Sea Ice News And How Many Miss The Point


First of all, let me clearly state that I don’t think much of this issue.  I don’t think it is an issue.  But, if the world is going to argue about sea ice, it needs to be in a proper context.

For those unaware, I’ll briefly recap.  Earlier this month the arctic ice extent hit a low since the time we started measuring in 1979.  There are earlier measurements, but they aren’t the same.  Still this caused wailing and gnashing of the teeth.  This was a sure omen of our impending doom.  The superstitious called for more sacrifices.  Wild assertions about our jet stream was proclaimed.  We’re going to have warmcold and wetdry all at the same time! 


Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois

Then something else happened.  The Antarctic set an all time high since we started measuring.  Of course, this was met with little or no fanfare beyond the skeptic blogs.  And, there is some obvious numbers the alarmists would point out. 


Clearly, the ice gain of the Antarctic isn’t the same as the ice loss of the Arctic.  The discussion seems to end there for most.  But, I’d point out that this is sea ice only.  In many ways the Antarctic is the opposite of the Arctic and this is one of them.  When discussing the ice loss of the arctic many alarmists like to blather about albedo.  But, when they do this, they lose proper perspective.  When measuring Arctic sea ice, we’re measuring the whole.  When measuring the Antarctic sea ice, we’re measuring the periphery. 


This means the actual gain in the Antarctic, when considering albedo, is more significant than a simple measure of sea ice. 

The Arctic Ocean occupies a roughly circular basin and covers an area of about 14,056,000 km2 (5,427,000 sq mi).   The Antarctic is about the same size.  At 14.0 million km2 (5.4 million sq mi). 

In one instance we’re measuring a circle expanding and contracting.  In the other instance we’re measuring only a circumference change.  The Antarctic with few exceptions remains covered with ice year round. 

About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages at least 1 mile (1.6 km) in thickness.

Please note:  I’m not discussing any of the wild conjecture about currents and air currents causing weather.  Weather events have always happened and they will continue to happen with or without ice cubes floating around either pole. 

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9 Responses to Sea Ice News And How Many Miss The Point

  1. Jim Masterson says:

    “Ice cubes” is a good term for these alarmists. It ranks up there with the acidification of the ocean–much ado about nothing.


  2. Jim Masterson says:

    I was reading the WUWT article on polar bear drowning fabrication. If the polar bear population is increasing, then shouldn’t we have more cases of drown bears?


  3. David says:

    Yes, not only is Antarctica reflecting more direct sunlight, it is reflecting more intense sunlight. As the melt season begins in the Arctic, the sun is moving ever further from the earth, the opposite is true in the S.H. Furthermore the Arctic recieves relatively warmer ocean currents, meaning that for much of the time the ice acts as an insulator to this warmer current, which, once the ice is gone, allows additional heat to escape. Antarctica recieves more direct and intense (6%) sunlight. I would love to see someone capable quantify this.

    • suyts says:

      I would too. David sorry for keeping you in moderation for so long. I had to essentially take the day off yesterday. Thanks for your comments.

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