Posts Tagged ‘arctic’

The ocean carbon cycle [credit: IAEA]


Nature’s carbon cycle works even better than was believed. The researchers say ‘it can be assumed that the global influence of this mechanism as a carbon sink is actually much greater’.
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Every year, the cross-shelf transport of carbon-rich particles from the Barents and Kara Seas could bind up to 3.6 million metric tons of CO2 in the Arctic deep sea for millennia, says Science Daily.

In this region alone, a previously unknown transport route uses the biological carbon pump and ocean currents to absorb atmospheric CO2 on the scale of Iceland’s total annual emissions, as researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute and partner institutes report in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Compared to other oceans, the biological productivity of the central Arctic Ocean is limited, since sunlight is often in short supply — either due to the Polar Night or to sea-ice cover — and the available nutrient sources are scarce.

Consequently, microalgae (phytoplankton) in the upper water layers have access to less energy than their counterparts in other waters.

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Cumulus clouds over the Atlantic Ocean [image credit: Tiago Fioreze @ Wikipedia]


The article says iodine’s ‘catalytic role in particle formation enhances its effects in the atmosphere wherever it goes, whether that role is eliminating protective ozone molecules or increasing cloud cover.’ But it’s not clear why this claim would be correct: ‘As sea ice melts in the Arctic, more iodine can enter the atmosphere, increase cloud cover and enhance warming effects on the region.’ Effects of cloud cover differ between high and low cloud, for example.
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An international team led by CU Boulder researchers has cracked the chemical code driving the formation of iodine particles in the atmosphere, revealing how the element contributes to increased cloud cover and depletes molecules in the Earth’s protective ozone layer, says Phys.org.

The research, conducted at the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was published today in the journal Nature Chemistry.

It’s the first time that any experiment in the world has demonstrated the mechanism for how the gas-phase form of iodine—known as iodic acid—forms, and suggests it has an significant role in atmospheric particle formation.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]


One less wild proposal for climate obsessives to bother their heads with. Arctic summer sea ice levels clearly stabilised in recent years anyway.
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Researchers have rebuffed a wild idea to use tiny, hollow glass beads to halt sea ice loss, finding that a coating of microspheres would actually accelerate ice melt instead of slowing it, says ScienceAlert.

In 2018, a study proposed spraying layers of glass powder, in the form of hollow glass spheres about the thickness of a human hair, over Arctic sea ice to brighten its surface.

This, the study authors said, would enhance the amount of sunlight reflected in a part of the world that is seeing some of the worst effects of climate change, lowering the surface temperature and giving sea ice a chance to recover.

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Science cop-out expected for COP27 

Posted: October 14, 2022 by oldbrew in climate, COP27, sea ice, Temperature
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Arctic ocean near Barrow, Alaska [image credit: Beth Ipsen/Associated Press]


Another climate worrier fest, another year of the non-existent Arctic summer sea ice ‘death spiral’. How long can this charade go on?
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COP27 is almost upon us, says Net Zero Watch.

That means it’s the time of year when we take stock of the changes we see taking place in the Earth’s climate, when we begin to think aboout placing the weather events of 2022 into the context of decadal trends.

This review, however, might leave some delegates heading to Egypt for the 27th UN climate summit a little confused.

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2022 Arctic Ice Abounds at Average Daily Minimum

Posted: September 19, 2022 by oldbrew in climate, data, sea ice
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But alarmists still insist the poles are warming several times faster than the global average. Data says no.

Science Matters

The annual competition between ice and water in the Arctic ocean has reached the maximum for water, which typically occurs mid September.  After that, diminishing energy from the slowly setting sun allows oceanic cooling causing ice to regenerate. Those interested in the dynamics of Arctic sea ice can read numerous posts here.  This post provides a look at mid September from 2007 to yesterday as a context for understanding this year’s annual minimum.

The image above shows Arctic ice extents on day 260 (lowest annual daily extent on average) from 2007 to 2022 yesterday.  Obviously, the regions vary as locations for ice, discussed in more detail later on. The animation shows the ice deficits in years 2007, 2012, 2016 and 2020, as well as surplus years like 2010, 2014 and the last two years, 2021-2022.

Note that for climate purposes the annual minimum is measured by the September monthly average…

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Credit: weather.com


A 2020 news report (H/T Belfast Telegraph) headlined Extreme weather being caused by jet stream ‘not because of Arctic warming’, with the sub-heading: ‘Any link is more likely to be a result of random fluctuations in the jet stream influencing Arctic temperatures, researchers say’ – cites a study that comprehensively contradicts the findings described in the article below. “The well-publicised idea that Arctic warming is leading to a wavier jet stream just does not hold up to scrutiny”, said Professor James Screen [University of Exeter]. “With the benefit of 10 more years of data and model experiments, we find no evidence of long-term changes in waviness despite on-going Arctic warming.” But the stated lack of evidence hasn’t deterred this new research. Are they flogging the proverbial dead horse?
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A quartet of researchers, two with the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics and two with Pukyong National University, has created a group of simulations of changes to the jet stream under global warming, says Phys.org.

In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes using math theory to describe wind motion under given circumstances to create their simulations.

Over the past several years, the jet stream has become wavier than it used to be. Both peaks and valleys have become more extreme.

This has led to changes in weather patterns—some places have grown wetter and some drier, and there have also been more extended hot and cold spells around the globe.

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Icebergs in the North Atlantic [image credit:
maritime-executive.com]


Perhaps, but there’s plenty of ‘suggesting’ that something might possibly occur here. Plus of course the usual remarks about supposed human involvement in Earth’s climate. ‘An increased export of Arctic sea-ice into the subpolar North Atlantic’ is proposed as a driver of destabilisation (see study).
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Scientists have used centuries-old clam shells to see how the North Atlantic climate system reached a “tipping point” before the Little Ice Age, says Phys.org.

The Little Ice Age —a period of regional cooling, especially in the North Atlantic—lasted several centuries, ending in about 1850.

A long-standing theory suggests initial cooling in this period was sustained by “sea-ice to ocean feedbacks”—sea ice expanded and this slowed ocean currents which in turn reduced the flow of warm water from the south.

The new study, by the University of Exeter, used the shells of quahog clams—which can live for several hundred years—to understand how the ocean has evolved and responded to external changes over recent centuries.

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Sea ice optional? [image credit: BBC]


Sir David King’s plan from last year, now revived: Send in the clouds. The general idea: ‘creating white cloud cover that will come over the Arctic Sea during the three months of the polar summer. They hope this would reflect sunlight away so that the growth of ice over the Arctic sea during the previous winter is retained through the summer.’ Sir David: “And if we could just repeat that every year for the coming 20 or 30 years, then we might manage to create the ice cover that is needed to protect the Arctic Sea.” And then he woke up?
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The heatwaves will kick in even if countries stick to their current climate targets, but refreezing the Arctic could curb dangerous changes, former chief scientific advisor Sir David King says.
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The record-breaking heatwave that scorched swathes of Europe in recent months will become an “average” summer as soon as 2035, even if countries stick to their current climate targets, new research suggests.

The Met Office’s Hadley Centre has forecast an average summer in central Europe will be more than 4°C hotter by 2100 than it was before humans started burning fossil fuels at scale, reports Sky News.

Researchers said they are confident in their analysis because they found a “very satisfactory” alignment between recorded average temperatures since 1850 and the figures that were predicted by computer models.

The Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG), which commissioned the research, called the data an “urgent reminder” of the need for countries to go “well beyond” their climate plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which together aim to limit global warming to ideally 1.5°C.

The analysis shows that “even if countries meet their commitments to reduce emissions they have made so far, the situation is still set to get worse, with weather in Europe predicted to become even more extreme than seen this summer,” said former government chief scientific advisor and CCAG chair Sir David King.

Almost two-thirds of Europe and much of England is currently enduring a drought that is hitting food and power production, driven in part by hot weather. The extreme heat in July broke records in England, Scotland and France.

“This data doesn’t fully account for the instability of the Arctic, which we now know is a global tipping point that could have major cascading consequences for the entire planet,” Sir David warned.

He said it was “abundantly clear” that countries need to not only meet their NDCs, but consider increasing them.
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The CCAG argues mitigative action must include three things: reducing emissions, removing existing emissions in vast quantities and repairing “broken parts of the climate system, starting with the Arctic”.

It reiterated its calls from last year to refreeze the Arctic, which is warming much faster than the rest of the world, exacerbating other extreme weather events around the globe.

“It is only through the mitigative measures of Reduce, Remove and Repair, pursued with equal vigour and urgency, that we can hope to move away from the path to disaster we’re currently set on and achieve a manageable future for humanity,” Sir David added.

Full report here.

Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]


The authors propose that sea-ice formation is the key factor and not biology. In their paper, we read: ‘Results: Carbon dioxide is very strongly correlated with sea ice dynamics, with the carbon dioxide rate at Mauna Loa lagging sea ice extent rate by 7 months.’ However, drawing conclusions from correlations can go wrong. The authors conclude: ‘If sea ice does not drive the net flux of these gases, it is a highly precise proxy for whatever does. Potential mechanisms should be investigated urgently.’
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Could we be wrong about the annual cycle of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? – asks Net Zero Watch.

That’s the suggestion by a pair of distinguished Oxford zoologists Clive Hambler and Peter Henderson who have just published a paper that could change our understanding about one of the key observations of this greenhouse gas.

They propose that sea-ice formation is the key factor and not biology.

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California wildfire [image credit: NASA]


Another day, another topic of model uncertainty. ‘Refining’ an admitted high level of uncertainty is an odd concept, but researchers assert the issue will be ‘cleared up’. However, their belief in ‘potent climate-warming agents’ doesn’t inspire confidence.
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New research refining the amount of sunlight absorbed by black carbon in smoke from wildfires will help clear up a long-time weak spot in earth system models, enabling more accurate forecasting of global climate change, says Phys.org.

“Black carbon or soot is the next most potent climate-warming agent after CO2 and methane, despite a short lifetime of weeks, but its impact in climate models is still highly uncertain,” said James Lee, a climate researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and corresponding author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters on light absorption by wildfire smoke. “Our research will clear up that uncertainty.”

The Los Alamos research resolves a long-time disconnect between the observations of the amount of light absorbed by black carbon in smoke and the amount predicted by models, given how black carbon is mixed with other material such as condensed organic aerosols that are present in plumes.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]


Hardly surprising, given the endless overestimates of global warming by climate models. They found that ‘Melt ponds covered 21% of the observed area during the summer, while the two models indicated 41% and 51%’.
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New research shows two widely used computer models that predict summer melt pond formation on sea ice greatly overestimate their extent, a key finding as scientists work to make accurate projections about Arctic climate change, says Phys.org.

The finding comes from measurements made during a year-long expedition aboard the research vessel Polarstern.

For the Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate expedition, or MOSAiC, the ship was allowed to freeze into place in the Arctic and drift with the ice pack from September 2019 to October 2020.

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Image credit: interactivestars.com


Not exactly a new idea, but worth pursuing. Given the present feverish pursuit of supposedly climate-related policies that attempt to counter imagined human-caused effects, all known aspects of natural variation must be highlighted and included in models.
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New analysis suggests that the Moon might be an unappreciated factor in climate change and, according to researchers from the Universities of East Anglia and Reading, its influence “cannot be discounted as an important driver of multidecadal variability of global temperature.”

It’s a suggestion that is bound to prompt debate and a possible reassessment of the relative influence of human factors on climate change in the past and the future when the lunar effect is included, says Dr. David Whitehouse @ Net Zero Watch.

It arises from the so-called lunar nodal cycle of 18.6 years caused by variations in the angle of the Moon’s orbital plane. During this period the Moon’s orbit “wobbles” between plus or minus 5 degrees relative to the Earth’s equator.

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Canadian Arctic archipelago [via Wikipedia]


The clue is in the study title: The importance of Canadian Arctic Archipelago gateways for glacial expansion in Scandinavia.
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A new study led by University of Arizona researchers may have solved two mysteries that have long puzzled paleo-climate experts (says Phys.org): Where did the ice sheets that rang in the last ice age more than 100,000 years ago come from, and how could they grow so quickly?

Understanding what drives Earth’s glacial–interglacial cycles—the periodic advance and retreat of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere—is no easy feat, and researchers have devoted substantial effort to explaining the expansion and shrinking of large ice masses over thousands of years.

The new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, proposes an explanation for the rapid expansion of the ice sheets that covered much of the Northern Hemisphere during the most recent ice age, and the findings could also apply to other glacial periods throughout Earth’s history.

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Mid April Arctic Ice Above Average

Posted: April 14, 2022 by oldbrew in sea ice
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Looks normal enough. What was that desperate climate emergency again?

Science Matters

Drift ice in Okhotsk Sea at sunrise.

Previous posts showed 2022 Arctic Ice broke the 15M km2 ceiling in February, staying above that level the first week of March, then followed by typical melting in March. As the chart below shows, mid March the overall ice extent was ~400k km2 below the 16 year average, before returning to the mean day 89 and tracking the average since then.

Note the much higher ice extents in 2022 compared to 2021 or 2007.  The green lines show that the above normal ice this year is despite low extents in Sea of Okhotsk.  The averages in dark green (excluding Okhotsk) are below 2022 in light green (excluding Okhotsk) by nearly 200k km2.  IOW everywhere in the Arctic except Okhotsk ice extents are well above average.  Remember also that Okhotsk basin is outside the Arctic circle, has no Polar bears, and is among the…

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


‘Temperatures and rates of ice sheet melting both peaked in 2012’ – interesting quote from the report. The researchers assume that natural factors are merely impeding the inevitable warming they expect from carbon dioxide emission increases, but assumptions can be risky.
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A puzzling, decade-long slowdown in summer warming across Greenland has been explained by researchers at Hokkaido University in Japan, says Phys.org.

Their observational analysis and computer simulations revealed that changes in sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles to the south, trigger cooler summer temperatures across Greenland.

The results, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, will help improve future predictions of Greenland ice sheet and Arctic sea ice melting in coming decades.

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Sea ice optional [image credit: BBC]


Not an indicator of supposedly dire global warming this season then? Groans from climate obsessives perhaps. Nothingburgers all round.
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Arctic sea ice appeared to have hit its annual maximum extent on Feb. 25 after growing through the fall and winter, says NASA (via Phys.org).

This year’s wintertime extent is the 10th-lowest in the satellite record maintained by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, one of NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers.

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Credit: Uwe Dedering @ Wikipedia


Another crater controversy ends as two different dating methods produced the same result.
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Danish and Swedish researchers have dated the enormous Hiawatha impact crater, a 31 km-wide asteroid crater buried under a kilometer of Greenlandic ice, says the University of Copenhagen.

The dating ends speculation that the asteroid impacted after the appearance of humans and opens up a new understanding of Earth’s evolution in the post-dinosaur era.

Ever since 2015, when researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s GLOBE Institute discovered the Hiawatha impact crater in northwestern Greenland, uncertainty about the crater’s age has been the subject of considerable speculation.

Could the asteroid have slammed into Earth as recently as 13,000 years ago, when humans had long populated the planet? Could its impact have catalyzed a nearly 1,000-year period of global cooling known as the Younger Dryas?

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: Geoscience Daily]


Funny how climate science is so insistent on its dogma without knowing enough about aerosol effects, or cloud cover effects for that matter. Talk of ‘better understanding climate change’ is fine, but all we hear in the media is that the debate is over and it’s all cut and dried as far as alarmists are concerned?
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Scientists at EPFL and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have studied the chemical composition and origin—whether natural or anthropogenic—of aerosols in a region spanning from Russia to Canada, says Phys.org.

Their findings provide unique insights for helping researchers better understand climate change in the Arctic and design effective pollution-mitigation measures.

The work was made possible thanks to the joint effort of scientists from three continents.

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Europe in 1328 [image credit: Wikipedia]


Echoes of the Medieval Warm Period here? Long before the spectre of fossil fuel emissions was put forward as a possible climatic factor of course. We already covered some of this here, but as this is a new article let’s have another go.
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LEIPZIG, Germany — Is weather history repeating itself? asks Study Finds.

The Arctic has experienced a steady increase in temperature since the 1980s, causing meteorological patterns that resemble 14th century Europe, research shows.

Scientists from the Leibniz Institutes for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) [studied] weather transitions in ancient Europe in the early 1300s and discovered droughts similar to the conditions in Europe in 2018.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


One finding was that snow cover variability was more ‘extreme’ than expected, pointing to the need for further research as well as improvements to climate models. Whether the recent Arctic weather/climate history is a reliable guide to future conditions remains to be seen.
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Hundreds of international researchers are currently analyzing observations from the one-year MOSAiC expedition, during which hundreds of environmental parameters were recorded with unprecedented accuracy and frequency over a full annual cycle in the Central Arctic Ocean, says Phys.org.

They have now published three overview articles on the MOSAiC atmosphere, snow and sea ice, and ocean programs in the journal Elementa, highlighting the importance of examining all components of the climate system together.

These results present the first complete picture of the climate processes in the central Arctic which is warming more than two times as fast as the rest of the planet—processes which affect weather and climate worldwide.

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