June 23, 2017

Antarctic Sea Ice at 35 Year High - Global Warming to Blame

Timothy Birdnow

Last Saturday Antarctic sea ice reached a 35 year high. There hasn't been as much of it since 1982! Naturally, global warming is to blame.

Smithsonian twists itself into pretzel knots trying to explain it and still keep the meme alive:

"In the last 30-odd years, though, the world has been slowly warming due to global climate change—which is not usually associated with an increase in ice. So what's going on?

Well, honestly, no one really knows. "It's really not surprising to people in the climate field that not every location on the face of Earth is acting as expected – it would be amazing if everything did,” said one scientist with NASA.

Researchers, according to NASA's release, do have a number of hypotheses about why is the ice extent going up, though:

Melting ice on the edges of the Antarctic continent could be leading to more fresh, just-above-freezing water, which makes refreezing into sea ice easier, Parkinson said. Or changes in water circulation patterns, bringing colder waters up to the surface around the landmass, could help grow more ice.

Snowfall could be a factor as well, Meier said. Snow landing on thin ice can actually push the thin ice below the water, which then allows cold ocean water to seep up through the ice and flood the snow – leading to a slushy mixture that freezes in the cold atmosphere and adds to the thickness of the ice. This new, thicker ice would be more resilient to melting."

end excerpt.

First, there has been no warming of the world since 1997, at best (from their perspective) so the point the author makes is moot. But let us consider the rest:

Yes, there is ice loss on the western side of the continent, but the Eastern is gaining ice, so this explanation makes little sense. IF the notion that cold water from melting land ice is driving an increase in sea ice is true then the sea ice should be much more prominent on the warmer side. And research has shown a largely largely stable continental temperature over the last fifty years.

As for changing water circulation patterns bringing cold water to the surface? Antarctic water patterns are fairly well understood and dominated by the circumpolar current, a very cold, very deep, and very wide water pattern that keeps Antarctica frigid. There is little chance for deep, cold water to move to the surface past the Antarctic convergence. This is sophistry.

And it ignores the basics of global warming theory. The theory works like this; sunlight reaches the Earth's surface and is reflected back toward space (warming the rocks and water and whatnot in the process). Increasing levels of carbon dioxide (an additional molecule of CO2 has been added to every 10,000 molecules of air by human emissions) creates a "blanket" in the troposphere which reflects this escaping infrared radiation back to Earth. This means that the atmosphere should warm. Naturally, a warmer atmosphere means a warmer world, but a. there is no evidence]/link] of any real tropospheric warming and b. warmer air would mean less ice, not more. Certainly snowfall has remained fairly constant over the last half century. Nobody has any good mechanism to explain how the "missing heat" somehow dives deep into the oceans against the fundamental laws of thermodynamics.

In the end, this desperate attempt to keep an exploded theory alive and causing trouble leads to ridiculous nonsense like this Smithsonian piece. They simply refuse to accept that global warming just isn't happening.

It's sad really; like watching geocentrists argue against Copernicanism after Galileo and Kepler.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:21 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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