July ARCUS forecast poll – What will the September NSIDC Arctic minimum extent be?

Once again, I’m going to give WUWT readers an opportunity to make a forecast for submission, based on voting. See the poll at the end. 

I’ll run this poll each month in the week before the deadline, and we’ll see how we do as the minimum approaches. The value used by ARCUS is the NSIDC value as they say here:

The sea ice monthly extent for September 2010 was 4.9 million square kilometers, based on National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) estimates.

So don’t be using the JAXA graph to forecast minimums, though it it useful for determining short term trends as it is more responsive than the NSDIC graph below, which is averaged.


Here’s the latest JAXA graph:

JAXA AMSR-E Sea Ice Extent -15% or greater – click to enlarge

On May 30th I submitted the results of the first poll to ARCUS to be included in their June Outlook, as shown below:

Figure 1. Distribution of individual Pan-Arctic Outlook values (June Report)

Download High Resolution Version of Figure 1.

WUWT is second highest, at 5.5 million sq km. Notably missing this year is “Wilson”, who in the last two years started out with impossibly low values such as 1 million sq km. I’ll repeat the poll next week in preparation for the July Outlook. In the meantime, check the WUWT Sea Ice Page for the latest.

Here’s the poll for the ARCUS July outlook, it will run until July 30th at noon EST.


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chris b

Did you mean each week in the month before the minimum?

More in Arctic Icebreaker/Shipping/Fishing/Cruise-Liner News:
“Icebreaker for Shell’s oil-spill response fleet needs Inupiaq name – June 22nd, 2011”
“The 360-foot-long, low-emission ship, under construction in Louisiana by Edison Chouest Offshore, is scheduled to launch late this summer. It will be ready for sea trials in January, said Capt. Michael Terminel, with Edison’s Alaska operations.
It will join the icebreaker Nanuq to support Shell’s proposed exploration drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas starting in summer 2012. One vessel will work in each sea, said Curtis Smith, Shell spokesman.”
“A Push to Increase Icebreakers in the Arctic – August 16, 2008
“In the meantime, a resurgent Russia has been busy expanding its fleet of large oceangoing icebreakers to around 14, launching a large conventional icebreaker in May and, last year, the world’s largest icebreaker, named 50 Years of Victory, the newest of its seven nuclear-powered, pole-hardy ships.”
“Shipping traffic in the far north is not tracked precisely. But experts provided telling snapshots of maritime activity to legislators and other officials from Arctic countries at an international conference last week in Fairbanks, Alaska. For example, Mead Treadwell, who attended the conference and is an Alaskan businessman and the chairman of the research commission, said officials were told that more than 200 cruise ships circled Greenland in 2007, up from 27 in 2004.
Lawson W. Brigham, chairman of the three-year Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment that is scheduled to finish work this year, told the gathering that more than 5,400 vessels of 100 tons or larger operated in Arctic waters in the summer of 2004. During that summer there were 102 trips in the Northwest Passage and five complete transits of that legendary route, he said.”


Can you change the “4.6 to 4.8 million km2” range to 4.6-4.7 so its size is the same as the others in the middle?


Thanks Anthony, I was the same as you last month. I have put it up by 0.1 this time to 5.1

Geoff Sherrington

Anthony, Do you think it prudent to encourage people to wager on an “estimate” of a natural event, that is “smoothed” mathematically in the presentation? Surely that is a procedure that we sometimes disapprove when done by others. (Insert smiley).


I think it is clear that the Arctic ice is in a bit of a decline extent wise. But I think it is equally clear the mass is almost at the decadal norm.

The way I see it, the Arctic ice volumes may be decreasing further in forthcoming decade, while both N. Europe and N.E. US winters get much colder.

Pissed off Kiwi

Will be second lowest after 2007.

RR Kampen

< 4 M km2.


wow, that’s a nice bell-curve – guess the sample must be genuine!

mark h

I dont know if you guys have seen this already but I,ll put the link here anyway.Venus no greenhouse effect.
Basically states that if Venus was the same distance from the Sun as the Earth the temps would be roughly the same even with 95% co2 in Venus,s atmosphere.


The Kiwi is right, and not because of warming.


Here’s the poll for the ARCUS July outlook, it will run until July 30th at noon EST.
July or June?

Jimmy Haigh

My guess is 4.6 to 4.7. (There is an error in the poll choices – it has 4.6 to4.8).

Dermot O'Logical

Why no ‘precise’ options for below 4.5? I want to vote 4.3.

John Marshall

I remain in the 10.4% at 5.5+ million sq.km. But I guess.


It will “unexpectedly” flatten out at around 5.7 million.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Sorry to say I haven’t the time to join those who argue about what is happening on a day-by-day, play-by-play manner. I may drop by to lurk, and chuckle at some of the exchanges, but some of us have to work.
See you in September.

Larry Fields

Psychic Larry predicts that the September NSIDC Arctic minimum extent will be the same as last year.


I wonder … is this an attempt to test reliability of public polls in comparison with scientific forecasts?

Alan the Brit

I’ve voted.
The year? 2111, the time June, A Monday morning. Scientists all arouund the world are in a turmoil & in furious debate about what scientists in the late 20th & early 21st centuries were claiming to be an apparently ridiculous statement by some so called environmentalists that sea-ice was declining in the Arctic Circle at that time. Apparently the Arctic ice changes are repeating themselves almost in an identical manner! Archaic primitive computer models of the time had been shown 90 years ago to be totally inadequate & based on awfully flawed assumptions about how the Earth’s climate worked & how the variabilty of the Sun impacts upon it. One scientist, a Professor Hyram D. Donethesciece, of the world famous Anthony Watts University in California, said that the actual early satellite measurements did not show any particular abnormal changes or fluctuations in sea-ice extent, other than normal small changes over time in accordance with wind & sea current variations of the last 130 years, & in fact the small decline evidenced way back in 2007, ballyhooed at that time as a signpost for impending global doom, was almost indistnguishable from the average figure for a September minimum! A colleague, Professor Arthur P. Checkedhisfacts, went one stage further by saying that taking into account historical & annecdotal evidence way back to the 18th century, suggested that fluctuations in Arctic & Antarctic Sea Ice was a prefectly normal thing to see over time. He went on to say that too many poor scientists of the late 20th & early 21st centuries were too quick to jump to conclusions to secure their taxpayer grant funding because of their well intentioned but flawed political views! He also suggested that if they had paid more attention to what was going on elsewhere in the Solar System, they would have realised it was the Sun all along & could have saved millions of lives from the effects of disease & starvation that followed in the early 21st century:-)Sarc off.
Apologies to any Professors Hyram D. Donethescience & Arthur P. Checkedhisfacts, if they exists, knowing my luck, they really do!!!!


I voted 5.0 to 5.1 last time and am sticking with it.

wayne Job

To all those believers of AGW that wish the Arctic to melt to prove a point, not a good idea. Those against AGW wish the Arctic ice to grow to prove their point. My problem is that my best guess is that a melting Arctic sea ice is our wonderful world dumping heat and thus cooling. The melting of ice tends to suck a lot of heat from the ocean. That heat escapes toward our north star never to return. Turn on an airconditioner and you have to wait sometime for it to kick in. The Earth responds not in minutes hours or days but in years. The sun had a few frenzied peaks and that heat is now being dumped. The sun is now on holidays and the dumping still continues with the inertia in the system. Very soon the new catch cry will be Anthropologic Global Cooling, it will still be our fault and caused by CO2.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Since there’s no el Nino warmth hanging about in the Northern Hemisphere I’ll say in the vicinity of 2009, just a tick higher than it.


Went with 4.8 to 4.9

I used a more sophisticated method of calculating the minimum sea ice for this year. I used a straight edge to line up with edge of the graph, instead of eye balling it.
I notice that my guess is so far also the most popular guess.

Anyone wishing to guess at the JAXA ASMR data is welcome to swing by the Lounge of the Lab Lemming for the third annual ice extent guessing pool:
The 2009 guesses were extremely alarmist, and 2010 also tended low, so if some of y’all could try to balance things out, that would be great.


I’m upping my vote to “greater than 5.5” because, despite the continuing loss around the periphery, I think the base limit will have been raised by longer staying thick ice. I’m reckoning on the final graph to show a wider though shallower curve after mid July.

I have nothing but my intuition to explain my forecast for Arctic minimum this September. I am going to go with 5.5-5.6. I am thinking we are seeing a flattening of the “sign wave” pattern of waxing and waning ice. Mind you, once the “big push” of climate propaganda takes off this summer I would not be surprised if NSIDC claims the ice completely melted for the first time ever. The Arctic is where they will make their last stand. It’s the only place left where they can make outrageous claims of warming because nobody ever goes there except them.

Albert Gore

Zero of course, all ice will be gone as predicted!


@ John Marshall: completely OT but is that you in the Telegraph letters page this morning (“Titchmarsh is wrong”): http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/
Nice one about transportation CO2!


Any ice you see is an illusion created by big oil and the evil polluters! The more snow you see, the more you can be sure of the denialist agenda! /sarc

Michael Jennings

I will guess 4.575

Moderate Republican

mark h says @ June 27, 2011 at 1:11 am “I dont know if you guys have seen this already but I,ll put the link here anyway.Venus no greenhouse effect.”
Oh, and Venus has the same atmospheric conditions – including pressure – that we do I take it? Everything behaves the exact same way as here? Uh, no.

I perdiks Hudson Bay will have 0.0 ice extent by September. Give or take 0.

5.1 to 5.2
Because I’m a genius.

Dave Springer

I fail to see why arctic ice extent is such a big deal. Arctic sea ice extent is almost exactly analogous to the thermostat in a water-cooled automobile engine. As there is more heat to dispose of the thermostat opens up wider allowing more water flow into the radiator. As there is more heat to dispose of from the tropics arctic sea ice extent shrinks which exposes more liquid water surface. A liquid water surface gives up heat FAR faster than a frozen surface.
We know global average temperature has been rising. We got 30 years of satellite data to prove that. But it isn’t getting warmer in the tropics. The “radiator” at the north pole starts working more effectively by opening up more liquid water surface and just dumps that extra heat out the path of least resistance – straight up into space. As a result the pole gets warmer but the effect diminishes as you move south. The ironic part of all this is we’re in a damn ice age and we really some extra warmth in the higher latitudes to extend growing seasons. Increasing CO2 is a huge net benefit to life on this planet including us.


4.9 – 5.0
This year could be higher slightly depending on late summer weather as always (or lower even) but in this case weather patterns appear to be set in this range at least in my mind.


Sun continues to petter out today 26 SSN
At this rate one wonders whether average max might be 40 SSN. Im guessing that the effects of the dying sun are beginning to kick in with SST staying well below previous years despite a slight El NIno and of course TLT following this already. I reckonthis yars average temp will be aroung 0.1 to 0.2C (+) based on the AMSU averag for 30 years.


@Glenn says:
June 27, 2011 at 1:04 am
“wow, that’s a nice bell-curve ”
Bell Curve? Where? All I see is a running time series plot of the actual Ice extent.

Leon Brozyna

Going with ±5.1; flipping the coin and going to the plus side 5.1-5.2.
I assume you meant to say the poll will run to June 30th vice July.

Pamela Gray

The AO has calmed to neutral and appears stuck there. Looking at ice transport maps, I don’t see much chance of a wind-driven flush. The ice is also pretty thick and concentrated tightly, so it would need a good wind to shove it out. So I will peg it above 5 somewhere.

Pamela Gray

I decided to vote for above 5.5

Gary Krause

Curious if the use of ice breakers help the prevailing winds reduce the ice coverage???


Will the winds blow as in ’07? Maria knows but kim doesn’t. Despite those unusual winds, the recovery of ’08-’10 suggests that the turning point has been reached in a cooling world.


The clouds accumulate,
Pameling up in splendor;
Gray, full of laughter.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

I’m sticking with the Canadians at 5.0 M Km2. However, the age of the remaining ice continues to increase, so the long-term recovery of the ice cap appears to be ongoing.
Now, keep the damn icebreakers out of there and give the thing some time to recover!

@Moderate Republican,
“Oh, and Venus has the same atmospheric conditions – including pressure – that we do I take it? Everything behaves the exact same way as here? Uh, no.
Nice attempt at a drive by. The ENTIRE article is about temperatures at equal pressures.
Amazing you learned to type without learning to read.

Oh, and my personal prediction for Sept. minimum is 5.45 Mkm^2 ± 0.3

Rod Everson

Under 4.5…a guess…but in watching “paint dry” all winter and spring it appeared that the freeze up was late in many areas, especially Hudson Bay, and that the thaw is early. Until very recently, 2011 looked ahead of 2007 in many areas, and still is in some, like north of Russia, though things are changing relatively quickly now.
Anthony, why don’t you add a map of the Arctic that indicates all the various sea names on your Sea Ice Page? It would be a handy reference.

Gary Krause says: June 27, 2011 at 8:18 am
Curious if the use of ice breakers help the prevailing winds reduce the ice coverage???
I think the answer is definitely yes, it’s just a question of magnitude. Icebreakers are designed to help reduce ice coverage, and icebreaker captains are generally smart enough not to break ice when the wind is blowing towards the icepack, lest their icebreaker get stuck. If you look at the US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy’s Cruisetracks for 2006;
and 2008;
it seems intuitive that icebreakers, in conjunction with wind to blow the broken up ice into warmer waters, would help to reduce sea ice coverage.
Unfortunately, we cannot see what the Icebreaker Healy was up to in 2010, as the Cruisetrack is missing;
and it is harder to see the current year, because for some reason the US Coast Guard Icebreaker Science Operation site has added a login to their Realtime Tracking Map:
Site registration is here: