Scientists stumped! Unprecedented Arctic warmth in 2016 triggers massive decline in sea ice while Antarctic is gaining billions of tons of ice per year!


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    If I was to claim on a random day in the
    Northern Hemisphere in the middle of December, Colorado Springs, more than
    2,500 miles further south was more than 50 Deg F (10.3 Deg C) colder than parts
    of the Arctic Circle you would probably claim I was making it up, well as the
    chart above shows, I am not!
    Parts of the Arctic Circle have often been
    much warmer than countries much further south in 2016, today is just another example. In
    November The Washington Post reported, ‘The North Pole is an insane 36 degrees
    warmer than normal as winter descends.’ Just last week The Big Wobble posted, ‘This
    morning at UST, Bismarck North Dakota USA recorded a temperature of minus
    32.5C, minus 26.5F, which is 25F colder the North Pole which recorded its
    temperature at minus 17.3C, minus 1F.’
    So it should not come as a surprise at NOAA’s
    latest report: Unprecedented Arctic warmth in 2016 triggers massive decline in
    sea ice, snow.
    Warmer temperatures also bring
    record-breaking delay to fall sea-ice freeze.
    Here are the main points of the report.
    “Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a
    clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its
    cascading effects on the environment than this year,” said Jeremy Mathis,
    director of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program. “While the science is becoming
    clearer, we need to improve and extend sustained observations of the Arctic
    that can inform sound decisions on environmental health and food security as
    well as emerging opportunities for commerce.”
    Major findings in this year’s report
    Warmer air temperature: Average annual air
    temperature over land areas was the highest in the observational record,
    representing a 6.3 degree Fahrenheit (3.5 degree Celsius) increase since 1900.
    Arctic temperatures continue to increase at double the rate of the global
    temperature increase.
    Record low snow cover: Spring snow cover
    set a record low in the North American Arctic, where the May snow cover extent
    fell below 1.5 million square miles (4 million square kilometers) for the first
    time since satellite observations began in 1967.
    Smaller Greenland ice sheet: The Greenland
    ice sheet continued to lose mass in 2016, as it has since 2002 when
    satellite-based measurement began. The start of melting on the Greenland ice
    sheet was the second earliest in the 37-year record of observations, close to
    the record set in 2012.
    Record low sea ice: The Arctic sea ice
    minimum extent from mid-October 2016 to late November 2016 was the lowest since
    the satellite record began in 1979 and 28 percent less than the average for
    1981-2010 in October. Arctic ice is thinning, with multi-year ice now
    comprising 22 percent of the ice cover as compared to 78 percent for the more
    fragile first-year ice. By comparison, multi-year ice made up 45 percent of ice
    cover in 1985.
    Above-average Arctic Ocean temperature: Sea
    surface temperature in August 2016 was 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius)
    above the average for 1982-2010 in the Barents and Chukchi seas and off the
    east and west coasts of Greenland.
    Arctic Ocean productivity: Springtime
    melting and retreating sea ice allowed for more sunlight to reach the upper
    layers of the ocean, stimulating widespread blooms of algae and other tiny
    marine plants which form the base of the marine food chain, another sign of the
    rapid changes occurring in a warming Arctic.
    year’s report also includes scientific essays on carbon dioxide in the Arctic
    Ocean, on land and in the atmosphere, and changes among small mammals.
    Ocean acidification: More than other
    oceanic areas, the Arctic Ocean is more vulnerable to ocean acidification, a
    process driven by the ocean’s uptake of increased human-caused carbon dioxide
    emissions. Ocean acidification is expected to intensify in the Arctic, adding
    new stress to marine fisheries, particularly those that need calcium carbonate
    to build shells. This change affects Arctic communities that depend on fish for
    food security, livelihoods and culture.
    Carbon cycle changing: Overall, the warming
    tundra is now releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than it is taking up.
    Twice as much organic carbon is locked in the northern permafrost as is
    currently in the Earth’s atmosphere. If the permafrost melts and releases that
    carbon, it could have profound effects on weather and climate in the Arctic and
    the rest of the Earth.

    Small mammals: Recent shifts in the
    population of small mammals, such as shrews, may be the signs of broader
    consequences of environmental change full report here
    All the above research is actually opposite
    to what is happening to the Antarctic which is gaining billions of tons of ice
    per year!
    NASA claim the Antarctic ice sheet showed a
    net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001, slowing to 82
    billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.
    A new NASA study says that an increase in
    Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding
    enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning
    glaciers. The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including
    the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says
    that Antarctica is overall losing land ice. According to the new analysis of
    satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons
    of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice
    per year between 2003 and 2008. That is 112 to 82 billion tons a year GAIN NOT
    Scott and Shackleton logbooks prove
    Antarctic sea ice is not shrinking 100 years after expeditions
    The Telegraph reported this week that
    Antarctic sea ice has barely changed from where it was 100 years ago,
    scientists have discovered, after poring over the logbooks of great polar
    explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. Experts were
    concerned that ice at the South Pole had declined significantly since the
    1950s, which they feared was driven by man-made climate change. But new
    analysis suggests that conditions are now virtually identical to when the Terra
    Nova and Endurance sailed to the continent in the early 1900s, indicating that
    declines are part of a natural cycle and not the result of global warming. It
    also explains why sea ice levels in the South Pole have begun to rise again in
    recent years, a trend which has left climate scientists scratching their heads.

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