There are various ways to characterize changes in Arctic sea ice over time. Including the alarmist’s simple case of vanishing ice amidst a freakish man-made long-term North Pole heatwave. But, strangely, the ice returns every fall, as brief frail northern summer gives way to brutal Arctic winter. A more useful measure is the amount of sea ice at its summer minimum each year. Of which despite popular rhetoric, there is still so much that northern nations maintain fleets of ice breakers, and polar shipping routes remain a far off dream. And getting farther as it turns out: since 2007 there has been an upward trend in the minimum summertime Arctic sea ice extent.
Data on Arctic sea ice are available through the Danish Meteorological Institute. Over at the No Tricks Zone blog, Pierre Gosselin has plotted the data and the rising minimum extent is clearly visible. For a long time now the death spiral of Arctic sea ice has been predicted and trotted out as an example of the worst of the many horrors of climate change. A skeptic might wonder why a bit less ice in the Arctic is such a bad thing, and if that’s the worst you’ve got, then you don’t have much. But as it turns out, they don’t even have that. Not that that stops the alarmists from making ever more shrill warnings, all of which have a curiously familiar ring to them.