Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

22 September 2012

The Disappearance of the Arctic Ice Coverage

We are hearing many claims that the arctic ice has melted, retreated to historic low coverage, and that this is due to global warming.  Actually the big drivers of arctic ice coverage are usually wind and sometimes precipitation.  The main reason for the present low arctic ice coverage is an August cyclone that broke up the arctic ice coverage.  See the NASA video of the cyclone winds here.

Meanwhile, and little remarked, the ice coverage in Antarctica is near a record high.  At Real Science it is noted that:
Day 256 Antarctic ice is the highest ever for the date, and the eighth highest daily reading ever recorded. All seven higher readings occurred during the third week of September, 2007 – the week of the previous Arctic record minimum.
 See the Day 256 Antarctic ice coverage data below:

There is no evidence here for the often claimed global warming.  Perhaps we can find some evidence by looking at sea level data.  Well, here is the NOAA sea level data, which you must remember is the result of the sea level and the level of the land.  Just as the sea level may actually rise or fall, so does the land at these various coastal areas.  If you adjust the world map to examine North America and Europe, you will see that mostly the sea level is rising in the 0 to 3 mm/yr range indicated by upward green arrows.  In these areas, the land is relatively static and this is indicative of the range in which the real sea level rise is to be found.  But, you will observe that the Mississippi delta is sinking, as is the Texas coast at a more moderate rate.  Similarly to the Texas coast sinking, there is sinking land in South Carolina and in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay areas.  On the other hand, there is rising land on the Canadian and Alaskan Pacific coasts and in parts of the St. Lawrence River area.  In Europe, most of Norway, Sweden, and Finland have rising land.  There are a few areas in the Aegean Sea that are sinking, but most of Europe has a sea level rise in the 0 to 3 mm/year range.

So, even at the top of this range, 100 years of rising at 3 mm/year is 0.3 meters, which is at the bottom end of the range of the 2007 4th IPCC report prediction for the next 100 years.  The NOAA data actually looks more consistent with a rate of 0.15 meters over the next 100 years, but even that may be too high given the indications of an on-coming global cooling.  Given that through most of the last 10,000 years sea level has been rising, though land levels in many areas have also as the weight of glaciers was removed from the land, there is no looming catastrophe here.

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