Sea Ice News Volume 3 number 13 – 2012 Arctic sea ice minimum reached, it’s all gain from here

I’ve been watching the JAXA sea ice data on the WUWT sea ice page intently for the last few days. Click to enlarge.

I was ready to call the minimum this morning, but thought I’d get a second opinion, so I wrote to NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier

On 9/19/2012 8:34 AM, Anthony wrote:
> I think we’ve reached the turning point for Arctic Sea ice today, do
> you concur?
> Anthony

who responded with:

Yep: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

If you’re interested I could write up a guest post some time soon (maybe
this weekend); might be useful to expound a bit more on the differences
between NSIDC and MASIE/IMS (it’s still just a bit higher than us, but
as you’ve probably seen it did pass below its 2007 level). Nice
interview on PBS by the way.

walt

__________________________________________________________
Walt Meier                           Research Scientist
National Snow and Ice Data Center    Univ. of Colorado
UCB 449, Boulder, CO 80309           walt@xxxx.xxx
Tel:  303-xxxx-xxxx                   Fax: 303-xxxx-xxxx

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be
called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein
__________________________________________________________

Walt, thanks for the compliment about my PBS interview. As for the guest post, I’ll trade you.  

I’ll trade you a guest post on WUWT for making good on your promise of NSIDC “eventually” publishing your daily data like JAXA and other sea ice monitoring outlets do.

Quite a lot of time has passed since that promise was made. Thanks for your consideration – Anthony

Worth noting is this statement from the NSIDC today:

On September 16, 2012 sea ice extent dropped to 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest extent of the year. In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will not now climb through autumn and winter. However, a shift in wind patterns or a period of late season melt could still push the ice extent lower. The minimum extent was reached three days later than the 1979 to 2000 average minimum date of September 13.

This year’s minimum was 760,000 square kilometers (293,000 square miles) below the previous record minimum extent in the satellite record, which occurred on September 18, 2007.

I think Walt meant to say “will” instead of “will not” here: In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will not climb through autumn and winter.

[update: he says its been fixed to read "will now", I've corrected text here also. -A ]

At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark:

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.

Note that NSIDC’s Dr. Meier and WUWT had identical forecasts of 4.5 million sq km submitted to ARCUS, so we share the failure equally. That big storm in the Arctic really busted up the ice as well as the predictions.

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199 thoughts on “Sea Ice News Volume 3 number 13 – 2012 Arctic sea ice minimum reached, it’s all gain from here

  1. It’s not CO2 which caused the lowest minimum of the Arctic ice pack this year but the warm AMO! Once the AMO turns negative, and it will, every thing will return to “normal.”

  2. “In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will not climb through autumn and winter”

    Shouldn’t that read “will not fall….”?

  3. I don’t believe the open water will have aborbed much in the way of incoming energy due to the high effective albedo as a result of the angle of incidence. However, I think it will be a huge radiator because of the loss of insulating ice cover. Any back-of-the-envelope estimates on how much more heat will be lost in the Arctic before the ice cover is re-established as opposed to the 1979-2000 average? What effects might this have elsewhere on the planet?

  4. Who ever summarizes the different measures of ice cover (or volume), please also include a mention of the smoothing method and timing (# of days and whether mid point timing or trailing average).

  5. There seems to be a lot of ice in the Arctic that is not measured presumably it is not in sufficient percentage to do so, surely this will mean a rather rapid upturn when temperatures drop a little more. About the ice melt this season I concur with others who point to the sea temperatures being a major factor, It can’t be the air temperatures, as the Max. have not risen above normal. If Arctic temperatures are above normal it’s because it is -20c instead of -25c in the winter. Is this a reasonable assumption, I would like to here more from those who know better than me. I am here to learn. Oh. and thanks to Richard Courtney for his earlier response.

    Best wishes

    Keith Gordon

  6. COntrast: Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – NSIDC Is Silent
    Posted on September 16, 2012

    Day 258 ice area in Antarctica is the highest ever for the date, and the fifth highest daily value on record.

    Antarctic ice area is more than one million km^2 larger than the highest value ever recorded in the Arctic. By definition, excess ice has more impact on the climate than missing ice, because it occurs at lower latitudes where the sun is less oblique. There is no sun at the North Pole now, but lots of sun shining on the excess Antarctic ice at 70S.

  7. Anthony:

    Walt Meier is one of the few on the ‘warmist’ side whose behaviour and demeanour I respect.

    I think it would be good if you were to accept his offer of a Guest Article whether or not he agrees to your “trade”. I suspect a constructive dialogue would be possible with him and – if so – that could be a breakthrough from the attacks which have dominated the ‘climate news’ this week.

    Richard

  8. Looking at just the chart, it could be the minimum, but it looks to me to that it could also be just a wiggle. Do you have other information that leads you to make the call?

  9. At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark

    Yes, while some nonscientists have been predicting cycles and recovery, the experts have been predicting ice decline. But real ice has been going down much faster than even most of the experts (except Maslowski) thought it would. Not a good sign.

  10. Area, extent, who cares? What I want to know is the volume. Now that might tell me something. Not that I care a twit about Artic ice.

  11. What we are observing – warming of the Arctic while the Antarctic cools – is a cyclic phenomenon that is called the polar see-saw. Based on what has happened, the Arctic will now cool.

    The following a link to a paper by Henrik Svensmark that uses borehole temperatures in the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice sheet which supports the assertion that polar see-saw is occurring and that there is no lag in the phenomena.

    The fact that there is no lag rules out ocean currents as a possible mechanism. Also recent deep ocean current measurements, using specialized buoys, have shown that there is no global thermalhaline converyor which completely invalidates the ocean current mechanism.

    Svensmark`s explanation of the phenomena is decreased cloud cover in high latitude regions causes warming in Arctic as the albedo of low level clouds is higher than open ocean and cooling in the Antarctic as the albedo of the Antarctic ice sheet is higher than low level clouds. There is an interesting twist to the phenomena to explain the 10 to 12 year delay from the onset of major reduction in the solar magnetic cycle and a change in planetary clouds in the high latitude region.

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612145v1.pdf

    The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays By, Henrik Svensmark
    Contradictory trends in temperature in Antarctica and the rest of the world, which are evident on timescales from millennia to decades, provide a strong clue to what drives climate change. The southern continent is distinguished by its isolation and by its unusual response to changes in cloud cover. While the rest of the global surface is (on balance) cooled by clouds, they have a warming effect on high-albedo snowfields[5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

    NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) [11, 12] provided valuable data on the effects of clouds at different latitudes. They can be interpreted to show that, if changes in cloudiness drive climate change, the anomalous behavior of Antarctica is predictable.

    Borehole temperatures in the ice sheets spanning the past 6000 years show Antarctica repeatedly warming when Greenland cooled, and vice versa (Fig. 1) [13, 14]. North-south oscillations of greater amplitude associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events are evident in oxygenisotope data from the Wurm-Wisconsin glaciation[15]. The phenomenon has been called the polar see-saw[15, 16], but that implies a north-south symmetry that is absent. Greenland is better coupled to global temperatures than Antarctica is, and the fulcrum of the temperature swings is near the Antarctic Circle. A more apt term for the effect is the Antarctic climate anomaly.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130942.htm

    Cold Water Ocean Circulation Doesn’t Work As Expected
    The familiar model of Atlantic ocean currents that shows a discrete “conveyor belt” of deep, cold water flowing southward from the Labrador Sea is probably all wet.

    A 50-year-old model of ocean currents had shown this southbound subsurface flow of cold water forming a continuous loop with the familiar northbound flow of warm water on the surface, called the Gulf Stream.

    “Everybody always thought this deep flow operated like a conveyor belt, but what we are saying is that concept doesn’t hold anymore,” said Duke oceanographer Susan Lozier. “So it’s going to be more difficult to measure these climate change signals in the deep ocean.”

    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.999,y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

  12. Just a look at the temperature of the ice coming out of winter could be additional condition to see less ice (sealess ice) come today. ???

  13. It is great too that the ice melt has exposed an Eskimo village that was snowed under 500 years ago. So this great Ice melt does two things. It gives the warmest reason to glee, but gives them a problem as to how to explain the village that existed before we added the carbon to the air. It seems to me that the evidence that this worm spell is a cycle and not man caused is very strong.
    Roy

  14. Chris4692 says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Looking at just the chart, it could be the minimum, but it looks to me to that it could also be just a wiggle. Do you have other information that leads you to make the call?

    Look at the DMI temperatures here http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php and in the sidebar sea ice page http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

    The temperatures appear to be dropping albeit a little later than normal. With temperatures below 270K and dropping and rapidly reducing insolation there should be no more melting. Although potentially another severe storm could force more ice out of the Arctic ocean area.

  15. D. J. Hawkins says:

    September 19, 2012 at 10:23 am
    I said pretty much the same over at Climate etc on Judith’s ice thread.

  16. According to the WUWT right sidebar:
    Arctic Sea Ice Nearly Disappears in… 3 Days

    Well, minimum sea area ice is down by more than half, and volume by more than three quarters over the satellite record. It looks enough like a death spiral to make that sidebar embarassing in an unintended way.

  17. Anthony,

    Very much agree with Richard S Courtney’s view.
    It is a huge step forward when a well regarded currently active scientist enters the WUWT dialog.
    It cannot but help open the communication channels that you have worked so long to build.
    Once there is a background of give and take, I think the reciprocal access will follow as a matter of course.
    So please let us welcome Dr Meier to WUWT and hear what he wants to say, no strings attached.

  18. Roy, can you find a link for that story? I’ve seen occasional similar reports from Greenland, but haven’t come across that one. TIA.

  19. So please let us welcome Dr Meier to WUWT and hear what he wants to say, no strings attached.

    Dr. Meier and his colleague Dr. Stroeve have been treated quite rudely here in the past, when people did not like what they heard.

  20. “I’ll trade you a guest post on WUWT for making good on your promise of NSIDC “eventually” publishing your daily data like JAXA and other sea ice monitoring outlets do.”

    Thanks, that was very funny. Looking forward to Dr. Meier’s guest post. It’s always nice to read someone who knows what he’s talking about on WUWT.

  21. D. J. Hawkins says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I agree. The open Arctic Ocean will radiate vast amounts of energy to space, energy which comes mainly from other parts of the globe via ocean currents. Thus we have a climate governor in the north polar region that complements Willis Echenbach’s equatorial thermal governor in the tropics. And this is why there is no stable climate regime substantially warmer than that of the Eemian or Holocene, there is only the other colder regime, the stable ice age regime. Stefan-Boltzman shows us that it takes a great deal of added forcing to warm the globe but a correspondingly small decrease in forcing should have a pronounced effect on global temperature. Climate change in the direction of global warming is a chimera, it is a farce. Mankind’s only climate worry is the descent into the next ice age.

  22. As I said, by my analysis, all the arctic ice will be back, by 2039, as it did freeze back from 1925-1945
    Does anyone here have access to that newspaper report from 1920 or 1921 that I saw on WUWT where all were surprised about same ice melt at that time?

  23. BA says:
    September 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark

    Yes, while some nonscientists have been predicting cycles and recovery, the experts have been predicting ice decline. But real ice has been going down much faster than even most of the experts (except Maslowski) thought it would. Not a good sign.

    Indeed. Can you let me know what the cause(s) the decline since 1979?

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

  24. BA says:

    September 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark

    Yes, while some nonscientists have been predicting cycles and recovery, the experts have been predicting ice decline. But real ice has been going down much faster than even most of the experts (except Maslowski) thought it would. Not a good sign.

    *

    Watch this space.

  25. I have followed the Arctic ice for a long time and the comments about it.
    It made me wonder if the yearly difference between maximum and minimum could tell a story too.
    Normally we only hear about the minimum and some times the maximum, but the change from winter to summer and back again tells also something of the conditions of the polar climate/weather.
    I do not feel competent or able to do such an analysis, but maybe someone could do it?

  26. Anthony,

    You didn’t post it above, but it’s worth noting that ARCUS called for late summer update after the NSIDC Sea Ice Extent dropped to record levels in mid-August. The breakdown of the handful of responses can be found here (sorry, I don’t know the html tag for an image). Of those, I would say 3 of them were spot-on (we were still projecting from a month out) and the Meier et al contribution was reasonably close.

    (Since someone will be quick to notice, yes, mine was the worst. But I did say in the write-up that I thought the results were too high. And I’d said from the beginning that 2012 would be at or below previous records.)

  27. Jimbo:
    Indeed. Can you let me know what the cause(s) the decline since 1979?
    Not sure why you’d ask me; if you’re curious there are hundreds of articles by scientists on this. Warming air and water are obvious answers, with albedo feedback to speed things along. I’m no scientist but I guess those “north of 80″ air tempertures that DMI models will show more warming if the small area north of 80 finally contains more open water; until then it’s just estimating air temperature a few feet above ice.

    Take a look at the death spiral in Antarctica.
    I don’t think anybody has predicted a death spiral already in Antarctica, especially not in winter. Have they?

  28. BA:

    At September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm you say

    I’m no scientist but I guess

    Thankyou. I had observed that but your confirmation is appreciated.

    Richard

  29. The divergence from the pack of the three lowest years-2007 2011 2012-seemed to happen around August. It was said that in 2012 there was a big storm that broke the ice up. Was there any similar event in 2007 or 2011?
    tonyb

  30. richardscourtney:
    BA:
    At September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm you say
    I’m no scientist but I guess
    Thankyou. I had observed that but your confirmation is appreciated.

    Cue the laugh track! But afterwards let’s restore the rest of my sentence:
    “I’m no scientist but I guess those “north of 80″ air tempertures that DMI models will show more warming if the small area north of 80 finally contains more open water; until then it’s just estimating air temperature a few feet above ice.”

    Can you explain how that’s wrong? The lateness of DMI temperature going down this week would (in my laymans view) reflect the fact that there is an unusual amount of open water above 80.

  31. Don’t see what is all the fuss about, expect the same or similar again the next summer, and for some years to come.
    Ice summer melt and winter formation in the Arctic is all to do with temperatures of the North Atlantic currents inflow.
    Less ice build up in the winter larger the extent of the ice summer melt.
    The summer temperatures have little changed in the last 300 years, while the winter temperatures have been on the rise for the last 300 years.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/MidSummer-MidWinter.htm

  32. Anthony,

    I would echo Richard S Courtney’s and etudiant’s requests to welcome, without strings, a further contribution from Dr Meier. The more open communication there is, the better.

  33. NORSEX and DMI show an even more pronounced “recovery” (see the sea ice page). Don’t know why large chunks of perfectly good ocean being covered with pretty much useless ice is called a “recovery”, but I think the arctic circle temps from DMI are even more interesting. As several people have pointed out, the absence of ice mean an awful lot of energy being dissipated that would otherwise have been trapped under the ice. So, initially I would expect warmer than average air temps, and once the heat from the water has been exhausted, a precipitous decline. Too early to tell, but have a look at arctic circle temps from DMI:

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

  34. On 9/19/2012 8:34 AM, Anthony wrote: I think we’ve reached the turning point for Arctic Sea ice today, do you concur? Anthony, who responded with: Yep: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Hmmm….I immediately wondered if another cyclonic storm or other wind event could drive it lower, and I see this on the NSIDC page:
    Please note that this is a preliminary announcement. Changing winds could still push ice floes together, reducing ice extent further.

  35. I can read a graph as well as anyone, and that was a noteworthy melt. I’ve looked at the animations numerous times to try to see what is occurring but can’t see from the one year animation. The ice is clearly too thin along the coast of the former Soviet Union to withstand the summer melt, but it is not clear to me if that is a water temp (current) or other cause. I did some searching, but could not find any temperature data for the Barents Sea that would validate the warm Atlantic current idea.

    Gerry Parker

  36. Richard deSousa on September 19, 2012 at 10:11 am
    It’s not CO2 which caused the lowest minimum of the Arctic ice pack this year but the warm AMO! Once the AMO turns negative, and it will, every thing will return to “normal.”
    ————
    So how do you know that the AMO is especially warm and why is it especially warm?

  37. A number of those ice curves show decreases after this time of year. You could still have a weeks worth of down still to come.

  38. BA says:
    September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm
    Jimbo says
    Take a look at the death spiral in Antarctica.
    =============================================
    I don’t think anybody has predicted a death spiral already in Antarctica, especially not in winter. Have they?
    ============================================================
    Wrong, the climate models did, as well as James Hansen.

  39. @D. J. Hawkins says:
    and to Robert Austin who agrees with him

    >…Any back-of-the-envelope estimates on how much more heat will be lost in the Arctic before the ice cover is re-established as opposed to the 1979-2000 average? What effects might this have elsewhere on the planet?

    Water has a very high emissivity so it is going to freeze very rapidly but once there is nice white ice on top, that consideration is largely gone. No one has mentioned the temperature of the water, just the presence of ice. If it was actually warm, that might take a little time to freeze.

    Please remember that if it is getting colder ‘up there’ the ice buildup in a year can be very large so it is going to be far more interesting to watch the rate of freezing in tonnage than how far it happens to spread. I see lots of ‘multi-year ice’ but that tells us little. Ice volume, lots.

    I still can’t get cranked up about an ice free Arctic in summer. It is a normal condition a great deal of the time and it is not causing any harm that does not come naturally. If ships can traverse it, the oil fuel savings will be massive. And if BC remains obstinate, Alberta can run their oil export pipeline to the Manitoba Coast.

  40. Crispin in Waterloo;
    Water has a very high emissivity so it is going to freeze very rapidly but once there is nice white ice on top, that consideration is largely gone.
    >>>>>>>>>

    Fresh water yes, salt water no. Salt water bodies have to cool to the freezing point from top to bottom before ice can form. So, once you’re talking about open water, that’s a lot of heat the ocean has to give up to start forming ice again.

  41. It would be interesting to develop a new statistic to capture trends in the polar see-saw – like some sort of weighted average of the two poles taking into account the amount of ice on land as well as water.

  42. Arctic sea ice has been steadily receding for many years. What is not often mentioned is that the water temperature in the Fram Strait [east coast off Greenland] has warmed by ≈3.5ºC over the past century.

    Once again, CO2 has nothing to do with Arctic ice cover. Nothing. Ocean currents shift over time, and they get warmer and cooler. Naturally. And since global warming amounts to only 0.8ºC, then other regions of the planet must be commensurately colder.

  43. LazyTeenager says:September 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm
    So how do you know that the AMO is especially warm and why is it especially warm?

    Look at the graph on the reference page, and read Bob Tisdale’s posts.

  44. D. J. Hawkins says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I don’t believe the open water will have aborbed much in the way of incoming energy due to the high effective albedo as a result of the angle of incidence.

    There are several papers by Kato and Loeb that look at this issue, sadly behind paywalls. But you can see from the figures available that the albedo of open sea water is always significantly lower than ice, even at high latitudes.

    Sure, heat will be re-radiated upwards, into the atmosphere and eventually out into space. But that heat (which in its travels creates water vapor and higher air temperatures) would never have been absorbed at all in the alternative, ice covered scenario. In this sense I disagree with David M. Hoffer, who wrote:

    As several people have pointed out, the absence of ice mean an awful lot of energy being dissipated that would otherwise have been trapped under the ice.

    No, the absence of ice means the absorption of heat that otherwise would not have been absorbed at all. The alternative is that the ice would never have melted at all, as in earlier years in the satellite record. The incoming radiation of late August and early September would have been reflected out to space immediately, not captured, held, and gradually re-radiated.

    And why aren’t we discussing the IMS sea ice chart? Wasn’t there a post on this blog just a little while ago holding up that chart as the gold standard?

  45. HenryP says:
    September 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    As I said, by my analysis, all the arctic ice will be back, by 2039, as it did freeze back from 1925-1945
    Does anyone here have access to that newspaper report from 1920 or 1921 that I saw on WUWT where all were surprised about same ice melt at that time?
    =====================
    HenryP,
    Steve Goddard is a good place to go for old newspaper clippings.

  46. davidmhoffer says:
    September 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm
    NORSEX and DMI show an even more pronounced “recovery” (see the sea ice page). Don’t know why large chunks of perfectly good ocean being covered with pretty much useless ice is called a “recovery”, but I think the arctic circle temps from DMI are even more interesting. As several people have pointed out, the absence of ice mean an awful lot of energy being dissipated that would otherwise have been trapped under the ice. So, initially I would expect warmer than average air temps, and once the heat from the water has been exhausted, a precipitous decline. Too early to tell, but have a look at arctic circle temps from DMI:

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

    This is the North of 80ºN temps not the Arctic circle temps.

  47. How reliable are satellite surveys of sea ice extent?

    It used to be claimed that satellites could not distinguish melt ponds on the surface of ice floes from nearby open seawater. This 2003 press release from Goddard Space Flight Center (not Hansen’s GISS) suggests that this problem has been solved, but I wonder.

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/0918meltwater.html

    Could soot from Asia be increasing melt pond formation, both contributing to more rapid sea ice melting & making its extent appear larger?

    Maybe NASA could fly more survey aircraft or cruise more research ship missions to verify the extent determined by satellite, which IMO would be money better spent than on more GIGO computer modelling.

  48. dvunkannon;
    In this sense I disagree with David M. Hoffer, who wrote:

    As several people have pointed out, the absence of ice mean an awful lot of energy being dissipated that would otherwise have been trapped under the ice.

    No, the absence of ice means the absorption of heat that otherwise would not have been absorbed at all.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You are forgetting that the sun has a high angle of incidence this time of year for only a brief part of the day. The rest of the time the angle of incidence is rather low, and water reflects the bulk of the insolation at low angles of incidence, even more than snow and ice. Catch the sunset reflecting off of water and it is blinding. Not so much with snow and ice. Plus the days are getting shorter, so night time hours will soon exceed day time hours. As for absorption and re-radiation, uhm…. from what? Ozone concentrations are beginning to collapse (as they do every year at this time), and at surface temps of zero C or less, the amount of atmospheric water vapour is almost nil. CO2? Not enough to matter by comparison, not to mention that with all that cold water suddenly exposed to the atmosphere, CO2 is being sucked out of it like mad.

    So, not much heat being absorbed from the sun, plenty being radiated out, and much if it with a free pass to outer space.

  49. D Boehm said

    “Once again, CO2 has nothing to do with Arctic ice cover. Nothing. Ocean currents shift over time, and they get warmer and cooler. Naturally. And since global warming amounts to only 0.8ºC, then other regions of the planet must be commensurately colder.”

    Repeating a claim does not make it more valid and that claim starts with wishful thinking and ends with a statement that is plain wrong.

    The mean surface temperature (Land-Ocean) has indeed risen by about 0.8C over the last century and whilst the northern hemisphere has warmed more, the southern hemisphere has also warmed, but at a slower rate.

    Variations in ocean currents do not alone explain the observed arctic melt. A common sceptic error is to use black and white arguments that exclude multi-forcing mechanisms.

    The recent study

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034011/

    showed that ocean currents could explain some of the observed arctic melt, but most of it was likely caused by global warming ie 2 forcing mechanisms (at least).

    The warming of the arctic is not in isolation, it fits alongside the warming of the planet, particularly in the north and particularly over land. Throughout this summer there have been large positive anomalies in surface temperatures right around the arctic covering Canada, Greenland and Siberia with only the latter showing closer to normal temperatures in August (NASA GISS).

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

    reports that

    “The globally-averaged land surface temperature for June–August 2012 was the all-time warmest June–August on record, at 1.03°C (1.85°F) above average.”

    So with positive anomalies in sea surface temperature in much of the arctic alongside big air temperature positive anomalies, it is little wonder that arctic sea ice recorded a record minimum in the satellite record.

    And before anyone says it – yes the antarctic sea ice is behaving differently – accepted.

  50. William says:
    September 19, 2012 at 11:16 am
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612145v1.pdf
    The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays By, Henrik Svensmark
    Contradictory trends in temperature in Antarctica and the rest of the world, which are evident on timescales from millennia to decades, provide a strong clue to what drives climate change. The southern continent is distinguished by its isolation and by its unusual response to changes in cloud cover. While the rest of the global surface is (on balance) cooled by clouds, they have a warming effect on high-albedo snowfields[5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

    From prior posts as well, I’m starting to recognize your name as one of the most informative posters here.

    Good link. Indeed. (And, for example, in http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/6000/6502/antarctic_temps.AVH1982-2004.jpg , one can see a sharp contrast between the GCR and cloud-driven temperature change over Antarctic snow/ice whiter than even the clouds versus over the lower-albedo surrounding ocean right nearby; for later years and more globally, the prime cause of the false divergence in cloud cover trends from the ISCCP at Hansen’s GISS versus cloud cover trends from other sources and that expected from GCR trends is noted at http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/further-attempt-to-falsify-the-svensmark-hypothesis/ ).

    ——————-

    If anyone has not seen some paramount graphs noted in a prior thread:

    The actual picture of arctic ice extent from the 1970s to now in annual trends less misleading than single months alone:

    http://www.webcitation.org/6AKKakUIo

    showing how, in annual averages (not a single month post-storm), recent years are comparable to the mid-1990s in arctic ice extent

    showing how the mid-1990s had less warm arctic temperatures than reached in the 1930s

    Plots from http://nwpi.krc.karelia.ru/e/climas/Ice/Ice_no_sat/XX_Arctic.htm include the following of August ice extent in the Siberian arctic basin from the 1920s through the end of the 20th century, with once again the decline in the latter time period being just rather similar to when it went down more than a half-century ago (before later up again during the 1960s – early 1970s era of the global cooling scare, which occurred for a reason):

  51. Anyone that ends their email with:

    “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be
    called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein
    ===========
    Just gained my respect.

  52. Mr. Abbott:

    I don’t know why you would rely on temperature data from NOAA & NASA, which disgraced agencies so shamelessly “adjust” instrument readings higher if recent & lower if older. With respect to high latitudes specifically, there are these instances of data manipulation (in this case deletions):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/31/giss-deletes-arctic-and-southern-ocean-sea-surface-temperature-data/

    This northern summer does not appear unusually warm in the Arctic, while does seem colder than normal in the Antarctic. Parts of North America were indeed hotter than normal, but not so “unprecedentedly” as claimed by federal cooked books & the uncritical media. At the same time other areas of North America (as in my native Pacific NW) & the temperate Northern Hemisphere (the UK, for instance) were cooler & wetter than usual. Much of the Southern Hemisphere experienced a colder than typical winter, with rare snowfall in South Africa.

    Here’s how NASA fairly honestly explained this year’s excursion from the mean in sea ice extent:

    This year, a powerful cyclone formed off the coast of Alaska and moved on Aug. 5 to the center of the Arctic Ocean, where it churned the weakened ice cover for several days. The storm cut off a large section of sea ice north of the Chukchi Sea and pushed it south to warmer waters that made it melt entirely. It also broke vast extensions of ice into smaller pieces more likely to melt.

    “The storm definitely seems to have played a role in this year’s unusually large retreat of the ice”, Parkinson said. “But that exact same storm, had it occurred decades ago when the ice was thicker and more extensive, likely wouldn’t have had as prominent an impact, because the ice wasn’t as vulnerable then as it is now.”

    I’d like to see actual data on sea ice thickness, but the imagery is instructive. Clearly, the major excursion from the 30-year average occurred in the Arctic Ocean adjoining the Chukchi & Beaufort Seas, the area affected by the early August Alaskan storm.

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-seaicemin.html

    Interestingly (to me, anyway) more ice than normal survived off NE Greenland & in Ross & Franklin Straits north & west of the Boothia Peninsula. I don’t know if the latter is a common feature of the melt, but obviously the western Fram Strait & Weddell Sea ice is unusual, albeit a relatively small departure from the mean.

  53. Everyone missed it, so….it was….ah……worse than we thought……

    Making a note to ignore headlines for a week or so. It’s going to ugly…

  54. James Abbott says:

    “And before anyone says it – yes the antarctic sea ice is behaving differently – accepted.”

    Not accepted. How many times do we have to post the evidence? Arctic ice has receded more than at present at various times during the Holocene. That is a fact, based on empirical data and eyewitness observations. In other words, based on scientific evidence.

    Next, your first link says:

    The potential sources of this discrepancy include: observational uncertainty, physical model limitations and vigorous natural climate variability.

    That is far from scientific evidence. In fact, the authors admit they do not have scientific evidence, which consists of raw data and verifiable, testable scientific observations. So that link does not support your argument.

    Your second link says nothing whatever about anthropogenic CO2, which was my comment that you responded to. That is known as moving the goal posts, AKA: a straw man, or red herring fallacy.

    You also argue against basic thermodynamics when you apparently claim that warming in one region is not offset by cooling in one or more other regions. And of course you disregard the fact that the Antarctic is cooling, and also adding ice mass.

    Finally, what is the problem, exactly, with an ice-free Arctic? The benefits are clear: lower shipping costs and more easily recoverable energy sources. All the wild-eyed arm waving over Arctic sea ice is because every other prediction made by the alarmist cult has been falsified.

    • • •

    johnpetroff says:

    “Thank you for admitting warming is occurring. Was that so hard?”

    “Admitting”? You condescending know-it-all. My clearly stated position since WUWT began is that the planet is recovering [warming] from the Little Ice Age. It is warming naturally. There may be a small amount of warming due to CO2, but it is so minuscule that it can be disregarded for all practical purposes.

    Temperature has a far greater effect on CO2 than vice-versa. The effect of CO2 [which I think exists] is so small that it is not measurable. Thus, no time, money or effort is needed to address CO2 emissions — which are entirely beneficial, and harmless.

    Next, Wood For Trees is a data base that is accepted by everyone on both sides of the debate. Well, everyone except you. You are just hoping to find something wrong with the CO2/T relationship, but it just isn’t there. CO2 continues to rise. But temperature does not follow, as was universally predicted by the alarmist crowd. They were wrong, as usual.

    Finally, NOAA’s use of a zero baseline chart is done deliberately to fool the eye into believing that global warming is accelerating. If they used a trend chart like this…

    …it would show that the long term trend [the green trend line] remains unchanged, despite the large rise in CO2. The natural global warming since the LIA is the same whether CO2 is high or low. But the truth would spoil their alarming narrative, so they use a zero baseline chart to fool the credulous.

  55. James Abbott says:
    September 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm
    “Variations in ocean currents do not alone explain the observed arctic melt. A common sceptic error is to use black and white arguments that exclude multi-forcing mechanisms.”

    This is the funniest and hypocritical post I have seen in a long time. Let me correct it to reflect reality:
    “Increases in Co2 do not explain the observed Arctic melt. A common warmist error is to use black and white arguments that exclude multi-forcing mechanisms.”

  56. LazyTeenager says:
    September 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm
    Richard deSousa on September 19, 2012 at 10:11 am
    It’s not CO2 which caused the lowest minimum of the Arctic ice pack this year but the warm AMO! Once the AMO turns negative, and it will, every thing will return to “normal.”
    ————
    So how do you know that the AMO is especially warm and why is it especially warm?

    @LT:
    See Fig 4 at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/16/tisdale-the-warming-of-the-global-oceans-are-manmade-greenhouse-gases-important-or-impotent/#more-71135

    IanM

  57. A couple of days ago I notice the average temperature above 80°N dipped sharply below 0°C. That signalled to me the ice extent upturn probably was beginning.

    With more open ocean well above 80°N, with temperatures much colder than average available, the ice extent could rapidly rebound. Nothing new in that; we should expect it. More interesting is the date of the minimum. That seems to have returned to the old average, and suggests the north may be starting on path back from the low ice extent levels of the recent past.

    The unusual stormy weather this year makes the anomaly more anomalous, and perhaps less meaningful in terms of global warming. However, we all know warmistas will glom onto anything that supports the cause, regardless of scientific merit.

  58. So. Is there or is there not a direct correlation between the two polar opposites?
    Low(est) in the N
    High(est) in the S
    Thanks

  59. James Abbott has shown once again that he has not understood the information provided him. He omits the wind (as posted in my fathers article),and the storm as a cause for reduced ice. Clearly there are “multi-forcing” mechanisms at work and he has been shown this.

  60. I said,
    I don’t think anybody has predicted a death spiral already in Antarctica, especially not in winter. Have they?
    David said,
    Wrong, the climate models did, as well as James Hansen.

    Am I wrong, or are you faking it? Show me where “the climate models” or James Hansen predicted there would be “a death spiral already in Antarctica,” especially in winter.

  61. Can anyone point me to a study which shows that sea ice acts as a blanket to prevent the water from cooling off? The water not covered by ice is relatively warm compared to the Arctic temperatures and therefore must warm up the air. Shouldn’t more exposed water allow more heat to escape from the ocean? And what is this amount vs the energy the water receives through solar irradiance?

  62. BA: Quote from Hansen: “If governments keep going the way they are going,” Hansen added, “the planet will reach an ice-free state.” This to me implies, the Antarctic would be completely gone.

  63. Is there a case for treating Arctic ice data not in terms of where the line goes around September, but in terms of “the total area under the curve” for a year? It’s climate change, not monthly change. If there is an omniprescent CO2 direct effect, then one would expect it to operate all year round, making a year-to year comparison more valid than month-by-month in different years. That is, the September method has more liklihood of higher noise than an annual approach. More noise means it’s harder to tease out primary mechanisms.

  64. Mario Lento says,
    BA: Quote from Hansen: “If governments keep going the way they are going,” Hansen added, “the planet will reach an ice-free state.” This to me implies, the Antarctic would be completely gone.

    Sure, eventually it does. But that’s not what I said that David declared “Wrong.” What I said was to ask who had predicted a death spiral in Antarctica already. It’s 2012. If “the climate models” as well as James Hansen predicted an Antarctic winter death spiral by now, where are those predictions? I’m honestly curious. But conversely, if they made no such predictions we can’t claim that conditions in winter 2012 prove them wrong.

  65. At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark:

    That is the daily lowest extent. The ARCUS forecasts are for the whole month of September.

    Even so, it is virtually certain that the lowest of the predictions made in August will still be higher than the September average. But this year there was a late entry in the ARCUS forecasts:

    On 27 August we posted an announcement to the SIO mailing list for updates or subjective estimates for the daily minimum for September. Asking for a ‘daily’ minimum is different than the September monthly value that we normally compare against, so we got a mix of interpretations. In either case, below is the distribution graph of responses.

    Forecasts for daily minimum were as follows;

    NOAA-FOCI / Wetzler………….. 3.3
    Beitsch et al………………………. 3.4
    Morison…………………………….. 3.5
    Meier et al ………………………… 3.7
    Folkerts…………………………….. 3.8
    Canadian Ice Service………….. 3.9
    Zhang and Lindsay……………… 3.9
    Netweather.tv……………………… 4.3
    Naval Research Laboratory….. 4.4

    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2012/august/update

    Anthony, did you get the announcement? Just curious.

  66. dvunkannon says: “There are several papers by Kato and Loeb that look at this issue, sadly behind paywalls. But you can see from the figures available that the albedo of open sea water is always significantly lower than ice, even at high latitudes.” [bold by jk]

    “Always?” Such a flat statement raises a flag. Your statement is untrue. There is significant overlap between high zenith angle ice and water albedos, especially for old, snow-covered, or dirty ice. Water albedo is complicated, dependent on zenith angle, temperature, wind velocity, wave action, humidity, cloud cover, and even plankton. Even at modest zenith angles, with some chop, the reflection of the afternoon sun off the ocean is often too bright to look at.

  67. BA: Agreed my comment was imprecise… However, which study predicted temperatures would be much higher by today under the best case scenario where we drastically cut WW CO2 levels? We are cooler than the best case scenario, yet CO2 production is pretty much at the worst case scenario. It was IPCC or Hansen… cannot recall.

  68. BA says: “Sure, eventually it does. But that’s not what I said that David declared “Wrong.” What I said was to ask who had predicted a death spiral in Antarctica already. ”

    Slip and slide, duck and dodge, waffle and flip. Hansen’s statement is identical to predicting a death spiral for the Antarctic and no amount of weasel words will save you.

  69. Remember those pictures in books of the ice caps of Mars? When the north would expand, the south would recede and vice versa. I’ll be damned if I can find pictures of that using google.

  70. From Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in 2009
    ================
    Surprising Return of North Atlantic Circulation Pump
    Sea Ice Decline May Actually Have Aided Ocean Overturning

    January 5, 2009

    One of the “pumps” contributing to the ocean’s global circulation suddenly switched on again last winter for the first time this decade, scientists reported Tuesday (Dec. 23) in Nature Geoscience. The finding surprised scientists, who had been wondering if global warming was inhibiting the pump—which, in turn, would cause other far-reaching climate changes.

    The “pump” in question is the sinking of cold, dense water in the North Atlantic Ocean in the winter. It drives water down into the lower limb of what is often described as the Great Ocean Conveyor. To replace that down-flowing water, warm surface waters from the tropics are pulled northward along the Conveyor’s upper limb.

    http://www.whoi.edu/main/news-releases/2009?tid=3622&cid=54366

    =================
    This refers to the winter following the summer of 2007 when arctic sea ice reached its previous low. Apparently the restart of the “pump” caused fresh water to enter the arctic and sea ice subsequently recovered. It would be interesting to learn what the pump is doing now.

  71. @James Abbott:
    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Please don’t assume however that all sceptics are trying to explain this phenomenon away. A lot of us have no problem accepting that the world has warmed recently. What we are mostly sceptical about is how much, the attribution of cause, and the prediction of catastrophe.

    The low sea ice this year certainly has my attention. That is a massive continent sized hunk of ice that has gone MIA. I will be very interested in seeing what the effects of this change are likely to be. Higher snowfall in areas at high latitudes this winter looks likely for example.

    Where I mostly strongly disagree with you is in your confident statement that this phenomenon is definitely global warming driven. I am very sceptical about that claim. What is clear is that the arctic and the surrounding land areas at high latitude have shown warming much greater than that observed anywhere else on the planet. Greenhouse gas theory actually predicts greater warming at the equator. If you want to claim arctic warming as a symptom of global warming you need to propose a mechanism by which the additional heat of global warming is channeled predominantly to the arctic (as opposed to the antarctic). The trouble as I see it is that it is very hard to propose a mechanism to do this that DEPENDS on global warming. Almost all such mechanisms will work equally well as an explanation for arctic heat quite independent of global warming.

    For example warm ocean currents provide one possible mechanism for channelling global heat into the arctic. The trouble is that while warm arctic currents could carry heat up to the arctic quite nicely, one is left struggling to conjure up an explanation for why a slight increase in the overall global greenhouse effect should trigger such currents. And since climate is chaotic you cannot rule out the possibility that changes in these currents are simply a natural periodic variation unobserved until now because our arctic data doesn’t go back far enough.

    Similarly a change in wind patterns triggered by global warming blowing ice out of the arctic might be another possible mechanism for channelling the heat up there (it channels the cold out of there which is basically the same thing). But once again such a change in wind patterns could be a periodic natural phenomenon unobserved up to now and that would explain the warming quite independently of CO2.

    What makes this difficult is that the observed changes in temperature in the rest of the world are so tiny. To make the explanation work you need this tiny change to initiate a massive heat engine of some kind pumping heat into the arctic from all around the globe. I can’t see how that might work. That is why I am so sceptical. And if you could get it to work, I hope you realise that the very existence of such a powerful and exquisitely sensitive mechanism for pumping heat around the place would be absolutely devastating to the possibility of getting global climate models accurate enough to predict anything.

    Yes the arctic is warmer than it has been for 30 years. Yes there are record low levels of ice up there right now. I’d like to know what the likely consequences of that are, what might happen if the trend continues, and I’m open to explanations of cause and possible mechnisms. I note your explanation (CO2 is to blame). As an explanation it seems flawed. The chain from your presumed cause to the observed effect seems to be broken in such a fundamental way that I don’t believe it can be easily repaired.

  72. All I see is massive heat mitigation. Our lapdog media however completely devoted to humping a leg of lies make the connection between record summer ice melt, Anthropogenic CO2 and extreme weather events.

  73. BA:

    At September 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm you assert

    I said,

    I don’t think anybody has predicted a death spiral already in Antarctica, especially not in winter. Have they?

    David said,

    Wrong, the climate models did, as well as James Hansen.

    Am I wrong, or are you faking it? Show me where “the climate models” or James Hansen predicted there would be “a death spiral already in Antarctica,” especially in winter.

    I cannot answer for David, but I can state the fact that the IPCC Working Group1 (WG1 i.e. the ‘science’ WG) clearly and unreservedly reported that the climate models show the same enhanced warming for the two polar regions with the warming being especially in winter.

    The matter is clearly reported in Chapter 5 titled “Equilibrium Climate Change – and its Implications for the Future” which contains plots showing similar predicted warming in the Arctic and Antarctic regions especially in winter.

    The chapter presents the information as plots for each month December to August. These are Figures 5.4 (a) to (f) in the Section of the Report by Working Group 1 (i.e. the ‘science’ report). The chapter considers the plots to be so important that it provides two versions of Figure 5.4: a monochrome version is on pages 141 and 142 with a colour version on pages 164 and 165. And the chapter provides similar plots from other projections as Figure 5.2 on page 140 and they also give the same indication.

    If those predictions – which the IPCC has not altered in subsequent publications – suggest a “death spiral” then it is the same for both polar regions.

    Hansen’s predictions will start to be credible when he gets to work by rowing a boat through the door of the office block he works in because he predicted he would be doing that by now.

    Richard

  74. There are many possible reasons for such low summer sea-ice extents.This is what I suspect is happening.

    1. Low winter solar activity leads to a large sea-ice formation.(more heat has escaped during the winter)

    2. More sea-ice formation by its nature increases winter deep water formation

    3. This water is slowly replaced by an increased North Atlantic drift.Increased upwelling occurs in a band across the lower latitute Atlantic quite visible on sst charts by mid february.Coupled ocean atmosphere affects from this cooler band alters European winter weather.

    4. This increased THC in the Atlantic/artic is further increased by an increasingly active antarctic which due to its increased winter sea-ice formation should also add to total THC.

    5. This increased THC pushes north leading to a greater arctic summer sea-ice melt.

    Interestingly arctic ocean heat content is not increasing (the extra heat is escaping to space during winter), but the North Atlantic heat content is falling(draining into the arctic).See Tisdale OHC up till Dec. 2011.

    It seams almost counter-intuitive to me that an increased winter arctic sea-ice build should lead to an increased summer melt but I blame an increased THC, which is also draining the North Atlantic OHC.

  75. For those who are so confident that they ‘know’ what is happening to Sea Ice (both North and South) a simple challenge. Please predict the expected levels, min and max, in both hemispheres for the next two years (with a suitable error band) and approximate dates for these to occur.

  76. I wonder how NSIDC will react in the next few years when ice recovers from this year’s low. I expect they will want to keep reminding us how “unusual” this year was!

  77. First, let me be humble and state I did not expect the ice-melt to be so large, and my own forecast was incorrect. There. See? I’m still alive, although I admitted a mistake.

    Second, I am afraid I am distrustful of the Cryosphere Today map, and any graph that depends on it. Please look at the area around Wrangal Island on this Russian map, which contains ice in waters Cryosphere Today states as “open.”

    http://www.aari.ru/odata/_d0015.php?lang=1

    There have been news items involving oil-drilling being suspended Northwest of Alaska due to an eleven by fifteen mile area of drifting pack ice, (165 square miles…how many Manhattans?) and stating some of that ice was 80 feet thick. Ice piled up by the storm?

    Lastly, regarding that area being ice-free in the past: Wrangal Island was discovered by whaling ships. Also, it was named, according to Wikipedia, as follows:

    In August 1867, Thomas Long, an American whaling captain, “approached it as near as fifteen miles. I have named this northern land Wrangell [sic] Land … as an appropriate tribute to the memory of a man who spent three consecutive years north of latitude 68°, and demonstrated the problem of this open polar sea forty-five years ago, although others of much later date have endeavored to claim the merit of this discovery.”

    This open polar sea??? In 1867??? Hmmm.

  78. D. J. Hawkins says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:23 am
    >>
    I don’t believe the open water will have aborbed much in the way of incoming energy due to the high effective albedo as a result of the angle of incidence. However, I think it will be a huge radiator because of the loss of insulating ice cover. Any back-of-the-envelope estimates on how much more heat will be lost in the Arctic before the ice cover is re-established as opposed to the 1979-2000 average? What effects might this have elsewhere on the planet?
    >>

    Hey! I had just the same though yesterday as I was looking at rate of change of sea ice extent to see if there was any drift in the dates of min and max ice extent.

    They are always screaming about tipping points (+ve feedback) and I started to wonder how much negative feedback all that bear water would have. Albedo is a two edged sword. Lower albedo also means more heat radiated to space in the winter (polar night) and then cloud cover comes back into play.

    I figured the best way to look at this was to take the daily ice extent data, calculate the daily rate of change, filter out short term weather bumps (13 day low pass gaussian filter) and plot to see where the zero crossing points are . It is a lot easier to see a zero crossing that estimate just where the bottom of a curve is.

    I cropped off the negative (melting) phase then zoomed in on the end of summer periods to see when ice extent turned around.

    The start of each line is the point at which meling turned around. Dates are in fractions of a year, 0.68 being early Sept. I see a couple of things here. First, a long term drift to later turn around , there is also a drift in the onset of melting so this needs further analysis before infering what it may mean.

    More interestingly, there appears to be a clear decadal variation in there. My initial thought that it may be correlated to solar cycle does not seem bear out.

  79. Bruce: It seams almost counter-intuitive to me that an increased winter arctic sea-ice build should lead to an increased summer melt

    There does seems to be increased variation in recent year. Back at the beginning of the record things were smoother “sine” waves during the year. Now there is more rapid melting AND more rapid freezing.

    This would seem to be a logical result of thinner ice coverage over a proportion of Arctic. So it’s not the increased winter build-up that is causeing the summer melting but both effects are due to ice area being more volatile since ice is thinner.

    There is a core area of thicker ice that draws a line under all this.

  80. Newsfeed in The Netherlands today on the popular TV-text channel, the weather info normally provided by the KNMI:

    url tiny pic

    Translation:
    “See ice on the North Pole this summer melted more than ever before. On 16 September satellites observed 3,41 km2 sea-ice left. With winter coming now ice is increasing again.
    The last 30 years the total surface area of sea ice has declined strongly because of the warming of the earth. According to scientists the the melting speed continues to increase. Summer 2000 the ice surface area at the North Pole was twice as big.
    Polar researchers more often have to face polar bears, that cannot hunt seals on the ice. Because of this researchers have to take more shooting lessons.”

    Hm… so the real danger to the polar bears are scientists shooting bears…

  81. BA says:
    September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Jimbo:
    Indeed. Can you let me know what the cause(s) the decline since 1979?

    Not sure why you’d ask me; if you’re curious there are hundreds of articles by scientists on this. Warming air and water are obvious answers, with albedo feedback to speed things along.

    Good stuff! You are coming along nicely. ;-) Now take a look at the following and then let me know how much air temperature alone has to do with the Arctic decline?

    Dr. James Hansen et al.
    Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.long

    ——————–
    “The record-low conditions of 2007 were driven by a variety of factors: an early start to the melt season, unusually sunny weather in the area of the East Siberia Sea, and wind and current patterns that drove ice out of the Arctic.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/sea_ice.php

    The satellite record started in 1979 when the Arctic was at its maximum extent. Arctic decline and growth has happened before. Did you read about the massive storm in the Arctic this summer?

    Historic Arctic ice variations

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice-tony-b/

    Asian haze.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/323/5913/470.short

  82. Dr. Meier is making the news:

    Arctic ice shrinks to all-time low; half 1980 size

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a critical climate indicator showing an ever warming world, the amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean shrank to an all-time low this year, obliterating old records.

    The ice cap at the North Pole measured 1.32 million square miles on Sunday. That’s 18 percent smaller than the previous record of 1.61 million square miles set in 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Records go back to 1979 based on satellite tracking.
    “On top of that, we’re smashing a record that smashed a record,” said data center scientist Walt Meier. Sea ice shrank in 2007 to levels 22 percent below the previous record of 2005.

    Ice in the Arctic melts in summer and grows in winter, and it started growing again on Monday. In the 1980s, Meier said, summer sea ice would cover an area slightly smaller than the Lower 48 states. Now it is about half that.

    Man-made global warming has melted more sea ice and made it thinner over the last couple decades with it getting much more extreme this year, surprisingly so, said snow and ice data center director Mark Serreze.

    “Recently the loss of summer ice has accelerated and the six lowest September ice extents have all been in the past six years,” Serreze said. “I think that’s quite remarkable.”

    Serreze said except for one strong storm that contributed to the ice loss, this summer melt was more from the steady effects of day-to-day global warming. But he and others say the polar regions are where the globe first sees the signs of climate change. . .

    http://news.yahoo.com/arctic-ice-shrinks-time-low-half-1980-size-175242723.html

    “The polar regions”—but nothing about Antarctica in this story.

    /Mr Lynn

  83. BA says:
    September 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm
    ………………
    Am I wrong, or are you faking it? Show me where “the climate models” or James Hansen predicted there would be “a death spiral already in Antarctica,” especially in winter.

    Then what do you think of the following quotes from Dr. James Hansen?

    Dr. James Hansen
    Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
    Posted: July 9, 2009 10:33 AM
    G-8 Failure Reflects U.S. Failure on Climate Change
    “If we burn even half of Earth’s remaining fossil fuels we will destroy the planet as humanity knows it. The added emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide will set our Earth irreversibly onto a course toward an ice-free state, a course that will initiate a chain reaction of irreversible and catastrophic climate changes. ”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/g-8-failure-reflects-us-f_b_228597.html

    and this

    …….“If we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the run-away greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus Syndrome is a dead certainty.”

    http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/opinion/letters/120387379.html

    Ice free central Arctic ocean during the Holocene and beyond.

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

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

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14355-missing-fossils-could-warn-of-extreme-climate-to-come.html

  84. BA,
    read this from the Warmists at Skeptical Science.

    Over the Earth’s history, there are times where atmospheric CO2 is higher than current levels. Intriguingly, the planet experienced widespread regions of glaciation during some of those periods. Does this contradict the warming effect of CO2? No, for one simple reason. CO2 is not the only driver of climate…………………….Atmospheric CO2 levels have reached spectacular values in the deep past, possibly topping over 5000 ppm.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=77

    This is heresy!!!! But consistent with climate models. ;-)

  85. jorgekafkazar says:
    BA says: “Sure, eventually it does. But that’s not what I said that David declared “Wrong.” What I said was to ask who had predicted a death spiral in Antarctica already. ”

    Slip and slide, duck and dodge, waffle and flip. Hansen’s statement is identical to predicting a death spiral for the Antarctic and no amount of weasel words will save you.

    So jorge you can write angry, but can you read in that condition? Show me where I slip and slide, waffle and flip. Where did I say one thing and then change it? I kept quoting myself to avoid that.

    My weasel words, where did you read those? When Jimbo linked a graph of this winter’s antarctic ice growth, I asked whether anyone had predicted a death spiral in the antarctic already, especially in winter. In your not-weasel words, does “already” mean the same thing as “in a century”? Does “winter” mean “summer”?

  86. @jorgekafkazar, David M Hoffer

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JD015804.shtml

    Figure 2

    The albedo of open sea water is always below all other lines. The albedo of clouds over open water is lower than the albedo of clouds over ice (clean or dirty).

    The appeal to our own experience is unfortunately non-scientific. The blinding nature of a reflection of the sun off of water vs. ice is subjective. There are confounding circumstances, such as the rest of our filed of vision being filled with light from other reflecting snow/ice vs the surface of the water being darker than the sun’s reflection. Do we remember events six months apart accurately, and how do we compare my recollections and yours? These are the kind of reasons that appeals to experience and common sense cannot be set against scientific research.

    David, I think clouds can form even over cold surfaces, and there is a small difference in the freezing temperature of seawater and pure water. The plain fact is that if you look at any of the sea ice graphs they don’t return to near average conditions until November, so for several months there is about 2 million sq km of open water that can put water vapor into the atmosphere where before there was none. There might be a direct effect on the following winter’s weather (Warm Arctic, Cold Continents) but for now I think we are just getting thinner and thinner ice, which melts more quickly in the next summer.

  87. I can state the fact that the IPCC Working Group1 (WG1 i.e. the ‘science’ WG) clearly and unreservedly reported that the climate models show the same enhanced warming for the two polar regions

    Always pays to cite.

    IPCC says that warming is enhanced at high latitudes, but also that the Arctic will warm twice as much (fast?) as the Antarcitc over the 21st century.

    “At the end of the 21st century, the projected annual warming in the Arctic is 5°C….” [11.8.1]

    “…the annual warming over the Antarctic continent is moderate but significant. It is estimated to be 2.6°C…” [11.8.2]

    Regarding sea ice projections:

    AR4 Chapter 10, Executive Summary

    “There is a projected reduction of sea ice in the 21st century in both the Arctic and Antarctic with a rather large range of model responses. The projected reduction is accelerated in the Arctic…

    10.3.2.4

    In 20th- and 21st-century simulations, antarctic sea ice cover is projected to decrease more slowly than in the Arctic

    The AR4 also states that uncertainty is greater with respect to the Anrarctic, for various reasons outlaid therein.

  88. James Abbot: The mean surface temperature (Land-Ocean) has indeed risen by about 0.8C over the last century and…

    While this is the popular consensus on both sides of the fence, the statement is scientifically indefensible. There is way too much noise in the various temperature measuring technologies employed over the last 100 years, and way too much fiddling with what data there is to resolve to less than a degree, and even a degree change is suspect. At best, its an anecdotal observation that has yet to be resolved and won’t be resolved in anyone’s lifetime here. We can’t teleport technology back in time, and we haven’t establish trend monitors with any kind of usable, applicable universality on a global scale. And we’re trying to draw short term conclusions on phenomena that have cycles that occur in 10**x periods. Gigo.

    CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    September 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    On 9/19/2012 8:34 AM, Anthony wrote: I think we’ve reached the turning point for Arctic Sea ice today, do you concur? Anthony, who responded with: Yep: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Hmmm….I immediately wondered if another cyclonic storm or other wind event could drive it lower, and I see this on the NSIDC page:
    “Please note that this is a preliminary announcement. Changing winds could still push ice floes together, reducing ice extent further.”

    Hang on… Extent is extent. Are we talking about the actual extent of ice cover, or are we talking about the extent of ice cover over a narrowly defined geographic area? Ice extent measure has no resolution below presnece or absence? Huh?

  89. Roger Sowell says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:45 am
    @ D J Hawkins at 10:23 am

    Exactly. Heat lost to space from open Arctic water is vastly under-rated by the Warmists.

    Ice is primarily an insulator.

    So, if we have a big radiator up north, the next big question would be – what is the temperature of the water that leaves the polar regions and what is it trend line.

    If we tracked this wouldn’t this be a rough approximation of the total energy being returned to the tropics and have some effect on the over mass energy balance?

  90. @davidmhoffer
    >>Water has a very high emissivity so it is going to freeze very rapidly but once there is nice white ice on top, that consideration is largely gone.

    >Fresh water yes, salt water no. Salt water bodies have to cool to the freezing point from top to bottom before ice can form. So, once you’re talking about open water, that’s a lot of heat the ocean has to give up to start forming ice again.

    I understand your point howeverI am pretty sure water freezes on top long before it is colder underneath. Don’t be surprised if the re-freeze rate exceeds other years. The formation of freshwater ice on the surface takes place immediately enough heating ceases, from above or below. The cooling by radiation and evaporation is continuous, all year. The air picks up moisture if it is not particularly cold, or is chilled by the air from convection (a bit), or if by radiation into the dark, almost moisture-free sky. Obviously CO2 has virtually nothing to do with it in terms of ‘slowing down the cooling’ as the effect is miniscule.

    The freezing water expells 100% 0f its CO2 as you noted later. I am happy to see someone other than me picking up on this sorta major and ignored phenomenon. As the sea freezes, the CO2 is expelled over a vast area. You can calculate the mass of CO2 involved by using 320 ppm (mass) and the mass of ice. If the ice volume increases very rapidly this year, the CO2 level should go up faster than normal. Let’s see. Warmists will blame this on anthropogenic emissions, rationalists will observe it arises from the sea, not because they are warming, but because they are freezing! Kinda puts a new perspective on it, doesn’t it!

    Something worth looking at in light of the big storm and added melting this year is the cooling effect of broken-up ice. The ice melts not by absorbing lots of solar energy but by floating in warm water. It is warmer below than on top as ice is a pretty good insulator and captures radiant heat from below (water radiates omnidirectionally all the time, or course). If the ocean did not warm to a higher temperature this summer than before, what does that tell us? If the water was cooler in toto that shows the cooling effect of the rapid melt of the ice. It means it will refreeze even faster than usual. As I posted before, watch the refreeze rate, take the first derivative and learn.

    Re the general circulation models that predicted polar warming as a major and preliminary sign of AGW: This has been falsified. The models predicted that both poles would warm. They are supposed to warm equally. There is no warming in Antarctica. The warming in the Arctic has been happening for more than 150 years and is nothing new. The ‘predicted’ polar warming is not happening according the the predicted method, that is, that CO2 would warm the atmosphere and this would lead to warmer air temperatures which would melt the ice at both poles. As this is not taking place, the models must be wrong in a major way.

    Frankly I see no reason why the poles should warm first if the CO2 idea is correct – the mid-troposphere should warm first and that is not happening either – perhaps that is what is wrong in the models. Who knows. They have never predicted anything correctly yet. Currently the globe is cooling and they didn’t get that right.

    In review, we have no net heat increase in the Arctic Ocean, we have no increase in the sea surface temperature, we have an increase in ice thickness over the entire interior of Greenland and colder conditions with increasing ice over nearly all of Antarctica. The CO2 goes up when the ice expells it, seasonally. That is not what the models said would happen. Far from it. Polar Amplification is BS thought up after the fact. The ‘fact’ that is was thought up after, is the absence of any equatorial mid-tropospheric hot spot, the first and primary claim of a greenhouse effect. Refer to Al Gore’s movie for the claim. No model foresaw the low ice level this year because they have no year-to-year predictive abililty. Next year, if there is a new record ice extent on the high side, they will say it was predicted by the GCM’s. It will be more BS thought up after the facts are in. Same old, same old.

  91. Caleb says:
    September 20, 2012 at 3:30 am
    First, let me be humble and state I did not expect the ice-melt to be so large, and my own forecast was incorrect. There. See? I’m still alive, although I admitted a mistake.

    Second, I am afraid I am distrustful of the Cryosphere Today map, and any graph that depends on it. Please look at the area around Wrangal Island on this Russian map, which contains ice in waters Cryosphere Today states as “open.”

    http://www.aari.ru/odata/_d0015.php?lang=1

    Note that the ice shown on the Russian map is above a concentration of 10% whereas CT has a limit of 15%. Also the amount around Wrangel which the various satellite agencies have shown through this season only consists of a few pixels, Modis images that clearly show Wrangel don’t show pack ice.
    E.g. http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=crefl1_143.A2012260232500-2012260233000.2km.jpg

    And higher resolution JAXA images showing some persistent ice:

    There have been news items involving oil-drilling being suspended Northwest of Alaska due to an eleven by fifteen mile area of drifting pack ice, (165 square miles…how many Manhattans?) and stating some of that ice was 80 feet thick. Ice piled up by the storm?

    A couple of pixels in a region where the Healey was showing open water, most likely a remnant of the multiyear ice that has been swept into the Chukchi from north of the Canadian Archipelago over the last couple of years (most of which has melted away).
    Here’s a shot from the Healey at about 80ºN 150ºW:

    There is pack ice further north.

    Lastly, regarding that area being ice-free in the past: Wrangal Island was discovered by whaling ships. Also, it was named, according to Wikipedia, as follows:

    In August 1867, Thomas Long, an American whaling captain, “approached it as near as fifteen miles. I have named this northern land Wrangell [sic] Land … as an appropriate tribute to the memory of a man who spent three consecutive years north of latitude 68°, and demonstrated the problem of this open polar sea forty-five years ago, although others of much later date have endeavored to claim the merit of this discovery.”

    Did you ever wonder why he only approached as near as 15 miles?
    In September 1879 another ship tried to land on Wrangel but was trapped in pack ice near Wrangel Island at 71°35′N 175°6′E. For the next 21 months they drifted NW and the ship was crushed in the ice at 77°15′N 154°59′E. That’s open water now. The ship was abandoned and the crew marched to Siberia. Search parties eventually landed on Wrangel in 1881.
    Russian icebreakers landed there in 1911. Another Canadian expedition was crushed in the ice there in 1914, help was summoned by walking across to Siberia. The party sent to claim the island for Canada in 1921 was stranded there for two years and the final survivor was rescued. A Russian party that was left there in 1926 had to be rescued by icebreaker in 1929 which was able to force its way through the thick pack ice at a few hundred meters a day for about 3 weeks. (in August)
    Nowadays it’s visited by cruise ships with tourists, things have changed there!

    This open polar sea??? In 1867??? Hmmm.
    Relatively speaking!

  92. RE: “Hang on… Extent is extent. Are we talking about the actual extent of ice cover, or are we talking about the extent of ice cover over a narrowly defined geographic area? Ice extent measure has no resolution below presnece or absence? Huh?”

    “Extent” can be compressed, in that it includes a certain amount of open water. For example, 15% extent is 85% open water. Therefore a strong gale could shove it all to one side, whereupon the 15%-or-more measure would be considerably less, even as the 30%-or-more measure might increase.

    “Area” is a measure of the actual white pixels, and tries to be more accurate, but fails in other ways, I think largely because cloud cover messes up the counting.

    One problem after that summer storm was a lot of the “open water” had ice floating about in it, but it was decided (by someone somehow) that it amounted to less than 15%.

  93. barry says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/19/sea-ice-news-volume-3-number-13-2012-arctc-sea-ice-minimum-reached-its-all-gain-from-here/#comment-1083696

    Henry says
    I have two (weather) stations reporting in Anchorage that (air) temps fell by as much as 1.5 degree C since 2000. Anchorage, is that not in the arctic? so how do you figure that?>

    As far as I could establish, because it is very difficult to get any “official” data from there,
    the (air in the) antarctic has also been cooling since 2000.

    Overall, my own data set shows it is cooling globally, about 0.2 degrees C since 2000.
    Hadcrut3 says it is 0.1 since 2000.
    But it will take some time for the arctic ice to come back….energy-in is not the same as energy-out.

    I figure from this newspaper report in November 1922

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/

    that the arctic ice was more or less as low tin 1922 as it is now
    so it took from 1922 to 1945 to freeze back.
    Give it another 2 decades from now, and I promise you the (arctic) ice will all be back again.
    You can add as much CO2 as you like. It won’t help.

    It is all natural. The cycles of warming and cooling. It is coming and going every 44 years, to make one full cycle every 88 years.

  94. “Extent” can be compressed, in that it includes a certain amount of open water. For example, 15% extent is 85% open water. Therefore a strong gale could shove it all to one side, whereupon the 15%-or-more measure would be considerably less, even as the 30%-or-more measure might increase.

    Um, no..o..o… Extent cannot be compressed. It may be physical located in a certain area of the base area under consideration, but if its 15%, its 15%, whether its all in a corner, all in the center or all equally distributed over the entire area. Its the total integrated area that is the “!00%” to which the ice cover is compared. You only get to compress it if you change (downward) the size of the reference area. This new math of climate science is downright confusing.

  95. RE: “Phil. says:
    September 20, 2012 at 9:53 am”

    Thanks for the information. The point about the Russian map including 10% extent was a good one. However 10% is not “ice-free,” which is what the media blares about. And what do you suppose a 5% extent map might show?

    And how big is a pixel? Sounds the size of a mouse, but it it’s a bit larger, is it not? Wouldn’t want to run into one eighty feet thick, at any rate.

    Thanks for that satellite picture. Wrangle Island is towards the top left? Under all those clouds? I think I see some ice in that sea to it’s west, though it’s hard to tell, and there seems to be a pretty huge chunk to the north, to the east-southeast of that storm center. I see no hint of that huge chunk on the cryosphere map. That is why I like looking for myself.

    I hope they forgive me for being distrustful. They may have some sort of mechanical way of sensing ice, in an attempt to remove human subjectivity, and perhaps it misses some details. I don’t know.

    By the way, to counter your history lessons, (which I appreciate, as I love history,) some more Wiki stuff about Wrangal Island: “The first recorded landing on the island was in 1866 by a German whaler, Eduard Dallmann.” That is not a steel windjammer, but a wooden whaler. Those guys had to be darn greedy for the oil profits (from whale oil) to risk going up there! The feeling I get is some were lucky, and found things relatively ice-free, while others were not so lucky, and got crushed. Also they had to high-tail it out of there around this time of year, or they’d be frozen in, and that often got the ship crushed as well.

    Me? I prefer firewood. But I need oil and gas for my chainsaw.

  96. Fingers not in sync(sink(sic)) with the mind:Its the total integrated area that is the “100%” to which the ice cover is compared….

  97. “This new math of climate science is downright confusing.”

    That’s because a fair amount doesn’t add up.

    However, if you look at the SeaIce Page you can see the Cryosphere Today map has various pretty colors. The purple is up near 90-100% “extent.” As the ice cracks apart and becomes bergs drifting about, with areas of sea water between the bergs, the pretty colors shift to alarming red, which shows 60% “extent,” and finally turn a morbid, sickly green, which shows 30% “extent.”

    A wind could shove all the 30% and 60% ice together, making it cover less area but be 90-100% ice, “extent-wise.” Get it? Is there some other word they should be using?

    What I’m watching to see is if the red ice abruptly turns purple, which might indicate meltwater pools freezing over, after they were accidentally called “sea-between-bergs.”

    Actually I shouldn’t be sitting in here by the computer at all. However once in a while I need a good long break.

  98. Forecasts for daily minimum were as follows;

    Folkerts…………………………….. 3.8

    No, my forecast is for the month of September, not the lowest daily extent. I don’t know, but I expect some (all?) of the others were also for the month. So I still have some reasonable chance of being pretty close. It all depends on how quickly the ice starts refreezing.

  99. Jimbo says,

    BA,
    read this from the Warmists at Skeptical Science.
    Over the Earth’s history, there are times where atmospheric CO2 is higher than current levels. Intriguingly, the planet experienced widespread regions of glaciation during some of those periods. Does this contradict the warming effect of CO2? No, for one simple reason. CO2 is not the only driver of climate…………………….Atmospheric CO2 levels have reached spectacular values in the deep past, possibly topping over 5000 ppm.
    This is heresy!!!! But consistent with climate models. ;-)

    I did go over and read the skeptical science piece. I can’t judge the science but see nothing heretical about it (where did you get that?). Of course “CO2 is not the only driver of climate.” I would be quite skeptical if any scientists had said that CO2 *is* the only driver of climate, looking back 440 million years when the solar output was 4% lower. Can you quote scientists who actually said it was?

    For my part, I hadn’t even mentioned CO2.

  100. Great to see the Arctic sea ice starting to recover again. By the time solar cycle 25 works its magic, the worry will be over it getting too expansive and affecting commerce and transportation, and not over its disappearance.

  101. It looks to me that the current sea ice extent is roughly 6 standard deviations from the mean. Some people would call that a black swan event. You can’t blame all of it on one storm. This is a radical state change with amplification from a positive feedback mechanism. There could be some seriously weird weather over the next Northern winter.

  102. And for all of you jonesing for more top-of-atmosphere albedo, sea ice albedo feedback goodness, a not behind the paywall article is available at

    http://www.npolar.no/npcms/export/sites/np/en/people/stephen.hudson/Hudson11_AlbedoFeedback.pdf

    Said article features the Kato and Loeb figure I mentioned in a previous comment. It also has this interesting scenario:

    A more realistic scenario [e.g., Bo´e et al., 2009], with an Arctic that is free of sea ice for one month in late summer, can be used to estimate the radiative forcing the SIAF in the Arctic may cause during coming decades. This scenario was constructed for this work, based on the observed 2007 ice concentration, shifted to make the period from 15 Aug to 15 Sep ice-free. In this scenario, the mid-month ice concentration fields from Oct to Mar are set to the monthly mean fields from Sep to Feb 2007, and the mid-month fields from Apr to Jul are set to the monthly mean fields from May to Aug 2007; the mid-month ice concentration was set to zero everywhere in Aug and Sep, with the usual linear interpolation between the 15 Jul and 15 Aug fields (the melt-off over the whole region that still had ice in Aug 2007) and between the 15 Sep and 15 Oct fields (the
    formation of new ice over the whole region that had ice in Sep 2007). This ice concentration field is also shown in the animation with the supplementary material. It is a hypothetical progression of the distribution of sea ice in a somewhat warmer climate, not an attempt to predict it exactly at any given point in the future, or for any given amount of warming.
    Using this ice-free-summer scenario, the estimated radiative forcing caused by the albedo reduction due to the lost ice is 0.29 W m−2. This provides a more realistic idea of the potential impact of the SIAF caused by changes to Arctic sea ice that are predicted to occur this century by many GCMs.

  103. Hmmmn.

    .29 watts/m^2.

    Net Radiative Forcing.
    But what is the net” evaporative (heat loss) for the newly-exposed seawater previously covered by the sea ice that is assumed to be melted during this period? 117 watts/m^2 (increased heat loss) is much larger than .29 watts gain.

    Therefore, greater ice loss – But ONLY at the time near minimum sea ice extents in mid-September at the equinox – mean colder Arctic air temperatures, right?

    By the way, at 4.0 million km2 sea ice extent, essentially all the sea ice can be compared to a single mass centered in the Arctic Ocean between 80 north latitude and the pole. Actual minimum sea ice extents very closely resemble this approximation, with only minor areas still frozen off of Greenland’s east coast, and few km square down by Ellesmere Island at latitude 78 north.

    There is no positive “Arctic sea ice amplification” possible, despite the CAGW claims of disaster if the Arctic sea ice melts: at 10 degrees maximum sun elevation at noon at the equinox (the time of the sea ice minimum!), and with all other times of day seeing the sun angle much less than 10 degrees (if not already below the horizon) what little solar energy gets through the atmosphere is reflected from the water on a clear day. On a cloudy (stormy) day, the inbound solar energy “could” be absorbed by the open water – since the clouds force a widely distributed scattered solar energy direction and therefore a much lower water albedo – but if it is cloudy, then the solar energy is cut by 35% to 50% by those same clouds. There still is no solar energy absorbed by the newly open water surfaces.

    Further, the “air mass” at the equator = 1.0 By definition.
    Beyond 80 north latitude, the air mass varies with time of day and latitude and day-of-year, but is between 6.0 and 11.0 Each increase in air mass (beyond 1.0) decreases incoming solar radiation (the amount of solar energy actually capable of “touching” the water (or ice) at sea level) exponentially. To illustrate this effect even at our lower latitudes, use a welding helment to look at the sun at noon. Then, later that evening, right before sunset, look again at the sun setting ….. with your naked eye.

    That difference in intensity is even greater up where the sea ice remains – at time of minimum sea ice extent.

  104. BA says:
    September 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    ……………………………
    I did go over and read the skeptical science piece. I can’t judge the science but see nothing heretical about it (where did you get that?). Of course “CO2 is not the only driver of climate.” I would be quite skeptical if any scientists had said that CO2 *is* the only driver of climate, looking back 440 million years when the solar output was 4% lower. Can you quote scientists who actually said it was?

    Do you like stating the obvious? Now let’s move one step up again. Would you be skeptical of scientists who say that Co2 is now the main driver of climate?

    Theory, models and direct measurement confirm CO2 is currently the main driver of climate change.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/CO2-is-not-the-only-driver-of-climate.htm

    November 2011, Co2 390 ppm.

    Over the Earth’s history, there are times where atmospheric CO2 is higher than current levels. Intriguingly, the planet experienced widespread regions of glaciation during some of those periods. Does this contradict the warming effect of CO2? No, for one simple reason. CO2 is not the only driver of climate…………………….Atmospheric CO2 levels have reached spectacular values in the deep past, possibly topping over 5000 ppm.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=77

    Yet you see no problem that at lower ppm co2 IS the main driver of climate yet at 5,0000ppm its not the main driver of climate?????? CAN YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?????

  105. Jimbo says:
    BA says:
    September 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    ……………………………
    I did go over and read the skeptical science piece. I can’t judge the science but see nothing heretical about it (where did you get that?). Of course “CO2 is not the only driver of climate.” I would be quite skeptical if any scientists had said that CO2 *is* the only driver of climate, looking back 440 million years when the solar output was 4% lower. Can you quote scientists who actually said it was?

    Do you like stating the obvious? Now let’s move one step up again. Would you be skeptical of scientists who say that Co2 is now the main driver of climate?

    Sometimes I state the obvious because people miss it, like you just did. I asked where you got “heretical” … no answer. I asked if you could quote scientists who actually said that CO2 is the only driver of climate, looking back 440 million years … no answer. Earlier on this thread I asked which scientist had predicted a death spiral in antarctic winter ice already, and caught a bunch of flak for asking that question … but no answer.

    Yet you see no problem that at lower ppm co2 IS the main driver of climate yet at 5,0000ppm its not the main driver of climate?????? CAN YOU SEE THE PROBLEM?????

    What I didn’t say, despite your emotional SCREAMING IN ALL CAPS, is anything about
    “the main driver of climate.” Although I see no problem, and apparently the real scientists don’t either, in thinking that when you find temperatures different, you look for what else is different to explain that. If the sun’s output was 4% lower over tens of millions of years, then since that’s the source of just about all our heat it seems reasonable to figure it might explain why things were cold regardless of what CO2 was doing at the time. Maybe without all that CO2 it would have been much colder; I haven’t done the math — have you? On the other hand if you look at a short time period when the sun’s output has not varied so much, then something non-solar, perhaps CO2, should explain the difference.

  106. Caleb says:
    September 20, 2012 at 10:51 am
    RE: “Phil. says:
    September 20, 2012 at 9:53 am”

    Thanks for the information. The point about the Russian map including 10% extent was a good one. However 10% is not “ice-free,” which is what the media blares about. And what do you suppose a 5% extent map might show?

    No 15% is typically what’s used, basically originated with shipborne observations, more than that not easily navigable.

    And how big is a pixel? Sounds the size of a mouse, but it it’s a bit larger, is it not? Wouldn’t want to run into one eighty feet thick, at any rate.

    On those plots from the satellite used about 12.5×12.5 km.

    Thanks for that satellite picture. Wrangle Island is towards the top left? Under all those clouds? I think I see some ice in that sea to it’s west, though it’s hard to tell, and there seems to be a pretty huge chunk to the north, to the east-southeast of that storm center. I see no hint of that huge chunk on the cryosphere map. That is why I like looking for myself.

    Wrangel is the island at the top left other than that all I see is clouds which is consistent with the microwave image.

    I hope they forgive me for being distrustful. They may have some sort of mechanical way of sensing ice, in an attempt to remove human subjectivity, and perhaps it misses some details. I don’t know.

    The microwave imaging systems distinguish ice and water from the polarisation difference of the brightness temperature, it is an automated system.

    By the way, to counter your history lessons, (which I appreciate, as I love history,) some more Wiki stuff about Wrangal Island: “The first recorded landing on the island was in 1866 by a German whaler, Eduard Dallmann.” That is not a steel windjammer, but a wooden whaler.Those guys had to be darn greedy for the oil profits (from whale oil) to risk going up there! The feeling I get is some were lucky, and found things relatively ice-free, while others were not so lucky, and got crushed. Also they had to high-tail it out of there around this time of year, or they’d be frozen in, and that often got the ship crushed as well.

    The reason they had to go close to the ice edge is because that’s where the Bowhead whales were (aka Greenland Right Whales). They’d typically overwinter at Herschel Island off the Yukon Territory in Canada, Amundsen joined them there after he cleared the NW Passage and had to overwinter there (forced to stop there by ice on Sept 2nd as did 12 whaling ships). He was able to leave there by the middle of August the following year).

  107. ” David L. Hagen says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    COntrast: Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – NSIDC Is Silent
    Posted on September 16, 2012

    Day 258 ice area in Antarctica is the highest ever for the date, and the fifth highest daily value on record.

    Antarctic ice area is more than one million km^2 larger than the highest value ever recorded in the Arctic. By definition, excess ice has more impact on the climate than missing ice, because it occurs at lower latitudes where the sun is less oblique. There is no sun at the North Pole now, but lots of sun shining on the excess Antarctic ice at 70S.”

    First I should point our that the average altitude/elevation of the Sun at 70N latitude is approximately the same as at 70S latitude for this time of year, around 20 degrees at noon. Secondly, the reflectance of open water at low solar altitudes even at say 10 degrees is very low even for direct radiation even for calm water (see for example http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469%281954%29011%3C0283%3AAOWRW%3E2.0.CO%3B2). In the case of diffuse radiation, which dominates on non clear days, the reflectance as a function of solar elevation is nearly constant. Thirdly, the area of open water in the Arctic now is approximately 4 million square kilometers below the 1979 to 2000 average. This is 4 times the 1 million square kilometers referred to above. Fourthly, the fact remains that sea ice extent around Antarctica goes to 0 during the summer months and has done so for a very long time (as opposed to the sea ice in the Arctic during the Summer/Fall). So the increase in ice extent at this time of the year has little impact on the Earth’s heat balance compared to the excess heat that is absorbed in the Summer/Fall in the Arctic with its record low ice extent (which has happened in just a few decades).

    I would like to see the moderator of this site provide some editorial “balance” on the site concerning the “demise” of the Arctic sea ice, which is clearly going to have a major impact on the heat balance on this planet.

  108. Box of Rocks says.

    “Heat lost to space from open Arctic water is vastly under-rated by the Warmists.”

    You have checked the literature and can confirm this assertion? I remember when people were saying climate scientsts don’t consider the effect of the sun/water vapour/land albedo changes etc etc.

    Ice is primarily an insulator.

    Primarily? You don’t think the albedo changes might have a significant contribution?

    Open water is highly absorptive of insolation, ice is highly reflective. Heat loss from the ocean would be strongest in darkness (Arctic winter), and heat absorption strongest during the day (Arctic summer). The decline in sea ice cover is much greater during the summer months than the winter months. Therefore the loss of Arctic sea ice contributes more to warming than cooling. Furthermore, Arctic temperatures are increasing faster in winter than summer (according to all records, including the satellite record), so our naive expectation that the oceans will cool the Arctic in winter isn’t panning out.

    Conclusion: Heat lost to space from open Arctic water is greatly overrated by some skeptics.

  109. Tim Folkerts says;

    No, my forecast is for the month of September, not the lowest daily extent. I don’t know, but I expect some (all?) of the others were also for the month.

    Good to know that, Tim. I think there was some confusion. ARCUS said:

    Asking for a ‘daily’ minimum is different than the September monthly value that we normally compare against, so we got a mix of interpretations.

    Yes, there’s still a fair chance you could be on on near the mark. I think my guess of 4.25 (from July) is going to be well off it. Good luck! :-)

  110. Arctic college class-room wall map showing late-summer sea ice extent for 1970 very similar to present except there was slightly more ice off east Siberian coast.

  111. W. Falicoff says:
    September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm (replying to)

    ” David L. Hagen says:
    September 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Contrast: Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – NSIDC Is Silent
    Posted on September 16, 2012

    Day 258 ice area in Antarctica is the highest ever for the date, and the fifth highest daily value on record.

    Antarctic ice area is more than one million km^2 larger than the highest value ever recorded in the Arctic. By definition, excess ice has more impact on the climate than missing ice, because it occurs at lower latitudes where the sun is less oblique. There is no sun at the North Pole now, but lots of sun shining on the excess Antarctic ice at 70S.”
    Falicoff’s comments follow)

    First I should point our that the average altitude/elevation of the Sun at 70N latitude is approximately the same as at 70S latitude for this time of year, around 20 degrees at noon.
    {“Real World Correction: The furthest SOUTHERN Arctic ice edge for today’s 3.4 million km^2 ice extent) corresponds to a latitude just past 81 degrees, with the remainder of the Arctic sea ice well-approximated as a “cap” between 81 north and the pole. The furthest NORTHERN border of the Antarctic ice is, as you admit, about 70 degrees south latitude. Thus, the actual Arctic sea ice is – right now, under real world conditions – at a weighted average latitude of approximately 85 degrees north. As you will see, this makes all of your attempted “corrections” using a comparison with Antarctic conditions at an assumed 70 degrees south latitude comparisons dead wrong.}

    Secondly, the reflectance of open water at low solar altitudes even at say 10 degrees is very low even for direct radiation even for calm water (see for example http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469%281954%29011%3C0283%3AAOWRW%3E2.0.CO%3B2).

    {“Real World Correction: Yes, but your gross approximations are not “quite” right. Water absorption increases greatly between 5 degrees incidence angle and 10 degrees, rising from an ice-like near zero at incident angles between 0 and 5 degrees. Between 11:00 am (local solar time) and 13:00 pm (local solar time), at the autumn equinox (today’s date of the summer Arctic sea minimum!), 90% of the sun’s direct energy is reflected from open water at latitude 88 north, approximately 80% is reflected at latitude 87 north, approximately 60% is reflected at latitude 85 north, and right at 50% is reflected at latitude 83 north. Since the sun’s elevation is even lower at ALL other times of the day, and since the sun is below the horizon for the remaining 12 hours of night at every latitude on earth at the equinoxes, there is very, very little solar energy that can be absorbed into the Arctic sea at the time of minimum sea ice extent. Of course, right now in today’s world, all of this area is covered by ice, and so essentially no solar energy is absorbed at all in today’s conditions. What no so-called “sea ice” expert is willing to calculate is just how little ADDITIONAL solar energy could be absorbed in the Arctic if the sea ice were to suddenly melt. That calculation doesn’t fit the CAGW agenda.)

    Further, since there is essentially NO Arctic sea ice south of 82 degrees north latitude right now, there is NO possibility of increased energy absorption of solar energy under today’s real world condition. All Arctic sea ice area between 80 north and the equator is already exposed to all of the solar radiation it can get even if ALL of the remaining Arctic sea ice between 82 north and the pole were to melt. In contrast, if this remaining ice did melt for some reason, the increased evaporation of the newly exposed Arctic water would greatly COOL the Arctic air. Granted, IF there were Arctic ice between 80 north latitude and, say, 60 north latitude, melting this sea ice “could” increase heat absorption because of increased water albedo at the higher solar incidence angles. To repeat – there is no such sea ice between 80 north and the equator. Therefore, under NO circumstances in today’s real world can the Arctic albedo increase due to sea ice melt rates . There can be NO positive Arctic feedback due to melting Arctic sea ice in today’s real world.

    Antarctica. Now, once the solar incidence angle rises past 10 degrees, there is a very, very large absorption of solar energy into all open water. Ice, and snow-covered ice at the same angle of incidence, reflects nearly all of the energy at nearly all of its incidence angles. Therefore, in the real world, nearly 95 % of the inbound solar energy is absorbed into open water at latitude 60 degrees south latitude at local solar noon, 83% is absorbed into open water at 70 degrees south latitude at the equinox (today’s date!) at noon, and – if there were water at 80 degrees south latitude, 65% would be absorbed. But there is no open water at these southern latitude. Only ice and snow-covered ground. And a few mountain tops. (Note that I excluded the Greenland mountains between 80 north and 83 north from a SEA ICE discussion. If northern Greenland were melting in vast areas, we would discuss that area change.

    Therefore, any CHANGE in the Antarctic ice “borders” between open water and sea ice between latitudes 70 south and latitude 60 south IS significant in determining the net world albedo!}

    In the case of diffuse radiation, which dominates on non clear days, the reflectance as a function of solar elevation is nearly constant.

    {“Real World Correction: In cloudy days, nearly 80 percent of the potential solar energy is reflected by the clouds, and therefore, there is still no effective absorption of solar energy at high latitudes past 82 north. (Or 82 south for that matter. However as noted above, the Antarctic continent IS covered by ice and snow all year to several thousands of meters thickness, and thus there is NO Antarctic “sea ice” between 80 south and the south pole that could change the Antarctic’s albedo under diffuse radiation or cloudy days or direct (clear) radiation conditions.}

    Thirdly, the area of open water in the Arctic now is approximately 4 million square kilometers below the 1979 to 2000 average. This is 4 times the 1 million square kilometers referred to above.

    {“Real World Correction: As noted above, this is false. You are comparing an area change at the north latitude where there is no change in net albedo between sea ice and open ocean, to an area change in the southern ocean where there IS a significant change in albedo between sea ice and open ocean. However, since the net sea ice is approxiamtely the same – NOT the differenec you claim – the effect is even more significant}.

    Fourthly, the fact remains that sea ice extent around Antarctica goes to 0 during the summer months and has done so for a very long time (as opposed to the sea ice in the Arctic during the Summer/Fall). So the increase in ice extent at this time of the year has little impact on the Earth’s heat balance compared to the excess heat that is absorbed in the Summer/Fall in the Arctic with its record low ice extent (which has happened in just a few decades).

    {“Real World Correction: We have just demonstrated your fourth claim is false.

    I would like to see the moderator of this site provide some editorial “balance” on the site concerning the “demise” of the Arctic sea ice, which is clearly going to have a major impact on the heat balance on this planet.

    [Reply: WUWT moderates with a light touch. Unless a comment violates site Policy, it is approved. Others can then correct facts and misconceptions as they see fit. Thus is the truth winnowed out. — mod.]

  112. BA says:
    September 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm……………..

    So now the Sun is the main driver of climate? Or is it co2 at 390ppm? Or is it something else?

    It’s now a simple choice so enough of the ducking and diving.

  113. W. Falicoff says:
    September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm
    “I would like to see the moderator of this site provide some editorial “balance” on the site concerning the “demise” of the Arctic sea ice, which is clearly going to have a major impact on the heat balance on this planet.”

    IOW, everybody who is bringing up other reasons for melt, evidence that this has happened before, and the other end of the planet should just shut up. I am looking at the evidence which supports my assertion and that’s all you should look at. The moderators at the echo chambers that I frequent delete comments like this so we get a balanced view.

    Just hammering free speech into the ground.

    I’m not even going to stoop to using your last name to direct you.

  114. This may be OT but it occurred to me that I’ve read a lot and heard a lot about “The Ice Age”. But all of it seems to deal with the Northern Hemisphere. What happened in the Southern Hemisphere? I know there’s less land and so perhaps less evidence but, can someone provide a link or two to some good and understandable info? Thanks in advance.

  115. [Reply: WUWT moderates with a light touch. Unless a comment violates site Policy, it is approved. Others can then correct facts and misconceptions as they see fit. Thus is the truth winnowed out. — mod.]
    ========================================================
    That probably is a big reason why it’s read so much.
    Give either side a fair chance to be shot down.

  116. RE: “Phil. says:
    September 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm ”

    Thanks again for your input. I really do appreciate your comments despite my obvious doubts.

    “The reason they had to go close to the ice edge is because that’s where the Bowhead whales were (aka Greenland Right Whales). They’d typically overwinter at Herschel Island off the Yukon Territory in Canada, Amundsen joined them there after he cleared the NW Passage and had to overwinter there (forced to stop there by ice on Sept 2nd as did 12 whaling ships). He was able to leave there by the middle of August the following year).”

    Interesting, I don’t think it was “typical” to allow the ice to trap you. Think of the cost to the ship-owner. Sept 2 was “early.”

    I’ve sailed myself, (Boston to Nassau, off shore,) and am in awe of those guys. Remember they had no engines, and Amundsen had a steel hull. Death was not uncommon, even without messing with arctic ice. Stand some day by the famous monument in Glouchester, MA, and read all those names, and those were just fishermen a few days from home.

    There has been more variation in Arctic Sea Ice than I think you are willing to admit. In my own life I saw some lasting sea-ice on the coast of Maine. In 1976-77 it lasted from December to March, and in late January I walked from the Harreseeket River in Freeport, Maine out past Pumpkin Knob and Crab Island all the way to Harpswell, and the following winter the ice formed so swiftly it was glassy, and I skated from South Freeport Harbor down to Yarmouth. Yet other winters there was no sea-ice at all.

    You didn’t notice the ” pretty huge chunk to the north, to the east-southeast of that storm center” that I refer to? Pretty square for a cloud, wouldn’t you say, and brighter white. However I’m only eyeballing.

    Thanks again for responding.

  117. Another way of being distrustful and “eyeballing” is to compare what you see through the “North Pole Camera” with what is stated via the ice “extent” maps. That camera has drifted down to Fram Strait, and was at the “edge” of the ice, south of 82 degrees and more than 3 degrees east, before disappointing my curiosity by getting blown back to more than 1 degree west. It showed growing meltwater pools during the summer, and a few leads have appeared at times, but for the most part it has remained 100% ice. A couple weeks ago the temperatures dropped below minus ten, and the pools all froze and were covered by drifting snow, before they reappeared during a recent thaw (with much fog.) Now the temperatures are dropping below freezing again, and the meltwater pools are again vanishing. You can see the numbers and location at:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/819920_atmos_recent.html

    Just “eyeballing,” it seemed to me that at times the microwave sensors were calling the ice the camera showed as 100% as being between 60% and 80% “extent,” mistaking meltwater pools as open water. I think it would be neat if someone (with more time on their hands than I have,) would go back through the records and double-check.

  118. @RACookPE1978 – You write,

    “Editorial Correction: Yes, but your gross approximations are not “quite” right.

    To the point of your insertion, no. The post author has linked to a paper that uses theoretical calculations to confirm and explain empirical results. Neither the calculations nor the experiments are “gross approximations.”

    When talking about the open sea in the Arctic, your reference to latitudes 82 and north is largely irrelevant, since the change from ice to open sea in the Arctic is mostly between 70 north and 80 north for the time under discussion. Further, you conflate diffuse as used by the original poster and cloudy conditions. The original point is that there are a wide variety of atmospheric conditions that cause light to come from all angles, even when the sun is itself low in the sky. If you wanted to refute this point, you’d be better off trying to say that 100% overcast conditions are vastly more likely than diffuse conditions at high latitudes – if you could find data that would support this claim.

    The choice to discuss sunshine at 70 north or south ultimately goes back to Steve Goddard. David Hagen is quoting him, and Falicoff is responding to Hagen. If you’d like to move the discussion to 85 N/S that is fine, but don’t dump on someone for the wrong reason. I personally think that if you had to choose an ‘average’ latitude in the Arctic, it would be 75 N, because that is where the alternatives of ice and open sea is most relevant. To me, this whole discussion shows how apples and oranges the Arctic and Antarctic are.

  119. Your “correction” is false.

    Arctic amplification (the supposed increase in the earth’s albedo due to melting of the Arctic Ocean, and its subsequent increase in solar absorption due to the exposed open ocean water) is ONLY possible if there is a change from current conditions.

    Right now, today’s world, actual conditions. There is essentially no Arctic sea ice (at minimum sea ice extents) between 82 north and the equator. (I will grant a few tens of km^2 off of the east coast of Greenland.) Since there is NO sea ice able to melt at 75 north, and since all of the Arctic Ocean at 75 north is already exposed to radiation (at time of minimum sea ice extents) where is the supposed amplification going to come from?

    Any potential change in sea ice (between now and any time in the future) MUST only come in the region between 82 north and the pole, and, that change can ONLY come at the time of minimum sea ice extent: near mid-September at the equinox. Those are the conditions I referenced, those are the ONLY conditions that can be used.

    I challenge you to find any Arctic sea ice between 80 north and 60 north on today’s map that can melt.

    Goddard’s assumptions are wrong. 70 north insolation assumptions are valid in theory if – and only if – there were sea ice at 70 north – but they are wrong in practice. Convenient for the CAGW theory, essential even for the CAGW theory. But dead wrong in today’s real world.

    Now, the regions between 65 south and 75 south ARE valid for the Antarctic sea ice.

    And, at THOSE latitudes, the change in albedo between open ocean and sea ice IS significant.

    And, the net increase of reflected energy due to increased Antarctic sea ice extents means that an increase in Antarctic sea by 1 km^2 DOES matter to the earth’s net albedo, while the net loss over many years of 3 million km^2 of Arctic sea ice at sea ice minimum is meaningless.

  120. @RACookePE1978 You write:

    But what is the net” evaporative (heat loss) for the newly-exposed seawater previously covered by the sea ice that is assumed to be melted during this period? 117 watts/m^2 (increased heat loss) is much larger than .29 watts gain.

    Where do you get the 117 W/m^2 number? One answer to your question is that it is my understanding that the .29 W/m^2 number is a global number, expressed that way to make it comparable to other global forcings. The actual forcing is not global, nor spread over a year. It is all heat dumped into the 14 km^2 Arctic Ocean in one month.

    So one entirely ice free late summer month in the Arctic has about the same forcing as the current anthropogenic forcing. I wonder how much it would cost to launch some satellites that would shade the Arctic during the summer? I’m guessing cheaper than a lot of other geo-engineering ideas and much more controllable.

  121. dvunkannon says:
    September 21, 2012 at 7:24 am (responding to) @RACookPE1978 –

    You write,

    “Editorial Correction: Yes, but your gross approximations are not “quite” right.

    To the point of your insertion, no. The post author has linked to a paper that uses theoretical calculations to confirm and explain empirical results. Neither the calculations nor the experiments are “gross approximations.”

    False. The paper you reference stops his analysis at 10 degrees solar incidence angle (He has no data for values from rough water – or smooth water for that matter – between 0 degrees and 10 degrees – which IS the only region of interest since all of the remaining sea ice is between 82 north and 90 north.

    now, for higher solar incident angle (lower latitudes between 50 south and 80 south for example) his rough water/smooth water data is interesting and IS valid. But it doesn’t change the effect nor the result for the Arctic. Extrapolating his measured results for 10 degrees incident angle to lower values may, or may not, be valid. Even at 10 degrees angle, rough water reflects 25% of the available solar energy, compared to a ‘smooth” (perfectly flat) reflectivity of 35% of the available solar energy. And, while that does increase absorbed energy slightly, more energy is still lost by evaporation from the newly exposed open water than is absorbed by the exposed water. Further, even this potential increase (from the 35% reflected amount to an assumed 25% reflected amount) is valid only for 2 hours a day: from 11:00 am local time to 13:00 pm local time. The remaining 22 hours per day, the sun is even lower. The interfering air mass is even higher.

  122. @RACookPE1978
    “I challenge you to find any Arctic sea ice between 80 north and 60 north on today’s map that can melt.”

    LOL! Since it has already melted, the amplification is happening now, not in the future. That missing 4 million km^2? It was south of 80. What happened to it? It melted.

  123. Caleb says:
    September 21, 2012 at 1:24 am
    RE: “Phil. says:
    September 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm ”

    Thanks again for your input. I really do appreciate your comments despite my obvious doubts.

    “The reason they had to go close to the ice edge is because that’s where the Bowhead whales were (aka Greenland Right Whales). They’d typically overwinter at Herschel Island off the Yukon Territory in Canada, Amundsen joined them there after he cleared the NW Passage and had to overwinter there (forced to stop there by ice on Sept 2nd as did 12 whaling ships). He was able to leave there by the middle of August the following year).”

    Interesting, I don’t think it was “typical” to allow the ice to trap you. Think of the cost to the ship-owner. Sept 2 was “early.”

    Economics was exactly why they did stay over winter at Herschel, otherwise the whaling season was too short. For the short period while the Bowhead whales lasted the little harbor on Herschel supported a fairly large population.

  124. Look all you guys. I have this all figured out. You don’t have to worry about a thing. Just keep your pants on.
    My data set shows we are on a cycle, on an a-c wave, with wavelength 88 years consisting of 44 years warming and 44 years cooling. According to my calculations, within this cycle we are now already 17 years on the cooling part. Remember: this is energy-in which is not the same as energy out. There is (quite) some lag between these two. If you count 88 years back from today we are now at the same point as 1924. There is a plus or minus 2 years that I will allow for errors. That means we could be at about the same point as reported in this newspaper from November 1922:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/19/sea-ice-news-volume-3-number-13-2012-arctc-sea-ice-minimum-reached-its-all-gain-from-here/#comment-1082586

    please read the actual newspaper report. Does it sound familiar?
    Now please. Have patience. It will take at least 2 decades for all the ice to come back, as it did, from 1922-1945. For those of you who cannot stand the cold (like me): buy some extra warm cloths. Winter in 2013 and 2014 in the NH is going to be bad. Very bad. This is because the acceleration of cooling is still very high.

  125. Thanks Phil. I’m going to read up on Herschel, when I have time. Doesn’t explain the boats by Wrangal, but I’ve doubted enough for one thread, and will now politely shut my yap.

  126. Caleb says:
    September 21, 2012 at 2:07 am
    Another way of being distrustful and “eyeballing” is to compare what you see through the “North Pole Camera” with what is stated via the ice “extent” maps. That camera has drifted down to Fram Strait, and was at the “edge” of the ice, south of 82 degrees and more than 3 degrees east, before disappointing my curiosity by getting blown back to more than 1 degree west. It showed growing meltwater pools during the summer, and a few leads have appeared at times, but for the most part it has remained 100% ice. A couple weeks ago the temperatures dropped below minus ten, and the pools all froze and were covered by drifting snow, before they reappeared during a recent thaw (with much fog.) Now the temperatures are dropping below freezing again, and the meltwater pools are again vanishing. You can see the numbers and location at:

    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/819920_atmos_recent.html

    Just “eyeballing,” it seemed to me that at times the microwave sensors were calling the ice the camera showed as 100% as being between 60% and 80% “extent,” mistaking meltwater pools as open water. I think it would be neat if someone (with more time on their hands than I have,) would go back through the records and double-check.

    Although eyewitness testimony would suggest the opposite (Julienne posts here occassionally).

    http://iceedge2012.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/more-swells-and-an-itinerant-ice-floe/

  127. Think my post on the latest MASIE extent might have gone to the spam filter – dunno why.

    Anyway, it seems “all gain from here” might have ben premature. The latest figure is the lowest yet. Here are the last 18 days, 17 of them below 4 million square kms.

    4027497.41
    3935061.38
    3863517.58
    3773682.77
    3686199.43
    3596055.18
    3697579.39
    3604995.96
    3548738.23
    3456695.22
    3487628.4
    3529012.32
    3452809.48
    3398785.21
    3520791.45
    3544682.16
    3438433.28
    3368882.08

    Usual caveat for near-real time data – the last value (or values) could be adjusted as more information comes to hand.

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02186/masie_extent_sqkm.csv

  128. Neat link, Phil. Looks like they are due north of Svalbard, roughly halfway between the “northpole camera” and “floating” bouy 98984

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

    Big swells; people seasick; the berg the erected flags on breaks in half. I’m glad I’m watching from my home. However I appreciate people who use their eyes, and are young and gutsy. The ice will be blown south towards them, it seems.

  129. That animation of the storm was terrific! What I see, however, is not “a heating up Arctic” but merely the import of heat (via air or water currents) into the Arctic by weather patterns which have shifted north. Warm air in the Arctic does not come from the Arctic as the sun has little ability to rapidly increase the temperature in that manner due to its low angle. Heat must therefore be transported in from lower altitudes. The question is not “why the low Arctic ice extent” but rather “why the shift in northern hemisphere weather patterns and when will the shift southward once more?”

  130. Nightvid Cole,

    You seem to believe that you know all the forcings and feedbacks, and thus can state definitively exactly how much Arctic ice there should have been in the 1950’s. In reality, you have no idea how ignorant you truly are. You believe you know, based on Wikipedia. As if.

    And I am still waiting for scientific evidence proving that CO2 causes global warming. It may. But without evidence it is merely a conjecture. And that conjecture is looking increasingly dubious:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.83/normalise

  131. And I am still waiting for scientific evidence proving that CO2 causes global warming. It may. But without evidence it is merely a conjecture.

    Conjecture? Tyndall demonstrated that CO2 is a greenhouse gas in laboratory experiments in the mid 1850s. Countless lab experiments since then, in high school and universities, have demonstrated the radiatively absorptive properties of CO2. A great amount of work has gone into determining which frequencies of the radiation spectra are absorbed by CO2 and other gases (like water vapour, ozone, methane etc). It is an empirical fact that increasing the amount of CO2 in a volume of air in the lab will, all other things being equal, warm it.This is not conjecture, it is empirical fact. The evidence that CO2 can cause global warming is stark.

    Rather, one has to concoct, or extemporise, more complex arguments to explain how CO2 can not warm the atmosphere, considering its capacity to absorb (and re-emit) radiation.

  132. R.W. Wood did the experiment the right way, and debunked Tyndall.

    I agree that radiative physics is valid and that CO2 slightly delays photons from escaping to space. But the whole catastrophic AGW debate is based on the belief that there is measurable warming. However, there is no direct, testable evidence, per the scientific method, that human emissions make a difference.

    Further, WUWT has completely falsified lame experiments purporting to ‘prove’ that CO2 heats air. It’s in the archives, look it up. R.W. Wood’s experiment remains the gold standard. And if CO2 actually did heat air in a measurable way, then there would be hundreds — no, thousands — of experiments validating that claim. Those experiments would be in peer reviewed journals everywhere.The fact that there are very few, and that those all have big problems with methodology, shows that there is no measurable warming from CO2. R.W. Wood was right.

    Finally, the planet itself shows the true cause and effect:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:60/mean:12/scale:0.25/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/mean:12/from:1958

    CO2 changes follow temperature changes. There is no scientific evidence you can post like that, which shows that CO2 causes temperature to change. None. It is possible that CO2 might have a slight effect. But no one has been able to measure it directly. Therefore, it remains a conjecture.

  133. Barry says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/19/sea-ice-news-volume-3-number-13-2012-arctc-sea-ice-minimum-reached-its-all-gain-from-here/#comment-1085922

    Henry says

    Come on Barry! we had this argument before. D.Boehm is right. I also could not find any proof that the net effect of more CO2 is that of warming rather than cooling. The closed box experiments alone are not enough to prove that the warming effect is greater than the cooling effect.

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2011/08/11/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011/

    (please study the arguments made there if you want to learn something)

    Either way, the (arctic) ice will all freeze back, whether you want to believe it or not,

    You don’t have to worry about a thing. Just keep your pants on.
    My data set shows we are on a cycle, on an a-c wave, with wavelength 88 years consisting of 44 years warming and 44 years cooling. According to my calculations, within this cycle we are now already 17 years on the cooling part. Remember: this is energy-in which is not the same as energy out. There is (quite) some lag between these two. If you count 88 years back from today we are now at the same point as 1924. There is a plus or minus 2 years that I will allow for errors. That means we could be at about the same point as reported in this newspaper from November 1922:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/

    please read the actual newspaper report. Does it sound familiar?
    Now please. Have patience. It will take at least 2 decades for all the ice to come back, as it did, from 1922-1945. For those of you who cannot stand the cold (like me): buy some extra warm cloths. Winter in 2013 and 2014 in the NH is going to be bad. Very bad. This is because the acceleration of cooling is still very high.

  134. Caleb says:
    September 22, 2012 at 3:46 am
    Phil, this link doesn’t work for me.

    http://iwcoffice.org/cache/downloads/ebu021ch9r4g4gs8oc8ckg48w/SC-64-BRG1.pdf

    Not that I should spend my Saturday drifting about the arctic. I’ve got quite a Honey-do list.

    Me too!
    I can open it on my computer but not on my phone, don’t know why!
    It’s title is:
    “Seasonal Movements of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Stock of Bowhead Whales: 2006–2011 Satellite Telemetry Results”
    Maybe you can find it via another route (once honey is satisfied).
    The figure I referred to showed that in some years Bowheads spent a lot of time near Wrangel.

  135. D Böehm says:
    September 22, 2012 at 10:56 am
    R.W. Wood did the experiment the right way, and debunked Tyndall.

    No, it was a quick experiment with inadequate controls.

    I agree that radiative physics is valid and that CO2 slightly delays photons from escaping to space.

    What it really does is capture IR photons from a high emissivity source and then collisionally transfers the energy to the low emissivity atmosphere. Only near the tropospause is the atmosphere able to emit to space so the original emitting surface is replaced by a considerably colder atmosphere and so less IR is emitted to space. This behavior is a function of CO2 concentration.

    But the whole catastrophic AGW debate is based on the belief that there is measurable warming. However, there is no direct, testable evidence, per the scientific method, that human emissions make a difference.

    There is abundant evidence that the present CO2 concentration depends on fossil fuel emissions.

    Further, WUWT has completely falsified lame experiments purporting to ‘prove’ that CO2 heats air. It’s in the archives, look it up. R.W. Wood’s experiment remains the gold standard.

    Certainly is not, the experiment is actually very difficult, I’ve yet to see a good one.

    And if CO2 actually did heat air in a measurable way, then there would be hundreds — no, thousands — of experiments validating that claim. Those experiments would be in peer reviewed journals everywhere.The fact that there are very few, and that those all have big problems with methodology, shows that there is no measurable warming from CO2. R.W. Wood was right.

    No what it shows is that it’s a difficult, expensive experiment to do right.

  136. Phil says:

    There is abundant evidence that the present CO2 concentration depends on fossil fuel emissions.

    I would agree that human CO2 emissions are collecting in the atmosphere. But the planet disagrees regarding any putative warming as a result:

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0167610eb5f3970b-pi

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.83/normalise

    When the planet and the models disagree, the planet is correct and the models are wrong. Always, without exception.

  137. Finally, the planet itself shows the true cause and effect:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:60/mean:12/scale:0.25/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/mean:12/from:1958

    CO2 changes follow temperature changes.

    And this is what happens during ice age transitions.

    But your ‘analysis’ does not address the cause/effect of CO2 rise/temps from industrial emissions. Having essentially removed the trend in your graph, the strongest effect remaining is the ENSO fluctuation, which DOES influence CO2 on short time scales.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1985Metic..20..437K

    You’ve shown that ENSO causes short-term fluctuations in CO2 levels, which has been known for more than 20 years. But ENSO fluctuates on interannual time scales and cannot be responsible for the rise in CO2 over the last century or so. Therefore temps cannot be said to be leading CO2 on that time frame.

    We know for a fact that the recent 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 is almost entirely anthropogenic in origin. Your argument seems to seek to deny that.

  138. Gunga Din says:
    September 21, 2012 at 12:00 am

    This may be OT but it occurred to me that I’ve read a lot and heard a lot about “The Ice Age”. But all of it seems to deal with the Northern Hemisphere. What happened in the Southern Hemisphere? I know there’s less land and so perhaps less evidence but, can someone provide a link or two to some good and understandable info? Thanks in advance.

    It’s been many hours since you asked this very appropriate question, but I’ve seen no answers yet. Let me try to address a few points, then I’ll let our partners in Argentina and New Zealand and Australia (for reasons that will become clear below) address more details.

    The southern edge of the most recent ice in north America was roughly an area ending just south of Chicago IL and New York City, NY. On the other continent, the caves in Spain were (more or less) continuously occupied through the last Ice Age. Since all of these are right at 40 north latitude, let’s assume that (if geography were identical in the north and south) the Southern Ice Age would be ice-covered from the Antarctic continent “up” to latitude 40 south.

    But ….

    40 south is south of the southernmost tip of Africa. So “glaciers” would be limited in Africa to regions around the mountains … and those are very close to the equator, and so heat on the plains below the volcanoes would prevent “large” glacier expanses. (Maybe somebody can find glacier moraines in the plains around the volcanoes of Kenya?)

    40 south goes south of Australia, and just north of Tasmania, and right through New Zealand. Would Tasmanian or New Zealand mountains have moraines? Maybe, maybe not. Those glaciers might end over the water, and so drop all glacier ice-carried rocks into the sea around the island. Don’t know. All of those mountains have “very short” “very narrow” valleys ending very close to the sea, so the glaciers would be very different than the huge masses covering the large flat areas of middle North America. Equally, the entire island might easily be covered, and so the glacier ice would scrape off all evidence of its presence entirely from all three islands.

    There’s only one land mass left to look at: 40 south crosses mid Argentina after going through the Andes. IF glacier evidence were present at 40 south, they’d be most likely found in the Argentina plains, on top of the mountains at the southern tip of the continent, and more land to the EAST of the Andes further north as glaciers run down from the Andes towards the Amazon basin (sound weird doesn’t it!) and Buenos Aires delta.

  139. barry says:

    You’ve shown that ENSO causes short-term fluctuations in CO2 levels…

    I have shown empirical scientific evidence. You have given your conjecture.
    Evidence trumps.

    …ENSO fluctuates on interannual time scales and cannot be responsible for the rise in CO2 over the last century or so. Therefore temps cannot be said to be leading CO2 on that time frame.

    Wrong. That is exactly what I am saying. CO2 lags temperature on all time scales out to hundreds of millennia. I would have posted the CO2/Temp relationship farther back, but the WFT database only goes back to 1958. If you have a graph supporting your belief, which goes back a century or more, post it here. Scientific evidence only, please, not some globaloney high priest’s pal reviewed model based conjecture. Next:

    We know for a fact that the recent 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 is almost entirely anthropogenic in origin. Your argument seems to seek to deny that.

    Labeling someone a denier takes the place of thinking, and of scientific evidence.

    CO2 has risen. So what? It is clearly not having the effect that you believe it should have. You are in the position of arguing with reality. Not credible. When there is a divergence between models and reality, the planet is right, not the models. I am simply agreeing with Planet Earth, while you are disagreeing.

  140. Boehm.

    Your graph shows no trend at all. You have removed it. Yet we know that CO2 has risen fairly steadily to 40% above preindustrial levels. Therefore, your graph cannot explain the CO2 rise, and can say nothing about whether temps lead or lag at these time scales in the modern era.

    Whereas we know that the CO2 rise since the industrial revolution is caused by anthropogenic emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Seeing as we’ve emitted twice as much as has been added to the atmosphere, you’re going to have a hard time arguing that this addition comes some other source (like rising temperatures). You’d have to make the anthro contribution disappear first – separately from any natural contribution, and with immediate effect in the system. I don’t think so. That’s magical thinking

    Temperature changes are not the cause of 40% rise of CO2 since the industrial revolution. We are.

  141. barry,

    I provided empirical evidence based on real data. All you provided was your evidence-free conjecture, which is contradicted by Planet Earth.

    I agree that the rise in CO2 is due to fossil fuel combustion. So what? There hasn’t been any global warming for at least fifteen years. Thus, your belief system is being falsified by the planet.

    And the null hypothesis has never been falsified… unlike your conjecture.

  142. There hasn’t been any global warming for at least fifteen years. Thus, your belief system is being falsified by the planet.

    Your belief system seems to be that surface or lower tropospheric temperatures will respond in monotonic lock-step with CO2 levels. Do you have credible analysis to back up this implied understanding?

    My understanding is that the lower troposphere is not ‘the globe’, and that various factors – like ENSO – cause fluctuations in the surface and lower tropospheric temperatures. In the last 16 years glaciers have receded, the deeper ocean has warmed and sea level has risen. The globe appears still to be warming by these indicators (I don’t provide links for these because I assume you are aware of this, and I do not wish to clutter up my post if it can be avoided. But request and I’ll post links).

    On climatic time scales (20 – 30 years) this is evident even in the lower tropospheric temperature trends.

    But wait, another satellite record of lower tropospheric temperatures shows warming from 1995, different to RSS.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1995/plot/uah/from:1996/to:2012/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996/to:2012/normalise

    Please, tell me what to believe.

  143. barry,

    You can keep disputing the empirical evidence provided by Planet Earth. But your misplaced belief in catastrophic AGW is not supported by any scientific evidence.

    Believe in empirical facts, barry. Not in baseless conjectures. Believe in the null hypothesis. If you do, you won’t go wrong.

  144. Henry@Barry
    Barry I had a look at some UAH data and I have come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with that data.. There is no correlation whatsoever, meaning the results are all over the place. In the old days we would say: you cannot make head or tail of it.
    I have subsequently had some UAH feedback, admitting that the reference zero and calibration point might be suspect i..e the calibration as such could be the problem. Last I heard they will adjust downwards. My data set on maxima shows that it started cooling in 1995 (energy-in). From most data sets including my own it shows that earth was the warmest (energy-out) at around 1998.
    However, even so the oceans have a lot of stored energy, so there can be a delay on decadal scale before you see the last of the warming effect (that ended in 1995). I am however confident that we are near a lowest point on arctic ice and that from next year and the following two decades ice in the arctic will grow back.

  145. I am however confident that we are near a lowest point on arctic ice and that from next year and the following two decades ice in the arctic will grow back.

    Hello Henry,

    I well remember here the chorus of “recovery” that accompanied the 2008 minimum after the record-breaking 2007 minimum, and which crescendoed in 2009 when the minimum was even greater than 2008. Back then, a lot of people here were convinced we’d turned the corner.

    I don’t think I’ve seen one person acknowledge their hastiness now that the previous record has been smashed, and the downward trend has not only continued each year, but steepened with each year.

    So here you are making a prediction. You expect recovery to begin “from next year.”

    What would it take in terms of the coming years’ sea ice extent to make you rethink your position? Would a new record minimum be enough? If not, what? Is there anything I could hold you to?

  146. With the sea ice in the Arctic at a record summer minimum, and Antarctic Ice apparently at a record winter high, would it not make sense for the two figures for sea ice to be added together each month to show whether there really is a net gain or loss in the combined total? Such information would surely serve to show whether the planet is generally warming as opposed to a slight shifting of heat concenration.

    [Look at the WUWT Sea Ice Page for that plot. Mod]

  147. Henry@barry
    I have come a long way from absolutely believing Al Gore’s “an Inconvenient truth” to where I am now, realizing that very few people have identified the precise cycles of warming and cooling, and what (chemical) reactions in the upper atmosphere drives them.
    Suffice to say that I think man has little or no influence on climate. Heat drives up CO2, not man.
    Contrary to most scientists in this field I looked at maxima as the variable rather than average temps.
    According to my data set, maxima started dropping in 1995. From the curve of dropping maxima, (cooling), I learned that it is an ac-wave and the best sine wave I could get for it is for a wavelength of 88 years, consisting of 44 years warming and 44 years warming. That means “warming” started in 1951, just about the same time as when man (or is that Mann) learned to measure CO2 in Hawaii.
    However, those studying SST’s seem to believe in a 60 years cycle. 16 + 1995 =2011. So I would have expected the minimum of (arctic) ice at 2011. It is now 2012. Let me give myself a 2 years error margin. That means I think ice (in the arctic) could still drop a bit further until 2013. After that, ice will come back, until at least 1995+44=2039
    if it does not work out that way, plus or minus 1 year, you can call me a bad statistician. OK?

  148. Boehm

    Seeing as you agree that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of increased CO2 in the atmosphere since the IR, your argument about temperature change causing CO2 change was a complete and utter red herring – indeed, it is contradictory to your acknowledgement of the role of fossil fuel burning in CO2 rise. That is baldly incoherent and very suggestive, as is your changing of subject and goalposts.

    There is plenty of empirical evidence, from observed and calculated absorption spectra, to satellite data showing decreased radiance at the top of the atmosphere at precisely those bands in the spectrum where CO2 absorbs. We have observed the increasing greenhouse effect in the atmosphere from space.

    You have been saying this is all conjecture. Resoundingly – no! The greenhouse effect of CO2 is one of the most studied aspects of climate science, up there with studies of the sun, oceans and water vapour, for sheer experimental data and observation. You have absolutely no idea what you are saying.

  149. if it does not work out that way, plus or minus 1 year, you can call me a bad statistician. OK?

    You mean you will never change your opinion, you will reckon in any event that you got the numbers wrong? No possibility of falsification, then?

    If there is another record minimum after 2014, I will suggest to you that you are not a bad statistician, but that your premises need revisiting. How’s that?

  150. With the sea ice in the Arctic at a record summer minimum, and Antarctic Ice apparently at a record winter high, would it not make sense for the two figures for sea ice to be added together each month to show whether there really is a net gain or loss in the combined total? Such information would surely serve to show whether the planet is generally warming as opposed to a slight shifting of heat concenration.

    You can also check out the global sea ice area product at Cryosphere Today.

    Here’s a direct link.

    Eyeballing, global sea ice coverage has decreased by at least 1 million sq kms over the satellite period.

  151. Sorry Barry
    small mistake here
    I learned that it is an ac-wave and the best sine wave I could get for it is for a wavelength of 88 years, consisting of 44 years warming and 44 years warming.

    That should read

    I learned that it is an ac-wave and the best sine wave I could get for it is for a wavelength of 88 years, consisting of 44 years warming and 44 years cooling.

  152. Before getting too concerned about this summer’s low ice extent, I suggest looking at how constant, over the years, the April-May ice extent has been. It would seem that we are entering a period of greater seasonal variation more than anything else.

  153. For Phil: More info about why the whalers risked their lives. Much money was involved. Also this shows why it was good for whales that plastic was invented, (info for the anti-plastic, anti-crude-oil crowd.) Plastic replaced baleen, (though the first plastics were derived by chemists from wood and not crude oil, I think.)

    “During the period of commercial whaling, the taking of baleen to be processed into corset stays. buttons, parasols, umbrellas. women’s hats, upholstery, frameworks for trunks and suitcases, fishing rods, buggy whips, and carriage wheels and springs was a profitable business (VanStone, 1958). Each whale contained several hundred pounds of baleen, which sold for $2 per pound in 1880 and $4.90 per pound in 1905, making a large whale worth up to $10,000. Values such as these led to an increase in the number of whalers and a corresponding reduction in the number of whales. In 1885, 441,400 pounds of baleen from the Arctic were marketed, and in 1887 and 1889, 561,694 and 219,400 pounds, respectively. were sold. By 1905. only 38.200 pounds were
    taken despite a price of nearly $5 per pound (VanStone, 1962). Baleen was replaced by other products shortly thereafter and the market was eliminated.”

  154. Barry the Believer says:

    Seeing as you agree that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of increased CO2 in the atmosphere since the IR, your argument about temperature change causing CO2 change was a complete and utter red herring…

    See, barry, your conclusion doesn’t follow from your premise. I have provided irrefutable scientific evidence showing you that ΔCO2 follows ΔT, not vice-versa. I have challenged you to produce a chart showing the opposite cause and effect, but of course you cannot. Keep in mind that radiative physics is not the same as catastrophic AGW, as you want to believe.

    The only measurable scientific evidence that exists proves that changes in CO2 follow changes in temperature. There is no contrary evidence. Just because there is occasionally a coincidental rise in both temperature and CO2 means nothing. It is a spurious correlation, and it does not show cause and effect, as the chart I posted above does.

    Your belief is so strong, barry, that you cannot accept the fact that you could very well be completely wrong, and so could the entire alarmist crowd. Your side has all the hallmarks of a cult, while scientific skeptics simply say: Prove it. Or at least provide solid, testable, measurable evidence, per the scientific method, showing that CO2=CAGW. You cannot, but your belief makes you absolutely certain that you could not possibly be wrong, no matter how much evidence to the contrary exists.

    Countless cults have been completely wrong throughout history. The Jehovah’s Witnesses repeatedly gave specific dates for the end of the world. They were wrong every time. The planet has been falsifying your belief for a decade and a half now. Question: when, exactly, will you admit you are wrong, barry? In five more years? Ten? Twenty? Give us a number.

  155. barry says
    You mean you will never change your opinion, you will reckon in any event that you got the numbers wrong? No possibility of falsification, then?
    Henry says
    I measure (or others did for me), compile the results\ acc. to relevant sampling technigues, and the end result, provided it gives me a near to 100% correlation, is what makes me draw my conclusions….
    If you understand stats you would know that it is an exact science, based on probability theory.

  156. RE: HenryP: (September 23, 2012 at 11:38 am)
    If you understand stats you would know that it is an exact science, based on probability theory
    The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle might be interpreted as saying there is no such thing as an ‘exact science.’

    It is interesting that individual electrons going through a diffraction grating will eventually build an arrival pattern on the target wall representing cancellations and reinforcements of the probability wave functions of all electrons that went through the opening.

  157. I have seen a number of replies in the past that criticize AGW believers, or alarmists as they are referred to here, for not being willing to consider evidence that contravenes AGW. Yet I see the exact same behavior here. The Arctic ice extent dropped to half it’s 1979-2000 average, and was 900,000 km2 below the figure for 2011. Yet based on the reader comments here, it’s not particularly noteworthy, and in no way has caused any questioning of the position held by AGW skeptics.

  158. Chris,

    There is no scientific evidence supporting the AGW conjecture. By ‘evidence’ I mean testable, quantifiable, real world data, verifiable through the scientific method, showing definitively the amount of global warming per unit of anthropogenic CO2 emitted.

    AGW may exist. But if it does, it is obviously a tiny effect; too tiny to measure. So without evidence, AGW remains a conjecture. An opinion. Or in your self-admitted case, a belief.

    There is no evidence whatever that the fluctuations in Arctic ice are human caused. There is plenty of evidence that changing ocean currents, wind and storms are some of the main causes of ice decline. For example, currents in the Fram Strait have been warming substantially, and are now ≈3.5ºC warmer than a century ago.

    I would be happy to consider evidence that human CO2 emissions cause Arctic ice decline, or global warming. But there is no such evidence. Do you suggest that we take action based on an evidence-free conjecture? Or would it be better to wait and see if declining Arctic ice is a problem? So far, less Arctic ice has caused no problems.

    On balance, less ice appears to be a net benefit. Opening the Northwest Passage will save gigatons of fossil fuels. A permanently open Northwest Passage has been the dream of shippers and governments alike for centuries. But when it has opened, it has always subsequently iced over again. While it was open, there was no harm done. So why all the wild-eyed arm waving now? Do Believers always require something that frightens them? Seems so…

    For some good reading on the same subject from 4.5 years ago, see this WUWT thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt

  159. A number of reasons for that Chris.
    Appears to have varied considerably over the past – what is so magical about the 1979-2000 average.
    The decline is at least partially due to storm activity, combined with the fact that the measurement of ice technique says that anything below 15% is classed as no ice. So ice more dispersed rather than melted. Expect a rapid refreeze.
    Air temperatures over Arctic not remarkable this year so ice “disappearance” not due directly to global warming.
    Carbon particles affect albedo and can speed surface melt – anthropogenic melting but not global warming. Surface melt can also contribute to reduced ice extent reporting
    Do you have any explanation as to why the ice extent has declined so rapidly in the last month or so despite unremarkable temperature conditions, especially given that global warming has not increased catastrophically lately (in fact never).

  160. Peter,

    As I understand it, satellite data on the Arctic extent became available in 1979, it is for that reason that comparisons of that period are used. If you have evidence that the ice extent was smaller than what we are seeing this year in years prior to 1979, let me know the source and I’ll look at it. I agree that the severe storm this year caused increased ice loss – but that is in turn partially due to the almost complete disappearance of multi year ice due to prior warming! One article I read said the ratio used to be 80/20 multi year/new, and now it is almost the reversal of that. Thin ice will of course be far more susceptible to breaking up in a storm than thick ice.

    You say: Air temperatures over Arctic not remarkable this year so ice “disappearance” not due directly to global warming. What’s your source for this point? Here is what NOAA says in their Arctic Report Card: “In 2011, annual near-surface air temperatures over much of the ocean were approximately +1.5 °C greater than the 1981-2010 baseline period and land temperatures were also above their baseline values. This continued a decade-long warm-bias of the Arctic relative to mid-latitudes.” In another section of the web site, they graph the increase in the Arctic surface air temperature (SAT) since 1900 – it has gone up by about 1.5C. See http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/temperature_clouds.html for the graph.

    So to answer your last question, this year’s substantially increased melt is a combination of continuing increase in the Arctic SAT (leading to less and less multiyear ice) exacerbated by a severe storm, which broke up already weakened ice.

    Regarding carbon particles and albedo, please explain why carbon particles would cause increases in yearly ice loss. At the outer edges of the ice where it melts each year, the ice reforms, so there will not be carbon buildup on the surface. In the inner regions where multiyear ice occurs, there is snowfall each winter which will cover last year’s carbon, rendering it irrelevant to albedo effects for the following summer.

  161. Chris says
    If you have evidence that the ice extent was smaller than what we are seeing this year in years prior to 1979, let me know the source and I’ll look at it.
    Henry says
    As quoted earlier (also by others) :
    For some good reading on the same subject from 4.5 years ago, see this WUWT thread:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-m

    read the whole original newspaper report from 1922. I gather we can trust it, seeing it came from the US embassy in Norway.
    According to my calculations (natural) warming and cooling is on an 88 years cycle equally divided into 44 years of cooling and 44 years of warming. That means: 2012-88= 1924. Let us allow for an error margin of 2 years. From 1924, it took 2 decades to ice up again. That means we could still see 2 years of decline (maximum) before the (arctic) ice will gain again. (Antarctic ice is already gaining)

  162. HenryP,

    I’ve already read this article. I didn’t see any mention of the size of the Arctic extent then, so how do you know that it was less than what we are experiencing now? There may have been a warming trend then, perhaps due to the Gulf Stream taking a northward detour for several years, but that is far different than a steady decline over a 30 year period. Here is a paper (not a newspaper, but scientific publication) that states that today’s warming is greater than anything we have seen in the last 1450 years: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html

    Also, I see postings over and over again that imply that since the earth has had warm periods in the past, that somehow negates AGW. Specifically why is that so? That’s like saying that because we’ve had lightning caused forest fires in the past, that man cannot cause forest fires. It makes absolutely no sense. Climate scientists do not say that only man can cause global warming, what they say is that after you subtract out the known natural effects on climate (orbital changes, solar cycles, volcanoes, the Gulf Stream current, etc) it is clear that there is an increase in temperature happening relating to CO2.

  163. Henry, the article I posted for you explains: “Here we use a network of high-resolution terrestrial proxies from the circum-Arctic region to reconstruct past extents of summer sea ice, and show that—although extensive uncertainties remain, especially before the sixteenth century—both the duration and magnitude of the current decline in sea ice seem to be unprecedented for the past 1,450 years.”

    And in any case, once again, I’m not sure how that is relevant. To me the proper question is: Is the earth’s warming going to cause more adverse impacts than positive? If the answer is yes, we should take action.

  164. D Boehm said: There is no scientific evidence supporting the AGW conjecture. By ‘evidence’ I mean testable, quantifiable, real world data, verifiable through the scientific method, showing definitively the amount of global warming per unit of anthropogenic CO2 emitted.

    That is false, there is substantial evidence. In 1 minute of searching, I found this peer reviewed paper published in 2001: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/full/410355a0.html#B3

    From the abstract: Here we analyse the difference between the spectra of the outgoing longwave radiation of the Earth as measured by orbiting spacecraft in 1970 and 1997. We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12. Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.

    You’ll note the use of real world, quantifiable data. There are no temperature loggers, no UHI issues, just a comparison of outgoing longwave radiation as measured by orbiting satellites 27 years apart.

  165. Chris says
    Here we use a network of high-resolution terrestrial proxies from the circum-Arctic region to reconstruct past extents of summer sea ice,

    Henry asks
    what proxies? Other than anecdotal, what do we have, in arctic ice extent, for the past? I would like to know? (but I m not going to pay for that BS – you pay for it and then you tell me)
    A few of my (Dutch) ancestors like Willem Barentz were convinced that a northern passage must have existed in the past, (i.e. before they lived, @ ca. 1500 AD) , hence they lost their live(s) trying to find it.
    A northern passage would be great for the oil and gas industry up there, as well as for shipping things faster from certain places around the globe. But based on my calculations it is not going to happen. I would not bet a cent on that. I analysed the results from 47 weather stations balanced by latitude and 70/30 on sea/ inland (I figured longitude is not important). Unlike your so-called climate scientists who are all looking at means, I decided to look at maxima (as well).
    Here are my end results on that, i.e. the change in degrees C or K per annum:
    data are: 0.036 from 1974 (38 yrs), 0.029 from 1980 (32 yrs), 0.014 from 1990 (22 years) and -0.016 from 2000 (12 years)

    Now just take the trouble to plot these results of the drop of maxima against time (= deceleration of warming) and tell me what you get?

    If you have the scientific back round to figure out what these results mean you will eventually come to know:
    Global warming and global cooling is on a natural cycle, of ca. 88 years, (Gleissberg?), of which 44 years is warming and 44 years is cooling, looking at energy-in. (remember: that is not the same as energy out)
    I think there are only a few people who figured out what mechanisms in the upper atmospheres drive it.
    Either way, you do not have to worry about it anymore, nor do you have to worry about driving a car or using a bit more electricity, because (you think) it will change the weather, because that just ain’t so.

  166. Chris says
    We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12
    Henry says
    Chris, I have been there, done that. You must first try to understand the science before you believe that what is being “measured”, and then try to ask the questions, like I did, to which nobody can give me the answers…

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2011/08/11/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-Aug-2011/

  167. HenryP,

    With all respect, saying been there, done that does not pass muster as a scientific review and disproving of peer reviewed research. If you wish to write a paper and submit it for peer review, the please do so and post a link. You refer to an 88 year cycle, on another WUWT article a reader says there is a 35 year cycle, and yet another says a 5 year cycle. What all 3 conjectures have in common is no published research to back up their hypothesis. That’s the first step to gaining broader acceptance of your theories.

  168. Chris, you strike me as being reasonable intelligent. In what scientific fields do you specialize?
    You did not do the plot?

    My work is published,

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/04/23/global-cooling-is-here/

    unfortunately the new host of my blog cut my tables in half, but, even now, if you look at it, you will get my drift, and easily be able to repeat my results.Knowing something about statistics, especially sampling and sampling technigues is important. In my case, I considered longitiude as not being important (for my sample). Any idea why I say or think that?

    I think I still can take this work further by proving a link between the flooding of Nile, of which there are reasonable records, and the 88 year (Gleissberg) cycle.
    I started this work because I wanted to check out Al Gore and his climbing up the ladder to show us how bad more CO2 is. At the time I considered (as a chemist) that there must be giga tons of bicarbonate in the oceans of which we know that
    heat+ HCO3- => OH- + CO2 g
    So how did he (they) figure out that “we did all of it”?
    It turns out that the (complete) records of that table started only in or around 1956,
    when I (and you) know that natural global warming had started….

    PS
    this is just a hobby of mine….
    to be able to laugh with friends and family after dinner, at all the fools who call themselves “climate scientists” . None of them actually looked at the most important variable to evaluate energy-in…..
    ….and of which there are good records from the past.
    .

  169. Caleb says:
    September 21, 2012 at 2:07 am
    Another way of being distrustful and “eyeballing” is to compare what you see through the “North Pole Camera” with what is stated via the ice “extent” maps. That camera has drifted down to Fram Strait, and was at the “edge” of the ice, south of 82 degrees and more than 3 degrees east, before disappointing my curiosity by getting blown back to more than 1 degree west. It showed growing meltwater pools during the summer, and a few leads have appeared at times, but for the most part it has remained 100% ice. A couple weeks ago the temperatures dropped below minus ten, and the pools all froze and were covered by drifting snow, before they reappeared during a recent thaw (with much fog.) Now the temperatures are dropping below freezing again, and the meltwater pools are again vanishing.

    Take another look Caleb, camera 2 appears to be showing a big lead at the moment.

  170. @Chris:

    I’ve been reading the newer sea ice thread and missed your comment to me.

    First, that link is not sufficient testable, falsifiable evidence. Cloud cover is changing, which skews the data points. Both specific and relative humidity are decreasing, which would tend to provide more IR transparency. But more importantly, I can show beyond any doubt that rising CO2 has no measurable effect on global temperature, and why the “carbon” scare is a false alarm:

    We will start with a very long time period; about three and a half centuries. Let’s look at the natural global warming trend:

    As we see, the long term trend is the same, whether CO2 is low or high. That is confirmed in this Wood For Trees chart. The naturally rising global temperature trend since the LIA has remained within its long term parameters. There is no acceleration in global warming; it is on the same trend line that it was on before the start of the industrial revolution, thus falsifying the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    The fact that CO2 has no measurable effect on global temperature is confirmed here. Notice that the two warming episodes — again, one when CO2 was low, and the other when CO2 was high — show conclusively that any effect from CO2 is so minuscule that it is not even measurable, since the rising temperature trends are exactly the same.

    Empirical measurements also show conclusively that CO2 follows temperature on all time scales, from decades to hundreds of millennia.

    That proves that the alarmist crowd has cause and effect reversed. Temperature changes cause CO2 changes; not vice-versa. There is no empirical, testable scientific evidence showing that rising CO2 causes rising temperatures (if you disagree, post a chart showing that changes in CO2 precede temperature changes). The false belief that CO2 leads temperature is based on an entirely coincidental, short-term correlation, which is now breaking down. There has been no global warming for 15 years, while CO2 has risen steadily. (I should point out that CO2 may cause an insignificant temperature rise; that is not ruled out by the logic of this argument. But since the effect is too minuscule to measure, it can be completely disregarded for all practical purposes).

    Finally, the planet is starved of harmless, beneficial CO2. More is better. With added CO2 the biosphere will thrive, and there will be no global harm or damage. The “carbon” scare is a false alarm.

    Using verifiable scientific facts based on empirical evidence, it is demonstrated here that CO2 has no measurable effect on temperature. None. The rising temperature trend since the LIA remains the same, whether CO2 is low or high. There are no testable measurements showing otherwise. Therefore, CO2 does not have the claimed effect.

    The reason that the alarmist crowd cannot get anything right is because they are fixated on the false and disproven presumption that measurable temperature change is driven by CO2 — when, in fact, exactly the opposite is true.

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