the first person in history perhaps stupid enough to walk to the North and South Poles,” renowned British explorer Robert Swan, 61, tells IBTimes UK.

“I had no intention ever in my life of ever walking anywhere cold again – this was definite.”

But that is exactly what he is going to do.

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Don Juan Pond, Antarctica [image credit: NASA]


Researchers plan to camp near this shallow pond for six weeks starting in December, to get detailed measurements of its liquid and explore the local area.

At the base of the Transantarctic Mountains lies a geological oddity, reports Hannah Hickey at UW News.

Don Juan Pond is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the planet, filled with a dense, syrupy brine rich in calcium chloride that can remain liquid to minus 50 degrees Celsius, far below the freezing point of water.

But the source of water and salt to this unusual pond remains a mystery — even as hints emerge that water in a similar form could exist on Mars.

A new University of Washington study uses the pond’s bizarre chemistry to pinpoint the water’s source.

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The head of a turbine is lying on the ground at Australia’s Mawson Antarctic base [image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard]


Flying turbines ahoy! Fossil fuel to the rescue as usual.

The blades of a wind turbine at an Australian Antarctic base broke off and narrowly missed a storage building as they crashed to the ground, reports Phys.org, forcing the icy outpost to switch to backup power.

The head of the turbine, one of two at Mawson station, plunged 30 metres (100 feet) on Tuesday evening, despite there being only moderate gusts of wind at the time.

All 13 members of the expedition at the station are safe, and were inside their living quarters at the time, said Rob Wooding, general manager of support and operations at the base.

The second turbine was deactivated as a precaution, with the base switching to its diesel generators.

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