According to Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, last week's Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent was the second highest on record, at 52,166,840 km2. This was only topped by the second week in February, 1978 at 53,647,305 km2. Rutgers has kept records continuously for the last 2,227 weeks, so being #2 is quite an accomplishment.
© Rutgers University Global Snow Lab
Daily Snow – February 13, 2010 (Day 44)

According to Rutgers University data through mid February, Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent has been increasing at a rate of over 100,000 km2 per year.

© Rutgers University

As discussed on WUWT, the implication is that Northern Hemisphere snow cover has only extended this far south one other time, since Rutgers University started keeping records. Additionally, North American snow extent broke its all time record last week. Canada is normally completely covered with snow in the winter (except for Olympic venues) so the implication is that the US had more snow last week than has been seen in at least the last 44 years.

Two of the fundamental precepts of global warming theory are that the tropics are supposed to expand, and the Arctic is supposed to warm disproportionately and shrink.

Expanding tropics 'a threat to millions'
By Steve Connor, Science Editor, The Independent

Monday, 3 December 2007

The tropical belt that girdles the Earth is expanding north and south, which could have dire consequences for large regions of the world where the climate is likely to become more arid or more stormy, scientists have warned in a seminal study published today. Climate change is having a dramatic impact on the tropics by pushing their boundaries towards the poles at an unprecedented rate not foreseen by computer models, which had predicted this sort of poleward movement only by the end of the century.
Arctic Ice Melting at Alarming Pace as Temperatures Rise
New studies show that the region is warming even faster than many scientists had feared

By Thomas Omestad

Posted December 16, 2008

New studies being released this week indicate that climate change is exerting massive and worrying change on the Arctic region - reducing the volume of ice, releasing methane gas into the atmosphere, and dramatically raising air temperatures in some parts of the Arctic. The findings will give fresh urgency to international deliberations on the next global climate change pact planned for December 2009 in Copenhagen. The studies also will likely intensify international pressure on the incoming Obama administration to embrace major cuts in the emission of greenhouse gases in an effort to help stabilize global temperatures. NASA scientists will reveal that more than 2 trillion tons of land ice on Greenland and Alaska, along with in Antarctica, have melted since 2003. Satellite measurements suggest half of the loss has come from Greenland. Melting of land ice slowly raises sea levels.

The World Meteorological Organization, a United Nations agency, is also reporting that ice volume in the Arctic this year fell to its lowest recorded level to date.

Experts from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado will further reveal that temperatures this fall in some Arctic areas north of Alaska were 9 or 10 degrees Fahrenheit above average. The long-predicted phenomenon is known as "Arctic amplification." As global air temperatures increase, the Arctic tends to show greater changes because the ice pack that once reflected solar heat is reduced in scope. More heat is therefore absorbed. The study is being discussed at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
The last time that snow extended this far south was in the 1970s, when climatologists were worried about the onset of an ice age, and some suggested that we needed to melt the polar ice caps by covering them with soot.

The Cooling World
Newsweek, April 28, 1975

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.
Science: Another Ice Age?
Time Magazine Monday, Jun. 24, 1974

Telltale signs are everywhere - from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year round.
During the 1970s the southern snow cover was seen as a sign of an impending ice age, and the solution was to melt the polar ice caps. In 2010, the nearly identical snow cover is a sign of out of control global warming and the solution is to shut down modern civilization.

Ice age or a fiery tipping point? What do readers think?