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« The Royal and the Arctic | Main | The credibility of the Royal »

Growing ice is evidence of warming

With Antarctic sea ice breaking extent records again this week, the green fraternity has been forced to go the full Monty on the PR front in an effort to negate the impact. In an article today, Grist reports that the ever-expanding sea ice is in fact bad news.

I kid you not.

For the third year in a row, the sea ice ringing Antarctica has set a new record. Its extent is the farthest now since observations began in the late ’70s, and scientists say the growth is largely the result of climate change.

Antarctic sea ice melts during the early part of the year but typically packs it back on by September. The ice broke last year’s record for extent on Monday, according to a report in New Scientist. It’s the latest evidence of a small but significant growth trend of about 1.5 percent per decade.

More sea ice is evidence of global warming. Less sea ice is global warming. 

The problem is, I think they probably actually believe what they are saying. Their mystification as to why other people might not be convinced is a wonder to behold.

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Reader Comments (154)

and scientists say the growth is largely the result of climate change

Can't argue with that statement, Bish.

Sep 21, 2014 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Or that the ever-expanding sea ice is in fact bad news

Sep 21, 2014 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Just watching Emma Thompson Eco Drivel on the Andrew Marr show.

She just come off an Arctic Greenpeace expedition.
Usual sanctimonious smug eco guff.
Lots of selfies of Emma swanning around in the thinning ice on Twitter.
Even her thermal Arctic Onesy was Green
Emma,s Arctic summer vacation when the ice is in Seasonal Retreat and in 24 hours of daylight.

So Emma come this Winter suppose she will be out the country on Holiday or filming in some sunny exotic location with the rest of her Eco Smug Sleb millionaire rich bitch mates when her fellow Brits are suffering power cuts

But then Emma did burst her enormous green sized bubble when Andrew got her to sing.Youtube moment.
Sick buckets and ears plugs.

Sep 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Their mystification as to why other people might not be convinced is a wonder to behold.

Well, let's face it, these are not the most self-aware people on the planet

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Didn't someone report that a penguin expert had said recently how the penguins were suffering from diminishing ice - as a result of climate change?

(I can't put my hand on the reference this minute)

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:13 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

If warming continues at this rate, how long will it be before the whole Southern Hemisphere disappears under the ice?

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Dawkins

It's not only 'extent' which is breaking records; Antarctic Sea Ice Area is also breaking records, too:-

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public


Is it these you saw?

("by 2100, all 45 known emperor penguin colonies of Antarctica will be on the decline because of loss of sea ice.")



( "Penguins are threatened by climate change. Penguin populations have decreased by nearly 80 percent in some areas, and the majority of scientists agree that rising temperature due to climate change is the primary culprit.
In Antarctica, home to the famous emperor penguin, the annual sea ice melting season has extended by as much as 3 weeks in recent decades.")

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Martin: That was Adam Rutherford on Radio 4 Inside Science. I think he used the words "diminishing sea ice" when asking some "scientist" about the poor old penguins surviving climate change.

The reason 'global warming' became 'climate change' is presumably because it is easy to blame everything on 'climate change' whereas it is very difficult to convince the public that increased cold and increased ice are due to 'global warming'.

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Here's another,

"Climate change, which is quickly melting the sea ice that this species depends on for survival, could cause dramatic drops in the number of emperor penguins across Antarctica by the end of the century, a new study finds"

"which is quickly melting the sea ice"

What on Earth are these people smoking?

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Heads I win, tails you lose. It's surprising how often you can get away with that wheeze ...


Sep 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

"and scientists say…"

That could/may mean, is consistent with, it being both scientists they have managed to bribe.

re emperor penguins: I heard somewhere that they were fed up with the eco-tourists and had gone somewhere else for a quiet life. But whereas emperor penguins, being sentient beings, can do this, greenie "scientists" cannot.

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

Still getting over Emma Thompson.

The British Geological Survey so do they measure Seismic activity in the Arctic and Antarctic continents .Hit a big ice cube with a small hammer and chisel its breaks..Polar Earthquakes explains the Ice Shelves breaking off.

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

I propose we henceforth always refer to it as "global warming" to get up the nose of the greenies.

Sep 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Elliot

I saw something last night that suggested they are trying to move to 'climate disruption'. Again. It's all bollox. Albeit dangerous bollox.

The reality is that climate change has been catastrophic for many due entirely to the stupid and futile policy response to a non-problem.

It's decadence by any other name and it is the West's soft underbelly.

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

Richard Feynman said fifty years ago.

You cannot prove a vague theory wrong…… If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like the expected consequences.

AGW theory does not definitely say that sea ice will melt with atmospheric warming. Nor does it say that there are no natural causes to offset AGW. It says very little definite at all, giving rises to an infinite number of possible excuses.

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Considering the round trip the emperor penguins already have to make to get food I could quite believe that increased sea ice extent would be more of a threat than decreased extent.
And given the size of Antarctica I cannot see how decreased extent would be any sort of threat any time within the next millennium.
Either way, are there not greater threats to humanity — which I was always led to believe was more important than penguin-kind, mainly because I'm human and not a penguin — to worry about than small increases/decreases in the amount of ice around the planet?

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I have to say this was an impressive recovery.

New ozone-destroying chemicals found in atmosphere
Mysterious compounds undermining recovery of giant ozone hole over Antarctica, scientists warn:
The chemicals take decades to break down in the atmosphere, meaning their impact on ozone and climate change is long-lived..

The ozone layer is recovering – there’s hope for the environment yet
A global treaty to eliminate harmful chemicals and protect the ozone layer has paid off. We need to take the same decisive action on fossil fuels

It's as if the chemicals decided to read the Montreal protocol and act on it. In six months.

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered Commenterhusq

While I understand the momentary pleasure readers get from offering amusing remarks on the ever-expanding list of reasons that 'CAGW is upon us', such repartee doesn't amount to a can of beans. Can some of the involved and well-informed habitues of this blog tell us how the excuses for the extending Antarctic sea ice stack up?

Do any of the reasons suggesting that the sea ice extent is due to global warming, have any traction? These theories are suggested by some very smart people, They are certainly working to an agenda but they're not idiots. Fallacious reasoning needs to be exposed not merely laughed off. To state the obvious, everyone of us (but mostly in the poorer parts of the world) is, literally, paying very heavily for this infectious meme called CAGW.

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

It's likely due to this:

plus mixing in sophomoric reasoning and the typical pseudo-philiosophies of the Left and there you have it...totalitarianism.

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

"The big bright shining lie at the very heart of climate science was always their proclaimed certainty and all they can do now is defend that lie to the death, by whatever means possible.

Like a liar trapped in their own self-spun web of dishonesty, the only way forward is to keep elaborating on the lie and insisting the science is settled, even when it’s contradicted by blindingly obvious real world facts."


Sep 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

No, it's not true, look, all the penguins are packed together on the last little bit of ice.

Sep 21, 2014 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Don't do that, jaffa! Some prat somewhere will believe you.

Sep 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

When will the cognitive dissonance hit the tipping point? Any psychologists out there? Have we really seen the full monty?

I think it may be a big practical joke.

Sep 21, 2014 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterlonetown


You call these people "very smart," but many of them are word pushers and number pushers who don't perceive what is going on in reality. Indeed, when reality is inconvenient, some even deny it's existence, rather than admit that the problem is with their perception of it. If we were dealing with someone who could wax interminably lyrical about the Peleponesian War, but couldn't tie their own shoelaces, then it would just be a curiosity. But the people to whom we address ourselves cost us (as you observe) large amounts of money, and threaten our way of life.

One of our local countryside functionaries (green, RSPB, with an MA), earlier this summer, tried to tell a visitor that they hadn't seen skylarks in a certain area because "they weren't on the survey." Surely, a little common sense would say that birds move.

I learnt to weld by watching my father when I was a child, and then trying it out later for myself. I learnt to use a sewing machine by watching my mother when I was a child and then trying it out later for myself. I did not learn to read by watching someone gazing at a book. These are different forms of learning, but it is quite possible to go through the academic system all but unaware that the first form even exists. Sometimes it even seems that, in their world, reality has been superceded by the computer screen.

The fallacious arguments have been addressed here, and will continue to be, ad infinitum, so please excuse the cynicism.

Sep 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

The good Bishop is being unfair to the Green fraternity. He forgets that the southern hemisphere is upside down. Therefore it stands to reason that if shrinking ice cover in the Arctic is bad news then the exact opposite will be bad news as far as Antarctica is concerned!

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Why is it so terribly hard for skeptics to accept the obvious evidence too? What do I mean? That these “scientists” are merely sociopaths carving out careers in the same way quacks in medicine do, or get rich quick pyramid schemers and boiler tool syndicates do. That they are not suffering from mere confirmation bias but are headlong invested in being scammers, no different from crooked purveyors of tainted investment schemes. After all, it's about the easiest field to crash out of hard science into, for those about to otherwise fail out of medical school and it pays much better with more perks than other soft sciences, being afforded emergency level funding by Al Gore’s friends in government, he who was nearly president. Do skeptics really imagine for one second that each and every climate “scientist” on the planet isn't already fully aware that the hockey stick team at the core of their field are Enron level frauds? After all, their latest hockey stick has no significant blade in *any* of the input proxy data (!). That's a pretty big elephant in the room, the size of a stadium, or a small moon.

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Typo: tool = room.

That much bigger new iPhone Plus screen is on my wish list so I can finally see what I'm typing!

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

Honestly, they claim that warmer air holds more moisture, thus more precipitation falls as snow causing the increase in Antarctic sea-ice, yet at one & the same time they claim that the warmer air over the Arctic (presumably not holding more moisture & thus less precipitation) causes the disappearance of sea-ice! They cannot have it both ways! Somebody please tell them.

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Emma, once one of my favorite actresses, is now on my "ignore" list. The spoiled super rich actors who decide to wantonly give themselves over to celebrity 'progressive' campaigns are not worth watching. Their movies, once they give themselves over nearly always turn out badly. Hollywood is seeing the results of this at the Box Office, but the wealth of the Emma's of the world is so vast they live lives disconnected from the consequences of their annoying foolish choices.
'Bye, 'bye, Emma.

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

" more precipitation falls as snow causing the increase in Antarctic sea-ice,"

And so if the fixed amount of water in the biosphere is increasing concentrated as ice at the poles, doesn't that mean that sea level must be falling?

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterpouncer

Just a few weeks back we were discussing EROEI

and that post linked to this, which has an interesting plot half way down the page:

That shows that the Arts are at the summit of society's hierarchy of energy needs. They're higher, even that those of health service provision.

Does that make Emma Thompson, an artist, an EROEI psychopath?

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Stephen Richards

It isn't that you can't argue, it is that you're not allowed to argue.

I popped over to the Grauniad, and one of the articles about the Climate Stroll contained this gem:

"The science of global warming is unequivocal. The physical evidence is in: the temperature is rising to dangerous levels far faster than most worst case scenarios. Current trends will lead us to 4°C of global warming or worse by the end of the century. If we exceed 2°C then it is likely the warming will be irreversible and enormously dangerous."

I wrote: "Was this article written 15 years ago?"

Apparently that comment did not abide with the Grauniad's community standards.

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterWFC


The idea goes that as the glacier, land ice melts it creates a film of cold fresh water on the surface of the salt water which more readily freezes into sea ice. The effect relies upon the cold fresh water being lighter than the warm salt water. But we are told that the Antarctic glaciers are being eroded by warmer oceans to produce more cold fresh water. But surely the increasing body of cold fresh water would be at its greatest just below the glacier, even as it floats upward? Shouldn’t this counteract the warmer oceans, preventing the glacier from melting faster from below? However, if the phenomenon is genuine, doesn’t the same apply to the Arctic? Maybe it should have been ice free a hundred years ago if not for the cold water flowing off the land ice?

What is more likely to be at play is the mixing rate at the edge of the ice. Stormier weather probably has a greater effect on how much breaks off and floats away to melt as well as how fast the two types of water mix. Eventually the cold sinks. Apparently without cooling the ‘warmer’ layers it passes through? They must remain untouched to go off and melt more glaciers from the bottom. It’s funny how the warm and cold water sneaks from the surface to the deep without telling the bit in between.

It looks like wind plays a big part in the Arctic ice too. Nothing depletes the ice more than the winds. Breaking, churning and floating it out the Fram Strait. Last summer and this summer were good at keeping the ice in the Arctic. Last winter wasn’t so good so some of last summer’s gain was lost, even as the ice increased in the autumn and winter.

The problem with these theories is that they’re not backed up by enough data. They’re just sticking plaster answers on a big theory that hasn’t worked. Once you bandy consensus around, you have drawn a line in the sand and every change after that is a back track. The scientists only had one chance at blind faith and they’ve blown it. It doesn't matter if every now and then they hit on the right answer because how could we spot them amongst all the wrong ones?

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The paper proposing that the penguin population is in peril is Jenouvrier et al., "Projected continent-wide declines of the emperor penguin under climate change." It relies on projections of sea ice from GCMs through 2100. The authors describe some of the assumptions inherent in their method:

The conclusions of such a [population] viability analysis contain hypothetical clauses: if future sea ice conditions are like those predicted by a suite of AOGCM models, and if the penguin life cycle and breeding sequence are as we have described them, and if the sea ice conditions affect the demographic rates as we have estimated them at TA [Terre Adélie], then the patterns of population growth over the rest of the century will follow the range of patterns we have documented.

So the recent increase in sea ice is not germane to their conclusions, which are model-based. One nuance which the paper considers but has been ignored in comments here, is that the sea ice changes have not been uniform around the continent, so it is entirely possible that some regions could see a population decline while others increase. [Presuming that the population dependence on sea ice area is as posited.]

A little-noticed item in their supplemental information is their exclusion of one model from their ensemble because "Model IAP-FGOALS1 [...] is known to produce nearly perpetual ice cover out to almost 40°S." [The source is a similar statement in an appendix to a prior paper without a citation.] If ever an example is needed to demonstrate a mismatch of GCMs and reality, this is certainly an excellent one.

Sep 21, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

TinyCO2: "as the glacier, land ice melts it creates a film of cold fresh water on the surface of the salt water which more readily freezes into sea ice."

But ... how how does extra sea ice form 1500 km from the ice sheet edge? I'd love to see that river of water flowing 1500 km to create an extra 1,000,000 sq km of ice at the edge of the sea ice.

Sep 21, 2014 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

(...)These theories are suggested by some very smart people, They are certainly working to an agenda but they're not idiots. (...)
Sep 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM alleagra

They don't strike me as being bright/"very smart" at all. (And I have met and even worked with some extremely smart people.)

When I hear 'climate scientists' speak, I have the impression that they acquired their knowledge via rote learning, rather than by understanding physical and mathematical principles and learning to apply those principles to new situations.

When Richard Lindzen gave evidence at the House of Commons, he was asked something along the lines of "Are you suggesting that climate scientists are not all extremely bright?".

Lindzen chuckled and replied something like "Of course! Anyone who had any brains chose to study physics or chemistry - not meteorology".

Sep 21, 2014 at 2:56 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

"The result of climate change"

Very possibly, as the climate has been changing since the world began and is likely to do so for at least another billion years, when it really will start to get a lot hotter. This is nicely illustrated here and the greens can take comfort from the thought that it will cool down eventually (see final picture).

Of course, what they fail to acknowledge, let alone explain, is how much CC is perfectly natural, but for suggesting that this is a question that should be answered before spreading panic among the population, I am labelled a filthy denier, even though they don't know either! I give up.

Sep 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I have a very cool fridge. The ice box is frosted up. On the front of the unit is a flashing led which says CLIMATE CHANGE so you are all wrong.

Sep 21, 2014 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

This is another example of how AGW alarmism resembles a religion. Explaining how warming causes cooling is like arguing that black is white. Their thought processes are illogical, anti-science and devoid of common sense. Their need to retain their belief that warming continues is strong enough to overcome the awareness that as an explanation for ice formation, it defies credibility.

The sad thing for me is that there are many green-minded people who seem to subscribe to such beliefs. It suggests that a unhealthy level of emotional attachment to a cause can lead to logic being discarded if it doesn't lead to the desired conclusion.

Life would be much simpler for all if they just accepted that natural processes have, for a while at least, negated any warming and that the two hemispheres tend to behave differently anyway.

Sep 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

AR4 was very explicit. It predicted LESS sea ice and MORE ice mass in the Antarctic. They posited that warming atmosphere and sea would melt sea ice and lead to increased precipitation on the continent.

They have been proven wrong wrong wrong.

We need to keep quoting AR4 at them.

Sep 21, 2014 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

So, it looks as though my hypotheses are more realistic than those of the so-called scientists: to blow my own trumpet (because, to be quite honest, no-one else will), I did say that “Global Warming” became “Climate Change” not only because the warming has stopped, but also because “Climate” is a considerably more amorphous concept than “Warming”. To the best of my knowledge, there are no climat-o-meters in existence, thus there can be no direct measurement of climate; this gives the tremendous bonus that almost anything untoward (be it weather, TV ratings or the dietary habits of teenagers) can then be blamed on “Climate change”.

My other hypothesis, based upon nothing other than personal observations, without recourse to such mundane things as instrument measurements, is that, while gasses may be observed to display “greenhouse effects” under laboratory conditions, they have little, if any, effect upon the temperature of the atmosphere. The atmosphere is heated by simple conduction and convection, with air in contact with the Sun-heated surfaces on the Earth being heated, then rising, to be replaced by cooler air. This can be observed where there is a dark tar-macadamed surface adjacent to an extensive area of lighter material (e.g. car-park and lawn): on a sunny day in a light breeze, stand on the edge of the lawn downwind of the car-park, and enjoy the warm air blowing over you; on a wind-less day, stand on the edge of the car-park, and enjoy the refreshingly cool air being drawn in as the heated air over the car-park rises. Even more dramatically, paddle in a bit of shallow sea on a sunny day (preferably on a tropical reef, but beggars cannot be choosers); the water over the darker bottom is often noticeably warmer than that over the lighter. There will be some heating by radiation, but that will mainly be absorbed by the solid surfaces above the ground – undersides of leaves, rocks, buildings, etc., which then heats the air in contact. Obviously, the amount of heating of the surfaces does depend upon the energy being emitted by and received from the Sun. There will be many, many other factors affecting the climate, of course (such as that pesky molecule, H2O, working hard to spread the heat), but that is the basic element of heating the atmosphere.

The related hypotheses postulated by Roy, Alan the Brit, NikFromNYC, Pouncer at al also have closer connections with reality.

Sep 21, 2014 at 5:27 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I've just been informed by Emma Thompson, on the news, that climate change sceptics are akin to that chappie who believes the earth is run by Green Lizards.

Sep 21, 2014 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

So logically if we get another ice age it is because we are getting warmer?

Sep 21, 2014 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Elliot

otoh it is , per modern sceance, obvious that below in antartica it is colder than in artica becus the heat always rises .. :)

I think the warmish are losing the argument here, so this will need to be patched up either by mentioning the Koch brothers OR by peddling the argument from now on by a young black muslim single mum, and then crying raaaaacism.

Sep 21, 2014 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

So Climate Change causes sea ice shrinking and expansion.

What we have here is the "unfalsifiable hypothesis".

Karl Popper is be turning somersaults over this pseudo-scientific drivel.

Sep 21, 2014 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Doug Elliot, I think they already jumped that shark with The Day After Tomorrow. I fully expect a new movie where the Antactic ice accelerates towards the north pole, reducing albedo on the way. Then we'll slip into the snowball Earth thingy.

Sep 21, 2014 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Nik From NYC found the right word: "quacks". If we sceptics can use that word extensively it may gain traction.

The politicians say that they are taking advice from "scientists", and the q-word can help separate the honourable profession of scientist from the scam artists making careers out of an apocalypse myth.

Sep 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Debunking the claim that global warming causes record-high Antarctic sea ice

Sep 21, 2014 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterHockey Schtick

It is in fact very simple. Cold produces ice, and ice forming produces warming. It will only get a bit below 0C as long as the ice builds up, so the increasing ice means it is warmer than it else would be. And you just turn it around when the ice shrinks. Used selectively you can prove both warming and cooling to the amount of ice.
The best of all, it is simple thermodynamics. Even better, you can test it in your freezer. Climate in a freezer!

Sep 21, 2014 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSvend Ferdinandsen

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