Tag Archives: Arctic Ocean

Is the Arctic icecap now larger than in 1971?

This story compares a 1971 National Geographic map of the Arctic Ocean and its icecap with modern satellite data, and finds that the icecap is actually significantly larger now.

Take a look. Then come back to read my analysis.

Back? Okay. First, we are presently in the midst of summer in the Arctic, so the icecap shown on the modern map should shrink somewhat this year. Second, it is not clear what time of year the National Geographic map portrays. Is it maximum ice during the winter? Or they average for the year?

These questions however avoid the bigger point here, which is that there doesn’t really appear to be any significant change overall to the Arctic icecap in the past half century. The icecap had seen some major shrinkage during the first decade of the 21st century, but in recent years it has begun recovering. So much for the many past predictions by global warming activists that the Arctic will be ice free in summer because of global warming, by 2008, 2014, or 2018.

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One of John Franklin’s lost ships found?

A Canadian expedition thinks it has located one of the ships from John Franklin’s lost 1845 Arctic expedition.

The Canadian government began searching for Franklin’s ships in 2008 as part of a strategy to assert Canada’s sovereignty over the Northwest Passage, which has recently become accessible to shipping because of melting Arctic ice. Expedition sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island, clearly show the wreckage of a ship on the ocean floor.

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Global sea ice area is now at its second highest level ever recorded, and closing in on an all time record.

The uncertainty of science: Global sea ice area is now at its second highest level ever recorded and is closing in on an all time record.

The link is also amusing in that it includes some interesting predictions made by global warming scientists and politicians in recent years, all predicting that the Arctic Ocean would be ice free by 2013.

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Despite the significant increase in the Arctic icecap’s size this winter, satellite data of the icecap’s actual volume and thickness suggest that the new ice was quite thin.

The uncertainty of science: Despite the significant increase in the size of the Arctic Ocean’s icecap this winter, satellite data of the icecap’s actual volume and thickness suggest that the new ice was quite thin.

Prof Andy Shepherd, from Leeds University, said: “Now that we have three years of data, we can see that some parts of the ice pack have thinned more rapidly than others. At the end of winter, the ice was thinner than usual. Although this summer’s extent will not get near its all-time satellite-era minimum set last year, the very thin winter floes going into the melt season could mean that the summer volume still gets very close to its record low,” he told BBC News.

It is not surprising that the ice was thin, considering that the icecap was recovering from a record low the year before. The scientific question, however, is whether the cap will thicken in the coming years or continue to thin out. That it has recovered somewhat in size might be a onetime jump as the decline continues, or it might be indicative of a new growing trend.

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Despite the decline in Arctic sea ice during the past decade the population of polar bears in the Davis Strait has skyrocketed.

Despite the decline in Arctic sea ice during the past decade the population of polar bears in the Davis Strait has skyrocketed.

The increase might have even placed the population at the carrying capacity for the region.

In related news, the New York Times has finally admitted to the fact that the climate stopped warming fifteen years ago.

At the same time, the reporter has a great deal of trouble dealing with this fact, mainly because he refuses to recognize that the theories of carbon-dioxide-caused global warming might be mistaken.

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A Russian scientist has found large amounts of methane being released in the atmosphere in the Arctic

A Russian scientist has found large amounts of methane being released into the atmosphere in the Arctic, far more than previously predicted.

It is speculated that these releases are the result of the Earth’s warming climate during the past several hundred years. And because methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, its release will feed into that warming.

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