This weekend The Mail Online published a story purporting to explain how "How [the Arctic] Ice Sheet Grew 920,000 Square Miles In A Year". The story was written by David Rose, so of course it did nothing of the sort! We've come across Mr. Rose before, when he regurgitated one of his "Great Green Con" stories earlier this year, so now let's take a closer look at his most recent "Great White Con". I quote David's opening words of "wisdom":
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent.
The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.
Instead, days before the annual autumn re-freeze is due to begin, an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores.
Below this is a graphic. On the left is an image purporting to show the Arctic in "August 2012". The caption reads "This NASA satellite image shows the ice at the smallest extent on record". Needless to say Mr. Rose doesn't reveal the sources of his information, but here's a relevant one:
As you can plainly see, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC for short) the annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent occurs in September, and "the smallest extent on record" occurred in September 2012, not August. Later on in the Mail article a remarkably similar image is labelled "Aug 27, 2012". Maybe that's correct? Maybe not!
Going back up to the first graphic in the Mail article, the right hand side purports to show the Arctic in "August 2013". Later on a remarkably similar image is labelled "Aug 15, 2013". Maybe that's correct? Maybe not!
Which ever way you like to spin it it certainly looks as though Mr. Rose isn't comparing like with like. Maybe one reason for that is because this is what the Arctic sea ice "looked" like by August 27th 2013:
Satellite image of the Arctic Sea Ice on August 27th 2013 - Click for a video!
That picture was created from an image generated by the University of Bremen using data from the AMSR2 sensor on board the Japanese SHIZUKU satellite. Click on the image above to see an animation revealing how the area covered by ice in the Arctic changed between August 15th and 27th. Note that the substantial "hole" in the Arctic sea ice that had developed near the North Pole by August 27th is strangely absent from any of the images in the Mail Online article. Note also that the edge of the ice and "Russia’s northern shores" (off the image at the top) are in fact quite far apart, and that a variety of ships from a variety of nations (including China) are currently traversing the Northern Sea Route as we speak. Should you or David Rose prefer to see a "visual" image of the Arctic sea ice on August 27th 2013 rather than a "microwave" one, the NASA Worldview web site helpfully provides such a thing. This is what it reveals:
A view of the Arctic from the Aqua satellite on August 27th 2013
Moving on down the page at The Mail, next we are informed that:
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year. More than 20 yachts that had planned to sail it have been left ice-bound.
As our regular readers will know here at econnexus.org we have been following events in the Northwest Passage very closely this summer. As our latest report on the topic should make clear, even to David Rose, this is nonsense. The central route via the McClure Strait certainly remains impassable by a yacht. With a certain amount of difficulty a number of yachts have made it through the southern route, and whilst one or two have decided to spend the coming winter in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and rather more have required some assistance from a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, none are "ice bound" as yet.
Neither David Rose nor anyone else at the Mail has yet responded to my requests for details of which numbers they crunched to come up with their headline figures, so I'm working in the dark a bit here. Assuming for the moment that they are in some way based upon the NSIDC daily Arctic sea ice extent numbers, they can easily be viewed by any even vaguely diligent researcher on the NSIDC web site. Here's what they reveal for this time this year.
NSIDC daily Arctic sea ice extent chart, highlighting September 7th 2013
The corresponding figure for "this time last year" is 3.53 million km². A quick calculation reveals a difference of 1.678 million km², which works out to be "0.648 million square miles". The ratio of the two numbers is 1.475, or "an increase of 47.5%" in David Rose speak.
Given the number of things that David Rose has evidently managed to get wrong in just the first few lines of his article whilst discussing Arctic sea ice, how many more do you suppose he got wrong when he went on to consider "global cooling"? Whilst you ponder that point, here's another video that explains what's really happening to the sea ice in the Arctic as we speak: