Within the past few days, climate scientists at NOAA, NASA, and NSIDC have made various specious claims that record high Antarctic sea ice, which is almost 4 standard deviations above the mean, is somehow due to man-made global warming, but we really don't know why:
“There hasn’t been one explanation yet that I’d say has become a consensus [on why Antarctic sea ice is at record levels], where people say, ‘We’ve nailed it, this is why it’s happening,’” said Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “Our models are improving, but they’re far from perfect. One by one, scientists are figuring out that particular variables are more important than we thought years ago, and one by one those variables are getting incorporated into the models.”The models are indeed "far from perfect" since the models in fact predicted Antarctic sea ice would decrease, not increase. A few climate scientists have admitted the record high Antarctic ice levels have had the effect of "limiting confidence in [the models'] predictions," yet none have admitted that the models predicted the opposite of an Antarctic sea ice increase, that the models falsely predicted Antarctic sea ice would decline more than Arctic sea ice, and that Antarctica would warm faster than the Arctic, all falsehoods.
Instead of telling the whole truth about what was expected from the climate models, scientists are covering up this embarrassment with statements such as
“The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent,”
failing to mention climate models and climate scientists did not expect the 18+ year "pause" of global warming, the record high Antarctic sea ice levels, or the recent recovery in Arctic sea ice. In fact, the global sea ice annual minima have increased about 76% during 2013-2014 from the minima of 2007-2012, and the 2013-2014 mean global sea ice has been above the mean of the satellite era.
According to the NSIDC:
Sea ice surrounding the Antarctic continent reached its maximum extent on September 22 at 20.11 million square kilometers (7.76 million square miles). This is 1.54 million square kilometers (595,000 square miles) above the 1981 to 2010 average extent, which is nearly four standard deviations above average. Antarctic sea ice averaged 20.0 million square kilometers (7.72 million square miles) for the month of September. This new record extent follows consecutive record winter maximum extents in 2012 and 2013. The reasons for this recent rapid growth are not clear. Sea ice in Antarctica has remained at satellite-era record high daily levels for most of 2014.
In addition, few climate scientists seem to be aware of the unalarming bipolar seesaw theory of climate, which aptly explains why sea ice changes in the Arctic and Antarctic are normally out of phase.
Most recently the record breaking sea ice in the Antarctic has been in the news. It’s a real slap in the kisser for all the alarmists; how can the planet be burning to a crisp when we’ve got more ice than we can ever use in our Scotch?
But credit where credit is due, the alarmists have come up with a new paper which proves all that sea ice is due to AGW. That’s right! More ice is firm evidence of more warming. The paper is by Bintanja et al and is in Nature, where else?
Bintanja et al’s theory is that melting of the Antarctic Sheet ice [ice on land] at its base, basal, is happening and this basal melt-water is flowing into the ocean trapping hot water underneath creating an inversion whereby the trapped colder surface water freezes which gives the erroneous impression that things are colder whereas it is AGW heating which sets the whole damn thing off.
It’s a pity for Bintanja that another paper shows that instead of basal melting there is basal freezing. In fact Bell et al conclude this basal freezing is expanding the Antarctic ice sheet.
Who to believe?
Well, the air temperature in the Antarctic hasn’t risen since 1979:
And Antarctic sea surface temperature has fallen since 2006, which would explain the extra ice:
And if we look at ARGO OHC measurements in the Antarctic we see there is no warming at any level in the ocean:
Who are we going to believe: the guys who show that it’s the cold which causes more ice in the Antarctic or the other ones who reckon the extra ice is because it’s getting warmer?
In addition, the North American snow cover anomalies just hit an all-time record, the the Northern Hemisphere snow cover is at the 3rd highest recorded levels [graphics from Chris Beal on twitter]. No doubt the climate apologists will find a way to also blame this on man-made CO2 overheating the planet.