Sea Ice South (1): A little geography

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:11 AM GMT on May 09, 2011

Sea Ice South (1): A little geography

My last entry was on the decline of sea ice in the Arctic and how this is forming an entirely new environment in the Arctic. It’s an environment of open water in the summer and a freezing sea in the winter - perhaps, a little like the Great Lakes. Now I am going to start a series on trying to untangle the difficult subject of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere.

As many know the sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere has been increasing for the past few years. Here is a picture from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.




Figure 1: Areal extent of April sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere from 1979 – 2011. (figure from National Snow and Ice Data Center)

This figure shows a plot of April monthly averages of the area of the ocean covered by ice. There is a lot of variability from year to year, and if you take an average of all the years, the amount of ocean covered by sea ice has increased in the last three decades. From 2006 to 2011 the variability is high, and it will be interesting to see if the apparent oscillation continues over the next five years.

This increase of sea ice has entered the political discussion in different ways. Most notably, it has been paired with the Arctic sea ice in plots to show that the global sea ice is remaining approximately constant. The political argument goes - hence, there is not trend; hence, the climate alarmists have isolated their attention on the Arctic to carry forward a political argument. This pairing of North and South to conclude that sea ice decrease is inconsequential is a deceptive political argument. It mixes northern summer with southern winter; hence, warm season and cold season in a way that is, from the point of view of the physical scientist, incorrect. It also dismisses the vast impact on ecosystems and regional climate that is occurring in the Arctic. The processes that determine the energy budget of sea ice in the northern and southern hemisphere are quite different. This series is my attempt to break down this complexity well enough that I can understand it.

In both my dynamics class and my climate change class, I constantly remind students of the geography of the Earth. The weather and climate of the Earth is largely determined by the energy received from the Sun, the rotation of the Earth, and the distribution of land, water, ice and air. Of special importance is the height and location of mountain ranges. Here’s an old map I like looking down on the South Pole.




Figure 2: Map of the South Pole and the Southern Ocean from the year 1894. (figure from Perry-Castañeda University of Texas Library Map Collection)

The first thing to note is that the South Pole is in the continent Antarctica, which is land (and ice). Compared with the oceanic North Pole, the ocean cannot carry heat all the way to the pole. The second thing to note is that Antarctica is high and steep. This strongly influences atmospheric storms. These two geographical facts mean that the atmosphere and ocean might carry heat to the edge of Antarctica, but the center of the continent is, perhaps, a bit isolated or protected.

There is another critically important aspect of the geography, which is suggested on the map by the dashed line labeled “average limit of floating ice.” Also note the parts of the ocean labeled “Antarctic Drift.” This section of ocean completely encircles the Earth with no land barrier. It gets narrow at the tip of South America. It is especially notable at, say, the tip of Africa the way the Agulhas Current gets swept away in the Antarctic drift. Remember, this map is from 1894 – I think it makes my points solidly.

We see here in the Southern Hemisphere, atmospheric storms that start in the warm north and propagate southward towards Antarctica. They travel through this open water around the continent, Antarctica. They are steered and broken up by the steep edge of Antarctica. The stress of these storms on the surface of the ocean causes the ocean to “drift” from west to east. This is a far different situation from the Arctic, where there is no land at the pole and a mix of land and ocean around the edge of the Arctic ocean. (see another old map at this old blog )

So this is the set up - the geography makes the northern and southern poles distinctly different places. How, then, do we think about the formation and destruction of sea ice? We have to think about energy, just like in the last blog. The atmosphere and ocean bring and take away heat. There is fresh (light) and salt (heavy) water. There is rain and snow (energy and fresh water). There is ice melting in Antarctica. And there is, in fact, a fundamental difference in the radiative forcing – ozone. In the Southern Hemisphere there is the ozone hole. Often we forget that ozone is, in fact, an important greenhouse gas. With all of this - is there any reason to expect sea ice to behave the same in the northern and southern hemisphere? With all of this - is it at all scientifically honest to mash together sea ice observations from the north and south, summer and winter, and talk about them as one?

OK – I think that is a reasonable foundation.

r


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409. Neapolitan
1:01 AM GMT on May 19, 2011
Quoting RMuller:
Despite attempts by warmists to change reality and physics, temperature station siting does matter, it appears, everywhere on the planet except the US according to NOAA and NASA:

Link

You are aware, I'm sure, that even if every station in the U.S.--or in the world--was sited in such a way that a warm bias was demonstrated (which they're not), the fact that the vast majority of them show continuous warming is what's most important. Of course, as has been proven, the majority of stations in the U.S. that are off actually show a cool bias.

Despite attempts by denialists--such as failed small-market TV weathermen like Watts--to ignore reality and physics, temperatures continue to go up around the globe. How utterly frustrating it must be for them to always be on the wrong side of science. It's understandable, if not forgivable, that they cling so desperately to any little tidbit that might bolster their illusions and fantasies; I might do the same if I myself were working against the truth.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
404. Snowlover123
7:21 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Oh Yeah! Galatic Cosimic Rays! I forgot about those.Those can heat my pot of Coffey one degree over a billion years! LOL!


Um... no... that's not how Cosmic Rays control climate. When GCRs impact with particles of air, they produce aerosoles. These aerosoles are "seedlings" for Cloud Cover to form. If there is more of a Solar Wind from a more active Sun, then the GCRs get diverted from Earth, and there are less clouds, which mean that Earth is overall, warmer.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
403. iceagecoming
7:19 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting cyclonebuster:
Can We Control the Weather?

Today, Dr. Kaku addresses a question posed by Bruce Vang: Are we ever going to develop a machine that can control the weather somewhat?

Let's see if DR. Kaku addresses my idea of using Gulfstream Kinetic Energy to control the weather.






Link






It may need to be slightly portable.

Gulf Stream Slowed During Little Ice Age
http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full /2006/1129/2

By Phil Berardelli
ScienceNOW Daily News
29 November 2006

A slowing of the Gulf Stream--the Atlantic Ocean's massive warm-water
current--may have been responsible for a minor ice age that occurred
between 1200 and 1850 C.E. If true, the finding could have implications
for tracking future climate change in the northern hemisphere.

Ocean currents can influence weather on a continental scale. Witness
the impact of El Niño, the building up of warm water in the western
Pacific Ocean, which causes droughts and severe storms across North and
South America. Similar effects can happen with the Gulf Stream, which
carries tropical waters from the southeastern United States to
Scandinavia--and thereby provides western Europe with a more temperate
climate than its latitude would justify. A team of scientists hoped to
get a better handle on the Gulf Stream's climatic influence by studying
its history during the Little Ice Age. Between 1200 and 1800 C.E.,
average temperatures in Europe dropped about 4° Celsius.

It turns out that as temperatures chilled in Europe, the Gulf Stream
decelerated. The team, led by David Lund, now at the California
Institute of Technology, came to this conclusion by analyzing ocean
sediment cores going back 1000 years from two widely separated sites in
the Florida Straits, where the Gulf Stream originates. In particular,
the researchers charted the chemical composition of foraminifera,
microscopic creatures whose fossilized shells contain evidence of
salinity. From the shells of the forams, as they are called, Lund's
team deduced a spike in salinity at the water's surface, suggesting
cooler temperatures and a slower current. The team's calculations,
reported tomorrow in Nature, indicate the Gulf Stream slowed by about
10% just about the time the Little Ice age began, and resumed its
current speed around 1850.



Link
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1163
400. Snowlover123
6:57 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:

I disagree that the opinions of guys like Inhofe are worthless. They certainly don't prove or disprove any science theories, for sure. As a powerful man, then, Inhofe's opinion matters greatly. Unfortunately.


I see what you mean. When I was refering to Inhofe's ideas being useless, I was refering for being useless for scientific theories. However, their opinions do matter, I agree, since they are important members of the house.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
399. Patrap
6:54 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
I guess "Toxic Avenger" was taken?


Joe Bastardi from weatherbell.com
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 454 Comments: 144413
398. Snowlover123
6:51 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:

So is the trend since 1979. Remember: climate is about long-term averages.


But it is also about the climatic indicators. 2007 is when the PDO turned negative... and we note an increase in Sea Ice Area since then...

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
397. Snowlover123
6:48 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Like I said, a remarkable drop in Global Temps at 600 mb.

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
396. Snowlover123
6:46 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting cyclonebuster:


But we are not talking about balloons and bricks here are we? Were we not talking about Arctic Ice and how much mass volume it has?


It was an example to show that you can not compare something's volume to something's mass. They are two totally different things. Mass is measured in "grams."
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
395. Snowlover123
6:43 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting eddy12:
I have a couple of questions to ask; how is more sea ice forming in the south and less up north.


The increase in SH ice can be attributed to ozone depletion due to Galactic Cosmic Rays, but I believe that the reason for this inverse relationship, are the oceanic oscillations (PDO, AMO.)
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
392. Neapolitan
4:27 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting RMuller:


Cherry picking? He's showing true "unadjusted" data from satellites demonstrating that every layer of the atmosphere from MSL up is cooling. Explain how that is "cherry picking." How many times will you post stupid definitions as if they illustrate your ridiculous point in some way. As if you don't use picked data showing your incorrect beliefs.

He cherry-picked by only showing those satellite temperature graphs with a downward trend in the last week, while avoiding showing those--namely the SST one--showing warmer than average temps. You may disagree on the "stupid definition" I used--which came from a dictionary, by the way--but that's exactly what cherry-picking is.

The fact of the matter is, cherry-picking is one of the most oft-used tools in the denialist bag. Can't blame them, really; without it they'd have no case at all...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
389. Neapolitan
3:21 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting RMuller:
It's colder by more than half a degree in every layer of the atmosphere. Ouch!
Link

I think for Christmas this year I'll send JB a book on climate basics. You know, something with small words and lots of colors. I don't know that he'd read it--science seems to bother him a lot--but we would all appreciate his having a little background in climate before spouting his everpresent nonsense.

Anyway, he's such a character. Temps at 14K are slightly higher than they were on this date in 2009, and higher than they were on this date in 2008. And, of course, the biggest deal is that global average SSTs are higher now than they were on this date in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, 2003...
Cherry-picking (chair'-ee--pik'-ing) - verb (trans-intrans) 1. the activity of selecting and/or presenting only that data which supports ones point of view, while intentionally omitting and/or de-emphasizing that which does not. 2. - something Joe Bastardi does a lot of.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
387. Neapolitan
2:06 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Snowlover123:
The trend since 2007 is evident.

So is the trend since 1979. Remember: climate is about long-term averages.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
386. Neapolitan
2:04 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Snowlover123:


I also believe that Senator Inhofe (R) used to believe in Global Warming, but is now a skeptic. But his opinion is worthless in the field of climate science, because he's a politician.

Most Republicans--that is, a majority--supported science until it ran up against their ideology and their desire to kowtow to the extremely rich fossil fuel industry.

At any rate, I disagree that the opinions of guys like Inhofe are worthless. They certainly don't prove or disprove any science theories, for sure. But until and unless science can be heard through the noise being made by the Big Oil-funded denial industry, little progress toward mitigation can or will be made. With that in mind, then, it's vitally important for the future of mankind that more and more people come to accept the science, as the two gentlemen I noted have. As a powerful man, then, Inhofe's opinion matters greatly. Unfortunately.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
385. atmoaggie
2:03 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:

Again--and prove me wrong if you think you can--if there's even one degreed meteorologist working at TWC, that's one more than works at WUWT.
I dunno whom works where, nor do I care much.
But, if there are degreed mets at TWC, they haven't used what they learned in school since, outside of the 2 PhDs I can think of. (But I must admit to not having graced the TV with TWC in at least 6 years).

IIRC, the marketing degrees are being well-used, there, though.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
384. Neapolitan
1:57 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting atmoaggie:
Hahahaha! That's a phunny notion...

Again--and prove me wrong if you think you can--if there's even one degreed meteorologist working at TWC, that's one more than works at WUWT.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
383. Neapolitan
1:55 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting RustyShackleford:


He consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia%u2019s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products.

He worked for them just last year! YLA!

I never said he didn't, did I? I merely noted that his switch to "skepticism" isn't new; in fact, he was posting articles for denialist websites back in 1999--a full 12 years ago. I also noted that he was neither a climate scientist nor rocket scientist as he has claimed at times, but does have a PhD in electrical engineering.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
382. atmoaggie
1:55 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Snowlover123:


Real meteorologists working at the Weather Enterntainment Channel...? Are you serious?
Hahahaha! That's a phunny notion...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
381. Neapolitan
1:50 PM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting RustyShackleford:


Well you coulda picked somebody else. Both are not climate scientists and neither have a paper published. GET OVER YOURSELF!

Why the anger? I never said either one I mentioned was a climate scientist, and--far more importantly--neither one of them claimed to be. But Evans has claimed to be--which, quite demonstrably, he's not.

Please try to maintain more civil tone here.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
380. Snowlover123
11:46 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Lets see mass isn't volume? LOL


Yeah... mass isn't volume. A balloon could take up the same amount of volume as a brick, and their masses would be completely different.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
378. Snowlover123
11:41 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting cyclonebuster:



Really? PIOMAS shows the mass not just area.



PIOMAS is a model that does not use actual observations. It does not calcuate "mass" as you claim. Instead, it calculates volume, which is what PIPS does... for actual OBS.



The trend since 2007 is evident.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
376. Snowlover123
11:26 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting RustyShackleford:


Well you coulda picked somebody else. Both are not climate scientists and neither have a paper published. GET OVER YOURSELF!


I also believe that Senator Inhofe (R) used to believe in Global Warming, but is now a skeptic. But his opinion is worthless in the field of climate science, because he's a politician.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
374. Snowlover123
11:21 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Summer Ice Melt Minimum... near 2005. Thicker Ice has increased substantially since last year, so a minimum above 2010 is almost guarenteed.



2011



2010
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
371. Snowlover123
10:53 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
400 mb Temps are remaining at record lows, while 2m temps have cooled slightly from yesterday.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
370. Snowlover123
10:51 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Ch. 5 at 600 mb on AMSU continues to have a remarkable drop in Global Temperatures. A change of nearly -.05 Degrees C in a day.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
369. Snowlover123
10:35 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting Neapolitan:
Here's a pair of interesting articles to close out the day:

--Noted denialist and conservative radio host D. R. Tucker admits that warming is happening. "I was defeated by facts," he says.

--Utah Gov. John Huntsman--a staunch Republican--admits that warming is happening. "If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we'd listen to them," he says.

It's nice to know that the revamped efforts by scientists to wade through the smoke and mirrors put up by the denial industry are beginning to work. If nothing else, it tells us we're on the right track.


Morning Nea.

In my view, these articles show that you can not group Republicans into the "denialist" category, since, as seen here, there are some that believe in Man Made Global Warming. However, these are politicians, and serve very little worth in the Climate Debate.

Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
368. Neapolitan
9:46 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Quoting RustyShackleford:
Former %u201Calarmist%u201D scientist says Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) based in false science

Thankfully there are these people out there.

You might've picked a different person than Evans. First, the news of his "jump" to denialism isn't new, having been announced back in 2007 (and trumpeted since). Second, he's a degreed software engineer, and has never published a single paper about climate science. Third, he was never an alarmist scientist or ardent supporter of AGWT, instead simply working as a programmer in the Australian Greenhouse Office while he consulted with and wrote editorials for right-wing think tanks. But fourth--and most importantly--he moved away from the science, while the two gentlemen I mentioned moved toward it. That last is hugely important to remember, of course.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
366. Neapolitan
2:55 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Here's a pair of interesting articles to close out the day:

--Noted denialist and conservative radio host D. R. Tucker admits that warming is happening. "I was defeated by facts," he says.

--Utah Gov. John Huntsman--a staunch Republican--admits that warming is happening. "If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we'd listen to them," he says.

It's nice to know that the revamped efforts by scientists to wade through the smoke and mirrors put up by the denial industry are beginning to work. If nothing else, it tells us we're on the right track.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 15267
364. Snowlover123
1:52 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Well, Good Night everyone.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701
362. Snowlover123
1:40 AM GMT on May 18, 2011
Well, as if the CLOUD experiment wasn't enough to show that Cosmic Rays Produced the increase in Cloud Cover, we now have yet another skeptical paper: Presenting Svensmark et. al 2011.

Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam


National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen

National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ulrik I. Uggerhj

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark

Sean M. Paling

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Henrik Svensmark

National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

We have studied sulfuric acid aerosol nucleation in an atmospheric pressure reaction chamber using a 580 MeV electron beam to ionize the volume of the reaction chamber. We find a clear contribution from ion-induced nucleation and consider this to be the first unambiguous observation of the ion-effect on aerosol nucleation using a particle beam under conditions that resemble the Earth%u2019s atmosphere. By comparison with ionization using a gamma source we further show that the nature of the ionizing particles is not important for the ion-induced component of the nucleation. This implies that inexpensive ionization sources %u2013 as opposed to expensive accelerator beams %u2013 can be used for investigations of ion-induced nucleation.



Received 8 February 2011; accepted 31 March 2011; published 12 May 2011.

Citation: Enghoff, M. B., J. O. P. Pedersen, U. I. Uggerhj, S. M. Paling, and H. Svensmark (2011), Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L09805, doi:10.1029/2011GL047036.
Member Since: April 1, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 2701

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