Although global warming alarmists have claimed that Arctic sea ice is diminishing rapidly—indeed, at unprecedented rates—the actual facts seem otherwise. That’s the gist of a new post by Ron Clutz at Science Matters.
This chart niftily sums up the facts:
There was a fairly rapid increase in September Arctic sea ice extent 2007–2009, a rapid decrease 2009–2012, a huge recovery in 2013 that was sustained and even increased a bit in 2014, and then a minor decline to relative stability 2015–2017.
Clutz’s opening paragraph summarizes:
September daily extents are now fully reported and the 2017 September monthly results can be compared with years of the previous decade. MASIE showed 2017 exceeded 4.8M km2 and SII was close behind, also reaching 4.8M for the month. The 11 year linear trend is more upward for MASIE, mainly due to 2008 and 2009 reported higher in SII. In either case, one can easily see the Arctic ice extents since 2007 have not declined and are now 500k km2 higher.
Even more important, Clutz points out that Arctic sea ice extent appears to rise and fall cyclically:
Earlier observations showed that Arctic ice extents were low in the 1940s, grew thereafter up to a peak in 1977, before declining. That decline was gentle until 1994 which started a decade of multi-year ice loss through the Fram Strait. There was also a major earthquake under the north pole in that period. In any case, the effects and the decline ceased in 2007, 30 years after the previous peak. Now we have a plateau in ice extents, which could be the precursor of a growing phase of the quasi-60 year Arctic ice oscillation.