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NSIDC Confirm Low Arctic Ice Due To Influx Of Warm Atlantic Water

December 6, 2016
tags:

By Paul Homewood 

 

osisaf_nh_iceextent_daily_5years_en

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

 

There has been increasing hysteria from global warming alarmists lately about polar sea ice trends.

 

So let’s start with the Arctic, where sea ice extent, despite some unusually, but certainly not unprecedented, mild weather in the last couple of months, has been tracking close to 2012.

 

 

NSIDC, however, reveal, as this blog has been explaining for many months now, that low ice extent has nothing to do with supposed global warming, but is instead a function of oceanic trends, which have drawn warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean, along with simple weather events:

 

Continuing the warm Arctic pattern seen in October, November air temperatures were far above average over the Arctic Ocean and Canada. Air temperatures at the 925 hPa level (about 2,500 feet above sea level) were above the 1981 to 2010 average over the entire Arctic Ocean and, locally up to 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) above average near the North Pole. This is in sharp contrast to northern Eurasia, where temperatures were as much as 4 to 8 degrees Celsius (7 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit) below average (Figure 2b). Record snow events were reported in Sweden and across Siberia early in the month.

In autumn and winter, the typical cyclone path is from Iceland, across the Norwegian Sea and into the Barents Sea. This November, an unusual jet stream pattern set up, and storms instead tended to enter the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait (between Svalbard and Greenland). This set up a pattern of southerly wind in Fram Strait, the Eurasian Arctic and the Barents Sea and accounts for some of the unusual warmth over the Arctic Ocean. The wind pattern also helped push the ice northwards and helps to explain why sea ice in the Barents Sea retreated during November.

Sea surface temperatures in the Barents and Kara Seas remained unusually high, which also helped prevent ice formation. These high sea surface temperatures are a result of warm Atlantic water circulating onto the Arctic continental shelf seas.

 

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2016/12/arctic-and-antarctic-at-record-low-levels/

 

As NSIDC go on to explain:

 

Warm Arctic delays ice formation in Svalbard’s fjords

 

fig4a

Figure 4a. This plot shows ocean temperature differences from average by depth (y axis, in decibars; a decibar is approximately one meter) along a transect (x axis, in kilometers) from the outer continental shelf to the inner parts of Isfjorden, the largest fjord in the Svalbard archipelago, for mid November 2016. (Areas in black show the undersea topography.) Atlantic Water is as warm as 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) and the surface layer still about 2 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit). The surface layer would normally have cooled to the salinity adjusted freezing point at (-1.8 degrees Celsius, 29 degrees Fahrenheit) at this time of year, enabling sea ice formation.

 

In the Svalbard archipelago, sea ice usually begins to form in the inner parts of the fjords in early November. This November, however, no sea ice was observed. Throughout autumn, the wind pattern transported warm and moist air to Svalbard, leading to exceptionally high air temperatures and precipitation, which fell as rain.

Atmospheric and oceanic conditions in the fjord system were assessed by students from the University Centre in Svalbard. They noted an unusually warm ocean surface layer about 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) above the salinity-adjusted freezing point (Figure 4a). Coinciding with exceptionally high air temperatures over Svalbard during autumn, the water has hardly cooled at all, and it is possible that no sea ice will form this winter.

The above average ocean temperatures arose in part from changes in ocean currents that bring warm and salty Atlantic Water into the fjords. As the warm Gulf Stream moves east, it becomes the branching North Atlantic Drift. One small branch is named the West Spitsbergen Current (Figure 4b). This current flows along the continental shelf on the west coast of Svalbard and is one mechanism for transporting heat towards the fjords. Since 2006, changes in atmospheric circulation have resulted in more Atlantic water reaching these fjords, reducing sea ice production in some and stopping ice formation entirely in others.

 

fig4b

 

Figure 4b. The West Spitsbergen Current consists of three branches (red arrows) that transport warm and salty Atlantic Water northward: the Return Atlantic Current (westernmost branch), the Yermak Branch and the Svalbard Branch. The Spitsbergen Trough Current (purple) transports Atlantic Water from the Svalbard Branch into the troughs indenting the shelf along Svalbard. Since 2006, changes in atmospheric circulation have resulted in more warm Atlantic Water reaching these fjords. The blue and red circles on the figure indicate locations where hydrographic data were collected.

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2016/12/arctic-and-antarctic-at-record-low-levels/

 

The warm water moving into the Barents Sea is several hundreds of meters deep, where it is physically impossible for a slightly warmer atmosphere to have any measurable effect whatever.

On the contrary, in fact, warmer sea will raise atmospheric temperatures.

 

 

 

And, as of course we already know, these sort of oceanic conditions are certainly not unknown, as NOAA observed in 1922:

 

image

 https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/the-changing-arctic-november-1922/

 

[For reference, the above ocean temperature plots published by NOAA are between 80 and 810N]

 

 

I don’t claim for one minute to understand how these powerful oceanic factors work. But it is clear that similar changes have occurred many times in the past, and equally that it is they that control atmosphere temperatures, and not the other way round.

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20 Comments
  1. The Old Bloke permalink
    December 6, 2016 11:26 pm

    Funny how they forget to mention the active tectonic plates and under water active volcanoes in that area isn’t it?

    https://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/hundreds-of-submarine-volcanoes-found-off-the-coast-of-norway/

  2. The Old Bloke permalink
    December 6, 2016 11:27 pm

    Also here:
    https://iceagenow.info/12218/

  3. December 7, 2016 12:21 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Great analysis by Paul Homewood explaining the “SUPER HOT” Arctic atmosphere, that has become the latest, hysterical climate (weather) event of the month pushed by climate alarmists.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    December 7, 2016 1:36 am

    A rant? What continues to be a puzzle (to me at least) is that even if all the concern for the Arctic is accurate (and the rest of the planet as well)… is that the dialog continues to minimize and/or ignore some very important questions: (1) What can seven billion humans really do about it? And (2) as we now try, how long will it take to see the climate reverse itself? (3) How and when will our grandchildren know that global temperatures and sea levels are actually lowering… a few degrees or inches? We can, today, barely see the “unprecedented” rising changes, outside of fractional changes. Less than one degree C and a sea level rise of less than a foot…. in over 200 hundred years? But..CO2?… up 40%. It is “alarming” that so much journalism is devoted to the “problem” and so little journalism is devoted to a viable solution of the perceived problem, which may not even exist?

  5. December 7, 2016 1:45 am

    no evidence that sept minimum sea ice extent in the arctic is related to global warming
    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2869646

  6. December 7, 2016 2:23 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  7. December 7, 2016 6:56 am

    Everybody except the alarmists, the BBC and the Grauniad understands that the sun’s energy heats up the oceans and the oceans transfer that energy to the atmosphere.

    • December 7, 2016 9:48 am

      Yes, and some of the heat loss from Earth goes from equatorial regions to the polar regions via ocean currents, then radiates away to space.

  8. December 7, 2016 8:48 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  9. AlecM permalink
    December 7, 2016 9:16 am

    What we are seeing is a vast efflux of ocean heat to Space as we enter the new LIA.

    That arises because after a period of high warming, ocean currents adapt to remove that heat. It takes another 20 – 30 years before they react again to limit global cooling. Simples**

    **e.g. Kelvin waves up the NW coast of the USA.

  10. Athelstan permalink
    December 7, 2016 9:38 am

    Well, I think that, the ocean redistributing, luverly conveyor is a bloody marvellous thing, otherwise up here at 50º+ N, without our Atlantic drift: winters would be pretty darned harsh.

    Arctic ocean, sea ice and red herrings of inconsequential mumbling – man made CO₂ effects – alack, it’s always been about the equatorial solar influence and the oceans speeding warm water away and north/south according to Coriolis, gravity its extra terrestrial influence, NSIDC………….man does nothing – what could he do?

    Now, please do talk of the oceans and the sun, by all means.

    • Broadlands permalink
      December 7, 2016 1:53 pm

      Are the red herrings moving South or North? 🙂

      • Brett Keane permalink
        December 9, 2016 9:48 am

        South, because the northern cod spp are coming south!

  11. Tim Hammond permalink
    December 7, 2016 9:59 am

    Just another illustration of how little we understand our climate and its drivers. The more we learn, the more questions arise, as with so many other areas of science.

  12. December 7, 2016 10:26 am

    ‘There has been increasing hysteria from global warming alarmists lately about polar sea ice trends.’

    A nervous breakdown beckons if they carry on in this fashion. Or should that be ‘yet another nervous breakdown’?

  13. AlecM permalink
    December 7, 2016 11:11 am

    It took three years for Phlogiston lovers to be removed from influence.

    We are in Year 2 re. fake CO2 science. Trump will kick out his fraudsters. That means our fraudsters will no longer be able to claim it’s ‘Established Science’.

    Lord Krebs, Myles Allen, etc. eff off – you are fraudsters because you cannot justify your beliefs by direct experiment, other than 22 years of temperature data fraud**.

    **The Met Office, which lost the BBC contract because of its modelling ‘Warming Bias’, is quietly dumping that fake physics.

  14. Peter Langdon permalink
    December 8, 2016 4:11 pm

    Paul , Not sure how otherwise to send this to you, I thought it would be of interest. I think they must have their heads in the sand! Perhaps you have a way of sending a copy to Dr Ridley?

    Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
    1 Victoria Street
    London
    SW1H 0ET

    6th December 2016
    Peter Langdon
    pc.langdon@ntlworld.com

    Dear Peter Langdon,
    Thank you for your response to our communication of 7 November in which you refer to a video of a lecture by Dr Matt Ridley and ask for our assessment. I have been asked to reply.

    Dr Ridley gives two principal reasons why he thinks global warming risks are being exaggerated:

    1.The models have been consistently wrong for more than 30 years;
    2.The best evidence indicates that climate sensitivity is relatively low;

    The models have been consistently wrong for more than 30 years.

    In our view this statement is incorrect. For two of the key climate change indicators, global average temperature change and sea level rise, observations show that the projected changes are well within the uncertainty range of the models used1. This gives scientists confidence in the reliability of the climate models’ climate projections for later this century. Regarding other indicators, Dr Ridley was selective e.g. Arctic sea ice disappearance by 2013 was an individual scientist’s prediction and was not the consensus view2. He also fails to mention that for some indicators such as drought and cyclones, the lack of observed trends is mainly the result of inadequate observations3. In general, observed climate change indicators are consistent with the expected changes of a warming world4.

    The best evidence indicates that climate sensitivity is relatively low

    The lower estimates of climate sensitivity are generally derived from the relatively short instrumental record, which constitutes one line of evidence only. When the full range of evidence is taken into
    account (instrumental record, climate models, feedback analysis and paleoclimate) the equilibrium
    climate sensitivity most likely lies between 1.5 and 4.5°C5. It is extremely unlikely to be below 1°C or
    above 6°C6.
    ————————————————
    1 Thematic Focus Element (TFE) 3 in the Technical Summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change. The full range of the latest IPCC Assessment Reports are available here: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/.
    2 The consensus view is about mid-century for the high emissions scenario. Figure TS.17 in the Technical Summary of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change.
    3 Page114 in the Technical Summary of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change.
    4 See Figure TS.1 3 in the Technical Summary of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change.
    5 TFE 6 in the Technical Summary of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change
    6 Ibid TFE 6.

  15. December 9, 2016 11:44 am

    “For two of the key climate change indicators, global average temperature change and sea level rise, observations show that the projected changes are well within the uncertainty range of the models used1. This gives scientists confidence in the reliability of the climate models’ climate projections for later this century.”

    Uncertainty ought not to be used to support model results. Besides, if we consider the ensemble of model results, the spread has not converged for 30 years.

    The modelers cannot agree on the parameters for cloud effects and for feedback from water vapour. The large uncertainties introduced by this lack of consensus means the physics is weak.

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