Final 2010 Arctic Sea Ice Summary – Sea Ice News #30

UPDATE: Peter Sinclair shows his true crock colors, and refuses to correct his errors in “crock of the week” even after they’ve been clearly pointed out. Some “journalist”, see update screencap posted below. -Anthony

I’m a bit late in getting this posted, as I’ve had a number of distractions the past week. But here it is, the post mortem report on 2010 Arctic Sea ice minimum. Of course the most interesting aspect is how well did the forecasts from the various scientists and groups do at predicting the 2010 minimum? This graph from the SEARCH report (in entirety below) sums it up pretty well:

click for a larger image - red dashed line represents the 2010 minimum

The yellow highlight shows that Steve Goddard, who supplied sea ice commentary for WUWT over the past year before starting his own blog here, did better than many of the scientists and groups who made forecasts submitted to Study of Environmental ARctic CHange (SEARCH). His forecast at 5.1 million square kilometers (as seen in the SEARCH graph above) wasn’t that far off, was in the middle of the pack, and certainly better than the other ends of the forecast spectrum.

Forecasting is always a risk, and the closer you get to the target point, the better your skill will be. Forecasts made further out always have a greater chance of missing the mark, such as this one by NSIDC’s Dr. Mark Serreze did on Climate Progress on May 24, 2010:

As Arctic sea ice shrinks faster than 2007, NSIDC director Serreze says, “I think it’s quite possible” we could “break another record this year.”

Well, no new record was set, and sea ice certainly didn’t go higher than 2009 as we talked about here, so there were errors on both sides.The ground truth nature provided was in the middle.

Of course, nobody likes to admit such errors, in fact it seems that some will go to great lengths to hide them by projecting, such as video hack turned Al Gore trained environmentalist “Greenman3610” aka Peter Sinclair.  He videocasts from his home studio with sophisticated Mac slide show effects producing a YouTube feature called “Climate Denial Crock of the Week”. It’s a crock, there’s no doubting that, since he only shows one side of the 2010 sea ice forecast story, and focuses on a couple of words in a sentence for one WUWT blog post to prove his point. It’s hilarious for its sheer spinmastery, and a must watch for entertainment value:

The lead text posted by Greenman3610 starts with a false premise, and he carries that through the whole video.

In early summer 2010, the pseudo science blog Watts up with that informed it’s discriminating readers that this summer would decisively show that northern polar ice had ended a long term decline. They guaranteed it.

Now what’s hilarious about that spinmastery is the blog post he focused on, which was a two parter about Joe Bastardi’s AccuWeather sea ice report (which I summarized) followed by a technical summary written by Steve Goddard. You can read it here.

Greenman’s video opens with and focuses on a sentence and three words of ebullience from Goddard in that post, “you bet ya”, along with making the false claim of “They guaranteed it“.

Um, well, sadly no. We didn’t say “guarantee” nor that the long term trend would reverse, that’s your spinning words. Search that WUWT article for the word guarantee or variances of it and you won’t find it. In fact you won’t find any reference to a “guarantee” for a sea ice forecast anywhere on WUWT. But you will find a caveat using the word guarantee from Sea Ice News #8 on June 6th, 2010

Conclusion : Based on current ice thickness, we should expect September extent/area to come in near the top of the JAXA rankings (near 2003 and 2006.) However, unusual weather conditions like those from the summer of 2007 could dramatically change this. There is no guarantee, because weather is very variable.

And also on June 3rd in a post called “The Undeath Spiral” Goddard uses the word again:

Anyone betting on the minimum extent needs to recognize that summer weather can dramatically effect the behaviour of the ice. The fact that the ice is thicker now is no guarantee that it won’t shrink substantially if the summer turns out to be very warm, windy or sunny. Joe Bastardi believes that it will be a warm summer in the Arctic. I’m not a weather forecaster and won’t make any weather predictions.

Yup, weather during late melt season is a big factor, even NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meir points that out in his guest post here, wind and weather is a big factor. He wrote:

NSIDC’s June estimate was too high compared to what actually happened.

First, when the thicker, older ice is in broken up floes, it is more easily “attacked” on all sides by the ocean heat and can potentially be melted completely. Second, the less consolidated ice is more easily pushed around by the ice and more susceptible to winds pushing the ice together – in other words, the effect of the wind is amplified. I think this is a major reason why a lot of the forecasts were too high.

To be sure, some of this could be attributed to luck, because there is always the wildcard of what the weather will do over the summer.

Certainly at that time of the WUWT post that Greenman focuses on it looked like 2010 would come out a bit ahead of 2009. But even though NSIDC’s forecasts were also initially too high (so was WUWT’s) and NSIDC director Serreze goes out on a limb in May and says:

As Arctic sea ice shrinks faster than 2007, NSIDC director Serreze says, “I think it’s quite possible” we could “break another record this year.”

You won’t see either of those NSIDC forecasts that didn’t come true mentioned in Peter Sinclair’s “crock” video, as they don’t fit his narrative of denigration. But you will hear that tired old Serreze maxim of “death spiral“.

And finally, here’s the complete SEARCH forecast summary report that Peter Sinclair and his merry band of crockers don’t want you to see, even though it has some nice “crock ready” graphics in it. He doesn’t want to let slip that some other scientists did worse in sea ice forecasts than what was posted here on WUWT, and he certainly doesn’t want to let slip that NSIDC’ Dr. Walt Meir posts here (and gets accolades) and that their forecasts were initially high too. No, can’t have that, it would upset the faithful and just wouldn’t be good television. 😉

But I suppose I’m grateful for all the attention, after all, if WUWT wasn’t the leading blog on climate with traffic that in a single day dwarfs the number of total views that Greenman gets on his videos in their life cycle, I wouldn’t be the big target. The fact that it irritates him enough to do a hit piece pleases me greatly.

But, I invite readers to compare facts from the video to what is presnted above and below. I also invite other skeptical bloggers to repost this in entirety on their own blogs.

UPDATE: Here’s the comments from “Greenman3610” aka Peter Sinclair on YouTube after being informed of the rebuttal:

It seems he’s enjoying the traffic WUWT sent, but is uninterested in correcting the errors pointed out. – Anthony

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From SEARCH (November 12th, 2010)

INTRODUCTION

A request was sent to the contributors of the 2010 SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook to summarize the 2010 arctic sea ice season. We asked:

  • What were the main factors driving the 2010 summer sea ice?
  • What additional data would be useful for improving future Outlooks?
  • What are the implications for future arctic sea ice?

We appreciate the contribution by all participants and reviewers who made the 2010 Outlook effort a continued success. The Sea Ice Outlook provides a forum for researchers to evaluate their understanding of the state of arctic sea ice and for the community to jointly assess a range of factors that contribute to arctic summer sea ice minima. The Sea Ice Outlook is not a formal consensus forecast or prediction for arctic sea ice extent, nor is it intended as a replacement for existing efforts or centers with operational responsibility. Additional background material about the Outlook effort can be found on the background page.

SUMMARY

The sea ice monthly extent for September 2010 was 4.9 million square kilometers, based on National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) estimates. This was the third lowest behind 2008 (4.7 million square kilometers) and 2007 (4.3 square kilometers). It should be noted that the NSIDC value is a monthly averaged estimate and it is dependent on a particular passive microwave algorithm for sea ice. Other satellites, composites, or passive microwave analyses will have slightly different numbers. A review of the differences amongst algorithms and sensors is discussed in a brief report by the Climate and Cryosphere Project’s (CliC, http://www.climate-cryosphere.org/en/) Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (also available in the “additional information” section at the bottom of this page). The point here is not which is the “correct” value, but to acknowledge that there will be understandable differences between estimates. We take the NSIDC value as the “operational definition.”

It is also important to note that although recent sea ice values have not reached the extreme minimum of 2007, the sea ice minimum has remained well below the long-term “norm” (Figure 1). This may imply that in the present warmer climate conditions, September ice extents below 5 million square kilometers will become the norm.

Recent sea ice conditions during summer (NSIDC).

Figure 1. Recent sea ice conditions during summer (NSIDC). Figure is based on daily arctic sea ice extent from passive microwave satellite data (SSM/I). The solid gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. (National Snow and Ice Data Center)

Outlook estimates for September 2010 based on May data had a mean value of 5.0 million square kilometers compared to the observed minimum of 4.9 million square kilometers (Figure 2a). Quartile values were 4.7 and 5.4 million square kilometers. Outlook estimates based on June data had a mean value of 4.8 million square kilometers and Quartile values were 4.2 and 5.4 million square kilometers (Figure 2b). The August report (based on July data, Figure 2c) gave a mean of 4.9 million square kilometers, with Quartile values of 4.6 and 5.4 million square kilometers. The drop in estimate values between the two first Outlooks reflected in part record ice loss rates observed in June. However, ice loss slowed substantially in July and Outlook projections based on July data increased to 4.9 million square kilometers. This illustrates the importance of the summer circulation pattern on the ice cover, and provides a limitation on accuracy of estimates made earlier in the season.

Figure 2a. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010

Figure 2a. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010 arctic sea ice extent based on May data.

Figure 2b. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010

Figure 2b. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010 arctic sea ice extent based on June data.

Figure 2c. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010. Observed September minimum sea ice extent denoted by the red dashed line.

Figure 2c. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010 arctic sea ice extent based on July data. Observed September minimum sea ice extent denoted by the red dashed line.

SUMMER SEA ICE AND METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Figure 3 is a sea ice analysis combined with shipboard observations for the end of summer 2010 provided by Jenny Hutchings. Figure 4 is a sea ice age plot for the end of September provide by Jim Maslanik. While the 2010 melt season started with more multi-year ice (MYI) in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas than seen in recent years and an overall greater percentage of MYI arctic-wide, by the end of August nearly all of this MYI had melted out or ice concentration had fallen below 40%. In the Chukchi Sea, none of the ice greater than two years of age remained, and 97% of the second-year ice was gone. In the East Siberian Sea, there was a 65% reduction in the amount of second-year ice between the end of April and the end of August. A remarkable feature that was captured by satellite imagery was a corridor of low ice concentrations that allowed the Chinese vessel Xuelong, an icebreaker with a low ice class, to reach above 88˚N of latitude. Howell and colleagues recorded open water conditions in the Northwest Passage.

Figure 3. In situ observations for the end of summer 2010

Figure 3. In situ observations for the end of summer 2010 (J. Hutchings, International Arctic Research Center; graphics assistance by K. Creek, ARCUS).

Figure 4. Synthetic sea ice age plot (J. Maslanik, University of Colorado).

Figure 4. Synthetic sea ice age plot (J. Maslanik, University of Colorado).

Several contributors, including Walt Meier and Hiroki Shibata, note that there was considerable sea ice present at the end of the spring season. NSIDC reported that the 2010 seasonal sea ice maximum was quite late (31 March compared to the climatological date of 26 February) and the total maximum ice extent approached the climatological mean. This increase was dominated by higher than normal ice extent in the Bering Sea, while ice extent remained below normal elsewhere. The increase in the Bering Sea was perhaps related to the strong negative Arctic Oscillation (AO)/North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern of winter 2009-2010. It was strongly negative in December and February; the February value was the third lowest NAO in160 years, and strong winds in the Bering Sea led to new ice formation. Community-based observations and field data for the Bering Sea ice cover summarized in the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) indicate that even though Bering Sea ice was extensive, it was thinner than in past decades and hence susceptible to rapid retreat. Thus, after the winter maximum, pan-arctic ice extent quickly declined, with record daily average ice loss rates for the Arctic as a whole in May and June, and a new record low ice extent for June. This rapid rate of decline likely reflects a combination of thin ice and an atmospheric circulation pattern favoring ice loss. Julienne Stroeve (personal communication) noted that the total loss of sea ice area for 2010 was actually greater than the loss in 2007, based on a greater starting amount in 2010.

An important meteorological pattern is that the summers of the last four years have been dominated by the Arctic Dipole Anomoly (DA) atmospheric climate pattern. This pattern results in high sea level pressure on one side of the Arctic Basin (in this case North America) and low sea level pressure on the other. Because winds tend to blow parallel to lines of constant pressure, this provides sea ice advection generally poleward from the Bering Strait region. These winds also pick up heat and moisture from open water areas in the southern arctic (Chukchi region), transport it northward, and release the heat there. The normal sea level pressure climatology for the summer Arctic has been a flat field or a weak monthly mean low pressure center over the Arctic. In 2007 the DA was present all summer and contributed to record low sea ice conditions. In 2009 the DA was strong in June and July, suggesting a near record sea ice loss for that year, but by August the DA pressure pattern was replaced by the more normal low pressure center. In 2010 the summer started with a strong DA pattern in June, contributing to rapid sea ice loss (see Figure 1). However, the DA was replaced by a low pressure pattern in July (Figure 5), slowing down the rate of summer sea ice loss. But a major surprise for 2010 was that the DA pattern returned in August (Figure 6). We also saw continued above-normal ocean temperatures in ice-free regions at the end of summer (Figure 7).

Figure 5. Arctic sea level pressure pattern during July 2010.

Figure 5. Arctic sea level pressure pattern during July 2010.

Figure 6. Sea level pressure pattern for the Arctic

Figure 6. Sea level pressure pattern for the Arctic showing the return of the Arctic Dipole pressure pattern in August 2010.

The maps show average sea surface temperatures and anomalies for August 2007.

Figure 7. This summer, sea surface temperatures were higher than average, but lower than in the last three years. The maps above show average sea surface temperatures and anomalies for August 2007 to 2010. (W. Ermold and M. Steele, University of Washington)

CONCLUSIONS AND LESSONS

The mean estimates for the 2010 September Sea Ice Outlook based on May, June, and July data were close to the observed value with a rather small quartile distribution (as a measure of deviation from the mean). Most investigators, using a variety of methods, settled on a value slightly below 5.0 million square kilometers. This may represent an interim (or potentially longer-term) state for an Arctic that is now dominated by first-year sea ice.

Thickness surveys and drifting buoys that are part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) suggest that much of the growth of first-year sea ice in the Pacific sector approaches an end-of-season thickness of around 1.7 m, independent of the starting time of freeze-up in the fall (H. Eicken, personal communication). As one goes further north toward the North Pole, the length of the shortwave radiation season is shortened with less ability to melt out multi-year sea ice (D. Perovich, personal communication). Could the last four years be a plateau state? What would it take to have another major sea ice loss down to a level of 3.5-4.0 million square kilometers? In regards to the first question, J. Stroeve (personal communication) notes that in the present warmer climate state, the tendency for a negative AO winter pattern to promote increased transport of ice into the western Beaufort/Chukchi seas—a pattern that historically has helped to reduce summer ice loss—actually enhances summer ice loss.

Another wild card is the presence of the Arctic Dipole pressure pattern in summer. It seems like it is a necessary feature to maintain current summer sea ice conditions. Yet the reason for its continued year-to-year presence in unknown. Is a return to more climatological flat summer sea level pressure patterns more probable than a continuation of the DA pattern?



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119 thoughts on “Final 2010 Arctic Sea Ice Summary – Sea Ice News #30

  1. Who is Wilson who gets it so wrong and changes his forecast from 1m sq km to 2.5m sq km between the July and August reports?

  2. That hack piece by Sinclair. The worst part is he sounds so arrogant about the whole piece as if he knows a slight tick down in ice in 2010 means that we are right back on track for the “death spiral”…and he actually uses that word!!! I wonder what he will say if it goes back up in 2011?
    The arrogance and “superiority complex” in that video is disgusting. As if someone could ever question a death spiral comment back in 2007.
    I’m not much to come conclusions about an author based on a single piece, but I can safely say based on that one piece, he is about as bad as it comes it comes when talking about the “the science is settled” concept of the argument.
    The continued ignorance about ocean cycles in this whole thing is pretty fascinating to me. The IPCC has continued to reject ocean cycles as any significant impact but yet we see the evidence mounting on it. It might not affect the sea ice until we get further into the -PDO and AMO cycles, but the obsession with the last 30 years is pretty striking. That’s why arctic sea ice is such a huge hit, because the reliable data for it, unlike global temp data, only goes back to 1979. Perfectly covers the warm phase of the Pacific with the Atlantic warm phase spiking near the end of the Pacific warm phase.

  3. Another good day for scientific scepticism.
    Scientific scepticism –
    Because there’s more to life than carbon

  4. Anthony,
    For the record, on February 9 you wrote
    Steven Goddard writes below that he agrees with the prediction I made in late 2009 that we’d see another 500,000 km2 of Arctic sea ice recovery in 2010.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/09/prediction-arctic-ice-will-continue-to-recover-this-summer/
    That would set Goddard’s original prediction at 5.7 Mkm2.
    His another prediction was 5.5 Mkm2:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/14/wuwt-arctic-sea-ice-news-9/#comment-410418
    As the ice melted, Goddard kept revising his prediciton downwards…
    REPLY: As did NSIDC from their initial high values, that’s the section on forecast skill I alluded to. There’s no law that said you can’t change the forecast as you get closer to the target and skill improves. All the entrees in the forecasts submitted to SEARCH were revised with time. For example Wilson’s which went up more than double as he got closer.
    NOAA does this with weather forecasts too, weather forecasts a week out are revised as they get closer to the day. Heck, sometimes they even revise them the same day! It’s folly for anyone to expect a weather forecast or an ice forecast to stay static as more/better information presents itself. – Anthony

  5. I wouldn’t call Steve Goddard’s prediction “Public”.
    A better description would be to call it “Realistic” or better “WUWT REALISTIC”
    With all the published articles at WUWT the regular visitor automatically gets this “realistic feel and insight” that is based on unbiased, honest and clear reporting.
    Thanks.

  6. Adm. Titley stated that the sea ice has never been thinner for several thousand years!
    Wrong Adm. Sea ice was documented as non existent in the polar region by photographs of three submarines, two from the US Navy and one Royal Navy, at the north pole in 1959 in clear water. Perhaps he has lost these pictures.
    The Medieval Warm Period, when Greenland was actually green and settled by the Vikings. They stayed for a couple of hundred years as it got too cold to grow wheat for food. There was little sea ice then because temperatures were up to 5 degrees warmer than today.
    We have 30 years of real time data for Arctic sea ice and to make a correct judgment of what will happen in future years needs a thousand years of data. We do not have this so unfortunately rely on models to give the answer. Models do not work for a chaotic system which climate most certainly is.

  7. This is important information. I notice the comment:
    “It is also important to note that although recent sea ice values have not reached the extreme minimum of 2007, the sea ice minimum has remained well below the long-term “norm” (Figure 1). This may imply that in the present warmer climate conditions, September ice extents below 5 million square kilometers will become the norm.and supports the ongoing cooling view.”
    The “This may imply… ” suggestion seems to be premature. One could surely equally argue that what we are seeing is a slow return to normal. There are not enough years of observation to draw conclusions.
    Of course it can also be dangerous to draw conclusions about the coming winter from early winter blasts now hitting Britain + Europe but the fact these are a colder spell than our WeatherAction long range forecast first suggested may be significant for forecasting winter in Europe and in USA.
    For some comments on this + Sponsor news of WeatherAction possible free PUBLIC ESSENCE OF WINTER summary forecasts for Britain, Ireland Europe and maybe USA please see:
    http://bit.ly/a6lNCA

  8. the problem is all climate scientists worry about is where there next grant will come from thay don,t give a stuff what you and me think if we don,t watch out the western world will fall and be come tomato heads all red though and through

  9. keep in mind that while I forecasted a warm summer in the arctic, the forecast I make
    is for NORTH of the arctic Circle. I was not forecasting for exclusively the area north of 80 north. I think we will find that it was a warm summer overall north of the circle, but we had a nice is cube in the middle! In addition the sea ice forecast I made was for a min between 2008 and 2009, after a rapid spring melt, a leveling off, which is close to where it wound up. Remember I have been debating publicly and visibly the death spiral people on this matter. My forecast for next year is for sea ice to melt only to levels we saw back in 2005, or 06. If I had to put a number on it, I think it would be around 5.5 at its lowest. The ice is coming back, will do so in forward and back steps, with forward defeating the back steps. I am on record as saying we will be back to 1977 levels by 2030. The real problem would be is if there
    is no corresponding drop in the southern hemisphere sea ice. Like the 70s, cries of ice age will start again. So my forecast for next years melt is for 5.5. Book it now
    Anthony.. cheers and Happy Thanksgiving JB

  10. How are the alarmists allowed to drive the hysteria over the arctic by constantly cherry picking the single day summer minimum as an example of the ice coverage year round? Their scare tactics have confused the average person to believe that there will be no ice ever in the arctic again. The average person is not even aware that the ice coverage fluctuates over the season and comes back every winter,
    AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice September 2009 to March 2010
    We are missing the main argument with the public. The average person believes the arctic ice is the same amount year round and now due to climate change has shrunk permanently (year round) to the single day summer minimum sea ice extent because this is all they are shown pictures of. If this key fact is not communicated more effectively, arguing the rest is just speaking to the choir.

  11. “In early summer 2010, the pseudo science blog Watts up with that informed it’s discriminating readers that this summer would decisively show that northern polar ice had ended a long term decline.
    They guaranteed it.”

    Discriminating enough to know the difference between “it’s” and “its” at least.

  12. Apologies for repetition on this site but……
    HMS Investigator was sent by the UK to find survivors from a previous expedition to find the North West Passage.
    The sailing vessel was caught in ice and ultimately sank, in 1853.
    In 2010, during “near record” low levels of arctic ice, the wreck was found.
    So, how did she get there in 1853? It is not possible, according to the experts, that she simply sailed there through ice free waters.

  13. Two comments and a question.
    1) The SEARCH graph presents monthly numbers. Much of the discussion during the summer was about the absolute minimum; so to compare the two would be like comparing apples to apple pie.
    2) In my memory, Steve Goddard did use something like “guarentee” when he promised that the steep decline would stop once Hudson Bay melted. (He was right.)
    QUESTION: What forecast was based on PIOMASS? Was it Meier, et al?

  14. Peter Sinclair even even called WUWT an “anti science” blog in one of his older videos. After I wrote on his profile and quoted wikipedia about WUWT’s successful corrections to (according to him settled, “undeniable” and untouchable) climate science I asked what “greenman’s” contributions to the science were. I guess that’s one of the reasons he moved to the “pseudo science” term in his newest video, which I by the way think to be his least painful to watch piece of propaganda to date…

  15. As Arctic sea ice shrinks faster than 2007, NSIDC director Serreze says, “I think it’s quite possible” we could “break another record this year.”
    Actually Mark “The Acrtic is Screaming” Serreze is the one sounding like a “broken record”…

  16. Peter Sinclair sounds like the guy who used to help “They Might Be Giants” with their audio podcasts. Every time I hear his voice I keep expecting him to start naming off different varieties of turtles and their associated calls. If only he could substitute “Ice Ice Baby” for a TMBG song and put it on a podcast in the comedy section, then it would be like old times. I’m thinking “Particle Man” at the moment.

  17. Anthony says:
    “how well did the forecasts from the various scientists and groups do at predicting the 2010 minimum?”

    But the caption over the chart says “average minimum.” Is it talking about a different number?

  18. Question: Who is Wilson, and [/snip] was he smoking while making his predictions? That guys could not have been any more incorrect. He really predicted 1.0M km^2??? Laughable…

    [Vulgar acronyms representing extremely vulgar words are still vulgarity … bl57~mod]

  19. I loved the scale change of percent to percent not area to area. Of course he would not have chosen percent change of Arctic and Antarctic total ice. Spin Spin Spin now where where those subs?

  20. It feels like the Arctic Circle has suddenly moved South! Minus 13 tonight followed by a day in the Sun at a scorching 9. This is the kind of Arctic blast, that if extended, freezes fresh water rivers from the bottom up and builds a nice pretty dam in front of all that water. As the blocked water builds and stands there, it also begins to freeze. A small stream thusly dammed up builds quite a large frozen lake behind it. Imagine a bigger river. In several states. Along and above the 45th parallel.

  21. trbixler says: November 23, 2010 at 6:03 am
    “I loved the scale change of percent to percent not area to area”.
    Yes, the slight of hand that Sinclair uses to dismiss Antarctic Sea Ice is a good example of the disingenuousness of the Warmists. By focusing the percentage change in Antarctic Sea Ice, Sinclair avoids addressing the fact that Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is currently well above average:
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png
    When sea ice is viewed holistically, i.e. Global Sea Ice Area, things just don’t look very scary:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

  22. In fact we have a lot of data which are hunting a theory.
    Congratulations, Steve Goddard.
    Well, certainly Steve has generated a smaller amount of CO2 in comparison to the large and very expensive team of scientists.
    WUWT in the campaign to reduce emissions.

  23. I used to comment on Mr. Sinclair’s videos at LittleGreenFootballs blog, but have been expugned. Very free speech of him, but it is his blog. Mr. Sinclair’s vids need to be challenged every time on every point. As was pointed out this past summer he plays fast and loose with everything. His prior video showing “evidence” that CO2 warms due to IR in plastic bottles was a joke.

  24. Don B says:
    November 23, 2010 at 5:07 am
    The polar bears have left Churchill to go out on the ice, according to Polar Bear Alley.
    http://www.polarbearalley.com/index.html
    But Cryosphere Today shows no ice on Hudson Bay. What up with that?

    CT does show near shore ice on Hudson Bay near Churchill.
    The Canadian Ice Service also reports a late start to the ice on the bay:
    http://ice-glaces.ec.gc.ca/prods/FECN15CWIS/20101116000000_FECN15CWIS_0005295169.txt
    Note what ‘Polarbear alley’ says:
    “Don’t get me wrong, there is still a pitiful amount of ice on Hudson Bay but near Churchill the ice is building quickly and the bears should leave soon – they really only need a few miles of ice to get out there… and really their peak hunting season does not occur until spring anyway. Everything is fine around Churchill, northwest Hudson Bay bears though might be a little worried…”

  25. Roger Knights says:
    November 23, 2010 at 5:27 am
    Anthony says:
    “how well did the forecasts from the various scientists and groups do at predicting the 2010 minimum?”
    But the caption over the chart says “average minimum.” Is it talking about a different number?

    The SEARCH program is based on the average for September not the absolute minimum.

  26. Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya.

    The “You bet ya” was very clearly referring to what should be EXPECTED – not what should actually occur.
    Sinclair is being extremely disingenuous.

  27. What if the artic was ice free 6 months of the year, and open for shipping?
    What if the Great Lakes didn’t freeze in winter, and remained ice-free all year round?
    What if the growing season in North America moved 500 miles furhter north, opening up vast areas of land that are currently unsuitable for agriculture?
    What if the oceans rose .7 meters and flooded out all the millionaires and billionaires that own waterfront property?
    Rather than being a problem, this seems like a great opportunity for economic growth. Changes in rainfall patterns we can solve through irrigation, so long as the rivers and lakes aren’t frozen. As California and Florida have shown, heat is a positive factor for crop growth.

  28. Just when (and where) did Steve Goddard predict a minimum ice extent of 5.1 million square kilometers? His June 28th forecast in Sea Ice News #11 was 5.5. On August 29th, in Sea Ice News #20, he wrote “It continues to look like my June forecast will be close to correct…”

  29. Phil quotes Polar Bear Alley from 11/19, but the most recent posting says the ice extends as far out as the eye can see, and most of the bears are gone.
    On earlier posts, the comment is on the aerial survey which found the bears in good shape, and found that bears had killed so many seals at the shore they couldn’t eat them all right then.

  30. That is rather humorous. Peter Sinclair is a full-throated alarmist. Screaming about rising sea levels, drought, food shortages, you name it. His sense of panic is akin to a two year old’s temper tantrum: reasonless but nevertheless entertaining.

  31. HMS Investigator was sent by the UK to find survivors from a previous expedition to find the North West Passage.
    The sailing vessel was caught in ice and ultimately sank, in 1853.
    In 2010, during “near record” low levels of arctic ice, the wreck was found.
    So, how did she get there in 1853? It is not possible, according to the experts, that she simply sailed there through ice free waters.

    The answer is in your question. She was frozen in to the ice and ultimately sank. While frozen in to the ice, the pack carried it around to places that would otherwise have been inaccessible. The ice pack does move and anything on it, or frozen in to it, gets carried along.
    Nansen, after building a ship that could take the force of the ice pack, took advantage of that for his 1893-1896 Arctic scientific expedition. Froze the ship in to the pack and continued observations.

  32. Comment to Renk @ November 23, 2010 at 1:34 am:
    By your logic, the graph should have included a forecast from Mark Serreze at 4.2 million. And in three years, we should include the forecast from the scientists who forecasted 0.

  33. Steven Mosher says:
    November 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Hey Anthony it time to add a prediction page!
    With predictions every month starting in january.

    Absolutely agreed…it’d motivate me to get my multivariate Arctic predictor up and running!
    -Scott

  34. I’ve never been a fan of this whole “prediction” thing. Someone is more likely to hit the number by luck than anything, and there’s no purpose to that. If you want lottery numbers, do you ask a former lottery winner? If so, that would imply that you believe the lottery winner has a “method”, which they don’t.
    Now, a forecast with some reasoning behind it, that’s a different thing. Analyzing trends, following PDO and AMO cycles, etc. would qualify as reasoning. Simply laying down $50 on a guess is pointless, and would probably be better spent on said lottery.
    Last night here (Calgary) we reached an overnight low of about -29C, which is COLD. 10 days ago we were trending above average. Unfortunately, in La Nina years we are subject to colder winters, since there is less energy pushing Pacific heat over the mountains, which allows cold northern air to slump down along the Rockies. It would not have been too difficult to predict this cold with a bit of research. We also have a bit more snow on the ground than we usually do this time of year.
    But hey, both my local weather, the Arctic, the Antarctic, in fact the entire planet is within norms. There is nothing unusual going on, no matter how much some people seem to want there to be. All is within the normal range of variability. If you don’t agree, let’s see your proof, because I’ve been looking for it and it does not exist. Guesses don’t count.

  35. Come on Sinclair works in tandem with desmogblog Hoggan’s mafia… what to expect there? Totalitarism at work.

  36. Started watching the video, but gave up after rear admiral Titler’s testimony. It was probably the statement about the sea ice extent now being worse than it has been for thousands of years, that did it for me. Did none of those congressmen ever ask where he sourced that information from, given that satellite coverage has only been in existence since 1979?
    The graph at the begining was a hoot. I know they teach you in school to choose the scale to make the data fit on the whole page, but really! It made it looked like the summer ice extent was nearly at zero and that trend line! Sloped down at 45 degrees. Nice try Greenman, but I’d take a look at the cryosphere today plot. With the ‘y’ axis starting a zero, the ‘death spiral’ looks more like a crease on a page.
    I was also amused at the way he categorised people. On the one hand there are ‘climate experts’ who talk about the ‘death spirals’, and on the other are the deniers. Nothing like a good impartial look at the science, and this was nothing like an impartial look. Oh silly me. I forgot it was a call to prayer for the faithfull. All that WUWT scepticism must have been making them shake.

  37. LOL,
    Goddard stuck with his 5.5 prediction and never corrected it here. Even in the face of his prediction being busted he defended the 5.5 by saying he was withing 10% until it went past that marker and he was busted again. Finally, he just moved to another site. I’m sure he’s spouting off on how next year will start the recovery but I doubt he has put a number on next year’s minimum.

  38. Jeff,
    I did stick with my 5.5 forecast for a long time, but changed it in August to 5.1.
    NSIDC also started at 5.5 and lowered theirs to 4.76. They did slightly better than me.
    PIOMAS was way of the mark with their 3.9 forecast.

  39. stevengoddard says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am
    Jeff,
    I did stick with my 5.5 forecast for a long time, but changed it in August to 5.1.
    ——-
    Hmmm, I don’t recall seeing that here in August but I guess anything is possible.
    The more fundamental point you were making starting in mid-winter was that sea ice was recovering and that the 5.5 minimum would be proof of your thesis. You went on to say that because of the robust recovery you anticipated the 5.5 mark might be too conservative and that the result may be an extent that was quite a bit higher.
    Changing your prediction, while it may make you feel better, doesn’t change the fact that the data simply doesn’t support your assertion that sea ice is recovering.
    If you still think sea ice is recovering will you put a marker down for minimum extent necessary for 2011 to support this idea?

  40. Jeff says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Changing your prediction, while it may make you feel better, doesn’t change the fact that the data simply doesn’t support your assertion that sea ice is recovering.

    If that’s the case, then does the opposite of that apply to the experts? Does changing their predictions from under 4 million km^2 to around 5 million km^2 remove the support of their assertion of a death spiral?
    Just askin’…
    -Scott

  41. stevengoddard says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am
    Hi Steve – do you recall seeing Jeff’s sea ice prediction anywhere? I was wondering. I didn’t see it, so I was thinking his sea ice prediction was somewhere to be found in a previous post. Let me know if you find it. Thanks in advance.
    [BTW Jeff, the Arctic ice is freezing up pretty nicely right now – same at it ever was…]

  42. John Marshall says:
    November 23, 2010 at 2:22 am
    Adm. Titley stated that the sea ice has never been thinner for several thousand years!
    Wrong Adm. Sea ice was documented as non existent in the polar region by photographs of three submarines, two from the US Navy and one Royal Navy, at the north pole in 1959 in clear water. Perhaps he has lost these pictures.
    ————
    Weird logic. The photos prove that the ice was clear at the location where the submarines surfaced. It does not prove that the arctic as a whole was clear of ice or say anything conclusive about ice extent in general at that time..

  43. Frank K. says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    stevengoddard says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am
    Hi Steve – do you recall seeing Jeff’s sea ice prediction anywhere? I was wondering. I didn’t see it, so I was thinking his sea ice prediction was somewhere to be found in a previous post. Let me know if you find it. Thanks in advance.
    [BTW Jeff, the Arctic ice is freezing up pretty nicely right now – same at it ever was…]

    If by ‘ever’ you mean 2006!

  44. I swung by a blog run by someone who’s name happens to rhyme with Marles Wonston, and he was busy flaming Anthony for not being a “true climate scientist” and claims him to be wrong on everything (while linking to the Crock of the Week).
    This coming from avid Climate Scientist Supreme Marles Wonston, who has an extensive background in Jazz guitar and computer programming. So take that, Anthony, you hack!
    (and everyone else who posts here, even you climate scientists!)

  45. Scott says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm
    If that’s the case, then does the opposite of that apply to the experts? Does changing their predictions from under 4 million km^2 to around 5 million km^2 remove the support of their assertion of a death spiral?
    ——
    Scott,
    Great question. I think there are two groups of prognosticators. The first group is driven by utilitarian needs and forecast ice extent for the safety of the people living and working in the arctic. Naturally these people will update their forecasts frequently because peoples lives depend on it.
    The second group predict sea ice extent to support a given narrative. This is the group Goddard falls into along with others who consider themselves experts. So I agree that the death spiral should be taken off the table if the data does not support it in the same way recovery needs to be taken off the table.
    One last comment on death spiral. I despise the term and Serreze should drop the term unless he clearly defines what it means. It could mean anything from the arctic will be ice free in 2 years or 100 years. Failing to define it in terms of real numbers just makes it so much meaningless puffery.

  46. Frank K. says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    Hi Steve – do you recall seeing Jeff’s sea ice prediction anywhere? I was wondering. I didn’t see it, so I was thinking his sea ice prediction was somewhere to be found in a previous post. Let me know if you find it. Thanks in advance.
    ——
    I wasn’t aware that I had to submit a prediction to comment here. I expect there are many who haven’t made a prediction and still comment, that may even include you Frank. 🙂
    That being said, if I was forced to make a prediction for next year it would be to extend the linear trend plus or minus 2 standard deviations.

  47. Frank K. says:
    November 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    [BTW Jeff, the Arctic ice is freezing up pretty nicely right now – same at it ever was…]
    —–
    NO. Just looking at the Hudson Bay and you can see it’s way behind schedule.
    You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

  48. Phil. says:
    November 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Roger Knights says:
    November 23, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Anthony says:
    “how well did the forecasts from the various scientists and groups do at predicting the 2010 minimum?”

    But the caption over the chart says “average minimum.” Is it talking about a different number?

    The SEARCH program is based on the average for September not the absolute minimum.

    That’s what I thought. so why are we comparing apples and oranges?
    I predicted 5.1 starting in June and stuck to it to the end, but was off when the figure came in at 49.5 (or was it 48.5?) The absolute minimum was the figure that was the focus of almost all the debating (the apple). This current 5.1 average minimum is (or looks like) an orange.

  49. All the shouting being done by global warmists is a waste of energy. Science shows there was less ice in the past at the Arctic than now. If you look at a satellite photo of Arctic ice and estimate how much Anthony and Steven Goddard were off it amounts to a slight amount less around the circumference of the ice. Hairs are being split 4 ways over this.
    It is highly likely there is more ice in the Arctic now than 1000 years ago. There still is no proof that what is happening in Arctic ice has anything wrong with it. Using 30 years of data to make long term conclusions is unscientific—and also doesn’t make good common sense.
    There is no scientific reason to say something is wrong in Arctic ice over the last 30 years.
    Also, it is wrong to say that it is “recovering” from whatever happened in 2007—even if you think 2007 was a normal occurrence. If you think 2007 was something that happened within normal variation then why call what has happened since then “recovery”??
    I still see no reason to even pay attention to Arctic ice. It looks like everything going on there is perfectly normal. It looks like nothing that has happened there is outside the range of natural variability. It looks like the predicted disasters to North Pole ice from “manmade global warming” are not happening—though people like Al Gore, Mark Surreze, and commenter “Phil” act like what is happening in North Pole ice is the canary in the coal mine—and the canary is dead.

  50. stevengoddard says:
    November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am
    Jeff,
    I did stick with my 5.5 forecast for a long time, but changed it in August to 5.1.
    NSIDC also started at 5.5 and lowered theirs to 4.76. They did slightly better than me.
    PIOMAS was way of the mark with their 3.9 forecast.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Actually Zhang’s (PIOMAS) forecast was 4.8E6 km^2 as shown by his name only (singular), and he first made that forecast in early July, or almost two full month’s before you changed your guesstimate changed from 5.5 to 5.1;
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/seasonal_outlook.html
    Missing by only 100K (~75+ days in advance) vs your 600K or (with the clock running out) 200K (with only ~3 weeks left in the 2010 melt season.

  51. Roger Knight,
    I would not say “apples and oranges.” As I mentioned this morning, we are comparing apples and apple pie.

  52. I’m still bothered by the bumpiness of the data that caused my educated guess of 5.3e6 being off. I’ll have to wait till next year I suppose.

  53. I feel like the idiot cousin at the Thanksgiving party, pointing out that Granny has had too much punch.
    I may not get invited back, but at least Grandpa had to address the fact that she’d thrown up on his shoes.
    I waited as long as I could, Anthony, but seriously, man., it’s almost Christmas — How long were you going to let that stench hang in the air?
    …and again, thanks for the traffic, at this rate, maybe some day, I can be friends with Glenn Beck, too.
    REPLY: And your commentary here is as devoid of substance and rational thought as what you put into the videos you make. – Anthony

  54. The video dissed WUWT, in a couple of sentences, and it is clear that its complaint, that WUWT was predicting a certain recovery of the ice this year was directed at Joe Bastardi’s comment, which was pretty strong, and was shown briefly during the video.
    Can we find another year with similar ice distribution as 2010? I can see Russian ice in my Windows. Note in the graph below that 2010 is very similar to 2006. 2006 had the highest minimum (and smallest maximum) in the DMI record. Like 2010, the ice was compressed and thick in 2006. Conclusion : Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya.
    The bulk of the video was based on reviewing data and interviewing experts on why the summer Arctic sea ice coverage and total mass is headed downward. Its focus was on the science as described by true experts. I thought that it was convincing.
    The person who developed the video wasn’t interested in surveying the opinions of the different amateur climatologist bloggers who post on WUWT.
    [Reply: Such as yourself?]

  55. Oh, and here’s Lindsay (and Zhang) forecast (made on or before 7/28/2010) of 3.96E6 km^2 (note the method does not involve PIOMAS per se, but it is “According to our model retrospective simulations, the ice in the Arctic has continued to thin at a remarkable rate. The statistical method based on the PIOMAS model analysis now is projecting a new record low ice extent.”);
    http://psc.apl.washington.edu/lindsay/September_ice_extent.html#2010predictions
    http://www.arcus.org/files/search/sea-ice-outlook/2010/07/pdf/pan-arctic/lindsayzhangjulyoutlook.pdf
    http://www.arcus.org/files/search/sea-ice-outlook/2010/07/pdf/pan-arctic/zhangjulyoutlook.pdf
    http://www.arcus.org/files/search/sea-ice-outlook/2010/09/pdf/pan-arctic/zhangaugustoutlook.pdf

  56. I can see that the first post of mine to this thread was not posted.
    Why?
    Am I allowed to repost that message?
    And will WUWT actually post it this time?
    [no idea what message you are talking about, you’ve posted a bunch, they are all there, just approved a couple more, might have gotten lost in spam ~mod]

  57. This is a quote from the article above for Amino Acid in Meteorites who denied the NW passage was open for nearly the whole of the summer.
    “Howell and colleagues recorded open water conditions in the Northwest Passage.”
    I would imagine that’s still not enough to convince though.
    As for predictions, Steve Goddard changed very late on. On his site he then compared the later prediction to NSIDC’s prediction using a bullseye graph, forgetting the earlier prediction. When he 5.1 got to be too high compared to NSIDC’s estimate he suddenly dropped the graph 😉
    I concur that the estimates on WUWT all through spring and well into the summer were on another year of recovery, simply that did not happen. WUWT gave the scientists who got it wrong in previous years a bit of a kicking, so now the boot is on the other foot it seems. Too much triumphalism by Steve et al as well until the bubble popped.
    Just my reading of it over the months looking at all these Arctic posts here and on climate audit before.
    Andy

  58. Thrasher says:
    November 23, 2010 at 1:23 am
    That hack piece by Sinclair. The worst part is he sounds so arrogant about the whole piece as if he knows a slight tick down in ice in 2010 means that we are right back on track for the “death spiral”…and he actually uses that word!!! I wonder what he will say if it goes back up in 2011?

    For ordinary people, the opposite is “life spiral”. CAGW movement may prefer the option suggested in the post, but “undeath spiral” just doesn’t sound cool enough. They may yet go for “zombie spiral” to comply with the narative that, “it’s worse than we thought”. Where there is “rotten ice”, there “zombie spiral” might be found.
    BTW, never heard of this Peter Sinclair before. Sounds like one of those DIY youtube celebrities that come dozens for a dime.

  59. It is intriguing to observe the continually developing meme that, prior to 1979, no reliable information was available relating to the extent of Arctic sea ice. This must certainly be perplexing for the scientists at the University of Illinois, many of whom have been at the forefront of polar research for decades.
    As many readers will know, a considerable portion of the work done by the Polar Research Group at UIUC is publicly available on Cryosphere Today. One of the many datasets easily available from UIUC is the Walsh and Chapman Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Data Set. This displays the extent of Arctic Sea Ice since 1870, and, at 141 years and counting, is certainly long enough to show up any significant multi-decadal trend.
    Although virtually contiguous satellite coverage has been only available since 1979, navigators have been able to take pretty accurate readings of both latitude and longitude since, respectively, the invention of the sextant and the Harrison H4 watch.
    The Walsh and Chapman dataset is a meta-analysis derived from 8 primary data sources, and spectacularly fails to support the claims that the 30+ years of decline in Arctic Sea Ice extent is merely the down-slope of a 60-70 year cycle. On the contrary, the figures suggest that, up to that time, 1979 had the lowest extent thus far recorded.
    The figures from 1900 onward (seasonal and annual) are clearly shown in graphical format at the top of the CT homepage, but more extensive information is a mere 3 mouse clicks away. At the bottom of the CT page, click once to access the Polar Research Group, a second click accesses the archive page, and then one can select from the list.
    Of course, if there is some valid reason to reject the Walsh Chapman data as wildly inaccurate, then that would be very interesting to learn. If it is “hoax” data, then they have been keeping a straight face for many decades, since at least one of the papers that constituted the body of work was written in 1978.

  60. Jeff sez:
    “I wasnt aware that I had to submit a prediction to comment here.”
    Just as I thought. BTW, I didn’t criticize Steve about his sea ice prediction. Look forward to your prediction for next year. Let us know what your number is.
    Jeff sez:
    “NO. Just looking at the Hudson Bay and you can see its way behind schedule.”
    What schedule is that? LOL.
    Jeff sez:
    “Youre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.”
    So the arctic isn’t freezing right now? Really? Hmmmm… You should go up there and check it out. Be sure to wear your short sleeved shirt, bermuda pants, and flip flops.

  61. Replying to bill the frog @ November 24, 2010 at 2:42 am
    I have not checked lately, but there was a footnote on the UCIC graph on Arctic Ice from 1900 onward that stated: “Some of the data sources used to prepare this graph may be considered unreliable.” In addition, there are a number of recorded observataions that contradict the result of the meta-analysis, and therefore many people who are aware of meta-analysis consciously leave it out in discussions on Arctic Ice. Perhaps, a similar situation is Bristlecones. An analysis of Bristlecones in Western North America may suggest that the Arctic and Northern Hemisphere was not warm 1000 years ago, but we have physical proof that Vikings farmed land that subsequently has been covered in ice. So the bristlecones show what bristlecones show, but we leave them out when discussing Viking settlements in Greenland.

  62. bill the frog:
    I know you don’t see it this way, but your entire post is ridiculous. There has been tracking, and it’s completely and totally different from satellite tracking. It was being done for a different purpose, and worked with different data and different types of data. You said:

    The Walsh and Chapman dataset is a meta-analysis derived from 8 primary data sources, and spectacularly fails to support the claims that the 30+ years of decline in Arctic Sea Ice extent is merely the down-slope of a 60-70 year cycle. On the contrary, the figures suggest that, up to that time, 1979 had the lowest extent thus far recorded.

    It really doesn’t matter if it was “derived” from 1000 primary data sources. The numbers will be different from satellite. If you want to compare “then” with “now”, then you MUST gather the data the same way now as it was then. Unless you can time travel and get a satellite in place then.
    Figures don’t “suggest” anything, people do. And after reading this kind of assertion I have a few “suggestions” of my own.
    Here’s one: why are the warmists so eager to discard older CO2 measurements that don’t support their hypothesis, but just as eager to embrace older ice measurements that do seem to support their hypothesis?

  63. My prediction was 5.6 10^6 km^2. Made it official about halfway through the melt season, never revised.
    What did I learn? Those veritable “last minute” changes can really bite. Things were looking good until September, possible early end to the melt season, then wind changes etc blew it all away.
    Beyond that, guessing the minimum doesn’t mean much. Just look at the IARC-JAXA Arctic Sea Ice Extent chart. 2010 quickly recovered to 2009 and above levels. At the inflection points, where the curvature changes, all the years are grouping very closely. The Arctic sea ice ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.
    And I don’t understand why they keep warning about “ice-free summers.” Meteorological Northern Hemisphere summer is June, July, August. We haven’t had an ice-free September in the record, it’d take some doing to come back from such as there wouldn’t be any ice present for more ice to grow outwards from. An ice-free autumn, September, October, November, would be what should be warned about. For the Arctic, that’d be a severe fall.

  64. Given the long lag time from Pacific temperature change to the arrival of that water at the N. Pole (about 15? years as I recall) we’ve got about 15 to 20 years of cooling to anticipate. 2010 is reflective of about `1995 Pacific temperatures, to they get a couple of more years At Most of low Arctic ice (not record low, just a bit below the short term averages used by most folks) before we find out what this “Major Minimum” has to offer.

  65. From Louise on November 25, 2010 at 4:31 am:

    Has anyone else seen this…

    First off, that’s from OpenAirMind, thus many of us just don’t care.
    Otherwise, the change was made for the SEARCH August 2010 report, released September 1, click on the “Pan-Arctic” tab. It’s easily findable, Tammy should know about it. Steve’s reasons are given near the bottom in the “Key Statements from Individual Outlooks” section.
    Thus the 1st of September would be when he *officially* made the 5.1 forecast.

  66. and what date did the actual minimum occur?
    I’m pretty sure that if I left it until a couple of days prior to the actual minimum happening, I could be pretty accurate too.
    Can anyone shed any light on whether any of the other predicitions were updated as the actual minimum approached?

  67. Of course, nobody likes to admit such errors
    Have you admitted yet that your prediction (and Goddard’s) was 1 million square km off, or should we keep that quiet?
    REPLY: Gosh, you can’t read the text above can you?
    “Well, no new record was set, and sea ice certainly didn’t go higher than 2009 as we talked about here, so there were errors on both sides.The ground truth nature provided was in the middle.”
    and
    “But even though NSIDC’s forecasts were also initially too high (so was WUWT’s)…”
    Yes, my forecast was high, so was NSIDC’s. In the SEARCH forecast, somebody named “Wilson” started off at 1 million square kilometers, and then adjusted up to 2.5 million sqkm, still wayyy off. But ignore him, its only about playing “gotcha” to people you don’t like, right? I think people like yourself would be thrilled if either of Wilson’s forecasts came true.
    On the plus side, 2010 was higher than 2007.
    NSIDC adjusted downward from their initial forecast. In fact the whole group of people in the SEARCH group adjusted their forecast over the summer. But we here aren’t “allowed” to do so?
    And here’s the real question for people like you, will you beat up Mark Serreze (like you do me) for saying things like this that didn’t happen?
    As Arctic sea ice shrinks faster than 2007, NSIDC director Serreze says, “I think it’s quite possible” we could “break another record this year.”
    Yeah won’t hold my breath, go back and plot schemes with Neven. – Anthony

  68. Anthony – you clearly think that Steve did very well with his prediction and you think it’s OK that he adjusted this a few times. Do you think that a prediction made on 29th August should carry the same ‘weight’ as one made in June?
    As I said earlier, I’m pretty sure I could have been as close as Steve if I left it so late to firm up my prediction.
    That said, I don’t understand why you made such a big thing of him being ‘accurate’
    “The yellow highlight shows that Steve Goddard, who supplied sea ice commentary for WUWT over the past year before starting his own blog here, did better than many of the scientists and groups who made forecasts submitted to Study of Environmental ARctic CHange (SEARCH). His forecast at 5.1 million square kilometers (as seen in the SEARCH graph above) wasn’t that far off, was in the middle of the pack, and certainly better than the other ends of the forecast spectrum.”
    If he stuck with his original prediction (as some of the others did?), he’d be close to one end of the spectrum.
    REPLY: And so would NSIDC, but you’re saying they are allowed to make changes late in the game, but Goddard isn’t? You have no clue about forecasting. Here’s an experiment for you. Watch the NWS forecast for your town for a day 7 days from now, and watch how it changes, then call up the NWS and complain to them for changes made the day before the day you picked. See what they tell you about it. – Anthony

  69. From Louise on November 25, 2010 at 7:12 am:

    and what date did the actual minimum occur?
    I’m pretty sure that if I left it until a couple of days prior to the actual minimum happening, I could be pretty accurate too.

    For SEARCH purposes, they use the monthly averaged estimate provided by NSIDC, as can be read about in the Summary (aka Post-Season) Report. If you want a value for a specific day, the IARC-JAXA site can easily provide one, just hit the “Data Download” button for all the daily measurements in a convenient easily-readable text file suitable for import into a spreadsheet. If you want to stick with NSIDC, you’ll have to search their site for their archives of daily values. Good luck with that. 😉

    Can anyone shed any light on whether any of the other predicitions were updated as the actual minimum approached?

    The Summary Report has graphs showing the predictions from the June, July, and August reports, you can eyeball the changes. For more detail you can read the separate reports, links at the main site.

  70. Mr. Watts:
    Günther Kirschbaum’s point is well taken and from the child-like response you posted indicates you have a problem admitting the error.
    The error you, Mark Serreze, and any of the predictions made at ARCUS
    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2010/august
    are making is the belief that it is possible to predict the annual sea ice minimum or the average extent for the month of September. At least Tamino was adult enough to admit that his very close projection of 4.78 +/- 0.95 million km^2 was “lucky” and that it only had “about a 1-in-40 chance that it would end up as close as it did”. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/i-got-lucky/
    On November 1, 2010 I posted the following projection:
    “Based on the numbers in the JAXA data set, November 30 should be in the 10.1 to 10.3 million km2 range. ”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/31/sea-ice-news-28/
    Even this one month in advance estimate looks too high since the November 23, 2010 value was 9,542,969 km2. The November 30 number may be below 10.0 million km2, which would make the projection I made wrong, but who knows?
    Joe Bastardi has isued a projection for 2011 that is about 1.2 million km2 below the 1979 to 2007 average (based on the chart for august at ARCUS). This is within the range expected based on the downward trend line. Some years the minimum will go up, and some years it will go down.
    I have also posted comments that are critical of projections that predict 2011 will be lower than 2007 or that we will see an ice free September in the next ten years. http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/arctic_ice_november_2010
    Admit it is a mistake to project the minimum so far in advance and to attempt to project the exact number and lets get back to per reviewed studies.
    REPLY: Gosh referencing the fact that our forecast was too high, twice in the article, isn’t enough? Looking for that pound of flesh huh? Well you are entitled to your opinion, I’m entitled to mine. For certain, lessons were learned this year, and next year those lessons will be incorporated. Forecasting weather and its effects is always a challenge, something I’ve done for 30 years. Improving skill is what it is all about. Despite what you think, watching and predicting sea on the blogs and in the media as Dr. Mark Serreze has done, is of great interest to many people on both sides of the debate, I don’t think your pooh poohing the idea will change that. I’ll make you a deal though, if you can get Dr. Serreze to publicly admit that forecasting record lows in media interviews in May was a mistake, I’ll feature that and reciprocate equally. – Anthony

  71. The mistake was not that the prediction was too high as the prediction was within the possible range predicted by the declining September average trend line. The mistake is in thinking that the annual minimum can be predicted this far in advance. Dr. Serreze makes a similar mistake. I will look for admissions by him that his predictions were wrong.
    I do enjoy playing the guessing game and appreciate the opportunity you provide to join in the action.
    Have you made any prediction as to what year the September average will return to the 7.04 million km2 level (this is the average for 1979 to 2000). The September 2010 average was 4.9 million km2 according to the NSIDC.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2010/100410.html
    I predict that the September average will be below 7.0 million km2 for the next five years and that at least 3 of the next 5 years will be be below the 5.5 million km2’record low set in 2005.

  72. I have searched, but I can not find a prediction by Dr. Mark Serreze from May of 2010 concerning the Arctic minimum for 2010. Can you provide a link or indicate where the prediction can be found?
    The language you quoted above is from the title of the May 24, 2010 Climate Progress article. It is very deceptive to characterize this as a prediction. The body of the article provides the folowing complete quote and the context for the quote:
    “Canada’s Globe and Mail headlines their story, “Arctic sea ice heading for new record low,”
    The latest satellite information shows ice coverage is equal to what it was in 2007, the lowest year on record, and is declining faster than it did that year.
    “Could we break another record this year? I think it’s quite possible,” said Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.
    “We are going to lose the summer sea-ice cover. We can’t go back.”
    … Dr. Serreze said winds, cloud cover or other weather conditions could slow the melt, but he points out that the decline is likely to speed up even more in June and July.”
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/05/24/arctic-sea-ice-extent-volume-nsidc-record-steve-goddard/
    The only definitive prediction in the above statement is the prediction of the loss of all arctic ice, but he does not predict a specific date or range of dates when this will occur. The rest is all about could, possible, and likely. No definitive prediction there. The article even includes a qualifier that Dr. Serreze indicates the melt could slow. That qualifier looks spot on.
    Unless you can provide a source for a specific prediction by Dr. Serreze, there is no need to waste anyone’s time looking for a public admission that his forcast was wrong.
    When the weatherman says 70% chance of rain, it does not mean he has made a mistake if it does not rain. Gosh, didn’t your 30 years of experience as a weatherman teach you this?
    Note: [The link where Serreze makes this statement is http://climateprogress.org/2010/05/24/arctic-sea-ice-extent-volume-nsidc-record-steve-goddard/ read the title
    “As Arctic sea ice shrinks faster than 2007, NSIDC director Serreze says, “I think it’s quite possible” we could “break another record this year.”
    and as you point out in the body of the news article:
    “Could we break another record this year? I think it’s quite possible,” said Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.
    Of course if Mr. Watts said that, you’d try to nail him to the wall with it. You don’t get to play favorites on statements. ~mod]

  73. Mr Watts:
    If you want to debunk an Arctic ice projection, I suggest you go after the projection by Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of an ice free arctic by 2013 plus or minus 3 years. If you believe this projection is wrong, you are in good company as Dr. Mark Serreze has expressed his misgivings about this projection:
    “The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) collects the observational data on the extent of Arctic sea ice, delivering regular status bulletins. Its research scientist Dr Mark Serreze was asked to give one of the main lectures here at this year’s AGU Fall Meeting.
    Discussing the possibility for an open Arctic ocean in summer months, he told the meeting: “A few years ago, even I was thinking 2050, 2070, out beyond the year 2100, because that’s what our models were telling us. But as we’ve seen, the models aren’t fast enough right now; we are losing ice at a much more rapid rate.
    “My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of.”
    And later, to the BBC, Dr Serreze added: “I think Wieslaw is probably a little aggressive in his projections, simply because the luck of the draw means natural variability can kick in to give you a few years in which the ice loss is a little less than you’ve had in previous years. But Wieslaw is a smart guy and it would not surprise me if his projections came out.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7139797.stm
    Dr. Mark Serreze is a little soft on even the 2030 date for an ice free Arctic.
    In the same article, Professor Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University also stated his misgivings about this projection when he was quoted as saying the following with respect to an ice free Arctic:
    “It might not be as early as 2013 but it will be soon, much earlier than 2040.”
    Now that is a prediction. Ice free Arctic on some day by 2040.

  74. Hi mod:
    I am just having a little fun with Anthony. [redundant statement . . mod]
    I do not put much stock in individual year minimum numbers and believe that hitting the one year forecast is a matter of luck and not science. Predictions that go out at least five years are better since they can eliminate some of the noise from inter-annual variability and the monthly average is more important than the minimum number.
    Let’s see, the February prediction by Goddard and Watts was off by what, 1.0 million km2. (4.6 million km2 v. the 2009 minimum of 5.1 million km2 plus the 500,000 km2 “recovery” that did not occur). To be fair, the projection by Watts and Goddard was well in the range of possibility since it was close to the 2006 minimum level of 5.7 million km2 [I noted this in the 12:57 post, so much for nailing anyone] .
    A May possibility that 2010 would be lower than 2007 was off by .5 million km2 (2007 minimum was 4.13 million km2).
    Well at least the May possibility had the direction right. I disagree with the “death spiral” label applied by Serraze and would like to see him make a specific prediction to back up the death spiral claim instead of the weasily language he uses above. At least Anthony made a testable prediction!
    If you really want me to nail someone [why would we want that? . . mod ], then let’s go after Professor Wieslaw Maslowski . I suspect his ice free by 2019 will be off by even more than the February 2010 Watts and Goddard prediction.
    Also, Joe Bastardi’s projection of 2030 being the same as 1977 should be off by even more than any of the above, but I may not be alive to see it.
    I would like to see Anthony Watts back up his recovery prediction by providing a year that he thinks the September average will return to 7.0 million km2 like the 1979 to 2000 average.
    You can nail me if the following prediction made in the 12:57 post is wrong [ and why would we want to do that? . . .mod] :
    “I predict that the September average will be below 7.0 million km2 for the next five years and that at least 3 of the next 5 years will be be below the 5.5 million km2′record low set in 2005.”
    Also, it looks like my prediction for November 30 of 10.1 to 10.3 million km2 posted on November 1 (using JAXA data) will be too high. You can also nail me on this as it looks like it may go as low as 9.9 million km2 for a 2% error. [Thanksgiving hey , ah well the typos give it away . . mod]

  75. Ooops, the Maslowski prediction is an ice free date by 2016 not 2019. No matter, it will not be ice free by 2019 either.

  76. Anthony – you say in your reply to me “And so would NSIDC, but you’re saying they are allowed to make changes late in the game, but Goddard isn’t? ” but I never made that claim.
    I just questioned why you would make such a big issue and shower praise on Steve Goddard for a prediction that was made about two weeks before the actual minimum. I don’t really see that it’s that praiseworthy. If he had made that accurate prediction back in June now that might be more worthy of the praise you gave him.
    I said nothing about the praiseworthyness (?sp) or otherwise of any other predictions.

  77. Louise says:
    November 26, 2010 at 4:14 am
    From http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/02/the-undeath-spiral/
    “Conclusion : Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya. Even if all the ice less than 2.5 metres thick melted this summer, we would still see a record high minimum in the DMI charts.”

    Stevegoddard even invited us to “Bookmark this post for reference in September”, well we did and found that he was wrong, as he said: “Come September, someone or other is going to have some serious egg on their face.” Well in his case it was him, of course that was only to be expected as he had made an elementary mathematical error in his analysis (pointed out by TomP).

  78. Goddard on 02 June 2010:
    “Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya. Even if all the ice less than 2.5 metres thick melted this summer, we would still see a record high minimum in the DMI charts.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/02/the-undeath-spiral/
    Goddard on 06 June 2010:
    “Based on current ice thickness, we should expect September extent/area to come in near the top of the JAXA rankings (near 2003 and 2006.)” That would be around 5.9 million sq. km.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/06/wuwt-arctic-sea-ice-news-8/
    Goddard on 23 June 2010:
    “I’m forecasting a summer minimum of 5.5 million km²”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/23/sea-ice-news-10/
    5.5 million sq. km. prediction repeated on 20 July and 01 August 2010:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/01/sea-ice-news-16/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/20/arctic-forecast-verification-update/
    Goddard on 08 August 2010:
    “So far, my forecast of 5.5 million km² is looking very conservative.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/09/bastardis-monday-sea-ice-report-plus-new-analysis-of-2010-ice-distribution/
    Goddard on 15 August 2010:
    “My forecast (dashed line below) minimum of 5.5 million (JAXA) continues to look conservative. ”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/15/sea-ice-news-18/
    Goddard on 29 August 2010:
    “It continues to look like my June forecast will be close to correct”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/sea-ice-news-20/
    Probably a day or two later, Goddard finally revised his supposedly conservative prediction downward once again, to 5.1 million sq. km. At the time Goddard made this change, Arctic sea ice extent was already around or below 5.5 million sq. km., so the change was just a reaction to the fact that his prediction was already wrong. Less than a month later, the actual minimum was 4.9 million sq. km.
    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20101004_Figure2.png
    Basically Goddard’s predictions consisted of being wrong (by a lot) all summer long, and then predicting that sea ice extent would drop from about 5.5 million to 5.1 million sq. km. from the end of August to the minimum a few weeks later. He predicted a 400,000 sq. km. decrease, where the actual decrease was 600,000 sq. km.
    So after being extremely wrong all summer and predicting a potential record high sea ice extent, we’re supposed to be impressed that Goddard’s revised prediction was “only” off by 50% less than a month before the minimum?
    Nice revisionist history.
    REPLY: Please note the revision history of several other scientists and groups in images below, in chronological order, and be sure to use that when you post elsewhere. For example, follow Strove et al (from NSIDC) which was 5.5 in June, 4.74 in July (as Meier et al from NSIDC) and finally 5.0 (as Meier et al from NSIDC) in August. Even larger variations exist, such as Wilson, who started put with 1.0, then revised to 2.5 in August. You conflate forecast skill targeting (allowed by the SEARCH group) with “revisionism”. Your argument fails. – Anthony

    Figure 2a. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010

    Figure 2a. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010 arctic sea ice extent based on May data.
    Figure 2b. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010

    Figure 2b. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010 arctic sea ice extent based on June data.
    Figure 2c. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010. Observed September minimum sea ice extent denoted by the red dashed line.

    Figure 2c. Distributions of Outlook estimates for September 2010 arctic sea ice extent based on July data. Observed September minimum sea ice extent denoted by the red dashed line.
  79. I don’t particularly care if some other groups revised their estimates as well. The point remains that Goddard’s supposedly accurate prediction was made just a few weeks before the September minimum, and thus was off by 50%. If you want to apply my criticisms to other groups, feel free.
    But note that the few predictions which Goddard beat on the high end – Rigor, McLaren, Kauker, Morison, Kaleschke – did not change their predictions (or at least not by a significant amount) at the end of August. So if anything, Goddard’s predictive ability 3 weeks ahead of time was better than these groups’ several months ahead of time. You’re not comparing apples to apples, and even if you were, being off by 50% a few weeks beforehand is not skillful in my opinion.

  80. sorry did not finish.
    Mr. Watts:
    When will there be a recovery to the 1979 – 2000 September average?

  81. REPLY: Please note the revision history of several other scientists and groups in images below, in chronological order, and be sure to use that when you post elsewhere. For example, follow Strove et al (from NSIDC) which was 5.5 in June, 4.74 in July (as Meir et al from NSIDC) and finally 5.0 (as Meir et al from NSIDC) in August. Even larger variations exist, such as Wilson, who started put with 1.0, then revised to 2.5 in August. You conflate forecast skill targeting (allowed by the SEARCH group) with “revisionism”. Your argument fails. – Anthony
    The difference is that stevegoddard was the one who was bragging all season about his prediction (based supposedly on his calculation of volume since 2007, wrong as it happened). He was the one who told everyone “Bookmark this post for reference in September” and “Come September, someone or other is going to have some serious egg on their face” , such braggadocio invites the reaction that you’ve seen here.
    REPLY: Some of that is true, and some people did have serious egg on their face, like Wilson for example. But except for Grumbine, none of the others who submitted to SEARCH have blogs (NSIDC isn’t a blog, but an official website) that I’m aware of to post (or brag) claims. And let’s not forget the braggadocio of Dr. Mark Serreze, who is a veritable fountain of media soundbite claims. No new record was broken this summer. But it seems everyone wants to give him a free pass. – Anthony

  82. And let’s not forget the braggadocio of Dr. Mark Serreze, who is a veritable fountain of media soundbite claims. No new record was broken this summer. But it seems everyone wants to give him a free pass. – Anthony
    Not exactly ‘bragging’ in that case: “Could we break another record this year? I think it’s quite possible.” In the event it was less than 500,000 km^2 above the record, a fair bit closer than Stevengoddard’s prediction and for only a possibility!
    You haven’t been giving Serraze a free pass for that so why should others give stevengoddard a free pass for his ‘in your face’ predictions?
    E.g. “I must have done something wrong, because I am getting all the right answers.”
    In response to the explanation of the error in his PIPS calculations.
    “PIPS has been an incredibly valuable data source for forecasting ice behaviour. My short and long term forecasts have been almost perfect this year as a result.”
    Such hubris!
    REPLY: Like I said, errors were made on both sides. There’s plenty of hubris to go around. We could all do with less, me, Goddard, Serreze. Romm, everybody, including you. – Anthony

  83. Phil. says:
    “You haven’t been giving Serraze [sic] a free pass…”
    A supposedly educated person misspelling “Serreze” indicates basic incompetence, no?
    Poor Phil. I bet when he farts, only dogs can hear it.☺

  84. Oh geez Smokey, grow up.
    Somehow I’m failing to see how stating that it was possible that we could have set a new low sea ice extent record is “hubris”. Particularly since it did indeed come quite close to a record, as it does virtually every year nowadays.
    I do think it’s hubris to constantly proclaim how accurate your predictions are turning out to be….until they turn out to be very inaccurate and you’re forced to change them rather dramatically at the eleventh hour. And I think it’s rather silly to then applaud this individual’s extremely inaccurate predictions.
    What I would expect after all the gloating about his terrific predictions would be an admission that as it turned out, they were quite far off. I wouldn’t be surprised if this individual stayed quiet on the subject – nobody likes to admit they were wrong. But to rewrite history and applaud his predictions for their accuracy? That’s just silly.
    Unfortunately people followed Goddard’s advice, bookmarked his predictions, and went back to check them. It’s tough to rewrite history in the internet age.

  85. dana1981,
    Your clearly mistaken post above doesn’t surprise me, since you link your name to an unethically named blog: “‘Skeptical’ Science”. There is nothing skeptical about your fact-challenged alarmist echo chamber, which takes it on faith that CAGW is lurking right around the corner.
    Contrary to your claims and accusations, I did not use the word “hubris.” Nor did I ever comment on the accuracy of my predictions as you state – for the simple reason that I have never made any predictions about sea ice at any time, either in this thread or in the past.
    And of course I have never been “forced to change” my non-existent predictions “rather dramatically at the eleventh hour.”
    I did not ‘gloat’ as you claimed, and I do not ‘rewrite history’ [as the alarmist crowd regularly does when massaging the temperature record]. And please show me where I’ve ever applauded anyone’s predictions. Take your time, I have all day. Or all week if you need it.
    Like your other statements, your comment that I should “grow up” is based on ignorance. I’m 62, retired after a long career working on weather related instruments in an internationally known metrology lab. I don’t think that I am the one who has some growing up to do. [BTW, how old are you? And what are your qualifications, aside from being an inaccurate opinion writer?]
    Run along back to ‘skeptical’ science, where reading comprehension is almost as low a priority as honest science. You will be right at home among the head-nodders there, who are not concerned with facts, but only with promoting the false alarm of their catastrophic AGW agenda.

  86. DR. SERREZE ADMITS ERROR IN REDICTION
    Dr. Serreze and the NSIDC may have predicted the same 5.5 million km2 level as Steven Goddard as part of the NSIDC June submission to ARCUS, depending on whether they thought their submission was for the September minimum or the average. The general description provided on the ARCUS site states that the estimates are for the September mean arctic sea ice extent rather than the minimum, although this is sometimes confusingly referred to as ” The mean prediction for the September minimum” rather than the mean for September (which is the lowest monthly average during the year).
    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/background.php
    Steven Goddard stayed with the minimum estimate of 5.5 million km2 until August 29th even though he acknowledged that the daily level fell below his estimate.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/sea-ice-news-20/
    Dr. Serreze and the NSIDC admitted the error of their initial estimate of the September extent in a pdf attached to the Search site:
    “NSIDC 2010 Sea Ice Outlook Retrospective
    By Walt Meier, Julienne Stroeve, Mark Serreze, and Ted Scambos
    NSIDC’s initial estimate of 5.5 million square kilometers proved to be too high.”
    Later in the pdf they also admitted their July and August estimates of the September extent were in error when they stated:
    “In July and August, NSIDC used a new method to project the September ice extent via projecting the extent through the summer using average decline rates. This proved to be more accurate because as the summer melt season precedes the ariability in “meltable” ice declines with the setting sun. Our July and August estimate of 4.74 and 5.10 million square kilometers respectively were still too high compared to the daily minimum, due to a more rapid ice loss during August and September and a later than normal date of the minimum. This more rapid ice loss and late minimum was due to a combination of factors relating to atmospheric temperatures and circulation, ocean heat, and the thinner state of the ice cover.”
    http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/2010/summary
    Meier et al. (NSIDC)
    Based on the above statement, the NSIDC may have been confused and thought they were predicting the September minimum rather than the September average since the September average was 4.9 million km2, which was higher than their July estimate, but lower than their August estimate, and the September minimum was 4.6 milion km2 which was below both estimates.

  87. Smokey – my comment was deleted for some reason, but suffice it to say that after the first line with your name in it in my last comment, I was not talking to you.
    Turns out I was being a bit generous to Goddard saying he was off by 50%. When he made his final prediction modification, sea ice extent was around 5.33 million sq. km (so his 5.5 million prediction had already been proven wrong). He revised the prediction to 5.1 million, and by the standard he was using (JAXA daily), it ended up at 4.81 million. So he was actually off by closer to 56%.
    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2010/11/verifying-forecasts-2.html
    Peter Sinclair’s comments, however, pertained to Goddard’s claims that there was a good chance Arctic sea ice extent would set a record *maximum*, which Goodard said for several months before his first revision down to 5.5 million sq. km, followed by his second last-minute revision down to 5.1 million.
    Maybe it wasn’t “guaranteed” – perhaps an incorrect choice of words from Peter Sinclair. But Goddard suggested for several months that sea ice extent would be near a record maximum, that his predictions were probably too conservative on the low side. Then he revised downward several times to reflect the reality that it was much closer to a record minimum than a maximum. The fact that Goddard had to make these revisions is not evidence of a good prediction, but rather of a very, very bad one. On that subject, Sinclair is correct.

  88. Call me paranoid, but I think Goddard was relieved from his duties over here at WUWT, right around the time when it was becoming blatantly clear that all his bragging was turning into a big fat egg on the face. His face and by proxy Anthony’s face.
    That was a great tactical move by Anthony to all of a sudden, out of nowhere intervene in a discussion – where Goddard was being his usual silly self – and follow up by announcing that Goddard would not be writing for WUWT anymore. Just like that. Although Goddard had been his usual silly self many times in the preceding weeks and months, this wasn’t deemed a problem whatsoever. Remove the silly person when he isn’t performing a certain function and risks embarassing the entire enterprise. Well played.
    Anthony, if you want to ditch the revisionist history and really praise someone, you might consider Jinlun Zhang, the guy who runs PIOMAS (remember that one?) and was very, very close from his first prediction submitted to SEARCH onwards. James Annan was close too on another blog taking early bets.
    And how about answering some of Will Crump’s questions. When will Arctic sea ice be at the levels of the 1979-2001 level?

  89. Günther Kirschbaum says:
    “Call me paranoid, but I think Goddard was relieved from his duties over here at WUWT, right around the time when it was becoming blatantly clear that all his bragging was turning into a big fat egg on the face. His face and by proxy Anthony’s face.”
    OK, you’re paranoid. And very confused. Steve Goddard had no official ‘duties,’ he was just a contributor like many others. Since Anthony stopped Steve Goddard’s posts, your comment is senseless. No surprise there.
    Question: why the soul-consuming, visceral hatred of someone who simply had a different opinion than yours? Hatred seems to be the primary motivation of the global warming catastrophist crowd. Please explain why you need your hatred to keep you going. It’s because you’ve lost the argument, isn’t it?

  90. So, Mr Smokey, it was just a coincidence that “Anthony stopped Goddard’s posts” right around the time when the IJIS trend line for 2010 kept diving lower and lower beneath the number Goddard had been thumping his chest for in the months prior (insulting R. Gates, Phil. and others whenever he could)? Do you really think that was a coincidence?
    It just goes to show that some people can be fooled all of the time.
    REPLY: Mr. Kirschbaum,
    Enough of your conspiracy theories sir, take them elsewhere. Mr. Goddard had been wanting to break away and do his own blog for some time, and I had hoped (and asked) that he stay on until the end of the melt season and then startup a new blog. At the end of August, into Septemberyou may recall that I went through a family medical crisis, which I announced here.
    Mr. Goddard’s posts required a fair amount of publishing prep work and post publishing moderation, partially due to chronic gripers like yourself, thus I didn’t feel it would work in my absence with the volunteer team. So it seemed the right time to have him do his own blog, which is what he wanted. I turned down a lot of posts submitted at WUWT he wanted to do, and as you’ll note he does a much wider variety now at his own blog than the focus on sea ice he did here at WUWT.
    Tom Fuller chipped in to help fill the void, as did many others. Now that my crisis has passed, he’s moved on also. But you don’t seem to have any theories on that.
    At that time my life was pretty much in upheaval, and life threatening issues faced my family. Quite frankly I don’t give a rats ass what you think occurred or didn’t during that time. My focus was on my family, not on sea ice, not on Steve Goddard, and most certainly not on what you and other people who have nothing better to do than gripe, might think about the changes then.
    This will be the last discussion I have with you on the issue. – Anthony Watts

  91. I can’t help but wonder what I said that warranted deleting my previous comment, when Smokey is allowed constant childish baiting in every one of his comments.
    Yes Smokey, we’ve “lost” to a guy whose best argument is “you spelled ‘Serreze’ wrong”, followed by a fart joke. Your intellect is just too great for us to cope with.

  92. Gunther Cherrytree,
    If you believe I’m a fool, that is fine with me. Underestimate me all you want.
    But you’re still dodging the question of why you are so consumed with your visceral hatred directed at Steve Goddard – who simply has a different point of view than yours. Hating someone with a different opinion is a hallmark of the climate alarmist crowd. And it isn’t pretty.

  93. Smokey, I would have loved to continue our discussion, but Anthony won’t let me answer (except perhaps for this post). Shall I stoop so low and go off whining all around the blogosphere how my comments are being censored on WUWT?
    REPLY:Mr. Kirschbaum, as I said, I’m not going to continue the conversation with you. You and “Neven” (who I think is actually you) “go off whining all around the blogosphere” on a daily basis anyway, so it won’t much really matter. You do what you do. Your intent is denigration of people you don’t like that have a different viewpoint, pure and simple.
    You are welcome to comment on other threads at WUWT, on topic, and within site policy, but I’m not having any more discussion on how I run my blog, Steve’s new blog, and your conspiracy theories about it here on this thread. Asked and answered. You don’t like my answer, tough noogies. That’s what happened.
    Got some science? Discuss that, got whining? Take it elsewhere. Got issues with Steve Goddard? Take it up with him at his blog here. – Anthony

  94. No, I’m done with Steven Goddard. I’ll be keeping a close eye on your Arctic sea ice post though! Bending the truth is not an “opinion”. I’m looking forward to your next prediction of recovery. Who knows, maybe next summer you’ll get lucky.
    In the meantime:
    Mr. Watts:
    When will there be a recovery to the 1979 – 2000 September average?

    Come on, let’s get it on record. It’s easy attacking Serreze, Maslanik and other Polar experts, but you make yourself a tiny bit more credible when you show how it should be done and make some prediction that we can check. Not just the ‘look how the sea ice is recovering’ BS during winter (and most of the melting season and then change the forecast at the last moment, but still be 400,000 square km off, like WUWT ice expert Steven Goddard, but write afterwards how close he was after all, ie a real expert).
    Will you be letting this one through, I wonder.
    REPLY: Gunther/Nevin, you and Crump are a laugh riot. You lambaste me, then try to goad me into making a forecast that is outside the timeline of anything I have discussed here so far. Sorry, not playing your game, simply because you wish it. Your goal isn’t science, but to play gotcha on terms you and Crump create.
    I find your demands juvenile and transparent. Your Facebook page photo seems to illustrate this well. And, you are done on this thread.
    – Anthony

  95. REPLY: Gunther/Nevin, you and Crump are a laugh riot. You lambaste me, then try to goad me into making a forecast that is outside the timeline of anything I have discussed here so far. Sorry, not playing your game, simply because you wish it. Your goal isn’t science, but to play gotcha on terms you and Crump create.
    I find your demands juvenile and transparent. Your Facebook page photo seems to illustrate this well. And, you are done on this thread.

    The facebook page appears to belong to a ‘Gunter’ not ‘Gunther’, speaking of juvenile I wondered why my response to Smokey didn’t make it?
    Reply: Never saw a response, post again. -A

  96. Dear Mr Watts,
    I have just read your comment dated around 8.00 pm on the 29th regarding an illness in the family – kinda puts things in perspective. As I only get on-line from time to time, I did not catch the announcement on 31st August. I sincerely hope everything works out for the best.
    As some of my posts have indicated, I happen to disagree with your position on AGW. However, the sole reason I have for being on this site is that I genuinely hope I am wrong. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to discover some cogent argument (or preferably arguments) that would cause me to change my mind in this debate – again!
    It is blindingly obvious that to many people (on both sides) the whole thing is effectively an exercise in ideology – hence the short fuses everywhere. On the other hand, there are some of us who are more interested in the quality of the argument, rather than the volume of the rhetoric.
    May I be so bold as to make a suggestion regarding your reference ( or resources) pages? In the village where I live, my views are very much in the minority. However, the majority (of the majority) are somewhat inarticulate in their rejection of the AGW hypothesis. It would help them express themselves far better if there was some sort of introductory “primer” that they could be steered towards. (I know several such primers that are written with the premise that AGW is a given, but it would be inappropriate for me to recommend these.)
    There may well already be such a file on your (or some other) site, but, as yet, I have still to locate it. (However, as my wife never tires of reminding me, I did once fail to find the only object in a sports bag!)
    However, to repeat my original sentiment, I trust that all the health issues will be quickly resolved for the good.

  97. Sorry you feel lambasted. I think you were unlucky with the prediction.
    The original February projection of a 500,000 km2 increase in the September minimum was a reasonable prediction and looked like it might be too low at the end of March. Some doubt existed at the end of May when a new one day low was set, and at the end of June, but there was still plenty of time for the original prediction to come true. In July the melt slowed and if this had continued into August the minimum may have been just under the February prediction, but unfortunately for the prediction, the arctic dipole anomaly returned in August and brought relatively warm southerly winds into the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and a late minimum date in September.
    At this point, a 2011 prediction of a 500,000 km2 increase from the September 2010 minimum of 4.6 million km2 would be a reasonable prediction since it would be at the 2009 minimum of 5.1 million km2. Some may even view hitting the single day minimum of 5.1 million km2 as a sign the arctic ice is recovering, even though it would be tied for the fourth lowest extent recorded in the satellite history and would be below the record minimum set in 2005. A more conservative approach requires that the Arctic ice minimum return to 5.7 million km2, the minimum for 2006, before believing that the decline in Arctic ice extent has leveled off. Even if this occurred, the Arctic ice would still be significantly below the 1979 to 2000 September average extent of 7.05 million km2.
    I guess we could also predict the Antarctica sea ice minimum extent, but there does not appear to be much change in the minimum. Per Tamino the “Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent has actually increased during the satellite era. This isn’t statistically significant if one uses only the summer minimum, or winter maximum, values, although it’s almost significant for winter maximum. But if one uses data for all months, the increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979 is statistically significant.” http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/history-of-arctic-and-antarctic-sea-ice-part-1/
    This increase may not be maintained, however, as Judith Curry thinks the substantial warming trend in the Southern Ocean may result in a decline in Antarctic sea ice extent.
    Resolving the Paradox of the Antarctic Sea Ice
    “Our finding raises some interesting possibilities about what we might see in the future. We may see, on a time scale of decades, a switch in the Antarctic, where the sea ice extent begins to decrease,” said Judith A. Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816154958.htm
    Abstract
    The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated sea surface temperature variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models’ internal variability is too strong, leading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.
    Jiping Liu and, Judith A. Curry. Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice. PNAS, August 16, 2010 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003336107

  98. I remember a matronly lady saying: “Somebody has got their undies in a bundle.” And I think that pertains to many of the comments here. Yes, Steve Goddard overestimated the Arctic Ice minimum, and, yes, the graph has some undesirable features concerning timing. BUT, people, get a grip! It is not Goddard’s graph. In fact, it is produced by his opponent! Goddard played by the rules established by his opponent. Comments here have passed the point of ridiculousness when some people do not think that the admission of error has been insufficiently strong. Such comments especially are ridiculous because the posters apparently forget that from the beginning, Goddard warned that weather conditions in September could make his prediction high. Compare that to the statement of his oppponent: “I do not see any way that the minimum will not be less than it was in 2007.”
    In fact, Arctic Ice made a noteworthy dip later in September after appearing to level off. That is much more worthy of discussion than the depth of admission of error. Meier says that winds in September were not unusual. Does Goddard agree with that? AGW believers say that the ice is blown more easy by winds because the ice is thinner. That sounds plausible. Do skeptics have a response?
    While we are at it: What’s up with Hudson Bay this month?

  99. My November guess (made in Sea ice news #28) of 10.1 to 10.3 million km2 arctic sea ice extent per JAXA was wrong as the correct amount was 10,087,969 km2 making the low end estimate 12,031 km2 too high. I was lucky that it was this close.
    The December 31 guess was 12.2 to 12.4 million km2.
    Based on November, I should decrease the low end of the range to at most 12.0 million km2. The December 31 extent could be less than 12.0 million as the increase for December of 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008 were each less than 1.8 million km2 with 2004 reporting an increase of 1,450,625 km2. On the other hand, 2006 reported an increase of 2,549,062 km2, but this was due in part to the unusual low for November 30 of 2006. The lowest December 31 extent of 12,230,156 km2 occurred in 2008, and the last three years have seen an average increase of 2.05 million km2 for December, so I will stick with the December guess made at the beginning of November.
    While the actual December amount will depend on the weather, it is a certainty that the 2010 annual average ice extent as determined by NSIDC will be significantly lower than the average for 1979 to 2000 of 12.15 million km2 and the average for the period of 1979 to 2008 of 11.92 km2.

  100. Will Crump says:
    December 2, 2010 at 7:23 am

    My November guess (made in Sea ice news #28) of 10.1 to 10.3 million km2 arctic sea ice extent per JAXA was wrong as the correct amount was 10,087,969 km2 making the low end estimate 12,031 km2 too high. I was lucky that it was this close.

    To the number of significant figures you reported, you were right. And I fail to see how you were “lucky” that you were that close. The next day was at the bottom of your range, three days after Nov 30 put the value in the top half of your range, and four days after put it about 94000 km^2 above your range. Luck seems to imply that the ice did better than the weather conditions would have led it to, which I don’t think is a justifiable position, especially given that the DMI temperatures are running colder than they have in years:
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
    -Scott
    -Scott

  101. Scott:
    Thanks for your kind characterization, but as I watched the numbers in late November, I expected to miss the minimum by a much larger margin. On November 23 the JAXA number was 9,542,969 km2. The previous 7 days had only shown an increase of 195,625 km2 so it was possible that November 30 would be under 9.8 million km2. This would have put it just under the November 30, 2006 extent of 9,740,938 and I would have been off by a lot.
    I was “saved” by the last 7 days of November, which showed an increase of 545,000 km2.
    When I originally made the guess, I thought I might have been too low on the upper range as only 2006 and 2007 reported extent figures below 10.3 million km2. As recently as 2008, the November 30 extent reached 10,714,375 km2 and 2009 was 10,398,281 km2. If “the DMI temperatures are running colder than they have in years” then my guess should have been too low. Luckily for me and not the ice, November was warmer than average in the areas that had not been covered by ice at the end of October.
    Your analysis that any prediction will likely only be a few days off is correct, and I agree that the ice extent was a reflection of the weather conditions for November, but I did not use a forecast of November weather conditions in my very unsophisticated guessing of November 30 ice extent. I do not put much faith in predicting weather conditions as these appear to be subject to sudden swings.
    I am not sure what significance should be attached to the temperature model used by DMI to estimate the temperatures above 80 degrees north as this area appeared to already be ice covered at the end of October. (Please let me know if I am wrong on this.)
    The temperature in the latitudes between 66 degrees and 80 degrees (to the extent such areas are sea and not land) appear to be the temperatures that should have the greatest impact on the growth in ice extent, but I have not found a source that tracks such temperatures.
    According to the NSIDC analysis, which was not available when you posted, the November 2010 average was the second lowest (only 2006 was lower), and:
    “Ice extent was unusually low in both the Atlantic and Pacific sectors of the Arctic and in Hudson Bay. Typically by the end of November, nearly half of Hudson Bay has iced over. But on November 30, only 17% of the bay was covered by sea ice. Compared to the 1979 to 2000 average, the ice extent was 12.4% below average for the Arctic as a whole.”
    NSIDC attributed the slow November growth to local weather, saying::
    “This November, ice extent over the entire Arctic grew at an average rate of 74,000 square kilometers per day (28,600 miles per day), which is slower than average. However, local weather conditions kept ice extent very low in some locations, contributing to the low extent for the month.
    Near-surface air temperatures over the Siberian and Alaskan side of the Arctic were 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal in November. Air temperatures over Baffin Bay were also unusually warm (8 degrees Celsius, or 14 degrees Fahrenheit above average). The warm air came from two sources: unfrozen areas of the ocean continued to release heat to the atmosphere; and a circulation pattern brought warm air into the Arctic from the south.”
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2010/120610.html
    These local weather differences appear to be much larger than the temperature changes indicated in the DMI chart. While I have seen many bloggers, including Joe Bastardi, refer to the DMI above 80 degree north temperature model as a proxy for ice growth expectations, I do not believe this is correct as the temperature difference from the average noted by DMI is too small (and still below the freezing point of sea water) to have caused the low ice extent in November.
    I appreciate your comment, but I still think anyone who guesses the right number is lucky more than they are knowledgeable about Arctic sea ice conditions.
    Do you think ice extent over the next five years will stabilize, continue to report declines, or recover to levels higher than the record minimum reported in 2002?
    At this point, (based on numbers reported by NSIDC) I expect the next five years to continue the declining trend line, but perhaps the rate of decline will slow (due to the the size of the remaining area). I base this guess on the prospects for increasing TSI, warming from lower albedo, and anthropogenic activity forcing. Even so, I expect at least one of these years to report higher ice extent than the 2010 minimum, but do not expect to see the minimum return to a level higher than the 2002 minimum. I expect a new minimum to be reported in at least one year in the next decade and perhaps within the next five years.
    Time will tell.

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