Warming Island / Greenland Sea Regional Climate and Arctic Sea Ice Reconstruction

The recent return of the Warming Island AGW myth inspired me to build a climate reconstruction for the Greenland Sea region.

Temperature Reconstruction

I performed a GISS station search centered on 71.4 N latitude, 23.5 W longitude and downloaded the 12 GISS/GHCN instrumental records with at least 60 years of continuous data up to 2011.  

Fig. 1) Station Location Map

Next I calculated a temperature anomaly relative to 1961-1990 for each of the 12 stations and then averaged them together to create a temperature reconstruction.  The climate in the Warming Island area is statistically indistinguishable from that of the 1930’s.

Fig. 2) Warming Island Area: Instrumental temperature reconstruction.

Then I took that reconstruction back to 1000 AD with the GISP2 ice core d18O data (Kobashi et al., 2010)…

Fig. 3) Warming Island Area: Instrumental reconstruction combined with GISP2 ice core reconstruction.

The Modern Warming is also statistically indistinguishable from the Medieval Warm Period in the Warming Island region.

Arctic Sea Ice Reconstruction

It occurred to me that there might just be a relationship between the temperature anomaly and the Arctic sea ice extent.  So I went to Wood for Trees and downloaded the historical  NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice Index.  Then I cross plotted an annual 13-month running average of the sea ice index against the average of the station anomalies and the GISP2 reconstruction (Kobashi et al., 2010) and found a pretty good correlation (R-squared = 0.67)…

Fig. 4) Warming Island Temperature Anomaly vs. NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice Index.

Using the equation “Sea Ice Index = (-0.5976 * Temp. Anom.)+12.374” I calculated a Model Sea Ice Index.

The “Model Sea Ice Index” (white curve) is very similar to the measured sea ice index (cyan curve)…

Fig. 5) Arctic Sea Ice Extent Model: 1880 AD to present.

Using the same equation, I extrapolated the Model Sea Ice Index back to 1000 AD using the GISP2 temperature data from Kobashi et al., 2010…

Fig. 6) Arctic Sea Ice Extent Model: 1000 AD to present.

The model suggests that Arctic sea ice had been steadily expanding from ca. 1150 AD up until ca. 1800 AD and has been declining since ca. 1800 AD.

Next, I carried the model back to the Early Holocene using the Alley, 2000 GISP2 reconstruction…

Fig. 7) Arctic Sea Ice Extent Model: Holocene

This suggests that the sea ice contraction during the instrumental era (1979-2011) is not particularly remarkable.

Calibrating the Model

Realizing that my model has been extrapolated about 8,000 years away from real data, I decided to compare it to some real data. McKay et al., 2008 demonstrated that the modern Arctic sea ice cover is anomalously high and the Arctic summer sea surface temperature is anomalously low relative to the rest of the Holocene…

Modern sea-ice cover in the study area, expressed here as the number of months/year with >50% coverage, averages 10.6 ±1.2 months/year… Present day SST and SSS in August are 1.1 ± 2.4 8C and 28.5 ±1.3, respectively… In the Holocene record of core HLY0501-05, sea-ice cover has ranged between 5.5 and 9 months/year, summer SSS has varied between 22 and 30, and summer SST has ranged from 3 to 7.5 8C (Fig. 7).

McKay et al., 2008

Fig. 8) Chukchi Sea Ice Extent: Holocene.

My GISP2 (Alley, 2000) sea ice model is generally consistent with McKay et al., 2008…

Fig. 9) Comparison of Arctic sea ice extent model to Chukchi Sea ice cover.

 

 Conclusion

“Move along, there’s nothing to see here.”  The Arctic sea ice has “been there and done that” many times over the last 10,000 years without any anthropogenic assistance.

 

References 

Alley, R.B. 2000.  The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews 19:213-226.

Kobashi, T., J.P. Severinghaus, J.-M. Barnola, K. Kawamura, T. Carter, and T. Nakaegawa.  2010. Persistent multi-decadal Greenland temperature fluctuation  through the last millennium. Climatic Change, Vol. 100, pp. 733-756. 

McKay, J.L., A. de Vernal, C. Hillaire-Marcel, C. Not, L. Polyak, and D. Darby.  2008. Holocene fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice cover: dinocyst-based reconstructions for the eastern Chukchi Sea. Can. J. Earth Sci. 45: 1377–1397

Michaels, P.  2008. “Warming Island”—Another Global Warming Myth Exposed. World Climate Report.

 

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Warming Island / Greenland Sea Regional Climate and Arctic Sea Ice Reconstruction”

  1. “Arctic ice hits near record low” « Jim’s Blog Says:

    […] To judge, we need a longer view.  Debunk house gives us a two hundred and forty year view, and then a thousand year view. […]

  2. David Middleton Says:

    “The Little Ice Age wasn’t really an ice age of any kind – the idea that Europe had a relentless sequence of cold winters is frankly barking” – Dr Mike Lockwood Reading University.

    Dr. Lockwood is correct. The LIA was not “an ice age of any kind.” The current geologic ice age began ~30 MYA and won’t end anytime in the near future. The LIA wasn’t even an ice age in the popular sense (a glacial stage).

    The LIA was the interglacial equivalent of a glacial stadial. It was also the coldest <A href =http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k247/dhm1353/Climate%20Change/HolocenePeriods.pngHolocene stadial since the 8.2 KYA Cooling Event… But the LIA definitely was not a discrete ice age of any kind.

    While the LIA was very cold by Holocene standards, it wasn’t a “relentless sequence of cold winters.” It was colder on average than the previous 7500 years; but there were plenty of brutally hot summers and mild winters during the LIA.

  3. David Middleton Says:

    “The Little Ice Age wasn’t really an ice age of any kind – the idea that Europe had a relentless sequence of cold winters is frankly barking” – Dr Mike Lockwood Reading University.

    Dr. Lockwood is correct. The LIA was not “an ice age of any kind.” The current geologic ice age began ~30 MYA and won’t end anytime in the near future. The LIA wasn’t even an ice age in the popular sense (a glacial stage).

    The LIA was the interglacial equivalent of a glacial stadial. It was also the coldest Holocene stadial since the 8.2 KYA Cooling Event… But the LIA definitely was not a discrete ice age of any kind.

    While the LIA was very cold by Holocene standards, it wasn’t a “relentless sequence of cold winters.” It was colder on average than the previous 7500 years; but there were plenty of brutally hot summers and mild winters during the LIA.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: