CryoSat shows Arctic sea ice volume up 50% from last year

Measurements from ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the volume of Arctic sea ice has significantly increased this past autumn.

The volume of ice measured this autumn is about 50% higher compared to last year. In October 2013, CryoSat measured about 9000 cubic km of sea ice – a notable increase compared to 6000 cubic km in October 2012.

See animation: 

Autumn_sea-ice_thickness_from_CryoSat_2010_2013

Over the last few decades, satellites have shown a downward trend in the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice. However, the actual volume of sea ice has proven difficult to determine because it moves around and so its thickness can change.

CryoSat was designed to measure sea-ice thickness across the entire Arctic Ocean, and has allowed scientists, for the first time, to monitor the overall change in volume accurately.

About 90% of the increase is due to growth of multiyear ice – which survives through more than one summer without melting – with only 10% growth of first year ice. Thick, multiyear ice indicates healthy Arctic sea-ice cover.

This year’s multiyear ice is now on average about 20%, or around 30 cm, thicker than last year.

ESA’s ice mission

“One of the things we’d noticed in our data was that the volume of ice year-to-year was not varying anything like as much as the ice extent – at least in 2010, 2011 and 2012,” said Rachel Tilling from the UK’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, who led the study.

“We didn’t expect the greater ice extent left at the end of this summer’s melt to be reflected in the volume. But it has been, and the reason is related to the amount of multiyear ice in the Arctic.”

While this increase in ice volume is welcome news, it does not indicate a reversal in the long-term trend.

“It’s estimated that there was around 20 000 cubic kilometres of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today’s minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years,” said Professor Andrew Shepherd from University College London, a co-author of the study.

The findings from a team of UK researchers at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling were presented last week at the American Geophysical Union’s autumn meeting in San Francisco, California.

“We are very pleased that we were able to present these results in time for the conference despite some technical problems we had with the satellite in October, which are now completely solved,” said Tommaso Parrinello, ESA’s CryoSat Mission Manager.

In October, CryoSat’s difficulties with its power system threatened the continuous supply of data, but normal operations resumed just over a week later.

With the seasonal freeze-up now underway, CryoSat will continue its routine measurement of sea ice. Over the coming months, the data will reveal just how much this summer’s increase has affected winter ice volumes.

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

Source: European Space Agency
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/CryoSat/Arctic_sea_ice_up_from_record_low

For more data, see the WUWT Sea ice Reference page: http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

h/t to WUWT reader Larry Kirk

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123 thoughts on “CryoSat shows Arctic sea ice volume up 50% from last year

  1. “It’s estimated that there was around 20 000 cubic kilometres of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today’s minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years,” said Professor Andrew Shepherd from University College London, a co-author of the study.

    Right. He compares guesstimates against actual observations. Why doesn’t he try estimating how much sea ice there was in each October of the 1920s and 1930s?

  2. Been checking Arctic ice every day at:

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi

    and noted many records of DECREASED ice. Today showed a loss of 441 square kilometres and yesterday only recorded an increase of 101 square kilometres. Average daily increase is usually around 50,000 square kilometres. Air temperatures are well below freezing and little to no sun so what is limiting the normal growth? In the link above is a pointer to Arctic winds and It looks to me whenever strong winds blow towards the ice the new ice is pushed back in top of the previous ice.
    Just my layman’s conclusion but nice to now read about current Arctic sea ice volumes.

  3. Oh my – now what? As we all know there is no ice. All the models said so. The global warming fanatics said the Arctic is ice free and they have the models to prove their point. This will never do.

  4. As background, Cryosat-2 was launched and finally commissioned in 2010 (after Cryosat-1 failed on launch in 2005), and so far has produced 4 years of comparable sea-ice volume data to October 2013.

    To my way of thinking this is the first and only reliable Arctic sea ice VOLUME data we have ever had (aside from 3 months of comparable, though less extensive satellite synthetic aperture radar coverage from the ill-fated Seasat in 1978).

    Any previous sea ice AREA data (even that supplemented by very localised airborne or surface thickness measurements in computer models, as in the PIOMAS model), is irrelevant by comparison.

    It is sea ice volume that we need to measure, and sea ice volume alone that counts, as changes in ice volume are directly related to the quantity latent heat taken up from or given out to the surrounding ocean and atmosphere. And it is the heat accumulation in or loss from the overall ocean/atmosphere system that this whole ‘global warming’ controversy is concerned with, not ice area, temperature or any other similar red herring.

    The only real questions are: “Is there more heat building up in the system or is there not?” and “Either way, is this phenomenon entirely natural or significantly due to human activity?”

    I have no opinion either way myself, because I have yet to see any incontrovertible evidence that answers either of these questions.

    However, I do appreciate good data when I see it, and this data is very good indeed.

    Cryosat-2 is a brilliant effort by the ESA: a very high-latitude polar orbiting satellite, with instrumentation that is specifically designed to collect a very high vertical resolution radar altimetric map of the ice surface, and also to record and correct for any overlying unconsolidated snow cover. In the case of the free-floating Arctic polar ice cap, the resulting volume of ice above sea level can then be very easily converted into a volume measurement of the entire floating Arctic ice cap.

    Sadly, the Cryosat-2 mission is only designed to run for a couple of years more. If we’d actually had this this sort of data for the past 30 years, or even since the failed launch of its original predecessor Cryosat-1 in 2005, we would now know a great deal more about what is actually going on with regard to the Arctic Ice. It is real data and the results for once are scientifically credible. Hopefully this will be the first of a continual series of similar systems.

  5. Weather not climate.
    The Arctic sea-ice trend is down. But it might be about to pause.
    The Antarctic sea-ice trend is up.. There’s no sign of an impending pause.
    Let’s wait and see.

  6. “..Thick, multiyear ice indicates healthy Arctic sea-ice cover….”

    What’s so ‘healthy’ about lots of ice in the Arctic? I don’t think that any figure is particularly ‘healthy’. Unless someone can tell me how much ice there ‘ought’ to be, and why that’s the ‘right’ number…

  7. “… Thick, multiyear ice indicates healthy Arctic sea-ice cover.”

    What I don’t understand is why a lot of ice up there is “healthy”. Suppose that all the ice did melt one summer. So what?

    I don’t expect that the sea ice in the Arctic will go down much more, but rather I expect it to increase dramatically over the next few years; but no one has ever explained to my satisfaction why a reduction in sea ice cover would be a bad thing.

    Anyone here care to educate me on that?

    TIA.

  8. ‘While this increase in ice volume is welcome news, it does not indicate a reversal in the long-term trend.’

    Not yet but a few more years and you will have to change your tune ;)

  9. What people forget is that Increasing Arctic sea ice is not inconsistent with AGW.

    Remember the “Nobel Laureate” Trenberth has told us that the heat is hidding in the deep ocean and will soon bubble up, no doubt will melt all the sea ice.

  10. How much money has ESA spent on this CryoSat Sattelite program? And was it really necessary spending all that cash when co-author of the study, professor Andrew Shepherd, apparently is able to provide the same information without sattelite measurements? (sarc)

  11. Based on that trend, much of North America might be covered in ice in a few thousand years, and brown and black bear populations might suffer due to their being unable to get to their prey because of too much ice. So perhaps we should increase global warming to save the black and brown bears. #Sarc.

  12. “We didn’t expect the greater ice extent left at the end of this summer’s melt to be reflected in the volume. But it has been, and the reason is related to the amount of multiyear ice in the Arctic.”

    Of course they didn’t. They believed the darker oceans absorb more heat leading to death spiral, amplification feedback loops. PS according to DMI it was the coldest central Arctic since 1958 too. http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    It is possible that this is just zombie ice.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/09/arctic-death-spiral-actually-more-like-zombie-ice/

    Professor Peter Wadhams must be wetting his pants. This will teach him, just 1 and 2 more years to go.

    Daily Telegraph – 8 November 2011
    Arctic sea ice ‘to melt by 2015′
    Prof Wadhams said: “His [model] is the most extreme but he is also the best modeller around.

    It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that’s when it will happen.”
    —————–
    Guardian – 17 September 2012
    Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years
    “This collapse, I predicted would occur in 2015-16 at which time the summer Arctic (August to September) would become ice-free. The final collapse towards that state is now happening and will probably be complete by those dates”.
    —————–
    Financial Times Magazine – 2 August 2013
    “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,”
    —————–
    The Scotsman – 12 September 2013
    Arctic sea ice will vanish within three years, says expert
    “The entire ice cover is now on the point of collapse.

    The extra open water already created by the retreating ice allows bigger waves to be generated by storms, which are sweeping away the surviving ice. It is truly the case that it will be all gone by 2015. The consequences are enormous and represent a huge boost to global warming.”

  13. “It’s estimated that there was around 20 000 cubic kilometres of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today’s minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years,” said Professor Andrew Shepherd from University College London, a co-author of the study.

    Well 30 years would be exactly half the cycle period noted in

    M.G. Wyatt and J.A. Curry, “Role for Eurasian Arctic shelf sea ice in a secularly varying hemispheric climate signal during the 20th century,”

    http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/stadium-wave1.pdf

    See Figs 7-10.

  14. The best way to eyeball the ice-thickness is through the Navy map of thickness at http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/hycomARC/navo/arcticictnowcast.gif , and the best way to get to that map and many other maps, without having to click from site to site, is via Anthony’s “Sea Ice Page” on the right hand margin of this page. At times during the summer, despite other good posts, that page achieves the rank of one of the five “Top Posts” on this site, which shows both how interested people are, and how good that site is.

    Cherk the Sea Ice Page out right now and you’ll see the ice over ten feet thick has increased since October. It has pushed towards the Alaska Coast, and the made a right turn and is curving in the Beaufort Gyre north of Bering Strait. There is definitely much more than there was a couple years ago. We’ll have to see how it withstands the summer melt, but one would assume it will last longer than thinner ice. It may crumble apart and produce a larger extent of broken up bergs.

    At one point Hansen was saying the reason we didn’t see warming was because the heat was used up melting ice. The reverse is also true. Forming ice releases a lot of latent heat. A greater amount of thick ice will take a greater amount of heat to melt.

    Mostly the increase is due to the fact the ice wasn’t flushed south through Fram Strait. Even during the past two weeks there was a spell when the winds blew the “wrong way” through Fram Strait, pushing ice back north rather than flushing it south. So what the poor Alarmists must do is compose a headline stating, “Global Warming Causes Winds To Blow The Wrong Way.”

    Right now a more typical North Atlantic gale is pushing the mass of the held-back ice south through Fram Strait, and on Anthony’s Sea Ice Page you can see a map that shows the extent in Fram Strait is above normal, not due to melting or freezing, but due to winds and a big mass of ice.

    A lot of the thicker ice is not that old, and is baby-ice that didn’t go south last summer and was shoved into the Beaufort Gyre and piled up. However right around now it is having it’s first birthday, so I guess we can officially graduate it and hand it a diploma and call it “multi-year.” (Any excuse for a party.)

  15. Please note that even IF (not going to happen soon though) Arctic sea ice extent in September 2014 is at the 1979 level they will still inform us that the trend is still down. ;-) Then they will take a peak at volume, and if that is at 1979 levels they will still say………………

  16. This cannot be happening.
    April 2008. And their deadly serious about tipping points.
    Has anybody asked these “experts” what went wrong?
    Anybody?

  17. Proof, if proof were needed, that alarmist claims are just hot air. And that’s another thing, it’s not hot air that melts ice but warm water. AMO going cooler.

  18. markstoval says: February 5, 2014 at 1:39 am
    “Anyone here care to educate me on that?”

    Please watch ‘An inconvenient truth’, buy 500 carbon credits and don’t you ever dare to question the settled science anymore! Because warmth is bad, cold is good. People are a burden and the earth vulnerable. The climate sensitive and the weather extreme. Cooling is warming. The heat is hiding. The sun is irrelevant. The oceans, clouds and watervapor don’t matter and therefore are not to be spoken about. CO2 is a poison and manmade CO2 a killer.

    So says the upside down, inside out, back to front Climate Religion.

  19. A couple of commenters earlier on noted the word “healthy” referring to thick ice. “Healthy” is a heavily-laden value judgment, showing what the researchers think is what the situation should be. Why should it be? Whose decision is that? Is a cold Arctic better than a merely cool Arctic? Those are not scientific questions. No one knows–or can possibly know–what the ideal situation might be. There is no norm in such matters. While we can say–from research and experience–that the normal human body temperature is 98.6 F, and that normal vision is 20/20, no such statistic or research exists for large natural systems. Is Arctic weather behaving as it should? If not, how can one tell?

    I would be content with a simple recitation of observed facts, including causes and effects where known and verifiable. Value judgments beyond such facts are irrelevant and misleading.

  20. It must be awful being a climate change scientist. Not only are you telling everyone you are second rate, but then some professor comes along and tells you he could have estimated your results, so you have been wasting your time.

  21. Caleb, polar vortex still clearly shifted. Over the Arctic arrives the warm air and cold air over the North America.

  22. Despite the increase in volume the Arctic ‘death spiral’ in volume continues. LOL. Holy date pick Batman!

    Think Progress – 11 September 2013 Joe Romm
    Arctic Death Spiral: CryoSat Reveals Decline In Arctic Sea Ice Volume Continues
    Now new data from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat satellite has revealed that this ice volume trend continued through the spring of 2013:………

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/11/2603711/arctic-death-spiral/

    I feel sorry for old Joe. He is fighting an uphill battle as extent and volume are up this past autumn by 50% on 2012. This simply was not supposed to happen. Darker sea ice absorbs more heat and thus death spiral down the line. It really was as simple as that.

  23. Interesting weather report on the BBC last night showing two deep lows side by side covering the whole North Atlantic. They showed very strong winds from Newfoundland to the Bay of Biscay. If this wind diverts any of the Gulf Stream surface waters look for a sharp increase in Arctic ice around Svalbard.

  24. I’m sure this will be the subject of a separate article soon, but I see the RSS anomaly for January has been released, at 0.262 deg C. Depending on the slant you wish to give it, this will no doubt be seen as either “significantly colder than January 2013″ or “the second warmest month of the last 12″

    The negative trend in this dataset still begins in September 1996 – just!

  25. The average sea ice thickness was certainly up this year. Volume and extent up close to 50%.

    But this is really the best data that CryoSat2 can get. You get some monthly averages in October or February only because the data is just so variable. Every individual cell is completely different in each different orbit. Tides, waves, snow, wind, ice pack dynamics. I don’t think it was worth how much funding was used. For awhile, the operators were even trying to re-purpose the satellite for a new mission.

  26. http://www.esa.int says: “While this increase in ice volume is welcome news, it does not indicate a reversal in the long-term trend. ”

    Of course, neither does it indicate a _continuation_ in the long-term trend because it’s just one year. Neither were the previous three years enough to indicate the long-term trend.

    It’s likely that ice volume was considerably more when ice extent/area was considerably more but since we never measured it that does not indicate much about the trend either.

    What the last four years measurements do tell is that it is not ‘run away melting” no “tipping point” has been reached and it’s not “accelerating” .

    It’s worth comparing to trends in ice extent, now we have a handle on ice volume.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/on-identifying-inter-decadal-variation-in-nh-sea-ice/

    Now since the Arctic is apparently the “canary in the coal mine” perhaps we should be on guard against a dramatic cooling in the rest of NH climate. ….

  27. Sigh – more half-baked conclusions over something that just plain doesn’t matter.

    So what if there’s more or less ice in the Arctic? It doesn’t matter. The only ice that matters is Antarctic and Greenland. And contrary to fake reports over the years, they’re not going anywhere. As everyone here knows, the Antarctic ice is growing, not shrinking, and that’s the most massive chunk of ice on the planet. It would take thousands of years of the most dramatic temperature rise recorded to even start making any serious global impact on sea levels.

    As anyone with even a smattering of knowledge about the climate on Earth should know, Arctic ice has grown and shrunk within recorded history, and we will never have anything other than anecdotal evidence for what it has been before 2010. But we do know just from the phrase “Northwest Passage” that it has been severely reduced in the past, and we can have little doubt that it will increase and decrease again in the future.

    But even so, SO WHAT? Arctic ice is not important in any way, and no conclusions can be drawn from it. It gets pushed around by winds and can pile up against land, or pushed far enough South to melt. Since it’s floating it can’t significantly affect sea level. In fact, low Arctic ice ought to be Good News for climate alarmists, since it indicates that the automatic cooling mechanism is alive and well, effectively transporting heat from the equator to the pole, melting a bit on its way to radiating heat to space during the long Arctic night. Less ice means more effective removal of heat. More ice means there’s less heat to remove.

    Alarmists have one thing partially right: the Arctic is something to watch. But they’re watching the wrong thing for the wrong reason. Melting ice does not, never did, and never will indicate that the planet is somehow in danger, and likewise increasing ice is meaningless.

    One day more people will realize this fact.

    Until then, Arctic ice cover and volume are interesting, but meaningless in the big picture.

  28. Irritating that all findings are framed in the dominant meme of dangerous climate change. Climate Zombies have worked hard in science and the media to create an orthodoxy which only the bravest dare challenge. Pathetic and all to human.

  29. THe obvious hypothesis is that arctic sea ice volume oscillates with periodicities in the multidecadal, the multi centennial and the millennial.

    No doubt 20 years of data using CryoSat will be able to test the first of these periodicities, the null hypothesis for which should be that the 1980s saw a local maximum and the period 2007 – 2010 saw a local minimum. A return to 15 – 18,000+ by 2020 would be the testable hypothesis to falsify…….

  30. Alan the Brit says:
    Surely, this is good news, is it not?

    Good news for whom?

    Anyone with any objectivity got the message several years ago , Those who are still in denial about the real extent of change that can be tagged as AGW will be crying into his handkerchief and asking himself how they can even hope to ” help save the planet” if the planet won’t help them.

    It’s a travesty. Now they’ll have to wait until all that missing heat pops back out of the deep oceanic abyss to starts melting the ice again.

  31. Jimbo says (in explanation of CAGW supporters): “Darker sea ice absorbs more heat and thus death spiral down the line. It really was as simple as that.”

    Yes, and that type of simplistic thinking is an absolute hallmark of the CAGW creed. “CO2 absorbs infrared, therefore the Earth will heat up. H2O absorbs infrared, therefore the Earth will warm up. Open ocean is darker than ice, therefore the Earth will warm up.” I have never met a CAGW enthusiast who had even a remote idea of the complexity and feedback of Earth’s climate system.

    I sometimes think that one reason why the Global Warming meme has been so popular is that it gives the ordinary person, the average Joe who never really excelled at science or math, the wonderful and exciting illusion of understanding Deep Science. For most people, the simple and plausible are as close to the truth as they will ever get, and CAGW alarmism is both simple and plausible. Of course, both the simplicity and the plausibility quickly disappear when one looks into the details. In the meantime, Arctic ice increases, Antarctic ice increases, temperatures drop, and the model makers cannot understand why. “Tis but a scratch!” they say.

  32. CodeTech, I agree in part with what you are saying about the floating ice – and the ice extent increase, for that matter, in Antarctica. However, I also know that when all the ice in my Rum and Coke melts, my drink gets warmer, so I don’t agree with the comment that it doesn’t matter or is meaningless in the big picture.

  33. Is it only me that is finding the relentless negativity and carping a little wearing here?

    Surely the important point is simply that, prior to this new Cryosat-2 satellite data, we wouldn’t have known that there had been a 50% increase in Arctic sea ice volume in the year from October 2012 to October 2013!

    But now we do!

    This is a huge win for science. Hooray!! It has been money so well spent.

    And yes it does go spectacularly against some of the prevailing orthodoxy (for this as-yet insignificantly short period of time). So celebrate that too if that is your (at this stage rather unscientific) inclination.

    But at least celebrate it.

    Personally I think it is a brilliant scientific advance that we can now measure Arctic sea ice volume with certainty, and wonder what else we are now able to measure with hitherto unknowable certainty elsewhere on the ice-covered areas of the planet, and what new conclusions may eventually be drawn from these measurements.

    But it looks like I am the only optimist in the room down here at this time of night.

    Perhaps when the US wakes up and digs itself out of the snow, someone there will have something positive to add..

  34. Tom O:

    Your post at February 5, 2014 at 5:13 am says

    CodeTech, I agree in part with what you are saying about the floating ice – and the ice extent increase, for that matter, in Antarctica. However, I also know that when all the ice in my Rum and Coke melts, my drink gets warmer, so I don’t agree with the comment that it doesn’t matter or is meaningless in the big picture.

    But sea ice is increasing. Indeed, when Arctic ice was decreasing the growth in Antarctic ice was so rapid that total polar ice was increasing. The suggestion (prediction?) from warmunists was that Arctic sea ice would all ‘melt’ and NOT that ALL sea ice would ‘melt’.

    So, please explain what you think to be the relevance of “when all the ice in my Rum and Coke melts, my drink gets warmer”?

    Richard

  35. Larry Kirk says:
    February 5, 2014 at 12:57 am

    “To my way of thinking this is the first and only reliable Arctic sea ice VOLUME data we have ever had [and] any previous sea ice AREA […] is irrelevant by comparison.”

    The satellite is short lived but is designed to allow evaluation of ground based measurements to determine their accuracy.

  36. Alan the Brit says: @ February 5, 2014 at 4:46 am

    Surely, this is good news, is it not?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Depends on if you like it cold or warm. Me? I prefer warm which is why I moved from New England to North Carolina but so far it has been a cold wet and miserable winter. Last summer was nice though. I thought I was back in New England it was so mild.

  37. But.. but.. but… Keystone!!!

    (that’s not meant to be a rational statement, it’s just the only level of argument that the enviro-fanatics have left)

  38. markstoval says: February 5, 2014 at 1:39 am
    “Anyone here care to educate me on that?”

    The hypothesis is that less ice on the Arctic Sea leads to more solar energy absorption by that area of the ocean previously covered by ice. Not sure how much energy an extra million +/- square kilometers represents in terms of joules with the sun’s rays hitting at such oblique angles, though. Perhaps someone else could educate us both on how significant it really is.

  39. Increasing multi year sea ice is all about the wind. The wind piles first year sea ice up so thick that it does not all met in the summer. To be surprised that it has increased shows a lack of understanding of the whole process.Area, extent, and volume are all affected by the wind. Without the wind, things would be quite different at the poles. The formation of first year sea ice is very dependent on the wind. What should be focused on is the gain/loss of energy from the surface down to 2000 meters of the polar sea waters not just the thin layer of sea ice/ice.

  40. It appears that the snow and ice that has left the Arctic has moved to my backyard. The puppy with very little hair is unimpressed!

  41. Does anyone remember the “true believers'” response some time back when satellites documented that the Arctic summer sea ice extent had bottomed out and was on the increase? Their mantra was, “Oh, but the volume of Arctic ice continues to decline. It’s getting thinner. The ‘old’ ice continues to decline.”

    Wrong yet again!

  42. This is something for insurers of the Northwest Passage shipping BS to take note of. It will not phase Green Peace though.

  43. Tom O says:
    February 5, 2014 at 5:13 am
    CodeTech, I agree in part with what you are saying about the floating ice – and the ice extent increase, for that matter, in Antarctica. However, I also know that when all the ice in my Rum and Coke melts, my drink gets warmer, so I don’t agree with the comment that it doesn’t matter or is meaningless in the big picture.
    ==============================================

    Does your drink get warmer because the ice melts or is the ice melting because your drink is getting warmer? those two propositions are not the same thing.

  44. albertalad says:
    February 5, 2014 at 12:50 am
    Oh my – now what? As we all know there is no ice. All the models said so. The global warming fanatics said the Arctic is ice free and they have the models to prove their point. This will never do.

    Actually the models predict slower decrease in seaice than has been observed, the usual complaint was that the general models significantly underestimate the decline.

  45. Phil.:

    At February 5, 2014 at 6:43 am you say

    Actually the models predict slower decrease in seaice than has been observed, the usual complaint was that the general models significantly underestimate the decline.

    Really? Please provide citations to substantiate that assertion.

    Richard

  46. Ladies and Gentlemen including Anthony Watts

    I see obvious systematic errors in it.

    Look at the video display graphs of Oct 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

    There is obvious unnatural radial white and blue stripes in the thinner ice, that hardly has got any other natural explaination than the satelite going in polar orbit.

    We see a very obvious, classic method and device- artifact and systematic error.

    What that means for the arguments derived from it, I shall not tell, but you may think for yourselves.

    Moral: Allways be aware of and keep in mind possible bias due to systematic errors. And here you see a rather obvious one.

    How shall we smooth out for that error? Scrapers and sandpaper? Paint? ..Scissers?….?

    But on the other hand, such device and method artifacts and obvious dirt and errors are also proof that the measurements are done at all.

    A quite important method for security is to have it from another and independent source and institute also, and possibly even by another experimental or measuring method. Before you can be damned sure and allow yourself to smash around with it.

  47. Richard, I believe that is correct. It was a classic case of “it’s worse than we thought”. One of the few areas where models where not extreme enough. J.Curry has commented a few time recently that models have been retuned to better match the Arctic ‘amplified’ warming and as a result get just about everything else even further from reality than before.

    Well it looks like it’s time to tune/rig/fudge the “physics based models” back again.

  48. “My guess looking at COLA anomaly temp maps”

    What the heck’s one of those ? Is that Coke or Pepsi? Any chance of being less cryptic and spelling a couple of words in full to give us a clue?

  49. @ larry Kirk

    Very fine, thank you.

    The “cryosphere” is quite important.

    Now we have it warm. Whether one can hammer nails into the soil or dig, that makes quite a difference.

    My wife comes from Niedersachsen. There they have not got that “Tæle” and even “Tæla-frost!” we call it, probably Tegula.

    And what melts the ices in spring? It hardly is the sunshine. Grey and warm and western winds and rains are much more efficient.

  50. Carbomontanus: “There is obvious unnatural radial white and blue stripes in the thinner ice, that hardly has got any other natural explaination than the satelite going in polar orbit.

    We see a very obvious, classic method and device- artifact and systematic error. ”

    Yes, I also concluded those formations were sampling error due to orbit tracks. Whatever you do to round or average them out you are not going to get rid of 50% more volume.

    However, these results do not agree with PIOMAS ice model so they obviously need to be “corrected”. I give it 6 months before they find a “bias correction” to “improve” the accuracy of the problematic data.

  51. kent blaker says:
    February 5, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Increasing multi year sea ice is all about the wind. The wind piles first year sea ice up so thick that it does not all met in the summer. To be surprised that it has increased shows a lack of understanding of the whole process.Area, extent, and volume are all affected by the wind. Without the wind, things would be quite different at the poles. The formation of first year sea ice is very dependent on the wind. What should be focused on is the gain/loss of energy from the surface down to 2000 meters of the polar sea waters not just the thin layer of sea ice/ice.

    But, but, darker sea water, absorbing sun’s head, thermal build up, more melting next time, death spiral, ice-free Arctic. Well, at least that’s what I was told. By the way extent has always been important to Warmists until it grows then it shifts to volume until that grows. You should know by now how the game is played.

  52. Greg:

    Thankyou for your reply on behalf of Phil. which you provide at February 5, 2014 at 7:22 am.

    I asked for citations to support his claim at February 5, 2014 at 6:43 am which said

    Actually the models predict slower decrease in seaice than has been observed, the usual complaint was that the general models significantly underestimate the decline.

    I still want the citations despite your post saying

    Richard, I believe that is correct. It was a classic case of “it’s worse than we thought”. One of the few areas where models where not extreme enough. J.Curry has commented a few time recently that models have been retuned to better match the Arctic ‘amplified’ warming and as a result get just about everything else even further from reality than before.

    Well it looks like it’s time to tune/rig/fudge the “physics based models” back again.

    There is a simple reason why I want the citations. It is that
    polar ice has been growing; n.b. NOT reducing.

    Arctic sea ice was reducing but the increase to Antarctic ice was greater so total polar ice is now at an all-time high in the short record for polar ice.

    I recognise that not all polar ice is sea ice, but I find it difficult to accept the models were predicting anything like “slower decrease in seaice than has been observed” when the models predicted polar amplification of warming which has not happened.

    Discussions about (some?) models underestimating sea ice loss seem likely to be an example of misdirection which is typical of wamunists; i.e. it’s worse than we thought.

    So, I want citations.

    Richard

  53. Carbomontanus says:
    February 5, 2014 at 7:08 am
    …We see a very obvious, classic method and device- artifact and systematic error…
    But on the other hand, such device and method artifacts and obvious dirt and errors are also proof that the measurements are done at all.
    ___________________
    Well, there is value in “proof”, but to me, the uncorrected data still indicates the general state/conditions observed.

  54. Claude Harvey says:
    February 5, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Does anyone remember the “true believers’” response some time back when satellites documented that the Arctic summer sea ice extent had bottomed out and was on the increase? Their mantra was, “Oh, but the volume of Arctic ice continues to decline. It’s getting thinner. The ‘old’ ice continues to decline.”

    Wrong yet again!

    Exactly! Take note kent blaker. Some of us have been around the CAGW fight for sometime and we have heard many defences from Warmists. They keep shifting more than Arctic sea ice.

  55. Dodgy Geezer says:
    February 5, 2014 at 1:14 am

    “..Thick, multiyear ice indicates healthy Arctic sea-ice cover….”

    What’s so ‘healthy’ about lots of ice in the Arctic? I don’t think that any figure is particularly ‘healthy’. Unless someone can tell me how much ice there ‘ought’ to be, and why that’s the ‘right’ number…

    Like you, I am completely confused as to the meaning of “healthy”. Growing ice is much more “alarming” than decreasing ice. The biosphere increases with decreasing polar ice and decreases with increasing ice. The safe (healthy?) direction is decreasing ice NOT the other.

    Many seem to have heads on backwards due to ideology instead of biology. GK

  56. Richard 111 at 12:33
    “Air temperatures are well below freezing and little to no sun so what is limiting the normal growth? In the link above is a pointer to Arctic winds and It looks to me whenever strong winds blow towards the ice the new ice is pushed back in top of the previous ice.”

    I’ve been wondering the same thing,after a nice fast start ice growth has been less than I hoped. (How long does it take ice to re-form in an area after wind or current has pushed the previous ice away?) My guess is that it’s sea surface temp. What to expect this next month, steady growth or jump?

  57. richardscourtney says:
    February 5, 2014 at 6:59 am
    Phil.:

    At February 5, 2014 at 6:43 am you say

    Actually the models predict slower decrease in seaice than has been observed, the usual complaint was that the general models significantly underestimate the decline.

    Really? Please provide citations to substantiate that assertion.

    Richard

    Here’re papers from Stroeve et al.: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL029703/abstract

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052676/abstract

    Here’s a figure illustrating the findings:

    http://amper.ped.muni.cz/gw/diagnosis/fig_cz/.w/stroeve_sea_ice2007.pdf

    Here’s another source:

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/10/ipcc-models-underestimate-future-sea-ice-loss-new-scientific-paper/

  58. Jimbo; been a fan of this site a long time. When people say that open water in the Arctic absorbs more sunlight than ice covered water, i ask them ‘what happens when the sun don’t shine”? The more area that is ice free in the winter, the more cooling that takes place.

  59. richardscourtney says:
    February 5, 2014 at 7:45 am
    Greg:
    There is a simple reason why I want the citations. It is that
    polar ice has been growing; n.b. NOT reducing.

    Arctic sea ice was reducing but the increase to Antarctic ice was greater so total polar ice is now at an all-time high in the short record for polar ice.

    Not true, current anomaly is negative, total seaice is nowhere near an all-time high.

    I recognise that not all polar ice is sea ice, but I find it difficult to accept the models were predicting anything like “slower decrease in seaice than has been observed” when the models predicted polar amplification of warming which has not happened.

    Discussions about (some?) models underestimating sea ice loss seem likely to be an example of misdirection which is typical of wamunists; i.e. it’s worse than we thought.

    So, I want citations.

    You should have them once they exit moderation.

  60. So, as skeptics have been pointing out, sea ice is highly dynamic. The claim of some of the AGW extremists, that sea ice had accumulated for hundreds if not thoudands of years, is shown to be dubious at best. The confident prediction of many AGW hypesters, that sea ice would be gone by about now, is completely discredited. Paleo-records have suggested that sea ice has made similar swings in the past. Far too many in the AGW promotion industry have gotten away with ignoring this or even fibbing about how variable Arctic sea ice can be. It will be interesting to see if any in the political class pay attention to the fact that they have been misled by the AGW community.

  61. While this obviously good news, I don’t think we should make too much of a song and dance. We are comparing a 50% increase to the previous year which saw a marked reduction in year on year ice cover. If the comparison is carried out on a longer term, things do not look so rosy. Arctic sea ice is in retreat, it will bounce up and down but we know the general trend is down. I would not be so foolhardy as to guess when the summer sea ice will be gone, however I see no real sign which convinces me that the trend is reversing. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

  62. All y’all need to remember ice is an insulator.

    More ice, more insulation ===> less energy radiated to space, more ice to cool warm tropical water==> warmer (relatively speaking) water outflowing from arctice eventually leads to warmer earth.

    More open water ===> more energy radiated to space ===> cooler water/cooler earth…

    Just saying….

  63. I’ve been wondering the same thing,after a nice fast start ice growth has been less than I hoped. (How long does it take ice to re-form in an area after wind or current has pushed the previous ice away?) My guess is that it’s sea surface temp. What to expect this next month, steady growth or jump?

    I agree that warmer sea temps appear to be an important factor in sea ice reduction, the path of the North Atlantic drift appears to match the areas of greatest melt. The temps in the Arctic are also elevated. They are still well below zero, but the colder the temps, the faster the ice forms, and at the moment the conditions result in slow ice formation. http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

  64. Thank GOD the ice is coming back, I mean…well…um….er it’s much better we have a colder planet and we have 30yrs of data on a 5billion year old planet so we know what the hell a trend means. (/sarcasm!!!!!!!!)

    • @ Alan robertson

      “Well, there is a value in “proof”, but to me, uncorrected data still indicates the general state / conditions observed.”

      OK, but never generalize that to all and everyone and to eventual reality around you. What it is to you is your private situation, we are hardly interested. You ought not to make yourself the central and major object of interest and study.

      Data that are not critically examined and corrected for systematic errors, who may be quite severe at times, do not indicate the general state so well at all. Quite on the contrary, they even may be intensionally betraying.

      Practically, I do see another possibly severe error here, that must be checked up.

      Why are not the quite extreemly fameous ices down along with the east coast of Grønland shown?

      Personally, I am not able to make any decision / draw any conclusion before I have checked up that. And until that is also in order first, I must keep in mind that the very article and display may be a fraud.

      I must check up with Ole Humlums Climate 4 you and with the Danes and with Hamburg.

  65. Box of Rocks says:
    February 5, 2014 at 8:45 am

    “All y’all need to remember ice is an insulator.”

    And making it requires a LOT of energy to leak away for it to form. Just saying….

  66. Hang on, you mean all that noise about shrinking sea ice area which was imputed (by direct, linear claim) to mean an identical loss of sea ice mass was wrong? That is like finding out that each and every claim over the past decade for ‘extreme weather’ damage being caused by ‘increasing temperatures’ were false because there was no increase! Someone or some people have this ‘global warming’ thing seriously wrong.

    “Thick, multiyear ice indicates healthy Arctic sea-ice cover.”

    Who has ever proven that thick sea ice is ‘healthy’ for anyone or anything? Surely they are not inferring that polar bears need sea ice or they will starve to death? You’d have to be pretty ignorant of climate history to think polar bears evolved in a few thousands years of colder Arctic seas. Is that ‘polar bear thing’ a new form of climate science creationism? You ‘create’ whatever mechanisms you need to support your narrative?

    This paper skewers the ‘Arctic sea ice cover is the canary in the mine’ argument which has been presented to cover up the fact that global temperatures outside the Arctic have not risen for 15+ years. I for one and fed up with hearing how this area reduction constitutes ‘proof’ of anything. It is a vague coincidence, especially as it is rooted in the supporting claims that ‘models show polar amplification of the AGW effect’ while in fact Antarctic ice continued to grow all the while. For all we know, it has been growing for 1000 years.

    Now we have the first indication that ice area and volume are not well correlated. Who’d-a thunk.

    Isn’t area the same as volume?
    Isn’t pressure the same as flow?
    Isn’t temperature the same as heat?
    Isn’t mass the same as velocity?
    Isn’t weather the same as climate?
    Isn’t a model the same as reality?

    What is the world coming to!

    Obligatory /sarc because some people are dense (which is not the same as being a heavyweight)

  67. @Espen
    “Both places have had much milder than normal weather recently, for instance Longyearbyen was 12 C above normal last 30 days, and had several days with above freezing temps…”

    Waterloo was 5 degrees C below normal in December 2013 and 10 degrees C below normal in January 2014. February looks really cold too.

    We would like our heat back right now, thanks. There is nowhere left to pile the snow.

  68. kent blaker says:
    February 5, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Jimbo; been a fan of this site a long time. When people say that open water in the Arctic absorbs more sunlight than ice covered water, i ask them ‘what happens when the sun don’t shine”? The more area that is ice free in the winter, the more cooling that takes place.

    Steven Goddard predicted this after the record low on the record for 2012. We saw a rapid rise in extent after the 2012 minimum, a lot of heat left town (Arctic ocean).

  69. “…healthy Arctic sea-ice cover”

    “healthy”? Sorry, that’s just poor word choice because it implies less coverage is unhealthy – which suggests that a natural variation may be unhealthy.

  70. Gareth Phillips says:
    February 5, 2014 at 8:42 am

    While this obviously good news, I don’t think we should make too much of a song and dance. We are comparing a 50% increase to the previous year which saw a marked reduction in year on year ice cover. If the comparison is carried out on a longer term, things do not look so rosy. Arctic sea ice is in retreat, it will bounce up and down but we know the general trend is down. I would not be so foolhardy as to guess when the summer sea ice will be gone, however I see no real sign which convinces me that the trend is reversing. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

    Do you know what they said about Arctic amplification due to a loss of albedo? September 2013 throws a spanner in the works.

    Please, please take a look at a sample of what they have been saying over and over again.

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2013/03/climate-impacts-of-nearly-ice-free-arctic-summers

  71. Dr. Ware…

    “No one knows–or can possibly know–what the ideal situation might be. There is no norm in such matters. While we can say–from research and experience–that the normal human body temperature is 98.6 F, and that normal vision is 20/20, no such statistic or research exists for large natural systems. Is Arctic weather behaving as it should? If not, how can one tell?”

    I would suggest there is such a norm. Assuming humans actually have the power to affect the planet’s climate, what is a reasonable goal? How about a full on glacial period to which musk oxen and wild horses are well suited? Bring back the woolly rhinoceros and mammoth and all the rest? Wild horses with enough food can be comfortable at -40F. Hopefully it is obvious that we should geoengineer to benefit our own species. Our thermal neutral point is around 82F. This is the temperature at which humans can sit in the shade of a tree with no clothing and be perfectly comfortable. Places like that exist today on earth and are generally considered to be “paradise”. For example, Hawaii.

    Of the two planetary conditions, Ice House Earth and Greenhouse Earth, today we find ourselves in the former. Obviously, humans have adapted to a wide range of miserable climates. To reach the state in which the largest area of earth can be called “paradise”, ideal for us, we will have to bring about Greenhouse Earth conditions. That means no polar ice and no continental ice. The temperature differential from equator to poles will be at a minimum. Energy usage will be very low after the transition. There is the norm.

  72. Chris D. says:
    February 5, 2014 at 5:47 am (replying to)

    markstoval says: February 5, 2014 at 1:39 am
    “Anyone here care to educate me on that?”

    The hypothesis is that less ice on the Arctic Sea leads to more solar energy absorption by that area of the ocean previously covered by ice. Not sure how much energy an extra million +/- square kilometers represents in terms of joules with the sun’s rays hitting at such oblique angles, though. Perhaps someone else could educate us both on how significant it really is.

    —-

    Jimbo says:
    February 5, 2014 at 7:41 am (replying to)

    kent blaker says:
    February 5, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Increasing multi year sea ice is all about the wind. The wind piles first year sea ice up so thick that it does not all met in the summer. To be surprised that it has increased shows a lack of understanding of the whole process.Area, extent, and volume are all affected by the wind. Without the wind, things would be quite different at the poles. The formation of first year sea ice is very dependent on the wind. What should be focused on is the gain/loss of energy from the surface down to 2000 meters of the polar sea waters not just the thin layer of sea ice/ice.

    But, but, darker sea water, absorbing sun’s head, thermal build up, more melting next time, death spiral, ice-free Arctic. Well, at least that’s what I was told. By the way extent has always been important to Warmists until it grows then it shifts to volume until that grows. You should know by now how the game is played.

    Bluntly summarized, from today’s real-world extents, across every day of the year from minimum extents in to february to its maximum extents in late September, increasing Antarctic sea ice reflects ever increasing solar energy from the earth. This difference between the dark ocean albedo at high solar elevation angle and the “bright” (newly-frozen) “fresh” first year sea ice around Antarctica cools the planet.

    Does this matter? Well, the Antarctic sea ice extents anamoly – the difference between a climatologists expect Antarctic sea iec extents and what measured last October – November was over 1.5 million km^2 (Mkm^2) ….

    More “excess” Antarctic sea in October and November than an entire Hudson Bay.
    About 3/4 of Greenland’s total area actually was what the “professional” climatologists are ignoring and trivializing …..

    Now, today’s extents are right under 0.9 Mkm^2 – a bit less, so figure 3/4 Hudson Bay of “extra ice” is still present. Still reflecting solar energy.

    But, does excess sea ice matter?

    It depends entirely on WHERE that excess sea ice is freezing and WHEN that excess sea ice is freezing.
    Excess sea ice occurring in the Arctic or Antarctic darkness does not reflect solar energy back into space.
    Excess sea ice occurring near the equinox when there are 12 hours of darkness every day and when the sun’s maximum solar elevation angle is only 10 or 12 degrees above the horizon reflects less energy than when the sun is at a 30, 33, or 43 degree solar elevation angle and is above the horizon from 3:00 am until 9:00 PM.
    BUT!
    Excess sea ice DOES “insulate” the ocean waters from radiating long wave radiation into space,
    excess sea ice DOES prevent all evaporation losses from occurring,
    it DOES reduce convection and conduction losses to the colder air, and so
    … in the Arctic at minimum sea ice extents (late August-September-October, reduced sea ice extents INCREASES heat loss from the ocean more than it increases solar energy absorption.
    Thus, through September each year, less Arctic sea ice means a cooler planet.
    Bottom

    More in a bit if any one wants to see the numbers for each day at each latitude.

  73. Gareth Phillips I saw your alleged increasing trend and to me it’s bottomed out. The 2007 and 2012 low extents was primarily caused by wind and currents. It’s something in the water Gareth. ;-)

  74. Larry Kirk – where can we find more information about the end of the Cryosat-2 mission? And how to lobby to extend it?

  75. Gareth, nature plays its part as you know full well. Here is a reminder.

    Abstract
    The Early Twentieth-Century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism

    The huge warming of the Arctic that started in the early 1920s and lasted for almost two decades is one of the most spectacular climate events of the twentieth century. During the peak period 1930–40, the annually averaged temperature anomaly for the area 60°–90°N amounted to some 1.7°C…..
    dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017%3C4045:TETWIT%3E2.0.CO;2

    Abstract
    The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic

    During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish……
    dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2006.02.011

    Abstract
    Early 20th century Arctic warming in upper-air data
    Between around 1915 and 1945, Arctic surface air temperatures increased by about 1.8°C. Understanding this rapid warming, its possible feedbacks and underlying causes, is vital in order to better asses the current and future climate changes in the Arctic.

    http://meetings.copernicus.org/www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU2007/04015/EGU2007-J-04015.pdf

    Monthly Weather Review October 10, 1922.
    The Arctic seems to be warming up. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explores who sail the seas about Spitsbergen and the eastern Arctic, all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, and hitherto unheard-of high temperatures in that part of the earth’s surface….

    In August, 1922, the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an expedition to Spitsbergen and Bear Island under Dr. Adolf Hoel, lecturer on geology at the University of Christiania. The oceanographic observations (reported that) Ice conditions were exceptional. In fact, so little ice has never before been noted. The expedition all but established a record, sailing as far north as 81o 29′ in ice-free water. This is the farthest north ever reached with modern oceanographic apparatus…..”
    docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/050/mwr-050-11-0589a.pdf

    Examiner (Launceston, Tas. – 25 April 1939
    …It has been noted that year by year, for the past two decades, the fringe of the Polar icepack has been creeping northward in the Barents Sea. As compared with the year 1900, the total ice surface of this body of water has decreased by twenty per cent. Various expeditions have discovered that warmth-loving species of fish have migrated in great shoals to waters farther north than they had ever been seen before….

    http://tinyurl.com/aak64qf

    IPCC – AR4
    Average arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years. Arctic temperatures have high decadal variability, and a warm period was also observed from 1925 to 1945.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-direct-observations.html

  76. Gareth here is some more reading.

    H.H. Lamb1965
    The early medieval warm epoch and its sequel

    The Arctic pack ice was so much less extensive than in recent times that appearances of drift ice near Iceland and Greenland south of 70[deg] N, were apparently rare in the 10th century and unknown between 1020 and 1194, when a rapid increase of frequency caused a permanent change of shipping routes. Brooks suggested that the Arctic Ocean became ice-free in the summers of this epoch, as in the Climatic Optimum; but it seems more probable that there was some ‘permanent’ ice, limited to areas north of 80[deg] N….”
    Elsevier Publishing Company
    Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 1:1965, p. 15-16

    Variations In Climate
    Press, Volume XLIV, Issue 6903, 8 November 1887, Page 6
    By Alexander Beck, M.E.
    “…The reverse of that state of things is found by calculations for the year 1122 A.D., and it is precisely at that time that we find the Danes and several Scandinavian nations going through the Arctic open seas. Colonies are established by them in the highest north latitude of Greenland, and upper part of North America, a long time before Christoper Columbus had reached a more southern part of the same continent….”

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=CHP18871108.2.35&srpos=133&e=——-100–101—-0glaciers+melting

    Abstract
    The 15th century Arctic warming in coupled model simulations with data assimilation

    … Available observational data, proxy-based reconstructions and our model results suggest that the Arctic climate is characterized by substantial variations in surface temperature over the past millennium. Though the most recent decades are likely to be the warmest of the past millennium, we find evidence for substantial past warming episodes in the Arctic. In particular, our model reconstructions show a prominent warm event during the period 1470–1520. This warm period is likely related to the internal variability of the climate system,….
    doi:10.5194/cp-5-389-2009

    Abstract
    2.8 Million Years of Arctic Climate Change from Lake El’gygytgyn, NE Russia
    …A sediment core from Lake El’gygytgyn in northeastern (NE) Russia provides a continuous, high-resolution record from the Arctic, spanning the past 2.8 million years. This core reveals numerous “super interglacials” during the Quaternary; for marine benthic isotope stages (MIS) 11c and 31, maximum summer temperatures and annual precipitation values are ~4° to 5°C and ~300 millimeters higher than those of MIS 1 and 5e. Climate simulations show that these extreme warm conditions are difficult to explain with greenhouse gas and astronomical forcing alone,…
    doi:10.1126/science.1222135

  77. Phil.

    Sincere thanks for the references I requested which you have provided in your post at February 5, 2014 at 8:03 am,

    You cite three papers in GRL.
    One is by Rampal, P. et al. but is fairly recent being published in 06 Oct 2011.
    Another is by Stroeve JC et al and is even more recent being first published online: 25 AUG 2012.
    Those two don’t help because they could be ‘afterthoughts’.

    However your third citation does demonstrate your point.
    Stroeve JC is also the lead author of that paper which has different coauthors to the later paper you cite. This earlier paper was first published online on 1 MAY 2007, and this is sufficiently early for it to not be an ‘afterthought’. Importantly, it considers all the models used in the IPCC AR4 (2007) and not merely some outlier. Its abstract says

    From 1953 to 2006, Arctic sea ice extent at the end of the melt season in September has declined sharply. All models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) show declining Arctic ice cover over this period. However, depending on the time window for analysis, none or very few individual model simulations show trends comparable to observations. If the multi-model ensemble mean time series provides a true representation of forced change by greenhouse gas (GHG) loading, 33–38% of the observed September trend from 1953–2006 is externally forced, growing to 47–57% from 1979–2006. Given evidence that as a group, the models underestimate the GHG response, the externally forced component may be larger. While both observed and modeled Antarctic winter trends are small, comparisons for summer are confounded by generally poor model performance.

    One can dispute assertions such as “the models underestimate the GHG response”, but your claim of the models having underestimated Arctic sea ice (which the paper calls “declining Arctic ice cover”) is demonstrated by this paper.

    Thankyou.

    Richard

  78. I asked above “Does excess sea ice matter?”

    It depends entirely on WHERE that excess sea ice is freezing and WHEN that excess sea ice is freezing.
    Excess sea ice occurring in the Arctic or Antarctic darkness does not reflect solar energy back into space.
    Excess sea ice occurring near the equinox when there are 12 hours of darkness every day and when the sun’s maximum solar elevation angle is only 10 or 12 degrees above the horizon reflects less energy than when the sun is at a 30, 33, or 43 degree solar elevation angle and is above the horizon from 3:00 am until 9:00 PM.

    Now, ignoring the Arctic sea ice anomaly for a moment (because it is occurring between 76 north and 80 north latitude), focusing on the excess Antarctic sea ice extents. That matters .. a lot.

    The Antarctic continent is 14.0 Mkm^2 of ice-covered rock, surrounded by 3.5 Mkm^2 of permanent ice shelves. (The NSIDC has assured me that they do NOT include these shelves part of the “sea ice extents” recorded on their site.) This 17.5 Mkm^2 ice-covered total is in turn surrounded by 3.0 Mkm^2 of sea ice (at Antarctic’s minimum sea ice extents in February) and by 19.5 Mkm^2 at its maximum in late September-October each year.

    So, at Antarctic sea ice minimum 20.5 Mkm^2 extents, there is a near-continuous cover of ice from the south pole up to latitude 67. Flipping the globe’s geography, at minimum sea ice extents, Antarctic’s sea ice covers EVERYTHING from the pole down to the Arctic Circle! Everything from the middle of Greenland, across the top of Canada, through the middle of Alaska, across the top of all of Siberia, across the top of Norway, and back past Iceland is covered by ice. At its minimum extents.

    At sea ice maximum, the Antarctic sea and land ice extends from the pole to latitude 59.2 south. At those latitudes – between its minimum at latitude 67 and its maximum at latitude 59, the Antarctic sea ice IS reflecting more solar energy every second than the darker water it covers, and the smaller “insulating” ability of that increased sea ice area is overwhelmed by the reflection of the sun’s energy.

    Net result?
    Decreasing Arctic sea ice cools the planet. A little bit.
    Increasing Antarctic sea ice cools the planet. A lot.

    And that Antarctic sea ice minimum extents, its medium extents, and its maximum extents is increasing continually, and has the Antarctic anomaly has been positive since May 2011. The general Antarctic sea ice trend has been increasing since its minimum about 1986.

    To illustrate this increasing Antarctic sea ice, if today’s rates continue, within 8-10 years the Antarctic sea ice interfere with shipping around Cape Horn at 56 south latitude.

  79. The daily sea ice anomaly is extremely variable. The annual average might be more informative. The global sea ice anomaly with annual averages is shown here:

    The anomaly is relative to the 1979 to 2008 average.
    Year million sq. km
    2011 -1.359
    2012 -0.905
    2013 +0.104

    The 2013 annual global sea ice area is 1.46 million sq. km greater than that of 2011.
    The January 2014 anomaly was +0.385 million sq km. The data is from:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.global.anom.1979-2008

  80. Excess sea ice DOES “insulate” the ocean waters from radiating long wave radiation into space,

    *******

    Are there experiments to prove the above statements or are they pure conjecture?

  81. One thing I have been watching is the graphic on the arctic sea ice page that shows the direction and speed of ice drift. I have noticed a lot less ice being exported out of the Fram Strait and in fact the flow has reversed on several days with ice drifting North. Same with ice headed out through the Bering Strait; drift has on many days been nortward back into the Arctic Sea. While this does reduce ice area and ice extent maximums, it would tend to keep the ice in the Arctic more consolidated and compressed. This would *seem* to argue for more ice this summer if the wind patterns don’t change.

  82. New measurement method for ice in development by NASA:
    New results from NASA’s MABEL campaign demonstrated that a photon-counting technique will allow researchers to track the melt or growth of Earth’s frozen regions.

    When a high-altitude aircraft flew over the icy Arctic Ocean and the snow-covered terrain of Greenland in April 2012, it was the first polar test of a new laser-based technology to measure the height of Earth from space.

    Aboard that aircraft flew the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar, or MABEL, which is an airborne test bed instrument for NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite mission slated to launch in 2017. Both MABEL and ICESat-2’s ATLAS instrument are photon counters – they send out pulses of green laser light and time how long it takes individual light photons to bounce off Earth’s surface and return. That time, along with ATLAS’ exact position from an onboard GPS, will be plugged into computer programs to tell researchers the elevation of Earth’s surface – measuring change to as little as the width of a pencil.
    More at:

    http://www.photonicsonline.com/doc/new-nasa-laser-technology-reveals-how-ice-measures-up-0001

    • @RACookPE1978 al.

      You should try and do this a little bit easier.

      By learning to think in terms of the principle of Le Chatelier for instance

      “The effect of variables such as pressure, temperature and concentration on the position of chemical (and physical and biological and social and political and economical…) eqvilibrium have been successfully summarized by Henri Le Chatelier (1888):

      “Any change in one of the variables that determines the state of a system in equilibrium causes a shift in the position of equilibrium in a direction that tends to bcounteract the change in the variable under conscideration.”

      This is a principle of broad and general utility and it can be applied not only to chemical equilibria but to equilibrium states in any physical system.. It is possible that it can be applied also with good success in the psychological, economical and sociological field…..”

      Thus pleace help yourself.

      This is from Physical Chemistery by Walter J. Moore, Indiana University, Fourth edition, Longmans..

      Things happening that seem to counter- dict may rather tend to counter- act.

      The question is, when the resources given that are able to counter- act are at an end, what will happen then?

      Well,…. then we are not at an equilibrium anymore. Then there will be a so called “runaway”- effect.

      and that is quite exactly what “alarmism” is trying to sell or to tell people.

      So we rather ought to be aware of this and of Le Chateriers principle and discuss that instead, because that will be a more valid and fruitful discussion.

      Signals that seem to “counter- dict” may thus rather counter- act, and may as well be rather alarming signals.

      The religion and rumors of having to counter- dict, so called “Denial”, is rather the Mao and DDR and Lenin- and Cernobyl- religion before it blew up or before they were all out of money and out of charge, and broke.

      Dia- lectic materialism is not at all as good as the proinciple of Le Chatelier.

      And to all and everyone especially also including Anthony Watts:

      Le Chateliers principle rules for meteorology and for the weathers of course. The Frogs are not allways so stupid, there are exeptions. And be aware that this way of thinking or shall we say grasping or worshiping is more or less religiously behind the fameous “Homøostase” theory of biology and of health, of the fameous GAIA- theory, and even creative design- theories. Just that we know it.

      But Le Chateliers principle is relly a very fine lamp or enlightment for proper thought.

  83. So it’s not just the ice extent that has increased, the volume has gone up 50% over the year before. So much for “It is just thin, rotten ice” that will melt quickly. One year is not a trend, but it is also not consistent with the notion of an irreversible, runaway Arctic death spiral that is beyond the tipping point, as the consensus crowd likes to claim.

  84. fantastic. human psychology at work: when everybody thinks the market will go up for ever, it drops. when everybody thinks the market will crash to 0, it goes up… there is absolutely no difference in how this human psychology works on global warming, sea ice extent etc:

    when everybody thinks it will get warmer (2000s) and the earth is heading into total meltup it is getting colder
    when everybody thinks it will get colder and the earth is heading into an ice age (1970s) it is getting warmer
    when everybody thinks the (polar) ice caps are melting to an ice-cub size, they start increasing in size.

    This psychology cycle will continue for ever, because our psychology won’t change! Scientists are not immune to this either since they are human too. Fun to watch this all unfold.

  85. While this increase in ice volume is welcome news

    Why? Because it indicates that the only real climate threat, global cooling, could be on the way? This is “welcome news”?

    it does not indicate a reversal in the long-term trend.

    Actually, that is exactly what it is evidence of. It is not conclusive evidence, but a turn in this year’s observed sea ice volume is evidence that there may have been a turn in the long term trend. To claim it does not indicate what it TENDS to indicate is perverse. How about a simple honest statement that we will need to see a few more years data before we have a good idea of whether this one year reversal is part of a long term reversal?

    Ah, because admitting that the short term reversal could be the start of a long term reversal would allow doubt as to the validity of the models of CO2-driven warming that have already been falsified many times over. The purpose of Cryosat is to supply the observational data that theories are trying to explain. It shouldn’t be taking highly speculative positions on what in theory will happen next and stating them as matters of fact!

  86. Box of Rocks says:
    February 5, 2014 at 10:04 am (replying to)

    RACookPE1978
    Excess sea ice DOES “insulate” the ocean waters from radiating long wave radiation into space,

    *******

    Are there experiments to prove the above statements or are they pure conjecture?

    The LongWave Radiation exchange is relatively basic, but does depend on the relative humidity in the air and the amount of clouds: Radiation losses are greatest on a clear night with almost no humidity, and are least with a cloudy or foggy night with a high relative humidity. In general, this is self-reinforcing: Open ocean waters or open water in ice leads between polar ice flows will have higher humidity levels than a closed-over ice pack solid across the water.

    So, the S-B Laws reigns: Radiation losses are proportional to the surface emissivity and (surface temperature_K)^4, and both ice and open ocean have about the same emissivity.

    But, the open Arctic (or Antarctic Ocean remains between 0 to -2 degrees immediately under the ice, to 2-4 degrees further out. (Depends on melt or freezing rate, 2 degrees C is a good average. So, use 275 K for open water when it radiates long wave energy..

    In mid to late September – the time of interest of minimum sea ice extents – DMI average air temperature at 80 north latitude is -10 degrees_C, 263 Deg_K.
    Minimum to maximum air temperatures at Thule Greenland at 79 north go up and down a bit through the year, but average 8-10 degrees C, so the hour-to-hour surface air temperature at 80 north will vary from -5 deg_C to -15 deg_C.

    Notice that, if ice covers the open water, the ICE surface will radiate long wave radiaiton, not the ocean. Under the 2-5 m/sec winds normally at that latitude at this time of year, the surface of the ice will be very close to T_Air, NOT T_Water. So, the radiating surface will be much colder when ice is present than when the warmer open ocean is present.

    But! That long wave radiation is exchanged with the T_Sky ABOVE that air film right above the ice surface. (Not into T_Air, but into T_Sky. The long wave energy radiates “through” that thin near-surface layer of air at T_Air into colder T_Sky above the layer.) T_Sky relates somewhat to T_Air depending on humidity, most sources I see claim a T_Sky of -30 Deg_C to -40 Deg_C.

    Net: Open water at 2 deg_C loses 152 watts/m^2 into a T_Sky of -40 Deg_C.
    If T_Air = -15 Deg_C, T_Surf (of the Ice) = -15 Deg_C, and 80 Watts/m^2 are lost into that same -40 Deg_C T_Sky.

  87. Carbomontanus says:
    February 5, 2014 at 9:35 am
    “…”
    ____________________
    Good points and I should have added…”when historical data is available.”
    ———-
    Le Chatelier’s principle can be observed even in chaotic systems like Earth’s climate.

  88. Code tech,

    Here is a well done. It is your official “Attaboy”. You have ignored the nonsense and penetrated to the real issue. Regarding the Antarctic, people are also ignoring the reality about land based ice on the continent of Antarctica. Floating ice is increasing but as you say essentially irrelevant.

    That non floating ice is increasing, If it were to melt, and you’re right it would take tens of thousands of years to do so, that land ice is the only ice that would raise sea levels, Ditto for land ice on Greenland, to a much smaller extent.

    Floating ice changes only indicate that its cold at the poles and getting colder.

    Disapating the so-called stored heat is a fool’s errand too. There virtually is none. The satellites measuring Earths’s heat emissions say so. The CO2 “blanket” is woven from the material used to make sexy womens’ fish net stockings and doesn’t provide much blanketing.

    Heat comes in on SW lengths and exit on LW lengths which bounce around several times but traverse the atmosphere in a tiny fraction of a second. Some heat is physically carried up above most of the the atmosphere on evaporation of water molecules. That portion of heat is the only portion that could take more than a moment to do. Once there, the radiation to space needs fewer bounces of absorption and re-radiation, and a goodly portion as the satellites confirm does it in one bounce or less.

  89. This is Late but didn’t a trove of Artic maps just become available, and did they not cover the periods where ‘estimates’ of 20K cu kilometers are being supposed??

  90. @ Michael 5.28am

    A very good point. But this this does require investigators go out and repeat any pre-existing localised ground or airborne measurements and then combine these and contemporaneous Cryosat-2 data to calibrate the broader applicability of the previous measurements. Until then (and possibly after that, given the inhomogeneity and variability of Arctic ice cover) those localised pre-Cryosat-2 measurements cannot really be extrapolated over a greater area.

    @ WeatherOrNot 9.28am

    Cryosat-2 is a European Space Agency Mission. The ESA website is a good place to start. The following link is one of their earlier descriptions of the mission:

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/CryoSat-2_operations

    ESA Funding:

    http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Welcome_to_ESA/Funding

    ESA Facilities:

    http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Welcome_to_ESA/Establishments_and_facilities

    The mission has already exceeded its intended period, but there is contingency for extension. I would imagine this depends upon funding, but probably also factors such as fuel on board to correct/maintain necessary orbit geometry. Given the original premise that prompted the funding for the mission, and its (possibly to some) somewhat surprising initial results, one would expect it to be extended for as long as possible.

    University College London (UCL) are one of the expert investigators of the data. They have many years of deep expertise in remote sensing, particularly that of oceans and ice, starting with the original Seasat data, and also design build satellite instruments at their Mullard Space Science Laboratory. I personally ignored the somewhat irritating graphic and focussed on what they actually said about changes in sea ice volume: their completely credible conclusions.

    @ DavidDohBro 11.03am

    Yes human psychology applies fascinatingly to this entire controversy, and to the enormous output of blogged and commented opinion around it. If you are really interested in just how flawed this can get, I would recommend the first few sections of the psychiatrist Ian McGilchrist’s ‘The Master and His Emissary – The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World’ for its brilliant clinical descriptions of just how fallible and irrational the human brain is in its normal, functioning state. The entire ‘global warming controversy’, on both sides of the argument, has many of the characteristics, and amusingly many of the characters too, of earlier scientific and philosophical controversies. In spite of which, we progress.

  91. What happened in 2013 and has so far continued since then, is that the Beaufort Gyre has resumed its normal circulatory patterns moving older multi-year ice in a clockwise direction around the Beaufor portion of the Arctic and not as much was then shipped out the Fram Strait to melt in the warmer waters of the North Atlantic.

    Remember Crackopalyspe from March 2013.

    This was just the Beaufort resuming its normal circulation pattern which allows the older multi-year ice to survive longer in the western Beaufort. This pattern has so far continued operating since March 2013.

    Versus the early 2000’s when there was no Gyre and the multi-year ice was just getting transported out of the Fram Strait resulting in a loss of ice overall.

    Not hard to imagine multi-decadal cycles arising out of the differences in these two circulation patterns.

  92. Jeff Alberts says:
    February 5, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Much ado about little blips in the weather. Silly.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    Nothing defines the CAGW crowd better than this statement.

  93. Gino says:
    February 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Jeff Alberts says:
    February 5, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Much ado about little blips in the weather. Silly.
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    Nothing defines the CAGW crowd better than this statement.

    It defines both sides.

  94. “RACookPE1978 says:
    February 5, 2014 at 9:52 am
    I asked above “Does excess sea ice matter?”

    It depends entirely on WHERE that excess sea ice is freezing and WHEN that excess sea ice is freezing.
    Excess sea ice occurring in the Arctic or Antarctic darkness does not reflect solar energy back into space.
    Excess sea ice occurring near the equinox when there are 12 hours of darkness every day and when the sun’s maximum solar elevation angle is only 10 or 12 degrees above the horizon reflects less energy than when the sun is at a 30, 33, or 43 degree solar elevation angle and is above the horizon from 3:00 am until 9:00 PM.”

    The reason that the ice reflects less energy at the equinox is that the ice receives much less energy. Think, for example, of a square metre sheet held perpendicular to the sun’s rays when they are at an angle of 12 degrees. This casts a shadow of approx 4.7 sq m. At 33 degrees the shadow would have an area of about 1.5 sq m, one third as much (assuming my maths is correct). So at the equinox the surface receives approx one third of the heat per sq m that it would do were the sun at an elevation of 33 degrees. Hence only one third of the heat available to reflect.

    Several have used the wording “dark sea Ice” and one has used “dark water”. Does anyone have a link to actual amounts of light that would be reflected by polar ice and polar seawater under the same conditions? Remember that polar ice may appear white and reflect well, whereas the water may appear dark, leading one to suspect that it may reflect poorly, but think that the surface of ice is (irregularly) crystalline, and therefore should reflect near evenly in all directions, whereas the water surface is not, and reflects well in only one direction. Hence I suspect that if one were to measure the energy reflected from ice, integrated over the upper hemisphere, this would be close to the amount of energy reflected from the water (which would be concentrated in a beam where the angle of reflexion is equal to the angle of incidence.

    And re the Cola and Ice problem. When you pour the cola into the glass it is almost certainly at a temperature above zero. It will be if the glass has not been frozen already (note that Australian pubs keep the glasses in the refrigerator so that the beer is not warmed up too quickly – Australian beer can only be drunk at temperatures close to freezing, unlike good English beer). So when you add ice (by definition at freezing point or below) the cola will cool until the ice has completely melted, the latent heat needed for melting being taken from the cola. As soon as the ice has melted the cola will warm up – taking heat from the atmosphere, the table on which the glass stands, and your hands if you hold the glass. If you drink one litre of ice cold cola, when you and the cola inside you reach equilibrium temperature, you will have used about 36 000 calories in warming it up, and you should therefore, according to nutritionists, NEVER get fat!

  95. Look how much 3.5 metre ice has now migrated into the western Beaufort. The sea ice thickness has not looked like this in many years. When the US coast-guard ice-breaker Healy makes its usual trip through here in the summer from Alaska to about 82N, it will be hard-going this year.

    Animation of last 30 days.

    And then the last year ending in October 2013 (I guess they had some data problems).

  96. Thanks Michael. I am glad it wasn’t too much of a struggle. That is a very short time period though, and I have never been able to find out exactly what the real-world inputs into the PIOMAS computer model actually are. The question then in my mind is: “Is it a valid comparison?”. From what I can determine, the PIOMAS model adds in everything available in the way of real world data for the time period considered, and so for all I know it may actually have included the Cryosat-2 data for the two years shown. In fact, from what I have been able to discover about PIOMAS inputs, I would think that this very likely. If that were the case then of course the graphs would look similar for those two years. Unfortunately the source that you link to is not very helpful in this respect.

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