Declaring The Ice-Free Arctic

The term “ice-free” started at zero km^2, and is now up to twice the size of Texas.  Why stop there? I officially declare the Arctic to be ice-free at four million km^2.

Furthermore, John Holdren explained that after the Arctic becomes ice-free in summer, it will also become ice-free in winter. This means that earth will soon become like Venus – and we will all vaporize in a cloud of blue steam.

Paul Ehrlich – 1972

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28 Responses to Declaring The Ice-Free Arctic

  1. Ice free Arctic in winter is possible I guess. Although I still think we have better odds betting on alien invasion.

  2. squid2112 says:

    Well, I guess we were “extremely lucky” then huh?

  3. squid2112 says:

    And again, I still say, even if the Arctic were ice free, all year round, it would still not make a shit bit of difference to anything.

    • Julienne Stroeve says:

      squid2112, do you really believe that? Our atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns are driven by the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles. Do you not think an Arctic that was ice-free year around would not also be warmer? Would that not then change the temperature gradient between the equator and the pole? Or do you expect the equator to heat up by a similar amount that the Arctic would have to warm up to in order for no ice to exist?

      • miked1947 says:

        It would mean a milder climate. However that is not going to happen any day soon. The next warm spell will be in about 100,000 years , after the next Glacial Maximum, that we are over due to start. Actually we are not even over due because the globe started cooling off 5,000 years ago and we are experiencing that cooling trend. A long slow ride to glaciers covering the Rockies and much of the Northern Hemisphere above 40 North.
        I think Boulder is in one of the areas that will be covered by glaciers. Sometime in the next 80,000 years.

      • squid2112 says:

        As you point out, they would become closer in temperature. If anything, that would indicate milder weather, not more extreme, would it not? Are you able to process logic?

        Further, we know this has happened in the past. Did the Earth quit rotating? Did we magically boil away our oceans and become Venus like? Are you even capable of processing logic?

      • I think Julienne is right, guys. If the Arctic sea ice disappears, the Greenland ice-sheet isn’t far behind, & with those two giant heat-sinks gone, we might never have another Katrina. Can you imagine? Karl Rove’s hurricane gun could never again be used against the innocent, gentle, & sober people of New Orleans.

      • miked1947 says:


      • ganesha says:

        Google “eemian”

      • Don Sutherland says:

        Great points, Dr. Stroeve. I believe one can already see the impact of the declining summer sea ice extent in the fall/early winter temperature anomalies in the Arctic.

      • squid2112 says:

        @Don Sutherland,

        Don, exactly how is it that you know the ice loss in the Arctic is responsible for any sort of temperature anomaly? Please explain how you discern this from any other source responsible for any supposed anomalies.

      • Don Sutherland says:


        The increased expanse of open water from declining ice extent and ice area minima results in more heat being absorbed by the water than would be the case were ice expanse greater. Afterward, when the energy balance shifts at the end of the Arctic summer, more heat would be available to be released from the warmer water, resulting in warmer surface and lower tropospheric temperatures than would otherwise be the case. This process is not a forcing (which adds energy to the earth’s climate system), but one that involves a transfer of heat from one part of the climate system (water) to another (surface/atmosphere).

        If one runs the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis maps for the fall and early winter, one finds pronounced warm anomalies. Moreover, those warm anomalies exist regardless of whether the Arctic Oscillation is positive or negative. That outcome, which diverges from even a few decades ago, suggests that a factor other than the synoptic pattern is responsible. That factor likely is the Arctic Amplification. Arctic Amplification is an expected outcome of ongoing climate change.

        In fact, looking for literature, I just found a paper published by a number of the NSIDC scientists that discusses this topic and in detail. I look forward to reading the paper this evening. The link is: Dr. Stroeve (who posts here) is one of the co-authors, so she’s the best source from whom one can obtain more information on the link between declining sea ice and Arctic amplification.

      • Don Sutherland says:

        FWIW, the paper ( to which I provided the link is outstanding.

  4. edcaryl says:

    By saying the Arctic will be ice free in winter, Holdren has just proved himself a complete idiot.

  5. Scarface says:

    “everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam”

    Sounds like he is having flashbacks of his time in college. What the hell were they smoking there?
    He clearly lost it already there then. Must have been some heavy sh*t.

  6. Chillville says:

    What gives with the soluble salt levels?
    Their concentrations (at the surface & at depths) effect not only water freeze/melt points, but they’re key for electrical conduction as well. The effects of ice provide varying thermal conduction properties, but also electrical/magnetic conduction, or lack thereof. Think of an LCR circuit that varies over time, especially when the magnetic field is connected directly between the poles!
    When looking throughout history, the total magnetic field has not been included and as we know, our planet like all bodies exhibit varying fields with holes, intensification and mass reduction all based on our planets core.
    Because the experts cannot think of any other possibilities for added warmth, carbon dioxide must be the culprit???
    Absolute geniuses, aren’t they?

  7. Andy DC says:

    Less temperature gradient means a weaker jetstream, hence fewer tornadoes and floods, that by the way have also been blamed on global warming.

  8. Chillville says:

    Does the varying conditions of our planet’s core, (& varying magnetosphere) have a cyclic signature. Does it’s variation over time affect plate tectonics and all of those dreaded rifts, volcanos and seismic events?
    What is the thermal equilibrium between the core, mantle and surface, over time?
    The sun has cycles along with our solar route, but ignoring our core is dumbfounding…

  9. Anto says:

    Walt Meier, on how the Arctic is just a “big slushie”. LOL!

  10. Julienne Stroeve says:

    Don, yes we have already been seeing the impacts of the loss of sea ice on warming in autumn and increases in atmospheric water vapor. I think some of this is then linked to early snowfall over Siberia, though when I looked at data through 2008, I mostly found more frequent and stronger cyclones in the North Atlantic, bringing precipitation into Eurasia during years with less summer sea ice, so the links are not entirely clear. It would be good to repeat that work with data through 2012 since we now have 4 more years of anomalous open water in summer.

    • Don Sutherland says:

      Thanks for the info., Dr. Stroeve. I agree that it would be good to take a look at the expanded sample. It would be interesting to see what that turns up.

    • Ben says:

      Oh no! More, earlier snow over 9.7 million square kilometers of Siberia will shift the albedo and reflect sunlight. Whatever shall we do?

  11. donald penman says:

    The argument from those who believe in AGW is that we cannot think of any other reason why the Arctic ice would be declining other than by AGW ,I think though it would be possible to find other reasons and examine them if some people did not have there minds allready made up before looking at this issue.

  12. BaldHill says:

    Don made a comment about this on another post, can’t find it at the moment and I agree on that one. And believe me, I don’t think that Don and I see the climate issue in the same light.
    Let’s stop the name calling, and that goes for both “sides”.
    It is sad to read some of the comments which only call another person’s intellect into question.
    It really does nothing to the debate.
    We all have our reasons for siding with for one or the other and some of those reasons are more scientific then others, ultimately one side is going to be wrong.
    We may not agree with someone else’s point of view but that is no reason for name calling.
    Keep it to writing down your point of view.

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