Die Satellitenmessungen zum arktischen Meereis umfassen nicht einmal 40 Jahre. Das ist nicht besonders viel, wenn man bedenkt, dass viele natürliche Klimarhythmen mit Perioden von 60 Jahren und mehr schwingen. Zum Glück gibt es das Gebiet der Klimarekonstruktion. Anhand von historischen Dokumenten und Sedimentbohrkernen kann die Entwicklung der Eisbedeckung abgeschätzt nachvollzogen werden. Im November 2016 ließen Tom Edinburg und Jonathan Day mit einem Artikel in The Cryosphere aufhorchen, in dem sie Schiffslogbücher aus der Zeit der antarktischen Entdeckerzeit auf Hinweise zum Meereis durchforsteten:
Estimating the extent of Antarctic summer sea ice during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration
In stark contrast to the sharp decline in Arctic sea ice, there has been a steady increase in ice extent around Antarctica during the last three decades, especially in the Weddell and Ross seas. In general, climate models do not to capture this trend and a lack of information about sea ice coverage in the pre-satellite period limits our ability to quantify the sensitivity of sea ice to climate change and robustly validate climate models. However, evidence of the presence and nature of sea ice was often recorded during early Antarctic exploration, though these sources have not previously been explored or exploited until now. We have analysed observations of the summer sea ice edge from the ship logbooks of explorers such as Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and their contemporaries during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1897–1917), and in this study we compare these to satellite observations from the period 1989–2014, offering insight into the ice conditions of this period, from direct observations, for the first time. This comparison shows that the summer sea ice edge was between 1.0 and 1.7° further north in the Weddell Sea during this period but that ice conditions were surprisingly comparable to the present day in other sectors.
Das überraschende Resultat: Vor 100 Jahren sah es hinsichtlich der Meereisbeckung ähnlich aus wie heute, mit Ausnahme des Weddellmeeres. Eine Studie von Hobbs et al. 2016 schaut ebenfalls in das letzte Jahrhundert zurück, diesmal anhand von geowissenschaftlichen Meereisrekonstruktionen. Wieder werden die starken Diskrepanzen zwischen realer Meereisentwicklung und Modellsimulationen beklagt:
Century-scale perspectives on observed and simulated Southern Ocean sea ice trends from proxy reconstructions
Since 1979 when continuous satellite observations began, Southern Ocean sea ice cover has increased, whilst global coupled climate models simulate a decrease over the same period. It is uncertain whether the observed trends are anthropogenically forced or due to internal variability, or whether the apparent discrepancy between models and observations can be explained by internal variability. The shortness of the satellite record is one source of this uncertainty, and a possible solution is to use proxy reconstructions, which extend the analysis period but at the expense of higher observational uncertainty. In this work, we evaluate the utility for change detection of 20th century Southern Ocean sea ice proxies. We find that there are reliable proxies for the East Antarctic, Amundsen, Bellingshausen and Weddell sectors in late winter, and for the Weddell Sea in late autumn. Models and reconstructions agree that sea ice extent in the East Antarctic, Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas has decreased since the early 1970s, consistent with an anthropogenic response. However, the decrease is small compared to internal variability, and the change is not robustly detectable. We also find that optimal fingerprinting filters out much of the uncertainty in proxy reconstructions. The Ross Sea is a confounding factor, with a significant increase in sea ice since 1979 that is not captured by climate models; however, existing proxy reconstructions of this region are not yet sufficiently reliable for formal change detection.
Eine Arbeit von Ellen & Abrams 2016 schaut sogar 300 Jahre zurück und zeigt, dass die Zunahme des Meereises von 1979-2016 Teil eines längerfristigen Wachstumstrends im 20. Jahrhundert darstellt:
Ice core reconstruction of sea ice change in the Amundsen-Ross Seas since 1702 A.D.
Antarctic sea ice has been increasing in recent decades, but with strong regional differences in the expression of sea ice change. Declining sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea since 1979 (the satellite era) has been linked to the observed warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, while the Ross Sea sector has seen a marked increase in sea ice during this period. Here we present a 308 year record of methansulphonic acid from coastal West Antarctica, representing sea ice conditions in the Amundsen-Ross Sea. We demonstrate that the recent increase in sea ice in this region is part of a longer trend, with an estimated ~1° northward expansion in winter sea ice extent (SIE) during the twentieth century and a total expansion of ~1.3° since 1702. The greatest reconstructed SIE occurred during the mid-1990s, with five of the past 30 years considered exceptional in the context of the past three centuries.