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Antarctica, not warming but melting? Has the missing heat turned up in West Antarctica?

UPDATE: A newer post on Antarctica points out that there is a volcanic chain running under or near the parts of Antarctica that are warming or melting. The scientists and media forgot to mention…

The new-old scare is Antarctica and what a messy situation it is. Only two weeks ago Matthew England was saying that Ocean winds were keeping Antarctica cool, and that Antarctica was stealing Australian rain.

Now a new Cryosat study by Malcolm McMillan et al is generating headlines saying that Antarctic ice is “disappearing at twice the rate predicted”.[1] (Can someone calculate the date it will be all gone?)

Well, at least it’s worse now than it was all of three years ago when the new Cryosat data first started.

Now they finally can record “near continuous 96% coverage of the continent”, with “a fivefold increase in the sampling of coastal regions where the vast majority of all ice losses occur.”  It’s good that we have better data, but these are very short trends. Who’s leaping to hit the panic button? If there is message here it’s that ice loss is a complicated beast; it isn’t just about temperature, but also about precipitation, ablation, and wind which vary a lot. Other studies that are 791 years longer suggest the Antarctic action lately is nothing unusual.

Cryosat shows (probably) that West Antarctica is losing ice at a rate of −134 ± 27 Gt  per year. But East Antarctica is somehow showing no signs of melting, despite record Chinese emissions, “losing ice” at  −3 ± 36 Gt per year (that’s somewhere between a loss of 39Gt a year or a gain of 33Gt a year). The Antarctic Peninsula, which was warming ten times faster than the rest of the world, is melting somewhat: at −23 ± 18 Gt per year. I see The Guardian says the ice loss applies to all of Antarctica. They never were that good with numbers.

McMillan go on to conclude that the melting Antarctic is causing a sea level rise since 2010, of0.45 ± 0.14 mm per year. Here’s a strange implication though. McMillan doesn’t mention the missing heat, but by definition if Antarctica is causing more sea level rise, then the missing heat in the deep abyss is doing less. Has it all gone to West Antarctica?

The material thing here is that the predictions may have changed, but the seas are not rising any faster than they were before the press release. What has changed (possibly) is our knowledge of the cause of the rise. West Antarctica might well be losing ice and raising sea levels, but since sea levels have sea-levels have decelerated since 2004, this begs the question (even more than it was already being begged) of where the missing heat in the ocean went that was supposed to be causing thermal sea level rise? This would mean there is even less sea level rise due to the so-called missing heat? As I warned two weeks ago: “…attributing sea level changes 2 kilometers down to “missing heat” from a trace gas 10 kilometers up is “not obvious”.  Occams razor on Vodka.

When trends are so short the claims that it’s “twice as fast” as they thought are pure hype. Why don’t they also mention that sea levels are not rising as fast as they thought? Where are those headlines, like “Missing Ocean Heat Causes Much Lower Sea-level Rise than Predicted!”. “Scientists Fears on Ocean Warming

The mystery of ice, ice sheets, melting and no-warming

As we see in these latest graphs below, somehow there is more sea ice around Antarctica, and temperatures are not warming over most of Antarctica either. Yet the missing heat has apparently gone to the West Antarctic sheet.

Paul Homewood has some nice alternate graphs on this. This covers quite a lot of Antarctica. Damn sneaky heat. There is pretty much no warming trend, though a slight recovery to former temperatures might be melting some ice that formed in the early 1980s. How significant is a trend that starts in 2005?



Antarctic sea ice at a record high for May. See yellow line.

If it’s warming in the ocean around Antarctica we can’t see it in this graph of the long term sea ice trend.

 

Abstract

We use 3 years of Cryosat-2 radar altimeter data to develop the first comprehensive assessment of Antarctic ice sheet elevation change. This new dataset provides near-continuous (96%) coverage of the entire continent, extending to within 215 kilometres of the South Pole and leading to a fivefold increase in the sampling of coastal regions where the vast majority of all ice losses occur. Between 2010 and 2013, West Antarctica, East Antarctica, and the Antarctic Peninsula changed in mass by −134 ± 27, −3 ± 36, and −23 ± 18 Gt yr−1 respectively. In West Antarctica, signals of imbalance are present in areas that were poorly surveyed by past missions, contributing additional losses that bring altimeter observations closer to estimates based on other geodetic techniques. However, the average rate of ice thinning in West Antarctica has also continued to rise, and mass losses from this sector are now 31% greater than over the period 2005–2011.

5. Conclusions
We estimate that, since 2010, the average Antarctic ice sheet contribution to global sea level rise has been 0.45 ± 0.14 mm yr-1. This value, which is more than twice as large as the 20-year mean determined from an ensemble of geodetic techniques (0.19 ± 0.15 mm yr-1 Acknowledgements in Shepherd et al., 2012), reflects both the improved capability of CryoSat-2 to observe regions of ice dynamical imbalance, and the impact of short- and intermediate-term changes in ice sheet mass. In West Antarctica, there is now little doubt that the rate of ice loss has continued to rise, and that, with over 97 % sampling of this region, this increase is now well-resolved. However, in East Antarctica and at the Antarctic Peninsula, the average change in ice sheet mass remains small in comparison to expected fluctuations in snow accumulation (Table 1), which present an observational challenge to all geodetic techniques. Although the CryoSat-2 measurements allow an improved understanding of the drivers and timescales of ice sheet imbalance in these sectors, longer-period data sets are required to separate the effects of meteorological and ice dynamical imbalance [Wouters et al., 2013]. Nevertheless, the fine spatial and temporal resolution of ice sheet elevation changes afforded by interferometric synthetic aperture radar altimetry represents a remarkable advance on the capability of past missions, and provides greater confidence in assessments of ice sheet mass imbalance.

REFERENCES

[1^] McMillan (2014) Increased ice losses from Antarctica detected by CryoSat-2, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060111 [abstract]

WAIS Divide Project Members, (2013) Onset of deglacial warming in West Antarctica driven by local orbital forcing, Nature, 500, 440–444 doi:10.1038/nature12376

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Antarctica, not warming but melting? Has the missing heat turned up in West Antarctica?, 8.9 out of 10 based on 35 ratings

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65 comments to Antarctica, not warming but melting? Has the missing heat turned up in West Antarctica?

  • #
    speedy

    Evening all.

    And here’s yet another mystery. Why is 3 year’s (alleged) warming on one of the poles a significant event, whereas a stable (statistically speaking) global temperature for 17 years is simply a weather event.

    Mystery explained. It depends on “weather” the phenomenon confirms their pet theory or not.

    Cheers,

    Speedy

    262

    • #
      Annie

      Same as the perishing cold weather we had in April and early May here in Nth Central Vic was just weather but a few warm days lately are a cause for near hysteria on the ABC with reports of an unprecedented spell of warmth by a breathless young weather girl.

      180

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      I have 45 years worth of data that says we’re having a perfectly normal spring here, complete with our usual June overcast days beginning a little early (“June Gloom,” as one weatherman called it).

      But I’m not a climate scientist, so please don’t make the mistake of believing me. We might be having days above 100 F (38 C) and I’m too ignorant stupid to realize it.

      100

      • #
        PhilJourdan

        We are not. We are having a GORGEOUS Spring! And I love it! It is cooler than normal (not a lot). With frequent breezes.

        Ship some more of that Antarctic ice up north for us! ;-)

        80

      • #
        the Griss

        And down here, on the east coast of Oz, the alarmistas are complaining about the most gorgeous autumn weather we have had for quite a while.

        A few rather cool days early in May, but a steady average mid twenty C for the rest of it.

        Beeeeeuuudiful !!

        140

        • #
          the Griss

          ps.. the alarmistas are calling it a “heat wave” (under BOMs no.of day over some value above average wording)

          100

          • #
            Scott

            Yes I saw that on 9 Queensland news on Tuesday night. BOM are claiming a heatwave isn’t hot weather but weather above the average. No wonder there are somany heatwaves of late.

            00

      • #
        James Bradley

        Don’t feel too bad Roy, climate scientists aren’t climate scientists either, but I wont sell them short, they are far more than merely too ignorant and stupid to realise it.

        10

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      So I think the lesson in all this is that those on a mission will not be bothered by their mistakes, their inconsistencies or by anything else.

      The intent is clearly to win the debate and even more important, to win control of society and do it any way they can. And at this point they obviously think they’re well along toward victory.

      We should be equally intent on winning, which leaves us with a disadvantage because we have a moral imperative to be truthful and honest. The good guys are always in a fight for their lives when dealing with the dishonest.

      But we should fight anyway and fight to win.

      00

  • #

    If melting ice is causing sea levels to rise, then the signature will be in the sea level data. The satellite data is at http://sealevel.colorado.edu/. For twenty years the rate has been 3.2mm per year, with not acceleration. Yet scientists are continally finding accelerating ice melt.

    140

  • #

    When trends are so short the claims that it’s “twice as fast” as they thought are pure hype.

    The combined loss is 160±50Gt/year. If the previous rate was 80±50Gt that is the same rate within error.

    I’m sure Philip will back me up.

    100

    • #

      Vic,

      From my experience error bars are made up. For instance Rignot et al 2011 stated in the abstract.

      In 2006, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets experienced a combined mass loss of 475 ± 158 Gt/yr, equivalent to 1.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr sea level rise. Notably, the acceleration in ice sheet loss over the last 18 years was 21.9 ± 1 Gt/yr2 for Greenland and 14.5 ± 2 Gt/yr2 for Antarctica, for a combined total of 36.3 ± 2 Gt/yr2.

      Put into figures, the Antarctic ice-melt from this projection for 2012 would be 416 ± 12. That is 2.6 times the 160 Gt/yr in this study.

      70

      • #
        vic g gallus

        If that was the acceleration that would be 416 on top of the 475 (or half of that for Antarctica), so its more like 600-700 Gt/yr. That was a massive deceleration in the last 8 years. Global cooling?

        How does he get about a 14% error for the acceleration when his estimates for the year have a 30% error?

        30

        • #
          vic g gallus

          Or did you add 116 to 300? I better get a coffee.

          30

          • #

            Vic,
            I have made a mistake on the error bars. Below is how I believe they were derived. For 2012 the estimated ice melt should be 416 ± 107. That is 95 (one third of 2006 ice melt of 285) + 12 being 6 years *2). This is part of a longer, somewhat sarcastic, blog post I am writing.

            In order to pass peer review, we must make these estimates look really scientific. That requires errors bars. This is problematic, as (the estimates for polar ice-melt in 2006 for both Greenland and Antarctica, along with their respective acceleration rates) are totally made-up figures, so have no statistical foundation. This is how it is done.
            (i) Calculate the mass loss for the year 2006. From 1993 it is 0+(13*36.5)=474.5, or rounded up to 475. Further 474.5/365=1.3 exactly.
            (ii) Divide 474.5 by 3, giving 158.167. Rounded this gives 475 ± 158 Gt/yr.
            (iii) For 1993 this is a problem. Dividing by three by zero gives no error bar. Let us assume instead the error is 0.5mm of sea level rise or 182.5. This is greater than the 158 derived for 2006, 13 years later. But (182.5-158)/13=1.88. Rounded gives the acceleration of 36.3 ± 2 Gt/yr2. Split 60/40 should give the same error bar of ± 1 Gt/yr2 for both polar ice caps. But it is instead made greater for Greenland and thus, with “adjustments”, we obtain the error bars as 2+1=2.

            Consider that with highly variable figures the error bars on the acceleration rates should be proportionately greater than those on the estimated figure for a point in time, not less.

            40

            • #
              vic g gallus

              Almost decided that I need another coffee but I don’t.

              I agree with the error calculation but you added 6×21.9 (Greenland acceleration) to 285 (Antarctic melt for 2006) to get 416 rather than 372?

              Agree with you that they are just plucking out numbers from thin air when it comes to error estimates. They say accelerating for 18 years at 36.3Gt/yr2. So if it only started accelerating 18 years from 0 ice loss, we should be up to -653 Gt/yr or was the ice increasing by about 200±70Gt/year 18 years ago. Either way, if it were +270Gt/yr and then dropped to -630Gt/yr, that is 900Gt/yr change over 18 years or 50 Gt/yr2, well above 36+2Gt/yr2.

              30

  • #
    JPAK

    Can someone check my back-of-envelope on this. The article I read at the BBC said ice loss is now nearly 160 billion tonnes. Is that ~160 cubic km. [ice is less dense than liquid water but I'm ignoring that for now]
    Various sources quote recent Antarctic ice volume measurements as ~26.5 million cubic km. So, 160 over 26,500,000 is ~ 0.0006% Not massive.
    The temperature graphs suggest stability which leads me to suspect other factors such as
    1] sea temperature,
    2] currents and
    3] glacial thinning causing glaciers to float closer to land and snap off further up-stream.

    The whole article seems aimed at frightening the reader.

    130

    • #
      James

      That sounds right to me.

      160 cubic km of ice would only increase the sea level by 0.00043 m. That’s .43 millimeters.

      40

      • #
        John Knowles

        I often wonder how the 4km thick ice cap got there in the first place. Most of continental Antarctica is well below -10ºC and too cold for snow formation. Perhaps the atmosphere used to be much warmer and moister in geological history. Perhaps the jet-stream meanders radically during an ice-age and brings Equatorial air S to the Pole in waves.

        40

  • #
    ROM

    Ah! So this is what one gets when he complains on Judith Curry’s Climate etc that climate science is almost totally about the northern hemisphere. 
    Those northern hemisphere climate scientists can look out of the window at their Arctic ice, their AMO, PDO, Stadium Waves [ which might have some merit ] and everything northern hemisphere climate wise and cry into their bottle of Hermatige on the sad state of the climate and how when they look at their chicken entrails powered climate models we are all going to hell literally, in a climate modeled ball of hellfire.

    Not for long though as those rising seas will undoubtedly quench those climate modeled hell fires.
    Damn !
    Maybe we might drown instead.
    Wish those damn climate scientists would make up their bloody minds.

    So I threatened [ ? ] that we southerners on the bottom half of the globe down here, because nobody at all in climate science was paying us southerners any attention whatsoever, would just take our bottom half of the planet and blast off to somewhere else in solar orbit where we could enjoy some peace and quiet well away from the constant climate alarmist ratbag caphophony of all those imbecilic climate alarmist shamans of the northern hemisphere.

    Now some Northern Hemisphere climate clowns have used their all knowing chicken entrailed powered Oracle of Delphi emulating climate prediction models, no doubt in consultation with the Climate Oracle’s High Priests to bring judgement onto us down here by threatening us with drowning from all that melting ice in our sacred Antarctica ice fields over the next quarter of a million years which will then rapidly increase sea levels apparently faster than we can measure a half a millimetre a year.
    Woe Woe we are ruined again!
    Damn!
    There goes our Southern Hemisphere climate’s peace and quiet and chances to wander off into orbit somewhere else.
    I should have just shut up.

    70

  • #
    Fred Allen

    NOAA is forecasting above normal ice coverage for the Arctic in September. Crap! There goes that “confirmation” of global warming for the time being. Time to shift the goalposts once again.

    Antarctica!

    And the compliant media looking for a continual stream of alarming headlines to drive their ratings and therefore justify their advertising fees dutifully reprint the press releases.

    90

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      And we all dutifully tune in to see what the latest alarming data is, don’t we?

      Imagine what would happen if no one in Australia turned on the ABC for just one week.

      Imagine what would happen if everyone in American turned on the Fox News Channel and left it on for just one week.

      It would make the panic on the Titanic look like a night out for dinner and a band concert.

      40

  • #
    Mark Hladik

    Hi Jo, and Mods:

    4th paragraph, next to the last sentence:

    ” If there is message here it’s that ice loss is a complicated beast; it isn’t just about temperature, but also about precipitation, ablationh, and wind which vary a lot.”

    Should be ‘ … ablation … ‘

    Thanks,

    Mark H.


    Got it. Thanks. – Jo

    40

    • #
      Mark Hladik

      On the contrary, THANK YOU for all you do. May you and yours ‘live long and prosper’.

      50

  • #
    JPAK

    The Bedmap 2 Consortium seem fairly sure that the rock is lower than we previously [2001] understood which means there’s more ice below sea-level than we thought. By my reckoning the only place Antarctica losses ice is around the perimeter and if this is largely below sea-level, if/when it melts it’ll do almost nothing to world ocean levels. Ice occupies 9% more volume than the fresh water it was formed from. Actual floating ice e.g. North Pole, contributes zero to sea-level change upon melting.
    The Grauniad and Beeb are peddling a hoax.

    80

    • #
      vic g gallus

      I think that they refer to ice supported by rock although you do have a point. If the sea water is getting at it from underneath, its floating. In their defense, its the moving of the glacier ice from being supported on rock faster into the sea that they suggest will increase sea levels because the ice in between is melting faster.

      40

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Who was it who said on Jul 5 2005: “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.” (1120593115.txt)?

    Seven years of data wasn’t statistically significant in 2005, so why would they think three years of data is relevant now?

    80

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Other studies that are 791 years longer suggest the Antarctic action lately is nothing unusual. — Jo Nova

    Thank God! I was beginning to worry there for a minute.

    First it was the Arctic and the Polar Bears. Now the pressure has shifted to Antarctica and next we’ll see predictions of the extinction of Penguins to go along with it. And maybe all of Australia will become extinct at some point, just for good measure (better get your evacuation boats ready).

    Or maybe they’ll finally realize how ridiculous they look? Probably not, so get those boats ready.

    40

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      In reality I think the missing heat is hiding in the labs and offices where they gen up such assertions and comes from too many people working too hard to prove something that isn’t happening. :-(

      60

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Heat can’t be missing. If it’s there it does something and whatever it does can be seen and measured.

        Missing heat, missing heat, wherefore art thou? Are you on the balcony reciting lines from Shak…, er, John Cook’s play?

        60

  • #
    janama

    The real question is why is volcanic activity in western antarctic increasing.
    The Antarctic ice sheets in western antarctic all sit on top of active volcanic activity – the British researchers in the area have confirmed it – so why isn’t this mentioned?

    230

  • #
    Bernard

    Why no one needs to worry about ‘Sea Level’
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q65O3qA0-n4
    It appears they can only guess to the nearest Metre-
    (well that’s what the Man said at the end of the Video).
    Is It Right or Wrong?

    40

  • #
    Doug Proctor

    Regardless of the anomaly rise, melting only occurs when the temperatures rise above freezing. So WHEN WE DISCUSS ICE MELTING we really should disconnect anomaly rises that do not raise temperatures to above freezing.

    What would that do? In the Arctic, winter temp rise would be immaterial, same with early and late summer nights. At altitude, only sunny days for much of the year. For Greenland, only the fringes, and the same for much of Antarctica.

    The only places “melting” occurs for much of Antarctica would then be in contact with the sea. The idea that rising CO2-driven temperatures cause glaciers to stampede requires the temperature rise to propagate through the ice mass, which I don’t think it does if ice temperature records are to be believed: thick ice is a pretty darn good insulator.

    We (again) are applying global stats to predict regional changes. At least it is a change from using regional changes in a computation to proclaim global changes.

    Ice mass loss through sublimation: how much is that? The 5m surface loss of glaciers in Canada and Antarctica are implied to come from surficial melting. If there is basal melting without evidence of basal increased temperatures, and night-time temperatures are not rising, then sublimation is most of the cause.

    Glaciers also thin naturally because they are thick enough to flow, they are plastic. In fact, if it doesn’t flow (like the Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, Canada), it is not really a glacier, it is a stagnant ice mass. And a stagnant ice mass is what is left AFTER a glacier has melted/sublimated to below glacial flow thickness. In other words, at the end of its glacial life. Which doesn’t have to be post-glacial, all it needs is to have outward flow greater than inner replacement precipitation.

    We need to understand the portion of described ice loss that basal melting, sublimation and non-replacement precipitation. What is it in Antarctica? I don’t know. Only part of it is from increased warming, regardless of the cause of the warming. But the headlines imply that ALL loss is from global warming. I call BS.

    60

    • #
      Rogueelement451

      1.Glaciers follow the laws of gravity , they flow downhill towards the sea. Where glaciers are accruing ice it is on average -30c and up to /down to -80C no ice melt at that point. Storms in the Southern Oceans can briefly raise temps along the coastal areas thus causing some melt,volcanoes cause melt, ground heat can cause melt.Global warming cannot cause ice to melt in the Antarctic,because it never gets above freezing ! (ok , maybe a couple of days a year).

      2.That a glacier might collapse is due to gravity not warming.

      3.In the event that sufficient ice collapses into the sea to raise sea levels , what would be the corresponding decrease in sea levels due to the lowering of temperature of the sea by ice melting?

      Sorry thinking out loud mostly , but I do believe we are being sold a pig in a poke.

      20

  • #

    I am always a tad skeptical when a new method of measurement comes up with another “it’s worse than we thought” scenario.
    A previous work on estimating ice loss was Prof Shepard’s (+49 others) A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance, covering the period 1992-2011.
    Look at table 1 for period 2005-2010 and compare with the figures above.

    Area, 2005-2010, 2010-2012, Difference
    Peninsula -36 -23 -13
    West -102 -134 +32
    East 58 -3 +61

    Total -80 -160 +80

    The big difference in the set of results is for East Antarctica, with an area of 10m km2. A 1mm thick film of ice covering the entire area would weigh about 9GT – 9 billion tonnes and fill five million Olympic-sized swimming pools.
    The CryoSat-2 satellite makes accurate measurements of changes in the surface. Despite the phenomenal area, it is meant to be accurate to as little as 1.3cm (half an inch) according to Wikipedia. The previous GRACE method looked at changes in mass. If the Antarctic consists of slow build-up from snowfall, with big chunks slipping into the sea at the edges, most of the difference could be due to measurement bias, as the 60GT difference for East Antarctica is equivalent to an annual covering less than half the minimum amount detectable.
    The acid test will be in comparing the GRACE data for the same three years as these results.

    90

  • #
    turnedoutnice

    It’s not the missing heat I’m worried about, it’s the cold that has replaced it. It’s real!

    50

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    “… the seas are not rising any faster than they were before the press release.”

    Near the depth of the LIA, Johannes Gutenberg spurred the production of paper and press releases with his introduction of the western world’s movable type printing press. As forests fell for the production of paper and press releases were immediately recycled for the bottom of parrot cages a cascade of many events followed. Some involved stink. I won’t bother to list them. However, with all the press releases there has followed a sea level rise that is clearly shown on the right side of the graph with a scary red line:
    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_intro.html#fewthousand

    20

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      An ice hockey stick?

      If we are meant to rely on Roman fish tanks why not Roman or medieval wharves? The ports in S.E. England at the time of the norman conquest are miles inland, even though that part is supposedly sinking (hence the Thames barrage). Why not a survey of various ancient water front structures to see what they tell us? Instead we get a quadratic fit to estimates.

      50

    • #
      the Griss

      You only have to look at the rock platforms etc around the Sydney area to realise that at some stage in the past the sea level was 1-2m HIGHER in that area.

      50

  • #
    tom0mason

    They’re recycling old alarmist message but then again there are so few new alarms they can find -http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    50

  • #
    Doug Proctor

    Re John F: the site hasn’t been updated sin e 2oo9. Still, how does little change since Roman times jive with 30cm rise on the graph? Errorbars? Plus, the rise fom 1800 to +1900 can’t'be CO2. So a continued pre-1900 trend thru the 20th century proves CO2 has little effect.

    He has worked against himself. Another eco-green mistaking a need for detail for nitpicking about a general truth, I.e. the oceans are rising?

    30

  • #
    Don Gaddes

    The current Solar Induced ‘Dry’Cycle (as predicted by Alex S. Gaddes in his work ‘Tomorrow’s Weather’,1990)started over China (circa 110 degrees East of Prime) mid February, and has now reached Eastern Europe,(30 degrees longitude/Earth Solar Month,with the Westward Solar orbit of the Earth’s Magnetic Field. This particular Dry Period will last up to five years,(consisting of a number of One Solar/Earth Year ‘Dry’ Cycles, and including adverse affects instigated by the Lunar Metonic Cycle (2016.22)and then a One Year’Dry’ Cycle.(2019)
    This major (and potentially devastating) Dry Period will reach Australia in early January 2015.
    It is noted that these ‘Dry’ Cycles are orbital and longitudinal in scope, therefore affecting the Arctic and Antarctic simultaneously.(thus the changing ice and snow conditions in these regions.)
    A revised version of ‘Tomorrow’s Weather’(including ‘Dry Cycle forecasts to 2055,) is available as a free pdf from dongaddes93@gmail.com

    20

  • #
    sophocles

    Volcanoes pop up in interesting places. West Antarctica has an active volcanic field. Is it any surprise [some] ice is melting? Some 36 volcanoes are listed and the most famous one, Mt. Erebus, last coughed in 2012. It’s one of the few with a lava lake in its crater …

    Submarine volcanoes are well known but what would we call a sub-glacial or sub-ice-cap one like this recently discovered one? Light a fire under a glacier and it will move! Just watch it go! Yep! Trenberth’s hiding heat. Mind that thermostat now.

    70

  • #
    Rogueelement451

    Since I am almost in tears I need to share this picture from the UK Guardian , truly it is heart rending, the guilt I feel for being a part of the human race which allows Polar Bears to stop breeding ,, er,, hold on , is there not some contemporaneous study which points out that when saturation levels are hit …………..etcetc

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/5/28/1401278061974/A-polar-bear-with-her-cub-011.jpg

    00

  • #
    metro 70

    From commentary on a German paper entitled…
    [ ' Western Antarctica warms more quickly than thought – however, hardly at all in the last 25 years' ]
    By Dr Sebastian Lüning and Prof Fritz Vahrenholt
    (Translated/edited by P Gosselin) – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/28/german-scientists-shoot-down-recent-claims-of-rapid-warming-in-western-antarctica-overall-continent-is-cooling/#sthash.QURmpyJo.dpuf

    [ ' ….if you look a little closer, you see that the warming is mainly concentrated in the period of approx. 1962-1980. Did mankind produce an extraordinary amount of CO2 during that particular period? No. The Co2 emissions were nothing different from what we had at other times. What is remarkable, however, is that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) during this time went from a negative cool phase to a positive warm phase (Figure 3). It cannot be ruled out that this nearby climatic oceanic phenomenon may have had something significant to do with the Western Antarctic 2.4°C ' ]

    On black carbon [ soot] as a cause….
    A. W. Hogan
    B. B. MurpheyGeophysical Research Letters, in 1992!

    [ ' Microdensitometer analysis of the collected specimens indicates that the maximum black aerosol concentration was observed concurrently with the arrival of the warmest air accompanying a cyclonic storm. This is similar to the concurrence of continental radon and lead isotopes with warm advection, measured on the Antarctic coast by Polian et al. (1986). It is possible that continental soot can be transported to the Antarctic coast several times each year by this mechanism.' ]
    And from a James Hansen abstract in 2003…
    [ ' The “efficacy” of this forcing is ∼2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future. ' ]

    [ ' Soot snow/ice albedo climate forcing is not included in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change evaluations. This forcing is unusually effective, causing twice as much global warming as a CO2 forcing of the same magnitude. This high efficacy is a straight-forward consequence of positive albedo feedbacks and atmospheric stability at high latitudes.

    [ ' …..our calculations exclude a factor that magnifies the soot warming effect. Melting snow tends to retain aerosols, darkening the surface more in the late winter and spring when the sun is high in the sky and most effective, thus increasing absorption and lengthening the melt season (6, 32). Although laboratory experiments show that fine BC particles can escape with meltwater more readily than larger aerosols, there is a tendency for even the finest aerosols to be retained and enhance absorption in the melting season (33). This omitted factor should tend to balance the fact that a fraction of BC is natural.
    Melting Ice. We suggest that soot contributes to near worldwide melting of ice that is usually attributed solely to global warming.' ]

    From national Geographic…

    [ 'Carl Egede Bøggild is a native Greenlander and geophysicist who has spent the past 28 years studying the ice sheet. Recently Bøggild has focused on cryoconite. "Even though cryoconite is composed of less than 5 percent soot," he says, "it is the soot that causes it to turn black." The darkness decreases the albedo, or reflectivity, of the ice, which increases the absorption of heat; that in turn increases the amount of melting.

    "What we have is a vicious, constantly accelerating cycle," Bøggild says. "It's like pulling a black curtain over the ice." ' ]

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    > The mystery of ice, ice sheets, melting and no-warming

    Most of the melting is from underneath, in Antarctica. This should be no great surprise, since its cold on top; so any warming trend in, say, the interior would be irrelevant; as others have already said.

    This is all standard stuff; see IPCC AR5 for the std.view (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter04_FINAL.pdf, especially fig 4.14 on page 348). GRACE seems to be the popular thing nowadays, and that doesn’t tell you where the change is coming from. Details in section 4.4.2.3 on p 351 and following.

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      vic g gallus

      Its no surprise because sceptics pointed that out to the gullible MSM in the early nineties. The problem is the use of the natural variation in the ice sheets to prove AGW. Its straight forward when the ice coverage goes down. Then we get a convoluted mechanism for why the ice is decreasing in the small area (under volcanic activity) due to climate change when the overall coverage goes up.

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    vic g gallus

    Is this like Hamilton-Smith in SA. Elected as a Liberal but bribed by Labor with a ministerial post to side with them just like they did with an independent who pretended to be conservative?

    Or maybe the same as a 36 yo lawyer who was young and naive but she isn’t anymore and should be our Prime Minister? Sloppy Juliar? Nothing to see here?

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    Don Gaddes

    I would like William Connolley,(or any other proponent of the 40 year ENSO Fantasy,) to explain the origins and methodology of the ‘Pacific Decadal Oscillation’.

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      I’m not a proponent of the “40 year ENSO Fantasy”; indeed, I don’t even know what you mean by it. But I do know what the PDO is, cos I can read (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_decadal_oscillation). The PDO is “the leading EOF of monthly sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) over the North Pacific (poleward of 20° N) after the global mean SSTA has been removed, the PDO index is the standardized principal component time series”. Happy now?

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    Don Gaddes

    Glad to hear you are not a ‘proponent of ENSO’ William.I apologise if I have unfairly maligned you – but you do know what the PDO is, ‘cos you can read.’ Therefore, can you,(or anybody else,) explain the origins and methodology of the PDO? Where does the ‘ten year’ time span come from? I can also read, but I have yet to find an explanation, of something that is obviously of paramount importance to the understanding of El Nino/La Nina/ENSO – and the basis of forty years of BoM deception.

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      > Where does the ‘ten year’ time span come from?

      I don’t know where you get 10 years from. Wiki says “It shifts phases on at least inter-decadal time scale, usually about 20 to 30 years” and the pictures support that. Its the EOF index of a given geophysical series. That means, there *will* be some peak in its spectrum, whether it represents and interesting physical process or not (This is an important point. The whole globe is connected. Cutting off a portion and doing EOF analysis on that portion risks doing something aphysical). As you’ll see from that page, there are several proposed mechanisms.

      > is obviously of paramount importance to the understanding of El Nino/La Nina/ENSO

      I don’t think that’s true. ENSO is the dominant mode (in the tropics, and therefore globally). Its fairly well understood. The PDO is more likely to be forced from ENSO (that’s what the “ENSO teleconnections, the atmospheric bridge” section is saying) than the other way round.

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    Don Gaddes

    Decadal is ‘ten years’ William. Pacific ‘Decadal’ Oscillation. “ENSO is the dominant mode(in the tropics and therefore globally.)” How does this follow? ENSO is supposed to be a ‘Southern Oscillation.’ “ENSO teleconnections, the atmospheric bridge”?? I think not.
    ‘Several proposed mechanisms’? How convenient. Methinks the authors responsible for the Wikipedia entries are just as confused and obfuscating as the rest of the ENSO faithful. They have been ‘found out’ by their long inability to explain their own flawed rhetoric.
    There are larger forces at work here. I invite you to read my previous post,(#19)

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      > Decadal is ‘ten years’

      Don’t get too hung up on the name. Read the description, look at the data. There are even nice pictures.

      > “ENSO is the dominant mode(in the tropics and therefore globally.)” How does this follow?

      You need to look at the data, and understand planetary dynamics. You’ll soon realise that the tropics tends to dominate, in lots of ways (but not, for those hard of thinking, in all ways).

      > ENSO is supposed to be a ‘Southern Oscillation.’

      No. ENSO stands for “El Nino Southern Oscillation”. El Nino is the oceanic component, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is the atmospheric manifestation (or rahter, these were where they were originally seen, hence the names). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENSO. Again, don’t get hung up on the name.

      > Methinks the authors responsible for the Wikipedia entries are

      Reporting the current state of the science, as they should.

      > just as confused and obfuscating as the rest of the ENSO faithful.

      For someone who doesn’t even know what the SOI *is*, you’re remarkably sure of your opinions. Be more humble, actually study these things, and don’t make aggressive comments on things until you’ve got some idea of what you’re talking about.

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    Don Gaddes

    The road to ‘enlightenment’ is often difficult William,(paved with preconceptions.)Again, if you read my previous post,(#19)you will find my understanding of relevant Planetary Dynamics and the basis for my rebuttal of ENSO, PDO and other convenient fabrications we have been subjected to since ENSO was exported to us from the University of East Anglia in the mid 1970s.
    If you provide me with an email address, I will send you the work ‘Tomorrow’s Weather,’Alex S. Gaddes (1990.)
    Should you still regard my ‘thinking’ as deficient, you can ‘take me to task’ from an informed base,(if you are still desirous to do so.)

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