the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Sea Ice Update

Posted by Jeff Id on August 12, 2010

When I read about sea ice two years ago, it was alarming.    I mean, I’m enough of a realist to know that data is data and nobody would write that the polar ice was melting unless they was a serious problem.  The sea-ice was in as much trouble as a semi-crystalline block of H2O can be.

What would it be to be young and happy like that again…?

These next two plots are Air Vent exclusives.  I add back in the average global ice area so you can grasp the true magnitude of the decline. I doubt that these have ever been presented without one Sod to blast them for dishonesty, however I do believe they are good depictions of the magnitude of the ‘problem’.

And the video:

31 Responses to “Sea Ice Update”

  1. Jeff Id said

    All of this was created from gridded NSIDC data in R.

  2. Jeff Id said

    Also, for sea ice buffs, normally my ice area/extent is done with a 15% threshold, I changed it to 5% minimum for this post.

  3. Brian H said

    Jeez, what’s everybody got against the NW Passage? Let it melt! Open ‘er up! All year ’round, not just the summer.

    The polar bears will do just fine. Probably better, like in past warmings.

  4. Bernie said

    Looks like a new example for “How to Lie with Statistics.”

  5. Lance said


    You are an eminently rational and reasonable gentleman. Sadly those are commodities that are valued about as much as coal tar in this era of pseudo-scientific alarmism.

    I once tried to point out the scale of the global average temperature increas over the last 130 as correlated to the diurnal variation of even tropical environments, let alone temperate ones.

    It made even less difference in the graph than your ice global sea ice graphs. It was essentially a tiny ripple on top of the daily sinusoidal rhythms. I was of course accused of “distorting” the scale of the axes to fit my “agenda”.

    People see what they want to see.

  6. Brian H said

    Obviously they’re the ones with axes to grind! 😉

  7. Gnomish said

    Beauty! I liked that a lot!

  8. Jeff Id said

    “You are an eminently rational and reasonable gentleman. ” — That’s a pretty serious accusation sir, you have any data to back it up?

  9. Brian H said

    You are a shameless glory-hound, clumsily fishing for compliments. Aside from that, occasionally rationally reasonable. Sorta. ;p

  10. Jeff Id said

    Brian, you got that right.

    Chicks dig guys with blogs.

  11. hunter said

    AGW alarmism, like any hysterical social movement, requires presenting data out of context to maximize the fear factor.
    Thank you for providing a context of rationality.

  12. lucia said


    Chicks dig guys with blogs.

    Don’t tell your wife that!

  13. Frank K. said

    What your analysis points out to me are two ideas that warmists cling to when it comes to sea ice:

    (1) ALL sea ice history begins in 1980 – before that there was no sea ice.
    (2) All sea ice trends are linear, since weather, climate, and ice physics are all linear phenomena. In fact, I’m sure they can all be modelled using Laplace’s equation with constant coefficients.

  14. DeWitt Payne said

    The real question is whether the trend in global sea ice is in the range of model predictions. Is the current trend actually related to increasing global average temperature or is it a fluctuation based on variation in ocean and air currents?

    The AMO index for July came in at 0.500. That’s still quite high even though the rate of loss in July in the Arctic slowed compared to June.

  15. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    “Chicks dig guys with blogs.”

    Sure but the important question is if the size of the blog matters.

  16. MikeH said

    I just love the little trend on top of that enormous extent!

  17. Frank K. said

    MikeH said
    August 13, 2010 at 11:01 am
    “I just love the little trend on top of that enormous extent!”

    Which is why ice extent is presented as “anomalies” (in fact, most things in climate science are apparently “anomalous” since that’s the preferred method of presentation).

    By the way, to obtain the maximum scare factor in the plots, make sure you extrapolate the linear “trends” all the way out to the year 2100…

  18. MikeH said

    Yes, absolutely every measurement of climate shows a cycle, is cyclic, behaves in cycles and yet the alarmists must use straight lines to scare the beegeebee’s out of the uninformed and uneducated. It’s a farce. And it’s hard to watch.

  19. GregO said


    Thanks for all the fine work here putting sea ice melt into perspective. I utterly fail to see how recent sea-ice melt patterns provide confirmation of CAGW; yet every time a glacier calves a big berg MSM is all over it.

    An open NW passage has happened before – probably will happen again – so what?

  20. Brian H said

    It’s rather simple (naturally). The poles vary fastest, so if we’re to have a Warming Catastrophe the poles will heat up first.

    I’m all for warming, and agriculture in Greenland, and the greening of the Sahara, and vineyards in Scotland and Sweden. Bring it on!

  21. John F. Pittman said

    Well, Brian, I live in South Carolina. I have enough warmth, thank you. However, as noted, it is supposed to happen at the poles fastest. Of course, WUWT has a large number of places in the world that have the largest increase in the world, so it makes it hard to know what to think. And with MMH10, I think the claim of the models’ skill just got called into serious question.

  22. intrepid_wanders said

    Lucia said
    August 13, 2010 at 10:06 am:

    “Don’t tell your wife that!”

    I am afraid it is too late. With that V-Twin blog and all that exhaust, nothing can save him 😉

  23. Derek said

    It’ll all be a bit more difficult to do in the future, using satelite data..

    Whatever next?!

    This breaking news has opened up a huge can of worms and I urge everyone to also read the excellent related story in the links below that substantiates the fact that the satellite network responsible for collecting climate data is showing serious signs of systemic degradation with the following failures also discovered:

    The NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite)will not have any sensors that measure the sun’s energy output on the 2nd and 4th satellites. The GOES-R (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R Series) has had 14 sensors cancelled. No data for cloud base height, ozone layer, ocean color, ocean turbidity and cloud imagery, snow cover, etc. Effectively neutered. Landsat 7 (currently in orbit) is broken leaving data gaps. Scientists do not get all the information they should. No sensor for movement of greenhouse gases and pollutants. No sensor to monitor temperature changes on Earth over time.
    But per the article NOAA and DOD failed to try to get the funding to keep the eliminated sensors. The sensor to measure how Earth’s temperature reacts to changes in Solar energy was cancelled by the Obama Administration at the end of June 2011.
    With thanks to John O’Sullivan

    As for Arctic sea ice extent, this might help..

  24. Brian H said

    All of which is to say that accurate data is the enemy of the CAGW cult.

  25. sod said

    These next two plots are Air Vent exclusives. I add back in the average global ice area so you can grasp the true magnitude of the decline. I doubt that these have ever been presented without one Sod to blast them for dishonesty, however I do believe they are good depictions of the magnitude of the ‘problem’.

    and this is the difference betwen the work of real scientists, and the blog stuff done by Jeff and company.

    the first point to think about, is which data matters. and that is arctic summer extent/area.

    arctic because\we know, that the antarctic will act slower. (much water in the southern hemisphere.)

    and summer, because that is, when sunshine will hit dark water, instead o white sea ice.

    adding useless data, to give the appearence that the trend is smaller, is exactly the type of data mismanagement, that people here constantly complain about.

  26. David S said

    Nice bit of straw-clutching, sod. Any chance of a coherent reason why one pole “matters” and one doesn’t? “We know that the antarctic will act slower”doesn’t really cut it, when the antarctic ice trend is directly opposite to that in the arctic. Using your reasoning, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to extrapolate from the antarctic ice area and scare people with the thought that by 2030, sorry Pachauri typo, 2300, the whole world will have iced over.

  27. Brian H said

    David S.;
    “Pachauri typo”. That’s a keeper! 🙂

    The Sod-den argument is even strawier than you point out. Who says warming is bad? AlGore? Bring on the Holocene Optimum! You’ll love it, I promise.

  28. Jeff Id said

    Thanks Sod, I thought you were going to let me down this time…

  29. Jeff Id said

    “arctic because\we know, that the antarctic will act slower. (much water in the southern hemisphere.)”

    Act slower to melt is different from increase to offset the Arctic. The models are overstating the case.

  30. GHowe said

    I think most of what Sod argues is the result of what someone on this blog id’d as “post-modern science”,whatever that is. Maybe its some fuzzy logic system that sez to one “just think about it-it must be CO2”. Alot of his type of argumentation probably comes from US colleges where the science requirements is met with “earth science” type classes.

  31. The title of the last graph has a typo.
    “Global Sea Ice Extent Anomaly
    Average Exent Added Back In” Change “Exent” to “Extent” please.

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