Arctic sea ice has *not* recovered, in 7 visuals

“And now it’s global COOLING! Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year” shouts the astonishingly misleading headline of a story by the Daily Mail’s David Rose.

It is true, that compared to last year, Arctic sea ice has bounced back some from its mind-boggling record low in 2012, 49 percent below the 1979-2000 average.

(National Snow and Ice Data Center)

(National Snow and Ice Data Center)

But this September’s Arctic sea ice extent, now near its minimum, is not exactly prospering, some 23 percent below normal. (As of Monday, the Arctic was covered by 2.00 million square miles of sea ice, compared to the 1979-2000 average of 2.59 million square miles.)

(National Snow and Ice Data Center)

(National Snow and Ice Data Center)

This year’s minimum should be the sixth lowest on record (since 1979), with only 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 having less extensive ice.

Figure23

(National Snow and Ice Data Center)

(Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

(Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

Not only is the Arctic sea surface ice melting, but so is the ice underneath, as illustrated in this excellent visualization (hat tip: Andrew Revkin):

And in this chart:

(University of Washington)

(University of Washington)

There is no basis, based on a one-year uptick, to conclude the long-term decline in Arctic ice has ceased.

Related reading:

The Vital Long View in Tracking Diminishing Arctic Sea Ice (Andrew Revkin, New York Times)

With Climate Journalism Like This, Who Needs Fiction? (Tom Yulsman, Discover blogs)

No, the World Isn’t Cooling (Phil Plait, Slate)

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Harvest moon to boldly shine tonight, Venus and Saturn snuggle up