Arctic Sea Ice Capades

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

arctic sea iceA recent article in the Daily Mail, and picked up by other media, claims an increase in Arctic ice foretells a cooling trend. The article boasts of a 60% increase in sea ice over the minimum that occurred in 2012. While the actual numbers from IARC-JAXA Information System (IJIS) show, as of yesterday, only a 50% increase, this is still a significant expansion.

Professor Judith Curry, climatologist and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, referred to the title as melodramatic and said of the content of the article: “the ‘cooling’ aspect has been overplayed.” Last year, University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins predicted that “there would be MORE Arctic sea-ice in 2013, compared to 2012.”

An important tool used in analyzing random data is the statistical phenomenon known as reversion to the mean, or  regression to the mean. The extent of sea ice at the end of the annual melt, mid to late September, set a extreme minimum in 2012. Using reversion to the mean, it is more likely that the the extent in 2013 will be larger. Exactly what happened. The following graph indicates the variability of sea ice extent and the clear downward trend.


Cherry picking short-term results while ignoring long-term trends is a hallmark of misleading climate reporting. Long-term data needs to be analyzed to average out cyclical dependencies. There is a strong natural variability in sea ice extent and separating the natural from the greenhouse gases requires decades long timescales.

Climate science is an undertaking fraught with complex interactions and unknown cycles with unknown effects. It will take time and money to improve our understanding. However, improvement is mandatory if we are to be responsible conservators of our world.

Climate scientists estimate the amount of sea ice loss due to greenhouse gasses is between 50-70%.

H/T: Dana Nuccitelli, Steven Novella, Climate Dialogue, Alexis Sobel FittsPhil Plait.

350 thoughts on “Arctic Sea Ice Capades”

  1. OS:

    “The primary cause for the 2008-09 financial crisis, and for our ongoing economic woes, is government policy. Financial services is the most regulated industry in the world. As a result, the industry has performed poorly. Government regulations created incentives for massive misinvestment.”

    below is an interview with John Allison former president of BBT Bank and now president of the Cato Institute.

  2. OS,

    Copy that. And if found guilty be subject to a nice long stay in the pokey and asset forfeiture as well as successful civil suits brought by those they victimized with their unrestrained greed.

  3. Bron, I see the article extols Goldman Sachs. Some example of corporate goodness. They just got dinged with a $550M fine for fraud. Instead of monetary penalties, the fraud won’t stop until some of the perps go to prison. Fines are treated as the cost of doing business and are just passed along to the consumer. I want to see some CEOs and CFOs perp walked into the Federal Courthouse.

  4. gbk:

    I realize full well that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. And that we owe a debt of gratitude to individual men like Newton, Copernicus, Euler, Avagadro, Bernoulli, Aristotle, Sydney, Locke, Jefferson, Mill (James), Fulton, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Orvile and Wilbur, Boeing, Hewlit, Packard, Gates, Jobs, et al.

    I love history, it is fascinating to see ideas evolve and how humans adapt and overcome. The interplay of various ideas and the consequences of those ideas on the course of history and their effect on men.

    Society is nothing more than a group of individuals. Each trying to survive as best they can with the talents and abilities nature gave them.

    Do you think I dont see what is going on? I have watched for years now as our rights fly out of the window. We have been on a downward spiral for years now, well over a hundred. This isnt something that just started happening in the last 30-50 years and it isnt the neo-liberals who started it but they are making the hay.

    As far as people and profits, people every time. With no second thought.
    You have to live with yourself and money is only a tool. It doesnt do anything for you as a human being except make your life more comfortable and it frees you up. As my wife says, “a roof over your head is as good as a palace.”

  5. Bron,

    So, everybody sucks but you?

    Only your perspective is valid?

    It’s either Goebbels, Stalin, Mao — or nothing?

    There are no gradations of thought beyond your binary view?

    There is nothing to be learned from history?

    Good luck, Bron.

    When you and yours are gasping for relief from the neo-liberal onslaught I hope you remember your witticisms of how it’s your fault that you didn’t do better.

  6. Bron,

    “I hope that explains it sufficiently for you.”

    I hope that someday you realize that you live in a world of adaptive culture which has allowed our species to arrive at this point in time so as to have this conversation on a blog that will be quickly forgotten amongst the more traditional venues of history.

    Why do you denigrate every chance you get?

    Does it make you feel good; to snip in every closing sentence you write?

    Do you really think that “you” arrived of your own accord, unencumbered by the societal baggage of your forbearers?

  7. What that clears up is that you still can’t differentiate between socialism and Communism, Bron. And that your general understanding of political science and its terminology is still woefully insufficient.

  8. gbk:

    Well, no I was not suggesting what rafflaw asked, not in the least.

    But what I am suggesting is that there were very many socialists around the world who had great hopes for the soviet union.

    Is that inaccurate? I believe you will find my history to be correct should you care to look into it.

    I hope that explains it sufficiently for you.

  9. Bron,

    To no one in particular:
    “You all had great hopes for the soviet union . . .”

    from rafflaw to Bron:
    “[A]re you suggesting that we here on this blog who do not agree with your incorrect definitions of socialism and communism and fascism were somehow rooting for the USSR to succeed and the US to fail?”

    Bron back to rafflaw:
    “[n]o, I am not suggesting that.”

    “[M]aybe you should ask Gene if he is suggesting that I place human life over profit.”

    It is amazing, Bron, how you weasel out of your bravado in such a consistent manner over the years whenever your hyperbolic statements are noted.

    Maybe you should answer your own question of whether you, “place human life over profit.” Why should Gene answer your introspective question? Why don’t you — after all, only you would know.

  10. Bron,
    are you suggesting that we here on this blog who do not agree with your incorrect definitions of socialism and communism and fascism were somehow rooting for the USSR to succeed and the US to fail?

  11. Gene H:

    market socialism is an oxymoron.

    You all had great hopes for the soviet union, too bad all those people suffered for the delusions of fools.

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