Arctic Sea Ice? There Is Only So Much Space For Arctic Sea Ice…

Very quickly, a couple of notes on something that keeps bothering me…Arctic sea ice is the darling of AGW catastrophists, obviously not because its extension getting away from the 1979 maximum has been the most consistent “warming signal” (sorry, hurricanes!). But the geography of the Arctic makes it very difficult to beat the maximum.

For example looking at yesterday’s figures from Cryosphere Today (visual estimates) we have the Kara Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Basin and the Arctic Basin pretty much at 100% or slightly lower of maximum-ever sea ice. Only thing, there is no way they can get ABOVE that 100% line, simply because they are already 100% covered by sea ice.

Greenland sea ice runs at -0.05 million square kilometers (84% of its possible maximum, but it usually peaks later in the season). Similar the situation for the Chukchi Sea, the St Lawrence area and the Barents Sea.

So we’re down to where the sea ice actually is missing: Baffin (it’s half of what it should be, but what is should be is “completely covered by sea ice), Hudson Bay (almost the same), Okhotsk (there is 0.1 m sq km missing, despite the ongoing drama, and again the expected value seems to be “completely covered”).

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It is obviously very difficult for anybody to be above the zero-meter line if the zero-meter line is defined as the top of Mount Everest. Likewise, we should never expect news of a “healthy” Arctic sea ice extent unless it gets chocked-full of ice: in other words, we should never expect news of a “healthy” Arctic sea ice, really…

Therefore, the use of Arctic sea ice extent to investigate the effects of climate change, and in particular the use of the late-1970s as reference period, is bound to be limited.