Arctic Sea Ice about to hit ‘normal’ – what will the news say?

Forecasting The NSIDC News

By Steven Goddard and Anthony Watts

Barring an about face by nature or adjustments, it appears that for the first time since 2001, Arctic Sea ice will hit the “normal” line as defined by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) for this time of year.

NSIDC puts out an article about once a month called the Sea Ice News.  It generally highlights any bad news they can find about the disappearance of Arctic ice.  Last month’s news led with this sentence.

In February, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track below the average, and near the levels observed for February 2007.

But March brought good news for the Polar Bears, and bad news for the Catlin Expedition and any others looking for bad news.  Instead of ice extent declining through March like it usually does, it continued to increase through the month and is now at the high (so far) for the year.

If it keeps this trend unabated, in a day or two it will likely cross the “normal” line.

Source: NSIDC North Series

The Danish Meteorological Institute shows Arctic ice extent at the highest level in their six year record.

Source: DMI Ice Extent

The Norwegians (NORSEX) show Arctic ice area above the 30 year mean.

Source: NORSEX Ice Area

And the NORSEX Ice Extent is not far behind, within 1 standard deviation, and similar to NSIDC’s presentation. Note that is hit normal last year, but later.

Source: NORSEX Ice Extent

And JAXA, using the more advanced AMSR-E sensor platform on the AQUA satellite, shows a similar uptick now intersecting the 2003 data line.

Source: IARC-JAXA

WUWT asked NSIDC scientist Dr. Walt Meir about this event to which he responded via email:

It’s a good question about the last time we’ve been above average. It was May 2001. April-May is the period when you’re starting to get into the peak of the melt season for the regions outside of the Arctic Ocean (Bering Sea, Hudson Bay) and the extent tends to have lower  variability compared to other parts of the year as that thinner ice  tends to go about the same time of year due to the solar heating. Even  last year, we came fairly close to the average in early May.

He also mused about a cause:

Basically, it is due primarily to a lot more ice in the Bering Sea, as is evident in the images. The Bering ice is controlled largely by local winds, temperatures are not as important (though of course it still need to be at or at least near freezing to have ice an area for any length of time). We’ve seen a lot of northerly winds this winter in the Bering, particularly the last couple of weeks.

As we’ve been saying on WUWT for quite some time, wind seems to be a more powerful factor in recent sea ice declines than temperature. Recent studies agree.

See: Winds are Dominant Cause of Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Losses and also NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

You can watch wind patterns in this time lapse animation, note how the ice has been pushed by winds and flowing down the east coast of Greenland:

Animation of Arctic sea-ice being pushed by wind patterns - CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW ANIMATION- Above image is not part of original story, but included to demonstrate the issue. Note that the animation is large, about 7 MB and may take awhile to load on your computer. It is worth the wait Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Dr. Meier also wrote:

This has very little implication for what will happen this summer, or  for the long-term trends, since the Bering Sea ice is thin and will melt completely well before the peak summer season.

There’s certainly no reason to disagree with the idea that much of the Bering Sea ice will melt this summer, it happens every year and has for millenia. But with a strong negative Arctic Oscillation this year, and a change in the wind, it is yet to be determined if Arctic Sea ice minimum for 2010 is anomalously low, and/or delayed from the usual time.

In 2009, WUWT noted it on September 15th: Arctic sea ice melt appears to have turned the corner for 2009

Dr. Mark Serreze of NSIDC offered some hopeful commentary in a press release back on October 6th 2009, but still pushes that “ice free summer” meme:

“It’s nice to see a little recovery over the past couple of years, but there’s no reason to think that we’re headed back to conditions seen in the 1970s,” said NSIDC Director Mark Serreze, also a professor in CU-Boulder’s geography department. “We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades.”

Remember this 2007 prediction from The Naval Postgraduate School?

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

==============================

Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013′

By Jonathan Amos
Science reporter, BBC News, San Francisco

Arctic summer melting in 2007 set new records

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.

Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly
Professor Peter Wadhams

“Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007,” the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.”So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.”

========================================

Joe Romm wrote up a clever piece last year on this subject:

Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat

June 5, 2009

I interviewed by email Dr. Mark Serreze, recently named director of The National Snow and Ice Data Center.  Partly I wanted him to explain his “death spiral” metaphor for Arctic ice

So now that Arctic ice has returned to normal extent and area, we eagerly await the explanation from the experts about how that fits into the “death spiral” theory.  Richard Feynman famously said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”

Time will tell. 2010 is looking promising for sea ice recovery again. After all, who wouldn’t want the Arctic Sea ice to recover? WUWT is predicting a recovery again this year, which we started mentioning as a prediction last fall.

So given what we know today, what will NSIDC highlight in their April Sea Ice News?

And even more importantly, will the MSM cover it like they do the ‘terrible’ minimums?

NOTE: The poll code got messed up, duplicating an entry, press REFRESH if you see a double entry. -A

Forecasting The NSIDC News

NSIDC puts out an article about once a month called the Sea Ice News.  It generally highlights any bad news they can find about the disappearance of Arctic ice.  Last month’s news led with this sentence.

In February, Arctic sea ice extent continued to track below the average, and near the levels observed for February 2007.

But March brought good news for the Polar Bears, and bad news for the Catlin Expedition and any others looking for bad news.  Instead of ice extent declining through March like it usually does, it continued to increase through the month and is now at the high (so far) for the year.

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

The Danish Meteorological Institute shows Arctic ice extent at the highest level in their six year record.

DMI Ice Extent

The Norwegians (NORSEX) show Arctic ice area above the 30 year mean.

NORSEX Ice Area

Joe Romm wrote up a clever piece last year on this subject:

Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat

June 5, 2009

I interviewed by email Dr. Mark Serreze, recently named director of The National Snow and Ice Data Center.  Partly I wanted him to explain his “death spiral” metaphor for Arctic ice

So now that Arctic ice has returned to normal extent and area, I eagerly await the explanation from the experts about how that fits into the “death spiral” theory.  Richard Feynman famously said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”

So what will NSIDC highlight in their April Sea Ice News?

  • The increase in both ice extent and quantity of multi-year ice

  • The long-term downwards linear trend line

  • The lack of 4+ year old ice


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382 thoughts on “Arctic Sea Ice about to hit ‘normal’ – what will the news say?

  1. Be carefull. The graph looks simple. We can check the opinions of the wandering troobadors with Team Catlin think. They reported a lot of open waters. Of course that makes sense since they reported 45 degrees below zero and -75 windchill.

    This does by the way prove it is warming as predicted.

    Weather is not climate.

    And last but not least, Obama says:
    Let me perfectly clear, Things left by Bush were much worse than we were told.

  2. Jolly inconvenient if you ask me.

    Back in 2008, it seems to me that the fall refreeze in Sept started off about two weeks earlier than usual, and then sort of retraced to 2007 climb (but two weeks earlier); so now we have the summer (in California) melt -off delayed for maybe two weeks.

    But I did notice that the DMI Arctic temperature graph is now on a somewhat oscillatory climb back towards just plain cold.

    Well you know that weather ain’t climate anyway.

  3. What will it say?

    Just because we can’t measure it, doesn’t mean it’s not melting.

    – and –

    It’s worse than we thought.

  4. What will they say? That’s an easy one: Global Warming is causing the Arctic to dangerously ‘ice up’. Only by drastically changing our lifestyles, economies, and VOTING patterns can disaster be averted. P.S. we need more funding.

  5. Glad you posted about this, (not that you’d ever ignore it). Been following closely everyday with glee as the extent keeps increasing past the historical peak date.

    I’m really excited to see the min this fall.

  6. Just speculating here

    When the data for the period 2000 – 2010 is finally included in the average, I would think that the recent rebound will even seem more profound.

    I understand that the NSIDC begin using the 1989 – 2010 20 year period for the average at some point in the next year. It may even result in a leveling off or reversal of the long term linear declining trend.

    Anyone with more time and capacity to do an analysis as to what adding the 2000 – 2010 data will result in?

  7. Some dynamic systems have preferential modes of stability, like rubber which can be slack or stretched to a maximum stable length. This is true at every scale, from atomic “orbits” to the true interacting orbits of the planets. Maybe Arctic sea ice also has preferred modes, and we are seeing a crossover back to the higher-volume mode of the 1979-2000 mean.

  8. Their “agenda” doen’t allow for any information that undermines the “consensus”.
    Agnthropogenic Global Warming is real an we have to act immediately!

  9. Anthony, you should be commended for your ability to stay professional in the face of comments such as: “Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat”.

  10. I’m sure they will claim that this ice is still more rotten than the average normal ice was in the past.

  11. See here the last eight years, the number of km2 on the 30th of march

    03,30,2003,14533906 km2
    03,30,2004,13977969 km2
    03,30,2005,13586563 km2
    03,30,2006,13267500 km2
    03,30,2007,13479063 km2
    03,30,2008,14122969 km2
    03,30,2009,13996250 km2
    03,30,2010,14405781 km2

    This year the 30th of march gave the higest number of km2 of the whole season, so maybe it will rise the next days…

    Yes, what will they say???

    Seppie.

  12. The abstract reads

    “Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910-1940 and 1970-2008) by a significant 1940-1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910-1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970-2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi decadal time scale.”

  13. The odd thing is that it is still going up way past when (~10 March) it should have been going down.

    The Green Daily does report on this though they don’t like the word “normal.”

    3.30.2010 3:14 PM
    Something Odd for the Arctic:
    “Normal” Sea Ice Extent As Winter Ends
    As the winter freeze ends, there’s more ice in the Arctic than at any time in recent years. Is this another PR problem for global warming activists?

    “…so much new ice froze in March that the overall extent for this winter will end up nearly normal, as compared to the long-term average. That’s a headline no one could have written for years, as the extent of Arctic sea ice has dropped, rhythmically with the seasons, but dropped precipitously and consistently for years.”

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/arctic-sea-ice-0330

  14. Chylek Petr, Chris K. Folland, Glen Lesins, Manvendra K. Dubeys, and Muyin Wang: 2009: “Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation”. Geophysical Research Letters

    “Understanding Arctic temperature variability is essential for assessing possible future melting of the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and Arctic permafrost. Temperature trend reversals in 1940 and 1970 separate two Arctic warming periods (1910-1940 and 1970-2008) by a significant 1940-1970 cooling period. Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910-1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970-2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi decadal time scale.”

  15. It is clear that global warming is causing ice from the Antarctic to migrate to the Arctic and that this will cause more catastrophes like the Titanic.

  16. Please,please report on the Catlin expedition to brighten the mood after yesterday’s whitewash.
    They couldn’t be bothered to look.

    Hopefully, stories like this will make them think and even blush a little at their complete dereliction of duty, that they owed to the public who pay their salaries.

  17. Obviously they’ll say this is an isolated event and can’t be used to make any assertion about ‘Arctic Ice loss’.

  18. The most annoying thing about the key players in the climate change racket, is that they always want to fit all climate patterns to a linear trend – based on the theory that CO2 concentration overwhelms all other variables and causes positive feedbacks.

    But geologic history shows us unequivocally that climate is cyclical and dominated by negative feedbacks.

  19. Now that the arctic is near normal…..

    MSM Headline, Antarctic ice now heading below normal values, Global Warming to blame….

  20. The NSIDC April Sea Ice News will focus not on ice extent, but the ‘alarming’ reduction in ice thickness.

  21. What is also interesting is that the peak is so late this year. Jaxa’s data shows March 30th as the highest sea ice extent so far in the season.

    Only two other years (since 1972) have a peak this late – 1995 on March 30th and 1999 with March 31st.

    It probably only reflects that fact that the sea ice areas which normally melt this time of year, Hudson Bay, Bering Sea, Barents Sea have been cooler than average for the past few weeks (and there is no ice in the St. Lawrence region to melt which means other areas are higher than normal).

  22. We can expect to see at least two things:

    1) Between now and September, any time the ice extent dips below any previous year, those who can’t face the reality of what’s happening will loudly tout how the ice is melting faster than _____(pick the year), and

    2) When there’s more ice (extent and volume) in September’s minimum, the new refrain will be how it’s “rotten ice.”

    A belief system’s a terrible thing to waste, so they’ll keep on blindly marching to their out of tune march of climate change.

    BTW, if this ice recovery keeps on progressing, in the next few years it could put a damper on the eco-tourism trade.

    And when the Catlin kiddies reach the pole, there are sure to follow tales of how bad is its condition.

  23. This is an April fools day joke, yes?

    At least the sun has spots in both hemispheres now. Hopefully that’s not a joke.

    REPLY: No joke, hard data.

  24. So if it was sound science in 2007 to predict an ice free summer in 2013, we can equally scientifically declare that, at the current rate, the last patch of open water in the northern hemisphere will be completely gone during summer by 2300.

    It seems that the great attraction of climate science is that you can predict anything. Once, if something could be used to predict anything, it wasn’t called science.

  25. The answer, as has been pointed out elsewhere, is likely to be silence.
    If it is acknowledged at all, this predicted rebound will be framed as a tiny fluctuation, completely predicted by AGW, and evidence things are much worse than thought.

  26. Presumably the Antarctic is starting to freeze up now too. What is the sum total of all sea ice now in both hemispheres? Must be getting pretty high I would think.

  27. What the media will say is “rotten ice” , “flippy floppy ice”, “Wibbly Wobbly Ice.” :o) I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

    Rotten

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/alaska-beat/170-november-27/3067–new-study-arctic-ice-is-rotten

    http://www.greenbang.com/rotten-sea-ice-creates-false-impression-of-arctic-recovery_12774.html

    Flippy Floppy
    Wibbly Wobbly

    “We’ve nicknamed the thin ice ‘flippy floppy’ ice. It bends, bounces wobbles as we pass over it. There’s also a lot of movement, breakage and shifting in the ice this year. We’re all highly experienced, but we’re all in agreement that it’s simply the strangest behaviour we’ve ever seen.”

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/blog.aspx?postid=107

  28. So can we please have a Catlin update now Anthony? Apparently they’ve made “good progress”, but still I can’t get that damned Google plugin to work on my PC.

  29. I’m certain they can spin the sea ice returning to normal as another sign of global warming. They could take a page from the spoof website, ‘ecoenquirer’ (if it’s still around & I remember it correctly), where they posted headline news: ‘Weather predicted to be perfectly normal this year-another sign of global warming’.

  30. I hope, and I think I expect, that the next NSIDC summary of Arctic ice conditions will be strictly scientific, with no “spin” at all. I think I have detected this trend in recent summaries. Now that it is becoming clear that AGW and Arctic sea ice extent are uncorrelated, I think and hope NSIDC will put their reports where they always ought to have been; on the science.

  31. Professor Maslowski has all options covered, it does not matter if the ice cover continues growing because as he says “In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly”

    No logical argument to that, except of course the ice cover in 2014.

  32. My bet: NSIDC will change the 1979-2000 normal to 1679-1710 normal.

    Following the Arctic ice through the year is pretty much fun. The first thing I check every morning is JAXA and DMI website :-o

  33. So how are they going to explain the record temp anomoly for the Artic occuring at average ice extent. Is it wibbly wobbly ice or flippy floppy ice.

  34. Reminds me of the chap sitting down to write a testimonial to the drug company that makes the very expensive hair restorer medication he has been using.

    “Dear Sirs, before I started using your hair restorer prodct, I had three bald patches on my head; Now after using the product for just two years, I have only one bald patch on my head. ”

    The poor chap is now totally hairless.

    That must be what is happening to the arctic ice; the number of open water patches is reducing but soon there will only be one open water patch in the arctic; and the Kayak expeditions will begin in earnest.

  35. And there is a Japanese paper refered to on Roger Piekle Senior’s site:-

    ” According to our result, the rapid warming during 1970-1990 contains a large fraction of unpredictable natural variability due to the AO. The subsequent period of 1990-2010 indicates a clear trend of the AO to be negative. The global warming has been stopped by natural variability superimposed on the gentle anthropogenic global warming. The important point is that the IPCC models have been tuned perfectly to fit the rapid warming during 1970-1990 by means of the ice-albedo feedback (anthropogenic forcing) which is not actually observed. IPCC models are justified with this wrong scientific basis and are applied to project the future global warming for 100 years in the future. Hence, we warn that the IPCC models overestimate the warming trend due to the mislead Arctic Oscillation.”

  36. I’m tempted to nominate Joe Romm and Mark Serreze as candidate replacements for two of the Three Stooges, but decline to do so because (a) that would be unkind, and (b) it would be agonizing to choose a third from the pool of available climate scientists.

  37. John S. (11:26:19):
    “The NSIDC April Sea Ice News will focus not on ice extent, but the ‘alarming’ reduction in ice thickness.”
    —–
    You have a point but if things continue to improve in the Arctic they will run out of chips (for the Arctic). They will then proceed to the Antarctica peninsula and find hot house conditions getting worse. If that area gets colder they will shift again to calving of ice sheets etc., etc. AGW, the science that cannot be falsified.

  38. Anthony you know that NSIDC has a link to the annual prediction by “selected” experts on the minimum ice in Sept each year. Since they are all CAGW believers you can guess what side of the actual results they all fall on. On an earlier thread, I published my emails to NSIDC from 2007 on wherein I predicted 10 to 15% growth in min ice for 2008 and 2009 and was the unofficial (unacknowledged) winner of the contest in both those years. I think it would be a good contest to have on WUWT as a counterfoil to the experts predictions. Here is the link with the predictions by each for last year – note that all 16 individuals and groups were below the actual 2009 minimum (It was a piece of cake to beat this lot).

  39. Jimmy Haigh said:

    “What is the sum total of all sea ice now in both hemispheres? Must be getting pretty high I would think…”

    ———-

    Actually Jimmy, nope. Global sea ice is currently below average for this time of year. See:

    Global sea ice is running about 400,000 sq. km under the 30 year normal. Both Artic and Antarctic are still showing negative anomalies, depsite that fact that the arctic ice is showing an most unusual bump upward. Some reports from the arctic do indicate unusal ice conditions, not thicker than normal, but odd spreading, thin areas of refreezing, quickly breaking up, and areas of open water. This could be related to the unsual winds, the negative AO index we saw this winter, and also, warm temps over N. Canada and Greenland could have caused some unusual ice conditions.

    My prediction is that the arctic sea ice may “touch” the 30 year normal line (or may not) but will then quickly fall back into the negative anomaly range it has been holding onto for the past 9 years or so. As a long term follower of arctic and antarctic conditions…this is a most interesting spring, and should be a very interesting summer as well…

  40. The AMO is on the downslope. That alone (absent any strange winds) should make for a colder north pole. In addition it looks like our El Nino friend is also starting to roll over, but it has done that before and then re-intensified so its a bit early to call that one.

    Hopefully none of the Catlin fools gets stalked and eaten by a polar bear. They will stalk and eat humans given the opportunity.

  41. i have been looking for the NSIDC(15%) and DMI(30%) data for the period of 1979-2002. can someone point me in that direction

  42. Jimmy Haigh (11:39:22) :

    Presumably the Antarctic is starting to freeze up now too. What is the sum total of all sea ice now in both hemispheres? Must be getting pretty high I would think

    From cryosphere today

  43. Last year I got really sick for a week, hardly ate at all.
    I hit my “normal” college weight one day.
    Ah, to be young again…

    Trends are now back to normal.

  44. May I be permitted a second thought. Over the 30 years we have had satellite data, the total sea ice, Arctic plus Antarctic, has remained approximately constant. There is a hypothesis that this is the norm, and total sea ice will remain constant into the indefinite future. Now as well as the melt season in the Arctic being delayed, the freeze season in the Antarctic is also delayed. Can I speculate that what we are observing is the start of a new era; one where Arctic sea ice extent will expand, and Antarctic sea ice will retreat?

  45. I will bet eleventy billion dollars that JAXA has some “malfunction”, and does not report anything for the next week. You will see the March 30th numbers until April 7th. (unless there is a sudden mass melt off)

  46. Last year the Catlin crew started at a spot where their path was somewhat like a treadmill. Go forward, rest, float back. This year they seem to have done the same thing. But they are all “highly experienced and they see the strangest behaviour.

    Of all the area and all the conditions and all the months when floating ice might be different – How much have they seen? Why is the Pole such an important destination? Why not go to a different part of the Arctic and in a different month?

    This is a good post, by the way. I think we should raise $1,000 and ask Mark Serreze of NSDIC to do the same. If the Arctic Ocean isn’t ice free by the end of September of 2013, WUWT gets to pick a charity recipient for the 2K. If it is ice free, then the folks at NSIDC can send the money to their charity of choice. We need 100 folks and $10 each. I’ll donate, so only 99 more.

  47. I have been chased off liberal blogs for having the temerity to ask similar questions. As a good, card-carrying liberal myself, I think that it is in the liberal tradition to look at all aspects of any issue; however, regarding climate the liberal consensus seemed to be set in stone.

    Yes, this March Arctic sea ice has done some strange things – strange if you are Mark Serreze and company. Sea ice has not declined, but has grown slightly since the beginning of the month – approaching the NSIDC 1979-2000 average. It appears that Arctic ice is on the way to a September minimum in the high 5 million sq km mark – approaching 6 million. Certainly not the “death spiral” so recently predicted. And all that “first year ice” that was supposed to evaporate last year is now “multiyear ice”.

    Next up – when is NSIDC going to include more recent years in averages?
    Does the 1979 to 2000 span reflect long-term averages or the top of a cycle peak?

  48. FWIW, not arctic nor sea-ice, but the lake across the street from my house had ice 22″ thick this winter (none of the old-timers have ever seen it that thick, since early ’70s). It cleared 10 days later than any previous of the last 15 years. Many of the last 15 years, it never froze over.

  49. Flippy Floppy Wibbly Wobbly: “We’ve nicknamed the thin ice ‘flippy floppy’ ice.

    Perhaps the ice has reached a …. tipping point! (groan)

  50. PS –
    It is amazing that people with such a high level of education in climate science and aware of all the variability can be such linear thinkers when it comes to Arctic sea ice.

  51. Given wind compaction this year such that area and extent are similar, this ice is probably quite thick also. there may be a big jump in minimum extent this year/

  52. I will scream the next time someone tells me about drowning polar bears in the Arctic. Polar bears a good swimmers.

    31 March 2010
    Polar bear washes up on Scotland’s Isle of Mull [UK]

    “Dave Sexton, RSPB Mull officer, explained how he saw a white shape on the west coast of the island that turned out to be a polar bear. He said: ‘At first I felt sure it was dead, but then I realised it was still breathing. Scarily, it opened its eyes as we got near it, but didn’t show any other signs of moving.”

    http://www.countrylife.co.uk/news/article/448935/Polar-bear-washes-up-on-Scotland-s-Isle-of-Mull.html

  53. Where are Phil and De Witt Payne? hahahaha I am now more than ever convinced that this whole AGW has become a total scam (used to believe in it 3 years ago), because of political and financial issues. The temps data for the NH are just being fabricated to fit AGW, but reality is not helping. This is NOT meant to happen, ice is not meant to recover according to vast theoretical AGW literature etc.. Be very wary of these sites (CT, NSCD, etc..) trying to re-adjust downwards in the coming days…. Trust the Scandinavians ONLY (they tend to feel very guilty about being dishonest…) LOL If NH ice continues on this path and reported… every effort will be made to downplay it because it was a central theme of the theory. It will bury AGW completely.

  54. This is in spite of the fact that “average” is still higher than it should be. We have 30 years of data (1979-2009), why not use it all? We all know that this would drop the “average” and that’s not good for the warmers.

    A little OT but the temperature in the upper Midwest USA is over 30F above average the last couple of days. It’s been great! You don’t hear anyone complaining about it. Now, if it was 30F below average you would have lots of complaining. I often wonder why the warmers have never figured out that warm is good and cold is bad.

  55. Like the poll, especially this option:

    “The lack of 4+ year old ice”

    Those who have followed their focus changing their comparisions each year, might find that as funny as I did. Thanks for the laugh. Unfortunately, given their track record, it won’t surprise if they try to extend their spin this year to yet another new definition to match their agenda, this time to: 4+ year ice.

    Well played sirs.

  56. John Egan (12:28:40) : linear thinkers…LOL!, however there are some “point thinkers”: “me,me,me”

  57. We’ve also had a dusting of global warming in the San Francisco Bay Area … still there at 12PM today when I drove south to work (in Santa Clara).

  58. Quick, there’s not a moment to lose. Grab a toad or two, and get Phil back out of his hole. We need to ask him to clarify:
    6 more weeks of winter or 6 weeks of melt this year… what exactly did you mean, Phil?

  59. Follow up:
    “Scientists believe that the colder winter and lower-than-average sea temperatures this year may have allowed the ice floe to remain frozen longer than usual, assisting the polar bear’s passage.”

    http://www.countrylife.co.uk/news/article/448935/Polar-bear-washes-up-on-Scotland-s-Isle-of-Mull.html#part2

    They can still swim great distances:

    Polar Bear Swims 200 Miles!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/05/animalwelfare.animalbehaviour

    Polar Bear Swims 100 Km

    http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/polarbears/pbadaptations.html

  60. If it was a UK organisation they would probably do a Met Office, along the lines of “we no longer see it as part of our remit to file reports and forecasts”

    This would be immediately declared by the BBC and the rest of the MSM as a prudent measure required to release much needed money and resource into further research. The declaration would be supported by quotes from The Royal Society, Prince Charles, Phil Willis, Lord Oxburgh etc. All three of the so called “major” political parties would claim responsibility for the move.

    There is also the distinct possibility that we will be told that in actual fact the sea ice has been retreating as predicted and what the satellite has picked up as an increase in the last few weeks is a major spillage of whitewash.

    Dear Mr G Fawkes, we have some new technology that you maybe able to utilise in your quest.

    /sarc (but not disgust) off

  61. Anu (12:19:02) :

    Last year I got really sick for a week, hardly ate at all.
    I hit my “normal” college weight one day.
    Ah, to be young again…

    Trends are now back to normal …

    Well of course, why didn’t I think of it. The ice is obviously “sick”. Is that going to replace rotten ice?

    I can see the headlines now … Arctic ice comes down with horrible cold due to climate change. If we don’t act immediately this cold could spread and impact the entire NH. It’s a catastrophe.

  62. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that Edward Lorenz’s Chaos Theory (1964) proves linear extrapolations of phenomena in complex dynamic systems (those with three or more interacting variables) are mathematically and physically impossible. Lorenz was a meteorologist, but his “sensitive dependence on initial conditions” (the Butterfly Effect) applies equally in geophysical contexts and perspectives. Moreover, though cyclical – periodic effects may be determined in hindsight, even regular fluctuations are subject to well-defined natural effects including Punctuated Equilibrium, the Principle of Mediocrity, and local Regression-to-the-Mean.

    After some 12,250 years, skewed by the 1,500-year Younger Dryas “cold shock” that ended c. BC 8800, our current Holocene Interglacial Epoch is generations overdue to end. As Sol threatens a 20-year “dead sun” Dalton if not a 70-year Maunder Minimum, we suspect that long-term “climate” may abruptly flip to ice-sheet mode. After a 500-year Medieval Warm compensated by a Little Ice Age of near-equal length, the odds of a recurrent 20th through 25th Century medieval analogue appear remote.

  63. I would expect a Wall Streeter type spin – its still less than analysts expected.

    Ignore everything else, all the fundamentals, and all earlier predictions. Just buy, buy, buy what they’re selling!

    In the meantime, the wikipedia doctors are quickly adjusting their content to fit.

  64. Anu (12:19:02) said:

    Last year I got really sick for a week, hardly ate at all.
    I hit my “normal” college weight one day.
    Ah, to be young again…

    Trends are now back to normal.

    So you think that the Arctic has been sick over the last few years and it will be back to normal soon? Good to hear.

    I tend to think these things are cyclical …

  65. Polar bear washes up on Scotland’s Isle of Mull

    Polar Bear Swims 200 Miles!

    Polar Bear Swims 100 Km.

    It’s G’pa Polar Bear’s revenge! Thay’re coming! I’d run if my name were gore! Just tell G.P.B. your name isn’t Al and you’d swear to that before Congress on the Bible! (CRT :))

  66. Returning to the thirty year mean is hardly normal. The mean is the center point of a gradual thirty year decline. Cryosphere Today Arctic area has decreased over the last few days so the recent increase in extent could be more related to ice at the margin breaking up and drifting away from the main pack. The buildup of ice around Svalbard and in the Barents Sea does indicate that the flow of warm water from the Atlantic is running well below the level during January and February. I expect the AMO index for March to be negative. The Sea of Okhotsk in the Pacific is also way above where it was last year and is close to the long term mean. Of course if the econometricians become involved, we’ll probably be told that we can’t tell if Arctic ice has declined at all.

  67. Jimbo – Had this handy from a past discussion. From this summary:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/05/16/where-are-all-the-drowning-polar-bears

    Unlike demogsblog, this site’s scientific references actually substantiate what they claim to. (On another thread two years ago while debating an “AGW proponent” about a demogsblog article I discovered that two of their key cited references did NOT say what they allegedly did – the lowest form of scientific fraud if you ask me! I guess they assumed that nobody would ever check them!)

    The Myth of the Drowning Polar Bears Due to The Warming is based on 4 dead bears in 2004… and…

    “there were reports of drowning polar bears in 2007, and they were directly attributable to human activities. But they didn’t drown because of global warming, instead, they drowned because they had first been shot with tranquilizer darts and then slipped into the sea and were unable to be recovered.”

    Not that polar bears drowning is anything new.

    That bear ending up in Scotland was of course a fluke, the result of chance, but with so many polar bears now the probability of such things is higher.

    I would guess/bet that that is the first one to ever get there – as the all time high polar bear numbers would predict – and there is a long historical record to check there.

  68. While I understand the joy at seeing the AGW crowd’s predictions fail, I cannot be joyful at the thought of our world turning colder. Less northern hemisphere ice and snow is a GOOD thing, it may help put off the inevitable change back to glaciation for a while. Then again, there is that old saying about the calm before the storm ……….

  69. SPIN, SPIN, SPIN

    NSIDC – March 30, 2009

    “Annual maximum ice extent confirmed”
    “Arctic sea ice extent reached its maximum extent for the year, marking the beginning of the melt season. This year’s maximum was the fifth lowest in the satellite record. NSIDC will release a more detailed analysis of winter sea ice conditions during the second week of April.”

    “In the beginning of March, ice extent began to decline, and it appeared that Arctic sea ice had reached its maximum extent. However, in the second week of March the ice edge began to expand again. Ice extent grew through much of the month of March, but it did not expand to the level seen on February 28.”

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

  70. Re: Stephan (Mar 31 12:37),

    I still expect Arctic temperatures to drop and ice to recover somewhat. I just haven’t seen much evidence that it’s happening now. I report the data as it is, not how I’d like it to be. When we start to see ice levels two or three sigma above the trend line, as opposed to that far below in 2007, you can start to crow a little louder. One month does not a trend make, or one year for that matter, neither in 2007 nor in 2010.

  71. This winter’s Arctic refreeze would seem to have put a large dent in the notion that temperature is the largest factor in the state of Arctic ice. Since the middle of last July the AMSU sat temps have been almost resolutely at or above the 20 yr record high line. The DMI graph of temps N of Lat 80 was 3-5 degrees or more above the long term avg. from the equinox in Sept. to after the first of the year and only ventured below twice briefly since. Despite this the Arctic sea ice has rebounded as it always has and maybe more so.
    The implicit fallacy in all the gloom and doom about the Arctic ice disappearing is that if it should go away some summer it will be gone for good. From conversations I’ve had with people who are products of the modern education system and not denizens of climate blogs, that indeed seems to be the impression drawn from all the hype. Unfortunately this level of ignorance is probably representative of at least 95% of the world’s population.
    But even here we seem to fall into the automatic stance of “sticking up for the ice”. Let us suppose that in some future summer the Arctic sea ice did all disappear for a couple weeks in September, but that no public revelation of this fact would be allowed. What clue in the environment where you yourself live would allow you to deduce that it had occurred?

  72. I doubt the mainstream media will even comment since they’ve bought the idea there will be no Arctic sea ice by summer 2013. NASA and GISS will no doubt twiddle with their computers to refute the fact the Arctic sea ice is still shrinking.

  73. But, according to Surface Temperature Analysis: Maps from NASA GISS, December 2009, and Jan/Feb 2010 Arctic temperatures were well above normal. In fact, the Arctic region was the main area that pushed Jan/Feb as being some of those months’ warmest anomalies on record.
    Check

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

    and go figure why the ice is increasing when it’s so ‘warm’.

  74. “”” R. Gates (12:03:04) :

    Jimmy Haigh said:

    “What is the sum total of all sea ice now in both hemispheres? Must be getting pretty high I would think…”

    ———-

    Actually Jimmy, nope. Global sea ice is currently below average for this time of year. See:

    Global sea ice is running about 400,000 sq. km under the 30 year normal. “””

    Well since the first polar orbit satellite went up around 1979, giving us the first ever look at what “normal” polar sea ice is, that means we have only about a 30 year record of polar sea ice; which means we have no record of what the “30 year normal” would be since we have precisely one data point for the most recent 30 year period.

    Maybe after three or four 30 year cycles are under our belt (typical climate cycle time); we might be able to say what the 30 year normal sea ice extent is.

    In the mean time; it is pure speculation to say what is normal; given that we have recently passed through a 30 year (or less) cycle of warmer than average climate, followed by some 15 years or thereabout of stagnation going into a cooling trend; as witnessed by none other than Dr Phil Jones of the CRU.

    So DMI has some six years of Arctic data (supposedly); so yes we have some idea what has happend since around 2003-4; and so far it seems basically nothing much has hapened, other than a big wind storm in 2007 which blew a lot of arctic ice away.

  75. “DirkH (13:44:07) :

    “Ivan Janković (12:55:11) :

    Antony,
    O.T. It’s seems that Lubos has some explosive stuff about the climate [...]”

    Sorry Mods – stumbled over the submit button too early…
    I wanted to say: Read the comments by Lubos, he’s in full swing…

  76. Precisely – don’t let Mann, Briffa, Jones etc anywhere near the raw data.

    James Chamberlain (12:47:55) :

    It will be “corrected” downward within the next few years.

  77. Everything I wanted to say… someone else has beat me to it.

    I think I will open a bottle. Cheers!

  78. Jim Cripwell said:

    “There is a hypothesis that this is the norm, and total sea ice will remain constant into the indefinite future…”

    ___________

    Really? From where does this hypothesis come? Do you have a link/source/reference?

    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.

  79. Plotting change in area from year to year on a daily basis shows that there is an increase in area until the beginning May followed by a sharp decline until the minimum.

    Only time will tell the final minimum area.

    /harry

  80. I tried to leave a comment over at Lubos Motl’s site but for some reason it didn’t go. Apparently you have to have an “account” with Google or somebody else.

    I have no idea what that is all about.

  81. The good news is that the institutions themselves, in this case NSIDC, will show a graph such as this.

    The majority of media will say nothing or print what they wish. Something like:

    “Arctic Sea Ice measurements indicate errors in instruments.”

  82. R. Gates (13:50:54) :
    Jim Cripwell said:

    “There is a hypothesis that this is the norm, and total sea ice will remain constant into the indefinite future…”

    ___________

    Really? From where does this hypothesis come? Do you have a link/source/reference?

    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.
    ———

    REPLY: Well, we find it funny when AGW proponents freak out when their cherished predictions of doom & gloom don’t pan out!!

    Here’s Delingpole on the subject:

    http://jamesdelingpole.com/blog/warmists-overwhelmed-by-fear-panic-and-deranged-hatred-as-their-science-collapses-858/

    BTW, I’m in the field and have spent over 25 years on environmental methane mitigation projects. I’ve always bristled at the doom & gloom, polar-bears-drowning nonsense that has been pushed down our throats.

    Watch the arctic sea ice extent grow! Anthony, you did predict this quite a while ago!

  83. nice to see an articulate fact-based discussion of climate change, using information supplied by legitimate scientific sources. It makes a change from the bogus science-fueled reactionary rubbish spouted by lots of climate change sceptics.

    The thing is, when blips like this deviate from the regular storyline of a chain of events the newspapers don’t like it. Journalists must work on the assumption that people are too stupid and lack the patience to follow anything but a linear, simple storyline.
    Hence, now newspapers are accepting the climate change story as a legitimate source of articles, they will be reluctant to have to confuse everyone with a change of tack.

    And coming back to a word I used a couple of paragraphs ago: “blip”; I do believe this is just that, a temporary anomally.
    What matters in these huge world-encompassing systems is the overall grand trend – which is heading warm-wards.

  84. It seems that as in the case of watergate’s Deep Throat, in “Climate-Gate” there is a “Deep Ice”.

  85. R. Gates (13:50:54) :

    Please explain how you can have a decade long downswing towards zero, and finish above average. Only a statistician could come up with that theory.

  86. Could one factor be that the cold weather in the Gulf of Mexico and off of the Florida Coast has removed heat content from the gulf stream conveyor belt, thus the currents reaching the Greenland & Barents Seas are cooler than normal, (both of which have been trending up recently)? If so, the summer melt may not occur as rapidly as predicted by some. Just a thought.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.5.html

  87. Something terrible and unprecedented is happening in the Arctic! The Arctic sea ice extent is the greatest ever for this date since records have been kept. In the past, Arctic sea ice began to decrease this time of year but not this year. 14,405,781 square kilometers of ice covers the Arctic ocean and it’s still increasing.

    There is 1,200,000 square kilometers more Arctic ice now than there was in 2,006. At this rate ice is increasing 300,000 square kilometers per year! Computer models show the Himalaya glaciers will be covered by an Arctic ice cap by 2,035 if we don’t do something now! Our dissolute carbon footprint conscious lifestyle is endangering polar bears. Heartbreaking pictures show these pigment challanged ursines without any open water to swim in.

    Man-made global icing is endangering the planet. The only solution is “Uncap and Rebate”. Everyone should be encouraged to burn as much carbon as possible. The governments of the world should give rebates for every ton of carbon burned. We must do something before it’s to late. The science of man-made global icing is settled.

  88. Later the extend maximum happens, less the time for the loss ’til the expected minimum
    Max          Dat
    14844063 03.21.03
    14360313 03.10.04
    14098906 03.06.05
    13782344 03.08.06
    13945625 03.10.07
    14516875 03.09.08
    14412813 03.05.09
    14405781 03.30.10

    Min Dat
    5646875      09.09.02
    6032031   09.18.03
    5784688         09.11.04
    5315156         09.22.05
    5781719         09.14.06
    4254531         09.24.07
    4707813         09.09.08
    5249844         09.13.09

  89. Global swarming is just another end to the means for the progressive left. May the liberals in power have the ability to actually read your article.

  90. Actually R Gates, arctic sea ice has been increasing since the 2007 low summer extent which as far as I can tell is a little more than “a few weeks”.

    With us heading into a cool PDO phase and most models predicting a coming La Nina (or at worst neutral) it is highly likely that the 2007 low ice extent is going to be revisited any time soon.

    But, hey don’t let the facts get in the way of your religion beliefs.

  91. I thought all the ice was gone from what the AGW crowd said.I find it real funny how all thoughs that believe the load of crap ,and thats all it is ,about global always always have a reason we should’t believe the they are wrong.It never fells .The global temp can drop 3 degrees and were still told it getting warmer.We see record cold and snow and they say it getting warmer.I viewed on the global warming channel,accuweather ,where a professor has stated we are entering a period of ten years where we will be seeing global cooling and then they call the cooling a hick up in the overall warming period.Hey call it what you will I loved this past winter ,32 in of beautibul SNOW,and look foward to more of the same in winters to come .One last thought .Why do the global warming crowd always have their conference in spring a sopposed to winter?I’m prety sure Iknow the reason but. By the way were not skeptics were realist and most of the world knows the weatehr is just a cycle.

  92. R. Gates (13:50:54) :
    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.

    I find it funny that you’ve stopped harping on the ongoing negative anomaly and your predictions that 2010 could be the warmest year on record.

    And it hasn’t been a few weeks of upswing. It’s been increasing since 2007 — and has increased beyond what the “nearly a decade of downswing” wrought.

    The ice is cyclical. Pretty revealing, innit?

  93. R. Gates (13:50:54)

    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.

    Personally i find it interesting but not that exciting. Over the years I’ve viewed numerous projections of the Arctic sea ice disappearing. These public pronouncements are always couched in tones that suggest that the prospect of this occurring should fill us all with immense foreboding. Being somewhat puzzled by this, I’ve been moved to inquire on quite a number of occasions as to what is the exact nature of the catastrophe that will eventuate if this does happen. The only semi cogent response I’ve ever received, in fact the only response, suggested that the increased amount of open water would lead to increased absorption of solar insolation fueling further global warming. As you pointed out, we have in recent times experienced a rather dramatic decline in summer ice loss in the Arctic. Culminating in 2007 with a minimum that was fully 40% of the potential decline if the ice disappeared entirely. From your comments here, you seem to be someone who has his finger firmly on the pulse of CAGW science so I’m hoping you can help me locate something I haven’t been able to find on my own. Could you provide for me a link to some kind of data that suggests that this increased absorption of solar energy is actually occurring? It would be most helpful in allowing me to understand what all the excitement is about.

  94. I think there must be some problems with the measurement or software, this looks like the reading is way too high. NASA will need to adjust the data to correct for the obviously faulty reading …

  95. R. Gates (13:50:54) :

    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.

    Kind of like folks that get all exited about a couple of months uptick in AMSU anomalies in the middle of a strong El Nino after nearly a decade long period of flat temperatures.

    Pot … Kettle …

  96. “Arctic Sea Ice about to hit ‘normal’ – what will the news say?”

    They’ll say it’s our fault.

  97. Does anyone know the answers?
    1) Were the results of Polar 5 ever published?
    2) Will there be a Polar 6?
    3) Will there be a 2010 competition of the professionals about arctic sea ice?

  98. R. Gates (13:50:54) :

    “I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.”

    Yes, and what does it reveal, Mr. Gates? That we are happy with life and prosperity, and you like to be Doom’ed?

  99. Here’s the NSIDC’s maximum and minimum press releases for the last 7 years. I await their forthcoming press release with bated breath:

    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

    Let me help, “Arctic Sea Ice Narrowly Misses 13th Lowest Extent Ever, Likely Record-Low Volume of 4th Year Ice, Trend Indicates Ice Free Arctic Still Likely…” Can I get me one of those government grants now?

  100. Lovelock: ‘We can’t save the planet’

    Professor James Lovelock, the scientist who developed Gaia theory, has said it is too late to try and save the planet.

    The man who achieved global fame for his theory that the whole earth is a single organism now believes that we can only hope that the earth will take care of itself in the face of completely unpredictable climate change.

    Interviewed by Today presenter John Humphrys, videos of which you can see below, he said that while the earth’s future was utterly uncertain, mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger” on global warming as it built its civilizations.

    Meanwhile Arctic sea ice extent is in recovery, Antarctic ice doing nicely, the Earth has witnessed higher levels of CO2 in the past.

    “utterly uncertain” – “mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger””

    What a crock!

  101. Lovelock: ‘We can’t save the planet’

    Professor James Lovelock, the scientist who developed Gaia theory, has said it is too late to try and save the planet.

    The man who achieved global fame for his theory that the whole earth is a single organism now believes that we can only hope that the earth will take care of itself in the face of completely unpredictable climate change.

    Interviewed by Today presenter John Humphrys, videos of which you can see below, he said that while the earth’s future was utterly uncertain, mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger” on global warming as it built its civilizations.

    Meanwhile Arctic sea ice extent is in recovery, Antarctic ice doing nicely, the Earth has witnessed higher levels of CO2 in the past.

    “utterly uncertain” – “mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger””

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8594000/8594561.stm

    What a crock!

  102. R. Gates (13:50:54) : “I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.”

    Except there have been more than a few weeks of upswing. More like years, now. I find it very funny that AGW faithful get excited about a few years of downswing in Arctic ice, and have to resort to making up terms like “flippy-floppy” and “rotten” ice. Very revealing.

    “this is a most interesting spring, and should be a very interesting summer as well…”

    I agree, Mr. Gates!

  103. That is an excellent paper by Lubos Motl referenced above by DirkH. While it’s a bit intense mathematically, let me summarize his findings (chime in if I’m wrong):

    The bottom line (and why AGW is dead) involves what they call a “black body”, which gives off 100% of the heat it contains. But if the curves they’re using over at the IPCC to support AGW exceeds those imposed by a “black body”, then their calculations are impossible (because Earth is less than a black body), and their theory is bogus. That’s the bottom line to his argument, which is very eloquently demonstrated.

    Or another way of saying it, a “black body”, being the perfect emitter, puts the limits around what is possible. The earth and every planet falls within these theoretical limits. However, the curves used by the IPCC in their calculations fall outside those limits. Rather a difficult thing to justify (it would require that our earth be “blacker” than a “black body”).

    The article by Lubos is the most convincing argument I’ve seen yet that the IPCC and their theory of global warming is bogus. And it is sufficiently straight forward that almost any scientist can see why they’re in error.

    And while the link was given above, here it is again:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/03/black-body-limits-climate-sensitivity.html

  104. Lovelock’s Uncertainty Principle?

    “utterly uncertain” – “mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger””

    Ok… Now let me get this straight. Here’s a guy who is “utterly uncertain”… meaning completly clueless and demonstrably demented, and he’s convinced mankind has “pulled the trigger”? The trigger to what? Add when and where was this “trigger” pulled?

    Who on earth pays these guys to come up with such patently unintelligible gobbledygook??

  105. Snow and an ice storm in Northern Ireland yesterday and today. 100.000 homes effect by power outages caused by ice bringing down power cables. The Glenshane pass across the Sperrin Mountains closed last night due to snow, (and my car is now iced up and will need a bump start to get it running tomorrow.

    On the plus side, the fence I put up yesterday survived last night’s 80mph windy ice storm.

  106. R. Gates (13:50:54)
    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.

    According to AGW climate scientists climate is 30 years +. In 2007 we had record loss of Arctic ice, caused mostly by wind and currents (since satellite data – 1979) and warmists were “excited” about the loss and it was trumpeted around the globe as a sign of global warming – “worse than we thought.”

    Have you ever thought that the “downswing” might be part of natural variability which we have had since climate change began billions of years ago?

    Arctic ice loss is nothing new and much of it occured while we were still in the stone age without SUVs. Read and learn:
    Arctic ice melting is nothing unusual

    http://www.ngu.no/en-gb/Aktuelt/2008/Less-ice-in-the-Arctic-Ocean-6000-7000-years-ago/

    http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08578.htm

    http://www.icue.com/portal/site/iCue/flatview/?cuecard=41751

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Arctic.htm

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1078291/

    http://co2science.org/articles/V12/N32/C2.php

    http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2372

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/

    NASA says at least 45% melting since 1976 is most probably due to aerosols (soot)

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warming_aerosols_prt.htm

    Arctic temperatures stable since 1958
    If an increased-CO2-greenhouse-forcing was causing global warming as the IPCC models predict, the fingerprint would be most apparent in the summer arctic temperatures (when there is sunlight 24 hours a day to produce a greenhouse effect-there is no sunlight in the arctic during winter). Since CO2 has steadily climbed since 1958, yet arctic summer temperatures have not changed, CO2 is obviously not a major player in arctic temperatures.
    Please go to the DMI website yourself and look at all the graphs from 1958-2009 and you will find absolutely no increasing trend in arctic summer temperature,

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

  107. “RockyRoad (15:25:24) :

    That is an excellent paper by Lubos Motl referenced above by DirkH. ”

    The honor goes to
    Ivan Janković (12:55:11)
    – i was just delighted by Lubos’ rage…

  108. “After all, who wouldn’t want the Arctic Sea ice to recover?”

    Well…, why do we NOT want it to melt? Isn’t warmer better? I like warmth myself and see no problem with a warmer Canada and a warmer Northern Europe. It’s this whole idea that warmth is bad that gets me. We could be somewhat warmer than we are and it not cause much of a problem.

  109. Remember postings two or three months ago about cold in places like Florida killing fish in the sea? Well that is presumably the water that is now reaching the Arctic via the Gulf stream. I know it all gets mixed up but if the gulf stream is slightly cooler than usual at the moment then the transport of tropical heat to the Arctic must be diminished.

    I don’t see anywhere in between the Gulf and the Arctic where the sea would have regained heat on the way. On the contrary a cold Europe and a cold N. America suggests a cold North Atlantic this winter.

    And if something similar has happened in the Pacific then less heat flowing north = more ice and a delayed melt season.

    Amateur prognosticating I know but it makes sense to me.

  110. Why doesn’t the average go from 1979 to 2009, why stop at 2000 why not add 9 more years of data?? for an average don’t you have to add every year…averages go up and down… that’s why they are averages

  111. So what will be said if the US some time in the near future is covered with snow during summer? If that ever happened and the AGW alarmists still claim we shouldn’t be confusing weather with climate, it will be time to arrest them for deliberate fraud, and that should include Obama.

  112. “It’s nice to see a little recovery over the past couple of years, but there’s no reason to think that we’re headed back to conditions seen in the 1970s,” said NSIDC Director Mark Serreze”

    Mr. Serreze has apparently never heard of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which takes about 60 years to complete an oscillation. Since Northern Hemisphere temperature trends tracked perfectly with the PDO throughout the 20th century, it might tell a real scientist that something similar would take place in the 21st Century. Conditions seen in the 1970s are actually quite likely by the 2030s, according to standard scientific reasoning.

  113. “Why doesn’t the average go from 1979 to 2009?”

    Because the climate became irreversibly perverted by CO2 after 2000, so all numbers are meaningless after that date.

  114. Here is the bad news that will be plucked from hitting “normal”.

    It is a Young Ice Anomaly and the young ice that is there is ill mannered, being that it is young.

  115. Dr. Mark Serreze of NSIDC “It’s nice to see a little recovery over the past couple of years, but there’s no reason to think that we’re headed back to conditions seen in the 1970s,”

    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    It’s ok that he said that. I don’t expect someone that works for the government to be very smart.

  116. Dave Wendt (15:04:16) :
    . . . Over the years I’ve viewed numerous projections of the Arctic sea ice disappearing. These public pronouncements are always couched in tones that suggest that the prospect of this occurring should fill us all with immense foreboding. Being somewhat puzzled by this, I’ve been moved to inquire on quite a number of occasions as to what is the exact nature of the catastrophe that will eventuate if this does happen. The only semi cogent response I’ve ever received, in fact the only response, suggested that the increased amount of open water would lead to increased absorption of solar insolation fueling further global warming. . . Could you provide for me a link to some kind of data that suggests that this increased absorption of solar energy is actually occurring? It would be most helpful in allowing me to understand what all the excitement is about.

    Can’t provide a link, but as far as I can tell, the persistent hysteria over the melting of Arctic sea ice goes back to the alarmist prediction that, according to their hypothesis, the Arctic would suffer from ‘global warming’ first, and so it’s a ‘canary in the coal mine’, as RGates put it in another thread.

    In the popular mind, of course, the fear is that the ice would permanently disappear, not just for a few weeks in summer. But aside from actually fulfilling an AGW prediction (they need one, don’t they?), I cannot fathom either what possible disadvantage that would have for humanity. Surely a balmy sea route across the North Pole, long-sought since the discovery of the New World, would be a boon for commerce. The adorable polar bears might have to shed their white coats in order to kill rabbits instead of seals, but the seals would be happy.

    /Mr Lynn

  117. Richard Feynman famously said “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………

    LOL!! :-P

    Perfect for the global warming alarmists!

  118. Mr. Romm,

    A tree is known by its fruits. WUWT has a good track record for accuracy of predictions not only Anthony’s predictions but in those he chooses to have as guest post-ers here, like Steven Goddard, Joe Bastardi, etc.

    How are the fruits of that ‘death spiral’ working out? Just askin.

  119. George E. Smith (13:37:37) :

    ‘basically nothing much has happened, other than a big wind storm in 2007 which blew a lot of arctic ice away’

    There has been a lot of talk on WUWT about the effect of wind on Arctic ice but I have not seen any reference to two other factors which might have altered the situation in 2007.

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

    Temperatures above 80N were much higher than the mean in the winter for 30-60 days in both 2005 and 2006; 18C above the mean in February 2006 for a short time. This will have affected the growth in the thickness of the ice in winter.

    2007 was also apparently ‘a record breaking year for Eurasian river inflow
    to the Arctic Ocean’. See:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/4/045015

    The ‘record breaking’ inflow of fresh water carrying heat from Siberia may also have affected the ice remaining in the summer.

    Any expert care to comment?

  120. John of Kent (UK) (11:02:37) :

    undoubtedly all “rotten” ice!

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………

    There are some who might be calling it rotten. ;-)

  121. NZ Willy (11:04:53) :

    and we are seeing a crossover back to the higher-volume mode of the 1979-2000 mean.

    I think we’re heading to even higher than that.

  122. Why is it that in a battle between actual measured data and model results, the modeling results always win?

    Unfortunately most modeling currently being done is a lot like astrology lots of math and calculations with out any basis in reality.

    What happened to science?

  123. Not A Carbon Cow (11:05:25) :

    Anthony, you should be commended for your ability to stay professional in the face of comments such as: “Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice, brushes off the “breathtaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat”.

    I agree with you Not Cow.

  124. They’ll define a new variable to keep milking that 2007 low. 4th year ice lowest ever!!

  125. DirkH (16:14:51) :

    Romm is now censoring my posts, but I got a few through while he wasn’t paying attention.

    The last thing these guys want is an honest discussion.

  126. Mann O Mann (16:08:20) :

    “Here is the bad news that will be plucked from hitting “normal”.

    It is a Young Ice Anomaly and the young ice that is there is ill mannered, being that it is young.”

    And Rotten!

  127. M White (11:52:46) :

    Thanks for the link to the Joe Bastardi video where he talks about this same story.

    “….let’s look at the actual data….”

    ~~Joe Bastardi

    Here’s the link to the video for those who didn’t see it:

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    http://www.accuweather.com/video/74661048001/from-siberia-with-love-(the-reason-for-the-spike-in-ice).asp?channel=vblog_bastardi

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    :-)

  128. BTW, I noticed Al Gore’s website under the Google paid ad. Everbody click on that ad to get a few cents of revenue for Anthony. If enough of us do that, then the AGW crowd can claim that Anthony is nothing but a shill for “Big Al”

  129. I refuse to call Lovelock’s fairy tale a theory.

    It is based on wishes rather than on actual facts. Earth by itself doesn’t behave as a single organism. Last time I checked it doesn’t grow (It doesn’t actively incorporate matter from the outside), it doesn’t relate with other planets and it doesn’t reproduce. So out of the 3 necessary conditions to call it a living organism it fulfills 0.

    It doesn’t have anything that resembles homeostasis either. CO2 concentrations, for example, were much higher during the beginning of the carboniferous era. Also O2 concentrations were higher.

    And by the way, when we burn fossil fuels we are actually helping the Earth to complete the carbon cycle by recovering the carbon lost for the cycle of life as fossil fuels and coal. Live on Earth during carboniferous era was more abundant that nowadays. I don’t see the homeostasis Lovelock was talking about.

  130. Robert Wykoff (12:20:30) :

    I will bet eleventy billion dollars that JAXA has some “malfunction”, and does not report anything for the next week. You will see the March 30th numbers until April 7th. (unless there is a sudden mass melt off)

    I’ll take that bet.
    Eleventy billion.
    I’ll give you 30 days to transfer the money.

  131. DRE (16:34:01) :wrote: Why is it that in a battle between actual measured data and model results, the modeling results always win?

    Because modelling justifies grant applications for super-computers, which are much more fun to play with then a thermometer and an ancient desktop PC. Also makes the administrators happy with the 40% slice they get of all grants.

  132. Latest from Catlin

    Explorer Team
    Wed 31 Mar, 00:00GMT

    Thick and old

    We’ve made good progress northwards over the past few days, so I’m happy to report that morale is excellent. 

    We travelled across very old and thick ice for the majority of the day

  133. BUT — I expect a POSSIBLE Apocalypse:
    El Nino = 1.8, strongest since 1998 … (2007’s was only a 1.1 and the previous year had a Minimum of just under 85 % cover, dropping to 61%, Much more than the 1998 drop, because once you start exposing the actual Arctic Ocean it quadruples the Sun absorption, so if a 1.1 would give an 11%, the part under 80% must have TRIPLED, ie, 5 + 18 ( from 6, times 3) = 23% — 2009 was 76%
    so as it is ALL in the “bonus” I presume 18 x 3 = 54% drop, leaving 22% — but the last 25% is REALLY thick — like: miles thick. This leads to the central areas melting off to the point of HEATING UP ENOUGH TO STOP THE OCEAN CURRENTS.
    … Now if CURRENTS get their energy from moving Heat from the Tropics — they ought to REVERSE, because the 24-hour Daylight near the Pole will deliver 550 watt/sq. meter (for 3 months) vs. the Tropical 400-420 (got that from Solar Cell Performance Websites). Total Yearly is only 45% of the Tropics & cut by albedo to 15% as it is white & reflective, but IF it were to melt off, the 3 best months have MORE sunlight per 24 hours, than the Tropics get.
    = Ocean Current Shutdown.
    = 300 mph winds starting about a month after the ice reforms (Xmas ?).
    = You & I all die.
    Please note that this could be stopped for 6 cents per American as Most major Scientists (Lovelock, Crutzen, and Obama’s Science Advisor) have BEGGED) and then there is the $1 per American, Seawater spray idea of the
    Purist Copenhagen Consensus ( 6 cents is for pushing some Sulphur up high — about 1/150th of 15 million tons/year the USA has cut Sulphur but some people get wacky about ANY. Whereas Seawater just falls back in the Sea — its temperature reduction is from making Cloud cover more reflective).

    I strongly urge we do this, as it is MUCH cheaper than dieing.
    Honesty requires me to give ONLY a 25% chance of MASS DEATH as Everything has to go just right — but it is, so far — AND, even if it melts off the center area, we Know these WINDS happened at the End of the Younger Dryas BUT the Ocean currents are not identical to then
    — if they stop PARTIALLY, it’s a non-event.
    A melt off over 2 years would allow currents to adjust = non-event.
    … The pH of the Ice Core record however (see the book Climate Crash) showed not even a month’s warning: in 22-day periods put on an audible signal: ” wee, wee, wee, BOING!, WEEP!, WOP! ”
    Be Scared.
    Be very Scared.
    PS: “Phil” on another comment set here, pointed out that 2007 had a brief outflow of Ice through the normally blocked Nares Strait and opined that the actual placement of WHERE the extra ice NOW is …. indicates the Pack is EMPTYing out even WORSE than pre-2007.
    The ICESAT died or we could confirm his suggestion the that we actually have LESS ICE — that is: Thickness is dropping faster than extent rising — in fact, BECAUSE of the outflow. Traditionally El Ninos cause More of the Pacific-to-Atlantic Flows — such as we are seeing now.
    PSS: as Nasa/Shindell said 76% of Arctic Warming is from Cap & Trade (Euro-Diesel Soot, extra China Soot from Transplanted Industries, & Sulphur Cap & Trade) — the Left Wing may NOT acknowledge there is a Problem because
    — it’s THEIR Fault. And 76% of the time No One dies.
    I think Inaction = 6 Billion Deaths x 25% = 1.5 Billion Murders.
    Fix it.

  134. Wait, this is the warmest winter on record and yet the Arctic Ice is coming back? So apparently it really doesn’t matter for the ice cover whether it’s -25°C or -24°C. Great news for the Polar Bears, not so great news for Al Gore.

  135. charles Wilson (17:27:08) :

    I expect to see more than 6 billion deaths over the next 100 years. The total number of human deaths per year has increased tremendously since before the start of the industrial revolution.

    The most dangerous greenhouse gas is dihydrogen oxide, which sometimes makes up 4% of the atmosphere in a particular location. Call up your Congressperson and demand that dihydrogen oxide be banned to save the planet.

  136. Dave Wendt (15:04:16) :

    Could you provide for me a link to some kind of data that suggests that this increased absorption of solar energy is actually occurring? It would be most helpful in allowing me to understand what all the excitement is about.

    Could not agree more. I think the angle of incidence makes reflection a moot point as water reflects so much at that angle (think glare off the sea at sunrise/set). I have also noted that some theories that a lack of ice will allow the water, which is perforce warmer than the ice, to radiate more heat. In effect the ice acts as an insulator, like in a lake where it often protects life therein. In this case, losing the ice will have an immediate negative feedback, and all will return to ‘normal’.

    Having said that, neither theory is proven, and each is as valid as the other. One seems to get a lot more airtime, however. Strange, that…

  137. I”ve been snipped!!!! For the very first time I’ve been snipped! Where do I get my certificate for having a potty mouth?

  138. World renown climatologist Joe Romm has given us the new definition of climate change

    [JR: Yes, dry areas will tend to get drier -- and wherever and whenever droughts occur they will tend to be hotter and longer. At the same time, wet areas are likely to get wetter. That is why they call it climate change.]

    So I guess the ice is still increasing because cold areas are likely to get colder. I am still unsure what happens to temperate areas. Do they become more temperate?

  139. Steve Oregon (13:09:04) :
    Here’s a humorous explanation.

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/arctic-sea-ice-0330

    JimP1 wrote:
    “Ice is breaking-up and spreading out, not growing
    What they measure is 15% ice coverage and therefore doesn’t account for ice spreading out. If you look at cryosphere today and play their movies you will see ice that is moving very fast out of the arctic. This is also confirmed by Catlin Arctic survey”

    A pretty accurate one too.
    As CT shows ice area has continued to fall since the max on March 7th, since then the strong outflow through the Fram and around Svalbard, currently up to ~20km/day, is what’s causing the increase in extent.
    Trouble is most of that ice is from the big white blob in the central Arctic shown in this fig, so less MY ice.

    I wouldn’t be too sanguine about the chances of a continued ‘recovery’ this summer.

  140. Catlin: After careful study, the ice is “rotten” …”flippy floppy” … and “naughty natty”. Wire another 4B, and we’ll transmit a photograph….sorry, unable to continue…. -75f windchill…

  141. Wishy washy. Tiddly Winky. Gooshy Wooshy. The new vocab for highly experienced scientists is way cool! Totally posty modernishy sciency!

  142. This is the same rotten ice, prone to melting, that is sticking around longer than the older, thicker, multi-year ice that is not as prone to melting?

  143. I don’t get where they say this is “young ice”.
    Go here where you can see the yearly maximum’s since 1978.

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/total-icearea-from-1978-2007

    Let’s pick 1982 which had a high maximum compared to the past decade, and look at a comparison of March 31 – 1982 vs. today 2010 on Cryosphere Today shows ice concentrations by color density(maroon).

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=31&fy=1982&sm=03&sd=31&sy=2010

    It is obvious that the ice concentration of today’s March 31st is more concentrated than ANY prior year. Plus in September 12th for any year and you can see what low concentrations look like. How can this be called rotten, young, 1st year ice?? Unless I am reading this wrong, we might be heading for a record high minimum!!!

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=31&fy=1982&sm=03&sd=31&sy=2010

  144. Phil. (18:04:26) : “since then the strong outflow through the Fram and around Svalbard, currently up to ~20km/day, is what’s causing the increase in extent.”

    You mean that is just happening this year, and not in previous years? My BS meter is ticking…

  145. Re: Phil. (Mar 31 18:04),

    I noticed that NP-37 has hardly moved at all this winter so there hasn’t been much movement from the Pacific to the Atlantic side, certainly not like last year.

  146. RockyRoad (15:34:10) :

    Lovelock’s Uncertainty Principle?

    “utterly uncertain” – “mankind was not aware it had “pulled the trigger””

    Ok… Now let me get this straight. Here’s a guy who is “utterly uncertain”… meaning completly clueless and demonstrably demented, and he’s convinced mankind has “pulled the trigger”? The trigger to what? Add when and where was this “trigger” pulled?
    ============

    What he is saying, I think, is that the Earth has pulled the trigger on global warming. A few years ago he was saying that global warming will cause the death of Billions of us, except for a lucky few that might take refuge in the Arctic. But more recently he said that in fact the Earth has decided to go into an ice age, and that AGW has been fortunately been delaying this – or something to that effect. In short, AGW has gone from being our worst enemy to being our only hope, or something like that. But maybe now he is saying something else. Of course, the man is totally demented, goes without saying.

  147. Any press that picks up this story in a climatic sense will be confusing weather anomalies with climate trends – again.

    But if they fail to report near-normal sea ice extent just as they failed to report the near-record minimum for the month of January 2010, they will at least be consistent. I think neither anomaly deserves much attention.

  148. The link below compares sea ice from 3-30-1980 to today. Look closely at the sea ice concentrations near Sweden, Siberia and Nothern Canada. Look at the Gulf of Bothnia, between Sweden and Finland. Look at the White Sea near Murmansk. Look at the Obskaya Gulf in nothern Siberia.

    And lastly, look at the ice in and around the northwest passage above Canada.

    The the ice edges in 1980 were sort of fat and ill defined compared to the images from today which look crisp and thin.

    So, does that mean that in 1980, the ice coverage was overestimated do to less resolution? Its my understanding that they count pixels to estimate sq km of coverage. So it stands to reason that fat, ill defined areas are going to add up to more coverage. (only looking at pink areas, not white)

    Also, examine the extents. They look further today than in 1980.

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=30&fy=1980&sm=03&sd=30&sy=2010

  149. Re: Phil. (Mar 31 18:04),

    I noticed that NP-37 has hardly moved at all this winter so there hasn’t been much movement from the Pacific to the Atlantic side, certainly not like last year.

    Yeah this year they parked it in the gyre so it’s slowly drifting around in the center of the eddy. They should be able to stay there for quite a while as long as a polynya doesn’t open up under them. ;)
    There’s plenty of those around this year.

  150. JT (19:59:47) :
    The the ice edges in 1980 were sort of fat and ill defined compared to the images from today which look crisp and thin.

    So, does that mean that in 1980, the ice coverage was overestimated do to less resolution? Its my understanding that they count pixels to estimate sq km of coverage. So it stands to reason that fat, ill defined areas are going to add up to more coverage. (only looking at pink areas, not white)

    Different satellites, higher resolution these days, also you can’t rely on the colors on the comparator, recent images show more uniform purple (but not on the front page).

  151. E Flesch (19:20:05) :
    Phil. (18:04:26) : “since then the strong outflow through the Fram and around Svalbard, currently up to ~20km/day, is what’s causing the increase in extent.”

    You mean that is just happening this year, and not in previous years? My BS meter is ticking…

    It varies from year to year in strength and direction, this last few weeks it’s been pushing strongly around Svalbard hence the increased extent over the last few days.

  152. Phil. (20:28:05) : “…this last few weeks it’s been pushing strongly around Svalbard hence the increased extent over the last few days.”

    Or it’s gotten cold there. If you check the Svalbard daily news, http://www.icepeople.net, you’ll see they are having a real cold snap. The article leads:

    “Minus 23°C? Bah! Temperatures consider brutal in most of the world are actually a secondary consideration when determining if it’s a crummy day in Svalbard. But at some point they have to, um, drop to the forefront.”

  153. E Flesch (21:04:13) :
    Phil. (20:28:05) : “…this last few weeks it’s been pushing strongly around Svalbard hence the increased extent over the last few days.”

    Or it’s gotten cold there. If you check the Svalbard daily news, http://www.icepeople.net, you’ll see they are having a real cold snap. The article leads:

    Take a look it’s not new ice it’s fragmented older ice:

  154. E Flesch (21:04:13) said:

    Phil. (20:28:05) : “…this last few weeks it’s been pushing strongly around Svalbard hence the increased extent over the last few days.”

    Or it’s gotten cold there. If you check the Svalbard daily news, http://www.icepeople.net, you’ll see they are having a real cold snap. The article leads:

    “Minus 23°C? Bah! Temperatures consider brutal in most of the world are actually a secondary consideration when determining if it’s a crummy day in Svalbard. But at some point they have to, um, drop to the forefront.”

    Oh no, I am sure you are wrong. If Phil. says that Arctic Ice will be gone in five years, then you can believe it. If Phil. says that this year will be like 2007, then you can believe it. Just wait until September. You will see.

  155. The sea ice extent at a given point in time is meaningless. It is the time averaged integration of the course of the year thats important in comparing it with normal. From the data, it’s still well below “normal”. But is that 30 year average “normal”. I doubt it, we have no idea what normal is, or how much sea ice extent there was before satellites. Anecdotal evidence suggests the 1930’s may have been more ice free than today, not to mention the MWP.

  156. R. Gates (13:50:54)

    “I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.”
    ================

    Jimbo (15:43:23) :

    “According to AGW climate scientists climate is 30 years +. In 2007 we had record loss of Arctic ice, caused mostly by wind and currents (since satellite data – 1979) and warmists were “excited” about the loss and it was trumpeted around the globe as a sign of global warming – ‘worse than we thought.'”

    “Have you ever thought that the “downswing” might be part of natural variability which we have had since climate change began billions of years ago?”

    =======================

    No, Jimbo, ’cause folks like Wren Gates…..um….sorry about that…..R. Gates…already have their minds made up.

    So any “downswing” must be “anthropogenic” in origin….even though “downswings” and “upswings” have been occurring quite often, for the past few billion years before homo sapiens have been on the scene.

    So a decade is really a drop in a lake, no doubt….if that.

    Hey his posts make for fun fodder, I will admit that.

    Weak arguments though….are like….they are like…what my favorite species calls…..INJURED PREY.

    Like a thrashing fish and there is blood in the water.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  157. What does the sunny days and low temperatures(very low) in Svalbard prove? It proves that arctic ice melt, and glacier melt, has more to do with the amount of sunlight than the temperature of the air, just like the European glacier studies correlated a few months ago.

    http://www.physorg.com/news180024364.html

    and…the article states that a period of less sunshine correlated with the glacier snouts growing.

  158. For those of us who are colour challenged it’s a great relief to see the current line on the sea ice extent graph breaking into territory of its own. Talk about “hide the decline”. Scrambling all those coloured lines together is sure a neat trick on those of us who see every line as the same colour as at least two or three other lines. I’m sure I’m even happier about this icy increase than the polar bears are.

  159. But this time last year Steven Goddard was getting all excited about it approaching the normal as well, go back and look at the posts! What happened after that, it sunk again to well below.

    Up to about 1 month ago it was looking pretty low compared to recent years and nothing was mentioned, now you’re all over it like flies on dung :)

    No doubt nothing will be heard when it drops again ….

    Andy

  160. Steve Goddard: “But geologic history shows us unequivocally that climate is cyclical and dominated by negative feedbacks.”

    Hmm. Enlighten me: what sort of negative feedbacks are causing the Arctic sea ice to rebound to near-normal? Maybe its just weather, as you like to point out. What about the more frightening trend in ice thickness? Here’s two recent papers, no paywall:

    Lindsay 2009

    Kwok 2009

  161. pat (18:51:03) :

    The loss of sea ice in 2007 was indeed precipitous. But the recovery in 2008 was equally steep.
    ————–
    Yeah, that was a huge jump in summer ice extent from 2007 to 2008:

    (that last little green uptick).

    Of course, there is a big difference between “extent” and actual “area”:

    It’s when the sea ice area is down to 0 sq km that the Arctic summer ice is gone. Even 600,000 sq km of sea ice area could yield an “extent” of 4 million sq km if the floes are spaced out just right. And if the winds are wrong, that 4 million sq km “extent” could collapse into 2 million sq km of more tightly packed ice.

    So, how is the Arctic sea ice area doing ?

    Summer minimums have been way below the 1979-2008 mean. Let’s see what summer 2010 brings…

  162. Anecdotal evidence suggests the 1930’s may have been more ice free than today, not to mention the MWP.

    It also suggests that submarines surfaced in polynyas that appear in the North Pole. As for the MWP, who knows?

  163. But geologic history shows us unequivocally that climate is cyclical and dominated by negative feedbacks.

    Negative feedbacks bring stability. How do we get ice ages/interlgacials if negative feedbacks dominate?

    (Unless you think the opposite to a negative feedback is a runaway effect?)

  164. jose (22:06:59) :

    Open water at the poles means more heat loss to the atmosphere – i.e. cooling. That is a negative feedback.

  165. According to AGW climate scientists climate is 30 years +. In 2007 we had record loss of Arctic ice, caused mostly by wind and currents (since satellite data – 1979) and warmists were “excited” about the loss and it was trumpeted around the globe as a sign of global warming – ‘worse than we thought’.

    I understood that an increasing trend was behind that concern not from a single year. Do you have a cite from reputable (or disreputable) climate scientists?

  166. Anu (22:25:14) :

    You asked “So, how is the Arctic sea ice area doing ?”

    It is nearly one standard deviation above the mean – i.e. close to unusually high.

  167. Sorry, Anu, I am willing to accept current information from Cryosphere as useful data. However, anyone who uses that 1900-2008 chart loses credibility in my eyes. That chart contains arbitrary and capricious decisions on pre-satellite data — producing levels that are contrary to recorded observations. Its documentation even warns about its reliability.

  168. Benjamin P. (18:07:19) :

    area vs volume?

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Volume you say? We can Spinal Tap it past 10 it up to 11: i.e., 2010 has just crashed into 2003, its previous maximum at this date!

  169. Steve Goddard (23:16:55) :

    The UK experts say that snowfall is a thing of the past.

    At least after Easter.

    Is that photo from today?

  170. Open water at the poles means more heat loss to the atmosphere – i.e. cooling. That is a negative feedback.

    Ice has a very high albedo, reflecting solar radiation. Water is darker than snow (and land albedo, on average). Decreased albedo means more warming. It becomes a numbers game between the negative/positive feedback. Which dominates…?

    During deglaciation, the planet warmed – as ice sheets receded. If negative feedbacks dominated in polar regions receiving increased insolation, why didn’t the ice sheet increase?

    As insolation changes are very small, and if ice decrease provides negative feedback to temps, that suggests an even greater contribution from other forcings, like greenhouse gases.

    I know what a negative feedback is, and that they exist in the biosphere, but you said they ‘dominate’. If they do, as in the example you gave, ice ages shouldn’t happen.

  171. With the sea ice deficit mainly in the Canadian Maritime area and a surplus in the Bering sea, we may see the sea ice extent near, or even above, the average for quite some time. There’s a good chance that the average extent for all of April will be near the 1979-2000 value. This summer could turn into a real body-blow to the AGW preachers.

    And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys, I say.

    But, I also expect the NSIDC to play this pretty straight. They’ve always shown the highest standards of professionalism — even doing guest posts here. If your poll ends up with over 90% way off the mark, some kind of acknowledgment of that might be good.

  172. The UK experts say that snowfall is a thing of the past.

    That’s not what they said. That’s a press headline.

    (The link is broken)

  173. I blundered here…

    “During deglaciation, the planet warmed – as ice sheets receded. If negative feedbacks dominated in polar regions receiving increased insolation, why didn’t the ice sheet increase?”

    Should be – “why did the ice sheets decrease so drastically?”

  174. ”Phil. (18:04:26) :
    As CT shows ice area has continued to fall since the max on March 7th, since then the strong outflow through the Fram and around Svalbard, currently up to ~20km/day, is what’s causing the increase in extent.”

    Good try, but it cuts no ice so to speak. The increase in recent weeks has been mostly in the Barents Sea, Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

  175. Phil. (21:22:02) : “Take a look it’s not new ice it’s fragmented older ice:

    That pic is very hard to make out. Anyway, any new ice is bound to have fragments of the old. It’s kind of you, Phil, to fend off premature celebrations of ice recovery, but you’ll agree the proof is definitely in the pudding. Onwards to the summer minimum.

  176. @ Jimbo 12:34:49
    Though I much appreciated the story of a polar bear washing ashore on Mull island, I finally noticed, and wondered, that the pebbles and stones spread just in front of the bear have changed between pictures: that would imply the bear changed place, but not posture. Puzzling, if not a photoshopped April’s Fool prank …
    Well, I nonetheless send the link to Countrylife to my friends (with a short comment)!
    Thanks a lot !

  177. Barry (23:50:39)

    “I know what a negative feedback is, and that they exist in the biosphere, but you said they ‘dominate’. If they do, as in the example you gave, ice ages shouldn’t happen.”

    In a quasi-chaotic non-linear system the effect of negative feedback (otherwise referred to as damping, friction or dissipation) is to favour emergence of complex spontaneous pattern and attractors or periodic states. Positive (global) feedback by contrast suppresses complex pattern and imposes regular periodicity. Thus the balance of negative and positive feedback is indeed critical. The log-log nature of global climatic temperature fluctuation indicates a significant chaotic component – further indicating a significant role of turbulence damping (i.e. negative feedback).

    e.g.

    http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v69/i1/e016202

    http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v74/i1/e016612

    http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v73/i5/e056303

    Log-log fluctuation dynamics means frequent small changes, less frequent big changes, occasional really big changes – all generated spontaneously by the system’s internal dynamics, not necessarily needing a change in external forcing. Thus, in this context, jumping to an ice age state is completely consistent with the role of negative feedbacks (and with an appropriate mixture of negative and positive fedback).

  178. Well the Ice may be getting back to normal but Southern Scotland has set another record, it has now snowed on at least one day in 5 consectitive months. Thats looking out the window science not the looking at Windows XP software makeup science.

    Dec 09, Jan Feb Mar Apr 10

  179. I wonder how it felt like, being a “Climate Change Professor”, having a guy like this Lovelock fellow as ones bed-mate?

    Shouldnt the BS meter start ticking?

    And then, after enjoying this friendship with the Gaia Prophet for decades, he suddenly pops up again, now saying that AGW is …..a hoax?

    All I can say is that me, I like it!

  180. Winter again, and for decennia to come the Arctic ice extent will always hit near or maybe on ‘normal’ in February because of the enclosure by (cold) landmasses.

    That is one more reason to concentrate on thickness/volume, not extent. Thickness is the main decider for extent in autumn.

    The media will continu to miss this fact, presumably because it is too simple to comprehend!

  181. barry (23:50:39) :

    If you look at a graph of Arctic ice, you will see that the Arctic Ocean is saturated with high albedo ice through the sunny months of May-July, and the ice minimum occurs during September when the sun is setting for the winter. There is little or no absorption of solar energy in the water at that time. So loss of heat dominates. i.e. a negative feedback.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/10/polar-sea-ice-changes-are-having-a-net-cooling-effect-on-the-climate/

  182. Positive feedback is what all the measurements of arctic ice are currently displaying.
    Negative feedback is caused by a sudden outflow of trolls through the Gavin and Jorom straits.
    STOP feeding the trolls. Sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind.

  183. RR Kampen (04:53:42),

    When you were claiming the ice cover would continue to fall drastically, Charles the Moderator offered you a wager to settle the issue:

    click

    You said you were 90% sure you would win the bet. You talk the talk, but you don’t walk the walk. You chickened out. No doubt Charles would have taken any wager, even $100. Or $1.00.

    Your excuses farther down the thread show that you don’t really believe what you’re saying. Lots of “the ice is all melting!” alarmists are like that. They know the climate is normal, just going through its usual natural fluctuations, but pride keeps them from admitting it.

    From a financial perspective, it’s a good thing you didn’t take the bet, huh?

  184. I made a chart of the sea ice coverage in march during the years 2003-2010 from the data here: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm .
    See the chart here: http://www.dh7fb.de/marchice/image001.gif .
    After calculating the linear trend I also correlated the slope of the trends vs. the Winter-NAO of JNF of the actual year. The correlation is very robust: R=-0,8.
    This could mean, that the behavior of the arctic sea ice depends on the NOA of the winter before. We had a record- NAO of -5,0, so I think we could see a dramatic growing also of the arctic ice in the summer.
    Greetings from DH7FB

  185. NSDIC’s website is experiencing “technical difficulties”.

    Are they shutting down in order to hide the incline?

    Their error message does have two friendly polar bears on it.
    Always promoting.

    The message:

    We’re experiencing technical difficulties. Please *bear* with us, we’ll have things up and running again as soon as possible.

    Need to talk to us? You can always contact our friendly User Services Office at nsidc@nsidc.org

  186. Just an FYI, arstechnica.com banned my account for bringing up this point. The article was in reference to recent solar activity not having ANY impact on global temperature increases according to some physicists. I simply asked what temperature increase they were referring to, seeing as the planet hasn’t gotten any warmer since 1997 and I mentioned that the GISS flawed temperature records and Snow and Ice Data measurements didn’t add up at all. About 15 minutes later, my comment was ambushed, they cut me up a few times and then banned my account lol. WOOPS! This to me, lends credence to the notion that the opinions over at arstechnica are very biased in regards to their climate articles. Anyway, just wanted to share that. Peace.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/03/solar-flare-activity-doesnt-account-for-recent-warming.ars

  187. E Flesch (03:25:42) :
    That pic is very hard to make out. Anyway, any new ice is bound to have fragments of the old. It’s kind of you, Phil, to fend off premature celebrations of ice recovery, but you’ll agree the proof is definitely in the pudding. Onwards to the summer minimum.

    Sorry but that isn’t new ice. The proof of the pudding is indeed in the eating and the usual bottleneck in May/June means that there’s unlikely to be any significant change until July.

  188. RR Kampen (04:53:42) :

    29. April 2009: Research aircraft Polar 5 finishes Arctic expedition – Unique measurement flights in the central Arctic completed

    An ice-thickness sensor, the so-called EM-Bird, was put into operation under a plane for the first time ever. To conduct the measurements, Polar 5 dragged the sensor which was attached to a steel cable of eighty metres length in a height of twenty metres over the ice cover.

    Multiple flights northwards from various stations showed an ice thickness between 2.5 (two years old ice in the vicinity of the North Pole) and 4 metres (perennial ice in Canadian offshore regions).
    All in all, the ice was somewhat thicker than during the last years in the same regions, which leads to the conclusion that Arctic ice cover recovers temporarily.

    The researchers found the thickest ice with a thickness of 15 metres along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island.

    http://tinyurl.com/yeyxpq4

  189. Arctic ice will decrease at a lower rate rate than the mean for at least a few more days. Note that the areas of deficiency (Newfoundland/Okhotsk) are always the first to melt – so the median line will converge on the ice front over the next few days.

  190. From 10 years ago:

    According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

    Yesterday a school bus crashed in the snow, killing one student.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7083614.ece

  191. Oh no, Anthony,

    The Watts effect will probably melt the entire Arctic and most of Greenland because of this article. Couldn’t you leave well enough alone!!!!!

  192. What parameters are building that predict an above average summer ice melt? What parameters are building that predict an average summer ice melt? What parameters are building that predict a below average summer ice melt? These are the questions I would like to debate, not just that “It will be another [fill in] summer ice event”. Tell me why you think so.

    Ice thickness is pretty good right now. The neutral to negative AO speaks against a fast conveyor belt. The temps are still well below freezing. These parameters are keeping the ice in place. If any one of these parameters change, would it be because of CO2 or would it be just a natural variation?

  193. “RR Kampen (04:53:42) :

    Winter again, and for decennia to come the Arctic ice extent will always hit near or maybe on ‘normal’ in February because of the enclosure by (cold) landmasses.

    That is one more reason to concentrate on thickness/volume, not extent. Thickness is the main decider for extent in autumn. ”

    Shifting goalposts.

  194. Gary (17:59:07) :

    World renown climatologist Joe Romm has given us the new definition of climate change

    [JR: Yes, dry areas will tend to get drier -- and wherever and whenever droughts occur they will tend to be hotter and longer. At the same time, wet areas are likely to get wetter. That is why they call it climate change.]

    So I guess the ice is still increasing because cold areas are likely to get colder. I am still unsure what happens to temperate areas. Do they become more temperate?

    Everything everywhere will get worse, of course.

  195. Have you noticed that when sea ice decreases it is climate change, yet when it increases, it is weather, not climate. How convenient.

  196. barry (23:50:39) :

    There’s other factors than just ice at the poles and negative feedbacks. In this 5 part video series at YouTube Nir Shaviv hypothesizes about the Spiral Arms of the Milky Way having an effect on climate:

    Apparently there are celestial factors in climate and not just terrestrial.

  197. A few comments about the arctic sea ice “return” to normalcy:

    1. The little “bump” upward during March is very interesting as a short-term phenomenon, and I’d like to see some data that compare this kind of behavior to year of previous extremely low AO indexes. Though it is still not at the 30 year running mean, it is almost there, and certainly may exceed it, and most of this comes from the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk. This “bump” is still just that, and not as important as the longer down trend over the past decade. Pointing to this short bump as an indication of anything important is like looking at the Florida snow this winter as a sign of anything, other than an extreme negative AO index, which is a short term weather variation. Longer term trends are all thats important in AGW discussions.

    2. While all the AGW skeptics are frothing at this bump upward, we’ve got a long summer melt season ahead, and the critical months of July & August are what will really tell the story of arctic sea ice, as we get the maximum daily melting going on. As I stated even before this March “bump”, I believe that we’ll see a lower summer minimum than last year, though not as low as 2007. However, I do believe we’ll see a new modern record summer low before 2015, and this current short-term “bump” will be just a curiosity of the spring of 2010– something probably related to the extreme negative AO of the winter, and something that got the AGW skeptics all excited, even though the longer term trend is still lower.

  198. barry (23:50:39) :

    contribution from other forcings, like greenhouse gases.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    What kind of an effect does the greenhouse gas H2O have?

    Have you seen this 2 part video series?

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Clouds have a negative feedback.

  199. Steve Goddard (05:57:29) :

    I can see that the area in Eastern Canada that is below the 1979–2000 median line is in an area that El Nino traditionally affects with warmth (Vancouver is also in one of the warm areas)

    as seen here:

    El Nino should be over by next winter’s (2010/11) freeze. It seems likely that that same area in Eastern Canada will have more ice next year. The trend of growth in Arctic ice should continue next year.

  200. Steve Goddard (06:07:19) :

    From 10 years ago:

    According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Now here’s a man that never takes his eyes off the grant money and looks out the window.

  201. The NSIDC April report will focus on the fact that last decade showed the lowest average sea-ice compared to every other decade on record.

  202. R Gates

    I can’t argue much here but I would like to point out that given the length of the record a new record by 2015 is very likely. In fact random chance would suggest that the likelihood is on the order of 60% wouldn’t it? This is assuming there is no actual trend at all. There is no such thing as a “long term trend” here. There is no long term data with consistent method to work from.

  203. I wonder what Arctic Extent will look like for April 1? Yesterday it was: 14,407,344 km2.

  204. R. Gates (07:14:52) :

    The “little bump upwards” you refer to for March was about a million km2 – about the size of Texas and California combined.

  205. R. Gates (07:14:52) :
    What are you talking about? There is no long downward trend. There is in fact a short (3 year) upward trend. Maybe you are confusing things. I think the message from this bump is that El Nino has artificialy depressed this years maximum sea ice extent. As El Nino is fading, the ice is now rebounding some what, even though this is traditionaly the begining of melt season.

  206. Amino Acids in Meteorites (07:36:03)

    During the late 1990s, winters were very warm in the UK. This led a lot of people to believe Hansen’s claims that CO2 increases were leading to linear/exponential warming. Myself included. I was a global warming believer until about four years ago, when I started looking at the facts for myself.

  207. Looks like there is zero possibility of sea ice not reaching the cherry picked 79-00 average now. How is THAT for an April Fool’s Day joke on the AGWers? And I will futilely wait for the MSM to report on this tomorrow.

  208. “New Ice Age has started as predicted in the 1970’s”… Could be the headline they all go for.

    So cold, will summer ever return to the UK?

  209. Steve Goddard: “Open water at the poles means more heat loss to the atmosphere – i.e. cooling. That is a negative feedback.”

    What is cooling? The ocean? Doesn’t this mean that the atmosphere receiving the heat is warming? Doesn’t that mean warmer air temperatures and even less sea ice? That’s a positive feedback.

    It is only since February that the ice extent has started to return to normal. This has nothing to do with feedbacks (which in your flawed example would only work during the ice formation period anyways), and everything to do with the weather conditions of this winter. I would submit that the strong AO has everything to do with the current ice extent.

    Check out this line from Rigor et al, 2001: “Here it is shown that the memory of the wintertime AO persists through most of the subsequent year: spring and autumn SAT and summertime sea-ice concentration are all strongly correlated with the AO-index for the previous winter.”

  210. Amino Acids in Meteorites (07:36:03) :
    Steve Goddard (06:07:19) :

    From 10 years ago:

    According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Now here’s a man that never takes his eyes off the grant money and looks out the window.

    In fairness to Viner Steve did omit the second part of the quote: “Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.
    Seems rather accurate to me (just a little earlier than he thought).

  211. Me too: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.” The sky is falling, the sky is falling says Duck Little. If everyone had half a brain they would see that there is no such thing as a warming trend that humans are responsible for, itis merely a means of “World Wealth Redistribution”, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Wake up Simpletons of Earth!

  212. Question: how is the warmest February on record, so-said because of extreme conditions in the Arctic, co-incident with a significant increase in new ice? I think this is known as a “rhetorical question”, as I would answer that the Arctic temperatures are artifacts of corrections and averaging. Still, does this “divergence” of situations have a warmist explanation? Perhaps Al Gore was visiting, and The Effect is responsible. So many mysteries.

  213. R. Gates (13:50:54) :
    I find it funny that AGW skeptics get all excited from a few weeks of upswing in the arctic sea ice, while all the while they’ll ignore nearly a decade of downswing…very revealing.

    It’s not unusual at all, just predictable human behavior. It’s like people watching a marathon, the biggest cheers happen at the finish line.

    Agreed that the 30 year mean is just a ‘line in the sand’ but then finish lines in any race are arbitary aren’t they?

    How much do you want to stretch your finish line? Another ten years? Careful, don’t forget that that will then push the mean curve downward a little by including the last 3 years that are currently not represented in http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

    (And also don’t forget that ‘stretching the finish line’ is becoming a predictable asylum for CAGW believers: “Yeah, well just wait another 100 years and we better enact cap and trade just to be safe in the meantime.” )

  214. OK, the first report of the sea ice turning downward is here:

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

    It had to happen some time but it sure has been a great run.

    However, tomorrow’s NSIDC plot may make folks suspicious. Their smoothing algorithm often makes retroactive changes to the graph. If, tomorrow, this graph:

    looks like they “revised away” today’s peak, don’t have a cow. This is normal for their smoothing algorithm. They use more smoothing than other sources; that’s why their graph is less jagged. It’s perfectly valid and it would be unfortunate if the newer ice watchers here started howling about some kind of cover-up.

  215. jose (08:40:35) :

    The heat capacity of the oceans is vastly greater than the air. Air temperatures in the desert can rise 70 degrees in a matter of hours.

  216. Phil. (08:43:38) :

    The 2009-2010 UK winter has not been defined by a “heavy snowfall.” It has been defined by persistent cold and snow over a five month period. 2008 also saw the first October snowfall in decades.

  217. How about the Albedo effect?

    All of Eastern Europe was under snow and fully reflective until just a couple of weeks ago, and I daresay much of Russia was much the same (and eastern Canada?)

    In terms of Europe, this was a very late season, and all that snow must have considerably reduced the amount of incoming energy that was supposed to warm the land for the spring season. Less warmth in the N Hemisphere equals more ice up north.

  218. Re: Tina (23:55:30) :

    We do not know that the 70s were the apex. We do not have data before that. Perhaps the 70s are an anomoly? That would tend to support the old salts of the Nuclear navy that have anecdotal stories (from the 50s and 60s) of Polar ice being gone in the summer (at least around what is acknowledged to be the North Pole).

  219. Steve:

    Who’s talking about deserts? The historical trend towards decreasing summer sea ice extents will release huge amounts of energy to the Arctic atmosphere. As the heat leaves the ocean, it warms the air. Warmer air = less sea ice. This is a positive feedback. Please try and tell me again how its negative.

  220. Arctic sea ice will reach normal when coverage is above the mean about half of the time and usually within two standard deviations of the mean. Don’t join the CAGWers by exaggerating the importance of trivial changes. Do give them hell for unreasonable predictions based on 2007.

  221. ocksblog (14:08:57) :

    “…What matters in these huge world-encompassing systems is the overall grand trend – which is heading warm-wards….”

    Reply:
    The geologic record shows “the overall grand trend” is COLD and ICE with “minor” 1,500-year warm blips. These graphs puts the current political idiocy into perspective: http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Images/ice-HS/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_adj.gif

    The interesting part of this discussion is not that the ice amount is “trending” back to “normal” but that the curve has shifted so the peak is coming later this year. However as the referenced graphs show this is NOT anything unusual but it is still lots of fun to tweak the CAGW believers noses.

    I consider the CAGW believers equivalent to a three year old trying to stop the 3:27 PM commuter train – It ain’t gonna happen, the next ice age will arrive on schedule and mankind will have very little influence unless we get off this politicized science kick and do some real research.

  222. jose

    I think the struggle you are having comes from your statement.

    “The historical trend towards decreasing summer sea ice extents will release huge amounts of energy to the Arctic atmosphere”

    This is a very strange statement. Melting does not release heat. Melting is a hugely endothermic process. Something melting will NEVER do so by warming the surroundings.

  223. “”” jose (10:01:34) :

    Steve:

    Who’s talking about deserts? The historical trend towards decreasing summer sea ice extents will release huge amounts of energy to the Arctic atmosphere. As the heat leaves the ocean, it warms the air. Warmer air = less sea ice. This is a positive feedback. Please try and tell me again how its negative. “””

    Well so far Jose, the summer sea ice hasn’t all gone away completely.

    In any case, 9/10 or is it 10/11 of the sea ice is underwater, so clearly if it melts, that heat (80 cal/gm latent heat plus about 1 cal/gm per deg C below freezing) is going to come out of the sea water, which is above the sea water freezing temperature. That is going to cool an astronomical amount of sea water (which will thereby lower the sea level).

    Once the ice is melted so the air is in contact with the sea water, which is certainly warmer than the ice was, then one certainly would expect the air to warm up (at the surface).

    But that is good, because now you will get convection that transports that heat to the upper troposphere, where it can be eventually radiated to space.

    The cooling of the earth in the arctic would be greatly enhanced by an increase in the air temperatures. Right now, the polar regions are not very effective in cooling the earth; for that we have to go to the tropical deserts under the middday sun, with +60 deg c ground temperatures radiating at more than ten times what the Antarctic polar nights are doing.

  224. Perhaps the increasing ice reflects the view that scientists will get caught if they “cook the books” again. Thus, now they actually have to report the accurate data?

    If you listen to the March 30 BBC interview with Professor Lovelock (founder of the Gaia Theory), he said “It’s all over. We’re doomed,…We can’t do anything about climate change…Might as well enjoy the ride…” and he admitted the numbers were distorted with climate change research as well as with the CFC/ozone debate.

  225. Jeff in Ctown (Canada) said:

    “R. Gates (07:14:52) :
    What are you talking about? There is no long downward trend. There is in fact a short (3 year) upward trend.”

    ——–

    Jeff, if you can’t see the 10+ year downward trend in this chart:

    Then we inhabit different universes. Good day, sir!

  226. Thanks wondering aloud, but thats not the problem. I understand that melting is an endothermic process (i.e. it requires heat). Conversely, freezing is an exothermic process (i.e. it releases heat). But what Steve is saying makes no sense. If the oceans are open, for longer periods of time in the summer, then the enormous thermal inertia of the oceans (as pointed out by Steve above) will release heat to the Arctic. If they’re capped with sea ice, that heat stays in the oceans, and is released elsewhere.

    Your feedback is still wrong Steve.

  227. jose (11:42:36) :

    The rate of heat transfer is proportional to delta T. If you have warm water near cold air, heat moves rapidly out of the oceans and eventually gets radiated out into space – which ultimately has a net cooling effect on the planet. That is a negative feedback. Positive feedback would be a process that adds heat to the oceans.

    The Arctic ice cap actually reduces heat flow out of the oceans, by providing a layer of insulation from the very cold air above.

  228. Billy Liar (16:28:04) :

    George E. Smith (13:37:37) :

    There was a record volume of warm water flowing into the Norwegian Sea in 2005 and 2006. The water temperature reached a record high in 2007, since then it has cooled down to normal. This probably also contributes to the explanation of the anomalous sea ice loss in 2007/2008.

    http://www.imr.no/filarkiv/havets_ressurser_og_miljo_2009/tilstand_okosystem_NH2_sammendrag.pdf/nb-no

    “The Atlantic water in the Norwegian Sea has been
    extraordinarily warm and salt since 2002 with
    record-high temperature in 2007. Since then a cooling
    is observed, and in 2008 the temperature sunk to
    normal. After the record-high volume transport of
    Atlantic water into the Norwegian Sea during 2005–
    2006, the temperature fell, and has been normal the
    last two years.”

    Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway (2009) “Status of the Norwegian Sea Ecosystem” (Summary), (English version, p. 3)

  229. R. Gates (11:18:03) :

    “Jeff, if you can’t see the 10+ year downward trend in this chart:

    Then we inhabit different universes. Good day, sir!”

    Did you test that time series for the presence of unit roots in order to establish the validity of doing a trend regression? In the presence of a unit root, you may find that there is no statistical significant “trend” at all in that time series.

  230. @Ben D (15:55:26) :
    “Why doesn’t the average go from 1979 to 2009, why stop at 2000 why not add 9 more years of data?? for an average don’t you have to add every year…averages go up and down… that’s why they are averages”

    AND

    @Richard M (12:37:48):
    “This is in spite of the fact that “average” is still higher than it should be. We have 30 years of data (1979-2009), why not use it all? We all know that this would drop the “average” and that’s not good for the warmers.”

    There is an explanation – it may even be somewhere in the archives of WUWT but as I recall the 2000 – 2010 data is to be inputed soon – but as 1989 – 2010 20 year running average.

    I think that this will magnify the recovery as Richard suggests. I have asked for comment from WUWT contributors (dbleader61 (11:03:53) ) but haven’t seen any yet.

  231. Jose:

    Doesn’t this mean that the atmosphere receiving the heat is warming? Doesn’t that mean warmer air temperatures and even less sea ice? That’s a positive feedback

    Are you implying that close to freezing water heats up the well-below-freezing atmosphere enough to melt the ice in turn, overcoming the latent heat in the process?
    Never heard of the 2nd law of thermodynamics then?

  232. JAN (12:26:57) said:

    R. Gates (11:18:03) :

    “Jeff, if you can’t see the 10+ year downward trend in this chart:

    Then we inhabit different universes. Good day, sir!”

    Did you test that time series for the presence of unit roots in order to establish the validity of doing a trend regression? In the presence of a unit root, you may find that there is no statistical significant “trend” at all in that time series.

    Climate Science has no need for techniques that might prove their fund-seeking messages incorrect. Surely you know that?

  233. Thermodynamics: (1) Melting of ice absorbs heat into the H2O, thus removing heat from the air. (2) Freezing of water releases heat from the H2O, thus releasing heat into the air. The daily Svalbard news http://icepeople.net says it was quite warm for much of this winter. Was this because of heavy ice freezing? Just holding this open as a possibility.

  234. Steve Goddard (23:00:26) :
    Anu (22:25:14) :

    You asked “So, how is the Arctic sea ice area doing ?”
    It is nearly one standard deviation above the mean – i.e. close to unusually high.
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

    ———————–
    Yes, the Arctic sea ice area is rather high this week, that’s good.

    But the most important fact of Arctic ice is the summer minimum area (or minimum extent, to a lesser degree). I’ve seen various predictions, but 6 months is not too long to wait for actual numbers. We’ll see soon enough if the 2008, 2009 growth (in these minimums) continues.

  235. An Inquirer (23:22:06) :

    Sorry, Anu, I am willing to accept current information from Cryosphere as useful data. However, anyone who uses that 1900-2008 chart loses credibility in my eyes. That chart contains arbitrary and capricious decisions on pre-satellite data — producing levels that are contrary to recorded observations. Its documentation even warns about its reliability.
    ———————
    I was replying to:
    pat (18:51:03) :

    The loss of sea ice in 2007 was indeed precipitous. But the recovery in 2008 was equally steep.

    Most people here realize the data on NH sea ice extent was not as accurate pre-satellite era. The relevant time frame, 2007 to 2008, however, is accurate on the chart I cited. Instead of complaining, why don’t you find and cite a better chart, if you have a point to make.
    How about this one ?

    Sorry, Anu, I am willing to accept current information from Cryosphere as useful data.
    Charts from 2009 are not “current” enough for you ?

  236. Obviously, it’s negative warming. After all, the sign of the trend doesn’t matter, we can |abs| that out.

    What matters is CHANGE! Your change, everybody’s change into climate research!

    After all, Change is bad… so hand over those Ben Franklins, in case you decide to break them.

  237. Anu (13:35:10) : Yes, the Arctic sea ice area is rather high this week, that’s good. But the most important fact of Arctic ice is the summer minimum area (or minimum extent, to a lesser degree). I’ve seen various predictions, but 6 months is not too long to wait for actual numbers. We’ll see soon enough if the 2008, 2009 growth (in these minimums) continues.

    New 300m long crack at Icelandic volcano:

    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2010/03/second_fissure_opens_in_the_ic.php#comments

    It is not entirely unlikely that also Katla may erupt – and the summer minimum area may reach another maximum…

    :-)

  238. Log-log fluctuation dynamics means frequent small changes, less frequent big changes, occasional really big changes – all generated spontaneously by the system’s internal dynamics, not necessarily needing a change in external forcing. Thus, in this context, jumping to an ice age state is completely consistent with the role of negative feedbacks (and with an appropriate mixture of negative and positive fedback).

    Phlogiston, the math is way over my head. Do you actually understand it yourself?

    Are you implying that log-log function dynamics provide a better explanation for ice age changes than Milankovitch cycles? If Milankovitch works, what is the need to invoke highly theoretical in-system transitions.

    As far as I could make out, the transitions discussed are not about amplitude changes of the whole system, but “much richer dynamics” within it.

    First paper concluding section:

    Preceding the transition at which the turbulence is completely suppressed and uniform oscillations set in, a different type of transition characterized by the emergence of collective oscillations was shown to exist in the one- and two- dimensional complex Ginzburg-Landau
    equations with global feedback.

    Second paper concluding section:

    The fin al result is the stabilization of a domain of one phase inside the other phase. In the two-dimensional case the inhibitory feedback necessary to produce a localized solution has to be strong enough to overcome the shrinking effect exerted by curvature.

    I was able to find full versions of those two papers online.

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/nlin/pdf/0305/0305059v3.pdf

    http://math.bu.edu/people/horacio/papers/rotstein_etal_PRE_Jan26-06.pdf

    The abstract of the third:

    By using global and local pinning strategies, we show numerically that the turbulent state can be controlled to periodic states effectively if appropriate time-delay length and space-shift distance are chosen.

    This again seems to be discussing changes between turbulence and periodicity – shifts in the internal dynamics of the system. I was unable to access the full version, so I don’t know if there are implications for whole-system shift. Nor am I confident re that on the former two.

    I don’t understand the math. Best I can do is try to understand the general concepts, and that’s hard enough. If you think there’s little point trying to coach me through it, I would hardly blame you.

  239. Re: JAN (Apr 1 12:26),

    Did you test that time series for the presence of unit roots in order to establish the validity of doing a trend regression?

    I did. Using the daily anomaly data for the Northern Hemisphere from Cryosphere today starting in January, 1979, the ADF and PP test reject the presence of a unit root at the 99% confidence level (p value less than 0.01). The KPSS tests rejects stationarity also at the 99% confidence level. The autocorrelogram decays. The first three coefficients in the partial autocorrelogram alternate in sign and are highly significant. That implies an AR(3) model. I’m doing a Monte Carlo on the slope now. With a time series of 11,400 points, it may take a while.

  240. Prediction vs Prediction

    Alright, I like this…Steve Goddard et. al. are predicting that the 2010 arctic summer sea ice minimum will recover, continuing the 2008-2009 trend upward, meaning that 2010 minimum will be greater than 2008 or 2009, and I’m predicting that the summer arctic sea ice will be less this year than in 2009, (meaning the 2008-2009 trend will be broken). My only qualification is if one of those pesky big volcanoes in Iceland or elsewhere blows up, creating a similar or larger eruption to Mt. Pinatubo 1991.

    I continue to hold to my prediction despite this little “bump” upward in March, and I base this on what will become rapid melting in June, July & August from the Atlantic side of the arctic.

    I’ll be here to watch these predictions with interest…

  241. Linear trends in chaotic oscillating climate systems cannot ever be useful in defining such systems. They either delay the detection of oscillations (which is why they are never used for climate systems such as ENSO measures), or falsely lead to erroneous cause and effect theories tied to a statistical maneuver instead of reality.

    To wit, the straight trend line is not data. Nor is it observations. It is a completely artificial construct that has no place in falsifying or corroborating hypotheses.

  242. Steinar Midtskogen (11:32:11) :

    “So if it was sound science in 2007 to predict an ice free summer in 2013, we can equally scientifically declare that, at the current rate, the last patch of open water in the northern hemisphere will be completely gone during summer by 2300.”

    Yeah, it’s like Glaciergate. The prediction was really for an Ice free Arctic summer by 2310. Not 2013. It’s Arcticgate. :-)

  243. Anthony.

    I voted “The lack of 4+ year old ice” because everything else is too close to call. Sol is comming back on stream and it’s insolation spectrum spread will have greater ocean and ice penetration. Though young ice doesn’t have the soot deposition to warm from the top down, there is still the issue of a warmer ocean causing a bottom up melt and who knows when a ‘hunt’ in the N Polar planar turbine will cause winds to change? I think you’re brave to make a forecast. :)

    Best regards, suricat.

  244. Phil. (08:43:38)

    In fairness?

    Everything that has happened in the last 10 years has been within normal variability. So how can one be fair to him? To tell him he is wrong? Yes. Tell him that. That is fairness.

  245. jose (10:01:34) :

    Who’s talking about deserts?

    Ya, gee, who’s talking deserts?

    It’s amazing, jose, how you can miss the point with such ease of effort.

  246. Frank (10:18:39) :

    Arctic sea ice will reach normal when coverage is above the mean about half of the time and usually within two standard deviations of the mean. Don’t join the CAGWers by exaggerating the importance of trivial changes. Do give them hell for unreasonable predictions based on 2007.

    It’s not just 2007 Arctic ice that makes them give unreasonable predictions. You’ll find that in all of ‘global warming’. You can just close your eyes and throw a dart and you’ll hit some other unreasonable prediction to give em hell for.

    And if you want to get sense overload from unreasonable predictions watch Al Gore’s movie.

  247. Re: Pamela Gray (Apr 1 17:27),

    Linear trends in chaotic oscillating climate systems cannot ever be useful in defining such systems.

    That would be good if we knew that Arctic ice extent was a chaotic oscillating climate system. It obviously is on the 100,000 year time scale, but that doesn’t really tell us much. So why not calculate a linear trend and look to see if the data are deviating significantly from the trend?

    Speaking of a linear trend, Monte Carlo analysis using an AR(2) model or an AR(15) model with coefficients calculated from the Cryosphere Today data gave similar estimates for the slope: -0.04964555 Mm2/year with a standard error of 0.004429909. That means the slope is significantly different from zero. Of course, it also means that Arctic ice isn’t going to be disappearing any time soon.

  248. JAN (13:56:35) :

    Richard Sharpe (13:23:56) :

    Sorry Richard, my bad.

    No JAN, you’re good!

  249. Don’t get me wrong-I like good news as much as the next guy. But what are the chances that this return is a result of equipment malfunction….erroneous.
    Is there any other source (for comparative) data?

    Seems to me that this is just too good to be true.

  250. Do a search on “submarine north pole” (use the image or photo option) look at the thickness of the ice, if they show ice. Look at the lack of ice in MANY pictures. Look at the date, many were March, April, STILL Winter.

    And I will bet you believed those photos of the US submarines at the North Pole surrounded by ice years ago in newspapers. WRONG, for many of them there was no ice at the North Pole so they went to where there was some ice to take the pictures. It is hard to float a barber pole in water or make a flag stand up, so they look for ice and do it there. And that was 50-60 years ago! And today you can’t get through the “north west passage” every summer as they have predicted without an icebreaker.

  251. barbee butts (18:36:21) :

    The data you are looking at is not from one source.

    Go up to the post and reread it.

    It is real. It is right. There is not a malfunction. This is what is really happening to North Pole ice.

    Maybe Al Gore and the media have made you afraid to trust anything other than them. But please, don’t let yourself become a clone. Don’t be assimilated into their ‘borg’. Resistance is not futile.

    Just look at the data for yourself. :-)

    Trust the data in not just North Pole ice but in all areas of global warming. If you do this, in time, you’ll begin to understand why some are not only ‘skeptical’, but have become indignant over ‘global warming’, and why some others are calling it the greatest scientific scam ever.

  252. barbee butts (18:36:21) :

    Seems to me that this is just too good to be true.

    ClimateGate felt like that to me the first few hours.

  253. IF the Ice were to totally melt off:
    this “Encyclopedia of Earth” site graphs month by month, how the Pole gets more sun than the Equator
    — for 3 months, that is:

    http://www.eoearth.org/article/Earth-Sun_relationships_and_insolation

    PS: even in Winter, winds & currents sometimes pile up 2 Ice floes on each other, producing some open water, called a: “lead” (which in winter can ice-over Very rapidly). The Pole is over a comparatively rapid current.

    PSS There are online articles which give Sub-recorded thicknesses for thousands of locations & times, allowing an Arctic-wide average to be calculated (if I recall right, peak was 5.2 meters thick including snowpack) but a 7-year delay is imposed lest the subs’ data-points allow their favorite spots to be found out — they are Military after all — & data not running past 2002 … is not much good to this discussion.

  254. David Alan Evans (16:50:45) :
    Anu.
    You seem to think the Summer extent is important & not the Winter extent

    ——————
    Interesting 1938 NYT article, thanks.

    I think the summer extent is much more important than the winter extent, but I think the two are probably slightly correlated for a given year. I think the big difference in albedo between sea ice and open water contributes to the unpredictability of summer ice area – a month of cloudless days melts much more ice than a month of cloudy days. Even if the Arctic sea-level air is warming at something like 0.4° C/decade, that averages out to 0.04° C/yr, which will be overwhelmed by winds and clouds and ocean currents that year. But I would bet on the trends:

    Look at spring 2009, very close to the 1979-2000 average at the end of April:

    Then look at what happened that summer:

    About 3 std dev below the 1979-2000 average.
    It’s always the summer that shows the largest deviations from the average.

    So, where will this wind up in the summer ?

    Who knows, but we won’t have to wait long to find out.
    I certainly wouldn’t bet on it being “average” (1979-2000).

  255. Anu (17:10:19) :
    Robert Wykoff (12:20:30) :

    I will bet eleventy billion dollars that JAXA has some “malfunction”, and does not report anything for the next week. You will see the March 30th numbers until April 7th. (unless there is a sudden mass melt off)

    I’ll take that bet.
    Eleventy billion.
    I’ll give you 30 days to transfer the money.

    —————————————-

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

    Data of Sea Ice Extent
    The latest value : 14,376,406 km2 (April 1, 2010)

    No sudden mass melt off, no “malfunction”, no March 30th numbers.
    Science marches on, reporting the data honestly as they always do.

    Fork it over: $110 billion
    I’ve already spent about a third of it, so you better not welsh…

  256. Steve Goddard (13:58:48) :
    Anu (13:35:10) :
    I made my predictions a long time ago.

    ——————-
    Care to make a little wager ?
    I’ve recently won some money…

  257. Elizabeth (Canada) (20:16:50) :
    Here’s what our CBC news is saying about it, “Northern sea ice growth a fluke: researcher.”
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2010/04/01/north-sea-ice-arctic.html#socialcomments

    ————————
    Notice how the headline says: Northern sea ice ?
    All this thin ice growth in the Bering Sea is not even “the Arctic” :

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

    the parallel of latitude that runs 66º 33′ 43″ (or 66.5619°) north of the Equator.

    Also, the sea ice in the Sea of Okhotsk (west of the Bering Sea, west of the Kamchatka Peninsula) is not in the “Arctic”:
    Iceland is south of the Arctic Circle:

    which shows that the ice covered Hudson Bay in Canada is also not in the Arctic.

    Now look at the “Northern sea ice”:

    Keep this in mind when scientists try to weasel out of predictions with their “facts” and “definitions” and “explanations”.
    Or when making bets.

  258. Anu (20:02:48) :

    You’re avoiding the questions!

    Did you follow up on the 1938 article?

    Remember, that was 85°N in December!

    The Syedoff was frozen in at that latitude on the 18th of December

    It was free again in February of 1939!

    You still think the pre-1979 estimates are accurate?

    I ask again; when does Amunden get written out of history & transferred to folklore?

    DaveE

  259. It’s always Marcia, Marcia (18:18:23) :
    “It’s amazing, jose, how you can miss the point with such ease of effort.”

    It’s amazing, IAMM, how you can fail basic reading comprehension or jump into a discussion without reading the background:

    Steve Goddard (09:22:06) :

    “jose (08:40:35) :

    The heat capacity of the oceans is vastly greater than the air. Air temperatures in the desert can rise 70 degrees in a matter of hours.”

  260. Lori (21:19:02) :

    Is this just normal normal or unexpectedly normal?
    (PS I’m not good with graphs).

    It’s within the normal ballpark.

    Why it is being talked about here is because global warming predictions say Arctic ice should be in decline and this shouldn’t be happening. The ice totals are heading the opposite way predicted.

  261. Anu (20:14:26) :

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

    Data of Sea Ice Extent
    The latest value : 14,376,406 km2 (April 1, 2010)

    No sudden mass melt off, no “malfunction”, no March 30th numbers.
    Science marches on, reporting the data honestly as they always do.

    You are right that JAXA is reporting new figures — JAXA is legit and Roberts “bet” was not wise. However, there is a malfunction. The number at the top of the page (14,376,406 km2 for April 1) is normally the 3 day moving average. But, click on download data and you’ll see that the posted number should be higher.

    ??

  262. Steve Goddard (05:14:21) :

    If you look at a graph of Arctic ice, you will see that the Arctic Ocean is saturated with high albedo ice through the sunny months of May-July, and the ice minimum occurs during September when the sun is setting for the winter. There is little or no absorption of solar energy in the water at that time. So loss of heat dominates. i.e. a negative feedback.

    It would seem to me that this conclusion doesn’t follow. If negative feedbacks dominate as the melt season finishes, there shouldn’t be much of a delay to melt following the solstice – negative feedbacks should bring the phase change in sooner. If positive feedbacks from the summer warmth dominates (ocean albedo absorbing more heat), the warmth may be extended and ice continues melting.

    Ice albedo is about 0.6. Ocean albedo is 0.06 (0 is black, 1 is white). As open water increases during melt season, the oceans absorb and store more heat.

    From all I’ve read, the extended melt from solstice is a result of well-known seasonal lag in temperature shifts. This is evident from daily temp profiles, where the hottest part of the day is usually an hour or two after midday, when the sun is at its zenith.

    “The seasonal lag of temperature is the amount of time between the highest incoming insolation and highest temperature on an annual basis. For instance, in the midlatitudes the highest angle that the sun makes with the surface, and thus the most intense heating, occurs around June 22nd. It isn’t until about a month later that the highest temperatures occur. The lag is often longer near a large body of water like the Great Lakes or the ocean. A temperature lag of two months is not uncommon for places located near large bodies of water.”

    http://www.uwsp.edu/geO/faculty/ritter/geog101/textbook/temperature/temperature_radiation_heat_p_2.html

    Surface ocean temperatures vary much slower than atmospheric temperatures due to the higher heat capacity of water (i.e. the oceans require a greater amount of energy to be heated compared with the atmosphere). As such, SSTs generally lag atmospheric temperatures on a seasonal timescale by about 3 months. The lowest SSTs are usually observed in early Spring, and the highest in early Autumn.

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/help/article.jsp?id=42

    In meteorological terms, the summer solstice Solstice and winter solstice (or the maximum and minimum insolation, respectively) do not fall in the middles of summer and winter. The heights of these seasons occur up to seven weeks later because of seasonal lag

    http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Season

    Autocorrelations of air temperature at lags of 1–3 months are significantly greater as a result of coupling; this is especially evident at all times of the year in the southern half of the North Atlantic domain but is also
    clear during summer in the model’s North Atlantic. The increased persistence on these shorter timescales is attributed to a decrease in thermal damping (Barsugli 1995).

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~david/bhatt1998.pdf

    etc

    I’m not sure why you single out ocean heat loss negative feedback, nor am I sure why how this pull to cooling is reflected by an extended melt season.

    I can barely remember the original point. Goal posts move so often in these blog threads!

    The original point was that positive feedbacks dominate during ice ages. If open water heat loss dominates positive feedbacks, and insolation changes are a small forcing to temps, then why do ice sheets recede so drastically. Dominant negative feedbacks should stabilise the melt. If ocean heat loss is a significant negative feedback, something else must be responsible for the (relatively) rapid loss of ice. Re-glaciation is a much slower process than deglaciation. If ocean heat loss dominates other forcings during the ice sheet decrease/regrowth, the regrowth should be quicker than the recession. but it’s the other way around.

    I’m not sure you have this right, Steve. On geologic time scales, positive feedbacks amplify warming. Negative feedbacks seem to dominate the cooling period (in the literature, it is owed to the slow process of GHG sinks). On seasonal time scales, ice cover change in the Arctic continues the direction it was going beyond astronomical solstice due to seasonal lag in ocean (and atmospheric) temperatures.

  263. barry (23:30:23) :

    If positive feedbacks dominated, Earth would either be like Pluto or Venus.

  264. barry (23:30:23) :

    Ice albedo is about 0.6. Ocean albedo is 0.06 (0 is black, 1 is white). As open water increases during melt season, the oceans absorb and store more heat.

    Melt ice is also a good source of N and Fe which increases the lush of the spring bloom and extends into mid summer.this is an important factor in the cold water species eg Phaeocystis antarctica and Phaeocystis pouchetii (arctic) where both light and fe are limiting qualities.

    This has concomitant properties in it increase sea albedo ,cloud formation and increased biomass draws down co2.

    Bio optical properties in the ocean where nutrients are limited (they decrease at distance from land) produce the clearest waters on the planet.eg Morel et al, 2007

    Optical properties of the clearest waters

    Abstract
    Optical measurements within both the visible and near ultraviolet (UV) parts of the spectrum (305–750 nm) were recently made in hyperoligotrophic waters in the South Pacific gyre (near Easter Island). The diffuse attenuation coefficients for downward irradiance, Kd(l), and the irradiance reflectances, R(l), as derived from
    hyperspectral (downward and upward) irradiance measurements, exhibit very uncommon values that reflect the exceptional clarity of this huge water body. The Kd(l) values observed in the UV domain are even below the absorption coefficients found in current literature for pure water. The R(l) values (beneath the surface) exhibit a maximum as high as 13% around 390 nm. From these apparent optical properties, the absorption and backscattering coefficients can be inferred by inversion and compared to those of (optically) pure seawater. The total absorption coefficient (atot) exhibits a flat minimum (, 0.007 m21) around 410–420 nm, about twice that of pure water. At 310 nm, atot may be as low as 0.045 m21, i.e., half the value generally accepted for pure water. The particulate absorption is low compared to those of yellow substance and water and represents only ,15% of atot
    in the 305–420-nm domain. The backscattering coefficient is totally dominated by that of water molecules in the UV domain. Because direct laboratory determinations of pure water absorption in the UV domain are still scarce and contradictory, we determine a tentative upper bound limit for this elusive coefficient as it results from in situ measurements.

    This article is motivated by recent (2004) observations in the exceptionally clear, blueviolet waters of the anticyclonic South Pacific gyre,

    This is observable in the ocean colour section of seawifs the “purple patches” are the areas of greatest absorbtion.

  265. R. Gates (17:21:43) :

    “Prediction vs Prediction

    Alright, I like this…Steve Goddard et. al. are predicting that the 2010 arctic summer sea ice minimum will recover, continuing the 2008-2009 trend upward, meaning that 2010 minimum will be greater than 2008 or 2009, and I’m predicting that the summer arctic sea ice will be less this year than in 2009, (meaning the 2008-2009 trend will be broken). My only qualification is if one of those pesky big volcanoes in Iceland or elsewhere blows up, creating a similar or larger eruption to Mt. Pinatubo 1991.

    I continue to hold to my prediction despite this little “bump” upward in March, and I base this on what will become rapid melting in June, July & August from the Atlantic side of the arctic.

    I’ll be here to watch these predictions with interest…”

    Wow, this is getting interesting now. Can I butt in here and offer my prediction of a minimum of 6 Mkm2, based on IARC-JAXA Sea Ice Extent in September? This means continued recovery from 2007. I base this on the reduced (back to normal) inflow of warm Atlantic water as reported in the paper I linked to above. My qualification also will be volcanoes on Iceland, and/or under the Arctic Ocean.

  266. DeWitt Payne (18:28:21) :

    “Speaking of a linear trend, Monte Carlo analysis using an AR(2) model or an AR(15) model with coefficients calculated from the Cryosphere Today data gave similar estimates for the slope: -0.04964555 Mm2/year with a standard error of 0.004429909. That means the slope is significantly different from zero. Of course, it also means that Arctic ice isn’t going to be disappearing any time soon.”

    Thank you, DeWitt. Although I assume your slope estimate is: -0.04964555 Mkm2/year (i.e. Mkm2, not Mm2). It does still mean that Artcitc ice isn’t going to disappear any time soon.

    Even if we extrapolate this trend into the distant future (which is questionable indeed), it obviously is going to take more than 100 years before the Arctic is “ice free” even on 1 single day in September. I guess we can already say that El Gore et. al totally lost it with their nonsensical predictions of an “ice free” Arctic by 2013.

    Or maybe they simply made a misprint/misquote, and that the year should be 2130? Or maybe they have consulted Dr Mann to do their stats for them, so that the real figures have been mirror reversed, and should read 3102? Who knows, in Climate Science, anything goes.

  267. barry (16:46:22)

    “Phlogiston, the math is way over my head. Do you actually understand it yourself?

    Are you implying that log-log function dynamics provide a better explanation for ice age changes than Milankovitch cycles? If Milankovitch works, what is the need to invoke highly theoretical in-system transitions.”

    I dont understand the math either (as a mere biologist by training), I try to get my head around the qualitative characteristics of these systems. (I tried to convey the impression that I understood it but clearly failed!)

    Concerning the Milankovitch cycles, an important class of the chaotic dynamic systems that have been studied is oscillatory systems. These are systems that are subject to periodic forcing of a regular nature, but within which complex patterns arise or emerge by the chaotic-nonlinear processes. So climate could be considered as such a system in that it is subject to periodic forcing – by the Milankovitch ortibal, precessional etc oscillations, and also solar cycles, maybe also (depending who you believe) gravitational effects of the big planets Jupiter and Saturn – aligning every 60 years.

    Thus log-log type nonlinear fluctuations are not necessarily an alternative to the results of forcing. Periodically forced systems can display new, emergent periodicities in a chaotic-nonlinear response to the regular forcing stimulus. For a nice visual example of this, have a look at the video (link below) from Texas University of a vibrated container of corn-starch – it is vibrated with a regular frequency but the emergent patterns – especially the “fingers” near the end – do not have a simple relationship to the frequency of the vibration. (This video has been posted an number of times here on WUWT):

    “As far as I could make out, the transitions discussed are not about amplitude changes of the whole system, but “much richer dynamics” within it.”

    This is an important question – are the complex dynamics of the whole system of contained within subsystems.

    A reference that I found very helpful on this subject was the PhD thesis of Matthias Bertram. It was previously on his personal web site but not anymore – however I have posted it using google-docs:

    http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B9p_cojT-pflY2Y2MmZmMWQtOWQ0Mi00MzJkLTkyYmQtMWQ5Y2ExOTQ3ZDdm&hl=nl

    This thesis includes a thorough mathematical background to the emergent pattern formation within “reaction-diffusion” systems. It is a useful document generally on non-linear pattern formation.

    One classic and well-studied oscillatory reaction-diffusion system is the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, which occurs under periodic forcing of light flashes. Here is Bertram’s description of it:

    “The BZ reaction consists of the oxidation of malonic acid by bromate, catalyzed by metal ions in acidic aqueous solution. The reaction is known to exhibit oscillatory behavior for a wide range of control parameters when maintained in a nonequilibrium state [8, 19]. The experiments described in Ref. [40] have used a light-sensitive ruthenium-catalyzed version of the BZ reaction, where forcing can be externally applied as spatially uniform, time-periodic light pulses. The reaction proceeds in a thin porous membrane (0.4 mm thick, 22 mm in diameter) sandwiched between two continuously refreshed reservoirs of reagents. Quasi-two dimensional patterns in the spatial distribution of the ruthenium catalyst Ru(II) are imaged by measuring the light transmission through the membrane.”

    My conjecture is that the earth’s climate, i.e. the system of ocean and air currents, clouds, precipitation, ice formation, mixing and temperature dynamics, that take place on the earths surface, can be likened by analogy as a reaction-diffusion system. Energy input at the equator is redistributed globally in complex patterns involving a mixture of feedbacks and interactions. It also occurs under a number of periodic forcings – earth’s rotation, day-night cycle,lunar and solar cycles, Milankotitch cycles etc..

    One of the criteria for a reaction-diffusion system is an “excitable medium” in which reactions have a self-propagating nature. In chapter 3.1 on periodic forcings, the variety of complex patterns that can be obtained in the BZ reaction is illustrated (e.g. p. 26). If one is describing climate as such a system, bear in mind that chaotic- nonlinear systems operate within a multi-dimensional phase space – time is one of these dimensions. So the change (for instance) in climate patterns with time is part of the emergent pattern from such an oscillatory reaction-diffusion type system.

    I came across this body of theory while trying to research an abnormal type of bone deformity in a rare genetic disease, and look at the type of perturbation of bone remodelling (resorption-formation cycle) that could account for it. I found such reaction-diffusion systems a very compelling analogy. Another system described in Bertram’s thesis is the platinum-catalysed oxidation of CO – what happens in the catalytic converter in your car exhaust. This system is very informative on the effects of negative and positive feedbacks in a chaotic-nonlinear system that I referred to earlier.

    More generally, a very helpful and interesting treatment of nonlinear pattern formation in natural phenomena – written non-mathematically – is the book “Deep Simplicity” by John Gribben, Random House, NY, which I would recommend.

  268. JAN (02:41:28) :

    JAN (02:21:24) :

    “El Gore” is perfect! You should have left it as is. Now you can’t claim credit for inventing such a brilliant term.

  269. dbleader61 (12:48:10) :

    @Richard M (12:37:48):
    “This is in spite of the fact that “average” is still higher than it should be. We have 30 years of data (1979-2009), why not use it all? We all know that this would drop the “average” and that’s not good for the warmers.”

    There is an explanation – it may even be somewhere in the archives of WUWT but as I recall the 2000 – 2010 data is to be inputed soon – but as 1989 – 2010 20 year running average.

    I believe the “official” explanation is that the final year must end with “00”. In my opinion that is more like an excuse than an explanation. So, it looks like we will have at least 9 more months before any changes are made.

  270. Reminds me of a Far Side cartoon: two cavemen are standing by a glacier. One says, “Say, Thag. Wall of ice closer today?”

  271. phlogiston, nice post. Put into high definition what I was trying to say with instinct. Your book reference “Deep Simplicity” will be added to my wish list at Amazon. If I ever get married again, I will be registered there. Much more interesting than dishes.

  272. Richard M (04:49:23) :

    There is an explanation – it may even be somewhere in the archives of WUWT but as I recall the 2000 – 2010 data is to be inputed soon – but as 1989 – 2010 20 year running average.

    I believe the “official” explanation is that the final year must end with “00″. In my opinion that is more like an excuse than an explanation. So, it looks like we will have at least 9 more months before any changes are made.

    NSIDC’s explanation notes that they don’t want the average to be a moving target — so they use an old average.

  273. Anu, I would compare SST in the main Arctic currents, surface wind patterns, and AO conditions with summer melt, as well as with clear versus cloudy days, before I would make a statement as to why the ice is this or that. I think it is a combination of these factors, not dependent on any one of them.

  274. DeWitt, I think sea ice distribution and melt patterns ARE oscillatory. However, I will concede that my thinking is based on a mind experiment and daily observations of localized ice buildup and melt. I take into account Arctic influencing oscillatory currents (contained, as well as incoming and outgoing), Arctic edge topography, GPS address, axial tilt, and chaotic/oscillatory (short and long term) weather pattern variations (air pressure systems and surface winds) to make an educated guess that there are both short and long term oscillations to localized sea ice distribution and melt patterns. With the right conditions (a chaotic but also oscillatory event), the bowl will fill with ice and not flush so readily, though the air temps remain fairly stable.

  275. JAN (02:21:24) :

    Thank you, DeWitt. Although I assume your slope estimate is: -0.04964555 Mkm2/year (i.e. Mkm2, not Mm2).

    No DeWitt is correct, the correct unit is Mm^2, the prefix is part of the unit and so is squared also. You should never mix prefixes.

  276. Smokey (05:24:44) :

    You said you were 90% sure you would win the bet. You talk the talk, but you don’t walk the walk. You chickened out. No doubt Charles would have taken any wager, even $100. Or $1.00.

    No doubt maybe, but it was not for me to suggest that, as I have explained in that thread, in a truly heroic way I have to add.
    Of course I’d accept a wager for say fifty bucks or a crate of beer (Westmalle Tripel for me).

    Your excuses farther down the thread show that you don’t really believe what you’re saying.

    Really? Please look at this:

    You are looking at, once again, a uniquely bad ice situation there.

    Reply: It’s not really gambling if it doesn’t hurt to lose. You were offered a reduced bet from 5000 to 1000 dollars. You made feeble mumblings concerning trustworthy third parties and moved on. You cringed and ran and now wish to make “gentleman’s bets”. I have respect for Tom P. He is willing to put his money where his mouth is. You are all talk, no conviction. ~ ctm

  277. Jan said:

    “Can I butt in here and offer my prediction of a minimum of 6 Mkm2, based on IARC-JAXA Sea Ice Extent in September? This means continued recovery from 2007. I base this on the reduced (back to normal) inflow of warm Atlantic water as reported in the paper I linked to above. My qualification also will be volcanoes on Iceland, and/or under the Arctic Ocean.”

    __________

    The more the merrier! I think maybe Anthony should start a WUWT minimum 2010 arctic summer sea ice extent contest…the closest guess in sq. km. Maybe use this as the standard (IJIS):

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

    The contest should close no later than June 1, as that is when the real melt season will start to kick it high gear. What do you think Anthony? What could the prize be? Just for fun, or $5 a guess?

  278. barry (23:30:23) :

    During the summer, when the sun is up high in the sky in the Arctic, there is very little open water and albedos are very high. The ice minimum occurs in September when the sun is very low above the horizon, so very little solar energy is being absorbed by the water.

  279. I think we can all agree though, no matter how you spin the math, that the ‘North Pole ice free in 5 years’ forecast is a profound fail? When I say all I mean all, even Anu, R Gates, and barry too.

    Certainly we can all see that prediction is wrong.

  280. Pamela Gray (06:15:55) :

    SST, AO, Arctic currents, data: they don’t want to hear that. They want this:

    DISASTERS ARE COMING TO THE EARTH FROM MANMADE CO2! TAX EVERYONE TO STOP IT!

    Say things along those lines then they’ll go back under the bridge and take a good nap.

  281. DirkH (06:24:02) :
    Shifting goalposts.

    Not at all. The reason is this. When average thickness over a considerable area drops below a threshold of about two feet, it wil break up and melt very quickly over that entire area. This is what you could see happening over de summers from 2005 to 2008. It is an example of ‘catastrophe’, a physics-mathematics concept (so please make no alarm of it).

  282. I do have to say this is the first time on this web page and I have found it to be most interesting in many ways. First the professional way the information was presented and second the bloggers where so polite and also seemed to be very knowledgeable in there own right.
    I’m looking at this from a totally deferent point of view. In the world today, we find our self’s with a broke financial system (a globally broke financial system).If you were a global leader, and knew that the global financial system was going to collapse with 15 years or so, a plan would be needed to be put in place to keep the governments financial system working. In addition, this plan needs to address the economic issues of food, population and self defense. This is where it gets interesting. Looking at the EU and the US, how could you get all these governments to work as one, in light of what was to come. A New World Government thru the UN, it would work as the frame work of the new World Government. The Question is, how will it be financed?
    And this is where Al Gore comes in; he and Enron come up with Cap and Trade as way of taxation on a balanced and fair basis. So how dose a global leader convince the people, we have to track Carbon Emissions? What else, but GLOBAL WARMING! This gives you two things. It is something that all countries create to some extent, and it will be a good thing for the world to get a handle on, before we change the planet for worse with our emissions. This will give the green people, the conservatives and the liberals something to rally around. The fly in the ointment has been that the climate has not been cooperating. Please don’t misunderstand me; something needs to be done about the trash, waste by-products and air pollutants of the industrialized countries. But make no mistake; the global warming charade is about the creation of a world governance and domination. Do I have a better plan NO, but way not just come cline, and tell the truth? In the case of the US it has a constitution and as for the others well it’s overwhelming to think of it all.

  283. What will the AGW people come up with? Simple:

    THEY WILL STOP THE CLOCK!

    Already in the NYT ALL the Arctic ice animations stop at 2007. Ditto for most ice extent sites.

    The time will be FOREVER NOVEMBER 2007!

    Like the meteo guy in the movie, we’ll be from now on in Groundhog day….or rather the polar bear going for a swim year.

  284. David Alan Evans (21:30:26) :
    Anu (20:02:48) :
    You’re avoiding the questions!
    Did you follow up on the 1938 article?

    No, but if you gave a link to the 1939 NYT article you mentioned, I would have read it.

    Remember, that was 85°N in December!
    The Syedoff was frozen in at that latitude on the 18th of December
    It was free again in February of 1939!

    The article mentions drift, although yes, very far north.
    Remember that those images of sea ice “extent” are for areas that have at least 15% ice – hence, up to 85% open water.

    What looks like “solid sea ice” could in fact be lots of ice floes, drifting, colliding, opening cracks for ships to drift in, or just drifting with the ship lodged inside.
    I don’t know how far north a ship could get in February these days, but drifting north over a few years, from free water to free water as the ice floes drift, doesn’t give a good overall picture of the Arctic ice.

    You still think the pre-1979 estimates are accurate?
    For that chart I showed, I was mainly interested in the post-satellite era data.

    Although that big dip at 1940 is interesting – are you sure the ship was freed in 1939, not 1940 ?

    I ask again; when does Amunden get written out of history & transferred to folklore?
    Amundsen took 3 years to traverse the “Northwest Passage”. Sitting and waiting for the ice floes to shift, and summer melts, doesn’t exactly prove that there was much less ice’ back in 1903-1906. He had the money and supplies to wait around long enough to be the “first one”.

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

    Today, with the vanishing Arctic Ice, the HANSEATIC German cruise ship did the same traverse of the Northwest Passage in 19 days in 2007.

    Both don’t prove what the overall ice in the Arctic was doing, but the difference is, we have the satellite data for 2007.

  285. Amino Acids in Meteorites (07:14:22) :

    I think we can all agree though, no matter how you spin the math, that the ‘North Pole ice free in 5 years’ forecast is a profound fail? When I say all I mean all, even Anu, R Gates, and barry too.

    Certainly we can all see that prediction is wrong.
    ————
    Do you mean the prediction that the Arctic summer might be ice free by 2013 ?

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

    I predict your prediction about the prediction is wrong. But we won’t know if I’m right till October 2013.

  286. Frederick Michael (22:43:58) :

    You are right that JAXA is reporting new figures — JAXA is legit and Roberts “bet” was not wise. However, there is a malfunction. The number at the top of the page (14,376,406 km2 for April 1) is normally the 3 day moving average. But, click on download data and you’ll see that the posted number should be higher.

    ??
    ————
    I see The latest value : 14,395,000 km2 (April 1, 2010) , right now.

    But it is strange that it still says April 1. Like we are getting a cached version of the page, and the main server has crashed. Maybe too many eager viewers…

    Huh. My $110 billion might be in jeopardy here, although technically, I’ve already won.

  287. “”” Billy Liar (16:28:04) :

    George E. Smith (13:37:37) :

    ‘basically nothing much has happened, other than a big wind storm in 2007 which blew a lot of arctic ice away’

    There has been a lot of talk on WUWT about the effect of wind on Arctic ice but I have not seen any reference to two other factors which might have altered the situation in 2007.

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

    Temperatures above 80N were much higher than the mean in the winter for 30-60 days in both 2005 and 2006; 18C above the mean in February 2006 for a short time. This will have affected the growth in the thickness of the ice in winter.

    2007 was also apparently ‘a record breaking year for Eurasian river inflow
    to the Arctic Ocean’. See:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/4/045015

    The ‘record breaking’ inflow of fresh water carrying heat from Siberia may also have affected the ice remaining in the summer.

    Any expert care to comment? “””

    Well Billy, I’m not an expert, and I’m not familiar with the details of the river flows you mentioned; but I do have some thoughts about it.

    First off, I would not usually refer to Siberian Rivers as sources of warmth; but I have no numbers to compare the temperatures of Siberian river waters to ocean surface waters such as the gulf stream that flow up into the arctic regions. I don’t have a good topo map of Siberia; but the map I do have shows a good number of significant rivers, that seem to flow straight north, with not much wandering, and that suggests to me that they flow out of mountains that run East-West; or at least highlands, so they likely are cool waters (but I don’t know that).

    Of course that is also fresh water, so it would be lighter than salt ocean water, and presumably float on top of saltier waters; and even moreso if it is in fact warmer than the ocean.
    But if you do have a surface warmer fresh water layer, or lower salinity layer flowing into the arctic ocean it also would freeze at a higher temperature than the saltier water. Who wins, I wouldn’t even hazard a guess. If those seas were relatively stormy which we are told they were, that might cause enough turbulent mixing to change the situation. In any case; would such rivers be major water flows compared to ocean currents?

    But your thoughts indicate the situation is far from simple.

    Others have commented that with the more open water, there would be a lot of solar energy fed into the water, that would normally be reflected off the ice.

    Steve Goddard points out that the sun angle is low at the fall ice minimum. The JAXA ice graph shows 2007 minimum was right around the Autumn equinox, so the sun would be on the equator, and the pole would be tilted in a plane at right angles to the orbital radius.

    So my stick on a sandy beach geometry says you have the sun on the horizon at the poles (both of them); which puts it at 23.5 degrees above the horizon on the Arctic circle (and Antarctic circle.)

    So now water has a refractive index (solar spectrum) of about 1.333; which gives a critical angle of 48.6 degrees (which doesn’t matter much here); and the Brewster Angle is 53.1 deg (Arctan(N)). So this is the angle of incidence (from the normal) for which the surface reflection is plane polarised; with the surviving plane of polarization being perpendicular to the plane of incidence (I believe that is the Electric Vector), so that angle would be 36.9 deg above the horizon, so it is well above the sun angle.

    So now what do we know ? At normal incidence the reflection coefficient off water for solar spectrum (average) is 2% ((N-1)/(N+1))^2. Taking (N) as 4/3, we have ((1/3)/(7/3))^2 = 1/49; 2% as I said.

    If you do the full Fresnel Polarized reflections formulae, you find that at the Brewster angle, the perpendicular polarization Reflection coefficient goes to zero; and the Parallel component Reflection coefficient, typically about doubles, at the Brewster angle. The net result of all of this is that the total reflection coefficient for both polarizations remains almost constant over incidence angle (off normal) up to the Brewster angle; but after that, both polarizations have reflection coefficients that rapidly move towards 100%.

    I’m not going to try do the math in my head; because the equations are complicated Trig functions; but if you have a sun angle of 23.5 deg (arctic circle) and a Brewster angle that is 36.9 deg from the surface, then at least the perpendicular component reflectance is greatly increased.
    I do know that for glass, with (N) = 1.5) the normal reflection coefficient is 4%, and the Brewster angle is 56.3 deg; which would be a 33.7 deg sun anghe. For a 23.5 deg sun angle the perpendicular reflection coefficient is already over 20%, while the parallel coefficient is still very small. So 20% of half the energy is still 10%. So that is for N = 1.5. The starting point is lower (2%) for N=1.333 but the Brewster angle is larger, so the sun angle has more effect. So I would say about 5% reflectance on the arctic circle and climbing rapidly above that towards the pole.

    You are actually above 70 degrees for most of Siberia, and even higher for Canada, and Greenland, so the water surface reflectance (flat water) can become significant.

    This comes up so often, I probably should calculate a table of reflectance versus sun angle for flat water.

    That’s one of those things that should be in text books but isn’t. Well you can find graphs, but they are always unreadable beyond the Brewster angle.

  288. Adrian O (09:03:24) :

    “The time will be FOREVER NOVEMBER 2007!

    Like the meteo guy in the movie, we’ll be from now on in Groundhog day….or rather the polar bear going for a swim year.”

    Groundhog Day? That means we need to bring out Phil. to clear up this situation. So what say you Phil.? I seem to remember that one year ago you were somewhat pessimistic about the outlook for summer minimum in 2009. Since I gather you have some professional expertise on the subject matter, will you amuse us with your prediction for sea ice minimum for 2010?

  289. Anu (09:46:48) :

    “Huh. My $110 billion might be in jeopardy here, although technically, I’ve already won.”

    When we see what kind of stash Anu is raking in after just one evening in front of the machine, I would expect everyone would like to get in on the action and place their bets for summer minimum 2010.

  290. The CBC story referred to by Elizabeth (Canada) was also carried by the Toronto Globe and Mail, with a different headline: “Arctic ice makes surprising comback”. This is rather surprising given the Globe’s strong AGW views and its failure to cover other stories that do not fit in with the AGW views.

    I tried to find a more complete version of Mark Serrese’s statement on the NSIDC web-site, but no luck (or no skill)

  291. Let me get this Bet thing right: as my fear is for:
    … _Zero_ Sea Ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, by August

    [NOT because of AGW, but because the expected Weak El Nino turned into a 1.8, and is starting from a previous minimum of 9% less than 2007’s smaller 1.1 El Nino started from (leading to double or more melting)
    + False Environmentalists’ Carbon Caps’ forgiving of Diesel Soot & cutting of SO2 = more Sun is absorbed:

    –50 % Something Happens ( Go Volcanos GO ! ) = I lose my shirt.
    –25 % It all melts Off — The World Panics — The currents DO NOT stop — and everyone is baying for my blood.
    –25 % … I collect, I’m famous for 3 months — then We all die.

    I want to crawl under the covers & hug a stuffed animal.

  292. Thanks for the thoughtful reply, phlogiston. It was interesting.

    If one is describing climate as such a system, bear in mind that chaotic- nonlinear systems operate within a multi-dimensional phase space – time is one of these dimensions. So the change (for instance) in climate patterns with time is part of the emergent pattern from such an oscillatory reaction-diffusion type system.

    That was (one of the) impression/s I got from the papers: change in patterns (eg, from turbulent to oscillatory) under certain conditions with time).

    I’m not sure how this fits into the argument that ‘negative feedbacks can result in ice age changes’. I don’t think the papers address whole-system amplitude changes at all (the whole system getting warmer or cooler), and inference towards that conclusion is a leap beyond the domain of the discussion (of the two studies I was able to access).

    People sometimes refer to Lindzens’ theories of a dominant negative feedback in the climate system. He has not explained how big climate swings (like ice age changes) can manifest if the system tends towards stability – with a low climate sensitivity to forcing. Couple that with the observation that his views are real outliers – on the extreme edge of the body of understanding – and I’m not sure why his conclusions are pre-eminent in some quarters.

    I am in no position to judge or diss Lindzen, but I am intelligent enough to judge, like you, qualitative arguments within the bigger picture. A common qualitative rebuttal to AGW is that ‘the climate has changed before – it’s been much warmer and much cooler’. The first thing I note, thus, is that there seems to be a contradiction in the skeptical position. The skeptics argue on the one hand that climate is highly variable, implying a large-ish climate sensitivity – positive feedbacks are dominant. On the other hand, skeptics invoking Lindzenesque theory are supporting the idea that climate sensitivity is very small – negative feedbacks dominate. AGW theory, while retaining uncertainties, is internally consistent as a body of science. This is not so for the skeptical position, and this issue is only one of the contradictory arguments* that appear. The skeptical position seems haphazard and, generally, more concerned with negating or downplaying understanding (as in balance of evidence) than building a cogent, alternative picture.

    ———————————————————

    * I thought I should substantiate my assertion that there are contradictory arguments within the skeptical camp, both qualitative and quantitative. This is usually done in a way that pokes fun, or belittles. I simply want to point them out and let the reader judge from their own experience whether or not my observations are sound and my conclusions fair. Some of these dichotomies appear (as separate articles) on this site. And some of these can be applied to blog arguments on the pro-AGW side.

    The instrumental temperature record is unsound / The instrumental temperature record provides proof that…

    The ice core record is too diffuse (Jarowoski) to discern / The ice core record clearly shows that CO2 lags temps

    Human activities couldn’t possibly have a large impact on climate / Black soot is responsible for climate change at the poles – (We can address any future problems with geoengineering)

    Human activities have little impact on the atmosphere / The reason the stratosphere is cooling is because of ozone depletion from CFCs (not from GHGs)

    Siting issues for weather stations introduce biases in the temperature record / Adjusting raw temperature measurements is bad science

    There’s not enough skepticism and appropriate uncertainty in climate science / Climate science is unequivocally a hoax

    Climate trends of the last 100 years are meaningless: you need to look at much longer periods / From Instrumental records since 2002 we know that the global climate is cooling

    AGW science is groupthink – its a lie / AGW scientists X and Y disagree with each other – AGW is a lie

    AGW proponents are alarmists / We’ll be committing economic “suicide” if we listen to these socialistic fraudsters (this is more hypocritical than contradictory)

    Dissent should be respected / You disagree with me because you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid – (typical of both sides of the debate)

    Proxy data for paleoclimatology is riddled with problems (look at the divergence issue), you can’t rely on it / The proxy data definitely show a warmer MWP than today

    Proof is paramount and there is none / Skeptics do not have to prove anything **

    We need lots of good data, not extrapolations from little data / Anecdotal evidence of Vikings in warm climes strongly indicate something about paleoclimate

    They are focusing on one region of the world, while ignoring another (Arctic/Antarctic) / the temperature record from a few locations proves the instrumental record is wrong

    Climate scientists won’t respond to criticism – they’re hiding / Climate scientists are speaking out – they’re circling the wagons

    The press is not to be trusted in the way it portrays climate change / Here is another news story about the fraudulent AGW theory

    The message on climate change is a political construct / Here is Senator Inhofe’s list of quotes from scientists

    Ex-politician Al Gore’s film is being played in classrooms: politics should not interfere in science education / The Arizona state legislature is trying to get the skeptical view taught in classrooms. Good for them.

    You can’t trust scientists who huddle together under their banner / Here is a landmark article from ICECAP, a group of AGW skeptical scientists

    Science on clouds is too uncertain / Clouds provide a negative feedback/are responsible for recent warming

    Skeptical papers are barred from being published in the literature/ Here are 100 peer-reviewed science papers, written by scientists with the appropriate qualifications, calling AGW into question

    CO2 doesn’t have much impact – it’s a tiny fraction of the atmosphere / CO2 will make things warmer, which is a good thing, and it may save us from the next ice age. Our CO2 output will increase plant growth

    Consensus isn’t science, it’s the quantitative evidence that matters / Here’s a petition of anti-AGW scientists

    (And relevant to the topic….)

    There was a big hoo-hah over sea ice extent in 2007 – that’s only one year! / The sea ice extent of the last month means that the concern about the Arctic has “just gone down the drain” (Steve Goddard above)

    ———————————————-

    ** This is perhaps the most intellectually corrupt argument I know of. Our side need prove nothing, your side must prove everything. It is particularly egregious when ‘our side’ contains so many contradictions. Anything that doesn’t cut both ways equally is outside the bounds of reason and reasonableness. I think it comes from a confusion between deductive reasoning (‘proofs’), and inductive reasoning (‘cogency’). The former is mainly the province of law and mathematics, the latter is the largely the province of many natural science theories (eg, medical, evolution).

    As I said, some of the above apply to the pro-AGW camp in the blog wars. I have seen protagonists be just as illogical and insulting as antagonists.

  293. Pamela Gray (06:03:24)

    As the saying goes, why use 10 words when 100 will do. BTW John Gribben is a very readable and lucid author, “Science: a history” another entertaining one by him (post-renaissance).

  294. “After all, who wouldn’t want the Arctic Sea ice to recover? WUWT is predicting a recovery again this year, which we started mentioning as a prediction last fall.”

    Would you please send me a copy of your model code and all relevant data?

  295. barry (20:25:02):

    People sometimes refer to Lindzens’ theories of a dominant negative feedback in the climate system. He has not explained how big climate swings (like ice age changes) can manifest if the system tends towards stability – with a low climate sensitivity to forcing. Couple that with the observation that his views are real outliers – on the extreme edge of the body of understanding – and I’m not sure why his conclusions are pre-eminent in some quarters.

    I am in no position to judge or diss Lindzen…

    No kidding, boy.

    Prof Richard Lindzen is the head of MIT’s Atmospheric Sciences department, universally esteemed as a world class climatologist — not limited to, as you so disparagingly say, “in some quarters.”

    And so far, Prof Lindzen has been more accurate regarding both the climate and the political shenanigans surrounding CAGW than anyone else. The fact that you so desperately attempt to denigrate someone who has forgotten more than you will ever learn about the climate says it all.

  296. Tom W (20:32:30) :

    Believe it or not, people used to do science before computers were widely available. Back then, they had to rely on their brains.

    You can generate a lot of GIGO with a teraflop of compute power.

  297. Steve Goddard (11:38:32) : “Believe it or not, people used to do science before computers were widely available. Back then, they had to rely on their brains.”

    You don’t use a model? Then tell us about how you went about making your ‘brainy’ prediction. I hope you didn’t use data as that would imply someone else used the computer for you.

    “You can generate a lot of GIGO with a teraflop of compute power.”

    As you can with the brain. Really smart people can use both their brain and a teraflop of computer power intelligently.

  298. Tom W (16:16:35) :

    Do a search for Steven Goddard Arctic in the search box at the upper right corner. Since you haven’t read my articles, there isn’t a whole lot of point in answering your imagined criticisms of them.

  299. Smokey (21:11:32) :
    barry (20:25:02):
    “People sometimes refer to Lindzens’ theories of a dominant negative feedback in the climate system. He has not explained how big climate swings (like ice age changes) can manifest if the system tends towards stability – with a low climate sensitivity to forcing. Couple that with the observation that his views are real outliers – on the extreme edge of the body of understanding – and I’m not sure why his conclusions are pre-eminent in some quarters.
    I am in no position to judge or diss Lindzen…”

    No kidding, boy.

    Prof Richard Lindzen is the head of MIT’s Atmospheric Sciences department, universally esteemed as a world class climatologist — not limited to, as you so disparagingly say, “in some quarters.”

    Actually he isn’t, Maria Zuber is the department head. The above is a fair description of the status of his Adaptive Iris theory, not many takers!

    The fact that you so desperately attempt to denigrate someone who has forgotten more than you will ever learn about the climate says it all.

    There are plenty here who do that, you’ve done your fair share.

  300. Barry (20:25:02)

    A transition in climate even as large as a jump from glacial to interglacial and the reverse, does not necessarily need to be a whole system amplitude shift. These large shifts like all shifts can be consistent with non-equilibrium / nonlinear pattern. One needs to start taking a step back from the minutiae and viewing the characteristice of the system as a whole, looking at what indications are given by such whole system characteristics. (Note however that one of the catogories of nonlinear oscillation studied in Matthias Bertram’s thesis was amplitude oscillation).

    Non-equilibrium pattern formation (NEPF) phenomena are much more pervasive in natural systems than generally recognised. Modern research into such chaos-related phenomena began with the work of Mandelbrot and Prigogine and others several decades ago, but it has remained confined as a periperal curiosity, (except perhaps in chemical engineering) and major fields such as biology, biochemistry and climate whose systems and phenomena are probably dominated by NEPF have to date paid little more than lip-service to this paradigm for viewing natural processes.

    Certain things are diagnostic of a system where NEPF is operating:

    1. Complexity and a multiplicity of factors and agencies operating in potentially limiting (negative feedback) and reinforcing modes (positive feedback);

    2. Being far from equilibrium: with a complex and dissipative rather than simple energy flow through the system;

    3. Being “dissipative” in that there is a constant flow of energy into the system and dissipation of energy by a multiplicity of interactions by the system (“dissipation” is sometimes referred to as friction or damping);

    4. Being characterised by a fractal type of complex pattern

    5. Associated with fractal pattern is the “power law” or log-log pattern of the magnitude of system changes.

    6. Attractors: NEPF systems are characterised by the phenomenon of attractors, or “strange attractors”. These are states that the system preferentially adopts for no clearly apparent reason. Mathematically speaking these are limited regions of the multi-dimensional phase space of the system to which the evolving system converges. There can be multiple attractors, and systems can switch periodically between attractors.

    Climate meets all of these diagnostic criteria. The complexity and mix of negative and positive feedbacks is not in doubt. And as long as winds are still blowing and ocean currents still flowing, equilibrium is never close to being reached (a world at climate equilibrium would be stagnant with static atmosphere and ocean); indeed all climatic phenomena – winds, ocean currents, clouds, precipitation, represent dissipative energy flow and the seeking of equilibrium that will never be attained. Biological systems and organisms also exhibit clearly all five of these criteria – the only time an organism is at equilibrium is when it is dead.

    The fractal-like power law or “log-log” pattern in the case of climate this is observed as follows. Take a simple metric like the long term reconstruction of a meaningful metric of global climate state (sea level, amount of glaciation, temperature, ocean salinity etc.) For example from the ice core reconstructions (which BTW validate eachother and I have no problem in accepting). Define a short period – say 100 years of something, and divide the record into intervals of this duration. Calculate the change in the climate parameter (oxygen or deuterium isotope ratio, etc) over each of these intervals. Then simply make a plot of the magnitude of the changes in the measured parameter from each interval to the next, with the change magnitude along the x axis and the frequency of the observed parameter change (from one interval to the next) in the y axis: and importantly, both x and y axis are plotted as log. A chaotic system displaying NEPF will exhibit a linear relationship in this log-log plot. This means that very small changes are very frequent, and the frequency of larger and faster jumps – to either warmer or cooler climate or more or less glaciation for instance – decreases in a double-logarithmic manner with increasing sharpness of change, with the big glacial-interglacial switches being very infrequent. The slope of this log-log plot is defined as the fractal dimension.

    Chaos itself is not what we are talking about here; the random and turbulent system characteristics of pure chaos are not amenable to much productive analysis. The pattern-rich NEPF phanomena occur at the boundary between linear and non-linear behaviour, at the onset of chaos: mathematically this is where system bifurcations begin to occur and spread in an avalanch-like manner, such as the Hopf bifurcations described in the study by Bertram. (You can see this transition if you turn on a tap gradually: first drip-drip then a smooth linear flow. Eventually when fully open you get the turbulent chaotic tumbing of water at maximum rate. However there is a narrow transitional region between linear and turbulent, in which osscillating and comlex flow patterns can be observed.)

    Despite it being abundantly clear that climate is a non-equilibrium system, a large part of climatic research, especially the radiative balance CO2 story, focuses on a limited hypothetical scenario of equilibrium. In fact much of modern physics does exactly this – it isolates the small islands of exceptional linearity and equilibrium and focusses study and research on such systems, ignoring the much larger seas of chaotic non-equilibrium characterising the natural world. It is easy to see why – science is described as the “art of the do-able”. Its only fun and rewarding to do mathematical-based physics in systems that follow orthodox mathematical laws and allow predictions to be made mathematically.

    I can hear your counter-argument to this already – “yes but the global energy budget is not chaotic but very simple – solar energy in minus energy radiated out from earth. No role for chaos except in small scale internal systems within earth’s climate. CO2 back-reflection of IR means hotter earth, end of story”. I will not get sucked into the CO2 atmosphere radiation argument, except to briefly refer to many proposed mechanisms that could easily negate the CO2 greenhouse effect, such as tropical clouds and thunderstorms, absence of the required – and somewhat improbable – strong positive feedback of water vapour to CO2, the narrowness and possible saturation of the IR absorbance band of CO2 etc.

    BTW the debate about “climate sensitivity” is a good case in point. Engaging in this debate pre-assumes CO2 driven warming – the only argument is about its magnitide. Again one is distilling and compressing all climate complexity into a simple linear scanario, which does not necessarily connect to the dynamically complex non-equilibium nature of the actual system. Thus I’m not that interested in the question of climate “sensitivity” which pre-supposes what is driving climate: instead we are in reality at an earlier stage, needing to understand what does and does not drive the complex and chaotic dynamics of climate.

    However in terms of what people engaged in the climate debate are chiefly interested in, i.e. is global climate getting hotter or colder in some defined sense, confining such a debate to one simply of global radiative balance is, in the context of system comlexity and NEPF, an “argument ad absurdam”. It is not even necessary to argue that the earth as a whole gets much colder during an ice age. A shift to a mode of reduced energy distribution from the tropics poleward features in several models of glaciation. It is clear that a major climate shift between glacial and interglacial involves a strong positive feedback operating for a limited period. Such a temporary feedback could easily be, for instance, increased albedo and reduced radiative heat input due to spread of ice and snow (white surface area). You do not need therefore to demonstrate a major change in the “global” energy budget of the earth (solar input minus earth radiation) in order to believe in an ice age.

    In the currently unfolding climate, the northern hemisphere in particular has experienced a series of cool summers and severely cold winters. AGW proponents argue that, counter-intuitively, global climate is none-the-less still warming, taking heart from sattelite measurements of warm patches in the tropical Pacific ocean for example. However this could be false comfort, since periodic cooling of high-latitude climate may be associated with a mode of decreased tropical to polar heat redistribution, in which case tropical warming is even expected alongside high latitude cooling. Indeed Kukla’s model of glacial onset involves transition to glaciation being associated with a period of overall global warming.

    Going back to the previous posting, climate dynamics over long historical periods including the cycles of glaciation, show compelling analogy to a reaction-diffusion system that is driven by periodic forcing and exhibits non-equilibrium pattern formation and associated complexity. The phenomenon of alternating glacial and interglacial states during glacial epochs such as the current one, are a classic example of a chaotic-non-equilibrium system flipping between attractors. It is interesting to note in this context that during periods of glaciation (about 10 times longer than interglacials) there are sometimes very brief periods when climate warms to almost interglacial levels, then drops back to glacial – these can be as short as less than a century. It is impossible to argue that such brief phenomena could be linked to CO2 and radiative forcing, since even AGW proponents concede that in the palaeoclimate record warming precedes CO2 increase, and that CO2 somehow mysteriously displaces the initial causes of warming to become the predominant driver only a few centuries into the warming cycle.

    No, such brief flips are much more consistent with attractor switching. In a NEPF context, attactors are described pictorially as valleys in a landscape of probability (with high altitude meaning improbability) – valleys represent attractors that can be linked by passes or “saddles” allowing systems to find energy routes to move from one attractor to another.

    Therefore to summarize, the type of complexity and non-equilibrium pattern formation (NEPF) within which negative fedback plays a role, can explain switches between glacial and interglacial without the need to demonstrate a large “amplitude” change in global energy. What you would describe as “internal” system dynamics can produce periodically (according to a characterstic log-log frequency pattern) major and time-limited shifts in – among other things – global feedback, thus having profound impact on the total system.

    So chaos and non-linear / non equilibrium dynamics can have a role in global climate, not only within fine scale local processes.

    In fact it is impossible to imagine the climate system dominated by either negative or positive feedback in a strictly linear sense. In that case, if negative feedback predominated you would indeed have flat-line stasis, while if positive feedback predominated you would have run-away change to terminal heat or cold and no life. (But we do have life and we are here having this debate – a “weak anthropic” argument.) Some postings here on WUWT such as Willis Eschenbach’s articles on Bejan’s “constructal law” point to the apparently regulatory and adaptive nature of non-equilibrium dynamic systems and how these have provided us with our otherwise improbably stable, life-supporting climate over the last few billion years.

    (In fact decreasing atmospheric CO2 over palaeo-history could even be a Gaia-response of the biosphere to the 25-30% increase in solar input over the last 4 billion years – however this might give new ammunition to C-AGW so I wont go there!)

    Finally you indulged in some attacks on apparent contradictions in climate skeptical arguments. I wont go into the details of these as I regard this line of attack as unfair. It is obviously in the naure of the cliamte blogosphere that there will be as many arguments and points o view as there are independent thinkers who question C-AGW orthodoxy. To point to contradictions between the mllions of independent opinions gives some satisfaction no doubt but underlines the weakness of the establishment scientific process – principally its closed nature and its vulnerability, due to its closed and elitist structure, to hi-jacking by a political lobby.

    To give an analogy – here is a conversation between a pair of North Korean generals, on their way to an evening of entertainment watching political prisoners being poisoned by experimental chemical weapons. They discuss the contradictions between democratic politicians in Western countries:

    General 1: “You know, it is easy to discredit democracy. There is so much contradiction between politicians. For instance, take the USA. The Obama health care reform is much needed and fundamentally right / it is dictatorial and socialistic and must be opposed.”

    General 2 “Or – the war in Iraq was justified to remove Saddam Hussein / the war was illegal and a huge mistake!”

    General 1: “What about global warming – it is a serious threat and we must start taxing CO2 emission / the evidence is not clear and we must not damage the economy responding to hypothetical and possibly non-existent threat. Ha ha ha!”

    General 2: “How about this one – employers and employees should be allowed flexibly to work as many hours as necessary / there should be a rigid 35 hour week.”

    General 1: “This is a good one – we must have a nuclear deterrent / we must have nuclear disarmament”

    General 2: “These guys must be tired of life or soft in the head!”

    This selection of contradictory opinions could easily be continued indefinitely. But it does not point to the weaknes of democracy – it points instead to its strength.

    Finally, the impact of the blogosphere and blogs such as WUWT in the climat debate, and scienctific research in general, is I feel even more profound than has been realised up to now. Looking for a historical parallel, one is drawn to the Reformation of the Catholic Church in the 16 hundreds. Note this coment is not an atack on Christianity, only a comment on the abuse of the institutionalised control of belief in the population.

    Here are the essentials – at a certain time (I don’t have the dates to hand) the Roman catholic church was short of cash for a big cathedral project in Rome. So they came up with the idea of “indulgences” – essentially credits for sinning. In the population there was at this time strong belief in the afterlife, with options of heaven, hell or purgatory – a kind of time-limited hell, a place to serve time for sins committed during ones life.

    However the experts in the field – the ones who published in the peer-reviewed journals of the time, the professional and only ones qualified to have opinions on such matters – revealed some new research that showed that the large population of saints of the christian church, both past and present, had done so many righteous deeds that they had accumulated an “excess of righteousness” and further, the Catholic Church had the authority to issue paper certificates representing certain units of this righteousness excess that had the effect of reducing or eliminating the time in Purgatory due to the purchasor of this certificate – the so-called “indulgence”. Sale of these indulgences was strongly marketed in a slick PR capaign that spoke of “souls leaping from Purgatory”.

    The parallels with carbon credits and the IPCC are too obvious to mention. However the excessive nature of this cynical corruption and exploitation of the ignorance and gullibility of the population offended particularly Martin Luther, resulting in his research into the bible and formulation of protestant theology which emphasised individuals search for truth in their own right and without needing officiation of the formal church, and the famous 99 postings on the door of the Wittenburg cathedral (WUWT is a contemporary analogy of the Wittenburg door) . The stimlus for independent intellectual activity was given a powerful assist by the coincident development of printing technology. Now groups with non-orthodox religious beliefs were able to quickly print large numbers of books or pamphlets fuelling the spread of many new protestant groups.

    Things have come full circle since then with publication of scientific research again falling under political control similar to that of pre-reformation Roman Catholic Church, with opponents of established partly lines on each subject being marginalised and subjected to viscious personal attack as heretics. But the emergence of the internet and bloging has created a new communication technology whose role is similar to that of the printing presses during the Reformation. A major strength of the blog is that a scientific debate can continue indefinetely with many communications on both sides – until they get bored and move on. By contrast the interaction between a scientific journal and submitting authors is much more terse. The decision of acceptance or rejection of a paper is very often a process of tribalistic bottom-sniffing, but with an attempted smokescreen of “scientific” argument to support it. Often there is outright corruption where valueable discoveries are concerned – it is a well-known phenomenon for a new scientific idea to be rejected by a – conveniently anonymous – reviewer, only for said reviewer to publish the idea him/herself a few months later.

    The scientific communty is suffering the discomfort of the population wising up to the corruption that is fostered by its opaque and closed practices, and the political exploitation of scientific research on climate and other issues that are examples of this. The blogosphere could become an important parallel forum for scientific debate and exchange of ideas which, by contrast, is refreshingly open and transparent and thus receiving more trust and attention from the scientific polupation. Even inspite of the odd apparent contradiction (real or otherwise).

  301. Steve Goddard (20:23:08) :
    Tom W (16:16:35) :

    Do a search for Steven Goddard Arctic in the search box at the upper right corner. Since you haven’t read my articles, there isn’t a whole lot of point in answering your imagined criticisms of them.

    Criticism? All I did was ask you to reveal the methods underlying your claim that “WUWT is predicting a recovery this year”. All I got back was a sarcastic remark about computing.

    I’m still waiting. If your ‘methods’ are secret, just say so.

  302. Tom W (05:37:35) :

    Do a search for Steven Goddard Arctic in the search box at the upper right corner. And read the articles. I am not going to reproduce them here for you.

  303. “Do a search for Steven Goddard Arctic in the search box at the upper right corner. And read the articles. I am not going to reproduce them here for you.”

    I did and found nothing worthy of beging called an ice prediction model.

  304. Reply: It’s not really gambling if it doesn’t hurt to lose. You were offered a reduced bet from 5000 to 1000 dollars. You made feeble mumblings concerning trustworthy third parties and moved on. You cringed and ran and now wish to make “gentleman’s bets”. I have respect for Tom P. He is willing to put his money where his mouth is. You are all talk, no conviction. ~ ctm

    I’ve raised my chance of winning the bet to 100%.
    But I am no longer willing at all to place a bet here.

    You will see the ice melt, like you are seeing a moderate El Niño taking 2010 to record warm heights.

    Reply: Yawn. ~ ctm

  305. Reply: Yawn. ~ ctm

    I know. It’s getting warmer all the time, quite boring. Play on.

    Reply: It is your ongoing cowardice that bores me. You have no conviction at all. You are a classic blog wannabe big boy. You were given the chance to make a bet you are “100% certain” of, one which could make you famous in the blogosphere for taking down the moderator of Watts Up With That. You were offered far better terms than your wildest speculation and yet you run scurrying like a cockroach from the light. You even called your evasion “courageous”. Go ahead make some more excuses before turning and running away from the door hitting you on the way out. ~ ctm

  306. ctm, I think you are ignoring the reason why I am not taking a bet over $50.- or so. Did I not state that I am financially at total rock bottom at present, making it impossible for me to place (and I mean physically PLACE – because that is how we do bets: we put in a real sum of money in a pool somewhere) a bigger bet?

    If you want to call that cowardice, go ahead please. It cannot change my decision or conviction. You can only sink my respect I have for you and this site. If that is okay with you, please continue to call me a ‘scuttling cockroach’ or wherever your inspiration leads you. I will return the favour only in my thoughts.

  307. RR Kampen (03:14:17),

    Do you live in a cardboard box? Are you so poor that you can’t possibly afford to put up even $50?? How can you afford a computer?

    You are becoming insufferable. Your latest claim:

    “I’ve raised my chance of winning the bet to 100%.”

    Yet you’re too chicken to wager even $50! I don’t think you understand how pusillanimous you sound.

    I nominate you as the standard bearer and lead spokesperson for the catastrophic AGW crowd. You’re perfect for the part.

  308. “Smokey (04:31:45) :

    RR Kampen (03:14:17),

    “Do you live in a cardboard box?”

    He must have been hibernating this winter because I haven’t seen him posting for a long time!

  309. Smokey, I have already received the title of ‘Cardinal of Global Warming’ by Anthony. Let’s stick to that. Never mind I side totally with e.g. Björn Lomborg as to dealing with the consequences (but we can all sometimes be short of memory).

    My financial situation is temporary. Fortunately I can still pay the rent for my excellent appartment. I do not have to sell my possessions either.

    If you read me correctly, you can find that I CAN and AM WILLING to put up fifty bucks (or a crate of beer, Westmalle tripel for me, remember), okay? I only stated it is my max bet.

    Please retract: ‘chicken’ and ‘pusillanimous’. You can keep ‘insufferable’ because that is about an emotion of yours I cannot change and might be quite true. Thank you.

    • RR Kampen:

      Is this another of your heroic statements?

      If I lose my bet to Tom P in 9 months I will pay him. I expect the same from him. There was no evasive quibbling about trusted intermediaries. You are chicken. You make excuses. I bet you 5000–you choked. I bet you 1000, you ran. If you can’t save up 1000 dollars in five years to defend your honor…well that’s on you. I have no respect for you. I spotted you two million km2 and gave you five years. Now I wouldn’t trust you. The offer is withdrawn. Your embarrassment stands. You have demonstrated that you have no moral backbone and therefore there is no reason to trust you.

  310. Doesn’t look so ‘normal’ now. The graph has gone from max to nearly crossing the minimum (as of 20/5/10).

  311. It looks completely normal to me. This current period seems to have the least variability from year to year and, as anyone can plainly see, the rank any year has now doesn’t appear to offer any clue as to the ultimate minimum it will reach later this fall. Look at 2006. It rode along as the lowest maximum and the lowest during this current period but then pulled out to be one of the second highest minimums for a good part of September.

    On top of that, the temperature was above normal for a little while but has recently taken a dive which ought to, pending winds and currents, help the melt to slow down.

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