Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick

What would NSIDC and our media make of a photo like this if released by the NAVY today? Would we see headlines like “NORTH POLE NOW OPEN WATER”? Or maybe “Global warming melts North Pole”? Perhaps we would. sensationalism is all the rage these days. If it melts it makes headlines.

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959. Image from NAVSOURCE

Some additional captures from the newsreel below show that the ice was pretty thin then, thin enough to assign deckhands to chip it off after surfacing.The newsreel is interesting, here is the transcript.

1958 Newsreel: USS Skate, Nuclear Sub, Is First to Surface at North Pole

ED HERLIHY, reporting:

USS Skate heads north on another epic cruise into the strange underseas realm first opened up by our nuclear submarines. Last year, the Skate and her sister-sub Nautilus both cruised under the Arctic ice to the Pole. Then, conditions were most favorable. The Skate’s job is to see if it can be done when the Arctic winter is at its worst, with high winds pushing the floes into motion and the ice as thick as twenty-five feet.

Ten times she is able to surface. Once, at the North Pole, where crewmen performed a mission of sentiment, scattering the ashes of polar explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins. In 1931, he was the first to attempt a submarine cruise to the Pole. Now, the Skate’s twelve-day three thousand mile voyage under the ice, shown in Defense Department films, demonstrates that missile-carrying nuclear subs could lurk under the Polar Ice Cap, safe from attack, to emerge at will, and fire off H-bomb missiles to any target on Earth.

A powerful, retaliatory weapon for America’s defense.

USS Skate during an Arctic surfacing in 1959. (US Navy Photo)

USS Skate during an Arctic surfacing in 1959. (US Navy Photo)

From John Daly:

For example, one crew member aboard the USS Skate which surfaced at the North Pole in 1959 and numerous other locations during Arctic cruises in 1958 and 1959 said:

“the Skate found open water both in the summer and following winter. We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick. The ice moves from Alaska to Iceland and the wind and tides causes open water as the ice breaks up. The Ice at the polar ice cap is an average of 6-8 feet thick, but with the wind and tides the ice will crack and open into large polynyas (areas of open water), these areas will refreeze over with thin ice. We had sonar equipment that would find these open or thin areas to come up through, thus limiting any damage to the submarine. The ice would also close in and cover these areas crushing together making large ice ridges both above and below the water. We came up through a very large opening in 1958 that was 1/2 mile long and 200 yards wide. The wind came up and closed the opening within 2 hours. On both trips we were able to find open water. We were not able to surface through ice thicker than 3 feet.”

Hester, James E., Personal email communication, December 2000

Here are some screencaps from the newsreel:

uss-skate-ice2

Note the feet of the deckhand for thickness perspective

uss-skate-ice1

Ice going over the side after chipping

It was that way again in 1962:

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

And of course then there’s this famous photo:

3-subs-north-pole-1987

But contrast that to 1999, just 12 years later, lots of ice:

USS Hawkbill at the North Pole, Spring 1999. (US Navy Photo)

USS Hawkbill at the North Pole, Spring 1999. (US Navy Photo)

But in 1993, it’s back to thin ice again:

USS Pargo at the North Pole in 1993. (US Navy Photo)

USS Pargo at the North Pole in 1993. (US Navy Photo)

The point illustrated here: the North Pole is not static, ice varies significantly. The Arctic is not static either. Variance is the norm.

There’s quite an interesting read at John Daly’s website, including a description of “the Gore Box”. Everybody should have one of those.

h/t to WUWT commenters Stephen Skinner, Crosspatch, and Glenn.

See the Skate image archive at NAVSOURCE

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Graeme Rodaughan

Gee – Global warming must have been bad in the 1950’s, so many poor Polar Bears must have starved and drowned…
If only the Catlin team had been alive and active back then – they could have found plenty of thin ice…

AEGeneral

I love John Daly, God rest his soul. His was one of the first websites I ever found some years ago that refuted this nonsense.
Bleeding is so last week. If it’s green, it leads.

John in NZ

Great images.
Without images like these it would be easy for the Catlin explorers and others to say that open water at the pole is unusual.
I have saved these images to show my friends.

Robert Bateman

Whatever happened to the days when we were treated to new vistas minus the agenda?
Subs at the North Pole (wasn’t so bad, was it?), Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Pioneer, Voyager.
When Science delivered without the attendant sermon.
What happened?
If it weren’t for the Rovers operating on Mars, we’d be S.O.L., and right now, Sol is out to lunch. So appears to be Earth Science.
Sure do miss NASA and JPL.

Robert Bateman

If only the Catlin team had been alive and active back then – they could have found plenty of thin ice…
They ARE skating on thin ice, if the ARE there.
Looking over the media blitz, it would be par for their agenda for monkeybusiness to be afoot.

Kath

Nice pictures. I wonder how Dr.Serreze of the NSIDC and other global warmists would attempt to explain this variability. They’ll probably fall back on the old “it’s the weather” excuse.
Climate change: It’s natural.

That photo wasn’t “released by the NAVY today” – I have had it on my Arctic regional summary page for months: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Arctic.htm
REPLY: I discussed “what if”?…not that it was- Anthony

Robert Bateman

Looks like 1st year ice those subs were breaking through.
Am I seeing that right?

Graeme Rodaughan

Does Flanagan have an opinion on the above pictures?
So much open water at the North Pole in 1959?
How do you explain it?
This inquiring mind would like to be informed.

Leon Brozyna

Oh dear me. How ever will Al Gore handle this?
I know! He’ll say the skeptics made it all up. These were photoshopped or even shot in a Hollywood Special Effects studio. That’s how he’ll do it.
Everybody knows that the North Pole has never melted ever before. Everybody knows that Santa Claus lives at the North Pole in a big castle filled with merry little elves.
And Catlin is getting ready for their third resupply flight. Now according to their website, there were only three resupplies planned. 43 days and 540+ km to the pole? I don’t think so. Not unless they’ve had a change of plan in the number of resupplies.

Well, it just goes to show how much warming human activity has caused. Where are the pictures of submarines at the north pole before the industrial revolution? Eh? Where are they? There are none. Not a single one. My case is proved.
Only since mankind has pursued its wicked desires for warm homes, clean water and plentiful food have submarines been able to surface at the north pole.
And just look at the dates of these pictures – 1958, 1959, 1962, 1987, 1993 and 1999. More than 200 years of savage attack on mother nature’s fridge had already occurred, it’s hardly surprising the ice was thin enough for these dreadful machines to wreak their havoc.
And what about the damage they did to the fragile, naturally balanced ice sheets as the submarines (designed, you might note in a distinctly phallic shape) thrust upwards and breached the delicate hymen that was all between natures virtue and man’s disgusting lusts? How long do you think it took for the broken ice to heal from this savage act of macho oppression?
All the efforts of those who really care about mother nature have been dedicated to trying to ease her pain yet nothing, nothing I say again, can restore the wounds created by such brutal aggression to the intimate soul of her being.
You seek to make a cheap point about the thickness of the ice having been less in the past than it is now? How dare you? What an affront to those who have dedicated their lives to profiting from carbon credits, ahem, sorry, I meant protecting mother nature’s virtue.
You should be ashamed of yourself Mr Watts.
I need to take a cold shower now.

The faithful will probably say that those photos weren’t right at the pole, or that the pole had shifted to the equator, or that aliens made those photos in photoshop or something.

G Alston

Robert Bateman — Looks like 1st year ice those subs were breaking through.
Although on the surface the claim that multi-year ice is thicker sounds logical, is this really true? What seems logical may not be, e.g. thinking the earth must be closer to the sun is when we get summer sounds logical yet isn’t true. One would think that ice compacts and thickness in any area is as much a factor of local currents (or lack thereof) and such as much as anything else.

Graeme Rodaughan

The faithful will most likely ignore it.
If evidence doesn’t fit the dominant narrative/paradigm – throw it out.

Robert Bateman

Leon Brozyna (22:28:27) :
Oh dear me. How ever will Al Gore handle this?
I know! He’ll say the skeptics made it all up. These were photoshopped or even shot in a Hollywood Special Effects studio. That’s how he’ll do it.

No way he can wriggle his way out of that one.
Those pictures, I remember seeing them in Time or Life magazine 50 years ago. They may even have made the Huntley-Brinkley report, or a Walter Cronkite blurb.
I remember when it happened.
Billboard it. Spread it all over the place.
Front page it.
Bumper sticker it.
Run it all over the Internet.
Make buttons for it.
Make a moniker out of it:
Remember the Skate.
Make Al Gore eat it.

Bill Sticker

Isn’t there a record of a Chinese fleet finding the Arctic relatively ice free around 1276? Curse those medieval SUV’s!

The biggest problem I have with all the modelers is that they ignore the empirical evidence that is right there in historical records, be they written records of wheat and flax shipments from Greenland to Europe during the Medieval Warm Period or photographic evidence of surfacing subs and earlier Arctic Explorations.
All their proxies and calculated anomalies might give them a metric to plug into a model, but ignoring the written and photographic records of people who “were there” demonstrates the modeler’s all-consuming arrogance…and ignorance.

p.g.sharrow "PG"

Nice pictures! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them.
More inconvenient truths me thinks.

Interesting.
It was only a few weeks ago that I listened to a friend of mine talk about being on a boat when it surfaced through the ice relatively close to the pole. That would have been in the mid to late 70s. He was on a fast attack sub. I was on a boomer (missile sub). Though we crossed the Arctic Circle, we never went under the ice while I was on board, to my knowledge.

D. King

I think WUWT just did a preemptive strike on the thicker multi-year
ice excuse!

Sorry Anthony – missed the “if”

Frank Lansner

Mike Goad
Very interesting, is there any chance that your friend have some pictures with dates? It would be SUPER!
K.R. Frank

Aron

And no run away positive feedbacks or worldwide flooding occurred each time the ice was that thin.

Bill Sticker (22:55:30) :
Isn’t there a record of a Chinese fleet finding the Arctic relatively ice free around 1276? Curse those medieval SUV’s!
You are referring to Gavin Menzies’ book “1421: The Year China Discovered America”. There are no actual records of a Chinese expedition to the pole, but Menzies makes an interesting circumstantial case for it. Unfortunately, a lot of the evidence he presents was also used by Erich von Daniken in “Chariots of the Gods”. Oddly enough, the evidence exists…. it just doesn’t speak for itself.

F. Ross

Robert Bateman (22:07:02) :

When Science delivered without the attendant sermon.

Amen to that brother!

crosspatch

“Prince Charles is being accused of hypocrisy after it was revealed that he is chartering a luxury private jet for a five-day tour of Europe to promote environmental issues.”
The above from the Daily Mail (UK)
What, they don’t make donkey carts anymore?

Noelene

I was always a global warming sceptic,because of the poem that I was taught in school.I am not a poetry person,but this one struck a chord,and should be taught to every Australian child.It was written in 1906 by Dorothea MacKellar
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded Lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens,
Is running in your veins;
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies –
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me.
The tragic ring-barked forests
Stark white beneath the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
An orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the crimson soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart around us
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold;
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown Country
My homing thoughts will fly.
It’s a poem that could be written today,and any time in the next 100 years.Nothing’s changed.

Graeme Rodaughan

Aron (23:33:29) :
And no run away positive feedbacks or worldwide flooding occurred each time the ice was that thin.

(eye twitching uncontrollably) Of course not, the positive feedbacks are due to Man Made Emissions of CO2!!!. Dang it!!! And since CO2 had not yet peaked to the alarming levels that it has reached today, the positive feedbacks had not yet kicked in.
The ice melt back then was due to Man Made Emissions of CO2 that occurred prior to 1958 – haven’t you heard of the Industrial Revolution.
Now don’t go on about the arctic freezing up between 1958 and 2000 – that’s just weather and the CO2 warming was stuck in the pipeline just waiting to boil out – like it is now….
Gaaaaaa – run away.

DHMO

Obviously it was done by the same team that did “The Dark Side of the Moon”. It reckoned the man walking on the moon was done in a Hollywood Movie lot.
Can we get better images so that they can be made into a computer wall paper. I would like to put it up on my computer. Fan bloody tastic!!

Stephen Daivs

The level to which you ignore basic facts is becoming more and more obvious as James Hester, crew member mentions (polynyas) and as Hester also mentions they were using sonar to find these areas. The Arctic (as I hope you know) is just floating ice, on average only a few meters thick, these areas can form even at the pole
Polynyas are a phenomenon known for quite a long period of time, they are areas of open water that form (sometimes briefly) (sometimes in the same spot) they occur in both the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.
While I realize you are cherry picking this to support [snip], but as proof for that cause this is worth nothing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynyas

Ian

On the recent blog on Dr Serreze you had a couple of critical posts from someone you referred to as birdman. When I was allowed to post on RealClimate (sadly I’m now banned for disagreeing) Bird Man gave me a roasting. It is very pleasing to see that you don’t ban and don’t roast this guy. But will he post on this blog as his post quoted Dr Seereze as saying
“There is this thin first-year ice even at the North Pole at the moment,” says Serreze. “This raises the spectre – the possibility that you could become ice free at the North Pole this year.”
I do so very much hope Bird MAn returns to make a comment on the ice free North Pole of some 50 years ago. However, I doubt he will.

Gerard

So the polar bears that live in the artic today are sub-species after they true polar bears became extinct in 1959 due to the open water at that time! Isn’t evolution wonderful.

envirotex

Don’t forget the magnetic North Pole moves (and quite fast.) Do we mean geographic or Magnetic?

pft

Robert Bateman (22:07:02) :
“Whatever happened to the days when we were treated to new vistas minus the agenda?”
Read Eisenhowers last speech of 1961. Government became the leading funder of science. It’s that simple. And those who influence government with campaign contributions also provide endowments to Universities, so have say on what gets taught and researched.

Richard Heg

Just reading in wiki about the russian drifting ice stations which started in 1937, they must have a huge amount of data on ice pre satellite.
“On average, an “NP” station is the host for 600 to 650 ocean depth measurements, 3500 to 3900 complex meteorology measurements, 1200 to 1300 temperature measurements and sea water probes for chemical analysis, 600 to 650 research balloon launches. Magnetic, ionosphere, ice and other observations are also carried out there. Regular measurements of the ice floe coordinates provide the data on the direction and speed of its drift.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_and_Russian_manned_drifting_ice_stations
see also
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_and_Antarctic_Research_Institute
http://www.aari.nw.ru/index_en.html

eo

AGW causes evaporation of the artic ice not the old stuff of melting ice. That’s what Waxman is avoiding not the melting.

Robert Wood

For some years now, I’ve been using some of theswe pictures as wallpaer on my computers.

alex verlinden

Alan Cheetham (22:21:05) :
that is quite some information you have assembled there, Alan ! … thanks a lot … 🙂

Adam Soereg

It seems first year ice to me, and Mr. Serezze at NSIDC have said it: it is much more vulnerable and is expected to disappear in the summer melt season…
Last year our friends at NSIDC said that the percentage of multi year ice in the Arctic reached a record low level, and this will lead to an ice-free North Pole in the summer of 2008. Of course they were wrong, but their obvious failure was completely ignored by the mainstream media. This year, they are trying to scare us with a record low level of first and second year ice. They don’t even mention the fast recovery of Arctic sea ice extent to near-normal levels. Let I guess, next year they will come out with an unprecedented low level of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year ice.
Why do they put the Arctic sea ice anomaly chart to their main page for advocating purposes and try to hide the constantly above normal Antarctic ice from the public? If you are at the first time on their website, your chances to find any information from the current situation of Antarctic sea ice is not significantly different from zero. All in all, the NSIDC is lightyears away from the Neutral Point Of View.
More than a year ago I used to believe in this nonsense. Not anymore.
-A former AGW believer from Hungary-

Robert Bateman

Alan Cheetham (22:21:05) :
That photo wasn’t “released by the NAVY today” – I have had it on my Arctic regional summary page for months:

The whole world saw those pictures the years they were taken.
It was a feat at the time. Neato. Boss. Swell. Gosh.
Little did we know how important they would turn out to be.
Somebody deliver them to Congress with a TV camera & a microphone.
Let’s see what expletives the world will now attach to them.
Run it front page on the NY Times.
Hand them to George Will, Charles Gibson, Katie Couric, Martha Radich.
What about it, Gore?

Robert Bateman

envirotex (00:50:13) :
Don’t forget the magnetic North Pole moves (and quite fast.) Do we mean geographic or Magnetic?

Piece of cake. Just dig up the original story that hit the TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. US bragging rights, and right up there with the space race and all the other FIRSTS of the time. We did stuff, and oh how we let the world know how advanced we were.

Alan the Brit

This cannot be serious. It’s all a big lie. Now to debunk it.
Let’s see, err……..I know, these weren’t actually taken at the north pole but many miles further south & was a publicity stunt! (I’ll think of some dumb reason for a stunt in a while)…errr……….the submarines all fired torpedos into the ice to break it up…. then used the uranium from their reactors to melt the remainder of the ice & scare away the polar bears that’s why you can’t see any! The three captains & their crews all lied about it, every one of them, as part of a cold war conspiracy to blame the Russians for melting it! errr……they aren’t real pictures but merely simulations on a laptop by those co-conspiritors all working for dirty oil Christopher Monckton, Richard Courtney, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Piers Corbyn, Stephen Wilde, et al especially all those at WUWT & anyone who went to the ICCC in March 09! errrr………….aliens melted the ice back in the 1950’s, & again in the 1980’s, no, no ,no that’s far too silly. Oh I know, a giant asteroid was on a collision course (yet again) with earth, these three intrepid submarine commanders were on a top secret mission to launch special surface-to-asteroid missiles that would deflect it away from civilisation, & they managed to knock it into the north pole, & they went there to make sure it was all gone & it had! Yes that’s the best one I think, far more plausible! What do you think Al Gorey? Got any better suggestions that you could use during your next bout of Senate testimoney? (I should be a screen writer – not!) BTW can I see three figures in the background pulling sledges in one area, a canoe in another, & a sailing boat on the horizon, all bearing union jacks? Hee hee!
Seriously though, can I just copy these pictures without too much difficulty because I really would like to show them to one or two idoits I know?

Barry Foster

Just wanted to say how much I miss John Daly. His was the very first website I read on global warming after I converted from a believer. The sceptic cause lost a huge man when he died. Imagine the beating he’d be giving the warming-worriers today! I hope the relatives of Mr Daly appreciate how much we miss him.

Apologies for repeating a very relevant post I made several months ago. It illustrates that ‘history’ quickly becomes forgotten and that if the authorities make a detemined enough effort inconvenient history can be effectively erased.
” Claims of unprecedented warmth and abnormal melting of meltic arctic ice are unfounded if we look at history;
1 The following link describes the ancient cultures of the warmer arctic 5000 to 1000 years ago
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lithoderm/Inuit_culture
2 This relates to an Arctic culture thriving in warmer times 2000 years ago
From the Eskimo Times Monday, Mar. 17, 1941
The corner of Alaska nearest Siberia was probably man’s first threshold to the Western Hemisphere. So for years archeologists have dug there for a clue to America’s prehistoric past. Until last year, all the finds were obviously Eskimo. Then Anthropologists Froelich G. Rainey of the University of Alaska and two collaborators struck the remains of a town, of inciedible size and mysterious culture. Last week in Natural History Professor Rainey, still somewhat amazed, described this lost Arctic city.
It lies at Ipiutak on Point Hope, a bleak sandspit in the Arctic Ocean, where no trees and little grass survive endless gales at 30° below zero. But where houses lay more than 2,000 years ago, underlying refuse makes grass and moss grow greener. The scientists could easily discern traces of long avenues and hundreds of dwelling sites. A mile long, a quarter-mile wide, this ruined city was perhaps as big as any in Alaska today (biggest: Juneau, pop. 5,700).
On the Arctic coast today an Eskimo village of even 250 folk can catch scarcely enough seals, whales, caribou to live on. What these ancient Alaskans ate is all the more puzzling because they seem to have lacked such Arctic weapons as the Eskimo harpoon.
Yet they had enough leisure to make many purely artistic objects, some of no recognizable use. Their carvings are vaguely akin to Eskimo work but so sophisticated and elaborate as to indicate a relation with some centre of advanced culture — perhaps Japan or southern Siberia —certainly older than the Aztec or Mayan.
3 This link leads to the Academy of science report of the same year regarding the Ipiutak culture described above
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1078291
4 This refers to the Vikings living in a warmer arctic culture 1000 years ago
People might be interested in reading a very interesting book about the Vikings called ‘The Viking world’. It is a very scholarly and highly referenced book running to some 700 pages and deals with all aspects of the Vikings. It is good because it does not have an axe to grind, but deals matter of factly with all aspects of Viking culture and exploration.
There is a large section on their initial exploration of Greenland, the subsequent establishment of their farms there, everyday life, how they gradually lost access to the outside world as the sea lanes closed through ice, a record of the last wedding held In Greenland and how trade dried up. It also deals with Vinland/Newfoundland and it seems that it was wild grapes that helped give the area its name, it being somewhat warmer than today.
This is one of a number of similar books that record our warmer and cooler past throughout the Northern Hermisphere. Al Gore wrote a good book in 1992 called ‘Earth in the Balance’ in which he explored the changing climate that devastated the civilisations in the Southern Hemishpere.
The book ‘The Viking World’ is Edited by Stefan Brink with Neil Price Published by Routledge ISBN 978 0 415 33315-3
I suggest you borrow it from the local library as it costs $250!
5 This refers to a warmer arctic 75 years ago recorded on Pathe newsreel by Bob Bartlett on the Morrisey during his journeys there in the 1920’s and 1930’s and reported in all the media.
http://boothbayharborshipyard.blogspot.com/2008/08/arctic-explorer-on-ways.html
Wednesday, 10th August 1932
The ship rolled heavily all night and continues to do so….
The glacier continues its disturbances. No real bergs break off but great sheets of ice slide down into the water and cause heavy seas. About noon, the entire face of the glacier, almost a mile in length and six or eight feet deep slid off with a roar and a rumble that must have been heard at some distance. We were on deck at the time for a preliminary report like a pistol shot had warned us what was coming. The Morrissey rolled until her boats at the davits almost scooped up the water and everything on board that was not firmly anchored in place crashed loose. But this was nothing to the pandemonium on shore. I watched it all through the glasses. The water receded leaving yards of beach bare and then returned with a terrific rush, bringing great chunks of ice with it. Up the beach it raced further and further, with the Eskimos fleeing before it. It covered all the carefully cherished piles of walrus meat, flowed across two of the tents with their contents, put out the fire over which the noonday meal for the sled drivers was being prepared, and stopped a matter of inches before it reached the pile of cement waiting to be taken up the mountain. Fortunately, in spite of heavy sea, which was running, the Captain had managed to be set shore this morning so he was there with them to help straighten out things and calm them down.”
The arctic has periodically warmed to greater amounts than today-there is adiutional data from the Rpyal society, The Hudson Bay co and many other souyrces illustrating that there seems to be a cycle of extensive warming every 80 years or so contauined within a longher cycle of melt and cold. A tiny reduction in ice extent since 1979 ( A high point in ice levels) is of no consequence if you look at the historical record of this region
Tonyb

From today’s Independent:
“This is the quietest Sun we’ve seen in almost a century,” says NASA solar scientist David Hathaway. But this is not just a scientific curiosity. It could affect everyone on Earth and force what for many is the unthinkable: a reappraisal of the science behind recent global warming.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-missing-sunspots-is-this-the-big-chill-1674630.html

Ozzie John

This all goes to prove that Al Gore is living in the past !
btw – has anyone had trouble accessing NSIDC ?
http://www.nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/daily.html
I have been tracking the current NH extent in anticipation of it intersecting the long term average anomly line, and just as it seems about to create some history…… WEBSITE GOES DOWN !
Not sure if this is a local issue or not ?

A. Longiv

Al Gore and the North Pole. Interesting that Al Gore only allowed partial release of Arctic datas since he became Vice Presitent, although he had visited the North Pole already 1990, and has said in his book back in 1992 “that the polar cap plays such a crucial role in the world’s weather system”, (see: a recent comment ; ca. 23 April; Monkton – Al Gore):
“We were crashing through that ice, surfacing, and I was standing in an eerily beautiful snowscape, windswept, and sparkling white, with the horizon defined by little hummocks, or ‘pressure ridges’ of ice that are pushed up like tiny mountains ranges when separate sheets collide. But here too, CO2 levels are rising just as rapidly, …As the polar air warms, the ice here will thin; and since the polar cap plays such a crucial role in the world’s weather system, the consequences of a thinning cap could be disastrous. ” More at: http://www.oceanclimate.de/, referring to Al Gores North Pole visit (Gore, Al (Albert), (1992); “The Earth in Balance”, London, 1992.)
A very impressive and far sighted work by the late John Daly.

Steven Goddard

The Ice at the polar ice cap is an average of 6-8 feet thick
This blows away the crux of the alarmists arguments who have been claiming it is “supposed to be” twice that thick. The ice in those pictures is clearly first year ice.
Walt Meier has told me that the ice in the early 1980s (at the beginning of the satellite record) was exceptionally thick.

Ubique of Perth, WA

Didn’t Al Gore invent the submarine?

ak

“Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick?” lol – should be “Polynyas exist then as they do now”
“The Ice at the polar ice cap is an average of 6-8 feet thick, but with the wind and tides the ice will crack and open into large polynyas (areas of open water), these areas will refreeze over with thin ice. We had sonar equipment that would find these open or thin areas to come up through”
The state of the Arctic Sea Ice is declining – in thickness and extent – even if the US Navy found some polynyas back in the 60’s. Judging by the comments in this thread: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/18/arctic-ice-thickness-measured-from-buoys/, you guys will love the results found by the arctic ice buoys of the US Army.
http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/images/icethick.gif
“Results from Rothrock et al. (1999) shows changes in ice thickness comparing submarine results from the 1958 through 1976 to results from the 1990’s. The results show that there was thinning at every point of comparison. The thinning averaged 40%, representing a decrease from about 3 m to less than 2 m (see figure below).”
http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/change.htm