Ice between Canada and SW Greenland: highest level in 15 years.


As yet another indicator of the impact January 2008 has had on the Northern Hemisphere, we find this story from Greenland’s Sermitsiaq News:

Minus 30 degrees Celsius. That’s how cold it’s been in large parts of western Greenland where the population has been bundling up in hats and scarves. At the same time, Denmark’s Meteorological Institute states that the ice between Canada and southwest Greenland right now has reached its greatest extent in 15 years.

‘Satellite pictures show that the ice expansion has extended farther south this year. In fact, it’s a bit past the Nuuk area. We have to go back 15 years to find ice expansion so far south. On the eastern coast it hasn’t been colder than normal, but there has been a good amount of snow.’

And on the front page, a story about that other “indicator of climate”, the polar bear:

More polar bears seen at Sisimiut

Apparently, they don’t have the same affinity for them as some others do.

Finally we have this latest Arctic sea ice graph from Cryosphere Today:


The blue line (which I added) shows that Arctic sea ice peaked just a bit above last years peak, at 13.5 million square kilometers. The anomaly graph below the main graph, also shows a large anomaly than last year.

It will be interesting to see how long it holds and if we see a gain or loss next year.

29 thoughts on “Ice between Canada and SW Greenland: highest level in 15 years.

  1. Well, were within a month of the point where ice will start to decrease. It will be interesting to see how this year’s melting trend goes.

  2. Well, considering that Antartica’s sea ice is currently above normal and the spring thaw down there was a month late I’d stay that the safe bet is that same will occur in the Artic this year. My curiousity right now is what type of summer is the Southern Hemisphere experiencing right now. They had a nasty winter in ’07 and wondering if they summer is normal, cooler or hotter than the norms?

  3. Yes, but this year’s peak is likely to go higher given that last year’s was in March. It will be neat to check this again in a month. — John M Reynolds

  4. It would be interesting to see what the anomally would be if they included the seven years since 2000 to get their “mean”. It would also be interesting to see what would happen If they removed the seven years from 1979 and added the seven years since 2000 to achieve their “mean” then compare it to our current levels??
    Given that the early years were the coldest ones it kind of distorts the mean.

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  6. This is obviously CO2 forced. Allow me to explain.
    First, phenomenon only occurs where great masses of Caucasians are gathered. North America and Europe come immediately to mind. CO2 emissions from non-Caucasians can be eliminated from this discussion, just because.
    Second, these CO2 emissions result in greater uptake of CO2 by plantlife. We all know that plants like to breathe CO2. So far so good. Well, when plants breathe CO2, they transpire, becoming conduits of water percolating in the soil back into the atmosphere.
    This causes clouds.
    Clouds block the sun. Which makes it cooler.
    When it gets cooler, the really cold bits of the planet get even colder. Ice forms.
    Give your money to the Chinese, and the plants will take a rest. I am sure of it. Many scientists say so. Especially the really good scientists.

  7. I like the UI site “The Cryosphere Today” but I have a question I have asked their contact guy twice to no avail. They show the Northern sea ice anomaly about .6 now, but if you add all 14 sub areas, the anomaly is much smaller, about .3.
    What’s up with that?
    I like your site very much and have just now added it to my favorites list.

  8. Well . . . one might argue that–up to a point–it actually does, if GW causes increased precip and the temps increase but remain below freezing.
    (OTOH, if the PDO/AMO is swinging out, my guess is that we may be tooling for a cooling.)

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  10. Hi,
    I would like to agree with what JMRSudburry says. We are not yet necessarilly at a peak for the arctic ice season. If you look at last year, the small current downturn could just be showing a “local maximum” and continue to go up again for a couple of more weeks at least. We’ll find out soon enough.

  11. Kent: Actually, I don’t know that it’s so unreasonable a measure. It takes us from the trough of the PDO low to the peak of a PDO high. That seems reasonable as an interval average.
    Now when PDO is definitely on the downswing, we can compare the two halves of the cycle and see what we can see. Comparing peak-to-peak (late 1930’s to Y2K) and trough-to-trough (1980 to c. 2030) will actually give us a better handle on actual warming. (Unless the AMO puts a foot in and screws with the stats.)

  12. Normal annual areal max is generally between Mar 15 and Apr 15. Still some more to go, in all likelihood.

  13. Sheryle – no, you have one more month. The SH autumnal / NH spring equinox is not until the 3rd week of March.

  14. Extent without thickness doesnt provide valuable information. I’ll reserve opinion until at least next summer.
    The US Coast Guard is already planning to increase its presence in the Arctic to support shipping. They know a thing or two about the ocean. Does it sound like they are expecting an increase in sea ice?

  15. Hi from Seattle, Washington USA…… our entire region has experienced record cold this winter and almost 200% of normal snowfall in the mountains,…. glaciers on Mt St Helens are expanding ……and still our media and politicians are warning us about global warming……..WOW when will the masses realize that the “emperor has no clothes” ???
    By they way when Al Gore was VP he “climbed” Mt Rainier using helicopters for much of the transportation to the mountain , including his multitutde of his security detail as well has who knows who accompanies the President and VP on such outings…….
    And also Al Gore received a speeding ticket from an Oregon State Police Trooper in about 2004 (the little gas wasting speed demon”

  16. “The US Coast Guard is already planning to increase its presence in the Arctic to support shipping. They know a thing or two about the ocean. Does it sound like they are expecting an increase in sea ice?”
    Perhaps they are. Sea ice is extremely hazardous to shipping. More presence may indeed be required.

  17. No One can predict the extent and thickness of the sea ice. It is known from recent history (about 100 years or so in the past) that the ice conditions vary considerably from year to year. Amundson took his small boat through the northwest passage a little over 100 years ago. But there is no scientific data for much of that period. Some scientists say you cannot determine ice thickness without actual empirical measurements on the ice itself. Others use computer models while sitting in their offices in some city.
    At this point, I find this whole debate about sea ice bordering on the preposterous.
    Of course, we should continue studying the ice conditions in the arctic to learn as much as we can, but refrain from making dubious predictions and hysterical public announcements. These sciences are in their infancy and are not reliable predictive sciences. They have enough trouble measuring present conditions and know very little about past ones.

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  21. I am a simulation engineer since 1966 – UCLA Class of ’66 Masters Degree. Having worked in simulation throughout my career, I cannot understand the various scientists that predict, based on their simulation models, that the earth will blah, blah blah in 5/10/20… years. They can’t even get tomorrow’s weather correct so how can they predict past next weekend?
    The Director of Global Warming for Greenpeace was asked ‘Why is the Pacific Ocean cooling.’ The response was ‘That is a global warming phenomena.’ Asked about the record low temperatures in the 48 states, he replied ‘That is a global warming phenomena.’ Are all things global warming phenomena.

  22. Here we are about to spend trillions of dollars to TRY and control climate based on a model proffered by the UN IPCC with no proper international peer review–this, when the NWS has difficulties with weather forecast meer days in the future. Isn’t it time to have proper scientific review before bankrupting future generations for what might be normal climate variations?
    In view the climate is now definitely cooling, and not warming, perhaps it’s time to find out the truth.

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