Sunday, September 30, 2012

Antarctic sea ice reaches greatest extent so late in season, 2nd largest extent on record

Worth close reading. There is no doubt the growth of Antarctic sea ice is counter intuitive:

Almost two weeks ago, Arctic sea ice extent shrank to a stunning record low. Yet, at the other end of the planet, Antarctic sea ice is nearing or breaking records for largest extent.

At face value, it's remarkable to see such contrasting extremes in sea ice cover on opposing sides of our planet. For those unconvinced the Earth is warming, the Antarctic ice boom provides a convenient retort to alarms sounded about the Arctic ice "death spiral."

But, in reality, it is in­cred­ibly misleading to equate the two records. Statistically, the decline in Arctic sea ice is much more dramatic. Further, the increase in Antarctic sea ice is not directly related to local air temperatures, which are actually going up.


Anonymous said...

But why does the Antarctic sea ice even matter? There are no bears there, only penguins.

Anonymous said...

Ah the arrogance of men. Every piece of evidence points to a changing climate over the past 100 million years, but, we think that somehow we can actually stop the climate from changing. Early man would light giant fires, do dances and sacrifice animals to change the weather, 5000 years later we throw money at Al Gore and Cap and Trade markets. Ironic no?

opit said...

Climate change is not necessarily the same as global warming. Almost simultaneous with the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico was a report from an Italian professor regarding the warm currents from the gulf and the apparent dissipation of them. Subsequently Britain suffered extremely cold winters while the Arctic warmed dramatically - a condition often attributed to the freeing of the ocean from ice pack.
When the forecast of ice loss in the Himalayas turned out to be nonsense, the government of India decided to study the affair so as to account for likely effects of moisture and wind patterns aloft and their variation.
And we still see discounting of effects of perturbations of orbit, past patterns of change and variations in received solar output as subordinate to the supposed effects of co2 rise ( if they had tied it to ozone a connection might have been more obvious ) when they are multiplied to make the models less obviously wrong.
You might assume me unimpressed by science fiction in the form of simplistic models as predictors of the future - and you'd be right.