Sea Ice News #36 – Arctic maximum ice extent reached – NANSEN data disagrees with NSIDC’s on the claim of a tie with 2006-2007

Now we start the slow slide into the Arctic Ice Minimum, likely sometime in September.

It is important to point out that there’s a lot of ice up there, and as illustrated by the images below, the losses at ICEmax are at the periphery, not at the core.

click to enlarge

What I find curious is the fact that NSDIC’s opening statement (below) in the press release has these words: “Arctic sea ice extent” but if you look at the NSIDC provided plot above, you’ll note that they include normal lines (in orange) for areas that are outside of the Arctic circle. While perhaps a small point, it does speak to accuracy in reporting. For example, I really don’t see how sea ice off the north coast of Newfoundland can be considered “Arctic” when it doesn’t even come close to being within the Arctic Circle.

[Update: Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC in an email agrees that the orange boundaries are "somewhat arbitrary" and has agreed to explore a  "what if" question for me. I hope to have a plot from him using Arctic circle as a boundary in a couple of weeks to see if there is any significant difference - Anthony]

It’s also important to note that this NSDIC claim only represents data from a 30 year satellite record, not the all time ice record, which is spotty and incomplete. From historical anecdotes, it appears the Arctic has gone through periods of reduced ice in the past. While NSIDC claims the maximum to be a tie with the 2006-2007 period on their plot (see their press release below), I’ll point out that NANSEN’s plot, using the same SSMI sensor platform, shows it nowhere near the 2007 value at present, though there was an intersection in the month of February:

NANSEN Artic ROOS- Sea ice extent 15% or greater - click for larger image

Source here NANSEN data (CSV file with both extent and area) download here

 

In fact, NSIDC claims the maximum was reached on March 7th, but as we see in the NANSEN plot above, the ice continues to grow as late as 3/23 when that plot was produced. This discrepancy between two organizations that use the SSMI data is curious. However, the JAXA AMSRE data does seem to support NSIDC’s claim.

More live plots are available on the WUWT Sea Ice Page

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Here’s NSIDC’s announcement:

Annual maximum ice extent reached

Arctic sea ice extent appeared to reach its maximum extent for the year on March 7, marking the beginning of the melt season. This year’s maximum tied for the lowest in the satellite record. NSIDC will release a detailed analysis of 2010 to 2011 winter sea ice conditions during the second week of April.

map from space showing sea ice extent, continents
Figure 1. Arctic sea ice extent on March 7 was 14.64 million square kilometers (5.65 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 median extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data. About the data.
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center 

High-resolution image


Overview of conditions

On March 7, 2011, Arctic sea ice likely reached its maximum extent for the year, at 14.64 million square kilometers (5.65 million square miles). The maximum extent was 1.2 million square kilometers (471,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average of 15.86 million square kilometers (6.12 million square miles), and equal (within 0.1%) to 2006 for the lowest maximum extent in the satellite record.

graph with months on x axis and extent on y axis
Figure 2. The graph above shows daily Arctic sea ice extent as of March 22, 2011, along with daily ice extents for 2006, which had the previous lowest maximum extent, and 2007, the year with the lowest minimum extent in September. Light blue indicates 2011, green shows 2007, light green shows 2006, and dark gray shows the 1979 to 2000 average. The gray area around the average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. Sea Ice Index data.
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center 

High-resolution image

Conditions in context

As of March 22, ice extent has declined for five straight days. However there is still a chance that the ice extent could expand again. Sea ice extent in February and March tends to be quite variable, because ice near the edge is thin and often quite dispersed. The thin ice is highly sensitive to weather, moving or melting quickly in response to changing winds and temperatures, and it often oscillates near the maximum extent for several days or weeks, as it has done this year.

Since the start of the satellite record in 1979, the maximum Arctic sea ice extent has occurred as early as February 18 and as late as March 31, with an average date of March 6.

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153 thoughts on “Sea Ice News #36 – Arctic maximum ice extent reached – NANSEN data disagrees with NSIDC’s on the claim of a tie with 2006-2007

  1. It’s also important to note that this NSDIC claim only represents data from a 30 year satellite record,
    ====================================================
    Start your record keeping at a time when predictions were that we were going into another ice age and glaciers would soon cover us all….
    ……because there was too much ice
    and you would hope that ice extent would go down………

    ….Winter max and summer min are always weather

    May and Dec it all comes back together

  2. Maybe NSDIC is a little too fast out of the gate. Winds are different from last year, so is the temperature record, so is the AO etc. Looking at the temperature trends I suspect that ice extent may continue for a day or another week.

  3. I see no mention of multi year ice or ice thickness which was deemed to be so important previously when the ice extent wasn’t following the script. From the 2007 v 2011 images that our host has shown above, the ice this year looks pretty solid.

    In fact, if the Catlin expedition is going to be repeated again this year then I think they might have a straight run to the pole like BBCs Top Gear team had when they drove. The only thing likely to slow them down is the time it is going to take to drill through all that ice.

  4. I really don’t see how sea ice off the north coast of Newfoundland can be considered “Arctic” when it doesn’t even come close to being within the Arctic Circle.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Anthony, I’ve also wondered about that. Hudson’s Bay fits into the same category.

    I think we’ve built up some nice multi-year ice in the Arctic, so it will be interesting to watch this in coming months.

  5. “[snip - rant]“

    The “rant” was a link to the to the wikipedia entry which defines the Arctic Ocean which is of course what the NSIDC tracks, not the Arctic Circle.

    REPLY: Well then you are welcome to submit that again, minus the ranting that surrounded it, but I must point out that this map included in that article:

    Does not show the coast of Newfoundland down to St. Johns as being part of it. That’s my point. And clearly, the Sea of Okhotsk is not part of the Arctic Ocean, yet NSIDC tracks “Arctic sea ice” there. Take these non-Arctic areas out, and let’s see how the true Arctic has fared over the last 30 years. – Anthony

    – Anthony

  6. In the charts displayed above, NSIDC presents a reference curve of an average of 1979-2000, and NANSEN uses an average of 1979-2006. In the anomaly charts on the reference page, anomalies are computed relative to a 30-year baseline 1979-2008; the period of 30 years has an unusually privileged place among baselines. I’m curious why neither institution has changed its graph to use a 30-year-long average. Has the question been asked?

  7. Well, the temperature in the Arctic is about 21 K below freezing. Not a lot of thawing within the Circle.

  8. “Does not show the coast of Newfoundland down to St. Johns as being part of it. That’s my point. “

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Ocean#Extent is the full link I posted the first time.

    Now that you’ve actually looked at the link you’ll have noted the definition is not the same as the Arctic Circle, the actual definition of what comprises the Arctic Ocean depends on what you’re talking about with different organisations using different definitions.

    The NSIDC provides the answer to your question

    http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/basics/arctic_definition.html

    “Arctic researchers also define the Arctic region as:
    The area north of the treeline (the northern limit of upright tree growth)
    Locations in high latitudes where the average daily summer temperature does not rise above 10 degrees Celsius”

    There is nothing incorrect or “inaccurate” as noted above.

    REPLY:The definition is nebulous, and that’s part of the problem. You say nothing incorrect or “inaccurate”….except that treelines are not relevant to sea ice and the Sea of Okhotsk is not the Arctic Ocean. Rationalization won’t make it so. – Anthony

  9. Peter Plail says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    ***In fact, if the Catlin expedition is going to be repeated again this year then I think they might have a straight run to the pole like BBCs Top Gear team had when they drove. ***

    Top Gear did not go to the geographic North Pole – They went to the magnetic pole.

  10. jakers says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    ===============================
    jakers, can you not look at the chart you posted and see that the 70’s and 1980 were the highest sea ice in the Arctic?

    ..and that 2000 has a lot more ice than 1950?

    Look at the chart you posted and figure out what happens when you start at 1980 and consider 1980 “normal”

    http://www.socc.ca/cms/en/socc/seaIce/pastSeaIce.aspx

  11. Hm..I are we sure that maximum has been reached yet. 2010 peaked at the very end of March/early April, and Norsex seems to be ticking up.

  12. Gerald Machnee says:
    March 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Top Gear did not go to the geographic North Pole – They went to the magnetic pole.

    From there, there will pretty much always be ice all the way to the actual pole, so they could just as easily have reached that. The point was made that there is, in fact, plenty of ice. So much ice that you can drive all the way to the pole (either one). And it was made very, very, well!

    It is still something I love to pint out to those who yell shrilly about the Arctic being ice free in [take your pick, Big Al says 3 more?] years.

  13. See I no longer have to go to Stonehenge to find out if it is Spring; izzat the First Point of Aries or some such Salem Witch monicker. I just have to come to WUWT to see if the great ice vanish has started. Here we all go again Anthony; must be a year since we last did this !

  14. Just looking at the AMSRE (IJIS) graphic, the extent is apparently > 2005 and 2007 while above the extent for 2006.

  15. @ Tim Clark says: March 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm “Well, the temperature in the Arctic is about 21 K below freezing. Not a lot of thawing within the Circle.”

    I am not sure, but I think some of the melting is from warmer ocean water below.

  16. “”””” Tim Clark says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm
    Well, the temperature in the Arctic is about 21 K below freezing. Not a lot of thawing within the Circle. “””””

    Well how in the hell did the Arctic get to 21 K; and you are correct; that certainly is below freezing.

    Are you sure you don’t mean -21 deg C ??

  17. “”””” CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm
    I really don’t see how sea ice off the north coast of Newfoundland can be considered “Arctic” when it doesn’t even come close to being within the Arctic Circle.

    Thanks for bringing this up, Anthony, I’ve also wondered about that. Hudson’s Bay fits into the same category. “””””

    Well I may be an old fuddy duddy; but “The Arctic” and the “Arctic Circle” are not one an the same; synonyms for each other.

    When I went to shool, , “The Arctic” was anything North of +60 deg Latitude. The “Arctic circle” is a menagery lion that runs around the earth right where the sun never rises (gometrically) in winter, and it wanders around in Latitude as the earth’s polar axis shifts. The “Arctic” however always stays put at +60 deg Latitude.

    If you would like to dispute that, then stop calling the “Antarctic Peninsula” the “Antarctic”.

  18. Here is my forecast

    2011 Minimum Extent:
    September 17th 2011.
    6.23 M km^2 (JAXA’s AMSR-E 15%)

  19. Anthony writes,
    “What I find curious is the fact that NSDIC’s opening statement (below) in the press release has these words: “Arctic sea ice extent” but if you look at the NSIDC provided plot above, you’ll note that they include normal lines (in orange) for areas that are outside of the Arctic circle. ”

    I’m surprised that you find this curious. I don’t know of any Arctic ice researchers who define “Arctic” as “north of Arctic Circle.” Do you? Perhaps WUWT could lead the way by creating the first dataset of sea ice extent exclusively within the Arctic Circle, and see what that tells us.

    “In fact, NSIDC claims the maximum was reached on March 7th, but as we see in the NANSEN plot above, the ice continues to grow as late as 3/23 when that plot was produced.”

    (Nansen was a man, not an acronym.) I tend to view NSIDC data as most definitive, and credit their “claim” of a May 7 max. That roughly agrees with the peaks not only for IJIS but also Uni Bremen and Cryosphere Today. But each research group uses different algorithms, so there are bound to be some differences in the results. Do you have a reason for preferring Arctic ROOS when they disagree? Will that preference be followed through the rest of the season?

    REPLY: Walt Meier from NSIDC has agreed to provide a plot, let’s see what it says, isn’t that what science is all about, exploring new ideas? As for your objection to my use of NANSEN, I made no claims of it being an acronym, I only capitalized it to make sure readers knew clearly what it was. I’m well aware of the history of his travels.

    You also seemed to have conveniently missed the sentence I made about JAXA AMSRE (which IS an acronym). But, since your purpose here is (and always has been) to denigrate from the comfort of anonymity, you go “Gneiss”.
    – Anthony

  20. Luther Wu writes,
    “Just looking at the AMSRE (IJIS) graphic, the extent is apparently > 2005 and 2007 while above the extent for 2006.”

    That is correct, if you mean that IJIS max this year is *below* 2005 and 2007, while still above 2006.

  21. Sharperoo,

    Don’t get caught in Anthony’s school boy argument about the definition of the “Arctic”. The point is all the measures, yet again, point to very low ice extent for this time of year. Anthony is raising a red herring to divert our attention from this fact.

    MJK

    REPLY: well whether you think it is “schoolboy” or not, in an email exchange just now, Walt Meir of NSIDC thought it an interesting enough question to take me up on my suggestion and offer a plot, he’s going to be traveling so it me be a couple weeks. I’ll present it here when he does. – Anthony

  22. “The definition is nebulous, and that’s part of the problem. “

    No it isn’t, all that matters is that the area under examination is consistent. That’s it. Precisely what defines “The Arctic Ocean” is no doubt an interesting aside but ultimately it’s irrelevant just as if you were to try and bring in various border disputes with regard to regional temperature trends.

    In this case simply going to the NSIDC website provides an appropriate explanation.

    “except that treelines are not relevant to sea ice”

    “Arctic researchers” covers more than “Arctic sea ice researchers”

    “the Sea of Okhotsk is not the Arctic Ocean. Rationalization won’t make it so. “

    It’s pretty clear that for Arctic research it is.

    Deciding to change the defining of the Arctic to exclude the parts of it that are melting after they start melting is the rationalizing that’s going on here. You can redraw the maps all you like but the ice will still be melting.

    REPLY: It is nebulous, I just had Walt Meir agree with that statement in an email, plus also say that “NSIDC’s boundaries are also somewhat arbitrary”. I’m curious to find out what the 30 year trend is inside the Arctic circle, and you aren’t the least bit curious? The Arctic circle is based on physical properties of Earth’s orbit, inclination, and solar illumination. The boundaries we see at NSIDC look like gerrymandered politcal districts.

    I find your lack of curiosity and your insistence that the Sea of Okhotsk is in fact part of the Arctic to speak volumes. Your mind is closed to what if questions, as are many AGW proponents – Anthony

  23. Latitude writes,
    “….Winter max and summer min are always weather
    May and Dec it all comes back together”

    It’s true that weather, winds and such, play a notable role in determining the exact summer minimum. But May is actually the *least* predictable month, and December the most predictable, in terms of their downwards trends.

  24. Didn’t I read something last year about a 5 day averaging of NSIDC data? Maybe that explains the discrepancy.

    MrC

  25. Oh wow, that’s a good one! When faced with the facts of ongoing northern hemisphere sea ice decline, I did not expect that people would start quibbling over the definition of Arctic. That is a new level of pettiness and irrelevance. Nebulous indeed. Ha!

    REPLY: Well Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC didn’t think it was “petty and irrelevant”, and has agreed to provide a plot for me in a couple of weeks. The question really stems from my curiosity about the orange boundary lines on the NSIDC extent map, which look much like gerrymandered political districts. Even Walt agrees that the boundary definitions are “somewhat arbitrary” – Anthony

  26. Mike writes,
    “I am not sure, but I think some of the melting is from warmer ocean water below.”

    Yes, melting from below is a major force and will become more so. People who focus exclusively on air temperatures have read none of the research.

  27. Gneiss says: March 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    “Yes, melting from below is a major force and will become more so. ”

    Actually, in a week or so “You’ll wonder where the yellow went!”

    Cooling, for a while now, all oceans, not just the equtoral eastern pacific.

    As for the air….
    Monthly deviation from 30 year global average temperature (Measured by the AMSU flying on the NOAA-15 satellite)
    Year Month Degrees C
    2010 Jan +0.54
    2010 Feb +0.51
    2010 Mar +0.55
    2010 Apr +0.40
    2010 May +0.45
    2010 Jun +0.39
    2010 Jul +0.42
    2010 Aug +0.44
    2010 Sep +0.48
    2010 Oct +0.31
    2010 Nov +0.27
    2010 Dev +0.18
    2011 Jan -0.01
    2011 Feb -0.02
    Again, cooling, expect this month to be -0.25

  28. Latitude says:
    March 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    “Start your record keeping at a time when predictions were that we were going into another ice age and glaciers would soon cover us all….”

    Whose predictions? Time and Newsweek?

  29. I find it fascinating following this year’s trend in arctic ice and the La Nina effect appearing to be pushing all that warm ocean up towards the arctic. I wonder if Bob Tisdale has any thoughts on this?

  30. Anthony writes,
    “The question really stems from my curiosity about the orange boundary lines on the NSIDC extent map, which look much like gerrymandered political districts. Even Walt agrees that the boundary definitions are “somewhat arbitrary””

    Any particular definition of where the Arctic ends is bound to be somewhat arbitrary. But the orange lines in NSIDC extent plots are not boundary lines. They mark the median ice extent for that particular date, over 1979-2000. The move as the date changes.

  31. There are always lots of hyperthermalist trolls who show up every time Arctic ice gets a mention.

    Perhaps one of them could enlighten me as to why I should care what the ice extent is?

    Interested, OK.

    Bothered? I don’t think so.

  32. ” And clearly, the Sea of Okhotsk is not part of the Arctic Ocean, yet NSIDC tracks “Arctic sea ice” there. Take these non-Arctic areas out, and let’s see how the true Arctic has fared over the last 30 years. – Anthony

    Anthony. The “Arctic Ocean” is not the same as the “Arctic Ice Cap”.

    The Arctic Ocean is not going to arbitrarily constrain the extent of circumpolar ice, regardless of what name that sea ice is called. The colder it is, the greater its extent is going to be beyond the technically defined “Arctic Ocean”. The warmer it gets, the more the “ice cap” will shrink from its former boundaries beyond and within the Arctic Ocean.

    The fact that circumpolar ice pack has been shrinking is due to forces that are not going to be constrained by man made boundaries and definitions. For example, if there’s a rising level of flooding water slowly risng to the level of my house, I am not going to say that my house in not in danger from that flood simply because “It hasn’t reached my doorstep yet.”

    For reasons of simple semantics, it’s going to be referred to as “Arctic sea ice” simply because the Arctic ocean is where most, not all, of the circumpolar ice pack is. There is no reason whatsoever to tag the names of a couple of other non Arctic regions to the phrase “Arctic sea ice” since that would create a cumbersome composite phrase.

  33. Of course the real issue is why is the Arctic region losing ice. Is it mostly from warmer than normal ocean water that was warmed elsewhere because of AGW? Or is the water warmer because of local AGW during the summer? I have read that part of the cause is an increase in black carbon, aka soot, from industrial sites in Russia and Asia. This is human caused but is distinct from GHG warming. And there may well be natural cycles in ocean circulation or wind patterns that are playing some role. Are there good review articles, readable by non-specialists, that quantify these or other factors?

    Related issues are concerns about permafrost loss and methyl hydrates.

  34. “George E. Smith says:
    March 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Well, the temperature in the Arctic is about 21 K below freezing.

    Are you sure you don’t mean -21 deg C ?”

    What is the difference? Suppose the temperature is 98 deg C or 371 K. Would I not be equally correct to say this is either 2 K below boiling or 2 deg C below boiling?

    As for the other point about what constitutes the Arctic. Whatever your definition is, I would think it would only affect certain months of the year, for example July to November. During November to July on the other hand, isn’t all of the water above the Arctic circle frozen anyway? So if the Arctic is defined as being far enough north, then there would be 100% ice coverage every February. Or am I wrong?

  35. @martin brumby

    The loss of ice decreases Earth albedo. Even without AGW if something, natural or human, caused a loss of sea ice cover that would cause global warming. The related loss of Greenland ice is causing sea level rice. There are also national security issues:

    Climate Change Poses Arctic Challenge for U.S. Navy |
    The U.S. National Academy of Sciences exposes new national security challenges for the Navy as a result of climate change

    So, whatever the cause is, yes you should be concerned. (Note: I did not say alarmed, I said concerned.)

  36. martin brumby says:
    March 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    “There are always lots of hyperthermalist trolls who show up every time Arctic ice gets a mention.

    Perhaps one of them could enlighten me as to why I should care what the ice extent is?”
    *****************************************************

    Ad Hominems are a sign of weakness. First, a Troll is a person who tries to create trouble. Perhaps, by your definition, a simple response based on facts, is troubling. Perhaps the mere presence of someone who says something that is not liked is considered “trolling”?

    “Hypethermalist” is simply a silly phrase. The board rules prevent namecallingand that should not be limited to the examples given or to one side alone

    As for the answer to the question of why someone should care about the sea ice extent, that is common knowledge. The very short answer is:

    The more open ocean is exposed, the more it changes the weather in surrounding regions. This is due to the differences between open water and sea ice in absorbing and releasing heat; evaporation; and itensification of storms through an increase in ocean heat release.

    Those changes, namely increased rainfall/snowfall have already damaged crops in Canada. Australia and Pakistan while not effected by the Arctic ice cap shrinkage, have been flooded due to an increase of heat in the oceans.

    Expect this alteration in weather patterns to continue and worsen throughout this decade and beyond. And so will its effects and repercussions such as crop loss, escalating food prices, and eventually social unrest.

    So the basic answer to your question, “. . . why I should care what the ice extent is?” is:

    “Because you like to eat.”

  37. Glad to see others are curious about the difference in “Arctic” ice. I too noticed that according to the NSIDC orange line, most of the difference in ice area was at lattitudes that no one would consider Arctic. In fact, the bulk of the differnce was at a lattitude similar to Calgary, Alberta which no Canadian considers to be “north” at all!

    Why must a simple question born of curiosity be considered so political by some?

    I share your curiosity Anthony and I’m interested in Walt’s thoughts.

  38. Everyone knows sea ice is my favorite topic as I feel it is the ultimate test of the validity of AGW theory. It’s a bit early to be predicting summer minimums perhaps, as we’ll have to see how quickly the ice retreats in the keys areas of the Beaufort and Barents Sea. Mid-May to Mid-June are critical in these areas in looking at the amount of open water in these areas early on can be a great indicator of the ultimate extent of melting later on in the season.

    Right now though, things are shaping up to give 2007’s summer minimum a real test. as the Arctic has seen many warmer than normal areas all winter as the cold air was pushed further south by the early winter negative AO conditions as well as several periods of a Dipole Anomaly that didn’t allow cold air to be trapped in polar regions. We had the study released in February that showed we had the warmest water in 2,000 years flowing into the Arctic over the past few decades.

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Water+entering+Arctic+warmest+years/4182089/story.html

    An interesting melt season awaits…

  39. I know what, I’ll just call it Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent.

    Same goes for Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent.

    The Arctic Circle is an arbitrary definition with respect to the overall sea ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere.

    I’m sure I’d be interested in what precentage of sea ice exists above (or below) any given latitude at any given time.

    However, a capricious definition, that goes to 100% is meaningless, as we should all know that there are not definitive boundaries for the Arctic Ocean (e. g. it is not an inland body of saltwater, per se), when speaking of sea ice extent during the Northern Hemisphere summertime and/or wintertime and/or anytime.

    So, for example, my definition of sea ice extent is all areas above 89N. Therefore, I could state, correctly, that the current record shows that area always occupied by > 15% sea ice extent, or it’s value is always 100% occupied by > 15% sea ice extent.

    Thus, a capriciously defined flatline, of any duration, actually tells me nothing about what all is going on, outside of that arbitrary definition, in the entire Northern Hemisphere with respect to total sea ice extent/area/volume.

    You either include all areas of interest, e. g. the Northern Hemisphere itself or the Southern Hemisphere itself (with their respective seasonal cycles), with the knowledge that these respective areas are driven by entirely different boundary conditions/processes, or you create capricious definitions to suit your own baises, I’d always choose the former.

    Now, if you want to talk about total amount of frozen water on the Earth, or in each hemisphere, that is a different matter then what all is being discussed above (seasonal variation of Northern Hemispheric sea ice extent/area/volume).

  40. That’s all what’s left. A few orange lines on a map to underline a religion.
    Even the Baltic gets a quick mark.
    Yes, we’re short of ice in the Baltic all right.
    Must be caused by the nuke that came to the rescue:

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/03/nuke-to-rescue.html

    And there is the Catlin Team who are forced to swim the entire route.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/catlin-team-faces-42c-and-five-metre-thick-ice/

    They should have watched the orange lines.

  41. Werner Brozek says:
    March 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    What is the difference? Suppose the temperature is 98 deg C or 371 K. Would I not be equally correct to say this is either 2 K below boiling or 2 deg C below boiling?

    I always understood that kelvin was an absolute scale, rather than a relative one like degrees Celsius. If that were the case, your terminology would not be right, and C would be a better usage (with the degree symbol had there been one in a keyboard).

    Further reading on the iterwebs tells me this is not the case, despite what I had learnt, so you are right. It still seems wrong to me: 2K is two Celsius above absolute zero in my head. Still, the older I get, the more used to being wrong I get!

  42. I’m not liking what I’m seeing so far. I think there’s a chance we go below the 2007 minimum, and I don’t see much chance we exceed the 2010 minimum. Wind and tide will play their as yet unpredictable role, of course.

    Having said that, I don’t see any reason to think that Mr. Wilson, who predicted a 1M summer extent minimum last year for ARCUS yearly summer prediction roundup will be in the ballpark this year either. . . and Mark Serreze still won’t find his autumnal equinox stocking stuffed with his hoped-for “ice free north pole” this year either (for the 4th year in a row).

  43. gaya hap says:
    March 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Oh, I love this game…..

    As for the answer to the question of why someone should care about the sea ice extent, that is common knowledge. The very short answer is:

    The more open ocean is exposed, the more it changes the weather in surrounding regions. This is due to the differences between open water and sea ice in absorbing and releasing heat; evaporation; and itensification of storms through an increase in ocean heat release.

    Nope, sorry. It is still not at all clear what effect the loss of ice has. It certainly had very little or no measurable effect on any climate when it was very low early last century, and in the middle of last century.

    [handy hint: it has happened before, no disasters were caused, we can relax, now]

    Those changes, namely increased rainfall/snowfall have already damaged crops in Canada. Australia and Pakistan while not effected by the Arctic ice cap shrinkage, have been flooded due to an increase of heat in the oceans.

    Nope again. Our floods had less than zero influence from the ice in the Arctic. To suggest they did is extremely strange. They were caused, as they always are, by La Nina.

    [handy hint: it has happened before, happens every ten years or so, and there is nothing we can do about it except prepare for it, and not build on flood plains just because there have been no floods for nine years!]

    Canada I have no idea about. I guess it’s nearer, but still cannot see your chain of causation, at least if you use real empirical evidence instead of following cant.

    Expect this alteration in weather patterns to continue and worsen throughout this decade and beyond. And so will its effects and repercussions such as crop loss, escalating food prices, and eventually social unrest.

    Nope once gain. Increased CO2 has been proved to be beneficial to plants in all conditions., Increased temperature periods in history are the times when we had much better conditions. Cold kills. Warmth nurtures. Look at the statistics for deaths, even as near the equator as India. Cold kills, much, much more than warmth.

    Any speculation that the melting of any ice at all will severely affect our climate is just that, speculation. There is a significant possibility that this will help the oceans to cool anyway (not being insulated), and this is a strongly negative feedback. That is why the MWP did not send us into all of the hyped up tipping points that scaremongers have invented. They do not exist except in alarmists imaginations.

  44. Oh, yes, I forgot. Those escalating food prices leading to social unrest? They were caused by misguided greenies who thought using food crops to power our cars would be a more sensible thing than eating them.

    They really deserve the title ‘ecotards’ I’m afraid.

  45. It is a small and inflexible mind that cannot find at least two ways to look at a question. I vote with Anthony on this Arctic issue.

    Next. It is possible to write “X Celsius degrees” and “X degrees Celsius” as the former is proper for a temperature change, while the latter is proper for a temperature measurement. Using kelvins may simplify the writing but not the meaning for most folks.

  46. Oh my God!! Look at all that ice!!! Hey..wait a minute….shouldn’t the ocean levels drop when that happens?? Someone call Al Gore. When this ice melts..the ocean levels will go even higher! This will happen again next year and the year after that and so on. Somebody get us off this Escher climate disaster.

  47. jakers says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    ‘Start your record keeping at a time when predictions were that we were going into another ice age and glaciers would soon cover us all….
    ……because there was too much ice’

    Hm, never heard that one before, that there was ‘too much ice’ in 1979!
    This looks back to 1950, and for NS, to 1810.

    Two questions;
    What might these charts look like if this work is extended to the present (ie 2011)?
    Where is the ACCELERATION of ice sheet disappearance that the IPCC supporters keep telling us is occuring?

  48. @Mike 6:55pm, @gaya hap 7:01pm

    OK, OK. Yaawn.
    I’ve heard all this before.

    And lets bear in mind the fact that it has all happened before. Many times.

    Remember that the net (Arctic + Antarctic) sea ice extent has not changed statistically.

    Don’t forget the fact that all the supposed awful consequences are unproven at best and has otherwise been shown to be asolute piffle.

    But you still expect me to jump up and down & bounce off the walls and urge the politicians to throw another trillion into “saving the planet”?

    Really?

    And if “Ad Hominems are a sign of weakness” perhaps you might nip over to RC or Climate Progress and wag your finger at them.

    I may not “like” what R.Gates says on here. More often than not I disagree with what he says. But he doesn’t hide behind anonymity and he frequently makes thought provoking, sensible points. (OK, frequently not so much).
    But I think he deserves some respect.

    Anonymous trolls waving the same tired old shrouds around?

    Sorry!I don’t think so.

  49. I am bothered by the NSIDC orange line. I would suggest that a 3-sigma band be added so that I can see (understand) how far the current coverage is off. I suspect that the 3-sigma width varies a lot.

  50. The area graph from cryosphere shows 2010/11 below 2006/7

    so Nanson looks dubious especially with JAXA also be figured in.

    In regards to Arctic sea ice, as long as they are consistent it does not really matter. Perhaps they should call it Northern Hemisphere sea ice to stop people having their own definition of what Arctic means in this case?

    Andy

  51. Some thoughts on the Celsius, Kelvin divide.

    There are two units of temperature measurements in use today.
    Centigrade and Fahrenheit.
    There are two temperature scales that use the Centigrade units:
    Kelvin and Celsius.
    Kelvin starts at zero, and has no negative values.
    Celsius starts at -273.15.
    The “Cent” portion of the word Centigrade is in reference to the number of units between freezing and boiling water, and that is “100”.
    Centigrade therefore is the proper name to use when talking about units of difference, and “C” is the letter used.
    It doesn’t really matter if you use K or C as most people will understand by the context of use.

    How not to use Celsius:
    After the great wind storm that hit Vancouver and the Lower Mainland on December 15, 2006 an article in a local paper declared that the temperature was 68 % above normal. So instead of an average (article mistakenly used the term “normal”) temperature of 10C, it was 16.8C. (these values are approximate)
    What would the % above normal be if one used the F scale using this improper method of calculation?
    I get about 25 %. If you can come up with vastly different numbers to explain a phenomena just by using a different scale, then there is something wrong with your methodology.

    A few weeks ago in Vancouver there was a high temperature of -3C and normal is 8. What percent hotter should it have been on that day? Lets say I warm the cold up a bit to above 0 to get rid of negative numbers. You can come up with any percent you like, 1000, 10,000 just by selecting some number close to zero.
    The Kelvin scale is probably the scale to use when doing these type of calculations. Or calculating the amount of energy, in the form of heat, in Joules might be better.

  52. I like the link Jakers supplied us with, especially the Newfoundland graph that goes clear back to 1810. 1830 must have been a balmy winter in Newfoundland, as it has one of the lowest ice extents.

    http://www.socc.ca/cms/en/socc/seaIce/pastSeaIce.aspx

    I also find it interesting that in most graphs 2005-2006 is one of the lowest, in terms of winter extent, but as 2006 proceded the ice didn’t melt as much as other years, so that 2006 is one of the highest, in terms of summer extent (in recent years.)

    Even with the La Nina weakening, its cooling effect will “lag” through the summer, so I’m betting my nickle that the ice melt will resemble 2006.

  53. “…the orange boundary lines on the NSIDC extent map, which look much like gerrymandered political districts. Even Walt agrees that the boundary definitions are “somewhat arbitrary””

    The orange lines show the median ice extent, which is not arbitrary at all. In your eagerness to quibble over something, you seem to be confused about what exactly you are quibbling over. Is it the definition of Arctic that is bothering you, or the definition of median ice extent?

  54. Jer0me says:
    March 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    What matters is the word “below”, which makes it a temperatur DIFFERENCE (delta-T) instead of a temperature (T). Some people use tau or t for Celsius-temperature. You are correct to say that a delta-tau of 1°C is equal to a delta-T of 1 K, but it would be wrong of course to say tau=1°C is the same as T=1K.

  55. Arctic ice cover is in a roughly 80 year cycle. As was pointed out above, records have covered 30 years for the top of the cycle so 10 years to go to the bottom of the cycle then ice should increase. Only time will tell, not some half baked model.

  56. sharper00 says:
    March 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    quote
    “The definition is nebulous, and that’s part of the problem. “
    No it isn’t, all that matters is that the area under examination is consistent. That’s it. Precisely what defines “The Arctic Ocean” is no doubt an interesting aside but ultimately it’s irrelevant just as if you were to try and bring in various border disputes with regard to regional temperature trends.
    unquote

    While I have a certain sympathy for this point of view, it may be that as you move further from the Pole different warming mechanisms may be involved. To treat the entire ice area as an entity will, in those circumstances, cause error.

    Anyway, it’s the Kriegesmarine Effect: oil spills from the North Slope and the Okhotsk rigs smooth the water. This lowers the albedo and emissivity so the water warms quicker when the sun shines and cools more slowly at night. The edges of the ice sheet are slower to freeze in winter and quicker to melt in summer.

    However*, note that a survey of the Okhotsk sea found minimal oil pollution from the rigs. No definition of ‘minimal’ was given. 5ml of light oil will smooth a hectare. It is a simple calculation to work out how much is needed to smooth the Okhotsk.

    The image at:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/4979953/Polar-bears-will-not-survive-without-urgent-action.html

    shows the smoothing around melting ice. One wonders if ice entrains the pollution as it freezes, preserving it in a concentrated form to cause enhanced melting in the spring.

    JF
    *Thank you, Professor Feynman.

  57. Apparently the Catlin team are having a little bother drilling throuth the 5 meter ice! They also complain about wintery conditions in late March! Perhaps the reality will soon sink in.

    For the doubters regarding ice-free conditions and greatly reduced extent here is a primer.

    Ice free within the last ~10,000 years

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.08.016

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFMPP11A0203F

    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/21/3/227

    Reduced extent in more recent history.

    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/

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

    http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/chapter_1.html

  58. Sea ice. Who needs it? A summer of unrestricted shipping thru the Arctic ocean would be a fine economic stimulus.

  59. “R. Gates says:
    March 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm
    Everyone knows sea ice is my favorite topic as I feel it is the ultimate test of the validity of AGW theory.”

    With the world not warming according to the model predictions, I guess those who believe in CAGW have to hang their hat on something they think will prove their theory. Unfortunately for them, Arctic ice extent isn’t going to get them there.

    Historical records of past substantial low ice periods in the Arctic and the existence of early human settlements in Greenland, which wouldn’t be habitable today, all indicate that low ice extent in the Arctic is recurring and, in a historical context, not extraordinary.

    A 32 year satellite record which starts at a high point and is currently at a low point, doesn’t prove CAGW regardless of whether the Arctic is ice free this year or next. The only thing that will prove CAGW theory is a constant, unprecedented rise in global temperature.

    Come back when you can demonstrate that.

  60. Mike says:
    March 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm
    Of course the real issue is why is the Arctic region losing ice. Is it mostly from warmer than normal ocean water that was warmed elsewhere because of AGW? Or is the water warmer because of local AGW during the summer?
    ++++++++++

    I am interested to know Mike, what you think the mechanism is for AGW to heat the oceans. I thought they were heated almost exclusively by the sun. Perhaps you can relate the present ocean cooling (since at least 2005) to the reduction in Arctic ice cover. Well…..not really reduction… let’s say ‘approximately stable area within a narrow range’.

    I ask now because it was pointed out in 2007 on this channel that much warmer water entering the Bering Strait cause some melting in the Arctic and a great deal of the loss (not melting) was ice blowing east past Greenland as was well documented in the NASA photo times series.

    If the ice area is about the same as it was in 2007, is warm water still the cause? Will the continuing drop in sea temperatures around the world affect the Arctic ice extent? Will the concomittant and continuing decline in air temperatures change the picture at all?

  61. Anthony,
    Congratulations. This is the best question asked in recent years. Where?
    Thanks

    PS: The same question is important about the Amazon rainforest.

  62. sharper00 says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    “[snip - rant]“

    REPLY:. …

    Does not show the coast of Newfoundland down to St. Johns as being part of it. That’s my point. And clearly, the Sea of Okhotsk is not part of the Arctic Ocean, yet NSIDC tracks “Arctic sea ice” there. Take these non-Arctic areas out, and let’s see how the true Arctic has fared over the last 30 years. – Anthony

    EFSJunior already advocated “Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent”. I assume that there is no northern hemisphere sea ice that is not in the NSIDC data (or am I missing some ice).

    Perhaps we should lobby Dr. Meier to change the term to that. Given how many times AGW has been renamed, surely referring to the hemisphere instead of Arctic would be less controversial.

    I grew up in northeast Ohio. While the Great Lakes are not seas, why do we measure just sea ice? Shouldn’t we be including fresh water ice too? Perhaps I should work up a theory on the Conservation of Controversies (subtitled “You Can’t Please Everyone”).

    Of course, If we just look at the ice cover over the true Arctic, there should be a lot less variance in peak ice since we’ll me removing a lot of the part that brings the variance.

  63. Since the Arctic is the “canary in the cave” of global warmers, the definition of the Arctic should be clearly defined. Further, since the effects of any warming are supposed to be seen in the Arctic first and in a more pronounced way we should expect to see these changes not at the periphery of the ice cap which is more vulnerable to local weather patterns, but in the real Arctic.

  64. This page has the “Arctic” sea ice extent broken out into 9 separate regions for those who desire more granularity and specificity in the data.

    https://sites.google.com/site/arcticseaicegraphs/

    It is curious that I don’t recall Anthony complaining about the definition during last year’s late freeze even though much or the extent increase took place in the areas he is now disputing. Yes Anthony, the question is a good one it’s your timing that’s odd.

    REPLY:
    No nefarious motives. Sometimes you don’t notice things until later. I’m genuinely curious to see what a 30 year plot of sea ice only inside the Arctic circle might show. It may show nothing new at all, but as you say, “an interesting question”. You’ll note that I previously have questioned the inclusion of the Antarctic Peninsula in the same climate zone, due to it being so far away from the mainland and affected by currents that don’t affect the main ice cap. So there’s precedence for this type of curiosity – Anthony

  65. A question for the moderator. Why is it I git snipped if I say someone is a denier while this is permitted?

    ” Jer0me says: March 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm ….
    They really deserve the title ‘ecotards’ I’m afraid.”

    It is your blog and you have the right to moderate it as you see fit. I am just curious.

  66. The ice extent is completely within a reasonable explanation that centers on ENSO-warmed waters that were sent there, as well as AO parameters that moved ice and especially ice edges around. I see no reason to add CO2 affects to ice area or extent. Natural variability, both from oceanic and atmospheric sources, explains it well enough.

    Until we get oceanic and atmospheric conditions that historically lead to more ice building in depth beyond its current edge, and staying through the melt season, yet ice is melting, the discussion of CO2 effects are entirely academic. Unless the warmists here are postulating that oceanic and atmospheric conditions are being driven by the CO2 in the air.

  67. sharperoo, the map you linked to in Wikipedia clearly shows the Arctic circle boundary marked just north of the 60th parallel on the coast of Labrador. The NCIDC sea ice extent map boundary extends hundreds of miles south of 60 degrees, along the coastline of Newfoundland and well into Nova Scotia.

    I understand the general ignorance about Canadian geography, but the NCIDC line extends considerably south of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, which is located near 46 degrees latitude. I can rest assure you their temperatures exceed 10 degrees C in summer and they definitely have an abundance of trees, just as their neighbour to the west, across the Atlantic Ocean, the state of Maine.

  68. Humans have a silly grandiose perspective on themselves because they reduce gargantuan things in nature down to size and then think themselves now much bigger.

    Ants don’t care whether or not a blade of grass is an inch taller or an inch shorter. And they thrive just the same.

    We see the orange line around the Arctic and get our knickers in a twist because the ice isn’t snuggled up to, or even better, beyond that orange line.

    Hubris. Plain and simple hubris.

  69. gaya hap says:
    March 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Expect this alteration in weather patterns to continue and worsen throughout this decade and beyond. And so will its effects and repercussions such as crop loss, escalating food prices, and eventually social unrest.

    So the basic answer to your question, “. . . why I should care what the ice extent is?” is: “Because you like to eat.”

    REPLY Thank you, Prof. Hap, for your insightful and logical argument. At the University of Illinois where I teach, our Agronomy folks have done the analysis of the effect of a warmer, wetter world climate upon the agronomy and agricultural output of the state. Curiously, they have discovered that Illinois will fare very well with shorter, warmer winters and longer, wetter growing seasons.

    If you ever get hungry, come to Illinois, I’ll buy you a pork chop sandwich. With gravy.

  70. Arctic sea ice volume and extent appear to be closely related to Arctic ocean heat content. From Bob Tisdale:

    From the above graph we observe that sattelite monitoring of sea ice extent began in 1979 when the arctic ocean heat content was at a low. Note that since 2007 heat content has rapidly dropped as sea ice volume has grown based on pips2 modeling.
    This is expected from the development of negative NAO over the last two years. Climate modelers expected the NAO to remain positive and the ice cap to continue to shrink. Furthermore it is now understood that ice free waters around the perimeter of the sea ice in the winter allow heat to escape and thus provide a negative feedback to arctic sea ice melting.
    While knowledge of sea ice extent before 1979 is limited, sea ice volume has been modeled and we see from the following graph that the thirty year decline in sea ice was due to positive NAO that is no longer with us.

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/retro.html#NAO

    I suspect that most arctic experts are quietly telling each other that we have begun a thirty year recovery of arctic sea ice volume. The Cryosat 2 sattelite launched last April will likely document the recovery to the embarassment of alarmists.

  71. Pamela Gray says:
    March 25, 2011 at 9:02 am
    The ice extent is completely within a reasonable explanation that centers on ENSO-warmed waters that were sent there, as well as AO parameters that moved ice and especially ice edges around. I see no reason to add CO2 affects to ice area or extent. Natural variability, both from oceanic and atmospheric sources, explains it well enough.
    ____

    Pamela, what natural cycle can account for the warmest water in 2,000 years moving into the Arctic? Re:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/28/us-climate-arctic-idUSTRE70P6TE20110128

    There is no “natural variability” that lasts 2,000 years that would be causing this warming (by Milankovitch cycles, we should be level to cooling slightly over this period). The Arctic is warming, sea ice declining, permafrost melting– all in line with GCM model expectations when factoring in the 40% increase in the GH gas CO2 (and it’s related positive feedback effects) since the 1700’s. Polar amplfication of GH warming from CO2 is shown to occur in EVERY GCM, which is significant, because they show mechanism and an expected and varifiable trend and reason why the sea ice is declining. To suggest this is mere “natural variability” seems to be missing the bigger picture.

  72. I suspect that most arctic experts are quietly telling each other that we have begun a thirty year recovery of arctic sea ice volume. The Cryosat 2 sattelite launched last April will likely document the recovery to the embarassment of alarmists.
    ____
    Your suspicion would be dead wrong. Quite the contrary is what the experts in sea ice are saying. The experts in the cryosphere (sorry, Joe Bastardi is not an expert in this area) are all in agreement that arctic sea ice is in a long-term decline which will likely lead to an ice-free summer arctic sometime this century (and most likely sooner than later this century). Not only are they in agreement that it is in a long-term state of year-to-year decline, but they are in agreement that the cause in most likely the 40% increase in CO2 and it’s related positive feedback effects, with polar amplification of warming being key to the decline of sea ice.

  73. I recently found out that a distant relative of mine was a rigger, in the London area, back in 1860’s. He went around the world a few times applying his trade on a few sea fairing ships sometime after 1860. I would be interested in knowing what the Arctic sea ice was like back then (and when all the activity was occurring to find the Northwest passage) as he ended up emigrating to Canada (then down to the US).

    A personal thank you to the kind souls in the UK for having provided for orphan’s back in the 1840 and 1850 as my great great uncle lost his parents in India and spent some time at a government sponsored work house (from age 8-14 it appears from the records). It looks like he was a labor for 6 years while at the work house and he was classified as a pauper as he parents had passed away. I was thinking of sending some money to your climate change departments to offset his former carbon footprint- until I learned that the other side of my family ended up being on the wrong side of the war of the Roses and the family lands (near Cork) were reallocated to someone on the winning side of the battle. I am sure my side of the family would of keep all the trees on their former lands so I’ll call the the families carbon footprint even if that ok with you.

  74. @RGates

    P.S. Go to KNMI and look up ocean heat content for the North Atlantic. In fact, look up OHC for any region affecting the Arctic, including the Arctic region itself.

    The paper you linked to appears as another rendition of a treemometer. Other research (including Archaeological evidence) does not support it.

  75. Mr Gates,
    As you know Steve Goddard is documenting the ice buildup from pip2s:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/huge-increase-in-thick-ice-over-the-last-three-years/

    The buildup correlates with the negative NAO:

    http://ioc3.unesco.org/oopc/state_of_the_ocean/atm/nao.php

    I think it is interesting that the negative NAO and estimate sea ice volume buildup in the 1960’s was also associated with a decline in solar sunspot number. It is looking more and more like arctic sea ice volume and arctic ocean heat content are controlled by a top down solar forcing that determines the NAM phase.

  76. “”””” Werner Brozek says:
    March 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    “George E. Smith says:
    March 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Well, the temperature in the Arctic is about 21 K below freezing.

    Are you sure you don’t mean -21 deg C ?”

    What is the difference? Suppose the temperature is 98 deg C or 371 K. Would I not be equally correct to say this is either 2 K below boiling or 2 deg C below boiling? “””””

    Well words have a meaning. The usual idea of communication is to use words that carry the meaning you intended to communicate.

    Other words; have other meaning, so you should not use other words; just those that convey the meaning you intended.

    The “Kelvin” Temperature scale is an absolute Temperature scale. xyz Kelvins is a specific Temperature; not how much hotter or colder than your coffee something is.

    So 21 K is way below the freezing point of both Nitrogen and Oxygen.

    98 deg C is certainly 371 K, actually 371.15 , and it certainly is 2 deg C below the BP of water (at standard pressure) but it is not 2 K below the BP of water; 2 K is below the BP of Hydrogen.

    The Celsius scale is also a “Centigrade” scale, in that it divides the temperature range between the BP and the FP of water (at standard pressure) into exactly one hundred equal increments or “degrees”

    The Kelvin scale is defined so that the triple point of water; which occurs at about 0.01 deg C (at the triple point pressure); is exactly 273.16 Kelvins, and the difference between two Kelvin Temperatures, is identical to the difference in those two Temperatures in Degrees Celsuis. So the standard freezing point of water is 273.15 Kelvins, and the standard boiling point is 373.15 Kelvins.

    It is hard enough for scientific experts to keep their terminology correct, so that they can communicate ideas correctly among themselves; it is much more destructive when they use loose language when talking to lay or non science experts. No wonder so much miscommunication occurs.

    So the brief answer to your bottom line question is “no” for a more explanatory answer try “Hell no!”

  77. gaya hap says:
    patterns to continue and worsen throughout this decade and beyond. And so will its effects and repercussions such as crop loss, escalating food prices, and eventually social unrest.

    So the basic answer to your question, “. . . why I should care what the ice extent is?” is:

    “Because you like to eat.”
    —————————

    Yes I like to eat, so I should hope for a warming world. Because, you see, warmth nurtures, cold kills.

  78. What I find curious is the fact that NSDIC’s opening statement (below) in the press release has these words: “Arctic sea ice extent” but if you look at the NSIDC provided plot above, you’ll note that they include normal lines (in orange) for areas that are outside of the Arctic circle. While perhaps a small point, it does speak to accuracy in reporting. For example, I really don’t see how sea ice off the north coast of Newfoundland can be considered “Arctic” when it doesn’t even come close to being within the Arctic Circle.

    One could argue that the circle is named after the Arctic not the other way round. In fact a common definition of Arctic is as follows:
    “Arctic, the northernmost area of the earth, centered on the North Pole. The arctic regions are not coextensive with the area enclosed by the Arctic Circle (lat. 66°30′N) but are usually defined by the irregular and shifting 50°F (10°C) July isotherm that closely corresponds to the northern limit of tree growth and that varies both N and S of the Arctic Circle. The regions therefore include the Arctic Ocean; the northern reaches of Canada, Alaska, Russia, Norway, and the Atlantic Ocean; Svalbard; most of Iceland; Greenland; and the Bering Sea.”

    Columbia Encyclopedia

    Or:
    “In climatology the Arctic is defined in terms of the treeless zone of tundra and of the regions of permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere.”

    Geographical Dictionary

  79. martin brumby says:

    “There are always lots of hyperthermalist trolls who show up every time Arctic ice gets a mention.”

    That’s because out of the literally hudreds of events predicted by the CAGW believers, only the Arctic region is going in the direction of their predictions. All their other predictions have been falsified by the planet. So they cling to declining Arctic ice like a drowning man clings to a twig.

    But it’s only natural variability in action; CO2 has nothing to do with it, or every glacier on earth would be receding. The fact that Arctic ice is declining, even though this N.H. winter was the coldest in six years, is convincing evidence that the decline is due to the ocean, not to a minor trace gas in the air.

    And @Mike:

    Your Skeptical Pseudo-Science link claims that the official land temperatures are accurate, and that satellite temperatures are showing too much cooling. Doesn’t the fact that the official temperature record is always “adjusted” to show greater warming tell you what the record keepers are doing??

    Skeptical Pseudo-Science is just passing on their lie, like they lied about Prof Ross McKittrick’s peer reviewed finding that the models were dead wrong in their predictions of a tropospheric hot spot – the supposed “fingerprint of AGW.”

    Since the atmosphere isn’t warming as predicted, it must be that all the satellites are wrong, eh? Just like the ARGO buoy network is wrong to show ocean cooling. Your global warming religion just can’t accept scientific observations, can it?

  80. Andrew30 says:
    March 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Here is my forecast

    2011 Minimum Extent:
    September 17th 2011.
    6.23 M km^2 (JAXA’s AMSR-E 15%)
    ———————————–

    Andrew30 is one of the first brave souls to put a number down. One that is quite a bit higher than the Goddard minimum of 5.5 million, so he is very brave indeed.

    So who else wants to get their forecast on record? If you don’t have an exact number just say if you think it will be over or under the Goddard minimum.

    I expect it to be under.

  81. Gneiss says:
    March 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Luther Wu writes,
    “Just looking at the AMSRE (IJIS) graphic, the extent is apparently > 2005 and 2007 while above the extent for 2006.”

    That is correct, if you mean that IJIS max this year is *below* 2005 and 2007, while still above 2006.
    ______________
    Right- hit the wrong key. PIMF<

  82. R. Gates, mind posting a link to the clam stick graph? Do you suppose they applied a well-known statistical maneuver to link both clams and observed temperatures together? If you use a proxy, you must show overlapping temperature correlations (or not) across the entire proxy. I would like to see that graph.

    But as to your contention regarding warm water invasion, look no further than the AO which has slipped into negative and now somewhat neutral positive territory. That pressure system does a fine job of keeping warm air out or inviting it in (that includes changes in the Atlantic incoming current), depending on the pressure gradient, something you are well aware of.

    You attribute changes in the AO to CO2 (but correct me if I’m wrong). At first AGW scientists were convinced that CO2 caused the AO to go positive and but then had to back peddle and say it the other way around. What are your thoughts on the AO now, since I assume you convict the CO2 driven AO for allowing warm water in?

    Or are you saying that long wave radiation warmed the water elsewhere and it then traveled to the Arctic Circle where it was let in or not by the AO, whichever condition it is in? If you believe it to be CO2-warmed water, you will have to determine where that water was as it warmed, and how long it took to get to the Arctic.

    Your theory is full of holes me thinks.

  83. I find it curious that there is so much discussion about what defines the Arctic. NSIDC tracks the sea ice, and as you can tell from the spatial maps, it extends well outside of the Arctic circle during the winter. The orange line is simply the mean winter ice extent on that date based on all data from 1979 to 2000.

    Last winter when the ice extent was approaching the 1979-2000 mean, WUWT was making a big deal out of it, and alluding to the fact that this meant a significant recovery for the 2010 September ice cover. This of course didn’t happen. The southerly extent of winter ice is very thin and melts out every summer, and has little impact on the summer minimum.
    But what the data are showing is that the ice extent during winter is also declining, albeit at a much slower rate.

  84. In response to the posting below:
    As you know Steve Goddard is documenting the ice buildup from pip2s:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/huge-increase-in-thick-ice-over-the-last-three-years/

    The buildup correlates with the negative NAO:

    http://ioc3.unesco.org/oopc/state_of_the_ocean/atm/nao.php

    I think it is interesting that the negative NAO and estimate sea ice volume buildup in the 1960′s was also associated with a decline in solar sunspot number. It is looking more and more like arctic sea ice volume and arctic ocean heat content are controlled by a top down solar forcing that determines the NAM phase.

    We have a recent paper published in GRL (Stroeve et al., 2011) that details the impact the extreme negative AO phase from winter 2009/2010 had on the ice cover (the simple statistics that Goddard is using doesn’t quite work).

    For those who cannot access the paper I give our conclusions:
    Typically, the negative phase of the winter AO is associated with a strong Beaufort Gyre that sequesters sea ice in the Canada Basin where it can thicken and survive summer melt [e.g. Proshutinsky and Johnson, 1997]. The winter of 2009/2010 had the most extreme negative phase of the AO since at least 1951. Nevertheless, the September 2010 sea ice extent minimum ended up only 40,000 km2 above the minimum observed in 2008. Part of the explanation lies in pronounced differences in atmospheric circulation during winter 2009/2010 compared to the mean anomaly pattern based on past negative AO events. In particular, the wind field drove older ice directly across the Beaufort into the Chukchi Sea as opposed to curving northward in the western Beaufort While lending credence to arguments that the character of the AO may be changing [e.g., Wang et al., 2008; Overland et al., 2008], one must also recognize that the AO only explains roughly 50% of the SLP variability [Rigor et al., 2002]. Furthermore, ice conditions can be sensitive to slight shifts in the position of high and low pressure centers [e.g., Maslanik et al., 2006] that are not captured by EOF loading patterns.
    The character of the sea ice is also changing. The spring ice cover is thinner than it was in the 1980s, with less old, thick MYI and a greater fraction of thinner first-year ice that is vulnerable to melting out in summer [Lindsay and Zhang, 2005; Maslanik et al., 2007]. Given that PIOMAS suggests a record low ice volume starting the 2010 melt season, it is perhaps not surprising that September 2010 ice extent was third lowest on record, despite atmospheric circulation less favorable to summer ice loss than observed in 2007 (record low September ice extent) and more MYI than seen in 2008 (second lowest) and 2009 (fourth lowest).
    In the 1980s, winds associated with the strong Beaufort Gyre during negative AO winters would carry older, thicker sea ice from the Canadian Arctic towards the Eurasian Arctic, and older, thicker ice in the Eurasian Arctic towards the Canadian/central Arctic. However, during the last several years, most of this ice has melted out in summer before being able to re-circulate back to the Canadian Arctic [Maslanik et al., 2007]. Indeed, while the winter of 2009/2010 saw a substantial transport of the Arctic’s remaining store of old, thick ice into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, the majority of this ice did not survive the summer melt season. This suggests that in the present warmer climate state, the tendency for a negative winter AO pattern to promote increased transport of ice into the western Beaufort/Chukchi Sea actually enhances summer ice loss. In our view, events of 2009/2010 did little to delay the Arctic Ocean’s ongoing transition to a seasonally ice-free state.

  85. Since sea ice extent has only been measured since 1979 I suggest we use arctic ocean heat content as a proxy.

    Based on this I would then use 1990 as the mean.
    This is close to where Cryosphere today has the mean.

    Based on how fast the the arctic OHC is dropping we should reach the mean in 5 more years.

  86. @George E. Smith says:
    March 24, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Well I may be an old fuddy duddy; but “The Arctic” and the “Arctic Circle” are not one an the same; synonyms for each other.

    When I went to school, , “The Arctic” was anything North of +60 deg Latitude. The “Arctic circle” is a menagery lion that runs around the earth right where the sun never rises (gometrically) in winter, and it wanders around in Latitude as the earth’s polar axis shifts.

    Uhhhh…when did you go to school, when they taught that a celestial lion from the zodiac menagerie runs around the earth? Did you study under Archimedes, Plato or……? It must have been earlier, I don’t think they bought into that myth either.

  87. R. Gates says:
    March 25, 2011 at 11:06 am
    ====

    Please define “long-term”.
    Then explain why it is a bad thing.

    I always wonder why a little warmth is a bad thing, while walking through the terminal moraines of glaciers 30 miles northwest of Chicago, said moraines melted out of glaciers 10-15K years ago (a blink of the eye, in geologic time).

  88. Pamela Gray,

    Don’t know which “theory” of mine you are referring to, since I have exactly 0 theories to my credit. The warmest water in the Arctic in 2,000 years is simply data, and not a theory, and my question to you was which natural cycle were you ascribing this warmth too, since you seem to take no credence in the notion that CO2 can warm much of anything.

  89. Julienne,
    I think you need to come to terms with the fact that PIOMAS is wrong. PIOMASS evidently incorporates the positive NAO scenario in its calculations.
    current NAO:

    http://ioc3.unesco.org/oopc/state_of_the_ocean/atm/nao.php

    Goddard is right with PIPS2. Arctic ocean heat content is declining and sea ice volume is increasing. Sea ice extent is not a meaningful metric for climate change – volume is.

  90. Julienne,

    Nice to see the PhD credentialed experts returning to this site for another exciting Arctic Ice melt season. It speaks well of Anthony and WUWT that he could bring both you and Walt to post here, and we are all better off for it.

    In regard to the negative AO. While not directly related, I’m wondering what relationship there might be between the negative AO and the dipole anomaly, especially in light of the notion that the character of the AO may be changing. What I noticed just as a casual observer this winter was there seem to be some higher than chance correlation between the times the AO was extremely negative and presence of the arctic dipole. I ask this because it seems I often read that the “freezer door is open” so to speak when we are seeing an extreme negative AO, but at the same time, it seems we’re also seeing the existence of the DA, which tends to force the cold air across and out of the Arctic. Your expert comment of a connection between the potential changing nature of the negative AO and the DA would be most interesting to me…

  91. Richar that 1225, I don’t think you understand my posting. It is incorrect to link the NAO or AO or NAM, or whatever index you want and say a negative phase of these indices gives you an increase in ice volume. It is not that straightforward. These indices are not telling the location of the SLP anomalies, which can have a significant impact on ice transport and hence ice volume. 2010 was a perfect example of that. And note, that while statistically a negative NAO phase gives you less export out of Fram Strait, that didn’t happen last winter (export was normal). Nor was any thick ice sequestered in the central Arctic basin.

    BTW..Walt Meier did a posting last year on why the PIPS2 model data are not very accurate. But I welcome to hear your reasoning for why you believe the PIPS2 model is more accurate than PIOMASS.

  92. R. Gates, I recently received an update of the DA index from Jim Overland (the index used in his 2010 Tellus paper).

    Here are the last few years of the DJF DA Index and the AO index

    Year DA AO
    2011: -0.360 -0.913
    2010: -0.340 -3.419
    2009: -0.5196 0.259
    2008: 0.1664 0.859
    2007: 0.1890 1.003
    2006: -2.700 -0.81
    2005: -1.8171 0.105

    Nothing much jumps out here in terms of a relationship between the two. And if I look at the entire record (1951-2011), there is little relationship between the two (r=-0.15). But there are times when they were more strongly linked (inversely), such as from 1990 to 2000 of r=-0.4. This last decade though there is been a weak positive relationship between the two indices, which may be a reflection of how the character of the AO is changing.

    However, the DA isn’t a perfect index either. For example, it looks like a negative DA is one where there’s low pressure over Canada (for example, as in 2006, and/or high pressure over Siberia). In general though, when I look at the pressure fields I’m not finding that this DA index is doing a particularly good job at finding a clear DA pattern. For example, 2004 has a value of 1.84 so should show a pretty strong positive DA, but the SLPs look more like a pattern with strong high pressure over the Canada Basin rather than over Canadian Archipelago. 2005 (-1.82) looks a bit more like a negative DA pattern, but not particularly clear cut.

  93. Julienne,

    Do you have any insight into when we will see Cryosat-2 data for Arctic sea ice volumes so we can put the whole PIPS vs. PIOMASS debate to rest?

  94. Julienne,
    The folllowing link to the Polar Ice Center Rhetro page used PIOMAS to hindcast the arctic sea ice volume back to 1950.

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/retro.html

    Note the plot of NAO vs sea ice volume thickness. The model predicted that from 1962 until 1977 when negative NAO dominated the northern Hemisphere, sea ice volume was estimated to grow by almost 20×10^12 cubic meters. The decline since 1979 has been dominated by positive NAO. AGW models have predicted that positive NAO will persist. It has now changed to negative and will likely in my opinion be predominantly negative for the next twenty to thirty years which I believe the model should then predict sea ice volume growth.
    At the top of the rhetro page are maps of multi age ice thickness distribution for 1979 and 2003 based on the model. Goddards pip2s map looks a lot closer to 1979 than 2003.
    The real test will be the thickness map we expect to see from cryosat 2.
    Incidently it has also been observed the the Labador/Bermuda transport index (gulf stream) declines during negative NAO.
    The appearence of the strong NAO and declining arctic ocean heat content should severly test GCM models in the future.

  95. Jeff, I hope to see some Cryosat-2 data published soon. I thought we would see some data released this winter, but it hasn’t happened yet. But, there was a talk by the cryosat folks at the December AGU meeting but I don’t know if they showed any actual results since I wasn’t at the meeting this year. Here is what their abstract said:

    1730h
    AN: C44A-07
    TI: CryoSat Measurements of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Trends (Invited)
    AU: *Laxon, S
    EM: s.laxon@ucl.ac.uk
    AF: Earth Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    AU: Ridout, A
    EM: alr@cpom.ucl.ac.uk
    AF: Earth Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    AU: Giles, K
    EM: k.giles@cpom.ucl.ac.uk
    AF: Earth Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom
    AB: Arctic sea ice has undergone major changes in recent years but there remains much uncertainty about its ultimate fate. Although measurements of ice extent are well established measurements of thickness are also now key to understanding the causes and consequences of these changes. A primary objective of the CryoSat mission is to determine trends in Arctic winter-time sea ice thickness. This is achieved by making direct measurements of sea ice freeboard from which sea ice thickness can be calculated. We review the current state of the art in sea ice thickness retrieval, and discuss the strategy for quantifying the uncertainties in these measurements, through the CryoSat calibration and validation activities. Finally we plan to provide an update of the current CryoSat performance over sea ice and to present initial results from the commissioning period.
    DE: [0750] CRYOSPHERE / Sea ice
    DE: [1240] GEODESY AND GRAVITY / Satellite geodesy: results
    SC: Cryosphere (C)
    MN: 2010 Fall Meeting

  96. Richar, like I said previously, just because you have a negative NAO phase that doesn’t necessarily mean you will have thicker sea ice. It depends on the location of the SLP anomalies. You can have a negative NAO phase and still see a decline in ice volume such as we observed last year. Remember, these indices only explain at most 50% of the SLP variations so other processes are going on. And you are also neglecting other changes such as ocean temperatures, background warming signal in the air temperatures, changes in the ice age, etc.

    I would like to know why you believe the NAO will now stay in a negative phase for the next 20-30 years.

    Just so you know, not every GCM predicts a positive NAO state in the future. In fact SLP is one of the least robust signals in the climate models (unlike air temperatures or Arctic sea ice decline) – there is a paper being published on that subject, and I’ll post the reference once its published. Many models predict a negative phase of the winter NAO as the Arctic Ocean becomes more ice free during summer.

  97. “”””” Julienne Stroeve says:
    March 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm
    I find it curious that there is so much discussion about what defines the Arctic. “””””

    So just let everybody choose whatever terminology they like to use; after all, we wouldn’t want to ruffle anyone’s sense of self esteem by expecting them to use a common language. Seems like the Tower of Babel, was all about everyone use their own definition of what anything is; that way every individual can be correct; while still being the only one with that point of view.

    So Mt Kilimanjaro has ice that comes and goes seasonally; does that make it a part of the Arctic ?

  98. @Smokey says:
    March 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    ” @Mike:

    Your Skeptical Pseudo-Science link claims that the official land temperatures are accurate, and that satellite temperatures are showing too much cooling. Doesn’t the fact that the official temperature record is always “adjusted” to show greater warming tell you what the record keepers are doing?? ”

    Read: “The problems with Stratospheric cool biasing were recognised early and in 1992, Spencer & Christy at UAH introduced a new temperature product to remove the Stratospheric bias and focus more on the lower Troposphere. This removed most of the bias by mathematically combining readings from multiple view angles on the same scan to produce a reading weighted more strongly to the lower Troposphere.”

    So now you think Spencer & Christy are in on the “lie”? How bizarre.

  99. Julienne, if you see a correlation in the 60’s between ice-related atmospheric conditions and solar SSN, all you have to do is match historical SSN and their proxies along with historical Arctic atmospheric conditions and ice extent/area proxies to see if there is also a match. Granted, it would be mostly proxies but I’m betting you won’t find a solid correlation. But then I always go with the null hypothesis. Habit.

  100. gaya hap says:
    March 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Whose predictions? Time and Newsweek?

    No. Not just the press. Apparently the CIA was fooled as well (along with all the “western world’s leading climatologists”).

    A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems
    United States. Central Intelligence Agency. Office of Research and Development
    Washington, 1974
    Library of Congress: QC981.8.C5 U513 1974
    Open Library: OL5015750M
    LC Control Number: 76603473

    “The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climatic change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (1600-1850) – an era of drought, famine, and political unrest in the western world.”

  101. Julienne,
    Here is the entire series of NAO.

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

    Here is Lockwoods recent paper on top down solar influence on NAO.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

    Here is a paper that correlates auroral observations for the past 1500 years with Nile water levels and clearly demonstrates high solar activity tied to positive NAO and vice versa.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

    The authors suggest a 88 year period alternating NAM phases. In otherwords 44 years postive NAO followed by 44 years of negative NAO.
    If the NAO controls arctic ocean heat content and sea ice volume and is driven by the sun then clearly we have a much bigger solar influence than simple bottom up TSI variations.

  102. Its good to see all the traffic that Arctic Sea ice is getting.
    Its only March and already the ‘alarmists’ are out in full force,
    doing their spin on the sea ice subject.
    I spend a great deal more time now visiting the ‘other’ side and tackling
    the true denialists.
    Everyone should try and get out a bit and see the ugliness, which is the Pro-AGW movement.
    It makes it refreshing to come back to the most professional blog site on the internet.
    If I have anything to add, it would only be my distrust of those that are employed by NASA and work at the NSIDC that support AGW. If Hansen can manipulate global temperatures with erroneous, fill in the blank type science, what is to stop the guys at NSIDC from attempting the same.
    While I’m at it, I think the joint venture office in Fairbanks, between NASA and JAXA has also become suspect, though I wish I was wrong.
    The data from JAXA was quite different from the NSIDC up until about this time last year. After that time, the progression to Arctic minimum looked quite different than previous years. Almost as if the graph was done with a human touch. There is something wrong with the loss of sea ice between March and September of 2010. It just doesn’t look natural.
    What I mean is, is this, looking at the previous annual anomalies from JAXA and comparing them with 2010, the decline of sea ice seems different than the others. The March-September ’10 sea ice is almost a straight line, with a few step progressions. Not at all familiar with the previous annual anomalies, which showed some gradient curve towards arctic minimum. It just doesn’t look natural like the previous years.
    Make me wonder if JAXA got some huge grant that gave them to opportunity to add a human touch to their data.

  103. “George E. Smith says:
    March 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

    The “Kelvin” Temperature scale is an absolute Temperature scale. xyz Kelvins is a specific Temperature; not how much hotter or colder than your coffee something is.

    Would I not be equally correct to say this is either 2 K below boiling or 2 deg C below boiling?

    So the brief answer to your bottom line question is “no”.

    The original writer obviously looked at the graph at

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

    It shows the freezing point of water as 273.15K. It also shows the present temperature at around 252 K. I am pretty sure there was no confusion in anyone’s mind as to what he meant when he said it was 21 K below freezing. That person rightly expressed the difference based on the units in that graph. Or was it then wrong to express the difference in temperatures in K in this case? Should the graph people have used oC instead?

  104. Looking at the plots whether it is NANSEN or NSIDC, one sees that the sea ice extent anomaly has pretty much remained below the mean -2sigma since 2005, especially in the summer time. Whether 2011 is a tie or close to 2007 is not important.
    Some posters have said that they would like to see longer term data, and not just what we have on the satellite record. The best that we have is the study by Chapman et. al. which used ship log data to reconstruct the long term sea ice extent, based on the way ship logs correlated with the satellite data.

    It is seen that the seasonal averages have all declined since 1970, especially in spring and summer.
    The question of whether the maximum value for 2011 is slightly higher or equal to
    2007 is not really relevant, when looked at on that scale. The decline is clear, despite the year to year noise fluctuations.

    Of course if one looks at the Arctic circle, it is probable that the percentage decline would be less. After all, one would expect that loss of ice would occur first at lower latitudes. If one desires to claim that the loss of sea ice is small, and not a problem,
    it may help relieve the cognitive dissonance by redefinition of the Arctic region from what the experts in the Arctic have chosen.

  105. Mike,

    You keep linking to the same old debunked Skeptical Pseudo-Science post. You’re starting to sound just like Winston Smith, Orwell’s protagonist, who wonders if the State might declare “two plus two equals five” as a fact; he ponders whether, if everybody believes in it, does that make it true?

    The models confidently predicted the tropospheric hot spot: the “Fingerprint of Anthropogenic Global Warming.” Even though the models have since been debunked in Prof McKittrick’s peer reviewed paper… maybe they’re really true anyway, because everybody believes in them. Right, Winston?☺

    How bizarre.

  106. Pamela Gray says:
    March 25, 2011 at 9:20 am

    We see the orange line around the Arctic and get our knickers in a twist because the ice isn’t snuggled up to, or even better, beyond that orange line.

    Hubris. Plain and simple hubris.

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

    Beyond hubris, Pamela.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  107. ClimateForAll says:
    March 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    “Make me wonder if JAXA got some huge grant that gave them to opportunity to add a human touch to their data.”

    ___

    This statement is nonsense.

  108. R. Gates says:
    March 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm
    Pamela Gray,

    Don’t know which “theory” of mine you are referring to, since I have exactly 0 theories to my credit. The warmest water in the Arctic in 2,000 years is simply data, and not a theory, and my question to you was which natural cycle were you ascribing this warmth too, since you seem to take no credence in the notion that CO2 can warm much of anything.

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

    None to your credit MOST DEFINITELY and less than none that are actually believable…..regardless, your de facto implied “theory” is that of CO2.

    And my question to you, R Gates, is to which “unnatural cycle” are you ascribing this warmth? Wow….let me guess….

    Here is a nice classic circular reasoning quote from your “study.”

    “Higher temperatures ‘are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming’, the study concluded, adding that global warming ‘is most likely another key element in the transition to a future ice-free Arctic Ocean’.”

    Ya…yeah right….and monkeys will fly out of my _____.

    ‘Presumably linked’…lol.

    That’s not good enough. You have to establish a link….not presume one!

    Meanwhile actual scientific research that could benefit humanity….like tsunami hazard study….is sidelined…to the peril of millions…by a supposedly evil [according to the EPA] poison, horrible trace gas that kills us all, CO2.

    This is reprehensible, complete and utter, unevolved, unscientific, backwards, stupid, criminal nonsense.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  109. Anthony, I would be very careful about the pedantic use of “arctic” and what if senarios.

    What if using an arbitrary (from a climatic point of view), geographical cut-off shows more dramatic ice loss in recent years. How will this be used?

    If you want to critisise the use of the *word* fine. Maybe they should call it N. hemisphere sea-ice extent (area …).

    What matters in terms of the physics and heat capacity is clearly the total amount of ice , not whether is creeps over some magic circle draw by man.

  110. ohn Marshall says:
    March 25, 2011 at 3:13 am
    Arctic ice cover is in a roughly 80 year cycle. As was pointed out above, records have covered 30 years for the top of the cycle so 10 years to go to the bottom of the cycle then ice should increase. Only time will tell, not some half baked model.

    Actually the ‘roughly 80 year cycle’ concept is a ‘half baked model’.

  111. Jer0me says:
    March 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm
    Gerald Machnee says:
    March 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Top Gear did not go to the geographic North Pole – They went to the magnetic pole.

    From there, there will pretty much always be ice all the way to the actual pole, so they could just as easily have reached that. The point was made that there is, in fact, plenty of ice. So much ice that you can drive all the way to the pole (either one). And it was made very, very, well!

    There certainly wouldn’t be ice all the way to the N Pole, there are many leads opening up at that time of year. They almost sank through thin ice as it was.

  112. Arctic maximum ice extent reached – NANSEN data disagrees with NSIDC’s on the claim of a tie with 2006-2007

    And as far as NH sea ice area is concerned Cryosphere Today shows this year’s maximum to be the lowest in the satellite data (previously 2006)

  113. Smokey says:
    March 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Mike,

    You keep linking to the same old debunked Skeptical Pseudo-Science post. You’re starting to sound just like Winston Smith, Orwell’s protagonist, who wonders if the State might declare “two plus two equals five” as a fact; he ponders whether, if everybody believes in it, does that make it true?

    The models confidently predicted the tropospheric hot spot: the “Fingerprint of Anthropogenic Global Warming.” Even though the models have since been debunked in Prof McKittrick’s peer reviewed paper… maybe they’re really true anyway, because everybody believes in them. Right, Winston?☺

    How bizarre.
    What is bizarre is that you claim that the following Skeptical Science piece on the tropospheric hot spot has been debunked, and that the graphs you present shows that. However you don’t deal with the main point made by NASA and quoted in the piece.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-advanced.htm


    Although on seasonal and annual scales, some radiosonde records are in relatively good agreement with theoretical and modeling expectations, on decadal timescales, they show less warming or even cooling of the upper troposphere. However, the tropics, especially at higher altitudes, are a notorious problem area for most if not all of the older radiosonde networks. And attempts to stitch together longer records from multiple networks (and integrate them with newer satellite records) have introduced problems as well. There have been many attempts to quantify and remove these biases (e.g. Randel 2006, Sherwood 2008). Although these attempts have managed to reconcile the observational data with theoretical and model expectations within overlapping uncertainty intervals, the real world behavior of the troposphere is still unclear (Bengtsson 2009, Thorne 2010).

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/tropospheric-hot-spot-intermediate.htm


    What does the full body of evidence tell us? We have satellite data plus weather balloon measurements of temperature and wind strength. The three satellite records from UAH, RSS and UWA give varied results. UAH show tropospheric trends less than surface warming, RSS are roughly the same and UWA show a hot spot. The difference between the three is how they adjust for effects like decaying satellite orbits. The conclusion from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (co-authored by UAH’s John Christy) is the most likely explanation for the discrepancy between model and satellite observations is measurement uncertainty.

    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf

  114. I am as skeptical of solar/AO causes as I am of CO2/AO causes. Mechanism folks. Without that, you are just wriggle matching. The Sun is a relative constant external source made to vary down here as it courses through a highly variable and energetic Earth system. The temperature/pressure gradient of Earth, combined with the rotational atmospheric drag, combined with Jet Stream behavior, combined with trade winds, combined with thunder storms, etc, provide ample energy to drive both weather and longer term weather pattern variation.

  115. Phil
    The point I was trying to make is that the sea ice concentration in the polar sea is far higher this year than in 2007. I am not making any claims about increased ice volume (I had enough of the PIOMASS v PIPS arguments last year) I am simply observing that, to put it simply, there is a greater ice to open water ratio this year despite a reduced overall extent.

    When you consider the ice extent, it is calculated using 15% coverage or greater of ice. Looking closely at the two pictures at the top you will see that the vast mass of ice within the current boundary is considerably more concentrated now. The areas where there is low concentration are where the ice meets the north Atlantic. So I would suggest we will see a rapid drop in ice extent initially as this marginal low concentration ice melts, but this will be followed by a much slower decline when the melt edge reaches the more concentrated ice.

    I consider the arguments of ice extent to be misleading because of the 15% figure. Let’s face it, if I saw a patch of ocean with 15% ice cover I would think of it as open water with some bits of ice floating on it. Ice in this concentration is far more susceptible to wind and currents, and of course has water all around it so will melt quicker (the smaller the chunks of ice, the quicker they will disappear).

    Think of it another way. Assume the central area of polar ice is around 90%. Split it up into chunks and spread them out so that the concentration is 15% – six times the extent of the original but the same quantity of ice. Which version is likely to melt quicker, even without consideration of varying SST?

  116. richcar that 1225 says:
    March 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Mr Gates,
    As you know Steve Goddard is documenting the ice buildup from pip2s:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/huge-increase-in-thick-ice-over-the-last-three-years/

    The buildup correlates with the negative NAO:

    http://ioc3.unesco.org/oopc/state_of_the_ocean/atm/nao.php

    I think it is interesting that the negative NAO and estimate sea ice volume buildup in the 1960′s was also associated with a decline in solar sunspot number. It is looking more and more like arctic sea ice volume and arctic ocean heat content are controlled by a top down solar forcing that determines the NAM phase.
    ____

    I put 0% credence in anything related to PIPS2.0, and close to 0% credence in things that Steve Goddard says. Last year about this time he began his months long rant about PIPS2.0 here on WUWT (some of you will recall that) and I insisted (along with some PhD experts from the NSIDC) that I wouldn’t put a a lot of stock in the PIPS2.0 MODEL data, but none the less, Steve continued on. Steve forecast a summer minimum last year (based on his beloved PIPS2.0 model data) of 5.5 million sq. km. I forecast a 4.5 million sq. km. minimum extent. I was considerably closer, and Steve promised me a mea culpa if that happened. It was never forthcoming, so I put little stock in either Steve or his beloved PIPS2.0.

  117. @George E. Smith says:
    March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    George, we are talking about sea ice in this blog, not land ice. I realize it’s a confusion that many have; icebergs are often thought of as sea ice when in fact, they are not. It doesn’t help of course that the media sometimes shows pictures of icebergs when they are doing a sea ice story. But just to be clear, sea ice forms when the ocean freezes.

  118. @Pamela Gray says:
    March 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Julienne, if you see a correlation in the 60′s between ice-related atmospheric conditions and solar SSN, all you have to do is match historical SSN and their proxies along with historical Arctic atmospheric conditions and ice extent/area proxies to see if there is also a match. Granted, it would be mostly proxies but I’m betting you won’t find a solid correlation. But then I always go with the null hypothesis. Habit.

    Pamela, I have no idea how what you are talking about in any way refers to my comments regarding the impact the extreme negative NAO phase of winter 2009/2010 had on the sea ice cover. And how we need to be careful in linking any atmospheric index to what we expect to happen to the ice cover, because these indices do not explain the location of the SLP anomalies, nor do they explain all of the SLP variability.

  119. Richar, I suggest doing a correlation between the DJF NAO and the September ice extent.

    For the NAO data go here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/norm.nao.monthly.b5001.current.ascii.table

    For the sea ice data go here: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/

    FYI…the correlation is 0.03 from 1979 to 2010.

    The AO has a slightly better correlation of -0.1, which may be expected since the AO is a better representation for the Arctic than the NAO is, but it’s still not much.

    But…we can go back a little further in time using the Had1SST data that tries to incorporate previous observations from ships, aircraft and earlier satellites. From this data set we can go back to about 1953 with some reliability.

    If we do that, we see a stronger correlation emerge of -0.37 from 1953-2010 between
    the DJF NAO index and the September ice extent. That’s still only a small % of the variability explained.

  120. savethesharks is right: R Gates’ constant refrain is that CO2 is the cause of declining Arctic ice. Gates recently stated that the ≈40% rise in CO2 is the cause of Arctic ice decline. Not a partial cause; the cause.

    Now we have Dr Julienne Stroeve’s multiple explanations for the decline in half a dozen detailed posts. Not once does she ever mention CO2 as even a minor, peripheral factor. In fact, every cause she has identified is based on natural variability.

    The UN- and government-promoted story that CO2 is a major problem has diverted many billions of dollars toward finding evidence that CO2 causes global harm. But no such evidence has come from that enormous waste of taxpayer money. There is no sign whatever of runaway global warming. The planet has been both hotter and colder than the current very mild 0.7°C rise many times over the Holocene, and there is no testable, empirical evidence showing that “carbon” had anything to do with it.

    Carbon dioxide is a harmless trace gas. It is necessary for life and beneficial to the biosphere. There is no evidence that CO2 is causing any global problems, and it is certainly not the cause of the current cyclical decline in Arctic ice. The only evidence available shows that more CO2 is a net benefit, resulting in increased agricultural production.

    The entire “carbon” scare is based on the evidence-free belief that CO2 is a global problem. After wasting more than $80 billion trying to support that failed conjecture, it is time for honest people to admit that it has been shown to be baseless.

    Aside from a few notable exceptions, where are the ethical scientists who will stand up and say, “Due to the complete lack of evidence, it looks like we were wrong about CO2 causing runaway global warming.”

    CO2 is the stated basis for Cap & Trade, for carbon footprints, for carbon credits, and for everything “carbon” related. Now that CO2 as the cause of runaway global warming has been debunked, the only honest course of action is for ethical scientists to call for an immediate end to the government’s demonizing of “carbon”. The carbon scare has burned through far too much money, and there is no scientific basis to throw more good money after bad.

  121. Smokey says:
    March 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

    savethesharks is right: R Gates’ constant refrain is that CO2 is the cause of declining Arctic ice. Gates recently stated that the ≈40% rise in CO2 is the cause of Arctic ice decline. Not a partial cause; the cause.
    _____
    I have no problem with the general tenet that the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700’s plays a significant role in the current multi-decadal decline in Arctic Sea ice. I’ve never said that there might not be other natural factors involved, both currently and certainly during past fluctuations. It gets very difficult to start to dissect out positive-feedback or arctic warming amplification related causes from such as dynamical system. The only way to know for certain what the effects of the 40% rise in CO2 has had on Arctic sea ice is to have a second “control” earth, identical in every way except where CO2 was held in the 280 ppm range since the 1700’s. You’d then have to compare that control with the earth we have now, with CO2 approaching 400 ppm. If they were identical in every way, except for the CO2 change, and the control earth saw no major changes in the sea ice (or only natural variations) and we have the decline we see now, then we’d know it was CO2 that was the initial cause (and we could also see follow-on positive feedback related effects).

    Now then, we don’t happen to have such a “control earth” but we do have several virtual ones, commonly known as Global Climate Models. These are far from perfect of course, and can’t really get at the deterministic chaos involved in the real earth systems, but they can indicate general trends. They show, nearly universally, that the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700’s along with related positive feedback effects will lead to a decrease in arctic sea ice with the an eventual seasonally ice-free arctic sometime this century. To show how off these models can be, none of them predicted the sharp decline in arctic sea ice of 2007, as the curve downward to an ice-free arctic is far more steep than any models. To me, this miss shows that the models can spot trends, but not necessarily the slope or degree of those trends. This goes back to the deterministic chaos of the complex climate system. The sharp downward decline beginning in 2007 had many proximate “weather related” causes, but again, you’d need a control earth to see if the 40% rise in CO2 since the 1700’s was the actual root cause.

    So yes, I do put at least a 75% probability that the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700’s is the root cause of the current decline in Arctic sea ice. I would suspect the majority of experts in the field would agree with this general statement, though they might even put their own probability higher than my modest 75%. If some don’t agree with this general statement, I would welcome their perspectives and reasons why and take it as an opportunity to learn.

  122. Peter Plail says:
    March 26, 2011 at 8:41 am
    Phil
    The point I was trying to make is that the sea ice concentration in the polar sea is far higher this year than in 2007. I am not making any claims about increased ice volume (I had enough of the PIOMASS v PIPS arguments last year) I am simply observing that, to put it simply, there is a greater ice to open water ratio this year despite a reduced overall extent.

    I’m not sure what you base that on but it doesn’t seem right.
    This year the ice area is lower: 12.82 vs 12.94 in 2007 (CT today’s date).
    According to JAXA the extents are virtually identical.
    If anything the ratio of ice to open water is therefore slightly lower
    Ice to open water= 12.82/(13.73-12.82) = 14.3 (2011)
    12.94/(13.73-12.94) = 16.4 (2007)
    It’s easy to be fooled by those low resolution comparator images in CT, try comparing these:

  123. Regarding the SI unit for temperature, the kelvin, it does denote the absolute temperature but the unit may also be used for an interval:
    from the NIST SI site:
    “Thus temperature intervals or temperature differences may be expressed in either the degree Celsius or the kelvin using the same numerical value.

    Example: The difference in temperature between the freezing point of gallium and the triple point of water is Δt = 29.7546 °C = ΔT = 29.7546 K.”

  124. Julienne, I was referring to your solar comment. You seemed to suggest that a top-down solar driver is at work. How so? If you think there is a connection there, it would make sense to see if this sea ice volume observation stands up to other solar historical sunspot number decline. A one time observation is a very fragile case indeed.

    You said:
    “I think it is interesting that the negative NAO and estimate sea ice volume buildup in the 1960′s was also associated with a decline in solar sunspot number. It is looking more and more like arctic sea ice volume and arctic ocean heat content are controlled by a top down solar forcing that determines the NAM phase.”

  125. R. Gates says:
    March 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm
    ClimateForAll says:
    March 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    “Make me wonder if JAXA got some huge grant that gave them to opportunity to add a human touch to their data.”

    ___

    This statement is nonsense.

    From a powerpoint regarding JAXA mission statement here :

    Concept of the Global Change Observation Mission-
    For monitoring global environmental change and prediction.
    Goal of GCOM-
    long term monitoring and climate change models
    Role of JAXA with GCOM –
    Attributing environmental change to particular cause for effective measure of adaptation and reduction.

    Result
    Decision Making –
    Data distribution to operational users; fishery, ocean route, weather forecast, agriculture, etc. .

    Data –
    Operational Use for Global environmental change monitoring and contribution to elucidation of change mechanism.

    Result
    Knowledge

    Looking at this one update report from JAXA, lays a pretty good foundation for my assumption.

    JAXA has an agenda. In their mission to supply data products, one of their aims is to make predictions, in regards to climate change. To quote once again a part of what I read, was this: ‘Attributing environmental change to particular cause for effective measure of adaptation and reduction.’
    I am skeptical of any scientific service that proclaims to acknowledge that part of its service is to attribute cause to environmental change using climate models. Especially if that service is using models to suggest that carbon as a trigger for rise in temperature or wator vapor or any other atmospheric attribute.
    It has been a well known fact that some scientists have a better chance at receiving grants, if their mission is ‘green’.
    I don’t think that the grants that JAXA is receiving now would be as much or as with such proliferation, during a time with such economical depression, if their mission statement didn’t include climate change.
    Mind you that this is just my opinion.
    My main concern is that the data from AMSRE might somehow be altered, with some certain preconceived understanding of causative effects.
    I would place more trust in a service that didn’t choose a side in debate that isn’t settled.
    Thats all I am saying.
    If thats nonsense…..
    So be it.

  126. “R. Gates says:
    March 26, 2011 at 11:09 am

    So yes, I do put at least a 75% probability that the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700′s is the root cause of the current decline in Arctic sea ice….If some don’t agree with this general statement, I would welcome their perspectives and reasons why and take it as an opportunity to learn.”

    If a 40% increase in CO2 has such a huge effect in the north, then why does it not have the same effect in the south? Water vapor is extremely low in both places so it cannot overshadow the effect of CO2. I think the ice in the north is more under the influence of warm ocean currents from underneath and not from the greenhouse effect due to more CO2.

    P.S. Thank you for Phil. says:
    March 26, 2011 at 12:15 pm

  127. Werner Brozek says:
    March 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    If a 40% increase in CO2 has such a huge effect in the north, then why does it not have the same effect in the south?

    ____
    If you’re as smart as I think you are, I’m sure you really know the answer to this, but in the off chance that you’re not, and for others education I would suggest you read:

    http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/difference.html

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/SeaIce/page4.php

    http://www.discoveringantarctica.org.uk/alevel_2_1.html

    The short of it is- the arctic and antarctic, other then being at the extremes of the earth, are about as different as they could be in terms of their weather and climate dynamics. The Arctic has always been shown to warm earliest and more severely than the Antarctic in all GCM’s, and for very good reasons (as discussed in the links above).

  128. The 40% increase in CO2 is not having an affect in the Antarctic because this region is hardly influenced by the ocean and shows the true influence of how changing greenhouses gases affects it’s atmosphere without the intereference of the ocean. The ocean is what is warming the Arctic from underneath via the North Atlantic current and the atmopshere there has hardly no affect like it’s Southern Sister.

  129. @Pamela Gray says:
    March 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Julienne, I was referring to your solar comment. You seemed to suggest that a top-down solar driver is at work. How so? If you think there is a connection there, it would make sense to see if this sea ice volume observation stands up to other solar historical sunspot number decline. A one time observation is a very fragile case indeed.

    You said:
    “I think it is interesting that the negative NAO and estimate sea ice volume buildup in the 1960′s was also associated with a decline in solar sunspot number. It is looking more and more like arctic sea ice volume and arctic ocean heat content are controlled by a top down solar forcing that determines the NAM phase.”

    Pamela, that was not my comment. That was from Richar that 1225.

  130. What natural cycle can account for the warmest water in 2,000 years moving into the Arctic? Re:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/28/us-climate-arctic-idUSTRE70P6TE20110128

    RGates,

    Why is this warming not detected in Greenland around this time? Just a different part of the Arctic and one area doesn’t mean all regions follows. If it was so warm compared, why didn’t it have much influence on the Greenland ice cap? Why was it so warm 2000 years ago and try to blame it on humans now?

  131. Another issue is the claim that the NAO and AO trends are caused by CO2. This is simply false where the original idea came from them both becoming increasingly poistive during the 1980’s and the 1990’s (either no so much in one of the decades), so it was blamed on human CO2.

    Shown above, the NAO has inceasingly become negtive again and the reason for this cyclic behaviour has nothing to do with CO2.

    While below, the AO become increasingly positive during the 1990’s it has become more negative once again. Again this cyclic behaviour has nothing to do with CO2, with there being some other factor driving it.

  132. Matt G says:
    March 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Another issue is the claim that the NAO and AO trends are caused by CO2. This is simply false where the original idea came from them both becoming increasingly poistive during the 1980′s and the 1990′s (either no so much in one of the decades), so it was blamed on human CO2.
    _____

    You have provided an excellent example of yet one more logical fallacy that certain AGW skeptics seem to want to hang on to. Just because there are natural cycles, does not in any way mean that those natural cycles can’t be altered or changed in character by the addition of an external forcing. Your heart can go on beating for many years in a very regular pattern, and if I inject adrenalin into your system, I can change the nature and character of your heartbeat. In geological terms, the 40% increase in CO2 represents an injection in the earth’s system– something not seen for at least 800,000 years. The only real issue is how sensitive is the earth’s climate to this injection, which continues to this day? Certainly the NAO, AO, PDO, AMO, and all the other natural ocean cycles have a natural rhythm they’ve established over many thousands and tens of thousands of years. For at least 800,000, through many glacial and interglacial periods they’ve carried out this rhythm with CO2 in a range of 180 to 280 ppm. Now there’s been a human caused spike in a geologically short period of time in CO2 to nearly 400 ppm. How sensitive is the earth to this increase? That’s the central question of all AGW research.

  133. “R. Gates says:
    March 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    The short of it is- the arctic and antarctic, other then being at the extremes of the earth, are about as different as they could be in terms of their weather and climate dynamics.”

    I have no problem with everything that it says in those three articles. Virtually everything in there could have been written 200 years ago if scientists had studied it then. The basic topography is one thing. But I do not see a unique CO2 signature in it. CO2 has increased in both places, yet only one shows much warming. That leads me to believe something else is going on that has nothing to do with CO2. See: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warming_aerosols.html
    “Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols….(B)lack carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia….The Arctic region has seen its surface air temperatures increase by 1.5 C (2.7 F) since the mid-1970s. In the Antarctic, where aerosols play less of a role, the surface air temperature has increased about 0.35 C (0.6 F). That makes sense, Shindell explained, because of the Arctic’s proximity to North America and Europe.”

  134. R. Gates says:
    March 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I don’t agree, the cycle I have shown you for both AO and NAO is following as it should and I have even predicted in the past that this would occur. There is no evidence that CO2 has changed it any different from the natural cycle. This is where you have gone wrong, blaming something on that can’t even be demonstrated. I would have agreed with you if it was demonstrated that it has altered the cycle, but on the data shown it hasn’t. Remember CO2 was suppose to cause the increased positive phase for both and yet there no evidence it has modified the negative phase. The negative is still as great as any during the data.

    p.s. Cycles can change and natural factors can alter them too, but so far difficult to see any change in the data provided apart from random noise.

  135. Sorry, I just can’t help myself.
    Forgive me now for this minor rant.
    Co2 statistical figures that I’m seeing atm here in the comments is
    making me laugh.
    70% of 40% of this and that from here or there doin this or that.
    It’s freaking hilarious.
    Let me inject this.
    Some statistical analysis suggests that 3% of current Co2 levels comprises mans contribution to current Co2 levels. That would put man made Co2 at 11.71 ppm.
    Thats less than 12 parts per million. 12 of 1,000,000 parts.
    And supposedly, over the next 100 years, with some rise, maybe, in Co2 levels will rise global temperatures by a half of a degree….+/- .5
    Another scientific analysis also suggests that Co2 rises or falls, some 80-230 years, following temperature.
    If there is any validity to this, one could hypothesize that if global temperatures were high in the 30’s, then given a 80 year window, Co2 could just be rising from that theory and have absolutely nothing to do with current man-made Co2 at all.
    Now regarding ‘black’ carbon, either man-made or from forest fires or vulcanized, has been attributed to decreasing temperatures, through blanketing the atmosphere with aerosols, that trap vapor and block ultra violet rays from entering the atmosphere.
    Now, if I dare, other factors may, may, play a key role in lowering temperatures.
    Increased CGR’s, reduction in helio-illuminosity and noctilucent clouds may play a key part in global temperatures.
    What I am saying is this…
    The science isn’t settled. And the more someone entrenches themselves in figures that are vague and/or misleading only drives and even larger wedge in the debate.
    If we are truly here to uncover the facts of climate, I suggest we unshackle ourselves from acting as if we know anything at all and look at all the possibilities.
    Otherwise, whats the point of it all.
    Vanity?
    Pride?
    Political?
    Hubris?
    Take your pick.

  136. “”””” Julienne Stroeve says:
    March 26, 2011 at 9:46 am
    @George E. Smith says:
    March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    George, we are talking about sea ice in this blog, not land ice. I realize it’s a confusion that many have; icebergs are often thought of as sea ice when in fact, they are not. “””””

    Which is why I never mentioned “icebergs” in my post that you referenced.

    And for the Kelvins versus deg C Temperature differences which came up also in another post; as Phil posted, people use either, and regard it as ok (Kelvins or degrees C difference)

    That may be so, and I am not going to argue with the concensus view. I would make one suggestion though; for the consideration of others.

    If the freezing point of water is 273.15 Kelvins (I agree) and the reference Temperature was 252 Kelvins, giving a difference of 21.15 (numerically) I suggest that one should refer to that difference as either 21.15 degrees Celsius, or 21.15 degrees Kelvin. That in my view would be logical and rational. 21.15 Kelvins for the difference is to me neither logical nor rational. But that is just my personal opinion. I prefer that Kelvins be retaiend for absolute Temperatures; not for relative Temperatures.

  137. Arctic sea ice extent appeared to reach its maximum extent for the year on March 7, marking the beginning of the melt season. This year’s maximum tied for the lowest in the satellite record.

    Mean while in the real world

    More than 120 vessels have become stranded in ice in the Gulf of Finland, with their number growing by 20 ships every day, the St. Petersburg seaport administration said on Monday.

    The Gulf of Finland has been iced over for more than a month, with dozens of ships waiting for assistance because they are unable to ply their way through the heavy one-meter-thick ice floes. The situation in the gulf deteriorated last week after a cyclone from the Norwegian Sea hit the region.

    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110328/163243727.html

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