Antarctic sea ice has been above average for 1000 straight days

Like watching the number of days that a major hurricane has not made landfall on the United States (now over 3000 days), we can now watch the number of days that Antarctica’s sea ice continues to be above the 30 year baseline. The constant growth is remarkable.

As shown in the plot below, data from University of Illinois Cryosphere Today shows that Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Anomaly has been positive since July 5th, 2011.

We are now on day 1001 of positive anomaly based on the 1979-2008 baseline.

Antarctic_sea_ice_anom-1000days

Here is all the data plotted:

timeseries.south.anom.1979-2014-all

Source of the data: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.south.anom.1979-2008

 

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70 thoughts on “Antarctic sea ice has been above average for 1000 straight days

  1. Apparently the ice shelf is melting so fast it’s changing the salinity of the surrounding Ocean, causing it to freeze at the higher temperatures? That’s according to the remaining CAGW diehards.

  2. This side of the pond we have had report on the BBC news that all the missing heat has gone into the Atlantic and Southern oceans. I am not even going to comment on something as unscientific as this, except to say is this the best they can come up with? The EU have banned vacuum cleaners of over 1200 watts from 1st September and from 2017 any vacuum cleaner over 900 watts is also being banned. This is to combat climate change. No global warming for almost 18 years, biggest sea ice area in Antarctica and no major hurricanes making landfall on your side of the pond.
    Am I missing something here or has the world gone barking mad?

  3. Start sounding the alarm.
    In 8 years (Or MORE) the Antarctic ice COULD be touching the land of Terra De Fuego or MAYBE blocking Cape Horn.
    IF this rate of expansion WAS to continue at a linear rate the Southern Oceans COULD be solid by 2022.

    Headline from AP:
    World DOOMED to FREEZE by 2020.

  4. Seeing there is so much ice down there, we should chop a couple of chunks off and tow them to california, I heard whiskey on the rocks and snow cones were soon to be put on the endangered species list

  5. M Courtney said:
    “Weather, not climate.”
    I am usually all over posts that breathlessly announce new low temperature records, etc. But, here we are talking about an entire continent and a period of three years, so it’s a bit beyond weather.

  6. John ;0) – Whiskey on the rocks SHOULD be an endangered species. The only thing that needs adding to Irish whiskey (in a plain, heavy glass tumbler) is more Irish whiskey. :0)

    To my fellow Brit andrewmharding – andrew, old chap, the world HAS gone barking mad. The banning of vacuum cleaners of more than 1200 watts will lead to people using less powerful cleaners for longer. You really could not make this stuff up.

    Talking of Watts – Anthony, thank you for your consistently intelligent and fascinating blog. Sometimes, WUWT seems to be the only sane voice in a world where commonsense, scientific standards and professional integrity seem to have gone walkabout.

  7. Madman2001 says:
    August 22, 2014 at 9:03 am
    M Courtney said:
    “Weather, not climate.”
    I am usually all over posts that breathlessly announce new low temperature records, etc. But, here we are talking about an entire continent and a period of three years, so it’s a bit beyond weather.

    And to put it into context, the arctic has had a negative anomaly since day 93, 2003, about 8 years longer.

  8. This is truly amazing.

    The CAGW models all projected Antarctic ice extent should have been shrinking, not setting a 35-yr record anomaly and showing a 35-yr growing trend…

    It’s almost certain to set the largest Antarctic ice extent maximum ever recorded next month.

    BTW, it looks like something strange happened with Norsex Arctic Ice Extent data yesterday. It dropped almost 1 million KM^2 in one day…

    Something similar happened in March of this year and it was later corrected. What causes this?

    Is this just a flaw in missing grid satellite data for the day?

  9. Surely this is nothing “remarkable”. The low Arctic sea ice is due to nothing other than natural variation, wind and ocean currents – like-wise the Antarctic sea ice growth.

    Inconvenient than Antarctica itself is losing ice mass:
    “… whereas both the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Peninsula, on the far west of the continent, are rapidly losing volume, East Antarctica is gaining volume — though at a moderate rate that doesn’t compensate the losses on the other side of the continent.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820110538.htm

  10. “IF” the Antarctic ice shelf is

    (1) “melting” at such higher rates(never measured nor calculated except as several “gigatons per year based on assumed (never calibrated!) GRACE satellite assumptions) to
    (2) dilute the surrounding seawater to
    (3) raise the normal salt water ocean freezing point from
    (4) -x.xx degrees C (never stated! in these arm-waving excuses)
    (5) -y.yy degrees C (also never stated, never measured, never explicitly referenced from experimental results, never calculated based on actual seawater temperatures nor air temperatures over time at various salinities) by
    (6) “diluting the ocean water” by “how much” over “how big an area”
    when
    (7) in fact, the air over the Antarctic continent has been steadily decreasing over the past 30 years
    (8) and so the increased melt rate cannot be justified except by assumptions.

    Assume Wikipedia is “good enough” for simple chemistry.

    “Seawater or salt water is water from a sea or ocean. On average, seawater in the world’s oceans has a salinity of about 3.5% (35 g/L, or 599 mM). This means that every kilogram (roughly one litre by volume) of seawater has approximately 35 grams (1.2 oz) of dissolved salts (predominantly sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl−) ions). Average density at the surface is 1.025 g/ml. Seawater is denser than both fresh water and pure water (density 1.0 g/ml @ 4 °C (39 °F)) because the dissolved salts add mass without contributing significantly to the volume. The freezing point of seawater decreases as salt concentration increases. At typical salinity it freezes at about −2 °C (28 °F).[1] The coldest seawater ever recorded (in a liquid state) was in 2010, in a stream under an Antarctic glacier, and measured −2.6 °C (27.3 °F).[2] Seawater pH is typically limited to a range between 7.5 and 8.4.[3]”

    (Odd, isn’t it, that the record LOW freezing point for salt water was recorded in the very dilute runoff water DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH an Antarctic glacier…..)

    Also, just the “excess” Antarctic sea ice has been “above normal” as a positive anomaly for 8 years now. The Antarctic sea ice anomaly exceeded 2.05 million sq kilometers of sea ice in June, and has been routinely greater than 1.5 mliion square kilometers this year AT ALL actual areas of sea ice.

    Thus, IF the continental ice WAS melting and WAS diluting the seawater and WAS causing the sea water to freeze at higher temperatures (thus creating more sea ice easier) then how do you explain how that sea water was being “diluted” at the same levels when the sea ice is 3.0 Mkm^2 at a distance of 0-50-100 kilometers from shore, as when the edge of the sea ice is 800 – 1000 kilometers from the continental edge with an area of 15.5 to 16.0 Mkm^2?

  11. You know that is in the “grey area” of the global land/ocean surface temperature anomaly. Same for arctic. In other words what happens in the arctic and Antarctic regarding the temoerature anomaly….. Stays there. It doesn’t count. That’s right…. A land mass bigger than US and Mexico combined does jot count.

  12. “Phil. says:
    And to put it into context, the arctic has had a negative anomaly since day 93, 2003, about 8 years longer.”

    And put in context, that this is written as: “straight days”. In reality, it was long before the antarctic sea ice sum is in a positive anomaly.
    It must also to put in context, that we are overall in a warmer world. So its easier to reach a negative anomaly than to reach a positive anomaly with the point “sea ice” and the other way round with the point temperatures. Hence its a wonderfull sign of “old” gaia, that there are overall “thermostates”.

    Hans

  13. In other words…. You can write a ‘science’ article now describing why the earth is not as cold as you would expect….. Because you found this missing cold!!!!!! It was lost in the north and south poles! It’s been hiding there all summer. And its going to unleash freezing hell in the near future.

  14. It’s caused by the cold apparently.

    Abstract July 2011
    Qi Shu et. al
    Sea ice trends in the Antarctic and their relationship to surface air temperature during 1979–2009
    “Surface air temperature (SAT) from four reanalysis/analysis datasets are analyzed and compared with the observed SAT from 11 stations in the Antarctic……Antarctic SIC trends agree well with the local SAT trends in the most Antarctic regions. That is, Antarctic SIC and SAT show an inverse relationship: a cooling (warming) SAT trend is associated with an upward (downward) SIC trend.”

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/docs/Shu_etal_2012.pdf

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00382-011-1143-9

  15. But it’s caused by an error I hear you say. Nay.

    “The apparent expansion is real and not due to an error in a previous data set uncovered by the Eisenman et al paper,” NASA’s Josefino Comiso told Live Science. “That error has already been corrected and the expansion being reported now has also been reported by other groups as well using different techniques.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/antarcticas-sea-ice-expanding-experts-clash-over-new-study-n162391

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/28/remember-that-claim-from-nsidcs-walt-meier-that-the-antarctic-ice-expansion-was-due-to-a-processing-error-never-mind/

  16. A. Smith says (ironically)

    “In other words…. You can write a ‘science’ article now describing why the earth is not as cold as you would expect….. Because you found this missing cold!!!!!! It was lost in the north and south poles! It’s been hiding there all summer. And its going to unleash freezing hell in the near future.”

    Thats not so far. Freezing sea water to ice produce heat. More than freezing fresh water. This heat is pumped to space in the antarctic winter. Its lost for the global energy balance. In the opposite of missing heat you have cold. Thats also the point, why not only the max of the antarctic sea ice is higher, but also the min.

    Hans

  17. We’ve monitored both poles for about a century at most and with satellites for less than half that.
    It’s not possible to say if this is special or not. So I stand by “it’s weather not climate”.
    But I still say it’s funny.

  18. Edward Richardson says:
    August 22, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for the link. The abstract states that Antarctica is losing ice at an estimated rate about 125 km^3/year (Greenland accounts for the remaining amount of their total). The total volume of the ice sheet is about 25,000,000 km^3. Question: How long will it take to melt 1% of the total Antarctic ice sheet?

    (Meanwhile, the Antarctic sea ice extent grows bigger, and bigger, and bigger…)
    :)

  19. Antarctic sea ice has been above average for 1000 straight days
    ————
    No warming for ~17 years and a kDay of >avg Antarctic ice, but it aint gonna matter a whit to the warmunists – they will continue preaching doom.

    Or worse, they will say it’s all proof of global warming.

  20. Hans,

    Yes, entropy causes “heat” release during freezing if you want to look at it that way. I guess all that heat went to the Atlantic Ocean though right? Or right to space. However… persistent loss of heat is required to induce the heat release… quite a physical phenomenon eh? What do you suppose is sucking the heat out of the antarctic sea water so significantly?

    Nothing. that is the answer: nothing is sucking it out. i say that because there is a lack of energy that once prevented the orderly crystallization of the sea water. There is nothing where there used to be something. Water is very conductive – especially sea water…. Ice is not. The loss of energy flowing through the water molecules induces freezing more rapidly. Its a downward spiral…. the more ice forms… the less the energy can flow…then more ice builds. this will continue until the “sunthing” returns.

    The lows in antarctic summer are getting lower. the trend is there. As for the Arctic… I believe a storm just blew through and busted up the ice. I think its blowing it right to Britain http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bank-holiday-weekend-weather-coldest-4069846 the ice will be back and back with a vengeance.

  21. The EU have banned vacuum cleaners of over 1200 watts from 1st September and from 2017 any vacuum cleaner over 900 watts is also being banne

    1600 watts. 900 later and wood burners after that.

  22. An issue of importance: we need good operational(!) definitions of “climate” and “weather”. These definitions should be usable as references do decide whether a particular issue under discussion is one of “climate” or “weather”.
    For example, one Category 3 storm is clearly “weather”, but does 3224 days (almost 9 years) of Category 3 storms entirely *avoiding* the continent constitute a statistical fluke in the weather, or a short-term trend in climate?
    Where should we draw the line?

  23. steveta_uk Thanks, You’re right, but it is still an unnecessary ban!
    As far as AGW goes, logic doesn’t get a look in. As somebody else has pointed out,if it takes twice as long to vacuum your carpet with a 1200 watt cleaner as it does with a 2400 watt cleaner,the amount of electrical energy consumed is the same. I would like to add though, that the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere is higher, because the person doing the cleaning is expending more energy and therefore exhales more CO2.
    That the AGW supporters can claim that the Arctic icecap is shrinking due to AGW and the Antarctic icecap is expanding due to AGW draws me to the only logical conclusion possible. AGW supporters are at best neurotic, at worst psychotic!

  24. On the WUWT sea ice page, the “Global Sea Ice Cover” map has Antarctic ice in two shades of blue, dark blue for solid ice, light blue for broken ice. However, day by day the light-blue dark-blue boundaries have no consistency, they can be anywhere. It shows there’s really no difference between them, and dial-turning to find the “right” answer accounts for each day’s map. So my view is that day-to-day variations are imaginary and weekly samplings are the shortest useful ones, if that. I think dial-turning played a significant role in the 2007 and 2012 NH ice minima. And now I’ve beaten this drum enough, cheers.

  25. Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter) on August 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

    What’s your point, phil? Spit it out!

    Phil was making the point that the bipolar seesaw is now active – he just didn’t spell it out considering it too obvious. The bipolar seesaw is a marker of both the start and end of interglacials – e.g. see Tzedakis papers. So Phil is warning us to expect global cooling and a slide toward glaciation.

    Thanks for the heads-up Phil.

  26. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ writes on their web page,

    “This has occurred despite the fact that air temperatures at the 925 hPa level in the Ross and western Amundsen Sea have been much higher than average, by up to 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), for the past two weeks. Longer term, the preceding three months (mid-May to mid-August) have been slightly warmer than average over most of the Antarctic sea ice areas. This supports the idea that the record or near record high Antarctic ice extents of 2014 have been driven by wind patterns and ocean conditions as discussed in our July post.

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

    Some one needs to remind the NSIDC of the physics of freezing water. Latent heat is released, lots of it. That heat goes to the atmosphere, the only place it can go. Very simple thermodynamic concepts seem to elude them. And since the air temps are typically below zero in the Southern Ocean winters as the Sun does not come up at all mid-May to mid-August, this latent heat release can explain the “slightly warmer than average over most of the Antarctic sea ice areas.”

  27. the number 1000 is interesting,only a few minutes ago jim hunt and i agreed on a $1000 dollar bet on arctic sea ice. it must remain above 1 million square kilometres between now and 2022 for me to win, and drop below for jim to win. loser pays money to charity of winners choice . nice to find an alarmist willing to put his money where his mouth is.

  28. Phil. says:
    August 22, 2014 at 9:15 am (replying to)

    Madman2001 says:
    August 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

    and

    M Courtney said:
    “Weather, not climate.”

    I am usually all over posts that breathlessly announce new low temperature records, etc. But, here we are talking about an entire continent and a period of three years, so it’s a bit beyond weather.

    And to put it into context, the arctic has had a negative anomaly since day 93, 2003, about 8 years longer.

    YES! Continued loss of Arctic sea ice IS a tremendous problem!

    Future arctic sea ice losses from today’s levels in Arctic sea ice extents between Sept 1 and May 1 will only serve to increase global cooling.

    Let us begin a calculating analysis of the Arctic sea ice extents (since it is, after all, the only remaining “evidence” of the former CAGW theory). But, I do not want to address generic previous statements or (false) claims. Therefore, what specifically do YOU believe are the connections between recent increases in CO2 levels, the so-called catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, and Arctic sea ice extents?

    I know the ‘theory” of arctic amplification, but do not want to make any assumptions about what YOU believe, nor why YOU believe potential future increases or decreases in arctic sea ice extents are either a symptom of CAGW or a problem to be addressed at all.

    Thus, justify (with calculations) why you believe future Arctic sea ice decreases from today’s levels are a problem at all.

  29. CryoSat: Launched on April 8, 2010. Measuring the thickness of polar sea ice and monitoring changes in the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica.
    Satellite records show a constant downward trend in the area covered by Arctic sea ice during all seasons, in particular in summer, with the minimum recorded occurring in the autumn of 2012. In October 2013, however, CryoSat measured about 9,000 cubic km of sea ice – a notable increase compared to 6,000 cubic km in October 2012.
    See http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/CryoSat/Arctic_sea_ice_up_from_record_low

  30. Andres Valencia says:
    August 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Satellite records show a constant downward trend in the area covered by Arctic sea ice during all seasons, in particular in summer, with the minimum recorded occurring in the autumn of 2012. In October 2013, however, CryoSat measured about 9,000 cubic km of sea ice – a notable increase compared to 6,000 cubic km in October 2012.

    And this year, the 2014 ice season, Arctic sea ice extents (area! Which is the ONLY thing we can actually measure.) has been even HIGHER than in the 2013 season: it has been within two std deviations from the accepted “normal” daily average the entire year. Thus, it has been within normal natural variations. Previous highs and lows are meaningless: this year is the only season that matters.

    Andres Valencia says:
    August 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Yes, that is what CryoSat is paid to produce. And your point is?

  31. Jimbo says:
    August 22, 2014 at 10:40 am (bringing a common CAGW claim about Antarctic sea ice)

    But it’s caused by an error I hear you say. Nay.

    “The apparent expansion is real and not due to an error in a previous data set uncovered by the Eisenman et al paper,” NASA’s Josefino Comiso told Live Science. “That error has already been corrected and the expansion being reported now has also been reported by other groups as well using different techniques.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/antarcticas-sea-ice-expanding-experts-clash-over-new-study-n162391

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/28/remember-that-claim-from-nsidcs-walt-meier-that-the-antarctic-ice-expansion-was-due-to-a-processing-error-never-mind/

    Ah, but the importance of this claim – proved wrong as you point out – is even LESS IMPORTANT than you might think. The “Error” in Antarctic sea ice extents that these papers attempt to analyze – actually a “difference” between two analysis methods – is less than 1/10 of one percent of reported Antarctic sea ice values.

    Antarctic sea ice “excesses” the past three years are consistently gotten LARGER through all seasons of the year at ALL Antarctic sea cie levels: from a low of 2-1/2 Mkm^2 to a higher of greater than 16.0 Mkm^2. The Antarctic sea ice anomaly the past three years has been steadily and rapidly growing during every month of the year – reaching a record high in June 2014 at 2.05 million km^2, averaging over 1.35 million sq kilometers, and being above 1.0 Mkm^2 the entire time. Thus, a one-time “correction” of 0.010 million square kilometers is meaningless is discussing Antarctic sea ice trends – the change is less than the random difference between four successive daily sea ice extents!

    In fact, the Antarctic sea ice anomaly has been getting larger since the late 19080′s – Antarctic sea ice has been getting larger – covering more area at latitudes far closer to the equator – for a longer period of time than Arctic sea ice has been decreasing.

  32. I have a strong feeling that there is a distinct mindset about the greenhouse effect on global warming and sea ice, even with those scientists who travel down to Antarctica and see the exact opposite outcome with their own eyes.

    Not only have they come up with almost a dozen explanations as to why Antarctic sea ice is increasing, they keep re-assuring us this will be short lived and have oddly conducted research purporting to show why sea ice retreat will accelerate.

    When is something going to click?

    I note however that in the Request For Tender criteria for a new Antarctic re-supply ship for the Australian Antarctic Division one of the requirements is the ability to break 1.65m thick ice while maintaining a speed of three knots.

    Isn’t this specification a bit of an overkill against expectations? (The present icebreaker Aurora Australis can break ice at 1.23 metres at 2.5 knots)

  33. If you are genuinely concerned about the potential implications of a climate change, that graph should really make you shudder.

  34. Antarctic sea ice should reach it’s maximum in August or September — why has it recently dropped? Are we seeing some kind of “Great Pause” in sea ice extent? And what is happening with land ice? Isn’t that what we really care about?

  35. Barry says:
    August 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Is the land ice melting at the moment? Oh no, we’re all doomed.

  36. Barry says:
    August 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Antarctic sea ice should reach it’s maximum in August or September — why has it recently dropped?

    A drop like this in August – before the late-September maximum Antarctic sea ice peak, before the mid-September Arctic sea ice minimum point – has happened several times in each sea ice yearly cycle in each hemisphere. Nothing unusual nor spectacular to note as of this date.

    Are we seeing some kind of “Great Pause” in sea ice extent? And what is happening with land ice? Isn’t that what we really care about?

    Supposedly, it is the total sea ice + land ice area that matters, because the heat balance of “energy reflected” vs “energy absorbed” worldwide is claimed to be strongly influenced by sea ice extent since land-based ice does not vary in area each year. Aside: I say “claimed to be influenced” because the CAGW catastrophic profits (er, prophets) hyperventilate about Arctic sea ice extents varying between latitude 72 to 81 each year, but ignore the ever-increasing Antarctic sea ice extents that actually DO reflect significant solar energy between latitudes 69 south to 59 south each year. In fact, each September, each square meter of Antarctic sea ice at ever-higher maximum extents each year receives five TIMES more solar energy than the (sometimes receding) edge of the Arctic sea ice!

    Sea levels are affected only by meltwater runoff – which is a land-based ice effect of glacier thickness, glacier length, and most importantly, continental ice thickness in Greenland and Antarctica. Even if every glacier on earth were to get shorter somehow, total glacier area would not change much. Now, about 1/2 of glaciers are retreating, 1/4 are advancing, and 1/4 are not changing length nor ice thickness (depth).

  37. Barry says:
    August 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Antarctic sea ice should reach it’s maximum in August or September — why has it recently dropped? Are we seeing some kind of “Great Pause” in sea ice extent? And what is happening with land ice? Isn’t that what we really care about?

    Here is the story. There used to be screams about global sea ice, then they stopped caring. Ask yourself why? Your answer is there.

  38. I suspect the same feedback that keeps arctic ice low will keep antarctic ice around. Namely that briny ice melts to liquid at a lower temperature and freshwater stays as ice to higher temps. As sea ice expands in winter, more and more of the ice becomes salt-free from precipitation and natural freezing effects. Antarctic seas will have to be even warmer than arctic seas to start seeing degradations,

  39. These posts, and Watts’ headline, imply, although none make a reasoned case, that growing Antarctic sea ice (or documented land ice increases in the interior) disprove the conclusions of Science that Earth is Warming and Man is the Cause. Nor do Scientists claim so.

    Another example of straw man arguments at WUWT.

    • Apparently you have no clue what a straw man is. A straw man is a restatement of an argument into a different argument for the purpose of defeating the point. These posts and Watts headline are not restating anything. They are reporting data. A critical component in any scientific field except apparently climatology.

      As they are reporting data, it is up to intelligent people to then check to see if the data supports the conclusion of the hypotheses. Which you could have done, but instead decided to play stupid.

      Learn the meaning of words before you use them.

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