Close this search box.

Analysis: Arctic Sea Ice Extent Stable Since 2007

By Paul Homewood


Contrary to popular myth, summer sea ice extent in the Arctic is not in a death spiral.

As the above DMI graph shows, August extent has been remarkably stable since 2007.

Back in March, the “experts” were telling us that the record low extent last winter would inevitably lead to lower summer extent.

For instance, Rick Thoman the climate science manager for the National Weather Service’s Alaska region told us:

If we are starting out very low that gives a jump on the melt season. For the last few years, we have had extremely low ice cover in the summer. That means a lot more solar energy absorbed by the darker open water. That heat tends to carry over from year to year.”

NSIDC’s Ted Scambos said:

“Thin ice and beset by warm weather – not a good way to begin the melt season,”

Prof Julienne Stroeve, at University College London added:

“Such thin ice going into the melt season sets us up for the possibility of record low sea-ice conditions this September.”


In fact the opposite was true. Reduced ice cover in the winter does not lead to more solar energy absorbed by the darker open water, as there is virtually no sun at that time of year. Instead the open water quickly loses heat to the atmosphere, and eventually into space.

We saw the effect of that in action when ice extent quickly returned to the level of the last few years during spring.

With only a couple of weeks to go till likely minimum, ice extent is still running above that of the last two years, and barring a major storm will stay that way.