Arctic Ice Roundup
September 22, 2013
So, the Detroit Lions ended a 21 game losing streak in Washington (back to 1939), beating the Redskins, former NFC East Champs, who are now 0 and 3.
In the past, Lions fans would have been high-fiving and remarking that this, no doubt, was the beginning, at last, of the big turnaround for the Lions. But the hard facts have always caught up with us. The Lions are just too thin on talent to endure over the season. They’ll fold like a cheap suit in coming weeks.
Which brings me to Arctic ice. As regular as the seasons, any fall that does not bring a new record low in arctic ice extent is hailed as a “recovery” by the climate denial media. I get it. They must be feeling more and more like Lions fans as the planet keeps finding new ways to show us that climate change is just warming up – and the collapse of arctic is the most visible, most dramatic manifestation of that process – anything they can do to deny that reality, they will try. The animation above shows just how fragile and slushy this year’s ice “recovery” was.
Here’s this year’s tale of the tape.
The Arctic is on course for an ice-free summer within the next few decades, as scientists on Friday declared that sea ice in the region had fallen to one of the lowest annual minimums on record.
“The overall trend is still decidedly downwards,” the NSIDC director, Mark Serreze, said in a statement. “The pattern we’ve seen so far is an overall downward trend in summer ice extent, punctuated by ups and downs due to natural variability in weather patterns and ocean conditions.”
He went on: “We could be looking at summers with essentially no sea iceon the Arctic Ocean only a few decades from now.
In the run-up to the release next week of the United Nations’ blockbuster global warming report, climate doubters have seized on the apparent “recovery” of sea ice, compared to last year’s death spiral, as evidence that there is no need for concern about the melting of the Arctic sea ice. But satellite images going back to 1980 and records compiled by scientists using ice cores and tree ring data going back as far as 1870 show a continued and dramatic long-term decline in summer sea ice.
The so-called recovery of the sea ice this year does not even begin to reverse that decline, scientists said on Friday. “Last year was so outrageously below the trend line that it was really no surprise that it would not be quite so low this year,” said Jennifer Francis, a research scientist at Rutgers University. “Clearly we are on this very definite downward trend.”
Julienne Stroeve, another NSIDC researcher, noted that this year’s low minimum was reached amid cooler temperatures than the last several summers, which helped to slow melting. “We had a pretty cold summer in general for the time period we’re looking at and yet the sea-ice cover didn’t recover to the extent that we had in the 1970s and 1980s,” she said.
“I’m not at all surprised there was a jump upward — we’ve never set two record lows in a row,” said Walt Meier, aNASA scientist who has monitored sea ice for years. “I would say I’m a little surprised the jump is as big as it is.”
Last year’s ice extent was so low that this year’s recovery looks larger by comparison, Dr. Meier said. The main reason for this year’s growth, Dr. Meier added, was that the region was colder and cloudier through the spring and summer than in the recent past.
“We had cool conditions, cooler than the long-term average, and yet it is still going to be the sixth-lowest ice minimum on record,” Dr. Meier said.