L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

30 July 2008 Blog Home : July 2008 : Permalink

What a Difference 6 Weeks Makes

In the middle of June the BBC (and others) reported that Arctic sea ice was melting "even faster".

Data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that the year began with ice covering a larger area than at the beginning of 2007.

But now it is down to levels seen last June, at the beginning of a summer that broke records for sea ice loss.

Scientists on the project say much of the ice is so thin as to melt easily, and the Arctic seas may be ice-free in summer within five to 10 years.[...]

"I think we're going to beat last year's record melt, though I'd love to be wrong," said Dr Stroeve.

"If we do, then I don't think 2013 is far off any more. If what we think is going to happen does happen, then it'll be within a decade anyway."

Well as the BBC reports today, in an article that mostly talks about a large chunk of ice breaking off, it looks like Dr Strove is going to be wrong.

The polar north is once again experiencing a rapid ice retreat this year, although many scientists doubt the record minimum extent of 4.3m sq km of sea-ice seen in 2007 will be beaten.

Odd that. Six weeks ago there was bleating that we were in danger of record ice loss, now we note that hmm it probably won't be. Something that was predicted at the time, more or less, by Steve McIntyre. Curiously the "See also" links to side of this second article don't include the first one, and while the first had the NSIDC graphic showing the decline it doesn't make it easy to click and see the the current one.

I should note that the Arctic ice cover in 2008 is clearly a lot thinner and poorer than it was in the late 1970s, however we should also note that it seems to have been equally thin in the 1930s and that it thickened up considerably in the late 1940s.