The sea ice coverage around Antarctica recently marked a record high, with the ice surrounding the continent measuring at 2.07 million square kilometers, according to an environmentalist and author who says the ice there has actually been increasing since 1979 despite continued warnings of global warming.
The new record was posted for the first time recently by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s online record, The Cryosphere Today.
It’s not apparent if the record actually occurred on Friday or Saturday, says Harold Ambler on his blog, Talking About the Weather. [Ambler is a journalist and author of the book “Don’t Sell Your Coat: Surprising Truths About Climate Change.” ]
“The previous record anomaly for Southern Hemisphere sea ice area was 1.840 million square kilometers and occurred on December 20, 2007,” said Ambler. Meanwhile, he pointed out, global sea ice area on Sunday was standing at 0.991 million square kilometers above average, a figure he arrived at by adding anomalies for the North and South hemispheres.
While early models predicted the sea ice would decrease because of global warming, other models are showing that the opposite is happening around Antarctica, where sea ice growth is increasing.
“A freshening of the waters surrounding the southernmost continent as well as the strengthening of the winds circling it were both theorized as explanations for the steady growth of Antarctica’s sea ice during the period of satellite measurement,” said Ambler.
However, he pointed out that climatologists have discounted the importance and growth of the Antarctic sea ice.
According to Walt Meier, formerly of the National Snow and Ice Data Center and currently of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, most of the Antarctic sea ice does not survive between years, and it’s less significant to the Earth’s climate than is the ice around the Arctic.
Meanwhile, Ambler said that the growth of the Antarctic sea ice is providing “a public relations problem, at a minimum, for those warning of the menacing danger of global warming.”
During the past 18 months, global sea ice “has seen its most robust 18-month period of the last 13 years, maintaining, on average, a positive anomaly for an 18-month period for the first time since 2001,” he wrote.
In addition, Ambler said, the South Pole’s temperature has been dropping over the past 40 years.