# New weekly feature: WUWT Sea Ice News

There’s a lot of interest in the blogosphere in sea ice, and the leading authority, NSIDC, only updates one a month. Yet when we reach things like peak ice, or minimum ice, we often find those occur at times when there’s no input from that organization, or others for that matter. So every week, we’ll offer a summary of sea ice news. Of course if something interesting happens, like the Arctic Sea ice line from NSIDC crosses the normal line, we’ll cover that when it happens.

This new feature gives readers a chance to submit artwork to be used as a header graphic if they wish. For example, the Quote of the Week graphic was provided by WUWT reader “Boudu”. If you have graphical skills and ideas, feel free to post them up to tinypic.com or photobucket etc and provide a link in comments below. – Anthony

WUWT Sea Ice News by Steven Goddard

Al Gore calls it global warming.  Bill Clinton calls it springtime.  Others call it a death spiral, tipping point, or point of no return.  Whatever you call it, the Arctic has started to melt and has lost about a million km2 of ice since the peak.  The NSIDC graph below does not hide the decline.

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

I just measured today’s NSIDC sea ice.  It has passed the median line, though would require several similar days to appear in their moving average graph.

The image below shows where ice has melted and grown during the past 12 days.  Areas in red have declined, and areas in green have increased in extent.

The decline in Bering Sea ice is due to much warmer air that has arrived this week.  The sea of Okhotsk remains very cold and has gained some ice near the north end.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmpmer_01a.fnl.anim.html

Sea ice remains nearly one million km2 ahead of 2007, and the map below shows where ice has gained and been lost relative to 2007.  Green is growth, red is decline.

The map below shows areas of excess and deficient ice relative to the median.   Green shows excess ice and red shows deficient.  As of today, there is more excess ice than deficient ice.  NSIDC uses a moving average, so it would take several days of similar conditions for it to show up in their graphs.

Five years ago, Steve Connor at The Independent feared that the Arctic had “irreversibly” “tipped” “past the point of no return”, but now it looks like the reports of the Arctic’s death were exaggerated.

## 177 thoughts on “New weekly feature: WUWT Sea Ice News”

1. nandheeswaran jothi says:

But, you are not going to see any mention of that in the brain-dead MSM

2. TFN Johnson says:

Let’s have a weekly update on the sunspot situation as well. The sun has been spotless for a few days, but a weekly update of a graph of cycle 24 compared to others in history would be useful.

3. Douglas DC says:

Now how will a high latitude volcanic eruption play into this? we are going to find out..

4. Doug in Seattle says:

nandheeswaran jothi (09:38:15) :
But, you are not going to see any mention of that in the brain-dead MSM

The MSM is waiting for the official word from NSIDC, which we all know will only report on loss.
Expect their announcement to focus on the seasonal melt as though it were something “unprecedented”, like “It’s worse than we thought, we’ve lost over a million km2 of ice since the beginning of April”.

5. Richard Sharpe (09:46:03) :
Seems like it should be “septic alerts.”
Can you imagine anyone signing up to spend their time desperately trying to keep bad news alive? That could probably be described as a form of mental illness.

6. Your maps show ice in the Baltic south of the Danish islands. I doubt there is any by now. Detailed sat image of Denmark doesn’t how any….

7. Rick K says:

Anthony, Steve,
Great stuff. Clear, straight-forward and to the point.
If the media types could/would simply copy and paste your Sea Ice News into their rags, their publications might be worth more than fish-wrap.
This is what is so confounding to me. The information is there… it’s available for all to see. You just have to open your eyes!
Thanks again to you, your contributors and mods for making WUWT a great place to learn and stay light-years ahead of those simply will not see or report on climate just as it is.

8. Douglas DC (09:48:55) :
If the wind reverses and the ash falls on Arctic ice, it could produce a lot of melting by lowering the albedo. I flew over western Greenland after the big melt summer of 2007, and the ice was extremely dirty with soot – or something similar.

9. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

So every week, we’ll offer a summary of sea ice news.
I like it!
Who’s the real leader for Arctic Ice? WattsUpWithThat! That’s who!

10. Steve M. (10:06:17) :
Leif does have some of this already.
This plot shows cycle 24 in context of the previous three cycles:
http://www.leif.org/research/Active%20Region%20Count.png
The data plotted is what I call the ‘Active Region Count’, ARC. It is almost the same as the international sunspot number, in fact ARC is close to 3 * SSN. My definition of ARC is this:
“A count of days in each full month the region [if given a NOAA number] was visible, [and no more than 70 degrees from central meridian] and then summed for every region. Yearly smoothed values are also shown as the smoother curves. Different cycles are coded with a different color. The detailed figures show the transitions between cycles.”
The vertical cyan line goes through the ‘real minima’ where the count of the new cycle overtakes the count of the old cycle. It is interesting to look at the slope of the ascent. You can clearly see that it was large for SC22, a bit smaller for SC23, and smallest for SC24, indicating the expected strengths of the cycles [this is called Waldmeier’s law].
Now that SC24 has begun, I’ll update the graph once a week.

11. Stephan says:

Then cycle 24 page is the best

12. R. Gates says:

Thanks for this update Steve. Very helpful.
I think it is also helpful when putting things in perspective to talk about what is really happening with the different areas you should point out for example that the big March “bump upward” which was caused by a short-term cold snap affecting primarily the Bering sea and created very thin ice that was only 4 to 12 inches thick, and just as quickly melted with the passage of the first few warm fronts, as shown in this graph:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.html
To suggest that the arctic sea ice is still not in peril is misleading. Certainly, the prediction made in Dec. 2007, by only one scientist, that the arctic would be ice free by 2013, was extreme, but prior to 2007, the AGW models were suggesting that arctic would be ice free in the summers by 2100, but now the range in more in the 2030 range. The point being, that predictions of sea ice made off of one month’s data, or one year, or even two or three years, is bound to be wrong. The longest reliable data we have is about 30 years, and the downward longer trend is quite clear, despite the recovery of 2008-2009, which I personally feel had many factors involved, not the least of which were La Nina and more importantly, the very long and deep solar minimum.
Finally, in your summaries, you probably ought to get as much sea ice mass information in them as well. Sea ice mass critical, as the thickness of the ice is so important in determining how fast it will be melting when the June, July, and August melting really gets underway. There is a great deal of very thin ice in many regions of the arctic after the warm winter in these regions, and I believe it will melt very fast this summer, and I stick to my prediction that the summer minimum will be less than 2008 or 2009, but not quite as low as 2007. I also believe, again based on long term charts and sea ice mass, that we will see a new summer low before 2015, and I think an ice free summer by 2030 is quite within the range of possibility. My only caveat is, and always has been the eruption of a Pinatubo level volcano, and certainly the Eyjafjallajokull eruption is not nearly that big yet, but if the nearby Katla volcano wakes up (as it has the last three times Eyjafjallajokull erupted)…then things could get interesting for sure…

13. TFN Johnson says:

Thanx, Steve M. But I’d like rather more explanation. Lief can be rather too technical for the average reader…..

14. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

Joe Bastardi in 6 minute video from his blog on Arctic Ice and total sea ice:
“…..you can’t say if something is near normal that it’s, you know, in the tank and rapidly disappearing…..”
http://www.accuweather.com/video/76961658001/more-fun-with-sea-ice.asp?channel=vblog_bastardi
video that he mentions of him debating on The Colbert Report:
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/269929/april-06-2010/science-catfight—joe-bastardi-vs–brenda-ekwurzel

15. I think this is an overkill. I am just waiting for the minimum ice extent in September. That is the only number which really matters. Last year, Environment Canada started it’s weekly reports of ice in the Canadian Arctic, which are quite interesting, on 14th May. http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/app/WsvPageDsp.cfm?Id=11886&Lang=eng. So there is not that much longer to wait.

16. Rhys Jaggar says:

It’d be really interesting Anthony to see the 31 year satellite record plotted in a number of ways to see if there are any clear patterns of ice extent oscillations, be that in total extent, local changes etc etc.
Does anyone do that or is the data series still too short to show anything up?

17. Frederick Michael says:

For solar activity, this is useful:
http://www.solen.info/solar/images/solar.gif
I’d guess that the top curve (measured solar flux) would be the one to watch if you like the “chilling stars” theory.

18. TFN Johnson says:

Thanx Leif: GR8, just what I need.

19. latitude says:

“To suggest that the arctic sea ice is still not in peril is misleading”
Keeping in mind that the climate is never static, can’t be static, shouldn’t be static……..
….if it was, we would not be here.
Never in the history of man, that I’m aware of, has a good thing been portrayed as such a catastrophe.

20. D. King says:

stevengoddard (10:03:38) :
Can you imagine anyone signing up to spend their time desperately trying to keep bad news alive? That could probably be described as a form of mental illness.
Evolutionary responses to adversity. The fight / flight response is
like a drug to some. They like to have the crap scared out of them
and others, for the high, and observe the collective response. The
ones that scare me are the sociopaths that never experience the
feeling, but use the fear response to manipulate others.

21. Smokey says:

Let’s look at the global picture, since your graph is cherry-picking: click

22. Stephan says:

R. Gates “and more importantly, the very long and deep solar minimum” This is a completely contradiction of the AGW hypothesis that the sun has NO effect on climate or ice. Or have you/they changed your/their minds now? Thanks keep it up your really helping my skeptic agenda with such lucid info

23. The climate is getting rather boring these days. There used to be a time it required a science degree to understand why the science was wrong and a degree & years of experience in weather instrumentation to understand why the temperature was wrong.
Now anyone can just look at the graphs and see for themselves.

24. Daniel M says:

Why are we stuck using the NSIDC graph’s 1979-2000 average? What would the 1989-2009 average look like in comparison to current ice levels? My guess is that we would now be far beyond the average.
But why stop there? Why are we stuck with the 1970-2000 average used virtually across the board for global temperature anomaly? How about 1980-2009? My guess is that such a graph would better reflect the lack of significant warming over the last decade.

25. R. Gates says:

latitude said:
“To suggest that the arctic sea ice is still not in peril is misleading”
Keeping in mind that the climate is never static, can’t be static, shouldn’t be static……..
….if it was, we would not be here.
Never in the history of man, that I’m aware of, has a good thing been portrayed as such a catastrophe.
————
All quite true. Change is the only constant, and though I happen to think that AGWT is likely correct, I really haven’t even given thought to whether it would be good or bad to have an ice free arctic. Perhaps there would be positives and negatives for humans and other species. Taken as a whole, I think warmth is better than cold (agreeing with Willis et. al on this point at least).
When I say the arctic sea ice is “in peril”, I only mean the ice itself as existing. I didn’t say the arctic ecosystem, for if the ice is gone, the arctic ecosystem will change and adapt to the warmth, and like in all changes, some species will vanish and others will flourish. Most the species that have ever existed on this planet no longer exist– all mainly because of some form of climate change. The only difference this time of course could be that human activity will cause the change. Assuming we’re around 50,000 years from now, when the next Milankovitch cycle would bring about the advance of glaciers, we’d probably be glad for a every bit of CO2 that we could muster into the atmosphere…but by that time, we’d probably be so proficient at terraforming and geoengineering that we’d have no problem mitigating even the worst of the next glacial period.

26. ShrNfr says:

With a reasonable knowledge that the data is not going to be any good, the best interval to average over would be the 60 year AMO cycle. If nothing else, it would rub people’s noses in the fact that it exists, and that it effects the northern polar ice extent.

27. John Blake says:

AS WUWT has pointed out, Arctic sea-ice “extent” is a misleading measure compared to sea-ice area. “Extent” depicts sea-ice borders, emphasizing northerly contraction or southerly expansion– but such borders ignore borderlines’ interior. The extreme case would be where sea-ice bounds surrounded an ice-free Arctic Ocean, so that wide extent corresponded to radically reduced area.
Gradations of this impossible extreme should thus significantly differentiate sea-ice area from extent. Due to coastline irregularities and other factors, geologic Area is a far more objective and reliable measure than Extent. A historical table setting one measure beside the other, registering proportional differences, would be a useful comparative exercise.

28. R. Gates says:

Stephan said :
R. Gates “and more importantly, the very long and deep solar minimum” This is a completely contradiction of the AGW hypothesis that the sun has NO effect on climate or ice. Or have you/they changed your/their minds now? Thanks keep it up your really helping my skeptic agenda with such lucid info.
———
Stephan, do you know anything at all about any of the AGW models, or are you just talking from what you’ve read on blogs or heard of Faux News? The effects of solar cycles has long been taken into account in AGW models, and even can be reflected quite nicely in graphs such as this, charting solar cycles versus global temps;
http://www.climate4you.com/Sun.htm#Global temperature and sunspot number
AGW models never have excluded the effects of the sun, either in the shorter term, such as the 11 year solar cycle, or the longer term, in such things as the Milankovitch cycles. The primary focus of the research has been to dissect out the signal of antropogenic green house gases from the rest of the climate influences, both long and short term. In addition to the solar cycles there are so many other natural variables such as ENSO, PDO, AMO, volcanic activity, GCR’s, and on and on. All these natural fluctuations, lasting over the longer term and the shorter term are put into the models, along with increasing GHG concentrations.
It is so naive and just plain misleading to think that something as obvious as solar cycles are not part of the models, and completely a mistatement to say that AGW models don’t account for any influence from solar cycles…they do, but treat it as noise on top of a much stronger influence from GHG concentrations.
Think of it this way:
Milankovitch cycles work over very long term (10,000-100,000 years with a very strong climate effect)
Green House gases work over the medium term (20-1000+ years with a strong climate effect)
PDO, AMO, etc. work over years to decades (10-20 years with moderate climate effect)
Solar cycles, volanoes, ENSO work over years (1-11 years with weak to moderate climate effect)

29. rbateman says:

data selected from
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv
Sea Ice for April 17th: – Sept. minimum:
04,17,2003,13535313 – 09,18,2003,6032031
04,17,2004,12879531 – 09,11,2004,5784688
04,17,2005,13111563 – 09,22,2005,5315156
04,17,2006,12997813 – 09,14,2006,5781719
04,17,2007,12954063 – 09,24,2007,4254531
04,17,2008,13378906 – 09,09,2008,4707813
04,17,2009,13601094 – 09,13,2009,5249844
04,17,2010,13766406 – ?
At this stage, the outlook is promising for more recovery.
Survey say awaits September.

30. Keith . says:

Well, I won’t claim to be a professional artist or Graphic Designer, but I tried something simple. Let me know if you like it, Anthony.
http://i40.tinypic.com/160y3vc.jpg

31. DeNihilist says:

R. Gates, I find follwing this chart gives me about 5 days advance notice as to what the N. seaice will be like. It is starting to head “south” again, so I would expect the extent coverage to gain a bit once more.
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

32. HaroldW says:

Stephan (11:38:09) :
R. Gates “and more importantly, the very long and deep solar minimum” This is a completely contradiction of the AGW hypothesis that the sun has NO effect on climate or ice.
Stephan –
Let’s not over-simplify the arguments here. I don’t think it’s a common view among those favoring AGW that the sun has no effect on climate. I think a more accurate representation is that the solar variation over the last ~30 years is near trend-less, and is insufficient to account for the increase in global temperature over that interval. See e.g. http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/08/reference-graphs-total-solar-irradiance.html
It’s important to make one’s best efforts to represent fairly any opposing arguments. Straw men — on either side of the fence — don’t help the discussion.

33. nandheeswaran jothi says:

In the light of that big belch from iceland, any stabilization and improvement of ice extent this summer will be tagged as ” inspite the death spiral, there is a temporary relief due to the volcanic explosion “. So, the AGW crowd gets 1 or more years of reprieve…. atleast in the MSM and all these moronic Govt types

34. Al Gored says:

stevengoddard (10:03:38) wrote: “Can you imagine anyone signing up to spend their time desperately trying to keep bad news alive? That could probably be described as a form of mental illness.”
They do it on Wall Street all the time. They do it for profits from shorting.
Same basic thing here, but the goal is both power and money.
And of course there is basic human factors that D. King (11:20:45) just alluded to. Strengthens the ‘us v them’ group bonding and curtails that bothersome rational thinking that stands in the way of sheep herding.
Summed up in the question: why are doomsday cults so popular?
Back OT, these updates are going to be great for judging the weekly doomsday stories that will come from the MSM’s ice cap fixation, even though focusing so closely on short term variations is one of the roots of the whole problem here. But since that is what the AGW gang does this provides needed ammunition.
Thanks!

35. Sea ice remains nearly one million km2 ahead of 2007
As has been mentioned many times before it’s not just the extent that counts, here’s a comparison with Western Arctic ice between 2007 and today.
http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/www_archive//AOI_10/Charts/sc_a10_20070423_WIS56SD.gif
http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/WIS56SD/20100412180000_WIS56SD_0004918592.gif
The NW Passage shows significantly less old ice and there seems to be a good chance of the northern route opening this year.

• Anthony Watts says:

Always so negative phil

36. R. Gates (10:36:41) :
…but prior to 2007, the AGW models were suggesting that arctic would be ice free in the summers by 2100, but now the range in more in the 2030 range.
Is that due to a change in the models, a change in the observations, or a panic effort to help push Cap ‘n’ Trade?

37. Ralph P. says:

TFN Johnson
The sun has been spotless for a few days, but a weekly update of a graph of cycle 24 compared to others in history would be useful.
This is the best site for an accurate comparison of historical cycles as it adjusts for the fact that historical readings were made using a small refractor telescope projected onto a piece of paper and not satellite images. The sunspecks not visible from earth are discounted.
http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50
It is looking pretty bad in the real world but the warmists keep trying to big it up.

38. Anu says:

Last year, at the end of April, the Arctic sea ice extent was even closer to the 1979-2000 average than it is likely to be at the end of April this year:
http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20090804_Figure2.png
The ice then went on to the 3rd smallest summer minimum extent in the 30 year satellite record:
http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20091005_Figure2.png
If the end of April sees less ice than last year, do you really think the summer minimum will be more ice than last year? Do you have some 5 month weather forecast?

39. kim says:

Ah, ease up, A; it’s rough on him that the poles are so disobedient.
==================

40. Rhys Jaggar (10:49:57) :
It would be interesting and easy to plot UAH or DMI Arctic temps vs. NSIDC extent. Think I might do that later today.

41. jorgekafkazar says:

D. King (11:20:45) : “…The fight / flight response is like a drug to some. They like to have the crap scared out of them and others, for the high, and observe the collective response….”
Adrenaline addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Odd that some would associate it with virtue.

42. nandheeswaran jothi says:

Phil. (13:00:32) :> The NW Passage shows significantly less old ice and there seems to be a good chance of the northern route opening this year.
this has never happened before???
the reason why we have been focusing on this arctic ice because some people have been trying scare people into believing that summer arctic ice extent in a death spiral and so “we are all going to die because of that”. that itself was a questionable claim. Now this northwest passage that has happened before, in the near past!!!!
so, is this whole AGW is going to keep transmogrifying in to more and more useless, irrelevent minutiae???
what am i missing here?

43. Stephan says:

Phil and De Witt Da Pain cannot and will never admit that the ice is extending and thickening. It would be like admitting that AGW is not occurring this is why they will continue to push the agenda whenever possible LOL

44. Mike G says:

R Gates
Are you saying the AGW crowd doesn’t consider 100% of the warming since the 60’s to be greenhouse gas driven? They sure take every opportunity to trumpet that it is.

45. Stephan says:

Oh well its official now the Sun does affect climate after all hahaha.

46. nandheeswaran jothi says:

R. Gates (12:08:03) :> Green House gases work over the medium term (20-1000+ years with a strong climate effect)
This point, you seem to be stating as a fact is what is being questioned, is it not? particularly the characterization “strong climate effect”.
is there any reason to club that with the other three factors that nobody is questioning here in this site??

47. R. Craigen says:

R. Gates. I am in agreement that we do not know whether the disappearance of Arctic sea ice is a good or a bad thing. You appear to feel AGW is well established. I lean the other way; I don’t see much evidence of AGW. As for predictions of a clear arctic by 2030, there is no evidence of this either, although — who knows — it could happen. But there is no evidence that I have seen that convinces me either way. What I see is multidecadal mild fluctuations, not linear trends. The clear inverse relationship between north and south sea ice is a telling detail. It is a dynamic that remains largely unexplained, yet it appears to be an overriding factor. If the arctic goes ice-clear in a few decades, I would wager that the antarctic hovers at relative high ice levels until the pattern reverses. It seems that the two polar sea ice reservoirs play a zero-sum game of short-term fluctuation, overlayed on long-term trends that are subject almost entirely to natural cycles and external factors such as solar irradiance and geological events beyond our control.
In the end, who cares about SEA ice? I realise there’s the albedo question, but I have seen no evidence that disappearing sea ice leads to climate tipping points that tend to armageddon-scale disaster. Geological/biological records tell us that the world and its biosphere have fared quite well without sea ice, and will do so again.
The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet, however, would bring a MAJOR disaster, if it happened over a short time span, like a century. However, this is practically a physical impossibility, and requires several orders of magnitude more heating than anything the most alarmist models any reputable scientist has proposed (I don’t include Al Gore in this category!). We are quite safe from that.
Steven G: about this new feature — can I request that an effort be expended to provide balance and cover more of the cryosphere? My pet peeve about the ice-sites on the web is this unnatural obsession over a thin skin of ice on arctic waters. Let us get regular updates on what is known about the massive volumes of thick ice on the continent below. That is more like 95% of the cryosphere — shouldn’t it get more than 1% of the attention than this gossamer covering over which the alarmists continually wring their hands??

48. kwik says:

The other day a friend of mine sendt a mail to all the most important newspapers in Norway, telling them the JOYFULL news about Arctic Sea Area level returning to normal.
Surely this is reason for joyful celebrations ? Champagne?
Surely there would be frontpage news next day?
No. Not a single word.

49. bubbagyro says:

Mister Gates:
Really? GHG very strong?
I think it is well established now that the effect of GHG is very weak, unless water is included, and water appears to have negative and positive feedback attributes. Besides, “greenhouse” is a poor choice of words, since we have no glass on our “greenhouse” to prohibit convective effects, as has been well established.
Really? Effect of volcanoes very weak? I think the Permian extinct species will have a word with you in the next incarnation.
As Monty Python put it so well, “it is not just the number of words that is important, it is getting them in the right order.”

50. R. Gates says:

Bill Tuttle (13:06:23) :
R. Gates (10:36:41) :
…but prior to 2007, the AGW models were suggesting that arctic would be ice free in the summers by 2100, but now the range in more in the 2030 range.
Is that due to a change in the models, a change in the observations, or a panic effort to help push Cap ‘n’ Trade?
—————
Bill, the AGW models are constantly being refined, like any good model. After the steep decline of 2007, it was apparent that the arcitc sea ice was much more sensitive to climate change that originally modelled. Indeed, if the steep decline of 2007 had continued, the arctic would have been ice free in 2013, but a little thing called the deepest and longest solar minimum got in the way (as well as to a lesser extent a La Nina). I look forward to more concrete research related to this solar minimum, and more to the point, the decrease in Galactic Cosmic Rays that may have led to an increase in cloudiness and slight cooling during the 2005-2009 period.
So here we are in 2010, and now we can see if the GHG signal once more takes charge. Of course the El Nino of 2009-2010 has had an effect as well in the warming so far this year, and of course we’ll see a reduction in the warming later on this year as the El Nino fades…but on top of all that, as a stronger signal, AGW models would say that GHG’s will show their forcing.
We’ve gone through this deep solar minimum, and despite that, the arctic sea ice mass did not fully recover, meaning we are heading into some years of higher solar activity, lower GCR’s, and the arctic more vulnerable than it was in 2006 based on sea ice mass. Much of the arctic sea ice is thin, and with a warm summer it will melt fast.
————-
Mike G. said:
R Gates
Are you saying the AGW crowd doesn’t consider 100% of the warming since the 60’s to be greenhouse gas driven? They sure take every opportunity to trumpet that it is.
———–
Mike, again you have to talk about time frames. Some of the warming this year is related to El Nino, and some is from GHG’s. The El Nino will fade but the GHG’s are still here. The same with the sun, it is up and down pattern, with higher highs during the more active solar periods. Go back an look at this graph:
http://www.climate4you.com/Sun.htm#Global temperature and sunspot number
What you see is higher highs during the peak solar years. So the effect of the sun is shorter term than the effect of GHG’s. So your question is, mainly, yes, all the longer term trend heating is from GHG’s, with shorter term up and downs related to shorter term events like solar cycles, El Nino, La Nina, etc.

51. R. Gates says:

To correct my previous post– of course it is an “increase” in GCR’s that causes in an increase in cloudiness. It is a decrease in the output from the sun that allows greater amounts of GCR’s to reach earth, affecting the formation of clouds.

52. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

stevengoddard (10:03:38) :
Can you imagine anyone signing up to spend their time desperately trying to keep bad news alive? That could probably be described as a form of mental illness.
I have wondered that about Al Gore, not kidding.

53. Tenuc says:

A weekly update is an excellent idea, thanks Anthony.
Interesting how so many different Arctic sea ice data sets are in use!
As at 17-Apr-2010, the sea ice extent and area are both at the 1979-2006 average on the Arctic-ROOS site here:-
http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
I find it very worrying how rapidly the ice has recovered from the 2007 low, well before the effects of a quiet sun should be being felt on our climate system. There would be many benefits if we get an ice free Arctic again.

54. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

Phil. (12:22:12) :
What was sea ice like during the Medieval Warm Period? I wish to know that.

55. nandheeswaran jothi (13:52:39) :
so, is this whole AGW is going to keep transmogrifying in to more and more useless, irrelevent minutiae???
what am i missing here?
———–
Suddenly, ManBearPig has discovered a cloaking device!!! Not to mention the effects of climate change on volcanic eruptions etc.
Second question? Governments are desperate to institute new carbon taxes (either by a transparent consumption tax or, preferably, a cap & trade mechanism) and will use any type of fear/panic-mongering at their disposal to accomplish this aim.

56. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

Phil. (13:00:32) :
The NW Passage shows significantly less old ice and there seems to be a good chance of the northern route opening this year.
You are assuming the opening of the NorthWest Passage is something unusual?
What was it like during the Medieval Warm Period?

57. Bobdutch says:

Having just watched a documentary about the building of Ice Breakers I wonder if this is having any affect ice loss figures. the Russians are now taking tourist to the North Pole on huge ice breakers and they are coming up with better ways of breaking the ice.
Maybe they should be a bit more careful with how much they break up the ice before blaming Climate Change.

58. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

Funny how some people have become experts on exactly what North Pole ice is supposed to, and, not supposed to, be like.
One thing that can be said is that it is unlikely North Pole Ice will be gone in 4 years. I say 4 years because 1 year ago Al Gore made his prediction that all North Pole Ice could be gone in 5 years. 4 years left now. And that ice is heading in the opposite direction that the biggest name in global warming said it would go.

59. Jimbo says:

I suspect that Phil would be greatly saddened if over the next 5 years Arctic sea ice extent and area jumped above the 1979-2000 average during winter and summer. Why???? Warmists seem to be depressed whenever they see recovery. Why???
Religion? Agenda? Embarassment? I would be thrilled to bits to see contrary signs of AGW particlularly over 5 to 10 years.

60. Jimbo says:

Clarification:
If I were a warmist I would be thrilled to bits to see contrary signs of AGW particlularly over 5 to 10 years.

61. latitude says:

Can’t predict the weather, can’t predict the climate.
Can’t even predict the weather one, two, or three days out, because feedbacks get in the way.
If you don’t understand weather feedbacks, you can’t possibly understand climate feedbacks.
Yes, they keep adjusting and refining their computer climate programs.
Because they can’t get them right!

62. I was looking at Cryosphere Today and I noticed that it’s four days out of date, how often do they update? It also seems that the ‘compare’ image does not agree with the ‘latest’ for the most recent date. Do these guys share the code that generates the images? It just doesn’t look right. The latest also shows rapidly deteriorating ice concentrations, is this just a transient effect, bug or am indication of things to come?

63. R. Gates says:

As we’re talking about ice in general, arctic or antarctic, we should really talk about ice mass. I hope that charts showing ice mass will show up in these discussions, like this one from the antarctic:
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/416685main_20100108_Climate_1.jpg
It does a great disservice to the discussion to only talk about ice extent. The mass of the ice is quite important, as it is a better gauge of the overall condition of the ice. With the launch of the CryoSat-2, we’ll get better and better data, and can really see what is happening.
Other graphs that some might find of interest, such as melt trends:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=42456

64. bubbagyro says:

I predict that the Arctic passage will be clear by 1908.

65. rbateman says:

Yes, the AGW Propaganda Machine is desperate. The deperation is an attempt to derail public outcry over the Cap & Trade to pay for unfunded programs that are already passed.
Poll numbers supporting AGW are in decline, and the outrage is already approaching the level of scary. The Congress may lose it’s nerve with elections forthcoming.
Right now, Sea Ice is 231093 km2 ahead of 2003, and 165312 km2 ahead of 2009. according to JAXA That’s not supportive of death-spiral Arctic theory or it’s predictions. It is April 18, 2010, not Sept. 18, 2010, and there is no current Sea Ice data for AGW-backed Cap&Trade to lean on.

66. u.k.(us) says:

O/T
Are “windmills” designed to resist the effects of volcanic ash entering the gearing/cooling systems?
Seems like a potential problem.
The only reason I ask, is I paid for them.

67. R. Gates (15:34:44) :
The Antarctic graph you linked is the freshwater ice sheet, not sea ice. It is also a WAG because they don’t have any gravity calibration measurements in the interior of the continent. Mass could just as easily be going up.
There aren’t any regular updates of Arctic sea ice thickness that I know of, but if you have a source please let us know.

68. rbateman says:

R. Gates (15:34:44) :
Nice try, R. Gates. The melt season onset graph ends in 2007.
So I ask you: Does time stop in 2007 for sake of argument?

69. David says:

Mr Gates, so balanced for moments, then this…”
We’ve gone through this deep solar minimum, and despite that, the arctic sea ice mass did not fully recover…”
You know perfectly well that even NOAA relates the 07 decline primarily to wind and ocean currents. You also know that the current recovery is the fastest on the 30 year record.
So we went to a 30 year low, and 08 and 09 are the largest fastest most spectacular increase on the record.

70. Al Gored says:

Amino Acids in Meteorites (14:40:14) wrote: “What was sea ice like during the Medieval Warm Period? I wish to know that.”
McGhee, R. 2001 [1996]. Ancient people of the Arctic. Canadian Museum of Civilization/UBC Press.

71. Anthony Watts (13:25:14) :
Always so negative phil

Not negative at all, just observing the actual changes relative to 2007.
nandheeswaran jothi (13:52:39) :
Phil. (13:00:32) :> “The NW Passage shows significantly less old ice and there seems to be a good chance of the northern route opening this year.”
this has never happened before???

It was just an observation, I didn’t say it was bad nor unique, why so defensive?
Amino Acids in Meteorites (14:42:22) :
Phil. (13:00:32) :
“The NW Passage shows significantly less old ice and there seems to be a good chance of the northern route opening this year.”
You are assuming the opening of the NorthWest Passage is something unusual?

No, but it has been infrequent until the last few years, as far as the northern route is concerned that’s even more infrequent.
Jimbo (14:49:10) :
I suspect that Phil would be greatly saddened if over the next 5 years Arctic sea ice extent and area jumped above the 1979-2000 average during winter and summer. Why???? Warmists seem to be depressed whenever they see recovery. Why???

Straw man, you’re asking the wrong person in any case since I have no emotional attachment to arctic ice, pro or con. So far I see no signs of recovery. All the indications are that the summer ice will be mostly gone in that timeframe though.
Stephan (13:53:40) :
Phil and De Witt Da Pain cannot and will never admit that the ice is extending and thickening.

I will when it happens.

72. Alan S. Blue says:

There’s a comparison graph between “this date in 2007 and now”.
I’d be interested in seeing the same graph for 1983 – which is supposed to be the high-ice-year.

73. R. Gates (15:34:44) :
As we’re talking about ice in general, arctic or antarctic, we should really talk about ice mass.>>
Let’s not. Let’s talk energy. Salt water freezes in a different pattern than fresh water. For fresh water to freeze only the top layer reaches the freezing point, the water below is warmer. For salt water to freeze, all the water must first reach the freezing point and THEN ice starts to form. So even a thin layer of ice is indicative of a LOT of cooling.

74. Alan Davidson says:

The Japanese IJIS website gives daily data and graphical updates on the Arctic Sea Ice Extent here: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
No base period or comparison to an average. Annual graphical display for the years 2002 to 2010. The 2010 ice extent is the highest in any of these years for the current period

75. Al Gored says:

Amino – In case you don’t have easy access to the book noted in my last post (16:16:30), here’s a quote that sums up the answer to your question, from p 230 of that book:
“”during the relatively mild [MWP] the open-water hunting techniques developed in Alaska would have provided the Inuit with an easy lielihood”
The Inuit spread east through the Arctic during this period, using boats and hunting bowhead whales, and displaced the more ice-adapted Dorset culture.
One of their primary movement corridors was the ‘northwest passage.’
What would that suggest? Those who tried to delete the MWP must have tried very hard to ignore Arctic archaeology.
I guess the Inuit failed to publish the appropriately peer reviewed papers on their experiences. But the archaeologists did.

76. John Finn says:

Daniel M (15:21:56) :
Phil. (12:22:12) :
Really, beware what you wish for:
http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png
http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_s.png
Nice try, but you included pre-79 measurements. How about putting up the 1989-2009 as originally stated – then you’ll have my attention.

I’m not sure you understand how anomalies work. Changing the base period might change the raw numbers but it doesn’t alter the trend. It makes absolutely no difference to how much warming or how much ice loss has occurred.

77. maz2 says:

Al Gore’s Weather (AGW): koff…choke…yikes..spittt
…-
“Europe counts saved carbon emissions as flights stay grounded
The grounding of 63,000 flights over the past four days has saved 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, more than the annual emissions of many developing countries.
Aviation is responsible for about 2 per cent of global emissions of CO2, but accounts for a much higher proportion of emissions in European nations, which have many frequent flyers. Aircraft are responsible for more than 6 per cent of Britain’s CO2 emissions.
On a normal day, the 28,000 flights in European airspace emit about 560,000 tonnes of CO2, or a third of the world’s aviation emissions.
The Aviation Environment Federation calculated that the CO2 saving over four days had been greater than the annual emissions of Malawi, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and about 50 other developing countries.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7101517.ece

78. Richard Sharpe (09:46:03) :

http://www.campaigncc.org/node/384
where the anti-skeptics are organizing …
However, two can play at that game.

He, he!
Yup, I’ve signed up too…

79. maz2 (16:54:25) :
It is the goal of Plane Stupid to make the UK on a par with “Malawi, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and about 50 other developing countries.”
That is why they call themselves and their loyal followers “stupid.”

80. nandheeswaran jothi says:

Phil. (16:19:38) :
my apologies, if you did not mean to imply that it was unusual.
cheers

81. rbateman says:

John Finn (16:50:07) :
Changing the base period changes how much of the graph is above or below normal. Sinusoidal trends that bounce around in a normal range are made to appear frightening when someone cherry-picks the baseline to start at the bottom of a sine. I call that trend stuffing. 2007 was the bottom of a sine, and that is how AGW does it. Fine.
It is now moving up from that bottom, not heading further down, and that is all it is saying. It is also moving up from 2003, as well as 2007, 2008 and 2009. By AGW’s own measure, starting at the bottom, the death-spiral is not happening. By the JAXA 2003 data point on the preceeding downtrend of the sine, it is also not happening.
If you want to play by the trends, then you must take your lumps when it goes against predictions.

82. bubbagyro says:

maz2:
Too bad – we could have used the CO2 for the crops this summer.

83. rbateman says:

maz2 (16:54:25) :
I’ll gladly give up any savings in C02 rather than be subjected to a volcanic cloud high in flourine and other foul stuff. Not to mention the lung-scarring engine-grinding dust.
Nothing to celebrate about ash & fumes.

84. James says:

RGates
We only have 30 years arctic ice data and you are making big assumtions that there are no cycles involved with minimum extent and the relationship is linear to 2030.
Clearly arctic sea ice extent for the summer minimum has cycled in the past and is not a linear relationship with time. If it were then you could project that slope of your linear relationship backwards as well as forwards to find that in 1850 the arctic sea ice minimum extended to somewhere near California and New york.
Does Arctic sea ice minimum vary on some kind of timescale lagging the OHC and Atmosphere cycle? Or is it a linear relationship with CO2 and time?

85. nandheeswaran jothi says:

R. Gates (15:34:44) :
there is one more issue with that graph. when you look at the scatter, and the short period of data, fitting a straight line itself is an extremely questionable task. any slope that you would come up with such foolish attempt will change significantly when the next data point is included.
now, they seem to have gone out of their way to pick a parabolic curve!!!! that does not seem to be driven by modeling or math or physics. seems to be driven by ideology. The acceleration you see in the ice mass decrease can easily reverse direction in a couple of new data points!!!!
Is this the kind of unpredictable quicksand you want to build your theories on?

86. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

Phil. (16:19:38)
What is your proof that the Northwest Passage is opening more frequently?
And you didn’t address this: what was Arctic ice like during the Medieval Warm Period?
I see another commenter (Al Gored (16:48:14)) touched on it but not you.

87. nandheeswaran jothi says:

u.k.(us) (16:03:31) :
you can rest easy. for the ash to cake, they need to get hot, as in a turbine. secondly, the loose agglomeration that happens in normal temp will fall off the windturbine blades easily. wind turbine blades turn very slowely. so the uneven weight on the blade does not have as much destructive capacity
and finally the armature ( or windings as we like to call them in USA ) in the nascelle is quite well protected, as it is expected to go though extreme weather and wind you normally find on the mountain ridges.

88. Smokey says:

The null hypothesis states that the climate naturally fluctuates within parameters defined by past temperature limits. The planet does not keep getting hotter or colder indefinitely, it always returns to its long term trend line.
But the new catastrophic AGW hypothesis [CAGW] says that the minor trace gas CO2 is the major driver of the climate, and that the Earth is in danger of runaway global warming due to human CO2 emissions. They point to the relatively minor reduction in Arctic ice as proof.
But looking at only the past three decades is nearly worthless for deciding if CAGW has any merit. The Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, but we have no satellite images from 1200 A.D. And the Greek Optimum was warmer than the MWP: click
Was the Arctic ice-free during those warmer times? And if so, what made it re-freeze? The North Pole was also ice-free in 1959: click. What made it re-freeze since then? More CO2?
What we are seeing is natural climate variability, nothing more.
Instead of concentrating on the past 30 years, if we look at a very short geological time scale, we see that the current climate is optimum: click
On a longer time scale [but still short geologically speaking], we can see that the current climate fluctuations are simply normal interglacial noise: click
The claim of climate alarmists is that CO2 causes the majority, if not all, global warming, and further, that the very tiny human component within naturally emitted CO2 will be the cause of runaway global warming.
Nonsense. CO2 has been many times higher in the geologic past without causing climate catastrophe. Why would it be any different now, with such historically low CO2 levels? More CO2 is beneficial, not harmful: click
CAGW believers, being perpetually in a state of alarm, point to the completely natural fluctuations in Arctic ice extent as their proof that human CO2 emissions are causing the beginning of runaway global warming. But at the same time they ignore the Antarctic, which is not behaving in a manner to support their beliefs.
If someone makes numerous predictions, and one of them happens by chance to be a correct guess [at least temporarily], and the people making the alarming predictions then tell the rest of us: “See! We told you! It’s CAGW!!”, without also admitting that all their other predictions turned out to be wrong, then reasonable people will correctly deduce that they are afflicted with cognitive dissonance. The flying saucers didn’t arrive on the predicted date, so they re-adjust the arrival date. But they never question their scary hypothesis.
Any normal scientific skeptic will ask for some verifiable, testable evidence, showing that the tiny fraction of human emitted CO2 — less than one-twentieth of naturally emitted CO2, which is itself only 0.00039 of the atmosphere — is the cause of the Arctic temporarily losing some ice.
But there is no testable, empirical evidence connecting human emitted CO2 with Arctic sea ice. There is only belief.

89. Not Again says:

We need to stop this train.
Rather than Mars – lets just develop time travel –
We can the send investigators back and forward in time to see what we need to be doing today –
Don’t laugh, its just a matter of time –

90. bubbagyro (15:44:29) :
I predict that the Arctic passage will be clear by 1908.

And even with hindsight you got it wrong!

91. savethesharks says:

R. Gates (14:20:22) : “Indeed, if the steep decline of 2007 had continued, the arctic would have been ice free in 2013, but a little thing called the deepest and longest solar minimum got in the way (as well as to a lesser extent a La Nina). I look forward to more concrete research related to this solar minimum, and more to the point, the decrease in Galactic Cosmic Rays that may have led to an increase in cloudiness and slight cooling during the 2005-2009.”
==========================================
Every sentence in this paragraph is wrong, wrong, wrong, culminating with a completely backwards interpretation of Svensmark’s theory.
Chris
Norfolk Virginia USA

92. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

How much cooling is Eyjafjallajökull going to cause?

93. Not Again says:

Actually, Anthony and other brilliant REAL scientists and researchers have already proven that the global temperature databases are suspect at the very best.
And more likely, the global temperature databases, are pure garbage.
Yet, the AGW crowd insists on “attempting to prove the theories”, based upon a garbage foundation?
We all know that the earth has been much warmer than today, and much colder, and yet the earth is still here, as is life on the earth.
Al Gore is trying to keep his speaking fee up at $175K and you thought Sarah Palin’s was high at$100K – he has to keep the nonsense up to keep the money.
BTW I do appreciate the work of real scientists, but the AGW crowd has lost its credibility.

94. savethesharks says:

“The flying saucers didn’t arrive on the predicted date, so they re-adjust the arrival date. But they never question their scary hypothesis.”
“Any normal scientific skeptic will ask for some verifiable, testable evidence, showing that the tiny fraction of human emitted CO2 — less than one-twentieth of naturally emitted CO2, which is itself only 0.00039 of the atmosphere — is the cause of the Arctic temporarily losing some ice.”
“But there is no testable, empirical evidence connecting human emitted CO2 with Arctic sea ice. There is only belief.”
=====================================
Bravo, Smokey. Great post.
The undeniable truth…and why I repeat it again.
Chris
Norfolk Virginia USA

95. David says:

Regarding John Finn (16:50:07) :
” I’m not sure you understand how anomalies work. Changing the base period might change the raw numbers but it doesn’t alter the trend”
Really? Please then, what is the trend from 2007 to 2010?

96. One thing to realize about the flight ban is that volcanoes and wind are unpredictable. It may be safe to fly now, but half an hour later a large concentration of ash may appear. I doubt any governments and most passengers are willing to take that risk.
The fact that some test flights have made it successfully doesn’t impress me. Maybe the plane will survive one flight or five flights, but what about the long term damage to the engines?

97. David says:

Regarding Richard Sharpe (18:53:20) :
Bingo.
Many times the use of computer models have no more increased intelligence then computers have caused a decline in the use of paper.
Paper use has skyrocketed as accountants, MBAs, attorneys etc have created thousands of spreadsheets and new ways to analyze most everything, rarely read by anybody. The business plan for the company I retired from used to be done by one man in two weeks. For the same amount of work it now takes a team of at least ten several months.
Of course there are legit uses for models in science, but not in determing post normal society.

98. R. Gates says:

Smokey said:
“But at the same time they ignore the Antarctic, which is not behaving in a manner to support their beliefs.”
———-
Here you go again Smokey. No climate scientists are “ignoring” the Antarctic. As I posted here earlier today:
http://climate.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=242&rn=news.xml&rst=2444
The melting of both continental ice (i.e. glaciers) as well as sea ice takes heat, and there’s been plenty of it over the past 30 years or more. This idea that anyone is “ignoring” the largest mass of ice on the planet is rediculous. It has been shrinking over the past few decades, and shows no sign of turing around. The year to year Antarctic sea ice is of course growing slightly, but this is most likely the effect of the ozone thinning.

99. R. Gates says:

nandheeswaran jothi said (referring to this graph):
http://climate.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=242&rn=news.xml&rst=2444
“there is one more issue with that graph. when you look at the scatter, and the short period of data, fitting a straight line itself is an extremely questionable task. any slope that you would come up with such foolish attempt will change significantly when the next data point is included.
now, they seem to have gone out of their way to pick a parabolic curve!!!! that does not seem to be driven by modeling or math or physics. seems to be driven by ideology. The acceleration you see in the ice mass decrease can easily reverse direction in a couple of new data points!!!!
Is this the kind of unpredictable quicksand you want to build your theories on?
————–
Actually it can be driven by both modeling and physics. The acceleration in such a dynamic process as ice mass loss be the result of a simple positive feedback loop (as can be the case in methane release for example). We don’t know what the acceleration might be caused by, if indeed it is happening at all, but this is exactly where the “catastrophic” part of AGW comes in to play. I’m only 75% convinced that AGW is happening…and probably somewhere south of 25% convinced that such warming will be catastrophic. But to your point…yes indeed, the data points look to be accelerating, and yes, the next few data points will be interesting. It may shift back to a more linear downtrend, but I have no doubt that it will remain a downtrend…
And by the way…I’ve not built any AGW theory as I am not a scientist, so I can’t build “my” theory on anything. I simply try to be neutral independent observer of what is happening, and if I had one wish, it would be for extremely accurate arctic sea ice mass data covering the past 100 years and probably second to that would be the temperature of the deep global oceans for the same time period…they would answer so many questions extremely fast.

100. Richard Sharpe says:

What is the heat capacity of the atmosphere?
How much heat does it take to melt the ice in the Antarctic?

101. Anu says:

Richard Sharpe (18:53:20) :
Now, where else have I heard about enormous economic damage being inflicted on the basis of computer models?

Wall St. ?

102. Smokey says:

R. Gates, you completely miss the point as usual. Cognitive dissonance.
The null hypothesis states that the climate naturally fluctuates within the parameters defined by past temperatures. The planet right now is in the sweet spot, not too cold, and certainly not too warm, despite your fervent hope that climate catastrophe has already begun in the Arctic.
Falsify the null hypothesis, and people will sit up straight and pay attention. But of course, you can’t.
Until then, your CO2=CAGW delusions are just that, delusions. The climate is acting completely normally, despite all your red-faced, spittle flecked arm waving that is based on nothing more than cut ‘n’ paste pseudo-science straight from the RealClimate echo chamber.
I’ve watched for the past few months since you appeared, clueless at first about even the most rudimentary knowledge of physics, to the point now where you proselytize like a Scientologist about CAGW, preposterously claiming that you are “25% skeptic.” Right, and the devil quotes Scripture.
There is not a genuine scientifically skeptical bone in your head. You are a classic example of Prof Feynman’s “cargo cult science.”
The climate is acting as it always has, and is well within its normal temperature parameters. Nothing out of the ordinary is occurring.
Falsify the null hypothesis if you can, instead of acting like a scared little puppy.

103. FergalR says:

JAXA returns to growth:
04,17,2010,13766406
04,18,2010,13768594

104. R. Gates says:

[snip] Name calling by changing screen names is not acceptable. ~dbs, mod.]

105. savethesharks says:

R Gates: “And by the way…I’ve not built any AGW theory as I am not a scientist, so I can’t build “my” theory on anything. I simply try to be neutral independent observer of what is happening, and if I had one wish, it would be for extremely accurate arctic sea ice mass data covering the past 100 years and probably second to that would be the temperature of the deep global oceans for the same time period…they would answer so many questions extremely fast.”
=====================================
Thanks for that self confession. Figured that one out many many e-mails ago.
Not sure what you mean by the “AGW models” as you frequently call them.
Like the many errors in your e-mails… this is a case in point: you mean to say general circulation models, or GCM’s.
Before you comment here you may want to get your facts straight.
You proffer erroneous information such as the incorrect interpretation of galactic cosmic rays effect on climate.
Suggest you listen more and post less. You can learn a lot on here… and of course that might be why you’re here in the first place.
But before you talk out of your *ss, take a couple of minutes time out, and listen to what is being said.
I can pretty much guarantee you that if you are in a debate with Smokey, you would lose.
You need to develop defense mechanisms so that you can win the argument
But your current line of thinking will not get you very far… it is a dead end street
.
Chris
Norfolk Virginia USA

106. R. Gates says:

FergalR (21:52:06) :
JAXA returns to growth:
04,17,2010,13766406
04,18,2010,13768594
———-
That’s what the data says, but the number they give at the top of their graph, here:
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
Shows 13,752,500 for 4-18-2010. Why the difference? Anybody?

107. FergalR says:

More often than not, the first figure they report is about 20k shy and that stays above the graph all day.

108. savethesharks says:

R Gates: “[snip], I can be a skeptic and believe that AGW is LIKELY correct at the same time.”
====================================
Ummm… anyone know the irony here?
Also the use of the word “believe”?
Nothing more needs to be said.
Chris
Norfolk Virginia USA

109. savethesharks says:

R Gates: “Shows 13,752,500 for 4-18-2010. Why the difference? Anybody?”
==================================
Nobody really cares, chicken little, because its all within that great ancient geologic range of natural variability.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

110. Roger Knights says:

Does anyone know what the actual figure is for the minimum summer extent of the 1979-2000 average trendline? (Eyeballing it, it looks like about 7,500,000.) There is no link given on the graphics page to a table of figures.

111. davidmhoffer (16:39:53) :

Salt water freezes in a different pattern than fresh water. For fresh water to freeze only the top layer reaches the freezing point, the water below is warmer. For salt water to freeze, all the water must first reach the freezing point and THEN ice starts to form. So even a thin layer of ice is indicative of a LOT of cooling.

How’s that work then? I would have assumed that it meant that sea ice is nearer the density of sea water than freshwater ice is to freshwater. If not, I would have assumed it would behave in the same way, ie that newly formed ice will float to the top, and form a layer.
I’m not out to contradict, but to learn.

112. Perry says:

R. Gates (22:30:04) :
No it doesn’t. I looked. The latest value : 13,768,594 km2 (April 18, 2010)
Why does R. Gates continually post such tosh? Is he environMENTAL?

113. MartinGAtkins says:

Anu (21:07:25) :
Richard Sharpe (18:53:20) :
“Now, where else have I heard about enormous economic damage being inflicted on the basis of computer models?”
Wall St. ?
LOL. Good answer but not true. Loans were made to borrowers who had no chance of meeting the interest let alone pay the principle. These loans were then bundled up and sold on to others at a discount price. The discounted sub-prime loans (bundles) were then entered into the buyers books and counted as performing debt at high yield. This boosted the notional profit and did wonders for the executive bonuses,
The trick was to sell the sub-prime loans on before the non existant yield was realized in the accounts as non performing debt.
To do this, the seller had to further discount the sub-prime bundles and sell them on the market as very high yielding debt.
This then showed the difference between the bought and sold bundles as a trading loss which was considerably less than having to show the entire debt as a capital write off.
Of course every self serving parasite in the banking system decided they could play the game. It was a game of pass the parcel were the parcel became a worthless pile of paper in the hands of the last sucker who thought they could go on showing a profiting from an asset with an ever diminishing capital base.

114. In response to my own question to davidmhoffer above, following Weird Al’s advice to “Just Google” (sung to the tune of ‘Beat It’):

In contrast to fresh water, the salt in ocean water causes the density of the water to increase as it nears the freezing point, and very cold ocean water tends to sink. As a result, sea ice forms slowly, compared to freshwater ice, because salt water sinks away from the cold surface before it cools enough to freeze. Furthermore, other factors cause the formation of sea ice to be a slow process. The freezing temperature of salt water is lower than fresh water; ocean temperatures must reach -1.8 degrees Celsius (28.8 degrees Fahrenheit) to freeze. Because oceans are so deep, it takes longer to reach the freezing point, and generally, the top 100 to 150 meters (m) (300 to 450 feet) of water must be cooled to the freezing temperature for ice to form.

115. Seppie says:

R. Gates (22:30:04) :
FergalR (21:52:06) :
JAXA returns to growth:
04,17,2010,13766406
04,18,2010,13768594
———-
That’s what the data says, but the number they give at the top of their graph, here:
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
Shows 13,752,500 for 4-18-2010. Why the difference? Anybody?
-They check two times a day, round 11 a.m. European time it will be 13,768,594 at the top of their graph.
Seppie.

116. toyotawhizguy says:

@R. Gates (20:41:47) :
“The year to year Antarctic sea ice is of course growing slightly, but this is most likely the effect of the ozone thinning.”
– – – – – – –
If Antarctic sea ice extent were to begin to shrink in the future would you attribute this to a reversal in the ozone thinning (some reversal is expected by 2015), or would you change course and attribute it to non-ODF GHGs (specifically CO2) as is currently the explanation offered by the AGW crowd to explain the past shrinkage of arctic sea ice? I raise this question owing to my skepticism becoming elevated whenever a single causal agent is identified as the driving factor for any type of weather or climate phenomenon, when there are a multitude of causal agents that most likely are contributors.
BTW, the climatology hypothesis that ozone thinning produces a net cooling of the troposphere and the earth’s surface once again flies in the face of classical physics, in this case, Planck’s Equation:
The spectral energy density expressed as a function of wavelength:
u(\lambda,T) = {8\pi h c\over \lambda^5}{1\over e^{\frac{h c}{\lambda kT}}-1}
Apparently, classical physics has no place in a post-modern world.

117. Tenuc says:

Smokey (18:28:47) :
“…The null hypothesis states that the climate naturally fluctuates within parameters defined by past temperature limits. The planet does not keep getting hotter or colder indefinitely, it always returns to its long term trend line…
But looking at only the past three decades is nearly worthless for deciding if CAGW has any merit. The Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, but we have no satellite images from 1200 A.D. And the Greek Optimum was warmer than the MWP,,,

Good points Smokey, the null hypothesis hasn’t been falsified yet, despite the IPCC’s erroneous hockey-stick graph.
However, the last 30 years has been long enough to falsify the CAGW conjecture. Over this period CO2 has risen sharply, and while global mean temperature rose slowly over the first 15y, there has been no statistically significant global warming over the last 15y, as cited by Dr P Jones (ex-head of CRU).
Game over for the CAGW myth – time to move on and do some real climate science to find out how climate works.

118. meemoe_uk says:

Does anyone know where to get the JAXA sea ice AREA ( as opposed to extent ) data?
I’ve found it before , by just browsing around. But now I can’t find it.
Help?

119. J. Bob says:

Ralph P, as far as counting sun spots, you missed a very old tool called the “camera obscura”. This device, is essentially a pin hole camera, projecting a image on a table, and is ideal for looking for sunspots. Because of the brightness of the sun, one can “magnify” the image by moving the table farther away from the pinhole.

120. Anthony,
I humbly submit the following graphics for Sea Ice News along with a replacement Quote of the Week – I thought the old one was getting a bit tired!
http://www.kane-tv.com/wuwt/
Let me know if you want them in different sizes, resolutions etc. I’m happy to create more as necessary – see the ‘It’s worse then we thought’ graphic.
Cheers.
Ralph Tittley aka Boudu
ps. I’ll post this in Notes & Tips too.

121. Paul C says:

Did Greenland grow in size? Take a look at the comparison in sea ice between 4/18/1980 and 4/18/2010: http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=04&fd=18&fy=1980&sm=04&sd=18&sy=2010
I suppose it could be the angle of the camera, but it looks like Greenland is wider in 2010 than 1980. Look at the Baffin/Newfoundland Seas. When you pull up the Baffin/Newfoundland Sea Ice Area Chart it shows a deficit versus the mean, but if they are measuring the ice cap as part of the sea ice area (hence the wider island) then the total Arctic area will be skewed. Is this a trick of the camera angle or is Greenland getting bigger?

122. Daniel M says:

John Finn (16:50:07) :
I’m not sure you understand how anomalies work. Changing the base period might change the raw numbers but it doesn’t alter the trend. It makes absolutely no difference to how much warming or how much ice loss has occurred.
Who said anything about trends? But while you’ve brought it up, ice extent is trending up over the last few years, while global temps have more or less flat lined. My point is that the base period has been presented, by default, as an ideal in both cases. The effect is to exaggerate the departure of current ice loss or temperatures from the norm, even when the trends seem to repudiate AGW. Witness climate scientists that try to rationalize these contradictions by claiming that the warming is hiding somewhere in the system or that the cooling would/should have been greater if not for greenhouse warming.
Nevertheless, if it makes no real difference as you have claimed, then what reason is there to continue to use the same baselines?

123. Richard M says:

R.Gates
After the steep decline of 2007, it was apparent that the arcitc sea ice was much more sensitive to climate change that originally modelled.
Did you forget about the wind? Did you forget about the warm Siberian winter (regional) causing warmer than normal water to flow into the Arctic? Have you forgotten about the fact that Trenberth’s energy balance is crapola and hence the climate models are worthless?
Once you factor all these items into the equation tell me again about how we know enough about the Arctic to claim any kind of sensitivity value.

124. bubbagyro says:

Phil. (18:33:19) :
Phil wrong again! (For the fifth time, as I count – stop spouting RealClimate, please, it is loaded with disinformation):
\ “The Northwest Passage was finally traversed 1903-06 by Norwegian adventurer Roald AMUNDSEN in his tiny ship, Gjoa. He travelled west and south of Lancaster Sound through Peel Sound and along the western Arctic coast through Queen Maud and Coronation gulfs. His western exit from the Arctic was simply a feasible route out of the area rather than a planned attempt to traverse the Northwest Passage. The first west to east passage by the RCMP vessel ST. ROCH under Henry LARSEN followed a similar route through the relatively shallow channels along the mainland coast 1940-42. Larsen left the central Arctic through Bellot Strait and travelled north and east of Baffin Island.
During the summer of 1944 the St. Roch became the first to traverse the passage from east to west in a single year, using a new route west of Lancaster Sound, south through Prince of Wales Strait between Banks and Victoria Islands, and along the northern Alaska coast. Finally, in 1954, the first ship to achieve the passage from west to east in a single year was the Canadian government icebreaker Labrador.”
Right under the wire! I predicted by 1908!!!

125. bubbagyro says:

By the way, note in my post above, that the next traversing of the NW passage was in the early 1940s – YES, right after the longest warm spell of the century, the 1930s was the warmest spell to date, but 1998-2002 was too short and not warm enough to make the Arctic ice-free, I predict.

126. George E. Smith says:

“”” JER0ME (00:11:31) :
davidmhoffer (16:39:53) :
Salt water freezes in a different pattern than fresh water. For fresh water to freeze only the top layer reaches the freezing point, the water below is warmer. For salt water to freeze, all the water must first reach the freezing point and THEN ice starts to form. So even a thin layer of ice is indicative of a LOT of cooling.
How’s that work then? I would have assumed that it meant that sea ice is nearer the density of sea water than freshwater ice is to freshwater. If not, I would have assumed it would behave in the same way, ie that newly formed ice will float to the top, and form a layer.
I’m not out to contradict, but to learn. “””
Don’t know if you got your answer JEROME, but sea ice is pretty much like fresh water ice; it is fresh water ice.
Sea water freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water; typically about -2.5 deg c for ordinary salinity of about 3.5% dissolved salts. BUT, in the freezing process something else happens.
A given trace impurity; such as a salt or a gas like CO2 has a different abundance in the solid phase (ice) from what it is in the liquid phase (water) and that is different again from what it would be in the vapor phase (atmosphere). With the (sea)ice and (sea)water in contact, and in equilibrium; so that ice is neither growing nor melting at that interface; it turns out that an impurity such as salt of CO2 has a much higher preference for remaining in the liquid phase (water), than ofr becoming incorporated into the solid structure of the ice.
This is often expressed as a “segregation” coefficient; that specifies the relative amount of the impurity in the solid to that in the liquid. In the gas/liquid interface situation, Henry’s law controls the amount of a gas like CO2 that dissolves in the water versus the amount in the contacting atmosphere.
In the case of freezing water, the salt has such an abhorrence for the solid state, that it is highly rejected as the ice grows, and remains in the water, as an enhanced salinity “brine” near the boundary layer. In pracitce the ice may tend to grow with lots of bubbles or voids in it, which can be filled with this brine; but the ice itself is almost pure fresh water. So the sea ice tends to float somewhat higher than on a lake, because it is pretty much the samer ice but the sea water is denser than the fresh water.
The same happens to the CO2, and it is also excluded largely from the ice, so it is expelled into the water. It is likely that the cold sea water is almost saturated with CO2 so when the ice forms; some of that excess CO2 can be expelled to the atmosphere.
In the arctic, during the ice freeze, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increases by about 18 ppm; whereas at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, the increase is only 6 ppm.
I don’t know what the exact mechanisms are for that 18ppm arctic blast of CO2 but expulsion from the growing ice is a likely cause of part of it.
The lower freezing point of the salt water is of some importance in the process, because the temperature at the interface needs to get down to about -2.5 C for the ice to form; but that ice is now fresh water frozen, so it melts at zero deg C.
That means that once formed, the ice is fairly stable, against small temperature fluctuations since it would take 2.5 deg of warming to melt the fresh water ice.
So the process is a bit more complicated than you thought.

127. MartinGAtkins (01:57:26) :

Loans were made to borrowers who had no chance of meeting the interest let alone pay the principle. These loans were then bundled up and sold on to others at a discount price. The discounted sub-prime loans (bundles) were then entered into the buyers books and counted as performing debt at high yield. This boosted the notional profit and did wonders for the executive bonuses,
The trick was to sell the sub-prime loans on before the non existant yield was realized in the accounts as non performing debt.
To do this, the seller had to further discount the sub-prime bundles and sell them on the market as very high yielding debt.
This then showed the difference between the bought and sold bundles as a trading loss which was considerably less than having to show the entire debt as a capital write off.
Of course every self serving parasite in the banking system decided they could play the game. It was a game of pass the parcel were the parcel became a worthless pile of paper in the hands of the last sucker who thought they could go on showing a profiting from an asset with an ever diminishing capital base.

As I understand it, these sub-prime loans were generated primarily through govt intervention. There was a drive for ‘every American to own their own home’ or some such. I may be wrong, and that may have been dis-information, but if it was true (and it sounds realistic) then the whole mess was caused by govt intervention, and will not be fixed by same!

128. Gail Combs says:

bubbagyro (15:44:29) :
I predict that the Arctic passage will be clear by 1908.
And I have this nice bridge I want to sell…

129. Gail Combs says:

u.k.(us) (16:03:31) :
O/T
Are “windmills” designed to resist the effects of volcanic ash entering the gearing/cooling systems?
Seems like a potential problem.
The only reason I ask, is I paid for them.
I wonder what the ash is doing to the solar panels too. I worked in a ceramics manufacturing facility and destroyed a pair of safety glasses a year no matter how carefully I was cleaning my glasses.

To nandheeswaran jothi
The tip of a wind turbine blade is only just subsonic – slow RPM does not mean slow tip velocity when the diameter is large (do the maths on a 90m diameter turbine to calculate the RPM when the tip goes supersonic). Gritty particulates will cause wear when they collide with a resin coating moving at 500mph although the wear will most likely be even on all rotor blades blade replacement will be needed sooner than otherwise would have been the case or efficiency will be degraded.
If the gritty particulates are very fine then they can penetrate moving parts and bearings and cause wear. If the bearings are sealed appropriately then they will be protected.
This is a potentially serious cost to owners of wind turbines in Europe.

131. HR says:

I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. Here’s another view of Arctic ice extent. The interesting point is the red line showing the anomoly for the past couple of years. As you can see, the anomaly doesn’t really start to show up until the melting season is well under way (May and June). So while I like your initiative we need to wait another month or two before we get an idea of where this years ice is heading. I’d like to think a corner has been turned in recent years but it really is to little data to be confident.
Cryosphere Today
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png

132. Gail Combs says:

Paul C (10:07:07) :
“Did Greenland grow in size? Take a look at the comparison in sea ice between 4/18/1980 and 4/18/2010: http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=04&fd=18&fy=1980&sm=04&sd=18&sy=2010
….. Is this a trick of the camera angle or is Greenland getting bigger?”

Good catch Paul. If you look closely you can see the bays and inlets have been “filled-in” and the peninsula on the lower left is now gone.
Remember how the Sea Ice had gone above the average line and then was “adjusted” down? I wonder if the ice in the bays was suddenly counted as “land Ice” and removed from the “Sea Ice” count.
Sorry my paranoia is showing but I do not trust anyone when so much money and power is up for grabs.

133. jeff brown says:

Gail Combs (19:04:34) :
What \$ and power is up for grabs? I don’t get it, but it’s worth asking the folks at uiuc.edu if they use an expanded land mask for the snow extent image.

134. jeff brown says:

The sea ice extent data shows just the extent, it says nothing about the ice volume. Since ICESat stopped working there has been a gap in thickness measurements so this spring’s ice thickness is not known. But…folks at
University of Washington have been doing some modeling on the ice thickness and volume changes
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php
Thus, it’s hard to know what will happen to the summer ice given it is likely still very thin.

135. Smokey says:

R. Gates (20:41:47) :
“The year to year Antarctic sea ice is of course growing slightly, but this is most likely the effect of the ozone thinning.”
Oh, do tell. Now it’s “ozone thinning.”
Read the toyotawhizguy post @02:58:08. Get educated, at least a little bit.

136. jeff brown says:

Smokey (20:11:12) :
Here is a paper you can read about how ozone loss has affect atmospheric circulation around Antarctica and subsequently the sea ice.
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml
It’s a short 4-page GRL paper so it should be an easy read for you.

137. This is what you said:
bubbagyro (15:44:29) :
I predict that the Arctic passage will be clear by 1908.

There is no evidence that the NW Passage was clear by 1908, in fact according to Amundsen’s account of his journey (which I have, I don’t get my information from RC) it is evident that at no time from 1903 to 1907 was it clear. It’s also clearly stated in the introduction by Amundsen that he had every intention of sailing the Passage, something he had dreamt of doing since a young boy!
“I proposed to combine the dream of my boyhood as to the North West Passage with an aim, in itself of far greater scientific importance, that of locating the present situation of the Magnetic North Pole.
I suggest you find a more reliable source.

138. Thrasher says:

The extent values bottleneck around late May so what’s currently going on is likely to not matter too much in the grand scheme of things, but the strong -AO this winter will likely be a help this summer as it held in more multi-year ice than the past several winters. So the increase in multi-year ice will likely be an aid in a slower melt if all other things are equal. Of course not all things are equal, so we have to evaluate the pattern as we get closer, but that’s very difficult to do at this stage.
Since we can’t forecast anything majorly anomalous at this juncture for the summer, the natural baseline would be for another increase over 2009’s minimum, which will likely be adjusted either up or down as we get deeper into the melt season and can more accurately forecast the arctic weather pattern throughout the summer.

139. Anu says:

jeff brown (19:59:52) :
The sea ice extent data shows just the extent, it says nothing about the ice volume. Since ICESat stopped working there has been a gap in thickness measurements so this spring’s ice thickness is not known. But…folks at
University of Washington have been doing some modeling on the ice thickness and volume changes
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php
Thus, it’s hard to know what will happen to the summer ice given it is likely still very thin.

In a few weeks, CryoSat-2 should be getting some useful data:
http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1849097/cryosat2_delivering_first_data/
The Europeans are using synthetic aperture radar – the Americans used a laser altimeter system in ICESat.
http://www.ethiopianreview.com/news/67180
CryoSat’s primary instrument was SIRAL (Synthetic Aperture Radar / Interferometric Radar Altimeter). SIRAL would operate in one of three modes, depending on where (above the Earth’s surface) CryoSat was flying. Over the oceans and ice sheet interiors, CryoSat would have operated like a traditional radar altimeter. Over sea ice, coherently transmitted echoes would have been combined (synthetic aperture processing) to reduce the surface footprint so that CryoSat could map smaller ice floes. CryoSat’s most advanced mode would have been used around the ice sheet margins and over mountain glaciers. Here, the altimeter would have performed synthetic aperture processing and used a second antenna as an interferometer to determine the across-track angle to the earliest radar return. This would have provided the exact surface location being measured when the surface is sloping.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryoSat
CryoSat-2 is basically the same as the original crashed CryoSat, but with a fully duplicated payload (fault tolerance) and various improvements to design and operation – same measurements, though.
Whatever happens this summer, most likely CryoSat-2 will be measuring the sea ice thickness rather accurately.
ESA CryoSat-2 Operations:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Operations/SEM36Z8L6VE_0.html

140. Anu (22:50:51) :
Will Cryosat produce more accurate ice thickness data than Lewis Pugh or Catlin?

141. MartinGAtkins says:

JER0ME (17:19:29) :
As I understand it, these sub-prime loans were generated primarily through govt intervention. There was a drive for ‘every American to own their own home’ or some such. I may be wrong, and that may have been dis-information, but if it was true (and it sounds realistic) then the whole mess was caused by govt intervention, and will not be fixed by same!
As this is not a political blog I will be brief. The catalyst for the whole mess was the creation of The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), known as Freddie Mac which was a government sponsored enterprise (GSE).
The FHLMC was created in 1970 to expand the secondary market for mortgages in the US. Along with other GSEs, Freddie Mac bought mortgages on the secondary market, pooled them, and sold them as a mortgage-backed securities to investors on the open market.
The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) commonly known as Fannie Mae did much the same thing,
Because these bundles of debt were being sold by government sponsored enterprises, they were given a higher security rating than they actually deserved.
The market discovered too late that the principle asset had no intrinsic value and the market collapsed.

142. Anu says:

stevengoddard (23:40:29) :
Anu (22:50:51) :
Will Cryosat produce more accurate ice thickness data than Lewis Pugh or Catlin?

Maybe Dr. Laura Edwards can measure a few spot drills more accurately than the satellite, but that leaves a few million square miles unmeasured…
The CryoSat-2 team seems pretty interested in validating their satellite readings with ground truth missions:
http://www.esa.int/esaLP/ASE9BBUG0SC_LPcryosat_0.html
They’ve been getting ready since 2002, since they thought CryoSat would be in orbit 2005 (destroyed on launch). It will certainly be the most accurate ice thickness measuring satellite.
I’m sure they’ll find that the ice is getting thicker, everything is returning to normal, and we can all go watch TV now.
\u263A

143. Kurt says:

From 1979 to today, satellite instruments, data resolution and ice-area-counting methods have changed. How has this contributed to an apparent decrease in “measured” ice area?

144. bubbagyro says:

Phil. (20:52:03) :
Wrong again! (6th time).
Of course there will always be some ice from calving bergs. The term to use, so you don’t parse words again, is relatively ice-free, enough to enable passage. Amundsen made the passage in 1907 because the passage was navigable without an ice-breaker – by definition, “relatively ice-free”. It won’t be “ice-free” ever, of course, unless one accepts Phil’s Clintonesque parsing of terms. In fact, it won’t be navigable without an ice-breaker in the near term, IMHO.
The source was from the Canadian Encyclopedia, which had supplied ample references. What have you against Canadians? Good people, those.
And Gail, I was being facetious. I said “by 1908” which happened a hundred years ago, so I don’t need luck to state history.

145. jeff brown says:

bubbagyro (13:32:13) :
no ice-breaker was needed in summer of 2007. In fact a sail boat went through in 50 days. It took Amundsen MUCH longer than that…and why? Because there was a lot of ice. Amundsen’s route was not only open in 2007, but also in 2008 and 2009. And the Northern Sea route along Eurasia was open in 2008 and 2009. This hasn’t happened in at least 50 years since the Canadians started making their routine observations. And the Canadians also state Amundsen’s route was the most navigable in 2007 than it had been since their records started. Phil is right.

146. jeff brown says:

Kurt (11:48:40) :
Kurt, the instruments have been essentially the same since 1979–multichannel passive microwave sensors in similar channels. A lot of time and effort has gone into calibrating the different sensors to make sure the brightness temperatures match up during overlap periods so that the record is consistent over time. Frank Wentz at RSS dose a lot of this work. The sea ice record from passive microwave is considered to be one of the best climate data records from satellite available, especially if you focus on sea ice extent. It is easy to distinguish open water from sea ice in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and you can do this regardless of cloud cover and polar darkness. This is why it is used instead of visible imagery (which would be most accurate) since the Arctic is mostly cloud covered and you can’t view the ice half of the year.

147. Anu says:

jeff brown (15:41:50) :
no ice-breaker was needed in summer of 2007. In fact a sail boat went through in 50 days. It took Amundsen MUCH longer than that…and why? Because there was a lot of ice.

Yes, it took Roald Amundsen more than three years to get through that Northwest Passage (1903 to 1906), hardly ” relatively ice-free”. Few people had the funds and patience to sit around that long to “make history”:

In 1903, Amundsen led the first expedition to successfully traverse Canada’s Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (something explorers had been attempting since the days of Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Jacques Cartier, and Henry Hudson), with six others in a 47 ton steel seal hunting vessel, Gjøa. Amundsen had the ship outfitted with a small gasoline engine. They travelled via Baffin Bay, Lancaster and Peel Sounds, and James Ross, Simpson and Rae Straits and spent two winters near King William Island in what is today Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada.
During this time Amundsen learned from the local Netsilik people about Arctic survival skills that would later prove useful. For example, he learned to use sled dogs and to wear animal skins in lieu of heavy, woolen parkas. After a third winter trapped in the ice, Amundsen was able to navigate a passage into the Beaufort Sea after which he cleared into the Bering Strait, thus having successfully navigated the Northwest Passage. Continuing to the south of Victoria Island, the ship cleared the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on August 17, 1905, but had to stop for the winter before going on to Nome on the Alaska Territory’s Pacific coast. Five hundred miles (800 km) away, Eagle City, Alaska, had a telegraph station; Amundsen travelled there (and back) overland to wire a success message (collect) on December 5, 1905. Nome was reached in 1906. Due to water as shallow as 3 ft (0.91 m), a larger ship could never have used the route.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Amundsen#Northwest_Passage

I wonder if Amundsen saw much rotten ice back then…

148. R. Gates says:

Another chart to consider related to sea ice volume. It would seem to me that the volume of ice would be more directly related to amount of energy necessary for melting. See this:
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png
Now it is interesting to note on this graph a little “bump” upward in volume during the solar minimum of 2008-2009, but the overall trend is clear, and that bump upward has melted away.

149. Anu says:

R. Gates (22:16:44) :
I hadn’t seen that graph before, thanks.
I hope CryoSat-2 starts producing real data soon and they can analyze what is happening for this Summer Melt. All that recent ice growth in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, which makes the 2D extent almost “normal” for this time of year (compared to 1979-2000) will be gone soon, and we’ll see how the lowest multiyear ice on record fares this summer.
That’s what they call “preconditioning” the sea ice for a huge summer melt.
We’ll see.

150. R. Gates says:

Thanks Jakers…I’d not seen that before. Awsome!

151. MinB says:

From IJIS http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm:
“The black dot seen at the North Pole is an area lacking data where AMSR-E cannot observe the Earth’s surface… Please note that this area is also counted as sea-ice cover in our estimation of sea-ice extent. We may change the policy (i.e., filling the gap with full coverage of sea ice) in the near future due to the recent drastic reduction of Arctic sea ice. We will announce this if it is implemented.”
I just noticed this comment and am not sure if it’s a recent change or not. Suspicious if it is.

152. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

Jakers (10:44:32) :
Very interesting checking out the satellite photos here http://ice-map.appspot.com/
—–
REPLY: COOL! At the highest magnification, you can see the bones left over from the Catlin expeditionary team!
Poor polar bears….

153. gdn says:

Jerome:

As I understand it, these sub-prime loans were generated primarily through govt intervention. There was a drive for ‘every American to own their own home’ or some such. I may be wrong, and that may have been dis-information, but if it was true (and it sounds realistic) then the whole mess was caused by govt intervention, and will not be fixed by same!

This aspect was certainly generated by government intervention. It was based upon the (1992?) Boston Fed study on redlining…which was later discredited, but only after affecting the creation of laws which enforced the destruction of lending standards, and multiplied by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (for which it was illegal for the administration to intervene/fix). The Boston Fed study was another in which it was years afterwards before anyone was able to get the details of how it was done out of the authors. Ross McKitrick describes one aspect of it here: Case for Due Diligence .
It parallels part of the debate on Climate policy.

154. Phil. says:

bubbagyro says:
April 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Phil. (20:52:03) :
Wrong again! (6th time).
Of course there will always be some ice from calving bergs. The term to use, so you don’t parse words again, is relatively ice-free, enough to enable passage. Amundsen made the passage in 1907 because the passage was navigable without an ice-breaker – by definition, “relatively ice-free”. It won’t be “ice-free” ever, of course, unless one accepts Phil’s Clintonesque parsing of terms. In fact, it won’t be navigable without an ice-breaker in the near term, IMHO.

It was navigable without an icebreaker in 2007, 2008, 2009 but not in 1903, 1904, 1905 nor 1906 according to Amundsen.
The source was from the Canadian Encyclopedia, which had supplied ample references. What have you against Canadians? Good people, those.
I have nothing against Canadians, however as I pointed out above the author was mistaken and directly contradicts Amundsen’s contemporaneous writings.
And Gail, I was being facetious. I said “by 1908″ which happened a hundred years ago, so I don’t need luck to state history.
Problem is you got it wrong!