Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Don't Look Now
Since the advent of commercial satellites in the late 70s, we have opened up new vistas for science. We can see and measure the extent of the sea ice in the Arctic and around Antarctica, for example, as well as have a comprehensive, untainted by poor siting, record of global temperatures from which an average can be computed. The fly in the ointment is that the record is very, very short. We do not know if what has been happening over the past 30 to 40 years is unprecedented and scary or merely part of a longer term, sine wave like, natural variability. That said, it looks like the Arctic might have a huge 2007 like sea ice melt off this summer--as bad or worse than 2007, which will fuel the Warmie doomsayers' efforts to destroy our economy for years to come. In 2007, the sea ice of the Northern Ocean didn't melt in place; winds and currents broke it up and sent it south down along the coast of Greenland to where it melted in warmer seas out of the Arctic circle. I can't seem to find out if that is happening now, but, despite this ignorance, I'm predicting the AMSR-E sea ice extent on September 20, 2011 will be just above 2007 but below last year's, right around 4.92 million square kilometers.