The undeath spiral

By Steve Goddard

Over the last three years, Arctic Ice has gained significantly in thickness. The graph above was generated by image processing and analysis of PIPS maps, and shows the thickness histogram for June 1 of each year since 2007.

The blue line represents 2008, and the most abundant ice that year was less than 1.5 metres thick. That thin ice was famously described by NSIDC as “rotten ice.” In 2009 (red) the most common ice had increased to more than 2.0 metres, and by 2010 (orange) the most common ice had increased to in excess of 2.75 metres thick.

We have seen a steady year over year thickening of the ice since the 2007 melt season. Thinner ice is more likely to melt during the summer, so the prognosis for a big melt looks much less likely than either of the previous two summers. More than 70% of the ice this year is thicker than 2.25 metres thick. By contrast, more than half of the ice was thinner than 2.0 metres in 2008.

So why did 2008 start out with so little thick ice? Because during the summer of 2007 much of the ice melted or was compressed by the wind. During the winter of 2007-2008, much of the remaining thick ice blew out into the North Atlantic and melted. So by the time that summer 2008 arrived, there was very little ice left besides rotten, thin ice. Which led to Mark Serreze’ famous “ice free North Pole bet.

Can we find another year with similar ice distribution as 2010? I can see Russian ice in my Windows. Note in the graph below that 2010 is very similar to 2006.

2006 on the left. 2010 on the right.

2006 had the highest minimum (and smallest maximum) in the DMI record. Like 2010, the ice was compressed and thick in 2006.

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_2010.png

Conclusion : Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya. Even if all the ice less than 2.5 metres thick melted this summer, we would still see a record high minimum in the DMI charts.

Mark Serreze has a different take for 2010:

“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.

Bookmark this post for reference in September.

———————————————————-
The report of my death was an exaggeration
– Mark Twain

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

Addendum By Steve Goddard 6/3/10:

Anyone betting on the minimum extent needs to recognize that summer weather can dramatically effect the behaviour of the ice. The fact that the ice is thicker now is no guarantee that it won’t shrink substantially if the summer turns out to be very warm, windy or sunny. Joe Bastardi believes that it will be a warm summer in the Arctic. I’m not a weather forecaster and won’t make any weather predictions.

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163 thoughts on “The undeath spiral

  1. What size perturbation in summer albedo causes runaway glaciation? Maybe we should be up there spraying carbon black!!

  2. It looks like a new ice age is fast approaching. We should have a geoengineering brainstorming session on how to mitigate the approaching catastrophe.

    I guess aerial burst 100-Meg hydrogen bombs over the Arctic? Cheap and efficient, and probably the only way to do it. Anyone who has seen dirty snow knows that the particles melt their way through the ice, and the top refreezes. Not to mention a fresh snow layer that covers it up. So carbon soot would be too short lived.

  3. had a quick look at the Serreze post. They don’t like you very much do they? One of the comments accuses you of only useing data sets that show the least warming/mostice extent. As distinct, presumably from the reverse which seems to be what they do!! Ah well time will tell>

  4. Did anyone run these numbers past the Catlin Arctic Survey Team? They’ll be shocked, I’m sure.

    (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

    I’m all for an ice free Arctic, but from the looks of things above we won’t be getting one any time soon. Thanks, Steve.

  5. Is the area under the curves (the volume of ice) a conserved quantity? It looks a bit like that.

  6. I’d like to see continued recovery, and your points are well taken. It would be nice to shut down some of the clamor. But I’m not hanging my hat on any outcome. I don’t think it (extent) means anything beyond some combination of regional parameters.

  7. This article is an independent data point reaching the same conclusion as my own expectation that this will be a 2006-ish year.

    Lets see how it goes.

  8. I agree with Buffon–I see nothing to rejoice about runaway freezing. Sure, some of that ice will melt again this summer but come next winter, if this trend continues, lower temperatures will make life more difficult as the cold spreads south (and no, I don’t believe the “But this month is the HOTTEST on record” meme, seeing how they’re throwing away all the thermometers that give the real picture until they’re left with just one, which just happens to be in somebody’s shirt pocket).

  9. Steve Goddard writes,
    “Conclusion : Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya. Even if all the ice less than 2.5 metres thick melted this summer, we would still see a record high minimum in the DMI charts.”

    I’m impressed by how unequivocally and often WUWT has committed to the proposition that Arctic sea ice is recovering, in disagreement with most Arctic researchers. As you say, these will be pages to bookmark.

  10. i’m a fan of the site guys. keep it up.

    i do have a slight issue – and excuse me for being a layman – but how can climate progress and WUWT be looking at ‘real’ data and come with equal and opposite views for the current state of ice in the arctic, let alone future predictions ??

    Rob

  11. Excellent analysis. Simple yet effective comparisons.

    However, if we’re back at a 2006 area distribution, I guess that allows doomsayers to say we could still go back to 2007 levels next year.

  12. Static analyses deriving from seasonal snapshots have little historical interest or validity. Arctic winds and currents form a complex dynamic system subject to many variables such as seafloor depth, coastline configurations, global weather patterns up to several years’ duration. Projecting climate/weather components requires depicting cyclically varying oscillations super-posed on long-term trend-neutral baselines. Even then, necessarily chaotic fluctuations in amplitude and frequency, regardless of linear slope, will tend to render annual extrapolations a casino game. “Climate science” PhDs purporting to resolve Nature’s ineluctable uncertainties might better study random-walks in equally arcane financial sectors.

  13. Steve,

    Another intersting and well done analysis, based on that wonderfully erroneous PIPS 2.0 data. GIGO…and so I must once again, very humbly disagree with your conclusions, despite how convincing they appear, the fact that they are based on garbage data is cause for concern. In response, I would ask readers to go through the following very excellent presentation, given just this past March of 2010, at the State of the Arctic Meeting held in Miami Fl.:

    http://soa.arcus.org/sites/soa.arcus.org/files/sessions/1-1-advances-understanding-arctic-system-components/pdf/1-1-7-maslowski-wieslaw.pdf

    Now, I have fairly cautioned you that the PIPS 2.0 data is erroneous at best, and that much better models exist, such as PIPS 3.0 and PIOMAS, both based on CICE modeling.

    But you have made your case in an excellent manner, and you’ve stated quite plainly what you expect (a summer low that is higher than 2008 or 2009) and why you expect it. I take the opposite view, and base my case on what I consider to be more accurate models than PIPS 2.0, meaning that I think that PIOMAS model, and the summary given in the link I’ve given above are reasons why 2010’s summer minimum will be less than 2008 or 2009. One of the things that is clearly stated in the report I’ve given in the link above to is the ocean heat content. There is a lot of warmer water coming in at depths below the surface into the Arctic from both the Pacific and the Atlantic. (i.e. you can’t just rely on SST’s!!!) The report states:

    “Oceanic heat has contributed critical preconditioning to sea ice melt in the western Arctic since the mid-1990s”

    So we await September. Everyone should bookmark this discussion, as suggested…and as always, if your analysis proves the more thorough and your data more valid than…mea maxima culpa!

  14. The ice “Melt” each summer isn’t caused by the ice melting do to local temperatures. It is caused by wind and currents pushing the ice out of the artic. With thicker ice and everything else equal there will be a much higher minimum in the artic ice area this year. But everything else is never equal.

  15. Makes perfect sense.

    Except:
    Isn’t it true that a prediction of summer ice extend is incomplete without a prediction of what the wind is going to do.
    What happened in 2007 might happen this year too.

    Can arctic wind patterns be predicted for this summer?

  16. WOW! The arctic ice thickness trend is turning up like a hockey stick chart! Could this inconvenient truth have real consequences also? Apparently, Al Gore and wife have reached (ahem..) a Tipper point in their 40 year relationship, with many icy years predicted to follow! I’ll refrain from references to gorebal cooling….

    A bit more seriously, a big THANK YOU to Anthony Watts, contributors like Steve Goddard, and the long suffering Moderators, for providing this venue for publishing, perusing, and pontificating on our planets many climatic influences! The open forum and open access to data and analyses presented are delightfully refreshing! You are my daily “must read” and my first reference to others seeking current topical knowledge.

  17. WUWT is really hanging it’s hat on the Arctic ice recovery. Will be interesting in August.

  18. Anthony et al – OT. Maybe something for a new thread.

    I am very concerned about this year’s snow melt as a result of the record snow pack. And now, two “Pineapple Express” systems are hitting this week. This could be a real disaster.

    REPLY: Yeah, could be. Me thinks right now there may not be as much precip as models predict. – A

  19. Looking at the data presented by Mark Serreze, it seems hard to predict with confidence ANY major deviation (+/-) from a notional average of Arctic ice extent. With these types of websites in general, the usual side issues always come up in reader comments, but I am struck also by a lack of attention to the ambiguity of the data trend on that site, which seems so obvious.

  20. Ha ha ha!

    Well…if somebody told me ten years ago that I today would dayly be monitoring Arctic sea ice statistisk with nail biting thrill and intrest. I would just laugh!!
    But here I am and thanks to you Steve (or because of) im been adicted!!
    I even got intrest in painting and locations of weatherstation in alaska. Well I can tell you Ive never expected to become a “Nerd” within this field. But “nerdiness” is intresting and benificiary in many ways. Thanks guys for letting us laymen participate.

  21. Those poor Polar Bars (:). Because of rapid ‘climate change’ they will be TOOOO far from the water and will not be able to feed, breed or take happy snaps on icebergs.
    They will be separated from lunch like AL & Tipper. :-)
    regards

  22. Well if the pattern of the recent glacial/inter glacial periods holds to form, we are in prime time for the beginning of the next ice age.

    That would be hilariously funny at the expense of what is left of environmental credibility . . an ice age starting after 20 years of relentless fear mongering and hysteria about CO2 causing global warming.

  23. Mike McMillan

    I was founder/lead developer of a VC backed video/effects software company west of London a few years ago, and we developed some cool software for doing image processing, effects, animation etc. It is not publicly available yet.

  24. Come September, someone or other is going to have some serious egg on their face.

    It is fun watching Romm and fellow travelers rant in the meantime. I’m still waiting for the ice free Arctic and pole we were promised in 2008.

  25. I suggest we all return in September, in the meantime we should get on with our lives.

  26. Here are the integrated volumes, in units pixel-metres. I haven’t worked out a conversion factor to metres^3 yet, though it should be pretty straightforward. Pixels seem to be about 1.5 km^2 in my maps.

    2006    40,164
    2007    32,818
    2008   24,253
    2009   26,505
    2010   36,746
  27. PIOMAS data is bogus, man, bogus:

    1) They report the difference from “normal”, i.e. the average that they arbitrarily set in the coldest cycle of the 20th century, then set fixed SD bars. This is not kosher. The average they subtract from has no error bars!. Besides, using a differential rather than total ice mass, is a short way of inflating a result (by deflating an error bar). The smaller they can make the error bar, the greater any outlier point can wander from the SD interval, and look like an “event”.

    2) Even if you subtracted from an average, including the SD uncertainty of the average (then it is a mean), how do you do it? They don’t do the former, they just represent “normal” with an average number for ea time point, not a mean or median. Example: subtract 10 ±5 from 20±10. Is it 10±5? [No, it is 15±10 – the SD just doubled!].

    3) Also, if these were true values, with uncertainty at each point represented by an error bar, would the error bars be equal throughout the trend line as shown in PIOMAS? It appears that PIOMAS used a fixed error, a statistical blunder when trying to deduce a probable trend.

    They are not stupid. They have the big $$$ to pay for the best actuaries and statisticians to present things in the most dramatic way, so as to hook sycophants like certain true believers on this board!

  28. No fair using histograms and doing statistical analysis… you are only supposed to look at the extent like NSIDC does and make WAGs about what will happen this summer…

  29. “WUWT is really hanging it’s hat on the Arctic ice recovery. Will be interesting in August.”

    Jakers, look at it another way:

    2008 minimum ice increased from 2007. 2009 increased from 2008. What evidence do you have that the trend of the past two years is going to reverse? All data indicate that the inventory of old ice is increasing. Old ice is harder to melt than new ice (note, I am not talking about thickness, I am talking about age).

    If you have something that suggests that the trend of the past two seasons is set to reverse this year, please share it.

  30. Mike says:
    June 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm
    “You may recall I suggested you contact the researchers and ask them for help. Well, it looks like another blogger stoll my idea:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Abraham-shows-Monckton-wrong-on-Arctic-sea-ice.html

    Its interesting isn’t it that your reference has such a short timespan? So it gleefully shows a trend line from the 1978 just after the decade when everyone was concerned about a new ice age and then runs it to current time when everyone is talking global warming.

    Get a sine wave with a wavelength of say 30 years and then you can cherry pick dates with a 30 year simplistic straight trend line to prove whatever you want. Look at the same sine wave for say 200 years and you may consider that there is no trend but some cyclical changes.

    If you are talking CLIMATE what length of time is appropriate?

  31. Steve,

    Whatever numbers your are deriving, they are not thickness. The average values from my analysis of the same data come out at around 2 m, which indicate massive melting if they were true June values. And as I have mentioned before, these derivations give a negative correlation to the PIP 2 team’s published ice volumes.

    Anyway, you have produced a derivable number, let’s call it a Goddard (I don’t think Gd is taken) , and you are now predicting a recovery in the minimum ice extent as the ice values are rising from 2.0 Gd in 2008 to 2.2 Gd in 2010.

    However, the June 2007 value is even higher that that for 2010, 2.3 Gd compared to 2.2 Gd according to my image analysis. So your prediction is based on a number that is inversely correlated with published ice thicknesses, and with high June values associated with low minimum ice extents. I think you’re quite brave to insist on a recovery this year on the basis of your analysis.

    Whatever happened to that software company of yours?

  32. bubbagyro says:
    June 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    Example: subtract 10 ±5 from 20±10. Is it 10±5? [No, it is 15±10 – the SD just doubled!].

    No way! It is 10±11

  33. PIOMAS is a worthy endeavor, but much too immature to be laying any significant credence on.

    If you look at this: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/IceVolAnomaly19792010.MarNov2.png It doesn’t pass the smell test. 2009 lower than 2007? I don’t think so.

    But then I start looking closer and a few things occur to me.

    1). “November ice volume anomaly”. *November*? Are you kidding me? Look at November here: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm You can throw a hat over the whole lot of them. November and December are just as uninteresting as May and June. If you want to maximize your ability to say something that has meaning, look at March or September (and much preferably September).

    Yes, I know –“volume is not extent”. That doesn’t change the fact that when looking for signal you want to reduce the noise as much as possible, and there is a whole lot of volume (and extent) in May, June, November, and December that is just “noise” so far as trying to discern meaningful long-term trends. If that wasn’t true, those extent graphs for those months would not be so tightly grouped. The day will hopefully come in another 20 years or so when we’ll have enough historical data to make something meaningful out of those months, but in the meantime when searching for a needle in a haystack, the wise sleuth first reduces the size of the haystack as much as possible.

    2). Look at the error for the last ICESat calibration, for 2007. Pretty significant. Extrapolate that to error bars for PIOMAS results for 2007, 2008, and 2009 on that graph and all three become meaningless relative to each other. You could, within the error bars, come up with pretty much any relative relationship you wanted between the three, including having 2007 the highest.

  34. Tom P says:
    June 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Tom,

    It just does not matter what facts you throw at Steve–he is clearly in DENIAL about Arctic ice extent and thickness.

    MJK

  35. crosspatch says:
    June 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm
    If you have something that suggests that the trend of the past two seasons is set to reverse this year, please share it.

    Joe Bastardi – who once was quite popular on here…

  36. Tom P

    Sorry, made a mistake in the 2007 average thickness calculation. Should read “average thickness in 2010 of 2.4 metres and 2.2 for 2007″

  37. It’ll come down to the weather during the summer as to whether we have lower minimum or not. 2007 was a weather related event with the unusual winds. Barring that, the Arctic ice should survive a deep minimum.

    The Atlantic side has taken a good hit causing the lower numbers in area and extent. The Barents helped cause the late bump in extent and a big factor in the quick fall off. These are generally ice-free seas during the minimum anyway, so what going on inside the basin will be more important. Seems to be holding it own for now.

  38. 2010 melt was already interesting. Now it seems we’ve got record May ice loss, suggesting melting needs to slow down a lot to avoid another 2007, versus this data on ice thickness. But ice thickness is also in dispute – see R. Gates’s comment.

    Will we be able to use the September outcome to help us determine which of PIPS 2.0, 3.0, and PIOMASS is really the most accurate? Steve G: do you have reasons for trusting your graphs from PIPS 2.0?

    The other interesting thing is how important this year’s melt appears to be to 95% of correspondents both here and at Climate Progress. Yet change in arctic albedo is already figured in to IPCC estimates of sensitivity to warming from CO2. So I’m in the 5% who think the longer term trends are more important.

    Still heck, life’s too short not to make unwarranted conclusions from yearly events, which is what I see at Climate Progress.

    Rich.

  39. I find it hard to get very excited about whether more (or less) ice than “usual” will melt in the Arctic this Summer.

    Such evidence as there is suggests strongly that Arctic sea ice has fluctuated widely for ever.

    And if it all melts (which seems exceptionally improbable), I don’t think it will be a big deal.

    And it certainly won’t demonstrate that a trivial increase in a harmless trace gas has anything to do with it. And it is not even certain that human emissions are the main cause of that increase.

    Yawn.

  40. Gneiss says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Steve Goddard writes,
    “Conclusion : Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya. Even if all the ice less than 2.5 metres thick melted this summer, we would still see a record high minimum in the DMI charts.”

    I’m impressed by how unequivocally and often WUWT has committed to the proposition that Arctic sea ice is recovering, in disagreement with most Arctic researchers. As you say, these will be pages to bookmark.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    WUWT is not begging for government funding from politicians who want an excuse to institute more taxes and tighter controls on “their” people. Just reading that the BBC suggested it is time to “suspend democracy” because of the CAGW crisis explains why CAGW is all about power.

  41. stevengoddard says:
    June 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Come September, someone or other is going to have some serious egg on their face. It is fun watching Romm and fellow travelers rant in the meantime.

    The betting odds on this year’s Arctic being icier than last year’s are 45% at https://www.intrade.com (Odds are set by warmists and contrarians betting against each other.)

  42. Phil. says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I was focusing on the error roughly doubling in my simplistic example. You are right, in certain circumstances, but it depends on the degrees of freedom you have allowed in the data sets.

    My point was they are using contrived stats to predict a trend, and the PIOMAS grey error bar range is not appropriate for assigning probability of a trend not being “normal”. Their use of the word “normal” lacks descriptive assignation.

  43. Ian W says:
    June 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    You and others have described the futility of ascribing the word “normal” to climate. When I see normal used to say whether we are in an ‘event” or not, it is to me like scraping of nails on a backboard.

    Maybe I’m not normal?

  44. Brian D

    Given that temperatures inside the Arctic Basin are still well below freezing, it is not particularly surprising that the ice is “holding it’s own.”

  45. “Joe Bastardi, who once was quite popular on here. . . ”

    And Joe still is. But no one is so popular here as to be unquestioned on all issues at all times. Anthony would probably shoot root beer out his nose if you tried to say he gets that kind of respect “in his own house”. Vive le democracy!

    Put 5 skeptics in the same room and there will be 7 opinions (well, if you limit the subject matter to just one topic, of course).

  46. And Joe still is. But no one is so popular here as to be unquestioned on all issues at all times. Anthony would probably shoot root beer out his nose if you tried to say he gets that kind of respect “in his own house”.

    I read Joe’s blog from time to time and I have read his weather prognostications and generally agree. I can’t say that I have seen him make any Arctic ice predictions, though I could have missed it.

  47. And just to clarify my previous comment, Arctic ice has very little to do with air temperature. The air temperature in the Arctic is stunningly consistent from one year to the next as it would not rise much above freezing unless all the ice melted.

  48. How did it get twisted around that warmer and less ice is a bad thing………

    colder and more ice and more polar bears is a good thing?

    Personally, I’m for warmer

  49. Gneiss says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:57 am
    “I’m impressed by how unequivocally and often WUWT has committed to the proposition that Arctic sea ice is recovering, in disagreement with most Arctic researchers. As you say, these will be pages to bookmark.”

    Since most arctic researchers who disagree with WUWT have consistently been shown to be wrong, very wrong, in just about everything, from causes to effects and outcomes, partly because they’ve been consistently seeing what they believe, and not believing what they see. Thats not research, its religion. True science is inherently skeptical.

  50. Gail Combs says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Yes, we dig into raw data and do our very own analysis, without the benefit of supercomputers and millions in grant $$$.
    Holy smokes, are we economically correct or what?

  51. Can’t say that I see any evidence of Fire-breather dragons parked in the Arctic lately,
    melting vast seas of ice, catastrophically driving up Sea Levels and singing the hide off of hapless Polar Bears.

  52. Steve,

    ImageJ, with the 3D Color Inspector plugin using Wu quantization unambiguously assigns the pixels of the PIPS 2 maps to the thickness bins. All this software is publicly available.

    I now understand why you can no longer rely on external funding for your private software endeavours.

  53. Ibrahim says: June 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    Mercator Ice-thickness etc.

    http://bulletin.mercator-ocean.fr/html/produits/psy3v2/ocean/regions/bull_ocean_arc_en.jsp?nom=psy3v2_20100526_22060

    Have YOU looked at this ??? Plug in the last 2 years.
    I’d say the Heavy Ice HALVED every year since 2008.
    This makes PIOMAS positively Optimistic ! !
    PS thank you Steve, because if this Mercator were the only Volume Measure I’d be digging my Grave right now.

    Alas, as Pips is ONLY based on Concentration, Steve can only show RELATIVE Thickness and PIP is improper to use to compare year to year.

    Ibrahim, I am writing Obama AND asking Limbaugh to impeach him if he does not act. Garry Owen.

  54. Just a clarification to Xi Chin and meemoe_uk: the area under the curves is the total area of ice, not the ice volume. That’s why it looks roughly constant, since it is pretty much equal to the area of the Arctic Ocean. What may confuse you is that the Y axis is not actually an area, but a kind of derivative of area wrt height. The ice at exactly 2m thick is not an area, it’s a set of contour lines.
    To get the volume of ice you have to integrate y*x.dx.

  55. Standard Deviations are not additive.

    Variances are additive.

    So, subtract 10 ±5 from 20±10 and you get

    10 ± Sq Rt (5^2 + 10^2) or

    10 ± Sq Rt (125) or

    10 ± 11.18034

  56. I have a supercomputer.

    My PC has two Nvidia 9800 GT cards, ($80 each) which deliver over 600 GFlops. It would have been one of the world’s top supercomputers 15 years ago.

  57. Currently, every basin in the Arctic, from the Barants Sea to the Bering Sea is showing some level of negative anomaly,

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

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

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.13.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.3.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.4.html

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

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

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html

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

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.9.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.10.html

    And as one poster pointed out, the month of May was one of the fastest early ice melts on record, judged by the steepness of this curve:

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

    Despite what some seem to want to post here, Arctic temps have been running quite high:

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

    Ocean Heat content is running quite high:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Probably even higher than that graph shows as can be found here:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-169

    The first 4 months of 2010 were the warmest on instrument record:

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/05/17/NOAA-January-April-2010-warmest-on-record/UPI-74281274125050/

    And yet, Steve (who is obviously brilliant, and I mean it) is using very dubious data (and I mean it), to try and tell us that the volume of sea ice has grown over the past few years, when every other bit of data is saying the exact opposite, including the current data as gathered by Navy, and used by one of their own instructors, who gave a presentation just a few months back, saying the exact opposite of what Steve has said, as can be found here:

    http://soa.arcus.org/sites/soa.arcus.org/files/sessions/1-1-advances-understanding-arctic-system-components/pdf/1-1-7-maslowski-wieslaw.pdf

    Now I know AGW can find fault with all the data and sources I’ve presented, but added all together they tell the same story…and hence, Steve does have a lot riding on his forecast for this September, and if he’s right, the experts need to be fired and he put in their place…and if he’s wrong…there’s always next year…

  58. Careful there, Gates, you’re gonna scare yourself:

    “Currently, every basin in the Arctic, from the Barants [sic] Sea to the Bering Sea is showing some level of negative anomaly…”

    As usual, not one word about the Antarctic. Hint: the Arctic is a region. The effects seen there are regional, not global. If you were ever to admit there’s an Antarctic, you could see that the its ice growth is greater than the Arctic decline. They’re polar opposites, see?

    And what about the really basic question: how is CO2 causing a decline in Arctic ice, and an increase in Antarctic ice?

  59. I find it very humorous the confidence exuded by those who think this year’s melt will be significant. Having been wrong two years in a row you’d think they would have some humility. Nope, not a bit. Same old references to the same old science that got it wrong both years.

    Of course, just like the blind squirrel, they could find the nut this year, but most likely it would be due to weather and nothing else.

  60. richcar 1225 says:
    June 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    If the NAO goes negative the ice volume will build fast. This a warmists worst nightmare.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Winter-NAO-Index.svg

    _________________________________________________________________________
    Well guess what Richcar, NAO has gone negative in the last few months:

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ENSO/verf/new.nao.shtml#current

    that and the negative/neutral Arctic Oscillation

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.shtml

    And a negative/neutral Pacific-North American Pattern

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/pna.shtml

    These are a change from the long term (20-30 yr) mainly positive trend that accompanied the “melting” of the Arctic ice. I do not know what that is going to do to the weather patterns but given the recent strange patterns in my local weather, I think we are definitely looking at “climate change” in the Arctic this summer.

  61. Well, R. Gates. . . the status quo is hardly ever overturned by the status quoants (and if I just made that word up, then, (TM)).

    Of course, it isn’t often over turned at all on a percentage basis. But often enough to be worthwhile keeping at it when you think you’re right.

    Every theory tested and found wanting is also a contribution. It’s nice when you can test them in the short term. I’m all about the power of iteration, which is right up there with compound interest in my book. . .

  62. bubbagyro says:
    June 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    You and others have described the futility of ascribing the word “normal” to climate. When I see normal used to say whether we are in an ‘event” or not, it is to me like scraping of nails on a backboard.

    Maybe I’m not normal?
    _________________________________________________________________________
    No you you are not normal, “normal” people do not have any understanding of statistics. That is why they can be lied to so easily.

    How to Lie With Statistics

  63. Do you, or have you considered, putting out press releases of your own? I am aware that the media prefer bad news but maybe maybe a couple of press releases like Tuvalu not sinking or Arctic ice expanding will undermine their tase for doom and gloom stories. I dont know how it went over in the press but I think the monkey business over the hurricane season was a bit of a hoot. It seems that if there is to be a war by press release in which the stooges in the main stream media are sucked in with a good beat up then maybe there needs to be a counter offensive?

  64. That thin ice was famously described by NSIDC as “rotten ice.”

    Yes it is famous. Trolls are still talking about it in rotten comments.

  65. stevengoddard says:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I have a supercomputer.

    In a manner of speaking, yes you do.
    But, you’re missing the magic ingredient: a Cold Fusion Graphics function that pumps out Red Hot Anomalies.

  66. More than 70% of the ice this year is thicker than 2.25 metres thick

    The trolls are saying “uh oh”. At least they’re thinking it. ;-)

  67. R. Gates says:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Currently, every basin in the Arctic, from the Barants Sea to the Bering Sea is showing some level of negative anomaly,

    If it is it’s not from melting.

  68. Gneiss says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I’m impressed by how unequivocally and often WUWT has committed to the proposition that Arctic sea ice is recovering, in disagreement with most Arctic researchers. As you say, these will be pages to bookmark.

    There are many? Would you list these Arctic researchers and tell what they are saying?

    Or did you make that up and will be unable to list them?

  69. Gneiss says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I’m impressed by how unequivocally and often WUWT has committed to the proposition that Arctic sea ice is recovering

    Your propaganda about it not recovering is unimpressive.

  70. Rob says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

    i do have a slight issue – and excuse me for being a layman – but how can climate progress and WUWT be looking at ‘real’ data and come with equal and opposite views for the current state of ice in the arctic, let alone future predictions ??

    Glass half empty, glass half full.

  71. jakers says:
    June 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    WUWT is really hanging it’s hat on the Arctic ice recovery. Will be interesting in August.

    There’s a whole lot of folks on both sides, probably almost all, paying close attention to Arctic (North Pole) ice. It’s not just WUWT. Welcome to the boat. Sit back and have some popcorn.

  72. R. Gates says:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm


    The first 4 months of 2010 were the warmest on instrument record:

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010/05/17/NOAA-January-April-2010-warmest-on-record/UPI-74281274125050/

    Did you read the little chestnuts in that link? My head still hurts from all of the qualifiers:

    “That’s 2.1 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent and the 15th smallest April extent since records began in 1979.”

    Let’s see, 2010-1979=32 years including the end years. 15th smallest out of 32. Um, isn’t that pretty close to the median (16th)?

    “It was, however, the 18th largest April Arctic sea ice extent since 2001.”

    Wha? Does that mean 18th largest in the 79-’10 period but after 2001? I not read goodly.

    “The North American snow cover extent for the fourth month was the smallest on record.”

    And yet:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/13/october-through-march-was-the-snowiest-on-record-in-the-northern-hemisphere/

    Good thing they picked April…

    Now I think Steve is awfully brave to be predicting a big rebound in minimum ice extent this year for the simple fact that I don’t think we’ve got a collective clue of the evolution of polar ice on this planet, but I also think he’s got a better grasp on the climate sensitivity than most of the hysterical greens that seem to be nearly running the show. So, good luck, Steve.

  73. Smokey says:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm
    And what about the really basic question: how is CO2 causing a decline in Arctic ice, and an increase in Antarctic ice?

    Of course CO2 applies its heating effect on an “as-needed” basis Smokey. Apparently it is needed more in the Arctic than the Antarctic.

  74. A lot of credible-looking sources are saying that sea ice extent and thickness are declining dramatically.

    Here we have a blog post that is saying the exact opposite, that arctic sea ice is recovering.

    What are we to believe? How can this ‘cognitive dissonance’ be resolved?

  75. Orkneygal says:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    You are right. The example is precise now – I forgot that part of first year statistics. But the SD did double in my example.

    Now, can you do that for the ice anomalies? On the PIOMAS anomaly graph, take the SD given in the graph for May, e.g., and subtract the point from the SD of the mean of the comparator period (1979-2009 moving average) and give a real value for the SD at that point? The PIOMAS anomaly graph only gives the fixed SD. That is what I am getting at. Are we within one SD of the true mean for May this year?

    The Orkneysians(?) know statistics, I guess. What I am getting at is to get a true trend analysis based on the Polar Ice site data that incorporates the true variance for each month, reflective of the measurement error for each season or month.

    Sort of like Bollinger bands.

  76. Mr. Bastardi did comment on what he surmised the ice extent would be. He stated it seemed likely to be lower than last summer and the summer before, but not as low as 2007. Most of the ice-loss would be on the Atlantic side, due to the warm AMO. However he also stated quite firmly the recovery next winter would more than make up for the ice-loss. In the long term he expects increasing ice and cooling, and describes the current melting as “one step back before two steps forward.”

    In my opinion his videos are well worth the 29 cents a day I pay to view the Accuweather professional site.

  77. Steve —
    Ibrahim @June 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm mentioned the Mercator site, interesting. Those maps would prove an easy extraction by image decomposition, concentration and depth, join the two for volume… though I’m not sure of the source of their data. You might take a look for a seconary source.

  78. Mike says:
    June 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    What are we to believe? How can this ‘cognitive dissonance’ be resolved?

    Look at the graphs. You’ll suddenly be seeing 20/20.

  79. So, I went over to intrade.com to look at their climate speculation market (thanks Roger Knights). What do I find? About even money on whether minimum arctic ice extent 2010 will be greater than 2009. https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/common/c_cd.jsp?conDetailID=720038&z=1275533275642

    Here is the curious thing…. they’re using JAXA as their source. So, the competition is really, what will JAXA say about sea ice minimum extent. It’s an interesting choice to use JAXA. Are they less exposed to political pressure? Does anyone have comments about this bet?

  80. This is what Joe Bastardi says.

    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp

    “FRIDAY MAY 7

    THE STATE OF THE WORLD (OKAY, ICE MELT, GLOBAL TEMP).

    ICE IN A NOSE DIVE, GLOBAL TEMPS START THEIR FALL.

    I publicly stated earlier that global sea ice will take another beating this year, descending below levels it was at last summer, and perhaps 2008, but I don’t think it will get back to 2007 levels. This is the natural offshoot of the El Nino, BUT REMEMBER it will come roaring back this winter, and the melt season next summer (2011) will have it at higher levels than the melt season of 2009. In any case, looking at the sites that monitor this, we see them all in agreement now, the ice is crashing. Remember the forecast I made was done so before this started! I am simply calling ‘em as I see them.”

    While I like the reasoning of Steve Goddard a lot, if I understand well, Arctic summer ice melt depends mostly on wind patterns and the warmth of the water that flows from the Atlantic Ocean into the Arctic Ocean.

    Joe Bastardi expects more than average warm water to flow into the Arctic Sea and melt the ice from below. If by chance that is combined with wind patterns that break up the ice and pushes it into the Atlantic, summer 2010 might well be another 2007.

    I still think a prediction should take into consideration all the relevant factors:
    wind patterns,
    temperature of the water of the Atlantic Ocean,
    the amount of warm water flowing from the Atlantic into the Artic Ocean,
    thickness of the ice.

  81. I think the Mark Twain quote sounds better this way:

    “I find reports of my death to have been greatly exaggerated”

  82. Caleb says:
    June 2, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Mr. Bastardi did comment on what he surmised the ice extent would be. He stated it seemed likely to be lower than last summer and the summer before, but not as low as 2007. Most of the ice-loss would be on the Atlantic side, due to the warm AMO. However he also stated quite firmly the recovery next winter would more than make up for the ice-loss. In the long term he expects increasing ice and cooling, and describes the current melting as “one step back before two steps forward.”

    In my opinion his videos are well worth the 29 cents a day I pay to view the Accuweather professional site.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Yes, but since then the warm NAO has flipped to negative

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/ENSO/verf/new.nao.shtml#current

    And the overall picture shows SST of the Atlantic and Indian oceans headed down

    As is the global SST

    “Loehle, Craig. 2009. Cooling of the global ocean since 2003. Energy & Environment 20(1&2): 99-102.
    ABSTRACT
    Ocean heat content data from 2003 to 2008 (4.5 years) were evaluated for trend. A trend plus periodic (annual cycle) model fit with R2 = 0.85. The linear component of the model showed a trend of -0.35 (±0.2) x 1022 Joules per year. The result is consistent with other data showing a lack of warming over the past few years.”

    http://www.ncasi.org//Publications/Detail.aspx?id=3152

  83. From the ‘its worse than we thought’ brigade. Its not extent that matters its thickness…er…its not thickness its…er… ooh look over there.

    I notice an unwillingness to show images of an increasing thickness in the artic by the media, the Catlin promised us that it was worse than they thought and the media duly reported thin ice. It seems that the same media is no so keen on reporting the actual truth now, funny that.
    Our resident warmista R Gates raises the glass to his blind and says I see no increase in mass/thickness, funny that people only see what they want to see.
    The goal posts have been shifted so many times that the media no longer knows where the pitch is let alone where the goal is located. Still when the ice has been pushed up into one big pile they will report on the lack of extent and ignore the thickness of remaining ice.
    It simply has to be worse than we thought or the spell will break.

  84. Mike says:
    June 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    If you were to take your pizza dough that is rolled out, fold it in half twice, would the volume decrease, increase or be the same?
    Why would the Arctic Sea Ice be any different if the forces up there bunched it up?
    2007 was unique in that the thicker ice got blown out to the Atlantic and melted.
    It’s now 2010, and the ice is getting thick again. Mass has increased.
    If it doesn’t get blown out this year, it will get thicker still. More mass increase.

  85. In 2007, the alarmists would say Look, the sky is falling, the area of Arctic ice decreased!

    When it increased, they would say: Look, the area may have returned but the sky is falling because the thickness of the ice has surely dropped.

    I wonder what they will say now. The only thing I am sure is that the statement will contain “the sky is falling”. ;-)

  86. Considering the Arctic and Antarctic TOTAL ice area is sitting on the average spot on I for one am not going to concern myself about which is ahead this year – it simply doesn’t matter. If the average of BOTH the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent was down then I would be interested in knowing: A) how much, B) has it ever been this low before (averaged together) leading to C) what would indicate that the trend is increasing, decreasing or is just a wobble due to various climate influences.

    I will say that I am seeing a bit more ad hominem comments on both sides – neither of which improves my respect for the parties involved and it detracts from the validity of their discussions. Who wants to listen to children squabbling?

  87. stevengoddard says:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I have a supercomputer.
    My PC has two Nvidia 9800 GT cards, ($80 each) which deliver over 600 GFlops. It would have been one of the world’s top supercomputers 15 years ago.

    Does “deliver” mean theoretical performance or usable performance? Assuming theoretical, the top system 15 years ago was a Fujitsu system in Japan at 235.79 GFlops. It was November 1996 when 600 GFlops was surpassed with another
    Japanese system with 614.4 GFlops. It had 2048 PA-RISC CPUs running at 150 Mhz, and 0.3 GFlops each. See http://top500.org/list/1996/11/100

    The latest list was just released, the fastest theoretical system is a Chinese system with 120640 cores and 2984.30 TFlops (2,984,300 GFlops), but the efficiency is pretty low. The highest performing system is a Cray at Oak Ridge with 224162 cores, and achieving 1759.00 TFlops of a theoretical peak 2331.00 and draws 6950.60 KW. See http://top500.org/list/2010/06/100

  88. Perhaps you could do a linear fit to the peaks of the three years and then make a prediction as to the year the Arctic Ocean will be frozen from surface to seabed!

  89. Smokey said:
    June 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    “If you were ever to admit there’s an Antarctic, you could see that the its ice growth is greater than the Arctic decline.” You then link to a graph but that only shows 2 years, the trend over a longer period is less than the Arctic.

    Andy

  90. Just like Al Gore, the Norwegian government say one thing, and do something else.

    Just look here;

    http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/ostlandssendingen/1.4385097

    Now, who would build an opera like that, if they believed sea-levels would rise?
    But then again, it seems Mr. Stoere, the Norwegian foreign minister, is a good friend to Mr. Gore.

    And yet, they force every town to make cathastrophy plans regarding seal level rise….

  91. Richard M says:
    June 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm
    “I find it very humorous the confidence exuded by those who think this year’s melt will be significant. Having been wrong two years in a row you’d think they would have some humility. Nope, not a bit. Same old references to the same old science that got it wrong both years.

    Of course, just like the blind squirrel, they could find the nut this year, but most likely it would be due to weather and nothing else.”

    I don’t find it humorous, just sad. None of the so called ‘experts’ predicted last years Arctic sea ice recovery correctly, with all of them shooting too low.

    The problem we all have with predicting the amount of ice is that this seasonal process is driven by deterministic chaos, so trying to use trends to predict future levels is a fruitless task. These ‘experts’ fail to understand this year after year and get fooled every time. Using such a short 30y period to decide what is ‘normal’ only compounds their folly, as history shows massive variation is actually the norm.

    The only way to know what sea ice cover will be at the end of the melt is to observe the event as it unfolds – I use the following info to watch as it happens:-

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

  92. “I don’t believe the “But this month is the HOTTEST on record” meme, seeing how they’re throwing away all the thermometers that give the real picture until they’re left with just one, which just happens to be in somebody’s shirt pocket).”
    ————————————–

    And he happens to be on the beach in Texas!

  93. The comments here and at Climate Progress warrant a very specific and highly public bet on this year’s minimum ice extent. The parameters of the bet need to be set very specifically, so there is no wiggling after the outcome is decided. Are the terms listed at Intrade specific enough? I couldn’t find them, but a previous poster mentioned that JAXA was the agreed upon data source. Has anyone from WUWT specifically proposed such a wager to Climate Progress or any other highly public AGW proponent?

  94. Steve, perhaps an even more interesting study;
    compare the ice melted in situ with the ice flushed out through the strait between Svalbard and Greenland and melted south of the Arctic Ocean.

  95. Pseudoscience always takes refuge in non-testability.

    AGWers are arguing that all their missing heat is hiding:
    (a) in the Arctic, few and sparse temperature sensors, very limited knowledge of what’s going on
    (b) the bottom of the ocean, zero knowledge of what is going on.

    As climate cooling continues and deepens, the AGWers will need to find a parallel dimension in which earth is warming.

  96. JDN says:
    June 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    So, I went over to intrade.com to look at their climate speculation market (thanks Roger Knights). What do I find? About even money on whether minimum arctic ice extent 2010 will be greater than 2009. https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/common/c_cd.jsp?conDetailID=720038&z=1275533275642

    Here is the curious thing…. they’re using JAXA as their source. So, the competition is really, what will JAXA say about sea ice minimum extent. It’s an interesting choice to use JAXA. Are they less exposed to political pressure? Does anyone have comments about this bet?

    JAXA’s results are reported a day or so sooner than other sources (important to bettors), and it uses a more modern and reliable satellite. The other satellite was down for five days about a month ago.

    crob says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:25 am

    The comments here and at Climate Progress warrant a very specific and highly public bet on this year’s minimum ice extent. The parameters of the bet need to be set very specifically, so there is no wiggling after the outcome is decided. Are the terms listed at Intrade specific enough? I couldn’t find them, …

    You can read the terms (after navigating via “Climate and Weather” to “Arctic Ice Extent”) by clicking on the purple heading line “MIN.ARCTIC.ICE:2010>2009″, which takes you here:

    https://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/common/c_cd.jsp?conDetailID=720038&z=1275555182467

    Then click on “Contract Specific Rules”, which pops up the following text box:

    This contract will settle (expire) at 100 ($10.00) if the minimum Arctic ice extent for 2010 is greater than that of 2009.

    The contract will settle (expire) at 0 ($0.00) if the minimum Arctic ice extent for 2010 is not greater than that of 2009.

    This market will be expired on 31st October 2010. Expiry will be based on the minimum Arctic ice extent figure recorded using the IARC-JAXA Information System. Readings are taken on a daily basis and smoothed with a five-day moving average. These daily readings are published on a data table HERE.

    (Please be aware that the most recent data on this table may change once the five-day moving average is fully applied. There may also be occasional corrections made to daily figures published on the table in the weeks following initial publication.)

    The smallest recorded daily reading in the table on 31st October 2010 will be considered the minimum Arctic ice extent for 2010. This will be compared with the lowest recorded value for 2009 to determine contract expiry. (Please note the minimum Arctic ice extent is referred to on the IARC-JAXA Information System website as “sea ice extent.)

    For reference purposes the minimum Arctic ice extent for 2009 was 5,249,844 square kilometres (recorded on 13th September). The minimum Arctic ice extent for 2010 must be greater than this figure for the contract to expire at 100.

    Due to the nature of this contract please also see Contract Rule 1.7 Unforeseen Circumstances.

    The Exchange reserves the right to invoke Contract Rule 1.8 (Time Protection) if deemed appropriate.

    Any changes to the result after the contract has expired will not be taken into account – Exchange Rule 1.4

    Please contact the exchange by emailing help@intrade.com if you have any questions or uncertainty regarding this contract or interpretation of these contract specific rules, related exchange news articles or Exchange Rules before you place a trade.

    Each contract is worth $10. If someone is “asking” 45 for a contract, it means 45%, so it costs $4.50, and ten of them cost $45.

    The Arctic ice contract opened around May 10 at 50, fell to 35, climbed to 44, fell to 40, and is now being offered at about 45. (The chart of the price history of contracts is displayed when the purple bet-name is clicked, as mentioned above.) I’ve bet over $100 on this year’s Arctic being icier than last year’s.

    Here’s something I posted about a week ago that gives more detail on the mechanics of betting there: The odds at Intrade aren’t set by the organization itself, which is a mere marketplace where individual bettors posts bids and offers (sell-short bids, in effect) on certain propositions, similar to bids and offers placed on the stock market. (I.e., the bettor specifies the price level and quantity of his bid/offer.) If a bid or offer is tempting enough to another bettor, he “covers” it, and the price at which he does so establishes the latest odds.

    For instance, on the Greater Arctic Ice This Sept.? proposition, I currently have a bid at 40% for five $10 “contracts.” (All contracts are for $10.) I had to post a margin of $20 (40% * 5 * $10 = 20). If someone wants to take my bet at those odds, he posts a “sell” order at 40 for 5 and posts margin of $30 (60% * 5 * $10 = 30). In October Intrade settles the bet one way or the other and places $50 in the winner’s account. That’s one nice thing about the site — the feeling that I’m punishing the other side (not a bookie).

    Another nice thing is that if you change your mind on a bet you can sell it (or try to) at a partial loss before it goes totally bad. For instance, I could place a sell offer on my position at 30 and lose only a quarter ($5) of my bet ($20). You don’t have to put up extra cash to hedge yourself by buying a bet on the other side, the way you have to with a bookie. (Of course, Intrade charges commissions, but they aren’t onerous.)

  97. Ric Werme

    Many grid-based data parallel scientific models can be mapped to GPUs at close to 100% efficiency. The trick is to make sure that arrays are organised so that all memory accesses can be done in parallel. – i.e. thread 0 accesses bank 0, thread 1 accesses bank 1, etc.

  98. Anyone betting on this needs to recognize that summer weather can dramatically effect the behaviour of the ice. The fact that the ice is thicker now is no guarantee that it won’t shrink substantially if the summer turns out to be warm, windy or sunny.

    Joe Bastardi believes that it will be a warm summer in the Arctic.

  99. Been on a hunt for indices related to the North Pacific Gyre and the Alaska Current. Fascinating stuff. Reminds me of our earlier discussion of the AO. Are these two oscillating atmospheric pressure systems located near the Bering and Fram Straits primarily responsible for Arctic Ice variability? hmmmm

    http://ocean.eas.gatech.edu/npgo/

  100. Pamela Gray says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:53 am

    The study of salmon populations always produces interesting papers related to the North Pacific system.

    http://www.nwcouncil.org/library/ocean/05_trends.htm

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Very interesting stuff. I bookmarked both so I can read them again. I hope others come back to this article and check out your comments

  101. Ref – Mike Lorrey says:
    June 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm
    Gneiss says:
    June 2, 2010 at 11:57 am
    “I’m impressed by how unequivocally and often WUWT has committed to the proposition that Arctic sea ice is recovering, in disagreement with most Arctic researchers. As you say, these will be pages to bookmark.”
    ____________
    Since most arctic researchers who disagree with WUWT have consistently been shown to be wrong, very wrong, in just about everything, from causes to effects and outcomes, partly because they’ve been consistently seeing what they believe, and not believing what they see. Thats not research, its religion. True science is inherently skeptical.
    ______________________________________
    True science is by its very nature (inherently) skeptical.
    Thought I’d clarify, should it prove helpful, though somehow I doubt that it will help. We seem to have devolved into a real mess on this planet. “…in disagreement with most Arctic researchers” has no meaning, it is pure poison, it is insane! What are you trying to say, Gneiss?

    When did truth become a matter of voting? What is a “researcher” but a human being looking at something more than once for longer than a minute? There are 6,500,000,000+ researchers on this planet. Are we suppose to defer to “Arctic researchers” for any reason they say? Or, perhaps, they must earn our respect by being correct about something, and on that “something” –and that something alone– we “may” defer, if we so choose. An appeal to “quantity”, an appeal to “level of education”, an appeal to “IQ”, and appeal to “expertise”, and an appeal to “anything else at all”, is insane folly without truth.

    A formal education teaches us how to find some answers and it teaches us very little else (in the formal sense). Each of us are quite capable of being the dumbest dope in the room with or without forethought. Be careful who your defer to. No one deserves respect. It must constantly be earned.

  102. Roger Knights says:
    June 3, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Thanks for the summary. The reason I’m amazed at the even money on the issue of arctic ice is because of the huge hype machine for global warming. If it were so damned certain that ice is retreating, a warmist can get a 50% return on investment in about 3 months. Every time I ask for a warmist to give me the extreme odds that their rhetoric implies, they back out. I would like to see this market get bigger exposure. I realize it’s a gamble because the minimum extent can be affected by so many things, but, the odds should be larger based on rhetoric alone.

  103. The set 10±11.18 doesn’t contain all solutions to the set problem 20±10 – 10±5. That set is 10±15. The variance of that set is as described.

  104. R. Gates

    I don’t know about anyone else but every time you say something based on “models” I get the willies. What do the actual measurements tell us? Mostly they tell us that the measurements have huge uncertainties. Than people take that reality and pretend to understand these uncertainties and use this belief to make models which you then treat as more real than actual data.

    How much silly does it take to set off your BS detector?

    It sure would be nice for the planet if we could get some warming, that fact is, of course, lost in the entire AGW monologue.

  105. Since 1980 the Arctic has been loosing ~340 cubic km of ice a year and according to the PIOMAS data, from where these figures are taken, this ice loss rate has been greater than 340 cubic km from 2007 onward. Using the word “gain” to describe the general condition of the Northern Cryosphere may just be a little misleading. The term “thicker”, in this context, may only apply over less extent when dealing with an overall decrease in volume.

  106. phlogiston says:
    June 3, 2010 at 2:17 am

    “As climate cooling continues and deepens, the AGWers will need to find a parallel dimension in which earth is warming.”

    They can join the stringtheory-bunch. Im sure thogether they can make a model that shows its warming in the 21’st dimension.

  107. GeoFlynx says:
    June 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm
    “Since 1980 the Arctic has been loosing ~340 cubic km of ice a year and according to the PIOMAS data, from where these figures are taken, this ice loss rate has been greater than 340 cubic km from 2007 onward. Using the word “gain” to describe the general condition of the Northern Cryosphere may just be a little misleading. The term “thicker”, in this context, may only apply over less extent when dealing with an overall decrease in volume.”

    Out of interest what are the detailed figures for ice loss per year since 1930?

    If your answer is “don’t know” – then that should be your answer to what the current changes mean – you don’t know. There are continual cyclical changes in the weather and ice at the poles and the Earth’s climate is still warming from the Little Ice Age it should be expected that ice would retreat.

    Some people are really hoping that the Earth goes into another ‘climate optimum’ as warm periods were called – especially those Mongolian herdsmen whose cattle died from the cold as the Earth supposedly had its warmest Jan Feb Mar ‘ever’.

  108. Ian W said (June 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm): “Its interesting isn’t it that your reference has such a short timespan? So it gleefully shows a trend line from the 1978 just after the decade when everyone was concerned about a new ice age and then runs it to current time when everyone is talking global warming.”

    That is when satellite measurements began. There are many factors that effect climate, including natural cycles, natural chaotic phenomena and now an unnatural increases in CO2 as well as other pollutants.

    Say, I found this:

    “The most striking feature of our pan-Arctic sea-ice cover reconstruction is the abrupt and sustained decrease in summer ice extent observed during the second half of the 20th century, which is apparently unprecedented in the previous 9 centuries. Our results suggest that as of 1985, Arctic summer sea ice cover extent dropped below the lower bound of the reconstructed minimum for the Medieval Warm Optimum (ca AD 1150). These findings support the contention that human influence on Arctic sea ice became detectable after the early 1990s.”

    Reconstructing sea ice extent in the Arctic over the past ~900 years using a multi-proxy approach, Kinnard et al, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, EGU2010-14048, 2010.

    http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2010/EGU2010-14048.pdf

    I do not know enough to say whether this is study is correct or if it represents mainstream scientific opinion.

  109. Wondering Aloud said (June 3, 2010 at 11:33 am): “It sure would be nice for the planet if we could get some warming, that fact is, of course, lost in the entire AGW monologue.”

    While isolated extreme weather events are not sufficient to prove or disprove AGW, you should at least be careful what you wish for.

    Hundreds die in Indian heat wave

    http://english.vovnews.vn/Home/Hundreds-die-in-Indian-heat-wave/20106/116139.vov

    “A heat wave has hit northern India over the past few days, taking hundreds of lives as temperatures reached a record high of 50C. Local officials say this is the hottest summer in the country since late 1800s.”

    Note: Summer hasn’t started yet.

  110. Mike:

    Worldwide, freezing (colder weather in general at any levels) greatly increases death rates.

    Heat waves usually increase local deaths significantly for the short duration of the heat wave – and are, of course, much more publicized by the AGW academic-taxes-enviral-governmental industry for their fund-raising purposes – but cold waves kill about 3 times more people.

    There is no harm from a 2-3 degree increase in the world’s temperature over the next 200 years. None at all – and much good to be gained. Every green plant in the world today is growing 12 – 27% faster; higher, stronger, and becoming more disease-resistant by the increase in CO2 to date.

    Let us hope it continues.

  111. RACookPE1978 siad: “Worldwide, freezing (colder weather in general at any levels) greatly increases death rates.”

    You should cite evidence for your facts. I did not find world data. For the US: “During 1999–2003, a total of 3,442 deaths resulting from exposure to extreme heat were reported (annual mean: 688).”

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5510a5.htm

    “During 1999–2002, a total of 4,607 death certificates in the United States had hypothermia-related diagnoses listed…”

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5529a2.htm

    Thus, it appears you are correct for the US at least. I doubt this is true for India, although I have not checked.

    Your contention that: “There is no harm from a 2-3 degree increase in the world’s temperature over the next 200 years,” is of course absurd. For one thing the temp increase could well exceed 2-3 degrees C. It appears unlikely we will reduce emissions to stay below the 2 degree C target. The people whose job it is to research the environment have made clear that the negatives such as crop failures and species loss will most likely out weigh benefits: IPCC, NAS. The Stern report projected a 20% loss in global GDP. You can dismiss all this as a vast conspiracy, but you cannot find a major scientific body that backs your claim.

  112. AndyW says:
    June 2, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    The explanation is El Nino

    typical El Nino pattern

    It is not caused by man. It is a normal El Nino pattern.

  113. Mike.

    –>
    Your analysis of deaths related to heat and cold is a bit oversimplified. Exposure to extreme temps would include, for example, children left in cars, men sucked into pizza ovens and other such trifles, whereas hypothermia can certainly be induced by other factors than climate such as leaving grandma’s air conditioner on too low.

    In fact, the only reasonable way to make such a conclusion would be to take the average mortality rates (from all causes) of several spring and fall seasons and compare those during winter and summer to this “baseline” to form a “death anomaly” curve and to use this curve to create best fit models with which to observe trends. This may ignore the causality, accuracy and rigor, but any trend shown is logically derived and therefore must be true.
    <–

  114. stevengoddard says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Anyone betting on this needs to recognize that summer weather can dramatically effect the behaviour of the ice. The fact that the ice is thicker now is no guarantee that it won’t shrink substantially if the summer turns out to be warm, windy or sunny.

    I recognize that it’s a toss-up, but I’m hoping that the Pranksters Above have taken umbrage at the warmists and put their their thumb on the scales.

    Joe Bastardi believes that it will be a warm summer in the Arctic.

    I’m hoping that things will change due to the recent turn in the NAO mentioned by Gail. Joe’s opinion has restrained me from betting more than I have.

    JDN says:
    June 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Roger Knights says:
    June 3, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Thanks for the summary. The reason I’m amazed at the even money on the issue of arctic ice is because of the huge hype machine for global warming. If it were so damned certain that ice is retreating, a warmist can get a 50% return on investment in about 3 months. Every time I ask for a warmist to give me the extreme odds that their rhetoric implies, they back out. I would like to see this market get bigger exposure. I realize it’s a gamble because the minimum extent can be affected by so many things, but, the odds should be larger based on rhetoric alone.

    Actually, it’s a tad under 100% (a rough doubling of their bet) in a tad under five months (the settlement date is Oct. 31). The warmists have however been willing to push the odds up to 78% on the question of 2010’s being the warmest instrumental year yet (per GISS), so you have to give them that.

    I too would like to publicize this market, if only as a means whereby the opposing sides can non-violently challenge and triumph over their enemies (at least for this year). I also see it as a means of avoiding the mostly insuperable obstacles and disincentives to one-on-one betting on this topic.

  115. Roger Knights

    Now that GISS has freed themselves from trying to be consistent with HadCrut, they can pretty much guarantee whatever result they want. I wouldn’t bet against a team where the head coach is also the head referee.

  116. Mike says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm
    RACookPE1978 siad: “Worldwide, freezing (colder weather in general at any levels) greatly increases death rates.”

    The direct effect of heat and cold are one thing – the indirect effect is that if it gets colder the grow lines for food crops move equatorwards reducing crop yields; if it gets warmer the opposite is the case and more land is available for food production. The world is already short of food: a prolonged cold spell like the Little Ice Age could lead to large scale starvation as it would drop the world straight back into Paul Ehrlich’s population bomb scenario.

  117. stevengoddard says:
    June 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Roger Knights

    Now that GISS has freed themselves from trying to be consistent with HadCrut, they can pretty much guarantee whatever result they want. I wouldn’t bet against a team where the head coach is also the head referee.

    They can’t diverge too noticeably from HadCRUT and UAH or they’d be inviting a congressional investigation — or at least a loss of credibility. If they can only tweak the numbers by 2%, say, that’s not too worrisome.

  118. Buffoon says:
    June 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    “Mike.

    –>
    Your analysis of deaths related to heat and cold is a bit oversimplified. Exposure to…”

    I certainly was not attempting a detailed analysis. This is kind of OT, but I did see a site that gave death rates for the US by month. Death rates are higher in winter months mainly because of seasonal flu deaths are higher. Some scientists have expressed concerns about increases is death from tropical diseases in a warming word. I don’t know if fewer deaths from flu are taken into account. Personally I think the biggest health effects of AGW would be from economic losses resulting in less spending on healthcare especially in poorer countries. But, I’m just speculating.

  119. Mike

    I understand. Detailed and thorough analysis of the real world is usually difficult and fraught with too many factors that are non-germaine to the issue being tested, so snippets can prove insightful as “proof” of a larger truth which must have some proportionality to smaller facts.

    I would posit that if the “tropical diseases” from your anecdote include malaria, it has been much more than an expressed concern. Also, it has been far from a detailed analysis, being more in-fact a snippet from which concern may be drawn.

    Your last speculation quite literally shocked me. I don’t believe I have seen a single dissenting opinion, warmist or “skeptic,” to the statement that CO2 prevention measures would result in a net shrinking of economy. Warmist seem to accept it as “just desserts,” where “skeptics” seem to object to it as the single objectionable part of the agenda (aside from bad science,) but (to my experience) no-one seems to disagree. It was the subject of the proposition during the unimpeachable Oxford debate.

    I, in fact, would speculate economic losses stemming from the global shrinking of economy based on green movements (using Spain as a prototype) creates more healthcare gap than does a global higher average temperature.

  120. And yes, that reference to the Oxford debate can be construed as citation OR an appeal to authority (it was intended as a citation to reference,) thus making me a scientist or a schill. Schroedingerly, I may be in either state at the current time, or might indeed be influenced by external behaviour, or even the identity of the person making the observation, in an iterative irony it is myself this time, thus making the question of which it was quite difficult. We may, however, predict a future choice on my part through this simple 3 step plan:

    1) Measure my past behaviour by proxy, which may include character witness, previous examples of either behaviour or reconstructions based on presumed moral character.

    2) Further, create a model of my reaction to such situations using the simplest regression possible. Must have at least 2 points which intersect a graphical representation of your model.

    3) Use this model to make a future prediction as to whether my next contentious appeal to authority OR citation to reference, will in fact be either. Discard the result of the current situation (as given by me at the start of this post) if it does not fit the model by quoting “model inaccuracies” but posit your model as a reliable indicator of “future trends.”

    Hopefully the brilliance, sarcasm and snark of these last three entries (inclusive) made sense to somebody.

  121. Mike says:
    June 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    …..The Stern report projected a 20% loss in global GDP. You can dismiss all this as a vast conspiracy, but you cannot find a major scientific body that backs your claim.
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Mike, You will not find many here who respect the Stern report

    If you truly care for the environment as most of us do (I was a Greenpeace and WWF member at one time) then I suggest you take a long hard look at Maurice Strong , Father of the environment and global warming movement.

    You can start with Maurice Strong and Radio for Peace International:

    http://www.w4uvh.net/dxldtd3g.html

    So where does Maurice Strong stand as a CO2 emitter? If you thought Al Gore was bad, Strong has him topped by a mile as the biggest source of CO2 emissions in Canada!

    …Ontario Hydro, an industrial concern, headed by Earth Summit secretary general Maurice Strong, which is the biggest source of CO2 emissions in Canada. This corporation is currently selling nuclear reactors to Argentina and Chile…. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27/061.html

    I do not know about you but I dislike hypocrites who are trying to steal from me and reduce me to the level of a serf, all the while telling me it is for “my own good” I thought we out grew the middle ages.

    For we are the worms of the earth
    Against the lions of might.
    All of our days we are tied to the land,
    While they hunt and they feast and they fight.
    We give our crops and our homes and our lives
    And the clerics tell us this is right.

    http://www-cs.canisius.edu/~salley/SCA/Bardbook/worms.earth.html

  122. Roger Knights says:
    June 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I think I’ll join you and put 3 or 4 trades on Arctic recovery this September.

  123. phlogiston says:
    June 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Roger Knights says:
    June 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I think I’ll join you and put 3 or 4 trades on Arctic recovery this September.

    Good for you. (Mind you, it’ll take awhile before your account is “charged,” because you have to send a check by mail (a $1 stamp to Dublin) and then wait 10 days for it to clear.)

  124. Excuse my ignorance, but who posts as Joe at Climate Progress?

    He has a real attitude problem, not to mention a definite inferiority fear about WUWT.

    A second question, if I may? What is causing the steeper decline in ice extent during May of this year?

    REPLY: 1st question, that’s Joe Romm of the Center for American Progress. Second, I’ll defer your question to Steve Goddard. – Anthony

  125. Steve,

    As I mentioned, your calculations are not giving the volume of the ice, as they do not take into account the ice concentration. You calculate:
    VolumeGoddard = Sum(PixelArea x PixelThickness)
    However, such numbers do not give good agreement with the Navy’s published volumes – in fact giving a negative correlation of -0.6.

    I’ve had a chance now to derive the correct numbers, that is:
    VolumePIPS = Sum(PixelArea x PixelThickness x PixelConcentration)
    This did not need sophisticated software on a supercomputer, but free software, ImageJ, on my laptop, so anyone should be able to do these calculations.

    The method is straightforward. First download the appropriate PIS thickness and concentration maps for the date. The next step is to convert the images to hue, saturation and brightness. The quantitative information is on the hue* of the images, while the saturation gives the ice area. Hence for each image perform an AND operation with the hue and a binary of the saturation values. This gives an image of just the ice area thickness and concentration. Finally multiply the two processed images of thickness and concentration together to get a map of the ice volumes.

    Here are the results for the minimum of 2007:

    The calculation VolumePIPS on the histogram gives the ice volume. Comparing my values to published values at http://www.nrl.navy.mil/content_images/09_Ocean_Posey.pdf
    gives a correlation coefficient of 0.99999, so I’m pretty confident that this is how the PIPS volumes should be calculated.

    These PIPS volumes give rather a different history to the arctic ice volume than you present. In fact both the 2008 and 2009 minimums had less volume than 2007. Hardly a recovery.

    I hope this indicates the importance of understanding the numbers you are calculating before leaping to the conclusions that PIPS undermines the PIOMAS analysis and shows a multiyear recovery in ice volumes.

    *The PIPS images even cleverly put the hue into the black grid of the maps, so they disappear in once the image is transformed from RGB to HSV.

  126. The plot of the distribution of ice thickness for the years 2008, 2009 and 21010 bear no resemblance to the PIPs maps to which they purportedly represent. If one looks at them it is clear that in 2008 there was thicker ice than in 2010. So how were the misleading plots constructed??

  127. Thank you Anthony and Steven,

    I noticed that Joe Romm writes extensively on that site, as if it were his own. Very opinionated, as if it is his job to interpret current events in the appropriate political context.

    Also, Steven, I checked your link to the Bearing Sea ice extent and see your point.

  128. Well, after 158 comments, finally someone shows that Steve Goddard’s analysis has an obvious mistake…. he didn’t use ice concentration in his calculation. This is a very elementary and basic mistake by Mr. Goddard.

    Will we see a post admitting the error and correcting the analysis? Not on WUWT…. Mr. Goddard already has put up his latest version of Arctic ice propaganda.

    This site has a serious credibility issue.

  129. I know many of you have observed that AMSR data shows 2010 extent dipping below the past several years. The arctic-roos people still publish graphs using only the SSMI data which shows something different.

    Fine. That all made sense, until I looked at the following artic-roos page on which they compare the AMSR and SSMI data, and definitively show that SSMI is trending BELOW AMSR not the other way around.

    This is the graph motivating this inquiry:

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