Posts Tagged ‘arctic’

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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Ice core sample [image credit: Discovering Antarctica]


But they ignore the fact that historical changes in carbon dioxide levels always followed changes in temperatures, so could not be the cause of such changes. The article below asserts the opposite, and talks about ‘better understanding’ while promoting a greenhouse climate theory that says one minor trace gas is all that matters.
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A University of Arizona-led team has nailed down the temperature of the last ice age—the Last Glacial Maximum of 20,000 years ago—to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 C), says Phys.org.

Their findings allow climate scientists to better understand the relationship between today’s rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide—a major greenhouse gas—and average global temperature.

The Last Glacial Maximum, or LGM, was a frigid period when huge glaciers covered about half of North America, Europe and South America and many parts of Asia, while flora and fauna that were adapted to the cold thrived.

“We have a lot of data about this time period because it has been studied for so long,” said Jessica Tierney, associate professor in the UArizona Department of Geosciences. “But one question science has long wanted answers to is simple: How cold was the ice age?”

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‘Once again, history is a better guide than hysteria.’ — Indeed, but hysteria makes bigger headlines, which are the aim of the climate alarm game. But in the end, we will all be the losers if we fall for it.

Science Matters

The scare du jour is about Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and how it will melt out and flood us all.  It’s declared that GIS has passed its tipping point, and we are doomed.  Typical is the Phys.org hysteria: Sea level rise quickens as Greenland ice sheet sheds record amount:  “Greenland’s massive ice sheet saw a record net loss of 532 billion tonnes last year, raising red flags about accelerating sea level rise, according to new findings.”

Panic is warranted only if you treat this as proof of an alarmist narrative and ignore the facts and context in which natural variation occurs. For starters, consider the last four years of GIS fluctuations reported by DMI and summarized in the eight graphs above.  Note the noisy blue lines showing how the surface mass balance (SMB) changes its daily weight by 8 or 10 gigatonnes (Gt) around the baseline mean from 1981…

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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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Headline chasing climate alarmists can’t let go of their polar bear scares.

polarbearscience

Apparently, a prediction that polar bears could be nearly extinct by 2100 (which was first suggested back in 2007) is news today because there is a new model. As for all previous models, this prediction of future polar bear devastation depends on using the so-called ‘business as usual’ RCP8.5 climate scenario, which has been roundly criticized in recent years as totally implausible, which even the BBC has mentioned. This new model, published today as a pay-walled paper in Nature Climate Change, also did something I warned against in my last post: it uses polar bear data collected up to 2009 only from Western Hudson Bay – which is an outlier in many respects – to predict the response of bears worldwide. The lead author, Peter Molnar, is a former student of vocal polar bear catastrophist Andrew Derocher – who himself learned his trade from the king…

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So when global temperatures failed to behave as models expected due to inevitable but hard to predict natural variation, they were forced to re-think – or just think? The GWPF concludes, at the risk of stating the obvious: ‘The lesson of the hiatus is that we do not understand internal climatic variability as much as many think we do, and our predictive power is less than many believe.’
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Researchers from the Universities of Princeton, California, Tokyo, Kyushu and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, say the recent hiatus in global temperature increase has led to a surge in climate science.

The global effort to understand the global warming hiatus they say has led to increased understanding of some of the key metrics of global climate change such as global temperature and ice-cover.

Searching for an answer to the hiatus, they say, meant that the scientific community grappled with difficulties with these climate metrics, in particular the fact that they do not unequivocally portray the same story about global warming.

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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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One for the ‘planet on fire’ crowd to ponder, as the long solar minimum continues.
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Cold temperatures and a strong polar vortex allowed chemicals to gnaw away at the protective ozone layer in the north, says The GWPF.

A vast ozone hole — likely the biggest on record in the north — has opened in the skies above the Arctic. It rivals the better-known Antarctic ozone hole that forms in the southern hemisphere each year.

Record-low ozone levels currently stretch across much of the central Arctic, covering an area about three times the size of Greenland (see ‘Arctic opening’).

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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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Credit: Wikipedia


This contradicts climate alarmist claims such as: Global Warming Is Messing with the Jet Stream. Whether 40 years of data is enough to establish what is ‘normal’, is another matter. The fastest jetstream on record of 231 mph has only just been set, we’re told.
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Rapid Arctic warming has not led to a “wavier” jet stream around the mid-latitudes in recent decades, pioneering new research has shown.

Scientists from the University of Exeter have studied the extent to which Arctic amplification—the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places farther south—has affected the fluctuation of the jet stream’s winding course over the North Hemisphere, reports Phys.org.

Recent studies have suggested the warming Arctic region has led to a “wavier” jet stream—which can lead to extreme weather conditions striking the US and Europe.

However, the new study by Dr. Russell Blackport and Professor James Screen, shows that Arctic warming does not drive a more meandering jet stream.

Instead, they believe any link is more likely to be a result of random fluctuations in the jet stream influencing Arctic temperatures, rather than the other way around.

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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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Norway’s Goliat oil platform [image credit: T3n60 @ Wikipedia]


Another attempt to use the courts to impose the will of climate alarmists bites the dust, at least until the next and final appeal, if it happens. When are they going to take Russia to court over Arctic drilling? Too risky perhaps.

A Norwegian court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by two environmental groups which had sued Norway for granting new oil licenses in the Arctic, reports Phys.org.

A Norwegian court on Thursday dismissed an appeal by two environmental groups which had sued Norway for granting new oil licenses in the Arctic.

Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom (Nature and Youth) had called for the cancellation of exploration licenses granted in May 2016 to 13 oil companies in the fragile Arctic region, saying the concessions violated the Norwegian constitution which since 2014 guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

They argued that new oil activities in the region would be contrary to the 2016 Paris climate accord, which seeks to limit average global warming to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and which Norway has signed.

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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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The researchers do admit that ‘Snowball Earth is just a hypothesis’, but that period seems to have been an era of the most extreme long-term cold spell(s) ever detected on Earth.

There is very little life in Arctic tundras and glaciers. However that was the situation in a big portion of the world during Ice Ages, says Technology.org.

How did life survive these difficult periods? How didn’t everything just die, being cut off from any kind of sources of nutrition and oxygen?

Scientists examined the chemistry of the iron formations in Australia, Namibia, and California to get a window into the environmental conditions during the ice age. They selected rocks left there by the ice age, because they are representative of the conditions during that difficult period for life.

By analysing these rocks scientists from the McGill University were able to estimate the amount of oxygen in the oceans around 700 million years ago.

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Rinks Glacier, West Greenland
[image credit: NSIDC]


Estimates are always uncertain to some degree – that’s why they’re called estimates. So an uncertain estimate can’t be all that useful. They admit ‘there are still key deficiencies in the models’ — but these are usually ignored when alarmist climate predictions are headlined. As ever, ice-related sea level claims should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Estimates used by climate scientists to predict the rate at which the world’s ice sheets will melt are still uncertain despite advancements in technology, new research shows.

These ice sheet estimates feed directly into projections of sea-level rise resulting from climate change, says Phys.org.

They are made by measuring how much material ice sheets are gaining or losing over time, known as mass balance, to assess their long-term health.

Snowfall increases the mass of an ice sheet, while ice melting or breaking off causes it to lose mass, and the overall balance between these is crucial.

Although scientists now have a much better understanding of the melting behaviour of ice sheets than they did in previous decades, there are still significant uncertainties about their future melt rates, researchers found.

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Still waiting


In a quarter of a century something ‘could be’ happening – and that’s their most optimistic (?) guess. Others say a whole century, or more. Somewhat underwhelming, given that we’ve already gone past several years that were touted by alarmists as ones that could see the end of Arctic summer sea ice. The claim of a supposed correlation between the trace gas carbon dioxide and the global mean temperature looks to be fading fast if this is the best/worst they can come up with, effectively negating endless media stories about ‘the rapidly warming Arctic’.

It’s hard to imagine the Arctic without sea ice, says Phys.org.

But according to a new study by UCLA climate scientists, human-caused climate change is on track to make the Arctic Ocean functionally ice-free for part of each year starting sometime between 2044 and 2067.

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Credit: weather.com


By what known physics could a few molecules of carbon dioxide upset the jet stream? A meteorologist is not impressed by such claims.

By Chris Martz | November 9, 2019
INTRODUCTION Just when wildfires weren’t enough, we now have people blaming cold weather on a warming climate, which seems quite contradictory.

In light of the Arctic outbreak in forecast this coming week, people like Phil Plait (who has since blocked me) took to Twitter (Figure 1) to claim that man-made climate change is causing frigid, Arctic air to be displaced south into the United States, Europe, and Asia.

His argument, which is supported by some climate scientists, suggests that man-made global warming causes the polar jet stream to destabilize causing it to become wavy rather than zonal, sending Arctic air southward into the mid-latitude regions.

He also stated that without global warming, the polar air would stay near the north pole.

Both of these claims are exactly backwards from reality and are not supported by weather dynamics, the global warming theory, or statistical observations in long-term temperature data.

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Credit: ecologyway.info


Clearly Russia, China and India expect oil consumption to play a big part in their futures, even if some other countries claim to think otherwise due to their ill-conceived drive to demonise man-made carbon dioxide. Potential protesters may be aware that Russia tends to apply a robust response to any attempt to interfere with its commercial activities.

With the help of a tax relief package, Russia’s largest oil producer is preparing to dive into a $157 billion Arctic oil project, reports OilPrice.com.

Reuters quoted Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin as announcing the price tag of the Vostok Oil project to media last week, adding that the Kremlin had already agreed on a tax relief package that would help with the Arctic oil and gas push.

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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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