Now Debuting: Climate Depot Arctic Fact Sheet – Get the latest peer-reviewed studies and analysis


By: - Climate DepotJuly 30, 2009 12:48 PM

[Climate Depot is publishing a series of exclusive A-Z fact sheets on every aspect of the global warming debate. Climate Depot has already published comprehensive fact sheets on: RealClimate.org; Climate Models; Sea Level Rise; Climate Threats & Intimidation; Climate Funding; Global Warming’s Global Governance; Amazon and Rainforests; Warming Activists Stuck in Polar Ice; Congressional Cap-and-Trade Bill; Record Cold Temps; Lack of Warming; Report on Obama Admin. Climate Report; Hurricanes; Climate Astrology; Gore Effect;]

Climate Depot Arctic Fact Sheet (for additional updates on the Arctic see new articles tagged Arctic)

Arctic Ice Changes in past 3 years due to ‘shifting winds’The Star Canada – July 28, 2009 – Excerpt: Oceanographer and Arctic researcher Jane Eert said “dramatic [Arctic ice] changes in the past three years are the result of shifting winds.” “Enormous amounts of ice have ‘been exported from the Arctic,’ driven by winds that are shifting,” according to Eert. Eert noted that climate models have many woes. “The guys who are running the long-term climate models have a tough problem,” Eert says. “They’re looking at really long time scales, and as result they can’t look at a lot of details for each year. In order to get the results before you die, you have to fudge some things. And what they fudge is the small-scale stuff. But it turns out that probably the small-scale stuff is important and fudging it gives you wrong answers.” [...] Jane Eert is science coordinator of the Three Oceans Project, a federal study of Canada’s Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. [...] A physical oceanographer, Eert leads the scientific team aboard The Louis. It’s her 10th voyage on the ship since 1999. Between 10 and 15 per cent of the Arctic Ocean is what Eert calls a data hole. It will take years’ more research to fill it in with solid information, she adds. After years of reports that vast areas of Arctic ice are melting as the seawater below, and air above, warm up, scientists have discovered that dramatic changes in the past three years are the result of shifting winds, perhaps caused by climate change. Enormous amounts of ice have “been exported from the Arctic,” driven by winds that are shifting as the climate changes, which pushed the ice into ocean currents that delivered it to the North Atlantic, Eert says. “The multi-year ice in the polar pack didn’t melt in the Arctic Ocean,” she says. “It moved out and what’s left in the Arctic is thinner than it was.” That doesn’t mean some Arctic ice isn’t disappearing altogether, just that the process is not as simple as some reports suggest, Eert says. Old ice that has shifted south from Greenland may have a counter-effect on the climate, which is just one of the many pieces of a very complex jigsaw puzzle that scientists are trying to piece together as they attempt to predict the effects of global warming.

North Pole expedition finds ‘ice 100% thicker than expected’ – April 28, 2009Excerpt: Surprising results – In Canada, “Polar 5″, a research aircraft (see 27 hi-res pictures), has ended its recent Arctic expedition today. During the flight, scientists were measuring the ice thickness in regions that have never been overflown before. The result: the sea ice is apparently thicker than the scientists had suspected. Under normal conditions, the ice is formed within two years and ends up being slightly above 2 meters of thickness. “Here, the thickness was as high as four meters,” said the spokesperson for the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. According to the scientists, this conclusion seems to contradict the warming of the ocean water.

Danish Meteorological Institute records show: No Arctic Warming Since 1958! – ‘Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now’ – May 13, 2009 – Excerpt: The Danish Meteorological Institute has records going back to 1958 and GISSTEMP has even longer records. Below is a visual comparison of DMI 1958 Arctic temperatures vs. 2009, showing that temperatures have hardly changed since the start of their record.[...] Below is an overlay directly showing that 2009 temperatures (green) are similar to 1958 (red) and close to the mean. Temperatures have warmed since the start of the satellite record, but they cooled even more between 1940 and 1980. Everyone (including NSIDC) quietly acknowledges that most of the Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now – so they shift the warming argument to the Alaska side. However, that argument also has problems. Alaska temperatures rose at the positive PDO shift in 1977, and have cooled again with the recent negative PDO shift – as seen below. 2008 was notable in that Alaska glaciers started to increase in size.

Senate Report on Arctic & Polar Bears: Scientists and Recent Studies Cast Challenge Man-Made Melting Of Arctic Claims – Jan. 30, 2008

New Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Arctic COOLING Over last 1500 years! – Feb 5, 2008 – Published in Climate Dynamics on 30 January 2008

New Arctic Study published in Climate Dynamics, and the work was conducted by Håkan Grudd of Stockholm University’s Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology – Published online: 30 January 2008 – Excerpt: “The late-twentieth century is not exceptionally warm in the new Torneträsk record: On decadal-to-century timescales, periods around AD 750, 1000, 1400, and 1750 were all equally warm, or warmer. The warmest summers in this new reconstruction occur in a 200-year period centred on AD 1000. A ‘Medieval Warm Period’ is supported by other paleoclimate evidence from northern Fennoscandia, although the new tree-ring evidence from Tornetraäsk suggests that this period was much warmer than previously recognised.” < > “The new Torneträsk summer temperature reconstruction shows a trend of -0.3°C over the last 1,500 years.” Paper available here: & Full Paper (pdf) available here:

UK Met Office: Arctic Ice Changes ‘Could Easily be Due to Natural Fluctuations in the Weather’ – Feb. 11, 2009 – Excerpt: The scientists at the UK Met Office lamented the “recent ‘apocalyptic predictions’ about Arctic ice melt,” according to the UK Guardian newspaper. Dr. Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, warned that “there is little evidence to support claims that Arctic ice has reached a tipping point and could disappear within a decade or so,” according to the UK Guardian. “The record-breaking losses in the past couple of years could easily be due to natural fluctuations in the weather, with summer ice increasing again over the next few years,” Pope explained. Pope’s Arctic ice view echoes the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report on Arctic sea ice and polar bears. The January 20, 2008, report featured “the latest peer-reviewed science detailing the natural causes of recent Arctic ice changes.” Climate researcher Dr. Peter Stott echoed Pope, warning that “dramatic predictions of accelerating temperature rise and sea ice decline, based on a few readings, could backfire when natural variability swings the other way and the trends seem to reverse,” the paper reported. “It just confuses people,” Stott added. Despite these attacks on the claims of their fellow scientists and the media, both Pope and Stott continue to believe that man-made global warming is real and should be addressed, in contrast to a growing number of scientists who now believe “the ­science has, quite simply, gone awry.”

A NASA study published in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters on October 4, 2007 found “unusual winds” in the Arctic blew “older thicker” ice to warmer southern waters. Despite the media’s hyping of global warming, Ignatius Rigor, a co-author of the NASA study, explained, “While the total [Arctic] area of ice cover in recent winters has remained about the same, during the past two years an increased amount of older, thicker perennial sea ice was swept by winds out of the Arctic Ocean into the Greenland Sea. What grew in its place in the winters between 2005 and 2007 was a thin veneer of first-year sea ice, which simply has less mass to survive the summer melt.” [...] “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” said Son Nghiem of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and leader of the study. (LINK)

A November 2007 peer-reviewed study in the journal Nature found natural cause for rapid Arctic warming. Excerpt: [The study] identifies a natural, cyclical flow of atmospheric energy around the Arctic Circle. A team of researchers, led by Rune Graversen of Stockholm University, conclude this energy flow may be responsible for the majority of recent Arctic warming. The study specifically rules out global warming or albedo changes from snow and ice loss as the cause, due to the “vertical structure” of the warming … the observed warming has been much too weak near the ground, and too high in the stratosphere and upper troposphere. This study follows hot on the heels of research by NASA, which identified “unusual winds” for rapid Arctic ice retreat. The wind patterns, set up by atmospheric conditions from the Arctic Oscillation, began rapidly pushing ice into the Transpolar Drift Stream, a current which quickly sped the ice into warmer waters. A second NASA team, using data from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite, recently concluded that changes in the Arctic Oscillation were, “mostly decadal in nature,” rather than driven by global warming. (LINK) & (LINK) & (LINK)

A January 2008 study in the peer-reviewed journal Science found North Atlantic warming tied to natural variability. Excerpt: A Duke University-led analysis of available records shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean’s surface waters warmed in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000, the change was not uniform. In fact, the sub-polar regions cooled at the same time that subtropical and tropical waters warmed. This striking pattern can be explained largely by the influence of a natural and cyclical wind circulation pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), wrote authors of a study published Thursday, January 3 in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. Winds that power the NAO are driven by atmospheric pressure differences between areas around Iceland and the Azores. “The winds have a tremendous impact on the underlying ocean,” said Susan Lozier, a professor of physical oceanography at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences who is the study’s first author. [...] “It is premature to conclusively attribute these regional patterns of heat gain to greenhouse warming,” they wrote. (LINK)

A November 2007 peer-reviewed study conducted by a team of NASA and university experts found cyclical changes in ocean currents impacting the Arctic. Excerpt: “Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming,” said James Morison of the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center Applied Physics Laboratory in Seattle, according to a November 13, 2007 NASA release. Morison led the team of scientists using data from an Earth-observing satellite and from deep-sea pressure gauges to monitor Arctic Ocean circulation from 2002 to 2006. Excerpt: A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming. [...] The team of scientists found a 10-millibar decrease in water pressure at the bottom of the ocean at the North Pole between 2002 and 2006, equal to removing the weight of four inches of water from the ocean. The distribution and size of the decrease suggest that Arctic Ocean circulation changed from the counterclockwise pattern it exhibited in the 1990s to the clockwise pattern that was dominant prior to 1990. Reporting in Geophysical Research Letters, the authors attribute the reversal to a weakened Arctic Oscillation, a major atmospheric circulation pattern in the northern hemisphere. The weakening reduced the salinity of the upper ocean near the North Pole, decreasing its weight and changing its circulation. [...] “While some 1990s climate trends, such as declines in Arctic sea ice extent, have continued, these results suggest at least for the ‘wet’ part of the Arctic – the Arctic Ocean – circulation reverted to conditions like those prevalent before the 1990s,” Morison added. (LINK)

NASA Study Blames Natural High Pressure Leading to More Sunny Days for Arctic Ice Reduction Excerpt: But experts say it was the peculiar weather Mother Nature offered up last summer – whatever caused it – that is largely to blame for the recent unusual events. There was a high-pressure system that sat over the Arctic for much of the summer. It shooed away clouds, leaving the sun alone to beat down. That created higher ocean temperatures, which in turn accelerated the melt. Son Nghiem, who led that NASA study on sea ice released this week, also pointed to unusual winds, which compressed sea ice, pushing it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and into warmer water where melting happened more quickly. (LINK)

A July 2007 analysis of peer-reviewed literature thoroughly debunks fears of Greenland and the Arctic melting and predictions of a frightening sea level rise. Excerpt: “Research in 2006 found that Greenland has been warming since the 1880s, but since 1955, temperature averages at Greenland stations have been colder than the period between 1881-1955. A 2006 study found Greenland has cooled since the 1930s and 1940s, with 1941 being the warmest year on record. Another 2006 study concluded Greenland was as warm or warmer in the 1930s and 40s and the rate of warming from 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than the warming from 1995-2005. One 2005 study found Greenland gaining ice in the interior higher elevations and thinning ice at the lower elevations. In addition, the often media promoted fears of Greenland’s ice completely melting and a subsequent catastrophic sea level rise are directly at odds with the latest scientific studies.” [See July 30, 2007 Report – Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt – (LINK)]

In September 2007, it was announced that a soon to be released survey finds Polar Bear population rising in warmer part of the Arctic. Excerpt: Fears that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will die off in the next 50 years are overblown, says [Arctic biologist] Mitchell Taylor, the Government of Nunavut’s director of wildlife research. “I think it’s naïve and presumptuous,” Taylor said. [...] The Government of Nunavut is conducting a study of the [southern less ice region of the] Davis Strait bear population. Results of the study won’t be released until 2008, but Taylor says it appears there are some 3,000 bears in an area – a big jump from the current estimate of about 850 bears. “That’s not theory. That’s not based on a model. That’s observation of reality,” he says. And despite the fact that some of the most dramatic changes to sea ice are seen in seasonal ice areas such as Davis Strait, seven or eight of the bears measured and weighed for the study this summer are among the biggest on record, Taylor said. “Davis Strait is crawling with polar bears. It’s not safe to camp there. They’re fat. The mothers have cubs. The cubs are in good shape,” Taylor said, according to a September 14, 2007 article. (LINK)

In August 2007 peer-reviewed study finds global warming over last century linked to natural causes: Published in Geophysical Research Letters: Excerpt: “Tsonis et al. investigate the collective behavior of known climate cycles such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, and the North Pacific Oscillation. By studying the last 100 years of these cycles’ patterns, they find that the systems synchronized several times. Further, in cases where the synchronous state was followed by an increase in the coupling strength among the cycles, the synchronous state was destroyed. Then a new climate state emerged, associated with global temperature changes and El Niño/Southern Oscillation variability. The authors show that this mechanism explains all global temperature tendency changes and El Niño variability in the 20th century.” Authors: Anastasios A. Tsonis, Kyle Swanson, and Sergey Kravtsov: Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. See August 2, 2007 Science Daily – “Synchronized Chaos: Mechanisms For Major Climate Shifts” (LINK)

According to a 2005 peer-reviewed study in Geophysical Research Letters by astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, solar irradiance appears to be the key to Arctic temperatures. The study found Arctic temperatures follow the pattern of increasing or decreasing energy received from the sun. Excerpt: Solar forcing explains well over 75% of the variance for the decadally-smoothed Arctic annual-mean or spring SATs (surface air temperatures). [...] In contrast, a CO2-dominated forcing of Arctic SATs is inconsistent with both the large multidecadal warming and cooling signals and the similar amplitude of warming trends between cold (winter) and relatively warmer (spring and autumn) seasons found in the Arctic-wide SAT records. (LINK)

Arctic Research Scientist Explains Natural Climate factors impacting Arctic Ice – Igor Polyakov at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska - Excerpt: October 2007: “One prominent researcher, Igor Polyakov at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, points out that pulses of unusually warm water have been entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic, which several years later are seen in the ocean north of Siberia. These pulses of water are helping to heat the upper Arctic Ocean, contributing to summer ice melt and helping to reduce winter ice growth. Another scientist, Koji Shimada of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, reports evidence of changes in ocean circulation in the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean. Through a complex interaction with declining sea ice, warm water entering the Arctic Ocean through Bering Strait in summer is being shunted from the Alaskan coast into the Arctic Ocean, where it fosters further ice loss. Many questions still remain to be answered, but these changes in ocean circulation may be important keys for understanding the observed loss of Arctic sea ice.”

UK Scientist details Natural causes of Arctic ice changes – By UK Professor Emeritus of Biogeography Philip Stott of the University of London – Excerpt: In the media, we hear a great deal about ‘global warming’, melting ice, and bereft polar bears and penguins. But, as you can guess, things are not quite so straightforward. Indeed, some scientists believe that the decline in the Arctic ice must be put down to regional and local events, and not to world average changes. Possible factors include warm water intrusions from the Pacific Ocean, and more recently from the Atlantic Ocean; undersea volcanic activity, particularly on the Gakkel Ridge, where a major eruption took place in 1999; and, albedo alterations brought about by soot pollution and the spread of tundra shrubs. Interestingly, similar Arctic ‘warmings’ have taken place before, and are recorded for the 1800s, for the 1930s, and for the 1950s. Current warming in Greenland does not appear to have reached the levels of these earlier events. Moreover, recent work has shown that particulate pollution from mid-latitudes can aggravate warming in the Arctic. [...] Yet, with global cooling now seemingly underway, the media appear to be even more desperate than usual to continue to hype up ‘global warming’, so expect lots more about the Arctic decline, drowning polar bears, and melting ‘tipping points’ to keep us plebs in thrall. You should, however, take it all with a pinch of oceanic salt. The reality is a great deal more subtle and far more complex, and I suspect that, in truth, we have very little notion of what is actually happening.

Not Global Warming: Winds are Dominant Cause of Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Losses – October 3, 2008 – Excerpt: Two new studies summarised in a news article in Science magazine point to wind-induced circulation changes in the ocean as the dominant cause of the recent ice losses through the glaciers draining both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, not ‘global warming.’ The two stuides referred to are: ‘Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters’ by Holland et al, published in Nature Geoscience. The Abstract states: Observations over the past decades show a rapid acceleration of several outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica1. One of the largest changes is a sudden switch of Jakobshavn Isbræ, a large outlet glacier feeding a deep-ocean fjord on Greenland’s west coast, from slow thickening to rapid thinning2 in 1997, associated with a doubling in glacier velocity3. Suggested explanations for the speed-up of Jakobshavn Isbræ include increased lubrication of the ice–bedrock interface as more meltwater has drained to the glacier bed during recent warmer summers4 and weakening and break-up of the floating ice tongue that buttressed the glacier5. Here we present hydrographic data that show a sudden increase in subsurface ocean temperature in 1997 along the entire west coast of Greenland, suggesting that the changes in Jakobshavn Isbræ were instead triggered by the arrival of relatively warm water originating from the Irminger Sea near Iceland. We trace these oceanic changes back to changes in the atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic region. We conclude that the prediction of future rapid dynamic responses of other outlet glaciers to climate change will require an improved understanding of the effect of changes in regional ocean and atmosphere circulation on the delivery of warm subsurface waters to the periphery of the ice sheets.

Reuters Spins: Global Warming causes ‘Antarctic winter ice gets bigger’ while Arctic Shrinks due to Global WarmingExcerpt: The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has grown in recent Septembers in what could be an unusual side-effect of global warming, experts said on Friday. In the southern hemisphere winter, when emperor penguins huddle together against the biting cold, ice on the sea around Antarctica has been increasing since the late 1970s, perhaps because climate change means shifts in winds, sea currents or snowfall. At the other end of the planet, Arctic sea ice is now close to matching a September 2007 record low at the tail end of the northern summer in a threat to the hunting lifestyles of indigenous peoples and creatures such as polar bears. “The Antarctic wintertime ice extent increased…at a rate of 0.6 percent per decade” from 1979-2006, said Donald Cavalieri, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At 19 million sq kms (7.34 million sq mile), it is still slightly below records from the early 1970s of 20 million, he said. The average year-round ice extent has risen too. Some climate sceptics point to the differing trends at the poles as a sign that worries about climate change are exaggerated.

[Marc Morano Note: Reuters appears to have missed this inconvenient study: A February 2007 study reveals Antarctica is not following predicted global warming models (“Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions”) – February 15, 2007 – See: — Plus for the real story on Antarctica see: U.S. Senate Report: Media Hype on ‘Melting’ Antarctic Ignores Record Ice Growth – March 27, 2008 – and U.S. Senate Report on Arctic Ice – January 30, 2008 ]

Meteorologist Craig James Debunks Myths about Northwest Passage Excerpt: The headline in this press release from the European Space Agency reads “Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in History.” (LINK) In history! That sounds like a long time. However, when you read the article you find “history” only goes back to 28 years, to 1979. That is when satellites began monitoring Arctic Sea ice. The article also says “the Northwest Passage – a long-sought short cut between Europe and Asia that has been historically impassable.” I guess these people flunked history class. It has been open several times in history without ice breakers. (LINK) The first known successful navigation by ship was in 1905. This is all very similar to the story on the NBC Nightly News Friday, 14 September 2007 where the story on water levels in Lake Superior never mentioned that the lowest recorded water level on the lake occurred in March and April 1926, when the lake was about 5 inches lower than it is now. Instead, NBC interviewed several people who could never remember seeing it this low and blamed most of the problem on global warming. Never mind that the area has seen below normal precipitation for several years and for most of this year has been classified as being in an extreme to exceptional drought. (LINK)

History of Northwest Passage – Navigated in 1905 and multiple times in 1940s (Note: 80% of man-made CO2 came after 1940) Excerpt: 2. ROALD AMUNDSEN: First Navigation by Ship 1905: In mid August, Amundsen sailed from Gjøahaven (today: Gjoa Haven, Nunavut) in the vessel Gjøa (LINK) [...] On August 26 they encountered a ship bearing down on them from the west, and with that they were through the passage. From Amundsen’s diary: The North West Passage was done. My boyhood dream – at that moment it was accomplished. A strange feeling welled up in my throat; I was somewhat over-strained and worn – it was weakness in me – but I felt tears in my eyes. ‘Vessel in sight’ … Vessel in sight. 3. ST. ROCH: First West-East Crossing 1940-1942: The St. Roch was given the task of demonstrating Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic. It was ordered to sail from Vancouver to Halifax by way of the Northwest Passage. The St. Roch left Vancouver in June 1940 and on October 11, 1942, it docked at Halifax – the first ship to travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the Northwest Passage. The journey had taken almost 28 months. 4. ST. ROCH: Northern Deep-Water Route (East-West) 1944: The St. Roch was the first ship to travel the Northwest Passage through the northern, deep-water route and the first to sail the Passage in both directions. (LINK)

In a 2005 study published in the Journal of Climate, Brian Hartmann and Gerd Wendler linked the 1976 Pacific climate shift to a very significant one-time shift upward in Alaskan temperatures.

According to a 2003 study by Arctic scientist Igor Polyakov, the warmest period in the Arctic during the 20th Century was the late 1930s through early 1940s. Excerpt: Our results suggest that the decadal AO (Arctic Oscillation) and multidecadal LFO (low-frequency oscillation) drive large amplitude natural variability in the Arctic making detection of possible long-term trends induced by greenhouse gas warming most difficult. (LINK)

New analysis finds Arctic ice reduction may be due to undersea volcanoes – June 26, 2008

Excerpt: Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday. The eruptions – as big as the one that buried Pompei – took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia. Scientists suspected even at the time that a simultaneous series of earthquakes were linked to these volcanic spasms. [...] Is it not possible that these volcanic eruptions – going back to at least 1999 – may have played a part in whatever melting there has been of the Greenland and Arctic ice sheets? [...] But isn’t it funny how not one word of this possibility was ever mentioned in the original article? Why is that?

Media Ignores Natural causes of Arctic Ice changes – By Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

You knew it was coming. The alarmists and media have been frustrated in their efforts to report global warming evidence as nature has refused to cooperate. Temperatures have been declining for going on 7 years (accelerated this year) even as CO2 increased 3.5%. After a record low arctic ice extent last year, a cold winter brought Total Northern Hemisphere snow and ice cover to record high levels in January and arctic ice back to near normal. Snow and cold were replacing heat and drought in the news. They had to resort to blaming snowmelt and spring rain flooding and spring tornadoes and the annual western wildfires on global warming. [...] Natural warming and cooling cycles in the Atlantic and Pacific were the real drivers for the cyclical changes in arctic ice over the centuries (as we have shown most recently here.) [...] The drop off this month occurred after a breakdown of the spring and summer pattern which caused shifts in the wind flows that broke up more thin ice than normal even though the air was cold. But the sun is vanishing and the air growing colder and the melting is slowing. See this plot from the University of Illinois Cryosphere which monitors arctic ice. Note the blip up at the end indicating a slowing of the melt short of 2007.

Was There Less Arctic Ice in 1932?

Excerpt: Arctic Becomes an Island for the first time in human history“…really??? On Dec 5, 1932, The New York Times reports the “feat, accomplished for the first time” of circumnavigation of Franz Josef Land (actually, an Arctic archipelago). The same expedition (lead by a Professor N.N. Subkov) was also described in March 1933 in the pages of Nature. Notably, in the words of the NYT, that circumnavigation had been “heretofore regarded as impossible“. It actually took just 34 days, from Aug 17. It was warm enough for the “Eva” and “Liv” islands to be recognized as one, joined by “a low stretch of land” and thereby renamed “Evaliv”. Fast forward to 2008. Cryosphere Today shows two tongues of ice still clinging to Franz Josef Land as of Aug 31. Prof. Subkov would not have been so lucky this time around.

Report: Arctic ‘ice level in the 1920′s, 30′s and early 40′s was at a similar low level’ of today – September 10th, 2008

Excerpt: The ice level in the 1920′s, 30′s and early 40′s was at a similar low level. The St. Roch went easily through the Northern route of the NW passage which is closed this year and that was in 1944. The HBC had many other boats freely navigating the southern route of the NW Passage. Gjoa Haven(1930) and Cambridge Bay(1929) pictures showing low ice level. A lot more info in that link. This little boat the Aklavik also made it through the NW Passage in 1937. Nascopie and Aklavik meet from East and West in 1937. The Nascopie commonly travelled through the passage in the 30′s. This evidence is ignored by science, and it shows the conditions in the Arctic in the thirties were similar to today. And then in the late 40′s the Arctic froze up and the HBC shut some of their posts due to the increased ice. What is called science has become an embarrassment.

National Snow and Ice Data Center admits Arctic ice melts from the “bottom”?

Excerpt: An admission from the alarmists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center: The buoy data have indicated increased amounts of melt on the underside of the ice cover in recent years; bottom melt last year was particularly extreme. …In recent days, the buoys have indicated sub-freezing temperatures with surface melt coming to an end; however, bottom melt will continue for at least two to three more weeks and the ice extent decline, while slowing, will also continue. Regarding the credibility of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, see their laughable page entitled Accuracy of science in Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth: TED: I think An Inconvenient Truth does an excellent job of outlining the science behind global warming and the challenges society faces in the coming century because of it. … Where can I read more scientific reaction to the movie, especially about aspects of the science that you don’t cover here? WALT: RealClimate.org, a non-profit, non-governmental site run by scientists, has a good entry on the movie.

Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean – August 14, 2008 – By Physicist Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, the former director of both University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center who has twice been named in “1000 Most Cited Scientists.”

Excerpt: As mentioned earlier, the present rapid retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, particularly in 2007, is caused by the inflow of the warm North Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean and the effects of winds. Figures 12a and 12b show results of the ocean monitoring effort by an international group, led by the International Arctic Research Center. This warm water is melting sea ice from the bottom. The resulting thin ice tends to break up easily by stormy water and is easily forced to flow by winds; nothing can move sea ice (which covers an area of the United States) in the Arctic Ocean, if it is a single plate. This was exactly what happened in the fall of 2007, resulting in a large recession of sea ice toward the Canadian side (some expected further shrinking in 2008, but that is unlikely). It was shown by Polyakov (2006) that this inflow is a quasi-periodic phenomenon, as shown in Figure 12c. Figure 12a: Inflow of warm North Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean (Polyakov, 2006). 36 Figure 12b: Changes of seawater temperature at two locations in the Arctic Ocean. The warm water from the North Atlantic Ocean is flowing deeply into the Arctic Ocean (Polyakov et al., 2007). Figure 12c: Air temperature and various conditions of the Arctic Ocean between 1895 and 2000 (Polyakov et al., 2008). [...] Our conclusion at the present time is that much of the prominent continental Arctic warming and cooling in Greenland during the last half of the last century is due to natural changes, perhaps to multi-decadal oscillations like the Arctic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the El Niño. This trend is shown schematically in Figure 1c as positive and negative fluctuations. If this is indeed the case, the IPCC Report is incorrect again in stating that the warming after 1975 is particularly caused by the greenhouse effect. The steep increase of the temperature after 1975 is likely to be a combined effect of the linear change and the oscillatory change, which had been positive during the recent few decades. In any case, this comparison gave us a new way to use GCM results to identify natural changes of unknown causes. [...] Unfortunately, at this time, many studies are focused only on climate change after 1975, because satellite data have become so readily available. A study of climate change based on satellite data is a sort of “instant” climatology. Based on satellite data, it is often reported that climate change is “unprecedented.” For example, although there are a number of reports on the condition of ice in Greenland these days, implying unprecedented changes, Chylek et al. (2006, 2007) reported that present changes of the Greenland ice sheet are smaller than changes observed during the 1920-1940 period.

Arctic Scare! AP’s Borenstein out of control (again) – Warns of ‘Tipping Point’ – Quotes James Hansen, Bob Corell & a Greenpeace ‘scientist’ – August 28, 2008

Excerpt: More ominous signs Wednesday have scientists saying that a global warming “tipping point” in the Arctic seems to be happening before their eyes: Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is at its second lowest level in about 30 years. [...] Five climate scientists, four of them specialists on the Arctic, told The Associated Press that it is fair to call what is happening in the Arctic a “tipping point.” NASA scientist James Hansen, who sounded the alarm about global warming 20 years ago before Congress, said the sea ice melt “is the best current example” of that. [...] On top of that, researchers were investigating “alarming” reports in the last few days of the release of methane from long frozen Arctic waters, possibly from the warming of the sea, said Greenpeace climate scientist Bill Hare, who was attending a climate conference in Ghana.

[Marc Morano Rebuttal to AP Reporter Seth Borenstein’s Shoddy and Incomplete Arctic Article – (No surprise, Borenstein has a woeful climate reporting history – see below) Note: Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein pulled out all the gadgets for this comical article on Arctic sea ice dropping to ‘record level’. He got to use the phrase “tipping point” , he quoted James Hansen and Greenpeace ‘climate scientist’ Bill Hare (Greenpeace International describes Hare as it’s “Climate Policy Director”) Borenstein’s citation of Bob Corell as a neutral researcher completely ignores the fact that Corell is an environmental activist who works for Teresa Heinz Kerry’s The Heinz Center, (yes the same ones who gave Hansen $250,000 award before Hansen endorsed Teresa Heinz Kerry’s husband John Kerry for prez in 2004) Corell was embarrassed in 2007 by a his unsupportable claims about Greenland. Corell’s assertion in a September 8, 2007 UK Guardian article that earthquakes triggered by melting ice are increasing in Greenland was rebuffed by University of North Carolina’s Jose Rial. Rial is a prominent climatologist/seismologist working on glacial seismic activity in Greenland. Corell’s erroneous claim prompted Rial to take the unusual step of writing a letter to the UK Guardian. “I also know that there is no evidence to suggest that these quakes ‘are happening far faster than ever anticipated’ [as Corell claimed,"] wrote Rial in a September 13 letter. Rial criticized the newspaper for presenting a ‘falling-sky’ alarmist perspective and added that “it will take years of continued surveying to know whether anything here [in Greenland] is ‘accelerating’ towards catastrophe, as the article [featuring Corell] claims.” See: Rial’s critique of Corell here]

More Borenstein: AP’s Borenstein at it again: Claims Greenland ice crack result of AGW despite reporting it is ‘normal’ – [Note: For real story on Greenland and how temperatures there have actually COOLED or stayed the same since the late 1930′s and 40′s before 80% of man-made CO2 was released see here: Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt – July 2007 -]

1) Borenstein claim: In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said Thursday.

2) But Borenstein does at least reveal a counter view of the issue in the article: Excerpt: University of Colorado professor Konrad Steffen, who returned from Greenland Wednesday and has studied the Petermann glacier in the past, said that what Box saw is not too different from what he saw in the 1990s: “The crack is not alarming… I would say it is normal.”

3) But, Borenstein, cannot let Steffen’s comment that the ice crack is “normal” go unchallenged so he plays the old “consistent with” climate change game.

4) Borenstein: “Scientists don’t like to attribute single events to global warming, but often say such events fit a pattern.”

Borenstein’s Long History: AP’s Seth Borenstein has a long history of attempting to promote climate hysteria. [To read more about Borenstein’s woeful reporting see: AP INCORRECTLY CLAIMS SCIENTISTS PRAISE GORE’S MOVIE – - Scientists Counter Computer Model Sea Level Rise Fears – - Media Hype on ‘Melting’ Antarctic Ignores Record Ice Growth ]