Arctic Ice Thickness Makes A Huge Gain – Global Warming Freezes More Ice!

Back in January I wrote about how the Arctic had gained 2000 cubic kilometres in ice volume. This was calculated by comparing the sea ice thickness of January 2008 to that of January 2011, see the following chart.

Mid-January Arctic sea ice thickness comparison of 2008 to 2011.

Blue color shows thin ice, while green shows thicker ice. Clearly the Arctic’s ice was much thicker in Jan-2011 than it was three years ago in Jan-2008. There is about twice as much solid green in 2011 than in 2008, thus yielding the net gain of about 2000 cubic kilometers.

5000 cubic km more sea ice?

Now that we’ve just past the March-peak in Arctic sea ice area, I thought it’s a good time to take another look at the Arctic sea ice thickness again. What follows is a comparison of March 23, 2008 (the old death spiral days) and March 25, 2011.

Source of charts:

Well lo and behold, we see yet another huge increase. That ice thickness increase has grown even more.

Note the huge difference in just three years. Today practically the entire Arctic cap is green…meaning an average thickness of over 3 meters. In 2008 the average thickness down to about 2m. This is all further confirmed by the current Catlin Arctic Survey (h/t: tomnelson.blogspot).

Some of the ice we crossed was really thick multi-year ice that was just too thick to drill through. Our drill goes to four and a half metres and it wasn’t breaking through. In other areas we were able to drop our measuring devices down to a depth of 200 metres below the floating ice.”

I wonder if Mark Serreze is taking note. Hopefully he’ll behave as the scientist he claims to be and make the observation.

I haven’t systematically calculated the March differences above, but you can assume that the core cap itself has an area of 5 million square km. Now multiply that times one meter of added thickness and you get a volume growth of 5000 cubic km!

Okay, that’s just rough guesstimating (perhaps) on the high side, but the ice gain is whopping no matter what. Dr. “Freeze” Serreze can make the calculation himself. Predictions of higher sea ice extents come September are well-founded. The recovery appears to be well on the way. Arctic warming has disappeared.

14 responses to “Arctic Ice Thickness Makes A Huge Gain – Global Warming Freezes More Ice!”

  1. nofreewind

    Kudos. You have done a terrific job with this website! Great analysis.
    The “scientists” in 2008 had it all wrong. Fat chance that they’ll act like real scientists act, to the contrary – they’ll be on to the next scare, they will find something.

  2. mindert eiting

    Regional temperature series typically have U-shapes, also in the Arctic region. We are on our way to the bottom of the next U, although warmist do not like that. Alas, Mother Earth does not give a damn about warmists and their ideology.

  3. Frank Lansner

    Hi there!

    Each month i update the pips2 data, here is included the March 1 trends:

    K.R: Frank Lansner

  4. Kevin

    Global warming is not all bad, people. Yesterday, my car wouldn’t start for some reason. But today, because of global warming, it started fine!

  5. Colin Henderson

    Obviously global warming causes more and thicker ice – duh. What more proof do you need?

  6. Jean Rochefort

    So one of the paradox of the GHG theory is solved : global warming causing more ice is no more just restricted to the South pole.

  7. Edward

    Yes PG but the alarmists will point to sea ice extent and say; “it’s still below average.”
    Of course we’ll say; “take a look at world total, ie, the south.”

    The Caitlin survey make posts about how damn cold it is ‘up there’ – well no ***t, the ice is thickening and that cannot be denied, oceanic currents, the Arctic Oscillation? – there is something going on here which is not understood fully.

    It will be interesting to observe the summer melt, which must surely slow this summer because of ice thickness, we shall see.

    A last point, wasn’t Herr Rahmstorf [1]hypothesising on the ‘warming’ in the Arctic and postulating on ‘so called warming’ in the far North leading to colder winters in the NH?!*?

    A couple of Gore’s big [supposed] pointers to ‘runaway warming’ were the snows of Kilimanjaro ‘disappearing’ [not melt just poor land use and deforestation] – the snow seems to be returning however[2]…..and the ice disappearing in the Arctic – well the sea ice extent is low but…….the ice multiple year ice thickens!

    What we need now is, the Alpine glaciers to re-commence their downwards march…..maybe[!].



  8. balbulican

    I’m looking for the source of your maps, and for the data set used to compile them. Can you tell me where this information is from, please?

  9. Louise

    Balbulican, you’re such a tool. Look at the graphic itself. The URL is right on it:

  10. dizzy

    The navy Polar Ice Projection Model. PIPS

    Anthony Watts like this for obvious reasons. However, last year hedid provide space for a post by NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier on PIPS -vs- PIOMAS

    which ends —
    // One final note about both PIPS and PIOMAS: Steve [Goddard] has claimed that “everyone agrees that PIPS 2.0 is the best data source of historical ice thickness”. Well, no scientist would even agree that what PIPS 2.0 produces are data! Being a data person myself, this is a bit of a pet peeve, but it’s important to make the distinction that model outputs are not data. Models are tremendously useful for obtaining information where data doesn’t exist (i.e., data sparse regions, historical periods without data), for projecting future changes, and for understanding how physical processes interact with each other (e.g., changes in climate due to changes in forcings).

    However, model results are simulations, not observed data. And if there is good data available, I trust data over model estimates. And there is good historical data on ice thickness from submarine and satellite records (Kwok and Rothrock, 2009) and from proxy thickness estimates from ice age data (e.g., Maslanik et al., 2007). These data clearly show a long-term thinning trend. And while 2010 has relatively less of the thinner, first-year ice than the last couple of years, the ice cover is still much thinner than it was in earlier years. And it is clear that the models don’t entirely capture the spatial distribution of thickness correctly.

    As an example, compare the first-year ice in the ice age figure above with the PIPS 2.0 estimate from the same time period (below). In May, PIPS showed most of the central Arctic covered by ~3+ m ice, all the way to the Siberian coast. This is simply not realistic because the ice age data indicate first-year ice on much of the Siberian side of the Arctic (see images above), which would average at most 2 m. Thus Steve’s comparison of May 2010 and May 2008 with PIPS data is not valid because the model results are capturing observed spatial patterns of thickness.

  11. palvisha

    o my gosh does that mean that polar bears will be able to repopulate again cause at school we saw this video on global warming and polar bears were eating each other for food.

    1. DirkH

      The Polar bear population is thriving for decades now. The video you saw probably showed normal cannibalism where a male Polar bear kills cubs that have not been fathered by him. In other words, a propaganda video with a misleading commentary.

      The cause for the Polar Bear population decline in the 50ies and 60ies was hunting.

  12. Gary

    The URL used in the article no longer works. Try this new one from Naval Research Lab with higher resolution ice thickness:

    It has some very nice 30 day and one year animations. Looks like the ice coverage as of 21 Feb 2012 is greater than last year on the North American side of Arctic Ocean, a little less on the European side. Same for thickness.

  13. Big Carbon « The Greenroom

    […] ice pack is bigger than it was 30 years ago, even though the Arctic ice pack has receded (but is regaining thickness again in the last 3 years, a prelude to horizontal expansion); the globe was demonstrably – based on […]

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