Arctic Sea Ice Approaches Normal Levels

obeygiant

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jan 14, 2002
4,003
3,774
totally cool
Only two months ago, it looked as if the Arctic sea ice extent was trending so far below normal that it might set a new record. The extent of Arctic sea ice, a barometer on global warming and one of the most easily visualized effects of climate change, was 1 million square miles short of average throughout February.

But, lo and behold, so much new ice froze in March that the overall extent for this winter will end up nearly normal, as compared to the long-term average. That's a headline no one could have written for years, as the extent of Arctic sea ice has dropped, rhythmically with the seasons, but dropped precipitously and consistently for years. The record-setting extent of melting in the past three summers was to a degree not expected for decades, under mainstream scientific predictions of just a few years ago.

As the ice melts, polar bear, Pacific walrus, ribbon seals and other species struggle for survival, and the potential for human use grows -- for oil and gas drilling, and for shipping through once ice-locked channels. The extreme melting in the Arctic has been seen as a harbinger for things to come elsewhere at other latitudes: Does it mean that the worst-case predictions for other aspects of global warming are inevitable? Wildfires, droughts, crop failure, sea-level rise, massive rates of species extinctions ... will each appear more quickly, and have more severe impacts than the public expects?

The normal freeze this winter could be another blow for global warming activists, who have seen headline-grabbing news about everything from so-called climate-gate and so-called glacier-gate to so-called snowmagedden, none of which is the Achilles' heel for climate science that global warming skeptics would like them to be. The last decade has been the warmest on record, with no end to the warming anticipated if we don't curb greenhouse gas pollution.

Still, if the Arctic does indeed have one good year among many bad ones, it could further erode public opinion of climate science at a time when the Senate is on the verge of debating sweeping energy and climate legislation. Given the long-term trend, it should not.
link

Good news-- for the Earth.

Quite a difference from 2007. Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Record Low.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
Global warming is going to be a footnote on some history book.
Perhaps. But I doubt it. There's too much science behind it to dismiss it too easily.

But I can wait. I'm 49 years old. I should be around in twenty years and by then we should have a better understanding of the issue. In the meantime I'm still going to continue my efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. That's a good habit to get into regardless of the truth of Global Warming.

And who knows? Maybe in twenty years ZA will get to gloat and say "I told you so!" to all us GW believers. I wouldn't bet on it though.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
Perhaps. But I doubt it. There's too much science behind it to dismiss it too easily.

But I can wait. I'm 49 years old. I should be around in twenty years and by then we should have a better understanding of the issue. In the meantime I'm still going to continue my efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. That's a good habit to get into regardless of the truth of Global Warming.

And who knows? Maybe in twenty years ZA will get to gloat and say "I told you so!" to all us GW believers. I wouldn't bet on it though.
Oh I will, you will never hear the end of it, and I will not be pleasant in my gloating.
 

Peterkro

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2004
2,143
1,361
Communard de Londres,Tiocfaidh ár lá
Yes, because arctic sea ice approaching normal levels is the equivalent of local weather....
Very astute of you to realise that.Ice coverage is approaching 1980/2000 levels, note coverage and not thickness. Because the Bering sea is caught between two low pressure systems resulting in unusually cold weather conditions for a few weeks it does not mean climate change is not happening.Weather not climate!
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
Very astute of you to realise that.Ice coverage is approaching 1980/2000 levels, note coverage and not thickness. Because the Bering sea is caught between two low pressure systems resulting in unusually cold weather conditions for a few weeks it does not mean climate change is not happening.Weather not climate!
It really doesn't matter either way, our temps fluctuate on a worldly level, this is just another fluctuation that goes along with a liberal agenda.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
Because i know you are wrong.
You simply can't argue with people who think that 200 or 300 years of weather data is representative of billions of years of actual weather changes. Global warming is simply a blimp on the radar.

I agree with Zombie, in 20 or 30 years this global warming nonesense will be nothing more than a sentence in a history book.

Edit:

Sorry, I was wrong, reliable readings only go back 150 years.

Source
 

Sydde

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2009
2,104
2,162
IOKWARDI
The icepack issue may not be as simple as "there is or is not a global warming problem". Long ago I heard it put forth that true global warming might actually lead to an increase in polar ice (it was a long time ago I heard that, I have no source to cite). The logic was that warming would not be enough (~2°F average) to raise the polar temperatures above the melt point but would cause an increase in atmospheric moisture, some of which would collect at the poles, adding to the icepacks.

That does seem like sound logic to me, what little I know. If it is a valid vector in the astoundingly complex picture that is atmospheric and climate science, then some other thing is at work at the poles. My wild guess would be something darkening the ice, making it reflect less IR from the sun in the summertime, but that is just a stab in the dark.

There are a lot of things going on that affect climate. If stuff we are doing is having a real effect, we really ought to stop doing that.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
The icepack issue may not be as simple as "there is or is not a global warming problem". Long ago I heard it put forth that true global warming might actually lead to an increase in polar ice (it was a long time ago I heard that, I have no source to cite). The logic was that warming would not be enough (~2°F average) to raise the polar temperatures above the melt point but would cause an increase in atmospheric moisture, some of which would collect at the poles, adding to the icepacks.

That does seem like sound logic to me, what little I know. If it is a valid vector in the astoundingly complex picture that is atmospheric and climate science, then some other thing is at work at the poles. My wild guess would be something darkening the ice, making it reflect less IR from the sun in the summertime, but that is just a stab in the dark.

There are a lot of things going on that affect climate. If stuff we are doing is having a real effect, we really ought to stop doing that.
I completely agree that we (as a civilization/race/people) may something to do with it, however I don't think that we have had enough of a impact to be solely accountable for the changes. In other words, the natural changes in the earths heating/cooling have more of an effect than we as a people.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
You simply can't argue with people who think that 200 or 300 years of weather data is representative of billions of years of actual weather changes. Global warming is simply a blimp on the radar.

I agree with Zombie, in 20 or 30 years this global warming nonesense will be nothing more than a sentence in a history book.

Edit:

Sorry, I was wrong, reliable readings only go back 150 years.
Temperature readings come from many other sources than thermometers. Tree-rings and ice cores for starters.

Frankly it's wonerfully hilarious that you think you're disproven the whole scientific field of climate change by tracking the invention and use of thermometers :D!


NathanMuir said:
I completely agree that we (as a civilization/race/people) may something to do with it, however I don't think that we have had enough of a impact to be solely accountable for the changes. In other words, the natural changes in the earths heating/cooling have more of an effect than we as a people.
Scientists do not for one second claim that we are solely accountable for climate change. Just that it is highly likely that our activities are contributing to an unprecedented rate of warming.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
Temperature readings come from many other sources than thermometers. Tree-rings and ice cores for starters.

Frankly it's wonerfully hilarious that you think you're disproven the whole scientific field of climate change by tracking the invention and use of thermometers :D!
I never said that I disproved anything. All I've said is that the time that reliable records have been kept are extremely tiny in comparison to the billions, if not trillions, of years that Earth has existed. From what I understand about the scientific community, and from what I learned in college science classes, this would not normally be considered enough data to draw such conclusions that have been drawn.
 

184550

Guest
May 8, 2008
1,978
2
Scientists do not for one second claim that we are solely accountable for climate change. Just that it is highly likely that our activities are contributing to an unprecedented rate of warming.
Perhaps scientists aren't, but it would seem a majority of people here and elsewhere think that we are the main cause of this so called global warming.