Climate Ice is expanding at the poles while 2023 was

Climate: Ice is expanding at the poles while 2023 was the hottest year? Watch out for this post…

  • Internet users denounce “the warmist sect” by pointing out a paradox: the areas of the Arctic and Antarctic were slightly larger in January 2024 than a year earlier, while temperature records were broken in 2023.
  • To see the evolution of the ice, you have to look at several decades, experts remind 20 Minutes.
  • From this we can see that “sea ice is decreasing significantly with every decade,” specifies one of these specialists.

It is the “NASA” map released this time to attack the reality of global warming. In a post widely shared on Facebook earlier this year, internet users questioned the climate emergency based on a poor reading of data from the famous American space agency.

“'The earth is burning,' says UN president…” begins this post with the ellipsis necessary for this type of message. The author of this message, copied and pasted by dozens of Internet users, then tells us that “the Arctic will start 2024 with almost 1 million km2 more than last year.” Antarctica will start with almost 2 million additional km2. » Next comes the attack from the climate skeptics: “And all this after the so-called 'hottest year' of all time.” The warmist sect will have to explain this to us, in a new tinkering of which they have the secret and which they are therefore making high-flying craftsmen made. Pure manipulators. »

We need to look at the evolution of sea ice size over several decades

The statement comes from a reliable website, NSIDC, a partner of NASA, and was published by an American university, the University of Colorado Boulder. In fact, if we go there, we see that the sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic has started the year well, with an area slightly larger than that in January 2023. However, to realize the reality of global warming is a comparison two consecutive years just isn't the right method.

We observe developments in the long term, recall several scientists interviewed by 20 Minutes. “It is pointless to compare one year with the next,” explains François Lapointe, a researcher specializing in the Arctic. It's important to think long-term. »

In 2023 there was a “record minimum amount of ice in Antarctica”

So if we move the cursor over several decades, what does the data tell us? A look at the website of NASA's partner university shows that “sea ice is decreasing significantly with every decade,” adds François Lapointe.

If we look at 2023, “on average it is the hottest decade ever recorded, 2011-2020,” adds the University of Massachusetts Amherst scientist. We can see this perfectly in these graphs:

The sea ice surface in Antarctica in 2023 was below the average values ​​of previous decades. – NSIDC screenshot

Last year even saw “the lowest ice record in Antarctica,” adds Aurélien Quiquet, a researcher at the CNRS Environmental Climate Sciences Laboratory. For the Arctic, “even if the minimum record of 2012 was not reached,” the year 2023 will show, on average, “an extent that is very similar to the record year.”

As for the paradox highlighted by the post-climate skeptic – between a 2023 year that recorded record temperatures and an expanding sea of ​​ice at the beginning of the following year – François Lapointe recalls that “one winter is compared to that of the previous one”. Year has little meaning. » The expert emphasizes: “It is not surprising that sea ice can increase in winter.” With warming, the melting of glaciers and permafrost will lead to an increase in freshwater supplies to the Arctic seas. When this water is stirred up by strong cold westerly winds, more ice can form. »

This ice that is forming is “new ice” – and that is very important – the expert continued: “What is clear from the data is the disappearance of old sea ice that is several years old. “ » However, the fact that this thick ice is being replaced by thinner ice does not have the same impact on the climate or even the ecology of the area. “Younger, thinner ice allows more heat to escape from the ocean into the atmosphere, increasing air temperatures in the Arctic. »