A Year of Polar Ice

March 13, 2017

From the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. (EUMETSAT)

This visualisation shows the polar ice concentration of the northern and southern hemispheres throughout 2016, as seen by the DMSP and Metop satellites


10 Responses to “A Year of Polar Ice”

  1. Tom Bates Says:

    From 8500-6500 BP there was no polar ice in the summer. In 1000 AD during the MWP the ice was less than today. Your nice picture is meaningless.

    • Can you post your satellite photos?

    • Mike Male Says:

      70 million years ago there were dinosaurs. Your comment is meaningless.

    • redskylite Says:

      Our Earth’s climate has changed a lot over time, but these changes are usually measured over millenniums. I have noticed sharp changes over decades and that is not natural. It is the speed of change we have induced.

      I urge you to read more.

      While natural cycles have long driven climate shifts on scales of tens, hundreds, thousands and millions of years, the rate of change we are seeing today far exceeds anything historically observed. Eons ago, crocodile-like creatures inhabited what is now the Arctic. Just 15,000 years ago, a mile of ice lay over what is now the New Jersey Turnpike. Heat waves and droughts have ravaged ancient civilizations. We know all this because scientists have for decades been analyzing ancient signs of these events locked in ice cores, tree rings, cave formations, corals, lake bottoms, ocean sediments, and other natural records. These are the same scientists telling us that the changes we are seeing now are primarily due to human emissions—not natural causes.

      Here are some facts on natural change. The most powerful drivers of long-term swings, from ice ages to warm periods, are variations in Earth’s orbit, but orbital changes take place over tens or hundreds of thousands of years; they do not explain the changes that scientists have observed over the last century. The energy output of the sun itself also varies—but as measured over the last century, it has changed very little, so that process does not explain anything either. Particles spewed by volcanoes can also affect the climate—but mainly to cool it temporarily, as we saw after the 1991 eruption of the Philippines’ Mt. Pinatubo.


      • It is not the sun’s energy output but magnetic field variations, which correlate with obswerved sunspot activity, that is the critical factor in short-term (decadal) climate variation. The current solar cycle, 24, has similar charateristics to the Dalton Minimum. A less active SC25 would potentially lead to a Maunder Minimum scenario, which coincided with the Little Ice Age. Post war cooling and then warming in the 80’s & 90’s coincided with lower and higher solar activity.

        Low sunspot activity coincides with lower levels of charged particles (solar wind) striking the earth’s magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. This has also been demonstrated to coincide with higher levels of cosmis rays (charged particle radiation fro supernovae) penetrating the atmosphere and generating ions, which increase cloud production. This results in higher albido and rates of precipitation, which we are seeing world-wide right now.

        Longer term climate cycles are indeed influenced by orbital and axial variations and planetary influences within the solar system and the solar system’s position in the galaxy.

        There is no causal link between atmospheric CO2 levels and climate. Periodic warming and cooling was a measurable feature of climate long before today’s theory of CO2-caused global warming, recently repackaged to climate change. CO2 levels have increased dramatically this century with no correlating inrease in global mean temperature.


        • greenman3610 Says:

          wow. this scarcely rises to the level of “wrong”.
          Your discussion of the supposed sunspot mechanism draws exactly the wrong conclusion. the theory you make a hash of is that lower sunspots correspond to weaker magnetic flux, which allows more “cosmic rays” or “charged particles” (same thing) into the atmosphere.

          If this were a factor, in fact, recent decreases in solar sunspot activity would mean – weaker field, more particles, –> more cloud nuclei –> more clouds —> higher albedo,—> less insolation,– and global cooling.
          Not what we are seeing obviously, with 3 straight years of heat records.
          You are correct we are seeing more intense precipition, which occams razor would suggest makes perfect sense with a warmer atmosphere holding more moisture.
          Richard Alley discusses the cosmic ray crock here at 42:03

          Your laughable assertion that no link exists between co2 and climate would, if true, earn you a Nobel prize, so by all means, publish your findings and overturn the last 300 years of physics. Wealth, fame, and science groupies will be yours.
          Alley’s lecture above might help you understand non-alternative fact in this regard.
          finally, your assertion that global warming was “recently repackaged” as “climate change” suggests that you should get out more.
          I trashed Ted Cruz for repeating that nonsense here

    • Frank Price Says:

      Please provide a citation to peer–reviewed literature supporting your claim that “From 8500-6500 BP there was no polar ice in the summer”.

      Without support, we’ll have to judge your claim as just passed gas.

    • The lie:

      Tom Bates, why are you spreading such blatant lies? Give us some proof, preferably in the form of peer reviewed papers that there was no polar ice in the summer from 8500 to 6500?

      The 101 logic error:

      Also you seem to keep going into the fallacy of causalisation, where if something happened before – humans can not have any hand in any of it happening today. It’s like saying “someone died before, hence all murderers are innocent.”

      The verdic:

      Gish gallop aka Trump Tirade…


    • Jason Says:

      To be fair to Tome Bates, there’s some evidence for low ice conditions in the Arctic at various times (though maybe not so much the MWP) during the Holocene [http://research.bpcrc.osu.edu/geo/publications/polyak_etal_seaice_QSR_10.pdf (see section 4.3)]

      However the idea that low ice conditions then renders contemporary ice conditions as meaningless is complete nonsense – eg https://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/jbg/Pubs/CAPE.LIG.QSR.2006.pdf

  2. schwadevivre Says:

    Ah! Master Bates, sorted out the difference between Troposphere and Stratosphere yet?

    As to your assertion about their being “no polar ice” in a particular time period, that is taken from the nonsensical Watts Up With That web site and has less veracity than Donald Trump’s allegations about being bugged.

    Sea levels began to rise after the end of the Younger Dryas and were still rising through the period you cite. The Bering land bridge was not covered until 8000 BP and the sea level continues to rise for several thousand years. which means there was plenty of land and sea ice melting driving that rise.

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