Visualizing Arctic Coverage

By Steve Goddard

In recent articles, I have have been discussing GISS’ claim that their divergence from Had-Crut over the last decade is due to better Arctic coverage.

They use the two images below to justify their claims.

The GISS 2005 image is deceptive, because GISS uses 1200km smoothing. Their actual 2005 Arctic coverage (using 250km smoothing) is below, and shows that they have very little data north of 75 degrees.

GISS 2005 Annual Map – 250km smoothing

In order to make it easy to visualize the differences in coverage between GISS and Had-Crut, I mapped them onto 3D spheres, which eliminates the infinite distortion near the poles in this favorite GISS projection. I also threw in a recent NASA/NOAA/UAH equivalent map. None of these images have been cropped.

[Image]

NOAA satellite map used by UAH

The images were created by taking the maps, replacing the gray areas which “signify missing data” with black, scaling the images to 512×512, and mapping them on to an OpenGL sphere. Assuming that the original maps all reach 90N at their top, the images are an accurate representation of their coverage. That probably is not exactly correct, but is close. It appears from the NOAA/UAH map geography that they have coverage further north than 82.5°.

Conclusion: GISS claims of better 2005 Arctic coverage in their recent paper are not justified.

UPDATE: Steve has rendered this video for further discussion.

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88 thoughts on “Visualizing Arctic Coverage

  1. It’s not a claim of better actual coverage, it’s a claim that they have anomalies where HadCRUT does, not data. This is a subtle difference, but GISS’s smoothing IS the difference! They diverge because the smooth/extrapolation is used in the GISS final product.

  2. He he,

    Anyone surprised?

    I have stopped relying on GISS for some time now since they have been caught too many times with their manipulative trademark….. create data to suit their agenda.

    In any case there are no credible evidence of increased CO2 levels causing large temperature changes in the Arctic region anyway.

    Here from my forum is this neat chart showing how little CO2 levels changed for around 10,000 years while we can see major temperature shifts occurs.This based on Greenland Ice Cores:

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-188-post-3123.html#pid3123

  3. I’m an avid follower of WUWT – visiting the site (and other like ones) several times a day. I have an old Bachelor’s in Science and still work in IT – where I spend my time translating someone’s business rules into computer systems. I regret that I did not study statistics but I retain a “burnt in” regard for scientific method and the significance of errors – in design and measurement.

    I feel happy here because I am surrounded by scientists and mathematicians and others who are happy to put aside “belief” and examine the data, the method, the logic, the sense of the claims made by “experts” – in papers, in journals and most importantly in submissions of summmaries – I include IPCC here.

    Why am I writing this?

    I looked at the referred GISS “paper” – and it brings home that I am a complete layman – stopped almost immediately by the jargon (not necessarily a fault), the bits of interwoven physics, the massive chunks of statistical references etc etc.

    I realised yet again, how much I am dependent on the enormous abilities of the regulars here and similar sites – to wade through the “climate babel” and tease out the gaps, the assumptions, the “gloss overs”, the mistakes or the correctness of an article or paper.

    I must admit that I have had some on-site training here – I checked the refererences in the Hansen paper and noted that almost every one was to a paper from “the team”. Just a little too circular for my liking – regardless of the content!

    In summary, Tony, Steve(s), Willis, Jeff et al., thanks and please keep up with your fight for the rational application of scientific method – in all of its manifestations and aspects.

  4. “The GISS 2005 image is deceptive, because GISS uses 1200km smoothing.”

    That’s putting it kindly.

    Interpolation that fabricates data is blatant FRAUD especially when public policy is based upon the claims of such fabricated data.

    If they showed the NON interpolated data at the same time and clearly showed that the interpolated data is a fabrication of statistics that would be being honest. However, if they ever show it out of the honest context by itself it clearly is a willful case of blatantly attempting a fraud upon those that they are purveying their misrepresentations of facts. Interpolated data is NOT Factual, it is fabricated.

    It’s about time scientists learn that they can’t assert statistically fabricated data is factual when it’s simply invented out of thin air.

    How has the GISS fabricated data been used? In how many places and to whom has it been shown out of context without labeling it as statistically fabricated data? Who has shown this data out of context for political purposes? What papers use it without identification of it as fabricated data?

    Interpolation = Fabrication = Fraud = Crime, when interpolated data is passed off as real data.

  5. Questions:
    [1] Is that data raw?

    [2] Is that date adjusted?

    [3] If [2] above:
    —-[A] WHO adjusted it, and for what reason?
    —-[B] WHO says the adjuster was factually INFALLIBLE in his assertions?

    [4] If in [3][B] above, the adjuster is NOT infallible, then why are his data used officially without a disclaimer stating such fallibility?

    [5] In the case of [4] above, if fallibility is admitted, then WHY is ‘environmental policy’ being made, based upon such fallible data?

  6. sunsettommy says:
    May 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    “…..Here from my forum is this neat chart showing how little CO2 levels changed for around 10,000 years while we can see major temperature shifts occurs.This based on Greenland Ice Cores:”

    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-188-post-3123.html#pid3123
    __________________________________________________________________________

    A super graph Tommy, very clear. I am added it to my bookmarked collection. Thanks

  7. Steve: That 3-globe animation is quite impressive, and quite telling. I am, however, having a problem interpreting the NOAA satellite map with those large purple areas. According to the legend, these are surface brightness temperatures, that vary between -110°C and -130°C. I have always thought that the mesopause, about 80km up, was the coldest part of our atmosphere, at temperatures in the -90°C to -100°C range. Could you explain what those purple areas mean? Thanks in advance.

    /dr.bill

  8. It looks just wrong every time one sees all that missing land based data around the–equator?!

  9. I’ll stay in the real world of real data and not James Hansen’s global warming fantasy world of manipulated data.

    If it happens to be that I am wrong about my claim of manipulated data then Mr. James, please hand over all of the hard drives you deal with at your job to JeffID, Steve McIntyre, Steven Goddard, and Anthony Watts. We’ll find what is true. You should have nothing to hide but should happy to have verification for GISTemp.

  10. Drew Shindell’s studies have shown the Arctic Temp rise is only 26% from General, Global Warming (whether the Natural 60-year cycle, the Sun, or AGW) — the rest is SOOT (45%), which falls on the Ice & absorbs Sunlight, and the reductions in SO2 (which is 7 times as effective in the Arctic as a Sunlight diffusser because of the Low angle of the Sun, compared to the Equator) .
    … There were numerous posts, here (april 2009). I remember (but have failed to find the site for, there are so many) where a Media person challenged him that ” you mean: the Environmentalists are Killing the World ? ! ” Actually, once the Euros started to flow, naturally, a vested interest was formed in actions that would MAKE THINGS HOTTER, so scared People would give out even MORE money. Thus the Demonization of Sulfur.

  11. It’s always Marcia, Marcia says:
    May 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm
    I’ll stay in the real world of real data and not James Hansen’s global warming fantasy world of manipulated data.

    If it happens to be that I am wrong about my claim of manipulated data then Mr. James, please hand over all of the hard drives you deal with at your job to JeffID, Steve McIntyre, Steven Goddard, and Anthony Watts. We’ll find what is true. You should have nothing to hide but should happy to have verification for GISTemp.

    Well no worries, it’s already been done, see clearclimatecode.org

  12. There is something. . . . profoundly odd. . . about the preferring of HADCRUT over GISS, given all the dirty HADCRUT laundry we’ve been treated to the last several months.

  13. Steve, absolutely brilliant de-codification of mundane numeric to stunning visual! REALLY shows the meaninglessness of the GISS maps. And it “resurfaces” (couldn’t help the play on words) a couple of questions: “How do they “adjust” for the overlap in the UAH satellite measurements?” and “That’s at the 14k altitude – right?”

  14. I for one have never liked the GISS presentation and have never trusted it. 1200km smoothing with so few real data points is nothing short of fantasy land. When combined with other errors in the system I suspect the experimental error exceeds the difference.

  15. dr.bill

    My purpose in including the UAH maps was just to show the spatial coverage, which is the vast majority of the planet.

    I don’t really understand the color coding either. Dr. Spencer would probably be the best person to explain. It would be interesting to hear an explanation.

  16. You’ve got enough material to make this a paper on it’s own… but would they publish it?

  17. Where I think smoothing over the arctic is particularly egregious is that the data from land stations in the far north is not at all typical of what is going on over the ice.

    Typically those far north stations are on coastal sites in a treeless landscape of rocks. The boundary of land and ocean in such places is usually also a temperature boundary, which makes them awful places to be measuring temperature really. The single biggest influence on temperature there is usually wind direction – whether the wind is blowing from the sea or from the land. This is most apparent during the summer when wind from the sea is usually significantly cooler than wind from the land which has passed over sun heated rocks. The temperature physics at these sites is nothing at all like what goes on out at sea over the arctic ice pack. If the wind is blowing from the land, the temperature at those sites is almost certainly going to be a lot warmer than it is even ten miles out at sea. To take the temperature of those land based stations which is for the most part an artifact of land effects and wind direction, and try to use it to draw inferences about temperature across 1200 miles of landless ice pack and ocean is just absurd if you think about it.

    Has anyone has checked whether the higher temperatures recorded in some far north sites this year might not be due to a shift in wind patterns? If for example the predominant wind direction has shifted from sea to land at several such sites, that by itself could produce an apparent measured temperature anomaly without the ice pack having signifcantly warmed at all.

  18. It appears from the NOAA/UAH map geography that they have coverage further north than 82.5°.

    It’s amazing the amount of yellow and orange where there appears actual available data that GISS just 1200-km-extrapolates over to blood-red and justifies it by claiming missing data, missing data because they have tossed most of the stations from their database.

    That 1200 kilometers is a bit less than one-eight of the distance from the north pole to the equator and GISS speaks of one-tenths of a degree anomalies, kind of ridiculous!

    Does anyone know why someone with proper scientific credentials has not already refuted Hansen’s 1200-km paper, or could that be work in progress?

  19. Sometimes I think we are still in the middle ages discussing differences between archangels.We have accepted that average global anomalies have a meaning and reason merrily along on differences of representations.

    True, the post demonstrates that GISS is making huge extrapolations over the arctic ( antarctic?) in its averaging anomalies. But even if the a arctic were covered on the surface every 100 meters, still the temperature anomaly in the arctic and antarctic would have a very distorted relationship to the energy balance of the planet to be meaningful in judging whether the planet is heating or cooling.

    This year we saw a 13C anomaly in the region, http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2010.png , going from 245K to 258K .
    All this was driven by the winds and cold masses dispersed lower in the hemisphere where they measured as 2 and 3C anomalies. There can be little meaning in averaging these anomalies globally even if perfectly measured.

    Of course the discrepancy shown in this post makes the problem worse. But it is bad to begin with from first assumptions.

  20. Nice work Mr. Goddard. Guess we can call off the code brown. (Monsters vs. Aliens reference. I got kids)

  21. All this warming in the North Country has made for a lot of precipitation – unfortunately at this time of year it comes in flakes – our typical Alberta Victoria Day long weekend usually gets snowed on and it did not fail to disappoint this year (or the last three for that matter: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/your_weather/details/786/2602287/18/upload/

    In spite of global warming, we still can’t really do a lot of planting before the long weekend in May except for hardy strains. “La plus la change, la plus la meme chose.”

    The big red areas in the north don’t mean much if they mean it is 9 C below instead of 10 C below cause my hay won’t grow at either temperature.

  22. stevengoddard says:
    May 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm
    dr.bill

    My purpose in including the UAH maps was just to show the spatial coverage, which is the vast majority of the planet.

    I don’t really understand the color coding either. Dr. Spencer would probably be the best person to explain. It would be interesting to hear an explanation.

    Because it’s the brightness temperature with an unknown emissivity, that’s why it’s not used. That’s why UAH and RSS use the microwave emissions of O2 to derive their temperatures (they are at altitude to minimize the surface contribution).
    Because of errors associated with the direction of scanning as the satellite passes near the pole the method can’t make lower tropospheric measurements within 7.5º of the pole. You really shouldn’t discuss this material when you don’t understand how it’s done. You haven’t included the UAH maps, but I guess you’ll continue in your delusion.

  23. The importance of all this lies in realising just how much we don’t know particularly in the context of claims of unprecedented Arctic warmth.

  24. Steve, you do a great job creating nice looking graphics but I once more I think that you miss the mark in terms of relating what is really happening in the Arctic right now. Now even though 2010 Arctic Sea ice has fallen below even 2007 levels for this same date, this is not nearly as important as the Arctic sea ice volume anomaly, which is showing rapid negative declines. I would direct readers attentions to these two pages:

    and also here, to undestand how the sophisticated PIOMAS volume model is validated:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/index.html

    Steve, et. al. here on WUWT were quite excited earlier this year when the Arctic Sea ice made a small late season surge, though myself and others tried to be realistic about this surge in pointing out that it was new very thin ice that formed from a series persistent low pressure systems over the Bering Sea mainly. Analysis of the winter however, with warmer than normal temperatures in the Arctic (as shown by GISS et. al) had failed to thicken up the multi-year ice in the same manner as might have been found in previous winters. Sure enough, the low volume of Arctic Sea ice as shown in the graph above is now being seen quite dramatically in a sea ice extent that has fallen a rate that one would normally expect for later in the heart of the melt season mid-June to Mid-August.

    Steve’s insistence of harping on the GISS data techniques, which may or may not have data smoothing issues, which may or may not result in a few tenths of a degree change at most, when the arctic is showing several degrees of anomalies, seems spurious at best. and a distraction from the real issue– the rapid decline of sea ice volume in the Arctic. If the AGW skeptics doubt the PIOMAS volume model, then please (sincerely) let us know what issue you have with it. But as of right now, the Arctic sea ice is behaving exactly as one would expect if the volume is as low as PIOMAS says it is. We may not have lost as much ice through the Fram Strait this winter (due mainly to the very negative AO index), but the ice that remained did not get extremely thick, and in fact, has a very negative volume anomaly, which is exactly why it is melting so quick, even before the main melt season hits.

  25. So winter at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, has a common temperature of -35F and a wind speed of about 20mph from the west. If the anomaly was +30F it would mean temperature of a mere -5F. Yep, that heating will surely melt all the ice and flood the world….

    Does it matter whether the Arctic temperature is -100F or -35F or -5F in the winter?

  26. Another great post from Mr. Goddard!

    @Phil
    Is it just me or do all of the graphs at clearclimatecode.org

    Look as if they have been run through the Mann Hockey Stick Program?

    Maybe they are using “adjusted” data.

    Interolation of data at 1200KM interval seems a stretch if I am understanding the concept!

  27. dr.bill says:
    May 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm
    O/T: Some weather fun.
    (via Luboš Motl’s blog)

    Hailstone Fury

    Yep, dr.bill, that’s where I live. Lucky again. We only found one lone 1″ diameter hailstone. That anvil-head was quite impressive and I remember many like that back in the 70’s & 80’s. That’s the kind you can get sprites and blue jets from I hear. Talk about a transfer of energy! I’m guessing forty thousands feet high+ and spread over some 200+ square miles by the jet-stream as the radar seemed to indicated. That’s where my mention of the dip of the horizon plays in. Tell me vertical height matters not in such cases. Have had my space heater on, again (never before in May), from the time of that storm until yesterday. It pulled the temperature departure way negative again for a solid week.

    Unfortunately, that is just normal spring Oklahoma weather playing with the dry-line from the Texas panhandle, just weather, not climate. Perhaps a meteorologist from this area could fill in some missing gaps, I really didn’t pay that much attention to it once I could see the bulk was going to miss us by a couple of miles. I get really tired of the constant hype, we have always had weather like this and always will. For those who have just moved to Oklahoma, welcome, get used to it.

  28. anna v says:
    May 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm
    Sometimes I think we are still in the middle ages discussing differences between archangels. We have accepted that average global anomalies have a meaning and reason merrily along on differences of representations.

    Thanks anna, that needs to be re-raised regularly!

  29. A complex story of biased or unsubstantiated corrections, alterations, assumptions and adjustments – this wouldn’t work in any other field of science, where this paper would just be an interesting theory. However, in the astrological world of ‘climate science’, this theory is portrayed as being hard facts.

    This truly is “BS baffles brains” for the average person, let alone a politician.

    I am reminded of the ancient guilds who controlled critical sections of the economy, where how to do or make something seemed obvious until you tried to duplicate it – then you would find it was impossible, unless you knew the deep secrets of the science of how it was really done.

  30. Steve, a great visualization! Thanks!

    Saying that GISS uses 1200 smoothing doesn’t describe it correctly, i think – smoothing implies something like interpolating, running a smooth filter like a Gaussian, but that’s not what they’re doing -they are filling an area with an anomaly value from a station up to 1200 km away; it’s a crisp cutoff at 1200km if i understand Hansen’s methodology correctly, nothing smooth about it. It’s a filling algorithm.

  31. Phil.: May 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm
    ….. You really shouldn’t discuss this material when you don’t understand how it’s done. You haven’t included the UAH maps, but I guess you’ll continue in your delusion.

    I’m just guessing here, but if your level of talent matches your level of arrogance, you must fairly glow in the dark. I bet it was hard to sneak back into the house when you were a kid, huh? Ease up man. The rest of us dummies are just trying to understand things.

    /dr.bill

  32. Just as a guide: 1200km (~750 miles) is approximately the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the UK, or Dunkirk (Dunkerque) to the Pyrenees in France.

  33. Hansen and Lebedeff’s 1987 paper outlining the rationale for as much as a 1200 km smoothing does not exactly provide a convincing argument for using it. It seems as though they already made their mind up to use it even though their own data does not really support it.

    They show the Correlation Coefficients between stations at different distances (in several different latitude bands) and the numbers are very poor.

    At 1200 km, the Correlations range from 0.60 to 0.35 (and everything south of 44N is very low).

    If anything, the data indicates the smoothing distance should be kept to a minimum.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1987/1987_Hansen_Lebedeff.pdf

    The new high resolution NASA satellite temperature maps show a few hundred kms is probably okay but beyond that, the smoothing algorithm will introduce errors.

    http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?group=67

    The GISTemp anomaly for April was 0.73C at 1200 kms but only 0.60C at 250 kms.

  34. R Gates: ‘2010 Arctic Sea ice has fallen below even 2007 for this same date’

    Looking at current sea ice coverage, present day coverage for this time of the year seems to fall within a very narrow band which suggests this of all times is not a time we can make confident predictions about coverage.

    You further say:

    ‘the low volume of Arctic Sea ice as shown in the graph above is now being seen quite dramatically in a sea ice extent that has fallen a rate that one would normally expect for later in the heart of the melt season mid-June to Mid-August.’

    But again, given the very narrow band width of sea ice extents at this time of the year, suggesting the current extent is falling at a rate consistent with a June to August melt seems a trifle premature.

    I think it’s too early to call.

  35. stevengoddard says:
    May 22, 2010 at 6:25 am
    Phil,

    There is something interesting in the UAH map, but not what you were expecting…

    On the contrary it’s exactly what I was expecting, as I and others (Bob Tisdale, Anu, etc.) have been telling you UAH infills the pole from 82.5ºN on their maps.

  36. dr.bill says:
    May 22, 2010 at 5:02 am
    I’m just guessing here, but if your level of talent matches your level of arrogance, you must fairly glow in the dark. I bet it was hard to sneak back into the house when you were a kid, huh? Ease up man. The rest of us dummies are just trying to understand things.

    As we all are, it’s not helped by Steve making mis-statements and refusing point-blank to acknowledge that he has done so. Mixing up NASA surface brightness temperatures with the UAH MSU is a rather basic error for someone who’s been posting here as long as he has.

    It’s not just on this thread:
    Steven mosher says:
    May 21, 2010 at 10:00 am
    Stevegoddard.

    You made a simple mistake. But in making that mistake you accused somebody else of hiding data. Bob and Zeke have both pointed out the error and without acrimony or innuendo about your motives. My suggestion would be that you admit your mistake and thank those who pointed it out.

    The current behavior I see reminds me of Mann when he was caught out on simple errors. Two paths forward. choose.

    REPLY: Mosh gives good advice, take it. – Anthony

  37. Any CAGW’er needs to look very closely at the data for northern Africa. The original data designates one tiny area near the mid-eastern coast as what I’ll call warmer mid-red. The smoothed graphic shows ~60% of Northern as warmer mid-red, when that warmer temperature was non-existent in the original data but for one small spot. Then look at the differences near the USA-Canadian border (N. & S. Dakota, Mn. Ia. Wy. Ks. Ms. Ill. and parts of other states). Original data for 90% of that region has been smoothed to warmer mid-red. Come on Anu, explain that to me.

  38. R. Gates, love that site you provided on volume models. Reminds me of the various scenarios for El Nino prediction models. Statistical versus dynamical. A very good site that we should all visit.

    My bet is on the statistical natural climate models based on…wait for it…weather pattern variability and oscillations (IE if these weather system parameters exist, ice will do that), not the second one that includes projected warming scenarios from long-wave re-radiation as a result of increasing levels of greenhouse gasses over the Arctic (IE added warming temps to the natural variability Arctic system).

    I noted that the explanations of statistical models were given a little “greenhouse gas” color commentary by the authors speculating that natural variability may be driven by greenhouse gasses. This is an unsupported statement and should have been made with proper references, which it was not.

    Regardless, great site, and thanks for alerting us.
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/index.html

  39. I’d like to suggest that even if the world were not being torn apart by politicians, anarchists, and special interest groups around the planet over the issue of Man-Made Global Warming (and the trillions in dollars, euros, pesos, and gold so much at stake), that within scientific circles this issue would be as much debated as now – though with perhaps a “little” less of the understandably human emotional component. Life’s a beach, always different, always the same.

  40. Brightness Temperatures:

    For those like myself who didn’t know what a brightness temperature was, I dug through some of my books and determined what it means. To wit:

    – An object emitting thermal radiation follows the shape of Planck’s Law. If you integrate that over all frequencies, you get the Stefan-Boltzmann result with the T^4 dependence. If the object isn’t a blackbody (pretty much always the case), then the emissivity “e” enters the picture, and the total emitted intensity is given by I = eσT^4 (in W/m²).

    – When only a segment of the frequency range is measured, as is the case with the microwave sounding units on the satellites, the emissions from the object still follow the shape of Planck’s Law, and the brightness temperature “Tb” is defined as the temperature a blackbody would have if it were producing that amount of intensity in that frequency range. This quantity and the actual temperature “T” are related by the following expression:

      1.00·[exp(hf/kT) – 1] = e·[exp(hf/kTb) – 1]

    – In cases where the photon energies “hf” are much smaller than the thermal energies “kT”, which is the case with microwaves (where hf/kT is in the 1/100 range), the exponentials can be expanded in power series, and keeping only the first terms gives a much simpler expression:

      T = Tb/e

    – The emissivity “e” is always less than 1.00, and thus the real temperature will be higher than the brightness temperature, which, as I interpret things, is what the satellites can measure (but I didn’t dig that far). The emissivity, however, appears to be the big “if factor”, since it will vary widely across the planet, depending on a host of geographical and time-dependent factors. I have no idea how they find those values, but the actual temperatures derived from the brightness temperatures depend critically on them.

    /dr.bill

  41. Phil,

    Your ad homs are getting pretty lame. I see that you ignored the “super special” video I made just for you. Here it for the third time. Please comment.

  42. Phil,

    OK I see that you did comment. Apparently you believe that it is problematic for UAH to infill from somewhere north of 82.5, but OK for GISS to infill from 70N? LOL

    I can also see that you are having a tough time with the original video, which shows the extent of the measured satellite coverage.

  43. sunsettommy
    Whoa, REALLY nice AMO/Barents Sea temp correlation. THANKS!!! My statistical model says that AMO is the 2nd largest driver of global temperature (closely followed by the ENSO cycle). This clues me in a little on how and why.
    (Sorry, GHGs are the main driver. I really need to work on some higher order non-linear regressions though, cuz I think El Nino may deserve 2nd place; 2nd/3rd is neck and neck.)

  44. R. Gates said on May 21, 2010 at 11:16 pm:

    Steve, you do a great job creating nice looking graphics but I once more I think that you miss the mark in terms of relating what is really happening in the Arctic right now. Now even though 2010 Arctic Sea ice has fallen below even 2007 levels for this same date, this is not nearly as important as the Arctic sea ice volume anomaly, which is showing rapid negative declines. I would direct readers attentions to these two pages:

    and also here, to undestand how the sophisticated PIOMAS volume model is validated:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/index.html
    (…)

    Well gee, you could have started at the Polar Science Center page that ties all of that together. There you can read interesting stuff like this from the “Purpose” section:

    Total Arctic sea ice volume cannot currently be observed continuously. Observations from satellites, Navy submarines, moorings, and field measurements are limited in space or time. The assimilation of observations into numerical models, currently provides one way of estimating sea ice volume changes on a continuing basis. Volume estimates using age of sea ice as a proxy for ice thickness are another useful method (see here and here). Comparisons with observations help test our understanding of sea ice conditions in the Arctic.

    The second “here” link goes to an ever-helpful paywall for Geophysical Research Letters where a 2007 paper exists. The first goes to an area the browser says is titled “Ignatius G. Rigor’s Home Page.” What immediately comes up is another paper from Geophysical Research Letters from 2004, “Variations in the Age of Arctic Sea-ice and Summer Sea-ice Extent.” The area has frames with a left-side page selector, from “Some Research Highlights” we can find “2008 Outlook for Arctic Sea Ice this Summer” which has:

    Outlook
    We expect that the minimum in summer sea ice extent in 2008 will break the record set during the summer of 2007 by about 1 million sq. km, and decrease from 4.1 million sq. km in September 2007 to 3.1 million sq. km in September 2008 (Fig. 1).

    For disclosure, it says this at the bottom of the selector:

    Acknowledgements: This research is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Ice Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the JISAO, National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research

    Regular readers here know full well how fair and balanced NASA, NOAA, and the NSF are with regards to anything (C)AGW related, such as the Arctic Ice Death Spiral. Opinions about the NIC and ONR are welcomed.

    The second link you provided, which is in the tie-together page I linked to in its “Model Validation” section, goes to a page headlined by:

    Projections of an Ice-Diminished Arctic Ocean
    – Retrospection and Future Projection

    We find some interesting info at the bottom (emphasis added):

    This NSF-funded project aims to:
    (1) Examine the historical evolution of the arctic ice-ocean system to understand the large-scale changes that have occurred in sea ice and the upper Arctic Ocean.
    (2) Project a diminished arctic sea-ice cover under multiple warming scenarios to understand key linkages among atmospheric forcing, sea-ice processes, and oceanic processes in an ice-diminished Arctic Ocean and the adjacent seas.

    The goal was not to develop something that would compute ice volume period, but would project the loss of ice “under multiple warming scenarios”. At least that’s my take on it. And, surprise, the model likes to keep showing ice volume going down.

    Back at the tie-together page under “Model Validation” we find:

    PIOMAS has been extensively validated through comparisons with observations from US-Navy submarines, moorings, and satellites.

    Yet it has been said before how spotty and unreliable the non-satellite measurements were and are. Does this mean PIOMAS was validated to statistical garbage? Well, they do provide this excellent graph showing it validated to IceSat. In one month of the year, November, from 2003 to 2007 (five points), the PIOMAS model did match a simple part of a curve, actually somewhat well for the first four points while not really missing it to the last one.

    Obviously PIOMAS can be trusted to model both past and present Arctic ice volumes as it has been validated to observations previously declared unusable rubbish and several satellite data points. It does an excellent job showing declining ice, per project aim #2 shown above. I can clearly see why (C)AGW proponents like to continually promote that terrifying anomaly graph as showing THE REAL STORY about Arctic Ice. Why, even the 75% warmers love it.

  45. [snip – no more comments until apology is made on the other thread regarding your claims of conspiracy]

  46. R. Gates

    I’m not sure what your conspiracy theory is, but for the record I do this for fun. I have no affiliations to any energy related industry, I don’t get paid, and have only met a couple of prominent skeptics for a total of about two hours.

  47. stevengoddard says:
    May 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    R. Gates

    I’m not sure what your conspiracy theory is, but for the record I do this for fun. I have no affiliations to any energy related industry, I don’t get paid, and have only met a couple of prominent skeptics for a total of about two hours.

    ________________

    I am not, repeat NOT, insinuating any conspiracies and have no such conspiracy theory, but what I am saying is that lot’s of money is at stake on both sides of this issue, and that money can tend to skew perceptions and “public relations” efforts on both sides of the issue. Most of your postings are quite informative and I learn a great deal from them, and I appreciate the fact that you don’t mix politics into them.

    BTW, I can see that I need to do a better job of letting people know when I’m being sarcastic, although I hate to just come out and say “sarcasm” as it a takes the punch out of it, kind of like kissing your own sister or like a comic holding up a sign saying, “I’m being funny now.”

    Not so funny…

    So no, there is no UHI conspiracy going on in Dealey Plaza…or…is there?

    REPLY: standard blog practice is to end the saracasm with /sarc off

  48. stevengoddard says:
    May 22, 2010 at 10:14 am
    Phil,

    OK I see that you did comment.
    Well you have to remember that I’m on moderator delay.

    Apparently you believe that it is problematic for UAH to infill from somewhere north of 82.5, but OK for GISS to infill from 70N? LOL

    No, it’s that you’ve spent the last couple of days denying that UAH did any infilling, glad to see you’ve come round.

    I can also see that you are having a tough time with the original video, which shows the extent of the measured satellite coverage.

    It shows the extent of a NOAA satellite, but not the UAH MSU coverage which you unfortunately labelled it as.

    By the way there are no ad homs.

  49. Phil

    These articles are about GISS generating imaginary temperature data across the Arctic, and it appears that you will do almost anything to change the subject.

  50. John Galt II says:
    May 22, 2010 at 12:25 am

    “Another great post from Mr. Goddard!”

    Agreed!

  51. stevengoddard says:
    May 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm
    Phil

    These articles are about GISS generating imaginary temperature data across the Arctic, and it appears that you will do almost anything to change the subject.

    They are also about UAH generating ‘imaginary’ temperature data across the Arctic since the original poster (you) also posted images showing such ‘imaginary’ data. However you refuse to acknowledge that fact. GISS uses a method based on determined correlation lengths to interpolate/extrapolate data into adjacent areas without coverage. UAH infills into the uncovered areas by some as yet undescribed method (maybe they use the GISS method). Don’t complain about my discussing the subject when you post here targeted at me demanding a response!

    stevengoddard says:
    May 22, 2010 at 6:25 am
    Phil,

    There is something interesting in the UAH map, but not what you were expecting…

    stevengoddard says:
    May 22, 2010 at 10:10 am
    Phil,

    I see that you ignored the “super special” video I made just for you. Here it for the third time. Please comment.

    It would appear that it’s you who’s changing the subject.

  52. Thanks Steve, some good information.

    You should also make the readers realize that the area occupied by the arctic cap north of 82° latitude is but ½ of one percent of the earth’s total area. Unless mistaken, just 1/200 of the Earth’s area. When you look at many projections this gets distorted to a huge, huge degree. Even looking at your spherical views above which are perfectly realistic it is still hard to guesstimate just how much of total area of the Earth we are speaking of in these heated discussions.

    I had no idea before calculating the exact value that it was so very small. Some are basing fear comments on the Earth’s climate on just ½ of 1% of the area? The area above the arctic circle at 66° 30’ is but 1/24 of the earth’s surface area. I’ll never look at these arctic discussions the same, I had always assumed it was much more.

    If someone needs to calculate other latitudes or just verify the above: in compact form, φ = 82«deg» as latitude in radians and 2π (1 – cos(½π – φ)) / «4π sr» → «pct» = 0.49%. («4π sr» = 4π for sr (steradian) just = 1).

  53. Re : Ice Volume
    1. It is falling so fast, I e-mailed the university that it will go off the (bottom) of the chart in mere weeks

    2. When assessing Honesty, my background in History suggest “Argument Against Interest” is best, ie, the Piomas model may be intended for USE by AGW predictors, but when giving a value AFTER the fact, based on all the non-Satellite data, it was almost perfect save ONE data point: it UNDERSTATED the actual 2007 drop that IceSat found http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/IceVolAnomaly19792010.MarNov2.png — now any AGW’s want Big Scary Drops of course: not to UNDERESTIMATE them !

    — So: clearly this is just a result of 2007 being the only time any melting near the CENTER of the Arctic happened. And all the Shore stations, ships, & shore-based planes that supply PIOMAS its data, are going to MISS that — it is out of their range.

    3… the Modellers that use PIOMAS all want PROGRESSIVE melting — a little more each year, in line with AGW

    — THIS year’s melt would be from a NATURAL EVENT — the big El Nino, 4th largest in 60 years — so they IGNORE that in their Projections. Like with their 2008 predictions that did not match the Model, PIOMAS, when used to extrapolate shore & spotty Airplane thickness data into a whole-arctic Volume , produces results NOT to their liking ! !

    Thus, it IS honest.
    Thus, the present near vertical drop ,
    IS correct for Last week — but may turn right back up again, Next Week. Or not.

    And it will underestimate Volume Losses far from Shore — once they start Occurring. Because MY estimate is based on the strength of the El Nino relative to 2007’s and Thus:
    2007 = -4000 km3 relative to previous Minimum, TIMES:
    1.8 (2009-10 ONI rating) over 1.1 (2006-7 ONI) EQUALS:
    – 6545 km3 from 2009, which being 5800, means:

    ZERO Ice at this years’ minimum. AND it’ll melt EARLY.

  54. All the GISS data, methods and code are freely downloadable. And their code has been independently rewritten by volunteers of the Clear Climate Code project to be clearer and better explained. And a number of independent individuals and teams have taken the data and produced their own versions of the analysis, showing essentially the same result.

    If there is such distrust of the GISS and si milar products among the skeptic community, why have none produced and published their own alternative version?

  55. Charles Wilson says:
    May 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    ZERO Ice at this years’ minimum. AND it’ll melt EARLY.

    Fun.

    Not long to wait. In the meanwhile, have a look at this camera from Greek Macedonia, a ski resort, note the date:

    It is not often that in May in Greece one may choose between swimming and skiing.
    Maybe all that ice tunneled quantum mechanically to Kaimaktsalan :)

  56. I really don’t like all the yelling and bold print…makes me want to put my earplugs in…

    Anyway, there’s a bit of a heatwave going on above the arctic circle this coming week in Alaska….check out this forecast for Venetie Alaska (above the Arctic Circle):

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/tenday/99781?par=Google&site=earth.google.com&promo=0&cm_ven=bd_select&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=earth.google.com&cm_ite=map

    It is projected to hit 90 degrees there on Tuesday…and nearby Ft. Yukon, also above the Arctic Circle is also set to hit 90:

    http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/tenday/99740?par=Google&site=earth.google.com&promo=0&cm_ven=bd_select&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=earth.google.com&cm_ite=map

    Hard for all the permafrost to hold up under temps like that…

  57. Craig Allen said on May 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm:

    All the GISS data, methods and code are freely downloadable. And their code has been independently rewritten by volunteers of the Clear Climate Code project to be clearer and better explained. And a number of independent individuals and teams have taken the data and produced their own versions of the analysis, showing essentially the same result.
    (…)

    Hansen wrote his paper detailing his method of mixing manure. Some have replicated the manure mixer he built, others have taken his concepts and made their own mixers. And sure enough, whether from Hansen’s own GISTemp or the recreations, manure gets shoveled in, and out comes smoothed homogenized manure. Which is still manure, smelling even more wonderful than usual.

    Provided you are open to reason, please go read E.M. Smith’s in-depth analyzing of GISTemp, found here. If you don’t feel like diving into the code to see what GISTemp actually does, and taking notice where this differs from what is said that it does, at least read the “GIStemp – A Human View” page for a relatively simple description of just how much of a screwed-up mess it all is.

    (…)
    If there is such distrust of the GISS and si milar products among the skeptic community, why have none produced and published their own alternative version?

    Lovely idea. You providing the funding for that? Actually, the historical temperature records can be a complete mess, with many strange cases, documented here and elsewhere, where the “raw” data available already has been adjusted, and even the truly raw data is questionable. Thus if all we really have to start with is manure, is there a good reason why we should design and build our own manure mixers?

  58. R. Gates says:
    May 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Hard for all the permafrost to hold up under temps like that…

    Permafrost, as its name says, is permanent frost, half a meter or so below the surface that hosts plants.

    I was once on June 21st in Finnland for a workshop, a date where they have their light holiday and the temperatures were mild. We were on wooded island and people had to bring their drinks with them because the small bar was forbidden to serve more than beer.

    What amazed me was not that people were getting drunk from bottles in their back pocket and falling down senseless in the woods. It was the young men on shift with armbands of the redcross carrying a stretcher and going into the woods picking up the dropped down drunks and storing them like logs in a room next to the bar.

    I was told that if they were left in the woods they would freeze and die, because of the permafrost the temperature of the soil was freezing , despite the 24 hour day ( the sun just dipped and came up again in half an hour).

    So, yes, the permafrost is well insulated and survives.

  59. Can we purchase a good second hand raw data synthesizer on E-bay? It seems like the Hadley unit will be replaced with A newer unit that can reach the high notes better.
    How do they gather data that justifies higher temperature readings where they have not collected data?

  60. Didn’t deniers learn to leave ice visualization, and other matters they don’t understand, alone back when Steve Goddard embarrassed himself counting pixels? Interesting that deniers still cite that Register url as proof of something or other. Apparently they never make it to the retraction added at the bottom.
    http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2008/08/how_to_admit_youre_wrong.php

    That prediction that “Arctic Ice will Continue to Recover” was off the mark on 2 accounts, the first was that a recovery was occurring. The mass of ice in the arctic has continued to decline, year over year. The 1 month recovery in area was of great interest to deniers who don’t understand the difference between sq meters of ice and cubic meters, but NSIDC accurately predicted that the new thin ice would melt rapidly.

    Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners are rated by tons of ice per hour (varies with volume), not by sq yards of ice. The reason for that is the difference between sq meters of ice and cubic meters.

    Arctic Ice Area has declined at a rapid rate. It is not below the area for this time in 2007, despite the late start to the melting season.

    Yet another folded bluff from the “global warming isn’t happening” theorists.

  61. Visualizing Arctic Ice behavior appears to need this same kind of analysis. The Arctic, (once again I repeat), is not “a” sea. It is many. It is not a single weather pattern variation zone either. It is many. It would be worthwhile to start a thread about the various areas of the Arctic that respond to the various incoming systems in unique and multiple ways. To talk about Arctic sea ice behavior as a single entity, and predict its melt as a single entity is way off reality.

  62. Damn drive-by posters.

    Kelly Manning said on May 23, 2010 at 8:40 am: (emphasis added)

    Didn’t deniers learn to leave ice visualization, and other matters they don’t understand, alone back when Steve Goddard embarrassed himself counting pixels? Interesting that deniers still cite that Register url as proof of something or other. Apparently they never make it to the retraction added at the bottom.
    (…)

    Thanks a lot, human solid waste evacuation orifice, for making me have to give (non)scienceblogs a hit to get that Register URL.

    If you see that URL anywhere on this page, then point out where. Have you seen it used anywhere on this site lately? And what of that article? Something was postulated, countering information was presented, the originator considered the information and agreed they were wrong. That’s how science is supposed to work, that’s how scientists are supposed to act. Nothing was denied there.

    The denial that is happening is you denying how stupid you look with your stupid words and stupid assertions. I started writing this angry, and now I’m just laughing. Dear God, you’re so laughable it’s pathetic.

    Have a nice day, and be careful on the way out. Don’t let the door handle hit ya where the Good Lord split ya!

  63. Kelly Manning

    Everyone counts pixels. NSIDC teaches pixel counting to their students for measuring ice. Instead of mindlessly repeating ad homs you read somewhere else, try using your brain.

    Arctic ice is close to normal and above 2007.

  64. Kelly Manning

    You might also notice that the 2009 minimum was 20% greater than the 2007 minimum, and that NSIDC does not measure volume.

    The only thing that was correct in your post was an apparent typo. “It is not below the area for this time in 2007”

  65. kadaka (KD Knoebel)

    The referenced Register article was correct. There was a discrepancy between NSIDC and UIUC. As a result of that article, UIUC made two changes.

    1. They added this text “Sea ice concentrations less than 30% are not displayed in these images” because their legend was/is incorrect.
    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh

    2. They corrected the eye elevation of their ice maps.

  66. Oh come on!!! They ridded us out! It was only a matter of time before they did so

    :o)

  67. From stevengoddard on May 23, 2010 at 10:41 am:

    The referenced Register article was correct. There was a discrepancy between NSIDC and UIUC. As a result of that article, UIUC made two changes.
    (…)

    Yup, I see that now. Previous comment was during a break from cursing my way through yard work so it was a bit rushed. I saw a “gentleman’s disagreement” with your follow-up statement starting with “Dr. Walt Meier at NSIDC has convinced me…” I did find his words about “the rest of the article” to be a bit extreme. Does he normally get that touchy when anyone questions global warming? ;-)

    Here in central Pennsylvania I finally got the old lawn tractor running. Two small O-rings in the carburetor assembly apparently didn’t like the “up to” 10% ethanol in the gasoline and broke down, clogging some small passageways. The engine now runs in surges with some backfiring. It was designed for “factory set and owner forget” emissions with only the bare minimum of gasoline going into the engine for the speed lever setting. It seems the lower energy content in just that small amount of ethanol is throwing it off, the engine tries to speed up then acts like the gas supply is insufficient, the governor mechanism then closes the throttle plate on the slowdown but too much leaving the motor almost stalling. Another type of malfunctioning feedback system linked to (C)AGW has now been identified.

    Did you finally get in a soccer practice, or did you run out of season first? I’m asking this on the off-chance you’ll read this as all attention is now on the new Arctic Ice report. :-)

  68. Kelly Manning:
    Isn’t “denier” an ad hominem argument?
    No Nobel prizes for name calling.

  69. Anybody:

    New at this. Once you turn the italics on, how do you switch them off?

    [Reply: </i> ~dbs, mod.]

  70. I like looking at monthly data as much as the next guy, but let’s keep this in perspective –
    there is SO much natural variability affecting temperature and ice coverage area, etc. that no data from “this month’s” or “this year’s” can tell us very much about what the values will be in December or 2011, etc.

    (Although the Nino 3.4 vs. Global Oceans curve match-up in ‘Spencer: global average sea surface temperatures poised for a plunge’ looked pretty interesting. Would be nice to see a longer term regression or statistical model including Nino 3.4)

  71. Jbar said on May 24, 2010 at 4:38 pm:

    I guess I really know how to kill a thread??

    Thanks for the HTML tip.

    The Arctic Sea Ice birds have migrated to the new territories, don’t take it personally.

    If you had CA Assistant you would have had a Preview function that would have shown you the italics problem, and it also lets you easily apply italics. Worth looking into.

  72. this web site suks it dosent answer any of my questions and it should be taken of the web!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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