Sunday, August 2, 2009

Arctic Ice Changes in past 3 years due to 'shifting winds'

Arctic Ice Changes in past 3 years due to 'shifting winds' - The Star Canada - July 28, 2009 - Excerpt: Oceanographer and Arctic researcher Jane Eert said "dramatic [Arctic ice] changes in the past three years are the result of shifting winds." "Enormous amounts of ice have 'been exported from the Arctic,' driven by winds that are shifting," according to Eert. Eert noted that climate models have many woes. "The guys who are running the long-term climate models have a tough problem," Eert says. "They're looking at really long time scales, and as result they can't look at a lot of details for each year. In order to get the results before you die, you have to fudge some things. And what they fudge is the small-scale stuff. But it turns out that probably the small-scale stuff is important and fudging it gives you wrong answers." [...] Jane Eert is science coordinator of the Three Oceans Project, a federal study of Canada's Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. [...] A physical oceanographer, Eert leads the scientific team aboard The Louis. It's her 10th voyage on the ship since 1999. Between 10 and 15 per cent of the Arctic Ocean is what Eert calls a data hole. It will take years' more research to fill it in with solid information, she adds. After years of reports that vast areas of Arctic ice are melting as the seawater below, and air above, warm up, scientists have discovered that dramatic changes in the past three years are the result of shifting winds, perhaps caused by climate change. Enormous amounts of ice have "been exported from the Arctic," driven by winds that are shifting as the climate changes, which pushed the ice into ocean currents that delivered it to the North Atlantic, Eert says. "The multi-year ice in the polar pack didn't melt in the Arctic Ocean,'' she says. "It moved out and what's left in the Arctic is thinner than it was." That doesn't mean some Arctic ice isn't disappearing altogether, just that the process is not as simple as some reports suggest, Eert says. Old ice that has shifted south from Greenland may have a counter-effect on the climate, which is just one of the many pieces of a very complex jigsaw puzzle that scientists are trying to piece together as they attempt to predict the effects of global warming.

North Pole expedition finds 'ice 100% thicker than expected' - April 28, 2009Excerpt: Surprising results - In Canada, "Polar 5", a research aircraft (see 27 hi-res pictures), has ended its recent Arctic expedition today. During the flight, scientists were measuring the ice thickness in regions that have never been overflown before. The result: the sea ice is apparently thicker than the scientists had suspected. Under normal conditions, the ice is formed within two years and ends up being slightly above 2 meters of thickness. "Here, the thickness was as high as four meters," said the spokesperson for the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. According to the scientists, this conclusion seems to contradict the warming of the ocean water.

Danish Meteorological Institute records show: No Arctic Warming Since 1958! - 'Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now' - May 13, 2009 - Excerpt: The Danish Meteorological Institute has records going back to 1958 and GISSTEMP has even longer records. Below is a visual comparison of DMI 1958 Arctic temperatures vs. 2009, showing that temperatures have hardly changed since the start of their record.[...] Below is an overlay directly showing that 2009 temperatures (green) are similar to 1958 (red) and close to the mean. Temperatures have warmed since the start of the satellite record, but they cooled even more between 1940 and 1980. Everyone (including NSIDC) quietly acknowledges that most of the Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now – so they shift the warming argument to the Alaska side. However, that argument also has problems. Alaska temperatures rose at the positive PDO shift in 1977, and have cooled again with the recent negative PDO shift – as seen below. 2008 was notable in that Alaska glaciers started to increase in size.

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