I’m so glad someone funded these studies. I would have never guessed! ……. Well, except for the plethora of times I’ve posted on this.
Here’s fantastic study #1!!!
Researchers in China have found that the albedo, or reflectivity, of the Antarctic rose over a 28 year period beginning in the early 1980s. The results chime with other observations that sea ice has been growing in the region and could help scientists to understand what’s happening.
The Antarctic is something of an anomaly in climate science. Unlike the Arctic, where the extent of summer sea ice has shrunk severely in recent years, the Antarctic has seen an average annual growth in sea ice of some 15,000 square km. And unlike its northern counterpart, for which a fall in sea ice has been largely consistent with climate-model predictions, the Antarctic’s behaviour has confounded climate modellers who have attempted to explain it.
The discrepancy is a big problem, because the extent of sea ice alters the region’s albedo. That affects how much solar radiation is reflected back out of the atmosphere, which in turn affects warming. According to Chang-Qing Ke and Zhu-De Shao at Nanjing University, however, there has been a lack of studies to evaluate precisely how much the Antarctic’s albedo has been changing relative to the Arctic’s. Mostly the parameter has been measured from ships and at research stations, but these have not been able to provide long-term data over a large scale.
Instead, Ke and Shao took their data from a first-release albedo product supplied by the Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring, a collaboration between the meteorological services of various European countries. The researchers analysed the data by dividing it up into areas, setting a threshold for the presence of sea ice, and correlating values of albedo with sea ice and temperature.
In the Bellingshausen–Amundsen Sea sector of the Antarctic, the albedo dropped by more than 1.6% per decade between the years 1982 and 2009, the pair found. In three other regions, the Weddell Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean sectors, however, the albedo rose between around 0.4 and 2.6% over the same time period. The Ross Sea sector saw almost no change in albedo. On average over all of the regions, the albedo rose by about 0.3% over the 28 years, and correlated with a rise in sea-ice concentration.
Ke says that he and Shao are not surprised by the results, and agree that they reinforce the current picture of an anomalous Antarctic. “The Antarctic climate is very complex,” he added. “Sea ice, [the Pacific climate phenomenon] El Niño, ocean currents, solar radiation and wind are all factors that strongly affect it. At present, there is no uniform conclusion about the mechanism of Antarctic climate change. More research is needed on the Antarctic climate, and it is an important research direction.”
Ke believes that he and Shao’s work will help others to understand what is going on in the Antarctic, currently at least. “Next, we will study the impact of Antarctic sea ice on the climate,” he said. “The big difficulty in this [type of] study is that the Antarctic climate is very complicated. The work will take a long time.”
The study is published in Environmental Research Letters (ERL).
Now, there’s so many problems with even the premise of being able to accurately measure “albedo”, it’s a laughable undertaking. As to the significance of it, it’s even more laughable. But, to the general question as to whether or not ice and snow reflect more energy out from the earth than other land and seascapes …. well, in general, sure, yeh.
Mind you, a decrease in global albedo is an integral part of the run-away global warming idiocy. Without a decrease in earth’s reflectivity, the whole idiotic notion of global warming falls to crap. This is one of the reasons why I post graphs such as this, so frequently ……
source for graph …. graph is in millions sq/km
The lunatics don’t know what they’re babbling about, they never did know what they were babbling about, and they continue to ignore the realities of science, physics, and math.
Of course, one of the many problems with the article above is the idiotic equating the SH with the NH. Two very different dynamics occur.
If the premise that less ice and snow equates to more moisture in the air, and thus, more snow events, then, two very different things happen in the opposite poles. Less ice in the Arctic probably leads to more snow on the ground in the NH. (Keep reading to see this). Less ice in the Southern Hemisphere probably means it snows more in the oceans. I’ll leave it to the readers to understand the implications.
Shrinking sea ice in the Arctic leads to greater snowfall in Eurasia, according to researchers from Switzerland, Norway, Spain, the Russian Federation and Germany. The finding suggests that the decline in the Arctic’s reflectivity, or albedo, could to an extent be recouped elsewhere, producing unusual weather patterns.
One of the suggested effects of Arctic ice loss is a rise in snowfall over Eurasia, and Siberia in particular, although this has been under debate. When ice is lost, the surrounding air comes into contact with the underlying water surface, which is normally warmer. In theory, then, a loss of sea ice above Eurasia opens up a channel of warm, moisture-laden air, which can destabilize the atmosphere and generate storms. In the Siberian autumn and winter, these will be snow storms. ….
You can read more at the link.
Again, this is one of the reasons why I post graphs such as this, so often ……
source for graph …. graph is in sq/km
Of course, none of this addresses the increase in atmospheric albedo by having more clouds. Meaning, any notion of addressing the warming or cooling of the earth by the earth’s reflectivity from ground or sea level is an exercise in sophistry. Debate in the climate lunatic world still rages about clouds total effect on energy/heat reflection/conservatism, even though anyone can attest to the cooling experienced when a cloud passes between you and the sun on a hot day.
It’s all total rubbish, though, the information presented today utterly destroys the premise behind run-away global warming.
Note: I’d dearly love to be able to present a complete apples to apples comparison with the snow and ice extent of each hemisphere. Unfortunately, even though I know they’re tracking snow extent in the SH, the data isn’t easily accessible. As far as I know, current data is impossible to get to. I’m pretty sure it’s expanding at a larger rate, but, much less in magnitude as the NH. The reason is because there’s simply less land mass in proximity to the Antarctic than there is the Arctic.