Cooling Poles – Top 3 Coldest Arctic Summers Will Have All Occurred In Past 5 Years

The Arctic, we are told, is the canary in the climate coal mine. No place on the planet is supposed to warm faster. As global warming takes hold, we are really supposed to see it at the Earth’s poles. If that’s true, then we should really be opening up our minds to the real possibility of a cooling planet because summertimes at the North Pole are cooling.

Coldest arctic summers

Three of the last five Arctic summers have been the coldest on record. Graphics snipped from the

Arctic summers can be examined going back to 1958 using data from the Danish Meteorological Institute here. It turns out the 3 coldest Arctic summers have all occurred in the last 5 years. Not even the summers of the 1960s were colder. 2013 still has about three weeks to go, yet the forecasts show that it’s place in the record books is pretty much secured.

So why has Arctic sea ice extent reached record lows over the past 5 years, we might ask? Sea ice melt involves a lot more than just surface atmospheric temperature. Historical records show that a major force is ocean cycles. From 1980 to 2000, both the AMO and PDO saw warm phases, and so the Arctic ice melt was likely caused by the warmer surface sea water. But now that the PDO has flipped to its cool phase and the AMO is transitioning to its cool phase, we can expect the Arctic to begin its recovery over the next 2 decades – just like it did during the 1950s and 60s. There’s likely a decade or so lag between Arctic surface temperatures and sea ice coverage.

I’d bet a good bottle of Scotch that we’ll be seeing a rising Arctic sea ice trend over the next 10 years.

Finally, not only the North Pole is chilling out, but so is the South Pole, which has been setting record highs for sea ice extent. See here.


19 responses to “Cooling Poles – Top 3 Coldest Arctic Summers Will Have All Occurred In Past 5 Years”

  1. Ben Wouters

    “If that’s true, then we should really be opening up our minds to the real possibility of a cooling planet because summertimes at the North Pole are cooling.”
    Actually we have been cooling for the last 82 million years already. Back then the deep oceans were ~17K warmer than today, and we had forests on Antarctica.
    Occasionally we encountered a little warming, but the general trend was cooling at on average 1K every 5 million years. No wonder we are in an era with ice ages.
    And it all has nothing to do with CO2 😉

    see my post here:

  2. Ed Caryl

    The ice buoys above 80 degrees and in the Bufort Sea are all now below freezing.

  3. Juergen Uhlemann

    You could win the Arctic sea ice trend bet as this year looks so far as one of them.

  4. Phil Kearney

    If the winters are colder yet the sea ice is melting, what is the state of the glaciers at this point? Are they still retreating or are they reforming?

  5. Zoyx

    The winters remain well above normal. That’s probably the main reason the ice extent continues to shrink. Interesting how you didn’t show the entire graphic.

    1. RCS

      The winters remain well below freezing? Is that why the ice shrinks?

    2. DirkH

      Zoyx; Pierre is an evil denier and shows only small snippets of sea ice graph to mislead people. That is also the reason why he doesn’t have a column of “climatic indicators” links on the right sidebar.


  6. Jimbo

    The Arctic has recovered before. See below for the 1920s and 1930s ‘warming’.

    The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism

    The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the twentieth century. During the peak period 1930–40, the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60°–90°N amounted to some 1.7°C…..;2

    The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic

    During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish……

    Monthly Weather Review October 10, 1922.
    The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explores who sail the seas about Spitsbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface….

    In August, 1922, the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an expedition to Spitsbergen and Bear Island under Dr. Adolf Hoel, lecturer on geology at the University of Christiania. The oceanographic observations (reported that) Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81o 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus…..”

  7. John F. Hultquist

    Here in central Washington State we have had hot and dry for a few weeks. I’ve heard old-timers call this period Summer. If you don’t mind, send a little of that “cool” our way. Cheers.

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  10. Trevor

    With all this fresh ice, how come the BBC gets away with running stories about new shipping lanes over the pole revolutionising sea transport?

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