Tag Archives: icecaps

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.

The icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica: are they melting?

NASA scientists have published a paper warning that there is growing evidence that the melting at the polar caps is accelerating. From the press release:

The pace at which the polar ice sheets are losing mass was found to be accelerating rapidly. Each year over the course of the study, the two ice sheets lost a combined average of 36.3 gigatonnes more than they did the year before. In comparison, the 2006 study of mountain glaciers and ice caps estimated their loss at 402 gigatonnes a year on average, with a year-over-year acceleration rate three times smaller than that of the ice sheets.

Several things to note after reading the actual paper:

Antarctic increase in sea ice since 1970 cannot be explained by ozone hole

In another paper published today in the Geophysical Research Letters of the American Geophysical Union, researchers have found, according to their computer model, that the increase in sea ice since 1970 in Antarctica cannot be explained by the ozone hole. (Note that the sea ice has been shrinking in the northern hemisphere while it has been growing in the south.) Key quote from paper:

It is presently unclear why the observed Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent trends are so different from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Previous studies have suggested that the cause might be related to atmospheric circulation changes induced by the stratospheric ozone hole. The results in this study are not consistent with this view and highlight the need for continued investigations of Antarctic sea ice extent trends.

Loss of floating ice?

A paper published on Saturday in Geophysical Research Letters by the American Geophysical Union attempts to calculate the total ice loss at the polar caps and how it will affect the sea level. Key quote from the abstract: “Rapid losses of Arctic sea ice and small Antarctic ice shelves are partially offset by thickening of Antarctic sea ice and large Antarctic ice shelves.”

Greenland icecap is not melting

Steve Goddard has posted on Anthony Watt’s webpage a very detailed update on the state of the icecap covering Greenland. Surprise! There are no signs of it disappearing anytime soon. (Note that you might have to scroll to the right to see the text of Goddard’s post, as on some computers Watts’s webpage is unfortunately far too wide for the screen.)

The state of the polar ice caps, June 2010

On July 6, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) of the University of Colorado published its monthly report on the state of the polar ice caps. The Arctic ice cap, which this winter had been larger and more extensive than seen for many years, also shrank this spring at the fastest rate in years. (This chart, produced by data from the Japanese AMSR instruments on two research satellites, shows these trends very clearly.) Meanwhile, NSIDC reports that the ice cap in Antarctica is far larger than normal. Not unexpectedly, NSIDC immediately argues (quite unconvincingly if you ask me) that more ice in Antarctica is evidence for global warming.

From my perspective, the data continues to be inconclusive. We still do not really understand the long term trends of the Earth’s climate.