Blink comparator above, showing US Navy PIPS ice – September 30, 2006 vs today.
As you can see, the extent and thickness of Arctic ice is similar today to what it was four years ago – before Dr. Hansen declared it to have reached a tipping point.
[PAST THE TIPPING POINT]
James Hansen of NASA is another brave exception, defying government gag orders. Hansen told Reuters, quote, “”The reason so much (of the Arctic ice) went suddenly is that it is hitting a tipping point that we have been warning about for the past few years.”
It also is not free of ice as Louis Fortier predicted. But there is more thick ice around the pole than there was in 2006. The graph below shows the distribution of ice today and in 2006.
In 2006 there was more ice thicker than 2.5 metres (red,) but 2010 shows more ice in the 1.75 – 2.5 metres range (green.) 2006 also had a lot more thin ice, indicated by the peak on the left side of the graph.
The NSIDC map below gives us an idea of what to expect over the winter. Most of the remaining blue second year ice will likely become multi-year ice, unless it blows out into the North Atlantic.
What does this all mean? Arctic ice health has nearly recovered back to pre-2007 levels. No “death spiral” indicated here.
Perhaps there was good reason for the Hansen gag order. Government employees are not allowed to engage in political activities while on the job.