« Annual Offensive Christmas Lights Story | Main | Council Misuse of RIPA - No Change »

What Loss of Sea Ice?

Global Sea Ice Trend Since 1979 - surprising ォ Watts Up With That?


The red line is positive, indicating an increase in ice level from 1978-Dec 2006. The slope of the red line is plus 6341 km^2 per year indicating that the earth in 28 years has added 177,000 sq kilometers of ice with a mean ice level of 20.42 million Km^2....

Obviously people cannot make the claim that sea ice is being lost. It isn’t. The data shows that our trend is basically flat during this time of unprecedented temperatures. It’s clear that there has been no significant change in sea ice area.

This is almost enough to make me turn in my Skeptic union card, but increased CO2 warming the earth makes some sense to me, the magnitude is in question. The fact that polar sea ice not melting is not an insignificant point. It is also important to realize that the changes are too small to fit with IPCC statements about the trend. Unlike trees, ice does make a good thermometer. I can’t say this strongly enough— This is a strong indication of substantial errors in the computer models and temperature data which needs to be addressed before we throw what’s left of our global economy to the wind. How would Earth’s total sea ice ignore such substantial warming? It’s a good question which deserves an answer.


If you look at the data from 2003 to 2006 you can clearly see that the ice is diminishing at an unsustainable rate which will mean that in 20 years there will be no ice at all anywhere. It is urgent that we immediately stop all cheap flights and scrap all 4x4s, impose congestion charges everywhere, and wear hair shirts.

It makes no sense to use longer data periods because that would show there isn't a problem and I would lose my job, my huge government subsidy, and my all my power. The data must be unreliable.

But but how can that be ...

Al Gore, the Nobel Prize Winner and world expert speaking in front of a dinosaur in Germany says all the Artic Polar Ice will be gone in 5 years (holds up his fingers - count them - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)!

Rainbow Warrior (comment 1) is interestingly selective in his (or her) 'statistics'. He has chosen a period in which the minimum sea ice (as part of its annual cycle) has decreased. He fails to point out that the peak sea ice over the same approximate period has actually increased (just very slightly). Also, in the data, there are other periods where short-term analysis might lead to different conclusions: 82..84 'worrying' decrease in minimum sea ice - but it did not continue; 84..88 'worrying' increase in both maximum and minimum sea ice - perhaps imminent risk of ice age (oh sorry, that was the impending catastrophe of the 1970s).

Presumably the plot starts (1978) when satellite imagery became available, as did measurements of solar irradiance independent of any effects from Earth's atmosphere. [Both very useful.]

As Englishman's Castle states, the plot actually shows nothing worrying, just some modest cyclical variations.

Anyone who judges, over any period short of centuries with highly reliable and pertinent data, that we have material climate change (let alone determination of cause) is, in my opinion, easily persuaded from the most likely interpretation of reality.

It is even more interesting that, where there has been modest short-term (yes short) climate change with reasonable evidence, ie the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, there is substantial effort within the fundamentalist green lobby to deny that these things ever occurred.

Being just sceptical, rather than a denier, I'd rather wait and see for much longer whether anything is occurring as minor and short-term as the above mentioned Period and Age, let alone anything more serious.

Aside: if you believe in ice core records of CO2 (and other things) and that atmospheric CO2 has a dominant effect on climate, I note that CO2 levels in the Carboniferous Period (329..299 millions of years ago) were around 800ppm (over twice current levels), with average temperatures zero degrees different from nowadays. And there was lots of coral formation too: 'surprising' given Fifth of Corals Are Dead, CO2 Destroys Ocean Habitat.

Given 'the greenhouse effect' (so very badly named) is based on known science, we need to understand (vastly more fully) the magnitudes of the effects (from changes in CO2 levels and otherwise) in the very complicated system we have here on Earth. This is before we think we have any possible ability to control it.

Self-admitted ignorance strikes me as the best current view, plus a hefty dose of scepticism about claims that lack self-consistency and encourage partisan manipulation of what evidence we have. I'll leave 'denying', and seeing patterns in one cup's worth of tea-leaves, to Rainbow Warrior and colleagues.

Best regards

Nigel, all your comments are good, except that I suspect that the Warrior is being ironic.

Jeff, having looked again, I think you might be right. I've been caught that way before and have also pointed out the same fault in other people. Oh dear.

Best regards

Post a comment