Mayday – May Day!

Guest post by Steven Goddard

nsidc_extent_n_timeseries_050109

NSIDC Arctic Ice Extent Just a few pixels from “average”.

May 1st is May Day . “Mayday” is a universally understood distress call signifying that an aircraft or other vessel is headed on a collision trajectory.  2009 Arctic ice extent is on a collision trajectory with normal, which could be disastrous for AGW alarmists.  “May Day” is an international holiday celebrated on May 1.  In the Soviet Union it celebrated the worker’s “liberation” from capitalism, though they hadn’t yet thought up “cap and trade” at that time.

I have more news to report about the ongoing mystery of why NSIDC shows Arctic ice extent much closer to the 1979-2000 average than NANSEN is to the 1979-2007 average.  It should be the other way around.

https://i2.wp.com/eva.nersc.no/vhost/arctic-roos.org/doc/observations/images/ssmi1_ice_ext.png

NANSEN Arctic Ice Extent

Dr. Walt Meier at NSIDC has again graciously responded to further questions:

Dr. Meier:
It is possible that there could be inconsistency in the Nansen data. I’m not familiar with their processing. I am confident that our dataset is consistent. However, it may simply be due to the ice conditions. Most of the time, the differences between algorithm should be an offset – though this offset can vary over the course of the year (particularly summer vs. winter). However, there can inconsistencies in this depending on the character of the ice cover.

My suspicion is that much of this is due to the Bering. The ice in the Bering is very broken up and, basically, on its last legs. It could be that our algorithm is more sensitive in picking up the ice than the Nansen algorithm. Or it could be that our algorithm is overly sensitive and is not catching open water.
Remember that the threshold for ice extent is 15%. So if you have low concentration ice, even small differences in the algorithms can result in relatively large differences in extent. If Nansen consistently shows 5% less ice that NSIDC, when there is 90% ice, that makes no difference, but where there is ~15% ice, it can make a difference. From other imagery, it looks like there is a lot of area with concentrations in the ballbpark of 15%.

To which I responded back to Dr. Meier:

Me:
If it were due to Bering Strait ice, I would expect to see a convergence between the two data sets as the Bering ice melts.  It looks to me like they are actually diverging over the last week or two though?

Any ideas from the readers?

UPDATE: Dr. Meier just responded, minutes after posting this article:

Dr. Meier:
It is the Bering Sea, not the Strait and as it begins to melt, with all the old, broken up, sparse ice, you see the divergence. As it melts out completely, I expect that we’ll see things go back to being more consistent.

Addendum from Anthony:

A question to Dr. Meier:  When are we going to see a date/time stamp on the NSIDC imagery? NANSEN has one.

This NSIDC graphic above is one of the most widely displayed and quoted on the net today, yet it lacks this most basic feature found in many scientific images presented for public consumption.

I realize the curve itself is marked against the x axis, but it is not easy to determine an exact date. Science is exacting, it would seem prudent to add a date/time stamp. Otherwise, the appearance of exacting science  presented to the public is one of sloppiness, IMHO.

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158 thoughts on “Mayday – May Day!

  1. I do not understand the point you are making about current conditions vs. the average. The three typical ways to show this in a meaningful way are seasonally adjust the current number, compare 1 May to past May firsts, or show a long-term graph of the data.

    This post does none of the three. With such strong seasonal swings, comparing May first vs. the average tells us little.

    The NSIDC data shows the sequential March numbers in an declining trend since 1978, although they provide no statistics to support this visual (hence unrelaible) conclusion.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  2. Uh-oh.

    The Antarctic sea ice extent is running away from the norm and heading towards record territory.

  3. “If it were due to Bering Strait ice, I would expect to see a convergence between the two data sets as the Bering ice melts. It looks to me like they are actually diverging over the last week or two though? ”

    The Bering ice has held up well in the last week or two which could be the reason why you see the continued divergence. I think you really need to monitor ice throughout May to conclude one way or the other over the 15% explanation.

    As to the 1st of May, is it any more significant that ice extent is likely to reach the average on the 1st of May than it being less than 2007 at the begining of Jan ?.
    I think not, unless there is a reason why it is more significant that isn’t mentioned anywhere. Melting in April and May is all about synoptics, there is currently a warm plume in Northern Alaska and a colder Plume on the opposite side, but most important has been the longer than normal continuation of the Polar Jet preventing any real warmth from entering the Arctic Circle, When the Polar Jet does reduce we might see the real Arctic ice situation is like.

  4. I have been keeping an eye on Arctic temps and jet stream patterns. The current conditions are quite cold in the Bering Strait and the prevailing winds are keeping the ice in the Arctic Circle, even compacting it. That includes the Greenland Sea Ice Area as seen in Cryosphere Today. I would believe the crashing into average graph, not the other one. The data supports cold-hard ice conditions, not melty mushy ones.

    http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

  5. Fabius,

    Think about the absurdity of this statement.

    “The Stock Market has been declining for 30 years, and is currently at the 30 year mean.”

  6. I think it portends a cooler Arctic, probably because the currents have switched due to the PDO or/and the AMO. I also believe the eruption of Mt. Redoubt will be a contributing factor for the remaining year of 2009 and the Arctic ice will be even greater.

  7. Hey Iceberg, you be talkin my language. Whisper more sweet things in my ear. I visit my jet stream favs every day. I have a bunch more that build a picture in my head of the interconnected status of daily weather-related data, as well as longer term possible weather pattern variation. I still occasionally visit cosmic ray and ozone stuff. Those sites have been replaced with daily visits to water vapor sites. I am also trying to find a good site for trade winds that are graphed instead of just tabled. I am also looking for atmospheric dust measurement sites. Got any leads?

  8. Fabius,

    The chart is doing what you asked. The blue is approaching the grey 1979-2000 average.

    You wanted “compare 1 May to past May firsts, or show a long-term graph of the data.”

    Your right! They should compare this May 1 to the… wait isn’t that the what is being done? The blue (this May 1) is approaching the grey 1979-2000 average of for May 1. Uhh, I don’t see the problem?

  9. From the previous post on this matter:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/29/what-is-normal-arctic-ice-extent/

    I’d made a comment that “Dr. Meier makes a good point when he says, ‘The important thing to remember is that there is a good consistent record from the passive microwave data as long as you consistently use the same algorithm and the same processing.’”

    The thought has since come to mind that perhaps what NANSEN did was to make an adjustment to their algorithm which was not applied to their archived, older data. If they had done so then the 1979-2007 average would now be lower and closer (if not touching) this year’s mark, much like it is with NSIDC. In making the change last year, it might have been agenda driven or just plain lazy sloppiness. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I suspect the latter.

    Remember, back in December when NANSEN explained how they had made their correction on 22 October, yet changes were obvious from 11 September. Perhaps they did just that; implemented a change to their algorithm on 22 October, then massaged it back to 11 September, then succumbed to laziness and didn’t massage older data. It’s a thought.

    (For readers interested in the details of that mess, see: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/13/something-is-rotten-in-norway-500000-sq-km-of-sea-ice-disappears-overnight/ )

  10. Vernon (09:20:47) :

    I concur. I don’t see a problem with this graph at all, it is precisely comparing every date within the year to the average for that same day through the time series. Where is the issue here? Granted, I would rather see a time series through the current year (ie: 1979-2008), but, otherwise, its all there!

  11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayday_(distress_signal)

    Mayday (distress signal)
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    For the holiday, see May Day.

    A Mayday call might result in the activation of a lifeboat such as this Severn class lifeboat
    Mayday is an emergency code word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications.

  12. It looks like there are three reasons why the melt is heading towards Mayday: The bowl is plugged with hard ice, the winds are in the wrong direction and lack energy, and the temperatures are witch-tit COLD. The Okhotsk Sea near Russia just outside of the Bering Strait is not getting flushed out of ice and is thus melting very slowly in colder than average water. This is also true of the Barents Sea between Russia and Greenland. Opposite ends of the Arctic and both are under the same conditions. All other areas are near to just above average. These last two areas are rapidly moving towards average due to slow melt.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.14.html

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

  13. We could be witnessing the decadal (and more?) ups and downs of weather pattern variation here. The Arctic climate will always be the Arctic climate due to seasonal solar angle. That won’t change. But the weather pattern will, particularly during melt and summer season, and by quite a lot. It is understood that lack of summer melt, or slowing summer melt, can (but not always) lead to a mini or major ice age, depending on how long the weather pattern variation stays around, gets worse, or becomes locked with similar weather pattern variation indexes that bring changes South of the Arctic circle.

    Cool stuff. Or rather “cold” stuff.

  14. Quote of the week?

    Steven Goddard (09:04:06) :
    “The Stock Market has been declining for 30 years, and is currently at the 30 year mean.”

    And Pamela, at the risk of being less than politically correct, or even snipped, might I compliment your feminine attributes in your many fine contributions.
    Or something like that?

  15. Off Topic, but Jim Cripwell, if you are going to correct people, then correct them.

    It’s M’aidez!

    No fo pah should go un attended.

  16. Anthony, there are very strange things in this world, apart from the fact that no return on the accounts of Arctic ice …

    You know that I follow the cheerful vicissitudes of Sidc , and even in April, the Belgian center is manifested always more dependent of the Catania observatory in counting sunspots!

    Those who dont’t like that the north pole is in recovery, are probably the same which don’t love thefact that the sun continues to sleep so deeply!

    no observatory in the world had seen the sunspots of solar April 6, except the usual … Catania and Sidc it counted …

    Please read here, Simon:

    http://72.14.221.132/translate_c?hl=it&sl=it&tl=en&u=http://daltonsminima.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/incredibile-il-sidc-ad-aprile-conta-2-giorni-con-macchie-piu-del-noaa-ed-eguaglia-lssn-con-12/&prev=hp&usg=ALkJrhiW4Y_91ycsdwEv0R5igius7XkJ2w

  17. What about the Baltic?

    I have long wondered why the separate pieces of the University of Illinois ice charts at Cryosphere Today fail to add up. Their main tally is “Northern Hemisphere Ice” – of which the Baltic is a part.

    I would place the Bering Sea in 3rd place.
    After the Baltic and the Sea of Okhotsk.
    Throughout the winter – most of the ice anomaly was due to the later areas/

  18. I wonder, if algorithm differences can make such significant variations… concerning the data going back to 1979, and considering the extraordinary developments in computing in the intervening thirty years, are the data consistent in terms of algorithmic interpretation? Are the same algorithms now used to interpret that data? Is it done retrospectively? Or are we relying on data interpreted by divergent algorithms as they themselves have become more sophisticated?

    A clarification from Dr. Meier or anyone else would be appreciated.

  19. Pamela Gray (09:03:55) :

    Excellent point.

    From your watching of the jet stream would you say that the general trend over the last few years has been towards the eqautor?

    Do you have/know of any time lapse graphics that would show the trend?

  20. The Iceberg: “When the Polar Jet does reduce we might see the real Arctic ice situation is like.”

    Oh, I see. We are not looking at the real ice. It must be fake, those darn oil companies will stop at nothing. As soon as the next melt hits we will be looking at the real Arctic. Right?

  21. What about antarctic ice volume as studied by GRACE at the University of Colorado, which says the mass is decreasing?

  22. No. The jet stream has pushed north. However, it seems to me that it is more volatile and loopy with multiple breaks that bring cold Arctic temps southward. That could be the result of stronger trade winds that blow equatorially east to west and then hit eastern landforms, causing turbulance in the back flow which may then push north and cause disturbance in the polar jet stream. The same thing may happen in the southern jet stream but land forms there are different, so the results may be different because of that.

  23. May Day: Okay, cute play on Mayday, but here’s etymological skinning on the word:

    Mayday, as a distress signal, is to be used only in an life-threatening emergency. It comes from “Venez m’aider,” French for “Come help me.”

    “Pan-pan” might be a more appropriate call in Steven’s analogy of collision with norm. It represents an urgent state as different from an emergent state. Mariners use it in radiotelecommunications to announce to others to be aware as different from “drop everything and come help.” It’s derivation could be either from the French “panne” as used for breakdowns or the acronym “P.A.N.” for “Possible Assistance Needed.” I personally think the acronym is a mnemonic that came after.

    Of course, if a collision is eminent, the signal is not Mayday, but a danger horn signal of of five short blasts.

    Okay, TMI to be sure. It’s just my captain’s license talking.

  24. Theory: Loopiness seems to cause a north to south air flow as the loop digs down deep into southern areas of the NH. This wind direction brings that Arctic air along with it. It at first seems counter-intuitive, but pay attention to what happens to Arctic air when a deep loop occurs versus a straight yet more southerly positioned jet stream. With straight jet streams, everything stays in its place, including Arctic air. Loopiness allows mixing and extreme weather pattern variation. Hot here, cold there.

  25. Aidez-moi: If the ice-extent is so dependent on the algorithm used, how can the AMSR Sea Ice Extent be exactely 13 162 031 km2 as of april 30 ? (The last digit means that it is between 13 162 030.5 and 13 162 031.4)

  26. Good grief… that’s all we need… a rapper giving his inane rhymes about global warming. All the kiddies will believe that crap and brainwashing bilge.

  27. I’d like to know why NSIDC doesn’t calculate the average up to ’07 or ’08. By stopping at 2000, I think the mean curve is higher which makes the current curve farther away from the mean.

  28. Slightly off-topic, but this fine post and the thought of the Germans flying over the Catlin crew in their C-47 made me thing of this “oldie but goodie”.

  29. I must be a complete idiot. I keep seeing (and Dr Meier says so above) that 15% ice/85% open water is considered ice covered. Whose great idea was that ?

    Have you finished my bridge yet? Well yes sir! there she is 15% done and we only have to finish the last 85% of details, like we are going to run some pilings down to the bedrock to hold the middle up; but you can start using her any time you like !

    15% of 100,000 squ km is 15,000 squ km of ice not 100,000 squ km of ice

    I just found out from an aquaintance at Scripps, that the NOAA global CO2 plot is simply mathematically constructed, and is NOT actual real world measured data at all. Who needs that sort of rubbish; and it gets paid for out of my tax dollars.

    When are people going to accept responsibility for their work, and stop putting out balderdash disguised as information.

    I’m also dicovering reading these blogs, that we have many potential candidates for the Bulwer-Lyton literature prize. Don’t they teach English in Schools any more. There’s a few posts here that are total gobbledegook ; with no smiley faces.

    George

  30. Actually, Fabius has demonstrated a truly unique way of reading graphs. Apparently this is the “new” AGW method. First you look at data that is clearly laid out in a logical way. Then you decide that you don’t like the data, so you transform it in your mind into something confusing and not even remotely like what it actually is. Then you complain that it doesn’t prove anything.

    Does that about sum it up?

    Anyway… the average is only the average for 1/2 of a climate cycle, so it’s completely useless and meaningless. It needs another 30+ years before the average will be of any value.

  31. Mark,

    Ice extent has been generally lower since 2000, so including 2001-2007 would lower the mean and probably push the NSIDC graph above “normal.”

  32. I do not see the point either. So, MAYBE the arctic will come back to its normal extent for a few days in the last 10 years? And are you actually going to make titles with that? This is called in here “l’énergie du désespoir”. For those who understand…

    If I were you, I would wait for the summer minimum.

  33. Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly.. right now, the sea ice has been well below average for about 95% of the graph, and at normal (giving it the benefit of the doubt) about 5% of the time. For the last few years, its been below normal at least 95% of the time.

    And these facts, taken together, are used as evidence that ice-cover is not decreasing?

    A reasonable person would look at all the data and likely conclude 1) that the ice cover is well below normal, 2) its a noisy series subject to lots of fluctuations, and sometimes it pops up to normal (like now) and sometimes it goes well below normal (like the last two summers).

    By contrast, a cherry picker would sieze on the one measurement that supports his viewpoint and write a whole blog post about it, while simply ignoring all the others.

  34. John Egan (10:03:39) :

    I don’t think the Baltic is included in the Cryosphere NH figures. If it is then the whole time series is corrupt since the ice-extension in the Baltic is vastly exaggerated during the 1989-2003 period.
    Actually the sea of Okhotsk shouldn’t really be included either since the ice there is not contiguous with the main arctic icepack. Or alternatively the other areas with more-or-less regular sea-ice in the NH should also be included (i e the Bay of Alaska, the Bohai sea, the Caspian and the Sea of Azov)

  35. More worrisome, May Day is also International Worker’s Day, the Soviet Union’s version of a religious holiday.
    (cue the Internationale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationale)

    Despite a century of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Dirigistes in our current administration appear to believe that central planning & control is required for “the good of the country”. In this “modern” incarnation, however, it’s not only thought control (although apparently that’s good too), but control of your personal chemistry, right down to the molecular level. That is,

    Carbon Bad, Organic Good.

    [perhaps it’s a hallmark of the “environmental” movement that none of them see the irony in this statement. For that matter, has anyone ever met a self-styled environmentalist who had taken college-level organic chemistry? Courses at Evergreen State, Bennington and Oberlin don’t count; they only study cannabinol and the opiates. Not that there’s anything WRONG with that..]

    When are woodstoves going on sale?

  36. Of the jet stream and the dynamics of heat and cold, I think I’ve been finding out how the dynamics work in Asia, the heat goes in waves across Asia starting in Africa

    Take a look here
    http://www.intellicast.com/Global/Temperature/Maximum.aspx?location=CFXX0004

    Go through the days and you’ll notice a bit of the heat comes from a sort of heat bank south of the Sahara. Watch the heat roll into Asia as they forecast a piece of the bank to break away and replaced by cooler air, these heat tsunamies likely end up reaching China.

    I’ve only been looking at these maps for less than a year so I can’t pick out am observed trend in intensity, anyway if this heat system breaks down or weakens it will be a big reason for Global Temperature drop and makes sense it’ll eventually do that if the quiet sun and dropping SST’s can cause it.

  37. “I must be a complete idiot. I keep seeing (and Dr Meier says so above) that 15% ice/85% open water is considered ice covered. Whose great idea was that?”

    You must remember that ice-maps and ice-reconnaissance was originally made for a practical reason, to inform shipping about where they could and could not go. Many national ice-services adopt limits of 10% or 15% ice-cover as “open water”, because when ice gets sparser than that you can go between the floes, so for practical reasons it’s ice-free. This would also be the definition found in historical sources.

  38. Look, I don’t care what’s happening in the real world. My computer models clearly show that the arctic is almost ice free.

  39. Bela (10:27:33) :
    What about antarctic ice volume as studied by GRACE at the University of Colorado, which says the mass is decreasing?

    Being an alumnus of Colorado State University and a natve Coloradoan, I can state with certainty that decreasing attendance at mass has caused a lack of GRACE at CU.

  40. lichanos (10:02:21) : “Off Topic, but Jim Cripwell, if you are going to correct people, then correct them. It’s M’aidez! No fo pah should go un attended.”

    wee-wee!

  41. NSIDC likes to issue press releases about interesting states of affairs. I trust they will issue one when Arctic ice reaches the long-term average. Cynics who point out that they really only make press releases about signs of declining ice need not reply. :-)

  42. According to this chart, one can see we are getting close to the average sea ice extent.

    This blends a few different datasets, the NasaTeam algorithm and the Jaxa algorithm so I can’t say it is exactly comparable. (NSIDC uses a version of the Bootstrap algorithm which is quite different than Jaxa so there is no up-to-date data to use.)

    At least some data is better than no data so here is the trend for all years from 1979 to 2009 (with 2009 shown in the thick red line) [I can’t get the other years to show up as single lines yet so they are just dotted lines but one can get the picture].

  43. Tim,

    Why go to mass at CU, when they can get stoned instead?
    http://www.efitnessnow.com/news/2009/04/26/legalization-debate-lights-up-on-naitonal-weed-day/

    While some people choose to celebrate National Weed Day with smoke-ins, which can get participants arrested, the more politically-minded have used April 20 as a day to bring attention to the argument for removing the legislation against marijuana. This year, rallies sprung up across the country, primarily in areas with large youth populations, especially on college campuses. One rally in Boulder, Colorado, was said to have nearly 10,000 in attendance.

  44. tty, there are other areas that are not contiguous either. Do you propose that all these other areas be excluded too because they are not within the bowl? What would you say if summer melt slacks off in a longer trend and thus allows year round ice to grow farther south into the NH? Would you then also want these non-contiguous areas to not count in some kind of average? As our data stream gets longer, someone will make the decision to create a new average. Which areas should be included?

  45. “I do not understand the point you are making about current conditions vs. the average.”

    The average for this date over the base period. Not the average irrespective of the season.

  46. Pen Hadow was supposed to be live today in this conference:

    http://www.bitc.org.uk/environment/the_princes_may_day_network_on_climate_change/the_princes_may_day_summit/take_part_online/index.html

    Has someone checked if he really got live, or if there is a problem with the Catlin expedition. They seem to be having severe problems. BTW, it is interesting to follow there quotes, as this seen for today:

    “Their spirits were lifted briefly today when they heard the distant engines of a DC3 aircraft overhead. They thought their minds were playing tricks on them, but sure enough a DC3 did indeed fly within 13 miles of their camp. However, it was part of a Danish research expedition and not the Twin Otter they were hoping for.”

    Ecotretas

  47. I don’t care what is done with pot legislation. What I care about is hemp. Such a useful plant and should be hybridized to grow in a variety of climate zones. End all restriction on hemp and pour dollars into varietal research.

  48. I clicked on the link provided by ecotretas and found the following on the agenda:

    13:55 Case studies:

    “SHAPE THE FUTURE” – Educating school children via employee engagement,

    “LESS IS MORE” – How business can reduce its air travel carbon footprint,

    “YES WE CAN!” –The business and climate benefits of innovation and enterprise

    The first one is positively scary in tone but what caught my eye is the last one. Does it look sort of familiar ?

  49. Re: Fabius

    Fabius does make a valid point the way I read it.

    Showing a graph of current vs. mean doesn’t show decadal trends. Sure it’s approaching the mean but because the baseline is recent (2000) and ice extent was trending down throughout the baseline period, the graph doesnt do a good job of showing history.

    IF the sea ice minimum has been decreasing for 15, 20 or 30 years (and it has) then the mean was pulled slowly down until 2000 which lessened the gap in extent.

    Looking at such charts with such recent baselines has always bothered me, I prefer historical trends. If you were watching the seasonal variations on an O’scope for the last 30 years you would have been moving your 0 Volt reference up the entire time until very recently. (Any engineers in the house?)

    Using an older, fixed baseline would be better but the data doesnt go back far enough, so you need to look at historical trends instead. Due to variations you can’t pick one day but you can look at yearly minimums and maximums.

    I’m no alarmist but historical trend in ice minimums does not look good prior to the last few years. The earth did warm from 1979 – 2000 and ice extent decreased. Ice extent has been below the 79-00 mean every year since. Hopefully it continues the recent recovery. (Go baby ice!)

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003500/a003563/index.html

  50. A couple days ago, I read a very interesting but incomplete and inaccurate translation (accredited to the Wall Street Journal) of an article by a German research organization, the Alfred Wegner Institute of Bremerhaven. So I found the original article in German, then translated it into English via a free web service which did a fair but imperfect job of it. I fixed it up a bit where I felt confident, but identified those fixes with parentheses. There are some grammatical errors from imperfect translation, some of which I could have fixed, but you should be able to get the gist OK — if not, let me know. I have copied and pasted below both the English and German versions.

    Note the very significant comment that the ice is thicker than expected, but the 15 meter thickness must have been due to “pressure ridges” such as I encountered during my study of sea and river ice at and near Point Barrow and Umiat during winter 1947/48. These ridges are caused by wind and ocean currents and can create big variations in ice thickness depending on how the ice piles up as it is thrust up upon itself.

    The original material in German can be found at : AWI-bremerhaven.de/de/

    Pag

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    (The April 2009 flights by) German polar airplane (P)olar 5 (have come) to (an) end. The vierwöchige campaign brought singular measuring data due to the large range of the airplane and the assigned modern measuring technique over sea ice thickness, trace gases, aerosols and meteorological parameters. “We were in to a large extent unexplored areas on the way. Our northernmost position was with 88° 40′ North. Such flight operations in the Arctic require large being able and much experience, “ report Dr. Andreas (Herber), physicist and responsible for the research flight witness at the (Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, identified as “AWI” hereafter). During most time the weather for the measurements was ideal. Air temperatures of under (minus) 30 °C however often became a challenge for the scientific devices. (Twenty) scientists and engineers of six research institutes from Germany, Italy (CNR ISAC Bologna), Canada (Environment Canada, University Of Alberta, York University) and the USA (NOAA ESRL Boulder) were involved and the data in the coming months will evaluate.
    The flight of the (P)olar 5 of (AWI) for polar and exploration of the sea in the helmet getting time community led from Longyearbyen on Spitzbergen across Greenland and north Canada until Barrow in Alaska. In addition (the Polar 5 aircraft was the first to be) landed 5 as the first airplane on two meters thick ice with the position 87° 40′ Nord/117° 00′ West to the Russian Eisschollen Driftstation NP-36. The entire campaign owes its success of a close international co-operation and the outstanding support at the individual research stations such as Alert and Eureka.
    An emphasis of the campaign were arctic aerosols. With several vertical and horizontal profiles in low-altitude flight height (60 meters) and in Normalflughöhe of 3000 meters an image of the aerosol distribution in the Arctic was provided. Aerosols belong with water droplets and ice crystals to the climaticrelevant trace materials and rank among the largest factors of uncertainty with the estimation of future climatic changes. The measurements over the arctic ocean permit quantification and its allocation to Asian, North American and European source regions to the aerosol load of arctic pure air. They supply a realistic basis for the urgently necessary improvement of the Modellrechungen for this inaccessible and region of our earth central for the climatic research.
    A further emphasis of the campaign were wide ice thickness measurements in the internal Arctic, which were accomplished in close co-operation between the AWI and the (U)niversity (of) Alberta. Thereby an ice thickness probe, the EM-Bird so called, was used for the first time under an airplane. For the investigations (P)olar 5 pulled the probe to 80 meters is enough for steel cable into twenty meters height over the ice surface. Several flights of different stations northward resulted in ice thicknesses between 2.5 meters (two-year ice in the proximity of the north pole) and four meters (multiyear ice in coastalnear areas before Canada). Altogether the ice was somewhat thicker than in the past years in the same regions, which lets a temporary recovery of the arctic ice cover assume. Along the northern coast of Ellesmere Iceland the researchers the thickest ice found often (was) larger, with thicknesses (greater?) than 15 meters.
    A further high point of the campaign were atmospheric soundings in the central Arctic as well as the measurement of very small ozone and mercury concentrations over widen parts of the arctic ocean covered with sea ice. The meteorological sounding by means of drop probes resulted in flat boundary layers in connection with pronounced temperature inversions and wind jet in the lowest 300 meters. These conditions promote the loss of near-surface ozone measured of the Canadian colleagues of Environment Canada over the sea ice, caused by reaction with bromine oxide. The combination of all trace gas measurements with the atmospheric soundings will make it possible to understand the processes of the near-surface Ozonabbaus in the Arctic better.
    Only by the close international cooperation between all partners this logistically complex campaign could be mastered successfully with places of residence in four Arctic neighboring states.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Above Report in Original German (Except Photographs) :

    29. April 2009: Forschungsflugzeug Polar 5 beendet Arktis-Expedition – Einzigartige Messflüge in der zentralen Arktis abgeschlossen
    Bremerhaven, den 29. April 2009. Gestern ging in Oshawa (Kanada) die Arktis-Kampagne (PAM-ARCMIP – Pan-Arctic Measurements and Arctic Climate Model Intercomparison Project) mit dem deutschen Polarflugzeug Polar 5 zu Ende. Die vierwöchige Kampagne brachte aufgrund der großen Reichweite des Flugzeuges und der eingesetzten modernen Messtechnik einzigartige Messdaten über Meereisdicke, Spurengase, Aerosole und meteorologische Parameter. „Wir waren in größtenteils unerforschten Gebieten unterwegs. Unsere nördlichste Position lag bei 88° 40′ Nord. Solche Flugoperationen in der Arktis erfordern großes Können und viel Erfahrung“, berichtet Dr. Andreas Herber, Physiker und verantwortlich für die Forschungsflugzeuge am Alfred-Wegener-Institut. Während der meisten Zeit war das Wetter für die Messungen ideal. Lufttemperaturen von unter – 30 °C wurden jedoch oft zu einer Herausforderung für die wissenschaftlichen Geräte. 20 Wissenschaftler und Ingenieure von sechs Forschungsinstituten aus Deutschland, Italien (CNR-ISAC Bologna), Kanada (Environment Kanada, University of Alberta, York University) und den USA (NOAA-ESRL Boulder) waren beteiligt und werden die Daten in den kommenden Monaten auswerten.

    Der Flug der Polar 5 des Alfred-Wegener-Instituts für Polar und Meeresforschung in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft führte von Longyearbyen auf Spitzbergen über Grönland und Nordkanada bis nach Barrow in Alaska. Polar 5 landete außerdem als erstes Flugzeug auf zwei Meter dickem Eis bei der Position 87° 40′ Nord/117° 00′ West an der russischen Eisschollen-Driftstation NP-36. Die gesamte Kampagne verdankt ihren Erfolg einer engen internationalen Kooperation und der hervorragenden Unterstützung an den einzelnen Forschungsstationen wie Alert und Eureka.

    Ein Schwerpunkt der Kampagne waren arktische Aerosole. Mit mehreren Vertikal- und Horizontalprofilen in Tiefflughöhe (60 Meter) und in Normalflughöhe von 3000 Meter wurde ein Abbild der Aerosolverteilung in der Arktis erstellt. Aerosole gehören mit Wassertröpfchen und Eiskristallen zu den klimarelevanten Spurenstoffen und zählen zu den größten Unsicherheitsfaktoren bei der Abschätzung zukünftiger Klimaveränderungen. Die Messungen über dem Arktischen Ozean erlauben die Quantifizierung der Aerosolbelastung der arktischen Reinluft und ihre Zuordnung zu asiatischen, nordamerikanischen und europäischen Quellregionen. Sie liefern eine realistische Grundlage für die dringend erforderliche Verbesserung der Modellrechungen für diese unzugängliche und für die Klimaforschung zentrale Region unserer Erde.

    Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt der Kampagne waren großflächige Eisdickenmessungen in der inneren Arktis, die in enger Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Alfred-Wegener-Institut und der Universität von Alberta durchgeführt wurden. Erstmalig kam dabei eine Eisdickensonde, der so genannte EM-Bird, unter einem Flugzeug zum Einsatz. Für die Untersuchungen zog Polar 5 die Sonde an einem 80 Meter langen Stahlseil in zwanzig Meter Höhe über die Eisoberfläche. Mehrere Flüge von verschiedenen Stationen nach Norden ergaben Eisdicken zwischen 2,5 Meter (zweijähriges Eis in der Nähe des Nordpols) und vier Metern (mehrjähriges Eis in küstenahen Gebieten vor Kanada). Insgesamt war das Eis etwas dicker als in den vergangenen Jahren in den gleichen Regionen, was eine temporäre Erholung der arktischen Eisdecke vermuten lässt. Entlang der nördlichen Küste von Ellesmere Island fanden die Forscher das dickste Eis, mit Dicken oft größer als 15 Meter.

    Ein weiterer Höhepunkt der Kampagne waren atmosphärische Sondierungen in der Zentralarktis sowie die Messung sehr geringer Ozon- und Quecksilberkonzentrationen über weiten Teilen des mit Meereis bedeckten arktischen Ozeans. Die meteorologische Sondierung mittels Dropsonden ergab flache Grenzschichten in Verbindung mit ausgeprägten Temperaturinversionen und Windjets in den untersten 300 Metern. Diese Bedingungen fördern den von den kanadischen Kollegen von Environment Canada gemessenen Verlust des bodennahen Ozons über dem Meereis, hervorgerufen durch Reaktion mit Bromoxid. Die Kombination aller Spurengasmessungen mit den atmosphärischen Sondierungen wird es ermöglichen, die Prozesse des bodennahen Ozonabbaus in der Arktis besser zu verstehen.

    Nur durch die enge internationale Zusammenarbeit zwischen allen Partnern konnte diese logistisch aufwendige Kampagne mit Aufenthaltsorten in vier Arktis-Anrainerstaaten erfolgreich bewältigt werden.

    Hinweise für Redaktionen:

    Ihre Ansprechpartner sind Prof. Dr. Klaus Dethloff (Tel. 0331 228-2104; E-Mail: Klaus.Dethloff@awi.de) und Dr. Andreas Herber (Tel. 0471 4831-1489; E-Mail: Andreas.Herber@awi.de) sowie in der Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit Folke Mehrtens (Tel. 0471 4831-2007; E-Mail: Folke.Mehrtens@awi.de). Druckbare Bilder finden Sie auf unserer Webseite unter http://www.awi.de/

    Das Alfred-Wegener-Institut forscht in der Arktis, Antarktis und den Ozeanen der mittleren sowie hohen Breiten. Es koordiniert die Polarforschung in Deutschland und stellt wichtige Infrastruktur wie den Forschungseisbrecher Polarstern und Stationen in der Arktis und Antarktis für die internationale Wissenschaft zur Verfügung. Das Alfred-Wegener-Institut ist eines der fünfzehn Forschungszentren der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, der größten Wissenschaftsorganisation Deutschlands.

  51. This from Billingsgate London. Billingsgate is the site of the old fish market.
    Strong smell of fish about this quote from Pen Hadow.

    Ice thickness worse than ‘most aggressive forecasts’

    The immediacy of the need to take action was illustrated in a unique way by a live link up to Pen Hadow, an arctic explorer and leader of the Catlin Arctic Survey survey team, who are measuring the impact of climate change on the ice caps. Live in front of the influential audience, Pen Hadow was able to illustrate in real terms just how much impact climate change is having on the thickness of the ice, and that the grave reality is worse than even the most aggressive forecasts predicted.

    In his address that followed the link up to Pen Hadow, HRH Prince of Wales warned that the May Day global distress call is still going unanswered and that the ‘doomsday clock’ really is ticking.

    Oh Dear! Sniff sniff, Where is the air freshener?

  52. Pamela Gray

    Thanks – I recall others saying they thought the Jet Stream would head equatorwards in a cooling scenario so your observation is very interesting. Trouble is I cannot remember who said it would head south!

    If Stephen Wilde is reading this thread I recall he had some good thoughts on atmospheric circulation – perhaps he could comment?

  53. Pamela Gray (09:37:57) :
    “The bowl is plugged with hard ice, the winds are in the wrong direction and lack energy”

    Thanks for the resource links. That 300 mb image can make your eyes hurt.

    If your following the winds, it would be useful for you to post what’s happening periodically. IMHO, winds and currents are vastly overlooked as a major driving factor in seasonal ice loss. Have you seen any good resources tracking currents and SST’s in the arctic on a daily basis?

  54. Guys, I’m just a school teacher who is over-educated (and still going to school after a BS and two Masters). I am only repeating what I have learned by following a fairly serious course of study in an area I consider to be one of my hobbies. I love anything having to do with weather. But just so ya know, I am no peer-reviewed expert on weather or climate. Any person who takes the time to post here in the comments section that is like me (a non-expert) can easily learn what I have learned. Just do it every day. But only if you really like it 7 days a week. Even on Sundays.

  55. If not O/T, the April numbers are in for Heating Degree Days for the Los Angeles area.

    Long-term Normal is 83 HDD.
    Actual is 102 HDD.

    That is 22.9 percent above normal. Meaning it was much colder than normal.

    In fairness, the Cooling Degree Days were also slightly below normal, with 53 compared to 58 for an 8.6 percent change.

    The GCMs tell us that global warming caused by man-made CO2 will cause the low temperatures to increase. Obviously, that did not happen in the month of April, 2009, in Los Angeles.

    Maybe next month?

  56. Steve You might want to contact CT about this (re image above)

    Bet you will not get a reply….

  57. Paul James (11:48:20) :

    “fo pah” is “faux pas” if we’re going to get picky.

    I wasn’t being picky – I was trying to be funny. Quelques personnes n’ont pas de sens de l’ironie.

  58. Ice has been increasing impressively in the Barents Sea between Svalbaard and Novaya Zemlya:

    h/t to Kiwistonewall on sc24.com…

  59. Steve Goddard (10:51:50) :

    Thanks for the reply.

    I guess my next question is, why would they ignore data after ’00? An answer that comes to mind would be to make global warming look as bad as possible which suggests to me a bit of politics in play over objective science.

  60. In the previous post, Steve Goddard wrote: “But something odd happened with the NANSEN data on December 13, 2008. Overnight it lost about 500,000 km2 of ice.”

    Isn’t this the specific event that Dr. Meier should be asked to address?

    Why did sea ice drop by 500,000km2 on December13, 2008?

    Is it an explainable event? Is it within reasonable parameters? Or is it an anomaly/error that has gone undetected until now and that Dr. Meier would be grateful that it has been uncovered since it will improve the accuracy of his data base?

  61. Is this another one of those data sets where they “weight” certain parts of the data conveniently? Is it appropriate to weight the Bering Sea greater? The entire Sea lies below the Arctic Circle, so is it even appropriate to call this Arctic Ice?

  62. We can go quite a bit farther back than 1979. Some accuracy will be lost, but it’s not difficult to show the trend based on other records. This link gives some good examples: click.

    Since the planet began its last warming trend around 1980, it is no surprise that the extent of sea ice would gradually contract. Time will tell if the current global cooling continues. If it does, then it would be reasonable to expect global sea ice to gradually increase.

  63. PaulHClark 12:28:20

    Thanks for the testimonial. Sometimes I wonder if anyone notices.

    As regards the jet streams I use the terms poleward or equatorward rather trhan north or south.

    I noticed them move poleward during the warming spell and I noticed them star to move back equatorward around 2000.

    They moved to their most equatorward position so far after the recent strong La Nina but are currently moving back poleward a little in response to the current neutral ENSO conditions.

    However I judge that they are still in a net cooling position with lots of surges poleward and equatorward as they loop about.

    I have said that the latitudinal position of the air circulation systems (especially the jets and the high pressure cells either side) is the best indicator we have as to what the global air temperature trend is doing.

    The position is controlled by the energy emission rate of the oceans as a whole and the positions adjust the rate of energy flow from surface to space to prevent any disequilibrium between sea surface temperate and surface air temperature however caused.

    As a mere blogger I expect it to take a while for my concepts to be taken seriously but if the real world keeps behaving accordingly then note will be taken eventually.

    See these comments made elsewhere about the Met Office summer forecast for the UK: Please forgive the ironic tone, it was intended for a less scientific audience and, of course I won’t be sure myself unless the planet proves it.

    “Remarkable.

    The Met. Office is basing the entire UK summer forecast on ocean cycles and the latitudinal position of the jet streams which is what I have been suggesting for a year now. Have they been reading my material ?

    My winter forecast was spot on having relied upon both ocean cycles and jet stream positions (see below). At least they can still take advice.

    The trouble is that they are relying on the Pacific only instead of the net combined effect of all the ocean cycles and for us the Atlantic is more important in the short term.

    Additionally they have ignored the Pacific Decadal Oscillation which, when negative as now, has the effect of offsetting warm El Nino and enhancing cool La Nina.

    I’d expect a slightly warmer summer than the past two but not as warm as the Met Office expectation.

    The strong cooling La Nina of a couple of years ago is still to work through the Atlantic and the current neutral Pacific conditions are not enough to offset the cooling effect of the other cooler ocean cycles and the current weak sun.

    However one looks at it the primary global air temperature drivers are sun and oceans with CO2 yet to be shown as having any measurable effect at all.

    The failure of the Met. Office predictions over recent years has been due to attributing too much weight to CO2 and not enough to natural influences.

    Meanwhile the Arctic ice is recovering and Antarctic ice is at a high level.

    I wonder when the media will wake up ?

    Winter prediction for UK issued by Stephen Wilde, October 2008:

    “On balance I think the coming winter will be colder and drier than the long term average, possibly by a surprising margin but too much depends on the winter jet stream which can be very unpredictable in Western Europe.

    Last winter was, as they say, warmer than the average here and in W Europe. However that was during a colder than average N Hemisphere winter overall.

    What happened was that the plunges of cold air over N America distorted the jet stream which then approached us persistently from the South West bringing frequent flows of mild air.

    Since the recent global cooling trend has intensified since last winter (edit: due to the cooling oceans) I suspect that the jet stream will this year push more often into the Mediterranean thus cutting off the supply of warm air to us. IF that happens (no guarantee) then the Greenland and Scandinavian high pressure cells will affect us more than for many years past and give us persistent cold.”

  64. Maybe they should correct the graph for “second year” ice. The nsidc graph which purported to show how much bad “second year” ice there was so odd because it was the only mention of “second year” ice on the nsidc website.

    “Sea ice is classified by stages of development that relate to thickness and age. Most scientists describe sea ice only by its age, typically as first-year or multiyear. However, some experts who chart the extent of ice for navigational purposes use specific terms to relate the thickness of ice to its age”
    …. http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/index.html

    “Multiyear ice has distinct properties that distinguish it from first-year ice, based on processes that occur during the summer melt. Multiyear ice contains much less brine and more air pockets than first-year ice. Less brine means “stiffer” ice that is more difficult for icebreakers to navigate and clear.”
    …. http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/multiyear.html

    Anthony has already pointed out that Bouy 2008B has shown a characteristic increase from 2m to 3m (6ft to 9ft) that indicates a transition from first year to multi-year ice:
    http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/2008B.htm

    On the other hand, the (non-land fast) ice is really staring to move off Barrow:
    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/barrow_radar.html

    Regards,
    Bob

  65. Does anyone have a good argument why the Sea of Okhotsk is figured in as Artic sea ice? Obviously, “it’s always been done that way” so it continues that way for comparison sake.

    Yet it fails all three definitions of Arctic (see “the following map shows three definitions of the Arctic: the tree line; the 10 degrees Celsius isotherm, and the Arctic Circle”.)
    http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/basics/arctic_definition.html

    All least Hudson Bay is physically connected and part of it is in the isotherm boundary. The Sea of Okhotsk obviously gets significant sea ice unlike the Baltic Sea, but the Gulf of Bothnia has about the same relationship in terms of relative location. Suggestions have been made that the Antarctic Peninsula should be treated separately. If the huge variability of the Sea of Okhotsk was removed, the Arctic Sea ice even closer to the average. So I know that it won’t be removed.

    Regards,
    Bob

  66. When are we going to see some brave journalists in the mainstream media start questioning the fallacy of anthropogenic climate change?

  67. A bit to the side of topic. In today’s Australian there is an article noting that Dr Watkins a scientist in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology claims the Australian monitoring of temperatures in East Antarctica show warming over the last three decades. This is in direct contrast to the British Antarctic Survey findings. Dr Watkins is reported to have told The Australian

    “”You kept going until you got the answer you wanted,” Dr Watkins said.

    “You were told explicitly that the data collected by the Bureau of Metereology at the Australian bases shows a warming for maximum temperatures at all bases, and minimum temperatures at all but Mawson.”

    The leader of the BAS Professor Turner is quoted

    However, Professor Turner told The Weekend Australian the data showed a cooling of the East Antarctica coast associated with the onset of the ozone layer from 1980 onwards. Professor Turner said the monthly mean temperatures for Casey station from 1980 to 2005 showed a cooling of 0.45C per decade. In autumn, the temperature trend has been a cooling of 0.93C per decade.

    Dr Watkins then is reported as saying

    “However, Dr Watkins admitted that analysis of the data might show “an ozone-induced cooling trend in the latter half of the record” — a reference to the past three decades.

    Dr Watkins declined to release the temperature data to The Weekend Australian. He said it had still to be fully analysed by the bureau.

    At least Dr Meier does not appear to obfuscate and state that what is happening is in fact the reverse of reality

  68. Bela (10:27:33) :

    What about antarctic ice volume as studied by GRACE at the University of Colorado, which says the mass is decreasing?

    I dont know, do you have a link to anything on this? Just a quick approximation tells me that if i assume the average thickness is 1m, that with losses on the shelf being around 2210km2 that it would need to be over 452m thick, seems unlikely.

    But then i have no idea what the “average” thickness is.

  69. Think about the absurdity of this statement.

    “The Stock Market has been declining for 30 years, and is currently at the 30 year mean.”

    a pretty bad example, as the stocks don t tend to show seasonal variations.

    how about this one:

    the number of grapes harvest helpers in the region has seen a steady decline over the past 20 years. though today, it is at the 20 years mean for this time of the year: ZERO, as every Christmas day…

  70. Last January I noticed that the “sea ice anomaly” graphs on “The Cryosphere Today”
    (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html)
    did not match up with the total sea ice anomaly:

    Currently the numbers are:
    Area anomaly (mi sq km)
    Arctic Basin 0.0
    Baffin/Newfoundland Bay -0.04
    Barents Sea -0.08
    Beaufort Sea -0.06
    Bering Sea 0.08
    Canadian Archipelago 0.0
    Chuckchi Sea -0.02
    East Siberian Sea -0.02
    Greenland Sea -0.02
    Hudson Bay 0.0
    Kara Sea 0.0
    Laptev Sea -0.04
    Sea of Okhotsk -0.16
    St. Lawrence 0.0
    Total -0.36 mi sq km

    This compares with a total of -0.60 mi sq km. That works out to a discrepancy of 0.24 mi sq km, which appears larger than any single anomaly. I know that in the grand scheme of ice edges and bad sensors that this is no big deal. But, all the graphs should be based on the same data at least on the same site.

    I sent an email using the link and the website about it. My email and the reply follow below. I haven’t heard anything since then.

    Regards,
    Bob

    From: William Chapman
    To: rjtatz@chemistry.ohio-state.edu
    Subject: Re: recent ice area graph for NH
    Date sent: Tue, 13 Jan 2009 12:10:15 -0600

    Bob,

    This is a good question. I would think they should be pretty close.
    The only thing I can think of
    is that maybe the smallish regions that are not included in the
    regional breakdown are responsible
    for the difference. One possibility is the Baltic Sea region.
    Another might be the Sea of Japan. There
    may be others. I’ll look into this a little more and see if I can
    find something.

    Thanks for pointing this out.

    Bill

    On Jan 13, 2009, at 11:45 AM, rjtatz@chemistry.ohio-state.edu wrote:

    Sorry to bother you but I have a question about the recent ice area
    graph for NH. The regional sea ice graphs are very helpful to see where
    the deficit for sea ice is. What I can’t figure out is that if I sum the 14 areas
    to give total to compare with the recent ice area graph, I get roughly the
    same number. But it I total the anomaly, it does not agree with the recent
    ice area graph. For the data from 1/12/09, I get 0.6-0.65 (mil sq km) by totaling
    the 14 area graphs while the recent ice area graph shows about 1.0.
    I can’t see that there are other areas to include. I don’t think I am reading
    the graphs incorrectly (I tried to round higher for each negative anomaly).
    I’ve tried it a number of days and get similar results. I recognize
    that you would just determine the whole area to give the recent ice area
    graph. I can’t figure out where the discrepancy is from. I suppose some
    areas might overlap but then the totals should not agree (although 0.35 mil
    sq km is small relative to the total). So is there a reason the total anomaly does not
    agree?

    Thanks,
    Bob Tatz
    > rjtatz@chemistry.ohio-state.edu
    ——- End of forwarded message ——-

  71. bsneath (13:39:30) :

    In the previous post, Steve Goddard wrote: “But something odd happened with the NANSEN data on December 13, 2008. Overnight it lost about 500,000 km2 of ice.”

    Isn’t this the specific event that Dr. Meier should be asked to address?

    No. Dr. Meier works with the NSIDC and is not involved with the NANSEN data. As a professional, he would never speculate on someone else’s data problems.

  72. Frederick,

    Au contraire. When it is a small community of ice experts, I would think it would be their obligation to sort out discrepancies, like how UAH and RSS do for example.

    Speaking of which, It is unfortunate that some of the other keepers of temperature records aren’t so eager to find out what is inconsistent with their data. Or perhaps they already know?

  73. O/T but I believe crucial.
    A couple of threads ago we were told by a poster (Dash RIPROCK III) about a lecture he/she had just attended given by Lord Moncton of Brenchley.

    Thanks to a link, kindly provided by that poster, I have just sat, for 90 minutes, mesmerised by a speaker whose sheer brilliance, flawless logic and impeccable delivery rips into the myth of Global Warming with ruthless, and occasionally humorous, efficiency.

    After watching this video, I eagerly scoured subsequent posts to find out what others thought of it. I found no posts referring to the link provided. Not one!
    Lord Moncton is a phenomenon with the potential to be, to the Global Warming brigade, what James Bond was to SPECTRE!

    Even if you’ve seen his “Apocolypse, NO!” video – this is still worth watching as he gives a little insight into his recent non-debate with big Al.

    Whether you’re a sceptic or a warmer, please take an hour and a half to listen to this man. Suspend your disbelief if you need to, but do hear him out.

    Heres the link.

    http://yct.tamu.edu/

  74. The Iceberg @ 09:02:29

    When the Polar Jet does reduce we might see the real Arctic ice situation is like

    I don’t understand your comment.

    We are seeing the “real ice situation” right now. Oh, those Polar Jets are interfering with the “real world”. But aren’t they too part of the “real world” , perhaps not predicted by computer models, but there they are, anominously perturbating like crazy.

  75. Frederick / Steven,
    Wasn’t the large reduction in sea ice because their satellite had failed and they hadn’t noticed?

  76. Jim Cripwell @09:13:18

    It’s M’aidez!! The imperative, old man, the imperative!

  77. Paul James (11:48:20) :

    “fo pah” is “faux pas” if we’re going to get picky.

    You can’t expect your average jeaux bleaux like me to know the difference.

  78. Pieter has it correct on mayday. Pan-pan would be the proper call for a possible collision situation. CQD is an early Morse code distress call from the Q set of int’l Morse code shortforms- made up of CQ – general call to all stations, and D to indicate its a distress call (dah.di.dah.dit dah.dah.didah – Dah.didit) . SOS was not in common usage for commercial maritime distress (and if you’ve ever been unfortunate to hear either one emanating from a stormy ocean in the middle of the night, you will truly know what a shiver up the spine feels like…:( . Now, what was that about ice…? :)

  79. BTW – I’ve got a friend who was at the BITC thing (if I’d known Penn was going to be involved I’d have been there myself). I’ll try and get notes. If I can I’ll email AW/SG and make them available for a post.
    To be fair though, from the summary I got this afternoon whilst my friend was on his way back from it we could probably have written it ourselves.
    Cold, hungry, waiting for resupply, thin 1st year ice avg 1.7m thick, etc.

  80. Pamela

    I was thinking to myself that I knew someone had posted here recently on jet streams, had a search asnd realised it was me! Here is a repeat-hope it helps-the Lamb stuff is fascinating.

    ” Hi Stephen

    I agree. In fact I had a conversation with someone on this very blog a few months ago about this subject. I post here the comment and would be interested in your thoughts. Two bad UK summers in a row were directly caused by the ‘wrong’ position of the jet stream.

    “A Wod (07:36:50) :
    Tony writes:
    I do not know of any scientific study looking for correlation of weather/climate to jet streams or any dominant weather system. A thread would be interesting.

    H Lamb’s book on Climate history and modern man, of which a part is here looks at how the Jet Stream has changed over England Lamb’s book. Page 54, figure 18,shows how westerly winds have changed over time over England since 1340

    http://books.google.com/books?id=0Nucx3udvnoC&dq=Lamb+climate+history&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=5k7mMr3QN8&sig=dwRB-v7XRE-P5ZmbSV730bMt07Y&hl=es&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result

    See here
    http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/elements/jetstream1.htm
    for some really good info on the jet stream. It drives lots of weather patterns and when it shifts, so does the weather pattern. Large loops can fool you into thinking that weather drivers on the East Coast come in from the Northeast and are not a part of the energy coming from the West. The exception is this: As you travel closer to equatorial climates, one gets further away from the NH jet stream influence. Anyway, enjoy the site.”

    Tonyb

  81. Stephen Wilde @14:00:12

    Don’t be so down upon yourself :-)

    Your site is one of 8 or so I visit daily (not all about AGM).

    As to the Polar/Equatorial motion of the jet streams, I recall somewhere reading a theory of Moon orbital variation dragging the high pressure bands along with it. It had a 27 year period, if I recall correctly.

    Can someone inform my poor memory?

  82. Okay, one last time. Weather and climate variables when shown as an average always end with a year ending with a zero. When the data is available they use 30 years. When they update after 2010 is in the string of numbers will be moved forward by 10 years. Please do not ask why they drop ten at the front and add ten at the back; that’s the definition of “normal.”

  83. Since we’re having such a multicultural evening with all this francais, here is part of Tony Hancock’s famous “MAYDAY” comedy sketch. Follow links or google for more fun – it just gets better throughout the sketch :-)

  84. “The Iceberg @ 09:02:29
    When the Polar Jet does reduce we might see the real Arctic ice situation is like..”

    Don’t believe your own eyes… only believe what you are told by the “consensus”.

  85. “A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually.” – Abba Eban, Israeli statesman, diplomat, and scholar.

  86. The first question I always ask when reading that two people have produced different results from measuring / analysing the same thing is: “are they actually measuring / analysing the same thing?” Do these two organisations actually deal with exactly the same geographical area?

  87. From Bela’s link:

    “The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment, completed in 2001, predicted the Antarctic ice sheet would gain mass in the 21st century due to increased precipitation in a warming climate. But the new study signals a reduction in the continent’s total ice mass, with the bulk of loss occurring in the West Antarctic ice sheet, said Velicogna.”

    So, from that would one not conclude that the climate must be cooling? They can spin stuff anyway they want it seems.

  88. They can spin all they want, as long as they don’t land on Bankrupt or Lose-a-turn. At this rate, though, they will run out of vowels to buy.
    Somebody else is ready to solve the puzzle, and they still don’t have a clue.

  89. You don’t suppose all the Antarctic Ice Shelf melting got refrozen on the other side of the world, do you?
    Darn sea levels are stuck.
    Aunt Artica giveth, Uncle Artic taketh away.

  90. I think the gist is with the satellites measuring mass (ice mass), the data says it’s decreasing. I am not getting much response here. Not sure why.

    Bela

  91. Jim Cripwell (09:13:18) sed :

    “Please. The call for distress is not Mayday but M’Aide (with an acute accent of the e.”

    WHG sed: tomato, tomahto

  92. “deadwood (09:06:44) said::
    Any bets on how long before they “adjust”?”

    Deadwood,

    My money is on late Friday (May 8) afternoon!

  93. Robert Wood (16:31:25) :

    As to the Polar/Equatorial motion of the jet streams, I recall somewhere reading a theory of Moon orbital variation dragging the high pressure bands along with it. It had a 27 year period, if I recall correctly.

    Can someone inform my poor memory?

    I believe you’re referring to the e-book:
    GlobalWarming – Global Cooling
    Natural Cause Found

    which can be freely downloaded at:
    http://www.globalweathercycles.com/index.html

  94. Flanagan (10:55:11) :

    I do not see the point either. So, MAYBE the arctic will come back to its normal extent for a few days in the last 10 years? And are you actually going to make titles with that? This is called in here “l’énergie du désespoir”. For those who understand…

    If I were you, I would wait for the summer minimum.

    Perhaps you should also wait until the summer minimum to characterize the current condition as “a few days in the last 10 years”.  :-)

    I do agree that we will not know the full story until the end of September.  However, the trend is definitely towards more ice at the same time that CO2 is just going up and up.  That weather is sure fickle.

    –Mike Ramsey

  95. Bela (19:54:19) :

    Thanks for the link, that study is showing a decrease on the west antarctic peninsular, which may be born of ocean currents more than atmospheric temperatures.
    http://tinyurl.com/dnzlok its not a new thing. Long before we had anything to do it.

    The increase in sea ice may also be showing a shift in currents.

  96. Robert Wood (15:43:06) :

    Jim Cripwell @09:13:18

    It’s M’aidez!! The imperative, old man, the imperative!

    Robert, if you think “M’aidez” is the imperative, what do you suppose “Aidez-moi” is?

  97. Vernon, Squidly, and gary gulrud — Thanks for the explanation! I misread the graph (accustomed to seeing moving averages on graphs).

    Radar expresses my question better than I did (i.e., correctly). The baseline period includes the trend, which gives a poor basis for comparison. Comparing the current datapoint vs. a long moving average (e.g., 5 years) would show the trend far better than using a fixed average.

    The historical trend is clearly seen in the graph of Average March extent since 1979. One outlier in this noisy data might not indicate a break in the down trend. Take the graph, draw the March average of aprox 15.5. The March 2009 was almost at the average (15.2 roughly), but still showing a downward trend. If the march 2009 dot was at the average, the trend would still be clearly down.

    Steve Goddard: “The Stock Market has been declining for 30 years, and is currently at the 30 year mean.”

    If the base period is part of the trend, this is perfectly consistent with a falling market. Which is why technical analysts (using price patterns to predict future prices) use moving averages (or more sophisticated methods, like relative strength or stocastics), not fixed averages.

    CodeTech: “Actually, Fabius has demonstrated a truly unique way of reading graphs. Apparently this is the “new” AGW method.”

    I recommend not jumping to conclusions, nor copying the clubhouse antics of RealClimate. I have written 55 articles, on this topic — all skeptical about AGW.

    I asked a question, got a correction, then someone re-stated the issue more clearly. Which is why this is such a great site, and far superior to RealClimate.

  98. actually it’s m’aidez, it derives from french which means: help me.
    As english speakers don’t speak french to well its become garbled.

  99. A little sign of a solid ice condition in the arctic:

    First take a look at the NSIDC arctic situation:

    In general we are close to normal. And there is a little thing that will support the arctic anomaly curves for a while more at least.

    The Okhotsk sea, east of Siberia is perhaps the main reason that we have not yet actually crossed the normal line for ice anomaly.

    This is indeed interesting because, the Okhotsk sea will allways melt totaly around June. This means, the the negative anomaly from that area will be omitted within a good month or so.

    Get the point?

    Never mind what happends, the Okhotsk sea in the coming 5 weeks will contribute with perhaps 0,3-0,5 mio kvm2 + in sea ice anomaly.

    Ice anomaly will go from negative to zero in that area.

    Here the Okhotsk trends on Cryosphere, but please be aware that Cryosphere uses sea ice concentration and not sea ice area, so the approx -0,17 mio kvm2 og present negative ice anomaly is perhaps half the number in NSIDC calculation.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.14.html

    Cheers!

  100. TonyB (16:19:08) :

    I remember a few years ago, at the time when I didn’t doubt AGW (because I had not checked), I read an article in American Scientist which surprised me. We were always taught in school that the relative warm climate in Europe was due to the gulf stream. However, I always wondered how it could be that winter temperatures could vary by 20 degrees centigrade or more over short time periods if the sea temperatures controlled the air temperatures exclusively.

    Here is the article
    The Source of Europe’s Mild Climate
    The notion that the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping Europe anomalously warm turns out to be a myth
    http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/feature/2006/4/the-source-of-europes-mild-climate/1

    It explains that the jet streams plays a major role for temperatures in Europe.

  101. Why is the verage taken from 1979 to 2000? Is there anything special about this time frame? Thanks for filling me in even if it turns out to be a silly question.

  102. Fabius Maximus

    You host an interesting site. Although I’m Australian I shall visit regularly. Part of the joy of visiting sites such as WUWT, you find links you would never otherwise have known existed.

  103. The problem is that the Barents sea, which makes almost all the difference with previous years, is always completely ice-free in the summer.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

    It is filled rightnow with multi-year ice that drifted from northern latitudes

    So there are two possibilities
    1- there is an inversion of he wind pattern and the ice will be pushed back to where it comes from
    2- the ice stays there and will completely melt in the summer, which would greatly reduce the amount of multi-year ice

  104. Mass/volume loss, if accurate, is much more significant than stable area don’t you agree?

    Bela

  105. Bela,

    Ice area is what controls the albedo and thus affects the “climate.”

  106. Ok, that’s fine. But the claim is that loss of mass is just another piece of evidence for AGW (which is not my position). If mass/volume decreases, it must be added to the ocean thereby raising water levels and killing everyone on the planet in 5 years!

  107. OT:

    It would bee nice if the navigation for the articles was sorted with numbers (ex. 1 2 3 … last) instead of “See more entries”

    Here’s the code to replace it.

    ————————-

    Also it would be even better if you could add a page with a list of All the articles (just the tittles).

    I can help if you want me to.

  108. Bela,

    The Grace satellites, while a great example of engineering, is showing such small changes in ice balance, that the numbers are within the margin of error (of the measurements themselves and of the adjustments required to account for other normal changes in gravity). When combined with gravity changes due to land subsidence, post-glacial rebound, ocean temperature, soil moisture changes, mantle plumes and plate tectonics, the measurements are not reliable enough.

    For example, Grace measurments of Greenland have to be corrected for changes caused by post-glacial rebound in Hudson Bay and in Scandinavia.

    And if Antarctica is losing 156 cubic kilometres of ice volume per year, then that should be compared to the 30,000,000 cubic kilometres that is there already.

    And I believe there has been some corrections of even these numbers recently showing ice loss on parts of the coastal regions of Antarctica and ice gain in the interior.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008AGUFM.G31A0643Y

    ftp://ftp.csr.utexas.edu/pub/ggfc/papers/EPSL_9011.pdf

  109. Having used “Mayday” in my aviation career,(Usually when something important has just quit working , has fallen off the aircraft or has started smoking when it shouldn’t)
    The “Mayday” here is the warmist oh, Zeppelin which has now sprung a leak and is heading into the Arctic icepack…

  110. Bela (03:19:43) : There was not just one speaking of mass loss.

    From your link:

    For millions of years, Antarctica, the frozen continent at the southern end of the planet, has been encased in a gigantic sheet of ice. Recently, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite has been taking sensitive measurements of the gravity for the entire Earth, including Antarctica. Recent analysis of GRACE data indicate that the Antarctic ice sheet might have lost enough mass to cause the worlds’ oceans to rise about .05 inches, on the average, from between 2002 and 2005.

    .05inches X 33.3yrs = 1.665 inches/century.

    A tad alarmist, wouldn’t you say. I also wonder about the accuracy of “about .05 inches”.

  111. As the arctic sea ice extent line once again neared the average line, NSIDC has bent the line down, again. Probably just another normal procedure to better represent the current ice trend but still something to spur some of my cynicism.
    Oh never mind.

  112. The horse comes before the cart, except when they’re reversing.
    Warming comes before CO2, except in the movie.
    French imperative verbs come before their object pronouns, except when they’re negative.
    If you want to say “Don’t help me!” you can say “Ne m’aidez pas”.
    However, if you actually want to be rescued, you should try “Aidez-moi” or “Venez m’aider” or “il faut que vous m’aidez”.

  113. Flanagan (04:57:46) :

    There is very little multi-year ice in the Barents Sea. The Svalbard and Franz Joseph archipelagoes pretty well blocks the ice from the north. Most of the multi-year ice comes south through the Fram strait. The recent expansion of ice in the Barents sea has occurred through the usual process of the ice there being blown south, which opens up leads south of Svalbard and (especially) Franz Josephs Land which then re-freeze, as is obvious if you have been following the process.

  114. Glenn (23:54:59) :

    Got this pic from ICECAP, of a “NASA Observatory” image that seems to show some Arctic ice detail, and compared it to Cryosphere. Anyone see a clear discrepancy?

    http://www.examiner.com/x-1586-Baltimore-Weather-Examiner~y2009m4d29-NASAs-Earth-Observatory-10th-anniversary-top-10-images

    Look what I found on the 9th photo in that slide show:

    “Our Sun experienced fewer spots in 2008 than it had since the 1957 launch of Sputnik. As of March 2009, the Sun was still in its quiet pattern, explaining recent cooling.

  115. from: http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/lanina_new_faq.html

    Contrasting El Niño and La Niña winters, the jet stream over the United States is considerably different. During El Niño the jet stream is oriented from west to east over the northern Gulf of Mexico and northern Florida. Thus this region is most susceptible to severe weather. During La Niña the jet stream extends from the central Rockies east- northeastward to the eastern Great Lakes. Thus severe weather is likely to be further north and west during La Niña than El Niño.

  116. Yeah, it’s the day after Mayday, but yesterday was just as bad…

    I’m sitting (as we approach noon) at 50 something degrees with rain showers. In California. I think I know what the albedo change looks like…

    For the past 40 years or so I’ve lived in the same area. May is usually warmer and dryer. Yeah, it’s possible to have days like this in April and May and be “normal”. What’s different this time is the duration (IMHO). No, I have no metric for this, but my personal experience base remembers more BBQ and early tomatoes and a lot less “still harvesting kale, and peas with new flowers” along with a lot less “several days in a row of overcast and drizzle”. I’m sitting here thinking “Do I have any dry wood for a fire?” when a typical May has “Where’s the lemonade and turn on the AC”.

    So how many anecdotes make a pattern?

  117. Fabius Maximus (08:54:57) : […] compare 1 May to past May firsts, or show a long-term graph of the data. […] With such strong seasonal swings, comparing May first vs. the average tells us little.

    What you ought to have said was ‘comparing May first vs. the average of prior May firsts since that is what “the average” in the graph really shows. It shows the average of prior years for each day of the year…

    So the fact that this May 1st is the same more or less as the average of all other May firsts (which is what is shown on the May 1st date of the average curve) is very useful. It says that we are absolutely normal for arctic ice.

  118. Flanagan (04:57:46) :

    You write: “The problem is that the Barents sea, which makes almost all the difference with previous years, is always completely ice-free in the summer.”

    This is somewhat true, but the longer the Barents sea holds ice it does to some degree prevent melting of other ice areas. So, more ice in Barents sea is just more ice.

    The area around the Barents sea has been really cold for months, which has obviously contributed to the ice formation.

  119. Pamela Gray (10:33:43) : Loopiness allows mixing and extreme weather pattern variation. Hot here, cold there.

    I find it helpful to think of it as a spherical lava lamp. Hot tropical air (powered by a 30 year accumulation of ocean heat) makes blobs headed to the cold pole. Colder than typical polar air makes blobs of cold headed south. A big ‘heat engine’ driven by the differential temperature redistributing the heat from the topical oceans to the polar zones for radiation away.

    Don’t know if it’s the correct physics, but I find it a helpful image… ;-)

  120. Flanagan (10:55:11) :[…] arctic will come back to its normal extent for a few days in the last 10 years?

    skeptic (11:01:56) : Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly.. right now, the sea ice has been well below average for about 95% of the graph, and at normal (giving it the benefit of the doubt) about 5% of the time. […]

    A reasonable person would look at all the data and likely conclude

    A reasonable person would conclude that if you are at normal you are normal and we are at normal. Or would you conclude that a fever dropping to 98.6 F means you are still at 105?

    By contrast, a cherry picker would sieze on the one measurement that supports his viewpoint and write a whole blog post about it

    Nah. A cherry picker would calculate the rate of increase from the abnormally low level back to normal and pronounce: “Record Rate Of Sea Ice Creation!!! More ICE Formed (per day) than in YEARS!!!

    If the datum doesn’t support you, perhaps the integral (or derivative) will… that’s the kind of thing the AGW crowd does all the time…

  121. Fabius Maximus (23:11:31) : Comparing the current datapoint vs. a long moving average (e.g., 5 years) would show the trend far better than using a fixed average. […] Which is why technical analysts (using price patterns to predict future prices) use moving averages (or more sophisticated methods, like relative strength or stocastics), not fixed averages.

    Yup. Your example would be a “price vs Simple Moving Average” (temp vs moving average of temp) and is my most basic indicator and where I start from on reaching understanding. My second “go to indicator” is the MACD the Moving Average Convergence Divergence that takes two moving averages of different length and compares them (crossovers indicate turning points most of the time). The stochastic responds faster in a trendless market so is good for fast trading flat stocks (would tell you weather better) while the MACD is slower but works best with trending markets (would tell you longer term changes happening in a truly warming or cooling climate and would call inflections in that trend fairly well).

    I do think that many of the stock tools could be used to good effect in weather and climate predicting. I explain the ones I use here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/indicators/

  122. “E.M.Smith (13:25:56) :

    Pamela Gray (10:33:43) : Loopiness allows mixing and extreme weather pattern variation. Hot here, cold there.

    I find it helpful to think of it as a spherical lava lamp. Hot tropical air (powered by a 30 year accumulation of ocean heat) makes blobs headed to the cold pole. Colder than typical polar air makes blobs of cold headed south. A big ‘heat engine’ driven by the differential temperature redistributing the heat from the topical oceans to the polar zones for radiation away.

    Don’t know if it’s the correct physics, but I find it a helpful image… ;-)”

    Near enough but may I suggest the following:

    1) Warming of air by the oceans pushes energy into the air, expanding the equatorial air masses, and the extra energy in the air is then accelerated to space.

    2) Cooling of air by the oceans shrinks the equatorial air masses so that larger and more frequent surges of colder drier polar air move towards the equator across larger areas of ocean and pull energy from the oceans to try and balance the energy flow to space with energy from the oceans.

    3) The air can push extra energy to space and pull it from the oceans.

    4) The air cannot pull energy from space or push it into the oceans.

    That says it all really.

  123. As of today the NSIDC graph has either been altered or a decent area melted because not the line has bent downward a tad and it is running parallel to the average line meaning that it will take longer for it to hit average.

    Every time it gets too close it mysteriously bends downward a little so that way it will take even longer to reach the average line…I smell something, and it smells like bias.

  124. Garrett (19:18:58) :

    As of today the NSIDC graph has either been altered or a decent area melted because not the line has bent downward a tad and it is running parallel to the average line meaning that it will take longer for it to hit average.

    Every time it gets too close it mysteriously bends downward a little so that way it will take even longer to reach the average line…I smell something, and it smells like bias.

    Not long ago, the line was altered upwards. If you watch it every day for a few months you will be convinced (as I have) that it’s just real data, subject to a simple smoothing algorithm. The previous couple of days were adjusted downwards retroactively, based on the information learned from the latest day. You can quibble that they should just publish a jagged graph with no smoothing but even JAXA’s AMSR-E uses a running 2 day average and it’s a lot more jagged.

    If Dr. Meier wants to tell us his smoothing algorithm, I’d be interested but it’s not important. (I’ll bet it has the word “exponential” in it.)

    Remember, right now the other arctic sea ice graphs show less recovery than NSIDC’s. If you’re looking for something that smells, go sniff them.

  125. Well, NASA satellite measurements just revealed there are very large parts of deep-arctic zones that are covered with very thin ice layers. This is especially striking if one takes a look at the sea ice concentration rightnow

    There are some immense patches of low-concentration ice right in the middle of the Arctic basin, which I never observed before at this time of the year. Even the multi-year ice that drifted in the Barents sea is beginning to melt now. Given the wind pattern we had, we might well be heading for a new record.

  126. Flanagan (03:13:29) :

    Well, NASA satellite measurements just revealed there are very large parts of deep-arctic zones that are covered with very thin ice layers. This is especially striking if one takes a look at the sea ice concentration rightnow

    There are some immense patches of low-concentration ice right in the middle of the Arctic basin, which I never observed before at this time of the year. Even the multi-year ice that drifted in the Barents sea is beginning to melt now. Given the wind pattern we had, we might well be heading for a new record.

    The use of colors in the linked image is “unusual.” Black appears in more than one place on the spectrum. I suspect the black areas near the pole are the 95% band, not one of the lower ones.

  127. E.M.Smith (13:08:03) :

    “So the fact that this May 1st is the same more or less as the average of all other May firsts (which is what is shown on the May 1st date of the average curve) is very useful. It says that we are absolutely normal for arctic ice.”

    This is the problem with ignoring standard statistical tests. “Normal” is a vague and somewhat loaded word, misleading when used to mean “the average of period showing a strong trend down.” Esp so when looking at a short-term series of such noisy data.

    Which is why I suggested alternative and more commonly used methods to show the trend. The NSIDC gives one such: Average Monthly Sea Ice Extent. The graph of March numbers is here:

    It will be interesting to see the April graph. I suspect it will be similar, suggest that the trend might be reversing — but that it is too early to say for sure.

  128. Fabius Maximus
    “Normal” is a vague and somewhat loaded word, misleading when used to mean “the average of period showing a strong trend down.”

    Since the bell-curve is called the “normal” distribution, it is not very far fetched to call values in the interval [mean plus/minus standard deviation] “normal”.
    Example: An IQ between 85 and 115 is “normal”.

  129. Alexej: Exactly. That sort of analysis would give meaningful results. But it is too seldom done, as we see in this case. We don’t know if there is a statistically significant trend in article ice extent (or area). And we do not know if recent years indicate a change in the trend. All we have are pretty pictures (like the spaghetti graphs so loved by many climate scientists.

    This is state-of-the-art statistics pre-1650 (before Fermat and Pascal). Absurd that on such a weak foundation the newspapers warn about the end of the world.

  130. “Average Monthly Sea Ice Extent.”

    You’re fashionably late for the party but we’ve beaten this dead horse, buried it and then dug it up many, many times over.

    In particular, the preference for a linear trend of cyclic data is ripe for abuse by the presenter, causes arguments over the base period, etc.

    IMHO, this area of investigation, sea ice area/extent/thickness/age is one of the fat butt of climate research; certain to devolve into trivial controversy.

  131. Let’s hope things don’t turn into a real mayday. If the sea ice situation, over the next few years, gets into the realm last experienced during the LIA, there will be quite a few mayday calls going out from ships striking icebergs in the North Atlantic.

  132. Joe Romm posted the following comment back in January

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/01/27/nsidc-arctic-sea-ice-drops-below-2007-levels/#comment-44543

    Hmm! “The day by day meanderings of Arctic sea ice extent are not overly meaningful yet, but I think they are worth reporting because it bugs the deniers to see any evidence whatsoever that the world is not undergoing global cooling”

    I was somewhat amused and certainly not “bugged” to see that the NSIDC image has continued to update itself through to May.

  133. Actually ‘MAYDAY’ is the international call for immediate help and has nothing to do with collision. If in n trouble but not immediate danger the call would be ‘Pan Pan’.
    It comes from the French, M’aidez, ie, help me! Pan Pan comes from Panne which means a mechanical breakdown.
    Just thought I would let you know.

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