A Few Things Ill Considered

Record Arctic Sea Ice Loss in 2007

Arctic sea ice dropped to a record low in 2007, surpassing by a very striking margin (twenty four percent!) the previous record of two years ago.

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Record Arctic Sea Ice Loss in 2007

Record Arctic Sea Ice Loss in 2007
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This record is about the sea ice extent, or the area of ocean surface covered by ice, and does not even reflect the ice loss due to thinning of the ice pack. Factoring this thinning (up to 40% by some estimates) makes a dramatic observation even more foreboding.

While the denialists are very eager to attack models for being unreliable for a variety of reasons, (many false but some very real), they seem to forget that an incorrect prediction may just as easily be too optimistic as too pessimistic. Arctic sea ice is in fact one area where current climate models are not doing a good job at all, but in this case they all predict a much slower loss of ice than observations have revealed.

This is rather unpleasant food for thought when we look at GCM predictions for global temperature rise over the next century. Are the current crop of model projections too cautious? Indeed, the loss of arctic sea ice at a much faster rate than expected should have very direct consequences for global temperatures as bright white ice immediately reflects insolation that darker sea water will absorb. This is one know feedback that is already proving to be stronger and faster than anticipated.

Comments

  1. #1 Mark
    October 6, 2007

    Slightly worrying is that looking at some of the charts, 2007 was a bit of an outlier which bucked the trend significantly. Next year, if the passage is frozen solid then predict a few headline grabbers from the sceptical side of the debate…

  2. #2 coby
    October 6, 2007

    Not that I doubt the enthusiasm with which any little seemingly contradictory event is grabbed and run with by septicism promoters, simply not being a new record low year would be a bit of a stretch even for CO2science or any of the lot.

    Also looking at the chart, to get 2008 coming in above the trend line (should be a 50-50 proposition overall) it would take a year to year leap the likes of which have not yet been observed!

  3. #3 Adrianne
    October 24, 2007

    This is an indeed worrying fact, that the arctic ice is melting at a rapid rate. Global rising temperatures may have causes that are not yet taken into consideration.
    For example, there is a theory on global warming that suggests human activity on oceans could be an important factor in climate change. For more information, visit
    http://www.arctic-warming.com/

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    May 15, 2012

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