Record Antarctic sea ice confounds climate models

Thursday 26 September 2013, 17:51

Paul Hudson Paul Hudson

The extent of sea ice in the southern hemisphere continues to cause a headache for climate scientists, with news this week that Antarctic sea ice is now at record levels, based on satellite data which began in the late 1970’s.

This is contrary to what climate models had predicted.

It’s thought that weather conditions at the South Pole, namely strengthening winds, is a possible explanation, but it’s another mystery for climate scientists already struggling to explain why most climate models have failed to predict the levelling off of global temperatures in the last 15 years or so.

At the other end of the planet, Arctic ice has staged a strong rebound this summer compared with last summer’s record minimum, reaching its lowest point just over a week ago.

But despite many headlines to the contrary, it in no way marks a reversal of the striking long term decline which has been observed since satellite data was first gathered during the late 1970’s.

And it’s worth adding that the overall loss of Arctic sea ice in recent years has been happening faster than most climate models anticipated.

 

 

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    Comment number 1.

    Paul good of you to pick up on the Antarctic. Strange how the profits of doom can wax lyrical about the Arctic being in a death spiral whilst studiously ignoring the Antarctic.

    We are constantly being told that the sacrifices we have to make in terms of artificially expensive energy, loss of manufacturing industry, fuel poverty and frozen pensioners is to save the world from global warming - yeah I know the PR folks changed it to climate change, but we all know it for it is, or rather isn't - but if the Antarctic is gaining ice it means the world is not warming. Hold that thought!!!!

    And as Judith Curry has pointed out the significance of the increase of Arctic ice this year is that it puts a lie to the death spiral myth so beloved by your true believer types.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Paul in 2006 after working for a Carbon Management company, I told you that global warming by man was a scam, you were polite but pointed to the evidence saying the reverse. We are now going through a prolonged period of cooling due to a drop in the suns temperature, which could last 30/40 years. This will make it harder to grow food, that would be my bigger concern. Sea ice in the Artic has increased 60% on last year. What more evidence do you require? The world temperature hasn't increased since 1998, the hockey stick theory has been smashed. The problem is too many people make money from so called global warming jobs and have a lot to lose and won't admit the scam. I have concerns about real pollution that causes environmental damage, but C02 is not a pollutant.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    oops! prophets of doom, that is

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    @1 NTropywins

    "And as Judith Curry has pointed out the significance of the increase of Arctic ice this year is that it puts a lie to the death spiral myth so beloved by your true believer types."

    No it doesn't. Arctic is still on a strong (faster than the IPCC predicted) downward trend. All it means is that it didn't happen this year.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    @2 UKIP

    "We are now going through a prolonged period of cooling due to a drop in the suns temperature, which could last 30/40 years."

    What cooling???

    "Sea ice in the Artic has increased 60% on last year."

    No it hasn't.

    "the hockey stick theory has been smashed"

    No it hasn't.

 

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Hello, I’m Paul Hudson, weather presenter and climate correspondent for BBC Look North in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. 

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I worked as a forecaster with the Met Office for nearly 15 years locally and at the international unit, after graduating with first class honours in Geophysics and Planetary physics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1992. I then joined the BBC in October 2007, where I divide my time between forecasting and reporting on stories about climate change and its implications for people's everyday lives.

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