February 5 2019

Antarctica Has Not Warmed in Over a Century: Natural Variability – Not Humans – Drives Ice Melt Scientists Claim

The most recent mass media contribution to the canon of climate alarmism referenced a study claiming that “climate change” (i.e.,…

The most recent mass media contribution to the canon of climate alarmism referenced a study claiming that “climate change” (i.e., human-caused deep ocean warming) was responsible for the Amundsen Sea’s (West Antarctica) “rapid melting” of the Thwaites Glacier.

A few months ago, however, scientists (Jenkins et al., 2018) reported that the Amundsen Sea sector – where Thwaites glacier is located – has been in a cooling phase since 2009-’11.

Furthermore, the ocean in this region warms and cools in accordance with decadal-scale cycles.  Consequently, the authors conclude that the “accelerated mass loss from the Amundsen Sea sector of the [West Antarctic Ice Sheet, WAIS] has not resulted from progressive ocean warming or unstable ice retreat.”

This would appear to contradict the claim that rapidly and linearly rising anthropogenic CO2 emissions are what lies behind the ocean warming and/or ice sheet melt for this region.

Antarctic ice melt, temperature, sea ice…driven by natural variability

It is well documented in the scientific literature that climatic trends in and around Antarctica are predominantly controlled by natural mechanisms and internal variability, not greenhouse gas emissions.

A newly published paper (Scott et al., 2019), for example, identifies the forcing mechanisms behind the ice melt in the Amundsen Sea region of the WAIS during 1979-2017.  Neither anthropogenic influences or greenhouse gas concentrations are mentioned anywhere in the paper as factors in Antarctic ice melt trends. (Read More)