Antarctic Ice Area/Volume: Anomaly or start of Colder 21st C

  1. mbig
    I feel local anomaly during what is indeed a Small slowing/pause of the warming trend of the last century.
    One of many 'pauses' during that period that it's possible to isolate in a general uptrend. Another topic.

    Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high Saturday - Sept 23 2013

    "Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.

    On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site. That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.

    The increasing ice is especially perplexing since the water beneath the ice has warmed, not cooled.

    “The overwhelming evidence is that the Southern Ocean is warming,”
    said Jinlun Zhang, a University of Washington scientist, studying Antarctic ice. “Why would sea ice be increasing? Although the rate of increase is small, it is a puzzle to scientists.”
    In a new study in the Journal of Climate, Zhang finds both strengthening and converging winds around the South Pole can explain 80% of the increase in ice volume which has been observed. “The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole is not just stronger than it was when satellite records began in the 1970s, it has more convergence"..."
  2. LowDown
    In general, natural variation of the climate due to solar cycles, ocean cycles, and so on, is far more powerful in the short term than the global warming trend, which is weak and only becomes visible up over long periods of time, i.e., several decades. So this might just be a manifestation of that. Ocean cycles in the southern hemisphere are not as well understood as they are in the north, particularly in the Pacific.

    I should point out that the same general principle applies to the Arctic, so no one should be surprised if the ice trends there suddenly reverse in the short term, that is, over several years. The idea that the global warming trend, which is 0.14 degrees per decade at best, is responsible for the big declines in ice there over 10 years is pretty silly.
  3. RogueWarrior
    There have been many upswings since 1979, with an overall downward trend not upward.

    EDIT: ANTarctic.

  4. RogueWarrior
    There is very little data on ice down south. I also suspect that sea ice volume is less important than land ice volume.
    Sea ice can be replenished quickly from land ice. If there was no land ice AND the ANTarctic volume was still increasing... then that would be interesting.

    But do they even monitor land ice volume?
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