Climate change skeptics constantly point to the fluctuating temperatures, even fluctuating Arctic sea ice, attempting to prove that it’s all part of the regular climate cycle.
Temperatures in 2013 were moderate in comparison to 2012, according to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and even fairly cool when compare to the last six years. Some climate change skeptics have pointed this out, but one year doesn’t change the long-term trends.
One indicator of the warming trend can be seen in Arctic sea ice, which fluctuates from season to season, the minimum sea ice occurring in the summer. The NOAA has been tracking Arctic temperatures since 1900, and sea ice levels since 1979. Arctic sea ice in the summer of 2012 was the lowest ever measured, and summer 2013 was the sixth lowest. The Arctic is far from recovery, as the seven lowest summer sea ice levels have been in the last seven years. A one-year reversal doesn’t even begin to touch the overall warming trend that is part of the climate change phenomenon.
As the data shows, the overall trend in Arctic summer sea ice is down, and it doesn’t seem that the trend is reversing anytime soon. Climate change isn’t going to reverse overnight, and a one-year reprieve for the Arctic, such as experienced in the summer of 2013, cannot indicate otherwise. Warm-water species are moving north, and cold-water species are losing habitat, and at an alarming rate.
Image © NOAA