Spiegel On Antaractic Sea Ice: “Never Before Has There Been So Much Ice At This Time Of Year Since Measurements Began”!

Science journalist Axel Bojanowski, a trained geologist, at Spiegel writes how scientists think they may have solved the riddle of growing Antarctic sea ice in a warming world.


Mysteries surround Antarctica…scientists realizing oceans play huge role on climate. Photo: NASA-JPL.

No question the planet has warmed some since 1900 as it crawls out of a little ice age and back to a new Holocene optimum. Bojanowski writes:

For a long time scientists thought the problem would simply pass. They expected it was only a fleeting oddity.”

It turns out that the high level of Antarctic sea ice hasn’t been an oddity at all and continues to set new record highs. Now red-faced scientists are desperately searching for an explanation, even a temporary one, that will at least allow them to buy some time. Bojanowski writes:

Never before since measurements began in the late 1970s has there been so much ice at the southern continent at this time of the year.”

Bojanowski cites climate scientist Hugues Goosse of the Université Catholique of Louvain in Belgium, who says that Antarctica is behaving differently due to the fact that it is surrounded by oceans, and not continents as is the case in the Arctic. Goosse tells of ocean dynamics acting as a likely driver in polar ice behavior.

News for Goosse: Ocean cycles are a climate factor that climate scientists always had a habit of denying in the past. Skeptics argued again and again that oceans indeed acted as one of the earth’s primary thermostats, but were always dismissed. This is one reason why climate models have been so wrong.

Yet, Goosse insists the phenomenon is “temporary”. Spiegel writes:

Goosse believes in “temporary fluctuations in weather patterns”, for example changes in the prevailing wind directions. In the meantime winds are blowing over the southern continent more outwards towards the sea and thus are blowing ice outwards in all directions.”

Why this is happening is unclear. But Bojanowski cites a theory proposed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, who think the ozone hole over the South Pole may be playing a role.

The mystery of Antarctic sea ice seems bigger than ever. Bojanowski writes of yet another explanation: Finnish researcher Petteri Uotila thinks the answer is that the Atlantic and the conditions in the Antarctic are linked:

‘I think this explanation solves the Antarctic sea ice paradox,’ believes Petteri Uotila of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, who was not involved in the theory.”

The theory is proposed by scientists at the New York University (NYU) who claim they see an “amazing relationship” between the Atlantic and Antarctica via the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).

The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is the water temperature in the Atlantic fluctuating over decades, depending on how strongly the currents flow. And the fluctuations have an impact on years-long climate data all the way to Antarctica.”

Bojanowski cites Xichen Li of NYU, who says it’s no coincidence and is even confirmed by computer simulations. Bojanowski summarizes:

Obviously the Atlantic climate see-saw has the sea level around Antarctica fluctuating. As a result sea ice extent is changing. How this precisely functions remains unclear, however. ‘It appears we have discovered a surprising remote effect,’ Li says.”

So it’s obvious that the science of sea ice is still massively fraught with overwhelming uncertainty and will remain so for a very long time. The proposed Atlantic-Antarctic link does confirm what many skeptics have been claiming for years: the oceans play a massive role.

Veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi has been telling us for years that the Arctic sea ice extent is driven in large part by the AMO and that today’s low Arctic sea ice levels are directly linked to the currently positive (warm) AMO. If the warm AMO has an impact on Antarctic sea ice, why wouldn’t it have an impact on the Arctic, which is directly next door? Once again the scientists are only realizing (admitting) what has been obvious to skeptics for a decade now.

Finally scientists like Goosse are waking up. Bojanowski quotes:

Here we are dealing with natural fluctuations that are only masking the warming.”

I.e. Goosse is finally admitting that we haven’t been seeing any warming for years. We suspect that in about 10 years from now, when the mask is off, scientists like Goosse will also see that there never was much warming behind the mask to begin with.


27 responses to “Spiegel On Antaractic Sea Ice: “Never Before Has There Been So Much Ice At This Time Of Year Since Measurements Began”!”

  1. Ed Caryl

    In the Holocene, each warming event (Bond event) has been shorter and cooler than the last. We are approaching the end of the interglacial. Don’t sell your coat.

  2. Paul

    Good article. The title has a typo. It’s measurements. Keep up the great work.

  3. Ron C.

    Interesting that Joe Bastardi is reporting today that CFSv2 is projecting near normal ice extent in the arctic, based upon multi-year ice amounts and AMO historical patterns.

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Photo: Mysteries surround Antarctica – priceless
    “CS” regarding ice surrounding Antarctica – clueless
    [see Ship of Fools for more clueless science]

  5. pyeatte

    What is clear is that climate dynamics are fiendishly complex, nonlinear and random. As such, I doubt that climate will ever be understood well enough to make reliable predictions based on pure analysis. The best that can be attempted is to assume climate cycles are just that, cycles, based on past history that might loosely repeat themselves over several time scales.
    This fixation on CO2 is pure folly.

  6. Joe Bastardi

    Within 10 years, when amo flips completely, the sea ice agenda will wind up on the ash heap of history. Unfortunately the damage done by this scam is becoming harder to reverse as the hopes and dreams of many are being destroyed by the shackles of what is clearly a matter of one group of people desire to exert their authority over others. The wolf in sheeps clothing of this tyranny is likely to be longer lasting than some of the more obvious despotic movements that have lead to so much misery in man.

  7. oebele bruinsma

    We live in interesting times: climate scientists apparently have no clue.

  8. Kneel

    Heh – if they are linked, then should arctic ice start expanding, CS focus will shift to antarctic shrinkage as “evidence” for climate change.

  9. Edward.

    The overall sea ice totals have always been in balance, oceanic currents are key and this was never about man made warming – that much is clear.

    They can’t resist throwing in the Ozone layer bo99ocks again though can they? They should remind themselves that – sunlight causes ozone and in the SH winter the sun goes on holiday to the NH – it’s a tilt and orbit thing.

  10. Curt

    Some scientists outside the “mainstream” have been pointing out the Arctic/Antarctic sea-ice “seesaw” for a long time now. In the early 19th century, when Arctic sea ice was much greater than in recent decades, naval logs show that Antarctic sea ice was much less than recently.

    Nigel Calder points out that in Antarctica, reduced cloudiness actually increases albedo, because the glacier albedo is higher than that of the clouds.

    1. Graeme No.3

      The Arctic ice was less in the early 19TH Century, which prompted the British Admiralty to launch a series of attempts to find the NW passage. I think the “seesaw” effect is a little less obvious when examined in what detail we have.

      But note that the Antarctic ice was reducing when Cook sailed down in 1770, when there was lots of Arctic ice, and again when Weddell went there in 1823, as the Arctic ice started to increase. And the Ross shelf lost a quarter of its ice as the Arctic ice thickened in the 1960’s. Not proven either way.

  11. richard

    We have to remember how many years the alarmists had to push this scam before the internet came along and the fight back began. I think only in the last 5 years have the skeptic sites really got into their stride.

    I have to agree with the comment above about the comment sections showing more and more skepticism, I have seen a big change over the last year or so. It is picking up a rhythm and the MSM has been cutting back.

  12. gofigure560

    Just a minute there gang. Now some of the alarmists are claiming that the models predicted this … that it means ice volume is decreasing – the ice is slipping off the continent and hence more sea ice extent. I’ve not seen/heard any evidence about volume, and, unlike sea ice extent, may not be so easily meaured via satellite.

    Anyone out there know, for sure?

  13. Curt

    gofigure: The sea ice we are talking about here is frozen sea water, easily distinguished from the fresh water in the ice shelves that come from the land based glaciers.

    The alarmist argument that I have heard is that the increased melt of the land based glaciers in the water has kept the ocean cooler and so enhanced the sea ice. I have a lot of trouble understanding how that could cause more sea ice 1200 km away.

  14. AJ Virgo

    The Arctic is warmed from the West by the Pacific Ocean. If it wasn’t then Alaska would be unviable.
    The heating effect comes with the rain.

  15. Record Antarctic Ice according to Spiegel | Louis Hissink's Crazy World

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  16. richard


    Headlines April1st – May3rd 2014

    April-May3rd –
    May 3rd- Cars rescued from heavy snow in Argentina
    May 3rd – Ice piled 12-feet deep on shores of Lake Superior
    May 3rd – Snowfall warnings continue – and expand – in British Columbia
    Romania – “It’s as if we were preparing for Christmas – not Easter”
    “This year is maybe a record-breaking year,” says expert on Great Lakes ice.
    As of May 1st, ships were still being escorted with ice breakers on Lake Superior, says the Duluth News Tribune.
    Unexpected snowfall destroys 2,000 hectares of crops in Adjara
    Snowfall warnings for Banff and southward
    Snowfall to hit Petrozavodsk
    Antarctic Sea Ice 50% Above Previous Record
    Gangtok, India – Army rescues 2,000 stranded by snowfall
    Blizzard paralyzes daily life in many parts of Russia’s Urals region
    Heavy Snowfall in the Alps
    Snow and Wind Hit Los Alamos, NM
    Up to 14 inches of snow for Colorado
    China – Xinjiang hit hard by blizzard
    8 to 11 inches of snow forecast for Minnesota
    Rhinelander – Hasn’t snowed this much in 106 years
    Record low temperatures across Manitoba – 17 Apr
    Record Mid-April Hard Freezes Kill Great Plains Wheat
    Back-to-back record lows in Marquette
    Winnipeg water pipes could stay frozen until July
    Heavy snowfall blocks roads in Afghanistan
    Snowfall warnings for Banff and southward
    Gangtok, India – Army rescues 2,000 stranded by snowfall
    Global Warming is “Nonsense,” says former NASA scientist
    Another big winter storm for Thunder Bay
    Russia’s Urals – Most severe springtime snowstorm in 123 years
    Snowfall in the Urals leaves 70,000 without power
    Snow and Wind Hit Los Alamos, NM
    Up to 14 inches of snow for Colorado
    Too Much Spring Ice Threatens Alaskan Polar Bears
    Heavy snowfall for parts of Ontario and NW Lake Superior
    Ice Moves Bridge In New Brunswick
    8 to 11 inches of snow forecast for Minnesota
    Snowfall warnings for northeastern British Columbia
    Most Atlantic ice in decades, warns Coast Guard
    More than a foot of new snowfall in Minnesota and Wisconsin
    Record low temperatures across Manitoba – 17 Apr
    More than 40 ships lined up waiting to get through Soo Locks due to ice.
    Another record low obliterated Pellston, Michigan, shatters its old low temp record by 16 degrees!
    Great Lakes ice coverage FAR exceeds anything since satellite monitoring began
    Detroit – Snowiest winter on record – Hundreds of thousands lose power
    Record lows in Wyoming shatter last year’s record lows on same date
    Mackinac Island ferries delayed – Too much ice on Great Lakes
    Up to 16 inches (40 cm) of snow in Wyoming 14 April
    Nine blue whales “probably crushed to death by ice”
    Nova Scotia – Snowmobilers beware! Snow almost to the tops of power poles
    US Steel idles mill due to “unprecedented ice conditions on the Great Lakes”
    Early April Snowstorm Buries Wisconisn and Minnesota
    Coldest winter in Winnipeg since 1898
    Record snowfall in Nebraska
    Record snowfall in Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Ice breakers “challenged” on Lake Superior
    Record snowfall in Ontario
    Billings, Montana, breaks all-time snowfall record
    Armenia – Heavy snowfall kills up to 95% of apricot harvest
    Chicago – Coldest Four-Month Period In City History
    Doğubayazıt, Turkey – 900 sheep perish in snowstorm
    Record snowfall paralyzes Moscow

  17. Antarctica Mystery | Graeme McGillivray

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