Arctic Sea ice area has quite likely reached its minimum for 2014, and it finishes in a virtual tie with 2013 and 2009, about 1.2 million km^2 below the long term average minimum. It is, however, far above the record melt of 2012 as well as significantly above several other post 2007 melt minima. The climate skeptics are trumpeting this as "the great Arctic recovery." That's a bit hasty, especially since it also finished well below any pre-2007 melt seasons. A casual examination of the record shows that significant fluctuations have always existed on top of the long term decline, but if you imagine that climate science is some kind of partisan game, I suppose any deviation from the trend, no matter how unsurprising, looks like a triumph for side stupid.

Of course reality doesn't care much about ideology, and it always gets the last word, but it might be too late to permit sensible measures to deal with some really big coming problems.


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