Alarmists Claim ‘Global Heat Wave’ Is Melting Polar Bear Sea Ice – Facts Say Otherwise

By Anthony Watts – WUWT

According to The Guardian, there is a “global heat wave” going on right now.

In Siberia, the heat is supposedly “completely unprecedented” and will surely (we are told) impact Arctic sea ice — the habitat of the iconic polar bear. Yet a comparison of previous years shows little to no impact on sea ice: there is more ice present than there was in 2007.

Said The Guardian (July 9, 2018):

“But though we cannot say definitively that the current heatwave is caused by carbon emissions, it fits the pattern of long-term changes that we call climate. It is part of a global phenomenon, even if not the most important part.

The really significant change is happening in eastern Siberia at the moment, where a completely unprecedented heatwave is warming that Arctic coastline, with consequences that are unpredictable in detail but surely bad on a large scale.” [my bold]

The heat — which some folks admit they not only expect during this season called summer but anticipate with joy — has been around since late June, with several locales outside Siberia affected, including southern OntarioQuebecLos Angeles CA, Britan, many locations in the eastern USAEurope.

With so many locations across the Northern Hemisphere experiencing very hot weather over the last few weeks (maybe record-breaking, maybe not), let’s take a look at what all that heat is doing to Arctic sea ice compared to previous years.

Look at 2007 first, for the date of July 8 (courtesy NSIDC’s new sea ice comparison tool).

Recall that 2007 had the 2nd lowest summer sea ice minimum since 1979.

It turns out that 2007 also had late June heat waves in western North America and Asia (here and here) but I guess not as hot as this year or this year’s heat waves surely would not be newsworthy.

Below is what sea ice extent looked like for 8 July 2007, with a big patch of open water off Siberia in the East Siberian Sea, the Southern Beaufort, Chukchi, and Kara Seas and virtually no ice left in Hudson Bay:

And below is what sea ice extent looked like for 8 July 2018 (Sunday), with a big patch of open water off Siberia (but not much larger than 2007), a small patch in the Southern Beaufort but lots of ice still in the Western Beaufort, the Chukchi Sea around Wrangel Island, in the eastern Laptev Sea and the western Kara Sea.

Although there is less ice in the Barents Sea than in 2007, the Central Canadian Archipelago is still clogged with ice and southern-most Hudson Bay is still half-filled with ice:

Bottom line: NSIDC shows slightly more ice this year than in 2007 at 8 July (here), despite weeks of record-breaking, late June/early July ‘global’ heat waves in 2018.

Note that the patch of open water off Siberia in the western Laptev Sea that is garnering attention was present in mid-June (shown below), well before the recent heat wave:

Did early summer heat waves cause sea ice to decline rapidly in 2007? If so, then the heat waves of the last few weeks cannot be as extraordinary as they are being made out to be.


Find more years or more recent data at NSIDC’s new sea ice comparison tool (these maps were generated by setting both maps to the same date).

Conclusion: I don’t see any startling differences to ice extent in 2018 that could be blamed on the last couple of weeks of ‘global heat’ (aka “summer”) during late June and early July.

So far, it looks more or less like the same kind of Arctic ice retreat we’ve been seeing for the last 9 years, except slower.



Sea Ice Model Projections In A Death Spiral! Arctic Ice Volume Holds Steady For A Decade!

Arctic sea ice volume data show earlier projections of ice-free Arctic summers were a sham. Sea ice now steady 10 years.

Lately Arctic sea ice volume has been a topic which climate skeptics have been looking at quite closely.

According to Al Gore and a number of climate ambulance chasers, Arctic sea ice in late summer should have long disappeared by now, see here..

But then just a few years after, the Arctic sea ice area began to recover from its lows of 2007 and 2012. So immediately alarmists shouted that area was not really what mattered, but rather sea ice volume is what really counted. Okay, that made perfect sense. Mass is in fact what’s important, and not area, when worrying about polar ice disappearing.

So naturally skeptics have since then been watching volume, which we were told by alarmists would shrink, and shrink, and shrink – until totally gone in late summer. In 2007 one US climate official declared the Arctic sea ice was in a “death spiral”.

Those alarmist projections have since turned up totally false

First, looking at peak ice, which occurs around April 1st, using the data from the Danish meteorological Institute (DMI) here, we find that Arctic sea ice VOLUME has totally defied the downward death spiral trend projected by experts and their models.

The chart above depicts Arctic sea ice volume on April 1st for the years 2003 to 2018, using the data from the DMI. Note the growing chasm between alarmist projections and reality.

Humiliation of the alarmists

The most closely watched measure of Arctic sea ice magnitude is the minimum that is typically reached in very late summer, i.e. around September 20.

Here as well using the DMI data, I’ve plotted the September 20 Arctic sea ice going back to 2003.

Here’s the result of the plot:

Al Gore’s hysterical projections of ice-free Arctic late summers are exposed as an absolute sham. 2018 uses a conservative projected value.

Today the doomsday scenarios and projections made 10 years ago have yet to show any signs of materializing. Late summer Arctic sea ice has been surprisingly stable over the past decade.  Gore and alarmists fell into the trap of applying an idiotic polynomial curve extrapolation into the future.

In fact there are indications that Arctic sea ice may be starting an upward trend as oceanic and solar cycles enter their cooler phases.

Low sea ice also occurred in the past

There’s no doubt that Arctic sea ice has dwindled considerably since it peaked back at around 1980, a time when climate scientists had warned the globe risked cooling into an ice age.

Also, today’s Arctic sea ice amount is in the same neighborhood as it was back in the 1930s. Moreover, today’s levels are considerbly higher than they were over a large part of the Holocene, which saw periods that were far warmer than today.


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