Observational Evidence Reveals Regional Arctic Sea Ice Was Thinner In 1955 Than In 2015-’17!

According to a new paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the observed mean thickness of the sea ice in the region north of (Arctic) Svalbard was substantially thinner (0.94 m) in 1955 than it has been in recent years (~1.6 m, 2015/2017).

Graph Source: Rösel et al., 2018

In 1955, the atmospheric CO2 concentration hovered around 315 ppm, about 90 ppm lower than today’s CO2 values.

It is widely assumed that the steep and substantial rise in CO2 concentration since the 1950s is largely responsible for warming the Arctic, and consequently the decline in the Arctic’s sea ice volume and extent (IPCC, 2013).  This assumption is significantly predicated on the observation that sea ice has undergone precipitous losses since the 1970s, which is when the satellite era began.

However, longer-term observational data do not appear to support the conclusion that Arctic region sea ice is driven by linear trends in atmospheric CO2 concentration.  Indeed, there is evidence that Arctic sea ice extent was comparable or lower than now in the 1940s and 1950s (for example, see this annotated graph from Gagné et al., 2017).  Several other recently published papers also fail to support a CO2 – Arctic climate connection, as detailed in several articles found here at NoTricksZone during 2018.

1. 20 New Papers Crush Claims Of A Man-Made Link To Arctic Climate Change, Glacier Retreat, Sea Ice
2. Groundbreaking AGW-Undermining Study: Greenland’s Warming, Ice Loss Due To Geothermal Heat
3. Another New Paper Shows Arctic Sea Ice Has Been INCREASING Overall Since The 1930s
4. 12 New Papers Affirm A 21st Century Cessation Of Arctic Warming And A Rapid Cooling Across Antarctica
5.  Arctic Temps 2°-6°C Warmer Than Today With 4.5 Fewer Months Of Sea Ice Coverage 2,000 Years Ago
6.  New ‘Consensus’ Science: HALF Of 1979-Present Arctic Warming & Ice Loss Is Natural
7.  In 2015, Climate Scientists Wrecked Their Own CO2-Forced ‘Polar Amplification’ Narrative
8. Activists Continue To Peddle Unsupportable Claims Of NEVER-BEFORE Climate Alarm, Ignoring New Science

Regional Arctic sea ice was thicker than now in the 1950s?

In another newly published paper, observations from an Arctic region north of Svalbard affirm that sea ice thicknesses were indeed much higher than today during the 1970s, or when the linearly-decreasing sea ice trend documented by satellites (conveniently) commenced.

However, looking closely at Table 3 (shown in the introductory graph above) from the same paper, we see that sea ice thickness values may have been lower in the mid-1950s (0.94 m) than they are today (~1.6 m thicknesses on average).

If sea ice was was thinner than it is now during the same period of time that CO2 concentrations were substantially lower than they are now, this documented observational evidence appears to again undermine the conclusion that CO2 concentration rises are significantly connected to sea ice losses – or to the Arctic climate in general.


Rösel et al., 2018

Thin Sea Ice, Thick Snow, and Widespread Negative

Freeboard Observed During N‐ICE 2015 North of Svalbard

“We present a continuous time series of in situ measurements from the N‐ICE2015 expedition from January to June 2015 in the Arctic Basin north of Svalbard, comprising snow buoy and ice mass balance buoy data and local and regional data gained from electromagnetic induction (EM) surveys and snow probe measurements from four distinct drifts.
The observed mean snow depth of 0.53 m for April to early June [2015] is 73% above the average value of 0.30 m from historical [1955, 1970s] and recent observations in this region, covering the years 1955–2017.”
“The modal total ice and snow thicknesses, of 1.6 and 1.7 m [2015] measured with ground‐based EM and airborne EM measurements in April, May, and June 2015, respectively, lie below the [1970s] values ranging from 1.8 to 2.7 m, reported in historical observations from the same region and time of year [but well above the sea-ice thickness values of 0.94 m for 1955].”

28 responses to “Observational Evidence Reveals Regional Arctic Sea Ice Was Thinner In 1955 Than In 2015-’17!”

  1. tom0mason

    “Indeed, there is evidence that Arctic sea ice extent was comparable or lower than now in the 1940s and 1950s (for example, see this annotated graph from Gagné et al., 2017). ”

    A quasi-cyclic 60year variation is evident, I wonder what that could be?
    Maybe there’s an answer…
    Parker and Ollier, 2015

    A better understanding of the future climate pattern developments in the Arctic may only follow a better reconstruction of the past patterns of natural oscillations and the determination of the forcing and the resulting oscillations occurred in the climate parameters over different time scales. The proposed information for the past demonstrates the Walsh & Chapman reconstruction claiming a flat sea ice 1870 to 1950 is too simple. The Arctic sea ice experienced a drastic reduction that was phased with warming temperatures 1923 to 1940. This reduction was followed by a sharp cooling and sea ice recovery. This permits us to also conclude that very likely the Arctic sea ice extent also has a quasi-60 years’ oscillation. The recognition of a quasi-60 year’s oscillation in the sea ice extent of the Arctic similar to the oscillation of the temperatures and the other climate indices may permit us to separate the natural from the anthropogenic forcing of the Arctic sea ice. The heliosphere and the Earth’s magnetosphere may have much stronger influence on the climate patterns on Earth including the Arctic sea ices than has been thought.

    And Kenneth IMO these reports build on your previous http://notrickszone.com/2016/11/28/there-has-been-no-significant-net-change-in-arctic-sea-ice-extent-in-the-last-80-years/

  2. richard

    Accounts from 19th-century
    Canadian Arctic Explorers’ Logs
    Reflect Present Climate Conditions

    https://seagrant.uaf.edu/nosb/2005/resources/arctic-explorers.pdf

  3. AndyG55

    The dip between the 1920s and 1970s is clearly seen in the Icelandic sea ice data as well.

    https://s19.postimg.cc/bkgbf2prn/Icelandic_sea_ice_index_2.png

  4. SebastianH

    Did my comment about Kenneth’s faulty logic vanish or did a moderator delete it?

    I’ll try it again:

    If sea ice was was thinner than it is now during the same period of time that CO2 concentrations were substantially lower than they are now, this documented observational evidence appears to again undermine the conclusion that CO2 concentration rises are significantly connected to sea ice losses – or to the Arctic climate in general.

    There is no logic in that statement. A classic non sequitur. It’s the “it has been warm before” argument all over.

    1. Patrick Moore

      It is your statement that has no logic. If the ice was thinner during lower CO2 and is now thicker during higher CO2 it it obvious that higher CO2 is not the cause if thinner ice. It was kind of the moderator to allow it.

      1. Yonason

        IMO Pierre is entirely too kind to Sebastian, the resident activist troll, none of whose opinions comport with reality.

        PS – thanks for your excellent contributions to exposing the faux-green scams.

  5. SebastianH

    Some Arctic sea ice graphs:

    https://nsidc.org/sites/nsidc.org/files/images//mean_anomaly_1953-2012.png

    https://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/files/2017/08/walsh-gmst-sep.png

    https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/longterm

    May especially the last link get you the right idea of Arctic sea ice development. You know … from those “experts the rest of us trust” …

    1. AndyG55

      ROFLMAO. really seb, why the continued junk science.

      First two are FABRICATION from the AGW stall-warts.

      Agenda driven nonsense, based on NOTHING but need.

      You KNOW that Arctic sea ice follows temperature, right seb.. you have stated as such, MANY TIMES.

      Well here are the temperatures from several places around the Arctic.

      https://s19.postimg.cc/vws4z68s3/arctic_temp.png

      And here is a REALISTIC reconstruction of Arctic sea ice.

      https://s19.postimg.cc/hcmhnqak3/Arctic-_Sea-_Ice-_Alekseev-2016-as-shown-in-_Connolly-2017.jpg

      Notice anything ??

      Or are you going to turn around and tell us all that Arctic temperature and Arctic sea ice are uncorrelated.?

      The last link is the well worn out propaganda starting point of 1979, the COLDEST period since 1900.. Of course there was more sea ice then.

      Real point is that current levels are ABOVE 90-95% of the last 10,000 years, they are ANOMALOULSY HIGH

      ONLY the freezing cold anomaly of the LIA, and the late 1970s, (extent up there with that anomalously cold period), have had more sea ice than now.

      That is because the planet is only a small bump up from the LIA.

      Why do you DENY that the LIA was anomalously cold.

      Why do you DENY that the warming since then has been wholly beneficial.

      Why do you DENY that basically from the MWP backward to the start of the Holocene was WARMER than now.

      All this DENIAL is makes you sound like a real Climate Change Denier.

      1. SebastianH

        ROFLMAO. really seb, why the continued junk science.

        First two are FABRICATION from the AGW stall-warts.

        And that is the entire reason I don’t put in the extra effort of always presenting science. Nothing gets through to you, if it is opposing your world view it is automatically “a fabrication”. Great talking to you, not!

        And here is a REALISTIC reconstruction of Arctic sea ice.

        https://s19.postimg.cc/hcmhnqak3/Arctic-_Sea-_Ice-_Alekseev-2016-as-shown-in-_Connolly-2017.jpg

        Notice anything ??

        Yep, it is very different from other reconstructions.

        P.S.: You don’t need to write the world “DENY” or “DENIAL” that often. Otherwise one gets the impression that you are describing yourself. Because you know, you have to write the word “conspiracy” in order to be a conspiracy theorist, so writing those words surely makes you a denier [pseudoskeptic logic] 😉

        1. AndyG55

          pssss.. seb,

          You don’t have the be in TOTAL DENIAL all your life.

          And there’s that conspiracy meme of yours again.

          So slap-stick hilarious , seb

          It is noted that you cannot counter one thing I said.

          You also failed to see the Arctic sea ice matching real temperatures, unlike the first two fabrications.

          Are you DENYING that Arctic temperature is related to Arctic sea ice ?

          Are you DENYING that when its colder then you get more sea ice.

          .. and are you DENYING that when its warmer you get less sea ice.

          You poor thing, you have just destroyed the use of naturally diminished Arctic sea ice as an indicator of the fantasy of “global warming”

          Cognitive malfunction and comedic faceplant, all in one, seb

          HILARIOUS. 🙂

      2. tom0mason

        Cheers AndyG55,

        “First two are FABRICATION from the AGW stall-warts.”
        😀 ☺️ 😁 😀 😍 🤣
        LOL, that apt phrase made me chuckle.

  6. Bitter&twisted

    The AGW scam will continue until there is a definitive cooling for several years.
    The expenditure of financial and political capital is just too much to back down now.
    However in 10-15 years most of the cynical/ignorant politicians, climastrologists and rent-seeker will have retired or croaked.
    Sickeningly, none of these criminals will ever be brought to account.

    1. SebastianH

      The AGW scam will continue until there is a definitive cooling for several years.

      You’d need a cooling that is definetly not caused by the Sun or other known variables. Why? Because our CO2 “scam” doesn’t say that it will continuously warm at all. That is only the prediction which takes all the other variables into account too. If the Sun were to suddenly half its output, it would certainly cool, but the enhanced GHE would also still be there.

      However in 10-15 years most of the cynical/ignorant politicians, climastrologists and rent-seeker will have retired or croaked.

      I hope so too … all the retirees fantasizing about AGW being a scam hopefully had a nice time not enjoying their retirements by trying to push nonsense on us and be gone by then. Stop trying to sabotage our world angry old folks!

      1. AndyG55

        There is ZERO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that CO2 has caused ANY of the hugely beneficial warming out of the LIA, seb

        You KNOW THAT, because you CANNOT produce any, and I bet you have wasted HUGE amounts of time searching ;-).

        All you have left is to blindly and mindlessly keep chanting about FANTASY CO2 warming, in some BIZARRE religious fundamentalist way.

        STOP being petulant, nil-educated, juvenile, know-nothing, seb.

        And STOP destroying the environment and avian wildlife with wind turbines and solar farms

        And STOP foisting the enormous subsidies of the AGW unreliables and the high costs of a secondary erratic supply system onto society.

  7. Study: Arctic Sea Ice Was Thinner In 1955 Than In years 2015-2017 | Watts Up With That?

    […] More at No Tricks Zone […]

  8. AndyG55

    A great little read about 1922

    https://s19.postimg.cc/vh4l0jigj/Changing_Arctic_1922.png

    He pointed out that formerly, the waters around Spitzbergen held an even summer temperature of 3º Celsius; this year recorded temperatures up to 15º, and last winter the ocean did not freeze over even on the north coast of Spitzbergen

    Must have been all the CO2 from model T Fords ! 😉

    There was ice on the north coast of Spitzbergen this year.

    Still some left even now, well into the melt cycle.

  9. Alfons Mittelmeyer

    So sea ice extent was lower during the cold period?

    Of course the sea ice extent could have been lower during the Maunder Minimum. Didn’t somebody think,that low solar activity could change the direction of winds? For example a warm ocean current from Lybia to the U.S.A. and a current from Europe to Newfoundland and then to Iceland? Also Benjamin Franklin heared from fishers, that in former times there was a current from Newfoundland to Iceland. But he thought, that this was the Gulf Stream, which course at his time would have been changed by the growing of the Grand Banks. But he wasn’t right. It wasn’t the Gulf Stream:

    http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/thematic-maps/quantitative/hydrography/happel-map-1675.jpg

  10. AndyG55

    Another nice little piece of Arctic history.

    https://s19.postimg.cc/vcg6sr50z/Arctic_sea_1122.gif

    1. Yonason

      But Andy, we can see the oceans rising so much faster now, because of the melting.
      https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/uk-sea-level-rise-in-2017/

      OK, it may not be obvious from the data, but that’s why you have to have faith, and lots of it, …and maybe a pair of these glasses?
      http://www.toptenz.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/xray-specs.jpg

  11. Arctic sea ice thicker now than in 1955
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    […] Observational Evidence Reveals Regional Arctic Sea Ice Was Thinner In 1955 Than In 2015-’17! […]

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