NASA says Arctic sea ice ‘Unlikely To Break Records’ in 2013

A video animation follows. Note also that Dr. Walt Meier is now with NASA Goddard, after leaving NSIDC at the end of July. This is his first report from NASA. – Anthony

Arctic Sea Ice Update: Unlikely To Break Records, But Continuing Downward Trend

The melting of sea ice in the Arctic is well on its way toward its annual “minimum,” that time when the floating ice cap covers less of the Arctic Ocean than at any other period during the year. While the ice will continue to shrink until around mid-September, it is unlikely that this year’s summer low will break a new record. Still, this year’s melt rates are in line with the sustained decline of the Arctic ice cover observed by NASA and other satellites over the last several decades.

“Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,” said Walt Meier, a glaciologist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “The long-term trend is strongly downward.” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiSuUe8dhZ0

The icy cover of the Arctic Ocean was measured at 2.25 million square miles (5.83 million square kilometers) on Aug. 21. For comparison, the smallest Arctic sea ice extent on record for this date, recorded in 2012, was 1.67 million square miles (4.34 million square kilometers), and the largest recorded for this date was in 1996, when ice covered 3.16 millions square miles (8.2 million square kilometers) of the Arctic Ocean.

Watching the summertime dynamics of the Arctic ice cap has gained considerable attention in recent years as the size of the minimum extent has been diminishing – rapidly. On Sept.16, 2012, Arctic sea ice reached its smallest extent ever recorded by satellites at 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million square kilometers). That is about half the size of the average extent from 1979 to 2010.

Sea ice extent is a measurement of the area of the Arctic Ocean where ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean surface. For additional information about the evolution of the sea ice cover, scientists also study the sea ice “area,” which discards regions of open water among ice floes and only takes into account the parts of the Arctic Ocean completely covered by ice. On Aug. 21, 2013, the Arctic sea ice area was 1.98 million square miles (5.12 million square kilometers).

This year’s melting season included a fast retreat of the sea ice during the first half of July. But low atmospheric pressures and clouds over the central Arctic kept temperatures up north cooler than average, slowing down the plunge.

With about three weeks of melting left, the summer minimum in 2013 is unlikely to be a record low, said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at Goddard and coordinating lead author of the Cryosphere Observations chapter of the upcoming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“But average temperatures in the Arctic fluctuate from one week to another, and the occurrence of a powerful storm in August, as happened in 2012, could cause the current rate of decline to change significantly,” Comiso said.

This year, the Arctic has witnessed a few summer storms, but none of them as intense as the cyclone that took place in August 2012.

“Last year’s storm went across an area of open water and mixed the smaller pieces of ice with the relatively warm water, so it melted very rapidly,” Meier said. “This year, the storms hit in an area of more consolidated ice. The storms this year were more typical summer storms; last year’s was the unusual one.”

The Arctic sea ice cap has significantly thinned over the past decade and is now very vulnerable to melt, Comiso said. The multiyear ice cover, consisting of thicker sea ice that has survived at least two summers, has declined at an even faster rate than younger, thinner ice.

Meier said that a thinner, seasonal ice cover might behave more erratically in the summer than multiyear ice.

“First-year ice has a thickness that is borderline: It can melt or not depending on how warm the summer temperatures are, the prevailing winds, etcetera,” Meier said. “This year’s conditions weren’t super-favorable for losing ice throughout spring and summer; last year they were. Whereas with multiyear ice, it takes unusual warm conditions to melt it, which is what we’ve seen in the most recent years.”

On the opposite side of the planet, Antarctic sea ice, which is in the midst of its yearly growing cycle, is heading toward the largest extent on record, having reached 7.45 million square miles (19.3 million square kilometers) on Aug. 21. In 2012, the extent of Antarctic sea ice for the same date was 7.08 million square miles (18.33 million square kilometers). The phenomenon, which appears counter-intuitive but reflects the differences in environment and climate between the Arctic and Antarctica, is currently the subject of many research studies. Still, the rate at which the Arctic is losing sea ice surpasses the speed at which Antarctic sea ice is expanding.

The sea ice minimum extent analysis produced at Goddard – one of many satellite-based scientific analyses of sea ice cover – is compiled from passive microwave data from NASA’s Nimbus-7 satellite, which operated from late October 1978 to August 1987, and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, which has been used to extend the Nimbus 7 sea ice record onwards from August 1987. The record, which began in November 1978, shows an overall downward trend of 14.1 percent per decade in the size of the minimum summer extent, a decline that accelerated after 2007.

Related Link

› Arctic sea ice multimedia resources from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

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112 thoughts on “NASA says Arctic sea ice ‘Unlikely To Break Records’ in 2013

  1. So sea ice isn’t correlated with global temperatures and we are suppose to conclude the opposite.

    ie. Low sea ice does not mean high global temperatures. it hasn’t been a good predictor over the last 20 years.

    So what’s happening at the other end of the earth?

  2. So, with 35 years of data the most recent 10 have the least amount of ice. The recent 10 years are also warmer due to the prevalence of El Nino events which occur when the PDO is positive and occurred just after the AMO cycle moved into positive anomalies.

    Sounds like what has occurred is what would be expected given the situation.

  3. Arctic ice suddenly began a rapid decline, several days ago. I suspect a storm, smaller than last August’s “Great Cyclone of 2012″ is in progress. Would NOAA or NASA withhold that information, just to maintain the Climate Change meme? Sadly, we have seen them act in similar fashion, too many times.

  4. Walt Meier writes ““The long-term trend is strongly downward.””

    Where on God’s Green Acre does this come from? Unless we have something like Newton’s Laws of Motion, which permit us to predict the timimg and locations of future eclipses, what has happened in the past cannot be used to predict what is going to happen in the future. I have had this discussion with other warmists, and what they say makes absolutely no sense scientifically whatsoever.

    It is perfectly legitimate to say that the trend WAS strongly downward. But is is just plain wrong to say that the trend IS strongly downward.

  5. “Still, the rate at which the Arctic is losing sea ice surpasses the speed at which Antarctic sea ice is expanding.”

    Then why is my global sea ice chart right on the 1979-2008 average? The author’s use of the words “long term” has gone humpty-dumpty, and means what it means when he said it but only just then.

    Not even a CYA disclaimer like “nobody knows whether this represents a pause in the trend”.

  6. Well, it’s good to know that things only continue to get worse. It would be tragic if the Arctic ice pack changes were the anomaly. However, it is reassuring to know that the Antarctic ice pack changes are the exception that proves the rule (WE ARE MELTING!). (Sarcasm for those that can’t spot it)
    You would almost think that our fearless leader doesn’t want us to have second thoughts about CAGW, judging from the official pronouncements intended to ensure that we continue to shove our society off the cliff of green delusions despite the abject failure of the past predictions of the adverse effects of trace amounts in the atmosphere of the basic building block of (virtually) all life on earth.
    Democracy does have one clear virtue. It provides clear proof that the majority of society deserves the awful fate that their elected leaders work so hard to craft.

  7. Conveniently missing in this report is the fact that Arctic temperatures (DMI) have been consistently below average all through the melt season and are already below 0C, so not much further melting likely.
    Barring a big storm that disperses the ice or a storm that draws warm water into the Arctic, seasonal minimum may have already been achieved.

  8. Unlikely! But I was told by Paul Beckwith, a part time professor and PHD student in paleoclimatology and climatology, that there would be no sea ice this summer! I’ve also been informed that this would be unprecedented.Two mistakes in one sentence? We’ll know in 3 weeks.

    Sierra Club Canada – 23 March 2013
    “Why Arctic sea ice will vanish in 2013″
    “For the record—I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean…….

    Humans have benefited greatly from a stable climate for the last 11,000 years….”
    [Paul Beckwith - PhD student paleoclimatology and climatology - part-time professor]

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

    Here is an ice free Arctic Ocean in human history, going back less than 10,000 years.

    Here is evidence of Holocene climate extremes and instability.

  9. ……..and the readers are instructed not to look around the curtain at the AMO pattern over the same recent decades! Nor are they instructed to look at the recent break in that upward pattern from the AMO’s multidecadal cycle.

  10. It doesn’t matter how low the ice gets in September, it does not negatively affect polar bears.

    As far as polar bears and sea ice are concerned, September is the least important month of the year. They can wring their hands all they like over the next few weeks but the evidence is in.

    The attempted correlation between ice levels in September and harm to polar bears has proven to be false – by the work of polar bear biologists themselves.

    See my summary of the evidence: http://polarbearscience.com/2013/08/18/polar-bears-have-not-been-harmed-by-sea-ice-declines-in-summer-the-evidence/

  11. “Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years.”

    Funny – what mattered last year was the trend. Even if the ice hadn’t all melted out, as some had predicted, we had surely embarked on the Arctic Ice Death Spiral.

    A point related to Richard M’s: If the temperature rose steeply for about three decades, then leveled off for a decade and a half, we would expect a lot of record low arctic ice extents to occur during that decade and a half. That the CAGW theorists seize on continued low Arctic ice extent to tell the public that the world is still getting warmer – just look at the shrinking ice cap! – strikes me as obtuse, perhaps willfully so.

  12. Does Walt have to embellish and misplace significance to keep his job?

    Others have already mentioned some big problems with his opinion.

    Here’s mine.
    ….”what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,” said Walt Meier, ”

    Ok Walt, so if what “matters” is the “last ten years” why not apply the same test of to Antarctica?

    Have the 10 highest extents (or near highest) recorded in Antarctica happened over the last 10 years?

    Walt excludes any mention of what Antarctica sea ice has looked like over the last 10 years, where it is headed or what trend has been occurring ever.
    As an apparent excuse for that omission Walt says “it’s different and is currently the subject of many research studies.”

    So I guess we are to conclude that the sea ice experts can only certain of what is happening with sea ice loss while sea ice gain is a mystery needing more research.
    How conveniently AGW of them.

    If I had my way all sea ice research would be suspended for 5 yrs. And only be assessed every 5 years.
    All of the money spent monitoring the freezing and melting of ice is robbing genuinely needed research of funding.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/08/the_sequester_is_starving_amer.html

  13. It doesn’t matter how low the ice gets in September, it doesn’t matter to polar bears.

    The attempted correlation between low ice levels in September and harm to polar bears has been proven false – by polar bear biologists themselves. As far as polar bears are concerned, September is the least important month of the year.

    Check out my summary of the evidence to date: http://polarbearscience.com/2013/08/18/polar-bears-have-not-been-harmed-by-sea-ice-declines-in-summer-the-evidence/

    • @ Susan Crockford – no worries on the double post it happens. Caught my attention though and your comment is now on the next WUWT hotsheet.

  14. Not much mention by NSIDC of Greenland surface ice melt which received so much play last year as a harbinger of the coming loss of the ice sheet due to climate change. Interestingly, the last update analysis on the NSIDC web site is June 21, though the seasonal and daily graphs now reflect almost no melt and levels far below the 30 year average.

  15. “This year’s conditions weren’t super-favorable for losing ice throughout spring and summer; last year they were. ”
    Any one reading that sentence and seeing the words ‘super favourable’ would think he wanted the ice to melt!
    Warmists pretend they want to stop the supposed ‘death spiral’, but that’s a complete lie – if the spiral stopped they’d have nothing to wail about and the grants would dry up.

  16. , and the occurrence of a powerful storm in August, as happened in 2012, could cause the current rate of decline to change significantly,” Comiso said.
    ========================

    One month ago, NSIDC announced this :

    Back when the sea was thick and lasted for years, cyclones tended to spread the ice out and actually increase its extent, said Julienne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Now, when ice gets spread out, it simply breaks up and disappears.

    “As our ice cover has thinned, some of our old rules are changing,” said Stroeve.
    =============

    The end of July storm caused a significant increase in ice area, the exact opposite of what NSIDC claimed.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/gaia-announces-a-new-set-of-rules-for-climate-alarmists/

  17. Walt must be referring to the straight line to straight line graph of yearly Arctic ice. If the herky jerky dot-to-dot line pauses below the average and stays in the knee, as it has these last 10 years, it is still below the climatological average (as they describe it). Therefore in their posts they will continue to say it is consistent with a downward trend.

    This is why I prefer the metrics of the oceanic/atmospheric oscillation bar graphs using running averages (of either standard or just seasonal months). Arctic ice area, extent, thickness, and volume should be portrayed in the same way. And possibly divided up by sub-area much the way the equatorial Pacific is.

  18. Here are the ice extent anomalies from the satellite era for the Arctic and Antarctic:

    One has slightly decreasing ice extent with increasing variability since about 2006 that makes it difficult to discern a trend.

    One has slightly increasing ice extent with increasing variability since about 2006 that makes it difficult to discern a trend.

    Which should I fear? The creeping doom of Global Warming emanating from the North? Or the creeping doom of an Ice Age emanating from the South?

  19. And here is a most interesting graph from IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 2. The meme has always been that doubling of CO2 increases radiative forcing by 3.7 w/m2 which increases temps on average by 1 degree + feedbacks, with current CO2 levels producing about 2.1 w/m2. But they also go out of their way to explain that radiative forcing is measured across the atmospheric air column while surface forcing is actually a different value. Taking a look at this graphic, we see that forcing from GHG’s amounts to, at the surface, only 0.25 w/m2 compared to 2.1 w/m2 for radiative forcing:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-2-23.html

    So… how does 0.25 w/m2 at the surface account for any substantive melting at all? Further, their own graph shows that forcing at the surface from all sources combined is actually on a negative trend, which ought to result in more ice, not less.

    But hey, it wouldn’t be the first time the IPCC contradicted itself.

  20. “The storms this year were more typical summer storms; last year’s was the unusual one.”

    Now why didn’t we hear that explanation last year, for the low ice extent that they reported then?

  21. It looks like the previous video couldn’t be embedded so I’ll try another one that worked in preview mode.

  22. “Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,” said Walt Meier.

    He failed to explain Why this matters. This matters ONLY because Dr Walt Meyer is an alarmist pseudo- scientist dependent upon grossly exaggerated alarmist declarations in order to help secure and to protect his departmental funding.

    Since when is a decade a long term trend? This may be long in terms of the career of money grabbing fraudsters but comparatively speaking a mere micro-second in terms of planet Earth.

  23. Re: Susan Crockford
    You have an excellent research site and are well qualified to comment on arctic ecology. Perhaps if there is a slight downside to the arctic having less ice it might be that orca killer whales can kill them while swimming. I bet it’s pretty hard to qualify though since if it happens there is little evidence of the kill left to examine. The polar bears only other natural predator is man and bacteria I think. Probably the biggest long term threat to polar bears is just more humans trying to live and work in the bear’s traditional habitats. That’s a harder problem to solve, not loss of late summer sea ice.

  24. The best thing about WUWT is, if you read it frequently and understand it, it is impossible to sound as stupid as the average politician. Anthony, you need a second website just for politicos, big letters and small words and maybe some pictures for them to color. The quality of information and informed discussion on these page beats every government chamber on earth. Trolls are treated to intelligent responses including references, and never called nazis or fascists, try to find intelligent discussions on the CAGW sites. Anthony your site is a wonder of the internet!

  25. IARC/JAXA is up and running again, along with the past few missing days’ data being filled in.

  26. Let me get this straight, now.
    We have a pause in temperature increases.
    We have a pause in arctic sea ice decline.
    We have a pause in category 3 and above hurricanes (never mind category 6)
    One more pause and we’d have a polar bear.

    Oh, wait! We have a pause to reflect on polar bear endangerment.
    We have a happy polar bear.

  27. Richard111:

    Great link, it would be interesting if they would cease all ice breaking for a couple of years and see what happens. Of course I sure it can explained away that only .01% of ice loss is due to ice breaker cruises.

  28. News Flash 9630:
    As ice sheets expand globally for the third century in a row, Al Gore CCCXXI makes an unprecedented shift from advocating for action on global warming to action on global freezing stating: “It is now clear that CO2 induced warming is no longer a threat to mankind, but there is no doubt that the continued use of thorium will only serve to intensify Global Freezing. We must act now to avoid the worst effects of global freezing and the inevitably catastrophic snowball earth scenario. The true cost (including the social costs) of thorium must be included in our energy prices or we face certain annihilation.” The direct decedent of the Prophet went on to praise his ancestor’s accomplishments which undoubtedly saved the planet from thermageddon, but reiterated the need for immediate action on this mounting climate threat that the establishment has ignored for far too long.

  29. Susan Crockford, A UBC grad, hmmm. Keep dealing with facts and reality, they’ll find some reason to take away your PHD. And please be a thorn in Witch Dr. Weaver’s side.

    @ Raptor. An orca taking out a polar bear. That would be something to see!!!!

    I don’t think you have to worry about too many humans moving into their territory. The gov’t has been trying to get people up there for years. There is a reason 90% of us Canadians live within 100 miles of the USA border. The weather up there is friggin’ cold!!!! And if the cold doesn’t bother you, the bugs in summer are insane!!!

    A little aside on the bugs. A friend of the family was a prisoner camp Commander in WW2 in Northern Ontario. One day, his 2nd in command came running in his office yelling about the prisoners had all escaped!!. He kind of shrugged his shoulders and said don’t worry about it. Sure enough, within 3 days the bugs drove every prisoner back to camp. It’s desolate up there now, imagine what it was like 70 years ago when population of Canada was in the 13 million range.

  30. The rowers are giving up the attempt to row the Northwest Passage, according to an article they submitted to the Irish Times, and will stop at the half way point, Cambridge Bay. It is forecast to snow tonight in Cambridge Bay, and ice is no longer retreating in the channel to the north of Cambridge Bay.
    Northwest Passage Diary: We needed Mother Nature to help. She hasn’t

    http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/long-haul/northwest-passage-diary-we-needed-mother-nature-to-help-she-hasn-t-1.1501355

  31. For a data base that begins in 1978 (at the very beginning of a warm regime), a year coming in as the 7th or 8th warmest suggests to me more that the warm regime of the 80s and 90s is subsiding. Further it just seems odd to me to claim that a reduction in sea ice (as in 2007 from a record that begins only n 1978) is due to global warming when the actual mean temperatures of the High Arctic are running below the long-term (60 yr+) mean. How can one claim warming is the cause when the temperatures are actually cooler?

  32. Funny that NASA didn’t mention that this year, the Arctic will easily set TWO records 1) for the largest year-on-year Arctic minimum recovery (around +1.5 million Km^2) and 2) the coldest Arctic summer since DMI started records in 1958.

    The lack of a global warming trend since 1997, back-to-back record Antarctic Ice Extents, currently in the weakest solar cycle since 1906 and is now in decline to be followed by the weakest solar cycle since 1715, a string of brutal winters, the 30-yr PDO cooling cycle started in 2008, the 30-yr AMO warming cycle seems to be winding down, ENSO in a long neutral cycle, etc., all seem to point to future recovery of Arctic ice.

    Things should continue to get real interesting as the Warmunistas seem to be in perpetual panic mode with so many of their dire predictions thwarted by observed empirical evidence, which is starting to smell a lot like hypothetical disconfirmation….

  33. I noticed something when looking at the JAXA chart so I did a little digging.
    Lets look at where we are and how things evolved for other years
    Here’s the JAXA values for the present date and the final minimums

    ------Aug 22----min
    X2003 6520156 6032031
    X2004 6208594 5784688
    X2005 5901563 5315156
    X2006 6061250 5781719
    X2007 4948438 4254531
    X2008 5555156 4707813
    X2009 5823281 5249844
    X2010 5628438 4813594
    X2011 5173906 4526875
    X2012 4456719 3489063
    X2013 5660781

    the years for minimums in sorted order for this date
    X2012 X2007 X2011 X2008 X2010 X2013 X2009 X2005 X2006 X2004 X2003
    and years for the sorted minimums of the year
    X2012 X2007 X2011 X2008 X2010 X2009 X2005 X2006 X2004 X2003

    Notice something? The ordering is exactly the same and 2013 falls between 2010 and 2009 on the 22nd. If the pattern holds then we should expect a 2013 minimum to fall between 4813594 and 5249844.

  34. Seems like the article focused on ‘what could happen if’. The intent of the article is obvious. More money for studies.

  35. JohnB says:

    August 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Let me get this straight, now.
    We have a pause in temperature increases.
    We have a pause in arctic sea ice decline.
    We have a pause in category 3 and above hurricanes (never mind category 6)
    One more pause and we’d have a polar bear.

    Oh, wait! We have a pause to reflect on polar bear endangerment.
    We have a happy polar bear.

    You forgot the clauses!

  36. Past performance is no guarantee for future performance.

    In the case of Artic ice cover it will turn out to be quite the opposite.

  37. I checked on that rowing story. It is funny that they complained that Mother Nature hasn’t helped them on this journey when one of their goals was to “draw attention to the topic of climate change.” But, but… isn’t climate change “man-made”? So, why are they crying about Mother Nature? Gees…

    As a sailor, I have to wonder about their boat and skills, since they kept the centerboard down when they were beached for a windy night. They even mentioned the possibility of damage. And, my CB goes down naturally and if anything breaks, it’s the lines, blocks and cleats to pull the boards up and keep them up. I wonder why they didn’t notice that the boards weren’t down to help in steerage? Very strange….

  38. The whole Arctic ice thing is such a non-starter at this point. According to the DMI graph temperatures have been below average all summer long. If it’s warming, why isn’t it warmer?

  39. Some information missing.

    1. Record low temperatures north of 80 deg. 3 coldest summers in last 5 years.
    2. Very little ice lost through Fram Strait. Important for next year.
    3. Arctic albedo loss much smaller than Antarctic albedo gain.
    4. Greenland ice melt low

  40. Why on Earth is a *glaciologist* working at the Goddard Space Flight Center? Apart from that, I reckon there’s a large, um, “Bayesian” aspect to the Arctic ice extent charts, in that the trend lines are a hybrid of actual data and wished-for data — with the wished-for data increasing until it runs up against the hard cold reality that the actual ice is more, so then we get an uptick correction — one coming up on DMI tonight (promise). Elsewhere, I see the warmists make a lot out of the PIOMAS ice volume measurements, but that is a model-guided tool so also an incestuous hybrid. The reality-stretching cold polar temperatures reported by DMI last week indicate that the pole ice is thicker than PIOMAS admits, as such thicker ice is needed to enable those cold temperatures. This is another reason that Neven’s site is a joke, because they dissect the official charts to bits but it’s just the blind leading the blind because so much of the official data is wished-for data and not actual data.

  41. Andy Wilkins says:
    August 23, 2013 at 8:38 am

    “This year’s conditions weren’t super-favorable for losing ice throughout spring and summer; last year they were. ”
    Any one reading that sentence and seeing the words ‘super favorable’ would think he wanted the ice to melt!
    ———–
    They use the same wording on the NSIDC Arctic page. At the beginning of this week, they updated the page. The first header is “The balding Arctic”. This is the first hint of their bias. Next they say “Arctic sea ice extent maintained a steady, near-average pace of retreat through the first half of August, making it highly unlikely that a new record low minimum will be reached this year.”.

    Notice how they can not bring themselves to state that the current melt is ‘below’ or ‘slower than’ average. They feel obliged to use the word ‘near’ average. If the current melt was above average it would be front page news everywhere in the known and unknown world. They do make a point later on to say that “Sea ice extent continues to track well below average levels (average of 1981 to 2010), though remains within two standard deviations of the long-term mean”.

    I hope the Arctic ice does a hockey stick on them for next year. They could call it the “Arctic Mann Effect”.

  42. I read the rower,s lament last night. Unfortunately for them, Mother Nature has to help the rest of the world to see the ‘light’ in regards to who actually controls the weather. Mother Nature is also saying that it is time to leave the region while it is safe. I was just looking at the Arctic Weather Map. The temp map shows a growing cold spot to the west of where they are now , which is the area they will have to traverse to reach their goal. The wind map shows the flow as WSW, so that is pushing the ice pack towards the Canada/Alaska coast. There is also a storm currently that is sitting to the west of the boats and is moving into the the region that need to traverse. The ARCo ice speed and drift has also changed swiftly over the last 4 days to an unfavorable southwest flow. This threatens to cut off their western exit. The rowers in particular will have to make their minds up soon. That is a brave and bold attempt on their part to attempt the transit, although in part for the wrong reason. I hope they all stay safe and make a good journey back. One boat, the Libellule has a mom with two teenage daughters on board. The mom had bemoaned the fate of her fine wines, which fell victim to the cold conditions and were thus ruined. There is a big questionmark whether they would be tough enough to survive the Alaskan seas, if they can make it that far. There are several seaman from Alaska who have blogged with them and have been telling them what they can expect from the Bering Sea in late September. They make it sound like only experienced sailors should attempt the crossing.

  43. goldminer, they should have said the current melt rate and extent/area of ice is within the 2 standard deviation average climatological range. The weasel word “near-average” is for those who like to engage in color commentary (or worse are speaking down to someone) instead of dry scientific/technical writing style. Back when I was writing research, I had to scrupulously erase all such colorful language from my submitted text before the group of researchers dared send it in for consideration. It was my freshman attempt as a research audiologist and I still had echoes of the typical college level creative writing classes that were predominant in the hippie 70’s and disco 80’s.

    Believe it or not, technical language is coming back, as far down as in the 5th grade, and is part of the new common core state standards.

  44. Looks like Arctic Ice is ‘Recovering’ to me

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

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

    Click on loop to see what is happening in the last 30 days.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/satellite/index.uk.php

    Also think about all those Russian ice breakers ‘claiming’ the shelf off the Russian shore line. Sort of makes you wonder about that big whole in the ice at the Russian shoreline.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/09/08/breaking-the-ice/

  45. My hunch is that the number of naturally occurring breaks (polyanas) in the ice from year to year demonstrate quite a range. I would guess that ship-breaks are buried in that range.

  46. Barry, not bad. I’m betting the guys who provide us with their Arctic in Context reasoned and calculated mantra, being all knowing as they are, figured it the same way you just did.

  47. I was always wonding what’s happening in the arctic anomaly “spaghetti” after 2007. Today I finally analysed the available data
    .

    Of course it’s not very good idea in general to use just five years as a base for anomaly calculation but it gets rid of the spaghetti. There are ups and downs but nothing what I could call a “rebound” yet. To me there indeed is a continuing steady decline with 2007 being way more extreme than 2012. Of course, different people may see different things there.

  48. There’s a collection of notes from several people trying to traverse the NW passage at http://northwestpassage2013.blogspot.com/ . I don’t follow these very closely, but several of the observations have a tinge of doom to hopelessness in them that wasn’t present in last year’s commentary, especially before September, e.g. from s/v Tooluka:

    Last winter was cold and this summer has shown more N and W winds than the Easterlies that help clearing this side of the passage. Then there is a clear difference in water temperature between this year and the last years. We experience water temperatures of around zero C., whereas yachts of the past years talk about 5+. This means that ice melts slower and that it will freeze sooner, once temperatures start dropping again. This will shorten the time you are given to get through the passage.

    Another from s/v Arctic Tern:

    Bad news from Canada I’m afraid. Its crunch time and we’ve had to turn back and head out of the passage. Decision made about half an hour ago and we’re now heading back out from Bellot across to the eastern side of Regent to head back towards Baffin eventually. Really sad but the ice hasn’t moved from Franklin Straight and Bellot is impassable and Peel hasn’t opened at the top all season. Sea temperatures 4 degrees lower than usual at this time (only -1C). It seems like we chose a really bad year for ice. That with the 45 knot Winds forecast have forced us to make the decision and head for cover.

  49. “Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,” said Walt Meier, a glaciologist with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “The long-term trend is strongly downward.”

    Would someone please ask him ( and Julliene and Serreze ) just what the heck we should be seeing in the post 1960’s to 1970’s period!

    For God’s sake, should temperature and sea-ice match those years even today? Anyone? Bueller? Mosher?

    Of course it’s lower. These people are like children. It’s like walking outside after sunrise and noticing the temp is rising!

    Are they saying that the warmup from the 1960’s to 1970’s cool period is now over and we should return to it again? Or are they saying we never should have left the 1960’s to 1970’s cool period in the first place?

  50. Odd, that the NSIDC does admit that Antarctic Sea Ice is increasing, but that they claim it is only going up by 1%. This year, the “typical” Antarctic sea ice anomaly has been running just under 1,000,000 km^2. With a minimum Antarctic sea extents of just at 1,000,000 in a normal year, that means that we’re not 1% above normal, but 100% above normal. (50% over normal if you take 2,000,000 extents vs area.)

    At maximum, the Antarctic sea ice extents are about 19,000,000 km^2. Now, we are STILL running 1,000,000 + extra sea ice square km’s …. so, that about 1 in 19 = more than 5% by my calculator.

    Probable total reflective area of all the Antarctic ice at maximum extents this year? Probably 35,000,000 km’s.

    But it is worse than you think. The Antarctic sea minimum has been steadily increasing, and continues to increase at latitude 69-70 south. There it reflects MORE energy very day, every year than does the missing sea ice that are so worried about at 85 north latitude in the Arctic. Net? The planet cools down.

    But it is worse than you think. The Antarctic sea maximum has been steadily increasing as well, and continues to increase but at latitude 59-60 south. There it reflects even MORE energy very day, every year than does the missing sea ice that these propagandists (er, so-called scientists) are so worried about at 85 north latitude in the Arctic. Net? The planet cools down.

    But it is worse than you think. The Arctic sea minimum has been steadily decreasing, and continues to decrease at latitude 83-85 south. There the open ocean absorbs a little bit more energy compared to sea ice-covered MORE energy for a few hours each day (at certain latitudes, on certain days of the year), but the open ocean loses MORE ENERGY than it gains every hour every day than does ice-covered water. Net? The planet cools down in the Arctic with every loss of sea ice from today’s levels.

  51. BBould said on August 23, 2013 at 8:12 am:

    Trends change.

    Patterns repeat.
    ===

    IanE said on August 23, 2013 at 8:22 am:

    As they say on the stockmarket, the trend is your friend – till it ends with a bend.

    Sounds like you’d appreciate this fine stockmarket-related item, since you just illustratively described it.

    (Site link, great place for admirers of fine colorful handmade porcelain flowers and shells, suitable for collecting.)

  52. I love the double-talk: “Still, this year’s melt rates are in line with the sustained decline of the Arctic ice cover observed by NASA and other satellites over the last several decades.”

    “in line with the sustained decline” turns out to mean that it did not decline, but increased instead.

  53. NASA GISS looses Dr. Jimbo Hansen, who decided to step down to spend more time with his advocacy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center acquires Dr. Walt Meier.

    Wow, almost makes up for NASA loosing their entire manned space program and the thousands of experienced engineers and technicians that kept the operation running.

    Good going NASA! Things are looking up!

    Trivial question: Who’s left to keep NSIDC honest?

  54. Pamela, your sarcasm is noted. My only point was that at
    approximately this time of the year (air temps are falling
    below freezing maybe?) the arctic ice loss is
    stabilizing and has a high probability of having a minimum
    that is higher than that of the next lowest year at this time and
    lower than the next highest year at this time. If I’m right
    then the constant gloom and doom drumbeat that we hear
    will be pushed off with a “just wait till next year”, instead of the
    “gee maybe we’re seeing a recovery” that the data seems to show.

  55. What matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years that we have a short recorded history of sea ice, and if the record were longer, it would more than likely show that groupings of highest extents and lowest extents tend to group together.

  56. Mike H says: @ August 23, 2013 at 10:32 am
    ….A little aside on the bugs….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    WHAT? and you didn’t provide a link to this National Film Board of Canada Video? For SHAME.

  57. “Even if this year ends up being the sixth- or seventh-lowest extent, what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,”

    What REALLY matters is how incredibly short the record is. We simply don’t know what’s “normal” or how much of a deviation we’re experiencing from anything. We’d need the entire sea ice record for the entire Holocene, not just a couple decades.

    Extremely short-sighted.

  58. One thing that has changed this year (maybe going back into the fall of 2012) is that the general ice pack circulation has shifted to the western part of the basin.

    So this moved the multi-year ice etc into the Beaufort Sea and away from the flushing south ocean currents that are prevalent in the Fram Strait on the eastern side of Greenland.

    It then becomes the weather/wind synoptics. Is the ice just circulating around the basin (in which case it is less likely to melt in any given year) or is it being pushed east where the ocean currents generally take the ice south to melt on the eastern side of Greenland.

    This is called variability. Sustained periods of this weather/wind synoptics can lead to declining sea ice or increasing sea ice.

  59. RACookPE1978 says: @ August 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    So, how many years from now will Cape Horn be closed by Antarctic Ice? 8?
    10?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And what will that do to ENSO? Changes in wind causes eddies that cause cold water to head up the coast of South America.

    Effect of Drake Passage on the global thermohaline circulation
    Abstract-
    The Ekman divergence around Antarctica raises a large amount of deep water to the ocean’s surface. The regional Ekman transport moves the upwelled deep water northward out of the circumpolar zone. The divergence and northward surface drift combine, in effect, to remove deep water from the interior of the ocean. This wind-driven removal process is facilitated by a unique dynamic constraint operating in the latitude band containing Drake Passage. Through a simple model sensitivity experiment WC show that the upwelling and removal of deep water in the circumpolar belt may be quantitatively related to the formation of new deep water in the northern North Atlantic. These results sho\c that stronger winds in the south can induct more deep water formation in the north and more deep outflow through the South Atlantic. The fact that winds in the southern hemisphere might influence the formation of deep water in the North Atlantic brings into question long-standing notions about the forces that drive the ocean’ thermohaline circulation….

    There also seems to be an effect on the Pacific as can be seen in this chart. and as depicted in this illustration from “Stronger winds warming Antarctica?” (Link removed new link) “…Stronger westerly winds around Antarctica are increasing eddy activity in the Southern Ocean and consequently may be driving more heat southward across the formidable Antarctic Circumpolar Current – the world’s largest current….” The Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows from west to east around Antarctica. What they forget to mention is thanks to Drake’s Passage at the tip of South America you get cold water from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current shooting up the coast of South America on both sides. The illustration from the Natural Environment Research Council shows the current going in the wrong direction but you can see the tongues heading up along South America. (These guys want us to trust them on climate when they can even get the current direction correct???)

    Drakes Passage.
    Drake Passage and palaeoclimate

    ABSTRACT: The effect of Drake Passage on the Earth’s climate is examined using an idealised coupled model. It is found that the opening of Drake Passage cools the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere by about 3°C and warms the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere by nearly the same amount. This study also attempts to determine whether the width and depth of the Drake Passage channel is likely to be an important factor in the thermal response. A deeper channel is shown to produce more southern cooling but the magnitude of the effect is not large. Channel geometry is relatively unimportant in the model because of a haline response that develops when the channel is first opened up….

    In one of the earliest scientific papers written about the output of an ocean general circulation model, Gill and Bryan (1971) showed how a gap such as Drake Passage alters the ocean’s meridional circulation and heat transport. With Drake Passage closed, the ocean transports heat southward by moving warm water poleward near the surface. Cooling at the Antarctic margin leads to deep-water formation and the northward flow of cold water at depth. With Drake Passage open, warm upper ocean water from the north is unable to flow into or across the channel because there is no net east–west pressure gradient to balance the effect of the Earth’s rotation. The ocean’s ability to transport heat southward is thereby diminished. Cox (1989), England (1992) and Mikolajewicz et al. (1993) carried out similar experiment…..

    Reseach on Drakes Passage today: http://climate.gmu.edu/research/drake.php

    …Significance

    The experiments address a fundamental question of how the circulation of the ocean works. Since the global overturning circulation is apparently sensitive to wind even in regions where the ocean has eastern and western boundaries, it may be influenced by wind outside the Drake Passage latitudes. However, our results indicate that the unique geometry of the Drake Passage latitudes does make the global circulation – and perhaps the climate of the North Atlantic – especially sensitive to wind there.

    New paper: Jul 14, 2013

    Submerged Volcanoes Cast Doubt on Antarctic Glaciation Theory (news article)

  60. Barry you misread me completely. I actually think your calculation is a good one. It is blind to the proposed dynamics of global warming models is instead more in tune with statistical models.

  61. I’ve been following the consensus discussion reports regarding ENSO predictions based on model outputs. They put together a report every month, explaining what the statistical and dynamical models are predicting and why their consensus is what it is. Lately they have been leaning towards the statistical models of how La Nina, El Nino, and neutral conditions play out based on what has happened in years past.

    That the sea ice report indicates this year will be less than a meltdown feels like, tastes like, and sounds like a leaning towards what has happened in the past (coming up with a prediction based on a statistical model) as opposed to what the global warming models say will happen to the ice.

    The bloom is off the rose me thinks.

  62. BarryW says:

    If the pattern holds then we should expect a 2013 minimum to fall between 4813594 and 5249844.

    That’s interesting. In my first vote here on the arctic minimum, I put down 4.8M. In my second, I voted 5.2M.

  63. So no records, yet but you can bet your bottom dollar that if this was an itsi bitsi meltwater pond it would be the biggest itsi bitsi meltwater pond ever ever.

  64. Couldn’t we just tow some of the antarctic ice up to the arctic to even things out? Maybe do it in the winter so we don’t melt too much enroute?

  65. What really matters if the fact that these bozos’ only have 30 years of hard data for trend analysis.

  66. I’ve also been looking at Drake’s Passage. I can’t find studies on temporary closure, only on long term closure versus long term open condition, of this very important part of the global oceanic overturning circulation. I have often wondered if it plays into the interglacial mini ice ages by an ice bridge that sends extremely cold Antarctic Circumpolar Current surface water up the coast of South America and into the Pacific, giving us a series of catastrophically cold La Nina’s. Fortunately, the clear sky conditions that come with La Ninas recharge the heat below the surface and self-destructs the mini ice age. Eventually.

  67. It was always my great hope, that perhaps, we had a reasonable scientist embodied within Dr. Walt Meier’s intellect. I cannot express my disappointment in his ambition driven statements. I find his disingenuous distractions very depressing and as wrong as the AGU’s wagon circling.

    One would think, at my age, that I would be hardened to people – not living up to expectations. GK

  68. Anthony: (I’m assuming you’ll see this, and you don’t have to post this if you’d rather not, but I wanted to point this out.)

    I’ve noticed, since you’ve stopped moderating most comments, that disrespect is becoming more common. Here’s a recent example (“bozos”)

    “Rob Ricket says:
    August 24, 2013 at 7:00 am
    What really matters if the fact that these bozos’ only have 30 years of hard data for trend analysis.”

    If one is correct, one doesn’t need to use ad hominem logic. All it does is turn off the people one is trying to convince, leaving only those who already are convinced talking to each other. It would be sufficient to replace “these bozos'” with “they” unless one’s main purpose in posting is to taunt rather than inform. Unfortunately, after a while, tossing in a taunt to go along with the main point becomes habitual, if others are always doing it too.

    I’ve always thought that one of strengths of your site has been the professionalism and respect demonstrated in the comments. I’d hate to see that change for the worse, because bad commentary does drive out good in time, just as with currency. I’ve no idea how best to address this, or whether you consider it a growing problem, although I suspect you’re already becoming concerned about it.

    And Rob, yours wasn’t a particularly egregious example, but your comment did illustrate part of a trend that I’ve noticed recently. I used it for illustration, not to impugn you, so please don’t take offense.

    In fact, this entire comment thread pretty much batters Walt Meier about the head, ears, and shoulders, even though he’s been generous enough in the past to contribute his thoughts here. Put another way, if most comment threads start to run like this one, I’ll find a different way to spend part of each day…

    • I agree with Rod Everson, Dr. Meier has been gracious here. I don’t agree with him, but he is certainly an agreeable person.

      We should all endeavor to have some restraint in using adjectives.

  69. Pamela
    Gail

    Ref: Sea Ice Blocking Drake’s Passage, Cape Horn, and the Straits of Magellan

    I like to tease the CAGW community about this because it is so vivid an image, but one they refuse to have ever even considered in their scenarios of nightmares and gloom about CAGW.

    Seriously though, if you look at the extrapolations of the Antarctic Sea Ice curves, a straight line extending through the last few years of Antarctic sea ice growth at maximum WILL see that maximum get big enough to cover the Antarctic Ocean up to 57 south latitude. Which, it so happens, is far enough to block shipping through Cape Horn.

    Now, would it actually block the straits or the Cape?

    Well, even if sea ice did block shipping for – say, 2-3 weeks before drifting off and melting again, the ships could just lay off further north (on both sides of the Horn) for those 2-3 weeks until they could cross. (Ice breaking a narrow passage through is foolish, considering the movement of the ships in the BIG storms and waves common down there.) More likely, they would just wait in port in early August – though that is before the Christmas shipping season! – until they knew they could get through when they arrive. Passage through the Canal is still possible for most of the ships anyway.

    More important, those same big storms and near-constant large (20-30 foot waves) seas would prevent even a 2 meter sea ice cover from becoming “solid” enough to “calm” the ocean. In years past, when ice bergs were more common in the passage, these large single masses of ice would get moved by the waves and storms of course, but would not get “broken up” by the those same waves. A two meter sea ice cover over the Cape would not change appreciably the deeper and very strong ocean currents running through the Cape – which is several thousand feet in depth at maximum.

    Still, it is an entertaining question, far more likely than the North Pole being exposed to the sun.

    But the heat exchange (solar energy reflection of the “expanding” Antarctic Sea Ice IS a problem the CAGW alarmist REFUSE to discuss.

    Look at the wave-it-away sentences in the NSIDC web site and at Meier’s own comments above. They don’t WANT to even discuss it, much less calculate it. You could argue they don’t calculate it accurately as well, but that is a different part of the same story.

    The Antarctic Sea ice is expanding about 1,000,000 sq km’s now at BOTH its maximum extent (total Antarctic ice of about 35,000,000 this year) AND its minimum total extent . At minimum, it is between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000. Add to that minimum the continent’s 14,000,000 baseline (that won’t change) and the permanent ice shelves 1,500,000, you get 17,500,000 to 18,500,000 sq km’s of ice down there.

    Turns out the “edge” – the point where the average sea ice is reflecting sunlight if more is added in any month, is between 70-69-68 degrees latitude at Antarctic sea ice minimum. And THAT minimum IS expanding, so these “increases in the minimum” ARE reflecting significant solar energy at solar elevation angles that ARE significant.

    Up north, where that same 1,000,000 change in sea ice extents means a 50% DECREASE in Arctic sea ice? Could that same decrease occur some September?

    A completely different story. That energy comes in at 3-6 degrees above the horizon. That solar energy doesn’t get absorbed, but reflected back into space regardless of whether the ice is present or the open water is present. Net energy flow is sea ice is lost up north? Negative.

    The planet cools if Arctic Ocean water is exposed in September and August.

  70. Pamela
    Gail:

    Look at your globe for reference: The expansion of land snow and ice at 65 north is considered a “tipping point” for rapid and long-term cooling of the planet. If land and mountain ice start increasing at 65 north (on land obviously!) then enough energy to consistently reflected to cool the planet enough to affect the next winter, which increases snow and ice deposition to second winter, which doesn’t melt the third summer so it reflects more energy the third winter,etc. A real-world “death spiral. (NOT the extremist’s favored “arctic sea ice death spiral” which cannot -regardless of assumptions EVER melt more than 3,000,000 km’s of sea ice.

    Well, the edge of Antarctic Sea Ice is already well past 65 south latitude: The Antarctic minimum sea ice extents is at 69-70 south latitude, and its maximum is now at 59-60 south latitude – 5 degrees “past” what Curry and others consider a “safe” band for the northern hemisphere.

    Mitigating this is the near-constant clouds in the south: what is reflected away from the earth up high (above the top of the clouds) cannot heat up the earth below the clouds at the sea surface. Further, the Antarctic sea “maximum point” DOES melt away each Antarctic summer.

    However, since it is the MINIMUM Antarctic sea ice that is not melting away, it is that MINIMUM Antarctic Sea Ice trend line that DOES and SHOULD concern anyone – such as Dr Meier – who claims he or she is studying the long-term heat balance of the world.

  71. Anthony:
    Ref: Dr Meier

    But, in today’s Washington environment of slavish political obedience, he and his administration – who openly and deliberately declare as the highest possible government (bureaucratic) Department Heads – that THEY will refuse to even ALLOW discussions, much less debates or arguments or studies that might find evidence against their dogma; and who will never fund a study that “might” contradict it, and- if such information IS found accidentally by someone accidentally funded to provide some other data, will NEVER promote or publicize such “new” information.

    He has actively and deliberately and publicly agreed, by applying for and interviewing with this people, by accepting Hansen’s position at NASA-GISS, to continue Obama’s UN-Inquisition into global warming. By his actions and his promotion and his paycheck each month, he has declared that he agrees with and will support these policies of denial

    He is not the Pope being advised on arcane scientific matters of far-away moons around tiny dots of light where the evidence is strange and far away. Dr Meier IS the person deciding what HIS people are “allowed” to study and he IS the person deciding to what his people and his projects and his reports and his publicity and his conferences WILL BELIEVE “scientifically “

  72. NET /NET there is no really significant change in sea ice for the globe.

    The above proves it is not global warming but local variations in ocean currents and circulations ,and the AMO phase, which is what governs Arctic Sea Ice.

    If global warming were(strictly) responsible for the Arctic Sea Ice decline, then the same would be occurring in Antarctica.

  73. The time to worry is when the arctic ice is expanding, not when it is shrinking. Warmists just can’t seem to grasp that, or don’t want to.

  74. Rod Everson says:
    August 24, 2013 at 9:11 am
    If one is correct, one doesn’t need to use ad hominem logic. All it does is turn off the people one is trying to convince, leaving only those who already are convinced talking to each other.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    That is an important point to remember when debating with ‘them’. Lately, I have noticed a change in the pattern of the more dedicated ‘thems’. They are spamming comment threads with a steady stream of attack statements against any who try to argue any point other than theirs. There is no attempt to discuss aspects of climate change or of the article. The resulting comment section becomes littered with this stuff. This has been going on for awhile, but not with this intensity until the last several months. There are small dedicated groups of 2 to 3 who will show up on a particular website to attack any sceptical voice. After awhile you recognize the names and the purpose.

  75. Jim Cripwell says:
    August 23, 2013 at 7:56 am
    Walt Meier writes ““The long-term trend is strongly downward.””

    Where on God’s Green Acre does this come from? Unless we have something like Newton’s Laws of Motion, which permit us to predict the timimg and locations of future eclipses, what has happened in the past cannot be used to predict what is going to happen in the future. I have had this discussion with other warmists, and what they say makes absolutely no sense scientifically whatsoever.

    It is perfectly legitimate to say that the trend WAS strongly downward. But is is just plain wrong to say that the trend IS strongly downward.

    The trend is about -10% / decade, this year will still be below the trend line so the trend will be more downward than it was last year.

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu//DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Aug/N_08_plot.png

  76. RACookPE1978 says:
    August 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Pamela
    Gail
    Turns out the “edge” – the point where the average sea ice is reflecting sunlight if more is added in any month, is between 70-69-68 degrees latitude at Antarctic sea ice minimum. And THAT minimum IS expanding, so these “increases in the minimum” ARE reflecting significant solar energy at solar elevation angles that ARE significant.
    ——————————————————————–
    Would this be the ‘missing heat’ that Trenberth and others are not seeing?

  77. Phil. says:
    August 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    It is perfectly legitimate to say that the trend WAS strongly downward. But is is just plain wrong to say that the trend IS strongly downward.

    The trend is about -10% / decade, this year will still be below the trend line so the trend will be more downward than it was last year.

    Phil: Those dramatic and “percent changes” are both “perfectly correct”. And “dead wrong” – actually not even meaningless, because they do have tremendous propagandist value! – but they are meaningless.

    Even a 50% loss of Arctic sea from today’s minimum values – a very realistic loss of 1,000,000 sq km’s of Arctic sea ice in mid-September from last year’s record low point – does NOT heat the planet. So, what do you fear? Why does the CAGW community “advertise” and publicize and “promote” Arctic sea ice loss? Yes, Arctic sea ice may continue to decline. So what? What difference does it make if it declines from 85 north to 83 north? From 86 north to 85 north latitude? What happens in October if we lose 1,000,000 sq km’s in August or July? Well, in October, it freezes again. just like 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012 …..

    Why does Arctic sea ice decline matter?

    Because you need it. You deperately need it. it is the ONLY thing left in the CAGW wallet. You need it for your continued funding, your “propaganda” (er, “education” and your demands on the world’s energy. Without Arctic sea ice loss, you have nothing to live for emotionally and politically. Fear is your only weapon as you take money and opportunity from the world.

    On the other hand, where “real science” (real sea ice extent increase!) does not serve your propaganda needs, you trivialize it and falsely give it “throw away” values such as 1% per year.

    But that Antarctic sea ice increase of an actual 1,000,000/19,500,000 – more than 5% higher than normal – IS occurring at latitudes where the sea ice WILL reflect energy. Why are you trivializing it?

  78. goldminor says:
    August 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Turns out the “edge” – the point where the average sea ice is reflecting sunlight if more is added in any month, is between 70-69-68 degrees latitude at Antarctic sea ice minimum. And THAT minimum IS expanding, so these “increases in the minimum” ARE reflecting significant solar energy at solar elevation angles that ARE significant.
    ——————————————————————–
    Would this be the ‘missing heat’ that Trenberth and others are not seeing?

    I am running those numbers of the probable change in reflected energy from – say 1998-2000-2002 time-frames to today’s time. What the total extra energy losses are when you add all of the effects up (from both the loss of sea ice at the north pole at high latitudes, and the gain at south pole at lower latitudes) I am getting closer to figuring out.

    More to your point: How much “missing heat” is he “missing” and in what units is he missing that heat? Watts/sq meter? degrees?

    What I still need are: The day-to-day “weather (average temperature over the year, average temperature range each day-of-the-year) at the edges of the Antarctic sea ice, the average wind speeds and vapor pressures above the edge of the Antarctic sea ice over the year, and a more accurate term for the energy lost – real world – by increased evaporation of exposed ocean waters.

    Reflected energy calculations are easy. Those are done. But the sensible heat losses, long wave radiant heat losses, and latent heat losses:
    What exactly IS the real “sky temperature” when there are clouds above the Antarctic?
    What is the “sky temperature” for long wave radiation on a clear night in the Arctic?
    What is the change in daily high-to-low temperatures in the Arctic at 80 north, at 85 north, and does that high-to-low temperature range change over the year? Does it change by latitude? Can a hourly temperature profile for say Thule Greenland at 79 north be projected north out on the Arctic sea ice at 85 north? Can Barrett or Point Barrow temperature profiles and cloud measurement percentiles be projected out across the Arctic sea ice, or are they worthless guesses?

  79. Look at the puzzle pieces, In 2007 the Russians put the largest Ice Breaker in the world to work crushing the Ice in the Arctic. 2007 ring a bell???
    Look at it’s tracks in the last year or so, If only I could show all the palaces this ice destroying ship has traveled.

    photo/1

    Video link

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=RUSSIAN+NUCLEAR+POWERED+ICE+BREAKER+SHIP+50+LET+&oq=RUSSIAN+NUCLEAR+POWERED+ICE+BREAKER+SHIP+50+LET+&gs_l=youtube.3…44432.44432.0.45505.1.1.0.0.0.0.55.55.1.1.0…0.0…1ac..11.youtube.wdMXrF7gwPo

    Year built

    http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/shipdetails.aspx?mmsi=273316240

  80. It would save a gazzillion gallons of bunker oil if the arctic stayed ice free all year, what is the problem?

  81. “The long-term trend is strongly downward.”

    Yes, unfortunately it is, by which I mean the quality and integrity of climate science with folks like Meier at the helm.

    “what matters is that the 10 lowest extents recorded have happened during the last 10 years,”

    It matters only to Alarmists and pseudoscientists, so he is merely being a mouthpiece for them. He is a failed scientist.

  82. Bruce Cobb says:
    August 25, 2013 at 8:56 am

    “The long-term trend is strongly downward.”
    ——————————————————-
    Meier should be paying more attention to the observable data. Too many models spoils the ice melt. The sst is dropping steadily all around the Arctic.
    ———————
    goldminor says:
    August 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    The wind map shows the flow as WSW, so that is pushing the ice pack towards the Canada/Alaska coast. There is also a storm currently that is sitting to the west of the boats and is moving into the the region that need to traverse. The ARCo ice speed and drift has also changed swiftly over the last 4 days to an unfavorable southwest flow. This threatens to cut off their western exit.
    ——————
    Two hours after I said this someone named Uwe contacted the boats with similar info. In the 48 hours since my first comment, sea ice has pushed south and a bit east and is now definitely threatening to close the western entrance/exit of the NWP. There is also increasing cold and snow falling around Bellot Strait, where the coast guard cutter had punched a hole for the 3 or 4 ships that waited. Now they might be on the wrong side of the Bellot Strait. Where the narrow southern passage of the NWP had shown a sea temp of 8C for 2/3rds of that long stretch, it now shows sea temps of about 1C. That is the change from the 21st till today.

  83. The cake is done, out of the oven, and cooling. It’s just a matter of time before we put the frosting on the cake. I love weather pattern variation. It’s a bitch but she’s my bitch.

  84. Drought expected on Florida coastline, Arctic melting has stopped for 2013. As Mr. Bill would say “Oh Nooooooooo” The sea levels are so low that beaches are closing all over the planet. Captain to Scotty, “we need more CO2″. “I’m giving her all’s she got Captain.”

  85. We are getting darned close to the minimum. There are already areas where there is growth and thickening. This will counteract and soon overtake the area where loss processes dominate. As soon as the areas of thick ice in the East and West basins meet up (which they soon will) that’s all she wrote.

  86. goldminor says:
    August 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    goldminor says:
    August 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    ———————————–
    Sometimes, when I first look at something that is new to me, my mind will quickly pick out key aspects of the inner dynamics of the system that I am observing. Once that happens, then I am able to make some valid observations regarding the observed system. The Northwest Passage adventurers have now been boxed in the south passage with the western and eastern exits now firmly closed…http://northwestpassage2013.blogspot.ca/

    The Canadian ice breaker that punched the hole through the sea ice at Bellot Strait, thus allowing the sailboats egress, might not have done them much of a favor. The blocking ice is rated at 5/10 with 7/10 ice pushing behind the 5.10. That is moderately heavy ice. All of the Arctic cold and current ice pack has been centered in this region for the entire summer. Now with an overall cooling in the Arctic, the cold mass has expanded it,s boundaries quickly.

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