Cryosphere Today: Arctic is now ice-free*, Antarctica unaffected

NSIDC’s Mark Serreze must be thrilled, as he’ll now be able to justify some of his press releases. Gore must be ecstatic that his 2013  “Entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years” prediction has come in way ahead of schedule.

Cryosphere_today_091309

Click for the current Arctic Ice image.

Notice the contrast between Arctic and Antarctic. I can hear the Angelic choruses of “we told you so”  taking flight now. Oh, wait.

* Hmmm, at second glance it looks like some sort of malfunction. We’ve seen this before in the SSMI sensor, perhaps something similar is going on now.

Even so, you’d think they’d notice it on their main webpage, and you’d think they’d put something up on the webpage to tell visitors about it?

Why do us bloggers have to be the ones to catch these things?

h/t to WUWT reader Tom who writes: “Hi Anthony, Looks like Al Gore was wrong about an ice free summer in a few years. Latest image from Cryosphere Today shows we’re ice free today.”

UPDATE: News travels fast. Within about 30 minutes of posting this essay poking a little fun at CT, the correct images are back online now which you can see here:

Cryosphere_today_091309-2

As WUWT commenter “Steamboat Jack” says: “That current Arctic Ice image was so pretty (and full of hidden meaning!) that I made it my desktop background!”

For those that missed the ice free interlude and would like to do the same, here is the hi-res “ice free Arctic” image.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/cryosphere_arctic_seaice_map.png

UPDATE: This message has been added to the Cryosphere Today main web page:

Sept. 14, 2009: No, the Arctic ice did not disappear this AM. There was a processing glitch in our maps for about an hour that caused the NH maps to be displayed without their sea ice. We apologize for any confusion.

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68 thoughts on “Cryosphere Today: Arctic is now ice-free*, Antarctica unaffected

  1. This is beyond parody.
    Heck, it’s beyond madness.
    Cyrosphere Today needs to put down the baggie of ‘eco-fairy dust’ and take a nice walk.

  2. Neat trick…Vegas needs a new magic act.
    “Glace” the Exciting new Musical Extravaganza! See the entire Arctic Ice Cap vanish before your eyes! featuring Toyuk the amazing disappearing Polar Bear — at the Mirage….
    BTW the ice is back so the show is over. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
    We are here all week, come back soon.

  3. It’s possible that one pic is screwed up. If you look at the comparison page, it shows a normal pic for 9/13.
    Still they should have caught this error on the main page.
    Slightly OT, I get a kick out of this sea ice animation blurb on the cryosphere page:
    “View the updated high resolution animation of this year’s sea ice retreat (01/01/2007 – 09/23/2007). WARNING – This quicktime animation is very large at 200Mb, but it illustrates nicely the temporal evolution of this year’s sea ice. Animation: 2007 sea ice minimum animation”
    “this year’s” sea ice????
    Q: Update much? A: When the evidence is favorable, yes.

  4. Be praised Lord of doom, of disaster, most magnificent prophet of occidental civilization’s Armageddon, you words ought to have been fulfilled.
    However, please do not blame us for being suspicious: Did order your servants, your slaves, to alter those measuring devices?, because from one day to the next it was impossible for all that ice to evaporate, who do you think we are?

  5. MattN, I must question your statement that this is not worth blogging about. Who else will let the public know that this is an equipment failure? How many gullible people (especially those who want to believe) will not hear or see the retraction and explanation of faulty sensors? We must not let this stuff get by us. Unfortunately, a lot of damage has already been done. This blog (among others ) provides an invaluable service. Ferme le bouche!!!
    REPLY: Matt was doing a tongue in cheek post, referring to NSIDC Walt Meier’s admonition when I questioned the NSIDC data glitches this past winter. – Anthony

  6. Looks like their SSMI (Special Sensor Microwave/Imager) sensor of the arctic DMSP (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) has failed utterly. Are they ever going to switch over to using JAXA’s AMSR-E (Advance Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS)? Or will the National Snow and Ice Data Centers (NSIDC) simply trumpet that the feared event has arrived and we now have no Arctic ice cap?
    Well, this is one way to “prove” global warming.
    REPLY: I’m not sure the SSMI sensor has failed, I rather think this could be a processing glitch where an error in data overlay caused the map to be output with no data. – Anthony

  7. I’ve got a question.
    I’ve been checking the daily mean temperature graph you link to on the right column of the site and it’s now heading to 265d Kelvin, so it’s way below sea ice freezing, but the 80th parallel is a very tight circumference around the north pole and that area is pretty much contained within the ice cap. Is there anything, anywhere that tracks the movement of 273.15 d kelvin in terms of latitude?

  8. I posted this on another thread. The Independant and BBC telling us that commercial ships are sailing through the North East passage for the first time?
    “Both ships left South Korea in late July, negotiating the passage off north-eastern Siberia behind two Russian icebreakers.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8251914.stm
    Sorry about the double post in one day.
    You are being tradduced and defended on the Telegraph blog Christopher Brooker.

  9. I thought it was kinda suspicious when a feller came into my store last night and offered to sell me 5 million square kilometers of bagged ice wholesale.
    I said ‘no thanks’ and I reckon he took back wherever he got it from.

  10. “I rather think this could be a processing glitch where an error in data overlay caused the map to be output with no data.”
    That is a really bad way for data overlay to be done. The depiction of “no data” should not look the same as “clear water with no ice”. Compare with the way layered image editors place an obvious black/white checkerboard “behind” the actual image, so as to distinguish between a pixel that is transparent in all layers and one that coincidentally matches whatever background color happens to displayed behind the image.

  11. WUWT Webmaster,
    The thumbnail “DMI Polar Temperature” is the image for 1978 instead of 2009. The link itself is correct.
    The thumbnail call should be to a resized http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2009.png
    Kip
    REPLY: I chose a random image as the thumbnail, others might suggest I use the middle image like video thumbnails do. Some like you might suggest the end image. Since the thumbnail itself is not important, I’m not going to worry about it but I am going to move the thumbnail of my choice over to WUWT to minimize traffic for DMI. – Anthony

  12. According to the DMI graph the temps. above 80 degrees lat. are currently running colder than last year at this time. Definately not something you want if you are vouching for an ice free arctic.

  13. That DMI is amazing, just keeps dropping, and dropping, and dropping.
    When will the AMSR-E do a hockey stick exit stage up?

  14. Even Mercury which is next to the sun is thought to have ice at its poles (at least in some craters)… why should it be all gone here on Earth?

  15. I’m telling you their messing with the sensor’s AGC or
    uplinked signal level bias values. The problem they had
    last time, is they tweaked the values too much and AGC
    had not enough signal to work, causing it to appear
    there was a sensor failure. If you look back at the previous
    post here, you can see the precipitous drop in signal.
    These games have to stop. We need to look at all the
    data uplinked to the sensor.

  16. Even Mercury which is next to the sun is thought to have ice at its poles (at least in some craters)… why should it be all gone here on Earth?
    Mercuries atmosphere won’t support temperatures or pressures capable of supporting temperatures that would allow for seasonal melt. The atmosphere is thin enough that it is almost like space itself.
    The trick would be to find Ice on Venus.

  17. “Both ships left South Korea in late July, negotiating the passage off north-eastern Siberia behind two Russian icebreakers.”
    Icebreakers? Why? If the Arctic is ice free, who needs them? (I guess they made the trip before this happened …) And what’s the big deal? I could make the NE Passage in a Zodiac behind a couple of Russian icebreakers in the dead of winter. Particularly at night if they were nuclear powered. Just follow the glowing water.

  18. AnonyMoose (10:03:19) :
    > I hope no polar bears nor moose drowned when the ice reappeared over them.
    Sadly, they all drowned when the ice disappeared. Polar Bears are no more.

  19. If the ice is back we need to post the headline, “Uprecedented Ice growth in the Arctic, Polar Bears Cheer victory over AGW.”

  20. Thank heavens we have WUWT to tell the world these ‘scientists’ have failed again. Shame on them! [snip]
    REPLY: All computer driven imagery eventually fails in one way or another, which is why you need quality control to keep an eye on things. – Anthony

  21. Dusty,
    “View the updated high resolution animation of this year’s sea ice retreat (01/01/2007 – 09/23/2007). WARNING – This quicktime animation is very large at 200Mb, but it illustrates nicely the ”
    It looks like they fixed this… I wonder if they’ll ever bring the seasonal graphs up to date?
    Mike

  22. Sept. 14, 2009: No, the Arctic ice did not disappear this AM. There was a processing glitch in our maps for about an hour that caused the NH maps to be displayed without their sea ice. We apologize for any confusion.
    ——-
    Al Gore is currently under sedation.

  23. Hu McCulloch (10:33:43) :
    Any word on how much tundra escaped while the ice was evaporated??
    All of it! It was last seen heading towards Japan, where it is expected
    to meet up with Godzilla and Mothra to plan a coordinated attack once
    we hit the “Tipping Point”.
    Here they are awaiting Tundra.

  24. @ William Ledsham
    “Sept. 14, 2009: No, the Arctic ice did not disappear this AM. There was a processing glitch in our maps for about an hour that caused the NH maps to be displayed without their sea ice. We apologize for any confusion.”
    Dear Mr Ledsham
    I thought you may wish to hear the transcript of a message I picked up from
    the SS Beluga Fraternity:-
    Bzzzzzzzzzzzz Mayday Mayday
    Guten Tag ve are stuck in ice because were were told zee arctic vos Ice free.
    Over
    Ve sent ze ice breakers away and ve are stucked. Also we are f******ed
    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Polar bears are invading the ship and ve have all retired to the badezimmer vich is the only room on ze ship which has a lock
    Mayday Mayday is anyone zere over Mein Gott zesse bears are big arghhhhhhhhh

  25. I am a prophet. You will believe my prophecies.
    I am a prophet. You will believe my prophecies.
    I am a prophet. You will believe my prophecies.
    I am a prophet. You will believe my prophecies.

  26. While obviously under control by the Illuminati, Anthony Watts wrote ” this could be a processing glitch where an error in data overlay caused the map to be output with no data. – Anthony”
    Ha! You thing the readers of this blog aren’t sophisticated enough to see the blatant cover up attempt, trying to make us believe that The Great One, Al Gore, is wrong? Thanks to your inadventant slip mentioning processing glitches we now know that the plan going forward will be to synthethise the faux look of ice over the melted poles. Can’t fool us. No siree.

  27. It must be true, the BBC says so. “Data from other satellites, such as the US Icesat and the European ERS/Envisat missions, has already indicated that some of this cover is diminishing at a rapid rate in response to climate change, with the biggest melting occurring in the Arctic.” See “‘Ice Explorer’ ready for launch” at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8255605.stm

  28. I love how they Photoshop the starry background into the image. Adds a nice touch, even when they post a bad image!

  29. “Why do us bloggers have to be the ones to catch these things?”
    We’re the ones actually paying attention to it as consumers of the “information” they publish?
    Note I didn’t say data as they don’t provide “RAW” data since it’s MASSAGED with a happy ending towards the “current predictions”.
    It’s like in the video camera business with claims from manufactures that they provide “uncompressed raw frame data”! It’s a lie! Even high end camera companies such as RED (red.com) use a 3 to 1 lossey (yes lossey) compression method (wavelet). So the end result is that it’s close to being the real data the pixel elements capture but never the actual data (actually there are a few higher end companies products that do provide real raw but they cost oh so much more). So when using high end digital cameras and other sensors it’s likely that the data has been compressed and some data lost.
    I wonder how many science missions on satellites and probes actually compress the data using wavelet or some other LOSSEY method? Spooky. This is why it’s VERY important that there is a scientific AUDIT TRAIL going from each paper back to the original data source including how the devices capture the data and all the so called “calibrations” and “adjustments” and other “tricks” used to “massage” the “data”! Oops since it’s been processed it’s actually not data but now it’s information disconnected from the data especially if data resolution and detail has been lost in the processing of it!

  30. Not only does the “ice free arctic picture” look ice free but it’s pitch black and looks a lot like a black hole is swallowing the Earth starting with the ice at the north pole. I guess Santa finally ate too much and became a singularity and imploded taking the Ice, Earth and eventually our entire solar system with it.

  31. AnonyMoose (10:03:19) :
    I hope no polar bears nor moose drowned when the ice reappeared over them.
    ==============
    hahahahahhaahaha
    — Quote of the Week! — ^
    ===========

  32. OT A different new post needed, perhaps one of the most popular kind, those about the “Watts Effect”, and to make it more tasty, kind of:
    “The Watts Effect, some say it is indicative of an electrical sun”

  33. Regarding Hu’s comment, (Hu McCulloch (10:33:43) see —
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/quote-of-the-week-5-waxmans-stunningly-stupid-statement/
    “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..” from Congressman Henry Waxman

  34. The Arctic is the new holiday spot then? I dream of sunbathing, swimming, parties and relaxing in the sun. No need to worry about 28,000 drowned polar bears in these subliminally recent warm waters.
    Thank goodness for global warming.
    Oops! It was a hardware glitch. Guess all those polar bears have been recusitated then, and it’s again a hostile cold place once more, and norsemen are no longer cultivating crops in Greenland. Still, it was a great half an hour of of global warming

  35. Dang !
    All that ice done gone and climbed up onto Greenland and Canada.
    Hey watch out Svend; you have a veritable ice imanust coming your way; I’d head for the mainland till it subsides.
    This is like those wonderful pictures in Al Gores book, “An Inconvenient Lie” that show the earth from outer space in one of those freakish zero cloud instances that are so rare.
    The picture I like is the one below in the story about the Russian volcano. See that lovely big precipice where the Artic Ocean falls off a cliff into the Pacific. Anybody care to try swimming up that cliff in their scuba gear against the prevaling waterfall ?
    This place is a mine of information Anthony; dunno where you find this stuff that you keep thrilling us with.
    If I hadn’t just paid my estimated taxes this morning, I woulr be off to my local REI to buy myself a Kayak, for my North Polar paddle trip.
    Ah well it will have to keep; five years you say; if I can still paddle at that age, I’ll be on my way.
    George

  36. @Jim Watson (08:49:36) :
    “I thought it was kinda suspicious when a feller came into my store last night and offered to sell me 5 million square kilometers of bagged ice wholesale.
    I said ‘no thanks’ and I reckon he took back wherever he got it from.”

    How much was he askin’?
    We are planning a bodacious home made, hand-cranked, ice cream social this weekend and we might run short on ice. (By any chance, did he have a lot of rock salt to go with it?)

  37. I do believe we may have found an explanation for all those mammoths who were discovered inside ice-blocks, with undigested grass in their stomach (stomaches? Unsure of the stomach count for mammoths. No, don’t enlighten me, I’m just about to fix lunch.)
    They wandered into a grassy, sunny patch of temporal image update glitch, and then the update got ’em.

  38. REPLY: Matt was doing a tongue in cheek post, referring to NSIDC Walt Meier’s admonition when I questioned the NSIDC data glitches this past winter. – Anthony
    I caught it and it made me laugh!

  39. @H.R.
    “(By any chance, did he have a lot of rock salt to go with it?”
    Lol. Yes, he did. Have you checked the Google Earth view of the Bonneville Salt Flats lately?
    All gone. He grabbed all that, too.

  40. There’s a little black spot on the ice today,
    It wasn’t there at all yesterday…
    Someone more lyrical can finish it off I am sure.
    And there I was about to run out and buy a copy of Waterworld and use it as a reference manual. Where the heck would I find a copy of Waterworld though?

  41. MWUHAHAHAHAHAHA……….. I have an Ice Free desktop.
    The power! The power of CO2….. IT’s alive…. Alivvvvvvve. Mwuhahahaha;-)

  42. Mike Bryant (11:00:53) :
    It looks like they fixed this… I wonder if they’ll ever bring the seasonal graphs up to date?
    LOL. They did. My life on the Internet has meaning!
    They’ll bring the seasonal graphs up to date when the scaredata is favorable.

  43. Sorry MattN, my bad. Anthony, thanks for the correction. Had not had my coffee at time of posting. Once again, apologies to MattN.

  44. Gene Nemetz (16:07:36) :
    Yes, it is increasing again (Arctic Ice).
    I have been watching DMI and wondering when AMSR-E would turn back up.
    I see ice forming off Greenland’s West Coast.

  45. Thank you Gene. Always enjoy your post very much. I have a hair trigger when it comes to CAGW, but my BS’o’meter seems to have a sensor malfunction of it’s own. 8^]

  46. So all the Catlin-like hero wannabes waiting to traverse the Northwest passage missed their two hour window of opportunity this morning. What a shame for those eight noble groups of hero, give-me-money planet savers.
    So it looks like the final score this year will be:
    Northwest passage hero wannabes – minus 8, Icebreaker-broken ice, Northeast passage traversers – plus 1.
    Take a tip from me you Northwest passage hero wannabes – rent some serious icebreakers next year. You’re probably gonna need some big expensive ones, so better start the fundraising now.
    Can the drowning polar bears come through for you ??

  47. Well I’ve packed my bags and I’m ready to go the taxi’s waiting it’s blowing its horn.
    I’m leaving on a Ice floe
    I don’t know when I’ll be back again.
    Sorry, off post but last night on news night and I think for the first time a journo referred to the Mayor of Doncaster as a climate change denialist?

  48. The bizarre comments about Gore detract from your blog. You can argue climate change if you like, but no one wants to see any of the predicted negative effects.
    REPLY: I look at it the other way, the bizarre comments from Gore about a 5 year expectation of an ice free Arctic detract from the overall argument. – Anthony

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