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Discussion > Arctic Ice

According to all accepted measures we are heading for a record low level of arctic ice since records began - which is laughably taken as being since satellite measurements began in 1979.

Remarkably, whilst the Beeb has already started to spin it, the sceptical side of the debate is strangely silent. Now whilst 33 years of data is insufficient to draw conclusions in the context of earth history (and yet conclusions are being drawn by the alarmists).

So what are the arguments that we shouldn't panic ?

- 33 years is an insufficient time series
- an arctic storm in August led to unprecedented ice breakup that is not warming-related


Aug 22, 2012 at 7:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

I regularly look at the Terra and Aqua images, and the Greenland Summit Camp webcam and weather data, have noticed a few things in the last month or so:

1. it looks like there has been a very settled high pressure sitting over Greenland for weeks now - giving very little cloud cover over just about the entire the ice sheet. (I am not sure if this has any significance to the recent loss of ice, but it is worth noting).

2. In late July/early August it did seem that a lot of ice was being pushed by winds out of the Arctic Ocean and down the Fram Strait. This also happened in 2007, and was accepted by warmists (e.g. the NSIDC) as a significant factor in the loss of ice that summer. However, while there has been mention of the big storm of 2012, I am not aware of any mention by 'experts' or in the media of the role being played by wind and ocean currents in transporting ice out of the Arctic Basin, as opposed to the ice all 'melting'.

3. As in summer 2007, the average temperatures above 80 degrees north have been average or below average since early April. The NPEO webcams and temperature data loggers also confirm this, or at least that there have been no significant atmospheric warming.

4. The sea ice in the North West Passages did seem to disappear quickly this year. Maybe the mild winter experienced in North America in 2011-12 extended into Nunavut and the ice was not as thick as usual.

5. it could be that there is bit more sea ice than NSIDC would like us to think.

I would suggest that the ice area has reduced mainly due to a combination of wind blow and storm break up, and possibly milder sea temperatures (extra input from the Gulf Stream into the Arctic? - we certainly got little warmth from it here in Scotland until early August at least.

Remember that lower sea-ice extent is a positive feedback in high summer due to lower albedo, it is also a significant negative feedback in late summer and Autumn, when ice and snow act as a good insulator and reduces the heat loss from the relatively warm ocean. Again the 'expert' scientists and media never mention this, but always rave instead about extra energy absorbed by the open ocean. I'd like to see some analysis of this - i.e. how much energy is gained from the lower albedo given that the sun is rarely very high in the Arctic sky and there is usually significant cloud cover over the ocean anyway.

Aug 22, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Global see ice is not at a 33 year low, when you combine north and south sea ice you get a very flatline but scientists don't seem to bother wanting to know why.

Aug 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I tried posting from my work browser some days back, but no dice. Just wanted to say thanks to lapogus for the reply. Finally this didn't go viral and the alarmists failed in their attempt to instill panic on the basis of the 33 year record.

I think its fair to say that the public has grown weary of the little climate boy crying 'drowning polar bear'. Quite a victory for common sense then.

Sep 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR