News Item: Arctic Ice Concentration for May 1980 and May 2008
(Category: Misc)
Posted by Admin
Friday 13 June 2008 - 09:44:40

Satellites first started taking measurements of sea ice in 1979-1980. After 28 years of warming Arctic sea today is where it was when measurements started. Will we see news photos of Polar Bears frozen to the ice?

Where is the media now that the Arctic ice concentration is at the same concentration as when measurements began 28 years ago? How many years of normal ice conditions will it take before they admit the Polar Bear isn't threatened? The coverage of both Arctic and Antarctic ice has been very one sided.

Arctic Ice Concentration for May 1980 and May 2008 (See Important Update below)


From the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado


Note that the total is 10.9 million square kilometers for both years. All the while CO2 levels have gone up.

At the other side of the planet the Antarctic is still experiencing record ice. Since 1980 total ice concentration is up 35% and ice extent is up 21%.


From the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado


Where is the media on this? If the Antarctic ice was down 35% it would be headline news for weeks and Congress would probably have passed the cap and trade legislation. But the popular news media is no where to be found on this. We're not even hearing how happy the Polar Bears are or whether we're getting a good bunch of bear cubs out of it. Could be that good news is never welcome news to the those wishing to use this issue for their own political agenda?

Notes:

Update:
We received the following information from a Research Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. It makes sense and we're including here in the interest of accuracy. This only affects the Arctic sea ice numbers:
"I just became aware of your June 13 post on the May Arctic sea ice. Please be aware that you've made an important error in your interpretation of the numbers that invalidates your conclusion. The concentration/area numbers are not consistent over the time period due to differences in satellite coverage.

You should only use sea ice extent for comparison between years because that is consistent over the time period. May 1980 extent was 14.0 million sq km, while May 2008 was only 13.2 million sq km."

Using the Ice extent numbers means that there was a 6% drop in Arctic sea ice since 1980. As this scientist has also pointed out this ice is "new" ice that is likely to melt quicker than in years past. We'll grant them that but a "record" ice loss that only extends back 28 years is no record. They have no historic data prior to that other than sporadic ship measurements, nothing older than 150 years. It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice has completely melted before. Of course Antarctic ice is still experiencing record growth.


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