Skeptical Science's John Mason has written a wonderful article, debunking some of the nonsense that is being spouted by fake skeptics to trivialize the stunning 2012 melting season (Tamino also re-whacks one of those moles):
Record Arctic Sea-ice minimum 2012 declared - it's the Silly Season!
Posted on 22 September 2012 by John Mason
The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is. Winston Churchill, 1916.
Late summer has long been known in media circles as the Silly Season, when any old story, embellished a bit here and a bit there, is trundled out to fill column space normally occupied by the graver matters of politics and business.
In the world of climate science, late summer is of course rather more important, marking the peak of the annual sea-ice melting season of the Northern Hemisphere, and this year has been extraordinary, with the canary in the coal mine tweeting louder than ever that something is seriously amiss with the climate.
With Arctic sea-ice having reached a record low extent, area and volume, several weeks ahead of the usual end-of-melt date, the Blogosphere has been ablaze with lengthy discussions of this event and its potential and worrisome ramifications. There have also been mass-outbreaks of denial accompanied by varying degrees of silliness, as one might expect when faced with an event like a record Arctic melt-out. Many commentators could see the meltdown approaching, both in the Arctic and around parts of the Blogosphere, with Gareth Renowden over at Hot Topic speculating in early August as follows:
Read the whole thing here.
Commenter Tim has sent me a couple of graphs that puts the 'Look at Antarctica!' diversion in perspective. Here's one showing decadal averages:
Here's one showing the last 6 years of Antarctic sea ice data: