Man-made global warming creates 1 million sq miles more Arctic ice, say experts
THE Arctic ice sheet is huge:
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.
Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.
In 2010, BBC Science Reporter Jonathan Amos told us:
Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013’
The Daily Mail adds:
Only six years ago, the BBC reported that the Arctic would be ice-free in summer by 2013, citing a scientist in the US who claimed this was a ‘conservative’ forecast. Perhaps it was their confidence that led more than 20 yachts to try to sail the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific this summer. As of last week, all these vessels were stuck in the ice, some at the eastern end of the passage in Prince Regent Inlet, others further west at Cape Bathurst.
Shipping experts said the only way these vessels were likely to be freed was by the icebreakers of the Canadian coastguard. According to the official Canadian government website, the Northwest Passage has remained ice-bound and impassable all summer.
Today’s UK Daily Mail gives more evidence that would have made my mother, of blessed memory issue a major Jewish Mother Sweater Alert because the Arctic Ice cap grew by 60% this past year and more scientists are warning of the coming ice age.
People are confused:
Dana Nuccitelli wants to clear things up in the Guardian: “Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph”:
When it comes to climate science reporting, the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph are only reliable in the sense that you can rely on them to usually get the science wrong. This weekend’s Arctic sea ice articles from David Rose of the Mail and Hayley Dixon at the Telegraph unfortunately fit that pattern.
Both articles claimed that Arctic sea ice extent grew 60 percent in August 2013 as compared to August 2012. While this factoid may be technically true (though the 60 percent figure appears to be an exaggeration), it’s also largely irrelevant…
There’s a principle in statistics known as “regression toward the mean,” which is the phenomenon that if an extreme value of a variable is observed, the next measurement will generally be less extreme. In other words, we should not often expect to observe records in consecutive years. 2012 shattered the previous record low sea ice extent; hence ‘regression towards the mean’ told us that 2013 would likely have a higher minimum extent.
The amount of Arctic sea ice left at the end of the annual melt season is mainly determined by two factors – natural variability (weather patterns and ocean cycles), and human-caused global warming. The Arctic has lost 75 percent of its summer sea ice volume over the past three decades primarily due to human-caused global warming, but in any given year the weather can act to either preserve more or melt more sea ice. Last year the weather helped melt more ice, while this year the weather helped preserve more ice.
Both Rose and Dixon referenced a 2007 BBC article quoting Professor Wieslaw Maslowski saying that the Arctic could be ice free in the summer of 2013. In a 2011 BBC article, he predicted ice-free Arctic seas by 2016 “plus or minus three years.” Other climate scientists believe this prediction is too pessimistic, and expect the first ice-free Arctic summersby 2040.
It’s certainly difficult to predict exactly when an ice-free Arctic summer will occur.
So. Don’t trust the right-wing Press. Trust the Left. After all, it was the Guardian that told us on September 17 2012:
“Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years.”
Nuccitelli says that man-made global warming is driving the change. But these scientists say it’s about the sun, maybe:
A paper published by the Danish Meteorological Institute finds a remarkable correlation of Arctic sea ice observations over the past 500 years to “the solar cycle length, which is a measure of solar activity. A close correlation (R=0.67) of high significance (0.5 % probability of a chance occurrence) is found between the two patterns, suggesting a link from solar activity to the Arctic Ocean climate.” The paper adds to several others demonstrating that Arctic sea ice extent and climate is controlled by natural variations in solar activity, ocean & atmospheric oscillations, winds & storm activity, not man-made CO2.
So much for the settled science…