WOW!!!! Antarctic Sea Ice Extent All Time Records Set in 2012

Update: Take at look at the amazing AMO vs Arctic vs Antarctic graph here.

As you may know, I have been using Cryosphere’s Antarctic Sea Ice Area data to show the record levels of Antarctic Sea Ice.

But I just found another data set, NOAA’s Sea Ice Extent here. (thanks to commenter HaroldW at the Blackboard)

And it turns out day 265 set an all time record, and then day 266 broke that record. Days 265 through 270 are now the 6 highest Antarctic Sea Ice Extent’s of all time!!!!

11 of the top 15 are now 2012.

Anyone wonder why NOAA isn’t making a fuss about this?

Year Day of Year Ice Extent
2012 266 19.45418
2012 268 19.4478
2012 267 19.44631
2012 270 19.4433
2012 269 19.41601
2012 265 19.36135
2006 264 19.35934
2012 257 19.35567
2012 271 19.35207
2006 267 19.34999
2012 264 19.34204
2012 259 19.33522
2006 265 19.3289
2006 268 19.32669
2012 258 19.31503


  1. Should it truly be the sun that is causing the global warming, then would it not also be true that the Antarctic sea ice extent would be decreasing as rapidly as the Arctic sea ice? Was there a global ban on Antarctica receiving any of the extra solar energy of a warming sun? How convenient, except it is not a convenient truth, now is it? I would truly love to hear your theory of how a warming sun would not effect both poles equally. Would you then have to admit that the two poles are not equal?


    1. Ever heard of clouds? There are two components to the sun – TSI which is what the sun puts out and SSR or bright sunshine … what makes it through the clouds and pollution.

      Air pollution has been cleaned up in a lot of the world (maybe not China etc) therefore more sunshine reaches the ground.


      1. I do not know as to if you hold any science related credentials, but I will state for you that I am not a scientist nor do I have any expertise concerning climate change. Since your blog is focused on the theme, “It’s the sun!”, then I will need to examine the logic behind this claim.

        You bring up two interesting and significant points concerning the solar irradiance that Earth receives from our sun.

        The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) is the total energy output of our sun through the amount of sunlight that Earth receives from the sun. Both the north and south poles receive the same amount of solar irradiance, over the course of the same year. All things being equal, this would mean that both poles would receive the same amount of solar irradiance and, thus, both poles would be experiencing equal warming/cooling effects from the sun. All things are not equal concerning the poles. There are variables that need to be considered here.

        You highlight one of these variables when you introduce “SSR” into the conversation. I am unsure as to what the acronym, “SSR”, would stand for. Should I attempt to put SSR into proper context, with the rest of your post, then you are intending this to be the amount of solar irradiance that is being blocked from reaching Earth’s surface. Would this be correct? Cloud cover and air pollutants are the two blocking forces that you bring to light (no pun intended). So, if it is the sun that is the primary cause of the current, long term (30 year running averages) warming trends we have experienced on Earth, over the industrial period of mankind, then there would need to be explanations as to why Earth’s two poles show different degrees of warming/cooling. Yet, the logic fails, at this point, when you consider the fact that the vast majority of industrial air pollutants originate in the northern hemisphere where, also, the vast majority of Earth’s human life exists. Since it is the reality that there are more industrial air born pollutants in the northern hemisphere as opposed to the southern hemisphere, then why has not the southern hemisphere warmed faster than the northern hemisphere? All observational data indicates that the northern hemisphere is warming much faster than the southern hemisphere. Is it due to more cloud cover in the southern hemisphere as opposed to the northern hemisphere? This would have to be a substantial difference in cloud cover since your other mentioned blocking force would be industrial air pollution serving to block the solar irradiance and this is much higher in the northern hemisphere. Do you have any studies that would show that this indeed is the case concerning the cloud cover differences between the northern and southern hemispheres?

      2. SSR is Surface Solar Radiation.

        You might want to read a few of my posts:

        SO2 blocks sunlight. The volcano Pinatubo ejected a lot of SO2 into the atmosphere. Enough to supposedly drop temperatures .5C.

        SO2 injected in the atmosphere peaked around 1980 globally. Around 1970 in US and Europe. And then fell until 2000 and started to rise again thanks to China.

        Dropped by about 18% from 1980 to 2000. I wonder what climate did from 1980 to 2000?

        Coincidence? It shouldn’t be.

        An 18% drop in sulfate emissions should have done something.

  2. @ Mike:

    You may also want to take into account that it was winter here until the 1st of September and is now early spring. TSI is less in the SH (Southern Hemisphere) during that time because of the distance from the sun, same as it is in the NH (Northern Hemisphere) during winter. Also, you should also be aware that there is less land mass in the SH and so the SSR is far less as well. Water takes longer to heat up than land, so the Antarctic should continue to cool and ice for a bit longer into spring and summer. It would not surprise me if the sea ice grows a little more during that period as the SH moves slowly towards its summer. Also it should be noted that the snow in the Antarctic would reflect sunlight on it instead of absorb it.

    It should also be remembered from basic science class in school that the poles go through effectively a 6 months of day and 6 months of night phase every year, the Antarctic is now coming out of that phase.

    Interesting that while the Arctic has had lower Sea Ice this summer and the Antarctic has had more. The NH land mass would absorb more heat pushing that surrounding heat to the North Pole and melting the sea ice there further due to land mass, the SH doesn’t have the same amount of land mass to absorb huge amounts of TSI. It is effectively surrounded by a large body of water.


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