Global Snow and Ice

A recent post called "Water Behaving Badly" by Willis Eschenbach looked at the change in sea ice at the poles. He concluded that the change were marginal when both Arctic and Antarctic ice were considered. In this post I have taken this a stage further looking at global sow and ice cover. 

The main data sets I have used are the NSIDC sea-ice data set and the global snow cover from Rutgers University. The first of these deals with snow lying on ice and the second deal with snow lying on land. In both case I have used the monthly data. The following chart shows the global snow and ice cover from the end of 1978 to the near present. 

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The chart has monthly values and a 12-month moving-average. The main message from the chart is that snow cover area is, indeed, tending to reduce. However, it is difficult to argue that the rate is is any way approaching catastrophic. The trend line plotted through the 12-month average values represents a loss of 0.07 km2 per year or 0.1% per year.


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