2nd day – Arctic sea ice is again on the rise

Yesterday I looked at JAXA data and ventured that:

“Arctic sea ice melt appears to have turned the corner for 2009”

The Sept 15th JAXA Arctic Sea Ice extent graph was published this evening about 8PM PST (and updated overnight which is the image now shown) and shows an increase in sea ice for the second day in a row. It seems clear that Arctic sea ice is now on the rise.

JAXA_seaice_91509-2

click for larger image

The Sept 14th value was: 5,276,563 km2

You can see this minimum and upturn clearly in the zoomed graph below.

I expect this JAXA value will increase again in about 4 hours once JAXA finishes QC and final data analysis. I’ll post an update when it happens (assuming it is not too late). (UPDATED 7:45AM PDT) 9/16)

Here’s the table of data:

9 1 2009 5423750
9 2 2009 5398281
9 3 2009 5379844
9 4 2009 5387969
9 5 2009 5363438
9 6 2009 5345156
9 7 2009 5328906
9 8 2009 5330469
9 9 2009 5315938
9 10 2009 5295313
9 11 2009 5278594
9 12 2009 5259375
9 13 2009 5249844
9 14 2009 5276563
9 15 2009 5301094

Barring an about face by Nature, the 2009 Arctic Sea Ice minimum occurred on Sept 13th with 5,249,844 km2

UPDATE: WUWT reader Bruce Richardson made a nice zoomed comparison graph, which he offered in comments, that I have added to this article.

Click for larger image - Courtesy of Bruce Richardson

Click for larger image - Courtesy of Bruce Richardson

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120 thoughts on “2nd day – Arctic sea ice is again on the rise

  1. >The Sept 15th JAXA Arctic Sea Ice extent graph was published this evening about 8PM PST ……..

    FYI, here in Japan the data is renewed daily at a bit around noon, 12:03~05.

  2. One reason for the smaller values of Arctic sea ice extent for 2002-2009 seen in the IARC/JAXA graph as compared to the 1979-2000 average, may be that the 70s, where surface temp data was still fairly reliable, experienced lower temps globally and its consequence (relatively large sea ice extent) was operative in the 1979-2000 average, or?

  3. That has always seemed highly likely to me, tokyoboy. The satellite record just happens to start at what is likely nearly the peak of the previous 30 years of Arctic ice extent. No great conspiracy –just the way it worked out.

    It’s pretty clear Arctic ice trends are like a battleship –they don’t turn on a dime and zoom off in the other direction. They ebb and flow over decades.

  4. Ice age! Sweet! Go!

    Uh…I take that back. Global warming is kinda nice actually. Who cares if humans are to blame! Goodness.

    Enjoy the warmth as it lasts. Winter is coming.

  5. These big numbers are so impersonal.

    5 249 844 km^2 is considerably larger than the combined areas of all 27 states in the Eurpean Union (4 324 782 km^2).

    So really quite a long way away from ice free.

  6. RE: Michael (21:20:10) :

    “It seems that there has been a dramatic fall in September Arctic temps this year.”

    Temperature is tracking the average. What’s dramatic about that?

  7. This is quite alarming… has anyone extrapolated the increased artic sea ice coverage from 2007-2009 to see when it will reach down into the North Sea and bring trade to a screeching halt? Polar bears will be trotting down to the Meditteranean for a swim.

  8. How does this two-year-increase rank against the “full” record of two-year increases? (It looks like #1 for AMSR-E, but how about the older satellites?)

  9. It certainly doesn’t change the long-term trend. It does, however, place some doubt on the various theories that hysteresis means that minimum extents will be followed with other minimum extends, due to less older, thicker ice. At the least, while you certainly can’t call this a recovery to the previous trend yet, it is more than most climate researchers thought.

  10. Daryl M (21:41:22) : …RE: Michael (21:20:10) :… Temperature is tracking the average. What’s dramatic about that?

    The only drama one can detect is Michael whistling past the cemetery.

  11. Michael (21:20:10) :

    Who knows Michael, maybe you are right. But at first you came across as an alarmists who is trying to explain away what is happening in Arctic (North Pole) ice.

  12. Bulldust (22:00:47) :

    What handwriting on the wall are you reading that lends you to suspect this?
    I just chalk it up to Murphy that no sooner does the world decide to act than it finds out, too late, that it went the wrong way. I just hope they don’t do anything really stupid, like try to mass-modify the Earth’s climate.

    We are not making a loud enough noise.

  13. John Thacker (22:26:57) :

    “It certainly doesn’t change the long-term trend. ”

    I have been always wondering about the 109-year trend displayed on The Cryosphere Today site:

    IIRC, the satellite observation started in 1978-79. How were the data for 1900-1978 in that graph acquired, and can one splice the older data with the satellite-era data without any problem? My eyeballing tells me that the older data are too constant to believe as it is, in view of the well-known fact (or anecdote?) that the Arctic sphere showed a significant warming from 1920s to 1940s, as (probably) supported by the temp data for Greenland observational sites.

    Could someone teach me on this issue?

  14. Just some thoughts:

    That’s a lot of equatorial heat that escaped out the poles in 2007 and 2008.
    The weather patterns slowed down, and that’s all it takes. They are still slow, persistent, stuck in Lodi, and it’s still blowing off Earth’s heat.
    When the new equilibrium is reached, that’s when we will see the full effect of the lack of Solar Activity and increased GCR’s.
    Until then, it’s a slow burn in the Land of Frozen.

    Enjoy your Global Warming (or is it Global Heat Loss Pump) while it lasts.

  15. Two years of (temporary) relatively much lower solar activity and Arctic sea ice is STILL below the 30 year average (which included 1998). Tell the commercial shipping companies that now find it profitable to use the North East passage that we are heading for an ice age.

  16. Sorry, my dry cynicism is sometimes lost in text – I was wondering if anyone had done the fun exercise of extrapolating the increased sea ice coverage form the last three years data to the next few decades. After all… had the years been reversed the media would be all over the “ice free artic soon!” stories.

    Of course this is only the minima data… not the maxima.

  17. Re dennis ward (22:53:42) :
    So, Mr Ward, looking at the DMI Polar Temperature chart, this year’s been tracking the 50 (Fifty) year average pretty well. If the air temperature hasn’t risen, why the difference in ice melt?
    Also, if you dig back into the archives here & at “the Air Vent”, you’ll find an essay looking at the historical variations in Arctic ice extent, that shows strong evidence of marked swings on decadel, or shorter levels.
    Also, looking at tAV, you’ll find (Also reproduced here) an animation of Polar Ice, showing that melting is but one componant of ice extent, wind, tides & currents also have a big effect, sweeping ice out into the open seas.
    As for the commercial use of the NW Passage, having an Ice Breaker chug along infront of you, probably doesn’t make commercial sense, unless it’s a very valuable cargo.

  18. dennis ward (22:53:42) :

    Two years of (temporary) relatively much lower solar activity and Arctic sea ice is STILL below the 30 year average (which included 1998). Tell the commercial shipping companies that now find it profitable to use the North East passage that we are heading for an ice age.

    Firtsly, it is far too early to say we are heading for an ice age, and even if we were, it would be a very slow process (except perhaps for Northern western Europe if the Gulf Stream switched off suddenly). But data from the last few years clearly indicates that the Arctic is cooling, and Antartica is if anything colder than the long term average. Historical data also clearly showes that the arctic has been warmer with much less ice in the past. As for comercial companies using the North East passage, dream on, the two ships that made it through were especially strengthened for ice navigation, and were escorted by a Russian nuclear powered ice breaker. As this article shows, their passage was more dependent on the ships having access to accurate satellite data so they could navigate around the ice, than there being not much ice in the first place:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/14/north_eastern_passage/

    As a warmist, presumably concerned for mother Earth, perhaps could you confirm that you are actually pleased to see that the Arctic minimum ice extent is in its second year of recovery?

  19. Bulldust: If summer minimum levels continue to grow at about 10% per year, they will reach current winter maximum levels (14-15 mill km2) by 2020 – and by 2040 the summer minimum level will have reached equator, i.e. only 31 years left to snowball earth ;-)

  20. If this el nino peters out then it’s “Katy, bar the door” and I have no prediction on how high the maximum will go other than to say higher than last year.

  21. “Tell the commercial shipping companies that now find it profitable to use the North East passage that we are heading for an ice age.”

    Well, as they were delivering heavy cargo to Siberia and we accompanied by two nuclear powered ice breakers I would not hold my breath for regular commercial passage.

  22. Ice minimum is still low because the wind blew the old ice out into the atlantic in 2007. We need to build an inventory of old ice again. Young ice does not stand up well in the summer but the inventory of old ice is building. What is interesting is to see the growth of the maximum ice. The maximums are now back to what they were in 2004 and I expect to see more this year because we are starting from a greater ice cover. It will all depend on what the el nino does.

  23. dennis ward (22:53:42) :

    Two years of (temporary) relatively much lower solar activity and Arctic sea ice is STILL below the 30 year average (which included 1998). Tell the commercial shipping companies that now find it profitable to use the North East passage that we are heading for an ice age.

    Dennis, if we know anything it’s that natural systems tend to be cyclical; when you have events such as 2007’s overriding wind patterns that pushed a lot of ice south (even NSIDC acknowledges this) then it is going to take some time for things to settle out.

    The fact that since 2007 there has been ~450,000 sq-km per year ice regrowth is pretty incredible and shows just how feckin cold it is up there.

    We are being told (by countless studies and media reports) that the arctic is melting and we’re all basically up a certain creak without a certain implement – all this based on 30 years’ worth of consistent record keeping, hardly definitive I’d say.

    Just think, if there had been ice loss of the same amount for the last two years the media would be blaring it from the rooftops as further ‘proof’ that we’re all doomed. Do we hear anything from them or those with an authoritarian position about this additional ice? Nope, nothing, nada, zilch, cock-all.

    I personally don’t believe we’re heading for another ice-age, I also don’t think that 2 or 30 years worth of data analysis are enough to establish that [a] we’re heading down dinosaur alley or [b] that CO2 is having any major effect on anything.

    I do think that the last 2 years of increased ice extent should cause those ‘in the know’ to pause for a moment and think “oh bugger, we may have got this wrong, maybe it’s not as bad as we’ve been saying, let’s study this some more…”, but instead they continue ‘on-message’ as if no physical evidence to the contrary will deflect them from their views – that ain’t science.

    (My six year old daughter can draw a trend line through the data – it doesn’t mean she can predict the future. Mind you, Al Gore would probably still refuse to debate with her.)

    Cheers

    Mark

  24. Although it’s good to see an mprovement in sea ice area, does anyone have a source for sea ice volume, whch I think is a more important metric?

    It will be interesting to see how quickly the ice builds up during the coming winter freeze and if the quiet sun is a good proxy for more rapid ice production.

  25. [realclimate mode] Ohhhh really. We knew this would happen. But new and very robust models suggest this is very temporary. In a few years we will see a rapid decline in sea ice, maybe the artic will be icefree most of winter. 10 years time . You’ll see! To recap, robust, 10 years time tops. No don’t get hung up on the crazy ideas the oil and tobacco industry are trying to put into your head. Remember these number can still be adjusted downwards.[/realclimate mode]

  26. It certainly doesn’t change the long-term trend.

    It certainly does change the long-term trend. As will any new data not exactly on the previous trend, for any period a trend is calculated.

    What has happened is the apparently sharply accelerating downward trend in summer Arctic sea ice has largely reversed.

    It also means there is no trend in global sea ice for the satellite era.

  27. dennis ward (22:53:42) :
    Two years of (temporary) relatively much lower solar activity and Arctic sea ice is STILL below the 30 year average (which included 1998). Tell the commercial shipping companies that now find it profitable to use the North East passage that we are heading for an ice age.

    I would refer you to this post,
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/09/pictures-tell-story.html
    and this paper,
    http://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol03/tnm_3_2_1-17.pdf
    which detail how commercial shipping has been traveling regularly in the Northeast Arctic passage for decades. I wouldn’t get too excited by the reports of recent passages being totally unprecedented.

  28. Although they were not talking about Arctic Sea Ice, the BBC had an item on its morning Radio show ‘Today’ today. A scientist from the UK Met office said exactly what contributors to this blog have warned would be said. ‘Yes the next 10 – 15 years may see a cooling of the global climate, but that does not mean we do not have dangerous and catastrophic global warming, it is just being masked by the cooling’ or words to that effect. Its beginning to sound a bit like Orwelllian Newspeak – ‘cool’ equals ‘warm’

    The other contributor, Philip Stott I think, was a bit more cautious and admitted solar cycles and PDO etc had to be taken into account. He was worried about the political impact of cooling and he used the striking expression the the effect that – ‘people are going to be very sceptical. It will be like NOT finding weopons of mass destruction all over again. All the hype and then nothing there.

  29. Graeme Rodaughan (21:47:56) :
    Looks on track to overtake 2005 this month.

    Any bets about which day (or if) this will happen?

    tokyoboy (22:44:20) :


    I have been always wondering about the 109-year trend displayed on The Cryosphere Today site:

    IIRC, the satellite observation started in 1978-79. How were the data for 1900-1978 in that graph acquired, and can one splice the older data with the satellite-era data without any problem? My eyeballing tells me that the older data are too constant to believe as it is, …

    I have the same feeling. It looks like it is contradicting history again. Since when the NW passage has been called that way? It doesn’t make sense to me to call it so if no ship has crossed it before. Same happens to Greenland, Why is it called Greenland if it is always been too cold to be green, even in the farthest south. Yes, that CT graph looks Mannian to me.

    Could someone teach me on this issue?

    I second the request.

    I couldn’t finish Crichton’s fiction book about global warming, I only read the first 3 chapters or so, but the use of nuclear icebreakers kinda reminds me of what the scientists tried to do to keep the conspiracy alive.

  30. rbateman (22:50:10)

    I agree that the globe is currently in net energy loss mode since the current weak El Nino is not yet strong enough to release energy fast enough to raise air temperatures globally. The cooling of other ocean surfaces is offsetting the modest Pacific warmth and as the northern continents cool down this winter that will add to the net cooling effect in the air unless the El Nino gets stronger.

    It is because we are in net cooling mode that the weather systems are slower, more equatorward and more variable latitudinally. It is not the weather systems causing the cooling. The air circulation responds to the generally negative energy balance caused by all the ocean surfaces combined and tries to draw more energy from the oceans by sending larger parcels of polar air more equatorward over warmer waters.

    If the El Nino were to strengthen enough to create a positive energy balance globally then we would see the weather systems speed up, move poleward and show less latitudinal wanderings.

    During the 1975 to 2000 warming spell the systems were all more poleward than they are now.

    From 1945 to 1975 they were approximately where they are now.

  31. I wonder how this graph would have looked in 1800, lots of different natural and human factors around these days compared to the Dalton, but it is early days as we head into the yet unnamed Landscheidt Minimum. There is a lag factor as Robert mentioned, and perhaps much greater ice extents to come over the next 20-30 years, Its not looking anything like a LIA but the AGW need to be worried.

  32. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but two might indicate a trend. It is, of course, the season for the ice to start forming but my own observations of temperatures here in the west of England is that the Met Office declaring it warmer than last year is misleading. My average temperatures have been considerably lower than last year and it is now colling rapidly. Oh, and the Swallows departed earlier than usual.

  33. tokyoboy (22:44:20) :

    I have been always wondering about the 109-year trend displayed on The Cryosphere Today site. IIRC, the satellite observation started in 1978-79. How were the data for 1900-1978 in that graph acquired, and can one splice the older data with the satellite-era data without any problem?

    You are probably right, the extent HAD to be similar to present in 40ties, since NW Passage was passable that time as well and air temperatures were also similar. Maybe oceans were a bit colder.

  34. dennis ward (22:53:42) :

    Two years of (temporary) relatively much lower solar activity and Arctic sea ice is STILL below the 30 year average (which included 1998). Tell the commercial shipping companies that now find it profitable to use the North East passage that we are heading for an ice age.

    You mean the 30 year average that’s the ONLY (somewhat measured) average we have out of 4.5 BILLION years? Adding the “which included 1998” is a bit silly since that’s what an “average” is all about.

    Yeah and it’s really economical to have icebreakers helping “commercial” ships (with reinforced hulls) through the ice on a routine basis, eh? Get real!

  35. @Tokyoboy,

    While I don’t have solid base for my speculation, I think the main explanation is “geographical boundaries” in the Arctic.
    At times with much ice in the Arctic, the “entire” arctic basin is frozen (You’ll see it nicely when looking at the various oceanic components at “Cryosphere today”)

    Eventual further expansion would have to take place in the “open-ended” Beering Sea (+ Okhotsk Sea), the Barents Sea the Davies and Danmark Straits.
    These “open ended” oceans are likely more vulnerabel to wind/wave stress and establishment of permanent ice here is more difficult.

    My two cents
    Cassanders
    In Cod we trust

  36. Dennis Ward, if you take the trouble to read rather than believe what you’re told you will see that two German ships didn’t actually us the NE Passage. Still you were nearly right in a two choice situation.

  37. So, let’s review the NSIDC/media spin (a mere 5 days ago):

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090911/ap_on_re_eu/eu_germany_arctic_passage

    2 German cargo ships pass through ‘Arctic Passage’

    By MATT MOORE and SETH BORENSTEIN, Associated Press Writers Matt Moore And Seth Borenstein, Associated Press Writers Fri Sep 11, 2:35 pm ET

    This year is shaping up to have the third lowest amount of Arctic sea ice on record, just behind the worst year set in 2007 and in 2008. But just because 2009 is slightly up from the past two years, it is not an upward trend or a recovery, Serreze said. It reflects a change in local weather patterns that occurred in August, he said.

    “It’s certainly part of the overall decline of sea ice that we’ve been seeing,” Serreze said.

    Note the use of the phrases “…just behind the worst year set in 2007…” and “…2009 is slightly up from the past two years…”.

    In my opinion, this kind of outrageous media spin is totally inexcusable!

  38. Hasse@Norway (01:19:09) :

    [realclimate mode] Ohhhh really. We knew this would happen. But new and very robust models suggest this is very temporary. In a few years we will see a rapid decline in sea ice, maybe the artic will be icefree most of winter. 10 years time . You’ll see! To recap, robust, 10 years time tops. No don’t get hung up on the crazy ideas the oil and tobacco industry are trying to put into your head. Remember these number can still be adjusted downwards.[/realclimate mode]

    You are driven by emotion, but as it happens you are nearly right. We are in for a minor cooling period of 20-30 years which will be followed by a gradual climb to warmer than we have just experienced, but it will have nothing to do with Co2.

  39. Question .. do IARC-JAXA use the same data as Cryosphere??

    The reason I ask is that when looking at the “tale of the tape”, as well as the ice coverage data on both IJ and cryo … it appears that there is close to 2 million sq. kilometers difference between 2007 and 2009, yet, in the anomaly graphs, there only appears to be about 1.5 million difference. I looking at the JAXA data, there is a bigger difference between 2009 and 2008, than there was between 2008 and 2007, … yet, the “tale of the tape” seems to indicate otherwise.

  40. Wondering if this means anything . . . .

    Yes, 2009 minimum is higher than 2007 and 2008.

    But eyeballing the multi-year chart, it also looks like the 2009 inflection point is earlier than ALL the years plotted.

    Yes, I see that 2008 has a little blip in the first week of September and we probably need to see a few more days but I wonder if/what the significance of an earlier turn would be?

  41. From Time Magazine 1937.

    “*Across the Pole is the Northeast Passage to China along the top of Norway & Russia. Sebastian Cabot initiated its search in 1553. Henry Hudson twice attempted a passage but it was not until 1879 that the route was navigated. Now Russia currently operates 160 freighters on summer schedules in the Northeast Passage’s more open but colder waters.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,770864-2,00.html

  42. Question: Does the previous year have an influence on the current year? It would seem to make sense that it would. For example, if you have low sea ice one year, you have a low baseline as you enter the next year and it would take extremely cold weather to overcome that. I’m just wondering if some of the “trends” that people pick up are really just responses to the occasional outlier and it just takes time to revert to the mean. Thx

  43. masonmart
    What a gratuitously rude person you are!
    “The merchant ships MV Beluga Fraternity and MV Beluga Foresight arrived this week in Yamburg, Siberia, their owner Beluga Shipping GmbH said Friday. They traveled from Ulsan, South Korea, in late July to Siberia by way of the Northeast Passage, a sea lane that, in years past, was avoided because of its heavy ice floes.”
    WUWT?

  44. Note at the Arctic ROOS site that ice area is increasing but ice extent is still decreasing. Perhaps this suggests that the ice is being blown together and compacted. Hence, more free ocean surface will be exposed directly to cold Arctic air (as opposed to being insulated by first year ice). One might then expect enhanced ice production this winter.

  45. I’m curious: are we using the same satellite(s) that were used to measure the extent in 1978 as we do in 2009? How many times have the instruments changed, if any? What is the history of malfunctions in said satellites?

    I may be barking up the wrong tree, but the 1978 to 2000 variation seems too flat compared to recent variations, after detrending.

    This could indicate two things:
    The climate is undergoing rapid variations causing these wild swings;
    The instruments today are much more accurate and capable of monitoring at a greater area resolution with a greater time resolution.

    The former, I think is unlikely: ice doesn’t melt so rapidly in response to even a few degrees variation (but may in response to dramatic shifts in ocean current/winds – I don’t know the mechanics of ice thaw/freeze).

    With cursory screwing around with the detrended error data, applying a similar error to earlier measured data (that is, creating a what-if scenario for earlier data) a similar trend that we are seeing today can be observed. This isn’t a scientific application, but a more pragmatic one.

    Having dealt with randomly perturbed signals output from control systems, changes in trends such as shown by the cryosphere ‘tape’ data would *tend* to indicate a measurement/recording issue rather than a control issue (not always; a signal *can* exhibit larger absolute errors at a smaller setpoint than at a higher setpoint, but this is generally a figment of digital systems or poorly tuned analog systems).

    Applicable to this issue, a long-term control (global temperature for example) would not directly influence the perturbations/error around the main trend, and yet we see a much more dynamic measured signal today than we did a few decades ago.

    Fundamentally, the more you look, the more you see; but what you see may not be really there.

  46. So, at least amongst the more thoughtful (who shouldn’t have been there anyway) we can turn off hysterical mode re Arctic Ice. If we get another good year next year, then the following year, 2011-2012, is when we’d really see if there is a possibility of breaking the long-term trend on the upside. That’d go beyond “let’s turn off the hysteria, please” to more fundamental questioning.

    The reality is, it is a rube’s game on both sides to assign the most hysterical of the other side as the opposition that needs discrediting to bring the core assumptions crashing to the ground. Shooting fish in a barrel and then claiming to have killed Moby Dick is unworthy of all concerned.

  47. Does one year influence the next?
    Only if the maximum reliably influences the minimum and ’96 was the lowest max, but nearly the highest min.
    So ‘trends’ of a few % of total annual variation are essentially meaningless.

    I remain intrigued by DaveE’s idea that the ice-caps act as a long term thermostat since super-cold atmosphere above ice-caps reduces polar heat radiation allowing more heat to accrue in the tropics.

  48. Ice melts.
    Water freezes.
    Repeat each year.

    oh, and its worst than we thought, or is it better now?
    I need the media to inform me…..

    Enjoy the warmth folks…

  49. The wind is still a big factor here, but in the development of pseudo-multi year ice. Which begs the question, is thick ice the result of growth rings aka like trees, or is thick ice the result of some kind of cyclical/oscillating wind change along Fram Strait? If this wind pattern continues (wind direction during melt season primarily inward instead of outward), we will continue to see less and less summer melt. If I were a cutting edge Arctic scientist bent on making a discovery, I would be pouring over summer wind, PDO, AMO, and jet stream data right now. Why? The historical Arctic SST and air temperature fluctuations cannot explain the degree of variation in ice melt patterns over time. And GHG (CO2) long-wave infrared cannot melt ice that quickly. That leaves wind, jet stream, and PDO, AMO factors. My instincts tell me that is where to look for correlations.

  50. Andrew 00:20
    You stated: ” But data from the last few years clearly indicates that the Arctic is cooling, and Antartica is if anything colder than the long term average.”

    I don’t think even reputable skeptics can make those two claims based on all the data over the last 30 years no matter how much it has been massaged.

    At best, the rate of Artic warming may have leveled off but there has been no Artic cooling that I’ve seen anywhere.
    Thanks
    William

  51. What I find interesting is the acceleration graph. I use a 15 day smoothing of data which may be too much, but it takes the major variation out of the plots. The rate of change of slope (acceleration) is equal to the 2008 rate and is about the fastest for this time of year except for 2004. With a 15 day smoothing, I am two weeks behind in my actual plots though.

    Maybe a 5 day smoothing would be just as good. Anyone care to comment on smoothing?

    Regards
    Bob

  52. sorry I know this is off topic but:

    The winter has started really early here in the Southern French Alps and Col du Baynette has just been closed to traffic due to snow.

  53. Am I the only one who sees signs that Fall is coming just a bit earlier this year? Is this an El Nino, La Nina effect?

  54. @ Mark Fawcett (00:54:23)

    ……took the words right out of my mouth – than you, Mark, you saved me a lot of typing and grumpiness.

    Michael

  55. Sandy (06:41:57) :

    I remain intrigued by DaveE’s idea that the ice-caps act as a long term thermostat since super-cold atmosphere above ice-caps reduces polar heat radiation allowing more heat to accrue in the tropics.

    I’ve also thought about the following conjecture:

    The ice-caps act as thermostats thus:

    i. Ice cover acts predominantly as an insulator (a well established physical process, tis why fish don’t freeze in lakes) – trapping oceanic heat and preventing its loss to the much colder polar atmosphere (and hence to space) this effect is greatest during the coldest months and dominates any heat generation from the sun on open water during the briefer summer (due to low angle of incidence).

    ii. Ice cover reduces (say by an increase in ocean temps, due to heating in the tropics + ocean circulation) – this reduced ice cover exposes greater areas of open ocean to the atmosphere causing greater heat loss, ergo the oceans cool down.

    iii. Cooler oceans + cold atmospheric temperatures result in greater ice extent – negative feedback complete.

    Now all that may be far to simplistic but it has always struck me that the positive feedback argument of “less ice = more exposed water = more water heating from sun = even less ice” simply can’t be right, the ice-caps would be gone in a flash.

    Just my 2p’s worth.

    Cheers

    Mark.

  56. “Daryl M (21:41:22) :

    RE: Michael (21:20:10) :

    “It seems that there has been a dramatic fall in September Arctic temps this year.”

    Temperature is tracking the average. What’s dramatic about that?”

    I believe he’s comparing to the previous few years. Both of you would be correct.

  57. William (07:31:40) : “At best, the rate of Artic warming may have leveled off but there has been no Artic cooling that I’ve seen anywhere.”

    You may wish to look at what GISS has to say on this subject. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2009&month_last=08&sat=4&sst=0&type=trends&mean_gen=1212&year1=1940&year2=2008&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    Greenland has cooled in the last 70 years. And perhaps the rest of the Arctic is a question mark. There have been egregious siting issues in Canada and Alaska that have biased their trend upwards. And Siberia has had numerous problems with station drop-offs and incentives to overstate cold temperatures 70 years ago. I am not aware of similar problems in Greenland. Also, you might want to check out John Daly’s work on Arctic temperature trends.

  58. If the 2009 low of September 13 does hold up, the increase in ice coverage since the 2007 minimum is a little more than the combined areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Maine and Vermont.

  59. Ice cover acts predominantly as an insulator (a well established physical process, tis why fish don’t freeze in lakes)

    Fish don’t freeze in lakes because their body fluids are more saline than the water.

    Where water is more saline than that in the fish, the fish will freeze.

    Antarctic waters are particularly saline and as a result have few fish for precisely this reason.

  60. Gene Nemetz thank you for providing the DMI Sea Ice Extent site. Do you know why the current value shown is 4 million sq km whereas the JAXA graph shows 5.3 million sq km? What is the difference between the two? Thank you.

  61. Espen (00:23:27) :

    Actually, Espen, IT’S WORSE THAN YOU THOUGHT!

    If summer minimum levels continue to grow at 0.5 mill.sq.km a year, summer minimum will in fact OVERTAKE winter maximum in less than 20 years!

    This is of course settled science in the AGW creationist community.

  62. David Segesta (09:50:42) :
    Gene Nemetz thank you for providing the DMI Sea Ice Extent site. Do you know why the current value shown is 4 million sq km whereas the JAXA graph shows 5.3 million sq km? What is the difference between the two? Thank you

    They use different cutoff points for the data, JAXA counts 15% ice but DMI uses 30%.

  63. Just noting a clarification about the DMI Arctic temperature chart.

    This is an atmospheric temperature chart which peaks at the usual time of the year, about day 206 or July 25th.

    Ocean temperatures, however, peak about day 254 – September 11th. The is the same date as the peak of the ice melt, the peak of the hurricane season, the peak of sea surface temperatures, the peak of the ice growth in the southern hemisphere.

    Just something to take note of, ocean temperatures are a more relevant metric than the atmospheric temperatures for sea ice.

  64. Desculpe, não falo inglês. Em minha opinião nunca houve um 3.249.000 km. Este numero tem dois objetivos: ficar com crescimento menor que 1.000.000 km em relação a 2007 e não ficar acima de 2005.

  65. IJIS have published an update. The increase is now 24,531sq kms.

    My prediction the ice will increase again on the 16th

  66. Geo (06:36:57): The reality is, it is a rube’s game on both sides to assign the most hysterical of the other side as the opposition that needs discrediting to bring the core assumptions crashing to the ground.

    Hard cheese, Geo, and a trifle unfair. For instance, in this entire thread of 77+ comments about Arctic ice, nobody mentioned that hysterical phrase oft used by certain gummit scientists, namely “death spiral”. I look for that tasteful phrase in Arctic ice stories for exactly the rationales you cite: it is a crashing and burning core assumption of the Alarmists, and I am (proudly) a rube.

  67. Mark Fawcett (07:54:57) :

    That is exactly the mechanism I was thinking of.

    The AWG community will point out albedo allowing water to be warmed by the Sun, however, I contend that at the angle of incidence, (even in Summer,) the albedo of water will be similar to ice. Plus. Sunlight at that latitude has to travel through more atmosphere before it reaches Earth, so the intensity is reduced too.

    DaveE.

  68. “”” S.E.Hendriksen (00:43:20) :

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.php

    It started freezing about a week ago….see the small heat-peak about day 245-50….heat was released to the atmosphere.

    Kind regards from Greenland

    Svend “””

    Hey Svend; it is good to hear your voice again. I was beginning to get worried about you the other day, when all that sea ice suddenly fell up onto Greenland leaving open ocean around. Glad that you survived that maelstrom of incoming ice, without having to head for the homeland.

    At least it is nice to know we have one place to get the fair dinkum skinny about where ice is, and isn’t; have a nice winter Svend.

    George

  69. Leif Svalgaard (10:50:13) :

    Geoff Sharp (02:37:14) :
    as we head into the yet unnamed Landscheidt Minimum.
    If it becomes a grand minimum, it will be the Eddy minimum.

    That’s what I really like about both of you, NO CONSENSUS!

  70. Anthony;

    I was just revisiting the website of the International Arctic Buoy Programme, which I came across some time ago but hadn’t been back to since an equipment problem wiped out most of my bookmarks file a couple of months ago. In browsing around I came across this paper
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/research_seaiceageextent.html
    which is from 2004, but includes this updated animation thru 2007
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/animations/Rigor&Wallace2004_AgeOfIce1979to2007.mpg. The description of the animation includes the following

    This animation of the age of sea ice shows:
    1.) A large Beaufort Gyre which covers most of the Arctic Ocean during the 1980s, and a transpolar drift stream shifted towards the Eurasian Arctic. Older, thicker sea ice (white ice) covers about 80% of the Arctic Ocean up to 1988. The date is shown in the upper left corner.
    2.) With the step to high-AO conditions in 1989, the Beaufort Gyre shrinks and is confined to the corner between Alaska and Canada. The Transpolar Drift Stream now sweeps across most of the Arctic Ocean, carrying most of the older, thicker sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait (lower right). By 1990, only about 30% of the Arctic Ocean is covered by older thicker sea ice.
    3.) During the high-AO years that follow (1991 and on), this younger thinner sea ice is shown to recirculated back to the Alaskan coast where extensive open water has been observed during summer.
    The age of sea ice drifting towards the coast explains over 50% of the variance in summer sea ice extent (compared to less than 15% of the variance explained by the seasonal redistribution of sea ice, and advection of heat by summer winds).

    I generally don’t like to jump to wild conclusions, but to me this appears to be almost “smoking gun” evidence that the dramatic decline in summer ice in the Arctic is unrelated to temperature trends. I don’t recall coming upon any references to this elsewhere and it is not featured prominently on the IABP site, so I wonder if you might consider doing a post on it here. I really think it deserves wider circulation

  71. I’m with Stephen Goldstein on this one. In Bruce Richardson’s fine figure, there is often an upturn around September 14, followed by a fall a few days later. We’ll need to wait a few days to see if indeed September 13 was the minimum.

  72. Mark Fawcett (07:54:57)

    I think you are right and it really is that simple.

    As the main energy supply to the Arctic (more than from the sun even in summer) is from oceanic inflow to the Arctic Ocean it must follow that less ice will allow more energy loss to the air in a negative feedback process.I mentioned that in blogs over a year ago but got no response, presumably because we only had one year of ice recovery to go on at that time and no one else was prepared to commit to expressing such a view in public. Two years ice recovery is helpful evidence in support and 3 years plus should clinch it.

    The past two years we have seen slightly cooler water flowing into the Arctic Ocean because the peak of the long run of powerful El Nino events was in 1998 and I suspect that the peak effect on the Arctic was in 2006 but winds favourable to ice loss put the maximum melt in 2007.

    So we now have less energy reaching the Arctic from the oceans underneath plus enhanced energy loss to the air from the ongoing period of more open water plus a less active sun (probably a less influential factor in the short term).

    It would be hardly surprising if we now see a rapid ice recovery for several years yet. It will not be for about 8 to 10 years after another huge El Nino that we will see a substantial Arctic ice reduction again and that is unlikely to happen during the newly commenced negative PDO phase. Even if we get a moderate El Nino in the Pacific the other ocean surfaces are now cool enough to offset it.

  73. Well I’ll let y’alls argue whether this is the minimum and how many acres it is; it’s a bit like walking the halls outside the delivery room; at some point you might as well go out and have a beer.

    So for me I think it’s time to call it on the arctic ice pack; yep she’s pregnant all right, and we can expect to see lots of little ice packlets any time soon; so I’m out of here to go and get that beer; it was fun again this year just like last year.

    And Anthony, each time we do this, we all learn a little something about what Gaia is up to; so thanks for inviting me to the party; see ya next year too.

    George

  74. Dave Wendt (12:14:36)

    I support that interpretation. The amount of energy flowing into the Arctic Ocean from other warmer waters, especially from the Gulf Stream is far more significant than air temperatures as far as ice formation and melt is concerned. Indeed that oceanic energy flow will have a considerable influence on the air temperatures unless capped by ice as Mark Fawcett points out.

    As regards distribution of ice and the speed with which it can flow out of the Arctic Ocean the paramount consideration is the synoptic situation and resulting predominant wind flows.

    Those synoptics and wind flows are dictated by the current rate of global energy release from all the Earth’s oceans combined which then dictates the positions and intensities of all the global air circulation systems.

    The negative PDO phase has already begun to change the prevailing synoptics worldwide probably for the next 25 to 30 years.

    The first sign of the change in synoptics was as long ago as 2000 when the air circulation systems started to drift back equatorward from their more poleward positions adopted from 1975 to 2000.

    I guess that even though the ocean phase had not yet changed at that point the decline from a peak of oceanic energy release had already commenced by 2000.

  75. Philip_B (09:50:22) :

    Fish don’t freeze in lakes because their body fluids are more saline than the water.

    Where water is more saline than that in the fish, the fish will freeze.

    Antarctic waters are particularly saline and as a result have few fish for precisely this reason.

    I am not sure if that’s a good leg pull or not (it’s too late to research it and I’m cream-crackered) :o)

    I was merely attempting to illustrate the point that freezing occurs from the top and that ice acts as an insulator.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  76. in 2 days a extend of 50.000 sqaure km2. is pretty good pace upwards. I think with when you look at the Danish temps. far below zero we can say weonly go uwards from now.

  77. DaveE (11:03:45) : Your posting on albedo gives me another opportunity to pose a thought that has been on my mind for a long time. The AGW community is very alarmed by loss of albedo as arctic ice coverage falls by 1.5 million sq km below 79-00 average for a couple of months. Meanwhile, we have paved over 156,000 square kilometers just in the United States and the United States is only 6% of the world’s land surface. With the angle being much more direct and for much of the year on populated areas, it would seem that the albedo effect of building roads and parking lots is more than the effect stemming from the loss of Arctic ice. (And this talk does not include rooftops and other changes in land use.)

  78. Those synoptics and wind flows are dictated by the current rate of global energy release from all the Earth’s oceans combined which then dictates the positions and intensities of all the global air circulation systems.

    Stephen Wilde, that sounds like the basis for a decadal model (ie theory) of the Earth’s climate, which would produce testable predictions on a regional scale.

    It would also give us a clearer picture of the relative impact the forcings so beloved by the IPCC and AGWers.

    However, all genuine science must allow for the theory in question to be disproved. And I doubt a grant proposal for a study that would disprove the scientific (theoretical) basis for AGW would get very far.

  79. “”” Nic (13:25:50) :

    Do I read this correctly;

    Arctic Sea Ice – It is at normal levels for the time of year. “””

    You got it Nic; basically nothing much is happening that doesn’t happen all the time; well at least once a year, anyway.

    Given that temperatures have fluctuated up and down, and then down and up over the last 100 years or so (I can vouch for the majority of that period); it is not surprising that the sea ice fluctuates up and down; not only seasonally, but year in and year out.

    Nothing much untoward is happening, and I am willing to receive a generous Government Research Grant to study that mystery.

    If I ever thought when I was in college, that I could graduate and pull a scam like that, which is done at institutions all over the globe; at a cost of multi billions of dollars, I would have paid more attention in school.

    Instead I end up having to work for a living.

    George

  80. I am not sure if that’s a good leg pull or not (it’s too late to research it and I’m cream-crackered) :o)

    I was merely attempting to illustrate the point that freezing occurs from the top and that ice acts as an insulator.

    It’s no leg pull. A freshwater fish would have to be uncased in ice before it froze because the water would freeze before the fish. While ocean fish in subzero waters can be supercooled with their body fluids below their freezing point. Which means if the fish swallowed a single ice crystal, it would be at risk of instantly freezing solid. Like a scene out of sci-fi movie.

    As for ice forming from the top. It does, but this as much to do with the physical properties of ice and water as it does the fact oceans lose heat from the surface.

    If water didn’t reach its minimum density at 4C, the Arctic Ocean would be frozen solid, and oceans would freeze from the bottom up. Even the tropical oceans would be solid ice below the thermocline.

    Apologies for the pedantry. Your main point is entirely correct. Ice is an effective insulator.

  81. Stephen Wilde (13:34:02) :

    I hope you are saving your posts. You have a logical and flowing writing style [and some palatable science] that could make for a larger paper.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  82. The Sept 16th JAXA initial data has been posted, with a drop to 5,264,375 km2

    When the adjusted data comes out in a few hours, it will likely show a slight loss from yesterday.

    Some oscillation isn’t abnormal. I’ll update with that new data.

    – Anthony

  83. http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    The latest value : 5,264,375 km2 (September 16, 2009)

    Here’s the table of data: (posted earlier)
    9 1 2009 5423750
    9 2 2009 5398281
    9 3 2009 5379844
    9 4 2009 5387969
    9 5 2009 5363438
    9 6 2009 5345156
    9 7 2009 5328906
    9 8 2009 5330469
    9 9 2009 5315938
    9 10 2009 5295313
    9 11 2009 5278594
    9 12 2009 5259375
    9 13 2009 5249844
    9 14 2009 5276563
    9 15 2009 5301094

  84. savethesharks (19:57:50)

    I’ve saved a few but but the gist of it all is set out in my series of articles at climaterealists.com

    My purpose on the blogs is to see what refinements and revisions might be necessary as a result of the comments of others.

    So far my basic climate description is holding up well and continues to be consistent with real world developments.

    Anyway, if I’ve got it right or provided useful new insights then plenty of others will be trawling for and reproducing my comments in due course.

    If not then there’s no point saving it all anyway.

    Thanks for your support.

  85. Philip_B (16:53:51) :

    It’s no leg pull. A freshwater fish would have to be uncased in ice before it froze because the water would freeze before the fish. While ocean fish in subzero waters can be supercooled with their body fluids below their freezing point. Which means if the fish swallowed a single ice crystal, it would be at risk of instantly freezing solid. Like a scene out of sci-fi movie.

    You live and learn :o)

    As for ice forming from the top. It does, but this as much to do with the physical properties of ice and water as it does the fact oceans lose heat from the surface.
    Indeed and I had meant to put a line into my original posting to that effect but forgot – tis remarkable stuff this H20. Without this physical property (in comparison to many other molecules) we’d be a bit stuffed I reckon.

    Apologies for the pedantry. Your main point is entirely correct. Ice is an effective insulator.
    No apologies needed – I may have called you a pedant if you’d corrected me on my original spelling of “creek” though ;o)

    Cheers

    Mark.

  86. http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/news/the_least_sea_ice/
    Unprecedented low twentieth century winter sea ice extent in the Western Nordic Seas since A.D. 1200

    Abstract We reconstructed decadal to centennial variability of maximum sea ice extent in the Western Nordic Seas for A.D. 1200–1997 using a combination of a regional tree-ring chronology from the timberline area in Fennoscandia and δ18O from the Lomonosovfonna ice core in Svalbard. The reconstruction successfully explained 59% of the variance in sea ice extent based on the calibration period 1864–1997. The significance of the reconstruction statistics (reduction of error, coefficient of efficiency) is computed for the first time against a realistic noise background. The twentieth century sustained the lowest sea ice extent values since A.D. 1200: low sea ice extent also occurred before (mid-seventeenth and mid-eighteenth centuries, early fifteenth and late thirteenth centuries), but these periods were in no case as persistent as in the twentieth century. Largest sea ice extent values occurred from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, during the Little Ice Age (LIA), with relatively smaller sea ice-covered area during the sixteenth century. Moderate sea ice extent occurred during thirteenth–fifteenth centuries. Reconstructed sea ice extent variability is dominated by decadal oscillations, frequently associated with decadal components of the North Atlantic Oscillation/Arctic Oscillation (NAO/AO), and multi-decadal lower frequency oscillations operating at ~50–120 year. Sea ice extent and NAO showed a non-stationary relationship during the observational period. The present low sea ice extent is unique over the last 800 years, and results from a decline started in late-nineteenth century after the LIA.

  87. Philip_B (16:53:51) :
    As for ice forming from the top. It does, but this as much to do with the physical properties of ice and water as it does the fact oceans lose heat from the surface.

    If water didn’t reach its minimum density at 4C, the Arctic Ocean would be frozen solid, and oceans would freeze from the bottom up. Even the tropical oceans would be solid ice below the thermocline.

    Apologies for the pedantry. Your main point is entirely correct. Ice is an effective insulator.

    Seawater has a maximum density at the freezing point which is why ice floats, the maximum(sic) density at 4ºC is for freshwater only. In both cases ice has a lower density than liquid water,

  88. The issue with JAXA is their melt-pool algorithm. When they insert it and when they take it out. Just look at June 1 to know that they still have no good handle on it. For all my observations, barely any were there to see on the polar web cam at any time during 2009.

  89. BTW, I give that exact 10,000 km square final drop from the day before major credence… 5,291,094 reported for September 16.

  90. Somewhere around here I mentioned that a colleague who lived in those waters and watched the ice come and go explained that when the freeze starrts, that large areas of ice can appear rapidly and disappear just as rapidly over a period of a few days, until the air gets cold enough for the new ice to persist.

    I’ts still a done deal as far as I am concerned , and I will read the final minimum figure out of curiosity when they have one.

    And we still get that nonsense about the ice at present being x% below the 1979-2000 average. Well duh! it has to spend some time below average, or else you have the figure for the average wrong.

  91. “Andrew P (12:27:26) :
    Thisis finally ‘breaking news’ on the BBC – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8261953.stm
    but with the usual warmist spin of course, and they put the figure at 5.1 million km2″ ,

    Hmmm… the last paragraph reads:
    “Also, as noted last year, a much greater proportion of the cover consists of young, thin ice formed in a single winter that is much more prone to re-melting than the older, thicker ice that dominated in years gone by. ”

    Well I just just looking at the images comparing 9/16/08 to 9/16/09 on The Cryosphere Today and to this layman there is a whole lot more dark purple:
    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=09&fd=16&fy=2008&sm=09&sd=16&sy=2009

  92. Sorry, I used a translator.
    Beware the propaganda! When it comes to third lesser extent, is to forget that in reality 2009 is equal to 2005, because the difference between the two is almost 1%. What is the margin of error of JAXA? And at least 2009 do not exceed 1,000,000 kilometers in 2007? And these fixes daily than 10,000 km and 35,000 km accurate consecutive days? And try distraction for SST record? Do not fall for that

  93. Now SEpt 20.

    And AMSRE sea ice extent is EQUAL to what it was in 2005. And 2009’s minimum (about Sept 16 apparently) is within 1% of it’s minimum in 2005 6-7 days later – and gaining rapidly, with Arctic temperatures now 10 degrees below freezing. (Also below average for this date! And below average for the date through the whole year actually.)

    Gee. I wonder if they will notice that. Or will continue to pretend that (four years later), there has been no change in sea ice extents.

    /sarchasm = the gaping whole between a liberal and reality.

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