Sea Ice Extent and Global Warming

There has been a breathtaking 50% loss of Arctic Ocean sea ice in just 32 year

Looking for dramatic evidence proving that catastrophic global warming is real? Look at the Arctic Ocean!

Since 1978 the Arctic ice cap has been shrinking at an alarming rate averaging about 5% per year. In 2012 it reached its lowest level since satellite-era measurements began. By then the Arctic ice cap had lost half its total area! The fabled northwest passage became navigable to shipping.

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Glaciers and the ice caps are melting away. The resulting sea level rise threatens man’s very existence in low-lying coastal areas where most humans live. Polar bears, symbolic of the global threat, are in danger of extinction.

Professor Chris Turney of Australia’s University of New South Wales led yet another intrepid, well-publicized scientific expedition to an ice cap seeking more proof of the effects of climate change.

But looks can be deceiving when it comes to sea ice and climate change.

Turney discovered the Antarctic ice cap is vastly different from the Arctic ice cap.

Professor Turney put lives at risk by ignoring Antarctic data contrary to the theory of catastrophic global warming.

The Ill-fated Turney Expedition

It’s summer in Antarctica.

It’s also the centennial of Australian geologist Douglas Mawson’s historic 1912-1913 expedition to Commonwealth Bay on the Antarctic continent.

Turney organized a modern-day research effort to show the effects of global warming on Antarctica over the last 100 years. He intended to reenact Mawson’s journey and repeat the same measurements as Mawson. It is officially called the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 2013-2014 (AAE) in honor of Mawson’s expedition.

One of the aims was to track how quickly the Antarctic’s sea ice was disappearing
BBC News Report, 1/2/2014

Turney’s highly-publicized expedition included 52 scientists, journalists, tourist “helpers” and a crew of 22 on-board the Russian flagged vessel Akademik Shokalskiy.

The expedition foundered. They became hopelessly encased in 10-foot thick summertime Antarctic sea ice on Christmas Eve. The Akademik Shokalskiy is ice-strengthened, but is not an icebreaker. It couldn’t escape. Obviously, the conditions in 2013 were very different than in 1913 when Mawson’s wooden ship, the SY Aurora, easily sailed down and back three times over two years.

A distress call was sent out. Three icebreakers valiantly made unsuccessful rescue attempts. They were trapped 9 days. The 52 explorers were finally airlifted out by helicopter sent from the Chinese rescue icebreaker Xue Long. The 22 crew remain on-board the Shokalskiy waiting for the ice to clear.

As of this writing, after bravely rescuing the explorers, the Xue Long itself has also become trapped in the sea ice and has issued its own distress call.

What Went Wrong?

Indications are that it is precisely climate warming that led to the vessel’s awkward predicament
– Alvin Stone, Turney Expedition Media Manager, NZZ report, 1/3/2014 (Translated)

Turney promotes the theory of human-caused global warming. Turney expedition spokesman Alvin Stone absurdly blames global warming!

However, there is a much more logical explanation… Antarctic sea ice extent this year is the largest ever measured!

The above two charts show current sea ice extent (as of 1/2/2014) for both the Arctic and the Antarctic as monitored by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

They are… welll… polar opposites!

Antarctic sea ice extent is way ABOVE normal! Arctic sea ice extent is way BELOW normal!

As Arctic sea ice has disappeared, Antarctic sea ice has appeared. That is rarely reported, but matters big time when researching global climate change in Antarctica!

This year, the Antarctic is experiencing the largest sea ice extent ever measured! Last year, the Arctic had the lowest sea ice extent ever measured.

Professor Turney should have been acutely aware that ice conditions this year in Antarctica are exceptionally treacherous, even in summer. He ignored the threat.

The Turney expedition was so unprepared for Antarctica they didn’t even have weather forecasting equipment on-board ship. They could not monitoring local weather conditions! After they got stuck, they put out an emergency request for detailed weather forecast information along with their distress signal!

Conclusions

Professor Turney was caught flat footed. He apparently didn’t bother to check Antarctic ice conditions before or during the expedition. He actually believed they’d record evidence of global warming in Antarctica. The above Antarctic sea ice graph shows that would not happen this year. Opposite to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice has been increasing over the last 32 years. Turney completely overlooked that fact.

Professor Turney’s reckless decision making put the lives and crew of 4 vessels at risk. Two of them are still encased by ice right now, including Turney’s Chinese rescuers.

Turney’s vessel, the Shokalskiy, isn’t an icebreaker, yet Turney took it where even three icebreakers could not go. He maintained a party atmosphere on-board right up until his people abandoned ship and left 22 Russian crew behind to fend for themselves.

Professor Turney taught us all a lesson. Antarctic ice growth proves that the case for human-caused global warming is not “settled science”. It never was. Foolishly ignoring that fact put many lives in danger.

Perhaps Professor Turney will learn a valuable lesson himself when the bill for the massive rescue effort comes due.

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About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Jan 3, 2014, in Climate, climate change, culture, environment, Global Warming, Government, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, science, technology, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. So why not show 2013 instead of last year Geeze

    • The sea ice data charts show 5 months – September thru January.

      The thin blue lines on each graph are the current sea ice extent. The dashed lines show last year and the solid grey lines show the 30-year average from 1981-2010.

      The wide grey band marks 2 standard deviations around the 30-year average.

      The blue line in the Antarctica plot has been more than 2 standard deviations above normal for several months. That means sea ice extent there is massive above and outside the normal range.

      That is like a giant neon sign flashing “DANGER! BEWARE OF ICE!”

      Turney, apparently blinded by AGW theory, ignored the warning and took no specialized precautions that were clearly called for. That endangered all involved.

      The Turney Expedition was totally unprepared for the huge amount of ice they encountered. Unless there is a dramatic change, the current trend (blue line) indicates the Shokalskiy could very well be stuck in the ice for rest of the summer and all winter. It was 16 kilometers from open ocean several days ago and ice conditions have not improved.

      Alan Stone blaming their circumstance on global warming shows just how far out-of-touch with reality that AGW theorists have strayed.

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