UW issues statement on the ‘North Pole Lake’

From the University of Washington: Santa’s workshop not flooded – but lots of melting in the Arctic

By

Santa’s workshop at the North Pole is not under water, despite recent reports. A dramatic image captured by a University of Washington monitoring buoy reportedly shows a lake at the North Pole. But Santa doesn’t yet need to buy a snorkel.

“Every summer when the sun melts the surface the water has to go someplace, so it accumulates in these ponds,” said Jamie Morison, a polar scientist at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory and principal investigator since 2000 of the North Pole Environmental Observatory. “This doesn’t look particularly extreme.”

pool of water

NSF North Pole Environmental Observatory The view from webcam 2 on July 26 shows open water on the ice.

After media coverage in CBS News, The Atlantic and the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Morison returned from overseas travel late last week to a pile of media inquiries. Over the weekend the team posted an explanatory page on the project website.

One of the issues in interpreting the image, researchers said, is that the camera uses a fisheye lens.

“The picture is slightly distorted,” said Axel Schweiger, who heads the Applied Physics Laboratory’s Polar Science Center. “In the background you see what looks like mountains, and that’s where the scale problem comes in – those are actually ridges where the ice was pushed together.”

Researchers estimate the melt pond in the picture was just over 2 feet deep and a few hundred feet wide, which is not unusual to find on an Arctic ice floe in late July.

In the midst of all the concern, the pool drained late July 27. This is the normal cycle for a meltwater pond that forms from snow and ice — it eventually drains through cracks or holes in the ice it has pooled on.

The now-infamous buoy was first plunked into floating ice in April, at the beginning of the melt season, about 25 miles from the North Pole. Morison drilled a hole about three football fields away for a second camera, which is pointing in a different direction and shows a more typical scene. Since then the ice floe holding both cameras has drifted about 375 miles south.

The U.S. National Science Foundation has funded an observatory since 2000 that makes yearly observations at fixed locations and installs 10 to 15 drifting buoys.

The buoys record weather, ice, and ocean data, and the webcams transmit images via satellite every 6 hours. Images show the ice, buoys and yardsticks placed in the snow to track the surface conditions throughout the summer melt season. Maybe the instruments will survive the summer without getting crushed by shifting ice to record data for another year. Maybe they will fall in the water and eventually wash ashore. Researchers place the buoys to try to maximize their useful lifetime.

While researchers say the so-called lake at the North Pole is not out of the ordinary, there is a lot of meltwater that could affect the sea ice in coming weeks, in the closely watched lead-up to the September ice minimum.

Last summer the sea-ice hit a record low in extent since measurements began in 1979. This year the melting started a bit later than usual, Schweiger said, but picked up in the last couple of weeks. Late summer is usually the strongest period of shrinking because the ice is already thin.

“Whether we’re going to see another record or not is still up in the air,” Schweiger said.

aerial ice photo

A. Schweiger, UW

An aerial photo taken July 16 shows extensive meltwater pools off the Alaskan coast.

He flew over the ice last month in a joint project with the U.S. Coast Guard to drop instruments that measure oceanic and atmospheric conditions and ice motion.

Morison was last on the ice in April when he deployed the buoys. His forecast for this summer, based on years of experience, is included on a list of expert predictions compiled by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration’s Seattle office.

Morison will not change his June estimate that this summer will come close to, but not pass, the 2012 record, but he is having his doubts. Looking at the photos from the recent flyover shows more melt along the Alaskan coast, and his experience suggests that ice is fragile.

“I think it’s going to be pretty close to last year,” Morison said. “Up in the Canada Basin the ice looks like Swiss cheese, with lots of holes. Even though the ice extent is pretty good, our thinking is that if there’s a big storm event we’re going to see a rapid breakup of that ice and it’s going to disappear pretty quickly.”

The UW team manages another sea-ice tracking tool. The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center publishes daily images and calculations of sea-ice extent and area, while the UW group combines those satellite images and other data to tabulate sea-ice volume. For many people, the UW’s monthly updates are a go-to source for getting the latest numbers on sea ice.

And while the North Pole lake news stories don’t exactly hold water, UW researchers say that it at least shows public interest and concern.

“While the hoopla about Santa’s swimming pool was off the mark,” Morison said, “it is the long-term observational record from these buoys that provides the perspective needed to understand what really is going on.”

###

For more information, contact Morison at 206-543-1394 or morison@apl.washington.edu and Schweiger at 206-543-1312 or axel@apl.washington.edu.

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67 Responses to UW issues statement on the ‘North Pole Lake’

  1. Latimer Alder says:

    So it wasn’t unusual and it wasn’t at the North Pole.

    Apart from that is there anything left of this alarmist story?

  2. tokyoboy says:

    The Arctic Sea ice extent (30% or greater, DMI) is apparently in resistance to melting:
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current.png

  3. charles nelson says:

    According to the DMI graph on WUWT’s Sea Ice Data page, this is looking like the coldest and shortest Arctic Summer for some considerable period of time.

  4. tokyoboy says:

    I was quicker than you, Charles. :))

  5. Blade says:

    Does Hannah or Jamie Morison anywhere in this tepid walkback from all the media alarmism bother to mention where the buoy was located when that lake formed?

    Seems to me that the statement should have led off with a mention that it was hundreds of miles away.

  6. M Courtney says:

    Even though the ice extent is pretty good, our thinking is that if there’s a big storm event we’re going to see a rapid breakup of that ice and it’s going to disappear pretty quickly.”

    Seems very reasonable to me.

    In other words, this is just weather.
    Sea-ice extent at the North Pole has been measured since 1979, less than 40 years.
    And news stories about sea-ice extent at the North Pole are effectively news stories about the worst storm in half a lifetime (Western lifetime).

    OK, that would be worthy of the local news, on a slow news day, but it’s hardly worth a national news headline.

  7. Billy says:

    Of course a puddle on the arctic sea ice in the summer is far more serious than millions of children dying of disease, starvation and murder.

  8. SAMURAI says:

    According to DMI data, the Arctic temp (North of 80 latitude) has already touched the freezing point (about 6 weeks earlier than average) and is currently tracking above: 2012, 2007, 2010 and 2008, which, if would put it about 1.5 KM^2 ABOVE 2012 by the end of September.

    The once-in-50-year Arctic cyclone was the reason for last year’s record low. The chance of a 1-in-50-year Arctic cyclone occurring back to back is just 1 in 250; about the same same odds as Anthony Weiner getting elected mayor of New York…..

    Wishful thinking is the refuge of CAGW zealots and sexting politicians…

    BTW, I wonder why there’s no news coverage on Antarctica setting a satellite record ice extent this year…. Oh yeah, I remember, more wishful thinking…

  9. Otter says:

    Billy says: …

    Billy, enviros see disease, starvation and murder as ways of limiting the CO2-spewing human population. Pools of ice water scare them.

  10. tonyb says:

    The melt pool is exactly as I described it in my post about the original article. My information came from a 1950 book on the floating ice station. It is completely normal for water to form on top of the ice. This sort of event has been recorded ever since Man first explored the artic. In the 1950′s they dealt with the water on top of the ice by wearing wellington boots higher than the knees.

    tonyb

  11. redc1c4 says:

    and here i thought the ice was supposed to all be gone by now…

  12. jeanparisot says:

    “by a University of Washington monitoring buoy”

    That they were measuring it with a buoy should have been the first hint that water was expected.

  13. Disko Troop says:

    “it is the long-term observational record from these buoys that provides the perspective needed to understand what really is going on.”

    I thought the science was settled.

  14. Caleb says:

    I’d like to thank Dr. Morison for his involvement and efforts, concerning the “North Pole Buoy.” Most especially I’m grateful that he hasn’t kept all the gathered data secret, but has made the gathering something that a layman like myself can see, on a daily basis.

    I’m sure that it must be annoying, (but also hopefully amusing,) when the general public and/or media misinterprets what it sees, however I’m sure the same thing happens when weather maps are made public.

    What is most important, I think, is the education of laymen like myself, so that we can become educated voters and make wise choices. Of course immediately people split into two parties, by interpreting the data in two ways.

    Dr. Morison has been part of an increased awareness of the decrease of “old” ice and the increase of first-year “baby ice.” The question still remains as to whether this is a one-way process, or whether it a 30-year-thinning which will be followed by a 30-year thickening.

    The fact the public is interested can be demonstrated by a surprising spike in viewers at my obscure website, when I posted about “Lake North Pole,” and then posted about how that melt-water pool so swiftly vanished:

    http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/north-pole-ice-melt-watching-the-summer-thaw/ and http://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/lake-north-pole-vanishes/

    (The spike in views was from roughly 20 per day to roughly 400, with calm and quiet now returning.)

    While the hoopla about “Lake North Pole” was fun to watch, because it teaches about human nature, (which is a chaotic system just as meteorology is,) the ice was fun to watch before the hoopla, and remains fun to watch after the hoopla, for the same reason watching cumulus billow in the sky is fun. Underlying all the science of meteorology is the simple fact that the study is a study of something which is very beautiful.

  15. Alan the Brit says:

    Didn’t some “expert” say a little while ago that the ice could be all gone by as early as 2013? Perhaps it’s just little old me! Referencing to Numberwatch, similarities to the definition of an economist link to climate scientists, “Someone who always has a ready answer as to why their previous prediction was wrong!” :-)

  16. Felflames says:

    It would seem we have here an honest researcher that was surprised by the media misinterpreting his data.
    Misinformation he has moved to correct.
    More scientists like this is what we need. Encourage them.

  17. richard verney says:

    “…Last summer the sea-ice hit a record low in extent since measurements began in 1979. This year the melting started a bit later than usual,…” AND “…Morison will not change his June estimate that this summer will come close to, but not pass, the 2012 record, but he is having his doubts…”

    Morison shouldhave his doubts as the latest data is tracking similar to 2006, not 2012. Unless there is some rapid ice loss within the next couple of weeks, it is difficult to see how this year will be a repeat of 2012.

  18. Bloke down the pub says:

    When he flew over the ice he saw that while the extent was similar to previous years, it was fragile and susceptible to melt. So how does that compare to when he flew over it in the 60′s? What do you mean ‘nobody was checking back then’?

  19. son of mulder says:

    I just looked at the Antarctic Sea ice chart and it is more that 2 standard deviations above average.

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

    It’s a travesty

  20. Caleb says:

    Slightly off topic, but I am curious about the positioning of Camera 1 and Camera 2. I had always assumed (wrongly) that they looked in opposite directions, however judging from the position of the sun in the sky, and comparing that to the time noted at the top of the picture, I now conclude the cameras look in roughly the same direction. As one camera showed “Lake North Pole” and one didn’t, and as they show different pressure ridges in the background, they can’t be too close together. How far apart are they?

  21. morgo says:

    look at this arctic ice graph it has taken a upwards turn the warmers would not like this happening http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/arctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

  22. P Gosselin says:

    Charles Nelson (11:24)
    “This year the melting started a bit later than usual, Schweiger said, but picked up in the last couple of weeks. Late summer is usually the strongest period of shrinking because the ice is already thin.”

    I wonder which chart Schweiger’s looking at.

  23. Greg Goodman says:

    tokyoboy says:
    The Arctic Sea ice extent (30% or greater, DMI) is apparently in resistance to melting:
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current.png

    by the look of the DMI data I’d estimate that the month of August will run like 2005 / 2006.

    Much of the September extravaganza is meaningless hype. We need to look at the full year’s dataset with suitable filtering to remove short-term weather events to get and idea of how the year is progressing.

    It is totally stupid and unscientific to take one day per year and ignore the other 364 days worth of data available. There are also cyclic influences which may by in or out of phase with the Sept min around the equinox. Looking at the wobbles this years I’d say there is a three month cycle that will be close to max in September. This will likely lead to a higher minimum than we have seen for serveral years and the media will go strangely quiet and talk of deep ocean heat or some such instead.

    I’ll have a closer look at the data tonight, Short of time at mid-day.

  24. Greg Goodman says:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png

    Anomally looking a bit more stable than last year.

  25. tokyoboy says:

    According to Asahi Shimbun, the Japanese equivalent of the Guardian, a research group of The University of Tokyo forecasted in June that the Arctic Sea ice extent this year would be 5-% lower than the ‘record low’ reached in 2012.
    I’ll keep holding my breath to see if their wish come true.

  26. M Courtney says:

    son of mulder says at August 1, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I just looked at the Antarctic Sea ice chart and it is more that 2 standard deviations above average.

    True, but the 2 standard deviations are only calculated from about 30 years (1981-2010).
    The world is older than that.
    These trends up and down at North and South are all a bit meaningless, really.

  27. Keith says:

    Excellent statement from Jamie Morison, but don’t expect it to get the same degree of publicity as that given to the shrieking headlines of doom last week.

    FWIW, I reckon we’re looking at a similar path to 2010. An awful lot of thick ice has gone south, literally, through the Fram Strait since 2006, including this winter, so the ice cover is more susceptible to melting and shunting around than back then. I’d be surprised if it were to go much lower than 2010′s level.

  28. Caleb says:

    RE: Keith says:
    August 1, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Besides the thick ice getting flushed south through the Fram Strait during the warm AMO, warm water came through the Bering Strait and took bites out of the thick ice during the warm PDO. However the PDO has switched to the cold mode, and “the times, they are achangin.’”

    I’m still not certain the current slow-down of the ice-melt is more than a blip on the graph, but it ads to my unease, (if that is the right word,) that things are different. You add up enough blips and it starts to be more than you can ignore. The DMI graph of temperatures above 80 degrees north has never been so low, for example.

    If the blogger “Latitude” is aboard, perhaps he could re-post his link to a Navy graph, which I found startling. I was in a rush or I would have saved it. I’m not sure of the location, but it seemed to show the ice was thickening in July at that spot. Not all at once, as it would if a pressure ridge was forming, but slowly and steadily, at the very time of year the ice ought to be thinning.

    We will have to wait and see if these tidbits of evidence add up to anything, however, at the very least, they seem to be greatly decreasing the chances of there being an “ice-free pole,” this summer.

  29. Caleb says:

    I just reread the article, and see the second camera is roughly 300 yards from the first.

  30. Patrick says:

    It’s another case of “closing the gate after horse has bolted”. The “message”, as in the Cook et al “97%” paper, has been delivered. And as a thread at WUWT suggests the truth, warming isn’t a problem.

  31. Jimbo says:

    The melting had better get started soon if we are to have an ice-free Arctic Ocean this year. :)

    Is there a problem with the DMI sensors? Extent is behaving funny. Temperature at north of the 80th northern parallel looks like it’s the coldest since 1958. What is going on?

    Arctic temperature north of the 80th northern parallel
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Arctic sea ice extent
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

  32. Jimbo says:

    As for Antarctica it’s gone off the rails again. Defying Warmists’ dreams.
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png

  33. MattN says:

    DMI ice extent graph looks very interesting. Unless a big storm pops up in the next month, we could possibly have more ice at minimum than any of the last 10 years. And Antarctica is looking to shatter last years record high.

  34. Patrick says:

    “jeanparisot says:

    August 1, 2013 at 1:16 am”

    Maybe it’s a sled/bouy combo?

  35. Gail Combs says:

    M Courtney says: @ August 1, 2013 at 4:27 am
    …True, but the 2 standard deviations are only calculated from about 30 years (1981-2010).
    The world is older than that.
    These trends up and down at North and South are all a bit meaningless, really.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Not meaningless just political footballs so there is no reason we can not use them too.

    Also there are the implications of the reactivation of the bipolar seesaw (WUWT discussion) and those are not nice. Paper under discussion highlighted.

    Determining the natural length of the current interglacial
    P. C. Tzedakis, J. E. T. Channell, D. A. Hodell, H. F. Kleiven & L. C. Skinner

    Past interglacials can be used to draw analogies with the present, provided their duration is known. Here we propose that the minimum age of a glacial inception is constrained by the onset of bipolar-seesaw climate variability, which requires ice-sheets large enough to produce iceberg discharges that disrupt the ocean circulation. We identify the bipolar seesaw in ice-core and North Atlantic marine records by the appearance of a distinct phasing of interhemispheric climate and hydrographic changes and ice-rafted debris. The glacial inception during Marine Isotope sub-Stage 19c, a close analogue for the present interglacial, occurred near the summer insolation minimum, suggesting that the interglacial was not prolonged by subdued radiative forcing7 . Assuming that ice growth mainly responds to insolation and CO2 forcing, this analogy suggests that the end of the current interglacial would occur within the next 1500 years, if atmospheric CO2 concentrations did not exceed 240 ± 5 ppmv….

    (Note that the authors assume CO2 has a major effect (sensitivity) on climate which is now being revised. )

    Norway Experiencing Greatest Glacial Activity in the past 1,000 year
    …..recently there was a nice study in Quaternary Research that did a study on glacial activity in Norway for the past ~8,000 years….

    ABSTRACT:
    We explore the possibility of building a continuous glacier reconstruction by analyzing the integrated sedimentary response of a large (440 km2) glacierized catchment in western Norway, as recorded in the downstream lake Nerfloen (N61°56′, E6°52′). A multi-proxy numerical analysis demonstrates that it is possible to distinguish a glacier component in the ~8000-yr-long record, based on distinct changes in grain size, geochemistry, and magnetic composition. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) reveals a strong common signal in the 15 investigated sedimentary parameters, with the first principal component explaining 77% of the total variability. This signal is interpreted to reflect glacier activity in the upstream catchment, an interpretation that is independently tested through a mineral magnetic provenance analysis of catchment samples. Minimum glacier input is indicated between 6700-5700 cal yr BP, probably reflecting a situation when most glaciers in the catchment had melted away, whereas the highest glacier activity is observed around 600 and 200 cal yr BP. During the local Neoglacial interval (~4200 cal yr BP until present), five individual periods of significantly reduced glacier extent are identified at ~3400, 3000-2700, 2100-2000, 1700-1500, and ~900 cal yr BP.

    The authors simply state that most glaciers likely didn’t exist 6,000 years ago, but the highest period of the glacial activity has been in the past 600 years.….

    The real controversy is will the Holocene be ending now (we are near the half precession point) or will the Holocene be a double precession interglacial. You can find a synopsis in a comment from WFM (William McClenney?) http://www.cejournal.net/?p=3305#comment-7191

    The above comment is more straight forward then the posts made by William McClenney here at WUWT.

    The alternate theory: The Antithesis
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/30/the-antithesis/

    New Geologic evidence of very very quick climate changes.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/05/on-“trap-speed-acc-and-the-snr/

    The End Holocene, or How to Make Out Like a ‘Madoff’ Climate Change Insurer: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-out-like-a-madoff-climate-change-insurer/

    The sticking point is what minimum level of solar energy in summer at 65N is the threshold for the descent into an ice age and there are a variety of guesses.

    The point that no one is talking about is how unstable the weather becomes near that threshold. One point of view is the climate has two stable states, warm and cold. (Dr. Robert Brown @ Duke Univ) That is it is bi-stable therefore when it is in the in-between state approaching a threshold the climate can swing wildly as Dr. Richard B. Alley has pointed out in “Abrupt Climate Change – Inevitable Surprises”, Committee on Abrupt Climate Change, National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. This means approaching that threshold point can be as bad as crossing it. Note the steep declines in temperature in the geologic record. – http://climateclash.com/files/2010/10/Jouzel-science2007-crop640.jpg

  36. Gail Combs says:

    Alan the Brit says:
    August 1, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Didn’t some “expert” say a little while ago that the ice could be all gone by as early as 2013?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes Steven Goddard has a collection of them: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/ice-free-arctic-forecasts/

    http://soa.arcus.org/

    NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com

    Because climate change in the Arctic region is occurring faster and to a greater extent than anywhere else, the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free for a short period of time as early as the summer of 2015, according to the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report completed by the eight Arctic Council Nations.

    And lots lots more. (Thanks Steven)

  37. Richard M says:

    The winds in the Arctic have been more circumpolar this year than they have in recent years. This has two effects. It prevents intrusion of warm air from outside the polar regions. This keeps the air cooler. And, it makes it less likely the ice is pushed towards warmer water.

    If this continues for the next 6 weeks we will see a rather large increase in the minimum. Also, remember that storm from last year? It did more than just break up the ice. In many cases is piled ice up upon itself creating more thicker ice than one would expect. I don’t think this factor is measured anywhere and could also be a reason for more ice. Think reinforced concrete.

  38. MarkW says:

    I would think that having that dark bouy and other equipment on the ice would also increase the chances of localized melting of the ice.

  39. Jimbo says:

    Talking of the North Pole swimming pool check this out from the Nostradamuses at the Independent – our trusty snow and ice forecasters.

    Independent – Friday 27 June 2008
    Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

    “It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year….”

    Then we have the good Professor Wieslaw Maslowski talking to the ever alarmist BBC.

    BBC – 12 December 2007
    Arctic summers ice-free ‘by 2013′
    [Professor Wieslaw Maslowski]
    “……explained to the BBC.

    “So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.””

    Professor Wieslaw Maslowski later changed his mind in 2011 when he realised he would FAIL. He went on to tell the BBC

    “summer melt could lead to ice-free Arctic seas by 2016 – “plus or minus three years”.”

    So it could now be anywhere from 2014 to 2019, based on new computer simulations of course. :)

  40. AJB says:

    Before mid July melt rate pattern was similar to 2007. Closest now is 2011:

    http://postimg.org/image/ly1frwkk1/full

  41. Crashex says:

    A key factor regarding the pond that I haven’t seen mentioned is that it’s not all meltwater. It had rained at that buoy during the prior days; a lot of that “pond-water” was rainwater accumulating in the low spot of that ice floe.

  42. Taphonomic says:

    Jimbo says:
    “As for Antarctica it’s gone off the rails again. Defying Warmists’ dreams.”

    Antarctica sea ice area has been setting new daily maxima records for the last week, no banner headlines about this:

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

  43. mkelly says:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/arctic-ice-almost-identical-to-1974/

    M Courtney says:

    July 31, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Sea-ice extent at the North Pole has been measured since 1979,…”

    The above link shows that in fact satellites have been recording sea-ice extent longer than1979. It just happens that the 1979 year was a high for extent so that is picked as a starting point.

  44. john piccirilli says:

    Just more propaganda by the cagw crowd.

  45. OssQss says:

    I remembered reading a paper prior to the 2007 ice death spiral hype. Thought I would share it. Kinda related to Caleb’s reference to the positive PDO.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI3619.1

  46. M Courtney says:

    Gail Combs says at August 1, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Not meaningless just political footballs so there is no reason we can not use them too.

    Not sure I can agree with that. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    Besides, there are an infinite number of scare stories that can be hyped. If we allow fear-mongering then we will always be in fear.
    We should be rational and show that this is meaningless. If we think it is meaningless.

    You also post a lot of papers that I haven’t time to read now. I have a job and a test Match to follow. But if they do predict that the next Ice Age is imminent then we should evaluate it carefully.

    We would definitely regret politicising the warning flag if we come to believe the warning flag is real.

  47. Caleb says:

    RE: Richard M says:
    August 1, 2013 at 6:14 am
    “….In many cases is piled ice up upon itself creating more thicker ice than one would expect. I don’t think this factor is measured anywhere and could also be a reason for more ice. Think reinforced concrete.”

    I think you may be onto something here, though I haven’t seen any of the experts talk about any sort of accumulation-of-piled-up-ice. The danger is we tend to see what we are looking for, and they may be looking for one thing as I look for another.

    However I have been focusing on small areas of thicker ice because I expect it, and noted what seemed to be a pile-up northwest of the Bearing Straits last fall, off the farthest east Arctic coast of Russia. Also there was that oil rig shut down last year around this time due to the approach of an area of ice, even though the maps showed that area as “ice-free.” That was so puzzling I emailed one of the sites that compiled the figures, and to my astonishment and delight got a long and detailed response to my questions.

    One problem they had was that they were dealing with “grids,” and a significant ice-island may overlap the borders of grids, or in a worst-case be quartered by the four-corners where four grids join, and that makes an ice island, which might have caused a grid to report “10% coverage” if it lay entirely in one grid, to be divided to a degree it “doesn’t count,” because the separate grids each are below some baseline.

    Those guys are just as curious as we are, and every chance they get they go out flying over the Arctic Ocean to see things for themselves. One guy described such a flight to me, and stated most of the “ice free” water is truly ice free, but once in a while you do see a lone, big berg. Some of these bergs have calved off glaciers, but others are actually created out of “baby ice” being crushed into the formation of larger pressure ridges.

    I imagine adding more of these bergs to the mix of each year’s baby ice would do exactly what you say, “reinforce the concrete,” until we got back to the former situation, and arctic with lots of “old ice.”

  48. Jonathan Abbott says:

    For me this whole Arctic/Antarctic sea ice issue best encapsulates the bias of climate reporting by most media sources. I have never, ever seen a single article that even mentions the increase in Antarctic sea ice or mentions that globally it is pretty much balanced. Now maybe there have been some and I missed them, but I have trawled through countless ‘Oh my god, the Arctic is melting, we are all doooomed!!1!1!’ so it isn’t for want of looking.
    Can anyone point me to a mainstream article that does mention the Antarctic increase?

  49. Dan in california. says:

    “While the hoopla about Santa’s swimming pool was off the mark,” Morison said, “it is the long-term observational record from these buoys that provides the perspective needed to understand what really is going on.”

    Of course long term data is important to have. But we don’t *have* long term information. Our records only go back to 1979. There’s no record from previous decades, previous centuries, or previous millenia. So it’s interesting what’s been happening since 1979, but certainly not definitive of climate trends.

    One of my favorite photos taken in May, 1989, several months before the minimum for that year.
    http://olsonglobalwarming.com/attachments/Image/Image12.jpg

  50. Dan in california. says:

    Sorry, 1987 for the photo of the 3 submarines surfaced at the North pole.

  51. son of mulder says:

    “M Courtney says:
    August 1, 2013 at 4:27 am

    …..These trends up and down at North and South are all a bit meaningless, really.”

    I agree……but this is ping-pong not proper science. As discussed in

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/07/watching-the-deniers-makes-hilarious-goof-while-accusing-wuwt-of-doctoring-nsidc-images/

    At least 60 years is required because of major oscillations to create a statdard deviation.

  52. Jimbo says:

    It’s worse than we thought!
    sunshine hours
    August 1, 2013
    WOW! 9th Daily Record in 10 Days Smashes Record for Antarctic Sea Ice Extent
    Day 212 smashed the old record by 300,000 sq km. Day 211 is over 1,050,000 sq km higher than the 30 year mean.
    http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/wow-9th-daily-record-in-10-days-smashes-record-for-antarctic-sea-ice-extent/

    Oh, wait.

    “Antarctica Melting Brings Expanded Sea Ice Extent, Study Shows”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/01/antarctica-melting_n_2989056.html

    Funny thing is they told us for years about how global warming could melt the ice only.

  53. phlogiston says:

    Again this summer-autumn it will be a competition between colder than usual Arctic air and warmer than usual Arctic subsurface water, which as explained in the recent post by Jim Steele is present as a legacy of recent decades of el Nino dominance.

    However now that the period of el Nino dominance has ended, this warm water remnant will diminish year by year.

  54. highflight56433 says:

    What a great diversion from the real threat to humanity: politicians, governments and their agencies. The false flag dilemma . The sheeple are easily misdirected and distracted while the wolves move in. As with CAGW, the truth is that there is money to be redistributed on a false premise.

  55. taxed says:

    l think the jet stream has given the Arctic a helping hand in been cooler then average this summer. As l have pointed out on other posts, during July the Polar jet has been spliting in two.
    With the northern split flowing along the Arctic circle. This has helped to reduce the amount of area over the NH where the cold air can sink south. The main area where the cold air has been able to sink south has been over North America. This has been partly due to the jet splitting over Russia and then only been able to flow to the south as it moves towards North America.
    lt looks to me that the NE of North America can expect a other wave of cold weather in about other 2 to 4 days time.

    The real fun starts if this sort of jet stream pattern stats turning up in winter.

  56. @njsnowfan says:

    Anthony
    Russian Ice breaker was breaking up the Ice at the north pole yesterday.
    What’s the reason for this, Obama has no ice breakers.
    http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=UGYU
    http://www.marynarz.pl/grafika/jednostki_specjalne_foty/1750letpobedy.jpg

  57. Keith says:

    Jimbo says:
    August 1, 2013 at 8:23 am
    It’s worse than we thought!
    sunshine hours
    August 1, 2013
    WOW! 9th Daily Record in 10 Days Smashes Record for Antarctic Sea Ice Extent
    Day 212 smashed the old record by 300,000 sq km. Day 211 is over 1,050,000 sq km higher than the 30 year mean.
    http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/wow-9th-daily-record-in-10-days-smashes-record-for-antarctic-sea-ice-extent/

    Oh, wait.

    “Antarctica Melting Brings Expanded Sea Ice Extent, Study Shows”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/01/antarctica-melting_n_2989056.html

    Funny thing is they told us for years about how global warming could melt the ice only.

    The Antarctic excuses do make me laugh. So sea ice is either:

    a) accumulating on the periphery of the ice pack, as happens in the winter in the Arctic, or

    b) meltwater from Antarctica is running off the continent into the Southern Ocean, where it freezes and forces the entire ice pack further north, even over a thousand miles away. Strangely, this dynamic isn’t seen off Greenland, or we would be seeing higher-than-average ice extent around Greenland too.

    b) is patently implausible, so the increased ice extent in the southern hemisphere is either due to wind variations, current variations or colder water. What it ISN’T caused by is warmer water or melting land ice.

  58. mwhite says:

    http://www.maps.com/map.aspx?cid=1537&pid=15903

    “This detailed map of the Arctic Ocean published in October 1971 contains a wealth of historical notes including expedition routes”

  59. M Courtney says:

    It seem many commenters think that playing politics with ice data at the South Pole is acceptable as the other side do it at the North pole.
    I regretfully must disagree.
    If we politicise the data to match the other side then we get further and further away from doing actual science. Further and further away from seeking the truth.

    Even the Champion Pig Wrestler is covered in pig poop.

    So I won’t join you in this one, I’m afraid.
    But if you truly feel it is right then carry on without me. I’m just an infantryman in the Climate Wars, after all.
    Still, if you aren’t sincere then just make sure that choosing insincerity as your weapon is worth it.

  60. Mark says:

    tonyb says:

    The melt pool is exactly as I described it in my post about the original article. My information came from a 1950 book on the floating ice station. It is completely normal for water to form on top of the ice. This sort of event has been recorded ever since Man first explored the artic. In the 1950′s they dealt with the water on top of the ice by wearing wellington boots higher than the knees.

    That also indicates that the ice under the water is still thick enough to walk. No doubt the appropriate clothing 60 years ago was even heavier than that which would be used now too.

  61. Chris R. says:

    To M Courtney:

    It’s not playing politics with the ice at the South Pole. The whole GHG
    picture says that warming is amplified at BOTH poles. If the North Polar
    area has been warming, but the South Polar area has not, then something
    else is in play, confounding the results.

  62. James At 48 says:

    RE: NSF North Pole Environmental Observatory The view from webcam 2 on July 26 shows open water on the ice.

    That was not open water, it was a pond on top of the ice

  63. James At 48 says:

    MattN says:
    August 1, 2013 at 5:50 am

    DMI ice extent graph looks very interesting. Unless a big storm pops up in the next month, we could possibly have more ice at minimum than any of the last 10 years.

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

    Especially when you take into account the August “knee” (e.g. flattening) that seems to occur most years. It seems that when the knee is pronounced there is less loss at the minimum out around the equinox. Also there may be an impact regarding how early the knee hits. An earlier knee may also mean less loss.

  64. Brian H says:

    So, anyways, wassamattah with open ocean in da Arctic? Better sailing, boost for goods transit, tourists can venture up without risking being crushed or starved by ice lock-up, etc. Bring back the Minoan Warm Period! Things was pretty good then.
    >:(

  65. Phil. says:

    Crashex says:
    August 1, 2013 at 6:31 am
    A key factor regarding the pond that I haven’t seen mentioned is that it’s not all meltwater. It had rained at that buoy during the prior days; a lot of that “pond-water” was rainwater accumulating in the low spot of that ice floe.

    The stake at Webcam #2 shows that 0.5 m of surface melt occurred there in the 10 days from 7/15-7/25.
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/NPEO2013/WEBCAM2/ARCHIVE/npeo_cam2_20130724072005.jpg
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/NPEO2013/WEBCAM2/ARCHIVE/npeo_cam2_20130715073855.jpg

  66. Phil. says:

    Caleb says:
    August 1, 2013 at 2:27 am
    Slightly off topic, but I am curious about the positioning of Camera 1 and Camera 2. I had always assumed (wrongly) that they looked in opposite directions, however judging from the position of the sun in the sky, and comparing that to the time noted at the top of the picture, I now conclude the cameras look in roughly the same direction. As one camera showed “Lake North Pole” and one didn’t, and as they show different pressure ridges in the background, they can’t be too close together. How far apart are they?

    According to the webcam site:
    “Web Camera #2 was built by the Polar Science Center with the support of Jean-Claude Gascard of UPMC. It was installed and its data are recovered by NPEO in a joint effort with UPMC. It was installed in part to monitor the fate of the large Acoustic Ice Tethered Profiler (AITP) ocean buoy its AITPs laser cloud sensor. For this reason it was placed close to (~ 3 meters) the AITP. It is also surrounded with 10-cm wide ablation stakes. The camera stands about 1.8 m above the April level of the ice surface. Owing to the wide-angle lenses used in the cameras, the AITP and the stakes are closer to the camera than they appear. The two web cameras are about 200 to 300-m apart with Web Camera #2 looking to the right side of Web Camera #1 and Web Camera #1 looking away from Web Camera #2.

  67. silver price says:

    Sea ice thickness is, perhaps, the most important climate state variable that is currently poorly observed, poorly documented, and poorly archived. We as a community can do much better and a unified sea ice thickness data set is an important step forward. This new archive will be a valuable baseline and a continuously growing resource for ongoing work by many groups in understanding, predicting, and adapting to changes in the polar regions.

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