Latest posts by James H. Rust (see all)
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Like the headache from drinking a large bottle of cheap wine, climate alarmists are back with a new scare for the planet caused by carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels — the great loss of Arctic sea ice the past few years.
We are about to be bombarded from climate alarmists with their latest news the volume of Arctic sea ice has declined by 80 percent from 1979 to the autumn of 2012. This is based on recent studies on Arctic sea ice thickness published early February 2013. The studies are by scientists using NASA satellites and underwater sonar stations to measure thickness of Arctic sea ice. Consult an article by NASA about their studies shown by this url or other NASA labeled references.
The paper states measurements have been made for two years and the data should not be used to forecast a trend. Autumn sea ice volume in 2012 is 36 percent smaller than a few earlier years. Winter sea volume is 9 percent smaller than a few earlier years. A large hurricane originating in Alaska swept over the North Pole in August 2012 and tore up Arctic sea ice and propelled a lot of the sea ice southward where it melted. This would make a large reduction in sea ice volume for late September 2012.
NASA reported the hurricane September 18, 2012 and mentioned this is a rare event; but they do occur every once in a while. Since September 2012, Arctic sea ice has been restored at a record pace and by late February 2013 the sea ice extent is within 3 percent its average.
So don’t get too upset about the announcement of changes in Arctic sea ice volume. The albedo effect of sea ice reflecting incoming sun’s radiation back to outer space in the summer has to do with the sea ice surface area; not volume. Also remember the sun only shines in the Arctic six months of the year. For May, June, July, and early August the sun shines 24 hours a day. For late October through early February, the sun doesn’t shine at all in the Arctic. If you visit the Arctic in the winter, take a flashlight.
Typically Arctic sea ice ranges from a maximum of 15 million square kilometers in late March to a minimum of 4.6 million square kilometers September 16. Thus sea ice volume has to normally be reduced by 70 percent. Climate alarmists are trying to use something that normally happens to be construed as a problem due to carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.
Worries about salt changes in Arctic waters due to sea ice having no salt have to be questionable. Salt is removed from ice as it freezes and stays in the water that didn’t freeze. The volume of Arctic waters that become ice at the time of maximum sea ice extent in late March is insignificant compared to the total volume of Arctic Ocean water.
Be wary reading reports about Arctic sea ice losses from climate alarmist sources.