No too long ago the usual suspects were all a-twitter about arctic sea ice, which was tracking very close to the long term average.
This was in late March, and though you would think a weather man would understand what weather is, this temporary upwards tic prompted the remarkable vapidity of this lead: “We’ve all seen that Arctic Sea ice area and extent has expanded and is back to normal”.
Now, not only have we left the long term average behind, the current seasonal extent has dipped below one standard deviation less than normal and is even well below the record low of 2007. (It is worth noting that an actual return to normal levels would mean an equal amount of time spent above the normal line as spent below, not a brief one month visit)
This is noisy data, you have to sift through it mathematically to find the real signal. One single “normal” reading does not mean arctic ice decline has ceased.
If Anthony Watts does not know that, he is not qualified to draw any conclusions about climate change and is barely qualified to read the teleprompter for a local weather report. If he does not know that and does not publish the conclusion that today Arctic sea ice is disappearing faster than ever he is a hypocrite. If he does know that, he is a liar. I have my own opinion.
If we want to know what is happening to long term trends in arctic sea ice we have to look at the last several decades.
The trend is unequivocally down and a new record this year will lend weight to the view that it is accelerating. The so called “recovery” of the last two years does not even get us above this trajectory, and certainly does not reverse it. If this year is a new record, I would hope that particular turd can be laid to rest.
It is further worth noting that this discussion is all about ice extent, ice volume is arguabley a much better quantity to monitor. That trend looks like this:
Note that the recovery in extent from the 2007 low is not matched by a recovery in volume. This is because once old, thick ice melts it can only be replaced by young, thin ice. 5 year sea ice can not recover in one, two or even four years.
Arctic sea ice is shrinking rapidly. Denying this is about as reasonable as denying that CO2 is increasing.