back to article Antarctic ice at all time high: We have more to learn, says boffin

Climate scientists have confessed they are baffled – yet again – by another all-time record area of sea covered by ice around the Antarctic coasts. "What we're learning is, we have more to learn," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, announcing the latest annual sea ice maximum for the …

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Matthew Smith

Antactica is melting too

Antactica is a continent. Water ice is draining off the land, and the salinity of the southern ocean is dropping.Water with lower salinity is quicker to freeze, hence the increase in sea ice.

beast666

Re: Antactica is melting too

So pure water ice is melting from the land of Antarctica. Pure ice melts at 0 C.

It then goes into the sea where it promptly freezes despite the fact that the sea is saline and has a melting point < 0 C.

Can anyone see the problem with this? ;)

Russell Hancock

Re: Antactica is melting too

This sounds plausible but (big but) what evidence do you base the assertion that Antarctica is melting on? i have not see this mentioned anywhere before but i may have missed it so can you expand so we can check?

Is it not possible that the currents in the southern ocean have changed slightly (i.e. as per the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic) and this means that less warm water is swirling around? that the swirling is further out to sea, leading to calmer near shore water, leading to more ice?

I think the stated "we have more to learn" is the best answer at the min...

Alfred

Re: Antactica is melting too

"Can anyone see the problem with this? ;)"

So you've got salt water (which has a freezing point below zero, typically about minus 2 C), at a temperature of minus something, and you then put some freshwater on top of it, which then gets colder and freezes in its new surroundings of less than zero. What's the problem with this?

beast666

Re: Antactica is melting too

How does the pure water flow if it's surroundings are < 0 C?

That is the problem.

Alfred

Re: Antactica is melting too

"How does the pure water flow if it's surroundings are < 0 C?"

It flows when it is warm. Some will be warm all the way to the sea. The cold, cold sea. It freezes when it gets cold again. Some of it will get cold enough before it gets to the sea and will freeze again before it gets to the sea. Some of it will get cold enough when it gets to the sea.

Being surrounded by something less than 0C does not make water freeze instantly. It takes time. In that time, the water can move. Put a pan of warm water outside on a freezing cold day. Observe that the pan of water does not freeze instantly.

beast666

Re: Antactica is melting too

You are really struggling to put the case forward that Antarctica is losing land ice aren't you?

It is not. It is too cold. The fact that sea ice is increasing is because it is colder than it has been.

The Earth hasn't warmed for > 18 years and counting.

CO2 meanwhile continues to increase.

Ergo. No connection between CO2 and global temperature.

CAGW is false.

Get over it.

Alfred

Re: Antactica is melting too

"You are really struggling to put the case forward that Antarctica is losing land ice aren't you?"

Is that aimed at me? I've got no opinion on that. My assertion is that it is possible to melt some ice, put the freshwater on a cold sea, and observe the freshwater freeze. This is a well-known meterological phenomenon, often observed (unsurprisingly) where freshwater rivers meet cold oceans.

dogged

Re: Antactica is melting too

Alternatively, the climate models are (as anyone with any kind of rational thought process could tell you) wrong because they are trying to model a system with approaching-infinite variables and only weak guesses at the internal processes.

Note that I make no judgements on what's going on - that's a matter for your own scientific-scepticism/credulity/belief-system (delete as appropriate). Only that somebody created a model which was designed to show that the icecaps would melt and it that it was wrong.

beast666

Re: Antactica is melting too

Name one freshwater river in Antarctica.

That would make a good pub quiz question... :)

As to it being "a well known meteorological phenomenon..." I think you mean hydrological.

malcolmus_rex

Re: Antactica is melting too

Just one of a pretty large set of observations:

http://www.the-cryosphere.net/8/1539/2014/tc-8-1539-2014.html

TheVogon
Silver badge

Re: Antactica is melting too

"You are really struggling to put the case forward that Antarctica is losing land ice aren't you?"

It's loosing ice mass according to the most accurate measurements that we have: http://www.sciencepoles.org/interview/putting-antarcticas-ice-mass-loss-into-perspective

CryoSat data shows that the Antarctic Ice Sheet has been losing, on average, 159 billion tons of ice every year for the past three years (once CryoSat passed its commissioning phase). This is twice previous estimates of ice loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet that were made during the last decade.

"The fact that sea ice is increasing is because it is colder than it has been."

That is not the main reason why sea ice cover is increasing - although due to regional or wind based variation it might be a partial cause for a specific season - the primary cause is believed to be due to reduced water salinity from increased glacial melting.

"The Earth hasn't warmed for > 18 years and counting."

The earth is most definately still warming. Particularly the upper oceans.

"CO2 meanwhile continues to increase.

Ergo. No connection between CO2 and global temperature."

But the earth is still warming. And more than we thought: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2389.html

beast666
FAIL

Re: Antactica is melting too

CryoSat...

No. They are not measurements they are *estimates*

The Earth is most definitely NOT warming...

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/02/its-official-no-global-warming-for-18-years-1-month/

My ninjas will beat your pirates any day of the week.

Def
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Antactica is melting too

*sigh*

Not that fucking graph again. Look at it again. And this time actually read what it's telling you, without glancing at the clearly incorrect and sensationalist text dropped over the top.

It's stating, quite obviously, that the mean temperature over the last 18 years has increased by about 0.24 degrees.

If the temperature hadn't increased, the big blue line across the graph would be next to the 0.0 towards the bottom of the side scale.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Antactica is melting too

@ beast666

The problem is in your lack of knowledge of physics and chemistry. The original commenter has expressed it simplistically. But the essence is probably a factor. Antarctica is a land continent. Fresh water does freeze at about 0° C. "Normal" salinity sea water freezes at about -1.9 °C. Sea ice is mainly salt free because of the physical properties of freezing. Note that Antarctic sea level is exceptionally (in historical terms) high, probably because of melt water from the continent.

Even the most convinced sceptics need to separate the argument over cause from the facts. Anyone with any experiience of modelling natural systems will be well aware of the difficulties of that. Models are still valuable for giving insights into the system. Even a model that appears to break down helps understanding. Of course, a model that works is just a fluke.

A little more reading and a bit less blind denial is needed before making clever comments.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Antactica is melting too

Currents do not change just because they feel like it. When they change, they do cause significant climatic variation.

There is lots of evidence of Antarctic sea level rising. Just search the internet to find lots of recent papers and discussions. One I just read notes that some people (not all) believe it is at its highest for a thousand years. Most agree at least a couple of centuries.

beast666

Re: Antactica is melting too

No.

The anomaly trend is 0.0 C

I suggest you fucking look again.

The First Dave

Re: Antactica is melting too

Quick question - if Antarctica is getting bigger, why is the Arctic still getting smaller?

edterry

Re: Antactica is melting too

The Global warming theory treats the earth as a closed system. If CO2 is causing the earth's temperature to rise, how does the Antarctic ice increase?

In Washington DC this year, we've experienced a very mild summer, which proves nothing since a single season is about the weather, not the climate. All natural phenomena are controlled by multiple forces, many with complex feedback mechanisms. Any attempt to isolate one factor (i.e. CO2) as THE cause will always fail.

For an enlightening read, read Michael Crichton's "Aliens Cause Global Warming."

hemidude

Re: Antactica is melting too

Precission... the tilt of the earth has changed so more of the extreme northern hemishere gets sun less sun in the extreme south ice shrinks in north grows in south makes the global warming guys cry about the north and ignore the south because to acknoweldge the tilt factor would discredit thier manmade global warming tirades --simple stuff follow the money cant tax people for the tilt!

hemidude

Re: Antactica is melting too

Dilution...um diffusion and some laws of thrmodynamics for a start!

hemidude

Re: Antactica is melting too

CO2 is 0.4% of the atmosphere it has no effect on global temps get over it. How bout this simply experiment anyone can do take tow airtight mason jars and put a temp guage in each that you can read. Next drop a chunck of dry ice it one seal it and let the dry ice melt and the temp return to room temp--ok so you have massively increased the co2 level in the jar. take another jar of room air and seal it --pressures will be different but we will ignor that for right now. next place both on a black piece of paper and shine a 100 watt light at the same distance from each jar--record the temps inside each jar guess what they will be the same since co2 does not create heat if it did we would use it to heat our homes and drive our industries!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Antactica is melting too

"if Antarctica is getting bigger, why is the Arctic still getting smaller?"

The "growth" is in the sea ice extent - which is thin and seasonal. Both are loosing mass to melting.

TheVogon
Silver badge

Re: Antactica is melting too

Perhaps you mean Precession...

TheVogon
Silver badge

Re: Antactica is melting too

"CO2 is 0.4% of the atmosphere it has no effect on global temps get over it"

http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html

"How bout this simply experiment anyone can do "

Done properly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwtt51gvaJQ

Nigel 11

Re: Antactica is melting too

The Global warming theory treats the earth as a closed system. If CO2 is causing the earth's temperature to rise, how does the Antarctic ice increase?

Implying that higher temperature automatically means less ice? Oh dear ....

Firstly, pure-water ice forms at 0C. the temperature of Antarctica is minus-lots C. So it can get warmer, and yet ice won't necessarily melt.

Secondly, to make new ice needs a supply of water. Water is carried in as vapour in the air (which may then condense into water or ice crystals while remaining airborne - clouds). The warmer the air, the greater its water-carrying capacity. So warmer air may translate into greater precipitation, which over Antarctica means snow. Or, it may not, because increased capacity does not automatically mean increased content, and because added clouds don't necessarily generate added snow.

Finally, where does the water in the air come from? That depends on air circulation patterns - weather, climate. It's the ever-changing pattern of air circulation that determines whether air in any particular place is carrying more water than last week, or last year, or last century. Weather and climate forecasting is HARD. (Especially hard when you have water turning into ice, and that phase transition releasing a huge amount of energy at exactly 0C. It makes all your equations go horribly non-linear).

Curly4

Re: Antactica is melting too

Here is another conundrum. As the lower salinity of the Antactica water freezes the salt is returned to the sea which will in turn raise the salinity of the sea which would lower the freezing point.

Yes there is much more to be known. At this time the ocean currents and the magnesphere are not understood and may never be.

Ben Trabetere

Re: Antactica is melting too

@beast666

"Name one freshwater river in Antarctica.

That would make a good pub quiz question... :)"

Onyx River. It is a glacial meltwater stream, roughly 20mi in length, and empties into Lake Vanda. It has flowing water only in the summer months.

Now, which ones of yous owes me a beer?

Daggerchild
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Antactica is melting too

"This sounds plausible but (big but) what evidence do you base the assertion that Antarctica is melting on"

Is this even in dispute?

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/loss-antarctic-ice-causing-gravity-dips-0

That ain't some mass exodus of penguins matey. And this isn't happening in geological time. What possible benefit does further denial grant you?

nsld
FAIL

Re: Antactica is melting too

Antactica is melting too

Antactica is a continent. Water ice is draining off the land, and the salinity of the southern ocean is dropping.Water with lower salinity is quicker to freeze, hence the increase in sea ice.

======================

What a load of bollocks.

To have any significant effect on the salinity of the water you would have to add a massive volume of water which itself would need to contain no salt at all.

Exactly how much water is running off the land into the sea? and have you considered the issues with evaporation from the sea removing water?

So unless the land has just turned into an arid desert and you have no evaporation it sounds to me like you are looking for a job in climate science at UEA!

JDBishop5

Re: Antactica is melting too

Absolutely valid hypothesis, and probably true. The Antarctic Ice Cap is losing mass at an unprecedented and accelerating rate with resulting fresh cold water discharging on to more dense, colder salt water and it freezes. No problem with the idea I can see. The headline is misleading, perhaps deliberately so.

JDBishop5

Re: Antactica is melting too

Do some reading for goodness sake. (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/) Western Antarctica is gaining some mass. Eastern Antarctica is losing mass at a terrific rate. The average for the continent shows an accelerating and dramatic rate of loss overall.

It is better for everybody if we use actual facts to think with.

Mke68

Re: Antactica is melting too

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.04% (400 ppm is 400/1,000,000)

Also while CO2 is a greenhouse gas it takes a doubling of the CO2 for a 1°C increase in global temperature. That means an increase from 400 ppm to 800 ppm would only result in an additional 1°C increase in global temperature.

Where the models and AGW theory falls apart in my opinion is the idea of Positive Forcing. That is the run away temperatures do not come from the increase in CO2 but that our currently stable negative forcing environment will somehow flip and become an unstable positive forcing one.

That is where our conversation should be focused. If the plant was susceptible to a positive forcing then it would have destroyed itself a long, long, ... ,long time ago

JDBishop5

Re: Antactica is melting too

Please reserve your remarks to the locker room. Here, we expect people to do some reading before they comment. Several actually do.

Ayn

Re: Antactica is melting too

"they are trying to model a system with approaching-infinite variables"

Well said. That cannot be stated enough! It is hard for people to understand that even the most advanced modern computer systems are not yet capable of accurately predicting long range weather patterns.

MondoMan
FAIL

@hemidude - Review your math before trying physics again

Currently, atmospheric CO2 is very close to 400 ppm = 400 parts per million = 0.4 parts per thousand = 0.04 parts per hundred = 0.04 percent.

Yet, you claim CO2 is 0.4% of the atmosphere. Since you're off by 10x on this easily-checked fact, readers will be unlikely to take your other claims seriously.

peter_dtm

Re: Antactica is melting too

but to melt the ice; the air temperature has to be > 0C.

Which only happens rarely over the Antartic.

And only in the Antartic Summer - which is still a couple of months off

Yes there is some anomolous warming (probably caused by vulcanism) around the Antartic peninsular - but that is a comparatively small area (.. of the Antartic land mass) and last time I heard; vulcanism is nothing to do with man; or CO2 emmissions (on the contrary; vulcanism is a large producer of CO2).

The climate models used to predict Catastrophic global warming failed totally to predict an increasing Antartic ice extent; just as they failed to predict the 18 year lack of warming; or predicted the non existant tropo hot spot. In short the climate models are a busted flush. Let me put it in IT terms - if your model of your corporate network predicted that you coud not exceed 1MB bandwidth; but you constantly achieved 1GB bandwidth; what would you do with the model ? Junk it; or insist that reality is wrong and the model right ?

peter_dtm

Re: Antactica is melting too

what are the error margins on that sir ?

oops - the so called warming is less than the error margin which means it is merely NOISE not a trend or anything else.

There has been no statistically significant warming over the past 18 years. If you insist on being pedantic (in which case never stoop to talking about Carbon - its CO2; never complain about the risks of Climate change - its CATASTROPHIC climate change that could be a problem).

CATASTROPHIC climate change is a myth - CLIMATE CHANGE is natural and the observerd changes over the last 100 years are with in bounds of previous changes and are not unique nor unprecedented over many thousands of years.

The null hypothosis that the observered changes to the climate are entirely natural has yet to be disproven; therfore the CATASTROPHIC climate change hypothosis remains just that - an unproven hypothosis. But don't let the scientific method get in the way of the hysteria; or the correct interpretation of noisy graphs.

JDBishop5

Re: Antactica is melting too

Damn! Congratulations! I am 73 years old and have been studying science since I was about 5. Your post is the most ignorant passage I have ever seen from any observer, from K through post Doc.

Tom 13

Re: What's the problem with this?

I've tried making fancy layered drinks a few times. They're darned hard to make without a heck of a lot of practice. And their viscosities are a heck of a lot different than sea water and fresh water.

Tom 13

Re: In short the climate models are a busted flush.

Only if by "busted flush" you mean two diamonds and one of everything else.

In fairness, given the hand is so bad poker doesn't actually have a name for it, I suppose I shouldn't quibble.

jsam
FAIL

Re: Antactica is melting too

The earth is losing a trillion tons of ice per year:

- 159 Gt Antarctic land ice, McMillan el al, GRL (2014)

+ 26 Gt Antarctic sea ice, Holland et al, J Climate (2014)

- 261 Gt Arctic sea ice, PIOMAS

- 378 Gt Greenland, Enderlin et al, GRL (2014)

- 259 Gt other land based glaciers, Gardner et al. Science (2013)

- 1,031 Gt, total

Deniers can find the 2% growth and miss the 98% shrinkage.

Nigel 11

Re: Antactica is melting too

That is where our conversation should be focused. If the plant was susceptible to a positive forcing then it would have destroyed itself a long, long, ... ,long time ago

Faulty logic

The sun is getting hotter as it ages. One of these years, this planet will tip into "cold Venus" thermal runaway. Consensus is that year is several hundred million years in the future, and that the worst that anthropogenic global warming can do is to melt all the ice, thereby flooding a lot of real-estate. Thereafter there's a nice stable region where increased surface temperature would cause increased cloud cover, reflecting more sunlight, therefore reducing temperatures. Negative feedback until cloud cover saturates at 100%.

But the "cold Venus" tipping point will be reached eventually, and maybe it's a good idea to consider the possibility that it's much nearer than our consensus suggests. We won't get a second chance if we're wrong.

Addie

Re: Antactica is melting too

Quick! Let the scientists know this before people start doubting Global Warming!

Charles Manning

"Done properly"... bollocks!

The Alkaselzer tab would have filled the bottle with almost pure CO2.

If he had done it prooperly he'd have put 400ppm CO2 in the bottle.

If you want to, repeat the experiment by blowing into the bottle. That would put approx 1% CO2 in the bottle.

That would have put the two lines so close together that other variables (eg. direction of the light) would have far bigger impact.

Randy Hudson

Re: Antactica is melting too

Pure H2O melts at temperatures well below 0ºC when it has 1 mile of frozen ice sitting on top of it, with pressures 100s of times greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

Philip Lewis
Headmaster

Re: Antactica is melting too

"Both are loosing "

A down vote for being incapable of spelling

RealFred

Re: Antactica is melting too

Averages are misleading. If there are two students, one gets 99% in an exam and 1 gets 1% in an exam, on average they both get 50%

RealFred

Re: Antactica is melting too

If they know its inaccurate, why are they using it to try and prove their point?

Vic

Re: What's the problem with this?

I've tried making fancy layered drinks a few times. They're darned hard to make without a heck of a lot of practice. And their viscosities are a heck of a lot different than sea water and fresh water.

Whatever else might be said here, the existence of haloclines is not in doubt. They exist - I've swum through them (which was decidedly odd).

Vic.

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