Sea ice extent linked to ocean currents – hindcast model works

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

UPDATE: Perhaps in response to criticism here, MIT has changed the press release wording. See below.

From MIT, now if they could work the wind patterns in, as NASA suggests, we might have a clearer picture of why the Arctic summer sea ice extent has changed.

Ocean currents play a role in predicting extent of Arctic sea ice

Discovery of feedback between sea ice and ocean improves Arctic ice extent forecast.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.

The Arctic ice cover reaches its peak each year in mid-March, before shrinking with warmer spring temperatures. But over the last three decades, this winter ice cap has shrunk: Its annual maximum reached record lows, according to satellite observations, in 2007 and again in 2011.

Understanding the processes that drive sea-ice formation and advancement can help scientists predict the future extent of Arctic ice coverage — an essential factor in detecting climate fluctuations and change. But existing models vary in their predictions for how sea ice will evolve. 

Now researchers at MIT have developed a new method for optimally combining models and observations to accurately simulate the seasonal extent of Arctic sea ice and the ocean circulation beneath. The team applied its synthesis method to produce a simulation of the Labrador Sea, off the southern coast of Greenland, that matched actual satellite and ship-based observations in the area.

Through their model, the researchers identified an interaction between sea ice and ocean currents that is important for determining what’s called “sea ice extent” — where, in winter, winds and ocean currents push newly formed ice into warmer waters, growing the ice sheet. Furthermore, springtime ice melt may form a “bath” of fresh seawater more conducive for ice to survive the following winter.

Accounting for this feedback phenomenon is an important piece in the puzzle to precisely predict sea-ice extent, says Patrick Heimbach, a principal research scientist in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

“Until a few years ago, people thought we might have a seasonal ice-free Arctic by 2050,” Heimbach says. “But recent observations of sustained ice loss make scientists wonder whether this ice-free Arctic might occur much sooner than any models predict … and people want to understand what physical processes are implicated in sea-ice growth and decline.”

Heimbach and former MIT graduate student Ian Fenty, now a postdoc at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have published the results from their study in the Journal of Physical Oceanography.

An icy forecast

As Arctic temperatures drop each winter, seawater turns to ice — starting as thin, snowflake-like crystals on the ocean surface that gradually accumulate to form larger, pancake-shaped sheets. These ice sheets eventually collide and fuse to create massive ice floes that can span hundreds of miles.

When seawater freezes, it leaches salt, which mixes with deeper waters to create a dense, briny ocean layer. The overlying ice is fresh and light in comparison, with very little salt in its composition. As ice melts in the spring, it creates a freshwater layer on the ocean surface, setting up ideal conditions for sea ice to form the following winter.

Heimbach and Fenty constructed a model to simulate ice cover, thickness and transport in response to atmospheric and ocean circulation. In a novel approach, they developed a method known in computational science and engineering as “optimal state and parameter estimation” to plug in a variety of observations to improve the simulations.

A tight fit

The researchers tested their approach on data originally taken in 1996 and 1997 in the Labrador Sea, an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean that lies between Greenland and Canada. They included satellite observations of ice cover, as well as local readings of wind speed, water and air temperature, and water salinity. The approach produced a tight fit between simulated and observed sea-ice and ocean conditions in the Labrador Sea — a large improvement over existing models.

The optimal synthesis of model and observations revealed not just where ice forms, but also how ocean currents transport ice floes within and between seasons. From its simulations, the team found that, as new ice forms in northern regions of the Arctic, ocean currents push this ice to the south in a process called advection. The ice migrates further south, into unfrozen waters, where it melts, creating a fresh layer of ocean water that eventually insulates more incoming ice from warmer subsurface waters of subtropical Atlantic origin.

Knowing that this model fits with observations suggests to Heimbach that researchers may use the method of model-data synthesis to predict sea-ice growth and transport in the future — a valuable tool for climate scientists, as well as oil and shipping industries.

“The Northwest Passage has for centuries been considered a shortcut shipping route between Asia and North America — if it was navigable,” Heimbach says. “But it’s very difficult to predict. You can just change the wind pattern a bit and push ice, and suddenly it’s closed. So it’s a tricky business, and needs to be better understood.”

Martin Losch, a research scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, says the feedback mechanism identified by the MIT group is important for predicting sea-ice extent on a regional scale.

“The dynamics of climate are complicated and nonlinear, and are due to many different feedback processes,” says Losch, who was not involved with the research. “Identifying these feedbacks and their impact on the system is at the heart of climate research.”

As part of the “Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean” (ECCO) project, Heimbach and his colleagues are now applying their model to larger regions in the Arctic.

This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA.

Written by: Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office

###

Note:Sloppy reporting by MIT, not citing the paper title or DOI.  It doesn’t seem to be online yet here at the journal:

http://journals.ametsoc.org/loi/phoc

Doesn’t have this paper, in monthly or early edition that I can find by searching for the author names.

UPDATE: Perhaps in response to the complaint I sent to the PR officer and the author, they have now changed the text to read:

Before:
Heimbach and former MIT graduate student Ian Fenty, now a postdoc at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have published the results from their study in the Journal of Physical Oceanography.

After:
Heimbach and former MIT graduate student Ian Fenty, now a postdoc at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will publish a paper, “Hydrographic Preconditioning for Seasonal Sea Ice Anomalies in the Labrador Sea,” in the Journal of Physical Oceanography.

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95 Responses to Sea ice extent linked to ocean currents – hindcast model works

  1. Ryan says:

    “Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.”

    Ummm, hardly. In the winter the ice sheet forms because there is no solar radiation and the Arctic is completely dark for 6 months. How then can it act as a solar vizor reflecting solar radiation and protecting the planet from excessive warming???

    Laughable.

  2. pat says:

    This will garner no press, particularly if understood by the morons who write for the news agencies. It is too close to undermining the greatest global warming trophy, the iceless arctic.

  3. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Found Heimbach’s WordPress site:
    http://heimbach.wordpress.com/publications/

    There are actually two papers:

    Fenty, I.G. and P. Heimbach, 2012: Coupled Sea Ice-Ocean State Estimation in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. J. Phys. Oceanogr., accepted.

    Fenty, I.G. and P. Heimbach, 2012: Hydrographic Preconditioning for Seasonal Sea Ice Anomalies in the Labrador Sea. J. Phys. Oceanogr., accepted.

  4. Rob Potter says:

    Good point Ryan.

    And I thought the issue was the “record” (well, for the last 30 years) low minimum ice area in the summer not this:
    “Its annual maximum reached record lows, according to satellite observations, in 2007 and again in 2011.”

    With this as a the press release, not sure what to think of the paper…..

  5. mkelly says:

    “But over the last three decades, this winter ice cap has shrunk: Its annual maximum reached record lows, according to satellite observations, in 2007 and again in 2011.”

    I thought the “annual maximum” was well within the normal range for 2012 but the annual minimum was less due to the storm that blew the ice to heck.

  6. chris y says:

    Ryan- Good point.

    Here is what it should have said:

    “Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. In the perpetual darkness of the Arctic winter, this ice and its snow topping acts as a massive thermal insulator for the Arctic ocean, reducing radiative and convective heat loss and shielding the planet from excessive cooling.”

  7. Earl says:

    Ryan says: “Ummm, hardly. In the winter the ice sheet forms because there is no solar radiation and the Arctic is completely dark for 6 months. How then can it act as a solar vizor reflecting solar radiation and protecting the planet from excessive warming???
    Laughable.”

    In June, when the arctic is getting 24 hrs of sunlight per day, most of that ice is still there. So I can imagine the reflecting effect is very real.

  8. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.

    Massive? 5,500,000 square miles out of 200,000,000 or 2.57%
    Excessive warming? The Sun gets to 23.5° above the hotizon maximum. Not a lot of heat there then to be reflected away!

  9. tetris says:

    Ms Chu should go and spend some time north of the Polar Circle during the winter months. No sun/light at all for months: darker than a polar bear’s ass. How can this be a “sun visor” for the earth?. The inability to think analytically is scary.

  10. Dr T G Watkins says:

    Blown apart in their first paragraph. Ryan and Rob got there first.

  11. Phil. says:

    Rob Potter says:
    November 21, 2012 at 8:40 am
    Good point Ryan.

    And I thought the issue was the “record” (well, for the last 30 years) low minimum ice area in the summer not this:
    “Its annual maximum reached record lows, according to satellite observations, in 2007 and again in 2011.”

    Well a quick look at Cryosphere Today does show this to be true, those two years did have record low maxima in area. NSIDC shows 2006 and 2011 tied for record lows with 2007 rather close behind.

  12. Ryan, that is not true. yes there is 24 hour darkness above the arctic circle around the solstice, but then the sun reappears, and in any case the icecap persists in the summer as well. Sunlight is reflected by ice and clouds, but mostly absorbed in seawater.

  13. RHS says:

    I hardly think solar radiation has much to do with the ice pack forming. There is plenty of solar radiation year round in places such as Glacier National Monument, the top of Kilimanjaro (near the equator), St. Mary’s Glacier, etc.
    It appears part of the disclaimer which limits the focus of the article has cause and affect wrong.
    The point I want to make is, it does not appear that Solar Radiation has anything to do with accumulation of ice.
    However, if solar radiation has anything to do with ice packs forming and glaciation, maybe it is a good thing which prevents us from living in a snow ball earth.

  14. vukcevic says:

    Only sea currents have enough energy to change the climate, since by some accounts the TSI is unable to do it, but do not write off the sun.
    Question is what makes sea currents change.
    Only tectonic movements could make oceans change their regime by a fraction, and even small fraction in the oceanic heat flux can account for the decadal atmospheric temperature change, Solar activity and geological events (volcanic eruptions and strong earthquakes combined) appear to correlate, where the sunspots may only be an instrument of measure but not a direct cause.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-NAP.htm
    The Ap index confirms the above
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Ap-VI.htm
    It could be speculated that the tectonic movements in the Atlantic and Pacific have an effect on the regional and finally global temperatures.
    In the North Atlantic possible factor in the Atlantic-Arctic currents flows
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-NAP.htm
    In the Central Pacific possible factorin the behaviour of the South Equatorial current.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/ENSO.htm
    and finally, in the North Pacific possible factor Kuroshio/Oyashio currents temperature balance (world’s third largest oceanic current system)
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NoaaD.htm

  15. More models and maybe this one will some day turn out to have some short term usefulness. That is a maybe only. If, and that is a big if, enough empirical data is collected in a timely enough way for a long enough time and the models are refined enough, could work. Until them more science fiction and not anywhere as well written as the late I. Asimov would have done.

  16. Plusk says:

    No one noticed that air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean are many degrees above average?
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

  17. HenryP says:

    I also say this is rubbish.
    There isn’t even a graph.
    Going by my own graph:
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/
    we already know that the ice extent 88 years ago was about the same as it was now:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/
    by 1945 everything had frozen up again, DUE TO THE COLD
    \
    better prepare yourselves
    by 2038 everything up in the arctic will be the same as it was in 1945, DUE TO THE COLD.
    mark my words.

  18. MattS says:

    Ryan says:
    November 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

    That quote goes wrong as soon as it mentions winter. Above the arctic circle the four seasons are dawn, day, dusk and night. :-)

  19. tadchem says:

    Now that the Orthodoxy of Climate Science has admitted that air and water currents can affect the Arctic ice cover, it may be time to raise the issue of the heat dumped into the Arctic ocean by sea-floor spreading along the Gakken Ridge.

  20. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Ryan is correct. Earl, I think your point is not fully valid.

    “Ummm, hardly. In the winter the ice sheet forms because there is no solar radiation and the Arctic is completely dark for 6 months.”

    Let’s look at the whole thing: In winter the ice cap prevents heat escapingfrom the warmer sea water under the ice into space.In summer the ice prevents the heat from escaping from the warmer sea water under the ice. AND it reflects light coming from the sun.

    Now, what is the consequence of removing the ice? If it is not there in winter, massive amounts of heat presently retained would escape from the highly emissive water surface Ԑ=0.99 or so.) In summer if the ice was gone the Ԑ of the water would apply instead of the Ԑ for ice. Before making a claim that the water would heat up more, one must demonstrate that there is a net gain. Insolation is poor, oblique and onto a surface freely radiating what it could not before. So far I am not at all convinced there is. Even in the height of summer at the N Pole, the the loss is very high. The sun is only relatively high at noon. A significant indicator of the effect is ocean temperature at the surface which is arguably heated by the sun. There is arguably no increase in this temperature since ‘ever’.

    The heat in the Arctic Ocean does not come from the Sun directly but indirectly from the warm ocean currents entering the basin. Any argument that claims net heating from ice loss must keep this in mind (and in the formula). It remains a fascinating subject with lots of commentary and very little math.

  21. john robertson says:

    Model data synthesis? Umm right. I had thought the Russian Tsar’s Navy, The US Navy,British Admiralty and the nordic countries all kept records of arctic currents and ditto for some of the fishing and whaling fleets. Something about the current being important when you are using a sailing vessel or conserving fuel far from resupply.
    Also a large Improvement over existing model? But the existing model were gospel just a year ago. If an accurate account, well improvement in the arctic circulation and ice life cycle can only help, problem is they have modelled too much garbage to be trusted. G.I.G.O is my default when I hear, New exciting, because our models tell us so.

  22. Ethically Civil says:

    Noting of course that there is not even tenuous theoretical support the predictive ability of hindcast tuned model for complexity, non-linear, feedback driven and incompletely described systems.

    The last 40 years of numerical modelling is littered with the bones of failed attempts. In tuning a hindcast model you create a singular value decomposition for the underlying basis functions of a model. Quality of hindcast fit is increase by the number of parameters added, but this is simply adding enough bases such that the range now covers the input set. The output is then just a superposition of the bases that happens to match the hindcast period, without in fact creating a meaningful representation of underlying system.

  23. Jeff in Calgary says:

    Kelvin Vaughan nailed it! If you calculated the actual solar energy hitting that part of the earth in the summer, calculated how much difference ice has in reflecting than open water, then compare that to the whole of the solar energy hitting the earth, it would be tiny. open water does a prety good job of reflecting solar energy, and I thin that the arctic pack ice would not do as good as many people think. It is not a smoth ice sheet like at a skating rink, or a flat white layer like fresh snow.

  24. P. Solar says:

    Hey, what a novel, new technique using real data as an input to climate models. Why has no one thought it using real data before ?

    Great idea.

  25. P. Solar says:

    If they want a feedback how about this:

    http://i46.tinypic.com/r7uets.png

    AMO warms, ice melts. AMO stops warming up but stays warm ; rate of change of ice returns to cycling around zero.

    Whoda thought warm water would melt ice.

  26. P. Solar says:

    The feedback ? Well note that AMO is just as warm but the ice has stopped melting. That implies a NEGATIVE feedback.

  27. Matt G says:

    “The Arctic ice cover reaches its peak each year in mid-March, before shrinking with warmer spring temperatures. But over the last three decades, this winter ice cap has shrunk: Its annual maximum reached record lows, according to satellite observations, in 2007 and again in 2011.”

    Not sure what some of you are reading, but this article talks about the above. Ryan is correct in this situation, the paper talks about winter ice not at any other times of the year.

    “Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.”

    During winter the ice prevents more energy from the warmer ocean from escaping. The ice only acts as a a sun visor around Summer, massive being the incorrect word when it is still around the freezing point. It is clearly talking about winter not any other seasons, therefore during this period the sun has no direct influence in the Arctic. Only by warmer ocean currents interacting with it from the tropics.

    “The Northwest Passage has for centuries been considered a shortcut shipping route between Asia and North America — if it was navigable,” Heimbach says. “But it’s very difficult to predict. You can just change the wind pattern a bit and push ice, and suddenly it’s closed. So it’s a tricky business, and needs to be better understood.”

    Only part here it refers to any other season, but Winter.

    Summary – The model conclusion with further details is reflecting results from winter ice only. It is irrelevant about the sun influence in summer because it’s about winter.

  28. Robertvdl says:

    Where is CO2 in this story ?

  29. commieBob says:

    RHS says:
    November 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

    … The point I want to make is, it does not appear that Solar Radiation has anything to do with accumulation of ice.

    Eh???

    Solar radiation is why it is warmer in the summer than in the winter. The thickness of the ice is a function of the air temperature above the ice and the water temperature below. The sun warms the air and the ice gets thinner. (The air doesn’t even have to be above freezing for that to happen.) The sun goes away, the air cools and the ice gets thicker.

    The melting of the ice is hugely influenced by the currents under it. There are places called polynyas where ice never forms, no matter how cold the air gets.

    The bottom line is that ice coverage is a function of solar radiation and ocean currents. That was the science forty years ago (when I first learned it) and it still is.

  30. commieBob says:

    If you want a pretty accessible presentation on the processes involved, here is a link to a presentation by Budgell and Lien.
    It’s nice to note that, being actual scientists not activists, they are clear about the problems they are having and the limitations of their work.

  31. Gary H says:

    “Each winter, wide swaths of the Arctic Ocean freeze to form sheets of sea ice that spread over millions of square miles. This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.”

    Well, the ice that remains when summer returns. During the winter, the Arctic is in darkness. There is little to no sunlight reaching the ice to reflect.

  32. chris y says:

    You don’t need a climate model to do the calculation on Arctic sea ice vs open water.
    Open water at 273 K radiates 315 W/m^2.
    Average TSI at 71.3N latitude(Barrow, Alaska), from NREL, TSI averaged over 24 hour period based on measured data on the ground, 30 year averages-
    Jan- 0
    Feb- 13 W/m^2
    March- 67 W/m^2
    April- 154 W/m^2
    May- 196 W/m^2
    June- 204 W/m^2
    July- 188 W/m^2
    Aug- 108 W/m^2
    Sept- 54 W/m^2
    Oct- 21 W/m^2
    Nov- 0
    Dec- 0
    These numbers are even smaller as you approach the N pole.

    Downwelling radiation in the Arctic is around 140 W/m^2. Excess downwelling radiation from anthropogenic CO2 accumulated over the last century is 2 W/m^2. As you can easily calculate, the net heat balance with no sun is a loss of 173 W/m^2. The only months that have sufficient sun to prevent re-freeze are May, June and July. Convection dramatically increases the heat loss, and wind-driven spray makes it even larger. Open ocean in the Arctic winter can’t help but freeze.

  33. Matt G says:

    Only have to look at ocean surface temperatures to confirm solar radiation virtually controls all of the temperature contours.

    http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/sst/latest_sst.gif

  34. W. Sander says:

    Ryan, you didn’t get it. The Vizor ist up in summer. The ice is reduced, because it’s reduced. You understand now? Not? Hmm, to be honest, I neither. But if the Alfred-Wegener- Institut in Bremen agrees, I get suspicious. The leading members, Professors Meinhard Schulz-Baldes and Peter Lemke declare on their website, that the IPCC reports are the most reliable scientific publications in the world: http://www.awi.de/de/aktuelles_und_presse/hintergrund/klimawandel/interview_zur_klimawandeldebatte/. I swear, it’s real!! They are very independent and not at all biased, at least not more than Al Gore, the Potsdam Insitut für Klimafolgenforschung and the Burger-Seller at Metuchen Railway Station in NJ and the Australian Prime Minister. But anyway, the abstract does not sound that bad.

  35. Kasuha says:

    “This ice acts as a massive sun visor for the Earth, reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming.”
    I’m getting tired of this nonsense. Most of the time, Arctic ice is on night side where it doesn’t have anything to reflect. And even when it’s on day side, it’s inclined at very sharp angle and is not getting any great amount of insolation.
    Instead, it acts as thermal insulation, preventing sea water to radiate even more energy out into the space and cool the Earth more than necessary.
    Because it is this radiation what causes the ice to form. There’s no other cooling mechanism in polar regions.

  36. Plusk says:
    November 21, 2012 at 9:50 am
    No one noticed that air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean are many degrees above average?
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    That’s interesting. Although just the current year it shows summer temperatures are almost identical to the long term average,but in winter they are far above the average. Yet we are seeing record summer Arctic sea ice melt AND record winter sea ice formation.

    This compelling that air temperatures (and therefore GHG warming) have minimal effect on sea ice extent.

  37. Caz in BOS says:

    Does anyone here with better math and physics than I, please tell me if a 30% difference in the arctic ice cover in the Arctic at the Fall equinox results in greater or fewer Watts of sunlight reaching the Earth than a 1% difference in cloud cover in the tropics on the same day.

  38. Man Bearpig says:

    Ryan said: Ummm, hardly. In the winter the ice sheet forms because there is no solar radiation and the Arctic is completely dark for 6 months. How then can it act as a solar vizor reflecting solar radiation and protecting the planet from excessive warming???


    Global warming is strange science it causes the implausible to happen on a daily basis. Reflecting sunlight at night is just one of them. Please keep up.

  39. Jeff in Calgary says:

    chris y, so your information would suggest that if the arctice sea ice didn’t return during the winter (for some bizzar reason, maybe catastrophic warming or somehting) it would actualy help cool the earth? Esentualy the ice is acting as an insulating blanket, helping to keep the earth warm?

    There’s some negative feedback for you. Amazing stuff!

  40. Taphonomic says:

    It appears that they took the note about sloppy reporting seriously. The online article has been revised to read:

    “Heimbach and former MIT graduate student Ian Fenty, now a postdoc at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will publish a paper, “Hydrographic Preconditioning for Seasonal Sea Ice Anomalies in the Labrador Sea,” in the Journal of Physical Oceanography.”

    Thus providing the title of the paper and revising to indicate that it is not published yet.

  41. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @chris y

    “You don’t need a climate model to do the calculation on Arctic sea ice vs open water. Open water at 273 K radiates 315 W/m^2.”

    Perfect. Isn’t is amazing how clear things become when you apply basic physics? The fact is it is warmer under the ice than above it and as Jeff in Calgary points out, the ice prevents a lot of heat escaping.

    Someone above mentioned that the ice was white and something about the angle of incidence for solar radiation. A white surface has to be raised to a higher temperature to get rid of the same amount of heat than a dark surface. The ice prevents heat getting ‘into the ice’ from below and it prevents heat getting in the ice from above. That is just the properties of a white icy surface. The angle of incidence has little effect when the surface is that bright white. Hence the interest in Black Carbon dropping onto the ice and snow. The record recovery rate this Fall was directly the result of the absence of ice – the sea water lost masses of heat as soon as the sun dropped below a certain threshhold angle. Expect more of the same if it continues to experience a large summer melt with storms etc.

  42. Here’s something worth repeating:

    R Taylor says:
    September 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    A moment’s thought about hydroelectric development on arctic rivers leads one to recognize that discharge has changed from a springtime torrent of frigid meltwater to a steady stream of water from reservoirs where summer can be hot.

    With the exception of the Yukon, all major rivers that drain into the arctic have substantial hydroelectric development in their basins, mostly from the 1950s to 1990s. A cynic, however, would not expect government scientists to let go of the CO2 voodoo, since government tends to be the dominant sponsor of hydroelectric development.

  43. Bill Illis says:

    The history of the Arctic sea ice record has now been re-done by the NSIDC.

    The NSIDC – Meier 2012 – has a new paper which provides a more consistent history. September minimum down to 8M km2 now in the 1950s which seems more realistic compared to the 10M and 11M km2 it was before. (See the Acknowledgements at the end of the paper for a little surprise.)

    http://www.the-cryosphere.net/6/1359/2012/tc-6-1359-2012.pdf

    And The NSIDC – J Stroeve 2012 – has also redone the numbers for climate model predictions versus actual sea ice decline using the new history data (remember how the ice was melting so much faster than the models – the new data shows the difference is not so great anymore).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2012/09/6a0133f03a1e37970b017c31e57448970b-800wi.jpg

    http://nsidc.org/monthlyhighlights/2012/09/an-arctic-without-sea-ice/

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL052676.shtml

  44. F. Ross says:

    Way off topic, but apt for the date.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Anthony, moderaters [-ors(?)] and all readers.

  45. So many people like to say how the Arc is dark so much of the time. But,
    only the North Pole spends half a year with dark or dusk, and the other half
    with 24 hour sunshine. The Arctic Circle has all days except its two solstice
    days having a sunrise and a sunset.

    So many people like to say how low the sun is in the Arctic. But, the sun
    only fails to exceed 23.5 degrees at the North Pole, and peaks at twice that
    at the Arctic Circle.

    So many people like to say how reflective water is when the sun is at a low
    angle above the horizon. Water is about 11% reflective at 23 degrees, ~22%
    at 15 degrees, and about 35% reflective at 10 degrees from parallel to the
    water surface.

    Northern hemisphere sea ice typically peaks only a week or two before the
    vernal equinox, and is not down to its yearround average until usually
    sometime in June. When insolation above the atmosphere in the Arctic is
    greater than anywhere else, and above the figure for the equator on an
    equinox day.
    When the sun is 23 degrees above the horizon, sunlight passes through
    about 2.5-2.6 times as much atmosphere as when the sun is at zenith – and
    a lot still gets through. The sun is about that high 1.5 hours after sunrise
    and about 1.5 hours before sunset on an equinox day at the equator,
    roughly 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset on a mid to late spring day
    or a summer day in Philadelphia. I have seen the sun upturn temperatures
    as high as upper 70’s F (~25 C) 2 hours after sunrise in and around
    Philadelphia.

    And, northern hemisphere sea ice has some presence well south of the
    Arctic Circle, even in May when the sun is getting high. For example, the
    southen half of Hudson Bay is usually mostly ice-covered into the middle
    of June.

    Overall, Arctic and near-Arctic sea ice is more significant than its
    detractors claim. And, this affects snow cover in North America, Asia and
    Europe, down to latitudes as low as the low or mid 40’s in North America
    and Asia. When spring comes in early at 50 degrees north latitude, the
    sun is already moderately high and up a majority of the day.

    Thankfully, there are positive feedbacks other than the surface albedo
    one that I think IPCC overestimated, and there is a negative feedback
    (lapse rate feedback) that I suspect IPCC does not consider to increase
    as increase of greenhouse gases increases the lapse rate.

  46. RoHa says:

    “The Northwest Passage has for centuries been considered a shortcut shipping route between Asia and North America”

    For even more centuries it has been considered a shortcut shipping route between Europe and Asia.

  47. DR says:

    Bill Illis, I always look for your comments.

  48. RoHa says:

    @john robertson
    “I had thought the Russian Tsar’s Navy, The US Navy,British Admiralty and the nordic countries all kept records of arctic currents and ditto for some of the fishing and whaling fleets”

    What? You think a bunch of sailors and fishermen would know something about the seas they sail on? Of course not. You need MIT for that.

  49. Paul Vaughan says:

    vukcevic (November 21, 2012 at 9:41 am) asked:
    “Question is what makes sea currents change.”

    Wind. This isn’t an unknown.

  50. Gail Combs. says:

    Jeff in Calgary says:
    November 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

    ….. open water does a prety good job of reflecting solar energy, and I thin that the arctic pack ice would not do as good as many people think. It is not a smoth ice sheet like at a skating rink, or a flat white layer like fresh snow.
    _____________________________________
    As soon as the ice forms it is covered with a layer of soot from all those new Chinese coal plants /sarc or maybe not. A friend living in Alaska says the air pollution blowing in from China is sometimes nasty.

  51. Austin says:

    You can see the wind-drive ice advection by following the WUWT sea ice page. Another factor is that the wind comes off the ice and its cold.

  52. Paul Vaughan says:

    DR (November 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm) wrote:
    “Bill Illis, I always look for your comments.”

    Likewise. Bill’s knowledge of climate far surpasses that of the physicists who comment here (and this is an understatement).

  53. Dave in Canmore says:

    Chris Y
    great comment! Just curious where the figure for downwelling radiation comes from?

    Thanks

  54. daviditron says:

    Chris Y
    Here is some measured long wave radiation up and down from a detector in the Arctic (Eureka Nunavut, Canada)
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/arctic/observatories/eureka/eureka_tower.html
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/arctic/observatories/eureka/img/eureka.tower.2009.png

    the detector is over land and not water, and the numbers are different than yours but the detector indicates in July, more watts leaving than arriving.

  55. dp says:

    There is a recurring notion that all of the arctic is dark as a tomb in the winter time. It gets dark for a short while in December but most of time there is twilight everywhere. There’s a reason Floridians use daytime pool shades – water absorbs IR and converts it to heat very effectively.

  56. chris y says:

    Dave in Canmore-

    The downwelling radiation figure is from page 341 of-

    Mariani, Z. et al., “Infrared measurements in the Arctic using two atmospheric emitted radiance interferometers,” Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 5, 329-344, 2012.

    Data was measured at Eureka, Nunavut at 80 degrees N latitude. It is an impressive paper. I found a non paywalled copy with a google search.

  57. chris y says:

    Dave in Canmore-

    For the paper, try http://www.atmos-meas-tech.net/5/329/2012/

  58. David Cage says:

    Hindcast models should always work if done properly so what. They prove nothing more than you can fit a mathematical model to the original waveform. The only meaningful test is how realistically that model predicts future patterns.
    What chance of that depends on whether it has actually incorporated the obvious hot spot sources in the area which cannot be just dismissed as insignificant no matter how much climate researchers of all flavours would love to do it because they are at random locations and highly unpredictable size.

  59. Robertvdl says:

    Could someone please explain the hot spot near the Svalbard archipelago
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_anomaly_NPS_ophi0.png

  60. Caleb says:

    Cold PDO now, and more ice than normal, in water colder than normal, on the Bering Straits side of the pole. Warm AMO, and less ice than normal and water warmer than normal north of Europe.

    Obviously currents matter.

    Bob Tisdale is working hard on the observed data, and there does seem to be a teleconnection and delyed cycle, where the Atlantic eventually cools after the Pacific cools.

    Besides this nice, neat, teleconnected cycle, there is the simple fact chaos is involved, whenever a stream of water meanders. When a river is allowed to wander, without man building levees, it tends to run down the middle of a floodplain, but at times can meander over to the very edge, and leave an ox-bow lake at the very edge of a floodpain. In the same manner the Gulf Stream meanders north and south in a manner I imagine is chaotic and difficult to predict until you see it start to happen.

    Last but not least, in the winter leads of open water in the ice are quickly refrozen by temperatures of forty below, however during the summer air temperatures are just above freezing, and any such crack in the ice does not “heal” and is part of the break-up of the “100%” ice. The simple fact a good number of icebreakers travel right to the pole these days contributes to the crack-up of the solid 100% ice. (Some say this contribution is too small to matter, but I disagree.)

  61. Plusk says:

    @Philip Bradley
    > That’s interesting. Although just the current year it shows summer temperatures are almost
    > identical to the long term average
    Of course, it’s impossible to have higher temperatures unless all ice is melt.

    > Yet we are seeing record summer Arctic sea ice melt AND record winter sea ice formation.
    Record extent. Volume and thickness of ice formed were very low.

    > This compelling that air temperatures have minimal effect on sea ice extent.
    Of course, ice forms everywhere, where temperature is lower than melting point of ocean (salty) water, no matter it’s -2 or -40 Celcius degrees. But there is ENORMOUS effect on the thickness of the ice formed. The result of few degrees higher average temperature is much thinner ice formed.

  62. Richard LH says:

    If the model is in anyway accurate then it should be fairly simple to produce 3, 6, 9 and 12 month forecasts as to the Arctic Sea Ice extent/volume/cover for the next year. Updated on a monthly basis, say, looking forward like most other models.

    It would be interesting to see what any projections are and how accurate they actually prove to be.

    Hindcast can end up being curve fitting, accurate forecasting provides much more validation.

  63. I do not quite see how the Arctic sea ice winter buildup reflects all that sun given that Arctic winter sees no sun at all because it is below the horizon for 3 months so can’t reflect any. Do these people forget we live on a tilted, revolving, orbiting planet?
    I have no doubt that Arctic Ocean currents and wind plays a big part in ice distrubution and thickness, probably the major part so not to include them in any study of ice coverage is foolhardy.

  64. Richard LH says:

    Robertvdl says:
    November 22, 2012 at 1:41 am
    Could someone please explain the hot spot near the Svalbard archipelago
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_anomaly_NPS_ophi0.png

    Possibly a more interesting question is why the Northern side of the Iceland-Shetland cold front is also colder than normal. Is that related to warmer water showing up further to the North around Svalbard?

    There is a short feedback loop here, with melting ice producing cold water around Iceland to mix with the warmer Atlantic water around Shetland to then feed up to Svalbard and thence make/melt ice.

    If that Easterly cold current increases then the total mixture cools and the result is….?

  65. garymount says:

    Robertvdl says: November 22, 2012 at 1:41 am
    —————
    That’s anomaly. See the following for actual temperatures:
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_sst_NPS_ophi0.png

    One reason it is warmer than normal is because the ice hasn’t formed there yet.
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticicennowcast.gif

  66. garymount says:

    I will mention again a great little program that runs on Windows that displays in real time the shadow cast on a map of the earth. Great for people who think the Arctic spends 6 months in darkness. You might be surprised:
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/homeplanet/

  67. HenryP says:

    Robertvdl says
    Could someone please explain the hot spot near the Svalbard archipelago
    Henry says
    OK. Here is my take on it.
    First of all, you have to try to understand my own observations of maximum temps. Maxima is an important parameter in climate science that nobody but me has been studying. It gives us a sense of the amount of energy coming in, never mind the myriad of things that happen to that energy once it arrives on earth.
    This my best fit curve for the drop in maxima:
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/
    So, if you observe carefully you will notice that we have already entered a global cooling phase since about 1995, if you look at energy-in.
    Before they started with the carbon dioxide nonsense they did look in the direction of the planets, rightly or wrongly, to explain this, see here.
    http://www.cyclesresearchinstitute.org/cycles-astronomy/arnold_theory_order.pdf
    To quote from the above paper:
    A Weather Cycle as observed in the Nile Flood cycle, Max rain followed by Min rain, appears discernible with maximums at 1750, 1860, 1950 and minimums at 1670, 1800, 1900 and a minimum at 1990 predicted.
    (The 1990 turned out to be 1995 when cooling started!)
    Indeed one would expect more condensation (bigger flooding of the Nile) at the end of a cooling period and minimum flooding at the end of a warming period. This is because when water vapor cools (more) it condensates (more) to form clouds and water (i.e. more rain).
    Now put my sine wave next to those dates?
    1900- minimum flooding : end of warming
    1950 – maximum flooding: end of cooling
    1995 – minimum flooding: end of warming

    So, there is a fairly simple explanation for your hot spot… It is called the green house effect…..
    If cooling causes more clouds and more weather systems, then certain places, at the receiving end of those depressions, might get a bit warmer. So, in those places the where, if there were no clouds, it would normally be a lot cooler, my sine (temp) wave runs precisely opposite as the global average. I found this to be true in at least 3 places, namely CET, Norway north coast and USA east coast.
    Hope that helps.

  68. François says:

    It’s 2012. Perhaps you could check before writing non verified things; ‘twould make you appearing less ignorant.

  69. Christian says:

    Re thinning of eggshells:
    I don’t know about the USA, but in Europe aggressive shooting of birds of prey was an ongoing game management strategy for centuries until the 1970s,when conservation orders were issued on a broad range of predator birds. Their populations have rebounded and now are a major threat to small bird populations, which are of course their food.
    It would be interesting to know if the increase in populations of these birds is completely unrelated to the ‘shell thinning’ affair, when the evidence gatherers may have had preconceived notions on the reasons for small populations?

  70. daviditron says:

    Chris Y Thank you very much! Answers many lingering questions.

  71. Ryan says:

    50% of the sea ice melting in summer is OK. ‘Tis normal. But 100% of the sea ice melting in summer will cause the world to end. Obviously. Not.

    In the unlikely event that all sea ice in the Arctic were to melt, despite being at a very oblique angle to the sun, not nearly as white as you think it is in the infra-red and having miles of atmosphere between it and the suns incoming radiation, this would be accompanied by new shipping lanes opening up across the northern seas and vast new wheat fields becoming viable in the northern parts of Canada, Scandinavia and Russia. Sounds like a result to me. Sadly it won’t happen. Not enough energy reaches the Arctic during the summer to cause all the ice to melt after forming during the Arctic winter – that would take a long time.

  72. chris y says:

    daviditron-

    You are welcome.

    I visited your website. Very interesting posts and photos on hiking and climbing in the Canadian Rockies. I usually spend a week each summer in Canmore with family, and do some day hikes, including Ha Ling peak. Your three peaks in one day is well beyond anything I’ll ever attempt. Wow!

  73. HenryP says:

    Just to make sure, I want you to know that I (in Africa) appreciate all those who comment on WUWT :
    happy thanksgiving!~
    Thank God for Wattsupwiththat where at last I found we can freely report the results of measurements, and express our opinions and observations freely, without being censured in any way.
    God is good.

  74. Jeff Alberts says:

    God has nothing to do with it. The herculean efforts of people like Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Jo Nova, Bishop Hill, etc. are what causes this.

  75. HenryP says:

    Jeff Alberts says
    God has nothing to do with it.The herculean efforts of people like Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Jo Nova, Bishop Hill, etc. are what causes this.

    Henry says
    so how did they get here?
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2011/07/23/why-do-i-believe-in-god/

  76. Jeff Alberts says:

    HenryP says:
    November 22, 2012 at 9:34 am
    Henry says
    so how did they get here?

    I’d say the traditional method.

    Your link is full of so many logical fallacies it’s hard to know where to begin.

  77. Pamela Gray says:

    Hindcasting a random walk is not much of a challenge. It’s forecasting one that eludes us.

  78. Pamela Gray says:

    Well Henry…Mommy and Daddy decide to play hide and seek in their bedroom. Then about 9 months later a little boy gets born and they decide to call him Anthony.

  79. HenryP says:

    Jeff says
    I’d say the traditional method…
    Henry says
    So, that would be a chance of 1 out of about 50 million or so other sperm cells from one ejaculation?
    (I had not even thought of that one yet….)
    Come on Jeff, in the minute you took to react, you could not possibly even have read all that I had said.

    .Anyway..either way, we were still talking arctic ice here, so we are completely off topic here.
    I think we are given a link now where we could discuss a bit further…
    (I challenge you….)
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/22/from-history-the-proclamation-of-thanksgiving/

  80. Robertvdl says:

    Robertvdl says
    Could someone please explain the hot spot near the Svalbard archipelago

    So it has nothing to do with the fast drifting multi year sea ice going south in the Greenland Sea
    pulling in ‘warm’ water from more southern latitudes
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticsst_nowcast_anim365d.gif
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticict_nowcast_anim365d.gif
    some sort of local ocean current.

  81. Plusk says:
    November 22, 2012 at 2:03 am
    @Philip Bradley

    Of course, ice forms everywhere, where temperature is lower than melting point of ocean (salty) water, no matter it’s -2 or -40 Celcius degrees. But there is ENORMOUS effect on the thickness of the ice formed. The result of few degrees higher average temperature is much thinner ice formed.

    The empirical data from the last decade shows older ice melts significantly faster than newer ice. If you are correct then we should be seeing the opposite. Newer ice (measured by extent) melting faster. This isn’t happening.

    So, I stand by my comment that the winter warming is occuring at the same time we are seeing record winter ice formation measured by extent, and therefore warmer air temperatures have minimal effect on Arctic sea ice, and this is compelling GHG warming is not the cause of the Arctic sea ice loss.

    What is?

    Cloud reductions and embedded black carbon in older ice.

  82. HenryP says:

    Philip Bradley says

    GHG warming is not the cause of the Arctic sea ice loss.

    What is?
    Cloud reductions…

    Come on Philip. Clouds are on the increase since it started cooling. And you do get a GH effect from more clouds, at certain places.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/21/sea-ice-extent-linked-to-ocean-currents-hindcast-model-works/#comment-1154487

    The situation really is as simple as I have put it earlier.

    Count back 88 year and we are in 1924. What was the ice extent back then? Well, apparently much the same as it is now…..
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/21/sea-ice-extent-linked-to-ocean-currents-hindcast-model-works/#comment-1153736
    Every 90 or 100 years (depending on the lag – earth also produces some energy) we are back again at the same point. So in two or three decades from now, all the “lost” arctic ice will be back.
    Mark my words: There is really not much new under the sun.
    One of my forefathers, a Dutch seaman in the 16th century by the name of Willem Barentsz was convinced from his “history lessons” that the north west passage did exist. He probably was right about that, because it would explain the movements of the Vikings at the beginning of the 2nd Millennium. Never mind, his timing was wrong. They died trying to find it, but they did name the sea after him.
    So don’t worry. Be happy. The ice comes and goes, like the wind lies and blows, and nobody but the really clever people know why.

  83. be cause says:

    cant let a descendant of Barentsz have the final say . If loss of ice at high latitudes causes more snow at lower latitudes then it is welcome to the next ice-age and for cycles of this magnitude there is no history lesson…

  84. HenryP says:

    be cause says
    cant let a descendant of Barentsz have the final say . If loss of ice at high latitudes causes more snow at lower latitudes then it is welcome to the next ice-age and for cycles of this magnitude there is no history lesson…
    henry says
    there is (was) loss of ice at high latitudes (arctic) but not at the very low latitudes (antarctic),
    This happens (in the arctic) every 90 or 100 years or so.
    I don’t see an ice age coming, seeing that we are already near at the bottom of the cooling wave and nobody who is anybody in climate science even seemed to have noticed it…
    Except me of course.
    But I am always interested to hear what your results (of actual measurements) are?

  85. HenryP says:
    November 23, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Come on Philip. Clouds are on the increase since it started cooling. And you do get a GH effect from more clouds, at certain places.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/21/sea-ice-extent-linked-to-ocean-currents-hindcast-model-works/#comment-1154487

    Henry, the problem is that current cloud measurements over the Arctic are problematic. The paper linked below says,

    Over the Arctic as a whole, trends and interannual variations show little agreement with those from satellite data.

    Above the Arctic circle in mid-summer gets more solar radiation than the tropics. Cloud cover is high, around 80% from memory. So, small changes in cloud cover will have substantial effects on surface insolation.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3544.1?journalCode=clim

  86. HenryP says:

    Henry@Philip

    Keep in mind that more cloud cover causes (more) cooling at lower latitudes but at higher latitudes where it would normally be much cooler, it causes a warming effect.
    That is why we have now a bit of (arctic) ice melting. So, ironically, although the whole world is cooling there are a few places, at the receiving end of more clouds, getting a bit warmer.

  87. phlogiston says:

    t is clear from even a brief oerview of literature on the “bipolar seesaw” inter-hemispheric ocean heat “pendulum” exchange, associated with glacial-interglacial switching and phenomena such as the Heinrich and Dansgaard–Oeschger events, that significant changes and cycles in climate and ocean heat take place on century and millenial timescales.

    http://193.146.160.29/gtb/sod/usu/$UBUG/repositorio/10280002_Seidov.pdf

    http://www.fisica.edu.uy/~barreiro/papers/Blunier_etal_Science01.pdf

    http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~stocker/papers/stocker03po-corr.pdf

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2010GL042793.pdf

    ftp://psrd.hawaii.edu/coastal/Climate%20Articles/Climate%20seesaw%202009.pdf

    In the context of this, knowing the ocean itself with its north-south heat exchanges can change climate at a range of timescales – why do warmists find natural climate variability so hard to understand or accept. Again there seems to be a disconnect between different scientific communities.

  88. Gerald Kelleher says:

    It is as though the astronomy of planetary dynamics never existed insofar as Arctic sea ice fluctuations have a singular cause that we can visually see and identify to a 100% certainty yet nobody affirms this observation.The polar coordinates act like a lighthouse beacon for the orbital behavior of a planet as it orbitally turns to the central Sun,this single rotation is coincident with the orbital period of a planet. so that Uranus turns at roughly 4 degrees per Earth year East to West while its daily rotation runs South to North –

    http://www.daviddarling.info/images/Uranus_rings_changes.jpg

    Believing that Arctic sea ice is caused by a fall in temperatures at the polar latitudes is a no brainer however what causes the temperatures to fall is a direct result of the orbital motion of the Earth and current researchers positively refuse to interpret those set of images above correctly in order to anchor studies of sea ice in planetary dynamics.

  89. HenryP says:

    Gerald Kelleher says
    …and current researchers positively refuse to interpret those set of images above correctly in order to anchor studies of sea ice in planetary dynamics.
    Henry says
    you could be right, actually, that the ice coverage can be linked to planetary dynamics, but I think you arrived at that conclusion from the wrong angle.
    Surely, ice coverage depends mostly on how warm or how cold the sea currents are, together with the extent of cloud cover, which would have a warming effect, if there are more clouds, especially in winter.
    These things are influenced by weather cycles.
    Before they started with the carbon dioxide nonsense they did look in the direction of the planets, rightly or wrongly.See here.
    http://www.cyclesresearchinstitute.org/cycles-astronomy/arnold_theory_order.pdf
    To quote from the above paper:
    A Weather Cycle as observed in the Nile Flood cycle, Max rain followed by Min rain, appears discernible with maximums at 1750, 1860, 1950 and minimums at 1670, 1800, 1900 and a minimum at 1990 predicted.
    (The 1990 turned out to be 1995 when cooling started!)
    Indeed one would expect more condensation (bigger flooding) at the end of a cooling period and minimum flooding at the end of a warm period. This is because when water vapor cools (more) it condensates (more) to form more clouds and water (i.e. more rain).
    Now put my sine wave
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/

    next to those dates?
    1900- minimum flooding : end of warming
    1950 – maximum flooding: end of cooling
    1995 – minimum flooding: end of warming

    Count back 88 years= 2012-88= 1924.
    what was the ice back then? see here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/
    Exactly as it now. So, in another two or three decades from now all the lost (arctic) ice will be back. Mark my words.
    So far, I do not exclude a gravitational or electromagnetic swing/switch (pull from the planets?) that changes the UV coming into earth. In turn this seems to change the chemical reactions of certain chemicals reacting to the UV lying on top of the atmosphere. This change in concentration of chemicals lying on top of us, i.e. O3, HxOx and NxOx, in turn causes more back radiation (when there is more), hence we are now cooling whilst ozone & others are increasing.
    Hope this helps a few people.

  90. Gerald Kelleher says:

    HenryP

    Sometimes observations are so obvious that they are overlooked and especially in this case.The polar coordinates are carried around by the orbital behavior of the planet rather than the idea of ’tilt’ towards and away from the Sun implicit in older perspectives.It is exceptionally important for a dozen major reasons including why Arctic sea ice forms as the polar coordinates are swung away from solar radiation rather than inclination to solar radiation.

    A planet has a climate spectrum with the Earth’s largely equatorial climate determined by its inclination unfortunately the community is susceptible to thinking in less than global terms when it comes to the planetary polar/equatorial spectrum even when it is possible to make planetary comparisons.

    http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn12529/dn12529-1_800.jpg

    This is not a case of throwing good information after a dysfunctional conclusion created by modelers,this is directed towards modifying why axial precession as it is presently understood is preventing a streamlined view of the physical considerations behind climate and why we have the seasons up to including Arctic sea ice fluctuations.Without assigning proper cause for the polar day/night cycle where polar latitudes are swung away from the Sun’s radiation for months on end,what is the point of discussing climate and any other input you care to introduce as to why sea ice forms ?.

    There is a sense of dismay that climate studies may dissolve into attrition warfare using modeling rather than a clear breakthrough which would break the vicious cycle and take the urgency from climate studies,raise the intellectual standards and a return to a more stable narrative where ice sheet weather or lack of it influenced biological and geological evolution and even conditions where societies flourished and diminished due to short term variations.

    Those set of images are not as easy to interpret as readers first imagine as the axial inclination remains fixed to the same point as a planet orbits the Sun just as the Earth’s daily rotational orientation remains fixed to Polaris.A person who walks/orbits a central object using a broom handle constantly pointing at an external object to substitute for daily rotation will quickly discover,as they walk/orbit the central object/Sun,that the line of their body substitutes for an ecliptic axis around which the polar coordinates turn to the central object/Sun just as the polar coordinates of Uranus act like a beacon for this orbital feature and why we see it at a great distance from the Earth –

    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041108/gallery/uranus3_zoom.jpg

    Give the concept a test drive as without the ecliptic axis it is impossible to ascertain why sea ice forms at the poles.

  91. phlogiston says:

    Gerald Kelleher says:
    November 24, 2012 at 11:57 am

    A bucket of cold seawater will cool you down faster than the orbital configuration of Uranus.

  92. HenryP says:

    Henry@gerald
    Uranus is not doing anything for me either, yet. I think you must first try to understand the basics of what causes more or less energy to enter earth.. There is a whole lot of interesting things happening right up there on top of – and in – the atmosphere. Looking at maxima is the better parameter to do this.
    Perhaps start here.
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2011/08/11/the-greenhouse-effect-and-the-principle-of-re-radiation-11-aug-2011/

    I am not saying we disagree. At this point, I just don’t know what exactly pulls the switch, throwing more FUV and/or EUV on top of us, causing an increase in ozone and other substances that radiate more energy away from us.

  93. Gerald Kelleher says:

    Phlogiston

    It is hard to tell if that is a reaction or a response nevertheless the issue still stands that Arctic sea ice has a primary cause in terms of the polar day/night cycle and the annual temperature fluctuation as a consequence of the orbital behavior of the Earth just as daily temperature fluctuations have a primary cause in the daily rotation of the planet.

    It is not just looking at an old topic in a new way,it alters how climate is defined,what causes latitudinal temperature fluctuations (seasons),why the natural noon cycle varies and many other topics.

    It is true that it doesn’t attract the same audience who compete in a war of assertions but rather raises the standards by introducing planetary dynamical comparisons and more importantly,an ecliptic axis around which the polar coordinates are carried in a circle to the central Sun.It simply would not be on anybody’s radar as these observations get left behind in a rush to discuss long term ice patterns however most of the inherited views that began 500 years ago with Copernicus require a complete overhaul and especially now with the imaging power that makes planetary comparisons possible.

    Modeling may come later but without the primary inputs,modeling without getting everything in order will always do more harm than good as this is a case in point.

  94. Gerald Kelleher says:

    HenryP

    The current doom laden atmosphere has more to do with the lack of inspiration than the presence of desperation based on pseudoscientific modeling,in less frantic times it would have been possible to discuss the modification to the original conclusion of Copernicus using contemporary resources but researchers seem intent in squeezing climate investigations into a very narrow band of reasoning where the Earth is a greenhouse – It is not,the Earth is a planet and it would be nice if researchers started treating it like a moving planet and these alone are the primary cause of daily and annual temperature fluctuations

    “,…the equator and the earth’s axis must be understood to have a variable inclination. For if they stayed at a constant angle, and were affected exclusively by the motion of the center, no inequality of days and nights would be observed. On the contrary,it day or the day of equal daylight and darkness, or summer or winter, or whatever the character of the season, it would remain identical and unchanged.” Copernicus

    The issue is lost at high school level as not only are students not taught the proper reasons why seasons change and why axial inclination determines planetary climate within a equatorial/polar spectrum,current researchers don’t even bother to survey the original hypothesis which requires a decisive reworking for 21st century purposes.

    As far as I am concerned,the sequence of images of Uranus announces a complete conceptual overhaul and annual Arctic sea ice fluctuations is as good a place as any to begin that process.Had the Earth an inclination similar to that of Uranus where the Arctic and Antarctic circles would expand over large latitudinal areas,the response of sea ice fluctuations would be much greater and perhaps that is where modeling would be more suitable than as a weapon for future predictions.

  95. Brian H says:

    So, it’s all non-linear and complex? By definition, there is no such thing as a “forcing driver”, much less a linear one, in such a regime.

    And please, leave off and lay off with the “reflecting solar radiation and shielding the planet from excessive warming” rhetoric. Protecting us from the evil, hot sun? Excessive (polar) warming? It’s excessive polar cold leaking out that drives dirty weather. It’s coming, and you won’t like it.

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