Urbana-Champaign, Illinois - Satellites began to measure the Earth's cryosphere in 1979. Because of a warm summer, the Northern Hemisphere sea ice area has reached new historic lows in 2007. Around August 28th, the new minimum of 2.99 million squared kilometers of sea ice easily surpassed the previous record of 4.01 million squared kilometers set in 2005. These numbers available at the web page of Dr William Chapman and his team at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were widely publicized.
Some analysts have speculated that the new record could be evidence of global warming. But is it? Even though it may sound very complicated, it turns out that the Earth is round. At the global scale, there is not one polar region but, in fact, two. There is also sea ice on the Southern Hemisphere. It turns out that the Antarctic sea ice area reached 16.2 million squared kilometers in 2007 - a new absolute record high since the measurements started in 1979: see this graph.
During the year, the Southern Hemisphere sea ice area fluctuates between 2 and 16 million squared kilometers or so while the Northern Hemisphere sea ice area fluctuates approximately between 3 and 14 million squared kilometers. The climate models predict warming in Antarctica and they are increasingly inconsistent with the observations.
The South pole winter is now about 0.6 Celsius cooler than in 1957.
Via Marc Morano.