Science is not a democracy
Ethan Siegel
397

I've had to research the background to the title image. "Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'" was an article by BBC, and the scientist was "Professor Maslowski and his team, the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California" The article also states 

"Professor Maslowski's group, which includes co-workers at NASA and the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), is well known for producing modelled dates that are in advance of other teams. These other teams have variously produced dates for an open summer ocean that, broadly speaking, go out from about 2040 to 2100."

So he is definitely on the extreme end, and the formulation that "his group includes co-workers at NASA and the Institute of Oceanology" gives it more importance than they probably deserve. I would expect both NASA and the Institute of Oceanology to distance themselves from this group findings.

The ice sea extent projection as agreed by IPCC is not so extreme. Note that the "agreement" exists and is important for giving the weight to some results even if the title of the article I comment to is "Science is not a democracy."

Still, when can we expect to see Arctic without ice? Can we get some idea of the order of magnitude even without using simulations? There’s the graph of the measured extents:

http://psc.apl.uw.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/BPIOMASIceVolumeAprSepCurrent.png

And even without the smart models just continuing the lower line of the ice extent in every September gives us approximately 2024 as the possible year, the middle line cca 2030 and the upper line less than 2040.

Of course it can be “better” or “worse” than all these numbers but it’s just the matter of some years and the direction is obvious. The full extent in 2012 was only around 4 thousand cubic km, the linear trend around 3.2 thousand cubic km lost per decade.

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