Record winter ice cover in Antarctica..Arctic Sea ice increasing?
WINTER sea ice cover in the Antarctic has grown to its largest extent since satellite records began in the late 1970s, defying most climate models and muddying the waters of the global warming debate.
The latest data from NASA’s satellites shows the winter sea ice cover around the frozen continent reached a record 19.47 million sq km last month. That beats last winter’s 19.44 million sq km — itself a record.
According to NASA, it is 3.6 per cent higher than the average maximum between 1981 and 2010, with the sea ice cover in Antarctica growing at 1.5 per cent a decade.
The data runs contrary to the projections of many climate-change models. It also contrasts with observations of this year’s Arctic summer minimum sea ice extent, which America’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre says was about 30 per cent below levels seen in the early 1980s.
Scientists appear unable to definitively explain the phenomenon, but believe increasingly strong winds in Antarctica and an increase in rain and snow on the Southern Ocean are the most likely factors.
Some fear the findings may fuel climate-change scepticism, given that sea ice is said to be the “canary in the coalmine” of global warming.
A growing body of research suggests the main reason for the increase in Antarctic sea ice is an increase in the force of polar winds. It shoves the sea ice together, causing ridging and creating thicker, longer lasting ice and promoting sea ice growth.
There appears to be no definitive explanation for the increased wind intensity, although research papers have blamed everything from the ozone hole and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to natural variations.
The University of Illinois compiles daily data of the extent of the Arctic sea ice. The data is available for any day from 1980 to the present; and allows a direct comparison between the extent of the Arctic sea ice on any two days during this period.
The area of Arctic ice for each month from 2002 to today can also be seen on a website, produced by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. As shown in the graph below, during the last 10 years there has been decreases in the extent of Arctic sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere summer. However, the current NH summer season shows a reversal in this trend.
Date for the Arctic sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere summer shows that 2012 had lowest extent of the ice (in recent times), followed by 2007 (second), 2011 (third), and 2008 (fourth). However, for 2013 the Arctic ice sheet increased considerably and is now (October 2013) back to the levels of the first decade of 2000.
Time will tell whether this trend towards more ice in the Arctic will continue with its implications for among other things navigation.
but its not cooling and the world hasnt paused to warming!!..its the wind..or the rain..or the oceans..or something..
“appears to be no definitive explanation for the increased wind intensity, although research papers have blamed everything from the ozone hole and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to natural variations”
they blame the wind but dont know how..their models are incorrect and not reliable..the antarctica should be shrinking with all this “warming”..but its not..its increasing and has been for 30 years..
it will be embarrassing for someone when the arctic stars to regain and break ice covering records..what will be the excuse then? cooling is warming now? dont laugh..that will be next..