Another Arctic Sea Ice Milestone

Many of you watch sea ice as closely as some people follow the NFL, soccer, or NASCAR. So when something of interest happens, I’m not without an inbox full of notices.

Today it is encouraging to see the NANSEN is reporting that both Arctic Sea Ice area and extent are above the normal line. Usually we don’t see both in this mode. Here’s area:

And here is extent:

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

By itself, this is just a small thing, but it is just one more indication that there’s some improvement in the Arctic Ice situation again, and the indications are that we’ll have another summer extent that is higher than the previous year, for the third year in a row.

Of course our friends will argue that extent and area don’t matter now, that only volume and ice quality (the rotten ice meme) matters.

Interestingly, if you go back to  the press releases on the record minimum extent in 2007 at NSIDC here:

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2007.html

And search the entire set of release for the word “volume”, you won’t find it used anywhere that year. The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline. They couldn’t tout another record low extent, so volume became the next big thing:

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

Arctic sea ice minimum press release

Please see the NSIDC press release, “Arctic Sea Ice Down to Second-Lowest Extent; Likely Record-Low Volume” for a detailed analysis of this year’s Arctic sea ice minimum and a synopsis of the 2008 melt season.

With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.

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174 Responses to Another Arctic Sea Ice Milestone

  1. maz2 says:

    Ivan reports:

    ““The polar bear is under threat … The reduction in the surface of the ice sheet, the melting of the ice, all this adds complications to the living conditions,” he said. Mr Putin also demanded a clean-up of waste dumped in the Arctic by the military and Soviet scientific expeditions. ”

    “Vladimir Putin saves the Arctic polar bear in latest animal adventure”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7112118.ece

  2. Luboš Motl says:

    That’s really bizarre because Cryosphere shows a big recent drop in the Arctic ice (from the moments when the anomaly was near zero), with the anomaly currently at -0.473 million squared km:

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

  3. James Sexton says:

    “what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.”

    It’s only been touched on, but I think “soot” content will be the meme. Obviously, more soot means a poorer quality of ice. We’ll have more ice, but it will be the bad kind.

  4. MattN says:

    How’s S.H. sea ice extent/area looking?

  5. One of the most bizarre ice stories was the “collapse”of some ice shelf in Antarctica, which was clearly a stress fracture – but was touted as “melting” by Ted Scambos and others at NSIDC. Despite the fact that there was no indication of melt anywhere in a 200 metre thick chunk of ice.

  6. Daniel says:

    “With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.”
    I know the answer: “Arctic is falling apart ” LOL

  7. Rick K says:

    Is there a graph showing “rotten ice?” /sarc

  8. Today it is encouraging to see the NANSEN is reporting that both Arctic Sea Ice area and extent are above the normal line
    So were 2009… and its summer melt was large.

    REPLY: Such a glass half empty view. 2009 ice improved over 2008, and 2008 improved over 2007. -A

  9. pat says:

    Hmmm. That 2010 graph line looks remarkably like a hockey stick.
    BTW, the rotten ice meme only works for a year or two. Three years and it’s out.

  10. james says:

    “REPLY: Such a glass half empty view. 2009 ice improved over 2008, and 2008 improved over 2007. -A”

    Not to nitpick, but I would use the term “increased” rather than “improved.” Improved implies going up is somehow “good.” It is not clear to me that anyone knows how much ice is ideal, so we really have no way of knowing whether more is an improvement or not. I guess in the narrow contest of pro/con AGW, increasing ice is an improvement from the con-AGW point of view, but that is another story.

    James

  11. gcb says:

    “With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.”

    I’m betting flavour. (Or flavor, if you spell it that way.)

    REPLY: Ya know, I originally wrote flavor as an option, then decided it was too absurd. -A

  12. Enneagram says:

    That’s a WUWT anomaly! . BTW: What about a Sun related post?…just to observe how the “Watts effect” works this time.

  13. Leon Brozyna says:

    No matter how much the sea ice extent improves this September over last year, the alarmists will still find a harbinger of doom in the results.

  14. JN says:

    Ice melts in the summer? Crap, we are doomed!

  15. James Sexton says:

    OT, but….Beautiful example on how academia deals with, models and predicts reality.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/04/29/crunch-space-balloon-heavy-payload-break-free-overturn-suv-australia/

  16. Milwaukee Bob says:

    Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer?

    Total carbon content increase (It’s another CO2 sink!) and the resulting complete loss of Helium 3.

  17. kwik says:

    “With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year?”

    Thats easy to answer; There will be no press release.

  18. Steve says:

    “what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer?”

    Stone – fathom – fortnights, per second squared.

  19. Invariant says:

    Isn’t it ironic that the latest issue of the journal Nature reports “Less ice allows more heat in the Arctic”

    http://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://www.yr.no/nyheter/1.7102110

  20. Don Penim says:

    From the National Resources Defense Council’s website:

    “Why are global warming specialists watching the Arctic so closely?”

    “The Arctic is global warming’s canary in the coal mine. It’s a highly sensitive region, and it’s being profoundly affected by the changing climate. Most scientists view what’s happening now in the Arctic as a harbinger of things to come.”

    …Based upon the above statement and recent trend in arctic ice levels – is an ice age coming? ;-)

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

  21. Bruce Cobb says:

    It’s fun to watch them desperately grasp at straws like the volume now being important, not extent. Especially since the only reason volume might be important would be that it presumably means lower ice extent down the road, at some point. For ‘Larmists, it’s all about what will/maybe/might/could happen. But if it doesn’t, no problem, they just move the goal posts again, or cry about “ocean acidification”, or some other nonsense.

  22. Stephan says:

    Lubos: I think well just have to trust ONLY the Scandinavians with the ice data from now on. They live close by anyway…CT just cannot allow NH ice to go above the untouchable line “average” (which is meaningless anyway). They would start losing jobs at Illinois LOL. . Would not be surprised if DMI is under pressure to “adjust” data. Fortunately you cannot pressure Scandinavians in that way. On the basis of past and current satellite temp data I would surmise that changes of <2C in either surface or lower troposphere data have no measurable/visible effect on weather or climate, ice, wind etc….
    BTW… 500 "Climate Scientists" in Australia will have to be disposed of now that Rudd's decided its was a load of C*** anyway. hahaha

  23. Mauibrad says:

    A little bit more about it:

    “Following a series of scandals that led to doubts about the accuracy of the United Nations’ most recent climate-change report, Donna Laframboise of NoConsensus.org gathered a group of citizens online and proved that the U.N. over-relied upon so-called “gray literature,” rather than using exclusively peer-reviewed scientific reports as the organization was supposed to do. Now Laframboise and her colleagues are taking the next step, FoxNews.com has learned. They are building an online database that will let everyone see exactly what the report claims — and precisely how it came to those conclusions. “There’s a pile of work that can and should be done on this report,” Laframboise told FoxNews.com. ”

    Help her out, guys.

  24. mike Sander says:

    The important characteristic is “color” or “colour” if you prefer . This overall measurement tool takes care of volume, extent, soot and aschetics. We like our ice a certain shade of white with blue undertones….anything else is a sign of degradation.

  25. jakers says:

    So, what IS happening with the ice? I was browsing around the satellite maps on http://ice-map.appspot.com/ and it looks like the ice is pulling away from both the Alaskan, Canadian and Russian coasts, but where is it headed?

  26. R. Gates says:

    Anthony said:

    “Of course our friends will argue that extent and area don’t matter now, that only volume and ice quality (the rotten ice meme) matters…”

    ——-

    Now really Anthony, I don’t think any responsible arctic expert or quasi-expert or even wannabe-expert is saying that. It is not that extent doesn’t matter, for certainly it does on some level, especially it seems in terms of potential feedback loops, as greater extent means more reflectivity:

    http://www.physorg.com/news191665797.html

    But the point about ice mass and ice volume is that mass is a much better indicator of the state of the ice than just looking at volume alone. The 2007 low was marked by a low of both extent and volume. That volume hasn’t really recovered yet, and do the ice that we have (multi-year or single year) isn’t particularily thick. The much trumpeted “bump” up in arctic sea ice this year was late in the winter and caused primarily by some persistent low pressure systems over the Bering sea area that caused a rapid growth of thin new ice in the region. Much of which just as quickly has melted away:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.14.html

    So, for me, it is not that sea ice extent doesn’t matter, but it is only part of the larger picture. The best current estimate we have for volume in the arctic sea ice can be found here:

    And, yes, this is only an educated estimate, but until we have better, it is the data we have. One interesting thing to note on this graph is little “bump up” in volume, 2008-2009, though the trend continues down now in 2010.

    I take this matter of arctic sea ice very seriously as I personally hold it out as my own acid test related to my personal belief in the validity of AGWT. This chart is not something I can ignore:

    Yes, we’ve had a “recovery” in a very loose use of the word in arctic sea ice extent over the past few years, but this recovery would have to go on for many more years, and be match by a recovery of volume as well for me to begin to think that AGWT is incorrect or highly flawed in its models. As it stands right now, in late April 2010, I think we’ll see the 2nd lowest summer sea ice extent on record this September, the warmest year on instrument record globally, and a record low summer sea ice extent by 2015. These projections are based on long term models and charts, and not a few seaons of sea ice extent returning to near normal levels. Volume does matter, and right now, projections of the arctic sea ice staying above or anywhere near normal for the rest of the summer are literally resting “on thin ice”.

    By the way, your new sitee design is great…

  27. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Colour, flavour, centre…all better : )

  28. Stu says:

    It probably won’t matter so much what happens to the ice this year. The Hadow exhibition is all about ocean acidification this time around so that will be the thing which makes the news. Don’t know why they need to study ocean acidification in the Arctic (couldn’t you pick just any ocean, anywhere?) but there it is.

    Of course, there will still be the obligatory nod to concerns of ice melting (gotta keep repeating), but if this years melt increases on last years, the MSM will make sure to inform us that it doesn’t matter because there’s a whole new list of things to be worried about now.

  29. MikeP says:

    Mike Sander, The ice should be shaken, not stirred. This, I think, means earthquakes are in – wind and currents are out.

  30. son of mulder says:

    “….but it is just one more indication that there’s some improvement in the Arctic Ice situation again.”

    Why is this an improvement? What empirical evidence is there that this is good or bad?

  31. AnonyMoose says:

    Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer?

    The ice will be overly eccentric.

  32. J. Berg says:

    Temperature, salinity and volume fluxes in the Fram Strait

    “Now we are observing a decline in the Atlantic Water temperature but it is still higher than the long-term average.”

    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/temperature-salinity-and-volume-fluxes-in-the-fram-strait

  33. rbateman says:

    Luboš Motl says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Cyrosphere run on a different baseline. 1979-2008 which includes the two lowest years.
    Nansen runs on the baseline 1979-2006, before the two lowest years.
    According to Cyroshpere, N extent is down .4 and S. extent is up .2, so you have -.2 anomaly.
    More importantly for global coverage:

    looks to be right where things normally are since 1979.
    And that is the big non-story of Sea Ice.
    A great big fuss over the terrestrial refrigerator temporarily running low on it’s ice cube bin.
    The bar drops, the automatic ice cube maker fires up and fills the void.
    Thank the warmists for pointing out that the S. Hem continues to run above normal ice while the N. Hem continues to
    fill in the void. Give it a year or two, and Freezists will appear out of thin modeling air to proclaim a catastrophically impending
    crush of phenomenally growing Sea Ice.
    We must act quickly to build a fleet of nuclear-powered ice breakers or the global trade system will be doomed.

  34. Dave says:

    The reason volume is important is that volume is the most difficult to measure. Therefore, the volume will have to be “adjusted.” And one can only guess which direction those adjustments will take.

  35. Paul says:

    what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer?

    Easy – now it it floating ice….

    http://news.uk.msn.com/world/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=153209008

    many articles on the web. My favorites are the ones who are totally confused and think that if the floating ice melts it will raise sea levels…

  36. bubbagyro says:

    Based on data I have gleaned from many sites, I predict, FWIW, that September ice will be the highest on record for the month, and that thickness of even one year ice, having been stacked up by the prevailing winds, will be the thickest on record for that month. Time will tell.

    Since the sunspot cycle has a 4-5 year lag time before the NH is affected (see recent sunspot articles), and since the El Nino will shift to La Nina, I think this coming winter will also prove to have the thickest, largest extent and area of all time by February.

    I wonder if they will blame Elfyltotemgriggragglubglubgrindel for that, somehow.

    Time wounds all heels.

  37. Wayne Delbeke says:

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am
    Colour, flavour, centre…all better : )

    Or is that “bettre” bitte. meter, metre, etc
    Merci bien.

    A lot of flights grounded today out of Alberta due to heavy snow and wind, power out in many communities. But that is normal out here. So there will be fewer contrails in the sky to affect the climate.

    But what about “ship tracks”? What is the consensus on them? Do they cause warming or cooling? Studies in 1994 said cooling but I wonder what new studies say. Has anyone on this blog reviewed this effect?

    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap08/contrail.html

  38. pgosselin says:

    Applying kook AGW theory, that means the added albedo will reflect solar radiation back into space and cause cooling, thus more ice will form, and cause yet more albedo, which means more reflection, more cooling, more ice… and finally a cooling tipping point!

  39. Jim Cripwell says:

    Going back to my memory of sub atomic particles, how about Beauty, Charm and Flavour?

    Seriously, Mark Serreze must produce his NSIDC report for April early next week. I wonder what it will contain? It might just continue being a, basically, scientific report.

  40. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    R. Gates,

    Your PREDICTIONS are based on models and charts. Ice area and ice extent being ABOVE NORMAL is based on real-time observation and measurement.

    In the world of real science, observation and measurement trumps modeling and prediction 100% of the time. Sorry.

  41. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Son of Mulder,

    ““….but it is just one more indication that there’s some improvement in the Arctic Ice situation again.”

    Why is this an improvement? What empirical evidence is there that this is good or bad?”

    It is GOOD because AGWT alarmists tell us that LESS ICE IS BAD! Since less ice is bad, more ice MUST be GOOD, yes?

  42. Frank K. says:

    R. Gates says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am
    “The best current estimate we have for volume in the arctic sea ice can be found here:”

    “This chart is not something I can ignore:”

    But apparently this chart is something you can ignore…

    “As it stands right now, in late April 2010, I think well see the 2nd lowest summer sea ice extent on record this September”

    No.

    ” the warmest year on instrument record globally”

    Which instrument record? How far back? Warmest means for all time? Ever? In the entire history of the earth? Really??

    “and a record low summer sea ice extent by 2015.”

    No.

  43. rbateman says:

    pgosselin says:
    April 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Applying Alarmist Theory, we should be getting AGF soon: Anthropoblamed Global Freezing.
    Read that as Global Warming blamed on man’s activities until Global Freezing is blamed on man’s activities.
    Railroaded verdicts guaranteed by the InterPlanetStricken Panic Choo-choo in Chief.

  44. Mann O Mann says:

    Here is the new meme, premiered right here on WUWT.

    “This represents the multi-year high yet it is not statistically significant because it is within 1 standard deviation of the mean, whereas the multiple lows in the last decade have been outside the standard deviation.”

    That will be the meme coming from people who like to ignore confidence intervals of sparse tree ring data sets.

    FYI.

  45. Stu says:

    PS, hi R Gates :)

    I did see your reply post to me a few days ago, but the threads had moved on a bit since then so I will thank you for your reply and clarification in this thread.

    Setting aside the press reactions to summer melt this year, your point about volume is timely and at the very least reminds to not to draw hasty conclusions about complex things from a single metric. So cheers for that.

  46. Ed Forbes says:

    I’m betting flavour. (Or flavor, if you spell it that way.)

    REPLY: Ya know, I originally wrote flavor as an option, then decided it was too absurd. -A
    ————————————

    So….who gets the research grant to taste the “flavor” of the yellow snow?

  47. Smokey says:

    Isn’t R. Gates cute?:

    I take this matter of arctic sea ice very seriously as I personally hold it out as my own acid test related to my personal belief in the validity of AGWT.

    The King of the Cherrypickers has a ‘personal belief’ in Anthorpogenic Global Warming Thermogeddon [AGWT]. Arguing science based on a belief system is nonsense. Let’s look at that “acid test”:

    Using alarming propaganda charts like this can only reinforce the scary belief that climate thermogeddon is happening — even though that chart is based on a model, not on empirical measurements across the ice sheet. It is no more reliable than Pen Hadow’s claimed ice thickness measurements from last year, auguring down into the ice every few hundred yards. Or so he said. In other words, the ice thickness is a model assumption.

    The “Polar Science Center” that ginned up that fabulously scary chart concentrates almost exclusively on the Arctic, not on “Polar” ice as its name implies. There are two poles, but Antarctica doesn’t support their Thermogeddon bias, so they ignore the fact that the Southern Hemisphere counterbalances the Northern Hemisphere, with the result that global ice extent is pretty close to the global 30-year average.

    All we are seeing is natural climate variability. Nothing unusual is occurring. This has happened repeatedly in the past, it will happen again when this cycle is complete, and it has nothing to do with human activity.

    Finally, look at that fantastic chart again. Notice anything wrong with it? Other than having such a scary y-axis that it can only be labeled outright alarmist propaganda.

    The fine print shows that the “trend” amounts to a minuscule decline of only 100 cubic kilometers per year. That is such a minute amount that it cannot be separated from noise. The Arctic contains ≈3.1 MILLION cubic kilometers of ice. The temporary loss of 100 cu km/yr is nothing; it is an estimate, which cannot be separated from the measurement noise.

    Further, Antarctica has over 20 MILLION cubic kilometers of ice — and that ice volume is increasing. That is the reason the alarmist crowd is jumping up and down and pointing at the Arctic. They dare not point to the Antarctic; if they do, it becomes obvious that their thermogeddon argument is ridiculous.

  48. Paddy says:

    How is sea ice volume or mass determined? Is it modeled? What types of empirical data are available?

  49. skye says:

    R. Gates says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    R. Gates, thank you for your post. What I think many on this site do not understand is that extent, while a useful metric and something that has been monitored continuously since the 1970s from satellite, it is the ice volume that is of most importance but until recently was only available from in situ or submarine observations. ICESat and Cryosat are the first satellites dedicated to mapping ice volume on the planet and the brief span of ICESat revealed rather large changes in the ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean this past decade. The reason why this matters is that at some point the sea ice will reach a thickness at which it will be unable to survive the summer melt season. Thus, the ice volume metric is the one of interest. And of course to all those who want to explore the Arctic for oil and gas and other minerals, if the Ocean is covered by a thin layer of ice in the spring (and thus the ice extent still shows high values), they can still move their ships through the thin ice and set up drilling rigs.

  50. son of mulder says:

    “PeterB in Indianapolis
    It is GOOD because AGWT alarmists tell us that LESS ICE IS BAD!”

    But I don’t believe what they tell me because they don’t present empirical evidence that less ice is bad…. it’s just a mantra or at best an unsupported hypothesis.

  51. NZ Willy says:

    Luboš Motl says: “That’s really bizarre because Cryosphere shows a big recent drop in the Arctic ice…”

    It’s the new science of charm and flavor: Dark Ice is appearing and metastasizing into normal ice. You doubt? See the ice upturn on the DMI chart (29 April):

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

  52. Cristian says:

    I think the new problem will be the amount of yellow snow on top of the ice altering the albedo. The yellow snow appears predominantly around polar research stations which leads us to the conclusion that there is a antropogenic effect causin the yellow snow. Which in turn means that it is much worse than we thought and that we are all going to die…
    P.S Don´t eat the yellow snow…

  53. David Corcoran says:

    R. Gates says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Isn’t PIOMAS a model? Why are you presenting it as data?

  54. Rhoda R says:

    Paddy, I think the alarmists send in their unicorns to drill and measure the ice thickness with their horns.

  55. Rhoda R says:

    Oh, and they use teleconnections to report their findings.

  56. Gary Pearse says:

    R. Gaits on Arctic ice volume trends, and predicting 2010 summer to be the 2nd lowest extent, the lowest to be by about 2015 etc. Perhaps you recall the Wegener Institute’s arctic-wide survey of arctic ice in spring 2009 at the same time the Catlin Exp was finding unprecedented deterioration of the ice. WI found that the ice was considerably thicker across the arctic than had been expected:

    http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=Wegener%20Institute%20arctic%20ice%20thicker%20than%20thought&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA

    “…Ice in the Arctic is often twice as thick as expected, report surprised scientists who returned last week from a major scientific expedition. The scientists – a 20-member contingent from Canada, the U.S., Germany, and Italy – spent one month exploring the North Pole as well as never-before measured regions of the Arctic (by air with low level instrumentation). Among their findings: Rather than finding newly formed ice to be two metres thick, “we measured ice thickness up to four metres,” stated a spokesperson for the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research of the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest scientific organization.”

    This probably reflects the severe cold weather that prevailed in the arctic in winters 2007-08 and 2008-09. All the ice extent experts in 2007 mistakenly took for melting what was the result of an unusually strong and extended wind condition that flushed the ice out of the Arctic. A WUWT poster assembled a time series video of the event from NSIDC’s own data that dramatically showed this phenomenon – recently, Japanese researchers “borrowed” this animation and reported the finding as their own as I recall. (sorry about no links here but they are on WUWT and elsewhere). The other thing missed by ice extent scientists apparently (I pointed it out to NSIDC in 2008 when I also sent my predictions for increasing ice extent to expect for the next several years) that the fall winter re-freeze curve for 2007 was one of the steepest on record.

    The WI findings were also a prominent WUWT thread at the time. Sometimes poor data can be worse than no data (you graciously point out that the data is not definitive but its all we have) – the volume you refer to would perhaps be as much as doubled by the Wegener Institute.

  57. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Paddy said on April 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm:

    How is sea ice volume or mass determined? Is it modeled? What types of empirical data are available?

    The terrifying Arctic Ice anomaly chart was made using PIOMAS, a model discussed in this recent WUWT article. Info about PIOMAS from the people who made the chart is available here. There is little in the way of actual data on thickness available, you will see the model they use relies on assumptions like new ice must be thin while older multi-year ice must be thick. There was previously a satellite taking measurements, there is a new one that should soon be operational if not already. But that one will measure the “freeboard” of ice chunks, the distance from the surface of the ice to the top of the water, and from that data there will be calculations based on “educated assumptions” to figure out the likely actual ice volume.

    Offhand I don’t know how the Antarctic ice volume is figured out, and if those numbers are better or worse than the Arctic ones in quality.

  58. FrankK says:

    Anthony,
    You need to get hold of the Ozzie ABC program ‘Catalyst’ screened last night (29 April 2010 at 8.00 pm) that stated that Antartica ice on the eastern side had reduced thickness by 10 meteres recently through satellite “evidence”. Just to add “expert” opinion a fellow by the name of James Hansen (who was in Australia recently) appeared on screen.

    It would be interesting to get validation of this opinion by other experts.

  59. Frank K. says:

    skye says:
    April 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Skye – what do you make of this?

    This is a hindcast of ice volume going all the way back to 1948. Was the ice volume back in 1948 nearly as low as it is today? If so, why?

  60. Treb says:

    Why do you not belive ice thickness has reduced? Those damn lying scientists :D

    Below is a EUMETSAT image taken today, it shows ice in the eastern half and the western end of the northwest passage breaking up. I am pretty sure the NW passage is not supposed to break up in april.

    [url]http://i39.tinypic.com/zlb33k.jpg[/url]

    Incidently you can also just see the early break up of Hudsons Bay. Not suprising when 15% of the ice there is under 15cm thick not its usual 1.4m.

    [url]http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS54SD/20100426180000_WIS54SD_0004940942.gif[/url]

    Still, guess we find out in september :D

  61. Smokey says:

    Paddy,

    Ice volume is estimated using a number of different sources, empirical measurements being the most accurate for the locations measured. There are also satellite measurements, such as Icesat, which uses altimetry, the GRACE gravity measurements [not very accurate WRT ice thickness], and Radarsat InSAR measurements. None of these are accurate enough to measure a change of 100 cu km/year in ice volume. But the Arctic and Antarctic are such large areas that physically measuring ice thickness is impractical.

    The University of Bremen uses reports of ice extent to draw its maps. Here is a map of Arctic summer ice for the past three years. Summer ice is more indicative of global ice changes than winter ice. If there is something alarming happening, I can’t see it.

    Estimates of ice extent take many sources into account and model them. Fudge factors are used, which is why different sources show somewhat different totals. And of course, when you see scary charts like this, you can be pretty sure they were made that way for a reason. Compare that chart with the U. of Bremen’s map, and decide which is more alarming.

    There is nothing out of the ordinary happening. The climate is entirely benign. The natural ebb and flow of temperature, ice extent, droughts and hurricanes is normal, and the current climate is well within its past parameters. That is why the alarmist crowd cannot falsify the null hypothesis.

    Instead, they cherry-pick normal, routine events, convert them into scary charts, and frighten the credulous folks who then post here, trying to convince everyone else that the end is nigh. It isn’t. What we see is simply natural climate variability.

  62. Al Gored says:

    A little flashback…

    Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up

    Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

    In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

    However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

    “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/copenhagen/article6956783.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093

  63. Jim Clarke says:

    R. Gates:

    Your predictions are based on computer models. Okay. What did those models predict for the spring of 2010?

    Assuming that they are currently very wrong, and assuming they are closer to correct by the fall, does that indicate to you that the models have skill?

    In a forecasting class long ago, the professor told us: “If you get the sky condition wrong but the high temperature right, you were wrong on both counts.” That’s because the high temperature is a function of the amount of cloudiness and one can’t forecast an accurate temperature without getting the sky condition right. Similarly, your ice forecasting models base the next step in their calculations on the previous step. They are already wrong, so if they get more correct based on bad data (the last iteration), then they are doubly wrong.

    Of course, the models may be constantly run with new real world data, but appear to be incapable of predicting increasing ice, likely due to the assumption of AGW embedded in the software. One can not use a decline in sea ice to say the models have skill and the theory of AGW is validated, and then simply ignore the times when sea ice is increasing, which, likewise, would indicate that the models have no skill and the theory of AGW is invalidated. Do they have skill or are you just using ‘curve fitting’ to bolster your belief system?

    If they have skill, then you need to explain why they have been wrong lately. The excuse of ‘noise’ is not valid. The ice has not been increasing over the last few years due to ‘noise’ in the environment. There are physical reasons and the models obviously don’t know what they are or how to compute them.

  64. rbateman says:

    Ice volume fudging is perfect for scaremongering.
    So little data, so little constraint.
    Ice volume is in the eye of the modeler.
    Meet the new HAL2010: PIOMAS.

  65. terry46 says:

    The ice machine must be broken. AGAIN

  66. JB1000 says:

    My guess for the AGW Ice argument is….clarity! With increased CO2 in the atmosphere, the ice will contain higher levels of dissolved CO2. Dissolved gases in ice cause the ice to be cloudy. This cloudiness allows the ice to absorb more heat and then transmit the heat to the deep ocean. That explains the missing heat that has been screwing up the IPCC models!

  67. geo says:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=04&fd=28&fy=1980&sm=04&sd=28&sy=2010

    4/28/1980 vs 4/28/2010 30% concentration. Look at the uniform deep purple of 2010 vs the many streaks of lighter purple (80%-ish) in 1980 in the central ice mass.

    Then tell me again about “rotten ice” in 2010. Tell me again too about how thick multi-year ice doesn’t happen anymore. By definition you’re going to have more thick ice in a 100% concentration area than a lesser concentration area as you get into melt season. The thin ice is going to tend towards breaking up into “rotten ice” first.

  68. Anu says:

    The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline. They couldn’t tout another record low extent, so volume became the next big thing:

    Looks like the “volume worry” goes back to at least 2004 – in fact, that’s probably why ICESat was launched in January 2003, and designed in the 1990’s:

    Arctic Ocean sea ice volume: What explains its recent depletion?
    D. A. Rothrock and J. Zhang
    Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    Received 14 January 2004; revised 2 September 2004; accepted 5 October 2004; published 4 January 2005.

    …the wind-forced component has no substantial trend, but the temperature-forced component has a significant downward trend of -3% per decade. Total ice volume shows a trend of -4% per decade.
    The central Arctic Ocean and particularly the East Siberian Sea suffer the greatest losses (of up to 2 m); the ice north of the Canadian archipelago also thinned since the 1960s by 0.5 m.

    …the interannual changes that occurred in the Arctic Ocean ice cover during the 52-year period 1948–1999. Over that period, ice volume experienced a trend of -0.089  * 10^3 km^3 yr^-1 or -4% per decade. What explains the reduction in ice thickness? By separating the wind component and the temperature component of the interannual
    forcing we find that even though the variance in volume derives equally from the wind and temperature responses, only the thermal component Vt seems to have
    a significant downward trend: -0.07  10^3 km^3 yr^-1 or 3% of V per decade. Although from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s the wind was the dominant factor in the rapid decline in ice thickness, overall the wind appears to cause large oscillations but not a multidecadal downward trend. The volume response to rising temperatures, on the other hand, seems to be more steadily downward, accounting for a reduction of over 25% in volume over 5 decades.

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/rothrock_zhang_2004JC002282.pdf

    “The volume response to rising temperatures” – sounds like global warming is melting the Arctic sea ice.

  69. Tim Clark says:

    MattN says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:37 am
    How’s S.H. sea ice extent/area looking?

    OMG, it’s within 1 km\2 of absolutely normal (statistic verified by squinting)

    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/amsre.html

  70. skye says:

    Smokey says:
    April 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Where did you get that instruments like ICESat cannot measure ice volume at a metric of 100 cu km/year? First off ICESat does not measure ice volume, it measures the freeboard height. You would need additional knowledge like the snow depth and the areal extent of the ice to compute the actual ice volume. Ron Kwok at JPL has spent several years doing just this and he has the most accurate estimates of ice volume from ICESat available.

    The link you pointed to is June ice cover, right when the melt season is starting to get underway. Why didn’t you point to the September ice cover from the Bremen sight? That is the value of interest, at the end of the melt season. Are you cherrypicking?

    And you’re comparing a June ice extent with monthly modeled ice volume estimates? They are not even close to the same thing.

    Thus, your comments to Paddy don’t make any logical sense, sorry.

  71. Anu says:

    rbateman says: April 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm
    Ice volume fudging is perfect for scaremongering.
    So little data, so little constraint.
    Ice volume is in the eye of the modeler.

    Notice how the model overestimates the sea ice volume, which was measured by ICESat in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

    What do you say when ice volume is in the eye of a satellite ?
    The PIOMAS ice volume model assimilates measurements from navy submarine, mooring, field measurements and airplane missions. Soon they will have CryoSat-2 measurements to pick up the slack for the dead ICESat mission.

    Have you heard of ICEBridge ? NASA has extensive airplane overflights to get Arctic sea ice volume, and other data:

    Try not to be scared – it’s only data.

  72. Mike McMillan says:

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    Colour, flavour, centre…all better : )

    Oui, l’orthographe française. C’est mieux, n’est-ce pas?
    .

    bubbagyro says:
    I wonder if they will blame Elfyltotemgriggragglubglubgrindel for that, somehow.

    Or Elfyltotemgriggragglubglubgrindle, if you prefer.

  73. rbateman says:

    JB1000 says:
    April 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm
    Dissolved gases in ice cause the ice to be cloudy.

    You’ve never had the pleasure of sitting in the room with a block of dry ice in the summertime?
    Not many remember what it was like before AC came out.
    You got a block of dry ice (CO2 ice) from the packing plant and put it on a small box with a fan blowing on it to cool us off.
    It was bright white.
    If you threw a block of pure dry ice down in the snow, you’d never know it was any different.
    But seriously, I don’t believe the Arctic gets cold enough to freeze CO2 out of the air.

  74. 40 Shades of Green says:

    Dear Moderators,

    A colleague called Ed Bussey has just started skiing to the North pole in aid of charity. Given the interest in the subject here, he might be worth a metion. He is tweeting at http://twitter.com/EdBusseyNews

    Might be interesting what he has to say about ice thickness and polar bears.

    40 Shades

  75. 40 Shades of Green says:

    Here is the link to info about Eds journey.

    http://www.globalangels.org/fundraiser/edBussey/

  76. Derek B says:

    Stephan, Rudd did not decide AGW was C***. He found it politically impossible to pass cap&trade legislation with a senate in which the opposition do think it’s C***, and the balance of power is held by Greens who consider the legislation proposed to be so weak as to be useless. It’s still slated for 2013.

  77. björn says:

    Growing ice may look good, but thats a fallacy.
    It is growing because of global warming.
    Anyway, that is what one alarmist told me.
    He said that an increase in ice was expected.
    It is growing, but for the wrong reason, so it is bad growing.

  78. CarlNC says:

    The difference between NANSEN and NSIDC/Cryosphere might be that the trailing averages are different. NANSEN is a more jagged track, indicating little or no averaging.

  79. Jim Clarke says:

    Anu,

    “The volume response to rising temperatures” – sounds like global warming is melting the Arctic sea ice.

    What do you mean by global warming? Do you mean the step increase in Alaska temperatures in the late 1970s associated with a shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation? Since then, there has been little change in Alaska temperatures. Arctic ice would slowly decrease in response to this step change, with the decline fluctuating with the wind conditions that your post talks about.

    Now that the PDO appears to be shifting to its cool phase, we would expect the arctic ice to slowly increase over the next few decades. If CO2 was responsible, the warming would not come in a step change and we would not see the recovery in arctic ice we have experienced over the last few years (corresponding perfectly with the apparent shift in the PDO). In other words, the observations do not fit the AGW theory. They do, however, fit perfectly with the theory that global climate is still dominated by natural factors.

  80. Phil. says:

    geo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=04&fd=28&fy=1980&sm=04&sd=28&sy=2010

    4/28/1980 vs 4/28/2010 30% concentration. Look at the uniform deep purple of 2010 vs the many streaks of lighter purple (80%-ish) in 1980 in the central ice mass.

    Now look at this:

    Do you still see the uniform purple?
    Using the comparator you’re not only compressing the pixels from the original but you’re also comparing images made using different sensors using different resolutions. So while comparing the geographic extent of the ice is OK trying to compare the concentrations as you attempt above is a waste of time.

    Then tell me again about “rotten ice” in 2010. Tell me again too about how thick multi-year ice doesn’t happen anymore. By definition you’re going to have more thick ice in a 100% concentration area than a lesser concentration area as you get into melt season. The thin ice is going to tend towards breaking up into “rotten ice” first.

    There’s ‘rotten ice’ everywhere, those expeditions heading to the pole over the last few weeks were encountering leads every km or so.
    Checkout the Beaufort sea, mouth of Nares strait and entry to the Fram (zoom in) below:

    http://ice-map.appspot.com/

  81. bubbagyro says:

    Ice extent is increasing.
    Ice area is increasing.
    Ice volume is increasing.

    Empirically, not imagined by models.

    In the Arctic and Antarctic.

    It will do so until around 2050 after the peak low in 2030. This is forecast by models that have it right in hindsight – that gives credibility to foresight – unlike the Warmist Establishment’s models that fail both ways. This is actually too bad; we can defend against too hot better than too cold. But mankind has adapted before and will do so again; we are better equipped today as long as we keep the oil, natural gas, and nuclear facilities humping.

    The climate temperature, ice and seas will go up again in time and down again in time, with CO2 having little or nothing to do with it.

    Ainsi va la monde.

  82. Derek B says:

    Seems a bit premature to be claiming an increase over 2009. Right now NANSEN has them almost exactly the same, despite having been higher for most of March. Btw, the NANSEN and Cryosphere baselines are different: 79-06 average v. 79-08 average; and NANSEN uses some smoothing filter – not sure if Cryosphere does.
    As for area/extent v. thickness, clearly they’re both important but on different timescales. Less area means less albedo and more warming; thickness affects the likelihood of low area in the months and years to come.

  83. Phil. says:

    Jim Clarke says:
    April 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    Anu,

    “The volume response to rising temperatures” – sounds like global warming is melting the Arctic sea ice.

    What do you mean by global warming? Do you mean the step increase in Alaska temperatures in the late 1970s associated with a shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation? Since then, there has been little change in Alaska temperatures. Arctic ice would slowly decrease in response to this step change, with the decline fluctuating with the wind conditions that your post talks about.

    And what do you mean by the PDO? The PDO Index shifted back negative around 2000:
    1996 0.59 0.75 1.01 1.46 2.18 1.10 0.77 -0.14 0.24 -0.33 0.09 -0.03
    1997 0.23 0.28 0.65 1.05 1.83 2.76 2.35 2.79 2.19 1.61 1.12 0.67
    1998 0.83 1.56 2.01 1.27 0.70 0.40 -0.04 -0.22 -1.21 -1.39 -0.52 -0.44
    1999 -0.32 -0.66 -0.33 -0.41 -0.68 -1.30 -0.66 -0.96 -1.53 -2.23 -2.05 -1.63
    2000 -2.00 -0.83 0.29 0.35 -0.05 -0.44 -0.66 -1.19 -1.24 -1.30 -0.53 0.52
    2001 .60 .29 0.45 -0.31 -0.30 -0.47 -1.31 -0.77 -1.37 -1.37 -1.26 -0.93
    2002** 0.27 -0.64 -0.43 -0.32 -0.63 -0.35 -0.31 0.60 0.43 0.42 1.51 2.10

    Followed by a brief positive period followed by another negative period until recently when it returned to positive territory:

    2003** 2.09 1.75 1.51 1.18 0.89 0.68 0.96 0.88 0.01 0.83 0.52 0.33
    2004** 0.43 0.48 0.61 0.57 0.88 0.04 0.44 0.85 0.75 -0.11 -0.63 -0.17
    2005** 0.44 0.81 1.36 1.03 1.86 1.17 0.66 0.25 -0.46 -1.32 -1.50 0.20
    2006** 1.03 0.66 0.05 0.40 0.48 1.04 0.35 -0.65 -0.94 -0.05 -0.22 0.14
    2007** 0.01 0.04 -0.36 0.16 -0.10 0.09 0.78 0.50 -0.36 -1.45 -1.08 -0.58
    2008** -1.00 -0.77 -0.71 -1.52 -1.37 -1.34 -1.67 -1.70 -1.55 -1.76 -1.25 -0.87
    2009** -1.40 -1.55 -1.59 -1.65 -0.88 -0.31 -0.53 0.09 0.52 0.27 -0.40 0.08
    2010** 0.83 0.82 0.44

    Now that the PDO appears to be shifting to its cool phase, we would expect the arctic ice to slowly increase over the next few decades. If CO2 was responsible, the warming would not come in a step change and we would not see the recovery in arctic ice we have experienced over the last few years (corresponding perfectly with the apparent shift in the PDO).

    Why do you think that the PDO is shifting to the cool phase when the data appears to indicate otherwise? The observations do not appear to match your PDO theory.
    Incidentally you’d expect less sea ice in the western Arctic during the ‘cool phase’!

  84. Mike G says:

    Skye says:

    “…And of course to all those who want to explore the Arctic for oil and gas and other minerals, if the Ocean is covered by a thin layer of ice in the spring (and thus the ice extent still shows high values), they can still move their ships through the thin ice and set up drilling rigs.”

    OK, so we have another positive thing about potential global warming to add to the already long list. It will make it easier to get to the energy supplies needed to sustain a meaningful level of civilization!

  85. Phil. says:

    40 Shades of Green says:
    April 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    Dear Moderators,

    A colleague called Ed Bussey has just started skiing to the North pole in aid of charity. Given the interest in the subject here, he might be worth a metion. He is tweeting at http://twitter.com/EdBusseyNews

    Why on earth is he leaving now, it’s about a month too late?

  86. jorgekafkazar says:

    “With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year?”

    I was going to say salinity, but I can’t possibly beat Kwik’s “There will be no press release.”

    Greetings to our friend, Herr Gates, btw.

  87. Graeme From Melbourne says:

    Inconvenient facts will be ignored. I would expect continuing MSM silence on the arctic ice rebound this year, or the use of longer time frames such as baselining in the 1970s to allow for a “precipitous decline…”.

  88. geo says:

    Phil. says:
    April 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm
    ++++

    Why, yes, Phil, I do. Because I can make the simple translation of color coding that Cryosphere helpfully provides on the two different size images. The larger images shade much more rapidly as concentration percentages change. Every image is helping provided with the appropriate shading scale to make that apparent.

    On the comparator image, 80% is light purple. On the large image, ~97% is light purple. On the large image 80% is yellow shading into green. With that simple helpful fact those two images do not look so different after all –where you see yellow on the large image you’re beginning to see light purple on the smaller image.

    But aside from your attempt at arm waving on apples-vs-oranges, now debunked, you just ignore the real apples-to-apples comparsion of 1980 vs 2007 vs 2010. If you have the large images for those dates in 1980 and 2007, I will be happy to analyze them with you vs 2010. But here’s a hint; anywhere you see light purple on those comparator images for 1980 and 2007, you’d be seeing yellow on those larger images which I anxiously await you providing.

  89. cotwome says:

    Anthony Watts says:

    ‘And search the entire set of release for the word “volume”, you won’t find it used anywhere that year. The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline.’

    Yet another example of subterfuge from NSIDC, or as the new saying goes: …”Hide the Decline”

  90. Phil M says:

    I see your 3-year trend and raise you 27 years:

    This is the same myopic approach to environmental data analysis I see all the time on this blog, e.g. “Record snowfalls = no AGW; below normal temperatures = no AGW”.

    Weather. Is. Not. Climate.

  91. Smokey says:

    skye April 29, 2010 at 2:40 pm,

    What month[s] for the U of Bremen map would you like?

  92. jorgekafkazar says:

    “The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline. They couldn’t tout another record low extent, so volume became the next big thing.”

    Yes, volume was hardly ever mentioned until a year or two ago, when suddenly it mushroomed on Warmista sites. That was when I realized, “Hey! These guys are making it up as they go!”

    That seemed to be the impetus for the Catlin Cavort, where they dragged along their much-touted whiz-bang ice-thinness-ometer, only to have it fail. They were reduced to poking a stick into hand-drilled ice holes to make their planned worse-than-we-thought measurements.

  93. cotwome says:

    Phil M says:
    April 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I see your 3-year trend and raise you 27 years:

    …according to that graph (produced on 4/6/2010) it shows 15.3 million square kilometers.

    … this next one (produced on 3/3/2010) shows only 14.7 million square kilometers; how can that be? It was a month earlier!

  94. Gail Combs says:

    Phil. says:
    April 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    40 Shades of Green says:
    April 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm
    Dear Moderators,

    A colleague called Ed Bussey has just started skiing to the North pole in aid of charity. Given the interest in the subject here, he might be worth a metion. He is tweeting at http://twitter.com/EdBusseyNews

    Why on earth is he leaving now, it’s about a month too late?

    He is leaving now because he wants to provide food for the hungry polar bear Mammas…. That is if he makes it past the grizzly bears.

  95. Roger Knights says:

    Anthony: “the indications are that we’ll have another summer extent that is higher than the previous year, for the third year in a row.”

    bubbagyro says: “Based on data I have gleaned from many sites, I predict, FWIW, that September ice will be the highest on record for the month ….”
    …………

    R. Gates: “As it stands right now, in late April 2010, I think well see the 2nd lowest summer sea ice extent on record this September”

    Derek B says: “Seems a bit premature to be claiming an increase over 2009. Right now NANSEN has them almost exactly the same, …”

    Anyone who wishes to “make it interesting” by wagering on this matter can do so here:

    https://bb.intrade.com/intradeForum/posts/list/4474.page

  96. R. Gates says:

    bubbagyro said:

    “Ice volume is increasing.

    Empirically, not imagined by models.

    In the Arctic and Antarctic.”

    ———

    Oh, please do share that empirical data with us…I would really love to see it.

  97. stevengoddard says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:50 am
    2009 extent never went above the mean.

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddw82wws_621fs5nw5gz

    first week of June.

  98. Gail Combs says:

    Phil M says:
    April 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Weather. Is. Not. Climate.
    __________________________

    You forgot to add unless it helps the CAGW cause.

    No one here is confusing weather with climate. The whole idea of “normal” ice extent/area used on these charts is bogus since the average used does not even take in one sixty year cycle much less the longer cycles that have been identified. See this flash chart: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif

  99. Smokey says:

    EVERYBODY PANIC!!

    not.

    There is nothing unusual happening. If this was global anything, it would be reflected at both poles. The fact that the Arctic and the Antarctic are acting entirely differently at the same time indicates regional influences, nothing more.

    Here again is the late, great John Daly clearly explaining the situation. If the worrywarts read nothing else, they should read the short conclusion. Everything happening now has happened before. Relax, CO2 isn’t gonna getcha.

  100. Spector says:

    I note that the AMSR-E Arctic Sea-ice chart shows a series of glitches around the first of June each year. I assume that these are just normal annual recalibration adjustments.

  101. Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:50 am
    2009 extent never went above the mean.

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddw82wws_621fs5nw5gz

    first week of June.
    I misread the graph, should be middle of May. The area went above the first week of May.

  102. Phil. says:

    geo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm
    Phil. says:
    April 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm
    ++++

    Why, yes, Phil, I do. Because I can make the simple translation of color coding that Cryosphere helpfully provides on the two different size images. The larger images shade much more rapidly as concentration percentages change. Every image is helping provided with the appropriate shading scale to make that apparent.

    On the comparator image, 80% is light purple. On the large image, ~97% is light purple. On the large image 80% is yellow shading into green. With that simple helpful fact those two images do not look so different after all –where you see yellow on the large image you’re beginning to see light purple on the smaller image.

    Nice try but it doesn’t wash, the uniform purple look only appeared after the hiatus in 2009 when CT had to shift to a different imager due to the failure of the SSMI.
    As I said above comparison of the color fields of the two images taken with different imagers is ill advised.

    But aside from your attempt at arm waving on apples-vs-oranges, now debunked, you just ignore the real apples-to-apples comparsion of 1980 vs 2007 vs 2010. If you have the large images for those dates in 1980 and 2007, I will be happy to analyze them with you vs 2010. But here’s a hint; anywhere you see light purple on those comparator images for 1980 and 2007, you’d be seeing yellow on those larger images which I anxiously await you providing.

    Having established that you are in fact comparing apples to oranges, while I can’t provide you with the 1980 image taken on the same imager I can give you ones for 2007 and 2010 which were:

    They changed the orientation and size of the display but I’m sure you’ll be able to handle that. Both use the same (linear) color table.

  103. Harry Lu says:

    So far this years sea-ice is as predicted. If you plot the linear curve fit for each day of the year from AMSRE 2002-present you get this plot.

    Up to 1st week in may it has been INCREASING then rapidly changes to a decrease.

    Strange!

    Perhaps the (thin) ice is fragmenting and occupying greater area but still above the min % before rapidly melting?

    Time will tell

    /harry

  104. Phil. says:

    Spector says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm
    I note that the AMSR-E Arctic Sea-ice chart shows a series of glitches around the first of June each year. I assume that these are just normal annual recalibration adjustments.

    Switchover to new algorithm to deal with surface ponding, switches back ~Oct 15th.
    “Current version of data processing makes an erroneous bias of sea ice extent on June 1st and October 15th which are seen in the graph of sea ice extent as a small peak on these dates. The apparent bias arises due to a switching of some parameters
    in the processing on both dates. The parameter switching is needed because the surface of the Arctic sea-ice becomes wet in summer due to the melting of ice which changes satellite-observed signatures of sea-ice drastically. We are planning to improve the processing to make the gap much smoother in the coming year.”

  105. Charles Wilson says:

    Why is Icebridge data SECRET ?

    Would it show “Environmentalists are Killing the World” — just as a reporter opioned to Drew Shindell after NASA ascribed 74% of Arctic Warming to “Cap & Trade” ?
    (Europe “forgives” extra Soot from Diesels & from moving industry to scrubber-less Coal-powered China — in the name of cutting CO2 — while Sulfur Cap & Trade is wiping out the “Great Global Cooler” = SO2)

    If that were not bad enough, the other major factor putting us at risk of 99% of Americans dieing from 300 mph winds is … a coincidence of 2 Natural things:

    a. The 60-year Pacific Oscillation makes a periodic Low point in Volume e.g. the 1950’s –for Graph See: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/icevol_nao.gif

    b. the current 1.8 “Super” El Nino (hot spot), 4th strongest in 60 years: see: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest
    … it led to the Record for Arctic Ocean temp anomaly for any month, December’s + 3.20 degrees C. And Feb’s 2.93 (#4). See:

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    2007’s Crazy Drop came from a mere 1.1 El Nino.

    … This was so effective at reducing Ice because it STARTED from a lower point than any previous El Nino & once it melted a little, nearer the Pole — where the Sun shines 24 hours a day in Summer = 550 watts/ sq m. for 3 months at the Pole whilst the Equator peaks at only ~ 430 — the Sun thus made a LOT of feedback-melting as the “deep blue Sea” is a lot darker & absorbs 4 times the sunlight of bright white Ice.

    We should expect the same thing this year. Or I do, anyway.
    The only Good thing is the Arctic Oscillation might keep El-Nino-Winds from pushing Ice out of the Basin — which some put at Over half of the 2007 effect.

    Either Obama is hiding his Peoples’ Guilt
    — or, more likely, since all the Employed Scientists give similar Forecasts — and ALWAYS miss the big jumps because they are only assessing the Long-term trend, which gets them Global Warming funding, AND lets them make safe predictions each year that are close more than half the time — like the Louisiana Governor that cancelled the Katrina Alert — as: 3/4ths of the time she’d have been right. Of Course 1000 people DIED because of that, but she was able to Blame Bush — so it was WIN-WIN.

    Except for the Dead.
    This time I fear there’ll be 6 BILLION Dead People.
    6 MILLION times the extra Deaths of Katrina.
    Again, I figure it’s a 1-in-4 but that IceBridge would really come in handy.

    After all: a false alarm would cost 6 cents per American — adding $0.00002 Trillion to our 1.4 Trillion Defecit (and reverse 1/500th of our Acid rain cuts — if only for 1 or 2 years, every 60 years).

    But it’d also make many AGW’s look like idiots — both for Nature Dominating AGW AND for their own Greedy Schemes making things FAR worse than Industry would without their “Cap & Trade” (although remember every major AGW _SCIENTIST_ — as opposed to Politician — has denounced Cap & Trade: Hansen & “Gaia” Lovelock, “Dr. Ozone” Crutzen, etc … the President’s own AGW Advisor has been begging for SO2 injection for over a year & twice the leading Scientific SO2 Opponent has switched sides (Crutzen & Caldiera) after studying the Data.

    … But when have Politicians listened to the REAL Science lately ?

  106. Harry Lu says:

    Another ICE series:
    Nenana Ice Classic 2010 has terminated. Another early ice breakup on the river:
    April 29, 2010 9:06 AM Alaska Standard Time Tanana River went out Tripod clock stopped.
    Plot of the dates of breakup:

    http://nenanaakiceclassic.com/

  107. Anu says:

    cotwome says: April 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Yeah, how could March Arctic ice be larger in extent than February Arctic ice ?
    It must be yet another example of subterfuge from NSIDC, or as the new saying goes: …”Hide the Decline”, since February is colder than March, right ? Doesn’t ice melt in the Spring ?
    Let’s demand an investigation, fire some people, expose incompetence …

    Or, look into it a bit:

  108. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    And search the entire set of release for the word “volume”, you won’t find it used anywhere that year. The volume worry is a more recent talking point that first appeared in October 2008 when it became apparent that extent wasn’t continuing to decline.

    It puts me in mind of 1998. Alarmists used to point to how quick and high the temperature anomaly went up that year as evidence of out-of-control global warming. But since no year after 1998 has been warmer than 1998 they will only associate 1998 with the super El Nino that happened then saying that year was an aberration and doesn’t count.

  109. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    stevengoddard says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

    One of the most bizarre ice stories was the “collapse”of some ice shelf in Antarctica, which was clearly a stress fracture – but was touted as “melting” by Ted Scambos and others at NSIDC. Despite the fact that there was no indication of melt anywhere in a 200 metre thick chunk of ice.

    Nor of the snow on top of it.

  110. Anu says:

    Jim Clarke says: April 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    What do you mean by global warming? Do you mean the step increase in Alaska temperatures in the late 1970s associated with a shift in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation?
    No.

    Now that the PDO appears to be shifting to its cool phase, we would expect the arctic ice to slowly increase over the next few decades.
    Is that your prediction ?
    During a PDO “cool” phase, the western Pacific becomes warmer and the eastern Pacific cools – do you really think this will save the Arctic sea ice for the next 30 years ?
    If CO2 was responsible, the warming would not come in a step change and we would not see the recovery in arctic ice we have experienced over the last few years
    Do you call 2008 and 2009 a “recovery” in arctic sea ice ?
    How about 2010 ? Do you think the summer minimum will be within 2 std devs of the 1979-200 average ? What about 1 std dev ?

    I’d like to see a climate science “skeptic” go on record for this summer minimum – if the Arctic ice is “recovered”, why the hesitancy ? Why not back to average, at least ? Why not a nice “natural variation” 3 std devs above the recent average ? What’s stopping that ? Is there some weather prediction for September that says the “winds” will not be cooperating like they used to, since global warming is a non-factor ?

    They do, however, fit perfectly with the theory that global climate is still dominated by natural factors.
    Do you think CO2 is supernatural ?

  111. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    james says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:55 am

    “REPLY: Such a glass half empty view. 2009 ice improved over 2008, and 2008 improved over 2007. -A”

    Not to nitpick, but I would use the term “increased” rather than “improved.” Improved implies going up is somehow “good.” It is not clear to me that anyone knows how much ice is ideal, so we really have no way of knowing whether more is an improvement or not. I guess in the narrow contest of pro/con AGW, increasing ice is an improvement from the con-AGW point of view, but that is another story.

    James

    A good, and important, nitpick.

  112. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    gcb says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:56 am

    “With nature still not cooperating with “death spiral predictions”, what will be the press release ice meme this year? Color? Texture? Cracks per square kilometer? It will be interesting to watch.”

    I’m betting flavour. (Or flavor, if you spell it that way.)

    REPLY: Ya know, I originally wrote flavor as an option, then decided it was too absurd. -A

    Since alarmists always bring up how fresh water could break the oceans conveyor by diluting the saltiness of ocean water flavor could find a way into the argument.

  113. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    Stephan says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:17 am

    BTW… 500 “Climate Scientists” in Australia will have to be disposed of now that Rudd’s decided its was a load of C*** anyway. hahaha

    Is there a link to this story or are you only joking?

  114. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    PeterB in Indianapolis says:
    April 29, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    R. Gates,

    Your PREDICTIONS are based on models

    He’s been told this many times. He knows it. He wants those computer predictions.

    Those computer predictions are already failing.

    The only reason it is important to point out that R Gates and all others like him use computer model predictions is so that new readers are informed of it. You shouldn’t labor under the illusion that those of R Gates’ ilk are going to convert to skeptics by our pointing out their flawed message.

    But hope springs eternal. Even Darth Vader came back to the light. :-)

  115. Jimmy Haigh says:

    The next worry will be the extreme wishy-washiness of the ice.

  116. Pamela Gray says:

    I know! I know! They will start taking temperature readings up the ice’s ying yang (which kind of thermometer would you use for that?) and will say that the ice is less cold in January than it used to be! Warmer ice. Yeh. That’s it. The ice is warming up. The extent, area, and even volume can recover but the ice is getting “warmer” in its frozen state.

    Okay, that argument made me dizzy!

  117. Anu says:

    Smokey says:April 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Ice volume is estimated using a number of different sources, empirical measurements being the most accurate for the locations measured. There are also satellite measurements, such as Icesat, which uses altimetry, the GRACE gravity measurements [not very accurate WRT ice thickness], and Radarsat InSAR measurements. None of these are accurate enough to measure a change of 100 cu km/year in ice volume.

    What about accurate enough to measure a change of -1237 cu km/yr, or -862 cu km/year, in Arctic sea ice volume ?
    Since this is what ICESat did measure as the changes in Arctic sea ice volume during the fall and winter, respectively:

    http://rkwok.jpl.nasa.gov/publications/Kwok.2009.JGR.pdf

    Thinning and volume loss of the Arctic Ocean sea ice cover: 2003–2008
    R. Kwok,1 G. F. Cunningham,1 M. Wensnahan,2 I. Rigor,2 H. J. Zwally,3 and D. Yi4
    Received 2 February 2009; revised 1 April 2009; accepted 22 April 2009; published 7 July 2009.
    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, C07005, doi:10.1029/2009JC005312, 2009

    the current climate is well within its past parameters.
    Yes, it’s well within Iceball Earth and Hot-Humid Dinosaur Planet.

    And if your house catches fire, the temperature will be well within “past parameters” – molten surface Earth, and cold vacuum of space. No rush to get out – everything will be ‘normal’.

  118. Johan i Kanada says:

    Anthony, what do you mean “there’s some improvement in the Arctic Ice situation again”? An improvement is a reduction in Arctic ice area, as far as I am concerned!

  119. skye says:

    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

    Why does the above link purposely show plots that do not cover the last decade when the most extreme ice losses have occurred in the Arctic, when Arctic amplification has emerged in the observational data and when warming over the Antarctic (the entire Antarctic) has also emerged when looking at the FULL observational time-series? Is that cherry picking? What is John Daly afraid of? Why not sure the FULL observational record?

  120. Bill Parsons says:

    James: Clearly, you have not been keeping abreast of the Eskimo village of Kivalina.

    Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo community of some 390 people about 625 miles northwest of Anchorage. It is built on an 8-mile barrier reef between the Kivalina River and Chukchi Sea. Sea ice has historically protected the village, whose economy is based on salmon fishing with subsistence hunting of whale, seal, walrus and caribou. But the ice is now forming later and melting sooner, leaving the village unprotected from fall and winter storm waves and surges.

    Disappearing Alaska village takes climate suit to Ninth Circuit

    http://www.ww4report.com/node/8316

    In order to avert catastrophe, the tribe of 390 people is requesting 400 million dollars to relocate inland a couple of miles. This is why more ice = good.

  121. Austin says:

    Look at the snow pack plots for California.

    http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/snow/PLOT_SWC

    I imagine all the Western states will tell the same story.

  122. skye says:

    Anu, thank you for being a voice of reason.

  123. Al Gored says:

    Jimmy Haigh says:
    April 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    “The next worry will be the extreme wishy-washiness of the ice.”

    Good one! I really did laugh out loud. The possibilities on this tangent are boundless, and I worry we will actually hear some of them.

  124. Al Gored says:

    Bill Parsons says:
    April 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    “James: Clearly, you have not been keeping abreast of the Eskimo village of Kivalina.

    Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo community of some 390 people about 625 miles northwest of Anchorage. It is built on an 8-mile barrier reef between the Kivalina River and Chukchi Sea. Sea ice has historically protected the village, whose economy is based on salmon fishing with subsistence hunting of whale, seal, walrus and caribou…”

    ———

    Funny… “a traditional Inupiat Eskimo community”

    If you didn’t know anything you might almost think that this use of the word “traditional” meant that this village had been there since the Stone Age or something like that – and thus this erosion was something truly significant.

    There is, conveniently, no photo of the “traditional” wooden buildings there. So how long has this village been there? Not very long. Thus this is not significant at all, except of course to the people who live there. Something tells me some government agent was involved in putting them there.

    In any case, the way things work now, all it will take is a few elders telling some “traditional” stories and these folks will get some serious cash.

  125. Mike Ewing says:

    Bill Parsons says: In order to avert catastrophe, the tribe of 390 people is requesting 400 million dollars to relocate inland a couple of miles. This is why more ice = good.

    So over a million a person to move inland a couple o miles…. Uh huh.. Kinda reminds me o one o our local tribes trying to sue nasa for flying satellites through “their” air space. ;-) If there is a dollar to be made, why not eh.

  126. Mike Bryant says:

    Sure, the extent and volume are over the long term averages… but doesn’t that ice smell kinda funny???

  127. geo says:

    Phil. says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm
    ++++

    See you in September for a “scoreboard”, Phil.

  128. geo says:

    Oh, Phil –my bad. I’m on record for a 6.0-6.2M km/2 minimum for several weeks now. What are you on? Just so we have some male apparatus waving rights when we get there. . . . unless, of course, you’re just of the bray defiance at everyone else without putting your own prediction on the line tribe. . .

  129. Richard Sharpe says:

    skye says:

    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

    Why does the above link purposely show plots that do not cover the last decade when the most extreme ice losses have occurred in the Arctic, when Arctic amplification has emerged in the observational data and when warming over the Antarctic (the entire Antarctic) has also emerged when looking at the FULL observational time-series? Is that cherry picking? What is John Daly afraid of? Why not sure the FULL observational record?

    Are you really that stupid?

    Check this out: http://www.john-daly.com/obituary.htm

  130. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    skye said on April 29, 2010 at 8:35 pm:

    Anu, thank you for being a voice of reason.

    Anu (aka An), mythical Sumerian god of the heavens, supported and encouraged by skye.

    Do we have other cultists on this site besides CAGW believers? ;-)

    “An existed in Sumerian cosmogony as a dome that covered the flat earth…”

    It has been noted how the climate modelers used this model of the Earth.

    However, one could consider Irish Mythology as the source of the name:

    In Irish mythology, Anann (Anu, Ana, Anand) was a goddess. ‘Anann’ is identified as the personal name of the Morrígan in many MSS of Lebor Gabála Érenn. With Badb and Macha, she is sometimes part of a triple goddess or a triad of war goddesses.[1] As such, she may be a Celtic personification of death, and is depicted as predicting death in battle. As a goddess of cattle, she is responsible for culling the weak. She is therefore often referred to as “Gentle Annie”, in an effort to avoid offense, a tactic which is similar to referring to the fairies as “The Good People”.[2]

    For an interesting quirk, it says at the top of the linked article “Not to be confused with Annan.” Following that link, one finds a list of names, one of which is “James Annan, a climatologist.”

    Oh look, James has a blog, with RealClimate and “Tamino” on the Blogroll, but no WUWT or CA. Then there is “James Annan’s homepage at Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).” Wow, look at those publications. He co-authored with Michael Mann, what a great honor that must be!

    A strange and curious example of “Six Degrees of Separation (Celsius)” here in the Climate Blogosphere, to be sure.

  131. Dave Wendt says:

    skye says:
    April 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    What is John Daly afraid of? Why not sure the FULL observational record?

    John Daly died in Jan 2004

  132. AndyW says:

    There seems to be quite a large number of polynas now appearing in the Arctic which tends to agree with Phil’s comments above about the ice state.

    Andy

  133. Paul Inglis says:

    Phil M says:
    April 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I see your 3-year trend and raise you 27 years:

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100406_Figure3.png

    Looking at this graph I can see that the average Artic Ice Extent in 1981 was 15.6 million square kilometres. Now it is 15.3 million square kilometres.

    How scary … that’s a decline of approximately 2% in 29 years. If this trend keeps up all the ice could be gone by 3431!

    (A trend graph will look much less scary when the “Y” axis shows all the values…)

  134. Ric Werme says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    April 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:

    I misread the graph, should be middle of May. The area went above (average) the first week of May.

    How’d we miss that? Is average reported in that graph a different time period than they used last year?

    The only thing I see from WUWT titles that month at http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/toc-2009-05.html is a piece by Steve about temperatures, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/13/arctic-non-warming-since-1958/

  135. Ric Werme says:

    skye says:
    April 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm

    Why does the above link purposely show plots that do not cover the last decade when ….? What is John Daly afraid of?

    See http://www.climategateemails.com/climategate-emails-1001-1073/climategate-emails-email-1032-fwd-john-l-daly-dead

  136. Ric Werme says:

    Bill Parsons says:
    April 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    James: Clearly, you have not been keeping abreast of the Eskimo village of Kivalina.
    Kivalina is a traditional Inupiat Eskimo community of some 390 people about 625 miles northwest of Anchorage. …

    In order to avert catastrophe, the tribe of 390 people is requesting 400 million dollars to relocate inland a couple of miles. This is why more ice = good.

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to relocate them to an abandoned neighbor of Detroit and set up a trust fund to cover their expenses for the next 20 years?

    I’ve heard the 400 M$ claim before, I sure would like to see that itemized. The Detroit Zoo has Polar Bears and cubs, perhaps they could start a PB farm and get a special dispensation to sell PB meat and pelts.

  137. Smokey says:

    Ric Werme,

    That story about the Eskimos was posted here a week or two ago. IIRC, the amount allocated to make the move was $350 million, and it was being argued that the money was insufficient. The couple of hundred villagers were being moved a few miles to a ready-built new village. The picture of the old village in the article showed one rundown wooden building. I remember because I commented on it.

    And thank you for setting skye straight. John Daly absolutely destroyed the CRU position on global warming through reason and data, which is why the despicable Phil Jones was practically standing up and cheering at the news of John’s untimely death.

    Here is the John Daly site. It still gives the alarmist crowd a case of indigestion and tanglefoot.

  138. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    AndyW said on April 30, 2010 at 12:07 am:
    There seems to be quite a large number of polynas now appearing in the Arctic which tends to agree with Phil’s comments above about the ice state.

    Poly-what?

    A polynya (common US spelling) or polynia (common UK spelling) (pronounced /pəˈlɪnjə/) is an area of open water surrounded by sea ice.[1] It is now used as geographical term for areas of sea in Arctic or Antarctic regions which remain unfrozen for much of the year. It is a loanword from Russian: полынья, Russian pronunciation: [pəlɨˈnʲja] (polnya or polnia), which means a natural ice hole, and was adopted in the 19th century by polar explorers to describe navigable portions of the sea.[2] In past decades, for example, some polynyas, such as the Weddell Polynya, have lasted over multiple winters (1974-1976).[3]

    Formation:

    Polynyas are formed through two main processes:

    * The first mechanism for polynya formation is thermodynamically driven, and occurs when the surface water temperature never reaches the freezing point. This may be due to a region of warm water upwelling, which reduces ice production and may stop it altogether. This type of polynya is called a Sensible Heat Polynya.

    * The second type of polynya is called a Latent Heat Polynya and is formed through the action of katabatic wind or ocean currents which act to drive ice away from a fixed boundary, such as a coastline, fast ice, or an ice bridge. The polynya forms initially by the first year pack ice being driven away from the coast, which leaves an area of open water within which new ice is formed. This new ice is then also herded downwind toward the first year pack ice. When it reaches the pack ice the new ice is consolidated onto the first year pack ice. The latent heat polynya is the open water region between the coast and the first year ice pack.

    Latent heat polynyas are regions of high ice production and therefore are possible sites of dense water production in both polar regions. The high ice production rates within these polynyas leads to a large amount of brine rejection into the surface waters.

    So are you saying Phil-dot’s comments indicate lots of new ice is being produced, with lots of pack ice getting formed? Or do you believe there is some source of warm water upwelling? Better check for those undersea Arctic volcanoes.

    Some polynyas, such as the North Water Polynya in Canada, occur seasonally at the same time and place each year.

    So this can be an ordinary expected event. Nice to know. Nothing to be alarmed about.

  139. Anu says:

    geo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm
    Oh, Phil –my bad. I’m on record for a 6.0-6.2M km/2 minimum for several weeks now.

    That’s your prediction ?
    About 2 standard deviations below the 1979 – 2000 average ?

    Two standard deviations should include 95.45% of all measurements.
    So much for an Arctic sea ice “recovery”.

    I predict the summer minimum extent, as calculated by NSIDC, will be less than 5.8 million km^2.

  140. Sean Peake says:

    Pamela Gray says: “I know! I know! They will start taking temperature readings up the ice’s ying yang (which kind of thermometer would you use for that?)”

    A thermometer designed for iceholes I believe :-)

  141. Anu says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Before science, humans would “explain” things like climate by invoking the gods.
    The Sumerians were the oldest civilization, Uruk was the oldest city, Anu was their sky-god – the name “Anu” is to remind people of how far we’ve come.

    Well, some of us.

  142. beng says:

    There’s alot of trepidation and hair-splitting about the amount of sea-ice. But I suppose people 15000 yrs ago were worried about the once unchangeable & unmoving glaciers suddenly beginning to melt…

  143. R. Gates says:

    Jim Clarke said: (regarding models of sea ice extent/loss)

    “If they have skill, then you need to explain why they have been wrong lately.”

    ———

    Jim, generally there are no models that predict the exact ice extent for any given year…let alone for any month or season. AGWT would only say that the trend in arctic sea ice (and eventually antarctic sea ice) over the next century is down on a year to year basis, and eventually the arctic will be ice free in the summer months. AGWT is about the longer term trend, not a period of 5 or even 10 years. When the 2007 summer low turned so low, the thought was that “maybe” the melt was happening much faster than the models would indicate, and this acceleration in the model was (and still is) being looked at closely. Was 2007 downward noise on top of a general downtrend, or did it indicate that indeed, the pre-2007 predictions of an ice free arctic by 2100 need to be moved up. A very few scientists jumped the gun (I think) and moved the ice free summer arctic up to 2013, but there is now a general range of 2030 to 2050 for an ice free summer arctic. 2008 and 2009 have shown that at least sea ice extent can come back (and certainly, this is related to wind and currents, as the 2007 low seemed to be), and there may be other cyclical events, such as PDO, La Nina, and even a period of a “quiet sun” with weak solar maximums, etc. which all can be seen as relatively short term noise on top of the longer term trend of decreasing year to year sea ice leading to an eventual ice free arctic in the summer sometime between 2030 and 2050.

    One final note, I’ve NEVER used the term catastrophic, or even discussed the consequences of whether an ice free arctic is “good” or “bad”. I think it will have negative consequences for some species, and potentially positive consequences for others. I’m currently more interested in the longer term trend and watching the yearly pulse of ice in the arctic and antarctic. I personally also can look at this years near normal level of extent in the context of the bigger picture and see the primary cause, which was the very negative AO index, which did indeed form a lot of thin ice in the Bering sea mainly, as a northeast wind over a period lasting nearly 4 weeks blew across the Bering sea from NE to SW and created a lot of extra thin ice relatively quickly. The happened in March and early April, and was the cause of the “bump up” in ice that was much talked about here, but just as fast, much of that thin ice has since melted.

  144. David Corcoran says:

    Anu,

    “Notice how the model overestimates the sea ice volume, which was measured by ICESat in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

    What do you say when ice volume is in the eye of a satellite ?”

    I notice the chart doesn’t actually show the ICESat data since 2007. Why?

  145. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From: Anu on April 30, 2010 at 7:18 am (emphasis added)

    Before science, humans would “explain” things like climate by invoking the gods.
    The Sumerians were the oldest civilization, Uruk was the oldest city, Anu was their sky-god – the name “Anu” is to remind people of how far we’ve come.

    Uruk:

    In myth and literature Uruk was famous as the capital city of Gilgamesh, hero of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is also believed Uruk is the Biblical (Genesis 10:10) Erech, the second city founded by Nimrod in Shinar. Erech is in some way associated with Enoch.

    In addition to being one of the first cities, Uruk was the main force of urbanization during the Uruk Period (4000–3200 BC).

    The Wikipedia “Cradle of civilization” article is interesting reading. By a certain definition Sumer is the first known civilization, but there are other places that also have a good claim to it, with “civilization” existing long before then.

    Of course when talking of things more mythological than actual, claims like “oldest,” “first,” and “unprecedented” are easier to make.

    BTW Enlil was the Sumerian god of the sky. He was also the god of the weather. Despite weather not being climate, I can not find mention of a Sumerian god of the climate. Guess their civilization really wasn’t that advanced since they apparently never noticed the difference.

  146. skye says:

    #
    Dave Wendt says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    skye says:
    April 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    What is John Daly afraid of? Why not sure the FULL observational record?

    John Daly died in Jan 2004

    that’s too bad…but since he’s analysis does not include the last decade when the most profound changes in temperatures and ice cover has taken place, doesn’t make much sense to reference something so out-of-date.

  147. Bart says:

    Anu says:
    April 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

    “Before science, humans would “explain” things like climate by invoking the gods.”

    Now, they do it by invoking trace gases. The justification springs from the same well: “do you have a better idea of how it can have happened?”

  148. Anu says:

    David Corcoran says:
    April 30, 2010 at 8:36 am
    I notice the chart doesn’t actually show the ICESat data since 2007. Why?

    Because that chart was based on this paper (as noted on the chart):

    http://rkwok.jpl.nasa.gov/publications/Kwok.2009.JGR.pdf

    That paper used the data from 10 ICESat campaigns, from September 2003 to March 2008. Doing the analysis and writing the paper takes time, and the paper was submitted Feb 2009.

    Why didn’t the satellite run continuously ?

    ICESat was designed to operate for three to five years. Testing indicated that each GLAS laser should last for two years, requiring GLAS to carry three lasers in order to fulfill the nominal mission length. During the initial on orbit test operation, a pump diode module on the first GLAS laser failed prematurely on 29 March 2003. A subsequent investigation indicated that a corrosive degradation of the pump diodes, due to an improper material usage in manufacture, had possibly reduced the reliability of the lasers. Consequentially, the total operational life for the GLAS instrument was expected to be as little as less than a year as a result. After the two months of full operation in the fall of 2003, the operational plan for GLAS was changed, and it was operated for one-month periods out of every three to six months in order to extend the time series of measurements, particularly for the ice sheets.

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

    I too would like to see that chart with the 2008 data, and whatever they observed in 2009 before the satellite died in October. I’ve read that the volume recovered a bit in 2008, but the larger extent in 2009 was offset by continuing loss of thicker ice.
    I’d like to see how closely the ICESat data matches those PIOMAS data points for 2008 and 2009.

  149. Clarity2009 says:

    So for how many years does the sea ice need to expand before it isn’t decreasing anymore?

  150. Anu says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    April 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

    … the second city founded by Nimrod in Shinar.
    According to the Book of Genesis, Nimrod is a great-grandson of Noah and the king of Shinar. Hardly impeccable archaeology. The whole Noah story was copied from the Epic of Gilgamesh…

    The Wikipedia “Cradle of civilization” article is interesting reading. By a certain definition Sumer is the first known civilization, but there are other places that also have a good claim to it, with “civilization” existing long before then.
    Civilization is by definition humans living in cities. The definition of “city” varies among archaeologists, with hamlets blending into villages blending into towns blending into cities.
    I think some of the thresholds for “city” are too low – a settlement like Eridu is very old, but at it’s height in 2900 BC was only 20 or 25 acres in size and it had a few thousand people, while Uruk was 250 acres and the first city in history to surpass 50,000 inhabitants.

    Uruk might not be the “first” by some definitions of “city”, but:
    In addition to being one of the first cities, Uruk was the main force of urbanization during the Uruk Period (4000–3200 BC). This period of 800 years saw a shift from small, agricultural villages to a larger urban center with a full-time bureaucracy, military, and stratified society. Although other settlements coexisted with Uruk they were generally about 10 hectares while Uruk was significantly larger and more complex. The Uruk period culture exported by Sumerian traders and colonists had an effect on all surrounding peoples, who gradually evolved their own comparable, competing economies and cultures. Ultimately, Uruk could not maintain long-distance control over colonies such as Tell Brak by military force.

    Geographic factors underpin Uruk’s unprecedented growth. The city was located in the alluvial plain area of southern Mesopotamia, on the Euphrates rivers. Through the gradual and eventual domestication of native grains from the Zagros foothills and extensive irrigation techniques, the area supported a vast variety of edible vegetation. This domestication of grain and its proximity to rivers enabled Uruk’s growth into the largest Sumerian settlement, in both population and area, with relative ease.

    Uruk’s agricultural surplus and large population base facilitated processes such as trade, specialization of crafts and the evolution of writing. Evidence from excavations such as extensive pottery and the earliest known tablets of writing support these events.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruk#Prominence

    Just for inventing writing, Uruk should be remembered and honored.
    Plus, the Epic of Gilgamesh (a king of Uruk) is the oldest literature in the world.

    BTW Enlil was the Sumerian god of the sky. He was also the god of the weather. Despite weather not being climate, I can not find mention of a Sumerian god of the climate. Guess their civilization really wasn’t that advanced since they apparently never noticed the difference.
    There were lots of gods in the Sumerian pantheon – Enki, god of water, Enlil, god of wind, Ninurta, god of thunderstorms, etc.
    I figured I’d go with Anu, Enlil’s father. Enlil is the father of the god of thunderstorms – Anu is father of all the climate-related gods, the Zeus/Jupiter of Mesopotamia.

  151. geo says:

    Anu says:
    April 30, 2010 at 7:02 am
    ++++

    You guys are hilarious. Care to explain how you get to a 30 year recovery without going thru years 3, 4, 5, etc?

    At this rate you’ll still be insisting in 2030 that those darn skeptics are being way too hasty in claiming a recovery is underway.

    Yet oddly, when computer modellers predict doom and gloom 75 years from now, *that* has credibility we’re all supposed to be taking very seriously indeed.

  152. Ric Werme says:

    Smokey says:
    April 30, 2010 at 6:03 am

    That story about the Eskimos was posted here a week or two ago. IIRC, the amount allocated to make the move was $350 million, and it was being argued that the money was insufficient. The couple of hundred villagers were being moved a few miles to a ready-built new village. The picture of the old village in the article showed one rundown wooden building. I remember because I commented on it.

    The photos I’ve seen, and I think there’s only one village, at least one getting this amount of attention, show several other prefab buildings, the sort that would cost more to move than replace.

    And thank you for setting skye straight. John Daly absolutely destroyed the CRU position on global warming through reason and data, which is why the despicable Phil Jones was practically standing up and cheering at the news of John’s untimely death.

    You’re welcome. I didn’t become active in the AGW discussion, deliberately, until the end of the warm PDO. As such, I never saw a live post from him, a great pity. One of the first things I searched for in the Climategate Emails after seeing Jone’s comment were other John Daly references. Included were a couple Emails from Daly himself and served to drive home what a loss his death represents.

    He seems like the ideal skeptic – always respectful, always well prepared and well researched, and persistent when he had something that deserved attention from the scientific community. That’s why his web site is still remarkably useful and informative.

  153. Charles Wilson says:

    Another Player in the “Why so much Ice loss in 2007″ was referenced by “DR” last year:
    — a 16% Cloud Reduction analyzed by Graeme L. Stephens, see: http://www.arm.gov/science/highlights/pdf/R00143.pdf

    Bonus: Norwegian Researcher Asgeir Sorteberg claims
    Ice Extent is Poor indicator of Ice Health & suggests using Volume instead. Thanx to the blogger whose name I frogot to write down:ttp://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=no&tl=en&u=http://www.forskning.no/artikler/2010/april/248227&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&usg=ALkJrhhcPyhQaL-e5A0l1OVisZBTdiUB9Q

    PS: Beware the The PDO index .
    It is really a compilation of EFFECTS thought to be from the PDO, e.g. South American coastal rainfall.
    The Real PDO, is simply Pacific temperature.
    There appear to be 2 Oscillations: 30 years Up & 30 down ( e.g. 1977-2007 was hot) and a much more variable “short” oscillation which runs for a dozen years or so, PLUS, up to another dozen years. Apparently, whenever it feels like it. (There is likely some underlying link to the Sunspot cycle or whatever). Sorry I’m so vague on the numbers.
    The Short Cycle , turned Cool in 2003? or 2007? — La Nina/Ninos are more numerous depending on the Short Cycle but Strength is more dependant on the Long) .

  154. Phil. says:

    Charles Wilson says:
    April 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    PS: Beware the The PDO index .
    It is really a compilation of EFFECTS thought to be from the PDO, e.g. South American coastal rainfall.
    The Real PDO, is simply Pacific temperature

    The PDO Index is defined as the leading principal component of North Pacific monthly sea surface temperature variability.

  155. Anu says:

    geo says:
    April 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    You guys are hilarious. Care to explain how you get to a 30 year recovery without going thru years 3, 4, 5, etc?
    Feeling pretty confident with the 2D results of year 1 and 2 , are you ?

    At this rate you’ll still be insisting in 2030 that those darn skeptics are being way too hasty in claiming a recovery is underway.
    You’re still postulating a 30 year recovery, but talking about 20 years from now ?
    Well, that would get people’s attention, sure.

    Yet oddly, when computer modellers predict doom and gloom 75 years from now, *that* has credibility we’re all supposed to be taking very seriously indeed.
    You mean professional climate scientists ?
    Yeah, I believe their work more than random bloggers; even hardworking retirees with no formal training in climate science.

    But if this reverses for 20 years:

    and this reverses for 20 years:

    I will start to think modern science is more like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DDQaF4YXCXsc

    I’ll keep in mind your hilarity if we go thru years 3, 4, 5, etc…

  156. geo says:

    See you in September, Anu.

    For the moment, I don’t see any significant milestones between now and July 1-15. We’re entering a yearly choke-point on extent –we exit the choke-point on July 1.

    But the central core is what is important, which is why I focus on the 30 years of comparator images showing how dense that core is. Extent at 15% concentration is way too unuseful at certain times of years, and we’re entering one of them now.

    So far as I can tell, I’m a minority of one in the skeptic community on not being fully satisfied by the “wind and tide” explanation for 2007. Yeah, it played a role. . . but in my view, the analysis should not have stopped there. I’m of the opinion that the lesser the concentration of the central core, the greater the role wind and tide can play on “rotten ice” vs the role it will play on large, thick blocks. The comparator images show that in 2007 the concentrations in the central core were anemic. In 2010 they aren’t (so far).

  157. Gary Pearse says:

    I would have thought a reduction in snowfall would allow evaporation (sublimation)to reduce ice volume even if temp remained low as it appears to have been at least in main antarctic mass.

  158. Richard Sharpe says:

    Anu says:

    You mean professional climate scientists ?
    Yeah, I believe their work more than random bloggers; even hardworking retirees with no formal training in climate science.

    However, the fact that you hide behind a pseudonym means that you do not have the courage of your convictions. You like running with the herd but don’t want to be punished for it.

    If it turns out that these so-called professionals you put your faith in are wrong, you can slink away with your tail between your legs and pretend that all along you never thought they had it right.

    No [snip]s!

  159. Beth Cooper says:

    What flavour do you want?
    What flavours have you got?
    Pineapple and Cherry.
    I’ll go for cherry…

  160. Phil. says:

    Richard Sharpe says:
    May 1, 2010 at 7:30 am
    However, the fact that you hide behind a pseudonym means that you do not have the courage of your convictions. You like running with the herd but don’t want to be punished for it.

    While you use the name of a character in a TV historical drama!

  161. Policyguy says:

    R. Gates says:
    April 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Your comments have a certain fascination because of your forecasts and odds making about what to expect in Arctic ice later this year based upon most recent year’s data. We can all roll dice, stones, bones or sticks and models too, but for what purpose. Wouldn’t it be better to understand the physical forces behind the natural variation we see over time?

    Wouldn’t you want to know why the Northwest passage opened in the early 1900’s and again in the 1940’s? Wouldn’t the Vikings have appreciated some understanding of why their colonization of Greenland was not such a good idea, even though it was warm enough for agricultural production?

    The ice comes and goes. Twenty periods of glaciation over the last 2.5 million years. How did the Earth get along without us all those years?

  162. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Phil. said on May 1, 2010 at 8:34 am:

    While you use the name of a character in a TV historical drama!

    Sorry to let reality intrude upon your existence, Phil-dot, but there are real living people named Richard Sharpe. Are you certain you have not just impugned the honor of this fine fellow?

    (Interestingly enough, this does show one of the advantages of using a pseudonym, namely that you can duck demands for a duel on the field of honour…)

  163. Richard Sharpe says:

    Phil. says:
    May 1, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Richard Sharpe says:

    May 1, 2010 at 7:30 am
    However, the fact that you hide behind a pseudonym means that you do not have the courage of your convictions. You like running with the herd but don’t want to be punished for it.

    While you use the name of a character in a TV historical drama!

    It is true, I was born with a different name, and my mother paid dearly for not being married when I was born. Thank you for reminding me of my part in her death.

    The name I use here is the name that is on my birth certificate and on my passport. It is the name I have used in contributing to several open source software projects, the books and other documentation I have been involved with, and the domain that I own.

  164. Pamela Gray says:

    I’ve been doing mind experiments while trying to stay warm in NE Oregon. It snowed in the Wallowa Valley today and caused several tourist attractions to close due to the cold wet weather. Anyway, back to the experiment.

    I have been noticing the very cold waters in the northern Pacific, much colder than usual, and wonder if we have a mini-wind affect from the negative AO pealing away warmer surface water and mixing it with deeper cold water. It is certainly the case that wind blowing from East to West does this around the equator. In the Polar region, I am thinking that wind coming from the Arctic northeast towards the southwest out the Bering Strait might do the same thing and could be the source of the unseasonally cold storms we are experiencing well past what we should be experiencing during an El Nino.

    To be sure, we have had El Nino storms in April and May before, wet and warmish. But these are very cold wet storms. The jet stream is certainly also playing loop de loop allowing cold temps to reach us, but the added wet air flow from the Northern Pacific just about froze our “hoo haas” off today. So here we are still in El Nino but it isn’t acting like it up here. You don’t suppose the negative AO not only affects the Arctic and Atlantic seas, but can reach all the way into the Northern Pacific through the Bering Strait?

  165. Pamela Gray says:

    I hadn’t read the thread before I posted. Feathers have been getting ruffled! And by the way, ….”iceholes”….!!!!!!!! spit sputter cough gag gurgle rotflmao!

  166. Terry Legg says:

    I think the temperature of the ice is an important factor.

    Troposheric temperatures, calculated from satellite imaging, are rising, which suggests that the ice may be warmer. This suggests also that it is likely to be less salty.

    Why does ice spread when it warms? Suppose we start with extremely cold, very salty ice. As this warms and melts, Latent Heat of Fusion may be drawn from the surrounding seawater.

    This could lead to a re-freeze of less salty water at a higher temperature, causing an increase in the extent of ice but at a higher temperature.

    It could also lead to lowering of the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere with resultant blizzards.

    Thus as global average temperatures rise we could see more sea ice in polar regions and could experience more snow storms in temperate and sub-arctic regions.

    These storms could in turn distort the average temperature readings because weather stations in the affected areas would of course show a drop in temperature.

  167. Phil. says:

    geo says:
    April 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm
    Oh, Phil –my bad. I’m on record for a 6.0-6.2M km/2 minimum for several weeks now. What are you on? Just so we have some male apparatus waving rights when we get there. . . . unless, of course, you’re just of the bray defiance at everyone else without putting your own prediction on the line tribe. . .

    As I’ve stated elsewhere I think this year will be a strong melt year probably close to 2008. As far a numbers are concerned probably about 3Mm^2 in area (CT of course, I find Arctic ROOS to be not credible after their satellite issues last year). In extent that would be somewhere in the 4.5-5.0 range depending on the winds. Given the nature of the ice at present I would think that there’s about a 20% shot of a melt below 2007 values.
    By the way what happened to the analysis of those images you promised?

  168. Charles Wilson says:

    Apologies.
    I should have googled the Definition of “PDO index” — but I got sloppy.

  169. Anu says:

    It’s true that the sea ice extent curves are not great predictors for summer sea ice minimum:

    Here we see 2009 and 2007 overlap in June, yet diverge in August (and September – see below).

    However, given the trend downwards as the planet warms:

    all the recent years (2003 to 2010) are below the 36 year average of 1972-2008.
    Does anybody here really expect that to change this summer ?

    Even betting on the summer minimum being within 2 standard deviations within the 1979-2000 average is a longshot:

    And the word is “average”, not “normal”. Normal is changing, but the average can be defined for any group of years with good data.

    The most interesting question about this summer’s minimum: will it be below that of 2009 ? I expect that it will be.

  170. Kelly Manning says:

    Do you understand the difference between area and volume or mass?

    Do you understand the difference between concentration expressed as % surface cover and as cubic meters of ice per square meter?

    Thin Arctic se ice melts fast once the Arctic melt season starts.

    The past few weeks are the proof of that.

    Ships Navigating the Canadian Arctic this past mild winter found most of it covered with rotten ice which broke up easily for ice capable ships to navigate. Nothing like the 20 meter pressure ridges that stopped the Ice Ramming Manhattan in it’s tracks in September of 1968 and 1969.

    What a change in 4 decades. Well beyond the scope of natural variation.

    REPLY: yeah sure whatever, you’re an expert then on natural variation of the Arctic sea ice 1000 years ago?

  171. Ashlie says:

    I’m amazed that in this day and age there are still people who think that global warming isn’t happening. From what I’ve seen, these are often (but not always) the same people who (a) think that the phrase “climate change” also allows for global cooling (it does not) instead of realizing that it encompasses global warming, and (b) think that the Time/Newsweek story in the ’70s on global cooling represented the opinions of a majority of climatologists (it did not even represent the opinions of a significant minority).

    The mocking of ice quality and volume aside, I’m amazed that they still can’t see how ignorant they come across. I fully expect that in ten years, they’ll still be saying it’s completely natural to see such huge fluctuations in arctic sea ice. The few that finally realize they were wrong will probably claim that there’s no way they could know something that most scientifically educated people think is as clear as the Earth not being flat. (And no, Columbus did not prove the Earth was round, either. Scientists of the time, such as they were, already knew that. They also knew approximately how large the world was, which would’ve caused a huge problem for Columbus if he hadn’t accidentally “discovered” America – which he thought was Asia.)

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