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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  1. 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.

    1. 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? ;)

      1. 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?

        1. beast666

          Re: Antactica is melting too

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

          That is the problem.

          1. 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.

            1. 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.

              1. 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.

                1. 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.

                  1. 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?

                  2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

                    "Name one freshwater river in Antarctica."

                    Pine Island Glacier.

                    Glaciers ride on fresh water (the pressure from above causes the ice to melt, just like an ice skate melts ice) and PIG discharges several hundred tons of freshwater per second from the bottom of the ice shelf.

                2. 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 ?

                  1. 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.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

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

                    Hence why most of the melting is from warm water sea currents.

                  3. gzuckier

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

                    You're saying that there is no melting of the land ice in the Antarctic, from your deep theoretical understanding ("but to melt the ice; the air temperature has to be > 0C."), despite every scientific measure, despite photographic evidence of the antarctic glaciers shrinking. Wow.

                    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/242/ All lies, I take it?

                  4. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

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

                    To melt the ice at the surface, yes.

                    Water is a funny substance. Under pressure it melts at slightly lower temperatures, but more importantly, extremely high pressure ice behaves more like molasses than the substance we put in our drinks and extremely high pressures are what you find under a few hundred metres (or a few km) of ice.

                    The end result is that there is a huge amount of fresh water, or "soft ice" sitting under every glacier in the world and that's what enables them to slide. This also causes problems when making deep core sampling holes in ice, as they close up after a few days and have been known to close up behind the drill.

                    The other odd thing is that the atmosphere only accounts for a small fraction of the extra absorbed energy from the sun. Virtually all of it (~90%) goes into the oceans and being much denser than air, they only heat up a little, but it's enough to make a big difference to life on the planet. That slightly warmer water has been enough to melt the arctic icecap (anything less than 2 metres thick is only temporary ice) and carve away at glacier underpinnings worldwide.

              2. 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

                1. 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.

                  1. 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.

                    1. beast666

                      Re: Antactica is melting too

                      No.

                      The anomaly trend is 0.0 C

                      I suggest you fucking look again.

                    2. 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.

                    3. John Deeb

                      Re: Antactica is melting too

                      Def "not that fucking graph again", lets hope you never will put your money in any stocks or shares. If after 18 years the value is still at 0.24 above the long running average then there was effectively zero growth. What you are thinking of perhaps is a different question: is the Earth surface temperature still warmer than the long running average of 30 years? Yes it is but that's "globally warmer" not "global warming" as defined at least by for example EOS/NASA.

                      Normally the usual goalpost widening starts here to describe the Earth as one giant energetic system where the "warming" is some process that is taking place especially in all the hidden corners. Some would call that process "change" by the way.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Antactica is melting too

                        You use shapes in graphs to predict stock/share prices? Really? Geez, I thought chart analysis had died out with phrenology, music hall and gas lamps.

                  2. 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.

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

                  "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 "

                  To put that in perspective, 1 billion tons is 1 cubic km of ice.

                  On average is one thing. Cryosat has also been showing substantial increases each year.

                  I currently live 44 metres above sea level, but anyone living < 10 metres needs to think through their flood preparedness over the next few years. It's not just rises in sea level which are a problem, but increased storm intensities and surges which come with them.

                3. Jaybus

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

                  There is a difference between showing that the upper level of the oceans has warmed and showing that the Earth [planet] has warmed. What about the lower levels of the ocean? subsurface temps? Land mass temps that are all over the place? It is a complex system. I really respect Prof. Scambos for stating "What we're learning is that we have more to learn", another way of saying "Damned if I know! We need to study this further before we can make any determinations.". What a refreshing change from the typical response of modern, grant-driven scientists!

              3. The First Dave Silver badge

                Re: Antactica is melting too

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

                1. 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.

                  1. Philip Lewis
                    Headmaster

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

                    "Both are loosing "

                    A down vote for being incapable of spelling

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

                  The antarctic landmass is fucking cold. Inland temperatures seldom if ever go above -20 and some areas have never been above -40 - but inland temperatures are rising and you won't see any change in ice until they hit melting point (at which point the visible change is sudden and spectacular), except for faster glacier flow.

                  The temperature around the antarctic caoastline is more-or-less zero. (It's below freezing above the waterline, but the seawater is above freezing or it'd freeze to the seafloor.)

                  Adding more cold stuff into the water reduces the temperature slightly and decreases the salinity slightly. That's enough to form more ice on the water, even though the overall _volume_ of ice is reduced.

                  A few years ago, people took an unusually harsh UK winter (3-4C below normal) as proof global warming was a fake, but completely missed that large chunks of canada and siberia were more than 20C warmer than normal.

                  Climate is not weather and local clmactic changes are not global ones. Large amounts of relative warming in one are can result in small amounts of relative cooling in another, but the overall change can still be relative warming.

                  Antarctic sea ice is different to arctic sea ice. It's entirely possible for the sea ice to expand, if the amount of land ice pushing into it increases - which it has.

                3. pureabsolute

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

                  Change in currents, both in the air and in the ocean, can do that.

              4. 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."

                1. 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).

                2. gzuckier

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

                  How does the Antarctic ice increase if the earth is a closed system?

                  Gee, do you think it's associated with the years of drought experienced in the US Southwest, and the Middle East; and the existence of a device called a "cold trap" which you use to dehumidify air, by passing it over a cold surface so that the water vapor freezes out?

                  Or does your understanding of global warming make you think that Antarctica is now significantly warmer than the freezing point of water?

              5. 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!

                1. 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

                  1. 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.

                2. 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

                  1. 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.

                  2. Conrad Muller

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

                    I live in Alaska, and we are experiencing the effects of warming, and have been for decades. Warmer winters are allowing spruce bark beetle infestations further north every year, loss of winter sea ice is causing shorelines and villages to wash away in winter storms, melting permafrost (soil that has been frozen for tens of thousands of years) is causing houses and roads to sink, and melting permafrost is causing the release of methane, which is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Dream on deniers.

                    By the way, the excess heat at moderate latitudes has been absorbed by the oceans, but that will not go on forever.

                  3. gzuckier

                    Re: Antactica is melting too

                    You really don't understand radiative forcing.

                    "our currently stable negative forcing environment "

                    What does that mean?

                    " A positive forcing (more incoming energy) warms the system, while negative forcing (more outgoing energy) cools it. Causes of radiative forcing include changes in insolation and the concentrations of radiatively active gases, commonly known as greenhouse gases and aerosols."

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing#Climate_sensitivity

                    1. Mke68

                      Re: Antactica is melting too

                      Positive forcing refers to the AGW theory that CO2 concentration will reach a tipping point where the earth's climate will "run away". Part of the theory involves the water cycle. A doubling of CO2 results in 1°C increase in temperature. That means from 200ppm to 400ppm results in 1°C increase. 400ppm to 800ppm results in another 1°C increase. 800ppm to 1600ppm add another 1°C increase.

                      AGW is attempting to convince us that somewhere between 400ppm and 800ppm the temperature increase will be much larger than 1°C due to other effects, such as an increase in evaporation which increases water vapor in the air. Water vapor, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, will then cause the global mean temperature to increase much faster and eventually "run away". Currently the water cycle acts to moderate global temperatures. The water cycle/temperature is stable (negative forcing). AGW is trying to convince us that there is some critical mean global temperature at which the water cycle will become unstable (positive forcing) and cause all of these global catastrophes.

                3. 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.

                  1. gzuckier

                    Re: @hemidude - Review your math before trying physics again

                    "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."

                    Once you've made up your mind CO2 doesn't make a difference, it might as well be 400%, you're still going to say it makes no difference.

                4. 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.

                5. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

                  Not quite the correct model. Instead, take two flat airtight tanks large enough to cover a terrarium. Leave one full of just air while you put dry ice in the other to raise the CO2 level. Now, use them to cover two terraria with the sides covered to block outside influences. Now shine your heat lamp through the covers and try your temperature checks.

                  This is a more accurate experiment because what you're forgetting is that CO2 doesn't absorb heat; it reflects heat, acting like a blanket. And it doesn't have to take very much to have a blanketing influence. After all, if one chlorine atom can destabilize several ozone molecules, why can't a thin layer of CO2 work like a thermal blanket?

                6. gzuckier

                  Re: Antactica is melting too

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

                  It's been known for a century that the earth is approximately 33 degrees C warmer than the solar energy received can account for. Compare to the temperature of the moon, for instance, adjusting for different albedo.

                  http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr72.pdf

                  "The global average mean surface temperature of the earth is 288 K (Table

                  2.1). Above we deduced that the emission temperature of the Earth is 255K,

                  considerably lower."-2.3 The greenhouse effect http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387h/Lectures/chap2.pdf

                  "The Earth has a moderate greenhouse effect which increases the surface

                  temperature by some 40 K over the blackbody temperature." http://www.astro.uvic.ca/~venn/A201/maths.7.planet_temperature.pdf

                  Have you ever tried your experiment?

              6. 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.

                1. 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%

              7. gzuckier

                Re: Antactica is melting too

                fer crissakes, the Antarctic land ice has melted to the point where it's affecting the earth's gravity.

                Antarctic ice sheet losing mass, says University of Colorado study

                http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-03/uoca-ais022806.php

                Isabella Velicogna, "Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE," Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L19503 (2009).

                Skepticism is demanding proof.

                Denialism is continuing to insist it's not true, when there is proof.

              8. Julz Bronze badge
                Joke

                Re: Antactica is melting too

                Citizens Against Government Waste?

            2. gzuckier

              Re: Antactica is melting too

              Land is warmer than sea when the sun shines, colder than sea at night.

            3. pureabsolute

              Re: Antactica is melting too

              Umm.. Outside of the ocean, which is at 2 - 4 degrees (note the lack of negative sign), the temperatures are below 0, average, even in the summer (even if on some days it can get as warm as 15 degrees).

              The correct answer is, ice flows. *Warm* is *not* the same as *warmer*. But glaciers move, snows.. snow.. and piles of snow.. flow. Not necessarily because of the snow becoming warm.

              To follow through, in addition to top layer flow, the cold surface of the ocean, high winds and snow can increase or maintain the extent. And the salt water and warmer ocean water can erode the extent from underneath.

              Technically, just from these facts you can't really say anything about warming or cooling -- there are too many variables -- much in the same way that you cannot tell global warming or cooling is happening based on a measurement in a specific location.

              OTOH, people who use the lack of arctic ice as evidence are falling into the same logical error.

        2. hemidude

          Re: Antactica is melting too

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

        3. 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.

        4. 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.

        5. 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.

          1. 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.

            1. Jamie Shannon

              Re: What's the problem with this?

              Pour the first fluid into the glass. Put a thin cloth handkerchief over the glass, and press it down until it just touches the first fluid and forms a cone. Slowly pour the second liquid in the glass on the cone of cloth, pull the handkerchief slowly out of the glass. Repeat as necessary depending on how many layers you want in your drink. Please use a clean handkerchief.

              1. Kevin Johnston

                Re: What's the problem with this?

                Alternatively pour them from lightest to densest using a thin funnel/tube set to the bottom of the glass (normally not a flat-bottom glass). This allows you to slowly raise the less dense fluids and reduces the eddy currents which are your main problem. With practise you can just pour direct to the edge of the glass and have the nectar sink but my hands are not steady enough due to a love of coffee :)

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            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."

            Try making them with a few thousand tons of ingredients instead of a few grams.

            The mixing layer is fairly turbulant and without constant freshwater topping off, the 2 layers would mix entirely fairly quickly - they do at some distance away from the source anyway, but that's far enough to allow ice to form.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

      4. rtb61

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        GAH, the stupid it burns. Whether it is -10C or -20C water will freeze and colder does not mean more water freezes, more water available to freeze, basically freezes.

        So the driver is precipitation, the amount of moisture available in the atmosphere to freeze and fall as snow.

        The more snow the lands in the waters surrounding Antarctica, the greater the fresh water available at the surface (fresh is lighter that salty hence has a tendency to remain on the surface and of course as a bonus ice floats) and the higher the temperature at which sea ice will form.

        This has been covered before, looking at Antarctica what counts is the glaciers, the stored volume of water on land, ice floating on the sea doesn't count for shite, one way or the other.

        Ohhh Yeah, the floating sea ice will prevent sea levels from rising.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Antactica is melting too

          I find it amusing that in an article where climate scientists admit they're "puzzled" by a phenomena, some random poster on El Reg thinks he's got the answer that somehow the climate experts have all missed.

          Yes, I'm sure they all didn't think about the fact that if ice on the Antarctic continent is melting and goes into the ocean, it might re-freeze.....if you really think they're that stupid, why in the hell would anyone believe anything they said?

          Me, I'm going along with the idea that they don't know what it causing it, and maybe it indicates that global warming isn't happening like Lewis is implying, or on the other hand maybe it implies they don't know everything about the climate yet.

      5. gzuckier

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        No, what he's saying is:

        the sea water is <0 C but not freezing because of the salt content.

        The land ice is melting and diluting the sea water, thus raising the freezing point to where it's above the current sea temp, so it freezes.

        I don't know if that theory is correct or not, but you should at least be able to follow the reasoning.

      6. Alan Brown Silver badge

        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? ;)"

        Not at all. As is the case in New Zealand's Fjords, there is _so much_ fresh water coming off of Antarctica that it's forming a fresh layer a couple of metres thick sitting on top of the brine and reducing the salinity where it does mix in.

        On top of that, 1km^3 of ice would be 1000 km^2 of 1 metre thick sea ice, and the antarctic landmass lost something in excess of 75km^3 last year alone. Most of the antarctic winter sea ice is fairly thin and it doesn't last long once the antarctic summer begins.

    2. 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...

      1. 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

      2. 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.

      3. 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?

    3. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. RealFred

          Re: Antactica is melting too

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

        2. gzuckier

          Re: Antactica is melting too

          Everything has "approaching-infinite variables."

          Yet the tidal charts seem fairly accurate despite the unknown effects of objects in the Kuyper belt, for one instance.

          At some point, a model is accurate enough for the intended use. This is true for all models, for all uses. I can drive a car without having to consider relativistic effects, nor quantum uncertainty.

          I can estimate the average temperature for this region next July, despite the approaching-infinite variables involved there.

      2. evs

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        > created a model which was designed to show that the icecaps would melt and it that it was wrong.

        That contains an assumption that the icecaps aren't melting (height) which is totally distinct from sea ice extent (breadth). As others have pointed out, there are reasonable models where melting icecaps or sea ice breakup would cause a short-term increase in sea ice extent.

    4. 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!

      1. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        Perhaps you mean Precession...

      2. bart

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        Precession? Ok, sure; lets go there . . .

        Over a period of ~71.6 years, the earth's axis rotates or “precedes” approximately 1 degree with respect to the plane of the elliptic. The largest effect this has on our climate is to shift the relationship of seasons to our calendar by ~24.3 hours, or a bit more than one day. So, spring (or any other season) arrives a bit sooner every year. In ~6400 years, the seasons will have shifted with respect to today by 90 degrees, in ~12.9k yrs they will have shifted 180 degrees, so that what is now winter will be summer, and continue on to a full cycle in ~25.8k yrs.

        To put this in perspective, in ~1650, the beginning of the last “mini ice age,” the seasons were shifted by a whopping ~5 days from where they are today.

        Is the Earth’s axial precession a factor with respect to climate? Undoubtably, just not in a way that has any bearing on the types of change that we are already experiencing from pumping somewhere north of 10 gigatonnes (yes, that’s billions of tons) of CO2 every year into the atmosphere.

        Is CO2 production the only problem producing an abnormal and accelerating warming effect? No, but it dwarfs all other sources by orders of magnitude, including (and especially) precession.

        1. Jamie Shannon

          Re: Antactica is melting too

          Human production of CO2 constitutes 0.0004% of our atmosphere. If you believe that concentration "drives" global temperatures, please go back to University and study physics. Because it does not, and can not at those concentrations. It is that simple. Basic irrefutable physics. The global warming community run around spewing all sorts of numbers and "correlations", and forget the basic rules of science and mathematics: Correlation does not prove or even imply a causal relationship.

      3. Conrad Muller

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        You can't tip the North Pole with out tipping the South pole the same amount. If the North has warmer summers, so does the South.

      4. gzuckier

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        Sure... it's too hard to believe that CO2 absorbs energy even though you can demonstrate it in the lab, it's much easier to believe the earth suddenly tipped over in its rotation for no particular reason, without anybody noticing, no coriolis effects, no gyroscopic effects.

        Well, we've got the warming is because the earth tipped over, the sun's getting warmer, sunspots are keeping cosmic rays from forming clouds to cool us, volcanoes, and the earth isn't getting warmer after all. Yep, that "can't be CO2" theory just keeps getting better and better.

      5. pureabsolute

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        The earth circles the sun -- a change in tilt would cause both the north and the south to have cooler winters and hotter summers.

        Of course, we don't have a circlular orbit -- there is a chance during our ellipse that when we are furthest from the sun we are tilted with antarctica closest towards the sun and when we are nearest to the sun, the arctic is closest.

        But if that were true, someone would have said so, right?

    5. 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!

      1. Alan_Peery

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        Evaporation from the sea at temperatures close to zero will be low, as the liquids tend not to evaporate when cold.

    6. 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.

    7. Addie

      Re: Antactica is melting too

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

    8. gzuckier

      Re: Antactica is melting too

      Doesn't even need to be melting land ice; just rain and/or snow will do the job. The atmosphere as a whole is getting moister due to the temperature rise; in particular the southern ocean is warming, resulting in more evaporation which will condense in the coldest air around, over Antarctica. The extra heat has made the ocean into more of a still, moving pure water to Antarctica. The pure water dilutes the salt, raises the freezing point, etc.

      Furthermore, the lower salinity on top is less dense, reducing the upwelling of warmer water from below, which is saltier and heavier, thus the layer on top stays colder and less salty, both lead to more ice.

      Another hypothesis is that increased winds and/or currents move the ice around generating open water, which then freezes.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Antactica is melting too

        "Another hypothesis is that increased winds and/or currents move the ice around generating open water, which then freezes."

        It's likely to be a combination of "all the above" - what is known is that the sea ice is very thin in most places and the slight increase in volume doesn't come close to covering the loss of land-based ice.

        (As others have pointed out, sea based ice doesn't make any difference to sea levels anyway)

        1. David Pollard

          Re: Antactica is melting too

          "A comprehensive, 21-year analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade." - from a study by UCI and NASA glaciologists.

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141202183313.htm

    9. icetrout

      Re: Antactica is melting too

      If you play Black Sabbath's "Iron Man " backwards you can hear Satin telling Al Gore how to hypnotize liberals ...

    10. caradoc

      Re: Antactica is melting too

      Current temperature at Amundsen Scott S Pole station is minus 62deg C, although they are expecting a high today of minus 60C and the forecast for next Tuesday is for minus 44C. Wow, 16 deg warming in less than a week, global warming is happening, the Antarctic is melting.

      Vostok is minus 56 today but is going to warm to minus 50C next week, lots of meltwater to come.

      http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/antarctica%20environment/weather.htm

  2. Thought About IT

    Cherry picking

    Sigh! Lewis is as bad as the so-called educational charity fronted by Nigel Lawson in cherry picking research that fits his agenda.

    1. Barely registers
      Flame

      Re: Cherry picking

      When you observe a cherry that says that an entire continent of ice and snow has grown by more than 4 standard deviations above its baseline average, it just screams to be picked. Much like the cherries which have been picked highlighting record lows in Arctic ice area and extent.

      When the cherry represents a measurement that flat out goes against the predictions of a globally warming world, and laughs in the face of models being used to justify billions of pounds being directed to "alternative" energies and the like, then it fucking well should be picked and held up to the world with at least the tagline "hold on just a second....."

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Cherry picking

        The area of ice has increased but not its volume which has reduced by some 128Km**3 per year for the last 3 years.

        1. Barely registers

          Re: Cherry picking

          Ooh. Data. Can you post a link please?

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Cherry picking Ooh. Data.

            The link was given above but here it is again http://www.the-cryosphere.net/8/1539/2014/tc-8-1539-2014.html

            1. Barely registers

              Re: Cherry picking Ooh. Data.

              Thanks. Most interesting.

              The 128km^3 figure is not derived by performing the subtraction between two actual measurements, but by comparisons between model outputs. The model is derived from 369 days of data starting in january 2012, and then applied to data taken between 2011 and 2014.

              From what I can understand, the model is an 8th order polynomial curve fit. To quote John von Neumann, "With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk." Here we have eight parameters.

              The error bars on the result are nearly of the order of the result: -128km^3 +/- 83.

              The claim of a factor of three increase in rate of volume loss comes by comparing the output of two different models. When you consider that the thrust of the article is that the models aren't stacking up to reality, conclusions drawn by comparing two model outputs don't seem wholly reliable.

              Climate science is worrisomely veering to the "models all the way down".

              Give me measurements.

              1. Daggerchild Silver badge

                Re: Cherry picking Ooh. Data.

                "Climate science is worrisomely veering to the "models all the way down". Give me measurements"

                No. Evidence suggests that that would not be a good use of our time.

                Talking of cherry picking, is there any particular reason why we're only referencing 15 years of air temperature now instead of the whole record which I thought was being disputed before?

                And why is the gravitational effect of the Antarctic continent going down, as measured by *two* *different* gravity probing satellites over a number of years? Seeing as this is happening way, way too fast for geology, that leaves only ice and penguins as variable factors. I'm not seeing a very disputable model here.

                Can you suggest a model where the rapid translocation of a substantial mass with a large thermodynamic differential does not have significant and rapid equilibrium-altering implications for a primarily thermodynamic system?

                Or maybe the penguins are just on a diet.

  3. Fun Fun

    The explanation to Antarctis ice by Joe Bastardi

    Pier Gosselin expains his awe:

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/08/24/a-single-meteorologist-explains-what-165-billion-in-government-funded-climate-science-couldnt/

    And here you can watch Joe Bastardi's original explanation

    http://www.weatherbell.com/saturday-summary-august-23-2014

    The reason behind excess ice seems to be some sort of oceanic oscillation.

  4. Lionel Baden

    THE SKY IS FALLING !!!

    Wait hang no no... we were wrong we had no idea what was going on.

    please dont think I feel we should ignore our environment, we shouldn't. We have to live here as well.

  5. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Alert

    I think...

    ..at this point, the planet has a sense of humor and is just fucking with us. (we already know the universe has one, and a dark, twisted, cruel one at that)

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Coat

      Re: I think...

      Let us all hope we don't wind up as a rabbit, or worse, a bowl of petunias.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: I think...

        How about an aspidistra? I for one would welcome the chance to shake my leaves at intrepid adventurers.

        1. beast666

          Re: I think...

          That would make you "The greatest aspidistra in the World!"

          1. Preston Munchensonton
            Coat

            Re: I think...

            "The most interesting aspidistra in the World!"

            There, I fixed it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think...

          Gronda, gronda!

  6. kdh0009

    IMHO...

    There's gonna be a lot of comments here - remember when you read them that all should be prefixed with IMHO

    1. Adze

      Re: IMHO...

      "Only a sith deals in absolutes" - Obi Wan Kenobi, a long time ago.

  7. Fading Silver badge
    Linux

    Winters coming.

    How much greater ice extent is required before the Earth's albedo is increased sufficiently to bring about another ice age?

    How long have we got at current rates of increasing extent (btw it doesn't matter how thin this ice is)?

    1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip
      Joke

      Re: Winters coming.

      "Earth's albedo is increased"

      The earth has a sex drive? Is it going to try and mate with Jupiter or Mars?

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Winters coming.

        No, it is already in a stable long-term relationship. With the Moon. Very fortunately for us!

    2. malcolmus_rex

      Re: Winters coming.

      The growth of Antarctic coverage is occurring at a much slower rate compared to the Arctic sea ice decline.

      http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/characteristics/difference.html

      So the increase in the albedo of Antartic sea ice is more than offset by the reduction in the albedo of the Arctic (after accounting for the Antarctic sea ice being further from the pole, so receiving more incoming solar radiaiton).

      1. Fading Silver badge

        Re: Winters coming.

        No unfortunately it isn't (global ice is up). And no unfortunately it won't - albedo of water at north pole due to the angle of incidence is not vastly dissimilar to ice at the north pole - ergo the growing at the south pole especially as the area increase reflects more radiation (angle of incidence is less) is of great concern....

        Winter is coming.

  8. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    Once again...

    ... Lewis omits the words "Nar nar ne-nar nar!"

  9. No Quarter

    I think David Shukman should be sent down there to report this for the BBC.

    He should be able to blame this on global warming some how.

  10. DropBear Silver badge

    (though the warming of the world is also in doubt, as air temperatures have been steady for the last fifteen years or more - and it turns out that deep ocean temperatures are not increasing either, leaving the "mystery" of the apparent end of global warming "unsolved")

    As much as I have my own... issues with AGW, this is a bit of a non-sequitur: the quoted article itself notes that there's not really doubt that the upper ocean got hotter (without pretending to completely explain everything that doesn't seem to fit, of course).

  11. Cthugha

    All the ice

    has headed south for a holiday, it will be back soon...

  12. codejunky Silver badge

    Science continues

    "What we're learning is, we have more to learn,"

    A very honest statement concerning a political football. This is good news. It means that while there are political camps fighting over their beliefs (Its all true and your dooomed! vs Nothin ever happens no matter what) there are scientists drowned out but still working to find the facts.

    The good news is by the end of all this we should have a much better understanding of the world we live in.

  13. Kevin Johnston

    I blame Mother Nature

    We all know that women are prone to changing their minds at regular intervals for no apparent reason....maybe she was getting hot and needed some ice 'down under'

  14. Tim Roberts 1

    sea ice- land ice

    Sea ice and land ice (glaciers mainly in Antarctica) are not the same. In fact they seem to me to be as related as weather and climate.

    Perhaps this provides a more reasoned view?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/increasing-Antarctic-Southern-sea-ice-intermediate.htm

    and there are dozens of other resources out there if you don't like this one

    1. Fading Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: sea ice- land ice

      Dear lord - Skeptical science and "more reasoned" in the same sentence? Please that site is rabid CAGW to the point of hoping for it!

      Try climate etc, watts up with that or jonova but please not a website from a (poor) cartoonist.

    2. beast666
      FAIL

      Re: sea ice- land ice

      Ha! You provide a link to SS in support of a more reasoned view!

      Give me a bloody break.

      Here is a more reasoned view...

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/08/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum/

      1. not IT

        Re: sea ice- land ice

        Sheesh - what a great example of "climate religion". Both pages agree that sea ice is increasing for complex reasons but NOT because the world is cooling.

  15. Yugguy

    What this means is

    We still know VERY LITTLE about how both cosmic and human factors affect the earth.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: What this means is

      Its says very little to those 2 things explicitly. It says we don't understand the mechanisms at work here even enough to classify what they may be. Certainly not "cosmic" whatever that may be. Sounds like something we should call Dr Strange for.

      I presume you meant Solar or specifically Cosmic ray interactions in cloud formations. Either that or you were having a 60's hippy flashback. Cosmic man!

    2. beast666

      Re: What this means is

      Get with the program!

      Don't you know "The science is settled." ?

    3. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: What this means is

      "We still know VERY LITTLE about how both cosmic and human factors affect the earth"

      I know that life on other planets probably also arises from species that predate upon their surrounding biosphere and multiply as much as they can.

      But it always seems to end in silence. Maybe that is the message. The predator's rule "don't sh*t where you eat" taken to its logical conclusion.

      And oh, you can drop the "Nature will balance it" hope you're clinging to. The biosphere has crashed before and will happily crash again. At least one of the planet's mass die-offs involved a runaway exponential methane release toppling the system. I'm sure for the algae/bacterium they implicated that it was a good idea at the time...

  16. David Pollard

    Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

    ... it very much looks as though the West Australian ice sheet will continue unabated its gradual slide into the ocean.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/12/western-antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-has-already-begun-scientists-warn

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/13/science/earth/collapse-of-parts-of-west-antarctica-ice-sheet-has-begun-scientists-say.html

    1. beast666

      Re: Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

      "... it very much looks as though the West Australian ice sheet will continue unabated its gradual slide into the ocean."

      Except it isn't...

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        FAIL

        @beat666 Re: Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

        "Except it isn't..."

        Care to substantiate that with a linky? I don't have an axe to grind per se but if you are contradicting someone who has given multiple links I would at least expect a similar level of argument from yourself.

        1. beast666

          Re: @beat666 Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

          Here you go

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/26/researcher-has-a-problem-with-attributing-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-collapse-to-human-activity/

          1. David Pollard

            Re: @beat666 Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

            Wattsup is indeed enlightening:

            “I have a problem with the widespread implication (in the popular press) that the West Antarctic collapse can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change,” said Mike Wolovik

            ...

            “I’m not an atmospheric scientist, so I can’t evaluate the strength of all of those linkages.”

        2. Tom 13

          Re: Care to substantiate that with a linky?

          The links provided don't even rise to the credibility of The Weekly World News.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

      "... it very much looks as though the West Australian ice sheet"

      Is that where they make Fosters Ice ?

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

        No, Fosters Ice is made in a cats home.

        1. RealFred

          Re: Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

          Thats the truest thing thats been said today

    3. David Pollard

      Re: Meanwhile, in earlier news ...

      ... slight mistake there ... I should have written 'West Antarctic Ice Sheet'. Here's a direct link to the NASA research.

      http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/may/nasa-uci-study-indicates-loss-of-west-antarctic-glaciers-appears-unstoppable/#.VA9Ug0sV3pg

  17. Robert Ramsay

    I like to think that all the warming we're doing is counteracting a new ice age which we should have had by now :-)

  18. Ru'

    There's an ice sheet in Australia? No wonder it's melting...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sure there was. However, due to the failure of the climate mafia's predictions that it would never ever, ever (a long time, but that is what they said) rain again in Australia (hint: it did), the good 'ol ice sheet just got swept away in the floods from that pesky rain that was never going to happen.

      And so it goes with cataclysmic climate predictions - wrong again :D

    2. RealFred

      Its nearly summer, so the ice doesn't stand a chance in Western Australia

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whenever there's news of an all-time low/high which appears to "prove" the coming eco-disaster that the Greens firmly believe is due any time soon, they (and the BBC) are full of disaster coming NOW headlines.

    How come they aren't screaming "No Need To Panic - Antartic Sea Ice At All Time High!!!". Strange that...

    As the scientists say, the more we know, the less we understand.

    1. beast666

      Add the Guardian to the list of watermelon (Green on the outside, red on the inside) outlets that selectively spew this nonsense.

      El Reg is pretty balanced in this debate I think.

      Try posting anything sensible on SS and watch how fast it disappears.

      The warmists are losing because facts trump models any day of the week.

      1. AbelSoul
        Trollface

        Re: Try posting anything sensible on SS and watch how fast it disappears.

        I'm not entirely convinced that you're best placed to test that claim.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      "As the scientists say, the more we know, the less we understand"

      Meanwhile the sea levels keep rising, the extreme weather gets more common, and the average surface temperature of the planet keeps increasing...

      1. beast666

        No.

        Sea-level rise is decelerating.

        'Extreme' weather is not more common.

        Global temps have been flat for 18+ years.

        Anything else false you want to mention?

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          "Sea-level rise is decelerating."

          Between 1870 and 2004, global average sea levels rose a total of 195 mm, and 1.46 mm per year. From 1950 to 2009, measurements show an average annual rise in sea level of 1.7 ± 0.3 mm per year, with satellite data showing a rise of 3.3 ± 0.4 mm per year from 1993 to 2009.

          "'Extreme' weather is not more common."

          Climate scientists in Germany noticed that since 2000 there have been an “exceptional number of summer weather extremes, some causing massive damage to society”. So they examined the huge meanders in the high-level jet stream winds that dominate the weather at mid-latitudes, by analysing 35 years of wind data amassed from satellites, ships, weather stations and meteorological balloons. They found that blocking patterns, which occur when these meanders slow down, have happened far more frequently.

          http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/11/extreme-weather-common-blocking-patterns

          "Global temps have been flat for 18+ years."

          Although the rate of increase in the globally and annually averaged temperature of the atmosphere near the surface has slowed since around 2000 compared to the rate of increase over the preceding three decades, near-surface warming of the atmosphere has continued. The 2000s were warmer than the 1990s, and the 2010s so far have been warmer than the 2000s, and upper ocean warming has accelerated.

          1. Fading Silver badge

            Wow truly wow

            1870 - 2004 - period of 134 years (little consistent methodology)

            1950 - 2009 - period of 59 years (mixed methodology)

            1993 - 2009 - period of 16 years (current methodology)

            And you are comparing rates of change? Seriously? Where did they learn statistics?

            2 - IPCC AR5 - try reading the CAGW bible for a change and you'll see no link with "extreme weather"

            3 - nope no warming in over half the satellite record. Try doing 2013-2003, 2003-1993 etc and see if your decadal pattern holds..... "upper ocean warming" - hmm pretty flat since 2010.....

            Winter is coming.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: the extreme weather gets more common

        Or not:

        http://www.weather.com/news/weather-hurricanes/florida-hurricane-free-streak-luck-run-out-20140801

        http://www.livescience.com/39619-major-hurricane-landfall-drought.html

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Vogon

        " extreme weather gets more common"

        Got a peer reviewed article on that? l'inq please.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: @Vogon

          "Got a peer reviewed article on that? l'inq please."

          http://www.pnas.org/content/111/34/12331

    3. David Pollard

      How come they aren't screaming 'No Need To Panic'?

      Maybe the researchers who have been looking at this are wondering about the relationship between increases in winter sea ice and the droughts that have been seriously affecting large areas of Australia in recent decades.

      Trolls are apparently endemic there too.

      http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/lies-damned-lies-and-statistics-how-australias-denial-movement-cant-read-a-map/

  20. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    oracle@delphi.gr

    1) Everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about.

    2) It's all gone wrong and there's nothing we can do about it.

    3) It's all gone wrong but we can do something about it.

    What worries me is that it could be 3 but we won't do anything because people choose to believe it's 1 or 2.

    It seems the only thing we do know is that we don't know. We are gambling with some pretty big stakes here and I am always concerned when anyone won't accept they may be wrong.

    1. beast666

      Re: oracle@delphi.gr

      What worries me is that governments absolutely believe its 3 when the facts are that its 1.

      Billions spent, energy prices through the roof. And for what?

      I repeat again. Global temps haven't increased in 18+ years despite CO2 climbing steadily.

      Again. Why should we tax carbon (Co2)?

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: oracle@delphi.gr

        What worries me is that governments absolutely believe its 3 when the facts are that its 1.

        Well if they are wrong we will have wasted billions and incurred huge costs for no gain. If you are wrong we'll be dead :-)

        And that is why people are naturally cautious, because they don't want to be fatally drawn to the wrong conclusion. I don't know the answer and am not as certain as you are that the facts prove it is 1. I wouldn't want to stake my life on it yet, and less so would want you or anyone else to stake my life on it.

        1. Ru'

          Re: oracle@delphi.gr

          If you are wrong we'll be dead :-)

          That escalated quickly; climate change may adversely affect many regions but I can't see it killing many El Reg commentators.

          Or do you mean by the time anything noticeable happens we'll be long gone (natural causes)?

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: oracle@delphi.gr

        "I repeat again. Global temps haven't increased in 18+ years despite CO2 climbing steadily."

        You keep saying that - but it's demonstrably not true as a quick look at any long term temperature record demonstrates. 18 Years ago was an exceptionally warm El Nino year and taken in isolation you might conclude that there had been only a little warming between now and then (but not none at all), however when you look at a larger data set, the continuing trend is clear.

        http://scienceblogs.com/significantfigures/index.php/2013/04/02/three-iconic-graphs-showing-the-climate-fix-were-in/

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/lo-hem/201408.gif

        The extreme level of obtuseness required not to realise this from only the most basic of research tells me that either you are incredibly gullible, or you are trolling...

        1. beast666

          Re: oracle@delphi.gr

          You are in denial.

          If you trace back from the present you will find that you can go back 18 years and find no warming.

          This is a fact.

          Go back 30 years and you will indeed find warming. But this is not my assertion.

          It is indeed demonstrably true. (18+ years of flat temps)

          You Sir are the troll for not accepting my assertion and the facts and continuing to use weasel words.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: oracle@delphi.gr

            "If you trace back from the present you will find that you can go back 18 years and find no warming."

            Nope - we find a small increase. As per your graph.

            "Go back 30 years and you will indeed find warming. But this is not my assertion."

            So you admit that you make a meaningless assertion with cherry picked figures that don't reflect the longer term trend. Glad we cleared that up.

            1. Fading Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: oracle@delphi.gr

              No Statistically significant warming - ergo you cannot differentiate it from zero (allowing for errors etc.)

      3. Killing Time

        Re: oracle@delphi.gr

        ' What worries me is that governments absolutely believe its 3'

        Governments don't absolutely believe its 3, politicians are more cynical than that. Governments are judged on, among other things, job creation.

        Technology is enabling higher power generation with less manpower, coal fired stations require a larger investment in manpower for fuel handling due to its lower energy density (shipping to site, processing, handling onsite). Think uprated CCGT's, nukes etc, increased automation means manning levels remain the same as the previous generation or even a decrease.

        Large nationwide installations of wind generation or PV creates high value jobs in the construction or installation sectors and finally in the ongoing service and support sector, all paid for by instigating a tax on the end user under the auspices of saving the planet.

        For a politician what's not to like? its a win win situation, they create the jobs and are outwardly seen to be caring. I haven't seen a political party yet which openly manifests to knock this model on the head.

  21. John Riddoch
    Joke

    "We have more to learn"

    Cynical translation: "Give us more funding!"

    1. Tom 13

      Re: "We have more to learn"

      There's nothing cynical about telling the truth.

      Although on a Page article that's brings out the Warmist trolls, you will collect a lot of downvotes.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I come to these threads

    For the intellectual level of the debate, and am never disappointed, though my sarcasm meter may go off the scale.

    In other news, scientists do science. Who would have imagined that?

  23. Jeremy Clarkson

    and on that bombshell...

    Global warming is crap. I've been saying it for years.

  24. beast666

    Benefits of rising CO2...

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/08/deserts-greening-from-rising-co2/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here is a nice look at recent years with El Nino peaks removed that indicates the trend: https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/04-s-atl-ind-w-pac-ssta.png

      Warming has slowed a bit in the short term, but this is no more exceptional than previous historical variations - the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is still increasing and therefore so will the temperature.

      The impact of this on the climate will of course be varied. It might indeed occasionally make deserts wetter / greener, but overall it's most likely to be rather unpleasant through increases in extreme weather - that we can already see - and of course in rising sea levels.

      1. Fading Silver badge

        Surface temperature response is only....

        One way more energy in the system can be arranged. Given the atmosphere can contain H2O in all its states simultaneously - an increase at surface level in average kinetic energy is very unlikely and would only occur in the simplest of systems. So no "whilst the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is still increasing" it doesn't follow that "therefore so will the [surface]temperature."

      2. Tom 13

        Re: with El Nino peaks removed

        NO! NO! NO! NO! And I say again NO!

        When you are doing REAL science you don't get to remove actual data that disagrees with your theory! This is the fundamental problem with your Warmist cult.

        1. catprog

          Re: with El Nino peaks removed

          Lets try an experiment. We get the following data 1 ,1 ,1 , 1 , 1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 , -100.

          According to you their has been an large decrease in the data. If I know why that last one was an outlier I can say in general the data is stable. (Comparing like to like)

          1. Tom 13

            Re: Lets try an experiment.

            Except your experiment does not correctly reflect the data set. The data set is:

            55, 55.1, 55.2, 55.3, 55.4, 55.4, 55.3, 55.4, 55.4, 55.3, 55.4, 55.3, 55.4

            and you're throwing out all the 55.4s as outliers.

  25. Stuart 22

    Car Bonne Tax

    I'll believe it all when Osborne starts giving tax breaks to high polluting CO2 gas guzzling flash motors. Oh, hang on hasn't he being doing just that with removing planned hikes to fuel duty?

    More wheels, less bedrooms wins votes. Bit sad innit?

  26. russell 6

    As the article says, there is still a lot to learn. At the same time we need to look after our home, it's the only one we have.

  27. mamsey

    Interwebs

    I'm personally in favour of the statement 'It's the Interwebs that are causing global warming", as when I was a young lad, before the advent of the Interwebs, I seem to remeber that it was the coming of the next ice age that was all the rage...

  28. Pope_Algore

    The Man Made Climate Change Religious Cult

    It takes a lot of faith to believe in the man-made climate change religious cult. Or maybe it's more of an ideology? What it is NOT, is science. The climate changed and dinosaurs were wiped out. The climate changed and Ice Ages came and went. Followed by global warmings that melted them.

    And yet we're supposed to believe that humans are changing the climate THIS TIME? And the only solutions are higher taxes, less freedoms (except for the uber-Leftists, who must lord over the peons, of course), and going back to Stone Age living conditions?

    When I see Al Gore and the Hollywood gang riding bicycles, selling their private jets, and living in shoebox-sized apartments, I may start to believe in their hoax.

    1. HopLobster

      Re: The Man Made Climate Change Religious Cult

      No climate change is supported by the science. The atmosphere and the oceans are not too big to fail. Scientists do not follow an ideology, they observe, model and make predictions from their models.

      There are many suggested solutions, not all include higher taxes and less freedoms. We should support an increase in new nuclear build and increased research into new nuclear with the goal of construction of a new fleet of molten salt thorium reactors.

  29. ReduceGHGs

    This will no doubt be used by some as an excuse to reject the current state of climate change science. They'll grasp at ANYTHING to prop up their baseless opinions! The fossil fuel industry loves the gullible people. Learn more about climate change. Google: NASA Climate Change Consensus

  30. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  31. scarshapedstar
    Facepalm

    Surface area != volume

    If the author believes that it's impossible for a reduced actual volume of total ice - you know, the important part - to coexist with a larger thin layer of sea ice, he must be perpetually BAFFLED when he opens a seemingly large bag of potato chips to find that it's only about 1/3 full.

    Speaking of, if the author sends me $10,000 I will reciprocate with a box containing $1,000,000. Don't bother actually counting them all; the box will have a transparent lid through which an upper layer of bills will be visible, which should suffice as proof that the entire box is full of money!

  32. lucki bstard

    How about this summary:

    - Models are not accurate enough

    Like every simulation the information that can be extracted from it is limited to the information that can be entered into it. Accuracy is hence limited to the information entered, is it possible to influence the outcome by the information selected to be entered, yep it is.

    - Accuracy of interpretation of results

    Interpretation of results is fundamentally flawed. Raw data is not flawed interpretation is.

    - Climate change has morphed to become a religion

    Either you accept one side or the other, and both sides have evangelical preachers. Look at the comments on this article alone, is it possible in this rational age to have a non partisan discussion on climate change. Nope not really.

    - Can you trust a scientist?

    Before you read a paper first thing to do is check to see who has sponsored the research. That tells you the bias and so far I have not seen an article from a scientist who is not reliant on sponsorship (University/Think tank/ Government, etc); are the results independent of the sponsorship? No way not if the scientist ever wants to work again.

    The answer

    - Stop worrying, your opinion is just that and will not be taken into account by the groups who decides what is happening and what will be done about it.

    - Use the extra ice in your drinks

    - Emulate Bacchus

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Global Warming is OVER!

    Let's face reality. Human-caused global warming is a fiction.

    There is no supporting evidence for a warming effect, and if anything we are heading for really cold weather. The scientists who filled their rice-bowl from the gullible need to be moved on.

  34. Apul_MadeeqAoud

    Oh, I thought this was a case of irrefutable science with clear results.

    While the scientists continue learning, maybe the greater lesson to be learned by the general community is that scientists often have a greater sense of confidence and urgency in their proclamations than warranted.

  35. wolf359

    Duh!

    Lets see...we think that after keeping records for a couple of hundred years, that we have the climate of a planet that has been around for at least 4.5 BILLION years figured out?!?! We don't even know what caused the last ice age to end, other than we think it is an ongoing cycle...maybe it was caveman SUV's or maybe it is a solar cycle we haven't even discovered yet (after all the sun is the single most prominent factor other than the long term carbon cycle to our climate). If we can't figure out accurately what the weather will be like next week, how are we going to figure out a climate that has cycles of tens of thousands of years or longer?

    Maybe if we are still around when the next ice age ends, we'll have some idea of how the climate of our world really works.

  36. mike.f

    What is the Earth doing?

    I think a problem with the way climate change predictions are done is that they do not take into account what the Earth itself is doing. I'm not talking about some kind of Gaia-type conciousness, but the Earth as a dynamic system that reacts to changes.

    We know about the effect of ocean currents in the Atlantic, in fact we depend on them to keep North America and Europe temperate. But we know so little about other ocean currents, or even why they are there at all! Recent news was about "Sea Monkeys" and their possible effect on large ocean currents: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/pof2/26/10/10.1063/1.4895655

    Researcher's surprise over the increase in sea ice just underscores their lack of an accurate model of the planet, if such a model is possible.

    But I think we are in for more surprises as time goes on... the planet is dynamic.

  37. slotowner

    Snow?

    I would guess that the Antarctic is growing because of more snow. We know that warmer temperatures mean more moisture in the air & it might mean that the moisture reaches deeper into the Antarctic where it can accumulate & expand the glacial ice sheets. My guess is the current models expected the excess moisture to still be frozen & fall into the ocean or fringe ice prior to reaching the glacial zone. During prior warming periods of the Earth, there was not a continent located over one of the poles & continents handle precipitation very differently from oceans.

    Let's hope that the Earth remains more resilient to excess heat & CO2 than we thought. Expansion of the Antarctic ice does a lot to negate the melting of the Arctic.

  38. Jamie Shannon

    The Failure of "Climate Science"

    "This failure of reality to match up with climate modelling ..." I presume this putting the cart before the horse was intentional on the part of the author. In any case, it accurately sums up the state of so-called "climate science". As a scientist, one develops models that explain reality. One does not build a model based on pet assumptions and desired outcomes and then complain when reality doesn't fit your world view. The very foundations of anthropomorphic global warming are based on a fairy tale. The earth's atmosphere does not work on the same thermodynamic mechanism that a greenhouse does, and there are no analogous effects that are common to them. The green house theory is a fairy tale we tell school children because it is conceptually more palatable. It has no basis in real thermodynamics. Even IF a greenhouse model were applicable, "climate scientists" continue to ignore that fact that water vapor is the driving force in temperature in such a model. CO2 exists in what are essentially trace amounts in our atmosphere. Human contribution to that trace is 2 orders of magnitude less than the total CO2 concentration. The proposition that this less than trace amount of CO2 is somehow the driving factor of global temperature is a thermodynamic absurdity.

  39. Adrian Midgley 1

    amount area depth extent...

    3 are different and one is poorly defined.

  40. Leslie Graham

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

    - 159 Gt Antarctic LAND ice volume.........McMillan el al, GRL (2014)

    + 26 Gt Antarctic SEA ice volume............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)

    TOTAL ICE LOSS PER YEAR = 1,031 Gt.

    In fact, even the increase in seasonal Antarctic sea ice was predicted by Manabe et al 1991, nearly 25 years ago so t osay 'scientists are baffled' is ridiculous.

    And, of course, the melt is accelerating as global temperatures continue to rise. And make no mistake - the laws of physics did NOT magicaly cease to apply to the radiative properties of the CO2 molecule in July 1998 no matter how much the carbon corporation's propaganda machine tries to insist they did.

    Between 1997 and 2003 Greenland was losing ice at 83 cubic kilometres a year. From 2003 to 2009 it was up to 153 cubic kilometres a year.

    Last year, using 14.3 million data points across Greenland collected by CryoSat, the research team were able to show it was up to an extraordinary 378 cubic kilometres per year - nearly 5 times faster than just a decade ago.

    If you think that's bad - or even if you don't - check out Antarctica.

    Antarctica is also losing ice mass at an accelerating rate.

    The 159 Kt loss reported by the McMillan el al study is the long term average which obscures the detail.

    Between 1992 and 2001, ice was melting from the two main ice sheets at a rate of about 64 Gt a year.

    From 2002 to 2011, the ice sheets were melting at a rate of about 362 Gt a year – an almost six-fold increase.

    With 362 Gt of ice sliding or melting into the surrounding sea it's hardly surprising that there is an extra 32 Gt floating around is it?

    But the ice melt is the least of the problems that global warming is causing.

    Far more immediate will be the crop losses due to droughts and floods and the damage to the global economy - as we can already see. Well - most of us can.

  41. Leslie Graham

    Standard 'denial for beginners' nonsense.

    The warming has accelerated over the last 17 years - the deniers trick of selecting the RSS surface temps only graph and the one that doesn't even include the Arctic at that, let alone the oceans - and then cherry picking the very peak temperature of the Super El Nino year of 1998 as the start point for a statisticaly meaningless time period.,.... I mean really?

    You really seriously believe that the bulk of the world's people are so stupid they are going to fall for THAT!

    It's just insulting. Apart from this obvious and transparant attempt to deceive its moot anyway as both 2005 and 2010 were hotter than even the Super El Nino year.

    Globaly, 2014 is, so far, the hottest year on record.

    "...An unprecedented rise in global ocean temperatures contributed toward making the summer of 2014 the hottest on record, according to a report published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The reading puts the entire year on track to become the hottest ever since records began.

    From June through August, the average global temperature was 62.7 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.28 degrees higher than the 20th-century average. The global sea surface temperature was 1.17 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous century's average of 61.4 degrees, breaking the previous all-time high set in June. This, according to the report, made not only the month of August the hottest August since records began in 1880, it also made the summer of 2014 the hottest ever.

    The report stated that record-high temperatures were reported not only during the summers in the northern hemisphere, but also during the winters in the southern hemisphere during the months of June, July and August. During these three months, the winters in the southern hemisphere were the fourth warmest on record.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/summer-2014-was-hottest-ever-noaa-report-1692348

    At least try to come up with some new rubbish. These same old discredited and thousand-times-falsified myths and memes are no longer irritating - they're just boring.

    1. RealFred

      The big problem, you are using averages. How about using proper statistics. As the paper says, scientists have a lot to learn. This whole Global Warming fiasco will eventually result in the failure of people to trust science.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        "This whole Global Warming fiasco will eventually result in the failure of people to trust science"

        Until then this is great for making people proudly display their true mental capabilities. Much data! Very logic! Great appreciate!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Really, we have had satellites for measuring "global temperature", whatever that exactly might mean, for the past how many years?

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

      I realise the warmists don't like Dr. Spencer, however, the data sets he and others maintain from the satellite record are the best we have, and not really hotly disputed (there is a lot of work done insuring their accuracy), compared to the fairy tales made up by "scientists" "correcting" the historical thermometer records (mostly up as it turns out).

      The graph is upwards as one would expect, as we exit an ice age. The Mk.1 eyeball suggests less than .5C degree warming during the 35 year period of the satellite record, nothing too astonishing here - certainly no indication of Thermogeddon (tm)

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        "The Mk.1 eyeball suggests less than .5C degree warming during the 35 year period of the satellite record, nothing too astonishing here - certainly no indication of Thermogeddon (tm)"

        What is the current definition of 'Thermogeddon' with regards to temperature increase btw? e.g. at which point do we start losing islands, or how many islands do we need to lose before you think it's just 'bad'? (assuming you didn't live on those islands, or had any interest in their species)

        Also, how many years before 'Thermogeddon' would we need before we'd have to actually do something? Maybe we should plan ahead, just in case?

        I notice a lot of insect species habitable zones moving north (bummer if you're on an island, or your forest won't move with you), and a few rotting ex-permafrosted mammoths. The drunken forest is particularly strange - imagine spending your life growing in frozen ground, and then one day it's mush? The retreating glaciers rapidly vomiting ancient relics that are now quickly rotting in the open is also a pity. Don't have to worry about kooky icemen discoveries now!

        Still, all that's only .5C eh? I'm sure nothing else will mind this increasing destabilisation - all this extra energy in the system makes it a devil to predict don't'cha know! Seriously, why bother trying!

        1. Philip Lewis

          @Daggerchild

          "Thermogeddon" is generally (by me) deemed to be a time series temperature graph showing runaway positive feedback - something rather like the infamous "hockey stick", which was in fact contrived to demonstrate exactly this.

          It is this particular "feature" of global temperature which is the underlying thesis of the entire AGW community - the problem is that the observed data do not show this to be true in the satellite era, which is now well into its 4th decade.

          .15C p.a. is slight, and an increase not inconsistent with what one would expect when observing the geological record.

          What 'people' see though, is local changes in weather patterns, and being morons, they extrapolate this to the entire planet. This is what you are doing, when you imply that local changes have caused local fauna to adapt. It is also true as well where I happen to live, where the particular pollen to which I am allergic arrives earlier than it did 50 years ago. These are local events, they are not global events. It IS getting warmer, ever so slightly on average every year, and it will likely continue to do so until whatever causes ice ages happens again.

          Warmer is better for life, we live in a benign climatic period in geological time.

          You, and I, are so amazingly unlikely, that we should try to live and enjoy our one chance at this, and stop stressing about the universe doing what it does. Humanity didn't cause the last ice age (or end it) and it won't cause the next. Neither will it precipitate Thermogeddon.

  42. Jim Birch

    FFS. Stop trying to explain complex processes with one line answers.

    The original article was bad science already but some of the commenters have taken things to a completely new level.

    1. Antarctic ice is always melting. Basically snow falls on the continent then the ice gradually flows to the edges of the continent and then melts. It may melt on the land, it may form ice sheets over the sean and melt there, it may break off as icebergs, float away and melt. It is not about to stop.

    2. This means that fresh water is being added to the sea at the edges of the continent. What happens to this fresh water is complex. There is a lot of mixing but this depends the weather. Anyone who has a one line answer is wrong.

    3. The net gain or loss of antarctic ice is the snowfall minus the melt. This is a simple mathematical result but it seems to be too much for some posters. How they think they could possibly understand climate change without being able to do simple maths is beyond me. Even if there was a net gain in Antarctic ice there would still a massive amount of melt occurring.

    4. In fact, there is good evidence for a net loss. This is calculated from measurements of the change in ice thickness made with satellites. It would be impossible to calculate accurately by measuring ice flows and melt without a mass of data points that we don't have.

    5. The formation of sea ice is complex. It is not simply a function of temperature, or temperature and salinity. The wind and ocean circulation play a major part. Some weather patterns are clearly much more conducive to sea ice formation than others. The actual processes and drivers of sea ice formation are not fully understood. Current models are not perfect. Research is continuing.

    6. Global warming is a potential cause of changes in weather patterns. Thus global warming could actually result in more sea ice. It could also result in less sea ice - as would be expected from a simplistic look at temperature increase alone - however, it depends how the patterns actually change. Year to year variations in Antarctic sea ice extent are quite large and can't be explained by simple temperature variations.

    7. The presence of sea ice itself also changes the weather patterns by altering the energy exchanges at the air-sea boundary and by reflecting sunlight back into space. These changes in weather patterns will in turn affect sea ice growth. Some of these feedbacks will be positive and some negative.

    8. Even if global warming has never happened, has stopped or is paused as some deniers claim, this would still not explain the record sea ice extent. You would need to look for changes in weather patterns and ocean circulations for an explanation.

    9. If global warming is occurring it won't mean it gets hotter everywhere, every bit of ocean warms up, and there is less ice everywhere. This is only the average result not what will happen everywhere. It's a complex system with lots of feedback, both positive and negative. In addition, global warming would change circulation patterns that have major impacts on local conditions. So we should expect deviations from any trend, and various places and times.

    10. The appearance of more sea ice does not prove that global warming is not occurring. It is an interesting anomalous data point and should help to improve our understanding the processes of sea ice formation.

    Bottom line: Sea ice is not temperature.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Congratulations to all involved!

    Well, I for one think The Register has achieved exactly what it set out to do today. Well done.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Area =/= volume

    So the surface area increased, but the volume is still decreasing.. and this is 'proof' that global warming isn't true?

    /fp

  45. Jtom
    Trollface

    Gotta laugh

    It's amusing that even when the experts say they don't understand what's going on, those who belong to the Faith of Global Warming insist they do.

    Here, I'll add some fuel to the fire. If you look at the RSS temperature data

    ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tlt_southern%20polar_land_and_sea_v03_3.png

    You will see that Antarctica has been gotten steadily colder (by a trivial amount) since 1979. There is also no evidence of surface melting. Finally, the increase in sea level rise has been slowing, not increasing which was expected by accelerated ice melting throughout the world.

    So if Antarctica is melting, what's melting it, and where is the water going?

  46. Faux Science Slayer

    We live in a false paradigm reality....

    bounded by faux science, fake history, filtered news and financed with a fiat currency. Visit FauxScienceSlayer site for articles on the LIES of Carbon climate forcing, 'sustainable' energy, 'peak' oil and the big bang. Monarch-monopolists control our government, media and major corporations and depend on endless deception, end feudalism.

  47. Hubert Thrunge Jr.

    The climate has changed up and down for millions of years.

    People used to migrate to work around it.

    Now we build expensive settlements and sit there like King Canute.

    Global population is more of a problem for the planet than climate change (which I do not deny, nor care about - it happens). The human race needs to stop breeding - cold hard fact.

    Adapt or die.

  48. Hans 1 Silver badge

    I love it when bunches of boffins all over the world argue about something ... and on el'reg we have some very knowledgeable scientists who are wasting their time in IT when they could solve this whole problem.

    New flash! Nobody knows exactly what will happen, our models are not very good.

    This does not mean, though, that we can go on and pump more CO2 into the atmosphere, sorry. we need to find clean energy sources. Energy to use and abuse as we see fit; if it has no consequence on the planet/climate/health, we can.

    As for the deniers and believers, we have no f'ing clue, so stop arguing.

  49. Munkstar

    The wrong target

    Meanwhile the air and water we use continues to be polluted. I'm sure there's a suitable analogy out there somewhere ........

  50. GuyV

    Climate Change for Cronies!

    yet Obama and the democrats keep pouring money to cronies for fraudulent renewable power project that are expensive, kill animals, ruin land and break down or fail. The rise of Democrat Cronyism....where is Jon Corzine?

  51. Rathkennamike

    Yes but the Artic ice is disappearing fast

    How do we reconcile this 'Headline' with the NASA Report for Artic ice this year http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/22sep_seaice/

  52. Stuart21551

    Area ain't volume.

    Call me when sea level is going down.

  53. PeterM42
    Facepalm

    Ah! - that'll be "Global Warming"....

    ..Oh, wait.....

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Ah! - that'll be "Global Warming"....

      "..Oh, wait....."

      Until the latest warming figures?:

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/9

      The first nine months of 2014 (January–September) tied with 1998 as the warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.5°F). If 2014 maintains this temperature departure from average for the remainder of the year, it will be the warmest calendar year on record.

      The past 12 months—October 2013–September 2014—was the warmest 12-month period among all months since records began in 1880, at 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average. This breaks the previous record of +0.68°C (+1.22°F) set for the periods September 1998–August 1998, August 2009–July 2010; and September 2013–August 2014.

  54. dogphlap

    This article gives graphs for average monthly sea ice variation from 1979 (the first year that satellite data became available) to 2014 and another for Antarctic mass variation for 2002 to 2009. Curtsey of NSIDC and NASA. No need to read the article itself if you think it's all lies but the graphs tell a (true) story.

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-truth-about-arctic-sea-ice-melt-and-its-inevitable-denial/

    Best regards.

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