Dramatic Global Warming Comparison

North Polar Sea Ice Extent: Then and Now

Arguably, this is the most breathtaking display of the effects of climate change there is. Sea ice is disappearing from the North Pole!!

This isn’t some global warming alarmist’s made-up climate modeling. It is real, hard-core fact.

It compares sea ice for two different dates: 9/13/1979 and 9/13/2012. The dates are exactly 33 years apart for the same day of the calendar year. They span 1/3rd of a century.

These specific dates were chosen (by me) for these reasons:

  • They are the widest range of dates that can accurately be compared
  • They are near maximum sea ice melt before winter sets in
  • It is an apples-to-apples comparison
  • It is not cherry picked data

It isn’t the whole story on sea ice, of course. Far from it. Antarctic sea ice around the South Pole is growing as the Arctic shrinks.

In any regard, this is a very dramatic display of the effects that global climate change can have over a period of decades.

See for Yourself

If you want to pick and chose your own dates to compare or like to get your sea ice data strait from the horse’s mouth, then go here:
Compare Daily Sea Ice” – The Cryosphere Today

The Cryosphere Today is a remarkable website. It will tell you everything you always wanted to know about sea ice, but were afraid to ask… and more!

Simply put, it is the best and most up to date source of sea ice facts on the planet. It covers both the Arctic and the Antarctic. It is put together by the Polar Research Group of the University of Illinois at Urbana.

Sea Ice – The Blockbuster Movie!

Click to watch sea ice progression movie – 1978 to 2006 (46 MB)

The busy folks in Urbana put together an eye-opening QuickTime movie showing sea ice changes over time. It begins on 10/26/1978 and ends on 5/11/2006.

There is one frame for each day or so throughout the entire date range. You can see how sea ice grows and shrinks with the seasons and, if you watch closely, see how it is disappearing.

It runs 10 minutes or so.

Arctic and Antarctic Compared

Through this month’s data, it looks like Arctic sea ice has decreased a lot more than Antarctic sea ice has gained.

However, according to The Cryosphere Today right now, the northern hemisphere sea ice is -0.475 below it’s 1978-2008 mean while the Antarctic sea ice has increased by +0.666 above its.

Clearly, climate change is heading in opposite directions at the poles. What that mean isn’t definitively clear, like so many things in climate science.


Climate change alarmists will point to the North Pole comparison and cry out it is proof positive that human caused global warming will bury the world’s coastlines under the waves as the ice melts away to nothing.

They will couple it to the latest measurement showing CO2 levels breached 400ppm for the first time in 800,000 years or so and then conclude that it is the direct cause of the North Pole’s meltdown.

But climate science isn’t as cut and dry as that. Any scientist skeptical of human-caused global warming can explain why.

Goings on in Antarctica is only one demonstration. Another is CO2 has increased by 1/3rd over the last 15 years; yet global warming has stopped dead in its tracks.

Clearly, there are good reasons for AGW alarmists to think the way they do and for AGW skeptics to think the way they do.

AGW skeptics are not climate change “deniers”, as is often claimed in the political media.

No scientist denies climate change. Nobody denies that human-generated CO2 is rising atmospheric CO2 levels. No one denies the greenhouse effect. No one denies the Earth’s temperature has risen since the 1880s.

AGW skeptics question the IPCC’s hypothesis that all global warming is the product of human activity. That part is not “settled science”. Skeptics believe the IPCC underestimates the effects of natural variability and overestimate its own climate model forcing mechanisms. Up to now, climate model predictions have performed abysmally. Climate modeling is still in its infancy.

Climate science will remain unsettled until scientists jettison politics and let the facts lead where they may.


About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on May 11, 2013, in Business, Climate, climate change, Economy, environment, Global Warming, nature, news, Politics, science. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Nice well balanced article. The sea ice picture is dramatic and you crafted the analysis objectively.

    Has warming really stopped the last 15 years as CO2 has risen? I thought the data showed that to be true at first but a revision of the actual temperature data shows warming still going on. Of course why the revision escapes me. I just hope it is scientific and results-oriented data mining.

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