The ice holds up
Dec 15, 2014
Bishop Hill in BBC, Climate: Surface

Perhaps it's because it's the season of goodwill. Or perhaps because Greenpeace's vandalism of the Nazca lines has put Corporation noses out of joint. Whatever the reason, the BBC's decision to highlight the recovery in Arctic sea ice levels in the last few years represents a rare excursion out of its "OMG we're all about to fry" comfort zone.

Yes, the sea ice is going to disappear, we are told, but on much longer timescales than previously advised.

While global warming seems to have set the polar north on a path to floe-free summers, the latest data from Europe's Cryosat mission suggests it may take a while yet to reach those conditions.

The spacecraft observed 7,500 cu km of ice cover in October when the Arctic traditionally starts its post-summer freeze-up.

This was only slightly down on 2013 when 8,800 cu km were recorded.

Two cool summers in a row have now allowed the pack to increase and then hold on to a good deal of its volume.

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