Arctic Sea Ice Extent–October 2017

By Paul Homewood



A year ago, the Washington Post was worried that a spell of mild weather in the Arctic meant that Arctic sea ice could disappear within our lifetimes:


Sea ice extent in the Arctic is as low as it has ever been measured in late October, and air temperatures are record warm. Sea ice experts say it is difficult to project what the current ice depletion means for the next year, but the unmistakable long-term trend toward less ice is troubling.

“The overall trajectory is clear — sometime in the next few decades, maybe as early as 2030, we’ll wake up to a September with no Arctic sea ice,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), in Boulder, Colo.

The present ice levels reflect a record slow recovery after the summer minimum on Sept. 10, which tied for the second-lowest extent on record.

Shortly after the minimum, it seemed as if the ice was headed for a fast recovery. But then the ice growth abruptly slowed because of unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic.



Fast forward twelve months, and we find that October sea ice extent is amongst the highest since 2006.



No honest scientist could look at the last decade and claim that ice extent is anything but stable, albeit at lower average levels than we were used to seeing in the 1980s.


While we’re at it, isn’t it time DMI and NSIDC dropped their misleading trend line? After all, ice extent could remain unchanged for another 100 years, but the trend would still show as downwards.

The simple reality is that ice extent shrank during a short period up to 2007, but was there was little change either prior or since.

As such, that short period tells us nothing at all about what may happen in future.

If a company published a graph like that, and used it to claim that its profits were increasing, it would probably be had up for fraud!


November 2, 2017 at 06:45AM

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