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Video update on Arctic sea ice in 2010

Posted on 14 September 2010 by John Cook

The latest Crock of the Week from Peter Sinclair, featuring a great overview from NASA's Tom Wagner and a compelling eye-witness account of what's happening to Arctic sea ice from Arctic researcher David Barber.

A gold star for the first reader who spots the Skeptical Science graph :-)

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 60:

  1. Upper left at 6:26 :)
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    Response: A gold star for Scott :-) (the graph comes from here)
  2. Just finished watching this over at Neven's blog & ran over here. To find Scott beat me...

    Good to see a repost of the Barber video.

    The Yooper
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  3. The Barber "empirical evidence" seems to be 2010 ice thickness in an area in one year compared with ............. nothing? There's no suggestion in his reportage that he's specifically experienced ice in that area, at that time in preceeding years. Is this true?

    5:37 That graphic looks a little alarmist. Either the MYI is way too thick or the FYI is being depicted as way too thin. I'm going with the second. Such graphics should be scientifically accurate.

    6:10 "Widely used model PIOMAS" Is it? There isn't much evidence in the literature that the PIOMAS model is used beyond the authors of the model. Anybody want to justify that statement with peer-reviwed literature that doesn't include Zhang and his team?
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  4. HR He's being doing Arctic sea ice for 25 years. If he's not been in that particular area before ..... it's because he couldn't get there by ship before.

    Be honest, would you want to land a helicopter on that surface?
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  5. Hey, the loss of ice is nowhere near as scary as that bloke singing...truly worrying!

    HR - predictable response. Now tell us how many citations Zhang has.
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  6. 5.gpwayne



    Zhang - Many but widely used suggests, well, widely used by the arctic science community. I'm still looking for evidence of that.

    As good as it is, and it's probably the closest thing to climate science porn, does Prof Barber's reportage represent anything more than one data point?
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  7. HR, there were several articles on Barber's expedition last year and information about previous ice conditions. They should still be easily accessible from Google News or even in the 'mainstream media' links here. Why not go read up rather than jumping directly to unfounded allegations?

    The idea that it is somehow 'not new' or 'unimportant' that ships can go at nearly full power through supposed pack ice is also just silly on its face. Barber's point was that the satellites estimates were showing incorrect results for that area... which was proved by direct observation.

    The claim that PIOMAS is not widely used is, if anything, even more bizarre. How many times have YOU seen it brought up? Dozens? Hundreds? NSIDC refers to it frequently. It is all over the climate blogs. Even the (false) claim that 'only Zhang' references it would make it 'widely used' given Zhang's extensive connections with the rest of the 'arctic science community'.
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  8. HR,

    Come one. PIOMAS is used by the US Navy (to mention but one agency which has cited it), that alone is a pretty big endorsement. The model has also been validated (and performed well) against ICESAT, and once CROSAT-2 comes online later this fall, there will be even more validation points.

    Last year the "skeptics" were mocking Barber, well it turns out that the ice was indeed "rotten". Barber made transects on the ship HR, that is not one data point as you suggest. From the UofM website:

    "In September 2009 Barber and others went to various points in the southern Beaufort Sea aboard the research vessel (NGCC) Amundsen. They discovered the multiyear sea icescape was not as ubiquitous as it appeared in satellite remote sensing data."

    As you will have seen in the video, they have also flown transects using a helicopter with a boom equipped with a radar to measure ice parameters.
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  9. HR,
    I am sure glad that we have you with all your experience to tell us that Dr. Barbers last 25 years in the arctic were wasted. You sure saw through him! Maybe we should get someone who really knows what is going on, like Goddard or Watts, to tell us about the arctic.

    For the record, how many years have you spent on an icebreaker in the Arctic?

    At some point we have to trust that the experts are telling us what they are observing. It serves no purpose to suggest that someone as experienced and respected as Dr. Barber would tell us something, at a major science convention, that is not well backed by on the ground data. The data is there if you want to look. He did not present the data here because it was a summary for an informed audience.
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  10. HumanityRules,

    That you don't like the way a graph looks isn't evidence against its validity. "I'm going with" is also rather vague on supporting evidence. I'm not sure what you think can be accomplished with this kind of argument.
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  11. CBDunkerson... "Barber's point was that the satellites estimates were showing incorrect results for that area... which was proved by direct observation."

    Isn't this what we call "ground truthing?" The manual, first person observation for validation of satellite data.
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  12. CBD @ 7 - Prof Barber's talk at the Polar Science Conference. His lecture starts at 12 mins.
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  13. So tell me why does the DMI from Denmark show almost no summer time warming in the arctic.Whats up with that? Its not like the Danes arent a bunch of greenies.
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  14. Adrian:
    Can you provide a reference to your claim that DMI shows no warming?

    If you are refering to the graph WUWT likes to show with little warming north of 80 degrees, that is easy to explain. It is entirely ice bound that far north. The ice limits the surface temperature in the summer. As long as it is mostly ice covered the temperature will stay the same. AGW causes the ice to melt faster, not the temperature to rise. Increased heat from AGW is shown by the ice getting thinner. The maps this summer, including today's Cryosphere Today , show much open water near the pole. This was not open water in the past. As the ice continues to thin we will see more open water. WUWT picks that graph so they can deceive people who do not understand how phase changes in ice control the temperature.

    Last winter it was warm at the pole. The winter temperatures are affected by AGW now, the summer temps will go up once the ice melts out.
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  15. adrian smits at 08:31 AM on 15 September, 2010
    So tell me why does the DMI from Denmark show almost no summer time warming in the arctic.Whats up with that? Its not like the Danes arent a bunch of greenies.
    = = = = = = = = = =
    This would be the graph that shows rapid and very strong warming in autumn and winter?
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  16. If there is now more open water near the north pole than there was in the past that should be reflected in the temperature record for the summer time when most melting is happening .Again the DMI shows no warming....still waiting for a reasonable explination.
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  17. Adrian, most of the incoming energy during the short summer seems to be being used to melt ice. Anyhow, do some reading on polar amplification.

    Also, those DMI are for north 80N, they do not represent Arctic temperatures. That label is highly misleading. I do not know of any reputable climate scientists who says that the Arctic has not warmed significantly in recent decades.

    Look at this satellite data:
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  18. From my understanding as the the supposed great melt of 2007 was happening NASA was reminding people that it was being caused by very unusual wind conditions in the arctic that pushing the ice south to warmer water where it could melt
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  19. The GISS shows extremely hot temperatures in the high arctic when they don't even have any sensors up there at the same time that the DMI is showing below normal temperatures in the summer and they are the ones who are actually measuring the temperature up there.whats up with that?
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  20. Adrian... You would watch Dr Barber's lecture that Dappledwater linked above. It's quite interesting. What you read on WUWT is way off the mark. Why they so tenaciously hold to that idea that the arctic ice is recovering I have no idea. But here is a researcher who has been working on this issue for 25 years. He is someone to listen to.

    Early in the lecture he says that in the 1980's he was skeptical. In the 1990's he estimated the arctic would have ice free summers by 2100. In the late 90's that became mid century. Now he says between 2016 and 2030.

    If you're waiting for warmer arctic waters to convince you, hang around a little while. They're coming.

    The REALLY dramatic part of his lecture is where he's talking about trying to locate the thick multi year ice. They literally had to travel for 3 additional days through "rotten ice" to locate the MY ice.

    Really great lecture. I recommend it. I'd love to see Anthony Watts to do an arctic trip with Dr Barber.
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  21. Adrian, winds, of course, also play an important role. The climate system is a complex and dynamic system that is undergoing rapid changes. For example, in the Arctic the thinning of the sea ice is making it more susceptible to unusual weather patterns such as the dipole anomaly over the Arctic, and to wave action.

    These dipole anomaly events over the Arctic have happened many times over the 32 yr or so satellite record, you might want to ask yourself why the ice extent, area and volume did not drop this low prior to 2007.

    All is not well with the Arctic ice, despite what some "skeptics" might be trying to say.
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  22. Sea ice melting occurs because of warmer sea or air temperatures. Air temperatures north of 80N may be below those needed to cause sea ice to melt but does that mean sea temperature must be similarly below that required to melt sea ice? I don’t think so.
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  23. Albatross what kind of strange art is that satellite picture?If I'm not mistaken North America has been cooling for the past decade.Your picture shows 1.5 degrees of warming.whats this picture from? The late cretaseus lol pardon my spelling
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  24. Adrian, the DMI data are from the ECMWF model, they are not observations. And there are four seasons in the Arctic, funny how WUWT focus on temperature trends in the short summer months. Go here.

    The image that I posted are in fact observations made by a satellite between 1981 and 2001. The image is from NASA
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  25. Adrian, this is more current (RSS MSU data) for the lower troposphere:



    Trends are for 1979-July 2010.

    You can get more at their web site here.
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  26. Re: DMI North of 80 degrees

    Neven offered up a great observation about this yesterday on his blog:
    "When the DMI 80N graph starts shooting up we have a definitive confirmation that the water is freezing up big time. This is counterintuitive (love that word, by the way, just like 'circumnavigation'), but is caused by the water releasing its heat to the air so that it can freeze up. So, air temps shoot up when the waters freeze."
    If the remaining slush that passes for Arctic Ice Cap freezes in place with minimal compaction, Fall/Winter ice advection through the Fram will be significant.

    Re: adrian smits (18)

    The extreme Arctic Dipole Anomaly of 2007 caused an enormous amount of ice advection through the Fram Strait into the North Atlantic, where it then melted. And your agenda is showing.

    Re: adrian smits (23)

    If you think North America has been cooling for the past decade, you are very mistaken. Erroneous claims like this need a source. Got one?

    The Yooper
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  27. Now that last picture makes a lot more sense than the previous image.About 2 to 3 tenths of a degree warming over 30 years seems very reasonable especially with the sun as active as it has been.Now that the solar cycles appear to be quieting I think we can expect some cooling for the next 30 years.Which is kind of unfortunate because I enjoyed the extra week or 2 of golf in the spring and autumn up here in Canada.
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    Response: We explore the idea of whether the cooling sun might cause global cooling in "we're heading into an ice age".
  28. Adrian... You might want to check the solar cycle again. I believe we've been in a deep solar minimum. I would expect solar irradiance to start kicking up for another 11 year cycle.
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  29. Rob... its not where you are in the solar cycle that has much of an impact on longer term climate its the intensity and how long they last that seems to influence whether we are in a long term cooling or warming trend.Also if the PDO and AMO are in sincronicity of either a cooling or warming faze that can also have a big impact.In any case with temps of 33c in the summer and -44c in the winter .01c warming per decade for the last 30 years and probably no warming at all for the last 70 years aren't we arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
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  30. Re: adrian smits (29)
    "...and probably no warming at all for the last 70 years..."
    You have a penchant for unsupported claims running contrary what is seen in the world we live in. Or are you referring to a planet other than Earth? If so, there are other threads for claims like those.

    You also have a penchant for debate, of which type this blog is not. Here claims must be supported by sources or you simply will have no credibility. If you have inputs to offer that can add to the discussions here at Skeptical Science, please make the needed adjustments. Dialogue supported by factual sources are encouraged and desired here.

    The Yooper
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  31. @adrian, you make a lot affirmations but provide little sources.

    By the way, do you know that DMI's official position is that the arctic is warming? That's something the folks at WUWT have conveniently forgot to mention...

    "Since the 1970s the extent of sea ice has been measured from satellites. From these measurements we know that the sea ice extent today is significantly smaller than 30 years ago. During the past 10 years the melting of sea ice has accelerated, and especially during the ice extent minimum in September large changes are observed. The sea ice in the northern hemisphere have never been thinner and more vulnerable."

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/index.uk.php

    Also, looking at the actual graphs it's clear recent *winter* temperatures in the Arctic are much warmer than they used to be, which is consistent with AGW theory.

    You've been given quite a few explanations as to why your claims were wrong. You voiced your opinion, however if you are unable to provide actual science to support it it's probably a wise move to stop posting at this point.
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  32. Gentlemen I was only responding to the picture posted by albatross.Look at it. Does it not show approximately 3 tenths of a degree of warming since 1979?I know for a fact that the temperature record for the period 1940 to 1975 was at the very least flat to cooler.Even if it was only slightly cooler that just about eliminates the neglegible warming from 1979 to present.Hasn't any one here seen the pictures of Soviet and American subs surfacing at the north pole into open water during the 1950s.
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  33. Hi Adrian,
    "Gentlemen I was only responding to the picture posted by albatross"

    That claim is incorrect. Your first post at 13 above was made before I posted that NASA map. It is now clear that you had made up your mind at that point (i.e., there has been no substantial warming over the Arctic) b/c you have refused to accept the data shown to you here, rather choosing to keep shifting the goal posts.

    The NASA satellite map is not for screen-level temperature, but the surface temperature or skin temperature.

    The RSS TLT satellite data show a global long-term warming trend (globally) of +0.163 C/decade over the satellite era. Over the high northern latitude band (60-82.5 N) the rate of warming (for the same period) has been twice that of the global TLT temperatures.

    You might find these links of interest
    Part 1 and Part 2
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  34. Re: adrian smits (32)
    "Hasn't any one here seen the pictures of Soviet and American subs surfacing at the north pole into open water during the 1950s."
    Open water at the North Pole is one of those urban legends that exist only in myth. This is well documented and well-researched. Here's a picture of the Skate surfaced in an iced-over lead (polyna) at the North Pole on March 17th, 1959. Here's a description of the weather of that day from quotes from the crew:
    "The sun was still just below the horizon and a very heavy overcast made for late twilight darkness (it did not appear until 19 March)

    the wind ….. was roaring around us at about 30 knots, blowing the snow until one could see no more than a quarter of a mile

    The swirling snow loomed around the red torches

    in the 26-below-zero cold….. The wind blew snow into our noses and mouths, and it was difficult to talk or even breathe

    The wind and bitter cold made it physically difficult to hold and read the prayer book

    the gale was increasing and the temperature dropping

    Both sides of the lead were piled with the heaviest and ruggedest hummocks I had yet seen in the Arctic. It was a wild and forbidding scene".
    Taken from Patrick Lockerby's blog The Chatter Box. Quotes from Artful Dodger's comment on Neveen's blog.

    Nice "open water", eh. Direct, observational testimony to the contrary of the meme.

    You apparently have the acquired the habit of citing things picked up on...an "unnamed blog" (because it can be inferred quite well)...of repeating things without checking them yourself for accuracy.

    I don't blame you for being duped; heck, it's happened to all of us at one time or another. But that was in the past. Or at least you now have a choice to make:
    1. Do you want to make a new beginning, free from the misperceptions and myths you've been brought to believe and actually learn what is actually going on in climate science?

    Or

    2. Continue on the path you've been on & wonder why everyone's taking shots at you here?
    No conspiracy here, dude. Just people who want to help. But you have to make that call. Do you want help?

    Or not?

    The Yooper
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  35. adrian smits wrote : "Hasn't any one here seen the pictures of Soviet and American subs surfacing at the north pole into open water during the 1950s.


    I have seen some, usually taken at the height of Summer (when open water is to be expected to some degree), but don't know what you are trying to prove.
    Perhaps you should give some links for some of those pictures - direct links, of course, and not via secondary websites.
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  36. #35 JMurphy at 20:51 PM on 15 September, 2010
    Perhaps you should give some links for some of those pictures - direct links, of course, and not via secondary websites.

    You can check this conceivably authoritative site out:

    This is how it looked like 23 years ago in mid May at a British-American polar jamboree. The ice is obviously rotten.



    An image gallery at the same site: Submarines Under Ice.
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  37. Berényi Péter, thanks but the date originally mentioned was the 1950s...
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  38. adrian smits #32: "Does it not show approximately 3 tenths of a degree of warming since 1979?"

    I assume you are talking about the Arctic region. In which case your error is thinking that the image shows TOTAL warming. It does not. It shows the trend per decade. That is, 0.3 C average warming each decade since 1979... which translates to about 1 C total warming since 1979.

    BP, yes there are often spots of open water at the North Pole. What has not yet been seen is a year when the ice at the North Pole melted out completely (or down to the 15% concentration easily determined by satellites). The image you posted looks more like 80% concentration. A couple of years ago scientists thought that was possible because the pole was covered with first year ice for the first time in the satellite record. Since then the multi-year ice has all but disappeared, but the pole still hasn't melted out. Arctic currents tend to concentrate ice in the area and thus it now seems likely that we won't see a truly ice free North Pole until the whole Arctic is nearly ice free... though if PIOMAS volume declines are accurate and continued apace that'd be just a few years away.
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  39. Adrian:
    At post 23 you said "If I'm not mistaken North America has been cooling for the past decade."
    At post 27 you said "Which is kind of unfortunate because I enjoyed the extra week or 2 of golf in the spring and autumn up here in Canada." Your own personal observations contradict your assertions that you got at WUWT. You look stupid when you make these type of claims. You are mistaken in your claims that North America has been cooling. Your observations have been correct.

    I explained the DMI graph at post 14. WUWT has deceived you. The people at this blog will explain to you what you do not understand. If you only want to argue you should find another place to post.
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  40. BP @36,

    First, I concur with what CBDunkerson said. Also, posting that image is misleading. Here is why:

    I could not find images to compare for 18 May 1987, but here is what your
    "rotten" ice looked later that year (1987) around the middle of September, compared to the same time this year.

    And since you brought it up, according to NSIDC, in March 1987 about 40% of the Arctic sea ice was comprised of ice that was at least 4 years old, by March 2010 less than 7% of the sea ice was at least 4 years old. That equates to losing about 2.5 million km^2 of ice four years or older.
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  41. #38 CBDunkerson at 22:29 PM on 15 September, 2010
    The image you posted looks more like 80% concentration. A couple of years ago scientists thought that was possible because the pole was covered with first year ice for the first time in the satellite record. Since then the multi-year ice has all but disappeared

    Have a look at this image please (click for larger version).



    It is USS Skate (SSN 578) on 17 March 1959, first through-ice surfacing at the North Pole ever. As you can see the ice is less than a foot thick (in March!). It can't be multi-year ice, can it?

    Of course it was before the satellite record started, so I suppose it does not count.

    (They were basically testing "the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter". Test was passed. Considering the strategic importance of the region during the Cold War I wonder how much information concerning Arctic ice conditions is buried in the US, UK & USSR Navy archives)
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  42. BP... I'm trying to figure out the point of these North Pole pictures. I know what you're responding to, I've read the whole thread, but do you really think these are conclusive proof of anything? Do you think this means arctic ice is in overall the same condition today that it was 60 years ago?

    It strikes me as an act of cherry picking to locate photos which represent single data points to try to infer something larger. I had a teacher in high school who said, "Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see." In that vein, I would be more swayed by data on the state of the ice during those time periods.

    Similarly, as I mentioned before, Dr Barber's lecture linked above was extremely compelling because of the first hand data he provided.
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  43. BP... I think Alden makes a very good case here of how single data points can confuse an issue. I realize he is not talking about the ice 60 years ago but the point he makes at slide 7 really drives home why looking at overall trends are so important.
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  44. Rob @42, the image in question was in all likelihood taken in a frozen lead. If you look in the background (LHS top) you can see pressure ridges.

    Regardless, why would they try and break through surrounding ice that was say 5 ft or more thick when they could break through this relatively thin ice?

    I have a hypothesis as to why people post these images-- look how effective the photos from surfacestations.org have been in confusing and sowing the seed of doubt in people's minds, not to mention distracting them from the very real and much larger issue/s.
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  45. Re: Berényi Péter (41)
    "As you can see the ice is less than a foot thick (in March!). It can't be multi-year ice, can it?"
    Back then the subs circled to find iced-over leads to break through. Attempting to surface through the 10-20' standard thicknesses of the multi-year ice may have exceeded the design tolerances of their construction, so it wasn't an advisable risk.

    An attempt had been made by the Skate to surface at the pole a year earlier, in 1958, but had to settle for a lead 40 miles from the pole.

    While your picture is of the Skate in 1959 in the Arctic, read the crew description of the weather that day at the pole in my earlier comment (34 above). It is likely taken at another location on another day on that selfsame trip. While there would've been some light at or near the pole even though the first sunrise of the year came 2 days later, the level of blue in the sky implies a more southerly locale. For comparison purposes, an example of artic sunset (low light-level conditions).

    The Yooper
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  46. 7.CBDunkerson

    I did better and read the published paper that presented this work. It contained nothing about previous years. If there were important multiyear observations he should have put them in the paper. Although it did have 14 uses of teh exciting "rotten ice" term.

    The real scientific content of that paper is that direct observations show that there are problems with the interpretation of the satellite data, as pointed out by Rob Honeycutt. Something I don't have a problem with. What's making the headlines, and what makes this a standout for warmists, is the lurid use of "rotten ice". Unfortunately Barber seems well aware this is the newsworthy content in his paper and is pushing that point. I have problems with that and with regard to any comments about long term ice thickness trends based on this work. I stick to my point this is one data point with no attempt at historical context.


    If Barber hadn't used "rotten ice" would this study represent anything new with regard post-2007 arctic ice? Apart from the satellite data insight. The fact that 2007 represented a clearing out of MYI is well known and ignored by Barber here. There are better post-2007 direct observations which suggest little has changed in the quality of the arctic sea ice and that the Barber (and POIMAS) predictions of it "continuing to disappear at an alarming rate" are exaggerations.

    The paper below suggests little has changed since 2007 which is remarkable given that this work was done in April 2007, before the huge clear out of MYI. The problem with Haas is he hasn't realised that sticking to the facts doesn't get you the headlines. You need plenty of fluff, something Barber seems to excel in.

    http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Haa2010b.pdf

    On PIOMAS I agree that the warmist blogosphere is in love with the PIOMAS model, I was asking whether the arctic science community felt the same way. I don't see it's widespread uptake as represented by published work. Show me the papers and I'm happy to concede the point.
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  47. 10.Trueofvoice

    Its not that I don't like the way the image looks. It's that it exaggerates the thinness of the FYI in order to re-inforce the "rotten ice" meme. It's appears to be scientifically inaccurate.
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  48. @HumanityRules: ok, first your use of the expression "warmist" clearly indicates your strong bias. You probably want to avoid that.

    Second, you make a misleading statement in your post: "There are better post-2007 direct observations which suggest little has changed in the quality of the arctic sea ice"

    That's not what the paper claims. It says that little has changed in the thickness of *old* ice, not Arctic ice in general:

    From the Abstract:
    "Comparison with previous EM surveys shows that modal
    thicknesses of old ice had changed little since 2007, and remained within the expected range of natural variability."

    From the Conclusion:
    "We conclude that older sea ice in much of the Arctic Ocean was of similar or even slightly larger thickness in April 2009 relative to conditions in 2007, but within the expected range of interannual variability. However, the volume of older ice may have been less overall due
    to a lower areal coverage, and because our surveys were still spatially limited. [...] The balance between high melt rates and import of old ice into the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas will be an important variable in determining potential recovery or further Arctic ice mass loss [Barber et al., 2009]."

    Less older ice means the old ice is disappearing, which means that this paper (which clearly recognize the ice loss) supports Barber (or is at least consistent with - makes sense, since they cite him).

    Perhaps the next time you should actually read the research paper, with an open mind, and not simply peruse it in order to find ammunition.
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  49. 48.archiesteel

    While the debate remains tribal I'm going to look for words to describe one of the tribes. I'd prefer that this was dropped though. You OK with everybody elses biases?

    Haas has things relatively unchanged between 2007 and 2009. I don't see how I'm wrong. It's interesting what you choose to leave out with your [....]. Is this evidence of your own bias?

    "It seems that consequences of strong melt and ice export during and after the summer record minimum 2007 may have been compensated for by weather patterns in 2008 that were not conducive to high melt and ice dispersal in summer and may have fostered enhanced thermodynamic ice growth during a colder winter 2008/09 with less snow accumulation, as suggested by anecdotal in-situ observations in spring 2009"

    The loss occured in 2007 where is the evidence 2009 measurements represent a continuation of a decline? Because Barber doesn't give use any historical perspective he seems to attribute what happened in 2007 to 2009. This is the point I've been making. 2009 does have lower MYI than early 2007 but is this a consequence of what is happening in 2009 (which is Barbers suggestion) or what happened in 2007? I still don't understand how Barber can make a statement such as "continuing to disappear at a very alarming rate" based on one data point. It doesn't make scientific sense to me, it's propaganda, it's alarmism. As I said I don't object to the true scientific content of his paper.

    Here are a couple of similar eye-witness ship board reports that seem to stick to the facts rather than go for the sensationalism (here and here. Enjoy).

    I don't understand why people don't accept the only thing that makes Barber's work stand out from the rest of the arctic ice data, and why it's been so newsworthy, is his "rotten ice" hyperbole.
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  50. HR, could we please drop the rhetoric and stick to the science. I find this whole discussion of "tribes" rather juvenile and not constructive.

    Have you considered this?



    And the recent decline in Arctic sea is indeed significant. A paper just out by Polyak et al. (2010) which places the current loss of ice in context.

    Specifically, Polyak et al. state:

    "The current reduction in Arctic ice cover started in the late 19th century, consistent with the rapidly warming climate, and became very pronounced over the last three decades. This ice loss appears to be unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities."
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