More ice in scary melting

Arctic ice

The Associated Press chills our blood again with a story on record Arctic sea ice melting.

Arctic sea ice melted this summer to the second lowest level since record-keeping began more than 50 years ago, scientists reported Thursday, mostly blaming global warming.

“This is not a random event,” said oceanographer James Overland of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It’s a long-term change in Arctic climate.”

Only in 2007 was there less summer sea ice, which has been dramatically declining since scientists began using satellites to monitor melt in 1979.

So, unless I’m mistaken, in each of the last four years there has been more ice than there was in 2007. That sounds like a recovery — it’s certainly not getting worse.

We already know the reason it was a big melt in 2007 — it was winds and ocean currents that had nothing to do with atmospheric warming.

Ice Data Center research scientist Julienne Stroeve said two factors cause summer sea ice to shrink more than normal: worsening man-made global warming and localized and seasonal Arctic weather.

As I wrote a week ago, NSIDC disagrees with her. It says:

Whether Arctic sea ice breaks a new record hinges on three factors: First, how much heat is left in the ocean to eat away at the ice edge and bottom? Second, will wind patterns blow the ice together and reduce ice extent or will they disperse the ice and expand ice extent? Finally, just how thin is the remaining ice cover? Thin ice quickly melts away when it is surrounded by warm water.

Arctic air temperatures have been below freezing for about a month, so it’s plain mischievous to invoke global warming to explain the big melt.

We just have to keep repeating the truth, people — over and over.

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2 Thoughts on “More ice in scary melting

  1. Australis on 20/09/2011 at 2:50 am said:

    There’s a must-see at which details endless prior occasions in which the Arctic sea ice has dwindled.

    Some of the headlines say it all:

    “Arctic Heat” 1885
    “Strange Things Happening In the Arctic” 1922
    “Thawing in Arctic” 1923
    “Earth Growing Warmer” 1934
    “North Pole Heat Wave” 1937
    “North Pole Getting Warmer” 1940
    “Temperatures Rising in Arctic Region” 1947
    “Things warming uo in Greenland” 1950
    “Polar Ice Caps Melt” 1952

    and so on ……

  2. Gary Kerkin on 20/09/2011 at 10:55 am said:

    NOAA must have analysts with different coloured glasses to those at other agencies. It appears that the minimum ice extent did not drop below that of 2007 (but I suppose there’s always a possibility it still could even though the temperatures are dropping rapidly). See Richard, maybe you should put the sea-ice extent widget up on the sidebar too!

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