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Global warming may not be the culprit after all when it comes to Artic changes

Climate data can be difficult to analyze. Take for instance global temperature changes. Whereas the Northern Hemisphere has been warming, the Southern half of the planet is cooling. While Antarctic Ice is at near-record levels, the Northern Pole is warming at an unprecedented pace-- much faster than global warming models predict.

A new study published in the journal Nature identified a possible cause for this discrepancy. It identifies a natural, cyclical flow of atmospheric energy around the Arctic Circle. A team of researchers, led by Rune Graversen of Stockholm University, conclude this energy flow may be responsible for the majority of recent Arctic warming.

The study specifically rules out global warming or albedo changes from snow and ice loss as the cause, due to the "vertical structure" of the warming ... the observed warming has been much too weak near the ground, and too high in the stratosphere and upper troposphere.

This study follows hot on the heels of research by NASA, which identified "unusual winds" for rapid Arctic ice retreat. The wind patterns, set up by atmospheric conditions from the Arctic Oscillation, began rapidly pushing ice into the Transpolar Drift Stream, a current which quickly sped the ice into warmer waters.

A second NASA team, using data from the the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) satellite, recently concluded that changes in the Arctic Oscillation were "mostly decadal in nature", rather than driven by global warming.



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RE: Wrong again Masher
By smitty3268 on 1/3/2008 7:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't you post something about this earlier, and although the study said it was actually cooling slightly the margin of error was large enough that it could have actually been warming?


RE: Wrong again Masher
By masher2 (blog) on 1/4/2008 12:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're referring to this study:

http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/38315t224...

which found an increasing trend in Antarctic snow/ice mass, though the increase was within the margin of error.

Sea ice is a more accurate proxy for surface temperatures, however, as snow levels can increase or decrease regardless of temperature. And Antarctic sea ice is definitely on an increasing trend.


RE: Wrong again Masher
By AlexWade on 1/4/2008 1:12:39 PM , Rating: 3
To prove the ANTarctic is gaining ice, see these links:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/
More specifically, this chart:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/cur...

The antarctic sea ice is about 2 million square KM above normal for this time of the year. Remember, this is their summer.


RE: Wrong again Masher
By Rovemelt on 1/5/08, Rating: 0
RE: Wrong again Masher
By masher2 (blog) on 1/5/2008 1:06:30 PM , Rating: 3
> "Masher, that publication you're referencing is over 10 years old."

Eh? It was published July 2006. Also the UAH NOAA data (as well as the cryosphere data posted by AW) is current as of 2007. The *oldest* study I cited was published in 2002, and it examined the cooling trend in Antarctica from 1986-2000.

Furthermore, the study you cite refers to mass balance only, and isn't even a study of Antarctic (much less SH) temperatures at all. As you yourself have pointed out many times, there isn't a direct relationship between the two. Cooling temperatures can (and often do) imply less snowfall.

Sea ice, however, is directly coupled to temperature. And sea ice is unequivocally increasing.


RE: Wrong again Masher
By Rovemelt on 1/5/2008 1:27:16 PM , Rating: 3
You're right, I misread it as 1996...it says 2006.


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