PART1 – (part 2
comes later today is NOW ONLINE HERE)
I’ve been noting with some humor the anticipation of a new Arctic sea ice extent minimum in the Alarmosphere. Yesterday, the frustration that there hasn’t been any major announcement yet bubbled to the surface in the form of a Michael Mann tweet, who was upset that NSIDC is making him wait:
Today though, looking at the NSIDC extent graph, he seems happy, declaring it “official”:
NSIDC made an announcement a few minutes ago, just as I started writing this post (and for that reason I’m publishing this post in two parts, see below):
Arctic sea ice appears to have broken the 2007 record daily extent and is now the lowest in the satellite era. With two to three more weeks left in the melt season, sea ice continues to track below 2007 daily extents.
Arctic sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012. This was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles).
Here’s the plot, annotation mine:
Predictably, Seth Borenstein is already practicing for the big story he’ll be writing any minute now, and, the money quote he uses is just as predictable:
Data center scientist Ted Scambos says the melt can be blamed mostly on global warming from man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.
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.
Unclear? Hmmph. Further down they dub it: “The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012″ and provide this before and after image:
Figure 4. These maps of sea ice concentration from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) passive microwave sensor highlight the very rapid loss of ice in the western Arctic (northwest of Alaska) during the strong Arctic storm. Magenta and purple colors indicate ice concentration near 100%; yellow, green, and pale blue indicate 60% to 20% ice concentration.
Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy IUP Bremen
Calling the reason “unclear” seems more than a bit disingenuous to me, especially when you don’t mention it again.
It should be noted that in the ARCUS sea ice forecast submitted on August 5th, both NSIDC and WUWT forecasts agreed at 4.5 million sqkm. Clearly NSIDC didn’t expect this storm nor its effects, because if they had, their forecast would have been much lower.
In part two of this post, later today, I’ll share some other interesting things I’ve found that suggests NSIDC and the media aren’t telling you the full story right now.