Arctic freshening not due to sea ice melt

Pure fiction then, and still is now

From The Science is Settled Department. Environmental activists and climate scientists on the AGW gravy train are so desperate to keep the scare afloat that they will find evidence of climate-induced changes in our planet wherever they look.

Everything can be attributed to climate change – it is the unfalsifiable hypothesis to end all unfalsifiable hypotheses. Once our scientist finds a plausible explanation that links a particular phenomenon (freshening of the Arctic waters, for example) to a man-made cause (melting sea ice caused by global warming, for example), he/she can stop looking for any other.

Especially when the consequences are potentially so dramatic – changes in salinity are thought to affect a major ocean current, the North Atlantic Conveyor, which, if interrupted, could “flip” the climate past a “tipping point” into a new Ice Age. They even made a film about it, The Day After Tomorrow, in which the special effects team went completely overboard to create the most terrifying images of what “might” happen if you keep driving your SUV and Australia doesn’t pass the carbon tax legislation:


Faced with such a possibility, who in their right mind could possibly disagree with taking urgent and drastic action to “tackle climate change”? Once the AGW box is ticked, job done.

Except that if our scientist had behaved as a proper scientist should, he/she may have looked deeper, and found that there might be other, more likely or convincing explanations. But taking that path runs the risk of missing out on the AGW angle, which would be a disaster for PR and funding. So that job is put on hold. For a while. Until the day after tomorrow, perhaps.

At least someone was brave enough to do it, however:

A new NASA and University of Washington study allays concerns that melting Arctic sea ice could be increasing the amount of freshwater in the Arctic enough to have an impact on the global “ocean conveyor belt” that redistributes heat around our planet. 

Lead author and oceanographer Jamie Morison of the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Seattle, and his team, detected a previously unknown redistribution of freshwater during the past decade from the Eurasian half of the Arctic Ocean to the Canadian half. Yet despite the redistribution, they found no change in the net amount of freshwater in the Arctic that might signal a change in the conveyor belt.

The team attributes the redistribution to an eastward shift in the path of Russian runoff through the Arctic Ocean, which is tied to an increase in the strength of the Northern Hemisphere’s west-to-east atmospheric circulation, known as the Arctic Oscillation. The resulting counterclockwise winds changed the direction of ocean circulation, diverting upper-ocean freshwater from Russian rivers away from the Arctic’s Eurasian Basin, between Russia and Greenland, to the Beaufort Sea in the Canada Basin bordered by the United States and Canada. The stronger Arctic Oscillation is associated with two decades of reduced atmospheric pressure over the Russian side of the Arctic. Results of the NASA- and National Science Foundation-funded study are published Jan. 5 in the journal Nature.

“Changes in the volume and extent of Arctic sea ice in recent years have focused attention on melting ice,” said co-author and senior research scientist Ron Kwok of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which manages Grace for NASA. “The Grace and ICESat data allow us to now examine the impacts of widespread changes in ocean circulation.”

Kwok said on [the] whole, Arctic Ocean salinity is similar to what it was in the past, but the Eurasian Basin has become more saline, and the Canada Basin has freshened. In the Beaufort Sea, the water is the freshest it’s been in 50 years of record keeping, with only a tiny fraction of that freshwater originating from melting ice and the vast majority coming from Russian river water. 

“To better understand climate-related changes in sea ice and the Arctic overall, climate models need to more accurately represent the Arctic Oscillation’s low pressure and counterclockwise circulation on the Russian side of the Arctic Ocean,” Morison added. (source)

You’re saying the models aren’t perfect? Who’d have thought.

Link to Nature abstract here.

(h/t The Register)


  1. So the carbon tax is a farce then!

  2. Yes it’s all a load of crap for only 0.039% of co2 or 390 parts per million. Like having 390mls of cordial in a million Litres of water, See if you can taste the cordial. Nothing. But the Sun holds the key, along with orbital cycle. The only thing that can change the climate has been over looked! But I guess if you blame the sun you can’t squeeze the money out off people, and make a profit on something that will revert back to a cooler climate in 5,000-10,000 years as the 100,000 year Ice core data shows. And it has shown that the temperature has risen before CO2. That’s like saying you cook chicken before you put the oven on! The temperature was always going to rise even if there was no human on earth…

    • Raymond, WATER changes / controls the climate; NOT the sun. Same sun is in Brazil and inland Australia. Do you prefer Sahara’s climate, or Brazil’s; if you are a big city slicker, ignorant what is good / bad climate, ask the trees. Can you dig it? Same orbital cycle affects Simpson Desert and Burma / Brazil rainforest. Tragically, the phony Skeptics like you are making ”back-door exits” for the Warmist, with those Paganistic outdated fairytale… Warmist love people like you, to keep themselves in business… when GLOBAL warming doesn’t come – they can blame the sun, thanks to the Skeptic toddlers like you

      Raymond, saving extra storm-water on the land – improves the climate, on many different ways. Repossessing farmer’s water, to drain it into the estuary, deteriorates the climate. Raymond, in a thug-off-war, the truth suffers. Flannery’s & Brown’s influence is destroying Skeptic’s common sense. Water attracts extra water-clouds inland from the sea- desert’s dry heat expands and keep the clouds away from land. Those clouds control the climate; not Flannery or Ian Plimer with his dumb theories. The truth is far away from those two big city Slickers. Happy new year!

  3. So do greenies believe that sea water temperature gets colder because ice melts? I think that these people need to go to school,
    Think of a simple experiment, two in fact as follows:

    Let’s say we have a chunk of ice floating on water, with the water just above 0C, the ice at say -10C and the air temperature at say -20C, all happily in sate of equilibrium, nothing changing. Then for some reason the chunk of ice starts melting and the system finds itself at another different state of equilibrium witht he ice gone. Does this new sate have a lower water temperature? Lets see the reverse process:
    For some reason or other, a chunk of ice starts forming until it has the same mass of the chunk of ice in the first scenario.

    If in the first scenario the water temperature had got lower, in the second scenario the temperature of the water should get warmer.

    But this cannot be so. We cnnot form ice from water that is warming, and therefore we cannot melt ice when the water is getting colder.

    • Betty Whiffin says:

      Any fool can come to that conclusion. Your last paragraph sums it up precisely. Why was Greenland called “Green” land and Iceland called “Ice” land? Anyone who has been to Iceland and Greenland or reads knows the answer to that. The non-thinking are caught up in the GW scam and they need to go there or else read more history and geography of the area. Speaking to those who live there they tell a great story of past cycles of climate change. Climate change is not a new phenomenum, it has been since the planet began. Good sensible comment Alex.

      • Thanks Betty, but it’s all simple o-level physics. (I ve got a degree in mech engineering sctually)

  4. Nostradamus had a better track record of predicting the future than current scientific climate models … and he was a nut-case!

    Garbage in – garbage out!

  5. @raymond…the ~390ppm/v is the total co2 in the atmosphere according to mauna loa. humans are apparently responsible for ~3% of that total…less than 9/10s of bugger all…

  6. What the … I had not heard of the sea ice thing. Were they trying to say that if you freeze sea water then the salt precipates out? I think that could be scientifically defined as B/S.

    Have you guys heard about the Hybrid sharks? No they are not Toyota execetives they are a Queensland Australia discovery.–interbreeding-make-stronger.html
    Seems our sharks having read the AR4 and decided they needed a more heat tolerant variety to pursue one must assume hybrid prey who had already worked this out. The common Black Tip shark has an extensive range in tropical waters and up to 35 degrees from it. Now around Australia there is a sub species which looks the same which has been found as far South as Sydney (35 degrees) and within 10 degrees of the Equator. Evidently the common variety also is to be found in the same area. So it is our especially bright sharks who have decided to invade warmer climes by breeding with common variety.

    To make the story even more credible one should realize it comes from the GBR is doomed crowd at Cook university. Doomed I think six times so far. It is a bit of a sport here, surely someone will be right if it is said often enough.

  7. A follow up to the Hybrid sharks, I would pay this link It seems it is the MSM that is the problem not the scientists at Cook Uni, I apologize.

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