back to article Arctic ice shrinks to ‘smallest in satellite era’ - NASA

NASA has tossed its coin into the “shrinking Arctice sea ice” kitty with images showing that on August 26, “sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements”. Noting that the 2012 melt season could still have weeks to run, the NASA measurements compare the August 26 …

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  1. E 2

    Be very afraid!

    Lewis Page assured me that this is much more dangerous than melted-down fission power reactor cores!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't that 1.7% below, not 17% below?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Percent

    How is 4.1 17% less than 4.17?

    1. Richard Chirgwin (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Percent

      Thanks to the readers that caught the misplaced decimal point, which I have now corrected.

      Richard Chirgwin

      1. Michael M

        Re: Percent

        Given that the record in 2007 did not happen for a few weeks, todays ice extent, according to IARC-JAXA, is 16.5% below the same day in 2007.

      2. ian 22
        WTF?

        Re: Percent

        Richard, why are you reporting on north polar events ^W slow motion train wreck from the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE? After reading that the southern pole is not melting away, I can almost hear you muttering "I'm all right Jack".

  4. Steve Crook
    Alert

    Question is, what caused it.

    No doubt there's been a thinning of the ice in the last 30 years, and in 2007 a severe storm contributed significantly to the then record low. I believe that there was another such storm this year. Secondly, I understand that there's a problem with 'soot' which is having a significant effect on Arctic melting. So it may not be *all* be caused by temperature rise due to CO2...

    The ice in Greenland had large and unexpected (by the media) melt that's supposed to be part of a 150 year cycle. *If* that's the case, has this also contributed to this years Arctic sea ice melt?

    Finally, if the current problems in the Arctic *are* almost entirely due to man made CO2, then we're well and truly fucked, because there's no chance that CO2 levels are going to do anything other than increase for at least the next 30 years....

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Question is, what caused it.

      Trade via the North East passage is likely to increase and lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions because it's shorter, no pirates either. OTOH the soot from ship's diesel causes merry hell with Arctic ice.

      1. boltar Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Question is, what caused it.

        "Trade via the North East passage is likely to increase and lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions "

        Only if trade overall doesn't increase because of the now shorter journey times.

        "OTOH the soot from ship's diesel causes merry hell with Arctic ice."

        CO2 aside, its about time there were some international laws drawn up about ship emissions as currently ships can burn the worst low grade fuel oil and pump yellow brown poisonous shit into the sky and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I don't understand why aircraft emissions can be regulated by ship emissions for some reason can't.

      2. Paul Johnston
        Happy

        Re: Question is, what caused it.

        You don't really get that much soot, i.e. solid particles from a marine diesel, when you see them "blowing the tubes" most of the crap comes from the solid particles from a boiler.

    2. Mike Richards

      Re: Question is, what caused it.

      A stats team from Reading have just published work on human versus natural contributions to Arctic melting. They estimate 30% of melting is down to long term natural cycles in the Arctic, 70% from human emissions. Summary, video and links to the article here:

      http://www.reading.ac.uk/news-and-events/releases/PR457684.aspx

      1. Steve Crook

        @ Mike Richards 70% CO2

        There are scientists that'll disagree with the attribution to GHGs, they maintain that a significant portion of melt is caused by 'soot' emissions. I can remember seeing photos of melt pools where the bottom of the pool was black from the soot in the melt, but can't find a link to post...

        See this paper from Pielke Snr/Liston: http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/another-climate-feedback-the-influence-of-shrub-height-in-tundra-regions-on-northern-high-latitude-climate/ Ok, shrubs aren't the issue here, but the paper quantifies the effects of soot on snow/ice melting.

    3. Nameless Faceless Computer User
      Joke

      Re: Question is, what caused it.

      The date stamp says August. There's ya problem. Ice melts in Summer.

  5. Rocket

    I'm no longer sure whether I'm looking at typos or sarcasm

  6. lord_farquaad
    Thumb Down

    Not a problem

    Lewis Pages is controlling ice melt.

    No impact of CO2 or mankind activities (Lewis Page is god).

    Nasa is a nice band of marketing teenager that never understood engineering.

    And, proof above all, Curiosity has found positive temperatures on Mars, although there is no mankind activities there.

    Sorry for polluting this topic.

  7. Kharkov
    Megaphone

    The Arctic? Look a bit further south...

    Arctic ice melting is something to watch, sure, but what about Greenland's ice cap? Let its ice warm a bit and slide off into the Atlantic & it's goodbye Gulfstream. England will become roughly equal to Northern Canada.

    In China, in their Northern region, there's a city called Ha'erbin (Harbin). In winter, it gets down to -30 degrees or worse. And it's further south than the UK...

    1. Code Monkey
      FAIL

      Re: The Arctic? Look a bit further south...

      That'll be Harbin that's hundreds of miles from the sea, then?

      I agree that were the Gulfstream to switch off it would have a huge impact on our climate but it wouldn't stop the UK being an island.

      Continental climate != island climate.

      1. Andy Lee

        Re: The Arctic? Look a bit further south...

        "I agree that were the Gulfstream to switch off it would have a huge impact on our climate but it wouldn't stop the UK being an island."

        Only if the English Channel and the North Sea didn't freeze over, which would be a likely outcome of "a huge impact".

    2. itzman

      Re: The Arctic? Look a bit further south...

      "Let its ice warm a bit and slide off into the Atlantic & it's goodbye Gulfstream. England will become roughly equal to Northern Canada."

      Thus accumulating all the ice that was lost!.

      I cant see how people can't see that a long time-delayed negative feedback path - ice melt /gulf stream stops/ arctic gets much colder/ ice forms... is not an entirely natural event that will, from time to time, cause massive fluctuations in northern climates and ice extents.

    3. ravenviz
      Coat

      Re: The Arctic? Look a bit further south...

      The polar ice is melting

      Suits me fine

      We go to the beach

      On the Northern Line

      We watch the sea

      Comin' up the street

      Under the sun

      Under the sun

      - Under the Sun by Marillion

  8. flearider
    Boffin

    don't worry the cold over the next 15 yrs will make up for all the lost ice ..i dare say it will tripple in size ..

    minor solar max = very cold next 15 yrs ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @flearider

      Hopefully they stop lying and start to use the correct tools, shame they are still using a compass in an era of GPS but who am I to question the consensus.

      Google MAISE @ NSIDC if you only listen to consensus.

  9. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    FAIL

    A modest query...

    "...Discussing the data, Joey Comiso at Goddard says the Arctice temperatures this summer are cooler than when the 2007 record was set..."

    Umm.

    The variation in Arctic ice is often taken as a proxy for 'Global Warming'. The belief is that increases in CO2 concentration increase the air temperature by various mechanisms.

    If Arctic ice is shrinking, but the air temperature is actually cooler, this indicates that whatever is causing the ice extent to shrink, it's not air temperature, and hence CO2 concentration. My understanding is that sea ice, like that in the Arctic, is influenced strongly by warm ocean currents and storm winds packing it into a smaller area.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: A modest query...

      it's getting thinner. Less heat is needed now than in 2007 to reach the same point.

  10. scatter

    Standfirst: "And winter’s not yet over"

    Summer??

  11. Peter Snow

    ...yeah, yeah, yeah...

  12. jake Silver badge

    OH KNOWS!

    1.7% in 30 years! We're all gonna DIE!!!111!1one!!!!11eleven!!111!!!!!

    In other news, I believe the USS Skate submarine surfaced at the North Pole in 1959ish ... and didn't the US and Soviet Union surface subs in open water at the North Pole simultaneously in 1972ish?

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: OH KNOWS!

      Skate surfaced in an Arctic with much thicker ice than exists now

    2. Wilco 1

      Re: OH KNOWS!

      Actually the extent of summer ice has decreased by more than 75% over the last 33 years (see eg. http://jcmooreonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Arctic-Ice-Volume2.jpg). If this trend continues there will be no ice in the summer by about 2025.

      Note submarines can punch through several metres thick ice, so a submarine surfacing is nothing special. Obviously they'd prefer to surface through cracks in the ice whenever possible.

  13. Avatar of They
    Thumb Down

    It is all irrelevant.

    The water cycle (rain) is the carbon dump, takes the CO2 out the atmosphere the quickest and puts it in the sea. So it is slowly becoming carbonic acid, very slight acidity which will infect and kill most life that can't adapt over the coming years.

    As the biggest source of O2 on this planet is sea algae, and not the amazon rain forest. We are all f00ked if that algae can't adapt to save us.

    1. scrubber
      Mushroom

      Re: It is all irrelevant.

      "We're all doomed."

      Well, in reality some of us might be, but the majority will adapt and find ways to live just outwith our means as we have always done. Necessity is the mother of invention.

      1. Potemkine

        Re: It is all irrelevant.

        Or not.

        If Earth goes the way of Venus or Mars, I doubt human kind will be able to adapt.

    2. JeffinLondon

      Re: It is all irrelevant.

      Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14.

      Alarmists say this equates to a 30% increase in acidity.

      Normal people say this is a tiny change, and obviously, the ocean is not becoming 'carbonic acid'!

      1. Wilco 1
        Facepalm

        Re: It is all irrelevant.

        It is a 30% increase in acidity indeed as the pH is a logarithmic scale. The pH change is most definitely relevant as it proves huge amounts of CO2 are being absorbed from the atmosphere (around 50% of all CO2 ends up in the oceans). Also organisms may not be able to adapt to large pH changes: human blood levels are regulated to be within a 0.1 range, go outside that and you get ill, about 0.4 over the limit and you're dead.

        So yes, it's a significant change and it matters to all ocean life.

        1. peter_dtm

          Re: It is all irrelevant. because

          the oceans contain over 50 TIMES as much CO2 as the atmosphere - that is therefore a maximum of 2% increase IF AND ONLY IF the oceans absorbed ALL the atmospheric CO2. If they did that we'd all be dead (we need CO2 to breathe; plants need CO2 to photo synthesize).

          Also - it is always worth remembering that as water warms it gases off dissolved CO2; yup thats right; warm water contains less CO2 then cold water. mmm; one wonders if the theoretical 800 year LAG between temperature and CO2 is caused by the out-gassing; and that part of the increase we see now in atmospheric CO2 is due to the global Middle Ages Warm period ?

          1. Wilco 1
            WTF?

            Re: It is all irrelevant. because

            Wrong, we don't need CO2 to breathe. In fact too much CO2 kills you even if there is more than enough oxygen in the air. And the oceans can't absorb all CO2 as they are in equilibrium with the atmosphere.

            Still trying to deny that burning oil causes an increase CO2? As CO2 concentration rises, oceans will heat up, thus absorbing less of the CO2 we are emitting and thus atmospheric CO2 will rise even faster.

            1. peter_dtm
              FAIL

              Re: It is all irrelevant. because Wilco1 gets it wrong

              oh dear

              http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/239465

              partial quote

              In addition to the cold temperatures, other factors make Vostok one of the most difficult places on Earth for human habitation:

              *An almost complete lack of moisture in the air.

              *An average windspeed of 5 m/s (18 km/h), sometimes rising to as high as 27 m/s (97 km/h).

              *An acute lack of oxygen because of the high 3,488-meter (11,444 ft) altitude. Accounting for the fact that oxygen density gets lower as one approaches the poles, it is estimated that the oxygen density at Vostok is equivalent to that of a mountain over 5,000 meters (16,400 ft) tall at more temperate latitudes.

              *A higher ionization of the air.

              *A partial pressure of gases that is different from that which most humans are used to.

              *A lack of carbon dioxide in the air, which leads to irregularities in a person's breathing mechanism.

              *A polar night that lasts three months of the year.

              Note this bit

              *A lack of carbon dioxide in the air, which leads to irregularities in a person's breathing mechanism.

              with reports of people waking up 'not breathing' due to the low CO2 partial pressure.

              and then go here : http://www.ivhhn.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84

              Exposure limits

              (% in air)

              Health Effects

              2-3 Unnoticed at rest, but on exertion there may be marked shortness of breath

              3 Breathing becomes noticeably deeper and more frequent at rest

              3-5 Breathing rhythm accelerates. Repeated exposure provokes headaches

              5 Breathing becomes extremely laboured, headaches, sweating and bounding pulse

              7.5 Rapid breathing, increased heart rate, headaches, sweating, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscular weakness, loss of mental abilities, drowsiness, and ringing in the ears

              Note that it isn't until 7.5 parts per hundred (not PARTS PER MILLION) that we see 'loss of mental abilities.

              At 2 to 3 PARTS PER HUNDRED the effects of extremely high CO2 concentration is not even noticed.

              390 parts per million 390/1000000 as against 2/100 or 20000 parts per million ( I don't think I've dropped an extra zero here - check it yourself) and you can work out how many times that is larger....

              You really want to worry about 390 ppm when we don't have any problems until we get 20000 ppm ????

              Next

              What on earth are you on about quote you :

              Still trying to deny that burning oil causes an increase CO2?

              end quote

              NO. what an stupid comment - I have NEVER denied burning oil or coal or methane or ethane etc etc doesn't give of CO2. I suppose you are one of those people who keep telling me I deny the climate changes ? Well; I have news for you; the climate has ALWAYS changed. ALWAYS

              So - how much CO2 is given of by the earth's non-human reactions ? And how much is added by the human use of burning things ? Given we do not even know how much CO2 is given off by sub-sea volcanic action - except it can be estimated in Giga tons per annum

              Amongst other important thing PLANTS STOP PHOTO SYNTHESIZING below about 150 ppm CO2; and plants do really really well at 5000ppm. Why have plants evolved to bloom in 'high' CO2 concentrations ? Why do commercial green house gardeners run their green houses with >1000ppm of CO2 -- because plants are better adapted to high levels of CO2

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is all irrelevant.

        Less alkaline perhaps?

        IIRC Acidity is at 7, right?

        1. Burb

          Re: It is all irrelevant.

          "Less alkaline perhaps?"

          Perhaps, but isn't that just another way of saying more acidic. Whatever you call it, it's not good is it?

          "IIRC Acidity is at 7, right?"

          Wrong. pH 7 is neutral. Actually, I'm not sure what your point is.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Philip Lewis
            Headmaster

            Re: It is all irrelevant.

            No, it is NOT "...just another way of saying more acidic"

            Neutral (7) is the tipping point between acid/alkaline - not quite but essentially a binary state change.

            Things are essentially either/or, not both. So something becomes acid at any value below 7 (my statement was not precise before) and becomes alkaline at values above 7.

            So the possible statements about state changes at different pH levels are

            pH < 7 => increasing/decreasing acidity

            pH = 7 => neutral

            pH >7 => increasing/decreasing alkalinity

            An alkaline substance does not increase in acidity. That is nonsense.

            It is just a way of saying something in a manner to scare people, because Joe Average understands "acidic" as dangerous. Alkaline is also dangerous, but Joe Average is not as likely aware of it.

            1. Burb
              FAIL

              Re: It is all irrelevant.

              @Philip Lewis

              You can invent your own terminology if you want to but there is nothing wrong in saying that an alkaline substance that moves towards pH 7 is becoming more acidic. It is similar to saying that -2 is more positive than -3. Look up the definition of pH if you don't believe me.

              But anyway, you are missing the point, as amply illustrated by your last sentence:

              "It is just a way of saying something in a manner to scare people, because Joe Average understands "acidic" as dangerous. Alkaline is also dangerous, but Joe Average is not as likely aware of it."

              You can argue about terminology all day but it is the change in pH that is the important thing. No one is using the term acidic in this context to imply 'dangerous' as in something that would burn you. The danger is in the degree of change and the implications it has for the eco system.

  14. JeffinLondon

    Antarctic is the opposite

    And yes while sea ice has melted this summer at the top of the planet, the bottom of the planet is experiencing ice pack growth.

    Let's keep things in perspective, shall we?

    1. David Neil
      Trollface

      Re: Antarctic is the opposite

      That kind of makes sense as the heat rises to the top of the planet, but as the ice floats I'd expect that to float up there too...

      Science is hard

    2. Wilco 1

      Re: Antarctic is the opposite

      It happens to be winter overthere, big surprise. Overall Antartic sea ice has been steady, not growing, not receding. Quite unlike the arctic where sea ice loss is dramatic. Only a few weeks ago predictions that the arctic will be ice free in the summer within this decade were ridiculed by Lewis, but now it looks like we're well on our way to achieve exactly that...

    3. Philip Lewis
      Joke

      Re: Antarctic is the opposite

      What, you expect balance?

  15. haloburn
    FAIL

    Big Storm

    No mention of the storm that hit the area and contributed by breaking up the surface ice?

    1. Wilco 1

      Re: Big Storm

      There certainly was a big storm which contributed significantly, but only because the ice is much thinner nowadays.

      1. haloburn

        Re: Big Storm

        The Satellite's in question don't work that well measuring broken up ice due to the storm, the ice is always thinner in Summer and it is only a 30 year record.

        This big headline story is the equivelent of claiming that the recent flooding in Yorkshire was caused by rising sea levels and you would have to be a conspiracy nut to make any connection to the North Atlantic jet stream and rainfall.

        1. Wilco 1
          FAIL

          Re: Big Storm

          The satellite does accurately measure ice coverage, even for broken up ice. No accurate measurements exist before 1979, so no surprise it "is only a 30 year record"... But the fact that ice coverage has been declining fast since the measurements started is telling. This year only 25% of the ice that existed in 1979 is left, and it is declining on a yearly basis.

          1. peter_dtm

            Re: Big Storm

            so how do we now that this is abnormal ?

            We now that there has been trade around the Arctic BY SEA for all of recorded history; some times it is easier - other times harder.

            We do know that in the past both Poles have been entirely ice free (Hot House Earth conditions)

            We do know that the current interglacial has lasted longer than average.

            We also know previous interglacial have been warmer.

            So let's think about this : We have absolutely NO IDEA if the apparently cyclic coverage of the poles is natural or not.. We have no indications that the climate is particularly unstable in the warm direction from an interglacial

            We have all of history (the planet's history; not the brief insignificant period of H Sap's presence) telling us that the climate WILL almost certainly become very much colder in the near future.

            Apart from lots of very bad models (which apparently only do projections NOT predictions) why is anyone in the least concerned ?

            Increasing CO2 causes warming. The climate appears (historically) to be bistable and unlikely to be approaching a tripping point caused by CO2 when CO2 is at an historic LOW (if you doubt this; then please explain why plants evolved such that they appear to be CO2 bound until the concentration exceeds 1000ppm - in other words C3 photosynthesis evolved during a very much richer CO2 period than the present paltry 380 ppm)

            The climate changes - long live change !

            1. Wilco 1
              Thumb Down

              Re: Big Storm

              In the past the Earth used to be a barren place of molten rock with pure acid as rain. So what? The climate has been different in the past and will be different in the future. However it has been very stable over the last few thousand years, and humankind is very dependent on this very stable climate. So it is in our interest to keep it stable rather than doing an unprecedented experiment with CO2 concentration. Long live change = many millions of people drowning, starving, fighting over scarce resources.

              1. peter_dtm
                FAIL

                Re: Big Storm Wilco1

                However it has been very stable over the last few thousand years

                tosh

                Roman Warm Period

                Dark Ages

                Middle Ages Warm Period

                Little Ice Age

                We are in an INTREGLACIAL - and a not very warm one. The last ice age almost killed us off; the last warm period caused us to thrive

                Stable climate my backside. The climate is probably Bistable - Hot House (NO ice at the poles) and Ice House (Ice present at one or both poles). We are still (that is STILL) in ICE HOUSE earth. Albeit in an INTERGLACIAL. An interglacial that is already over average length; so we are due (over due) to descend into another glacial period. This interglacial is not as warm as the last one by the way. Ice House Earth may be bistable - Glacial and inter glacial. With most time spent in the Glacial phase. Guess what - glacial is way way way worse for bio-diversity and humans than interglacial are.

                Drowning - from a sea level rise that is slowing down - currently at mm per decade ? If you are in the UK - go to Barrow in Furness; East Side (Morecambe Bay side) - go to the shore - its about 1 foot above high water - its been that way since Roman times. If sea level rise was as large as claimed; why is Rampside not flooded ?

                Read up on graves in Greenland. Farms exposed by 'retreating' glaciers in Switzerland; what the tundra permafrost hides in the way of dead plants; then explain how that all happened if it wasn't globally warmer in the recent past.

                You need to get some time line perspective too; a few THOUSAND years ? - not even visible on the timeline of O2 rich Earth.

                If we stop the production of cheap energy; how do you plan to keep the world fed ? Any idea how much food we could produce and get to the consumers if we cut back even 20% never mind 80% of CHEAP RELIABLE EFFICIENT energy generation ? Scarce FOOD resources due to lack of : Fertilizers; mechanised farming; chilling and freezing plants; cheap DISTRIBUTION (any idea how much food is needed by London ? check it out; work out how to get that into the metropolitan centres without MODERN CHEAP ENERGY dependant utilities). Go on - do the maths; work it out; find out how much food the UK imports. What sort of harvests are produced by 'organic' farming compared with commercial farming; then explain how you plan to feed the world.

                There has NEVER been a stable climate.

                We are in a CO2 starved period of the earth's long O2 rich history (again; explain why plants are evolved for a far higher CO2 concentration than is presently available). Look up C3 and C4 photosynthesis and why C4 is believed to be a RECENT adaptation to LOW CO2 concentrations.

                We ( the whole biosphere) do far better in WARM periods than in cold (compare the abundance of species in the tropics compared to the comparative LACK of diversity in the Polar regions).

                1. NomNomNom

                  Re: Big Storm Wilco1

                  "However it has been very stable over the last few thousand years

                  tosh

                  Roman Warm Period

                  Dark Ages

                  Middle Ages Warm Period

                  Little Ice Age"

                  Not tosh at all. Those changes were less than 1 degree C. The holocene has been remarkably stable. Human agriculture and civilization has only existed during a very stable period in climate.

  16. Mystic Megabyte

    Colder winters?

    According to this study the extra heat in the Arctic can create colder winters in North America and Northern Europe. An accumulation of high pressure forces colder air southwards and makes the jet stream meander more. Anyone remember the winter of 2010?

    I wonder what this coming winter will be like.

    http://phys.org/news/2012-06-arctic-ice-stage-cold-weather.html

  17. historymaker118
    Mushroom

    BREAKING NEWS! Ice is melting in the summer!

    Apparently the well documented fact that ice melts in warm weather that comes during the summer calls for headlines to be written and articles scaremongering 'global warming' <- or should that be 'climate change' these days?

    1. Michael M

      Re: BREAKING NEWS! Ice is melting in the summer!

      For the last 1400 years summer ice levels have never before dropped below 8 million square km (Kinnard et al, 2011) and now, in the last 30 years they have dropped below 5 million. So, what's this natural process that has just occurred in recent times then?

      1. Swarthy

        Re: BREAKING NEWS! Ice is melting in the summer!

        Very nice citation, now where's the matching reference so that others may find it?

        A citation is a pointer to which reference you are referencing, it is not a reference in and of itself.

        1. Michael M

          Re: BREAKING NEWS! Ice is melting in the summer!

          Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years

          Christophe Kinnard, Christian M. Zdanowicz, David A. Fisher, Elisabeth Isaksson, Anne de Vernal & Lonnie G. Thompson

          Nature 479, 509–512 (24 November 2011)

          or googling "Kinnard arctic" gives it as the top hit.

          1. Swarthy
            Thumb Up

            Re: BREAKING NEWS! Ice is melting in the summer!

            Thank you.

  18. Identity
    FAIL

    Nobody seems to have noticed...

    that the real issue with Arctic sea ice melt is how it is affecting the ecosystem. Polar bears and seals use sea ice. Without it, numbers are decreasing. Eskimos use it, but are now finding that their villages are perilously close to the edge, forcing them to move back at great cost, monetarily, culturally, etc. This is not speculation or fear mongering. It is happening now. Even the Republican Governor of Alaska expresses concern.

    1. David Neil
      WTF?

      Re: Nobody seems to have noticed...

      So the natives are finding their villages are now closer to the edge of the sea ice?

      Given they are on land I would suspect that means the ice is spreading, or did you mean something else?

    2. peter_dtm

      Identity Posted Tuesday 28th August 2012 13:56 GMT

      and graves that have been dug in normal soil are buried in permafrost in Greenland --> which implies that Greenland used to be warmer than it is now. Back around the Middle Ages Warm Period. I wonder how the Vikings managed to dig graves in permafrost - did they use space heaters to warm it up ?

      The Tundra contains much plant material that is currently frozen in the permafrost. For those plants to have grown and thrived as they did; then the currently frozen tundra must have NOT been frozen.

  19. ray hartman
    Flame

    Polar bear steak anyone

    Well the furry seal-slashing buggers can't just keep swimming now can they? Who wants PBs showing up in Seattle to eat chem-tainted salmon best left for $900/day guided fishermen! What else? Can we build 50,000 sq miles of ACed styrofoamed floating Las Vegas for the toothy carnivores?

    So I say do 'em a favor ... don't fake 'em -- bake 'em! And the local (human) Florida babes will look great in fluffy white polar-bear-hide bikinis come winter.

  20. Lusty
    FAIL

    Square kilometers is not a measure of the volume of ice in the Arctic.

    Scientists do not draw conclusions about climate from looking at pictures.

    Climate Scientists do not draw conclusions using a dataset measured in decades.

    1. Battsman
      Mushroom

      Datasets measured in decades.

      While I agree with your point in general, I have to observe that it might warrant concern that sea rise has been accelerating in the past 20 years and weather variability appears to have increased as well. So while looking at the Earths climate over decades seems silly based on the overall age of the Earth - we humans who define our lives over the span of just a few decades might actually want draw a few conclusions....

      1. Lusty

        Re: Datasets measured in decades.

        Things accelerate in nature all the time, doesn't mean it's bad and doesn't mean it's good but we need reasonable datasets to make these sorts of decisions :)

  21. Battsman

    Re: Datasets measured in decades.

    Based on that logic and your statement "Climate Scientists do not draw conclusions using a dataset measured in decades," we could never take any action on anything climate related unless a 100 to 200 year trend was indicated. That position is demonstrably false - e.g.: CFCs and Ozone depletion.

    1. Lusty

      Re: Datasets measured in decades.

      CFC and ozone wasn't affecting the climate though, it was affecting the weather. Given the reactionist overhyped nature of this subject, I certainly do think we should ignore them until they have 100 years of data, if not more.

  22. Arnold Lieberman

    Did anyone mention the Antarctic?

    Howz the ice doing there?

    1. peter_dtm

      Re: Did anyone mention the Antarctic?

      still increasing year on year - apart from the Antarctic peninsula which has an undersea volcano keeping it a tad warmer .... Strangely there are more thermometers in the Antarctic peninsula than there are in the whole of the rest of the Antarctic

      1. Burb

        Re: Did anyone mention the Antarctic?

        Hint: Why don't you read up about the difference between sea ice and land ice.

        1. peter_dtm

          Re: Did anyone mention the Antarctic? sea ice - land ice -> burb

          right

          which would then lead to the question :

          Since Arctic ice is FLOATING then if it melts; will that result in Sea Level Rise ? NO

          Nor is the Greenland Ice cap melting at a worrying rate; it has been here done this before. And at current rate of 'melting' it will take THOUSANDS of years to disappear. Not that it hasn't happened in the past either .

          1. Burb

            Re: Did anyone mention the Antarctic? sea ice - land ice -> burb -> peter_dtm

            You seem to have gone off at a bit of a tangent there.

            The original question was what is happening to Antarctic ice. You said it was increasing. It isn't, unless you have a very narrow definition of increasing.

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Did anyone mention the Antarctic?

      Currently antarctic sea ice is about 0.1 million sq km above average and arctic sea ice is about 2.4 million sq km below average.

  23. Niri
    Trollface

    Clearly...

    ...they need to stop observing the ice with satellites. This is what's making it shrink.

  24. entitled tb untitled

    Where is Lewis Page to reassure us that the Vikings had thriving banana plantations on Greenland and caught tropical fish from the coral reefs at the pole?

    1. mhenriday
      Boffin

      Hardly fair to ask Lewis to do all the heavy lifting single-handedly !

      Surely on a matter of such dignity, we need the help of our beloved «executive editor», to set the record straight, once and for all !...

      Henri

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