You are currently browsing the daily archive for August 23, 2007.

(With apologies to non-UK readers, who won’t have come across the vernacular of Yorkshire)

Both Cryosphere Today and the NSIDC updated their numbers yesterday with the new, latest record minima for the Arctic. As of the 21st, area (CT) was 3.22Mkm2, against 2005’s record low of 4.01Mkm2. The current anomaly is -2.25Mkm2 compared to the 1979-2000 mean. Extent (NSIDC) is 4.92Mkm2, against the previous record low of 5.32Mkm2.

In addition, the NSIDC has added some more graphics, showing the historic changes in multi-year ice and the cloud cover anomalies for June-July over the Arctic. They also point out that conditions have not changed noticeably in the first half of August, and are not expected to change imminently. As the date of minimum cover/area in 2005 was September 20th-21st, and with conditions persisting, further loss appears guaranteed for at least two weeks, and more likely four or five. There is a small chance that the date of transition may be as late as October this year, which is another first in the modern records, and has no known antecedent in modern times.

Meanwhile, there are several new papers to mull over:

The role of Northern sea ice cover for the weakening of the THC under Global Warming, Leverman, JClim.

One of its conclusions, amongst several intriguing observations made in the abstract:

In contrast to preindustrial climate, sea ice melting presently plays the role of an external forcing with respect to THC stability.

Then there is:

The influence of Arctic Wetlands on Arctic atmospheric circulation, Gutowski et. al, JClim.

showing that there is only a short window where this phenomenon is significant, but speculating on the future potential for change in conditions in this important region.

and also Chapman and Walsh: A synthesis of Antarctic temperatures, JClim.

Showing a small but not statistically significant warming of the Antarctic over the past four decades, a result which is, however, sensitive to the start date of the comparison run.

Somehow, I found it impossible to resist: ‘On the quality of climate proxies derived from Newspaper reports – a study’ ; from Climate of the Past Discussions (Open Access). This is, of course, a serious and properly conducted study, but the title was the clincher. It had me imagining a new discipline of climate research making use of media reportage. Predictions based on The Independent or The Guardian would be interesting to compare to those derived from the Washington Post proxy, whilst we could could all be confident that whatever else, is isn’t The Sun to blame…

Whatever else the season brings, October is sure to bring a rash of articles about the ‘death of the North Pole’, and the like. More on this later.

Having told me that ‘Be loved’ sounded pretentious as a sign-off, the style-monitor that is the old lady (sic) now informs be that ‘Be good’ makes me sound like ET. Sometimes, you just can’t win.

Be whatever…


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August 2007