Arctic sea ice is recovering

weatherWhen Art Douglaas, CattleFax meteorologist, spoke during the annual Industry Outlook session at the Cattle Industry Convention it was not his comments about the drought that got the most response from the audience. It was his comments about Arctic sea ice that caught everyone’s attention.

Douglaas said there has been a tremendous recovery in the amount of sea ice in the Arctic. He said back in the 1994 there was a major change in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and that is when the sea ice started to go down.

“The loss of Arctic sea ice we have seen in the last 10 to 12 years is associated with the sped up Gulf Stream and warming of the Atlantic, a cycle that lasts 20 to 30 years,” Douglaas said.

This cycle will fade out and Arctic sea ice will start to some back. Douglaas said there has been a steady increase in Antarctic seas over that same time period.

“There is no way you can have global warming from increased CO2 in the atmosphere and have the Arctic get warm and the Antarctic get cold. Either the whole globe warms up or it doesn’t.”

Douglaas said this tells we are looking at regional climate anomalies and not human induced changes in the climate.
Douglaas said we are currently experiencing the lowest amount of sunspot activity in over 100 years. When we miss out on big sunspots, we miss out on a lot of energy coming towards the planet. Douglaas said that at least half of the problems we have experienced over the last 100 years with this global warming phenomenon is the fact that sunspot peaks have been pretty strong.

What we are seeing now is that the sun is becoming inactive and it will take two to three decades to start seeing global cooling with this decrease in sunspots.

The U.S. is currently in a transition period between El Nino and La Nina which makes forecasting the weather even more difficult. Douglaas said this spring warm and dry weather be centered across the Southwest with a strong high pressure forcing the polar jet stream to the north. The Northwest will have above normal precipitation and lower temperatures. The Midwest will be warm with normal precipitation.

“The drought will concentrate in the Southwest, California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado,” Douglaas said.
This summer will not favor a return to a La Nina weather pattern which means that hot and dry weather will not return to the central U.S.

“As for precipitation it looks like we will still have problems in the central Plains and that dryness make work eastward into the Ohio Valley.”

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Author:dougnrich

Senior Field Editor, High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal.

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