Arctic Ice: Midsummer Melt Update

July 23, 2014

Someone pointed me to the amusing tweet by the deranged blogger who goes by the name  “Steven Goddard”, fresh from the Heartland Climate Denial conference and feeling his oats apparently, @  Meteorologist Heidi Cullen.


Got me thinking there needs to be an Arctic ice Update. Fortunately Greg Laden has already given us one.

Yup, it’s melting.

Greg Laden’s Blog:

As it does every summer, the Arctic Sea ice is melting off. Over the last several years, the amount of sea ice that melts by the time it hits minimum in September has generally been increasing. So, how’s it doing now?

The graph above shows the 1981-2010 average plus or minus two standard deviations. Before going into more detail than that, you should look at the following graphic.


The top chart shows the march of Arctic Sea ice melt for first ten years of the baseline data set only, and the bottom chart shows the last ten years of the same data set. This tells us that the two Standard Deviations for the period 1981-2010 hides an important fact. Since Arctic Sea ice is melting more and more every year, a proper baseline might be the first several years of this period, not the entire period.

Now refer to the graphic at the top of the post. This is the current year’s ice extent. Notice that it is tracking right along the lower edge of the 2 Standard Deviation zone. In other words, the present year is exhibiting what we have been seeing all along: An Arctic with much less ice.

Now look at the years that post date the baseline period, 2011 through the present, including the wildy extreme year of 2012 when a record melt was set.


Here we see that collectively, the last three full years and the present partially documented year exist at the lower end of, or lower than, the 2 Standard Deviation zone. This suggests that the current trend is an extension of the previous couple of decades. More melting on average over time. One would hope this would level off, and maybe it will. But we certainly can not make that claim at this point.


42 Responses to “Arctic Ice: Midsummer Melt Update”

  1. hannuko Says:

    I’d recommend everyone thinking that the arctic does not fluctuate naturally and what is happening here today cannot possibly be natural, to read what this report said in 1938 about the arctic (pages 470 – 476):

    Sounds exactly like it was written today – but it was written long before human CO2 emissions became an issue.

    It’s been 76 year now since that was written and the ice still hasn’t disappeared. So I’d not bet on it disappearing any time soon either.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Science has learned some things since 1938. You should read something more current.
      suggest you start with National Snow and Ice Data Center FAQ

      • Rosco Says:

        The greenhouse theory was first proposed by Arrhenius in 1896.

        Some people claim Fourier proposed it in about 1824.

        It remains one of the longest undocumented hypothesis in science”.

        It has never been demonstrated in laboratory experiment – ever !

        Yet we are technically capable of deliberately causing collisions between sub-atomic particles or placing tonnes of complex equipment to conduct experiments and wander around Mars.

        All of the marvels of modern science and technology but we have never been able to demonstrate “simple basic Physics 101” !

        Says a lot I think.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          “Tyndall’s experiments in May 1859, which he further refined for several years afterwards, established for the first time that molecules of gases, such as water vapour, carbon di- oxide and methane, do indeed absorb more energy than oxygen and nitrogen when radi- ant heat is passed through them.
          Less than four weeks after declaring success in his journal, on Friday, 10th June, at an evening meeting of the Royal Institution with Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, in the chair, John Tyndall offered the first public, experimentally based account of what has become known as the greenhouse effect. ”


          says a lot, indeed.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          It says a lot about your level of ignorance, Bosco, that you don’t realize that the whole earth is actually now a “lab experiment”, in which we are testing both the GHG and AGW-due-to-CO2 hypotheses. And guess what the results are?

          You need to take that course in basic Physics 101 yourself, as well as some courses in logic and how to overcome cognitive dissonance. You are out of touch with reality.

        • Lol, are you for real? Never been demonstrated? Are you kidding me?!?!?

          First you can check this little experiment you can do yourself:

          Notice that IR – invisible light is warmer than the visible one. Discovered 200 years ago. No magic trick here, even though there are things happening here that you cant see with your own eyes. IR light (low wavelength) is then of course the way heat is transferred out from any body, an indeed we can see that the Earth is glowing with IR, even on the nightime side where the sun doesn’t hit.

          Then try to google any experiment where they use a camera with an IR sensor that sees through a glass chamber to a candle burning on the other side. The chamber is gradually filled with CO2 and discover that the candle IR light is gradually disappearing. Its not a magic trick or special effect. You are witnessing a demonstrable effect of CO2.

          Here is one video (there are tons of these) :

          If we hadnt had CO2 in the atmosphere our planet would be an ice ball.

          I generally say that people who consider the “marvels” of science when they hold their iPad with all the technology and science inside it – but then use it to spew lies and nonsense about a whole field of science that is based on much simpler physics 101 says a lot about the person holding the iPad. Surely these people must think they are holding some magic device, as electrons and transistors and all that surely is a hoax?

          I do believe you seriously need to take Physics 101 yourself.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      I agree with greenman—-get up to date. This “report” is very anecdotal, not very specific in terms of numbers, and quite localized. The more recent and more “global” data is far more likely to be a true picture and it shows that the ice IS in fact “disappearing”.

      With all the good data that is to be found on arctic sea ice, why in the world did you pick out this obscure and inadequate piece to waste our time on?

      • greenman3610 Says:

        Dog, you know why. that’s the game.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I guess. But why are all these “players” such huge and obvious losers? Or is part of their self-delusion that they actually think they’re winning?

          I can’t believe that—-I think they must know their stuff is bogus and the game most of them are really playing is just to see how many responses they get from real people.

    • ubrew12 Says:

      Tamino reconstructs Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent since 1880 here:

      Both caps are Waaayy Dowwnn from what they were as they entered the 20th century.

      “Sounds exactly like it was written today” Objective evidence trumps ‘sounds like’.

  2. Way too many are wearing “extent” blinders – while the true state of the ice is really told by its volume. You could cut up all the ice on the planet into small thin slabs and cover the whole planet if you wanted – but I highly doubt that the ice would last long. The mass of the ice is of great importance for its ability to stay around and indeed enabled water to freeze around it.

    If anyone is still arguing that the volume of ice on the planet isn’t seriously dropping then they need to get their head examined.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: