Graph of the Day – Sea Ice Continues Free Fall

February 18, 2016

021716_seaice

Sea Ice watch starting early this year. Stay tuned.

 

 

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7 Responses to “Graph of the Day – Sea Ice Continues Free Fall”

  1. Sir Charles Says:

    Meanwhile, the cold spot in the North Atlantic is developing fast:

    A worrisome amplifier.

    => Study: Melting Greenland ice sheet is rapidly slowing the Gulf Stream


  2. Why combine sea ice on both poles? There are different processes occurring between them.

    I’d just like to speak on behalf of the general public that aren’t scientists. Is it the case, that if an increase or decrease in sea ice from Antarctica does not say much about an increase or decrease in the Arctic, and vice versa, then the combination of both says less?

    One possible example: An increase of combined sea ice extent, from an alarming pulse of fresh water from the southern icecap into the southern ocean, say during a strong La Nina, would send a message that ‘global sea ice is growing and at record high’.

    And that is all the public would hear.

    • redskylite Says:

      That is an extremely good point and contrarians often try and balance the figures from the two poles to suggest that global warming is minimal and manageable.

      However there are very strong teleconnections between the two (North & South), there is a lapse of 1 or 2 centuries before the South catches up with the North, through ocean currents and such natural processes.

      Most of the drama and news focus currently is in the North, obviously warming is happening in the Arctic. Approximately 200 years later big brother will speak and it will be even more pronounced.

      Just because so far the effects have been gradual and relatively gentle does not mean that it cannot get abrupt as Rice University point out. . .

      We have to cherish what we have before it is far too late and gone.

      Colossal Antarctic ice-shelf collapse followed last ice age

      “The evidence shows that an armada of icebergs — each at least twice as tall as the Empire State Building — was pushed out en masse. We know this because this part of the Ross Sea is about 550 meters (1,804 feet) deep, and the icebergs were so large and so tightly packed that they gouged huge furrows into the seafloor as they moved north.”

      http://news.rice.edu/2016/02/18/colossal-antarctic-ice-shelf-collapse-followed-last-ice-age-2/


      • Yep thanks for saying that. It did occur to me later that the graph answers the skeptic misinformation that the south grows if the north shrinks – since the black line of 2016 is at a low point, the graph serves that purpose.

        Just wondering about your statement, ‘lapse of 1 or 2 centuries before the South catches up with the North, through ocean currents and such natural processes’.

        While acknowledging their importance and role, I’d still like to move past sea ice and ice shelves and straight to marine glaciers, land glaciers and ice sheets. Because the most interesting way to estimate sea level rise at the moment seems to be by looking at net ice melt doubling time. Both Jason Box and James Hansen have referenced this method, and probably more scientists (it might be the standard approach?).

        Clearly, this rate tells science that on the current path, there will be multiple metres of sea level rise by the end of the century, with worse case scenarios closer to mid century.

        What’s more, is that the process has begun and is occurring right now, doubling of net ice melt close to a decade, and what happens in the Arctic (but more importantly Greenland) may not be relative to what happens in Antarctica. To help this view, you only need to look at an ice’s own set of feedback mechanisms, that is at the most similar, if not different, than another regions ice melt mechanisms.

        The overall picture I get as a member of the public, is that net melt doubling time of both Greenland and Antarctica, is one of the biggest messages, yet most simplest messages, that need to be pushed to the public but so far isn’t.

        • pendantry Says:

          … net melt doubling time of both Greenland and Antarctica, is one of the biggest messages, yet most simplest messages, that need to be pushed to the public but so far isn’t.

          An example of a signal being lost in the noise.


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