Hamster wheels and sea ice explained

From the University of Calgary Utoday:

Melting Arctic ice cap at record low – By Heath McCoy

Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum and unable to stop until it’s overwhelmed, sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside.

That’s the analogy John Yackel, head of the department of geography, makes when he considers the annual summer ice melt in the Arctic, which he’s been closely monitoring for the past 15 years – documenting the ice cover as it’s steadily shrunk in the wake of Arctic and global warming.

Thoughts of imminent crashes seem particularly ominous this year as last week marked the unofficial peak, or the end of the summer ice melt, with ice levels more dramatically diminished than at any time since satellite monitoring began 33 years ago.

The previous record low for Arctic sea ice extent, set on Sept. 18, 2007 with a 4.17-million sq.-km. ice cap, was already shattered by the end of August this year when it had melted to below 4-million sq. km.

“This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

From the patterns he has observed, this year’s extreme melt could be the beginning of a frightening trend.

Yackel and the university-based Cryosphere Climate Research Group use satellite technology to research the physical properties of Arctic ice. As recently as the 1980s, most of the ice in the Arctic Ocean was “multi-year ice,” – thick ice that would remain throughout the summer. At that time, the split between multi-year ice and seasonal ice – ice that would melt away in the summer – was about 80 per cent multi-year and 20 per cent seasonal.

“In the last 20 years we’ve almost gotten to the point where we’ve reversed that ratio,” Yackel says, predicting the ice extent that covers the Arctic Ocean “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner.”

The depleting ice cover would have serious ramifications for the planet. Arctic ice acts as a reflector of sunlight, helping regulate the Earth’s temperature, cooling the climate.

“When there’s no longer that sea ice below the air mass and it’s just open ocean, that’s when more moisture off the ocean’s surface gets into the atmosphere and the water vapor in the atmosphere makes for more violent storms,” says Yackel.

“We can also expect to see an increase in storm frequency and storm intensity for most of the world’s populated places as the Arctic and Earth continues to warm.”

205 thoughts on “Hamster wheels and sea ice explained

  1. Uhm, increased storms? I remember after Katrina hit that the predictions were that the following year would be the worst and strongest hurricane season we had ever seen.

    If I am not mistaken, the following year we had ZERO hurricanes make land fall in the US. And again, if I am not mistaken, the reason was the ocean was too cool to make a powerful storm.

    So, if we have a lot of ice melt-off, might the oceans be cooler and we will end up with less violent storms? And with the cooler oceans the climate might cool and then we will have less melt-off next year?

    Then again I am guessing. And then again, I think a lot of climatologists are too. ( Blog owner exempt from that comment )

  2. Do hamsters on spinning wheels get caught up by momentum, become unable to stop until they’re overwhelmed and are sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside?

    I’d have thought they’d just run out of puff, slow down until they regain their breath then kick on again. Either that or die of a heart attack.

    And maybe effort should be put into producing better wheels . . . some sort of braking system and paw rails would be a start.

  3. “In the last million years.” A comment that is so wrong it removes all credibility. One million years includes three previous interglacials and the last 5,000 years of the Holocene Optimum all of which were markedly warmer than today.

  4. Sheesh. Another CAGW without the slightest evidence. I mean nothing. This guy is screaming for headlines, but has about as much news as the Penny Saver.

  5. From the UToday website;
    “Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.”

    Is that the climate equivalent of an “Astrologist.” i.e. One who studies Astrology?

  6. “From the patterns he has observed, this year’s extreme melt could be the beginning of a frightening trend.”

    Well if these outstanding acedemics would look at all the data and not just one day of the year they may find out what is REALLY happening in the Arctic:

    They are willfully ignoring the fact that maximum ice cover has almost got back to 30y average. If you look at all year average it is undeniable that the “catastrophic” melting ended in 2007.

    None so blind as those who will not see.

  7. “When there’s no longer that sea ice below the air mass and it’s just open ocean, that’s when more moisture off the ocean’s surface gets into the atmosphere and the water vapor in the atmosphere makes for more violent storms,” says Yackel.

    As the Earth’s surface is 70% water (around 361 sq Km), why is it so dramatic that the Arctic being ice free will make so much difference? The Arctic ice changes around 9M sq km so seems pretty small compared to the persistent, always evaporating, 350M sq Km remaining.

  8. Excellent explanation. Losing the Arctic sea ice cover will most probably have consequences for weather patterns and the carbon cycle. Anyone who knows meteorology can see this.

    The question is: will we see a turnaround? And where will it come from?

    And if we don’t: what then?

  9. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,”

    Why not make it a couple hundred million while he’s at it? More than 33 years ago is a bit of a crap shoot anywho.

  10. Truthseeker says:
    It’s not when, it’s where Utoday is. From the claims that the Earth is still warming and that there is less Arctic ice than for the last million years, you can be sure it’s “somewhere over the rainbow” or in NeverNeverLand. Whichever one is inhabited by Algore, Mike, Lew the loony and assorted others.

    P.S. Atlantis is another possibility.

  11. The ‘melting’ Arctic Ice Scare must be one of the few remaining Catastrophes that can be viably pushed, so they can all be seen behind it, pushing hard. The fact that the reduction in area was due to severe wind and not temperature must never be mentioned.

  12. Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme, Recite the meme……..Man, this is exhausting.

  13. Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum and unable to stop until it’s overwhelmed, sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside.

    A good descripton of the AGW hysteria …

  14. With professors like Yackel the University of Calgary has no chance of becoming one of Canada’s top five research Universities (their aim by 2016). It is hoped at some his students can see through his poor quality research and lack of understanding.

  15. Anyone notice how many submarines surfaced at the North Pole this summer? Just curious. Will any oil drilling rigs be left in situ for this winter?

  16. Again and again and again – the same scare, the same story: Further warming (“runaway, per chance?) because less ice around the north-pole ice reflects less sunlight. Has the good professor ever heard of the reflecting properties of water, particularly in respect of the angle at which the sunlight hits the north pole? Has he ever considered the insulating capabilities of ice, perhaps thought of designing one of these wonderful and ever so accurate climate models which includes the reduced insulation? I am really tired of this never ending doomesday propaganda.
    “We can also expect this doomesday cult to linger on until the funding countries are finally bancrupt. There is a high probability that this event, bancrupcy, will occur before the “great global warming catastrophy” happens.

    A very nice day to all of you. Autumn has begun in the northern hemisphere, temperatures are falling accordingly.

  17. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,”…
    ———————————————————-
    “Probably” – now there’s some hard science terminology.

    “From the patterns he has observed, this year’s extreme melt could be the beginning of a frightening trend”.
    ———————————————————-
    That’s what the Greens are hoping for. They WANT disaster.

  18. Think of a healthy hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum but using negative feedback to slow it down and regain his balance, then positive feedbacks to speed up again.
    That is a stable system, with feedbacks , that runs in a cycle.

  19. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent…probably in the last million years,” Why do Yackel and McCoy jettison credibility by making this bizarre and unfounded claim?

  20. @Graphite: Brilliant!!!!
    “And maybe effort should be put into producing better wheels . . . some sort of braking system and paw rails would be a start.”

    You are absolutely right. Yackel’s article really highlights the fundamental importance of a properly designed hamster wheel. Like yourself, I too am deeply concerned about the safety and well being of hamsters.

  21. I’m not quite sure how to calculate this, but I’m sure it’s been done by somebody. My extreme gut feeling is that an ice free arctic will transfer orders of magnitude more heat from the ocean to space over the time it is ice free than it will receive in insolation.

  22. “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner.” I seem to remember hearing this exact same statement about 20 years ago. Some one will confirm or correct me if Im wrong

  23. I just sent the following email to Prof Yackel. I’ll post if he replies.

    Dear Professor,

    I read your comments reported in the Utoday article.

    “In the last 20 years we’ve almost gotten to the point where we’ve reversed that ratio,” Yackel says, predicting the ice extent that covers the Arctic Ocean “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner.”

    You would seem to base this opinion on study of the ice coverage minima. While this is interesting , it may be deceptive if taken to be representative of Arctic climate.

    There has been a notable change in the behaviour of ice coverage since 2007 as can be seen in the anomaly graph provided by Cryosphere Today:

    Note that the maxima are near to the 30y average, the key feature of this period is the notably increased swing of the annual cycle. This is very likely a consequence of the prevalence of thin ice that you comment on. In such a context, considering only the minima will give a very misleading impression of the state of ice cover, no more representative than only considering the maxima and concluding ice coverage was back to “normal”.

    I would draw your attention to the other 364 days of each year. Considering the daily ice extent and applying a 6m or 12m gaussian filter we see a better indication of what is happening:

    data sourse:

    http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0051.html

    filtered daily ice extent:

    It would appear that there has been a regime change since 2007. The alarming plunge, far from continuing “worse than we thought” , stopped in 2007.

    The article states ” he considers the annual summer ice melt in the Arctic, which he’s been closely monitoring for the past 15 years – documenting the ice cover as it’s steadily shrunk in the wake of Arctic and global warming.”

    Do you think your prediction that ice extent “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner” is consistent with the change in behaviour since 2007?

    That would seem more consistent with the pre-2007 drop which you are suggesting will continue unabated. That would seem contrary to the evidence of the last 5 years.

    Have you ever looked the whole years data as presented here?

  24. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

    Uh-huh. Yeah, right. That tells me how much credence to give his statements, which is none at all.

  25. The old seadog:
    Not to mention the Chinese fleet which is alleged to have sailed round the north of Canada in one summer when the Vikings were there.

  26. Do you think someone should tell him that the antarctic sea ice is currently over 1 000 000km2 greater than the last 30 year average. And probably at its greatest extent for at least a thousand years, no I mean a million years. This could mark the start of a terrifying trend.

    Its a Doctor Yakel and Mr Hyde phenomenon.

  27. SasjaL says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:12 am

    >>
    Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum and unable to stop until it’s overwhelmed, sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside.

    A good descripton of the AGW hysteria …
    >>

    Al Gore … hamster… ? Yeah, could explain the chubby cheeks he’s been developing.

  28. We raise hamsters for local pet shops. And Yes, some of them do run in the wheels until they crash. And sometimes, while they are running, others jump in and hold for dear life, going around and around and around… we’ve even seen one or two running, and another one or two just tumbling head over tail, on the same wheel.

    They do it constantly enough that we’re pretty sure they are just having fun.

    Now, she can figure they would cheerfully destroy the planet to keep on running, or she can find a more intelligent analogy.

  29. Who is Heath McCoy anyway ? From the University web site:

    Heath McCoy

    Communications Advisor
    +1 (403) 220-5089
    Craigie Hall Block D 113
    hjmccoy@ucalgary.ca
    McCoy, Heath

    hjmccoy@ucalgary.ca

    In: Arts

    An arts student (to judge by the address) and “communications advisor” adding his own “frightening trend” to Yackel’s “million years” climate bullshit.

  30. This is not science – any scientist who writes a paper that includes the term ‘frightening’ is not a scientist. Then to cap it by being carried away with excitement saying perhaps that this was the smallest in a million years when the northern ice melt in Greenland is only just showing the remains of arable farms on Greenland from the medieval warm period.
    The next question is why the lack of ice should be so disconcerting for them.We are at the cooler end of the Holocene. It would appear that when the Arctic was last melted the Sahara was a lush pasture with domesticated animals being kept. See http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/low-no-ice-arctic-5000-bc/ . Would the greening of the Sahara be seen as a bad thing?
    These ‘scientists’ have seen an extremely brief snapshot of a process made up of multiple cycles and start panicking without even bothering to check history.

  31. Thor and Graphite:

    The backup power system at The Falkirk Wheel (look it up) is alleged to consist of a herd (flock? clutch? warren? I dunno..) of hamsters (794 at the last count ten minutes ago) which, when the main power fails, are put into the central tube. They have been highly trained and all run in the same direction to bring the gondolas back to the docking position.
    They are all very well looked after, have the best veterinarian attention and have a state guaranteed pension available.

    Well, it makes as much sense as the stuff from the geographer at the top of the story. Maybe he should talk to his history department.

    (Sorry, Mods; delete if you like.)

    [Reply: No site Policy issues, so no deletion. We moderate with a light touch here. — mod.]

  32. Are you sure it shouldn’t be Professor Yaffle? As UK readers are more likely to know Professor Yaffle was a wooden woodpecker in the children’s programme “Bagpuss” given to unlikely explanations for events; need I say more?

  33. Otter says: They do it constantly enough that we’re pretty sure they are just having fun.

    SasjaL says: A good descripton of the AGW hysteria …

    evidence is mounting that AGW alarmists display the same behavioural patterns as hamsters.

  34. It’s seems curious to me that ” global warming” has minimal effect on Antarctic ice cover. In fact nearly ninety percent of global ice is in the antarctic. Not sure about the last million years but it appears that during the more recent satellite era Antarctic ice has been increasing?

  35. myself i think it’s the opposite.. with less ice there is more chance of heat being able to leave the ocean .. no insulation .. plus how much sun does the artic get 6 months max ? then you have all the extra cloud cover from the melted ice reflecting more sun …
    buy your thermals now while there cheap ..

  36. “As recently as the 1980s, most of the ice in the Arctic Ocean was “multi-year ice,” – thick ice that would remain throughout the summer. At that time, the split between multi-year ice and seasonal ice – ice that would melt away in the summer – was about 80 per cent multi-year and 20 per cent seasonal.”

    It looks about 50/50 in the 1980’s: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png

  37. IN the UK we have just had the heaviest 24 hours of rainfall for 30 years. This is in addition to a wet cold summer and cold winters, the 4th year in a row. It may be all coincidental, but it’s looking suspicious that the ice has dramatically declined in the same period.

  38. While Arctic ice has been more or less in place for millions of years, it is generally accepted that episodes of considerably reduced sea ice or even seasonally ice-free conditions occurred during warmer periods linked to orbital variations. The last low-ice event related to orbital forcing (high insolation) was in the early Holocene. For a detailed review on the history of Arctic ice this paper which is not paywalled is well worth reading

    http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/polyak_etal_seaice_QSR_10.pdf

  39. Taking this analogy further, eventually the hamster will get off the wheel as it will run out of energy. The open water could possibly allow for more of the Arctic halocline to be turned over and for it to lose energy. This in turn could allow for greater sea ice recovery, so more work for the hamster to do next year. The hamster only gets so much energy from the sun and ocean cycles, this year it got an extra push, just before it got off, via an Arctic cyclone. That last tasty treat may not come along next year…

  40. The old seadog. says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:49 am
    Almost 200 years ago , the UK Admiralty was saying much the same thing…..

    Yes, but with one important difference. Although they seem to have thought that the warming trend they had observed would continue (it didn’t) they did not try to extrapolate too far into the future or the remote past. The people in the Royal Navy who speculated about trends in ice coverage of the Arctic Ocean did not overestimate their knowledge in the way that some climate scientists do today.

  41. Well since the we are still awaiting increased inensity and frequency — with all the “bad” things happening — he must be right it must sort of a tipping point we are awaiting.
    How [is] this guy different than a witch doctor of yore — oh yeah those guys needed some weed to go into a trance, here it is just CO2 fumes.

  42. OK, OK… the governments of the world should require hamsters to wear little helmets when they are running on their little wheels and they should require the Arctic Ice extent to remain stable year after year. The hamsters and the Arctic must comply or face severe fines.

    See? That would be a fine example of governments working together to solve the pressing problems of the world.

    As for this study? I recommend the good professor keeps studying for another 25-30 years and report back around 2045 or so. This study wasn’t ready for prime time.

  43. “with ice levels more dramatically diminished than at any time since satellite monitoring began 33 years ago.”

    A piece of useless information as far as the historic record is concerned

    “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had” How does he know? “and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel,”

    Once again, the word ‘probably’ creeps in just to give dramatic effect without any proof whatsoever.

  44. Why is the trend always frightening??? Even if the Arctic is getting warmer that in itself is a good thing. The UK gets warmer, Russian and Canadian wheat fields become more productive. Sadfly I suspect Summer 2013 will bring lots of sea ice, because its clear that the year to year variation in sea-ice extent is far greater than any underlying trend. Furthermore, the tipping point clearly is nowhere near being reached, because that winter sea-ice keeps on coming back.

  45. ““This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.”

    And probably not with equal odds. The principle of insufficient reason rules here.

    “From the patterns he has observed, this year’s extreme melt could be the beginning of a frightening trend.”

    And it could be the beginning of nothing and/or something awesome with equal odds. Same reason as before.

    ““In the last 20 years we’ve almost gotten to the point where we’ve reversed that ratio,” Yackel says, predicting the ice extent that covers the Arctic Ocean “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner.””

    “And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.” — Mark Twain

    “The depleting ice cover would have serious ramifications for the planet. Arctic ice acts as a reflector of sunlight, helping regulate the Earth’s temperature, cooling the climate.”

    At high angles of incidence the reflectivity of water exceeds the albedo of sea ice.

    ““When there’s no longer that sea ice below the air mass and it’s just open ocean, that’s when more moisture off the ocean’s surface gets into the atmosphere and the water vapor in the atmosphere makes for more violent storms,” says Yackel.”

    Which increases cooling of arctic waters. But increases the abundance of the notorious greenhouse gas H2O.

    ““We can also expect to see an increase in storm frequency and storm intensity for most of the world’s populated places as the Arctic and Earth continues to warm.””

    Which can only happen if the temperature differential increases between the poles and elsewhere. Which does not occur under his own scenario.

    Despite all the clip-art phrases and common wisdom that gets bandied about: This subject is so unstudied that we are not even able to speak credibly about what differences can occur with and without sea ice in the arctic. And then there’s the Antarctic.

  46. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

    Oh really!!

    Abstract
    …..The combined sea ice data suggest that the seasonal Arctic sea ice cover was strongly reduced during most of the early Holocene and there appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean. …..

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

    Abstract
    …..We therefore conclude that for a priod in the Early Holocene, probably for a millenium or more, the Arctic Ocean was free of sea ice at least for shorter periods in the summer……

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

  47. Garethman, thirty years ago we had similar rainfall yet with more ice cover so there is no logical correlation…
    It’s called weather, sometimes at this time of year it dumps the heavy rain on Ireland, sometimes in the Irish Sea, sometimes in the North Sea. This time it just happened to dump it on the land in between the latter two. It only takes a shift of a few hundred miles in the path of a low pressure system, something well within the natural boundaries of normal weather patterns.
    Why does everything have to be down to some doomist climate theory?

  48. Physorg ran with this:

    24 Sept: Physorg: Melting Arctic ice cap at record
    With Arctic ice cap at record low this summer, University of Calgary geography professor John Yackel predicts serious consequences for the planet
    Provided by University of Calgary

    http://phys.org/news/2012-09-arctic-ice-cap.html

    but what interests me is, if you do a search “john yackel” + physorg, you get almost 470 results, with the majority being physorg articles on all kinds of subjects going back as far as 2006, yet all or most of the results showing some part of the following:

    “University of Calgary geography professor John Yackel predicts serious consequences for the planet”

    omicron technology of douglas, isle of man, now owns physorg, says wikipedia. they are obviously very good at disseminating this kind of scary story.

  49. “Garethman says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:10 am
    IN the UK we have just had the heaviest 24 hours of rainfall for 30 years. This is in addition to a
    wet cold summer and cold winters, the 4th year in a row. It may be all coincidental, but it’s looking suspicious that the ice has dramatically declined in the same period.”

    =========

    “The beginning of the 14th Century is marked by one of
    the great disasters of human history. The rain started in 1315, and
    continued particularly in the summers for 7 years.”

    Above quote from http://geochemistry.usask.ca/bill/Courses/Climate/The%20Great%20Famine_prt.pdf

    Just to put things in perspective!

  50. Garethman says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:10 am
    >>
    IN the UK we have just had the heaviest 24 hours of rainfall for 30 years. This is in addition to a wet cold summer and cold winters, the 4th year in a row. It may be all coincidental, but it’s looking suspicious that the ice has dramatically declined in the same period.
    >>

    But the ice has NOT declined in that period.

    we need to look at the whole year , not one day.

  51. But surely Arctic sea ice is self regulating?

    Won’t all that recently formed almost fresh melt water due to the August storm driving the ice south be floating on the surface of the North Atlantic and be carried back into the Arctic to quickly re-freeze?

    And won’t the sinking of cold briney water South of Greenland now slow down and in turn slow down the drift north of warm water?

  52. Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth – where are you?

    26 Sept: Bishop Hill: Wood insanity be the reason?
    Insanity is a possibility, but more likely this is just the great law of unintended consequences – so often a feature of well-meaning politicians. Drax, a major UK energy generator is about to convert one of its major power stations to burn wood. Since wood is categorised as a renewable energy source this plan will enable them to escape the EU’s strictures against fossil fuels…

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/9/26/wood-insanity-be-the-reason.html

  53. There was I thinking the hamster description fitted the effects of the August Arctic cyclone on sea ice.

    I should have known better,

  54. Could someone send me a package of global warming. I am down at Bryce Canyon Utah with a couple of horses doing an endurance ride. I had to get up in the middle of the night two nights ago and drill holes in the floor of my living quarters horse trailer cause a pipe burst and I had 25 gallons of water pumped onto the floor. Hay, maybe that is where the missing arctic ice has gone. Got the furnace cranked up now and the door to the water pump open to keep it from freezing.. Just where is that Global Warming when you need it?/sarc off

  55. “We can also expect to see an increase in storm frequency and storm intensity for most of the world’s populated places as the Arctic and Earth continues to warm.”

    I’ve seen this before and there are a number of questions arise about the physics:

    1. Aren’t tropical storms Earth’s way of balancing its energy budget, and as the Arctic is getting while the tropics stay more or less at the same temperature, won’t that result in less intensive storms, not more intensive?

    2. If the water vapour leads to more intense storms, doesn’t that mean more clouds? More clouds mean more albedo and less warming doesn’t it?

  56. “It may be all coincidental, but it’s looking suspicious that the ice has dramatically declined in the same period.”

    Doubly suspicious as the temperature in the Arctic has been below or at average over the whole of the summer.

    What we have here are wannabe witch-doctors, unfortunately they’re practising in the wrong era, there is too much information to hand for their outpourings to have any effect on those that don’t want to be affected.

  57. This friends and foes, is the begining on the end of the CarboNazi regimes and belifes, on an issue that has been becomed a religious obsesion, the Taha morgana on windmills and what the game is about.

    http://tv.nrk.no/serie/brennpunkt/mdup11000912/25-09-2012

    # its in norwegian, and I hope that scandinavians see this and gives a roundup of whats the main points of this video, and in the end, the Minister admits the fraud on behalf of the so called Green power setificate issue and windmill prodjekts in general, they where fooled and she is the ONLY one to admitt it, so far”
    And the kick goes to the MSM to.
    Enjoy.

    I have been into this for many years, and its been a bumby road and the expirience is eyeopening, and acusations, strawmann, flattout lies and forgerys of intent, but I have waited because the reality will soner or later manifest it self, the truth prevails.
    It may take a while, but I know one thing, education is essence and without sites like this, the Lie would have been victorious, and we all would been draged into a costly and comletly usless scam.
    Because this is a scam.
    Some of us have known this for years.

    peace

  58. Garethman says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:10 am
    >>
    IN the UK we have just had the heaviest 24 hours of rainfall for 30 years. This is in addition to a wet cold summer and cold winters, the 4th year in a row. It may be all coincidental, but it’s looking suspicious that the ice has dramatically declined in the same period.
    >>

    The ice extent has NOT declined in that period it has increased! What is suspicious is why we are told to look just at the minimum. Swings have been increasing in both directions, maxima have gone up as well , they just don’t put that in headlines (in fact they don’t even mention it).

    Look at the anomaly data, note the increased swings:

    now if we plot ALL the data with a 6m or 12m filter we get to see that ice extent is recovering. The big melt ended in 2007:

  59. The claim that this year’s sea ice summer cover is the smallest for probably 1 million years is a wild guess not supported by any evidence. The MWP had low ice cover which the Vikings used to help the expansion to Greenland.
    So 30 years of satellite data is enough to make these claims? I don’t think so.

  60. The old seadog. says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:49 am
    Almost 200 years ago , the UK Admiralty was saying much the same thing…..

    Yes, but with one important difference. Although they seem to have thought that the warming trend they had observed would continue (it didn’t) they did not try to extrapolate too far into the future or the remote past.

    January to june 1878 temperature in Central Englang rose from -2.8 to 16 degrees. That’s 37.6 degrees per year. Extrapolating that means by 2012 the temperature will be 4318°C.

  61. Just a thought from a layman. Maximum arctic ice melt is at the end of summer. So
    why wouldn’t maximum arctic ice melt be at the end of the interglacial?

  62. “Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum”

    The hamster has no momentum: it is stationary; the wheel moves.

    Would this scenario be so dire if it were a rich hamster?

  63. ““This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.”

    Am I right in assuming that no evidentiary basis was provided for this statement

  64. I have a feeling that this unprecedented warming of the Arctic (among other catastrophic things) is going to lead to a refreezing of the Arctic and the climate scientists will be right again.

  65. He appears to suggest, or imply, that the same heat can melt ice AND evaporate water at the pole. No double counting allowed in thermodynamics.

    Also, the Arctic sea-ice minimum occurs as the sun is setting in the Arctic. Not so much energy to absorb then, and more light reflects of oceans at low solar angles. What is happening is that the ocean is pi$$ing out heat like a punctured Zeppelin.

  66. Soup: “Sea ice extent is an example where the models (and climatologists) are obviously unduly opt’imistic.”

    Optimistic’, just a kind word for ‘wrong again’.

  67. Otter says: They do it constantly enough that we’re pretty sure they are just having fun.
    SasjaL says: A good descripton of the AGW hysteria …
    P. Solar says: evidence is mounting that AGW alarmists display the same behavioural patterns as hamsters.

    Hamsters with lofty aspiration towards lemminghood, it seems.

    If you’ll excuse my ENGLISH… in the real world we call what the article is doing “talking shit”

  68. I understand Anthony published this without comment, as yet another display of climate “science”…

    Lord save me – momentum of hamsters, frightening trends, increased storms.

    Interesting that no CO2 is mentioned, or drowning polar bears.

  69. Brian Johnson uk notes that the USN Skate was at the north pole in 1959. Great picture, but obviously forged. John Yackel was not born yet, so that is ancient history. Myths handed down through the generations, you know.

  70. Graphite says:
    September 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm
    Do hamsters on spinning wheels get caught up by momentum, become unable to stop until they’re overwhelmed and are sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside?

    I’d have thought they’d just run out of puff, slow down until they regain their breath then kick on again.

    http://www.achgut.tv/20110623674/

    If climate alarmism ever tires of pandas & penguins as heralid animals…

  71. And of course he just had to over egg the pudding and spoil it didnt he?

    “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist”

    It all plays well to the pews at the Holy church of the one true faith, but why stop at a million?

  72. Somebody’s gotta say it: ‘Mr. Yackel and Mr. McCoy’s wheels are turning but their hamsters are dead’. Or maybe: ‘It’s life Jim, but not as we know it’.

    Somebody should start a collection of the worst climate catastrophe analogies, metaphors and such — a kind of Climate Hall of Dumb.

  73. A Lovell
    “The beginning of the 14th Century is marked by one of
    the great disasters of human history. The rain started in 1315, and
    continued particularly in the summers for 7 years.”

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/intermediate-period-half-bond-events/

    So we take 720, add that to 1315, and get 2035. Gee, right in the middle of the window predicted by several folks including some notables in Russia with Ph.D.s for the coldest part of the solar sleep cycle…

    Oh, and someone needs to send the folks in Calgary a copy of Ice Age by John and Mary Gribbin so he can learn how Milankovitch Cycles work.

    A very readable history of the discovery of how Ice Ages work. But along the way you learn that the major thing needed for an interglacial is warm enough north pole to prevent persistent ice. It only comes around for a few thousands of years of orbital elements, then ends.

    What these idiots (and I rarely uses such terms) fail to grasp is that as soon as we have what they so fully demand, persistent multi-year ice that does not reduce we are headed back into the next glacial. Pronto.

    We barely dodged the bullet coming out of the L.I.A.

    Like a dog chasing a speeding car trying desperately to sink his teeth into the tire; one can only hope they do not get what they so desperately want, but do not understand…

  74. It the Arctic ice pack effectively disappears in summers, so what?
    The historical illiteracy (out right deception?) demonstrated by Yackel is interesting.
    This is almost as good as the hysterical prediction of Arctic sea ice disappearing even in winter this century made by some putz recorded over at Tom Nelson’s site.

  75. This guy is obviously an amateur researcher. Not one mention of the need for more money to study this even closer. And they expect the U of C to be a major research university. Got to work harder!

  76. Here is an e-mail I sent to Dr. Yackel. I’ll let everyone know if he responds.

    Dear Dr. Yackel: I read your article on Arctic sea ice and am troubled by your assertion that:

    “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,”

    Please provide documentation of this claim, specifically, the assertion that the ice extent is probably the smallest in the last million years. The following links are to studies suggesting that the during the Holocene, the Arctic Ocean was likely ice-free for periods during the Arctic summer.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379110003185

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

    If you are unable to provide documentation of your assertion, then you bring opprobrium and embarrassment upon yourself and the University of Calgary by making scientifically undocumented, outlandish, and unsubstantiated claims.

    Sincerely,

  77. “With climatologists screaming fear upon fear in the news and with the other planets getting warmer too, what are we to do!!”, said Chicken Little.

    You know, it’s getting real easy to have a distaste for these characters who call themselves climate “scientists”. The world is getting greener (NASA), fewer tornadoes and hurricanes (NOAA), and from what I can tell, the future is looking up. Almost like the Earth is now coming back to life after being frozen and nearly CO2 starved during the last ice age, a bit because mankind discovered oil and gas under the ground. Warmth is better and I really don’t give a dilly-squat whether the Arctic Ocean is all ice over the entire summer.

    That’s what I’ll be shouting from the rooftops… welcome back Mother Earth!

    Looking back on the written history of weather over the last 2000 years (it’s on the web), we’ve had it quite easy during the last century when we are not killing and hating ourselves.

  78. A classic story put out by a grant addicted ‘climate scientist’.

    The obvious flaws are:

    1. The recent arctic cyclone, which smashed up the ice cap in mid summer. A lot of ice was transported to warmer waters and melted. Also, this caused more saline water to be introduced into the area just under the ice cap, inhibiting ice formation and encouraging the ice to melt.

    2. No mention of the Antarctic ice cap which is at a record extent – just another one of those pesky inconvenient facts which have to be ignored.

    3. No mention of the effect of the record levels of human generated soot, which aids the melting of the ice.

    4. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.” Typical, unsubstantiated alarmist BS and the comment about the last million years is definitely not true.

    5. “We can also expect to see an increase in storm frequency and storm intensity for most of the world’s populated places as the Arctic and Earth continues to warm.” Typical, unsubstantiated alarmist BS and definitely not true. Sea water evaporation in the Arctic at 0-5 degrees C is essentially almost nothing.

  79. Sea Ice in the arctic might or might not be on a “terminal decline” but with that even as a given, I can not see the second part of his thermageddon nightmare – ever more powerful storms. To get really powerful storms there must be a large gradient for the energy to flow through. If the temperatures in the Arctic are significantly (unprecedentedly?) increasing (which I still don’t buy), then that would argue that the temperature gradient is decreasing, which would tend toward more benign weather with less destructive consequences. The guy needs a meteorology course or three to get his head around his conclusion and definitely needs to quit diving in the Thermageddon-flavored Kool-Aid.

  80. “but probably in the last million years”

    Nothing like shattering your credibility in the opening paragraph.

  81. “Arctic ice acts as a reflector of sunlight, helping regulate the Earth’s temperature, cooling the climate.”

    For someone who claims to be an expert on the Arctic, he sure doesn’t know much about the Arctic.

  82. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

    He made the statement but must have known about the other interglacials, the Holocene climate Optimum and the peer reviewed evidence which I posted above which clearly indicates his statement is not true. As a climatologist why does Yackel not know these things? Or does Yackel know but thinks others won’t?

  83. I’ve read several papers recently that have found that the arctic has been ice free several times in the last million years.

    Surely, even in Canada, 4M sq. mi. is greater than 0 sq. mi.

  84. I see many comments to the effect that ‘the winter ice is normal’. It is not.

    In a system with random variations chaotic swings, one would expect “normal” to sometimes swing above average and sometimes swing below average. The truth is that the winter maximum has been “below average” for 9 straight years. 2003 was the last year that the winter ice maximum was about the mid-line http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png .
    The odds of that happening by random chance are 0.4%.

    2-4 times in the last nine years, there have been a few weeks where the extend was “close” to normal during the winter. There were a couple times during that decade when ice peaked above “normal” very briefly at other times of the year. But during the majority of weeks during the majority of the years during the past decade the extend — summer and winter and spring and fall — were below average on the chart.

    Now, you could argue that the record is very short in terms of climate and that such trends are not sufficient to say there is a long-term change. You can easily make a case for such an argument. But you can’t look at http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png and conclude anything but that winter ice (and spring and summer and fall ice) continues to be unusually low compared to the ~ 35 year satellite record.

  85. Hamster wheels are passe. Now they run around in clear plastic balls, going wherever they want in a random walk (run) until they bang into something. Which btw is a better metaphor for the arctic climate system — a more complex behavior with limits — than the cartoonish one presented by McCoy

  86. I couldn’t find anywhere in the article where they discuss the record low extent of Antarctic sea ice to prove global warming. I also forget the right way to turn off the sarc command.

  87. Otter says: “They do it constantly enough that we’re pretty sure they are just having fun.”
    SasjaL says: “A good descripton of the AGW hysteria …”
    P. Solar says: “evidence is mounting that AGW alarmists display the same behavioural patterns as hamsters.”
    prjindigo says: “Hamsters with lofty aspiration towards lemminghood, it seems.”

    More like aspirations toward Disney “science”:

    http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp

    As with the lemming hoax, CAGW “scientists” put the story line above the truth.

  88. dikranmarsupial says:
    September 26, 2012 at 3:02 am
    Roy, you do know that Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking *faster* than the climatologists models predicted, don’t you?

    Nice that you point out climate models are almost completely worthless … but don’t worry, most folks here already knew that.

  89. Tim Ball said:

    “In the last million years.” A comment that is so wrong it removes all credibility. One million years includes three previous interglacials and the last 5,000 years of the Holocene Optimum all of which were markedly warmer than today.

    It doesn’t matter for their PR though. They can just say anything they want laced with “alarmist speak”, and the ultra-liberal knowledge-hostile academic environment sops it up like a dry mop.

  90. dikranmarsupial says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Roy, you are aware aren’t you that Arctic sea ice extent has been shrinking much *faster* than in the model projections, see e.g.
    —-
    If the ice had melted because the Arctic is getting warmer, then you might have actually had a point.

  91. “The beginning of the 14th Century is marked by one of
    the great disasters of human history. The rain started in 1315, and
    continued particularly in the summers for 7 years.”
    ———————————————-

    That was ‘divine retribution’ for the execution of Jaques de Molay in 1314. This is why Friday 13th is still ‘unlucky for some’.

    ;-)

    .

  92. “John Yackel, […] considers the annual summer ice melt in the Arctic, which he’s been closely monitoring for the past 15 years”

    Maybe he thinks just constantly monitoring the extent anomaly is sufficient for research, rather than look elsewhere for more information.

    It was good to see some real science though, like others I made the mental hypothesis that hamsters would not crash, but actual evidence showed the hypothesis was wrong. Climate science should take note.

  93. Following this record low in Arctic sea ice, I predict the “Greatest re-freeze evah!” I further predict that this record-shattering event will get very little attention.

  94. “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably since the MWP” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

    There, fixed it.

  95. Chris B says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:43 am
    Tiny Tim’s Global Sea Ice prediction circa 1960′s.
    =============
    It would appear that Hansen and Gore are simply echoing the predictions of Tiny Tim. However, unlike today’s climate fanatics, Tiny Tim saw it as a sign of our salvation. Here is the prediction from 50 years ago.

    Tiny Tim The Other Side

    One nigh is brown
    the other is brown
    I am a fish
    I swim around
    You say I’m lost
    I disagree
    The map has changed
    and with it, me

    Gliding through the seaweed
    what strange things I see below
    Cars are waiting
    windshields wiping
    Nowhere left to go!

    Oh…

    The ice caps are melting
    Oh, ho, ho ho
    All the world is drowning
    Ho, ho ho, ho ho
    The ice caps are melting
    the tide is rushing in
    All the world is drowning
    to wash away the sin

    The seagull flies
    in search of land
    The children hide
    beneath the sand
    As golden toys
    come floating down
    I play the fish
    I swim around

    Gliding through the seaweed
    what strange things I see below
    Cars are waiting
    windshields wiping
    Nowhere left to go!

    Oh…

    The ice caps are melting
    Oh, ho, ho ho
    All the world is drowning
    Ho, ho ho, ho ho
    The ice caps are melting
    the tide is rushing in
    All the world is drowning
    to wash away the sin

    Now everybody sing!
    I tell you, my dear friend…
    Oh how wonderful it is!
    Know that whoever you are
    we can all be happy and singing!

    No matter if you’re out there parked to that car along the highway
    Or whether you’re at home, sitting by the radio
    Or whether you’re having them good meals
    Or whether you’re by the TV set
    Let everyone sing about those melting ice caps
    how they’re coming down into the sea
    and let us all have a swimming time, as we sing;

    The ice caps are melting
    Oh, ho, ho ho
    All the world is drowning
    Ho, ho ho, ho ho
    The ice caps are melting
    the tide is rushing in
    All the world is drowning
    to wash away the sin

  96. I agree that the “million year” hyperbole was a mistake. There are traces of the Holocene Climate Optimum on the Arctic coasts which show that sea level was higher, (despite the fact in many places the land has risen due to Isostatic Rebound,) and geologists can see clear signs of shoreline features caused by surf and open water, which are quite different from the features caused by the wind-driven floes and grinding bergs of an ice-covered sea.

    Add to that the fact the original pioneers of the Arctic,(the Independence I Culture,) heated and apparently built their homes of driftwood, and one gets the idea the shores of the Arctic Sea were littered with driftwood brought into the sea by Arctic rivers. In fact one stress that “might” have led to the end of that first culture may have been the simple fact they ran out of driftwood to burn. (Even in a warmer time the winter nights would have been very long and dark.)

    The current situation in the arctic is very interesting, and will be fascinating to watch. There are all sorts of things to be in awe of and to wonder about. It seems silly to lower the discussions with a “million year” hyperbole that suggests a great lack of research.

  97. re. Dikranmarsupial:
    “Roy, you are aware aren’t you that Arctic sea ice extent has been shrinking much *faster* than in the model projections, see e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/images/seaice10.jpg, in fact the current sea ice extent is below the lower limit of the credible interval of the ensemble. Sea ice extent is an example where the models (and climatologists) are obviously unduly optimistic.”

    I would change that last word to “unskillful”. Your takeaway point is that climatologists can’t model and forecast? And we should place credibility in them?

  98. Salient:
    ===========================
    SasjaL says:

    September 26, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum and unable to stop until it’s overwhelmed, sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside.

    A good descripton of the AGW hysteria …
    ==================================

    If you didn’t click on the Tiny Tim song, it certainly captures the spirit of unwitting self-parody.

  99. Tim Folkerts says:
    September 26, 2012 at 6:34 am
    I see many comments to the effect that ‘the winter ice is normal’. It is not.

    Explain “normal”, please.

  100. Re: Jimbo 3:01 am

    RE: Yackel’s: but probably in the last million years

    Your two abstracts give an explaination to the “last million years”. The second abstract talks about probably for a millenium or more,

    million years == millenium
    Simple mistake. Anyone could do it. Either Yackel has to work on his handwriting, or learn to insist on reviewing PR pieces where he is quoted incorrectly.
    Either way, Yackel probably has learned a lesson here.

    And so have we. Yackel == Cackle

  101. Think of all the whales and seals that will be saved by an ice free arctic. Otherwise, if the sea is covered with ice, they have to survive by breathing through holes in the ice. If these holes freeze over, they die from suffocation. Of course their cascaras sink to the bottom under the ice, so out of sight out of mind, folks only worry about the polar bears. Why isn’t Al out their campaigning to help the whales?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narwhal

    Mortality often occurs when the narwhals suffocate after they fail to leave before the surface of the Arctic waters freezes over in the late fall.[9] Macdonald, D.W.; Barrett , P. (1993). Mammals of Europe. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09160-9.

  102. Looking at the charts, I see that there wasn’t anything particularly special about the 2012 sea ice extent until mid August this year. Is that really what we would expect from global warming? A sudden step-change in the level of ice over a matter of days? I think not. The storm on 1st August seems much more likely to be the culprit. I love the way Team AGW gets all excited about this kind of thing though – it clearly shows how vacuous their argument is or they’d have the wit to realise what utter tosh they are talking.

  103. Some very scientific statements:
    “we’ve reversed that ratio”
    “… probably in the last million years”
    “… is likely to be gone”

  104. He needs to weight that evaporation against the sublimation that was happening and less sublimation that will happen due to the area of glaciers supposedly being reduced. Also it would depend on wind speeds. It’s certainly more complex problem than the article makes out.

  105. “We have a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016…”
    “The University of Calgary will be a global intellectual hub….”

    Good luck!

    “…was about 80 per cent multi-year and 20 per cent seasonal. In the last 20 years we’ve almost gotten to the point where we’ve reversed that ratio…”

    The 80 20 rule must also apply to reversing intellectual content emerging from U of Calgary.

  106. dikranmarsupial says:
    September 26, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Roy, you do know that Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking *faster* than the climatologists models predicted, don’t you?

    Thanks for the great information. Can you now tell me what the cause[s] are for the shrinkage over the last 33 years odd years?

  107. Silver Ralph says:
    September 26, 2012 at 6:53 am
    “The beginning of the 14th Century is marked by one of
    the great disasters of human history. The rain started in 1315, and
    continued particularly in the summers for 7 years.”
    ———————————————-
    That was ‘divine retribution’ for the execution of Jaques de Molay in 1314. This is why Friday 13th is still ‘unlucky for some’.
    ++++++++++++
    So, even in the 1300’s it was believed that human actions were the cause of climate change. Not much different than earlier cultures that believe human sacrifice could change the weather.

    So, unlike the current crop of scholars and politicians that now believe that human actions are the cause of climate change, and that more human sacrifice is the cure. not!

  108. Maybe someone can explain the following apparent discrepancy to me? I recently watched the latest season (2012) of the brilliant TV series ‘Deadliest Catch’ where the fishermen were fishing for opelio crab. The fishermen could not fish for a portion of the season due to the amount of ice in the Bering sea, some describing it as the worst in living memory. But if I look at the sea ice graph (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg), the 2012 sea ice peak is much lower than for previous years. Am I missing something?

  109. Question. Can anyone name a time in history where it was not believed that:

    1. human actions could affect the weather/climate
    2. the cure was more human sacrifice

    Are we any different? Surely to the rulers of past times, their beliefs were as founded in logic and knowledge as our our current beliefs. They would have been equally convinced that they were right and their actions were just.

    Today, we see their past beliefs as mistaken superstition. Why will the future view our present beliefs as any different? In what way have human beings changed to indicate that we are not simply repeating the same mistakes of the past?

    Isn’t the mistake in assuming that we know pretty much all there is to know, and that tomorrow will simply confirm this? Hasn’t this mistake been made time and time again over history? Every generation believes they know just about all there is to know. And the next generation sets out to prove them wrong.

    Isn’t the reality that what we don’t know is vastly greater than what we do know, and always will be.

  110. David Ball says: September 26, 2012 at 7:45 am
    “Explain “normal”, please.”

    In the context of this discussion, the comments that I was responding to were related to graphs of sea ice extents since the beginning of the satellite era. So “normal” in this context was the “zero line on the graph I linked to:

    This graph is ALSO a good place to look in this context:

    Both graphs show that current winters are not “recovering” or “back to normal” compared to the beginning of the satellite record. The winter ice continues to decline — just more slowly than the summer ice.

  111. This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

    Isn’t it about now that someone stands up and says, “Now you’re just making shit up!”

    DaveE.

  112. To these run-of-the-mill alarmists, the melting of ice is “frightening”. To me, poor people starving in the shadows of wind turbines is frightening.

  113. dikranmarsupial says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:53 am
    Roy, you are aware aren’t you that Arctic sea ice extent has been shrinking much *faster* than in the model projections, see e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/images/seaice10.jpg, in fact the current sea ice extent is below the lower limit of the credible interval of the ensemble. Sea ice extent is an example where the models (and climatologists) are obviously unduly optimistic.
    ———————————
    Silly me.
    Here I was thinking this is just one more prediction where the models are unduly wrong.
    I’m not a scientist but, I am a thinker. How do you ignore the logic?
    Earth warms, ice melts, we get more water, more open land for food and expansion. Life will survive and even thrive. IMO this is the natural cycle. IMO this is good. How about you? Null hypothesis first, please.

  114. beng says:
    September 26, 2012 at 7:00 am
    “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably since the MWP” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.

    There, fixed it.

    So, that would mean the MWP and the LIA are back in the science?
    He could get sued. Did he ask Michael Mann if it was ok?
    cn

  115. Tim Folkerts says:
    September 26, 2012 at 6:34 am
    I see many comments to the effect that ‘the winter ice is normal’. It is not.

    In a system with random variations chaotic swings, one would expect “normal” to sometimes swing above average and sometimes swing below average. The truth is that the winter maximum has been “below average” for 9 straight years.
    ————————-
    The fact the ice is below some abstract average for some very short period of time is not even worrying. Maybe your average is wrong. My understanding is that they farmed Greenland. Ring the alarm again when your average includes chaotic swings around farming in Greenland.
    cn

  116. Yackel is a former student of Dr David Barber – you know, the guy who goes looking for ‘rotten ice’ and gives it a good ‘researching’ with an icebreaker. Then wonders why it’s melting quicker.

  117. Garethman:

    Please find the warm, ice reduced period at Marine Isotopic Stage 5e equal to the “orbitally forced” period coming out of the last glacial in your referenced paper (which was generally very good, thank you).

    Clearly 65 N orbital insolation variation influences the vicissitudes of sea ice extent and foram productivity. Orbital correlations with glacial/interglacial periodicity are a mess (see Lorraine Lisiecki). Orbital variations have absolutely no power to explain why ice should return to the planet in the late Cenozoic after being largely absent for 250 million years since the Permian.

    Until you can explain the big cycles, anything can happen.

  118. tjfolkerts says:
    September 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Both graphs show that current winters are not “recovering” or “back to normal” compared to the beginning of the satellite record.

    Please explain why some random point in time (when satellite technology became available) should be considered ‘normal’ as far as Arctic ice is concerned.

  119. What is “frightening” about a warmer planet? What is scary about an atmosphere with more CO2 plant food? Humanity would benefit if both scenarios occurred.

    The professor’s comment about the lowest ice extent in “probably the last million years” is just plain silly. There is plenty of ice core data indicating the planet was much warmer in the geologic past. Does the professor use a crystal ball in his research?

  120. It won’t be long before these experts launch into the old speal, repent your evil ways.. yada yada, Oh wait thats where they started. I was hoping our conservative govt would cut the funding to these con artists and start criminal investigation into civil servants who fail to do their duty. My favourite example is the scientific advisors to our govts who can not produce any science references to back the policies they push, but defer to the IPCC and then quote the precautionary principle. The last one did not like being compared to a thief who I was sure intended to steal from me, therefore under the precautionary principal….Logic is not these peoples strong point.

  121. Thomas U said: Further warming (“runaway, per chance?) because less ice around the north-pole ice reflects less sunlight. Has the good professor ever heard of the reflecting properties of water, particularly in respect of the angle at which the sunlight hits the north pole? Has he ever considered the insulating capabilities of ice, perhaps thought of designing one of these wonderful and ever so accurate climate models which includes the reduced insulation?

    While water is reflective at low angles of incidence, the albedo is still lower than that of ice. See http://alaska.usgs.gov/geography/conference/presentations/Seward%20talk_tschudi.pdf which shows a clear decline in Arctic albedo over the last 25 years.

    With regards to the insulating properties of ice, um, no, ice is not a good insulator. That’s why it feels cold when you touch it. Put a piece of cardboard in your freezer, then take it out – it will not feel nearly as cold as an ice cube because ice is not a good insulator, unlike cardboard. The U value for ice is just over 2 W/m2K, about the same as marble or rock – which aren’t exactly considered to be insulators: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

  122. Tim Ball says on September 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm:
    ““In the last million years.” A comment that is so wrong ——— were markedly warmer than today.”
    ===============
    Quite correct as usual and regrettably I have for some reason not seen or read any “guest posts” by Tim Ball here on WUWT – and I am quite certain we can all benefit from a few of them here just like I did benefit (I am certain I did) from reading his postings on another blog.

    IMHO that blog has suffered “post Ball fading” and is therefore, as far as I am concerned, no longer worth reading.

  123. Yackov is either totally incompetent, completely delusional, a liar, or more probably all of the above. He most certainly has no bushiness being around kids.

  124. “The depleting ice cover would have serious ramifications for the planet. Arctic ice acts as a reflector of sunlight, helping regulate the Earth’s temperature, cooling the climate.”

    According to some chaps at NASA the Earth might have a few tricks up its sleeve to counter Arctic amplification.

    Although sea ice and snow cover had noticeably declined in the Arctic from 2000 to 2004, there had been no detectable change in the albedo measured at the top of the atmosphere: the proportion of light the Arctic reflected hadn’t changed. In other words, the ice albedo feedback that most climate models predict will ultimately amplify global warming apparently hadn’t yet kicked in.

    Kato quickly understood why: not only is the Arctic’s average cloud fraction on summer days large enough—on average 0.8, or 80 percent—to mask sea ice changes, but an increase in cloudiness between 2000 and 2004 further hid any impact that sea ice and snow losses might have had on the Arctic’s ability to reflect incoming light.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ArcticReflector/arctic_reflector4.php

    We’ll have to wait and see if this effect will continue or amplification finally kicks in. ;-)

  125. kirkmyers says:
    September 26, 2012 at 10:18 am
    “What is “frightening” about a warmer planet?”

    Oh, simple. above 37 deg C at 100 % rel. humidity the human body is no more able to cool itself. At 42 deg C humans die.
    (That’s what I read from an alarmist, I THINK at Michael tobin (but don’t beat me to it) as the major concern.)
    As according to CO2AGW theory from a certain “tipping” point temperatures will grow exponentially the believers in CO2AGW theory really do fear certain death.
    That’s why they’re constantly thinking about ripping out our throats.

  126. Billy, Chuck, David, et al

    Let me reiterate .. I was responding to this comment (and similar ideas):

    Note that the maxima are near to the 30y average, the key feature of this period is the notably increased swing of the annual cycle. This is very likely a consequence of the prevalence of thin ice that you comment on. In such a context, considering only the minima will give a very misleading impression of the state of ice cover, no more representative than only considering the maxima and concluding ice coverage was back to “normal”.

    I am not the one who chose these these 30+ years. I am not the one who defined “normal”. I am not the one who chose to look at winter maxima. If you want to object to those, then talk to P. Solar.

    But if you DO choose to to look at those, then the inescapable conclusion is that the last few years are NOT “normal”. Considering the minima does NOT give a “misleading impression” that the ice is declining, since looking at the maxima ALSO leads to the conclusion that the ice is declining. (And looking at the age and/or thickness of the ice strengthens the conclusion even more).

    FWIW, I agree that ….
    * 35 years is a relatively short time to study any climate phenomenon.
    * using the last 35 years to define “normal” is definitely a bit arbitrary.
    * Ice has most likely been lower “in the last million years” (quite possibly sometime 6-10,000 years ago).

  127. DirkH says:
    September 26, 2012 at 11:13 am
    “Oh, simple. above 37 deg C at 100 % rel. humidity the human body is no more able to cool itself. At 42 deg C humans die.”

    …which make me think of
    S. Matthew Liao, NYU professor, ETHICIST, (wants to genetically engineer people to become shorter, torture them to induce vegetarian lifestyle, and give them drugs to make them easier to handle)
    at

    http://ethics-etc.com/category/environmental-ethics/

    Somebody should suggest to him that we could also genetically engineer humans to withstand higher temperatures. He’ll like that.

  128. tkfoler says: This graph is ALSO a good place to look in this context:

    That data is exactly the graph what woke me up to the scam of only looking at the minima. We see that the annual swing in ice extent has increased notably since 2007. I also noticed that the maxima were increasing about a much as the minima were decreasing but the longer term trend is difficult to isolate from the short term “weather” noise on the graph . So I went to do what any good scientist would do: get the data and have a closer look.

    Once you filter out the annual variation this is what you get.

    It is clear that there has been a regime change since 2007. The dramatic fall from 1995-2007 has been broken.

    It is only the “trick” of focusing on the minimum that gives the false impression that “it’s worse than we thought”.

  129. ” it’s steadily shrunk in the wake of Arctic and global warming.”
    Umm, global warming?
    So this is evidence of global, as in the planet is warming?
    So if the globe is warming why is the Antarctic not melting? It is on the same planet. What ever your answer the idea of the globe warming is not happening with the SH being so cold. It’s a NH effect only.
    Maybe all that CO2 piles up at the North Pole.

  130. Jimbo says:
    September 26, 2012 at 8:21 am

    The ‘dikranmarsupial’ is not often seen in these parts. It must well out of its normal range; very likely due to global warming.

  131. Hey, y’all quit complaining. My son is a student at the U of C so when I pay his tuition I am in part funding this lunatic.

  132. Thomas U. says on September 26, 2012 at 12:30 am :
    “— ——— —, —– —. “We can also expect this doomesday cult to linger on until the funding countries are finally bancrupt. There is a high probability that this event, bancrupcy, will occur before the “great global warming catastrophy” happens.” —-“

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

    Yes, a very nice day to all of you. Autumn has begun in the northern hemisphere’s economy and I am wondering what the bankers are doing nowadays which is different from what they have always done, – except that is, apart from handling lots more money from things like “carbon trading” deals, windmill building, Carbon Sequestrating research financing and other “very important earth saving deals”. My bet is that the “Western World’s economic deficit” is in close resemblance to the “Western World’s Global warming expenditure”

    Only a guess mind but why should only “Climatologists” have monopoly on guesswork.

  133. tjfolkerts says: I am not the one who chose to look at winter maxima. If you want to object to those, then talk to P. Solar.

    I did not suggest we look at winter maxima rather than any other part of the year. What I am pointing out is that we should be looking at all available data, not pretending the annual minimum defines ice extent.

  134. Chris says:
    September 26, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Thomas U said: Further warming (“runaway, per chance?) because less ice around the north-pole ice reflects less sunlight. Has the good professor ever heard of the reflecting properties of water, particularly in respect of the angle at which the sunlight hits the north pole? Has he ever considered the insulating capabilities of ice, perhaps thought of designing one of these wonderful and ever so accurate climate models which includes the reduced insulation?

    While water is reflective at low angles of incidence, the albedo is still lower than that of ice. See http://alaska.usgs.gov/geography/conference/presentations/Seward%20talk_tschudi.pdf which shows a clear decline in Arctic albedo over the last 25 years.

    Depends how you measure it of course, I see the paper measures the albedo not in terms of insolation incidence but at normal, (90°). Yes, we can agree there.

    With regards to the insulating properties of ice, um, no, ice is not a good insulator. That’s why it feels cold when you touch it. Put a piece of cardboard in your freezer, then take it out – it will not feel nearly as cold as an ice cube because ice is not a good insulator, unlike cardboard. The U value for ice is just over 2 W/m2K, about the same as marble or rock – which aren’t exactly considered to be insulators: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

    Where do you get the idea that because ice feels cold it is not a good insulator? It feels cold because it’s cold and has a high thermal mass, if it was not a good insulator it would feel as warm as the underlying water. Incidentally, the reason dry cardboard doesn’t feel as cold as ice is because its thermal mass is minute in comparison. (A bit like air really which is one reason why the whole AGW thing is a scam.) Strangely, the water under the ice is warmer and not exposed to allow either radiative or conductive energy loss. Do you want to revise that now?

    Are you an arts major?

    DaveE.

  135. ferdberple says:

    September 26, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Think of all the whales and seals that will be saved by an ice free arctic. Otherwise, if the sea is covered with ice, they have to survive by breathing through holes in the ice. If these holes freeze over, they die from suffocation. Of course their cascaras sink to the bottom under the ice, so out of sight out of mind, folks only worry about the polar bears. Why isn’t Al out their campaigning to help the whales?

    Because he dosen’t know what a cascara is.

  136. Earlier I sent a couple of questions to Prof. Yackel and I got a prompt response

    Here’s my email:

    Dear Professor,

    I read your comments reported in the Utoday article.

    “In the last 20 years we’ve almost gotten to the point where we’ve reversed that ratio,” Yackel says, predicting the ice extent that covers the Arctic Ocean “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner.”

    You would seem to base this opinion on study of the ice coverage minima. While this is interesting , it may be deceptive if taken to be representative of Arctic climate.

    There has been a notable change in the behaviour of ice coverage since 2007 as can be seen in the anomaly graph provided by Cryosphere Today:

    Note that the maxima are near to the 30y average, the key feature of this period is the notably increased swing of the annual cycle. This is very likely a consequence of the prevalence of thin ice that you comment on. In such a context, considering only the minima will give a very misleading impression of the state of ice cover, no more representative than only considering the maxima and concluding ice coverage was back to “normal”.

    I would draw your attention to the other 364 days of each year. Considering the daily ice extent and applying a 6m or 12m gaussian filter we see a better indication of what is happening:

    data sourse:

    http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0051.html

    filtered daily ice extent:

    It would appear that there has been a regime change since 2007. The alarming plunge, far from continuing “worse than we thought” , stopped in 2007.

    The article states ” he considers the annual summer ice melt in the Arctic, which he’s been closely monitoring for the past 15 years – documenting the ice cover as it’s steadily shrunk in the wake of Arctic and global warming.”

    Do you think your prediction that ice extent “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner” is consistent with the change in behaviour since 2007?

    That would seem more consistent with the pre-2007 drop which you are suggesting will continue unabated. That would seem contrary to the evidence of the last 5 years.

    Have you ever looked at the whole years data as presented here?

    Here’s the reply from Prof. Yackel

    >>
    Thanks for your comments.
    Yup, scientists really don’t expect any changes to be seen in the winter maxima … since the positive sea ice albedo feedback doesn’t operate in the winter when there is no daylight. This feedback is now accentuated in the summers because of the ratio flip of old to new ice we’ve observed in the last 20 years. So, ice will further melt at an accelerated rate in the summertimes. The ice that can grow back in the winter … is thin stuff that can easily be melted in the subsequent summers. We are not growing anywhere near as much old ice as we did 5, 10 or 20 years. To summarize, its about the feedback processes in the summer … that most people really don’t fully understand.
    Cheers … John
    >>

    ie total evasion of the questions I asked him. I then pressed him to reply to my questions and got the following:

    >>
    Please come see me in my office hours … I love to explain it to you as I cannot express the context of the situation quickly in words or in a few sentenses.
    Many thanks,
    John
    >>

    LOL.
    ” Have you ever looked at the whole years data as presented here?”
    Yes or no would do. I don’t need to come round for coffee.

    “Do you think your prediction that ice extent “is likely to be gone in the summers within the next 20 to 25 years, if not sooner” is consistent with the change in behaviour since 2007?”

    Likewise, it’s a yes or no question. The good professor is happy to go on record as an expert on the subject making such untenable statements but is unable back it up or answer a yes or no to a clear question.

    If “scientists really don’t expect any changes to be seen in the winter maxima” well then they should try looking at ALL the data. Science is based on observation NOT expectation.

  137. Tom in Florida says on September 26, 2012 at 4:34 am:
    “Just a thought from a layman. Maximum arctic ice melt is at the end of summer. So
    why wouldn’t maximum arctic ice melt be at the end of the interglacial?”
    ============
    Oy, oy don’t you start frightening us hamster lovers. – The poor little things will have to run a lot faster just to keep warm if you are right.

  138. P. Solar says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I see the good Dr brings in the old albedo canard. As I replied earlier to Chris, albedo is measured at the normal, ie 90° incidence, not the much lower angle of insolation at the poles.

    DaveE.

  139. dikranmarsupial says:
    September 26, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Roy, you do know that Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking *faster* than the climatologists models predicted, don’t you?

    Should we conclude from this that the models provide an upper bound to future ice extent or that they just don’t work?

  140. Question from Climatology 101 Final Exam, Physics section:

    13. What is the force holding a hamster to the side of the hamster wheel?
    A. Centrifugal
    B. Centripetal
    C. Both A and B

    From the grading instructions for the teaching assistant:

    If the options are scratched out and replaced with write-in answers like “gravity” and/or “gripping force of their toes” then the student flunks the entire test, as they clearly did not study the hamster wheel computer model which used neither of those thus they are obviously incompetent.

  141. Chris B, any social scientist must blame preschool brainwashing. Its all Tiny Tims fault, after all most of these climatologist/ activists are of the age to have seen Tim in his glory. Oh the horrors of an unhinged subconscious mind. Sarc aside its one possible explanation for this bedwetting and doom over weather from supposedly educated people. Thanks for posting the vid, LOL.

  142. David A. Evans says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm
    >>
    P. Solar says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I see the good Dr brings in the old albedo canard. As I replied earlier to Chris, albedo is measured at the normal, ie 90° incidence, not the much lower angle of insolation at the poles.

    DaveE.
    >>

    Doctor? Professor no less.

    He also starts waffling about positive feedback but clearly all this physics stuff if outside his field of understanding, it’s just a ploy to avoid answering the direct questions I asked him about what is supposed to be his area of expertise.

    BTW here is the graph I intended to post (the one where I managed spell Arctic correctly ;) ).

  143. Oh wait, where have we seen a solution to these “frightening” trend.

    U of Calgary Professor TED talk from 2007:

  144. Garethman says:
    September 26, 2012 at 2:10 am

    IN the UK we have just had the heaviest 24 hours of rainfall for 30 years. This is in addition to a wet cold summer and cold winters, the 4th year in a row. It may be all coincidental, but it’s looking suspicious that the ice has dramatically declined in the same period.

    Tonight I see this excitable headline “Mighty rains head South: Jet stream that brought Britain’s worst storm in 30 years does an about-turn and will strike TONIGHT” The pictures tell a better story than the article.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208812/Uk-Weather-Massive-clear-begins-deluge-powerful-warped-roads.html

    I have posted this before – but it is still worth reading – as even the continual rain is normal when the climate changes from warm to cold. It happened just the same way at the end of the Medieval Warm Period as the climate moved into the Little Ice Age. From the book “The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization” By Brian M. Fagan –

    “Seven weeks after Easter in A.D. 1315, sheets of rain spread across a sodden Europe, turning freshly plowed fields into lakes and quagmires. The deluge continued through June and July, and then August and September. Hay lay flat in the fields; wheat and barley rotted unharvested. The anonymous author of the Chronicle of Malmesbury wondered if divine vengeance had come upon the land: “Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand against them, and hath smitten them.” Most close-knit farming communities endured the shortages of 1315 and hoped for a better harvest the following year. But heavy spring rains in 1316 prevented proper sowing. Intense gales battered the English Channel and North Sea; flocks and herds withered, crops failed, prices rose, and people again contemplated the wrath of God. By the time the barrage of rains subsided in 1321, over a million-and-a-half people, villagers and city folk alike, had perished from hunger and famine-related epidemics. Giles de Muisit, abbot of Saint-Martin de Tournai in modern-day Belgium, wrote, “Men and women from among the powerful, the middling, and the lowly, old and young, rich and poor, perished daily in such numbers that the air was fetid with the stench.” People everywhere despaired. Guilds and religious orders moved through the streets, the people naked, carrying the bodies of saints and other sacred relics. After generations of good, they believed that divine retribution had come to punish a Europe divided by war and petty strife.
    The great rains of 1315 marked the beginning of what climatologists call the Little Ice Age, a period of six centuries of constant climatic shifts that may or may not be still in progress.”

    Note that even the start date of the rain was similar although now instead of the ‘Wrath of God” we have the Gaia upset with our carbon footprints – the driving religious fervor is just the same.

    It would really be an idea to lay in a few months supply of some dried foods lentils, alfalfa sprouts, rice, barley, etc. It looks like things may be about to take a turn for the worse.

  145. tjfolkerts says:
    September 26, 2012 at 11:17 am
    Still refusing to understand, despite admissions that completely undermine your own position. Weird.

  146. vacek says: Regime change since 2007 ? Really?

    what’s you point precisely? You cherry pick a couple of years in your annotations but if you don’t say what you mean it’s hard to agree or disagree.

    I did not say there was more ice this year than last year or than there was in 1979.

    What I was pointing out was a marked change in behaviour. The long, continuous slide from 1995-2007 ended abruptly in 2007. Since then there has been a cyclic event similar to those seen in 80s and 90s except that end of the hump is higher than the beginning unlike the earlier years which were already seeing a marked underlying decline.

    This is an entirely different impression to that which is gained by obsessing on the annual minimum and ignoring the rest of the year.

    UAH lower tropo temperatures also went into cooling at about that time. 2004 for SH, 2006 for NH

    That seems a fairly good indication that this is not a localised Arctic event but global.

    If you have any further comment , please try to be specific.

  147. Billy Liar says:
    Snow covered ice is an excellent insulator. Around an order of magnitude better than ice.

    I’d also add that the Eskimo make igloo due to the insulation. You can get them up to above freezing inside (though they drip ;-)

    Also, a standard survival technique is the “snow cave” for the same reasons.

    Clearly “Warmers” will never survive being lost in the frozen north…. or frozen south…

    OH, and don’t forget that “Ice does NOT convect; water does.”

    That matters. Rather a lot. For reasons unknown (the only ones I can figure should result in arrest and prosecution…) the Climate “Scientists” never do account for convection worth a tinkers, er, expletive…

    So we end up with ‘radiative models’ that ignore gigatons of evaporation, convection, condensation, and precipitation. In the arctic, the albedo acting on the largely nonexistent sunshine is held key, while again gigatons of convecting water is ignored (along with similarly gigantic flows of air as strong winds).

    Drivers (no, not “forcing”, there is no “force” identified) ought to be ranked with highest mass and highest specific heat as most important, near mass-less and nearly non-existent photons are also nearly irrelevant at the pole… Don’t believe me? Take off your cloths and stand in the arctic “sun” in September. Then jump in the open water for 5 minutes. Then get back in the sun for 5 minutes. Does the “sun” have as much effect as the water dunk? If you think it does, repeat the process. 5 minutes in, 5 out, for a day… Have a medevac unit standing by…

    There’s an oscillation in the data, between N and S pole; we just happen to be in a “Warmer north, colder south” at the moment. In a half dozen years, I expect this will change around. It looks like about a 30 year cycle and we’ve been in this one for a while.

    FWIW, I’ve looked at thousands of charts of similar stochastic resonant type data. One pronounced characteristic in the financial charts is the “double top” or “double bottom” with “failure to advance”. Exactly what that sea ice chart looks like. Especially at price bottoms (for complex reasons not important here) the volatility goes way up. You get a ‘spike down’, a small recovery, then what looks like it will be Yet Another Spike Down (as there may have been several, each deeper and more violent). But it doesn’t make it. It just more or less matches the prior one. Failure To Advance to the downside. That is the first and IMHO most important signal of a reversal.

    So what I see in that chart is simple. We had a thicker atmospheric height higher UV level driven regime with modest swings of Arctic Ice. In about 1998 we had the sun go sleepy. As there’s an 18 year or so delay of central Pacific water temp changes getting to Alaska, the Arctic water temp will lag. (Don’t know the time delay for Atlantic water). Arctic continued to have warm water, but also got a dose of more violent winds ( I’ve noticed more ‘gusty’ wind and found it in wind data, since the UV drop) breaking up the ice. (Ice breakers all over the Arctic don’t help either). It gets blown out into warm water.

    That trend continued for many years, but now we have “failure to advance” to the downside. It’s over, IMHO. We’ve gone into a cold regime. Heat is leaving (mostly it leaves at the poles and the open water will just accelerate that) and we can see that heat transport directly reflected in the larger rainfall near the tropics. High evaporation, convection, condensation (with radiation at altitude, where CO2 increases IR loss) and precipitation. Just like any other heat engine or heat pipe. Even the Arctic will be making those waters colder as they radiate and picking up the pace of the “sink and circulate” in the oceans.

    LAST thing to happen IMHO will be more ice at the North Pole. It’s got to dump a lot of heat from the 30 year hot phase of the 60 year cycle first. And that N.Pole / S.Pole oscillator has to run it’s cycle too.

    We’re back in the 1950s (about when the last North Pole Melting and Tiny Tim song things were going on) and in about the ’60s we started in on the “New Ice Age” scare. So give it about a decade to be back to the ice age scare as the “Climate Chaos” story of choice. For now, they will stay with “chaos” as too many of us remember the “warming” paranoia rant…

    OH, and mark your calendar for 2050. That will be the next opportunity to run with the “Global Warming” scare story…

    Cycles, so useful to folks using linear trend lines to make Chicken Little Rants…

    If you look at the ‘net flux’ movie here:

    http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=CERES_NETFLUX_M

    you can see that there is always heat loss from the poles. Briefly at the warmest moment of the year at the north pole, the heat loss drops to about a net balance, but not a gain (it’s hard to tell in the pictures if it has a gain for a brief moment, but some areas away from the pole do have gain late in the season. At some point the gain where the sun is overhead must pass through near zero to zero to negative at the pole, so watching that line move back and forth is educational).

    The whole notion of the “Poles Warming” is just broken. At most they can “lose heat more slowly” and “freeze less”. They are always heat radiators. Just as the Equatorial zone is always where the heat gain is most (modulo a seasonal wobble to each side).

    So anyone who talks about ‘heat gain’ at the pole is already showing signs of serious defect of thinking… It never ‘gains heat’ and it never ‘warms’. It loses heat, and at various rates. The only question is how much the equatorial and temperate heat gain is lost on the way to the pole…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/what-does-precipitation-say-about-heat-flow/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/outgoing-vs-land-vs-water-vapor/

  148. David Ball cryptically opines: “Still refusing to understand, despite admissions that completely undermine your own position. Weird.”

    I stand by what I said. Perhaps you you could enlighten us all as to what I said that you think shows some sort of willful misunderstanding.

  149. “Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum and unable to stop until it’s overwhelmed, sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside.”

    “That’s the analogy John Yackel, head of the department of geography, makes when he considers the annual summer ice melt in the Arctic, …”
    The science behind Yackel’s ice melt claim is as sound as his understanding of the momentum of the spinning wheel. Apparently as a Geography professor he never took freshman physics and has not a clue as to what causes the wheel to spin in the first place. The energy to keep the wheel spinning comes from the hamster due to friction unless a large mass in the form of a flywheel is added to the hamster’s wheel to provide momentum when the hamster stops pushing on the wheel. If it had such mass the poor hamster could never get the wheel spinning in the first place.

  150. Thank you Steve, for that reconstruction of Arctic sea ice,, as that paper phrases its results. The 2nd graphic uses a 40 year smoothing?

    What is the Antarctic sea ice reconstruction for that same period? We are, after all, looking at total earth reflectivity, NOT just the little 4 million km^2 Arctic beanie above 80 north latitude.

    .

  151. E.M.Smith says:
    September 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    If you look at the ‘net flux’ movie here:

    http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/GlobalMaps/view.php?d1=CERES_NETFLUX_M

    you can see that there is always heat loss from the poles. Briefly at the warmest moment of the year at the north pole, the heat loss drops to about a net balance, but not a gain (it’s hard to tell in the pictures if it has a gain for a brief moment, but some areas away from the pole do have gain late in the season. At some point the gain where the sun is overhead must pass through near zero to zero to negative at the pole, so watching that line move back and forth is educational).

    The whole notion of the “Poles Warming” is just broken. At most they can “lose heat more slowly” and “freeze less”. They are always heat radiators. Just as the Equatorial zone is always where the heat gain is most (modulo a seasonal wobble to each side).

    So anyone who talks about ‘heat gain’ at the pole is already showing signs of serious defect of thinking… It never ‘gains heat’ and it never ‘warms’. It loses heat, and at various rates. The only question is how much the equatorial and temperate heat gain is lost on the way to the pole…

    That “net flux” – regardless of its source or heritage – is wrong. Dead wrong.

    (“Inbound Flux at 1 Meter Above Ground”, or (more likely) “Theoretical Solar Flux at Top Of Atmosphere” ? Perhaps. But “Net Flux”? No.)

    They simply project a simple flux into the atmosphere at each month of the year. Adequate for illustration, BUT at March, northern hemisphere sea ice is at its highest point, but northern hemisphere Land Ice Extents are beginning to melt out and LAND albedo is increasing significantly as plants breakout their spring growth – beginning furthest south of course and proceeding north as fields and forest floors melt, turn dark with bare soil, then green with new growth. But these change are ignored in the theoretical NOAA/NASA images. In early April, sea ice is still near its peak, but very little land ice is present in most regions. Again, the albedo (absorbed radiation and re-radiated energy levels) is “assumed” unchanged.

    In the southern hemisphere, the same problems exist — BUT in the south, the northernmost sea ice extents ARE very important in changing the sea’s ability to absorb solar energy in open water, or reflect solar energy in ice-covered water. The very LOW solar sun angles of the Arctic north are NOT present in the Antarctic Sea Ice extents between 60 south and 70 south.

    Thus, changing Antarctic Sea Ice extents at 60 south ARE very important in August and September when the northern Arctic sea ice extents are at a minimum but absorb virtually no radiation, but ARE reflecting massive amount of solar energy from the southern hemisphere. But, true to their “theoretical” (or top of atmosphere assumptions) NASA plots August earth “net radiation” as equal north and south of the equator at equal latitudes and over equal parts of the world – land, sea, or ice. ALL have “equal net radiation” at every latitude and every season.

    And THIS kind of gross error is how the climate “science” industry begins their Global Circulation Models?

    Steve Mosher, if you disagree with any part of this, please show me those GCM model runs that have been “correct” in showing no warming for 15 consecutive years, and those that DO showing the correct net radiation in their output for each season, each month, and over today’s ice caps. You claim the CAGW model community have model results that show no warming over that kind of interval. Fine, print the models, and their results, the date of each run, and the number of times that a 15 year flat-line global temperature HAS been predicted by ANY computer simulation.

  152. P. Solar says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I think you could have been both more patient and more polite. The guy did respond to your email, which I think is good-hearted. You didn’t have to pry stuff out of him with FOI requests, did you? When you get a response from a fellow like you did, you might try to be good-hearted yourself. Cultivate a relationship. Maybe it will take some time, but often both parties learn a lot.

    Here’s something to pop into your discussion:

    There is a difference in the albedo and heat-retaining properties of clouds that are made of water vapor versus clouds that are ice-particles. The vapor clouds are more common over areas that are ice-free, and increase the albedo. Often they may be little more than a fog bank, below a thousand feet, but they can reflect sunlight quite well. (I noticed the “North Pole Camera” showed a lot of fog last summer.) This would tend to suggest yet another negative feedback. Namely, the less ice the more fog, and the more reflected sunlight.

    Just one more idea to throw into the mix.

  153. dikranmarsupial said (September 26, 2012 at 2:53 am)

    “…Roy, you are aware aren’t you that Arctic sea ice extent has been shrinking much *faster* than in the model projections (see e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/images/seaice10.jpg), in fact the current sea ice extent is below the lower limit of the credible interval of the ensemble. Sea ice extent is an example where the models (and climatologists) are obviously unduly optimistic…

    Pretty chart, and seems to match the observations vs models for the ARCTIC.

    Did RealClimate provide a link to the observations vs the models for the ANTARCTIC?

    Or is that just an inconvenient truth, especially since the IPCC said in the AR4 SPM (on pg 15) “…Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic under all SRES scenarios. In some projections, arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century…” – while in the summary of chap 10 they stated “…Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic under all SRES scenarios. In some projections, arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century….”

    Well, either way, if you look through Chapter 10 (figure 10.13) you can see they DID run models. Problem is, it doesn’t look like the projections are matching observations.

    Not sure how to post pictures here, but here’s the link: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/fig/figure-10-13-l.png.

  154. tjfolkerts says:
    September 26, 2012 at 11:17 am
    “But if you DO choose to to look at those, then the inescapable conclusion is that the last few years are NOT “normal”. Considering the minima does NOT give a “misleading impression” that the ice is declining, since looking at the maxima ALSO leads to the conclusion that the ice is declining. (And looking at the age and/or thickness of the ice strengthens the conclusion even more).”

    This statement is based on the satellite data. No? Then you follow with bullet point statements that reveals your limited understanding of any other known quanta and admit the satellite era is too short.

    “FWIW, I agree that ….
    * 35 years is a relatively short time to study any climate phenomenon.
    * using the last 35 years to define “normal” is definitely a bit arbitrary.
    * Ice has most likely been lower “in the last million years” (quite possibly sometime 6-10,000 years ago).”

    “Inescapable conclusion”, followed by “35 years to define normal is a ‘bit’ arbitrary”

    Then the clincher light bulb going on, albeit dimly; “most likely been lower in the last million years”

    Now do you see?

  155. As the Earth’s surface is 70% water (around 361 sq Km), why is it so dramatic that the Arctic being ice free will make so much difference? The Arctic ice changes around 9M sq km so seems pretty small compared to the persistent, always evaporating, 350M sq Km remaining.

    The average temperature difference between the ocean and the atmosphere is about 2C, and this small temperature difference drives ocean evaporation. In the Arctic winter, the temperature difference will be something like 10 times greater. So evaporation rates will be high, resulting in rapid ocean cooling.

    Otherwise, he completely ignores a physical mechanism that will cause the rapid differential melt of older ice (insolation+black carbon), and completely ignores that we are seeing record rates of new ice formation over the winter.

    The only hamster I see is one desperately spinning to get his next bag full of GW grant money.

  156. I see that we are “talking past each other” a bit. There are two very different points that you seem to be trying to roll into one.

    1) The ~ 35 years of satellite data is rather short from a climate perspective. Data before that is of much more limited quality. As such, this satellite data is insufficient by itself to establish long-term trends or variability. I have no problem acknowledging that when climate conditions were different 6,000-10,000 years ago (or during other interglacials), the ice conditions could also be quite different – with summer extents similar to (or even smaller than) now.

    2) On the other hand, the data for the last 35 is indeed quite good — measurements of the extent and area are available in pretty darn good resolution on a nearly daily basis. Looking specifically at that set of very good data, it is clear that the extent is declining — whether we look at spring or summer or fall or winter. This is in contrast to the very different claim that P. Solar made:

    They are willfully ignoring the fact that maximum ice cover has almost got back to 30y average. If you look at all year average it is undeniable that the “catastrophic” melting ended in 2007.

    First of all, it seems to be generally acknowledged that the winter extent will not drop as quickly as the summer extent — pretty much the entire Arctic will refreeze every winter, (albeit with thinner ice since there is less to start with) so the winter extent will only drop a bit around the edges.
    That said, the maximum is NOT “almost back to the 30 year average”. The ice almost got back to the 30 yr avg for about one week this past year. Furthermore that week was NOT at the annul maximum — the annual maximum looks (eyeballing) to be about 0.3 – 0.4 million km below the 30 yr avg this past year. And the maximum has been below the 30 year average every single year for nearly a decade.
    I don’t know what ‘ “catastrophic” melting’ means (such ‘scare’ words have little meaning or use), but I don’t see any “undeniable” end to anything in 2007. http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi_range_ice-ext.png The data is still low for any of the three measures. The “all year average” hasn’t improved since 2007 and I will pretty much guarantee that 2012 will set a new record low for the annual mean (along with the already-guaranteed record summer minimum). It looks like the melting is continuing and the extents keep declining.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So yes, I still stand by my conclusions:
    * It IS “inescapable” that the ice has been declining significantly for 35 years and has been below average (for the satellite era) continuously for nearly a decade.
    * It is NOT “undeniable” that this trend ended in 2007.
    * None of this is contradicted by acknowledging that a) records were less good before 1978 or b) that ice extent may have been lower 9,000 years ago.

    Now do you see what *I* am saying? Or would you agree with P. Solar that “it is undeniable that the “catastrophic” melting ended in 2007″?

  157. Thanks for you reasoned comments.

    tj says: First of all, it seems to be generally acknowledged that the winter extent will not drop as quickly as the summer extent

    I have not disagreed (nor commented) on that assumption but that assumption should not be taken as a reason not to take note of the maximum. That seems to be the false conclusion that may imply from that. Perhaps because they are not interested in a metric that shows a less dramatic result.

    The Norwegian plot does account for maximum as well, two points is better than one point per year, though each one point per year plot is very course we can clearly see an improvement since 2007 in their min-max average. This is what you incorrectly call “all year average”. It is not. It is the average of two days. That is exactly my point. I plot ALL the data and the effect is more visible. Yes, it is still notably lower that the 30y average, I’m not suggesting there has been a total recovery.

    Cyrosphere Today uses all available data but the feature I pointed out is rather obscured by the short term fluctuations.

    That is why I filtered it. I spotted something had changed but I could not clearly see what.

    tj says: The ice almost got back to the 30 yr avg for about one week this past year.
    Without arguing exactly what date it happened , the anomaly data got quite close to the 30y average in four out of the last five years, including this “worse than ever” year, which got closest.

    I would agree with you to some extent.
    that the ice has been declining significantly until 2007. I would go further and point out a clear, uninterrupted slide from 1995 – 2007.

    It is that slide that has been interrupted. I find it difficult to see how anyone can refuse to see that feature clearly shown in my graph.

  158. Caleb says:
    September 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm
    >.>
    I think you could have been both more patient and more polite. The guy did respond to your email, which I think is good-hearted. You didn’t have to pry stuff out of him with FOI requests, did you? When you get a response from a fellow like you did, you might try to be good-hearted yourself. Cultivate a relationship. Maybe it will take some time, but often both parties learn a lot.
    >>
    More patient? I asked two direct questions twice. Asking a third time would badgering. He clearly does not wish to answer them.
    He would not have looked too good if he just ignored my email. I did thank him for taking time to reply. FOI? Well I can’t FOI him for an admission he was making untenable claims can I ? I certainly did not get ANY reply to my two simple, direct questions after two attempts. That is clear evasion and refusal to address the issue. It is clear that I will not learn anything from someone like that.

    He may have learnt something from the graph I sent him, though I doubt it.

  159. For anyone still having problems seeing the change in behaviour since 2007 let’s look at the rate of change of ice extent with 365 day filter:

    I think that clearly shows the pattern of continued and increasingly rapid ice loss from 1997-2007 has been broken. Current behaviour is very similar to that around 1992.

    That is what I am drawing attention too. This is seen by looking at all the data and is not seen by focusing on the annual minimum.

    Unfortunately the filter requires a couple of years of data ahead of it’s last point so it ends in 2010. I think it will likely continue to decline to this year, which corresponds to 1995 in the earlier pattern.

    The evidence is that the pattern of “catastrophic” melting has ended. It remains to be seen whether the new mode of behaviour will continue to mimic the 1990s oscillation or not.

  160. Does anyone know if the Antarctic sea ice has hit the yearly maximum yet? Looks like the anomaly is currently +1.145 million square kilometers, and it looks like we just hit a new maximum as of 9/26 and it still may be increasing. When is the “average” date of maximum for Southern Hemisphere sea ice, and what are the details of what is going on down there? Maybe Anthony could write something up on this (or someone else could contribute an article on this). I think we need to draw more attention to what is going on in the SH and give some real detailed analysis of it. I am especially concerned because I recently saw a paper stating that the LIA may have started in the Southern Hemisphere, and if that is indeed the case, we may see history repeating itself.

  161. Comparing rate of change in ice extent to NH lower tropo temps:

    Here I’ve inverted the rate of change of temp (faster warming : faster melting) and shifted the UAH TLT data forward 9m ,which as a quick estimate seems to be the best match in the cycles.

    This does not show air temps are necessarily driving the ice change, more likely it’s just because air responds quicker to whatever is driving all this than this ice and water does.

    the interesting point is that this relation mostly broke down during the accelerating melting period and came back into synch around 2007. Again confirming a change in the pattern of climate and an end to the accelerating melting.

    The pre-90s cycle, oscillating around 0.1 x 10^6 km2 / year melting seems to have been re-established in an almost identical form and level.

    Now maybe someone who is getting paid a good salary to do climate research can work out what caused that change in pattern to break and then reform.

  162. David A. Evans says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Where do you get the idea that because ice feels cold it is not a good insulator? It feels cold because it’s cold and has a high thermal mass, if it was not a good insulator it would feel as warm as the underlying water. Incidentally, the reason dry cardboard doesn’t feel as cold as ice is because its thermal mass is minute in comparison. (A bit like air really which is one reason why the whole AGW thing is a scam.) Strangely, the water under the ice is warmer and not exposed to allow either radiative or conductive energy loss. Do you want to revise that now?

    Are you an arts major?

    Dave E.

    I agree it has a relatively high thermal mass (about ½ that of water), but it is also a poor insulator. In fact, your point about high thermal mass undermines your assertion about why it doesn’t feel warm even though there is warm water underneath. Materials with high thermal mass are rarely good insulators (such as concrete, cement, marble). Ice’s high thermal mass prevents the warmer water underneath from heating the ice to the same temperature because its thermal mass resists rapid temperature change, not because of insulation qualities. The specific heat of ice is 2, its U value is 2.18 W/mK, and so its R value is .4. Compare that to glass fiber with a specific heat of 1.4, U value of .04, R value of 25. Ice is a very poor insulator – it conducts 2.18/.04, or 50 times the heat of glass fiber.

    Air’s thermal mass has little to nothing to do with AGW, it is not the thermal mass of the atmosphere that traps heat, it is the presence of greenhouse gases, without which the earth’s surface temperature would be -18C rather than the current 14C average.

    Yes, water under the ice is warmer; I’m not sure why that is strange, it’s the air temperature that causes the water to freeze, not the water temperature. Radiative heat loss is of course still possible with ice as with water since both have nearly identical emissivity. Conductive or convective water to air heat losses have no bearing on global temperatures, since that involves heat just moving from one place to another – not out into space, as is the case with radiative heat flow. And in any case, you seem to be implying that open water conducting/convecting heat into the air near the surface is a good thing. In fact, it is not – it’s the temperature differential between Arctic air and lower latitude air that drives the jet stream. A smaller differential means a weaker jet stream, which in turn means more erratic weather.

    While I do enjoy art, I have a bachelors and masters in electrical engineering, with 3 published, peer reviewed papers in IEEE journals.

    Did you go to university?

    Chris

  163. P Solar says: “I find it difficult to see how anyone can refuse to see that feature clearly shown in my graph. http://i48.tinypic.com/dzj70k.png

    That graph does seem to show a “pause” — but I would caution against reading too much into brief changes. And if you continue plotting the data, you will see that the “recovery” you claim to clearly see is an illusion — a brief fluctuation in the statistical noise.

    I took the daily area data from University of Illinois and plotted it up through the most recent data point (which I think is the end of Aug, 2012, but I am not sure off-hand). (You can see the graph here: https://sites.google.com/site/sciencestatsandstuff/global-warming/miscellaneous-comments/has-arctic-sea-ice-started-to-recover). The lowest point in the 2 year moving average is the last data point in the series! Yes, the past two years are the lowest two years in the data. That does not sound like a recovery to me! The last 1 year is close to the record, also not an indication of “recovery”.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I *do* think there is an interesting shift in the pattern starting in 2007, with much wider annual swings becoming the norm. The winters are trending down only slowly, but the summers are trending down quickly. Just what this portends for the future is tough to predict.

  164. Cool, we’re talking the same language at last.

    I did plot all the data but the gaussian being a better filter needs a broader window. One reason I prefer this filter is that it has a clean frequency response with no stopband leakage. This is the opposite to runny means which let huge amounts of what you think you filtered out get through. This can have quite perverse effects at times and is hard to predict.
    Most people who use runny means don’t even understand what all this means and are quite unaware of the problem or its effects.

    In simple terms it can mean the filtered result can get bent left and right and peaks can even get inverted. This is generally unhelpful and can be quite misleading.

    You will notice that the last graph I linked here, I also put in the shorted 180d gaussian. This is too short a period to remove most of the annual variation I did this precisely to get some idea where the data was headed since I am aware the last couple of years are downwards.

    I think the longer filter (when there’s more data) will then be down to the bottom of the cycle as it was in 1995. IF that pattern holds, I would expect to see an upturn for about 3 years.

    Thanks for the link to the ice area data , I was wanting some area data to compare to. I’ll run it through similar gaussian filter and see if there is any notable difference. I don’t like relying on just one data source with this stuff.

  165. Chris says:
    September 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

    The ice in the arctic is in a sandwich. Most of the time it is covered with varying depths of snow of varying density and hence varying thermal properties with fresh, uncompacted snow as the best insulator. The insulating properties of snow are in the same range as most insulating materials used in construction.

    Your whole argument about the insulating properties of ice is, therefore, somewhat irrelevant. It only applies when the ice is not covered by snow which I believe to be a very small proportion of the time in the polar regions.

  166. Here is a comparison of the Cryosphere Today ice area data you used and the NOAA ice extent.

    Since everyone is taking about climate _change_ I continue to concentrate on looking directly at change rather then trying to infer it by eye from the time series data.

    The two series are not measuring the same quantity so the differences are not too surprising , the similarity is notable.

    I was doubtful of the early down swing in ice extent until I found I matches a similar swing in UAH lower tropo. That boosted my confidence in both. That air temp bears more relation to the thinner and more dispersed ice in the >15% cover category is unsurprising.

    The ice area data shows a recent cycle that appears to have a mean around -0.08e6 km2/year, whereas around 1985 was pretty neutral over a cycle. In contrast, the current ice extent cycle is a little lower than ice area but is on a par with it’s 1990s cycle.

    Both series show an end to the continual and accelerating melting and a return to earlier cyclic behaviour, though a small, long term underlying decline is still present in ice area data.

    The recovery period was short lived in both series but was there. I never hear that reported. The last 5 year cycle has been notably better then 2000-2005 when the average was nearer 0.15e6 km2/year.

    That seems to be firm indication from both datasets that the rate melting is easing off rather than getting worse. That is quite different from conclusions that are drawn by focalising in the annual minima. Hence my initial point that we should be using all the available data not just one day per year.

    For anyone intending to stick around on Earth for a while, that has to be rather better news than what we usually get fed.

    Thanks to TJ for productive debate and providing the link to ice area data. Having the two different metric provides more confidence in the result and provided some interesting differences.

  167. Now can we talk about sine wave like oscillations of periods like 60 years, which help to clarify why the 35 year satellite era warming is not so scary. i.e. no tipping point other than a swing back the other way.

  168. Billy Liar says:
    September 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    Your whole argument about the insulating properties of ice is, therefore, somewhat irrelevant. It only applies when the ice is not covered by snow which I believe to be a very small proportion of the time in the polar regions.

    Actually, I was replying to another person’s post. Thomas U stated:

    Has he ever considered the insulating capabilities of ice, perhaps thought of designing one of these wonderful and ever so accurate climate models which includes the reduced insulation?

    Thus, I commented about ice and not ice+snow. I agree that snow has good insulative properties compared to ice. It is not as good as construction materials – snow at .18 is about 1/3 fibreglass batts at .55-.76 (for 1 inch of material), but still of course much better than ice. But since there is much less multiyear ice, by definition there will be a smaller portion of the Arctic that has insulative cover during the year, which in turn means more convective heating of the air, which in turn means a weaker driver of the jet stream, not to mention reduced cooling capacity to cool down the latitudes during the summer months.

  169. OMG, I’m embarrassed to be from Calgary. This guy has given clowns a bad name, he’s another gravy sucking embarrassment to all scientists.

  170. Chris says:
    September 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

    David A. Evans says:
    September 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Where do you get the idea that because ice feels cold it is not a good insulator? It feels cold because it’s cold and has a high thermal mass, if it was not a good insulator it would feel as warm as the underlying water. Incidentally, the reason dry cardboard doesn’t feel as cold as ice is because its thermal mass is minute in comparison. (A bit like air really which is one reason why the whole AGW thing is a scam.) Strangely, the water under the ice is warmer and not exposed to allow either radiative or conductive energy loss. Do you want to revise that now?

    Are you an arts major?

    Dave E

    I agree it has a relatively high thermal mass (about ½ that of water), but it is also a poor insulator. In fact, your point about high thermal mass undermines your assertion about why it doesn’t feel warm even though there is warm water underneath. Materials with high thermal mass are rarely good insulators (such as concrete, cement, marble). Ice’s high thermal mass prevents the warmer water underneath from heating the ice to the same temperature because its thermal mass resists rapid temperature change, not because of insulation qualities. The specific heat of ice is 2, its U value is 2.18 W/mK, and so its R value is .4. Compare that to glass fiber with a specific heat of 1.4, U value of .04, R value of 25. Ice is a very poor insulator – it conducts 2.18/.04, or 50 times the heat of glass fiber.

    This is an attempt to baffle with bullshit. Does the surface radiate at the same level as the underlying Arctic water?

    Air’s thermal mass has little to nothing to do with AGW, it is not the thermal mass of the atmosphere that traps heat, it is the presence of greenhouse gases, without which the earth’s surface temperature would be -18C rather than the current 14C average.

    Fine except that the main band is… 15µm what sub zero temperature is that?

    Yes, water under the ice is warmer; I’m not sure why that is strange,

    It’s not at all strange, never said it was, happy you admit that as you’ll find out.

    it’s the air temperature that causes the water to freeze, not the water temperature.

    No argument there

    Radiative heat loss is of course still possible with ice as with water since both have nearly identical emissivity.

    Except of course, they aren’t at the same temperature. Has the Kelvin scale escaped your notice?

    Conductive or convective water to air heat losses have no bearing on global temperatures, since that involves heat just moving from one place to another – not out into space, as is the case with radiative heat flow.

    WOW! I would say moving energy from the lower troposphere to the upper troposphere and possibly beyond may make a difference.

    And in any case, you seem to be implying that open water conducting/convecting heat into the air near the surface is a good thing. In fact, it is not – it’s the temperature differential between Arctic air and lower latitude air that drives the jet stream. A smaller differential means a weaker jet stream, which in turn means more erratic weather

    Now you’re just making shit up.

    While I do enjoy art, I have a bachelors and masters in electrical engineering, with 3 published, peer reviewed papers in IEEE journals.

    Did you go to university?

    No I didn’t, but I did get royally pissed off with people who did, then got promoted above me after I taught them everything they knew.

    One job I had, I interviewed several people with BScs, only one came up to scratch.

    Hope I got it right this time. ;-)
    DaveE.

  171. David A Evans says: “Where do you get the idea that because ice feels cold it is not a good insulator? It feels cold because it’s cold and has a high thermal mass … “

    Actually, when dealing with the sensations of “cold”, insulation IS more important than thermal mass! The temperature you “feel” is determined by how quickly heat is conducted to/from your skin. Aluminum at 10 C will “feel” much colder than wood at 10 C, even though the thermal mass (ie specific heat) is higher for the wood. The higher thermal conductivity is what makes it feel colder. On the other hand, a block of aluminum at 10 C will melt ice cubes much faster than a block of wood at 10 C, again because the thermal conductivity is higher for the Al (despite the wood having a higher specific heat).

    RECAP: Aluminum feels colder than wood precisely because Al is a poor conductor, despite the fact that wood has a higher thermal mass.

    Do *you* want to revise *your* conclusions now?

    “Fine except that the main band is… 15µm what sub zero temperature is that?
    This is another common misconception — that only some specific temperature is associated with some particular wavelength. This often comes from a misconception of Wien’s Law.

    * If you want a blackbody that emits better at 15 um than at any other wavelength, that blackbody would have a temperature of
    (2.9 ×10^−3 m·K) / (1.4 x 10^-5) = 193 K

    However, blackbodies above and below this temperature ALSO emit at this wavelength. In fact, any blackbody warmer than 193 K will emit MORE 15 um radiation than the 193 K object did!

    Furthermore, CO2 ALSO radiates/absorbs at other wavelengths. Certainly these are relatively small parts of the thermal IR spectrum, but only small changes are needed to make “small” (1 K) changes in global temperature.

  172. David A. Evans says:
    September 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

    This is an attempt to baffle with bullshit. – in response to my information about ice being a poor insulator. Gee, I didn’t know that providing the U value of ice compared to insulators was baffling with bullshit. Is that your standard way of dealing with data-based comments that refute your position? Since Tim Folkerts commented at length on this, I won’t comment further.

    You said: It’s not at all strange, never said it was, happy you admit that as you’ll find out.
    Actually, you did say that, on September 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm: Strangely, the water under the ice is warmer and not exposed to allow either radiative or conductive energy loss.

    You said: Except of course, they aren’t at the same temperature. Has the Kelvin scale escaped your notice? No, I’m fully aware of the Kelvin scale and agree that the slightly warmer water will radiate more skyward than ice. But that is mitigated by the fact that water has lower reflectance than sea ice, per the paper I cited earlier.

    I said: …you seem to be implying that open water conducting/convecting heat into the air near the surface is a good thing. In fact, it is not – it’s the temperature differential between Arctic air and lower latitude air that drives the jet stream. A smaller differential means a weaker jet stream, which in turn means more erratic weather. To which you replied: Now you’re just making shit up.

    Once again, you reply with another rigorous scientific refutation of my statement * sarcasm*. How do you think our weather happens? Magic? Happenstance? I’m sure you’ve watched the weather news before and heard of summer heat waves finally breaking due to Arctic air coming down, so clearly the Arctic climate has some influence on the weather we experience in the US. Here is one paper on the impact of increased Arctic temperatures: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL051000.shtml

    From the abstract: “These effects are particularly evident in autumn and winter consistent with sea-ice loss, but are also apparent in summer, possibly related to earlier snow melt on high-latitude land. Slower progression of upper-level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid-latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events that result from prolonged conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves.”

    Feel free to post papers or studies that support a counter position – otherwise you are the one that’s just making shit up.

    As to the university degree point, it sucks that your employer doesn’t value actual experience and skills over a piece of paper.

  173. Update on the rate of change graph:

    Clearly shows the re-emergence of the cyclic pattern and end of the continued and accelerating melting that occured between 1997-2007.

    All available data was used up to sept 2011 but the broad filter window cannot provide a result up to the end of the period ( no Mike’s Nature Tricks were employed) . The shorter filter gives a bit more information at the end.

    Despite the recent peak that did provide some recovery, the cycle average is still below zero, so there is still a smaller underlying melting trend comparable to early 90s.

    Looking directly at rate of change gives us a better idea whether it’s melting recovering than trying to infere it by looking at a plot of ice coverage.

    Looking at all the data tells a very different story from cherry picking one day per year and ignoring changes in the rest of the year.

  174. To Anthony Watts,

    Thanks for running this piece. I happen the think that most remarkable and most damaging change about to occur in the next decade or two will be the loss of our Arctic Sea Ice in the NH summertime. Measurements suggest that this change is about to occur by the time my young grandchilden graduate from college.

    This change will cause enormous additional warming on top of that which is already occurring due to GHG-based changes. Imaging changing the Arctic from an ice-covered place to an open ocean. Ice reflects about 90% of incoming sunlight back out into outer space while an open, ice-free ocean reflects only about 10%. In the NH summertime when the NH is tilted towards the Sun so that the entire Arctic region is exposed to sunlight all day long for several months, there will be a lot more solar radiation being deposed onto our planet.

    The only positive aspect of this looming problem is that it’s occurrence and easier-to-understand scientific basis just might finally cause our leaders to admit that planet Earth has a big problem – and thereby not be so easily fooled and misled by the enormous forces behind our continued use and even continued development of fossil-fuel sources of energy.

  175. ” Ice reflects about 90% of incoming sunlight back out into outer space while an open, ice-free ocean reflects only about 10%. ”

    Sort of …
    1) Sunlight shining straight down only reflects about 10%, but that number increases as the angle decreases. Light on smooth water at 80 degrees reflects about 40%, increasing to 100 % at 90 degrees. (But water is rarely smooth, which has the effect of reducing the effective angle and reducing the reflection.) I suspect that the number is closer to 20% averaged over the Arctic (which is still way less than the reflectivity of ice).

    2) The Arctic is often cloudy, in which case the surface has little effect. Yes, the sunlight that does get thru will get absorbed better by water, but that will not be anywhere near the full insolation.

  176. P. Solar,

    That is a thought-provoking graph. On the one hand, there seem to be a cyclic pattern with a period of ~ 5.4 years. That pattern is interrupted from about 1997-2005, but seems to be re-forming. That might suggest that we are “getting back to normal” after a decade of unusual drops in ice extent.

    On the other hand, that pattern is not all that strong. There are three peaks that fit pretty well, but 2 that don’t. And there is no a priori reason to expect a 5.4 year cycle. If it was an 11 year cycle, I could image it was related to the sun spot cycle. If it was two years, I could image some sort of annual feedback, where small ice one year drives large ice the next (for example, more open water one summer allows more effective cooling, leading to more ice the next year). But 5.4 years seem a rather odd period with no obvious driver. A weak correspondence with no theoretical foundation makes me a bit skittish.

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