Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Arctic sea ice reaches a record low: Scientists say 'disturbing' data points to a long-term trend in global warming

Arrant nonsense.  Arctic temperatures increased FAR more than global temperatures.  So this is a local effect, not a global one.  It is Arctic-specific with no demonstrable relevance to CO2 emissions or the alleged effects of CO2 emissions. Since CO2 emissions were in fact flat overall in 2015 and into 2016, it is DEMONSTRABLE that they did not cause the Arctic warming. Non-change doesn't cause change.  The warming could have been caused by oscillations in ocean currents, oscillations in air currents or subsurface vulcanism.  Nobody knows

The growth of Arctic sea ice this winter peaked reached another milestone.

It recorded the lowest maximum level of ice on record, thanks to extraordinarily warm temperatures.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center says ice covered a maximum of 5.607 million square miles of the Arctic Ocean in 2016.

That's 5,000 square miles less than the old record set in 2015 — a difference slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut.

It's also some 431,000 miles less than the 30-year average. That difference is the size of Texas and California combined.

Records go back to 1979 when satellites started measuring sea ice, which forms when Arctic Ocean water freezes.

This year's ice didn't break the record by much, but it's 'an exclamation point' on a longer-term trend, said Nasa scientist Walt Meier, who helped calculate the data.

The sub-par showing doesn't necessarily mean that the minimum extent this summer will also break a record, scientists said.

The summer minimum is more important for affecting Earth's climate and weather.

Data center scientist Julienne Stroeve says winter temperatures over the North Pole were 16 degrees warmer than normal, while other parts of the Arctic ran 4 to 11 degrees warmer than normal.

Data center chief Mark Serreze said: 'I have never seen such a warm, crazy winter in the Arctic.' 'It was so warm that the Barents Sea was 'pretty much close to ice -free for almost the whole winter, which is very unusual,' Meier said. Stroeve said early indications show that the sea ice is thinner than last year.

A leading but still controversial theory says loss of sea ice in the Arctic may change the jet stream and bring more extreme weather to the US, Stroeve said.

The new report reveals 'just the latest disturbing data point in a disturbing trend wherein climate changes are happening even faster than we had forecast,' Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann said.

However, Nasa adds that the cap of sea ice over the Arctic Ocean is always changing.

Each winter it grows dramatically, usually reaching its maximum in March.It melts just as dramatically each summer, reaching its minimum in September.

In 2015-16, that winter growth got off to a leisurely start due in part to a month of unusually warm weather in the region.

They link this to a phenomenon known as the Arctic Oscillation. This involves differences in air pressure over the Arctic and lower latitudes.

Scientists say a shift in the Arctic Oscillation likely weakened the atmospheric barrier between the polar latitudes and the mid-latitudes


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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