WUWT Arctic Sea Ice News #5

By Steve Goddard

Arctic non-warming since 1938

The Catlin Arctic Survey arrived at the North Pole this week.

Described as three of ‘the world’s toughest’ explorers, Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley reached the Geographic North Pole at on 12th May, ending a grueling 60-day trek across the floating sea ice of the Arctic Ocean…They made it with only hours to spare before a Twin Otter plane was scheduled to land on the ice to collect them.

Congratulations to them on completing a difficult journey against the Beaufort Gyre. They can now compare their Oceanic pH data vs. the non-existent database from past years, and predictably conclude that pH might be lower than it used to be – due to CO2.

Figure 1: Beaufort Gyre

The spring melt season continues to eat away at the periphery of the ice pack. The animation below (made from Cryosphere Today images) shows the changes since the first of the month.

Figure 2

As you can see, not much has changed during the last two weeks. The image below, made from NSIDC images, shows areas of anomalously high extent in green, and anomalously low extent in red.

Figure 3

As in past weeks there is excess ice in the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk, and a deficiency in the Barents Sea – which are all always ice free during the summer anyway.

To keep the death spiral in perspective, the image below (made from Cryosphere Today images) compares mid-September 30% concentration ice from the years 2009 and 1990. Red shows areas of ice loss since 1990 and green shows areas of ice gain. I’m guessing that the Arctic will probably not be ice free by 2013, as predicted by researchers at the Naval Post-Graduate School.

Figure 4

The image below shows mid-September ice gain from 2007-2009 in green, and loss in red.

Figure 5

There continues to be a significant divergence in the extent graphs. Norsex in red is close to the 30 year mean, while NSIDC (blue) DMI (stippled) and JAXA (green) are closer to two standard deviations from the mean. The deficiency is almost entirely located in the Barents Sea, as seen above in Figure 3.

Figure 6

The modified NSIDC image below shows ice loss since early April in red.

Figure 7

The modified NSIDC image below compares April 14 2007 and 2010 ice. Areas in green have gained ice since 2007, and areas in red have lost ice since 2007.

Figure 8

It is still too early in the year to see much interesting. Still about six weeks before significant melting begins in the interior of the Arctic. Stay tuned.

157 thoughts on “WUWT Arctic Sea Ice News #5

  1. Too bad the Catlin bunch didn’t try this stunt back in 1922. That would have made for a great reference.

  2. If people have great difficulty projecting ice extent even 3 years into the future how accurate are projections 20 years into the future?

    2008

    Too late to keep Arctic sea ice from vanishing?

    “Have we passed the tipping point?” he asked. “It’s hard to see how the system may come back.”

    The prospect of a mostly ice-free Arctic could mean a boom in shipping through the Bering Strait, several speakers said, but is bad news for polar bears and other animals.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23134090/

    2007

    ‘Frightening’ projection for Arctic melt

    The Arctic Ocean could be free of ice in the summer as soon as 2010 or 2015 – something that hasn’t happened for more than a million years, according to a leading polar researcher

    “The frightening models we didn’t even dare to talk about before are now proving to be true,” Fortier told CanWest News Service, referring to computer models that take into account the thinning of the sea ice and the warming from the albedo effect – the Earth is absorbing more energy as the sea ice melts.

    According to these models, there will be no sea ice left in the summer in the Arctic Ocean somewhere between 2010 and 2015.

    “And it’s probably going to happen even faster than that,” said Fortier, who leads an international team of researchers in the Arctic looking for clues to climate change.”

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=c76d05dd-2864-43b2-a2e3-82e0a8ca05d5&k=53683

  3. Fred says on May 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

    If people have great difficulty projecting ice extent even 3 years into the future how accurate are projections 20 years into the future?

    You have to distinguish between short-term fluctuations and the long-term trend.

    Of course, you also have to distinguish between drawing trend lines on the data and the real, underlying processes, which might be cyclical.

  4. Let’s see, according to the Met time line 1958 was the first year a direct measurment of CO2 in the atmosphere was made. Charles Keeling determined that there were 316 ppm. According to the time line in 2008 the CO2 concentration was 384 ppm. An increase of 68 ppm in fifty years. What am I missing here?

  5. Thanks to MostlyHarmless for pointing me to the Metoffice site. Apart from the picture of Ursus Bogus there was an item the interested me.

    ” 1958 American scientist Charles David Keeling makes the first direct measurement of atmospheric CO2, on Mauna Loa, Hawaii (316 parts per million). The Keeling curve will become a crucial tracker of CO2 rise”.

    Does that mean that that all the earlier measurements for atmospheric CO2 are derived from fossils, ice cores, sediments etc.? Have the climatologists used dubious splicing techniques similar to those of the pre-thermometer temperature records ussed on which they base their models? Surely there must be sites other than Hawaii? Do they all have the same readings? Do the parts per million vary with temperature, humidity or altitude?

    Is there any simple guide for beginners like myself that might answer my questions?

  6. “Have we passed the tipping point?” he asked. “It’s hard to see how the system may come back.”

    The heartbreak of proctocraniosis.

  7. I would have thought one large factor of breaking up ice would be wind and swell, my old workshop roof, 30 feet by 200, when a gust of wind hit it from one end it looked like a car was driving down it, the high pressure was depressing it as it went, obvious if you think about it, what would that do to rigid ice? I would expect it to break, leading to ice floes and maybe “rotten”ice, the same for swell (Ive seen 20 foot high swell on the Cornish coast) this would do the same, the use of arctic ice as a “litmus” test for earths warming/cooling is dishonest at least. In some respects I feel it is a shame the poor starving polar bears did not feast on this bogus scientific P/R exhibition, then some good would have come from it.

  8. Hawaii always struck me as a poor choice of location from which to measure atmospheric CO2.

    Volcanoes are well know for spewing out vast quantities of the gas.
    Sitting on top of one of the world’s largest volcanoes, and particularly one which has been actively erupting for the last 20+ years to make your measurements seems more than a bit silly to me.

  9. “predictably conclude that pH might be lower than it used to be”

    I wouldn’t mind too much if that is how they present it, but they won’t will they? They will say that the oceans have ‘acidified’ which the average punter (and MSM journalist) will assume means that it will turn litmus paper red even faster than it used to…

  10. jorgekafkazar – “The heartbreak of proctocraniosis”. Now that’s funny , thanks for the chuckle .

  11. OT

    Don’t know if its been mentioned before in earlier posts but, the IPCC are requesting public comments regarding their assessment process:-

    “The committee is seeking community input on IPCC procedures and processes. Comments and supporting resources may be published.

    Please include an e-mail address and phone number with your submission so we may contact you with follow-up questions.

    Thank you for your participation.”

    http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/comments.html

  12. El Nino had caused warming in the Alaska/Western Canada area. Now El Nino is over. So that warming is over. Melt in that area will be slower than last year. If La Nina starts that melt will slow even more.

    But the question I have is if wind and water currents don’t take away the ice that wind and water currents took away in 2007 how can 2010 surpass the summer ice loss of 2007?

  13. At this very moment many graduates are receiving their degrees at the William Allen White School of journalsim. Almost 95% will not be hired to directly write news. They can blog for the dead tree newspapers. Put spin in the warm arctic stories. Talk up the perils of ocean acidification. Extinction of the poley bears.

  14. Solomon Green asked:

    “Does that mean that that all the earlier measurements for atmospheric CO2 are derived from fossils, ice cores, sediments etc.? Have the climatologists used dubious splicing techniques similar to those of the pre-thermometer temperature records ussed on which they base their models? Surely there must be sites other than Hawaii? Do they all have the same readings? Do the parts per million vary with temperature, humidity or altitude?

    Is there any simple guide for beginners like myself that might answer my questions?”

    It means that the IPCC report relies on proxy data (ice-cores,etc) prior to 1958, as the Met Office site does. Increasingly accurate chemical measurements were made from the middle of the 19th.C onwards, and are still being made. IPCC scientists chose to ignore those measurements, and the only logical reason would seem to be that they tell the “wrong” story, that is that CO2 concentrations were often higher pre-1958 than they have been since. CO2 IS measured at a number of locations worldwide.The fact that these measurements are largely ignored in favour of a site 4000 metres up an active volcano in the middle of a volcanic archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean far away from concentrated industrial activity might invite comment.

    See “Measurement of Pre-Industrial CO2 Levels” (PDF)

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FoS%20Pre-industrial%20CO2.pdf

    and “50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa” whose author says
    “Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000m altitude at that latitude” :

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/08_Beck-2.pdf

    It’s interesting to note that the Mauna Loa data doesn’t appear to show any sign of the two eruptions of that active volcano in 1975 and 1984. Sceptics might draw their own conclusions from that. Also, the data shows little year-to-year fluctuation and range, unlike other measuring sites.

  15. Solomon Green,

    For anyone just getting up to speed on the facts regarding “climate change” [which used to be called global warming], there is no better site than that of the late, great John Daly.

  16. Russ hatch 12:05

    Probably there was no big grant money then and no cap and trade or other money scams. I think that is what you’re missing.

  17. a Mr. Bloom to go with the caterpillar’s Gardner…

    14 May: ABC Australia: Will Ockenden: Carbon dioxide isn’t all good for plants
    But research from the University of California has found higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere could lower yields and the quality of food.
    The study is published in the journal Science today, and shows plants don’t convert nitrogen into proteins as well as they normally do, when more carbon dioxide is in the air.
    Lead author Professor Arnold Bloom says applying more fertilisers could solve the problem, but there’d need to be a more sophisticated management program.
    “Today’s CO2 levels are 390 parts per million, and in the future the levels could rise to 550 per million,” he says…
    “To the plant, they become nitrogen deprived as they are exposed to levels of CO2, which inhibits utility as a food source to humans and insects.”
    “One fear is insect outbreaks will become more extensive, because the insects will have to eat more to meet nutritional needs.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201005/s2899607.htm

    plus some good news:

    13 May: InvestorsBusinessDaily: Escaping The PIIGS
    As Europe fashioned a $1 trillion bailout fund and prepared for the worst, Spain did what no one thought a socialist state could ever do: It cut public-sector workers’ salaries 5% and held off their raises for 2011. Pensions were frozen for all but the poorest.
    Better still, all the big money-wasting “green” and “alternative energy” projects — which a Spanish university study exposed as job killers — were scrapped. That’s right, all the global warming measures put in place because of the “emergency” were dumped.
    Not surprisingly, markets rallied on this amazing show of will, whose message was that Spain is not Greece.

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=534022

  18. While perusing the link to Timeline at the Met Office provided by mostlyharmless (nice Douglas Adams reference BTW) I was reminded of something that has rattled about my brain for a while.

    The Met Office claims that 386 ppmv is the highest CO2 concentration for last 850K years. This and similar numbers have been bandied about for while now and are based on ice cores from Vostok and Greenland. Since the numbers represent gas trapped in ice bubbles, and since these take approximately 800 years to be sealed off from atmosphere as the ice compacts, these numbers actually represent an average rather than an absolute value.

    So if past glaciations produced ice bubbles of 300 ppmv, who is to say that during the 800 or years it took to trap the bubbles CO2 concentration didn’t vary both above and below the measured concentration?

    This does not take into account any diffusion in either direction during the ice’s history or during the known decompression when the ice core was collected. Still, its something to think about when looking at the data.

  19. PJP says:
    May 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    “Hawaii always struck me as a poor choice of location from which to measure atmospheric CO2.

    Volcanoes are well know for spewing out vast quantities of the gas.
    Sitting on top of one of the world’s largest volcanoes, and particularly one which has been actively erupting for the last 20+ years to make your measurements seems more than a bit silly to me.”

    ________________________________________________________________________
    When I brought that point up to a scientist at the Mauna Loa research site, he assured me they removed the contribution from the volcano and had very good quality procedures. As a Quality Engineer/Chemist who has been fired three times for refusing to falsify Certificates of Analysis, I found this very reassuring. /sarc

  20. Solomon Green says:
    May 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks to MostlyHarmless for pointing me to the Metoffice site. Apart from the picture of Ursus Bogus there was an item the interested me.

    ” 1958 American scientist Charles David Keeling makes the first direct measurement of atmospheric CO2, on Mauna Loa, Hawaii (316 parts per million). The Keeling curve will become a crucial tracker of CO2 rise”.

    Does that mean that that all the earlier measurements for atmospheric CO2 are derived from fossils, ice cores, sediments etc.? Have the climatologists used dubious splicing techniques similar to those of the pre-thermometer temperature records ussed on which they base their models? Surely there must be sites other than Hawaii? Do they all have the same readings? Do the parts per million vary with temperature, humidity or altitude?

    Is there any simple guide for beginners like myself that might answer my questions?

    1. Measurements used prior to 1958 are ice core measurements. Beck has written about other measurements, but they are all over the place, varying by tens or even hundreds of ppmv in a very short time. I personally doubt that they are a good indication of global background CO2, which varies very little.

    2. The ice core measurements are spliced to the Mauna Loa data based on about a decade of overlap between the Greenland GISP ice cores and the ML data. They are in good agreement.

    3. There are other sites than Hawaii (Barrow, Samoa, South Pole, etc.), all of which show the same gradual climb as in the ML data.

    4. The background CO2 readings vary little with altitude, location, or humidity. Ground level readings can vary from these a lot, and over a very short period of time. That’s why the Beck data is not used.

    MostlyHarmless says:
    May 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    It means that the IPCC report relies on proxy data (ice-cores,etc) prior to 1958, as the Met Office site does. Increasingly accurate chemical measurements were made from the middle of the 19th.C onwards, and are still being made. IPCC scientists chose to ignore those measurements, and the only logical reason would seem to be that they tell the “wrong” story, that is that CO2 concentrations were often higher pre-1958 than they have been since. CO2 IS measured at a number of locations worldwide.The fact that these measurements are largely ignored in favour of a site 4000 metres up an active volcano in the middle of a volcanic archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean far away from concentrated industrial activity might invite comment.

    Not true. The reason that they are ignored is that they vary widely year-t0-year. Since all available measurements of the background level (Barrow, Samoa, South Pole) do not show any such variations, they are assumed to be contaminated by ground level CO2 from a variety of sources.

    See “Measurement of Pre-Industrial CO2 Levels” (PDF)

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FoS%20Pre-industrial%20CO2.pdf

    and “50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa” whose author says
    “Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000m altitude at that latitude” :

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/08_Beck-2.pdf

    It’s interesting to note that the Mauna Loa data doesn’t appear to show any sign of the two eruptions of that active volcano in 1975 and 1984. Sceptics might draw their own conclusions from that. Also, the data shows little year-to-year fluctuation and range, unlike other measuring sites.

    Again, all of the isolated sites show little year-to-year fluctuation, just like Mauna Loa. The reason that the volcanic eruptions don’t show up in the Mauna Loa data is that it is relatively easy to distinguish them from the background signal, and they are not used in calculating the background levels.

    Look, I’m as skeptical as any man on the planet, but the CO2 level is one of the few good datasets in the whole field. Keeling knew what he was doing when he chose the site. At night, you get descending air from the upper atmosphere, air which has traveled for thousands of miles across the Pacific. That’s why they measure it there, because you get a clean signal of the background CO2. It agrees with other isolated sites. Don’t waste your time looking for problems at ML, there far too many other bad datasets to worry about a good one.

  21. There’s two ways (at least) of looking at ice wasting. The total volume of ice that is lost over a season, and the square miles of ice remaining after a melt season has ended. Obviously you can start with more ice and end with more ice than for other seasons and still have greater volume loss vs those seasons that didn’t have much to begin with and which ended with a typical volume remaining. The total loss represents total heat transport.

    But I don’t recall this being discussed anywhere. And I wonder too if it is more helpful to consider the volume of ice created and lost between annual minima as being representative of Arctic health/energy conveyance. It is three-dimensional, after all.

    I do expect though that later this year some alarmist somewhere is going to point out that despite a greater extent during the 2009/2010 winter, the total volume of ice lost to melting is what will be highlighted, even of the minimum is at or above recent years.

  22. I watched the Catlin crew on a news report a few days ago. After making a big thing about being the first to do what they were doing and how much valuable new data would result, they showed a girl taking a water sample through a hole in the ice. “Yes, its definitely getting more acidic” she says (or words to that effect). I can’t help feeling they know the answers they are supposed to find and the whole thing is nothing but a publicity stunt.

  23. Only *Arctic* ice news is being discussed, because the Antarctic refuses to follow the alarmist script. And since the scary claim is global warming, the whole CO2=CAGW conjecture fails; the Antarctic is part of the globe, no?

    The current natural cycle is only being discussed due to the fact that the Arctic ice cover is fluctuating, and is currently in its natural down cycle. But the Arctic has also had low ice extent repeatedly in recent, pre-SUV times.

    And Arctic sea ice is only being being pointed to [while studiously avoiding mentioning the Antarctic], because other false alarms like hurricane frequency and intensity have diminished, rather than increased — as was repeatedly predicted by the alarmist crowd.

    Another false alarm is coral bleaching, which turned out to have nothing to do with CO2.

    And sea level rise is not increasing at an alarming rate, as breathlessly predicted only a year ago.

    And Himalayan glaciers are not receding, as predicted by the usual gang of conniving UN scam artists.

    And ocean “acidification” is another failed prediction.

    And there is no real world evidence that CO2 has anything to do with the either planet’s temperature, or its local climates.

    And CO2 is highly beneficial trace gas; more CO2 is better, with no down side.

    And rather than CO2 being the cause of warming, CO2 is the result of warming.

    And the ARGO buoys show that the deep ocean is cooling, not warming as predicted.

    And warmth is beneficial, while cold kills.

    Alarmist scientists and their cognitive dissonance-afflicted acolytes continue to promote this false information, because the government pays these scientists to tell spread misinformation; their followers are what used to be known as useful fools. They are afflicted by cognitive dissonance — George Orwell’s Doublethink. Their impulse is to run like a herd of lemmings, to and fro, from one frantic scare to the next, as each scare is debunked in turn by rational skeptics.

    So now the alarmist contingent has only one scare story left: temporarily decreasing Arctic ice. Every other global warming scare has been debunked, and the Arctic ice scare will be debunked by the planet soon enough; trees don’t grow to the moon, and cycles don’t continue on indefinitely.

    The bought and paid for climate scientists have cried “Wolf!” long enough. They have sold their credibility. And their Arctic ice cover alarmism is not going to get it back.

  24. pat says:
    May 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    (my emphasis)

    14 May: ABC Australia: Will Ockenden: Carbon dioxide isn’t all good for plants
    But research from the University of California has found higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere could lower yields and the quality of food.
    The study is published in the journal Science today, and shows plants don’t convert nitrogen into proteins as well as they normally do, when more carbon dioxide is in the air.
    Lead author Professor Arnold Bloom says applying more fertilisers could solve the problem, but there’d need to be a more sophisticated management program.
    “Today’s CO2 levels are 390 parts per million, and in the future the levels could rise to 550 per million,” he says…
    “To the plant, they become nitrogen deprived as they are exposed to levels of CO2, which inhibits utility as a food source to humans and insects.”
    One fear is insect outbreaks will become more extensive, because the insects will have to eat more to meet nutritional needs.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201005/s2899607.htm

    Can these people really call themselves scientists? So, let’s examine this hodge podge theory:

    1. Plants grow extremely well given more CO2. Every single study seems to demonstrate this, and practical studies in the commercial field (ie when people are doing this for real, not some research grant) demonstrate this trend clearly. More CO2 means more growth.

    2. (and this is the beaut) Insect outbreaks will become more intensive as the food decreases. Let’s look at that again, slowly. More insects because of less food. Sorry, guys, that’s a ‘D-‘. I’d give you an ‘F’, but you are obviously trying hard, and oddly you are right as there may be more insects because of more food.

  25. This is interesting, have a look at the “N.H. PV on Middleworld Isentropes”
    on here and see at 375K wisps coming through the warm N.E. Canada region, towards the N. Scandinavian warm spot.
    Then on 290k, a daily “pumping” between the two regions.

    http://www.pa.op.dlr.de/arctic/index.html

  26. Thanks for the update Steve, however, regarding the current negative anomaly in arctic sea ice you state:

    “The deficiency is almost entirely located in the Barents Sea, as seen above in Figure 3.”

    In fact, the current deficiency arctic wide is over 900,000 sq. km. and the Barants sea is only just over 300,000 sq. km deficient. Other areas that are deficient include: Hudson Bay, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the New Foundland Sea, and the Greenland Sea. Together these make up the other 600,000 sq. km of “deficiency”.

    Also, I think your temperature trend chart is a bit misleading at best. I think this graphic tells the story much better:

    And of course, you really shouldn’t be talking about an arctic sea ice update without just a quick glance at the arctic anomaly graph using the most widely available data:

    You are right of course, that the real story of the 2010 melt season is still several weeks ahead of us, and if this volume model is even close to being accurate:

    Then we’ve got less volume to start the melt season then we had last year at this time, (meaning thinner ice arctic wide), and since melt is really an issue more to do with volume than extent, we should have a very healthy melt. The point you raised on another post about the lack of “multi-year ice” getting flushed out this winter because of the negative AO index was true, until about the middle of March, when we saw a big uptick in ice flushing through the Fram Strait, as can be seen in this photo:

    http://ice-map.appspot.com/?map=Arc&sat=aqa&lvl=7&lat=79.872668&lon=-0.499634&yir=2010&day=135

    But that very same negative AO also caused the warm temps over the arctic which led to the thinner multi-year ice, so even though it wasn’t being flushed out, it also was not thickening up the way it might have been without the negative AO.

  27. If youre going to use data please use the latest

    The temperature plot I assume is for 60N to 90N. Including the years from 2004 to 2009 you get this plot:

    \harry

  28. I’m a bit sceptical of the ice core CO2 data. The Vostok data shows the CO2 level dropping to as low as 180 ppm at the depth of the last ice age. Most plants nearly stop photosynthesizing at that level. Wouldn’t the rotting of dying plants hold CO2 at a higher level? I suspect the Vostok core data is about 70 ppm too low.

  29. Steve also forgot to mention the rate of ice loss these past couple of weeks (faster than normal), and unfortunately Steve has not done the ice transport calculations during this extremely negative AO winter. I have, and they are not unusual in any way compared to other negative AO years. And in fact, the ice pack is more vulnerable this summer to ice loss than last…so summer weather is becoming less and less important in shaping the September ice extent. I agree with Steve though that the next few weeks will be very telling…

  30. R. Gates says:
    May 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm
    ===============
    I still like your comments, they make ME step back and think.
    But what is this supposed to mean???

    “But that very same negative AO also caused the warm temps over the arctic which led to the thinner multi-year ice, so even though it wasn’t being flushed out, it also was not thickening up the way it might have been without the negative AO.”

    Sounds rather desperate, considering the timing of the melt cycle.

  31. Jorge Kafkazar: Your “proctocraniosis” has herewith entered the canon. Combine with “encopresis” (involuntary defecation fleeing threats), and we sense a pattern to Climate Cultists’ ongoing hysteria.

  32. Steve, why does your first graph end in 2004? Seems to ignore the recent anomalies in temperature that coincide with larger summer ice losses.

  33. Another strong reason for the likelihood of a lower summer arctic sea ice minimum is the fact that January to April 2010 was the warmest first 4 months of any year in the lat 131 years. Look at this graph, and pay particular attention to the arctic regions:

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

    Hard for that multi-year ice to thicken up too much with temps like that. 2010 has been warmer so far than 1998, and warmer than 2005. No doubt El Nino played a role in this, and without the El Nino, this year would not have been as warm, but my suspicion is that it is strong support for AGWT. After looking at the graphics above, consider the what this best model available for artic sea ice volume is saying:

    I honestly just don’t see how we can’t have another summer arctic sea ice minimum that approaches 2007’s low, and certainly falls below 2008 and 2009.

  34. Yes, I know anecdote is not evidence, but:

    I have routinely flown along the North Pacific track system since Oct 2006.

    There is far more ice between roughly St Paul Island (57N 170W) and the Alaskan coast than I have seen in the previous four years during May.

    Not up to 85% coverage, but far closer to that than 0%.

  35. jeff brown says:
    May 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Steve, why does your first graph end in 2004? Seems to ignore the recent anomalies in temperature that coincide with larger summer ice losses.

    I cannot speak to the matter of Steve’s choice of graphs in the context you ask.

    However, does a graph of annual mean temperature for the Arctic reflect anything about seasonal ice loss / the melt season?

    If you will note: in 2007, the year of extensive decline in sea ice during the melt season, the temperatures of the melt season were not unusually warm.

    You can selectively compare to other years individually here:

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

  36. MostlyHarmless May 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    Gail Combs May 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    There is useful detail about the Mauna Loa measurements and analysis at

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/co2_measurements.html

    In particular, it appears that a sporadic CO2 emission from the volcano will trigger the “outlier detection” in the analysis, resulting in the replacement of the contaminated measurements with interpolations in the published curve.

    The discussion there does not mention measurements elsewhere which jibe with the Mauna Loa figures, but there is a comparison to measurements at lower altitude which are strongly affected by local biological processes, providing a rationale for sampling at a biologically inactive location.

  37. Harry Lu says:
    May 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    If youre going to use data please use the latest

    The temperature plot I assume is for 60N to 90N. Including the years from 2004 to 2009 you get this plot:

    \harry

    The GISS data extrapolates out to 1200 km from the nearest actual measurements, a procedure with no scientific justification. See my post “GISScapades” on the subject.

    As a result, the GISS trend is larger than the satellite data by about 0.4°C/decade in their arctic trends, viz:

  38. Russ Hatch says:
    May 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm
    Let’s see, according to the Met time line 1958 was the first year a direct measurment of CO2 in the atmosphere was made. Charles Keeling determined that there were 316 ppm. According to the time line in 2008 the CO2 concentration was 384 ppm. An increase of 68 ppm in fifty years. What am I missing here?

    That it’s 2010 now ?
    And CO2 is now at 390 ppm:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    This means another 6 ppm in 2.25 years, which means CO2 is rising much faster now than its’ average over those 50 years: 68/50 = 1.36 ppm/year.
    Now at 2.66 ppm/yr, this reflects the increasing earth population, industrialization, and loss of carbon sink efficiency (such as the oceans) that will probably all accelerate into the future.

    Before the Industrial Revolution (say 1750) the CO2 was at 280 ppm:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html

    At 390, the CO2 for the entire planetary atmosphere has grown by 39.3%

    Doubling 280 is 560 – 170 ppm from now. How quickly we reach that milestone depends on future emissions and future carbon sink efficiency. If the average ppm value (ramping up from 2.66 to … 5.32 ?) is 4 during this period, then 560 will be reached in 42.5 years. 2052.

  39. R. Gates says:
    May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Yes, so far the year has been quite warm:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    The average anomaly for the first 1/3 of this year is 74.5
    If the entire year finishes out at this temperature anomaly, it will be literally off the charts (74.5 equals a temperature anomaly of .745° C):

    Even if Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec are rather cool, if the next third of the year is equally hot, the summer ice melt should be affected by way of the Atlantic connection to the Arctic. The warm water underneath the ice is a big factor in the speed of sea ice melt.

  40. Described as three of ‘the world’s toughest’ explorers…

    What, no mention of the world’s toughest photographers, the world’s toughest IT geeks, the world’s toughest campsite construction crew, the world’s toughest sample curators, the world’s toughest generator maintenance crew, the world’s toughest cafeteria cook, etc.?

  41. Gray Whale Returns to Mediterranean After 200 Years

    During one of the daily news shows, and their near daily quota of “Climate Change” news, that I watch here in British Columbia, Canada, I was informed that, if it isn’t a hoax, due to global warming a Gray Whale has made it all the way through the Northern Passage to Europe.
    Some more info here…

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/35171/

  42. R. Gates,

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

    Hard for that multi-year ice to thicken up too much with temps like that.

    Which temperatures? I looked at the link and found no temperatures. Only Anomalies. The greatest one being +6°C. Didn’t look what was that high, though it couldn’t be water. Do you really think at -24°C instead of -30°C of the air the ice thickness depends on that difference?

  43. Anu says:
    May 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Very trendy, those figures. As most people know, Nature abhors straight lines. Still, to this day, there’s a sucker born every minute, making fools out of straightliners.
    The dot com bubble and the housing bubble seemed to be perfect at the time, enticing many to drink the intoxicating elixir of the straight line.

  44. R gates says: May 16th 2010@7.28pm

    “Jan to april 2010 are the warmest for the last 131 years”

    well thats what you get by relying on data sets that rely on corupted, infilled and extrapolated data.
    Have a look at the real world, we have had snow at least once a month for the last 6 months when normally we only get it one or two months and often not at all up here in the north east of England. Even now its 5 to 6 degrees below the seasonal average, so don’t tell me its warmer than its ever been, it siply isn’t.
    How can you take any data seriously that relies on temperature readings at airports and other UHI corrupted sites, and then assumes that that reading will apply for 1000’s of km’s if no other site is available? I’m sorry but thats just laughable!

  45. Gary Mount says:

    Described as three of ‘the world’s toughest’ explorers…

    Perhaps three of the world’s dumbest explorers, who didn’t properly test their “ice radar” at the sort of temperatures they were likely to encounter “up north”. Plastic-insulated wires stiffened and broke, and the batteries failed. Still, better than their previous effort,when they took an old tape measure with them.

    I expect they’ll find that the very cold water absorbs a lot of CO2 (surprise), and that it’s “very acidic” (= very slightly less alkaline, though I’ve seen data that shows that sea water becomes MORE alkaline with increased CO2, as opposed to pure water which becomes acidic). Still, we mustn’t mock their prejudices, must we?

    One of their stated aims was to “measure the rate at which CO2 can penetrate ice”. That could surely be done in a laboratory in (relative) warmth and comfort?

    I hope they’ve got a boat waiting for them at the “ice-free” North Pole.

  46. It’s not exactly surprising that the extra ice which formed in March this year, leading to the latest ice maximum seen to date since 1979, melted pretty rapidly, thus bringing the current extent down closer to other years.

    Key will be how fast the ice which formed earlier melts. And how much of the multiyear ice melts.

    Time will tell.

  47. Sorry about the mess in the previous post.

    Also interesting is the ice thickness. Last week Haas published an article in GRL about EM measuring of the Arctic sea ice ( Haas, C., S. Hendricks, H. Eicken, and A. Herber (2010), Synoptic airborne thickness surveys reveal state of Arctic sea ice cover, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L09501, doi:10.1029/2010GL042652 ) .

    Data can be found at http://psc.apl.washington.edu/sea_ice_cdr/Sources/airborne_em.html

    The data provide detailed insight into ice thickness distributions characteristic for the different regions. Comparison with previous EM surveys shows that modal thicknesses of old ice had changed little since 2007, and remained within the expected range of natural variability.

    See also http://www.klimaatgek.nl (Dutch).

  48. “floating sea ice”

    As opposed to: sinking sea ice? skipping sea ice? jogging sea ice? hiking sea ice? Science reportage at its best. Oh, yeah, no science here…

  49. What will they say IF September sea ice extent and area reach the 1979-2000 average? Of course they will then switch over to look at thicknes; but what IF this also reaches the 1979-2000 average? They WILL ignore or play it down and switch attention to the ‘warming’ Anatarctic peninsula. Should this ‘warming’ turn to cooling then what? Over to Death Valley!! :o)

    We are dealing with a bunch of very selective climate bandits who HAVE TO show CAGW ‘warming’ in order to maintain their mortgages and feed their families.

  50. The chart of Arctic temperatures ends in 2004. If you follow the link to Steve Milloy’s site, and find the update you will see the anomaly for the same data, after scaling appropriately, is between 1.5 & 2 in 2009-2010.

    JurajV. in post #1 has referred to a different data set – a HADCRUT set, not the original GISS data.

  51. sunderland steve says:
    May 17, 2010 at 2:03 am
    R gates says: May 16th 2010@7.28pm

    “Jan to april 2010 are the warmest for the last 131 years”

    well thats what you get by relying on data sets that rely on corupted, infilled and extrapolated data.
    Have a look at the real world, we have had snow at least once a month for the last 6 months when normally we only get it one or two months and often not at all up here in the north east of England. Even now its 5 to 6 degrees below the seasonal average, so don’t tell me its warmer than its ever been, it siply isn’t.
    How can you take any data seriously that relies on temperature readings at airports and other UHI corrupted sites, and then assumes that that reading will apply for 1000′s of km’s if no other site is available? I’m sorry but thats just laughable!
    _________________

    There are not many urban heat islands in the arctic, and the satellite data is quite good. The arctic has been very warm for the first 4 months of 2010– that’s a simple fact. I can respect those who try to leave no stone unturned in the search to disprove AGWT, but this stone has been turned over and their is no conspiracy under it, just high arctic temps so far this year.

  52. Anu says:

    “The warm water underneath the ice is a big factor in the speed of sea ice melt.”

    ___________________

    Indeed! The majority of the mass of the sea ice is in the water, especially in the keels. Warmer water can melt the underside of the ice rather fast.

  53. Gary Mount: May 17, 2010 at 12:58 am
    During one of the daily news shows, and their near daily quota of “Climate Change” news, that I watch here in British Columbia, Canada, I was informed that, if it isn’t a hoax, due to global warming a Gray Whale has made it all the way through the Northern Passage to Europe.

    There’s also a population of Gray whales in the *western* Pacific. The whale spotted in the eastern Med could also have come from that group, in which case, it would have traveled westbound and not had to worry one bit about finding open water in the ice cap.

  54. Described as three of ‘the world’s toughest’ explorers,

    Description provided by a consensus of polar bears.

  55. From Russ Hatch:

    “Let’s see, according to the Met time line 1958 was the first year a direct measurment of CO2 in the atmosphere was made. Charles Keeling determined that there were 316 ppm. According to the time line in 2008 the CO2 concentration was 384 ppm. An increase of 68 ppm in fifty years. What am I missing here?”

    You are missing about 120 years of history, likely because you are told what to believe by the MET office instead of looking up the facts for yourself:

    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/

  56. Solomon Green, you need not worry.

    If you remember the Carboniferous Period (about 300Mya) as well as I do, CO2 levels were some 20x as high as today. In the Jurassic (around 200Mya) some 10-15x today’s CO2 was floating around, and generally not making its presence felt, where life clearly thrived and delicate aragonite corals evolved in blindingly obvious non-acid oceans, which is why we have shellfish and coral fossils from this time.

    If the oceans were as acid as the catastrophists claim, they would have all dissolved. The reason they didn’t is because oceans always brush upon alkaline rocks. Current oceanic PH is between 7.9 and 8.3, which is alkaline.

    All this comparatively gargantuan CO2 in the past and NEVER a runaway greenhouse or fabled “tipping point”, ever – which is why we’re here to stupidly argue about (and pay for) it.

    You’re only missing a few simple facts, which the catastrophists somehow made you forget – or prevented you from learning. Onward.. ever onward..

  57. I don’t get it! I defy anyone to stare at fig.2 for five minutes without blinking and tell me that Climate Change, Global Warming, Arctic Ice Melt, etc., is NOT a Commie Plot. The USSR isn’t dead! The people we see running Russia today are merely puppits. Just look at all that HOT water entering the Arctic from Russian rivers, and all those nuclear reactors melting the snow pack. The “Fall of the Evil Empire” was all a scam. We’re toast!

    PS: I understand too that Fat Albert’s real name is Alexander Goreovitch and he holds the rank of “Corporal” in the KGB, I believe he’s the only Corporal they have now. They must really think a lot of him. We’re toast!

  58. It means that the IPCC report relies on proxy data (ice-cores,etc) prior to 1958, as the Met Office site does. Increasingly accurate chemical measurements were made from the middle of the 19th.C onwards, and are still being made. IPCC scientists chose to ignore those measurements, and the only logical reason would seem to be that they tell the “wrong” story, that is that CO2 concentrations were often higher pre-1958 than they have been since. CO2 IS measured at a number of locations worldwide.The fact that these measurements are largely ignored in favour of a site 4000 metres up an active volcano in the middle of a volcanic archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean far away from concentrated industrial activity might invite comment.

    I have a textbook on military infrared technology, published by DARPA in 1964. In this book it states that within about 100 meters of the ground, CO2 levels can vary from about 200-600 ppm. There has been a lot of controversy over the seemingly random variations in the chemistry based measurements and this DARPA book may have the reason for the seemingly large dispersions in these measurements.

  59. Many thanks to Juraj V, Mostly Harmless, Smokey, Willis Eschenbach and Olaf Koenders. I think that I will have enough to read, digest and contemplate now for several days. If I still do not understand it will not be your fault.

  60. Olaf Koenders says:
    May 17, 2010 at 7:23 am
    Solomon Green, you need not worry.

    If you remember the Carboniferous Period (about 300Mya) as well as I do, CO2 levels were some 20x as high as today. In the Jurassic (around 200Mya) some 10-15x today’s CO2 was floating around, and generally not making its presence felt, where life clearly thrived and delicate aragonite corals evolved in blindingly obvious non-acid oceans, which is why we have shellfish and coral fossils from this time.

    You apparently forgot about the Permian-Triassic extinction about 250 million years ago when marine life was devasted, coral reefs disappeared and didn’t reappear for 10 million years, rugosa corals went extinct. ” The extinction primarily affected organisms with calcium carbonate skeletons, especially those reliant on ambient CO2 levels to produce their skeletons.” Knoll, A.H. ((2004)). “Biomineralization and evolutionary history. In: P.M. Dove, J.J. DeYoreo and S. Weiner (Eds), Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry,” And guess what there was a CO2 spike.

  61. Toby: Two minor points for your post
    First, Dr. Roy Spencer might have a mild objection to having the AMSUTEMP UAH data called his data. He does not own the data coming from the satellites which are used by more than one person.
    Second, although GMT is likely up so far this year, the website you reference likely overstates it to some degree — those graphs are not adjusted for orbital decay / drift.

  62. R. Gates,
    I do read your comments with interest. I do not take them as gospel any more than I take Steve Goddard’s as gospel. For example, when references to GISS estimates of Arctic temperatures do little to persuade me given what I know of the GISS methodology. Still, you do insure rigor in the discussion. My question for you: the over-riding impression from your posts is that the Arctic will be at or near a near minimum this year — intended or not, that is the impression you create. Therefore, would you promise to be around in September, no matter how the minimum turns out?

  63. All this debate about what is happening or not happening at either pole. How about some real world observations from an outfit like Ken Borek Air. This outfit has been flying the poles for decades. Would be interesting to see what they have to say. Have a look on line, very interesting outfit.

  64. “One fear is insect outbreaks will become more extensive, because the insects will have to eat more to meet nutritional needs.”

    …Because we all know that insects eat recreationally, and instead of starving while engorged, will take the time they currently spend chilling out playing video poker and spend it more productively munching on more plants, digesting faster, and reproducing more fervently.

    Ouch this makes my head hurt.

  65. Doug in Seattle:

    Since the numbers represent gas trapped in ice bubbles, and since these take approximately 800 years to be sealed off from atmosphere as the ice compacts, these numbers actually represent an average rather than an absolute value.

    1) they take a varying amount of time to be sealed off from the atmosphere. The prominent cores are in the 70 to 120 year range.

    2) they certainly must represent an averaged value, and as you surmised would not record the peaks. At best they can say there was no sustained CO2 level that matches our current annual average.

    3) Instantaneous CO2 levels vary highly in the summer, with some ground stations which report on the internet showing values that vary from approximately 150 ppm during late afternoon, to over 500ppm just before sunrise.

  66. toby says:
    May 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

    You will find early 2010 are the 3 warmest months using Dr Roy Spencer’s satellite data at the University of Huntsville Alabama.

    I do not think there is a dataset that does NOT show the same.

    And one of the problems is that clearly the difference between say, 2007 temp, 2008 temp, 2009 temp, and 2010 temps is not explainable by a change in CO2 levels.

    You’ve got a swing of over 1C, of which perhaps .05C is explainable from compounded CO2 effects of even the most hysterical AGW theories out there.

  67. Phil., May 17, 2010 at 9:29 am,

    Are you saying that life was ‘devasted’ due to CO2? The likelihood of that is vanishingly small. In U.S. nuclear submarines [my boy served on the Helena for six years], CO2 can spike well above 5,000 ppm with no ill effects.

    During the time frame in question CO2 remained in the range of thousands of ppmv, for a hundred million years. Life flourished. See here [click on the image to embiggen].

    Of all the possible reasons for the extinction, CO2 seems by far the least likely. But of course since it’s CO2, it goes to the top of some folks’ list; blaming CO2 might lead to grant money.

  68. Well I watched some very interesting Science News programs from Japan yesterday on T&V.

    Specifically this was the NHK TV “Science Zero” program all about the YDP monitoring and research; mostly at the University of Fukuoka; which is at the Western tip of the Japanese Islands.

    YDP is a perfectly natural process and there a good thing; and it has significant local weather / climate consequences.

    Oh I forgot; some of you mnemonic collectors maynot be familiar with YDP as in Yellow Dust Phenomenon. Some people mistakenly think it is Yellow Dust Pollution; but that is not correct as it is a perfectly natural phenomenon; so to call it pollution, is a travesty.

    YDP arises naturally in the high deserts in central Asia; the Japanese Scientists were very reluctant to say either China or Tibet; but their strange three-D scanning pictures looked like they could have been in the Gobi Desert of Tibet.

    The phenomenon manifests itself as a yellow fog in the skies over Japanese cities; and airborne capture of the particles from specially equipped research aircraft, show that the particles are 0.1-1.0 micron chunks of some sort of sulphate rock that is yellow. This stuff is all over the desert, hiding down between the comparatively boulder sized sandy grains. When the wind blows, the sand particles get blown around, and when they come crashing back down on the ground; they eject the much smaller YD particles into the atmosphere. Evidently some sort of adhesion/cohesion/stiction tends to bind the partilces to the ground so the wind doesn’t seem to dislodge them directly. Once airborne, they rise to great altitudes, and carry right across the Tibetan mountains, and across China to the Japanese Islands. At Fukuoka, they can get to the YDPPs before they get corrupted by Japanese effluents. They do however pick up sodium and other salts from the sea they cross.

    The YD is also caught up in flooding in Tibet, and gets washed down into the Yellow river which is what makes it Yellow; fancy that; and the Yellow river dumps into the sea off the East Coast of China; which is called the Yellow sea.

    Laboratory experiments (I actually watched that on TV; but it might have been photoshopped or done on a sound stage. They took a spherical flask that contained saturated water vapor, and showed no signs of condensation. Then they introduced a little turbo YD dopant; and immediately turbulent clouds formed in the flask; plain as day. No there wasn’t any thunder or lightning; but H2O clouds formed instantly.

    Sop far, the data obtained by studies of the temperatures when YDP storms occur, is that the phenomenon leads to significant cooling.

    It is also found that the YDP clouds interract with real atmospheric pollution from the Chinese cities; and arrives in Japan bearing various kinds of molds and microbes; so it does lead to respiration problems for asthmatics. Tests with lab rats; given pollen dust alone or pollen plus YDP dust, shows that the YDP rats develop much more antibodies that do the pollen only rats.

    Of course this wasn’t a peer reviewed Science Show; and the whole thing could have been faked; but if so, they sure did a good job of it; it sure looked real to me.

    Just a short note on the other show on the same channel; about farming in some place called Vie in rolling hills in Japan; that is northern enough and high enough to have total snow ground cover in the winter.

    The Interesting part is that the Japanese farmers do; and have for generations used geo-engineering to increase their crop yields, and in the process enhance global warming. At the end of the snowfall season; the farmer drives around his field in his snow-mobile pulling a contraption that billows out carbon dust all over the place; so the farmer ends up looking like a coal miner. Teh cover the snow with carbon dust (soot) to accelerate the melting of the snow, so that they can lengthen their growing season, and increase the crop yield. In the process; they lower the albedo of the earth, and raise the absorption of both solar and thermal radiation. You know that if the soot looks black to the eye, then it is highly absorptive of solar spectrum radiation.

    So Japan is engaging in deliberate global warming climate modification; because it happens to be in their own economic self interest.

    So much for Kyoto accords; and other such international behavior modification nonsense.

  69. T.C. says:
    May 17, 2010 at 7:10 am

    You are missing about 120 years of history, likely because you are told what to believe by the MET office instead of looking up the facts for yourself:

    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/

    I like high school teachers as much as the next person, and sure, one of them might stumble upon something the “experts” have missed (such as the Swiss high school teacher Balmer in 1885, discovering a mysterious mathematical relationship between lines in hydrogen spectrographs, which was solved by Niels Bohr in 1913:
    http://www.colorado.edu/physics/phys2020/phys2020_f98/lab_manual/Lab6/lab6.html )

    Here is Mr. Beck signing a Heartland petition:

    http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/22621/Scientists_Speak_Out_Against_Alarmist_Warming_Theory.html

    Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol., Biologist, Merian-Schule Freiburg, Germany
    The Merian-Schule in Freiburg, Germany, is a vocational high school for women:

    http://tinyurl.com/2aydj3o

    I don’t know if Mr. Beck teaches in the Biotechnology High School, or the Nutritional High School, or the one or two year Vocational College of Nutrition and Home Economics:

    http://tinyurl.com/2albfyc

    I hope for his sake he finds some Professor in Germany, or any country, that can help him co-author an actual scientific paper challenging the established science of CO2 measurement, since publishing your own website:

    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/

    © Ernst-Georg Beck 2006-2010; http://www.realCO2.de; last update 11 March 2010
    contact: info*at*realco2.de

    doesn’t really cut it in the world of science.

    There must be some Professor, in Japan, or China, or Brazil, or Australia that can help him publish his work in a real journal. Doesn’t he meet real scientists at the Heartland conferences every year ?

  70. R. Gates, just in case you missed my post following the previous Goddard article wrt Arctic sea ice:

    I believe this is the official WUWT CAGW (Centre for the Arctic by Goddard and Watts) forecast: “Steven Goddard writes below that he agrees with the prediction I made in late 2009 that we’d see another 500,000 km2 of Arctic sea ice recovery in 2010″.

    Of course, no mention of any data set, but I guess they mean the one by IARC-JAXA as it is the only dataset they show in the right hand bar. That would come down to a minimum extent of around 5.75 million square km.

    I’ll go for a minimum sea ice extent of less than 5 million square km. If the El Niño dies quickly we might get some prolonged periods of clear skies. But anything can happen.

  71. Dear Willis,

    In the 4th report of the Working Group I of the IPCC, “Historical Overview of Climate Change Science” (chapter 1) the papers of Neftel et al. from 1982 and 1985 plaid a prominent role. Let me quote it:

    “To place the increase in CO2 abundance since the late 1950s in perspective, and to compare the magnitude of the anthropogenic increase with natural cycles in the past, a longer-term record of CO2 and other natural greenhouse gases is needed. These data came from analysis of the composition of air enclosed in bubbles in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. The initial measurements demonstrated that CO2 abundances were significantly lower during the last ice age than over the last 10 kyr of the Holocene (Delmas et al., 1980; Berner et al., 1980; Neftel et al., 1982). From 10 kyr before present up to the year 1750, CO2 abundances stayed within the range 280 ± 20 ppm (Indermühle et al., 1999). During the industrial era, CO2 abundance rose roughly exponentially to 367 ppm in 1999 (Neftel et al., 1985; Etheridge et al., 1996; IPCC, 2001a) and to 379 ppm in 2005 (Section 2.3.1; see also Section 6.4).”

    In the paper of Neftel et al. entitled “Ice core sample measurements give atmospheric CO2 content during the past 40,000 years” (1982, Nature 295, 220-223) one can find values of CO2 concentration more than 400 ppmV. These values, however, were neglected in their estimate range of the CO2 concentration during the past 40,000 years. The reason is explained by the authors as following:

    “The originally recovered Camp Century and Boyd Station cores are generally of poor quality between the 400 and 1,200 m depths and the ice is heavily fractured. In these depth intervals the measured CO2 values exhibit large scattering. This might be due to contamination by drilling fluid, a mixture of diesel fuel (88%) and trychlorethylene (12%), penetrating through small cracks into the ice. In these fractured ice zones, we measured several samples at each sample depth. Its small size meant that the sample was probably uncontaminated and we conclude that the lowest CO2 values best represent the CO2 concentrations of the originally trapped air of these depth intervals. In the larger samples (300 g) contamination is almost inevitable and the measured CO2 concentrations tend to be higher than the air originally occluded in the ice. This is one reason for the high CO2 values obtained during the climate optimum given by Berner et al. for the Camp Century core.”

    Note that two co-authors of Berner et al. (1980, Radiocarbon 22, 227-235), namely Oeschger and Stauffer, are also co-authors of Neftel et al. (1982). The excerpt from the paper of Neftel et al. (1982) clearly states that the ice cores were of poor quality, and it might be that they were contaminated also by drilling fluid. In addition, the choice whether a measured CO2 value was acceptable or not was made rather arbitrarily.

    In another paper of Neftel et al. (1985) entitled “Evidence from polar ice cores for the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries” (Nature 315, 45-47) the authors (again Oeschger and Stauffer were co-authors) stated:

    “The measurements using the needle crusher, published previously [there are three references, one of them is Neftel et al., 1982 mentioned before], were performed using a slightly modified procedure and exhibited generally lower CO2 concentrations by 15 p.p.m.v. ….. In 1982 an intercalibration study with the Grenoble laboratory [it follows one of the three references mentioned before] was performed using the small crusher with the older measuring procedure. Based on our new results, the agreement of the intercalibration must be viewed as a discrepancy, which we will try to resolve in the near future with a new intercalibration series.”

    Obviously, there were various problems with all these ice core analyses. It seems to me that the IPCC has ignored these problems because the results of Neftel et al. (1982, 1985) always serve to extrapolate the so-called Keeling curve back to the 18th century.

    If Ernst Beck’s inventory of more than 90000 direct measurements since 1812 or so is correct than the ice core data will indicate the same weakness ,serving as proxy data, like the tree rings.

    It is interesting to me that in the same issue of the Swedish journal Tellus in which Keeling’s (1960) paper was published also Walter Bischof’s paper entitled “Periodical Variations of the Atmospheric CO2-content in Scandinavia” occurred. Bischof showed notably higher CO_2 concentrations than Keeling. Keeling’s paper has a citation number five times higher than that of Bischof.

    Sincerely yours

    Gerhard

  72. An Inquirer says:
    May 17, 2010 at 10:42 am
    Toby: Two minor points for your post
    First, Dr. Roy Spencer might have a mild objection to having the AMSUTEMP UAH data called his data. He does not own the data coming from the satellites which are used by more than one person.
    Second, although GMT is likely up so far this year, the website you reference likely overstates it to some degree — those graphs are not adjusted for orbital decay / drift.

    He does put his name on that page and recommends it as a good daily source on his website. The post-processed data he presents on his website and certainly regards as his data show the same behavior (http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/)

    nc says:
    May 17, 2010 at 11:09 am
    All this debate about what is happening or not happening at either pole. How about some real world observations from an outfit like Ken Borek Air. This outfit has been flying the poles for decades. Would be interesting to see what they have to say. Have a look on line, very interesting outfit.

    They apparently lost a Twin Otter the other day due to it’s breaking through thin ice after landing about 150 miles of Ellesmere island a couple of days ago.

  73. R. Gates says:
    May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm
    “Another strong reason for the likelihood of a lower summer arctic sea ice minimum is the fact that January to April 2010 was the warmest first 4 months of any year in the lat 131 years. Look at this graph, and pay particular attention to the arctic regions”

    I don’t know why you continue to reference data known by everyone (here) to be illegitimate. There is a wealth of evidence to show the 30’s/40’s were warmer than the present, and NOT just in the USA. There is an equal amount of evidence that NOAA and GISS have “adjusted” that inconvenient fact out of the data. The only legitimate data we have runs from the late 70s to the present. No one disputes we’re slightly warmer than that known cool period…. and there are few conclusions to draw from it.

  74. So what’s up with figure 2 – it definitely doesn’t end with recent data… wrong month, or wrong year?

  75. Pascvaks says:
    May 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

    PS: I understand too that Fat Albert’s real name is Alexander Goreovitch and he holds the rank of “Corporal” in the KGB, I believe he’s the only Corporal they have now. They must really think a lot of him. We’re toast!
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Oh is that why Mikhail Gorbachev, Maurice strong and Al Gore are referred to as “The Three Musketeers” of the environmental movement?

  76. Smokey: “And the ARGO buoys show that the deep ocean is cooling, not warming as predicted.”

    For those interested, please type any of Smokey’s claims into the Skeptical Science web sites and judge their responses. For example: “Early estimates of ocean heat from the Argo showed a cooling bias due to pressure sensor issues. Recent estimates of ocean heat that take this bias into account show continued warming of the upper ocean. This is confirmed by independent estimates of ocean heat as well as more comprehensive measurements of ocean heat down to 2000 metres deep.”

    The ocean is warming.

  77. So this Arctic Sea Ice Volume chart from the Polar Science Center looks very scary;

    so one can’t help to wonder how they’ve measured Arctic Sea Ice Volume, especially back to 1980. According to their website;

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php

    “Sea Ice Volume is calculated using the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) developed at APL/PSC by Dr. J. Zhang and collaborators.”

    Just what the world needs, another garbage model…

  78. Anu says:
    May 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I like high school teachers as much as the next person, and sure, one of them might stumble upon something the “experts” have missed

    Ernst-Georg Beck, Dipl. Biol., Biologist

    I don’t know if Mr. Beck teaches in the Biotechnology High School, or the Nutritional High School, or the one or two year Vocational College of Nutrition and Home Economics:

    I hope for his sake he finds some Professor in Germany, or any country, that can help him co-author an actual scientific paper challenging the established science of CO2 measurement, since publishing your own website:…

    Doesn’t he meet real scientists at the Heartland conferences every year ?
    _______________________________________________________________________
    GRRRRrrrrrr, So if someone does not have a PhD he is a subhuman who needs his hand held so he can publish???

    As a college senior (chemistry) I and and sophomore English major were working on a topics paper (in geology) a field completely outside our majors. The dean of geology brought the paper to the attention of the state geologist. I and my buddy ended up at a conference being quizzed by a bunch of Phd’s.

    Another friend is the head of research at a very large company, he barely graduated from high school but he is a brilliant chemist and the company knew it. Science is about the use of the scientific method period academic degrees have little to do with it.

  79. Ammonite,

    First, the “Skeptical Science” blog is not credible. How can it be, when it uses a propaganda tactic in its name? They are not scientific skeptics, they are climate alarmists just like RealClimate. So forget them, unless you want your climate propaganda spoon fed to you.

    Next, that disingenuous claim about faulty ARGO buoys has been making the rounds for a long time, but it is false. This chart is from today’s official ARGO site. Does it look like the deep ocean is warming to you? No doubt some ARGO folks would love to show the ocean is heating up, but there are enough eyes on the project that it’s tough to diddle with the numbers.

    Finally, other sources here and here show what’s happening in the deep ocean.

  80. Gerhard Kramm wrote an interesting post @May 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm.

    I have always wondered why the Keeling station on Mauna Loa doesn’t show CO2 spikes. I’ve been up there a number of times, and the caldera sometimes emits smoke. It’s a big crater, probably a mile or more across. You can see Mauna Kea on the big island from there.

    It turns out that the Keeling numbers are “adjusted,” like so much of the raw climate data. I don’t question that they’re in the ball park, but I would like to see all the data, not just what they want to show us.

  81. I was interested in this comment, regarding the Mauna Loa data:

    “In particular, it appears that a sporadic CO2 emission from the volcano will trigger the “outlier detection” in the analysis, resulting in the replacement of the contaminated measurements with interpolations in the published curve.”

    I am curious whether there is a public record of “outlier data” that they chose to throw out. Do they ever throw out data because it seems too low?

    Just curious.

  82. Caleb says:
    May 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I was interested in this comment, regarding the Mauna Loa data:

    “In particular, it appears that a sporadic CO2 emission from the volcano will trigger the “outlier detection” in the analysis, resulting in the replacement of the contaminated measurements with interpolations in the published curve.”

    I am curious whether there is a public record of “outlier data” that they chose to throw out. Do they ever throw out data because it seems too low?

    Just curious.

    I don’t know if the record is online, but they don’t throw out the anomalous data, they use it to estimate the CO2 production of the volcano.

    w.

  83. Phil. on May 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm.
    Perhaps you do have a good handle on the nuances of satellite data, but from your post, it is not clear that you do. On the Discover website, Dr. Spencer’s name shows up as one of two page authors — not as the owner of the data. In fact, when Dr. Spencer develops his monthly estimate of GMT, he no longer uses the data posted on that website. Rather that data is used by RSS, and RSS makes adjustments for orbital issues. Dr. Spencer uses data from another satellite. To be sure, Dr. Spencer does refer to the Discover website for those who want to look at satellite on a daily basis, but he does warn that the data will not match the monthly # because of orbital issues. Many people are surprised when the monthly # comes out — it is noticeably lower than what likely seems to be the monthly average of the daily #s on the Discover website. Nevertheless, there are plenty of warnings about that issue.

  84. Gerhard Kramm says:
    May 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    It is interesting to me that in the same issue of the Swedish journal Tellus in which Keeling’s (1960) paper was published also Walter Bischof’s paper entitled “Periodical Variations of the Atmospheric CO2-content in Scandinavia” occurred. Bischof showed notably higher CO_2 concentrations than Keeling. Keeling’s paper has a citation number five times higher than that of Bischof.

    I tried to find Bischof’s paper somewhere on the Internet, no luck. Do you have a URL for it ? All I found was the abstract:

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123311209/abstract

    The total annual mean value obtained for Scandinavia is for 1955 326 ppm, 1956 321 ppm, 1957 323 ppm, 1958 315 ppm, 1959 331 ppm.

    Keeling measured 316 ppm in his first year, 1958. Pretty good match.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/timeline/

    However, Keeling’s manometric and later infrared measuring techniques were proven to be much more reliable and reproducible than the Scandinavian chemical methods which were in use in the 1950’s, hence Bischof’s paper never became seminal like Keeling’s.

    As for Keeling’s paper (The concentration and isotopic abundances of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere), it took me about 10 seconds to find it:

    http://sio.ucsd.edu/special/Keeling_50th_Anniversary/images/keelling_tellus_1960.pdf

    That is interesting to me.

  85. Smokey says: May 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm
    “This chart is from today’s official ARGO site. Does it look like the deep ocean is warming to you?”

    Hi Smokey. The Argo website on the “Global Change Analysis” page shows a rising ocean heat content graph for 0 to 700m. Quote “(Wijffels et al, 2008). For the upper 700m, the increase in heat content was 16 x 1022 J since 1961. This is consistent with the comparison by Roemmich and Gilson (2009) of Argo data with the global temperature time-series of Levitus et al (2005), finding a warming of the 0 – 2000 m ocean by 0.06°C since the (pre-XBT) early 1960’s”

  86. Gail Combs says:
    May 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    GRRRRrrrrrr, So if someone does not have a PhD he is a subhuman who needs his hand held so he can publish???

    As a college senior (chemistry) I and and sophomore English major were working on a topics paper (in geology) a field completely outside our majors. The dean of geology brought the paper to the attention of the state geologist. I and my buddy ended up at a conference being quizzed by a bunch of Phd’s.

    Another friend is the head of research at a very large company, he barely graduated from high school but he is a brilliant chemist and the company knew it. Science is about the use of the scientific method period academic degrees have little to do with it.

    Nice little speech.

    If Mr. Beck has had a good paper since 2007, why has no reputable Journal published it ? Why is Energy & Environment the only place he can get published ?

    http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf

    http://tinyurl.com/2epa867

    According to a search of WorldCat, a database of libraries, Energy and Environment is found in only 25 libraries worldwide. And the journal is not included in Journal Citation Reports, which lists the impact factors for the top 6000 peer-reviewed journals. The editor of Energy and Environment, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen has stated that “it’s only we climate skeptics who have to look for little journals and little publishers like mine to even get published.”

    Even published scientific papers are savaged here – this paper doesn’t even rise to that level of minimum competency. We know Dr. Lindzen, or Dr. Svensmark, or Dr. Spencer, or Dr. Christy, or Dr. Pielke, or Dr. Baliunas, or Dr. Soon, or Dr. Choi can all publish in actual journals – and none of them are “warmists”. Why is Mr. Beck rejected by all reputable journals ? How come Albert Einstein, working as a patent clerk, could publish four papers in the Annalen der Physik scientific journal in 1905, his Annus Mirabilis papers ?

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

    Because he wrote good papers.

    Yes, “science is about the use of the scientific method period academic degrees have little to do with it” – so I conclude that Mr. Beck just didn’t write a very good paper. He has “academic degrees” – a Diploma in Biology, whatever that means in Germany.

    Did you ever consider the possibility that he has made amateur mistakes, and was rejected by real journals ? This high school biology teacher has written one paper in a journal carried by 25 libraries, and setup a website to trumpet his “findings”, and now I see him cited every month by people arguing that global warming is not being caused by human emitted CO2 ?

    What’s up with that ?

  87. Smokey says:
    May 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    It turns out that the Keeling numbers are “adjusted,” like so much of the raw climate data. I don’t question that they’re in the ball park, but I would like to see all the data, not just what they want to show us.

    Yeah, and it turns out that satellite temperature numbers are “adjusted” as well. Do you want to see terabytes of raw Microwave Sounding Unit data too ?
    Satellites do not measure temperature as such. They measure radiances in various wavelength bands, which must then be mathematically inverted to obtain indirect inferences of temperature.

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

    Designing, building, testing instruments, putting them in the field or launching them (eg Argo floats, satellites), getting raw data and converting that into meaningful “data” is a very difficult, long process.

    Some people make critical mistakes during this long chain of reasoning, such as Dr. Roy Spencer at UAH:

    The process of constructing a temperature record from a radiance record is difficult. One widely reported satellite temperature record, developed by Roy Spencer and John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), is currently version 5.2 which corrects previous errors in their analysis for orbital drift and other factors. The record comes from a succession of different satellites and problems with inter-calibration between the satellites are important, especially NOAA-9, which accounts for most of the difference between the RSS and UAH analyses. NOAA-11 played a significant role in a 2005 study by Mears et al. identifying an error in the diurnal correction that leads to the 40% jump in Spencer and Christy’s trend from version 5.1 to 5.2.

    For some time, the UAH satellite data’s chief significance was that they appeared to contradict a wide range of surface temperature data measurements and analyses showing warming in line with that estimated by climate models. In April 2002, for example, an analysis of the satellite temperature data showed warming of only 0.04 °C per decade, compared with surface measurements showing 0.17 ± 0.06 °C per decade. The correction of errors in the analysis of the satellite data, as noted above, have brought the two data sets more closely in line with each other.

  88. Layne Blanchard says:
    May 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    R. Gates says:
    May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm
    “Another strong reason for the likelihood of a lower summer arctic sea ice minimum is the fact that January to April 2010 was the warmest first 4 months of any year in the lat 131 years. Look at this graph, and pay particular attention to the arctic regions”

    I don’t know why you continue to reference data known by everyone (here) to be illegitimate. There is a wealth of evidence to show the 30′s/40′s were warmer than the present, and NOT just in the USA. There is an equal amount of evidence that NOAA and GISS have “adjusted” that inconvenient fact out of the data. The only legitimate data we have runs from the late 70s to the present. No one disputes we’re slightly warmer than that known cool period…. and there are few conclusions to draw from it.

    HUH?? Can you please point to some references that show what you state above? Scientific papers, actual data, something, anything?

  89. Anu says:
    May 17, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    “If Mr. Beck has had a good paper since 2007, why has no reputable Journal published it ? Why is Energy & Environment the only place he can get published ?”

    The answer to that, Anu, might be found in the Climategate emails?

  90. kwik says:
    May 18, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Do you seriously think Dr. Phil Jones and friends control what goes into Journals in China, Germany, and Brazil ? Pointing out to colleagues that one journal has low standards is hardly “controlling” the scientific literature.

    For example, here’s a paper from someone at Arctic Roos in Norway (an organization frequently referenced at WUWT:
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ )

    http://arctic-roos.org/Members/webadmin/Ola2-2008.pdf

    Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters, from China.

    I’m not buying this “the whole scientific world is trying to cover up the truth” claim. We know Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Svensmark, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Christy, Dr. Pielke, Dr. Baliunas, Dr. Soon, and Dr. Choi, for example, can all publish in many journals.

  91. The Piomas “Model” contains everything BUT the satelites — but as a chart on the site shows, it checks well – – – EXCEPT 2007 when it gave less loss than IceSat, presumably as few of the airplane/ship etc. measurements were near the center of the Arctic Ocean where 2007 –uniquely– melted ice.

    Giss Temps are worse — just 2 shore stations: if you play with the scale at their site the broad colors over the Arctic shrink to 2 spots.

    BUT … the Uah site for satelite temp breaks out satelite temps over the Arctic Ocean specifically:
    December– #1 above normal = a 3.20 degrees C. “anomaly”
    Jan. 1.60
    Feb 4th most
    Mar. 10th most
    Apr. 7th most (almost + 2.7).
    … overall, the last 5 months are a full degree above anything on the record for the same 5 months.

    I say Again: My prediction of Ice in the Center of the Arctic: Zero

    Chance of all of us dieing still about 25%, based on the simple equation:

    5800 km3 – ( 4000 sq km loss in 2007 x 2010 El Nino 1.8/2007’s 1.1 ) =
    NEGATIVE 745 = WE ALL DIE

    — unless the LACK of CLOUDINESS of 2007 had nothing to do with how strong the El Nino was …
    (e.g.: 2007 had a fast Reversal: it had a .1 ONI for Feb-Mar-Apr whilst 2010’s El Nino was still 1.2). I figure that 50-50.
    And, even IF it all melts off & the warm surface current reverses, it has to reverse far enough back South, to create the time-lag in warm currents’ return after the Annual 24-hour-a-day Arctic 6-month Night returns, & causes a Winter Freeze. Then Air must carry the temp imbalance and as the Oceans outweigh the Air by 1900:1 — NO buildings North of Venezuela will survive the WINDS (except the Pyramids). This HAPPENED 10,000 years ago, and Logic says it should, so I MUST give it a High Probability — yet the Ocean currents are not now what they were then & the 2002 Abrupt Climate Change Task Force study found Abrupt shifts happened, yet often did NOT happen when they “should” — presumably because Climate is REALLY complex – – so this is my other 50% reduction in the probability.

    Sure, MAYBE January Extent will predict September & how strong the El Nino was, is irrelevant.

    But if the El Nino is the better predictor & we DO NOTHING … WE ARE ALL DEAD !
    Isn’t it time to SCREAM at the President to ACT !

    — with due respect to the fact we always have to make Clear that: IF… the Lack of Cloudiness does not appear in July, we have to cancel the Alert. And I will be very happy to be wrong.

    But we cannot RISK 6 Billion lives on a “probably”. 25% x 6 Billion = 1.5 BILLION DEAD (on average). Even if it were 1000:1 it is Mass Murder on Hitler’s scale. And it’s a LOT more than that.

    Maybe we can wait a week for another PIOMAS input. But it has been on a vertical plunge ALREADY well below 2007 at this point.

    PANIC BUTTON ___ <– I want to Press it; do You ?

  92. Anu says of Ernst-Georg Beck:

    “I hope for his sake he finds some Professor in Germany, or any country, that can help him co-author an actual scientific paper challenging the established science of CO2…”

    He did, apparently, find a professor in Luxembourg (admittedly one who apparently had no doctorate and only taught at a Lycee) but one who has a string of published peer reviewed scientific papers and contributions to conferences and seminars.

    measurement,http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Massen/biography_of_francis_massen.html

    I may be a beginner when it comes to the mysteries of climate change but all my professional experience has taught me to be wary of attacks “ad hominem” rather than attacks on the data, assumptions, methods and conclusions in any paper.

    Having now read Beck’s paper in translation I do not think that it required any special postgraduate knowledge, merely hours of diligent application. The conclusions are there to be refuted but this should not be done by attacking the author’s qualifications, which appear eminently sufficient for the work that he undertook.

  93. I wonder when Steve is going to mention that the Arctic ice extent is only 24,000 sq-km above that seen in 2007 at this time of year? I bet by the time the next sea ice post is written, the ice extent will have dropped below that in 2007 at the same time of the year, since ice concentrations are already lower this year than last year.

  94. Ah, I see the “Imaginary Sumerian Sky God” improvisational show is playing at this venue.

    “I don’t care if you say the emails show those actors were blacklisted from Hollywood and Broadway, which was never proven anyway. They can still do independent films and community theater, they can still find work. Hey, if that Beck guy was any good he’d be in a major production, no problem. Did you ever think he’s really just a lousy actor? Did you? Well, did you?”

    A truly scintillating performance. Indeed. Zeus would reward it with a special Hephaestus-forged lightning bolt.

  95. Solomon Green, May 18, 2010 at 9:38 am,

    Pay no attention to Anu.

    I admire Beck’s work. He has compiled over 90,000 individual CO2 readings taken at hundreds of locations, meticulously recorded by unsubsidized scientists who cared much more for their reputations than for money and job security. Many were Nobel laureates such as Krogh and Warburg, at a time when the Nobel prize meant something.

    Their measurements were taken on mountain tops, and on desolate, sparsely populated coastlines far from any cities, and on mid-ocean crossings throughout the Antarctic, South Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific oceans, and the Beaufort sea. Ocean measurements were taken from the windward side of the ships to ensure that the measurements were not contaminated by human emissions.

    Unlike today’s government subsidized sloppy scientists, they kept notebooks copiously filled with handwritten entries and drawings of their test apparatus, so their experiments can be reproduced exactly.

    Even if the upper and lower ten thousand measurements are discarded, the record shows that CO2 significantly exceeded todays CO2 levels in the early 1800’s and in the 1940’s, thus falsifying the increasingly ridiculous AGW conjecture. Further, the ramp-up of those two CO2 spikes was much steeper than the current, gradual [and almost completely natural] CO2 rise.

    Alarmists attack Beck personally because they have tried and failed to falsify his methods and conclusions: CO2 has been higher in the past without causing global temperatures to increase.

    Any putative rise in temperature due to CO2 is so insignificant that it can be completely disregarded. If it exists it is too small to measure — and the human component of CO2 is only one molecule out of every 34 emitted by natural processes.

    The catastrophic AGW scare is built on smoke an mirrors, not on science. If it were not for the $billions annually poured into “studies” of the CO2=CAGW conjecture [the CO2 scare being the stalking horse for the approaching immense increases in taxes, and the cost of goods and services across the board], no one would pay the slightest bit of attention to the harmless rise in this entirely beneficial minor trace gas.

  96. Anthony, would it be possible to get Mr. R. Gates to do a guest post on this topic? It would be nice to see all of his info in one spot, instead of being broken up amongst the replies.

  97. Smokey says:
    May 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

    It seem that you don’t have any idea of how science is funded. Why not search NASA’s calls or NSF calls and see if you see AGW used in any of the titles of the funding calls. Even search the actual descriptions and you will see that AGW studies are not called for. BTW…I would trust science funded by the government over businesses any day.

  98. I bet by the time the next sea ice post is written, the ice extent will have dropped below that in 2007 at the same time of the year, since ice concentrations are already lower this year than last year.

    It might, but it doesn’t mean anything. The only thing that counts is minimum extent in September. The melt figures took a huge plunge in July 2009 only to level off just as drastically.

  99. jeff brown says:May 18, 2010 at 9:44 am
    I wonder when Steve is going to mention that the Arctic ice extent is only 24,000 sq-km above that seen in 2007 at this time of year? I bet by the time the next sea ice post is written, the ice extent will have dropped below that in 2007 at the same time of the year, since ice concentrations are already lower this year than last year.

    This site shows the actual figure is 240,000 sq-km, which means today’s amount is closer to the average than to the 2007 total. Check your math.

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

  100. R. Gates says:May 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm
    “Another strong reason for the likelihood of a lower summer arctic sea ice minimum is the fact that January to April 2010 was the warmest first 4 months of any year in the lat 131 years. Look at this graph, and pay particular attention to the arctic regions”

    Look at this graphic which refutes your claim. It pays particular attention to the Arctic region.

  101. Anthony Watts said on May 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm:

    I’m agreeable if he is
    A

    You could start another site, “Watt’s Down With That!” which features “dissenting” articles compared to the standard fare found here. Run it like this one with open comments (under the same “play nice” rules), go out of your way to promote “an honest exchange of ideas” to counter that old spurious charge. Let the CO2=(C)AGW supporting stuff go up, and we can see what real and open scientific discussions arise without the heavy censoring of Real Climate et al.

    Using white text on a black background so readers can easily see they’re at the “Dark Side” of the debate would be your option to choose, of course. ;-)

  102. Tim Clark says:
    May 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I’m using NSIDC’s data to assess it, and they show it only 24,000 sq-km above 2007.

    And Neven, yes you are correct that it may not mean anything since summer circulation can result in a pattern that causes ice divergence (and hence an increase in extent). BUT…with an even thinner ice cover this year than last, ice divergence can also result in enhanced lateral melt that takes away more of that thin ice cover. My concern is that 2nd and 3rd year ice that was advected into the Beaufort this winter may not survive the transit through the Gyre this summer. And since a negative AO summer tends to follow a negative AO winter, that is actually worse news for ice in the Beaufort as the negative AO brings in even more warmth to that region (as well as cause ice advection away from the Alaska coast). Since we can’t predict the weather for the summer, we’ll just have to wait and see. But given the current warmth up there (right now temperature anomalies are nearly 8C in the Eurasian sector for the first 2 weeks of May), together with a strong Beaufort Sea High (yes the summer dipole pattern is back which also means clearer skies in the Beaufort), I’m betting on large ice loss this summer.

  103. Well Mr. R. Gates, are you up for a guest post? I would appreciate the alternative view in one nice layed out segment.

    Go for it!

  104. Solomon Green says:
    May 18, 2010 at 9:38 am
    Anu says of Ernst-Georg Beck:

    “I hope for his sake he finds some Professor in Germany, or any country, that can help him co-author an actual scientific paper challenging the established science of CO2…”

    He did, apparently, find a professor in Luxembourg (admittedly one who apparently had no doctorate and only taught at a Lycee) but one who has a string of published peer reviewed scientific papers and contributions to conferences and seminars.

    measurement,http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Massen/biography_of_francis_massen.html

    Yes, he co-authored a paper that wasn’t published.

    http://tinyurl.com/2epa867

    If you followed my link to the google scholar search on Ernst-Georg Beck, you would see four separate links to this conference-only paper.

    I may be a beginner when it comes to the mysteries of climate change but all my professional experience has taught me to be wary of attacks “ad hominem” rather than attacks on the data, assumptions, methods and conclusions in any paper.
    That’s the point, he does not have a published paper – and I don’t want to be the one that has to do the peer review, by having to become an expert in CO2 measurement techniques to see what errors or mistaken assumptions he is working under. Even in the late 195o’s Scandinavia was getting screwy data using measurement techniques that were dropped in the 1960’s – I don’t want to learn about what they doing back in 1812, the beginning of the literature Beck was looking at.

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123311209/abstract

    It is not an “ad hominem” attack to point out that he is a high school biology teacher, with an unpublished paper on atmospheric chemistry which he promotes with his own website:
    http://www.realCO2.de

    Maybe that is science in your “professional experience” – you’re welcome to it. But on a blog where NASA scientists with 30 years of published research work are savaged as incompetent buffoons, don’t expect a citation of Mr. Beck to carry much weight.
    To people that understand science.

    Having now read Beck’s paper in translation I do not think that it required any special postgraduate knowledge, merely hours of diligent application. The conclusions are there to be refuted but this should not be done by attacking the author’s qualifications, which appear eminently sufficient for the work that he undertook.
    Yes, if he ever publishes and invites refutation, I will be interested to see what experts in this field say about his work. So far, he is off the radar, much like Richard C. Hoagland:

    http://www.enterprisemission.com/index.php

    I’ve heard Richard on Coast to Coast AM a few times many years ago – he’s actually a very entertaining speaker, and sounds quite plausible if you don’t think too hard. You might be interested in his data, assumptions, methods and conclusions.

  105. jeff brown, I totally agree with you. If circumstances are anywhere near those of 2007 a new record minimum extent is a very distinct possibility.

  106. jeff brown May 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm:

    “It seem that you don’t have any idea of how science is funded. Why not search NASA’s calls or NSF calls and see if you see AGW used in any of the titles of the funding calls.”

    You framed the argument the way you wanted, then argued with your argument. Instead, just do a search for words like “carbon” or “climate change.” That’s where the money is. And there is also plenty of grant money being spread around by private foundations with a pro-CAGW agenda.

    And Anu’s Beck posts are nothing but one big strawman of deliberate misdirection. Sneering at someone else’s achievements is typical. Since Beck’s compilation of the work of numerous Nobel laureates and their contemporaries hasn’t been falsified, the response devolves into odious ad hominem attacks denigrating Dr Beck personally.

    What Dr Beck did was to compile 90,000 CO2 readings. His findings are published here.

  107. OK, well out of curiosity I looked at the Beck paper, and I can see right off why it was not published in a peer-reviewed journal. I’ll skip all the grammatical problems. But right off the bat, he lets the reader know his ideological bias.
    Statements such as “The data accepted by Callendar and Keeling had to be sufficiently low to be consistent with the greenhouse hypothesis of climate change controlled by rising CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning.”, and “choosing only few (measurements) which fit the assumption of a climate CO2 connection.” push the AGW conspiracy start back to 1938 (and basically label these men as dishonest).
    Ice core measurements, and those by post-1938 scientist working in remote locations, are part of the CO2 conspiracy, and instead early measurements in various Northern European cities are said to be more accurate in their chemical measurement, and more representative of the historical Northern Hemisphere CO2 levels. So he pieces these together for a nice that graph that shows CO2 concentration bouncing wildly up and down between 280 and 480 ppm, until Bam! it settles down in 1950…
    Nice.
    All that may play well to the readership of ENERGY &
    ENVIRONMENT, but probably won’t get you published elsewhere.

  108. Smokey, why don’t you take Jeff’s advice and do a search on NASA or NSF’s web sites? Your google search does not reveal the funding calls, which is what pays for the majority of science research.
    I sure would like to know about private foundations funding AGW research. I could use some of that $$. Can you point me in that direction?

  109. Neven, I looked at the daily values for today from NSIDC, and the extent is right now at 12.70 million sq-km. In 2007 on the same day it was 12.68. But last summer by the end of June the extent was about the same as in 2007 and then the ice loss slowed substantially. I don’t know yet what an earlier match up between the two years will mean as the summer continues, but to me it seems that the melt is more advanced this year at the same time with the warmer air temperatures (I can see this spatially by looking at the actual ice concentrations). Having more advanced melt early in the melt season would help to enhance the ice-albedo feedback since melt ponds, open water areas enhance lateral and basal melt.
    But I still think the strength of the summer dipole and it’s persistence throughout the summer will be the main determinant of whether or not this year sees more ice loss than in 2007. Last summer a low pressure developed over the Arctic Ocean in mid-summer causing ice divergence that slowed the decreases in ice extent. But I remember a paper that came out last fall that compared surface observations to the passive microwave sea ice retrievals in the Beaufort region and found that the satellite data was overestimating the ice cover, since what they found was a lot of thin and rotten ice surrounded by open water. So looking at sea ice extent from NSIDC, while a useful metric, doesn’t really tell the full story.

  110. jeff brown says:
    And Neven, yes you are correct that it may not mean anything since summer circulation can result in a pattern that causes ice divergence (and hence an increase in extent). BUT…with an even thinner ice cover this year than last, ice divergence can also result in enhanced lateral melt that takes away more of that thin ice cover. My concern is that 2nd and 3rd year ice that was advected into the Beaufort this winter may not survive the transit through the Gyre this summer. And since a negative AO summer tends to follow a negative AO winter, that is actually worse news for ice in the Beaufort as the negative AO brings in even more warmth to that region (as well as cause ice advection away from the Alaska coast). Since we can’t predict the weather for the summer, we’ll just have to wait and see. But given the current warmth up there (right now temperature anomalies are nearly 8C in the Eurasian sector for the first 2 weeks of May), together with a strong Beaufort Sea High (yes the summer dipole pattern is back which also means clearer skies in the Beaufort), I’m betting on large ice loss this summer.

    Neven says: May 19, 2010 at 5:33 am
    jeff brown, I totally agree with you. If circumstances are anywhere near those of 2007 a new record minimum extent is a very distinct possibility.

    You both sound a lot like an old troller we use to have here. Is this one of you?
    Here’s her / his prediction. How’d that work out for her/him?

    Mary Hinge (03:51:46) :
    If you want to know where the red line will go, there is a way to predict it. I predicted it would start to freeze up again, about what, 3 weeks ago, and it did. That seems a safe bet, considering its mid January! Another prediction, it will keep freezing up there until mid March and then it will start melting again! As the Pacific PDO has now switched to a neutral state http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.1.15.2009.gif
    I expect another record or near record ice melt in the summer.

  111. The War Against Ernst-Georg Beck

    From Anu:

    I hope for his sake he finds some Professor in Germany, or any country, that can help him co-author an actual scientific paper challenging the established science of CO2 measurement, since publishing your own website:

    http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/

    © Ernst-Georg Beck 2006-2010; http://www.realCO2.de; last update 11 March 2010
    contact: info*at*realco2.de

    doesn’t really cut it in the world of science.

    Beck already has two actual scientific peer-reviewed papers that were published in Energy & Environment (link goes to publisher’s description), first is 180 years of atmospheric CO2 gas analysis by chemical methods (PDF) in 2007, second is 50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa (PDF) in 2008.

    As to Energy & Environment, EBSCO Publishing lists E&E as a peer-reviewed academic journal, as can be seen in their Title Lists: Colleges and Universities section, “Environment Complete (TM)” being one example.

    Note the following from the Wikipedia article:

    Energy & Environment (E&E), published since 1989, is an interdisciplinary journal aimed at natural scientists, technologists and the international social science and policy communities covering the direct and indirect environmental impacts of energy acquisition, transport, production and use. Its editor since 1996 is Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen. The journal has an editorial advisory board of 20 members, including 11 professors and 5 other PhDs as of 2008. The journal can be found at 41 libraries worldwide, at universities and the library of congress.[1] There are an additional 81 that hold the journal in electronic form.[2] Contributors have included David Henderson, Richard Tol, and Gary Yohe.

    The journal is published by Multi-science. Its ISSN is 0958-305X, and its OCLC is 21187549.

    Note: If viewing the Wikipedia article, click on the Discussion tab, and note the great effort to label E&E as trash because it does publish papers that disagree with (C)AGW “theory” thus it angers (C)AGW proponents. Then consider the rest of the article I did not quote.

    From Anu:

    Did you ever consider the possibility that he has made amateur mistakes, and was rejected by real journals ? This high school biology teacher has written one paper in a journal carried by 25 libraries, and setup a website to trumpet his “findings”, and now I see him cited every month by people arguing that global warming is not being caused by human emitted CO2 ?

    See above. That is two papers published, not just one, E&E is at 41 libraries, universities, and the Library of Congress, besides in electronic form at an additional 81, not just 25 libraries.

    And why the complaints about Beck having his own website for his own work? You are on a site owned by Anthony Watts where he posts his own work. Dr.Leif Svalgaard has his, so does Dr. Roy Spencer, Dr. Roger Pielke Sr, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr… Come on, this is the internet! What stigma can there be to having your own site for your own stuff period, let alone having one while publishing scientific work?

    From Anu, in reference to a paper presented at a conference:

    Yes, he co-authored a paper that wasn’t published.

    http://tinyurl.com/2epa867

    If you followed my link to the google scholar search on Ernst-Georg Beck, you would see four separate links to this conference-only paper.

    Things To Know:
    1. The paper is available here (pdf).
    2. Dr. Francis Massen of Luxembourg is the lead author with Beck as a co-author.
    3. Dr. Massen’s work can be found here, which is the website of the “Meteorological Station of the Lycée Classique de Diekirch [Luxembourg]” where he is listed as the Head of the station.
    4. Following the Papers, Reports & Comments link, You will find #51 of the list, “Accurate estimation of CO2 background level from near ground measurements at non-mixed environments” with the following description:

    New peer reviewed paper by Massen F. and Beck E-G. presented at the
    online Klima2009 conference of the University of Hamburg, DE.
    This paper received the “Best Paper Award” and ranked 1rst among
    the 103 papers submitted! (click here for award (7MB))

    Papers were submitted for the online conference, peer reviewed, those accepted were presented during the online conference. Check out the Klima/Climate site. The page the word “paper” in the description goes to announces “All papers will be placed online at 00:00 on Monday 1st November 2010.” so that part of it is “in progress.” But the scientific paper was written, by Dr. Massen with Beck included, peer reviewed, accepted, and put up for consideration by collegues and is now available for citation. How much more “published” can one want?

    Still from Anu:

    That’s the point, he does not have a published paper – and I don’t want to be the one that has to do the peer review, by having to become an expert in CO2 measurement techniques to see what errors or mistaken assumptions he is working under.

    Beck has two peer reviewed published papers. Dr. Massen has a bunch published, with the co-authored piece “published” at Klima2009. And is just me, or did Anu just basically state she’s not an expert on CO2 measurement but definitely knows Beck has made errors and/or has mistaken assumptions about it?

    It is not an “ad hominem” attack to point out that he is a high school biology teacher, with an unpublished paper on atmospheric chemistry which he promotes with his own website:

    http://www.realCO2.de

    Not an “ad hominem” attack when one continues saying he has an unpublished paper when he has two published papers and another he was a co-author on was “published” at a conference, this is true.

    Yes, if he ever publishes and invites refutation, I will be interested to see what experts in this field say about his work.

    Does this sound familiar? He has published, thus has invited refutation.

    Maybe that is science in your “professional experience” – you’re welcome to it. But on a blog where NASA scientists with 30 years of published research work are savaged as incompetent buffoons, don’t expect a citation of Mr. Beck to carry much weight.

    True, Real Climate et al, don’t think much about Dr. Roy Spencer, despite his noted accomplishments, and they likely don’t care much for Beck at all.

    Beck’s work frightens them.

    To people that understand science.

    Those people understand his work and his methodology, which includes people who are experts at atmospheric CO2 measurements. He’s had two peer reviewed papers published so far that he was the sole author on.

    Now can we look at people who can count papers, know the difference between published and unpublished, understand peer review, know what it means when individuals have their own sites for their own work…?

  112. I could be wrong, but based on jet stream, surface winds, AO, and pictures, it looks like ridging is taking place IN towards the pole, which means that ice is being compacted towards the pole instead of riding out of the Arctic through the Strait. If the winds are strong enough, both extent and area would be below average but not because of melting, it is because of compaction INTO the Arctic basin. Eventually the downward trend on the graphs will come to a halt as compaction nears its “can’t compact anymore” state.

    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic

  113. Further investigation confirms that wind is blowing from the South to the North at both East and West angles in Fram Strait. Ridging with compaction towards the pole would clearly be the result.

    http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

    Therefore, I think it is possible that ice extent and area are indicative of ice moving towards the pole, not away from it.

  114. Pamela, thinner ice does move more easily and also ridges easier. But where the main changes are occurring in the ice extent at the moment are not in the central Arctic Basin and it is not a result of flow towards the pole. Why discount the anomalously warm temperatures that encompass the entire Arctic? What I believe is happening is that the thin ice is melting out under these warm temperatures, temperatures that have been warm all winter and slowed ice growth during winter. You can look at the ocean buoy data yourself and check the ice growth rates this winter. I know you probably don’t want to believe the PIOMASS modeling efforts of ice volume, but if they are even remotely correct, then thin ice is behind this rapid ice extent change during the last couple of weeks. By the time Anthony posts his next update, I bet the extent will have dropped below that of 2007 and perhaps even that of 2006. With projections for a warm summer this year, I think 2007 will no longer be the record minimum sea ice extent.

  115. Pamela writes:
    Eventually the downward trend on the graphs will come to a halt as compaction nears its “can’t compact anymore” state.

    How do you get this? What is the amount of “can’t compact anymore”? Are you assuming that ocean temperatures, air temperatures, cloud cover do not have an influence on the summer ice cover? Since the winter ice cover covers the entire Arctic Basin, how far do you estimate that it can compact? What sea ice rheology model are you including in your calculations and how does that change for thick versus thin ice?

    I’m sorry but your comment does not make any sense. And Jeff is correct, the current ice loss is not happening in the central Arctic so it is not a result of movement towards the pole.

  116. I agree, a rather strange post by Pamela Gray. The MODIS imagery she links to does not show ice motion. Probably would be better to link to sea level pressure patterns, or ice motion vectors, or wind fields if you want to make a case of compaction near the pole. The MODIS imagery just shows melt happening (note the gray values of ice along the ice edges indicating melt, as well as open water areas between the ice flows).

    Also, Pamela you should understand that the AO doesn’t always imply high pressure over the Arctic, look at the January AO index and then look at the Arctic January SLP anomalies. You have a low pressure anomaly. The AO is a statistical index, the first EOF. The strength of the Beaufort Sea High, and the strength of the Arctic dipole are more indicative of ice motion towards the pole. And although the Beaufort Sea is dominated by a high pressure right now, the SLP gradients between the Siberian Low and the Beaufort Sea High are rather small right now, which would imply weak motion toward the pole. Please do your homework before you make such comments.

  117. I’m a bit sceptical of the ice core CO2 data. The Vostok data shows the CO2 level dropping to as low as 180 ppm at the depth of the last ice age. Most plants nearly stop photosynthesizing at that level. Wouldn’t the rotting of dying plants hold CO2 at a higher level? I suspect the Vostok core data is about 70 ppm too low.

    Encroaching ice covers flora areas, reducing the bio-sink for CO2, and covers dead/dying plants at the edges of the ice. All it takes is one snowstorm to seal in dying plants. The reverse occurs when the ice recedes during warming, and all the dead foliage rots when exposed, increasing CO2 to the atmosphere. One of the many feedback processes in ice age dynamics. A negative feedback is the regrowth of foliage as the ice recedes, increasing the biotic sink for CO2, but it is overwhelmed by the positive processes, and CO2 accumulates.

  118. I will stand by my post. I think it is possible that ice compaction is accounting for the downward trend. If my guess is right and as long as the Fram Strait conveyor belt of wind doesn’t kick up and head South again, we will not see a new minimum and the trend line will once again head towards normal before the new ice season begins. I have been right about ice minimum before and the conditions were similar. Wind was pushing ice North, not South.

    We shall see. Let the debate continue. I prefer simple ice and wind mechanics compacting or spreading ice as the main cause of ice buildup and ice loss anomalies. The composite photos show ridging developing above Fram Strait in a way to be expected if ice were being pushed Northward by the wind. And indeed, the surface wind in this area is reported to be in that direction.

    And yes, my prediction could turn out to be wrong. Good. Being wrong is as valuable a teacher as being right.

  119. Pamela Gray says:
    May 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm
    I will stand by my post. I think it is possible that ice compaction is accounting for the downward trend. If my guess is right and as long as the Fram Strait conveyor belt of wind doesn’t kick up and head South again, we will not see a new minimum and the trend line will once again head towards normal before the new ice season begins. I have been right about ice minimum before and the conditions were similar. Wind was pushing ice North, not South.

    Pamela’s been wrong about the ice drift for some time now but this is over the top. I guess we’re expected to believe that 300,000 Mm^2 lost over the last couple of weeks blew back in via the Bering St? Or 150,000 Mm^2 blew back into the Arctic basin, not to mention the east side of Hudson Bay blowing over to the other side?

  120. To: Pamela Gray

    Wow, you got three alarmists jumping on you, then Phil-dot chiming in about your reply.

    Therefore I conclude you may be on to something, and it has them worried. Good job!

    BTW, why is Phil-dot talking about mega-meters (10^6 meters) squared? That first figure he just gave of “300,000 Mm^2″ would be 300,000,000,000 (3 x 10^11) km^2, and IARC-JAXA is reporting the entire Arctic extent as of May 19 2010 as only 11,730,938 km^2 total. That would be quite an impressive loss over just a couple of weeks!

  121. jeff brown wrote:

    By the time Anthony posts his next update, I bet the extent will have dropped below that of 2007 and perhaps even that of 2006. With projections for a warm summer this year, I think 2007 will no longer be the record minimum sea ice extent.

    2010 just had its biggest melt for this season last night: 159K.
    It now has passed 2007(107K difference) and was already in front of 2008 (254K) and 2009 (352K). It is trailing 2006 by 185K.

    This was 2010’s 4th century break (a melt of 100K or more). Around this time 2009 had its first century break, 2008 also had had one (tomorrow’s date the second), 2006 had had 3 and 2007 none so far (but holds the record for total century breaks during one melt season: 19).

    Again, this doesn’t mean anything wrt minimum sea ice extent in September. It can go either way, but right now the melt is kicking *ss. :-)

  122. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 19, 2010 at 11:46 pm
    To: Pamela Gray
    BTW, why is Phil-dot talking about mega-meters (10^6 meters) squared? That first figure he just gave of “300,000 Mm^2″ would be 300,000,000,000 (3 x 10^11) km^2, and IARC-JAXA is reporting the entire Arctic extent as of May 19 2010 as only 11,730,938 km^2 total. That would be quite an impressive loss over just a couple of weeks!

    I use Mm^2 because it’s the proper SI unit, (10^6 meters)^2 is 10^12 meter^2, however last night it was late and I omitted to include the decimal point! It should of course have been 0.3Mm^2 etc. Doesn’t change the argument though, Pamela is proposing inter alia that the loses in the Bering sea occurred by flowing into the Arctic Basin!

  123. Kadaka and Pam, too bad you don’t have a good understanding of the drivers for Arctic sea ice loss. But that’s ok, the data is speaking for itself. The ice extent has fallen below that of 2007 and it is near the previous record minimum set in 2006. In the next few days there will likely be a new record minimum for May. Pam, I don’t know why you didn’t take nedheads suggestion that you should actually look at the wind fields, but I did, and you are incorrect. The wind vector fields show ice flow out of Fram Strait, weak movement towards the pole from the Alaskan coast and movement towards the Eurasian coasts (i.e. away from the pole). The MODIS imagery does not support any of the conclusions you tried to reach. Please do some fact checking before spouting off.

  124. Kadaka, just because someone finds flaws in statements given by Pamela, that does not mean they are alarmists. I for one am not an alarmist.

  125. In today’s Winnipeg Free Press.
    Here we go again:

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/greenpage/environment/scientists-say-arctic-sea-ice-on-track-to-match-record-low-set-in-2007-94275949.html

    Arctic sea ice is on track to recede to a record low this year, suggesting that northern waters free of summer ice are coming faster than anyone thought.

    The latest satellite data show ice coverage is equal to what it was in 2007, the lowest year on record, and is declining faster than it did that year.

    “Could we break another record this year? I think it’s quite possible,” said Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

    “We are going to lose the summer sea-ice cover. We can’t go back.”

    In April, the centre published data showing that sea ice had almost recovered to the 20-year average. That ignited a flurry of interest on climate change skeptic blogs.

    But much of that ice was thin and new. The warmest April on record in the Arctic made short work of it.

    Ice cover has already fallen back to where it was in 2007 at this time of year and is disappearing at a faster pace than it did then. Serreze said winds, cloud cover or other weather conditions could slow the melt, but he points out that the decline is likely to speed up even more in June and July.

    “Will (thawing) this year be particularly fast?” asked Serreze. “We don’t know. We really don’t know.”

    One of Canada’s top sea-ice experts suggests things might even be worse than Serreze thinks. His data could be underestimating the collapse of summer ice cover, said David Barber of the University of Manitoba. Researchers can’t learn anything from satellite data about the state or thickness of the ice.

    “What we think is thick multi-year ice late in the summer is in fact not,” he said. “It’s heavily decayed first-year ice. When that stuff starts to reform in the fall, we think it’s multi-year ice, but it’s not.”

    Arctic explorers and scientific expeditions are finding more open water and untrustworthy ice ever, said Barber.

    He pointed out the Arctic continued to lose multi-year ice even in 2008 and 2009, when total ice coverage rebounded somewhat.

    True multi-year ice — the thick, hard stuff that stops ships — now comprises about 18 per cent of the Arctic ice pack. In 1981, when Barber first went north, that figure was 90 per cent.

    “This is all just part of a trajectory moving toward a seasonally ice-free Arctic,” he said. “That’s happening more quickly than we thought it would happen.”

    Once northern waters are clear in the summer, there will be little difference between navigating the Northwest Passage and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Barber suggested.

    He recounts sailing through degraded ice in an icebreaker. The ship’s top speed in open water was 13.7 knots. Its speed through the decayed ice was 13 knots.

    “It was almost like it didn’t exist.”

  126. Steve, isn’t it time to admit you were wrong in your earlier posts about the sea ice cover and what type of “boring” melt season we would be observing this year? I know it’s hard to admit you’re wrong, but let’s get past that and start talking about what is happening today. Purposefully ignoring the recent acceleration in ice loss make you and WUWT look bad….

  127. Forget what I said about today’s melt figure. I wasn’t aware of the fact that they had substantially revised yesterday’s number, so no 4th century break for 2010.

    2010 is still in 2nd position for the moment, trailing 2006 by 204K.

  128. Excerpt from: Phil. on May 20, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I use Mm^2 because it’s the proper SI unit…

    Since when? There is no SI base unit for area, but there is the meter for length. Among the named SI derived units there is none for area. Square meters can be used, and square kilometers are often used and are the expected units for reporting sea ice measurements. The hectare is a common metric non-SI unit accepted for use with the SI used for land area measurements.

    Thus both the square kilometer, by its common scientific usage, and the hectare, by being accepted for use, have a better claim to being a “proper SI unit” for area, than square megameters, although I can find no such critter as either a SI base unit or a named derived unit.

    If you have references that state otherwise, please supply them.

  129. Neven, you just got (subject to revision as the day proceeds) your 4th “century break” in the Jaxa data. Are you using Bremen for your year-rank-order? I may be misreading it, but it looks like 2010 is still (barely) in 3rd on the Jaxa graph.

    My perception of the (current) spread of the measurement groups, from low to high (relative to their own histories) is Bremen, Jaxa, Cryosphere Today, NSIDC, Norsex. Yeah, it’s hard to say where to put CT on that list because they’re reporting area, not extent. Looking at the MODIS arctic mosaic, it appears that the polynyas are more accurately represented by the Jaxa map and the CT map than by the NSIDC map. Of course they all have slightly different algorithms so everything I just said could be stood on its head in a few months.

    I must say the MODIS 1k resolution mosaic is just beautiful to look at, beyond its scientific usefulness. May 21 image (warning, large file!)

  130. Well, good thing I put in that caveat about “subject to revision”. The Jaxa number has been revised, erasing that “century break”. The NSIDC seems to have caught up to Jaxa in terms of the 2010 – 2007 relative extent.

  131. This is somewhat related, to NSIDC, at least.

    Just watched a show in History International, about “end times”, armageddon and all that nonsense. They had a big segment about Global Warming, with special guest alarmist Mark Serreze, preaching his doom and gloom of a rapidly melting arctic. The show was originally aired sometime in 2009 (that’s twenty oh nine).

    He came off as a total nutcase, fitting right in with the Revelations-as-fact crowd.

    REPLY: Yes I saw that too some months ago when it first aired. According to Walt Meier, Serreze “regrets” giving that interview. – Anthony

  132. REPLY: Yes I saw that too some months ago when it first aired. According to Walt Meier, Serreze “regrets” giving that interview. – Anthony

    Lol, yeah, I’m so sure. He was relishing every second of it.

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