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Arctic Sea Ice Much More Stable Than Thought

September 24, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Re-post from Ron Clutz:


People are overthinking and over-analyzing Arctic Ice extents, and getting wrapped around the axle (or should I say axis).  So let’s keep it simple and we can all readily understand what is happening up North.

I will use the ever popular NOAA dataset derived from satellite passive microwave sensors.  It sometimes understates the ice extents, but everyone refers to it and it is complete from 1979 to 2017.  Here’s what NOAA reports (in M km2):


The satellites involve rocket science, but this does not.  There was a small loss of ice extent over the first 15 years, then a dramatic downturn for 13 years, 6 times the rate as before. That was followed by the current plateau with virtually no further loss of ice extent.  All the fuss is over that middle period, and we know what caused it.  A lot of multi-year ice was flushed out through the Fram Strait, leaving behind more easily melted younger ice. The effects from that natural occurrence bottomed out in 2007.


Read the full post here.

  1. donald penman permalink
    September 24, 2018 4:59 pm

    The yearly average sea ice extent seems to show a correlation to solar minimum and solar maximum years but what do I know about this there are complexities here ,the graph makes these yearly changes look very small but given enough time we would certainly notice a build up or decline in arctic sea ice. I think we will see another upward movement of average yearly sea extent during this solar minimum and a downward movement during the next solar maximum.

  2. tom0mason permalink
    September 24, 2018 5:24 pm

    If we are truly exiting the mildly cold period that started with the LIA then we should look forward to declining ice at the poles and a warming climate. Anything else may be a signal of a reversal fortunes, a return to more chaotic weather with an overall cooler climate.

  3. Tim Spence permalink
    September 24, 2018 7:05 pm

    I’m not entirely in agreement with the premise. The part I do agree with is that there is no need for alarm, but stability, is another question, the Arctic ice is ephemeral and in recent history, extremely variable. It wouldn’t surprise me, or bother me if all summer ice disappeared, it wouldn’t convince me of AGW or any disaster scenario.

    For one thing, presently it can rebound from a ‘record low’ to ‘near normal’ within the space of two or three weeks of ‘surface weather’. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand what could happen with some truly exceptional weather event.

    The ocean currents and sea temperatures have most bearing on the ice extent. Also, the periphery is under attack from increasingly advanced ice-breakers, and for more months of the year.

    And of course we’ve all seen photos of the submarine USS Skate surface at the North Pole in 1958.

    • September 24, 2018 7:35 pm

      Tim, a fair and balanced position. The variability of the ice extents is obvious, and many researchers like those at AARI see the Arctic as a self-oscillating system with a quasi-60 year cycle. And, as you and others like Arnd Bernaerts note, maritime human activity does impact in that sensitive region. It is climate alarmists who have claimed without evidence that fossil fuels are causing ice to decline, and that makes the Arctic of public interest.

  4. donald penman permalink
    September 24, 2018 8:43 pm

    I think that if all arctic sea ice disappeared in summer it would convince me that global warming was real because we are near the end of an interglacial period not at the start or in the middle of an interglacial period. The idea that we can transit to a glacial period without arctic sea increasing seems crazy to me so that is what I expect to see as we get closer to the next glaciation , the next glaciation will begin in the arctic rather than in the continents which surround it.

  5. quaesoveritas permalink
    September 26, 2018 9:25 am

    Once again the BBC’s “Outside Source” graphics departments has “disappeared” the Arctic ice in an item about a Beluga Whale which has made its way to the Thames.
    In a map showing the Arctic Ocean, the ice has been completely removed, as can be seen at about 52 minutes in to last night’s episode on iplayer:

    I don’t know whether this is deliberate or not, but it certainly gives the Impression that the Arctic Ocean is free of ice. At best the BBC are unintentionally spreading the “ice free” propaganda.

    Incidentally this item comes immediately after another item about how “climate change” is killing moss in the Antarctic:

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