Editor Note

The key takeaway from this article is that the models predicting artic ice have not taken into account the negative feedback that is now being observed.    The more melt gives way to more freezing. 


Here are some relevant excerpts below. 


Arctic Ice Natural Variability

Andy May / 6 hours ago October 5, 2017

WUWT Article Link

By Javier


A year ago I wrote an article at WUWT analyzing the recent upward trend in summer Arctic sea ice extent. Despite challenges of statistical irrelevancy, the trend has continued another year.  Arctic ice experts, that have repeatedly predicted the demise of summer ice, don’t have an explanation for a 10-year trend that contradicts their predictions, beyond statistical variability or unexplained natural variability.  


They believe the upward trend will end any year, and there were high expectations that 2017 was going to be that year, due to the low maximum in March.  As we will see a low maximum has no predictive value.


However, the upward trend was predicted by Divine & Dick in 2006, based on the analysis of Nordic sea melt-season ice changes for the period from 1750-2002, where they identified two periodicities of ~60-80 years and ~20-30 years.


  • This result leads up to some very important conclusions:
  • Arctic sea ice dynamics are driven by unpredictable melting. Freezing is reactive and largely predictable.
  • This indicates a very strong negative feedback in action. A small melting is followed by a small refreezing, and a huge melting by a huge refreezing. Surprisingly this is not known by many ice experts that expressed surprise after the huge refreezing that followed the huge 2012 melting.
  • The negative feedback stabilizes sea ice. Alarmism and spirals of death are unjustified.
  • The much-touted albedo effect can only have a small effect in the Arctic, as the lost ice is recovered during the following “dark” season, during which albedo has no role.
  • An example that evidence always trumps logic. Inter-annual changes in sea ice are due to the small residuals indicated in the figure by the colored areas. Red for decrease and blue for increase. Around 1998 Arctic sea ice changed its dynamics and entered a period of higher volatility.
  • One possibility is that below a certain size the Arctic sea ice sheet becomes more unstable and sensitive to weather phenomena.

To continue, we must concentrate on the annual difference between melt and refreeze.  I define the anomaly for a year as the summation of the melt that occurs on that year and the refreeze that starts on that year and ends in the next year.  This produces another amazing chart.



Figure 3. Arctic sea ice extent anomaly


The anomaly graph is very homogeneous for the 38-year period analyzed, despite huge changes in Arctic sea ice. So, there are more interesting conclusions to be extracted from the data:

  • The yearly anomaly appears to be range bound.
  • No positive or negative changes bigger than 600,000 square kilometers are observed. Despite periods when the anomalies are skewed towards one side, overall the observed linear trend is flat at –53,000 square kilometers/year.
  • This means no acceleration of the Arctic sea ice loss is observed for the 38-year period, during which atmospheric CO2 levels have increased enormously to values not observed in over a million years.
  • This result supports the hypothesis that cyclical changes in ice cover, over time, average out.
  • As opposed to the hypothesis that ice cover loss is accelerating due to an increasing anthropogenic effect.



I do believe we are entering a period of Arctic sea ice stabilization, and even expansion, that should last until around 2042, and this is a prediction in stark contrast with IPCC’s ice models that see an end to summer Arctic sea ice by 2040-2080 for most scenarios and near constant decline until then.


High sea ice variability could produce some ice-free summers around 2075, but the conditions for the existence of summer Arctic sea ice are likely to remain for the foreseeable future.  By 2100, atmospheric CO2 levels are expected to stabilize in the more credible RCP 4.5 scenario, and the millennial cycle is expected to change phase, so there won’t be a net negative ice driver. From then on, Arctic sea ice should start growing for many centuries to come.


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