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Provisional Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

September 16, 2017

By Paul Homewood


It’s now looking pretty certain that Arctic sea ice extent has passed its minimum this year. Since Tuesday, it has climbed over three days by 75,000 sq km, according to NSIDC figures:


2017 9 1 4.758
2017 9 2 4.791
2017 9 3 4.801
2017 9 4 4.782
2017 9 5 4.723
2017 9 6 4.643
2017 9 7 4.635
2017 9 8 4.697
2017 9 9 4.641
2017 9 10 4.628
2017 9 11 4.646
2017 9 12 4.611
2017 9 13 4.651
2017 9 14 4.651
2017 9 15 4.686

Provisionally that would make it the 4th highest since 2007.




The ice does not appear to be thin and slushy, as we are often told. According to DMI, much of it is 2 meters or more thick.





Pen Hadow’s abortive sailing expedition, now safely back in harbour in Nome, certainly ran up against unexpectedly thick and extensive ice 600 miles from the Pole, before being forced to turn tail.



It is far too soon to draw any conclusions about what this means for Arctic sea ice in future years.

But there is certainly nothing to support the wild claims of an Arctic death spiral, that we have been fed over the years.

The climate clown, Prof Peter Wadhams, seems to have kept his head down this year after his own succession of ludicrous claims, like this one last year.



Hurry back, Peter, we could all do with a good laugh!

  1. September 16, 2017 5:22 pm

    Not sure how he can be a called a scientist, it’s a bit like calling the council workers who empty our dustbins “waste disposal engineers” – nothing against bin men by the way – it’s just the wrong use of the title.

    • September 16, 2017 6:01 pm

      “Science” it is most certainly not, every one of their predictions has failed to materialise. Reading tea leaves or checking a horoscope would be more accurate!

      • dave permalink
        September 16, 2017 6:16 pm

        The ancient Egyptians used to give their sacred “Apis” bull a place to sleep with two chambers. They would ask him a serious question of State and – literally! – ask him to sleep on it. The answer would be decided by which sleeping apartment he ambled into. Sounds more scientific than asking a “climate scientist.”

    • dave permalink
      September 16, 2017 6:10 pm

      The MASIE product of the same NSIDC has the growth at 277,000 sq km. over the last 5 days.

      What would really impress me would be the disappearance of the Arctic ice in WINTER. Wake me up when that happens, please!

      • dave permalink
        September 16, 2017 6:26 pm

        For those who prefer (estimates) of sea-ice volume.

        The low of 2017 was above the low of 2016 and above the low of 2015.

        Meanwhile, it is snowing again in Greenland!

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        September 17, 2017 7:31 am

        Greenland ended 2016-17 with a gain in excess of 550Gt, and 2017-18 has got off to a “better” start than 16/17, it’s going to be interesting to see this winter progresses.

      • dave permalink
        September 17, 2017 11:02 am

        Funnily enough, it is snowing in Greenland because of an unseasonable inflow of moist, warm(ish) air. Things are always a bit more complicated than one expects.

        The gain of 550Gt for 2016-17 is fairly stated, but there is also a loss to the sea from ‘calving’ of about 200Gt each year. Again we are dealing with an issue the CAGW crowd screams about, but which really does not matter in the slightest. It is all, literally, a drop in the Ocean.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    September 16, 2017 7:45 pm

    Regarding Pen Hadow’s aborted sailing expedition …

    These stunts must cost a lot of money.
    Who pays?
    Does the payee expect to benefit? How? Money? Further the CAGW cause?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      September 16, 2017 8:48 pm Sponsors at the bottom of the page.

    • martinbrumby permalink
      September 16, 2017 10:02 pm

      Nice to see the Beeb the other day, making a big fuss over that olympic rower who was daft enough to sign up for Hadow’s little stunt.

      Portrayed by the Beeb and the rower as an attempt to row from Svalbard to Iceland. The rower stated that, although they didn’t make it from Jan Mayen island the last leg to Iceland, he was proud that they had achieved everything they set out to do.

      Obviously, uncle Pen hadn’t mentioned that they were trying to reach the north pole. Although photos of the merry team standing next to a boat called “Polar Row” might have made him wonder….

      • Curious George permalink
        September 17, 2017 1:29 am

        That was another failed expedition.

  3. September 16, 2017 8:44 pm

    If the Grauniad says he is a scientist, then you can be certain he isn’t. His ability to make predictions is worse than that of Mystic Meg, who doesn’t pretend to be a scientist.

  4. September 16, 2017 9:15 pm

    Paul, any chance of seeing your second figure – Arctic Sea Ice – with a regression?

    • dave permalink
      September 17, 2017 8:26 am

      The NSIDC site has, as part of its ‘sea-ice’ product (slightly different from MASIE), straight trend lines of monthly averages of extents (whatever their ‘average’ really means). For example, for August, the figure has declined at a rate of 1% per year from 1979 to 2017.

      As time is not a ‘causal variable’ and not a ‘feature,’ this sort of ‘finding’ does not advance understanding much. Because it is sufficiently obvious there is less sea-ice in recent years than forty years ago.

      This year, the edge on the European side pulled back less than in recent years, while the edge in the general direction of the Bering Strait pulled back more, The first fact may indicate that the present extension of the Gulf Stream influence to the North is waning (as predicted by some oceanographers) as part of a natural cycle, The extra melting where Mr Hadow chose to go was, perhaps, a chance event. Whatever, that area of the Arctic Ocean is known for rapid re-freezing. Where he was two weeks ago is now covered in ice, five feet thick.

  5. markl permalink
    September 17, 2017 2:48 am

    So despite all the alarmism and foolish attempts to prove otherwise it appears arctic sea ice is recovering in its’ usual cycle. Will the MSM proclaim that we’re out of danger for sea level rise? Rhetorical question I’m sure.

    • Stonyground permalink
      September 17, 2017 5:07 pm

      Melting sea ice doesn’t cause sea level rise. Sea level rise can only be caused by Ice on land melting and running into the sea. A good way of spotting when MSM talking heads haven’t a clue what they are talking about is hearing them suggest that sea level rises will be caused by melting sea ice.

      • mikewaite permalink
        September 17, 2017 8:38 pm

        The question about whether the melting of floating ice cubes in a glass of water would cause the level to rise or fall came up frequently in the old O’Level Physics papers I recall.
        The examiners would never dare ask that question today because it might provoke young minds into questioning some of the warmist alarmism broadcast in the media – to the detriment of subsidy farmers throughout the land.

  6. Athelstan permalink
    September 17, 2017 7:32 am

    Arctic basin and sea ice?!

    The rot goes on, or not as it does appear but rot is conjecture and we’ve had a bellyfull of that, we’re sick to our stomachs with it.

    The very idea that mankind has something to do with it is a preposterous leap of faith no matter how much carbon dioxide or not we ‘pump’ into the atmosphere. Onwards to hyperbole; “DEATH SPIRAL!!!”……………do they keep on banging the doom mongering drum and anything to keep the proles guessing – is it not?

    In his own book though…………N’s dick, seems it gets warmer and colder but no matter.

    As with the rest of the planet, the climate in the Arctic has changed throughout time. About 55 million years ago it is thought that parts of the Arctic supported subtropical ecosystems (Serreze and Barry 2005) and that Arctic sea-surface temperatures rose to about 23 °C (73 °F) during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum.


    Get this, a snip at €93 and wow reviewed by all his mates too…….. Out of print mind, couldn’t be anything to do with pseudo science and massive price tag?

    Anyway back to the point, as we see the mighty Mark C. Serreze reckons that, the Arctic was positively Terrrrrropical in some times past -when it was warmer and man wasn’t about.

    No ‘boreal polar’ [sea] ice and the world moved serenely on, no calamity [life extinction] why dat?

    Understanding the dynamics of the Ocean in the Arctic basin – we don’t and imho it is one fo the keys to understanding the movements, thickness and expanse of the sea ice. Furthermore, you see, even in the Universe stranger things have happened and if, in the very unlikely possibility that the Arctic basin sea ice went walkabout,/i>, even then – the world isn’t going to end, it won’t be doom and disaster ‘evolving’ and the earth adjusts as it always does.
    One thing we can say is, at the minute it’s bloody cold up there and it’s about to get dark, very dark and without sunlight, for a few months it will become much colder but as the above WIki link do say, the continental areas of Canada, Greenland and Siberia etc succumb to the real cold Ts hah by comparison the Arctic Ocean is ‘warm’………it’s all to do with the relatives. And then, thank God for the North Atlantic drift and prevailing winds – eh, to keep the ice from spreading south and to stop the ice floes reaching Scotland – maybe?!

    • Colin permalink
      September 17, 2017 3:06 pm

      As a Scot I can only agree with you. If our luck failed and the Earth’s rotation were to reverse Scotland would have winters like Kamchatka and Aberdeen would be like Vladivostok.
      Seriously though, we make a song and dance about Arctic sea ice but it only covers about 1% of the Earth’s surface in Summer and is no more influential than West Africa. Anyone who doubts this should take a globe position yourself directly over the Tropic of Cancer and measure the visual of that bit of plastic at the top where the Arctic Sea ice minimum hides.

      • Athelstan permalink
        September 17, 2017 6:15 pm

        I like warm water mate, too right.

        Arctic sea ice – so what?

  7. Bitter&twisted permalink
    September 17, 2017 8:17 am

    Professor Wadhams used to be a scientist. Check out his CV.
    Unfortunately I think he has “lost it”.
    His behaviour has become increasingly bizarre.
    He thinks that the Government has been assassinating fellow climate “scientists”.

    • September 17, 2017 8:21 am

      At this rate the Arctic should be free of over-the-top sea ice claims from Wadhams and his ilk before long.

  8. tom0mason permalink
    September 17, 2017 8:18 am

    Hands-up all those that think the Arctic ice is important.

    Why do you think it is so?

    • dave permalink
      September 17, 2017 8:45 am

      I do not think it is important. However it is one of those things which the CAGW crowd has randomly fixated on. Whether there is any use at all in pointing out the truth to a mediocre, purblind, scientific community and to a general public completely void of scientific understanding is a reasonable question.

      • tom0mason permalink
        September 17, 2017 8:50 am

        Indeed, and thank-you for replying so swiftly.

    • AndyG55 permalink
      September 17, 2017 9:58 am

      Not particularly, except the current level show the NH is still quite a bit COLDER than most of the last 10,000 years except the LIA.

      It would be a massive benefit if Arctic sea ice levels were to drop further to MWP or even further to the levels of the first 70000+ year of the Holocene.

      Fishing, travel, commerce, would all become possible again.

      Look at the massive funding Russia spends on Ice breakers, ice-breaking oil tankers….. and even now, with all that technology, the Arctic is navigable for only for a very short time each year.

      If there were less ice.. the benefits would be HUGE !!!

    • ice cold in arctic permalink
      September 18, 2017 5:10 pm

      The Arctic sea-ice extent in autumn might be very important for levels of storminess over Europe – especially Barents and Kara Seas. Less ice = fewer storms (= less extremes, ahem).

  9. September 17, 2017 9:59 am

    “Scoresby reached 81 deg 30 min in 1806, Nordenskiöld 81 deg 42 min in 1868, Nares 81 deg 43 min in 1874 and Peary 82 deg 29 min in 1907. All without icebreakers. Scoresby didn’t even have an engine.

    In the seventeenth century, in the middle of the LIA, the Dutch even built a whaling station “Smeerenburg” on Amsterdamöya, 79 deg 45 min north. I think they quite likely sailed rather more than 15 miles out to sea from there on occasion”

  10. NeilC permalink
    September 17, 2017 11:44 am

    September 17, 2017 11:02 am

    “The gain of 550Gt for 2016-17 is fairly stated, but there is also a loss to the sea from ‘calving’ of about 200Gt each year. Again we are dealing with an issue the CAGW crowd screams about, but which really does not matter in the slightest. It is all, literally, a drop in the Ocean.”

    The CAGW crowd, like Gore in his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” depicting “claving” glaciers as melting, don’t understand the simple basics that a calving glacier is a growing glacier. How stupid are they.

  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 17, 2017 5:43 pm

    There seems to be a lot of data manipulation over at DMI as the “operational product” gets converted to the “climate record.”

  12. September 22, 2017 10:16 pm

    Main thing is don’t fall for the claim satellite only starts in 1979
    Long analysis here RealClimate

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