Sea ice extent recovering quickly

As many readers know, the predictions for record low sea ice minimums in 2008 were not met, and 2008 ended up about 9% higher than in 2007 at the end of the season. See the report here.

Now in looking at AMSR-E satellite data, the red line on the graph below, one can see that the recovery is at a significantly faster rate than in recent years.

Click for larger image

I’m not one to read much into this, as to do so would be to make the same mistake as was done earlier this year when the NSIDC melt trend led one researcher there to conclude that we’d see an “ice free north pole”.

This graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Center,  I published with annotations on July 14th 2008, which was oft cited back in early June with the phrase “if this trend continues…”.


Image from July 14th, 2008. Click for larger image – annotation added

So we will watch and wait to see if the current recovery continues at the same trend as shown by AMSR-E satellite data today, or gets softened. It is rather interesting to see this increased ice extent increase in September when both UAH and GISS reported warmer global temperature anomalies, including the northern hemisphere, for September.

h/t to Magnus

About these ads
This entry was posted in Sea ice. Bookmark the permalink.

117 Responses to Sea ice extent recovering quickly

  1. ahrcanum says:

    It will be days before the main stream media reports this, if ever. Happy for the Polar Bears!

  2. Pingback: Sea ice extent recovering quickly « An Honest Climate Debate

  3. Neil Crafter says:

    what is interesting is the steep shape of the 2008 curve compared to the other years which are more wide in form. Can it keep up this path I wonder?

  4. lucia says:

    Watching ice melt was fun. Watching it re-freeze has to be equally fun.

    So, I’ve invited people to place bets about the value of the Nov1-7, 2008 average in comments in this post. The winner gets brownies (provided they live in the lower 48. Other rules apply.)

  5. Gary says:

    The baby ice is making a rapid comeback. Although the extent of sea ice did plunge to quite a low level it did so much later than last year is is recovering much earlier. So the open water area-days by the end of the year will be significantly lower.

  6. Tom in Florida says:

    You know, it just occured to me to flip the graph upside down. I do believe that would pretty well match up with the way sea water warms during the summer in the north. Having spent much of my teen summers at Misquamicut and Watch Hill Rhode Island, I can tell you that the water there is always warmest in late August and September. Perhaps that is the reason the sea ice is at it’s lowest in those months. Warmer water, less ice.

  7. obt says:

    yes you are right, the sea ice is growing faster than I haver ever seen. From what I can see now, looks like we are gonna have a real tough artic winter

  8. Austin says:

    The Arctic is losing heat very efficiently.

    Think about what is occurring – massive amounts of water are changing over to ice by losing heat to the air and by radiation – more heat per unit of mass of water than that required to heat the water to near boiling.

    I wonder what the theoretical highest slope of that curve could be?

  9. Mike Bryant says:

    Speaking of ice… Montana may be in for a pretty good snow storm:
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/warnings.php?wfo=byz&zone=MTZ032&pil=XXXWSWBYZ&productType=Winter+Storm+Watch

  10. AnonyMoose says:

    Well, if it keeps going at this rate it will have fully recovered in early November. Then it can spread over Canada and Siberia… :)

  11. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Pure speculation.

    @Austin.

    If the Arctic is losing heat – does that heat pass through the troposphere on the way out… hence recent satellite measures being higher for September?

    WRT the MSM: My guess would be that it will never be reported, except in the context of “Man made CO2 induced Global Chaos has caused the Arctic ice to grow catastrophically!!! – Penguins and Polar Bears starve as the ice freezes faster than they can move!!! – CO2 causes FREAK ice at North Pole!!! – Scary ice at North Pole indicates CO2 Tipping point is imminent… mandatory shutdown of COAL is now necessary!!!…:

    etc, etc,…

  12. Leon Brozyna says:

    From your animation last week

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/03/winds-are-dominant-cause-of-greenland-and-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-losses/

    it seems apparent that most of the oldest multi-year ice is lost when it gets pushed southward along the east coast of Greenland. I believe that NSIDC also said that the amount of first year ice that survived this year’s melt was a record high amount. This should help to begin to replenish, over the next few years, multi-year ice, assuming this trend persists. The current NSIDC graph is also showing rapid increase in sea ice extent. Should be interesting to see how this year’s freeze compares to last year’s event.

    There’s almost more activity and changes apparent in the Arctic than on the sun’s surface.

  13. Aviator says:

    Given the ice build-up, has anyone heard how that band/gaggle of British artists is making out on their quest to see the melting Arctic? It seems to me they should be well on their way to Northern Greenland by now.

  14. Bob Tisdale says:

    Is the steep rise an indicator of the 12 month plus lag between ENSO events and peak Arctic response? It would be tough to tell with all the other factors that impact the Arctic.

  15. Magnus says:

    I think the large summer melting this year was due to record thin ice from the summer 2007 (*), but now we are in a cooling phase where we had 6 year record in large Arctic ice extent between late January and May. I guess we’ll not have a much warmer earth within a year, and thus baby ice will recover toward 1979-2000 average extent.

    Poor media… oh not!

    -
    (*) Not a 1000 year old record, but since 1979 and quite likely since the 16th or 15th century…(?)

  16. Richard Sharpe says:

    I suspect that the MSM is going to stop calling for coal-fired power plants to be shut down as soon as it is realized how bad this Northern winter is likely to be.

  17. Ray says:

    Last winter/spring the ice coverage was the second highest (or so) in the past 10 years. The rapid melting was apparently due to the thin ice. But apparently all that thin ice has not melted this year. I guess this is how the ice coverage get’s bigger every year!

    The extend of the recovery is better visualized on this graph of post 117:
    http://solarcycle24com.proboards106.com/index.cgi?board=globalwarming&action=display&thread=12&page=13#2373

    It shows essentially the first derivative where you can see the minimum and the recent recovery.

  18. Patrick Henry says:

    Looking at the very cold NCEP forecast for the next two weeks, it is safe to expect that the rapid pace of ice growth will be maintained.

    http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp2.html

  19. Leon Brozyna says:

    O/T

    Speaking of hockey sticks…
    Looks like WUWT had a very good day yesterday, trafficwise, at least according to quantcast:

    http://www.quantcast.com/profile/traffic-compare?domain0=realclimate.org&domain1=wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com&domain2=wattsupwiththat.com&domain3=climatecrisis.net&domain4=

  20. David Ermer says:

    what is interesting is the steep shape of the 2008 curve compared to the other years which are more wide in form. Can it keep up this path I wonder?

    The graph shows similar behavior in the other traces, i.e. a “rapid” increase in October and then a shoulder in early November followed by a lower growth rate into December. But then again I maybe the only one that is seeing this.

  21. Dee Norris says:

    @Leon:

    At first I wondered if Mann was working at Quantcast, but then I saw that Slashdot picked up the Sudan Asteroid post and has referred about 8K page views since yesterday.

    http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/10/08/1829240

  22. Robert Wood says:

    Global warming produces record sea ice increase.

    This just demonstrates how climate is such a complex matter that only peer-reviewed and licensed climatologists and climate modellers can know the truth; all others are mere mortals who live in the ignorance of their own, personal, evidence and reason space, rather than within the comprehension of the great truth.

    Sorry for the rhetorical sarcasm, but I am really, really, getting pissed-off by all this global warming crap which is not at all self-evident, or evident to the populace at large. The disconenct between the elite and the “elited” is approaching Tsarist proportions.

  23. Brute says:

    Looks like the “experts” were wrong about the “newer”, “thinner” ice melting more quickly than the “older”, “thicker” ice. The statement below from NSIDC is very profound……it states that the “newer”, “thinner” ice didn’t melt as quickly as expected because it has been colder this year. And to think that I couldn’t figure that one out by myself……I’m not even a “climatologist”……Wow, maybe I should be eligible for a Nobel Prize.

    High retention of first-year ice

    Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the 2008 melt season was the higher-than-average retention of first-year sea ice (see earlier entries, including April 7). Relatively thin first-year ice is more prone to melting out completely than older, thicker ice. However, more of this year’s first-year ice survived the melt season than is typical. Sea ice age maps from Sheldon Drobot, our colleague at the University of Colorado at Boulder, show that much more first-year ice survived in 2008 than in 2007. This is one of the reasons that 2008 did not break last year’s record-low minimum.

  24. Steven Hill says:

    REYKJAVIK, Iceland – Iceland suspended trading on its stock exchange for two days and took control of the country’s largest bank — the third to be placed under its protective umbrella — on Thursday as it grappled with a banking crisis that is threatening to engulf the entire country.

    See, Global Warming has caused Iceland to almost go under…..can we bail them out?

  25. Brute says:

    Sorry, cut off the last bit of my comment accidentally. The NSIDC statement continued with this pearl of wisdom.

    “One cause of the high first-year ice survival rate was that this summer was cooler than in 2007. Lower temperatures slowed the melt rate in the early part of the season. While conditions in August favored rapid ice loss, they were not enough to make up for this early-season “cushion.”

  26. edcon says:

    Why is the period 1979-2000 average used for comparison? What is so magical about this period’s endpoint?

  27. Frank K. says:

    Well, it’s good to hear that the ice will recover in time to prevent “Floe” the polar bear from sinking…

    http://www.nationalgridfloe.com/

    Courtesy of MY electric company (National Grid)…no wonder my bills are so high…

  28. Shhhh!!! This is a secret!

    The media has been running Ice Loss stories all week and other useful stories about Polar Bears.

    The latest and my favorite one is researchers are testing polar bear hearing so they can say the noise of human activity in the Arctic effects the survivabilty of the bears by impacting their ability to hunt.

    They are doing this with a captive bear who they have trained to click a switch when it hears a noise to get a treat. Perhaps training a bear to do tricks for food might actually impact its ability to hunt, I am just saying.

  29. Chris says:

    Think soot. Once the ice melts, all the soot that was accumulated during the past year is dissolved in the ocean. Thus, the ice rebounds a lot quicker without the soot. To me this proof positive that soot plays a large role in ice loss. If this sounds too logical for the posers at RC to understand, it’s because it is.

  30. Magnus says:

    Frank K. Yep, good news! Ice bears now wont die or become deaf:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/30/bs-alert-polar-bear-hearing-affected-to-due-global-warming/

    I’m no psychologist, but also the penguins seems just fine…

    http://a448.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/117/s_802e9571ee87157070e6a60da322ec9f.gif

    Well, I bet media (and the regulating left) come up with something!!

  31. Bill Illis says:

    Has anyone seen any evidence that the summer of 2008 was colder than 2007 in the Arctic. All of the data I have seen does not show this.

    I’m not quibling, I just don’t think there are any objective scientists at the NSIDC and, hence, any explanation they come up with is not believable without some independent verification.

  32. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Gahhhh….. Global warming melts Icelands financial systems – stop Coal now!!!

  33. Pamela Gray says:

    Studded tire season isn’t till November 1st. But this Friday and very early Monday morning, I have to navigate snow covered roads over Tollgate on my way to the ranch. Damnable global warming.

  34. Dodgy Geezer says:

    My deep concern about claims for Arctic Ice melts, both from the sceptics and the believers, is that they miss the point.

    The Arctic Ice has NOT behaved in a way that supports AGW theory. Instead of air temperatures, ocean currents and winds seem to have been the major influences on it. Now these are obviously very strong climate influencers – we should be learning about them. Unfortunately, AGW theory states that AIR temperature is king, and that the effect of CO2 will be GLOBAL, thus obviating any transfer of heat by winds. So I assume no money will go to find out what is happening, but we will rather get into arguments about how strong the recovery will be, and how much ice will melt next year…. It would be nice to see some unpoliticised science – just once!

  35. François GM says:

    OT – The cat’s out of the hat: ” The economic crisis is a good thing ”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/GlobalEnvironment08/idUSTRE4966A220081007

    I’m sure a few hundred million deaths would be a good thing too, wouldn’t it ?

    Who cares if humans suffer – as long as the planet cools down !

  36. drmike86 says:

    I think the ice extent data collection started in 1979, so that makes an obvious starting point for the set. 2000 may have been chosen as an end-point for the average because it’s a nice even number.

    A better question would be why don’t they include error bars on the 1979-2000 average line. That would give a clearer picture of how / if more recent data is significantly different.

    Mike86

  37. Pete says:

    Don’t you realize this quick recovery of sea ice is completely consistent with global warming? (See, Settled Scientific American, 1987-2008. Issues, 209, 210, 211, 212,….;Warmer=Warming, Cooler=Warming) You must work for oil companies or something.

    The sharp upward slant of the sea ice shows that we could be heading into a fossil fuel induced ice age… that will be warm, or something.

    And what about how this quick refreezing affects the polar bears? And the children?

  38. H.R. says:

    @ Graeme Rodaughan (15:48:56)

    Are you by any slim chance a journalist or editor for an MSM publication?

    If not, you missed your life’s calling. I fully expect someone from the MSM to plagerize your lead-ins. You can make ‘em up with the best of them. (Those really cracked me up. Thanks for the giggles, although shtuff like that really does get published.)

  39. Gary says:

    Hey, Tom in Florida. RI still has warm falls. It’s mid-October and still not frosts in South County yet. I spent my teenage summers in Narragansett and SK.

  40. Pamela Gray says:

    Record cold data is beginning to role in:

    These data are preliminary and have not undergone final quality control by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Therefore, these data are subject to revision. Final and certified climate data can be accessed at the NCDC – http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov.
    Record Report

    000
    SXUS76 KPDT 091815
    RERPDT

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PENDLETON OR
    1114 AM PDT THU OCT 9 2008

    …NEW DAILY RECORD LOW TEMPERATURES FOR OCTOBER 9TH…

    NOTE: STATIONS MARKED WITH * INDICATE THAT THE STATION REPORTS ONCE
    PER DAY. FOR CONSISTENCY…THESE VALUES ARE CONSIDERED TO HAVE
    OCCURRED ON THE DAY THE OBSERVATION WAS TAKEN BUT MAY HAVE ACTUALLY
    OCCURRED (ESPECIALLY FOR MAX TEMPERATURE) ON THE PREVIOUS DAY.

    STATION PREVIOUS NEW RECORDS
    RECORD/YEAR RECORD BEGAN

    MEACHAM, OR 24 / 2006 20 1948 :SINCE MID

    See!!!! It’s damn cold where I live!
    Damnable global warming.

  41. Patrick Henry says:

    Gordon Brown suing Iceland

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3167190/Financial-crisis-Gordon-Brown-to-sue-Iceland-over-near-1bn-of-frozen-bank-deposits.html

    Obama unveils his middle class tax cut

    Obama to push for higher Social Security tax…during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama said subjecting more of a person’s income to the payroll tax is the option he would push for if elected president.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21739271/

  42. BarryW says:

    Remember the definition they use for extent: a region is considered part of the extent if at least 15% is covered. So you could easily have a large region that is at say 14% and it wouldn’t be considered part of the extent. A 1% increase in the ice in the region and voila the region is part of the ice extent. A further increase of ice in that region wouldn’t increase the extent by that definition only the actual ice area. Other years have shown similar bumps in extent trends. I posted this graph over at Lucia’s.

    One thing to note is that 2008 has been above the 2003-7 average extent increase for about a month.

  43. Pamela Gray says:

    Once again, the cut and paste just doesn’t make things clear. In 2006 (since records began in 1948), a record was set: 24 degrees F. But it is now eclipsed by the new record: 20 degrees F on October 9th, 2008. Its no wonder I am only 4′ 10 and 1/2 inches tall. The growing season is very short here.

  44. François GM says:

    @ Pamela Gray (18:27:37) :

    “Studded tire season isn’t till November 1st. But this Friday and very early Monday morning, I have to navigate snow covered roads over Tollgate on my way to the ranch. Damnable global warming”

    Be thankful for AGW. Could you imagine how bad it would be without it ? ; )

  45. MattN says:

    :)

    I posted this exact same info on another forum yesterday.

    Looks like we’re in for a new record refreeze….if this trend continues, of course…

  46. Bobby Lane says:

    @Dee

    I can see it now:

    “Mann announces website Watts Up With That (www.wattsupwithtat.com) causing global warming. The website has been growing enormously in page-hits this year, causing servers and personal computers everywhere to use more electricity as thousands of web-browsers land on the page, many of them by bloggers who link to the page causing further traffic. John Smith, a university professor who teaches classes in the environmental impact of technology upon nature, said that “the extra usage of electricity, resulting in increased CO2 production, may result in increased global warming causing computers to shut down due to overheating.” The professor said he strongly encouraged people to turn off their computers, stay home, and pray the Earth does not explode due to greenhouse gas emissions. He cited with concern a graph put out by famed statistician Michael Mann correlating traffic on the website with an increase in greenhouse gases and consquent temperature rises globally. Mann remarked himself that he hoped local officials would contact site operator, Anthony Watts, to urge him to set limits on his page hits in order to make it more environmentally friendly. Site operator Anthony Watts could not be reached for comment, although – honestly – nobody really tried anyway.

  47. davidgmills says:

    But it would appear that there is less snow on the ground this year as opposed to last year.

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=10&fd=09&fy=2007&sm=10&sd=08&sy=2008

  48. Bobby Lane says:

    sorry about the typo…should be (www.wattsupwiththat.com)

  49. JohnD says:

    Based on the trend, the sea ice extent will obviously cross the equator… on all sides… and you won’t be able to outrun it…

  50. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    @JohnD…

    Cross the equator???

    It’s obviously going to run out of water before it gets that far… Isn’t it?

  51. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    If all the water gets iced at the north pole – what will people drink?

    If this dangerous sea ice trend continues it’s conceivable that we will run out of the liquid stuff!

    Stop COAL now, no matter what it costs – it can’t be worse than dying of thirst in an ice field.

  52. Patrick Henry says:

    Studies of Vostok and Greenland ice cores show that the Dow Jones lags the AMSR-E graphs by about three months.

  53. Patrick Henry says:

    A recent study by NSIDC predicts that the credit markets may be “cash free this winter” for the “first time in recorded history.”

  54. evanjones says:

    Why is the period 1979-2000 average used for comparison?

    1979 is when satellite measurements started.

    What is so magical about this period’s endpoint?

    Nothing I can see. (Except it ends on a 2-year La Nina note which no doubt bumps up the average.)

  55. AndyW says:

    The max winter extent seems more dependent on what happens in December onwards than October so judging how it will be from the rate currently is probably not very wise.

    Regards

    Andy

  56. Manfred says:

    with such a quick recovery the average extent in 2008 should remain not only above 2007, but also above 2006 and 2005.

    Probably even arctic ice albedo of 2008 may remain above the years.

  57. Tom in Texas says:

    The perfect storm: stock market crash (was defined as such on the financial channel today), and a brutal winter (not yet predicted by the models).

    My 401k is now a 200.5k, heading for a 100.25k. Interesting times indeed.

  58. Perry Debell says:

    Anthony,

    Here is the text of my email to Richard Black, the BBC Environmental Correspondent, a copy also being sent to Dr. North, who is an avid supporter of your work. http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/

    “Dear Mr Black,

    Reference your email of 17th September, Anthony Watts has posted an update on Arctic ice. I would especially draw your attention to Anthony’s warning:

    “I’m not one to read much into this, as to do so would be to make the same mistake as was done earlier this year when the NSIDC melt trend led one researcher there to conclude that we’d see an “ice free north pole”. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/09/sea-ice-extent-recovering-quickly/

    However, you will see that, inexplicably, the sea ice appears to be recovering at a rapid pace. There are many opinions in the comments section as to why this is happening and perhaps you will have something to say about this in your BBC slot.

    Yours truly,

    Perry Debell

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Richard Black-Internet
    To: PERRY DEBELL
    Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:35 AM
    Subject: RE: Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Officially Over; ice up over 9% from last year « Watts Up With That?

    Dear Mr Debrell,

    Thanks for your email. It’s always nice to see when people have access to what they know to be the unvarnished truth, with no room for doubt.

    Best wishes,
    RB

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: PERRY DEBELL [mailto:cd014j7257@blueyonder.co.uk]
    Sent: 17 September 2008 09:13
    To: Richard Black-Internet
    Cc: EUREFERENDUM@aol.com
    Subject: Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Officially Over; ice up over 9% from last year « Watts Up With That?

    Dear Mr Black,

    From Anthony Watt’s website, wherein he explains the unvarnished truth about global temperatures.
    “Though it appears NSIDC is attempting to downplay this in their web page announcement today, one can safely say that despite irrational predictions seen earlier this *year, we didn’t reach an “ice free north pole” nor a new record low for sea ice extent.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/artic-sea-ice-melt-season-officially-over-up-over-9-from-last-year/

    * I wonder who was doing that? Was it Richard Black, Environment Correspondent?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6610125.stm

    BTW, I read your latest contribution this morning. Spin as much as you like Mr Black, you and your contacts are fighting a losing rearguard action against the reality that our planet’s temperatures are ultimately controlled by the warmth from the sun. It occurs to me that you personally should now be publically reconsidering your position on AGW, don’t you?

    Yours truly,”

  59. Perry Debell says:

    Anthony,

    Here is the text of my email to Richard Black, the BBC Environmental Correspondent, a copy also being sent to Dr. North, who is an avid supporter of your work. http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/

    “Dear Mr Black,

    Reference your email of 17th September, Anthony Watts has posted an update on Arctic ice. I would especially draw your attention to Anthony’s warning:

    “I’m not one to read much into this, as to do so would be to make the same mistake as was done earlier this year when the NSIDC melt trend led one researcher there to conclude that we’d see an “ice free north pole”. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/09/sea-ice-extent-recovering-quickly/

    However, you will see that, inexplicably, the sea ice appears to be recovering at a rapid pace. There are many opinions in the comments section as to why this is happening and perhaps you will have something to say about this in your BBC slot.

    Yours truly,

    Perry Debell

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Richard Black-Internet
    To: PERRY DEBELL
    Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:35 AM
    Subject: RE: Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Officially Over; ice up over 9% from last year « Watts Up With That?

    Dear Mr Debrell,

    Thanks for your email. It’s always nice to see when people have access to what they know to be the unvarnished truth, with no room for doubt.

    Best wishes,
    RB

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: PERRY Sent: 17 September 2008 09:13
    To: Richard Black-Internet
    Cc: EUREFERENDUM@aol.com
    Subject: Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Officially Over; ice up over 9% from last year « Watts Up With That?

    Dear Mr Black,

    From Anthony Watt’s website, wherein he explains the unvarnished truth about global temperatures.
    “Though it appears NSIDC is attempting to downplay this in their web page announcement today, one can safely say that despite irrational predictions seen earlier this *year, we didn’t reach an “ice free north pole” nor a new record low for sea ice extent.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/artic-sea-ice-melt-season-officially-over-up-over-9-from-last-year/

    * I wonder who was doing that? Was it Richard Black, Environment Correspondent?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6610125.stm

    BTW, I read your latest contribution this morning. Spin as much as you like Mr Black, you and your contacts are fighting a losing rearguard action against the reality that our planet’s temperatures are ultimately controlled by the warmth from the sun. It occurs to me that you personally should now be publicly reconsidering your position on AGW, don’t you?

    Yours truly,”

  60. M White says:

    The BBC will probably start showing repeated re-runs of
    The Day after Tomorrow if this winter is bad. There is already a BBC Ethical Man to show us how we should live our lives.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/ethical_man/default.stm

    Britain is at the end of the gas pipeline from Russia, if this winter is particularly cold there might not be enough getting here after the rest of Europe has taken what it needs. I think they’ll have to shut down the gas powered electricity generators to ensure supply to the voters. Might be interesting.

  61. Tim James says:

    Is this possibly an artifact of the reported mismeasurement of ice extent earlier in the year when water-covered ice was interpreted as open water. This would re-freeze very quickly, giving the rebound seen here.

  62. Jerker Andersson says:

    Indeed lower global temperatures helped saving the arctic ice this year since the sea ice in arctic correlate well with global temperatures.
    Just look at the extreme La Nina 1998 and how the ice just melted away in no time that year.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.jpg
    Hmm, on a second thought, the El Nino in “the warmest year in a millenium”, 1998, isn’t even visible in the arctic sea ice area record. The change in tempearature upwards 1998 was a lot bigger than the drop this year.

    Obviosuly the correlation global temperature and arctic ice area isn’t that tight that you can explain changes in ice area from just global temperatures.

  63. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @Perry Debell

    You are getting a response from Mr Black? I had occasion to complain to him a little while ago about balance – as below:

    “I recently complained about bias in the BBC news item which reported the
    recent OFCOM finding on the programme ‘The Great Global Warming
    Swindle’. The gist of my complaint was that this programme was
    substantially cleared of the many accusations against it, but the BBC
    presented the finding as if the programme had not been cleared, by
    headlining issues where OFCOM had found against the programme, but which
    they had indicated were minor.

    Richard Black, the responsible journalist, responded that these issues
    HAD been mentioned by OFCOM, so it was correct to raise them. He did not
    address my deep concerns about proportionate balance, so I sent another
    mail, referencing the part of the OFCOM Broadcasting Code which I
    believed he was ignoring, and indicating that I was still unhappy with
    his response.

    I have had no reply to this e-mail. I understand that the correct thing
    to do in these circumstances is to refer the matter to you, so I am
    doing so.”

    And got the following response:


    {Date:} 07/09/2008
    {Feedback Type:} Complaint

    Thank you for your further e-mail addressed to our journalist Richard
    Black.
    We have passed this to him for reply, but he is in the middle of the ocean
    on another feature and therefore not contactable at this point. When he
    gets back to land, he will respond to concerns directly.
    Thanks for your feedback.

    Vis Karunaratne
    Divisional Advisor for Future Media & Technology complaints
    BBC Complaints”

    I have heard nothing more since.

  64. Magnus says:

    Jerker. Good points. You’re right about the annual record, but also there may be multidecadal trends which is correlates with temperature. The very late 70th had the largest ice extent on record (which started then…), and in the 40th the ice extent may have been lower than after a warm period (it was a fuzz in media about the Arctic ice melting then). The ice retreat the last 30 years was during a warm period in the PDO.

    So I think there most likely are multidecadal trends as well as annual patterns of losses and gain. Thus losses are statistically more likely during a warming phase, which means there are an over time temperature-ice correlation.

    The large summer 2008 losses may have been due to thinner ice after a multidecadal trend — as well as or mostly due to wind and sea current patterns — and I think it’s not completely wrong to have the hypothesis that this year may have marked the beginning of a a shift in a trend due to PDO, which indeed controls the temperaturee on the northern hemisphere. I guess we would say so even if the supposed shift in the trend is also controlled by other more arbitrary year-by-year patterns…

    Also any little ice age gives increasing Arctic ice of course — not any particular year though, but I would bet that very cold years correlates in some respect with increasing ice, just as trends in the PDO shift would indicate.

    I’m no climate scientist. :)

  65. Magnus says:

    Jerker. Actually 1998 marked the lowest ice extent on the record, as well as the most rapid losses in one year “ever” (since 1979).

  66. Mary Hinge says:

    Funny how last yar the comments on this blog were about the Antarctic ice sea ice, not a mention above but lets put the record straight, think global. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    As you can see the global sea ice area is around 2,500,000 square km below the mean.

    Seeing as you guys have forgotten about the Antarctic, just thought I’d remind you!

    On a seperate topic just thinking what China is going to do with its $1.2 trillion in US bonds, will they be the communist white knight to save the capitalist system from collapse by investing in stocks… or will they be the typical communists and destroy the capitalist structure by ‘cashing in’ the bonds. Interesting and worrying stuff.

  67. Vincent Guerrini Jr says:

    I think it will pan out to be normal this year but subsequent years will continue to increase and then decrease again eventually its called “normal climate variation”. Anyway AGW is dying LOL

  68. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @Perry Debell

    So Richard Black is able to respond to e-mails, is he? I recently complained about one of his items, and got no valid answer. So I referred the matter upwards, as follows:

    “I recently complained about bias in the BBC news item which reported the recent OFCOM finding on the programme ‘The Great Global Warming
    Swindle’. The gist of my complaint was that this programme was
    substantially cleared of the many accusations against it, but the BBC
    presented the finding as if the programme had not been cleared, by
    headlining issues where OFCOM had found against the programme, but which they had indicated were minor.

    Richard Black, the responsible journalist, responded that these issues
    HAD been mentioned by OFCOM, so it was correct to raise them. He did not
    address my deep concerns about proportionate balance, so I sent another
    mail, referencing the part of the OFCOM Broadcasting Code which I
    believed he was ignoring, and indicating that I was still unhappy with
    his response.

    I have had no reply to this e-mail. I understand that the correct thing
    to do in these circumstances is to refer the matter to you, so I am
    doing so.”

    I got this response back:

    “{Date:} 07/09/2008
    {Feedback Type:} Complaint

    Thank you for your further e-mail addressed to our journalist Richard
    Black.
    We have passed this to him for reply, but he is in the middle of the ocean
    on another feature and therefore not contactable at this point. When he
    gets back to land, he will respond to concerns directly.
    Thanks for your feedback.

    Vis Karunaratne
    Divisional Advisor for Future Media & Technology complaints
    BBC Complaints”

    Now that he has returned from his travels, perhaps he will see fit to respond to me? I’m not holding my breath…

  69. MarkW says:

    Dear Mr Debrell,

    Thanks for your email. It’s always nice to see when people have access to what they know to be the unvarnished truth, with no room for doubt.

    Best wishes,
    RB

    ———————

    Funny thing. That’s how I’ve always felt about most AGW advocates.

  70. Philip_B says:

    Think soot. Once the ice melts, all the soot that was accumulated during the past year is dissolved in the ocean.

    There’s a bit more to it than that. Ice that doesn’t melt completely will accumulate a layer of soot on its surface in summer over a number of years. The soot will progressively increase the summer melt until the sea ice melts completely and the soot goes into the ocean. At which point the soot accumulation begins again.

    If soot is the (or even a) major cause of sea ice melt, then we should see cycles of a number of years of sea ice decline, a spike down to the summer minimum, followed by a rapid increase over over a smaller number of years, which is what the few years prior to this year looked like.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2007.jpg

    Note how the spike down is a summer phenomena, which is what a soot accumulation model would predict.

  71. kim says:

    Perry Debell (00:39:02) That’s pretty funny, Richard Black suggesting you have ‘no room for doubt’. He sounds a little sullen.
    ===================================

  72. kim says:

    You know, Perry, that really is a powerful email. The juxtaposition of ‘unvarnished truth’ and ‘no room for doubt’, along with the sullen tone, makes me wonder if our dear Richard Black hasn’t suffered from a little introspection lately. If not, it’s wonderfully grand example of the sort of unconscious irony that flows like a stream in flood from cognitive dissonance.
    ===============================

  73. Steve M. says:

    Y’all should know by now that increasing sea ice is not noteworthy, only declining sea ice.

  74. Pingback: Sea Ice Recovering Quickly, Overall Better than 2007 | Skeptics Global Warming

  75. Don B says:

    It looks like about 1/2 million square km more NH ice than one year ago from this graph.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg

    That is balanced by less ice in the SH from the same website. This Antarctica Anomaly is discussed in “The Chilling Stars,” and is support for Svensmark’s theory.

  76. richard says:

    ‘ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2008) — Researchers from TU Delft joined forces with the Center for Space Research (CSR) in Austin, Texas, USA, to develop a method for creating an accurate picture of Greenland’s shrinking ice cap. On the strength of this method, it is now estimated that Greenland is accountable for a half millimetre-rise in the global sea level per year.’

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080930081355.htm

  77. Gary Gulrud says:

    “I’m not one to read much into this”

    Your customary sagacity is noted.

  78. Gary Gulrud says:

    “As you can see the global sea ice area is around 2,500,000 square km below the mean.”

    Yours is not yet established.

  79. Mary Hinge says:

    richard (07:02:43) :
    “….now estimated that Greenland is accountable for a half millimetre-rise in the global sea level per year.’

    That leaves another 2.5mm a year to be accounted for and the best bet is thermal expansion.

  80. Mary Hinge says:

    Gary Gulrud (08:35:03) :
    “Yours is not yet established.”
    “Your customary sagacity is noted.”

    Amongst all the stodgy discussions above your pretentions of interest are a breath of fresh air! ;-)

  81. Don Shaw says:

    Slightly off topic, (Anthony, delete if you choose) but I would appreciate some comments from the “experts” on the methane time bomb recently reported in the Arctic with it’s negative impact on global warming. Claim is that manmade global warming is causing methane release in the arctic which in turn further increases global warming. Why am I skeptical?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-the-methane-time-bomb-938932.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/hundreds-of-methane-plumes-discovered-941456.html

  82. Thomas Gough says:

    @Perry Debrell (& Dodgy Geezer)

    I find it remarkable that the BBC are able, apparently without shame, to carry this week a June 18th report by Richard Black “Arctic sea ice melts even faster” and apparently no mention of any more recent information. I also find Richard Blacks’ reply to Perry Debrell extremely sarcastic and insolent. Clearly he is rattled. Don’t let them off the hook (Black & BBC) and don’t loose your cool – that would only play into their hands.

    Thomas G

  83. SteveSadlov says:

    Another grim leading indicator.

    We are overdue for another “Age of Great Migrations.”

    (This is a test – what is that a euphemism for?)

  84. George E. Smith says:

    “Austin (15:25:10) :

    The Arctic is losing heat very efficiently.

    Think about what is occurring – massive amounts of water are changing over to ice by losing heat to the air and by radiation – more heat per unit of mass of water than that required to heat the water to near boiling. ”

    The latent heat of freezing for water is roughly 80 calories per gram; which is enough to raise ice water to 80 deg C. Not exactly near boiling; but not a bad image anyway. The latent heat of evaporation is even more impressive; 595.4 cal per gram at zero C, and maybe 1-2 cal more than that for lower temperature salt water.
    The arctic will be very low humidity, so open water should evaporate readily even though the saturation vapor pressure is only about 4.5 mm of Hg. But remember that it is the higher energy molecules that are emitted by the surface, so the surface cools with the evaporation. Water is the most opaque known liquid for long wave IR radiation, so the surface near zero C must emit almost like a black body with about 97% emissivity. The peak of the specral radiant emittance is shifted a few percent to about 10.65 microns, from the 10.1 at the mean earth temp of 15C. the black body emission at 15C is around 390 Watt’s per square meter, but it is only 315 at zero C, because of the 4th power relationship.
    I’m not sure of the exact dynamics of the refreeze process, but I suspect that evaporative cooling of the surface starts the process, and then once you have some ice presence, the albedo effect kicks in and reflects sunlight, so the captured insolation now drops ,letting the ice cool and also the air temperature cool. the evaporation becomes sublimation from the ice, once it is thick enough and the air temperature should drop faster. I don’t have time to calculate what the heat loss (rate) due to evaporation/sublimation is but eventually radiation and conduction dominate the cooling. certainly it should accelerate once icing has started, and the earlier it starts, the higher the sun angle, so the greater is the reflective effect of the ice in terms of watts reflected. Eventually at lower sun angles the grazing incidence reflectance is higher, but the Watts per m^2 is less.

    Very interesting process, with all knids of fancy optical processes going on besides the thermodynamics.

    George

  85. Magnus says:

    Mark. “Seeing as you guys have forgotten about the Antarctic, just thought I’d remind you!”

    What do you mean? The All the 2 million km2 is the net loss from “normal” at the Arctic sea. Didn’t you read the statistics yourself? that was …eh lazy! Here it is:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.south.jpg

    -
    Anyway, in the medieval times there wasn’t ice in the summer at the coasts of Greenland, and 120000 years ago there were for 5000 years 5 degrees C cooler and no ice on the Arctic sea. Then the polar bear survived as well as the Greenland ice.

    Grasp.

  86. Tamara says:

    Mary,

    It looks like we should have been more worried about the SH in the 1980s.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

    Smaller positive anomalies, larger negative anomalies. What’s your opinion?

  87. Magnus says:

    Don Shaw (11:46:57) : “Claim is that manmade global warming is causing methane release in the arctic which in turn further increases global warming. Why am I skeptical?”

    Maybe you’ve heard too many alarming scenarios… :)

    You’re right. The permafrost is stable (due to research of a very warm period 210000 years ago). See this global warming-blog:

    http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2008/10/permafrost_more_resilient_than.html

  88. George E. Smith says:

    Re Don Shaw’s query about methane. I would think the Arctic has always been disgorging methane, as permafrost regions melt. But as the permafrost melts you also get accelerated plant growth further north in the arctic, which can soak up a lot of extra CO2. And if tropical forests are being cut down at a fast clip (bad thing), the methane emissions from decaying rain forest detritus will get less, so maybe offset some arctic methane. And maybe permafrost melt is about to stop.
    NOAA shows that out of 390 W/m^2 average (15 deg C) earth IR emission, only 40 W/m^2 escapes through an atmospheric window. So allegedly 90% is already captured by GHG. So just what is there for more merhane rto grab.
    I thought that methane was unstable in the sun drenched atmosphere and quickly becomes CO2 and water.
    And if enough methane gets loose; it is a perfectly good fuel so we’ll mine it. What about all the methane from oil wells that is just flared off, why not start capturing that.

  89. paminator says:

    George E. Smith- Great post on arctic ice formation processes.

    To add to your ice formation/heat loss description, I think that after sufficient ice thickness has built up, the insulating properties of the ice layer with snow over-cover starts to reduce the cooling rate at the ice/ocean water boundary. Wind that breaks up and re-arranges the ice layers will complicate this, of course. That’s why I think during the late winter and spring, the main driver of ice melt is the transfer of warm ocean currents into the arctic region, triggering the melting of ice from below.

    I was also startled to find out that the IR emissivity of snow, ice and open water are almost the same.

  90. evanjones says:

    The baby ice is making a rapid comeback.

    jeez will be so happy.

  91. MartinGAtkins says:

    Bill Illis (18:07:51) :

    “Has anyone seen any evidence that the summer of 2008 was colder than 2007 in the Arctic. All of the data I have seen does not show this.”

  92. MartinGAtkins says:

    Bill Illis (18:07:51) :

    “Has anyone seen any evidence that the summer of 2008 was colder than 2007 in the Arctic. All of the data I have seen does not show this.”

    Let’s try plain text.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

  93. Mary Hinge says:

    Tamara (13:37:44) :
    “Smaller positive anomalies, larger negative anomalies. What’s your opinion?”
    Magnus (13:32:19) :
    “What do you mean? ”

    Quite simple, the rate of ice loss in the Antarctic compared to during the La Nina
    event last year is quite staggering. Last year the Antarctic ‘masked’ the anomolous global ice loss but now it is back to around its mean ice extent this is not happening now. The graph I linked to shows a change from stable global ice coverage to a much more erratic pattern since 2001.

  94. Perry Debell says:

    Alan Caruba has a blog in which he mentions that Joe Bastardi, the Chief Long-Range Forecaster at AccuWeather, has released his 2008-09 Winter Season Forecast addressing issues of average temperature and precipitation that will impact the nation.

    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2008/10/cold-and-colder.html

    His forecast calls for one of the coldest winters in several years across much of the Eastern portion of the United States, the population-dense third of the nation. The northern Rockies and Northwest is predicted to have more snow than normal, though not as much as last year when the snow pack reached twice normal levels. In the East, however, he anticipates a lot more snowfall than last year.

    I find AccuWeather rather like the Curate’s egg, especially when it come to their Brett Anderson. He censors comments, well he censored mine some days ago in which I stood up for falling temperatures, so to speak.

    His latest article of October 10, 2008, “Alarmist and Denier Scientists” should be read in order that my comment reproduced below is seen in context, as I do not think it will see light of day over there.

    “Well, well, well, you could not find a more recent article than LINDZEN, Wednesday, April 12, 2006? Please allow me to assist you with “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?” LINDZEN September 27, 2008.

    Abstract
    For a variety of inter-related cultural, organizational, and political reasons, progress in climate science and the actual solution of scientific problems in this field have moved at a much slower rate than would normally be possible. Not all these factors are unique to climate science, but the heavy influence of politics has served to amplify the role of the other factors. By cultural factors, I primarily refer to the change in the scientific paradigm from a dialectic opposition between theory and observation to an emphasis on simulation and observational programs. The latter serves to almost eliminate the dialectical focus of the former. Whereas the former had the potential for convergence, the latter is much less effective. The institutional factor has many components. One is the inordinate growth of administration in universities and the consequent increase in importance of grant overhead. This leads to an emphasis on large programs that never end. Another is the hierarchical nature of formal scientific organizations whereby a small executive council can speak on behalf of thousands of scientists as well as govern the distribution of ‘carrots and sticks’ whereby reputations are made and broken. The above factors are all amplified by the need for government funding. When an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda, as is the case with climate, then the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research. This paper will deal with the origin of the cultural changes and with specific examples of the operation and interaction of these factors. In particular, we will show how political bodies act to control scientific institutions, how scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions, and how opposition to these positions is disposed of.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

    Mr Anderson, you do yourself no favours by being deliberately obtuse and economical with the truth in your assertions that what little beneficial warmings this planet had during the 1980s and 1990s were down to human causes. You may as well accept that you are wrong, apologise to your readers and hope against hell you hang on to your job.

    Whilst you have the time, please read all 36 pages of LINDZEN’s work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”

  95. Mike Bryant says:

    OT- 7.3% of the continental US is covered by snow this morning.

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/

  96. Don B says:

    Tamara (13:37 ) Without commenting on the amplitude of the anomalies, NH and SH sea ice tend to run in opposite directions because Antarctica temps tend to run in the opposite direction to the rest of the globe, discussed in “The Chilling Stars.” Some have called it the sea-saw effect, but Svensmark calls it the Antarctica Anomaly, and is a result of cloud cover, not CO2, nudging the climate, by his theory.

  97. Pingback: stu-in-flag.net » Blog Archive » Sea Ice Contraction?

  98. Walter Dnes says:

    2008 re-freeze catches 2005! (Note; this may be an interim number, subject to change. They use 2-day averages, but the last day apparently stands on its own, and the average changes when a new day is appended). The most recent datafile http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv from the UAF.EDU site shows 2008/10/10 as 6,461,250 km^2 and 2005/10/10 as 6,436,406 km^2.

    I expect sea-ice extent to be somewhere “in the middle of the pack” (groan/sorry about that) for the rest of the fall/winter/spring . I.e. I expect it to remain somewhere around the average of 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. No need to hit the panic button,

    Mind you, if sea-ice extent hits 16,000,000 km^2 this winter and/or there’s a solid ice-bridge from Greenland to Iceland, I’ll re-consider my “don’t panic” recommendation.

  99. Jeff says:

    I love it when their theories end up disproveing themselves. If single year ice melts so easily, the fact that there is 9% more this year must mean that this summer was very cold.

  100. Pingback: Forget About Global Warming Again? | Uncommon Descent

  101. Vincent Guerrini Jr says:

    does this graph follow graph above subject of posting?
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg
    Is something wrong?

  102. MA says:

    Vincent. No. Why should something be wrong?

    We have the anomaly (about 1979-2007) in the lower graph, which is now quite constant (was the next lowest since 1979, which we all knows). Watts graph shows the increase speed now is maybe the highest in 7 years but the anomaly graph shows that the increase speed was about as fast as the average since 1979. “Normal” years since 1979 the minimum ice extent has occured some weeks earlier than it did this year (even if this year was not late compared to the last 7 years, except 2007), and it’s more likely to have a maximum increase speed not so close to the minimum. So it’s extraordinary we already – so short after a minimum – have a 1979-2007 average increase speed (that’s the red almost flat anomaly curve).

    You can e.g. compare the end points of the anomaly graph. Last autumn the anomaly figures falled until this date (which is consistent with Watts graph).

    We ca also see that if we should have a recovery like last year we may almost reach 1979-2007 average ice extent level this winter!

    Why some ppl think it’s so very important with more ice on the Arctic, and thus why this is an important topic I can’t figure out.

    Anyway, the data from Illinois is consistent with Watts data. Explain why you think it may not. Maybe you next will time will find the answer by yourself if you are more specific in your question. That’s the best way of learning too. You ocan either have some confidence that things are right and challenge your though with an examination or – also good – think that something is wrong but try to falsify the data by a detailed examination which exactly points out the error. If you have point it out, then you can formulate the question here.

    This was just a suggestion. I don’t even know if that above answered your questoin. Maybe it was something else which med you doubt about data consistency? If it was – or generally, in any way – I think you shall ask more specific questions…

    I’m not at all meaned to be aggressive with this answer. It’s good to ask questions, but it’s hard to anwer too non-specific questions. Non-specific questions generally may be caused by no effort to analyze and no particular idea why the question is asked…

  103. MA says:

    (Correction: “I’m not at all meent to be …”
    I’m sorry for other misspellings. English isn’t my native language.)

  104. Mike Bryant says:

    OT- 11.1% of the continental US is covered by snow this morning.

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/nsa/

    Well above the last two years… A feature of the site let’s you compare the last few years.

  105. Mike Bryant says:

    Vince,
    One is sea ice area, one is sea ice extent.

  106. Bruce Cobb says:

    The baby ice is making a rapid comeback.
    Without the burden of soot, I believe baby ice is more stable, plus, with its increased albedo would also tend to lower air temperatures, leading to even more ice.

  107. Gary Gulrud says:

    “I was also startled to find out that the IR emissivity of snow, ice and open water are almost the same.”

    Indeed. For total emissivity, water is 0.58, snow 0.84.

    I’d be interested to see how the numbers were empiricially measured, representative graphs against spectrum, etc., if handy.

  108. George E. Smith says:

    “paminator (16:26:34) :

    George E. Smith- Great post on arctic ice formation processes. ”

    Paminator, I have to confess, that my “thesis” is largely a lot of handwaving and really high school level physics; I don’t work in this field; but I hoped to stimulate some discussion from those climate experts who do, and those who do understand what makes the ice cycle tick. I understand the thermodynamics quite well and also the optics. But from my seat of the pants opining it should be apparent that the melting and refreezing processes are anything but simple.
    Gary Gulrud above gives 0.58 and 0.84 for water and snow, which truly are signigficantly different. Part of the reason is in fact optical. Open water, particularly sheltered amid ice, is a near optical surface, and the refractive index is quite low; about 1.33, so that makes the Brewster angle relatively small (53 deg). the Brewster angle arctan (n) is significant, because at that angle, the reflected component with the electric vector lying in the plane of incidence is totally extinguished, and the reflected beam is plane polarised perpendicular to the plane of incidence. So one polarisation goes to zero, anf the other about doubles. The result is that the total reflection coefficient is fairly constant (at about 2%) from normal incidence out to the Brewster angle, and then it rapidly increases to unity at grazing incidence. So the absorption of radiation beyond the Brewster angle drops rapidly because of the low index. In higher index materials, emission from the surface would be nearly Lambertian (cosine function), but for a low index optical surface like flat water it is less diffused.

    Snow on the other hand is anything but an optical surface, and is more like an anechoic chamber walls, so the light capture by fresh snow, and the corresponding thermal emission is more likely to be isotropic, than even Lambertian, let alone more confined than that so the total emission can be quite different. However fresh snow rapidly degrades in reflectance, and snow only a few hours old has its reflectance drop to the 40% range for solar spectrum radiation. If I had to guess, I would say that what little soalr energy impinges on the snow, goes down in all those crystalline crevices, and cause local melting,a nd refreezing, so the internal crevices develop icy optical surface, that transmit the sunlight, into the deeper innards of the snow, where it really is trapped by the anechoic effect, so the reflectance drops once the fresh snow develops optical refrozen ice facets. 72 hout old clean snow, is not much differnt form ordinary grass in solar spectrum reflectance.

    Some data on this stuff can be found in The Infra-Red Handbook ISBN: 0-9603590-1-X which was put together for the office of Naval Research, Defense Logistics Agency.
    Atmospheric Infra-red phenomena have clear military significance for target detection and acquisition. The data may be a bit dated in some ways, but the amount of information in there is immense.

    As for the melting of the ice, I referred to an interesting experiment, in my letter to Physics today published Jan 2005.
    Here’s how it goes. You need a nice quiet preferrably moonless night in still air at zero C, somewhere in Michigan or Wisconsin area wher you can find a nice lake in winter, with floating ice sitting on basically zero degree water. Only apparatus needed is a stop watch, and a thermometer to determine that the air and water and ice are truly in the zero degree range. The night experiment is to be sure there are no extraneous energy sources anywhere near.

    Part one of the experiment calls for stripping off all your clothes, and starting the stop watch , and then time how long it takes you to freeze, or at least cry uncle, and head for that hot rum drink. You do also need a pen and note pad to write down the elapsed time (well once your fingers thaw out).

    Par two of the experiment is a repeat of part one of the experiment with one slight change; first you have to go and jump in the lake !

    Well please do write and tell me your results, and state a brief conclusion about the relative heat transfer mechanisms of air and water.

    So clearly (IMHO) the heat to melt floating sea ice, comes from the water that the ice is floating on; and not from the atmosphere. that 80 calories per gram of latent heat results in cooling an astronomical amount of sea water, and so long as the salinity is above 2.47%, the cooling water shrinks, so the sea level goes down; and NOT up or stay the same.

    Measuring the emission from snow is not so trivial on the ground. I heard from one researcher who tried that at the South Pole, and basically he took his radiometer that he used to measure the solar insolation there, and simply turned it over and pointed it at the ground.

    The problem is that to measure radiance or radiant emittance, you optically have to define both a solid angle of acceptance, and also a finite field of view in the object plane; that is you have to form a real image of the surface inside your radiometer, and an illumination or irradiation measurement that you use to measure the sunlight falling on the instrument, doesn’t have to form a real image of the source, so the optical arrangement for one is wrong for the other.

    But I’m still embarrassed that I didn’t immediately grasp that Greenland ice falling off the land into the ocean does immediately raise sea level whether it melts or not, and whether the melted water refreezes in the arctic or not. It is an increase in total ocean mass after all; must be an early sign of Alzheimers.

    George

  109. kim says:

    George (14:49:47) That is wonderfully thought provoking. Now what high school was it?
    ======================================

  110. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (14:49:47) :
    Measuring the emission from snow is not so trivial on the ground. I heard from one researcher who tried that at the South Pole, and basically he took his radiometer that he used to measure the solar insolation there, and simply turned it over and pointed it at the ground.

    Which doesn’t work of course because the instrument measures in the wrong wavelength range. Surface emission should be measured from 3.5 microns up to ~20 microns whereas solar should be measured from ~0.3 microns to ~3microns.

  111. Pingback: North Pole too icy now to mention « An Honest Climate Debate

  112. Phil. says:

    North Pole too icy now to mention « An Honest Climate Debate (04:09:19) :
    [...] And is anyone in the media telling you that the refreeze at the Arctic this autumn is remarkably fast and widespread? [...]

    I hope not since it isn’t true, earlier than last year would be more accurate.

  113. Dan says:

    Given the red line (2008) dip in the first figure and the 2008 trend in the second figure, I don’t see how this point to anything but a warming trend. The second figure is staying at a constant 500,000 sq km below the average for all of 2008 and shows no sign of going back to that average, how is this a recovery of anything.

  114. Barb says:

    I’m a pragmstist, not a scientist, I wish I had waited to unload all my winter woolies. I wonder if NSIDC can help out?

  115. Symon says:

    What’s up with the NSIDC these days?
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/TimeseriesExplained.png
    Why are they plotting 2008 ice extent against 2006 ice extent? Is it because 2008 against 2007 shows an increase?

  116. Katherine says:

    Symon wrote:

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/TimeseriesExplained.png
    Why are they plotting 2008 ice extent against 2006 ice extent? Is it because 2008 against 2007 shows an increase?

    Not quite. While they should be comparing the 2008-2009 transition against the 2007-2008 transition, their graph would be roughly the same given the data they’re using, which seems to be current to Jan. 8, 2009.

  117. Katherine says:

    Dan wrote:

    Given the red line (2008) dip in the first figure and the 2008 trend in the second figure, I don’t see how this point to anything but a warming trend. The second figure is staying at a constant 500,000 sq km below the average for all of 2008 and shows no sign of going back to that average, how is this a recovery of anything.

    First, the red line in the first figure is 2009, no longer 2009. Now to answer your question, the AGW warmists were trending from 2007. Compared to 2007 levels, 2008 is a recovery.

Comments are closed.