Arctic Toolbox: Did 300,000 km2 of ice suddenly melt?

By Steve  Goddard

August 16, 2010 offered a great opportunity to put all the Arctic data together in a coherent picture. DMI showed a large drop in extent.

http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

You can see the drop between August 15 and August 16 clearly in red in the modified NSIDC map below.

So what happened? Did 300,000 km2 of ice suddenly melt?

Not exactly. There were very strong winds pushing the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas towards the pole on August 15. This compacted the ice, reducing extent while increasing the average thickness.

You can see the August 15 movement of ice in Beaufort Sea in the satellite blink map below. Note how the ice edge is tightening up and compacting.

Will this continue? Probably not. The weather forecast calls for a return to colder and calmer weather in a couple of days. Look for the DMI graph to flatten out by the weekend.

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256 thoughts on “Arctic Toolbox: Did 300,000 km2 of ice suddenly melt?

  1. Did Steve or Anthony write this? Either way, it looks like the Arctic’s ice will thicken for next summer, and see even more recovery.
    “Look for the DMI graph to flatten out by the weekend.”
    Steve accurately predicted the JAXA graph to level out, but can he accurately predict the DMI graph to level out? 😉
    REPLY: Steve did, and I was remiss at not putting his author name on it, fixed. – Anthony

  2. Check on the fires in Russia. May have sent up some heat. Russia forecasts a low of 42 degrees Saturday.

  3. Snowlover,
    The JAXA leveling prediction was a no-brainer based on the geometry of the ice. This time it is based on the weather forecast, which calls for cooler temperatures and shifted winds in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

  4. Which points to the need for an Arctic ice measurement based on Mass.
    Sort of what ACE does for hurricanes.
    Call it AIM
    Accumulated Ice Mass.

  5. Another 70,000sk decline to yesterday.
    At the present rate it will reach Steve’s predicted 5,500,000 by the middle of next week.

  6. The arctic 2910-melting season is obviously coming to an end. Temps above 80 North are constantly sub-zero (Celsius, that is) already, while the gradient of the melting curve is substantially flatening recently, too.
    It’s lowest point may still end up above the 2007-, 2008- and 2009-melts, making it the third melting season ending with a gain, when compared to it’s predecessor.
    And last, but not least, some news from from the “Weather is not climate”-department: Here in Germany, the actual weather is more reminiscent of late October than of mid August for almost a week already. Precipitation all over Europe was tremendous during the past week.
    By-and-large, we consider this Summer over.

  7. Snowlover123
    No matter what the final value of 2010 extent is, there will almost undoubtedly be an increase in MYI over the winter. At this point, the extent discussion is just a (highly entertaining) game.

  8. Quite reassuring, thanks!
    I have been wondering about thickness in relation to area; “yes there may be a comparable erea of ice but it is much thinner than it used to be, and so AGW is still an undisputed fact”.
    To me it would seem, since a certain amount of arctic ice consists of seperate pieces, smaller or larger ‘ice cubes’ in a way (at least 15% etc), that area would decrease more or less hand in hand with thickness and vice versa.
    Are there any coherent thoughts to be shared on this?

  9. There’s no question I’ve been disappointed at what so far looks like a zero contribution of increased multi-year ice in reducing the August melt trend vs 2009.

  10. Michael Schaefer says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:11 am
    The arctic 2910-melting season is obviously coming to an end…

    Damn!! That was really quick!
    ;^)

  11. snowlover said:
    “Steve accurately predicted the JAXA graph to level out…”
    ______
    He did? When was this? I’ve not seen the JAXA graph level out yet this season.
    I find it interesting to note that for AGW skeptics, when the ice extent is declining rapidly, it is never the temps, but all the “wind” but when it is slowly declining, it is always the DMI temps “declining rapidly”.

  12. Here is the right ice map,
    http://satellite.ehabich.info/arctic.htm
    ice area is bigger than NOOA’s map
    http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/1991/91JC02334.shtml
    In areas with greater amounts of nilas and young ice, we found that the NASA team algorithm underestimates ice concentrations by as much as 9%
    Comparison of sea ice algorithms
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/comparison-of-algorithms
    Sea Ice Area and Extent obtained from algorithms: Norsex, NASA Team, Bootstrap, ASI, Bristol, Swift, CalVal and TUD

  13. Steve, before returning to my classroom (which is just round the corner, this Tuesday), I wanted to give you props for keeping this discussion going and putting it out there. It has been both entertaining and instructive, a feat not easily done during the slow Summer months. By the way, your picture comparison of the two days looking at the affect of wind was excellent. I have been beating the drum of ice compaction for what, two years now? Or has it been three. Hard to remember but I sure have enjoyed the thread. Again, thanks so much for you courage, time, and efforts.

  14. Karen
    Thanks for the heads up. Looks like NSIDC is saying pretty much the same thing I am. The one area of disagreement is North Pole temperatures. As I was discussing with Julienne yesterday, they use 925 mb (which is probably above the low clouds) and I use colder DMI 1000 mb numbers (below the low clouds.)

  15. John W. says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:18 am
    Michael Schaefer says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:11 am
    The arctic 2910-melting season is obviously coming to an end…
    Damn!! That was really quick!
    ;^)
    ——————————
    D-u-h!
    T-o-o–m-u-c-h–c-o-f-f-e-e–t-o-d-a-y!
    😉

  16. Maybe this is OT.
    Maybe not.
    When the Northern Hemisphere was suffering massive coldwaves and frozen precipitation in December, January, and February, we were curtly and dismissively informed that “Weather is not climate”.
    But now that it is hot in the summer, and there are various floods and droughts plaguing areas historically plagued with floods and drought, we are informed that this weather is climate!
    That certain weather is climate while other weather does not count.
    Eff this stuff already.

  17. Jimash
    Hot weather is climate. Cold weather is weather. El Nino is climate. La Nina is weather.
    Typical religion. They can always find facts which support their belief system, and ignore the ones which don’t.

  18. Pamela,
    Thanks. Much appreciated. My main goal is to provide tools and ways to think about these problems.
    Science is for everybody, especially for children who have not lost their curiosity yet.

  19. Just looked at the NSIDC August report.
    Most of the year they’ve only been showing 2007 and 1979-2000 average for comparison. The August report shows 2008 and 2009 as well.
    At the moment, it is relatively striking how the recent (last few weeks) trend is signficantly flatter (and more what I would have expected re my comment upstream) at NSIDC vs JAXA. I wonder why?

  20. The problem with this typical WUWT Arctic thread is that a false claim is always introduced in that when the winds blow from the south it is always stated that it is all due to compacting of the ice.
    However, winds from the south are warm winds at this time of year and so melt also occurs. If you look at 2007 and watch the decrease you can see most of the loss is due to melt not compaction until the end
    http://www.zen141854.zen.co.uk/2007.wmv
    If that was due to simply compacting ice then the PIPS model would have shown a massive increase in thickness due to the large loss in extent for that year, did it?
    [img]http://www.zen141854.zen.co.uk/difference.jpg[/img]
    No it did not. There is some thickening but niles away from where all the action was that year.
    I know melt is dirty word for closed minds though …
    Andy

  21. “You can see the April 15 movement of ice in Beaufort Sea”.
    Should that read “August 15”?
    REPLY: Thanks, typo fixed -Anthony

  22. R. Gates:
    Ice extent is a function of multiple parameters that are not easily disaggregated. That is why it has limited utility in assessing AGW. It would be nice if the [snip] err pro-AGW crowd would acknowledge this.

  23. Fred says:
    August 18, 2010 at 9:58 am
    Which points to the need for an Arctic ice measurement based on Mass.

    OK, so how many Massachusetts is the decrease?

  24. Its too bad there is such a rampant alarmist element in anything related to climate these days. I find posts like this to be very fascinating. If only cooler heads could prevail but I sense it could be another 5-10 years before this fizzles out into something that is harmless again. Some please one knock me senseless and tell me I’m wrong!

  25. AndyW
    Your video doesn’t distinguish between melt and compaction. This one is more informative because it shows that compaction was dominant.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeBatHtMtYY]

  26. AndyW says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am
    I know melt is dirty word for closed minds though …
    Andy
    ———
    Andy, thanks for contributing! Many of us are extremely open-minded and seek scientific/statistical accuracy in this field more than anything. The AGW crowd seems to cook the books, cherry-pick etc. when presenting their scenarios.
    I still think that oceanic acidification could be an emerging problem, but remain far more concerned about atmospheric deposition of mercury from all sources, particularly coal-fired utilities. However, the catastrophic warming scenarios painted by Hansen et. al. seem to be less & less likely, and many of these WUWT posters are onto it.
    I used to be an AGW Kool-aid drinker myself, but Climategate was the tipping point for me. If the AGW cabal expects the world to undergo wrenching financial costs in order to reduce catastrophic climate change, they better have their story straight first. I’m waiting to be convinced….

  27. CRS, Dr.P.H. said
    August 18, 2010 at 11:21 am
    AndyW says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am
    I know melt is dirty word for closed minds though …
    Andy
    ———
    Andy, thanks for contributing! Many of us are extremely open-minded and seek scientific/statistical accuracy in this field more than anything. The AGW crowd seems to cook the books, cherry-pick etc. when presenting their scenarios.
    I still think that oceanic acidification could be an emerging problem, but remain far more concerned about atmospheric deposition of mercury from all sources, particularly coal-fired utilities. However, the catastrophic warming scenarios painted by Hansen et. al. seem to be less & less likely, and many of these WUWT posters are onto it.
    I used to be an AGW Kool-aid drinker myself, but Climategate was the tipping point for me. If the AGW cabal expects the world to undergo wrenching financial costs in order to reduce catastrophic climate change, they better have their story straight first. I’m waiting to be convinced….
    _________________________________________
    Thanks for your off topic rant but I don’t see how you have answered my point that “melt” is a dirty word in these parts.
    Is it me or have I gone bold as well? What is going on with this blog, I don’t want to be bold! 😀
    Andy
    [Reply: I think that was a WordPress glitch. Fixed now. ~dbs]

  28. PIOMAS forecasts a record minimum of 3.96.
    Walt Meier forecasts 4.74
    Julienne initially forecast 5.5 but has lowered since.
    My forecast is 5.5.
    Who is going to be the closest?

  29. Just sayin’ that if it beats the 2009 mark, which looks pretty likely by JAXA, there can be no increase in multi-year ice.

  30. AndyW says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am
    [i]However, winds from the south are warm winds at this time of year and so melt also occurs. If you look at 2007 and watch the decrease you can see most of the loss is due to melt not compaction until the end[/i]
    How much warm wind would be needed to melt that much ice so quickly?

  31. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:21 am
    “more concerned about atmospheric deposition of mercury from all sources, particularly coal-fired utilities.”
    Good point and don’t forget the radioactivity in the effluent for coal. Just ’cause we aren’t “COO tipping” doesn’t mean we can give *actual* pollution a real break.
    What makes me nearly uncivil is the wasted money on “carbon” control that should be used to control the mercury and fallout instead. Grr.. (civilly of course)

  32. “COO tipping” — noun phrase. The destabilization of the climate by the introduction of CO2

  33. stevengoddard
    >I don’t see any melting in the web cam images.
    The “pools” on the foreground and those on the brackground appear to have grown a bit larger in size (speaking of their darker portion) and to my untrained eye it looked like some melting has occurred. What is going on, then?
    Just asking, because I am really not sure, if that cannot be defined melting.

  34. Buffoon says:
    August 11, 2010 at 11:11 am
    Where was the jetstream in sept. 2005, and how hot was moscow-lat russia?
    With all that heat flowing around northern russia, prevailing winds there should drive toward the pole.
    … I would look for those to shore up and thicken due to wind compaction on the russia side and for 2010 to clear 2005[‘s minimum] slightly to the negative within 10 days

  35. I still think there’s going to be some squirrely action later in the season, because all those soot deposits from wildfires should be heading north

  36. Just imagine if all this money that was spent on “climate change” had been instead spent on space exploration/REAL NASA stuff.
    How close to Mars do you think we would have been? And its my understanding that we would understand the climate just as well as we did 30 years ago. What a waste.

  37. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:48 am
    bob
    The only thing which could prevent an increase in MYI (2+ year old ice) would be if a lot of ice blows out the Fram Strait this winter.

    And the steady flow of MYI between the QE Islands and through the Nares strait which is happening as we speak. Which is the thickest (oldest) seaice in the Arctic too.

  38. You can see the August 15 movement of ice in Beaufort Sea in the satellite blink map below. Note how the ice edge is tightening up and compacting
    Also note the melting ice behind the front (bottom r corner of image).

  39. @AndyW says: August 18, 2010 at 11:31 am
    “Thanks for your off topic rant but I don’t see how you have answered my point that “melt” is a dirty word in these parts.”
    “Melt” a dirty word? Not in the least! All the Arctic ice could MELT tomorrow for all I care. What would it matter? Or signify? Or prove?
    Sending the economy of the West (and the hopes of the world’s poor) to hell in a handcart because of a lot of rent seeking pseudo science and tax raising politicians’ scare stories? Dressed up as “the Precautionary Principle”?
    That’s REALLY dirty talk!

  40. Akira Shirakawa says:
    August 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    “The “pools” on the foreground and those on the brackground appear to have grown a bit larger in size (speaking of their darker portion) and to my untrained eye it looked like some melting has occurred. What is going on, then?”
    Looks more like a spot where snow keeps getting blown off the ice to me?

  41. I thought the biggest movement was off Franz Josef Land, where ice which has been crowding those islands, suddenly has receded 100 miles to the north. All happened in 1-2 days. Warm ocean currents both pushing back the ice and melting the edge into a straight edge, is my impression.

  42. Jimash said at 10:38 am
    ….That certain weather is climate while other weather does not count.
    and stevengoddard said at 10:44 am
    Jimash
    Hot weather is climate. Cold weather is weather. El Nino is climate. La Nina is weather.

    No, no, no students. You’ve still have not learned your lessons. Now repeat after me; Weather can NOT affect Climate even though Climate is a summary of Weather, but Climate DOES affect Weather even though Climate is a summary of Weather. Got that? Nino, Nina, hot, cold or not. It’s how the energy flows.
    Energy in, energy out,
    Energy moving all about.
    In the ocean, and atmosphere,
    CO2 is the thing to fear.
    Weather here is not forever,
    Climate there is not much better.
    More CO2 the culprit be,
    As any scientist can see.
    Though the weather it changes not,
    It makes the climate oh so hot?
    It makes no sense you say to me,
    And though no expert, I agree.
    So here we are for data max,
    WUWT, for all the facts.

  43. In 2009 at least the 15 % concentration was quite spread, and dispersion plus melting could cause quite a drop in extent well into Sept. With cold temperatures and compacted ice the minimum is likely to be way early this year. I’ll go with the 5.5. Murray

  44. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:38 am
    R. Gates
    You congratulated me on July 1 for calling the “dropping like a rock” flattening – to the day. Remember?
    ______
    I congratulated you on the calling the “turn to the right” or something to that effect, which was a great call, and of course within a week it made a hard turn to back to the left (or down) and has continued down ever since. I wouldn’t call this whole epsisode a “flattening” as the sea ice extent continued to drop afterward. Flattening would imply—flat, I would suppose. These little wiggles left or right though, during the heart of the melt season are really signs of divergence and compaction, as storm systems and high and low pressure centers move across the melting ice in the summer and are not signs that the actual rate of melting of the ice has slowed or accelerated (as you so often try to imply)– it’s simply being distibuted differently. One can even make the argument that a period of divergence might be followed by a period of even more rapid melt as that diverged ice has moved further south over warmer waters. But all of this guessing and speculating is the reason why CryoSat 2 data will be helpful, and measurement of actual sea ice volume will be most useful– especially if it has high enough spatial resolution to look at the open water in-between 15% concentrated ice that has diverged and count it as 0 volume as it should be counted.

  45. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:46 am
    AndyW
    Nothing wrong with the word “melt.” The problem is when people use the word “melt” to describe other processes.
    _____
    Indeed, melt is an actual change in the state of ice from solid to liquid. A slowdown in the melting should not be implied just because ice is diverging, nor should an accleration in melt be implied when the ice is compacting.
    The actual melt rate in the Arctic during any season will be determined by the total energy available for melting, delivered by atmosphere, sun, and water, and how the ice is distributed so as to be in contact with one or more of those energy sources for the maximum period of time.

  46. Steve maybe this seems like a dumb question:
    From your blink comparator, I can see that ice is moving around, as distinct pieces persist in the two pictures. But by eye, I can’t really tell by looking that one picture is more compacted than the other.
    But I understand that you have the raw pixel data for these picures; and assuming that the pixel value is representative of how much light is being received by that pixel, and assuming that open water is basically a black body, so not contributing much to the pixel total, one might deduce that a simple integral of all of the pixels would be a pretty good measure of the total ice area; if one assumes that the compaction has not yet started piling ice on top of ice.
    Now I see that one picture seems to have a small cloud intrusion up at the top; and maybe you can replace that area with a black hole in both pictures, with not too much loss.
    Do you have a quick routine to simply sum all the pixel values for a single grand total ?
    I realize that one is making a lot of assumptions as to obliquity (these are scanned images aren’t they; not whole frame photos ?)
    But your contention that the ice is just blowing around looks fairly solid from those two pictures; it would be nice to know if the total light value for the whole damn picture is the same for both.
    George

  47. Phil. said on August 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:48 am
    bob
    The only thing which could prevent an increase in MYI (2+ year old ice) would be if a lot of ice blows out the Fram Strait this winter.

    And the steady flow of MYI between the QE Islands and through the Nares strait which is happening as we speak. Which is the thickest (oldest) seaice in the Arctic too.

    What steady flow between the Queen Elizabeth Islands and through the Nares Strait? The PIPS Ice Displacement Forecast has shown little movement around there. Match that up with the very high ice concentrations of up to 100%, and consider also the ice thicknesses, and one can see why very little ice would be leaving from around there. It’s too compact and thick to move much at all.

  48. stevengoddard says:
    “Loss of ice extent this time of year is primarily due to compaction.”
    _____
    Steve, you have no proof of this, and it is likely is incorrect. We don’t always get compaction of the ice in the last few weeks of August, and yet the sea ice extent continues to decline in these final weeks of the melt season year after year. Please explain why that could be if it happens in years even when there is not compaction?
    It’s because extent loss this time of year also comes from the residual heat in the water that is responsible for most of the melting this late in the summer. Hence the reason that the DMI temps, north of 80 degrees, even if they are accurate, are of little consequence to the melt. The final melt is “already in the cards” so to speak, as it will largely be determined by the amount of heat available in the open waters.
    Bottom line, the loss of extent this time of year can be from both compaction and melting, and there is no proof that this year most of it is coming from compaction. A lot of ice has drifted out of the Arctic Basin into open waters further south and is melting in the continued warmer waters there, though there may also be some compaction going on as well. This all goes back to my criticism of some AGW skeptics, who like to credit “compaction” or “wind” being the cause of a speed up or acceleration of the extent drops, or DMI temps falling to be a reason the melt is supposed to be slowing, but it never seems to be heat delivered to the ice from sunlight, atmosphere, or water causing the melting or extent drops.

  49. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    phil.
    I think you may be confusing thin clouds with ice in the April 15 picture.

    No, take a look at the companion 3-6-7 images, definitely ice not clouds.

  50. George E. Smith
    The ice edge is moving radially inwards towards the pole, so by definition it is becoming more concentrated.
    The software is about 5,000,000 lines of code and has a GUI.

  51. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm
    Phil. said on August 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm
    stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:48 am
    bob
    The only thing which could prevent an increase in MYI (2+ year old ice) would be if a lot of ice blows out the Fram Strait this winter.
    And the steady flow of MYI between the QE Islands and through the Nares strait which is happening as we speak. Which is the thickest (oldest) seaice in the Arctic too.
    What steady flow between the Queen Elizabeth Islands and through the Nares Strait? The PIPS Ice Displacement Forecast has shown little movement around there. Match that up with the very high ice concentrations of up to 100%, and consider also the ice thicknesses, and one can see why very little ice would be leaving from around there. It’s too compact and thick to move much at all.

    Not so the Canadian Ice service and MODIS confirm what I said:
    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/FECN14CWIS/20100818000000_FECN14CWIS_0005142759.txt
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic.2010229.terra.1km

  52. From: R. Gates on August 18, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    It’s because extent loss this time of year also comes from the residual heat in the water that is responsible for most of the melting this late in the summer. Hence the reason that the DMI temps, north of 80 degrees, even if they are accurate, are of little consequence to the melt. The final melt is “already in the cards” so to speak, as it will largely be determined by the amount of heat available in the open waters.

    http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/sst/ophi/color_sst_NPS_ophi0.png
    That’s good to know, since where the ice now is the Sea Surface Temperature is practically everywhere running -1.5°C and colder, with the SST otherwise and around the ice running 0 to -1.5°C, thus there sure doesn’t look to be much heat available to melt that mostly freshwater sea ice. And if it stays nice and compacted, it’ll be more resistant to melt than if it was spread out at low concentrations. The rate of loss of extent should soon slow considerably.

  53. Been following this Ice thing since 07 & have been rooting on the comeback as hard as I can But I have thought like R. Gates lately (Last 45 days)…The Ice has been melting due to warm SST & the Low DMI temps cannot faze it…in Fact the DMI is now shooting above Normal at a point where we need to halt this slide to below 09 where unfortuanetly I feel we are going to end up……SO…no 3 year gain ..BUT…I feel like there will be a rapid Ice gain & I Am Hoping & thinking that we will be in for a good year in 2011!

  54. R. Gates, you are correct that heat gained in the ocean during summer continues to melt ice from below even as the air temperatures start to fall below freezing. It is not only wind and compaction that contribute to continued ice loss at this time of year.

  55. AndyW says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:31 am
    Thanks for your off topic rant but I don’t see how you have answered my point that “melt” is a dirty word in these parts.
    ——-
    REPLY: You are most welcome. Sea ice melts & re-freezes, it’s the driver for the process that remains unproven. If you think that AGW is “proven” in any classical scientific manner, then I feel sorry for you.
    I think the Arctic is doing just fine BTW. With the ongoing solar minimum, we are likely to have a nice, frosty winter with further ice consolidation & thickening. No arctic sea ice death-spiral in the making from everything I’ve seen.
    BTW, please explain this to me: http://www.rohlfamily.com/2010/01/snowy-durham-uk/
    My Brit friends were sure praying for some “melt” last winter! Hope they don’t get this challenge again this winter, they really aren’t set up to handle it.

  56. “”” stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    George E. Smith
    The ice edge is moving radially inwards towards the pole, so by definition it is becoming more concentrated.
    The software is about 5,000,000 lines of code and has a GUI. “””
    Steve,
    Yes I can see that the ice edge IS moving polewards, so as you say it IS compacting. But my question really points to a different question. That compaction could result in simply reduction of the open water (inside the ice field); which ought to keep the actual “ice” area pretty much constant; or at some point, you could have the ice starting to pile up on itself, in which case the are of the ice woule continue to diminish; but the amount of ice wouldn’t.
    So I was thinking that if pileup was not (yet) occurring), then the total light returned from the ice ought to remain the same; while the light returned from the diminishing open water isn’t much anyway so the total light from the whole ice conglomeration would be the same for the two pictures. Given the pixel data, it would seem one could grab a nice rectangle that appeared to be all ice from each picture (same general region), and omitting that cloud cover area, and simply total all the pixel numbers to get a total light value which ought to be a quite good representation of the actual ice area and show that it isn’t diminishing even theough the extent is.
    But I don’t want to create something that is a lot of work to do.

  57. R. Gates:
    While cryostat2 _will_ be useful to determine Ice Mass more accurately, the data gathered won’t be useful without a sufficient baseline. cryostat2 will help to establish the baseline over the next few decades; only when a sufficiently long baseline is established will any conclusions about trends be useful. Trends derived from baseline data of less than two AMO/PDO cycles aren’t particularly predictive, IMO.
    I don’t have a high confidence in trends derived from paleo data.

  58. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:21 am
    CRS sets forth a very concise definition of an honest skeptic, and like CRS I aspire to be an honest skeptic. Unlike CRS I was never an AGW believer, but I never ‘denied’ the possibility and and try not to let my skepticism reject that possibility. As a skeptic I can’t say I like Steve Goddard’s triumphantalism in this thread. yes Steve G deserves to take props for what turns out to be an accurate prediction of the 2010 melt. And yes he can delight in the fact that this is yet another data point showing that AGW alarmism is false. But, come back to us steve, this just more data, not the end. Same goes for you Phil and Andy. When does your rejection of data points disproving IPCC’s et al’s alarmist models make you guys “the deniers”. I gotta say I find comments like CRS’s more enlightening than the Steve G/Andy-Phil “yes it does no it doesn’t” debate which is just tedious. Cheers.

  59. Meanwhile, further round the corner of the Arctic basin, the infamous Petterson (or however it’s spelt) iceberg is going nowhere, according to the satellite view of 17th. Even if the wind tried to push it out into the strait, ice is building up on the far side to get in its way. I think this berg will get well stuck with the refreeze, and it’s going to be interesting to see when it gets free again next summer.
    Rich.

  60. I’d like to see the NorthWest passage open, it’s almost there. If I was a ship merchant, I think I’d send my fleet up that way. Easy shipping New York to/from China and Japan for about 6 weeks.

  61. Julienne says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm
    R. Gates, you are correct that heat gained in the ocean during summer continues to melt ice from below even as the air temperatures start to fall below freezing. It is not only wind and compaction that contribute to continued ice loss at this time of year.
    _____
    It is nice to know that once in a while my arm-chair scientist’s “educated guesses”, match up well with what a Ph.D. can confirm…thanks! And BTW, I happen to see you on TV the other night on the International History Channel, maybe? You were talking about trends in Arctic ice, and I think Mark S. was interviewed on the show as well. I yelled out, “Hey, I know her!” (At least sort of) My dog picked her ears up for a second and then went back to sleep. It was the highlight of my evening…

  62. Scott Lurndal says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm
    R. Gates:
    While cryostat2 _will_ be useful to determine Ice Mass more accurately, the data gathered won’t be useful without a sufficient baseline. cryostat2 will help to establish the baseline over the next few decades; only when a sufficiently long baseline is established will any conclusions about trends be useful. Trends derived from baseline data of less than two AMO/PDO cycles aren’t particularly predictive, IMO.
    I don’t have a high confidence in trends derived from paleo data.
    _____
    In general I agree with all of this, but I think (if GCM are correct) we’ll see the trend start down and keep going. I would hope that we can get some sort of Artic Sea Ice Volume index (based on data not models) very soon after the data start to come in. As you pointed out, it will take a while to get a good baseline, but I would expect within 5 years at th maximum, we’d start to see a trend. Unfortunately, this trend will be starting during the upswing of a solar max event (no matter how weak), so we’ll need a complete solar cycle or two to guage effects of irradiance changes, and of course, longer for the effect of the PDO, etc.
    My hunch is, however, that within 20 years, we’ll probably see our first ice free summer arctic, and so the rest will be academic so to speak.

  63. R. Gates…I was wondering if the show was recently aired. I tend to get FB friend requests when I’m on TV.
    I have to say though I wasn’t happy about my interview being used in that particular program. I had no idea what the program was going to be about and I certainly do not agree that the decline in Arctic sea ice is part of the 7 signs of the apocalypse.

  64. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm
    R. Gates
    You can see with 100% certainty from the blank map, that the loss in ice extent is due primarily to compaction.
    ______
    I assume you meant “blink” map, but no, my reading across the entire Arctic right now is that we have a lot of ice that diverged earlier in the month and is now melting place over open water, and we also have some compaction going on, but in no way would I be willing to say with 100% certainty that the majority of the extent loss right now is from compaction alone.

  65. “”” stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    George E. Smith
    The reason I think that the ice is piling up is because PIPS shows a higher average thickness than it did a week ago. “””
    Oh OK Steve, I guess I missed that part; so you do feel that in addition to just flushing out open water from between the ice there already is some pileup. Fair enough that’s all I wanted to know. Thanks Steve.

  66. Julienne says:
    August 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm
    R. Gates…I was wondering if the show was recently aired. I tend to get FB friend requests when I’m on TV.
    I have to say though I wasn’t happy about my interview being used in that particular program. I had no idea what the program was going to be about and I certainly do not agree that the decline in Arctic sea ice is part of the 7 signs of the apocalypse.
    ______
    I don’t blame you for being unhappy about the use of your interview in that type of program…and I don’t normally watch “that type of program” either, but I was mindlessly channel surfing (actually a rare event for me) when I happen to come across some video of some calving glaciers. The next thing I knew, you were on the screen talking. It certainly was unethical of them to use a professional such as yourself in this manner on a sensationalist program of that type. Of course, you learned from that experience, and will always demand final option to be cut from a production if you don’t like the manner in which your soundbite is used, right? Also, did you get a chance to see a script or treatment before hand? You can also demand that if the final edited program does not follow the script or treatment to a significant extent, you have the right to have your portion taken out.
    As pleased as I was to see you on TV, I was a little embarassed for you, and I’m glad to know a Ph.D doesn’t support superstitious religious notions…

  67. Interesting that, at this point, the extent predictions are just a silly game and suddenly it is all MYI increasing over the winter. I suspect from those comments that stevengoddard no longer thinks his prediction is going to be in the ballpark … 😉
    As to NSIDC changing their predictions, I have no problem with that provided they are altered consistently – in other words, provided they are using a particular model. What it means, though, is that the model is not useful from further out. As an example, the model that I am using – monthly average ice extent – is not really useful prior to June, and even the June data is not great. In any case, I am stuck with my 4.7 to 4.8. I do not think that it will go that low. So I will be wrong too.

  68. From: Phil. on August 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Not so the Canadian Ice service and MODIS confirm what I said:
    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/FECN14CWIS/20100818000000_FECN14CWIS_0005142759.txt
    http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?mosaic=Arctic.2010229.terra.1km

    The Canadian Ice Service report does not mention the Nares Strait.
    Please have some consideration for those of us without fast internet connections and without wall-sized monitors. A link to the 4km pixel size MODIS map is preferred, I can choose a finer resolution right on the page if I desire it.
    On that cloudy mosaic, you can make out that there is ice in the channels. It is thick next to the the Arctic Ocean, looks about as dense as the ocean ice. As seen on the close-ups (one, two), it’s tending to stay together and not break up, indicating (to me) a slow current flow with slow ice movement. The CIS report mentioned Multi-Year Ice influxes at Viscount Melville Sound, which are visible (see close-up one, see the ice slowly disperse), and some drifting MYI. For both half-month forecasts, MYI will be found, well, where it’s found right now.
    We must have different definitions of what constitutes a “steady flow.” You should avoid doing plumbing work. When it takes a half hour to fill a toilet tank then I’d say a trickle was going into the tank, not a steady flow, whether the trickle was steady or not.

  69. See – owe to Rich says:
    August 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm
    Meanwhile, further round the corner of the Arctic basin, the infamous Petterson (or however it’s spelt) iceberg is going nowhere, according to the satellite view of 17th. Even if the wind tried to push it out into the strait, ice is building up on the far side to get in its way. I think this berg will get well stuck with the refreeze, and it’s going to be interesting to see when it gets free again next summer.

    It’s still edging its way out, that ice on the far side is actually pushing through at about 30km/day. Bear in mind that it’s not a flat seaice floe but is wedge shaped so it will turn in the wind.

  70. David Gould
    I can’t imagine the circumstances which would make my prediction “not in the ballpark.” But since you apparently believe that you can read minds, please entertain me further.

  71. R. Gates says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm
    Actually we never got to see the program before it goes on air, and that’s been true for most program interviews. They don’t typically even give us a copy of the interview (at least the History Channel never has). But Discovery Science was nice enough to send us the program on a DVD.
    I did learn from the experience with the History Channel and I will make sure I know a lot more how an interview is to be used before agreeing to it in the future. My last interview with them for Underwater Universe was MUCH better.

  72. David Gould says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:37 pm
    Interesting that, at this point, the extent predictions are just a silly game and suddenly it is all MYI increasing over the winter. I suspect from those comments that stevengoddard no longer thinks his prediction is going to be in the ballpark … 😉
    As to NSIDC changing their predictions, I have no problem with that provided they are altered consistently – in other words, provided they are using a particular model. What it means, though, is that the model is not useful from further out. As an example, the model that I am using – monthly average ice extent – is not really useful prior to June, and even the June data is not great. In any case, I am stuck with my 4.7 to 4.8. I do not think that it will go that low. So I will be wrong too.
    ———————-
    David, here is the history of the NSIDC prediction. The first prediction was based on survival rates for FYI and MYI in March (separated out as a function of ice age) and using typical survival rates of that ice through summer (rates which are likely no longer valid given thinning of the older ice, warming of the Arctic). But this method gave an idea that if the MYI was as thick as “normal” then assuming “average” atmospheric conditions, a minimum of 5.5 million sq-km was reached.
    The next two predictions are done by taking the July 1st ice extent and applying average rates of decline of the ice cover throughout the remainder of the melt season. The next one starts with August 1st ice extent. All 3 predictions use statistical analysis of the data, but they use different starting points and are based on different variables (ice age survival rates and average daily ice decline rates).

  73. stevengoddard,
    I was teasing, hence the winky face – hard to convey it, I guess. 🙂
    I would say that the ballpark would be, say, +/- 200,000 square kilometres or so. That is of course subjective, and a comparison between two predictions is objective, which is better.
    Even there, though, I would allow some margin for error. For example, say the final result is 4.9 million. I would not be prepared to say that there was any difference between the accuracy of your prediction and the accuracy of R. Gates’ prediction. Likewise for 5.1 million. This is still giving around 200,000 or so of leeway.

  74. If there was any evidence of compaction it would be the open areas of water within the ice area becoming smaller. If anything all I can see is these areas becoming bigger, which signifies melt (although cloud in the first picture may be helping to trick my eyes), and the whole ice mass moving rapidly towards the pole, which I’m pretty sure is causing some compaction, as the proportion of open water within the ice nearer the north pole and greenland has noticeably decreased in the last week or so. But no compaction in this picture.
    Also this picture shows what remains of what earlier in the season was a fairly solid spur of multi year ice. You can see how along the outer edge there are many larger floes. This compares to the younger ice to the bottom right of the photo which even though closer to the north pole is in the last stages of melt and has broken down into floes that are too small to individually pick up at this resolution.

  75. Julienne,
    Thanks for that. 🙂 Was the statistical methodology used for the 5.5 prediction a kind of test as to whether ice was normal thickness?

  76. Dave says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:07 am
    Another 70,000sk decline to yesterday.
    At the present rate it will reach Steve’s predicted 5,500,000 by the middle of next week.

    One morning I got up at 6:00 and it was 51F. By 12:00 noon it was 74F. Why wasn’t it 143F the next morning at 6:00???

  77. Andy W
    Wind blowing from the south melted 2007 ice.
    __________________________________
    Andy – have you never watched the video of the ice being blown out of Fram Strait in 2007. The clockwise rotation and ice flow out through Fram Strait was very impressive. Melting winds from the south were not the issue. Winds from the south in that region appear to help maintain the ice in the arctic.

  78. I observe AMSU for years and I copied scans every few days building an animation that showed clearly the Antartic edges warming up substantially just 2 days before the first Chile earthquake . Site ( for Channel 1 of the AMSU instrument ) :
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/AAT_Browse.php?chan=1&satnum=15&aord=a
    Main site : http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
    A similar situation was developing at the Noth Pole which now subsided by half while the South is still expanding its heat signature .
    It does look like a Mega Volcano is just about to change things at the South Pole while maybe triggering Pacific earthquakes .
    Please comment .
    Thank you ,
    Doru
    Canada

  79. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:08 pm
    Check this out – DMI temperatures above normal for the first time in months. The blast of southerly air made it all the way to the pole.
    Naaah, that’s not a blast of wind, or an eddie or nothing like that. That’s an effect from global warming. But if the line goes down that’s a bad measurement at a small country place. How can that little Dane place be right then? Poor folksy people, they can’t understand global warming.When that’s happening then you have to get the temperature from trusty GISS. 😉

  80. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm
    phil.
    You have quite an imagination. The iceberg has just been rotating, and the ice to the north is rapidly consolidating.

    Quite the comedian as usual Goddard, the iceberg has not “just been rotating” as I said it has been edging its way out as this movie clearly shows. As you can also see in that movie the ice is moving through the Nares strait at a rate of ~30km/day, hardly consolidating!
    http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b0133f327041b970b-pi

  81. Michael Hauber says:
    August 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm
    “If there was any evidence of compaction it would be the open areas of water within the ice area becoming smaller. If anything all I can see is these areas becoming bigger, which signifies melt (although cloud in the first picture may be helping to trick my eyes), and the whole ice mass moving rapidly towards the pole, which I’m pretty sure is causing some compaction, as the proportion of open water within the ice nearer the north pole and greenland has noticeably decreased in the last week or so. But no compaction in this picture.
    Also this picture shows what remains of what earlier in the season was a fairly solid spur of multi year ice. You can see how along the outer edge there are many larger floes. This compares to the younger ice to the bottom right of the photo which even though closer to the north pole is in the last stages of melt and has broken down into floes that are too small to individually pick up at this resolution.”
    There are plenty of examples of compaction to be seen if you bother to take a look at the high definition satellite images. I can’t possibly see how you could miss them unless your just taking a 2 second glance. This doesnt mean we havent lost area also in some places but you have to be kidding if your trying to argue that compaction hasn’t been a significant cause in drop in extent in the past few days.
    By the same token divergence probably played a significant part in the July extent results.
    One thing I find puzzling is the chart on Cryosphere Today seems to be showing ice area loss flattening out probably to a level in excess of the 2009 result. However most other charts I’ve seen for ice area don’t show this flattening out.
    One thing I would expect if the ice is compacting and reducing extent is that the area loss would be much flatter. This is what were seeing on the Crysosphere Chart but not on any of the others.

  82. Fred says: August 18, 2010 at 9:58 am
    “Which points to the need for an Arctic ice measurement based on Mass.
    Sort of what ACE does for hurricanes. Call it AIM. Accumulated Ice Mass.”
    You could also call it DIM. Declining Ice Mass 😉

  83. My special AMSR-E Arctic region sea ice anomaly plot, using the NSIDC average melt-freeze shape with the AMSR-E data record average value, shows this year’s ice just reaching the zero anomaly point and then holding that level. I see similar slips sideways in mid July and then again for the last few days at the end of July.
    My zero on the ASMR-E anomaly plot corresponds to about -700,000 sq-km on the NSIDC anomaly plot for data that spans the last 30 years. My average annual NSIDC melt-freeze curve is constructed from a Fourier series representation that was automatically calculated over the largest available central integer year period.

  84. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:34 am
    PIOMAS forecasts a record minimum of 3.96.
    Walt Meier forecasts 4.74
    Julienne initially forecast 5.5 but has lowered since.
    My forecast is 5.5.
    Who is going to be the closest?

    Me, with my 5.1 (posted on the prediction thread on the Blackboard in June).

  85. The preliminary 08/18 JAXA number indicates that the recent bleeding (or compaction, whichever term you want to use) may have slowed, with a daily loss of only 37188 km^2. However, the damage from the previous two days’ losses was already done, and the current extent prediction method is now predicting 4.98e6 km^2.
    To really make headway, we need to see a sporadic day here or there of increased extent. The first day of this in the JAXA record was 08/16 in 2002, followed by 08/24 in both 2002/2006. The only other August day with an increasing extent was 08/31 in 2006. By 09/04, however, all the years in the record except 2003 had shown at least one day with an extent increase.
    On the other hand, if an extent increase is due to winds/divergence and occurs too early, it may lead to increased melt before the minimum occurs. 🙁
    -Scott

  86. David W:
    ‘There are plenty of examples of compaction to be seen if you bother to take a look at the high definition satellite images. ‘
    Of course there are. As I mentioned in my post there is compaction visible near the North Pole and near Greenland.
    Just no compaction visible in the MODIS image shown at the top of this post.

  87. Wayne Delbeke said:-
    _________________________________
    “Andy – have you never watched the video of the ice being blown out of Fram Strait in 2007. The clockwise rotation and ice flow out through Fram Strait was very impressive. Melting winds from the south were not the issue. Winds from the south in that region appear to help maintain the ice in the arctic.”
    ***
    Ice is lost through the Framm Straight, Nares etc, but the reduction in the summer months is not due to it all being lost that way. Looking at an impressive video gives you no indication what percentage is lost that way compared to melt / compaction etc. Southerly winds are one of the main reasons for reduction in extent, by melt in situe and compaction. At the moment there is a 10C wind blowing from Siberia, I can assure you that has some effect on the extent value.
    On another topic, the Modis image Phil showed earlier shows fantastically how little ice there is in the Northern route of the NW passage.
    Andy

  88. Amino Acids in Meteorites,
    Lots of things *could* happen. But at this stage of the game, there are fewer than 300,000 square kilometres of extent to lose for us to hit 5.5 million. The average loss in September to the minimum alone over the last few years was 280,000 square kilometres.
    It is indeed not over until it is over. But it is very unlikely that the minimum will be 5.5 plus.
    Still, to boost your spirts, today’s loss of extent was well below average for the day in question. 🙂

  89. As to higher than 2009, there is a little bit more room there – 250,000 square kilometres more. But even that has (from the statistics) less than 30 per cent chance of happening.

  90. Amino,
    Below is a video showing JAXA 2010 as red, 2006 as green, and my 5.5 forecast as dashed. If the 2010 slope breaks this week like 2006 did – it should hit 5.5 almost exactly. If the winds keep blowing, it will go below 5.5.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADCpfBD37-4]

  91. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm
    NK
    It isn’t an accurate prediction yet. If the winds keep up, extent will continue to drop.

    If the winds turn in the other direction, will the extent climb ? Then your prediction of 5.5 million sq km might turn out to have been “too conservative”, as you have implied several times.
    stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    George E. Smith
    The reason I think that the ice is piling up is because PIPS shows a higher average thickness than it did a week ago.

    If the thinnest ice shelves on the margin of the Arctic are melting away, the remaining ice will have a higher average thickness.
    stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm
    George E. Smith
    The ice edge is moving radially inwards towards the pole, so by definition it is becoming more concentrated.

    Not if the margins are melting – the ice edge will move radially towards the pole, but that does not imply concentration of remaining ice. You cannot assume that which you want to prove.
    stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm
    David Gould
    I can’t imagine the circumstances which would make my prediction “not in the ballpark.”

    Yes, I suppose that’s true – you can’t imagine the circumstances.
    Did you ever read the papers I mentioned months ago when you said “your readers” weren’t interested in my ideas on the Arctic summer melt ?
    e.g.
    http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Data%20sources/Perovic%20ice%20cover.pdf
    I have many other citations, but I suspect even a 4 page paper is too much to ask of most of “your readers”. FYI, the last week in August had the greatest rates of bottom melt, as measured by ice mass balance buoys.
    Since my prediction has always been “less than 2009, IARC-JAXA numbers” – which means a minimum lower than 5,249,844 sq km – the extreme limit of your “ballpark” stops at 2009 levels. Claiming an “error-bar” of ± 500,000 sq km, or ± 1,000,000 sq km, is not going to cut it in late September – but having said that, best of luck with your Wishful Thinking.
    p.s. Did England do poorly at the World Cup this summer because of The Wind ? Seems to be trouble for you blokes…


  92. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    George E. Smith
    The reason I think that the ice is piling up is because PIPS shows a higher average thickness than it did a week ago.

    Steve,
    Keep in mind PIPS showing a higher average does not necessarily imply ice pileup.
    Examples:
    Thicknesses A: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1,4, 10, 10, 9
    Average A: 4.01
    Assuming uniform loss of 1:
    Thicknesses B: 1, 1, 3, 9, 9, 8
    Average B: 5.2
    So you can see the average ‘thickness’ has gone up, while the total amount of ‘ice’ has declined.

  93. Anu says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    You cannot assume that which you want to prove.

    Yet this seems to be the way science works in our generation. True for several fields, and especially true for global warming research. Remember that evidence of global warming is not evidence for global warming, because of the above statement you make. With that statement in place, how many papers out there actually show that global warming is due to manmade CO2 and not due to other factors?
    -Scott

  94. Akira Shirakawa says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:13 am.
    Akira, having spent quite a few years outdoors in the winter above the arctic circle, my observation is that the pond is frozen solid. What you see in the pictures is rather strong winds shifting the snow around. You may also notice that the wind blows the snow onto the lens at times. No melt going on there.
    Looking at the pictures, I am glad I am indoors with a hot coffe rather than next to that camera 😉

  95. Great blink comparator, really shows the process – very similar to sand bank / coastal sand drift, which you can see on low long coasts (I’m thinking east anglia UK which is constantly on the move).

  96. I see that despite my previous strictures Anu continues to demonstrate a complete lack of manners in his writings here.
    No matter who is right or wrong there is no need to display such appaling rudeness. It is hard to believe that he attended any university, but if he did I am sure it would be ashamed to own him.

  97. stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm
    If the winds keep blowing, it will go below 5.5.
    ——
    Oh those sneaky sneaky winds. Odd that they started showing up in 2007.
    Who would have guessed that Zephyrus was an AGW supporter?

  98. For one, I’m glad that in dmi Mr Goddard has recently found a reliable provider of climatic data.
    That data will I hope more than compensate for the unfortunate & continuing off-line status of the Cryosphere Today SSM/I small scale comparison maps.

  99. I downloaded the data from IARC-JAXA, and the difference between august 15th and 16th is nowhere near 300000 sq. km. In fact, a 300000 sq. km lost would really be a record melting day.
    The lost from the previous day on (for the Arctic in sq. km) :
    aug. 14th has been 63281
    aug. 15th has been 39688
    aug. 16th has been 72500
    aug. 17th has been 79687
    I don’t understand how you managed to end up with 300000sq. km for one single day – or there’s an error in the graph you are looking at. Again that is based on the data from JAXA.
    You explained about the contraction/compaction caused by the wind. That is true all year long, but it is more noticeable at this time of the year where there’s more open sea available for the ice chunks to move around – still it is the same thing every year, so yes it does explain why we see spikes both lows and highs, but that’s normal behavior.
    Previous comments said the melt will be ending early this year. Currently there’s no sign showing an early end of the melt season. The downslope of the temps is about the average, the melting rate is also about the average (if i compare to the last 10 years). Even with temps below the freezing point, the ice pack will continue to move around and loose chunks (escaping out the cooler areas) – that is not a sign of an early end of melting.
    There’s still more/less about a month of melting to go and it’ll all depends on local weather (clouds, wind, sun, temps). We’ll see then (only then) when it actually ended and what was the lowest count.

  100. ‘“Dropping like a rock” Anu reappears to try to rewrite his own history.’
    Btw, Anu is a common female name in Finnish. Could be a god as well, and supposedly all Babylonian gods are fierce by their nature.

  101. Anu says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm
    “I have many other citations, but I suspect even a 4 page paper is too much to ask of most of “your readers”.
    GFY

  102. Virveli says:
    August 19, 2010 at 8:32 am
    ‘“Dropping like a rock” Anu reappears to try to rewrite his own history.’
    Btw, Anu is a common female name in Finnish. Could be a god as well, and supposedly all Babylonian gods are fierce by their nature.
    Here’s a bit of a clue – its not British and its probably female:
    Anu says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm
    p.s. Did England do poorly at the World Cup this summer because of The Wind ? Seems to be trouble for you blokes…

  103. Updated JAXA 08/18 number is in and daily loss was only 33125 km^2. This may just be an anomaly (honestly, likely is), but people can hope it’s a sign of a slowdown. With that number, current extent is predicting a minimum extent of 4.99e6 km^2.
    We’re now 32500 km^2 higher than 2008, so it will indeed require a record loss (in JAXA dataset) from here until the minimum to go below 2008’s value.
    -Scott

  104. YFNWG says:
    August 19, 2010 at 10:34 am
    On a slightly different track, I’ve noticed that there isn’t a lot of NW Passage talk in the MSM this year.

    It’s not news anymore now it opens every summer.

  105. Scott said
    We’re now 32500 km^2 higher than 2008, so it will indeed require a record loss (in JAXA dataset) from here until the minimum to go below 2008′s value.
    Well not really. 32500km^2 ”catch up” can be achieved in a single day (and lost again the other) with the way the ice extent is calculated and ice pack movements – and it’s quite easy if you look at it on a daily basis as you got days where you can have up to 100000km^2 lost this year when it was 30000km^2 on that same day from a previous year. And the same goes the other way as well of course.
    StevenGoddard said :
    The drop was shown in the DMI graph
    Obviously that was a ”typo” in the plot – 300000km^2 is quite a number to reach for a single day, even more at this time of the year. lol.
    In fact, the largest lost of ice recorded for a single day i could find on AJAX, is 201875km^2 on july 3rd 2007, and the largest gain in ice has been 266094km^2 on october 13th 2006 .

  106. The past days DMI also showed a sudden rise of Mean Temperature above 80°N. Could this, at least partly, be connected to the large drop in extent?

  107. GFY
    QED
    On a slightly different track, I’ve noticed that there isn’t a lot of NW Passage talk in the MSM this year.
    The Norwegian adventurers in the Trimaran have made it through the last band of ice blocking the Northern Sea Route and are already making progress towards the Northwest Passage, which is very clear of ice (especially for this time of the year).
    There’s a very good chance they will be the first in recorded history to circumnavigate the Arctic in one single season. Quite a feat, I’d say. The only thing potentially thwarting them – besides a bout of extreme bad luck of course – is all that multi-year ice that is being pushed through the Queen Elizabeth Islands and might reach and block the NWP before melting out.
    There’s quite a bit of transport there, as is shown by the buoy map of the University of Washington. Look at those two fellers speeding throught the Prince Gustaf Adolf Sea since about 10 days ago.
    All the ridges blocking the multi-year ice have broken up and ice floes are flowing in. Counter-intuitively, his is good news for people who don’t want AGW to be true, as there is a good chance this multi-year ice will block the NWP in years to come. A pretty welcome argument I would think after all those times it has opened up in the past 5 years.

  108. Amazing what you can do with ice breakers in front of you, satellites, phones, planes helicopters, a climate controlled cabin and GPS navigation. Just like the Vikings.

  109. Günther,
    The Northwest Passage has been open repeatedly in the past. Great article. See especially the Conclusion.
    [BTW, your last name translates as “cherry-tree,” doesn’t it?☺]

  110. Smokey, I could be wrong but there is no mention whatsoever of the NWP in the piece you link to. And do you happen to know when the NWP was open 4 years in a row for the last time?

  111. Regg_upnorth says:
    August 19, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Scott said
    We’re now 32500 km^2 higher than 2008, so it will indeed require a record loss (in JAXA dataset) from here until the minimum to go below 2008′s value.
    Well not really. 32500km^2 ”catch up” can be achieved in a single day (and lost again the other) with the way the ice extent is calculated and ice pack movements – and it’s quite easy if you look at it on a daily basis as you got days where you can have up to 100000km^2 lost this year when it was 30000km^2 on that same day from a previous year. And the same goes the other way as well of course.

    Um, what the heck? For most lost between now and the minimum extent to ever occur in the JAXA record is 1055781 km^2. For us to reach the 2008 minimum will require 1088281 km^2. And last I check, 1088281>1055781, thus a record loss from 08/18 to the minimum. Now, we could lose a lot of ice today and go below 2008 today. Then we would not need a record loss from 08/19 to the minimum, but that doesn’t change the results from 08/18…I record would still be needed.
    And yes I’m well aware that the difference can be made up in one day. Clearly you haven’t been paying attention read my previous posts on this thread or the other recent sea ice threads, because I mention specific daily melts several times.
    -Scott

  112. Sorry Günther, here is a more detailed account.
    Give up yet?
    If not, wait until TonyB posts again. Ask him about the NW Passage. He has a large library of info on this subject.

  113. Smokey says:
    August 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    Günther,
    The Northwest Passage has been open repeatedly in the past. Great article. See especially the Conclusion.

    Twice in a century is a bit of a stretch to call ‘repeatedly’, not been recorded as open 4 years in a row before.

  114. Scott, sorry i my comments offended you – 32xxxkm^2 is such a small figure, it was not to blame you on any aspect… Personnaly, I don’t think past stats can determine what the current year outcome can be in small details such as that value – it can say the trend but not to that level of details.
    In my opinion, it won’t make a big difference if we’re above or below 2008 – both of these years will be in about the same league (as 2006-2007 and 2009).
    All that to say, weather out there is quite unpredictable and it can turn one way or the other on a dime as we’ve seen this week.
    Someone mentionned the NWP and not much attention in the medias. It’s still early to talk about that (a month in advance according to Env. Canada). Yet, there was something about that on the last NSIDC news. It is looking good to have the passage open and free in september. I don’t see that as good news.

  115. “And do you happen to know when the NWP was open 4 years in a row for the last time?”
    For the last time? How about the time before the time before the time before that? How many times during this interglacial? How about since there was water?
    What’s the relevance of the NWP and 4 years?

  116. Smokey, that was a very interesting article, showing how the media likes to sensationalize things. We have seen that with Climategate also.
    The piece was written in 2007. Perhaps the author would like to do a follow-up and tell us about all the times the NWP was open 4 years in a row in the last 2000 years?
    Or perhaps TonyB has some interesting facts regarding the matter. I’m aware of the fact that he is quite an expert on this matter.
    Like I said: It’s a good thing – for people who have a psychological problem with the practical and ethical implications of AGW – that all that multi-year ice is currently transported through the Queen Elizabeth Islands and might help keeping the NWP blocked in the next few years. Imagine the NWP being open 5, 6, 7 years in a row…

  117. http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/100810_Northwest_Passage_still_hard_to_navigate/

    “The plans that you make can change completely,” he says. This uncertainty, delay, liability, increased insurance and other costs of using the Northwest Passage are likely to deter commercial shipping here. A ship with a reinforced hull could possibly make it intact through the passage. But if it got stuck, it would cost thousands of dollars for an icebreaker like the Amundsen to come to the rescue. So even if the Northwest Passage is less ice-choked than before, the route may not become a shipping short-cut in the near future, as some have predicted.

  118. Ah, so now it will only mean something when the NWP has become a commercial shipping lane. Talk about shifting goalposts. It will buy you some more time to misinform people with a narrowed down version of reality. If this is your goal, of course.
    From the same piece:
    And, according to Environment Canada’s ice service, ice conditions in the Northwest Passage at the end of July resembled those normally found in the second or third week of August.

  119. Regg_upnorth says:
    August 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    Hey, no prob…I just didn’t like the comment that a record would not need to be broken to reach 2008’s level when in fact it does. I’d agree with you that current extent cannot accurately predict the final minimum. And with weather uncertainty, nothing can really do that currently.
    I’m just a bit aggressive on the subject because earlier R. Gates said that the real race was between 2008 and 2010, which didn’t make any sense because a record high loss from here on out would put us essentially equal to 2008 (as you pointed out), whereas a record low loss would actually put us above both 2009 and 2005. So while 2008 isn’t out of the realm of possibility, neither are 2009/2005 or even Steve’s 5.5e6 value. Personally, I think we’ll end up between 2008 and 2009, but it depends on so many variables right now that I think the statistical method just can’t pin it down.
    -Scott

  120. From: Günther Kirschbaum on August 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Like I said: It’s a good thing – for people who have a psychological problem with the practical and ethical implications of AGW – that all that multi-year ice is currently transported through the Queen Elizabeth Islands and might help keeping the NWP blocked in the next few years. Imagine the NWP being open 5, 6, 7 years in a row…

    Do you really believe in what you preach?
    Per IPCC AR4, we are headed for many decades of further global warming, even if we shut down civilization and all related CO2 emissions now. It will go on for centuries to come, it may be a millennium until the rise finally stops.
    So you can stop talking about the implications, since they will happen regardless of what we do. An ice free Northwest Passage for years on end? It’ll happen. Clear of ice for a century or longer? That will happen, you cannot stop it. An Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in the summer? Yup, and maybe ice free winters as well, once those powerful positive feedbacks kick in. The glaciers will all melt. Greenland will be laid bare, down to whatever really is underneath all that soon-to-be extinct ice, provided the rising of the sea levels doesn’t cover it all up. Even the Antarctic ice shall go away as well.
    So if you really do believe in (C)AGW, with the required acceptance of the findings presented in IPCC AR4, why are you even here exhorting us about the “practical and ethical implications of AGW” anyway? We can’t do anything about it, the warming is inevitable. The ethical implications are moot, the damage has already been done, due to our ignorance and that of many generations that preceded us. The practical implications are what we and our descendants will be adapting to, whatever they are, as they appear.
    Perhaps you should consider the “ethical implications” of your spending so much time here arguing over a little bit of doomed sea ice while the long-term planning needed to ensure the survival of our species awaits.
    😉

  121. There will not be a NW Passage in the history of our civilization. The only process that will bring about the NW Passage is continental drift, on a timescale of 10^7-8 yrs.

  122. Jeff P says:
    August 19, 2010 at 7:26 am
    stevengoddard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm
    If the winds keep blowing, it will go below 5.5.
    ——
    Oh those sneaky sneaky winds. Odd that they started showing up in 2007.
    Who would have guessed that Zephyrus was an AGW supporter

    ============================================================
    JeffP,
    I’m not going to let this low blow pass by without response. So answer this please: do you have proof that what happened in 2007 was anything other than natural variation?

  123. Phil,
    I asked you this in a post some weeks ago. I continued checking the comments until new comments stopped. You did not reply to me. I want to ask again:
    Can you prove to me the Northwest Passage have never been open 4 years in a row before?

  124. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    August 19, 2010 at 2:38 pm
    the Northwest Passage at the end of July resembled those normally found in the second or third week of August.
    =======================================================
    This one thing means global warming is happening? Arctic ice is controlled by many factors. Temperature of the earth is just one. And actually the earth has cooled slightly since 1998. Warming is not happening right now. If you’ll look at the ice graphs you’ll see every year since 2007 shows an incrase in ice. If you wanted to you could easily make an argument about global warming not happening because Arctic ice is increasing and temperature is cooling slightly. But you don’t look at the bigger picture. You look at one single line of information and act like you want to convince people global warming is happening because of what it says.
    You should focus on shorter growing seasons and longer winters that are happening on the earth. If you have friends in poor countries you might want to think about saving money to send to them to buy food in case food shortages begin to happen from this cooler climate around the world. There are also good organizations that ship food to poor countries. They may need extra help in years to soon come.

  125. kakada,
    We believe that it can be prevented. The point of the IPCC AR4 is that we are headed for serious trouble if we continue down the current path. If, however, we take steps to significantly reduce CO2 emissions then we can prevent that serious trouble. Thus, trying to convince those who are sceptical of this may be a worthwhile, although very difficult, endeavour.

  126. Kadaka, I believe there is a difference in outcome between following business-as-usual or transitioning towards a sustainable society. I have adjusted my lifestyle accordingly.
    But there’s not much use in adjusting my lifestyle if others such as you either stick their head in the sand because they are fearful of changing unhealthy conditioned habits, or cowardly party until the end of the world because it’s too late either way. Those types of mentality are unfortunately not an option for me.
    I can voluntarily stop shitting in the street in front of my house, but if all my neighbours decide not to bother and keep shitting all over the neighbourhood, I’ll be just as vulnerable to infectious diseases and smell shit everywhere.
    You want to have the right to shit all over the place and are thereby limiting my pursuit of freedom and happiness. That is what is happening and that’s why we live in a unsustainable society.
    I guess that somehow I’m hoping that what is happening in the Arctic makes you more aware of the implications your actions and lifestyle are having on other people and societies around the world. Perhaps you would also start realizing that switching to a sustainable society would be something good, noble and rational to strive for. Together, you and me. For ourselves, for our kids and for all other kids.
    But if you don’t want a sustainable society, you won’t be getting one. And unfortunately, neither will I.

  127. Günther
    I am an avid environmentalist and my major mode of transport is by bicycle. I make my kids ride everywhere too.
    But I am offended by the horrifically bad politics masquerading as “science” behind global warming. This is the biggest bunch of cr@p I have ever looked at in my 35 years of professional science and engineering.

  128. Steven, AGW is just one of many symptoms of an unsustainable society. I don’t see much use in a crusade denouncing all of climate science as a hoax or a big bunch of crap. The end effect of that is most probably that you are keeping the forces in place that perpetuate the unsustainable society.
    And that is under the hypothesis that AGW is a hoax/crap. What if it isn’t…
    For instance, the Arctic still isn’t recovering.

  129. It’s well possible that your good intention on WUWT is to show people how much climate science is a huge piece of crap. WUWT is one of the climate blogs with the most readers. If your good intention is wrong, you’ve paved yourself a lovely road to hell. Please, don’t think that what you are doing is without consequences. There is a very good chance that you are misinforming a large amount of people by simply telling them what they want to hear.

  130. stevengoddard,
    Then can you clarify what the ‘this’ refers to? Does it refer to the politics behind the science?
    “This is the biggest bunch of cr@p … “

  131. Stepping away from the political side and arguing a bit for an update, the 08/19 preliminary JAXA number is up for 2010 and shows a second day of below average loss. This brings up the current extent predictor for the final value to just a touch over 5e6 km^2. It’s nice to see two below-average days, but all they do is counteract the two days before that, and not even fully.
    -Scott

  132. David Gould says:
    August 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    stevengoddard,
    Then can you clarify what the ‘this’ refers to? Does it refer to the politics behind the science?
    “This is the biggest bunch of cr@p … “

    I don’t see any other way to take it given this is the quote:

    But I am offended by the horrifically bad politics masquerading as “science” behind global warming. This is the biggest bunch of cr@p…

    -Scott

  133. David Gould
    Catastrophic global warming. Temperatures have not risen anywhere near as fast as even Hansen’s most conservative predictions. Sea level rise has not accelerated.
    It is time for some people to admit that they were wrong, and stop lying to themselves and the rest of us.

  134. Okay. So you accept climate science is fine, but the conclusions drawn from that science are crap? Interesting.

  135. David Gould
    Do you believe that all climate scientists accept Hansen’s claims?
    Even from the IPCC report, it is abundantly clear that there is a very wide range of ideas. But they are drowned out by politicians posing as scientists.

  136. Steven, you said that bad politics masquerading as “science” behind global warming is the biggest bunch of cr@p you have ever seen. This implies (and I base this on the tone and content of all your other writings as well) that any science, any line of evidence, that is showing that AGW is real (which it isn’t), is becoming more discernible by the day (which it isn’t) and could turn out to be problematic on a socio-economic scale (which it won’t), must be fuelled by bad politics. And as most of climate science and all its related fields is showing that AGW is real, is becoming discernible, could be problematic, most of climate science must be cr@p…
    And that’s also why I believe that you have no problem whatsoever justifying the means to reach your end – ie showing the many readers of WUWT that AGW is a hoax, something which they very much want to hear – because the other side is doing it too.
    I base this for instance on the narrowed-down version of the situation in the Arctic you are feeding your readers in the Sea Ice News updates. Never a mention of satellite maps (or just a very small piece of the pack, like the ice off Barrow or the compaction in the Beaufort Sea) or high-resolution Uni Bremen or CT daily sea ice concentration maps that show the holes in the interior of the ice pack. Never a satellite image or mention of the Northwest Passage or the Northern Sea Route (except a cherry-picked quote about commercial shipping in the near future), or the multi-year ice transport through the Queen Elizabeth Islands. No mention of high-pressure areas and cyclones and weather forecast models that are showing whether the Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift Stream are in their positive phases or not. No, just PIPS ice thickness, CT low-resolution ice concentration comparison maps and the NSIDC extent maps.
    The only motive I can think of for someone doing this is ‘the end justifies means, because AGW is a hoax, and the other side is lying about it as well’.

  137. Günther
    I mean exactly what I say. Please don’t try to psychoanalyze or read any other meanings in to it.
    What “becomes more discernible by the day” is that Hansen vastly overestimated climate sensitivity.

  138. Scott says:
    August 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm
    Regg_upnorth says:
    August 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    Hey, no prob…I just didn’t like the comment that a record would not need to be broken to reach 2008′s level when in fact it does. I’d agree with you that current extent cannot accurately predict the final minimum. And with weather uncertainty, nothing can really do that currently.

    All it needs to do to reach 2008’s level is to match 2008 since on day 231 they’re essentially the same (2010 actually slightly lower). Given the state of the remaining ice that wouldn’t surprise me.

  139. Gunther, your last paragraph is bunch of cherry picked stuff too. Talking about ice transport out of the Elizabeth Islands because the Fram Straight basically shut down for awhile? Give me a break.
    In the end, sea ice has become a poster child for the AGW political agenda when it’s convenient. Right now it is the arctic. Back in the early 1990s and even late 1980s, most of the rant was about Antarctica. In 2007, we were presented with the “death spiral” quotes and “ice free arctic by 2013”. That is supposed to be taken at face value without any sort of actual investigation into the science? All those “experts” that picked 2008 to pass 2007? What are we to say to them?
    I find it interesting that there is little talk on the PDO/AMO cycles in regards to arctic sea ice. All you hear about is AGW being the cause.

  140. stevengoddard,
    No, I do not believe that all scientists accept Hansen’s claims. But the vast majority accept:
    1.) The earth is warming.
    2.) Humans are causing it.
    3.) It is going to cause us significant problems.
    Hansen believes that ‘significant problems’ = ‘catastrophe’.
    These are the conclusions of climate science. You do not think climate science is crap. Why do you reject its conclusions?

  141. Marcia, Marcia says:
    August 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm
    Phil,
    I asked you this in a post some weeks ago. I continued checking the comments until new comments stopped. You did not reply to me. I want to ask again:
    Can you prove to me the Northwest Passage have never been open 4 years in a row before?

    In all the time that it has been explored it has not been observed before.

  142. I mean exactly what I say.
    I know, but you are not saying everything you would say if you would want to present your readers with the whole story regarding the Arctic. And for that there are motives, perhaps hidden to yourself. But that’s okay, we have all that.
    The only problem is, again, that this site has a lot of readers, and if you manage to convince enough people that AGW is a hoax, but it turns out isn’t a hoax…

  143. And what’s more from the MODIS image posted previously it looks like the northern direct route is actually more than possible, in fact there is more open water there than in the more narrow passages to the south.
    Günther, thanks very much with your link to the Norwegian circumnavigators. I think they may run out of time as they have a lot of ice to go around, but I hope they do it, it would be a fantastic achievement.
    On a similar note:-
    stevengoddard said
    August 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    Amazing what you can do with ice breakers in front of you, satellites, phones, planes helicopters, a climate controlled cabin and GPS navigation. Just like the Vikings.
    _______________________
    What did Oscar Wilde write? “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing”. You just stick to blogging in your nice warm house where the only ice is in your G & T :p 🙂
    You’ll probably respect the British marines more, they seem to be struggling against Northerly winds at the moment
    http://www.arcticmariner.org/ ( Go to JOURNEY and then BLOG )
    Andy

  144. Phil. says:
    August 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    And 2008 was the record loss from here to the minimum, thus a record high loss would be required to reach 2008’w level. However, a record low loss is NOT required to reach 2009’s level (or even 2005’s). Thus, claiming that the race isn’t between 2010/2009 and is instead between 2010/2008 is silly.
    And what data set are you using? I gave actual numbers and 2010 is higher than 2008 with those (JAXA). It’s also higher in NORSEX and DMI.
    -Scott

  145. Thrasher says:
    August 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm
    Gunther, your last paragraph is bunch of cherry picked stuff too. Talking about ice transport out of the Elizabeth Islands because the Fram Straight basically shut down for awhile? Give me a break.

    The Fram strait is not shut down and the reason the QE islands flow is notable is because it doesn’t usually happen and it involves the thickest ice in the Arctic. That’s why the Canadian Ice service pointed it out in their recent biweekly reports. Shouldn’t forget the Nares strait either which didn’t have a blocking ice bridge this year (like 2007) and ice has been flowing out of there all summer.

  146. David Gould
    You said :

    1.) The earth is warming.
    2.) Humans are causing it.
    3.) It is going to cause us significant problems

    I accept that CO2 generated by mankind has increased average temperature by a minuscule amount. It is the details which matter, and the lack of quantitative accuracy is the Achilles heel of your argument.
    That covers #1 and #2. Your claim #3 is nonsense. I don’t know any geologists who would agree with that statement. 31,000 scientists signed a petition saying otherwise.

  147. Scott says:
    August 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm
    And 2008 was the record loss from here to the minimum, thus a record high loss would be required to reach 2008′w level. However, a record low loss is NOT required to reach 2009′s level (or even 2005′s). Thus, claiming that the race isn’t between 2010/2009 and is instead between 2010/2008 is silly.

    You have a very strange idea about races, 2010/2008 are neck and neck and have been for some time, 2009 has been trailing for some time. When I run and coach track I consider that the two in the lead running side by side are the ones in the race not the guy who’s 50 yards behind and frankly it’s silly to think otherwise.
    And what data set are you using? I gave actual numbers and 2010 is higher than 2008 with those (JAXA). It’s also higher in NORSEX and DMI.
    I use JAXA
    Day 231: 2010 5756406, 2008 5763594
    What I said was:
    “All it needs to do to reach 2008′s level is to match 2008 since on day 231 they’re essentially the same (2010 actually slightly lower). Given the state of the remaining ice that wouldn’t surprise me.”
    Making a distinction between the two over the last couple of weeks seems ridiculous to me.

  148. David Gould says:
    August 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    kakada,
    We believe that it can be prevented. The point of the IPCC AR4 is that we are headed for serious trouble if we continue down the current path. If, however, we take steps to significantly reduce CO2 emissions then we can prevent that serious trouble. Thus, trying to convince those who are sceptical of this may be a worthwhile, although very difficult, endeavour.
    ________________________________________________
    David,
    Given that CO2 has a measurable influence on the global temperature, have you ever bothered to think about the other side of the argument?????
    This what I mean.
    Joe Romm over at Climate Progress states:
    Absent human emissions, we’d probably be in a slow long-term cooling trend due primarily by changes in the Earth’s orbit — see Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, “seminal” study finds.
    When he speaks of changes in the Earth’s orbit he is talking about the Milankovitch cycles that ushers in ice ages.
    This peer reviewed paper also agrees:
    Lesson from the past: present insolation minimum holds potential for glacial inception (2007)
    “Because the intensities of the 397 ka BP and present insolation minima are very similar, we conclude that under natural boundary conditions the present insolation minimum holds the potential to terminate the Holocene interglacial. Our findings support the Ruddiman hypothesis [Ruddiman, W., 2003. The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Era began thousands of years ago. Climate Change 61, 261–293], which proposes that early anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission prevented the inception of a glacial that would otherwise already have started….”
    And so does this paper:
    Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic
    “..Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ca 11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1-3° C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present… As summer solar energy decreased in the second half of the Holocene, glaciers reestablished or advanced, sea ice expanded, and the flow of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean diminished. Late Holocene cooling reached its nadir during the Little Ice Age (about 1250-1850 AD), when sun-blocking volcanic eruptions and perhaps other causes added to the orbital cooling, allowing most Arctic glaciers to reach their maximum Holocene extent…”
    The point I am trying to make was put very nicely in this article:
    Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried? – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    “Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change, along with its ecological and economic impacts, have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario. It ignores recent and rapidly advancing evidence that Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted abruptly and dramatically in the past, and is capable of doing so in the future.
    Fossil evidence clearly demonstrates that Earthvs climate can shift gears within a decade….
    But the concept remains little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of scientists, economists, policy makers, and world political and business leaders. Thus, world leaders may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur…

    As far as I am concerned neglecting change towards a COOLING world is down right criminal negligence – my biggest gripe with CAGW.
    So what if the sun has had more of an effect on the recent climate than is acknowledged by the IPCC, after all it IS a variable star and just recently even Dr. Lief Svalgaard acknowledged some of the recently held theories were wrong.
    We now know that lately there have been changes in the sun:
    During the last century the sun has been very active but with cycle 24 the sun has now gone into a long minimum with “unusual characteristic”s according to NASA and the Solar Dynamics Observatory Mission News
    “We want to compare the sun’s brightness now to its brightness during previous minima and ask: is the sun getting brighter or dimmer?”
    The answer seems to be dimmer. Measurements by a variety of spacecraft indicate a 12-year lessening of the sun’s “irradiance” by about 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV wavelengths.”

    This is in contrast to what was happening in the solar cycles before cycle 24.
    Solar activity reaches new high – Dec 2, 2003
    ” Geophysicists in Finland and Germany have calculated that the Sun is more magnetically active now than it has been for over a 1000 years. Ilya Usoskin and colleagues at the University of Oulu and the Max-Planck Institute for Aeronomy say that their technique – which relies on a radioactive dating technique – is the first direct quantitative reconstruction of solar activity based on physical, rather than statistical, models (I G Usoskin et al. 2003 Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 211101)
    … the Finnish team was able to extend data on solar activity back to 850 AD. The researchers found that there has been a sharp increase in the number of sunspots since the beginning of the 20th century. They calculated that the average number was about 30 per year between 850 and 1900, and then increased to 60 between 1900 and 1944, and is now at its highest ever value of 76.
    “We need to understand this unprecedented level of activity,” Usoskin told PhysicsWeb.”

    There is also the changes in albedo from cloud cover as measured by the Earthshine Project
    “…..The earthshine observations reveal a large decadal variability in the Earth’s reflectance [7], which is yet not fully understood, but which is in line with other satellite and ground-based global radiation data….”
    Climate Scientists really do not actually know what is going to happen and the unhealthy focus on just one variable, CO2, could leave mankind unprepared for a very nasty surprise. This is especially true if we have a large volcanic eruption in the right place during a solar grand minimum, a cool ocean cycle and during the wrong point of the precession of the equinoxes.
    Well David, have you ever even LOOKED at the other variables that effect climate and what it could mean to mankind’s future???

  149. Steve, I do disagree with this statement “The poles are (not) melting as Hansen did (not) predict”
    The Arctic sea ice in fact retreating faster than any climate models have been able to predict. This can mean several things that include factors such as: the models are not sensitive enough to GHG forcing or the models are not correctly modeling all the feedback processes. Certainly models that include the most sophisticated sea ice models do a better job, but even those don’t get the current decline right.
    I have also disagreed all along that the sea ice is recovering. This year shows once again that isn’t true since in many ways we should have expected 2010 to not show as extensive ice loss as it has shown thus far given the larger fraction of older ice than seen the last couple of years and given an atmospheric circulation pattern during winter and summer that was more conducive to ice retention. Yet today the ice extent is at 5.66 million square kilometers with likely 3 more weeks of ice loss to go.

  150. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    August 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm
    Steven, AGW is just one of many symptoms of an unsustainable society. I don’t see much use in a crusade denouncing all of climate science as a hoax or a big bunch of crap. The end effect of that is most probably that you are keeping the forces in place that perpetuate the unsustainable society.
    _____________________________________________
    First, none of us here at WUWT are interested in “soiling our nests”- most of us are conservationists.
    You talk of “sustainability”. Do you KNOW what “sustainability” really is??? It is the code word for Global Governance and Agenda 21 Before you decide I am crazy please read the links.
    Here is the context and history:
    A key player is Maurice Strong:
    Maurice Strong started in oil in the 1950’s working for the Rockefeller’s in Saudi Arabia and became CEO and president of Power Corporation, Petro-Canada and Ontario Hydro and others. He is on the board of trustees for the Rockefeller Foundation who funds Greenpeace and WWF, a senior adviser to the World Bank. He is also an acomplished conman with the Denver oil, AZL Resources, lawsuit, the Molten Metal Inc swindle involving Al Gore, tax payer money and the UN Food for Oil scandal After that scandal Strong escaped to Beijing China to escape questioning. Now he is a senior adviser to the Chinese government and also works for CH2M Hill, “an employee-owned, multinational firm providing engineering, construction, operations and related services…” [Sustainability, what sustainability…]
    Here is the Global Warming tie in:
    Climategate e-mail on Global Governance & Sustainable Development (B1)
    Here is more on the (B1) scenario IPCC Emissions Scenarios
    Here is who Ged Davis is (Shell Oil executive with IPCC connection) who wrote the B1 scenario.
    Here is the start:
    In Maurice Strong’s 1972 First Earth Summit speech, Strong warned urgently about global warming
    Obama’s Chief Science Adviser is John Holden.’In their 1973 book “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions,” Holdren and co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote:
    “A massive campaign [read global warming] must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. De-devolopment means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation. Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.”
    “The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge,” they wrote. “They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.””
    The de-development plan is UN Division for Sustainable Development – full text of Agenda 21
    UN REFORM – Restructuring for Global Governance
    Our Global Neighborhood – Report of the Commission on Global Governance: a summary analysis
    a lot of research and links about Agenda 21 in the USA
    Despite the finger pointing by Greenpeace, it is the Big Oil companies (and banks), David Rockefeller, Maurice Strong and Shell who are behind CAGW.
    In Sept. 14, 1994 David Rockefeller, speaking at the UN Business Council,.
    “This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long – We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
    Rockefeller also stated “…the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
    YOU may want a world government by non-elected bankers, corporate CEOs and oilmen, I do not.

  151. Phil. says:
    August 20, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Scott says:
    August 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm
    Phil. says:
    August 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    And 2008 was the record loss from here to the minimum, thus a record high loss would be required to reach 2008′w level. However, a record low loss is NOT required to reach 2009′s level (or even 2005′s). Thus, claiming that the race isn’t between 2010/2009 and is instead between 2010/2008 is silly.

    You have a very strange idea about races, 2010/2008 are neck and neck and have been for some time, 2009 has been trailing for some time. When I run and coach track I consider that the two in the lead running side by side are the ones in the race not the guy who’s 50 yards behind and frankly it’s silly to think otherwise.

    I’m glad I didn’t have you as my track coach. As a runner my whole life who’s been to a lot of races, I don’t remember ever seeing a mile race where runner 1 was 50 m behind runner 2 at 1200 m and had caught up at 1400 m to go on and lose. In fact, runner 1 pretty much always buries runner 2 in that last 200 m.
    That said, I think there’s a chance for 2010 to go under 2008, but it’s a smaller chance than 2010 going over 2009. The current extent indicates a minimum of 5.004e6 km^2, and the mimina for 2008/2009 were 4.708e6/5.250e6.

    I use JAXA
    Day 231: 2010 5756406, 2008 5763594

    Ahh, that’s the difference. You use day of year as my x-axis and I used month/day. 2008 was a leap year, so they aren’t equivalent.

    What I said was:
    “All it needs to do to reach 2008′s level is to match 2008 since on day 231 they’re essentially the same (2010 actually slightly lower). Given the state of the remaining ice that wouldn’t surprise me.”

    Nothing I said disagrees with that, it still means a record loss will be needed to go below 2008’s minimum, which was my entire point…a record is needed to go below 2008, it is not needed to go above 2009.

    Making a distinction between the two over the last couple of weeks seems ridiculous to me.

    Last two weeks’ losses (average km^2/day):
    2005 = 49855
    2006 = 43560
    2007 = 54922
    2008 = 74353
    2009 = 51473
    2010 = 55960
    Thus, my analogy of the mile race. 2008 lost 33% more ice in the last 14 days than 2010, so I think I can make that distinction. If not, we can’t make a distinction between 2010 and any of the years since 2005. Thus, no pointing fun at Steve for saying 2010 is tracking 2006.
    If I’ve made an error in any of my data statements in comment, please correct me. However, it looks like we’re looking at the same data and making different conclusions…and that’s just the way things go.
    -Scott

  152. stevengoddard says:
    August 20, 2010 at 9:35 am
    Julienne
    Polar sea ice is above the 30 year mean. According to Hansen there should be symmetrical ice loss at both poles. Clearly that is not happening.

    More misleading by Goddard, that publication is about 26 years old, there’s a lot of water under the bridge since then, not least and of extreme relevance the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole in 1985. Can’t you ever tell anything straight, who’d by a used car from this man?

  153. Phil.
    You accept projections 100 years in the future, and also think that projections 26 years in the future are unreliable. 26 years from now, people will look at the IPCC report as a work of fiction.
    You are aware that the Ozone hole doesn’t even start to appear until August, and is gone by Christmas every year? How does it explain the trend from January through July?

  154. Steve, the most recent estimate based on August 1st ice extent and using an average rate of decline until the minimum gives us 5 million sq-km for the minimum, well above the 2007 minimum. If the rate of decline is like it was in 2008 the minimum will certainly fall well below 5 million sq-km.
    Also on the model sea ice issue….the latest climate models are not consistent with their forecasts on Antarctic sea ice. Some models show increases and some decreases during the observational data record. This is in sharp contrast to the Arctic where all the climate models show a decrease (even though it’s not as fast as observed). Antarctic model results indicate an increase in sea ice extent resulting from a strengthening of the winds around Antarctica that has been linked to ozone depletion.
    Eventually by the end of the century these models indicate that sea ice in Antarctica will decline.

  155. Gail Combs says:
    August 20, 2010 at 9:24 am
    In response to Günther Kirschbaum’s desire for “sustainability” she points out that this cleverly innocent idea was cooked up by corporate and banking elitists and pushed by the UN (Agenda 21) as a scheme for ruling the world and disenfranchising democratic voters. She points to a host of links, one of which a Rockerfeller speech on global governance, partially quoted below:
    “The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
    Rocky’s use of the past tense “practiced in past centuries” is a curious statement – he obviously thinks democracy is already dead. He is already proving to be right in Europe that ordinary folks have been dumbed down enough and easily brainwashed to buy into this nonsense of an elite knowing what is best for you. Thank God that America hasn’ t reached that point and still jealously hangs on to its belief in freedom to make choices. The whole world needs them to hang in there and resist this nouveau socialism of the elite that would totally destroy one of the few economic engines needed to work toward well-being and prosperity in the world (the wellspring of this New Order is, in simple terms, anti-Americanism).
    Europe banded together to form the United States of Europe in the hope that they would duplicate the wonder of the US economy and be a competitive force. They failed because they clung to the economicide of socialism (a good example is the work police in France who prowl the parking lots of companies to see if they are breaking the law by working late!)- heck, with this model, they were actually duplicating the failed experiment of the USSR. Even with the still fresh model of failure they plunged ahead into an aggregated socialist nightmare. Sustainability my foot. Those who are our “betters” have dotted the EU landscape with an ugly medieval technology – windmills- that will never average more than 15-18% efficiency and will be breaking down and falling down and need replacement before they have paid for themselves with inflated energy prices (400% – how’s that for inflation).
    A word on a world run by bankers – after how bankers managed their affairs in almost destroying the world economy recently, maybe Gunter would like to answer David Rockefeller’s rhetorical question about how people would rather be governed by such.
    I think Gail Combs’s comment should be added to WUWT’s resources section

  156. Julienne Stroeve
    Antarctic models have produced meaningless results so far. What reason is there to believe the current ones are any better?
    In 2006, Arctic ice extent loss pretty much stopped after the third week of August.

  157. Here is how the game works.
    1. Make alarmist projections
    2. When they don’t happen, excuse them by saying “that was a long time ago.”
    3. Make new alarmist projections
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3

  158. Steve, as you know, I’m not a modeler, but instead work with observations, primarily from satellite. Thus I’m not an expert as to what all the factors may be in regards to the lack of consistency in the model projections in the Antarctic in regards to the sea ice cover, though how well the models are able to reproduce the variability of the Antarctic Oscillation index is important.
    Certainly improvements are needed and I hope the next round of models, which will include more sophisticated sea ice models, as well as more sophisticated terrestrial carbon feedback models and cloud models, will reduce some of this inconsistency. I do find it interesting that in the Arctic the models are all consistent with each other, and this is despite the fact that all models would be in their own phase of natural variability and could therefore be showing increases or decreases over the observational record. Because they are all showing a sea ice decline in the Arctic, that implicates GHGs as playing a role in the modeled sea ice decline.

  159. Steve, I believe we’ll see a few more days of large reductions in extent. The MODIS and AMSR-E imagery clearly indicate regions of very diffuse, thin ice that will likely still melt out. Recent ship observations in the Chukchi also confirm less consolidated sea ice with thickness of 1-2 m.

  160. Hey Steve ….
    I posted this on the Cryosphere thread, but nuttin happening there anymore.
    Why is that the sum of the individual sea anomolies does not equal the overall anomoly?
    I calculated it up from Cryosphere …. adding all the individual anomolies, you get -0.850 million sq kms .. approximately. Yet, Cryosphere says the overall anomoly is -1.3 million sq kms.
    I can see the added anomolies being a 100K or so off, but, we’re talking 500K or half a million.
    WattsUpWithThat???

  161. Deanster says:
    August 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm
    Are they calculating the anomalies for only the first X number of years in the dataset? Try a running sum until there is a year where the value is 0…that’ll be the last year of the anomaly years. Note that by doing it this way when there’s a long-term downward trend ensures that recent numbers get portrayed as more negative than they would be otherwise.
    -Scott

  162. Totalling the Arctic Basin + other Regional Totals gives a Totally different — and MUCH smaller — Total Area as well.
    But remember AREA is much less than extent. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.1.html
    Also note AREA in the Cryosphere: 3.67 m.km2 vs 5.76 for Extent. http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.area.arctic.png
    >> Note the sudden DROP in Arctic Basin Ice.
    Guess everyone is in Cahoots.
    Including giving the Next day as = 0 gain.
    Actually this is just that winds have blown a lot of low-density Ice all over. Area or DMI’s 30% Extent filter that out.
    4-5 Days from now should be a MASSIVE Melt based on the Forecasts. Last 2 days have been weak BUT Pips continues to show a DIPOLE ANOMALY-type Ice Drift.and a Massive High is due see (and on click N. Hemisphere) http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/fsecmeur.html
    Jaxa — 15% — extent data:
    Daily: ___________2007___ to___ 2010__&__(2009__2010
    Aug16-17_______ -56,718 _____ -79,687 ___(-47,500__68,750
    Aug17-18_______ -28,438 _____ -33,125 ___(-75,937__77,344
    Aug18-19_______ -44,687 _____ -40,156___(-67,032__68,750
    Aug19-20_______ -46,563 _____ – ?___?___(-40,156__77,344
    Aug20-21_______ -64,469 _____ – ?___?___(-34,219__27,343

  163. Preliminary JAXA data for 08/20 in…a loss of just 16407 km^2. The low losses the last 3 days result in the lowest average loss in the JAXA record for 08/17-08/20. Doesn’t mean a whole lot yet since that really only gets 2010 to where it was (with respect to the other years) 9 days ago.
    In a few days we’ll see how Charles Wilson’s prediction of huge melts plays out. Without a huge melt like he forecasts, there’s an excellent chance of beating 2008 now (we’re about 83000 km^2 up on 2008 for 08/20, and 2008 is the record loss from here to the minimum…about 128000 km^2 more loss than the next most, 2007, and a whopping 614000 km^2 more loss than 2006).
    -Scott

  164. Steve … Your Pips Map is More than a WEEK out of Date (as they forecast 2 days in advance).
    14 August — it has the Date right on it.
    You don’t like it when you are wrong – – so you Print Old Stuff & Allege Conspiracies. Gee.
    PS the new mid-August Piomas Anomaly is down to -9650 km3, 1500 off the Peak but Still 2000 km3 less than 2007’s Anomaly. Also either AT the 2007 minimum — or 25% less, if PIOMAS is off by the same amount as recorded by ICESAT’s lasers in Nov. 2007.
    >>> PSS I have been thinking about the 30-foot thick Greenland-Ellsmere “attatched” ice that broke off & Spread over the Basin.
    We all assume it spread out to be less thick, say 2 feet to cover 15 times the Area.
    But wouldn’t a bunch of 30 foot __CUBES__ be more likely ? ?
    These would be MUCH more resistant to melting
    & would explain a lot of the Up-and-Down we’ve been seeing this year, as nothing we have is really designed to record them consistantly. The Satellites only record what is reflected over minimum areas of many square km.
    Thin Ice like PIOMAS implied _should_ melt REAL FAST. … But if it is CUBES — it might actually be HALF the area we think it is — or less — and: HARDLY MELTING AT ALL (Land Ice takes time to melt, as the inverse of the Square of thickness). It could be providing the Core for a REALLY strong Come-back this winter, as the La Nina takes hold.

  165. Phil. says:
    August 19, 2010 at 10:56 am
    It’s not news anymore now it opens every summer.
    Back in 2008 when the McClure Straits opened for the first time in years people were running around like they hit their thumb with a hammer and were screaming “The Northwest passage is open!!!!” That’s the year I saw Al Gore say the Northwest Passage is open. The media suddenly doesn’t like running around like that anymore?? PU-LEASE!! Be real. And has anyone else noticed that Al Gore hasn’t been on tv since 2008 talking about the Northwest Passage opening?
    The McClure Straits haven’t opened since 2008—no, not this year, even though PIOMAS shows it open—so no one is talking about it. Various routes through the Canadian Archipelagos open now and then. But the McClure Straits have not been open 4 years in a row.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Northwest Passage and the McClure Straits
    http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/7357/arctic.gif

  166. Julienne Stroeve says:
    August 20, 2010 at 10:47 am
    Eventually by the end of the century these models indicate that sea ice in Antarctica will decline.
    I’m sorry Julienne, but I shake my head over this one.
    Do you see how anyone could predict that? It’s like the palm reader looking at the lines of your hand and saying “Some day you will go on a long trip.” So on the day you do is that the fulfillment of it?
    Of course Antarctica will decline at some point over the next 90 years. Antarctic ice has always increased and decreased. If it did not decrease again that is what would be unprecedented.

  167. JAXA and DMi continue their movement to the right. The flattening?
    Remember it used to be “Come on baby ice! Come on baby ice” Now it’s “Come on flattening! Come on flattening!”
    Of course that wouldn’t be the case for the global warming believers.

  168. Steve …
    If you go to Cryosphere, just below the pictures, there is a map of the arctic broke down into seas, Arctic Basin, Baffin sea, etc titled “Latest regional sea ice coverage and anomoly”… with a link menu to each sea [you can click on the map, or you can click on the name out beside the map]. When you click on each sea, it opens up an anomoly map, much like the one for the Northern Hemisphere at the top, but it for each sea. I clicked on each and wrote down the “anomoly” for each sea.
    The Arctic, Baffin, Greenland, and Hudson Bay are all at about -50K sq kms.
    Laptev, Siberian, Chuckchi, Canada, and Beaufort are all at about -100K sq kms
    Kara is at -150K sq kms
    Berring, Berrants, St. Lawrence, Okhotsck are all at 0 anomoly
    When I add up all these individual anomolies of the seas that make up the “arctic”, I get a value of -850K sq kms … or expressed in millions, -0.850 million sq kms. However, when you open the Arctic coverage and anomoly graph at the top, the page also featured on the Sea Ice page here WUWT, it says the overall anomoly is -1.34 mill sq kms. [all for the date of 8/18/2010].
    I have a hard time believing that there is a full 500Ks worth of melt that is not accounted for in the individual maps. There is a discrepancy between the overall arctic anomoly and the sum of the individual anomolies for any given day.
    For example, for today, the adding up the individual anomolies as described above, you get approximately a -900K sq km melt [i.e, -0.9 mill sq km; all the increase in melt is in the arctic basin since 8/18]. Yet, the “arctic coverage and anomoly map reports a -1.394 mill sq km anomoly …. a full 500K melt more than the sum of the anomolies in the individual seas that make up the “arctic”.
    This does not make sense to me.

  169. Amino, I think it’s important to keep the model predictions in context. In these climate models it is clear that warmer atmospheric temperatures lead to the decline in sea ice. If you were to make a plot of the simulated global mean temperature versus the simulated Arctic sea ice for example you will find a nearly linear relationship. Thus, if rising concentrations of GHGs increase global mean temperature (which I know is something many of you doubt), the models predict this will lead to continued decline in Arctic sea ice.
    In regards to the Antarctic, what the models show is that eventually the warming will become large enough that it will overshadow the effects of the strengthening of the Southern Annular Mode (that has been linked to Ozone depletion) so that Antarctic sea ice will begin to decline.
    Of course the climate system is very complex and I would not expect the models to be 100% correct. What I was reporting on is what the current models indicate.
    I agree that various processes and feedbacks may exist in our climate system that have not yet been fully considered in these models, both negative and positive. Many improvements are still needed and as more understanding is gained of all the various processes and feedbacks, and computer power continues to improve so that models can be run at higher and higher resolution, the models will continue to improve upon their ability to simulate past, present and future climate.

  170. The Antarctic area anomaly has taken a noes dive on Cryosphere, I wonder if the large hurricane strength southern ocean storm in the India Ocean had anything to do with that? If the southern ocean winds are getting stronger then I would imagine that will put some sort of limitation on ice extent at some point. Just a layman’s thoughts though.
    From the Modis imagery the McLure straights is navigable at the moment, there is ice but you can work your way through it.
    Andy

  171. Julienne Stroeve says:
    August 21, 2010 at 7:38 am
    Thus, if rising concentrations of GHGs increase global mean temperature (which I know is something many of you doubt), the models predict this will lead to continued decline in Arctic sea ice.
    I don’t know who the others are. But I like to look at the data. You may not have seen these videos with Roy Spencer on negative feedback. H2O dominates not CO2. After decades of focus one would think that if positive feedback from co2 will cause the warming the models show there have proof. But it still isn’t there. The hypothesis’ that the models used in global warming don’t have proof. So we must conclude they are wrong. I’ll stick with the data, not the models:
    Part 1

  172. Steve, ozone depletion has been shown to strengthen the polar vortex and lead to an decrease in atmospheric pressure over the Amundsen Sea, thereby strengthening the winds on the Ross Ice Shelf, where the largest positive trends in Antarctic sea ice extent are found. Notice the largest increase in Antarctic sea ice extent has been observed in Autumn which fits with the ozone depletion theory and stronger cyclonic flow.
    Changes in ocean circulation may also in part be responsible. Normally convection in the Southern Ocean results in mixing of warm water with the surface which is one of the reasons why Antarctic sea ice is mostly first-year ice and thinner than in the Arctic. Recent field observations suggest significant freshening of the Antarctic Ocean, and since freshwater is less dense, this acts to prevent mixing with the saltier water below and the ocean becomes more stratified and the heat flowing upward is reduced.

  173. Amino, I’m not sure I follow your logic. If models have predicted warming and decline of Arctic sea ice cover (along with many other predictions), and now the observational data is showing the same trends as the models have been predicting for years, how are they automatically wrong? Yes, some variables, in particular cloud and precipitation have not always been successfully forecasted, but many other variables have been. And while the models may not always be able to reproduce the magnitude of the trends, qualitatively they are in the same direction.
    Of course we always have to look at the data, since that will give us the true signal. And this is the work I do…look at the data and try to convert the raw satellite measurement into the most accurate geophysical measurement possible. It is the data that has slowly convinced me over the last decade that human activities are affecting our climate, not the climate models. And I do not consider myself an alarmist because I think human activities play a role. Like I’ve said before, the climate system is complex and feedbacks may continually kick in to alter climate impacts from rising concentrations of GHGs (both in the positive and negative directions). We really don’t fully know or understand the outcome of more carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere. We’re conducting a “blind” experiment.
    And it doesn’t matter so much to me if you believe that our activities can affect our climate. There are so many reasons to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels (especially foreign dependence from countries that are not friendly to ours). Who doesn’t want clean energy and energy independence? Who doesn’t want to preserve our environment and keep wilderness areas pristine?

  174. Julienne,
    There is more oil in Alaska than in the Middle East (estimates). The foreign oil argument isn’t fair. Drilling for oil in Alaska is the quick and easy solution to that argument. If there were no domestic oil resources then the alternative energy over the foreign dependence for oil argument would have a case.
    In a perfect world I would want to keep a pristine state in the world. At the same time, I don’t think fossil fuels are contaminating as much of wilderness areas as some assert.
    The truth is, I would rather see lower energy costs for the poor, and even more for the elderly on fixed incomes. They are the most vulnerable to being hurt by the alternative energy push. I will chose to show mercy to them over not using fossil fuels every time.
    Mankind has always found ways to reduce pollution. I am for a small tax on gas, say 0.25%, that would be exclusively used to study ways of making emissions from fossil fuels cleaner, and I don’t mean co2, but other components of the emissions that do show evidence of real harm. 0.25% of all gasoline purchased is a lot of money. It would result in a lot of study and good results.

  175. Julienne Stroeve says:
    August 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm
    Amino, I’m not sure I follow your logic.
    I am saying this: Everything happening in climate since 1988 shows nothing unusual is happening. So any and all worries over manmade global warming are useless. That’s all.
    There are UHI and land use issues. And those are manmade. You’re not automatically a skeptic, or a believer, to observe those. But climate in the world overall has not changed from what it has always done.
    There is some value in modelling over the short term. And I think you and I may have different time periods in mind when we are talking about climate models. Model projections of 20 to 100 years are just foolishness. And you didn’t need a computer model to know a warming trend in the earth began in 1976/77 and ended in 1999. PDO could explain that. If there are forecasts made from using PDO, AMO, and the sun, those I will listen to. There are patterns in those that are somewhat understood, though not exactly. I am not aware of any computer models that use those 3 factors primarily. I’m sure they exist. If you know of any I’m interested in learning about them.

  176. stevengoddard said:
    August 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm
    Julienne,
    Peak Antarctic ice anomalies have been March-July
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png
    The Ozone Hole is August-December.
    ________________________
    I think this is down to lag Steve, the ozone hole in those months means an increase in Southern Ocean winds after this time period which means colder air flowing outwards after December so making the ice extent larger in that period. If you wish email essor John Turner at BAS and he will fill the gaps in your understanding.
    Andy

  177. Amino, I respectfully disagree that the warming has stopped as you imply. You need to look at the long-term trend and naturally there are going to be bumps and wiggles along that trend. The year 1998 was unusually warm and has been used to falsely claim that the last decade has seen little change or cooling. I think we both agree cherry picking dates is not correct and the last decade remains the warmest during the observational record.
    BTW…climate models include the climate indices and relationships between the these indices such as the AMO and other variables, such as ice cover, have been examined using model output.
    I have spent the last few days in Aspen listening to experts in policy and renewables and economics talk about the climate change issue and it has been interesting getting so many different perspectives from those directly working with these issues. One thing I think interesting is that many don’t have a problem paying a little more for their cell phones or iphones or cable televsion, but $1 more a month in utility bills is seen as a terrible thing. I’ve learned a lot about the myths in the costs of renewables being here.
    As for drilling in Alaska, do you realize that 90% of the oil and gas estimated by the USGS to be present in the Arctic are on the Russian side of the Arctic? I have no idea where you got the number that there is more oil in Alaska than in the Middle East, but I have never seen that number in all the talks I’ve been to regarding the estimates of oil reserves in the Arctic. But I did learn today that we get 40% of our oil from the Middle East and we import a total of 68% (whereas during the Nixon era it was around 30%). Interesting that every President since the 1970s has promised to get us off foreign oil but none have ever done it. T Boone Pickens advocates moving to Natural Gas as a solution and has proposed the Pickens plan. Others here are for renewables and some even for Nuclear. But none of the experts here advocate drilling in Alaska.

  178. Julienne
    The amount in Alaska is really not important. Whatever is there let’s use it. Presidents also talk about alternative energy too not just getting off foreign oil. But alternatives just aren’t ready now. Coal. oil, natural gas, etc, they work now.
    $1 more a month in utility bills is seen as a terrible thing.
    The elderly on fixed incomes don’t spend money on cel phones. Their lives would be better with lower energy costs, not higher, even $1 higher. President Obama wants energy costs to skyrocket, not go up $1. I want energy costs to go down, not only to help the elderly, but to help get America out of this recession. Whatever the amount of ‘fossil’ fuels in Alaska let’s go get it and use it. that will help lower dependence on Middle East oil.
    There’s also plenty of coal in West Virginia, Ohio, etc. Let’s get it out of the ground and use it. Alternatives are not feasible now. Some day alternatives will be wonderful. But not not today.

  179. Julienne Stroeve says:
    August 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm
    The year 1998 was unusually warm
    It was only 1/10ths of a degree warmer. It was an El Nino spike. They’ve always happened. They are a natural part of the earth. Using the word ‘unusual’ paints the picture of global warming alarm. It was warmer on earth 1000 years ago and I’m sure El Nino spikes happened then that were higher than 1998 and not just by 1/10ths of a degree higher but whole degrees higher.
    Does that sound implausible?

  180. The average drop in extent over the past 4 days on JAXA data has been around 29,000 sq km per day. If this rate maintains we draw even with 2009 towards the end of the week. 2005 might take a little longer but if 2009 is beaten we’ll certainly be very close to beating 2005.
    Still waiting for that massive late season loss that Phil and R Gates were forecasting. Times running out boys.
    The lead over 2008 is now 100,000 sq km. Given that 2008 had the heaviest loss out of any of the JAXA years from this point forward we’d have to seem something well out of the ordinary from here on it for this years minimum to be below 2008.

  181. The preliminary 08/21 numbers are up for JAXA…another day of sub-30000 km^2 loss. Since 08/17 we’ve lost ~29600 km^2/day, which is the second lowest in the JAXA record (after 2003), ahead of 3rd place 2005 by nearly 5000 km^2/day and ahead of the next highest year (2007) by a nice ~17000 km^2/day.
    The real question is whether this slowdown is due to divergence or a true reduction in loss (i.e. slowed melting or even some refreezing). The slight upticks in DMI’s 30% extent and JAXA’s area plots hint that it’s a true reduction. If it’s a true reduction, then this year can make up a lot of ground in the next few days. It’s still a long ways behind 2009…~185000 km^2, but 2009 lost a lot of extent over the next 3 days, and if we continue to average ~29600 km^2/day over the next three days, that deficit will be cut to less than 50000 km^2. And as some of the discussions above with some of the AGW-believing posters point out, that sort of deficit can be made up in a single day (though they were talking about it in the other direction ;-).
    In all honesty, I don’t expect the low losses to continue at this rate, I think we’ll still see several days of considerable loss (I’ll call that at >45000 km^2 in a day)…but I hope I’m wrong because I’d like to see this year flirting with 2009.
    In terms of finishing near 2008 (as several of the aforementioned posters were claiming), that’s looking even less likely now. Even if the losses pick back up, 2008 averages losses of 77687 km^2/day over the next five days. 2010 lost a touch over that on 08/17, but the last day before that in which it lost that much or more was 08/02, so it’s hard to see it not furthering its lead over 2008 during this time…and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t lead 2008 in 5 days by as much as 2009 leads 2010 now (~185000 km^2).
    We’re really getting down to the wire now. To have a shot at getting above 2009 will likely require low losses the next 3 days, because after that 2009 never even reached 50000 km^2 of loss in a single day. The other option is to encounter a minimum in the first couple days of September, making it the earliest in the JAXA record (and I would argue that BOTH of these requirements would be needed to stay above Steve’s predicted 5.5e6 km^2).
    -Scott

  182. Steve’s 5.5 million sq km min is looking very unlikely IMHO. But I think the min above 5.0 million sq km is also liking quite likely. I’m thinking a min in the 2009 range is probably about where we will end up though I would hedge a touch lower. I thought when it flattened a bit earlier we might stay above that, but I don’t that that is the case currently.

  183. RE: Spector: (August 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm) “My special AMSR-E Arctic region sea ice anomaly plot, using the NSIDC average melt-freeze shape with the AMSR-E data record average value, shows this year’s ice just reaching the zero anomaly point…”
    And now it has stopped slipping sideways and has risen to about +150,000 sq km as read from my custom anomaly chart. It was as low as about -800,000 sq km around the first of July. At this rate of climb, it will intersect the 2009 curve around the end of the month.
    The normal AMSR-E sea ice extent chart has a range from 2 to 16 million sq km, but my special anomaly plot, with a Fourier series representation of the 30-year average annual NSIDC melt-freeze shape subtracted from the data, only needs a -2.1 to 2.1 million sq km range.

  184. Scott says:
    August 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm
    ……..
    “We’re really getting down to the wire now. To have a shot at getting above 2009 will likely require low losses the next 3 days, because after that 2009 never even reached 50000 km^2 of loss in a single day. The other option is to encounter a minimum in the first couple days of September, making it the earliest in the JAXA record (and I would argue that BOTH of these requirements would be needed to stay above Steve’s predicted 5.5e6 km^2).”
    I think thats a damn good summation Scott. Its going to be tough to hit Steves’s target of 5.5 million with only 210,000 sq km left to play with. Although, to be fair you’d have to give him +/- 100,000 which gives a little more wiggle room.
    Hard to see this being possible without an early September mininum and losses lower than 25,000 sq km per day for the remainder of the month. Mind you we are now getting into territory where gains on any given day are a possibility. This is what balances out the odd 40-50k days to give your 25k averages at this time of year.
    Cryosphere Today now shows several locations have now started gaining area.
    The 2 targets of interest now are 2009 at 5.25 million sq km and 2005 at 5.31 million sq km. I think both are well within reach. If we beat 2005 then 2010 becomes the second highest extent in the past 6 years. That would be quite impressive in the “hottest year on record” when there is so much “rotten ice”.

  185. David W says:
    August 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm
    I really enjoyed reading your comments. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the possibility of reaching 2008’s value. I was explaining all this to my wife…it’s amazing how different the conclusions people reach given the same data available (though our conclusions tend to agree), and I think it’s a lot of fun. Though I argued against it being likely above, I still see reaching 2008 in the realm of possibility…maybe with a 5% chance or so. In order of likelihood, here are some of the (random) benchmarks as I see them:
    1. 5.15e6 km^2
    2. 2009 value
    3. 5.00e6 km^2
    4. 2005 value
    5. 5.40e6 km^2
    6. 2008 value
    7. 5.50e6 km^2 (Steve’s prediction)
    On the chopping block – 4.50e6 km^2 (R. Gates’ prediction)
    Already eliminated – 2007 value.
    Note that a fifth day of low loss on 08/22 would eliminate 4.5e6 from contention and swap my 3/4 and 6/7.
    After reading your comments, I took a closer look to see what it would take to match Steve’s prediction. Losing exactly what 2006 (the record low loss in JAXA) did from here on would end this year at 5.41e6 km^2, within 100000 of Steve. Looking closer at this data set, it appeared to reach a minimum on Sept 6, but a couple days later something caused it to have several more days of loss. If we follow 2006 exactly except don’t experience those extra days of loss, we’ll end around 5.55e6 km^2, which would be downright amazing (and highly improbably at this point). Interesting thing is that commenter Walter Dnes predicts a Sept 6 minimum here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/19/cryosphere-today-imagery-back-online/
    One final note is that it’s not unreasonable to assume less loss than 2006 is possible. If conditions (thickness, wind, SSTs, air temps) are otherwise identical to 2006, we can expect to lose less extent this year because we start with less. Highly doubtful, I know. 😉
    I believe Sea Ice News #19 will be posted later today. I look forward to your comments there too. It will be interesting to see what the hyenas (and to be fair, the less knowledgable sceptics…just hope no one’s silly enough to ask if 2006 can still be topped) have to say also.
    -Scott

  186. Excerpts from: Julienne Stroeve on August 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I have spent the last few days in Aspen listening to experts in policy and renewables and economics…
    ——–
    (…)But I did learn today that we get 40% of our oil from the Middle East and we import a total of 68% (whereas during the Nixon era it was around 30%). (…)

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_imports

    Most of the Petroleum We Use Is Imported
    The United States consumed 19.5 million barrels per day of petroleum products during 2008, making us the world’s largest petroleum consumer. The United States was also third in crude oil production at 5 million barrels per day. But crude oil alone does not constitute all U.S. petroleum supplies.
    Altogether, net imports of crude oil and petroleum products (imports minus exports) accounted for 57% of our total petroleum consumption in 2008.
    U.S. crude oil imports grew rapidly from mid-20th century until the late 1970s, but fell sharply from 1979 to 1985 because of a fall-off of demand for petroleum products that resulted from economic conditions, conservation, and improved efficiency. After 1985, the upward trend resumed and stood at 9.8 million barrels per day in 2008. Petroleum product imports were 3.1 million barrels per day in 2008. Exports totaled 1.8 million barrels per day in 2008, mainly in the form of distillate fuel oil, petroleum coke, and residual fuel oil.
    About Half of U.S. Petroleum Imports Come from the Western Hemisphere
    We imported only 18% of our crude oil and petroleum products from the Persian Gulf countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. During 2008, our five biggest suppliers of crude oil and petroleum products were:
    * Canada (19.3%)
    * Saudi Arabia (11.8%)
    * Mexico (10.1%)
    * Venezuela (9.2%)
    * Nigeria (7.7%)

    Looking at the total picture, we net import 57% of our crude oil and petroleum products, not 68%. Imports from Canada were 19.3% of consumption. The 43% of consumption not imported plus 19.3% equals 62.3% of consumption.
    See the most current figures available, May 2010:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html
    Saudi Arabia is no longer our #2 source, currently we get more crude oil from Canada and Mexico, for total imports those ahead of Saudi Arabia are Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela.
    See the 2009 figures:
    http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/summary.html
    Only 18% of our imports come from Persian Gulf Countries.

    Persian Gulf includes = Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

    Best of luck “homogenizing” that data to say 40% of our (US) oil is from the Middle East.
    Will you be listening to any experts on energy who actually know the real petroleum figures?

  187. “There were very strong winds pushing the ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas towards the pole on August 15. This compacted the ice, reducing extent while increasing the average thickness.” You do not simply blow ice out of the way. What these winds did was to increase the flow of warm water through the Bering Strait which then proceeded to melt the ice. Normally enough warm water enters through the Bering Strait to keep the Chukchi Sea free of ice but local circumstances can and do have an influence on it. Arctic warming in general is caused by warm water entering from both sides of the ocean and not by any greenhouse effect. It started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century when a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system directed the Gulf Stream unto its present northerly course. Prior to that the arctic had been slowly cooling for two thousand years. The start of warming was sudden which rules out carbon dioxide greenhouse effect because its concentration in air did not concomitantly increase when the warming began. My Figure 14 is a satellite view showing Gulf Stream water entering the arctic between Norway and Iceland and a lesser amount of warm water streaming through the Bering Strait.

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