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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NSIDC's Walt Meier and Mark Serreze: Arctic Sea ice is not recovering (response to criticism of Mark Boslough in The New Mexican when he said that climate change denier Harrison Schmitt was wrong to say that sea ice had recovered)

 Arctic Sea ice is not recovering

The New Mexican, Santa Fe, February 7, 2011

Regarding Mark Boslough's January 25, 2011, My View, "Climate-change deniers ignore science," and in subsequent responses, there was discussion of Harrison Schmitt's statement that in 2009 Arctic sea ice had recovered to 1989 levels. Since data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center were cited, we feel it worthwhile to clarify the issue for readers. 

Sea ice conditions can vary from month to month, but overall we see the continuation of a strong downward trend. You can read our 2009 season analysis at 

While 2009 Arctic sea ice extent did briefly exceed 1989 levels in April and May, it was substantially less than 1989 the rest of the year. The 2009 maximum extent, minimum extent, and annual average extent values were all well below 1989. Based on these facts, it would be incorrect to suggest that 2009 represented a recovery of Arctic sea ice to 1989 levels. 

NSIDC posts the most recent data and regularly updated analyses of conditions at:

Walt Meier and Mark Serreze are senior research scientists at National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado at Boulder.

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