Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Ice is Gone




The war dance continues as NOAA continues to fudge the fact that most of the ice is already lost.  Just what do you think the phrase thin veneer means?  It means that I know better and I am acting like a lawyer so when I am called to account I can weasel out.

2007 happened with the assistance of strong winds.  This year it simply melted away and everything got real thin.  The sea ice is on a death march that is driven by a constant increment of heat added annually to the Arctic for thirty years.  It is all about to collapse in a final breakup.

I continue to consider 2012 as the first year in which the probability for such is approaching almost certainty.  However, next year is also important. There is so little multiyear ice now left that it will be impossible to maintain the areal extent so far enjoyed.  A ten to twenty percent reduction should take place and next year is a very good prospect.

I do not expect all the ice to disappear as some will always linger along the north coast of the Arctic Islands.  However, the general collapse of the truly mobile ice is now very likely.  That heat keeps coming and the ice is no longer around to slow it down.

This item is an exercise in fudge to avoid announcing that we will likely have a real surprise either next year or within the next three years unless we have a sudden reversal which I think is about three centuries away.

A proper interpretation of ‘thin veneer’ is that ninety - nine to ninety - seven percent of the original ice pack as measured in 1959 is gone.

Arctic ice could be gone by 2030

Arctic sea ice melted over the summer to cover the third smallest area on record, US researchers have said, warning that global warming could leave the region ice free by September 2030.

Published: 7:00AM BST 16 Sep 2010



Nasa scientists say the ice in the Arctic is now only a 'thin veneer', which is highly susceptible to climate change. Photo: NASA/AP

Last week, at the end of the spring and summer "melt season" in the Arctic, sea ice covered 1.84 million square miles, the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center said in an annual report.

"This is only the third time in the satellite record that ice extent has fallen below five million square kilometres (1.93 million square miles), and all those occurrences have been within the past four years," the report said.

A separate report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that in August, too, Arctic sea ice coverage was down sharply, covering an average of 2.3 million square miles, or 22 per cent below the average extent from 1979 to 2000.

The August coverage was the second lowest for Arctic sea ice since records began in 1979. Only 2007 saw a smaller area of the northern sea covered in ice in August, NOAA said.

The record low for Arctic sea ice cover at the end of the spring and summer "melt season" in September, was also in 2007, when ice covered just 1.595 million square miles.

Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, said climate-change sceptics might seize the fact that Arctic sea ice did not hit a record-low extent this year, but said they would be barking up the wrong tree if they claimed the shrinkage had been stopped.

"Only the third lowest? It didn't set a new record? Well, right. It didn't set a new record but we're still headed down. We're not looking at any kind of recovery here," he said.

"The Arctic, like the globe as a whole, is warming up and warming up quickly, and we're starting to see the sea ice respond to that. Really, in all months, the sea ice cover is shrinking - there's an overall downward trend."

Arctic ice was disappearing by 11 per cent per decade, he said.

"Our thinking is that by 2030 or so, if you went out to the Arctic on the first of September, you probably won't see any ice at all. It will look like a blue ocean, we're losing it that quickly," he said.

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