When their web site is working, NSIDC has a graph showing the decline of Arctic ice from the start of the satellite record in 1978 through 2007.
But something else happened in 1978. Something very important for understanding the climate.
ENSO switched from strongly negative to strongly positive. Since the satellites went up, the planet has been dominated by warm El Niño weather.
Not surprisingly, the ice has declined. Most of the old ice disappeared between 1988 and 1996. Again, not a surprise. That was the peak ENSO period.
ENSO is currently the lowest since 1975. If it stays low, we should continue to see recovery – which appears to have started after the winter of 2007-2008.
The timing of the satellite launches in 1978 was bad luck. It has caused a lot of confusion both about temperature trends and ice conditions.