Resurging Sea Ice: Antarctica Above Average Over Past 20 Years – Arctic Gaining Over Past 5 Years!

Examining the hard data on sea ice extent at the Earth’s poles, it would be very tough to argue that the globe is warming.

Melting has stopped in the Arctic

In the Arctic sea ice extent has indeed on average dropped a million square kilometers. But a look at the plotted sea ice anomaly data we see that sea ice has in fact stabilized over the past 11 years. And when one looks at the past 5 years, we see a rising trend.


Arctic sea ice anomaly (click chart to enlarge): Source:

Today the Arctic sea ice anomaly is some 742,000 square kilometers below the satellite mean. This is well within the range of natural variability. The truth is that over the past 10 years Arctic sea ice anomaly was below the 2 million sq. km. negative deviation only for a few weeks, and these events were mostly weather related.

Antarctica solidly above normal last 20 years

For global warming alarmists, Antarctica has been the huge inconvenience. A look at the plotted data over the past 20 years tells us that the mean Antarctic sea ice has been solidly above the long-term mean:


Antarctic sea ice anomaly. Source:

Two points are of great interest in Antarctica: 1) Sea ice recently stayed above normal for a period of more than 3 years, from 2012 to 2015. This is something that had never happened before during the satellite period. 2) The sea ice (long-term) trend in Antarctica over the past 30 years has undisputedly been one of steady rise. This has shocked a number of now very baffled climate scientists.

Overall total global sea ice has been rising robustly over the past four years. To say that global sea ice melting has accelerated over the past years is totally false. The opposite is true, as the following chart shows:

Global sea ice_anomaly_global_2015_12

Global sea ice anomaly . Source:

Global sea ice in fact has been at normal levels over the past three years. This is good news that obviously has yet to be communicated to the climate catastrophe-obsessed conference-goers in Paris.


14 responses to “Resurging Sea Ice: Antarctica Above Average Over Past 20 Years – Arctic Gaining Over Past 5 Years!”

  1. ClimateOtter

    That’s the one thing I hate about climate change arguments- it takes years, if not decades, for something to become obvious.

    The Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly is a case in point. If one recalls that there appears to be a 60-year Cycle for both poles, then one would say the Arctic has bottomed out, and is beginning the slow climb back to its’ next peak.

    If one ignores that there appears to be a 60-year cycle to the poles, then it just looks like it is bouncing around in the negatives, and could potentially go lower again.

    We need about five more years of data before the climb back to the next peak becomes obvious.

    Meantime, alarmists are screaming that it is all downhill from here and ‘we must do Anything NOWWWW!!!!’


  2. John F. Hultquist

    During the period 2001 to 2006 there is a gradual loss of Arctic Ocean floating ice and then a big drop in 2007. When multi-year ice (thick) decreases, passages are more easily entered by remaining ice that can “flush out” of the region because of strong winds and currents. Melting of the ice then happens out of the Arctic Basin. The major flushing action of 2007 has been studied; for example at WUWT: Link, with more links.

    This was followed by big swings in (thin) floating ice that appears to be stabilizing over the last 3 years – a very short series.

  3. Pethefin

    The truly inconvenient sea ice fact is found here:
    Since the beginning of November, the Arctic sea ice (30 % coverage) has been at the highest level for at least the past 10 years.

    1. DirkH

      The Curse of the COP.

  4. Graeme No.3

    sod hasn’t been along to explain that electric bicycles stop polar ice melting, so to forestall him Lloyd et al (2015) A seismic transect across West Antarctica: Evidence for mantle thermal anomalies beneath the Bentley Subglacial Trench and the Marie Byrd Land Dome. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 2015; DOI: 10.1002/2015JB012455

    Unless he is upset at not even being nominated for Climate Prat of the Year
    ( despite 59 being in the running for the semi-finals. Ken “ATTP” Rice has got 5 (chiefly from readers of Bishop Hill) making sod look like a loser.

    1. ClimateOtter

      ‘Look like’?

  5. Lasse

    Now AMO turns and ice will recover.
    If we have a cycle in the ice-cover it will show up now.
    From 1979 AMO has been warming and satellites has covered the result.
    It is a natural cycle.

    1. AndyG55

      You can see where we are in the AMO. and how it drives NH sea ice.

      What I’ve done here is take the November NH sea ice extent graph from the Arctic sea ice graphs page

      Flipped it and align it with the respective period of the AMO… and changed it to bright green so you can see it. 🙂

      As you can see, NH sea ice is behaving exactly as the AMO would dictate.

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  7. MikeW

    The 1990 IPCC Assessment Report recognized the cyclic nature of the Arctic sea ice extent. Figure 7.20 of that report shows a minimum extent in 1974 and a maximum extent in 1979. All observations since then have been well within those two extremes.

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  9. Buddy Tumbarello

    Another pause? Wheeewwwwwwwwwww. That IS good news. Hey…I just wanted to pop in to tell you how sorry I am that coal is well on its way “out the door”….and oil is next. Natural gas….that will have to wait a few decades…but it’s going to be history as well.

    Really sorry about doing away with dirty coal. Coal use is down to 30% in the US for generating electricity…down from 50% just several years ago.

    And I hear that BMW is going to have its whole fleet in 2025 be electric cars. Now THAT…is good news.

    I’m glad you found another “pause” to write about…now that the other pause is totally discredited.

    Take care chaps….

    Your pal….Buddy

    1. DirkH

      “Hey…I just wanted to pop in to tell you how sorry I am that coal is well on its way “out the door”….and oil is next. Natural gas….that will have to wait a few decades…but it’s going to be history as well.”

      Well of course we’ll stop using all of that once we find a cheaper source of energy.
      But, we haven’t, for now.

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