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Antarctic Ice Sets New All Time Record In October

October 19, 2013

By Paul Homewood




NSIDC are now back up and running again, after the Federal shutdown.

Quite astonishingly, Antarctic sea ice has set another record for maximum extent, beating the previous record of 19.513 million sq km, set on 21st September this year.

What makes the new record so astonishing is that it was set in October, on the 1st. Climatologically, the maximum extent is reached on 22nd September, so it is most unusual for the ice still to be growing 10 days later.

As at the 18th October, extent is still running at 998,000 sq km above normal.

With the Arctic ice running at 728,000sq km below normal, this means that global sea ice is 270,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 norm.


Global sea ice area is also above normal, as it has been for much of the year.

  1. rogerthesurf permalink
    October 20, 2013 5:23 am

    AGW might be deservedly on its knees but it is but a smoke screen.

    The real danger is Agenda 21 which wants to institute all the things that AGW threatened us with and more. The only thing is that its more subtle – it is creeping into our society as we speak.

    In my country it is in our legislation, local government and education.
    Take a look at my blog which shows how our government has very kindly used the devastating earthquakes which hit my city as an excuse to dispossess people of their homes and property in order to build an Agenda21 compliant city where our proud city once stood.

    But its not just my country, its world wide! Try searching your local government’s website for the words “Agenda 21″ and “ICLEI” and tell me I’m not wrong.

    Please feel welcome to leave a message



  2. October 20, 2013 6:56 am

    All the latent heat released from all that freezing water will cause Runaway Warming. We’re doomed!

  3. October 20, 2013 10:33 am

    Paul, I have ‘tuned’ the Antarctic sea model to make it more ‘palatable’ for those with climate sensitivity issues 😉

  4. huth permalink
    October 20, 2013 10:50 am

    I wish people would stop using the phrase ‘above normal’ in these news clips. It’s probably all normal. Why not say ‘above the most recent thirty-year average’? That’s what is meant, is it not? Happy to be corrected if mistaken, but I think we should be precise with language so as to avoid misunderstandings, especially on subjects like this.

    • October 20, 2013 11:58 am

      Yes I do actually agree with you.

      The trouble is that “normal” seems to have an official status now.

      • John F. Hultquist permalink
        October 21, 2013 1:56 am

        I think is was defined in about 1935 as a 30 year period with the last year ending in zero. It is recalculated every 10 years. Go to the link below and then scroll to the very bottom. There it says for this chart the Normals are based on the 1961 – 1990 record period. You can also find 1971 – 2000 normals and 1981 – 2010 normals.

        It is a defined term.

      • huth permalink
        October 21, 2013 8:11 am

        Thank you. I understand the idea of the defined term. What worries me is that the term is used in non-scientific articles as well (e.g. newspapers) where most readers will not be aware of the scientific use of the term. This means the effect of using the word ‘normal’, without specifying its particular definition, is potentially and probably actually, deceptive.

      • October 21, 2013 9:39 am

        The trouble with “normal” is that it has a double meaning. It can mean average. But it can mean “natural”, so that when something is “not normal” it is “abnormal”.

      • huth permalink
        October 21, 2013 9:47 am

        Quite. It is ambiguous at best.

  5. John F. Hultquist permalink
    October 21, 2013 4:25 pm

    Paul and huth,

    I agree with your comments on use of the term. When started, that is before modern computers, the calculations must have been time consuming and error prone. I would not like to be the one doing this. Now there is no good technical reason for not having the numbers be what ‘huth’ suggests in the comment at 10:50. Big stock exchanges, retailers (Amazon), and big mutual funds (Vanguard) process massive amounts of information on a daily basis. They also have off-site backup servers and back-offices so an electrical outage (or say a fire) doesn’t close them down.

    The US National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) stayed with an odd period for awhile but now uses 1981 – 2010:

    NSIDC used 1979 – 2000 (’79 was the start of the info) until recently even when they had an additional 12 years or so of data; see here . . .

    The date on this last one is 17 April 2012 but still comparing to the ’79 – ’00 period. The 2000s data would lower the average and several of us accused them of not including these new data because it would make the yearly ice extent curve less scary. We really don’t know but the Obamacare programming suggests the government just doesn’t do these sorts of things well.

  6. Sparks permalink
    October 21, 2013 8:35 pm

    Paul, is there any relationship that you know of between increased Antarctic sea ice and Australia having a dry-spell?

    • October 21, 2013 9:32 pm

      It’s difficult to identify trends, because Antarctic records are so short.

      • Sparks permalink
        October 26, 2013 12:17 pm

        Thanks Paul, it would be interesting to have evidence of a relationship between Antarctica and Australia, my thinking would be that a major cold dry air system could be driving a hot dry system to move in over Australia, it may also be the case that as the dry air system moved in, it resulted in the recent heavy rains and subsequent floods.

        It’s complex, but it’s just an interesting thought 🙂

      • October 26, 2013 1:27 pm

        You would have thought climatologists would have been researching this.

        But of course to admit that a colder Antarctic was causing bad weather rather goes against the grain for them! As does not being able to blame the drought on global warming!

  7. October 23, 2013 9:10 am

    September RSS temperature anomalies have now been published and the global anomaly shows a small increase, but nothing like as much as UAH.
    This seems to be mainly due to a small fall in the RSS SH anomaly, compared with a large increase for UAH
    I don’t think that UAH and RSS SH anomalies can ever have been as far apart as they are currently.
    The change in RSS for the NH is similar to that for UAH.

    • October 23, 2013 10:44 am

      As I suspected, the difference between the unadjusted UAH and RSS SH anomalies reached a high point in September 2013, with a difference (UAH minus RSS) of 0.367c.
      The previous highest difference was 0.292c in November 1980.
      Interestingly, the difference since 1979 displays an almost perfectly symmetrical curve, with a minimum around 1999. Prior to that, the difference generally fell, and after that it has generally increased. The minimum figure was -0.336c in January 2000.

  8. October 23, 2013 7:02 pm

    LOL….I suppose no one ever thought that the surplus sea-ice is actually a result of the increasing amount of meltwater floating on top of the saltier waters of the Southern Ocean. The rate of melt for Antarctica’s land-ice is increasing steadily, and at 200Gt/yr is now double the average rate between 1979-2010. The less salty water is less dense, so floats on the surface before mixing, and has a higher freezing temperature than saltwater. So…plenty of ice, global warming must have stopped! Um…perhaps not.

    • October 23, 2013 7:34 pm

      Perhaps you’d better tell the IPCC your little theory, as they have no idea why.

      Also you might tell NSIDC, who also have no idea.

      Of course, you can always prove them wrong by providing the comparative salinity figures.

    • October 24, 2013 4:15 pm


      Based on that theory, can you tell me under what circumstances there will be a reduction in Antarctic ice extent?
      Presumably not until there is a reduction in land-ice melting?
      Also, since in rarely gets above freezing in Antarctica, and according to UAH, there has been virtually no increase in “land” temperatures since 1979, why is the rate of ice melt increasing?

    • October 24, 2013 4:23 pm

      I just found this reference to increasing ice melt in the ANTARCTIC PENINSULAR.
      But of course, this only refers to the peninsular, which is the only part of Antarctica which extends outside the Antarctic Circle.
      Even if snow ice is melting faster there, it is only a tiny part of Antarctica, and it would seem unlikely that it would account for much increase in sea ice extent.


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