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Deep freeze puts Baltic on track for record ice

The Local/dl · 25 Feb 2011, 10:43

Published: 25 Feb 2011 10:43 GMT+01:00

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About 250,000 square kilometres of the Baltic Sea are now covered in ice according to the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

The last time so much of the Baltic was frozen was the winter of 1986-87, when ice covered nearly 400,000 square kilometres of the sea's surface.

SMHI warns that ice coverage on the Baltic could expand further in the coming days, possibly setting a new record.

"The surface water is cold and if winter-like temperatures continue in the region a few more weeks, we'll probably get an icy winter on par with 1984-85, one of the toughest winters in the 1980s," SMHI oceanographer Amund E. B. Lindberg said in a statement.

According to SMHI's estimates, ice may eventually connect the Swedish mainland all the way out to the Baltic island of Gotland, which lies about 90 kilometres off of Sweden's eastern coast.

Baltic ice cover is not only unusually wide this winter, but also unusually thick, especially in Gulf of Bothnia off Sweden's northeastern coast, where air temperatures have consistently hovered around -30 degrees Celsius in recent months.

In some areas far out at sea, ice is more than 60 centimetres thick in the northern parts of the gulf.

Recent cold temperatures near the southern areas of the Gulf of Bothnia have resulted in ice thickness growing by 30 centimetres in just two weeks.

Icebreakers from the Swedish Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket) have been working round the clock to ensure that sea routes on the Baltic remain open, but strong winds expected at the weekend may complicate their work.

Story continues below…

"For the moment, sea traffic is flowing nicely," Ulf Gullne, head of the Maritime Administration's icebreaker unit, to the TT news agency.

"But if storms kick up, there are always problems because the ice begins to crumble and that creates banks."

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:10 February 25, 2011 by HYBRED
It must be the global warming. We need more bad stuff in the atmosphere to keep things warm As it is now I won't be playing golf until July.
12:21 February 25, 2011 by UScitizen
I'm not going out there in the cold. I'll just stay indoors and watch that award-winning global warming movie that AL Gore made. I feel warmer just thinking about it......
12:41 February 25, 2011 by eppie
'cold' or 'low temperature'.

'cold temperature' is incorrect.
13:36 February 25, 2011 by nyh2o
global warming means teamperature changes that will result in extremes -- not just getting warmer. atleast research before being sarcastic. pfft.
14:31 February 25, 2011 by HYBRED
I remember the global warming lectures about the ice melting, the oceans rising meters higher than they are now. Even massive droughts and the rain forests being baked. It wasn't only until the temps cooled that the global warming crown changed there position and included the cooling or change so the wouldn't come off looking like the idiots they are. No sarcasm, just fact.
15:39 February 25, 2011 by engagebrain
Co2 levels are rising every year and the climate is changing.

The 9 hottest years, globally, have occurred in the last 10 years - its getting warmer globally - the globe we are stuck on.
17:29 February 25, 2011 by HYBRED

"The 9 hottest years, globally, have occurred in the last 10 years"

Prove it!
20:06 February 25, 2011 by eppie

What did I just say?....temperatures don't cool, they lower.

And besides that, average temperatures haven't lowered the last few years and ice is melting faster....the baltic sea is not the world in case you didn't know.
20:45 February 25, 2011 by HYBRED

I really couldn't care less what you said.
20:49 February 25, 2011 by ChrisPDX
I am all for cleaner air by getting rid of petroleum products.

As for CO2? I am starting to believe the new information that the Earth can and will regulate itself back in equilibrium.

I believe that the sun has a larger impact on our climate and the said CO2/temperature increase.

When the planet heats up, more CO2 is released.

The planet has been said to be warming since the Little Ice Age from the about 1850.

Also, data can and always will be skewed to brainwash the public.
21:17 February 25, 2011 by HYBRED

I agree with you assessment that data can be skewed to fit someones agenda.

I would like to add that this planet leaks more toxic gas's by itself than man ever possibly could produce. And trying to counteract it is impossible. If you stay on the path to mess with mother nature, mother nature is going to mess with you.
21:30 February 25, 2011 by rakerson
With all due respect to anyone who believes the last decade was warmer than earlier recorded history, and that other parts of the world are warmer than your own, we receive the same explanations here in the US. It's very cold her this winter, with record cold and snow all over the Northern Hemisphere. Even Northern Mexico suffered from a cold period with temperatures dipping well below freezing, making it their coldest winter ever recorded. Even a Global Warming conference held in the Caribbean was plagued with record cold temperatures.

And the same explanation is given to us in the States, it's "Climate Change" now, not "Global Warming" any longer. This is a bunch of (Irish Term) malarkey.

If your scientific model produces the exact opposite of what was predicted the model should be scrapped and replaced. To change your answer to suite what actually happens but keep your model in place is at the least disingenuous, at the most fraud. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Please feel free to employ a key word search for "stolen emails from East Anglia University", UK. Consensus is the last bastion of a scoundrel, and climate change seems to rely on consensus rather than facts.
21:43 February 25, 2011 by HYBRED
So "malarkey" is Irish, huh. I always wondered where that word came from.
21:45 February 25, 2011 by Investor612
Sorry nyh2o, but I have a memory which prevents me from accepting your blame everything on global warming attempt at an explanation.

Global warming proponents initially told us that the greatest warming would take place in the winters and be more pronounced in northern latitudes.
05:43 February 26, 2011 by Lavaux
Look, if it gets warmer, it's global warming. If it gets colder, it's global warming. If there's an unusually stormy season, it's global warming. If there's an unusually placid season, it's global warming. Ergo, if the two extremes of the coninuum are globabl warming, then everything in between is global warming, i.e. it's all global warming. QED.

Now shut up, you ignorant lot, and hand over your car keys and wallets. We're trying to save the world, here.
09:56 February 26, 2011 by eppie
Worse than global warming are the uneducated hordes that think they have to have an opinion about everything.

Just because any idiot can become famous nowadays, (see the Paris Hiltons and all the people in reality shows), people also get the idea that their opinion is valuable; not having any relevant education nowadays is not a problem anymore.

Just because you know how to Google doesn't mean you also understand things.
11:06 February 26, 2011 by Alohart
Those who are expressing their uneducated (about climate science) opinions reflect a dangerous trend that's accelerating the decline of the U.S. If the consensus opinions of experts in any field agree with one's world view, then great, support those opinions. But if expert opinions are contrary to one's world view, then attack those opinions using demagoguery, personal attack, bogus counterarguments, or anything else that might work. These individuals are frequently conservatives who fear that the government, heaven forbid, might restrict their irresponsible behaviors or might force changes that could upset the status quo which is favorable to them. One wonders whether they're actually so selfish and brainwashed that they would risk the well-being of their descendants merely to protect their own misguided beliefs.

Those who understand the scientific process realize that a scientific hypothesis like climate change is rigorously and continually challenged scientifically, refined when these challenges reveal contrary evidence, strengthened and refined when the results of others frequently using other methods support the hypothesis, and on, and on. It is unusual for a hypothesis that is supported by so much evidence over such a long period of time to be completely invalidated.
15:25 February 26, 2011 by mothman
It's good to find a fellow scientist who illuminates this discussion with Popperian philosophy (the foundation of good science - as opposed to the psychological preference or political expediency that underpins much of this argument). Scientists do not seek to 'prove' anything as this is philosophically impossible. Rather they erect hypotheses that are either disproved (philosophically quite possible) or are supported by repeated, failed efforts at disproof.

Regrettably the previous poster errs from scientific dogma, however. The phrase "a scientific hypothesis like climate change" is meaningless. "Climate change" is not a hypothesis but a soundbite. To get the right answer you need to ask the right question.

"Increased atmospheric CO2 increases the rate at which solar heat is trapped" is a clear, reasonable, testable hypothesis and thus far appears to have survived repeated efforts at disproof.

"Increase in atmospheric CO2 is largely or almost exclusively due to anthropogenic emissions" is a more dubious proposition. There is a considerable background flux of CO2 and other 'greenhouse gases' from natural sources. Fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 measured by fluctuations in isotope ratios in ice cores (assuming that you accept the protocol) seem to be a shot in the foot to this hypothesis as CO2 levels have fluctuated widely long before the emergence of industry.

"The earth is warming up" is a hypothesis whose testing is so badly affected by the protocol used as to be meaningless. How do you measure 'temperature' in such a large system? Where do you measure it? What baseline data can you use for comparison and over what time frame? How do you calculate any meaningful mean and variance and with what degree of statistical significance? This is a huge and non-homogenous system. Any attempt at calculating 'increase' or 'decrease' over the short timeframe for which 'valid' date are available is going to run into major confounding variables.

"Anthropogenic carbon emissions are solely or exclusively the cause of global warming that will result in catastrophe" is a portmanteau 'hypothesis' based on the successively more shifting sands of prior hypotheses. The 'fact' that most scientists 'believe' in this portmanteau hypothesis indicates that: a) they have lost sight of the scientific method; b) they are unduly prone to psychological and political indoctrination and c) the days of The Inquisition and 'might equals right' are still with us.
16:55 February 26, 2011 by buschmann
I agree with eppie. If you have a phd. in meteorology and 20 yrs of research , that has been vetted through years of peer review, than your opionons count for something.
05:52 February 27, 2011 by MikeSar
Hard to believe but it is true: "It must be the global warming." GW, for short,

GW is warming up the poles more than we can understand, even more than elsewhere? Right!

What happens is that melting ice floes and glaciers are pouring vast amounts of nearly frozen water, much of it salt-free which means it sinks under the salty ocean water. This creates an "underwater river" of very cold water going South, which extends the reach of frozen seas into the Baltic, England, etc.

GW actually drives cold water South and we see unprecedented events. Not to worry, it will only get worse and then the major Russian rivers dumping salt-free water into the Arctic Ocean will melt and shove the ice floes and the Polar Bears will end.

GW will continue to extend the frozen Baltic Sea while the Arctic Ocean melts away. The Northwest Passage was open for commercial shipping last summer and this year scheduled tourist traffic will begin from Nome Alaska to Iceland.

Within two years, commercial container ships may begin to take the 12,000 mile short cut and business between Scandinavia and the West Coast will grow very rapidly. Returning ships will take tons of vegetables and fruits to Europe and business will grow even faster. Get Ready!
14:11 February 27, 2011 by HYBRED
A meteorologist can't even accurately predict the weather for tomorrow. Yet because they have a "PHD". or some mail-order diploma, it makes them creditable when it comes to global warimng? Sell that BS to someone else.
14:41 February 27, 2011 by mothman
Let's alter the words a little. How about: "I agree with xxxx. If you have a licence in theology and 20 yrs of study and meditation that has been vetted through years of peer review by fellow cardinals, then your opinions count for something. Clearly the sun does revolve around the earth"? I do not wish to be rude to anyone but I hope that you will take my general point? Might does not equal Right and it's best to verify things for oneself and not be afraid of heresy. Galileo wasn't, thank heavens.

Like Galileo we will only know the truth in a few hundred years' time, but let's hope that the warmists are right - it's possible to grow crops in the tropics but not so easy in permafrost.
15:12 February 27, 2011 by buschmann
@ mothman: I am curious, is all science "pseudo" or only meterology.
09:10 March 4, 2011 by marcelj
The only thing that is warmer than global warming was when al gore tried to make that massage theriptist do the dirty deed with him. Al Gore is hiding out now, can't really blame him, he got cought cheating, and lying. sounds like an american politician. They are all scum and liars. do not trust them.
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