Open Mind

Arctic Sea Ice: the Denier Viewpoint

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Since 1979 we’ve kept watch on the Arctic sea ice pack using satellites. It grows and decays with the seasons of course; more ice in winter/spring, less in summer/fall. But over the decades, we’ve also seen it waste away from year to year.

We get an even better view if we show the average for each year:

Now it’s obviously getting smaller. Not every year, of course — it does so in fits and starts, always fluctuating about — but the long term pattern, the trend, is clear. Deny it, and you are a denier.


Enter the WUWT blog, where we are assured that Arctic sea ice shows strong growth right now.

We are treated to this graph of (believe it or not) almost the exact same data I’ve already shown you:

It highlights how the extent of Arctic sea ice on Feb. 23 (yesterday) was way bigger than it had been on the same date of previous years. Pretty obvious. But … how do you get anything even close to that, from the data I started with?

I can do it. Here it is:

Whaaaaa???

To do that, I had to leave out quite a lot. That includes the years 1979 through 2005, 2007 through 2010, and 2012 through 2014. If I had shown you all the years for which we have satellite data, you might not be so impressed:

Besides, if I had included all those years, I should probably make room for them on the graph by expanding the y-axis

Me personally, I’d have been tempted to show you the whole year long.

Sometimes, it’s what they don’t show you that you should pay most attention to.


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