Arctic sea ice has reached new melting record – doesn’t NSIDC say

Today is September 14 2011, the day the Climate Reality Project makes a stand against the ‘new normal of climate denial.’ Over 24 times zones there will be 24 climate presentations in which public attention will be focused on the science behind climate change – and the state of the process. [Of these 23 will not be by Al Gore.]
Arctic sea ice melting record 2011
We’re of course all for that, so we’ll try to contribute our simple little bit by pointing to that one canary in the coal mine, coughing her little yellow lungs out, as indeed the Arctic sea ice has set a new record low.

That’s at least if we have to believe the new kid on the ice block.

Judging by the NSIDC satellite measurements the Arctic sea ice came close to the 2007 melting record, but will most likely not break it. German scientists of the University of Bremen however hold different views.

According to their satellite data already last Thursday, September 8, the four-year-old record was broken when the Arctic ice reached a new minimum extent of 4.240 million square kilometres. And that is 0.027 million square kilometres less than the record of 16 September 2007.

In the little chart above in red you see where there was ice during the 2007 minimum and was none last Thursday. The green spots were open ocean back then, and ice now.

Since early measurements in 1972 about half the summer ice is now gone, the Germans say.

From breaking records to drawing a trend

We’ll get back to the matter as soon as the NSIDC releases its update. We could end up with some confusion about the whether-or-not 2011 melting record.

We should however have no confusion about what trend this adds up to. There may even be some ice growth in years to come. But in the end we’re stuck to a very basic correlation with temperature.

© Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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