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Antarctic consensus “flips”. Warmer water means *more* sea ice!

In a move of Olympian audacity, Seth Borenstein keeps a straight face and shamelessly shifts to pretending that more Antarctic sea-ice fits their climate change theory. Yet again climate models fail to predict things in advance, they only do the post modern type of prediction — the bury-my-bewilderment type, after the fact. Once more, nothing can disprove the theory of man-made climate catastrophe.

The oceans are warming, but that now means less sea ice in the Arctic, and more sea-ice in the Antarctic. Of course!

Shifts in wind patterns and the giant ozone hole over the Antarctic this time of year — both related to human activity — are probably behind the increase in ice, experts say. This subtle growth in winter sea ice since scientists began measuring it in 1979 was initially surprising, they say, but makes sense the more it is studied.

The only point of science is to predict things. But when alarmist predictions turn out to be wrong, Borenstein and co don’t adjust the theory, they pretend post hoc that the new results “fitted” all along, and radiate collective amnesia about the hundreds of times they “experts” predicted the opposite.

Antarctic sea ice hit record highs in late September. Skeptics pointed out that out, and asked why alarmists didn’t mention it, and news outlets ignored it. It’s taken the PR team three long weeks to come up with the big idea that really, this doesn’t show the models are wrong for the 40th time. In PR it helps to pretend your scientists are not surprised.

“Antarctic sea ice hasn’t seen these big reductions we’ve seen in the Arctic. This is not a surprise to us,” said climate scientist Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC.

No surprise? But look at what they used to say:

The IPCC Experts in AR4 prediction (thanks to Bishop Hill)

“In 20th- and 21st-century simulations, antarctic sea ice cover is projected to decrease more slowly than in the Arctic (Figures 10.13c,d and 10.14),”

In other words, they didn’t predict the outcome, and they didn’t get the cause right either, but as long as they can pretend it’s man-made they can keep telling us off in the press, and asking for larger grants.

See also IPCC #15.4.4where they discuss the impact of decreasing sea ice, but not of the possibility it might increase.

Many predictions are about the ice shelves, not the sea-ice specifically, but we have to ask what conditions could warm both the seas and the ice shelves, and yet create record levels of sea ice? How did these predictions pan out?

USGS (2010):

Ice shelves are retreating in the southern section of the Antarctic Peninsula due to climate change. This could result in glacier retreat and sea-level rise if warming continues

Could sea ice increase, and ice shelves melt?

British Antarctic Survey:

A thaw of Antarctic ice is outpacing predictions by the U.N. climate panel and could in the worst case drive up world sea levels by 2 meters (6 ft) by 2100, a leading expert said on Wednesday.

Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University:

Most models predict that both precipitation and temperature will increase over Antarctica with a warming of the planet.

Al Gore, Jan 2012

What happens to the rest of the world as that frozen water is released, at ever increasing rates, as a result of the rising temperatures caused by climate change?

[In 1988] Scientists expected that as climate change accelerated, Antarctica would be one of the fastest warming areas of the planet. This prediction has proven true

Latest ICEsat estimates thanks to Zwally et al:

“During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gt/yr”

Latest GRACE satellite data shows Antarctica is gaining ice mass also.

Watch how they dishonestly shift gear, never admitting they were completely wrong, instead they “transmute” the cause. They said Antarctic sea ice would decrease, instead it hit record highs, but now, it’s still “man-made”, it’s just the evil CFC’s again:

Climate change has created essentially a wall of wind that keeps cool weather bottled up in Antarctica, NASA’s Abdalati says.

And the wind works in combination with the ozone hole, the huge gap in Earth’s protective ozone layer that usually appears over the South Pole. It’s bigger than North America.

It’s caused by man-made pollutants chlorine and bromine, which are different from the fossil fuel emissions that cause global warming. The hole makes Antarctica even cooler this time of year because the ozone layer usually absorbs solar radiation, working like a blanket to keep the Earth warm.

In 2007 “experts” suggested that the winds helped to melt the ice:

Some researchers are suggesting that the strengthening of the westerlies may be playing a role in the collapse of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Steve Goddard comments: It is the new kind of ice which is created by heat, rather than cold.

Which scientist predicted that the Antarctic would cool?

It was Henrik Svensmark. His theory points out that the Antarctic is unlike any other place on Earth. It’s so blindingly white, that it’s the only place where an increase in cloud cover lowers the albedo (which means the region absorbs more energy, and reflects less). That means when the rest of the world warms due to lowered cloud cover, the Antarctic will cool, and vice versa. I don’t know if cloud cover explains what is happening at the moment, perhaps Svensmark’s theory doesn’t help here either, but at least he made a prediction that can be checked.

What happens to sea levels?

And again, in the real world, they can’t just mess with one factor and keep everything else the same — if global “pollution” means more Antarctic sea ice now, what does that mean for all the sea level disasters we’re told to expect?


Zwally, H. Jay; Li, Jun; Robbins, John; Saba, Jack L.; Yi, Donghui; Brenner, Anita; Bromwich, David Mass, 2012: Gains of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Exceed Losses, Surv Geophys


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