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Antarctic sea ice trends at record highs. Fears for shrinking southern ocean, right?

Posted By Joanne Nova On September 19, 2012 @ 3:24 am In Funny stuff,Global Warming | Comments Disabled

While stories of the Arctic record fall in sea-ice have been all over the news, all over the world, it’s almost as if the Southern Hemisphere didn’t exist. Right now, this week apparently, the sea ice is at or near record highs (bearing in mind that we’re still only talking 30 years of satellite records, but then, these are the same satellites lapping over the arctic, and if the records are longer there, I expect it’s only by an hour and a half).


h/t Steve Goddard who asks when the National Snow & Ice Data Centre ( NSIDC) will send out the press releases. They appear to be more concerned about the effects of the Antarctic “thinning” trend on penguins this week. Sunshine hours has graphed it in detail.

Cryosphere compares the relentless fall and rise of Antarctic ice here. Millions of square kilometers in staggering, dramatic melts every spring manage to return in staggering dramatic ice formations each and every year.

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Sept 2012

(Click to enlarge)

I expect that our non-hemispherist unbiased and diligent newspapers will be running with matching ones very soon. Based on news stories like this:

I can see ones like this:

  • Shock Antarctic sea ice growth shrinks Southern Ocean by 1 m Sq kilometers

  • Staggering explosion of sea ice scares penguin

  • The next ice-age approaches? Ominous warnings from Antarctica

  • Sea ice strangles ice-bound continent

  • Record Antarctic Sea Ice threatens whales: Mammals need to breathe says scientist.

  • Antarctic current survives 25m years of climate change. Wiped out by man in 20 years.

  • Antarctic ice will reach Argentina. Round-the-world Yacht Race “abandoned by 2050″

Antarctic sea ice is yet another model failure…

I should add in seriousness, that The Hockey Schtick also discusses Turner et al 2012, which compares model predictions of Antarctic Sea Ice with observations and finds:  “In contrast to the satellite data, which exhibits a slight increase in SIE (sea-ice-extent), the mean SIE of the models over 1979 – 2005 shows a decrease in each month, ” and also  “The negative SIE trends in most of the model runs over 1979 – 2005 are a continuation of an earlier decline, suggesting that the processes responsible for the observed increase over the last 30 years are not being simulated correctly.

Do send those media links in as you find them! ;-)



John Turner, Tom Bracegirdle, Tony Phillips, Gareth J. Marshall, and J. Scott Hosking (2012)  An Initial Assessment of Antarctic Sea Ice Extent in the CMIP5 Models Journal of Climate; e-View  doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00068.1


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