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An Inconvenient Truth: Few Signs Of Global Warming In Antarctica

August 29, 2016

By Paul Homewood 

 

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http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/27/an-inconvenient-truth-few-signs-of-global-warming-in-antarctica/

 

From the Daily Caller:

 

Antarctica has confounded scientists, defying the dire predictions of scientists the South Pole would shrink and exacerbate sea level rise in the coming decades.

Climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice would shrink as the world warmed, and that warming would boost snowfall over the southern continent. Neither of those predictions have panned out, and now scientists say “natural variability” is overwhelming human-induced warming.

“Truth is, the science is complex, and that in most places and with most events, natural variability still plays a dominant role, and undoubtedly will continue to do so,” Chip Knappenberger, a climate scientist with the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This applies to goings-on in Antarctica as well as in Louisiana,” Knappenberger said, referring to the recent flooding in Louisiana activists have already blamed global warming for.

What recent studies have shown is that natural variability in the climate system plays a big role in the South Pole, and there are few signs of man-made global warming in Antarctica.

 

Shouldn’t There Be More Snow? 

Antarctica is a tricky topic for scientists. It has a long history of chaotic weather and dramatic changes in its ice sheet, and scientists are realizing just how difficult it is to predict future behavior down under.

A recent study seemed to sum up what Knappenberger said should be the “consensus” of mainstream scientists: global warming has exerted little to no detectable influence in Antarctica. 

Scientists with Columbia University’s Earth Institute found there’s been little change in Antarctica’s annual snowfall, which flies in the face of what climate models predicted would happen as the planet warmed. They blamed strong “natural variability” for the models’ failures.

“This new paper affirms these other recent findings showing that the expected signal from climate change has been struggling to rise above the noise of natural variability over recent decades, but expects the signal to eventually become noticeable,” Knappenberger said of the study.

Columbia scientists, however, said global warming’s influence on the South Pole should become apparent “by the middle of the current century, thus mitigating future increases in global sea level.”

This is just one of several recent papers suggesting natural variability is still dominant in the South Pole. So why don’t we hear more about supposedly good news?

“When it comes to ‘good’ expectations, such as increase in the surface mass balance of Antarctica, activists prefer to ignore the projections, and instead claim that recent trends indicate the situation is ‘worse than expected,’” Knappenberger said.

 

The Ice Is Melting … Maybe

Scientists have also been warning for years that, on net, Antarctica has been losing 147 gigatons of ice per year for the last decade or so, mostly from melting on the northern Antarctic Peninsula and its western ice sheet.

There’s seems to be a news story every day about how things are looking worse in the Antarctic. The Washington Post, for example, recently warned a long crack in western Antarctica’ ice was growing. Sounds scary, but sort of obscures what’s happening overall with Antarctica.

A 2015 study by NASA found Antarctica’s ice sheet increased in mass from 1992 to 2008. The study found ice gains in Eastern antarctica more than offset ice loss from melting glaciers in the west.

Zwally’s study was controversial and challenged years of assumptions about what was happening in the South Pole. But months later another study was published showing a “pause” in warming on the Antarctic Peninsula due to a recovering ozone hole and shifting wind patterns.

“The ozone hole contributed to a warming of the Antarctic Peninsula, but has given a small cooling around the rest of the Antarctic,” John turner, a variability climatologist with the British Antarctic Survey, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Turner, one of the paper’s co-authors, found the ozone hole and wind patterns created a cooling trend over the Antarctic Peninsula, masking the warming trend predicted by climate models.

“It’s recently been published that the level of stratospheric ozone has been slowly recovering since the late 1990s, which has played a part in the cessation of the ‘peninsula warming’ that we reported in our recent Nature paper,” said Turner.

“Parts of the ice sheet are certainly melting, but as a result of relatively warm waters getting under the ice shelves and melting the ice from below,” Turner said.

Turner and his colleagues noted that even in a warming world Antarctic temperatures can go up or down in a given year, such is the power of natural variability over the region.

 

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice would shrink as a result of global warming, but the opposite happened. Antarctic sea ice actually increased in the last two decades.

Chinese scientists compared climate model sea ice predictions to actual observations from 1979 to 2005 and found “the main problem of the [climate] models is their inability to reproduce the observed slight increase of sea ice extent.”

As it turns out, natural variability plays a big role here as well.

“Sea ice extent is strongly influenced by the winds and these have increased from the south over the Ross Sea, contributing to a small increase in total Antarctic sea ice since the late 1970s,” Turner said. “The increase in ice seems to be within the bounds of natural variability.”

Had Chinese researchers gone beyond 2005, they would have found more than just a slight increase. 2014 was the first year on record that Antarctic sea ice coverage rose above 7.72 million square miles. By Sept. 22, 2014, sea ice extent reached its highest level on record — 7.76 million square miles.

Antarctica also had unique ocean currents that keep surface waters cooler than the rest of the world.

A June 2016 study found Antarctica has a unique current pulls cold water from the Southern Ocean’s depths to the surface, causing the surface water to be colder than, say, in the Arctic. Cold water has helped sea ice hit record levels in 2014.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/27/an-inconvenient-truth-few-signs-of-global-warming-in-antarctica/

18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2016 9:59 am

    “natural variability” is overwhelming human-induced warming.”

    A cute way of saying that there is no AGW problem and therefore no need to cut emissions or to tax carbon or to wage war against fossil fuels.

    • August 29, 2016 12:23 pm

      Could we say that it has been “natural variability” from the get-go?

    • Dave N permalink
      August 30, 2016 1:57 am

      ‘“natural variability” is overwhelming human-induced warming.”’

      Their skulls are thicker than first thought: the idea that it could be there’s very little to “overwhelm” in the first place, is failing to pass through.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    August 29, 2016 12:54 pm

    Jay Zwally is also the NASA scientist who said back in 2008 that “Within five to less than ten years the Arctic could be free of sea ice in the summer”. Are we there yet?

  3. RAH permalink
    August 29, 2016 1:26 pm

    If natural variability is overwhelming human-induced warming then how can one possibly know that the later is even present? No signs of “human-induced warming” = NO “human-induced warming”. And if the physics of the climate models upon which AGW is based were wrong about the effects of such warming on Antarctic then how can it be claimed that the models are valid?

  4. August 29, 2016 1:40 pm

    Well, its not only the Antarctica that is free of supposed effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases but in fact the whole of the southern hemisphere. There has been no warming of the surface of the sea in December in the last seven decades as seen here: https://i2.wp.com/reality348.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/sh-sst.jpg?ssl=1&w=450
    and also here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/tmp/climindex.114.30.114.144.241.7.23.56.png

    All the warming of the southern hemisphere has occurred in winter and has been wholly beneficial. There has been no warming at all in December. Can the greenhouse effect go on holiday in December?

    As for the possibility of Antarctic ice melting there is no chance. Average monthly air temperature at 100 hPa at 70°-90° south is constantly below zero and its always warmer than the ice at the surface. Summer air temperature in Antarctica are less than it was seven decades ago as seen here: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/tmp/climindex.114.30.114.144.241.7.6.40.png

    It’s just stupid to base ones policy pronouncements on the movements in a single statistic for the whole of the globe. When and where is the warming happening are good questions to ask. Searching analytical questions are required, if one is to discover the origins of change.

    Because there has been no warming in December we can forget the greenhouse effect as a possible contributor and look for other reasons for change. Is the warming occurring in the day or in the night? What’s happening to the daily minimum? What’s happening to the daily maximum? Clouds reflect sunlight during the day but when there is no sunshine there is no reflective effect. If the maximum is rising and the minimum stable you know that there is very likely less cloud during the day.

    Those who believe that there is a greenhouse effect need to take note of summer temperatures in the southern hemisphere and pull their silly heads in.

    • Broadlands permalink
      August 29, 2016 2:58 pm

      “Those who believe that there is a greenhouse effect need to take note of summer temperatures in the southern hemisphere and pull their silly heads in.”

      Not just in the SH Erl. At Stykkisholmur, Iceland (where the NAO begins?), the summer temperatures (JJA) since their record warm year in 2003 are trending down. Same is true for the full year means. Only the Fall (SON) is trending warmer.

      It may be worth adding that had it not been because of the systematic monthly lowering made to the 1931-1940 World Weather Record temperatures, 1933 and 1939, were both warmer than 2003 at that location.

    • RAH permalink
      August 29, 2016 3:56 pm

      “Those who believe that there is a greenhouse effect need to take note of summer temperatures in the southern hemisphere and pull their silly heads in.”

      When it’s summer down there it’s winter up here and the AGW types spend most of their time bleating about other stuff if they can’t see anything significant to bleat about Antarctica. Earlier this year it was all about the low winter max in the Arctic and predicting a record low summer minimum because of it. That record minimum isn’t going to happen so I guess natural variability rules at the north pole also.

      So now to deflect from that failure they are bleating about Anthrax in Siberia and Gavin Schmidt is busy tweeting about July being “absolutely the hottest month since instrumental records began”.

    • TonyM permalink
      August 30, 2016 2:26 am

      Al of the calculations AGW proponents make require the calculation of an “average temperature”. Is such a calculation possible and meaningful? Many don’t think so. An excellent article by Dr. Darko Butina on his website http://www.14patterns.com provides a clear analysis of why it is not possible or meaningful to calculate an “average” temperature globally, or even more locally, or to compare average temperatures from any time period to any other time period.

  5. Tom O permalink
    August 29, 2016 2:12 pm

    How often have we read “the models didn’t predict this?” Welcome to Sim Climate, a takeoff of Sim City and Sim Farm. They readily admit that they keep finding things that they had underestimated – ah, but the science is settled! – and then say that the “models” are okay, it’s just something in the “natural variability.” The problem with “models” is really quite simple. You can model what you know – or in this case, what you THINK you know – but unless you actually KNOW what you are attempting to model, you canNOT model it, you can only write a “simulation” of it. Like I said, welcome to “Sim Climate,” where we write a program that simulates what we believe, even if it isn’t what actually happens.”

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      August 29, 2016 4:15 pm

      Tom O:
      But having simulated the climate they then substitute the simulation for the reality. They then all shout how wonderful they are, and he media, most politicians and gullible bystanders believe them.

  6. John F. Hultquist permalink
    August 29, 2016 4:30 pm

    Scientists with Columbia University’s Earth Institute found there’s been little change in Antarctica’s annual snowfall, which flies in the face of what climate models predicted would happen as the planet warmed.
    [Note the word “annual” in the quote.]

    Water vapor undergoes intramolecular condensation and falls as rain or snow (close enough) when the temperature is lowered sufficiently. The extreme cold of the air over Antarctica implies there is little H2O left in the air once it approaches the continent and begins to rise. If nearby ocean surface water is warmer, then more snow could fall around the edges. It seems unlikely to have noticeable effect except on the lowest areas.
    Antarctica is a big place.
    A high resolution map of precipitation anomalies, searching for patterns over a long time span (couple hundred years), would be informative.

  7. catweazle666 permalink
    August 29, 2016 5:36 pm

    “A June 2016 study found Antarctica has a unique current pulls cold water from the Southern Ocean’s depths to the surface”

    Didn’t Trenberth claim that the ‘Pause’ was due to the heat lurking in the ocean’s depths?

    It’a a travesty!

  8. August 29, 2016 6:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Ah, natural variability – the curse of the fanatical warmist.
    They don’t understand it and don’t want to believe it exists. But it does, so they’ll have to put up with it.

  9. August 29, 2016 10:37 pm

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  10. Dave N permalink
    August 30, 2016 2:01 am

    “Truth is, the science is complex…”

    Not “settled”, then? Chip might need to be careful; he may be labeled as a heretic, or worse: with the “D” word.

  11. TonyM permalink
    August 30, 2016 2:11 am

    “Columbia scientists, however, said global warming’s influence on the South Pole should become apparent “by the middle of the current century, thus mitigating future increases in global sea level.”

    So I guess Columbia scientists have a better computer model than everyone else. They apparently can predict accurately what will happen in 36 years because they have worked natural variability into THEIR models? They must have figured out nature too! Incredible geniuses, all of them.

  12. August 30, 2016 3:46 am

    Would someone please define “ice sheet”, please. Are we talking over land, over water, or both? Thank you. –NAB

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