Last week it was reported almost everywhere by the German media that North Atlantic currents were the warmest in 2000 years and melting the Arctic at an unprecedented rate.
These media reports were based on a study published in Science. The authors write in the abstract (emphasis added):
Here, we present a multidecadal-scale record of ocean temperature variations during the past 2000 years, derived from marine sediments off Western Svalbard (79°N). We find that early–21st-century temperatures of Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming.”
I’m not sure what they mean by “early 21st century”. Perhaps the years 2000 to 2007? The study says the waters are about 2°C warmer. Here it has to be noted that they are presuming, i.e. postulating. The CO2 link here is a bit of wild speculation.
Here’s how Der Spiegel puts it in a report titled Atlantic Current Is Heating Up The Arctic:
The experts suspect that the accelerated reduction in sea ice and the measured warming of ocean and atmosphere in the Arctic over the last decades, among other factors, was the result of an enhanced transfer of warmth from the Atlantic. The Fram Straits is even about 1.4° C warmer than during the Medieval Climate Optimum, a time when temperatures in Europe were significantly increased.”
And Der Spiegel writes:
‘Cold sea water is decisive in the formation of sea ice, which in turn cools because it reflects sunlight,’ says Thomas Marchitto of the University of Colorado in Boulder. The melting is accelerating by itself.”
Media reports like the one in Der Spiegel of course emphasized the supposed vicious circle of the melting Arctic ice dynamic: more melting leads to more warming, which then accelerates the process – all unleashed of course by man-made CO2.
If anything they are, perhaps unwittingly, admitting that the Arctic sea ice reduction of the 2000s can be traced back to ocean currents.
And as things stand right now, just the opposite is occurring. The Arctic is NOT melting, it’s freezing up again – recovering from its low in 2007, and quite impressively.
The Global Rumblings website here reports that 70 trillion cubic feet of ice have been added to the Arctic core since January 2009. That translates to 2000 cubic km – enough to cover Manhattan with 20 miles of ice (or 32,000 Manhattans with 1 meter of ice).
The US Navy PIPS 2.0 graphic shows ice thickness. The following comparator shows how it’s the Arctic that has gone green.
Source: Global Rumblings
Some will say that PIPS is not a reliable indicator of Arctic ice thickness, and so cannot be used reliably. But you can put that rumour to rest, see PIPS WUWT.
So why is the Arctic thickening and regrowing, and no longer melting at an unprecedented rate as claimed by the media?
This could have to do with the Labrador Current, which flows southward between Greenland and Labrador. Reports say it is slowing down. That means cold water is not getting transported out of the Arctic. A Der Spiegel article just 2 weeks ago titled “Feared Atlantic current is now weakening” suggests that this current is at its weakest level in 1800 years. What is it caused by? According to scientists, Der Spiegel says:
As a cause for the change, scientists suspect climate change. The coincidence that this has happened during the warming of the last decades allows this to be the conclusion, they believe. But the knowledge about ocean currents still has many holes says Wallace Broecker of Columbia University in USA – a pioneer in ocean research.”
Changes in the atmosphere controls the ocean currents? Right. And as usual, they’re sure – yet admit there are many holes in the knowledge and so they are not sure.
Meanwhile, the ice keeps growing.