Is the Arctic polar ice cap getting thicker?
Posted by sanityinjection on April 10, 2009
One of the main components of the global warming hypothesis is the assertion that warmer temperatures are causing the polar ice caps to melt. Proponents point to measurements of the extent of the polar ice cap in winter and summer over time. This is also the sole basis for the now widespread assumption that polar bears are endangered (when in fact, polar bear populations are currently flourishing.)
But the polar ice cap is a three dimensional structure. With all the attention being paid to the extent of the ice caps, has any attention been paid to their thickness? This applies primarily to the Arctic polar cap which floats over ocean, as opposed to the Antarctic which is mostly on land. If global warming is causing the Arctic ice cap to melt, we should expect that not only would it be decreasing in extent, but it should be getting thinner as warmer ocean waters melt it from below and warmer air melts it from above.
However, data from Arctic measurement buoys does not seem to indicate this. In fact, at least some parts of the Arctic polar ice cap seem to have thickened substantially over the past decade:
The charts in this article are a little hard to read, but I found the 2007J and 2006C buoy data toward the end the easiest to see the thickening.
Of course, it’s possible that some parts of the ice cap could be thinning while others are thickening. But that fact that any of it is thickening at all does not seem to mesh well with the assertion that the ice cap is melting at an accelerated rate.
Which brings me back to the point I often repeat with regard to climate change. We know that the climate is indeed changing, as it has continually done since the birth of the planet. But given the wide variety of often conflicting climatological data from around the world, anyone who claims to be able to state definitively exactly how it is changing and what is causing it is either a fool, or selling something.