10/17/2007 5,663,125 square kilometers
10/17/2008 7,436,406 square kilometers
Δice = 1,773,281 sqkm or 31.3% more than last year
Source data here: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv (Excel file)
UPDATE 10/22: The trend has entered the point where last year’s recovery started to get closer to previous years, and the Δice is now about 21%
You’ve probably heard by now how this new story circulating this week claims “record warmth” and that we are in the peak time of melting. Meanwhile, “back at the ranch”, sea ice extent continues a steady upward climb as shown above.
Scientists Counter Latest Arctic ‘Record’ Warmth Claims as ‘Pseudoscience’ – Comprehensive Arctic Data Round Up – October 17, 2008
Claim: Newspaper article claims Arctic Temps Peak in November – Claims Arctic offers ‘early warning signs’ – McClatchy Newspapers – October 16, 2008
Excerpt: Temperatures in the Arctic last fall hit an all-time high – more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Centigrade) above normal – and remain almost as high this year, an international team of scientists reported Thursday. “The year 2007 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic,” said Jackie Richter-Menge, a climate expert at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H, and editor of the latest annual Arctic Report Card. “These are dynamic and dramatic times in the Arctic,” she said. “The outlook isn’t good.” Arctic temperatures naturally peak in October and November, after sea ice shrinks during the summer. [...] Scientists say these changes in the Arctic are early warning signs of what may be coming for the rest of the world’s climate.
Arctic Reality Check: Why isn’t the cooling Antarctic considered ‘an indicator of what might happen to the rest of the world?’
By Climate Scientist Dr. Ben Herman, past director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and former Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona is a member of both the Institute for the Study of Planet Earth’s Executive Committee and the Committee on Global Change.
Herman Excerpt: First of all, the Arctic sea ice is at its minimum in September, not October or November as the scientists in the McClatchy article states. As Arctic ice experts, they certainly should have known this. Another point is that the Arctic temperatures do not “naturally peak in October or November”. They peak in mid August generally. Also the article states that since the world’s climates are interconnected, what happens in the Arctic may be an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the world. How about what happens in the Antarctic then? Since its ice area has been increasing, is this also an indicator of what might happen in the rest of the world?
Reality Check # 2: ‘This is pseudoscience’ – By German scientist Ernst-Georg Beck, a biologist Rebuts Arctic Reports – October 17, 2008
Excerpt: The annual report issued by researchers at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other experts is the latest to paint a dire picture of the impact of climate change in the Arctic. [...] The real averaged temperatures of the whole Arctic circle (70-90 N) can be found in the same data base used by NOAA (CRU, Phil Jones): The graph shows a strong Arctic warming during 1918 and 1960, stronger than today with a rise of about + 4°C up to 1938. Referencing only a rise since 1960 we got the illusion of a dramatic rise in modern times. Conclusion: The news item:” Arctic air temperatures climb to record levels” is selective science and wrong because the Arctic Ocean ( covering an area of more than 50% of the Arctic circle) has been left unconsidered. The NOAA study summarizes: „5°C record levels in temperature in autumn”, presents the averaged temperatures only on land stations and discusses melting sea ice as a cause! This is pseudoscience. In contrast the current Arctic warming mimics the 1920s-1940s event, as a recent study from the Ohio State University reveals. The scientists recognized from using weather station records, maps and photos from the past century that temperatures in Greenland had warmed in the 1920s at rates equivalent to the recent past.
See these articles:
Get the facts on Arctic ice conditions below:
Latest Arctic Info: Updated October 17, 2008
Update: Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still climbing – October 15, 2008
Excerpt: A difference of: 1,576,563 square kilometers, now in fairness, 2008 was a leap year, so to avoid that criticism, the value of 6,857,188 square kilometers can be used which is the 10/13/08 value, for a difference of 1,369,532 sq km. Still not too shabby at 24.9 %. The one day gain between 10/13/08 and 10/14/08 of 3.8% is also quite impressive. [...] Watch the red line as it progresses. So far we are back to above 2005 levels, and 28.7% (or 24.9% depending on how you want to look at it) ahead of last year at this time. That’s quite a jump, basically a 3x gain, since the minimum of 9% over 2007 set on September 16th. Read about that here. Go nature! There is no mention of this on the National Snow and Ice Data Center sea ice news webpage, which has been trumpeting every loss and low for the past two years…not a peep. You’d think this would be big news. Perhaps the embarrassment of not having an ice free north pole in 2008, which was sparked by press comments made by Dr. Mark Serreze there and speculation on their own website, has made them unresponsive in this case.
Alert: National Ice Center says satellites interpreting Arctic ice as open water! – By Andrew Revkin – NY Times Dot Earth Blog – September 6, 2008
Excerpt: And one of the groups focusing most closely on possible Arctic shipping lanes, the National Ice Center operated by the Navy and Commerce Department, says flatly that the satellites are misreading conditions in many spots and that there is too much ice in a critical spot along the Russian coast (highlighted in the smaller image above) to allow anything but ice-hardened ships to get through. In an e-mail message Wednesday, Sean R. Helfrich, a scientist at the ice center, said that ponds of meltwater pooling on sea ice could fool certain satellite-borne instruments into interpreting ice as open water, “suggesting areas that have substantial ice cover as being sea-ice free.” The highlighted area is probably still impassible ice, including large amounts of thick old floes, he said. I sent the note to an array of sea-ice experts, and many, including Mark Serreze at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, concurred.
National Weather Service: SEA ICE ADVISORY FOR ARCTIC WATERS AS WATER TEMPS DROP 8° IN 2008 – September 22, 2008
Excerpt: SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES ALONG THE ALASKA CHUKCHI AND BEAUFORT SEA COASTS ARE 2 TO 8 DEGREES CELSIUS COLDER THIS YEAR THAN AT THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR. [...] SIGNIFICANT ICE WILL BEGIN DEVELOPING ALONG THE ALASKA COAST NORTH OF 70N WITHIN THE NEXT 10 TO 14 DAYS.