Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Space Weather and Polar Sea Ice

The new 'season' of sun spots, Cycle 24, has had a very slow start, but things seem better in 2010. Last year, for two thirds of the time, the sun was spotless; this year only two days of the 49 so far have had no sun spots. There are two, probably three, there now, and the 10cm radio emission flux density got to 94 and is now about 87 (the range is 64 to 267). So emerging, but not fully there. The low gauss reading is strange and not comforting.

Up in the Northern Ocean, the sea ice is displaying the same pattern from the last three years. The sea ice is perfectly normal in area and extent in most of the surrounding seas and over the North Pole, but abnormal in the areas which front on the North Atlantic; that is, the seas between Greenland and Labrador, between Greenland and Norway and between Norway and Novaya Zemlya are down just a bit, while the seas around between Alaska Canada and Eastern Siberia are at or above normal. All in all the sea ice area of the Northern Ocean is down about 460,000 square kilometers from the 1979-to-2000 'normal', an area about the size of Sweden.

I had wondered if there had been a change in warm sea currents which would account for this pattern of ice. Huh, guess what?

Warmer water transported to the Greenland fjords via the change in sea currents is probably responsible for the more rapid seaward flow of the glaciers in Greenland too. So, is the change in the sea currents a normal cycle change or the result of more man made CO2 in the air? Unknown at this point; but the truth here removes the much heralded (with alarm, as usual) rapid retreat of the sea faces of Greenland glaciers from direct contact with supposedly more mankind heated air. It's not primarily the air that is melting the Greenland glaciers, it was and is the sea water they touch.

There were reports of Greenland warming and glacier melting there beginning in the 20s as well, so I suspect that the change in sea currents is both cyclical and natural. Since there is absolutely nothing about the current climate flux to be alarmed about (except its toxic touch on some scientists), we can sit back and let the scientists do their jobs and tell us if the currents have changed before in a recognizable pattern.

UPDATE: Here is the other side making a bold prediction about Northern sea ice. This guy visited the very places where changing sea currents have caused less ice area and wildly extrapolates from that to say all Northern sea ice will melt away between 2013 and 2130.
Unfreakin'likely. I have a standing bet ($100) with any WTB that, according to the AMSR-E satellite, Summer sea ice minimum extent in the Northern Ocean on September 20 will never be below 3.25 million square kilometers (about the size of India). No one has ever taken me up on my bets, including the last two fools to make this prediction.

Additionally, Southern sea ice has been increasing over the past three decades (although it is not going up as fast there as the Northern sea ice has been going down) and the IPCC had miscalculated that rise by 50%. The IPCC said it was increasing at a less rapid rate than reality. Does every error by the IPCC support more alarming news about global warming? Why yes, all of the many errors do. What are the odds that, in an unbiased system, each and every error would supports Warmie true beliefs? Astronomical, I think.

UPDATE 2: I need to read more closely. Mr Barber said that the Northern Ocean will be ice free during the WINTER perhaps in three years but certainly within 20. This is madness--the northern sea ice peaks in March each year with just under an area the size of Russia. The chances of all that ice going away within years to decades, just from the current rise in diffuse CO2 in the atmosphere, are nil. But at least the trend lines have been down in the north. Barber says:
We expect it will happen much faster than that, much earlier than that, somewhere between 2013 and 2030 are our estimates right now. So it's much faster than what we would expect to happen. That can be said for southern climates as well. (Emphasis added).

But the trend line for southern climates' sea ice is up. Southern sea ice has been increasing around Antarctica during the 3 decades of satellite observation. It's going to rapidly disappear too? The guy is raving. Canada has just wasted $156 million.


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