Thongchai Thailand

The Ice-Free-Arctic Obsession of AGW

Posted on: November 18, 2019

Arctic Ocean could be ice-free for part of the year as soon as 2044

 

[LINK TO HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

 

THIS POST IS A REVIEW OF M.PHYS.ORG 2019 ARCTIC OCEAN ICE FREE [LINK] 

 

THE ARTICLE ABOUT THE PAPER AND ABSTRACT OF THE PAPER

  1. The fate of Arctic sea ice is a key topic for climate scientists because of its role in temperatures around the rest of the world. It’s hard to imagine the Arctic without sea ice. But according to a new study by UCLA climate scientists, human-caused climate change is on track to make the Arctic Ocean functionally ice-free for part of each year starting sometime between 2044 and 2067. 
  2. As long as humans have been on Earth, the planet has had a large cap of sea ice at the Arctic Circle that expands each winter and contracts each summer. The knowledge that sea ice is on the decline is not new: Satellite observations show that since 1979, the amount of sea ice in the Arctic in September—the month when there is the least sea ice, before water starts freezing again—has declined by 13 percent per decade.
  3. Scientists have been attempting to predict the future of Arctic sea ice for several decades, relying on an array of global climate models that simulate how the climate system will react to the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere. But the models’ predictions have disagreed widely. Some show ice-free Septembers as early as 2026; others suggest the phenomenon will begin as late as 2132.
  4. The UCLA study, which was published in Nature Climate Change, narrows the predictions to a 25-year period. Sea ice loss diverge because they differ in how their estimation of sea ice loss albedo feedback is expected to cause greater local warming, which in turn leads to further ice melt. This feedback exacerbates warming and is one reason why the Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the globe.
  5. Thackeray and co-author Alex Hall, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, determined which models are most realistic in sea ice albedo feedback estimation that would lead them to the most realistic projections for sea ice. They used the seasonal sea ice cycle to estimate the albedo feedback effect. Satellite observations track the seasonal melt cycle that includes the albedo feedback. Of 23 different climate models, the authors identified six models that were closest to the observational data in the period 1980-2015.
  6. The approach of using an observable process in the current climate to evaluate global climate model projections of future climate was pioneered by Hall and his group in 2006, in a study focused on snow albedo feedback. It has since become widely used in climate science as researchers try to improve the precision of their projections. The fate of Arctic sea ice is a key topic for climate scientists because of its global impact on temperature. “Arctic sea ice is a key component of the earth system because of its highly reflective nature, which keeps the global climate relatively cool“, Thackeray said.
  7. There are other environmental and economic implications to ice loss as well. Sea ice is critical to the Arctic ecosystem, and to the fishing industry and indigenous peoples who depend on that ecosystem. And as Arctic ice is lost, more waters are used for commercial shipping and oil and gas exploration, which presents economic opportunity for some nations, but which also contributes to further greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. “The changes to come will have broad environmental, ecological and economic implications,” Thackeray said. “By reducing the uncertainty in in our ice free prediction, we can be better prepared.”
  8. CITATION AND ABSTRACT: Thackeray, Chad W., and Alex Hall. “An emergent constraint on future Arctic sea-ice albedo feedback.” Nature Climate Change (2019): 1-7Arctic sea ice has decreased substantially over recent decades, a trend projected to continue. Shrinking ice reduces surface albedo, leading to greater surface solar absorption, thus amplifying warming and driving further melt. This sea-ice albedo feedback (SIAF) is a key driver of Arctic climate change and an important uncertainty source in climate model projections. Using an ensemble of models, we demonstrate an emergent relationship between future SIAF and an observable version of SIAF in the current climate’s seasonal cycle. This relationship is robust in constraining SIAF over the coming decades (Pearson’s r = 0.76), and then it degrades. The degradation occurs because some models begin producing ice-free conditions, signalling a transition to a new ice regime. The relationship is strengthened when models with unrealistically thin historical ice are excluded. Because of this tight relationship, reducing model errors in the current climate’s seasonal SIAF and ice thickness can narrow SIAF spread under climate change. 

 

 

A HISTORY OF FAILED ICE FREE ARCTIC FORECASTS

  1. 1999, STUDY SHOWS ARCTIC ICE SHRINKING BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Sea ice in the Arctic Basin is shrinking by 14000 square miles per year because of global warming caused by human activity according to a new international study that used 46 years of data and sophisticated computer simulation models to tackle the specific question of whether the loss of Arctic ice is a natural variation or caused by global warming. The computer model says that the probability that these changes were caused by natural variation is 1% but when global warming was added to the model the ice melt was a perfect fit. Therefore the ice melt is caused by human activities that emit greenhouse gases.
  2. 2003, SOOT WORSE FOR GLOBAL WARMING THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
    Soot that lands on snow has caused ¼ of the warming since 1880 because dirty snow traps more solar heat than pristine snow and induces a strong warming effect, according to a new computer model by James Hansen of NASA. It explains why sea ice and glaciers are melting faster than they should. Reducing soot emissions is an effective tool to curb global warming. It is easier to cut soot emissions than it is to cut CO2 emissions but we still need to reduce CO2 emissions in order to stabilize the atmosphere.
  3. 2004, ARCTIC CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT
    An unprecedented 4-year study of the Arctic shows that polar bears, walruses, and some seals are becoming extinctArctic summer sea ice may disappear entirely. Combined with a rapidly melting Greenland ice sheet, it will raise the sea level 3 feet by 2100 inundating lowlands from Florida to Bangladesh. Average winter temperatures in Alaska and the rest of the Arctic are projected to rise an additional 7 to 13 degrees over the next 100 years because of increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities. The area is warming twice as fast as anywhere else because of global air circulation patterns and natural feedback loops, such as less ice reflecting sunlight, leading to increased warming at ground level and more ice melt. Native peoples’ ways of life are threatened. Animal migration patterns have changed, and the thin sea ice and thawing tundra make it too dangerous for humans to hunt and travel.
  4. 2004, RAPID ARCTIC WARMING BRINGS SEA LEVEL RISE
    The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report says: increasing greenhouse gases from human activities is causing the Arctic to warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet; in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia winter temperatures have risen by 2C to 4C in the last 50 years; the Arctic will warm by 4C to 7C by 2100. A portion of Greenland’s ice sheet will melt; global sea levels will rise; global warming will intensify. Greenland contains enough melting ice to raise sea levels by 7 meters; Bangkok, Manila, Dhaka, Florida, Louisiana, and New Jersey are at risk of inundation; thawing permafrost and rising seas threaten Arctic coastal regions; climate change will accelerate and bring about profound ecological and social changes; the Arctic is experiencing the most rapid and severe climate change on earth and it’s going to get a lot worse; Arctic summer sea ice will decline by 50% to 100%polar bears will be driven towards extinction; this report is an urgent SOS for the Arctic; forest fires and insect infestations will increase in frequency and intensity; changing vegetation and rising sea levels will shrink the tundra to its lowest level in 21000 years; vanishing breeding areas for birds and grazing areas for animals will cause extinctions of many species; “if we limit emission of heat trapping carbon dioxide we can still help protect the Arctic and slow global warming”.
  5. 2007: THE ARCTIC IS SCREAMING
    Climate science declares that the low sea ice extent in the Arctic is the leading indicator of climate change. We are told that the Arctic “is screaming”, that Arctic sea ice extent is the “canary in the coal mine”, and that Polar Bears and other creatures in the Arctic are dying off and facing imminent extinction. Scientists say that the melting sea ice has set up a positive feedback system that would cause the summer melts in subsequent years to be greater and greater until the Arctic becomes ice free in the summer of 2012. We must take action immediately to cut carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. [DETAILS] 
  6. 2007: THE ICE FREE ARCTIC CLAIMS GAIN MOMENTUM
    The unusual summer melt of Arctic sea ice in 2007 has encouraged climate science to warn the world that global warming will cause a steep decline in the amount of ice left in subsequent summer melts until the Arctic becomes ice free in summer and that could happen as soon as 2080 or maybe 2060 or it could even be 2030. This time table got shorter and shorter until, without a “scientific” explanation, the ice free year was brought up to 2013. In the meantime, the data showed that in 2008 and 2009 the summer melt did not progressively increase as predicted but did just the opposite by making a comeback in 2008 that got even stronger in 2009. [DETAILS]
  7. 2008: POSITIVE FEEDBACK: ARCTIC SEA ICE IN A DOWNWARD SPIRAL
    Our use of fossil fuels is devastating the Arctic where the volume of sea ice “fell to its lowest recorded level to date” this year and that reduced ice coverage is causing a non-linear acceleration in the loss of polar ice because there is less ice to reflect sunlight. [DETAILS]
  8. 2008: THE ARCTIC WILL BE ICE FREE IN SUMMER IN 2008, 2013, 2030, OR 2100
    The unusually low summer sea ice extent in the Arctic in 2007
    The IPCC has taken note and has revised its projection of an ice free Arctic first from 2008 to 2013 and then again from 2013 to 2030. The way things are going it may be revised again to the year 2100. [DETAILS]
  9. 2008: GLOBAL WARMING IS THE CAUSE OF ALL ICE MELT EVENTS
    When there was a greater focus on Antarctica climate scientists said that global warming was melting the West Antarctic Ice Shelf; but the melting was found to be localized and with an active volcano underneath the melting and the attention of “melt forecast” climate science shifted to Arctic sea ice after the an extensive summer melt was observed in September 2007. [DETAILS]
  10. 2008: THE POLAR BEAR IS THREATENED BY OUR USE OF FOSSIL FUELS
    The survival of the polar bear is threatened because man made global warming is melting ice in the Arctic. It is true that the Arctic sea ice extent was down in negative territory in September 2007. This event emboldened global warming scaremongers to declare it a climate change disaster caused by greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and to issue a series of scenarios about environmental holocaust yet to come. [DETAILS]
  11. 2009: SUMMER ARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT IN 2009 THE 3RD LOWEST ON RECORD
    The second lowest was 2008 and the first lowest was 2007. This is not a trend that shows that things are getting worse. It shows that things are getting better and yet it is being sold and being bought as evidence that things are getting worse due to rising fossil fuel emissions. [DETAILS]
  12. 2009: THE ARCTIC WILL BE ICE FREE IN SUMMER BY 2029
    An alarm is raised that the extreme summer melt of Arctic sea ice in 2007 was caused by humans using fossil fuels and it portends that in 20 years human caused global warming will leave the Arctic Ocean ice-free in the summer raising sea levels and harming wildlife. [DETAILS]
  13. 2009: THE ARCTIC WILL BE ICE FREE IN SUMMER BY THE YEAR 2012
    Climate scientists continue to extrapolate the extreme summer melt of Arctic sea ice in 2007 to claim that the summer melt of 2007 was a climate change event and that it implies that the Arctic will be ice free in the summer from 2012 onwards. This is a devastating effect on the planet and our use of fossil fuels is to blame. [DETAILS]
  14. 2009: THE SUMMER SEA ICE EXTENT IN THE ARCTIC WILL BE GONE
    Summer melt of Arctic ice was the third most extensive on record in 2009, second 2008, and the most extensive in 2007. These data show that warming due to our carbon dioxide emissions are causing summer Arctic ice to gradually diminish until it will be gone altogether. [DETAILS]

 

 

COMMENTS ON THE THESIS OF THE ARTICLE AND REFERENCE PAPER

  1. The premise of this paper is “Yes, there were a few ice-free-Arctic forecasts that didn’t happen but this time around we got the ice free forecast right because we tuned the climate model with the seasonal cycle“. This premise is supported by the claim that the climate models that were used to predict the ice free condition were pre-tested against the seasonal cycle and those climate models that could correctly predict the September minimum sea ice extent in the seasonal cycle were taken to be accurate predictors of long term trends in sea ice extent and these models were used to make the long term prediction of an ice free September. It is proposed that the long term forecast is validated by the ability of the same climate model to forecast the seasonal September minimum sea ice extent. Therefore the forecast of that validated climate model that the long awaited ice-free September will occur sometime between 2044 and 2067 {at some point 28 to 48 years from now} is is finally the correct forecast of an ice free Arctic. 
  2. This argument is flawed in a number of ways. First, the seasonal cycle in Arctic air temperature above the Ocean imposes a range of surface air temperatures equivalent to more than 70 years (range = 40 to 130 years) of warming at the current long term warming rate in September temperature of 0,026C per year (Figure 1). Also the regression for the trend contains large uncertainties (Figure 2) so that temperature forecasts contain large uncertainties regardless of the quality of the climate model (Figure 4). Note in Figure 3 that the regression residuals when expressed as multiples of the regression coefficient are in a range of -40 to +25 times the long term trend contained in the regression coefficient. Therefore, the seasonal cycle of the year and the year to year long term trend and very different phenomena such that the forecast for future years cannot be based on seasonal cycle dynamics. Uncertainties in year to year September temperature when compared with the predictable seasonal cycle imply that year to year surface air temperatures are not as exactly predictable as one might presume from the more predictable nature of the seasonal cycle.
  3. An added consideration in the frustration of climate science with ice free Arctic predictions is the atmosphere bias of climate science such that all ice melt events in the Arctic region are assumed to be governed by air temperature and by changes in air temperature without empirical evidence of this relationship. This overarching assumption of climate science derives from a reliance on climate models as we see in the Thackeray paper presented here. Yet it is not possible to use climate models in a test of theory because climate models are themselves an expression of theory. A lopsided reliance of climate science on climate models diminishes the role of observational data and and emphasizes theoretical considerations. This aberration in climate science is particularly severe in the case of their evaluation of sea ice dynamics.
  4. In related posts on this site it is shown that this assumption derived from climate models is not supported by the empirical data. Detrended correlation analysis does not provide the needed evidence in the form of a statistically significant negative correlation between temperature and sea ice extent that is a necessary condition for a causal relationship between surface air temperature and sea ice extent [LINK] [LINK] . Thus, no empirical evidence exists that Arctic sea ice extent is responsive to surface air temperature at an annual time scale and yet this responsiveness is assumed in the attribution of changes in Arctic sea ice extent to changes in surface air temperature.
  5. Yet another relevant consideration is that the Arctic is a known to be a geologically active region with large flows of geothermal heat from the mantle into the ocean. The continued attribution of sea ice dynamics whether in extent, area, or volume, to AGW climate change and without consideration for known geothermal heat flows likely derives from the atmosphere bias of climate science such that there is a tendency to explain all observed changes in the Arctic, such as sea ice melt, in terms of AGW climate change and to overlook the extensive geothermal heat sources in the Arctic. Some of the geological features of the Arctic including the Mid Arctic Rift system and the Jan Mayen Trend are described in related posts [LINK] [LINK] and in the Graphic in Figure 5. A detailed study of the geology of the Arctic is presented in a related post [LINK] .

 

FIGURE 1: SEASONAL RANGE AS MULTIPLES OF TREND: 1979-2018SEASONAL-RANGE

 

FIGURE 2 LINEAR REGRESSION: ARCTIC OCEAN AIR TEMPERATUREREG

 

FIGURE 3: REGRESSION RESIDUALS AS MULTIPLES OF TRENDRESID-MULTIPLES

 

FIGURE 4: TEMPERATURE FORECASTS 2018-20482018FORECAST

 

FIGURE 5: SOURCES OF GEOTHERMAL HEAT IN THE ARCTICbandicam 2019-07-01 16-29-44-526

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to "The Ice-Free-Arctic Obsession of AGW"

[…] cycle with a very large range that varies from 50 to more than 100 years of year to year changes [LINK] . The issue here is the relatively very small seasonal minimum sea ice extent in September that […]

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