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Arctic Ice Continues Recovery – So Death Spiral Claims Are Rehashed

September 23, 2014

By Paul Homewood




The Sunday Times, in a ridiculously one sided and misleading article, have evidently decided that we all need reminding again that the “Arctic Ice is melting”, and apparently we and the polar bears are all going to die, possibly as early as next year.

For some reason, Jonathan Leake forgets to point out that the minimum extent this year, according to NSIDC, has finished just a few thousand sq km below last year’s number, thus confirming the recovery and stabilisation of ice since 2007. Indeed, both of the last two years have been close to the 2005 figure.

There is clearly no evidence at all that we are witnessing a “death spiral”.






Both DMI and NORSEX confirm a similar picture.







The report, which is behind a paywall, quotes one “Cambridge Professor” as saying that the Arctic icecap could vanish as soon as next year. As his name is shown as a source, it looks like our Professor is none other than Peter Wadhams, who has a track record of making such predictions. The only real surprise is that anybody pays the slightest attention to him now.


To make it all sound even scarier, the chart tells us that 11,100 sq miles of ice was melting everyday in the first half of September, the equivalent of umpteen Wales. Has it not occurred to the clearly mentally challenged Science Editor that this is what ice does in the summer? Climatologically, the Arctic loses about 21,000 sq miles a day during the melting season, only to put it all back on again over the winter.

Can we expect a headline in six months time warning us that we are heading into an ice age because two and a half Wales have been covered by ice every day?


As there is nothing in the data to support the headlines, Leake decides to mention a rather curious but inconsequential fact – that the distance from the North Pole to the one edge of the icecap is the shortest on record (which of course only goes back to the start of the satellite record in 1979). The simple fact is that the icecap moves around from year to year, and its proximity to the Pole is of little consequence. There is no law that says the Pole has to be the centre of the ice, or the coldest point.

He might also have pointed out that ice continues to build around the Canadian coast, where it cannot easily be swept away to warmer waters. As a result, the Northwest Passage has been closed for business all summer.

As this continues to build up, the ice there will grow thicker and older, continuing the recent trend.




Still, the picture of the poley bear is cute! There was a time when the Sunday Times was a respected outfit, but apparently no longer.

  1. September 23, 2014 5:33 pm

    Support Global warming! Hug a polar bear.

    If more did that, there would be fewer self destructive idiots in the world.

  2. Windsong permalink
    September 23, 2014 5:39 pm

    Dr. Susan Crockford commented on the polar bear connection in this article on her blog on 21 Sep.
    The bears are not only cute, but getting fat. Time for the AGW folks to ditch the polar bear and adopt baby seals for their fund raising campaign images. The seals are the ones in mortal danger.

    • September 23, 2014 6:51 pm

      Baby seals could cause flashbacks to seal clubbing and start another round of PTSD.

  3. September 23, 2014 6:29 pm

    RE: It’s happening! Alaska has managed to bring global warming down!!!

    On average the downward trend in Alaska is -0.055K /annum since 1998…
    That is almost one whole degree C down since 1998.



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    • September 23, 2014 6:54 pm

      Can we share the pictures of trash, plastic cups, and mess made in the effort to show how much these people care?

  4. September 23, 2014 7:50 pm

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction News Blog.

  5. September 23, 2014 7:53 pm

    Enter the Met Office…

    Based on projections from current climate models, a plausible date for the earliest ice free (defined as extent less than 1 million square kilometres) summer in the Arctic would be 2025-2030.

    I’ve asked if they’ll do a follow up for the Antarctic record.

  6. Paul2 permalink
    September 23, 2014 10:02 pm

    Well according to Leo Di today at the UN climate conference, ‘We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor.’

    …..methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor eh? Maybe he’s onto something.
    It makes sense doesn’t it? Or something.

  7. Retired Dave permalink
    September 23, 2014 10:10 pm

    And in other news

    The sea ice trend is just like the warming trend was – spend a decade denying (sorry) that a pause has taken place and eventually admit it, but start looking for excuses. That scheme has already started with sea ice now as in –

    After all it was only last Christmas that they were mounting expeditions to show how the sea ice was disappearing in the Antarctic.

    I still think some of these warmists are going to have mental problems dealing with the eventual realisation, just like 19th Chritians did with the age of the Earth.

  8. Retired Dave permalink
    September 23, 2014 10:12 pm

    That’s 19th Century Christians – sorry.

    Why do I always need an edit button???!!

  9. David permalink
    September 23, 2014 10:14 pm

    Very few scientists, including climate scientists, agree with Paul Wadhams’ sea ice forecasts. This is made clear in numerous recent ‘tweets’ by notables such as Gavin Schmidt and Ed Hawkins.

    As far as accuracy and reality is concerned, Dr Wadhams is the David Archibald of Arctic sea ice extent decline predictions.

  10. September 23, 2014 10:52 pm

    According to NSIDC:
    Arctic Sea Ice is 7.2 million Km2 (1981-2010 mean).
    The Monthly Sea Ice Extent Anomaly Graphs, since 1979 [when the maximum extent of Arctic sea ice was reached]:

    shows a slope of -10.3±2.1% per decade.

    Antarctic Sea Ice is 18.1 million Km2 (1981-2010 mean), increasing at 1.0±0.5% per decade:

    I see no “death spiral” for global sea ice here.

  11. September 23, 2014 11:21 pm

    Also, from the University of Bremen:

  12. John F. Hultquist permalink
    September 24, 2014 4:06 am

    … ice free (defined as extent less than 1 million square kilometres)…

    The ancients had a conceptual problem of having zero in the whole number sequence. For the last couple hundred years this issue was thought to have been resolved. Now the MET propagandists feel it takes a 7 digit number to express the concept of “free.”
    A local grocery store has a similar problem. They say “buy 2, get one free.” I only want 1 but they won’t give me the free one. This new math is hard. That’s why many young people have trouble learning.

  13. John F. Hultquist permalink
    September 24, 2014 4:24 am

    The graphic shown as being sourced from NSIDC shows the North Pole in a mass of white that extends about half way south in Greenland. This makes no sense.
    The 350 miles to the edge of the ice cap must be measured to the orange area north of the pole. The location of the NP appears to be in northern Greenland. Did someone shrink Greenland?

    • Mick J permalink
      September 24, 2014 12:28 pm

      The average ice thickness is dodgy as well, according to PIOMASS in August it was 1.4m.

  14. Mick J permalink
    September 24, 2014 12:20 pm

    Death spiral? Only to those where up is down.

    • Mick J permalink
      September 24, 2014 12:22 pm

      Ah, I tried using html to include the image. Here is the URL.

  15. September 24, 2014 2:01 pm

    According to Denmark’s DMI this year’s minimum is slightly more than last year’s, i.e. there is slightly more Arctic sea ice, c.f.

  16. Curt permalink
    September 24, 2014 3:24 pm

    In years with low summer ice extent, the prevailing winds have blown a lot of the ice out into the northern Atlantic, where it melts. In years with higher summer ice extent, the prevailing winds have blown much of the ice up against the Canadian archipelago, where it stays frozen.

    If the trends of the last couple of years continue, I am expecting headlines about the unusual warming of the northern Atlantic…

  17. mwhite permalink
    September 24, 2014 4:28 pm

    Don’t know if you are aware

    This week at the Royal Society

    “Arctic sea ice reduction: the evidence, models, and global impacts”

    “Professor Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge, UK Sea ice thickness from submarines”

  18. September 24, 2014 6:38 pm

    are we all agreed here that it is globally cooling
    from the top latitudes down?

    • September 24, 2014 8:45 pm

      It looks like it now. Could be different when the AMOC changes its phase.


  1. Arctic ‘Death Spiral’ Claims Debunked | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
  2. Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 2nd Highest Since 2006 | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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