Satellite Imagery Shows Arctic Ice Still Unmelted

There has been a great deal of speculation about the possibility that the arctic sea ice could, at the worst case, melt entirely, or more realistic, possibly break the record sea ice melt set last year.

Judge for yourself. This photo with 1 kilometer/pixel resolution was taken yesterday July 12th at 17:05 UTC:

Click for full size image – link to original source image is here

Note that the image above has been rotated, and the annotation for date/time added to make it easier to present here. There is some cloud cover, but if you look carefully, you can determine what is cloud cover and what is sea ice.

Here is the area covered by the AQUA/MODIS satellite on this photo:

The North Pole is visible in the satellite image, and I’ve marked it on the image with a “N” and crosshair.

Now compare to a similar photo from ten days ago:

Image rotated- click for source image.

I’d say we have a ways to go yet before the sea ice melts completely.

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July 13, 2008 1:32 pm

“I’d say we have a ways to go yet before the sea ice melts completely.”
You are hereby awarded the degree of M.U. (Master of Understatement), honoris causa.

Captain Obviousness
July 13, 2008 1:55 pm

The Alarmists love to make dire predictions (e.g. the NW passage will open for the first time ever this year) because they know it will get a good run in the news. If they end up being right, they can bask in the glory of their predictive abilities. If they end up being wrong, nobody notices and there aren’t any news stories like “This Just In: ice didn’t melt much this year, NW passage didn’t open. Film of frozen water at 11.” Dire predictions are a win-win game for them.

Evan Jones
July 13, 2008 2:00 pm

I recommend that NASA immediately knock Aqua out of the sky with an ASAT and claim they had to because its serious malfunctioning was posing a “grave threat” to humanity.

Larry Sheldon
July 13, 2008 2:06 pm

Link to original doesn’t work for me.

July 13, 2008 2:06 pm

[…] Up has the story “Satellite Imagery Shows Arctic Ice Still Unmelted” (and thanks, Anthony, for your hard work). Arctic Ice Hanging In Through Melting […]

July 13, 2008 2:23 pm

Well, in fairness, the image doesn’t indicate the thickness of the ice, does it?
I also have no experience interpreting this sort of image – to me it looks like there is practically no open sea visible. That makes me wonder where the photos I saw in the paper were taken. I don’t trust my interpretation.
Capt. Obviousness makes an excellent point that is true of the entire Warming controversy.
I also recall discussing this ice question in a class on remote sensing in my MA program in about 1992. The professor was a image interpretation specialist from the UN. He had the same conclusion – imagery didn’t support the notion of excessive melting.

July 13, 2008 2:55 pm

A simple but honest question. Have the gloom and doomer greenies every gotten an apocalyptic prediction right. Whether it was exploding population, resources running out, silent spring, arctic ice melting, species extinction, number of hurricanes, etc. etc. Could someone make a list for me of when they’ve gotten it correct?

July 13, 2008 2:57 pm

North Pole looks cloudy and cold. Not likely to result in a lot of melting today.

July 13, 2008 3:13 pm

If I’m selling something, and that something fails to perform as advertised, then customers can take me to court. I’d be in trouble from the Trade Practices Commission (aus), the Department of Fair Tading (nsw, aus) and guilty of offences under the Trade Practices Act (aus) at the very least.
If I go on TV and totally defame someone, I’m guilty of numerous offences.
If I’m in a shopping center and yell “Fire!” and cause a mass panic, I would be in quite a deal of trouble.
In short, if I go around lying, misrepresenting the truth or causing mass panics, I’m probably going to be doing jail time.
Why is it, then, that a person can yell “The ice caps are melting” or “temperatures are rising” or “sea levels are rising”, and when it doesn’t happen there is a collective shrug and no one is charges with (at least) causing a public mischief?

Terry S
July 13, 2008 3:17 pm

Theres an article here from the BBC which, if you didn’t know any better would, make you think the arctic melt this year was ahead of last year.
Here’s a quote which I thought was particularly good:

This evacuation comes as Canadian researchers report that the melting of the Arctic ice this year started at least four weeks ahead of the long-term average.

It manages to imply this years melt is already ahead of last years and invoke an emergency at the same time. Perfect.

July 13, 2008 3:18 pm

Captain Obviousness, actually it’s worse than that. The media blurs the distinction between prediction and reality. So the prediction becomes the reality for most people. I bet if you surveyed people, most would think Arctic ice is already at a record low due to the stories about the predictions that it will and written to look like fact by the media.
Thank G— for the internet.

July 13, 2008 3:24 pm

Oops, you must have posted the raw satellite images. I’m sure you can find some adjusted ones at GISS that will show open water at the pole.

July 13, 2008 3:38 pm

Reading the details in the scientists interviewed in the “Arctic Ice Will Melt This Year” articles, I noticed that those interviewed said the odds were 50-50. A cute way to set yourself up for a win whichever way it happens. But the layperson reading only remembers something about the Arctic ice is melting. Clever.

July 13, 2008 3:42 pm

Climate audit had a fascinating post last week pointing out that the key melts in past years normally occur right now in the cycle. If there’s not a ton of melting now, no way we match last year.

Steve Moore
July 13, 2008 3:43 pm

It will all be gone by August 15.
Or September 23.
Or as soon as NASA gets one of their crack Imaging Teams to “adjust” the raw data from AQUA.

Michael Hauber
July 13, 2008 4:07 pm

The most aggressive prediction of an ice free Arctic I know of is in 2012. I think a more common prediction is about 2030?

Bill Marsh
July 13, 2008 4:08 pm

The problem with the failure of predictions is that the failure is never acknowledged. Instead it is explained away as resulting from some heretofore unknown ‘human influenced process’ that caused the prediction to fail. The underlying theory is proclaimed ‘correct’ even though prediction after prediction fails. Or, in some cases, mind boggling statistical procedures (some unique and never before seen) that ‘prove’ the actual observed result is actually within acceptable distributional limits.

July 13, 2008 4:11 pm

So the non-deniers now deny the undeniable…..

Tom in Florida
July 13, 2008 4:16 pm

The lowest amount of arctic sea ice almost always occurs around mid September so we’ve got a ways to go yet. It is obvious that the western Arctic sea melts more than the eastern due to warmer currents coming through the Bering Staits and since we have not yet reached the annual high temps for that water, more melting is sure to come. More melting from ocean currents that is, not air temperature.

Leon Brozyna
July 13, 2008 4:23 pm

You can check on the progress of the melt at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. On the home page is a graph you can click on to get a nice large graph which is updated daily. Currently shows that this year’s melt is much slower than last year’s and even seems to be moving closer to the 21-year average than to last year’s melt. Not a bad showing for all this “fragile” new ice.

July 13, 2008 4:30 pm

Terry S (15:17:44) :
Theres an article here from the BBC which, if you didn’t know any better would, make you think the arctic melt this year was ahead of last year.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard several ‘experts’ on the radio news proclaiming the impending doom. As a regular oberver of this site (Thanks, Anthony for your work, and hope you and yours are safe), I either laugh or shout back at the radio (headphones on, observers think the mailman’s whacked).

July 13, 2008 4:32 pm

Steve Moore (15:43:58) :
It will all be gone by August 15.
Or September 23.
Or as soon as NASA gets one of their crack Imaging Teams to “adjust” the raw data from AQUA.
I believe they call the progran that can do this “Adobe Photoshop”

July 13, 2008 4:45 pm

I guess we’ll have to wait to September. June is the arctic ice at it’s peak, after all.

July 13, 2008 4:55 pm

Reasonably facile, thoroughly hypocritical pretense at science.
Like most know-nothing systems of propaganda, semantics overrules peer-reviewed science. Whether addressing 4 guys paid to show up as cheerleaders or a single sat image which pretends to forecast September open water, you cover your buns well – with words.
I’ll drop by in September to see what you have the integrity to post. Or the following September. Babbling about climate in weekly increments is only “legitimate” for politicians.

Evan Jones
July 13, 2008 5:02 pm

Well, in fairness, the image doesn’t indicate the thickness of the ice, does it?
Ice thickness is not irrelevant. but it is secondary. What really matters is area because that is what affects albedo.

July 13, 2008 5:15 pm

wow – eidard thinks he can impress people by mixing pretension, sanctimony, and faux superiority. Nice. Who needs logical arguments when they’re so good at showing off their holier-than-thou attitude?
No one is allowed to say anything at all about this until September, or maybe the next September. Maybe. The great and powerful Eidard has spoken!!! Wonder if HE’LL have the “integrity” to show up in September. Somehow I doubt it.

July 13, 2008 5:19 pm

Let’s try and avoid a who’s pretentious/who’s honest battle please. I’ll admit eideard probably stepped over the line, but I’m moderating with a light touch here.

Bill Illis
July 13, 2008 5:19 pm

The Terra and Aqua MODIS satellites are great, mainly because they deliver actual pictures (ie. they are not software-generated from radar with the software written by some global warming advocate.)
The downside to real pictures is that clouds can get in the way and they can’t be taken at night (ie. there are no MODIS sat pictures of Antarctica right now which is in 24 hour darkness – I wonder if that makes it cold at the Poles in the winter?)
The more we have these other instruments like MODIS and the lower troposphere satellite temps, the less likely the global warming advocates will try to get away with adjusting the CURRENT data.
But they will try to adjust the historical data, like this adjustment to the historical sea ice data undertaken by the NSIDC in January 2007. Shocking adjustment for which no explanation was ever given.

Sean Wise
July 13, 2008 5:28 pm

As bad as the characterizaton of the north pole is in the media, its nothing compared to what’s going on at the south pole. The sea ice at the south pole is running a million square kilometers above average and one side of the antartic peninsula is melting more than normal and its the press is all about an ice shelf crumbling. Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

Tom in Florida
July 13, 2008 5:39 pm

Link to comparative ice coverings for Jul 10 2007 and Jul 10 2008 ( I how this link works)

July 13, 2008 5:52 pm

Do drop by and see what happens in September or whatever. The ice status was bloged in an objective manner despite your implications. If you read more, you’ll see that the site’s creator IS skeptical of AGW hype but not ideologically married to an outcome. Nature is exciting and may confound all who read here yet. Stay tuned.

July 13, 2008 6:04 pm

I’m sure you guys are already familiar with the crysophere site. Here is the comparison to last year.
Funny thing .. I’ve been following this site for the last year .. pretty much daily. Seems the ice melt isn’t going as planned, so the webmasters of the site have decided to monkey with it. But .. they didn’t monkey with the NH ice graph anomoly … which still shows that the NH ice is growing .. not melting. Click on the “tale of the tape” graph, and compare what is happening this year compared to last year.

July 13, 2008 6:47 pm

Another excellent entry Anthony. I look forward to the experts eating crow (although I know they won’t). So far, according to Steve McIntyre, there’s more ice right now on this date in the Arctic than any year since 2004.

Evan Jones
July 13, 2008 6:49 pm

B.D.: “Raw satellite images”. I like it!

Mark Pilon
July 13, 2008 6:54 pm

As you are well aware Anthony and perhaps many people who visit this site – but just a heads up: One has to be careful when looking at visible satellite imagery – it can be easy to confuse ice with cloud, particularly low cloud cover due to very similar albedos and in this picture it looks like there may be considerable cloud cover. Tom in Florida gave a very nice link. Also Environment Canada’s ice centre site gives a limited picture of sea ice coverage and departures from normal:

Aaron Wells
July 13, 2008 7:02 pm

June is the arctic ice at it’s peak, after all.
Let me put this as respectfully as possible…..WHAT?????? Where in the world did you get your information? June is always well into the seasonal arctic melt. The arctic peak occurs around March 1st.

July 13, 2008 7:06 pm

I think he was confusing anomalies with extent.

Retired Engineer
July 13, 2008 7:12 pm

Radar imagery should take care of any cloud coverage question.
Maybe Al’s AIT styrofoam is melting ?

July 13, 2008 7:23 pm

[…] hypothesis and burying other scientists views, as well as other journalistic foibles?  Well, Watts chimes in with photos of the Arctic and claims the melting better start soon if the fears of a watery grave for Santa Claus are to come […]

July 13, 2008 7:24 pm

Early July is a bit early to see much change from winter.
Also, the two images are not comparable. The semi-circular object near the upper right of the top image is the strait between Ellesmere Island and Axel H. Island. In the bottom image, it is located just above the center of the and rotated 90 degrees clockwise. When you mentally rotate the top image, you can visualize the extent of overlap, which is what we need to compare the two images. And when we do, there is little change in the extent of sea ice, which is what you would expect for such a short time gap. We know nothing about the thickness of the ice from these images.
We really need to wait until the end of August to compare this year with last year. But even then we will learn little about climate change from comparing sea ice for the two years. Change over a few years do not count as climate change. (Change over 30 years might amount to a wiggle or a jiggle, but does not necessarily mean secular change.)
My understanding is that the total sea ice at the two poles has not changed much: as sea ice has declined in the Arctic, it has increased in the Antarctic.
It’s fun looking at the satellite images, but it’s not going to answer any of the big questions one way or the other.

Leon Brozyna
July 13, 2008 8:11 pm

Here’s the graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Center showing the time of the peak ice four months ago {March 10}:
From that first image at the top of this post it looks to me like there’s large coverage of high albedo clouds, sure to lessen ice melt while present. Should be interesting to see how the melt proceeds to its average max in two months {Sep}.

July 13, 2008 8:19 pm

Michael Hauber (16:07:35) :
The most aggressive prediction of an ice free Arctic I know of is in 2012. I think a more common prediction is about 2030?
I wanted to speak about the suggestion that no one has predicted an ice-free Arctic before 2012 and that 2030 is the more popular dire forecast. Leaving aside the overwhelming likelihood that we’re entering at least a moderate solar minimum for the next quarter century, with likely serious cooling effects via cosmic rays, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is flipping to its cool phase! Ice-free arctic by 2030? Try growing glaciers worldwide and no more than a few thimblefuls of open water in the summertime Arctic in 2030. If the solar minimum is meaningful, as I believe it will be, Antarctic sea ice should diminish, as low-level clouds have an anomolous warming effect down there.

July 13, 2008 8:29 pm

Looks like a lot of ice to me. But not I’m not a former vice president, so what do I know?

July 13, 2008 8:30 pm

Sure, Fred…but don’t miss the point that MANY AGWers and others were expecting this year to come close or even surpass last year in terms of Arctic ice loss. And of course, they saw this as a symptom of global warming and perhaps a “tipping point”. Those fears and predictions are not being realized.

Tom Klein
July 13, 2008 8:34 pm

Fred Colbourne,
I agree that the satellite image of polar ice means relatively little in providing evidence of climatic change. But does mean a lot to counter misinformation as recently appeared in the press, like so-and-so thinks that there is a 50% percent probability that the ice will disappear over the North Pole this year. It is like a meteorologist saying that there is a 50% probability of rain over the next 24 hours. What it means that he has absolutely no idea whether it is going to rain or not.

Ray Reynolds
July 13, 2008 8:39 pm

Years ago I read the results of a poll asking the state of the environment where those who were polled lived versus what the state of the environment elsewhere in the world….Generally they answered, great and improving “here” but truly horrid and worsening everywhere else.
That is unfortunately is the skewed perception MSM offers. I prefer an ice covered picture to their thousand words.
And its been a damned nice summer, a little cool but nice!

July 13, 2008 8:46 pm

But what about the children penguins??!?
…and in other news, still no sunspots…

July 13, 2008 8:57 pm

Evan Jones writes:
Ice thickness is not irrelevant. but it is secondary. What really matters is area because that is what affects albedo.

Isn’t the temperature of the ice also important?
Wouldn’t a colder winter cause not only more ice but colder ice?
It seems to me that colder ice would at least delay the initial melt.
Is the power transfer due to albedo so different that other factors are secondary?
Not an expert, just wondering…

July 13, 2008 9:00 pm

There is about 4 more weeks of melt left and the daily melt rate should decline later this week as sun angle begins to decline at an increasing rate. Ice cover hits minimum around August 15th, stays at about that low for about a month or so and then starts to increase about the middle of September.
We have probably already passed maximum daily melt rates for this year. The arctic seems a lot more cloudy than it was last year.

Wyatt A
July 13, 2008 9:04 pm

Leon, Here’s a more recent sea ice extent comparison:
Arctic Sea Ice Comparison

Dean McAskil
July 13, 2008 9:15 pm

Thanks for this. I had a very disturbing conversation with a niece last week. She is in high school and the indoctrination she is getting in the classroom is beyond belief. She was incredulous when I disputed her statement that “all the ice is melting.”
When I stated some facts and pointed to some references like this one she asked with astonishment; “But the teachers wouldn’t teach us something that is just wrong?” I could not answer that.
The postscript from her amused mother, my sister, was pragmatic; “Uncle Dean might be right but you can’t answer that way in school, or you won’t pass your exams.”

July 13, 2008 9:34 pm

I do have experience interpreting photos from space. That’s a whole lotta ice up there. If I were going to do a detailed study I would want better imagery, as well as IR and SAR. But going just from visible I would say that the dream of an open northwest passage is not quite ready yet.
I will be flying over this area in 30 days, I will try to get some good imagery.

Evan Jones
July 13, 2008 10:23 pm

A simple but honest question. Have the gloom and doomer greenies every gotten an apocalyptic prediction right.
I think you just answered your own question. If they had, there would have been an apocalypse and you wouldn’t need to ask the question in the first place.

July 13, 2008 10:53 pm

shouldn’t sea-ice be a traling other climate parameters by a few years ?
2008 started with what was left from previous years and we have large 1 year ice areas.
even if ocean temperatures continue to decrease, we may see less ice left just for the still thinner ice.
it may take a few more cooler years or wind and ocean current conditons that do not support melting like last year to reverse the trend.

July 13, 2008 11:09 pm

Side Note: Bob Tisdale has some interesting grahps today under the lead-line: The Correlation Between Temperature and Precipitation: Can’t Find One

July 13, 2008 11:24 pm

Dean McAskil notes: “Uncle Dean might be right but you can’t answer that way in school, or you won’t pass your exams.”
I find that quite shocking.

Pierre Gosselin
July 13, 2008 11:32 pm

Not very up to date. For those betting we’re gonna reach last year’s lows, you’d better be hoping for a mjor arctic heat wave. Similar to Leon’s link:
Still it’s gotten and has been quite warm in Siberia:

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 12:04 am

The big race to be Energy Czar
Personally I think Gore will bump out Arnold.

July 14, 2008 1:56 am

Wyatt A: needs to be updated to mid-July 08. Will look very different.
(1 million Km2 plus over 2007)

July 14, 2008 2:05 am

“Have the doom and gloom greenies ever gotten a prediction right? The problem is the idiots there have abandoned science and this shows up worst over AGW – I’ve failed to wake up Transition Towns so far; Greenpeace ex-campaigner-scientist Peter Taylor is now not welcome because of his non-AGW status; etc. But this does NOT mean that all their stuff is wrong. We do have a population issue; elephants, tigers, and other animals – and plants too – have been going extinct or close to extinction. But not, of course, polar bears.
“A pic worth 1000 words” – recently I found a graph of the NP sea ice cover annual fluctuation over about the last 25 years and it simply goes up, down, up, down, from around 16K sq km to 24K sq km, while annual variation is peanuts in comparison. But what really matters longterm is not ABSOLUTE amounts but ANOMALIES IN TREND when you’ve allowed for ocean and wind – this surely shows the solar/GCR correlation fastest. Can anyone supply that URL here?
I’m not a formally-trained scientist but six months ago Al Gore woke me up; three months ago I did a U-turn in the science. I know this has happened to many others like me and I can thank Al for getting me concerned enough to study the science, even if I was rather noisy about it from the other direction first …….. h’m!

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 3:07 am

As I mentioned a week or so ago, chances are only 8% that last year’s lows will be reached – that according to one German institute. (IN ENGLISH):

Patrick Hadley
July 14, 2008 3:42 am

Off topic: The HadCRUt anomaly for June is 0.314. There also a few minor changes to recent months.
The average for the first six months of this year is 0.247, the moving yearly average 0.295. The last 135 months of HadCRUt data in a spreadsheet give very slight downward slope, so according to ordinary least squares there is no warming trend on HadCRUt anomalies since April 1997.

July 14, 2008 4:28 am

That’s just how I have to advise my son (who is sceptical all by himself ie. without any prompting from me).
The orthodoxy here in the Land of Oz is hard-over AGW – and we are about to have an emission trading scheme so we can “lead the way”……

July 14, 2008 4:39 am

I think that the timing of this blog post is just about right. It’s a useful counterweight to the media’s ice-free-Arctic stories that appear around this time of year. And I like the restrained language – compare this with the all-too usual journalistic speculation about the entire Arctic Circle being open water before 2— (insert whichever year you think will have maximum psychological effect.)

July 14, 2008 4:42 am

Gosselin: Personally I think Gore will bump out Arnold.
That’s a toss up for which would be worse.
There’s a story by AP reporter Scott Lindlaw which perfectly reflects what happens when the Climate Change lobby buys off the media…
Heavy rains complicate Calif. firefighting efforts
water falling from the skys measured in inches is supposed to in no way help fighting forest fires. Only in climate change media could you hope to find this sort of thicket of shutes and ladders Rube Goldbergian pretzel like spin of what would normally be considered outstandingly great news.
Any thinking person can spot the contorted logic employed by this propagandistic hack, but the majority audience for this cowflop of a story don’t live in California so they won’t know that onshore flow of cold ocean air is the 100% best news that Cali firefighters could get.
[snip – libelous statement there, tone it down please – Anthony]

July 14, 2008 5:15 am

Patrick Hadley (03:42:24) :
Can you advise where the 0.247 comes from as I am having difficulty with the average for 2008.
Hadley give it as 0.246 (almost the same as yours) but taking the monthly figures we have
Jan 0.054
Feb 0.192
Mar 0.445
Apr 0.254
May 0.278
Jun 0.314
which gives an average of 0.256

Robert Hawkins
July 14, 2008 5:27 am

On last season of Deadliest Catch, where they fish for crab. The entire harbor (in the Alleutian Islands) was iced over and nearly crushed one of the fishing boats. Other boats had to hastily pull their equipment out of the water as ice advanced faster than anyone expected. Since this is on the Discovery Channel (which is alway pimping Green this Gree that) Im suprised they didnt ask the crews what they thought about the Global Warming crises and they were using sledge hammers to knock several inches of ice off their boats to prevent them from rolling over and sinking.

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 5:32 am

>Isn’t the temperature of the ice also important?
Wouldn’t a colder winter cause not only more ice but colder ice?
It seems to me that colder ice would at least delay the initial melt.
Is the power transfer due to albedo so different that other factors are secondary?

All such factors weigh in. But albedo is critical to the positive feedback loops. It’s one of the critical rows of dominoes in the IPCC equation.
For that matter, it works in reverse. If it weren’t for increased albedo during Milankovitch cycles we wouldn’t have positive feedback loops leading to ice ages.
(To put it another way, it’s not just the angle of the dangle, it’s the motion of the ocean.)

July 14, 2008 5:43 am

This enitre “waiting for Godot” mentality has become quite boring. It is now big entertainment for those in the AGW camp to write stories, publish studies and generally fill the airways with tripe concerning the melting ice cap(s). The same thing occured in 2005-2006 concerning tropical cyclones, and when Mother Nature refused to cooperate, that faucet was shut-off quickly and a new faucet was turned on -namely the melting artic ice cap (or whatever they call it these days). So now from May through September the world must stop all activity as the Alarmists wait and hope against hope that for just a few hours the Northwest Passage might open up. One can just imagine the headlines on Drudge. In the meantime, scientists at the cryosphere and other insititutions will adjust the ice coverage and worry over the thinness of the ice, and perhaps a few oceanographers could say the Gulfstream is weakening and the sea levels are rising 100,000 times faster than the IPCC forecasted.
Most people forget this was all brought about when surface temp anomalies didn’t do what they’re suppose to do (flattened or went negative), and the next El Nino event is still at least a year out. How can an Alarmist alarm people with flat graphs, mild summers, and cold winters? For not even Hansen has the nerve to blame the California fires and drought on AGW (however, I wouldn’t put it past him saying that AGW causes more extreme La Ninas).
If the next El Nino fails to materialize by next summer, look for some other phenomena (maybe coral bleaching) that will be used to hammer the masses. The folks at Hadely, NASA, and the UN are a very persistent bunch and barring any rapid drop in global temperatures can keep the narrative going until something like El Nino gives them a boost.

July 14, 2008 5:52 am

Does anyone know of a source of regularly updated, simple monthly time-series data for sea ice extent? NSIDC provide lots of pretty pictures and huge gridded datasets but I can’t currently find anything I can easily plug into

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 6:10 am

I know this has happened to many others like me and I can thank Al for getting me concerned enough to study the science, even if I was rather noisy about it from the other direction first …….. h’m!
We early adopters just luuurve a body who comes to scoff and stays to pray. But beware. The true believers reserve their worst efforts for the apostate. I’d be careful walking through classroom doors and past dorm windows. The Low Library steps and University Plaza may no longer be considered friendly territory . . .

July 14, 2008 6:52 am

What percent of the year do the poles lose heat from open water (until frozen over)? My guess is that polar open water rate of emissivity to insolation is better than even, with more emissivity than insolation.
And if the ice pack has been progressively decimated mostly by soot (which blackens deeply as the layers melt), when the ice (and evidence) falls into the sea, wouldn’t the ice recovery pick up?
Oh, that and the ozone hole (both natural and manmade) would have a greater impact on polar temperatures if there’s sufficient surface ozone to warm from UV-B.

July 14, 2008 7:01 am

“I find that quite shocking.”
I’m guessing that you don’t have kids in school. Public schools these days more resemble indoctrination centers, than they do institutes of learning.
REPLY: As a fromer school board member in a California Public School District, I can vouch for that. Even the textbook system is rigged to prevent choosing an alternate of the “approved list” – Anthony

Patrick Hadley
July 14, 2008 7:02 am

Thank you for the correction OldJim, I was giving the average of the last seven months by mistake – and not making one of the new changes to past data -when I gave that figure.
Assuming I have made no more errors (and the frequent revising of past results does make things difficult), I find that averaging the four main global anomalies (UAH, RSS, GISS, HADCRU) to make a single monthly anomaly shows no warming trend using ordinary least squares, irrespective of which month you choose to start, from August 2000 onwards. In fact one can “cherry pick” as far back as September 1997 and combine the 520 monthly results since then into 130 monthly average anomalies, to see that there is no warming trend on OLS analysis.

July 14, 2008 7:03 am

Lucy Skywalker writes:
“We do have a population issue;”
Actually, we don’t.

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 7:05 am

Actually the title “climate czar” would be more accurate if it was changed to “Minister of Propaganda”.
What else could one call it? Does anyone really believe that a few persons are able to bring the forces of nature under control, and stabilise our climate so that it is always warm and cuddly? Talk about folly.
This Schwarzenegger dude has been in Fantasyland too long. The guy can no longer discern between fiction and reality. Would someone please write him and tell him this not an audition for a hero role in a sci-fi flick.

July 14, 2008 7:09 am

Last night I made the mistake of watching the first episode of Planet Earth: The biography.
The author made the claim that the reason the earth was at all inhabitable billions of years ago, when the sun was 30% less bright than it is today, was because of CO2 in the atmosphere. (No mention of the half dozen other factors that have been discussed here.)
In a further effort to prove the power of CO2, he pointed to Mars and Venus. Mars, he declared, is cold because it doesn’t have enough CO2, and Venus is hot because it has too much.
I stopped watching at that point, and I won’t be bothering with the rest of the episodes.
My recollection is that Mars has an atmosphere about 1% as dense as the Earth’s. It’s also almost mostly CO2. If that is the case, the Mars actually does have about as much CO2 as does the earth. It’s all the other gasses that are missing.

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 7:10 am

Paul Clatk,
I love your website. I’m not sure what you intend to use the data for, but I could guess.
I think if you added annual average sea ice to your plots, it would be yet another very interesting feature.
Just an idea!

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 7:14 am

I’ve been hearing lots about ocean acidification lately.

July 14, 2008 7:30 am

Long time lurker. Great site.
NASA is spinning the solar minimum:

July 14, 2008 7:41 am
Shows that there is nearly 1 million MORE square KM of sea ice in the arctic this day than on the same day last year. Then the AGW’s complain that it is thin, one year old ice…Well DUH…it was WATER last year…how is it supposed to be older ice?

retired engineer
July 14, 2008 8:14 am

I note that the Russians announced they were abandoning an ‘ice station’ early, due to Global Warming. Seems their ice floe has started to shrink. Guess everybody is on the bandwagon.
I think the thickness of the ice would play a major role in how fast it melts.
The Cubs and White Sox are still in first place. If that continues, all climate bets are off. Ice Age for certain, as hell will have frozen over.

Wyatt A
July 14, 2008 8:39 am

Pierre, Vincent,
I posted the most recent anomally (july 08, which I think is the current month). I was busy this weekend and thought that the curve explained itself; which was a mistake. The plot shows that this year’s loss is diverging from last year’s. A few weeks ago when the curves were closer, the predictions of an impending massive melt made their way into the papers. I think the latest variance curve that I posted (reposted below) shows a growing deivation from last years “record melt”.
Arctic Sea Ice Comparison
This should mean more ice for my Mojitos, right?

July 14, 2008 9:13 am

Dear Anthony Watt
The Arctic is above the recent years ice levels, yes it is, but don’t forget that the last few years were well below average of the last decades.
And, in the last months you talked much of the Antarctic and solar cycle, well, take a look to what is happening right now in south pole. Look at the positive temperature anomalies and the actual decline trend in the ice cover in south hemisphere. And there is winter now… and solar cycle 24 still far.
I suspect that if this trend continue you have something less to talk in the next months 😉
REPLY: Oh darn, the trends aren’t continuing, the southern hemisphere has record sea ice extent.
This shows that there is nearly 1 million MORE square KM of sea ice in the arctic today than last year.
– Anthony Watts

Bill Illis
July 14, 2008 9:17 am

Paul Clark – This website updates the daily sea ice extent figures each evening (10:00 pm Eastern).
The daily sea ice data back to 2002 is also included in a nice readable Excel/CSV spreadsheet.

Aaron Wells
July 14, 2008 9:18 am

IARC-JAXA provides daily sea ice extent data in csv spreadsheet form. You could easily calculate monthly data from that.
Data of Sea Ice Extent
Click on “Data Download”.

Stevie B
July 14, 2008 9:38 am

Maybe someone could answer a somewhat related question for me. If the glaciers, snow and ice are melting like “they” are saying at the poles and across the globe, and knowing that global temps haven’t gone up in the last ten years (in fact have gone slightly down), and knowing that ice and snow reflect sunlight, helping to cool the planet (I don’t know the actual impact) shouldn’t we have sped up with warming? I mean, taking it by itself, less snow and ice would mean less reflecting, which would mean exponential melting and warming right? Yet it hasn’t happened, despite their claims that we’ve had record melting everywhere. Thanks for any answers and or corrections.

July 14, 2008 9:41 am

All of this is B.S.! The Earth, over time, cools and warms. Stop believing propaganda!

Bill Marsh
July 14, 2008 9:46 am

I read that this weekend. What happens if SS24 hasn’t started by September, then the length of SS23 will be outside 1 std dev from the mean (SS23 is 140 months long – longest of the past 150 years and 1 std dev is 142 months)? I wonder how they’ll spin that? I think the fact that SS23 is so close to exceeding the 1STDDev line is noteworthy in itself.

July 14, 2008 10:13 am

Having traded a few emails with Hathaway, I can tell you he is a strong supporter of the conveyor belt model and by gum, that model predicts a strong cycle 24, so it is gonna be a strong cycle 24. Like Hansen, many public scientists have staked reputations on their predictions and hold out until the last minute. Unlike Hansen, I doubt Hathaway is adjusting the sun spot numbers.

July 14, 2008 10:30 am

I would like to make a commentary here as a native of Idaho. Do you posters know that tornadoes can and do occur in the mountainous north of Idaho? We have been getting either confirmed tornadoes or visual evidence of funnel clouds since the late 1980s. Up and until then, Idaho, especially in the Panhandle was never really known for tornadic activity. For such severe weather to occur in this part of the state, and we get tornadoes at least once a year or tornado like conditions at least once a year, means that there is climate change. I will also add, that being a native of Idaho, and esp. of the panhandle of the region, I have seen “record snow falls” and “record cold” but that the last “record snow fall” that we had where snow levels in the valleys were 5 feet or better, we did not have a “record cold” to go with it. IE subzero weather. That was back in 1968/1969. As far as I know, where I live in Dalton Gardens, Idaho; we did not have any subzero temps in January to April though we had a lingering winter during the same time period. So, while you guys are gloating over how the greenies got it wrong on “climate change” we who live in the weather corridors of the nation have seen:
disastrous flooding.
tornado outbreaks occurring in January and February.
record heat waves and high pressure zones on the east coast that kept storms backed up from the northwest to the midwest and pummeling the midwest in particular with “100 year floods.”
a Santa Ana style wind that rolled through the Inland northwest last week that picked up blazes in Washington state and caused a lot of damage depending where you were in the region.
As someone who has seen weather taking bizarre turns in the state where I live, I wouldn’t discount too quickly the facts of climate change.

July 14, 2008 10:39 am

By the way, looks like there is a lot less ice on the North Pole than existed in prior years. Looks like a lot of bare ground around the edges of that “non melting” ice.

July 14, 2008 11:11 am

jeh 15
So, history started when?
The house I’m livingin now sits on the site where it’s predecessor was blown away by a Tornado in 1895. We’ve had rough weather recently, while we had relatively mild weather during the 70’s and 80’s.

July 14, 2008 11:11 am

I’ve been hearing lots about ocean acidification lately.”
I’ve been hearing about ocean acidification for almost a decade. The stories come and go, almost like an oscillation. When I read the first story I was quite alarmed. Something had to be done. Of course, it was. The story was shelved, and oceanic acidification became just one of a number of tools in the AGW tool belt.
Now that raw temperatures are not quite doing their thing, we are lectured on a daily basis about melting glaciers worldwide, shrinking polar icecaps, droughts/floods, blah, blah, blah… Many reporters don’t even make citations anymore. In the science journals there is so much hemming and hawing over models that if the dire warnings fail to pass, the scientists can always blame the programming and go trolling for more bucks.
In my humble opinion the polar icecaps are melting because there is an excess amount of deep ocean heat which has circulated from the equator. This heat content came from decades of El Ninoesque climate (otherwise known as a postive PDO). Eventually the NH will cool down as the oceans exhaust 30 years of stored heat. I bet if we had satellite data going back 2 centuries, we would find a few autumns with no polar ice.

Bruce Cobb
July 14, 2008 11:14 am

As someone who has seen weather taking bizarre turns in the state where I live, I wouldn’t discount too quickly the facts of climate change. And just what might those “facts” be, Jeh15? Yes, climate changes. Continually. We know. The question is, is it caused by man, though? No, it isn’t. And that’s a fact worth considering on your part.

July 14, 2008 11:24 am

One of the problems with climate change is that is slow. The nice sunny dry area one lives in now may very well have been damp and cloudy 50 yrs ago. Human memory is often too short to experience the swings of climate in any meaningful way.
No one wish extreme weather on anyone else. But most here accept that these extreme weather events are not a product of humanity. Which of course is opposite what many of the greens are trying to convince people to believe. The real danger of the actions of the greens is their denial of the variability of the climate and the subsequent failure to prepare for other possible extremes.
Suppose we all prepared for ‘global warming’, spending billions to stop it and then discover that the earth is entering a deep cooling cycle. This possibility exists in the coming decades. What is your growing season length now? What will happen if it is cut in half for a decade or more? If you think food prices are high now because of bio-fuels, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
And what about those billions spend on unquestioningly defeating global warming? Would they not be better spent on feeding the world? Providing safe drinking water? Fighting disease?
The glee you frown upon is not one of the misery cause by extreme weather such as you experience, but the relief that this hoax is failing about and world can avoid wasting its resources fighting a ghost.
Climate change happens. Man has nothing to do with it. Some of us just live in the wrong place when the weather patterns shift. Some of us don’t.
Personally, I would prefer a warm, high CO2 world over a cold CO2 free world. It would be a much nicer place in which to live on the whole. Sadly, I don’t think we are headed that way.

Bruce Cobb
July 14, 2008 11:33 am

By the way, looks like there is a lot less ice on the North Poll than existed in prior years. You’ve missed the point entirely, Jeh15. Did you even read the article? The rate of melting has slowed so that is far behind last years’, making the alarmist cries of a possible ice-free North Pole this year look ridiculous (which indeed all of their claims are). As for the North Poll, I hadn’t heard of that – was it a poll of polar bears?

July 14, 2008 11:43 am

Interestingly, the Pacific was in a thermal maximum state during much of the 1990s, then began to cough and sputter, ending up in what appears to be negative PDO territory since last year. It would not be a major stretch to surmise that there was a delayed impact of this in the Western Arctic Basin – that is, until this year, we may have reached a sort of “tipping point” in the direction of more ice. Meanwhile, the Atlantic has also been warm for years, and of course, you can see that expressed in the ice levels along the Arctic shores of Europe. This is not rocket science.

July 14, 2008 11:47 am

[…] « Satellite Imagery Shows Arctic Ice Still Unmelted […]

July 14, 2008 12:15 pm


July 14, 2008 12:21 pm

I would guess that in your neck of the woods, very cold Maritime Polar Air aloft during the winter and spring months could trigger an occaisonal funnel cloud. With last year’s moderate-strong La Nina, the polar jetstream was very strong, and very moist/cold air aloft advected into the interior of the Rockies. If the 500mb temps dropped to say -40 deg C and if you factor in the upslope affect of the mountains, you have the ingredients for some pretty intense convection. This is pretty rare for Idaho, but last winter was something you don’t see every year. I heard that the ski slopes were still open in Idaho as late as May, and that some of the higher mountain passes were still being plowed out in June.

July 14, 2008 12:50 pm
Has all the products to inform people.
Make sure you check out side by side comp’s of last year, this.
And Last 30 day animations of Arctic ice cover.
Remember that its all ice-area, not volume.
An estimate on Arctic basin ice volume might be in the region of 50% of at this date last year. And this date last year was 50% of the previous year.
Will show that the arctic basin ice melt is well ahead of last year in its progress.
Very good chance of it all going completely by mid september. Almost certain IMO.

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 12:58 pm

You talk like climate change is some kind of a new phenomena that had never existed before.
No one is doubting that the climate is changing. What we doubt is the ridiculous claim that it was static until we came along and caused it to change.
Yes it has changed in the Idaho panhandle, and the rest of the world. That’s normal! It’s natural. It’s as green as anything can be.
Climate is always changing. And we are not going to be able to put a thermostat on it.
Finally, why is it that whenever people like you are presented with data that indicates no crisis, you absolutely have to refuse to believe it?
Why is it for you people the only true science is science that calls for the end of the world? Why can’t your life mean anything without a coming doomsday?
All you people do is insist the end of the world is coming. That’s all you want to believe. Optimism makes your stomach roll, doesn’t it?
You need a slap or two in the face…to wake you up from that spell or hypnosis Gore has on you. Think for yourself!
Again I probably wasted 10 minutes of my time responding to you brainwashed zombies.

Pierre Gosselin
July 14, 2008 1:17 pm

[snip – I’m sorry, Pierre while I’m in agreement with the point made, this will result in a discussion I really don’t want to have here on this forum. – Anthony]

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 1:20 pm

Lucy Skywalker writes:
“We do have a population issue;”
Actually, we don’t.
I know, I know. But one step at a time. One step at a time. One does not wish to produce an overload . . .

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 1:26 pm

Does anyone really believe that a few persons are able to bring the forces of nature under control, and stabilise our climate so that it is always warm and cuddly? Talk about folly.
I do, actually.
I think that even if AGW turns out to be a real problem, there is a one trillion dollar solution (flexible and adjustable and not involving nuking the atmosphere) that would solve things for all time.

July 14, 2008 1:42 pm

All I know is you can send some of that ice down here to Folsom California because it is hot and the fires around the area send in more and more smoke.

July 14, 2008 2:04 pm

Seems like about thirty years or so ago there were predictions of a new ice age coming… Now the ice is supposed to be melting… Maybe there is an ebb and flow of the climate? Great post. Enjoyed the pictures.

July 14, 2008 2:26 pm

And your one trillion dollar solution is??

July 14, 2008 2:50 pm

there is an abundance of info about how warming is affecting the arctic. You can’t dispell the diligent, objective work of hundreds of scientists with a picture that supports your desire to keep your head in the sand. Even Wubya gets it now – cant you? and where will your kids live after 10 billion humans trash the place?

VaLu Luva
July 14, 2008 3:01 pm

Regardless we have to make a change and the faster we do it, the more time we have for it to take effect.

July 14, 2008 3:02 pm


Robert Ray
July 14, 2008 3:05 pm

Listen my friends and you shall hear
Of the year the winds blew and rain was dear
It was the summer of 65
And few remember the sand that darkened the sky
The basin that the Columbia drains
Had not received spring nourishing rains
The sand blew and covered the roads
The tumbleweeds flew through towns in droves
Wildfires burned out of control
Despite the efforts of the fire patrol
The needed rains finely did arrived
Allowing the basin to survive
What appears to be unusual weather may not be that unusual.

July 14, 2008 3:12 pm

I know this has been posted (probably many times) before, but it’s so appropo I can’t resist:
(link to: SAID HANRAHAN)
AGW’ers should have HANRAHAN branded on their foreheads, starting with Mr. Gore.

July 14, 2008 3:22 pm

Ice melts from the bottom up, you can’t tell from this type of picture how much ice has melted.

Gary Gulrud
July 14, 2008 3:25 pm

I got it! We put a ginormous solar panel off the dark side of the earth in geostationary orbit, say a hundred teraWatts (I don’t know what comes after tera) and MASER the energy back to earth.
Just don’t step in front of the wave guides.

July 14, 2008 4:01 pm

We really should spend our trillions on a really humongous evaporative swamp cooler on the west coast…………….or would that heat things up if there’s more moisture in the air? I’m so confused.

Steve Moore
July 14, 2008 4:17 pm

“By the way, looks like there is a lot less ice on the North Pole than existed in prior years. Looks like a lot of bare ground around the edges of that “non melting” ice.”
BARE Ground?
At the North Pole?
You need a better sense of perspective if you think that “bare ground” is near the Pole.

July 14, 2008 4:37 pm

I work very hard to increase my carbon footprint to compensate for an anthropomorphic reduction in CO2 level that is starving Gaia’s very own plant life of a necessary trace gas required for the production of sugars.

July 14, 2008 5:21 pm

RJ Hendrickson:
Thanks so much for “Said Hanrahan.” I grew up among lots of Irish immigrants, and that poem captures the Irish character perfectly!
I’ve already sent it to several Irish friends [who interestingly don’t buy into Al Gore’s globaloney].
BTW, here’s an interesting gif showing last year’s change in Northern Hemisphere sea ice: click

July 14, 2008 5:30 pm

Anthony, have you see this, the Russians are leaving the North Pole due to early melting, as always due to global warming.

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 8:01 pm

And your one trillion dollar solution is??
Launch a series of satellites that deploy and maintain large areas of mylar (or something similar in space). Either they are cheap and open up like umbrellas or they fit on wide frames to be assembled in space. Set to orbit so as to continually block sunlight. It could be expanded and retracted as the situation demands. The only issues would be solar wind and the like. “No-tech” and very low maintenance.
This is one of those easy, obvious solutions that has probably already occurred to a zillion scientists (and laymen) and that would simply arise as an obvious solution. If it even becomes necessary–which I doubt.
Probably its greatest practical utility would be to use the idea to shut up the (high-IQ) blithering idiots (of Stern Report infamy) who propose blowing over half a trillion per year (starting now) on highly dubious, further-wealth-annihilating, so-called “solutions”.

Mike Bryant
July 14, 2008 8:15 pm

That is a great idea. If you’re taking requests, put one of those babies between Victoria, Texas and old man Sol.

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 8:26 pm

Even Wubya gets it now – cant you?
The dubster has you fooled. He has wisely and cleverly kicked the can down the road. Long before his “non-binding proposals” come due we will either a.) realize there was no problem in the first place, or b.) have solved it cheaply, easily, and directly.

Evan Jones
July 14, 2008 8:32 pm

Regardless we have to make a change and the faster we do it, the more time we have for it to take effect.
Even stipulating you are right about GW, you are operating from incorrect premises. The sophistication and raw power of our increasing technological capabilities and exploding economic potential are moving ahead far more rapidly than the worst GW scenarios.
I.e., the later we move, the more surely and more powerfully we will move, and the more we will understand the problem and the direction in which to move.

July 14, 2008 11:01 pm

Evan Jones,
you still walk the fertile fields of your mind.
A faded shirt, a weathered brow,
a calloused hand upon the plow,
you fought till then
and you fight till now,
Evan Jones.

Thanks to Kenny Rogers and apologies to you.

July 14, 2008 11:13 pm

sung to “Jean” by Oliver.
Pam, Pam, roses are red
and some of the hairs on your head.
And your eyes, I can’t say
but your last name is Gray.
I sure have fun with your name.
Pam, Pam, you’re young and alive
since nineteen and fifty five.
And you’ll live evermore
if I know what’s in store
for a bonny lass
named Pam Gray.

Evan Jones
July 15, 2008 1:02 am

A faded shirt has increased albedo.

July 15, 2008 1:57 am

Thanks for the comments/links. Anyone know of anything before 2002?

Stephen Fox
July 15, 2008 3:34 am

You beasts,
don’t you know, our earth is WEEPING!!!!?

Bill Marsh
July 15, 2008 5:16 am

I think that there was a study released recently showing the whole ‘mirrors in space’ thing was not workable.
Sad part is I usually remark to myself, “I need to remember where this is in case it comes up in conversation”. But I never seem to remember where I save this stuff. I have great empathy for squirrels as I grow older.

Bill Marsh
July 15, 2008 5:19 am

The article states they are not leaving the North Pole, the station they are on is on an ice flow that has drifted unexpectedly into a warm current and this (NOT GLOBAL WARMING) is why they are leaving a few weeks early. I love the press. It’s articles like these that got me to cancel any and all newspaper subscriptions 5 years ago. Knee jerk journalism/ Yellow press at its best.

July 15, 2008 5:32 am

MarkW (07:01:42) 14 July says (to me): I’m guessing that you don’t have kids in school.
No. Four out; next generation a couple years to start; but in hindsight I feel my “shocking” line was knee-jerk in a sense. I know this was happening way, way back, but the thought that it is still happening bolted me.

July 15, 2008 5:34 am

“We do have a population issue;” – “Actually, we don’t.” – “I know, I know. But one step at a time…”
Thanks, Mark W and Evan Jones. Fair cop, I used the language of fact about mere opinion. But I’m intrigued now. Care to give me some references for this? If you consider it’s off-topic,you can email @ my website.
Meanwhile, back to “getting beyond AGW fixations and bad science”.

July 15, 2008 7:05 am

Evan Jones (20:01:04) wrote: Launch a series of satellites that deploy and maintain…
Way, way back, Evan, the Russians proposed the same with giant mirrors to warm the tundra and light the streets of their cities at night.
Just have to swing the mirrors and back at y’, Sol and show him not to mess with the Jones’ boy…

July 15, 2008 8:49 am

Evan wasn’t referring to mirrors, but to a giant sun shade. Actually wouldn’t have to be as giant as all that, depending on where it was placed. I would think that keeping it in a specific position in relation to the sun and the Earth would be difficult.

retired engineer
July 15, 2008 9:20 am

Giant mirrors in space have two problems (apart from cost): Solar wind and tidal forces. Read “Neutron Star” for the second, and a story I can’t remember the title of about solar wind. They just won’t stay where you want them. And turning something 50 km in diameter could be quite a trick. We’re talking HUGE mirrors to have any effect. Not a solution.
Putting a lid on soot emissions would help, just have to get the soot emitters to agree.
I hope that doesn’t require nukes…

July 15, 2008 10:07 am

Everyone knows that this photo is only showing the top, we don’t know what’s under the ice! The sea level is rising, we’ve seen that in south europe, where the sea recovered what was beautiful beaches. It’s well known that the ice is really melting, and more quickly than predicted. It’s because no one really cares, that the worst can happen. You just need to open your eyes wider, proofs are everywhere. Bigger and stronger storms, tornados in europe, some beaches gone in south Europe, and many other proofs. I wish that all this was only some alarmist warnings, or just talk from crazy people! However, it’s not.

Bruce Cobb
July 15, 2008 11:13 am

Bigger and stronger storms, tornados in europe, some beaches gone in south Europe, and many other proofs. I wish that all this was only some alarmist warnings, or just talk from crazy people! However, it’s not.
Jonix, wish no more, because it’s all alarmist nonsense. Yes, it is. You need to do some research. You will find you’ve been hornswaggled by AGW alarmist hype and propaganda. Start with a history of AGW here: Global Warming: How It All Began
And here’s a good scientific (written in layman’s terms) article:
Editorial: The Great Global Warming Hoax?
Happy reading.

July 15, 2008 2:46 pm

Dear Brittany
In the Arctic ice melts from the top down, since the temperature of the salt water under the ice is below zero.

Evan Jones
July 15, 2008 10:23 pm

Putting a lid on soot emissions would help, just have to get the soot emitters to agree.
That’s gonna happen all on its own.
China and India need to rich up first. then they will clean up on their own and then they will do the cleanup. Every affluent industrial country has gone the same route, all for the same reasons.
I hope that doesn’t require nukes…
Too risky. You can’t undo it if you get it wrong or there is an unintended secondary effect.
But the satellite solution is infinitely adjustable.
And I’m not suggesting a “mirror”. More like Mylar. Incredibly thin and light. With sats in place to nudge for solar wind and orbital drift. (It’s not today’s solution. It’s for tomorrow’s advanced tech.)

Evan Jones
July 15, 2008 10:38 pm

It’s all in the birthrates. Check this out; it tells the story well in microcosm.
The only reason population is going up is the falling death rates. Population is headed for a big S-curve.
It’s human nature: We have hit that point in human history (and affluence) when kids are no longer necessary for survival, but instead are a hideous expense! (You parents out there know exactly what i mean!) Result: in every affluent country the birthrates have plunged, often below replacement rate. (It’s even beginning to happen in the poorer countries.)
Even if it doesn’t, there is little to fear: We house 100 with far more elbow room in less real estate than we housed 10 a century ago. NYC was intensely more overcrowded when it had 1 million pop. than today, when it has 8 million. The human “footprint” becomes tiny once technology becomes advanced.

Evan Jones
July 15, 2008 11:38 pm

For next, you can stop worrying about running out of natural resources (in case you haven’t yet).
The trouble with grade school these days is it generally takes around 12 years to unlearn all the nonsense they pack one full of. (If we had more reasonable teachers like Pamela, we wouldn’t have this problem.)

July 16, 2008 12:22 am

Thanks Evan, info appreciated, also advice earlier re apostates! I’m not going to do a sudden U-turn on “population issues” at this point, but your info is noted while I hole up and reconsider.
Great to see that Jonix (above) was put on track straight away by Bruce Cobb. I’d love to see such links as Bruce gave, loud and clear at the top of blogs like this and Climate Audit, where you can direct AGW’s and then say “come back for intelligent discussion when you’ve read these”. I’ve also done one: and I’m sure there are others. Now perhaps the biggest block to people reconsidering is this: AGW “experts” say that top experts Lindzen, etc are not believable because they are oil-funded and there’s the proof of their funding… and there are the rebuttals of the skeptics’ arguments anyway… AGW believers (like me at that time) won’t even start to look at Lindzen’s science.
I would love to see a website with “de-de-bunk” answers to all the classic “debunks” like one sees on the websites like Including “why skeptics’ supposed oil funding is an untrustworthy indicator” – the significance of government funding, Al Gore’s own oil funding, etc. – “why more CO2 would help, not hinder, the planet” – in line with real permaculture, after all – and “disinformation at Wikipedia” – .

July 16, 2008 1:42 am

The orbiting sunshade idea is not new. A few calculations. Put a sunshade (either in one piece or many little ones) at L5 (Is that the libration point between Earth and Sol?) That’s a long way away, and Sol is much bigger than Earth so you will need a sunshade of the order of the Earth’s diameter to give an annular eclipse effect. That’s 8000 miles. Take aluminium about 50 microns thick. (Let’s work in SI – easier to make orders-of-magnitude errors but easier for rough computations) So, 7000*7000*PI*0.0000000005=about 7.7 cubic kilometres, or 7,696,902,000 cubic metres of aluminium. At a density of 2600kg/cu.m that’s 20,011,945,203.367 tons (OK, technically tonnes if you want to use FFMs (Funny Foreign Measurements)) of aluminium to be chucked up to a distance that I think is one-third the way to the sun.
Are you sure this is easy?

Richard Elliott
July 16, 2008 7:34 am

Welshman to kayak to the North Pole
In Uk, we get a constant diet of drivel from the BBC like this, always without any checking or criticism, just taken as facts. The BBC will not of course follow up this story, they only need to look at the sattelite photo which clearly shows that he’s going to have a hard time. Be patient and go through to the end of the item, says it all!!

July 16, 2008 9:21 am

[…] Still there! I’ll attempt to hotlink the pic, and I’ll include the site link, just in case. Satellite Imagery Shows Arctic Ice Still Unmelted « Watts Up With That? […]

retired engineer
July 16, 2008 9:29 am

A ‘shade’ isn’t going to do it. If it doesn’t reflect, at 1365 w/m^2, it will get really hot. Mylar can reflect quite well, at the right angle. The problem is where to put it and how to keep it there. Orbital mechanics do what they will do regardless of anything we might want. Solar wind pushes big, lightweight things around rather well. I think NASA did a comet rendezvous with a solar sail a while back.
India and China may cut back on soot, eventually. Just as their population growth will slow (and the rest of the third world), eventually. Problem is what to do in the meantime.
Aluminum hats, anyone?

Evan Jones
July 16, 2008 11:53 am

Of course it couldn’t possibly be a new idea. Far and away too obvious.
L1 is probably too far out and would requite far more mass. I am thinking more about something in low solarsynchronous orbit. If this were feasible it would be much smaller and would save a heck of a lot on the tinfoil (or whatever material). You’d have to keep the orbit adjusted and be able to patch the holes, of course.
As for India and China, we don’t do anything in the meantime. We simply endure about three decades of soot, and after that we never have to worry about it again. (For that matter, there’s nothing we CAN do about it anyway.)
but your info is noted while I hole up and reconsider.
Can’t ask for fairer than that.
Note that the corner on birthrates turned in most countries starting around 1990. (But it’s nice to have the rates back to 1975 by way of comparison.)

Evan Jones
July 16, 2008 11:56 am

Aluminum hats, anyone?
Personal Power Solar Panel hats, maybe?

Before Gore, Kneel
July 19, 2008 6:29 pm

20000/4500000000, factor by 2:
ratio: how long ago NYC was covered by a mile high pile of snow divided by guess at how the earth is.
So in the geologic instant of 20,000 years, 1/225,000th of age of earth ago, we had snow from NYCity to Portland, under which nothing grew or lived or saw the sun. Then some blowhard ancester of Al Gore began boring the cave dwellers and the ice has been retreated ever since. In those days, he was griping about flint I think, and the dangers of fireplaces.

Before Gore, Kneel
July 19, 2008 6:31 pm

oops, insert ‘old’ where applicable.

July 20, 2008 5:16 am

All y’alls comments are encouraging.
Sadly, “news” stopped being news. Now opinion is “news”.
More sad is how readily culture accepts opinion as news.
Reason and critical thought have been demonized.
Another step on road to tyrany. Beware.
Peaceful journeys.

July 24, 2008 4:20 pm

The ice does melt “bottom up” when it gets less than 4-6feet thick. Algae grow in it in the saewater/ice interface region. The absorb the sunlight and melt the ice.
Its been seen melting to open water in -15C ambient air temp because of this.
This is the biggest reason the arctic-melt modeling predictions have been so inadequate.
The Climate has changed rapidly b4 of course. Theres 3 rapid “meltwater pulses” of rapid warming and sealevel rise in the last 20000years alone. Ice cores have given us a very accurate season resolution record of temp and atmos composition going back 100’s of thousands of years. The correlations between CO2 and temp are tight.
The scary bit is that compared to ALL the previous climate shifts, eg the 10.5Ka pulse (10500yrs ago), where sealevels rose at up to 1 foot per year for 500years…..
Anyway the solution is very simple and easy and profitable. About $1 million per year will fund the halt of GW and profits of over 10000% can be made. Biggest prob is the climate scientists are so addicted to being listened to for the first time in their lives right now that they don’t want it done.
Anyone know what I’m talking about?

July 28, 2008 2:05 pm

There are “ocean deserts” in the sth/nth pacific/atlantic, and sth indian ocean.
the centres of these oceanic “gyres”- whirlpools with very low nutrient levels -have biological production as low as the desert regions on land.
The main reason for this is lack of the trace nutrient Iron. Required for phytoplankton.
Many trials have been done showing that 1 ton of finely ground iron powder will produce a plankton bloom of up to 1000 sq km, lasting several mths. Around 500 000 to 5 million ton of carbon sinks to the ocean floor as dead Plankton. “sequestered”.
The carbon credit payout for doing this is very lucrative.
The rest of the bloom is a huge boon for the marine foodchain.
If we also netted up the blooms with converted trawlers, the plankton would be an easy substitute for fossil oil for diesel, ethanol, plastic/chemical production.
And 1 ton of iron powder could produce 10’s of millions of tons of fuel.
Not a happy thought for big energy moguls tho- they could not monopolise and control the supply of fuel and feedstocks like they are used to doing with oil because Oil has enourmous costs to get into. Algaefuel doesn’t.
They’d much rather bring us planet destroying breeder nukes with millions of times worse than chernobyls millions dead result inevitable, and high tech/cost hydrogen. -Monopolisable energy economy.

July 30, 2008 2:37 pm

[…] Ice Check – Still a lot of ice up there 30 07 2008 During our last check in, we had a look at northern Canada from the Arctic Circle to the North pole, and found we had quite a ways to go before we see an “ice free arctic” this year as […]

July 30, 2008 4:08 pm

[…] Written by Watts up with that Blog; During our last check in, we had a look at northern Canada from the Arctic Circle to the North pole, and found we had quite a ways to go before we see an “ice free arctic” this year as some have […]

July 31, 2008 11:28 am

[…] | Tags: Polar Ice Check – Still a lot of ice up there | During our last check in, we had a look at northern Canada from the Arctic Circle to the North pole, and found we had quite a ways to go before we see an “ice free arctic” this year as some have […]

August 2, 2008 6:25 am

We are in uncharted territory with the way this is unfolding. There is currently 0.25 million km more area of sea ice in the arctic than this date last year. More fractured and thinner than then. Certainly less multiyear ice, and the opening of clear water around the top of Greenland and the nth Canadian islands is significant.
The most significant factor on how this season will unfold is probably the effect on the gulf streams drawing of warmer water to the arctic thru the nth sea that the current scenario will have. Either:
-The current will slow or stall, subduction blocked by a surface pool of fresher, lighter water from the ice melt. A cooler euro-summer and possible temporary reversal in the arctic melting trend resulting.
-Or the Meltwater may become insignificant on the thermo-haline density gradient if the ice has dropped below the volume where the extensive wind/wave mixing now happening all over the polar basin eliminates haline density differences. The gulfstream could then accelerate, driven by the anticlockwise polar wind circulation. If this happens then we might see an arctic whirlpool, with the currents subducting “plughole style” at the nth pole. This happened for around 24hrs a month ago. If that became established there would be a dramatic polar, nthern warming from the increased heat transfer nth on the currents and a big risk that the buffering of sea level that the deep ocean side of the circulation system(water around 4C, warming causes contraction, offseting the expansion of warming surface waters) provides. If deep ocean water starts getting over 5C then rapid and unstable sealevel change as has been standard in some past epochs is probable.

August 8, 2008 1:30 am

This image is clearly useless.
The source link doesnt work.
See for details of ongoing breakups in Arctic ice.

August 12, 2008 6:01 pm

There’s been an acceleration in melting in the last 2 weeks.
We are now back to very near the same total arctic sea ice area as this date last year.
Still more fractured, spread out, thinner and less mass of ice than last year this date.

September 4, 2008 7:02 am

Clark said on 13/7/08
“Climate audit had a fascinating post last week pointing out that the key melts in past years normally occur right now in the cycle. If there’s not a ton of melting now, no way we match last year.”
Turns out now (4/09/08) we are virtually level pegging for a repeat record melt on last year. Looks like Clark’s assertion (based on Climate Audit) that “if there’s not a ton of melting now, no way we match last year” was hollow. Well I hope that maybe Clark would like to take Neilo’s advice from 13/07/08:
“Why is it, then, that a person can yell “The ice caps are melting” or “temperatures are rising” or “sea levels are rising”, and when it doesn’t happen there is a collective shrug and no one is charges with (at least) causing a public mischief?”
Presumably Neilo thinks that the converse should also be true. So, Clark, you are in grave danger of having comitted a public mischief and Neillo is not going to be happy with you or Climate Audit.
Climate change is to allegory as statues are to birdshit 🙂
Come on guys and gals, get your heads out of the sand. Let the people who actually know something about ice do their job without defamation of character.

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