Is it cool in the Arctic? Scientists disagree.
2010 the warmest year on record | The Sunday Times
Britain may have been hit by a cold snap last week but the world has just had its hottest year yet, according to Nasa.
The global high is partly due to some of the fastest warming on record in the Arctic, adding to fears that the northern ice cap may vanish entirely in summer by the middle of the century. Since the 1970s summer ice coverage has shrunk by 2.4m square km, an area the size of Greenland.
Britain’s Met Office had a different way of analysing the same data from 5,000 points on Earth, and concluded that the 12 months to September were “probably the first or second hottest on record”. Global temperature averaged 14.52C, compared with a 1961-90 average of 14.00C.
Vicky Pope, head of climate science advice at the Met Office, said: “The high temperatures this year are a clear symptom of a long-term increase in global temperatures, probably caused by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.”
Just how fast the Arctic is warming is disputed, because it is difficult to measure temperatures accurately there. The region’s extreme conditions mean there are few stations, so scientists rely on satellites.
Pope said: “Limited information from satellites suggests the Arctic is still warming faster than any other area globally; this is expected because as ice melts it leaves behind dark water, which absorbs light and so warms up faster.”
But, there isn't any satellite coverage of the temperature up at the top and the Danes reckon it has been bloody cold as usual up there.
Brett Anderson on AccuWeather.com has been wondering why GISS does not consider the Danish T799 data when estimating their monthly temperature anomalies for north of 80 degrees, so he asked Dr. James Hansen, the Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Here is what Dr. Hansen said to him in his email response........
Brett...even though in certain cases it might be more accurate to use reanalysis rather than extrapolate observations, I prefer not to mix observations and models. Sometimes the extrapolations will be off in one direction and sometimes in another. If the weather patterns are such that there is a cool pool in the central Arctic, then our extrapolation is likely to misrepresent the situation. So I don't intend to leave the impression that I think it is accurate in individual situations, but I think that, on the average, it is better than omitting the Arctic, thus implicitly assuming that it has the same tendency as the average of all global regions with data.
So it there may be a "cool pool" in the middle of the Arctic but I don't want to think about, I prefer my models....