The Right Opinion

The Truth Behind the Shrinking Arctic Ice Cap

Facts paint a different picture

By Joe Bastardi · Sep. 13, 2012

There is no sugar coating the fact that the Arctic sea ice is well below normal:

The AGW agenda is jumping all over this metric as evidence that catastrophic global warming is upon us. After all, they really can no longer use earth’s actual air and ocean temperatures as proof since they have leveled off, and are now cooling. The disconnect with C02, still on the rise, cannot be denied:

As you can see, I admit Arctic sea ice is on the decline, but the question is, why?

The answer can be seen through natural causes. A look at the ocean temperatures globally over the past 15 years, or since the global temperatures reached a peak in the major el Nino of 1997-1998 supplies the answer. Notice on Sept 1, 1997, most of the northern hemisphere ocean was quite warm, the southern hemisphere cooler:

This is an example of the warm phases of the Pacific Decadol Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadol Oscillation both occurring at once. A tremendous input of heat (oceans have 1000 times the heat capacity of air) into the atmosphere has to be occurring, causing a rise in the global temperature which was well documented through the 1990s.

But one also notices a counter cooling in much of the southern hemisphere oceans.

Since dry air over land warms more than air over the ocean, the response of the warming ocean when that air came over the drier land was more of a rise in temperatures over the continents than fall over the southern hemisphere oceans . So it appears that the earth is warming. After all if you have many more samples of warm than cold, your answer has to come up warmer, right? However, is there a change in the total energy budget of the earth? If there is not then what goes up, must come down. The earths temperature rose in response to the warming Pacific, which started the northern ice cap melting. The Atlantic is in its warm stage now, so the ice cap is being attacked from the ocean also. Once the Atlantic comes out of its warm phase in 10 to 15 years, the ice cap will rebound.

Below are charts in 5 year increments that show a reversal has occurred in the Pacific:

2002

2007

2012 at the height of the la nina

The current water temperature anomaly shows very warm water in the north Atlantic, a product of the warm cycle of the Atlantic we are in like the 1950s, and this continues to attack the ice cap.

But is the lack of ice at times that unusual? Apparently not as photographic evidence shows. Here is a picture of a submarine surfacing at the North Pole in August of 1959 – another period of known warmth similar to the cycle we are in now.

More startling to me was this picture that shows large amounts of open water at the North Pole in May of 1987 with three subs surfacing.

Wind and storminess can also have an effect on the Arctic ice, which is what recently happened. A fierce storm broke up a lot of the ice and shoved much of it southeast into the center of the ice cap. But when viewing this 30 day loop of the arctic, notice how fast the rebound from the low point has been in the past 30 days, with a shrinkage because of the storm, then the ice rapidly rebounding (make sure to put this into a loop).

The recent pronouncement that Greenland had the most rapid melt period on record is another example of neglecting the actual facts to come up with an objective idea. If you would like to read more on that matter, here is a nice link.

The reason we are seeing all this is because we have seen a distortion of the global temperature pattern the past 30 years brought about by the warm phase of the Pacific, which started the warming of the northern hemisphere, followed by the Atlantic warming. The response was greater over land where air is dry and can be easily warmed! How can we test this theory, besides waiting for it to simply recover once the Atlantic turns colder? Well we have a hint, and it’s in the southern hemisphere. After all, we have to think globally, right? That is what we hear: GLOBAL warming. So we should also have the southern hemisphere shrinking if they are correct and my hypothesis is wrong.

Let’s evaluate, shall we?

Over the past 30 years there has been a rise in the southern ice cap! One would never know it given all the hysteria about the northern ice cap, or some spots on Antarctica being warmer than normal (it can’t be cold everywhere):

I spoke on this matter at the Heartland conference ICCC7. Because the southern hemisphere ice cap is surrounded by ocean, the implication of an expanding southern hemisphere ice cap, even though it appears smaller than the northern shrinkage, is that there is no net change in the overall heat capacity of the entire ocean/air system. This would imply the northern shrinkage is simply a cyclical event. In fact, the increase in the south is actually quite remarkable since it takes more energy loss to cool the water enough around the southern hemisphere ice cap than it does energy gain to warm the dry, colder air over land surrounding the northern hemisphere ice cap The warming of that air, combined with the warm cycle still present in the Atlantic means there should be a shrinking northern ice cap. This is yet another challenge I have laid at the feet of the AGW community: The idea that the global temperature as measured objectively by satellites will return to where it was in the late 1970s by 2030 and the northern ice cap will also. Truth be told, we will be in real trouble if there is no warming response to the oceans in the southern hemisphere and shrinking back of that ice cap! That is more of a concern to many of us than the idea the planet is about to burn up. It’s ice, not fire that should be the concern, especially when one looks at some of the ideas on the solar cycles and temperatures, as well as the economic and social repercussions of a colder planet. For your benefit, here’s a recent paper on the matter of sunspots and global temperatures.

As a nation, we must use what has made us successful to progress. The limiting of energy sources based on faulty ideas and partial truths has lead to a weakening of our country and increased misery among our people. For example: Gas is nearly 4 dollars a gallon now, and the shame is that there is no reason based on what we should be doing, for that to be happening. This is taking hundreds of billions of dollars out of our economy and redistributing it elsewhere. Regulations based on worry about things that are cyclical in nature and explainable based on the total picture and body of evidence, are also taking hundreds of billions of dollars out of the economy.

The sad truth is this: A nation built on the freedoms to confront reality, will not survive if shackled by policies that chase utopian ghosts.

The tale of the ice cap is a prime example of this.

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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