WUWT Arctic Sea Ice News #6

By Steve Goddard

The Arctic is still running well below freezing, and as a result there just isn’t much happening, except for an odd discrepancy that has developed between NSIDC and NORSEX related to the 2007 extent. Read on.

The animation video above (generated from UIUC images) shows the entire month of May to date, and as you can see we have yet to see any melt in the Arctic Basin.

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

The little melt which has occurred since the winter peak has been at lower latitudes, as can be seen in red in the modified NSIDC map below.

The equivalent map below shows changes over the last week. Melt is proceeding very slowly.

The animation below shows Arctic temperatures over the last month. Note that they have alternated between a little above normal and a little below normal. The video was generated from NOAA maps.

More interesting is what is going at the South Pole. GISS says the South Pole has been cold, while NOAA says the South Pole has been hot.

GISS April Antarctica

NOAA almost always shows the South Pole hot for some reason. Temperatures in Vostok averaged -90F in April and a balmy -85F so far in May. It only needs to warm up another 117 degrees to start Hansen’s Antarctic meltdown.

This time of year there is almost no year over year variation in extent, as can be seen in the DMI graph below.

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

What is interesting is that NORSEX shows 2010 extent well above 2007, while NSIDC shows it below 2007.

http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

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

The four major ice extent indices continue to diverge.

Another interesting observation is that JAXA has changed their graphs. They used to show a weird little bump on June 1 of every year.

JAXA May 2 graph

But that bump has disappeared.

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png

I hope the Polar bears aren’t disappointed at the loss of their little June 1 mogul. NSIDC anomalies can be seen below in the modified NSIDC map. The Alaska side has above normal sea ice and the Greenland side has below normal sea ice.

This is a reflection of ocean temperatures, which are below normal in the North Pacific, and above normal near Greenland.

http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html

We are still about six weeks away from anything interesting happening in the Arctic. Stay tuned.

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152 Responses to WUWT Arctic Sea Ice News #6

  1. etudiant says:

    A simple question: why does arctic sea ice begin to decline well before the mean temperature even comes close to reaching the freezing point? If the charts are correct, ice growth begins almost coincident with the fall of the mean temperature below the freezing point. So why does it not at least hold steady until the mean temperature again exceeds freezing?
    Does it indicate that daytime insolation is overwhelming any night time freezing or does it reflect some sort of an expanded erosion due to an annual shift in winds or oceanic currents?

  2. Enneagram says:

    Artic is bipolar now (as many global warmers):
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AT-GMF.gif

  3. Tim L says:

    It’s worst then we thought the divergence continues!
    Luke Skywarmer

  4. mb says:

    Interesting. It seems that on 3 indices out of 4 the ice extent is now lower than on the same day in the extreme year 2007. Does that mean that we hold the record for the lowest ice extent ever for todays date?

  5. rbateman says:

    Degrading sensors anyone?

  6. John Egan says:

    Here is what NSIDC’s Mark Serreze is now saying – -

    “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.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/arctic-sea-ice-heading-for-new-record-low/article1575212/

    That is the same Mark Serreze of the famed “Death Spiral” quote.

    I have a question –
    If he is proven utterly wrong again and since the agency he supervises is responsible for data collection, not policy goals – - should one call for his resignation after September of 2010? Remember, I am one of the three liberals who come to this website – - but I feel that all federal agencies with the responsibility to collect data should refrain from partisan policy pronouncements – whether Bush’s Labor Department or Hansen’s NASA-GISS.

  7. JK says:

    “Melt is proceeding very slowly.” It seems the rate of melt is about highest ever for this time of year?
    “The Arctic is still running well below freezing” From what I understand, isn’t that from a model of mean temps N of 80 lat.?
    Looking at some concentration maps, it almost looks like a lot is going on:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png

  8. Mike McMillan says:

    I recall that JAXA was going to try to eliminate that bump in the chart where they switch from their dry to their wet ice algorithms. Suppose they “homogenized” the dry numbers with the wet ones?

  9. Alexej Buergin says:

    “mb says:
    May 23, 2010 at 11:13 am
    Interesting. It seems that on 3 indices out of 4 the ice extent is now lower than on the same day in the extreme year 2007. Does that mean that we hold the record for the lowest ice extent ever for todays date?”

    No, see JAXA.

  10. Just wait for R Gates to tell us how pleased he is that the extent is lowering. Me? I think its all nonsense and will wait for the new satellite to give us a better picture of the reality up there.

  11. Grumpy Old Man says:

    Well it looks as if Artic ice is behaving as per normal whatever normal is. Variations are normal – I think. What does this tell us? Well, the warmists are wrong on this one. Maybe next year? Or in a hundred years or a thousand years. Or maybe they’re completely wrong and the next ice age is just around the corner. Now, that would be real climate change but don’t tell Obama. He just couldn’t cope with the perspective shift or whatever fancy words the spin doctors use.

  12. wayne says:

    What is interesting is that NORSEX shows 2010 extent well above 2007, while NSIDC shows it below 2007.

    Do you think we just hurt Walt’s feelings?

  13. Brad says:

    What’s up down in the Antarctic?

    Nice post.

  14. Leon Brozyna says:

    JAXA has posted an explanation for the change on their website:

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

    [Updated on May 18, 2010] Previous version of data processing had made an erroneous blip of sea ice extent on June 1st and October 15th which was seen in the graph of sea ice extent as a small peak on these dates. We improved the processing to make the graph much smoother. The apparent blip had arisen due to a switching of some parameters in the processing on both dates. The parameter switching is needed because the surface of the Arctic sea-ice becomes wet in summer due to the melting of ice which changes satellite-observed signatures of sea-ice drastically. By this improvement most of the sea ice extent values are not affected at all except for the period of May 20-June 11 and October 8-26 of each year.

    All this excitement about melting ice. Did anyone ever check during the MWP on how much sea ice melted during the summer? Did anyone care? They were probably too busy trying to survive. Polar bears seem to have carried on through that era quite nicely. So who’s more intelligent, a polar bear or a WWF activist? Put both out naked on the frozen tundra and my money’s on the polar bear. The activist doesn’t stand a chance against reality; can only score guilt points against his fellow human beings.

  15. Krishna Gans says:

    What I see here let me believe, in 2007 we had a lot less ice than we have today, isn’t-it ?

  16. JDN says:

    The people with the most to lose if the ice doesn’t melt are reporting the most melt. Why didn’t you just say so? I wonder how long they can keep it up.

    I am not happy with the lack of access to raw data. All you can get is these highly processed low resolution maps that are useless for checking on the differences of methodology & comparing it to reality. Suppose I wanted 100m resolution raw images and processed maps from NSIDC & JAXA. Where would I get them?

  17. AndyW says:

    There has been ice melt in the Arctic basin if you look at a higher resolution

    http://www.iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/arctic_AMSRE_nic.png

    Also, “The little melt which has occurred since the winter peak” actually is a lot of melt considering the starting and finishing points :-

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

    from the peak at the start of April to now is the steepest in all years on the JAXA graph. They put the reason for getting rid of the bump, due to correction for surface melt ponds, on the graph page.

    Andy

  18. scott says:

    And this today from the NWS:

    SXUS76 KMTR 231430
    RERMTR

    RECORD EVENT REPORT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN FRANCISCO
    730 AM PDT SUN MAY 23 2010

    …RECORD COLD THIS MORNING AT DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO…

    THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED TO 47 DEGREES THIS MORNING AT THE OFFICIAL
    DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO WEATHER OBSERVING SITE. THIS TIES THE RECORD
    LOW FOR THIS DATE OF 47 DEGREES LAST SET IN 1909.

    INTERMITTENT CLIMATE DATA FOR THIS SITE GOES ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE
    GOLD RUSH DAYS OF 1849…BUT CONTINUOUS TEMPERATURE RECORDS AND DATA
    FOR DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO DIDNT START UNTIL AROUND 1871. HOWEVER
    THIS IS ONE OF THE LONGEST RUNNING CLIMATE SITES IN THE WESTERN US.

  19. RayG says:

    This is OT but the idea has a lot of merit so I hope that you will allow it to be posted in this thread where it will be near the front and thus be exposed to more readers. Thanks, RayG

    The Chiefio has proposed an interesting “citizen’s audit” a la Donna Laframboise’s citizen’s audit of the citations in AR4. (WUWT readers may already know that her team found that 30% of the cites in AR4 were from the grey or worse “literature.”) His post is titled “An Easy Airport Heat Island Audit?” I am asking WUWT readers to review and comment on the proposed methodology. Given the success that Donna Laframboise’s group enjoyed, the Chiefio’s idea may provide the basis to de-bunking the claims that there is no such thing as an AHI effect making E.M. Smith’s idea worth promoting and pursuing. http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/an-easy-airport-heat-island-audit/

  20. pete m says:

    2008 was lower at this point. See graphs 1,2,3 and 5.

  21. rbateman says:

    blackswhitewash.com says:
    May 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Nonsense is right. Nobody lives up there.
    According to the Sacramento Bee, the coldest winter for N. Calif. in 50 years.
    Wonder what the ice was doing in the Arctic in 1960?

  22. R. de Haan says:

    Joe Bastardi at his blog states:
    “I want to again have my readers understand that I have a big ice melt season predicted with levels below 08 and 09, but it should not go below 07. However a big re-freeze is coming this winter to take us back to where we were, and next year, there will not be near as much ice melt in the summer, and the summer levels that year should be the HIGHEST in a decade”.

    His blog is found at the Accu Weather website click Ireland/UK and Joe Bastardi.

  23. commieBob says:

    etudiant:
    The ice melts from the bottom up. Very roughly, it takes a certain air temperature to maintain a certain thickness of ice. We used to camp out on the ice starting when the sun came up in March and stay until the ice got too thin to land a DC-3 in May. The ice went from more than six feet to around two feet but you couldn’t tell it from the top of the ice. There was no sign of melting at all. The temperature was still well below freezing. I can remember a beautiful sunny day when the temperature went all the way up to minus 15 F. It was glorious, almost sunbathing weather.

  24. harrywr2 says:

    OT

    Humans caused global cooling 12,000 years ago by killing methane belching woolly mammoths.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/05/mammoth-extinction-triggered-climate-cooling/1

  25. Dan J says:

    It looks to me as if NSIDC ice data for the Baltic sea is lagging some weeks behind. Last week they still showed ice on the Gulf of Finland when there in reality was absolutely none. Now they show ice in the bay of Riga, where there is none. The only ice in the Baltic today is in the northernmost gulf of Bothnia. The Baltic has intense shipping all year and ice reports are available in great detail. Google Baltice or Finnish Meteorological Institute for example.

    Have no clue why NSDIC seems to exaggerate our ice cover more often than not, this is just an observation from on site…

  26. Chris Thorne says:

    There’s a wild card operating this year, and that is Icelandic volcanism.

    My assessment is that low-albedo particulate deposition, be it anthropogenic soot or natural ash, is going to come to be seen as an extremely powerful factor in Arctic ice meltback as we learn more about the cycle. Just as such particulates are now realized to be important in Himalayan glacial recession.

    So far, Eyjafjallajökull has sent most of its ash southward, but it’s clear if you look at a map that a fair percentage of the remaining ash is falling out over Arctic ice margins.

    If the far larger Katla erupts, and eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull are reliably prodromal for Katla, all bets are off.

  27. rbateman says:

    The SacBee report:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/23/2771182/its-not-your-imagination-coldest.html
    Now we’re messing with the brutality of the 1971 cold….and records are dropping.

  28. Philip Marston says:

    Another discrepancy:
    I check out the NSIDC extent map and chart every day or so, and what I can’t understand is that the gap between the ice extent shown on the maps (vis a vis the 1979-2000 average they show) appears to have narrowed over May while the gap between the two on the chart has widened progressively. I recognize that my visual ‘take” on the map is hardly an exact scientific measurement, but it seems pretty clear that the gap in extent as shown on the map has not widened by anything like the numbers shown on the chart. Perhaps the gap hasn’t in fact narrowed on the map, but it has most certainly NOT widened. Perhaps the numbers used for the chart are generated by some algorithm that doesn’t just count the number of pixels shown on the ice extent map? Perhaps there is some other explanation. But it you just eyeball the “above average” areas that are coded white and apply them against the “below average” areas that blue, the delta with the overall average has not been increasing sharply the way the delta is presented on the graph.

    Has anyone else observed the same thing? or do I need a new set of eyeballs?

  29. artwest says:

    OT:
    “Climate change concern declines in poll
    Only 62% of Britons interested in subject, down from 80% in 2006, according to YouGov survey”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/23/climate-change-interest-yougov-survey

    No link to the actual questions but it was commissioned by EDF, a power company who slather every ad break in the UK with nauseating commercials banging on about how “green” they are. Lots of shots of happy families prancing under windmills et. al.

    The other major point of the survey though, how people are becoming more relaxed about nuclear power is more potentially self-serving. It may well be true, but EDF, as front-runners for building any new stations are hardly unbiased.

    Maybe they are hedging their bets for if/when the whole green power thing stalls.

  30. Low concentration ice in the Arctic Basin is due to shear stresses on the ice. Temperatures are still too cold for any significant melt to be happening.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmp_01.fnl.gif

  31. Steven Kopits says:

    Flew back from Beijing to New York yesterday, which takes you within about 1,000 miles of the North Pole. Everything looked pretty solidly frozen up in the arctic, at least as much as I could see (there was a lot of cloud cover).

    Also, WUWT appears to be blocked in China. I couldn’t raise the website at my hotel, although I was able to access most of those sites I usually visit.

  32. kim says:

    Size matters.
    =======

  33. Brad says:

    Answered my own question, Antarctic sea ice extent up:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png

  34. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    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.”
    ——-
    ….something tells me that these guys just LOVE crunching through that ice in their icebreakers! If they’d cut that stuff out, maybe the ice could consolidate more? I mean really….Arctic vandalism!

    Oh yeah, definitely OT….GO CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS!

  35. DirkH says:

    “harrywr2 says:
    May 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm
    OT

    Humans caused global cooling 12,000 years ago by killing methane belching woolly mammoths.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/05/mammoth-extinction-triggered-climate-cooling/1

    I expected onion style spoof news there but it’s written as if it were “real” research. What am i missing? Is it so that they just get away with anything these days? Is it the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker institution of climate research?

  36. Just The Facts says:

    Brad says: May 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    “Answered my own question, Antarctic sea ice extent up:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png

    You can also see NSIDC’s Antarctic sea ice chart here;
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png

    and this is Global Sea Ice Area from Cryosphere Today:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

  37. Phil. says:

    The equivalent map below shows changes over the last week. Melt is proceeding very slowly.

    But much faster than usual at this time of year, ~70,000 km^2/day during May.
    About 1.6x the average of previous May to this date (JAXA) and 1.3x last year’s May.

    Philip Marston says:
    May 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    Another discrepancy:
    I check out the NSIDC extent map and chart every day or so, and what I can’t understand is that the gap between the ice extent shown on the maps (vis a vis the 1979-2000 average they show) appears to have narrowed over May while the gap between the two on the chart has widened progressively. I recognize that my visual ‘take” on the map is hardly an exact scientific measurement, but it seems pretty clear that the gap in extent as shown on the map has not widened by anything like the numbers shown on the chart. Perhaps the gap hasn’t in fact narrowed on the map, but it has most certainly NOT widened. Perhaps the numbers used for the chart are generated by some algorithm that doesn’t just count the number of pixels shown on the ice extent map?

    That map is very low resolution, take a look at the Nares strait between Ellesmere Island and Greenland, according to that map it’s full of ice, however JAXA and CT show it as open water. It is open water and has been for some time just like it was in 2007, allowing multiyear ice to drift south into Baffin bay.

    For an image see here:
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?2010143/crefl2_143.A2010143112000-2010143112500.500m.jpg

    At the top of this image you’ll see a large open water polynya along the Eurasian coast, can’t be seen in lo-res:

    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?T101431050

    Similarly off Barrow, Hudson Bay and Banks Island.
    If you want a better idea of where it’s melting look at CT or JAXA.
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n6250/2010/may/asi180-n6250-20100520_nic.png

  38. Chris Thorne says:
    May 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    There’s a wild card operating this year, and that is Icelandic volcanism.

    So far the ash has been the sort that clogs up jet engines, not the sort that darkens ice.

  39. Keith W. says:

    Etudiant, much of the Arctic melt is not melt so much as currents and wind pushing the ice out of the Arctic Basin into warmer waters in the North Atlantic.

    Ice extent declines because the ice is no longer there. Usually, there are limited egress points for the ice, as the ice is in large enough pieces to block certain straits. In 2007, the ice was broken up enough from the Beaufort Gyre and other currents to pass through areas that in the past have been bottlenecks.

  40. JK says:

    JDN says: “All you can get is these highly processed low resolution maps that are useless for checking on the differences of methodology & comparing it to reality.”
    Try the satellite photos, to really eye-ball it:
    http://ice-map.appspot.com/
    I would like to know what’s up with all the holes along the coasts around the Arctic Basin.

  41. JK says:

    If you go to the satellite photos, pull down the calendar and click on the 23rd, you can see a beautiful clear image of Iceland, and can zoom into it.
    http://ice-map.appspot.com/

  42. skye says:

    I am very surprised by this blog post. I don’t know why Steve does not want to admit that the ice extent has dropped below 2007 and that it is tied with 2006. This is according to both the NSIDC and the AMSR-E data from Bremen. AMSR-E is the highest resolution sea ice data out there and provides the most accurate information out of all the other estimates based on SSM/I data (which is what NORSEX and NSIDC
    rely on). Steve, why don’t you grab a MODIS image off of the MODIS rapid fire start and compare the ice edge from that to the NSIDC sea ice concentration fields. Or, use the MODIS sea ice extent product archived by NSIDC and compare that with the sea ice concentration fields from all the institutes. What you will find is that the NORSEX algorithm is underestimating the current ice extent.

    I am also surprised that you don’t mention the rate of decline and how that compares to previous years.

    And Steve you are incorrect that the surface of the ice has not started to melt. You can see this clearly in the sea ice concentration images (low ice concentration implies either open water or melt), and the MODIS images which clearly show melt on the sea ice (note the flooded areas in the MODIS images).

    And for the person who asked by NSIDC images show more ice than there actually is, this is common for regions along the coast because of coastal contamination in those pixels. Whether will also sometimes cause the algorithm to “see” ice when in fact there is none.

  43. Phil. says:

    JK says:
    May 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm
    I would like to know what’s up with all the holes along the coasts around the Arctic Basin.

    Polynyas, ice blown off shore replaced with water from under the ice. Much more evident than this time last year, more extensive than 2007 even:
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n6250/2007/may/asi-n6250-20070521-v5_nic.png
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n6250/2010/may/asi180-n6250-20100521_nic.png

  44. jeff brown says:

    Steve wrote: The little melt which has occurred since the winter peak has been at lower latitudes, as can be seen in red in the modified NSIDC map below.

    What a strange thing to say. Of course it melts first at lower latitudes, it always does. That is how it works, the temperatures rise at the lower latitudes first and spreads further north as summer progresses and temperatures rise.

    Why did you not discuss how quickly the ice has been declining this month? Also, linking to the DMI graph and saying there is little variability at this time of year (while that tends to be true) is deceiving since you are only looking at the years when AMSR-E data have been available. Why not show the full passive microwave time series? Why be selective rather than using all observational data available?

  45. JK says:

    John Egan says:
    May 23, 2010 at 11:45 am …
    Your post confuses me. Being a liberal, are you upset because he goes along with Mr. Bastardi? “I think it’s quite possible,” said Mark Serreze, making a very tentative statement – maybe because Joe is making a much more solid prediction that we will be very low?
    Then again, what does he have to do with either “Bush’s Labor Department or Hansen’s NASA-GISS”?

  46. Bill Illis says:

    You can get a nice clickable mosaic of the whole Arctic from the Modis satellites here. [Click "prev" to get a complete mosaic for the previous day. You can click on and zoom-in on any area (down to 250M resolution) or get the alternative band which shows ice as orange].

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

  47. Max Hugoson says:

    NASA’s World Wind 1.4 shows an amazing amount of snow coverage above the 49th parallel in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Commensurate with slow ICE loss in the Arctic.

    Svensmark WILL be vindicated!

  48. Charlie A says:

    The ice plots have had a couple of weird bumps. Somewhere I read that they are where the processing algorithm is changed each year. Something to do with reflectivity of ponded water on the ice, or something like that. But I thought the June glitch was June 15th, not June 1. The other bump (in October ??) isn’t generally as visible as the June bump.

    Perhaps someone with solid knowledge in this area can educate us.

    REPLY: These are recalibrations to handle meltwater ponding on the surface of the ice. This confuses the microwave sensor. It is done every year. -A

  49. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Before someone whips out the terrifying Arctic Ice Volume Anomaly chart that tells THE REAL STORY, please note the following:

    Souce page of the chart:

    Updates will be generated at 3-5 day intervals.

    Home page, “News and Noteworthy” section:

    Arctic Sea Ice Volume anomalies and trends from the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) will be continously updated here at 3-5 day intervals depending on data availability.

    The actual chart was last updated May 13, now ten days ago, when it showed a sudden and steep decline. Since then they have missed about 2 to 4 updates per the posted scheduling (which depends on data availability).

    So what happened with PIOMAS? Did the model break?

  50. rbateman says:

    Here’s the Sea Surface Temps:
    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst.html
    Are we off to sunny Greenland yet? Who wants to be a Viking?

  51. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Joe Bastardi says the green (warmth) in the ocean temperature that is heading west of Africa all the way to the Caribbean is going to cause a couple of heavy hurricanes in the USA Gulf this year.

  52. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    stevengoddard says:
    May 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Low concentration ice in the Arctic Basin is due to shear stresses on the ice. Temperatures are still too cold for any significant melt to be happening.

    Could you do a post just on “shear stresses” that explains it more?

  53. Smokey says:

    kadaka,

    I must admit that scary chart is as good as the debunked Mann chart. I would like to see a chart of the Antarctic using the same axes. But since the percentage rate of increasing Antarctic ice is greater than the percentage loss in the Arctic, they’re not allowed to show the same graph for the Antarctic according to the rules of globaloney.

    Of course the scary chart is showing purported ice volume, which at this point is tricky and more or less a WAG. Going simply by area, this shows the difference between the Arctic and Antarctica. It also shows that what is happening in the Arctic is a regional climate effect, not a global effect.

    jeff brown asks:
    May 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    “Why did you not discuss how quickly the ice has been declining this month?”

    And I ask: Why is Arctic ice currently declining faster than the average over the past 30 years? Is it because of a 0.6° global temperature rise over the past century? In other words, is it due to global warming? Or more precisely, to human CO2 emissions?

  54. R. Gates says:

    Thanks for that update Steve. I was wondering how you were going to characterize the past few weeks of arctic sea ice melt. Interesting to see your perspective, and how different it is from mine.

    Here’s an alternate perspective:

    Based on the JAXA data, 2010 seems to be experiencing an early start to the real heart of the melt season. Note especially the steep SLOPE of the 2010 melt in the last few weeks, as it crosses the slopes of 2008, 2009, 2007, 2003, & 2005.

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

    Currently, the majority (10 out of 14) the major ice basins in the arctic are showing some level of negative anomaly, with the remainder essentially right at normal. The Barantz Sea has been very negative for quite some time, and now that melt seems to be moving over to the Kara and Laptev Seas:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.7.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.8.html

    In the past 2 weeks we’ve gone from a 500,000 sq. km negative sea ice anomaly to now well over 900,000 sq. km, and actually very close to 1,000,000 sq. km.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png

    This week, temperatures above the arctic circle, in Alaska are projected to reach record highs toughing 90 degrees F:

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/tenday/99781?par=Google&site=earth.google.com&promo=0&cm_ven=bd_select&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=earth.google.com&cm_ite=map

    Here’s an alternative, (and quite accurate) rendering of current arctic sea ice conditions that many of you may not have seen before:

    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/arctic_AMSRE_visual.png

    Note especially the areas of open water near Siberia and over N. of Alaska. These open areas are not picked up or measure on some products.

    In terms of Arctic (and Global Temps), this chart tells the story:

    http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/.Global/.Atm_Temp/Anomaly.html

    It’s been warm all along and around the Arctic this past month. Temps well above normal. We’ve got a long melt season ahead, and anything can happen, but if current trends continue, 2010′s summer minimum will easily be lower than 2008 or 2009, and may even give the 2007 record low a run for the money.

    Finally, though I know some of you think think the PIOMAS model is not to be taken seriously, (but I’ve not yet heard your reasons why), I think it is very valuable to refer to it anytime you’re giving a full Arctic Sea ice update:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png

    Volume is ultimately what determines melting. Thin ice melts fast (as we saw when all the new March “bump up” ice melt away and return the Bering Sea to normal. But the warm winter (in the Arctic) really did have an impact on how thick the ice could get, and as the chart above shows, the volume of sea ice in the Arctic continues to show a very negative anomaly.

  55. Michael Ronayne says:

    WABC Sunday Evening News, May 23, 2010, just ran a story comparing climate skeptics to white supremacists.

    Climate Scientists Claim ‘McCarthy-Like Threats,’ Say They Face Intimidation, Ominous E-Mails
    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Media/climate-scientists-threat-global-warming-proponents-face-intimidation/story

    The story which broadcast this Sunday evening included screenshots from a racist website. We need to get this evening’s video recording. The above link is not quite the same story but many of the elements are the same. Start making backups of everything before they start rewriting history again. The number of lies in the report are truly unbelievable.

    Michael Ronayne

  56. Michael Ronayne says:

    Sorry bad link:

    Climate Scientists Claim ‘McCarthy-Like Threats,’ Say They Face Intimidation, Ominous E-Mails
    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Media/climate-scientists-threat-global-warming-proponents-face-intimidation/story?id=10723932

    Mike

  57. R. Gates says:

    Oops, almost forgot, here a link to an excellent (and very technical article) as to why warming temps may actually increase sea ice in Antarctica:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/Zhang_Antarctic_20-11-2515.pdf

    The nice thing about this arcticle is that is has nothing to do with the ozone depletion, as some other theories do. Feedback is most welcome!

  58. Stephan says:

    Philip

    It might just be fraud and needs investigating

  59. Michael Ronayne says:

    Here is the full text of the report as of 8:08PM EST May 23, 2010. Read the feedback to ABC News.

    Climate Scientists Claim ‘McCarthy-Like Threats,’ Say They Face Intimidation, Ominous E-Mails
    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Media/climate-scientists-threat-global-warming-proponents-face-intimidation/story?id=10723932
    Global Warming Denier Says His Side Gets Threats, Too
    By DAN HARRIS and CHRISTINE BROUWER
    May 23, 2010 —

    Climate scientist Michael Mann says he has received hundreds of them — threatening e-mails and phone calls calling him a criminal, a communist or worse.

    “6 feet under, with the roots, is were you should be,” one e-mail reads. “How know 1 one has been the livin p*ss out of you yet, i was hopin i would see the news that you commited suicide, Do it.”

    “I’ve been called just about everything in the book,” Mann, who runs of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, told ABC News. “It’s an attempt to chill the discourse, and I think that’s what’s most disconcerting.”

    Mann is not the only one. The FBI says it’s seeing an uptick in threatening communications to climate scientists. Recently, a white supremacist website posted Mann’s picture alongside several of his colleagues with the word “Jew” next to each image.

    One climate scientist, who did not wish to be identified, told ABC News he’s had a dead animal left on his doorstep, and now sometimes travels with bodyguards.

    “Human-caused climate change is a reality,” Mann said. “There are clearly some who find that message inconvenient, and unfortunately they appear willing to turn to just about any tactics to try to suppress that message.”

    Scientists See Political Campaign by Senator
    Many climate scientists, however, say the most disturbing recent example of what they call intimidation is not anonymous hate mail.

    Rather, they point to a governmental report released in February by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the most vocal climate skeptics in office, which names 17 climate scientists and argues some of them may have engaged in “potentially criminal behavior.”

    Inhofe’s report referred to an incident late last year known as “Climate Gate,” in which e-mails hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia in Britain gave the impression some climate scientists may have been trying to hide flaws in their research. Several subsequent investigations have exonerated the scientists’ work.

    One section of Inhofe’s report outlined the laws the scientists may have violated, including the Federal False Statements Act, which the report noted could be punishable with imprisonment of “not more than five years.”

    Climate Scientist: ‘Modern-Day McCarthyism’
    “It’s reminiscent of other periods in American history,” Gavin Schmidt, a NASA climatologist named in Inhofe’s report, told ABC News. “People were smeared not on the basis of anything they did but just by powerful people seeming to … insinuate that they’ve somehow done something wrong.”
    Mann agreed.

    “Some of the attacks that are being made against climate scientists smack of modern-day McCarthyism,” he said.

    Inhofe: ‘The Public Needs to Know’
    Inhofe refused to grant ABC News an interview, citing the network’s previous coverage of climate change. But in a statement, he said: “One of the most basic principles of good science is openness and transparency. … As the climate e-mail controversy revealed, it appears some of the taxpayer-funded science used to advance cap-and-trade legislation is being hidden from public view. … The public needs to know whether the research they fund is reliable, objective, and easily accessible.”

    Marc Morano, who used to be Inhofe’s spokesman and is now one of the most vocal climate skeptics in the country, told ABC News that the skeptics have been getting threats for years.

    “No one is advocating violence,” Morano said, “but it is refreshing to see these scientists hear from the public. When you go to a used-car salesman and you get conned … you don’t go back to the used-car dealer all happy and pleasant. You have a lot of anger, and that’s what these scientists are appropriately feeling.”

    Gavin Schmidt of NASA dismissed the idea that climate change is a hoax.

    “It’s nonsense,” Schmidt said. “Scientists are hyper competitive. … The idea that you could fool all of these people or get them to just buy into some global conspiracy, is laughable.”

    Many scientists say the harassment they endure stifles scientific discovery and progress.

    “Good scientists just go where the evidence takes them,” said Peter Gleick, a hydro-climatologist and president of the Pacific Institute. “The idea that they would be limited by politicians in what they can evaluate or study or say, is anathema to them.”

    Scientists Issue Public Letter
    Gleick, along with 254 other members of the National Academy of Sciences, recently signed a public letter calling for an end to the intimidation of climate scientists.

    “Many recent assaults on climate science, and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory,” read the letter, which was published in Science magazine earlier this month.

    “We … call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distraction to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them,” the letter continued.

    Gavin Schmidt of NASA said attacks are meant to keep scientists from speaking out about climate change in public.

    “They’re trying to dissuade people from being involved in the public discussion about what this means and what we can do to prevent it,” he said. “I think people who care about the integrity of science in this country should find that worrying.”

  60. Enneagram says:

    Artic´s behaviour is becoming suspicious, it is showing some “conservative” tendencies when trying to preserve its own ice.

  61. Smokey says:

    Michael Ronayne,

    So, in addition to being compared with Holocaust deniers, those who are merely skeptical of the CAGW conjecture are now being compared with white supremacists?? Can comparisons with child molesters be far behind?

    People sure go off the deep end when their gravy train is threatened.

    It reminds me of Johnny Cochran’s frank admission after he successfully defended O.J. Simpson: “We played the race card, and we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”

    Maybe there should be a corollary to Godwin’s Law: Cochran’s Law, stating that the first one to refer to skeptics as deniers or racists loses the debate.

  62. Gail Combs says:

    stevengoddard says:
    May 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Low concentration ice in the Arctic Basin is due to shear stresses on the ice. Temperatures are still too cold for any significant melt to be happening.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmp_01.fnl.gif
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Steve, do you know what is happening with the ocean temps and the wind up there. I would expect that has a lot more to do with ice melt than the air temp, especially at this time of year.

    TheArctic Oscillation is still negative but certainly not as negative as in mid winter. The North Atlantic Oscillation has also head back to a more neutral state. Anthony discusses what effect this has on the Arctic Sea Ice and N.H. weather in this article.

    If Anthony is correct a negative Arctic Oscillation shoves cold air into the lower latitudes which explains why California has record breaking cold this month and we saw 35F here in North Carolina a few days ago. It also means the winds in the Arctic are less strong and the Arctic Stratosphere is warmer as shown in this illustration from NSIDC by J. Wallace, University of Washington

    Therefore I am assuming the loss of Arctic sea ice is probably due to the hot spot in the Atlantic ocean between Canada and Greenland. It is running close to three degrees higher than the norm.

    One area that is completely neglected is volcanic activity in the ocean. It seems there is a heck of a lot more going on than we think.

    “…If you sought to delve into the forces that drive and shape the face of the earth and that distinguish it from all other planets in our solar system, you would shine a spotlight on the mid-ocean ridges.

    This—75,000 kilometer (45,000 miles) long—volcanic mountain chain bisects the seafloor and wraps around the entire globe. It is the site where magma continuously erupts to create new crust. As the crust spreads out on both sides of the ridges, it paves the surface of the planet and sets in motion the tectonic forces that cause continents to rip apart and collide, and oceans to open and close.

    This planetary extravaganza, full of fury and sound, is accompanied by a constant drumbeat of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. But the oceans act like a great blue curtain, completely shrouding our view and muting the sound. About 80 percent of all volcanic and earthquake activity on Earth occurs on the seafloor…” Hydrophones reveal a whole lot of previously undetected seafloor shaking: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 2004

  63. JK says:

    Smokey says:
    May 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm (Something about Antarctic ice volume)

    Antarctic ice has a much larger melt/freeze cycle, with much less ice remaining at the end of the melt (and in about the same place), so volume really isn’t such an issue there.

  64. pat says:

    tax-payer-funded ABC already has this story up, in a piece called “Carbon dioxide affecting coral growth”. in other words, both pieces give the impression results are in, but this lengthy article – read it all – suggests otherwise. goes off at length into “ocean acidification”. BBC already there!!

    24 May: SydneyMorningHerald, Australia: Underwater lab the first to plot impact of climate change on reefs
    by Jo Chandler
    ON AN idyllic coral atoll just a two-hour boat ride from Queensland’s Gladstone Harbour, out past the endless line of tankers queued to load coal for export, a half-dozen scientists work frantically against the tide.
    Their objective? To explore the consequences of rising atmospheric carbon – which evidence overwhelmingly attributes to the burning of coal and other fossil fuels – on the delicate chemistry of the reef and the creatures living there.
    The project team, led by David Kline, a young scientist from the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, is completing tests on a new underwater laboratory that will expose living corals on the Great Barrier Reef to the more acidic conditions forecast for oceans by the end of the century…
    ”This system here is the heart of the experiment,” Dr Kline explains to a film crew from the BBC natural history unit as he stands in the shallows, patting his hand on a floating platform loaded with pumps, cables and 50 instruments, all in constant conversation with ”the brains” – a computer program running in a laboratory a few metres away on shore.
    International interest is high because this is the first in situ investigation of its type. Findings from the Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment (FOCE) project will be keenly studied by scientists around the world…
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/underwater-lab-the-first-to-plot-impact-of-climate-change-on-reefs-20100523-w3z7.html

  65. u.k.(us) says:

    R. Gates says:
    May 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm
    Oops, almost forgot, here a link to an excellent (and very technical article) as to why warming temps may actually increase sea ice in Antarctica:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/Zhang_Antarctic_20-11-2515.pdf

    The nice thing about this arcticle is that is has nothing to do with the ozone depletion, as some other theories do. Feedback is most welcome!
    ===============
    Last I heard, the discussion was about CO2.

  66. Just The Facts says:

    R. Gates says: May 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    “Oops, almost forgot, here a link to an excellent (and very technical article) as to why warming temps may actually increase sea ice in Antarctica:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/Zhang_Antarctic_20-11-2515.pdf
    The nice thing about this arcticle is that is has nothing to do with the ozone depletion, as some other theories do. Feedback is most welcome!”

    Interestingly, the article you cite is by the same Dr. Jinlun Zhang who is responsible for the garbage Arctic Sea Ice Volume chart and supporting model that kadaka (KD Knoebel) May 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm posted above:

    “Before someone whips out the terrifying Arctic Ice Volume Anomaly chart that tells THE REAL STORY, please note the following:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png

    If you look here:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php
    you can see how Dr. Zhang voodooed up that garbage.
    Here’s his bio:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/people/staff_pages/Zhang_Jinlun/home.php

    It appears that Dr. Jinlun Zhang is one of the Warmist’s point people for producing misleading research reports on sea ice. I wonder if Dr. Zhang has received any public funds that would justify an investigation into his methods…

  67. Bill Illis says:

    R. Gates,

    You should just quit using the Polar Science Centre PIOMAS ice volume chart because the math does not work with it. You can figure out on your own why it doesn’t.

    And your much touted Zhang Polar Science Centre researcher had one of the worst predictions for last year’s ice extent (along with the other PSC scientists which all tied for third worst – even the highest forecast from the Canadian Ice Service was low by 10% – Zhang by 30% .)

    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2009_outlook/full_report_june.php

  68. Just The Facts says:

    Here’s more detail on Zhang’s model:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Global_seaice/model.html

    “Satellite sea ice concentration data are assimilated in GIOMAS using the Lindsay and Zhang (2005) assimilation procedure. The procedure is based on “nudging” the model estimate of ice concentration toward the observed concentration in a manner that emphasizes the ice extent and minimizes the effect of observational errors in the interior of the ice pack.”

    WTF is “nudging”?

    Here’s where Dr. Jinlun Zhang got the funds to support his adventures in “nudging”:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Global_seaice/ack.html

  69. jeff brown says:

    Bill, it’s’ curious that the PIOMAS model estimates did pretty well during the ICESat era. Given the in situ observations of the ice cover and the current rapid decline, it’s more likely than not that PIOMAS volume estimates are close to reality.
    When the ice cover plummets again this summer perhaps then you’ll realize that the ice is indeed on “thin ice”

  70. starzmom says:

    If temperatures in the Arctic are below freezing, is ice melt really happening, or is ice leaving the Arctic through the various straits? Having just flown over the strait between Greenland and Iceland–a diversion courtesy of the unpronounceable volcano–I can tell you from first hand observation that quite a lot of ice is flowing through that strait. There was so much ice that the currents were very visible.

  71. nedhead says:

    Just The Facts says:
    May 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm Actually Zhang has been known to investigate sea ice links to natural variability. Just do a google search on his articles related to sea ice loss. Before you start spouting off, you may want to check your facts.

  72. nedhead says:

    JK says:
    May 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Smokey says:
    May 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm (Something about Antarctic ice volume)

    Antarctic ice has a much larger melt/freeze cycle, with much less ice remaining at the end of the melt (and in about the same place), so volume really isn’t such an issue there.

    Smokey, you don’t seem to realize that Antarctic sea ice is a seasonal ice cover, most of it melts out every summer. This is the direction the Arctic ice cover is heading towards…

  73. Smokey says:

    nedhead,

    You don’t seem to realize what “global” means. If there is diminishing Arctic ice, but Antarctic ice is the same as usual, then the Arctic is simply showing local climate effects.

    The question is about global warming [or cooling], not about local variability; that happens all the time, and in this case the Arctic will eventually revert to the mean, as it always does.

  74. Just The Facts says:

    nedhead says: May 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm
    “Just The Facts says:
    May 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm Actually Zhang has been known to investigate sea ice links to natural variability. Just do a google search on his articles related to sea ice loss. Before you start spouting off, you may want to check your facts.”

    Google? I posted Zhang’s bio above:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/people/staff_pages/Zhang_Jinlun/home.php
    which lists all his papers through 2008.

    Here are few examples of his work:
    “Zhang, J., R.W. Lindsay , M. Steele, and A. Schweiger, What drove the dramatic retreat of Arctic sea ice during summer 2007? Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L11505, doi:10.1029/2008GL034005, 2008.”
    Dramatic indeed…

    “Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, A. G. Slater, M. Steele, J. Zhang, and K. E. Trenberth, The large-scale energy budget of the Arctic, J. Geophys Res., 112, D11122, doi: 10.1029/2006JD008230, 2007.”
    Collaborating with Trenberth and Serreze, nuff said…

    “Lindsay, R. W. and J. Zhang, The thinning of arctic sea ice, 1988–2003: have we passed a tipping point? J. Climate, 18, 4879–4894, 2005.”
    A tipping point, why yes, it seems that you’ve sold out your scientific objectivity and are now officially a Warmist advocate…

    Who care’s if some of Dr. Jinlun Zhang papers explored natural variability? Zhang appears to be a source a Warmist propaganda, and a few potentially legitimate papers in no way negates that…

  75. rbateman says:

    Back to the picture in Time Magazine, March 17, 1959. USS Skate in open waters at the North Pole.
    Following is a cold winter. Up goes the winds to the Arctic, down goes the cold air to Western US.
    Some things begin to make more sense.
    Great for subs at the North Pole.

  76. JDN says:

    JK says:
    May 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks JK, but, those images have lots of cloud cover, no reference frame, and still not enough resolution. Are these really the images people use to determine ice cover?

    Also, my gripe was that these agencies aren’t putting their cards on the table. If you have an image that’s raw data and a pixel is marked as ice or not ice, you can actually go to that site to determine the truth. That’s not possible without *their* data and *their* markup of their data. Am I just finding out about a well-known problem?

  77. nedhead says:

    Smokey says:
    May 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm
    You don’t seem to realize what “global” means. If there is diminishing Arctic ice, but Antarctic ice is the same as usual, then the Arctic is simply showing local climate effects.

    The question is about global warming [or cooling], not about local variability; that happens all the time, and in this case the Arctic will eventually revert to the mean, as it always does.
    ————-

    Smokey you don’t seem to understand the different processes that control the Arctic and Antarctic climates. For starters, the Arctic is surrounded by land, whereas the Antarctic is surrounded by oceans. Thus, the ocean is a very important factor in Antarctic climate, which has a very large heat capacity. To assume that both poles will respond in the exactly same way is very naiiive of you. Remember, global warming does not mean warming everywhere. It is simply an average of the entire planet, but some regions may show pronounced warming such as the Arctic, whereas other regions may be showing little or reverse warming trends. Climate models have always predicted this to be the case, and observations agree..

  78. Phil. says:

    JDN says:
    May 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm
    JK says:
    May 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks JK, but, those images have lots of cloud cover, no reference frame, and still not enough resolution. Are these really the images people use to determine ice cover?

    No, they were actual images taken with MODIS for you to compare with the Microwave images (they have the ability to see through clouds).

    Also, my gripe was that these agencies aren’t putting their cards on the table. If you have an image that’s raw data and a pixel is marked as ice or not ice, you can actually go to that site to determine the truth. That’s not possible without *their* data and *their* markup of their data. Am I just finding out about a well-known problem?

    No, it’s possible to do what ask, you can get the raw data but it isn’t an image.
    How it can be used to make an image is described in several places, I find the papers by Spreen et al very useful:
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/amsre.html
    Comparison with the MODIS images when viewing conditions are good allows anyone to see how accurate the representation is. Having done that on numerous occasions is why I prefer JAXA and CT.

  79. JK says:

    JDN says:
    May 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm
    “Thanks JK, but, those images have lots of cloud cover, no reference frame, and still not enough resolution. Are these really the images people use to determine ice cover?”
    I believe they use microwave, not visible light, sensors. Reference is the land and islands. You can go to the calendar and pick different days with different cloud cover. You can zoom with the gadget in upper left corner. You can actually see the ice cover.

    I think you can get the raw data and work it up yourself. I seem to recall someone doing that a few years ago. Since people can get confirmation from airplanes, satellite imagery, ships, etc., I find it doubtful all these various agencies around the world are fudging the data in unison. But that’s why I like to look at the pics.

  80. JK says:

    rbateman says:
    May 23, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Back to the picture in Time Magazine, March 17, 1959. USS Skate in open waters at the North Pole.

    Wasn’t open water, it was ice about 2 feet thick on a frozen polynya (I read the account of it once).

  81. R. Gates says:

    jeff brown says:
    May 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    Bill, it’s’ curious that the PIOMAS model estimates did pretty well during the ICESat era. Given the in situ observations of the ice cover and the current rapid decline, it’s more likely than not that PIOMAS volume estimates are close to reality.
    When the ice cover plummets again this summer perhaps then you’ll realize that the ice is indeed on “thin ice”

    ________________

    Bill, I agree, but the proof will only come over time, but those who have called Dr. Zhang science “garbage” will not pay attention when his PIOMAS model is proven once more as very solid and they’ll have to figure out omething else to focus their “skepticism” on…

  82. nedhead says:

    Just The Facts says:
    May 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Exactly, why don’t you read his paper that discusses what drove the dramatic retreat of the ice in 2007. If you do you will understand that he talks about weather patterns, not GHG-warming. Zhang like most all other Arctic scientists spend hours looking at the factors causing the ice loss in the Arctic. Which although Steve doesn’t want to admit it, is declining despite the extremely negative AO this winter. The fact is, the Arctic ice pack continues to shrink each year no matter what sort of natural weather patterns act on it. Natural variability is not explaining the Arctic sea ice decline, and hasn’t for quite some time now.

  83. R. Gates says:

    Smokey says:
    May 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm
    nedhead,

    You don’t seem to realize what “global” means. If there is diminishing Arctic ice, but Antarctic ice is the same as usual, then the Arctic is simply showing local climate effects.
    __________________

    Nope, two vastly different climate dynamical systems in the Arctic and Antarctic. The alternative possibility to your assertion would be that the Arctic is responding differently to AGW than the Antarctic because it IS so different.

  84. R. Gates says:

    starzmom says:
    May 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    If temperatures in the Arctic are below freezing, is ice melt really happening, or is ice leaving the Arctic through the various straits? Having just flown over the strait between Greenland and Iceland–a diversion courtesy of the unpronounceable volcano–I can tell you from first hand observation that quite a lot of ice is flowing through that strait. There was so much ice that the currents were very visible.

    ______________

    Starmon, your observations are very astute. The increase in ice flowing through the Fram Strait and down the east coast of Greenland picked up quite a bit in the past few months. The last NSIDC update reported:

    “A weaker Transpolar Drift Stream also slowed the movement of ice from the Siberian coast of Russia across the Arctic basin, and reduced ice flow out of Fram Strait. The wind pattern changed in March, when the Arctic Oscillation went into a more neutral phase. As a result, the flow of ice sped up through Fram Strait and along the coast of Greenland. This pattern helps to remove older ice from the central Arctic, pushing it toward the warm waters of the North Atlantic, where it will melt.”

    Also, as discussed many times here, a great deal of the melting of sea ice is not from above, but from below. There’s been a lot of warm water near Greenland and in the North Atlantic. See for example:

    http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/.Global/.Ocean_Temp/Anomaly.html

    And look at all that warm water up there. It is also true that the air temps have been warmer, but this warmer water, has been flowing under the ice and melting it from below in areas around Greenland and up over into the Barants sea. Combine this melting from below, with the warmer air temps, and well, you get a big early melt in these areas. See:

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

    Despite what others may post here, you can see from these charts, which are quite accurate:

    http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/.Global/.Ocean_Temp/Anomaly.html

    http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/.Global/.Atm_Temp/Anomaly.html

    That the area of N. Canada and over into Greenland and futher on into the Barants have been quite warm for many months in both ocean and air temps. There’s nothing the ice can do under these conditions…but melt.

  85. Anu says:

    Very impressive, making an animation video showing ” the entire month of May”, especially since more than a week of it lies in the future.

    And although smoothing out that little bump in
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    is indeed interesting, I think more interesting is the fact that 2010 dropped like a rock from being the highest sea ice extent in the IARC-JAXA 2002 to 2010 data to cutting across the curves for 2009, then 2008, then 2003, then 2005, then 2007. (The curve for 2002 started in June, so we’ll soon be below that one, too)

    Next up: 2004, then 2006.
    The Arctic is still running well below freezing, and as a result there just isn’t much happening,
    I guess you haven’t been watching the “dropping like a rock” part.

    More interesting is what is going at the South Pole.
    What have you been Smokeying ?
    This is WUWT Arctic Sea Ice News #6
    Arctic. The pole that is melting.

    Well, IARC-JAXA only started in 2002. What about satellite data back to 1972 ?
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png
    Huh.
    Looks like this summer melt season might be an eye opener.

  86. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    John Egan says:
    May 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Mark Serreze also says this in the 5/20/10 article:

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

    Still on the ‘death spiral’. He hasn’t changed.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/arctic-sea-ice-heading-for-new-record-low/article1575212/

  87. Just The Facts says:

    nedhead says: May 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm
    “Exactly, why don’t you read his paper that discusses what drove the dramatic retreat of the ice in 2007. If you do you will understand that he talks about weather patterns, not GHG-warming. Zhang like most all other Arctic scientists spend hours looking at the factors causing the ice loss in the Arctic. Which although Steve doesn’t want to admit it, is declining despite the extremely negative AO this winter. The fact is, the Arctic ice pack continues to shrink each year no matter what sort of natural weather patterns act on it. Natural variability is not explaining the Arctic sea ice decline, and hasn’t for quite some time now.”

    You mean this paper;
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Pubs/Zhang_etal2008GL034005.pdf

    that begins with, “A model study has been conducted of the unprecedented retreat of arctic sea ice in the summer of 2007. It is found that preconditioning, anomalous winds, and ice-albedo feedback are mainly responsible for the retreat.” before adding in the standard unfounded Warmist mantra in the third sentence that “Arctic sea ice in 2007 was preconditioned to radical changes after years of shrinking and thinning in a warm climate.”?

    Or do you prefer the conclusion that begins with,
    “[15] The dramatic decline of the arctic ice cover in summer 2007 occurred after years of shrinking and thinning (Figures 1a, 3a, and 3b) in a warming environment [Hassol, 2004].”

    In terms of your argument that, “Natural variability is not explaining the Arctic sea ice decline, and hasn’t for quite some time now.” we have 31 years of sea ice data on a 4.5 billion year old planet. Humans have a rudimentary understanding of Earth’s natural variability, hence no one accurately predicted the decline in Arctic sea ice in 2007, subsequent recovery, and seemingly odd behavior over the last several months. This does not mean that natural variability is not responsible for it, but rather that you, I, Zhang and everyone else do not currently understand the immensely complex natural variability of Earth’s climate system. Instead of deluding yourself into a false sense of understanding Earth’s climate system, try to learn to embrace the uncertainty, as it will likely be around for many generations to come…

  88. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Bill Illis says:
    May 23, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    It seems to argue data with those of his ilk is useless. Data isn’t what they’re concerned about—unless it’s methods methods for manipulating the real data. You have to argue with their vivid imaginations. Because making imaginations somehow believable is the business they are in.

  89. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Everything happening with Arctic ice is within normal variation. Nothing unusual is happening with it. But some people here sure are spending a lot of time drumming up ways to make it look like unusual things are happening there. Like the one guy that said the Arctic “enjoyed warm conditions” last winter. So because it was -57 F on some days instead of -60 F it was enjoyable weather. That’s “warm conditions” t-shirt weather! See how that goes?

    The sky is always falling with them.

    I wonder how they are explaining the unusually cold spring in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington? Oh wait, that’s just ‘weather’ in which case the sky isn’t falling. If it was unusually warm in the same area then the sky would be falling—just like the sky was falling because of the warm weather for the Olympics in Vancouver.

  90. pat says:

    Very interesting. Wonder how long the fake figures can roam the scientific community before the fleas start the scratch.

  91. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    Mark Serrezes’ prediction for Arctic ice this summer:

    Dr. 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.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/arctic-sea-ice-heading-for-new-record-low/article1575212/

  92. Richard111 says:

    I cannot understand all this involved discussion. We have been told, no ifs ands or buts, that the Arctic ice will be gone in the summer of 2013. Not long to wait.

  93. Stephen Wilde says:

    The whole satellite era of polar ice concentration occurred during a period of highly positive Arctic Oscillation (AO) whilst at the same time the sun was more disturbed than previously observed over the past 500 years and the ocean surfaces were warmer than ever previously observed due to a run of powerful El Nino events during a 30 year warm phase of the PDO.

    Now all three influences are trending in the opposite direction, namely a quiet sun, a negative PDO and a negative Arctic Oscillation.

    Leaving aside for the moment the likelihood that all three phenomena are in some way linked the fact is we have no experience as to how the profile of the Arctic ice extent chart varies during a year with all three influences running opposite to the previous 30 years.

    I suspect that larger intra annual variability would be a likely natural outcome simply because a negative Arctic Oscillation gives larger and longer latitudinal flows of air into and out of the Arctic region as compared to a positive Arctic Oscillation.

    It has already been noted by many that when the AO is negative the air circulation systems move equatorward giving more ‘loopiness’ in the jets. The larger swings in Arctic ice cover would be a natural consequence.

  94. kwik says:

    R. Gates says:
    May 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Ice melts when it gets in contact with hot water. Nothing to do with CO2.

  95. rbateman says:

    Anu says:
    May 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Yes, the summer melt might be an eye-opener, but not anywhere near as eye-opening as the continual stream of heat transferred to the poles while cold air rains down upon the Temperate Zone’s Agriculture.
    What happens next year when there’s no El Nino to moderate?

  96. Cris says:

    “The equivalent map below shows changes over the last week. Melt is proceeding very slowly.”

    That statment is just plain wrong, given that we are likely to see the largest May ice area loss recorded.

    Still as you say early days yet, July will be the real indicator.

  97. Smokey says:

    nedhead, May 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm:

    “Smokey you don’t seem to understand the different processes that control the Arctic and Antarctic climates.”

    That’s right, I don’t.

    But I understand that the currently diminishing Arctic ice cover is not declining due to geography, as you claim: “…the Arctic is surrounded by land, whereas the Antarctic is surrounded by oceans.”

    If geography were the cause, the Arctic would always have little ice. Instead, the ice extent is declining from what had been significantly greater ice cover.

    How did that greater ice cover build up, prior to 1979? Since you claim to have the answers, tell us why it can not be due to local climate changes.

  98. wayne Job says:

    Why all the concern over the arctic ice, it is proof of nothing, my take on history and geology would have me believe that the north pole was very free of ice in summer in the warmest period of our current interglacial. Greenland and iceland were very conducive to habitation. Travels in my land Australia in my youth, camping in the gibba plains, thousands of flat square miles in the never, never of polished flint like stones full of very fresh looking shells of sea creatures. Tends to make me believe that a vast inland sea prevailed in the not to distant past. That would imply a heightened sea level. Not unexpected if the ice levels of the world were some what depleted.
    My problem is that this peak of warmth has passed and the AGW is a fraud, on my part I wish it were true, the ice cores say otherwise. I fear that we are on a very slippery slope, on the wrong side of an interglacial. This is a time in history to invest in the coal and oil industry to ensure a rich future for your children.

  99. Gail Combs says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    May 23, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    “The whole satellite era of polar ice concentration occurred during a period of highly positive Arctic Oscillation (AO) whilst at the same time the sun was more disturbed than previously observed over the past 500 years and the ocean surfaces were warmer than ever previously observed due to a run of powerful El Nino events during a 30 year warm phase of the PDO.

    Now all three influences are trending in the opposite direction, namely a quiet sun, a negative PDO and a negative Arctic Oscillation……

    I suspect that larger intra annual variability would be a likely natural outcome simply because a negative Arctic Oscillation gives larger and longer latitudinal flows of air into and out of the Arctic region as compared to a positive Arctic Oscillation.

    It has already been noted by many that when the AO is negative the air circulation systems move equatorward giving more ‘loopiness’ in the jets. The larger swings in Arctic ice cover would be a natural consequence.”
    _________________________________________________________________________
    There are natural cycles of about 60 yrs (ocean) and 200 yrs (sun), but we only have data for about 30 yrs so there is no way in heck we have a good handle on the natural variability or what the “true average is”. The whole darn subject and the graphs are very misleading and designed to cause alarm.

    The graph uses data from 1979 to 2006 to compute the average. This is less than the thirty years that cover 1/2 an ocean cycle (In my numerous statistics classes I was taught to always use a minimum sample size of 30.) SO what part of the relevant ocean cycles does the average cover?

    This Wiki graph PDO (1650 to 1991) shows the PDO was mainly in a warm phase for 1979 to 2006. A more recent graph from NOAA shows there were only three years with a strongly negative PDO included in the infamous “average”.

    This article shows both the arctic oscillation and the atmospheric pressure over the north pole were mainly positive.

    And again the North Atlantic Oscillation was also strongly positive through the period.
    Wiki NAO graph

    The AMO went from negative to positive during the time period. Wiki -AMO graph

    The sun has also been in a more active phase during that time period sunspot proxy Here is a more complete look at the subject of the Sun’s activity and TSI over time

    Not only is the “average” used for comparison a poor proxy for the “true mean” given it does not include a sampling of all the natural variability, but the gray area signifying “normal” is only one standard deviation from the average. Only 68% of data are within one standard deviation of the mean. So that is meant to cause alarm and mislead too.

    The gray area should be 2.5 STD or at least 2 STD since 95% of individuals will have values within 2 standard deviations of the mean. I am sure those constructing the graph know this and that is why they chose to use only one standard deviation.

    The “system” has been building “heat” for thirty years we are at the top of the sine curves starting on the downward slope. However just like you can not stop and turn an ocean liner like you can a quarter horse, you can not expect the “system” to change directions in a couple of years. I have no idea what the lag time is but given the changes we saw in the weather patterns last winter, I think the weather will be different (and colder) in the next thirty years than the last thirty.

    To be complete the cosmic ray count during the period. Note how 2009 has the highest cosmic ray count during the time period shown (1965 to 2009).

  100. Anu says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    May 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm
    Everything happening with Arctic ice is within normal variation. Nothing unusual is happening with it…

    Is this just a “gut feeling”, or are you talking about the satellite record ?
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png

    Are you talking about “normal variation’ between Snowball Earth and Tropical Dinosaur Planet, or something more recent ? Pleistocene ? Holocene ?

    Why not make things interesting by actually saying something – “summer sea ice extent will not go below 2007 levels in the next 60 years” – that is falsifiable ?
    You seem to like quoting Dr. Serreze – are you trying to say that his predictions are outside the realm of “normal variation” ? “Unusual” ?
    “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.

    I take it that means you think we won’t break another record this year ? Or are you not actually saying anything ?

  101. Nightvid says:

    Hmmmm. I find it both odd and rather unusual for Cryosphere Today to be contradicting themselves so much…The “Compare Daily Sea Ice” map for 5/23/2010 shows considerably more ice in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea than their main page image. Of course, it’s really all moot what happens outside the Arctic Basin proper…we know that all of this will melt completely in the coming weeks…as it always has. Nevertheless, I watch it on a daily basis if for no other reason than the fact that I find it more entertaining than watching football!

  102. Nightvid says:

    Stop attacking the guys at NSIDC like that for talking about the chance of spectacular melt seasons. If the weather forecast says a chance of rain and there is not a drop, do you stop paying attention to them? If you read carefully, the NSIDC press releases do mention the fact that what happens will depend on cloud cover and wind patterns (aka: weather) in the summer.

  103. Vincent says:

    R. Gates,

    “The alternative possibility to your assertion would be that the Arctic is responding differently to AGW than the Antarctic because it IS so different.”

    Let me see if I understand this. The Antarctic is responding differently to global warming by freezing up. And that of course, proves global warming all the better.

  104. Vincent says:

    nedhead,

    “Remember, global warming does not mean warming everywhere.”

    So, global warming is not – global.

  105. wildred says:

    Just The Facts says:
    May 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    As you yourself state, Zhang talks about preconditioning from a warming world. The reality is that the Arctic has been warming and so have global temperatures. Regardless of what has caused those temperatures to rise, Zhang is correct that it’s a warming world at the moment. If he doesn’t explicitly state GHG-induced warming, then he isn’t explicitly stating that GHGs are the reason for the observed warmth. Best to stick with what is written and not bias it according to what you want to believe he has written.

  106. jeff brown says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    May 23, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    The whole satellite era of polar ice concentration occurred during a period of highly positive Arctic Oscillation (AO) whilst at the same time the sun was more disturbed than previously observed over the past 500 years and the ocean surfaces were warmer than ever previously observed due to a run of powerful El Nino events during a 30 year warm phase of the PDO.
    ——————
    Stephen, no it didn’t. The AO was positive in the late 1980s/early 1990s and has been negative or neutral in all other years of the satellite data record (which is way more than the 5 or 6 strongly positive AO years). And what evidence do you have for a more disturbed sun (not even sure what that means), and can you also show how the El Nino was unusual these past 30 years?

  107. geo says:

    I’d call it 5 weeks to the beginning of “interesting”.

    May 1-July 1 just isn’t interesting. People are fretting that 2010 has gone below 2007. Yes, well take a closer look. 2007 was above 2006 at this point with clear daylight between them on the JAXA graph –how’d that work out in the end?

    Also note that the great “death spiral is HERE!” year of 2007, shown loving as a comparison on NSIDCs current daily graphs, during this “bottleneck” period of May 1-July 1, is bumping along the bottom of their standard deviation bars. Compare that to April 1 where there is a large gap on 2007 vs the SD bars. More than anything that should tell you that May 1-July 1 just isn’t indicative of much of anything at all as to eventual extent minimum. I’ve been saying that since the middle of April, so no revisionist history there from me.

    What matters during this May 1-July 1 period, as Steve pointed out, is what he called the Arctic basin, and what I usually call “the central core”. And the ice concentrations in it looks very good indeed right now compared to previous years. I could wish Steve had done that animation for 2008 as well for comparison purposes.

    It’s worth remembering the compare tool at Crysophere uses a different color legend than the full scale pics. What is a light purple on the compare tool would be yellow or green on the large pics if you want to make that kind of translation. But for apples-to-apples comparisons of previous years that doesn’t matter –and those previous years have a lot more 80% or less concentration areas in the central core/arctic basin than 2010 does.

  108. Tim Clark says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:May 23, 2010 at 11:15 pm
    Mark Serrezes’ prediction for Arctic ice this summer:

    Dr. 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.

    I’m going to stick my neck way out here and predict that regardless of any external factors other than the sun, the decline is going to speed up in August and September, then quit.

  109. nedhead says:

    Gail writes:I suspect that larger intra annual variability would be a likely natural outcome simply because a negative Arctic Oscillation gives larger and longer latitudinal flows of air into and out of the Arctic region as compared to a positive Arctic Oscillation.

    Gail, I suspect more interannual variability as the ice cover continues to thin. This is because when the ice is thin an anomalous summer can promote large ice loss, whereas when the ice is thicker you may have a lot of melt, but not much change in extent. Conversely, during atmospheric conditions that favor ice retention, all you need is a thin layer of sea ice to survive to cause the extent to tick back up. Eventually however, the ice becomes too thin to survive regardless of the summer weather patterns. You can see a change in variance of the September sea ice extent over time…

  110. geo says:

    The ice concentration picture in the central core would actually support a higher prediction than my 6.0-6.2M prediction of extent minimum (made in late March). However, I’d have to have better historical daily thickness data to go out any further on the limb. I do think it is pretty clear, however, that the improved multi-year ice picture of 2010 vs 2009 and 2008 is making itself felt in the concentration numbers in the core. Thinner ice breaks up more easily/rapidly than thicker ice. Not a lot of “rotten ice” in the core right now vs 2008 or 2007 or 2006.

  111. Pascvaks says:

    It is so obvious that what the world needs today is someone who can tell us all what is, and is not, true. There is just no other solution. Let us dumb together and agree once and for all time, that henseforth and evermore the UN Secretary General shall have the Power of Infallibility. If he says it’s raining, it’s raining. If he says it’s melting, it’s melting. If he says I’m wrong, you’re wrong, we’re all wrong, then by gumbo, we’re wrong. Of course, the reverse is also true; we have a chance of being right sometimes too. Life is just so complicated and people are just too greedy and out for their own gain. I tell you we must do this to save us from ourselves (especially the ourselves that have so much more than the rest of us have).

    PS: We probably ought to make the UNSG position a lifetime appointment –you know like the Pope and Iran’s Supreme Iatola and the Queen and the Japanese Emperor. One day we can have Utopia. If we only believe!

  112. Anu says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 24, 2010 at 5:38 am

    There are natural cycles of about 60 yrs (ocean) and 200 yrs (sun), but we only have data for about 30 yrs so there is no way in heck we have a good handle on the natural variability or what the “true average is”. The whole darn subject and the graphs are very misleading and designed to cause alarm.

    The graph uses data from 1979 to 2006 to compute the average. This is less than the thirty years that cover 1/2 an ocean cycle (In my numerous statistics classes I was taught to always use a minimum sample size of 30.) SO what part of the relevant ocean cycles does the average cover?
    How about 38 years of data ?
    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png
    The Nimbus 5 ESMR data started from 1972.

    Here’s a paper that discusses the Arctic sea ice extent in the 70′s:
    http://www.tos.org/oceanography/issues/issue_archive/issue_pdfs/6_1/6.1_barry_et_al.pdf
    See Figure 3 for 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976 summer Arctic sea ice minimums – “about 8 * 10^6 km^2″
    Compare with:
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091005_Figure3.png
    Doesn’t look like a 60 year ocean cycle to me.


    Not only is the “average” used for comparison a poor proxy for the “true mean” given it does not include a sampling of all the natural variability, but the gray area signifying “normal” is only one standard deviation from the average. Only 68% of data are within one standard deviation of the mean. So that is meant to cause alarm and mislead too.

    The gray area should be 2.5 STD or at least 2 STD since 95% of individuals will have values within 2 standard deviations of the mean. I am sure those constructing the graph know this and that is why they chose to use only one standard deviation.
    The average height for men in the U.S. is 5′ 10″. One standard deviation is 3″.
    “Normal” is considered 5′ 7″ to 6′ 1″ – yes, about 68%.
    Two standard deviations from the average would be 5′ 4″ to 6′ 4″ – 95.2 % of the population.
    If the current generation of American men grew up to be 5′ 2.5″, on average, would that be “normal” in your view ? It’s within natural variability, and 2.5 STD from the average, so no problem.

  113. nedhead says:

    geo says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:51 am
    What matters during this May 1-July 1 period, as Steve pointed out, is what he called the Arctic basin, and what I usually call “the central core”. And the ice concentrations in it looks very good indeed right now compared to previous years. I could wish Steve had done that animation for 2008 as well for comparison purposes.
    ————

    Geo, have you looked at the AMSR-E ice concentrations from today? Do you notice the numerous polynyas that have formed? Do you also notice the reduced ice concentrations in the interior of the icepack? Compare that with 2007 at this time, and then think about how thick the ice is this spring compared to what it was in 2007.
    Given the thinner ice cover, having these numerous polynyas as the Arctic is about to head into peak solar insolation means more melt since those open water areas absorb the sun’s energy, fostering more lateral and basal melt. To me the situation looks worse than it did in 2007 at this time. But it’s true that there’s a lot that can change as the melt season progresses, but it’s not good to start out where it is right now.

    BTW…the MYI picture didn’t improve. Export out of Fram Strait this winter was normal, and the old ice that was transported into the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas was transported further south than the typical Beaufort Gyre circulation, which means that ice is not returning northwards where it could survive the summer melt. Old ice still declined throughout winter in contrast to what Steve would have you believe.

  114. nedhead says:

    Vincent says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Yes, you’re correct that global warming doesn’t imply warming everywhere, because as the planet warms, atmospheric circulation patterns shift which could induce local cooling. The sea ice in the Antarctic is actually behaving as climate models have predicted based on decreases on atmospheric ozone concentrations. But GCMs do predict that over time, the ice in Antarctica will shrink as well. The warming on the Peninsula is some of the most extreme on the planet right now, but its links to GHGs remains unclear. Seems the changes in wind patterns around Antarctica induced in part by ozone losses is playing the dominant role at the moment. Antarctica is also protected from warming atmospheric and oceanic temperatures at other latitudes by the Antarctic circumpolar current.

  115. Neven says:

    That’s interesting -> what geo wrote about concentration numbers in the core, with 2010 looking much better than previous years.

    Why does this picture from the University of Bremen show much lower ice concentration than the picture on CT where you can compare pictures of different dates with each other?

    The picture on the front page of CT has similar ice concentrations to the picture of the University of Bremen, and also differs quite a lot from the pictures on the comparison page.

  116. jeff brown says:

    Given all the polynyas on the Russian side of the Arctic, I wouldn’t be surprised if the northern sea route opens once again this summer. Since 90% of the hydrocarbons believed to be in the Arctic are located on the Russian side, this is good news for them.

  117. geo says:

    Re Serreze. Since NOAA describes their mission as “to understand and predict”, and NSIDC is part of NOAA, then if arctic yearly minimum is greater this year than last year, I think it would be entirely appropriate to say it is time for Serreze to go, as he will have once again faily abysmally at fulfilling their stated mission, and have done so over a multi-year period and in spite of contra-indicating evidence that had absolutely no impact on moderating his extreme views.

    Now, understand, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt by that standard –he’s telling people that this year could be lower than 2007. I’m not saying he should resign if that isn’t true –I’m giving him a much bigger, and kinder, rope than that by saying if 2010 minimum exceeds 2009 minimum then he should go. Because then he will not just have been “wrong again” three years running, but quite significantly wrong again.

  118. wildred says:

    geo says:
    May 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Has Dr. Serreze actually said that 2010 is going to be below 2009? I don’t think so. He’s smart enough to realize that no one can predict the summer weather patterns. He simply understands that the ice is thin and vulnerable to melting out again this summer, which could cause another very low summer ice year. BTW…NSIDC is mostly a part of NASA since they are a NASA funded DAAC.

  119. Just The Facts says:

    wildred says: May 24, 2010 at 6:29 am

    “As you yourself state, Zhang talks about preconditioning from a warming world. The reality is that the Arctic has been warming and so have global temperatures. Regardless of what has caused those temperatures to rise, Zhang is correct that it’s a warming world at the moment. If he doesn’t explicitly state GHG-induced warming, then he isn’t explicitly stating that GHGs are the reason for the observed warmth. Best to stick with what is written and not bias it according to what you want to believe he has written.”

    What? Zhang states that, “Arctic sea ice in 2007 was preconditioned to radical changes” and this contributed to “The dramatic decline”, this is not objective science, rather it’s alarmist rhetoric. And let’s claw ourselves out of the weeds on this particular paper and focus on the “nudging” that Zhang used to arrive at this garbage chart:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png

    The chart is based on this model;
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Global_seaice/model.html
    and the page states that:
    “Satellite sea ice concentration data are assimilated in GIOMAS using the Lindsay and Zhang (2005) assimilation procedure. The procedure is based on “nudging” the model estimate of ice concentration toward the observed concentration in a manner that emphasizes the ice extent and minimizes the effect of observational errors in the interior of the ice pack.”

    According to this paper:
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JTECH1871.1

    “Because of the errors in the summer Gice dataset ice concentration in the interior of the pack (as well as errors in summer ice concentration based on passive microwave observations), assimilation of ice concentration is accomplished in a method that emphasizes the extent over the concentration. The observations are weighted heavily only when there is a large discrepancy between the model and the observed concentration. Each day the model estimate Cmod is nudged to a revised estimate Ĉmod with the relationship.”

    So Zhang used an erroneous data set, weighted heavily when observations didn’t fit the model and then “nudged” its output to the results that he wanted. wildred, in your rebuttal you state that it’s “Best to stick with what is written and not bias it according to what you want to believe”. Seems like great advice, perhaps you should pass it onto Zhang…

  120. Stephen Wilde says:

    jeff brown says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I should have said that the NAO was highly positive throughout the period with the AO becoming steadily more positive throughout the period.

    Gail Combs kindly produced the relevant links in her post:

    Gail Combs:
    May 24, 2010 at 5:38 am

    The gist of my comments is entirely accurate.

  121. wildred says:

    Just The Facts says:
    May 24, 2010 at 9:14 am

    You don’t seem to understand that in fact the passive microwave estimates of ice concentration are in error during summer in the interior of the ice pack. This is because the dielectric properties of snow and ice, and therefore their emissivities, change drastically with ice and snow wetness. So when melt water forms at the surface, the emissivity increases to close to 1 causing the surface to appear as a blackbody at microwave wavelengths. This is why places like NSIDC focus on the overall extent rather than the ice concentrations, and why an adjusted is needed if Zhang et al. are going to incorporate daily sea ice concentration fields into their model. Otherwise, they would show much lower ice volume estimates.

    BTW…the ice loss in 2007 was dramatic, it was a 26% decrease from the previous year. I don’t think Zhang et al. are incorrect for pointing that out.

  122. Phil. says:

    geo says:
    May 24, 2010 at 6:51 am
    What matters during this May 1-July 1 period, as Steve pointed out, is what he called the Arctic basin, and what I usually call “the central core”. And the ice concentrations in it looks very good indeed right now compared to previous years. I could wish Steve had done that animation for 2008 as well for comparison purposes.

    Here’s a comparison from JAXA showing yesterday vs the same date in 2007 (2007 on L, 2010 on R), there’s a slightly different color palate but if anything we are ahead of 2007 over most of the Arctic. More extensive polynyas etc.
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/20102007comp.gif

  123. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    We have now identified a new “Arctic Ice Death Spiral” -alarmist favorite map:
    http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png

    Checking out the source, going by the English pages at IUP University of Bremen, the path goes to Data Products then High Resolution AMSR-E 89 GHz Sea Ice Images where we find THIS SHOCKING ADMISSION:

    Sea ice concentrations are determined at IUP using the ARTIST Sea Ice algorithm (ASI) from the 89 GHz AMSR-E channels. The AMSR-E results are preliminary because AMSR-E is still in the calibration phase, and because they have been produced with the ASI algorithm fine tuned for the SSM/I frequencies. The algorithm uses the AMSR version of the Bootstrap Algorithm (Comiso, GSFC) to determine low-resolution ice concentrations from the 18 and 36 GHz channels.

    You got that? “This is a work in progress. Use at your own risk. There is no warranty express or implied.”

    Highly recommended, click on the “ARTIST” link above for a delightful and scientifically accurate animation. On that page is a “Sea Ice Outlook” link. “Educated Opinions” about the September minimum Arctic Sea Ice extent have been gathered from contributors using May data. Two completed reports are posted, 2008 and 2009. From 2008 we find:

    How Well Did the Outlook Based on May and July Data Compare to September Observations?
    The May Outlook responses had a median value of 4.2 million square kilometers, with a median of 4.9 million square kilometers for the July Outlook (Fig. 5); these compare to a 2008 September observed value of 4.7 million square kilometers. Both Outlook estimates are well below the 1979-2000 mean and below the linear trend line.

    (Note that May figure is found by the “Full Report” tab. It is not in the initial “Overview and Key Highlights” tab that trumpets how well they did, or the flyer available for download…)

    From 2009:

    2009 Minimum Sea Ice Extent
    The projections of the Sea Ice Outlook groups for the September 2009 mean minimum ice extent had a median value of 4.7 million square kilometers based on May data and 4.6 million square kilometers based on June data with a range of 4.2-5.2 million square kilometers (Figure 1). These estimates are below the observed value of 5.36 million square kilometers as provided by Walt Meier, NSIDC. (…)

    What seems like a reasonable conclusion? The May numbers don’t mean much. Twice in a row “Educated Opinions” have yielded underestimations of the final results. Which is surprising considering how the contributors included esteemed experts on Arctic ice like Barber, Meier, Zhang… For interesting reading, at the bottom of both reports can be found statements from the esteemed experts about what happened. I especially like Zhang’s final sentence for 2009:

    When the ice conditions in spring are used as an indicator of what may happen several months later in September, there is a need to significantly raise the error bar considering the significant variability of weather and climate.

    Oh, general question. In both reports there is a long-term prediction graph of minimum extent going to 2100, here is the 2009 one, which each line being from a “single ensemble member.” Going by eyeball, everyone agrees in about five years there shall be rising amounts for about fifteen years, followed by a resumption of a falling trend. Can someone explain why there is a predicted Death Spiral Interruptus?

    BTW, back at the new favorite alarming graph, note how all the recent curves (2003 to 2009) closely converge around the same point in June where the sine waves flip over. This year was a bit odd that ice extent was still going up somewhat late, to about the beginning of April. Doesn’t it make sense that we should see a fast decline so the 2010 curve “catches up” for the June convergence?

  124. Juan El Afaguy says:

    Many people, including educated, scientific folk, fail to understand that traditional laws of physics fail abysmally under conditions of modelled, unobserved phenomena, such as AGW, in the proximity of black holes, or under the conditions closely following the big bang. These are not failures of the models, just the inability of physical laws to cope with the complexities found in novel, incompletely described situations. Thus it is totally realistic for sea ice to melt at temperatures way below freezing due to higher than average temperatures in regions one thousand kilometres further south.

    Under these conditions, it is equally likely that ice volume estimations must be also subject to sea surface temperature anomaly projections based on the last three years of open ocean in the Arctic region during the fall compared with the previous 21 years ice cover. There were buoys recording data, and ships, and satellites, weren’t there, over that time?

  125. Just The Facts says:

    wildred says: May 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    “You don’t seem to understand that in fact the passive microwave estimates of ice concentration are in error during summer in the interior of the ice pack. This is because the dielectric properties of snow and ice, and therefore their emissivities, change drastically with ice and snow wetness. So when melt water forms at the surface, the emissivity increases to close to 1 causing the surface to appear as a blackbody at microwave wavelengths. This is why places like NSIDC focus on the overall extent rather than the ice concentrations, and why an adjusted is needed if Zhang et al. are going to incorporate daily sea ice concentration fields into their model. Otherwise, they would show much lower ice volume estimates.”

    So you are agreeing with what I stated, i.e. “So Zhang used an erroneous data set, weighted heavily when observations didn’t fit the model and then “nudged” its output to the results that he wanted.” You can spin it however you want, garbage data, combined with arbitrary adjustments, results in garbage charts like this:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png

    “BTW…the ice loss in 2007 was dramatic, it was a 26% decrease from the previous year. I don’t think Zhang et al. are incorrect for pointing that out.”

    Drama is for actors, scientists should use measured tones leveraging sigmas and statistical significance. Given the brief sea ice record we have on our 4.5 Billion year-old planet, the change in 2007 is likely insignificant when viewed over longer timescales, e.g. including the changes that occurred to Arctic sea ice during the Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age. Drama is used for effect, to elicit an emotional response and in this instance, to mislead the reader into thinking that something normal is in fact tremendously catastrophically scarily alarming…

  126. AndyW says:

    Steve Goddard said:-

    ” Low concentration ice in the Arctic Basin is due to shear stresses on the ice. Temperatures are still too cold for any significant melt to be happening”

    Well the low concentrations are getting bigger and considering the temps for winds blowing from the south is bigger than the melting point at the moment, -2C or so, I think it is due to melt and not due to temporary polynyas that come and go.

    http://www.iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/arctic_AMSRE_nic.png

    We shall see though, if it is due to movement then they should stay the same size or disappear over time, if it is due to melting they should slowly get bigger. One of them if north of Alaska which is in a region with multiyear ice as you pointed out previously as not likely to melt.

    Andy

    Andy

  127. geo says:

    Neven says:
    May 24, 2010 at 8:09 am
    That’s interesting -> what geo wrote about concentration numbers in the core, with 2010 looking much better than previous years.

    Why does this picture from the University of Bremen show much lower ice concentration than the picture on CT where you can compare pictures of different dates with each other?

    The picture on the front page of CT has similar ice concentrations to the picture of the University of Bremen, and also differs quite a lot from the pictures on the comparison page.
    ++++

    Because the front page of CT uses a different color legend than the comparison page. Look at both closely. What is light purple on the comparison page (80%) would be yellow or green on the front page (still 80%). What is red on the comparison page (60%) would be blue on the front page (still 60%). If you make that translation then the comparison page does not look so different than the front page.

    But what really matters is apples-to-apples –how do the comparison pages for same date of the year look across different years?

  128. AndyW says:

    geo said @ May 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

    “Not a lot of “rotten ice” in the core right now vs 2008 or 2007 or 2006.”

    Sorry but that is wishful thinking as shown by looking at any of the years here

    http://www.iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n6250/

    Andy

  129. jeff brown says:

    You can also look at any of the images for different days/years here: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/DATASETS/seaice/polar-stereo/nasateam/final-gsfc/browse/north/daily/ and
    here: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/DATASETS/seaice/polar-stereo/nasateam/near-real-time/browse/north/

    Pretty clear that the ice looks more rotten this year than during the past few years of extremely low ice extents….

  130. geo says:

    AndyW–

    Thanks for the link. I’ll have to take a longer look at that archive when I have the time. I hadn’t seen it before today. There are some odd inconsistencies from year to year on the legend colors and even the area and orientation of the map it shows that make it harder to make direct comparisons by date.

  131. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    AndyW said on May 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm:

    geo said @ May 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

    “Not a lot of “rotten ice” in the core right now vs 2008 or 2007 or 2006.”

    Sorry but that is wishful thinking as shown by looking at any of the years here

    http://www.iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsredata/asi_daygrid_swath/l1a/n6250/

    Andy

    Sorry, but the esteemed Dr. David Barber, noted educated Arctic Sea Ice expert, has stated the satellites get it wrong, namely they report as thick multi-year ice what is really thin “rotten” ice. Therefore the source for your rebuttal, as they are using satellite data, is unreliable for this discussion about “rotten” ice. You should supply a better source, or several better sources for a robust rebuttal.

  132. AndyW says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    “Sorry, but the esteemed Dr. David Barber, noted educated Arctic Sea Ice expert, has stated the satellites get it wrong, namely they report as thick multi-year ice what is really thin “rotten” ice. Therefore the source for your rebuttal, as they are using satellite data, is unreliable for this discussion about “rotten” ice. You should supply a better source, or several better sources for a robust rebuttal.”

    Everyone here on this thread is using satellite data Kadaka.

    Give me a robust rebuttal showing it really is thick ice for the whole of the Arctic basin without using satellite sources. Feel free to quote Dr David Barbers current estimate using non satellite sources to back your point up and we can take it from there.

    Andy

  133. wildred says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    May 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Kadaka I think it’s important to understand why Dr. Barber reported as he did. It is well known that the sea ice algorithms applied to passive microwave brightness temperatures assume “tie points” representing first-year ice, multiyear ice and open water. These tend to be based on typical brightness temperatures for these types of surfaces. Yet it’s entirely possible that as the ice cover becomes more “rotten” that the brightness temperature signal that typically corresponds to multiyear ice no longer matches up to the typical values expected. Changes in the surface impact on changes in volume and surface scattering. That was the reason why the passive microwave observations were found to overestimate the “health” of the ice pack last fall. Passive microwave-derived sea ice concentrations are also subjected to a bias when the surface starts to melt (i.e. they “think” there is open water when in reality it is melting ice). So sometimes they underpredict and sometimes they overpredict the actual sea ice concentrations (extent is less affected by this however). The reality though is that the passive microwave sea ice concentration data record is the best data record out there since it’s often too cloudy to observe the ice with visible or thermal data. When you compare ice concentrations from different years, more reductions in ice concentrations in summer either implies more surface melt or more open water ares. 2010 certainly is seeing more areas of reduced ice concentrations at this time of year than in 2007.

  134. Bryan A says:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/NEWIMAGES/arctic.seaice.color.000.png
    The Youtube image doesn’t show the same clarity as the above image does. It appears to be missing much open ocean as indicated in the cryosphere today image attached above. Any ideas why this is so? To me, it looks like the youtube presantation has been subjected to some spacial averaging in areas.

  135. Bryan A says:

    For example, it shows no open water in the Hudson Bay region nor around Q.E Island area

  136. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    AndyW said on May 24, 2010 at 2:08 pm:

    Everyone here on this thread is using satellite data Kadaka.

    Give me a robust rebuttal showing it really is thick ice for the whole of the Arctic basin without using satellite sources. Feel free to quote Dr David Barbers current estimate using non satellite sources to back your point up and we can take it from there.

    Andy

    You have done an excellent job of completely missing the point in your reply, possibly by deliberately dodging the issue.

    Barber says the satellites get it wrong. If you disagree with Barber then you are free to use satellite data.

    Do you wish to state for the record that Dr. David Barber is wrong, the satellites can correctly identify what is thick multi-year ice and what is thin “rotten” ice?

  137. jeff brown says:

    Kadaka you seem to be missing the point that there is no long term in situ observation of the sea ice cover throughout the Arctic. David Barber is correct that the sea ice algorithms don’t tell you how thick the underlying ice cover actually is. Designating something as MYI versus FYI can be deceiving since that MYI may be very thin, rotten ice. So in reality, things are probably worse than we think.

  138. Jerry says:

    Ok, now would someone please explain that blip in June that was retroactively “dissapeared” from the historical data?

    Anyone have any theories about this? For that matter, why should I even have to ask this question? Shouldn’t they tell us? Shouldn’t their latest data come with a note explaining precisely how and why they changed historical data?

    I’ll bet what they’re doing is on par with Jim Hanson’s nonsense!

  139. Pamela Gray says:

    Jeff Brown, if ice concentration is up in the basin (and it is as far as I can tell from side by side pictures) and it is windy, it stands to reason that compared to 2007 and 2008 (2009 is out of the picture because of the satellite problems in 2009), the ice will be thicker (compaction and ridging) and a heck of a lot more difficult to traverse.

    Try using a mind experiment. Put into your mind-experiment ice that has a mix of concentrations (such as occurred in 2007 and 2008). Add wind. Compaction will occur but only after lower concentrations are filled first. Now put into your mind a fully concentrated basin. Add wind. Ridging should occur right away. You will likely get more immediate compaction and ridging under those conditions. You might also get slower movement of ice under the same wind conditions.

    I wonder what would be the result if we measured amount and speed of ridging (pixel by pixel) as an indirect measure of thickness in any one year. A predominantly flat surface that moves rather quickly would indicate what? A ridgy, compacted surface that moves rather slowly would indicate what?

    Or maybe ridging at the land edges might be instructive as to ice thickness. Just because one extent edge is less than it was last year may not mean the entire Arctic is about to melt like an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day.

    My point is that maybe there are other parameters that clue us into ice thickness better than extent edge? Discussion?

  140. Richard M says:

    Anu said:

    If the current generation of American men grew up to be 5′ 2.5″, on average, would that be “normal” in your view ? It’s within natural variability, and 2.5 STD from the average, so no problem.

    I hope this isn’t typical of your logic. Are you trying to claim that the SD of a single Arctic season is equivalent to an entire generation of American men? Get real.

    As for the Arctic sea ice. All of these conjectures are worth little in my mind. The entire weather pattern could change in July-August and force severe melting or little melting. And when it’s done no one will be convinced that it invalidates their beliefs.

  141. jeff brown says:

    Pamela, first off, what do you mean by the 2009 satellite data problem? When a sensor shows degradation, NSIDC switches to the next one. They always do that, so that’s not a problem. How many sensors do you think are in the 1979-present time-series? I believe they use SMMR, SSM/I F8, SSM/I F11, SSM/I F13, SSM/I F15 and SSM/I F17.

    Ice concentration is not up in the basin. If I knew how to attach an image that is not an html link, I would show you a plot of the ice concentration (or total ice area–which is a reflection of ice concentration since it multiplies the extent by the actual ice concentration per pixel) and you would see for yourself that the ice concentrations are not up.

    But to get to your question. You are correct that thin ice ridges and compacts more easily than old, thick ice. Thus, in some ways during a thinner ice regime you would expect more ridging and rafting, so locally you could have some very thick ice. And yes you are correct that ice extent is not the full story, the ice volume is the metric you really want to get a handle on. It’s like the old sonar data from submarines that showed ice thinning in the Arctic Basin. They didn’t have Arctic-wide estimates so they couldn’t say with certainty that the ice volume had declined since it could have been exported elsewhere. ICESat and Cryosat are the first opportunities for wide-spread monitoring of ice thickness. Another way to try to get a handle could be through surface roughness estimates from MISR. I don’t think anyone has done that yet though, at least not on a large scale.
    I would think a lot of ridging and rafting would occur near the coasts, and that ice has been melting more and more in recent years, so perhaps it doesn’t help the situation all that much.
    Even though the real thing we want to know is ice volume, I still think trends in extent do give us some useful information as to what is happening to the ice cover.

  142. Anu says:

    Richard M says:
    May 24, 2010 at 8:29 pm
    Anu said:

    If the current generation of American men grew up to be 5′ 2.5″, on average, would that be “normal” in your view ? It’s within natural variability, and 2.5 STD from the average, so no problem.
    ———-

    I hope this isn’t typical of your logic. Are you trying to claim that the SD of a single Arctic season is equivalent to an entire generation of American men? Get real.

    I was disagreeing with Gail’s notions on “average” and “normal”:

    the gray area signifying “normal” is only one standard deviation from the average. Only 68% of data are within one standard deviation of the mean. So that is meant to cause alarm and mislead too.

    The gray area should be 2.5 STD or at least 2 STD since 95% of individuals will have values within 2 standard deviations of the mean. I am sure those constructing the graph know this and that is why they chose to use only one standard deviation.

    Since Arctic sea ice extent (>= 15% per gridbox) is a rather distant, non-intuitive value, I switched to men’s heights, something people have personal experience with.
    “Normal” is not 2 or 2.5 std dev’s from the population average – showing an average for a population of measurements, and graying in +/- one std dev on the curve, has nothing to do with “mislead”. That’s the data – “alarm” is an emotion, a reaction to data. That’s up to you.

    With actual, American men height statistics, 2.5 std devs down from average is 5′ 2.5″. People have a feel for this data. This is not a “normal” height. A single man at 5′ 2.5″ is rather short, but falls within the bell curve. We expect other men to be 6′ 5.5″.

    Now, here’s the “generation of American men” part:
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20090908_Figure2.png
    If all the recent summer minimums fall below 2 std devs, for 10 years, then 20, then 30, what we have is a new climatology – a new “population statistics”.
    This would be like a generation of American men with a new average height, 2.5 std devs down from the old average.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    This has been happening since 2000.

    And btw, average height for American men went up for generations born after WWII, due to better nutrition and healthcare. Population statistics and averages can easily change.

    As for the Arctic sea ice. All of these conjectures are worth little in my mind. The entire weather pattern could change in July-August and force severe melting or little melting. And when it’s done no one will be convinced that it invalidates their beliefs.
    I don’t know about that – if there were a dramatic melt, caused by the warming oceans and thinning ice, and summer minimum went below 2007, down to 3.5 million sq km, I bet a lot of people would re-examine their beliefs rather closely.

    Even the Union of Unconcerned Scientists might be compelled to release a statement to the press.

  143. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    jeff brown said on May 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm:

    Kadaka you seem to be missing the point that there is no long term in situ observation of the sea ice cover throughout the Arctic. David Barber is correct that the sea ice algorithms don’t tell you how thick the underlying ice cover actually is. Designating something as MYI versus FYI can be deceiving since that MYI may be very thin, rotten ice. So in reality, things are probably worse than we think.

    Sorry, you’re not a good enough magician to pull off such misdirection while performing sleight-of-hand switches.

    “Rotten” ice is being discussed. Satellite data has been referenced for “rotten” ice info. Barber said satellites get it wrong and report thin “rotten” ice as thick multi-year ice. Therefore if you accept Barber’s conclusions then you cannot trust satellite data for “rotten” ice info. If you are supplying satellite data as trustworthy for “rotten” ice info then then it is implied you reject Barber’s conclusions.

    That’s all there is to it. One side of your mouth cannot agree the satellites are not trustworthy for “rotten” ice amounts while the other says the satellites provide good data for your conclusions about “rotten” ice amounts. Are the satellites yielding good or bad “rotten” ice numbers, YES or NO? Pick one.

    BTW, you’ve essentially just said you disagree with the PIOMAS Ice Volume model, to wit: “Volume estimates using age of sea ice as a proxy for ice thickness are another useful method…” As you are stating it, if MYI can actually be very thin “rotten” ice then you have identified a major flaw, age as a proxy for thickness cannot be relied on.

    Good job pointing out a serious issue with that terrifying Arctic Ice Volume anomaly chart!

  144. AndyW says:

    Kadaka, it is not me missing the point.

    Geo made a claim based on satellite data, I produced other satellite evidence to counter his position. So why did you then butt in saying I couldn’t make that claim as satellite data is wrong? Why didn’t you pick geo up also? Like I said this whole blog post resolves around satellite data.

    Andy

  145. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    AndyW said on May 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm:

    Kadaka, it is not me missing the point.

    Geo made a claim based on satellite data, I produced other satellite evidence to counter his position. So why did you then butt in saying I couldn’t make that claim as satellite data is wrong? Why didn’t you pick geo up also? Like I said this whole blog post resolves around satellite data.

    Andy

    Now it is confirmed that you are deliberately dodging my point, as you have just asserted “What’s fair is fair” with regards to the point.

    Fine then, I agree. geo can use satellite data for discussions involving “rotten” ice amounts if he disagrees with Barber, and you can use satellite data for discussions involving “rotten” ice amounts if you disagree with Barber. Yup, that sounds fair to me.

    A lovely exchange resulting in mutual agreement. Thank you for your time!

  146. RR Kampen says:

    The ice is very thin indeed and this summer we will forget about 2007.

  147. AndyW says:

    kadaka, I’ll put it another way. We are comparing several years using one technique, now as it is only one technique being compared over several years and not multiple techniques then it does not matter on if it is not 100% accurate. It is the relativeness and not the absoluteness that matters here.

    That’s the point you’ve missed and that’s why I don’t care about the validity or not of David Barbers thoughts, it is not relevant here to my counter argument to geo’s position.

    Andy

  148. Ibrahim says:

    Sea ice records before 1953 are unreliable (NSIDC).
    Even satelite records are unreliable.
    In 2009 NSIDC reported a September minimum of 5.1 M km2 on 12 September (NSIDC website, 2009), whereas the Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (Arctic ROOS based at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing
    Center in Bergen, Norway) estimate shows a 6.0 M km2 minimum on that day (Arctic ROOS website).

    http://www.wmo.int/wcrpevent/jsc31/documents/jsc-31clic_artic_4.2.pdf

    The arctic sea ice melts though and has done so before.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/02/catastrophic-retreat-of-glaciers-in-spitsbergen/

  149. Adam R. says:

    Just The Facts says: “It appears that Dr. Jinlun Zhang is one of the Warmist’s point people for producing misleading research reports on sea ice. I wonder if Dr. Zhang has received any public funds that would justify an investigation into his methods…”

    Dear me! Conspiracy, dishonesty, criminality—bad, BAD Dr. Zhang! Just wait ’til the end of this season, when the world will see how fakey-hoaxy his model is!

  150. Anu says:

    Ibrahim says:
    May 25, 2010 at 7:17 am

    http://www.wmo.int/wcrpevent/jsc31/documents/jsc-31clic_artic_4.2.pdf

    Interesting paper.

    One likely contributor to the observed rapid decline of the Arctic ice extent and thickness is multi-year and decadal climate variability. This includes factors such as heat storage in the upper layer of the ocean during the summer and ocean heat transport from the Atlantic and Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. Due to their coarse resolution, the AOGCMs tend to underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice by the horizontal oceanic heat transport. As shown in (Bitz, in prep.),
    faster rates of decline in sea ice extent were produced in the climate models with larger heat transports to the Arctic Ocean from Atlantic.

    Because of the very narrow Bering Strait, most of the ocean heat enters the Arctic by way of the North Atlantic. It just so happens that this April, and this January to April, has had the warmest northern hemisphere ocean temperatures on record:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global
    The warmth was most pronounced in the equatorial portions of the major oceans, especially the Atlantic.

    Warmest oceans on record, with an especially warm Atlantic.

    And notice the Arctic sea ice extent dropping like a rock:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    Tonight, 2010 will pass the 2004 curve. Once it drops below the 2006 curve, it will be in “lowest recorded sea ice extent for that date” territory.

  151. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    AndyW said on May 25, 2010 at 6:47 am:

    kadaka, I’ll put it another way. We are comparing several years using one technique, now as it is only one technique being compared over several years and not multiple techniques then it does not matter on if it is not 100% accurate. It is the relativeness and not the absoluteness that matters here.

    That’s the point you’ve missed and that’s why I don’t care about the validity or not of David Barbers thoughts, it is not relevant here to my counter argument to geo’s position.

    Andy

    Now you are talking about known errors with measuring instruments, which ain’t the same thing. These are metrology issues. One type of error is a fixed initial offset, such as an analog voltmeter that should be reading zero but actually shows 0.1V. If it cannot be zeroed, such as with a fixed meter in a process equipment panel, then the adjustment is to subtract 0.1V from all measurements. Another involves a rate of error shown against a reference standard. A voltmeter reads 12.2V with a 12.0V reference, 6.1V with 6.0V, and is zeroed. The adjustment is to subtract 0.1V for every 6.1V displayed. Between the two adjustment methods, good numbers may still be obtained, IF the errors are consistent and repeatable.

    That’s the crux of the issue, if the errors are consistent and repeatable. If Barber had established with several years of extensive accurate measurements of Arctic sea ice that the satellites gave a consistent error continually, say that 25% of reported thick MYI was repeatedly shown to be thin “rotten” ice, then adjustments could be made and reliable measurements could be obtained. He didn’t.

    If the same instrument was used for all measurements, perhaps good trend information can be obtained without knowing the exact error. If we assume Satellite X has a consistent rate of error and/or a fixed initial offset, then we can analyze its measurements. If it shows less “rotten” ice then there is less “rotten” ice. But until the amounts of errors are known, its data cannot be compared to another satellite, and it can’t be trusted much beyond general trends.

    Also with satellites there is a measure of “observational error.” The information needs to be processed. Different algorithms yield different results. So before you can look at the results from the same satellite, you have to have all the data processed by the same algorithm using the same parameters.

    Barber said the satellites get it wrong. Calibration is indicated, we need to know what errors are present in what amounts. Until that is done, you cannot significantly compare data between satellites, or even use the same satellite without using the same processing algorithm with the same parameters for all the data and even then the results are of limited value. And this would be with consistent and repeatable errors. Until it is established that is indeed the case, you cannot trust the satellite data. So don’t use it.

    Unless, of course, you disagree with Barber and will assert the satellites do get it right, Barber is wrong. In that case you are free to use satellite data for “rotten” ice studies.

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