Observations From The WUWT Sea Ice Page

Cryosphere Today – University of Illinois – Polar Research Group – Click the pic to view at source


Image Credit: Cryosphere Today – University of Illinois – Polar Research Group

By WUWT Regular Just The Facts

Global Sea Ice Area, shown above, has remained quite average this year. However, this is not due to a recovery in Northern Sea Ice Area;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source


or Arctic Sea Ice Extent;

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – click to view at source

which are both still trending below average. Rather Global Sea Ice Area appears to be average due to the fact that Antarctic Sea Ice is trending well above average;

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – Click the pic to view at source

having been above average for much of the last two years:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

It is difficult to draw any concrete conclusions from this, as we only have a 34.5 years of satellite sea ice measurements;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

on an approximately 4,540,000,000 year old planet. However, there are some things that we can infer, for example in this Change in Maximum, Mean and Minimum Sea Ice Extent graph;

ssmi1-ice-area

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) – Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (ROOS) – Click the pic to view at source

there is a large decline around minimum, with a much smaller decline around maximum. The reasons for the large decline around minimum according to Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University are as follows:

“The average thickness of the pack ice has fallen by roughly half since the 1970s, probably for two main reasons. One is a rise in sea temperatures: in the summer of 2007 coastal parts of the Arctic Ocean measured 7°C—bracingly swimmable. The other was a prolonged eastward shift in the early 1990s in the Arctic’s prevailing winds, known as the Arctic Oscillation. This moved a lot of ice from the Beaufort Gyre, a revolving current in the western Arctic, to the ocean’s other main current, the Transpolar Drift Stream, which runs down the side of Siberia. A lot of thick, multi-year ice was flushed into the Atlantic and has not been replaced.” The Economist

There is ample evidence to support influence of Atmospheric Oscillations on sea ice, however it is that  “summer of 2007 coastal parts of the Arctic Ocean measured 7°C—bracingly swimmable” that jumps out at me, because of this current Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly map:

National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (MMAB) – Click the pic to view at source

which shows large coastal temperature anomalies in the Arctic. Does anyone know why is it so warm along the Arctic coasts? Per the large anomaly in the Western Hudson Bay, is that a sensor failure or is there another cause? And what’s going on along the coast of Russia along the Kola Peninsula and near the White Sea? If you look at these satellite images;

arctic.io – Click the pic to view at source

arctic.io – Click the pic to view at source

arctic.io – Click the pic to view at source

arctic.io – Click the pic to view at source

that bright blue area really doesn’t look natural. Kola Bay, which is to the West of the bright blue area, is “Contaminated with Hydrocarbons”;

Kola Bay of the Barents Sea is seriously polluted with oil products. That has been demonstrated by satellite monitoring of coastal areas of the Kola Peninsula and the Kola and Kandalaksha Bays areas, both of which are passageways for oil product transportation and in which near-shore zone facilities for hydrocarbon reloading, transportation and storage are located. According to the satellite-based monitoring data from the second half of 2011, oil slicks were detected on 60% of images of the Kola Bay. Spill-International.com

and a couple years ago in:

Kandalaksha Bay in Russia’s far northern Kola Peninsula, some 400,000 square meters of the coast and 200,000 square meters of the bay’s basin area had been polluted with oil products as a result of the May 7, 2011 accident – including a range of islands that are part of a local nature reserve. The oil slick spreading from Belomorskaya (or White Sea) oil bulk plant, a coastal facility in the town of Kandalaksha in Murmansk Region, was threatening hundreds of protected wild species inhabiting the Kandalaksha National Park, only a kilometer and a half away. Belonna.org

Does anyone know what the cause of the current bright blue area off of the Kola Peninsula is? Has anyone seen any studies on the potential impact of anthropogenic effluent, waste heat and oil slicks on Arctic Sea Ice?

To see more information on sea ice please visit the WUWT Sea Ice Reference Page.

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121 Responses to Observations From The WUWT Sea Ice Page

  1. Mungman says:

    WRT western Hudson Bay that area is where most of the watershed from northwestern Ontario to the Rockies south to North Dakota empties into the bay. Most likely is an accurate reading of the warmer fresh water from Lake Winnipeg etc. entering the bay.

  2. stewart pid says:

    Anyone have some thoughts on the change in character after 2007 in the summer for the Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly graph and the lack of the same sort of change on the graph of the southern hemisphere. I smell a rat … a data manipulation rat.

  3. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I have noticed that in the last 8 to 10 days or so, the rate of arctic ice “loss” has decreased dramatically, with very little melt the last week of July. It will be interesting to see if the rate of ice loss continues to be as slow between now and late September. I initially thought that we would have a minimum above that of 2012, but not by a whole lot.

    If the rate of ice loss continues at the slow pace we have seen for the last 8 to 10 days, we might have a minimum more like 2005 or 2006, which would be quite interesting. Polar temperatures appear to be at (or just barely above) freezing right now, which is quite early.

  4. dp says:

    A single windstorm can destroy the extent by packing the ice while doing nothing to reduce the actual mass, so the real message is the 2013 average temperature record above 80º latitude over the melt season (seen on the WUWT Ice reference page). But what does it all mean? Even Kim doesn’t know.

  5. Doug says:

    PeterB, not only are the above 80N temperatures near freezing, but they have been below ERA40 since about May 1 of this year. Only twice have they come close or reached ERA40 this summer.

  6. DCA says:

    I’ve often wondered why the Arctic ice loss off he Russian coast was so much more than the Canadian coast. Warmists often say it’s Anthropolical and caused by fossil fuel but it’s not CO2 warming. I see what McIntyre means by “hide the pea under the thimble”.

    Crichton’s State of Fear comes to mind too.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says: August 2, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I have noticed that in the last 8 to 10 days or so, the rate of arctic ice “loss” has decreased dramatically, with very little melt the last week of July.

    Yes, this is particularly apparent on the Nansen ROOS Sea Ice Area graph:

    ssmi1-ice-area

    Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) – Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (ROOS)- Click the pic to view at source

    Polar temperatures appear to be at (or just barely above) freezing right now, which is quite early.

    Yes, Mean Temperature above 80°N have been below average for much of the melt season;

    Danish Meteorological Institute – Click the pic to view at source

    which is similar to what occurred in 2004:

    Danish Meteorological Institute – Click the pic to view at source

  8. Drymar says:

    Warm waters east of Kola peninsula are result of high pressure I guess. It has been sitting over the Barents sea to Kara sea over two weeks now. Lots of sunshine and warm continental air mass. For example city of Norilsk, located between Yenisei river and Taymyr peninsula, north of polar circle had couple of days ago a new all time high temperature record. No wonder if coastal waters had warmed.

  9. wws says:

    I have a prediction which I guarantee will be true: The amount of Sea Ice will…. fluctuate.

  10. Foxgoose says:

    The new version of the Danish dmi 30% plot shows a similar trend to the ROOS one -

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current_new.png

  11. DCA Aug 2, 9:53 am

    Crichton’s State of Fear comes to mind too.

    That is one of the reasons I check the satellites occasionally. I don’t think it is conspiratorial, though the Ajurak Icebreaker trials in the Fram Strait in 2009 do give me pause, i.e.:

    “Icebreaker and ice-management trials on behalf of ExxonMobil in connection with the Ajurak project. In this research expedition during September 2009 Icebreaker Oden (TransAtlantic management) and Icebreaker Fennica was performing various tests for ExxonMobil.” http://www.rabt.se/Offshoreicebreaking/Reference-list/

    I’ve often wondered why the Arctic ice loss off he Russian coast was so much more than the Canadian coast. Warmists often say it’s Anthropolical and caused by fossil fuel but it’s not CO2 warming. I see what McIntyre means by “hide the pea under the thimble”.

    There is definitely a lot of non-CO2 anthropogenic effluent flowing into the Arctic, e.g. the Mackenzie River flows into the Beaufort Sea and;

    “As of 2001, approximately 397,000 people lived in the Mackenzie River basin”

    “the heaviest use of the watershed is in resource extraction – oil and gas in central Alberta, lumber in the Peace River headwaters, uranium in Saskatchewan, gold in the Great Slave Lake area and tungsten in the Yukon.”

    “Although the entire main stem of the Mackenzie River is undammed, many of its tributaries and headwaters have been developed for hydroelectricity production, flood control and agricultural purposes.”

    “The river discharges more than 325 cubic kilometres (78 cu mi) of water each year, accounting for roughly 11% of the total river flow into the Arctic Ocean. The Mackenzie’s outflow holds a major role in the local climate above the Arctic Ocean with large amounts of warmer fresh water mixing with the cold seawater.” Wikipedia – Mackenzie River

    “Oil and gas development is already extensive in the basin, primarily in the Alberta and BC portions, and much more is expected in the future. For example, a proposal to develop the vast natural gas reserves that are found in the Mackenzie Delta is currently being evaluated. This will require the development of a pipeline along the Mackenzie, which will also facilitate development of gas resources in NWT (GNWT 2007). Perhaps the most significant current fossil energy development at this time is the oil sands (also known as the “tar sands”) in Alberta, near the City of Fort McMurray (Figure 1). An estimated 300 billion barrels of recoverable fossil energy is found in these deposits (MRBB 2003). Development is proceeding rapidly. At the end of 2009, four mines were in operation, with three additional mines approved or under development. In 2008, these projects were producing 1.3 million barrels/day. Production of 3 million barrels/day is expected by 2018, with 2030 production levels reaching 5 million barrels/day by 2030 (Holroyd and Simieritsch 2009; Government of Alberta 2010).”TRANSBOUNDARY WATER GOVERNANCE IN THE MACKENZIE RIVER BASIN, CANADA – Rob C. de Loë -

    It is also of note that;

    “The Beaufort Sea contains major gas and petroleum reserves beneath the seabed, a continuation of proven reserves in the nearby Mackenzie River and North Slope.[12] The Beaufort Sea was first explored for sub-shelf hydrocarbons in the 1950s and estimated to contain about 250 km3 (60 cu mi) of oil and 300,000 km3 (72,000 cu mi) of natural gas under its coastal shelf. Offshore drilling began in 1972; about 70 wells were set up by 1980s[28] and 200 wells by 2000.[29]” Wikipedia – Beaufort Sea

    In the Laptev Sea

    “The mighty Lena River, with its great delta, is the biggest river flowing into the Laptev Sea, and is the second largest river in the Russian Arctic after Yenisei. Other important rivers include the Khatanga, the Anabar, the Olenyok or Olenek, the Omoloy and the Yana.”

    “The Laptev Sea is a major source of arctic sea ice. With an average outflow of 483,000 km2 per year over the period 1979–1995, it contributes more sea ice than the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea combined. Over this period, the annual outflow fluctuated between 251,000 km2 in 1984–85 and 732,000 km2 in 1988–89. The sea exports substantial amounts of sea ice in all months but July, August and September.”

    “Most of the river runoff (about 70% or 515 km3/year) is contributed by the Lena River. Other major contributions are from Khatanga (more than 100 km3), Olenyok (35 km3), Yana (>30 km3) and Anabar (20 km3), with other rivers contributing about 20 km3. Owing to the ice melting seasoning, About 90% of the annual runoff occurs between June and September with 35–40% in August alone, whereas January contributes only 5%.”

    “The sea is characterized by the low water temperatures, which ranges from −1.8 °C (28.8 °F) in the north to −0.8 °C (30.6 °F) in the south-eastern parts. The medium water layer is warmer, up to 1.5 °С because it is fed by the warm Atlantic waters. It takes them 2.5–3 years to reach the Laptev Sea from their formation near Spitsbergen.[3] The deeper layer is colder at about −0.8 °С. In summer, the surface layer in the ice-free zones warms up by the sun up to 8–10 °С in the bays and 2–3 °С in the open sea, and remains close to 0 °С under ice. The water salinity is significantly affected by the thawing of ice and river runoff. The latter amounts to about 730 km3 and would form a 135 cm freshwater layer over the entire sea; it is the second largest in the world after the Kara sea. The salinity values vary in winter from 20–25‰ (parts per thousand) in the south-east to 34‰ in the northern parts of the sea; it decreases in summer to 5–10‰ and 30–32‰ respectively.”

    “Sea currents form a cyclone consisting of the southward stream near Severnaya Zemlya which reaches the continental coast and flows along it from west to east. It is then amplified by the Lena River flow and diverts to the north and north-west toward the Arctic Ocean. A small part of the cyclone leaks through the Sannikov Strait to the East Siberian Sea. The cyclone has a speed of 2 cm/s which is decreasing toward the center. The center of the cyclone drifts with time that slightly alters the flow character.” Wikipedia – Laptev Sea

    “Ye et al. (2003) and Yang et al. (2004) recently studied the effect of reservoir regulations in the Lena and Yenisei basins. They found that, for instance, because of a large dam in the Lena River basin, summer peak discharge in the Vului valley (a tributary in the west Lena basin) has been reduced by 10%–80%, and winter low flow has been increased by 7–120 times during the cold months. They also reported that, because of influences of large reservoirs, discharge records collected at the Lena and Yenisei basin outlets do not always represent natural changes and variations; they tend to underestimate the natural runoff trends in summer and overestimate the trends in both winter and fall seasons. Operations of large reservoirs may also affect annual flow regime particularly during and immediately after the dam construction (Ye et al. 2003; Yang et al. 2004).Discharge Characteristics and Changes over the Ob River Watershed in Siberia

    Also in the Kara Sea;

    “The Ob and Yenisei Rivers in north-central Russia are among the larger rivers that drain into the Arctic Ocean, though past research suggested that they do not necessarily carry as much organic matter and sediment as other rivers. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite acquired this image of the rivers as they dumped tan sediments and dark brown dissolved organic material (DOM) into the Kara Sea on June 29, 2012.” River Outflow to the Kara Sea

    The Yenisei;

    “is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob River and the Lena River).”

    “The upper reaches, subject to rapids and flooding, pass through sparsely populated areas. The middle section is controlled by a series of massive hydroelectric dams fueling significant Russian primary industry. Partly built by gulag labor in Soviet times, industrial contamination remains a serious problem in an area hard to police. Moving on through sparsely-populated taiga, the Yenisei swells with numerous tributaries and finally reaches the Kara Sea in desolate tundra where it is icebound for more than half the year.”
    Wikipedia – Yenisei River

    “The Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam is located on the Yenisei River, near Sayanogorsk in Khakassia, Russia. It is the largest power plant in Russia and the sixth-largest hydroelectric plant in the world, by average power generation.”
    Wikipedia – Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam

    Another tributary, the Tuul passes through the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator while the Egiin Gol drains Lake Khövsgöl (500 km) downstream, where the 124 m (407 ft) dam built in the 1960s produces 4500 MW. The resultant reservoir is nicknamed Dragon Lake because of its outline. The tributary Oka and Iya rivers, which rise on the north slopes of the Eastern Sayan Mountains, form the ‘jaws’ and 400 km (250 mi) of the Angara forms the ‘tail’. There are newer dams almost as large at Ust-Ilimsk 250 km (155 mi) downstream (also damming the tributary Ilim river) and Boguchany a further 400 km (250 mi) downstream (not operational). Further dams are planned but the environmental consequences of completely taming the Angara are leading to protests which may prevent funding.

    Angarsk, the center of the expanding Eastern Siberian oil industry and site of a huge Yukos-owned refinery, lies 50 km (31 mi) downstream of Irkutsk. A major pipeline takes oil west, and a new one is being built to carry oil east for supply to Japan from the Sea of Japan port of Nakhodka. The exact potential of Eastern Siberia is unknown, but two new major fields are the Kovyktinskoye field near Zhigalovo 200 km (125 mi) north of Irkutsk and the extremely remote Verkhnechonskoye field 500 km (310 mi) north of Irkutsk on the Central Siberian Plateau.Wikipedia – Yenisei River

    The Ob is used mostly for irrigation, drinking water, hydroelectric energy, and fishing (the river hosts more than 50 species of fish).

    The navigable waters within the Ob basin reach a total length of 9,300 miles (15,000 km). The importance of the Ob basin navigation for transportation was particularly great before the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway, since, despite the general south-to-north direction of the flow of Ob and most of its tributaries, the width of the Ob basin provided for (somewhat indirect) transportation in the east-west direction as well. Until the early 20th century, a particularly important western river port was Tyumen, located on the Tura River, a tributary of the Tobol.”

    “The Trans-Siberian Railway, once completed, provided for more direct, year-round transportation in the east-west direction. But the Ob river system still remained important for connecting the huge expanses of Tyumen Oblast and Tomsk Oblast with the major cities along the Trans-Siberian route, such as Novosibirsk or Omsk. In the second half of the 20th century, construction of rail links to Labytnangi, Tobolsk, and the oil and gas cities of Surgut, and Nizhnevartovsk provided more railheads, but did not diminish the importance of the waterways for reaching places still not served by the rail.

    A dam was built near Novosibirsk in 1956, which created the then-largest artificial lake in Siberia, called Novosibirsk Reservoir.”Wikipedia – Ob River

    Lastly, in terms of Baffin Bay , it is an;

    “arm of the North Atlantic Ocean with an area of 266,000 square miles (689,000 square km), extending southward from the Arctic for 900 miles (1,450 km) between the Greenland coast (east) and Baffin Island (west). The bay has a width varying between 70 and 400 miles (110 and 650 km). Davis Strait (south) leads from the bay to the Atlantic, whereas Nares Strait (north) leads to the Arctic Ocean. A pit at the bay’s centre, the Baffin Hollow, plunges to a depth of 7,000 feet (2,100 m), and the bay, although little exploited by humans because of its hostile environment, is of considerable interest to geologists studying the evolution of the North American continent.” Wikipedia – Ob River

    There are almost certainly non-CO2 anthropogenic influences on Arctic Sea Surface Temperatures and Sea Ice Area, but there seems to be very little research in terms of the magnitude and impact of these influences.

  12. Pamela Gray says:

    That lighter blue smear could be an algae bloom. Arctic waters and those nearby are rich with it.

  13. Foxgoose says: August 2, 2013 at 10:21 am
    The new version of the Danish dmi 30% plot shows a similar trend to the ROOS one -

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current_new.png

    Yes:

    ssmi1-ice-ext

    Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) – Centre for Ocean and Ice – Click the pic to view at source

  14. TinyCO2 says:

    Algal bloom does seem the most obvious cause of the blue patch.

  15. Latitude says:

    “The average thickness of the pack ice has fallen by roughly half since the 1970s,”

    The average thickness of the pack ice is slowly returning to normal since the 1970s..
    …there fixed

  16. Bill Illis says:

    There has been very low melt rates in the last 3 weeks (after some very high rates in June and very normal rates in the first 5 months of the year).

    Daily change in the sea ice extent from Jaxa and the NSIDC in 2013 versus other years back to 1972.

    http://s13.postimg.org/77316qbtz/NH_SIE_Daily_Change_July31_2013.png

    Clearly tracking to have a higher minimum this September than it has been in the past few years.

    http://s24.postimg.org/ou36wjfkl/NH_SIE_July31_2013.png

  17. Pamela Gray says: August 2, 2013 at 10:21 am

    That lighter blue smear could be an algae bloom. Arctic waters and those nearby are rich with it.

    An algae bloom is definitely a possibility:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/06/07/sci-phytoplankton-blooms-arctic.html

    Here is a similar satellite image from July 22, 2011;

    that Günther Kirschbaum attributed to an algae bloom here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/16/the-economist-provides-readers-with-erroneous-information-about-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-1013173

    Also, this satellite image from June 13th, 2012;

    shows tendrils of runoff from the Mackenzie River as well as an algae bloom reaching out into the Beaufort Sea.

  18. Duster says:

    I believe that as Pamela Gray suggests, the color may be an algal bloom or other biological effect. There was a recent major oil spill up there and there really are bugs that find petroleum tasty. They act more slowly in cold water. What I don’t see is why it seems to become denser toward Svalbard. The current maps for the Arctic seem to be flowing the other direction.

  19. Bill Illis says:

    There is a large algae bloom north of Norway at this time of year about 3 out of every 4 years.

  20. Chris4692 says:

    Am having trouble with the concept of a “Western Arctic” Presumably the western part of a circle around the North Pole.

  21. Steven Mosher says:

    ‘ me, because of this current Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly map:”

    that’s NCEP. model, not data

  22. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Steven Mosher just did a great job of explaining the difference between models and data! (Although perhaps inadvertently). I wish he would have gone into a lot more detail about how the model is differing from actual observations, although I strongly suspect the model is biased quite a bit high compared to actual observations (since that seems to be the definitive trend with models having anything to do with temperature).

  23. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Slightly related post… Here in England we’re getting a great summer. However, when the sun is out it is VERY hot. As soon as the clouds roll in it ‘cools’ down to 24c. I’m 54 years of age, and seen many summers come and go, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the change in temperature between cloudless and cloudy skies as much as this year. We have cleaner air now, of course, and maybe that’s why. The last time we had a summer this hot was 2006, and I don’t remember such a marked difference between cloudy and cloudless skies. Anyone got any thoughts as to why – apart from cleaner air (allowing sun’s radiation straight through)?

  24. Sparks says:

    Where’s the data?

  25. Steven Mosher says: August 2, 2013 at 11:10 am

    ‘ me, because of this current Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly map:”

    that’s NCEP. model, not data

    It’s definitely a model, i.e. the “Real Time Ocean Forecasting System (RTOFS)” is a:

    A hybrid coordinate, 1/12° global ocean model, run once a day. Each run starts with 48 hours of hindcasting and produces forecasts every 3 hours (surface values only) and daily full-volume forecasts from the initial time (0Z) out to 144 hours (6 days). http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/

    Furthermore, in September, 2012 WUWT reader Crashex identified a sensor failure, contacted Robert.Grumbine@noaa.gov, who is responsible for “data-management and analysis techniques” on the RTG data set;
    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/rtg_high_res/

    and

    “received a polite, professional response from Mr. Grumbine today. He agrees that it’s a data error and traced it back to July. He’s working to resolve the problem and thanked me for the feedback.” http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/09/02/sea-ice-page-upgrades-observations-and-questions/#comment-1075887

    However, here is another source, DMI’s Arctic Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies;

    ssmi1-ice-ext

    Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) – Centre for Ocean and Ice – Click the pic to view at source

    and while it shows the magnitude of the anomalies to be less, if paints a similar picture in terms of large Arctic coastal temperature anomalies.

  26. William Astley says:

    In reply to:
    stewart pid says:
    August 2, 2013 at 9:37 am
    Anyone have some thoughts on the change in character after 2007 in the summer for the Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly graph and the lack of the same sort of change on the graph of the southern hemisphere. I smell a rat … a data manipulation rat.

    William:
    I believe the data is real. The following is a possible explanation for the past and current observations.

    There is in the paleo record cycles where the Greenland ice sheet warms and the Antarctic ice sheet cools and visa versa. This is called the polar see-saw which is confusing as the temperature anomaly is limited to the two ice sheets.

    Attached is a paper by Svensmark that presents ice sheet bore hole temperature data to confirm the cycle exists. Svensmark then provides an explanation for what is observed.
    Comment: Svensmark has hypothesized that the majority of the warming in the last 70 years (roughly 75%) was caused by solar magnetic cycle modulation of planetary clouds (a reduction in low level clouds in high latitude region rather than due to increase in atmospheric CO2.
    A reduction in low level clouds causes the planet to warm except on the Antarctic ice sheet. The very high velocity winds on the Antarctic ice sheet cause snow crystals to breakdown to form high albedo ice. Due to the very high albedo of the Antarctic ice sheet a decrease in cloud cover over the Antarctic ice sheet, causes the Antarctic ice sheet to cool, as the albedo of the ice sheet is higher than the albedo of clouds and clouds warm due to the green house effect.

    The reduction in high latitude clouds, therefore caused, cooling of the Antarctic ice sheet which in turn caused there to be an increase in sea ice around the Antarctic continent.
    In Arctic the sea ice is covered by snow which was a lower albedo and there are large regions that are not covered by either ice or snow in the summer. A reduction in low level cloud cover, in high latitude regions of the Northern hemisphere, therefore causes significant warming in the Arctic and warming of the Greenland ice sheet.

    Now as the solar magnetic cycle has slowed down, the mechanisms by which solar magnetic changes modulate planetary clouds have started to reverse which will result in increased low level clouds in high latitude regions in both the Southern and Northern Hemisphere.
    The increased in low level cloud is cooling the ocean around the Antarctic ice sheet which is causing there to be an increase in sea ice.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0612145v1
    The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays

  27. DCA says:

    Duster,

    “There was a recent major oil spill up there and there really are bugs that find petroleum tasty. They act more slowly in cold water. What I don’t see is why it seems to become denser toward Svalbard. The current maps for the Arctic seem to be flowing the other direction.”

    The previous thread refers to volcanic activity in the Svalbard area. Is this just a coincidence or does the warmer water promote algae growth?

  28. Sparks says: August 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Where’s the data?

    Almost all of it is available from the Source Guide at the bottom of the Sea Ice Reference Page, alternatly, tell us what particular data your are looking for and we can probably show you where it can be found.

  29. James Sexton says:

    If anyone is interested, I just graphed the last 25 years of SH minimum months (March) and Max Months, (Sept). http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/do-i-hear-3-more-on-sh-ice-extent/

    Worried about Drake’s passage!!! :D

  30. OssQss says:

    Could the blue in the image simply be low salinity water pools at the surface due to the massive ice melt from last years acrctic cyclone?

  31. TonyK says:

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I’ve noticed a very similar thing. A few weeks ago we were vacationing in Scotland, and although, being Scotland, the temperature wasn’t particularly high, when the sun came out it was unusually hot. In fact I remarked to my wife about it at the time. Anecdotal, yes, but interesting nonetheless.

  32. Nick Stokes says:

    “Does anyone know why is it so warm along the Arctic coasts? Per the large anomaly in the Western Hudson Bay, is that a sensor failure or is there another cause?”

    Here is a movie of Arctic SST over the last 50 days. The warmth in Hudson Bay seems quite recent – started late June. The Barents Sea has been warm through that time. There’s a whole warm patch east of Iceland, and there are times when it seems to be moving as you might expect from the Gulf Stream.

    The whole year is shown here. It was fairly warm in the Barents Sea throughout, except for a spell from about March to May. In the year movie, you can see the ice come and go.

  33. phlogiston says:

    “The bipolar seesaw”

    See Saw Margery Daw
    Johnny shall have a new ice age
    We shall cool but a degree (or two) a century
    ‘Cause we can’t lost heat any faster

  34. NZ Willy says:

    I think those “temperature anomalies” are because they are comparing surface water temperature to the surface *ice* temperature of the control data (which has ice in those places), so the “anomaly” is simply the temperature above freezing.

  35. Gail Combs says:

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says: @ August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Slightly related post… Here in England we’re getting a great summer. However, when the sun is out it is VERY hot. As soon as the clouds roll in it ‘cools’ down to 24c….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The weather in central North Carolina has been cool. No days above 90F (32C) before June. Three days 90F & above in June and 7 days in July (five @ 90F, one @ 91F three @ 92F and one @ 95F) for a total of ten day between 90F and 95F this year.

    Ten years ago in 2004 April had six days above 90F -2 days @ 91F and 4 days @ 93F
    May 2004 had 17 days @ 90F or above.
    6 days – 91F
    6 days – 93F
    2 days – 95F
    1 days – 96F
    2 days – 98F
    ……
    We have also had a lot of rain. 19 days in June and 18 days in July. I have clay soil and the soil is still soft. First time I have been able to dig fence posts after June 15 since I moved here ~ 20 years ago. (Yeah I got the pick-up unstuck but the ground is still soggy)

  36. Matthew R Marler says:

    Are there supposed to be readable graphs displayed?

  37. Matthew R Marler says:

    Well that’s funny. They all just popped up.

  38. DavidCobb says:

    @ghost of BJC

    Check your local water vapor image. I’ve spent years working outside in Texas on white rock oil pads and a quick look at the water vapor image would always tell me when the sun was going to pound hardest.

  39. D.I. says:

    Just The Facts, I think that quoting Peter Wadhams lets this article down after reading his latest ‘Rant’ here-
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4084c8ee-fa36-11e2-98e0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2aqAxFmce
    Summer Ice gone by this year or 2015 at the latest?

  40. Manfred says:

    The positive anomaly in the “Northern Hemisphere Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly map” (last picture) does not agree with the Danish >80 degrees Nord temperature curve. I would think, that very slow ice melt supports the Danish data, and there is no positive temperature anomaly as shown in the plot.

  41. Sparks says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    August 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Sparks says: August 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Where’s the data?

    Almost all of it is available from the Source Guide at the bottom of the Sea Ice Reference Page, alternatly, tell us what particular data your are looking for and we can probably show you where it can be found.

    Thanks I found the data here: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.global.anom.1979-2008

    But, would you know where I can find the satellite data going back to 1972 seen in this pdf?
    The sea ice anomalies look very different.

  42. Manfred says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm
    ———————————-

    That data in the movie does not agree with the Danish >80 deg Nord data and a negative anomaly.

    The Danish computation appears to be MUCH more sophisticated using MUCH more real data.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/documentation/arctic_mean_temp_data_explanation_newest.pdf

  43. Manfred says:

    NZ Willy says:
    August 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    I think those “temperature anomalies” are because they are comparing surface water temperature to the surface *ice* temperature of the control data (which has ice in those places), so the “anomaly” is simply the temperature above freezing.
    —————————————–
    Probably the answer, though the oil spills may have contributed to melting.

  44. D.I. says: August 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Just The Facts, I think that quoting Peter Wadhams lets this article down after reading his latest ‘Rant’ here-
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4084c8ee-fa36-11e2-98e0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2aqAxFmce
    Summer Ice gone by this year or 2015 at the latest?

    I understand where you are coming from and am certainly not going to defend Peter’s “rant” and farfetched forecasts. However, the quote I posted from Peter is accurate and I intentionally selected it, as it is much harder for our Warmist friends to dismiss. It is the same reason I like this quote from The Guardian:

    “Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region’s swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals.”http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/mar/22/wind-sea-ice-loss-arctic

  45. Nick Stokes says:

    Manfred says: August 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    “That data in the movie does not agree with the Danish >80 deg Nord data and a negative anomaly.
    The Danish computation appears to be MUCH more sophisticated using MUCH more real data.”

    The movie is simply an animation of direct satellite SST measurements. That’s real data.

    The Danish computation is a reanalysis, with modelling. But more importantly, it is of air temperature, not SST. It’s true that SST is used as a proxy for air temp over open water, but not over ice.

  46. Manfred says:

    I would not call the opinion that sea ice may disappear after 2015 “farfetched”

    https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/grf/piomas-trnd2.png

    Given above steepening trend, I find this year’s increasing anomaly staggering with the main forcings warm AMO and black soot still in place.

    Iwould now expect, that the anomaly disappears VERY quickly, once AMO turns negative.

  47. eric1skeptic says:

    Part of the wiggle or pause in the downward trend about a week ago was a pretty large Arctic low. But instead of piling up ice like last year, this one may have spread it out. I don’t have much evidence except that ice appeared in the Barrow Ice Cam where it had previously drifted away or melted away. That ice is gone again now. Here’s the site with some movies of past ice: http://seaice.alaska.edu/gi/observatories/barrow_webcam

  48. D.I. says:

    Manfred says:
    August 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I would not call the opinion that sea ice may disappear after 2015 “farfetched”
    Wadhams quote,
    “It could even be this year or next year but not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer,” he said, pulling out a battered laptop to show a diagram explaining his calculations, which he calls “the Arctic death spiral”.
    Source:-http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4084c8ee-fa36-11e2-98e0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2aqAxFmce
    Not ‘After’ 2015 but ‘No Later’.

  49. Manfred says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm
    The movie is simply an animation of direct satellite SST measurements. That’s real data.
    The Danish computation is a reanalysis, with modelling. But more importantly, it is of air temperature, not SST. It’s true that SST is used as a proxy for air temp over open water, but not over ice.

    —————————————–

    The movie “analysis uses in situ and satellite SST’s plus SST’s simulated by sea-ice cover.”
    That’s NOT “real data”.
    And I doubt there is ANY real satellite SST data for most of 80 deg North as that water is still mostly covered under ice.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.noaa.oisst.v2.html

    The Danish data is described as follows: much more real data and “MUCH BETTER”

    “An NWP analysis is based on vastly more information than available from any
    single observing system. Data from ground, aircraft, bouys, ship, satellites,
    radiosondes, etc. are all combined to adjust the first guess field. As a
    consequence the quality of an analysis is much better than what can be obtained
    from gridding, or treating in other ways, data from a single or a few observing
    systems.”
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/documentation/arctic_mean_temp_data_explanation_newest.pdf

  50. David Schofield says:

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am
    Slightly related post… Here in England we’re getting a great summer. However, when the sun is out it is VERY hot. As soon as the clouds roll in it ‘cools’ down to 24c. ……………………

    I’ve noticed this as well. Does seem different from previous hot summers.

  51. Manfred says: August 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I would not call the opinion that sea ice may disappear after 2015 “farfetched”

    https://sites.google.com/site/arctischepinguin/home/piomas/grf/piomas-trnd2.png

    I have no confidence in the PIOMAS model, i.e.:

    “Satellite sea ice concentration data are assimilated in GIOMAS using the Lindsay and Zhang (2005) assimilation procedure. The procedure is based on “nudging” the model estimate of ice concentration toward the observed concentration in a manner that emphasizes the ice extent and minimizes the effect of observational errors in the interior of the ice pack.”http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/Global_seaice/model.html

    “Because of the errors in the summer Gice dataset ice concentration in the interior of the pack (as well as errors in summer ice concentration based on passive microwave observations), assimilation of ice concentration is accomplished in a method that emphasizes the extent over the concentration. The observations are weighted heavily only when there is a large discrepancy between the model and the observed concentration. Each day the model estimate Cmod is nudged to a revised estimate Ĉmod with the relationship.” http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JTECH1871.1

    PIOMAS uses an erroneous data set, weights heavily when observations didn’t fit the model and then “nudges” the output. Sea Ice Area and Extent are the most accurate Sea Ice measurements we have and far as I can see, neither show indications of impending Arctic Sea Ice disappearance. Arctic Sea Ice disappearance within the next several years is farfetched.

  52. Betapug says:

    Any explanation for Cryosphere Today’s bizarre inverted mislabelling of the data points on the ‘Current Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area’ graph? The current value is almost always overlaid by the lower mean value, making it unreadable.

    Several emails have gone unaswered leading to dark thoughts of conspiracy to obscure.
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/seaice-recent-antarctic.gif?w=640&h=480

  53. AndyG55 says:

    I think that one needs to remember that any flow of warmer water to the poles is a global cooling mechanism.

    To me its looking more and more like we are about to take a plunge in global temperatures..

    Time will tell.

    Let’s hope to heck that its not too fast or too deep !

    Its certainly going to be fun watching all the huffing and puffing in AGW circles if we do start cooling down. :-)

  54. D.I. says:

    David Schofield says:
    August 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am
    Slightly related post… Here in England we’re getting a great summer. However, when the sun is out it is VERY hot. As soon as the clouds roll in it ‘cools’ down to 24c. ……………………

    I’ve noticed this as well. Does seem different from previous hot summers.
    So what ‘Previous hot summers’ are you talking about? we have not had any for years,please don’t confuse warm high humidity with ‘Hot’.

  55. Nick Stokes says:

    Manfred says: August 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm
    ‘The movie “analysis uses in situ and satellite SST’s plus SST’s simulated by sea-ice cover.”
    That’s NOT “real data”.
    And I doubt there is ANY real satellite SST data for most of 80 deg North as that water is still mostly covered under ice.’

    In Arctic regions the data is mostly from satellite. The satellites see the ice and assign a temperature of -1.8°C, which is the temperature of sea-water in contact with ice. That’s what “simulated by sea-ice cover” means.

    But you haven’t dealt with the main issue. The reason for any disagreement is that they are measuring different things. Sea temp vs air temp.

  56. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am
    Here in England we’re getting a great summer. However, when the sun is out it is VERY hot. As soon as the clouds roll in it ‘cools’ down to 24c. I’m 54 years of age, and seen many summers come and go, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the change in temperature between cloudless and cloudy skies as much as this year. We have cleaner air now, of course, and maybe that’s why. … – apart from cleaner air (allowing sun’s radiation straight through)?

    Interesting observation. Here in Perth, we have the cleanest air of any large city and also experience much higher temperatures (10C+) on sunny summer days. We also experience brilliant near horizontal sunshine after dawn and before dusk due to the very low levels of air pollution and aerosol seeded low level clouds, which is a major driving hazard. Have you noticed a similar thing in England?

    BTW, while I buy Svensmark’s explanation of the polar seesaw, I think the current NH SH sea ice divergence is primarily due to reduced NH aerosols and black carbon, especially after the 1998 Russian Financial Crisis, which shut down much of the highly polluting Russian industry in the north.

  57. Eric1skeptic says:

    Manfred, I would not put much faith in a modeled decline this summer given the storm last year which piled up the ice. The PIOMAS model will underestimate the vollume of that ice while overestimating the volume of the seasonal ice. That why the peak ice curves (apr, mar, may) have leveled off while the late summer curves have dropped. The model is increasingly overestimating spring ice and underestimating fall ice.

  58. captainfish says:

    Popular science says that the blue area is phytoplankton. I’m sure they are the best to know. Right?

  59. captainfish says:

    dang forgot the link. sorry. If MODS want to join this with last post I’d be happy.
    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/big-pic-phytoplankton-bloom-north-atlantic-cold

  60. Manfred says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    August 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    In Arctic regions the data is mostly from satellite. The satellites see the ice and assign a temperature of -1.8°C, which is the temperature of sea-water in contact with ice. That’s what “simulated by sea-ice cover” means.

    But you haven’t dealt with the main issue. The reason for any disagreement is that they are measuring different things. Sea temp vs air temp.

    ———————————-

    I did not address that point because I would agree in part.

    Only in part, because taking your explanation, an SST of -1.8°C anywhere under ice would require an anamoly of zero and not positive in these regions.

    So the other part of the explanation appears to be the color code used in the NCEP plot which uses yellow for [0, 1[ degrees, thus misleading the observer to think most of the basin has a positive SST anamoly while it is mostly zero.

  61. Nick Stokes says:

    Manfred says:August 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    “Only in part, because taking your explanation, an SST of -1.8°C anywhere under ice would require an anamoly of zero and not positive in these regions.”

    And so it is, in the SST animation. It shows ice as a region of uniform color, which is zero. It’s particularly clear in the refreeze (October), where you see a front of “zero anmaly” advancing.

  62. Bill Illis says:

    We will have to watch as the ice melts over the next 45 days.

    The trends right now indicate a substantial recovery this year, as does the temperature trends. July is looking to be a cold month overall and a cold month in most of the Arctic.

    The northwest passage as an example looks to remain closed this year (and any big ship that Al Gore parked off of Baffin Island waiting for an opening, is going to be sailing back home in a southerly direction – time Is money for any transport ship and lots will be wasted waiting for opening in Arctic ice). But ship captains are not as dumb as the pro-warmers so no ship is now there – only small boats who have bought the global warming theory/scam/belief system).

  63. Khwarizmi says:

    “The milky blue color suggests the presence of coccolithophores, a microscopic plankton plated with white calcium carbonate, which when viewed through ocean water appears bright blue.”
    http://e360.yale.edu/slideshow/nasa_images_of_2011/44/5/
    So the beautiful blue is just the natural hue of the arctic water.

  64. EW3 says:

    The whole idea of measuring Arctic sea ice based on something like 15% or even 30% within a geographic area. It is too easily effected by other causes like wind rather then temperature.
    It’s sad the state of climate science.

  65. RACookPE1978 says:

    Hmmmn. Good comments above.

    Working on a series of items for Anthony to post here as “Sea Ice 101″ pages to calculate (not guess, nor extrapolate, nor exaggerate) what the total heat balance of the Arctic and Antarctic Ocean waters will be with and without sea ice. Goal is have a credible net heat balance for every hour, for every day-of-year, at every latitude for realistic conditions of cloud cover, air temperature, water temperature, wind speed (calm, low, high winds), and solar elevation angle.

    Finished some Sea Ice area/latitude calc’s today from today’s Sea Ice Page that are relevant, and invite your comments, criticisms, and corrections.

    We have been saturated with the CAGW mantra that

    Sea Ice reflects the sun’s rays.
    The reflected solar radiation leaves the earth’s system, and therefore more sea ice cools the earth.
    Open ocean waters have a lower albedo (are much darker than sea ice).
    This means that every square meter of newly-exposed Arctic water will absorb even more solar energy than an area covered by sea ice.
    The resulting warmer Arctic water heats the Arctic air even more, and causes even more sea ice to melt even faster.

    So, it is natural to ask: Is this so-called Arctic amplification (a positive feedback spiral always towards more heat) actually correct? And, if it actually present, how big it it, when does it occur, and where (at what latitudes) does it occur? I have never seen any of these questions answered.

    First, two rhetorical questions:

    1) Would the CAGW community “notice” if the entire Ross Ice shelf melted this afternoon? That’s a lot of ice: The Ross shelf has total area of (472 Kkm2 (472,000 km^2). Notice, however, since it’s centered at about 82 south latitude, that’s only a projected area of 66 Kkm2.

    2) Would the CAGW community “complain to their press corpse” if the entire Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf melted? It’s smaller than the Ross at “only” 422 Kkm2, but is further from the pole at about 78 south. Projected area into the sun at the equinox? Only 88 Kkm2.

    3) The rest of “permanent” Antarctic Ice Shelves total about 349 Kkm2, but are up near the coast of Antarctica at 71 south latitude. (Total projected area = 114 Kkm2.)

    Background Information About Sea Ice Geography:
    Where the sea ice is now (in today’s world) and how much sea ice there is at those locations.

    At time of minimum Arctic Sea Ice extents always occurs at mid-September near the Fall Equinox. During this same two-week period, Antarctic Sea Ice is at its maximum. During the spring equinox, Arctic Sea Ice is at its maximum, and Antarctic Sea Ice extents are at their minimum.

    Also, it is only at the fall and spring equinoxes that the sun’s rays fall perpendicular to the polar axis. Thus, it is only on this day of the year that there is 12 hours sunshine, and 12 hours of darkness, at EVERY latitude from the north pole to the south pole. (At any other day-of-year, you have to account for the earth’s ever-varying tilt of 23.5 degrees, but for right now, we can simplify things by noting the earth is perpendicular to the sun’s rays.)

    Arctic sea ice is roughly centered around the north pole, covering all areas between the pole and the edge of ice like a “beanie” cap on the top of a sphere with a 6371 km radius. From spherical geometry, you can calculate the area of any cap if you specify the latitude. If you know the area of sea ice, you can calculate the latitude of the edge of the sea ice.

    Antarctica Sea Ice geography is a bit trickier since the Antarctic Sea Ice surrounds an irregular land mass: but the same principle applies: Get the area of the land mass (14,000 Kkm2), then add the area of the sea ice around that land mass, then calculate the edge of total area. (This only works because essentially no part of the Antarctic continent ever melts. )

    Reality check: Does the total of Antarctic land ice plus the permanent ice shelves plus the seasonal Antarctic Sea Ice really look like a “cap” centered around the South Pole? Yes.

    Interestingly, I have been unable from any source to determine if the “standard” 14,000 Kkm2 “land area” for the Antarctic includes the 1,243 Kkm2 permanent ice shelves listed above. The NSIDC explicitly has stated that they do NOT include these permanent ice shelves in their calculated “Sea Ice Extents” for the Antarctic. However, no source, including National Geographic, knows whether the 14,000 Kkm2 continent includes or excludes the ice shelves. (For the present, I have conservatively assumed that the 14,000 Kkm2 does include the major ice shelves.)

    The Arctic Sea Ice Extents include the Arctic Ocean of course, but also the ice-covered parts of the Bering Sea, the Greenland Straits, the Hudson Bay, Norwegian Sea, Chuckio Sea, and Denmark Strait. However, since all of these areas melt completely every year, they are irrelevant towards any calculation or concern about minimum Arctic Sea Ice extents.

    Current Minimum Arctic Sea Ice Conditions.

    Average minimum Arctic sea ice extent used to be 7,000 Kkm2 using 1970-1980 satellite-observed averages, but recent Arctic sea ice minimums range average about 4,000 Kkm2.
    2012 broke a record set in 2007 with a minimum Arctic sea ice extent of 3,500 Kkm2.
    4,000 Kkm2 sea ice area => 79.8 North Latitude of the sea ice edge.
    3,000 Kkm2 sea ice area => 81.2 Lat.
    2,000 Kkm2 sea ice area => 82.8 Lat.
    1,000 Kkm2 sea ice area => 84.9 Lat.

    In round numbers:
    4000 => 80 North
    3000 => 81 North
    2000 => 83 North
    1000 => 85 North.

    No other numbers matter: there is NO Arctic Sea Ice anywhere else in the world.

    By the way, the MOST the Arctic can melt is today’s minimum of 4,000 Kkm2. After this sea ice is melted in any given year, there can be no further “arctic amplification” as CAGW theory defines it, because there is simply no more Arctic sea ice available to melt. (This is NOT the case in the Antarctic by the way, since the Antarctic sea ice can continue expanding until it hits Hawaii.)

    But remember, CAGW theory holds that “Sea Ice Area => Reflection of solar energy => Cooling => Good.”

    Therefore, we must next calculate the AREA of this Arctic Sea Ice that can reflect the sun’s rays. This can be found by finding the latitude of the middle of each area of sea ice, then projecting that area (use the cos of latitude) into “space”. For the moment we will ignore – as the CAGW community always seems to do – the effect of the the earth’s rotation on exposure to the sun, the air mass at the latitude in question, the optisal properties of the air at that latitude at that time of year, clouds, diffuse solar radiation, and everything else that really matters. Those will come later.

    From 4,000 Kkm2 => 79.8 was the original ice edge, center of lost 1000 Kkm2 => 80.5 Lat, projected area at 80.5 Lat = 165 Kkm2
    Hmmn. Only 165 Kkm2 newly exposed ocean area if we melt 1000 Kkm2 of sea ice in September?
    Let’s keep looking.

    From 3,000 Kkm2 => 81.2 was the original ice edge, center of the lost 1000 Kkm2 => 82.0 Lat, projected new ocean area at 82.0 Lat = 139 Kkm2.
    Even less area when we melt 1000 Kkm2 of sea ice this time.
    What if we melt another 1000 Kkm2, going from 2000 to 1000 Kkm2 Arctic Sea Ice?

    From 2,000 Kkm2 => 82.8 was the original ice edge, center of melted ice => 83.9 Lat, projected new ocean area at 83.9 Lat = 107 Kkm2.
    (This is, by the way, about the area of Cuba on Hansen’s NASA-GISS-favored Mercator projection map of the Arctic Ocean and its environment.)

    Let us melt the final 1000 Kkm2, leaving no sea ice at all in mid-September.

    From 1,000 Kkm2 => 84.9 was the original ice edge, weighed average area of 500Kkm2 sea ice will be the center of melted ice => 86.4 Lat.
    Projected area of 1000 Kkm2 of sea ice at Lat 86.4 = 63 Kkm^2. An exposed Arctic Ocean area about the size of Sri Lanka.

    So, does the world’s (CAGW community) every-increasing concern about (the admittedly decreasing) Arctic Sea Ice extents really matter in today’s world?

    But it’s even worse than you think; wait until you see what happens when you project the ever-increasing Antarctic Sea Ice areas.

  66. I look forward to updates.

    In particular what effect a 1 sqkm increase in SH sea ice has compared to a 1 sq km decrease in NH sea ice. I estimate the cooling effect of the former is substantially greater than the warming effect of the latter, but I have never seen it quantified.

  67. RACookPE1978 says:

    From above, I showed that the combined newly exposed Arctic Ocean area – if you suddenly melted 4,000,000 square kilometers of current Arctic Sea Ice in mid-September at its yearly minimum – is only 474,000 square kilometers of water.

    And this ignores – as the CAGW community always seems to do – the effect of the earth’s rotation on exposure to the sun’s rays, the air mass at each latitude in question, the optical properties of the air at that latitude at that time of year, clouds, diffuse solar radiation, and everything else that really matters. Every one of these factors reduces the heat transfer from the sun into the Arctic Water. Add in increased evaporation heat loss of each square meter of the “new” ocean water, increased long wave radiation losses from the newly exposed upper water surface of the upper ocean mass, and greater probability of increased “clean” snow and ice deposition on land from the newly evaporated ocean water -> The more Arctic Sea Ice that melts under today’s conditions -> The cooler the Arctic Ocean will become.

    Troubling, isn’t it?

  68. RACookPE1978 says:

    Philip Bradley says:
    August 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I look forward to updates.

    In particular what effect a 1 sqkm increase in SH sea ice has compared to a 1 sq km decrease in NH sea ice. I estimate the cooling effect of the former is substantially greater than the warming effect of the latter, but I have never seen it quantified.

    So let’s quantify what ANY increase in Antarctic Sea Ice means, but in particular let’s see what two specific measurable increases mean to our (very simplified!!) “model” that only calculates “newly exposed area of ocean to the sun’s rays.” This time, instead of “melting sea ice” to “expose ocean water to the sun” our calc’s will find out much more sea ice is reflecting the sun’s energy with each change. Again, we will look at ONLY exposed sea ice area – there are other factors, but notice that every square km of “new” Antarctic Sea Ice is “closer to the equator” than what was original present. Every square km of “new” ice that is discussed below IS ACTUALLY and ALREADY REFLECTING ENERGY this year, this month, today, tomorrow, and the day after – in this section of Sea Ice 101 we are not “imagining” melting sea ice in some indefinite future: the changes have already happened and are cooling the world now.

    In today’s world, the “average” minimum Antarctic sea ice extents is “only” 1,900 Kkm2. But, this Antarctic Sea Ice minimum BEGINS at the north coast of our idealized Antarctic continent of 14,000 Kkm2.

    Notice that this “idealized” Antarctic total MINIMUM area of 15,900 Kkm2 (14,000 land ice + 1,900 Kkm2 “average” minimum sea ice) is already greater than the MAXIMUM Arctic Sea area of 14,000 Kkm2. On Hansen’s NASA-GISS Mercator projection, the “edge” of the Antarctic Sea Ice BEGINS at Lat 70 South and expands away from the pole: roughly equal to a cap from the north pole down to the north coast of Alaska, and all the way around through Siberia to the middle of Greenland and through the Canadian islands and back to Alaska’s north coast. And this is at ‘average” conditions.

    Look at his map again, but consider what happens at today’s world’s “typical” maximum “average” Antarctic Sea Ice maximum extents of 18,000 Kkm2. Total area of Antarctic sea ice = 14,000 land ice + 18,000 sea ice = 32,000 Kkm2. Now run an arc from the bottom of Alaska, across Canada and through the southern tip of Greenland, below Norway, across Sweden, below Finland, through half of Russia, and back to the southern coast of Alaska. This area between Lat 70 South and 61 South is where the “Antarctic Sea Ice” plays every year.

    But the CAGW community needs to ignore it as it voraciously expands each year, each year reflecting more and more solar energy.

    By the way, it is also irritating to see so much attention being paid the Arctic Sea Ice Extents 915% ice coverage or more) … but almost NONE (no graphs or charts or full-year data) of the much-more important antarctic Sea ice Extents. Even on WUWT’s Sea Ice page, there is only a single chart of the previous 2-years of Antarctic Sea Ice Area – but at least the full year’s data is visible. There is only a six months chart of the Antarctic Sea Ice Extents graph.

    I mentioned that the ‘average” Antarctic Sea Ice minimum was 1,900 Kkm2, forming a northern edge around our idealized continent of 14,000 Kkm2 at 69.7 South Lat.

    But in 2012, the actual Antarctic Sea Ice minimum was more than this: 2,100 Kkm2, moving that sea ice edge at the start of the 2012-2013 freezing season even further north to Lat 69.5. Not a big change? The projected area of this little bit of ice in the Antarctic was over 70 Kkm2 of “new” sea ice exposed to the sun the entire freezing season. This 70 Kkm2 increase at Lat 69.5 was more than the entire “potential” loss of 1,000 Kkm2 of the “projected” area of the loss of ALL Arctic Sea ice between 85 north latitude and the pole.

    But reality in the Antarctic is even worse than this.

    In 2013, the actual minimum Antarctic Sea Ice Extents was 2,500 Kkm2, not 1,900 Kkm2 average sea ice minimum. This brought the northern edge of the Antarctic Sea ice to 69.3 Latitude. Projected increase in the actual “new” area exposed to the sun this year? 210 Kkm2. About equal to the projected area of 2000 Kkm2 of “potentially melted” Arctic sea ice.

    But reality in the Antarctic is even worse than this.

    Today, 02 August 2013, the actual area of Antarctic Sea Ice is 1,041 Kkm2 MORE than the year-to-year average of 13,836 Kkm2 at this date. The total of 14,877 Kkm2 of antarctic sea ice is (today) at Lat 62.5 South. Center of today’s “actual” extra sea ice? Lat 62.7.

    Projected area into the sun of this real-life, actually present “new” Antarctic Sea Ice that NO ONE expected nor predicted anywhere in ANY CAGW-theory?
    477 Kkm2.

    More than the entire area of the Ross Ice Shelf.
    More than the entire area of the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf.
    More than the entire area of all of the other Antarctic Ice Shelves put together.

    And nobody has noticed.
    Nobody has issued a press release.
    Nobody has published ANY journal article explaining what might happen if we don’t get back to normal Sea ice Extents in the Antarctic.
    Nobody has called for urgent new spending on Sea Ice Control Measures.

  69. Bill Illis says:

    I’ve run the numbers on the impact on Albedo of the Arctic sea ice melting out in the late summer and it is really so small, close to Zero, that it will have no impact.

    First of all, there is the angle of the Sun at the time of the year when the ice melts out. We are talking late August and September here when the solar angle falls to a very low number. At about 15 degrees, the Albedo of open water starts to increase at an exponential rate so that it is no different than sea ice below 8 degrees or so, ie late August, September. It sets on September 25th or so at the North Pole for six months so there is no Albedo impact from late August till late March.

    Secondly, the Arctic is a very small portion of the total Earth surface, and it receives a very small portion of the total solar budget. Even if it changes, it will just be a close to Zero impact on the total Earth solar budget.

    Third, cloud cover. The Arctic is more than 65% cloud covered all year. As the ice melts, there is strong evidence the cloud cover rate actually increases offsetting most of the open water Albedo decline. In any event, cloud cover is a large fraction of the Arctic’s Albedo and it will stay high regardless of a change in sea ice cover.

    The impact is larger (than Zero) if the ice starts melting out at a greater rate in let’s say June and early July when the Sun is higher and shining for 24 hours per day. But even today, its early August and the entire Arctic Ocean basin is one big white spot with very high Albedo (including the cloud cover).

    The sea ice Albedo argument of the warmers is way over-blown. If you crunch the numbers, you can’t get an amount worth talking about. (Now if you are talking sea ice down to 65N as in the ice ages, then you start to get big numbers. But climate science goes the other way on calculating these numbers because they want to keep the CO2 impact higher).

  70. Richard M says:

    RACookPE1978, excellent analysis.

  71. Richard M says:

    I’m a bit surprised the alarmists have not jumped on the sea ice changes to explain the flat temperatures. Clearly, based on the data RACookPE1978 presented, the albedo of the planet has increased over the last decade. With less energy available the global temperature would surely be affected.

    I suppose they avoid this because otherwise it would point out their hypocrisy in focusing on the Arctic for the last 10-15 years.

  72. eric1skeptic says:

    “The sea ice Albedo argument of the warmers is way over-blown. If you crunch the numbers, you can’t get an amount worth talking about. (Now if you are talking sea ice down to 65N as in the ice ages, then you start to get big numbers. But climate science goes the other way on calculating these numbers because they want to keep the CO2 impact higher).”

    Bill, there’s also the fact that they want to (inappropriately) apply glacial to interglacial “sensitivity” calculations to the modern climate. Since the CO2 rose a particular amount and there was a particular temperature rise in the paleo data, they assume that the same feedbacks are in play today. IOW the albedo increases that took place with the melting of the great continental ice sheets will be matched by the melting of a few glaciers and some Arctic ice (oops, let’s not worry about the Antarctic). The goal is to maintain sensitivity at the high end of the 2-5C range estimated from the paleo data.

    Here’s a nice stub from the stubmasters at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-albedo_feedback with a helpful link to “declining Arctic sea ice” (Antarctic anyone?).

  73. beng says:

    Well, the (NCEP) Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (MMAB) image is wrong. How can sea-ice be between 0 and 1C?

  74. Mac the Knife says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    RACook,
    Very interesting analyses of antarctic ice increases – Thank You!
    MtK

  75. barry says:

    I’ve run the numbers on the impact on Albedo of the Arctic sea ice melting out in the late summer and it is really so small, close to Zero, that it will have no impact.

    The polar sun is at its zenith June 21. Sea ice has retreated by about 1.4 million square kms in June, and 2.4 million in July (linear trends) since 1979. That’s sea ice loss greater than the size of Alaska for both months combined. Would that have an impact?

  76. taxed says:

    Over the next few days they should be a increase in air temps and ice melt in the Arctic.
    Because it looks to me that the atmosphere seems to be losing heat at a greater rate then what is expected. But l need to see this backed up by what’s going on in the global climate.

  77. dbstealey says:

    barry says:

    “That’s sea ice loss greater than the size of Alaska…”

    Impressive! But what is that converted to Olympic-sized swimming pools?

  78. RACookPE1978 says:

    barry says:
    August 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

    The polar sun is at its zenith June 21. Sea ice has retreated by about 1.4 million square kms in June, and 2.4 million in July (linear trends) since 1979. That’s sea ice loss greater than the size of Alaska for both months combined. Would that have an impact?

    Your statement (claim ?) might be true, but only if you believe in Hansen’s flat-earth Mercator projection flat earth.

    Well, as any good teacher should do, I’m going to instruct the student (in part) by asking the student to begin by answering his own question.

    What area is the Arctic Sea Ice “average” “supposed” to be at on today’s date? (That is, does it matter if the Arctic Sea Ice is simply melting at the same rate as it always does every summer?
    Clearly, you think that is not the case, so what is the “difference” between what you want Arctic Sea Ice to be on this date this summer, and what area Arctic Sea ice actually is present on this date in particular this summer?
    What latitude does your “desired Arctic Sea Ice area” correspond to?

    So, it’s a deal: You tell me the latitude you “want” the Arctic Sea ice to be on today’s date, and I’ll tell you what size state we will end up reducing your Alaska-size chuck of sea ice down to. Deal?

    What weather do you want to use? Thin high cloudy skies, absolutely clear skies, or dark gloomy clouds? Default atmospheric conditions and measured atmospheric turbidity OK when we calculate how little solar energy gets through down to the surface of your (rapidly shrinking) state of Alaska?

    Remember: The more clouds, the smaller “state” of Alaska you end up with. On the other hand, the clearer the clouds, the more direct solar energy is reflected from the water at low solar angles and the smaller your final state becomes. Your final “state” becomes smaller if want more wind speed (because more heat energy is lost from the exposed sea surface by convection), but the water albedo becomes smaller as well with higher wind speed so more solar energy could be absorbed from the sun and make your “:state” of Alaska a little bit larger.. However, more wind implies more clouds, so there is less solar energy that can get through the clouds and your “state of Alaska” will shrink.

    We are here to serve your every need. 8<)8<)

  79. eric1skeptic says:

    dbstealey, the PIOMAS model says there will be only one olympic-sized swimming pool of ice left in September 2015 (see lowermost green curve in Manfred’s link above). That’s over 2 million martini glasses of ice after it is crushed.

  80. eric1skeptic says:

    Here’s a paper that estimates the ice loss albedo feedback:
    http://www.npolar.no/npcms/export/sites/np/en/people/stephen.hudson/Hudson11_AlbedoFeedback.pdf

    Bottom line is 0.3W/m2 planet-wide equivalent. The albedo for clear sky over open ocean shown in figure 2 seems pretty low to me, especially with a high zenith angle (low sun angle since zenith is the angle from vertical). They cite this pay-walled paper http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2004JD005308/abstract for that data. Although not mentioned in the abstract, I suspect there are some hefty errors for albedo of open ocean at high zenith angles.

  81. The other Phil says:

    AndyG55 asked upthread, but I didn’t see any answer.

    In summary, the extent graphs are still going down, although at a slower rate, but the area graph actually shows an index over ten days or so.

    I can understand why an extent graph might show some odd reversals, depending on how the wind blows, but I wouldn’t expect it from an area graph (maybe if the temp were just below zero in calm weather, a large area might pick up a skim of ice, but that isn’t the case now, the temps are generally a bit above zero.) What is going on?

  82. The other Phil says:

    Sorry, the areas graph shows an INCREASE

  83. eric1skeptic says:

    The other Phil, my guess is that the ice got spread out a bit. It’s only a guess and my only evidence is a good sized storm north of Alaska last week and some ice that showed up in the Barrow ice cam that wasn’t there before.

  84. RACookPE1978 says:

    eric1skeptic says:
    August 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Here’s a paper that estimates the ice loss albedo feedback:
    http://www.npolar.no/npcms/export/sites/np/en/people/stephen.hudson/Hudson11_AlbedoFeedback.pdf

    Bottom line is 0.3W/m2 planet-wide equivalent. The albedo for clear sky over open ocean shown in figure 2 seems pretty low to me, especially with a high zenith angle (low sun angle since zenith is the angle from vertical).

    I read that one as well.

    Several problems with it: One of them is the assumed albedo vs solar elevation angle as you point out. Measured values from open ocean water platforms at both high and low solar angles differ strongly – both above and below the assumed values for their program (model) .

    But they are assuming top-of-atmosphere values in their model. NOT actual measured top-of-sea ice values for albedo and water , for clear sky and cloudy sky direct and diffuse solar radiation. BIG difference.

    By the way, they did NOT exam any part of the albedo changes due to increased antarctic sea ice areas – which, as I am trying to point out are very, very different at each latitude in question.

    Most important, by looking ONLY at the top of atmosphere albedo changes, they ignore completely the rest of the heat transfer problem above and below the Arctic Sea Ice.
    Open water loses heat to the atmosphere by convection with the air above the water, by increased (or decreased!) long wave radiation into the daytime sky and nighttime sky, and by evaporation.

    Ice-covered water also loses heat: but there is no evaporation heat loss to the air, the ice insulates the water from the very cold air (so convection losses differ between water and ice to atmosphere, long wave radiation losses change (because the top-of-ice temperature is much colder than the previous the top-of-water temperature!), and the “blanket” of sea ice reduces heat loss to the air (all heat going to the atmosphere must first go through the sea ice cover between water and air.

    So: wrong values for what few albedoes they are studying, not using measured values for those values, , not using top-of-ice/top-of-water values, ignoring all other heat losses from the ice and water, and (deliberately) NOT looking at half of the world. About typical for a reference for the CAGW community and its journal editors.

  85. barry says:

    RACookPE1978,

    Are you suggesting that air temperatures over the Arctic would be warmer over ice than over the exposed ocean?

    Ice reflects 90% of solar radiation. Oceans absorb 90%. Why wouldn’t increased heat loss from exposed ocean heat the atmosphere further?

    A straightforward test would be to take average temperatures for exposed sea surface and ice covered Arctic at the same latitutde band and compare (averaged over time to iron out weather effects, perhaps selecting Autumn months). A further test might be to estimate trends for the those masks for the satellite period. I’m not sure how to collect and arrange the data to do this. I’m reasonably confident we would discover that the ice-covered areas would be cooler than the exposed ocean on average and over time. According to DMI, air temps just above the ice never get above freezing, but I imagine the exposed ocean would (or there would be ice there).

    I think it is a salient point you make – increased cloudiness over the Arctic could reduce albedo, damping out the albedo increase from ice loss.

    Tamino does a good post on insolation changes (clear-sky analysis).

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/

    While it doesn’t take into account heat transfer through the atmosphere, it does take into account latitude and orbital variation. And the analysis does include Antarctic albedo.

    Regarding the defecits you have pointed out, have you attempted an analysis to make up for them? Or do you know of any literature on it?

  86. Bill Illis says:

    The study also has some unusual declines in Albedo when the solar angle increases from 78% to 85% for example. I don’t think it is reliable because this is the make or break value range.

    In addition, they did not account for cloud changes which appears to have solid evidence behind it. Cloud cover increases when sea ice declines. The paper notes that a 15% increase in cloud cover when the ice melts (maybe a high number but the impact at 15%) provides for an actual increase in total sky Albedo versus the expected decline. In other words, the ice melts but Albedo actually goes up instead.

    When I run the numbers (and I have spent much time on various scenarios) I get a slightly lower number than 0.3 W/m^2 as this study has but it doesn’t particularly matter. Temps only increase by 0.18 C/W/m^2 according to Stefan-Boltzmann to 0.75 C/W/m^2 in Hansen’s monster feedback world. So overall, between 0.06C to 0.2C impact. Why would anyone freak out about that. The error margin and month to month climate variability is higher than that. Nobody could even notice a less than 0.2C change in temps.

    In other words, this is the only change in the main climate variables that the warmers can point to. A decline in Arctic sea ice in the late summer. All together at the most extreme impact, this could cause a 0.2C impact. Which is what your backyard increases every 10 minutes in the morning. Disaster and global warming. In the only key climate variable out of 13 that is changing as the theory predicts. It’s just a crap theory obviously.

  87. Theo Goodwin says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    August 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Great work, Sir! Thanks for all the info and its clever and energetic presentation.

  88. Dr. Lurtz says:

    I wonder if the Noctilucent clouds which have continued to baffle NASA are beginning to have a cooling effect.

    Sun delivers less UV:
    1) The 60-80 kilo atmospheric region doesn’t melt the ice crystals.
    2) Noctilucent clouds get thicker, last longer and expand the area where they reside.
    3) A positive feedback loop causes additional reflection of the Sun light preventing it from reaching the ocean surfaces.
    4) A sudden colder change in Arctic and Antarctic temperatures occurs.

    Maybe measuring how far these Ice Crystal clouds move toward the Equator are a simple way to determine whether less UV Solar energy is allowing the Earth to cool.

  89. goldminor says:

    David Schofield says:
    August 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:
    August 2, 2013 at 11:32 am
    Slightly related post… Here in England we’re getting a great summer. However, when the sun is out it is VERY hot. As soon as the clouds roll in it ‘cools’ down to 24c. ……………………

    I’ve noticed this as well. Does seem different from previous hot summers.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    I have noticed similar this year. I would swear that the influence of the sun is slightly different than from the past.

  90. RACookPE1978 says:

    barry says:
    August 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    RACookPE1978,

    Are you suggesting that air temperatures over the Arctic would be warmer over ice than over the exposed ocean?

    Ice reflects 90% of solar radiation. Oceans absorb 90%. Why wouldn’t increased heat loss from exposed ocean heat the atmosphere further?

    Well, I’m going to neither guess about what the final numbers will tell us, nor will I make claims about what direction heat flows at what time of day on which day of year at what latitude nor when heat flow reverses (from Arctic air to Arctic Ocean (top 1 meter at least) . That’s why each number and each question YOU ask needs to be specific about what day-of-year? What latitude? What hour of the day? (From these, you get a specific solar angle, cloud probability, sky temperature, air temperature. From the date, you can estimate a wind speed and an ice albedo. From the date and latitude, you can determine the minimum and maximum air temperature range, and the probable air temperature for each hour of the day.

    Across three weeks in the Antarctic, one ship measured different sensible and latent directions day-to-day and week to week. So yes, The air will heat the ocean. Sometimes. the ocean will heat the air. Sometimes.

    Don’t throw random numbers out: Don’t throw numbers out based on “everybody knows” levels. Commonly used constants are neither common nor constant. Base everything on specific day-of-year, time of day, and latitude of the world experimental results. I just looked back through my collection of 23 peer-reviewed published articles about sea ice albedo measurements. None show your numbers.

    Sea ice albedo changes little with solar elevation angles, but varies greatly with day-of-year. It is lowest (in the Arctic) during July and August at 0.48 – 0.50, rising up again during September back to 0.83 through November – January and up until late June as new snow covers the new ice that has formed over the previously open water. I like Curry’s numerous measurements of sea ice albedo and weather measurements from a year inside the Arctic ice cap as her ship drifted from month to month up above 75 and 80 north latitude, and will likely use them directly: Those were a little higher albedo from June 30 through August 15 at 0.57, but were 0.83 January to June and lower from September to January 0.77 She has not given me an answer yet about the winter and spring differences: Probably snow amounts on top of the sea ice.

    Open ocean water albedo depends greatly on solar elevation angle, wind speed, and to a less degree related to wind speed, wave height. BUT ONLY FOR DIRECT SOLAR RADIATION. Calm water, low angle measured direct radiation albedoes from the open ocean have been has high as 0.49 at 10 degrees elevation angle, 0.56 at 8 degrees, and 0.70 at 6 degrees elevation angle. Others have measured 0.60 at 4 degrees, 0.48 at 6 degrees elevation angle, and 0.40 at 8 degrees. (Kuzman, Anstrom, Hansen)

    Diffuse open ocean albedo is however, generally confirmed as a true constant at 0.06 under calm, light, and moderate winds. However, to get diffuse solar radiation, you need to first lose 70% of the “potentially available” inbound solar radiation by reflecting it off of clouds and through clouds to get it down to the ocean water to be absorbed.

    So take your pick: you can have no clouds and thus have calm water and get most of your energy reflected from the water (at low solar elevation angles) or you can get reflect and diffuse your energy in the clouds, and then get some of the remaining energy absorbed by the water.

    Re-read the above. You will find that “water” reflects more energy that “ice” when the two are actually measured in the Arctic.

  91. The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Philip Bradley (at 5.44)
    Re: hot sun radiation on cloudless days:
    Funny you should say that, as we’re not getting red sunsets. Very often here in England we get a red sunset that portends a sunny day (Raleigh scattering). But we haven’t been getting them lately – suggesting a lack of atmospheric dust particles (perhaps?).

    It will be VERY interesting to see what happens to Arctic ice this year, as I have often said that the UK’s weather is linked with the Arctic. For the past few years when Arctic ice has been low, we’ve had rotten summers. Now we’ve had a good summer, what about Arctic ice?

  92. Caleb says:

    NZ Willy says:
    August 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    “I think those “temperature anomalies” are because they are comparing surface water temperature to the surface *ice* temperature of the control data (which has ice in those places), so the “anomaly” is simply the temperature above freezing.”

    I agree. Furthermore, as soon as the sun gets down to a point where it sits on the horizon, those areas become areas that reflect more sunlight than rough snow and ice, because when the angle sunlight hits approaches 90 degrees, the amount reflected soars and passes that of ice, so that the the albedo of water surpasses that of ice.

    Lastly, as soon as the sun sets those areas of open water lose heat more readily than the water that is insulated from the cold by ice. In conclusion, open water on the Arctic Sea may be a powerful negative feedback, once the sun gets low.

  93. Arfur Bryant says:

    Well, I reckon everybody apart form this guy is wrong…

    http://www.sierraclub.ca/en/AdultDiscussionPlease

    Seriously, he’s studying for a PhD in ‘abrupt climate change’…

    ["My prediction above was based on understanding of the inter-related Artic/climatic system obtained through in-depth research conducted as part of my Ph.D. studies on abrupt climate change, and through my academic work as part-time professor in climatology/meteorology at the University of Ottawa."]

    I reckon he still has a chance of hitting it spot on!

    /sarc

  94. Pamela Gray says:

    I have speculated about this before. What happens if the Antarctic bulge of sea ice growing towards the southern tip of South America makes it all the way and connects to it? What will the quite cold circumpolar Antarctic Current do? Will it fully invade the Atlantic and eventually cool the gulf stream down? Will it end the invasion of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic thus cause a return of normal to above normal Arctic ice extent and area? Will it be the beginning of another interglacial catastrophic decades long extreme cold spell?

    What if this Antarctic sea ice bulge is what causes the Arctic to return to normal levels of ice or worse, what if this bulge is what has caused the devastating historical interglacial cold spells recorded in history?

  95. Pamela Gray says:

    And the most far-fetched question: What if this cold current invades the Pacific and cools it down so much that we have a new ice age? Since weather in the Northern Hemisphere is very much a west to east phenomenon, and the largest body of water these weather systems cross is the Pacific, and the Pacific has turned witch-teat cold, I speculate that ice will begin growing further and further into lower latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere as drought and extreme cold causes lakes and rivers to freeze solid over much of the year. And it happens year in and year out.

  96. Pamela Gray says:

    Possibly, it would be a double whammy if the strait were to be blocked by sea ice. The relatively cold west to east surface wind driven circumpolar current would invade the Pacific in all its cold glory and the very cold subpolar east to west current would upwell and invade the Atlantic. A one-two knockout punch. Drought and cold could be global.

    Open for discussion, enlightenment, and thought experiments.

  97. taxed says:

    l made a bit of a pigs ear of my last post so l will start again.
    At the moment the Polar jet has split and parts of it are flowing over the Arctic circle. This should be flushing the Arctic of cold air and sending it south. Which should increase the temps and the ice melt in the Arctic. lf it does not then l suspect that they is something going on with the atmosphere over the Arctic. That is making it lose heat at greater rate then is expected.
    The sea’s around the Arctic are mostly warm, yet the air temps in the Arctic here been below average during the summer. The Polar jet splitting and flowing around the Arctic circle has helped with the cooling but it does not explain it all.

  98. Pamela Gray says:

    I would say that the polar jet is broken up and disorganized. Rather weak at the moment with incursions into the Arctic but not flowing across it.

  99. Nick Stokes says: August 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Here is a movie of Arctic SST over the last 50 days. The warmth in Hudson Bay seems quite recent – started late June. The Barents Sea has been warm through that time. There’s a whole warm patch east of Iceland, and there are times when it seems to be moving as you might expect from the Gulf Stream.

    The whole year is shown here. It was fairly warm in the Barents Sea throughout, except for a spell from about March to May. In the year movie, you can see the ice come and go.

    These videos:
    http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/sst-regional-movies-as-described-here-i.html?WxK=31
    http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/sst-regional-movies-as-described-here-i.html?WxK=27

    are very helpful. Firstly we don’t currently have any Arctic Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly maps on the the WUWT Sea Ice Page thus I’ve added links to these two videos to the Sea Ice Page, and may add additional elements to the Ocean page when I have opportunity. Secondly, the animations indicate that there are persistent coastal positive sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic for much of the year.

  100. Sparks says: August 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm
    Sparks says: August 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    But, would you know where I can find the satellite data going back to 1972 seen in this pdf?
    The sea ice anomalies look very different.

    This pdf: http://www.meto.umd.edu/~kostya/Pdf/Seaice.30yrs.GRL.pdf

    Nimbus-5 ESMR Daily Polar Gridded Brightness Temperatures 11 December 1972 through 16 May 1977:
    http://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/nsidc0077_esmr_tbs.gd.html

    Nimbus-5 ESMR Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations December 1972 through December 1976:
    http://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/nsidc0009_esmr_seaice.gd.html

    National Ice Center Arctic Sea Ice Charts and Climatologies in Gridded Format 1972 through 2007. Weekly (1972-2001) or biweekly (2001-2007)
    http://nsidc.org/data/docs/noaa/g02172_nic_charts_climo_grid/

  101. goldminor says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Possibly, it would be a double whammy if the strait were to be blocked by sea ice.
    ———————————————————————————————————-
    You made me look up the current Antarctica sea ice extent. The first look shows the monthly average for July, which shows the normal, gradual increase towards South America. Then looking at the daily extent the ice has doubled it,s outreach towards the tip of SA in this month, and there is still 5 weeks till max. Looking back at the records and comparing this July to Sept and October of previous years, I do not see any previous years where the sea ice had pushed so far north as right now. It looks like close to 50% of that strait is now ice blocked. It will be the ultimate irony if our ‘sophisticated technology and climate leaders’ are about to get blindsided because of an advanced state of tunnel-vision disease. Unfortunately, their tunnel-vision could potentially be detrimental for many throughout the NH, as too many governments have become entranced by the global warming ‘menace’.

  102. RACookPE1978 says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 4, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I have speculated about this before. What happens if the Antarctic bulge of sea ice growing towards the southern tip of South America makes it all the way and connects to it? What will the quite cold circumpolar Antarctic Current do? Will it fully invade the Atlantic and eventually cool the gulf stream down? Will it end the invasion of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic thus cause a return of normal to above normal Arctic ice extent and area? Will it be the beginning of another interglacial catastrophic decades long extreme cold spell?

    To this, and other questions you’ve raised about this current:

    I don’t expect there to be any problem with the Antarctic Sea ICe blocking the circumferential current. The Antarctic Ice Shelves are very deep, and are “locked” (sort of) in pace because they are “extruded” out over a very large but shallow series of bays and (what would be if not frozen) estuaries. So, the very deep shelf ice rests on the bottom of the “bay” and is lifted up to a very high elevation because most of its weight is held up by land underneath. Sea ice, on the other hand, float on the water (is frozen from the water that holds it up) and so isn’t “connected” to anything at all. Put an ice cube in an open oven dish, then add 1/4 inch of water to the pan. The ice doesn’t float, right? Put that same ice in a glass 1/2 full of water, and only the top 10% of the ice “floats” above the water level.

    Much further from the Antarctic coast, the shallow bays go away, and even further out, the Antarctic continental shelf goes away. The Antarctic sea ice, evn it were to freeze all the way across to Cape Horn, would not freeze “down” very far – 1 to 3 meters at most – and so the deep ocean currents would be unimpeded.

    Not sure what the round-the-Horn shipping would do though. Maybe take that Northwest passage Al Gore keeps predicting? 8<)

    Odd that people keep worrying about the "tipping point" of snow and ice up north at latitude 65 on the continents of Europe and Asia, when we've already got a very large increase in permanent sea ice "bigger than the state of Alaska" ALREADY present year-round at latitude 70, 69, 68 growing down towards latitude 65.

  103. captainfish says: August 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm
    captainfish says: August 2, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Popular science says that the blue area is phytoplankton.

    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/big-pic-phytoplankton-bloom-north-atlantic-cold

    Khwarizmi says: August 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    “The milky blue color suggests the presence of coccolithophores, a microscopic plankton plated with white calcium carbonate, which when viewed through ocean water appears bright blue.”
    http://e360.yale.edu/slideshow/nasa_images_of_2011/44/5/
    So the beautiful blue is just the natural hue of the arctic water.

    It definitely seems like it is algea/phytoplankton/coccolithophores, however I don’t know if I agree that “the beautiful blue is just the natural hue of the arctic water.”

    These NASA articles offer good insight:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Coccoliths/

    During the past two summers (1997-98), a type of one-celled microscopic plant changed the color of the Bering Sea from its natural deep blue to a shimmering aquamarine in a matter of weeks. These plants, known as coccolithophores, produce and then shed hubcap-shaped, limestone (calcite) scales called coccoliths. Like all phytoplankton, the coccolithophores contain chlorophyll, are unicellular and have the tendency to multiply rapidly near the surface of the ocean. Yet, in large numbers, coccolithophores dump tiny white calcite plates by the bucketful into the surrounding waters and completely change its hue. bering sea

    The Bering Sea coccolithophores present a unique problem for researchers because a massive bloom of the organisms has never before been observed there. Many believe their arrival in the Bering Sea is yet another sign of a larger transformation in the surrounding ecosystem. The bloom’s presence coincides with lower salmon counts along the coasts, a redistribution of microscopic animals in the surrounding ocean, and the massive deaths of shearwaters–hook billed, surface-feeding seabirds related to the albatross. Together, these events may spell major trouble for the Bering Sea ecosystem and the fisheries that ply these waters.

    An Eerie Calm off the Coast of Alaska
    The coccolithophore blooms formed primarily above the continental shelf to the west of Alaska. This underwater shelf is roughly the size of California and extends several hundred miles off the Alaskan coast, where it drops off to the floor of the Pacific. At their peak, the scaly plants covered practically the entire area. The only place where coccolithophores didn’t appear was in a 50-mile-wide band off the coast of Alaska.

    Map of the Bering Sea

    The size of this bloom over the last two years took many scientists by surprise. William Balch, a marine biologist at Bigelow Laboratory in Maine, has spent most of his career studying coccolithophores and their effect on the environment. He said, “The Bering Sea blooms happened at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    Given the stormy history of the Bering Sea, the coccolithophores should not be so abundant. Balch explained that most one-celled marine plants (phytoplankton) do not do well in still, lukewarm water. Marine plant “fertilizers,” usually in the form of nitrates, come from deep, cold layers of the ocean and are brought to the surface by strong currents and inclement weather. When the water is calm and warm, the plants do not get these nutrients, so they cannot grow, Balch said.

    The coccolithophores are the exception. “They favor temperate conditions where the nutrients have been stripped away,” said Balch. Under normal conditions, the coccolithophores do not compete well with other microscopic plants in nutrient-rich seas. When the competition is diminished by a low food source, the scaly plants have a chance. They usually end up proliferating in areas where the temperature is moderate, the sun is usually out, the water is calm, and the nutrient levels are low.

    The problem is that the waters in the Bering Sea do not fit this description. For years they were unsettled and turbid. Diatoms, another single-celled plant that produces a glass (silicate) outer covering, were known to dominate the upper layers of the region. Currents and storms brought plenty of nutrients from the deep waters in the Bering Sea onto the shelf.

    The coccolithophore bloom appeared over the continental shelf in the Bering Sea, represented in this map by the light blue off the west coast of Alaska.

    Yet over the past two years the coccolithophores have done exceedingly well, and the diatom population has dropped. The concentration of the coccoliths detached from coccolithophores reached nearly 6 million per milliliter over the past two summers. Balch said, “There is some evidence from sediments that coccolithophores have existed in the Bering Sea in the past for brief periods. But recent blooms are unprecedented.”

    According to a National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) report of the Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI) International Workshop on Recent Conditions in the Bering Sea (Stabeno et al. 1998), the environmental conditions there have changed over the last two years. Over the summer months, researchers found fewer nutrients than normal in the upper layers of the Bering Sea and warmer temperatures on the surface of the water.

    The report also pointed out a slew of other anomalies in addition to the coccoliths that occurred over the past two years in the Bering Sea. Most notably, the shearwaters began dying, an abnormally low number of salmon returned to the rivers emptying into the Bering Sea, and the distribution of microscopic animals (zooplankton) changed along the coastal waters (NOAA 1998). Common sense suggests that the armor-coated plants must be wreaking havoc on the animal life there. But most researchers have come to the conclusion that the presence of the coccolithophores is just another manifestation of a larger phenomenon. The coccoliths’ impact on the animal life in and around Alaska is actually thought to be of secondary importance.

    NASA Article 2:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=51765

    Brilliant shades of blue and green explode across the Barents Sea in this natural-color image taken on August 14, 2011, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. The color was created by a massive bloom of phytoplankton that are common in the area each August. The clear view is a rare treat since the Barents Sea is cloud-covered roughly 80 percent of the time in summer.

    Plankton blooms spanning hundreds or even thousands of kilometers occur across the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans every year. Many species thrive in the cooler ocean waters, which tend to be richer in nutrients and plant life than tropical waters.

    In this image, the milky blue color strongly suggests that the bloom contains coccolithophores, microscopic plankton that are plated with white calcium carbonate. When viewed through ocean water, a coccolithophore bloom tends to be bright blue. The species is most likely Emiliana huxleyi, whose blooms tend to be triggered by high light levels during the 24-hour sunlight of Arctic summer. The variations in bloom brightness and color in satellite images is partly related to its depth: E. huxleyi, can grow abundantly as much as 50 meters below the surface.

    Other colors in the scene may come from sediment or other species of phytoplankton, particularly diatoms. The Barents Sea usually witnesses two major bloom seasons each year, with diatoms peaking in May and June, then giving way to coccolithophores as certain nutrients run out and waters grow warmer and more layered (stratified).

    The area in this image is located immediately north of the Scandinavian peninsula. The region is a junction where several ocean current systems—including the Norwegian Atlantic, the Persey, and east Spitsbergen currents—merge and form a front known as the North Cape Current. The intersecting waters, plus stiff winds, promote mixing of waters and of nutrients from the deep.

    Ice-covered for most of the year, the shallow Barents Sea reaches its warmest surface temperatures (6.6 C) in August, when ice cover is at a minimum and the water is freshest (less saline due to ice melt and river runoff) and most nutrient depleted. Those conditions, researchers have found, are perfect for coccolithophores to take over from other species and dominate the surface waters.

    In a 2009 paper by Signorini et al, the researchers note:

    Coccolithophores, among which E. huxleyi is the most abundant and widespread species, are considered to be the most productive calcifying organism on earth. They are important components of the carbon cycle via their contribution and response to changes in atmospheric CO2 levels…Coccolithophores appear to be advancing into some sub-Arctic Seas and climate change induced warming and freshwater runoff may be causing an increased frequency of coccolithophore blooms within the Barents Sea.

    NASA recently sponsored a research cruise—known as ICESCAPE—in Arctic waters north of Alaska and Canada. Researchers were sampling coccolithophores there, among other species and environmental characteristics, to get a better view of the Arctic Ocean ecosystems and how they may be changing. The cruise is over, but you can still read the daily postings from six weeks at sea. Click here.

    Related Reading
    Signorini, S. R., and C. R. McClain (2009), Environmental factors controlling the Barents Sea spring-summer phytoplankton blooms. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L10604, doi:10.1029/2009GL037695.
    NASA Earth Observatory (1999) What is a Coccolithophore?” Accessed August 17, 2011.
    NASA (2011) ICESCAPE Blog. Accessed August 17, 2011.

    While coccolithophores are natural, “warming and freshwater runoff may be causing an increased frequency of coccolithophore blooms”.

  104. Nick Stokes says:

    justthefactswuwt says: August 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks. The corresponding daily (still) information is here. You can rotate, zoom etc.

  105. Nick Stokes says: August 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks. The corresponding daily (still) information is here. You can rotate, zoom etc.

    I’d argue that you are due the thanks for making the information readily available. I’ve also added your website to the Source Guide at the bottom of the Sea Ice Page. Thank you JTF

  106. Nick Stokes says: August 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks. The corresponding daily (still) information is here. You can rotate, zoom etc.
    http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page.html

    The rotate feature is great, it really gives you perspective. It is the first time I’ve noticed that all of the worlds large lakes, the Black Sea, most of the Mediterranean, the Sea of Japan, and many of the worlds bays and straits have significant positive sea surface temperature anomalies.

  107. Nick Stokes says:

    JTF,
    If you’re interested in the corresponding Antarctic movies, there are
    50 day and
    365 day.

    You can select movies there, and link to any of them by using the number showing at the bottom of the selection part.

  108. Nick Stokes says: August 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    If you’re interested in the corresponding Antarctic movies, there are
    50 day and
    365 day.

    You can select movies there, and link to any of them by using the number showing at the bottom of the selection part.

    Yes, I’ve added those to the Sea Ice page as well. I may also add an element or two to the ENSO page. Thanks again.

  109. James At 48 says:

    Is the Russian pollution intentional? There may be military / strategic reasons.

  110. RACookPE1978 says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    August 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm


    Yes, I’ve added those to the Sea Ice page as well. I may also add an element or two to the ENSO page. Thanks again.

    Thank you. But, are there any year-to-year charts of the Antarctic Sea Ice extents. Now only Antarctic sea ice area is displayed with a numeric delta-ice value and standard deviation- and that chart is only a 1/2 year. As is, that makes it more difficult to compare sea ice area from the Antarctic (1/2 year visible) to sea ice extents for the Arctic (1 year, 1.2 year, and 2 year visible charts, and many different charts available from different agencies.

  111. RACookPE1978 says:

    James At 48 says:
    August 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Is the Russian pollution intentional? There may be military / strategic reasons.

    Only incidentally: Chernobyl was deliberately designed to produce plutonium efficiently and cheaply – at the expense of safety and redundancy and protection such as containment domes and redundancies in protection systems and distance from towns (The reactor was deliberately ner the town and apartment buildings so the excess heat could be pipes over there) And the administrators turned off the protection systems anyway.)

    But yes, all of those jobs lost due to EPA interfernces and excess money on the excessive federal interferences and burdens are not present in Russia/Soviet Union. So their economy could be better and more productive. But, are they safer or healthier? No.

    Military effectiveness is harmed by the fed’s obsession with many rules and interferences – but their mismanagement of the military and its budget is far worse internally than what the Russians might gain by manipulating the Arctic pollution.

  112. RACookPE1978 says: August 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm (Edit)

    Thank you. But, are there any year-to-year charts of the Antarctic Sea Ice extents. Now only Antarctic sea ice area is displayed with a numeric delta-ice value and standard deviation- and that chart is only a 1/2 year. As is, that makes it more difficult to compare sea ice area from the Antarctic (1/2 year visible) to sea ice extents for the Arctic (1 year, 1.2 year, and 2 year visible charts, and many different charts available from different agencies.

    I am not sure exactly what you are looking for, e.g. do you want an Antarctic annual period graphed like this;
    http://sunshinehours.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2013_day_216_1981-2010.png?w=1024&h=682

    or this;
    http://sunshinehours.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2013_day_45_1981-2010.png

    or a long running Antarctic Sea Ice map like this:

    Note here’s the comparable for Arctic Sea Ice;

    If you want NSIDC Monthly Sea Ice Extent data that you can plot yourself the Antarctic and Arctic data can be found in the txt files here:
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/

    Also for reference, here is a comp of Arctic to Antarctic;
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/NSIDC%20ArcticAndAntarcticSeaIceExtensionLastMonth%20JULY.gif

    and here is another:
    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/seaice.anomaly.Ant_arctic.jpg

    Please let me know if there is something more specific that you are looking for.

  113. James At 48 says: August 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Is the Russian pollution intentional? There may be military / strategic reasons.

    I’ve seen no information or evidence of intent, however the strategic advantages of Arctic Sea Ice decline are apparent, e.g.:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/business/global/16arctic.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    http://www.rosneft.com/Upstream/Exploration/arctic_seas/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/gazprom-arctic-drilling-delayed_n_1902538.html

  114. RACookPE1978 says:

    Thank you for the reply. Definitely not any other plot that is “zoomed in”

    We now have 4x annual Arctic Sea Ice extents plots, all with multi-year plots spanning a full year:
    JAXA 15% Jan – Jan
    JAXA 30% Jan – Jan
    DMI 15% Jan – Jan
    NORSEX 15% Jan – Jan

    The Antarctic has one “zoomed in” sea ice extents chart: April – August

    There’s one Arctic Sea Ice Area (2 yr Jan 12 – Jan 14, Which is incomplete obviously)
    and one Antarctic Sea Ice Area (2 yr Jan 12 – Jan 14, also incomplete for 2013)

    So, we can only compare “area” to “area” over a full year. Which may or may not have enough data to figure out what is going on.

  115. James At 48 says:

    Looking at North Pole cams. Sun angle is obviously getting very low now. Today there is a decent snow event under way, one of the two cameras is completely iced over. Obviously the snow is adding to the pack’s thickness from above. It could be a relatively high minimum as compared with recent years although perhaps close to the 2000s average.

  116. Pethefin says:

    Take a look at the new (!) DMI Ice chart: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

    Apart from the changes in the criteria (explained by the DMI in a note at the bottom of the plot), the plot sure looks interesting for the time being.

  117. James At 48 says:

    RE: Pethefin says:
    August 7, 2013 at 1:34 am
    =========================

    The late Summer “knee” in the plot is particularly prominent in that data set. It really flattened out.

  118. RACookPE1978 says:

    Five weeks until the Equinox, which co-relates – but does not cause! – the minimum point of Arctic sea ice extents. Still too early to claim anything meaningful about this year’s minimum Arctic Sea Ice extents or area.

    But, each day that the Arctic sea ice trend remains low makes it harder and harder to pretend that CO2 => Arctic air temperature over the ice => Ice melts.

    Particularly since the DMI values for 80 north latitude – where the sea ice actually is melting and freezing – has slowly but steadil;y been decreasing since 1959. And is decreasing even faster the past 10 years when the Arctic sea ice loss rate has been the highest.

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