Solar Activity Continues Near 200-Year Low. And Antarctic Sea Ice Drop Caused By Natural Factors

The Sun In February and Arctic Sea Ice

Von Frank Bosse und Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated and condensed [due to time constraints] by P. Gosselin)

The star at the center of our solar system was also very inactive last month. The determined sunspot number SSN of 26.1 was only 50% of what is normal.

Fig. 1: Mean solar activity (blue) compared to the activity of the current cycle (red) and the very similar solar cycle 5 (black).

A comparison of all the cycles:


Fig. 2: The activity of all cycles 1 to 24. Depicted is the deviation from the mean. The current cycle began in December 2008 and is the 3rd quietest since systematic observations began in 1755.

The behavior of the solar polar fields also indicate that the upcoming solar cycle 25 could be as weak as SC 6. According to the current conditions, we could experience a solar minimum that is similar to that experienced during the Dalton Minimum (SC 5, 6 and 7) of 1790 – 1830. The strongly decoupled polar fields is a phenomenon that has yet to be observed since systematic observations began in the 1970s – a time when the solar activity was stronger than at any time ever observed.

Antarctica: So little ice as never observed before!

Last month we saw plenty of headlines about this. The German ARD remained rather factual, but others were dramatic and even employed photo-shopped images suggesting climate alarm. First the facts: This year’s ice extent is at a record low, as is referenced by the NSIDC in its report. Here’s the chart:

Fig. 3:  Sea ice extent around Antarctica in February compared to 1979 (in %). Source.

The dashed line depicts the overall trend, and it remains strongly upward. The long-term trend is what counts when it comes to climate. Yearly fluctuations are related to weather. A look at the GISS temperatures across Antarctica shows no relevant trend.

Fig. 4: Antarctic surface temperature as to GISS.

What follows are the sea surface temperatures (SST). Here we see where the sea ice loss is coming from:

Fig. 5: Temperature anomaly of the ocean surrounding Antarctica.

Here we recognize the downward trend since the 1990s, followed by a sharp upward spike at the end. Certainly much of this has to do with the weather at the end of 2016, more precisely since September.  There is no real information on what is behind the spike.

One suspicion is the very powerful El Nino of 2015/16, but such a spike did not follow the El Nino 1997/98. It must be kept in mind that there were some real global differences between the last powerful El Nino and the one from the late 1990s, see study here. One suspects that a chain of events may have unfolded which led to a warming of the water around Antarctica. Next year will likely tell us if this is only a temporary powerful warming spike, or if it is the start of a trend reversal.

Media reports that global warming is now catastrophically reducing sea ice around Antarctica are however, wild speculation. In a recent study here on the AMOC, it is determined that a powerful heat transport towards the North causes a special pattern: The sea surface temperature (SST) cools and the depths get warmer. The deeper water at the edge of the continent down to 700 meters shows a warming trend. Here’s a look at the lower depths there:

Fig. 6: Ocean temperature anomalies down to 700 meters deep around Antarctica.

The divergence between the lower layers and its surface can be clearly seen. In Fig. 5 we see the sudden positive spike in SST, but the ocean down to 700 meters cannot of course follow along due to its high thermal inertia.

In the North Atlantic we do see, however, a retreat in heat transport since about 2012:

Figure. 7: The surface temperature anomalies in the sub-polar North Atlantic since 1980.

It may very well be that the El Nino is in part causing the “see-saw” effect: A stronger northward directed heat transport (strong AMOC) cools the water at the sea surface of the ocean (the sea ice grows) around Antarctica while it gets warmer in the water depths. A weaker AMOC (Fig. 7 favors a diminishment compared to the years after 1998) reverses the condition in the south: it gets warmer on the sea surface (sea ice melts) and the depths get colder.

We await with suspense the measurements around Antarctica to see whether this is the case. These are all natural processes, and whether man-made warming plays a role — if yes, how much of a factor it really plays — is completely unclear.

It is far too early to start blaring out that man is melting the Antarctic. Propaganda and science do not go well together. The internal variability of the currently cooling North Atlantic is simply “nature at work”.

26 responses to “Solar Activity Continues Near 200-Year Low. And Antarctic Sea Ice Drop Caused By Natural Factors”

  1. sod

    That antarctic “trend” is simply insane.

    http://kaltesonne.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/rio3-1024×570.png

    1. clipe

      Sod, what’s with your love of the word “insane”?

      Oh! I know…ask Dilbert.

      http://motls.blogspot.com/2017/03/scott-adams-sees-through-15-of-20-main.html?m=1

    2. DirkH

      ??? We see an increasing oscillation with a barely changing mean.
      What should be insane about that? It’s interesting. Did your warmunist theory predict increasing oscillation? No? Well maybe the theory is shit then.

      1. AndyG55

        An oscillation?? how could that be?? 8)

      2. sod

        “??? We see an increasing oscillation with a barely changing mean.
        What should be insane about that?”

        Plotting a trend into a very obviously increasing oscillation is utterly insane.

        This is like looking at a blunderbuss and declaring to know where a specific pellet will end up.

        http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/callofduty/images/d/d3/Blunderbuss_menu_icon_AW.png/revision/latest?cb=20150714173944

        1. toorightmate

          Saying that CO2 effects the world’s climate is insane.
          And don’t give me the old 97% bullsh*t.

    3. Frank

      sod, do you claim that the NSIDC ( the producer of the figure) is insane?

  2. Doug Proctor

    60 year cycle in ice extent, with the nodes with minimal changes?

  3. CO2isLife

    It is going to be interesting to see how all these factors play together. Some are calling for an extended period of cooling, and if we get it, it is really going to be interesting to see how the climate alarmists explain the lack of warming, even as CO2 continues higher.
    Climate “Science” on Trial; Sea Ice Sophistry
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/climate-science-on-trial-sea-ice-sophistry/

    1. SebastianH

      http://imgur.com/a/GEZAR

      Assume that the blue sine curve is the climate (average temperature) without increased CO2 levels. Further assume that the ramp is the influence of human CO2 emissions and the orange curve is the sum of both. There is a decrease in average temperature from x=3 to x=7 even with added CO2 influence, but it’s warmer than it would have been without it.

      That’s what global warming means … even when it cools it is warmer than it would have been without the global warming. Understood?

      1. AndyG55

        Ahh welcomes to sebs’s fantasy imaginings, yet again !!

        So hilarious. 🙂

        Please keep posting your tripe, little child. Yu do the AGW scam religion a great disservice.

  4. clipe

    SodSeb

    Sea level rise or swamp draining?

    The Clinton Archipelago

    Whatever, There’s a rising tide of disgust for vested interest such as yourselves.

    Post all the links to graphs you want, but you all are nothing but self-interested parasites.

    1. SebastianH

      And how would you describe yourself? An altruist? Only caring for the well being of others? I don’t think so …

      1. AndyG55

        You care about NOTHING and NO-ONE except your FAKE, unsupportable AGW religion.

        How PATHETIC does that make you, seb !!!

  5. clipe
  6. Ulric Lyons

    Strongly positive AAO anomalies March, June and September 2016. Through 2010 had some strong ones too after that El Nino.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/aao/monthly.aao.index.b79.current.ascii.table

    The AMO has post El Nino warm bursts in the following summer-autumn.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/amon.us.data

  7. Ulric Lyons

    “In the North Atlantic we do see, however, a retreat in heat transport since about 2012:”

    Because solar was stronger around the sunspot maximum. Heat transport will increase again until the next sunspot maximum.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/association-between-sunspot-cycles-amo-ulric-lyons?trk=pulse_spock-articles

  8. clipe

    SodSeb, I’m not a scientist and I doubt either of yooz iz.

    But here is life in my patch

    Thank you very much for nothing.

    1. SebastianH

      Being a scientist is not a requirement for understanding math and physics. Being a scientist is also not a requirement to see where trends lead to.

      1. AndyG55

        So, you have NO IDEA what a scientist is, do you seb.

        You certainly are NOT one, and probably have never even talked to a real one except on blogs, and would never even know if you had… PROVEN FACT.

        Your understanding of maths or physics is rudimentary at best, let alone understanding anything about real science.

        All you have in meaningless low-end, anti-science, yabbering. !

        Basically everything you think you know .. IS WRONG !!!

        1. SebastianH

          Tell yourself whatever you want, and … if it makes you happy. I don’t care.

          1. AndyG55

            Yep we are well aware that you do not care. !

            You have your Mercedes and access to the regularity (for now) of coal reliant electricity supply.

            Your whole world revolves around, and is totally dependant on fossil fuels.

            Yet you and you ilk would deny this to third world countries just for a baseless, unproven anti-CO2 religion.

            Pretty disgusting and hypocritical, wouldn’t you say, seb. !!

          2. clipe

            “I don’t care”

            As the saying goes…”the truth will out”.

            sobseb has been outed.

  9. Peter Foster

    Re the graph of deep Antarctic water, I presume this is argo buoy data but is it raw data or the politically model adjusted data ?

  10. Frank

    Peter,, these are the heat content data as one gets it from the NOAA: https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/avt_global.html .
    And it’s NOT the deep water but from 0…700m depth.

  11. Antarctic | Pearltrees

    […] Solar Activity Continues Near 200-Year Low. And Antarctic Sea Ice Drop Caused By Natural Factors. Von Frank Bosse und Fritz Vahrenholt (Translated and condensed [due to time constraints] by P. Gosselin) Fig. 1: Mean solar activity (blue) compared to the activity of the current cycle (red) and the very similar solar cycle 5 (black). The behavior of the solar polar fields also indicate that the upcoming solar cycle 25 could be as weak as SC 6. According to the current conditions, we could experience a solar minimum that is similar to that experienced during the Dalton Minimum (SC 5, 6 and 7) of 1790 – 1830. Last month we saw plenty of headlines about this. […]

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