NOAA's sea ice extent blunder

Now you see it…(09/14/2010)

Now you don’t…(09/15/2010)

In their zeal to get on the “death spiral” train of wild claims about Arctic sea ice, NOAA has made a major blunder, which they’ve now had to correct. Thanks to sharp eyed WUWT reader Marty yesterday who wrote:

I looked at it, it didn’t make sense. Where did they get “2nd Lowest Extent on Record” from? None of the datasets supported it.

Here’s the link to the page shown above, current and corrected today.

I dashed off an email to Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC:

————————————————–

From: “Anthony Watts” <awatts@xxxxx.xxxxxx.xxx>

Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:40 PM

To: “Walt Meier” <walt@xxxxxxx.xxx>

Subject: This NSIDC citation seems wrong

Hello Walt,

They are citing your NSIDC Sept 7th report which says “third lowest”

http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/MediaDetail.php?MediaID=521&MediaTypeID=2&MediaFileID=108

Watching all of the values, I can’t see where they get this, AMSRE certainly doesn’t support it:

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png

Could they be fooled by the recent SSMI outage I just mentioned? Looking at the NANSEN graph I sent earlier, their claim would be valid if that data was valid.

Or have I missed something?

Best Regards,

Anthony Watts

While I was waiting for a response from Walt, I made a screencap that showed my computer date and time of 0914/2010 @4:30PM PST.

Walt wrote back about two hours later saying:

————————————————–

From: “Walt Meier” <walt@xxxxxxx.xxx>

Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 6:37 PM

To: “Anthony Watts” <awatts@xxxxx.xxxxxx.xxx>

Subject: Re: This NSIDC citation seems wrong

Hi Anthony,

I don’t really know what this is. It is not related to the data outage we experienced today. It is an experimental product that looks like it is based on visual imagery, not passive microwave, so there could be problems with clouds. Also they may have a high concentration threshold – the “missing” areas of ice correspond to relatively low concentrations, but still well above the generally accepted cutoffs of 15% or 30%.

I didn’t actually see an NSIDC citation – was it in the animation (I can’t open it up on my laptop)?

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll check into it.

walt

I wrote back to point out that the citation was in the text link in the 0914/2010 NOAA article where they say: “the second lowest sea ice extent ever measured.” He responded:

————————————————–

From: “Walt Meier” <walt@xxxxxxx.xxx>

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 5:46 AM

To: “Anthony Watts” <awatts@xxxxx.xxxxxx.xxx>

Subject: Re: This NSIDC citation seems wrong

Ah, okay. Thanks. That links to our report on August conditions.

August 2010 was indeed the 2nd lowest. However, for the minimum we’re currently 3rd lowest and I don’t see us reaching 2nd lowest this year.

walt

Interestingly, as Walt points out,  NOAA apparently never read (or perhaps comprehended if they did) the NSIDC Sept 7th Sea Ice News article that text links to because in that they clearly say:

On September 3, ice extent dropped below the seasonal minimum for 2009 to become the third lowest in the satellite record.

This morning, the NOAA sea ice page was corrected as you can see in the images above where the yellow highlight exists. I believe that was due to Walt’s “checking into it”. Their correction, with added “satellite record” on the end is word for word what NSIDC says.

I find it comical that ordinary citizens are the ones that keep catching NOAA in these basic errors in broad daylight. I’ve touched on these issues before here.

My thanks to WUWT reader “Marty”, and especially to Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC for his continued willingness to communicate and to address accuracy in science reporting.

In other news, NSIDC now confirms what I said on Sunday 09/12/2010:

Sea Ice News #22 – melt season may have turned the corner

Here’s the NSIDC headline today:

September 15, 2010

Arctic sea ice reaches annual minimum extent

Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.

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181 thoughts on “NOAA's sea ice extent blunder

  1. “and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.”
    Hmm… 2007 was lowest, 2008 was back up, 2009 was up some more, and then 2010 was lower than 2009, but still higher than 2007 or 2008. Seems to me that this is continuing the (so far) short-term trend of recovery, although it is a step down from 2009 levels.
    Joe Bastardi said the recovery off of the 2007 lows would be a “2 steps forward, 1 step back” sort of affair, so this seems to fit right into Joe’s theory.

  2. Looks like part of a strong downward trend in ice extent. Unfortunately, the data on ice volume suggests an even sharper decline.

  3. I’m glad to see they’re willing to change things so quickly and not balk about it and try to defend an obvious error out of stubbornness. I’m sure it’s difficult to have most of their statements scrutinized so closely now. This seems to be a good step in the right direction at least.
    Not that any of the above excuses the error.
    -Scott

  4. I don’t think anyone would have a problem with an occasional error here or there, as things do happen. But….it apppears that the errors are almost always in the direction of “things are worst than expected”. This holds for virtually all of the climate data entities who are managed by AGW leaning individuals. If we point out an error, they simply say “oops”. If a skeptic makes an error, they are labeled as lying deniers!

  5. Everybody makes mistakes. But you do get to suspicioning zealotry when mistakes always seem to be in one direction.
    But kudos to Dr. Walt (a gentleman and a scholar) for jumping on it and getting to the right people to get it resolved.
    Next year should be interesting. There is something to be said for the idea that there had never been three up years in a row in the satellite record, so expecting one this year (as I did) was always a risk, and does not in any way foreclose a return to long-term recovery in 2011.
    Otoh, it is also quite credible to look at 2006-2010 and see an outlier in 2007 corrected by 2008-2009 and returning to the long-term pre-2007 trend in 2010.
    Soo. . .2011, let’s see whatcha got.

  6. I guess I have to ask this dumb question again.
    Why should I care about Arctic ice extent?
    Its cold, gets in the way of transportation and produces nothing useful that I can see apart for somewhere for nuclear subs to hide. If it all went away tomorrow wouldn’t that be a Good Thing? Its all floating ice so no effect on sea levels either,
    Please tell me politely why I am wrong. Thanks

  7. Funny how these “errors” always seem to be pointed in the warming direction, like the IPCC “errors”.
    An intentional bias, or just errors that occur when one is not objective, but rather agenda driven.
    -Jay

  8. I would imagine that if next years ice minimum is up on this year, that will be the 4th lowest, then if it increases the following year I take it that will be the 5th lowest. I have a picture of a man in the lower Palaeolithic saying to his friend as they gaze out from their cave on mile thick glaciers ” you know that this is the 4300th lowest ice level on record” In other words, when does the focus on lowest, become average or increased?

  9. Second or third lowest on record (i.e., recorded history)? Hmmmmmm, and the time record for recorded history (of artic ice) would be a couple of centuries or so? It would be interesting to go back, say, 13,000 years and see how the Clovis people in America would have responded to the news that the artic ice caps were receding and it was going to get warmer. I’m sure they would believe that the spirits were being kind to them.

  10. 22% below normal.
    Of course their “normal” period starts in 1979. One would be under the impression there are no records prior to that.

  11. “Latimer Alder says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:52 am
    I guess I have to ask this dumb question again.
    Why should I care about Arctic ice extent?
    Its cold, gets in the way of transportation and produces nothing useful that I can see apart for somewhere for nuclear subs to hide. If it all went away tomorrow wouldn’t that be a Good Thing? Its all floating ice so no effect on sea levels either,
    Please tell me politely why I am wrong. Thanks”
    Latimer,
    You’re right, but due to how the CAGW people want to use this as a proxy for their agenda that CO2 is causing the planets Global Climate to warm up makes me want to say you’re wrong too.
    It’s sad that we Skeptics have to look for the Arctic Ice to “Recover”, since in the long run that would mean we are correct on another front, that being we are heading into the beginnings of a cooling trend. And this cooling trend could last for thirty or more years. In fact if we could get a true record of the temperture record over the past 10,000 years it would most likely show we are on a cooling trend toward the next Glaciation. (I’m not sure which optimum was the warmest point, but I’m thinking it would have been the Roman Optimum.)
    ~Karen

  12. Environment Canada is calling for”a delay in freeze-up of 1 to 2 weeks can be expected” and “Overall, by mid-October,the formation and pattern of new and young ice areas will resemble those normally found in the first week of October”, for the EASTERN AND NORTHERN ARCTIC as well as WESTERN AND CENTRAL ARCTIC.
    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/FECN16CWIS/20100915000000_FECN16CWIS_0005190796.txt
    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/FECN14CWIS/20100915000000_FECN14CWIS_0005190794.txt

  13. How in the heck can the trend be going “below the average” when WE HAVE NO AVERAGE of any sort since we only have 30+ years of data?
    How do we know that the ONLY reason the ice is now “trending down” is that the ice had “trended up” when we first began measuring it?

  14. BillD says: September 15, 2010 at 10:27 am
    “Unfortunately, the data on ice volume suggests an even sharper decline.”
    What data?
    Computer model outputs are not data, so I ask again, what data?
    A satellite capable of actually directly measuring ice volume, from the freeboard and surface/altitude delta was launched just this year, so what data are you referring to?
    The satellite capable of actually directly measuring ice volume has a very short lifespan 4 or 5 years, so it will not even get a single cycle, so it will likely only ever see growth in volume since we have such a low starting point (nice cherry) during its lifetime.
    It will be humorous (and deceptive) to be able to write; ‘since we have launched a satellite that can accurately measure ice volume, the volume has increased every single year’; or ‘during the entire lifespan of the most accurate ice volume measuring satellite we have seen a sharp trend in the increasing ice volume’.
    What data?

  15. One voice screaming disaster can be countered by ten voices calmly proclaiming reality.
    The key is to ratchet down the vitriol and rhetoric and increase the requests to “see for yourself” and “too important (and expensive) to let someone else tell you what to do” so that people will not infer that you are trying to coerce them, just that you are trying to make them aware.
    I was re-listening to the Guardian debate and comparing the platitudes and pettiness of the CAGW side to the reasoned and erudite presentations of the “realists”. It is so much more convincing than someone like Piers Corbyn jumping up and decrying favoritism etc. Piers is okay as a marginalist thinker because he comes through more often than not. His message can be lost in the histrionics.
    Slow and steady wins the day.

  16. All this speaks to the fact that WUWT is providing a valuable service, and more so, the fact that both Walt and Julienne continue to post here shows that those who think that AGW is likely happening and those who don’t can have a meaningful and intelligent dialog while looking at the science and without resorting to political nonsense and ad hominems.

  17. Well it certainly is close to the lowest ice recorded in September 2010; that’s for sure.
    I’m sure it will go up and go down and get thinner and get thicker; and generally follow the course ov natuaral variability.

  18. Walt Meier is a [snip – accusation without citation, don’t become Ed Darrell] How many peer reviewed articles has he written? Does he care about the future of our kiddies? How many polar bears are going to die due to his anti science misinformation. The ice is in a death spiral and anyone who says otherwise is a really horrible person.

  19. “..so there could be problems with clouds. ”
    Aye, me laddie bucks. ‘Tis murky, cloudy science indeed! Or perhaps the ‘nargles’ are responsible…

  20. Wow, 3rd lowest in the last 30 years?! We’re all doomed!
    Note how infrequently nowadays we here climate scientists bring up records in the 1000, 5000, or even 500 year time scales.
    To channel Yogi Berra for a moment – give the mere 30 years of recorded ice extents: We don’t know enough to know anything.

  21. Latimer–
    If you’d like the planet to continue to get warmer, and more quickly than it has been, then you’re not wrong.
    OTOH, if you think significantly (say more than 2C) more warming from here is likely to be a bad thing, then you’d like more ice not less, and certainly not none, as it makes a lovely high-albedo reflector of sunlight back to space. Reduction in ice = increase in warming (all else being equal). It’s one of those “positive feedbacks”.
    Altho perhaps you’d just like your ice elsewhere and keep the total area constant –in the long run it is hard to see how an ice-free arctic is not going to come along with less ice extent elsewhere on the planet too, but if you have a scheme to present where the Arctic is ice-free but total ice surface area on the planet is roughly equal to now, I’m sure we’ll all like to hear about it.

  22. The NOAA is still reporting the August average sea ice extent as 22% below the 30 year average while it was actually only 18.3% [the 22% likely refers to 1979-2000 average].
    The NSIDC/NOAA should make up their mind if they are using 1979-2009, 30 year average or not; and,
    The NSIDC should publish the daily sea ice extent numbers in a useable form back to 1979 (or as far back as possible) so that these mistakes don’t keep coming up. [right now all we have is monthly averages and we have to go to an obscure ftp subdirectory to find them].
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/

    REPLY:
    I second this, and I’m going to pass it on – Anthony

  23. Lucky it was caught before it made it as far as the main stream media. Once it reaches the BBC, it becomes a fact.

  24. The red line shows historical >15% extent, but the actual ice depicted in white is probably >99%. It is called FRAUD.
    REPLY: Never assume malice where simple incompetence will do. – Anthony

  25. Good job, keep holding their feet to the fire! Err… I mean ice. This was the 27th highest Arctic sea ice extent on record. : )

  26. Bill Illis says:
    September 15, 2010 at 11:52 am
    The NOAA is still reporting the August average sea ice extent as 22% below the 30 year average while it was actually only 18.3% [the 22% likely refers to 1979-2000 average].
    As much as I am sure that this is not a scientifically viable alternative, are not the recent results as much a part of the “recent average” to be included in the comparative period?
    With each change (up or down) the average better reflects the current situation. As hard as that might make creating death spirals, it certainly would allow for a realistic (if only timely) description of the actual situation.

  27. Would it be a good suggestion to ask an old and wise inuit about his experiences with the arctic icecap and ask his opinion about what has happened and how he views the past , the present and the future ? Anyway we have to live with a lot of overactive cagw believers willing to change the facts whenever possible as long as it supports their view on the scary future . The inuit will probably radiate more confidence than any of us is willing to show .

  28. Tom in Florida said:
    “22% below normal.
    Of course their “normal” period starts in 1979. One would be under the impression there are no records prior to that.”
    The satellite record begins in 1979. Previous to that, one would imagine that sea ice extent data within the interior of the ice would have been sparse and would probably be difficult, if not impossible, to interpolate with any degree of accuracy.
    Gates said:
    “All this speaks to the fact that WUWT is providing a valuable service, and more so, the fact that both Walt and Julienne continue to post here shows that those who think that AGW is likely happening and those who don’t can have a meaningful and intelligent dialog while looking at the science and without resorting to political nonsense and ad hominems.”
    Yes, indeed, because we now have the headline reading third rather than second lowest extent in 30 years of satellite data. This changes everything.
    Andrew:
    “What data?
    Computer model outputs are not data, so I ask again, what data?
    A satellite capable of actually directly measuring ice volume, from the freeboard and surface/altitude delta was launched just this year, so what data are you referring to?
    The satellite capable of actually directly measuring ice volume has a very short lifespan 4 or 5 years, so it will not even get a single cycle, so it will likely only ever see growth in volume since we have such a low starting point (nice cherry) during its lifetime. ”
    ANY data taken from a satellite is based on a MODEL. The satellite reads the intensities of wavelengths of radiation. Agencies take that radiation data and run it through a MODEL to produce data that is meaningful to humans. If you want the actual satellite “data”, you will get a long list of wavelengths and their intensities. The only way to get from that to sea ice volume is to have some sort of model. You should read up on remote sensing; if you are up for it, read An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation by Liou. That gives you an idea of just how complicated the models are for basic measurements like temperature.

  29. I think you guys are being too harsh on the mistakes for always going one direction – while unfortunate, there are two easy explanations for this:
    1. Sites like WattsUpWithThat don’t have much reason to report the error when it says “extent was 4th lowest” when they meant 3rd. Anthony would probably tell someone, but I doubt he would write an article.
    2. Because you naturally double check figures that aren’t what you expect. Without treating them like religious zealots (which some climate change activists are, but it would be uncouth to assume that about everyone), if you generally believe in global warming, and see a stat confirming your understanding, you’re going to report it more readily. If you see something that contradicts what you expect, of course you’re going to double check the sources. Cut them a little slack for mistakes like this, if skeptics were running the show, they’d make similar mistakes in the opposite direction.

  30. Bill Illis, You bring up a good point a good suggestion. I suspect that you may be right but in the spirit of being a true skeptic I present a different source of potential error: Perhaps someone was counting pixels.

  31. What’s up with the Nansen graphs (extent and area)? They seem to have dropped through the floor. Looks like something is malfunctioning big time.

  32. Gosh, what a HUGE error! Saying “2nd” instead of “3rd” – how completely incompetent! How very worth an entire blog post!
    REPLY: Ah yes, illuminating prose from the troll coward. Of course if it was “I” who made such an error, in reverse, you and your troll masters would never let me hear the end of it. But, hmmm, looks like they’ll have to make another adjustment, no? – Anthony
    – Anthony

  33. TheFlyingOrc says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm
    “Cut them a little slack for mistakes like this, if skeptics were running the show, they’d make similar mistakes in the opposite direction.”
    =========================================================
    I agree with your assertion as to why these “little” mistakes keep happening. But, therein lies the difficulty. NOAA workers shouldn’t be allowed to be activists. NOAA should be neutral. If they were indeed neutral, or anywhere close, then the mistakes would occur in a more even basis. They don’t.

  34. Nick says:{September 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm}
    “The satellite record begins in 1979. Previous to that, one would imagine that sea ice extent data within the interior of the ice would have been sparse and would probably be difficult, if not impossible, to interpolate with any degree of accuracy. ”
    Exactly my point. The use of the word “normal” is misleading at best but I believe it is a premeditated choice to sway opinion.

  35. Murray Carpenter says:
    September 15, 2010 at 11:14 am (Edit)
    I think they knew it was wrong and would be spotted, I think they’re winding us up!

    As likely a possibility as any.

  36. Usually I would say:
    To err is human, but it takes a computer to really f*** things up.
    But the problem is that an error showing too much warming is corrected only with prodding, and then quietly. Errors in the other direction do happen too, but then they are not quietly corrected, but are accompanied by big media fanfare and the obligatory sentence:
    “It’s worse than we thought”.

  37. RW says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm
    Gosh, what a HUGE error! Saying “2nd” instead of “3rd” – how completely incompetent! How very worth an entire blog post!
    ===================
    Out by 50% is indeed a huge error.

  38. It’s a good thing you guys catch these errors. I’m off fishing so never would have noticed. I wonder if female fish are more prone to believing the consensus that fish hooks will disintegrate within just a few days if you catch and release. Come on girl, bite. It won’t hurt. And I’ll release you once I catch you.

  39. Nick said at 12:10 pm
    ANY data taken from a satellite is based on a MODEL.
    What? No it’s not. You said as much later in the same paragraph –
    … the actual satellite “data”, (is) a long list of wavelengths and their intensities.
    That “data” is then run through a formula (software program) that produces a “presentable” result (data) that is understandable in some way by humans, i.e., a list of numbers, a graphical depiction, a chart, etc. BUT, whether or not that result is true to reality is 100% dependent on 1. – the programmer(s) that created the software, 2. – the accuracy of the programming language used to correctly arithmetically “handle” the data, and 3. – and most importantly, the real world model the formula is based on. In simplistic terms, the “formula” to accurately translate (in this case) the satellite “data” must be based on a precisely known (measured) real-world model. In the case of something as large as Arctic sea ice, as “we” can not model it the lab, those precise measurements would have to be taken at exactly the same time and location as the satellite was “gathering” its wavelength and intensity data for the modeling software to eventually produce a reasonable result, given the first two items are – – adequate?
    Oh, and the above assumes the hardware is adequate and functioning correctly…

  40. Any comment from NSIDC on what will happen next year? Are they saying by a continuing declining trend :-
    “The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice. ”
    That 2011 will be lower again?

  41. Interpreting the ice extent trends with as little data as we currently have seem to me to be much of a “half empty” vrs “half full” situation. Let’s see what happens as we continue along another 60 years or so.

  42. Cold Englishman says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm
    I think we are getting too fixated on ice extent.
    What is “Normal”?

    When it comes to climate, I think it is the word that comes after ‘post’ and before ‘science’.

  43. By the numbers game:
    2007 was the highest ever Antarctic Sea Ice Area Maximum ever recorded, while this year(2010) has already reached the 2nd highest Maximum Antarctic Sea Ice Area ever.
    1993 was the lowest ever Ant. Sea Ice Area ever recorded, and this year(2010) is the 24th lowest and the 8th highest.
    The highest Antarctic Sea Ice Minimum ever recorded was 2003.
    The other end of the spectrum.

  44. Regarding errors always going one direction -its human nature. It’s something I know I have to be mindful of in my own research. If experimental results are consistent with “expectations”, I’m less likely to spend time looking for errors than if the results are contrary to expectations.

  45. Bill Illis says:
    September 15, 2010 at 11:52 am
    The NOAA is still reporting the August average sea ice extent as 22% below the 30 year average while it was actually only 18.3% [the 22% likely refers to 1979-2000 average].
    The NSIDC/NOAA should make up their mind if they are using 1979-2009, 30 year average or not; and,
    The NSIDC should publish the daily sea ice extent numbers in a useable form back to 1979 (or as far back as possible) so that these mistakes don’t keep coming up. [right now all we have is monthly averages and we have to go to an obscure ftp subdirectory to find them].
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/
    REPLY: I second this, and I’m going to pass it on – Anthony
    _____________________________________________________________
    Anthony, you have seconded this and I, as I am sure many readers here, vote for it. (Please cover the response in a future post.)
    It continues to bother me that the 1979 – 2000 average is used in the graphs – because I am one that believes Artic ice (as are all ice reservoirs on earth) is on a slow post glaciation decline and this way of presenting the data masks that.
    I find using the 1979 – 2000 data as the base for the average almost as disingenuous as using the period from 20,000 BC to 19,980 BC as the base. (okay I am exagerrating to make a point)
    Continuing to exclude recent satellite data biases the average satellite record – leaving a full third of the data out of play.

  46. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm
    I agree with your assertion as to why these “little” mistakes keep happening. But, therein lies the difficulty. NOAA workers shouldn’t be allowed to be activists. NOAA should be neutral. If they were indeed neutral, or anywhere close, then the mistakes would occur in a more even basis. They don’t.
    ================================
    I understand. The problem is twofold:
    The average person does not see the need for balance when they consider a matter cut and dried. They rightly believe that every issue doesn’t require giving fair coverage to both sides of an argument – we don’t ever need to hear from the pro-lizard people side. Now, I don’t think the science IS settled, but you have to understand their point of view at least a little.
    The second is the main reason that there is something of a “consensus.” People only join organizations like the NOAA, or become climatologists, because they already believe in global warming and want to do some good about it. Seriously, nobody dreams of being a climate scientist when they grow up, and if it weren’t for global warming theory, there honestly wouldn’t be that many positions available. This should improve over the next few years as young scientists may want to become climatologists to combat AGW theory, but that takes time.
    They’re honestly goodhearted people with a quasi-religious belief. Give them a little slack on the small stuff.

  47. Latimer @ 10:52 “ . . . dumb question again . . . ”
    Let’s try to rephrase this. Take Lake Superior on the USA’s north coast. It becomes ice covered every winter (more or less) and then that ice goes away and life continues. Now say that the lake freezes over and stays frozen, eventually to the point that ice-breakers cannot keep it open. Depending upon your viewpoint you might consider this a good or a bad situation, but I think also it would indicate a change in climate boundaries which would not just be local to that area.
    From a general perspective it would mean that a major change in climate boundaries had occurred and many natural and cultural/economic (human society) things would change. You can start making a list of all the things if you like but I don’t want to bother.
    If the Arctic Ocean ice is gone (more or less) for a week or three that could be considered within the bounds of climate variability. (See posts by TonyB for confirmation.) However, if the Arctic Ocean ice goes away and none reappears for 50 or 200 years then that seems to indicate a change in climate boundaries which would not just be local to that area.
    Some believe the Arctic Ocean ice is similar to the canary in the mine – it is a leading indicator of things that have major consequences. People have made lists so, again, no need to do it again.
    So, think about your “dumb question” and consider what you really mean by asking it. Phrase it in different ways and see where it leads.

  48. In April this year, AMSR-E arctic sea ice extent was the highest on record. Why did NOAA not issue a press release then?

  49. Does every new reader of WUWT have to struggle with the concept of a 30-year climatic normal? Get over it. This concept pre-dates Al Gore. It pre-dates the coming ice age of the 60s & 70s. It pre-dates the current AGW fans. As the workers trained in the 40s, 50s, and 60s die off and the new “digital age” kids take over maybe they will update the way things are done. Anyway, the current year ends in “0” and, thus, next year all the “normals” should be adjusted using a more recent 30 year average.

  50. Since Calamity Jane Lubchenco from Oregon State University took over the agency head, no question NOAA is being politicized to support her radical envirowhacko views on AGW and ocean acidification. She has already done videos taking a beaker of salt water and dissolving dry ice in it with a titrator to show the ph shift to acidic from her experiment. ( which dissolved millions of times more Co2 into the sea water beaker than could ever be obtained by dissolving ALL of the available earth carbon into the oceans ) I find it not believable that these “errors” which keep happening are honest mistakes. The Obama agenda wants Cap and Trade and any supportable argument to help them win. It apparently doesn’t matter if it’s honest or accurate.
    The way to stop this abuse is to tell NOAA or Calamity Jane, that for every inexcusable error like this that is uncovered in the future, it is an automatic ten million dollar hit to the bottom line of the agency budget that will be carried forward to future years. I’ll guarantee you all that with this understanding, Calamity and her idealogues would suddenly start behaving and the data will be presented “error” free. The problem with government is that there is no accountablity either to the agencies or people for screwing anything up.

  51. more figures – other than the excerpts – in the article:
    14 Sept: Calgary Herald: Sean Myers: Calgarians make the best of it as snow – yes, snow – clouds forecast
    Fewer than 10 days remain in summer, and most Calgarians have been left wondering if it ever really began.
    One year ago Thursday, the temperature soared to just over a blistering hot 30 C.
    On the same day this year, meteorologists are forecasting a high of 5 C and a chance of snow…
    Calgary had just one day above 30 C, on Aug. 26. The average high in August was 20.9, according to preliminary data collected by Environment Canada. The normal average maximum temperature for August over the past 30 years was 23.4 according to data compiled by the Weather Network. In July, the normal average is 25.3, but this year, the hottest month averaged only 22 degrees…
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/14092010/76/prairies-calgarians-best-snow-yes-snow-clouds-forecast.html

  52. Well according to alarmists, melting is bad, yet the record increases in ice extent in the Antarctic South Pole, are also caused by global warming as the theory posits that increased heat creates more precipitation which falls as snow and freezes into more ice.
    So increases in ice extent are bad signs of man made climate change too.
    So if increases melting is bad and increased freezing is also bad, exactly what would be good?
    An impossible and mythical climate stasis that has never ever occurred in the entire history of this planet, perhaps?

  53. RW says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm
    Per Anthony: UPDATE: … So per the policy page, which requires a valid email address to comment here, sayonara!
    Oh good, I never thought he was a credit to those initials anyway. However, they always caught my attention. 🙂

  54. Criticizing Walt Meier here (even in an attempt at jest, which I suspect was the case) is OT, OTT, ad hominem, and just plain rude. Dr. Meier is a communicator and very open in many respects. He deserves our praise for his responsiveness and contributions to WUWT.

  55. @The Flying Orc: ‘They’re honestly goodhearted people with a quasi-religious belief. Give them a little slack on the small stuff.’
    Why? They won’t return the favour. And it’s not ‘small stuff’ either – so much deception and cheating has happened already that they must be brought up on it and made to behave scientifically. A tough ask with so many of them after all – Dr. Meier excepted in this case.

  56. Dan in California: AMSR-E April ice extent was highest since 2001, maybe they didn’t think this was noteworthy.

  57. That image is extremely deceptive – appears to only account for 50%+ extent. Is NOAA in the cherry picking business these days?

  58. ‘So if increases melting is bad and increased freezing is also bad, exactly what would be good?’
    A ball of rock in space, with no water, air or life to mess it up, or to imagine it is being messed up.

  59. If Arctic temp average for 2010 is higher than usual, but ice extent is strong… what are we going to hear from the mainstream?
    If temp average for 2010 is down, but ice extent is low…. what are we going to hear from the mainstream?

  60. TheFlyingOrc says:
    September 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    “People only join organizations like the NOAA, or become climatologists, because they already believe in global warming and want to do some good about it. Seriously, nobody dreams of being a climate scientist when they grow up, and if it weren’t for global warming theory, there honestly wouldn’t be that many positions available. This should improve over the next few years as young scientists may want to become climatologists to combat AGW theory, but that takes time.
    They’re honestly goodhearted people with a quasi-religious belief. Give them a little slack on the small stuff.
    ========================================================
    I do understand their position. It is perfectly acceptable to have an opinion that is “cut and dried” regarding our climate. It is not acceptable to have advocates as arbiters of truth. Especially in administrative branches of our government. I can think of several reasons why people would want to become involved in weather, oceanianic, and climate tracking professions other than furtherance of their advocacy. NOAA isn’t a club someone joins, it is supposedly a group of professionals that have a mandate for truth and discovery. If someone in the employ of NOAA finds that they cannot, then that person should have the personal integrity to resign and go join the WWF, Greenpeace or some such advocacy group. It is the “small stuff” that exposes their biases. There are things we need them to be focused on other than trying to win one for the team. They are letting their organization down and their nation. I know it sounds harsh, but that’s not what we’re paying them for. And that isn’t why NOAA exists.

  61. Rest assured…
    Should the Arctic ice suddenly cover the entire northern hemisphere next year, it will be described as the 33rd lowest extent on record.

  62. Sorry to pop your bubble, but the Pic is Real – – it is clearly a Metop (usually 25% extent, but also a Satellite used by None of the “indexes” ). http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/mspps/seaiceprd.html
    I have been pointing this out as the extreme LOW of all extent Maps & that it looks Totally Different from all other Sea Ice maps … but Even the Anti-AGW should be happy with it as of last Night !
    Now Metop is among the Largest. All those holes – – Much more extensive in the Past than in the pic shown – – just suddenly filled – – probably persuading them to announce “The” Minimum as this must be new Ice forming . However, the long “arm” going out diagonally to East Siberia has faded to only a tiny “island”.
    (
    – – as of the 13th ! As of Today (Spt 14): the arm is back, but so are the holes.
    I’ll bet they posted the current Map, without looking to see if it was the same as last Night. (when their SSMI Sat had a fritzy day – – the Real reason the Arctic ROOS site went looney – – NSIDC must have put a Metop Map up instead. But that is like Batman handing the keys of the City … to the Joker ).
    So much Area is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO close to the limits – – and for others, too: DMI is showing a 2nd minimum, Neven’s Blog has 2 Posts on the “North Hole” (s) near the pole – – about a fourth is open water ! – – all the Indexes ought to subtract 70-to-90 K from extents & Area … until … all the Open Areas above 85 degrees plate over with new Ice – – ? tomorrow ? ? weeks ? Metop itself has both (1) Open areas in the Middle, and (2) that half-million km2 “arm” appearing & dissappearing on a daily basis.
    So all the different Sea Ice measures are going Crazy right now.
    It is that Sea surface temps are Melting & Air temps are Freezing – – both by Over 10 degrees (F) ! – – this Yo-Yo could go on into October. Based on WetterCentrale, the next 3 Days look like Classic Melt … but the next week: that pesky “Anti-Dipole” returns, pushing the Ice back in, via Fram Strait.
    At the same time the Anti-Dipole is a High-Pressure area & so is a good Test for which of my several calculations for “when Clear Skies Return”, is correct. I hope it is soon, or I will be looking for Clouds by Moonlight: the last week of Polar Sun has begun !

  63. Alvin W says:
    September 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm
    OT but does anyone have a reaction to the article by Dr. Gianluigi Zangari about the Gulf Loop Current ‘stalling.’
    ===
    Related August 1 news piece:
    source: http://www.oilspillnews.net/bp-oil-spill-news/gulf-loop-current-stalls-due-to-bp-oil-leak-truth-is-treason/
    “Zangari’s assessment is based on daily monitoring of real-time data oceanographic satellite public data feeds called “Real-Time Mesoscale Altimetry” from the Jason, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat, Follow-On, ERS-2 and Envisat satellites.”
    “These satellite feeds are are captured and made publicly available by NASA, NOAA and by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR) at the University of Colorado at Boulder.”
    Maybe the oil obscured the current related data?
    Current view: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/ofs/viewer.shtml?-gulfmex-cur-100-large-rundate=latest

  64. When ice melts in a bucket the temperature of the bucket stays at zero until the ice is all melted. While it melts the ice soaks up considerable heat. If you look at the response of the temperature of the bucket of ice to forcing (heat the bucket) then the ice in the bucket provides considerable buffering against changes in temperature. Similarly the melting of polar ice buffers the global temperature by soaking up heat.
    In addition to buffering however we should ask whether melting ice contributes a positive or negative feedback to forcing – in other wards what effect does it have on the exchange of energy between the planet and space. Does it lead to more energy being absorbed or more energy radiated overall.
    It is often claimed that melting ice provides a positive feedback since sea water is less reflective than ice and absorbs more of the suns rays. This is certainly the case, but right now (time of maximal melt) the angle of incidence of the sun at those latitudes is very slight so the size of this effect is likely to be small. Furthermore what is often overlooked is that the effect goes both ways.
    Ice is not a good transmitter of heat. In fact it is a reasonably good insulator which is how igloos work. The cap of ice at the pole not only prevents the sea from absorbing sunlight, it also blocks the sea water from radiating heat to space – a process not subject to any angle of incidence effects. At this time of year I wouldn’t bet on the former effect outweighing the latter
    Indeed in a few more weeks the pole will be in darkness and there is absolutely no doubt that under those conditions less ice at the pole will mean more heat radiated into space. However of course those conditions will not exist for long as the polar ice will quickly reform.
    As the ice freezes the latent heat of its freezing will be radiated into space. How much ice is formed over winter should give some measure of how much heat is being released in this way.
    It seems to me that the really important figure then is not the minimum or maximum extent or even the minimum or maximum volume, but rather the difference between the two. The total flux of ice between maximum and minimum; how much ice melts and reforms each season, measures how much heat the ice is soaking up and then radiating into space. I don’t know whether that seasonal ice flux is likely to increase or decrease as a response to warming. It isn’t something that people have talked about around here much. Does anybody know the answer?

  65. “Would it be a good suggestion to ask an old and wise inuit about his experiences with the arctic icecap and ask his opinion about what has happened and how he views the past , the present and the future ? Anyway we have to live with a lot of overactive cagw believers willing to change the facts whenever possible as long as it supports their view on the scary future . The inuit will probably radiate more confidence than any of us is willing to show .”
    How many of you all actually read every post?..asking an old wise Eskimo about his experience over many years in the SAME area has 0 to very low importance.
    It’s a good thing you guys catch these errors. I’m off fishing so never would have noticed. I wonder if female fish are more prone to believing the consensus that fish hooks will disintegrate within just a few days if you catch and release. Come on girl, bite. It won’t hurt. And I’ll release you once I catch you.(quote by Miss gray)
    You fish?…I’m falling in love with you miss gray! (sweet hugging funny face) I like to catch my fish & filet them for dinner…I don’t harras & torture fish with catch & release.

  66. frederik wisse says: @ September 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm
    “The inuit will probably radiate more confidence than any of us is willing to show .”
    OMG, has anyone calculated the contribution to AGW of a radiating Inuit?

  67. Milwaukee Bob,
    I think you may have misunderstood me. I was talking about another poster’s conception of satellite-produced data sets as “a direct measurement of ice volume”, which is incorrect, because like the current product, it requires a model and variables as input in order to generate sea ice volume. I’m not saying anything about intensities not being “data”, because the intensities are not the values being discussed.
    If you ask me about sea ice volume and I tell you a list of intensities, what are you going to do with them? If the 17um channel shows an intensity of 5.5e-5 Wm-2um-1, what does that mean to you? You have to use some sort of model to interpret those intensities into data that is useful to you. Yes, you do have to use basic equations like the Schwarzchild equation, but you also have to have something which translates intensity data into ice volume. This does require a model of the relationship between certain intensities at certain wavelength versus the expected volume.

  68. so the sea ice is the second highest at the minimum since 2007, that’s some decreasing trend I’ll admit….NOT. Also, the Antartic was reaching record HIGH sea ice extent earlier this summer, and global sea ice actually got above normal a little bit this summer. but of course noaa only reports on the Artic because that is where there is evidence for their manmade global warming, and ignore the Antartic setting it’s near record high because it doesn’t support the warming theory.
    more evidence for Joe Bastardi being right about the shift of global temperatures with the PDO and AMO

  69. More than one commentator here has bemoaned the fact that NOAA ‘errors’ are always in the same direction. NOAA is awash in funding. Let them hire a small, thick-skinned ‘Red Team’ to catch the politically correct errors, before they’re trumpeted to the MSM. On second thought: No, that would be too sensible.

  70. I’ve been watching the ” Cryosphere Today Arctic Sea ” map, and was impressed by how quickly the deep purple ice (90=100% concentration) faded, on the Russian side of the pole, in August. I was curious about the factors which caused the area to melt so swiftly.
    I thought I’d toss out some ideas I’ve had, (for people more clever and learned than I am to shred, if they so chose.)
    It seems the blocking pattern that led to the heat and drought over Moscow likely spilled some of that warmth north, warming the coastal surface waters of the Arctic Ocean north of Moscow, and shoving those warmed waters towards the pole, where it would significantly effect the ice-melt.
    A side effect of shoving the warm surface water away from any coast is a cold upwelling right along the coast. If you look at the SST anomaly map you now see some strikingly cold water on the Siberian coast north of Moscow.
    Thus, counter-intuitively, the warm south wind which led to ice melt has led to a situation which is quite conducive to a very rapid freeze-up, along the coast.
    In other words, the more you wonder about this stuff the greater your wonder grows.

  71. The most egregious part says:
    To put it in perspective, a loss of 22% of the contiguous U.S. would be equivalent to losing all of the land area in the New Englan, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Appalachian states.
    What kind of Alarmo excess is that?!?! Does the land mass of the U.S. wax and wane every year like sea ice?????
    That’s the implication. How is that an equivalency? What kind of perspective is that???
    It reminds me of the JR High joke: Want to lose 20 pounds of ugly fat? Cut off your head!
    To put it in perspective…

  72. To put it in perspective…

    According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)
    (nsidc.org/data/seaice_index)
    Arctic Sea Ice, just the numbers.
    Towards the record low.
    1980 minimum: 7.80 million square kilometers
    2007 minimum: 4.28 million square kilometers (the record low)
    A Decrease of 3.53 million square kilometers in 27 years.
    (an average decrease of 131,000 square kilometers per year)
    After the record low.
    2007 minimum: 4.28 million square kilometers (the record low)
    2010 minimum: 4.76 million square kilometers
    An Increase of 480,000 square kilometers in 3 years.
    (an average increase of 160,000 square kilometers per year)
    —-
    About 50% of people on MSM web sites ‘disagree’ with this ‘comment’.
    I guess they don’t like real numbers, since I actually make no comment.

  73. Nick said at 5:03 pm
    Milwaukee Bob,
    I think you may have misunderstood me.

    No misunderstanding at all. I knew you were correcting Andrews misunderstanding of SI volume which IS a modeled sum derived FROM the DATA in wavelength intensity values per YOUR statement: …the actual satellite “data”, (is) a long list of wavelengths and their intensities. What I should have then so as not to confuse you was: To derive sea ice VOLUME, that “data” is then run through a formula….. and so on.

  74. “The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice. ”
    If anything, this is a recovering trend. Where do they get off writing this garbage?

  75. I’m back. Caught my limit so froze three and pan fried two with a splash of beer to deglaze the pan. Ate with crackers and mustard along with a veggie side and the rest of the bottle of beer.
    The only bad thing about fishing is having one more worm in my tackle box and 5 fish in my creel. Funny thing, one fish had my hook in its throat from two days ago. Tip: to save the little fish you have to throw back, use the biggest hook you can. The hook tends to snag them around the mouth instead of going down the throat where it gets caught in vitals.
    I’ve read all the posts. The mistake just doesn’t go down my gullet as an honest mistake made by well-meaning scientists. It tastes more like a stupid mistake by careless scientists who jumped the gun, thinking that the minimum would go lower so just called it the 2nd lowest, even though the article they were referring to said 3rd lowest.

  76. Darren Parker says: September 15, 2010 at 8:16 pm
    “…Polynomial 3rd order regression …”
    You will scare people with words like that.
    I used grade 5 math and got the same conclusion, down then up.
    The global warming people must think that we are not “smarter than a 5th grader” .
    I think that the trend is a sine of what will happen in the future.

  77. Pamela Gray says:
    September 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm (Edit)
    I’m back. Caught my limit so froze three and pan fried two with a splash of beer to deglaze the pan. Ate with crackers and mustard along with a veggie side and the rest of the bottle of beer.
    —…—..
    She split beer in the pan? On veggies?

  78. Milwaukee Bob says: September 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm
    “No misunderstanding at all. I knew you were correcting Andrews misunderstanding of SI volume which IS a modeled sum derived FROM the DATA in wavelength intensity”
    I was talking about CryoSat-2
    (www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/4/641/2010/tcd-4-641-2010-print.pdf)
    “In this study in-situ ice and snow data from 689 observation sites obtained during the Sever expeditions in the 1980s have been used to establish an empirical relation between ice thickness and freeboard.”
    So they have established an empirical relationship. I would not consider this a model but rather a completely testable relationship and provable or falsifiable by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
    “CryoSat-2 was launched in March 2010 and carries a beam-limited radar altimeter (RA) operating in Synthetic Aperture Radar mode over sea ice, providing freeboard measurements with 250m resolution along the satellite track.”
    It is an altimeter, it is not trying to see through the ice and gauge the thickness by inference of the of density change with depth or by an analysis of the surface and near surface absorption spectrum change due to density.
    It is as simple as a radar, sonar or bouncing a ball off of a wall (send, wait, receive), which I do not consider to be a model but rather a completely testable relationship between signal velocity and reflection that is provable or falsifiable by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
    So I do not consider the data from CryoSat-2 to be computer model output. Note also, if there were no restrictions on launch weight and computers did not exist, it could have been built without the requirement for computer interpretation of signal data. The use of computers in the system is to reduce the launch weight and cost, not to implement a logical model.
    CryoSat-2 is an altimeter, too bad it will not last long.
    Sorry if I caused any misunderstanding.

  79. “Pamela Gray says:
    September 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    It’s a good thing you guys catch these errors. I’m off fishing so never would have noticed. I wonder if female fish are more prone to believing the consensus that fish hooks will disintegrate within just a few days if you catch and release. Come on girl, bite. It won’t hurt. And I’ll release you once I catch you.”
    Oh, no!! Only release if she will spread the word to her friends! Just another sip or two and see if she is smiling or frowning.

  80. Above I suggested what “NSIDC” did … Apologies to them: NOAA did it.
    Note Walt Meier spotted that the Pic had an unusual extent cutoff & estimated it pretty good
    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/ml/mspps/seaiceprd.html … is 25 %
    Anyway: the Minimum lasted about 6 hours !
    Daily JAXA:_______2007___ to___ 2010__& My Weather predictions
    Spt_11-12______ – 15,569____+_18,594__
    Spt_12-13______ -_4,219 ____+__3,750 (Anti-Dipole)
    Spt_13-14______ – 32,500_____- 10,156 – weird __
    Spt_14-15______ – 23,437_____- 57,500__
    Spt_15-16______ -__157 _____ – High over Pole (clear?)
    2007 has a 674K lead – – 2008: 233 K (K = 1000km2)
    … 2010 should have ~3 days of runaway Melt (including today).
    Why ? The High over Greenland is Actually OFF THE SCALE.
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/mslp_01.fnl.html
    Next on the Yo-Yo: Ice squirted out of Fram Strait is sucked Back in.

  81. Please tell me politely why I am wrong. Thanks
    Well, if all the Arctic Ice were gone, there’d be that much more albedo. This could result in greater land ice loss from Greenland.
    Plus, ice is a good temperature buffer. Things would be more volatile without it.
    (There would be, of course, benefits as well.)

  82. But there’s this nice gem in that BBc article:
    ‘Researchers say projections of summer ice disappearing entirely within the next few years increasingly look wrong.’

  83. What is the ‘normal’ area of summer sea ice coverage? We have 31 years of satellite record but this is far too short a time to establish what is ‘normal’. Since the last ice age ended we seem to have had warm periods every 1000 years so this period is the minimum time to establish what is deemed to be ‘normal’ if such a beast exists.
    Come on NOAA get real.

  84. David Effler says:
    September 15, 2010 at 11:04 am
    Second or third lowest on record (i.e., recorded history)? Hmmmmmm, and the time record for recorded history (of artic ice) would be a couple of centuries or so? It would be interesting to go back, say, 13,000 years and see how the Clovis people in America would have responded to the news that the artic ice caps were receding and it was going to get warmer. I’m sure they would believe that the spirits were being kind to them.
    —————————————————–
    Exactly my sentiments, too.
    Michael

  85. Seeing the plots on WUWT of sea ice extent, I’ve often wondered what the annual relationships between the curves would show. We can see the shapes in overlay of those curves but by eye it is difficult to compare much other than max and min extents. However, the area under those curves should show some relative information. So I dug out my old planimeter and set to work.
    Year (f)V as % of 03 Rank Giss global T
    2003 100 1 14.55
    2004 97.9 2 14.48
    2005 94.8 5 14.62
    2006 93.0 7 14.54
    2007 91.2 8 14.57
    2008 96.6 3 14.44
    2009 95.8 4 14.57
    2010 94.7 (6) ?
    What was in the back of my mind was that due to the latent heat in the change from ice to water, the areas under the curve may act as a tool to analyse how warm a particular year was instead of ‘warmest on record’, ‘hottest July’ etc. all based on a surface temperature record that contains unknowns. It seamed to me to be a reasonable assumption that a generally warmer year would have a greater melt and vice versa. (For 2010, I measured the area of the previous 12 months to the cut-off in September so it is in fact a projection of sorts.)
    Having got my numbers for some function of volume, testing the idea against temperatures would be the next step: these are added after obtaining them from gistemp. For the years 04 & 06, ice does not behave as expected although for other years it does. OK, so I am on the wrong track here; annual ice volume (or at least a function of it that we can measure) is not a good proxy for global average temps. But aren’t global temps used to predict ice loss ‘NW passage’, ‘polar bears’, ‘habitat loss’ etc.? There has to be some information in that change of volume measure otherwise there is no information of worth in ice extent itself.
    Of course, what I am not doing is measuring actual ice volume as some parts of the ice sheet would be thicker/thinner year by year. And there lies the problem: does ice extent alone tell us anything at all about global climate on an annual time-scale? Apart from changes in albedo for model inputs, possibly not.

  86. Seeing the plots on WUWT of sea ice extent, I’ve often wondered what the annual relationships between the curves would show. We can see the shapes in overlay of those curves but by eye it is difficult to compare much other than max and min extents. However, the area under those curves should show some relative information. So I dug out my old planimeter and set to work.
    Year_____(f)V as % of 03__Rank__Giss global T
    2003_________100 _______1______14.55
    2004_________97.9_______2______14.48
    2005_________94.8_______5______14.62
    2006_________93.0_______7______14.54
    2007_________91.2_______8______14.57
    2008_________96.6_______3______14.44
    2009_________95.8_______4______14.57
    2010_________94.7______(6)______?
    What was in the back of my mind was that due to the latent heat in the change from ice to water, the areas under the curve may act as a tool to analyse how warm a particular year was instead of ‘warmest on record’, ‘hottest July’ etc. all based on a surface temperature record that contains unknowns. It seamed to me to be a reasonable assumption that a generally warmer year would have a greater melt and vice versa. (For 2010, I measured the area of the previous 12 months to the cut-off in September so it is in fact a projection of sorts.)
    Having got my numbers for some function of volume, testing the idea against temperatures would be the next step: these are added after obtaining them from gistemp. For the years 04 & 06, ice does not behave as expected although for other years it does. OK, so I am on the wrong track here; annual ice volume (or at least a function of it that we can measure) is not a good proxy for global average temps. But aren’t global temps used to predict ice loss ‘NW passage’, ‘polar bears’, ‘habitat loss’ etc.? There has to be some information in that change of volume measure otherwise there is no information of worth in ice extent itself.
    Of course, what I am not doing is measuring actual ice volume as some parts of the ice sheet would be thicker/thinner year by year. And there lies the problem: does ice extent alone tell us anything at all about global climate on an annual time-scale? Apart from changes in albedo for model inputs, possibly not.

  87. geo says:
    “Everybody makes mistakes. But you do get to suspicioning zealotry when mistakes always seem to be in one direction.”
    Suspicioning. Love it
    I suspect they actually do make mistakes in both directions, the essential difference being that when they make a mistake that makes their case seem weaker, they immediately check and correct it, whereas a mistake that makes warming/melting/whatever worse, they gratefully accept it without checking until forced to do so.
    Of course the same accusation could possibly be made in the other direction – we check things closely if they challenge our ideas. But none of us are in charge of the worlds climate data….

  88. Gareth Phillips [September 15, 2010 at 11:03 am] says:
    I would imagine that if next years ice minimum is up on this year, that will be the 4th lowest, then if it increases the following year I take it that will be the 5th lowest. I have a picture of a man in the lower Palaeolithic saying to his friend as they gaze out from their cave on mile thick glaciers ” you know that this is the 4300th lowest ice level on record” In other words, when does the focus on lowest, become average or increased?

    This is really brilliant imagery. It solidifies my suspicion that even if arctic extent was in a 30 year slow increase to 1970’s levels, each and every season the political scientists would do exactly as you say, ‘this is the 4th 6th 6th … xth lowest’ etc. An increase being described as a decrease is not science. It is calling up : down, right : left, hot : cold. Which is to say there are no truths anymore.

  89. Chuck Wiese [September 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm] says:
    The way to stop this abuse is to tell NOAA or Calamity Jane, that for every inexcusable error like this that is uncovered in the future, it is an automatic ten million dollar hit to the bottom line of the agency budget that will be carried forward to future years. I’ll guarantee you all that with this understanding, Calamity and her idealogues would suddenly start behaving and the data will be presented “error” free. The problem with government is that there is no accountablity either to the agencies or people for screwing anything up.

    Excellent thinking. Fully agree. The only way to straighten out this mess is to be aggressive. Righteous indignation is a very effective strategy, and it carries a lot of weight these days. The civil servants in DC are beginning to take note now, so we should be hammering them at every opportunity. Personally in my correspondence I demand investigations, firings and de-funding. At the end of the day, maybe, we will see some accountability but we must aim high.

  90. jorgekafkazar [September 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm] says:
    Criticizing Walt Meier here (even in an attempt at jest, which I suspect was the case) is OT, OTT, ad hominem, and just plain rude. Dr. Meier is a communicator and very open in many respects. He deserves our praise for his responsiveness and contributions to WUWT.

    Respectfully disagree. By my reading of this man’s position he is an employee of NASA. That makes him a civil servant employed by the taxpayer. That means he works for me, as does a person called Julienne that recently turned the scientific method upside down (by starting with the conclusion and working backwards: “Julienne Strove from NSIDC asked last week what it would take to be convinced of man’s influence.“.
    Examine that last paragraph in the top post:

    Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.

    There is nothing Scientific about that bolded last sentence (unless you count political science as Science). At best it is Elementary Statistics 101, but at worst, it is pure AGW propaganda. It is actually spin that dilutes/undoes the correction that Anthony instigated.
    If it were up to me they would drag him in front of a congressional committee and have him explain who he fired for that little AGW snipe, then demand his resignation.
    I’m not nitpicking this, nor am I asking for Anti-AGW statements (as if!). But that wording could easily have been phrased in a neutral fashion, leaving just the facts.
    As it stands, I can only conclude that this agency is infiltrated with hacks and needs a massive shakeup. If they are not careful NASA itself will suffer as more calls to shut it down occur. This is now in the realm of possibility.

  91. Whilst I am glad to see that the error was promptly corrected, it is still no excuse. We can argue endlessly that we should give them a little slack, etc, etc, but the fact remains that they are a tax payer funded organisation and should be accountable. Furthermore they should definitley be neutral and present the facts without any personal or political bias being allowed to creep in.
    A comment above appears to criticise this post based on an error in a post in this blog by Steve Goddard.
    bhanwara says:
    September 15, 2010 at 11:45 am
    Bored now.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/02/arctic-ice-increasing-by-50000-km2-per-year/
    When it was corrected, it was at least acknowledeged and the original post with apologetic addendum was left up for all to see. It didn’t just evaporate. Steve Goddard even went as far as correcting a readers comment which supported him by acknowledging another comment was correct and added: “my conclusion is flawed.”

  92. Anthony,
    your sea ice news posts have been very entertaining and it has been interesting to follow the various predictions and the final outcome. A bit like watching an extremely slow moving horse race! But one that you just can not glance away from for even a second.
    Now that we are poised at the start of another race season, can I suggest, at least just for the entertainment value, that you start a page listing in chronological order all of the predictions as they come in. It could briefly show the headline, the date, and the numerical prediction along with a link to the full article. What do you think? Just for the fun of it. (Excuse the analogy. I am not a betting man myself, but I am sure it may interest some of the bookies also).
    PS. I think yourself, your team, and all who post here, pro or con CAGW, are doing a great job. I woild like to make a small donation toward your operating costs but PayPal and I do not see eye to eye…
    Is there another way?

  93. Hmm, this seem to be a recurring phenomenon.
    The more these organizations shout their alarming state of natural variability at each natural high and low the more they seem to have to rely on quality control from internetians. I wonder if they had kept their quality control departments would they be so alarming today?

  94. After reflecting on many of these posts, it seems to me that certain AGW skeptics simply are having a problem with the fact that there was no follow-on “recovery” to the 2008-2009 quasi-“recovery” and so there is s tendancy to want to pounce on any slightest little honest error that the so-called “warmist” group might make. The long term trend in Arctic Sea ice and global sea ice is quite clear and it’s downward. This year in 2010 we saw the largest drop (or possibly second largest) in sea ice area from the March maximum to the September minimum, and this just didn’t match up with all the talk early on in the season of the “big recovery in MY ice” etc. As much as I respect them, I think that forecasters like Joe Bastardi and Steve Goddard will be proven to be quite wrong about the overall trend in Arctic Sea ice in the months and years to come.
    The trend continues down, and the only real discussion should be the reasons. AGW or some other cyclical and natural causes…

  95. I couldn’t agree more, R Gates. Moreover the JAXA extent is now lower than what was supposed to be the minimum (early September) and seems to keep going down. The area in my sense is the 2nd lowest, being the same as 2008.
    So much for the “recovery”. But I think they will never admit it.

  96. R. Gates says:
    September 16, 2010 at 7:20 am
    The trend continues down, and the only real discussion should be the reasons. AGW or some other cyclical and natural causes…
    =======
    I disagree. One of the things that triggered my interest in the Climate debate was the misrepresentation of information. Photoshop Polar Bears, misleading comparisons of polar ice, declarations about the Northwest Passage, inaccuracies in the media, projections that never occurred, etc.
    They say a picture tells a 1000 words so please take a look at the image above and compare it to either UI (30%-100%) or NSIDC (15%-100%). The image was either manipulated or the satellite is a piece of junk that only sees 50%+ ice extent. The image is extremely misleading in relation to the red outline showing “average extent” which should be much smaller if the 50% lower limit is imposed on 1979-2009.

  97. BSM says:
    September 16, 2010 at 5:46 am
    I woild like to make a small donation toward your operating costs but PayPal and I do not see eye to eye…
    Is there another way?
    I also have an irresparable problem with Paypal and WILL not use them. Let me know another way please.
    [Reply: You can make a donation using your credit card on the same Donation page. ~dbs.]

  98. R. Gates
    The trend continues down, and the only real discussion should be the reasons. AGW or some other cyclical and natural causes…
    Unacceptably fail logic of failhood from failtopia, where failknights joust with failances over faildamsels to claim the title of fail.
    The trend, in this case, is not defined by any starting or ending points other than the existence of a measurement record. Without any natural demarcation of how “trends” should be assigned, we are left at the mercy of only the data window to dictate the trends. If we made the trend window three year intervals, we would have a series of down trends and a recent uptrend. If we made it six year intervals, we would have several downtrends and a (probably) sharp increase due to averaging in 2007. Etc, Etc, Etc.
    Other ways to look at the clinging to the 30 year trend (again, which only exists because of our application of a measurement window, not in observation of some natural phenomena)
    “A trend in any given direction requires symmetry before a new trend can start”
    “I set no boundaries for the period of time over which I will consider data to be a trend”
    “The length of time in our measurement window is significant.”
    If I diet for fifteen years and lose thirty pounds, then I start eating at McDonalds for two years and I gain four pounds, would you say that I am still on a diet because my overall trend is down? Of course not.
    The reason for this is that I have shown you the boundaries for my trend windows: Dieting, then McDonalds signify the periods over which you can have confidence in your trend, and those windows have been supplied for you by the question.
    Without explaining why in the past three years the artic seems to have accrued ice by most measures, you are stuck making the statement that I must still be dieting because, overall, I’ve lost weight. Silly.

  99. Anthony. Have you ever considered taking a summer arctic sea expedition with the experts? Dr Barber here is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable in this field. It could be very enlightening.
    Here’s his latest lecture.

  100. R Gates, April 29 2010:
    “As it stands right now, in late April 2010, I think we’ll see the 2nd lowest summer sea ice extent on record this September, the warmest year on instrument record globally, and a record low summer sea ice extent by 2015.”
    Sep. 16:
    “I respect them, I think that forecasters like Joe Bastardi and Steve Goddard will be proven to be quite wrong about the overall trend in Arctic Sea ice in the months and years to come.”
    Was your forecast for September proven correct?

  101. Reviewing this NOAA propaganda report wrt the WUWT Sea Ice graphs and maps, I wondered as follows:
    The Arctic sea-ice anomaly didn’t move into the negative territory until, at the earliest, 1995. This could be because it was thinning but not at the “disappearance” point before that. Is there ice thickness data from 1979 to 1995 to see when the thinning, if it was significant prior to 1995, occurred?
    Were ice to melt from top down or bottom up GLOBAL warming, the thinning would be seen in long-term, multi-decadal data. If the Arctic melt is dominantly a result of the PCO, with introduction of warmer waters through the Bering Strait, OR a change in wind patterns to concentrate the ice/cycle it faster across the Arctic and out Greenland way, the “thinning” will either not occur until we were substantially looking at new, i.e new thin ice, behaviour or will occur simultaneously with the 1995 reduction in extent.

  102. Buffoon… I have to note that in your example you have provided a clear mechanism that explains the gain of four pounds.
    That is the challenge here with arctic sea ice. The longer trend is clearly well below the 2 standard deviation negative trend. To clearly show a positive trend those sea ice extent figures need to be ABOVE the 2 standard deviation mark. And then at that point you’d have a lot of scientists scratching their heads and asking what the heck is causing it. But we are far from that point.
    A rebound to the overall long term trend is not really a rebound of sea ice. It’s a rebound to the negative trend.

  103. Of course since the satellite records are only 30 years old, its the 3rd lowest in 30 years, which is much less alarming. I like to think of it as the third highest in the last half decade, if we’re going to ignore context.

  104. John from CA says:
    September 16, 2010 at 8:10 am
    R. Gates says:
    September 16, 2010 at 7:20 am
    The trend continues down, and the only real discussion should be the reasons. AGW or some other cyclical and natural causes…
    =======
    I disagree. One of the things that triggered my interest in the Climate debate was the misrepresentation of information. Photoshop Polar Bears, misleading comparisons of polar ice, declarations about the Northwest Passage, inaccuracies in the media, projections that never occurred, etc.
    They say a picture tells a 1000 words so please take a look at the image above and compare it to either UI (30%-100%) or NSIDC (15%-100%). The image was either manipulated or the satellite is a piece of junk that only sees 50%+ ice extent. The image is extremely misleading in relation to the red outline showing “average extent” which should be much smaller if the 50% lower limit is imposed on 1979-2009.
    ______
    The photoshop alteration of Polar Bear pics is not the issue here…as the issue is the long-term trend. The Arctic Sea ice is in a long-term downward trend. One cannot look at this chart of the longest term reliable data from the 1979-2008 mean anomaly and see anything other than a long-term downward trend:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    If someone took poetic license to display this trend with a polar bear on a melting ice berg, then that has nothing to do with the the science or the data. Even strong AGW believers such as David Barber who is an expert is sea ice has stated that there is some evidence that Polar Bears migh actually, in some circumstances turn out benefiting from reduced sea ice.
    To move this conversation forward it is far more constructive to admit the longer term decline and look for causes and future projections. This nit-picking over every little wiggle on the way down to an ice-free summer Arctic is hardly constructive.

  105. Mark Adams says:
    September 16, 2010 at 9:26 am
    R Gates, April 29 2010:
    “As it stands right now, in late April 2010, I think we’ll see the 2nd lowest summer sea ice extent on record this September, the warmest year on instrument record globally, and a record low summer sea ice extent by 2015.”
    Sep. 16:
    “I respect them, I think that forecasters like Joe Bastardi and Steve Goddard will be proven to be quite wrong about the overall trend in Arctic Sea ice in the months and years to come.”
    Was your forecast for September proven correct?
    _____
    My forecast for this September was closer than Steve Goddard’s…but I’m not sure about Joe Bastardi’s. My larger point and larger concern is not about one season, but the longer term trend and causes. Joe and Steve both seem to think that the current longer term downward trend in Arctic Sea ice is going to reverse over the next few years and I disagree with that assessment. This probably goes back to our basic viewpoints where I think AGW is happening and is the likely cause for most of the Arctic Sea ice decline, and that’s why it will continue, and I think both Joe and Steve think otherwise.

  106. Doug Proctor says:
    September 16, 2010 at 9:28 am
    Reviewing this NOAA propaganda report wrt the WUWT Sea Ice graphs and maps, I wondered as follows:
    The Arctic sea-ice anomaly didn’t move into the negative territory until, at the earliest, 1995. This could be because it was thinning but not at the “disappearance” point before that. Is there ice thickness data from 1979 to 1995 to see when the thinning, if it was significant prior to 1995, occurred?
    Were ice to melt from top down or bottom up GLOBAL warming, the thinning would be seen in long-term, multi-decadal data. If the Arctic melt is dominantly a result of the PCO, with introduction of warmer waters through the Bering Strait, OR a change in wind patterns to concentrate the ice/cycle it faster across the Arctic and out Greenland way, the “thinning” will either not occur until we were substantially looking at new, i.e new thin ice, behaviour or will occur simultaneously with the 1995 reduction in extent.
    ____
    This notion is of course completely refuted by the larger increase in land temperatures in the Arctic regions than anywhere else on the planet over the past 30 years, as well the the increased melting of permafrost in the same Arctic regions. The area is simply getting warmer, the sea ice is declining on a year-to-year basis, permafrost is melting, and this is all been predicted by GCM’s when factoring in the 40% rise in CO2 since the 1700’s. The biggest fault with the GCM’s is that they don’t seem to factor in some of the positive feedback processes as well as they could, so the change is happening even faster than they predicted, but event like the increased frequency of the Arctic Dipole Anomaly might be one of the results of these positive feedbacks, stemming mostly from atmopheric changes coming as a result of more open water and warmer temps in the Arctic region.

  107. R Gates says…
    “Even strong AGW believers such as David Barber who is an expert is sea ice has stated that there is some evidence that Polar Bears migh actually, in some circumstances turn out benefiting from reduced sea ice.”
    Please do not ignore the sentence immediately after this one. “This is an area that requires more study.” He’s expressing that there are uncertainties. (The sign of a very good scientist.)

  108. Buffoon, Adams,
    Although you are pointedly displaying your biases, here is some info.
    Thickness – http://seaice.apl.washington.edu/ and graph from 1980 – http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/images/BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrent.png
    Trends in seasonal ice extent from 1900 – http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2007.jpg
    And
    Blade says:
    September 16, 2010 at 5:24 am
    … At best it is Elementary Statistics 101, but at worst, it is pure AGW propaganda. …
    Sorry, can’t figure out what you are ranting about. Do you think it is _not_ the third lowest? Or that there is _no_ decreasing trend? Or that pointing it out is a political act? What are “the facts” as you see them?
    Personally, it seems that someone in the media office made the mistake, not Walt Meier. And your enthusiasm for McCarthyist hearings is a little scary.

  109. K-Bob says: September 15, 2010 at 10:46 am
    I don’t think anyone would have a problem with an occasional error here or there, as things do happen. But….it apppears that the errors are almost always in the direction of “things are worst than expected”. This holds for virtually all of the climate data entities who are managed by AGW leaning individuals. If we point out an error, they simply say “oops”. If a skeptic makes an error, they are labeled as lying deniers!
    ______________________________________________________________
    Yes and notice the error was just in time for the mental midget media to pick up for screaming headlines about the Arctic sea ice loss the season. Retractions of course are never front page but always hidden on the last pages in tiny print if at all.
    If Marty and Anthony had not been so quick off the starting block I am sure we would see the dramatic decline in Sea Ice featured in the Huff and Puff and The Grauniad.
    OOPS, I was too optimistic. Huff & Puff September 16, 2010
    “WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted…
    Although last year was a slight improvement over previous years, Serreze says there’s been a long-term decline that he blames on global warming.
    “We’ll likely see more summers like this,” he said. “There is no sign of Arctic recovery.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/14/melting-sea-ice-forces-wa_n_715911.html

  110. Rob Honeycutt says:
    September 16, 2010 at 11:26 am
    R Gates says…
    “Even strong AGW believers such as David Barber who is an expert is sea ice has stated that there is some evidence that Polar Bears migh actually, in some circumstances turn out benefiting from reduced sea ice.”
    Please do not ignore the sentence immediately after this one. “This is an area that requires more study.” He’s expressing that there are uncertainties. (The sign of a very good scientist.)
    _______
    David Barber is an excellent scientist, and I tend to rate him as one of the top sea ice experts– at least that I pay attention to. Of course he indicated that further study needs to be done. I simply was pointing out that photoshopped polar bears on ice bergs has nothing to do with what real arctic sea ice experts are saying and more to do with metaphorical artistic license to display a complex subject in a way that makes a visual impact.

  111. “WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of walruses have come ashore in northwest Alaska because the sea ice they normally rest on has melted…
    Although last year was a slight improvement over previous years, Serreze says there’s been a long-term decline that he blames on global warming.
    “We’ll likely see more summers like this,” he said. “There is no sign of Arctic recovery.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/14/melting-sea-ice-forces-wa_n_715911.html
    ______
    Mark Serreze often tends to be a bit on the extreme end in his approach and even in his forecasts, but given how far off the GCM’s were in how quickly global sea ice would decline prior to 2007’s big decline, it is at least somewhat foregiveable. He’s shooting at a moving target that is trending down, but changing it’s rate of decline in a chaotic manner…i.e. it’s still going down, but in a unpredictable way…hmmm…kind of like a spiral (but a chaotic one). Still, Mark is correct in the bigger picture, as most sea ice experts are…we’ll see an ice free summer Arctic within the next 20 or so years.

  112. Fair enough R.Gates, I took a look at the UI chart you referenced.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but based solely on the chart:
    – trend from 1979 to 1995 is predominately positive not negative — a majority of the values are above 0
    – an anomaly occurred in 1995 and 1996
    – trend from 1997- 2003 is fairly flat but below 0
    – trend change down appears to begin in 2003
    – amplitude of the max to min in 1996 is nearly identical to the value in 2007 but the min to max in 2007-2008 is the largest recorded
    – trend from 2008-present is flat around -1
    So the question is, what changed in 1996-1997 and what changed again in 2003?
    Overall ENSO trends are interesting. Its a shame we don’t have data from 1957-1979.
    1950- 2010 ONI Data
    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

  113. Doug Procter-
    You seem to have a difficulty interpreting the significance of anomalies. Anomalies are always based on a reference period. Using the NSIDC as an example in which the reference period is currently almost the same as the total period pictured (it was not this way before Jan 2010 when the reference period jumped from a 20 to a 30 years, and the “negative” transition point jumped back a few years). Negative and positive are only relevant when comparing to the “average” for the period. Overall the trend has been negative over the whole measured period for any smoothed for more than a few years.
    Example: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    The “Arctic Ice Race” is always fun and it is interesting to see who gets their predictions right. Because of “noise” in the system everyone will get it more or less right sometimes as long as they stay relatively close to the overall trend. But the bottom line for climate is the overall trend. Individual annual ice races are similar to weather forecasting: they are very relevant on the short term, but Climate is longer term and involves human generations. Thirty years is often used as a reference point to establish trends because….well…for one reason; that is somewhat longer than the period frequently used to define a human “generation” and it is the next few human generations many of us concern ourselves with.
    Yes, it would be very nice to have more than 30 years of satellite data to reference from. We don’t.

  114. The clip that Rob Honeycutt linked to above is very interesting indeed. I suspect that many folks here will not bother to watch it because it deals with “climate” and most folks here seem to be much more interested in “weather”. It also requires a reasonable investment of time. For those interested in climate however it can be shortened somewhat by cutting off the first and last 10 minutes or so to get to Dr Barber’s most interesting points.
    (Repost of Rob’s link):
    http://video.hint.no/mmt201v10/osc/?vid=55

  115. “. . . nit-picking over every little wiggle . . . ” (R.Gates at 10:32)
    I agree. While it is good to keep the reports and the data accurate in a timely fashion there is entertainment value but otherwise important questions are sidetracked. Looking to the future, as those of you making predictions are doing, I ask that you state the parameters of the decline in Arctic Ocean ice that you believe should be accepted as indicating a major climatic happening. Are we looking for absolutely no ice for one week or two, or what number. Or will some ice, say less than 10% qualify, or some small number, say 50,000 sq. km? So decide on how this event shall be described and then you predictive-types can post your answers.

  116. Yuba Yollabolly says:
    September 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm
    Example: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    =====
    That’s the example R Gates also listed and the one I used for my last post. I have to agree with Doug Procter. Trend from 1979 to 1995 is predominately positive not negative — a majority of the values are above zero and its not 1 year.
    Note: part of the discussion related to the relevance of sea ice as an indicator of climate change revolves around longer natural cycles that the data doesn’t properly reflect. I’ll dig around and see if I can find the previous WUWT blogs related to this.

  117. John from CA wrote >>”Trend from 1979 to 1995 is predominately positive not negative — a majority of the values are above zero and its not 1 year.”
    The fact that most of the values plotted are above the “0” line is simple an indicator of those years’ positions in relationship to the average of the 30 year period. Their overall trend relative to each other is without a doubt negative. The value of the “0” line irrelevant in establishing this fact.
    >>”Note: part of the discussion related to the relevance of sea ice as an indicator of climate change revolves around longer natural cycles that the data doesn’t properly reflect. I’ll dig around and see if I can find the previous WUWT blogs related to this.”
    No weed to. I have heard it before.

  118. John from CA said…
    “Trend from 1979 to 1995 is predominately positive not negative.”
    It’s very interesting because in that same lecture from Dr Barber he says that when he started working in the arctic 25 years ago he was looking at the data and was skeptical about climate change. I think he said “in the 80’s he was skeptical.” Then in the 90’s he estimated ice free summers by 2100. Early 2000’s he said 2050. Now he’s saying the arctic will be ice free in the summer between 2016 and 2030.

  119. I have to agree with Yuba. Admittedly this is eyeballing it (always a dangerous activity without proper safety goggles) but I’d have to say the trend from 1979 is negative to 1995. At about 1995 it looks like the data is fairly even with the 79-08 mean. After that the trend is accelerating negative.
    The data is represented as anomaly from the mean.

  120. Rob Honeycutt wrote >> “It’s very interesting because in that same lecture from Dr Barber he says that when he started working in the arctic 25 years ago he was looking at the data and was skeptical about climate change. I think he said “in the 80′s he was skeptical.””
    A good point. Dr Barber is obvous a skeptic since he was suspicious of data over a questionably significant time period. Now we have ~ twice as much data and the data trend not only continues to be downward but does so at an accelerating rate…

  121. Guilty as charged, I was eyeballing the chart and laughing at the thought of drawing a red line showing the trend on an anomaly chart that “assumes” the period is a reasonable baseline to establish the “0”.
    see:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/25/warming-trend-pdo-and-solar-correlate-better-than-co2/
    How Spitsbergen Heats the World
    The Arctic Warming 1919-1939

    ebook: http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/chapter_1.html
    “… At the change of the millennium the Arctic temperatures were as high as in the late 1930s. Latest when the warming returned in the 1980s it was high time to investigate and explain the previous warming since the late 1910s. That was 30 years ago. But nothing has been done. Many hundred papers were published, but the “climatic revolution” (Ahlmann, 1946) and what made it happen had not been regarded as worth to receive the required attention.”
    “Instead of explaining the first warming that happened under the eyes and observations of modern science, the issue is pushed aside by claiming “natural variability”. That is a non explanation. It generates a wrong impression. If a hurricane destroys New Orleans, it was a hurricane that destroyed the city and not “natural variability”. If a tsunami sinks dozen of ships, a tsunami sank the ships. If the West Spitsbergen Current warmed the Arctic, than it was a branch of the Gulf Current that increased the Arctic temperatures. It was therefore necessary to establish to the point, that the warming started at Spitsbergen in winter 1918/19, that this even affected the temperatures in Greenland from ca. 1920 to 1933, and in the East of Spitsbergen the warming lasted until the early 1940s. Concerning Europe there was a warming over two decades from ca. 1920 to 1940, but this warming was presumably not generated alone from the Arctic region, but has had a regional or continental component as well. Current Arctic research should understand what had caused the Big Spitsbergen warming early last century.”
    Surface Currents in the Atlantic Ocean
    http://oceancurrents.rsmas.miami.edu/atlantic/spitsbergen_3.html
    Trends in thickness and extent of seasonal pack ice, Canadian Beaufort Sea
    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. xx, Lxxxxx, doi:10.1029/2005GLxxxxx, 2005
    4. Conclusions

    “[24] Data from conventional ice reconnaissance over the last 36 years suggest little net change in ice conditions over the Beaufort shelves, despite dramatic decrease in summertime ice over the south-western Canada Basin.”
    “[25] Measurements of surface air temperature at a nearby coastal site reveal warming by 1.6±0.4°C since 1974. The estimated impact of warming since 1991 is reduced ice growth by 0.04 m. Impact on ablation is difficult to quantify.”
    “[26] Definitive evidence for climate-change impact on seasonal ice will require time series much longer than those presently available.”
    “[27] Mechanisms other than air temperature – snow cover, ice circulation and ridging – are plausible contributors to variability and trend in the thickness and extent of seasonal ice.”

  122. This is consistent with the observations of the Canadian Ice Service which has also commented on temp. and melt running a week early.
    So, if temp and melt are running early in a solar minimum, its probably fair to poke it with a stick and call it an anomaly but its hardly a trend.
    The recent Arctic warm period
    Article first published online: 21 APR 2008
    source: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2008.00327.x/abstract
    ABSTRACT
    “Arctic winter, spring and autumn surface air temperature (SAT) anomalies and associated sea level pressure (SLP) fields have decidedly different spatial patterns at the beginning of the 21st century (2000–2007) compared to most of the 20th century; we suggest calling this recent interval the Arctic warm period. For example, spring melt date as measured at the North Pole Environmental Observatory (2002–2007) is 7 d earlier than the records from the Russian North Pole stations (1937–1987) and statistically different at the 0.05 level. The 20th century was dominated by the two main climate patterns, the Arctic Oscillation/Northern Annular Mode (AO/NAM) and the Pacific North American-like (PNA*) pattern. The predominately zonal winds associated with the positive phases of these patterns contribute to warm anomalies in the Arctic primarily over their respective Eastern and Western Hemisphere land areas, as in 1989–1995 and 1977–1987. In contrast, SAT in winter (DJF) and spring (MAM) for 2000–2007 show an Arctic-wide SAT anomaly of greater than +1.0°C and regional hot spots over the central Arctic of greater than +3.0°C. Unlike the AO and PNA*, anomalous geostrophic winds for 2000–2007 often tended to blow toward the central Arctic, a meridional wind circulation pattern. In spring 2000–2005, these winds were from the Bering Sea toward the North Pole, whereas in 2006–2007 they were mostly from the eastern Barents Sea. A meridional pattern was also seen in the late 1930s with anomalous winter (DJFM) SAT, at Spitzbergen, of greater than +4°C. Both periods suggest natural atmospheric advective contributions to the hot spots with regional loss of sea ice. Recent warm SAT anomalies in autumn are consistent with climate model projections in response to summer reductions in sea ice extent. The recent dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice appears to be due to a combination of a global warming signal and fortuitous phasing of intrinsic climate patterns.”

  123. Between now and 2015, (i.e. during at least one of the summers in that time frame), Arctic Sea ice will drop to 2.5 million sq. km. minimum, then, by early 2020’s it will close in on 1.0 million sq. km. summmer minimum, it will be “virtually ice free” during the 2020’s (less than 1.0 million sq. km. at the summer low) and then slowly slide down to be truly ice free in the summer by the late 2020’s to 2030. At least, that’s what the current long term trends indicate, but of course, there could (and likely will be) sudden and unexpected changes, based on the fact that the Arctic is a system that is being pushed toward a chaotic and unpredictable state, subject to all the inherent surprizes, that are unpredictable, but completely deterministic. These surprises will likely be for rapid ice loss, not gain…and if it is gain, it will be like this year’s surprising “bump up” in March-April, when the AGW skeptics declared the Arctic was “recovering” but by May and June, we saw record declines for those months when all that “bump up” ice, which was thin, melted very rapidly.

  124. John from CA. – Yes, there are many factors in play with the Arctic ice. That is why the charts have so many wiggles in them. Several of these factors are discussed by Dr Barber in the presentation Rob linked to above. Dr Barber also discusses a source of error in satellite observations.
    I admit that it would be much more enlightening if we had another century of satellite data.

  125. “chaotic and unpredictable state, subject to all the inherent surprizes, that are unpredictable, but completely deterministic”
    deterministic chaos?
    completely deterministic unpredictability?
    Would you believe, completly predictible suprises?
    How about chaoticly normal cycles of predictible surprises?
    No, ok, ok, try this; Completly predictible unexpected cycles of surprises.
    Sounds like the objectives of a video game developer.
    It is to laugh.
    You have been overcome.

  126. …. A Second 50K Plus Melt !- – the Minimum lasted about 6 hours !
    Daily JAXA:_______2007___ to___ 2010__& My Weather predictions
    Spt_12-13______ -_4,219 ____+__3,750 (Anti-Dipole)
    Spt_13-14______ – 32,500_____- 10,156 – weird __
    Spt_14-15______ – 23,437_____ – 50,156 __
    Spt_15-16______ -__157 _____ – 55,625 High over Pole (clear?)
    15th looked 1/2-clear but 16th brought Clouds http://ice-map.appspot.com
    PS: when _I_ look at the Cryosphere Timeseries, I see STEPS down especially 1990, 1997, not a continuous slide – – albeit from 2004 there is a “slide” IF:
    – -You ignore 2007’s minimum. And:
    – – From 2008, the Winter Maximum has been is going UP – – even as Summers STILL decline !
    I think this is the 60-year Cycle.
    A good Illustration is : (Look down on the page & ignore the Mid-1960s Volcanos) http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/index.html
    After the turn-to-Cool years: 2007 & 1947 (60 years before – – get it ? ), the Ice is so Thin, that even though the COOLING Half of the Cycle has begun (as we see from Winter Ice Extent Growing) starting with thin ice results in enough Summer Open Water, to absorb enough Sunlight, to keep it thin . This “Thin Ice Time” will persist (after 1947 it kept going lower for an extra 7 years) until:
    (1) It all melts off (which takes several rare El Nino WITHOUT CLOUDS, like 2007)
    (2) an El Nino + Volcano (the more common event) these make so much Ice they are the “step UP” that kills the “Thin Ice Time”.
    until a new “Thin Ice Time” arises … 50+ years from Now.

  127. jakers [September 16, 2010 at 11:46 am] says:
    Sorry, can’t figure out what you are ranting about. Do you think it is _not_ the third lowest? Or that there is _no_ decreasing trend? Or that pointing it out is a political act? What are “the facts” as you see them?

    Of course you cannot figure it out. So, we’ll try again, try to keep up please. First I said:
    “Examine that last paragraph in the top post:”

    “Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.”

    Then I said:
    “There is nothing Scientific about that bolded phrase (unless you count political science as Science). At best it is Elementary Statistics 101, but at worst, it is pure AGW propaganda. It is actually spin that dilutes/undoes the correction that Anthony instigated.”
    The first sentence is objective Science. Then it becomes a subjective comment which constitutes advocacy. That fact that you cannot see pre-meditated bias coming from a taxpayer funded agency (or its subcontractors) speaks very badly about you.

    jakers [September 16, 2010 at 11:46 am] says:
    Personally, it seems that someone in the media office made the mistake, not Walt Meier. And your enthusiasm for McCarthyist hearings is a little scary.

    Well I guess you just called Meier a communist, a freudian slip? That is the danger of using deperate analogies though.
    Congress is the only branch that can hold civil servants accountable, (at the moment that is, because the taxpayers are coming and we are mightily pissed). Your slimy attempt to discredit congressional oversight of our money as McCarthyism shows just how low the warmies are willing to sink.
    While I am at it let me say this: unless you are in fact a taxpayer to this multi-trillion dollar keynesian nightmare of a federal government, then, with all due respect, butt out. If you are a taxpayer then I suggest you simply say something like: “waste all of my money that you want!“. But what you do not get to do though, is to tell me to accept it.

  128. How trivial, such desperation.
    “NOAA’s sea ice blunder”?
    “Arctic sea ice reaches annual minimum extent
    Arctic sea ice APPEARS to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the trend of decreasing summer sea ice.”
    The extent dropped 116,000 sq/km after a three day rise of 57,000 making the melt season longer by 6 days, with perhaps more to come. The 2010 melt season started 26 days later than 2009 but gained only 90,000 sq/km of very thin ice over that period. Given the late start and the ongoing melt, the 2010 melt rate left 2009 aghast. Add a large volume loss and that doesn’t bode well for the arctic ‘recovery’.

  129. R. Gates and Yuba Yollabolly,
    Thanks but the point for me is fairly simple. No one has the answer to settle the issue so projections of an ice free Arctic are fundamentally irrelevant.
    Based on one study I read related to sediment samples taken from the North Pole, an ice free North Pole has clearly happened in the past and coastal cities are not going to get washed away if it happens again.
    The one thing we know, the Arctic melts and freezes over every year. It simply isn’t a concern if it all melts because it will simply freeze over again. If someone is projecting that the Arctic will be ice free at its maximum, I’m all ears but the probability of that occurring due to GHGs is zero.
    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of Stewardship, I simply don’t support Carbon tax fraud and a plan that perpetuates pollution.
    I’m also a big fan of NOAA, NASA, and see the logic underlying the unification of sciences in the pursuit of modeling but it would be nice if the facts were presented correctly and in context.
    Thanks to the blogs, I can now conclude that the gloom and doom related to Arctic sea ice is little more than sophomoric media drivel. But I agree, the attempt to quantify the underlying factors is fascinating.
    Maybe the media will finally use some common sense and stop scaring children and tell the real story — the science is NOT settled.

  130. R. Gates and Yuba Yollabolly,
    Thanks but the point for me is fairly simple. No one has the answer to settle the issue so projections of an ice free Arctic are fundamentally irrelevant.
    Based on one study I read related to sediment samples taken from the North Pole, an ice free North Pole has clearly happened in the past and coastal cities are not going to get washed away if it happens again.
    The one thing we know, the Arctic melts and freezes over every year. It simply isn’t a concern if it all melts because it will simply freeze over again. If someone is projecting that the Arctic will be ice free at its maximum, I’m all ears but the probability of that occurring due to GHGs is zero.
    Please don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of Stewardship, I simply don’t support Carbon tax fraud and a plan that perpetuates pollution.
    I’m also a big fan of NOAA, NASA, and see the logic underlying the unification of sciences and the pursuit of models but it would be nice if the facts were presented correctly and in context.
    Thanks to the blogs, I can now conclude that the gloom and doom related to Arctic sea ice is little more than sophomoric media drivel. But I agree, the attempt to quantify the underlying factors is fascinating.
    Maybe the media will finally use some common sense, stop scaring children, and tell the real story; the Science is NOT settled.

  131. Blade says:
    September 17, 2010 at 2:59 am …
    Ah, you so smart, me so stupid. No understand “subjective”.
    “The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.”
    Which part not correct, as asked before?
    “If it were up to me they would drag him in front of a congressional committee and have him explain who he fired for that little AGW snipe, then demand his resignation.”
    Ah, this was about money! Hm, me no understand at all now.

  132. John-
    >>”…an ice free North Pole has clearly happened in the past and coastal cities are not going to get washed away if it happens again.”
    Actually there is considerable evidence that during the last interglacial sea levels were several meters higher than they are now.
    1 example: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-11/jcu-rwo110806.php
    I too am a fan of NASA and NOAA, but I admit this was a blunder. What has concerned me even more about NOAA has been a recently series of press conferences concerning the Gulf oil spill where NOAA spokesmen have made a series of proclamations dismissing the severity of the spill impact and dismissing the validity of studies that have in retrospect been closer to the mark than NOAA’s proclamations were.
    I think these are outside the paywall:
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100810/full/466802a.html
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100804/full/466680a.html
    arch

  133. Andrew30 says:
    September 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm
    “chaotic and unpredictable state, subject to all the inherent surprizes, that are unpredictable, but completely deterministic”
    deterministic chaos?
    completely deterministic unpredictability
    _________
    Andrew, if you think that chaotic systems can’t be deterministic, you may want to do a bit more research on the issue. Start piling up one grain of sand at a time on a table, and eventually the pile will grow and get to a point that it will collapse. That point, completely determined by the laws of physics, is still completely chaotic and unpredictable. Chaos theory does not say things don’t have causes, just that we can’t predict exactly when there will be a tipping point in a system, as that system seeks a new point of equalibrium. 2007 may have been a small tipping point for the Arctic, as it certainly was way off the charts for even what GCM’s said was going to happen. Now we are just seeing of 2007’s low Arctic ice extent is a new equalibrium point, or will there be a “recovery” (certainly not this year), or, since we continue to pile on new grains of CO2 to the sandpile of the atmosphere, will there be yet another tipping point out there where the Arctic collapses rapidly down once more. I think the odds favor this later possibility…

  134. Yuba,
    Good point about sea level, glacial areas have been a lot warmer and a lot colder in the past.
    I ran across a really fascinating study about the Bering Strait during the last glacial.
    Apparently, the Bering Strait is 49M deep at its lowest point, as the oceans dropped by 120-140M (in dispute as to the true drop), the fresher Pacific (total of about 1/3 of the fresh water input to the Arctic) was cut off from the Arctic Ocean.
    This drop not only created the Bering land bridge which helps to account for archeological discoveries in Alaska and the Aleutians (including human artifacts dating to 11,400 – 13,300 years cal BP) but due to the drop in the Arctic Ocean helps to explain the Mammoths found on the New Siberian Islands off the coast of Siberia North of Indigirka River.
    from the study
    The simulations accounted for the changes in sea level, revealing a recurring pattern-each time playing out over several thousand years-in which the reopening and closing of the strait had a far-reaching impact on ocean currents and ice sheets.
    
• As the climate cooled because of changes in Earth’s orbit, northern ice sheets expanded. This caused sea levels to drop worldwide, forming a land bridge from Asia to North America and nearly closing the Bering Strait.

    • With the flow of relatively fresh water from the Pacific to the Atlantic choked off, the Atlantic grew more saline. The saltier and heavier water led to an intensification of the Atlantic’s meridional overturning circulation, a current of rising and sinking water that, like a conveyor belt, pumps warmer water northward from the tropics.

    • This circulation warmed Greenland and parts of North America by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius)-enough to reverse the advance of ice sheets in those regions and reduce their height by almost 400 feet (112 meters) every thousand years. Although the Pacific cooled by an equivalent amount, it did not have vast ice sheets that could be affected by the change in climate.
    
• Over thousands of years, the Greenland and North American ice sheets melted enough to raise sea levels and reopen the Bering Strait.

    • The new inflow of fresher water from the Pacific weakened the meridional  overturning circulation, allowing North America and Greenland to cool over time. The ice sheets resumed their advance, sea levels dropped, the Bering Strait again mostly closed, and the entire cycle was repeated.

    The combination of the ocean circulation and the size of the ice sheets-which exerted a cooling effect by reflecting sunlight back into space-affected climate throughout the world. The computer simulations showed that North America and Eurasia warmed significantly during the times when the Bering Strait was open, with the tropical and subtropical Indian and Pacific Oceans, as well as Antarctica, warming slightly.
    Based on the study, fresh water inflow, salinity, and the Atlantic’s meridional overturning circulation are key factors.
    The dynamics of Arctic sea ice are amazing. Its a real shame its all been condemned to a CO2 discussion.
    I agree with your comments about NOAA.

  135. Sorry, here’s the link:

    Bering Strait influenced ice age climate patterns worldwide
http://www2.ucar.edu/news/bering-strait-influenced-ice-age-climate-patterns-worldwide

  136. Ok Mr Gates…will I have any winter to speak of up in my beloved West virginia Alpps once the Arctic goes Ice free?…Canaan Valley,WV used to have a 150 inch per year Snow Ave but if you take the last 6 years the average has gone up to 188 inches a year…When will we see that snow ave decline or disappear? I need to know a good time to sell my ski camp & move up to New Hampshire to get my Snow fix.
    I can grow 5 kinds of Palms in my back yard, when should I start planting Coconut palms down here in SE NC?..serious questions here..thanks for any response.

  137. R. Gates says:
    September 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm
    “Now we are just seeing of 2007′s low Arctic ice extent is a new equalibrium point, or will there be a “recovery” (certainly not this year), or, since we continue to pile on new grains of CO2 to the sandpile of the atmosphere, will there be yet another tipping point out there where the Arctic collapses rapidly down once more. I think the odds favor this later possibility…”
    ================
    Do not, the known climate cycles, plus solar cycles suggest otherwise?
    Catastrophic collapse, while exciting, does not look likely during the current cooling cycle, the warming has turned to cooling. Check the SST’s for confirmation.

  138. Mr, Gates.
    If system is deterministic and you know the present state then you can know the immediate prior state and the immediate next state. A deterministic system is not chaotic.

    Deterministic: Adjective
    deterministic (comparative more deterministic, superlative most deterministic) of, or relating to determinism
    (mathematics, of a Turing machine) having at most one instruction associated with any given internal state
    (physics, of a system) Having exactly predictable time evolution.
    (computing, of an algorithm) Having each state depend only on the immediately previous state, as opposed to having some states depend on backtracking where there may be multiple possible next actions and no way to choose between them except by trying each one and backtracking upon failure

    So, what is you private definition of the word ‘deterministic’ that includes allows an unknown pre-state or an unknown post-state (or both as per your sand analogy)?
    PS. Quantum mechanics is not deterministic.

  139. jakers [September 17, 2010 at 8:52 am] says:
    Which part not correct, as asked before?

    (Sigh) Give me strength 😮 Hundreds of posts in tons of threads have given the answer already!

    “Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008, and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.”

    How about we start with:

    ‘Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the third-lowest in the satellite record, after 2007 and 2008 and continues the long-term trend of decreasing summer sea ice.’

    Certainly you can agree that that last bit is propaganda. There is no “long-term” anything in a collection of thirty numbers (check back in 100-150 years for verification when there are 130 or 180 datapoints).
    Secondly, Since no-one actually knows where the trend is going it is utterly ridiculous to state what they did: “trend of decreasing summer sea ice”.
    Thirdly, since the “satellite record” begins at a possible PEAK of ice extent (remember the late 1970’s: the ice age is coming!), utilizing that phrase in the original manner is cherry picking in the worse way. Seriously, if you were to graph half-hourly temps starting at 2pm through 2am, what would the graph look like? Would your press release say: This latest reading continues the long-term trend of decreasing temperatures seen in the 24 datapoints?
    An obvious way to parody this propaganda (which has been pointed out by others) would be:

    ‘Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the 27th highest in the satellite record.

    Honestly (and respectfully), has it even crossed your mind that there may now be an upward swing from a low minimum summer extent, and that that swing will not be a straight-line linear graph, it may resemble what most real graphs show: a sawtooth pattern (and yep, it could even dip below 2007 yet still continue a long-term rise). Sir, you have to first break out of the box that Serreze locked your mind in. He does not know, nor do we. Hence my disputing of the dead-sure AGW wording above. It’s simple. Open your mind.
    Now if you are willing to do that for a moment you will realize that say, in 2013 or 2017 this may be the press release:

    ‘Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the 22nd highest in the satellite record, and continues the long-term trend of increasing summer sea ice since the minimum of 2007.‘ 😉

    And further in the future, say 2037 it is possible that it may say:

    ‘Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the tied for the highest ever seen in the satellite record.‘ 😉

    Perhaps we can agree that this press release would be actual bad news:

    ‘Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum extent on 10 September. The minimum ice extent was the highest ever seen in the satellite record, toppling eight previous records set within the past decade. This extent reached the lowest latitude ever seen since the start of the current interglacial‘ 😉

    jakers [September 17, 2010 at 8:52 am] says:

    If it were up to me they would drag him in front of a congressional committee and have him explain who he fired for that little AGW snipe, then demand his resignation.

    Ah, this was about money! Hm, me no understand at all now.

    Yes, this is about our money! What the heck do you think I meant? Taxpayer funding of that AGW snipe is not acceptable. Any taxpayer funded scientist that drifts into advocacy and propaganda should be fired ASAP. If they want to engage in pop-science, get the heck out of government.
    Oh, but let me guess, you were actually hinting at some kind of faux Galileo crucification complex, right? To you, the AGW cult repesents the noble scientist and we taxpayers are an inquisition or something? Well, like I said before (and with all due respect), they have placed you into a box and you don’t even realize it. You cannot see anything outside of it at all. Break free man!

  140. fishnski says:
    September 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    —-
    Google climate change v weather. Your local weather proves nothing.

  141. Walt Mieir pointed out to me that the Pic at the top of this pasge – – NOAA’s METOP – – is described by NOAA itself as “experimental”. Sea Ice Outlook network was buzzing with comments on the Minimum & Kathleen’s spirited Defense of NOAA’s own ice-margin technique versus NSIDC’s.
    Perhaps the Wild swings of METOP in the past few days are “pushing” them
    . – – I shared a Chart of 13 Sites with Sea Ice Data or Graphs (below: the longer numbers are the Data).
    … 6 Sites set a new Minimum, Spt 14 or later..
    … 6 are still above Spt 10

    … 1 Graph was “flat” the 7th through 14th (Topaz/SSMI/AREA).
    The amazing thing is that despite the fact that Every Site is different – – they DO have a SET ORDER. – – Looking at each site by itself, it SEEMS like it is jumping around a lot – – but they never Cross lanes.
    This speaks a Lot for the Internal Accuracy of ALL.
    FORMAT: entries right of Sept, are of the form ” 10=4.33_5.00=16 ” which means: Minimum Day was the 10th, Minimum = 4.33 … Last Day with a reading is the 16th. Three times I use ~ …. ~ means”nearly” equal … for an “almost” second Minimum.
    Type/Satellite/site/Year:_____2007._____ 2008 _____ 2009______2010 Spt 1/Min./Newest
    AREA AMSR CRYO/ijis__ 2.919439__3.003556__3.426598____ 3.24_ 8=3.072__3.237=16
    30%Ext.SSMI DMI______ 3.06_______3.41______3.84_______ 4.00__17=3.60_3.69=18 .
    AREA Amsr at Topaz_________________________4.40____T__ 4.07__8=3.93 __4.09=16
    AREA SSMI ROOS_______ 3.62 _____3.87 _____4.61_______ 4.30__9=4.1 ___4.19=16
    ” Nansen (=Norsex save 2007)_3.2937_*see note)_____________ 4.351_=”9=4.121
    _4.193 Area SSMI @ Topaz____________________4.82_____T__7-thru-14=4.36_4.43=16
    ” NATICE____3-day average_________________________Spt_8=4.9969__Min=4.9428=15
    15% Extent_Amsr_Bremen__4.32*______4.63*____5.31*_______ 5.00_10=4.63~ 4.65=18
    “Ext.SSMI NSIDC________4.13_______4.52_____5.10________ 5.2__10=4.76~ 4.79=16
    “EXTENT JAXA/IJIS_____4.267344__4.707823___5.291094____ 5.33____Min=4.832=16
    “Ext.AMSR @ Topaz_________________________5.47______T_ 5.42__Min=5.07=15&16
    “Ext.SSMI Norsex/ROOS___4.74______5.23_____5.88_________ 6.17__13-14=5.54~ 5.58=16
    — Glitch distorted Norsex/ROOS on Spt 13/14 so Min could be (?) —
    “Ext.SSMI @ Topaz__________________________6.04______T_ 6.26_____Min=5.69=16
    Re 2010 vs 2008 Equalled at Bremen, DMI … IF deduct Polar Holes, JAXA beat 2008 + Maybe even 2007 (see note #4 below)
    Notes:
    (1) Norsex added 10% to Older Data to match the Newer Algorithm (older value still extant on the parent Nansen site http://www.nersc.no/main/index2.php.
    (2) I have assumed TOPEX’s legend has SWITCHED AMSR for SSMI, as AMSR typically gives Lower values elsewhere – – Think of them as “the bigger one” and “the smaller one”.
    (3). TOPAZ _EXCLUDES_ the (East) Greenland Sea as ‘Atlantic not Arctic’
    (4). Polar Hole: the central 310,000 sq. km area is not imaged by AMSR or SSMI (though some sites adjust: see below)… Areas perhaps ought to be reduced by 73,000-to-87,000 for the “holes” counted in 2010 pics (in other years: only ’08 ha a “Few” ) Calculated by “Artful Dodger” (a blogger) see:
    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2010/09/north-hole.html?cid=6a0133f03a1e37970b0133f3d73dff970b#comment-6a0133f03a1e37970b0133f3d73dff970b
    (4a) NSIDC says it assumes ZERO Ice there. And Pre-1988 that is for 1,190,000 km.
    (4b) CRYOSHPERE TODAY deducts an average = the Open Water % within 72 miles of the Hole: cf: Neven comment (in same post as above: a bit later Spt 6 @ 4:05).
    Sources:
    Cryo AREA at: http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.anom.1979-2008
    DMI 30% Ext.at: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
    Bergen University:
    _Nansen AREA at http://www.nersc.no/main/index2.php (bottom of page)
    _Topex at: http://arctic-roos.org/forecasting-services/topaz/topaz-model-forecast
    _NORSEX/ROOS at http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
    HAMBURG ftp://ftp-projects.zmaw.de/seaice/AMSR-E_ASI_IceConc/area-extent/ but updates ?Monthly
    NATICE http://www.natice.noaa.gov/ims
    BREMEN AMSR at: http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ice_ext_n.png
    NSIDC: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png
    JAXA Extent at: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv
    … “Cryo” Data is from JAXA/ijis also.

  142. Andrew30 writes,
    “A deterministic system is not chaotic.”
    Yes, they can be, and R. Gates is correct on this point as on many others.

  143. Let me try to fit that Chart in again:
    Type/Satellite/site/Year:_____2007.____ 2008 _____2010 Spt 1/Min./Newest
    AREA AMSR CRYO/ijis__ 2.919439__3.003556__ 3.24_8=3.072__3.237=16
    30%Ext.SSMI DMI______ 3.06______3.41____17=3.60_3.69=18
    AREA Amsr at Topaz_____________________T__ 4.07__ 8=3.93__4.09=16
    AREA SSMI ROOS______ 3.62 _____3.87______ 4.30__9=4.1___4.19=16
    ” Nansen=Norsex save 2007_3.2937_*see note)_____4.351_9=4.121
    _4.193 Area SSMI @ Topaz_________________T__7-thru-14=4.36_4.43=16
    ” NATICE____3-day average_____________Spt_8=4.9969__Min=4.9428=15
    15% Extent_Amsr_Bremen__4.32*_____4.63*_____ 5.00_10=4.63~ 4.65=18
    “Ext.SSMI NSIDC________4.13______4.52______ 5.2__10=4.76~ 4.79=16
    “EXTENT JAXA/IJIS_____4.267344__4.707823___ 5.33____Min=4.832=16
    “Ext.AMSR @ Topaz_______________________T_ 5.42__Min=5.07=15&16
    “Ext.SSMI Norsex/ROOS___4.74_____5.23_______6.2_13-14=5.54~5.58=16
    — Glitch distorted Norsex/ROOS on Spt 13/14 so Min could be (?) —
    “Ext.SSMI @ Topaz________________________T_ 6.26_____Min=5.69=16

  144. Over at the Polar Science Center at the University of Washington data of the sea ice volume and their trend can be seen:
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php
    It believe the sea ice volume is much more important than the extent and according to that 2010 shows a drastic new minimum.
    Another article here is also informative:
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/28/arctic-sea-ice-volume-northwest-passage-david-barber-antarctic-sea-ice/

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