Update October 14, 2014 at the end of the post.
MASIE Proves Yearly Arctic Ice Recovering
You will be hearing a lot about 2015 having the fourth lowest minimum Arctic ice extent ever recorded.
Here is what they are not telling you:
MASIE has very helpfully provided their records for the last ten years. Since stormy weather can affect both maximum and minimum ice extents, emphasis on March and September averages can be misleading. From a climate change perspective, a better metric is the average ice extent over the entire year. By that measure we gain a realistic perspective on the last ten years of Arctic ice fluctuation.
While Arctic ice varies a lot seasonally, the graph shows that it is not that variable annually during this decade. Fluctuating about +/- 4%, there was a slightly increasing trend, particularly in the last five years. Here are the ice extents in M km2:
|Year||Annual Average||March Average||Sept Average||Sept Minimum||March Max|
The value for 2015 is for the record so far; the final number will be known at year end. As for minimum extents, 2015 September average will likely be the fifth lowest in the last ten years, so ranked in the middle of the years in this period. For it to be the fourth lowest ever would require ignoring earlier history, especially the 1930’s and the age of the Vikings.
MASIE dataset is here:
Background on MASIE and NOAA:
And Arctic Ice is Rebounding As We Speak
Now let’s put this year’s minimum in perspective. 2014 daily ice extent minimum was ~5M km2 on day 262. 2015 extent went below 5M on day 240 and has now regained back to 5M on day 268. So the reduced ice extent this year lasted for exactly 28 days. Why is this fact not mentioned in articles talking about the 4th lowest extent recorded? How can a 28-day event (produced by a major storm) be called “climate change” when it is so temporary and natural?
For the current 2015 ice watch report see:
Update October 14, 2015
There was some criticism of this article following publication. I addressed the issues in subsequent posts: