This year, the extent of sea ice in the Arctic has already plunged to its 2nd-lowest annual minimum on record. Here are the yearly minima, although this year’s value is provisional because it may well dip even lower:
A plot of annual average extent also clearly shows the decline, and includes data from throughout the year rather than just the annual minimum:
The figure for 2016 is the lowest on record, but the year isn’t done yet. If instead of averaging January-through-December we do September-through-August (to make the final year complete), we find that the most recent year is still the lowest on record:
Any way you look at it, Arctic sea ice is in decline. If you look at the entire year rather than just the annual minimum, the record year is this one.
So — you might think that climate deniers want to avoid the subject, right? After all, it makes their “case” look bad, very bad, so they wouldn’t want to bring attention to it, right?
Maybe they’re just not that smart.
The boys at WUWT have offered up this commentary, and the “spin” on the topic is obvious from the first sentence:
“Despite a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth by Dr. Peter Wadhams, there’s still no joy in mudville for Arctic sea ice doomsters.”
Yes, there’s a guy who has been predicting the imminent if not near-immediate collapse of Arctic sea ice. He’s been wrong for a while, and seems to be still. This is used as an excuse to impugn scientists studying Arctic sea ice in general as being “sea ice doomsters.” Way to go!
Then there’s Christopher Booker, who seems to rejoice that Arctic sea ice isn’t going to set a new record for lowest annual minimum. The fact that it’s a record for lowest annual average, and more importantly that we’ve already lost nearly two million square kilometers of it because the trend is of dramatic decline, doesn’t seem to be what he want so focus on. He also kicks in a number of false claims at the end, to further discredit climate science.
But Booker, and WUWT, are making a big mistake by drawing attention to Arctic sea ice when they should be mum about the subject. You see, drawing attention to it makes people talk about it, some of them actually look at the data, some show the real data so you can see for yourself. And looking at the real data makes it plain: Arctic sea ice is declining seriously.
I’ll take the bait. I’ll post about Arctic sea ice. I’ll estimate the trend (spoiler alert: it’s decline). I’ll show the graphs. I want everybody to see — not just a “factoid” out of context and misinterpreted. Instead of shouting from the hilltops that “This year isn’t the lowest minimum on record!” I’ll show you the data, and point out that this year is only the 2nd-lowest annual minimum on record, but is the lowest annual average on record.
And as we do, the deniers will have another excuse to deny. But those who would be taken in by their sophistry weren’t going to be convinced anyway. Those who are already aware that man-made climate change is a serious threat, don’t need to be convinced by my graphs and charts.
It’s the vast majority who aren’t sure who really count … and here’s a clue for Watts and Booker: when they compare your statements with the real data, they won’t be buying what you’re selling.
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