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Arctic Ice Loss and The AMO

March 17, 2017
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood




Shock news! Scientists discover natural climate cycles.

From the Mail:


The Arctic icecap is shrinking – but it’s not all our fault, a major study of the polar region has found.

At least half of the disappearance is down to natural processes, and not the fault of man made warming.

Part of the decline in ice cover is due to ‘random’ and ‘chaotic’ natural changes in air currents, researchers said.

The study, separating man-made from natural influences in the Arctic atmospheric circulation, said that a decades-long natural warming of the Arctic climate might be tied to shifts as far away as the tropical Pacific Ocean.


Astonishingly though, the study makes no mention of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which also has a significant effect on Arctic sea ice extent.



Since the late 1970s, the AMO has moved from the coldest point of its cycle to its highest, coinciding with a decline in Arctic sea ice coverage.




On the previous occasion when the AMO cycled from cold to warm, between the 1920s and 1950s, there was also dramatic warming in the Arctic and reduction of sea ice. It even had a name, “The Warming in the North”.

As early as 1922, its effects were already being noted:






HH Lamb reported that Arctic sea ice declined by between 10 and 20 per cent between 1920 and the late 1930s.


matt d licence front

HH Lamb: Climate, History and the Modern World – p260


And the effect of the AMO on land temperatures was unmistakeable.

For instance, Tasiilaq in Greenland:




And Iceland:


Annual temperature in Akureyri, northern Iceland

The AMO turns cold

Around 1960 the AMO turned abruptly to enter its cold phase. And as the above graphs show, the effect was just as dramatic.

And as Lamb reports, there was a resultant massive expansion in Arctic sea ice.


matt d licence front

HH Lamb: Climate, History and the Modern World – p271




Indeed, as a recent paper by Gagne et al, Aerosol-driven increase in Arctic sea ice over the middle of the 20th Century, found, recently recovered Russian observations show an increase in Arctic sea ice from 1950 to 1975 as large as the subsequent decrease in sea ice observed from 1975 to 2005.



According to NOAA, the AMO is an ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time and a difference of about 1°F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years.

But for the current batch of activist polar scientists, it might as well never have existed.

  1. HotScot permalink
    March 17, 2017 7:31 pm

    The green goons are manoeuvring.

    it seems CO2 emissions have been static for 3 years, so of course this ‘success’ is apportioned to renewables.

    As will the amazing discovery that hurricanes are less frequent and less destructive than ‘predicted’, that sea level rise is now ‘slowing’……………………etc…….fill in the blanks.

    Gruesome little Goblins!

    • Mark Hodgson permalink
      March 18, 2017 8:27 am

      “it seems CO2 emissions have been static for 3 years, so of course this ‘success’ is apportioned to renewables.” That’s what I thought they were claiming, but then I stumbled on this:

      “Carbon dioxide levels measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory rose by 3 parts per million to 405.1 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, an increase that matched the record jump observed in 2015.

      The two-year, 6-ppm surge in the greenhouse gas between 2015 and 2017 is unprecedented in the observatory’s 59-year record. And, it was a record fifth consecutive year that carbon dioxide (CO2) rose by 2 ppm or greater, said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network.

      “The rate of CO2 growth over the last decade is 100 to 200 times faster than what the Earth experienced during the transition from the last Ice Age,” Tans said. “This is a real shock to the atmosphere.”

      So, which is it? They need to get their story straight.

  2. Ian Magness permalink
    March 17, 2017 7:38 pm

    So, if you add the significant effects of the AMO to the effects from these air currents and similar, what role is left for Corbyn Emmissions (apologies to Christopher Booker) to play in sea ice reduction?
    OK, I’m sure the AMO may influence some of these other effects, so one shouldn’t double count, but even so.

  3. AndyG55 permalink
    March 17, 2017 7:56 pm

    The approx 60-70 year AMO effect is clearly seen in the Icelandic sea ice record , even during the Little Ice Age.

  4. AndyG55 permalink
    March 17, 2017 7:59 pm

    And in real sea ice data from US DOE.

  5. John F. Hultquist permalink
    March 17, 2017 8:24 pm

    Are they sure about that 50/50 split? Or is it 40/60 or 30/70 or 20/90? Good Grief!

    There was an earlier warming.
    Please read the part in red at the following:

    LONG POST WITH PHOTOS submarines and ice etc

    It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.

    (This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817 [13]

    *13 President of the Royal Society, Minutes of Council,
    Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society, London.
    20th November, 1817.

  6. BLACK PEARL permalink
    March 17, 2017 9:38 pm

    Any report has always got to include a sizable nod / mention to AGW or it will not see the light of day. More likely 99% natural maybe 1% due to an over population

    • AndyG55 permalink
      March 17, 2017 9:51 pm

      And some soot.

  7. Malcolm Bell permalink
    March 17, 2017 9:43 pm

    Yes, the warmists are shifting their ground in careful baby steps hoping we will not notice. We knew they would.

    But Paul, are you also admitting that the Artic is warmer although you have been trying to convince us tgat it isn’t and Greenland was accumulating ice rapidly. Have you backed off from that?

    • nigel permalink
      March 18, 2017 9:17 am

      It might be warmer in the winter; it can never be warmer in the summer. This is because the Arctic Ocean – which is, then, a mix of ice and water, cold all the way down, and in direct contact with the atmosphere – makes it IMPOSSIBLE by all the RULES of Physics for the temperature of the air lying* above to rise more than a paltry amount above the freezing point of water. Vide the green line in the link below:

      *Of course, the air at the surface is usually cold anyway, simply because it is generally descending dry air which has cooled radiatively to space, while travelling miles above the surface from lower latitudes.

      • John F. Hultquist permalink
        March 18, 2017 3:35 pm

        A complication with descending dry air is that it warms because of compression. Often this air nears a cooler surface and spreads in a layer of warmer-over-cooler, thus creating an inversion. [Happens in the so called “horse latitudes’, also.]
        The cooler — denser — air stays low and takes on the characteristics of the surface. When this happens over land surfaces where various gases and particles are generated the stagnant air can become hazy and unhealthy.
        I assume (!?) — over the Arctic waters something similar happens, without the serious pollutants.
        At higher elevations there is a process called “Sudden Stratospheric Warming” (SSW), but that is another issue about very thin air and begins with very cold temperature.
        swift jump in temperatures in the stratosphere

      • nigel permalink
        March 18, 2017 6:02 pm

        Indeed, there are lots of complications. But, in the polar regions the tropopause is really low, and winter air is quite static, so that descending air does not have far to fall, and heats slowly – all the while losing heat, by radiation to space through the clear air.

        The net effect on the vertical temperature profile is slight. For example , here are some radio-sonde measurements for April 4, 2004, at Barrow, Alaska:

        Pressure 300 kp (20 km up) – 60 C

        Pressure 800 kp (a few km up, tropopause) – 15 C

        Pressure 950 kp ( a few hundred m up) – 23 C

        Pressure 980 kp (surface) – 20 C

        Adiabatic heating leaves little obvious trace here. It is different with fohns and chinooks which happen fast.

      • nigel permalink
        March 18, 2017 6:05 pm

        It may not be clear

        – 60 C , – 15C means 60 below zero, 15 below zero.

        Always, it all is very cold air.

    • March 18, 2017 10:44 am

      It’s certainly warmer than 40 yrs ago, but not dissimilar to the 1930s.

      The accumulation of Greenland ice is a reflection of the amount of snow, rather than temperature

  8. March 17, 2017 10:01 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  9. March 17, 2017 10:19 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  10. March 17, 2017 10:47 pm

    ‘Astonishingly though, the study makes no mention of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation’

    Of course not – they would be giving the game away if they did that.

  11. March 17, 2017 11:56 pm

    Also no correlation between global warming and changes in sea ice extent

  12. March 18, 2017 9:00 am

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Reports of warming in the Arctic date back to at least the 1920s but the likely reasons for this are mostly ignored by ‘climate science’.

  13. Gerry, England permalink
    March 18, 2017 10:53 am

    All this fits with pre-eminent Arctic scientists who have always said that there is a 60-70 year pattern to the ice but that we only have satellite data from 1979. How much do we know about the causes of the AMO? With all the billions wasted on trying to prove the human co2 link, how much is being spent on understanding these real natural phenonmena?

  14. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 18, 2017 11:43 am

    I’ve long felt that the reason that the warmists urge us to take immediate action to de-carbonize the economy, (Flash, we only have 48hrs to save the Earth), is not so much through fear of the consequences if we don’t, and more to do with their fear of being caught in a lie when natural cycles turn cold again.

    • nigel permalink
      March 18, 2017 6:11 pm

      “…their fear of being caught in a lie…”

      Come what may, and even if CO2 levels continue to rise, they will SAY warmist policies caused any cooling. They will get away with it too. After all, how many people in the world have precise knowledge of how much CO2 is in the air, and how it is changing? One in a hundred? The former EPA head had no idea when testifying before Congress!

      • bea permalink
        March 18, 2017 6:42 pm

        I have already written the introduction to a paper for publication in 2017.
        It starts:

        “Mauna Loa figures show a concentration for 2017 of 400 ppm of C02 and for 2027 of 450 ppm. However it is now known that President Trump and the Russians hacked Mauna Loa and the true figure was 450 ppm back then. It is also now established that klugeing/kliging/fourier-adjusting/ouija-board -offsetting means that the correct figure for thoday is 400 ppm. This drop of 50 ppm is due to the closing down of all industry in Europe. The present advance of glaciers on New York is extremely satisfactory, asit is making it impossible for Global Warming to wipe out New York through rising sea-levels.”

  15. bea permalink
    March 18, 2017 6:43 pm

    Oh No! I have got the date wrong. It is for publication in 2027.

    • bea permalink
      March 18, 2017 7:01 pm

      Or – for any time:

      “It seems the recent exhaustion of the nuclear arsenals of the world (through what is known technically. as war) has had an unexpected benefit in as much as Arctice Sea-Ice is 3% higher than last year at this time.

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