By Joseph D’Aleo
As Anthony Watts blogged last week, the arctic ice is increasing at a very rapid rate. You can see how we fell short of last year’s record extent and have recently been rebounding at the fastest rate of the years shown. October 18 UPDATE: Now we are running 31.3% ahead of last year. 10/17/2007 5,663,125 square kilometers, 10/17/2008 7,436,406 square kilometers.
See larger image here
Hans LaBohm points out the side by side comparison is dramatic between this date last year and this year.
See larger image here
According to this Tom Nelson blog, the Arctic sea ice extent was now 27% GREATER than last year as of October 15, 2008.
The recent enhanced warm season melting of the arctic ice has precious little to do with greenhouse gases but is a cyclical phenomena related to multidecadal cycles in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Atlantic appears to be the most important. The Atlantic has been in its warm mode since 1995 with a peak around 2004 and 2005. Warm water from the Atlantic makes its way into the arctic through the Barents Sea and the Pacific through the Bering Strait.
Last year before the alarmists took control, the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) summarized the role of the ocean cycles very well in October 2007 in this way:
“One prominent researcher, Igor Polyakov at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska, points out that pulses of unusually warm water have been entering the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic, which several years later are seen in the ocean north of Siberia. These pulses of water are helping to heat the upper Arctic Ocean, contributing to summer ice melt and helping to reduce winter ice growth. Another scientist, Koji Shimada of the Japan Agency for Marine–Earth Science and Technology, reports evidence of changes in ocean circulation in the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean. Through a complex interaction with declining sea ice, warm water entering the Arctic Ocean through Bering Strait in summer is being shunted from the Alaskan coast into the Arctic Ocean, where it fosters further ice loss. Many questions still remain to be answered, but these changes in ocean circulation may be important keys for understanding the observed loss of Arctic sea ice.”
Note Rutger’s Jennifer Frances found a similar relationship between Arctic ice and Atlantic water temperatures. Ignore the comment in the ‘abstract’ that the ocean changes are ‘consistent’ with greenhouse warming as we have seen the ocean changes are cyclical and predictable and quite natural. Dr. Willie Soon also found a strong correlation with solar irradiance which may ultimately drive these ocean cycles of warming and cooling.
With a cooling of the Pacific and a less warm North Atlantic and a long, deep solar minimum, the ice should continue to rebound in the next few years. Read more on the arctic and Greenland here.