By Ed Caryl
There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth lately about the declining Arctic Ocean ice. Pierre and I have written several articles discussing the roll of soot and dust assisting melt of both the sea ice and the land ice on Greenland and other locations around the world. See here, here, and here.
But the warmists have always pointed to CO2 and “Global Warming/Climate Change” as the culprit behind the decline in Arctic ice. But proof has been lacking.
The major source of northern hemisphere soot and dust is Asia, chiefly China. They currently use over 3 billion tons of coal annually, and this amount has been steadily increasing with but one hesitation in the mid-1990’s. The question then becomes: What are the relationships between temperature and ice decline, and China’s use of coal and ice decline? The figures used were from Wikipedia for the annual coal production, and WoodForTrees for the annual average UAH satellite temperature and NSIDC NH ice index. The time period examined is the 30-year satellite era from 1980 to 2010.
It is clear from the charts that coal use in China is the primary culprit in the loss of Arctic Sea ice, especially in the last ten years. The R-Squared value, the goodness of fit, is almost twice that for global temperature. An R-squared value of one would mean a perfect fit… that is, the data all lines up on the trend line.
As long as China continues to burn vast quantities of coal with few attempts to clean up their particulate emissions, their unintended effort to melt the Arctic will continue.