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AP blows the Arctic ice story

By Joe Romm  

"AP blows the Arctic ice story"

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The global warming doubters/deniers (here and here) have jumped on a confused AP story about a confused Nature study (subs. req’d).

The normally first-rate AP reporter Seth Borenstein just wrote an article titled “Nature and Man Jointly Cook Arctic” that begins:

There’s more to the recent dramatic and alarming thawing of the Arctic region than can be explained by man-made global warming alone, a new study found. Nature is pushing the Arctic to the edge, too.

There’s a natural cause that may account for much of the Arctic warming, which has melted sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature. New research points a finger at a natural and cyclical increase in the amount of energy in the atmosphere that moves from south to north around the Arctic Circle….

The Nature study suggests there’s more behind it than global warming because the air a couple miles above the ground is warming more than calculated by the climate models.

Climate change theory concentrates on warming of surface temperatures and explains an Arctic that is warming faster than the rest of the world as mostly because reduced sea ice and ice sheets means less reflecting solar rays.

Sounds like a hammer blow against global warming being the main cause of Arctic warming. And it might be, except for the small problem that the AP article is mistaken because the Nature article is, to put it kindly, confused.

You can read the real story at RealClimate.

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14 Responses to AP blows the Arctic ice story

  1. So nature can’t have anything to do with it, despite billions of years of history? Boy, I’d love one of those invisible SUVs they had during the global climate optimum.

    I’ll ask you the same question I ask all the climahysterics: are you living the life that matches your belief that Man is the sole or main cause?

  2. Joe says:

    William: If you refuse to read the IPCC or the literature, what is the point in discussing this with you. Previous interglacials were driven by orbital changes as has been written about a zillion times. Now human-generated GHGs are driving the climate. Not sure what you mean by “optimum” — 80 to 250 feet higher sea levels, is that optimum? Cause that’s what happened the last time the planet was a few degrees warmer.

    And if you read the posts on this blog, you’ll in fact know that I am living that life. Note: Humans are the main cause. Why do I know that? Because that’s what the science says.

  3. Beefeater says:

    So a “confused AP story about a confused Nature study” by a “normally first-rate AP report(er) Seth Borenstein” doesn’t fit the agenda. Better do some quick reinterpreting of the report for the “deniers”.

  4. Joe says:

    Beefie — guess you’re not one to read the links…..

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    Joe: You expect people to read about something before they issue a definitive opinion about it? How quaint. You must be one of those–what do they call them?–oh yeah–scientists.

  6. Pau K says:

    So now we have a NASA study and this Nature paper both saying there are important factors other than AGW at play in the Arctic sea ice melt. Not your usual denier sources. Science marches on.

  7. Joe says:

    That is NOT what the Nature paper (or NASA study) says!

  8. John McCormick says:

    Before the spin on causes other than AGW melting the Arctic ice takes the discussion into orbit, a few details need review.

    First, the Graversen, et.al, paper was first submitted to Nature on March 27, 2007 and it would be safe to assume the research and writing required several months. I have not read the paper but it did not include any of the 2007 melt (post-submittal) and likely not much of the 2006 max melt. So, an update on the research is in order.

    Second, the Arctic sea ice melt record of the past decade confirms the fact that new ice in the western Arctic ocean predominates.

    New ice melts first and fast.

    It is a safe and certain assumption natural causes melt the sea ice. Dr. Chapman’s Cryosphere Today provides graphic evidence that Arctic sea ice melts each year – both from the east and west – along the ice margins. As that melt area increases in millions of square miles, the extent of new ice increases, in direct proportion, with the expansion of the melt area. In simplest terms, that creates lower albedo over a gareatere surfacae and more heat uptake in the ocean surface.

    As I review the daily images on Cryosphere Today, there have been events of massive sweeps of ice melt on the Eastern margin stretching almost to the North Pole. I am no scientist but I attribute that to ‘natural causes’ since there can be no other explanation, given the very short period of time – days -. Regardless, ice melt means new ice next summer, in that eastern region.

    And, repeat after me: new ice melts firstest and fastest.

    So, now tht we have been offered new evidence that natural causes contribute to Arctic sea ice melt, how about giving some time and attention to studying what impact Arctic sea ice melt means to the world’s grain basket in Western North America.

  9. D-pop says:

    Another factor as I understand it is moisture. Warming as we know raises humidity, the extra humidity in the (warmer) air that has been getting circulated into the Arctic tends to cause low altitude clouds to form. Low altitude clouds absorb heat and cause heating near the surface. Not to mention the fact that the”unusual winds” and the perturbed circulation patterns are all caused by global warming, symptoms of a climate out of balance.

  10. John says:

    John Mc:

    I’m not sure what your point is. Sure polar ice melting is subject ot “natural causes” as you define it. You go on to say that massive melts of a few days must be from natural causes —

    It seems to me you are manufacturing a false dichotomy: natural or human induced. The fact is, what’s at issue here is how human induced warming interacts with seasonal cycles, as well as other cycles, and what proportion of a given phenomena is human induced. And the fact is, AGW is now overwhelimingly driving the system.

    The real question for the “natural cycle” crowd isn’t whether nature cycles OR human cycles are at work, it’s how both interact, and which is dominant.

    And I agree that we need to examine how the melting will influence the climate in and of itself.

  11. John McCormick says:

    John, we are in agreement:

    [The real question for the “natural cycle” crowd isn’t whether nature cycles OR human cycles are at work, it’s how both interact, and which is dominant.]

    John L. McCormick

  12. Pau K says:

    John and John Mc,
    Quite right about the “real question”. That is why those who are truly interested in the science will note a growing number of peer reviewed, journal published papers indicating decadal ocean oscillations may be the most significant of several factors at work in the arctic. I don’t know why Joe continues to post on so-called climatology controversies. Give more time and attention to studying impact and strategies rather than causations.
    Joe,
    Duke University researchers last week published this paper about non AGW natural forces at play in arctic sea ice melting. It is at
    Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. Accept the science. This and the other recent papers are not intended to disprove CO2 involvement, but to more clearly define it.

  13. data says:

    “decadal ocean oscillations may be the most significant of several factors at work in the arctic”

    actually Nasa published the effects of sea currents on artic ice as early as 2000 or 1998?. if you just search the Nasa site you will find the abstracts. Its always been known but not publicized.

    as an aside, the Nature paper does not take into account the massive refreezing and increase in artic ice over 2007 to 2008

  14. what the says:

    “good to know Global warming is now starting to freeze the north. I am not sure how the MMGW fanatics can blame carbon for this but I am waiting to see.”