Yes, it’s summmer in the Southern Hemisphere again. Last year I complained to the UK’s ITN News about a series of climate alarmist reports including one showing glaciers melting in the Antarctic, without mentioning the ‘S’ word. 2007 was the year that Antarctic Sea Ice reached a record high since satellite measurements began, around 1979. Yes, I know that Arctic Sea Ice was at a record low and I have blogged about several peer reviewed papers that cite unusual natural contributory factors to the record low (since satellite measurements began).
Anyway, back to the Antarctic. There are reports that the ice sheet is shrinking at a faster rate, based on research led by Eric Rignot, of the Radar Science and Engineering Section at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Dr. Rignot attributed the shrinkage in the ice sheet to an upwelling of warm waters along the Antarctic coast, which is causing some glaciers to flow more rapidly into the ocean. Of course, this must be due to global warming, which must be caused by man. Meanwhile, mid-summer in the Southern Hemisphere Ice extent remains well (one million square kilometers) above the 28 year average and an impressive 3 million square kilometers above last year at this time!
There is clearly a lot of year to year variability in the record but the demise of the Antarctic icecap seems to be anything but imminent. Most of the warming and melt in recent years has been in the vicinity of the Antarctic Peninsula, a small portion of the Antarctic which reaches above the Antarctic Circle and is a choke-point for the circumpolar ocean currents, and is more susceptible to variations. There’s also an active subsea volcano in the area, perhaps leading to the warm water upwelling in the study. Who knows!?