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Arctic meltdown

meltAt this very moment (9 september 2016), arctic sea ice may have reached its yearly minimum extent. Does global warming cause a decline of this minimum? Business cycle economists use the phrase ‘months for cyclical dominance’: how many months does it take before trend movements are larger than monthly fluctuations of variables like consumption of exports? In the case of sea ice I used ‘years for cyclical dominance (YCD)’: a fourteen year moving average shows a continuous decline (the max. extent of arctic sea ice has a 10 year YCD). The decline is not linear. Remarkably, pre-2002 minima of the minimum are higher than post-2006 maxima of the minimum – a very robust indicator of a downward trend. Antarctic sea ice shows much less dramatic developments. This reminds us that we have to look at the global picture. Which is clear: 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record (breaking the 2015 record).

  1. September 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    NASA scientists explain why the Antarctic sea ice has been growing, according to this article: (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/31052016/why-antarctica-sea-ice-level-growing-while-arctic-glaciers-melts-climate-change-global-warming)

    Quote:
    “While Arctic ice is melting at a record pace, a team of NASA-led researchers say they can explain why Antarctic sea ice has been edging in the opposite direction. That paradox has puzzled scientists for years and given climate-change deniers fodder to dispute global warming.

    The group found that the icy winds blowing off Antarctica, as well as a powerful ocean current that circles the frozen continent, are much larger factors in the formation and persistence of Antarctic sea ice than changes in temperature.

    The mighty Southern Ocean Circumpolar Current prevents warmer ocean water from reaching the Antarctic sea ice zone, helping to isolate the continent. The winds within that ice zone keep the water extremely cold, enabling the sea ice cover to grow in recent years even as global temperatures have risen markedly.”

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