Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying

10/14/2008 7,064,219 square kilometers

10/14/2007 5,487,656 square kilometers

A difference of: 1,576,563 square kilometers, now in fairness, 2008 was a leap year, so to avoid that criticism, the value of 6,857,188 square kilometers can be used which is the 10/13/08 value, for a difference of 1,369,532 sq km. Still not too shabby at 24.9 %. The one day gain between 10/13/08 and 10/14/08 of 3.8% is also quite impressive.

You can download the source data in an Excel file at the IARC-JAXA website, which plots satellite derived sea-ice extent:

Sea Ice Extent

Watch the red line as it progresses. So far we are back to above 2005 levels, and 28.7% (or 24.9% depending on how you want to look at it) ahead of last year at this time. That’s quite a jump, basically a 3x gain, since the minimum of 9% over 2007 set on September 16th. Read about that here.

Go nature!

There is no mention of this on the National Snow and Ice Data Center sea ice news webpage, which has been trumpeting every loss and low for the past two years…not a peep. You’d think this would be big news. Perhaps the embarrassment of not having an ice free north pole in 2008, which was sparked by press comments made by Dr. Mark Serreze there and speculation on their own website, has made them unresponsive in this case.

From May 5th, 2008:

“Taken together, an assessment of the available evidence, detailed below, points to another extreme September sea ice minimum. Could the North Pole be ice free this melt season?  Given that this region is currently covered with first-year ice, that seems quite possible.

See the original story here:

What I like about the IARC-JAXA website is that they simply report the data, they don’t try to interpret it, editorialize it, or make press releases on it. They just present the data. Here is their top-down pole view:

Click for a larger image.

h/t to Tom Nelson

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October 15, 2008 9:30 am

Hmm. Maybe there really is a 12- to 13-month lag between ENSO events and Arctic response.

Steven Goddard
October 15, 2008 9:38 am

Some good news. Dr. Walt Meier at NSIDC has nearly completed his second round of questions, and has promised to deliver them in the next couple of days.
An interesting thing to note is that multi-year ice going in to the 2009 melt season will probably be close to 200% of what it was at the start of the 2008 melt season.
Looking at the map on the right side (2008) the purple-red ice more or less represents where 2008 multi-year ice started. Assuming that a lot of ice doesn’t drift out into the North Atlantic this winter (probably a safe assumption) the blue-red represents the multi-year ice for next year. More than double the current amount.
As Dr. Meier explains it, the reason that 2008 started out with so much thin ice was because of a strong trans-polar drift during the 2007-2008 winter – which melted much of the older and thicker ice after the official melt season had come to a close.
Mark Serreze’ prediction of an ice free north pole was based on a lack of multi-year ice, so it will be interesting to see if NSIDC tones down the rhetoric a bit moving forwards.

October 15, 2008 9:55 am

Well, I guess we can expect a data modifiation program real soon now. That will fix this problem.

Alan S. Blue
October 15, 2008 9:57 am

Can someone point towards the “full” data file?
There’s a file for the data in the AMSR-E graph, but it only goes back to the start of that graph – 2002. But we’re regaled about “lowest (or second-lowest) ice in history,” so where’s the longer term data, exactly?
REPLY: 2002 is when the satellite was launched, so that is the limit to this data set. – Anthony

October 15, 2008 10:00 am

[…] Watts up with That).  It seems the global warming activists have yet another problem on their hands:  that darn […]

October 15, 2008 10:04 am

Combine that with a strongly positive Arctic Oscillation, one can expect a rapid refreeze.

Phillip Bratby
October 15, 2008 10:04 am

Anybody taking bets on when the 2008 value exceeds the 1979-2000 average?

October 15, 2008 10:26 am

OK, I have not run a Fourier Transform, but simply eyeballing I am now going out on a limb and calling it undershoot. How far with the signal shift go?

October 15, 2008 10:26 am

How far WILL the signal shift go …

Alan S. Blue
October 15, 2008 10:30 am

“2002 is when the satellite was launched”
We can truthfully say we’re closer to the highest-ice-ever-on-this-date (about 1 million km*km) than we are to the lowest-ice-on-date (more like 1.6 km*km by eyeball).

October 15, 2008 10:32 am

[…] old fashioned cold winter. To kick things off, the sea ice in the arctic is growing rapidy. From Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still […]

October 15, 2008 10:33 am

Phillip Bratby:
“Anybody taking bets on when the 2008 value exceeds the 1979-2000 average?”
do you think it can really happen?

October 15, 2008 10:35 am

I guess frezzing ice is a good thing to prove those AGW people wrong, but I am concerend that it may be a rather cold ski season this year.
Maybe that sun spot will give us some help.

M White
October 15, 2008 10:36 am

Remember Lewis Pugh the kayak man
I periodically check his polar defense blog, but it seems only the ‘bad news’ is posted. Note the last post is dated 12th September 2008. Nothing new on his website either
No plans for next year yet.

October 15, 2008 10:54 am

I hope this is not another one of those Temporal Teleconnection thingys where future physical phenomena and processes affect past physical phenomena and processes.

October 15, 2008 11:03 am

Guess the “canary in the coal mine” that supposedly “proved global warming was happening” now proves that global warming has stopped.

anna v
October 15, 2008 11:05 am

You promised us and AIRS airing that has not materialized.
I would really like people’s opinion of the animations
where the waves of CO2 become maximum in spring and over land masses. The press release talks of industrial pollution, but that should be more or less constant (heating in winter air conditioning in summer, industries running all year round).
REPLY: There was this post on the release of the paper, but I have done nothing since. I am juggling several projects so I haven’t done as much in-depth work lately. – Anthony

Phillip Bratby
October 15, 2008 11:12 am

Eyeballing it, if it remains the same extent above the 2007 line, then it will cross the 1997-2000 line within a month.

Steve M.
October 15, 2008 11:22 am

“I guess frezzing ice is a good thing to prove those AGW people wrong”
You forget that more ice is a sign of AGW. /sarcasm

October 15, 2008 11:28 am

When it crosses the line, can we use the word “unprecedented” or is that Trademarked by the AGW team?

Bill Illis
October 15, 2008 11:29 am

To Allan S. Blue – where’s the full dataset?
If you want to spend some time poking around this NSIDC ftp site, there is historical daily numbers going back back to 1972.
Just be aware there have been changes in methodologies so the numbers don’t match up very well with today. [Although you’d think the NSIDC could use these to come up with an homogeneous dataset and they might make these daily numbers available to the public – I found this ftp site by accident, it is not linked to by the NSIDC.]

Anthony Isgar
October 15, 2008 11:32 am

My personal theory for the rapid refreezing is that last year’s massive melt-off got rid of most of the soot and ash that has been building up in the arctic ice over the past decades mainly due to China’s growth. So now the albedo is back to normal and the growth of the ice is showing the worldwide drop in temperatures we have been experiencing since the sun got quiet.
Obviously, based on these beliefs, I have no choice but to conclude I am in the pay of Big Oil. Now where did I put that Exxon check?

October 15, 2008 11:32 am

Go Baby Ice!
What’s the graph look like for ANTarctic ice which was at record maximum levels last year? Are we seeing matching behavior?

October 15, 2008 11:48 am

And Cryosphere Today says that we are still 100km*km behind 2005 even though their comparison pictures don’t show it. There is a major problem with their anomaly graph. I wish they would fix it.

David Gladstone
October 15, 2008 11:54 am

Today on the Drudge report, for the first time, 3 headlines concerning record cold and ice growth! Finally!

October 15, 2008 11:59 am

The time-lapsed loop from the satellites is impressive, too.

Adam Soereg
October 15, 2008 12:08 pm

Just a cite from our “favourite” blog (I mean Polar Defense Project):
Arctic sea ice is in rapid decline, with no likelihood of stopping under current conditions. The rate of loss is 30 to 50 years ahead of most predictions and has been seriously underestimated. Many scientists consider that it passed a tipping point 15 to 20 years ago; we are now seeing the results of this.
So we’re over the tipping point! It tells us everything. The rapid decline in the summer months, and now this unprecedented growth rate… It is all due to this so-called tipping point, and of course due to AGW, what else?
Nothing matters.

Harold Ambler
October 15, 2008 12:26 pm

Cold day today in Alert, Canada: -17 Fahrenheit. That was the temp at high noon. Coldest day of the season that I’ve seen.
OT, the record in Ely, Nevada, on Monday morning of 7 degrees Fahrenheit broke the previous morning low record for the date by 8 degrees.

Doug Janeway
October 15, 2008 12:52 pm

Appears the tail end of the 2008 red line is going straight up. Am I seeing this correctly?

October 15, 2008 12:56 pm

“You forget that more ice is a sign of AGW. /sarcasm”
It is kind of hard to make any argument when everything is a sign of AGW. Coldest winter since 1805;? AGW! Driest summer;? AGW! Most rain;? AGW!
Agh!! I can’t take it.

October 15, 2008 1:02 pm

I notice that Mr Pugh’s (The Arctic Kayaker) blog has ‘comments off’.

October 15, 2008 1:18 pm

I find the tone of this post, with comments like Go nature!, very infantile. What you obviously neglect to mention is that the current ice area is still far below the 1979-2000 mean. From this graph it looks to be about 2 million square kilometres, or about 25 per cent, below the long term average. That would not seem to warrant any enthusiastic proclamations about how great nature is.
You complain that There is no mention of this on the National Snow and Ice Data Center sea ice news webpage. Their last update was on 2 October, 13 days ago. Over the last seven months, as you can see from their archives, they have published an update on average every 15 days. Perhaps you need to be more patient.

Nick O.
October 15, 2008 1:27 pm

How about discussing how thin much of the ice is, even though its areal extent has recovered?
We were probably just helped in part this year by the strong and prolonged La Nina. Yes, much of the younger ice did not melt this year – not as much as would normally be expected, anyway – which helps explain the fast recovery we now see, but there will still be a large proportion of thin, young ice, where decades ago we would have had much thicker, older ice. If we get a strong El Nino, I should not be surprised if we see the 2007 minimum record broken, and by quite a margin, too.

Brian D
October 15, 2008 1:30 pm

Winter will be starting in the Upper Midwest/N Plains in about 2 weeks. Make sure your Halloween costumes are a few sizes bigger, if you need one :P, for all those warm clothes underneath.

Harold Ambler
October 15, 2008 1:37 pm

Cold day today in Alert, Canada: -17 Fahrenheit, coldest day of the season I’ve seen. Re-freeze should get a good turbo from temps like that.
Slightly OT, the morning low in Ely, Nevada, on Monday: 7 degrees — beat the previous minimum for the date by 8 degrees.
Whipping up a good batch of cold this year.

Willem de Lange
October 15, 2008 1:40 pm

A query from my students that I can’t answer related to this topic.
The NSIDC Sea ice extent Anomalies changed significantly between July 2008 and September 2008. For the Arctic in August the July 2008 plot showed that the 1979-2000 baseline mean was 10.1 million sq km. Now the September 2008 version gives the 1979-2000 baseline as 7.0 million sq km. Where did 3.1 million sq km go? Have they removed the polar hole where they have no data?
Meanwhile for Antarctica the baseline mean increased from 16.4 to 18.7 million sq km (no polar hole involved).
A year by year comparison indicates almost every value for the Arctic sea ice extent changed, while the changes for the Antarctic are less apparent.
The methodology on the NSDIC website has been updated this year, but doesn’t explain why these changes to historic data have occurred. Does anyone know?

October 15, 2008 1:49 pm

Anthony Isgar: Good point about soot.
“This suggests that soot may contribute to thinning of sea ice (16), melting permafrost, glacier retreat, and accelerating movement of Greenland ice (17).”
“But on snow—even at concentrations below five parts per billion—such dark carbon triggers melting, and may be responsible for as much as 94 percent of Arctic warming.
“Impurities cause the snow to darken and absorb more sunlight,” says Charlie Zender, a climate physicist at the University of California, Irvine. “A surprisingly large temperature response is caused by a surprisingly small amount of impurities in snow in polar regions.””

October 15, 2008 1:52 pm

The trend may not be maintained, as growth is truncated … by the land! So as the ice pack hit’s shore, growth may slow down.

October 15, 2008 2:18 pm

– on graph for ANTarctic:
– on:Cryosphere Today-problem
It is important to know and understand that the graphs on Cryosphere Today shows Sea Ice “Area” while the other sites, NSIDC and IARC-JAXA, show Sea ICE “Extent”
There IS a difference between those two measures…

October 15, 2008 2:38 pm

“to avoid that criticism, the value of 6,857,188 square kilometers can be used which is the 10/13/08 value, for a difference of 1,369,532 sq km. Still not too shabby at 24.9 %.”
IMHO This is the figure that should of been used for the banner headline.
The comment that 2008 was a leap year could have been instructive to the
unwary statistician and the headline and body an example of good journalism.
Thank you for providing excellent commentary on scientific observation.

October 15, 2008 2:43 pm

While poking around for other headlines on this I came up with the following from The Discovery Channel. It is a week old but still interesting for the slant they take.
Is the ice thickness now the new concern?

October 15, 2008 2:52 pm

“Phillip Bratby (10:04:35) :
Anybody taking bets on when the 2008 value exceeds the 1979-2000 average?
Well, not on it crossing the average, but Lucia is holding a contest over on her Blackboard. The person to come closest to the ice level for the first week of November gets brownies she will bake and ship (if in the Continental US). I’ve already got my number in.

Magnus A
October 15, 2008 3:29 pm

Now baby Ice has made almost half the distance to 1979-2000 average.
If we got a severe global cooling starting 2014, as Landscheidt predicted, then others have predicted this:

Bob S
October 15, 2008 3:33 pm

“Guess the “canary in the coal mine” that supposedly “proved global warming was happening” now proves that global warming has stopped.”
This is the same kind of sensationalism used by many a news article’s in the 2007 melt year.
Anthony is just mentioning an interesting progression in sea ice and a lack of balance in reporting – it means nothing wrt any long term trend in sea ice or global warming in general.

October 15, 2008 4:03 pm

Ah but not really a peep from this blog about antartica sea ice is there..
REPLY: …and your point is??? Antarctic sea ice has not neen an issue. It was above long term average baselines this past year. It has more ice than usual, and thus has been ignored by alarmists and MSM as a bellwether of climate change. If you have a specific thing that merits attention, I’ll be happy to take a look. – Anthony

October 15, 2008 4:03 pm

RW: Why should the current Arctic ice level be a concern? Current ice loss and elevated Arctic temperatures are not a result anthropogenic greenhouse gases. They are lingering result of El Nino events. Note how Arctic SSTs take off after the 97/98 El Nino.
Also note how Arctic combined land and sea surface temperature rises after the 97/98 El Nino.
The graphs are further explained in my posts at:
What they fail to detail in Climate Alarmism 101 is that elevated high latitude temperatures are “consistent with climate models” of El Nino events.
Last, It’s Anthony’s site. If he wants to root for nature, he can. Go, Anthony.

October 15, 2008 4:04 pm

“Cryosphere Today shows Sea Ice “Area” while the other sites, NSIDC and IARC-JAXA, show Sea ICE “Extent””
It is confusing to me. I thought that area is a measure of the extent. If ice extends to a certain point, then it covers a certain area. I suppose what I fail to see is that if the ice “extent” is today greater than 2005 (measured in km^2), how can the area be less measured in km^2? Sounds to me like they are trying to use semantics to cover something. I can see how they could be different numbers, but their relationship between the different years should remain the same.
By that I mean that a year can have one number measured one way and a different number when measured the other way. Fine, I have no problem with that. But given a different year, if one number is the same, I would think the other number would need to be the same or fairly close to it.
I don’t see how you can have ice at 2005 levels of “extent” with only half the difference in area between 2005 and 2007. How does it extend so far in square kilometers of extent without covering the same amount of area?

Graeme Rodaughan
October 15, 2008 4:05 pm

I haven’t read all the above posts yet….
However as this 2008 seaice trend matures – expect it to be SPUN big time.
I’m on the look out for MSM reports that state that the sudden ICE re-freeze is just another symptom of AGM, or the focus will shift to other objects.
There has to be a catastrophy somewhere!

Bruce Cobb
October 15, 2008 4:30 pm

RW: I find the tone of this post, with comments like Go nature!, very infantile. What you obviously neglect to mention is that the current ice area is still far below the 1979-2000 mean. From this graph it looks to be about 2 million square kilometres, or about 25 per cent, below the long term average. That would not seem to warrant any enthusiastic proclamations about how great nature is.
Perhaps you are the one needing to tone things down. Of course the ice is still lower than the 1979-2000 mean; it is, after all, recovering from a record low last year. The whole point, which you have conveniently overlooked, is that the ice is, in fact recovering at a very rapid rate. Take your AGW blinders off, and look at the above graph again. Notice the steep slope of the red line. That, plus the fact that ice extent is now 28.7% higher than it was at this time last year is impressive. Nature is truly amazing.

October 15, 2008 4:41 pm

Nick O: It’s unlikely that there will be an El Nino this year, especially with the continued rise in the SOI (which precedes NINO3.4 SST by a few months). It’s looking to be neutral or a minor La Nina.
Inverting the SOI illustrates the correlation with NINO3.4 SSTs:
Data available here:

Ed Scott
October 15, 2008 5:11 pm

No significant global warming since 1995
Scientist who was fmr. Greenpeace member says ‘no proof’ CO2 is driving global temps!
By EPW Blog Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Another Dissenter: Finnish Scientist who was former Greenpeace member says ‘no proof’ CO2 is driving global temps!
Dr. Jarl R. Ahlbeck is lecturer of environmental technology and a chemical engineer at Abo Akademi University in Finland who has authored 200 scientific publications and hold four patents. Ahlbeck is a former member of Greenpeace and the Finnish socialist party DFFF. Bio here
No significant global warming since 1995
by Jarl R. Ahlbeck The writer is D.Sc. and lecturer at Abo Akademi University, Finland

Tom in Florida
October 15, 2008 5:13 pm

RW: “What you obviously neglect to mention is that the current ice area is still far below the 1979-2000 mean. From this graph it looks to be about 2 million square kilometres, or about 25 per cent, below the long term average. ”
The years 1979-2000 do not a long term average make. BTW, if you average the area of ice from 2001-2007 into your “long term average”, I’ll bet in drops it down enough so that the 25 percent goes away.

Pamela Gray
October 15, 2008 5:34 pm

It is interesting that the NOAA NWS has been consistently underestimating lows and high’s nearly every day for the NW portion of the US. And not by a small number. These estimates by NOAA could lead a person to believe that their last ditch effort to leave some produce still on the vine (note the pumpkin crop is WAY down and VERY small per pumpkin so every little bit counts) will help. Alas, nighttime temps have been in the low 20’s, not the above freezing low 30’s. Pumpkins froze solid over night. The down side is that small farmers sometimes depend on pumpkin crops for those last bills of the season. Here in Pendleton, the pumpkin crop has been so low that some farmers were not able to open their fields to students from area schools. The same is true for corn stalk mazes. The stalks are so short that the maze is not very hard to figure out. Does this mean that the Arctic cold/refreeze is somehow connected to the cold night time temps we are experiencing in the NW? Hmmmmmmm. Me thinks that NOAA needs to talk with Anthony about fine tuning their predictions.

October 15, 2008 6:02 pm

“Freeze baby Freeze!

October 15, 2008 6:03 pm

“Is the ice thickness now the new concern?”
Of course it is. They were shutout of having a new record low extent and an ice-free north pole. So, they have to change the criteria and claim victory!

October 15, 2008 7:17 pm

[…] Following on from Andrew Bolt’s post yesterday, Watts Up With That? has the full story […]

Pamela Gray
October 15, 2008 7:35 pm

hmmm. When we talk about ice thickness, are we talking about ice blown into the side of Greenland where it piles up, or are we talking about flat multi-year ice, or are we talking about thin one-year ice? Here are my WA hunches:
The wind blew like a bugger, shoving lots of ice next to Greenland this time around. I would bet the thickness and concentration there is as great as its ever been, or even thicker. It may very well be true that flat multi-year ice, before it got shoved into a pile, thinned a bit due to warm ocean currents underneath and somewhat warmer temps above prior to last winter. I also would wager that the one-year thin ice that grew the last winter was thicker than it has been in a long time. That means that we are now in a period of rebounding ice thickness if the above graph is any measure.
I don’t think coal dust had as much to do with thinning ice than wind, temps, currents, and warm water. But I do think that thicker is better.
See why I was excommunicated? Bad Pam.

October 15, 2008 8:05 pm

Pamela Gray,
I have noticed this for the last year and a half in my area. There is no excuse to continually get hi/lo temps wrong. It is a simple matter of wet/dry bulb reading and a formula. I have discussed this with others and have no idea what to make of it other then another way that AGW is causing harm to real meteorology and climate science and hurting weather forecasting credibility.

Patrick Henry
October 15, 2008 8:17 pm
October 15, 2008 8:25 pm

This is a better way of saying what I am thinking:
AMSR-E extent in 2005: about 7,000,000 km^2 Cryosphere Today anomaly, -100,000 km^2
AMSR-E extent in 2007: more than 7,000,000 km^2 Cryosphere Today anomaly, -200,000 km^2
I don’t see how ice extent can go UP and yet the anomaly goes 100,000km^2 more negative.
Also, thickness in 2009 will be much greater than it was in 2008 because 2009 will have more old ice. Old ice stands up to summer melting better. In fact the thickness of the ice in 2008 was already better than it was in 2007. Every year the Russians put a science station on an ice floe. It took weeks to find a suitable floe at the end of 2007 and even that one was thinner than their desired minimum. They found a suitable floe in only a few days in 2008.
2009, given conditions similar to 2008 will end with much more ice than 2008 had because it will start with older ice having less salt content. Ice with less salt content is harder to melt.
Also, 2007 was not a melt event due to temperatures, it was a wind event. The wind literally blew much of the ice out of the Arctic ocean into the Atlantic. That ice simply floats on water. Given the right wind currents, it can practically all blow out into warmer summer Atlantic waters where it melts.

October 15, 2008 8:55 pm

“1979 – 2000 mean”
It is my understanding that in the 1920’s – 1940’s ice levels were low as well.
Admittedly satellite pictures from tha era are hard to come by ….

Pamela Gray
October 15, 2008 9:33 pm

Right now at 9:20 PM it is 33.5 degrees F. The NOAA NWS predicts a low of 32 tonight for Lostine, Oregon (just 13 miles from Enterprise). The low usually hits after midnight and sometimes just before the Sun begins to lighten the eastern sky. Anthony, maybe you can speak to these daily predictions that are always too high for this location. Remember, the private Enterprise station was bought and installed because the NWS was not an accurate source of weekly weather, and not even 24 hr weather.

October 15, 2008 11:05 pm

I have to ask “What is the bump in ice coverage that occures every June 1st”

October 15, 2008 11:16 pm

NSIDC normally does monthly updates but changed to twice monthly as the minima was reached. As pointed out above they are still not that late if they decide to do a midmonth update or not.
to be perfectly honest it is rather early in the re-freeze season to be trumpeting anything one way or another at the moment. Using the graph above and it’s data set most years seem to be very close going into January and it is at that point the maxima seems to be determined.
We shall see though.

October 16, 2008 12:58 am

I thought it would be interesting to try to correlate temperature with (lack of) sea ice. Here’s a 12-month running mean of both temperature and Arctic sea ice extent, normalised, and the sea ice inverted so we can try to match maxima of temperature and minima of ice.
So the overall trend is clear (temperature increasing ice decreasing), but I can’t see any correlation in the peaks at all, not even with a time delay. In particular, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of the 1998 El Nino spike in the ice extent – it’s clearly far more complex that that.

Frank Lansner /Denmark
October 16, 2008 1:04 am

Pamela Gray
– its weird, In northern sealand, Denmark, in the morning i had 3-4 mm ice on certain water areas in my garden, on my car etc. But the Danish DMI said there had only been 0,2 degrees frost, and it was one tiny area in Jutland 200 km away. We had no frost, but a big area of North sealand was frozen.
Thi however could be some effect that only the boarder quite near the ground was frozen? Not 2 meters up? Hmmm maybe..

Frank Lansner /Denmark
October 16, 2008 1:05 am

– this happened 6 oct

October 16, 2008 1:21 am

Did you notice how all the curves tend to join in November? I would personally wait till the end of November before trying to conclude anything. The pace is fast, but not faster than 2007 if you count days from the minimal extent.

October 16, 2008 1:31 am

Bob Tisdale – anomalously warm tropical sea surface temperatures do not affect the temperature of the Arctic a decade later.
Bruce Cobb – there is nothing unusually rapid about the rate of ice formation this year. You can see this by downloading ice extent data and finding for each year the difference between ice extent at minimum, and one month after that. In fact, the increase in extent so far is close to the average since measurements began.
Tom in Florida – yes, if you extended the period over which the mean is define to include a lot of years in which ice extent has been falling rapidly, the mean would be lower. That doesn’t tell us very much about anything though.

John Finn
October 16, 2008 1:37 am

Ed Scott (17:11:18) :
No significant global warming since 1995
And when you consider that the 3 years or so previous to 1995 were affected by the Pinatubo eruption you could be talking about no significant warming for almost 20 years. Of course. “significant” here means in the statistical sense.
But I am surprised no-one has actually produced a reconstruction of global temps without the Pinatubo effect. It shouldn’t be that difficult. After all James Hansen has often claimed how well climate models were able to reproduce the Pinatubo cooling.
I wonder why it’s not been done.

M White
October 16, 2008 2:19 am

Economy hits EU climate plans
keeping the electorate sweet

October 16, 2008 2:55 am

[…] Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying […]

October 16, 2008 3:07 am

“to be perfectly honest it is rather early in the re-freeze season to be trumpeting anything one way or another at the moment. ”
That didn’t really stop the “experts” from predicting months in advance of impending north pole meltout, did it?
We can look at the same trends and draw the same conclusions the other way.
If it’s good for the goose…

October 16, 2008 3:08 am

– on the difference betwwen “Extent” and “Area”
Yes, this can be a bit confusing so I went ahead and sent a mail to one Bill Chapman(found his mail under “Contact” on Cryosphere Today) and asked for some information.
To summarize the answers(can quote his actual answers if wanted):
“Extent” – all grid cells(pixels) in the satellite data with a ice-concentration greater than 15% will be counted and summed
“Area” – all grid cells(pixels) will be summed but weighted according to the value of the ice-concentration for each grid cell(pixel)

October 16, 2008 3:56 am

I think the headline is misleading. In 2007, there was a large increase in sea ice extent in November; a similar thing happened this year, but in October. Both of these effects seem to be transients, for which I have seen no credible explanation. Let us wait until the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere before we compare 2008 with 2007. Unlike the warmaholics, we skeptics should stick strictly to science; no PR spin.

Frank Lansner /Denmark
October 16, 2008 4:06 am

Its true that the curves might join in november, but still this early freezing is interesting, and still the ice produced earlier might very well end up thicker in the end, and thus, even thogh curves should join, the ice will be stronger for next years melt season.

Frank Lansner /Denmark
October 16, 2008 4:13 am

John FInn:
For the Dansih site i made this grafic to show exactly the effect of Pinatubo:
I know its not exactly what you want, but close.

Arthur Glass
October 16, 2008 4:16 am

“We were probably just helped in part this year by the strong and prolonged La Nina.
…If we get a strong El Nino, I should not be surprised if we see the 2007 minimum record broken, and by quite a margin, too.”
In other words, the NATURAL ups and downs of the ENSO are an important factor in determining events in the Arctic. But if we are, as the consensus seems to hold, in the negative phase of the PDO, then the next few decades ought to see more frequent and stronger Ninas and less frequent and weaker Ninos.
‘I am Nina, hear me roar!’

Tom in Florida
October 16, 2008 4:20 am

RW: “yes, if you extended the period over which the mean is define to include a lot of years in which ice extent has been falling rapidly, the mean would be lower. That doesn’t tell us very much about anything though.”
So what does restricting the mean to only years when ice extent was greater tell us? Not very much of anything either. What then was the the point of your post where you brought up the “fact” that this year was still 25 percent less than the perioid 1979 -2000?

October 16, 2008 4:49 am

I’m sure you’ve seen the chart that the “movement formally known as GW” is using to explain how hotter has made us cooler… I’ve seen it on at least 3 GW based websites to explain the current cool down … (no pun intended)
But I find it interesting that a little research in to the origin of this chart, which was posted in 2005, they attributed the heating in this model to the sun, now on quite a few websites this very graph is being used to prove GW theories even though they tell us the sun has no effect.. strange world we live in.
I am beginning to wonder … Has Climate Change (formerly global warming) again changed its spots and started skulking around as energy independence? Please don’t get me wrong.. I’m all for US natural resources to be harvested, and new cleaner energy solutions but I am getting a bit worried when I hear our presidential candidates spouting global warming (no one sent them the memo on the name change) and energy independence in the same sentence. They are two completely different things .. or are they???
I may be paranoid, but we really need to step up the watch or we will be carbon credit central in 10 years. Afterall we need another scam now that the housing has crashed. I honestly hope our elected officials know that the support being seen right now for getting us unhooked from the mainline of oil from the middle east is different than saving the planet from the demon Co2.

Bruce Cobb
October 16, 2008 5:01 am

RW: …the increase in extent so far is close to the average since measurements began.
I doubt that. Are you saying you have done an analysis, and have determined what the average increase is for one month after minimum? If so, what is it, and please show your work.

October 16, 2008 5:13 am

Last summer I heard the satellite was having trouble telling the difference between open-water and ice-covered-with-melt water. Has anyone heard any follow-up about this problem?
If this problem does exist, it might explain the lowness of last summer’s ice extent, and also the rapidity of the refreezing.
NASA’s CFS model is now predicting a slight La Nina over the winter. (Not that you can trust a model.) This sort of double-dip La Nina resembles the situation in the 1950’s, when the AMO was in a similar state.
If Bob Tisdale is correct about the one year delay between La Nina’s and arctic cooling, then a slight La Nina this winter would mean we could expect another year of arctic cooling, before any El Nino induced warming set in.
In the decade of the 1950’s there was only two El Ninos, and one was quite weak. If you subscribe to the idea of cycles, (rather than tipping-points,) then the prospect of a lot of melting seems a bit dim.
Actually this is a bit of a drag to me, for I was sort of hoping the soil in Greenland would soften, and archaeologists could learn more about the Greenland Vikings, and also the MWP.

M White
October 16, 2008 5:46 am

Tougher climate target unveiled
The British government raises its target to cut carbon emissions to 80% by 2050 from 1990 levels.
Britain to become third world nation. I think events will overtake them.

Wolfgang Flamme
October 16, 2008 6:05 am

Comparing the IARC-JAXA data with NOAA
it seems that NOAA calculates ~ 0.5e6 km2 less area than IARC-JAXA when area is below ~7e6 km2.
I suspect NOAA has a problem with their algorithm – the distribution of their area data reveals an apparent gap from 7..8 km2.

M White
October 16, 2008 6:05 am

Just noticed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) will be holding talks from 1st to 12th of December this year in Poland. There will be further talks in Copenhagan during December 2009.
So they’re going to have talks on getting voters to reduce their energy requirements during what could well be a rather cold winter. I wonder how much coverage this will get.

Arthur Glass
October 16, 2008 6:16 am

‘We can look at the same trends and draw the same conclusions the other way.’
It’s not a ‘trend’, of course, it’s a ‘fluctuation.’
This is not a distinction without a difference, however. Consider, for example, the gyrations of the SOI
“Daily values are presented for research purposes only. 30 day (or larger) average SOI values are the key indices for forecast purposes.” In other words, the fever chart of daily readings is not very significant, but the 30- and 90-day running means are. Note also that the 30-day trend has been down while the 90 day has been up.
Persistently high positive numbers on the two long-term trends correlate with La Nina conditons, high negatives with El Nino’s.
The question is–or, at least my question is– what time span is suitable to what purpose? For mid-range forecasters, it is sometimes not the longer-term trend that is of immediate significance but the suddeness of a fall or a rise over, say, a week to ten days. For example, a sudden fall and recovery of the SOI often telecommunicates to a 500 mb trough in the Eastern U.S. a week to ten days later.
The same question of a suitable time span for a specific purpose surely arises when the spans in question are more ample. Also, agenda can come into play. The Arctic has certainly warmed over the past 50 years, but what has been the trend over the past 80? If your agenda is the make a case for CO2-driven warming, then the 50-year span is for you.
The satellite record dates back to 1979, so we can talk about trends over the past 30 years. But virtually all of this period falls within the regime of a positive PDO. Surely it will be interesting (to you young’ uns who will make it through) to see what, when the PDO flips again to positive, the 60-year or so trend is, over a full cycling of the PDO.
So, back to polar bear land. Last winter, the ice, it would seem, made a dramatic recovery and this year’s freeze-up is really going gangbusters. A trend? Over two years? Hardly. An insignificant blip in a long-term trend? Possibly. Or possibly the beginning of a reversal. Only time will tell.
And on that paragon of a novel thought, I shall sign off.

October 16, 2008 6:32 am

With Arctic snow and ice rebounding so quickly, I wonder if the weather forecasting computer models are cooling the Arctic sufficiently.
If not, the next cold air outbreak could include some surprises.

Bob W
October 16, 2008 6:43 am

John Finn – take a look at Lucia’s The Blackboard – Anthony has a link set up. Look in her September postings – she did some temperature analysis with the effect of volcanos.

Patrick Henry
October 16, 2008 7:59 am

Paul Clark,
I tried the same plot for the southern hemisphere and it shows negative correlation.

October 16, 2008 8:22 am

This came to my attention today, thought you might like it:

October 16, 2008 9:07 am

RW: Sorry, I didn’t know I had to point out that there were additional El Nino events after the “El Nino of the Century” in 1997/98. The 97/98 El Nino initiated the step change. The subsequent El Nino events (2002/03, 2004/05, 2006/07, with no La Ninas in between) kept it there. Also, La Nina events do not have the reverse effects on all global locations.

October 16, 2008 9:07 am

> Nick O. (13:27:29) :
> We were probably just helped in part this year by the strong and
> prolonged La Nina.
> If we get a strong El Nino, I should not be surprised if we see the
> 2007 minimum record broken, and by quite a margin, too.
But we’re in a PDO cold phase, and we won’t get many El Nino’s, let alone strong ones, for the next couple of decades. See the ENSO MEI index at
I parsed it with a script and imported into a spreadsheet. The data begins in 1950. During the PDO cold phase of 1947..1976, La Nina predominated, resulting in overall cooling. The Jan 1950..May 1976 average MEI was -0.343
During the PDO warm phase of 1976..1998, El Nino predominated, resulting in overall warming. The Jun 1976..Jul 1998 average MEI was 0.554
We’re back in the PDO cold phase as of 1998. El Nino predominates, resulting in overall cooling. The average MEI Aug 1998..Sep 2008 has been -0.056, and it’ll get worse before it gets better.

October 16, 2008 9:09 am

[…] !UPDATE! Another great piece by Anthony at Watts Up With That? […]

October 16, 2008 9:12 am

Looks to me like the “canary” better get a fur coat.

October 16, 2008 9:18 am

What I find interesting is that SSTs are still rather warm in many parts of the artic circle. I do believe it was the increases in SSTs due to AGW that would provide the melting mechanism for the ice flows (Due mainly to the expected amplification of the tropical Hadley Cell). The biggest difference between the Artic and Antartic is that the Artic is land-free. There isn’t enough insolation in and of itself to melt the ice flows; therefore, it is up to warmer waters and favorable wind flow to melt the ice. The melting would primairily be from below.
There was an item in the news several years ago that reported on oceanographers tracking a large group of rubber ducks. These ducks were on a Chinese cargo ship that sank somewhere in the Central Pacific. The ocean currents drove the ducks northward into the Artic and then southward into the North Atlantic. Eventually most of them washed ashore somewhere along the Cornish coast of the UK. It took the ducks about 1 year to make the trip, and more importantly it verified the presence of a rather strong current that transported warm tropical waters into the polar regions. IMHO, the artic ice melt we’ve seen for several years is probably the result of a longterm, but still undefined planetary teleconnection.

October 16, 2008 9:23 am

The joining of the curves in November has to do with the basin being frozen up completely from Greenland around the pole to Novaya Zemlya. with the growth areas being the two areas where the Pacific meets the Arctic ( Bering Straight) and the Atlantic meets the Arctic ( North Sea) – where the freezing has to fight against the warmer currents from the larger Oceans.
To achieve a greater freeze rate, the water from the larger oceans must be colder when it arrives in the ice creation zones. This goes back to the need to cool the subtropical oceans first.
Here is last year in November.
And 2000 in November.
And if you look at 1983 – which was the last real cold winter – you can see that the Bering Straight and much of Hudson Bay is frozen up by Nov 15 – which is not matched in most other years.

October 16, 2008 9:49 am

Tom in Florida – no matter what period you use to derive the mean, the long term trend in ice extent is downward, and no aspect of the evolution of ice coverage this year has contradicted that.
Bruce Cobb – yes, that is what I am saying. I got the daily ice area data from NSIDC, and for each year in the record I just subtracted the ice area on September 15 from that on October 15. If the minimum extent was reached earlier than September 15, this would give a lower number than the actual first month recovery, but it’s a reasonable start. The values are:
1972 1.60
1973 1.94
1974 1.92
1975 1.72
1976 2.23
1977 1.80
1978 2.73
1979 1.50
1980 1.62
1981 1.96
1982 2.36
1983 2.05
1984 1.32
1985 2.02
1986 2.18
1987 1.79
1988 1.97
1989 1.75
1990 2.28
1991 2.48
1992 2.04
1993 2.70
1994 1.61
1995 1.62
1996 1.70
1997 1.55
1998 1.82
1999 2.73
2000 2.39
2001 1.54
2002 2.46
2003 1.57
2004 1.81
2005 1.47
2006 1.65
2007 1.34
The mean of those numbers is 1.92.

October 16, 2008 10:12 am

Sorry that this is OT but David Holland, author of BIAS AND CONCEALMENT IN THE IPCC PROCESS: THE “HOCKEY-STICK” AFFAIR AND ITS IMPLICATIONS, which is a well argued and referenced indictment of Mannian climate reconstructions, has posted a very interesting comment at Harmless Sky here. Those of you who also read Climate Audit will be familiar with the subject matter which concerns the reluctancee of at least one IPCC review editor to reveal how he carried out his duties.

October 16, 2008 12:36 pm

Arctic Recovery? What Arctic Recovery???

George E. Smith
October 16, 2008 1:02 pm

So “The Arctic” is generally considered to be the portion of the earth north of +60 degrees, and it contains 6.699 % of the earth suface assuming a spherical earth.
The “Arctic Circle” is at +67.5 degrees, and contains only 3.806% of the total area. So the area between 60 and 67.5 degrees is 2.892%. The land masses of Siberia, and northern Europe, as well as Alaska, Canada, and Greenland extend to at least +72.5 degrees in a band almost completley encircling the globe, and only 2.314% of the total surface remains north of that. But Canada and Greenland reach to +75 degrees where only 1.703% of the surface remains, in fact they both go beyond +80 degrees.
Being generous and placing the northern land cutoof at +72.5 degrees leaves 2.314% remaining surface area; so 4.384% of the earth’s surface is land between +60 and +72.5 degrees
So if you go south instead; virtually the entirety of Antarctica lies inside the Antarctic Circle, so it comprises no more than 3.806% of the earth surface and it is totally surrounded by water amounting to 2.892% of the surface, which is a lot more than the 2.314% of the earth north of +72.5 degrees.
So in fact it IS true that there is more land in the Arctic than in the Antarctic; but it is also true that the Antarctic is mostly land; 56.82%
Just to clear up that factoid.

October 16, 2008 1:10 pm

As far as I can see both ENSO and PDO are in negative territory. I think this
means that cool deep ocean currents are still upwelling at the pacific tropics
and pushing the warm remnants of the last of the strong EL NINO through the
Baring strait. This explains the large melt over Alaskan shores and over north Europe and Siberia.
It appears that the water is now cooling as is makes its way clockwise towards
the Atlantic. I don’t have a time graphic for this but the current SST anomalies
can be found here.

October 16, 2008 1:45 pm

Do you have any numbers before 1972?
I’d like to see the period from 1900 to 1950, especially 1915, if you can produce them.
In 1915, it hit 100 degrees in Alaska.
In addition, there were numerous forest fires in Alaska that year. In fact, the 1930s were the worst in history for fires. That implies a warm, dry summer.
“Many references to extensive forest fires in Siberia, Alaska and northern Canada are found in the writings of eighteenth and nineteenth century explorers. Some recognized that lightning was the cause of forest fires, but the explorers frequently attributed the fires to native peoples. Authorities on forest fires, including H. J. Lutz of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, have concluded that early native peoples were, in fact, responsible for many fires.
Some fires were intentionally set to get rid of mosquitos or possibly to increase moose browse. Others were accidental from signal fires or camp fires going out of control.
Indians were not the only starters of fires. In 1915 the “Kennicott fire” was intentionally set by a woodcutter to create fuel wood for use at the Kennicott mine. Sixty-four thousand acres (100 square miles) was burned. In the same year, sparks from a train set a fire that burned 384,000 acres near Chitina.
Prior to 1940, there were a number of large fires in Alaska and Yukon that each burned more than 100,000 acres. Among the biggest were the 1,900,000-acre fire at Lake Iliamna in 1935, the Sheenjak River burn of 312,000 acres in 1937 and the Mosquito Fork Flat fire along the old Valdez-Eagle trail that burned over 900,000 acres in 1922.
In Alaska alone it is estimated that there are about 200 million acres of “burnable” land, of which about half is actually forested. Only about seven percent of the burnable land can be considered commercial forest capable of producing 20 cubic feet per acre (1.4 cubic meters per hectare) or more of wood annually.
Virtually all the northern forest has been burned over during the last 200 years. It is estimated that a million acres each year is burned, on the average.
The worst year of all seems to have been 1940. That year, fires in the Yukon, Tanana and Porcupine watersheds and on the Seward Peninsula burned 4.5 million acres.
Less serious was a 38,000-acre fire near Fairbanks in 1926 created when a group of children set a tree afire to drive out a squirrel. The next year another Fairbanks district resident started a 5,000-acre fire in an attempt to scare away bears that were muddying the water hole used by his horses.

We also know that from 1900 to 1950, there were no McFarland events in the US. That tends to imply things were much warmer then.

October 16, 2008 1:47 pm

I wonder if fire history is a proxy as well for weather?
I have a lot of fire history books by Pyne. He talks a lot about the Great Lakes and Northeast burning a lot in the 1800s, too.

October 16, 2008 1:52 pm

Here is a story about the Thule living in the Arctic Ocean from 1200-1600 AD and then abandoning the area probably due to too much summer ice. Sounds to me like the Arctic was warm enough to melt most of the ice 1200-1600 AD.

Dave Andrews
October 16, 2008 2:25 pm

The mean might be 1.92 but don’t those figures fluctuate widely from year to year?
So its quite possible if the record went back a further 10 or 20 years the mean would be completely different and so would the trend

October 16, 2008 2:36 pm

Must be hot ice according to NASA.
Federal Report: Arctic Getting Warmer and Warmer
“WASHINGTON — Autumn temperatures in the Arctic are at record levels, the Arctic Ocean is getting warmer and less salty as sea ice melts and reindeer herds appear to be declining, researchers reported Thursday.”
Thursday, October 16, 2008
(Associated Press},2933,439381,00.html

John Finn
October 16, 2008 4:15 pm

Frank Lansner & Bob W
Re: request for Pinatubo effect on temps
Thanks for the links – I’ll check them out.

October 16, 2008 5:21 pm

[…] 7,064,219 square kilometers 10/14/2007 5,487,656 square kilometers (JAW DROPPING – THUD) Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying In order to provide some balance I have included an explanation from the well respected AGW […]

October 16, 2008 6:18 pm

way to go ice!

October 16, 2008 11:57 pm

[…] Gore is cursing under his breath right now…"How DARE Mother Nature contradict me!"… Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying […]

October 17, 2008 12:58 am

Dave Andrews – unlikely. There is no statistically significant trend in the figures so no reason to expect them to change drastically pre-1972.
Austin – unfortunately there’s no daily data from before 1972. This claims to be monthly data from 1870-2008, but would take a bit of scripting to get information from. This image suggests that ice coverage was pretty stable until about 1950. Don’t know how reliable those pre-satellite figures are though.

Frank Lansner /Denmark
October 17, 2008 1:30 am

This comment was for the Dr Meir – article, but i had a technical problem, here goes:
Sorry for writing so much 🙂 but i have to answer
YES! you are 100% correct! Time after time you hear some “news” about warming as though it is new data! Its lying and manipulating every normal people who does not check these things out!
More examples:
We had “news” that Glaciers where shrinking, but these “news” where in fact from 2005 and back.
We OFTEN hear that SEA LEVELS are rising. But the truth is, sea levels has not risen one milimeter since 2005 !
See this example, Nasa:
They specifically write that their graph is updated!
NASA: “Sea Level Last updated 09.16.08”
But they have NOT updated their graph. They stopped updating 2´nd quarter of 2007. Why are they not updating?
Heres the data they could have shown:
– the truth, Just when temperatures seem to decline, so does sea level.
Ok! You could say that this sea level fall COULD be “random”. But you cannot say that there is not a fine match between temperature decline and sea level decline right now.

October 17, 2008 6:24 am

[…] Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying […]

October 17, 2008 7:42 am

I am trying to understand the discrepency between Cryosphere Today’s plot of “Current Canadian Archipelage Sea Ice Area” and their own graphic of ice distribution.
The plot shows the that there was more ice one year ago, but the graphic shows much more ice this year. This also goes for the AMSR-E graphic for the Archipelago.
See details here

October 17, 2008 9:39 am

Thanks, thats a good start, but that chart is problematic since we have ample evidence in the years that it shows summer extent at 11 million sqkm, mariners were past 80 deg north and the NW passage was navigated. That implies summer extents < 10 if not < 8 sq km.
I am really busy now but will take some time this fall to cross correlate all the stuff out there.
I think the proxies for Ice coverage will come down to whale (and others) bones found along the arctic. Bones of herbivores in the US are used to determine climate due to proxies in the bones for c3/c4 grasses – this approach should be useful for bones found in the Arctic as well.

October 17, 2008 11:17 am

Here in the UK, doubtless to accompany the depressing announcement that our glorious leaders have committed us (seemingly) to reduce our CO2 emissions by 80% for mercy’s sake, there came a report that the arctic is blooming this autumn and the whole place is hot as hell. I can’t remember the supposedly august body which generated the report.
Can anyone inform this confused non-scientist (and AGW sceptic) what the relationship is between this and rapidly growing Arctic ice which looks set to catch up with every year back to 2002 at the very least.

October 17, 2008 11:18 am

Sorry, by “relationship” what I should have written is how can they be reconciled – I’m anxious not to be too readily countermanded when advising others of the sea ice recovery.

October 17, 2008 12:04 pm

CO2 concentrations look to me like they are related to plant growth / photosynthesis—greatest in Spring (in either hemisphere, N or S; esp in agricultural araes and the great forests in Canada and Russia, and not so much over oceans and great deserts (Sahara)

October 18, 2008 2:18 am

Only one day but it looks as though the ice growth has levelled off – only 20,000 increased

October 18, 2008 3:57 am

Off topic – Hadcrut3 now out for September 0.376 giving an average for 2008 of 0.296

Mark Goldberg
October 18, 2008 4:35 am

Hello- enjoy looking at the data and getting another view. So this morning, woke up to this AP story and wonder if you can comment upon the science, and the impact.
AP • New York Times • CBS • MSNBC • USA TODAY • AP Medical • MSNBC Space
Report says Arctic temperatures at record highs
Email this Story
Oct 16, 3:24 PM (ET)
WASHINGTON (AP) – Autumn temperatures in the Arctic are at record levels, the Arctic Ocean is getting warmer and less salty as sea ice melts, and reindeer herds appear to be declining, researchers reported Thursday.
“Obviously, the planet is interconnected, so what happens in the Arctic does matter” to the rest of the world, Jackie Richter-Menge of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., said in releasing the third annual Arctic Report Card.
The report, compiled by 46 scientists from 10 countries, looks at a variety of conditions in the Arctic.
The region has long been expected to be among the first areas to show impacts from global warming, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is largely a result of human activities adding carbon dioxide and other gases to the atmosphere.
“Changes in the Arctic show a domino effect from multiple causes more clearly than in other regions,” said James Overland, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. “It’s a sensitive system and often reflects changes in relatively fast and dramatic ways.”
For example, autumn air temperatures in the Arctic are at a record 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) above normal.
The report noted that 2007 was the warmest year on record the Arctic, leading to a record loss of sea ice. This year’s sea ice melt was second only to 2007.
Rising temperatures help melt the ice, which in turn allows more solar heating of the ocean. That warming of the air and ocean affects land and marine life, and reduces the amount of winter sea ice that lasts into the following summer.
The study also noted a warming trend on Arctic land and increase in greenness as shrubs move north into areas that were formerly permafrost.
While the warming continues, the rate in this century is less than in the 1990s due to natural variability, the researchers said.
In addition to global warming there are natural cycles of warming and cooling, and a warm cycle in the 1990s added to the temperature rise. Now with a cooler cycles in some areas the rise in temperatures has slowed, but Overland said he expects that it will speed up again when the next natural warming cycle comes around.
Asked if an increase in radiation from the sun was having an effect on the Earth’s climate, Jason Box of the Byrd Polar Research Center in Columbus, Ohio, said while it’s important, increased solar output only accounts for about 10 percent of global warming.
“You can’t use solar to say that greenhouse gases are not a major factor,” Overland added.
Other findings from the report include:
– The Arctic Ocean continued to warm and freshen due to ice melt. This was accompanied by an “unprecedented” rate of sea level rise of nearly 0.1 inch per year.
– Warming has continued around Greenland in 2007 resulting in a record amount of ice melt. The Greenland ice sheet lost 24 cubic miles of ice, making it the largest single contributor to global sea level rise.
– Reindeer herds that had been increasing since the 1970s are now showing signs of leveling off or beginning to decline.
– Goose populations are increasing as they expand their range within the Arctic.
– Data on marine mammals is limited but they seem to have mixed trends. They are adapted to life in a region that is at least seasonally ice-covered. There is concern about the small numbers of polar bears in some regions, the status of many walrus groups is unknown, some whales are increasing and others declining.
“This is a very complicated system and we are still working diligently to sort out its mysteries,” said Richter-Menge.
In addition to Richter-Menge, Overland and Box, lead authors of the report included Michael Simpkin of NOAA, Silver Spring, Md. and Vladimir E. Romanovsky of the Geophysical Institute, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Mary Hinge
October 18, 2008 4:44 am

Bob Trueman (11:17:06) :
“Can anyone inform this confused non-scientist (and AGW sceptic) what the relationship is between this and rapidly growing Arctic ice which looks set to catch up with every year back to 2002 at the very least.”
The ice growth rate will slow quite quickly now. It is not at all surprising for the rate to have been so rapid this year. Don’t forget that this summer the summer ice was completely surrounded by clear water for the first time, in previous years there has always been a connection to land. If you think about it the sea ice can not spread into land! This gives the impression of a rapid ice melt due to cooler anomolous temperatures whereas the reason is simple available area to freeze. Check out this for the latest anomolies at the poles You will see that the ice extent is well below the mean for this time of year.
“Heres the data they could have shown:
– the truth, Just when temperatures seem to decline, so does sea level.”
If you check a more recent graph of sea level rise you will see that it is still increasing by approx 3.3cm a year. the graph you show only goes up to February 2008, this was heavily influenced by the strong La Nina. Copare that to this graph where the graph includes measurements to June and you will see the rate back to where it would be expected to be. The increase in seal level can either be attributed to thermal expansion or glacial melt, both signs of a warming globe.

Mary Hinge
October 18, 2008 4:47 am

Bob Trueman (11:17:06) :
You could also look at this graph of sea ice area anomolies, it shows we are very close to the lowest recorded sea ice area anomoly.

October 18, 2008 8:12 am

It is fairly easy to get confused AND decieved from reporting on CO2.
Slightly simplified one can say there is a global concentration of CO2 which mainly is driven by the carbon flux from natural sources, and there is an anthropogeic carbon release which mainly comes from buring of fossil fuels.
I havn’t checked recent data, but the anthropogenic contributioin has for some time been in the range of approx. 3% of the natural fluxes. (This does by itself NOT mean that it is insignificant, but the information is important to remember). From Eia page (see below) 7.2 / (119.6 + 90.6=210.2) = 0.033
When referring to global CO2 level, one should remember that the unit is ppm (Parts Per Million), currently some 383 ppm
It is also worthwile to observe that the annual CO2 level reflects the annual growth cycle with a maximum level at the season when it is spring at the N hemisphere and fall in the S H.
Due to the large seasonal fluctuations it is adviceable to use a running mean smoothing. Observe ( that the increase (until now) has varied, but been in the range from some 0.4 to 2.9 ppm. This means that since the measurements started, the global CO2 has not increased 1% a single year, (which is employed in some of the IPCC scenarios, and e.g. from 2008-2009, 1% corresponds to an annual increase by 3.83 ppm).
This should not be confused with increase in the annual anthropogenic release, which (at least before the economical “collapse” was in the range of 3 % annually)
The real numbers are therefore an incease of 3% in the 3% that is anthropogenic. 0.03 x 0.03 = 0.0009, approximately one tenth of a per cent.
Again, I do NOT claim that this is insignificant for the climate. As you can seee at the EIA page, the carbon relaease and sequestration are approximately in balance, making the 3% anthropogenic (and correspopndingly the 0.1% increase, a possible influence)
In Cod we trust

October 18, 2008 10:24 am

Trend for 2008 now tucking in well on the graph for subsequent years so there is no story here. At least not yet.

October 20, 2008 5:59 pm

[…] the Arctic ice is 28.7% higher than it was this year at this time…and growing: So far we are back to above 2005 levels, and 28.7% (or 24.9% depending on how you want to look at […]

Jerry G
October 21, 2008 2:13 pm

If anyone is interested I’ve done an annual temperature comparison study of 28 matched urban and rural sites (each within a 100 km of each other) across the US for the past 111 years. It is quite enlightening as to AGW. This was for my son (he’s 11) and we posted it on YouTube (under Global Warming:Urban Heat Effect. Yes, I know that it should have been Urban Heat Island Effect.) Give it a look and leave a comment. Data from GISS. It is very interesting to look at long term rural site data over the world.

Thank you

January 10, 2009 1:38 pm

[…] 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying January 10, 2009 — iusbvision WUWT has a great post on the latest arctic sea ice data: 10/14/2008 7,064,219 square […]

February 9, 2009 10:16 am

New to the site. Some interesting reading here.
Perhaps you know that Breakpoint, a daily commentary done by Chuck Colson, has cross-referenced this page from Quite interesting considering the full “Further Reading” list. But whatever. Thought you’d be interested.
Austin, TX

December 27, 2010 2:07 pm

[…] Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying Oct. 15, 2008: 10/14/2008 7,064,219 square kilometers […]

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