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Why Third Year Arctic Ice Will Increase Next Year

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Watts Up With That?
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guest post by Steven Goddard

In spite of the excess global sea ice area and the freezing Catlin crew, AGW proponents have recently ramped up the rhetoric about “melting ice caps.”  This has been based on a couple of points.

1.  In the southern hemisphere, cracks appeared in a 200 metre thick ice shelf, as seen below.


The ice cracked, not melted – but that minor detail didn’t stop nearly every major news outlet in the world from hinting at the fiery and imminent end to the planet.

2.  At the other pole, NSIDC released an interesting statistic that Arctic ice “older than two years” reached a record low this winter.

So what happened to the three year old ice in 2009?  The answer is simple.  During the summer of 2007, almost all of the 1st year ice melted.  Because of this, there was very little 2nd year ice in 2008, and 3rd year ice in 2009.  The amount of second year ice in 2008 had to be less than or equal to the amount of first year ice at the end of the 2007 summer.  Even if we had entered an ice age in 2008, there would not be much third year ice in 2009.
However, note in the NSIDC graph above that the amount of 2nd year ice (orange) approximately tripled in 2009 relative to 2008, from about 3% to 10%.  The implication being that (barring a radical change in Arctic conditions) the amount of 3rd year ice will likely expand significantly in extent in 2010.  Perhaps even triple in extent.  Simply because the “terrible two” year old ice will be one year older.  The red-brown portion of the graph should increase in height next year, as the 2nd year ice becomes more than 2 years old.  The top of the orange should also move up significantly, as the red-brown region below it pushes it up.
No wonder people are pushing so hard for “climate legislation” in 2009.  Graphs like the one below don’t look very scary, with global sea ice area 683,000 km2 above normal, and Catlin reporting wicked cold – day after day.

This article was posted: Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 3:49 am

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