Skating on the Other Side of the Ice

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Inspired by this thread over at Bishop Hill’s excellent blog, I thought I’d write about sea ice. Among the many catastrophic things claimed to be the result of “global warming”, declining sea ice is one of the most popular. We see scary graphics of this all the time, things that look like this:

FIgure 1. Terrifying computer projections showing that we may not have any Arctic sea ice before the end of this century. Clearly, the implication is that we should be very concerned … SOURCE

Now, what’s wrong with this picture?

The problem with the picture is that the earth has two poles. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools.

Looking at just the Arctic sea ice is like looking at someone who is pouring water from one glass to another and back again. If we want to see how much water there is, it is useless to observe just one of the person’s hands. We need to look at both hands to see what is happening with the water.

Similarly, to see what is happening in the frozen parts of the ocean, we need to look at global sea ice. There are several records of the area of sea ice. One is the Reynolds Optimally Interpolated dataset (Reynolds OI V2). A second is the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) record. Finally, we have the Hadcrut Ice and Sea Surface Temperature dataset (HadISST1). All of them are available from that most marvellous resource, the KNMI data portal .

It turns out that the NSIDC and the HadISST1 records are nearly identical. The correlation between the two in the Arctic is 0.995 (1.0 is perfect agreement), and in the Antarctic it is 0.999. So in Fig. 2, I have not shown the NSIDC dataset, but you can imagine that there is a third record almost identical to the HadISST1 dataset. Here is what has happened to the global sea ice area from 1982 to the present:

FIgure 2. Global Sea Ice Area 1982-present. Data from satellite observations.

As you can see, while it is certainly true that the Arctic has been losing ice, the Antarctic has been gaining ice. And the total global sea ice has barely changed at all over the period of the record. It goes up a little, it goes down a little, it goes nowhere …

Why should the Antarctic warm when the Arctic cools? The short answer is that we don’t know, although it happens at both short and long time scales. A recent article in Science Magazine Online (subscription required) says:

Eddies and the Seesaw

A series of warm episodes, each lasting several thousand years, occurred in Antarctica between 90,000 and 30,000 years ago. These events correlated with rapid climate oscillations in the Arctic, with Antarctica warming while the Arctic was cooling or already cold. This bipolar seesaw is thought to have been driven by changes in the strength of the deep overturning circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, but some have questioned how completely that process can account for the fine details of Antarctic warming events.

Keeling and Visbeck offer an explanation that builds upon earlier suggestions that include the effects of shallow-water processes as well as deep ones. They suggest that changes in the surface salinity gradient across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current were caused by the melting of icebergs discharged from the Arctic, which allowed increased heat transport to Antarctica by ocean eddies. This mechanism produces Antarctic warming of the magnitude observed in ice core records.

However, not everyone agrees that this is the full explanation. Henrik Svensmark adds another factor to what may be happening:

The cosmic-ray and cloud-forcing hypothesis therefore predicts that temperature changes in Antarctica should be opposite in sign to changes in temperature in the rest of the world. This is exactly what is observed, in a well-known phenomenon that some geophysicists have called the polar see-saw, but for which “the Antarctic climate anomaly” seems a better name (Svensmark 2007).

To account for evidence spanning many thousands of years from drilling sites in Antarctica and Greenland, which show many episodes of climate change going in opposite directions, ad hoc hypotheses on offer involve major reorganization of ocean currents. While they might be possible explanations for low-resolution climate records, with error-bars of centuries, they cannot begin to explain the rapid operation of the Antarctic climate anomaly from decade to decade as seen in the 20th century (figure 6). Cloud forcing is by far the most economical explanation of the anomaly on all timescales.

Regardless of why the polar see-saw is happening, it is a real phenomenon. Ignoring it by looking just at the Arctic leads to unwarranted conclusions about what is happening to sea ice on our most amazing planet. We have to look at both hands, we have to include the other side of the ice, to see the full situation. The real answer to what is happening to global sea ice is …

Nothing.


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305 thoughts on “Skating on the Other Side of the Ice

  1. Willis: You wrote, “The problem with the picture is that the earth has two poles. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools.”

    Not necessarily. The Arctic and Antarctic can be warming or cooling in unison, which appears to be quite often:

    Data Land+Ocean Surface Temp 60N-90N:
    ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ersstv3b/pdo/aravg.mon.land_ocean.60N.90N.asc

    Data Land+Ocean Surface Temp 90S-60S:
    ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ersstv3b/pdo/aravg.mon.land_ocean.90S.60S.asc

  2. Nothing happening except for the alarming doomsday obsession campaigns and staged icecapades by the 3 daredevils.
    I prefer to watch a good sci-fi movie for my entertainment.

  3. Arctic Sea Ice is turning into a great tool for converting global warming believers into skeptics. The Warmists have invested a lot of their credibility in the rapidly melting arctic sea ice meme, and the facts just don’t support it:

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

    Arctic Sea Ice Area and Extent is slightly below average and the Warmists are either awful forecasters, or liars…

  4. Hi Willis – good post.
    It’s very good to see some real facts injected into what far too often is a very selective and misleading presentation of the data.

    Svensmark’s theory is intriguing.
    I particularly like the way it applies to short and long timescales.

  5. Bob Tisdale

    Odd… GISS shows both to be warming since 2000 while your graph shows south to be cooling. They measure 64 – 90 instead of 60 to 90, but does that account for the difference?

  6. I woinder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know. And did the IPCC models attribute the 2007 ice loss to temperature or winds blowing the ice out of the straights? If the IPCC models are good enough to predict ice loss from wind patterns I’ll be seriously impressed. But we already know the answer to that too.

  7. Bob Tisdale (18:37:43)

    Willis: You wrote, “The problem with the picture is that the earth has two poles. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools.”

    Sorry for the lack of clarity, Bob. There are few things in nature which are always true all the time, and I did not mean this was true all the time.

    Despite that, the “polar see-saw” is a well recognized phenomenon, as shown by my quotes. And it is true enough of the time to keep the global sea ice quite constant …

    w.

  8. Kazinksi (18:50:18)

    I woinder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know. And did the IPCC models attribute the 2007 ice loss to temperature or winds blowing the ice out of the straights? If the IPCC models are good enough to predict ice loss from wind patterns I’ll be seriously impressed. But we already know the answer to that too.

    It may have been because 2007 was the lowest year for the Arctic sea ice … or it may just be that the graph was done in 2008. At present, we don’t know, and I’m unwilling to make assumptions of that type.

    w.

  9. Beautiful ending. We must be very sensitive to the ever present hubris that people have about why the world acts the way it does. Some chose to say it’s ‘God’s Will’ and they have faith in this, while others place their attention on the modern day ‘scientific’ equivalent of the crisis of AGW.

    Me? I just keep checking this time series and I laugh quietly to myself…

  10. I’m surprised that someone from the IPCC gang hasn’t claimed that the satellite image of a snow covered British Isles (in another story here) isn’t an ice shelf that just broke away from Europe… with catastrophic consequences of course.

    When will the watermelons get to capitalism-caused continental drift?

    P.S. For another perspective on change in the Arctic, this is enlightening:

    McGhee, R. 2001 [1996]. Ancient people of the Arctic. Canadian Museum of Civilization/UBC Press.

    Including Chapter 6, ‘When the Climate Changes’

    Short story: human history there was driven by climate change, and the Inuit expanded east across the Arctic during a warm period… I guess they must have been driving SUVs to have caused it.

  11. Willis Eschenbach (18:50:42) :

    “And it is true enough of the time to keep the global sea ice quite constant …”

    There is certainly variation month to month and year to year, but over the last 30 years global sea ice does appear to be reasonably stable;

    and it certainly isn’t declining rapidly.

  12. Bob Tisdale – hi – re your reference:

    It looks to me that the two lines are mostly moving in opposite directions.
    What is their correlation?
    Have you tried to invert one and lay it on top of the other?
    That could be a better fit.

    They are certainly not mirror images of each other, but on average (by eye) seem to be offsetting each other most of the time.

    Now even if I am completely wrong in the above, Willis’s main point still holds true.

    To show the post 1960 Artic without also showing the Antarctic does give a decidely false impression.

    It is the repeated habit of inapropriate data selection by proponents of AGW that is giving them such a bad name and is loosing them public support.

  13. Nice job, Willis.

    On more weather forecasting, and less climate (though the two are related), here is a very interesting post which discusses the possible teleconnections between the teleconnections…in both hemispheres.

    I have heard Joe Bastardi talk about this quite a bit. Brazil’s MetSul also birddogs the arms-legnth relationship between the Antarctic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation, for example.

    At any rate….this is a good discussion to check out and spend a few moments on…

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/03/local_weather_antarctica_conne.html

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  14. OT

    BEIJING, March 29 (Reuters) – A severe winter has left 4.5 million dead animals in stockyards across the Mongolian steppes, and many poor herders face the loss of all their property just before the important breeding season.

    About a tenth of Mongolia’s livestock may have perished, as deep snows cut off access to grazing and fodder.

    The Red Cross launched an emergency appeal for 1 million Swiss francs to assist Mongolian herders, after it estimated that 4.5 million livestock have died in the country since December.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUKSGE62R01N._CH_.2420

  15. The Earth has two poles –

    But if summer ice at one of the poles – the North Pole – diminishes to the point of permanent loss of multiyear ice, then there is likely to be significant climate changes in the Northern Hemisphere and worldwide – regardless of whether or not that same amount of ice is increased in the southern polar region.

    In other words –
    A drop of 4 million additional sq km of sea ice in the Arctic in the summer (which I do not think is likely) will have profound impacts even if the Antarctic winter sea ice increases by the same amount.

    I have been castigated at liberal websites for being a “denier” many times, but one must acknowledge that the Arctic sea ice drop in 2007 was dramatic. Arctic sea ice in 2009 was still well below 30-year norms – although it has recovered somewhat. Granted that there is only 30 years of satellite data – with much older anecdotal data. 2007 may have been an outlier event, but it behooves one to act with prudence.

  16. This NASA Scientist was DEAD WRONG in September 2008 when he stated that the ice was NOT going to recover. He is quite alarmed, worried about the planets future, sad, worried about the whole world etc. This NASA video take the time to educate us mere mortal on why the summer sea ice is increasing in the summer hemisphere because warmer oceans are increasing evaporation>snow which feeds the antarctic ice field….blah blah blah…they are never wrong and have the answer for everything. Soon it will be called Arctic Ice Change.

  17. The earth is in an eccentric orbit around the sun, plus the sun shifts its position relative to the solar system center of gravity as it is pulled by the gas giants. If our planet hits the nadir during Northern Hemisphere summer wouldn’t you expect Arctic melting and Antarctic freezing? And vice versa?
    Doesn’t Milankovitch cover part of this?
    Wouldn’t you expect drastic imbalances and difficult to predict effects, since the Northern Hemisphere has significantly more land surface than the Southern Hemisphere?

  18. Bob Tisdale (18:37:43) :

    How did you handle all the missing data in the Southern hemisphere dataset?

  19. Another ad hoc theory –
    North pole has polar bears. South pole has penguins.

    or maybe –
    North pole is sea surrounded by land. South pole is land surrounded by sea.

    I can’t see the problem, what with the huge lack of temperature data points in both places, and the relatively small temperature variations to begin with.
    The recent lack of ice in the north is largely a problem situation due to flushing the old ice out into the Atlantic.
    Bottom line, so what, assuming you aren’t a seal forced to haul out on shore instead of the safety of ice.

  20. Anthony,

    We see a few comments wondering about GISS anomoly in the arctic compared to the lack of anomoly on the DMI actric temperature graphic linked on your page. But, I haven’t run across an answer to any of them. Seems like a comment on this would be a good post. Forgive me if I missed the answer in a comment somewhere.

  21. The WARMERS claim we should be concerned about Arctic sea ice declines (conveniently ignoring Antarctic ice growth) because of alleged atmospheric temperature increases. Students of WUWT know that the instrumental temp record (HadCRU, NASA-GISS, and similar data compilations) is fraught with problems and unreliable, especially in the high latitudes.

    But more to the point. Why should we think that air temp has ANY significant influence on melting of sea ice? One of the Caitlin fiasco discussions above links to a Univ Alaska-Fairbanks site that shows a temperature profile through Arctic sea ice. What it shows (real-time data) should be self-evident.

    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/Brw10/

    The temperature probes show that sea ice is in contact with liquid sea water on the bottom at about -2C and in contact with air at about -20C on the top. In between, sea ice shows a linear gradient from bottom to top.

    So, if sea ice is going to melt due to rising temperatures, will it melt first at the top (ambient temp -20C) or at the bottom (ambient temp -2C)?

    Those of you who didn’t sleep through elementary physics or P-chem will know – ice will melt first/most at the bottom as a result of changes in sea-water temperature. Sea-water temperatures at both poles are primarily governed by ocean currents that transport warmer water to colder environments. That is, most polar ice loss is likely due to the transfer of heat that was added to the ocean SOMEWHERE ELSE and conveyed to the polar seas.

    Air temp is (mostly well below freezing and) mostly irrelevant.

  22. Dear Mr. Tinsdale:

    Although I think your work is quite fine, I must protest the USE OF AVERAGE TEMPERATURES as though they have ANY MEANING at all.

    I will note: I’m on a CRUSADE ON THIS!

    Consider the following situation – Air temp, 82 F. RH 63%, ENTHALPY of the air, 36 BTU/lbm of air.

    Air temp 105 F, 10% RH (Typical AZ, where my Mother lives). ENTHALPY of the air, 30 BTU/lbm.

    Which atmosphere is “hotter”? TEMPERATURES ARE MEANINGLESS without the knowledge of the local humidities. In point of fact, because WE DON’T KNOW THE HUMIDITY PROFILES in areas, the significance of “temperature changes” over ANY time period (decades, centuries, millenia) are MEANINGLESS.

    The ONLY data we can work with involves systems were we HAVE complete RH and Temperatures, which…of course, are particularily few and far between.

    Now with regard to using, “English Units”, sorry..I’m an old fuddy duddy.

    Max

  23. Bob, you write, regarding the Arctic and Antarctic seeming to warm and cool like a teeter-totter: “I believe the myth was based solely on the trends for the TLT anomalies.”

    But Willis has quoted Svensmark in the piece above in re changes over thousands of years. I know that to some extent Svensmark relies on research by Dorthe Dahl-Jensen of the Niels Bohr Institute who compared borehole records from Greenland and Antarctica and wrote the following: “Antarctica has a tendency to warm up when Greenland is ‘cold’ and to cool off when Greenland is ‘warm.’ “

  24. Between the UN IPCC and the real world lies a gigantic pile of very expensive propaganda based on flawed models, cherry picked and massaged data and a political enforced consensus that isn’t.

    Thank you Willis.

  25. Someone over on Bishop Hill’s blog is arguing that your graph shows area, and that sea ice volume is what’s important. I’m assuming that volume shows something different. However, the antarctic ice volume is reportedly going up as well. So, maybe it’s about the same story as the sea ice area. Or maybe that doesn’t count in the sea ice volume?

    I went looking for global sea ice volume but could only find the sea ice index. Could you add a link? What about polar ice volume or extent? That would make more sense due to the fact that most antarctic ice isn’t floating. Would your constant trend hold up using this definition of polar ice extent?

  26. Kazinksi (18:50:18) :
    I woinder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know.

    Yes we do, the graph is dated 23 Sept 2007!

  27. John Egan (19:25:04), thanks for your thoughts.

    The Earth has two poles –

    But if summer ice at one of the poles – the North Pole – diminishes to the point of permanent loss of multiyear ice, then there is likely to be significant climate changes in the Northern Hemisphere and worldwide – regardless of whether or not that same amount of ice is increased in the southern polar region.

    That is a tautology, since a permanent loss of multi-year Arctic ice could only happen if there are significant climate changes.

    But there is no indication that the northern ice is going away. Everything in nature goes up and down. I’m not going to be concerned until I see something that is outside the natural variations. People are looking at a tiny slice of history and say “OMG, it’s going down (or up as the case may be), everyone panic!!”

    In other words –
    A drop of 4 million additional sq km of sea ice in the Arctic in the summer (which I do not think is likely) will have profound impacts even if the Antarctic winter sea ice increases by the same amount.

    As we used to say about these kinds of statements when I was a kid, “Yes, and if my aunt had wheels she’s be a tea-tray.” Of course there would be impacts, just like there would be if the Gulf Stream stopped moving or thunderstorms stopped forming.

    However, until we have some reason to believe that any of those are happening, they just like my aunt’s wheels …

    But I must say that I don’t think that an ice-free summer in the Arctic would make much difference. Polar bears and Inuit people have seen it before, there’s clear evidence of it happening during the Holocene. And how much difference would it make in New York or Calcutta? … not a whole lot, I’d say.

    In fact, except for the ability of our satellites to monitor the ice, we might not even have noticed the changes from say 2004 to 2007 to 2010 … it’s not like the world revolves around the Arctic ice area. It is quite likely that there was little ice during the 1930s, it just didn’t make headlines.

    I have been castigated at liberal websites for being a “denier” many times, but one must acknowledge that the Arctic sea ice drop in 2007 was dramatic.

    Any change can be portrayed as dramatic, just adjust the scale of the graph and trumpet it in the news media. And nature specializes in what is called the “Noah effect”. This means that in a string of natural occurrences, the biggest one may well be bigger than the sum of all of the rest. So yes, it is dramatic, but nature goes in for drama on what might be called a “planetary scale” …

    Arctic sea ice in 2009 was still well below 30-year norms – although it has recovered somewhat. Granted that there is only 30 years of satellite data – with much older anecdotal data. 2007 may have been an outlier event, but it behooves one to act with prudence.

    And what would you say that acting “with prudence” would entail? We know that the Arctic was as warm (or warmer) in the thirties than it is now. The Greenland ice cores show us that the Arctic was warmer a thousand years ago than it is now. There is good evidence that the Arctic has been ice-free during the Holocene (the current interglacial).

    And yet here we still are, polar bears and all. In a world where temperatures can vary that much due entirely to natural fluctuations, what does prudent action look like to you?

    To me, prudent action means economic development. That’s how we protect ourselves against whatever the climate brings next, hot or cold, wet or dry. We build dikes. We heat or cool our houses. We put lightning rods on our buildings. We construct levees in New Orleans, and rebuild them when they fail. We install irrigation systems for our crops.

    And all of that costs money. That’s why I see the fight against carbon as being totally and tragically misguided, not just because it is futile, but mainly because for the foreseeable future at least, carbon = development.

    However, YMMV …

  28. Um, it’s kinda well known why one pole gets cooler while the other warms. It’s precession. The Earth isn’t a globe in a stand sitting on God’s desk. It’s a ball of molten star stuff with a thin cool shell. As the North Pole tips towards the Sun, the South Pole sees less direct sunlight. It happens every year as the seasons change, too, but precession is long term. A full cycle is ~24,000 years. In my lifetime, the tilt has changed almost 1°. Polaris is a little further away from true north. (It never was exactly north in my lifetime, but it was closer.)

    The alarmists say they have precession coded into their computer models, but we aren’t allowed to check their “proprietary software.” It’s still GIGO to me…

  29. JDN (20:53:54)

    Someone over on Bishop Hill’s blog is arguing that your graph shows area, and that sea ice volume is what’s important. I’m assuming that volume shows something different. However, the antarctic ice volume is reportedly going up as well. So, maybe it’s about the same story as the sea ice area. Or maybe that doesn’t count in the sea ice volume?

    I went looking for global sea ice volume but could only find the sea ice index. Could you add a link? What about polar ice volume or extent? That would make more sense due to the fact that most antarctic ice isn’t floating. Would your constant trend hold up using this definition of polar ice extent?

    As far as I know, nobody has anything resembling a long-term dataset of sea ice volume. I’d be happy to look at one, but I’ve never seen one. I don’t even know how you’d get one … go skating on the other side of the ice and measure the thickness as you went? There’s only a few measurements that I know of, from nuclear submarines. Most scientists don’t have those, though …

    Regarding area vs. extent, area is the total amount of the sea surface covered by ice. Extent is what you get when you draw a line around the outermost ice. Since there are often regions of open sea within the ice extent outline, I use area.

  30. Phil. (20:55:24)

    Kazinksi (18:50:18) :

    I woinder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know.

    Yes we do, the graph is dated 23 Sept 2007!

    Well played, that’s exactly why I try not to speculate on motives.

  31. Bill (19:41:30) :
    The earth is in an eccentric orbit around the sun, plus the sun shifts its position relative to the solar system center of gravity as it is pulled by the gas giants.
    The latter does not affect distance between the Sun and the Earth. Look at it this way: The center of gravity between the Sun and the Earth also orbits the solar system center of gravity. And the location of the center of gravity [as a fraction of the whole distance] between the Sun and the Earth depends only on the ratio of the masses of the Sun and the Earth.

  32. Harold Ambler (20:27:22) :
    But Willis has quoted Svensmark
    Perhaps Svensmark works oppositely at the two poles :-)
    You know, when you don’t know how it works, anything is possible…

  33. willis, is it really u saying:

    “That’s why I see the fight against carbon as being totally and tragically misguided, not just because it is futile, but mainly because for the foreseeable future at least, carbon = development”

    what “development” are u talking about:

    this?
    28 March: UK Times: Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings : Wealthy landowners make millions in the wind rush
    Among the biggest potential beneficiaries is the Duke of Roxburghe, whose planned 48-turbine scheme on his Scottish estate would generate an estimated £30m a year, shared with developers. About £17m of this would come from subsidies from consumers.
    Others seeking to capitalise on the new wind rush include the Duke of Beaufort, Sir Reginald Sheffield, father of Samantha Cameron (wife of Tory leader, David Cameron), and Michael Ancram, the Tory grandee.
    The growing interest in wind farms stems from the government’s subsidy system

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7078856.ece

    or this?
    29 March: Australian: Sid Maher: World cool on Rudd’s clean coal funding
    AUSTRALIAN taxpayers are the only financial backers for Kevin Rudd’s $100 million-a-year global clean coal initiative, as world leaders have failed to match their resounding endorsement of the idea at the G8 meeting last July with a single dollar. …

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/world-cool-on-rudds-clean-coal-funding/story-e6frg6nf-1225846623758

    u may not mind funding all this, but i can think of plenty of taxpayers who will fight relentlessly to stop the commodifying of CO2.

  34. We are all doomed! Or not. Let me know what the weather will be like 2 weeks from now. Oh wait – weather isn’t climate. Cripes.

  35. pdcant (21:13:42) :
    In my lifetime, the tilt has changed almost 1°.
    You must be very old. The tilt changes about an 1/8 of a degree in a thousand years….

  36. ” Kazinksi (18:50:18) :

    I woinder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know.

    Yes we do, the graph is dated 23 Sept 2007! ”

    And what date was the report made? If later than the graph you know why they chose the graph they did.

  37. Now here’s a trend I am looking forward to seeing the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) try to continue:

    December 7, 2002 – Arctic Sea Ice Shrinking, Greenland ice sheet melting, according to study

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20021207_seaice.html

    8 December 2003 – Arctic Sea Ice Low, Second Year in a Row

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20031208_minimum.html

    4 October 2004 – Arctic Sea Ice Decline Continues

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20041004_decline.html

    18 March 2005 – Arctic Ice Decline in Summer and Winter

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20050318_arcdec.html

    28 September 2005 – Sea Ice Decline Intensifies

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20050928_trendscontinue.html

    5 April 2006 – Winter Sea Ice Fails to Recover, Down to Record Low

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20060404_winterrecovery.html

    3 October 2006 – Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks as Temperatures Rise

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/2006_seaiceminimum/20061003_pressrelease.html

    4 April 2007 – Arctic Sea Ice Narrowly Misses Wintertime Record Low

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20070403_winterrecovery.html

    1 October 2007 – Arctic Sea Ice Shatters All Previous Record Lows

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/2007_seaiceminimum/20071001_pressrelease.html

    April 7, 2008 – Arctic sea ice extent at maximum below average, thin

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2008/040708.html

    2 October 2008 – Arctic Sea Ice Down to Second-Lowest Extent; Likely Record-Low Volume

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20081002_seaice_pressrelease.html

    March 30, 2009 – Annual maximum ice extent confirmed – This year’s maximum was the fifth lowest in the satellite record.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2009/033009.html

    6 October 2009 – Arctic sea ice extent remains low; 2009 sees third-lowest mark

    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20091005_minimumpr.html

    I await NSIDC’s forthcoming 2010 maximum press release with bated breath, wondering how they will to try to spin this:

    into some form of catastrophic decline…

  38. Leif Svalgaard (21:24:11) :

    The [Sun's shifting its position relative to the solar system center of gravity] does not affect [the] distance between the Sun and the Earth.

    The question is not if it affects the distance between the Sun and the Earth. Nobody made such an assertion (at least in this thread).

    The question is: how it affects the characteristics of solar activity and, therefore, the climate on Earth?

    There is no need to quote again some percentages allegedly showing how Earth’s temperature practically doesn’t depend on intensity of the Solar radiation. Earth is not a black body, and numbers calculated without taking into account hundreds of interdependent feedback mechanisms (most of which we still don’t understand or understand very poorly) are utterly meaningless.

  39. Willis Eschenbach (21:08:04) : “…To me, prudent action means economic development. That’s how we protect ourselves against whatever the climate brings next, hot or cold, wet or dry. We build dikes. We heat or cool our houses. We put lightning rods on our buildings. We construct levees in New Orleans, and rebuild them when they fail. We install irrigation systems for our crops….”

    And we stop building cities below sea level.

  40. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools.

    I see no significant correlation for this assertion in the instrumental record.

    During glacial changes, both hemispheres warm/cool, even though one hemisphere is receiving more/less insolation.

    And the total global sea ice has barely changed at all over the period of the record. It goes up a little, it goes down a little, it goes nowhere …

    Arctic sea ice has declined more than Antarctic sea ice has risen. The long-term trend of sea ice in both hemispheres combined is downward.

    A linear plot should confirm this.

    But they both have different dynamics, so I don’t know how they can be so simply compared in the first place. Pointing out Antarctic sea ice increase doesn’t say much about projections of Arctic sea ice or the observed decline in that region.

  41. Hello Dr. Svalgaard. Have been reading this month’s Discover, and was intrigued by the article on ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays. Somehow these rays are supposed to be counter to Einstien’s theory of relativity. Yet they don’t really explain why. Would you be able to enlighten me on this?

    Thanx.

  42. Leif Svalgaard (21:26:28) :
    Harold Ambler (20:27:22) :
    But Willis has quoted Svensmark
    Perhaps Svensmark works oppositely at the two poles :-)
    You know, when you don’t know how it works, anything is possible…

    Thank you, Leif! Well-said!

  43. From Willis Eschenbach (21:08:04) :

    … it’s not like the world revolves around the Arctic ice area.

    No, it rotates around the Earth’s axis, whose North Pole end is about the center of that area. Those two terms do get confused a lot…

    *smirk* Sorry about that, Mr. Eschenbach.

  44. It happened before :

    http://www.archive.org/details/climatethrouchth033039mbp

    CLIMATE
    THROUGH THE AGES
    A STUDY OF THE CLIMATIC FACTORS
    AND THEIR VARIATIONS
    By
    C. E. P. BROOKS
    I.S.O., D.Sc., F.R.Met.Soc.
    ERNEST BENN LIMITED
    LONDON

    Since 1850 winter temperatures have tended to rise
    over all the north temperate and Arctic regions and probably
    in corresponding latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.*
    The change was slow and irregular at first, but became very
    rapid after 1900. The rise in the mean temperature of the
    three winter months, from 1851-1900 to 1901-1930, amounted
    to 5 F. or more in Western and Central Europe. This
    change was associated with a marked strengthening of the
    atmospheric circulation and steady west-south-west winds in
    Western Europe. There was little change of summer temperature.
    Glaciers and ice-sheets receded very rapidly, and
    after 1918 little or no drift ice reached the shores of Iceland.
    The rise of winter temperature progressed from south to
    north, and Central Europe may have passed the crest as early
    as 1920 when the rise in the Arctic was in full swing. The
    magnitude of the change in the Arctic is shown by the mean
    winter temperatures of Spitsbergen, which rose by 16 F.
    between 1911-1920 and 1931-1935. The edge of the main area
    of Arctic ice also receded towards the pole by some hundreds
    of miles. Since January 1940 the winter climate of Europe
    has reverted abruptly to greater severity, but it is too soon
    to say whether this is the beginning of another long period of
    continental climate or only a temporary fluctuation.

    and

    http://www.archive.org/details/climategreatbri00willgoog

    Climate of Great Britain: Or, Remarks on the Change it Has Undergone, Particularly Within The Last Fifty Years (1806)
    By John Williams

    “In the early periods of our history the isle of Ely was expressly denominated as the Isle of Vine by the Normans.” (The Isle of Ely is an historic region around the city of Ely now in Cambridgeshire, England but previously an island and a county in its own right).

  45. Any chance we could see this same graph with 2008 and 2009 data?

    Where does the pre satelite data come from? I know the Cryosphere site shows a chart with pre satelite data that looks suspicious, given that the sea ice area stays extremely consistent for long period of time. Probably from tree rings, huh? Kind of a reverse hockey stick!

  46. jorgekafkazar (22:17:19) :

    And we stop building cities below sea level.

    Prudent action would be to take the IPCC-projected sea level rise into account, just in case the worst-case warming occurs.

    I hear the Himalayans will soon be ice free. Lovely views from up there.

  47. Willis Eschenbach (21:15:02) :

    As far as I know, nobody has anything resembling a long-term dataset of sea ice volume. I’d be happy to look at one, but I’ve never seen one. I don’t even know how you’d get one … go skating on the other side of the ice and measure the thickness as you went? There’s only a few measurements that I know of, from nuclear submarines. Most scientists don’t have those, though …

    The measurements of Earth’s climate keep getting better and better, but every new satellite or ocean buoy system starts a new dataset, so “long-term” is going to take awhile.

    In the meantime, here is ICESat measurements of winter multi-year ice cover in the Arctic Ocean between 2004 and 2008, along with the corresponding downward trend in overall winter sea ice volume, and switch in dominant ice type from multi-year ice to first-year ice:

    Why is ice thickness important ?

    http://blogs.cars.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e20120a7b77994970b-800wi

    Thinner ice is more vulnerable to summer warming. As the thinnest ice melts, larger expanses of darker sea water are exposed. These absorb more sunlight than the ice and cause the water to heat up more quickly, thereby melting more ice.

    Barber said the ice was now being melted both by rays from the sun as well as from below by the warmer water.

    Scientists are also seeing more cyclones, which pick up force as they absorb heat from the warmer water. The cyclones help generate waves that break up ice sheets and also dump large amounts of snow, which has an insulating effect and prevents the ice sheets from thickening.

    After a long search, Barber’s ice breaker finally found a 16-km (10-mile) wide floe of multiyear ice that was around 6 to 8 meters (20-26 feet) thick. But as the crew watched, the floe was hit by a series of waves, and disintegrated in five minutes.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE59S3LT20091029?sp=true

    Unstable, “rotten” ice that looks to the satellites like stable, multiyear ice has been found by in situ visits to these “multiyear ice” regions:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL041434.shtml


    In September 2009 we observed a much different sea icescape in the Southern Beaufort Sea than anticipated, based on remotely sensed products. Radarsat derived ice charts predicted 7 to 9 tenths multi-year (MY) or thick first-year (FY) sea ice throughout most of the Southern Beaufort Sea in the deep water of the Canada Basin. In situ observations found heavily decayed, very small remnant MY and FY floes interspersed with new ice between floes, in melt ponds, thaw holes and growing over negative freeboard older ice. This icescape contained approximately 25% open water, predominantly distributed in between floes or in thaw holes connected to the ocean below. Although this rotten ice regime was quite different that the expected MY regime in terms of ice volume and strength, their near-surface physical properties were found to be sufficiently alike that their radiometric and scattering characteristics were almost identical.

    I wouldn’t depend on the “seesaw” lasting much longer:

  48. Bob Tisdale (18:37:43)
    I have averaged the two data sets you provided for the north and south regions.
    There is a rising trend in the average data of about 0.4 degrees per 100 years, which is very roughly comparable with the trend in the NCDC land and ocean monthly series from 1880.

    As these are anomolies, I am not sure about the absolute temperatures, but I would expect that these would remain well below zero celsius and would not explain the almost 50% ice lost up north since 1960 as shown in chart 1.

    From my recollection of other data, there has not been a significant net ice loss in recent years (vague statement) and that the very low northern figure was due to changing wind patters in 2007.

    [Ice cover is not "my thing" so I don't intend to follow this further].

    I just end by repeating my earlier point, that reporting alarming changes in one part of a system while ignoring countervaling changes in another is not very helpful. That is why Willis was critising the original chart.
    I was not having a go at you.

  49. K-Bob (23:06:21) :

    Any chance we could see this same graph with 2008 and 2009 data?

    Where does the pre satelite data come from? I know the Cryosphere site shows a chart with pre satelite data that looks suspicious, given that the sea ice area stays extremely consistent for long period of time. Probably from tree rings, huh? Kind of a reverse hockey stick!

    Pics Gary Powers took? The USA and the USSR had a lot of planes in the air with good cameras on board for years before satellites went up with publicly known cameras.

  50. Just The Facts (22:02:26) :


    I await NSIDC’s forthcoming 2010 maximum press release with bated breath, wondering how they will to try to spin this:

    into some form of catastrophic decline…

    Might as well breath normally until October – that’s when they determine if a new record summer melt has occurred:

    And you might as well get used to waiting – the Arctic probably won’t be ice free in the summer for another decade:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8047862.stm

    At the same time, Peter Wadhams, head of the polar ocean physics group at the University of Cambridge has brought forward his estimate for the demise of summer sea-ice in the Arctic. He believes the ice, which has been a permanent feature for at least 100,000 years, is now so thin that almost all of it will disappear in about a decade.

    He says it will become seasonal, forming only during the winter. He told the BBC: “By 2013, we will see a much smaller area in summertime than now; and certainly by about 2020, I can imagine that only one area will remain in summer.”

    Although this bleak forecast is reinforced by the survey team’s data, Professor Wadham’s new assessment is based on analysis of nearly 40 years of sonar data gathered on Royal Navy submarines patrolling beneath the ice – the first, HMS Dreadnought, was in 1971.

    Now Professor Wadhams, who has studied the Arctic for the past 40 years, says that there is “almost a breakdown” in the ice-cover.

    Over most of the Arctic, there has been a massive decline in the amount of so-called multi-year ice – ice that is tough enough to withstand the summer warmth. Much of what is left of this ice accumulates in an area north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Canada, and may form what he calls “a last holdout, a kind of Alamo”.

    Professor Wadhams said: “The change is happening so fast. It’s the result of this steady thinning over four decades that has brought it to a state where its summer melt is causing it to disappear.

    “It’s like the Arctic is covered with an egg shell and the egg shell has been thinning to the point where it is now just cracking completely.”

  51. It seems to me that this is another example of what is wrong with the climate debate. Probably the assumption that says the weather is chaotic but the climate is not is fundamentally flawed. Cloud formation, volcanic activity, ocean current oscillation, changes in water salinity and a number of other factors- we don’t even know about- influencing the climate are clearly not linear.
    Maybe because of my ignorance, but I have always had a hard time understanding how come that the average of a finite number of chaotic processes somehow becomes not chaotic. Could somebody explain this to me?

  52. There is another very simple measurement of sea ice: ocean rise on a selected, stable platform. While the trend over the last 12,000 years, with notable exceptions has been a rise, it is now measurably less than the previous century, leading one to believe the interior Antarctic/Alaska/Canada/ Greenland ice accumulation, should be examined closely. A 20% drop in the rate of water expansion may forebode a cooling period. Such periods are very uncomfortable, although likely temporary. BTW, the nest Ice age is but 3,000 years away. We should enjoy the remaining warmth.

  53. K-Bob (23:06:21) :
    Where does the pre satelite data come from? I know the Cryosphere site shows a chart with pre satelite data that looks suspicious, given that the sea ice area stays extremely consistent for long period of time.

    ———–
    I also wonder. One source where that data must NOT come from is reports like this from the 1920s:

    “The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot [...] Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone …” etc.
    –Monthly Weather Review, November 1922 (quoted in the Washington Post on November 2, 1922)

    http://tinyurl.com/57jz95

    http://tinyurl.com/ylndh9j

  54. pat (21:35:32)

    willis, is it really u saying:

    “That’s why I see the fight against carbon as being totally and tragically misguided, not just because it is futile, but mainly because for the foreseeable future at least, carbon = development”

    what “development” are u talking about:

    this?
    28 March: UK Times: Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings : Wealthy landowners make millions …

    I think you misunderstand me. I am against the vain attempt to restrict CO2. I think that the change in CO2 from 0.03% to 0.04% or even 0.05% of the atmosphere will make no detectable difference in the global temperature.

  55. Arctic ice cap is showing toughness and fortitude on the charts. Desperate times for Phil Jones & Co. Deep in the bowels of CRU, a plot is hatched: get the government to re-assign 007 (James Bond) to hijack the Russian space lens and point it at the Arctic ice cap to hurry up the melting!

  56. barry:

    I see no significant correlation for this assertion in the instrumental record.

    It’s clearly there in the annual record. Of course that’s a no brainer (tilt in the Earth’s axis). I don’t think there is any evidence for it in multiyear fluctuations though.

    They seem to synchronize at times, but that appears coincidental to me.

  57. Steve Goddard (21:54:36)

    I made a graph of UAH North Pole minus South Pole temperatures. They are steadily diverging at a rate of .49C/decade.

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/oimg?key=0AnKz9p_7fMvBdHRkenhGVjlFanM2WHcxZXFhTGtZMlE&oid=2&v=1269838244765

    If they were symmetrical, we would expect to see a slope of zero.

    Well, lets see. When one goes up the other goes down … so if you subtract one from the other, why on earth would you expect the slope to be zero unless you have gone through at least one complete cycle?

    And since the last warm period in the Arctic was in the 1930s, that suggests that the cycle is on the order of 80 years … I’m sure you see the problem with your claim.

  58. jorgekafkazar (22:17:19)

    Willis Eschenbach (21:08:04) : “…To me, prudent action means economic development. That’s how we protect ourselves against whatever the climate brings next, hot or cold, wet or dry. We build dikes. We heat or cool our houses. We put lightning rods on our buildings. We construct levees in New Orleans, and rebuild them when they fail. We install irrigation systems for our crops….”

    And we stop building cities below sea level.

    Don’t tell the Dutch …

  59. Leif Svalgaard (21:53:49) :

    Actually, it would put him in his 70s. The pole moves 50.3 seconds of arc a year and a degree every 71.6 years. “Very old” is a relative thing.

  60. barry (22:34:05)

    But they both have different dynamics, so I don’t know how they can be so simply compared in the first place. Pointing out Antarctic sea ice increase doesn’t say much about projections of Arctic sea ice or the observed decline in that region.

    Anti-persistence is a problematic problem for the proprietors of AGW models.eg Carvalho et al 2007.

    Anti-persistence in the global temperature anomaly field

    Abstract. In this study, low-frequency variations in temperature
    anomaly are investigated by mapping temperature
    anomaly records onto random walks. We show evidence that
    global overturns in trends of temperature anomalies occur on
    decadal time-scales as part of the natural variability of the climate
    system. Paleoclimatic summer records in Europe and
    New-Zealand provide further support for these findings as
    they indicate that anti-persistence of temperature anomalies
    on decadal time-scale have occurred in the last 226 yrs. Atmospheric
    processes in the subtropics and mid-latitudes of
    the SH and interactions with the Southern Oceans seem to
    play an important role to moderate global variations of temperature
    on decadal time-scales.

    A significant constraint on the conjecture of a monotonic warming global signature.

    Conclusions
    The anti-persistence of the temperature field on inter-decadal
    time scales is part of the decadal variability of the climate
    system and this property has not been identified before. Processes
    at time scales longer than that of ENSO are also
    responsible for maintaining stationarity in the temperature
    anomaly field. In addition, our results indicate the importance
    of the Southern Oceans in regulating temperature fluctuation
    regimes on long time-scales. The origin of interdecadal
    fluctuations in the climate system is currently one
    of the most challenging problems in climate dynamics

  61. O.T.

    Question,

    Is it fair to measure average Atmospheric CO2 levels at the site of a Volcano thats been active since 1984?

  62. Willis, I see that the graph in the post comes from the Bjerknes Centre in Norway. They are 100% IPCC loyalists.

    Mr. Drangedal from this centre has volountered as lead author for the next round. He is the one that was in the newspapers in Norway a couple of weeks ago, asking all cities in Norway to make crisis plans against flooding.

    So dont expect a better IPCC.

    The Bjerknes Centre is FEEDING on AGW-alarmism.

    Thats what gives them bread on the table.

  63. Willis – you said:

    QUOTE
    And all of that costs money. That’s why I see the fight against carbon as being totally and tragically misguided, not just because it is futile, but mainly because for the foreseeable future at least, carbon = development.
    UNQUOTE

    I agree completely.
    I am horrified by the lack of understanding of economics by so many people (scientists, politicans and lay public).

    So many do not realise that their weekly income depends on the economy, regardless of if they run their ouwn business, work for a company or have a position with the government, teacher, doctor, nurse etc.

    Our economy is based on carbon.

  64. Pat,

    When willis is saying Carbon = Development, I am pretty certain he is saying that burning fossil fuels is, for the present, our best way to develop. In that I assume economic and technological development.

  65. Anu (23:19:11), as always, good to hear from you, you usually bring science to the discussion.

    Willis Eschenbach (21:15:02) :

    As far as I know, nobody has anything resembling a long-term dataset of sea ice volume. I’d be happy to look at one, but I’ve never seen one. I don’t even know how you’d get one … go skating on the other side of the ice and measure the thickness as you went? There’s only a few measurements that I know of, from nuclear submarines. Most scientists don’t have those, though …

    The measurements of Earth’s climate keep getting better and better, but every new satellite or ocean buoy system starts a new dataset, so “long-term” is going to take awhile.

    In the meantime, here is ICESat measurements of winter multi-year ice cover in the Arctic Ocean between 2004 and 2008, along with the corresponding downward trend in overall winter sea ice volume, and switch in dominant ice type from multi-year ice to first-year ice:

    Interesting stuff, but only on a press release level. For starters, the IceSat satellite is supposed to be the source of their data. But the IceSat satellite doesn’t cover any further north than the other satellites, about 82.5°N. And their lovely graphs show all the way to the pole … how do they do that? They don’t say …

    Next, none of that is surprising. In a time of decreasing ice area, and during the first year of the recovery from the low ice area, would you expect more or less multi-year ice?

    Why is ice thickness important ?

    http://blogs.cars.com/.a/6a00d83451b3c669e20120a7b77994970b-800wi

    Very good, concise and to the point. Not to mention hilarious.

    Thinner ice is more vulnerable to summer warming. As the thinnest ice melts, larger expanses of darker sea water are exposed. These absorb more sunlight than the ice and cause the water to heat up more quickly, thereby melting more ice.

    Barber said the ice was now being melted both by rays from the sun as well as from below by the warmer water.

    Scientists are also seeing more cyclones, which pick up force as they absorb heat from the warmer water. The cyclones help generate waves that break up ice sheets and also dump large amounts of snow, which has an insulating effect and prevents the ice sheets from thickening.

    Unless they’re talking about something different than what are usually called “polar cyclones”, I don’t understand that comment. Polar cyclones are semi-permanent features of the Arctic, which are stronger in winter and weaker in summer. How could there be “more cyclones”? I think the news article you took this from didn’t understand what they were talking about.

    After a long search, Barber’s ice breaker finally found a 16-km (10-mile) wide floe of multiyear ice that was around 6 to 8 meters (20-26 feet) thick. But as the crew watched, the floe was hit by a series of waves, and disintegrated in five minutes.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE59S3LT20091029?sp=true

    Yet despite all of that, the ice area has increased every year since the 2007 low. Go figure …

    Unstable, “rotten” ice that looks to the satellites like stable, multiyear ice has been found by in situ visits to these “multiyear ice” regions:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL041434.shtml

    In September 2009 we observed a much different sea icescape in the Southern Beaufort Sea than anticipated, based on remotely sensed products. Radarsat derived ice charts predicted 7 to 9 tenths multi-year (MY) or thick first-year (FY) sea ice throughout most of the Southern Beaufort Sea in the deep water of the Canada Basin. In situ observations found heavily decayed, very small remnant MY and FY floes interspersed with new ice between floes, in melt ponds, thaw holes and growing over negative freeboard older ice. This icescape contained approximately 25% open water, predominantly distributed in between floes or in thaw holes connected to the ocean below. Although this rotten ice regime was quite different that the expected MY regime in terms of ice volume and strength, their near-surface physical properties were found to be sufficiently alike that their radiometric and scattering characteristics were almost identical.

    So are you saying we can’t trust the satellite results? If so, why are you showing them? Not clear what the point is here.

    I wouldn’t depend on the “seesaw” lasting much longer:

    http://yankeesabroad.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/broken-seesaw1.jpg

    Yeah, it’s only lasted for hundreds of thousands of years …

    Anu, was there a decrease in the ice area and thickness in the Arctic? Yes. Has the sea ice area increased since 2007? Yes. Was there less multi-year ice 2004-2008? Yes, and it would be surprising if that were not the case.

    Has the thickness recovered by 2010? We don’t know, because unfortunately, the IceSat laser instrument (the only instrument on the satellite) died in 2009 …

    Now, remember that this was all big news in 2007. At that time, all the ice savants were predicting that because there was less multi-year ice in the Arctic, that in 2008 the ice melt would be much larger and the ice area would be smaller … didn’t work that way, though.

    The same prediction was made for 2009, and for 2010, for the same reasons – the thinner ice would melt easier and faster, so we’d see less ice than the previous year.

    But none of that happened … instead, the Arctic ice area has increased. At present it is within one standard deviation of the 1979-2000 average, and is continuing to rise well past the date of the usual peak. Seems like the savants must have slipped a decimal point somewhere.

    Me, I suspect this is because of the shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). In 1976-77, just before the start of the satellite record, the PDO shifted (as it does every thirty years or so) from the cool phase to the warm phase. The effects of this were felt all over the Arctic. The effects on Alaska can be seen here in Update 5. The effects on the Arctic as a whole can be seen in Update 10 on the same page.

    As can be seen in that graph of Alaskan temperatures, however, the PDO recently shifted back to the cool phase. This will once again affect all of the Arctic.

    However, all of that is just the Arctic. My point remains. Global sea ice is unchanged.

  66. This’ll make you puke!

    Pa. global warming researcher calls self ‘skeptic’

    “I’m a skeptic. When I see a scientific claim being made, I want to see it subject to scrutiny and validation.”

    Mann said there is firm grounding for some climate science assertions,…

    [snip - lets leave Nazi's out of the discussion - Anthony]

    http://www.ldnews.com/news/ci_14774756

  67. With regard to sea ice volume,my recollection is that when it became obvious that the sea ice in the Arctic was back to ‘normal’, and it was observable, the alarmists had to come uo with something that was not so observable, the thickness of the ice. My suspicion with the NSID graph posted above is that the assummed decline in the sea ice extent is easy to hide, but the peak is not as there are fixed points where the waves are not lapping on th shores?
    I thought there were six poles,true north,magnetic north and grid north?
    At Max. If you don’t want to upset the barbarian celtic hordes in the uk, better to say you prefer imperial units instead of English units. Of course you may then upset the former Colonies, your call ;-/

  68. comment to mr jorgekafkazar

    Certainly some dutchmen are putting a lot of confidence in the future climate by imagining more land taken from the sea below the sea-level . A whole industries existence is built upon the fact that the sea-level does not substantially rise or fall . Of course there exists as well a strong robust AGW-movement led by farmer Veerman , also a marxist-type of scientist typical for a lot of goverment paid university-staff , living a life far away from reality and not open for any criticism regarding their view-points . Luckily there are still a lot of sound thinking dutchmen with an enterprising attitude

  69. Alexander Feht (22:14:50) :
    Nobody made such an assertion (at least in this thread).
    By bringing in the center of mass idea and using the word ‘nadir’ there you have the assertion [granted that it is clumsy and imprecise].

    The question is: how it affects the characteristics of solar activity and, therefore, the climate on Earth?
    1st, since the Sun is in free fall it does not not feel any forces and there is then no effect on solar activity. 2nd, the effect of solar activity on climate is so small that it has not yet been convincingly demonstrated.

    DeNihilist (22:35:44) :
    Somehow these rays are supposed to be counter to Einstien’s theory of relativity.
    Discover Magazine sometimes makes claims that are less than accurate. I’m not aware of any phenomenon that runs counter to the theories of relativity.

  70. It is difficult to see why ocean currents should be to blame for this phenomena, given that ocean currents effectively start at the equator and then split into two separate streams according to north and south (unless of course you believe the thermohaline model for ocean circulation is fundamentally flawed and that ocean currents are primarily driven by tidal forces, as was the predominant theory up until Team AGW decided it was expedient to claim that the Gulf Stream was about to stop).

    A solar source for the apparent synchronicity between the poles is much more likely, so a theory that predicts such a relationship as a result of a solar source is inherently more plausible

  71. Al Gored (18:59:28) : You refer to ‘watermelons’.

    I think this refers to vegetables which are green on the outside and red on the inside.

    Bad metaphor. The vegetable is useful.

  72. Climatologists claim to have found Biblical plagues
    Researchers studying global warming claim they have found proof of the biblical plagues which were first reported in the Bible and in the flick “The Ten Commandments”.

    Climatologists discovered a dramatic shift in the climate in the area occurred towards the end of Rameses the Second’s reign.

    After looking at stalagmites in Egyptian caves they have been able to rebuild a record of the weather patterns using traces of radioactive elements contained within the rock.

    http://www.techeye.net/science/climatologists-claim-to-have-found-biblical-plagues

    Comment:Isn’t it great to be back in the good old days, when any historian seeking a bit of evidence to fit their tin-pot theory of history would search out a useful bit of climate change and then adjust the events to fit the evidence, rather than pretty much vica versa as now!

  73. The significance of snow and ice is their albedo effect and the related positive feedback mechanism. When it’s cold there is more snow and ice and more energy is reflected and its gets colder which leads to …. and of course vice versa. One metric which is relevant but not often reported is total sea-ice and snow. This shows a very minor declining trend (3% over 30 years).

    http://www.climatedata.info/Impacts/Impacts/snow.html

  74. kadaka (23:08:35) :

    And if some group computer-model projected that the Sun would fry the Earth through increased luminosity in 30 years, would you take thier ‘prudent action’ advice and propel the Earth out further in orbit?
    There’s an app for that. It’s called Lucasfilm, and it’s intended to be for your entertainment, not the subject of your nightmares.

  75. davidmhoffer (18:48:32) : You asked, “Odd… GISS shows both to be warming since 2000 while your graph shows south to be cooling.”

    The two SST datasets, OI.v2 SST (used by GISS) and ERSST.v3b, both show the Southern Ocean to be cooling since Nov 1981, but the OI.v2 data shows a rise and decline since 2000 while the ERSST.v3b data does not:

    That leaves the LST data. The NCDC, for that dataset, uses a different method of infilling LST than GISS (which uses the 1200km smoothing). Refer to:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf

    You asked, “They measure 64 – 90 instead of 60 to 90, but does that account for the difference?”

    Nope. The datasets with less coverage have greater year-to-year variations, but the datasets mimic one another. Here’s a graph of the GISTEMP Antarctic LST+SST anomalies, 90S-60S versus 90S-64S:

    Here’s one for the Arctic (60N-90N versus 64N-90N):

    And if you’re interested, here’s a comparison of the GISTEMP Arctic versus Antarctic LST+SST anomalies:

    It also contradicts the statements that one pole warms while the other cools.

  76. Basil (19:52:28) : You asked, “How did you handle all the missing data in the Southern hemisphere dataset?”

    I left them as blank cells in EXCEL. And the spans with no data were so long that I couldn’t use 13-month smoothing without having gaps, hence the 37-month filter.

  77. “The problem with the picture is that the earth has two poles. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools.”

    Now add the established fact that the poles are the focus of large Birkeland Currents (which when current density increases cause the auroras to appear), and as part of an electric circuit, energy in balances energy out.

    Most of us think of electricity as the stuff that flows through copper wires, and yes, its the electrons moving, but when we get to the plasma state, both charged particles move, positive ones in the opposite direction to the negative ones.

    So in one sense, electrically, we get energy coming into the earth system, but as electric currents also move out the of the earth-system, then energy is bening taken out of the earth system.

    And with these arcane comments I show that our understanding of the earth system is somewhat incomplete if we ignore the plasma factor.

    The Team ignore it and hence limited by their post modernist application of Victorian gas-light era physics, search for the nearest target to blame for their scientific ignorance – humans.

  78. At this rate I would surmise that NH ice may be on route to COMPLETE NORMALITY or even slightly ABOVE anomaly for the rest of year.

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

    If so it would be the physical end of AGW this year as this is a VERY IMPORTANT pillar for the Warmistas. How will they argue this one off?
    Oh I know…. Antarctica will start to melt…LOL

  79. Willis Eschenbach (18:50:42) : Sorry, Willis. I read as far as the part that I quoted and stopped.

    Your paragraph before Figure 2 reads, “It turns out that the NSIDC and the HadISST1 records are nearly identical,” but Figure 2 is a comparison of OI.v2 and HADISST Sea Ice data.

    You replied, “Despite that, the ‘polar see-saw’ is a well recognized phenomenon, as shown by my quotes.”

    Your references are discussing polar variability over millennia, while your graphs in Figures 1 and 2 represent data on century and decadal bases. Two different beasts. The data available over the period of the instrument temperature record contradicts the “polar see-saw”:
    NCDC LST+SST:

    UAH MSU TLT:

    GISTEMP:

  80. Willis Eshenbach, you write : “The problem with the picture is that the earth has two poles. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools.”

    I suppose the following might partly explain this:
    Assuming Solar theory is correct, we have diffences in cloud variation as response to Solar variations.

    Why different effect from clouds on temperastures for SH and NH?
    – and thus opposite trends between Nh and SH?

    Clouds has 3 big impacts on temperature:
    1) Cooling: Low albedo
    2) Warming: Effective insulation effect.

    and..

    3) Cooling: SNOW. Snow reaches the land surface and thus lowers albedo WITHOUT a big insulation effect.

    its the SNOW that creates the different trends of warming cooling on the 2 hemispheres.

    SH: The whole Antarctica is practically always snow-white. So not really any snow-effect here. This leaves only the TINY areas of New Zealand, Tasmania, Argentina etc. for the SNOW effect to affect temperatures on SH.

    So on SH, the 2) WARMING insultating effect – is much bigger compared to the cooling effects 1) Cloud albedo and 3 ) Snow albedo.
    So on SH, high kosmic rays intensity is not likely to induce that much cooling. (Perhaps the warming effect is bigger??)

    On the countrary, on NH, We have a huge land area to make the cooling effect of 3) SNOW take effect. Therefore, the NH is much more likely to cool down during high kosmic ray intensity.

    When you compare NH and SH trends you will see exactly the NH is much more chaning in trend than the more smoothly evolving SH temperature graphs.

    AND: Even under effectful El Nino, as we have now, the effect in the Arctic is in fact low. The CLASH between low Solar activity that creates – 3) SNOW-COOLING in the north, and then the El Nino that warms the globe in general results in a warmer globe, but still growing ice in the Arctic.

    nice :-)

  81. I might add the recently the solar wind stopped for a few days.

    This happens when we are part of an alternating current electrical circuit.

    Do the research folks, it’s all there just waiting for some of you to connect the dots together.

  82. Harold Ambler (20:27:22) : There are different timespans being discussed in this post. The graphs and the portion I quoted appear in a discussion of century and decadal data, which is what I was addressing, while, as you note, the references are discussing data on millennial bases.

  83. Louis Hissink (04:36:26) :
    I might add the recently the solar wind stopped for a few days.
    This happens when we are part of an alternating current electrical circuit.

    The solar wind never stops.
    And we are not part of an alternating electrical circuit. The Earth extracts a few percent of the energy in the solar wind, which in turn is about a millionth of the heat and light we get from the Sun. Any currents are generated locally as a result of the interactions. All of this does not provide enough energy to influence the climate in any significant way.

  84. pdcant (21:13:42) : ” A full cycle is ~24,000 years. In my lifetime, the tilt has changed almost 1°.”

    Duster (00:29:39) : “Actually, it would put him in his 70s. The pole moves 50.3 seconds of arc a year and a degree every 71.6 years. ”

    I think you are confusing obliquity with precession. It is my understanding that the variation in the tilt of the Earth’s axis (obliquity) is between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees away from the orbital plane. The full cycle takes approx 40,000 years. That means a shift from 22.1 to 24.5 in 20,000 years, about 1 degree of shift every 8333 years or as Dr S said, 1/8 degree in about 1,000 years. So pdcant would indeed be “very old”. The obliquity is currently 23.5 degrees. Now, let’s go back 8333 years to the year 6323 BCE and we find that the obliquity was at max, 24.5 degrees, and the precession had the northern hemisphere summer solstice just past perihelion. Any wonder why Earth had just come out of glaciation?

  85. BBC – 29 March 2010

    “Gulf Stream ‘is not slowing down'”
    “The Gulf Stream does not appear to be slowing down, say US scientists who have used satellites to monitor tell-tale changes in the height of the sea.

    Confirming work by other scientists using different methodologies, they found dramatic short-term variability but no longer-term trend.
    …..
    The satellite record going back to 1993 did suggest a small increase in flow, although the researchers cannot be sure it is significant.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8589512.stm

    Why won’t nature cooperate with AGW?

  86. “Climategate” blow fragments corporate response to global warming

    The survey, which was sponsored by the Carbon Trust, IBM, Hitachi and software company 1E, found that just over half of respondents believe the “jury is still out” on the urgent need to tackle climate change, while 32 per cent of companies polled said they do not yet have a coherent strategy in place to address energy use, an increase of seven percentage points on last year.

    Moreover, just 12 per cent of businesses said they were introducing new green products to keep up with rivals, and seven out of 10 respondents said that carbon reduction policies are primarily driven by public relations issues.

    http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2260372/climategate-blow-fragments

    Oops is that another wheel I see falling off the global warming bandwagon!

  87. Louis Hissink (03:45:59) :

    I’ve read a paper that was previously linked in comments expounding the idea you’re hinting at. It’s interesting and in some ways it seems intuitive, however I’m a little uncomfortable with the way that some of its proponents hold up everything as proof of the idea. I think concept is worth further study – if for no other reason than to demonstrate whether it would work.

    I also think that it’s better to wait until the AGW paradigm has been demolished before bringing up the topic too often. It’s very easy for the AGW proponents to cherry-pick such things as “crackpot theories” that they can use to rubbish the entire concept of sceptical enquiry. After all they’re very good at cherry-picking.

  88. Richard Holle (23:35:11) :
    K-Bob (23:06:21) :
    “Where does the pre satelite data come from?”

    Pics Gary Powers took? The USA and the USSR had a lot of planes in the air with good cameras on board for years before satellites went up with publicly known cameras.

    The photo shoots were strictly for military surveillance, and they were pretty much limited to land installations — easier to interpret using known sizes and distances.

    The sea ice data was gathered by the US military during the entire course of the Cold War — no pun intended — and some of it still is. The Air Force and Army both deployed teams of weather-guessers onto the ice for months in order to gather both met data and ice coverage and average thickness. The Navy sent subs on ice-mapping missions using sonar.

    The weather observations went to SAC for the bomber crews, the ice data was consolidated by The Organization That Doesn’t Exist™ and passed to the CINCs controlling the boomers. They were looking for both the conditions needed to form polynyas — open water (or water covered with thin ice) surrounded by sea ice and their frequency. The boomers needed to find a polynya and surface in order to launch their SLBMs.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I still retain plausible deniability for what may or may not have been any participation or non-participation on the part of an individual who may or may not have borne a superficial resemblance to me.

  89. Anu (23:19:11) :

    About that “rotten ice” spin. As anyone who lives in an area where there is a lot of ice can tell you, melting ice is *always* rotten, and always has been. That’s why you should be very careful going out on the ice in springtime, it can be quite unreliable even if it’s two feet thick.
    However in contrast to wood or meat, ice doesn’t *stay* rotten if the weather gets colder. It refreezes and becomes as good as new.

  90. Why not be honest and admit that the Arctic september average falls exactly within the predicted (decreasing) range? Why focus on the global and antarctic extent, despite the fact that scientists didn’t predict its decline?

  91. Quoting Kazinksi (18:50:18) :
    “I wonder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know. ”
    Commenting:
    Some may not know.
    This is from the arctic sea ice widget on the right margin.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Note than 2007 (dark green line) is the low extreme of the minima since 2002.
    Note also that minimum of 2009 is about one million square kilometers (i.e. ~25%) MORE than 2007.
    Use this graph when you respond to statements like “If there’s no warming then how come the arctic is melting…?”

  92. I think it is time to ask for the “computer model code” from these people, especially as a string relates to the process of freeze, melt, and transport. I have a hunch several of the folks here would find many calculation errors in how ice freezes and melts in the Arctic after controlling for wind and current. The temps needed to freeze salt water are more than low enough even if increased CO2 directly overhead might re-radiate the measly amount of infrared that gets to the ice. Ice melting in place, again controlling for wind, current, and increased re-radiation of infrared also takes a very, very long time. The only variables that change this to the drastic levels depicted by IPCC are currents and wind. Free the ice codes. Free the ice codes.

  93. Anu (23:42:26) :

    “Might as well breath normally until October – that’s when they determine if a new record summer melt has occurred”

    There is just so long the Warmists can keep kicking the ball down the road and claiming that catastrophe lies just over the next hill. Will you please return here in October to celebrate a middling Arctic minimum with us?

    “And you might as well get used to waiting – the Arctic probably won’t be ice free in the summer for another decade”

    I am not sure if you know, but I am actually an accomplished amateur sea ice modeler. Leveraging a highly robust linear model of sea ice change and this data set:

    I have been able to predict that Global Sea Ice Area will remain average forever, and leveraging this data set:

    I have been able to predict that within 92.3 years Arctic Sea Extent will grow to cover the entire world… Sadly my forecasting model and predicitions are as robust as the one you cited…

  94. My crystal ball and Jedi powers beat that and say all ice will melt in 5 years. We will burn and drown at the same time. Just check my hologram for evidence of my superpowers.

  95. You quoted Svensmark stating that Antarctic temperatures moved opposite to Arctic temperatures, but you didn’t state the WHY. I recall reading that Svensmark’s explanaton was the Albedo of Antarctica as opposed to the albedo of clouds. When the earth cools as a result of more clouds, the albedo of the Arctic INCREASES- the clouds reflect more than the Arctic ice. In contrast, the albedo of ANTARCTIC clouds is LESS than the Albedo of the relatively pristine Antarctic snow and ice.

  96. By the way, the Arctic ice behavior has acted all year long as a somewhat disconnected group of micro-climate zones, each with its own unique set of parameters. So I will say again, as I have said many times before, you cannot lump the zones together and say something about ice area, extent, or volume, as if your statement or theory equally applies then to all areas.

  97. Fresh on the heels of my concern for the corruption of democratic processes, James Lovelock says “It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while” in “the fight against climate change”.

    “…I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

    One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while….”

    He also declares that “Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change” in the Guardian article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock-climate-change

    Thank you so much for your opinion of everyone who isn’t you being “too stupid” (i.e. not agreeing with your every utterance), Prof., but I prefer to live my life with as much freedom as I can, and what you are proposing is a world-wide green dictatorship, or to put it more accurately, a prison run by so-called “environmentalists”. No thanks, and by the way, your Gaia theory is total rubbish, and as any six year-old would tell you.

  98. Anu,

    “He believes the ice, which has been a permanent feature for at least 100,000. . .”

    So which ancient people had satellites 100,000 years ago? The Neandethals perhaps, or could it have been the Clovis people?

  99. Re. Mike G (20:03:56) :

    “Anthony,

    We see a few comments wondering about GISS anomoly in the arctic compared to the lack of anomoly on the DMI actric temperature graphic linked on your page. But, I haven’t run across an answer to any of them. Seems like a comment on this would be a good post. Forgive me if I missed the answer in a comment somewhere.”

    I second this. DMI uses K as opposed to C, but just quickly eyeballing I so not see more then two to four degrees at most of K warming, if that. Why is DMI so different then GISS?

  100. The Arctic Ocean is the least saline of all the oceans – usually about 12-15% less than the norm of around 3.5% (35,000ppm) salt content for the other oceans. The reasons for this are: i) the huge inflow of fresh water from gigantic rivers in Canada and Russia, and ii) the almost total surrounding of the Arctic Ocean by continental masses.

    Fresh water freezes at higher temperatures than sea water, so the less saline the Arctic Ocean is – especially the top few tens of metres – the more likely it is to freeze. Fresh water is less dense than sea water and therefore has a tendency to lie on top.

    On a local basis, Arctic Ocean salinity must be related to the amount of fresh water entering it from Canada and Russia. This, in turn, is dependent on: i) the amount of continental precipitation, and ii) the amount of water extracted by man for irrigation and industrial purposes.

    A couple of useful references are given below.

    The salinity of the Arctic Ocean – summer and winter:

    http://www.amap.no/mapsgraphics/go/graphic/winter-and-summer-surface-water-salinity-in-the-arctic-ocean-and-adjacent-seas

    http://www.amap.no/mapsgraphics/go/graphic/distribution-of-potential-temperature-salinity-and-density-across-the-arctic-ocean-and-the-greenland

    If the difference in Arctic Ocean salinity was just a few per cent, it would probably not have a significant effect, but it can vary enormously and sometimes be up to 20% less in some of the upper surface areas, when compared with the rest of the planet’s oceans.

    I cannot see how anyone can make any judgement on the reasons for changes in the extent etc of the Arctic ice cap, without first measuring and considering the effects of changing salinity levels, both at a local and a regional level.

  101. SandyInDerby (03:40:29) : Thanks for the link to the BBC item on business-as-normal in the Gulf Stream.

    We’re always ready to criticize alarmist news items. I think that the BBC and the scientists they are reporting on, deserve credit for such (what’s the opposite to ‘alarmist’?!) reports.

  102. Dear Mr. Eschenbach –

    It seems to be the nature of the internet – whether at liberal or conservative websites – that ad hominem attack is the preferred method of discourse.

    Your article looks at the combined total of polar sea ice without regard to differences at each pole. I point that out and you compare me to Aunt Hildegard’s tea cart.

    You may say all you wish about tea carts, but your logical framing remains fundamentally flawed. One may combine the sea ice totals of both poles, but the climate implications are separate if there is dramatic, long-term change at one pole alone.

    You see, I agree that there is no compelling evidence of Mark’s Serreze’s “death spiral” – but I also expect a rigorous structural analysis in any rebuttal.

    Which your article lacks.

  103. Wow, a generally great post until this part:

    “The real answer to what is happening to global sea ice is …Nothing.”

  104. Now is there a way to adjust the 2006-2007 Arctic Ice Extent a bit lower to make the current recovery seem more impressive? ;)

  105. Mike Haseler (01:43:57) :

    This’ll make you puke! … http://www.ldnews.com/news/ci_14774756

    Barf. Gee, thanks.

    Climate science “skeptic” Mann says “there is firm grounding for some climate science assertions, such as that humans are responsible for a rapid increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, that global warming is shrinking polar ice sheets and Ice Age glaciers, and that the last half of the 20th century was warmer than any 50-year period in the last 1,000 years.”
    He makes three assertions; the first is debatable, and alarmist in nature. Yes, we’ve certainly added some to the rise in atmospheric C02 levels. The second says polar ice sheets and “Ice Age glaciers” are shrinking. Yes, they did shrink, coming out of the LIA. We warmed up, how awful. The glaciers started receding at the end of the LIA, surprise, surprise. The snows of kilimanjaro have almost disappeared – oh, right, that’s because of deforestation, not C02. Oops. Well, the Himalayas, at least are disappearing rapidly, and will be gone by 2035, right? Oh, wait, the actual evidence shows that they are stable, and in many cases advancing. As far as the polar ice sheets melting, nope not much evidence of that either.
    Finally, what does he bring out but his infamous hockey schtick! Talk about Mannufacturing your own “evidence”!
    Yeah, Mann, you’re a skeptic. And Bigfoot exists, as well as the Loch Ness monster, and don’t get me started on UFO’s.

  106. Lennart,

    From NASA:

    the solar wind that blows constantly from the Sun [b]virtually[/b] disappeared — the most drastic and longest-lasting decrease ever observed.

    Dropping to a [b]fraction of its normal density[/b] and to half its normal speed, the solar wind died down enough to allow physicists to observe particles flowing directly from the Sun’s corona to Earth.

    “virtually disappeared” and a “fraction of its normal density” does not mean that it stopped…just lower than previously measured. The bare denial of your implications was in the very bit of evidence you used to make your assertion. Better luck next time when it comes to critical thinking.

  107. If skating is the problem then, the next winter, the Catlin Expedition should skate along all the length of the Thames river.
    Why are you so worried about what natures does or does not, seriously you should be worried about the catastrophic changes in most of the first world economies, it seems like you are walking looking at the sky while going straight to a precipice.
    BTW God is merciful, if you wish an armageddon you will have several at the same time: Would you like it California´s big one, then, a few days after the New La Madrid caldera eruption, just to begin with the amusement?

  108. “Sean Peake (06:35:23) :
    Willis, sorry about this but it seems U of Colorado disagrees with you:

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/f595fae00e6b451d4016ab9a43a049f8.html

    Wikipedia on entire Greenland ice sheet “2.85 million km³ of ice”
    Colorado “A 2009 study published in GRL by Velicogna, who is a former CU-Boulder research scientist, showed that between April 2002 and February 2009, the Greenland ice sheet shed roughly 385 cubic miles of ice. The mass loss is equivalent to about 0.5 millimeters of global sea-level rise per year.” This is 1605 Km3 over 7 years or near enough 230 Km3/year. Divide that into 2.85 million Km3 and you get 12,391 years for Greenland’s ice to disappear at the current rate. By then we will probably be well into the next ice age.

  109. Bob Tisdale (03:44:49) :

    With that, I replicated your results, and then did a couple further transforms. First, I took the seasonal difference, and then I smoothed it with a high degree of smoothing, to see the very low frequency, long term, behavior. This is the result:

    In viewing this, bear in mind, that since these are “differenced,” that when the lines are positive, that is warming, and when they are negative (below the zero line) that is cooling. I’m not sure this is strong support for Willis’ position, but there are certainly times where it has been the case that when one region was cooling, the other was warming:

    ~1904
    ~1920
    through much of the 1950’s and 1960’s
    since the mid 1990’s

    However, since the 1960’s, the trend in the trend has been opposite in the two hemisphere’s — moving from less cooling to more warming in the North, and from less warming to more cooling in the South. That broadly supports what Willis is saying, I think.

  110. Peter Miller: There is no statistically significant amount of water being diverted from the Arctic Ocean basin for agricultural or industrial purposes in Canada. The three main rivers, the Mackenzie, the Back and the Coppermine, have no dams, no diversions and barely any inhabitants—the Mackenzie River proper is sparsely populated (perhaps 25,000 people along its 1,700 KM length), the 860 KM Coppermine has only one permanent settlement of 1200 people (at it’s mouth) and the 970 KM Back is uninhabited. I’ve paddled on all three.

  111. Lennart S Sweden (07:36:09) :
    Leif, what happened 11-12 may 1999?
    Apart from being my birthday, not much.
    Your link says that the solar wind “Dropped to a fraction of its normal density and to half its normal speed”, not that is stopped [usual hype]. The Earth encountered a small ‘bubble’ in the wind with very low density. Around the bubble things were quite normal. Interestingly, the magnetic field in the bubble was normal [even a bit higher than usual. You can see the evolution here: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=1999,5,5
    Compare with recent:

    http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2010,03,09

    The density graph [green] should have an extra decade at the low end, so it doesn’t look like it has gone away.

  112. John Egan (07:06:37) :

    Dear Mr. Eschenbach –
    but I also expect a rigorous structural analysis in any rebuttal.

    I did not see any rigorous structural analysis in your comments.
    Just a few What Ifs.

  113. A.C. Osborn –

    The fact remains, that the article in question contains a huge and serious assumption –
    That the overall total of sea ice is a parameter that negates variation at either pole.
    Not to mention that the author ends with the statement “Nothing.”

    Such an argument is patently false.

    Unfortunately, there are as many “true believers” on one side of the climate argument as the other. People like Lucia Liljegren are rare, indeed.

    PS – If I recall, I wasn’t the person posting an article on a website.

  114. Vincent (06:36:41) :

    Anu,

    “He believes the ice, which has been a permanent feature for at least 100,000. . .”

    So which ancient people had satellites 100,000 years ago? The Neandethals perhaps, or could it have been the Clovis people?

    I think you will find that it was Piltdown man that first discovered the correlation and that CC/AGW adherents are his direct descendants.

  115. Just for reference, here is that silly IPCC projection chart updated to 2010 with data from CT.

    R. Gates (07:07:51) : Wow, a generally great post until this part:
    “The real answer to what is happening to global sea ice is …Nothing.”

    Seems like a good assessment to me.

  116. Kate (06:34:54) :
    Fresh on the heels of my concern for the corruption of democratic processes, James Lovelock says “It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while” in “the fight against climate change”.
    One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while….”

    Exactly right — that’s why the US has always postponed its Presidential elections during wartime, right, *Mister* Lovelock?

    Democracies don’t put democracy on hold during emergencies — dictatorships do.

    I’m covering your six whenever you want to close for the kill, Kate. Go get ‘im!

  117. John Peter: I absolutely agree. I posted that link in the hope that Willis would take it apart, much like you did. Besides, I always thought that when glaciers and icecaps melted they retreated instead of galloping into the sea. I commented on the Accuweather GW blog where I found the stoory that the researchers behind the study were likely experiencing a Rocky Mountain High when they came to their conclusion. It is also interesting to see how someone (who could that be?) has tied-in GW into Post Glacial Rebound on Wikki—altho’ one person has added that a citation is needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound)

  118. Ok, this is related to an earlier post on late season ice extent. It now appears that the 30% (in addition to the 15% reported earlier on this blog) ice extent is increasing according to DMI. This is the first time I can recall the seasonal max 30% ice coverage occurring this late in the season, particularly after already having started declining for the year.

  119. @John Egan

    ‘ but one must acknowledge that the Arctic sea ice drop in 2007 was dramatic. Arctic sea ice in 2009 was still well below 30-year norms – although it has recovered somewhat. Granted that there is only 30 years of satellite data – with much older anecdotal data. 2007 may have been an outlier event, but it behooves one to act with prudence.’

    It was only dramatic because it was put into a fictional context with disastrous proportions. Put in a more rational and real context, it’s not that dramatic not even in the short period of 32 years of satellite measurements.

    So it behooves one to act with reason and rationality, lest you scare yourself silly of every imagined “hideous” anomaly in a statistician’s graph. :p

  120. Pamela Gray (06:03:06) :
    I think it is time to ask for the “computer model code” from these people, especially as a string relates to the process of freeze, melt, and transport. I have a hunch several of the folks here would find many calculation errors in how ice freezes and melts in the Arctic after controlling for wind and current.

    So why haven’t these ‘folks’ done it already?

  121. The problem with the picture is that the earth has two poles. And for reasons which are not well understood, when one pole warms, the other pole cools
    The one above is SEA, the one below is a CONTINENT, and when the one above is in summertime (and Catlin expedition starts, and she polar bears are in estro season so attracting male polar bears) the one below is in wintertime.

  122. AusieDan (19:09:14) : You asked, “What is their correlation?”

    Correlation = 0.037, using the smoothed data, because there were gaps in the raw data.

    You asked, “Have you tried to invert one and lay it on top of the other?”

    It doesn’t help:

    You wrote, “Now even if I am completely wrong in the above, Willis’s main point still holds true.”

    My comment was only about the “when one pole warms, the other pole cools” comment over shorter terms than millennia.

  123. Marx Hugoson (20:11:12) :

    As one old fuddy duddy said to another old fuddy duddy: DEAD ON!

    There are numerous Earth environmental (including as you pointed out, atmospheric) conditions to which the human collective has little current data, if any at all, much less any accurate historical records thereof, that ARE directly relevant to any analysis of global weather in general or specifically to “temperature” globally, regionally, locally, Etc.

    While all this makes for great politics, a great website (WUWT, Congrats onn 40 megs!) and great discussion – as in the case here about the relevance of (less than accurate?) historical air temperatures and their relation to total polar ice extent – the global average “temperature” is totally irrelevant. It’s meaningless to any given human on or off the planet because it’s NOT climate we have to deal with on a moment by moment basis, it’s weather and other land/water conditions. Even if some event occurs that effects weather globally (or even regionally), averaging it wont mean a damn thing to you or me!

    (Bob & Willis, what DO they have to do with each other? Without knowing and taking into account the; total BTU (kinetic energy) content, density/pressure, flow (wind speed) and, as Max pointed out, moisture content of the atmosphere, over the/any selected period of time – how can we possibly ascribe any specific effect by that given volume of atmosphere on the solid form of H2O it was over?)

  124. Basil: You replied, “However, since the 1960’s, the trend in the trend has been opposite in the two hemisphere’s — moving from less cooling to more warming in the North, and from less warming to more cooling in the South. That broadly supports what Willis is saying, I think.”

    The actual trends since 1960 are both positive:

  125. Maksimovich,

    The origin of interdecadal fluctuations in the climate system is currently one of the most challenging problems in climate dynamics

    Fascinating paper. Thank you. I went looking for more like it in google scholar, but there doesn’t seem to be much material on the subject. Looks like this is a fairly new and uncertain hypothesis. If you know of any more on it, I’d be intrigued.

    Regarding Arctic/Antarctic see-saw, as expressed in the top post, I found this in the paper cited.

    Interestingly, areas with high RSL magnitude (positive and
    negative) switch sign from 1948–1975 to 1976–2005 in a coherent and consistent way with maxima in Fig. 10a becoming minima in Fig. 10b and vice-versa. We observe a general tendency in the first period (Fig. 10a) for positive RSL values in the northern hemisphere and Antarctica (region 1) and
    a general tendency for negative RSL values in oceans of the southern hemisphere (region 2).

    According to this study, the NH and Antarctic temps (region 1) together flip in opposite direction to Southern Ocean temps (region 2) on decadal time scales, which somewhat corroborates my observation on a lack of see-saw between Arctic and Antarctic, wouldn’t you say?

  126. Dave F (23:56:04) :
    @ Anu (23:19:11) :
    Rotten ice. It could equally recover faster than open water, yes?

    Sure, entering the Arctic winter, rotten ice is probably much better for forming more ice than open water.
    But entering the Arctic summer, rotten “multiyear ice” will be much more vulnerable to melting and disintegration by waves than healthy, thick multiyear ice.

    Is this a new thing in recent decades ?
    Barber spoke shortly after returning from an expedition that sought — and largely failed to find — a huge multiyear ice pack that should have been in the Beaufort Sea off the Canadian coastal town of Tuktoyaktuk.

    Instead, his ice breaker found hundreds of miles of what he called “rotten ice” — 50-cm (20-inch) thin layers of fresh ice covering small chunks of older ice.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 30 years of working in the high Arctic … it was very dramatic,” he said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE59S3LT20091029?sp=true

    The expectation is that multiyear ice is best suited to survive the summer melt season – if it is “rotten”, it is much more prone to melting.
    How much of that “thick” ice is really rotten and vulnerable ?
    Although this rotten ice regime was quite different that the expected MY (multiyear) regime in terms of ice volume and strength, their near-surface physical properties were found to be sufficiently alike that their radiometric and scattering characteristics were almost identical.

  127. It depends on where in Antarctica you study.

    In the west, the ice loss is significant and accelerating, while in the east, it is remaining stable (Chen 2009) or easier, land ice is decreasing, and despite the Southern Ocean warming, sea ice is increasing. *
    *”Recent observations indicate that climate change over the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere is dominated by a strengthening of the circumpolar westerly flow that extends from the surface to the stratosphere. ” (Gillett 2003)

    In the North, Greenland is accelerating at 30 Gigatonnes/yr2. In Antarctica the “mass loss increased from 104 Gt/yr in 2002–2006 to 246 Gt/yr in 2006–2009, i.e., an acceleration of −26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 in 2002–2009″ (Velicogna 2009)

    “A striking conclusion from these comparisons is that Arctic sea ice is declining faster than projected by the majority of the models (current ice conditions are more than 1 below multi-model mean extent). From 1953-2006, the observed September trend is -7.8 + 0.6 %/decade, compared to the
    multi-model mean trend of -2.5 + 0.2%/decade. For 1979-2006, the numbers are -9.1 +1.5 % (observed) and -4.3 + 0.3% (modeled). Even larger differences are found for the last 10 years.” (Stroeve 2007)

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n12/full/ngeo694.html

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/302/5643/273

    http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU2007/01362/EGU2007-J-01362.pdf

  128. I don’t see how this discussion negates concerns about Arctic ice.. Whatever is going on at the south pole is mainly irrelevant to the discussion of Arctic ice.

  129. Bill Tuttle (08:44:48) :

    Kate (06:34:54) :
    Fresh on the heels of my concern for the corruption of democratic processes, James Lovelock says “It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while” in “the fight against climate change”.
    One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while….”

    Exactly right — that’s why the US has always postponed its Presidential elections during wartime, right, *Mister* Lovelock?

    Democracies don’t put democracy on hold during emergencies — dictatorships do.

    I’m covering your six whenever you want to close for the kill, Kate. Go get ‘im!

    There’s a difference between a democracy and a democratic process. A democracy becomes more malevolent the larger the number of people affected by the decisions of a democracy. We are seeing this malevolence – the forcing of a democratic decision on a minority. Ironically, the mechanisms ans instruments involved [in a democratic process] do allow the appearance of a democratic decision to impose a minority will on the majority.

    In this case, the emphasis on a ‘consensus’ – a ‘democratic’ majority? – exploiting the peoples belief that a democratic process is all that is needed. How many state that we ‘live in a democracy’? Are we sure this is actually a good thing?

    The issue at hand, that a democracy can have the ability to put ‘on hold’ its own process, demonstrates that a democracy is a fragile thing and can be bent to the will of, as noted, a dictatorship.

    Really, what this lunatic Lovelock is really doing is exposing the pseudo-democracy for what it is – a minority (trying) to convince the majority which way to swing (think). “Democracy isn’t working for us, so throw it out”.

    Luckily for us, the US is not a democracy; the democratic principles are adhered to and realized in a Constitutional Republic. Any principle that must be put on hold under any condition is by definition, flawed, and must be revised.

    (Sounds a bit OT, here, but Constitutional law is a pet project/hobby).

  130. Since the world often experiences floods, droughts, blizzards, heat waves, hurricanes, and you name it then following the warmists’ logic the world must be too hot. We can’t just assume the optimal temperature for the Earth is what we’ve been experiencing the last century. There’s tons of shoreline that we need to recover. We not only need to abate global warming we need to aggressively pursue global cooling.

  131. “Terrifying computer projections showing that we may not have any Arctic sea ice before the end of this century.”

    Can someone explain to me why this is, ipso facto, terrifying? Honestly.

    Is it terrifying for a reason, or is it just because it’s different (and therefore terrifying to nervous nellies)? I guess I’m re-asking the question I’ve heard asked many times before – what is the perfect climate? What is the “right” temperature of the earth? What is the “right” amount of ice in the arctic? Why do these people think they have the answers to those questions?

  132. John Egan (08:32:20) : “That the overall total of sea ice is a parameter that negates variation at either pole.
    Such an argument is patently false..”

    That is again a very scientific response, Perhaps you would like to share with us your “Scientific Evidence” to show that it is patently false rather than just stating it.

  133. So the alarmists who tout what is happening in the Arctic are cherry-picking. And there are only two cherries.

  134. Is there anything out there that show the error bands of the sea ice area, extant and volume?

    There are 7-8 digits of data values, but if I remember correctly, ice area alone has a error of 5-10%. Using that, there is a error of about 1 mill. sq. km., so these figures would need to be used with caution.

  135. Bill Tuttle (05:26:34)

    The weather observations went to SAC for the bomber crews, the ice data was consolidated by The Organization That Doesn’t Exist™ and passed to the CINCs controlling the boomers. They were looking for both the conditions needed to form polynyas — open water (or water covered with thin ice) surrounded by sea ice and their frequency. The boomers needed to find a polynya and surface in order to launch their SLBMs.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I still retain plausible deniability for what may or may not have been any participation or non-participation on the part of an individual who may or may not have borne a superficial resemblance to me.

    That’s curious, because I didn’t think that I couldn’t be very sure that I hadn’t seen anyone that didn’t look like you who wasn’t in the area of the polynyas …

  136. Alan D McIntire (06:19:27)

    You quoted Svensmark stating that Antarctic temperatures moved opposite to Arctic temperatures, but you didn’t state the WHY. I recall reading that Svensmark’s explanaton was the Albedo of Antarctica as opposed to the albedo of clouds. When the earth cools as a result of more clouds, the albedo of the Arctic INCREASES- the clouds reflect more than the Arctic ice. In contrast, the albedo of ANTARCTIC clouds is LESS than the Albedo of the relatively pristine Antarctic snow and ice.

    That’s basically it, the details are in the paper I cited.

  137. @Max — Thank you for slapping me with the Enthalpy reminder.

    Yet another check box in the list of things I didn’t adequately amalgamate in my education.

  138. Kate (06:34:54)

    “…I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

    Which makes me thankful for Newton’s Second Law …

    w.

  139. “Can someone explain to me why this is, ipso facto, terrifying? Honestly..” – kcom (10:34:01)

    The alarmists have a ton of appropriately alarmist consequences if the Arctic were to melt. Including but not limited to Massive flooding of coastal regions, and altering for the worse (it’s always for the worse) of the ocean currents.

  140. Peter Miller (06:44:38)

    If the difference in Arctic Ocean salinity was just a few per cent, it would probably not have a significant effect, but it can vary enormously and sometimes be up to 20% less in some of the upper surface areas, when compared with the rest of the planet’s oceans.

    I cannot see how anyone can make any judgement on the reasons for changes in the extent etc of the Arctic ice cap, without first measuring and considering the effects of changing salinity levels, both at a local and a regional level.

    Interesting, Peter, I had not considered that aspect of the question. Nature amazes, always more to learn.

  141. Lennart S Sweden (10:34:48) :
    The event was really remarkable, three days with almost zero solar wind.
    Well the ‘almost zero solar wind’ is much too strongly worded, and it is not all that unusual, here are other recent examples:

    http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2009,11,21

    http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2009,10,25

    These are localized small bubbles and don’t really mean much. The solar wind comes from localized areas on the surface. If there is a restructuring of the coronal field at a given location, there flow from there can be temporarily choked off and a “bubble” of rarefied plasma results. Like you can have a moment of no wind [a lull] at a location on the surface of the Earth, without that meaning that atmospheric circulation has stopped.

  142. John Egan (07:06:37)

    Dear Mr. Eschenbach –

    It seems to be the nature of the internet – whether at liberal or conservative websites – that ad hominem attack is the preferred method of discourse.

    Your article looks at the combined total of polar sea ice without regard to differences at each pole. I point that out and you compare me to Aunt Hildegard’s tea cart.

    Dear Mr. Egan:

    Take a deep breath. There is nothing in what I wrote that either directly or indirectly compares you to my aunt, or her tea tray. It is not an ad hominem argument of any type. It is just a saying indicating the misuse of the word “if”. The meaning of the saying is that once you introduce the word “if” into a proposition, anything is possible … as in the statement “if my aunt had wheels, she’d be a tea-tray”.

    Here’s another more ancient example dealing with the same issue, a Sufi story. The Mullah Nasruddin fell of the roof of a high building. But with his usual luck, he landed on a man walking by below. The Mullah was only slightly injured, but the man was killed.

    When the Mullah’s students came to the hospital to see him, they asked “Mullah, what can we learn from this incident?” He replied, “Shun reliance on theoretical questions, like ‘If I fall off a roof will I be killed?'”

    OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: That was a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. No sea ice was harmed in the preparation of the story.

    You may say all you wish about tea carts, but your logical framing remains fundamentally flawed. One may combine the sea ice totals of both poles, but the climate implications are separate if there is dramatic, long-term change at one pole alone.

    You see, I agree that there is no compelling evidence of Mark’s Serreze’s “death spiral” – but I also expect a rigorous structural analysis in any rebuttal.

    Which your article lacks.

    Certainly the climate implications are separate if the ice at one pole shrinks and it grows at the other pole. However, considering that the “climate see-saw” referred to in the Science article I cited above has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years, and considering that the Arctic ice is recovering, what significant implications are you expecting?

    Finally, you say you expect a “rigid structural analysis”. Fine. Perhaps you should give an example, so we can examine the rigidification of your structural analysis and understand what the heck you mean by the term. What “structure” are you talking about, and how do you propose that one might analyse it rigidistically?

  143. Leif Svalgaard (08:18:47)

    Lennart S Sweden (07:36:09) :
    Leif, what happened 11-12 may 1999?
    Apart from being my birthday, not much.
    Your link says that the solar wind “Dropped to a fraction of its normal density and to half its normal speed”, not that is stopped [usual hype]. …

    Leif, while I respect your work and it is very interesting, could I ask you and your co-discussants to either limit it to the parts that actually affect sea ice, or to move it to a thread about solar wind and the like? Thread drift never sleeps, and I prefer to discuss one issue per thread.

    Many thanks,

    w.

  144. John Egan (08:32:20)

    A.C. Osborn –

    The fact remains, that the article in question contains a huge and serious assumption –
    That the overall total of sea ice is a parameter that negates variation at either pole.
    Not to mention that the author ends with the statement “Nothing.”

    Dang, my writing must be less clear than I thought. My “serious assumption” was not that the total negates variation at either pole as you claim.

    It is that the decline at one pole is not sufficient to understand the entire system, and that when looked at as an entire system, we are not seeing any change in sea ice. It is going up at one pole and down at the other … shocking.

    People keep saying things on the order of “OMG, we’re losing our sea ice, we are racing towards thermal armageddon, the last days are upon us, everyone panic”. But the fact is that the sea ice is not shrinking. Nor is it growing. It is stable, that is to say that there is nothing out of the ordinary happening …

    I see that the word “nothing” disturbs you, but remember, I’m talking about the entirety of the sea ice. If you see something unusual happening to the global sea ice, let me know. Until then, I’ll continue to say that there is nothing happening to the global sea area, it continues unchanged.

  145. Justa Joe (11:04:20) said:

    “Can someone explain to me why this is, ipso facto, terrifying? Honestly..” – kcom (10:34:01)

    The alarmists have a ton of appropriately alarmist consequences if the Arctic were to melt. Including but not limited to Massive flooding of coastal regions, and altering for the worse (it’s always for the worse) of the ocean currents.

    Truly, these alarmists must be stupid then, since Arctic sea ice is floating on the sea and thus its melting will have minimal impact on sea-levels, it would seem. However, should the ice on Greenland melt, there will be some impact, and, of course, the melting of all the Antarctic ice would have an impact.

    I suspect that neither of these things will happen any time soon (say, next 1000 years, although my certainty gets lower the further out we go — we could get hit by a large meteor …).

  146. Lennart,

    It was not a sneaky comment. If somebody says “x does not stop”, then somebody else replies with something that is meant to be a counter to “x does not stop” by saying that “x almost stopped”, then I have to wonder what sort of point they think they are making? There is an infinite distance between “stopped” and “almost stopped”, so imo your statement is infinitely silly.

  147. gryposaurus,

    ““A striking conclusion from these comparisons is that Arctic sea ice is declining faster than projected by the majority of the models (current ice conditions are more than 1 below multi-model mean extent). ”

    Well of course it is. The models were designed to forecast ice loss due to anthropogenic global warming, whereas in fact, the current ice loss has been the result of unusual and unpredicted winds.

  148. Steve Goddard (10:21:56)

    I don’t see how this discussion negates concerns about Arctic ice.. Whatever is going on at the south pole is mainly irrelevant to the discussion of Arctic ice.

    I, on the other hand, don’t see any reason to be concerned about Arctic sea ice. In 2007, summer ice extent decreased by almost a half from the long term average … where are the corpses and the terrible results from that? Polar bears are thriving, Inuit are still doing their Inuit thing. Yes, it was a change … but climate changes. Where is the loss, the cause for concern?

    This idea that warming is always bad is a modern fantasy pushed inter alia by people who have plenty of money to heat their houses. The warming of the globe so far has manifested itself mostly in warmer temperatures in the extra-tropics in winter during the night. Ask the poor people in Moscow or Winnipeg if that is a bad thing …

    And meanwhile, in the tropics where the doomsayers are always saying the poor will be hit the hardest, there is no statistically significant warming in either the UAH or the RSS datasets from 1979 to the present … no warming of the land, no warming of the ocean, I hesitate to say it but …

    Nothing.

  149. conradg (11:36:30) :
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-First-Test-That-Proves-General-Theory-of-Relativity-Wrong-20259.shtml
    “If confirmed”, but it ain’t

    And also this, which is also still unconfirmed, but highly interesting:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html?full=true

    This one has more legs. But does not conflict with relativity.

    Let’s put these things on ice, so not to irk Willis too much.

  150. Willis,

    If Arctic melt/freeze dates started coming further apart, it would likely stress wildlife which depends on the ice.

  151. “If Arctic melt/freeze dates started coming further apart, it would likely stress wildlife which depends on the ice.”

    Does wildlife depend on the ice, or has wildlife merely adapted to deal with the ice? And mayn’t they even thrive without it? Just askin’.

  152. Look at the Arctic from some perspective and you see that except cyclical changes and maybe solar background, there is no “anthropogenic footprint”. The whole agenda is based on exaggerated trend the last 30 years and on falsifying previous climate history.

  153. @gryposaurus

    ‘It depends on where in Antarctica you study.’

    I do not believe that it matter to which geographic area you localize yourself for you’re studying. It’s more a matter of statistical skills, or should it be a lack of perhaps?

    You might have noticed that the actual base line used doesn’t really mean anything when it comes to ice. Just like with temperatures it’s an imagined reference point, but a bit more I say. One can state that the normal range has been between 15 and 25 square kilometers, but closer to 25, since 1980, and that’s with the supposed AGW effect, and the supposed normal GW effect, and of course the supposed recent cooling effect.

    Some say that the ice isn’t back to it’s “normal” pre 80’s size, but nobody has been able to prove if that was the normal size, after all looking at a little less short sighted perspective, and with more proper use of statistics, global ice extent will not reach normal size until the next ice age.

  154. Vincent,
    “Well of course it is. The models were designed to forecast ice loss due to anthropogenic global warming, whereas in fact, the current ice loss has been the result of unusual and unpredicted winds.”

    I’m not sure what you mean here. The only work I have seen done regarding ice and winds is in Antarctica (that particular study that you quoted was done in the Arctic) and this causes increased ice.
    “Based on a new analysis of passive microwave satellite data, we demonstrate that the annual mean extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at a statistically significant rate of 0.97% dec−1 since the late 1970s. The largest increase has been in autumn when there has been a dipole of significant positive and negative trends in the Ross and Amundsen‐Bellingshausen Seas respectively. The autumn increase in the Ross Sea sector is primarily a result of stronger cyclonic atmospheric flow over the Amundsen Sea. Model experiments suggest that the trend towards stronger cyclonic circulation is mainly a result of stratospheric ozone depletion, which has strengthened autumn wind speeds around the continent, deepening the Amundsen Sea Low through flow separation around the high coastal orography. However, statistics derived from a climate model control run suggest that the observed sea ice increase might still be within the range of natural climate variability.”
    (Turner 2009)

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml

    Do you have other information about winds causing ice loss in the Arctic? If so, I’d like to read it.

  155. Vincent (12:10:32) :

    Bears depend on the ice to hunt seals, which is their primary source of food.

  156. Regarding cosequences of ice free Arctic: The negative effects (they are always all neagtive of course) will be elimination of polar bears and other wildlife, lower Albedo resulting in more warming leading to accelarated Greenland Ice melt, and, well being lazy I quote from the NRDC:

    “A warmer Arctic will also affect weather patterns and thus food production around the world. Wheat farming in Kansas, for example, would be profoundly affected by the loss of ice cover in the Arctic. According to a NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies computer model, Kansas would be 4 degrees warmer in the winter without Arctic ice, which normally creates cold air masses that frequently slide southward into the United States. Warmer winters are bad news for wheat farmers, who need freezing temperatures to grow winter wheat. And in summer, warmer days would rob Kansas soil of 10 percent of its moisture, drying out valuable cropland”

    Read more at:

    http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/qthinice.asp

  157. Willis Eschenbach (10:59:55) :

    Funny, you don’t sound all that sorry … in any case, you didn’t notice that they are talking about the Greenland Ice Sheet, and I’m talking about sea ice.

    It was posted because I thought it odd that UofC declared that GW appears to be causing glaciers to slide into the ocean at the north and south poles and contributing to sea ice, a conclusion that appear to match what’s actually happening to global sea ice. Has there been a noticeable increase of bergs and growlers in Iceberg Alley? None that I’ve heard.

  158. What about this?:
    And what if global warming melts the permafrost?

    Yuri Averyanov, a member of the Russian Security Council Administration, declared this week in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta that climate change will pose a serious threat to Russia’s national security and that the melting permafrost could cause Russia “serious trouble” within ten to fifteen years.

    The result of this, according to Averyanov, will be that thousands of kilometres of pipelines, railways and roads will be in danger, along with a great number of towns and villages. He predicts that in Yakutsk, Tiksi and Vorkuta up to a quarter of all homes could be rendered useless due to unstable conditions of the soil arising from the meltdown

    http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/25-03-2010/112732-climate_russia-0

  159. Svalgaard: “If confirmed”, but it ain’t”

    True, but three years of testing and review suggests a likelihood of it being confirmed by others.

    “This one has more legs. But does not conflict with relativity.”

    Actually, it does, in that GR is not compatible with the notion of space being a quantum phenomena. It suggests that GR is merely an approximation of something along the lines of quantum space theory.

    And yeah, we should ice this to keep the mods happy, but I couldn’t resist.

  160. jack mosevich (12:29:05) :

    Worries about warmer winters in Kansas are looking pretty ridiculous.

  161. @1DandyTroll
    “I do not believe that it matter to which geographic area you localize yourself for you’re studying. It’s more a matter of statistical skills, or should it be a lack of perhaps?”
    Without an understanding of what’s happening in each target localized area where outcomes are differing, I’m not sure how to come to any meaningful conclusions with regard to causes.

  162. gryposaurus (12:18:14) :

    Do you have other information about winds causing ice loss in the Arctic? If so, I’d like to read it.

    Check out the area between Greenland and Svalbard (the Fram Strait)
    You’ll see the sea ice fragmenting and being pushed out of the Fram, the cloud lanes indicating the wind (it’s been like this for some time, the trans polar drift out of the Fram has been strong lately.

    Here’s the 6-day drift for the Arctic from a few days ago, you can also see why the Catlin group are having sucha tough time making headway!

    The North water polynya is also open a symptom of a strong northerly wind pushing ice out of the Arctic. (bottom of image)

    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?T100881720

  163. Re: rbateman (03:26:52)

    Then we are in agreement it is utter nonsense.

    “Prudent action” says if you’re considering building where the IPCC says sea level rise could be an issue, don’t build there anyway since it is already vulnerable to possible flooding and large waves!

  164. Steve Goddard (12:19:22) wrote: “Vincent (12:10:32) : Bears depend on the ice to hunt seals, which is their primary source of food.”

    But its not nearly so simple as correlation as the AGW gang wants everyone to believe. Here’s something from long before they hijacked the polar bear as their poster child:

    From: Polar Bears. Proceedings of the 2nd Working Meeting of Polar Bear Specialists… Feb. 1970. IUCN Publications New Series, Supp. Paper No. 29.

    Vibe, C. The Polar Bear Situation in Greenland.

    Excerpt: “Following the decline in the polar bear population in Greenland after 1920… the situation has again stabilized with an increase in the total catch…

    This increase is not due to increased hunting activity…

    [It] must be considered along with the present alteration of the whole climatical and ecological situation in the Arctic…

    The ecological conditions of the Arctic have changed as a result of this alteration of the climate. Some high Arctic regions get colder winters and less open water in summer. The productivity of the sea decreases in the Arctic and increases in regions nearer the Atlantic. The ringed seal moves to the areas of higher productivity, and the polar bear follows the seal…”

    It then explains, with historical and ecological detail, why warmer conditions are actually better for the polar bears in most of Greenland than colder conditions.

  165. “The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

    Nov. 2, 1922, Washington Post: Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.”

  166. jack mosevich (12:29:05) :
    “According to a NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies computer model, Kansas would be 4 degrees warmer in the winter without Arctic ice, which normally creates cold air masses that frequently slide southward into the United States. Warmer winters are bad news for wheat farmers, who need freezing temperatures to grow winter wheat.”

    Malarkey. Winter wheat is only called that because it’s more cold tolerant, but it sure isn’t *freezing* resistant — just ask any farmer.

    Go ahead. I’ll wait…

  167. conradg (12:43:29) :
    True, but three years of testing and review suggests a likelihood of it being confirmed by others.
    Not review by others. Oneself is the easiest one to fool.

    Actually, it does, in that GR is not compatible with the notion of space being a quantum phenomena.
    That particular notion is not new. [about a century old] and does not prove GR wrong. Every theory has a ‘domain’ of applicability and quantum effects have not yet been incorporated into GR, but that does not make GR ‘wrong’ in its domain.

    The conclusion of
    http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2006-3/ reads
    “We find that general relativity has held up under extensive experimental scrutiny. The question then arises, why bother to continue to test it? One reason is that gravity is a fundamental interaction of nature, and as such requires the most solid empirical underpinning we can provide. Another is that all attempts to quantize gravity and to unify it with the other forces suggest that the standard general relativity of Einstein is not likely to be the last word. Furthermore, the predictions of general relativity are fixed; the theory contains no adjustable constants so nothing can be changed. Thus every test of the theory is either a potentially deadly test or a possible probe for new physics. Although it is remarkable that this theory, born 90 years ago out of almost pure thought, has managed to survive every test, the possibility of finding a discrepancy will continue to drive experiments for years to come.”

    Now, these things may seem far from ‘ice’ but cut to the very core of verification and rigor in science, so may be permitted on those grounds, but that should be it for now.

  168. Willis Eschenbach (10:52:51) :
    That’s curious, because I didn’t think that I couldn’t be very sure that I hadn’t seen anyone that didn’t look like you who wasn’t in the area of the polynyas …

    Then you’ll understand why I can neither confirm nor deny that your recollection to what may or may not be to the best of your ability due to other distractions or attractions may be either factual or erroneous, and besides, that picture was PhotoShopped.

  169. Al Gored (13:13:30) :
    Nov. 2, 1922, Washington Post: Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.”

    While at the same time the other end of the Arctic was frozen solid!

    http://www.answers.com/topic/wrangel-island#British_and_American_Expeditions

    “In 1921 Wrangel Island would become the stage for one of history’s tragedies when Stefansson sent five settlers (the Canadian Allan Crawford, three Americans: Fred Maurer, Lorne Knight and Milton Galle, and the Eskimo seamstress and cook Ada Blackjack) in a speculative attempt to claim the island for Canada[14]. The explorers were handpicked by Stefansson based upon their previous experience and academic credentials. Stefansson considered those with advanced knowledge in the fields of geography and science for this expedition. At the time, Stefansson claimed that his purpose was to head off a possible Japanese claim [15]. An attempt to relieve this group in 1922 was thwarted when the schooner Teddy Bear under Captain Joe Bernard became stuck in the ice [16]. In 1923, the sole survivor of the Wrangel Island expedition, Ada Blackjack, was rescued by a ship that left another party of 13 (American Charles Wells and 12 Inuit).”

    “Carl Lomen from Nome had taken over the possessions of Stefansson and had acquired explicit support (“go and hold it”) from US Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes to claim the island for the United States, a goal which the Russian expedition got to hear during their trip. Due to unfavorable ice conditions the Herman, commanded by captain Louis Lane, could however not get any further then Herald, where the American flag was raised.”

    “In 1926, a team of Soviet explorers, equipped with three years of supplies, landed on Wrangel Island. Clear waters that facilitated the 1926 landing were followed by years of continuous heavy ice surrounding the island. Attempts to reach the island by sea failed and it was feared that the team would not survive their fourth winter.[17]

    In 1929, the icebreaker Fyodor Litke was chosen for a rescue operation. It sailed from Sevastopol, commanded by captain Konstantin Dublitsky. On July 4, it reached Vladivostok where all Black Sea sailors were replaced by local crew members. Ten days later Litke sailed north; it passed Bering Strait, and tried to pass De Long Strait and approach the island from south. On August 8 a scout plane reported impassable ice in the strait, and Litke turned north, heading to Herald Island. It failed to escape mounting ice; August 12 the captain shut down the engines to save coal and had to wait two weeks until the ice pressure eased. Making a few hundred meters a day, Litke reached the settlement August 28. On September 5, Litke turned back, taking all the ‘islanders’ to safety. This operation earned Litke the order of the Red Banner of Labour (January 20, 1930), as well as commemorative badges for the crew.”

    REPLY: Phil, too funny. -A

  170. gryposaurus,

    You say “I’m not sure what you mean here. The only work I have seen done regarding ice and winds is in Antarctica ”

    I was referring to a statement that NASA has put out regarding the extreme arctic sea ice loss in 2007, which they have attributed to the effect of unusual winds.

  171. Steve Goddard,

    “Bears depend on the ice to hunt seals, which is their primary source of food.”

    When Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he replied “because that’s where the money is.” If you ask a seal why he goes all the way across the ice to feed, he will likely reply “because that’s where the sea is.”

    You seem to have spectacularly missed the point. Humans are prone to making the fallacy of reasoning that everything is the way it is because that’s the way it has to be. This is related to “the best of all possible alternatives” myth. The fallacy of reasoning works like this. An observation of a status quo is made, for example of polar bears and seals and an inference drawn – polar bears go on the ice to hunt seals. The next stage of the reasoning is where the fallacy occurs – if the ice wasn’t there the bears couldn’t hunt the seals.

    The fallacy is in the assumption that the ice is a necessary prerequisite for hunting seals. It never occurs to anyone drawing these conclusions that it is not the ice that is a necessary prerequisite for hunting seals – it is the presence of seals that is necessary. And the ice is not a necessary prerequisite for seals to hunt fish – it is access to the ocean. Therefore, when the ice disappears, the seals will hunt fish from the shores and that’s where the bears will be found. Simples.

    It always amazes me that people can have such tunnel vision. But I suppose that is why only a tiny handfull of individuals have made truly revolutionary discoveries.

  172. kadaka (01:03:26) :
    Re: Anu (23:19:11)

    You’re bringing up Barber’s “rotten ice” claim that was demolished here last year and has become a running gag?

    Why? Did you catch it?
    —————
    Thanks, I hadn’t been reading here last year, and missed that post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/14/a-look-at-sea-ice-compared-to-this-date-in-2007/

    I bet “rotten” was just Dr. Barber’s pet word for a condition well known to the satellite designers, but I won’t go and look into that now. I will note that the phrase “rotten ice” is used more and more on the NSIDC site, which was not the case last year when the above article was written:

    It’s in the NSIDC glossary now:

    http://nsidc.org/cgi-bin/words/word.pl?rotten%20ice

    and used in other NSIDC webpages:

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2010/010510.html

    http://nsidc.org/data/docs/noaa/g02159_ponds/index.html

    The concept doesn’t look so “demolished” now.

    Maybe they called it “honeycombed ice” before – but I know “ground truth” expeditions to check on satellite data (such as the nuclear subs measuring the ice from below sea level) are always considered a good idea.

    ——–
    Of course, even without the rotten ice problem, the satellites are measuring a big decrease in this “thick, multiyear” ice:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mov/326195main_winter_seaicethickness30fps.mov

    If much of the thick, multiyear ice is actually honeycombed, then things are even worse, with respect to when we the reach ice-free summer Arctic ocean. If the “rotten ice” is just a local Beaufort Sea phenomena, perhaps that adds a few years to the deadline.

    Just remember, Arctic sea ice melting in the summers is a 3D phenomena, not 2D.

  173. Vincent (14:03:06) :

    Polar Bears eat seals because there isn’t much else for them to eat. What do you suggest that a 3,000 pound mammal eat in a place where there are no trees and the growing season is only a few weeks long? Ladybugs?

  174. Anu,

    Disappearance of multi-year ice is mostly a 2D phenomenon. It is due to wind blowing the ice horizontally more than ice melting vertically.

  175. Phil. (13:36:49) wrote:

    Al Gored (13:13:30) :
    Nov. 2, 1922, Washington Post: Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt.”

    While at the same time the other end of the Arctic was frozen solid!

    ——————–

    So I wonder which area the IPCC gang would have selected for their data?

  176. Steve Goddard – Sorry but no such thing as a 3000 pound polar bear. The biggest ones are around the Bering Strait but never get that huge. Some say up to 2000 pounds but hard to actually weigh one and that would be a true giant.

    It also matter what time of year you weigh them, of course. They can go very long periods without eating anything and their weight fluctuates seasonally.

  177. People have killed and weighed polar bears in excess of 2,200 pounds, but that really has no relevance to the discussion. Bears need to eat a lot to stay alive.

  178. Steve Goddard – News to me. What’s your source on that weight?

    Sorry but I’m a nit picker for accuracy in the details.

    And it is somewhat relevant. The bigger the bear the more it needs to eat. That’s why some areas grow larger bears than others, depending on the food supply.

    Compare the ‘little’ grizzly bears on the dry east slopes of the Rockies with the huge brown bears (same species) along the Alaska Pacific coast.

    Or compare the little polar bears of Hudson’s Bay – the most convenient AGW poster bears because they are on the extreme southern margins of polar bear habitat – with the relative giants around the Bering Strait.

    In any case, 2,000 pound polar bears, or even 1500 pound ones, are like 8 foot tall people. Extreme exceptions.

  179. Bob Tisdale (04:00:19) :,

    I suspect you are correct in that short time periods will not necessarily demonstrate the longer term see-saw activity. It’s sort of like comparing weather with climate.

    The chaotic nature of anything associated with weather/climate will create a fractal shape to the trends. Just like a jagged coastline has straight-lines if you look only at a specific subset, the see-saw will disappear at times too.

    As an answer to the question “Why should the Antarctic warm when the Arctic cools? “, I think longer term cycles must be invoked for the longer term and chaos for the shorter term.

  180. I think there’s another ice record that has been overlooked — the US Coast Guard’s record of icebergs that drift out of the Baffin Sea into the Atlantic. it’s not an easy record to interpret, since it probably needs to use a three-year running average (the mean time for iceberg freedom.) It deals with real big ice — bergs — but that may have a merit all its own, since it is not dealing with brash. I don’t think it shows significant warming, which one would assume would mean a major breakout of bergs and bergy bits.

  181. Willis Eschenbach (01:41:04) :

    For starters, the IceSat satellite is supposed to be the source of their data. But the IceSat satellite doesn’t cover any further north than the other satellites, about 82.5°N. And their lovely graphs show all the way to the pole … how do they do that? They don’t say …
    ——————–
    Good point.
    Where do they get the data for the hole at the top of the world ?
    However, the hole is smaller than you think:
    The orbit parameters for the ICESat satellite shows an inclination of 94°:

    http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/satellite_missions/list_of_satellites/ices_general.html

    This means the part of the Arctic not observable is 86°N to 90°N, less than the hole for the temperature satellites.
    This map shows a latitude circle of 85°N, so you can visualize how small the 86°N circle would be:

    Still, it would take some digging to see how NASA filled in that hole – interpolation ? Nuclear sub data ?

    Polar cyclones are semi-permanent features of the Arctic, which are stronger in winter and weaker in summer. How could there be “more cyclones”?
    Frequency
    Although cyclonic activity is most prevalent in the Eurasian Arctic with approximately 15 cyclones per winter, polar cyclones also occur in Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. Polar cyclones can occur at any time during the year. However, summer cyclones tend to be weaker than winter cyclones.

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

    I imagine if the Arctic Ocean waters are getting a bit warmer in the summers, those weak cyclones could get stronger, with waves that destroy more of the honeycombed ice. The frequency of these cyclones could be greater – maybe 16 or 17 now, instead of 15. I just threw this out as a discussion point, related to the “rotten ice” concept. There is more at work than just melting from the sun’s rays.

    Yet despite all of that, the ice area has increased every year since the 2007 low. Go figure …
    Two years of “recovery” is not a big deal. But yes, that could explain some of the decrease in multiyear ice (in 2008). Since ICESat died last October, they won’t have full data for 2009, but I haven’t even seen the partial-year data yet. Maybe if I dug some more…
    And Europes Cryosat-2 is scheduled for launch on April 8, so hopefully they will not take long to calibrate and start getting real data…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8568285.stm

    So are you saying we can’t trust the satellite results? If so, why are you showing them? Not clear what the point is here.
    Just saying that the measured, thick “multiyear” ice might not be as stable as they had assumed. The satellites are measuring what they were designed to measure, but ground truth expeditions seem to show some unexpected ice structures. “Raw data” is just the beginning of understanding.

    Yeah, it’s only lasted for hundreds of thousands of years …
    Yes, I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

    Anu, was there a decrease in the ice area and thickness in the Arctic? Yes. Has the sea ice area increased since 2007? Yes. Was there less multi-year ice 2004-2008? Yes, and it would be surprising if that were not the case.
    The satellite-era 2D extent low of 2007 would not explain the thinning of the ice in 2005, 2006. An inexorably warming Arctic, would.

    Now, remember that this was all big news in 2007. At that time, all the ice savants were predicting that because there was less multi-year ice in the Arctic, that in 2008 the ice melt would be much larger and the ice area would be smaller … didn’t work that way, though.
    2008 had more ice extent, but it was still thinning. Short-term fluctuation weather patterns can affect ice growth in the winters, as other articles on wind patterns and narrow straits being open or ice-jammed have mentioned here. But ice thinning seems a real concern – too bad the data I’ve seen is only for 5 years. I’ll try to find results for 2009.

    But none of that happened … instead, the Arctic ice area has increased. At present it is within one standard deviation of the 1979-2000 average, and is continuing to rise well past the date of the usual peak. Seems like the savants must have slipped a decimal point somewhere.

    It seems to be hugging the 2 std dev line, up a bit towards 1 std dev. This summer melt will not be known until October. Yes, I know, watching the climate change is more boring than watching the grass grow…

    Me, I suspect this is because of the shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)
    Yes, I’ve heard the PDO advanced as explaining a lot of the climate for the past 30 years. Looks like this decade will convince a lot of people one way or another. Myself included.

  182. The idea that a change in Arctic ice is going to wipe out polar bears is nonsense.

    They usually feed on ringed and bearded seals. But like all bears, they are both smart and adaptable. From the usual font of misinformation (WWF)

    Polar bears feed mainly on ringed and bearded seals. Depending upon their location, they also eat harp and hooded seals and scavenge on carcasses of beluga whales, walruses, narwhals, and bowhead whales.

    On occasion, polar bears kill beluga whales and young walruses.

    When other food is unavailable, polar bears will eat just about any animal they can get, including reindeer, small rodents, seabirds, waterfowl, fish, eggs, vegetation (including kelp), berries, and human garbage.

    They can also go for months without eating at all. They are fearsome predators both on land and sea. They can swim like fish, for miles and miles, they attack freakin’ whales in the water, for goodness sake. They usually hunt ringed seals from the pack ice for part of the year. If ice is not around, they hunt harp and hooded and bearded and harbour seals, which are not ice-dependent like the ringed seals. All of them hibernate when there is the most ice. Several populations live where there is no summer ice at all … but dang, they just keep surviving. They also survived the last ten thousand years, when the Greenland ice cores show that the Arctic was up to three degrees warmer than it is now, and there were summers when the Arctic was ice free. Go figure.

    Here’s summer ice, July 1980 …

    And here’s a map of the polar bear populations.

    Note that some of them live where there is ice year-round, and some live where there is no ice for most of the year. Like I said, adaptable.

    Are they declining? Truth is, we don’t know. Scientific population estimates range from a low of 15,000 to a high of 27,000. With that much uncertainty, who can tell? The Inuit, who live closest to the bears on a daily basis, say they are not declining. Of course, they don’t get invited to the meetings of the polar bear scientists.

    The number one reason scientists say polar bears are declining? Three guesses, but you’ll only need one … computer models of bear populations.

  183. Looks like the NH and SH tend to diverge to me, at least for the entirety of this interglacial:

    LIA being very similar to the period ~5800yrs ago, and 11kyrs (though harder to see as we were climbing into the current interglacial.

    Of course you can find periods where they don’t, but the majority of the time it looks to me that there is definitely an opposing relationship. There are certainly quite a few unexplained cycles as of yet.

    Fascinating isn’t it.

  184. The Inuit knowledge (would pretty much guarantee selectivity) is contained in the Polar Bear studies, known as “TEK/IQ”, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) whatever that stands for.

    Maybe it stands for, “yes, me tell what you want to hear for grant to study what you want to hear”.

  185. Fun times…

    C’mon AMO! SAVE US!!!!!!!! We need your negativity to reveal the truth to us all (skeptics and believers alike)!

  186. Willis – Right you mostly are.

    To be perfectly clear, the catch is that their models of declining polar bear populations begin with the IPCC predictions of climate change. So the results are rather predictable.

    And the only in Alaska, thanks to the EPA. That’s when I first noticed Sarah Palin. She called them bluff when she was governor and the state has taken the EPA to court to challenge that bogus ‘science.’

    On the other hand, in Canada they were brave enough to stick closer to the evidence and did not raise their listed threat level when they reviewed them last year. Some Canadian scientists are True Believers but overall they are far more scientific than the EPA missionaries.

    And yes they do invite the Inuit to the meetings in Canada, and they do pay attention to what they say.

    So, they are officially doomed in Alaska but not in Canada.

    Things are a little more complicated than you describe about denning and summers.

    Its not ‘hibernation’ exactly but close enough.

    Depending where they are, summers are their starvation season, and when they are least active. That’s the story in southern Hudson Bay.

    Only the females MUST den, to have cubs or to shelter young ones. In some areas the male bears don’t. Depends on where they are/food availability.

    As for ‘are they declining’? Well, we do know more than some would suggest. For one thing, which population? But overall, here’s the bottom line. In the 1960s the global population was estimated at only 5-10 thousand. That was an admitedly rough estimate but… then they severely restricted and regulated hunting. Now the population estimates are in the range you suggest. And simple common sense tells us that when you reduce hunting mortality the population will grow unless there is some other limiting factors – which, if there are any, are not significant.

    These are not just recent population highs but historic and almost certainly prehistoric highs because the Inuit traditionally killed every polar bear they could – they were a direct threat, a threat to their stored food, and a source of meat, fat and furs – and so did the Euros who arrived later. Same story in Eurasia.

    Those who imagine that early Inuit or any other of the similar people in Eurasia couldn’t readily kill them – the ‘pristine wilderness fairy tale’ – just don’t understand those people or their abilities, and of course they ignore their helpful dogs. And bears are easiest to kill in their dens.

    You correctly noted that they survived prior warming periods. They weren’t optimum for them but they did survive. But for as long as humans have been in the Arctic, human predation on them has been the factor that mattered most. With their low reproductive rate they – like grizzly/brown bears (their close relatives) – just can’t withstand much hunting pressure. And in warmer periods, or when they had less food, their reproduction rates would be lower, as would their populations, and they could survive hunting pressure still less.

    For a real shock read the historical journals of the Arctic and you will discover that they were very, very, very rare with local or regional (and explainable) exceptions.

  187. blackswhitewash.com (03:44:32) :
    Anu (23:19:11) :
    Ahh, we are back to the “its rotten ice” nonsense again.

    ——————
    The argument last year seemed to be that only Dr. Barber seemed to use that phrase, “rotten ice”.

    It seems like the term is now acknowledged by more organizations, for instance NASA’s JPL and UCAR:

    http://media.thestar.topscms.com/acrobat/cc/e5/a80893c24759919867add7104bbe.pdf

    Two structurally different ice formations that give the same readings to the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) sounds plausible to me – it only measures the height of the ice. A diode pumped Q-switched Nd:YAG laser operating in the near infrared (1064 nanometers) is used for the measurement of surface topgraphy – if rotten ice and solid multiyear ice can give the same returns, so be it.

    http://icesat.gsfc.nasa.gov/glasinstrument.php

    Perhaps one of the 309 comments to this thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/14/a-look-at-sea-ice-compared-to-this-date-in-2007/

    show the “rotten ice” concept to be nonsense. I haven’t read them all yet.

    The article itself does not do it – rotten ice says nothing about sea ice extent, it is a 3D ice volume problem. Other organizations now do use the phrase, but the argument should have been, not that only Dr. Barber uses that phrase, or that it “dupes” the satellites as to 2D extent, but that as a groundtruth check on the data, it was done only in the southern Beaufort Sea.
    Absent more such “expeditions” to investigate the state of multiyear ice, the most they can say is that a very small percentage of multiyear ice seems to be “rotten”. The result is merely suggestive, frosting on the cake of evidence pointing to a march to ice free summers in the Arctic.
    It’s the cake itself that is the main evidence – thick multiyear ice is disappearing, whether rotten or solid.

    Of course, with the caveat that Willis pointed out – where is the data in the circle 86°N to 90°N coming from ? I haven’t looked into it enough yet.

  188. Steve Goddard – Thanks. That is one exceptionally large bear, predictably from the Bering Strait where they grow largest.

    It must have had an exceptionally rich food source and been weighed at its seasonal peak. And it would be interesting to know the background on that bear and how they weighed it. I shall look into that.

    Because a) its from wiki, and b) it only says “reportedly weighed.”

    But in any case it is the equivalent of 8 foot tall human. Most polar bears in the Bering Strait area not remotely close to that size, and in the rest of the Arctic they are smaller.

    However, with almost no hunting in Alaska now, there may be more getting huge there now… unless they are all starving because of The Warming of course (sarcasm).

  189. DeNihilist (15:20:46) :

    Willis, have you heard about this? They are reprocessing old Nimbus data from the 60’s. Hoping to extend their artic/anyartic snow/ice knowledge by about 50%.

    http://nsidc.org/monthlyhighlights/january2010.html
    ———–
    Interesting.

    They saw a disappearing window of opportunity to recover these data. Only one tape drive remained in the world that could read the Ampex two-inch media. Plus, the original Nimbus researchers were now in their late 70s and 80s, and contact with them would be critical to answering some of the necessary instrumentation questions.
    Sounds like they got to it just in time.
    Hope it yields some useful data.

  190. Stacey (01:58:19) :

    With regard to sea ice volume,my recollection is that when it became obvious that the sea ice in the Arctic was back to ‘normal’, and it was observable, the alarmists had to come uo with something that was not so observable, the thickness of the ice.
    ———————–
    I don’t think the timelines would support that hunch.

    The Arctic sea ice extent was lowest in summer 2007, so by “back to normal” you probably mean 2008, 2009, and so far this year (all years more than 1 std dev below the 1979-2000 average, but still, more than 2007 most days).

    ICESat was launched Jan 12, 2003. It was probably conceived, designed, built and tested starting in the early to mid 1990s.
    Cryosat was a similar ESA satellite launched on Oct 8, 2005. There was a launch failure (it was launched in Russia using a modified ICBM), so it never attained orbit. Cryosat-2 is scheduled to launch next month – but the fact remains, Cryosat was conceived back in 1998.

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

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

    NASA also uses airplanes to gather some data on ice thickness, as well as other satellites:

    Scientists have been interested in ice thickness for many years before the “recovery” of 2D ice extent in the Arctic starting in 2008. If they found the ice getting thicker every year, they would publish that. Publish or perish.

  191. Willis, would that human garbage include those in the “Explorer Team” on the Catlin Arctic Survey. Those bears must be getting hungry with those rising temperatures and all that swimming practice.

  192. Steve Goddard (14:30:17)

    “Polar Bears eat seals because there isn’t much else for them to eat.”

    Logically then, pandas eat bamboo “because there isn’t much else for them to eat.”

    Iana($expert anything). I suspect pandas took to eating bamboo because there
    was lots of it around. That’s a law of nature: where a large food supply exists,
    something will arise to exploit it.

    Seals need land (to mate, give birth, nurse, sleep). If the mainland is quiet, they’ll
    live there (eg. sea lions in Patagonia). If there’re predators on the mainland, they’ll
    move to the islands. If predators swim out to the islands, they’ll move to the ice…

  193. Steve Goddard (14:30:17) :
    Vincent (14:03:06) :

    “Polar Bears eat seals because there isn’t much else for them to eat. What do you suggest that a 3,000 pound mammal eat in a place where there are no trees and the growing season is only a few weeks long? Ladybugs?”

    I can say, first-hand, that when we ran low on food during our canoe trip up the Labrador coast in 2001 we had to rely on ladybugs—boiled or split and dried over willow smoke fires. They are HUGE there and fortunately for the polar bears, the cool weather makes them slow fliers and thus are easy to catch. When we headed inland, however, we were able to sustain ourselves on Culex giganticus, the famed 15 lb. mosquitoes of the Ungava plateau. :-)

  194. Steve Goddard (14:40:40) :

    Anu,

    Disappearance of multi-year ice is mostly a 2D phenomenon. It is due to wind blowing the ice horizontally more than ice melting vertically.
    —————————–
    That’s certainly one factor.
    I also read about 2007 being unusual in that an ice “arch” (dam) did not form in the narrow Nares Strait, west of Greenland, the only time on record. This allowed ice to flow unobstructed through winter and spring.
    The ice lost through Nares Strait was some of the thickest and oldest in the Arctic Ocean.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219164337.htm

    It also looks like the multiyear ice recovered about 11% in March 2009 over March 2008, a figure I hadn’t seen before:

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

    The same page also shows that the 2D extent in March is only vaguely correlated with minimum 2D extent in September:

    As I said before, this decade’s data will be crucial to how many people see climate change in the 21st century. If Arctic ice thickness and 2D extent grow back to 1979-2000 averages, if global temperatures go down 0.2 deg C, even with the sun cycle picking up, climate science will certainly look like they got it wrong. On the other hand, if the trends continue, and Arctic ice thickness continues to be measured thinning, if 2D extent gets less and less (with the expected annual variability), and global temperatures go up another 0.2 deg C or so, it will look like things are unfolding as predicted.

    I expect the latter, but I’m hoping the data shows otherwise.

  195. Anu,

    Arctic ice is thickening over the last two years, not thinning – and is now above normal in extent as well.

    Sleepalot (21:13:10) :

    Sounds like you should volunteer for next year’s Catlin expedition.

  196. NRDC:

    “A warmer Arctic will also affect weather patterns and thus food production around the world. Wheat farming in Kansas, for example, would be profoundly affected by the loss of ice cover in the Arctic. According to a NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies computer model, Kansas would be 4 degrees warmer in the winter without Arctic ice, which normally creates cold air masses that frequently slide southward into the United States. Warmer winters are bad news for wheat farmers, who need freezing temperatures to grow winter wheat.

    Unintentionally, I’m sure, this probably ranks as one of the funniest things I’ve read here, certainly in a while.

    I wonder if someone thinks “winter wheat” is like certain plants that require forest fires to crack open their seeds? Maybe this “winter wheat” grows pre-frosted, making it easier to create breakfast cereal?

    I will say, however, that living in Calgary completely surrounded by wheat fields and cattle ranches, the very concept of cold weather being beneficial to ANY food crop is not just laughable, it’s mockable.

    I get the logic behind warmer weather creating drier conditions, especially far away from the ocean like here… that makes perfect sense… however, the alleged “need” for cold for a crop? Not on this planet.

  197. Steve Goddard,

    “Polar Bears eat seals because there isn’t much else for them to eat. What do you suggest that a 3,000 pound mammal eat in a place where there are no trees and the growing season is only a few weeks long? Ladybugs?”

    Ok Steve, you it’s clear that you didn’t read my reply at all Or you started reading and stopped halfway through.

    I’ll make it simple and just quote my concluding sentence: “Therefore, when the ice disappears, the seals will hunt fish from the shores and that’s where the bears will be found.”

    Is that clear enough for you Steve? Seals will fish from the shores; bears will hunt the seals feeding from the shores.

  198. Steve Goddard (23:10:38) : edit

    Willis,

    You said some polar bears “live where there is no ice for most of the year.”

    Yeah, “much of the year” would likely be more accurate for most populations.

    There aren’t any regions in the Arctic that are normally ice free for more than four months.

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

    Note the temperature profile at 80N. Less than 90 days above freezing per year.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    You’re right about the Arctic … but not all polar bears live above 80N. In fact, not all of them even live above the Arctic Circle. Some live as far south as Southern Greenland (60°N), and South Hudson Bay and the southern end of the Davis Strait (52°N).

    See the population map above. The white circle is the Arctic Circle (66.5°N)

    Take a look at the Cryosphere Today map for today, we’re at the time of maximum ice for the entire year. Look at Southwestern Greenland … no ice today, at maximum ice time. But polar bears live there, the Davis Strait population. Hudson Bay is ice-free for 4-5 months every year, but polar bears live there.

    Regarding SW Greenland, there’s a detailed study here of polar bears and ringed seals. Inter alia it says:

    Discussion
    The catch statistics presented here indicate a strong increase in the number of polar bears and a reduction in the number of ringed seals during mild climatic periods and vice versa during cold periods. If these trends reflect population dynamics, they contradict the general belief that polar bears suffer during mild periods and that both ringed seal and polar bear populations fluctuate positively with productivity in the sea. If numbers of both species reflect productivity in the sea, one would expect a relatively close connection between the two, with ringed seals leading the trend. Mild periods have, however, been linked to strong polar bear predation on ringed seal pups, and in the following I will argue that the data from Hudson Bay indicate that strong spring survival of polar bear cubs during some years coincides with early ice breakup

    Life is amazingly tenacious and adaptable … the article is worth a read, the situation is much more complex than ice vs. no ice.

  199. To
    Steve Goddard (22:59:43)-

    Although I agree that the graphs show thickening
    and more extensive arctic ice this year-
    and I believe that
    based upon my observations of certain temperature data that
    there is a high probability that Ice is increasing in the arctic-

    I still consider it highly probable
    that some of the ice increases this year are in fact
    due to previous years data winnowing and suppression and graph
    manipulations by hottie fellow travelers with agendas and expectations
    that the ice would in future decrease to match their graphs
    (and to promote AGW) – and who were
    deliberately underestimating and spuriously graphing their spurious
    ice measurements–(years of lying)
    and who now are under the microscope and are
    reluctant to continue their statistical
    farces(s).

    So some of the gains could be simply because
    this year’s graphs are slightly more accurate than previous years’.

    But to me, this slight gain in ice in no way
    validates any of these graphs.

  200. Vincent (01:11:52) :

    Read how polar bears actually hunt. Your belief system doesn’t change reality any more than Michael Mann’s does.

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

    Hunting and diet

    The long muzzle and neck of the polar bear help it to search in deep holes for seals, while powerful hindquarters enable it to drag massive prey.[49]
    The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family, and most of its diet consists of ringed and bearded seals.[50] The Arctic is home to millions of seals, which become prey when they surface in holes in the ice in order to breathe, or when they haul out on the ice to rest.[49] Polar bears hunt primarily at the interface between ice, water, and air; they only rarely catch seals on land or in open water.[51]
    The polar bear’s most common hunting method is called still-hunting:[52] The bear uses its excellent sense of smell to locate a seal breathing hole, and crouches nearby in silence for a seal to appear.[49] When the seal exhales, the bear smells its breath, reaches into the hole with a forepaw, and drags it out onto the ice.[49] The polar bear kills the seal by biting its head to crush its skull.[49] The polar bear also hunts by stalking seals resting on the ice: Upon spotting a seal, it walks to within 100 yd (91 m), and then crouches. If the seal does not notice, the bear creeps to within 30 to 40 feet (9.1 to 12 m) of the seal and then suddenly rushes forth to attack.[49] A third hunting method is to raid the birth lairs that female seals create in the snow.[52]

  201. If there was little ice, seals would have to birth/rest somewhere solid. They can’t birth or rest in the water. So obviously, they’d have to do so on shorelines. Polar bears would do what they always have — follow the seals.

  202. FWIW – yesterday’s figures from IARC-JAXA show Arctic ice extent at 14.363m km², just below the 14.375m km² peak reached March 8. Ice area is also holding steady. Come September it should be intersting to see how well this slow recovery has progressed, keeping in mind that between now and then there are sure to be fluctuations in extent that prove nothing.

    Meanwhile, back up in the Arctic, a resupply plane (DC3) is grounded by bad weather; waiting to resupply the Ice Base where the thin ice crust (their words) has to be more than 3 feet thick in order to support the plane’s weight. Further north, the explorers continue their trek to the pole and are also getting ready to get resupplied. They’ll probably make it to the pole, with an appropriate message that (of course) “it’s worse than we thought!”

  203. Anu (22:06:33) :
    Steve Goddard (14:40:40) :

    Anu,

    Disappearance of multi-year ice is mostly a 2D phenomenon. It is due to wind blowing the ice horizontally more than ice melting vertically.
    —————————–
    That’s certainly one factor.
    I also read about 2007 being unusual in that an ice “arch” (dam) did not form in the narrow Nares Strait, west of Greenland, the only time on record. This allowed ice to flow unobstructed through winter and spring.
    The ice lost through Nares Strait was some of the thickest and oldest in the Arctic Ocean.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219164337.htm

    And as I’ve pointed out before it’s open again this year:

    If anything it’s more open than this time in 2007

    It also looks like the multiyear ice recovered about 11% in March 2009 over March 2008, a figure I hadn’t seen before:

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

    That’s showing non-seasonal ice, i.e. includes 2nd yr ice.

    The same page also shows that the 2D extent in March is only vaguely correlated with minimum 2D extent in September:

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/figures/seaice2009fig2-sml.jpg

    Indeed, the recent ‘lack of decline from max’ appears to be associated with a strong flow of fragmented ice out of the Fram and east of Svalbard, which doesn’t bode well for ice extent later in the year.

  204. Willis Eschenbach (21:15:59) :
    Phil. (20:55:24)

    Kazinksi (18:50:18) :

    “”I woinder why they picked 2007 to end the data series? I think we all know.”

    Yes we do, the graph is dated 23 Sept 2007!”

    Well played, that’s exactly why I try not to speculate on motives.

    Very wise, the first time I saw that figure was in Stroeve et al, 2007 and derivatives of it in a presentation by Maslowski from June 2008.

  205. Anu,
    you write:

    “I imagine if the Arctic Ocean waters are getting a bit warmer in the summers, those weak cyclones could get stronger”.

    Could you tell me what supplies energy to those extra-tropical cyclones?
    Latent heat or something else?
    When you find the answer, will you report to us all?
    Thank you.

  206. Just one more day of growth in the Arctic this year, baby. Give us one more day. . . actually, three more days would be neat (get the winter max into April). But I’ll take one more day of more than 12k increase.

  207. Steve Goddard (08:19:59) :
    Phil.

    A negative AO is typified by high pressure or clockwise circulation. The older ice is located north of Canada and Greenland and is circulating away from the Fram Strait.

    You’ll find thie figure below more illuminating, the ice going out the Fram is 2yo and my also the my ice from the Beaufort and Canadian coastline is being swept into the strong transpolar flow towards the Fram. That coupled with the early opening of the North water referred to above leads me to be pessimistic about the my ice this year.

    Summer extent will very likely increase again this year.

    I don’t share your optimism, it’s setting up more like 2007 so far.

  208. Steve Goddard (08:19:59) :
    Summer extent will very likely increase again this year.

    Richard Sharpe (08:26:17) :
    Something seems to be up in the Arctic:
    Or perhaps there is a problem with their algorithms …

    geo (08:51:06) :
    Just one more day of growth in the Arctic this year, baby. Give us one more day. . .

    ——————
    This sounds a lot like sports fans rooting for their team.
    There must be a good website for placing bets somewhere, better than Intrade…

    I’d be willing to bet the September minimum ice extent falls between 2005 and 2007:

    This March stuff is like Spring Training, it won’t carry into the post-season. This recent ice will be the first to melt. With the start of the next sunspot cycle, the warming caused by ENSO, and the underlying warming trend, we’ll be seeing Arctic sea surface temperatures more like 2007 and 2008:

    melting the diminished thick ice:

    The East Siberian league is sure to take a pounding this season, anc Chukchi did not have a good off-season to prepare for Summer 2010:

    Probably not a championship season, but I expect a strong push for the Pennant.

  209. I had said:

    Hudson Bay is ice-free for 4-5 months every year, but polar bears live there.

    Steve Goddard (07:27:44) replied

    Willis,

    The Hudson Bay is normally ice free for only three months a year. August through October.

    Steve, you should know by now that I don’t just pull numbers out of my fundamental orifice. Because of that, it’s much better tactics to say “cite?”, rather than claim I’m blowing smoke and guess at the number. All that does is make you look foolish.

    In this case the citation is the US Geological Service report entitled “Polar Bear Population Status in Southern Hudson Bay, Canada“. In Table 2 they give the number of Hudson Bay ice-free days for each year from 1983 to 2005. These averaged 4.4 months, with a standard deviation of 0.6 months. I rounded to the nearest month and reported this as “4-5 months”, which was the average ± one standard deviation. The longest ice-free period was 5.5 months, and the shortest was 3.4 months.

    Note that your guess of “only three months a year” was shorter than the shortest actual ice-free period in that 23 year record …

  210. Maybe the increase in sea ice extent is a bad thing, as if you would look at Cryosphere today and see where the ice area is increasing.

    It is going up in the Greenland, Baffin, and Newfoundland seas.

    Someone mentioned the Greenland Ice sheet loosing mass of 385 cubic miles in the last 7 years and that is enough to add some 100,000 square kilometers of sea ice to this polar region each year.

    After all, all that ice on Greenland is going to keep some ice in the arctic ocean for quite a few years.

  211. Steve Goddard (11:02:50) :
    Phil,

    Your map is interesting but only shows six day vectors. The actual 60 day drift map shows minimal movement from the Siberian side.

    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/maps_daily_track-map.html

    That’s because there are no buoys there! You can go take a look at the last 60 days of vector plots if you like. It’s far from minimal movement, take a look at the ice concentration on the Siberian coast on CT, you’ll notice it’s dropping, wonder where it’s going?

    And all of the 3+ year old ice is on the Canadian side and is moving away from the Fram Strait.

    And as I said before it’s off into the Beaufort gyre, once there it’s only a matter of time before it’s in the Atlantic. As you’d expect from the strong drift this year the ice there is more broken up than last year. The circulation of the gyre was also clockwise in 2007.

  212. Steve Goddard (05:44:03)

    Vincent (01:11:52) :

    Read how polar bears actually hunt. Your belief system doesn’t change reality any more than Michael Mann’s does.

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

    Hunting and diet

    The long muzzle and neck of the polar bear help it to search in deep holes for seals, while powerful hindquarters enable it to drag massive prey.[49]
    The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family, and most of its diet consists of ringed and bearded seals.[50] The Arctic is home to millions of seals, which become prey when they surface in holes in the ice in order to breathe, or when they haul out on the ice to rest.[49] Polar bears hunt primarily at the interface between ice, water, and air; they only rarely catch seals on land or in open water.[51]

    Please tell me you didn’t just cite wikipedia on a controversial subject. Wikipedia doesn’t change reality any more than your belief system does. I just gave you a very interesting citation on the feeding habits of polar bears. It says inter alia:

    Based on field studies in Canada, Stirling and Øritsland (1995) estimated that, on average, a polar bear in the High Arctic kills 43 ringed seals in a year. An estimated 47% of these ringed seal kills consist mainly of pups caught in April–May, when they were still in their lairs, and 30% mainly of newly weaned pups taken in June–July.

    In other words, about half of the ringed seals that the polar bears catch are not caught in the manner you describe. They are caught in the seal’s lairs, which are generally on shore. Note also that the bears don’t just eat the ice-obligate ringed seals, they also eat harp, hooded, and bearded seals. These flourish where there is less ice. From the same source:

    The concentration of harp and hooded seals, as well as bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben, 1777)), therefore increases as the sea ice shrinks and their densities become higher during mild years with little ice.

    And unlike the simplistic Wikipedia claim you quoted above about how they only hunt by laying in wait, they hunt different seals in different manners. Ringed seals are hunted in that manner, but instead of laying in wait the bears usually stalk and then charge bearded seals. Yes, they hunt mainly in the way that you have described, but my previous citation also says:

    During the period ashore bears generally fast, surviving on adipose stores (Watts and Hansen 1987, Ramsay and Stirling 1988). However, when on land, polar bears in Hudson Bay and James Bay have been documented to feed on marine algae, terrestrial vegetation such as grasses, sedges, mosses, lichen, and berries of arctic blueberry (V accinium uliginosum) and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), and flightless snow geese (Anser caerulescens) and other vertebrates (Russell 1975, Derocher et al. 1993). They may also feed opportunistically on such items as eggs of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) (Smith and Hill 1996), and have been recorded attempting to prey on caribou (Rangifer tarandus) (Brook and Richardson 2002). Along the Ontario coast in late summer and fall, polar bears have been observed to scavenge carcasses of beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), and to capture live ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) apparently stranded at low tide, and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) on an off- shore haul-out (M. E. Obbard, unpublished data).

  213. Marx Hugoson (20:11:12) :

    Bit of a fuddy-duddy myself but I thought I’d do a rough translation to SI.

    82°F ~ 28°C Enthalpy @ 63%RH = 66.12KJ/Kg

    105°F ~ 40.5°C. Enthalpy @ 10%RH = 52.72KJ/Kg

    Figures approximate but I think close enough.

    DaveE.

  214. Steve Goddard (12:47:17) :
    Hudson Bay is ice free for three months a year.
    Hey, guys.
    This is becoming silly. Without an agreed upon definition of ice-free there is nothing to discuss. From Steve’s graph it looks like only one month is ice-free [meaning NO ice, and perhaps zero months if one magnified the graph].

  215. Willis Eschenbach (13:04:13) :
    Willis, just a thought relating to the following pargh. in the study you mentioned:
    “Abundance in the Southern Hudson Bay population was unchanged between two intensive capture-recapture periods, which were separated by almost 20 years (1984–86 vs. 2003–05). This was so despite the evidence for a decline of 22% in abundance for the neighboring Western Hudson Bay population over roughly the same period (i.e., 1987-2004; Regehr et al. 2007). Forested areas come close to the coast in the north-western section of the study area making sighting and capture of bears difficult.”

    WHAT? They couldn’t see the bears for the forest??

    And note the phrase – “… a decline of 22% in abundance…”?? In other words, they have no clue if those “missing” bears died or migrated. They just couldn’t find them. If you were a smart P.bear like the kind that went to DC, wouldn’t you move north if the ice was breaking up to early?

    BTW, I remember a factoid from 20-30 years ago – maybe Pop Sci mag – that more people have been killed by polar bears on land than on ice. It stuck in my head being so odd, but not sure it’s true.

  216. Re: Polar bear hunting methods

    “The steady enemy of the seal is the polar bear. How this awkward animal catches the watchful seal I could not imagine. The Esquimaux say he prowls about examining the ice holes of the seals and, finding one close to high broken ice, there hides himself. When the seals are basking in the sun and half asleep, he springs upon them, seizes one, which he hugs to death, and, as fast as possible with his teeth, cuts the back sinews of the neck. The seal is then powerless and the bruin feasts on him at his leisure.” David Thompson, Churchill, c.1785

    “On the sixth day we had a deep brook to cross, and on the opposite side of the ford was a large polar bear feasting on a beluga. We boldly took the ford thinking the bear would go away, but when about half way across, he lifted his head, placed his forepaws on the beluga, and uttering a low growl, showed to us such a set of teeth as made us turn up the stream and for 50 yards wade up to our middle before we could cross. During this time the bear eyed us, growling like a Mastiff dog.” David Thompson, York Factory September 1785

  217. On 29 March 2007 the arctic ice area was 1 million square kilometers less than today (and already shrinking), so while I cannot know what will happen in Summer 2010, it seems probable that we will end up with more ice than 2007.

  218. Sean Peake – Nice Thompson reference. While I’m sure it is largely accurate, there are two problems with these excerpts.

    The description of how polar bears kill seals is heresay from Inuit – and he could not speak their language. He was never in the Arctic.

    The parts of his Narrative that early were written entirely from memory, starting 60 years later (1845). He did not start keeping his own journals until 1789.

  219. Steve Goddard – The usgs is not a reliable source of information about polar bears as they are full tilt AGW proponent staffed mostly be True Green Believers. They were co-conspirators in getting them listed as Endangered in AK.

    And wiki is not a reliable source on anything remotely connected to AGW.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/19/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor.aspx

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/23/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-hockey-stick-wars.aspx

    As for the severe stress they experience, that is an annual event, worse some years than others.

  220. About Hudson Bay ice.

    Overgeneralizing is always THE problem. What does “ice free” mean? The whole Bay? That does not matter. What does matter is whether there is ice near where the bears are. For example, what is the relevant “ice free” period for the famous AGW poster population down by Churchill on the SW side?

  221. Willis and Milwaukee Bob,

    About that decline in the “western’ Hudson Bay population. Most of that work is done around Churchill, which is near an area where bears from a large area came onshore for as long as we know (see that David Thompson excerpt above) and probably much longer. (The reasons why they used that area historically are interesting but that’s another story.) A very significant event impacted that population. They closed off access to the Churchill dump, where large numbers of bears used to feed. As happened with grizzly bears in Yellowstone (and some other parks), when you suddenly cut off that super-rich food source, it has major impacts on the individuals, their reproduction rates, the size of the bears, and state of the whole population. You effectively reduce its carrying capacity with predictable results.

    Funny that nobody from the AGW crowd mentions that.

    And funny how they constantly use that SW Hudson Bay population, the most southerly in the world, as their poster child for ‘Arctic’ impacts.

    When they closed dumps in Yellowstone in about 1970, the greenies used what was an absolutely predictable decline and increase in bear mortality as the excuse to list the grizzly as a Threatened species in the Lower 48. And that had all sorts of implications, not to mention creating what is now a very robust ‘save the grizzly’ research-industrial complex.

    There is at least as much BS about bears and ‘endangered species’ as there is about AGW, thanks to the new politicized pseudoscience called ‘Conservation Biology.’ Their grand plan is called ‘Rewilding.’ Google and gasp!

  222. The USGS is a great source of information, as is Wikipedia which is a much better reference than what I grew up with – (World Book and Encyclopedia Britannica.)

    If the Arctic warms 16C as the Met Office predicts, there will be drastic changes. Not much evidence of that so far though.

  223. There’s an update today from IARC-JAXA which shows Arctic sea ice has hit a new peak of 14.390m km².

    This exceeds the peak of 14.375m km² reached March 8, and is also the latest date for a peak level since they started their records in 2002.

    It should also be noted that this is not, however, the highest peak they’ve recorded.

    Catlin will probably find that it’s all rotten ice…

  224. Here’s the scary trend in the number of ice-free days on the Hudson Bay, data from the citation above.

    Photo is of a Hudson Bay polar bear.

  225. For more on how wikipedia works, read Orwell’s 1984.

    The USGS is a good source of information on some things, but not when it comes to ‘endangered’ species or those that could be labeled as such.

    Willis – Great photo. Looks like he/she is just sitting there watching the ice melt, or perhaps the sea level rise.

  226. Al Gored (18:04:00) :
    There is at least as much BS about bears and ‘endangered species’ as there is about AGW, thanks to the new politicized pseudoscience called ‘Conservation Biology.’ Their grand plan is called ‘Rewilding.’ Google and gasp!

    Their parents in the NJDEP decided that timber rattlesnakes needed to be “re-introduced” into the New Jersey Pine Barrens, so in about 1978, or thereabouts, they did.

    In October.

    The only snakes that didn’t freeze to death the first night survived because they took shelter beneath people’s houses, or in their tool sheds, with predictable results when folks found them in the next few days.

    The EcoLoonies decided that, because they couldn’t find any rattlers the following spring, the snakes were evidently too-well camouflaged to see, and declared the experiment so successful that they’d proceed with their follow-up plan of “re-introducing” black bears.

    Local apiarists notified NJDEP that the first bear they saw would be shot, as would any NJDEP personnel accompanying it.

    The Pine Barrens remains bear-free to this day.

  227. It will be ‘delightful’ if it remains tracking above 2009 into ~July. It would do a lot to drive the wooden stake even deeper into the evil little ‘heart’ of the Gore mongers.

  228. Dunno where to put this… and many of you might already be aware of it anyway…

    For those following the CLOUD experiment at CERN, the team published a paper in ACP last month regarding the test chamber run they undertook in 2006 (CLOUD-06). This was merely designed to gather data for the final design of the CLOUD chamber (CLOUD-09) which was installed at CERN last year.

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/1635/2010/acp-10-1635-2010.html

    This confirms the suggestive evidence for ion-induced nucleation or ion-ion recombination gathered from the CLOUD-6 experiment which Kirby mentioned during his CERN presentation last year.

  229. max_b (05:16:29) :
    the team published a paper in ACP last month [...]
    This confirms the suggestive evidence for ion-induced …

    Nowhere does it say ‘confirm’. The most enthusiastic statement is this: “…provide(s) suggestive evidence…”

  230. Steve Goddard (21:33:01) :
    DMI shows Arctic ice extent once again breaking their all-time record.

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

    While ice area (Willis’s preferred metric) continues to go down:

    Now 0.226 Mm^2 below the maximum earlier this month.

    The increase in extent is largely due to the wind driving a large amount of fragmented ice beyond Svalbard.

    So the concentration of sea ice is dropping: 13.585/14.406=94%

  231. Leif Svalgaard (10:08:03) :
    Nowhere does it say ‘confirm’. The most enthusiastic statement is this: “…provide(s) suggestive evidence…”

    Exactly… duh, read what I wrote… again… lol… It’s meant to read as ‘confirming what Kirby mentioned in his presentation last year’, NOT your interpretation that it confirms ion-induced nucleation… although I can see how you might interpret it as that if brain was not fully engaged.

  232. max_b (10:40:29) :
    It’s meant to read as ‘confirming what Kirby mentioned in his presentation last year’,

    What you wrote was: “This [the paper, presumably] confirms the suggestive evidence for ion-induced”.

    This is very clearly stated. And is not at all about parroting what Kirby said. The paper does not ‘confirm’ the suggestive evidence; it provides the ‘suggestion’. You are trying to say that the existence of the paper proves that Kirby was telling the truth when he said there was ‘suggestive evidence’. I would assume that Kirby was always telling the truth about that, but perhaps you were not so sure and are now gratified [by seeing the paper] that indeed he was.

  233. Steve Goddard – about the USGS…

    Here’s the cover letter for…

    FIRST SCIENTIFIC FORECAST OF POLAR BEAR POPULATION

    March 30, 2008

    Please find attached the latest version of our audit paper on the USGS reports regarding the forecasts of polar bear population.

    Our paper is now accepted for publication in the professional journal, Interfaces, subject to further revision (according to the editor Professor Jeff Camm; Jeff.Camm@uc.edu).

    This is indeed the first peer-reviewed publication on this specific question about scientific forecast of polar bear population.

    We openly invited the key authors of USGS reports to offer critique on our findings; but thus far received none.

    Thank you,
    Dr. Willie Soon
    Astro Physicist Smithsonian-Harvard Institute Boston

    Contact Info:
    J. Scott Armstrong
    Professor of Marketing, 747 Huntsman, The Wharton School, U. of PA,
    Phila, PA 19104

    http://www.jscottarmstrong.com

    ——

    They’re not polar bear ‘experts’ but rather modeling experts. Note that the USGS did not respond. Guess why?

    You can find this paper at:

    http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/Public_Policy/PolBears.pdf

  234. Bill Tuttle – Sounds familiar. But although there are no black bears in the pine barrens the NJ black bear population has recovered astronomically to the point, as I’m sure you know, they have recently had hunting seasons to cull the population and problem bears are now a problem.

    There are apparently 3500 of them in the state now!

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/…/scientists_say_black_bear_popu.html

    Far cry from their status in 1977 when there were only an estimated 30 in the (northern part of) the state (Burk, D. (ed) 1979. The Black Bear in Modern North America. Proceedings of the Workshop on the Management Biology of North American Black Bear, Boone and Crockett Club).

    And that is 30 more than there were earlier. Its another conservation success story that those in the perpetual eco-crisis industry never want to talk about.

  235. Steve Goddard (10:35:17) :
    Phil. (10:19:48) :,

    Ice area is not affected by the wind, and is above normal.

    Afraid not:

    Today 13.586, average for day 13.845, this year’s maximum 13.812 on March 7th.

  236. Steve Goddard (22:59:43) :
    Anu,

    Arctic ice is thickening over the last two years, not thinning – and is now above normal in extent as well.
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

    ——————–
    I didn’t see this response before.
    I’m pretty sure the graph you gave just shows ice area, and has nothing to do with multiyear/firstyear ice (well, it includes them both).

    See http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

    As for multiyear ice, they show images of it, but I haven’t seen any graphs of Multiyear area or extent:

    This is something that could be pulled out of the images, except for those ‘ambiguous’ pixels.

    I would bet the multiyear ice is still below the 1979-2008 mean, but I’ve lost bets before…

  237. Leif Svalgaard (11:00:43) :
    You are trying to say that the existence of the paper proves that Kirby was telling the truth when he said there was ’suggestive evidence’. I would assume that Kirby was always telling the truth about that, but perhaps you were not so sure and are now gratified [by seeing the paper] that indeed he was.

    Not my choice of words, but hey… if you feel it’s important for you rewrite what I wrote, go ahead… :-)

    I was more interested in the paper…

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/1635/2010/acp-10-1635-2010.html

  238. max_b (08:43:30) :
    go ahead…
    I hear you: you are just confirming that Kirby confirmed that the paper ‘provided suggestive evidence'; their main finding was the importance of keeping the chamber clean.

  239. “”” Al Gored (15:14:27) :

    Steve Goddard – about the USGS…

    Here’s the cover letter for…

    FIRST SCIENTIFIC FORECAST OF POLAR BEAR POPULATION

    March 30, 2008

    Please find attached the latest version of our audit paper on the USGS reports regarding the forecasts of polar bear population.

    Our paper is now accepted for publication in the professional journal, Interfaces, subject to further revision (according to the editor Professor Jeff Camm; Jeff.Camm@uc.edu).

    This is indeed the first peer-reviewed publication on this specific question about scientific forecast of polar bear population.

    We openly invited the key authors of USGS reports to offer critique on our findings; but thus far received none.

    Thank you,
    Dr. Willie Soon
    Astro Physicist Smithsonian-Harvard Institute Boston

    Contact Info:
    J. Scott Armstrong
    Professor of Marketing, 747 Huntsman, The Wharton School, U. of PA,
    Phila, PA 19104

    http://www.jscottarmstrong.com

    ——

    They’re not polar bear ‘experts’ but rather modeling experts. Note that the USGS did not respond. Guess why ? “””

    Seems obvious to me.

    Because the USGS aren’t Polar Bear Experts either.

  240. Leif Svalgaard (09:07:03) :
    “…the paper ‘provided suggestive evidence’…”

    I think you’ve just about nailed it with this version…

  241. max_b (12:45:12) :
    Leif Svalgaard (09:07:03) :
    “…the paper ‘provided suggestive evidence’…”
    I think you’ve just about nailed it with this version…

    Which does not differ from the original:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:08:03) :
    max_b (05:16:29) :
    the team published a paper in ACP last month [...]
    This confirms the suggestive evidence for ion-induced …
    Nowhere does it say ‘confirm’. The most enthusiastic statement is this: “…provide(s) suggestive evidence…”

  242. Dr. Svalgaard and others, this is getting irritating. Almost every post I write you and others try to hijack it for a discussion of cosmic rays. I am interested in cosmic rays, even fascinated, but my posts on very different topics are not the place for it.

    And max_b, the next time you “dunno where to put this”, don’t put it in a post that has nothing to do with what you want to discuss. For starters, look for a post with the words “cosmic rays” in it somewhere, that’s a good clue. There are dozens of them on the web, Google is your friend.

    Take it somewhere else, all of you, and stop trying to take over other people’s posts. It is markedly impolite, and I have asked you to stop doing it several times in various of my other posts.

    Signed,

    Willis the Merciless

  243. Leif Svalgaard (13:19:11) :
    [snip - no more cosmic rays, take it to a cosmic post somewhere else]

  244. Willis Eschenbach (15:07:33) :
    Dr. Svalgaard and others, this is getting irritating.
    I agree, cosmic rays, polar bears, albedo, etc, have little to do with the evolution of the ice cover …
    Or perhaps everything is connected to everything and all is relevant.
    But, the moderator always wins :-)
    You have to moderate hard at the very beginning of the topic drift if you want to moderate at all.

    Reply: Topic drift has not been a priority in moderation. Perhaps it should be. In my pre WUWT experience I ran boards where topic drift was a major part of the charm, so by nature I tend to be lax, but with a half dozen moderators, topic drift is a tricky issue. I will ponder with Anthony. ~ ctm

  245. Leif Svalgaard (17:35:55) :
    topic drift is a tricky issue. I will ponder with Anthony. ~ ctm
    My own view is strict moderation, a la Steve McIntyre, but this is hard to do and might not always be best.

    Reply: My moderation style is kinda like my party so you have extra insight now. ~ ctm

  246. Leif Svalgaard (17:55:45) : edit

    Leif Svalgaard (17:35:55) :

    topic drift is a tricky issue. I will ponder with Anthony. ~ ctm
    My own view is strict moderation, a la Steve McIntyre, but this is hard to do and might not always be best.

    Reply: My moderation style is kinda like my party so you have extra insight now. ~ ctm

    Sorry I missed the party, no transport. I can imagine, however …

    I generally don’t mind some thread drift, but IIRC this the the third post that I’ve written that has been swamped by cosmic rays.

    Now perhaps this just indicates the ubiquitous effect that cosmic rays have on the climate, but truly … are there no threads out there about cosmic rays where you guys might discuss these issues? I put a lot of time and thought into my posts, and then someone who is interested in the issue is suddenly reading comment after comment after comment about cosmic rays. This is double plus ungood for WUWT.

    So to me, the issue is three-fold. First, I like keeping the discussion fairly focused on the topic at hand, and/or on peripheral issues that are related in some direct way to that topic and that are of general interest. For example, this whole thread drifted some into the topic of polar bears. Lots of folks seemed to be interested, and it is closely related to the question of the Arctic ice trends, so no problem.

    Second, it’s simple politeness. You don’t go to a convention of comic-book devotees, walk up to the microphone, and launch into a long discussion of the merits of Elizabethan poetry. It’s not polite.

    Third, out of everyone posting and lurking there have been exactly two people interested enough to post on cosmic rays – Leif Svalgaard and max_b.

    I had hoped the cosmic rays would be a short-lived excursion, but like nuclear fission, one comment seemed to set off two. Before I asked for a halt, four of the last five comments were on some totally obscure point about some cosmic ray claim or counterclaim, with no ending in sight.

    My threads tend to have lots of comments in any case. I want to keep them interesting. I definitely don’t want people throwing up their hands in despair and giving up on my thread because they’ve fallen down a rabbit hole into a discussion of something called the CLOUD experiment that they’ve never heard of and wouldn’t care about if they had.

    So please, find a dang cosmic ray thread and discuss it there. Why are you posting this stuff here, and not someplace where people actually care about it? Put your energies where they will make a difference.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m very interested in cosmic rays, and I’ve been following the CLOUD experiment closely. It’s important stuff. and you guys seem to understand it well. Start your own thread on it and I’ll be there to read it.

    But there’s a place for everything, and for the subtle implications of whether some paper “confirms” or merely “provides suggestive evidence” about some arcane aspect of the CLOUD experiment, it’s not in my thread about polar ice and polar bears and polar trends.

    My thanks to you, please don’t take any of this personally. As I said, the issues you raise are important.

  247. Willis Eschenbach (19:13:00) :
    I generally don’t mind some thread drift, but IIRC this the the third post that I’ve written that has been swamped by cosmic rays.
    At some point, the same handful of people always try to hi-jack every thread by peddling their pseudo-science, be it cosmic rays, electric universe, planet influence on solar activity, iron sun, galactic forces, you name it. Perhaps it is my fault that I respond at all ['don't feed the troll']. It as at this point that a moderator should step in [after a few exchanges] and remind everybody what the topic is.

  248. I agree that a tighter rein on OT postings is desirable. Maybe there could be an Open Thread (a new one per month) where the moderator could dump those post-attempts.

  249. Willis Eschenbach (15:07:33) :
    And max_b, the next time you “dunno where to put this”, don’t put it in a post that has nothing to do with what you want to discuss. For starters, look for a post with the words “cosmic rays” in it somewhere, that’s a good clue.

    Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach:
    “…Henrik Svensmark adds another factor to what may be happening:
    The cosmic-ray and cloud-forcing hypothesis therefore predicts that temperature changes in Antarctica should be opposite in sign to changes in temperature in the rest of the world. This is exactly what is observed, in a well-known phenomenon that some geophysicists have called the polar see-saw, but for which “the Antarctic climate anomaly” seems a better name (Svensmark 2007)….”

    dear me… and I did just that… typed in ‘svensmark’ and then ‘cosmic ray’ into wuwt and up popped your post (both times)… did I just dream this part of your article up (quoted above)… Seemed fair game to mention CLOUD, as you mentioned the theory?

    Obviously not… sorry I spoke… :-(

  250. max_b (16:23:27)

    Willis Eschenbach (15:07:33) :
    And max_b, the next time you “dunno where to put this”, don’t put it in a post that has nothing to do with what you want to discuss. For starters, look for a post with the words “cosmic rays” in it somewhere, that’s a good clue.

    Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach:
    “…Henrik Svensmark adds another factor to what may be happening:
    The cosmic-ray and cloud-forcing hypothesis therefore predicts that temperature changes in Antarctica should be opposite in sign to changes in temperature in the rest of the world. This is exactly what is observed, in a well-known phenomenon that some geophysicists have called the polar see-saw, but for which “the Antarctic climate anomaly” seems a better name (Svensmark 2007)….”

    dear me… and I did just that… typed in ’svensmark’ and then ‘cosmic ray’ into wuwt and up popped your post (both times)… did I just dream this part of your article up (quoted above)… Seemed fair game to mention CLOUD, as you mentioned the theory?

    Obviously not… sorry I spoke… :-(

    max_b, the subject of the post is the global ice area. Cosmic rays may explain part of why the global ice area stays relatively even, with one pole having increasing ice while the other has decreasing ice.

    However, cosmic rays are not the subject of the post. And discussing whether some obscure paper “confirms” or merely “provides suggestive evidence” about some arcane aspect of the CLOUD experiment is definitely a long, long way from the subject of the post.

    I would not have minded if the discussion was about whether, as Svensmark says, cosmic rays are a possible reason for the polar see-saw. I happen to think they are, and his explanation is quite interesting.

    But my experience with cosmic ray discussions is that they tend to devolve, as this one did rapidly, into discussions of minutiae that are of interest to only a very few people. And that kind of discussion deters people from reading the rest of the comments.

    I didn’t mean to be as harsh towards you as I see by re-reading I was. My apologies for my hard words. I just get frustrated when cosmic rays start affecting my threads … definitive evidence of the wide-ranging power of cosmic rays, I guess.

    Anyhow, my bad, please don’t let it stop you from posting, as your contributions are interesting.

    Thanks,

    w.

  251. max_b, re-reading, I see I didn’t formally acknowledge that you were right that the words “cosmic rays” were in my post, and thus I was hoist by my own petard. Well played. My apologies for my harsh tone before, it was obviously unwarranted.

    w.

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