Your Newsnight segment on Arctic sea ice (BBC2 TV, 8 September 2012) featured a “scientist” who said ice loss since a high point in 1979 would cut the Earth’s albedo and, by this feedback, cause warming equivalent to 20 years’ global CO2 emissions.
On the IPCC’s current central climate-sensitivity estimates, 20 years’ CO2 emissions would only warm the Earth by ¼ C°. But since the IPCC’s first projections in 1990, temperature has risen only half as fast as predicted: so make that just ? C°.
The glaciologist the programme relied on got the math wrong. Ignoring the growth in Antarctic sea ice since 1979, as the programme unwisely did, the loss of 2.5 million km2 of Arctic sea ice (measured as the linear trend on the NSIDC data) will warm the Earth by only 1/20 C°, and only then if the ice loss is permanent. Halve that to allow for the compensating effect of record Antarctic sea-ice growth: say, 1/40 C° of global warming, equivalent to just 2 years’ CO2 emissions on the IPCC’s current projections, not 20 years’ emissions.
It seems a simple enough question - yet it has baffled the best brains for at least 2,300 years.
•Aristotle agonized over it fruitlessly in the fourth century BC
•Roger Bacon in the 13th century used it to advocate the scientific method in his book Opus Majus •Another Bacon, Francis, wrote in his 1620 Novum Organum, that "slightly tepid water freezes more easily than that which is utterly cold" but could not explain why
•Descartes was defeated by it in the 17th century AD
•Even perplexed 20th and 21st century scientists and intellectuals have swarmed over it without result
This week probably saw the Arctic Ocean's sea ice reach its minimum extent for the year and begin to expand again, as it usually does in mid-September. Given that the retreat of Arctic ice has become a key piece of evidence for those who take a more alarmed view of global warming, it's newsworthy that 2012's melt was the greatest since records began in 1979, with sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere shrinking to about 1.3 million square miles, or about half the 1979-2008 average.
As this column has sometimes pointed out ways in which the effects of global warming are happening more slowly than predicted, it is fair to record that this rate of decline in Arctic sea ice is faster than many predicted. Although an entirely ice-free Arctic Ocean during at least one week a year is still several decades away at this rate, we are halfway there after just three decades.
Arctic melts on this scale have happened before, however. Svend Funder of the Danish Museum of Natural History and his colleagues recently studied the northern coast of Greenland, where the land-fast sea ice never breaks up, even in a year like this. Yet evidence of wave action in the past (indicating open waters) and waterlogged driftwood show that for 2,500 years in the "Holocene Optimum" period, when Arctic summer temperatures were two to four degrees Celsius warmer than today, the summer melt of the Arctic Ocean routinely left half as much ice as this year.
There's a nasty shock in store for the British householder when a new 'carbon' tax comes into force
Fast approaching, if largely unnoticed, is yet another massive shock the Government has in store for us with its weirdly distorted energy policy. It is surprising to see what an abnormally high proportion of the electricity needed to keep our lights on has lately been coming from coal-fired power stations. Last Wednesday evening, for instance, this was over 50 per cent, with only 1.3 per cent coming from wind power. Yet by next March, we learn, five of our largest coal-fired plants, capable of supplying a fifth of our average power needs, are to be shut down, much earlier than expected, under an EU anti-pollution directive.
One reason why these plants are being hammered through their remaining quota of hours allowed by the EU is that a new UK tax comes into force next April, which aims to make fossil-fuel power significantly more expensive. In 2010, George Osborne announced his intention to impose, from April 2013, a “carbon floor price” of £16 on every tonne of CO2 emitted by British industry, rising to £30 a tonne by 2020 and £70 a tonne by 2030.
This is of course NOTHING to do with CO2 or delusional CO2 warmism but is in line with WeatherAction long range forecast for major jet stream shifts around 18-20th
Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist, WeatherAction says: "Weather developments in the week to 16th are starting to show Low pressure in the East Med consistent with the Lower pressure generally in the Med we expect - http://bit.ly/Nlz60v . This appears to be part of the major shift south of a large fraction of the Jet Stream in European longitudes which we predicted.
"At the same time the rare Arctic summer storm heralds the major N hemisphere pressure re-organization and Jet stream shift we predicted. Standard Meteorology will have many difficulties getting it right from more than a few days ahead because these ‘Little Ice Age’ patterns are so different to what we have been used to.
A massive cyclone blew over the central Arctic Ocean this past week, north of the Beaufort Sea, and some Arctic researchers said they have never seen anything like it.
Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, said cyclones are common at this time of year, but he said this week's storm was stronger than any he's seen.
Click source to read more, the article mas more to say about ice melting then the unique storm, and as pointed out by Piers Corbyn, this storm should knock the Jet Stream further south, but there is no mention of this!
The AMO drives Europe's climate on a multidecadal time scale.
Climate change alarmists point to the past several decades of European weather to reinforce their claim that global warming has the continent in its grip. A new report shows that this recent warm spell is nothing abnormal or unprecedented—during the 1990s there was simply a return to conditions present during 1931-1960. The reason for the shift is warm ocean temperatures that are, in turn driven by variation in warm ocean currents from the tropics. The instrumental record shows that, relative to the average temperature of the rest of the world’s oceans, the temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean has fluctuated between anomalously warm and anomalously cool phases, each lasting several decades at a time. Palaeoclimate records suggest that similar variations extend much farther back in time. The observed pattern of multidecadal variation in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs) has become known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).
Climate change happens in cycles both long and short. The most dramatic long cycle that humans have experienced is the alternating ice age phenomenon of glacial and interglacial periods. Over the past 800,000 years or so, the world freezes for 100,000 years and then suddenly thaws for 15-25,000 years. Among the best known short cycles are the alternating El Niño/La Niña conditions in the Pacific, which gets blamed for bad weather in North America and failed monsoons in Asia. There are, however, a number of intermediate cycles that function on scales of decades to hundreds of years.
Within just a few days in September, Arctic sea ice extent reached the lowest minimum ever recorded by satellites since 1979, while at the same time, Antarctic sea ice reached the greatest extent ever recorded.
In my post “The Arctic-Antarctic seesaw” I explained how natural forces work to produce these phenomena. In my post “Challenge to the Arizona Daily Star – get the facts” I accused the Arizona Daily Star of content bias because they prominently reported the Arctic minimum, but until now, did not report the Antarctic maximum.
Now, 21 days after the Antarctic maximum, the Arizona Daily Star has reprinted an AP article which attempts to spin observations to fit AGW global warming theory: “Experts: Global warming means more Antarctic ice.” The article author is Seth Borenstein, long known for bad reporting on climate change. With global warming media bias, it’s “heads I win; tails you lose.”
The AP/Star story says, “It sounds counterintuitive, but the Antarctic is part of the warming as well.” Really? Was this a surprise to some climate scientists and their models? Let’s see what the climate models said according to a study in the Journal of Climate:
A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012. This visualization shows the strength and direction of the winds and their impact on the ice: the red vectors represent the fastest winds, while blue vectors stand for slower winds. Credit: NASA/Goddard Science Visualization Studio