Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – NSIDC Is Silent

Day 256 Antarctic ice is the highest ever for the date, and the eighth highest daily reading ever recorded. All seven higher readings occurred during the third week of September, 2007 – the week of the previous Arctic record minimum.

NSIDC does not mention the record Antarctic cold or ice on their web site, choosing inside to feature an article about global warming threatening penguins.

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

NSIDC does have a completely nonsensical discussion page explaining why Antarctic ice does not affect the climate.

Scientists monitor both Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, but Arctic sea ice is more significant to understanding global climate because much more Arctic ice remains through the summer months, reflecting sunlight and cooling the planet.

Nonsense. There is very little sunlight reaching the Arctic Ocean in September, and much more reaching Antarctic ice – because it is located at lower latitudes. Arctic ice took its big decline in mid-August, after the sun was already low in the sky.

Sea ice near the Antarctic Peninsula, south of the tip of South America, has recently experienced a significant decline. The rest of Antarctica has experienced a small increase in Antarctic sea ice.

Antarctic ice is nearing an all-time record high, and is above average everywhere.

Antarctica and the Arctic are reacting differently to climate change partly because of geographical differences. Antarctica is a continent surrounded by water, while the Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land. Wind and ocean currents around Antarctica isolate the continent from global weather patterns, keeping it cold. In contrast, the Arctic Ocean is intimately linked with the climate systems around it, making it more sensitive to changes in climate.

Antarctic and Arctic ice move opposite each other. NSIDC`s dissonance about this is astonishing.

Quick Facts on Sea Ice

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92 Responses to Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – NSIDC Is Silent

  1. NSIDC too busy with Greenpeace to bother looking at the real world.

  2. I’m alright jack, keep your hands of my stack…..

  3. gator69 says:

    Obviously Antarctica has reached a tipping point, personal wealth and freedoms must be confiscated immediately.

  4. Stephen Wilde says:

    Looks like I’ll have to keep repeating this until NSIDC engages brains (hopefully).

    The Arctic and Antarctic each respond oppositely to the same global forcing mechanism because one is an ocean surrounded by land and the other is land surrounded by ocean.

    The key is the degree of jetstream meridionality or zonality.

    In theory, more zonal jets whizzing faster round the poles tend to isolate the poles from flows of air in and out so the poles cool.

    That works fine for the Antarctic as we have seen during the late 20th century but zonal jets are also associated with warmer ocean surfaces so that warmer water is able to flow into the Arctic Ocean to melt the ice and warm the air.

    So Antarctic ice increases as Arctic ice decreases.

    In contrast, more meridional jets allow more frequent flows of warm air in and cold air out from the poles which then warm up whilst mid latitudes cool down.

    The South Pole gets warmer but meridional jets are associated with cooler ocean surfaces so after a number of years (say 10 to 15) the supply of warm water to the Arctic Ocean is cut off and the North Pole cools whilst the South Pole warms.

    In fact the South Pole station has been warming up since the jets began to become more meridional around 2000. For the previous 20 years of more zonal jets the South Pole station actually got colder.

    So we are now in a transition period where we just need to await the end of the current positive AMO whereupon the warm water reaching the Arctic will decline and the Arctic sea ice will begin to recover. Meanwhile the Antarctic ice should peak soon and begin to decline.

    The Antarctic Peninsula behaves differently but that is off topic for the moment.

    • Eric Webb says:

      I agree with you 100%.

    • I believe they stipulate that in the last quoted paragraph. Of course that doesn’t keep them from swooning every time an iceberg drops off.

      • Jimbo says:

        If there is a reversal then expect Warmists to also do a reversal and completely ignore their earlier statements about the causes of Arctic sea ice melt and focus on Antarctica. They will ignore how they said that Antarctica is different and completely ignore there Ozone arguments. You can’t win with religious fanatics.

    • Wally Lind says:

      I think the problem is that the earth and it’s atmosphere are so complex that you simply don’t have the base knowledge or mathematics to describe, much less understand it, yet. That’s why you can predict the weather for three days, sometimes. When you add in the Sun, and it’s variations, Well! We nonscientists only have your results to evaluate your statements by, and you climate scientists aren’t looking very good, so far.

  5. donald penman says:

    The Antarctic minimum Ice extent is above the 1979-2008 average for last year.

  6. jukin says:

    How exactly would reporting of record ice in the Antarctic help suckle tax money out of productive citizens of the west, and specifically the USA?

  7. Jimbo says:

    It looks like our poles are suffering from bi-Polar disorder. ;)

    Twentieth century bipolar seesaw of the Arctic and Antarctic surface air temperatures
    Understanding the phase relationship between climate changes in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is essential for our understanding of the dynamics of the Earth’s climate system. In this paper we show that the 20th century de-trended Arctic and Antarctic temperatures vary in anti-phase seesaw pattern – when the Arctic warms the Antarctica cools and visa versa. This is the first time that a bi-polar seesaw pattern has been identified in the 20th century Arctic and Antarctic temperature records. The Arctic (Antarctic) de-trended temperatures are highly correlated (anti-correlated) with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) index suggesting the Atlantic Ocean as a possible link between the climate variability of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Recent accelerated warming of the Arctic results from a positive reinforcement of the linear warming trend (due to an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases and other possible forcings) by the warming phase of the multidecadal climate variability (due to fluctuations of the Atlantic Ocean circulation).

    (Did you catch the obligatory nod to co2?)

  8. Their silence speaks volumes about their motives.

  9. rusty says:

    It is all about supply and demand. The Polar Icecaps are fresh water in frozen storage. As the demand rises for fresh water,,, so does the temperature to facilitate the warming to melt and provide the World the necessary fresh water.! You can spin it as scientifically as you want,,, but common sense will tell you the same thing.!

  10. steveta_uk says:

    It the “Law of Conservation of Ice” at work – the total ice available on the planet is constant, so the NH polar minimum corresponds with a SH polar maximum.

    The overall reduction in polar ice in recent years is due to refridgeration, with large amounts of ice now stored in freezers all over the world in places that historically never had any ice.

  11. ferdinand says:

    Shell have announced that their drilling in the Arctic this year has been hampered by the unexpectedly slow retreat of the ice. BBC please note.

  12. Caliban says:

    “There is very little sunlight reaching the Arctic Ocean in September, and much more reaching Antarctic ice – because it is located at lower latitudes.”

    Apparently you do not understand that it is winter in Antarctica at present. You see, the earth is tilted and the seasons are driven by which hemisphere is tilted towards the sun. When the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, it is summer here and winter down there. The difference in sunlight is most extreme at the poles… which is why you only hear about the “midnight sun” in places like Alaska, not in Florida.

    • Caliban, you get the world class moron award for the day. We are at the equinox.

      • Caliban says:

        Yes, the equinox is tomorrow. More light than August, less than October (in the South).

        With equinox in the later part of the month, a given latitude N still gets more light this month than the same latitude S.

      • Cam says:

        On Sept 20th the arctic circle got 12 1/2 hours of sunlight. The antarctic circle got 12 hours of sunlight. (credit: NOAA)

        If you want to think for yourself I applaud that but you still can’t make up facts.

        The mainstream media has no idea what they are talking about when it comes to science which is why their conclusions are not where we should be getting information. You’re not doing a very good job of showing that you know any more than they do.

        • I really hate wasting time on people who aren’t very bright. The ice edge in Antarctica (60S) is currently receiving lots more SW radiation than the ice edge in the Arctic (80N)

    • Andy OZ says:

      You’re joking right Caliban?
      If you check out the South Pole webcam, you’ll see it is light down there, today!!
      Happy Spring Equinox for the south polar region! The penguin party just started.
      Also, you might want to swot up on what latitude means. The Antarctic sea ice Steve is talking about is now reflecting sunlight between the 65-75 latitudes. Thus “lower latitudes”.
      But then you were joking…..right?

    • Testa Sterone says:

      And don’t forget to mention that the earth is closest to the sun when it is summer in the southern hemisphere, with the southern hemisphere facing the sun directly and it is winter in the northern hemisphere with the earth inclined slightly but still closer to the sun. It is just the opposite with summer in the north (the earth farther away but facing the sun directly) and winter in the south with the south inclined slightly to the sun. Northern summers and winters are milder than southern summers and winters due to the proximity or distance of the earth to the sun during those seasons in those hemispheres.

      • Rosco says:

        I’m sorry but Southern Summers are milder than Northern Summers. Whilst parts of Australia, Africa and South America reach high temperatures in Summer the Northern Hemisphere with the great bulk of the landmass is almost invariably hotter.

        Its the effect of all that Di-Hydrogen Monoxide (which has only a minor role in climate if you listen to climatologists – following the great god CO2 and its dictates) in the Southern hemisphere.

        The world would be a different place if the land mass was distributed around the tropics instead of the vast areas of ocean.

  13. BrianCarter says:

    Steven, great work by the way, I’ve had a lively thread going at my work in the “Green” forum.

    I was tactfully refering to the record amounts of sea ice and the reply was yes, but that’s SEA ice. The continent is losing LAND ice at some fantastic pace. The referrence was to SkepticalScience.

    Are these people so divorced from reality they think ice cream melts from the inside out? Logic and evidence are irrelavent to these people. And the call us deniers?

    • That is brilliant thinking. These morons think that temperatures on the ice sheet are warmer than over the ocean at lower latitudes and elevations. They have the IQ of a turnip.

    • Robert says:

      It was my impression that ice was melting from Antarctica’s land mass due to geothermal/volcanic activity warming the underside of the ice.
      I do not know how or if this is related to the amount of sea ice.
      I would expect the amount of sea ice to increase if the salinity is decreasing while the temperature remains low enough in areas away from the heat source.

    • Todd R says:

      I wish I wish folks would take some time and learn some of the science behind Global Warming. There is an excellent website where interested people can learn about The Discovery of Global Warming. It was created by Spencer Weart. You can find the site here:

      As far as sea ice in Antarctica, what is happening is just about exactly as predicted.

      This is from Mr. Weart’s chapter on the Modern Temperature Trend:

      Talk radio callers and right-leaning columnists continued to exclaim about one or another unusually cold winter in this or that locality. They pointed out that some regions showed no warming at all, notably the massive Antarctic ice sheet. This was no surprise, but an effect predicted as far back as 1981 by Stephen Schneider and a collaborator. Noting that the Southern Hemisphere was mostly ocean, which would tend to take up heat and delay the rise of atmospheric temperature in the region, they had warned that people “may still be misled… in the decade A.D. 2000-2010″ by cool weather there. (It turned out, however, that this and later computer studies were too conservative: in the 2000s, regions around Antarctica began to show a bit of warming and significant loss of ice.)

      Quite a prediction from over 30 years ago.

      • Do you understand the difference between “slower warming” and “cooling” ? I don’t appreciate it when other people generate smokescreens. Feel free to be misled if it suits your tastes.

  14. Mike says:

    Notice how the southern hemisphere’s band is nice and tight. Notice how the northern hemisphere’s band isn’t. Something is amiss. Mayhap we should leave the speculation on the causes to the real scientists? Unless someone here is a climatologist that is …

    • Perhaps you could try thinking for yourself?

      • Mike says:

        I’m not a climatologist. I would no more second guess those scientists than I would a brain surgeon as she/he is operating on my brain.

        • gator69 says:

          The IPCC admits they have a “Low to Very low” understanding of @80% of “known” climate forcings. They are incapable of successful planetary surgery with these numbers and lack of general knowledge.

          Go for the lobotomy, I’ll wait on climate science to catch up with any other modern discipline before I proceed with destroying society.

        • Good. Go watch X-factor or something else at your pay grade

      • Me says:

        He’s already had one by the sounds of it Gator!

      • Mike says:

        So Gator, do you have a degree in climatology, paleoclimatology or any other related field such that you can second guess these folks? I’m also curious to know why you believe them when they say they lack a full understanding of most of the mechanisms of climate but refuse to believe them when they make statements that are contrary to your preconceived notions.

      • gator69 says:

        Hey Mike! I was a climatology student 30 years ago and have follwoed the field sinxce. I have a degree in Remote Sensing and was Geology student for about 8 years before that.

        It is not that I “believe” they do not know what they are speaking of, it is a fact. From AR4…

        “2.9.1 Uncertainties in Radiative Forcing”

        When it comes to understanding climate drivers, 13 out of 16 forcings are listed as ‘low’ to ‘very low’ in 2.9.1 Uncertainties in Radiative Forcing of AR4. And these are only the “known” drivers.

        Any more stupid ass questions brainiac?

    • Rosco says:

      Climatologists are simply wrong.

      It is impossible for a gas at a density that is at least 1/1000 of solids or water to have any appreciable heating effect on the solid or water – especially when the gas is at a lower temperature (usually) than the solid or water.

      Factor in the thermal conductivity of the gas, solid and water and the possibility becomes even more remote.

      Then factor in the atmospheric concentration of so-called GHGs and the whole theory simply becomes ludicrous.

      Remember – it is impossible to determine a physical property such as thermal conductivity or specific heat etc which does not include any so-called radiative effect – thermal conductivity measures energy transmitted per unit distance over a known thermal gradient at 100% concentration.

      CO2 scores a little more than half that of normal air as does steam. So much for the “powerful” greenhous gas ability to cause heating.

      The whole theory is bogus.

    • Mike says:

      Very nice Gator. So the answer to my first question is “No” and you didn’t answer my second question, why you take their word for one part but not all the other parts.

      As for your repeated assertion, I ASSUME you are referring to this from the IPCC 4th Assessment Report:

      You are correct that 13 of the 16 items listed show low to very low in LOSU. We don’t yet have all the details in on how cosmic rays affect global climate. On the other hand, things like GHG’s and ozone we have a high understanding. And oddly, those are the biggest drivers. We definitely need to learn more about how albedo factors into this, but we have an ok grasp of it as things stand.

      Of course, I guess we don’t need to study the issue anymore tho, to fill in those blanks, because you already KNOW they are all wrong. Is that right?

      • gator69 says:

        Brainiac, if they have very little knowledge of 80% of drivers, how can they have a high degree of any knowledge regarding any drivers?

        Think much?

      • Mike says:

        Gator, why the hostility?

        My point above was that not all of the elements are equal. You can’t honestly believe that cosmic rays play just as important a role in our global climate as solar radiation, can you? Likewise, contrails can’t be as important as the albedo of clouds, land and water, can it? Of course not. So saying that 80% of the effectors are poorly understood is largely a meaningless statement. With the exception of albedo and water vapor, the other high impact areas are well understood. That renders conclusions drawn, while still being capable of being wrong, fairly strong.

        One last point. If you had been educated in the sciences, you should have learned to treat the work of other scientists with due respect. Flaws, fallacies and errors are typically caught and identified during the peer review process. Areas of concern, areas where dubious conclusions are drawn, are discussed openly and honestly and, in nearly all cases, with professional respect. If you wish to claim a scientific background, perhaps you should show some of that.

      • gator69 says:

        No hostility, just no patience for someone who cannot think on their own.

        Point one… Svensmark. Repeat until you get it.

        Point two… I do not suffer fools lightly, and frauds are intollerable. If you do not understand the fraud that has been committed by the alarmists, then we have nothing further to discuss.

        I was trained in classic science, not the kind you get with tax dollars. There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about the climate changes, or the rapidity of those same changes that we have witnessed, therefore it can be dismissed as natural until “PROVEN” otherwise.

        AGW is still just a hypothesis. Keep digging. ;)

  15. mmazenko says:

    How you manage to draw entirely different – and wrong – conclusions from the climate scientists at UIUC is quite baffling and sad. But, as President Clinton said, “You gotta admire someone who has a lotta brass.”

    • The graphs are from UIUC. I don’t admire people without the capacity for self-thought

    • gator69 says:

      I prefer Reagan’s quote…

      “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

    • Billy Liar says:

      This is coming from a guy who’s written a book called ‘I Don’t Know’!

    • Hugh K says:

      I believe the actual quote by Bill Clinton was; ‘You gotta admire someone who has a lotta ass.’ The above quote was a few months before his more familiar quote; “I did not have sex with that woman…”
      Not that I am comfortable with Bill Clinton quotes. It certainly doesn’t serve the truth quoting known liars. But this is nothing new (or progressive if you prefer). For climate alarmists, quoting liars is a way of life. So feel free to insert Peter Gleick quote rebuttal here…

  16. Barnaby says:

    So while everybody is focusing their time arguing about whether or not mankind’s use of fossil fuels is hastening the change of our dynamic climate and whether taxes and tariffs need to be enacted to control it, it seems no one is up in arms about pollution? Everyone wants to play political football with “climate change” because in the end nobody has to do anything about it. Both sides get to be pretend scientists and call each other morons and find some sentence on some obscure document and point to it and say AHA. But in the end it isn’t stopping how we treat our environment and how we really are screwing it up for future generations. Regardless of your political affiliation, we all need clean air and clean water and so will our offspring.

    • Rosco says:

      If you are old enough to remember the huge changes that occurred in response to my generations pressure when we were young you would not make such misinformed statements.

      The truth is that the power generation industry has achieved huge pollution reductions throughout the sixties and seventies with arrestors to remove particulates, catalytic converters and complete oxidation to remove dangerous partial oxidation products.

      The real fact is that there is almost no pollution from a modern coal fired power plant – what they show you on TV is the vapour from the heat exchangers – which is primarily water vapour – they rarely show the “smokestacks” because there is nothing to see here.

      I worked as an Environmental Health Officer from the late 1970’s and I can tell you that here in SE Queensland Australia even though there is about twice as many residents as forty years ago the environment has never been less polluted – unless you’re dumb enough to think a little extra CO2 comprises serious pollution.

      What we all should be complaining about is that China is not implementing well known proven technologies which easily remove particulates and other pollutants from the exhaust of coal fired power stations. The air in China is unbelievably bad but it needn’t be – it could be massively improved.

      • Mike says:

        Two points: 1) coal-fired power plants, especially those that were grandfathered into the Clean Air Act, are still quite a significant source of pollution, including mercury, sulphur, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide. Notice I left CO2 out since you don’t believe that to be a problem. (and for the record, around 4 GIGATONS of CO2 isn’t exactly “a little extra”)

        2) Adding those filters costs money and reduces the efficiency of the power plants. If you were in the industry, you should know that. Those filters also do nothing to address the coal ash, which is filled with even more kinds of pollutants.

      • constance says:

        That’s pretty much the point. Would we have gone that route and achieved those gains if not for some folks raising the issue of long-term pollution effects? Not likely; the power industry would have no incentive to do so. These changes only come about when the sorts of people typically classified as ‘ecofascists’, amongst other colorful descriptions, get the ball moving in that direction.

        Meanwhile, we have a story about ice gain in Antarctica being bandied about as some sort of counter-argument to Arctic ice loss, while ignoring the fact that the gain in the Antarctic has been about one percent per decade over the last 30 years – while the rate of loss in the Arctic has been about about 40 times that percentage over the same time. That sort of selective data acknowledgment certainly gives rise to some interesting rationalizations.

    • I would agree with you not so much in terms of pollution issues in the West, but rather that a focus should be on preserving old world forest where possible, etc. The AGW distraction has not helped. But you have to understand the temptation in terms of self image. Would you prefer to be an activist saving a forest somewhere or saving the world?

  17. Paul Matthews says:

    Media are starting to notice?

    Note the headline “Record-High Antarctic Sea Ice Levels Don’t Disprove Global Warming” leaves an open goal, and the first commenter scores.

  18. bovski says:

    Nice straight line between 2 points unfortunately it hides the fact that the Ice was still dropping at the start of the graph and didn’t start to recover until after the Montreal Protocol was signed.

    I’m guessing this is why NSIDC who actually have scientists Is Silent.

  19. Samoht says:

    Steven Goddard said above:

    I really hate wasting time on people who aren’t very bright. The ice edge in Antarctica (60S) is currently receiving lots more SW radiation than the ice edge in the Arctic (80N)

    Well Steven, its actually not the light that reaches the ice edge at 80N, its the far greater amount of solar energy that hits the ice free and absorbing ocean further south that counts!

    Experience tells that the size of mental bricks hurled about such as Steven’s ad hominem cited above relate inversely to wit of the thrower….

  20. Kevin says:

    If per chance climate warming is proven a reality in the future.
    When the oceans rise and drought kills off the food supply and many species , I hope that society holds all of you climate warming deniers and polluters accountable for the disaster that you helped create and sustain with your misinformation. Incarceration would be the least of the penalties I would advocate for your ilk. You and your children live on this planet too. What will you do when your irresponsible denial threatens your very Existence?

    • Scott says:

      So you aren’t a polluter according to your definition? How do you manage that? Hold in your breath and farts all day everyday?

      Somehow I’m guessing your carbon footprint is bigger than the owner of this blog, who commutes nearly everywhere on his bike year round (I believe he said ~200 miles/wk).


  21. Pingback: While Arctic melts, Antarctic ice hits record. Is warming debunked? – Christian Science Monitor | The Time of Press

  22. John Scott says:

    This blog should be called “climate science for Republicans” :-)

    • I like “climate science for people who can think for themselves.”

    • Bill says:

      While there is a political divide on the issue there is no reason why Republicans shouldn’t also know that climate change (global warming) is occurring.

      Because of the lower latitude of Antarctic Ice it nearly melts away every year but overall has not seen a significant trend.

      Whereas, the Arctic Ocean has clearly been losing ice over the last decade

      Nonetheless climate scientists are still interested in why the Antarctic sea ice has not responded to global warming as much as the Arctic. I think Stephen Wilde’s explanation above is a possible explanation. Both the ozone hole through cooling of the Antarctic stratosphere and global warming through the poleward shift in the jet stream has lead to more zonal flow around the Antarctic resulting in less zonal mixing.

  23. gumshoe4096 says:

    Uh, didn’t summer just end in the northern hemisphere? Doesn’t sea ice generally break up when the weather gets warm in summer? What’s all the fuss? WInter is just a few months away and the sea will re-freeze. I think it’s called “weather”, not “climate change”.

  24. Steve Johnson says:

    Hey Steve, what’s the data set you’ve used here?

  25. Hambone says:

    I don’t know if we are warming, cooling, don’t know who is lying to who…what I do know is any change to our capability to feed ourselves will have catastrophic consequences. Don’t know if world is changing…we sure are…look at our population and imagine consequences of climate change or climate normalization….hmmm

    10k bc – 1 million
    1k bc – 50 million
    0ad – 200 million
    1500ad – 500 million
    1800ad – 1 billion
    1930ad – 2 billion
    1960 – 3 billion
    2000 – 6 billion
    2012 – 7.1 billion

  26. Mark says:

    Where is YOUR science? Can you name a reputable independent Climate organization which backs up your claim that increasing Antarctic ice indicates that Climate Change is a hoax?

  27. craig tarter says:

    No one can possibly know & these discussions make it painfully obvious. The left claims to have knowledge that only God possesses… & try to make us buy. It’s impossible to know what happened tomorrow. It’s a crap shoot & the lucky winner makes him/herself believe they REALLY knew.

  28. waking-to -kindness says:

    Does anyone know of a good site where only data & their implications re climate change are allowed ?

    ( & where poisonous plumes of ‘ad hominem’ attacks ,
    which often shrivel our tiny sprouts of real understanding ,
    are not . )

    RSVP to ; TX .
    For all …

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