Arctic Ice Data

Several months ago I began following the data presented at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  The University of Colorado provides the web site.  I really like the site, it’s full of interesting information and is less preachy than many climate data sites.

In April, the Ice Sheet in the Arctic was above average, now it’s at record lows.  Two months of very good ice formation weather was followed by two months of really good melting weather.  What conclusions can be drawn from the data.

Not much.  The data set is too small.   If we can go from above average to record lows in just 3 months…and most of the data in the last 5 years  lies outside  + or – 2 standard deviations (that should hold about 95% of the data) …the data set probably is too small.

The data appears to be fluctuating more than statistical analysis says would be normal…either the data is very unusual, which means the world is changing rapidly or the base line data is skewed.   I vote for skewed data, but I don’t know and I worry about air pollution coming from China.  Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and/or increased particulate air pollution from China might be really messing things up.

Most of the recent data is outside the normal data range.  I suspect the normal data range is flawed.  Time will tell…..lots of time.  Don’t expect an answer next week or next month or next year.  We could still be trying to figure this out 10 or 20 or 50 years from now.

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