NSIDC Confirms WUWT Ice Forecast

by Steven Goddard and Anthony Watts

In late 2009, Anthony forecast that Arctic sea ice would continue to recover in 2010. Last month Steve Goddard did an analysis explaining why that was likely to happen and yesterday NSIDC confirmed the analysis.

The pattern of winds associated with a strongly negative AO tends to reduce export of ice out of the Arctic through the Fram Strait. This helps keep more of the older, thicker ice within the Arctic. While little old ice remains, sequestering what is left may help keep the September extent from dropping as low as it did in the last few years.

The wording of NSIDC press releases usually highlight the negative (this one being no exception) but the message is clear.  This summer is likely to continue the trend since 2007 of increasing summer minimums.

So how is Arctic sea ice looking at this point, near the winter maximum?  NSIDC shows ice extent within 1 million km2 of normal and increasing.

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

The Baltic and Bering Sea have slightly above normal ice. Eastern Canada and The Sea of Okhotsk have slightly below normal ice.

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_extent.png

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_daily_extent.png
DMI shows sea ice extent at nearly the highest in their six year record.


Sea ice extent for the past 5 years (in million km2) for the northern hemisphere, as a function of date.

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
NORSEX shows ice area just outside one standard deviation (i.e. almost normal.)

http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

There’s also some interesting comparisons to be made at Cryosphere Today. When you compare the current images in recent days with the same period in years past, you notice how “solid” the ice has become. For example compare March 3rd 2010 to March 3rd 2008, when we saw the first year of recovery:

suggestion - click for a larger image to see detail

Note that there’s no “fuzziness” in the signal return that creates this image on the right. A fuzzy return would indicate less than solid ice, such as we see on the left. The CT image from March 3rd is “deep purple” through and through.  The edges of the ice are very sharp also, particularly near Greenland and also in the Bering sea. These two visual cues imply a solid, and perhaps thicker ice pack, rather than one that has been described by Dr. Barber as “rotten ice”.

I wish I could compare to March 3 2009, but the CT images were offline last spring then while both they and NSIDC dealt with issues of SSMI sensor dropout that was originally brought to their attention by WUWT, but was deemed “not worth blogging about“.

According to JAXA,  2003 was a good year for Arctic sea ice. Note the blue line.

So how does that year on March 3rd compare to our current year using CT’s imagery?

suggestion - click for a larger image to see detail

Compared to the best year for Arctic sea ice in the past decade, March 3rd this year looks quite solid. The setup for 2010 having more ice looks good.

You can do your own side by side comparisons here with CT’s interactive Arctic sea ice comparator.

The Arctic continues to recover, and one of the last CAGW talking points continues to look weaker and weaker.  It wasn’t very long ago when experts were forecasting the demise of Arctic ice somewhere between 2008 and 2013.  And it is not the first time that experts have done this – they were claiming the same nonsense in 1969, right before the ice age scare.

Feb 20th, 1969 New York Times - click for full article

Note the column at the right. Even back then, skeptics got the short shrift on headlines because as we know: “all is well, don’t panic” doesn’t sell newspapers.

UPDATE: And then there’s this:

AROUND 50 ships, including large ferries reportedly carrying thousands, were stuck in the ice in the Baltic Sea today and many were not likely to be freed for hours, Swedish maritime authorities said.

About these ads

262 thoughts on “NSIDC Confirms WUWT Ice Forecast

  1. You might be interested in my study of Arctic sea ice extent. I put most of it together some time back when it made a guest post on Air Vent. I finally managed to revisit it adding some of the things that should have been there first time around. The data sources have not been updated since I wrote it originally.

    It now contains calculations of difference between the satellites. Whilst the difference trend is a little on the high side, probably due to the apparent more rapid decline in the overlapping time frame, it does suggest that all the apparent Arctic sea ice extent decline might be accounted for by measurement drift.

    http://www.trevoole.co.uk/Questioning_Climate/userfiles/How_Fast_is_Arctic_Sea_Ice_Declining_v2.pdf

  2. I don’t understand how the talk about the polar ice cap melting away to nothing continues to have traction. The AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent chart on the right makes it clear that nothing really unusual is happening at the north pole with regards to ice.

    How can the claim that all the ice will dissappear continue to be made with a straight face? The “rotten ice” gambit?

  3. Rumor has it that Pen Hadow thinks it’s all bunkum. After all, he’s been there and measured the ice and ‘it’s worse than we thought!’ ;o)

    Aside: will Catlin Insurance ever again associate their name with such an expedition? I’m guessing they won’t.

  4. Thanks, Anthony! Being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, I’ve checked that website every day for the past year or so, to see what is transpiring in the Arctic Ocean.

    I agree with your analysis, the loss of ice in 2007 seems more likely related to wind and current patterns than anything to do with global temperature.

    Well, then again, there is the issue of all that “rotten, honey-combed” ice that has been reported….LOL!

    Meanwhile, I notice that Mr. Sun is still struggling to awaken from a rather deep minimum. The brief sunspot activity observed over the past few months has decreased rather dramatically. I’m expecting the sun to slip back into a very quiet minimum, we’ll see.

  5. It was that record short melting season as we saw in the DMI last summer.
    Might be that the feeble warming up there was just enough to consolidate the ice (fill in the air gaps/bubbles), so it’s not quite as ‘rotten’.

    So the concern is not with the Arctic Ice, which is doing quite well, but with the cold air that is blowing, and continues to blow, down upon the temperate areas of the N. Hemsiphere.

  6. Thanks to both of you for pulling together these images (and adding cogent commentary) for those of us deeply interested, but less skilled.

  7. I would question the word “normal”

    As the article from 1969 shows (and similar alarmism in the late thirties) thin ice is not unusual. The peak ice extent probably occurred in the 70s and early 80s when we had all the scares about a coming ice age. So it is extremely unlikely that the reference period of 1976 to 2000 is representative of the long term norm. I would suggest that the period of 1976 to 2006 would make a much better norm given that the PDO/AMO seems to work on this sort of timescale. Using a half cycle period would be perfect. How would today’s extent compare with that norm?

  8. Personally I am thinking this story is at least 15 days too early , before the northern hemiphere icecap is reaching its maximum size . Having this winter a fairly low jetstream , more near to the equator , a lot of the cold air was transported from the arctic into more moderate temperatured areas . This is most likely going to change by the end of next week , when the jetstream is expected to return to a more normal pattern higher in the northern hemisphere and the cold arctic will stay more insulated . As a result more arctic ice is likely to appear on the satellite images and the small minus of this winters calculations may change into a robust plus . Although the science is set mother nature is always good for a pleasant surprise.

  9. CRS, Dr.P.H. (09:55:21) :

    The sunspot cycle ramp seems to have developed a slipping clutch when it comes to the size and contrast of the spots.
    I’ll bet Leif has his eye on that, and Bill Livingston is continuing to see the progress of it in his measurements.

  10. In addition, I think we can expect a later maximum this year, due to the extensive snow cover throughout the northern hemisphere, keeping heat reflection high in the surrounding areas. So there might still be room for further growth.

    By the way: Al Gore is in town (Oslo) today, selling his new book. The main point of his speech was that it is still not too late to act, and that fortunately – politicians are a renewable resource, meaning of course that politicians who don’t ACT are replaceable. A cleverly concealed threat to the Norwegian political establishment. But the threat was wasted. They all love Gore anyway. They were the ones who gave him a Nobel.

    Coincidentally there was a climate debate (!) at our parliament at the same time, where a left-wing radical complained that he actually had to be at parliament debating such settled issues while he instead could be listening to Al Gore!

    At the same time, our foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre (who co-presented the infamous report “Melting snow and ice” at Copenhagen) said that there now is a organized, coordinated attack on science, orchestrated by “strong and well funded interests”.

    Hm. Sounds almost like CRU!

    Støre also managed to state: “The way Al Gore operates, which is very thorough and well-documented, is an important contribution to open eyes to the fact that we have to do something about it and take it seriously”.

    Well documented?

    I am looking forward to the last chapters of this saga. It could be both bloody and Gory.

  11. Of course Man made Arctic Ice Breakup as per Anthony’s previous Thread may also prevent the Ice returning as quickly as it would if they stopped driving their ships through it. LOL

  12. The UK met office/BBC/ HMG gov & oppostion parties/chief scientific adviser should have a look at the above graphs. The anthropogenic global warming as promised by governments around the world has turned out to be as false and contrived as the Y2K scare but on a vastly bigger scale.
    It seems that mother nature has not read the AAM script and is going on her own multi billion year journey regardless of the antics of our woeful political leaders.
    The question of tipping point armageddon and carbon dioxide invoked doom has been answered and now all that remains is where is all the money, who has the vast amounts of money so far squandered on a fools errand?
    Those that have peddled the ultimate Brooklyn Bridge scam should be shown the evidence so they can no longer deny the reality.

  13. On the second figure (the graphic which shows sea ice extent on 03/03/2010) is the orange line really the median?

    Around Newfoundland the median line is very far out from the shore. Did sea ice extend twice that distance into the Atlantic?

    Mike.

  14. Ahhh, the fine art of the cherry-pick.

    From the same site you link above (“Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis“):

    Even though the extent of Arctic sea ice has not returned to the record low of 2007, the data show that it is not recovering. To recover would mean returning to within its previous, long-term range. Arctic sea ice in September 2008 remained 34 percent below the average extent from 1979 to 2000, and in September 2009, it was 24 percent below the long term average. In addition, sea ice remains much thinner than in the past, and so is more vulnerable to further decline. The data suggest that the ice reached a record low volume in 2008, and has thinned even more in 2009. Sea ice extent normally varies from year to year, much like the weather changes from day to day. But just as one warm day in October does not negate a cooling trend toward winter, a slight annual gain in sea ice extent over a record low does not negate the long-term decline.
    In addition, ice extent is only one measure of sea ice. Satellite measurements from NASA show that in 2008, Arctic sea ice was thinner than 2007, and likely reached a record low volume.

    So, what would scientists call a recovery in sea ice? First, a true recovery would continue over a longer time period than two years. Second, scientists would expect to see a series of minimum sea ice extents that not only exceed the previous year, but also return to within the range of natural variation. In a recovery, scientists would also expect to see a return to an Arctic sea ice cover dominated by thicker, multiyear ice.

    Returning to a question I’ve posted here a few times before: on what scientific basis are individual reports that confirm your preconceptions touted while numerous studies that contradict it are discarded.

  15. At http://climaterealists.com/http://www.trevoole.co.uk/Questioning_Climate/userfiles/How_Fast_is_Arctic_Sea_Ice_Declining_v2.pdf

    there are several charts showing how “Satellite” observations show a very significant decline from previous “Climatic & Observational” & “Hemispheric Observations. These charts show the above C&O and HO observations cease at the moment Satellite observations are available. Is more recent C&O and HO information available for comparison? Or, is it, “It doesn’t match our model again”.

  16. rbateman (10:04:35) :
    It was that record short melting season as we saw in the DMI last summer.
    Might be that the feeble warming up there was just enough to consolidate the ice (fill in the air gaps/bubbles), so it’s not quite as ‘rotten’.

    A C Osborn (10:15:21) :
    Of course Man made Arctic Ice Breakup as per Anthony’s previous Thread may also prevent the Ice returning as quickly as it would if they stopped driving their ships through it. LOL

    “[ZOMG look behind us... behind the ice breaker... it's GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!!]”

    :P

  17. Jeezze that’s three beers I owe the mods – sorry! One of these days I’ll figure out how to bookend my bold formatting, I swear it!

  18. Yes, but the referenced NSIDC site also reports monthly February ice extent for 1979 to 2010 shows a decline of 2.9% per decade(see Figure 3).

  19. kwik,

    I have a friend who was a sailor out of Riga, Latvia from 1950-1990. He says he never remembers The Gulf of Riga being impassable as it apparently is this year.

  20. From the 1969 NYT article linked by Anthony: “About one quarter of the Arctic pack melts each summer, although the percentage varies widely.”

    Varies widely, eh? Looks like we still have something to learn from our pre-iPod ancestors.

  21. The NSIDC’s so-called “negative” assessment of the ice, is actually looking at the facts over a longer term persepctive than what some would like to look at. The sea ice anomaly is still negative, and has not been positive since 2004, (and then only barely) and a quick look at the LONG TERM trend is quite clear:

    Yes, currently sea ice is growing, as it always does in the winter, and yes, because of the negative AO, etc. more older ice stayed in the arctic, but the long term trend line is quite clear, and if it continues (and there is no data to say that it won’t), the arctic will be ice free in the summer in a few decades at most. It is most critical to note, that the extreme ice melt of 2007 only continued the trend going back many many years. Yes, we may not see a record low sea ice this summer, but I am fairly certain (again, unless we have a Mt. Pinatubo type volcanic event) that we will see record low summer sea ice in 2011, and probably 2012 and 2013 as well.

  22. Mike D., you are so incredibly wrong. One look at this long term trend map:

    Shows there is no end of the “death spiral” for arctic sea ice. Steve’s selective hype, as usual, doesn’t look at the long term facts.

  23. Thanks for all of this analysis. I’m eagerly awaiting this year’s peak, and its later trough.

    Sometimes I smell cherry-pickings on both sides of the aisle… If the ice ever did hit 0 one summer I’m sure skeptics would find some explanation involving winds or currents or whatever just like they did for 2007’s record low.

    But I think the most telling aspect of all of this is how the alarmists keep moving the ice-free goalposts. What’s different now is that we have the Internet to remind them of their old goalposts, many of which we have already passed or will be soon be passing!

  24. Paul Daniel Ash (10:29:55) : “From the same site you link above (‘Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis’):

    Even though the extent of Arctic sea ice has not returned to the record low of 2007, the data show that it is not recovering. To recover would mean returning to within its previous, long-term range.”

    Well yes, because it’s a 12-step recovery program.

    The first step is admitting there’s no problem. :-)

  25. 2010 Arctic sea ice is looking like a repeat of 2009, although the currently colder NH may delay the onset of melting. Interesting times!

  26. Icebreakers in the Baltic:

    JonFrum (10:25:38) :

    I just found that myself, via Drudge. I took a look for the locations of the ferries’ destinations and it puts that ice far south of limits of ice on the IARC-Jaxa Arctic Sea Ice Monitor map. I wonder if the photo in your link (which is different than the one I saw) is an actual photo of the conditions. If so, then I have had a much different impression of what the Jaxa map depicts as extent of sea ice. Or is there another explanation for the apparent difference?

  27. Paul Daniel Ash (10:29:55) :
    I like the way that you point to the commentary from an obviously biased site which is promoting Man Made Global Warming, they actually say so on the right hand side.
    The CAGW predictions were Continued Reduction leading to No Ice at the Pole in a few Years.
    It is proved WRONG.

  28. What about the jet stream being displaced to the south so increasing temperatures over the artic and Canada and lowering US temperatures?
    Is north pole going after Al-Baby’s residence really stalking him, in a kind of Gaia’s revenge?

  29. I wonder if other years previous to 2008 didn’t have solid purple color covering the Arctic. Perhaps it is a valid statement to say the ice is thicker…or may be the instruments measuring the ice weren’t calibrated correctly for all the years with spotty < 100% thickness.

  30. kwik (10:35:10) :

    And this happens while Al Gore is in Noway spreading the AGW Carbon Cult Gospel !! LOL !!

    ——-
    Was/Is Gore really in Norway yesterday/today?

  31. Somehow, oil must be responsible for this horrific, uncontrolled expansion of ice. Because oil is found deep in the earth, which we all know is “millions of degrees”, evil oil companies must be cooling the oil by stealing water from the oceans. This is causing the inner earth to cool, and now we will all freeze to death. Please send 10B, and I will study this further.

  32. Paul Daniel Ash (10:29:55) :

    Even though the extent of Arctic sea ice has not returned to the record low of 2007, the data show that it is not recovering. To recover would mean returning to within its previous, long-term range.

    If a patient has a fever of 103 degrees and the fever breaks down to 101 degrees, it’s OK to say he’s recovering. That’s all Anthony said. Your strawman that he said “recovery” is a strawman.

  33. Paul Daniel Ash: Who are you to tell us that the 1979-2000 mean is “normal”?

    Talk about cherry picking.

    That is 21 years and the planet is 5.5 billion years old.
    (21/5500000000) * 100 = 0.000000038%

    So you are telling me that the average sea ice extent over a 0.000000038% of the earths history is “normal”?

    Your entire post is one big balloon of hypocracy.

  34. Does anyone ask the Polar bears?
    Another ‘pillar’ of the AGW scare is buried under millions of tons of ice.
    I’ve a keen interest in Arctic Ocean Sea Ice, ever since they said “it would disappear” not in my lifetime it bl***y well won’t.
    If the upward trend continues, in the near future the 14m sq km will be met and not far off from 14.5million sq km (maybe a long shot now) at the peak of the freeze – glory be for that, if for nothing else then to shut some people up – somebody should tell Prince Charlie and all at the Guardian and Independent not forgetting the WWF.
    Oh oh! – back to Kilimanjaro is it?

  35. If we are concerned about Arctic sea ice because of its role in reflecting solar radiation, note that the equinoxes (March and September) are of little consequence becaue the solar angle then is very low. It is at the solstice (June 21), when the solar angle is at its maximum, the atmospheric path is minimal, and the albedo difference between water and ice is maximal, that the ice albedo is most effective in reducing the absorption of radiation by the ocean surface. Both graphs, especially the one indicating ice area, show little change between the average and the last full year (2009) for the crucial midsummer insolation window.

  36. anticlimactic (10:46:27) :

    This is how the article you linked to finish;

    “The proposed New Orleans flood barrier, which would have stopped the Katrina flooding, was itself stopped by federal court order after environmentalists filed a lawsuit. Federal government interference has cost us dearly in New Orleans. It has cost more than 1,000 human lives, including a friend of mine.”

    Good grief! I didnt know that. Can it really be true? If so, it really shows how perverted their reality are. Instead of doing positive things to the community, they spend money on religious beliefs.

    “The age of Delusion.” instead of The Age of Reason.

  37. Paul Daniel Ash

    I don’t wish to hijack this interesting piece by Anthony and Steve, but we must look at a much broader sweep of history than from the inception of satellite readings in 1979 to understand what is going on here;

    The start of Satellite measuring in 1979 coincided with peak ice, which is why they always speak of subsequent decline; History suggests you should look at a much longer time scale than thirty years.

    Link 1

    http://geology.com/articles/northwest-passage.shtml

    Ice extent maximum- Depends if you are talking winter or summer but ‘decline’ starts around 1979 from a high point.

    Link 2 This also shows the same;

    Link 3
    The IPCC report confirms this p351/2 figures 4.8 4.9 4.10

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter4.pdf

    Link 4
    The concerns over global cooling in the 70’s did have some basis in fact. There were a series of low temperatures in many arctic areas during the 70’s which ice would have corresponded to by growing.

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Scientific/Arctic.htm

    As the IPCC show, the start of the satellite period therefore roughly coincided with a period of peak ice-so it is not at all surprising that as part of its natural cycle it should subsequently decline.

    Link 5
    The IPCC are not very good at their historic reconstructions and generally view actual observations as ‘anecdotal.’ They seem to believe that history did not start before 1979. This article examines the arctic melting in the period 1810-1860 -see notes at bottom of article with additional references.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/#comments

    Link 6
    These are two good studies showing the arctic melting from the 1920’s to 1940’s posted from elsewhere, which show (a) a warm period during the 1930s and 1940s with temperatures as high as those of today and (b) reduced sea ice extent during this period, which only later returned to the high levels measured at the start of the latest retreating cycle in 1979 (when satellite measurements started), i.e. your point.
    ftp://ftp.whoi.edu/pub/users/mtimmermans/ArcticSymposiumTalks/Smolyanitsky.pdf

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Chylek/greenland_warming.html

    Link 7 The melting in the period 1920-1940 is very well documented. I have posted various articles on it here including newspaper stories.

    Expeditions to the arctic to view the melting ice became the equivalent of todays celebrity jaunts to the area. The most famous were those mounted by Bob Bartlett on the Morrissey. I have carried extracts from his diary before-remember the observation of the mile wide face of a glacier falling in to the sea?
    There are Pathe news reels of his voyages which your parents may have watched in their youth, as well as books on the subject. Here is a bibliography of material relating to him.

    http://www.nlpubliclibraries.ca/nlcollection/pdf/guides/NL_Collection_Guide_11.pdf

    Link 8
    Bernaerts, A. (2007). Can the “Big Warming” at Spitsbergen from 1918 to 1940 be explained? PACON 2007 Proceedings 325-337.

    http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/pdf/Submitted_conference_paper.pdf

    Link 9
    This shows a variety of arctic warming events over the last 150 years

    http://www.examiner.com/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m3d2-Arctic-Ocean-is-warming-icebergs-growing-scarcer-reports-Washington-Post

    Link 10

    We have got this far citing instances of warming and not even mentioned the Vikings 1000 years ago…instead let’s finish with another Arctic culture that thrived 1000 years before the Vikings;

    From the Eskimo Times Monday, Mar. 17, 1941
    “The corner of Alaska nearest Siberia was probably man’s first threshold to the Western Hemisphere. So for years archeologists have dug there for a clue to America’s prehistoric past. Until last year, all the finds were obviously Eskimo. Then Anthropologists Froelich G. Rainey of the University of Alaska and two collaborators struck the remains of a town, of inciedible size and mysterious culture. Last week in Natural History Professor Rainey, still somewhat amazed, described this lost Arctic city.
    It lies at Ipiutak on Point Hope, a bleak sandspit in the Arctic Ocean, where no trees and little grass survive endless gales at 30° below zero. But where houses lay more than 2,000 years ago, underlying refuse makes grass and moss grow greener. The scientists could easily discern traces of long avenues and hundreds of dwelling sites. A mile long, a quarter-mile wide, this ruined city was perhaps as big as any in Alaska today (biggest: Juneau, pop. 5,700).
    On the Arctic coast today an Eskimo village of even 250 folk can catch scarcely enough seals, whales, caribou to live on. What these ancient Alaskans ate is all the more puzzling because they seem to have lacked such Arctic weapons as the Eskimo harpoon.
    Yet they had enough leisure to make many purely artistic objects, some of no recognizable use. Their carvings are vaguely akin to Eskimo work but so sophisticated and elaborate as to indicate a relation with some centre of advanced culture — perhaps Japan or southern Siberia —certainly older than the Aztec or Mayan.
    This link leads to the Academy of science report of the same year regarding the Ipiutak culture described above

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1078291

    Certain of us seem reluctant to learn the lessons of history-in this case that there are periods of melting and refreeze that appear to follow a roughly 60/70 year cycle. We may or may not be at the low point in the cycle-that will become clearer over the next five years.

    Whatever the alarmists may believe, at present our modern era is not displaying any climate characteristics that have not been experienced in past ages of humanity.

    tonyb

  38. kwik (10:35:10) :

    Talking about ICE; THOUSANDS of passengers, 50 VESSELS [are]
    f[r]ozen in, in the Baltic Sea!!

    http://translate.google.no/translate?hl=no&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vg.no%2Fnyheter%2Futenriks%2Fartikkel.php%3Fartid%3D597977

    Kwik: I had to check your claim: indeed, you are right: the Gore Effect strikes again!

    http://www.norwaypost.no/content/view/22910/26/

    Headline: “Al Gore and Norwegian Foreign Minister present ice melting report”

    Hah!

  39. OT:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/science/earth/05methane.html?hp

    Study Says Undersea Release of Methane Is Under Way

    Climate scientists have long warned that global warming could unlock vast stores of the greenhouse gas methane that are frozen into the Arctic permafrost, setting off potentially significantly increases in global warming.

    Now researchers at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and elsewhere say this change is under way in a little-studied area under the sea, the East Siberian Arctic Shelf east of the Bering Strait.

    Natalia Shakhova, a scientist at the university and a leader of the study, said it was too soon to say whether the findings suggest that a dangerous release of methane looms. In a telephone news conference, she said researchers are only beginning to track the movement of this methane into the atmosphere as the undersea permafrost that traps it degrades.

    But climate experts familiar with the new research, reported in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, said that even though it does not suggest imminent climate catastrophe, it is important because of methane’s role as a greenhouse gas. Although carbon dioxide is a far more abundant and persistent in the atmosphere, ton for ton atmospheric methane traps at least 25 times as much heat.

  40. Funny how NORSEX uses one standard deviation instead of the more usual 3, to show the “normal” band.

  41. Paul Daniel Ash,

    Your arguments are so ho-hum that they defy reply; however I will reply ANYWAY.

    1979 was the end of a very cold period from about 1950-1979. The 1960’s and 1970s were ESPECIALLY cold. It didn’t really start warming up until the early 1980s. As you may recall (if you were even alive back then), there was a pretty big ice-age scare going on in the media in the late 1970s.

    Typical warming or cooling cycles last around 30 years. We warmed from 1979-2006 or so, and now have begun cooling again. As a result, you can well expect sea ice extent to continue to “recover”. The art of the cherry-pick is your side claiming that 1979 was “normal” just because that is when satellite data started being collected; when, in fact, 1979 was pretty darn cold.

    Geologically speaking, an ice-free arctic ocean is thought to be not terribly unusual. The fact that we are this far into an inter-glacial period and that there still IS ice in the arctic could well mean that the next glacial period is going to be more severe and colder than the last. Hopefully we will not know whether THAT prediction is true during your lifetime or mine.

    Also, there is no evidence whatsoever that the “thinning” which you claim is in any way unusual. Did you happen to actually READ the 1969 New York Times article embedded in the piece??? The science in that article was better written and better thought out than a lot of science going on about the same subject matter today. If you skipped the 1969 article, I would suggest you go back, hit the “click to enlarge” button, and actually read it.

  42. The question is, who is going to tell Prince Charles? On the one hand he is counting down the last of the five years to an ice free arctic, whilst on the other (together with the toes on his left foot) he is counting down the months in which to save the planet. The other foot is required for the countdown to succession, and one is running out of digits.
    What’s a chap to do?

  43. Pual Daniel Ash:
    “the data show that it is not recovering. To recover would mean returning to within its previous, long-term range.”

    “First, a true recovery would continue over a longer time period than two years.”

    It is important to point out that the “recovery”, so far it’s 3 years is in an upward trend. Also, the “normal” range is based on only a short 1979-onward record. The north passages have been open for 72 of the last 122 years, open for most of WWII, open for quite a while in the early 1900s. Much less ice is not all that uncommon and to be judgmental about it is making problems where there probably are not any.

    As we are not warming, to think that the ice would continue to decrease makes no sense at all. To insist on ice decreases when the records show that the Arctic Rim has NOT been warming as claimed is to border on, say, an unwillingness to accept the most likely probability of the natural situation.

  44. Paul Daniel Ash – real scientists would not extrapolate a trend from three decades of measurement – they would look to the possibility of cycles – long term, such as when the Vikings settled in Greenland 1000 years ago, and during the Little Ice Age in the 1600s, and the rate of recovery from then, plus the shorter term Pacific Decadal Oscillation (30 years) and North Atlantic Oscillation/Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation as well as the 70 year Arctic Oscillation – when you combine all of these and look at their phases of teleconnection – THEN you are a real Arctic scientist – like Professor Polyakov at Fairbanks University – who warns about sampling error when you do not take account of low frequency cycles – pointing then to the many station records in 1940. The cycles affect ocean warm water incursion from the Atlantic – melting the ice from below, and clouds from the Pacific, melting it from above – winds do the rest. Summer air temperatures beyond 80N have not varied by much. There is no direct evidence of CO2 driving the ice-loss.

  45. R. Gates,

    The way that “long-term trend” is defined by you is merely an infinitesimal blip on the geological time-scale.

    It has been theorized that in some warm inter-glacials, the arctic was completely ice free. This would mean that our current inter-glacial is actually cooler than previous inter-glacials (and there does indeed seem to be some evidence of that).

    There is also some evidence that in some of the past glacial periods, the globe may have been essentially a snow-ball with almost no ice-free land or sea area whatsoever.

    Which do you think would be more disasterous for life on earth? No ice in the arctic, or the entire planet covered in snow and ice?

    Most of us know the rather obvious answer to that question without putting too much thought into it.

  46. “if the trend continues”
    Coming from the same people that have not been able to predict a “trend” yet.

    What are they measuring up there anyway?
    At one time we were told all the ice would be gone by now.

  47. pbailey (10:31:02) :

    Slightly OT but Catlin is at it again!

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

    REPLY: I note they have no “live” biotelemetry this time. – A

    Ah yes, the CAGW/CC fall back position of “ocean acidification”. When mother nature isn’t going along with the CAGW/CC program, there’s always the “ocean acidification” ruse. Never fails.
    “Study the potential impact” – not what is happening, but what could maybe possibly happen, if you just plug the numbers into this model just right.
    Ya gotta love Post Normal science.

    “Polar explorer Pen Hadow, who is Director of the mission, said it will begin in early March and take scientists to an Ice Base only 750 miles from the North Geographic Pole to study the potential impact of rising levels of acidity in some of the coldest water on the planet.

    Some scientists believe that, based on current projections, the pH of the world’s oceans could reach levels by 2050 not seen on Earth for 20 million years with potentially serious consequences for all marine life.”

  48. I like the way that you point to the commentary from an obviously biased site which is promoting Man Made Global Warming, they actually say so on the right hand side.

    This “obviously biased site” is the source for Anthony’s post. Again, why do you only accept research that bolsters your preconceptions and discard everything else?

    The CAGW predictions were Continued Reduction leading to No Ice at the Pole in a few Years.
    It is proved WRONG.

    First: what predictions? Name them.

    Second: What is “a few?” Ten years? twenty? fifty? a hundred?

    Third: what is your standard of “proof?” If you believe two years of recovery after thirty years of decline means that sea ice will return to its historical averages, what support do you have for that belief?

    Again, again, and again: can someone explain to me how this is not just cherry-picking research that you think supports your conclusions?

  49. Has anyone looked into how good the correlation is between sea ice minima and earlier sea ice coverage? Since all of the recent curves are displaced downward a similar way from the long term average, it seems that next summer’s minimum can be partly be forecast from the current maximum and possibly the minimum of previous years. However, it is also clear that the unusual nature of 2007 didn’t become obvious until summer.

    Looking at the map, instead of a graph, is the presence or absence of sea ice off the coast of Newfoundland, in parts of the Baltic, near the Aleutians, or near Kamchatka really going to have anything to do with how much ice will remain in the Arctic Ocean six months from now? This will happen only if this tells us how thick the ice will be in the Arctic – something that probably depends more on the previous minimum than on the previous maximum. So I’d expect next summer’s minimum to depend far more on last summer’s minimum than on the current maximum.

  50. kwik (10:35:10) :

    And this happens while Al Gore is in Noway spreading the AGW Carbon Cult Gospel !! LOL !!

    ——-
    Was/Is Gore really in Norway yesterday/today?

    ———–

    Gore is in Norway today.
    So am I.

  51. It is a travesty we cannot account for increasing arctic ice extent.
    Increase of summer minimum third year in a row will be beyond doubt a sign of irreversible climate change.
    Several drops in rising ice extent in recent past was probably compacting of the ice, temporary decreasing its extent but thickening it.

  52. I find it truly alarming and astounding how few of the average population understands the scientific method or what science even actually is. To even see anyone claim that 30 years constitutes any sort of discernable “trend” beyond the normal “noise of the earth” is simply laughable. The only trend that matters is for 100,000 years or so, the earth is so cold that many of us would not be able to inhabit the areas which we currently inhabit, and then for about 10,000-15,000 years it gets nice enough that plants and animals can survive and thrive in most places on the earth.

    I, for one, am thankful that we are in one of the 10,000-15,000 year periods as opposed to being in one of the 100,000 year remarkably inhospitable to life periods.

    Perhaps those of us with any real understanding of science should simply start making the fantastic claim that the global warming “true believers” (that would be the opposite of “denier”, yes?) actually seem to want the earth to pass whatever tipping point is required to send us into a new ice-age.

    All one really has to do is look at how humans of the past have characterized certain periods. For example:

    “Medieval Climate Optimum” it was HOT. Most people think that it was probably hotter than 1998-2006 for a significant period of time!!!! (and yet the world didn’t end). In fact, not only did the world NOT end, the period was called an OPTIMUM (please look up the word optimum if you are not familliar with it).

    “Maunder Minimum” It was COLD. Darned unpleasant. The other big problem with cold and darned unpleasant is this naturally led to food shortages and rampant disease. Definitely a MINIMUM.

    Warmth leads to abundant food, healthy plants, healthy animals, and expanded area that is habitable. Cold leads to food shortages, increased disease, and less area which is habitable without significant engineering. Hence why the warm times are called “optima” and the cold times are called “minima”.

    /rant off

  53. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (12:16:28) :
    Catlin have disabled the ‘Contact Us’ links. I wonder why?

    So that people can’t ask them what pH they were expecting before they tell us that it’s more acidic than they expected maybe ??

    I wonder why these rigorous scientists aren’t adding to the robustness of their data by going back and measuring Arctic sea ice thickness this year ??

  54. “Paul Daniel Ash (12:41:05) :
    [...]
    Again, again, and again: can someone explain to me how this is not just cherry-picking research that you think supports your conclusions?”

    Ah the AGW people, always weaseling out of their failed projections (they don’t make predictions. Predictions can be validated.). It’s always “we didn’t say that.” Can’t you for once stand by your word? No i don’t mean you personally, it’s a plural “you”, but i know the answer: Research is ongoing, that’s the nature of science… The ever changing, never falsifiable hypothesis, the million headed hydra of mock science…

    Which reminds me of Reptilicus.

    Spoiler: It attacks Copenhagen.

  55. The Catlin link is interesting. They correctly point out that cold water absorbs more CO2 and can become more acidic, but don’t mention that warmer water due to global warming should cause less CO2 to be absorbed.

  56. Frank,

    Good questions. There is very little correlation between winter sea ice extent and summer extent. In the JAXA graph, 2006 was the lowest in winter and one of the highest in summer.

    Also, winter ice levels off Eastern Canada or in The Sea of Okhotsk have little or no bearing on the summer minimum.

  57. Correct me if I am wrong, but the pH of the ocean is GREATER THAN 7, correct?

    If the pH of the ocean is > 7, then the ocean isn’t acidic at all, it is basic (or alkalyne if you prefer). Therefore, there technically is no rising acidity, only falling alkalynity. We cannot say anything about “rising acidity” until the pH of the ocean falls below 7.

  58. Paul Daniel Ash (12:41:05),

    I’m not surprised that you avoided responding to TonyB’s post @12:02:22. It deconstructs everything you want to believe. I suggest reading the links to learn why this is nothing but natural climate variability. If the same thing happened in the recent past, then what is happening now is normal, natural, and has nothing to do with CO2.

    When you’ve finished with TonyB’s links, here’s one from the late, great John Daly: click Read it and get educated.

  59. “The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (12:16:28) :

    Catlin have disabled the ‘Contact Us’ links. I wonder why?”

    Battery of satellite phone empty?

  60. PeterB in Indainapolis (12:23:53) :

    Your arguments are so ho-hum that they defy reply

    They’re not my arguments, but thank you for rousing yourself to reply (is it late in this strange land of “Indainapolis?”)

    As I’ve noted before, the source of those statements was the same source Anthony used to write this post. Are they only wrong when they disagree with your preconceptions? if so, why?

    Typical warming or cooling cycles last around 30 years.

    An interesting assertion. Your source?

    The art of the cherry-pick is your side claiming that 1979 was “normal” just because that is when satellite data started being collected

    Who claims that? According to the information available from the pre-satellite era, ice extent was greater before 1979.

    Geologically speaking, an ice-free arctic ocean is thought to be not terribly unusual.

    O RLY? What’s your source for that? Overpeck et. al. said that there was no evidence for an ice-free Arctic in the past 800 millennia, even during periods when it was warmer than it is now. Is that incorrect? Please explain your evidence.

    1979 was pretty darn cold.

    Source? Not even Anthony thinks 1979 was especially cold.

    The science in that article was better written and better thought out than a lot of science going on about the same subject matter today.

    I’m not sure how one “writes” science, but I’m sure you’ll enlighten me. I generally look first to people who are actually doing science to try and understand natural phenomena and trends. You may have a better way. More power to ya.

  61. Paul Daniel Ash,

    Obviously you have been cherry-picking which comments to read. Several of the commentors have pointed out that in 1922, 1951, 1958, and 1969, there were predictions of the arctic being free of ice “within a few years”.

    Even if we go with your “a hundred years”, it has been nearly 100 years since the 1922 prediction of an ice-free arctic, and there are still over 14 MILLION square kilometers of ice up there. Do you seriously think that the polar ice is going to shrink by > 1 million square kilometers per year over the next 12 years to make that 1922 prediction come true? I am pretty sure that in the recorded history of man there has never been a single year (much less 10 in a row) in which arctic ice extent declined by > 1 million square kilometers.

  62. Steven and Anthony: Add this to the forecast ledger, mine of 2007- 2008 (Note that the earliest emails are at the bottom:

    Dear Ms Leitzell

    Its me again. I read the news release for Oct 2nd. I’m sorry but the
    conclusions appear determined to ignore the alternative possibility
    supported by the evidence of the past year that we may be witnessing a
    rebound (even if we may not believe it will be long lived). Two factors
    suggest that we will have greater ice extent next year:
    1) The first year ice that survived will become 2nd year ice for the 2009
    melt season.
    2) Recall my observation about the steepness of the re-freeze curve in 2007
    and the terribly cold winter and cool summer that followed. I note that
    already the refreeze curve appears to be even steeper at this early stage.
    If this is a harbinger of another cold winter (and it is only 6 degrees C
    here in Ottawa this morning), then we will indeed have a significant
    rebound. Thermodynamics insists that if the ocean water was cooler in 2008
    summer and a cold winter follows then we will likely see not just a “mere”
    10% rebound (which I still insist is significant following a summer of warm
    ocean) but an exponential growth in ice extent survival.

    I accordingly forecast a 15 to 20% rebound in survival ice for 2009 and
    challenge NSIDC to reply that this is not possible. If it is possible, then
    the unequivocal conclusions of the Oct 2 News Release should have been much tempered. If it happens, I would be pleased to be cited as having made the prediction. Keep an eye on the refreeze curve – it might be a valuable additional factor to put into the equation.

    Sincerely,
    Gary Pearse, P.Eng
    Ottawa

    —– Original Message —–
    From:
    To:
    Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 11:59 AM
    Subject: {nsidc-170961} Re: Second lowest extent indicating continued
    decline

    > Dear Mr. Pearse,
    > Thanks for your comments, and I hope my responses were helpful. Please let us know if you have any more questions.

    > Regards,
    > Katherine Leitzell

    > equapolar@bellnet.ca wrote:
    >> Dear Ms Leitzell
    >> Thank you for your patience in responding to my curmudgeonly diatribes. I am not a “denier” (science chose a very unbecoming word in denier- it has a medieval religious inquistition-like tone) , but rather a searcher of loose threads. I trust science still finds adversary views useful in sharpening its tools.
    >> Sincerely,
    >> Gary Pearse,
    >> Ottawa, Canada

    >> —– Original Message —–
    >> From:
    >> To:
    >> Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 2:37 PM
    >> Subject: {nsidc-170961} Re: Second lowest extent indicating continued
    >> decline

    Dear Mr. Pearse,
    Thank you for your input regarding Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis. I
    will pass your comments on to the authors.
    Regarding your comment on previous eras when the Arctic may have been
    ice-free, NSIDC scientists have addressed this briefly in a Frequently Asked Questions page on Arctic sea ice. I’ve pasted their answer at the
    bottom of this email.
    Also, since you are a scientist, you may find the peer-reviewed
    literature on the topic of sea ice decline to be helpful. Below are several
    citations of articles by NSIDC scientists on the topic. Obviously, discussion of
    the 2008 melt season is preliminary. NSIDC will release a more detailed
    press announcement in the beginning of October, and I expect that you will
    see more peer-reviewed research on the topic in the months to follow.
    Articles:
    Stroeve, J., M. M. Holland, W. Meier, T. Scambos, and M. Serreze. 2007.
    Arctic sea ice decline: Faster than forecast. Geophysical Research
    Letters 34, L09501, doi:10.1029/2007GL029703.
    Serreze, M. C., M. M. Holland, and J. Stroeve. 2007. Perspectives on
    the Arctic’s shrinking sea-ice cover. Science 315(5818): 1533-1536,
    doi:10.1126/science.1139426. (review article)
    Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, A. G. Slater, M. Steele, J. Zhang, and
    K.
    E. Trenberth. 2007. The large-scale energy budget of the Arctic.
    Journal of Geophysical Research 112, D11122, doi: 10.1029/2006JD008230

    From the FAQ (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq.html:

    Has the Arctic Ocean always had ice in summer?
    We know for sure that at least in the distant past, the Arctic was
    ice-free. Fossils from the age of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago,
    indicate a temperate climate with ferns and other lush vegetation.
    Based on the paleoclimate record from ice and ocean cores, the last
    warm period in the Arctic was about 8,000 years ago, during the so-called
    Holocene Thermal Maximum. However, NSIDC scientists are not aware of
    direct evidence that the Arctic was free of sea ice in summer during
    that time.
    The last time that the ocean was likely free of summertime ice was
    125,000 years ago, during the height of the last major interglacial period,
    known as the Eemian. Sea level was also 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 feet) higher
    than it is today because the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets had
    partly melted. Because of the burning of fossil fuels, global averaged temperatures today are getting close to the maximum warmth seen during
    the Eemian. Carbon dioxide levels now are far above tech highest levels
    during the Eemian, indicating there is still warming to come.

    According to analyses at NASA, 2007 was the second-warmest year
    globally
    in the instrumental record; the Arctic was especially warm.
    Regards,
    Katherine Leitzell

    equapolar@bellnet.ca wrote:

    Dear Ms Leitzell,
    Thank you for your quick reply and I stand corrected on NSIDC’s not
    noticing the steep refreeze curve of fall 2007. I guess the crux of my
    long-winded email was that NSIDC was in fact drawing a strong negative conclusion from the fact that there was “only” 10% rebound (you should have been at least neutral in your conclusions). I think given the warmer ocean of the previous year, the 10% increase is rather remarkable and a similar refreeze this winter would result in an even greater increase in sea ice extent (thermodynamics would demand it). I am a scientist myself –
    geological and a mathematician. 15,000 years ago, 50 million cubic kilometres of ice melted off the polar – temperate regions in a relatively short time (when we numbered perhaps a million or so people). There were also several other ice advances and even an era when the Mediterranean went dry. This gets elliptically referred to but by and large is glossed over. I think one of the problems with todays climate science is its conclusions are based on too short a time frame. I also think with the cooler ocean this summer, that if the refreeze is steep, NSIDC will likely take this more into account than previously regardless of the long term data.
    Sincerely,
    Gary Pearse,
    Ottawa, Canada
    —– Original Message —–
    From:
    To:
    Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 5:59 PM
    Subject: {nsidc-170961} Re: Second lowest extent indicating continued
    decline

    Dear Mr. Pearse,
    Thank you for your comments regarding Arctic Sea Ice News &
    Analysis. The content is intended to offer a scientific analysis of current
    conditions in the Arctic compared to last year (the record low), and the long
    term 20 year) average. In response to your specific questions:
    Yes, we noted the strong recovery of sea ice extent during winter 2007,
    in a posting dated April 7, 2008. Please see http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2008/040708.html. However, we do
    note in that post that much of the ice was rather thin, first-year ice. This may
    have contributed to the faster melt over the summer.
    You also note that a 10% recovery seems significant. However, this year’s
    minimum is still 33% below the 1979-2000 average. NSIDC scientists, the
    authors of this site, focus on the long-term trend rather than year-to-year variations. Comparing longer trends and averages is more appropriate because natural variability, or natural shifts in the climate system, cause changes from one day or month to the next. Scientists remove the influence of this noise in a data record by gathering many points of data over a longer time period to understand the statistical significance of trends. This is true not just in studying sea ice, but also in many areas of scientific study.Please let me know if you have any other specific questions.Regards,
    Katherine Leitzell
    NSIDC Communications
    equapolar@bellnet.ca wrote:

    Greetings,
    I wish to dispute your conclusion regarding the second lowest
    extent in 2008. I have a post on the “Sea Ice Outlook Report” with some ideas
    on forecasting (Harper Pearse) see also Gary Pearse – I lost my password and
    had to register with a new name and email. I mentioned my
    observation in mid 2007 that the southern hemisphere winter in 2007 was cold with rare snowfall in Johannesburg, cold temperatures in Argentina, Australia etc. I predicted a very cold arctic winter from this and we got the
    coldest winter in many years in most of the Northern Hem. (500 deaths from freezing in Afghanistan, China’s cold New years holiday, Tehran’s heavy snow, etc). The arctic refroze with a vengeance – your own melt-refreeze curve showed the steepest refreeze (see your 2007 rising ice extent
    in the fall) perhaps in decades – you noted the steep decline for
    August 2008 but did you remark on what must have been the steepest refreeze curve in fall 2007? It is agreed that this one year ice was vulnerable to rapid remelt, and we did get this particularly in August 2008. The 2008 ice was vulnerable also because we were starting with a warmer ocean after the summer of 2007. Despite this, we ended up with 300,000-400,000sqkm of ice added to the 2007 extent which will become 2-year ice by next summer. Observation is important but a little thermodynamics can take you a
    lotfarther. I suspect that the ocean is cooler now than at the same time last year. If the refreeze curve is also a steep one like last
    year – say greater than the long term average, then there is a fair to high probability that we will add further to the ice extent. Let us say for argument we were to have as cold a winter as last year – then I would predict we would add more to the extent than in 2008, say 500,000sqkm or more. I believe your half empty vs half full bias toward an iceless arctic is showing in your interpretation of this years results. If other of nature’s systems are instructive at all, even a scientist committed to global warming would lean toward some recovery from an extreme condition in the following year or two.

    “Despite overall cooler summer temperatures, the 2008 minimum extent is only 390,000 square kilometres…more than the record-setting 2007 miniumum.” This season does not in anyway reinforce the long-term downward trend. A 10% rebound is very significant and is the result of the overall cooler temperatures.
    Sincerely,
    Gary Pearse,

  63. When do they start these graphs?

    In the 1940’s – 1970’s, we definately had some cooling going on.

    If you start measuring Arctic ice in the 70’s, is there anyone that would not expect it to go down?

    Thank God the “trend” of the 70’s didn’t continue either.

  64. real scientists would not extrapolate a trend from three decades of measurement

    No, and nobody does. The data since 1979 is better, but scientists have made what efforts they can to compile information from previous years based on shipping records and other proxy data. No, I’m sure it’s not perfect. Do you have a better method?

    Again folks: I am referring to the link Anthony provided. Nothing else. Why do you believe the part that you think validates your preconceptions and not the rest?

    That is a question. Why?

  65. You completely misrepresent the NSIDC analysis. Here are a few bits you’ve missed.

    “In February, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track below the average, and near the levels observed for February 2007. Ice extent was unusually low in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic, and above normal in the Bering Sea. Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice reached its summer minimum, near the average for 1979 to 2000.”

    ….

    “Ice extent remained more than two standard deviations below the 1979 to 2000 average throughout the month.”

    ….

    “The average ice extent for February 2010 was the fourth lowest February extent since the beginning of the modern satellite record. It was 220,000 square kilometers (85,000 square miles) higher than the record low for February, observed in 2005. The linear rate of decline for February is now 2.9% per decade.”

    ….

    “While little old ice remains, sequestering what is left may help keep the September extent from dropping as low as it did in the last few years. Much will depend on the weather patterns that set up this spring and summer.”

    ….

    And here is ‘fuzziness’ for 2010: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

    You compare two different images one showing snowpack, the other without, in order to create a graphical slight of hand.

    ….

    At the very least, the article above represents an unscientific claim based on cherry-picked data. And at the worst your claim of validation by the NSIDC is a blatant falsehood. If anything, we’ve seen a leveling off at or near record lows. Furthermore, claiming such a leveling off validates your unscientifically based forecast of arctic ice recovery is a gross misrepresentation of sea ice data.

    REPLY:
    “You compare two different images one showing snowpack, the other without, in order to create a graphical slight of hand.”

    On that point your are factually wrong, and wrongheaded in your perception. The comparison of those two images is provided expressly by the Cryosphere today web site, managed by the University of Illinois Polar Research Group. They advertise this comparison link on the main page of the Cryosphere today web site.

    You apparently didn’t follow that very same link provided in the story. Here it is again for your educational benefit:

    “You can do your own side by side comparisons here with CT’s interactive Arctic sea ice comparator.”

    And in case you can’t see the “here” link, here is the compare URL explicitly:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=03&fy=2003&sm=03&sd=03&sy=2010

    If there is any “graphical slight of hand” as you assert, then it lies with the University of Illinois and their Cryosphere Today web site, not with our exact reproduction of it here.

    Had you investigated further, you’d find that Cryopshere Today only started adding snow cover in the last two years. Note that the 2008 image has snow cover but the 2003 image does not. Users of the comparison tool at Cryosphere today are not given the option of choosing it or not.

    The comparison tool presents images with the following caveat right below the side by side images:

    “Historic snow cover data not displayed on these images. Sea ice concentrations less than 30% are not displayed in these images. Snow cover data is displayed only for most recent dates.”

    It might behoove you to read first, and ask questions later. It also might behoove you to not use the d-word to label people.

    I’ll leave the other points you raise for Steve and other commenters. – Anthony

  66. The AO is getting less negative every day for the last 7. It did occur to me to wonder if the recent sharp uptick and the change in the AO were related –less “packing” pressure, so extent is increasing?

  67. I’m not surprised that you avoided responding to TonyB’s post @12:02:22. It deconstructs everything you want to believe.

    I’ve had half a dozen posts to reply to, and am working my way through Tony’s set of ten links.

    Anyway, I’m not “believing” anything, I’m just looking at what the science (which Anthony used as the basis of this post) says.

    If the same thing happened in the recent past, then what is happening now is normal, natural, and has nothing to do with CO2.

    That does not follow in all cases. If something happened once due to natural variation then if it every happens again it has to be as a result of natural variation, for ever and ever, world without end amen? That’s weird logic.

  68. Oh whatever shall the warmists cry chicken little about if the sea ice doesn’t melt as forecast? It will be time to sweep their former alarmist statements under the rug, thrust their hands in their pockets, and slowly walk away whistling while hoping nobody notices…

  69. Edda,

    Summer minimums increased by 33% from 2007 to 2009.

    We have been forecasting summer sea ice at WUWT for two years and have done pretty well. At least as good as NSIDC – in 2008 Mark Serreze bet on an “ice free north pole.” Check back in September and let us know how we did.

    BTW – I don’t get paid to write, but if you know where I can get some of that “oil money” please let me know!

  70. Icebound
    weather by seablogger

    More than 50 ships have become tapped in Baltic Sea Ice, including large ferries with thousands of passengers. I suspect some shift of wind moved large masses of ice from the upper Baltic southwestward into busy transit lanes between Scandinavia and the rest of continental Europe. Meanwhile South Florida is shivering in an unheard-of March cold wave. Just weather, not climate, we keep telling ourselves. But this has been South Florida’s coldest winter since the Seventies — when PDO was last in negative phase.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=TX-PAR-HOJ05&show_article=1

  71. Gotta love NSIDC’s parsing of words. What they are really trying to say is that one must not use the word “recovering” except in a historical backwards-looking fashion. By their theory, you must not say the pack is recovering until the pack has *completely* recovered. Until that has been achieved, there is just no knowing if it is “recovering” or not.

    Well, I sort of understand their point, but real people live in the moment and like to discuss these issues using current data to speculate on future trends, and how is one to have that kind of discussion if one gets ones knuckles rapped for using understandable words like “recovering” to do it? Perhaps the arctic pack will have a relapse over the next few years and crash back thru the 2007 low –who knows? But until it does, “recovering” is a perfectly appropriate word to use in a loose sense to describe what we’ve seen the last two years (and, perhaps, this year as well –tho I’m not convinced on that score yet).

    Surely NSIDC cannot be claiming a unique and exclusive right to speculate forward (which they do all the time) based on their view? People who disagree with them get to speculate forward too, don’t they? And use words like “recovering” to do it with?

  72. Paul Daniel Ash (13:38:05),

    It is up to you to show that what is occurring now is due to human emitted CO2, because that is the hypothesis the entire global warming scare is based on.

    Keep Occam’s Razor in mind when you try to gin up your explanation of why this isn’t ordinary climate variability, no more and no less.

  73. The great thing about making short term predictions like this is that you are proven right or wrong in a reasonable time frame. The experts who predicted 2008 and 2013 end dates for the Arctic aren’t looking too good right now, but at least they made a verifiable prediction.

    Seems more honest than people who forecast the demise of ski areas 60 years from now.

  74. nsidc: “Arctic sea ice reflects sunlight, keeping the polar regions cool and moderating global climate.”

    And the amount of sunlight touching the Arctic in the wintertime is….? (These people just have no shame do they?)

    On top of that, IMO, the absorption of sunlight at the poles even at solstice can’t be very influential to climate anyway because, given the extra slant distance that light must travel through the atmosphere to reach the poles, most of the IR has already been absorbed by the time it reaches the surface.

  75. @PeterB in Indainapolis (12:23:53) :

    Yes, it is unfortunate that the satellite records coincide with only half –and the warmer half– of the 60 year cold/warm cycles that are pretty obvious in the records. I think there is very little reason to doubt that if we’d had satellite coverage of the arctic in 1945 that the “normal” we’d be using for arctic extent would be significantly lower than what we have today using 1979 as the starting point.

    As I said, that part is unfortunate. However, what is really. . .uhhh. . . something beyond unfortunate. . . is that NSIDC, who must know that is true –even if unquantifiable– acts like they are unaware of it and that their current baseline is somehow a holy grail of comparison.

  76. Anthony, I think the most important part of your observations is the ice density. Since extent goes out to the point where 15% of the sea surface is ice cover, one would expect a large extent of relatively dispersed ice when the winds are blowing the ice well out. With tighter wind circulation patterns we now have much more compacted ice reaching out to the same extent as the prior dispersed ice. I suspect that there is a great deal larger ice volume in the area of extent. If so we should expect much less melt back this summer.

  77. Paul Daniel Ash

    Why don’t you go back to the Wikipedia page you linked to and see who the author is? Yes its william Connelley himself.

    Now go and check the actual real references given to you by a number of people here including myself-these include the Hudson Bay Co, The Board of Trade, Newfoundland records amongst very many others.

    Sea ice has huge variations which can be traced back for 3000 years. The low points in the 1920’s are particularly well documented-there is even newsreel as well as newspaper reports.

    Why don’t you actually read the material people have bothered to find for you instead of persisting in quoting figures from a very short 30 year satellite record then point us towards a William Conelley article?

    tonyb

  78. R. De Haan – While this winter in Florida is not colder than the worst of the ’70s the duration of cold weather is greater, especially here in Sarasota, central west Florida. The last 62 days have averaged about 10 degrees F colder than the norm, with many days 20 degrees colder. The funny thing is that the weather forecasters seem to have a conspiracy to not discourage the snowbirds. The daily highs have been consistently 6 to 10 degrees below the forecast made as little as 7 hours before the high. Lows have faired better at about 3 to 6 degrees below forecast. One wonders if the forecasts are based on Hansen thermometers.

  79. Slightly OT and weather not climate, but I’ve been watching http://ocean.dmi.dk/satellite/index.php for the last few weeks, wondering when ships would begin to get stuck. The BBC have just reported:

    “Baltic Sea ice traps passenger and cargo ships”

    A number of ships, including ferries with more than 1,000 passengers on board, have become stuck in ice in the Baltic Sea, officials say. The ferries are stranded in the waters between Stockholm and the Aland Islands, while cargo boats are stuck in the Bay of Bothnia…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8550687.stm for full text.

  80. Given the IPCC has exaggerated just about everything, if not everything they have reported about climate change, it is now clear as crystal their doomsday predictions of a catastrophic global warming are false. So when are they going to admit this? If they don’t when are they are going to be shut down? Seriously. They should be hauled to the courts for fraud and the aim should be to put them behind bars but I know this probably won’t happen for several reasons.

  81. geo (14:11:02) : :
    “”Yes, it is unfortunate that the satellite records coincide with only half –and the warmer half– of the 60 year cold/warm cycles that are pretty obvious in the records. I think there is very little reason to doubt that if we’d had satellite coverage of the arctic in 1945 that the “normal” we’d be using for arctic extent would be significantly lower than what we have today using 1979 as the starting point.””

    Thank you geo.

    That is a fact, and a fact that too many people on both sides keep ignoring.

  82. RE: Paul Daniel Ash (12:41:05) :
    —————————–
    I like the way that you point to the commentary from an obviously biased site which is promoting Man Made Global Warming, they actually say so on the right hand side.

    This “obviously biased site” is the source for Anthony’s post. Again, why do you only accept research that bolsters your preconceptions and discard everything else?

    The CAGW predictions were Continued Reduction leading to No Ice at the Pole in a few Years.
    It is proved WRONG.

    First: what predictions? Name them.

    ——————————
    Well, here is one by a “world expert” from the University of Manitoba who spent time and over 30 million dollars on the ship.
    **Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer (2008), report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field. “We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker. – National Geographic News, June 20, 2008**
    Of course each year he pushes back the date.
    If you looked at both sides you would find a lot more of these.

    You stated:
    **the data show that it is not recovering. To recover would mean returning to within its previous, long-term range. Arctic sea ice in September 2008 remained 34 percent below the average extent from 1979 to 2000, and in September 2009, it was 24 percent below the long term average. In addition, sea ice remains much thinner than in the past, and so is more vulnerable to further decline. The data suggest that the ice reached a record low volume in 2008, and has thinned even more in 2009.**
    Who said it has thinned more in 2009? The 50 ships in the Baltic Ice?

  83. In reply to PeterB in Indainapolis (12:31:44) :

    Peter, I’ve never said whether I think a warmer world would be better or worse, as that hasn’t really seemed to be important…but since you asked:

    Fire and Ice

    FIRE AND ICE
    by Robert Frost

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Robert Frost
    _________________
    I’m simply looking at the true longer term trends (longer meaning in this case more than one or two winters, as some would like). For the past severa decades arctic sea ice has been trending down on a year to year average. This is the data. If continued, the arctic will be ice free in the summer before too many more decades have passed. Would this be good or bad for humanity? Who knows? Has this been caused by AGW? That is the trillions of dollars question.

  84. Ref – Paul Daniel Ash (13:38:05) :
    “… If something happened once due to natural variation then if it every happens again it has to be as a result of natural variation, for ever and ever, world without end amen? That’s weird logic.”
    _________________________
    Old Man Who Live in Cave Say:

    Tis best to not ask specific people specific question unless they respect you.

    Tis best to make statement to no one in particular.

    Tis best to respond to best comment.

    Tis best to not rock boat too much over teenie weenie matter.

  85. Steve — you spuriously use the base line of a record low and then claim a 33% increase. It does not change the fact that we remain at or near record lows in sea ice data and that February represented the fourth lowest in the record. Nor does it change the fact that lows are 2 standard deviations outside the norm.

    Recovery, as your ‘news article’ claims, would be evidenced by a return to normal sea ice levels for many years, not a half-cloth misrepresentation of NSIDC data and back of the hand references about ‘fuzziness’ or lack thereof in Satellite images.

    I made the dig about your money source as, evidenced by the articles you’ve written, you are clearly not interested in facts, only in their distortion and misrepresentation. At the very least, I would hope you receive oil company funding for the good work you do for them.

    As for Anthony’s diatribe… My apologies for having missed that function on the cryosphere website. In the spirit of science, I will refine my argument based on the new data you’ve presented.

    You infer that the lack of fuzziness in the satellite images points to the recovery of thicker sea ice: “These two visual cues imply a solid, and perhaps thicker ice pack, rather than one that has been described by Dr. Barber as “rotten ice”.”

    However, the scientists at NSIDC who are taking measurements and not just eyeballing fuzziness in thumbnail satellite images claim that: “little old ice remains.”

    So on the one hand, I have an article misrepresenting a report by the NSIDC and a weatherman with a handful of helpers eyeballing ‘fuzziness’ in satellite images just waiting to jump up and claim ‘arctic ice recovers, nothing to see, move along.’ And on the other hand I have numerous climate scientists at the NSIDC with a whole heap of scientific data, ship observations, detailed satellite images, and sensor data from the ice pack saying that maybe this September, we won’t see such a small ice pack as the record lows of the past few years depending on what the weather does.

    Who should I choose to trust? Those whose job it is to research the ice pack or a weather guy and his buddies?

    Sorry guys. Nice try. But when the NSIDC says ‘Arctic sea ice is on the trend to long-term recovery,’ then I’ll give you props. Until then, stop blatantly using real data to fabricate half-truths and mumbo-jumbo. It really is intellectually dishonest.

    What would have been honest would be to claim that Arctic sea ice hit unprecedented record lows in 2007 and remained within the standard deviation of those lows over the past few years. That said, the NSIDC is stating that this September’s melt might not be as low as 2007, 2008, and 2009 — the three lowest years in the record.

    Further, it is worth noting that in complex systems, lows are normally followed by some degree of rebound. In the analysis, it is worth noting that over the past three years we haven’t even seen one return to base-line average in sea ice coverage. Not one. And, according to the NSIDC, the trend is still down.

    In short, you are arguing from a position of comparing data sets that are all less than base-line and claiming that unless record lows are consistently reached, year after year, then the ice pack must be on the road to recovery.

    REPLY: Nobody ever said here that 2007 wasn’t a record low. “Unprecedented”? only in the 30 year sat record, in geologic time, probably not. You’ve built the ultimate strawman to knock down by claiming since we didn’t mention it we are “dishonest”.

    Like Steve said, check with us about September to see how we did, if we blow it, then you’ll have reasons to to denigrate us. You may not like “fuzziness” in the sat image, but one of my specialties is satellite image processing (see the right sidebar, all those sat and radar images are of my making), and I see it as relevant since lack of it is a new event.

    In the meantime arguing with a anonymous person who starts off with insults isn’t useful nor productive. Your opinion counts for zilch. – Anthony

  86. http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/seaice.html

    This is an interesting page for a few reasons. One, look at graph s4b, which uses declassified submarine sonar data to look at thickness back to 1976. It’s interesting it shows an upward slope from 1976 to 1982. It certainly is very suggestive of what that slope would have looked like from 1966-1976.

    This report is October of 2009, but I can’t figure out the s4a graph when it refers to “winter” 2004-2008. Is “winter 2008″ March of 2008 or winter 2008-2009 or what? If its just one number, doesn’t it need to be as-of a certain fairly narrow time range rather than a full season? I’m trying to figure out why you’d only have 2008 data in a report published in late 2009.

  87. Heres a plot of AMSRE data which to me looks interesting?

    For the period covered by the satellite 2002 to 2010 the cahnge in extent on a particular day of the year is plotted as a linear trend.
    It is interesting that just before the summer melt the area increases by 5000sqkm over the 9 years.
    There is then a sharp fall to 20,000 sqkm loss per year in october.
    The area change over the remaining year seems to be abuot 5000sqkm/year

    Is the rise from April to may due to delayed melt? or is it spreading of melting ice?

    Any comments

    /harry

  88. “”” Steve Goddard (12:57:25) :

    The Catlin link is interesting. They correctly point out that cold water absorbs more CO2 and can become more acidic, but don’t mention that warmer water due to global warming should cause less CO2 to be absorbed. “””

    Well Steve, I would prefer to say “less alkaline” rather than “more acidic”.

    In addition, one might note that as arctic sea ice is lost (if it is), that leaves more open water to absorb atmospheric CO2 (into that colder water); whereas as the arctic sea ice grows, the water surface available to absorb atmospheric CO2 gets less, and in addition, the growing sea ice expels its CO2 content, along with its salt content, which increases the density of the surface water, which could enhance the rate that it sinks (poerhaps taking dissolved CO2 with it; but also some of that expelled CO2 can be expected to be emitted to the atmosphere in resposne to Henry’s law; increasing the atmospheric CO2.
    And the NOAA CO2 data for the arctic shows the anual cyclic variation of CO2 at the north pole to be about 18 ppm p-p, rather than the 6 ppm seen at Mauna Loa.

  89. Edda,

    NSIDC says second lowest February extent, and on March 3 DMI shows nearly the highest extent in their six year record. Go figure.

    Anyway, the prediction was about the summer minimum. You are talking about February.

    I pulled a hamstring playing soccer a few weeks ago. In last night’s match I was about 50%. But I “continue to recover.”

  90. “Smokey (13:56:00) :
    Paul Daniel Ash (13:38:05),

    It is up to you to show that what is occurring now is due to human emitted CO2, because that is the hypothesis the entire global warming scare is based on.

    Keep Occam’s Razor in mind when you try to gin up your explanation of why this isn’t ordinary climate variability, no more and no less.”

    Thank you Smokey, I’ve archived that one.

    My how the warmist trolls squirm and wriggle, surely reality must catch up even their clouded minds eventually.

    “A man can dream, a man can dream”

    Best regards

  91. Dr. Walt Meier at NSIDC told me to be careful making comparisons vs. ice from the late 1970s and early 1980s, because ice extent was “unusually high” at that time. Remember the “ice age scare” in the mid 1970s?

    Not surprising that ice extent has decreased since then.

  92. RE: Paul Daniel Ash (13:38:05) : “If something happened once due to natural variation then if it every happens again it has to be as a result of natural variation, for ever and ever, world without end amen? That’s weird logic.”

    Not quite weird. If something has been happening in the past as a result of natural causes, then I believe the burden of proof must lie on he who proposes some new unusual cause for this instance of an otherwise common event. I am not saying or attempting to say that natural variation is the only possible cause for such changes. No such proof or statement is required.

    I seriously doubt that CO2 is a major climate driver since most of the effect of any new parcel of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere is masked by that already there. Looking at the absorption spectrum of CO2, I see a scarf (or series of scarves) not a blanket. The recent cold weather extremes in the face of rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere seem to be showing this fear false.

  93. This chart tells the whole story…

    Everything else is short term fluctuations that amount to nothing signficant. Arctic sea ice continues a downward trend over the long term, as the chart and data quite clearly show and no positive anomalies since 2004.

  94. TonyB (14:18:26) :
    Why don’t you go back to the Wikipedia page you linked to

    Tony, I’ve gone all through my posts and I can’t find a wiki page link. Help me understand which you are referring to.

    Why don’t you actually read the material people have bothered to find for you

    I have been. I am working, though, and it’s quite a lot of information. I’ve been reading as I can, and with care. I’m trying to understand the material rather than just reflexively dismiss it, as so many here have been doing with the NSIDC data which is the basis for Anthony’s entire post. It has taken some time.

    Link 1
    ‘decline’ starts around 1979 from a high point.

    This graph begins in 1978, so it can’t be said that it shows the “maximum extent” of sea ice. Doesn’t disprove that either, there is just no data.

    Link 2 This also shows the same;
    It sows the same, because it covers the same period. I don’t understand why you sent these graphs to show “a much broader sweep of history than from the inception of satellite readings in 1979,” but hopefully you can explain this to me.

    Link 3
    The IPCC report confirms this
    The graphs also begin in the late 70s.

    Link 4
    The concerns over global cooling in the 70’s

    This is a myth, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t know yourself that it’s a myth. If, on the other hand you or others have been taken in by this, I urge you to read http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf

    There were a series of low temperatures in many arctic areas during the 70’s which ice would have corresponded to by growing.

    Probably, but you didn’t show this.

    As the IPCC show, the start of the satellite period therefore roughly coincided with a period of peak ice-so it is not at all surprising that as part of its natural cycle it should subsequently decline.

    This did not show that the “start of the satellite period therefore roughly coincided with a period of peak ice,” but I’m not sure why you think that’s relevant. The NSIDC shows a greater extent of polar ice before the satellite period.

    Link 5
    The IPCC are not very good at their historic reconstructions and generally view actual observations as ‘anecdotal.’ They seem to believe that history did not start before 1979.

    This is a confused and tendentious assertion, as the IPCC doesn’t do “historic reconstructions” or any other primary research… and the link that you provided actually shows the exact opposite of what you say they “seem to believe:”

    Although there are problems with homogeneity of all these data (with quality declining further back in history), and with the disparity in spatial scales represented by each, they are all consistent in terms of the declining ice extent during the latter decades of the 20th century, with the decline beginning prior to the satellite era. Those data that extend far enough back in time imply, with high confidence, that sea ice was more extensive in the North Atlantic during the 19th century

    Link 6
    These are two good studies showing the arctic melting from the 1920’s to 1940’s posted from elsewhere, which show (a) a warm period during the 1930s and 1940s with temperatures as high as those of today and (b) reduced sea ice extent during this period, which only later returned to the high levels measured at the start of the latest retreating cycle in 1979 (when satellite measurements started), i.e. your point.

    Well, again, that’s not my point, nor is it the point of the NSIDC assessment. They say the historic record shows a greater extent of Arctic ice. Amusingly, so does the Smolyanisky presentation you linked! It does show midcentury warming, but the extent of ice does not return to pre-1920 levels, and the overall trend is downward.

    The Chylek abstract is interesting; I’m not sure what its relevance is to the subject at hand.

    Link 7 The melting in the period 1920-1940 is very well documented.

    It is. Again, I’m not sure what the relevance is. There have been periods of localized warming in the past; I hope you didn’t feel I thought that was a point of contention. It doesn’t address the reduction in ice relative to what the historical record shows.

    Here is a bibliography of material relating to him.

    http://www.nlpubliclibraries.ca/nlcollection/pdf/guides/NL_Collection_Guide_11.pdf

    Okay.

    Link 8
    Bernaerts, A. (2007). Can the “Big Warming” at Spitsbergen from 1918 to 1940 be explained? PACON 2007 Proceedings 325-337.

    http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/pdf/Submitted_conference_paper.pdf

    This paper, according to the abstract, “attempts to offer clues and explanations about what caused the arctic warming at the beginning of the last century.” It’s very interesting and deserves further study. I’m – again – not clear on the relevance to the topic at hand.

    Link 9
    This shows a variety of arctic warming events over the last 150 years

    This is a blog post consisting of hodgepodge of anecdotal reports of warming events in a number of places, such as New York and Antarctica, as well as a collection of completely unrelated alarmist statements, such as “in ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct,” and “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years.”

    I’m not at all sure what you thought the relevance of this was.

    Link 10
    This link leads to the Academy of science report of the same year regarding the Ipiutak culture

    Cool. Relevance?

    None of these links appears to challenge the assessments made on the NSIDC site: that the extent of Arctic ice has been in decline as compared to historical maxima. If I missed some specific in the links you provided, I’d appreciate help in finding it.

    If I left any tags unclosed, I beg the indulgence of the moderator to clean it up for me. Long post.

  95. @Edda (15:10:29) :

    Edda, it is the oldest (or perhaps second oldest after ad hominem) trick in the debating book that when presented with a question you don’t like, pretend the question was something else and answer that instead.

    Which is what you’ve been doing in criticising this article.

    The context of this article is clearly and tightly predictions for the 2010 arctic minimum extant. Quoting of NSIDC’s site is also in that context. The title of the article is “NSIDC Confirms WUWT Ice Forecast”. What WUWT ice forecast? Why the one for summer 2010 Arctic minimum, which is helpfully linked at the beginning.

    The quote from NSIDC is quite straightforward and unambiguous:

    ” The pattern of winds associated with a strongly negative AO tends to reduce export of ice out of the Arctic through the Fram Strait. This helps keep more of the older, thicker ice within the Arctic. While little old ice remains, sequestering what is left may help keep the September extent from dropping as low as it did in the last few years.”

    Now, if you can bring something from NSIDC’s page that contradicts that *regarding the likely September minimum for 2010* then you’ve got an arguement, and I’m sure Anthony or Steve would be happy to address it.

    But until then, you’re just acting like a common internet troll trying to thread crap by changing context and then attacking it (aka “straw man”).

  96. A thought occured to me when reading a post regarding pre-1979 sea ice data.

    While dedicated satelite data collection may only have started in 1979, manned space flight had of course being going on since the early 1960’s – and the astronauts did bring cameras with them!

    Many missions would have taken them on trabs-polar orbits, and it is quite possible that photos of minimum and maximun sea ice extent were taken and still exist waiting to be found on NASA website galleries for Gemini and Apollo!

    Admitedly, these would largely low Earth orbit missions (apart form Apollos 8-17!!), but it should be possible to discern iced up areas from 40+ years ago, which can be compared and constrasted to satelite sea ice extent images from 1979 onwards.

  97. Interesting idea Carbon Dioxide, but doing some quick googling, it appears the answer is generally “not so much” re manned polar orbits prior to 1979.

  98. R. Gates, come on. Every time we had ice racing out the strait we had wind doing the same thing, and every time we had ice staying put, we had wind going the other direction or just staying put (look it up). I can ask my 5th grade resource kids that question and they would be able to predict what would happen to floating ice in the Arctic. The trend is in the wind, not CO2.

  99. Certainly a very interesting read the 1969 article. Note what was considered the typica extent of the ice pack in 1969, and compare to what is considered average today. Also interesting to note opinions in 1969 on climate change, and what role Co2 and other factors played in this.

  100. geo,

    Thanks for the well written reply to Edda. Adding a bit to that, my prediction was based on nearly identical logic as in the NSIDC news – i.e. negative AO and low drift.

  101. Smokey (13:56:00) :
    It is up to you to show that what is occurring now is due to human emitted CO2, because that is the hypothesis the entire global warming scare is based on.

    Well, that’s a fairly dramatic move of the goalposts.

    My only point has been that the source Anthony used for this post contradicts his conclusion. My comments have been in support of this, and I have not seen a refutation of my point. Now I’m being called on to defend the whole body climate change science taken as a whole.

    OK, fine. Let’s give it a shot. It will be an interesting exercise.

    Keep Occam’s Razor in mind when you try to gin up your explanation of why this isn’t ordinary climate variability, no more and no less.

    William of Ockham said “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily. Isaac Newton formed it as: “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.” Cool.

    Appearance: warming has occurred in the 20th century. Anthony Watts says “Nobody I know of in the sceptic community denies that the earth has gotten warmer in the past century. I surely don’t.”

    Appearance: CO2 has increased from an historical average of 275 to 285 parts per million to about 387 ppm in 2009. CO2 is transparent to visible light but opaque to infrared, so it traps heat, as do other “greenhouse gases.” The levels of these gases are all rising

    Appearance: the planet appears to have an energy imbalance (solar heating absorbed and not radiated out to space ) of 0.77 ± 0.11 W/m−2, which is roughly equal to the radiative “forcing” effect of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases.

    Cause: the greenhouse gases – primarily CO2 – are causing the heating.

    I think that’s a pretty simple explanation. Other simple explanations – that it’s the sun, or water vapor, or albedo, or ocean cycles – have all shown to be lacking.

    Now, you can point out the holes in this theory, and I’d be very interested in that. I’m just learning this stuff, and I’d rather not be stuck with a wrong headed notion.

    Just to say that you’re not convinced, though, simply won’t do.

  102. I was waiting for the opportunity to share with everyone the results of an email exchange I had with a support person within NSIDC.

    This was very profitable and I believe worthwhile effort to draw some attention to Antarctica. The person I dealt with was very nice and helpful.

    The best part of the exchange: they enhanced their website with my suggested addition. My little contribution to the advance of understanding of our physical world.

    To moderator: I will attempt to overwrite personal information. Please feel free to remove anything I miss.

    Dear Jack,

    We’ve produced animations for the Antarctic – both minimum and maximum extent – as well as added one for the maximum extent for the Arctic. See the navigation links on the left for these animations at http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice_animation.html.

    Best regards,
    Betsy

    jarthur_original@comcast.net wrote:

    > Betsy,
    >
    >
    > Thank you very much for your response.
    >
    >
    > I do use your site all the time as I am very interested in climate conditions and the health of the polar regions.
    >
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    >
    > Jack Simmons
    > —– Original Message —–
    > From: nsidc@nsidc.org
    > To: “jxxxx”
    > Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 2:58:49 PM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
    > Subject: {nsidc-200944} Re: Arctic Animation
    >
    > Dear Mr. Simmons,
    >
    > Yes, I agree. The Antarctic contains the majority of the world’s ice, and we are constantly studying it. NSIDC maintains a growing collection of over 100 Antarctic data sets as part of our Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (http://nsidc.org/agdc/). Three of our researchers have been on the Peninsula this season conducting field work (http://iceshelf.wordpress.com/). There is certainly a greater emphasis in the cryospheric research community on Arctic sea ice than on that in the Antarctic for the reasons you read, particularly due to the unprecedented changes we’re seeing in the extent of Arctic sea ice and the far-reaching implications its extensive melt has on global systems. Antarctic sea ice is much more stable since it surrounds a land mass. However, we do continue to monitor Antarctic sea ice and distribute a variety of data sets on sea ice in both hemispheres. Additionally, NSIDC continuously monitors the land ice of Antarctica’s ice shelves (http://nsidc.org/d
    > ata/iceshelves_images/).
    >
    > The developer is considering what programming resources it will take to create an animation of Antarctic sea ice and perhaps will add one to our State of the Cryosphere site in the future. Thank you for the suggestion.
    >
    > Best regards,
    > Betsy
    >
    > jxxxxx@comcast.net wrote:
    >
    > > Betsy,
    > >
    > >
    > > Ninety percent of all the ice in the world is to be found in the Antarctic. There are 7,300,000 sq miles of sea ice surrounding Antarctica, versus 5,100,000 square miles of sea ice in the arctic. Certainly these facts have ‘broad and wide implications’ for the world. Isn’t time this collection of ice receive some attention?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > >
    > >
    > > Jack Simmons
    > > —– Original Message —–
    > > From: nsidc@nsidc.org
    > > To: “jxxxx”
    > > Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 3:36:00 PM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
    > > Subject: {nsidc-200944} Re: Arctic Animation
    > >
    > > Dear Mr. Simmons,
    > >
    > > Thank you for your message. I will pass your comment along to the web team who maintains that page. There is definitely more emphasis on the changes in Arctic sea ice because they are broader and have wider implications. For more on this, see our FAQ on Antarctic versus Arctic sea ice: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq.html#antarctic
    > >
    > > Best regards,
    > > Betsy Sheffield
    > > NSIDC User Services
    > >
    > > jxxxxxx@comcast.net wrote:
    > >
    > > > Great animation at http://nsidc.org/sotc/sea_ice_animation.html
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > When are you going to do one on the Southern Ice Cap?
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Regards,
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Jack Simmons
    > > > Denver, Colorado
    > >
    > > ________________________________________________________________________
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > NSIDC User Services Phone: +1 303-492-6199
    > > CIRES, 449 UCB Fax: +1 303-492-2468
    > > University of Colorado Email: nsidc@nsidc.org
    > > Boulder, CO 80309-0449, USA WWW URL: http://nsidc.org
    > >
    > > National Snow and Ice Data Center * Distributed Active Archive Center
    > > * World Data Center for Glaciology, Boulder *
    > > ________________________________________________________________________
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    > ________________________________________________________________________
    >
    >
    >
    > NSIDC User Services Phone: +1 303-492-6199
    > CIRES, 449 UCB Fax: +1 303-492-2468
    > University of Colorado Email: nsidc@nsidc.org
    > Boulder, CO 80309-0449, USA WWW URL: http://nsidc.org
    >
    > National Snow and Ice Data Center * Distributed Active Archive Center
    > * World Data Center for Glaciology, Boulder *
    > ________________________________________________________________________
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    ________________________________________________________________________

    NSIDC User Services Phone: +1 303-492-6199
    CIRES, 449 UCB Fax: +1 303-492-2468
    University of Colorado Email: nsidc@nsidc.org
    Boulder, CO 80309-0449, USA WWW URL: http://nsidc.org

    National Snow and Ice Data Center * Distributed Active Archive Center
    * World Data Center for Glaciology, Boulder *
    ________________________________________________________________________

  103. Jack Simmons,

    Thanks for that. I have always found NSIDC to be very responsive to queries and questions.

  104. “”” Paul Daniel Ash (10:29:55) :

    Ahhh, the fine art of the cherry-pick…..

    Even though the extent of Arctic sea ice has not returned to the record low of 2007, the data show that it is not recovering. ….

    So, what would scientists call a recovery in sea ice? First, a true recovery would continue over a longer time period than two years.

    Well if it is agreed that two years of recovery (from 2007) does not a complete picture make; can we also agree that a one year decline (as in 2007) certainly is also not representative of a trend.

    Simply looking at the JAXA graphs on the side here, it is painfully obvious that the dramatic drop from 2006 is dramatically different from any change prior to 2006, and much greater than the two steps of improvement in 2008 and 2009 (of ice area). so the strange case of 2007 must be regarded as the absolute epitome of cherry picking.

    So I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry in pointing to 2008/9 as anomalous cherries; the case of 2007 would simply be too embarrassing.

  105. Paul Daniel Ash (17:07:23) :


    Appearance: CO2 has increased from an historical average of 275 to 285 parts per million to about 387 ppm in 2009. CO2 is transparent to visible light but opaque to infrared, so it traps heat, as do other ‘greenhouse gases.’ The levels of these gases are all rising

    Appearance: the planet appears to have an energy imbalance (solar heating absorbed and not radiated out to space ) of 0.77 +/- 0.11 W/m^2, which is roughly equal to the radiative “forcing effect of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases.

    Cause: the greenhouse gases – primarily CO2 – are causing the heating.

    Now, you can point out the holes in this theory, and I’d be very interested in that. I’m just learning this stuff, and I’d rather not be stuck with a wrong headed notion.

    The problem with CO2 is that it is such an effcient absorber that it’s pretty much saturated its window, so it takes a lot more to have the same impact as if the atmosphere had very little.

    Other greenhouse gases are not rising, at least not as steadily as CO2. Some accounts hold that water vapor is decreasing, Methane flattened out a few years ago, but may be climbing again.

    BTW, technically what you have written doesn’t rise to the level of a theory, though you have a good start at a hypothesis.

    You might find my http://wermenh.com/climate/science.html worthwhile. I wrote it a couple years ago, and would like to up date some parts but it does go into CO2 issues and the saturated IR window.

  106. “”” Spector (15:49:33) :

    RE: Paul Daniel Ash (13:38:05) : “If something happened once due to natural variation then if it every happens again it has to be as a result of natural variation, for ever and ever, world without end amen? That’s weird logic.”

    “I seriously doubt that CO2 is a major climate driver since most of the effect of any new parcel of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere is masked by that already there. Looking at the absorption spectrum of CO2, I see a scarf (or series of scarves) not a blanket. The recent cold weather extremes in the face of rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere seem to be showing this fear false. “””

    Well how about the even more important concentration of atmospheric water vapor, which not only renders any increases in CO2 inconsequential; but also makes the entire current resident CO2 entirely inconsequential.

    Earth currently enjoys the lowest levels of CO2 that it has seen in the last 600 million years, including values 25 times the present CO2 levels and maybe 32 times the lowest ever levels.

    I believe even the dryest of tropical deserts have more water vapor than CO2 above them.

    I haven’t actually calculated the factor between saturation vapor pressure in the atmosphere, and molecular abundance of H2O, so I am not quite sure of H2O abundances over the polar regions (in the vapor phase) but it seems that cloud formation in the polar regions is quite common, so it wouldn’t surprise me if H2O still exceeds CO2 over the polar regions. Maybe one day I’ll do the calculation to satisfy my curiosity.

    But I still believe; “IT’S THE WATER, SILLY !”

  107. Paul Daniel Ash,

    The population of Los Angeles increased dramatically during the 20th Century, closely tracking the warming trend. UFO sightings also increased in parallel to temperatures. As did teen pregnancy.

    It doesn’t seem likely that either of the last two caused the changes in the temperature record, but Urban Heat island effects might well have.

  108. The unproven (and, in my mind, laughable) assertion that human-generated increases in CO2 – a miniscule atmospheric gas — will cause the planet to warm, leading to climate catastrophe is a sure sign of hubris gone crazy. Not surprisingly, many of the people promoting it were out front in the 1970s issuing dire warnings of an approaching ice age.

    (Former NASA researcher Dr. Ferenc Misckolzci, by the way, has produced research allegedly refuting this “theory.” See news article – http://bit.ly/dgjBSO; his actual paper – http://bit.ly/bmtWp8.)

    For billions of years, the sun has done a good job all on its own of heating and cooling planet earth. It surely doesn’t need any help from the insignificant creatures, called humans, inhabiting the place.

    Sadly, many global warming alarmists — pro-AWG scientists, in particular — seem hell-bent on defending their sacred theory until the bitter end. Reputations are at stake; Huge research grants depend on the theory’s continued acceptance.

    As the theory continues to disintegrate (and the process is now picking up speed) and falsified beyond redemption, how many scientists will be courageous enough to step forward and admit they devoted their lives to promoting and defending a theory that was the climate-change equivalent of “Piltdown Man”?

  109. Pamela Gray said:

    “R. Gates, come on. Every time we had ice racing out the strait we had wind doing the same thing, and every time we had ice staying put, we had wind going the other direction or just staying put (look it up). I can ask my 5th grade resource kids that question and they would be able to predict what would happen to floating ice in the Arctic. The trend is in the wind, not CO2.”

    So Pamela, are you saying the record high temperatures seen over the arctic in the last 20 years had no effect on sea ice? It was all just “the wind”? Really? Wow, you are smarter than the dozens of scientists (honest, dedicated, intelligent scientists) who have identified a whole constellation of causation for the low sea ice we’ve seen, of which the wind only plays a small part. See:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-9833022-39.html

    Really Pamela, your attachment to trying disprrove the existence of a warming troposphere (which AGW models all say will be most pronounced at the polar regions) seems to blind you to basic facts. Arctic sea ice is trending down on a year-to-year basis, and has been since at least the late 70’s…and the “wind” plays only a part in that decline.

  110. I find it illuminating that AGW faithful can easily accept that 30 years of satellite coverage gives them enough information of create a linear trend in spite of all the historic evidence that ice extent is cyclic.

    It must be getting pretty bad for someone to make this kind of silly claim. Even Gavin would be embarrassed for Gates and Ash.

  111. R. Gates (19:45:34) :

    … are you saying the record high temperatures seen over the arctic in the last 20 years had no effect on sea ice?

    Would you mind providing the evidence that says the Arctic has NEVER been warmer than the last 20 years? Oh wait, you have how many years of data, silly me to think that wasn’t representative of millions of years.

  112. Jeez all these posts Paul Daneil Ash, and you still haven’t answered my question as to what is the “normal” level of arctic sea ice?

  113. RE: kirkmyers (19:14:52) : “Former NASA researcher Dr. Ferenc Misckolzci, by the way, has produced research allegedly refuting this ‘theory.’ …”

    There is an informative YouTube video explaining Dr. Miskolczi’s theory titled “Miskolczi’s New Greenhouse Law” where Dr Miklos Zagoni explains his colleague’s new research on Greenhouse gasses that show CO2 will not increase the earth’s temperature any further. This was produced in the halcyon days 10 months ago when most scientists were still proud to cite their IPCC connections. It contains what appears to be a very good and concise explanation of heat transfer in the atmosphere.

  114. @Steve Goddard (16:59:21) :

    Like many referees, I’m willing to turn a blind eye to the occasional elbow to the solar plexus as long as both sides are engaging in it. But wholescale persistent “missing the point” just irks me.

    Yes, good point –NSIDC not only tentatively confirms your conclusion, but also replicates your thought processes in arriving at it.

    I understand that WUWT threads often go “beyond context” in the reply thread, and I’m comfortable with that and have partaken myself (and will again). Several people do so upstream, and without agreeing or disagreeing with their train of thought, I don’t have a problem with that. The difference with them vs Edda is they either state or give clear implication they know (and expect others to recognize) they are doing it. It’s one thing (and sometimes correct) to argue the context is too narrow to draw larger conclusions from (which this article makes no attempt to do) –it is something else to argue that the context is something else entirely.

    The older I get, the more I recognize the importance of recognizing and respecting context.

  115. R. Gates (19:45:34) : ” Wow, you are smarter than the dozens of scientists (honest, dedicated, intelligent scientists) who have identified a whole constellation of causation for the low sea ice we’ve seen, of which the wind only plays a small part. See: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13580_3-9833022-39.html“.

    Is that the best you can do? A link from a 2007 blog? Where is that “constellation of causation” you talk about?

    And the crazy thing about your ad hominem slip-up here, she happens to be one of the “honest, dedicated, intelligent scientists”.

    And she reduces the argument to 5th grade level to make a point: The wind plays a big part.

    DUH!!

    For the rest of us, we don’t have to be scientists [or 5th grade students] to understand the basics.

    Watch THIS video…..kinda fun to watch Ever seen a sea ice tsunami?

    Heh….and this was at the vernal ****ing equinox, at that!

    http://www.break.com/usercontent/2009/6/oooguruk-island-june-23rd-2009-790036.html

    Also….watch the wind in action during that sea ice drought year of 2007. Truly spectacular.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  116. Edda – just quickly my friend, 30 years does not a baseline make. If you have read the comments you KNOW that there has been periods of ice thinning in the very near past, just like now. You accuse Anthony et al of cherry picking, well I accuse your vaunted scientists of cherry picking by not accessing the historical data to build their baseline. In reality, there really is no “average” ice extent, and I feel that you really know this yourself. :)

  117. Paul Daniel Ash: “I’m just learning this stuff, and I’d rather not be stuck with a wrong headed notion.”

    Glad to hear you admit that.

    Well if that’s the case then perhaps you would do well to keep your mouth shut more (and keyboard silent) and listen more to the experts on here, who will do their best to help you not get “stuck with a wrong headed notion”.

    I like this ancient proverb: “Even a fool, when he is silent, is considered wise.”

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  118. “It wasn’t very long ago when experts were forecasting the demise of Arctic ice somewhere between 2008 and 2013″
    ————-
    The given link

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7139797.stm

    says Arctic **summers** ice-free ‘by 2013′, not Arctic winters.
    Notice that it is 2010: There are four years left for the “aggressive prediction” to come true.

    —–
    “My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of.”
    And later, to the BBC, Dr Serreze added: “I think Wieslaw is probably a little aggressive in his projections, simply because the luck of the draw means natural variability can kick in to give you a few years in which the ice loss is a little less than you’ve had in previous years. But Wieslaw is a smart guy and it would not surprise me if his projections came out.”

  119. R. Gates (16:06:34) :

    “This chart tells the whole story…”

    No, it doesn’t. You’re just cherry-picking.

    That’s the third time you’ve posted that same chart, which, contrary to your assertion, tells only one-half of the story.

    Want to see the other half of the story? click. Betcha didn’t know there’s ice in the Antarctic, too. Now you know. And as you can see, it’s been increasing for at least the past thirty years.

    Nothing unusual is happening, no need to be alarmed: click

    Let’s look back three decades, and see if there’s been any loss of ice: click

    One more, to show that maybe you can’t completely trust all government scientists: click

    Notice that the University of Bremen link above shows that midsummer ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere — when the North Pole is supposed to be ice free any day now — actually looks like it’s been increasing.

    OK Mr Gates, you’ve gotta admit WUWT is an educational site: now you’ve learned that there’s ice in the Southern Hemisphere, too — and it’s growing. The falsified hypothesis is anthropogenic global warming, not anthropogenic North Pole warming.

    Hey, you just learned another new fact! Now say, “Thank you, Anthony, for your wonderful “Best Science” site!”

  120. Richard M (20:10:55) said:

    “Would you mind providing the evidence that says the Arctic has NEVER been warmer than the last 20 years?”

    When did I make this assertion? I don’t think I ever did, in fact I KNOW I never did, or would have because it is false. Certainly the Arctic has been warmer in the past than it is right now, but this is not the point or even important. What is important is detecting a sign or evidence that AGW Models say should be there. AGW models clearly state that global warming will be most pronounced in the Arctic region, and will lead to the melting of polar sea ice. The trend over the past 20 years certainly is in line with those models (but does not prove that AGW is to blame of course). If the Arctic had been colder over the past 20 years and sea ice had grown, then there would be scant evidence that AGW theory is correct. What is happening to Arctic sea ice is exactly what AGW models say should be, albeit a bit faster than expected so far…

    savethesharks (20:41:10) said:

    And the crazy thing about your ad hominem slip-up here, she happens to be one of the “honest, dedicated, intelligent scientists”.

    She very well may be, but she seems not to want to look at the whole gestalt of causes of the loss of arctic sea ice. Not to mention the record temps in the region is akin to saying that only cold weather causes snow. Nope, it takes moisture, and whole host of other ingredients. Wind was just one of many factors for the loss of sea ice, and certainly not more important than the very warm temps seen over the arctic.

  121. R. Gates (21:34:45) :

    Folks don’t cast your pearls before you know what.

    Seems this blog has been hijacked by keyboard trolls lately.

    [Do they not have a life beyond hijacking a thread?]

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  122. Gates, you’re listening to people who have been caught serially lying about almost everything, and who make up entire temperature data sets in order to keep the grant money flowing… and you still believe them??

    Being credulous is cute — in a young girl. But some time you’ve gotta start thinking for yourself. Otherwise, you’re just a tool.

  123. Steve Goddard said

    “The Arctic continues to recover, and one of the last CAGW talking points continues to look weaker and weaker”

    I’m not sure if 2 year trend can have such a bold claim put on it, lets give it a few more years yet. It might be just returning from the exceptional year that was 2007 back to the current 30 year downward trend.

    In regards to others comment it being the wind and only the wind, that is probably as far from the mark as is claiming it is all down to increased temperatures! This shows a case of wishing a reason, not knowing a reason.

    Andy

  124. Smokey,

    I certainly love this site, and have saluted Anthony many times for providing an excellent forum for intelligent conversation about climate and other interesting issues. In regard to your assertion that I have no knowledge of the fact that the southern hemisphere has sea ice, and that is has been trending upward in general over the past several years– I hate to contradict you assertion, but of course I am well aware of that, and certainly many climate experts have offered reasons for that positive anomaly trend. Does it contradict AGW models? Yes, some, but not all. Some models that take into account the effects of the ozone whole on the storm patterns around Antarctica seem to suggest a relationship between the ozone whole , sea ice, storms, currents, winds, etc. But despite the positive anomaly trend in the S. Hemisphere sea ice, even as recently as a few weeks ago, the Antarctic sea ice saw a NEGATIVE ANOMALY, and has several times since 2004, while the arctic sea ice has not seen a positive anomaly in the same time frame. The jest of this is that the arctic trend line down over the past few decades is far more pronounced than the antarctic trend line up. A quick review of the site:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    Is well worth the time, and the various charts, when studied with a keen and unjaundiced eye reveal a great deal.

    Finally, since January 2010 was one of the warmest Januarys on record globally, and especially in the S. Hemisphere, it will be interesting to see how much longer the positive anomly trend line for S. Hemisphere sea ice continues up. AGW models suggest it will flatten and then follow the same trend line down into the negative side as arctic sea ice. If this happens, it will be another bit of data confirming the potential correctness of AGW theory and models.

  125. …”it will be another bit of data confirming the potential correctness of AGW theory and models.”

    Did he mean to say….”it will be another bit of data confirming the POLITICAL correctness of AGW theory and models.”?

    At any rate….this is getting entertaining.

    Who are these people who are ready to go down with their rusty sinking ship?

    Truly remarkable.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  126. Much to my surprise top news today is that 10 ships are caught in ice in the baltic , even a ferry from stockholm is stuck in an area of sea-ice that cryosphere today is reporting to be 30 to 50% coverage , green colored , are again agw-fatalists manipulating the data ?

  127. Paul Daniel Ash (16:09:44) : said

    “Tony, I’ve gone all through my posts and I can’t find a wiki page link. Help me understand which you are referring to.”

    HI Paul

    At 12 41 05 you gave a link to a wiki page on ice levels which to be helpful I have reproduced here.

    The author is William Connelley. You might as well link direct to a Real Climate article, as a wiki opinion piece is likely to have the same author.

    Link 4 re: global cooling. The link you countered with discounting the notion of global cooling has been aired and commented on here many times before. We do read alternative views you know, despite what you may think. One of the authors of that paper is again our good friend William Connelley. This is part of a discussion I had with Brendan H here last year.

    Brendan H at 02 51 57 said
    “As for William Connolly, the paper he co-authored on the myth of the 1970s cooling consensus presents a persuasive and well-supported argument. I think you should give it another chance.
    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/89/9/pdf/i1520-0477-89-9-1325.pdf

    I replied:

    “I have seen this article before in another form- the three authors are interesting including William Connelly-on whom I did a long and thorough piece about his personal agenda as a member of the UK Green party and as gatekeeper of wikipedia climate section.

    The second author was Thomas Peterson, whom Anthony has met;

    http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:xpjH07lfElgJ:wattsupwiththat.com/2007/06/30/+thomas+peterson+noaa+politics&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk

    Thomas Peterson is the keeper of weather records including weather stations at NOAA. When Anthony records being co interviewed with him when trying to continue his surface stations project shortly after this meeting he found;

    “You are not authorized to view this information. Your IP address has been logged”

    When it came back up Monday afternoon, the “managing parties” field identifying the location of the weather station was gone. (he says): I would note that I shared a radio interview with Dr. Thomas Peterson of NCDC last week, so I am certain NCDC is aware of the effort. No notification was given, nor even a professional courtesy to advise of the change, nor any notice on the website.”
    The Row over access was repeated in more detail here

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1879848/posts

    The third author of the piece you cite is John Fleck who is a competent science writer on the Albuquerque journal- he reported his own involvement in the article here;

    http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/guest_columns/1897180018opinionguestcolumns02-18-09.htm

    His politics are left wing -which is his own business- but the reports he co authors need to be seen against that background. The original report you cite is rebutted here

    http://www.openmarket.org/2008/12/09/the-new-ice-age-continued/

    For my part I had an involvement, in as much back in the 70’s I was asked to write a piece on climate change and being unaware at that time what was being referred to as collected material from both ‘sides’. There were undoubtedly far more pieces citing cooling rather than warming-whether they survived as digital copies anywhere –and therefore are still being cited-depends on who the record keeper was at the time. I threw away my files years ago and recall the flimsy folder with warming material and the very thick bunch of folders on cooling. This of course is anecdotal.”

    Paul, It is rewriting history to claim the notion of global cooling was a myth. It wasn’t. This supplementray document purporting to show the CIA had concluded the Global cooling scare was real is interesting:

    http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf

    Being a sceptic I don’t know its provenance so take it with a pinch of salt. If anyone is able to confirm its veracity or otherwise it would be useful.

    Incidentally Paul-the main point of the links I provided-which in turn led to dozens of others-is to point out that todays circumstances are -historically- not out of the ordinary.

    If you want to argue that this time its different because of mans activities that is a perefctly respectable view point, but you need to make the case in a convincing manner as history is not your friend and ally in this respect.

    With best regards

    Tonyb

  128. R. Gates: What is happening to Arctic sea ice is exactly what AGW models say should be, albeit a bit faster than expected so far…

    But it’s also exactly as expected if you think that the Arctic temperatures are subject to multidecadal natural variations (see e.g. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/08/new-paper-barents-sea-temperature-correlated-to-the-amo-as-much-as-4°c/), so there is no convincing “anthropogenic footprint” so far.

    Let’s see in 2 or 3 years who is right…

  129. Regarding the ships stuck outside Nortälje / Kapellskär. We have had a storm that has piled up the ice real good. The ice breakers in the area are to weak to cope. That is why Sjöfartsverket is sending down YMER to assist. Finland is also lending SISU. Our best ice breaker ODEN is in Antarctica on an expedition. The Swedish Sjöfartsverket did not expect a heavy ice year. ;-). We would have needed ODEN now.

    /Sven

  130. cal: I would suggest that the period of 1976 to 2006 would make a much better norm given that the PDO/AMO seems to work on this sort of timescale.

    That’s exactly what NANSEN uses. And according to them, ice area today is almost within +/-1 STD again..

  131. Regarding the 50 vessels in the Baltic, our best Icebreaker here in Sweden is not available and why not, beacuse it is in the Antarctic on a research project!!! and of course to the researchers that make sence, global warming will stop the ice in the Baltic… not.

  132. savethesharks (22:14:56) :

    “Ummm….nobody is saying its just the wind. DUH!!

    Actually you are wrong, I’ve seen more than one comment saying that ice reduction in the Arctic, either in general or for exceptionally low years like 2007, was wind caused and not melt. I’ve seen this in posts here and at ClimateAudit. Wind as a factor gets massively overplayed and melting caused by high temps underplayed.

    Andy

  133. Your graphs seem to show that in the last few years yearly minimum (september) and maximum (march) data for sea ice coverage varied much more than june and december data ; is this always the case

  134. R. Gates (21:34:45) :

    Richard M (20:10:55) said:

    “Would you mind providing the evidence that says the Arctic has NEVER been warmer than the last 20 years?”

    When did I make this assertion? I don’t think I ever did, in fact I KNOW I never did, or would have because it is false.

    Go back and read your post. You stated the last 20 years was a record. I don’t know about you but most people considered records to be the highest EVER. That means NEVER is the correct description of non-record years.

    I suspect you are gradually starting to see that alarmists have set the stage for the complete demise of CAGW. It may turn out that arctic sea ice is not a good proxy for temperature. We’ve seen winds reduce the level significantly, and, if the winds this past year lead to another big increase then temperature (at least small changes) may turn out to be insignificant.

    Note that this does not mean AGW is incorrect, it simply demonstrates our overall lack of understanding of climate. Many are skeptics because of this lack of understanding, not that they view AGW as an impossibility. Skeptics want us to FIRST, understand the science. Then we can proceed to take appropriate measures to deal with any anomalies.

  135. Paul Daniel Ash (17:07:23) :

    Smokey (13:56:00) :
    It is up to you to show that what is occurring now is due to human emitted CO2, because that is the hypothesis the entire global warming scare is based on.

    “Well, that’s a fairly dramatic move of the goalposts.”

    Pure projection. It is the alarmist contingent that constantly moves the goal posts. The original hypothesis stated that a rise in human produced CO2 would lead to runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. Clearly this has not happened.

    So It is still up to the climate alarmists to show that runaway global warming due to increased CO2 even exists, because that is the hypothesis the entire global warming scare is based on.

    However, there is no empirical, measurable evidence validating the CO2=CAGW hypothesis. None. When we look at the climate without the one-tenth degree fluctuations due to natural variability, here is what we see: click

    It is quite obvious that the climate remains well within its natural historical parameters. There is no runaway global warming, only natural cycles. Because of the complete lack of empirical evidence to support the climate scare, the CO2=CAGW hypothesis is reduced to a speculative conjecture.

    That means your conclusion is baseless:

    Cause: the greenhouse gases – primarily CO2 – are causing the heating.”

    Nonsense.

  136. It doesn’t seem likely that either of the last two caused the changes in the temperature record, but Urban Heat island effects might well have.

    that’s an interesting hypothesis. Has it been tested?

  137. CRS, Dr.P.H. (09:55:21) :

    Meanwhile, I notice that Mr. Sun is still struggling to awaken from a rather deep minimum. The brief sunspot activity observed over the past few months has decreased rather dramatically. I’m expecting the sun to slip back into a very quiet minimum, we’ll see.
    ————————————–
    “decreased rather dramatically” ???
    Are you aware of the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) ftp server giving daily sunspot numbers and monthly averages ?

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/2009
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/2010

    Month Monthly-average-#sunspots
    Nov/2009 4.2
    Dec/2009 10.6
    Jan/2010 13.1
    Feb/2010 18.6

    Compare this to the start of the last sunspot cycle:
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/1996
    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/1997

    If I were you, I wouldn’t waste too much money betting on the sun “slipping back” into a very quiet minimum

  138. Paul Daniel Ash,

    According to Keven Trenberth, climate scientists have no idea how to properly balance the energy budget of the earth. Since that is the case, I am very curious as to how you came up with your exact figure on the energy “imbalance”, since the climate scientists themselves admit that their models cannot possibly account for every variable in climate, and they do not even know what all of the interractions between variables actually are.

    For example, ALL of the models assume postitive water vapor feedback, but several recent studies have shown that water vapor feedback is probably negative, and possibly strongly negative.

  139. Anu,

    Yes, by the normal cyclical trend of sunspot cycles, the sun slipping back into a minimum is pretty unlikely. The maximum of this cycle is projected to be one of the lowest in recent history, but given the historical record on solar cycles, it would be highly unusual for the sun to go back to a prolonged period with few to no spots. It COULD happen, and we will keep watching to see what does happen.

    On the one hand, I would like to see more solar activity, I don’t personally like a bunch of cold, wet weather.

    On the other hand, I would LOVE to see a prolonged solar minimum where we end up with lots of cold, ice, snow, rain, etc. That way we could tell all of these “climate scientists”, “see, we told you that it was the sun, stupid!”

  140. Smokey (05:44:00) :

    The original hypothesis stated that a rise in human produced CO2 would lead to runaway global warming and climate catastrophe. Clearly this has not happened.

    The hypothesis is that greenhouse gases, would produce warming. There has been warming commensurate with that which would be expected from the additional GHGs in the atmosphere. Other posited causes have not been borne out by research.

    The hypothesis also says that if current trends continue that there may be serious effects in the future. Obviously, there is no empirical evidence for this or any other projection of future events, like the heat death of the universe, Africa crashing into Eurasia or the cancellation of American Idol. No hypothesis can be validated or invalidated on the basis of predictions about the future that have not taken place in the present. This is self-evident.

    However, there is no empirical, measurable evidence validating the CO2=CAGW hypothesis. None.

    What would represent “empirical, measurable evidence” to you? This is a very serious question. Since temperature increases do not come with a label saying “I am ninety percent due to natural variation and ten percent due to radiative forcing!” then you have to look at the possible causes and rule them in or out.

    If not proposing a description of how the greenhouse effect works and showing how it accounts for the observed warming so far, then what would be “empirical” and “measurable” in your estimation?

  141. PeterB in Indainapolis (06:09:25) :

    Climate scientists are well aware of the importance of the sun on climate:

    But it is fluctuations *around* this high level of influence that will cause *changes* in the climate:

    “However, let’s assume that the solar irradiance does not recover. In that case, the negative forcing, relative to the mean solar irradiance is equivalent to seven years of CO2 increase at current growth rates. So do not look for a new “Little Ice Age” in any case. Assuming that the solar irradiance begins to recover this year, as expected, there is still some effect on the likelihood of a near-term global temperature record due to the unusually prolonged solar minimum. Because of the large thermal inertia of the ocean, the surface temperature response to the 10-12 year solar cycle lags the irradiance variation by 1-2 years. Thus, relative to the mean, i.e, the hypothetical case in which the sun had a constant average irradiance, actual solar irradiance will continue to provide a negative anomaly for the next 2-3 years.”

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/

    Solar forcing of the global temperature is cyclical – as are the forcings of the various cycles of ocean water sloshing about in 3 dimensions (ENSO, PDO, etc).
    But the CO2 forcing is inexorable, and in one direction.

  142. Thank you Steve Goddard, I looked at your http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/10/polar-sea-ice-changes-are-having-a-net-cooling-effect-on-the-climate/and it is exactly what I was speculating about.

    Richard M (05:15:26) :
    Many are skeptics because of this lack of understanding, not that they view AGW as an impossibility.
    Skeptics like me do NOT view AGW as an ‘imposibility'; I understand it for what it actually is, a THEORY foisted by people who have provided zero evidence over the last ~30 years that it has any measurable significance. Thank God the earth stopped warming enough over the last 15 years to give honest scientists at least a purchase to undermine a 79 billion dollar government funded hoax based on faulty modeling, corrupted data and politically motivated obstruction of the peer review process. If there had never been any government/UN interest to stack the deck with all that money to exploit climate science for a political agenda, the silly notion of AGW would have died a long time ago.

  143. Anu (06:40:02):

    “…CO2 forcing is inexorable, and in one direction.”

    Just because that’s your personal belief system means nothing. There is no proof that CO2 is not, in fact, a negative forcing.

    Paul Daniel Ash (06:34:47):

    “There has been warming commensurate with that which would be expected from the additional GHGs in the atmosphere.”

    The correlation between warming and CO2 is much weaker than other correlations: click

    The fact is that the presumed forcing from CO2 is so insignificant that it can not be empirically measured, so it is “measured” in computer models. When you can show me that X increase in CO2 causes Y increase in temperature, wake me.

    Until you or anyone else can show that particular cause and effect in the real world, your CAGW conjecture is rank speculation. As CO2 rises, the planet laughs at your hubris: click

  144. Ref – Paul Daniel Ash (17:07:23) :
    Smokey (13:56:00) :
    “Just to say that you’re not convinced, though, simply won’t do.”
    ______________________________

    Beg to differ. For most of the folks on this planet, that is more than sufficient and will do.

    Ref – geo (20:37:29) :
    @Steve Goddard (16:59:21) :
    “The older I get, the more I recognize the importance of recognizing and respecting context.”
    _________________________

    Agree! Isn’t it the most fascinating aspect of blog comments? Almost every comment assumes so much, leaving so much unsaid, while begging the question: “Don’t you agree?”

    Ref – savethesharks (21:01:40) :
    Paul Daniel Ash: “I’m just learning this stuff, and I’d rather not be stuck with a wrong headed notion.”
    “..if that’s the case then perhaps you would do well to keep your mouth shut more (and keyboard silent) and listen more to the experts on here,…”
    _____________________

    Plato’s 1st Rule – “Comments Personal Counterproductive Are”

  145. Daniel,

    Good questions. The Arctic is always very cold in the winter and freezes up, so there is little variation in extent through most of the year. In recent years, the amount of older and thicker ice has been reduced so there has been a tendency for summer minimums to melt back closer to the pole. That situation appears to have improved somewhat this winter, which is the point of the article.

  146. PeterB in Indainapolis (06:03:54) :

    According to Keven Trenberth, climate scientists have no idea how to properly balance the energy budget of the earth.

    My guess is that this statement is based on something Trenberth said in one of the CRU emails. I have to guess, and Google, because you provide no source for your claim. It would be really helpful if you would do so.

    The email, as I read it in context, refers to a paper Trenberth wrote about the inadequacies in the various observation systems of air, land and sea temperature. This is addressed openly, not “hidden” as reports about the emails tend to indicate.

    Scientists responding to the controversy about this statement have referred to von Schuckmann et. al. saying that it gives support to the notion that there is warming occurring in the deep ocean. I’d be interested if someone with better understanding than I could point to any errors or inconsistencies in the paper.

  147. Espen said:

    “Let’s see in 2 or 3 years who is right…”

    Unfortunately, even if we see new modern era temperature records, and new summer arctic sea ice minimums, increasing severe weather events, and even the shrinkage of southern sea ice, tI think those who are skeptical of AGW will never concede anything. But certainly, AGW as a theory makes specific predictions, and if these predictions do unfold then perhaps the reasonable “middle” ground of people will listen less to the extremes at either end and chart a reasonable course of action (if any action is possible).

  148. TonyB (12:02:22) :

    I haven’t had time to scan down and see if any others replied to your comment. I was very interested in the stuff about the Ipiutak culture. It seems to need more research, but to have a town of that size on the shores of the Arctic, (roughly ten times as large as any Eskimo community,) really does suggest the MWP was warmer on that coast, and not merely in Greenland and Europe. Also the demise of that culture fits in very nicely with the demise of the Greenland Vikings. I wonder where they went, just as I wonder about the Vikings.

    It is a pity these people get so little funding. Likely learning how warm it was on the Arctic coast during the MWP is frowned upon by some Warmists. It makes it hard to be alarmed, if warming would only mean a return to conditions we have seen before. For example: If the seas didn’t bubble up huge amounts of methane back then, it would be hard to freak out it may happen tomorrow.

    I personally feel it would be a good thing if we experienced another optimum like the MWP. The only bad thing would be certain Warmists would use a kindly climate to create human misery, with bullying politics.

  149. Smokey (07:04:29) :
    Anu (06:40:02):
    “…CO2 forcing is inexorable, and in one direction.”

    Just because that’s your personal belief system means nothing. There is no proof that CO2 is not, in fact, a negative forcing.
    ——————

    Thank you.
    Seldom do “skeptics” reveal their profound ignorance of the topic at hand in such a concise fashion.

    Your subsequent posts will be ignored.

  150. R Gates,

    Read the NSIDC newsletter linked in the article. They make it quite clear that Antarctic ice is increasing and Antarctica is cooling.

  151. @R. Gates (07:13:42)

    The battle is always for “the reasonable middle that can be convinced” on any question of importance. This is what makes the AGWers flinging large groups into the “denier” bucket not just factually wrong, but actually deeply counterproductive to their own interests. Pushing centrists into the arms of your opponents thru continuous insulting is never good strategy.

  152. Ref – R. Gates (07:13:42) :
    Espen said:
    “Let’s see in 2 or 3 years who is right…”
    “..AGW as a theory makes specific predictions, and if these predictions do unfold then perhaps the reasonable “middle” ground of people will listen less to the extremes at either end and chart a reasonable course of action (if any action is possible).”
    ___________________
    Understand what you’re saying and “hope” along similar lines. However, I hope more that the “Scientists” tell the “scientists, quacks, witchdoctors, politicians, media hypers, lawyers, bankers, and money makers” to take a hike; that they listen to each other and not to the two extremes, pro and con, or the middle among the people; and that they all write a report (each and every one of them). I also hope the Nobel Committees keep their bloody noses out of it for 30 years while the dust (or snow) is slowly falling to the ground.

    PS: Would it be too “too” to hope that some of the ‘dokters’ in the frontlines of the climate riot today have a stroke or coronary? Or that our children and grand kids get to have a decent education and the teacher’s unions dry up and blow away?… Ok, nuf said

  153. Caleb

    Thanks for your kind comment. Yes its certainly not fashionable to research the older cultures that inhabited the Arctic area. I have been in correspondance with a guide there and there is no doubt that there is a great deal to learn about the region and our perceptions of it would I suspect change if a really good research project could bring us up to date. The more I look into it the more I realise that;

    A) Periodic melting -to a greater or lesser extent than today is perfectly normal every 60/100 years or so

    B) There have been various extended periods in the past which have been substantially warmer than today when arctic ice was at much lower levels than today and civilisations thrived.

    Oh for some research money from Big Oil!

    tonyb

  154. Pascvaks (07:07:00):

    Ref – savethesharks (21:01:40) :
    Paul Daniel Ash: “I’m just learning this stuff, and I’d rather not be stuck with a wrong headed notion.”

    “..if that’s the case then perhaps you would do well to keep your mouth shut more (and keyboard silent) and listen more to the experts on here,…”

    Excellent advice that won’t be heeded.

    PDA posts all over the intertubes. He already has over 2,400 posts at Salon alone, arguing with just about everyone about anything.

    How can one person write so many posts, from 5 in the morning until past midnight at WUWT – plus all those other blogs, including his own? I can think of four possibilities:

    1. His daddy is rich, so he doesn’t have to work for a living
    2. He’s a misanthrope on welfare, living in his mom’s basement with a computer and surrounded by Star Wars posters
    3. He’s got a job, but he’s cheating his boss by spending his time posting everywhere, all day, every day, instead of doing what he’s being paid to do, just like Gavin
    4. He’s retired

    One thing that fits the pattern of people like PDA who show up on this site [remember Robert?] : they never convert anyone to their fact-free CAGW belief system. Pestering, arguing incessantly, and nitpicking are their stock in trade.

    And that’s certainly good advice about listening to the experts here. The WUWT archives can be searched for names like Lindzen, Christy, Ball, Spencer, Seitz, Monckton, McIntyre, Kalmanovich, Crichton, Daly, D’Aleo, Rutan, Easterbrook, Landsea, and many others who have written articles and commented here [apologies for all those I've omitted].

    But some folks who are “just learning this stuff” would rather take the side of the disreputable Hockey Team who connive to game the system for their own personal benefit, rather than try to dispel their admitted ignorance by following the strictures of the scientific method, as clearly explained by Langmuir and Popper.

    When someone who is just beginning to get up to speed on a subject makes numerous, definitive, wide-ranging assertions, rather than asking questions, they are not here to learn, but to argue like common site pests.

  155. Smokey (07:04:29) :
    When you can show me that X increase in CO2 causes Y increase in temperature, wake me.

    Finally! An opportunity to use the phrase “begging the question” in its proper meaning, which is “assuming the validity of a point that is in dispute.”

    You are begging the question by assuming that the relation between CO2 and temperature is linear and mechanistic, and asking “me” (scientists) to prove it. Under the Ironclad Smokey Rule, it is your responsibility to support this claim of yours, and show me where your assumption appears in the hypothesis.

    No science that I am aware of assumes GHG forcing is the only driver of temperature, just that its effect is significant and increasing.

  156. Steve Goddard (07:17:20) :
    Looks like Arctic ice extent may break the all-time DMI record tomorrow.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    ———
    Are you sure the Danish Meteorological Institute has only been looking at Arctic Ice since 2005 ? I know they are a tiny country (5.5 million people), but they have a higher per capita GDP than the United Kingdom.

    I’d be very surprised if the Danes have not been studying this metric since the advent of satellite coverage of the Arctic.

  157. One thing that fits the pattern of people like PDA who show up on this site [remember Robert?] : they never convert anyone to their fact-free CAGW belief system. Pestering, arguing incessantly, and nitpicking are their stock in trade.

    I am presenting my understanding of the science in the spirit of debate. I have included links to explain where my assumptions are coming from and engaged with people who’ve engaged me on the substance. I find debate to be intellectually stimulating and I’ve learned a bunch, just in this thread.

    What I have not done is made nasty, ad-hominem attacks such as the one you just posted about me. What is the old saying? “When the facts are on your side argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. When neither is on your side, just make personal attacks.”

    I am trying to learn, not by surrounding myself with people who already agree with me. If debate scares you, Smokey, you can just bow out. Others here seem to have no problem with it.

  158. I personally despise the use of “all time record”. I don’t care which “side” uses the term.

    In the history of the earth, the all time low record for Arctic ice cover was most likely zero, and the all time high record was probably 90-95% of the entire globe was covered in snow and ice.

    People should put strong qualifiers on what the heck they are talking about when they claim an “all-time record”.

  159. Paul Daniel Ash,

    There are MANY studies out there that confirm that heating by CO2 is a logarithmic function, and that ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, a doubling of current CO2 concentration in the atmosphere would lead to about 1C of warming. There is abundant literature on this actually.

    The problem which comes in is that the IPCC/NASA/CRU models all have ASSUMPTIONS built in which assume that all feedback in the system is significantly positive, and due to this feedback, the warming would be multiplied to 3, 5, or even more degrees C per doubling due to the positive feedback.

    Studies have come our recently that indicate that the feedback to to water vapor may actually be significantly negative, and may REDUCE the amount of warming down to 0.5C/doubling of CO2 due to the negative feedback of water vapor in the system.

    Part of the problem with modeling is that you MUST make certain assumptions about the behavior of poorly characterized (or flat out unknown) variables within complex systems. If it turns out that your assumptions for variable behavior are significantly wrong, the output of the model is obviously significantly wrong.

  160. Smokey said

    “PDA posts all over the intertubes. He already has over 2,400 posts at Salon alone, arguing with just about everyone about anything.

    How can one person write so many posts, from 5 in the morning until past midnight at WUWT – plus all those other blogs, including his own? I can think of four possibilities:”

    I tend to like people like Paul-they are the grit in the oyster-wouldn’t it be dull if there were no contrarians here to argue in favour of post normal science and everyone sang from the same song sheet?

    By the way, what’s happened to Joel Shore, Brendan H and Scott Mandia-they were always good for a well reasoned argument. Come back you guys all is forgiven.

    Tonyb

  161. Steve Goddard (07:48:35) :
    R Gates,

    Read the NSIDC newsletter linked in the article. They make it quite clear that Antarctic ice is increasing and Antarctica is cooling.
    ———————–
    This is a good opportunity for you to hone your critical reading skills.

    The NSIDC link you cite ( http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/index.html ) had this to say:
    “A recent report (Turner, et. al., 2009) suggests that the ozone hole has resulted in changes in atmospheric circulation leading to cooling and increasing sea ice extents over much of the Antarctic region.”

    *much* of the Antarctic region.
    Specifically, East Antarctica, which has been cooling slightly since the late 1970’s, due in large part to the ozone hole, as they say.

    But over the last 50 years, and over West Antarctica, it has been warming – hence it is true that the *continent* of Antarctica has been warming, and yet “much” of Antarctica has been cooling, recently.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/science/earth/22climate.html?_r=2

    “Dr. Steig and Dr. Shindell presented the findings at a news conference on Wednesday. They found that from 1957 through 2006, temperatures across Antarctica rose an average of 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, comparable to the warming that has been measured globally.

    In West Antarctica, where the base of some large ice sheets lies below sea level, the warming was even more pronounced, at 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit, though temperatures in this area are still well below freezing and the warming will not have an immediate effect on sea level.

    In East Antarctica, where temperatures had been thought to be falling, the researchers found a slight warming over the 50-year period. With the uncertainties, East Antarctica may have indeed been cooling, but the rise in temperatures in the west more than offset the cooling. “

  162. R Gates: Unfortunately, even if we see new modern era temperature records, and new summer arctic sea ice minimums, increasing severe weather events, and even the shrinkage of southern sea ice, tI think those who are skeptical of AGW will never concede anything.

    I’m skeptical of the magnitude of AGW since so much of the theory rests on faulty temperature reconstructions and temperature records of questionable quality. I’m also skeptical of the severity of the consequences, since the WG 2 of IPCC has presented a very weak case for its alarmist scenario, including promoting the questionable claim you repeat above about severe weather events. Basically, though, I remain open-minded, since the science isn’t “settled” at all. My “gut feeling” though is that in 10 to 20 years scientists may conclude that climate is basically unpredictable, and that the claims of CO2 feedbacks were wildly exaggregated. And that the little warming and the significant plant fertilization we get from anthropogenic CO2 may, all in all, not be dangerous at all, quite the contrary.

  163. Anu (07:44:53),

    By posting skeptics in quotation marks, you show that you do not understand the scientific method. You’re confused about the essential role of skepticism in science: the only honest scientists are skeptics, first and foremost. I am a scientific skeptic, as are all but a handful on this site. Denigrating us by putting quotation marks around the term skeptic presumes that you are the arbiter of labels. You’re not.

    Paul Daniel Ash (08:07:11),

    I know what I’m feeding here, but I feel compelled to point out that you don’t understand the fallacy of begging the question. It is, in fact, you who assumes the validity of CO2=CAGW, not me. I question that conjecture, which is so shaky that its proponents are afraid to show their data and methods; if they did so, they know that CAGW would be instantly falsified, crushing their unearned reputations as the font of climate knowledge.

    And for the umpteenth time: skeptics have nothing to prove. You impotently try to corner scientific skeptics into the false position of holding a hypothesis. That is deliberate misrepresentation.

    Skeptics of CAGW hold no hypothesis; rather, we question your empirically baseless hypothesis that CO2 is the primary driver of global temperature. That hypothesis is insisted upon and believed by media informed laymen like you.

    Finally, you set up your strawman ["No science that I am aware of assumes GHG forcing is the only driver of temperature..."] and knocked it right down, you brave strawman killer, you. Tell us, what skeptic has ever said that CO2 is the only climate forcing? Provide even one verifiable citation.

    The true believers in CO2=CAGW claim that CO2 is the main culprit, and evidence be damned. Their focus is on reducing CO2 to 350 ppmv or lower, which would hobble our society, sharply raide prices, and greatly increase new taxes — for no discernible benefit. How crazy is that??

    When you start asking questions instead of making know-it-all false assertions, you will be on the road to enlightenment.

  164. Smokey (09:00:36) :

    Your assertion that the hypothesis holds that “X increase in CO2 causes Y increase in temperature” is incorrect. This is an assertion you and only you made. It is, in other words, a straw man.

  165. Steve,

    The DMI data span a whole 5 years? Is this the “all time” record you’re referring to?

    Best chart overall to see the trends of arctic sea ice remains:

    This tells the accurate trend over a longer period. Arctic Sea ice remains in a negative anomaly state, and is just about (though not quite) at is maximum extent for the winter. True, there was much less shedding of older ice, so ice did thicken as well over the winter. Likely we won’t see a record minimum this summer, but I’ll predict 2011 will set a new minimum summer extent.

    Behind all this, we really ought to be talking about the root cause of a slowing in the rate of warming these past few years. The biggest cause is most likely the recent rather extended solar minimum. A quick glance at the charts found here:

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    Clearly shows the relationship between solar cycles and temperature, and the rise in temperatures levels out as the solar minimum began and progressed. No doubt we are seeing some of the lingering affects of that. But with the sun clearly picking up activity, and troposphereic temps already approaching record territory at the beginning of the march to the next solar max, 2010 looks to be a record warm year globally, and I’m pretty confident we’ll see a few more record years between now and the peak of the next solar max.

  166. RE: Paul Daniel Ash (08:07:11) :

    **No science that I am aware of assumes GHG forcing is the only driver of temperature, just that its effect is significant and increasing.**

    Where is the proof? Where is it MEASURED?

  167. Pascvaks (07:07:00) :Plato’s 1st Rule – “Comments Personal Counterproductive Are”
    Sounds more like Yoda,

  168. Paul Daniel Ash (09:07:08) :

    “Your assertion that the hypothesis holds that ‘X increase in CO2 causes Y increase in temperature’ is incorrect.”

    That was not my “assertion.” That was my request for empirical evidence showing a cause and effect relationship between a rise in CO2 and a subsequent rise in temperature.

    But no such real world, measurable evidence exists. As I stated:

    The fact is that the presumed forcing from CO2 is so insignificant that it can not be empirically measured, so it is “measured” in computer models. When you can show that X increase in CO2 causes Y increase in temperature, wake me.

    I was providing you with a testable, verifiable means of validating your hypothesis, which states that CO2 is the primary driver of global warming – that is your assertion, not mine.

    Absent any testable, reproducible evidence, I remain skeptical that an increase in a minor trace gas comprising only 0.00038 of the atmosphere causes much of anything except more rapid plant growth.

  169. PeterB in Indainapolis (08:42:01) :
    I personally despise the use of “all time record”. I don’t care which “side” uses the term.

    In the history of the earth, the all time low record for Arctic ice cover was most likely zero, and the all time high record was probably 90-95% of the entire globe was covered in snow and ice.

    People should put strong qualifiers on what the heck they are talking about when they claim an “all-time record”.
    ————–
    The “snowball earth” hypothesis suggests even 100% ice coverage between 750 and 650 million years ago:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth

    You are right, journalists are often sloppy when reporting scientific results:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/01/22/nasa.warmest.decade.data/index.html

    Here, CNN says “The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest ever on Earth according to data released by scientists at NASA.”

    while clearly, NASA is only saying the warmest decade ever **since modern records began in 1880**.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20100121/

    CNN *does* also say “The U.S. space agency’s data also revealed that 2009 was the second warmest year since temperature records began in 1880 ”
    which indicates that CNN just made mistakes with the HEADLINE and LEAD-IN SENTENCE. Sort of as though they cynically wanted to attract readers attention with sensational statements, before they get down to the actual scientific results.
    Science is best explained by scientists.

  170. Gerald Machnee (09:22:06) :
    Where is the proof? Where is it MEASURED?

    I guess one reason that I might appear like a “know-it-all” is because people keep asking me these kinds of questions, which I go out and try to find answers for.

    I’m not trying to present that I just know these things off the top of my head, or that I think the answers are unassailable, just that there are answers to the questions. As I’ve said repeatedly, I’d like to know what the problems/flaws/errors are in the answers I present.

    Anyway, as to measurement:

    Murphy et. al. presented an analysis of Earth’s “energy budget”: how much is received, how much is absorbed, and how much is reflected back to space. to do that, they used buoy data of ocean heat content from the upper 700m, heat content from deeper waters down to 3000m, computed atmospheric heat content using the surface temperature record and the heat capacity of the troposphere, and used the same data to determine land and ice heat content.

    So I’ll return to my perennial invitation: what does this miss? What is faulty? Is there another way to measure global warming (or its lack)?

  171. Smokey (09:45:49) :

    That was my request for empirical evidence showing a cause and effect relationship

    And I ask again: what would such empirical evidence look like? There is no way to look at a joule of energy and see what caused it.

    Scientists have
    * a falsifiable measurement of the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere
    * a falsifiable calculation of the radiative forcing of the different GHGs
    * a falsifiable measurement of the change in the Earth’s heat content
    * falsifiable experiments that show other causes insufficient to account for the change

    If you can’t describe the evidence you are looking for, how will you ever know if you’ve found it or not?

    These are real questions.

  172. Paul Daniel Ash (09:53:38), (10:03:27),

    Thank you for the citation, which seems to primarily concern the effect of aerosols.

    So once again: the hypothesis is that CO2 is the main driver of global warming. That citation never mentions CO2 explicitly, but gives numerous other specific forcings. Certainly if the paper’s conclusion was that CO2 is the primary cause of global warming, it would have said so.

    You ask: “If you can’t describe the evidence you are looking for, how will you ever know if you’ve found it or not?”

    I have repeatedly described the evidence I’m looking for: a verifiable, measurable increase in the global temperature resulting from a quantifiable increase in human emitted carbon dioxide. Is that not clear?

    The answer must be precise and testable, since it affects our entire civilization, our personal freedoms, and the major portion of our lives we exchange for our employment.

    Reducing CO2 to 1990 levels, or to 350 ppmv, or whatever the big government bureaucrats want to engineer for society, ignores the fact that over just the past century, the use of fossil fueled technology has allowed us to greatly extend human life spans, eradicate numerous mass killing diseases, travel to other continents in hours instead of weeks, allow women to trade in their washing boards and river rocks for washing machines, allow men to use machines instead of baling hay by hand [ever bale hay? Try it and you will really appreciate fossil fuels], and in general to fantastically improve the quality of life, while at the same time cleaning up 99%+ of the pollution in our lakes, rivers and air. In fact, it’s all good.

    But so-called “greens” want everyone to revert to the endless drudgery and shortened life-spans of a century ago, based on what amounts to speculation that CO2 is the major cause of global warming.

    Since they want to radically dismantle the benefits fed by fossil fuels, they need to show more than just grant-fueled “consensus” and GCMs that are incapable of making accurate predictions. So far, they have failed. And with the Climategate corruption exposed, why should we listen to any of them? [The author of the Harry-Read_me file admitted to fabricating thirteen years of temperature data.]

    Gore is still a profligate energy waster, Pachauri flies around the world constantly, both of them use their positions for personal enrichment, and the IPCC is composed entirely of political appointees who either get with the program or lose out on taxpayer-funded, all expense paid jaunts around the world, so they come back with lock-step pronouncements that we had better start paying through the nose or the planet will burn up.

    Anyone who believes those self-serving hypocrites also believes their predictions of doom. I look at them with a jaundiced eye, while they look at our wallets like a ravenous hyena looks at a gazelle.

  173. Smokey (10:43:23)
    I have repeatedly described the evidence I’m looking for: a verifiable, measurable increase in the global temperature resulting from a quantifiable increase in human emitted carbon dioxide. Is that not clear?

    It’s the “resulting from” that is not clear. How would you show that, if not what I outlined above?

  174. so-called “greens” want everyone to revert to the endless drudgery

    Well, that’s pretty alarmist talk, though I grant you your central point. Reducing carbon is a really thorny problem that I don’t think anyone has solved to my satisfaction. The only feasible solution seems to be a huge increase in nuclear power generation, which seems to be replacing one problem with another.

    So I agree that the evidence needs to be overwhelming. Part of why I’m here is to try and understand the state of the science – including dissenting science – better, and how best to communicate that.

    My assertion is that most people on both sides of the debate come to their understanding of the science from pre-established prejudices. For every “the greens just want us to go back to the Stone Age” knee-jerk there’s a “debate is manufactured by the oil companies” knee-jerk.

    The science is hard, but not impossible, to understand. I’m not saying I understand it, but I’m trying, as best I can, to step outside my prejudices.

  175. Smokey said:

    “…But so-called “greens” want everyone to revert to the endless drudgery and shortened life-spans of a century ago…”

    Really Smokey? Is this what the so-called “greens” want? Is this kind of fear-mongering alarmism any different that what the AGW skeptics claim the “warmists” are doing? Most of the “greens” I know simply want some kind of habitable planet for their children and grandchildren. Fear mongering from either side is both counter-productive and just plain ignorant.

  176. R Gates,

    Are you going on record as predicting record warmth for 2010?

    Good luck with that.

  177. Paul Daniel Ash said;

    “My assertion is that most people on both sides of the debate come to their understanding of the science from pre-established prejudices.”

    I don’t think that’s strictly true Paul-many of those who are now genuinely skeptical did at one time believe what we were being told. However, when things didn’t seem to add up we did more research and found out the facts weren’t as we had been told and the scientific method had been set aside for a much lower burden of proof-post normal science.

    I can’t comment if your remark holds true to believers.

    Its a shame that the two sides are so entrenched as there must be a middle ground in wanting to look after the environment, help the third world prosper, find new sources of energy etc, but the AGW juggernaut just sucks up time money and resources, and steamrollers any other more productive debate.

    tonyb

  178. I think it is good that this site seems to be providing a place where we can discuss the existing science and indeed be skeptical. Stepping outside of our prejudices as much as possible is also important.

    I would also like to point out that it might be productive to discuss what are some rational, logical, and sound proposals for action should it turn out that man-made CO2 emissions are indeed causing a problem. I do not currently believe that they are, but I could be wrong, after all :)

    So far, the proposed “solutions” that I have seen are far worse than the supposed magnitude of the “problem”.

    We have enough brilliant minds here that it shouldn’t be too tough to come up with some ideas on “Ok, we are not necessarily stipulating that human emissions of CO2 are a huge problem, but if it turns out that mitigating our CO2 input into the atmosphere is actually warranted, here is what WE would propose for potential solutions, as opposed to this monstrous mess that is currently being proposed…”

  179. Paul Daniel Ash

    What happens Paul if in September 2010 we get a further recovery, will you accept that it is now a recovery from September 2007 as well as a trend?

    To me it appears that no matter how you argue it IF nature continues to confound AGW then you are on a loser with this one and we may suddenly hear no more from you.

  180. Paul Daniel Ash

    I aplord you for taking the time and trying to understand both sides of the argument, and especially for debating here and sticking at it, you will find a lot of very knowledgeable people here. And in general this has been an interesting and good debate to follow where “both sides” have debated without becoming personal as so often happens in many warming vs sceptic debates.

    You wrote:
    “My assertion is that most people on both sides of the debate come to their understanding of the science from pre-established prejudices”

    I am a skeptic now but was two – two 1/2 years ago a stanch warmist – I had a pre-established prejudice for AGW. But then I started hearing the occasional skeptic articles and decided to learn as much about it as well to see if there was any truth in the skeptical claims. for over two years I spent on average 2 hours a day reading articles both for and against AGW, as well as looking at the raw data behind the articles and claims, to the best of my ability. And from my studies I came to the conclusion that although the earth may have warmed a bit over the last 150 years, it is part of natural climate variability – nothing out of the ordinary – with mans effect to be negligable or minimal at worst (any effects by man most likely not due to CO2 but black carbon and changes in land use).

    Keep on learning with an open mind, look at the raw data, debate and think for yourself.

    Patrick.

  181. Jimbo (13:28:34) :
    What happens Paul if in September 2010 we get a further recovery, will you accept that it is now a recovery from September 2007 as well as a trend?

    It’s not me who accepts or doesn’t accept. I’m just a shmoe. This is what the analysts that Anthony said confirmed Goddard’s forecast said:

    First, a true recovery would continue over a longer time period than two years. Second, scientists would expect to see a series of minimum sea ice extents that not only exceed the previous year, but also return to within the range of natural variation. In a recovery, scientists would also expect to see a return to an Arctic sea ice cover dominated by thicker, multiyear ice.

    I have no idea if that’s valid or not, but it’s what they say.

  182. In the light of the inexorably rising global temperature, coupled with polar amplification, it would be interesting to know on what basis anyone would predict a ‘recovery’ of Arctic sea ice. Increasing ice in a warming Arctic is, on the face of it, counter-intuitive.

  183. Did anyone notice what the nsdic said this week…

    A recent report (Turner, et. al., 2009) suggests that the ozone hole has resulted in changes in atmospheric circulation leading to cooling and increasing sea ice extents over much of the Antarctic region.

    So its changes in the ozone hole that is causing more ice in Antarctica, not colder temperatures from other natural sources.

  184. Paul Daniel Ash,

    This would be year three and no one knows what “within natural variability” is. Do you offer any evidence that the Arctic is currently outside natural variability?

  185. icarus,

    Looks like Arctic temperatures have been running pretty close to the 1958-2002 mean.

  186. Arctic sea ice vanishing faster than ‘our most pessimistic models': researcher
    By Bruce Owen, Winnipeg Free PressFebruary 6, 2010
    WINNIPEG — Sea ice in Canada’s fragile Arctic is melting faster than anyone expected, the lead investigator in Canada’s largest climate-change study yet said Friday — raising the possibility that the Arctic could, in a worst-case scenario, be ice-free in about three years.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Arctic+vanishing+fast+researcher/2532081/story.html

  187. Anu (08:51:00) :
    ………
    But over the last 50 years, and over West Antarctica, it has been warming – hence it is true that the *continent* of Antarctica has been warming, and yet “much” of Antarctica has been cooling, recently.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/science/earth/22climate.html?_r=2

    “Dr. Steig and Dr. Shindell presented the findings at a news conference on Wednesday. They found that from 1957 through 2006, temperatures across Antarctica rose an average of 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, comparable to the warming that has been measured globally.

    Here are WUWT threads critiquing Steig’s article, in date order. Asterisked threads are the most important ones:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/21/antarctica-warming-an-evolution-of-viewpoint/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/22/antarctic-warming-part-2-a-letter-from-a-meteorologist-on-the-ground-in-antarctica/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/04/snow-job-in-antarctica-digging-out-the-data-source/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/15/redoing-steig-et-al-with-simple-data-regrouping-gives-half-the-warming-result-in-antarctica/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/28/steigs-antarctic-heartburn/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/12/a-challenge-to-steig-et-al-on-antarctic-warming/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/18/what-happens-when-you-divide-antarctica-into-two-distinct-climate-zones/

    * http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/20/steig-et-al-antarctica-warming-paper-process-is-finally-replicated-and-dealt-a-blow-to-robustness/
    (“A central prerequisite point to this is that Steig flatly refused to provide all of the code needed to fully replicate his work in MatLab and RegEM, and has so far refused requests for it.”
    Say, I wonder if the recent statements by scientific societies re the Jones case that such data withholding can’t be justified can be used to shake the code loose from Steig?)

    ** http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/29/steig-et-al-falsified/

    * http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/07/steigs-antarctic-peninsula-pac-mann/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/06/the-climate-science-credit-crunch/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/04/dmi-arctic-temperature-data-animation-doesnt-support-claims-of-recent-arctic-warming/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/20/antarctica-warming-ice-melting-not/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/13/frigid-folly-uhi-siting-issues-and-adjustments-in-antarctic-ghcn-data/

  188. PDA–

    Take at look at the graph on the right side of this: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/figures/seaice2009fig4.jpg

    That’s declassified us submarine sonar data going back to 1976, three years before the satellite data. 1976 would be about the time that at least some scientists, and parts of the press, and at least one encylopedia run by the Brittanica people at the time (Compton’s yearbook for 1975 or 1976, I have both so I can rarely remember which it is without going to look) were getting concerned about a possible ice age. Can we agree that encylopedias are a higher standard repository of current scientific thinking than popular reporting like Newsweek and NY Times?

    Now ask yourself what that submarine sonar graph would likely look like if it extended back another 10, 20, (or optimally) 30 years. Might it bottom out around where 2007 was? Some of us think it might.

    Now, in theory, a regular natural cold/warm variability of 60 years (30/30) would allow you to calculate the variability with only 1/2 the data (a full 30 year 1/2 cycle worth) if you had it, and you believed in the variability. The average for a full 30 year 1/2 cycle should be the same (different sign, of course) as the other 30 yr 1/2 cycle.

    But where it makes a difference of course, is if you believe the variability cycle is there or need it proved to you conclusively (which isn’t unreasonable). . . and even if the “mean” doesn’t change then it certainly could impact your thinking about how big the “error bars” need to be around that mean to capture the range of variability.

    Said another way, some of us believe there is a pretty good chance that 2007 was the bottom of the hot half of the 60 year cycle.

    Unlike the climate modellers, at least our theory is falsifiable. We should know in about 5 years, I’d think, if we’re wrong, with regular checkpoints after that to confirm or not.

    I suspect that we’ll find that the bottom of this next 30 yr cold 1/2 cycle will be somewhat higher than the bottom of the previous cold 1/2 cycle. . . and the difference will turn out to be the real C02 AGW signal. . . and quite a bit smaller than the IPCC has currently put their chips on.

  189. Steve Goddard said (11:38:27) :

    “R Gates,

    Are you going on record as predicting record warmth for 2010?

    Good luck with that.”

    I am indeed on record as predicting record warmth for 2010…with the only caveat being a volcanic eruption of the magnitude of Mt. Pinatubo (or the more unlikely event of a large asteroid strike, in which case we’d have much bigger problems than warming).

    Two other predictions I’m on record on saying are likely:

    We will NOT see a record arctic sea ice minimum this summer but will in 2011 (i.e. the September low in 2011 will be lower than the summer low of 2007).

    Solar cycle 24 will be more active than the reduced activity expected just a few months ago. Specifically, the sunspot number for the maximum will be revised upward somewhat.

    With CO2 at MODERN record levels, and GCR’s falling, and the related solar activity increasing fairly rapidly, none of these predictions is all that difficult to make. Our pause in the rate of troposhereic warming due to the deep and prolonged solar minimum and the La Nina of 2008-2009 is over. The troposphere is already very warm this year, and the real warmth is yet to come.

  190. Steve Goddard (15:05:33) :

    My first thought was to rip that scientist a new one for being so stupid as to let a prediction like that pass his lips. . . and then I noticed it was “worse than I thought”. That’s a prediction for ice free *winters* in the Arctic by 2013-2030.

    So now I’m feeling slightly more chartible and thinking he couldn’t possibly have said that, and the reporter needs to be flogged.

  191. ” TonyB (08:01:21) :

    Caleb

    Thanks for your kind comment. Yes its certainly not fashionable to research the older cultures that inhabited the Arctic area. I have been in correspondance with a guide there and there is no doubt that there is a great deal to learn about the region and our perceptions of it would I suspect change if a really good research project could bring us up to date. The more I look into it the more I realise that;

    A) Periodic melting -to a greater or lesser extent than today is perfectly normal every 60/100 years or so

    B) There have been various extended periods in the past which have been substantially warmer than today when arctic ice was at much lower levels than today and civilisations thrived.

    Oh for some research money from Big Oil!”

    Doesn’t it really irk you that all that money was wasted promoting CAGW while a worthwhile and very interesting project like this gets scraps at best. I think this is a good example of the true cost of the CAGW craze. I wonder how many years research has been set back in many scientific disciplinces because of “Political Correctness” in science “research”. As a scientist I found it a really big turn off thirty years ago and it wasn’t as hardcore then.

  192. Steve Goddard (14:51:46) :
    icarus,

    Looks like Arctic temperatures have been running pretty close to the 1958-2002 mean.

    ————————
    Those DMI plots are interesting, but they are not *Arctic temperatures*.
    As you can see from http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
    these plots are for “the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel”.
    The Arctic is defined as north of 66 deg 33 min Northern latitude, so it takes in a lot more area than these plots.

    Note also that the mean temperatures from 1958 to 2002 are already elevated compared to the longer trend (but it doesn’t break down the small area of 80 N and above):

    http://forces.si.edu/arctic/02_01_02.html

    And click on the year 2008 (in the dmi.dk website) to see how a year that starts out fluctuating around the 1958-2002 mean winds up being uniformly warmer in the second half of the year.

  193. Icarus (15:25:50),

    Note that your link used a zero baseline anomaly of 1958 – 2002. Since global temperatures began declining in 2002, that baseline trick skews the map colors.

    So let’s look at some straight graph info from the other end of the world, to get a global perspective: click

    Sea ice disappears due to many reasons, and temperature is one of the less important ones. There’s also wind and currents, which interact in different ways, moving the ice around and altering the hemispheric sea ice extent: click

    So looking at the big picture, is the planet losing ice? You decide: click

    Now you can see why the focus is currently on the Arctic, which has lost ice. But the Antarctic makes up for it, so the net result is neutral.

    And it’s all well within the parameters of past natural variability. What you’re seeing is normal and natural. As John Daly pointed out, in 1987 and in 2000 the North Pole was ice free. You might ask yourself: what made it freeze over since then?

  194. Roger Knights (15:15:23) :

    Thanks for all the links to previous blog threads dealing with the published science: “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year”, by Eric J. Steig et al, Nature, 22 January 2009

    In case you’ve never seen the original research:

    http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/SteigetalNature09.pdf

    I’ll look over the blog comments later, but keep in mind that amateurs sometimes miss small details that make their entire analysis *wrong*, such as the famous case of:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/

    which turned out to be a misunderstanding of what “temperature anomaly” meant, and the fact that GISS had a different baseline period than Hadley, UAH and RSS datasets.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/whats-up-with-that/

    But there’s always a chance an amateur gets lucky, like the high school teacher who had a crucial insight into hydrogen spectra lines about a century ago…

    If you know of any *published* work debunking Steig et al, please share.

  195. @R. Gates (15:52:04) :

    Counting on two el ninos in a row, are you? Not unprecedented, but not typical. The more typical pattern is a cooling after the el nino to neutral, or a larger cooling to la nina.

    Well, congratulations on making a strong prediction verifiable in at least the shortish (as these things go) term. See you in December.

  196. geo (19:01:31) :
    @R. Gates (15:52:04) :

    Counting on two el ninos in a row, are you? Not unprecedented, but not typical. The more typical pattern is a cooling after the el nino to neutral, or a larger cooling to la nina.
    ——————-
    Not sure what you mean – we are in the middle of an El Nino right now, and it is forecast to continue at least into the N. hemisphere spring, and quite possibly another year.
    See page 22 for a plot of El Nino/La Nina since 1950. Looks like we’ve only seen the beginning of a big one.

  197. Anu,

    This article is about Arctic summer sea ice, most of which is located above 80N. Temperatures in the middle of Nunavut don’t really affect sea ice.

    If you feel that the DMI graphs are mislabeled, “Daily Mean Temperatures in the Arctic 1958 – 2010″ you should help those “amateurs” out with your highly respected and anonymous professional opinion.

  198. @Anu (19:24:58) :

    This El Nino started in July of ’09. They typically last 9-12 months. So this one is in sight of its “sell by” date. In all liklihood we’re looking at somewhere between 6-9 months of no el nino this year.

    What I was thinking of was this: http://ggweather.com/enso/years.htm

  199. RE: Paul Daniel Ash (09:53:38) :
    ——————————–
    Gerald Machnee (09:22:06) :
    Where is the proof? Where is it MEASURED?

    I guess one reason that I might appear like a “know-it-all” is because people keep asking me these kinds of questions, which I go out and try to find answers for.

    I’m not trying to present that I just know these things off the top of my head, or that I think the answers are unassailable, just that there are answers to the questions. As I’ve said repeatedly, I’d like to know what the problems/flaws/errors are in the answers I present.

    Anyway, as to measurement:

    Murphy et. al. presented an analysis of Earth’s “energy budget”: how much is received, how much is absorbed, and how much is reflected back to space.
    ————————————————

    What problems/flaws?
    Well, this does not even come close to answering my question.
    I want a study that MEASURES the percentage or amount of temperature change due to CO2 or GHG. It must be explicit in the conclusion. All they have now is a graph with rising CO2 and oscillating temperatures. If the GHG were responsible for most of the rise there would only be a variation in the increase, not a rise and fall.
    Many of the contributors here have been on both sides of the fence and are now looking for real science.

  200. Paul Daniel Ash: “As I’ve said repeatedly, I’d like to know what the problems/flaws/errors are in the answers I present.”

    And as many people have said on here REPEATEDLY, those problems, flaws, errors, and fallacies have been pointed out numerous times…but you [repeatedly] refuse to listen to any advice to the contrary.

    I stand by my original unsolicited words: If you want to learn, then keep your mouth shut (and keyboard silent) more…and you will learn.

    Trust me…if you would take a few…and actually open your mind [like you claim to be, open-minded] and look at the logic of what Smokey is presenting, you will find little [if any] fault in his arguments. They are bullet proof.

    And this is the real test, Paul. The human psyche in all its egoic and cognitive dissonance trappings…sometimes even blinds the smartest of us.

    Arguing for arguing’s sake is NOT debate.

    You say you want to learn. Prove it.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USa

    Chris

  201. Gail said

    “Doesn’t it really irk you that all that money was wasted promoting CAGW while a worthwhile and very interesting project like this gets scraps at best.”

    I think that a lot of very intersting research is sidelined because it doesn’t fulfill modern criteria which is to prove AGW. The EU won’t fund such research, the British Govt akways has an agenda behind their funded research projects and all credulity is suspended whilst the AGW steamroller flattens everything in its path.

    I tend to look for good pieces of research prior to around 1980 when it tended to be more even handed, and those from pre 1950 are even better. Obviously in examining them the researcher has to be careful that things haven’t moved on.

    There has been some great material recently in the Australian press about bats falling from the sky through heat and terrible dust storms-all of course ‘unprecedented’. When you can point to reports from 100 and 200 years ago stating exactly the same thing, people are at first dumbfounded, then dismissive, then continue promoting their own agenda as if nothing had happened.

    Tonyb

  202. Steve Goddard (19:29:12) :
    Anu,

    This article is about Arctic summer sea ice, most of which is located above 80N. Temperatures in the middle of Nunavut don’t really affect sea ice.

    If you feel that the DMI graphs are mislabeled, “Daily Mean Temperatures in the Arctic 1958 – 2010″ you should help those “amateurs” out with your highly respected and anonymous professional opinion.
    ————–
    The DMI site is quite precise with its labels and descriptions:

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Arctic Temperatures
    Daily Mean Temperatures North of 80 degree North.

    The plots are labelled:
    Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year.
    etc.

    I was merely pointing out this is a *fraction* of the entire Arctic, which makes
    it harder to compare to other plots showing the longterm trend of warming
    temperatures “in the Arctic”, which I also linked to.

    Do you feel that “amateurs” should not be commenting on the work of climate
    professionals or their websites ?

  203. geo (19:58:21) :
    @Anu (19:24:58) :

    This El Nino started in July of ‘09. They typically last 9-12 months. So this one is in sight of its “sell by” date. In all liklihood we’re looking at somewhere between 6-9 months of no el nino this year.
    —————————
    You could very well be right. And as your linked site says, the very *definition* of an El Nino is a bit fuzzy, different organizations have different criteria.

    I was looking at page 22 of this NOAA report:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

    Notice 1958, 1970, 1977, 1983, 1987, 1990 to 1995, 2002 to 2006, and the shape of the ENSO event so far:
    it could also easily be the case that this El Nino will last into 2011.

    It’s a temporary effect, but you know how people get excited about “warmest year ever” stories…

  204. TonyB (23:48:42) :
    Gail said

    I think that a lot of very intersting research is sidelined because it doesn’t fulfill modern criteria which is to prove AGW. The EU won’t fund such research,
    ————
    Denmark is part of the EU.
    Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark at the Danish National Space Center (DNSC) ( he is director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish Space Research Institute (DSRI)), who’s “cosmic ray theory” idea formed a centrepiece of the controversial documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, demonstrates that science is open to alternative scientific ideas concerning global warming.

    CERN is looking into part of this idea, although the overall theory (detailed in a book, The Chilling Stars, written by Svensmark and British science writer Nigel Calder) is not expected to pan out by many scientists.

    Scientists would *love* to prove AGW wrong, especially the younger climate scientists – it would make their career, get them on TV, give them book deals, tenure, and probably a Nobel prize. There are plenty of countries which can launch satellites, and have PhD’s and Universities. Any one of those countries could produce an “AGW theory” killer.
    Even Denmark.

  205. Anu,

    I have seen many forecasts made by climate professionals go down in flames, and find your appeals to your self-proclaimed and anonymous authority to be completely uninteresting.

    2009
    Scottish ski industry could disappear due to global warming, warns Met Office

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/scotland/4579829/Scottish-ski-industry-could-disappear-due-to-global-warming-warns-Met-Office.html

    Published on 5 Mar 2010
    Scotland’s ski resorts are enjoying one of their most successful seasons ever, with a big rise in visitor numbers and the best conditions in a generation.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/best-season-in-30-years-as-ski-centres-enjoy-record-visitors-1.1011484

  206. Well, the AO continues to moderate (almost to neutral now), and the unusual (but not unprecedented) late growing season spike in the extent continues.

    Why don’t we have multi-year graphs of the AO along the lines of the IJIS extent charts? It would be very interesting to be able to eyeball those two side-by-side (if the AO version existed, which so far as I can tell it does not).

    The AO may of course triple-dip (it has already double-dipped), but having the historical graphs might provide some insight on the impact of the AO cycles by specific periods of the grow/melt season –for instance, is it more impactful for the AO to be positive or negative in some months rather than others?

  207. Anu,

    You can’t “prove” CAGW wrong, because it is the output of computer simulations. Depending on what parameters you use, you get very different results – particularly related to the effect of cloud cover. There is no way to “prove” that one set of parameters is incorrect.

    What you can do is observe the failure of climate forecasts, and those failures are piling up almost faster than I can write about them.

    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

    Kevin Trenberth

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1048&filename=1255352257.txt

  208. Steve Goddard (09:32:16) :

    Anu,

    I have seen many forecasts made by climate professionals go down in flames, and find your appeals to your self-proclaimed and anonymous authority to be completely uninteresting.
    —————
    Pointing out that north of 80 deg N. latitude is not “the Arctic” is hardly debatable, now is it ? I need no special “authority” to make that claim. If you cannot read precisely, that has nothing to do with my ‘authority”.

    As to the ski industry in Scotland, re-read the link you helpfully provided:
    Steve Goddard’s cited article on Scottish ski industry
    Alex Hill, chief government advisor with the Met Office, said the amount of snow in the Scottish mountains had been decreasing for the last 40 years and there was no reason for the decline to stop.

    He added: “Put it this way, I will not be investing in the ski-ing industry. Will there be a ski industry in Scotland in 50 years’ time? Very unlikely.”

    50 years from now, we will see if this prediction has “gone down in flames”. Having nice snowfall this winter has nothing to do with the prediction of “climate change may mean they have less than 50 years of ski-ing left.

    I know you’re anxious to prove AGW wrong right now, but you’ll have to wait awhile before you can claim this particular prediction was wrong.

  209. Steve Goddard (12:44:45) :
    What you can do is observe the failure of climate forecasts, and those failures are piling up almost faster than I can write about them.
    ————
    I’m not convinced you understand what a “climate forecast” is, after your example with the Scottish skiing industry.

    As for Dr. Trenberth:

    Kevin Trenberth is head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. His email was referring to his recent paper.
    The global mean temperature in 2008 was the lowest since about 2000. Given that there is continual heating of the planet, referred to as radiative forcing, by accelerating increases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses due to human activities, why isn’t the temperature continuing to go up? The stock answer is that natural variability plays a key role and there was a major La Niña event early in 2008 that led to the month of January having the lowest anomaly in global temperature since 2000. While this is true, it is an incomplete explanation. In particular, what are the physical processes? From an energy standpoint, there should be an explanation that accounts for where the radiative forcing has gone. Was it compensated for temporarily by changes in clouds or aerosols, or other changes in atmospheric circulation that allowed more radiation to escape to space? Was it because a lot of heat went into melting Arctic sea ice or parts of Greenland and Antarctica, and other glaciers? Was it because the heat was buried in the ocean and sequestered, perhaps well below the surface? Was it because the La Niña led to a change in tropical ocean currents and rearranged the configuration of ocean heat? Perhaps all
    of these things are going on? But surely we have an adequate system to track whether this is the case or not, don’t we?

    Well, it seems that the answer is no, we do not. But we should!
    ——————-
    It’s a good point – exactly why was 2008 the second coolest year in the hottest decade on record ?
    Exactly where is the extra radiative forcing going ? Improved measurements such as the thousands of ARGO floats have helped, but the head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research argues that they could use even better measurements.

    Big surprise.

  210. Anu,

    As a scientist, I’ve been watching global warming disaster claims for three decades now. I even believed them for a long time. Probably since you were a baby. I’ve been hearing the “end of skiing” claim since at least the mid 1980s.

    They aren’t happening and I really have little patience for people making claims for the next 30-50 years – which will soon be forgotten.

    Perhaps it is you who don’t understand how climate models work.

  211. Steve Goddard (16:27:09) :
    (thanks for fixing the html error)

    Three decades ago, I already had my first degree from MIT – hardly a baby.
    If you heard an “end of skiing in 50 years” claim in the mid 1980’s, there is still 25 years to go.

    I too have no patience in waiting for the demise of Scottish skiing – but I think the summer Arctic ice cover shrinking dramatically will be the first “aha” moment for many skeptics.

    Sure, they still need to refine the climate models and the observation abilities (ARGO is a good start with the oceans, and I’m interested in how ice thickness data such as from ICESat, Envisat and CryoSat-2 unfolds in the next year or two – giving ice thickness in the Arctic, not just 2D extent data).

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-107

    http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMTGPRTKMF_index_0.html

    What do you think of the claims that about half of the next 10 years will be the hottest on record (since 1880, not ancient proxy records) ? Soon enough for your “little patience” ?
    And what do you think of predictions of a steady warming of about 0.17 deg C/decade ?

    Is there a chance the next 10 years will change your mind again ?

  212. Anu,

    Physics tells us that a doubling of CO2 should increase temperatures by about 1.2C, and that seems quite plausible. What I have a tough time with is the feedback predicted by some climate models of 6+C.

    No doubt there was a lot of thinning of Arctic ice during the winter of 2007-2008, but it wasn’t due to in-situ melting (obviously) – rather it was due to drift into the warmer waters of the North Atlantic. Which is exactly what this article and the one it referred to is about.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/09/prediction-arctic-ice-will-continue-to-recover-this-summer/

  213. Anu and Steve

    Anu

    Since you dislike ancient proxy records (no doubt because they ilustrate the huge variabilty of the climate) how about this 1930’s reference to the Scottish winter? I used to ski in Scotland in the late 70’s and early 1980’s and they certainly considered the large amount of snow then to be abnormal.

    “Winters here since 1988 are exactly the same now as they were in the first four decades of the past century and for most of the 1970s. Hence they are what has been normal for the past century with the winters of the 1940s, 50s 60s and 77-87 being colder and snowier.

    This is what a farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of my local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.

    “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change”
    It then goes on to say
    “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
    and also
    “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”

    That description sound pretty much apt for the winters today. Hence there has been no change since that era. This current winter has been remarkably snowless in my area but not a patch on 1933/34 when there hadn’t even been a flake falling by this time and daffodils were in full bloom by the fourth week of February.”

    Of course if we were not disqualified from using ancient proxies we could cite many similar references.

    Tonyb

  214. Anu

    I said;

    “I think that a lot of very interesting research is sidelined because it doesn’t fulfill modern criteria which is to prove AGW. The EU won’t fund such research/”

    In rebuttal you cited Svensmark and indeed that is one of the few exceptions that proves the rule-you will note I said ‘a lot of very interesting research’ not ALL research.

    Tonyb

  215. The article and the last 20 or so comments are very interesting. Its great to see a debate and Anu’s comment about “not just 2D extent data” is something that jumps off the page for me. Right up there with the inability to properly display “Sea ice concentrations less than 30%” in the Cryosphere Today images.

    Is it reasonable to say, current Climate Models are incapable of properly predicting what has already occurred in the past? If they could do that, then there would be a basis for future climate predictions?

  216. I tossed a link up earlier with “3D” (i.e. thickness) data back to 1975 (I said ’76 upstream, but looking more closely it appears to be 1975– four years before we start having satellite extent data) from declassified US sonar data. The problem is it is only of about 38% of the arctic area that the US subs were regularly patrolling. I find the thickness curve climbing from 1975-1982 to be very interesting in that data. One looks at that and aches to have it from 1945-1975 as well (but, alas, we don’t). It’s certainly suggestive of what it might look like and how that mid/late-40s thickness data might compare to the late oughties.

    ICEsat is certainly a great idea. But until you’ve got quite a few more years of it, it is no more than suggestive.

  217. Just me, a retired teacher, not a scientist. I need to find out as much as I can myself, not relying on media. AGW ers are WAY off, at a huge cost to the planet.

    Briefly, here is an embarrassing example of the hazards of “subjective” observations by, sadly, one of “our” Canadian astronauts:

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1727091/affects_of_global_warming_are_clear_from_space/

    “Affects Of Global Warming Are Clear From Space
    Posted on: Monday, 27 July 2009, 10:20 CDT
    Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk said about his mission to space, “It will be the supreme thrill of my life.” However, he was less than thrilled to report that the Earth’s ice caps seem to have melted since he was last in orbit 12 years ago.

    Thirsk is a flight engineer and member of the Expedition 20/21 crew on the International Space Station. This first Canadian to fly on a Soyuz was launched as a Mission Specialist on the Soyuz mission May 27.”

    I heard Mr. Thirst say this on the evening news that day, and immediately I was skeptical. It was so obvious to me to question the statement, and better minds than mine can reach their own conclusions.

    Have a look at Cryosphere Today, comparing August 15, 1997, with August 15, 2009 (July, 2009 data not available).

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=08&fd=15&fy=1997&sm=08&sd=15&sy=2009

    Subjective observations on everything from the Himalayan and other glaciers, deforestation, hurricanes, floods and fire, among others, were used as “evidence” for dangerous global….oh climate change…in the IPCC, and they are still being spouted by “the movement”. Meanwhile, all of it is based on the false premise that human CO2 emissions are the cause.

    Credible scientists in the natural sciences are disputing this with objective DATA every day, while including historical geological evidence. No, 30 years is not enough data to conclude anything, Mr. Paul Daniel Ash, except it would appear YOUR conclusions and those of the AGW elite who are actually putting the survival of all of us at the tipping point for their own POWER and WEALTH.

    How do we wake up the innocent, well-meaning citizens of the world?

  218. Steve Goddard (20:58:51) :

    Yes, the feedbacks within the climate system are very hard to predict:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304142240.htm

    Methane Releases from Arctic Shelf May Be Much Larger and Faster Than Anticipated
    ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2010) — A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov.

    Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is a methane-rich area that encompasses more than 2 million square kilometers of seafloor in the Arctic Ocean. It is more than three times as large as the nearby Siberian wetlands, which have been considered the primary Northern Hemisphere source of atmospheric methane.

    “Our concern is that the subsea permafrost has been showing signs of destabilization already,” she said. “If it further destabilizes, the methane emissions may not be teragrams, it would be significantly larger.”

    Shakhova notes that Earth’s geological record indicates that atmospheric methane concentrations have varied between about .3 to .4 parts per million during cold periods to .6 to .7 parts per million during warm periods. Current average methane concentrations in the Arctic average about 1.85 parts per million, the highest in 400,000 years, she said. Concentrations above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are even higher.

  219. TonyB (00:28:00) :
    Anu

    I said;

    “I think that a lot of very interesting research is sidelined because it doesn’t fulfill modern criteria which is to prove AGW. The EU won’t fund such research”

    In rebuttal you cited Svensmark and indeed that is one of the few exceptions that proves the rule-you will note I said ‘a lot of very interesting research’ not ALL research.
    Tonyb

    Yes, I noted that you said ‘a lot of very interesting research’ , and I also noted you did not give any examples. Do none of these “interesting research” ideas have writeups on the Web ?

    Do you think that observational research, like the ARGO global array of 3351 free drifting floats was built only because scientists thought it would “fulfill modern criteria which is to prove AGW” ?

    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/

    28 countries contribute funds to the ARGO global research, including many EU countries. The initial published results seemed to show the oceans were cooling, which was widely mentioned in the blogosphere.
    Did this funding of research, and publishing of results which disagreed with AGW expectations, constitute another of the few exceptions that proves the rule ?

    By the way, once the new ARGO floats and older XBT’s were reanalyzed at length to try and explain the discrepancy of these measurements with other measurements, it turns out the oceans are warming pretty much as expected.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/page1.php

  220. geo (11:36:49) :

    Yes, tantalizing data is frustrating. Too bad the secret subs of the Cold War were not more interested in Arctic sea ice thickness, they probably could have had good data back to 1947 or so…

    I saw your graph above, thanks.

    I had seen the same graph here: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/seaice.html
    but yours is larger.

    Sub data is a good confirmation of satellite data, but it doesn’t give large-area coverage. The cyclic looking thickness of the sub data is interesting, but did the sub follow the same path every year ? Was that 38% coverage area the area with thickest ice ? Satellite data doesn’t have those problems.

    ICESat died last October:

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1002/25icesat/

    A European replacement satellite is set to be launched soon (delays last month):

    http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cryosat/index.html

    ICESat data goes back to 2003:

    http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2009/2009-04-06-01.asp

    True, the thickness data is just “suggestive”, but it is suggesting Arctic summer ice is disappearing much faster than the 2D satellite maps show.

  221. @Anu: Here are recent posts on Siberian methane from other threads:

    AJStrata (07:24:23) :

    Know how you feel, is there life after blogs?

    I decided to weigh in on the silliness abounding over the methane out gassing discovered in Siberia

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/12945

    …………

    Antonio San (11:12:09) :

    Excellent summary -despite some usual stylistic rhetorics- of the Methane question on… yes, Realclimate!!!

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/arctic-methane-on-the-move/

    I quote David Archer:

    “Is now the time to get frightened? No. ”

    “What’s missing from these studies themselves is evidence that the Siberian shelf degassing is new, a climate feedback, rather than simply nature-as-usual, driven by the retreat of submerged permafrost left over from the last ice age. ”

    “The concentration held steady in 2008, meaning at least that interannual variability is important in the methane cycle, and making it hard to say if the long-term average emission rate is rising in a way that would be consistent with a new carbon feedback.”

    “Anyway, so far it is at most a very small feedback. The Siberian Margin might rival the whole rest of the world ocean as a methane source, but the ocean source overall is much smaller than the land source. ”

    “For methane to be a game-changer in the future of Earth’s climate, it would have to degas to the atmosphere catastrophically, on a time scale that is faster than the decadal lifetime of methane in the air. So far no one has seen or proposed a mechanism to make that happen.”

  222. Steve Goddard (17:23:15) :

    I’m honored.

    I noticed that story, and the one on “snowball earth” shortly after I mentioned both. I thought it might be more than coincidence…

    And I wouldn’t call it the “panic du jour” – some people were panicked five years ago about what a warming Arctic could do to the methane clathrates:

    http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3647

  223. John from CA (11:20:21) :

    Is it reasonable to say, current Climate Models are incapable of properly predicting what has already occurred in the past? If they could do that, then there would be a basis for future climate predictions?
    ———-

    Such “hindcasts” are run all the time to test the climate models, for example:

    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/89/3/pdf/i1520-0477-89-3-303.pdf

    but as you know, as we go farther and farther back in time, the initial conditions are more vague and unknown (since measurements of climate variables are improving all the time), so it is difficult to test “starting from known climate conditions in 1970, could this model predict the climate in 2010 ?”. Conditions in 1970 aren’t that precisely known. The climate models of 1980 were cruder, and had cruder starting data.

    Even today, as the Hadley Centre works on short-term 10 year climate predictions (the Met’s Decadal Climate Prediction System – DePreSys) that take into account more ephemeral phenomena, like the El Nino and other ocean oscillations, the hardest part is entering the initial conditions, since the observations have not been detailed enough for these mid-term predictions until recently:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6939347.stm

  224. Anu,

    Climate models use tens of thousands of empirically derived parameters based on the recent past. It is therefore not surprising that they model the recent past fairly accurately. In fact it would be astonishing if they didn’t.

    BTW – I actually wrote the methane article before you made your post, but you made it more fun. ;^)

  225. Steve Goddard (21:12:57) :

    The recent past is the only time period for which they have extensive climate measurements. For the far past (with different continent positions, different Sun TSI, different starting conditions in the atmosphere, etc), they have to make some assumptions, but when they do, the climate models still show some interesting results:
    Climate Model Links Higher Temperatures to Prehistoric Extinction
    August 24, 2005
    BOULDER—Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have created a computer simulation showing Earth’s climate in unprecedented detail at the time of the greatest mass extinction in the planet’s history. The work gives support to a theory that an abrupt and dramatic rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide triggered the massive die-off 251 million years ago. The research appears in the September issue of
    Geology.

    ps – it did seem like very quick work…
    Nice graphics.
    Why not include the Arctic Sea Ice Extent graph with +/-2 standard deviations shaded in ?

    You know how excitable some people get when they’re not given the “context” :-)

  226. Anu,
    I had a chance to briefly skim the link and noticed that the variables didn’t include long wave projections. The variable set for the model seems to be based on observed changes. This is likely a silly Scifi question, if the equations rest on a constant of given long wave input, is the input simply an unknown in the model?

    Cryosphere Today reports a -.335 anomaly from the 1979-2008 mean to date; (436,000 sq. km of ice growth in the Northern Hemisphere in the past week).

    Solar activity has been very low for the past month. Is low long wave one of the major causes or am I being to simplistic?

  227. I have been looking at the arctic ice and various discussions over the last 3 years and I can add my personal experience. I live in Oulu on western border by the sea and the ice this year is thicker and began earlier than usual, the average temperatures throughout the Winter have been significantly greater than usual and so has the snow depth. I think that the Barent sea temperatures should remain slightly cooler than usual this will also assist in prolonging the artic ice coverage in that area around Svalbard. I believe this argument may also hold true in other areas aorund the northern hemisphere and so hopefully 2010 may turn out to be good year.

Comments are closed.