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Summer Ice Melt on Eurasian Arctic Ice Caps
Reference
Sharp, M. and Wang, L. 2009. A five-year record of summer melt on Eurasian Arctic ice caps. Journal of Climate 22: 133-145.

What was done
"Enhanced resolution Ku-band scatterometer data from the Quick Scatterometer," in the words of Sharp and Wang, "were used to map the timing of annual melt onset and freeze-up, and the duration of the summer melt season on the large glaciers and ice caps of Svalbard [Norway], Novaya Zemlya [Russia], and Severnaya Zemlya [Russia] for the 2000-04 period," after which -- "to place the five-year study period in a longer-term context" -- they used "regression relationships between melt season duration and annual (June + August) mean 850-hPa air temperature over each region from the NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis to predict the annual melt duration for each year in the 1948-2005 period."

What was learned
The two researchers report that with respect to all discrete five-year periods (pentads) between 1950 and 2004, "the 2000-04 pentad has the second longest mean predicted melt duration on Novaya Zemlya (after 1950-54), and the third longest on Svalbard (after 1950-54 and 1970-74) and Severnaya Zemlya (after 1950-54 and 1955-59) [our italics]," which findings clearly reveal the 1950-54 pentad to have experienced the longest melt season of the past 55 years on all three of the large Eurasian Arctic ice caps.

What it means
In spite of almost everything we have heard from climate alarmists over the past two decades about global warming becoming ever more intense, especially in the Arctic, conditions during the middle of the past century seem to have been even more extreme in this respect than they have been at any subsequent time, especially on these three major ice caps and their associated glaciers.

Reviewed 1 April 2009