Southern Sea Ice Area Minimum 2nd Highest on Record

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

By WUWT Regular Just The Facts

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area reached a minimum of 2.447 Million Sq km on February 23rd, 2014, which exceeded the prior 2nd highest minimum of 2.423 Million Sq km that occurred on February 22nd, 2013. The highest recorded Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area minimum remains 2.473 Million Sq km, which occurred on March 1st, 2003. The data from Cryosphere Today can be found here. Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area has now been above average for over 2 years: 

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

The last negative anomaly recorded was on November 23rd, 2011, data here and graph below:

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

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent reached its 3rd 4th highest minimum of 3.515 Million Sq km on February 20th, 2014, which is less than the 3.626 Million Sq km minimum that occurred on February 17th, 2003, the 3.650 Million Sq km minimum which occurred on February 19th, 2013 and the record high minimum of 3.692 Million Sq km, which occurred on February 20th, 2008.* Corrected  Also, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent dipped below 2 standard deviations of the 1981 – 2010 average for the first time since September, 2013, Data can be found here and graph below:

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

Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) has been quite close to average for the last few years;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

thus the increase in Southern Sea Ice and Extent is likely primarily driven by wind, atmospheric oscillations and ocean currents, similar to the causes of the recent decline in Northern Sea Ice. In January 2014, Arctic Sea Ice Extent dipped below 2 standard deviations of the 1981 – 2010 average for the first time in over a year;

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

likely due to the displaced Polar Vortex, which allowed several cold air outbreaks to escape the Arctic region. As result, Great Lakes Ice is within striking distance of a record high;

NOAA Great Lakes Surface Environment Analysis (GLSEA) – Click the pic to view at source

and a large number of record low temperatures have occurred over the last few days:

Robert Hart, PhD. -Coolwx.com – Click the pic to view view at source

Weather aside, Global Sea Ice Area has remained stubbornly average over the year;

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

and Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly is currently .361 Million Sq km below the 1981 – 2010 average:

Cryosphere Today – University of Illinois – Polar Research Group – Click the pic to view full size image

I am sure that we can expect to see similar coverage about the 2nd highest Northern Sea Ice Area minimum, like we saw for the Arctic in 2011, e.g.:

“Last month the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Satellite data from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder showed that the summertime sea ice cover narrowly avoided a new record low.” NASA

“Sea-ice coverage across the Arctic Ocean has dwindled to its second-lowest level since satellite records started in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.” Reuters

“Sea ice cover in the Arctic in 2011 has passed its annual minimum, reaching the second-lowest level since satellite records began, US scientists say.” BBC

Right?

74 thoughts on “Southern Sea Ice Area Minimum 2nd Highest on Record

  1. She can say so but I think not.

    Lots of ice and cold though. Nice post Mr. Facts.

  2. From what I can tell, anything is possible for the Magic Molecule CO2. It creates more ice, less ice, more heat, less heat, more rain, less rain, more storms, less storms, …

    Nice post by the way. I enjoyed it.

  3. So Antartic sea ice extent is constant, Arctic one is shrinking, leading to a smaller sea ice extend in global terms. So I’m wondering about the sentence, “Global Sea Ice Area has remained stubbornly average over the year”, while in the same sentence it is said that “Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly is currently .361 Million Sq km below the 1981 – 2010 average:”. How does that make sense?

  4. Max Erwengh

    So Antartic sea ice extent is constant, Arctic one is shrinking, leading to a smaller sea ice extend in global terms. So I’m wondering about the sentence, “Global Sea Ice Area has remained stubbornly average over the year”, while in the same sentence it is said that “Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly is currently .361 Million Sq km below the 1981 – 2010 average:”. How does that make sense?

    No, Antarctic ice is not constant. It has been at record levels for most of the last year, and at the end of Feb is 23% above average.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/antarctic-sea-ice-extent-passes-minimum/

    Meanwhile global sea ice , while slightly below normal this month, has also been above average for most of the last year.

  5. Max Erwengh says:
    March 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    So Antartic sea ice extent is constant, Arctic one is shrinking, leading to a smaller sea ice extend in global terms. So I’m wondering about the sentence, “Global Sea Ice Area has remained stubbornly average over the year”, while in the same sentence it is said that “Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly is currently .361 Million Sq km below the 1981 – 2010 average:”. How does that make sense?
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Antarcic has remained “constantly above average”, not “constant”, and Arctic has grown this year,but is still below average. Between the two they’ve given a global extent that’s been bouncing around the average mark since about the begining of 2013.

    0.361 million sq km below average may sound a lot, but it’s so close to the average as makes no difference – a couple of months ago it was a full million above average, about 6 months ago it was about the same as now, and for the 6 months before that it was between average and about 0.8 million above. So it’s “remained stubbornly average” – neither surprisingly high nor low.

    Hope that helps clarify it? :).

  6. Eyeballing your first chart, it looks like the most recent Antarctic sea ice maximum (2013) was the third highest. So within one year the min and max where both the third highest.

    John

  7. Max Erwengh March 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    So Antarctic sea ice extent is constant, Arctic one is shrinking, leading to a smaller sea ice extend in global terms. So I’m wondering about the sentence, “Global Sea Ice Area has remained stubbornly average over the year”, while in the same sentence it is said that “Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly is currently .361 Million Sq km below the 1981 – 2010 average:”. How does that make sense?

    At present Global Sea Ice Area is 15.572 Million Sq km data

    the .361 Million Sq km anomaly represents just 2.3% of the total. A single storm could cause this, e.g.:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/27/record-arctic-storm-melted-sea-ice/

    Given the significant normal variation due to large scale climatological phenomena like the Polar Vortex and ENSO, the noise of small changes does not change the fact that Global Sea Ice is “average”. Global Sea Ice Area had a positive anomaly of 0.8636 on January 4th data, when I last used the phrase “stubbornly average” in an article to refer to Global Sea Ice:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/04/2013-was-not-a-good-year-for-catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-climate-warming-change-disruption-wierding-ocean-acidification-extreme-weather-etc/

  8. I am giving an educated guess here. I wonder if the record extents have to do with the position of the cold pools (there are two) related to the Circumpolar Wave and the shoreline geography of Antarctica. Food for thought.

  9. I think anyone with an unbiased view would have to observe that the two poles are doing something wildly different when it comes to sea ice. A straight inter comparison is hardly worth the effort. Artic ice changes by approximately 7 million sq km between summer and winter whilst Antarctic ice swings by some 13 million sq km. this most likely has something to do with the presence of land in the Antarctic and the lack of land in the Artic.

  10. Global Sea Ice extent is about 2% below normal. That’s not much of an anomaly.
    Great post JTF!

  11. @ Pamela Gray — there never will be a perfect place to post this Q, so, I’ll just interject it here, hoping you see it…

    (How was Valentine’s Day?) #(:))

    Janice

  12. Lovely! I received the most wonderful bouquet of deep red roses and dinner out. Plus a semi-precious stone strand necklace. That man treats me like a queen and is the kindest person I have ever known. I am indeed very fortunate!

  13. Given co2ers don’t seem to have designed a fail point in their experiments then there is no point at which evidence will change their conviction that the theory is right. Co2 =main driver of climate is a Hotel California. You can check out any time u like but u can never leave.

  14. @ Pamela — Good! And you deserve it. (thanks for replying)

    [The mods will refrain from further commenting on the personal crystalline ice particles worn by or exhibited on the persons or personnel responding to a sea ice discussion. Mod]

  15. Well, let us see.

    October, 2013, the Antarctic sea ice extents was at a record high maximum at right at 19.5 Million square kilometers.

    The Antarctic sea ice extents ANOMALY in October 2013 was also very high – over 1.5 Mkm^2 of “excess” southern sea ice extents. ALL of this “excess” sea ice was between latitude 60 south and latitude 59 south. ALL of this “excess” southern sea ice extents covered an area LARGER than the entire area of Hudson Bay (also centered at latitude 60), and this EXCESS southern sea covered an area about HALF the size of Greenland (a region centered between 60 north and 80 north latitude).

    The CAGW deists ignored it. Totally. Absolutely ZERO coverage in the world’s press. And, to be honest, very little coverage in even the “friendly” web environment also. Some notice, but no press releases nor TV appearances, right?

    Now, imagine the hysteria worldwide if 1/4 of the Hudson Bay “lost” sea ice coverage! Imagine the hysteria if 1/10 of Greenland “lost” sea ice? (Actually, we read every year the hysteria when a “Manhattan-size” iceberg breaks off any glacier anywhere, so the world’s press would run out of ink printing Washington’s worry about even a 1/10 Greenland loss.)

    But, when the southern hemisphere “gains” 1/2 Greenland sea ice extents?

    Nothing.

    Just remember, at today’s sea ice extents, the “edge” of the Arctic sea is a tiny ring about latitude 78 -82 north in mid-September. The “edge” of Antarctic’s sea ice minimum is also a “ring” – but that ring is about latitude 66 south. Much closer to the equator, much more energy reflected from the Antarctic sea ice, right? Now, at maximum extents, the “edge” Arctic sea ice is at its closest point to the equator is only down to 72 north, not even as close to the equator as the minimum Antarctic sea ice! But at its maximum, Antarctic sea ice extents is much, much higher at 59.2 to 59.0 latitude. Closer to the equator than even the most southern tip of Greenland!

    Now, at the equinoxes, when both Arctic and Antarctic are both hit by the same solar intensity, the Antarctic Sea Ice receives between 2x (Feb-March) to 5x (September-October) the energy that the Arctic sea ice receives. Thus, to reflect equal energy into space, the “gain” of even 1.0 Mkm^2 of southern sea ice extents needs to be balanced by a loss 2 to 5 LARGER in the Arctic.

    Instead, we see near even sea ice changes. So, since at today’s levels of sea ice extents, “more Arctic sea ice loss” up north means a net loss of energy from the planet; and “more sea ice extents gain” down south means a net loss of energy from the planet, we are facing a future big problem. If today’s trends continue.

    And, as we can always predict, if today’s rates of Antarctic sea ice extents gain continue, the sea route around Cape Horn will be blocked to shipping within 8-10 years!

  16. justthefactswuwt says:
    March 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Paul Homewood says: March 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I make the minimum 4th highest, not 3rd.

    2008 came in at 3.691, and is the highest.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/antarctic-sea-ice-extent-passes-minimum/

    You are absolutely correct, my mistake. I have corrected this error in the article above and linked the correction to this comment. Thank you very much for correcting this mistake.

    P.Homewood says 4th highest instead of 3rd; You (justthefacts) agree; post title still says 2nd highest; what gives? Muchly puzzled?

  17. AR4- the physical science basis-

    Snow and Ice

    As the climate warms, snow cover and sea ice extent decrease; glaciers and ice caps lose mass owing to a dominance of summer melting over winter precipitation increases. This contributes to sea level rise as documented for the previous generation of models in the TAR. There is a projected reduction of sea ice in the 21st century in both the Arctic and Antarctic with a rather large range of model responses. The projected reduction is accelerated in the Arctic, where some models project summer sea ice cover to disappear entirely in the high-emission A2 scenario in the latter part of the 21st century. Widespread increases in thaw depth over much of the permafrost regions are projected to occur in response to warming over the next century.

    and the (non)skeptical science website says-

    The take home messages is that while the increase in total Antarctic sea ice area is relatively minor compared to the Arctic, it masks the fact that some regions are in strong decline. Given the complex interactions of winds and currents driving patterns of sea ice variability and change in the Southern Ocean climate system, [b]this is not unexpected[/b].

    bahahaha!

    oh, these guys are a laugh a minute. here sit down story, i have a nice massage for you. of course ar5 used the cut and trim method, proven to work ten times better because it wont come back to bit you in the future. AR6 will be …sea ice.. what is sea ice, we only talk about sea level rise, and that is all we have ever talked about!

    [Those rackets need to be angled brackets, not square brackets for the html commands to work on a WordPress entry. Mod]

  18. Good observation, F. Ross (3/1/14, 5:04pm).

    A possible clue:

    February 20, 2014: Antarctic Sea Ice Extent reached its 3rd 4th highest minimum of 3.515 Million Sq km

    February 23, 2014: Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area reached a minimum of 2.447 Million Sq km … which exceeded the prior 2nd highest minimum

    Soon, JTF will burst in the door and explain, I have no doubt. (smile)

  19. F. Ross says: March 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    P.Homewood says 4th highest instead of 3rd; You (justthefacts) agree; post title still says 2nd highest; what gives? Muchly puzzled?

    Paul’s article and point was related to Sea Ice “Extent”, i.e.:

    “Extent defines a region as “ice-covered” or “not ice-covered.” For each satellite data cell, the cell is said to either have ice or to have no ice, based on a threshold. The most common threshold (and the one NSIDC uses) is 15 percent, meaning that if the data cell has greater than 15 percent ice concentration, the cell is considered ice covered; less than that and it is said to be ice free.”

    Conversely, the 2nd Highest Minimum referenced in the title and body of this article is Sea Ice “Area”, i.e.:

    “Area takes the percentages of sea ice within data cells and adds them up to report how much of the Arctic is covered by ice; area typically uses a threshold of 15%. So in the same example, with three 25 km x 25 km (16 miles x 16 miles) grid cells of 16% ice, 2% ice, and 90% ice, multiply the grid cell areas that are over the 15% threshold by the percent of sea ice in those grid cells, and add it up. You would have a total area of 662 square km (255.8 square miles).”

    According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center:

    “Scientists at NSIDC report extent because they are cautious about summertime values of ice concentration and area taken from satellite sensors. To the sensor, surface melt appears to be open water rather than water on top of sea ice. So, while reliable for measuring area most of the year, the microwave sensor is prone to underestimating the actual ice concentration and area when the surface is melting. To account for that potential inaccuracy, NSIDC scientists rely primarily on extent when analyzing melt-season conditions and reporting them to the public. That said, analyzing ice area is still quite valuable. Given the right circumstances, background knowledge, and scientific information on current conditions, it can provide an excellent sense of how much ice there really is ‘on the ground.'”

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/faq/

    Regardless, even if Sea Ice Area might underestimate areas of ice with surface melt, the measurement process has been applied consistently throughout the record and 2014 had the 2nd highest minimum.

  20. It seems the co2ers have mutated their argument to deal with the fact all their predictions are wrong. Eliminate the need for predictions! Hijack the actual as ‘proof’. Then there is no need to recognise when their hypothesis has failed. It can never fail. Whatever the actual does =driven by co2.

    ” Whatever the extremes in the climate, fry or dry or freeze, it is it co2 that drives it. Co2 is up. Its a fact. Co2 leads to climate extremes is the science consensus. These extremes maybe variable and hard to predict. ‘So how you going to reduce co2′ is the only game in town.”

    get out of that one Houdini!

  21. Does this mean that Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will get a colder winter in 2014 than they got in 2013?

  22. the measurement process has been applied consistently throughout the record..

    JTF…are you sure about that?
    I remember NSIDC doing at least two changes and one fairly recent…….

  23. What has gone largely unreported even in the skeptical blogs is that major shipping companies are very worried that the passage around Cape Horn will be blocked. Modern giant container ships cannot get through even the expanded Panama Canal. Such a blockage would disrupt world wide shipping severely.

  24. Please! Keep your sea ice extents (covered by at least 15% sea ice) and sea ice areas (areas completely covered) separate.

    With that definition of course, sea ice extents will always be greater than sea ice area. Also, it is a bit frustrating because our WUWT sea ice web page lists both AREA and EXTENTS near the top for the Arctic (both as yearly plots, multi-year records, and 4 month plots fromother agencies such as JAXA and the DMI) but does NOT have the same sea ice extents yearly and long-term plots for the Antarctic sea ice. Antarctic sea ice DOES have AREA plots near the bottom of the page. (The WUWT Sea Ice Page does have yearly plots and two-year plots for Antarctic sea ice areas, just to confuse things even further.)

  25. Well, the last glaciation froze half the northern hemisphere. The upcoming one looks to return the favor to the southern half of the planet.

  26. @justthefactswuwt says:
    March 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you for your cogent, if dificult – for me, anyway- explanation.

    I freely admit that old age has not improved my reading skills – or typnig ethere.

  27. Brent Walker says:
    March 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Does this mean that Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will get a colder winter in 2014 than they got in 2013?

    In truth, we don’t know.

    The “excess” sea ice extents around Antarctica DO significantly affect the southern region’s climate, if the commonly accepted climate theory of solar energy absorbed and solar energy reflected is true.

    The Antarctic continental ice (14.0 Mkm^2) + Antarctic permanent ice shelves (3.5 Mkm^2) + the variable Antarctic sea ice itself (3.5 Mkm^2 to 19.5 Mkm^2) all combine to cover an area larger than the entire southern hemisphere continental land area combined!

    This Antarctic total ice cap covers the region from the south pole “up” latitude 59.2 south in September – a latitude closer to the equator than even Greenland southern tip. But, on the common Mercator maps, it is not even plotted! But, it reflects much more energy on a square-meter-by-square meter basis, than the Arctic sea ice “beanie” – which is limited to the little area between the north pole and latitude 72 north at most southern points near the Alaskan and Siberian coasts. So, the impact of the Antarctic sea ice is much greater than that of the arctic sea ice on any given comparable date across the solar year.

    Worse, the Antarctic sea ice minimum is exposed to significantly MORE solar radiation at the peak of the yearly solar cycle in January-February than the arctic sea ice minimum in August September, when the solar energy production is lower. (Solar minimum is 5 July each year, when the Arctic ice is exposed. But Antarctic sea ice – even at its minimum extents, is much more exposed in January.)

  28. @ F. Ross — I was TOTALLY wrong. LOL. (thanks for the friendly wave of the hand, though) JTF gets an “A” for facts, but a C for writing style, I’m afraid. And I get a C for reading — I just get so BORED with the content that I skim (oops!). Every word is potentially significant. Sigh.

    Highlighting and underlining (etc…) would sure help the communication though. WUWT needs a writing style editor… .

  29. Oh, and F. Ross — I can tell you (re: reading carefully) from personal experience that it is NOT old age.

  30. So what Climate doom do we face? Fire or ice?

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    (Robert Frost)

  31. @ JTF — Please forgive my saying that your posts are boring. (Likely, you could not care less what I think, but, I still owe you an apology). They are NOT boring to those with the intellectual proclivity for such subject matter or to those for whom the content is intriguing — and that is a LOT of people.

    Your non-technical fan,

    Janice

  32. Global sea ice are negates the lives of Eric Holden and Barak Obama and the Obama Regime, which Vladimir Putin has recently given “the bird.”

  33. [The mods will refrain from further commenting on the personal crystalline ice particles worn by or exhibited on the persons or personnel responding to a sea ice discussion. Mod]
    These posts are what WUWT is all about, real people, not pretentious people, discussing real issues, without pretension. This is why the warmist websites are doomed. Well done Mods for not snipping it and love the tiny hint of sarcasm!

  34. Latitude says: March 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    the measurement process has been applied consistently throughout the record..

    JTF…are you sure about that?
    I remember NSIDC doing at least two changes and one fairly recent…….

    They did go from;

    “Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations Version 1 Processing Steps”

    http://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/nsidc0079_bootstrap_seaice/processing_steps_V1.html

    to “Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS, Version 2″

    http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0079

    in 2000 and then is was updated ion 2012, i.e.:

    “Comiso, J. C. 2000, updated 2012. Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS. Version 2. [indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA: NASA DAAC at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.”

    http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0079

    The reference paper for Bootstrap Version 2 is this:

    http://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/nsidc0079_bootstrap_seaice/docs/Bootstrap_Algorithm_Revised07.pdf

    Here is a detailed description of the Bootstrap Algorithm:

    https://nsidc.org/data/docs/daac/bootstrap/

    In terms of the impact of the Bootstrap Algorithm on Sea Ice Area, the NSIDC Total Ice-Covered Area and Extent Data Page;

    https://nsidc.org/data/smmr_ssmi_ancillary/area_extent.html

    indicates that:

    “Daily and monthly total ice-covered area data and total sea ice extent spanning the SMMR and SSM/I-SSMIS record from October 1978 through the most recent processing date are provided by Joey Comiso of the NASA GSFC Oceans and Ice Branch, and are produced from the Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS data set.”

    “The Version 2 Summary” states that:

    “Changes to this version include:

    – Adjusted tie-points to be consistent with the AMSR-E Bootstrap algorithm

    – Reprocessed entire SMMR-SSM/I time series”

    http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0079

    Based upon this I would amend my statement that “the measurement process has been applied consistently throughout the record” to “the data processing methodology has been applied consistently across the record”.

    Thank you for pointing this out.

  35. Janice Moore says: March 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    Janice Moore says: March 1, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    “JTF gets an “A” for facts, but a C for writing style, I’m afraid. And I get a C for reading — I just get so BORED with the content that I skim (oops!). Every word is potentially significant. Sigh.

    Highlighting and underlining (etc…) would sure help the communication though. WUWT needs a writing style editor… .”

    I have been considering how to make some of my articles and the WUWT Reference Pages more accessible to less technical readers, and possibly even customizing a few for children. However, I sometimes struggle to synthesize complex subject matter down to bit size nuggets without expressing some form of opinion. I will put more thought into using highlighting and underlining to help call out important points.

    Please forgive my saying that your posts are boring. (Likely, you could not care less what I think, but, I still owe you an apology). They are NOT boring to those with the intellectual proclivity for such subject matter or to those for whom the content is intriguing — and that is a LOT of people.

    No worries, I take constructive criticism well. Also, my goal here is to make the facts readily accessible to whoever would like to see them. Thus I will work to engage with broader audiences.

    Thank you for you input! JTF

  36. Pamela Gray says: March 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I suggest this because I have noted a fairly regular cadence to the peaks in the above extent graph that appear to match the circumpolar wave. I wonder if there is a fit somewhere.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00376-011-1143-z#page-1

    http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap11/ant_wave.html

    According to NASA:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/SeaIce/page4.php

    Similar to the Arctic, the Antarctic experiences atmospheric oscillations and recurring weather patterns that influence sea ice extent. The primary variation in atmospheric circulation in the Antarctic is the Antarctic Oscillation, also called the Southern Annular Mode. Like the Arctic Oscillation, the Antarctic Oscillation involves a large-scale seesawing of atmospheric mass between the pole and the mid-latitudes. This oscillation can intensify, weaken, or shift the location of semi-permanent low- and high-pressure weather systems. These changes influence wind speeds, temperature, and the track that storms follow, any of which may influence sea ice extent.

    For example, during positive phases of the Antarctic Oscillation, the prevailing westerly winds that circle Antarctica strengthen and move southward. The change in winds can change the way ice is distributed among the various sectors. In addition, the strengthening of the westerlies isolates much of the continent and tends to have an overall cooling effect, but it causes dramatic warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, as warmer air from over the oceans to the north is drawn southward. The winds may drive the ice away from the coast in some areas and toward the coast in others. Thus, the same climate influence may lessen sea ice in some sectors and increase it in others.

    Changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index (ENSO), an oscillation of ocean temperatures and surface air pressure in the tropical Pacific, can lead to a delayed response (three to four seasons later) in Antarctic sea ice extent. In general, El Niño leads to more ice in the Weddell Sea and less ice on the other side of the Antarctic Peninsula, while La Niña causes the opposite conditions.

    Another atmospheric pattern of natural variability that appears to influence Antarctic sea ice is the periodic strengthening and weakening of something that meteorologists call “zonal wave three,” or ZW3. This pattern alternately strengthens winds that blow cold air away from Antarctica (toward the equator) and winds that bring warmer air from lower latitudes toward Antarctica. When southerly winds intensify, more cold air is pushed to lower latitudes, and sea ice tends to increase. The effect is most apparent in the Ross and Weddell Seas and near the Amery Ice Shelf.

    As in the Arctic, the interaction of natural cycles is complex, and researchers continue to study how these forces work together to control the Antarctic sea ice extent.”

    According to this paper;

    http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/users/axel/Site/pubs/anta2.pdf

    “A simplified view of the possible mechanisms behind the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW) interannual variability is provided by a frequency-domain decomposition of several observed atmospheric and oceanic variables. Two significant interannual signals with different temporal and spatial characteristics are identified inthe Southern Ocean, and most of the variance of the ACW in the interannual band can be accounted for by a linear combination of them. The first signal has a period of oscillation of around 3.3 yr and a zonal wavenumber-3 structure across the Southern Ocean. It involves self-sustained fluctuations inherent in the Southern Ocean and driven by coupled air–sea interactions in which the atmosphere and the ocean mutually force one another. This signal is represented by an atmospheric standing oscillation with centers at fixed locations around Antarctica and a propagating oceanic pattern, in which the surface Antarctic Circumpolar Current plays an essential role. The second signal has a periodicity of around 5 yr and a zonal wavenumber-2 structure across the Southern Ocean. It seems to be remotely forced by the tropical ENSO phenomenon and has a signature mainly in the eastern Pacific sector. This signal likely represents the southern high-latitude manifestation of a larger-scale (hemispheric or global) pattern. The constructive or destructive interference of these two superimposed signals with different periodicities and spatial characteristics gives rise to the observed irregular fluctuations of the ACW on the interannual timescale.”

    “In the recent years, several analyses of observed and modelled atmospheric and oceanic variables in the Southern Ocean have revealed the existence of concurrent anomalies that appear to propagate eastward around the Southern Hemisphere on interannual timescales: the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW). White and Peterson (1996) were the first to report that anomalies in Antarctic sea ice extent propagate eastward in a wave train, coupled to anomalies in sea surface temperature (SST), sea level pressure (SLP), and wind, with a periodicity of around 4–5 yr and a propagation speed of ~8 cm S -1. The eastward propagation of the ACW was also characterized by Jacobs and Mitchell (1996), who observed coherent variations in sea surface height, sea surface temperature, and atmosphere with a dominant period of around 4 years and a wavelength of ~180 degrees.”

    As such, yes Antarctic Circumpolar Wave (ACW), in conjunction with theAntarctic Oscillation, ENSO, planetary wave numbers 2 and 3, Eddy Heat, Polar Vorticity and several other factors, likely are responsible for the recent growth in Antarctic Sea Ice Area and Extent.

  37. Perhaps someone should send a link for WUWT to Apple CEO Tim Cook. He seems to have a poor understanding of climate science.

    Tim Cook to Climate Change Deniers: Get Out of Apple Stock
    “”We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards,” wrote National Center for Public Policy Research general counsel Justin Danhof in a statement before the meeting. “This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.”

    Cook’s response was blistering. First of all, he insisted, environmental efforts also make economic sense. Even so, “we do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive,” the CEO said. “We want to leave the world better than we found it.”

    Anyone who had a problem with that? They should sell their Apple shares. “Get out of the stock,” Cook suggested.”

    http://mashable.com/2014/02/28/apple-ceo-tim-cook-climate-change/#:eyJzIjoidCIsImkiOiJfcjU4dDJ4bXA3emdwbHpjaSJ9

    Done. I sold all Apple stock and I’m going one better. I won’t be buying any Apple products till their attitude changes.

  38. The Antarctic sea ice was knocked down in the second week of February by a shift in the jet stream. The jet stream broke up in sections and then moved away towards the north. It has since closed back closer to the continent. That would be my conjecture from observing the daily jet stream movement and sea ice changes during that time period. I though that it was going to keep tracking high and maybe set a new record, but then the shift in the jet stream occurred.

    Up north the sst anomalies show a cold stream has broken the northward flowing warm stream in the area of Nova Scotia. Is this going to lead to cooler waters moving into the Arctic in the next 3 to 4 months? A cooler water flow had also pierced the warm flow at the beginning of January, but this time the break is considerably larger and extends across to Europe. This could get interesting.

  39. From the NASA-GISS article just above:

    Changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index (ENSO), an oscillation of ocean temperatures and surface air pressure in the tropical Pacific, can lead to a delayed response (three to four seasons later) in Antarctic sea ice extent. In general, El Niño leads to more ice in the Weddell Sea and less ice on the other side of the Antarctic Peninsula, while La Niña causes the opposite conditions.

    Another atmospheric pattern of natural variability that appears to influence Antarctic sea ice is the periodic strengthening and weakening of something that meteorologists call “zonal wave three,” or ZW3. This pattern alternately strengthens winds that blow cold air away from Antarctica (toward the equator) and winds that bring warmer air from lower latitudes toward Antarctica. When southerly winds intensify, more cold air is pushed to lower latitudes, and sea ice tends to increase. The effect is most apparent in the Ross and Weddell Seas and near the Amery Ice Shelf.

    Bluntly. No.

    Those papers cited were published in 1996 (and earlier), and their data and analysis was even earlier.

    Since May 2011, EVERY Antarctic sea ice “season” (Sept-Oct peak, Nov-Dec-Jan melting, Feb-March-April minimum, and May-June-July-August freeze) has been steadily increasing. Been steadily “positive” sea ice anomaly increases. Looking back even earlier, the Antarctic sea ice extents have been generally positive – though not as strongly increasing as since May 2011 – since about 2002.

    Regardless of El Nino, La Nina, or La Nada’s.

    No 3 year lag as claimed just above. Just a long steady increase.
    No “winds” blowing the sea ice “away” from the continent.
    No “glacier melt water” diluting the sea water and causing an easier or faster freeze.

    (Any one want to do the arithmetic on how much glacier water needs to melt and run off into the south Atlantic and dilute the ocean deep enough and low enough salinity to freeze 19.5 million sq kilometers of sea water into a 1 -2 meter ice pack? How much fresh water runoff is going to be required to allow freezing that sea water 600 and 1200 kilometers from the continental edge? Where did the water come from? The mass balance of the Antarctic doesn’t show such steady losses every season of the year every year since 2011. )

    NASA is pulling a Holdren on this. They cannot accept mentally the blunt error of their religion and the recent facts of Antarctic sea extents growth.

  40. Thank you, JTF, for your gracious response to my rude remark. Sigh. Actually, I LIKE children’s books. Sounds like that would be about my speed. JTF — just do your thing. It is OUR (those of us who are non-science majors) job to work a bit harder at mining the gold you present. And it is not difficult, really, i.e., the gold is right there on the surface. Just takes some mental discipline. Thanks for being willing to put in more headings/highlighting key words, etc… . Remember, as I have often been reminded, “THIS IS A SCIENCE SITE.” You are doing just fine.

    Thanks for the reminder, R. A.. I need to take the time to read JTF’s conscientiously copious compendiums with the care they deserve and always keeping the ultimate goal: truth to combat the l1es of AGW, in mind.

    #(:))

  41. RACookPE1978 says:
    March 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    The CAGW deists ignored it. Totally. Absolutely ZERO coverage in the world’s press. And, to be honest, very little coverage in even the “friendly” web environment also. Some notice, but no press releases nor TV appearances, right?
    ———————————————————-
    I managed to get in a hundred or so comments about the southern situation at multiple media sites here and in the UK during that time.

  42. @ R. A. Cook (re: 9:39pm) — What a fine, resounding, game-set-match, refutation. “NASA,” as has been said before, is “Not About Science Anymore.”

  43. @RACookPE1978

    Very nice post and analysis. If you take that in conjunction with the extended cold stretches in the mid continent of N. America this winter and Europe last winter …. it is very interesting and likely implies more very cold stretches. I am wondering, like a lot of people, how “spring” will be in the Great Lakes area and the upper midwest …

  44. RACookPE1978 says:
    March 1, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Brent Walker says:
    March 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Does this mean that Australia, South Africa and New Zealand will get a colder winter in 2014 than they got in 2013?
    ——————————–
    Parts of Australia to the east side have already shown below average temps over the last 2 weeks. Only the west side of the continent has been showing high 90s to low 100s. New Zealand has been below average most of this season. It will be interesting to see how the southern sea ice regrowth does. The end of next week might show a first upward shift in momentum.

  45. RACookPE1978 on March 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Important comment about the Antarctic situation. What will it take to get the MSM to notice that the South seas are icing up?

  46. “What will it take to get the MSM to notice that the South seas are icing up?”

    Well ‘Ship of Fools’ failed to do so….

  47. profitup10 says:

    March 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm
    Just heard a lady in Ohio say that the ground around her home is frozen to a depth of 8 feet.

    That is unbelievable and significant if true. In ’62 and ’63 there was 3 mths of cold in the UK and the ground froze to 1 foot, however, the temps were not as low as some in the uSA this year.

  48. ren says:
    March 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm
    —————————————
    The pdf is interesting. I read part of it, but I have so much to read though.

  49. “the data processing methodology has been applied consistently across the record”.

    One of the biggest changes they made is how they are now measuring coastal ice, bays, etc….
    By including it now…it will show less overall ice….

  50. The “integrated” Arctic Sea Ice status. This is the average ice thickness throughout the years.

    Note the increase in the average starting in 2014. Just in time for the Polar Vortices.

  51. Stephen Richards says:
    March 2, 2014 at 4:29 am
    Just heard a lady in Ohio say that the ground around her home is frozen to a depth of 8 feet.

    My son, who lives in a town in southern Ontario, tells me the frost line is at 6 feet there. And people have been told to let the water running so the pipes do not freeze. As well, they will not be charged for water this month.

  52. It’s fascinating but hardly surprising to see the news blackout on the steady upward trend in southern hemisphere sea ice. It just doesn’t fit the narrative of doom. It’s a big icy elephant in the room.

    Meanwhile, as sure as night follows day, we can prepare ourselves for the media to be full of doom mongers in the very near future. Northern hemisphere sea ice area is currently at 13.048 million sq/km. It’ll need to go some in the next few weeks if it’s going to reach the record smallest satellite-era maximum of 14.64 million sq/km set in 2006 and 2011.

    Of course this doesn’t tell us anything much in isolation, but a new record low maximum will be newsworthy precisely because it fits the narrative they would have us believe, and will definitely be “yet more proof of CAGW” for those that choose to think so. I can already picture the screaming headlines in the newspapers…

  53. Thanks JTF! I will use your post quotes whenever I am in a discussion with -“We are all gonna freeze because of the Sun and look how much ice there is in Antarctica!”- folks who think the Sun is behind the increased Antarctic ice extent.

  54. KRJ,

    Not so fast there buddy, lets think this through.

    If the media go nuts over the lower Arctic ice extent because it is now so hot in the Arctic, then where did all the cold air from the polar vortex come from?

    If all the cold air from the polar vortex came from the Arctic then would it be logical to think the arctic is now a little warmer?

    The warmbots will have to mull over this for a while before they issue any directives to the compliant media.

    Cheers

  55. just the facts
    15-year global warming pause, near record high sea ice coverage at Arctic and Antarctica, record low temperatures in many US locations. IMO these are not mere coincidences. This is what solar physicists call Dalton and Maunder-like minimums for solar cycle 24. Talk about global cooling for a change.

  56. KRJ Pietersen says:
    March 2, 2014 at 11:18 am
    ———————————————
    The Arctic sea ice is going to remain at low levels until the Atlantic warm flow tapers off. That may be upcoming in the next 3 months or so. A strong cold sst anomaly has taken hold between Nova Scotia and Europe. This has cut off the constant warm anomaly flow that has been in progress for the last several years. The perfect combination for cooling may well be setting up right now. With the Great Lakes region experiencing such a deep cold, the likelihood of a cold spring and cool summer is high. I imagine that the cold sst anomaly off of Nova Scotia is due to the polar flow crossing eastward after exiting the eastern US. All of the above could lead to a negative shift in the Arctic by the beginning of summer.

    At the same time the warm pool anomaly in the North Pacific has shed 25% of it,s heat content over the last several weeks. It was at +3.3 and is now down to +2.39. The Bering Sea area now has a cold stream moving into the area off of the east Eurasian coast. That has been gradually displacing the warm sst anomalies over the last 3 months. Alaska has finally seen a temp drop to normal after staying well above average all winter long. All of these changes are going to add up, as this year progresses.

  57. [The mods will refrain from further commenting on the personal crystalline ice particles worn by or exhibited on the persons or personnel responding to a sea ice discussion. Mod]
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Can’t resist.

    We are getting pelleted by crystalline ice particles here in Mid North Carolina. WUWT?!?
    The forsythia and daffodils are usually out by now. Instead the ground is covered with ice not flowers.

  58. ren says: March 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Geomagnetic activity cycle 23 and 24.

    http://article.sapub.org/pdf/10.5923.j.ajee.20120204.02.pdf

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The problem with that paper is it uses the mangled ‘Adjusted’ Global temperature (first figure) instead of the raw data therefore the conclusions are incorrect.

    SEE:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/hansen-the-climate-chiropractor/

    This is an excellent example of the magnitude of failures caused by Hansen et al.s tampering with the data. Decades worth of ‘scientific findings’ out the window because of these out and out liars and billions of dollars down the drain.

    Time to cut the funding of science and academia!

  59. ICE AND SNOW… Here’s some colorful relief for all you wonderful WUWT readers longing for spring.

    And this is especially for you, dear Gail. You who do so MUCH for truth in science here on WUWT, here is a BIG DIGITAL BOUQUET of color from me to you.
    (and it’s Mt. Vernon, lol, my home town)

    Skagit Valley Tulips, 2013 (full screen is LOVELY)

    For some perspective…
    Flying Over Skagit Valley Flower Bulb Fields

    It rains a lot here, but boy is it pretty…
    (at about 2:24, when you see Mt. Baker in the upper left of the screen,
    you are looking toward where I grew up …)

    #(:))

    {too much about me, I know, but the thread IS almost defunct, I think…}

  60. Janice Moore says:
    March 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    ————————————–
    Is there any gold in them thar hills in the background?

  61. Hi, Gold Min(er?),

    LOL, nope. And no black gold, “ole, that is,” either. Just a lot of gravel. In fact, there’s a town called Concrete up river a piece from where I grew up… . Thus, in 1890, my great grandfather left the area of them thar hills to head up to the Klondike in Alaska to find some. He did. A nugget the size of his newborn baby’s fist.

    Hope YOUR ventures all pan out, Goldie.

    Take care,

    Janice

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