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?
Holland used data from NASA’s National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) to calculate the ice concentration rate of growth for each single day, which he called intensification; and the total ice area rate of growth, which he called expansion. “I did that for all thirty years of data and plotted the trends,” he said. Holland’s plots showed that the different regions in the Southern Ocean contributed to the overall increase, but they had very diverse trends in sea ice growth. This suggested that geography and different wind patterns played a role. So to gain more insight Holland looked at seasonal wind trends for the different regions.
Holland found that winds were spreading sea ice out in some regions and compressing or keeping it intact in others and that these effects began in the spring. It contradicted a previous study in which, using ice drift data, Holland and Ron Kwok from the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) found that increasing northward winds during the autumn caused the variations.
“I always thought, and as far as I can tell everyone else thought, that the biggest changes must be in autumn,” Holland said. “But the big result for me now is we need to look at spring. The trend is bigger in the autumn, but it seems to be created in spring.”
“Paul has created two more sea ice metrics that we can use to assess how Antarctic sea ice is responding,” said researcher Sharon Stammerjohn, referring to the measures of intensification and expansion. The new metrics help assess how the system is responding as opposed to simply monitoring the state of the system. “Say your temperature is at 99.2 degrees Fahrenheit,” Stammerjohn said. “You don’t have any insight to that temperature unless you take it again an hour later and you see that it changed to 101 degrees. Then you can say, okay, my system is responding to something.”
Arctic sea ice at the middle of winter (January-March) is a measure of what’s to come because winter ice is the set-up for early spring, the time when polar bears do most of their feeding on young seals.
[Mid-winter photos of polar bears are hard to come by, partly because the Arctic is still dark for most hours of the day, it’s still bitterly cold, and scientists don’t venture out to do work on polar bears until the end of March at the earliest]
At 12 February this year, the ice was similar in overall extent to 2013 but higher than 2006.
Scientists (Syring et al., 2020) find almost sea ice-free conditions pervaded a much warmer northern Greenland region during the Early Holocene. Arctic sea ice extent has “continuously” grown for ~4800 years, with modern conditions a bit lower than the peak of the last few centuries.
In a new paper (Syring et al., 2020), scientists rely on biomarker evidence – (a) the presence of warmth-demanding species Armeria scabra and Mytilus edulis, and (b) IP25, a proxy for the presence or absence of sea ice – to suggest not only were there much warmer (4 to 5°C) northern Greenland temperatures 10,000 to 8500 years ago, but effectively sea ice-free conditions pervaded the region during this time.
The sea ice in the region has been growing “continuously” for the last 4800 years, reaching its peak during the last millennium.
The authors also find decadal- and centennial-scale periodicities in solar activity have coincided with variability in Arctic sea ice (IP25) throughout the Holocene.
Despite decades of doom-and-gloom prophecies, Greenland’s Ice Sheet is currently GAINING monster amounts of “mass”— 7 gigatons yesterday alone (Feb. 06, 2020).
Crucial to the survival of a glacier is its surface mass balance (SMB)–the difference between accumulation and ablation (sublimation and melting). Changes in mass balance control a glacier’s long-term behavior, and are its most sensitive climate indicators (wikipedia.org).
On the back of substantial SMB gains over the past few years, the Greenland ice sheet looks set to continue that trend in 2019-20. On February 06, 2020, the world’s largest island added a monster 7 gigatons to its ice sheet. According to climate alarmists, this simply shouldn’t be happening in a warming world. In fact, it might as well not be happening–developments like this NEVER receive MSM attention, meaning alarmists are NEVER privy to the full and unalarming picture…
There is a general scientific consensus that the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has been losing ice mass since the Little Ice Age (LIA). This should come as no surprise, since the LIA was quite likely the coldest climatic episode of the Holocene Epoch. Although it does appear that the GrIS may have gained ice mass during the mid-20th century global cooling crisis.
According to Mouginot et al, 2019, the GrIS was gaining an average of +47 ± 21 Gt/y from 1972–1980, then began to lose ice mass after 1980:
-51 ± 17 Gt/y from 1980–1990
-41 ± 17 Gt/y from 1990–2000
-187 ± 17 Gt/y from 2000–2010
-286 ± 20 Gt/y from 2010–2018
Figure 4. Central Greenland temperature reconstruction (Alley, 2000).
They were once abundant, in our hairsprays, bug sprays, and refrigerators. And then scientists figured out these substances ripped a hole in the ozone layer, leading to a 1987 plan to phase them out that over time would be agreed to by every country in the world.
More than three decades later, researchers have made a new discovery.
Ozone-depleting substances do more than just gnaw at Earth’s protective layer. They’re also greenhouse gases, so they contribute to the planet’s overall warming by trapping heat, too. And now we may know just how much these substances have contributed to Arctic warming, thanks to a study published in the science journal Nature on Monday.
Between 1955 and 2005, ozone-depleting gases caused half of Arctic climate change (and a third of overall global warming), the study finds. This is primarily due to their heat-trapping qualities, not their ozone munching. The Arctic has seen rapidly melting sea ice for years and is warming faster than the rest of the world.
Introduction Ice cores datasets are important tools when reconstructing Earth’s paleoclimate. Antarctic ice core data are routinely used as proxies for past CO2 concentrations. This is because twenty years ago scientists theorized Greenland ice core CO2 data was unreliable since CO2trapped in air bubbles had potentially been altered by in-situ chemical reactions. As a result, Greenland CO2 datasets are not used in scientific studies to understand Northern and Southern hemispheres interactions and sensitivity of greenhouse gases under various climatic conditions.
This theory was put forward because Greenland CO2 data were more variable and different than Antarctic CO2 measurements located in the opposite polar region about 11,000 miles away. This article re-examines Greenland ice cores to see if they do indeed contain useful CO2 data. The theory of in-situ chemical reactions to explain a surplus and deficit of CO2, relative to Antarctic data, will be shown to be tenuous. The Greenland CO2 data demonstrates a response to the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Dansgaard-Oeschger and other past climate change events. This response to past climate changes offers an improved explanation for why Greenland and Antarctic CO2 measurements differ. Further, Greenland CO2 measurements show rapid increases of 100 ppm during warm events in relatively short periods of time.
Atmospheric CO2 is More Variable in Northern Latitudes
Figure 1, from NOAA, shows atmospheric CO2 concentrations measured from the continuous monitoring program at four key baseline stations spanning from the South Pole to Barrow, Alaska. CO2 has risen from about 330 ppm to over 400 ppm since 1975 and is increasing at approximately 1-2+ ppm/year. Many scientists believe that rapidly increasing CO2 is mostly due to fossil fuel emissions.
Arctic climate is uniquely sensitive to ongoing warming. The feedbacks that drive this amplified response remain insufficiently quantified and misrepresented in model scenarios of future warming. Comparison with paleotemperature reconstructions from past warm intervals can help close this gap. The Early Holocene (11.7–8.2 ka BP) is an important target because Arctic temperatures were warmer than today. This study presents centennially resolved summer temperature reconstructions from three Svalbard lakes. We show that Early Holocene temperatures fluctuated between the coldest and warmest extremes of the past 12 ka, exceeding the range of instrumental observations and future projections. Peak warmth occurred ~10 ka BP, with temperatures 7 °C warmer than today due to high radiative forcing and intensified inflow of warm Atlantic waters. Between 9.5 and 8 ka BP, temperatures dropped in response to freshwater fluxes from melting ice. Facing similar mechanisms, our findings may provide insight into the near‐future response of Arctic climate.
Purple algae are making the western Greenland Ice Sheet melt faster, as the algae darken the ice surface and make it absorb more sunlight.
The ERC (European Research Council) has awarded an €11 million Euro Synergy grant called DEEP PURPLE to Liane G. Benning at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) Potsdam, Germany, Alexandre Anesio at Aarhus University, Denmark and Martyn Tranter at University of Bristol, UK. Their common goal is to examine over the next six years (2020-2026) the role of glacier algae in progressively darkening the Greenland Ice Sheet surface in a warming climate.
The three researchers have already changed our understanding of why the ice darkens during the melt season by identifying the purple-pigmented ice algal blooms in the ice surface. These glacier algae are pigmented deep purple to shield their vital elements from the intense UV radiation in sunlight. During the melt season there are so many of these deep purple algae that they look as black as the soot from tundra fires. They form a dark band that has been progressively growing down the western side of the Greenland Ice Sheet during the summer melt season for the last 20 years, causing increased melting of the darkening ice.
Just why these glacier algae grow so densely is not really known at the moment, and neither is whether they will grow in the new melt zones on the ice sheet surface, to the north and to the ice sheet interior, as the climate continues to warm.
Project DEEP PURPLE
Questions such as this need answering if future sea level rise is to be predicted accurately, since Greenland melt is a major driver of current sea level rise.
Project DEEP PURPLE aims to answer these questions over the next six years, combining curisoity driven science about how the glacier algae grow and interact with their icy habitat, and societally relevant research into the processes that lead to ice surface darkening that are needed by ice melt modellers.
The scientists will work around many different sites in Greenland, making measurements of surface darkening, glacier algae density, how much soot and dust the algae trap on the surface and the physical properties of the melting ice surface to finally understand, how biological darkening occurs, and to predict where and when it will occur in the future.
MASIE daily results for September show 2019 early melting followed by an early stabilizing and refreezing.
Note that 2019 started the month about 800k km2 below the 12 year average (2007 through 2018 inclusive). There was little additional loss of ice, a rise then a dip below 4 M km2, and a sharp rise ending the month. Interestingly, 2019 matched the lowest year 2012 at the start, but ended the month well ahead of both 2012 and 2007.
The table for day 273 shows distribution of ice across the regions making up the Arctic ocean.
A new reconstruction of Arctic (NW Greenland) sea ice cover (Caron et al., 2019) reveals modern day sea ice is present multiple months longer than almost any time in the last 8000 years…and today’s summer sea surface temperatures s are among the coldest of the Holocene.
Yet another new study (Caron et al., 2019) shows today’s Arctic sea ice cover is still quite extensive when compared to the last several thousand years, when CO2 concentrations ranged between 260 and 270 ppm.
Other new Arctic sea ice reconstructions from the north of Iceland (Harning et al., 2019) and Barents Sea (Berben et al., 2019) regions indicate a) modern sea ice extent has changed very little in the last several hundred years, or since the Little Ice Age, and b) the Early Holocene had millennial-scale periods of sea-ice-free and open water conditions, which is in stark contrast to “modern conditions” – the “highest value” or furthest extent of the sea ice record.
“[T]he PBIP25 values [proxy for sea ice presence] reach their highest value (0.87) of the record at ca. 0 cal yr BP. An increase in PBIP25 suggests a further extension in sea ice cover, reflecting Arctic Front conditions (Müller et al., 2011), most similar to modern conditions.” (Berben et al., 2019)
The MS MALMO is the latest in a long list of ships to have gotten stuck in surprisingly thick Arctic sea ice this year.
The Swedish vessel, built in 1943 and refurbished in 2014, was on an “Arctic tour” with the noble mission of ferrying a team of Climate Change documentary filmmakers to the front line. The teams intention was to capture some of the catastrophic ice melt being reported by the worlds media — ice melt which it would appear still refuses to manifest despite decades of furious willing from the UN & IPCC.
The MS MALMO came to a grinding halt on Sep 3 off Longyearbyen, the Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between Norway and the North Pole, when it encountered impenetrably thick ice:
by P. Homewood, Sep. 8, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat
Arctic tours ship MS MALMO with 16 passengers on board got stuck in ice on Sep 3 off Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between Norway and North Pole. The ship is on Arctic tour with Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with Climate Change and melting Arctic ice. All 16 Climate Change warriors were evacuated by helicopter in challenging conditions, all are safe. 7 crew remains on board, waiting for Coast Guard ship assistance.
Something is very wrong with Arctic ice, instead of melting as ordered by UN/IPCC, it captured the ship with Climate Change Warriors.
Scientists have taken the temperature of a huge expanse of seafloor in the Arctic Ocean in new research by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, is accompanied by the release of a large marine heat flow dataset collected by the USGS from an ice island drifting in the Arctic Ocean between 1963 and 1973. These never-before-published data greatly expand the number of marine heat flow measurements in the high Arctic Ocean.
Marine heat flow data use temperatures in near-seafloor sediments as an indication of how hot Earth’s outer layer is. These data can be used to test plate tectonic theories, provide information on oil and gas reservoirs, determine the structure of rock layers and infer fluid circulation patterns through fractures in those rock layers.
From the “But, but, wait! Our algorithms can adjust for that!” department comes this tale of alarmist woe. Greenland’s all-time record temperature wasn’t a record at all, and it never got above freezing there.
A new paper (Axford et al., 2019) reveals NW Greenland’s “outlet glaciers were smaller than today from ~9.4 to 0.2 ka BP” (9,400 to 200 years before 1950), and that “most of the land-based margin reached its maximum Holocene extent in the last millennium and likely the last few hundred years.”
The authors conclude:
“We infer based upon lake sediment organic and biogenic content that in response to declining temperatures, North Ice Cap reached its present-day size ~1850 AD, having been smaller than present through most of the preceding Holocene.”
Furthermore, the authors assert Greenland was 2.5°C to 3°C warmer than modern on average during the Holocene Thermal Maximum, and peak temperatures were 4°C to 7°C warmer.
By some measures, the ice melt is more extreme than during a benchmark record event in July 2012, according to scientists analyzing the latest data. During that event, about 98 percent of the ice sheet experienced some surface melting, speeding up the process of shedding ice into the ocean.
The fate of Greenland’s ice sheet is of critical importance to every coastal resident in the world, since Greenland is already the biggest contributor to modern-day sea level rise. The pace and extent of Greenland ice melt will help determine how high sea levels climb and how quickly….
The Danish Meteorological Institute tweeted that more than half the ice sheet experienced some degree of melting on Tuesday, according to a computer model simulation, which made it the “highest this year by some distance.”
And there is no mention of the fact that the ice sheet grew substantially last year, and also the year before:
The simple fact is that the Greenland ice sheet melts every summer, particularly when the sun shines. That’s what it does. And it grows back again in winter as the snow falls. Indeed, if it did not melt, it would carry on growing year after year.
Inevitably there are some days when the weather is warmer and sunnier than normal, and others when it is colder. To pick an odd day or two is ridiculous and dishonest scaremongering.
by P. Homewood, July 30, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat
And that Greenland ice? The Surface Mass Balance has been well below normal throughout the winter, because of the dry weather. The rate of summer melt, however, has been pretty much normal, contrary to the fake claims of Ms Nullis.
With only a couple of weeks of melt left, it seems extremely unlikely that, even with the sunshine forecast, that the ice will dip below the 2012 figure (which incidentally is only a “record low” since records began in 1981).
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 onboard) was forced to turn back north of Svalbard when it unexpectedly encountered impenetrable pack ice.
However, what he and his Russian colleague came up against was consolidated first-year pack ice up to 3 m thick (about 10 ft). Such thick first-year ice was not just unexpected but by definition, should have been impossible.
Ice charts for the last few years that estimate actual ice thickness (rather than age) show ice >2 m thick east and/or just north of Svalbard and around the North Pole are not unusual at this time of year.
This suggests that the propensity of navigational charts to use ice ‘age’ (e.g. first-year vs. multi-year) to describe ice conditions could explain the Norwegian captain getting caught off-guard by exceptionally thick first-year ice.
Our German skeptic friend Snowfan here keeps us up to date on the latest ODEN “Ship of Fools” attempt to travel across an Arctic that is supposed to be ice-free by now.
The incentive to cross the Arctic passages in the summer is huge. Doing so would mean at least a week of fame with the media blaring out your name along with grossly hyped headlines of an Arctic ice meltdown due to global warming. One of these years, a ship might get lucky and manage to get through the Northwest Passage.
Also defying the models is the extent of ice cover for July 9 at the Baffin inlets Regent – Boothia. Over the last 50 years, there’s been little trend change:
Summer sea ice loss is finally ramping up: first year is disappearing, as it has done every year since ice came to the Arctic millions of years ago. But critical misconceptions, fallacies, and disinformation abound regarding Arctic sea ice and polar bear survival. Ahead of Arctic Sea Ice Day (15 July), here are 10 fallacies that teachers and parents especially need to know about.
As always, please contact me if you would like to examine any of the references included in this post. These references are what make my efforts different from the activist organization Polar Bears International. PBI virtually never provide references within the content it provides, including material it presents as ‘educational’. Links to previous posts of mine that provide expanded explanations, images, and additional references are provided.
The cartoon above was done by Josh: you can drop off the price of a beer (or more) for his efforts here.
On Earth, scientists are studying the most extreme environments to learn how life might exist under completely different settings, like on other planets. A University of Washington team has been studying the microbes found in “cryopegs,” trapped layers of sediment with water so salty that it remains liquid at below-freezing temperatures, which may be similar to environments on Mars or other planetary bodies farther from the sun.
At the recent AbSciCon meeting in Bellevue, Washington, researchers presented DNA sequencing and related results to show that brine samples from an Alaskan cryopeg isolated for tens of thousands of years contain thriving bacterial communities. The lifeforms are similar to those found in floating sea ice and in saltwater that flows from glaciers, but display some unique patterns.
“We study really old seawater trapped inside of permafrost for up to 50,000 years, to see how those bacterial communities have evolved over time,” said lead author Zachary Cooper, a UW doctoral student in oceanography.
It was written and translated into French for a special climate change feature issue (July) of the monthly French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (reviewed here) and reprinted by the French hunting magazine Chasses Internationales.
It has also been translated into German for a dedicated climate change issue (11 July) of the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche.
I have added a couple of figures to illustrate this English version of the essay.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse