Claim: NSIDC, NASA Say Arctic Melt Season Lengthening, Ocean Rapidly Warming

Video follows.

dark blue river of ocean between two pale blue shores of ice,

An image mosaic of sea ice in the Canadian Basin, taken by Operation IceBridge’s Digital Mapping System on Mar. 28, 2014.Image Credit: Digital Mapping System/NASA Ames

The length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade, and an earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness, according to a new study by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.

Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline during the last four decades. The sea ice cover is shrinking and thinning, making scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century. The seven lowest September sea ice extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years.

“The Arctic is warming and this is causing the melt season to last longer,” said Julienne Stroeve, a senior scientist at NSIDC, Boulder and lead author of the new study, which has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. “The lengthening of the melt season is allowing for more of the sun’s energy to get stored in the ocean and increase ice melt during the summer, overall weakening the sea ice cover.”

To study the evolution of sea ice melt onset and freeze-up dates from 1979 to the present day, Stroeve’s team used passive microwave data from NASA’s Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer, and the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder carried onboard Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft.

When ice and snow begin to melt, the presence of water causes spikes in the microwave radiation that the snow grains emit, which these sensors can detect. Once the melt season is in full force, the microwave emissivity of the ice and snow stabilizes, and it doesn’t change again until the onset of the freezing season causes another set of spikes. Scientists can measure the changes in the ice’s microwave emissivity using a formula developed by Thorsten Markus, co-author of the paper and chief of the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Results show that although the melt season is lengthening at both ends, with an earlier melt onset in the spring and a later freeze-up in the fall, the predominant phenomenon extending the melting is the later start of the freeze season. Some areas, such as the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, are freezing up between six and 11 days later per decade. But while melt onset variations are smaller, the timing of the beginning of the melt season has a larger impact on the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the ocean, because its timing coincides with when the sun is higher and brighter in the Arctic sky.

Despite large regional variations in the beginning and end of the melt season, the Arctic melt season has lengthened on average by five days per decade from 1979 to 2013.

Still, weather makes the timing of the autumn freeze-up vary a lot from year to year.

“There is a trend for later freeze-up, but we can’t tell whether a particular year is going to have an earlier or later freeze-up,” Stroeve said. “There remains a lot of variability from year to year as to the exact timing of when the ice will reform, making it difficult for industry to plan when to stop operations in the Arctic.”

To measure changes in the amount of solar energy absorbed by the ice and ocean, the researchers looked at the evolution of sea surface temperatures and studied monthly surface albedo data (the amount of solar energy reflected by the ice and the ocean) together with the incoming solar radiation for the months of May through October. The albedo and sea surface temperature data the researchers used comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s polar-orbiting satellites.

They found that the ice pack and ocean waters are absorbing more and more sunlight due both to an earlier opening of the waters and a darkening of the sea ice. The sea ice cover is becoming less reflective because it now mostly consists of thinner, younger ice, which is less reflective than the older ice that previously dominated the ice pack. Also, the young ice is flatter, allowing the dark melt ponds that form at the early stages of the melt season are able to spread more widely, further lowering its albedo.

The researchers calculated the increase in solar radiation absorbed by the ice and ocean for the period ranging from 2007 to 2011, which in some areas of the Arctic Ocean exceed 300 to 400 megajoules per square meter, or the amount of energy needed to thin the ice by an additional 3.1 to 4.2 feet (97 to 130 centimeters).

The increases in surface ocean temperatures, combined with a warming Arctic atmosphere due to climate change, explain the delayed freeze up in the fall.

“If air and ocean temperatures are similar, the ocean is not going to lose heat to the atmosphere as fast as it would when the differences are greater,” said Linette Boisvert, co-author of the paper and a cryospheric scientist at Goddard. “In the last years, the upper ocean heat content is much higher than it used to be, so it’s going to take a longer time to cool off and for freeze up to begin.”

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

I tend to take research done by Ms. Stroeve with a grain of skepticism, since she allows her work to be aided by political activists at Greenpeace.

This photo was taken on 09/11/2012:

Stroeve_greenpeace

Source: Greenpeace

But politics aside, more importantly, no evidence seems to be visible in common sea ice graphs like this one. In fact, the melt season started later than usual this year, according to NSIDC’s Arctic Sea Ice Extent Graph.

They did some CYA for that:

“There is a trend for later freeze-up, but we can’t tell whether a particular year is going to have an earlier or later freeze-up,”

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

Granted, the report mentions it to be mostly a regional effect, While there likely is some truth in the report, what isn’t explored is whether the cause of this change is part of a natural cycle, a natural cycle enhanced by some AGW effects, or purely an artifact of AGW.

Their claim…

The increases in surface ocean temperatures, combined with a warming Arctic atmosphere due to climate change, explain the delayed freeze up in the fall.

…reads like something Greenpeace would write, providing no other possibility. One thing I tend to notice about Earthly geological and atmospheric processes is that they tend to act on timespans than exceed human lifetimes, sometimes being orders of magnitudes longer. In the case of Arctic sea ice, a record going back to 1979 is shorter than that and only represent a fraction of what may be a natural cycle. Making claims that they know exactly what the cause is might very well bite them in a few years or few decades.

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120 thoughts on “Claim: NSIDC, NASA Say Arctic Melt Season Lengthening, Ocean Rapidly Warming

  1. “Some areas, such as the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, are freezing up between six and 11 days later per decade.”
    Really? 4 decades x 6-11 days= 24 to 44day delay. Is it really freezing up a month later than 1979? That should be easy to verify.

  2. Looking at the Sea Ice reference page, http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/
    a quick study of the graphs indicates what appears to be a progression of the Arctic Max and Arctic Min dates rather than an extended melt season. The 1980′s average had the Arctic Ice Max corner turning at the end of February while the 2000′s average has it in early March. Now it appears to be almost 3 weeks later. Similarly there appears to be a progression for the Arctic Ice Min date. Has the time between the Arctic Ice Max Corner and Arctic Ice Min Corner been extended or has the date of turning simply progressed to later in the year?

  3. Saying the world is warming, is one thing. Saying it is because of man is another. However, an extension to that is saying that the drop in Arctic ice extent IS because of global warming. If (when) ice extent recovers then they have no explanation. This is ‘the stupidity’. It’s extremely unwise of any scientist to go along with a theory when facts don’t support it. I remember 10 years ago when we were told that we would see evidence of AGW at the poles and in the tropical troposphere. It’s only the Arctic that’s playing ball – so if I were a scientist I’d keep my mouth shut.

  4. Why would they summate 4 years of solar radiation and present it as a single product? Are there no more seasonal changes in the Arctic? Have the Arctic Ocean currents ceased to flow in and out of the region?

  5. Based on ice minimum and maximum dates, my charts show only a 0.5 day/CENTURY increase in the melt season.

    Both maximum date and minimum date are arriving earlier. 0.0401/year for minimum, and 0.0453/year for maximum.

  6. If Stroeve had any integrity at all she would emphasize that snow and ice albedo feedbacks are much stronger in the cooling direction (causing them to descent do latitudes that cover much more land area reflecting away much more direct solar radiation) than in the warming direction. As always, it is global cooling that is the only real danger, as the whole world will realize soon enough, but idealogues like Stroeve are doing their best to cover it up.

  7. Anthony-there is a definition of knowledge prevalent now in initiatives connected to a desire for transformational change that says knowledge is whatever mental model causes a person to take action. That’s is what we are running up against in these stories where the hype or model does not reflect reality. It’s simply designed to alter popular perceptions to provoke action.

    IHDP, which that center in Boulder is connected to, is the most zealous advocate for this view of knowledge. They would regard you, me, and this blog as “exemplifying bounded rationality in environmental issues.” Instead, minors in creative writing for persuasive purposes seem to go hand in hand with a major in Earth System Science.

  8. The sea ice cover is shrinking and thinning, making scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century.

    At least they have stopped predicting it will occur by 2013. Is it still predicted for 2017?

  9. ” Making claims that they know exactly what the cause is might very well bite them in a few years or few decades.”

    The activists (researchers or not) are very glib about making predictions and being proved wrong; then making new ones. They rely on the the public not having a long memory. Usually they’re right. Otherwise folks like Paul Ehrlich would never get ink, and Dr. John Holdren wouldn’t have his current gig.

  10. A quick look at the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area shows an increase in sea ice since 1979. The global net change in sea ice is pretty much a wash. It’s hard to call this global warming when one hemisphere is showing sea ice growth and one is showing a reduction. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it “Hemispherical warming”

  11. 2013 melt season was the second shortest on the record apparently.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/second-slowest-peak-arctic-melt-season-record/

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/arctic-melt-season-about-over-climate-alarmism-suffers-a-nuclear-meltdown/

    Arctic in death spiral amplification mode.

    Melt season ending – 17 September 2013
    …As a whole, air temperatures this summer have been below average over most of the central Arctic Ocean and Greenland, helping to slow down ice melting. Compared to the 1981 to 2010 average, air temperatures at the 925 hPa level have been -0.5 to -2.0 degrees Celsius (-0.9 to -3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) below average over central Greenland, north of Greenland and towards the pole, and over the Canadian Archipelago. Unusually low temperatures are also noted over the East Siberian Sea, where ice cover has remained near average throughout the summer….

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2013/09/4292/

  12. This is just wrong.

    Can anybody at NCR/UCAR/NSIDC do a simple energy balance?

    Hello thermo 101.

    Did they ever stop to consider that just maybe warmer water is flowing into the arctic?

    Did they ever check the water goesinskis and the goesoutskis to see the imbalance?

    Cause -> effect chicken or egg or egg before the chicken?

    What an embarrassment to science.

    Time to defund these quacks.

  13. As a regular visitor to the WUWT Sea Ice page and the Cryosphere Today website, I have noticed an interesting positive trend in sea ice coverage for the Arctic Ocean proper. There is some shrinkage below the Arctic Circle, but the area within the circle shows a pronounced increase in coverage, as evidenced by the darker purple shading when comparing current day of the year conditions to equivalent dates in previous years.

    This link compares 04/01/14 to 04/01/79:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=03&fd=01&fy=1980&sm=03&sd=01&sy=2014

    Inputting any number of dates will yield the same result and many of the 80′s dates will have what I call a “starburst” pattern of sparser coverage above Greenland.

  14. The Arctic Vortex Anomaly this year created the coldest US winter in 100 years, however, when this Arctic cold spilled across the US, Arctic temps suddenly rose about 15C above normal.

    Accordingly, the Arctic Ice sheet this year is much thinner than normal so it’s guaranteed this summer’s Arctic Ice extent will be low and the melting season will be much faster than normal.

    The CAGW zealots will, of course, play this year’s low Arctic Ice extent to the hilt and blame it rising on CO2 and will conveniently “forget” that it was the unusual Arctic Vortex pattern that actually caused the record cold US winter and the thin Arctic Ice..

    CAGW zealots are so predictable…

  15. Matthew R Marler says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:33 am
    ……………
    At least they have stopped predicting it will occur by 2013. Is it still predicted for 2017?

    I don’t know about 2017 but I do know about 2015 and 2015. Here is your man and our next target for ridicule.

    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,”

  16. Les Johnson says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Totally agree. My charts look just like yours! It would appear that Ms Stroeve is guilty of a terminological inexactitude ((c) Sir Winston Churchill).

  17. Let’s not forget that the satellite record only goes back to 1979 and took place entirely in the 1978-1998 warm period. We know from weather records in Greenland that the 1930s were warmer than the recent warming and we know that the Medieval Warm Period was about a degree warmer than present. That means that Arctic sea ice was undoubtedly less extensive during the ~1915 to 1945 warm period, recovered during the 1945 to 1977 cool period, and has receded during the 1978 to 1998 warm period. There is reasonable evidence that the Chinese crossed the Arctic during the Medieval Warm Period when Arctic sea ice was significantly lower. Global climate has cooled during the past decade and as it continues we may expect to see some recovery of Arctic ice.
    The bothersome thing about articles like this is that they imply that we’re on a one-way track and that this has never happened before, when in fact, it’s happened over and over throughout geologic time. It’s not a one-way street!

  18. All of this science and policy travesty stems from the convenient dismissal of multi-decadal ocean temp cycles as, 1) not important or 2) recognized but with a constant factor for a variable and not well-understood macro cycle. Add in the same treatment for that fusion fireball in the sky and you get the picture. It’s really about money and power and the long way around to get there after defeat of the cap and trade redistribution of wealth law initiative. The proponents never really gave up, they just changed tactics to a long series of nags and distortions. The best places to facilitate that process are at detached universities and federal agencies with directives to concoct and distort.

  19. I think you have made good points, Anthony. Surely this is the time to have a good scientific discussion as to what the science really indicates. I know you have invited people like Walt Meirer in the past to post on WUWT. I hope we can all promise to give Julienne Stroeve a warm and polite welcome if she were to post here.

    Could you invite her to respond to what I feel are your very reasonable comments on her paper?

  20. Jim Cripwell says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:50 am
    “I hope we can all promise to give Julienne Stroeve a warm and polite welcome if she were to post here.”

    I’ll ask her about her Greenpeace connection.

  21. If you listen carefully, you can hear the Arctic ice scream. Well, perhaps it is my stomach rumbling. Doesn’t make much difference to a climate “scientist” since we are all doomed and they need more money.

  22. Laugh all you want. You won’t be laughing when I finally kayak to the North Pole this summer. The real North Pole. Then, we’ll see whose laughing.

  23. I wonder what the Arctic sea ice extent was 125,000 years during the height of the Eemian interglacial period? Given that the global temperature at that time was about 3 C warmer than it is now, I wonder if the Arctic sea ice even existed.

  24. off topic, this came up elsewhere, the claim that this site is funded by the heartland institute? it is true the startup funding came from them please? i stated before asking it was NOT was i correct?

  25. I see SAMURAI is getting an early head start on moving the goalposts.

    And remember to scream Recovery! in September 2015 if 2014 and 2015 don’t set consecutive record lows.

  26. I’m not sure if they are interpreting those observed spikes correctly and how accurately they are able to time them. I observe an inflection in the rates of freeze/thaw cycles curve in 2007. The rates are faster after 2007 than before. It would be interesting to plot a time series of multy-year ice.

  27. What type of energy is released when water vapor condenses? Deposates? Water freezes? Is it light? Are there specific wavelengths?

  28. Just for comparison MASIE showed day 73 as this year’s maximum. They include satellite imagery and operational data along with microwave sensor results, so the amount of ice extent is different. Usually the numbers are close at the annual maximums, but MASIE will show much more ice than the others in the summer.
    I can also observe that since the max on March 14, MASIE shows increases in ice extent in the Central Arctic and Barents Sea, offset by losses in Baffin-Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bering Sea and Baltic Sea.

    For comparison for previous years, MASIE shows these NH ice extent Maxes:

    2014 15.52 MKm2 March 14
    2013 15.64 Feb. 28
    2012 16.10 March 04
    2011 15.38 March 18
    2010 15.92 March 14
    2009 15.91 March 08
    2008 16.04 March 24
    2007 15.81 March 15

    Don’t see any trend toward earlier maxes.

  29. Wasn’t there enough time to include 2013? Maybe 2013 would have messed up their nice, neat story line.

  30. What is amazing is they keep promoting their linear trends..
    …and consistently making themselves look like fools

  31. Are they using the real dates of Max and Min here or are they just repeating what they believe?

  32. The polar ice melts when the sun comes up, freezes when it goes down. How much remains depends on wind and currents. 35 years is not anywhere near enough time to discern climatic patterns, not even enough to predict weather.

  33. The seven lowest September sea ice extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years.

    Got directed to this posting recently
    Who Dares to Deny Arctic Warming? June 17th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    His observations of warming in the Arctic, which he described as not localized, but universal, are taken from his book entitled Arctic Ice. I have excerpted several pertinent passages, which I’m sure will convince you that warming of the Arctic can scarcely be denied:

    Goes on to list 8 findings about the warming, but be sure to read to the end and get the twist.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/who-dares-to-deny-arctic-warming/

  34. Bill Taylor says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

    off topic, this came up elsewhere, the claim that this site is funded by the heartland institute? it is true the startup funding came from them please? i stated before asking it was NOT was i correct?

    In order to get a response from Anthony, you must use his name in a comment. I’ve done so now for you. Here’s some background on the probable source of the claim:

    Watts isn’t paid for his blogging. A Heartland document describes a request he made last year for funding for a different project:

    James D wrote on WUWT: “Anthony Watts proposes to create a new Web site devoted to accessing the new temperature data from NOAA’s web site and converting them into easy-to-understand graphs that can be easily found and understood by weathermen and the general interested public. Watts has deep expertise in Web site design generally and is well-known and highly regarded by weathermen and meteorologists everywhere. The new site will be promoted heavily at WattsUpwithThat.com. Heartland has agreed to help Anthony raise $88,000 for the project in 2011. The Anonymous Donor has already pledged $44,000. We’ll seek to raise the balance.”

    Watts later reported on the progress of this project:

    “Using the funds provided with the help of Heartland’s private donor, I hired a specialist programmer familiar with NOAA systems to trap and convert the NOAA sat feed data to look like any other hourly station (like ASOS hourly stations at airports etc) so that we’d be able to start the visualization and comparison process. This is just one phase of the project before it is ready for public consumption. When finished, there will be a website free and open to the public that will allow tracking and visualization of temperatures from the CRN right alongside that of the regular surface network”

    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/07/an-update-on-my-climate-reference-network-visualization-project/

  35. Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline during the last four decades. The sea ice cover is shrinking and thinning, making scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century

    Haven’t a few of these “ice free summers”date predictions already been and gone? They appear to have moved the goalposts by 85 years!

  36. We reported on this issue in

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/09/09/temporal-trends-in-arctic-and-antarctic-sea-ice-maximum-and-minimum-areal-extents/

    Among our findings up to 2008 were

    “The time of occurrence of the maximum and minimum sea ice coverage in the Arctic showed slight trends towards occurring earlier in the year, although not significant. In the Southern Hemisphere, the trends were smaller and also not significant, but the time of ice maximum was becoming later, contrary to the other three trends.”

    It would be useful for this study to be extended to the present.

  37. Les Johnson says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:26 am
    Based on ice minimum and maximum dates, my charts show only a 0.5 day/CENTURY increase in the melt season.

    Both maximum date and minimum date are arriving earlier. 0.0401/year for minimum, and 0.0453/year for maximum.

    There you go again, using FACTS instead of model results. That’s no way to become a climate scientist.

  38. On the sea ice/lack of sea ice feedback, it is more complex than is commonly presented since a loss of sea ice in the summer actually results in less heat going into the atmosphere even though more is entering the climate system (the ocean). We discuss this in our article

    Pielke, R.A., 2001: Earth system modeling — An integrated assessment tool for environmental studies. In: Present and Future of Modeling Global Environmental Change: Toward Integrated Modeling, T. Matsuno and H. Kida, Eds., Terra Scientific Publishing Company, Tokyo, Japan, 311-337.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/cb-35.pdf

    where we wrote

    “…complicated feedbacks between the sea ice and adjacent land masses … can occur….the RAMS model (Liston and Pielke, 2000) was integrated for the warm season of the year with assimilated observed sea ice and with the ice removed. ….the near surface air temperatures are actually warmer over the Arctic Ocean (by over 1°C in large areas) when the sea ice absorbs solar radiation and transfers some of this energy as sensible heat back into the atmosphere. Without the sea ice, while the Earth system gains heat through the reduction of reflected solar insolation, the atmosphere is cooler on this time scale. This difference in surface temperature is communicated into the troposphere and could result in a weaker arctic frontal region when sea ice is present, than if it were absent.”

  39. Tom in Denver says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:35 am
    A quick look at the Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area shows an increase in sea ice since 1979. The global net change in sea ice is pretty much a wash. It’s hard to call this global warming when one hemisphere is showing sea ice growth and one is showing a reduction. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call it “Hemispherical warming”
    =============

    It’s all to promote that new film – Deviancy or Variancy or Variation or some such.
    Obviously.
    Shows how the power of Hollywood moves ice nearly eleven thousand miles – just to promote a celluloid saga!
    Auto

  40. Anthony Watts says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:46 am
    People want this website to disappear,
    ============
    The Weblog Awards
    Best Group or Community Weblog: Watts Up With That?
    Weblog of the Year: Watts Up With That?

    :D

    REPLY: SOME people – A

  41. TheLastDemocrat says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:08 am
    —-
    That’s OK, Winnie the Pooh already found the North Pole, we don’t need you to locate it again.

  42. Per my last.

    Sorry – leapt before any research!
    [Please pass my Nobble Prize now - thanks]
    It’s none of those, but – if you care – quite close to the first named; right initial, and the letters are similar (more so at the front).

    Going back to read the rest of the thread, now.
    Auto.

  43. Jimbo says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:28 am
    Wasn’t there enough time to include 2013? Maybe 2013 would have messed up their nice, neat story line.

    Guess what? The paper, submitted on Dec. 4, 2013, included the 2013 melt season. You just didn’t bother to check, right?

    Maybe you’ll be happier with another GRL paper in press by that group that discusses the difficulties of forecasting summer Arctic ice extent.

    Predicting September Sea Ice Ensemble Skill of the Search Sea Ice Outlook 2008–2013
    Abstract
    Since 2008, the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook has solicited predictions of September sea ice extent from the Arctic research community. Individuals and teams employ a variety of modeling, statistical and heuristic approaches to make these predictions. Viewed as monthly ensembles each with one or two dozen individual predictions, they display a bimodal pattern of success. In years when observed ice extent is near its trend, the median predictions tend to be accurate. In years when the observed extent is anomalous, the median and most individual predictions are less accurate. Statistical analysis suggests that year-to-year variability, rather than methods, dominate the variation in ensemble prediction success. Furthermore, ensemble predictions do not improve as the season evolves. We consider the role of initial ice, atmosphere and ocean conditions, and summer storms and weather in contributing to the challenge of sea ice prediction.

  44. The IPCC said that the Arctic was freezing up in the 1970′s. The graph below is from the 1990 IPCC report, and shows Arctic sea ice satellite data which is conveniently omitted from NSIDC graphs that start at the 1979 peak.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/smoking-gun-that-the-temperature-record-is-fraudulent/#more-97626

    ==========
    In the case of Arctic sea ice, a record going back to 1979 is shorter than that and only represent a fraction of what may be a natural cycle.

    If the first IPCC report has ice record going back to 1974 with ’74 being low the 1979 information is a true cherry pick. We should not use it.

    Point taken about the short record though.

  45. Craig C says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

    The polar ice melts when the sun comes up, freezes when it goes down. How much remains depends on wind and currents. 35 years is not anywhere near enough time to discern climatic patterns, not even enough to predict weather.
    ====
    Craig, I, like the Met Office can predict weather based on less than 35 years’ records. I did it at school from – I think – 9 years old. “Tomorrow will be much like today.” Beat the Met office nowadays.
    Whether we are successful – aye, there’s the crunch!

  46. Julienne “Captain Obvious” Stroeve says:

    “The lengthening of the melt season is allowing for more of the sun’s energy to get stored in the ocean and increase ice melt during the summer, overall weakening the sea ice cover.”

    The lengthening of the ice melt is increasing the ice melt? Aye, aye, Captain!

  47. From the article above:

    They found that the ice pack and ocean waters are absorbing more and more sunlight due both to an earlier opening of the waters and a darkening of the sea ice. The sea ice cover is becoming less reflective because it now mostly consists of thinner, younger ice, which is less reflective than the older ice that previously dominated the ice pack. Also, the young ice is flatter, allowing the dark melt ponds that form at the early stages of the melt season are able to spread more widely, further lowering its albedo.

    The researchers calculated the increase in solar radiation absorbed by the ice and ocean for the period ranging from 2007 to 2011, which in some areas of the Arctic Ocean exceed 300 to 400 megajoules per square meter, or the amount of energy needed to thin the ice by an additional 3.1 to 4.2 feet (97 to 130 centimeters).

    The increases in surface ocean temperatures, combined with a warming Arctic atmosphere due to climate change, explain the delayed freeze up in the fall.

    OK.

    So, let’s look at two pieces of Arctic Ocean, separated by only a few kilometers so each receives the same solar radiation over the 24 hours of a typical “perfectly clear” day in late August through late October when Arctic sea ice is actually at its lowest point: That lowest point actually coming just slightly before the equinox most years – and has been constant since data began – around 15 – 22 September.

    Oh by the way, at this same time of year that the Arctic ice edge at approximately latitude 80-81 north, the Antarctic sea ice is at its maximum at latitude 58-59 south, and is receiving 5X the solar radiation that the little bit of Arctic ice is ….

    But she will tell she us doesn’t want to study the amount of energy being reflected by the ever-increasing Antarctic sea ice extents, because that “little” increase in Antarctic sea ice extents (only 1/2 the size of Greenland last October!) doesn’t fit her story and her agenda.

    Having prejudiced you, now let’s look at these same two square meters of ocean: one covered by sea ice, one is open ocean.

    1. Which gains more heat from the sun during those few hours when the sun is above the horizon?
    2. Which loses more heat to the air and to space by evaporation, long wave radiation, convection, conduction every hour of every day?

    Well, yes, the open Arctic ocean does absorb more solar energy. But not that much more actually1 See, the sun in late August and early September is actually very, very low to the horizon, even at noon. And, with the equinox rapidly approaching, the sun is below the horizon between 11 and 12 hours a day during this time. Also, because the sun is so rarely above 10 degrees above the horizon, its weak rays struggle to get through an air mass between 7 and 28 TIMES the air mass at the equator when that sun IS actually above the horizon. Worse, at these low solar elevation angles, the suns rays DO reflect from the water with an albedo (direct radiation) of between 0.20 to 0.38. A far, far greater albedo than the often-claimed Wikipedia value of 0.065 for open ocean.) Worse, from her standpoint that is, these albedo and air mass calculations are NOT based on long-winded theory and impossible-to-verify computer models but on “simple” geometry and solar physics.

    Now, against a measured open-ocean albedo of 0.25 to 0.38 at low solar elevation angles, consider that Judith Curry measured the “dirty” summer arctic ice albedo each day between May and September during her SHEBA experiments up there on the ice. Lowest measured arctic sea ice albedo (in early August) was 0.38. But the “averaged” lowest arctic sea ice albedo in across the whole months of July and August was 0.46. So, you are still only able to compare the heat energy absorbed by the “dark ocean” at 0.25 – 0.38 (depending on time of day each morning and evening) against an Arctic sea ice albedo of 0.46!

    Regardless; Yes, Virginia, the open ocean does absorb slightly more energy than does an ice-covered arctic patch.

    Now, which loses more energy over 24 hours?
    Ice-covered water, or open ocean?

    Well, assume the water is 2 degrees C, the air temperature is -15 degrees C.
    The top of sea ice will be -15 deg C.

    So, radiation losses will be much greater from a 275^4 K surface than a 258^4 K surface.
    (Both sea water and sea ice have about the same emissivity.)

    “Biggest Loser?” Open ocean, by far.

    Convection and conduction?
    If sea ice covers the ocean, the air temperature = -15 Deg C, the top of sea ice becomes -15 deg C, the bottom of the sea stays right at 2 deg C in contact with the water underneath the sea ice. Heat energy from the water must cross the solid ice barrier by conduction, and then must be lost to the air across the very small delta T of the ice-air boundary layer. If open ocean is hit by winds, convection losses are MUCH higher, and waves stir the ocean further to keep the entire surface layer at that balmy 2 deg C.

    “Biggest Loser?” Open ocean, by far.

    Evaporation?
    If sea ice covers the water, only the little bit of latent heat lost is that of sublimation.
    If open ocean is exposed to air, evaporation losses can be as much 50-80 watts/m^2.
    (Depends on wind speed and delta T to the air and relative humidity levels and air pressure.)

    “Biggest Loser?” Open ocean, by far.

    So, to the “great surprise” of this supposed Arctic PhD, under today’s conditions of sea ice extents in the arctic between late August and October, OPEN ARCTIC OCEAN LOSES MORE ENERGY TO SPACE AND TO THE ARCTIC AIR THAN THE OPEN OCEAN ABSORBS FROM THE SUN. The greater the Arctic sea ice loss, the greater the energy lost from the planet.

  48. Arctic sea ice loss is a direct negative feedback due to global cooling. HT Ulric Lyons.

    Any warmist wanting to back away should run with that premise as a source of funding ;)

  49. Roger Pielke and [Anthony] Watts:

    The charts I have are up to date (2013) for the NH. I have been updating this since I first read Roger’s post on the topic in 2009.

    My conclusions are exactly those Roger had in 2009. (and others who are doing similar tracking)

    “The time of occurrence of the maximum and minimum sea ice coverage in the Arctic showed slight trends towards occurring earlier in the year, although not significant.

    I find both the ice minimum and maximum are arriving earlier in the year, with the maximum slightly outpacing the minimum, giving a slightly longer melt season.

    I find a total increase in the melt season of 0.5 days per hundred years, which of course is insignificant.

    I use the Cryosphere data.

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

  50. “The researchers calculated the increase in solar radiation absorbed by the ice and ocean for the period ranging from 2007 to 2011, which in some areas of the Arctic Ocean exceed 300 to 400 megajoules per square meter”
    So, averaging it out to 350 MJ/M2, we have an increase roughly equivalent to 14,000 Hiroshimas going off per square mile. Yikes. We’re doomed.
    Arctic death spiral, here we come.

  51. I wonder if they realize that the tilt of the earth’s axis changes.

    Google Axial tilt. “…The Earth currently has an axial tilt of about 23.4°. This value remains approximately the same relative to a stationary orbital plane throughout the cycles of precession. However, because the ecliptic (i.e. the Earth’s orbit) moves due to planetary perturbations, the obliquity of the ecliptic is not a fixed quantity. At present, it is decreasing at a rate of about 47″ per century…”

    One chart on wiki shows the axial tilt was 24.2 degrees about 8000 years ago, and is dropping to a tilt of 22.6 degrees in the next 10000 years.

  52. Of course neither the increase in Antarctic sea ice nor this years large amount of snow in North America will enhance albedo effects on the globe as these are only transitory states and the models don’t see them. OK?

  53. Several days per decade?! Soa lets say 3.65 days per 3650 days or 0.1% of a year or about 0.2% of the ‘melt’ season. Gee whiz, that sure sounds like armaggeddon folks … or another April Fools joke for imbeciles!

    sarc off.

  54. “Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline during the last four decades. The sea ice cover is shrinking and thinning, making scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century. The seven lowest September sea ice extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years.”

    OK, we have reliable data since 1979. That’s 34 years not “four decades” and it has been recovering since the 2012 min. So it’s more like three decades.

    Now that’s three decades in a system known to have 60 year cycles in last 150 years. So three decades more or less in one direction may not be that surprising. Neither is it very surprising if short term lows are all grouped together.

    “making scientists think …. might be…this century. ”

    Oh really? Which scientists? Anyone prepared to put their name to it, or just some scientists somewhere who will not be named?

    If they only think it “might be”, they must also think it “might not be”. This is a NON claim by a unnamed “scientist” who thinks “may be”.

    Big friggin deal. And they call that “science”? Pathetic.

  55. I love that picture of Julienne Stroeve kneeling on the ice in the Arctic, actively taking notes on the vast expanse of nothing but ever expanding ice, before her. No extra albedo there, I’m afraid.

  56. I forget…Can someone recap again why we are supposed to be terrified of an ice-free arctic summer again? Would an ice- free arctic summer bring about climate apocalypse? And if so, in which direction (hot or cold)?

  57. When I read a study summary like this one I see purposeful presumptions laced through the entirety of the “study”. All aimed at arriving where it needs to be.

    They site their source of data with the implication they are merely reading the data. They are in reality arranging the data for a prescribed use.

    One thing that popped was the extended period for an arctic ice free summer.
    ….”scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century.”

    Boy that is a huge expansion of time from the predictions just a few years ago that it would already have occurred by now.

    Imagine how many natural fluctuations will occur over the rest of the century.

    Well, don’t imagine just look at the last century.

    There’s been a lot of changes to change as changes occur.

  58. @Magma- Not only do you seem to be a petty and bitter anonymous troll, but your poisonous snide little potshots are becoming increasingly tiresome.
    You want to take SAMURAI, et al, to task.

    Ok, you want to be the smartest guy in the room? Prove it:
    Do winds and ocean currents and black carbon soot and the Beaufort Gyre have greater influence on Arctic sea ice area, or does global temperature cause the greatest variance in Arctic sea ice? Why has Antarctic continental ice been increasing for 150 years, while Southern Ocean sea ice area sets new growth records each year? Why is the global sea ice anomaly already positive (and will remain so for the rest of the year?)

  59. Steve R says:
    April 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I forget…Can someone recap again why we are supposed to be terrified of an ice-free arctic summer again? Would an ice- free arctic summer bring about climate apocalypse? And if so, in which direction (hot or cold)?
    __________________
    All of those Russian icebreaker/research vessels need to earn their keep and Antarctica is so very far away (and attracts the wrong sort of clientele.)

  60. That’s not bad going. Not two weeks since the Spring Equinox and already the Arctic is doomed. Hard to decide whether they’re going for a record or just joining in the general climate clamour du jour.

  61. @ Alan Robertson – sure. I’m barely returning the favor. Any representative sampling of the attacks on scientists’ competence, motives and characters routinely made here would cast my mildly sarcastic remarks into the shade.

  62. Okay, I have used the NSIDC’s own official database to prove this claim is false. Please feel free to post this anywhere anytime since this claim is made by anyone)

    The actual trend is a decrease of 0.2 days per decade (as in not even measureable since we are using whole days here, not fractions of a day – so it is really Zero per decand).

    The official Maximum dates and Minimum dates (as in days since the beginning of the year, including the impact of leap years).

    The NSIDC database can be accessed here – Final includes all days from 1979 to 2013 (every second day in the first 8 years)

    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/north/daily/data/

  63. Magma: I am the least smartest guy in the room. I’m just a layperson, BA/JD, non-scientific type, but I’d love to read your response to Alan’s questions. In spite of my non-science background, I can understand the notion of relying on data to support one’s arguments. If the data isn’t there, or if it’s questionable; or if one’s arguments are grounded not so much on observation and measurement but on questionable models and assumptions, then I think that criticizing one’s methods is quite proper. In a civil way, of course. But the response of one who is criticized, I would think, would be to counter with a valid argument. A scientist proposing an idea must not have too much of a thin skin. Doesn’t science involve questioning, examining, and scrutinizing a hypothesis or even offering other possibilities, based on data, as an alternate hypothesis to explain the observed phenomena? So, please, Magma, educate me, by answering Alan’s questions.

  64. “Making claims that they know exactly what the cause is might very well bite them in a few years or few decades.”

    Yeah, but they will be long gone by then.

  65. It’s always the same. These people never answer any questions with science. They only try to make you confused and to drop the questions asked in the first place. It’s really hard to understand what drives them.

    Like mr Cook, he make a big fuzz about water v/s ice emissions, but do not discuss what people here really is talking about and what is definitely wrong. The max and min times isn’t moving. As far as I can see this invalidate the claims,end of story.

  66. These guys neglect to mention that the Arctic has been melting twice as fast as their model projections predict. That is because Arctic warming today is not greenhouse warming but is caused by warm Gulf Stream water carried into the Arctic Ocean by North Atlantic currents. It all started at the turn of the twentieth century, prior to which there was nothing but slow, linear cooling for 2000 years. The sudden start of the warming was due to a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the century. The former pattern of currents returned for thirty years in mid-century, and with it came cooling at the rate of 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade. None of this can be attributed to greenhouse warming by carbon dioxide because there was no increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide when the warming started. We know this for sure because fortunately excellent records are available in the form of the Keeling curve and is extensions. It is particularly difficult for those who believe in AGW to explain the on again – off again – on again mid-century observations. It is clear that the authors are ignorant of these facts because they did not do their homework and read the relevant scientific literature. The full story of Arctic warming is found in E&E Volume 22, issue 8, pages 1069 to 1083 (2011).

  67. RE: SAMURAI says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I’m not sure that the ice is thinner, despite the milder air temperatures over the Pole north of 80 degrees.

    First, the cross-polar-flow created strong winds where it is usually calmer, which created cracks in the ice that exposed water which was immediately chilled more than normal. As Ice is largely melted from below, this chilled water has a decreased ability to melt ice.

    Second, the cross-polar-flow diverted the ordinary Transpolar Drift towards Canada, decreasing the amount of ice flushed out through Fram Strait and increasing the amount of ice in the Beaufort Gyre.

    Third, some of the coldest air was over parts of the Arctic Ocean which lie south of 80 degrees latitude, and are not included in the DMI graph of arctic temperatures. When the cross-polar-flow shifts over towards Bering Strait, a large part of the cold air crosses south of 80 degrees. The air is coldest just as it leaves Siberia, warming as it crosses the “warmer” ice (ice only minus-thirty) and the entire coast of Siberia is south of 80 degrees. Much of the Canadian and Alaskan coasts are also south of 80 degrees, so when the flow reversed cold air hit those areas from inland.

    My own sense is that the ice is thinner on the Atlantic side and towards the Kara Sea and Laptev Sea coastlines in West Siberia, but that the ice in the Beaufort Gyre is thicker, especially north of Alaska. I think it is unlikely that the waters north of Bering Strait, which were largely ice-free in recent years, will be ice-free this September.

    I’ve noticed a large area of piled-up sea ice on the arctic coast on the Siberian side of Bering Strait. I’m not certain how many Manhattans its area is, (maybe 50,) but it is a big chunk of jumbled ice over fifteen feet thick. In the summer heat it will likely crumble and be spread far and wide like a small pat of butter over a large piece of toast. Because the extent-graphs do not differentiate between a small chunk fifteen feet thick and a spread-out-slush six inches thick, this single area of piled up ice has the ability to mess up ice-melt calculations royally. In fact, if the winds are right, as it spreads out the extent graphs may go up when logic tells us they should go down.

    I think it will be a lot of fun watching ice melt this summer, and also listening to the hullabaloo people make about it.

  68. “… scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century. ”

    Um but the Arctic was supposed to be ice free last year, now its going to happen sometime this century. This is more evidence that climate change is just politics, not science.

  69. Samurai the ice is not that thin, the reason ice melts is warmer water currents underneath the ice, not the surface air which even if some was warmer would still be under zero and not melting the ice anytime soon at this time of year.
    See Box of Rocks and maybe Caleb above

    Gavin is right in one aspect, it is impossible to predict the time and extent to which Arctic sea ice will melt. He was badly burned last year as I was the other way the year before.
    The Arctic ice returning to status quo will be the death knell of the warmists when it occurs. One can only hope for such an event in the next couple of years lasting for at least 2 summers along with a drop in global temp.
    While this practically would be just weather and not proof of no AGW it would still be the silver bullet for AGW as they have used the reverse argument so often they will die of shame and ridicule.

  70. There is no evidence of objectivity (such as considering alternative explanations) in this report of the study and some evidence of a pre-determined conclusion. So many studies looking for observations in support of an opinion. And that reminds me of the NYTimes article proclaiming that it is not safe to pee in your swimming pool. “says science.” Technically, a chemical is created but it is impossible to create it at levels that can be remotely toxic. Says Science. One fact, such as variable ice melt patterns, does not make for a proven conclusion of fearsome, rapid and non-reversing change.

  71. @ Alan Robertson, Tuduri

    Do winds and ocean currents and black carbon soot and the Beaufort Gyre have greater influence on Arctic sea ice area, or does global temperature cause the greatest variance in Arctic sea ice? How do you separate (amplified) Arctic warming and other effects from the larger global picture – warmer air masses and currents and gyres, whether the Beaufort or the North Atlantic Current, warmer runoff from rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean and so on? But there’s probably not much role for black carbon here.

    Why has Antarctic continental ice been increasing for 150 years it hasn’t while Southern Ocean sea ice area sets new growth records each year? Proportionately small variations in annual ice, possibly driven by fresher surface water and changing thermoclines. Why is the global sea ice anomaly already positive (and will remain so for the rest of the year?) 0.3 million km2 out of a total 17 million km2, and the year is young

  72. Magma says:
    April 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    “@ Alan Robertson – sure. I’m barely returning the favor. Any representative sampling of the attacks on scientists’ competence, motives and characters routinely made here would cast my mildly sarcastic remarks into the shade.
    ___________________
    These pages are filled with “State Pen, not Penn State” and similar remarks. These threads also contain many documented references to attacks by the very same “scientists”, educators and government officials which call for the imprisonment, “re-education” and even death of climate skeptics. The efforts to suppress our voices are legion.

    Your remarks don’t get any shade, just the full glare of sunlight exposing the totalitarian underpinnings of the cause which you support.

    Prove me wrong!

  73. mkelly says:
    April 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm
    The IPCC said that the Arctic was freezing up in the 1970′s. The graph below is from the 1990 IPCC report, and shows Arctic sea ice satellite data which is conveniently omitted from NSIDC graphs that start at the 1979 peak…If the first IPCC report has ice record going back to 1974 with ’74 being low the 1979 information is a true cherry pick. We should not use it.

    First, be careful comparing data sets. The earlier data was manually digitized from ice charts, and averages 10% higher than the self-consistent 1979-date satellite data. Second, it didn’t: the maximums ranged from 13.9 M km2 (1974) to 15.7 M km2 (1979) and the minimums from 6.1 M km2 (1977) to 6.9 M km2 (1978). Compare to the last ten year average of 13.3 M km2 for the maximum extent, and the 2012 historic summer low of 2.4 M km2.

    But here’s the first ten years of monthly NOAA/NMC/CAC Arctic sea ice extent data if you want to play with it (in million km2)

    year old
    1973.042 14.234
    1973.125 14.795
    1973.208 14.605
    1973.292 13.489
    1973.375 11.814
    1973.458 9.797
    1973.542 8.446
    1973.625 6.705
    1973.708 6.570
    1973.792 8.569
    1973.875 10.300
    1973.958 12.711
    1974.042 13.307
    1974.125 13.898
    1974.208 13.913
    1974.292 13.360
    1974.375 11.932
    1974.458 10.406
    1974.542 8.294
    1974.625 6.581
    1974.708 6.521
    1974.792 8.615
    1974.875 11.126
    1974.958 12.533
    1975.042 13.848
    1975.125 14.674
    1975.208 14.471
    1975.292 13.460
    1975.375 11.648
    1975.458 9.791
    1975.542 8.353
    1975.625 6.692
    1975.708 6.542
    1975.792 8.615
    1975.875 10.847
    1975.958 12.830
    1976.042 14.015
    1976.125 14.996
    1976.208 14.703
    1976.292 14.489
    1976.375 12.501
    1976.458 11.118
    1976.542 8.791
    1976.625 7.273
    1976.708 6.748
    1976.792 9.500
    1976.875 11.639
    1976.958 12.852
    1977.042 14.445
    1977.125 15.074
    1977.208 15.196
    1977.292 13.997
    1977.375 12.727
    1977.458 10.719
    1977.542 7.768
    1977.625 6.382
    1977.708 6.106
    1977.792 8.820
    1977.875 10.830
    1977.958 12.925
    1978.042 14.344
    1978.125 15.067
    1978.208 15.021
    1978.292 13.881
    1978.375 12.344
    1978.458 10.838
    1978.542 8.883
    1978.625 6.873
    1978.708 7.380
    1978.792 9.632
    1978.875 11.557
    1978.958 13.824
    1979.042 14.650
    1979.125 15.697
    1979.208 15.330
    1979.292 14.023
    1979.375 11.946
    1979.458 10.615
    1979.542 8.409
    1979.625 6.746
    1979.708 6.240
    1979.792 8.817
    1979.875 10.605
    1979.958 12.818
    1980.042 13.883
    1980.125 14.731
    1980.208 14.779
    1980.292 13.726
    1980.375 12.392
    1980.458 10.631
    1980.542 8.891
    1980.625 7.276
    1980.708 7.285
    1980.792 8.670
    1980.875 11.403
    1980.958 13.198
    1981.042 14.474
    1981.125 14.519
    1981.208 14.338
    1981.292 13.520
    1981.375 11.932
    1981.458 10.517
    1981.542 8.961
    1981.625 6.618
    1981.708 6.446
    1981.792 8.751
    1981.875 11.012
    1981.958 13.230
    1982.042 14.424
    1982.125 14.973
    1982.208 15.074
    1982.292 13.530
    1982.375 12.097
    1982.458 11.066
    1982.542 8.862
    1982.625 7.049
    1982.708 6.449
    1982.792 9.378
    1982.875 11.183
    1982.958 13.058

  74. richard says:
    April 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    “Claim: NSIDC, NASA Say Arctic Melt Season Lengthening, Ocean Rapidly Warming”

    and the reality,

    http://www.arctic-info.com/ExpertOpinion/Page/-the-need-for-icebreakers-will-increase-after-the-year-2016-

    “…..For this reason, especially in the summer, there has been an increase in the need for icebreakers on the Northern Sea Route.”

    And that reason, which you conveniently omitted, was the increase in commercial transarctic traffic via the Northern sea route, which is consistent with an increased seaice melt.

  75. Bill Illis says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:31 am
    Are they using the real dates of Max and Min here or are they just repeating what they believe?

    If you read the original post you’ll see that they aren’t using the Max and Min to define the melt season! They actually determine the date when ice surface starts to melt and the date when that water freezes.

    Mr Green Genes says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Les Johnson says:
    April 1, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Totally agree. My charts look just like yours! It would appear that Ms Stroeve is guilty of a terminological inexactitude ((c) Sir Winston Churchill).

    Clearly not since you and Les are trying to compare apples with oranges!

  76. Phil: In general, if ice extent is increasing, then there is more freezing than melting. If ice extent is decreasing, then there is more melting than freezing.

    This is the method used by Bill Chapman of the U of Illinois, and host of the Cryosphere today.

    If this disagrees with Stroeve, then either Stroeve or Chapman is wrong, or they are measuring two different effects.

    Mssr. Occam would suggest that Chapman is right.

  77. Les Johnson says:
    April 2, 2014 at 9:30 am
    Phil: In general, if ice extent is increasing, then there is more freezing than melting. If ice extent is decreasing, then there is more melting than freezing.

    This is the method used by Bill Chapman of the U of Illinois, and host of the Cryosphere today.

    If this disagrees with Stroeve, then either Stroeve or Chapman is wrong, or they are measuring two different effects.

    Mssr. Occam would suggest that Chapman is right.

    If ice extent is increasing it can also be due to winds breaking it up and spreading it out over a larger area just as the opposite can occur which leads to compaction. This can happen even when melting occurs since melting is reducing the thickness of the ice rather than its extent. So yes they are measuring two different effects, Stroeve et al. are measuring surface melting.

  78. Phil. says:
    April 2, 2014 at 8:06 am
    If you read the original post you’ll see that they aren’t using the Max and Min to define the melt season! They actually determine the date when ice surface starts to melt and the date when that water freezes.
    ————————

    Max and Min dates tells you when the bulk or average of the Arctic is melting and freezing. It is the true accurate measure.

    If one attempts to use any other method to measure melt starts and freeze starts, you are just cherrypicking a particular region (and not the whole Arctic) and/or one becomes greatly subject to confirmation bias.

    When does the ice surface start to melt?

    Well that depends on where you are to start with. The ice is melting constantly at the southern end of Greenland 365 days of the year. The Transpolar drift is constantly flushing ice out the Fram Strait to melt in the north Atlantic 365 days of the year. At the north pole, some ice never start to melt.

    They are just playing around with cherrypicking methods.

    ———–

    and any blog post about a study that has Julienne Stroeve as an author, is required to post a picture.

    or a video.

  79. “Despite large regional variations in the beginning and end of the melt season, the Arctic melt season has lengthened on average by five days per decade from 1979 to 2013.”

    Large regional variations doesn’t suggest the primary driver is a uniform global driver like well mixed CO2.

    “The increases in surface ocean temperatures, combined with a warming Arctic atmosphere due to climate change, explain the delayed freeze up in the fall.”

    Combined with? I would have thought it a no brainer that the atmospheric temperature increase was “because of” increases in surface ocean temperatures. If thats the relationship then, atmospheric temperature increase is not likely to be the primary driver (or else it would be positive feedback with all that implies)

  80. Bill Illis says:
    April 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm
    Phil. says:
    April 2, 2014 at 8:06 am
    If you read the original post you’ll see that they aren’t using the Max and Min to define the melt season! They actually determine the date when ice surface starts to melt and the date when that water freezes.
    ————————

    Max and Min dates tells you when the bulk or average of the Arctic is melting and freezing. It is the true accurate measure.

    It’s a measure of spread/compaction of the ice not melt and freeze. For example the sea ice to the north of Svalbard has expanded recently which doesn’t have much to do with freezing rather the breaking up of the ice and that being blown towards land.
    See: http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=crefl1_143.A2014092153500-2014092154000.2km.jpg

    If one attempts to use any other method to measure melt starts and freeze starts, you are just cherrypicking a particular region (and not the whole Arctic) and/or one becomes greatly subject to confirmation bias.

    Clearly you haven’t read the paper, the results are shown for the whole arctic and the results for the different regions are discussed. Clearly using the max and min extent days tells you nothing about the time of melt in the central arctic whereas the satellite data does.

    When does the ice surface start to melt?

    Well that depends on where you are to start with. The ice is melting constantly at the southern end of Greenland 365 days of the year. The Transpolar drift is constantly flushing ice out the Fram Strait to melt in the north Atlantic 365 days of the year. At the north pole, some ice never start to melt.

    They are just playing around with cherrypicking methods.

    The paper is about sea ice not Greenland! Also the ice near the north pole frequently does melt here’s a shot from 85ºN last July:

  81. Steve C says:
    April 1, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    That’s not bad going. Not two weeks since the Spring Equinox and already the Arctic is doomed. Hard to decide whether they’re going for a record or just joining in the general climate clamour du jour.

    I like “climate clamor” in place of “climate change.” “International Panel on Climate Clamor.”

  82. The ice is melting constantly at the southern end of Greenland 365 days of the year. The Transpolar drift is constantly flushing ice out the Fram Strait to melt in the north Atlantic 365 days of the year. At the north pole, some ice never start to melt.

  83. @Snow White – do you have a reading problem? Just curious.

    last I checked, September had 30 days. The 4th is not the end.

    Seems the rest of the world knows how to read better than you.

  84. Phil – Did you bother reading anything at that link? The point being there was no “freeze-up” and hence no need for any “emergency rescue operation” even at the end of September. If you’re only interested in the state of the ice in the Northwest Passage on September 4th 2013 try reading the contents of this link instead:

    http://econnexus.org/the-northwest-passage-in-2013/

    There’s plenty of pictures if reading is too much trouble for you!

  85. Snow White,

    Let’s cut to the chase: there is nothing being observed now that is not fully explained by natural variability. Nothing.

    Further, the Arctic has been ice free in the past, during the current Holocene. At times when CO2 was very low. It will happen again.

    It is amazing, the number of lemmings who believe that every tick and wiggle in an Arctic ice chart proves that a) humans are responsible, and b) that more money must be wasted on things that will make zero difference.

    Try thinking for yourself, if possible, instead of being led by the nose by people who are pushing a self-serving agenda. Because if you don’t think for yourself, you are part of the problem.

  86. Dr. Strangelove says:
    April 1, 2014 at 8:32 pm
    Julienne Stroeve

    I suggest you ask the sailors of the 22 yachts that got stuck in ice while crossing the Northwest Passage last summer in the Arctic Sea. They say there is 60% more sea ice than previous year.

    It didn’t happen so you won’t find those sailors!
    The article did not refer to ’22 yachts that got stuck in ice while crossing the NW Passage’, the article claimed that the NW Passage was blocked with ice at each end and named 22 vessels that were in there, including 3 rowboats, a kayak and jet skis!
    “There are a number of yachts known to be in the Cambridge Bay area heading west: ACALEPHE (CA), ISATIS (NEW CALEDONIA), LA BELLE EPOQUE (DE), LIBELLULE (CHE), NOEME (FRA), and TRAVERSAY III (CA). PAS PERDU LE NORD (DE) was ahead by 10 days and has already gone on to Arctic Alaska waters. While BALTHAZAR (CA) departed from Inuvik a month ago and is now on the hard in Nome Alaska.”
    So at the time of the article two of those were already out of the Arctic, I have been unable to find information about NOEME but all the rest successfully transited the NW Passage, and weren’t ‘stuck in the ice’.
    traveling in the other direction: “ANNA (?), rowboat ARCTIC JOULE (CA), DODO’S DELIGHT (GBR), EMPIRICUS (USA). rowboat FAIRMONT’s PASSION (USA), tandem-kayak IKIMAYIA (CA), in Russian sea ice is LADY DANA (POL), POLAR BOUND (GBR), rowboat ROWING ICE (FRA), in Russian sea ice is TARA (FRA), and a group of jetskis known as DANGEROUS WATERS (USA) reported east of Gjoa Haven.

    Several updates on known others:
    LE MANGUIER (FRA) is wintering over in the ice at Paulatuk. Motor Yacht Lady M II (Marshal Islands) was escorted by CCGS icebreaker HENRY LARSEN through Bellot Strait eastbound on 20130824.”

    Of those: DODO’S DELIGHT (GBR) successfully transited the Arctic despite losing a generator en route, along with ANNA, EMPIRICUS (USA) stayed in Cambridge bay, LADY DANA (POL) was actually transiting the Northern sea route and stayed in Vancouver rather than continue via the NW passage, POLAR BOUND (GBR) successfully transited the arctic, TARA (FRA) was attempting to sail both the Northern sea route and the NW Passage in one season which they successfully completed, they arrived in France in early December.
    ARCTIC TERN (GBR) and TOOLUKA (NED) turned back without entering the NW Passage. LE MANGUIER (FRA) is a converted tugboat which has spent several years cruising around the Arctic, no reason to believe that they were intending to not overwinter up there.
    So of the yachts mentioned in that article, none were stuck in the ice and two overwintered there, the rest completed their journeys with one unknown.
    I hope that clears things up, hopefully we won’t hear any more tall tales about ’22 yachts stuck in ice’.

  87. Re: dbstealey says:
    April 4, 2014 at 11:53 am

    What’s any of that go to do with what Phil (#2) refers to as “tall tales about ’22 yachts stuck in ice’”?

    Do you “think for yourself”, or do you believe everything you read at the so called “Real Science”, or in here for that matter?

  88. philjourdan says:
    April 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm
    @Snow White – there is no Phil #2. Do you lie as a matter of habit or for fun?

    For some reason my post indicating that snow white was clearly referring to my post as Phil (#2) has disappeared.
    Phil. says:
    April 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

  89. @Phil. – Your missing comment seems to have magically reappeared this morning (UTC)!

    @philjourdan – Repeating a lie an infinite number of times does not magically turn it into the truth. There never were “22 yachts that got stuck in ice while crossing the Northwest Passage last summer”. Many people may have said “there is 60% more sea ice than previous year”, but that:
    wasn’t true either:

    http://GreatWhiteCon.info/2013/09/60-per-cent-of-nothing/

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