* Posts by NevenA

1 post • joined 15 Aug 2012

Arctic ice panics sparked by half-baked sat data


Re: Cautious, Seymour?

"Your science may be well turn out be sound, but until it has been independently scrutinized, we just don't know."

We can know quite a bit if we closely follow what is going up north with the sea ice. Not just because it is looking very much as if CryoSat is confirming the modeled volume data from PIOMAS, but also because this year and last year records are being equaled or set despite the fact that 2011 and 2012 didn't quite have the perfect weather conditions that turn 2007 into such a spectacular ice melt year.

As it says in the recent Arcus SEARCH August Sea Ice Outlook (http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2012/august):

"Except for early June, the weather was not particularly favorable for sea ice loss in summer 2012 as it was in 2007 and some other recent years."

But still 2012 is leading on all graphs (https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/) from all data sets. This is a sure sign that a large part of the ice pack has become so thin that it no longer cares what the weather does and just melts out in place.

"A cautious scientist would be expected to go through the peer review process. You, by contrast, haven't even published this work yet."

On the contrary, one could say that Dr. Laxon and CPOM/ESA are much too cautious, although perhaps I'm too impatient to wait for the validation and calibration process to end (mind you, it's been almost two and a half years since CryoSat-2 was launched). This data is of crucial importance, given the disconcerting state of Arctic sea ice. The only thing missing is observations that support the evidence that the ice is thinner than ever.

It might be difficult to logically deduce for some, but Arctic sea ice plays a vital role in Northern Hemispheric weather patterns, and acts as a buffer that prevents sea water from warming up too much and then increasingly melt Greenland glaciers from below, and various stores of carbon and methane on land (permafrost) as well as in the ocean (clathrates). Not to mention the role sea ice plays for wildlife and human communities along Arctic coasts.

So to conclude: No, Dr. Laxon is not "anything but cautious" and it's almost certain that CryoSat-2 data is on the ball.


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