Guest contribution by Willis Eschenbach
I wrote in the comments on my post Where is the climate emergency? Had a discussion about polar sea ice. I noticed a few puzzles.
First, here is the record for the Arctic sea ice area.
Figure 1. Sea ice surface anomaly, Arctic
The puzzle to me in this record is the decade from roughly 1998 to 2008. During that period there is very little month-to-month variation in the record, and the ice surface is steadily decreasing … followed by ~ thirteen years of very large month-to-month variation from month to month with little overall change in the ice surface. Is that real? Is it an artifact? Unknown.
Then we have the record in the ice surface of Antarctica …
Figure 2. Ice surface anomaly in Antarctica
Here’s the obvious puzzle, what the hell happened between 2015 and 2017 to make the Antarctic ice area fall so steeply?
And finally, if we put both poles together, we get this:
Figure 3. Global, Arctic, and Antarctic sea ice areas.
Figure 3 reveals a number of puzzles.
• For the entire period of approximately forty years from November 1978 to approximately 2015, there is no increase or decrease in total global sea ice. This is despite increasing CO2 and generally gradual global warming. Why?
• Until around 2015, when the Arctic had more ice, the Antarctic had less ice and vice versa. Why?
• Around 2015, after forty years of global ice stability, both the Arctic and Antarctic ice areas were sinking, resulting in a very visible decline in the global ice surface. Why the drop and why then and not sooner or later?
• After the decline, the global ice surface seems to be recovering … again, why?
• At the North Pole there is an ocean covered with sea ice. At the South Pole there is a high plateau covered with land ice and surrounded by sea ice. Despite these completely different situations, the area of the sea ice at both poles is almost exactly the same … you say what?
Aside from the fact that equal ice sheets at the poles could be the result of my hypothesis that the climate is a giant thermoregulated heat engine with a multitude of phenomena that tend to stabilize temperatures and equalize the hemispheres, I fear I have no answers then have these strange polar questions … all comments are welcome.
I will say that I am overjoyed that the world of climate holds far more secrets than answers …
When nothing is certain, we always remain vigilant. It is more exciting not to know which bush the rabbit is hiding behind than to act like we know everything.
– Carlos Castaneda in the teachings of don Juan
My best to all adventurers in this most wonderful universe,
You may have heard this before: I can defend my own words. I cannot defend your interpretation of my words, especially if I do not know what you are referring to. So please if you comment, quote the exact words you are discussing. Many Thanks.