Sea Ice News #23, plus a bonus NOAA sea ice blunder

NOTE: This post has several images, including two animations. Those on slower connections, please be patient while they load.

This week, I suppose the best word to describe the status of Arctic sea ice would be “uncertainty”. I alluded to this uncertainty (due to weather) in Sea Ice News 22 saying:

While the vagaries of wind and weather can still produce an about-face, indications are that the 2010 Arctic sea ice melt season may have turned the corner, earlier than last year.

By all indications it certainly looked like we reached a minimum, the extent data went up for three days straight and  NSIDC officially called the minimum on 9/15:

The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year. It was the third-lowest extent recorded since satellites began measuring minimum sea ice extent in 1979. This year’s minimum extent fell below the 2009 minimum extent and above the minimum extents in 2008 and 2007.

Then defying even the experts, it started back down again.

The only thing that has gone down and stayed down this past week is Arctic temperature above 80°N as seen in this DMI plot:

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

The good news is that Arctic Ice extent has not gone below the 2008 value yet, and seems to be making a slight turn up again:

click to enlarge

Here’s a zoomed view:

Here’s the most recent JAXA data, including the preliminary Sept 19th data, which will be updated again at 8AM PST Sept 20th.

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

09,01,2010,5332344

09,02,2010,5304219

09,03,2010,5245625

09,04,2010,5192188

09,05,2010,5136094

09,06,2010,5093281

09,07,2010,5027188

09,08,2010,4989375

09,09,2010,4972656

09,10,2010,4952813

09,11,2010,4986406

09,12,2010,5005000

09,13,2010,5008750

09,14,2010,4998594

09,15,2010,4948438

09,16,2010,4890938

09,17,2010,4842031

09,18,2010,4813594

09, 19,2010, 4822500

Source: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/plot.csv

The US Navy Ice Thickness forecast plot shows that we still have a lot of 2 and 3 meter thick ice, but that it is mainly concentrated near Northern Canada and Greenland:

Source: http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/pips2/archive/

What I find most interesting though is the wind driven sea ice displacement plots. For example this one from the NAVY PIPS output:

The strongest vectors of the wind driven displacement are where the NAVY PIPS thickness plot show the greatest areas of thickness, Northern Canada near Ellesmere Island and Northern Greenland.

An overlay of the thickness and wind driven displacement vectors shows where the ice is being pushed to. The longest vectors show the greatest displacement in the direction of the arrow:

While the graphic overlay I made is not a perfect match, it is very close.

Since in the first temperature graphic from DMI, it is clear that average temperatures at 80°N and above are well below the freezing point of saltwater/seawater, which is approximately 271.15 kelvin (-2°C) See the line I’ve added below in magenta.

And that the majority of the remaining arctic ice is at 80°N or above in latitude, as seen in the PIPS map above and backed up by this map from UUIC/Cryosphere Today:

It suggests that like in 2007, wind is a more significant factor in sea ice depletion than from melting, especially this past week where the DMI temperature drop shows well below freezing point of sea ice temperature at 80°N and above.

WUWT regulars may recall I reported on this NASA JPL study that suggests winds may play a key role in pushing Arctic sea ice into lower latitudes where it melts. The author suggests winds may be the dominant factor in the 2007 record low ice extent:

Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds. “Unusual atmospheric conditions set up wind patterns that compressed the sea ice, loaded it into the Transpolar Drift Stream and then sped its flow out of the Arctic,” he said. When that sea ice reached lower latitudes, it rapidly melted in the warmer waters.

Interestingly we can now watch this actually happen thanks to an animation of AMSER-E satellite 89Ghz sounder images. Koji Shimada of JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology ). See the animation below (note- size is 7.1 MB, this may take awhile to fully load):

arctic_amsr-e_flow_animation-40

Greenland is in the upper right, Alaska lower right

If you want more detail, a full sized Video animation is available here as a flash video or here as an AVI file (highest quality 7.3 MB)  A hat tip to WUWT commenter Bill and to Thomas Homer-Dixon for this video.

What is interesting about this video is that you can watch sea ice being flushed out of the Arctic sea and pushed along Greenland’s east coast, where it then finds its way into warmer waters and melts. Also note how in the lower right, in the Beaufort sea, older multiyear ice gets fractured and broken up as winds and currents stress it.

While indeed we can watch some of the Arctic sea “melt in place” during this animation in the fall of 2007, we can also see that winds and currents are a significant contributor to breaking up the sea ice and transporting it to warmer latitudes.

I’m hoping JAXA will produce a similar video for the 2010 melt season.

UPDATE: Ron de Haan reports in comments this finding below. He says “sea ice has grown”. It sure looks like thickness has increased, doesn’t it?

He notes this from Pierre Gosselin’s No Tricks Zone. Pierre writes:

But now take a look at the following chart that compares September 1 ice to September 18 ice. Which would you prefer to be standing on?

These charts are taken from: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi

Which ice looks thicker?

Don’t sweat the ice area statistics. The thickness is much greater today, and we could even say the volume is likely more.  Arctic temperatures above 80°N have been colder this summer and September. The ice area will rebound quickly, of course. I projected a 5.75 million sq km min. for 2011 a couple weeks back. I’m sticking to it.

BONUS:

Finally, WUWT readers may recall that earlier in the week, I caught NOAA saying that 2010 was the “second lowest extent on record” when it wasn’t, and with the help of Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC got them to correct that blunder.

The screencap of the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory also had another apparent error on it. Note the ice depicted withing the red “Average Extent 1979-2009” line below.

A number of WUWT readers pointed out that the presentation was biased and it appears that the ice edge was based on a 90% or greater extent, and not the 15% everyone else in the sea ice business uses. I fired off another letter to Walt Meier on the issue, but I never heard anything concrete back from him on the issue. But, it appears the message got through one way or another.

Now have a look at that web page today:

Notice anything different? Here’s the blink comparator of the before and after sea ice extent visualization image. NOTE: You may have to click on it if not blinking in your browser.

Click for a larger image if not blinking

Looks like somebody at NOAA had to fess up to the fact that what they were presenting earlier in the week was grossly biased in the way it presented Arctic sea ice extent, making it look like there was far less ice than there actually is.

Again I ask, why is it us bloggers and members of the public are the ones that have to keep pointing these things out? Maybe we should be the ones getting compensated for our time.

To the credit of the NOAA Vizualation Lab, they fixed the problems we pointed out to them, and reasonably quickly. My thanks to Dr. Walt Meier of NSIDC for his help. Compare the response this week to that of Dr. Mike Mann with his still inverted Tiljander proxies and stations with messed up latitude and longitude that are still in his supplemental data years later, after numerous people have pointed it out.

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FYI: the blink comparator isn’t blinking
REPLY: sometimes, depending on your browser, you have to click on it to get it to go. I’ll add a note. – Anthony

R. de Haan
Bill Illis

How do we know it is 22% below average.
Well, we don’t know because nobody knows what the sea ice extent average is for September 15th from 1979 to 2009.
Jaxa shows it is currently lower than the 2003 to 2009 average but that is all we can say. (I might also add that many pro-AGW scientists are not very good at basic math and I have seen this time and again).

savethesharks

Excellent post!

savethesharks

Meanwhile….OT but over from Icecap:
Lisa Jackson, don’t mess with Texas!
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?id=3484
Chris

John F. Hultquist

Over the past two years I have learned that ice on the Arctic Ocean is greatest in about March and least in about September. The minimum seems to vary a bit more than the maximum. Winds, ocean currents, and temperature vary from year to year and so does the ice. It may take several years for a major loss to be replaced but a full basin can be rapidly depleted when winds and ocean currents break up the ice and flush it from the Arctic Ocean. The growth and decline of ice appears to have been happening much like this for a few hundred years and while the maximum ice amount is constrained by the size of the ocean the minimum can be assumed to be zero, however, unlikely that is. The North Pole being ice free is symbolic but of little interest otherwise as winds can force ice from the center of the Ocean. There is nothing in the historical record nor in current measurements to suggest the Arctic Ocean will actually reach zero ice or close to it, nor for how many days or weeks. There is nothing to suggest that it would not start to refreeze. There is no information to suggest a global catastrophe if it were mostly or completely ice free for a few days or weeks. A new glaciation would remove water from the oceans and store it on land in solid form. The Arctic Ocean level would drop. If there are studies about what this would mean for the Arctic region – I have not seen them.

R. de Haan

The past comes a live:
Archeological finds indicate a much warmer Arctic not too long ago.
“What remains clear from these examples is that past climate was clearly warmer, with less ice, both in glaciers and in the Arctic, not long ago. One more clear indication of the hockey stick fraud (they hided the decline before 1400, remember?), and that the warming we are experiencing today is not abnormal, even in recent times…”
http://ecotretas.blogspot.com/2010/09/past-comes-alive.html

savethesharks

Bill Illis says:
September 19, 2010 at 7:14 pm
How do we know it is 22% below average.
Well, we don’t know because nobody knows what the sea ice extent average is for September 15th from 1979 to 2009.
==================================
Excellent point!
And nobody DEFINITELY knows what the sea ice extent average is for September 15th from….1879 through 1978.
Or from, lets say, randomly, 1970 – 1978.
Or from 2007 BC through 2007 AD LOL.
How in the hell do they KNOW what “22% below average” really means?
The answer is they don’t.
But that doesn’t stop the primitive “fight or flight” mechanism…mostly “flight” when it comes to the CAGW crowd…from wriggling its way into
scientific argument and into NOAA press releases.
The sky is falling. The sky is falling. The ice is melting.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

DocMartyn

just why should we believe any of they numbers they are supplying?
Seriously, they WANT the numbers to go, and down they will go. Previous data will be reanalyzed and the amount of ice cover in the past will increase.

AJB

JAMSTEC video excellent. Thanks Anthony.

Ralph Dwyer

I am in the process of moving to Texas; because, if you want to mess with Texas, it will be even more problematical because I’m there. Just remember all you collectivists, Texas was the only Republic to join the union (lower case intended). And you need Texas more than Texas needs you!

AJB

Pretty much says the same as this …
http://www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/oceans/ArticOceanWeb/Currents/maincur.htm
REPLY: Thanks for that! Note that the currents in this image near far northern Canada bordering the Arctic Sea

…are reverse to the displacement direction shown in the PIPS map. That’s the distinction.
The way the displacement vectors are going now, they are aiding the injection of ice into the transpolar drift, which pushes the ice southward to melt in warmer latitudes.
– Anthony

AJB

Preliminary JAXA 15% Extent for 19th = 4822500, a minor loss of 8906 on yesterday.

AJB

Sorry, that should say minor GAIN of 8906.

dp

Until somebody can jot down what the extent should be I don’t see any reason to wonder what it is. If anyone can explain why extent this time of year when little sunlight hits the surface, is important (you know, the albedo argument), again, watts the big deal? And if anyone thinks I’m going to care about the 1979-2009 average, get another think. That is a very short time frame and we really don’t know what it tells us. Not enough data.
One interesting thing in the extent graphs – the rate of change going up or down (slope of the curves) is pretty consitant over time, the big difference being when in the year a particular extent value is reached. The timing is different every year, the max/min values are different every year, and except for outliers, the trend is what one would expect – because we don’t know what normal is. Any trend is as good as another.
The only significant thing going on is in the sun. It’s disrupting the climate. People notice those things. I expect the folks in Washington are already putting the polish on the new solar disruption – so dangerous it’s even reversed global warming. That is going to need investigating.

Chuck

Measuring since 1979, are they? What are they confirming?
Elections are near here in the USA. Bloodless takeover there could be.
Climate gate hearings in the summer we may see.
Time to get the facts straight.

JK

I agree we can just ignore this down-tick. It’s just wind, and some weather, and it really doesn’t mean anything.

JK

Uh, I am wondering though why the difference between PIPS and Cryosphere Today images, where PIPS has thick ice on the north side of Spitsbergen and C.T. has no ice?
REPLY: one is a model forecast output (PIPS), the other is a satellite sensor rendered image. I would not expect them to match perfectly. – Anthony

Pamela Gray

The Earth is not aware what day it is. It is absolutely silly to compare this day with last year on the same day. This kind of comparison within a weather driven chaotic, as well as oscillating and seasonal system has no meaning whatsoever. I much prefer the running three month average for all weather related data, if indeed you want to average it at all.

REPLY:
Pam, not sure what you are referring to, but if it is the polar ice images from Pierre, they are both from Sept 2010 – Anthony

pat

blundering along in the MSM:
20 Sept: Australian from UK Times: Tony Halpin: Russia jostles for pole position as Arctic melts
IT is a question that could provoke a new Cold War as global warming opens up the possibility of exploiting vast new energy reserves: Who owns the Arctic?
Vladimir Putin opens an international conference on the future of the Arctic on Wednesday, the latest sign of the Kremlin’s determination to establish itself as the dominant northern power…
But with glaciers and sea ice melting in the Arctic at twice the rate of other parts of the world, the diplomatic temperature is rising over the future of this 21st-century Klondike…
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast that Arctic sea ice could disappear completely by 2030 in the summer months….
Moscow also argues that it is willing to seek negotiated compromise, pointing to last week’s agreement with Norway that ended a 40-year border dispute in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean…
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/russia-jostles-for-pole-position-as-arctic-melts/story-e6frg6so-1225926701860

wayne

“Maybe we should be the ones getting compensated for our time.”
Hear, hear!

R. de Haan

Let’s face the facts made clear by the animated video:
The Arctic basin is one huge ice machine that is flushed on a regular basis by wind and currents. Ice melt within the basin is seasonal and not significant.

John F. Hultquist

AJB and Anthony’s reply at 8:01
The description given for this map at the link is a bit confusing:
“As the West Greenland current approaches Davis Strait, it joins the Labrador Current, and then continues northward into Baffin Bay where it cools down dramatically.”
Only the map doesn’t show that. This one (of the same series) does:
http://www.aquatic.uoguelph.ca/oceans/ArticOceanWeb/Currents/frontpagecur.htm
Best to look at and read them all.

savethesharks

Pamela Gray says:
September 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm
The Earth is not aware what day it is. It is absolutely silly to compare this day with last year on the same day.
========================
I get what you are saying in principle.
But, taking issue here, the Earth very well might “know” when it has made a complete revolution around the Sun.
So making annual comparisons is not completely meaningless.
Chris

ES

Dr Frederick A. Cook is believed to be the first person to discover the western flow in 1908. Several others had found the eastern flow before that. When the explorers tried to get to the pole from Greenland they would have several days where the ice drifted south more than they walked north. They then started leaving from Ellesmere Island and today most trips from North American side start from Ward Hunt Island.
From Smithsonian:
The return trip almost did them in.
Cook, like other Arctic explorers of the day, had assumed that anyone returning from the pole would drift eastward with the polar ice. However, he would be the first to report a westerly drift- after he and his party were carried 100 miles west of their planned route, far from their supplies they had cached on land. …
Page two:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Cook-vs-Peary.html?c=y&page=2

Little Blue Guy

First, the AMSER-E sounder animation is awesome.
Second, in the extent blink-comparison, the notation in the lower left corner changes from “Data from the NOAA-19 and DMSP satellites” (9/15/2010) to “Data from the SSMI satellite sensor” (9/18/2010).
Is there significance to that notational change? Did the ice extent in the image change because they changed data sets? Illumination welcome.
REPLY: Data set is likely the same, the SSMI is on the DMSP sat. – Anthony

James Sexton

Dates and time are simply an arbitrary human concept. The earth doesn’t know or care about how we relate to events based upon the earth’s rotations. When and if we say, average of 1979-2000, it holds very little meaning.
When we say, Sept 19 is the lowest ever for this year, what does that mean? Well, lots of things(none very important), but I’ll start with, we know the arctic ice has been lower in the past, in fact, we know its been significantly lower in the last century a couple of times.

The video animation looks much better via youtube:

R. de Haan

By the way, concluding that the Arctic ice extend within the Arctic basin is more influenced by wind and ocean currents rather than melting within the basin, it is a tricky sport to make any long term predictions about the minimum ice extend in September.
It’s like playing Russian Roulette.
Less risky is it to make predictions for the maximum ice extend in March before the ice breaks due to the Arctic summer.
At the same time we have a very good explanation why critters like the polar bear, the seal and the walrus rather take a swim to reach the coasts of the Arctic Basin than being flushed out of their habitat to find themselves in an open ocean on a melting iceberg somewhere between Greenland and Iceland.
So you see that those animals are a lot smarter than our alarmist environmentalists who screw the facts selling our political establishment and big oil a future of an ice free Arctic with easy access to the resources and year round navigational waters.
It’s like selling the Eiffel Tower via a closed bidding to a bunch of scrap traders.
The seller is a fraud and the bidders are plain stupid.

John F. Hultquist

I’ll restate Pamela’s point with this example. Wash. & Oregon get frequent air masses off of the Pacific. The source (SW, W, NW) direction helps determine the temperature while the duration may be a day to a few days.
A series of cloudy days such as we have just had moderates the temperature. The local airport hit 61F early last evening and stayed there (+/-2) until 10:30 A.M. today. The current thought is that the clouds will be mostly gone by Monday evening and the night’s low will be about 37F. At higher elevations (mine is 2,240 feet) with clear sky our temps will drop rapidly. A comparison with the same date in any other year is of little use, which, I suppose is why an average is used.
Note Pamela’s wording:
“this day with last year on the same day”
Translate this to Arctic Ocean ice. Let’s say that last year a major wind started to move ice out on Sept. 19th while last year a similar wind started a week earlier, lasted a week and stopped. It might be best to compare the 26th of 2010 with the 18th of 2009 – the day after a very similar wind and flushing of ice out. This is very cumbersome and won’t happen. This doesn’t change the fact that the day-to-day comparison is “silly.”

savethesharks

. de Haan says:
September 19, 2010 at 9:53 pm
At the same time we have a very good explanation why critters like the polar bear, the seal and the walrus rather take a swim to reach the coasts of the Arctic Basin than being flushed out of their habitat to find themselves in an open ocean on a melting iceberg somewhere between Greenland and Iceland.
So you see that those animals are a lot smarter than our alarmist environmentalists who screw the facts selling our political establishment and big oil a future of an ice free Arctic with easy access to the resources and year round navigational waters.
It’s like selling the Eiffel Tower via a closed bidding to a bunch of scrap traders.
The seller is a fraud and the bidders are plain stupid.
==============================
“The seller is a fraud and the bidders are plain stupid.”
Damn well said!
Chris

savethesharks

John F. Hultquist says:
September 19, 2010 at 10:02 pm
I’ll restate Pamela’s point with this example.
========================
You and Pamela have great points. My point is that there is a reason the 365-day year exists.
But, that aside, I get what you are saying and certainly think the fact that the “average” rules the roost…is not representative of reality.
Hence: CAGW conjecture. Their house of cards is based upon averages.
R Gates shrieking chicken little style that the “CO2 levels have increased 40% since the 1700s” being a good example that comes to mind.
Weather [and climate] represent many extremes and those extremes and peaks and crevasses are just what HAPPENS.
And if we are smart…we will learn to adapt and deal with it.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Antony
Another problem with the ice!
There is a problem when comparing “maximum” of Ice Core data with current data (Maula Loa). When comparing average values of 400 years with values of the last 50 years can be seen that is false mathematically speaking, contradicting the sampling’s theory.
If you want more information read
http://engenheiro.blogspot.com/2010/09/what-is-noise-what-is-real-how-is.html

simpleseekeraftertruth

So extent is meaningless unless it carries caveats on wind disruption!
Here are figures for the area under the annual extent curve. The figure for 2010 is the area for the 12 months preceeding Sept 2010.
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)______?
From this you get an idea of how much ice for each year. I put in annual global T from GISS for interest. 04 & 06 do not correlate but others do (warmer year less ice). T for 2010 is still awaited. Were 04 & 06 affected by wind? Extent, however you measure it does not include thickness. Volume is what we really need. Volume is the mercury in the hemisphere thermometer.

The good news is that Arctic Ice extent has not gone below the 2008 value yet
From the narrow perspective of wanting to see the fraudulent AGW campaign exposed, yes it’s good news.
But from the broader perspective of the well-being of the human race, it could indicate (in conjunction with certain other observations) a reversal of global warming and therefore is not such good news, because (a) colder is worse for people than warmer, and (b) it suggests that the solar physicists predicting a severe cold period may be correct.

When I’m tempted to chastise myself for having opinions on science, I reflect on the fact that many serious scientists seriously believe that a thirty year record of Arctic ice – covering a period of mostly warm PDO – could have global implications. When there are abundant reasons to believe that similar conditions prevailed as recently as the 1920’s, and that ice increased greatly after that well-reported big melt, I become downright smug.
AGW science is a bit like the priestly science of ancient times. The pharaoh rewarded those who scientifically predicted or even aided the the Nile’s flooding. As for the odd bean-eating fellah who thought the Nile just flooded or dropped because stuff changes…he got no MSM time, and was totally out of the academic tenure loop. If the likes of Watts and McIntyre opened their yaps, they’d be cutting bullrushes for the rest of their days.

JohnH

UK Independent gets in on the act, Ice-free by 2030.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/arctic-sea-ice-shrinks-to-third-lowest-area-on-record-2083588.html
They got the headline correct on the 3rd lowest but the text is unchanged
The August coverage was the second lowest for Arctic sea ice since records began in 1979. Only 2007 saw a smaller area of the northern sea covered in ice in August, NOAA said.

Günther Kirschbaum

Then defying even the experts, it started back down again.
According to Andy Revkin: “Some other sea ice scientists (Jennifer Francis at Rutgers and Ignatius Rigor at the University of Washington) told me they are not ready to call it a season, noting that atmospheric pressure and some other conditions over the basin could lead to further shrinkage of ice extent in the next week or so.”
The good news is that Arctic Ice extent has not gone below the 2008 value yet,
Why is this good news? You predicted a recovery that was 1 million square km higher than current extent.
With six weeks of cloudiness, low temperatures and the Beaufort Gyre reversing during the most important period of the melting season – during July and the first half of August, when melting rates are highest – you had everything you could wish for as a recovery-predicter, BUT STILL 2010’s extent is in a virtual tie with that of 2008. Realize that if the Arctic sea ice had experienced 2007 weather conditions, we’d be looking at an extent way below 4 million square km.
It suggests that like in 2007, wind is a more significant factor in sea ice depletion than from melting, especially this past week where the DMI temperature drop shows well below freezing point of sea ice temperature at 80°N and above.
You better start taking sea surface temperatures into consideration. This is the number 1 factor in ‘sea ice depletion’.
It sure looks like thickness has increased, doesn’t it?
No, it doesn’t. That’s a sea ice concentration map. All the holes in the central ice pack (which deserve a What’s Up With That article of their own, as we have witnessed something highly unusual this year) are freezing up. The ice is not 1 meter thick instantly. At the fringes there is still melt going on under the ice. Because of? You guessed right, anomalously high SSTs.
The thickness is much greater today, and we could even say the volume is likely more.
As no one can know this for sure until CryoSat-2 data starts coming in, there’s only one conclusion we can draw from this statement: wishful thinking. Not a reliable source if we want to know something about Arctic sea ice.
There is no recovery (despite ideal conditions for it this melting season) and the ice is looking not so good. Trying to hide this fact and spin it the other way round, is intellectually dishonest.

Minus 20 C today
at this arctic polar buoy–
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/POPS13_atmos_recent.html
Ouch.

Nightvid Cole

Ok, the ice pack looks more “solid” now as the leads and melt ponds have re-frozen. This is simply an indicator that the freeze season is beginning, and is typical at this time (around September 15-20, give or take). Within a few days we should see margins of new ice forming all around the current ice edge.

rbateman

R. de Haan says:
September 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm
Arctic Sea Ice has grown:
http://notrickszone.com/2010/09/19/arctic-sea-ice-has-grown-since-september-1/

It certainly has grown, as evidenced by anyone watching on the 367 band of Google Earth.
It is growing in the wind-sheltered inlets between Greenland and Canada.
In other places, the sea is past freezing and looks to be skinning over, like a pond ready to go solid.
At this point, whatever losses there are statistically from wind below the 15% level are made up for with the new freezing in the wind-sheltered areas also below 15%. The new ice below the detection limit of 15% is significant.
Minimum was the 15th of September.
It has been fascinating to watch this process, and I reccomend it to anyone.

rbateman

Günther Kirschbaum says:
September 20, 2010 at 1:15 am
There is no recovery (despite ideal conditions for it this melting season) and the ice is looking not so good.

There never was an emergency 911 Ice Accident.
That is intellectually dishonest, and the warmist camp made that call.
It’s really cold, and sea ice is forming faster than the wind can push it out up there, as we speak.
If that wasn’t enough, the Arctic SST’s are falling below freezing in an ever-expanding area, well out in front of the new ice areas.
Nice try, but you would do better if you paid attention to the details.

Scott

Günther Kirschbaum says:
September 20, 2010 at 1:15 am

With six weeks of cloudiness, low temperatures and the Beaufort Gyre reversing during the most important period of the melting season – during July and the first half of August, when melting rates are highest – you had everything you could wish for as a recovery-predicter, BUT STILL 2010′s extent is in a virtual tie with that of 2008.
[…]
You better start taking sea surface temperatures into consideration. This is the number 1 factor in ‘sea ice depletion’.

I don’t see how both of the above statements can be true, yet I’ve seen multiple people saying one or both of them. Either this year was NOT ideal for recovery because of the high SSTs (as R. Gates kept saying), or SSTs are not the #1 force in melt. Personally, I’d think the former is true, and thus the El Nino had a big impact on the ice.
-Scott

Stefan

The animation is fascinating. I think you could show that to a lot of laypeople and it dispels the image that the ice is just this giant mass of stuff that sits there eternally, unmoved, until recently disturbed by CO2.
Nature is imagined to be fixed, in balance, undisturbed, but it is actually a continuous complex living movement. That animation says it all.

Günther Kirschbaum says:
September 20, 2010 at 1:15 am
“There is no recovery”
1. The 2007 “record” minimum was driven by tide and wind.
2. The ice has stabilised since then, not gone into a “death spiral”.
3. Do you know how long it takes the Arctic to “recover” from ice “loss”? Does any human? No.

Günther Kirschbaum

I don’t see how both of the above statements can be true, yet I’ve seen multiple people saying one or both of them. Either this year was NOT ideal for recovery because of the high SSTs (as R. Gates kept saying), or SSTs are not the #1 force in melt.
Scott, you are right, I am contradicting myself.
Barring the SSTs (which were higher than in 2008 and 2009, but not higher than in 2007), the absence of the Arctic Dipole Anomaly in July and the first half of August – bringing cloudiness, low temperatures and the stalling of the Beaufort Gyre and Transpolar Drift Stream -> spreading the ice out – is the main reason that 2010 is in a virtual tie for second place with 2008 ONLY.
During July 2007 had an average daily melt of almost 40K higher than 2010, and 10K higher during the first 2 weeks of August. Had the stalling started only 2 weeks later, we’d be looking at a new record minimum extent right now.
So I still venture to say that the most important period of the melting season was very much in favour of people who maintained there would be a recovery. Another factor in their favour was the shield of multi-year ice in the Western Arctic that got pushed there during the winter with its extremely negative AO, and took a long time to melt out (some of it is still left).
But despite this 2010 is virtually tied with 2008, both Passages are open (the Russian and Norwegian crews are very close to exiting the NWP and thus circumnavigating the Arctic for the first time in human history), and we have seen some very weird behaviour in the central ice pack, with big holes all the way to the North Pole. These holes have lasted all the way till the end of the melting season, and instead of being closed by compaction they were frozen over in the last week or so. I would even be so bold to say minimum extent has been artificially high this year.
The only remaining question now is: how about thickness/volume? Which model is more accurate, PIOMAS or PIPS? CryoSat-2 will hopefully tell us.
I’ll conclude with one of R. Gates’ remarks (very clearly the person here with the broadest knowledge about and insight into the behaviour of the Arctic sea ice and its unmistakable downward trend): It will be interesting to see what happens in the next El Niño year, especially with a sun that is moving towards sunspot maximum. With an Arctic Dipole Anomaly that doesn’t disappear during July, chances of a new record minimum extent are very high. And if the ice isn’t as thick as some people are fervently hoping, an ice-free Arctic (ie below 1 million square km extent) can’t be ruled out either.
And then hopefully we can start discussing potential consequences, instead of wasting energy in denying the obvious.

Pamela Gray

Anthony I was referring to when the extent or area goes below or above another line on a certain day. To me, it is neither good news or bad news when one year’s line dips below or above another line. This type of minute worry or emotional response, as in your comment:
“The good news is that Arctic Ice extent has not gone below the 2008 value yet, and seems to be making a slight turn up again…”
speaks to the notion that same day comparisons are harbingers of some kind. Both sides of the debate will often put this kind of observation into their comments to add some kind of credence to their post or comment. It appears “human-normal” to do so, but the Earth knows no such day by day calendar system. If it rises above this line or dips below that line, it adds no meaning to the debate in terms of recovery or death spiral and makes it look like we think the Earth is aware of September [put in a date]. I have no doubt that if it does dip below 2008, AGW’ers will likely bring it to our attention in stating their case. But we use the same weak observation and statement to bring attention to our case.
I know I sound like a broken record, but El Nino and La Nina phenomena were likely plagued by this same minutia in the beginning (I am only guessing here). Maybe it is the reason they went to the 3 month running average?

samspade10

Here in Thailand a doctor warned us all that polar bears will be extinct in less than ten years and all glaciers will melt.
The article is here:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/09/18/national/Bangkok-may-be-uninhabitable-%7Cin-seven-years-30138225.html
and the letter I had published is here:
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/09/21/opinion/Stop-this-climate-change-scare-mongering-30138346.html

Tom in Florida

Is the label “average sea ice extent 1979-2009” meant to represent the average for this particular day of the year or is it meant to represent the average extent of all days over the entire period of 1979-2009? If the latter then it is a useless piece of information. Better we see the current days extent compared to the periods average extent for the corresponding day.

I think that the wind & “arctic flush” factor increases greatly with thin ice. Maybe if the ice was thicker it would get jammed up slowing both the compaction & flushing.
SST is very important in my book also..how could it not be?
A big factor in SST is the surrounding air so Checking the Buoy air temps & a # of coastal landbased weather stations have given me a good Idea on how the Ice is doing..the wind factor has only tricked me a couple of times but compaction doesn’t remove ice it just moves it..Volume ice in the bank..we are going to see a good rebound.