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 speculated.

Today I did a check of the NASA rapidfire site for TERRA/MODIS satellite images and grabbed a view showing northern Greenland all the way to the North Pole.

There’s some bergy bits on the northeastern shore of Greenland, but in the cloud free area extending all the way to the pole, it appears to still be solid ice.

Click for a larger image – Note: image has been rotated 90° clockwise and sat view sector icon and time stamp added, along with “N” for north pole marker.

Link to original source image is here:


With more than half of the summer melt season gone, it looks like an uphill battle for an ice-free arctic this year.

Here is another view from today from the Aqua satellite:

Click for a larger image – Note: image has been rotated 90° counter- clockwise and sat view sector icon and time stamp added, along with “N” for north pole marker.

Source image is here:


This dovetails with a press release and news story about more ice than normal in the Barents Sea

From the Barents Observer:


New data from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute shows that there is more ice than normal in the Arctic waters north of the Svalbard archipelago.

In most years, there are open waters in the area north of the archipelago in July month. Studies from this year however show that the area is covered by ice, the Meteorological Institute writes in a press release.

In mid-July, the research vessel Lance and the Swedish ship MV Stockholm got stuck in ice in the area and needed help from the Norwegian Coast Guard to get loose.

The ice findings from the area spurred surprise among the researchers, many of whom expect the very North Pole to be ice-free by September this year.

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David Gladstone
July 30, 2008 2:38 pm

Interesting. Just today CNN ran a tease saying a large chunk of an ice shelf collapsed in the arctic; the job of manipulating minds goes on 24/7.

July 30, 2008 2:42 pm

But don’t you know that experts say by 2013 it will be ice free up there? Experts don’t lie.

July 30, 2008 2:48 pm

You think that’s bad, check out the mass panic here: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/080729/canada/technology_iceshelf_fracture. Especially the comments. WTF are these kids learning in school?

July 30, 2008 2:52 pm

Yes the same story was running on my local news channel. I was looking for
some truth in the matter. Seems climateaudit.org has a good post up on the matter

Diatribical Idiot
July 30, 2008 2:54 pm

Beat me to it. I commented on that story here.
18 sq km out of over 7 million sq km floats away and it’s front page news. It’s amazing to watch, really.

July 30, 2008 3:06 pm

“With more than half of the summer melt season gone, it looks like an uphill battle for an ice-free arctic this year.”
Uphill battle indeed.
If this were in Vegas I’d definitely be taking the over.

Jeff Alberts
July 30, 2008 3:09 pm

Experts may not lie, but they tend to lack humility and perspective.

D Ritchison
July 30, 2008 3:10 pm

Sam “Propaganda” Champion said this year’s ice melt was just as high as last years this morning on Good Morning America and the Ice Shelf break-up was yet another sign of Global Warming. You can’t let facts get in the way of a good lie.

July 30, 2008 3:16 pm

Err, correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t all the headlines earlier about an ice free North Pole (still quite possible as there is another 7 weeks before peak melt), not an ice free Arctic, something quite different.

Leon Brozyna
July 30, 2008 3:18 pm

Well my dear friend, what do you make of all that?
“We’re all gonna die! Look! The ice is slipping off Greenland! It’s all moving south and will flood New York City! Save yourself!” — runs off, flailing his arms frantically…
You’ll have to excuse my friend; the news seems to have hit him hard. No, not the silly news about an old ice shelf. The real news that we seem to be headed for a period of cooling for the next few decades. Will not do his portfolio, which is heavy on carbon credits trading and ‘green’ products, much good.
Speaking of that old ice shelf breaking apart, there’s an interesting piece on that today at Climate Audit with a fascinating historical piece you can download at:
Seems that old ice shelf has been disintegrating since the late 19th century. No news here — move along, move along.

July 30, 2008 3:30 pm

If the ice were melting, then the ice cover would be retracting, not expanding and breaking off. The fact that ice is being pushed into the sea means that there is pressure behind the ice, usually from precipitation [snow], piling up and forcing the ice out, where it eventually breaks off into the sea. The same thing happens when a glacier expands: a build up of ice pressure pushes the glacier out.
This is indicative of cooling, not warming.

July 30, 2008 4:00 pm

[…] wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com Tags: arctic, Ice, lent, water, Weather Related Posts […]

July 30, 2008 4:18 pm

Far from reach! The Ice is actually growing!

July 30, 2008 4:20 pm

What about this idiot who is kayaking to the ‘ice free’ north pole

Think he might be in for a tough paddle

July 30, 2008 4:35 pm

I think the evidence ways in favor of a global warming component going on over the past few years but correlating it to human CO2 output is another thing altogether.

July 30, 2008 4:43 pm

Experts! My dad always used to say that an “ex” is a has-been and a “spurt” is just a drip under pressure, maybe that’s why I’m so skeptical of the ‘experts.’

Richard deSousa
July 30, 2008 4:46 pm

Smokey: Logic was never the strong suit of the warmers. If it’s colder it’s because of global warming; if it’s warmer it’s because of global warming; if it wetter it’s because… well, you get the drift… ;P

Richard deSousa
July 30, 2008 4:46 pm

should be :p

Richard deSousa
July 30, 2008 4:47 pm

no luck with the smilies… 😉
REPLY: I’ve turned them off, they kept screwing up dates like (2008) – Anthony

July 30, 2008 5:41 pm

” REPLY: I’ve turned them off, they kept screwing up dates like (2008) – Anthony”

Steven Hill
July 30, 2008 5:43 pm

What is the new date on when Florida will be under water?

July 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Fears of his ice fortress melting is causing Al to act rashly

July 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Arctic Ice, Pshaw!
Today in the Uk, and in the wake of ‘record’ rises in food prices, British Gas announced an increase of 35% in Gas charges to consumers.
I propose that all UK anti-AGW residents should turn their minds to the following:
(1) Calculate how much, each 1 degree (C AND F) rise in Average Global temperatures would reduce the average UK domestic-fuel bill. (Daily Mail Newspaper- january 12th 2009- “IPCC predict UK families better off £150 per annum by 2020 due to Global Warming!”
(2) Calculate how much, each ppm increase in Co2 would reduce the average UK domestic food-fuel bill by increasing the availability of edible biomass.
(BBC strapline 13th Feb 2010- “Plants love MonoCarbon Dioxide”- Official!)
(BBC strapline – 14th February 2010 – “Excess Manmade Co2 production threatens survival of lupin says ex Monty Python star!)
(3) Work out how to prevent apoplexic life-ending consequences after reading the transcript of PM Harriet Harmens’ interview with Roger Harrabin of the BBC in which they both deplore how they, and VP Hansen, were misled by ‘the scientific community’ about CO2.
(BBC Strapline- anytime soon- “DiHydrogen Monoxide and the sun god Apollo – Will they ever be brought to Justice?”)
Apologies about the uk-centric nature of this post but, apparently, English-channel fog has just signed a non-aggression treaty with the Firth of Forth – therefore, the rest of you must feel a bit cut-off at the moment.
Anyway, how could anything I’ve just said be applicable to anywhere else?
Tea anyone?

Robert Wood
July 30, 2008 6:03 pm

Looking at that first satellite image, you see the Greenland ice sheets. What is hard to believe, at least until I saw these pics, were early explorer reports of 2 km high cliffs on the North-West tip of greenland.
Now, knowing that those ice sheets are 2 km deep, and I can still see land sticking oput, right at the edge of Greenland, I appreciate how it must be true.
I suddenly feel the need to go there.

July 30, 2008 6:03 pm

Just a few months ago some highfalutin scientist was quoted in an article saying that the chances for Arctic waters being ice free this summer was greater that 50/50. Now he obviously can’t predict 2-3 months ahead and yet he wants us to believe that this same rock solid judgment of his gives him high confidence for what he believes is going to happen in 20-30 years? These scientists are so full of themselves; they need to study the effects of hubris on scientific judgement.

Retired Engineer
July 30, 2008 6:22 pm

No, no, all the ice has melted! From Yahoo news:
“Gary Stern, co-leader of an international research program on sea ice, said it’s the same story all around the Arctic.
Speaking from the Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen in Canada’s north, Stern said He hadn’t seen any ice in weeks. Plans to set up an ice camp last February had to be abandoned when usually dependable ice didn’t form for the second year in a row, he said.”
“no ice in weeks” ? Good grief.

George Bruce
July 30, 2008 6:28 pm

Jeff Alberts (15:09:28) :
Experts may not lie, but they tend to lack humility and perspective.
Yes, and sometimes they just lie.

July 30, 2008 6:40 pm

Look at what the catastrophic, unnatural, and manmade sea ice melt has just done in the past few days: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

July 30, 2008 6:44 pm

Is there an negative correlation between global temperatures and Arctic ice extent? The past year has seen a big temperature drop while Arctic ice hit record low levels. The past month or two, as ice melt has slowed down, so has the fall in global temperatures. The only mechanism I can think of is the extra heat required for the solid-to-liquid phase change (i.e. melt).
Does anybody have back-of-the-envelope calculations of the number of terrajoules required to melt a million square km of 1-metre-thick ice? Would it produce a noticable temperature blip?

July 30, 2008 6:49 pm

It looks as though the Arctic sea ice is melting at a slower than average pace now, unless I’m imagining things when I see a slight upward course for the blue line in the past few days:

July 30, 2008 6:55 pm

Retired Engineer,
Sounds like someone is washing the hog again.
From 2007:
“The CCGS Amundsen will leave Quebec City on July 26. During its 469-day voyage, it will explore several sectors of the Canadian Arctic, travelling as far north as 81° N in Kane Basin. It will also have to navigate the most difficult part of the Northwest Passage, Bellot Strait, which marks the northernmost point of the continent.”
Now I don’t know whether this mission is still ongoing or where Cap’n Stern and/or his ship may actually be at the moment, but most every year around this time the Beaufort Sea north of Canada is free of ice for some many miles out. And I doubt the visibility is always such that the Cap’n could see that far if near shore. But if he were around one of the Islands, or the Passage through them, or anywhere near 81N, I’d suggest he got his glasses fixed, or hired on with Exxon haulin oil. Or perhaps he is vacationing in Cancun and can’t see the ice in his drink.

Bill Illis
July 30, 2008 6:57 pm

These Ice Shelves on the northern end of Baffin Island are “stranded glaciers”.
They are no longer being fed by land-based glaciers from the centre of the Island as they were about 3,000 years ago.
They will slowly melt and break away until a new ice age builds up a new bigger glacier on Baffin Island.
Glaciers do not build up on the ocean. They will never be more than a few metres above the sea level. Icebergs only come from land-based glaciers and the push of bigger land-based glaciers in the interior.
These ice shelves have been breaking up and slowly melting away for 3,000 years.
Of course, the ice scientists know this. But they will not say so when interviewed by the media because, in many ways, their livelihood and their organization’s budget depend on the hype.

July 30, 2008 7:15 pm

Retired Engineer (18:22:40) wrote: “Speaking from the Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen in Canada’s north, Stern said He hadn’t seen any ice in weeks. ”
He could be telling a half truth if he’s been staying down in the crew’s quarters too long. This is one way they can lie with a straight face… don’t look at the evidence! Tell him to get topside and take off his blinders!
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project

July 30, 2008 7:18 pm

Talk about the blind leading the blind… That’s the blogosphere for you.
I’m a skeptic of the correlation between human-produced CO2 and global warming. But I FULLY trust my friend Derek, a polar scientist, who has been walking the ice shelves, taking samples, measuring cracks, and studying decades-worth of scientific record for the past 10 years.
He has been there, he is humble and possessed of enormous perspective (Mr. Alberts), he has a family about which he cares deeply, and wants nothing more than to alert the rest of the world of the possibility that humans may be pooping in their own dog-dish.
In other words, I trust the person who has been there, reports facts, and does so rationally and without political or economic bias (i.e. he is not getting the least bit rich in the pursuit of facts). I trust him far more than I trust armchair-google-earth-bafflegabbers.
Shame on every blog responder who, like the bully in the schoolyard, flings insults like ‘has-been’, ‘hubris’, and ‘lacks humility’ without knowing who he or she is talking about. And yes, that includes this responder.
P.S. a story briefly quoting Derek’s findings, sourced from Reuters, published in a newspaper notoriously skeptical about global warming: http://www.nationalpost.com/related/topics/story.html?id=688218

July 30, 2008 7:35 pm

Del (17:56:27) :
Thanks so much for that Onion article! It had me LOLOL!!

July 30, 2008 7:41 pm

Even that part of the AGW scientific establishment that strives to be honest has been largely rendered powerless by the rising tide of fear and propaganda on which the movement floats. Has your friend the scientist informed you that panicked news articles were being written about the end of Arctic ice 70 years ago? Has he informed you that the Northwest Passage has been navigated serially, starting at least 1,000 years ago? If your friend the scientist wants to start a sheep ranch on Greenland, the way the Vikings did 1,000 years ago, you might want to think twice before joining him there. It’s a lot icier and colder on Greenland now than it was when the Vikings built their settlements there. If you do go and try to raise sheep there, you’re going to want your warmest sleeping bag and some good boot and glove warmers!

July 30, 2008 7:49 pm

This site has a write up on energy required to melt ice (and discusses the volcanism in the Gakkel range – which isn’t generating enogh energy to melt the ice to any great extent – mostly because it has to heat a few thousand million gal of seawater first).

July 30, 2008 8:08 pm

Your friend may be a true believer in AGW, but because part of an ice shelf breaks off, or the Arctic starts to melt, is not itself evidence of AGW. It is anecdotal, and we are all capable of excercising that type of reasoning at times. And as far as I know the conditions in the Arctic have not been connected to AGW with any hard science as yet, and there exists scientific literature claiming that it does not appear to be directly connected to global warming. If your friend is truly alerting you or the “rest of the world of the possibility that humans may be pooping in their own dog-dish” I suggest you take a step back and consider that he may not be anymore right than a google armchair expert. But as long as he uses such words as “possibility” and “may” then he should be safe from at least harsh criticism. There is a possibility that we all may not really exist except in the mind of an alien child playing with his quantum computer.

July 30, 2008 8:17 pm

Bill Marsh,
I have a hard time understanding how a temperature increase of maybe a degree F could melt the Arctic as well. But I wonder whether if some egghead that took an interest in underwater volcanic action could tie it in some way to Arctic melt, changing currents or seawater chemistry, or just raw temp increases at sensitive points…does it have to be a single location emitting enough temp to heat gadzillions of gallons of seawater? And could it not be a partial factor in the Arctic melt?
It occurs to me that very little is known about what is going on under the ocean in and around the Arctic, or anywhere else for that matter. I find outright dismissals a little premature and unscientific.

July 30, 2008 8:45 pm

I don’t outright dismiss it, I’m skeptical. Even though it generates a lot of heat, there’s a great deal more water than volvcano. That link I cited has a nice analysis of just how much heat and how much ice that heat could melt (if it was near the surface).

Pieter Folkens
July 30, 2008 8:57 pm

Barrow has been running around 6°C below the July average high and 2° below the average July low. July is typically the warmest month and things begin to cool into August 24-hr sun ends and cools very much so in September as days become notably shorter. I don’t think they’ll even get close to an Arctic passage this summer, let along an ice-free arctic this year.

July 30, 2008 9:08 pm

Marcusiologist: Just because a scientist is sincere does not mean he or she does not have human failings such as a limited time perspective. When I read that a scientist such as Derek declare that such and such an event is ” a bit of a wake-up call”, I go “whoa”! I consider this kind of statement a red flag. Just because an unusual event such as an ice shelf breakup occurs in one’s lifetime, it does not logically follow that this event must have some greater meaning in relation to a popular paradigm. It does not necessarily imply human caused global warming. It might be that considering long term changes in many conditions, including a warming phase globally, this kind of event is ripe, whether you have a climate change ideology or not. The jump to the dire warning is par for the course today. Take some knowledge, mix it with the prevailing thought matrix of the end is near, and voila! you have another scientist jumping to a conclusion that the facts do not necessitate (repeat, necessitate). Scientists are humans; they are influenced by others and subject to the herd mentality. Intellect does not innoculate one from these weaknesses — only the will to look at alternative views can hope allay this tendency.

July 30, 2008 9:16 pm

And for an anecdotal weather report here in NE Florida, the meteorologists at channel 4 just reported that they’ve gone back through over 30 years of records and have not yet found another month of July with so few 90-degree days.

Jeff Alberts
July 30, 2008 9:20 pm

Marcus, with all respect to you and your friend, it sounds like he does lack perspective. 10 years is not a long time. If he had perspective he would know that nothing happening now is unprecedented in any way, either in scale or time frame, as far as we know. Unfortunately for him the same type of data he is now gathering isn’t available for, say, 80 years ago (Not saying that’s specifically true, just giving a hypothetical). Which means you can’t just suddenly measure something, and say that because the measurement from a few years ago is different that there is now some sort of emergency. We frankly don’t know enough about these regions to know what’s “normal” outside our extremely small window of knowledge. If you want to talk about what should be happening then you have to call ice ages “normal”, as of the last couple million years. And we certainly don’t want another ice age.

Patrick Henry
July 30, 2008 9:23 pm

With the sun’s elevation now dropping about 2 degrees per week, and the Arctic Oscillation forecast to be negative through mid-August, there won’t be much more melting in the Arctic this season.
The NSIDC graph shows that melting slowed to almost zero a few days ago, and Arctic ice extent is headed back towards normal.

July 30, 2008 9:40 pm

Re swapie:
I guess that would according to GISS make this the 5 warmest July in NE Florida, ever 😉

July 30, 2008 9:58 pm

Right you are, mbabbitt, about the limited time perspective that 10 years truly is in assessing weather, let alone climate.

Paul Shanahan
July 30, 2008 11:35 pm

Usual alarmist BS from the BBC

Vincent Guerrini Jr.
July 31, 2008 12:06 am

These three sites seem to monitor weather/ (7 day climate?) quite well:
There has been some normal heating in NH for last 2 weeks as expected since 9/10 of land mass mid-summer in NH but now the “real” cold seems to be spreading both NH and SH
click on each continent temperatures
The trend at wxmaps seems to be highly correlated with satellite temperatures if you look closely (you have to follow it probably on a weekly basis.
900, 600 and 400 mb level.
From this we could expect major cooling in SH and then NH. Another good pointer is this 7 animation of land/sea temp anomalies.
So these three measurements seem to monitor day to day and 7 trend data quite well. Comments welcomed
What I find interesting is the cold pools forming (and disappearing intermittingly, of course)in the NH (arctic and Northern Russia, North America and Europe for past 6-7 month as distinct to last year when warm pools predominated there. Also the SH warm pools during SH antarctica are quite interesting. Seems to be a flip-flop from last year. Must be the sun… whether geomagnetic, TSI or some other factor me thinks…., because earths atmosphere hasn’t changed in the meantime has it?

Vincent Guerrini Jr.
July 31, 2008 12:15 am

re previous Vincent and cloud formation of course (probably anomalous heat of over antarctica)

July 31, 2008 12:36 am

REPLY: I’ve turned them off, they kept screwing up dates like (2008) – Anthony

Ian Wilson
July 31, 2008 1:23 am

If you read this link you might find out why the next ~ 10 years will be colder than the last.
So do not worry about the arctic polar ice cap disappearing.

July 31, 2008 1:38 am

[…] inaccuracy, to which all press and blogs have to respond. And so whatever Jennifer Mahorasy, or Wattsupwiththat, or Tom Nelson, or Climate Sceptic, or OnEarth, or La Marguerite, or the Sans Pretence, or DeSmog […]

July 31, 2008 1:38 am

It dismays me. This blog has in the past had much good debate but it has become farcical and full of sensationalistic innacuracies lately (the very thing the average blogger here claims the AGW camp are guilty of). Even Anthony who has done much fine work on temperature equipment is guilty of this. I will use this thread as an example. First ice loss in the Arctic is above normal, due to an higher mean temperature anomolies http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.7.28.2008.gif.
Forget the smokescreen of undersea volcanos or soot ITS.
This thread got off to a bad start with Anthony’s “and found we had quite a ways to go before we see an “ice free arctic” this year as some have speculated.” The speculation he was refering to was an ICE FREE NORTH POLE
an entirely different and still plausable scenario. This is the repeated through the blog,some examples: With more than half of the summer melt season gone, it looks like an uphill battle for an ice-free arctic this year.”
Uphill battle indeed.”
or “Just a few months ago some highfalutin scientist was quoted in an article saying that the chances for Arctic waters being ice free this summer was greater that 50/50. ”
Or “I don’t think they’ll even get close to an Arctic passage this summer, let along an ice-free arctic this year.”
This blog is not only informative but valuable so please try and stay focused and avoid the same claptrap traps the AGW camp and media have been guilty of. Anthony’s work is too valuable to be devalued by this.

July 31, 2008 3:56 am

That isn’t ice, it’s soft hail.

July 31, 2008 4:00 am

Mike Keep,
You realize that the temps in the graph you are using aren’t measurements of temperature in the Arctic? The white area is the arctic and there are no measurements shown there because of sea ice.
The extreme melt event last year was NOT due to ‘rising temperature’ it was due to current variations. This year is different as you can see here http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png and is well ahead of last year (although below average, but the trend appears to be headed for normal vs last year)
An ‘ice free’ pole, this isn’t unusual and has happened before, in 1987 in fact, when three US Subs photographed themselves on the surface. This was the year before Hansen ‘sounded the alarm’, subsequently the pole refroze and has not been ice free this century – all the while temps reaching ‘unprecendented’ levels.
I think you need to lighten up

Tom in Florida
July 31, 2008 4:18 am

Just got my electric bill for June/July: $76. That’s about $30 lower than the last 6 years average (the time I have lived in this house). I’ve been in this area for 19 years so it ain’t cause I’m getting used to it. I just haven’t had to use my a/c as much this year.

July 31, 2008 4:20 am

First ice loss in the Arctic is above normal
Link please?

Patrick Henry
July 31, 2008 4:50 am

Mike Keep,
You might want to check your facts more carefully before criticizing the blog.
“If Norway’s average temperature this year equals that in 2007, the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away, which is highly possible judging from current conditions,”
Dr. Olav Orheim, head of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat

Patrick Henry
July 31, 2008 4:54 am
Bruce Cobb
July 31, 2008 4:58 am

From the June 27 Telegraph we have this:
“The Polar regions have been the first to show the critical changes brought by global warming and it will be a hugely symbolic moment if the North Pole is left surrounded by water.”
And this:
“The sight of ships able sailing to the Pole for the first time would be seized on by environmental groups as an example of the consequences of a failure to take action on a global scale to combat global warming.”
The AGW alarmists and propagandists were, and no doubt still are fervently wishing and hoping to see an ice-free NP happen this summer. When you don’t have science or facts on your side, which is the case with the pathetic Warmists you go for hype and propaganda, using symbols and icons to try to sway a gullible (but now increasingly skeptical) public. Unfortunately, things just don’t seem to be happening the way they’d like them to. Then, when you try to call them on it, as with folk like Mike Keep, they get all indignant, and holier-than-thou, saying, I thought you guys were supposed to be the scientific ones! That is a riot.

Carsten Arnholm, Norway
July 31, 2008 5:06 am

I just spoke to someone in my family who is an arctic enthusiast and has been travelling on cruise ships to Svalbard every year for the last 4 years.
Before, they could sail around Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet (the big islands of Svalbard), i.e. circumnavigate the whole thing.
This year they could not sail north of Spitsbergen due to lots of ice. Also they could not sail to the east coast of Spitsbergen for the same reason. There is a marked difference from last year.
This was mid July btw.

July 31, 2008 5:15 am

Mike Keep,
I’d also point out that you engage in the same behavior in your post decrying it. To wit, “Forget the smokescreen of undersea volcanos or soot ITS.”
Since especially the soot issue is hardly a smokescreen and the work detailing it has been published in Journal of Geophysical Review among others I find it interesting that you include it in your ‘farcical and sensationalistic inaccuracies’ category – http://www.physorg.com/news100354399.html and melt in Greenland has also been associated with soot – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809172126.htm

July 31, 2008 5:28 am

Mike Keep:
Since you are critical of inaccuracies, how do you know that the ice loss is above normal because of the warmer waters? What if the ice loss is happening for other reasons and the waters are anomalously warmer because of the lack of ice. See for example the huge gradient from positive to negative anomaly in Hudson Bay where the last of the ice just recently melted in the SW portion of the bay.

July 31, 2008 5:35 am

Looks like the folks at Planet Ark (and NSIDC) have thrown in the towel on this one.
“”It’s looking rather unlikely that we will beat the record sea ice minimum of 2007,” said Mark Serreze, a senior research fellow at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), adding there could still be surprises.
“The North Pole is likely safe for at least this year,” he said. The NSIDC had suggested in May that it was “quite possible” that the pole could be ice-free this year. ”
They’re the folks that had the remarkable observation a week or so ago that “Wetlands contain 771 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases, one-fifth of all the carbon on Earth and about the same amount of carbon as is now in the atmosphere.”
Of course they had misreported the study, which actually said that wetlands store 10-20% of land based carbon, a figure I could well accept. I guess the folks at Planet Ark used the upper end figure and applied it to the planet (they capitalized earth so that makes it a proper noun naming the planet as a whole, not just the land mass)

July 31, 2008 5:52 am

The second picture concerning the arctic sea ice coverage deals with the area north of the Bering straight. When you compare this picture with the data from
igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu you find much more open water there. I guess there is some cloud coverage which also looks white. The first picture (near Greenland) looks more in line with the uiuc data.

Frank L/ Denmark
July 31, 2008 6:05 am

Hi Mike Keep!
I tend to agree that we should not make this blog anything else than the best.
But explain to me:
You find it still plausible that the north pole could be ice free this year?
Ok, take a look, i compare 1993 with 2008:
The colour nuance dark violet means almost solid ice. I cood have chosen many years like 1993 for this example.
Take a good look.
If there is some reason to expect ice-free north pole how about the situation in 1993? It definetly looks much worse! Or try 1990, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2005 etc
If you where not told by the media, would you ever have guessed that 2008 was supposed to be this “ice-free-north-pole-year”?
Honestly you would NEVER have gotten that idea, i believe.
Another thing. Look closely here:
Ok, when did the ice stop melting last year?
In mid August!
That is in 2 weeks from now.
If ice-free-north-pole is “plausable” well, then anything is plausable.
For some reason “scientists” are not laying the cards on the table for the media, and thats a shameful thing.

July 31, 2008 6:51 am

They try to find every piece of info that could possibly support their theory

Steven Hill
July 31, 2008 6:59 am

It’s sad that some think that man has somehow risen above God. Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins and many have fallen in it’s grip. The earth has been going through cycles that man cannot even count.
Yes, I think we should lower pollution, but to take Gore’s approach will cause millions to go without food, it’s already started. When I see Al tear down his mansion and start on the sod house, I’ll just work on the normal reductions that he seems to have forgotten. Our household of 5 uses 1/20th of what his mansion uses and we do not fly all around the world spreading man’s pride.
It’s sad to see that the world leaders have sunken so low. How many millions have died since DDT was banned in Africa? Many want to control population as well, I guess banning DDT was in that plan.
my 2 cents

July 31, 2008 7:09 am

My apologies for using this thread to mention this, but the BBC today have an article about Jason 1 & 2 satellites measuring oceans.
There appears to be an anomaly just of the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa where the seal level is shown as having risen. This may be nothing to do with the matter, but on June 18th there was a huge rainstorm that caused rivers to wash away beaches. Could the satellites be registering deeper water as an increase of sea level. This was Uvongo Beach, before it was washed out to sea. http://www.uvongoholidays.co.za/images/js/11.jpg
These are Phil Girdlestone’s photographs taken the next day. http://www.sandstone-estates.com/interim/Natal_south_coast_floods/index.html
The railway bridge on the Izotsha river was washed away as was the entire headland , as seen in the last photograph.
The event was tremendous and I wonder if coincidently, the satellite images were being processed at that time?
REPLY: I don’t know, it is possible, but I think those maps are from multiple passes.

July 31, 2008 7:37 am

Forget the smokescreen of undersea volcanos..

You’re kidding, right? We will give no weight whatsoever to huge masses of molten magma directly beneath the ice as a contributing factor to melting. Sounds like a completely unbiased assertion to me.

July 31, 2008 7:44 am

Mike Keep makes a great comment. This blog is very informative, and its value is its dedication to facts and reasoned conclusions, as well as a vigorous use of Occam’s Razor to shed unecessary and unwarranted conclusions.
Scientist are people like the rest of us, and some are better than others, more careful than others, more skeptical than others. Being a “scientist” doesn’t mean that you automatically rigorously follow the scientific method all the time! Why pile on and pummel some of them – it makes you seem like Yahoos.
I think it’s valuable to point out how the news media handles and mishandles these facts, but there too, stop acting as if the news media were more than an outlet for entertainment. That’s what it is for the most part – entertainment values have triumphed everywhere! I don’t like this, but I recognize it. To rant on against it and make snarky comments about it just reduces your own position to little better than that of an AGW enthusiast, even though you may know your facts better.

Jeff K
July 31, 2008 7:52 am

I noticed something on the first TERRA/MODIS image (north coast of Greenland) which grabbed my attention & I haven’t seen it brought up here but…in the image, you see Greenland’s inland icepack & the Arctic Ocean icepack right up to the north coast of Greenland. However, there is a strip of land between the two which is snow/ice free.
Question – with the ice-free area of Greenland, was there not that much snow this winter or was it warm enough to melt that snow but allow the ocean ice to remain frozen (which seems contradictory to me) -or- is that area actually averaging above freezing and the ocean ice is actually melting but other ice is being moved against the Greenland north shore by wind/ocean currents to keep it iced-in? Any ideas why this happens & is this normal (not the moving of the ice but the bare land with ice against the shore)?
Thanks in advance

Pieter Folkens
July 31, 2008 7:52 am

Mike Keep: “sensationalistic [sic] innaccuracies [sic]”
Over the past decade there has been an open northwest passage for several weeks during the summer. It was usually along the high Russian shore, but it was also possible to run from New Foundland to Alaska. I have a colleague who made the trip and turned it into a documentary. Indeed, the “Canadian Melt Model” from the early 1990s predicted a commercially available passage in 35 years from then. There is no open passage this year and, with days becoming shorter and temperatures running below average in the high Arctic, it’s not likely a passage will open this summer.
I have also heard those purporting to have insight and authority warning of the chances of an “ice-free” Arctic. Perhaps these people were exaggerating some other person’s prediction of an ice-free North Pole. Perhaps they were looking at the trend of ice extent over the past decade. Even so, the point is, ice is building again inthe north and neither the North Pole or the Arctic will be ice free anytime soon. Both Anthony’s and my statements are true and reasonable in response to exaggerations appearing in the media or long-standing predictions by the AWG leaders. They are not “sensational inaccuracies.”

George Bruce
July 31, 2008 8:16 am

Mike Keep:
You comments are not fair at all. The point of this post, and the focus of most of the comments, is the alarmist and sensationalistic reports from the media. We have been told by the media that the Arctic is melting, that the northwest passage will soon be open, that the polar bears are drowning and so on and so on. Media reports like those have an effect on policy, such as the recent decision to list the polar bear as a “threatened” species by the US EPA, even though there is evidence that polar bear numbers are actually increasing.
Many on the AGW side of the debate remain silent when the most exaggerated and irresponsible media reports come out. Under those circumstances, such silence amounts to tacit approval. When the alarmism is debunked, as it has been, they retreat to the “we only claimed that their might be a “ICE FREE NORTH POLE”, ( your caps), and accuse the folks here of being “farcical and sensationalistic.”
The farcical and sensationalistic label should only be applied to the exaggerated media scare mongering, not to the necessary counterweight provided by this blog.

JP Rourke
July 31, 2008 8:20 am

Pieter Folkens:
“a good chance of an ice-fee North Pole” is what the ‘experts’ have been quoted saying – NOT “ice-free arctic”… if you want to persist in saying the latter, please give at least ONE cite, of ANY GW or AGW ‘expert’ saying that. Please? If you can, I will join you in roundly critiquing such statement. It is not going to happen!
Regarding an “open Northwest Passage” – again, where is the cite for “at least a thousand years”? If it was so easy, why did Amundsen making the trip in 3 YEARS make such a big deal? Or the St. Roch, making it in 86 days in 1944 in an “ice-fortified ship that was extensively upgraded”? For some reason people finf that remarkable, and yet neither is in any way indicative of a ‘commercially navigable” channel, which DID occur last year…
…but NOT until late August! We have 3-4 weeks of some serious melting acitivity before then – go ahead make a prediction that the NWP won’t by ice-free enough for commerical vessels… nobody on the AGW side is predicting that it will, only that there is a good chance of it (i.e., somewhere around 50/50 – not anything you can call a prediction). Sure, there are some alarmist media and non-expert AGWers making such predictions – but that only makes them on an equal footing with yours.
(Oh, and by the way – the ‘high Russian shore’ is the NorthEAST Passage, we’re talking about the NWP here above Canada… of course the NEP has been clear many times, no one says it hasn’t, lol!)
No, they aren’t sensational inaccuracies – leave that to the false-AGWer alarmist money-grubbing media – they are just woefully poorly-informed personal opinions.
And, nothing that you have written here relates to any “long-standing prediction by AGW leader” that I have read… could you be more specific? (and please, let’s not conflate ‘north pole’ with ‘arctic ocean’ yet again)

George Bruce
July 31, 2008 8:40 am

lichanos (07:44:10) :
It is news to many lay readers that the BBC and the NYT are just entertainment. While I think you are right, much of the public takes such publications to be authoritive. When the alarmism spreads to the major broadcast media and mass market newspapers and magazines, it becomes accepted by a large portion of the public. This impression is reinforced by what amounts to indoctrination in schools and colleges. Taken all together, this alarmism has a strong effect on public opinion, and therefore directly affects public policy. Public policy in turn affects our economy and our lives.
I can’t join with you in dismissing alarmism in the media as nothing more than “entertainment.” Especially when the alarmist message is almost never balanced with opposing points of view, except for a few blogs like this one.

Mike Bryant
July 31, 2008 8:45 am

“I think it’s valuable to point out how the news media handles and mishandles these facts, but there too, stop acting as if the news media were more than an outlet for entertainment.”
Someone needs to point out that the news media IS more than an “outlet for entertainment”. Those outlets that ARE using weather events to entertain, must be called to account. Those scientists that insist on making alarmist statements must also be made accountable. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.

Ken Westerman
July 31, 2008 9:13 am

This proves that mother nature will do as she pleases. We may think we know with absolute certainty what she will do, but thankfully, we do not. However, the fact that more ice is present over last year speaks very small volumes in the longer scope of things. Unless this was to be the year that everything deviated from ‘consensus’. But even that assumption would sound awefully foolish to commit to so early. Chaos is great, indeed.

Leon Brozyna
July 31, 2008 9:16 am

Let’s try this again.
Here’s one for you Anthony – it’s so bad it’s funny:
REPLY: Having kept all sorts of tropical fish myself and studying ichthyology for that reason, I can say that the TSD effect is real, the cause however is questionable. – Anthony

Bruce Cobb
July 31, 2008 9:21 am

…stop acting as if the news media were more than an outlet for entertainment. Sorry, lichanos, but the AGW propaganda has to be stopped, regardless of where it’s coming from. Like it or not, the lamestream media still has clout. People are gullible, and the AGW propaganda is everywhere, so they think it must be true. Don’t try to pretend that if the NP were to become ice-free this summer, it would not be trumpeted to the ends of the earth: See? See? We TOLD you so! This is absolute PROOF that we are destroying our planet with our EVIL C02 Pollution, and blah blah blah.
And yes, the AGW “scientists” (Hansen et al) would be all over it as well.

Charles Garner
July 31, 2008 9:34 am

Interesting to note this item from the Yale Climate Forum. One side says that the data from ground stations is unreliable due to land use changes, instrumentation, human error/laziness, or creeping UHI effects, the other throws out satellite data because of orbital decay (makes it sound awful, ‘decay’. So the two sides talk past each other for the most part, it seems. Does the emperor have no data?

July 31, 2008 9:52 am

the Northwest Passage has been navigated at various times in the past century including Roald Amundsen 1905 and (there must have been a bunch of us evil SUV driving white males back in the 1800’s) again in 1940-42.

July 31, 2008 9:53 am

I’m skeptical of the idea. While it does seem like there is a lot of energy being dumped into the sea by a volcano, when you consider the amount of water sitting on top of it and the energy that needs to be absorbed to heat that column of water (not to mention how it might affect currents) before the energy from the volcano can impact the ice cover, my suspicion is that it isn’t going to have much effect overall.
Since we don’t know how energetic these volcanic eruptions are, nor do we know if they are continuous, there is very little info available to draw a reasoned decision.
One gigatonne is one billion metric tonnes ( 1 Gt = 1 x 109 tonnes)
One metric tonne is 1000 kilograms (1 tonne = 1000 kg)
One metric tonne of water has a volume of one cubic meter (1 tonne water ≡ 1 m³)
One gagatonne of water has a volume of one billion cubic meters, or one cubic kilomter.(1 Gt water ≡ 1 km³)Of course, one gigatonne of ice has a greater volume than one gigatonne of water. But it will still have a volume of 1 km³ when it melts.
(borrowed from Climate Sanity)
Stealing some more from Climate Sanity assume that the eruption is equivalent to Mt St Helens which released the equivalent of 24 megatons of energy when it blew it’s top. 24 megatons == 100 million billion joules (1.0E+17 joules) That’s a lot of joules by any measure.
Now, how much ice and that much energy melt. If the energy is applied without any intervening water, then you’re melting ice, the heat of fusion of ice is 334 joules/gram ice. Doing the math that means 1.0E+17 joules will melt 3.0E+14 grams of ice. Since the average thickness of the ice in the Arctic (I have to use averages, much as I don’t like to because I have no idea how thick the ice is over the Gakkels) is 3 meters, it means that our 24 megatons of energy can be reasonably expected to melt about 100 sqkm of Arctic ice cover. Not a great deal and, if the volcano is not continually supplying that energy, the ice will quickly reform.
Since the Gakkel range is on the bottom of the Arctic and the average depth in the Arctic is roughly 1000 meters (again I don’t know the depth of the Gakkel range, could be more, could be less) that means there is a column of water 1000 meters high between the energy and the ice which has to be heated as well. I suspect that the direct melting of ice in this case would be considerably less than 100 sqkm. What effect the added energy has on Arctic currents is unknown, but, since they were and have been there long before we ‘discovered’ them I suspect (hypothesize?) that these effects have already been recorded as ‘normal’ current activity.

John B
July 31, 2008 10:01 am

The article you linked to was typical of much AGW reporting — totally uncritical of conclusions that are inconsistent with the data presented within the article itself.
Warwick Vincent is quoted as saying “…we’re now crossing new thresholds in environmental change in the High Arctic…” and “Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario, said he was concerned by the rapidity of changes in the High Arctic over the last few years.”
Yet the article states that the fracturing of 20 square kilometers (8 square miles) “was the largest fracture of its kind since the nearby Ayles ice shelf — which measured 25 square miles — broke away in 2005.” It goes on to say that “Ellesmere Island was once home to a single enormous ice shelf totaling around 3,500 square miles. All that is left of that shelf today are five much smaller shelves that together cover just under 400 square miles.”
No time frame is presented, but a reduction from 3500 to 400 square miles since the end of the “Little Ice Age” about 1850 would require a loss of about 20 square miles per year every year for the entirety of the 150 years. These two major fractures (2005 and 2008) would account for a loss of just 33 square miles in 4 years. Thus the current rates of loss are quite unexciting.

July 31, 2008 10:30 am

Damn satellites, and the people who know how to find them … What you gonna do but just make it up.

Leon Brozyna
July 31, 2008 10:41 am

Anthony –
First, one small point about my previous comment – not questioning the effect on fish of temperature increase – just the translation of the effects in a temperature controlled environment to that of the uncontrolled natural environment.
Second, I’m wondering, after seeing your comment above about your workload, how do you do it? Speaking for myself, I just love this site but surely, you need to unplug sometime for more than just snatches of family time. Plus you do have your main project at surfacestation. Why not a few guest moderators to pitch in and help you keep your sanity {and help you keep your life}. I’m sure you’ve established a large enough community of questioning skeptics that wouldn’t mind periodically manning the helm for you, even if only on a volunteer {no $$} basis. Just look at the numbers that responded to your call for keyboard punching volunteers. I’d think we all have a stake in seeing you and your site succeed – that’s why we keep coming back for more.

July 31, 2008 10:48 am

[…] Polar Ice Check – Still a lot of ice up there […]

July 31, 2008 10:52 am

“Interesting to note this item from the Yale Climate Forum. One side says that the data from ground stations is unreliable due to land use changes, instrumentation, human error/laziness, or creeping UHI effects, the other throws out satellite data because of orbital decay (makes it sound awful, ‘decay’. So the two sides talk past each other for the most part, it seems. Does the emperor have no data?”
I agree with both sides. Even if we could take such a thing as the whole planet’s temperature by averaging up thousands of data points, the change in temperature is indistinguishable from background noise and natural variation . Watching the ice cover at the poles is the best indication of any change, and so far it looks like nothing is happenning now that hasn’t happenned before. Much ado about nothing.

Bob Mr-Know-It-All W
July 31, 2008 11:02 am

All of this leads up to the question I have asked many times, but have never had answered – “What about the second source of heat affecting the earth? That big molten core in the center of our planet?”
The earth gets very hot as you progress downward from crust to mantel to core. And the first law of thermodynamics says that heat must be traveling to the colder suroundings. So, how much heat are we talking about and where is it going? Surely someone somewhere has done the math?
Yes, some parts of the planet are very well insulated, but other parts are not and we see lava flow across the land. There is deffinately some effect. But has anybody studied this at all?

July 31, 2008 11:03 am

As a true skeptic here-skeptical of AGW and skeptical of the skeptics, I support Mike Keeps comments. Discuss, debate, deliberate-but diatribes and derision really discredit and distract from your aruguments to the neutral observer. It brings into question motivations. That’s D story from this observer.

July 31, 2008 11:17 am

Below are links to two IMS images from NOAA showing the ice cover over the Arctic Ocean yesterday and on the same day last year (July 30, 2007):
It is abundantly clear from these images that the ice pack over the Arctic ocean is much more substantial this year than last year. You will even notice there is still a large chuck of pack ice in Hudsons Bay.

July 31, 2008 11:17 am

Charles Garner (09:34:14) comments on the Yale Climate & Media Forum. Charles may have missed the thread a month or two ago deconstructing the YCMF, but it turns out that it’s just another site with an AGW/climate disaster agenda. It is heavily funded by the Grantham Foundation, which also funds Treehugger.org and numerous similar organizations.
The Granthams certainly have an agenda, and since their money runs the Yale Climate & Media Forum, well, you can see the result.
For an example, click on the link that Mr. Garner provided above, and note the charts and graphs. Notice anything fishy? Although the page is dated this year, all the charts stop before the recent ~0.7 degree drop in global temps, which as we know pretty much canceled out the past century’s rise. The YCMF site has access to the latest temperature record, just like everyone else. But they only show warming. That’s called “spin.”
Looking at the charts posted on that site, you’d think the planet was about to explode. And that’s what they want people to believe.

Bill P
July 31, 2008 11:45 am

The only explosion I hear is NASA hoist on it’s own petard. Thanks for the pics, Kim. They’re worth a thousand words.

July 31, 2008 11:57 am

[…] Posted in Al Gore by mountainshout on July 31st, 2008 Watts Up With That? gives us an update about ice at the north pole.  Looks good to me… Tagged with: global warming, icecaps, […]

An Inquirer
July 31, 2008 12:24 pm

JP Rourke (08:20:16) :
I agree that the quotes from Mark Serreze were for a ice-free North Pole. However, two points: First, I understand that we have had open water at the North Pole before — and not just in 1987. Expanded discussion with Mark Serreze (and perhaps others) remarked how this year it would be “possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water.” That description is much more than just open water at the North Pole.
Second, a number of articles have talked about an ice-free Arctic this year as evidenced by the following citations — note the headline of the first, and the attribution to MSNBC of the second.
I also agree with keeping the conversation in this blog at a higher level than that seen on other blogs. It helps to assume sincerity on the part of the other person and to seek understanding and insight; attacks do not add any light.

July 31, 2008 1:50 pm

If only my 79 year old mother-in-law could check this out! She lives on a constant diet of CNN and the other fear-geared news sources! Thanks for the sanity and reality check!

JP Rourke
July 31, 2008 2:31 pm

An Inquirer:
Thank you for the cites. In the first case, the headliner is clearly not representative of the text, although Serreze did make a rather provocative statement that ‘for the first time he can recall’ the North Pole is covered by first year ice. So what? It’s just a data point in a very large ocean. Most other reports of other scientists have downplayed the physical significance of 90N, he’s either overstating the case or being quoted somewhat out of context. Even if he is 100% correct, it’s just not that big a deal as an ice-free NWP or a new minimum sea-ice (and before anyone tells me, yes it’s still uncertain whether either will occur, no one is giving much more than even odds of either one).
As for the second article, just plain wrong. The idea that the estimate of the earliest we might see a completely ice-free Arctic has changed from 2050 to 2013 is serious enough; but that change in estimate was just made recently, this year I believe. NO ONE (no relevant scientist, that is), has predicted that it could happen this year with any amount of seriousness! It is really beyond any kind of logical extrapolation.

July 31, 2008 2:35 pm

Amundsen is mentioned several times above, here are a few extracts from his account: THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE – BEING THE RECORD OF A VOYAGE OF EXPLORATION OF THE SHIP “GJOA” 1903 – 1907 BY ROALD AMUNDSEN http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/IPY/ipy_009_pdf/G6501903A71908v1.pdf
(big, big file)
Ironically, the Vice-Commander of the expedition was one Lieutenant Hansen..
“We encountered no ice with the exception of a few narrow strips of old sound ice, carried by the wash. Of large Polar ice we saw absolutely nothing.
Between the ice and the land, on either side, there were large and perfectly clear channels, through which we passed easily and unimpeded.
The entire accumulation of ice was not very extensive. We were soon out again in open water.
Outside the promontories, some pieces of ice had accumulated; otherwise the sea was free from ice.
The water to the south was open, the impenetrable wall of ice was not there.
Captain Knowles reports the season the most open he has ever known. He entered the Arctic on the day we left San Francisco, May 22, and thinks the straits were open even earlier than that.
The ice of the Arctic Ocean is never at rest. Even in the coldest winters it is liable to displacement and pressure by the currents of air and water. The expansion and contraction, due to changes in temperature, also assist in this disturbance.
At times the pack itself opens in leads, by which it may be penetrated for several miles.” (now they are signs of AGW)
Just as the work was completed upon these currents in the North Pacific, in 1855, the news was received in the United States that Dr. Hane had discovered an open sea near the Pole, and people began to ask how that could be possible, when it was well known that a belt or region of ice several hundred miles in width must lie to the south of that sea, and which was never dissolved.
Seems there’s nothing new under the sun.

July 31, 2008 3:01 pm

Inconvenient truth watch: about that melting polar ice…
There have been breathless predictions that, by the end of summer, the ice cap at the North Pole will have melted. Curse that global warming, damn George Bush and the Deniers, save us Al Gore, and all that jazz. Guess…

Peter Martin
July 31, 2008 3:21 pm

Yes it is rubbish to suggest that the polar ice will melt completely this year.
You just need to look at this NSIDC graph to see that it won’t happen for a few years yet.

July 31, 2008 3:27 pm

It is a good news for our environment. Let’s go green and go veg. Peace.

Pieter Folkens
July 31, 2008 3:32 pm

JP Rourke: ““a good chance of an ice-fee North Pole” is what the ‘experts’ have been quoted saying – NOT “ice-free arctic”… if you want to persist in saying the latter, please give at least ONE cite, of ANY GW or AGW ‘expert’ saying that.”
Since you asked, see http://www.spacedaily.com/news/arctic-02a.html which says: “report has just been released, and it speaks to the national and strategic issues surrounding naval ship and aircraft operations in an ice-free Arctic,”
The report referred to is “Naval Operations in an Ice-free Arctic Symposim” published by ONR, Naval Ice Center; Oceanographer of the Navy; and the Arctic Research Commission. I suspect there are several experts among them.
JPR also wrote: “ice-free enough for commercial vessels… nobody on the AGW side is predicting that it will”
The Space Daily piece mentioned above cited predictions: “the formerly ice-locked Arctic will have open sea lanes as soon as 2015. By 2050, the summertime ice cap could disappear entirely.” The phrase ‘will have’ sounds predictive to me.
JPR asked for “at least one cite.” Here’s another at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm in which Professor Wieslaw Maslowski and co-workers at Nasa and the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), “have variously produced dates for an open summer ocean that, broadly speaking, go out from about 2040 to 2100.” The article also quoted a researcher who felt those predictions were too conservative. “Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer . . . you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.”
And one need not go far to notice that for Dr. James Hansen’s expectation of sea level rise to occur, a melted Artic would be necessary.
So, JP, there you go — “ice-free Arctic” and “sea lanes” references. There are many more, including what is known as the “Canadian Melt Model.”

July 31, 2008 3:42 pm

You put a lot in Anthony and I for one really appreciate it. I have grown from believing what I’m told to believe in, to learning what I can about the science, from both sides. I am sure this is true for many people reading this blog. For that I will always be greatful. Maybe less is more for the blog so you can carry on your fine work…and keep a healthy home life! All contributors have a duty to keep the blog strong and enjoyable. Oh, and to Pieter Folkens, thanks for highlighting my sloppy english, I know I’m a crup speeller!!

Jack Simmons
July 31, 2008 3:51 pm

Bob Mr-Know-It-All W
Yes, the heat from interior of the earth does flow out.
How much reaches the surface is simply a function of the thickness of the crust for the region in question and the structure of the crust in each locality.
One of the more fascinating structures within the earth are the hot spot plumes found in about a dozen places around the earth. The Hawaii islands are the result of a hot spot being passed over by the Pacific Plate. Another is Iceland. My personal favorite is the Yellowstone. When one stands on some of the thermal features there, there is only one mile of crust between you and the magma underneath. It is quite warm, as evidenced by the geysers and so forth.
Last year, the water levels feeding the thermal features fell, forcing the Park Service to close some of the paths. Without the water tables being reloaded with surface flows (due to the drought), heat was not being dissipated. Some of the pathways were well over 200 degrees f, not comfortable at all and not safe for the general public. You always have to consider the dumbest person in the population and what that person will do when setting rules for the public. Every year someone gets off the path and gets scalded. Or approaches an elk in heat and gets gored.
In any event, there are lots of studies of the flow of heat to the earth’s surface.
See http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/IHFC/heatflow.html
I remember one of the questions on my AP physics test back in 69 supplied a formula for calculating the flow of heat through the crust. The crust is quite resistant to heat flow, but when it thins, you can get a lot of heat. Which is why we have hot springs and the like throughout the West.
You can also local features such as a magma dike forcing its way up towards the surface.
The only way to know what’s going on at any given location is to measure it.

July 31, 2008 4:50 pm

Mr Mike Keep (01:38:56) said:
“It dismays me. This blog has in the past had much good debate but it has become farcical and full of sensationalist inaccuracies lately … This blog is not only informative but valuable so please try and stay focused and avoid the same claptrap traps the AGW camp and media have been guilty of. Anthony’s work is too valuable to be devalued by this.”
I come here to further my understanding of a whole range of climate-related issues. More often than not I find a commenter asking a question, making a suggestion or proposing a theory which has passed through my enfeebled brain. The responses from both sides of the AGW argument help me make up my own mind of what to accept and what to reject. Limiting the debate to pure points of scientific analysis would be of little assistance to me because I wouldn’t be able to understand enough of the jargon.
And, Mr Keep, have a care for the thousands around the world who tune in here every day to read my latest comments and gasp to their friends “He did it again. I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. Large G&Ts all round.”
Incidentally, on the subject of bits of ice deciding to do their own thing up at the top of the world, it’s clearly a complete irrelevance. A chunk breaking-off in Place A changes nothing if an equal chunk is formed in previously ice-free Place B. Major changes in the overall amount of ice at the top and the bottom might be significant, but that is not what is being observed. The thousands can sleep soundly in their beds tonight.

July 31, 2008 4:54 pm

Jack Simmons (15:51:19) :”Every year someone gets off the path and gets scalded. Or approaches an elk in heat and gets gored.”
Thank you Mr Simmonds, I will make sure that when Mrs Bigot is in heat she keeps well away from Elks, I wouldn’t want St Al coming up and lecturing her.

July 31, 2008 4:59 pm

[…] 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 […] […]

Peter Martin
July 31, 2008 5:52 pm

I might have added in my previous post that Anthony couldn’t have come up with a more strawman argument. Its pretty obvious from the trend of the last 30 years that there is little or no chance of the Arctic being ice free this September.
Having said that, we shouldn’t overlook the NSIDC figure of approx 10% per decade fall in the level of the Arctic ice , as measured at the September minimum, or the fact that an all time minimum low was recorded in 2007. It is unlikely to be quite as bad this year. It may just turn out to be the second or third lowest on record , which I suppose may be sufficient for some to celebrate.
REPLY: My one and only point is that predictions of an “ice free north pole” and “ice free arctic” are not likely to come true. The fact that you can see thousands of square miles of ice remaining is hardly a strawman argument for that.
So many people just want to look at data instead of the measurement environment, which is why we get into trouble with weather stations on rooftops and in other compromising places that affect data quality. My goal it to get people to look at the whole qualitative and quantitative package, not just the numbers.
The long term trend is another matter, which I’m not adressing. Only this summer melt season and the dire predictions at the beginning.
In keeping with your complaint though, we also shouldn’t overlook the fact that the Antarctic has record ice extent, and that the Arctic rebounded to near normal levels this past winter from a new record low extent. This year, the rebound may be even greater, or nature may surprise us yet again. -Anthony

July 31, 2008 6:39 pm

I’m amazed,
and I guess I’ll either get totally shunned, or heavily flamed but what the heck- I have to say it
I like this site, otherwise why would I still be trying to get my pennyworth in.
I respect the knowledge and intellect of the regular contributers both pro and anti agw.
But, and you knew this was coming, if you bothered to read this far, you’re micturating into the mistral!
Some of you are becoming so entrenched in this testerone fuelled debate that you’ve forgotten why you came here in the first place.
You endlessly debate points of order eg Arctic loss=Antarctic gain, the pro AGW faction crowing about the media/deniers/peer-reviwed/consensus viewpoint while the anti’s screeching about everything that’s opposite.
Get a grip, this matters, it really does, if we spend lodsa cash to mitigate/reverse/ supply own word here and the consensus is wrong then- IMHO=not good- If VV applies then IMHO=Not good either.
Sounds like Lose-Lose to me- At the moment the pro AGW gang are miles ahead -not necessarily logically but numerically where it matters- if you’re a Pro- my advice would be – You’re ahead shut up! As Mr H and G do rather too well- but I’m prejudiced!
For the antis- You’re failing to win popular support- Maybe for many that’s a good sign-most people are stupid- ergo i’m clever- If, for example, I was an anti-that would be something i’d wan’t to reverse
debate points of order, hockey-sticks, urban-temperatures, the debate is over, carbon-indulgences- forget it
psychology>technology – get it wrong… millions die.. but if you’re happy …
tea anyone?

July 31, 2008 6:41 pm


July 31, 2008 6:47 pm

good answer mate- ps i do mean that

Mike Bryant
July 31, 2008 7:00 pm

Roy, great analysis, but too pessimistic for my taste.

July 31, 2008 7:08 pm

apologies, hope you’re right mate
Maybe I’m over depressed that the AGW is still a ‘fact’ with the mighty media.
What depresses me most is that the Gores and Browns et al, when faced with the non-existence of the agw is that they will say ‘Bit the scientists told us…”
And thus the blame will be transferred to the ‘Scientists’

July 31, 2008 7:23 pm

What are worried about. The world is going to end in 2012 ANYWAY. Stop watching the news.

July 31, 2008 7:27 pm

What depresses me most is that the Gores and Browns et al, when faced with the non-existence of the agw
What depresses me most is that the Gores and Browns et al, when/if (it’s the sceptic in me)
faced with the non-existence of the agw

Mike Bryant
July 31, 2008 7:30 pm

There is plenty of blame for everyone. Let’s not share in the blame. We must do our part by telling the truth to anyone who will listen.

July 31, 2008 10:40 pm

What are you trying to prove?
Meanwhile, there is plenty of evidence that the Earth is warming. Biodiversity is at risk. Waters are rising. We have reached 350 tipping point. Oil is reaching its peak. Food is becoming scarce. etc, etc
Will some of you – skeptics, naives, naysayers, whatever you are being called – explain to me why you are choosing to be that way? How did you come to your conclusions?
In case you have not heard of it yet, I encourage you to consider Pascal’s wager:

Mike Bryant
August 1, 2008 1:18 am

I’ve heard the doom and gloom all my life, and still we have managed to live very well on this earth. Every one of your scenarios has been held up to me as truth since the seventies. Peak oil has been a huge problem since it was first discovered. We have been bombarded with climate worries forever. I am very, very happy that I did not waste my life worrying about what others (like the Club of Rome) have been telling me I must do. I had a family. I built a business with my wife. We are now enjoying the grandchildren and the fruits of our labor. If I had spent my life eating granola and living in a commune, I can only imagine what I would be now. A man afraid to raise his children, afraid to start a business, afraid to live his life. That is not a life.
Is this naivete? I don’t think so. It is a recognition that man always has and always will take care of the important things if government will stay out of his way.
Am I a skeptic? Why is skeptic such a bad word. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. The hard-headed, free-thinking person has always been someone to be admired, but now we must believe. Reality has been turned upside down by the people who should be leading by example.
I went to your site and I read the comments. I have also viewed the video. The last comment on your site was a reasoned one. I won’t discuss Pascal’s wager because it has been analyzed to death here and on many other sites. I will, however say that we should be prepared for likely disasters, that is why I have insurance. You can be assured that if the cost of my home insurance was more than the replacement cost of my home, I would drop it immediately. That, lamarguerite, is why I’m a “naysayer”. I do not want to saddle my children and grandchildren with a government that can regulate them out of existence.
If we let this nightmare continue, the architects of our new poorer lives will say, “The operation was a success, unfortunately the patient died.”
Thanks for letting me vent, I hope you can at least get a glimmer of what I am trying to convey. I am tired of government doing what seems to be the right thing, only for the programs to once again fall to the law of unintended consequences. I really like the part of the hippocratic oath that says, “First, do no harm.”
Harm is what will come to me and all the people of earth if the social engineers have their way.

August 1, 2008 1:54 am

Please, you “the Sky is Falling” Liberals, go fall onto your sword.
For the rest of us, rest assured that the planet is doing just fine. It is as it has always done, either cooling or warming, constantly in a state of changing temperature and weather conditions.
We humans, are here for a brief visit, in geologic terms.
Get a perspective that is realistic.

August 1, 2008 5:34 am

There’s an old saying – “If you are going to sup with the devil, bring a long spoon.”
When dealing with propaganda, media distortion, hysteria, ad hominem arguments, and AGW craziness, better keep YOUR cool. (Ha, a pun!) Otherwise, it just becomes a cat fight. I think that was Mike Keep’s point.

An Inquirer
August 1, 2008 6:22 am

Peter Martin (17:52:03) : “we shouldn’t overlook the NSIDC figure of approx 10% per decade fall in the level of the Arctic ice . . .”
It is depressing when well-meaning individuals look at a 29-year set of climate data and believe that we have a unilateral trend. Given PDO and AMO (not to mention other factors like soot and wind anomalies ), it is not all surprising that we have had such a fall in Arctic ice levels in the past three decades. There is no shortage of ancedotal encounters with the Arctic in previous decades to suggest that Arctic ice has gone through expansions and contractions in the past.

August 1, 2008 7:31 am

I’ve heard the doom and gloom all my life, and still we have managed to live very well on this earth.
So have I much worse gloom and doom. Far more serious problems and “problems”. You were “stupid” or “blind” if you didn’t, well, act stupid or blind, as it turned out..
All problems solved, from the Soviet Union to “running out of resources” and everything in between. Not one pessimistic prospect that was “inevitable” panned out.
Same goes for this silly flap. When the prognostications fail to develop, the usual suspects will simply pretend it never happened and be on about something else.

An Inquirer
August 1, 2008 8:05 am

lamarguerite (22:40:51) : “Biodiversity is at risk. Waters are rising. We have reached 350 tipping point. Oil is reaching its peak. Food is becoming scarce. . .”
Sea levels have risen ever since the end of the LIA. Now, sea levels apparently have not risen for last couple of years; whether this is a pause or whether it is a turning point could be debated. However, I am confident that it is irresponsible and foolishness to address sea levels by restricting CO2. The responsible activity to is to prepare for the historic rise to continue – it may not happen, but we are endangering those on extremely low elevations to focus on CO2 rather than preparation.
The main problem with food scarcity is due to the AGW movement. The push for ethanol and consequential food riots on three continents was due to AGW legislation. (Also, the Kyoto Accord has led to environmental harm – minor at this point in time, but we must always think through unintended consequences.)
I do see “peak oil” as a problem because demand and supply fundamentals will be out of balance with increasing world population and increasing wealth. It is a problem, but I do not worry about it. We had a peak in whale oil 140 years ago, and we adjusted. Also, I also studied the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth as a college student in the 1970s. Moreover, college professors were saying that we would run out of natural gas reserves by 1982. What I learned then was mostly wrong, but the long-lasting useful lesson was that we often are incorrect about our worries.
Nevertheless, sometimes the sky is falling. You do mention a concern of mine – diminishing biodiversity. Loss of habitat and diminishing diversity is driven not by AGW but by increasing human population. Yet, there are racist subtleties to such a concern – (Caucasians have stopped their population growth; now those other people need to stop having babies.) However, I must stop — that is a discussion that does not belong on this blog!

old construction worker
August 1, 2008 10:42 am

‘Meanwhile, there is plenty of evidence that the Earth is warming. Biodiversity is at risk. Waters are rising. We have reached 350 tipping point. Oil is reaching its peak. Food is becoming scarce. etc, etc’
What the heck does that have to do with the “CO2 drives the climate theory”?
The earth has been warmer. MWP, Roman warm period etc, etc.
Biodiversity is at risk? The earth is a big place and we can deal with real problems.
Waters are rising? I bet it was higher during the MWP and/or Roman warm period.
Oil is reaching its peak? Cheap oil is getting harder to find.
Food is becoming scarce. etc, etc. Thank you bio-fuels do to “CO2 drives the climate theory” and ,of course, colder weather.

August 1, 2008 11:45 am

agesilaus (Jul 30, 16:20:07) :
“What about this idiot who is kayaking to the ‘ice free’ north pole”
http://www.thepoles.com/news.php?id=17420 says

…he would break a record already on the first day: “The most inexperienced person trying one of the most difficult expeditions ever undertaken in the Arctic.”

August 1, 2008 1:44 pm

The latest report on Arctic sea ice conditions is out:
For the benefit of “Mike Keep” @ 01:38:56, July 31, who believes “…ice loss in the Arctic is above normal, due to an higher mean temperature…,” this passage might be helpful:
“The pace of summer decline is slower than last year’s record-shattering rate, and peak sunlight has passed with the summer solstice.”
And also this:
” Sea ice extent continues to decline, but we have not yet seen last July’s period of accelerated decline. Part of the explanation is that temperatures were cooler in the last two weeks of July, especially north of Alaska. ”
The graph at that link shows clearly that the overall rate of ice melting this year is merely the average — not faster or slower — although it appears that the most recent period is slower than average.

Jack Simmons
August 2, 2008 12:29 am

Ric Werme (11:45:38) :
Here are the details of the kayaking adventure to the North Pole:
On the 27th of August Lewis Gordon Pugh will attempt to become the first person to kayak to the North Pole. The 1,200km journey, across some of the most dangerous seas in the world, is scheduled to depart from the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. Lewis plans to paddle 10 hours per day for 14 days, covering 100km each day. The expedition will highlight the shocking melting of the region’s ice.
We are calling for world leaders to take a stand against the destruction of the Arctic.
A support team will follow Lewis, providing daily updates and first-hand information on the Arctic sea ice and the extent of its retreat. At the most northerly point reachable, the team will raise the flags of 192 nations of the world. Raising the flags will symbolize the fact that every nation’s future will be determined by what happens in the Arctic.
We need an overarching, rigorous and enforceable law for protecting the Arctic. The laws which were set up 50 years ago to protect Antarctica, at the southern end of the world, provide a fantastic precedent.
It will be interesting to see how far north Lewis will get before he has to turn back. Perhaps the publicity will highlight how much of a turn around we have seen in the extent of ice melting in the Arctic?

August 2, 2008 12:54 am

Jack Simmons,
Sure you copied correctly? This guy thinks he will head to the North Pole from Spitsbergen, at 100km a day? Sheesh, last year on Aug 14th thick ice was not much more if any of a hundred km from Spitsbergen. If he can paddle that fast, he’ll likely run into solid pack ice in a day. And if he hangs around a couple weeks, he’ll need an icebreaker to free himself.
What a hoot! I’d have given him better odds in 1079, when it looks like only 60% ice all the way:
I got a rough guess of distance from googling Alaska, and eyeballing the eastern boundary distance, south to north, then eyeballing the distance from the igloo ref above.

August 2, 2008 7:13 am

Perfect images! Now if only you had the same two images but from ten years ago to compare with, instead of two images taken with two hours in between them during the same day and not even of the same location, you’d see some major differences.
Point is, geographical studies along with their conclusions can’t be done over one day but can only be measured over many many years with alot of comparative studies of the same location.

Leon Brozyna
August 2, 2008 1:23 pm

National Snow and Ice Data Center has a new update posted as of 1 Aug 08.
Nothing really new. There’s a hint in the latest graph measuring the rate of melt that it is slowing down. Time will tell.
Mostly, I was interested in the accompanying narrative. Its tone is suggestive of their holding onto their expectations that major melt will still occur. They just can’t quite figure out why it’s not happening. It’s really not some sort of insidious conspiracy. If they’ve taken AGW not as a theory but as an axiomatic given then it is no wonder that they (and other scientists) look for signs to validate their beliefs. They keep on hoping.
After mid-September it will be interesting to see how rapid is the refreezing. With the PDO (ocean currents) negative, one side of the Arctic should see rapid refreezing. Just wondering if the NAO (air currents) turns more negative and keeps warm air further south and away from the Arctic, what sort of impact that might have. This fall and winter refreeze should be most interesting.

August 2, 2008 5:29 pm

Increasing isce melt. Clear your cache and take a look at http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png and you’ll see the ice graph turning sharply downwards, i.e. melt is increasing.

Leon Brozyna
August 2, 2008 5:58 pm

Walter Dnes (17:29:12)
That is a huge change from this morning’s imagery when the graph, as of 31 July, showed gradually decreasing melt rate. There must have been a major change/adjustment or whatever, to the data in one day since the updated chart is as of 1 Aug and now shows, as you point out, a major increase in the melt rate.
Should be interesting to see if there are any further adjustments as the season progresses.

August 2, 2008 8:14 pm

Today 2 Aug 2008 I went to http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/pips2/archive/retrievepic.html?filetype=Concentration&year=2008&month=8&day=1 to check on the Arctic sea ice. I noticed that every days predictions were very different from the actual satellite data. Always under actual. Wattsupwiththat?

August 3, 2008 12:39 am

[snip – I’m sorry this post is mostly ad hominem and frankly, just plain stupid. The only thing you left out was bigfoot. You are welcome to rewrite it sans flyer saucers and the like, and address the issues directly. Criticism is fine, but not as you’ve written it. – Anthony]

August 3, 2008 1:15 am

Hope I’m not confused with the new Glen. Well, since I’m here, this caught my eye:
“Geoscientists have long presumed that, like today, the tropics remained warm throughout Earth’s last major glaciation 300 million years ago. New evidence, however, indicates that cold temperatures in fact episodically gripped these equatorial latitudes at that time.”
“These kinds of discoveries may greatly improve our understanding and prediction of modern climate change.”
Maybe Mann could interpolate the temps and ‘tach it on to the Hockey Stick.

August 3, 2008 1:20 am

Just call yourself 2N Glenn

Tony Nicholl
August 3, 2008 1:50 am

Its only 25 days until Lewis Gordon Pugh will set out in his self proclaimed attempt to become the first person to kayak to the North Pole. Which means it is only about 23 days until he has to turn back.
Keep an eye on that website folks.

Vincent Guerrini Jr.
August 3, 2008 1:58 am

Looks like NH ice melt (extent) is reversing 1/08/08 cryosphere today… well shall see. If so likely that NH will return to normal quite quickly

August 3, 2008 4:45 am

For the benefit of Micajah,
You should note that there is a huge difference between a mean and results of one year. Last year was a record one for Arctic melt. This years melt may not be up to last years but it is still well above average. If you check SST anomolies then you will see that at present the SST around virtually the whole of the ice sheet is 3-5 degrees C above the mean http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.7.31.2008.gif
Baffin Island has had record high temperatures (27 degrees C) recently causing rapid ice melt and permafrost melting and the closure of a NationalPark.http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2001/07/31/31iqtemperatures.html
You should also note that peak melt occurs around the middle of September, not at the summer solstice.
An ice free North Pole is still possible, the latest Ice sheet measurements show ice at 80-60% near the pole http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=08&fd=02&fy=2007&sm=08&sd=02&sy=2008. The one year ice seems to be melting rapidly now.

Bruce Cobb
August 3, 2008 6:42 am

From Pugh’s website:
Lewis Gordon Pugh
“I don’t observe the Arctic from satellite images, or from the comfort of a boat.  I get into the deadly cold water and ice.  And from what I’ve experienced it is no longer simply about saving polar bears or eco-systems for future generations.  It is about saving ourselves.  With the current pace of sea ice melting, climate change threatens world peace, economic stability and our way of life ­ across the globe.  I don’t think this. I know this.”
Amazing how, from simply getting into icy cold water he automagically “knows” (perhaps by osmosis?) all about the current pace of the ice melt, and climate change threatening world peace, economic stability, and our way of life. Notice how it’s no longer about future generations. The threat is now. The calls for immediate action are a measure of how desperate they are. The conflation of the AGW fraud with other vague, yet certainly important issues is classic.

August 3, 2008 1:31 pm

What a bunch of crock…Just because the chart of ice melt from NSIDC shows an extremely slight down turn compared to yesterday people freak out….I swear…The human race can be the most idiotic race sometimes.

August 3, 2008 5:39 pm

The NSIDC chart’s change shows a quickening of this year’s melting rate in the update made after my comment posted above:
It’s as though a straight line has been drawn between two points — the place where the line had noticeably curved up toward the mean and the current end of the line.
Mike Keep, I understood you to be saying that the ice “is” melting faster than the mean. My rejoinder was simply that it “is not” according to that graph.
Now, as of the latest update, you can say it “is” melting faster than the mean.

August 3, 2008 10:21 pm

[…] August 3, 2008 Another Goofy Prediction Bites It Posted by unclemeat under Stupidity   Back in June there was a big stink in the media about the Arctic ice all melting this summer. Well we are into August and still lots of ice. Of course it was bullshit. With more than half of the summer melt season gone, it looks like an uphill battle for an ice-free arctic this year. – Whats Up With That […]

Mike Bryant
August 3, 2008 10:44 pm

I join all who care about the arctic and the polar bears in demanding the closing of all areas of sea ice to icebreakers, diesel, nuclear or otherwise. Surely everyone can understand that breaking big pieces of ice into little pieces of ice hastens the melting of the sea ice. I further propose that every environmental group, and anyone other group, who cares for Mother Earth, adopt a piece of the sea ice, say 300 or 400 square kilometers or so, in order to keep the sea ice free of soot or any other particulates which have been deposited there by dirty coal plants in China and Russia. This will raise the albedo of the ice so that the solar energy is reflected away. Failing this you may consider painting your small portion of the sea ice a nice glossy white.
Thanking you in advance for your assured participation,
Mike Bryant
Mr Lewis Pugh, you better not be taking any icebreakers up there with you..

August 3, 2008 10:53 pm

Might as well cross-post my contribution to CA:
Seemingly plunged into a downward spiral of accelerating destruction, the baby ice cautiously and at the same time playfully relies on instinct, not courage to survive to another season.
It is this instinct, carved and molded by generations of ice that came before, that protect and sustain the baby ice throughout the treacherous long summer.
After beating back the solar onslaught, the now exhausted baby ice crawls slowly towards the safety and comfort of the long winter nights, finally to rest, to heal, to strengthen, and thus to perpetuate nature’s glorious ice dance of the seasons.

Mike Bryant
August 3, 2008 10:57 pm

Jeez I thought you’d like that…

August 3, 2008 10:59 pm

Yeah, ever since I worked on starting that meme, I wasn’t sure it would have legs, but it’s taking off.
And again, FYI I do not moderate at CA. In fact, I get zambonied all the time. Mosh and I went off on a theme yesterday that was hilarious, now all gone, just the memories, and one vestigial reference in one of Staffan’s posts.

Mike Bryant
August 3, 2008 11:04 pm

It just fits… I hate how those mean nuclear icebreakers are tearing the baby ice to pieces… This is NOT how we should treat that baby ice.
Careing (almost too much) for the baby ice,

August 3, 2008 11:07 pm

Weakened, but not crippled, the baby ice seeks comfort in numbers, huddling, clinging together to fend off the waning, but still dangerous attacks of the sun, rain, and wind.
For in this battle between nature’s adversaries, time is the referee, the arbiter of success, and survival the only measure of victory.
Soon…very soon, the exhausted baby ice will know either the joy of returning home to flow another year, or finally melt into the endless peace of failure.
(slightly updated from original)

Mike Bryant
August 3, 2008 11:18 pm

Is there any chance that baby ice will be reincarnated, or possibly resurrected?
Hoping for the best,

August 3, 2008 11:18 pm

“Soon…very soon, the exhausted baby ice will know either the joy of returning home to flow another year, or finally melt into the endless peace of failure.” jeez
Except for the serious defect of being comprehensible, you could be a poet. But at least you avoid rhyme, so there is hope for you.

August 4, 2008 3:09 am

“It’s as though a straight line has been drawn between two points — the place where the line had noticeably curved up toward the mean and the current end of the line.
Mike Keep, I understood you to be saying that the ice “is” melting faster than the mean. My rejoinder was simply that it “is not” according to that graph.
Now, as of the latest update, you can say it “is” melting faster than the mean.” Micajah
Kind of illustrates the folly of using relatively short periods of time as a trend. I’m glad we now agree.
‘Cooling’ posters take note.

JP Rourke
August 4, 2008 6:58 am

Mike Keep, Micajah, et al:
Mike said the MELT was greater than average, and it has, all year. The RATE of melting, on the other hand, has very closely paralleled the average rate of melting, until the last 3 days… the rate has now accelerated to be greater than the average, beginning a spike in melting similar to early July of last year’s record.
I have no expectations that there will be either an ice-free NWP this year or a clear kayak-sized path to the pole, but the experts say there is a good chance (50/50) of it happening by 2013, and that does appear to be reasonable.
As others have said, time will tell.

JP Rourke
August 4, 2008 3:41 pm

Actually, I should correct that last statement…
The experts have said there is a good chance (50/50) of a completely ice-free arctic (during the summer months) by the year 2013, others have said “as early as 2013 or as late as 2030”. That would, of course, mean you could paddle a kayak to the North Pole AND have a commercially navigable NWP… but also obviously both of those are likely to be possible sooner than a completely ice-free arctic.
The NWP was already “commercially navigable” last year on Aug. 21st, although I don’t think you could have called it commercially feasible! But, that probably will happen soon; it may not even be open this year or the next, but once the arctic DOES go completely ice-free, even for one day, I’d say that would be the time to invest in shipping companies that are prepared to use the NWP!
I have no idea what possibility the kayaker has of actually paddling to the North Pole any time soon, but it will be interesting to track… he’s clearly timing it so that he will be there and back right around the time of minimum ice, we’ll see how he does…

An Inquirer
August 4, 2008 8:41 pm

JP Rourke:
You are to be commended for the gentle tone in your postings as you get across your message in an intellectually honest manner.
Nevertheless, if I was involved in strategic planning for a shipping company, I would analyze the AMO trend (and other oscillations) before recommending investments to ship across the Arctic Ocean.
My understanding of AMO is that indeed it could remain in the positive mode until 2013, but it could be a foolish move to assume that the AMO will remain positive for all the years necessary to recover the investment, much earn a return on the investment.
When I have read AGW forecasts for ice-free Artic by 2013, there seems to be no consideration for role of periodic oscillations. The forecasting methodology — as far as they reveal — does not seem to be sufficiently sophisticated.

August 5, 2008 1:44 am

Twenty-four long, grueling hours have passed and it is time to for that painful but necessary census of the unmelted—those last hardy remainders of the baby ice pod that still fights for its survival.
No sound is heard as the pod clusters together, communicating via touch who still lives and via absence those now wet souls who will be forever missed.
Seemingly sentient, the pod of baby ice stiffens, gaining resolve, bracing for the ongoing battle with the elements, and although it makes no sense, apparently leaning into the wind, as if gesturing, “bring it on!”

August 5, 2008 9:01 am

Anthropromorphizing ice, and you wonder why people don’t take you seriously?!!
REPLY: “Anthropromorphizing”?
No word with that spelling. Did you mean this? (dictionary.com)
an·thro·po·mor·phize [an-thruh-puh-mawr-fahyz] Pronunciation Key –
–verb (used with object), verb (used without object), -phized, -phiz·ing.
to ascribe human form or attributes to (an animal, plant, material object, etc.).
Also, especially British, an·thro·po·mor·phise.
I don’t see anyplace in my post where I “ascribe human form or attributes to (an animal, plant, material object, etc.).” Could you perhaps explain what you mean?
On being taken seriously; This forum had over 600,000 page views last month, so apparently there are a few people who do. – Anthony

August 5, 2008 10:34 am

If people like Nigel Calder are readers and take this site seriously, well, what does that say about the people who don’t believe we are taken seriously. And make sure to tune in for the latest episode of As the Ice Cap melts!

August 5, 2008 11:25 am

Sorry about the extra ‘R’, and I thought I’s use the ‘Z’ for you American users. But if you can tell me that Ice has attributes such as pain reception, concensual ability, communication, sorrow and regaining fortitude the maybe you can be taken seriously! Maybe anthropomorphizing,(or anthropomorphising) should have been cetaceousropomorphizing (is that a word? It is now!).
Just to clarify that while I do take this blog seriously, there are many that don’t and Jeez’s lament for baby ice I,m afraid does little to strengthen the cause, neither does your rather terse and pedantic reply. But then I get out of bed the wrong side a few times as well!
REPLY: “…neither does your rather terse and pedantic reply.” That wasn’t intentional, I was just baffled by the comment and trying to figure it out. I wasn’t aware that you were commenting on “jeez”‘s comment instead of the main post, there was no indication. – Anthony

August 5, 2008 12:12 pm

No harm done, and apologies on my part if it seemed I was demeaning the blog. I know you have more important things to do than workout my sense of humour….too much Monty Python…”Is this the right room for an argument….”

JP Rourke
August 6, 2008 12:54 pm

Oh… oh, I’m sorry, this is Abuse… no, you want 12A, next door”

August 8, 2008 12:47 pm

August 7-08 press release on work done from MV Polarstern in the northern Greenland Sea (between Svalbard and NE Greenland):
from Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI): http://idw-online.de/pages/de/news273425
a few excerpts, my abbreviated translation:
“this year, there was an exceptional amount of ice – according to expedition leader Prof. Gerhard Kattner. The extent reached from the high North southward to 74 degrees latitude. The main objective of the research cruise was to check 17 moorings with instruments that monitor temperature, salinity and currents of the water masses. AWI has been carrying out these unique high-latitude investigations since 1999. Observed 2008 temperatures are slightly lower than 2006 measurements, and there are preliminary indications of a return of the pacific water mass signature, which has been absent since 2004”
ulrich lobsiger

August 27, 2008 5:33 pm

We have entered a solar minimun. It’s going to get colder…. not warmer. It is an eleven year cycle and we are in the middle of the second year. Let’s hope it does not get worse than 2.5 degrees.

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