More astounding NASA video: Arctic Sea Ice Loss 1979 to 2007

For some of our readers, the video we posted last week of the startling loss of Arctic sea-ice as recorded by NASA this summer just wasn't enough to convince them that the planet is in serious trouble.

So here's a new NASA video showing the massive Arctic sea ice loss over the last 28 years.

Look at the difference between 2005 and 2007 alone.

Startled now?

This animation is from NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio at the Goddard Space Flight Center. This animation compares the 2005 annual Arctic minimum sea ice from 09/21/2005 (shown in orange) with the 2007 minimum sea ice from 09/14/2007. The average minimum sea ice from 1979 through 2007 is shown in green.

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I can’t imagine what’s going to happen to so many wild species… even the pug isn’t immune:

It is a shame we didn’t have satellite shots of the Arctic melt of the 1920s and 1930s. They would probably have spooked the climate change chicken littles even more than the current NASA stuff.

Where did you find this information John? Was it in another article you “found” in the Ottawa Citizen (remember your comments about the Rideau Canal which were just not true)?

You have a vivid imagination John, try and put it to better use.

Ian Forrester

Perhaps John thinks the Northwest Passage was clear in the 1920s and 1930s; it’s just that nobody noticed?

Certainly the passage was clear enough in the 1940s for the RCMP vessel St. Roch to transit in both directions, first from Vancouver to Halifax and the next year from Halifax to Vancouver.

You would see that there is a vast difference between what was experienced back then and now (why did you not mention Amundsen’s 1903-06 trip?). There was plenty of ice in the area and they navigated through the open water leads which open up all over the pack ice. They also kept very close to shore, shallow shoals were more of a problem than ice.

Where are the data which you claim points to a similar decrease of ice in the 1920’s and 30’s? The data do not exist since most data (Hadley centre) do not support your thesis.

Ian Forrester

The Arctic in the 1930s was as warm as or warmer than it was in the late 20th century.
Source: Polyakov et al. (2003)

Consistent with Polyakov’s record, Chylek et al. (2006) found that Greenland was as warm during 1920-1930 as it was during 1995-2005, but that the rate of warming during the earlier decade was “50% higher.”

Of course these people are probably just denieralists so you can blow them off, Ian.

John Dowell has some trouble with his citations. I’ve quoted him below as he tried to cite the same “2003” study as he does in this thread. The link he provides is to a paper published in 2000 and doesn’t say what he suggests. I don’t believe John Dowell read the article. I think he just grabbed some statements recently made by Inhofe. I could be wrong; I hope I am. John, can you provide a link that supports what you say?

“According to a 2003 study by Arctic scientist Igor Polyakov, the warmest period in the Arctic during the 20th Century was the late 1930s through early 1940s. Many scientists believe that if we had satellite monitoring of the Arctic back then, it would have shown less ice than today. “

“I do not think that there was anything like we observe today” in the 1930s or 1940s, said Igor Polyakov, an ice expert at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

John, you should always read about what you are discussing rather than blithely cutting and pasting from the rightwingnut sites you spend too much time on. They are only making you look more stupid than you probably are.

Ian Forrester

Here is what Peter Chylek et al. (2006) said after pulling together Greenland temperature records using data provided mostly by NASA:

“Although there has been a considerable temperature increase during the last decade (1995 to 2005) a similar increase and at a faster rate occurred during the early part of the 20th century (1920 to 1930) when carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases could not be a cause. The Greenland warming of 1920 to 1930 demonstrates that a high concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is not a necessary condition for period of warming to arise. The observed 1995–2005 temperature increase seems to be within a natural variability of Greenland climate.”

Not much there to get folks excited unless you are certified Desmog Chicken Little.

What has Greenland got to do with Arctic sea ice? Nothing much. John Dowell, you do not know what you are talking about; your citation is meaningless, and you have not proved anything. Again you failed to copy the link; is that because you get your information from some denialist site?

For the people here who are interested in learning, comment #16 here links to the Chylek paper and discusses the use of short time periods. The post is about “Historical climatology in Greenland”.

Look at a map, VJ. Greenland is part of the Arctic. It was warm in the 1920 and 30s just like the Arctic. Do you expect us to believe that Greenland experiences a climate totally different from the polar seas that wash its shores?

The recent Arctic sea ice recession is touted by Demsog and others in the AGW cult as the largest on record. Well, that record goes all the way back to 1979 when quality satellite surveillance began. Data, temperature reconstructions and historical records show it has been even warmer in the Arctic in the recent past and that there are natural warm and cold cycles to Arctic climate. The Greenland work is part of the proof and is therefore relevant.

“Greenland is part of Arctic
Submitted by John Dowell (not verified) on Tue, 2007-11-06 07:14.

Look at a map, VJ. Greenland is part of the Arctic.”

Is the word “Sea” too big for your vocabulary?

Hey John, Vancouver is a part of Canada. Do you expect Vancouver to have rain when the rest of Canada is getting snow? Well, yes, in fact I do.

Greenland is land. Arctic sea ice is ice on the sea, not on land. There’s a difference. And do you imagine that there were no airplanes flying over the arctic taking pictures long before there were satellites?

Pretty wimpy, John. The post is about Arctic ice, especially the 2007 melt. You had to eat the stuff you wrote about Polyakov. You had to go away from the issue of ice. Now you seek a safe haven in Greenland data. And still you have to ignore 2007. Do you have the posting ethics of Rob? Try to do better.

We don’t have data for the past million years – and it’s a shame that it if we did have data for the past million years, John would be crying that we don’t have data for the past 2 million years!