15 Aug 08 - “Just a few weeks ago, predictions of Arctic ice collapse were buzzing all over the internet. Some scientists were predicting that the "North Pole may be ice-free for first time this summer". Others predicted that the entire "polar ice cap would disappear this summer".
“The Arctic melt season is nearly done for this year. The sun is now very low above the horizon and will set for the winter at the North Pole in five weeks. And none of these dire predictions have come to pass. Yet there is, however, something odd going on with the ice data.
“The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado released an alarming graph on August 11, showing that Arctic ice was rapidly disappearing, back towards last year's record minimum. Their data shows Arctic sea ice extent only 10 per cent greater than this date in 2007, and the second lowest on record (see link below to view graphs).
However, a comparison of maps derived from NSIDC data shows that “Arctic ice extent was 30 per cent greater on August 11, 2008 than it was on the August 12, 2007. (2008 is a leap year, so the dates are offset by one.)
I was contemplating the nature of the Earth the other day and realized there is a huge gaping hole in the understanding of the climate.
We have mapped the bottom of the oceans, but those maps are incomplete because they do not show the presence of active volcanoes. Only last year was it discovered that the El Nino current may be linked to a recently discovered string of active volcanoes on the sea floor near New Zealand.
Everyone talk about melting arctic ice being the possible villain that temporarily halted the north Atlantic "conveyor belt" current that brings equatorial heat to Europe, triggering the mini-ice age.
But some quick calculations demonstrate that an undersea volcano. off shore of Iceland or almost anywhere along the mid-atlantic ridge (which we already know is thermally active) could create an upwelling in the region where the current normally has a downflow, and disrupt the whole current system.
Of course, you cannot persuade taxpayers to cough up more money for climate changes caused by undersea volcanoes, which is probably why there seems to be little interest (or finding) to carry out a survey to see just what hot spots are down there.
But in a world of perfect academic freedom and funding, such a survey might solve many mysteries that remain about the climate.