Why Antarctica Has Not Warmed for 70 Years Despite Rising CO2 Levels?

Why Antarctica Has Not Warmed for 70 Years Despite Rising CO2 Levels?

Antarctica is the highest continent on Earth: average elevation is 8,200 ft (2500 m).
The elevation at the South Pole is 9,300 ft (2835 m).
The highest point on the icecap is in Australian Antarctic Territory at 13,451 ft (4100 m).
At those elevations, the atmosphere is very "thin", about 50% of the density at sea level, or about 50% less molecules per cubic meter.
CO2 concentration is about 225 ppm, about 50% of the density at sea level
Water vapor concentration is about 4 to 6.5 ppm ppm
Despite increases in the world-average CO2 ppm in the atmosphere, the Antarctic region has recorded no average increase in temperature in the last 70 years
The coldest 6-month winter was in 2021, based on data collected starting in the 1950s.
These articles compare the average US Standard Atmosphere greenhouse effect of about 28 W/m2, at about 400 ppm CO2, and about 33 W/m2, at 1000 ppm CO2
The GHE varies throughout the year
See image 3
The Antarctic GHE varies throughout the year, from +3 W/m2 in summer, to -3 W/m2 in winter, at 1000 ppm CO2
Image 3 shows trends by month and by CO2 ppm
NOTE: Increasing the CO2 ppm from 380 to 1000, increases the CO2 absorption of infrared, long-wave radiation very little, at the 15-micrometer "window"; the difference between the black and red lines, i.e., increased CO2 has little ADDITIONAL GHE.
Computer model are Flawed and Politically inspired
The 100 or so subjective, world-temperature-prediction computer programs are grossly OVERESTIMATING future world temperatures.
These computer programs are extremely flawed, because they cannot be used to "backcast" temperatures, i.e., they cannot be used to predict the already-known temperatures and conditions of the past 100 years.
The OVERESTIMATING is done for various reasons:
1) To curry favor with the IPCC,
2) To be part of the world GW team,
3) To obtain additional subsidies to keep their entities going,
4) For scare-mongering purposes.

Featured Image

Under “settled” science requirements, the significant debate over the inconvenient Antarctica data is of necessity being conducted well away from prying eyes in the mainstream media.


Promoting the Net Zero political agenda, the Guardian recently topped up readers’ alarm levels with the notion that “unimaginable amounts of water will flow into oceans,” if temperatures in the region rise and ice buffers vanish.


The BBC green activist-in-chief Justin Rowlatt flew over parts of the region and witnessed “an epic vision of shattered ice.”

He described Antarctica as the “frontline of climate change.” 

In 2021, the South Pole had its coldest six-month winter since records began in 1957, a fact largely ignored in the mainstream.

One-off bad weather promoter Reuters subsequently “fact checked” commentary on the event in social media. It noted that a “six-month period is not long enough to validate a climate trend.”


A recent paper from two climate scientists (Singh and Polvani) accepts that Antarctica has not warmed in the last seven decades, despite an increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gases.

It is noted that the two polar regions present a “conundrum” for understanding present day climate change, as recent warming differs markedly between the Arctic and Antarctic.

The graph below shows average Antarctica surface temperatures from 1984–2014, compared to a base period 1950–1980.

C/O: The Daily Sceptic

NOTE: CO2 is “dangerous”, because at high altitudes, with little water vapor and much less CO2 than at “ground” level, which is about 2000 meter above sea level, the low CO2 and high-up CO2 will absorb and radiate away to space some of the long wave radiation emitted by the cold arctic ice. What a bummer!

The Antarctic has not increased in temperature for 7 decades, except the calving Ross Ice Shelf area, which is in the news, ad infinitum, for scare-mongering purposes

That shelf, which points northward towards South America, for hundreds of miles, is influenced by “warm” sea currents, whereas the rest of the Antarctic shore line is not.


The scientists note that over the last seven decades, the Antarctica sea ice area has “modestly expanded” and warming has been “nearly non-existent” over much of the ice sheet. NASA estimates current Antarctica ice loss at 147 gigatons a year, but with 26,500,000 gigatons still to go, this works out at annual loss of 0.0005 percent. 

At current NASA ice loss melt, it will all be gone in about 200,000 years, although the Earth may well have gone through another ice age, or two, before then.


Most alarmist commentary centres around the cyclical loss of sea ice around the coast and some warming on parts of the west of the continent.

But sea ice cover is running at levels seen around 50 years ago, as the graph below shows. Small rises and falls in the early 2010s have been followed by a reversion to the mean.



The warmth to the west (SEE ABOVE NOTE), seen in the first graph, could have been caused by any number of natural localised events including warmer oceanic waters and the effects of under-water volcanic activity.

It has, of course, attracted widespread alarmist interest – in particular, the fate of the Thwaites ice stream, also known as the “Doomsday Glacier.”

However, recently a group of oceanographers discovered that Florida-sized Thwaites had retreated at twice the rate in the past, when human-caused CO2 could not have been a factor.

The retreat could have occurred centuries ago and is said to have been “exceptionally fast.”


Much of climate science today seems to suffer from confirmation bias. Few grants are available to those who don’t start with the premise that the climate is changing mostly, or entirely, due to humans burning fossil fuel. But many present, historic, and paleo climate observations fail to establish a clear connection between temperatures and CO2 levels. In the past, the life-enhancing gas has occupied a space in the atmosphere up to 20 times higher, without evidence of huge temperature rises.


Singh and Polvani’s explanation for expected warming in Antarctica is the depth of the continent’s ice.

To this end, they use two climate models that purport to show that the “high ice sheet orography” robustly decreases the climate sensitivity to extra CO2, and that “a flattened Antarctic ice sheet would experience significantly greater surface warming than the present-day Antarctica ice sheet.”

This conclusion comes from computer models, but later in the paper is an admission that they fail to agree on significant matters.

It is revealed that one of the models predicts less sea ice retreat in a flattened Antarctica when COdoubles, and the other one, more retreat.

In the science blog No Tricks Zone there has been an interesting debate on the lack of Antarctica warming.

It was noted NASA also tends to support the role of higher elevation of the ice as an explanation.

For the rest of the world, states NASA, “the greenhouse effect still works as expected.”

The science, as always, must win out.


Attempting to connect every natural variation in weather and long-term climate to just one trace gas produced by humans leads to some unconvincing explanations, not least when climate models are involved.

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Comment by Willem Post on March 19, 2023 at 11:44am

In 2018, when she was younger and still somewhat foolish, Greta posted her prediction, all arctic ice would be gone by 2023.

She said a Harvard professor had told her. If I were Harvard’s President, he would be fired and blacklisted.

Of course, she had, and likely still has, no idea how much INCREASE IN SUMMER energy that would require, as ice tends not to melt in winter.

After 5 years of sleepless nights worrying about the sea ice not melting fast enough in SUMMER, and nevertheless scare-mongering about various causes dear to her long-suffering heart, she finally faced up to reality, the sea ice was here to stay for decades.

That is similar to snow fall, and floods, and fires, and droughts, and failing electrical system, and bank failures in California, the No. 1 dysfunctional/woke/liberal state.

She deleted her post, in the middle of the night, hoping no one would notice.

Harvard has prestige, but is no way superior thinking.

A friend of mine went to Northeastern Law School.

He said a higher percent of his fellow grads passed the BAR- compared to the Harvard grads.

Legacy sons and daughters, those whose families donate copious amounts of money, take the LSAT, but fail to sufficiently study for it, because they think legacy standards would still be applicable to get into Harvard Law.


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(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."


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