Friday, October 9, 2009

Antarctic Not Melting During Summer

In an update on my series on the poles of which part 1 can be seen here, part 2 here, part 3 here and finally part 4 here, in early October 2009 there was a report published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters by Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, cooperatively managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; and Andrew Monaghan, National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist. In this report it stated:

"A 30-year minimum Antarctic snowmelt record occurred during austral summer 2008–2009 according to spaceborne microwave observations for 1980-2009."

"Strong positive phases of both the El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) were recorded during the months leading up to and including the 2008–2009 melt season."

This is supported by a couple of diagrams:

The first is from The World Climate Report (seen above) showing the Standardized values of the Antarctic snow melt index (October-January) from 1980-2009 (adapted from Tedesco and Monaghan, 2009). The scale on the left indicates the amount of melt experienced each year. The higher the number the more the melt. As can be clearly seen the Summer 08-09 is at a very small number, which means that very little melting took place.

The second is from the Cryosphere Today (seen above) showing the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly for the period 1978-2009. When compared to the mean sea ice (1979 - 2000) it can be clearly seen that the minimum during this period was well above that level.

Of course if the sea ice didn't melt much during the Summer time then how is it travelling during the peak of its freeze season?

As can be seen from the NSIDC figure above it is well above the average and well above even that experienced in 2008.

It woulsd also appear that the UN is now having difficulty telling one pole from the other as this article shows:

Things get stranger and stranger with the United Nations’ climate change science compendium published two weeks back.

First, it was learned that the graph indicating temperature for the past 1,000 years had been taken from Wikipedia, where it had been deposited by a non-climatologist. (Not long after this that graph was removed and replace with another one that was also inaccurate, as can be seen here.)...Now, it comes to light that the report features a photograph purporting to show Arctic icebergs melting, when the actual image is of Antarctica.

As I looked through the updated report yesterday, in which the Wikipedia graph has been removed, I noticed that an image looked to have been misidentified. Fortunately for me, the UN had purchased the image on, where about an hour’s worth of sleuthing revealed that indeed this was not a picture from the top of the world, but rather from the bottom.

Some will say that it doesn’t matter. I think it does. The United Nations claims to be the steward of the best science on the planet. Wouldn’t one hope that it would have staff capable of differentiating between Antarctica and the Arctic? Of course, global warming alarmists, including those employed at the United Nations, have been using both polar ice caps’ supposed melt as evidence of runaway global warming for years now. Meanwhile, though, Antarctic sea ice has continued to
increase in extent throughout the satellite era, and temperatures at the South Pole have slowly fallen.

Nonetheless, the fear-mongers in the media and at the United Nations strive to frighten the credulous into believing that Earth’s southernmost continent is on the verge of catastrophic melt. As for the Arctic misrepresented by the UN’s photograph, how many of the report’s editors even know that sea ice increased in 2009 in the Arctic for the second year in a row? At the United Nations Environment Program, the answer is evidently: none. A map with a list of “climate anomalies” from the last year indicates that 2009 was the second most significant melt in the Arctic. In fact, it was the third lowest melt and may very well represent a turnaround. Only time will tell. Even The New York Times has an
article today addressing the seeming good news.

As for that list of “Significant Climate Anomalies from 2008/2009,” the great majority of items listed are weather, rather than climate. An example: the four passages of Tropical Storm Fay across Florida’s coastline. While interesting, Fay’s behavior does not have an apparent, or hidden, relationship to rising co2 levels according to any reputable scientist, nor does it cloak 2008’s quiet Atlantic tropical cyclone season. (For those keeping track at home, 2009’s has been quieter still.)

The recovery from 2007's record sea extent minimum in the Arctic has continued for a second straight year. Only time will tell whether it marks the beginning of a meaningful, long-term recovery.

The last mistake in the UN report that I will delve into for now features a photo of the Hawaiian Islands with a menacing caption about sea levels – trouble in paradise! Here is the text from the caption: “In Hawaii, as the ocean continues to rise, flooding occurs in low-lying regions during rains because storm sewers back up with saltwater and coastal erosion accelerates on beaches. Source: L. Carey.”

There are a few problems here. One: “L. Carey” does not exist, at least not according to the author of the caption. That would be Chip Fletcher, director of the Coastal Geography Group at the University of Hawaii. Reached for comment, Fletcher said that he was flattered that the United Nations report had found his statement in an internal department
newsletter to be useful. Two: Fletcher also acknowledged that all of the flooding described by his statement takes place in areas of landfill that are subsiding.

Did Fletcher think that it might be a good thing for the United Nations to note the landfill subsidence when using a single image, and a single statement, to convey the reality of “climate change” in the islands? “Listen, the world is a big place,” Fletcher said. “I have other things to worry about than that.” Were there other locations in the islands that saw such flooding?

“Parts of Waikiki have,” Fletcher said. Aren’t those parts of Waikiki also landfill, though?

“Actually, they are.”

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