Sea Ice News – Volume 3 Number 10 – ARCUS August Sea Ice Outlook posted, plus worries over Arctic storm breaking up sea ice

In the latest ARCUS Sea Ice Outlook, WUWT, Stroeve (NSIDC), and Meier (NSIDC) agree at 4.5 million square km. Whether those values turn out to be high due to the recent ice loss as a result of a strong Arctic storm which broke up a lot of sea ice remains to be seen. Here is the storm report from NASA:

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Image mosaic of Arctic storm. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team)
› Larger image
› Related image and story from NASA’s Earth Observatory

An unusually strong storm formed off the coast of Alaska on August 5 and tracked into the center of the Arctic Ocean, where it slowly dissipated over the next several days.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color mosaic image on Aug. 6, 2012. The center of the storm at that date was located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

The storm had an unusually low central pressure area. Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Atmospheric Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., estimates that there have only been about eight storms of similar strength during the month of August in the last 34 years of satellite records. “It’s an uncommon event, especially because it’s occurring in the summer. Polar lows are more usual in the winter,” Newman said.

Arctic storms such as this one can have a large impact on the sea ice, causing it to melt rapidly through many mechanisms, such as tearing off large swaths of ice and pushing them to warmer sites, churning the ice and making it slushier, or lifting warmer waters from the depths of the Arctic Ocean.

“It seems that this storm has detached a large chunk of ice from the main sea ice pack. This could lead to a more serious decay of the summertime ice cover than would have been the case otherwise, even perhaps leading to a new Arctic sea ice minimum,” said Claire Parkinson, a climate scientist with NASA Goddard. “Decades ago, a storm of the same magnitude would have been less likely to have as large an impact on the sea ice, because at that time the ice cover was thicker and more expansive.”

Aqua passes over the poles many times a day, and the MODIS Rapid Response System stitches together images from throughout each day to generate a daily mosaic view of the Arctic. This technique creates the diagonal lines that give the image its “pie slice” appearance.

In the image, the bright white ice sheet of Greenland is seen in the lower left.

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My best guess is that because of this storm breaking up ice packs, the September minimum will be lower than 4.5 million sqkm. The median of August ARCUS outlooks is 4.3, but the possibility exists that it will come in lower than that.

The value for the JAXA plot is similar:

And the most recent JAXA value for 8/13/2012 is 5,152,969 sqkm (data source here). More maps and graphs exist on the WUWT Sea Ice Reference Page.

Here’s the August ARCUS report compiled by Helen Wiggins:

With 23 (thank you!) responses for the Pan-Arctic Outlook (plus 5 regional Outlook contributions), the August Sea Ice Outlook projects a September 2012 arctic sea extent median value of 4.3 million square kilometers, with a range of 3.9–4.9 (Figure 1). The quartiles for August are 4.1 and 4.6 million square kilometers, a narrow range given that the uncertainty of individual estimates is on the order of 0.5 million square kilometers. The consensus is for continued low values of September 2012 sea ice extent. The August Outlook median is lower by 0.3 million square kilometers than the July estimate, consistent with low summer 2012 observed values. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the arctic sea ice extent for July 2012 was the second lowest in the satellite record behind 2011; the ice extent recorded for August 1st of 6.5 million square kilometers is the lowest in the satellite record. Twelve of the contributions give a value equal to or lower than the 2007 record minimum (monthly average) extent of 4.3 million square kilometers.

Individual responses are based on a range of methods: statistical, numerical models, comparison with previous rates of sea ice loss, composites of several approaches, estimates based on various non-sea ice datasets and trends, and subjective information.

Again, we are comparing these Outlook values to the September average sea ice extent as provided by NSIDC. NSIDC is not the only data source for ice extent; their estimate is based on a long-term time series and we use their value as an operational definition.

Figure 1. Distribution of individual Pan-Arctic Outlook values (August Report)

Figure 1. Distribution of individual Pan-Arctic Outlook values (August Report) for September 2012 sea ice extent.

Download High Resolution Version of Figure 1.

DEVELOPMENT OF SUMMER 2012 SEA ICE CONDITIONS AND RECENT WEATHER

The NSIDC time history for 2012 compared with previous years is shown in Figure 2. As noted in previous Sea Ice Outlook reports this year, sea ice extent in May started higher than several previous years and there were indications of increased thickness on the North American side. But late May and the first half of June had the Arctic Dipole (AD) Pressure pattern that is favorable for ice loss, resulting in a record trend in sea ice loss. At the end of June the AD was replaced by low sea level pressure. At this point, the sea ice loss showed more of a historical loss trend, but because of the low June value it has remained below the previous lowest value from 2007. The sea level pressure field for the second half of July and early August (Figure 3) shows that the low pressure centered along the dateline has persisted for most of the summer. This a a fairly typical historical summer pattern, if perhaps a bit stronger.

Historical arctic sea ice extents from NSIDC

Figure 2. Historical arctic sea ice extents from NSIDC. The 2012 line continues below the 2007 line into 10 August (not shown).
Sea level pressure for 15 July through 5 August

Figure 3. Sea level pressure for 15 July through 5 August.

The pattern in Figure 3 is favorable for sea ice loss near the Canadian side of the North Pole and in the Kara Sea, but not in the Pacific Arctic as in previous summers. The recent NSIDC sea ice chart from 9 August (Figure 4) shows major open water areas in the eastern Beaufort Sea, East Siberian Sea, and Kara Sea, and a strip of sea ice continuing in the Chukchi Sea. These areas opened up quickly in the last few weeks. Also note the open areas within the ice pack.

Except for early June, the weather was not particularly favorable for sea ice loss in summer 2012 as it was in 2007 and some other recent years. Given the lack of meteorological support and several indications that the sea ice was rather thin, we note that thermodynamic melting of thin, mobile sea ice is now a dominant process, justifying the low sea ice predictions in the Sea Ice Outlook.

Microwave sea ice chart for 9 August 2012 from NSIDC

Figure 4. Microwave sea ice chart for 9 August 2012 from NSIDC.

KEY STATEMENTS FROM INDIVIDUAL OUTLOOKS

Wang et al, 3.9 +/-0.3, Model
The outlook is based on a CFSv2 ensemble of 40 members initialized from Jul 27-Aug 5, 2012. The model’s systematic bias, forecast RMS errors, and anomaly correlation skill are estimated based on its historical forecasts for 1982-2011. The CFSv2 has shown long-term decrease of sea ice extent during the past 3 decades, as in the observation. The CFSv2 was also found to have some skill in predicting year to year variability at seasonal time scales.

Arbetter, 4.0, n/a, Statistical (updated 13 August)
Using conditions from week 30 of 2012 (ie August 1, 2012), a revised minimum Arctic sea ice extent of 4.03 million km2 is projected for the week of September 7, 2012. This is substantially lower than the earlier estimates, reflecting both lower than average sea ice extent used as initial conditions this summer and a persistent downward trend in sea ice extent over the past decade (and longer). The output continues to suggest 2012 will be at or below the previous record minimum September ice extent, recorded in 2007 and repeated in 2011.

Klazes, 4.0 +/- 0.7, Statistical
Extent is predicted by first estimating minimum ice volume for September. Using a linear minimum ice volume-extent model the extent is calculated. Only data up to 2011 is used. The method is statistical, based on mean September ice extent and minimum September ice volume (PIOMAS, Zhang and Rothrock, 2003).

Hamilton, 4.0 +/- 0.3, Statistical
A simple regression model for NSIDC mean September extent as a function of mean daily sea ice area from August 1 to 5, 2012 (and a quadratic function of time) predicts a mean September 2012 extent of 4.02 million km2, with a confidence interval of plus or minus .32. This supersedes an earlier year-in-advance prediction based on a Gompertz (asymmetrical S curve) model that used data only through September 2011.

Beitsch et al, 4.1 +/- 0.1, Statistical
The KlimaCampus’s outlook is based on statistical analysis of satellite derived sea ice area.
We introduced the following method: use of near-real-time (SSMI/S) sea ice concentration data combined with long data sets (SSM/I: 1992{2011), a time-domain _lter that reduces observational noise, and a space-domain selection that neglects the outer seasonal ice zones. The daily estimate of the September extent, the anomaly of the current day and a time series of daily estimates since May 2012 can be found on our ftp-server: ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/prediction/2012/

Folkerts, 4.1 ± 0.2, Statistical
A variety of publicly available monthly data from 1978 forward (including area, extent, volume, regional extent, NCEP Reanalysis Data, and various climate indices) was collected. For each year, monthly data up to 24 months before the September minimum extent was organized and correlated with the minimum extent. Multiple regression analysis was also performed on a variety of combinations of these explanatory variables, seeking sets of data that correlate well with September extent, while trying to avoid overfitting. In addiction, analysis was also performed using the annual change in extent as the dependent variable (which, together with the extent the previous September, also allows predictions of the upcoming minimum).

Andersen, 4.1, n/a, Statistical
Same as last month.

Morison, 4.2, n/a, Heuristic
Same as last month.

Randles, 4.2, ± 0.7, Statistical
I use an average of two methods. One is as used in my previous submissions this year of a linear regression to predict the expected residual from a gompertz fit of September Extent using the residual from a gompertz fit of Cryosphere Today area. The other method is to calculate a weighted average of Cryosphere Today area and NSIDC Extent giving 1.5 weight to area. The difference between this and the NSIDC September average extent is calculated and estimated with a linear trend.

Naval Research Laboratory, 4.3 +/- 0.6, Model
The Arctic Cap Nowcast Forecast System (ACNFS) was run in forward model mode, without assimilation, initialized with a July 1, 2012 analysis, for nine simulations using archived Navy atmospheric forcing fields from 2003-2011. The mean ice extent in September, averaged across all ensemble members, is our projected ice extent. The standard deviation across the ensemble mean ice extents is an estimate of the uncertainty of our projection given we do not know the atmospheric conditions that will occur this summer. Please note, this is a developmental model that has not been fully validated in non-assimilative mode, but the assimilative system has been validated to provide an accurate ice forecast [Posey et al. 2010].

Netweather.tv, 4.3, n/a, Heuristic
The prediction method was based on a poll of Netweather.tv forum members. The question was “What do you think the MEAN September sea ice extent will be?” The mean (4,338,095km2) of the…votes was rounded to the closest 100,000 and used to form the prediction.

Lukovich et al, 4.3, n/a, Heuristic
It is hypothesized that the 2012 fall sea ice extent will attain values comparable to those of 2011 based on a heuristic assessment of sea ice and surface atmospheric dynamics, with regional losses governed by local wind and ice conditions.

Zhang and Lindsay, 4.4, +/- 0.4, Model
These results are obtained from a numerical ensemble seasonal forecasting system. The forecasting system is based on a synthesis of a model, the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data, and satellite observations of ice concentration and sea surface temperature. The model is the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS, Zhang and Rothrock, 2003). The ensemble consists of seven members each of which uses a unique set of NCEP/NCAR atmospheric forcing fields from recent years, representing recent climate, such that ensemble member 1 uses 2005 NCEP/NCAR forcing, member 2 uses 2006 forcing …, and member 7 uses 2011 forcing…In addition, the recently available IceBridge and helicopter-based electromagnetic (HEM) ice thickness quicklook data are assimilated into the initial 12-category sea ice thickness distribution fields in order to improve the initial conditions for the predictions.

Keen et al (Met Office), 4.4, +/-0.9, Model
Same as last month.

Kauker et al, 4.5, +/- 0.4, Model
Sea ice-ocean model ensemble run – For a more detailed description we refer to our July report. The ensemble model experiments for the August outlook all start from the same initial conditions on July 30th 2012. The simulated daily ice extent for all 20 realizations of the ensemble is shown in Figure 1 from the initialization until end of September. Note that August and September atmospheric conditions similar to 2007 would result in a September minimum of 3.6 million km2 (thick black line in Figure 1). Atmospheric forcing similar to the years 2008 and 2010 would give a September mean of about 4.0 million km2 .The mean September value of the ensemble mean is 4.46 million kmÇ (bias corrected). The standard deviation of the ensemble is 0.38 million km2 which we provide as uncertainty estimate of the prediction.

Meier et al, 4.5, +/-0.3, Statistical
This statistical method uses previous years’ daily extent change rates from August 1 through September 30 to calculate projected daily extents starting from July 31. The September daily extents are averaged to calculate the monthly extent. Rates from recent years are more likely to occur because of the change in ice cover. Thus, the official projection is based on the rates for 2002-2011, yielding a September 2012 average of 4.47 million square kilometers; the range however is still quite large with a standard deviation of 335,000 square kilometers. Using all years (1979-2011) yields a slightly higher estimate of 4.66 million square kilometers, but a similar range of 337,000 square kilometers. Five out of the 33 scenarios (using rates from 1979, 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2008) would yield a new record minimum September extent. This suggests the chance for a record low this year is ~15%, though this probably underestimates the probability because recent years have tended to follow faster decline rates.

WattsUpWithThat.com, 4.5, n/a, Heuristic
Reader poll.

Stroeve et al, 4.6, range 4.1-5.2, Statistical
Same as last month.

Tivy, 4.7, +/-0.5, Statistical
A persistence forecast based on anomalies in July extent where the mean period is defined as the average of the previous five years. Persistence is a benchmark for more sophisticated techniques.

Kay et al, 4.7, range 4.0-5.7, Heuristic
An informal pool of 23 climate scientists on June 1, 2012 estimates that the September 2012 Arctic sea ice extent will be 4.68 million sq. km. (stdev. 0.32, min. 4.00, max. 5.70). In 2008, 2009, and 2011, our informal pool estimates of the mean September ice extent were within 0.10 million sq. km. of the corresponding observed value, making our informal method competitive with more sophisticated prediction efforts.

Canadian Ice Service, 4.7, n/a, Multiple Methods
As with CIS contributions in June 2009, 2010 and 2011, the 2012 forecast was derived using a combination of three methods: 1) a qualitative heuristic method based on observed end-of-winter Arctic ice thicknesses and extents, as well as an examination of Surface Air Temperature (SAT), Sea Level Pressure (SLP) and vector wind anomaly patterns and trends; 2) an experimental Optimal Filtering Based (OFB) Model which uses an optimal linear data filter to extrapolate NSIDC’s September Arctic Ice Extent time series into the future; and 3) an experimental Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) prediction system that tests ocean, atmosphere and sea ice predictors.

Wu et al, 4.7, +/-0.3, Model
Same as last month.

Blanchard-Wrigglesworth et al, 4.9, +/-0.6, Model
Same as last month.

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148 thoughts on “Sea Ice News – Volume 3 Number 10 – ARCUS August Sea Ice Outlook posted, plus worries over Arctic storm breaking up sea ice

  1. Oh ye with little faith :p

    Fresh water freeze has begun and salt water will start by Friday. This summer year has been cool 80+ deg north. Nail-biting indeed.

  2. Which only goes to show how utterly worthless such so called predictions are.

    You would do as well, if not better, with a dartboard or a set of tarot cards.

    As for meaning there isn’t any: the ice will do what the ice will do and there’s no doing anything about it.

    As i have said before on this blog please wake me up when something exciting happens in the Arctic.

    Such as somebody discovering the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow at the North pole. Or possibly Mr. Claus’s workshop. Or such like.

    Whatever.

    Kindest Regards

  3. Very comprehensive post. I’m kinda worried about all the extra autumn heat loss from the open Arctic water, as that has led to brutal winters in UK recently.

  4. “There have only been about eight storms of similar strength during the month of August in the last 34 years of satellite records. “It’s an uncommon event, especially because it’s occurring in the summer. Polar lows are more usual in the winter.” ”

    8 in 34 years doesn’t seem uncommon to me – it seems more like a frquent event. 1 in 4.25, or a 23.5% probability of occurence in any August.

  5. I expect the minimum will occur at a record early date because there’s no southern Atlantic-side ice left to melt in late August. The ice ridge from Alaska to Siberia looks robust, and once the temperature drops below freezing it will engender record gains in ice early in September — as long as that ice ridge does not melt out.

  6. I am going to echo NZ willy’s comment and Intrepid wonders…the melt that is left is mostly due to weather conditions since in a week its too cold for farther melt to occur over most of the ice pack.

    We will see more loss over the next couple of weeks obviously, but like last year this year appears to be similar in weather meaning that the minimum is a couple weeks away if not coming up. Sure, it could be close to a record, but time is running out as they say.

  7. I thought all the ice was melted….? It’s 2012 isn’t it?. Yeah well. All the ice is melted. I don’t know why you people insist on saying that it is still there.

    What we all need to do now, is to work out ways of saving the polar bears…… I was thinkin’ that towing up icebergs from the Antarctic would do it… Yes, yes, I know. But I’m too humble to allow you to fall at my feet in awe… Anyway about three million tug boats and a really big esky should do it… :-)

  8. This deserves emphasis:

    Except for early June, the weather was not particularly favorable for sea ice loss in summer 2012 as it was in 2007 and some other recent years.

    Not as favorable weather, but still 2012 is lower than all previous record years on all extent and area graphs.

  9. Important statement: “Decades ago, a storm of the same magnitude would have been less likely to have as large an impact on the sea ice, because at that time the ice cover was thicker and more expansive.” This observation seems to portend more frequent occurrence of record breaking low summertime minimums in the coming years. And not too many years at that if this trend continues. I have to agree with those responses that question the viability of any model, physical or statistical, to accurately predict the ongoing transformation of the annual Arctic ice cycle. Does anyone really understand the detailed mechanisms causing this downward trend? Other than unsupported WA guesses?

  10. The early melting of ice that has occurred this summer within the Arctic has exposed more ocean surface to solar warming during the 24/7 arctic ‘day’. That thermal energy will have to be lost for winter freezing to occur, warming the air within the polar vortex.
    This reduces the temperature differential between the Arctic and the temperate latitudes which in turn affects the position and stability of the jet-streams.

    Weakening and movement of the jet-streams has significant effects on the subsequent weather at lower latitudes as the last couple of years have indicated. Extreme weather has not been the direct effect of warming, but of the weakening of the polar vortex and the meridinal temperature differential. What happens in the Arctic has strong effects on weather of the N American continent and N europe.

    That is going to continue to disrupt grain and corn production raising food prices.
    None of this was predicted by computer models, all of which grossly underestimated the speed and severity of the ice loss. It is clear that most of us will live to see an effectively ice free summer Arctic ocean.

  11. Is anybody else a bit nervous about how far 2012 is below the +- 2 Standard Deviation lines in Figure 2, Historical arctic sea ice extents from NSIDC? When are we going to get back up to that region?

  12. Is anyone else worried about how far we are below the +- 2 Standard Deviation area in Figure 2, Historical arctic sea ice extents from NSIDC?

  13. Looking ar the sea ice reference page and the ocean reference page a few things stick out.
    Arctic sea ice is below normal. Arctic air temperatures above 80 North have been slightly lower than normal this summer. Global ocean temperatures are mainly normal or below normal except those in high Northern lattitudes which are above nornal. Antarctic sea ice extent is above normal.

    Once those Northern Oceans lose their excess of heat the amount of ice in the Arctic and thus total global sea ice which even now is only half below the mean than it was in 2007 could rise very quicly indeed.

  14. Can someone please distinguish the loss of arctic icecover by melt from the loss of arctic icecover by shattering the icesheet through strong winds below the 15-percent-threshold for me?

    Because from the data given, I can’t! IMHO, we are comparing apples and oranges here.

  15. “I’ll bet on another year of record Arctic sea ice formation over the winter.

    Although we aren’t supposed to talk about that.”

    Try thinking about it first.

    Winter sea ice cover has declined, but not as much as summer time sea ice loss (over the satellite record). If this pattern continues – summer time decline greater than wintertime – then the area of sea ice formation will continue to get larger, inevitably breaking records. This is what is expected to happen under the scenario predicted by the mainstream observers, where the Arctic pack becomes thinner over time. With a modicum of thought, it makes complete sense.

    By all means, talk about it.

  16. If the reported temperatures keep falling,

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/

    Then it should make the coming re-freeze even more interesting than last year. Note, all of the melt re-freezes, the worry would be if it didn’t.
    But, shhhhh, don’t mention that pesky place down South, the alarmists love to pretend doesn’t exist…

  17. “or lifting warmer waters from the depths of the Arctic Ocean.”

    Non comprende. What kind of physics is that?

  18. Sure, I’ll talk about it: Ice remains at the North Pole area not because of the enthalpic inertia of melting it, but because it’s too cold to melt up there. If you magically removed all the Arctic ice in August, the Arctic Ocean north of 82 deg would re-freeze — yes, in August. To achieve an ice-free Arctic, the Earth must heat up even more than now. Alarmists say it will, skeptics say the Earth will cool because of the Sun’s quieting down. I’m with the skeptics, and expect the ice trend to increase after this year.
    I’ll also repeat an earlier point about the importance of calibration of satellite data — the operators can get a wide range of results. Me-too-ism is playing a big role in where these curves are going. The DMI graph recently made a bee-line for a record low ice cover, but the operators pulled it smartly back before it got there — now it’s hovering at near-low levels and looks a right mess. Expect a clean-up soon, as DMI does. As the Arctic ice anomaly plunges, the Antarctic ice rises — the operators are hedging. Anthropogenic warming, indeed.

  19. J Hansford – what a waste of diesel, those Antarctic icebergs will melt when they get warm (and anyway they’re an invasive species). I vote for giant inflatable white plastic bubbles to re-create the albedo effect and provide a safe haven for poolar bears. Might even make ‘em full of holes like swiss cheese for the damn seals to come up and get whacked.

  20. @barry

    Are you saying that the ice total increase from the starting point has increased? That is an interesting plot I have never seen. We are shown total coverage and attention is drawn to the minimum and maximum ‘extents’. But the formation rate is not indicated. One test of ‘cooling’ is the total tonnage of ice formed from whatever the initial coverage was in September.

    A plot of the total growth per year would be interesting – 2 items: tonnage and surface area.

    Thanks for the idea.

  21. The real question is “Does the amount of Arctic Sea Ice have a strong relationship to the Global Temperature?”

    Note that the amount of Antarctic Sea Ice has been increasing as the amount of Arctic Sea Ice has been decreasing. I do not think that the amount of Arctic Sea Ice is a reliable indicator of Global Temperature [except if you make the UHI readings your Global Temperature indicator].

  22. Crispin,

    it’s basic arithmetic. If car A travels faster than car B along the same line, the distance between them will get bigger. Same with the reformation of Arctic sea ice if summertime coverage declines more quickly than wintertime over the years – the refreeze area will have increased, and presumably will contune to do so.

    “Total tonnage”

    The thickness of the ice has also decreased more rapidly in summertime than in wintertime, at least acording to satellite estimates, which have problems.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/11/arctic-sea-ice-vanishing

    Also, this decline has been a bit more steady than the extent/area metric.

    What we’d need to see as a possible indicator of a cooling globe (or at least a cooling Arctic) is a multi-year trend (7+ years) of increasing extent across the seasons, as well as volume. Changes from one year to the next are indications of weather fluctuations, and are useless as metrics to establish long-term trends.

    If anyone is using increasing refreeze area as a metric for a cooling Arctic/globe they are seriously getting it wrong!

  23. J.Hansford says: @ August 14, 2012 at 12:08 am
    … What we all need to do now, is to work out ways of saving the polar bears…… I was thinkin’ that towing up icebergs from the Antarctic would do it…
    _________________________
    Nah, the cheaper method for saving the Poley Bears is for each nation to send a selection of politicians and bureaucrats to the north pole to be tossed into the waters as sacrifices sort of like the Sacrifice of the Corn King. The myth is that in times of great trouble the king himself would be sacrificed….

    Sort of gives the leader a real incentive to make sure he does his best for his people now doesn’t it.

  24. ****
    izen says:
    August 14, 2012 at 2:02 am
    ****

    Little more than ridiculous alarmism/supposition there….

  25. What Barry and others are missing is the record snowfall in Anchorage last winter and the AccuWeather: Endless Winter for Alaska’s Mountains This Year There was so much snow and the spring was so cool that the snow in the lower elevations did not melt out.

    It is not the absolute temperature that matters. Snowfall is actually more likely when it is warmer in the winter. It is the combination of abundant snowfall in the winter and cool spring, summer and fall temperatures that result in the net growth of glaciers being positive.

    The Arctic Ice melt is nothing but a diversion from understanding the complex factors that influence the climate.

  26. We have no reliable data on ice volume, just a few previous random measurements and dodgy models. Recent satellite measurements are just that, recent and to extrapolate forwards is as cognitively challenged as it is to go back to the guesses of the past. But hey, welcome to post normal science where empiricism is bad and guessing is good…

  27. One needs a centennial perspective, not an annual view…..This is
    the following: In the Little Ice Age, the total Earth ice volume grew,
    now we register an ice loss, we are in warmer times…..
    In between must be an ICE MASS EQUILIBRIUM where the ice melt and
    ice formation is exactly equal in volume….
    Our temps in the 21 Ctry are ABOVE this equilibrium, therefore,
    a global ice mass loss MUST occur….reverse to glacial times having
    temps below this level….
    This has nothing to do with AGW, its the glacial-interglacial cycle….in action
    JS

  28. I for one am happy for the ice to melt, it means we are still seeing the END of an ice age NOT the beginning of a new one. Sadly that doesn’t seem to be the message from the Antarctic…

  29. From “Günther Kirschbaum” (aka “neven”) on August 14, 2012 at 12:21 am:

    Not as favorable weather, but still 2012 is lower than all previous record years on all extent and area graphs.

    And it’s about time!

    Seriously, it’s been five years since the “Record Breaking Low!” that signaled imminent impending doom from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. What is the problem?

    I expect my downward “Screaming Death Spirals” to be more consistent.

  30. @glen martin: simple, the interactive plot is for area area while the charts in this page are for extent.

    @beesaman: problem is, we’re already at the end of an ice age, in the hot period called interglacial. Seeing ice core temperature charts, it appears we are about at the end of this interglacial too.

  31. Seriously, it’s been five years since the “Record Breaking Low!” that signaled imminent impending doom from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. What is the problem?

    Basically it’s looking as if the 2007 record will be broken by a melting season that wasn’t even close to it wrt weather conditions. One might ask oneself: What will a melting season that has the same ideal conditions as 2007 look like?

  32. Not a small amount of the ice has doubled up on itself north of Greenland and Ellesmere Is from a look at the photo. This makes for thicker multiyear ice in that area and the freeze is already on north of 80.

  33. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 14, 2012 at 10:59 am
    “Seriously, it’s been five years since the “Record Breaking Low!” that signaled imminent impending doom from Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. What is the problem?
    I expect my downward “Screaming Death Spirals” to be more consistent.”

    Sorry you are disappointed, but your “Screaming Death Spirals” are what happens when you apply typical WUWT hyperbole.
    Outside the sceptic community the data are being watched with interest in a year with its fair share of surprises already.

    Magenta ice is thickest, grading to blue as thinnest.
    With melting East and Northeast of Greenland stalled against the edge of the multi-year ice, this side of the Arctic may not show much more change. Over towards Siberia the ice is thin and much more likely to dissipate. With about five weeks to go, an ice free Arctic looks unlikely, but few bookies would give me odds against a new record low.
    The thick ice at the western end of the Northwest Passage raises an interesting question. Will the Northwest Passage remain closed this year?

  34. All a bit sad about the headlines and political posturing really. Air temperatures above 80 north this year have been below normal but anyone who has agitated their iced drink to turn the ice into slush knows that the ice soon melts.

  35. JCG says:
    August 14, 2012 at 1:11 am
    Important statement: “Decades ago, a storm of the same magnitude would have been less likely to have as large an impact on the sea ice, because at that time the ice cover was thicker and more expansive.” This observation seems to portend more frequent occurrence of record breaking low summertime minimums in the coming years. And not too many years at that if this trend continues. I have to agree with those responses that question the viability of any model, physical or statistical, to accurately predict the ongoing transformation of the annual Arctic ice cycle.
    —————————————–
    I would agree that the models in use at present are not fully representing the current Arctic conditions. In fact they are downright conservative!

    This shows the two main sea ice models and the observed data. Looking at the +/- 1Standard Deviation bands for each model, there ‘s a 50% chance that the observed data deviate significantlyfrom RCP 4.5 and a 90% chance that they deviate from SRESA 1B. Both models are badly overpredicting ice extent, suggesting that a significant warming factor is not being taken into account.
    Talk to ice scientists and, though it is hard to pin down statistically with so few years data, many of them see by inspection a step change in the behaviour of the Arctic from the early 2000s. The timing of the observed dip below the RCP 4.5 predictions starts about the same time. Anyone have ideas for an extra warming agent which kicked in about ten years ago?

  36. glen martin says:
    August 14, 2012 at 9:58 am
    This interactive plot at the top of The Cryosphere Today webpage shows the current level already quite close to the record low set in 2007.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

    Anyone have an explanation for the difference between this plot and the others shown on this page?
    ———————————-
    I looked on the Cryosphere Today website for some indication of how they set their ice edge boundary, without success. The difference between the Cryosphere and NSIDC graphs would be consistent with Cryosphere using a higher percentage ice cover as their boundary, eg if NSIDC used 15% ice cover and Cryosphere used 20%, the latter would show lower ice area.
    Anybody have more info?

  37. “The Arctic Ice melt is nothing but a diversion from understanding the complex factors that influence the climate.”

    As Anthony posted the article that begins this thread, are you saying he is distracting readers from “the complex factors that influence climate?”

    I’m not sure what Anchorage (record winter) snowfall has to do with Arctic sea ice cover, or why this should be emphasised on a thread about sea ice cover. Who is trying to distract who?

  38. Entropic man – Cryosphere today figures are of sea ice area, which is total sea ice cover (best estimate), whereas NSIDC focus on sea ice extent, which is water with >15% ice. These can be quite different as the ice breaks up during the melt. Better to compare CT with other area-based plots. EG;

    Which can be accessed from here. On this page, you can see their extent and area estimates side by side. Area is similarly low as Cryosphere Today – right near the record – while their extent remains quite above the record line.

    Uni of Bremen, by contrast, are showing near-record low for extent already, same as the area plots.

    There are differences between all the main observational records, due to using different satellite sensors and/or processing the data differently. But they all appear to be indicating a record minimum this year – for area certainly, and very likely, but not certainly, for extent.

    The following link is an excellent source for many different Arctic sea ice graphs on one page.

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

    And of course there is the WUWT resource page, including Antarctic charts.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

  39. From Entropic man on August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm:

    Sorry you are disappointed, but your “Screaming Death Spirals” are what happens when you apply typical WUWT hyperbole.

    NatGeo:

    Arctic Ice in “Death Spiral,” Is Near Record Low
    Mason Inman
    for National Geographic News
    September 17, 2008

    The ice is in a “death spiral” and may disappear in the summers within a couple of decades, according to Mark Serreze, an Arctic climate expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

    Found at Seattle Times, December 11, 2007:

    ‘The Arctic is screaming’ — summer sea ice could be gone in five years

    By SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science Writer; AP Science Writer

    “The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.

    Arctic Death Spiral, Arctic is screaming, thus it’s a Screaming Death Spiral.

    WUWT’s hyperbole?
    ===

    From Entropic man on August 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I looked on the Cryosphere Today website for some indication of how they set their ice edge boundary, without success. (…)

    Anybody have more info?

    Note at Cryosphere Today main page says:

    Snow and ice data provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction/NOAA, NSIDC, U. Bremen

    So if they’re not using NSIDC ice edge info, most likely they’re using it from either or both of the other two sources.

  40. The north west passage was first navigated by Roald Amundsen in 1903–1906. I hope global warming alarmists have at last come up with an explanation why that was possible… because it certainly did not have anything to do with man-made global warming.

    The point is, people must really stop worrying about what Mother Nature is doing. This obsession people have over a concern the re is less ice or more ice etc etc etc is a sign of a western world that has nothing better to do than worry about ‘problems’ that are not problems at all.

  41. barry says:
    August 14, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Winter sea ice cover has declined, but not as much as summer time sea ice loss (over the satellite record). If this pattern continues – summer time decline greater than wintertime – then the area of sea ice formation will continue to get larger, inevitably breaking records. This is what is expected to happen under the scenario predicted by the mainstream observers, where the Arctic pack becomes thinner over time. With a modicum of thought, it makes complete sense.

    What scenario predicted by which observers?

    The thinning is an effect of record melt + record ice formation, not a cause.

    Greenhouse gas warming theory predicts most warming in the Arctic winter. Thus the greatest effect should be on the ice maximum extent, not on the ice minimum extent. We should be seeing sea ice reduction because of reduced winter ice formation. That we see record melt in the summer and record ice formation in the winter, is compelling evidence greenhouse gas warming is not the cause of decreased summer sea ice.

  42. Mervyn,

    Roald Amundsen’s NW Passage transit was possible only because it took him a couple years to do it after his ship got iced in. He also did not go through all of what is commonly considered the Northwest Passage today, instead opting for a warmer, more southerly route along the Canadian mainland south of Victoria Island. So you’re right, it had nothing to do with man-made global warming. It had to do with the fact that he was able to survive two Arctic winters while stuck in place until the ice broke up enough for him to navigate to safety.

    BTW, there are several good books out there on the history of Arctic exploration and the politics surrounding it. I highly recommend “Arctic Labyrinth” by Glyn Williams.

  43. As Joachim Seifert sez above, the arithmetic of warming from the LIA max ice extent is that the ice coverage hasn’t “caught up” to the centuries-long trends. At some point the equilibrium curve and the actual ice will match (but probably only for a moment). In the meantime, the average must continue to fall.

  44. izen says:
    August 14, 2012 at 2:02 am
    “The early melting of ice that has occurred this summer within the Arctic has exposed more ocean surface to solar warming during the 24/7 arctic ‘day’. ”

    izen, the Earth is not flat as depicted in CAGW energy budget papers but closer to a sphere.
    In the north the sun is comming at a very small incidence, which is going down day by day, in September the switch to the south emisphere happens and the north starts to get night 7×24.
    The most energetic sunrays like UV are already reflected at a more steep angle by water, the lower energetic at smaller angles – see water reflection.
    For the ocean subsystem less ice coverage in the north would mean a huge heat loss during fall and winter, ice is a natural thermal shield – see igloos.
    I see the arctic rather as a thermostat ensuring heat loss and no heat gain – only in the month of May – August net heat gain, all other month net heat loss – you need to do proper calculation balance, subtract first reflection then compare sin() with radiated value. In addition to this take clouds into account – see above picture.
    Don’t add “backradiation” as thermal input, but do a proper heat transfer calculation as for any thermal calculation with several strata and radiation to space. I never saw insulation calculation being replaced with backradiation in any thermal calculation in any engineering work.
    If the “death spiral” hypothesis of ever warming arctic would be a viable hypothesis it would have happened long ago when it was warmer, but this was invalidated all the warmer periods before.
    The Earth is not flat and we are not going to fry.

  45. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm
    “Arctic death spirals.”

    I note that these are all media links. I have learned to be careful of journalists. One’s slightest looseness of speech gets amplified out of all proportion in search of a good story. Lokk how an off-the-cuff comment to a journalist turned into a countdown to zero ice cover on WUWT!

    Thanks for the Cryosphere information. Differences in the details of data analysis can produce differences like that between the NSIDC and Cryosphere Today graphs.
    I like having two data sets. As long as each is internally consistent,they can give independant confirmation of trends.

  46. Philip Bradley says:
    August 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm
    “Greenhouse gas warming theory predicts most warming in the Arctic winter. Thus the greatest effect should be on the ice maximum extent, not on the ice minimum extent.”

    I’m not familiar with this argument. Could you provide a reference?

    Observed winter ice extents in recent years have been close to the 1979-2000 average, suggesting that there has been no long term change in maximum extent since satellite measurement started. I would expect this, since with very little insolation through the Winter, there is little infrared to be backscattered by greenhouse gases, and no opportunity for any increase in their concentrations to have any effect.

    Indeed GWPF got egg on its face earlier this year by suggesting that an April 2012 winter ice extent close to the average was evidence that global warming had stopped.

  47. Philip Bradley says:
    August 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Greenhouse gas warming theory predicts most warming in the Arctic winter. Thus the greatest effect should be on the ice maximum extent, not on the ice minimum extent. We should be seeing sea ice reduction because of reduced winter ice formation.

    Average Arctic temperatures during the winter are very, very cold, about -40°C. AGW is posited to have raised average temperatures by about 0.8°C. Double that figure for polar amplification and then, very generously, double it again for faster winter warming and you get winter warming in the Arctic of 3.2°C, which would raise the average temperature to -36.8°C. That is not going to inhibit winter ice formation except at the very lowest Arctic lattitudes.

    By comparison, the Arctic summer has an average temperature a little over 0°C. Increase that by a mere 1.6°C and you suddenly have very good conditions for melting a lot of ice, even at much higher lattitudes.

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    That we see record melt in the summer and record ice formation in the winter, is compelling evidence greenhouse gas warming is not the cause of decreased summer sea ice.

    No, but that you think this is compelling evidence that your understanding of the climate does not even extend to the seasons. I would recommend you review your reference materials because this is really basic stuff.

  48. Kevin MacDonald says:
    August 15, 2012 at 4:35 am

    I’ll quote the linked below synthesis of Arctic amplification.

    This mechanism of Arctic amplification will hence have a
    pronounced seasonal expression, strongest in the low sun period,
    especially autumn, and weaker in summer.

    and

    <i.Serreze et al. (2009) examined the evolution of temperatures over
    the Arctic Ocean from 1979 to 2007 using data from two different
    atmospheric reanalyses. Anomalies were computed with respect to the
    period 1979–2007. Starting in the late 1990s, surface air temperature
    anomalies over the Arctic Ocean were seen to turn positive in autumn,
    growing in subsequent years, and building into winter. Development of
    the autumn warming pattern was found to align with the observed
    reduction in September sea ice extent, with the temperature anomalies
    strengthening from the lower troposphere to the surface. The recent
    autumn warming was found to be stronger over the Arctic Ocean than
    over Arctic land areas and lower latitudes. No enhanced surface
    warming signal was found in summer.

    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/class_homepages/geog_4271_f11/readings/week_12_13_serreze_barry_arctic_amp.pdf

    I’ll suggest your understanding of the Arctic climate is rather more deficient than mine.

  49. Philip Bradley @ here

    “What scenario predicted by which observers?”

    Successful wintertime recovery was predicted at least as early as 1995, in this paper, where summer time declines were more extreme than wintertime in the model simulation (CO2 increase 1% per annum over a centennial model run).

    This showed up in subsequent simulations, and makes physical sense. Even though winter warms more than summer in the Arctc, it is still well cold enough for ice to form, and we should expect strong recovery each season while temperatures remain well below freezing. The dynamics are complex – for instance, warmer winters may equate to more snow, and more thickness, but the ocean is warmer, reducing the growth season, and there are salinity changes etc.

    But if we assume simply that the behaviour we have seen is what will continue – that winter ice cover will decline slower than summer ice cover – then we can expect to see “record ice reformation” going into the future. It’s simple arithmetic, and no indication at all of any long-term recovery. To the contrary, an indication of long-term recovery might be that the ice reformation is reduced over time, as the difference between wintertime and summertime ice cover becomes less (as it was 10, 20, and 30 years ago).

    I’m not sure that the cause of warming would make much of a difference to these metrics.

    [edit] I see Kevin MacDonald has put it a little more succinctly.

  50. Philip Bradley says:
    August 15, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I’ll quote the linked below synthesis of Arctic amplification.

    This mechanism of Arctic amplification will hence have a
    pronounced seasonal expression, strongest in the low sun period,
    especially autumn, and weaker in summer.

    Strawman! I didn’t against argue against a seasonal expression of Arctic amplification (in point of fact, I overstated it), I illustrated why it would not be strong enough to significantly inhibit winter freezing in the Arctic Ocean.

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 15, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I’ll suggest your understanding of the Arctic climate is rather more deficient than mine.

    Given the above logical fallacy, I’d suggest it is not just your understanding of climate that is deficient and that your comprehension generally is poor. Whether this is from lack of effort or lack of ability only you and those closest to you will know.

  51. The NSIDC data supports Sereze et al. (2009). Increased amplification from warmer and more extensive open water is delaying ice growth, giving lower extents for the date. (It means, too, that I have underestimated the probable effect of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations on back radiation from warmer seas.)
    It is also pushing the maximum extent later in the year.The 1979-2000 average winter extent peaks in late February. Four of the last five years show the peak occuring well into March, with a shorter time cold-soaking at minimum temperature. The effect of this does not show as a reduction in maximum extent, but may explain why the multi-year ice and total ice volume have both declined in recent years.
    It may also help explain why the Spring and Summer thaw has become so much more extensive, even without extra amplification in Summer, with a smaller volume of ice to be melted and a greater extent change per unit of energy input.

  52. While the usual suspects are freaking out because of ice melting (really?!?), other countries are making preparations to exploit the wealth of resources hidden under the arctic.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/arctic/

    Again, catastrophists, an open arctic is bad, how? The arctic has been ice free numerous times throughout history and guess what life on earth made it through. Even the polar bears looked like they did alright, and they’re currently at record-breaking levels.

  53. Kevin MacDonald says:

    Average Arctic temperatures during the winter are very, very cold, about -40°C. AGW is posited to have raised average temperatures by about 0.8°C. Double that figure for polar amplification and then, very generously, double it again for faster winter warming and you get winter warming in the Arctic of 3.2°C, which would raise the average temperature to -36.8°C. That is not going to inhibit winter ice formation except at the very lowest Arctic lattitudes.

    I would suggest thinking a little deeper abut this.
    1) the temperature gets down to about -30C for area above 80N. If you extend the boundaries out to 70N, the average is “only” ~ -25C in the dead of winter.
    2) Summer warming (70N – 90N) has been about 0.3 C/decade, or about 1C. Warming for Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan & Apr has been at least 1.0C/decade –> 3-5 C warming. So your estimate of 3.2 is not bad (but is certainly not “generous”.)
    3) The gradient is less than 30C from the top to the bottom of the ice (~ 0C to ~ -25C) for most of the Arctic Ocean. A warming of 3C is more than 10% of this gradient. Since this gradient determines the flow of energy by conduction up thru the ice,there will be ~ 10 % reduction in the energy flow by conduction (and hence in the depth of ice that freezes in the winter). A ~ 10% reduction sounds like it is inhibiting ice formation!
    4) If there are 3C – 5C changes over large areas ‘around the margins’, then the margins of the ice will freeze more slowly and less deeply.
    5) Large areas of open Arctic water in the summer will absorb more sunlight than ice and warm up. When the temperatures *do* inevitably drop in the fall, energy must first be lost to cool the warm water, which further inhibits ice formation.

  54. From Entropic man on August 15, 2012 at 3:37 am:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm
    “Arctic death spirals.”

    I note that these are all media links. I have learned to be careful of journalists. One’s slightest looseness of speech gets amplified out of all proportion in search of a good story. Lokk how an off-the-cuff comment to a journalist turned into a countdown to zero ice cover on WUWT!

    ThinkProgressive!:

    Serreze: Arctic is “continuing down in a death spiral. Every bit of evidence we have says the ice is thinning.”
    By Joe Romm on Sep 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    UPDATE: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) director Mark Serreze slammed the anti-science disinformers yesterday:

    There are claims coming from some communities that the Arctic sea ice is recovering, is getting thicker again. That’s simply not the case. It’s continuing down in a death spiral.

    Every bit of evidence we have says the ice is thinning. That means there’s less energy needed to melt it out than there used to be.

    Certainly the latest analysis from the Polar Science Center bears that out:

    Volume NS

    Indeed, a stunning example of an innocent statement being “…amplified out of all proportion in search of a good story.” Surprising really, given Joe Romm’s history as an accurate reliable journalist.

    BTW, the last link is to a New Scientist graphic using PIOMAS volume data. You know, the PIOMAS model results that were well researched, well verified, and widely cited by the alamist community as proof of Arctic sea ice decline. Then the PIOMAS model collided with reality, leading to the less-alarming PIOMAS v2.0 found here, which is equally as well researched, well verified, and widely cited by the alamist community as proof of Arctic sea ice decline. Which is why the next to last link goes 404.

    • Temps today are higher than during the LIA in the 17 Century…. when ice mass grew….
      IT is NORMAL, that ice melts today, it would be unnormal if it stayed the same…One day, when
      temps will be down again, in about 100 years, the ice volume will grow again….crystal clear….
      This process is normal……

  55. No Kevin, my points are exactly about the extent and volume of ice as it refreezes each year. Warmer winters will limit the thickness of the ice. Warmer winters will limit the edges of the ice. Both of these will affect both the maximum and the minimum extents.

  56. Lars P. says: August 15, 2012 at 3:07 am
    “the Earth is not flat as depicted in CAGW energy budget papers but closer to a sphere.”
    What? Where can you find any paper claiming the earth is flat, or making calculations assuming the earth is flat?

    “The most energetic sunrays like UV are already reflected at a more steep angle by water, the lower energetic at smaller angles – see water reflection.
    Perhaps you mean ‘refraction’? All light reflects at the same angle (ie the angle of incidence). Now it is true that violet (and UV) would refract at a higher angle, but that wouldn’t matter anyway

    “For the ocean subsystem less ice coverage in the north would mean a huge heat loss during fall and winter, ice is a natural thermal shield – see igloos.”
    OK I can agree with that. This would provide a form of negative feedback. Of course, this would never allow a year with

    “I see the arctic rather as a thermostat ensuring heat loss and no heat gain – only in the month of May – August net heat gain … “
    This depends a lot on what you are including in your calculations.
    * If you mean simply EM radiation heat sources, then I suspect you are close to right. During the winter, there is thermal IR leaving the surface and thermal IR arriving at the surface. The thermal IR leaving will indeed be greater than the thermal IR arriving. During the summer, the thermal IR leaving is STILL greater than the thermal IR arriving, but the incoming sunlight will eventually make up the difference (May-Aug sounds about right).
    * For ALL heat sources, the net gain is positive whenever there is net warming (or melting of ice). in that sense, there is a net gain from ~ March–>Sept, and a net loss from Sept–>March.
    (The difference would be due to transport of heat from the south via air and ocean currents.)

    “Don’t add “backradiation” as thermal input, but do a proper heat transfer calculation … “
    What?? That is like saying “do a proper calculation for the flight of a baseball, but don’t add in air resistance”! A “proper” calculation of heat transfer has to include all sources of heat, which would include incoming radiation (eg incoming IR radiation or “back-radiation” as it is colloquially called).

    I never saw insulation calculation being replaced with back radiation in any thermal calculation in any engineering work.
    Well, that would be because back-radiation and insulation are two different things. Have you ever seen insulation being replaced with sunlight? Or insulation being replaced with an electric heater? It’s not done because it would be incredibly bad engineering!

    “If the “death spiral” hypothesis of ever warming arctic would be a viable hypothesis it would have happened long ago when it was warmer, but this was invalidated all the warmer periods before.
    I never liked the hyperbole of the term “death spiral”. The hypothesis is for some degree of feedback whereby melting ice helps ensure more melting ice. No one that I know of ever predicted an “ever warming arctic.” If you can find such a reference (in a scientific publication), I’d enjoy seeing it

  57. Every bit of evidence we have says the ice is thinning. That means there’s less energy needed to melt it out than there used to be.

    What would cause Arctic sea ice to thin faster than it reduces in extent? Or put another way, what would cause thicker ice to melt faster than thinner ice?

    Would increased atmospheric temperatures cause this? Nope.

    Nor would increased downwelling LWR, or increased sea temperatures.

    What would cause it is black carbon and particulate deposition, because as the ice melts at the surface, the BC accumulates decreasing the albedo and accelerating the melt. Thus, the thicker the ice the faster it melts.

    This mechanism has no effect on ice formation, which is why we are seeing record ice formation.

  58. tjfolkerts says:
    August 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    No Kevin, my points are exactly about the extent and volume of ice as it refreezes each year. Warmer winters will limit the thickness of the ice. Warmer winters will limit the edges of the ice. Both of these will affect both the maximum and the minimum extents.

    I accept that warming winters will limit the edges of the ice, I said as much (which is why you suggesting I think a little deeper and then pointing at things I’d already thought on seemed bogus), but the position you are defending is that the Arctic maximum sea ice extent should retreat quicker Arctic minimum sea ice extent. None of the points you raise support that, all they tell us is that freezing will generally occur later in the season, but no one was arguing that this wouldn’t happen.

  59. To add to Kevin’s comment, Philip Bradley, in reply to me, suggested that wintertime sea ice extent should decline quicker than sumertime sea ice extent. This is not what was anticipated and not what is actually occurring. Kevin is reinforcing my point. tjfolkerts, you are making a different point, which no one has talked about or is disagreeing with.

    tjfolkerts, unless you are arguing that wintertime sea ice extent should decrease faster than summertime sea ice extent, I’m not sure what your point relates to. If you agree with Kevin and I on that point, by all means let us know.

    To restate the point I made in response to an erroneous comment upthread – “record sea ice formation” is expected in a scenario where summertime extent declines faster than wintertime extent. As the difference between maximum and minimum increases, obviously we will see a greater area of sea ice reforming, even while both minima and maxima are decreasing (at different rates over the years). Contrary to opinions above, a decrease in sea ice reformation would be an indicator of long-term recovery.

    (Except in the case where summertime sea ice bottoms out to zero extent, then decreasing wintertime extent would see less sea ice reformation over time.)

  60. Kevin MacDonald suggests:“but the position you are defending is that the Arctic maximum sea ice extent should retreat quicker Arctic minimum sea ice extent. “

    No I don’t think I am defending that. You said “That is not going to inhibit winter ice formation except at the very lowest Arctic lattitudes.” That is a very clear statement about ice formation. I was disagreeing. I think that the warmer winters WILL inhibit (to some degree) winter ice formation throughout the Arctic. And by extension, warmer winters will reduce summer extents. Nothing in what I said was directed at the specific question of WHICH of those two would retreat more quickly.

  61. NSIDC have updated their sea ice page and commented on the storm as well as recent events.

    Arctic sea ice extent during the first two weeks of August continued to track below 2007 record low daily ice extents. As of August 13, ice extent was already among the four lowest summer minimum extents in the satellite record, with about five weeks still remaining in the melt season. Sea ice extent dropped rapidly between August 4 and August 8. While this drop coincided with an intense storm over the central Arctic Ocean, it is unclear if the storm prompted the rapid ice loss. Overall, weather patterns in the Arctic Ocean through the summer of 2012 have been a mixed bag, with no consistent pattern….

    The average pace of ice loss since late June has been rapid at just over 100,000 square kilometers (38,000 square miles) per day. However, this pace nearly doubled for a few days in early August during a major Arctic cyclonic storm, discussed below. Unlike the summer of 2007 when a persistent pattern of high pressure was present over the central Arctic Ocean and a pattern of low pressure was over the northern Eurasian coast, the summer of 2012 has been characterized by variable conditions….

    the effects of an individual strong storm, like that observed in early August, can be complex. While much of the region influenced by the August cyclone experienced a sudden drop in temperature, areas influenced by winds from the south experienced a rise in temperature. Coincident with the storm, a large area of low concentration ice in the East Siberian Sea (concentrations typically below 50%) rapidly melted out. On three consecutive days (August 7, 8, and 9), sea ice extent dropped by nearly 200,000 square kilometers (77,220 square miles). This could be due to mechanical break up of the ice and increased melting by strong winds and wave action during the storm. However, it may be simply a coincidence of timing, given that the low concentration ice in the region was already poised to rapidly melt out.

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2012/08/

  62. tjfolkerts says:
    August 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    No I don’t think I am defending that. You said “That is not going to inhibit winter ice formation except at the very lowest Arctic lattitudes.” That is a very clear statement about ice formation….

    That has a context.

    Ignoring the context to make some idiotic semantic point is worthless and counter to site policy which discourages:

    Trolls… thread-jacking… and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion

    tjfolkerts says:
    August 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I think that the warmer winters WILL inhibit (to some degree) winter ice formation throughout the Arctic. And by extension, warmer winters will reduce summer extents. Nothing in what I said was directed at the specific question of WHICH of those two would retreat more quickly.

    None of which contradicts anything I said. I had already stated that extent would be inhibited at lower latitudes and I made no claims about ice thickness because it was not part of the terms of reference. So, given that you’re agreeing with me, what, exactly, is it you believe I need to think deeper on?

  63. Jim says:
    August 15, 2012 at 9:21 am
    While the usual suspects are freaking out because of ice melting (really?!?), other countries are making preparations to exploit the wealth of resources hidden under the arctic.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/08/arctic/

    Again, catastrophists, an open arctic is bad, how?

    ————————————————-

    Canadians and Alaskans whose houses are sinking into melting permafrost, or whose coastline undergoes more rapid erosion, might not be too keen.
    The real problem is Greenland’s ice cap. The sea ice around Greenland has insulated it from recent warming elsewhere, an effect which recent events suggest may be less effective than it once was. If a significant portion of that ice volume melts, the ensuing sea level rises may be damaging to our civilization based on coastal plains
    This is probably a foolish question, but it highlights the choice we may already have made, all unwitting. Would you regard access to Arctic resources and open sea lanes sufficient recompense if the accompanying sea level rise forced you to evacuate Manhatten?

  64. Kevin,

    I apologize if my post sounded more argumentative than I intended. In long threads it can be tough to keep up with context and all the previous posts, and I was not specifically paying attention to earlier post by Phillip. I agree with you that there is no reason to expect bigger winter declines than summer declines in extent or area — the logic in Philip’s original post does seem rather questionable.

    OTOH, disagreeing with Phillip does not mean I completely agree with you. My caution contained several points, which I still think are legitimate.
    1) You overstate the low temperatures of arctic winters by around 10C. The numbers I can find list -40C as extreme, with typical arctic winters being more like -30 in most areas. Being off by 10C is worth thinking about.
    2) Your “generous” 3.2 C estimate of warming is actually on the low end (compared to NCEP climate reanalysis numbers). They put the warming (for 70N-90N since the 1979 beginning of the satellite ice data) as 3-5 C (depending on which month you are looking at during the winter). Underestimating the warming and calling that estimate “generous” is worth thinking abut. (And finding OTHER sources to compare with would ALSO be worth thinking about — these just happened to be the numbers I had handy).
    3) Taken by itself your “That is not going to inhibit winter ice formation except at the very lowest Arctic lattitudes.” is open to mis-interpretation. Warmer winter temperatures will certainly not inhibit the winter ice extent near the pole anytime soon (since it is basically 100% every year) but it will inhibit winter ice volume. Being cautious in wording is always worth thinking about (and something that I could have been a little more careful about to avoid this unnecessarily confrontational side-thread).

  65. tjfolkerts says:
    August 16, 2012 at 8:57 am

    OTOH, disagreeing with Phillip does not mean I completely agree with you. My caution contained several points, which I still think are legitimate.
    1) You overstate the low temperatures of arctic winters by around 10C. The numbers I can find list -40C as extreme, with typical arctic winters being more like -30 in most areas. Being off by 10C is worth thinking about.
    2) Your “generous” 3.2 C estimate of warming is actually on the low end (compared to NCEP climate reanalysis numbers). They put the warming (for 70N-90N since the 1979 beginning of the satellite ice data) as 3-5 C (depending on which month you are looking at during the winter). Underestimating the warming and calling that estimate “generous” is worth thinking abut. (And finding OTHER sources to compare with would ALSO be worth thinking about — these just happened to be the numbers I had handy).

    My figures were drawn from memory and can, at best, be described as approximations. I intended them to illustrate one thing only – Arctic winters are so cold that warming much in excess of that seen in Arctic summers would not require that the sea ice maximum extent retreat at a greater rate than the sea ice minimum extent – and, given that holds even if we use your figures, I would hold that they were fit for purpose. That said, accuracy and precision are laudable goals and I will seek to ensure both in future.

    tjfolkerts says:
    August 16, 2012 at 8:57 am3) Taken by itself your “That is not going to inhibit winter ice formation except at the very lowest Arctic lattitudes.” is open to mis-interpretation. Warmer winter temperatures will certainly not inhibit the winter ice extent near the pole anytime soon (since it is basically 100% every year) but it will inhibit winter ice volume. Being cautious in wording is always worth thinking about (and something that I could have been a little more careful about to avoid this unnecessarily confrontational side-thread).

    Again I would stress that context is key, but I agree my wording is clumsy and can be misinterpreted and will repeat my promise of greater precision hitherto.

  66. Jim says:
    August 15, 2012 at 9:21 am
    Again, catastrophists, an open arctic is bad, how?

    Entropic man says:
    August 16, 2012 at 4:21 am
    Would you regard access to Arctic resources and open sea lanes sufficient recompense if the accompanying sea level rise forced you to evacuate Manhatten?
    ——————————–
    In case you think my question excessive, consider that although Fort Manhatten is 30M above sea level, many lower levels are already vulnerable to storm surges, which any rise in sea level would make worse.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2031061/Hurricane-Irene-path-2011-Flooding-hits-lower-Manhattan-eye-Irene-bears-New-York.html

  67. Entropic man says:

    If a significant portion of that ice volume melts, the ensuing sea level rises may be damaging to our civilization based on coastal plains.
    ——————————–
    In case you think my question excessive, consider that although Fort Manhatten is 30M above sea level, many lower levels are already vulnerable to storm surges, which any rise in sea level would make worse.

    Your question is excessive, because your scary implications are not quantified. Your vectors have direction, but no magnitude.

    What is a significant portion? How long would it take for that that significant portion to melt? What increase in sea level above the long term trend would result? How much of that is attributable to anything which we may consider part of a “trade off”. How much of that is offset by the ooposite occuring at the other pole? Any rise in sea level would make storm surges how much worse?

    Scary implications, when you dont put numbers to it. Booo! Give us all your money!

    Nothing happenng now will result in any catastrophy that Jim Hansen’s grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to discern.

    And BTW, not all the vectors point the same direction:

    What is the sum total of the benefits we should be comparing this against?

  68. tjfolkerts says:
    August 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm
    “What? Where can you find any paper claiming the earth is flat, or making calculations assuming the earth is flat? ”
    See Trenberth energy budget. You can google trenberth & kiehl and have your flat earth.

    Perhaps you mean ‘refraction’?
    No. Light reflection increases very much with the small incidence angle on water.

    “Well, that would be because back-radiation and insulation are two different things. Have you ever seen insulation being replaced with sunlight? Or insulation being replaced with an electric heater? It’s not done because it would be incredibly bad engineering! ”

    I see tjfolkerts for you back-radiation is like electric heater or sun radiation.
    If the atmosphere is backradiating 333 W down, is it also radiating 333 W up? So to say losing 666 W? Where does it come from? Please do for me the heat transfer calculation with back radiation numbers, would be very interested to understand.

  69. To put it more clearly tjfolkers, the sun radiation is net energy inflow.
    When talking about radiation and backradiation in the earth system you need to take into account the t1 and t2 temperatures of the 2 reference points and do a proper energy transfer calculation.
    If at the north pole the atmosphere radiates 80 W/m2 you cannot make the calculation as the warmists do: take the soil at the temperature t1 and add to it 80 W/m2. This is no net transfer.
    If t1 of the soil is higher then t2 of the atmosphere the net energy transfer will be from soil to atmosphere. One needs to calculate the energy transfer based on t1-t2 temperatures.
    But this is no thread dedicated to this discussion so actually we should discuss this if there is an open thread if you are still confused.

  70. JJ says:
    August 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    Your question is excessive, because your scary implications are not quantified. Your vectors have direction, but no magnitude.

    ———————————
    How to quantify damage due to increasing sea level? Here are a few numbers to play with.

    This is the NOAA report on Hurricane Irene. It includes data on the storm itself, the disruption and the economic damage done. I’ve lifted two short extracts.

    http://www.noaa.gov/images/Hurricane%20Irene%20by%20the%20Numbers%20-%20Factoids_V4_083111.pdf

    “Stations from New York City to Woods Hole, Mass., had max storm surge values between 3 and 5 feet above predicted tide levels, with the highest preliminary measurement of 4.77 ft. recorded at
    Providence, R.I.”

    “Hurricane Irene will be the 10th billion dollar disaster in 2011.”

    Though some damage was done by wind, most was due to a 3 1/2 foot storm surge which put Soho, Queens and other low lying areas of New York city, plus rural areas of the state underwater.That’s about 1 metre above normal high tide.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/28/nyc-hurricane-flooding-in_n_939543.html#s341847

    If 1.0M is the level at which this much damage occurs, how long will it be before this happens every tide? If the North Carolina state commission on flood prediction are right, about 90 years.

    The scientists on the North Carolina state commission were asked how much sea level rise to expect in the 21st century, with members opinions varying between 18″ and 55″. The politicians, not accustomed to uncertainty, insisted on a single figure and got 39″. That’s permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene by 2100.

    I find the reaction of North Carolina to its own state commission predictions interesting. It sums up quite well in microcosm how political this whole debate has become.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/24/nation/la-na-sea-level-20120624

  71. Entropic man says:

    How to quantify damage due to increasing sea level? Here are a few numbers to play with.

    What happened to Arctic ice? That was what we were talking about. Started with your spooky response and blood curdling follow-ups to the question: “Again, catastrophists, an open arctic is bad, how?”

    Now you are changing the subject. Bringing up undocumented scary stories told by some nut jobs in North Carolina about unspecified sources of sea level rise, giving rates that are two to three times higher than even the habitually scare mongering IPCC was willing to get behind in AR4 That was 18-59 centimeters for the 21st century, not inches. Hint: That is why that North Carolina commission’s horror stories were panned by the public.

    You did that, instead of responding to any of my questions regarding your own scary stories about Greenland ice melting.

    Why is that? Certainly, you are capable of googling up some more or less arguable estimates of the potential for Greenland ice melt, how much sea level rise would occur if it all melted, how long it would take to melt it all even at the worst of the hair pulling alarmist rates, how much of that might be expected to occur during any relevant time frame, etc. You can do that. But you didn’t.

    Or you did, but aren’t really excited about reporting what you found…

    It isn’t the least bit scary, is it?

  72. Entropic,

    After you finish with your LA Times and the Huffington Post citations, maybe you could link to the Weekly World News for your next scare tactics. [BTW, the NOAA isn't much more credible.]

    If you really believe there will be “permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene by 2100″, you will believe anything. This has all happened before, repeatedly. It is routine natural climate variability, and nothing more. Get up to speed on the null hypothesis, then maybe you will begin to understand.

  73. JJ said

    Bringing up undocumented scary stories told by some nut jobs in North Carolina about unspecified sources of sea level rise, giving rates that are two to three times higher than even the habitually scare mongering IPCC was willing to get behind in AR4 That was 18-59 centimeters for the 21st century, not inches. Hint: That is why that North Carolina commission’s horror stories were panned by the public.

    JJ, you are not making any sense in this paragraph.
    Maybe you could give a reference to the North Carolina commission report, and point out for us exactly where they messed up entimeters and inches ?

  74. Smokey said

    If you really believe there will be “permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene by 2100″, you will believe anything. This has all happened before, repeatedly. It is routine natural climate variability, and nothing more.

    Smokey, which scientific assessment did you use to conclude that “permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene” is “routine climate variability” ? And where is your evidence on WHEN and WHY that happened ?

  75. Now, to get back to the subject of this thread, NSIDC reports 4.63991 million km^2 extent for August 17.
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/NH_seaice_extent_nrt.csv
    which is well below the 2007 extent record low for the date. In fact, it is by now almost certain that 2012 will break ALL satellite records of extent and area, and this while neither wind patterns nor Fram Strait ice export have been unusual this year, and WUWT reported extensively on the harsh past Alaskan winter. None of this seems to matter now. What’s up with that ? Could maybe increased temperatures melt sea ice ? Nah. Saying that would make me an alarmist. It must be the sun… Right ?

  76. Never mind, JJ. I found the report by the Carolina

    http://dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/slr/NC%20Sea-Level%20Rise%20Assessment%20Report%202010%20-%20CRC%20Science%20Panel.pdf

    and there was no confusion about centimeters versus inches.
    The report is pretty clear that 39 inch SLR on the Carolina coast is “likely” just like the LA Times reported.
    Of course, the commission was working with IPCC AR4 data, which will have to be adjusted by AR5 data pretty soon.
    How will that change the estimate ?

  77. Rob Dekker asks:

    “…which scientific assessment did you use to conclude that ‘permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene’ is ‘routine climate variability’? And where is your evidence on WHEN and WHY that happened?”

    Dekker could not have the scientific method more backwards. Skeptics have nothing to prove. The onus is entirely upon the alarmist crowd, which has failed to provide any scientific evidence for its strange beliefs.

    Dekker then asks:

    “Could maybe increased temperatures melt sea ice? Nah. Saying that would make me an alarmist.”

    Exactly right. ‘Global warming’ amounts to only 0.8ºC over the past century and a half. Anyone who believes that minuscule change is melting the Arctic ice cap is nuts. Arctic temperatures average far below freezing. And eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920’s, and in the 1800’s. We are observing routine climate variability, nothing more. And CO2 had absolutely nothing to do with it, either then or now.

  78. Rob Dekker says:

    JJ, you are not making any sense in this paragraph.

    Yes, I am.

    <i/.Maybe you could give a reference to the North Carolina commission report, and point out for us exactly where they messed up entimeters and inches ?

    I didn’t say that they messed up centimeters and inches. Their estimate, as reported above by Encino Man (at least that is how I picture him when I read his posts) was 18- 55 inches. I think those nut jobs said what they meant: 18-55 inches.

    On the other hand, I reported that AR4 estimates a range of 21st century sea level rise of 18-59 centimeters. I think that those nut jobs also said what they meant: 18-59 centimeters.

    My clearly stated point was that the North Carolina Nutjobs came up with a scary story that was two to three times higher that what the International Nutjobs were willing to put their names to, and those nutjobs will say damn near anything.

    And Encino Man, rather than going with the Globally Certified, Nobel Prize winning, International Nutjobs talking about global sea level rise, decided to base his non-response to my questions on the local nutjobs in North Carolina talking about local sea level rise.

    It is all non-responsive to the point of the discussion, which was Greenland ice melt, how fast that might occur, what would be the effect on sea level if it did, how much of that would be anthro, what would the concommitant benefits be, etc.

  79. Unless there is a issue with the sensor, we are going to shatter the 2007 record. Prepare to hear continual wailing and teeth gnashing for weeks, while a near-record high extent in Antarctica is completely ignored…

  80. MattN says:
    August 20, 2012 at 6:56 am
    Unless there is a issue with the sensor, we are going to shatter the 2007 record. Prepare to hear continual wailing and teeth gnashing for weeks, while a near-record high extent in Antarctica is completely ignored…

    With good reason, it’s barely above average! In the Arctic -2.258 Msqkm vs in the Antarctic +0.305 Msqkm. Unlikely to be an issue with a sensor since the same one is used in each case.

  81. Smokey says:
    August 19, 2012 at 8:04 am
    Arctic temperatures average far below freezing. And eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s. We are observing routine climate variability, nothing more.

    Actually to the contrary, eyewitness accounts confirm that Arctic seaice has not been observed to be as low as it now is, and certainly not at the dates you claim.

  82. Phil. neglects to mention that the Antarctic holds more than ten times the Arctic’s ice.

    There is no testable evidence that the current Arctic ice decline is anything other than natural variability and a continuing natural recovery from the LIA. The same thing has happened before, in the late ’50’s, in the 1920’s, and in the 1800’s. There is zero evidence that human emissions have any effect whatever on polar ice cover. There is only the alarmist crowd’s scientifically baseless religious belief that humans are the cause of Arctic [but not Antarctic] ice decline. It’s crazy, really.

  83. Smokey says:
    August 20, 2012 at 10:02 am
    Phil. neglects to mention that the Antarctic holds more than ten times the Arctic’s ice.

    Not sea ice it doesn’t which is what I specifically referred to.

    There is no testable evidence that the current Arctic ice decline is anything other than natural variability and a continuing natural recovery from the LIA. The same thing has happened before, in the late ’50′s, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s.

    Repeating the same incorrect statement over and over doesn’t make it true!

  84. Smokey says:
    August 20, 2012 at 10:11 am
    Wrong again, Phil.

    Really, there’s nothing in that outdated site that supports your claims. Just some unsupported assertions and of course no data from the last ten years.

  85. Smokey says:
    August 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Phil. neglects to mention that the Antarctic holds more than ten times the Arctic’s ice.

    There is no testable evidence that the current Arctic ice decline is anything other than natural variability and a continuing natural recovery from the LIA…..
    __________________________________
    I still do not see why these people want to see glaciers and sea Ice increase and if it does will they then start screaming about the coming Ice Age as they did before?

  86. Phil says:

    “Really, there’s nothing in that outdated site that supports your claims.”

    Outdated? John Daly rcounts the historical fact that the Arctic lost sea ice in the 1800’s, just like today. I understand that the alarmist crowd “adjusts” the temperature record. But since they cannot “adjust” John Daly’s site, they resort to labeling the historical record “outdated”. Lame.

    And of course the entire site supports my position: everything we observe now is simply natural variability. There is no testable scientific evidence that supports the climate alarmist, CAGW conjecture. None. So the alarmist contingent resorts to psychological projection, blaming scientific skeptics for their own lack of evidence.

    As John Daly states in his CONCLUSION:

    As we can see from recent history, both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice is certainly subject to variation. But it would be a mistake to assume that a brief period during which the Arctic is in a thinning cycle is anything more than that – a cycle. We know from past history that it has been subject to earlier retreats as suggested by the opening quote from 1817.

    In 1817 CO2 levels were much lower than they are now. Therefore, CO2 is not the cause of declining sea ice, and all the wild-eyed arm waving and running around in circles by the alarmist crowd is simply misdirected: natural variability and the recovery from the LIA are fully sufficient to explain everything observed.

    As Occam’s Razor warns, do not add extraneous variables such as harmless, beneficial CO2 to any explanation. Those extraneous variables give unscientific, and thus predictably wrong answers.

  87. Smokey said
    ‘permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene’ is ‘routine climate variability’

    Dekker asked :

    which scientific assessment did you use to conclude that ‘permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene’ is ‘routine climate variability’? And where is your evidence on WHEN and WHY that happened?

    Which Smokey answered with :

    Dekker could not have the scientific method more backwards. Skeptics have nothing to prove. The onus is entirely upon the alarmist crowd,….

    No, Smokey. By definition, I cannot have the scientific method backward by asking a question. That’s not how the scientific method works.

    Self-proclaimed “skeptics” would have nothing to prove if they would only ask questions, and not make any statements. But in fact, even you make an enormous amount of statements which are not backed up by any evidence.

    For example, even in that single post where you made the assertion that skeptics have nothing to prove, you said :

    Anyone who believes that minuscule change is melting the Arctic ice cap is nuts.

    eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920’s, and in the 1800’s.

    We are observing routine climate variability, nothing more.

    And CO2 had absolutely nothing to do with it, either then or now.

    ‘permanent flooding on the scale of Hurricane Irene’ is ‘routine climate variability’

    Neither which you back up by scientific evidence and thus, according to the scientific method, each of your statements can be discarded. THAT is how the scientific method works, and you know that, Smokey.

  88. John Daily said (by Smokey’s quote)

    Arctic sea ice is certainly subject to variation. But it would be a mistake to assume that a brief period during which the Arctic is in a thinning cycle is anything more than that – a cycle.

    And there we have another example of an assertion by a self-proclaimed “skeptic” which is not sustained by scientific evidence. The hypothesis is that there exists a “thinning cycle”.

    Now, using the scientific method, which evidence does John Daily present that this “thinning cycle” exists, other than an anecdotal note from 1817 ? And if a cycle exists, what is it’s frequency and amplitude ? And what may be it’s physical cause ?

    Without any evidence nor theory supporting John Daily’s assertion of a “thinning cycle”, the scientific method dictates that we discard his hypothesis.

    THAT is how the scientific method works, and you know that, Smokey.

  89. Rob Dekker,

    You just don’t get it. The entire debate is over the conjecture that CO2=CAGW. Climate alarmists make the claim, therefore the onus is on them to provide supporting evidence. The fact that there is no scientific evidence to support the CO2=CAGW conjecture means that the conjecture is a belief system.

  90. Smokey,

    he entire debate is over the conjecture that CO2=CAGW.
    Climate alarmists make the claim…

    Apart from the fact that you fail to sustain your own assertions with any evidence, you now resort to a strawman argument.
    You fail to define CAGW, you fail to specify WHO the “climate alarmists” are and you fail to specify WHERE these “climate alarmists make the claim” that CO2=CAGW.
    Can you not back up ANY of your claims with ANY evidence, Smokey ?

  91. Smokey, as an expert on natural variability, please give us your predicion of the number of flood events, on the scale of Hurricane Irene, that New York should expect over the rest of this century.
    IPCC was set up specifically to answer questions like these. If you wish to replace IPCC with its sceptic equivalent (NIPCC?) these are the sort of questions you will need to demonstrate your ability to answer.

  92. Rob Dekker

    I posted this elsewhere yesterday but it is still relevant;

    Once again you are referring only to very modern Arctic dominoes (from 1979).. People of a similar alarmist nature to you were saying exactly the same in 1922;

    http://www.examiner.com/x-32936-Seminole-County-Environmental-News-Examiner~y2010m3d2-Arctic-Ocean-is-warming-icebergs-growing-scarcer-reports-Washington-Post

    “The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.
    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

    Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

    The red hot arctic was news in all the media at the time as this Pathe newsreel demonstrates;

    “To Prevent Repetition Titanic Disaster – Ice “Patrol” now finds & warns all vessels of location of Icebergs brought down by abnormal heat from Greenland Coast.” From 1922

    http://www.britishpathe.com/video/ice-patrol-aka-to-prevent-repetition-titanic-disas

    The warming lasted from 1918 to 1939

    In Part 1 of my series on Arctic ice melt I examined the warming of the arctic that commenced in the early 1800’s and lasted for some 60 years, which was first officially noted when the Royal Society brought it to the attention of the British admiralty;

    “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated….. this affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”

    President of the Royal Society, London, to the Admiralty, 20th November, 1817, Minutes of Council, Volume 8. pp.149-153, Royal Society, London. 20th November, 1817.

    Part 1 was carried here;

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

    You will be delighted to note that I am currently writing Part 2 which demonstrates once again that historical context is required in order to gain a better perspective of todays events which bear remarkable similarity to the past. The arctic has melted to a greater or lesser degree at least 8 times during the holocene
    tonyb

  93. Entropic man says:

    Smokey, as an expert on natural variability, please give us your predicion of the number of flood events, on the scale of Hurricane Irene, that New York should expect over the rest of this century.
    IPCC was set up specifically to answer questions like these.

    It was not.

    If you wish to replace IPCC with its sceptic equivalent …

    Gads. Who would want to do that?

    Not sure how that would work, anyways. Tough to make a global power grab based on skepticism. False certainty or “post normal decision making” are what you need for that. Hence, IPCC.

  94. Smokey says:
    August 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm
    Phil says:

    “Really, there’s nothing in that outdated site that supports your claims.”

    Outdated?
    Yes outdated for the reason I stated which as usual because it’s inconvenient for your propaganda you omit from your ‘cherry picked’ quote.
    In case you forget it’s now 2012, Daly’s site doesn’t include data on Arctic seaice since 2000.
    During the last 12 years the seaice extent has decreased significantly which is why Daly’s site is outdated and one of the reasons it’s worthless as a source of evidence in these discussions. Over the period for which he showed data the average anomaly was ~0, since then it’s more like –1.5 million sqkm with excursions below –2 million (like now). His site mostly consists of anecdotal cherry picking so I can see why it appeals to you.

    John Daly rcounts the historical fact that the Arctic lost sea ice in the 1800′s, just like today.
    Just because there was a decrease in seaice does not make it ‘just like today’, in fact it was not even close to conditions today.
    For example, Daly includes the famous quote to the Royal Society from 1817 about loss of ice in the circumpolar regions. The following year John Franklin tried to sail from Spitzbergen but had to return due to pack-ice. The following year he led the overland Coppermine Expedition on a trek from Hudson bay to Great Slave Lake, due in part to “unusually harsh weather”, over half of the expedition died.

    I understand that the alarmist crowd “adjusts” the temperature record. But since they cannot “adjust” John Daly’s site, they resort to labeling the historical record “outdated”. Lame.

    Outdated it certainly is, not to mention it’s far from a historical record, and extremely cherry-picked, it is he who has ‘adjusted’ history. Also Daly’s assertion of ‘cycles’ is unsupported by any evidence other than the ice has fluctuated in the past, it takes much more than that to demonstrate a cycle!

    Your statement “In 1817 CO2 levels were much lower than they are now. Therefore, CO2 is not the cause of declining sea ice,”, makes no sense, firstly because you attempt to equate conditions then and now, secondly you attempt to assert that the only parameter that has changed is CO2, whereas for example Arctic insolation has decreased since then.

    As pointed out before you make the assertion “eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s which you have failed to substantiate despite repeated requests to do so, Daly’s site does not come close to doing this!

  95. “I see tjfolkerts for you back-radiation is like electric heater or sun radiation.
    If the atmosphere is backradiating 333 W down, is it also radiating 333 W up? So to say losing 666 W? Where does it come from? Please do for me the heat transfer calculation with back radiation numbers, would be very interested to understand.

    I haven’t been looking at this thread, and an open thread might be better … but here is a very brief answer. First if you want to treat the atmosphere as radiating 333 up and 333 down, then you are clearly focusing on the bottom of the atmosphere. So at a minimum we need to treat the atmosphere as having 2 separate layers (more would be better, but 2 will do).

    The “lower layer” of the atmosphere radiates
    * 333 W/m^2 up and
    * 333W/m^2 down
    as you say for a net outward IR radiation of 666 W/m^2.

    The lower atmosphere receives
    * 356 W/m^s from surface IR
    * 80 W/m^2 from evapotranspiration
    * 17 W/m^2 from thermals.
    * 199 W/m^2 from the “upper layer” of the atmosphere (The upper layer is radiating 199 W/m^2 upward to space in the diagram, so it must also be radiating 199 W/m^2 downward.)

    So far we have a total of 666 W/m^2 out, and 652 W/m^2 in, so we are nearly balanced, but we 14 W/m^2 to finish the balance. Fortunately there is still the “78 W/m^2 absorbed by the atmosphere” from the incoming sunlight. Presumably 14 W/m^2 of that sunlight is absorbed by the lower atmosphere, and 62 by the upper atmosphere. And voilà, we are balanced.

    (Or we could play games with some of the numbers .. some of the evapotranspiration could go straight to the upper layer (thunderstorms), but more of the 78 W/m^2 could get absorbed by the lower atmosphere. The point is that there is plenty of energy available to provide 333 W/m^2 upward AND 333 W/m^2 upward from the lower layers of the atmosphere).

  96. PS Lars, I misread your comment about reflection. I know about Fresnel reflection equations, but didn’t realize that is what you were discussing … sorry. Light in general does indeed reflect well if it hits water at a glancing angle.

  97. tonyb said :

    Once again you are referring only to very modern Arctic dominoes (from 1979).. People of a similar alarmist nature to you were saying exactly the same in 1922;

    Please note that there is very little scientific data in any of this story from 1922. The exception may be this sentence :

    Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes

    Or did you even check if open ocean as far as 81.5 deg North was present during summers and fall in the past decade ? or even last winter ?

    If open ocean as far north as 81.5 deg North is very common in satellite history, even in fall/winter, and this does not even get reported on internet blogs, let alone in MSM, then why would you want to highlight a newspaper article from 1922 reporting it as “relevant” ?

    Now let’s look at summer time extent in 2012 :

    Lo and behold. We can sail all the way to 82.5 North without encountering much ice at all.
    Not just that, but BOTH the NE and the NW passage are open simultaniously. Just sail right through.

    If that would have happened in any of your already cherry-picked time frames, we would have seen a completely different story in these old newspapers, now wouldn’t we ?

    The “historical” accounts you present are not just cherry-picked and out of date, they are actually confirming how much warmer the Arctic has become since then.

  98. Update on ARUS minimum Arctic Sea Ice extent predictions :
    Mother Nature seems to be the ultimate ‘alarmist’ among us.
    Here is NSIDC’s extent overview from the past couple of days :

    2012, 08, 15, 4.80838,
    2012, 08, 16, 4.67673,
    2012, 08, 17, 4.63991,
    2012, 08, 18, 4.55608,
    2012, 08, 19, 4.44738,
    2012, 08, 20, 4.33489,
    2012, 08, 21, 4.33137,

    Yes folks, 4.33 M km^2 right now (200k below WUWT’s realistic forecast of 4.5), still going down fast, and the melting season has a couple of weeks to go.

    Many records have been broken already, decline is far worse than even the most agressive model projections (other than Maslovski’s high-resolution models that forecast ice free Arctic in 2016 +/- 3 years) and we are not done yet.

    Even the conservative Arctic Roos is still nose-diving after already breaking the 2007 minimum SIA record earlier this week.

    All this while the 2012 summer was not exceptional, weather-wise.

    While holding your breath until minimum extent is reached in the next couple of weeks, remember that you are watching history in the the making in the Arctic.

  99. Phil says:

    “Outdated it certainly is, not to mention it’s far from a historical record, and extremely cherry-picked, it is he who has ‘adjusted’ history. Also Daly’s assertion of ‘cycles’ is unsupported by any evidence other than…” & blah, blah, etc…

    I post links, which Phil dismisses as being ‘cherry picked’ …while Phil posts nothing but his baseless opinion. That opinion amounts to: “I don’t agree! WAAAH!

    Here I present literally dozens of links confirming to all but the most closed-minded that the Arctic regularly becomes ice free. I have more links, just ask and I’ll post them.

    And Rob Dekker, my response to your comments is only two words: So what?

    The Arctic is routinely ice free. It is completely natural. Deal with it.

    Dekker does not understand that empirical observations are “evidence”. Thus, there is ample evidence showing that the Arctic becomes ice free on a regular basis. There is no reason to blame “carbon” – as if CO2 can distinguish between the growing Antarctic ice cap and declining Arctic ice. They are both completely natural cycles, and human activity has had no measurable effect. None. Human activity=Arctic ice decline is just a baseless belief system. No science is involved; those who believe, believe despite the historical record. It’s their religion. Science is just a thin veneer covering their unscientific true belief.

  100. Smokey says:
    August 23, 2012 at 10:27 am
    Phil says:

    “Outdated it certainly is, not to mention it’s far from a historical record, and extremely cherry-picked, it is he who has ‘adjusted’ history. Also Daly’s assertion of ‘cycles’ is unsupported by any evidence other than…” & blah, blah, etc…

    I post links, which Phil dismisses as being ‘cherry picked’ …while Phil posts nothing but his baseless opinion. That opinion amounts to: “I don’t agree! WAAAH!”

    You post cherry picked links which don’t support your assertions and make no attempt to rebut any of my statements, in fact you pretend they don’t exist. You have yet to post a single link in support of these three assertions: “eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s.”

    Here I present literally dozens of links confirming to all but the most closed-minded that the Arctic regularly becomes ice free. I have more links, just ask and I’ll post them.

    Just post one that confirms that “the Arctic regularly becomes ice free”. You’ve failed to do so so far, a link to ‘Steve Goddard’ and a bunch of newspaper articles which often don’t exist, doesn’t make it. Not one of those demonstrate that the Arctic became ‘ice free’.

    And Rob Dekker, my response to your comments is only two words: So what?

    The Arctic is routinely ice free. It is completely natural. Deal with it.

    It is neither “routinely ice free” nor is it’s current state “completely natural”, you deal with that.

    Dekker does not understand that empirical observations are “evidence”. Thus, there is ample evidence showing that the Arctic becomes ice free on a regular basis.

    Yet despite that you’ve failed to produce one piece of evidence showing that!

    There is no reason to blame “carbon” – as if CO2 can distinguish between the growing Antarctic ice cap and declining Arctic ice. They are both completely natural cycles, and human activity has had no measurable effect. None. Human activity=Arctic ice decline is just a baseless belief system. No science is involved; those who believe, believe despite the historical record. It’s their religion. Science is just a thin veneer covering their unscientific true belief.

    It’s your religion that those natural cycles exist and there is no evidence provided by you to show that human activities have no effect. It is you who believe in that despite the historical record.

  101. Phil. says, regarding the dozens of eyewitness accounts of previous Arctic melting:

    “… you’ve failed to produce one piece of evidence showing that!”

    Observations are evidence. But Phil’s mind is closed tight. Obviously, he will reject all those contemporary newspaper reports of declining Arctic ice because they debunk his alarmist true beliefs.

    But the fact is that Arctic ice regularly melts due to natural climate variability. Attempting to lay the blame on human activity has no scientific support. It is a desperate tactic used by desperate people. In fact, the truth is there for anyone who looks for it.

  102. Smokey says:
    August 24, 2012 at 3:44 am
    Phil. says, regarding the dozens of eyewitness accounts of previous Arctic melting:

    “… you’ve failed to produce one piece of evidence showing that!”

    Observations are evidence. But Phil’s mind is closed tight. Obviously, he will reject all those contemporary newspaper reports of declining Arctic ice because they debunk his alarmist true beliefs.

    The mind that’s closed is yours ‘Smokey’. The point is, evidence of what, you produce every newspaper article that ‘Steve Goddard’ can find that describes some melting in some part of the Arctic and say that this shows that “the Arctic regularly becomes ice free”, which it patently obviously fails to do! You post a cherry picked quotation about melting in the circumpolar regions in 1817 as if this represented melting similar to today’s but ignore contemporaneous reports of Royal Navy expeditions unable to progress north of Spitzbergen because of pack-ice! Likewise with the melting in the Atlantic/Arctic in 1922 you ignore the newspaper articles about the stranding of the expedition to Wrangel Island by ice for 2 years (1921-1923).

    But the fact is that Arctic ice regularly melts due to natural climate variability.

    Yes it regularly melts every year but previously not to the extent that it has done for the last several years and particularly not like this year. If it had done so as you claim the NW Passage would have regularly been open like it has been recently.

    Attempting to lay the blame on human activity has no scientific support. It is a desperate tactic used by desperate people. In fact, the truth is there for anyone who looks for it.

    Indeed the truth is there for anyone who looks for it, it’s about time you opened your eyes and stopped posting your nonsense.

  103. Phil, may I point out that you only have an opinion? Yet you provide no links to support your opinion, while I posted dozens of first hand eye-witness accounts of Arctic ice declines. Just because you are anxious to dismiss them does not mean that those observations – from numerous sources – were fabricated. By that standard you could argue that the Roman Empire was fabricated.

    You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how baseless it is. But common sense tells us that since the Holocene was much warmer in the past than currently, Arctic ice cover must have also been sparse to non-existent at times.

    Thus, the default position must be that the current Arctic ice cycle is entirely natural. The planet is still emerging from the LIA. And Arctic melting has happened repeatedly in the past, when CO2 was much lower. You can argue with that. But you are only fooling yourself.

  104. Smokey says:
    August 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    Phil, may I point out that you only have an opinion? Yet you provide no links to support your opinion, while I posted dozens of first hand eye-witness accounts of Arctic ice declines. Just because you are anxious to dismiss them does not mean that those observations – from numerous sources – were fabricated. By that standard you could argue that the Roman Empire was fabricated.

    I don’t argue they are fabricated, I argue that they don’t support your position that “the Arctic regularly becomes ice free”. What they show is that at various times certain parts of the Arctic became less ice-bound than formerly which is quite a different matter (often while other parts of the Arctic became more ice-bound). Not only that, they are cherry picked because you post selected links showing melt while ignoring contemporaneous accounts showing freeze-up (for example the examples I gave you for 1817 and 1920s).

    You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how baseless it is. But common sense tells us that since the Holocene was much warmer in the past than currently, Arctic ice cover must have also been sparse to non-existent at times.

    Perhaps about 7,000 years ago but none of your links refer to that period, here’s one which shows evidence of melt back then, it also indicates the natural cause, significantly higher insolation. Absent that higher insolation now what do you think is causing the present Arctic sea-ice to melt away? Remember according to you the Globe is cooling at present, although of course when it suits, you also claim it’s warming!

    http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/DATA/alley1.html

    Thus, the default position must be that the current Arctic ice cycle is entirely natural. The planet is still emerging from the LIA. And Arctic melting has happened repeatedly in the past, when CO2 was much lower. You can argue with that. But you are only fooling yourself.

    No, the default position must be that it’s unnatural since the sea-ice is disappearing during a period of reduced insolation, also there’s no evidence that it’s a cycle. Your assertion of repeated Arctic melting is still unsupported unless of course you refer to the annual summer melt although by implication you mean the ice-free state that you referred to before. Here’s a link for you that states that “There is no paleoclimatic evidence for a seasonally ice free Arctic during the last 800 millennia”. http://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/reprints/Overpeck_etal_EOS2005.pdf

  105. Phil,

    In addition to the dozens of eye witness observations that the Arctic was nearly ice free in recent times, there is evidence that the Arctic was periodically ice free 6,000 – 7,000 years ago.

    So forget your 800,000 year fantasy, it isn’t true. You cling to that preposterous notion because it supports your belief that humans are the cause of the current natural Arctic ice decline. The only problem with your belief is that it is wrong, as I’ve shown in the peer reviewed link above. I have more such links if you’re interested in learning.

    You are also wrong about the default position. Occam’s Razor and the null hypothesis would help you understand. If you need yet another explanation of either one or both, just ask. I’m patient, and I’m here to help make the scales fall from your eyes.

    I’m also here to keep new readers from being swayed by anti-science, which is what you’re preaching. Anyone who looks at Holocene temperatures knows that prior warming episodes have been hotter than now, and thus Arctic ice would have receded more than currently.

  106. According to these sites, it looks like we have a new record ice extent record.

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

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

    This site shows this melt has smashed the 2007 area record and are very, very close to breaking the 2007 extent record.

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

    And we still have at least 3 more weeks to go in the melt season with no indication whatsoever that the melting is even slowing down. There’s nothing left up there but soupy mush.

  107. Smokey says: “In addition to the dozens of eye witness observations that the Arctic was nearly ice free in recent times…

    You still seem to be missing Phil’s point!

    Yes, you have shown dozens of eye witness accounts that SPECIFIC SMALL SECTIONS of the Arctic were nearly ice-free.

    Yes, there have been times when the Arctic truly was nearly ice-free — perhaps 10,000 years ago. Probably during many of the interglacial periods. Almost certainly at some times when the dinosaurs were around. But conditions were different then, so it is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

    But we are talking about recent times (say the last 500 years) covering all of your “eye witness accounts”. And we are talking about your claim of having most of the Arctic “nearly ice free”. It looks like the extent this summer may well be down near 4.0 million km^2, but even that is not all that close to “ice free”. So “nearly ice free” would mean something smaller than this year.

    Since there are apparently so many years when eye witness observation confirm that the Arctic was nearly ice free, choose ONE specific year and provide evidence that the entire Arctic was nearly ice-free that year (ie even less than this year). With all those records you have, the only tough part should be narrowing down which year to choose!

  108. tjfolkerts,

    Phil claims that the Arctic was never ice free over the past 800,000 years. You say: “Yes, there have been times when the Arctic truly was nearly ice-free — perhaps 10,000 years ago.”

    So we are in agreement, and Phil is wrong as I made clear in my link to a peer reviewed study.

    The fact is that Arctic ice cover comes and goes. It is cyclical. And human activity has nothing to do with it. If I am wrong, then provide chapter and verse – per the scientific method – showing conclusively that human emitted CO2 is causing Arctic ice decline.

  109. Smokey says: “Phil claims that the Arctic was never ice free over the past 800,000 years. ”

    1) I looked back briefly thru this thread and found nothing to support that claim. Where does he say the Arctic has never been nearly ice free in the summer in the last 800,000 years? What “peer reviewed study” are you referring to?

    2) You still are side-stepping any effort to support your claims that the Arctic has been nearly ice free any time within the recent past based on all those “eye witness reports.” Which specific year was nearly ice free? What reports show extensive melting over the entire Arctic basin?

    3) If you refer to “cycles” then you are referring not to random variations, but to specific cycles with specific causes. Nature is not simply random, after all. Climate does not change for no reason. So a few 1000 years ago, the insolation to the Arctic in the summer was higher and there would be good reason to expect less summer ice. But that is not the case today. You can’t appeal to “cycles” causing changes in the past when those cycles are not occurring now. That is logically equivalent to saying “day and night are cyclic, so daylight is perfectly natural and seeing sunlight at midnight could be attributed to natural cycles”.

  110. Smokey says: “In addition to the dozens of eye witness observations that the Arctic was nearly ice free in recent times
    ————
    Smokey may be referring to William Parry.

    http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=38245

    As you can read, locally ice free conditions encountered by an earlier expedition were used by Parry. He argued that the whole NW Passage would be ice free, to encourage the Admiralty, They took the bait and financed another try. It failed.

  111. tjfolkerts says:
    August 25, 2012 at 8:13 am

    “So a few 1000 years ago, the insolation to the Arctic in the summer was higher and there would be good reason to expect less summer ice. But that is not the case today. You can’t appeal to “cycles” causing changes in the past when those cycles are not occurring now. That is logically equivalent to saying “day and night are cyclic, so daylight is perfectly natural and seeing sunlight at midnight could be attributed to natural cycles”.”

    1) I will politely point out that (assuming) Arctic sunlight (insolation) has dramatically changed in the few years since Perry’s and other’s recent Arctic explorations is incorrect. We have NO data about the real Arctic ice cycles: length of the period, amount of the oscillation, most recent max – or minimum points, etc. You are projecting your “hopes” for Arctic warmth onto the sea ice area because that is the only remaining “evidence” you can use to further your CAGW agenda of catastrophic change.

    But Arctic ocean temperatures where the sea ice edge is present have NOT changed, They are NOT increasing by 3 and 5 degrees as Hansen wants in his exaggerated projection of central Canada’s point measurements over the tundra out over the Arctic ocean.

    See, what we DO have is a day-to-day measurement of temperatures by the DMI that proves there has been not only NO increase in Arctic summertime temperatures at all, but a slow DECREASE in Arctic temperatures up where the ice actually is: at 80 north.

    2) Please be careful of your analogies. I will also point out that the sun DOES shine at midnight over the Arctic Ocean. Very cyclically. It also DOES NOT shine over the Arctic Ocean at noon. Very cyclically. 8<) You only need to be willing to look for the cycles.

  112. RACookPE1978 says:
    August 25, 2012 at 9:27 am
    “But Arctic ocean temperatures where the sea ice edge is present have NOT changed,”
    ——————–
    Of course not. The sea ice edge follows the contour of air and sea temperature at which ice melts or forms. This will be pretty much the same wherever or whenever you look.Advance and retreat of the icepack takes place as this temperature contour moves with the seasons, with long term warming trends and weather producing long or short term variations.

  113. Smokey says:
    August 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm
    Phil,

    In addition to the dozens of eye witness observations that the Arctic was nearly ice free in recent times,

    You have not shown any that demonstrate this.

    there is evidence that the Arctic was periodically ice free 6,000 – 7,000 years ago.

    Not quite, what your link actually says is: (their research) “suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.”

    Not quite what you claim is it?

    So forget your 800,000 year fantasy, it isn’t true. You cling to that preposterous notion because it supports your belief that humans are the cause of the current natural Arctic ice decline. The only problem with your belief is that it is wrong, as I’ve shown in the peer reviewed link above. I have more such links if you’re interested in learning.

    It’s not my belief nor my fantasy but a quotation from a peer reviewed article which I linked. By the way what you linked to was a publicity piece not a peer reviewed article, but they will no doubt publish it sometime.

    You are also wrong about the default position. Occam’s Razor and the null hypothesis would help you understand. If you need yet another explanation of either one or both, just ask. I’m patient, and I’m here to help make the scales fall from your eyes.

    If I needed a lesson on either the evidence on this site is that you are not qualified to give one.
    You’ve yet to define a falsifiable null hypothesis on the subject of Arctic sea-ice despite repeated requests. Actually since the melting you refer to around 7,000 years ago occurred at a time when the summertime insolation in the Arctic was about 10% greater than now, Occam’s razor would suggest that an additional parameter is required to explain the present melting.

    I’m also here to keep new readers from being swayed by anti-science, which is what you’re preaching. Anyone who looks at Holocene temperatures knows that prior warming episodes have been hotter than now, and thus Arctic ice would have receded more than currently.

    I hardly think that’s your rôle here, rather the opposite!
    Anyone with knowledge of Holocene temperatures will tell you that the graph that you linked is incorrectly labelled, the time axis should be with reference to 1950 not 2000 and that therefore the most recent 160 years aren’t included on it. Perhaps if you use it again you will point that out?

  114. Smokey says:
    August 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm
    tjfolkerts,

    Phil claims that the Arctic was never ice free over the past 800,000 years.
    No I linked to a peer reviewed site which I quoted: “There is no paleoclimatic evidence for a seasonally ice free Arctic during the last 800 millennia”.

    You seem to have reading comprehension problems Smokey.

    You say: “Yes, there have been times when the Arctic truly was nearly ice-free — perhaps 10,000 years ago.”

    So we are in agreement, and Phil is wrong as I made clear in my link to a peer reviewed study.

    No you disagree with the peer reviewed link that I gave, but did not present a peer reviewed study, just a publicity article.

    The fact is that Arctic ice cover comes and goes. It is cyclical.

    On a multi-millennial timescale yes, but you have failed to demonstrate cyclical behavior on the recent timescale that we are addressing here.

    And human activity has nothing to do with it. If I am wrong, then provide chapter and verse – per the scientific method – showing conclusively that human emitted CO2 is causing Arctic ice decline.

    We are still waiting for the evidence which you claim exists in support of your position.

  115. tjfolkerts says:
    August 25, 2012 at 8:13 am
    Smokey says: “Phil claims that the Arctic was never ice free over the past 800,000 years. ”

    1) I looked back briefly thru this thread and found nothing to support that claim. Where does he say the Arctic has never been nearly ice free in the summer in the last 800,000 years? What “peer reviewed study” are you referring to?

    Correct, see above.

    2) You still are side-stepping any effort to support your claims that the Arctic has been nearly ice free any time within the recent past based on all those “eye witness reports.” Which specific year was nearly ice free? What reports show extensive melting over the entire Arctic basin?

    Welcome to the Smokey two-step!

    3) If you refer to “cycles” then you are referring not to random variations, but to specific cycles with specific causes. Nature is not simply random, after all. Climate does not change for no reason. So a few 1000 years ago, the insolation to the Arctic in the summer was higher and there would be good reason to expect less summer ice. But that is not the case today. You can’t appeal to “cycles” causing changes in the past when those cycles are not occurring now.

    Quite so. However Smokey has been known to post in the same post that global temperature is falling but that CO2 is increasing in response to increasing global temperature!

  116. RACookPE1978 says:
    August 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

    See, what we DO have is a day-to-day measurement of temperatures by the DMI that proves there has been not only NO increase in Arctic summertime temperatures at all, but a slow DECREASE in Arctic temperatures up where the ice actually is: at 80 north.

    That temperature is not a “day-to-day measurement” rather it is calculated from a model: “The daily mean temperature of the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel is estimated from the average of the 00z and 12z analysis for all model grid points inside that area.”

  117. RACookPE1978 says: August 25, 2012 at 9:27 am
    “1) I will politely point out …
    I’ve read the paragraph several times and I am still not sure what your point was. I’m not the one claiming there are “natural cycles” controlling the ice that have made it larger or smaller in the recent past. There are certainly long-term cycles in the orbit that have important effects, but those are not currently favorable for decreasing ice area.

    “that proves there has been not only NO increase in Arctic summertime temperatures at all …”
    Could you back those claims up with numbers? All I see is an unsupported claim. For example, here are the regression fits for surface temperatures (NOAA NCEP reanalysis results) from 70N-90N (larger than your restricted 80N-90N).
    T_1 = - 224 + 0.0994 YEAR
    T_2 = - 166 + 0.0705 YEAR
    T_3 = - 199 + 0.0883 YEAR
    T_4 = - 281 + 0.133 YEAR
    T_5 = - 175 + 0.0847 YEAR
    T_6 = - 62.0 + 0.0316 YEAR
    T_7 = - 56.2 + 0.0299 YEAR
    T_8 = - 87.2 + 0.0447 YEAR
    T_9 = - 208 + 0.102 YEAR
    T_10 = - 333 + 0.161 YEAR
    T_11 = - 291 + 0.136 YEAR
    T_12 = - 256 + 0.116 YEAR

    All of the slopes are statistically significant at the p<0.001 level. Clearly the summer slopes are smaller than the rest of the year, but the region IS still warming in the summer. It is possible that for your narrower region the summer temperatures are not rising, but I doubt that too (in fact I seem to recall doing that analysis too, and that the summer slopes were still upward, but not always statistically significant.)

    Besides, why are you only interested in the summer? Why skip the entire "refreezing" season? warmer winter temperatures will reduce winter freezing, which in turn will allow easier summer melting. Melting is only 1/2 the story when it comes to the amount of ice around!

    "2) Please be careful of your analogies…." I could point out that "midnight" means "middle of the night, so there would be no 'mid-night" if there is no night. But that sort of semantics is pretty pointless, as is your objection. Anyone with an ounce of critical thinking skills will understand the intent and the appropriateness of the analogy.

  118. PS. Those fits above are by month.
    >> T_1 = Temperature in January
    >> T_2 = Temperature in February
    I happened to choose dates starting 11/1978, when the satellite records of arctic ice started. I am sure other periods would show slightly different results.

    Each month individually shows an upward trend, averaging close to 0.1 C/year, or about 3 C in the last 3 decades. The trend is lowest in summer and highest in fall.

  119. I was one of those who mocked the prediction of an ice-free Arctic this summer. Now I’m wondering if the prediction was only one year off. When the melt starts next spring, the vast majority of the ice will be very thin first year ice, and will vanish quickly. I’m seriously starting to think that next summer at this time there will be nothing but open water in the Arctic. Zero ice.

  120. Entropic, folkerts, phil., carlson, etc.:

    Provide verifiable documentation/scientific evidence showing conclusively that human activities are the direct cause of declining Arctic ice…

    …or admit that your impotent arm-waving is baseless conjecture. Running around in circles and exclaiming, “The sky is falling!” was already done by Chicken Little [Chicken Licken to our Brit cousins].

    But it turned out that it was only an acorn. So go and try to scare someone else, it isn’t working here at the internet’s “Best Science” site. Because what you’re trying to sell isn’t science at all, it is simply baseless alarmist nonsense.

    Prove me wrong! Post verifiable evidence showing conclusively that human actions are the cause of Arctic melt. Or admit that, like the rest of the alarmist crowd, you have no such scientific evidence at all, and that debunked alarmist conjecture is your only stock in trade.

  121. Smokey says:
    “Provide verifiable documentation/scientific evidence showing conclusively that human activities are the direct cause of declining Arctic ice…”
    This is actually the best point you have made. When you are linking to questionable newspaper articles or mis-interpreting graphs, you are pretty much shooting yourself in the foot. When you insist that “natural cycles” are the cause, then you are making claims that you can’t substantiate. We quickly point out that you never follow up to support those claims. But as long as you are asking for evidence, then you are forcing others to make their case, rather than giving us the easy job of refuting your claims or pointing out glaring problems in the graphs you post. .

    Frankly, I don’t know that there is simple conclusive proof to present you (especially since you acknowledge limited knowledge of physics and statistics). The arguments are subtle. The data is less complete than anyone would like. There is no single “smoking gun”. There are simply lots of pieces that (mostly) fit together, pointing to CO2 as a significant cause of warming, and that warming being a significant factor in the disappearance of the ice. (BTW, even if “soot” is a major cause, that is still at least partly “human activities”.)

    Determining how MUCH of the effect is from human CO2 or human soot is a more challenging scientific problem. Determining how “catastrophic” it might become is an even more challenging scientific (and political and economic) question. Here I have a lot of problems with much of the “alarmist” crowd.

    “Or admit that, like the rest of the alarmist crowd, you have no such scientific evidence at all, and that debunked alarmist conjecture is your only stock in trade.”
    And then you revert to your old ways, making a wild unsupported claim using a false dichotomy (ie that if the evidence is not 100% conclusive in your reckoning, then the only other choice is for it to be “debunked alarmist conjecture”. )

    PS. Your OTHER good point is that (everything else being equal) more CO2 is general good for plants.

  122. Smokey says:

    Entropic, folkerts, phil., carlson, etc.:

    Provide verifiable documentation/scientific evidence showing conclusively that human activities are the direct cause of declining Arctic ice…
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    Huh??? I don’t believe man-made co2 is the cause. I don’t know how many times I have to say that. Maybe it’s soot from China’s coal mills. But it’s STILL alarming whats happening in the Arctic.

    And we have to remember the melt started slow this season. If it had gotten off to as fast a start as it usually does, the Arctic would look a lot worse than it already does, which is already bad.

    • So much melting confusion……the extend of the Arctic/Antarctic melted down in the
      18/19/20 century, because of 300 years of temps higher than the LIA. There is a
      threshold of temperature: If we are globally above as has been for 300 years, this
      extend MUST melt back, which we witness….
      Let’s all wait for next LIA and the ice extent will get larger again…

  123. Smokey says:
    August 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    Entropic, folkerts, phil., carlson, etc.:

    Provide verifiable documentation/scientific evidence showing conclusively that human activities are the direct cause of declining Arctic ice…

    Why, we’re not making that assertion here? You came on this thread running round in circles and making unsupported, baseless assertions such as “Arctic temperatures average far below freezing. And eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s. We are observing routine climate variability, nothing more. And CO2 had absolutely nothing to do with it, either then or now.”

    In response to that several of us pointed out the error of your ways and that the cites which you claim supported your position do not do so, in fact you frequently misquoted them.

    Because what you’re trying to sell isn’t science at all, it is simply baseless alarmist nonsense.

    I’m not trying to sell anything, just rebutting your fallacious arguments, that is science!

    Prove me wrong!

    We already have, your repeated assertions that the current melting is cyclical and part of ‘natural variation’ have been shown to be false. Your references to evidence “that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s. have been shown to be baseless. So yes you’ve been proved wrong, and when pressed on certain statements have consistently failed to do so (usually you just ignore them or try to change the subject).

    Post verifiable evidence showing conclusively that human actions are the cause of Arctic melt. Or admit that, like the rest of the alarmist crowd, you have no such scientific evidence at all, and that debunked alarmist conjecture is your only stock in trade.

    Why? We’ve proved you wrong, we don’t need to rub it in! You’ve failed to make a case for your assertion so try to make a better case for it next time. Scientific evidence presented here shows that orbital variations would be expected to lead to a reduction in Arctic sea-ice now not an increase, also those who posit a link between solar activity (aka sunspots) would expect a current cooling, and yet the sea ice continues to decline to record lows. Eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic sea-ice has never been seen to be this low before.

  124. Phil. says:

    “You came on this thread running round in circles and making unsupported, baseless assertions such as Arctic temperatures average far below freezing.

    So then Phil’s position is that Arctic temperatures average above freezing? Phil appears to be nuts.

    And note that it is the alarmist crowd that is making the unsupported, baseless assertions without any scientific evidence. Their belief in CAGW is sufficient. Skeptics, on the other hand, only say: “Prove it.” Or at least provide convincing scientific evidence showing that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming. But there is no such evidence. There is only true belief.

  125. Smokey says: “So then Phil’s position is that Arctic temperatures average above freezing? Phil appears to be nuts.”

    Smokey, once again you display a lack of critical thinking skills and/or ability to understand the context of your own statements! In context, here is the statement.

    Dekker then asks:
    “Could maybe increased temperatures melt sea ice? Nah. Saying that would make me an alarmist.”

    Exactly right. ‘Global warming’ amounts to only 0.8ºC over the past century and a half. Anyone who believes that minuscule change is melting the Arctic ice cap is nuts. Arctic temperatures average far below freezing. And eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s. We are observing routine climate variability, nothing more. And CO2 had absolutely nothing to do with it, either then or now.

    In context, you are rebutting the idea that ” increased temperatures melt sea ice”. Your argument seems to be:
    1) Arctic temperatures are still well below freezing on average, even with global warming (which is true).
    2) Since the average temperatures are still well below freezing on average, it is nuts to believe that ” that minuscule change is melting the Arctic ice cap” (which is false).

    For one thing, the change is greater near the poles. For another, those small changes reduce the freezing around the edge, and reduce the winter thickness. Those small changes will melt the ice more quickly in the spring and summer, too. Those small changes will bring warmer water up the Gulf Stream to melt the ice from below. These effects are cumulative, so small, consistent change can eventually bring large results.

    Anyone who believes DOUBTS that minuscule change is melting the Arctic ice cap is nuts. (Other factors like soot could ALSO be contributing, but the warming is clearly a major factor in how well water will melt and freeze!)

    Looks like you struck out again. And you STILL haven’t even tried to defend your assertion that “eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s. ” Where are all those eyewitness accounts that both the NE and NW passages were open in 1958? Where are the reports that all of those Russian islands north of Siberia were completely ice-free? Where are the reports that almost the entire Arctic Ocean south of 80N is open water?

  126. T. Folkerts says:

    “…you STILL haven’t even tried to defend your assertion that “eyewitness observations confirm that Arctic ice was this low in 1958, in the 1920′s, and in the 1800′s.”

    I have repeatedly posted the link to Steve Goddard’s article, in which he linked to literally dozens of independent eyewitness observations of previous Arctic melting. Go find them, I’m not going to keep linking for someone with incurable cognitive dissonance to complain about. If it was one or two newspaper accounts, you might have a credible argument. But there are scores of accounts, and I have even more if that would convince you. Fat chance, eh? Beliefs are tough; martyrs die for them. So a few dozen observations will never convince you of anything, your mind is made up.

    I have also linked to peer reviewed papers reporting evidence of an ice-free Arctic during the Holocene. Go find them, too, and argue with the authors. Your baseless belief system is too strong for me. A new Ice Age could begin, and you would be making the same arguments.

    I agree that the planet is warming — naturally. It is still emerging from the LIA. What I do not accept is the central argument: that human CO2 emissions are the cause. As I have repeatedly shown, CO2 is an effect of warming. The net effect of global warming is the emission of more CO2. Any minuscule warming that might be caused by CO2 is far outweighed by the effect of rising temperature, which causes CO2 to outgas from the oceans just like CO2 outgases from a warming Coke. But there is no grant money in that explanation, so the alarmist crowd flogs an explanation that is not supported by any verifiable data.

    An ice-free Arctic is not unusual. It has happened before, and it will happen again. Human CO2 emissions have nothing to do with it. That is simply a religious belief with no verifiable, testable evidence to support it. Wind, waves, warmer ocean currents, and storms are the primary causes of cyclical sea ice.

    I will think differently only if and when you can post testable, measurable raw data showing that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause of declining Arctic ice. Beliefs do not work here at the internet’s “Best Science” site. We need testable evidence, per the scientific method. But all the available evidence shows that the planet began to naturally warm following the LIA, and it has continued to warm at about the same rate ever since. There is no room for anthropogenic CO2 in the data. It is a bogus explanation invented to support taxes on “carbon”.

    And until/unless Phil. admits that on average the Arctic is below freezing, I will assume he’s nuts, and therefore not worth debating. Phil can believe that nonsense, but those of us who haven’t gone off the deep end know there is Arctic ice because the average temperature there is below 0ºC. Freezing temps = ice. See?

    And finally, a question for Richard Carlson:

    What’s the problem?

  127. “I have repeatedly posted the link to Steve Goddard’s article, in which he linked to literally dozens of independent eyewitness observations of previous Arctic melting. Go find them”

    That’s not my job! That would be like me saying “the evidence for AGW is posted all over the internet — go find it”. You can’t just blast 100’s of articles and say “somewhere in there is the required information — maybe — I hope”. I KNOW there are “literally dozens ” of reports of SCATTERED, LOCAL, TEMPORARY melting. YOU are claiming that there are patterns of ice melt in the last few centuries that match current conditions, yet out of all YOUR reports, you can’t find the information to back your claims.

    “But there are scores of accounts, and I have even more if that would convince you. ”
    The only conclusion I can come to is that you are too lazy to make your own point! Go for it — convince me! Read your own links; condense out the best articles; show us documentation from ONE YEAR that was “nearly ice-free” as you have claimed repeatedly. Then we all can examine the evidence and look for further evidence to support or refute your claim. 1958 seems to be a favorite year — what evidence do you have for the Arctic being “nearly ice free” for that year?

    “An ice-free Arctic is not unusual. It has happened before”
    Yes! But that was thousands (or millions!) of years ago when conditions were different (insolation and/or CO2 specifically). No one is arguing with you that such a condition has occurred occasionally LONG BEFORE YOUR “EYEWITNESS” accounts”. If 1958 was indeed “nearly ice free” then the current conditions would be less impressive. What convinces you that 1958 was nearly ice free? (And complaining about Phil being wrong about something else is not evidence that you are right on this issue. ;-) )

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