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Arctic Sea Ice Extent Higher Than 2006

April 6, 2021

By Paul Homewood






Seventh lowest? The NSIDC would of course like you to believe that this is all part of a declining trend. In reality, since the sharp decline beginning in 2004, sea ice extent has gone up and down, but with little overall change. This year and last year, average March extent has actually been higher than in 2006.




This March, extent was the 8th highest in the last 18 years, putting it around the median.

What about prior to 2004 though? Should we not be comparing this year with the 1981-2010 average?

Like it or not, and whatever the reason, the loss of summer ice in 2007 has had a direct effect on sea ice at all times of year since. Much of the sea ice is now thin, new ice, which melts more readily in summer. Consequently, winter ice takes longer to form as well.

It would probably take a climatic regime shift, such as occurred in the 1960s, for ice to return to pre 2004 levels. But the evidence shows that winter sea ice extent is currently stable.

  1. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 6, 2021 11:47 am

    Oh, we’re all doomed, the Arctic will be at zero Wadhams in 40 years time, if the trend continues of course: but why should it, the Arctic ice has varied over relatively recent history, why should it continue its path this time!.

  2. April 6, 2021 11:59 am

    The Arctic sea ice issue is a reference to the annual seasonal minimum in September and not a reference to March extent. Pls see

  3. Pancho Plail permalink
    April 6, 2021 12:09 pm

    It would be less dishonest of them if they showed the Y-axis in full instead of truncating it to emphasise the slope.

    • MikeHig permalink
      April 6, 2021 12:24 pm

      The trend line shows a drop of about 10% over 40 years. If it was plotted with a full y-axis scale, say 0 – 20 m sq km, it would look very uneventful and no cause for alarm whatsoever.

  4. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 6, 2021 1:25 pm

    Using the Mk1 eyeball to estimate sea ice extent at the start and end of this data (ie c 16.5 and 14.8) it means there’s been approximately a 10% drop in sea ice extent.

    Could be a touch higher or a touch lower, but that’s close enough as a rough estimate.

    That’s over a 40 year term and surely must be within a typical range of natural variation, given the length of natural cycles. How is that modest level of variance even an issue?

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      April 6, 2021 1:26 pm

      Ah, just seen MikeHig’s post above, making the exact same point! I wasn’t copying, honest.

  5. Ben Vorlich permalink
    April 6, 2021 1:54 pm

    I follow the DMI Sea Ice Thickness charts most mornings, along with their other Arctic charts and Sunshinehours global sea ice extent. This year’s DMI Sea Ice Thickness chart shows sea ice rapidly approaching the north coast of Iceland. I’m not sure how close it is in reality.

    The Sunshine Hours chart shows global sea ice extent well above the 1981-2010 mean, and only just within one standard deviation of the mean.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      April 6, 2021 2:34 pm

      Mental aberration on my part, it’s Antarctic sea ice that the Sunshine hours chart shows way over normal.

  6. April 6, 2021 2:47 pm

    Starting a graph from a known peak is bound to show a decline. All it proves is that they chopped off the rise in sea ice that preceded it, to present a misleading picture.

    Of course the climate warming industry is well versed in such propaganda tricks,

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 7, 2021 8:46 am

      Much of the time I suspect these scientists are so brain dead they aren’t actually doing it deliberately. They actually don’t know the context.

      • C Lynch permalink
        April 7, 2021 10:15 am

        I’m inclined to agree. They receive their education and proceed to work in an echo chamber environment where they are never exposed to any counter arguments. They are in effect is isolated from the possibility of any critical thinking.

  7. Subseaeng permalink
    April 6, 2021 6:03 pm

    Not really related to this story but I see from BBC advertising that next week we are to receive a 3 programme series on BBC 1 brain washing session “Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World”. How is the BBC allowed to push this with no counter balancing programmes?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 7, 2021 8:47 am

      Because they pretend it’s science not politics.

      I think the BBC itself doesn’t understand the difference. Solutions are politics, not science.

  8. Mack permalink
    April 6, 2021 10:17 pm

    I wonder what the Arctic sea ice extent was like in 1903-1906 that enabled Roald Amundsen to make the first recorded successful navigation of the North West Passage, in a wooden hulled boat, when co2 levels were at pre-industrial levels, a journey that wasn’t replicated until 2007… in a nuclear powered ice breaker. Must’ve been a fluke. Yup, current Arctic sea ice levels are definitely unprecedented!

  9. April 9, 2021 9:17 pm

    Paul that 2007low reading
    I don’t doubt that some years are exceptionally low
    but I wonder if in 2007 there were some measuring system changes
    and that is was not as low as we thought.

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