• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

The Arctic Is Losing Ice while the Antarctic Is Gaining Ice. Why?

LowDown

Curmudgeon
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
8,767
Location
Houston
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Advocates of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) like to point to the loss of ice in the Arctic as evidence of global warming. Skeptics like to point the Antarctic, which is gaining ice, as evidence against global warming.

Setting all of that aside for a moment, why should it be that there is a difference between the two?

Some possible explanations:

The Antarctic ice sheet is an open sea, pretty much impacted by the same factors year after year.

On the other hand, the Arctic is almost a closed ocean, where all of the following can have an effect on the amount of mid-summer ice.

1. River flows (there are no rivers in the Antarctic) – there are several huge rivers feeding the Arctic ocean, such as the Yenisey, Ob, Lena, Mackenzie and Yukon So the salinity of the Arctic ocean is constantly changing seasonally, annually and locally.

2. The complex layers of salinity in the Arctic Ocean can be dramatically affected by currents, winds and large storms – when more saline water is brought closer to surface it is more difficult to freeze. Also, it should be remembered were it not for the fact the near surface salinity of the Arctic Ocean is significantly less than other oceans (fresh water is less dense than sea water), the Arctic Ocean would have much less ice.

3. Soot – most of man’s industrial and fuel burning activities take place in the Northern Hemisphere, so not surprisingly the amount of heat absorbing soot present on the surface of the Arctic ice is many times that on the Antarctic ice.

4. Arctic ice floats around in free ice floes and may migrate into warmer waters depending on the winds. Antarctic ice is almost all attached to solid sheets that are less affected by wind.

The factors affecting the extent of the Arctic ice cap are far more complex than those in the Antarctic, but in neither case does the extent of ice under typical conditions of weather make for an especially good index of temperature.
 

Fisher

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
17,002
Reaction score
6,913
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Liberal
I have seen charts showing both arctic and antarctic ice core results over long periods of time. They have always worked independent of the other as far as I can tell.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,433
Reaction score
16,986
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
Advocates of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) like to point to the loss of ice in the Arctic as evidence of global warming. Skeptics like to point the Antarctic, which is gaining ice, as evidence against global warming.

Setting all of that aside for a moment, why should it be that there is a difference between the two?

Some possible explanations:

The Antarctic ice sheet is an open sea, pretty much impacted by the same factors year after year.

On the other hand, the Arctic is almost a closed ocean, where all of the following can have an effect on the amount of mid-summer ice.

1. River flows (there are no rivers in the Antarctic) – there are several huge rivers feeding the Arctic ocean, such as the Yenisey, Ob, Lena, Mackenzie and Yukon So the salinity of the Arctic ocean is constantly changing seasonally, annually and locally.

2. The complex layers of salinity in the Arctic Ocean can be dramatically affected by currents, winds and large storms – when more saline water is brought closer to surface it is more difficult to freeze. Also, it should be remembered were it not for the fact the near surface salinity of the Arctic Ocean is significantly less than other oceans (fresh water is less dense than sea water), the Arctic Ocean would have much less ice.

3. Soot – most of man’s industrial and fuel burning activities take place in the Northern Hemisphere, so not surprisingly the amount of heat absorbing soot present on the surface of the Arctic ice is many times that on the Antarctic ice.

4. Arctic ice floats around in free ice floes and may migrate into warmer waters depending on the winds. Antarctic ice is almost all attached to solid sheets that are less affected by wind.

The factors affecting the extent of the Arctic ice cap are far more complex than those in the Antarctic, but in neither case does the extent of ice under typical conditions of weather make for an especially good index of temperature.
I'll take 'What is Climate Change' for 500, Alex.

That's what it's evidence of. . . Climate Change. We're long overdue for a major shift, honestly (looking at the earth's history of it's highs and los) - we have benefited greatly from this unusually lengthy period of climate stagnation in which an average temperature was reached and maintained long enough for us to focus on endeavors other than survival. We've come a long way since the last documented climate shift.

Maybe we're smart enough to keep our wits when things slowly (continue) to change to one of earth's more inhospitable extreme ends of the spectrum.
 

Dittohead not!

master political analyst
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
51,139
Reaction score
33,287
Location
The Golden State
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Much of Antarctica is a desert. The thickness of the ice sheets there depend more on precipitation than on temperature.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
75,664
Reaction score
33,249
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Orbital mechanics are another reason, as is the land distribution.

Ice volume isn't a great indicator of temperature in a region, but global ice volume over a long period of time at least gives some evidence towards a change.

Of course, temperature is the best indicator of temperature.
 

mbig

onomatopoeic
DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
10,350
Reaction score
4,989
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Poles apart: satellites reveal why Antarctic sea ice grows as Arctic melts | Environment | The Guardian
US military satellite data exposes complexity of climate change and impact of changing wind patterns on polar regions
Damian Carrington
11 November 2012
The mystery of the expansion of sea ice around Antarctica, at the same time as global warming is melting swaths of Arctic sea ice, has been solved using data from US military satellites.

Two decades of measurements show that changing wind patterns around Antarctica have caused a small increase in sea ice, the result of cold winds off the continent blowing ice away from the coastline.

"Until now these changes in ice drift were only speculated upon using computer models," said Paul Holland at the British Antarctic Survey. "Our study of direct satellite observations shows the complexity of climate change.

"The Arctic is Losing sea ice Five times Faster than the Antarctic is Gaining it, so, on average, the Earth is Losing sea ice Very Quickly. There is no inconsistency between our results and global warming."


The extent of sea ice is of global importance because the bright ice reflects sunlight far more than the ocean that melting uncovers, meaning temperature rises still further.

This summer saw a record Low in Arctic sea ice since satellite measurements began 30 years ago."..."
 

Threegoofs

COVID survivor
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
51,613
Reaction score
18,354
Location
The birthplace of Italian Beef
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
To be clear, there isnt evidence that Antarctica has an increase in ice. Its an increase in sea ice. It looks like the land ice is retreating, much like the rest of the world. The data isnt that clear though - the Antarctic isnt well studied like the Arctic.

Why is sea ice gaining? I've read that its a pretty complex system - ozone layers, changing sea temperatures, and increased melt runoff from the land all contributing.

Luckily, we have scientists to study this stuff. And the are virtually unanimous regarding the globe - its warming, and fossil fuel burning is the cause.
 

LowDown

Curmudgeon
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
8,767
Location
Houston
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Poles apart: satellites reveal why Antarctic sea ice grows as Arctic melts | Environment | The Guardian
US military satellite data exposes complexity of climate change and impact of changing wind patterns on polar regions
Damian Carrington
11 November 2012

The mystery of the expansion of sea ice around Antarctica, at the same time as global warming is melting swaths of Arctic sea ice, has been solved using data from US military satellites.

Two decades of measurements show that changing wind patterns around Antarctica have caused a small increase in sea ice, the result of cold winds off the continent blowing ice away from the coastline.

"Until now these changes in ice drift were only speculated upon using computer models," said Paul Holland at the British Antarctic Survey. "Our study of direct satellite observations shows the complexity of climate change.

"The Arctic is Losing sea ice Five times Faster than the Antarctic is Gaining it, so, on average, the Earth is Losing sea ice Very Quickly. There is no inconsistency between our results and global warming."

The extent of sea ice is of global importance because the bright ice reflects sunlight far more than the ocean that melting uncovers, meaning temperature rises still further.

This summer saw a record Low in Arctic sea ice since satellite measurements began 30 years ago."..."
You need to update this. Global sea ice was down last year but is back above the long term average so far this year. In aggregate there has been no significant loss of sea ice since satellite monitoring began in 1979; it maxed out at 22 million square km in 1979 and 21 million sq km this year. Antarctic sea ice hit a record high at 900,000 sq. km above the average this year. The quote that the earth is losing sea ice "very quickly" is activist BS.
 

mbig

onomatopoeic
DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
10,350
Reaction score
4,989
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
You need to update this. Global sea ice was down last year but is back above the long term average so far this year. In aggregate there has been no significant loss of sea ice since satellite monitoring began in 1979; it maxed out at 22 million square km in 1979 and 21 million sq km this year. Antarctic sea ice hit a record high at 900,000 sq. km above the average this year. The quote that the earth is losing sea ice "very quickly" is activist BS.
No, I don't think so. "updating" for any given Year is classic "going down the up escalator" type posting.
But even with that upward spike, we're talking a several percent Decline.
And that is of course sea ice alone, not the also-declining Land ice.

Good factoid And discussion of this here:
Monckton Myth #6: Global Sea Ice


[.....]Global Sea Ice Is Decreasing

Have Arctic ice losses truly been balanced by Antarctic gains? The first point to clarify is that we are talking about floating sea ice, not to be confused with land ice. Land ice at both poles and in glaciers around the world is sliding into the ocean at an accelerating rate. This net Loss of land ice is contributing to sea level rise.

However, Monckton is clearly referring to sea ice. The rapid decline of Arctic sea ice has indeed coincided with an increase in Antarctic sea ice. But do these two opposite trends cancel out as Monckton suggests? In reality, the upward Antarctic trend is only slight compared to the plummeting Arctic trend. Tamino has crunched the numbers and found the Arctic trend is in fact more than 3x faster than the Antarctic one.
The net result is a statistically significant global Decrease of more than a million km2 or a few percent – would you agree with Monckton that this is “virtually no change”?


figure 1: Global sea ice extent since 1979. (Image source: Tamino. Data is from US National Snow and Ice Data Center.)
There's also the issue of Volume, not just area:
cont'd said:
The Third Dimension

Furthermore, Monckton fails to mention that Arctic sea ice is not only shrinking in extent but also has been thinning rapidly. Although its lowest extent was in 2007, its volume has continued declining since then, hitting another record low in 2010:

[Graph]
And of course using merely "1979" as a starting point when warming/carbon/Industrial-revolution is a 150 yr old problem is also Too Convenient.

Same site:

"This graph from Tamino shows the ice extent in Antarctic:"

Nice how the want to start Antarctic ice with 1979 huh?

So With Antarctic Ice about holding, and Arctic (and Land ice) dropping Significantly since 1979.... we Do have a problem.
In fact, if you look at the discussion beneath the article, and before your cherry-picking an up spike, we had an all time (modern times) low 20 months ago.

Daniel Bailey at 23:54 PM on 25 January said:
Newsflash! Global sea ice area is reaching for an all-time low:
6a0133f03a1e37970b0148c7fac4f5970c-800wi.jpg
Again, I recommend the discussion at page bottom as well which Includes your graph.
 
Last edited:

LowDown

Curmudgeon
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
8,767
Location
Houston
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
No, I don't think so. "updating" for any given Year is classic "going down the up escalator" type posting.
But even with that upward spike, we're talking a several percent Decline.
And that is of course sea ice alone, not the also-declining Land ice.

Good factoid And discussion of this here:
Monckton Myth #6: Global Sea Ice


There's also the issue of Volume, not just area:

And of course using merely "1979" as a starting point when warming/carbon/Industrial-revolution is a 150 yr old problem is also Too Convenient.

Same site:

"This graph from Tamino shows the ice extent in Antarctic:"

Nice how the want to start Antarctic ice with 1979 huh?

So With Antarctic Ice about holding, and Arctic (and Land ice) dropping Significantly since 1979.... we Do have a problem.
In fact, if you look at the discussion beneath the article, and before your cherry-picking an up spike, we had an all time (modern times) low 20 months ago.


Again, I recommend the discussion at page bottom as well which Includes your graph.
The last year or two is cut off of all your graphs. If sea ice returns then there was no downward trend, it's probably part of a cycle. You just choose to ignore the last years.

The climate models are all rubbish, so no one can predict what will happen next year or explain why the ice came back this year.

1979 is the starting year because that's when satellite measurements were started. Before that measurments of sea ice extent were very inexact. We don't know exactly what the natural variablity was before that. (Your last graph is pure BS.) It could be that the current changes fall within that range.
 

mbig

onomatopoeic
DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
10,350
Reaction score
4,989
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
The last year or two is cut off of all your graphs. If sea ice returns then there was no downward trend, it's probably part of a cycle. You just choose to ignore the last years.

The climate models are all rubbish, so no one can predict what will happen next year or explain why the ice came back this year.

1979 is the starting year because that's when satellite measurements were started. Before that measurments of sea ice extent were very inexact. We don't know exactly what the natural variablity was before that. (Your last graph is pure BS.) It could be that the current changes fall within that range.
Very Inadequate and illogical reply.
Again, it's classic 'going down the up escalator', and even worse you're not even profering a bad decade, but few bad years is enough!
How Disingenuous is that.

The only substantial criticism you have is of the last graph which is too short - granted- but that's precisely what YOU want to use/propose to call a trend reversal. (!)
However and again, the last graph was posted to show an all time (modern time) low, not a trend.
 
Last edited:

LowDown

Curmudgeon
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
8,767
Location
Houston
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Very Inadequate and illogical reply.
Again, it's classic 'going down the up escalator', and even worse you're not even profering a bad decade, but few bad years is enough!
How Disingenuous is that.

The only substantial criticism you have is of the last graph which is too short - granted- but that's precisely what YOU want to use/propose to call a trend reversal. (!)
However and again, the last graph was posted to show an all time (modern time) low, not a trend.
It's only going down the up escalator if there is no actual reversal of the trend. No, a few years isn't enough to claim the trend is reversed, but no one can say what will happen next. Perhaps the trend will be reversed over the next 10 years. Just because it has been going one way for a time is not proof that it will continue, and, as I say, the computer models have no predictive value.

Any moron can extend a straight line trend. All you need for that is a graph and a ruler, not a supercomputer. The difficulty is in calling the curves, and the models have utterly failed at that.
 

mbig

onomatopoeic
DP Veteran
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
10,350
Reaction score
4,989
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
EVERY anti-Warmer has their Own "antarctic ice is growing" string.
Why?
It's a Rooting game/Political sport to them and they have No recall whatsoever. Just what they saw on WUWT that day.
 

flogger

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
16,543
Reaction score
3,979
Location
Wokingham, England
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
EVERY anti-Warmer has their Own "antarctic ice is growing" string.
Why?
It's a Rooting game/Political sport to them and they have No recall whatsoever. Just what they saw on WUWT that day.
Or maybe thats because it simply is growing and thickening too. Much to your chagrin no doubt. Its a pity you cant see beyond your political blinkers sadly

Widespread Persistent Thickening of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet by Freezing from the Base

http://www.igsoc.org/journal/59/217/j12J122.pdf

Height of Antarctica ice sheet increasing — MercoPress
 

Dittohead not!

master political analyst
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
51,139
Reaction score
33,287
Location
The Golden State
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent

Dittohead not!

master political analyst
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
51,139
Reaction score
33,287
Location
The Golden State
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
That this is just another part of the hugely complex climate system that we cannot even begin to fathom much less predict
I think we can make some pretty good conclusions from the thickening of ice in a frigid desert, can't we?
Think: precipitation.
 

flogger

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
16,543
Reaction score
3,979
Location
Wokingham, England
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I think we can make some pretty good conclusions from the thickening of ice in a frigid desert, can't we?
Think: precipitation.
The Antarctic temperatures are highly variable, whos to say todays conditions havent often been the norm during other heating/cooling phases post glaciation . The plain fact is we just dont know.

Ice Cores
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
75,664
Reaction score
33,249
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
You need to update this. Global sea ice was down last year but is back above the long term average so far this year. In aggregate there has been no significant loss of sea ice since satellite monitoring began in 1979; it maxed out at 22 million square km in 1979 and 21 million sq km this year. Antarctic sea ice hit a record high at 900,000 sq. km above the average this year. The quote that the earth is losing sea ice "very quickly" is activist BS.
No, it's not, because you're measuring area for some reason instead of volume.
 

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
75,664
Reaction score
33,249
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
And both are increasing as illustrated already on post #15
And yet, you haven't posted a chart of total antarctic ice volume over the last few decades. Why is that?
 

LowDown

Curmudgeon
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
14,185
Reaction score
8,767
Location
Houston
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
No, it's not, because you're measuring area for some reason instead of volume.
Area "for some reason"? Area is what the satellites measure. That's the real data here. Ice volume is calculated with a computer model and is therefore most likely worthless.
 
Last edited:

Deuce

Outer space potato man
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
75,664
Reaction score
33,249
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Why not just read the studies ?
I have.

Antarctic sea ice volume is not smashing any records. It has increased somewhat, although not nearly as much as arctic ice has diminished.

Short version of a long discussion: it is very clear that global ice volume is decreasing significantly.
 
Top Bottom