Final Arctic Sea Ice forecast poll

Poll now closed. Results below will be submitted to ARCUS on Sept 1st.

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’m late getting this online this month as other things took precedence.

For reference, here’s last months forecast poll and the final submission with all other forecasts from other groups. The final forecast poll you can participate in follows.

The value used by ARCUS in the forecast 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.

Right now the NSIDC value is about 5 million square kilometers.

[ UPDATE: NSIDC’s Julienne Strove from NSIDC writes in comments:

“Note, the NSIDC value today is 4.66 million sq-km.”

Of course NSDIC doesn’t publish the daily values like JAXA does, so we all have to guess since we aren’t privy to that information.

The 5 day average graph is all the public gets. And of course, any estimate is hampered not only by the average, but also by those coarseness of the Y axis. I’ve asked before for NSIDC to publish the daily value and the response has been that they have more important issues to attend to.  However, clearly the ARCUS forecast group is watching this number and it is important to the final forecast done by over a dozen groups now. So you think it would be valuable to post the daily data. -Anthony]

https://i1.wp.com/nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png?resize=500%2C400

Here’s the latest JAXA graph:

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

Here’s the poll for the ARCUS August outlook, it will run until Sept 1st at midnight PST.

(NOTE/UPDATE: This poll was originally exactly like all the others done over the last several months, but one snarky commenter (the first one) complained that I was a “manipulator” because it didn’t have more lower values. Of course he never bother to ask why or look at the history of the other polls.

I had considered initially adding those lower values for this poll, but then figured I’d be derided for changing the poll and not being consistent with the other polls. In retrospect, I’ll be criticized no matter what I do, so within 20 minutes of it going online, I decided to extend this poll with 0.1 million km increments down to 4.0 million kilometers. I’ve also removed the options for voting 5.5 to 6.0 (which existed in prior polls) since they are outside the current bounds of possibility based on previous September history.  – Anthony

178 thoughts on “Final Arctic Sea Ice forecast poll

  1. With all due respect, its amazing how you have no time for this even though Jaxa just dropped to 4.8 milkm2 on August 30th. and Bremen has plummeted below 2007 near 4.5-4.6km2.
    Do you have anything to say about your 5,750,000km2 prediction?
    Do you have no shame in what you are doing here? Any? Does a human being actually exist inside you? What convenient excuse are you going to throw out there? How long will this shame last? Long enough to make money? Fame? What are you going to do as this goes on?
    Good Luck.

  2. You might want to adjust your poll.
    You’ve left only two realistic options and left a 500km2 gap between them.
    Whats manipulator you are Sir.
    REPLY: Oh puhleeze. And if you bothered to check, these are the EXACT same options as all the other polls I conducted over the last several months when it looked like it would be higher. My thought was if I were to add to it, people would then complain this poll doesn’t match the others. “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t”. Chris, don’t call me a manipulator, particularly when you can’t be bothered to check the history prior to mouthing off an accusation. – Be as upset as you wish.
    See note added in the body of the message – Anthony Watts

  3. Hey! it looks OK to me.
    Looks like it will parallel 2007 with a larger area. But? what is the average thickness? Area means very little without thickness.
    (This is probably hidden sonewhere on the site where I can’t find it).

  4. My suggestion is to just remain Honest Anthony. Don’t change your approach trying to pander to people who could take issue with the way you present information. If you think what you do is accurate and gives most readers the right impression, then it’s all you can do. *wonders if Chris was one of the 2 people who selected 6.0 million km^2 as the artic ice extent*
    REPLY: Well the possibility does exist that the final number will be somewhere between 4.0 and 4.5, where it didn’t seem likely a month ago, so adapting to the conditions isn’t a bad thing I guess. It’s like recalibrating your instrument in the field to measure lower values because those are the one coming in. Like I said I’ll be damned if I do, damned if I don’t so I may as well be damned for providing more options. Votes that are above the current 5.0 million sq kilometers value will probably be considered outliers anyway, so I’ve decided to remove those options for 5.5 to 6.0 . – Anthony

  5. NSIDC is between 4.8 and 4.9km2.
    You predicted 5,750,000km2 minimum for this year.
    Please be accountable for that.

    REPLY:
    Again you are incapable of reading. I made one prediction personally this year, 4.9 million sqkm seen here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/31/sea-ice-news-arcus-forecast-from-readers-submitted/

    “My choice for my own personal vote was 4.9 to 5.0 million square kilometers.”

    If you read the ARCUS forecasts, you’ll also see others that predicted initially high values, even last month there were two other groups predicting higher values than the WUWT reader poll:

    Of course, since your interest is clearly all about denigration, none of that will matter to you I’m sure. But its all there in all the reports open for anyone to look at. Just search for ARCUS in the search box and you’ll see all the polls and reports over the last few months – Anthony

  6. I’m sticking with 4.9 to 5.0, as I have throughout. I think we’re near the low point now and it’ll turn flat within days, like it did in 2006.

  7. tallbloke says:
    August 31, 2011 at 2:00 am
    I’m sticking with 4.9 to 5.0, as I have throughout. I think we’re near the low point now and it’ll turn flat within days.
    I agree. Looking at the images on Cryosphere Today it looks like the ice has been making a quick recovery in concentration over the last 2 weeks.

  8. Don’t sweat the ice area statistics. The thickness is much greater today, and we could even say the volume is likely more. Arctic temperatures above 80°N have been colder this summer and September. The ice area will rebound quickly, of course. I projected a 5.75 million sq km min. for 2011 a couple weeks back. I’m sticking to it.
    You said you were sticking to it Sir? Bad Memory? I think I read that just fine.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/19/sea-ice-news-23-plus-a-bonus-noaa-blunder/#comments
    REPLY: Note the date: September 19, 2010 Heh, you are so busy trying to find fault you missed a whole year! That was for the 2010 season, and yes, it was off last year. And the all important sentence above it:
    He notes this from Pierre Gosselin’s No Tricks Zone. Pierre writes:
    Pierre’s quote, embedded in that post, not mine.
    The 4.9 forecast I cited above, was for THIS SEASON, done in May 2011. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, all of this is professionally recorded along with other organizations making forecasts by ARCUS.You apparently haven’t figured any of this out yet. Try pulling your foot out of your mouth and reading the ARCUS polls and forecasts posted on WUWT since. – Anthony

  9. I apologize for not understanding the blog post better since that paragraph was cut off from the beginning by the large image. If that was you it would have been very disingenuous. Which is why I was very upset about that.
    REPLY: Thank you for your apology – Anthony

  10. Chris Biscan, Anthony Watts screwed up big time last year with his prediction of a recovery and letting Steven Goddard act macho for months on end, but then quietly letting him go when all his bravado was getting flung back in his face. They were off by 1 million square km, they learned (at least Anthony did, Goddard acts the same as ever).
    Anthony is just copypasting monthly NSIDC summaries now. This year only Joe Bastardi has made a wishful thinking fool of himself.

  11. August 30 2011 the Sea Ice Extent was 4,803,438 km2. So all the above predictions are already wrong.
    I hope it will break the record extent of 2007. And it looks like it will if I compare the trends from the other years in the graph. The trend is still down for the other years during September.
    So also Bastardi’s prediction from January 2011 was totally wrong. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAjE7NViElA
    Wake up people: Arctic sea ice volume is dropping almost year by year. Extent says nothing about the condition of the ice. The volume trend is down. So stop using this nonsense as if there is nothing happening.
    There is a difference between a thickness of 1 cm or 10 cm of ice on a lake. It means the difference between skating or no skating in my country. In either case the lake is covered with the same ice extent. The same is true for the Arctic Sea Ice extent.
    But is it unprecedented as many alarmists claim? That’s another question!

  12. Sorry, folks, I used a couple of lumps in my G & T last night! Clearly my last prediction was wrong & it appears to be less than I thought! Ho hum!

  13. 5 – 5.1 Same as I have guessed/voted all season. It’s cold up there 8)
    Having fun with metrics. Snickering at doom-mongers reasons for why an ice free Arctic is “important”. ROFL at first poster. (At least he stuck around and apologised after dropping his truthbomb)

  14. I’m guessing 4.7, down from 4.9 last month and 5.1 the two times before. The odds on Intrade are 90% that this year will not break 2007’s record.

  15. I will stick with my original guess of 4.7 – 4.8, which I said at the time I was adjusting down. It now looks to me like it may be optimistic (if just slightly). We’ll know in a month.

  16. Looks like the NOAA north pole webcam has had too much Old Pulteney. And what’s that at the top right of the image? (see sea ice page; image captured aug 31 @ 4.31 am).
    Via the unscientific method of eyeballing, I’m guessing 4.9 mill square klicks.

  17. I voted 5.0-5.1 million and now I’m going to be wrong for a whole year. Another poll won’t help ease my (very minor) pain.
    I’m more interested why WUWT readers were the third most likely to vote high. Wishful thinking? A natural defense mechanism against the warmist crowd? Or did something happen in the Arctic that lowered otherwise more accurate predictions?
    Stubbornly not going to vote again.

  18. In terms of the ice thickness, the average thickness across the whole Arctic ocean basin is probably always the same at this time of year.
    It is thin on the melt edge and thicker in the middle areas. You are not going to have 5.0M km^2 of 4 inch ice. It is just a physical property of large slab of ice. It is melting down from 15M km^2 in March to 5.0M km^2 in September. Thin on the melt edge, thicker across the middle, weighted average thickness is probably always the same.
    It is the area or the extent that changes (marginally). 1980’s record 7.85M km2 sea ice minimum probably had the same average ice thickness as 2007’s 4.3M km^2.
    ——————–
    On average, the Arcus Search sea ice minimum for September (as reported by the NSIDC which is the metric) is 222,000 km^2 lower than the August 29, Jaxa number. The expected Sept 2011 number for NSIDC should 4.67M km^2. The range is 4.41M to 4.97M so lots can happen yet depending on the weather.

  19. Why does Robbie say “I hope it will break the record extent of 2007”?
    Does he wish there is global warming?

  20. Regardless, compare with 2002 and what does all this speculation really mean? And where is the JB predicted uptick? And why such unreasonable empahsis on anecdotal cold when anecdotal heat as in Texas is virtually ignored?

  21. Anthony, Can you help me with a discussion on a local blog. Someone made the comment that you have never been published either as an author or co-author. Can you set the record straight?
    REPLY: In climate, I have two publications:
    1. Watts, A. (2009), Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?, 28 pp.,
    Heartland Inst., Chicago, Ill. ISBN 13: 978-1-934791-29-5 ISBN 10: 1-934791-26-6 (PDF at this link http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf )
    2. Fall, S., A. Watts, J. Nielsen-Gammon, E. Jones, D. Niyogi, J. Christy, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2011: Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D14120, doi:10.1029/2010JD015146.Copyright (2011) American Geophysical Union. (PDF at this link http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r-367.pdf )
    – Anthony

  22. To the alarmists:
    Global warming alarmism is starting to make people yawn. That’s why there is less interest in Arctic ice.

  23. Kevin MacDonald
    You must have missed all the debate over PIOMAS. It’s not an interesting topic anymore. Add PIOMAS to the sea ice page? It’s like saying the Mann Hockey Stick graph should be added to the Global Climatic History Page.

  24. My initial guess was high. Oh well. I have been watching where the ice is going. For the most part this summer, it has not been flushed out compared to 2007. It has been melting in place and also piling up against Canada. It is doing that now. Ice volume models were adjusted in June or July (can’t remember) and ended up demonstrating a slower trend than previous models. When they put in place modeled winds and pressure systems, I think the next version will reduce the volume loss trend even further.
    Extent is now showing a turn up and we are solidly in the freeze up temperature period, so I think we are at or near the lowest now and will start to rebuild before the end of September. So I am going with 5.3 to 5.4. Even then, I don’t think this number reflects the overall amount of ice that did NOT melt compared to 2007 when it was clearly flushed out of the Arctic by pressure systems conducing to flushing out Fram Strait.
    Overall, I continue to think that the baby is fine and behaving well within natural parameters.

  25. DCA says:
    August 31, 2011 at 6:03 am
    Anthony, Can you help me with a discussion on a local blog. Someone made the comment that you have never been published either as an author or co-author. Can you set the record straight?
    Are these people concerned if Bill Nye, Bill McKibben, or Al Gore have published?

  26. For years, we sceptics have been afraid to admit that there are signs the climate has changed because that would be immediately taken by the warmist as “yet more proof of catastrophic warming”.
    For me, Svensmark & CERN has completely changed that. They do not have an answer to the solar activity – climate connection If you watch the following video, the connection is so well supported by correlation after correlation after correlation that I was literally shocked.
    Lord Monckton has for me always had the right approach: to admit the truth. CO2 does cause some warming, but the climate models are wrong in the amount of warming because they include massive and unsupportable positive feedbacks which multiple lines of evidence disprove (failure to predict the present absence of warming, Spencer, Lindzen and Choi and many others.)
    But, paradoxically I think we are approaching a consensus. CO2 warming of around 0.5-1C for a doubling. The rest contains a substantial chunk of solar activity, of instrumentation error and other “errors” (which we are going to have to forgive and forget if we are to move on) On the other hand, whilst we have won the argument against positive feedbacks, we have “lost” the argument about sea ice (although I don’t recall anyone saying sea ice wasn’t melting). Sea ice has diminished. It is beyond doubt that there has been a change – but what do we expect when its been the warmist decade of record?
    The point I’m trying to make is that we are not helping our position even to give the impression we are trying to pretend things like ice melting is not happening, a warmer 20th century is a given, CO2 warming is a given, but sea ice does nothing to help the extreme warmist position as adopted by the IPCC, because we now have good evidence to show their models vastly overestimate the effect of CO2 and totally ignore patently obvious affects like solar activity.
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1n2oq-XIxI&w=560&h=345%5D

  27. As a non-expert, I’m going to make a prediction for next year that we’ll be below the 2007 Sea Ice Minimum, approx 4 x 10^6 km^2.
    But that’s just me. What do I get if I win?

  28. Somebody please help me understand what I seem to be missing.
    We’re voting no the final minimum sea ice extent number, right? Or did I get that wrong?
    And isn’t the current sea ice extent below 5 million km^2? So why are people still casting votes for over 5 million km^2?
    I’m sure there’s something obvious I’m overlooking or misunderstanding and am hoping someone will point it out to me.
    Thanks,

  29. Here we go again with comments like Robbie’s at 3:10 AM. Beginning in 2007, the Serreze gang began predicting that Arctic summer ice extent would continue its downward spiral. Now, four years later, 2007 has proven to be a floor, not the ceiling they prophesied. To compensate for their failed predictions of a continued “death spiral, folks like Robbie now move the goalposts, bleating about volume, or MYI. They also point to sceptics failed predictions of an immediate and large recovery as if that somehow vindicates their four year failure of a continued decline. Well, as been pointed out here, it’s not clear anyone has a handle on an accurate volume measurement, so that’s kind of a red herring, and MYI seems to be stabilizing.
    I’m a “denier”, and predicted 4-4.2 million sq. km. summer extent this year. That probably won’t verify, but i believe we’ll see a choppy summer extent rise over the next 20 years to 1970s extent levels. 2007 was a floor. Summer extent has been bottoming out, and as cycles of climate drivers change, we’ll see a recovery of Arctic ice. Bastardi and co. predicted it way too soon, but it will happen.

  30. Like a true climatologist from the First Church of CAGW, I keep changing my numbers based upon emotion, whim and sheer guesswork!
    My original 5.0 MKm2 went bye-bye a while back (same as Canadian Ice Service prediction, so I don’t feel so bad) and I’m sticking to my revised 4.5 MKm2.
    If we hit a new Sea Ice Extent Minimum in 2011, will we hear the old “Arctic death spiral” stories in the media, or do we think folks are checked out on this? I haven’t really seen squat in the media about ongoing trends, but we can be sure that “Cool Hat” Hansen, “Fire-Breather” Al Gore and others will beat the drum.

  31. 4.6 – 4.7, same as the last times.
    But it’s a crapshoot for all of us, considering how much weather affects the final coverage year to year.
    I would like to repeat my request for a detailed look at sea ice during this later part of the melt season, like we had the last few years with a number of posts per week.

  32. Any ideas why NORSEC is showing more sea ice than NSIDC et al? Divergence is recent and appears to be widening.
    Bill

  33. DCA says:
    August 31, 2011 at 6:03 am
    Anthony, Can you help me with a discussion on a local blog. Someone made the comment that you have never been published either as an author or co-author. Can you set the record straight?
    Anthony has published with Pielke et al on surface stations. So AT LEAST once.

  34. My original guess was 49. to 5.0. I am dropping it to 4.7 to 4.8, although the winds seem to be pushing the ice away from the Fram strait. The ice could flatten out pretty quickly.

  35. 4.4 – 4.5
    Sea Ice looks fine, simply at the lower end of the range.
    What’s up with the August atmospheric anomaly over the Arctic?

  36. I’m very puzzled everyone going on about the amount of arctic ice
    in the meantime big oil in arctic Norway and Russia are going ahead with exploration
    I mean how do the people think the oil got there in the first place?
    Surely, there must not have been any ice at some stage in the past because oil is a product of (old) vegetation….

  37. What is the state of our understanding of underwater volcanoes in the arctic? Do they exists? Are they active? Are there studies about their influence on arctic ice?

  38. If the current value is at 4,9m sq km, the minimum can’t be above that. Even if the ice extent were to recover from now on, we’d have reached a minimum below 5,0m sq km. Of course, since the goal is to guess specifically the _September minimum_, I should retract my remark.
    But in my opinion, the minimum for a specific month or week or date is not nearly as interesting as the absolute minimum of a melt season.
    So, to me, it seems completely absurd to expect a 5,1m sq km “sea ice minimum”.

  39. @Scottish Sceptic: You wrote: “Lord Monckton has for me always had the right approach: to admit the truth. CO2 does cause some warming, but the climate models are wrong in the amount of warming because they include massive and unsupportable positive feedbacks which multiple lines of evidence disprove (failure to predict the present absence of warming, Spencer, Lindzen and Choi and many others.)”
    I completely agree. The Arctic Sea Ice Extent is quite likely to bottom out below 2007’s level this year, and without a wind blown reason. It’s just melting away in place. There’s also probably less area and less volume than in 2007. In other words, the trend continues. But we’ve won the main argument, i.e., whether or not CO2 is going to drive the world into a catastrophic warming that we can only avoid by taxing ourselves back to the Stone Age.
    We do our position no good by failing to admit (or sometimes even see) the obvious. I’ve guessed (and it was a guess) “Under 4.5” in all three polls thus far, and will go with “4.2 to 4.3” in this poll. This guess was entirely predicated upon my observation that the freeze-up last winter appeared to be very slow compared to earlier years, so I just assumed the thaw would be more aggressive than last year. So far that appears to have been the case. Last year I was cheering for 2010 to beat 2009 and I consider myself completely unconvinced by the warmist case. But that doesn’t mean one ignores reality. The ice was in far better shape at this time in 2007, if the concentration charts are accurate, and much of the area still covered at the minimum in 2007 is already open water this year. The parts still covered this year (but not in 2007) look like they could melt in place quite easily over the next two weeks.
    Frankly, it has bothered me some that the prevailing view in here over the past few months has seemed to be that none of this is even happening. R. Gates might (or might not) be wrong on the theory, but I suspect his view of the current state of the ice is more accurate than that of most of the commentators in here lately. As you said, Scottish Sceptic, just admit the truth. Failing to do so only weakens the larger case being made so effectively now.

  40. My guesstimate and vote is 5.4 to 5.5 Million km2, I’m not educated to make guesstimates nor is the sea ice extent my area of expertise, but just for a bit of fun I’ll go with 5.4 to 5.5 Million km2 for four reasons.
    1. It looks like La Niña Will Return This Winter.
    2. Many parts of Europe have experienced it’s coldest summer in 20 to 50 years respectively.
    3. Low solar activity.
    4. Temperatures drop faster than they rise.

  41. I didn’t vote because it’s only weather. The minimum ice extent will depend on factors like wind strength and direction, water temperature and cloud cover. In other words it’s a weather forecast. Fun as it is, I think you are only guessing unless there is a basis for your forecast – such as more or less of the driving factor(s). Has anyone looked for correlations between year on year ice extent and weather patterns? I think it be interesting to explore that.

  42. >>Julienne Stroeve says:
    August 31, 2011 at 6:58 am
    Note, the NSIDC value today is 4.66 million sq-km.<<
    Julienne (or others), what is a link to the daily values? I can only find the monthly averages. Thanks.

    REPLY: I have asked NSIDC (via Walt Meier) several times to post the daily values, and the response has been that they have more important things to do. Here’s a good example of why they should. People are using the graph ad I did to try to get the current daily number, and the X-axis is so coarse you have to guess. – Anthony

  43. HenryP says:
    August 31, 2011 at 8:20 am
    “I’m very puzzled everyone going on about the amount of arctic ice
    in the meantime big oil in arctic Norway and Russia are going ahead with exploration
    I mean how do the people think the oil got there in the first place?
    Surely, there must not have been any ice at some stage in the past because oil is a product of (old) vegetation….”

    Continental Drift! When that old vegetation was young and alive, the land it thrived in was considerably further south of where it is now.

  44. I find it interesting that since Aug 24, there appears to be very little change to the ice extent on the Cryosphere today comparison plots (yet ther other graphs on the sea ice reference page are still going down . . .). There is a little reduction in extent towards the top of the plot, but it doesn’t look like it should be sufficient to warrant the decrease seen in the extent of other plots. Perhaps just a difference between systems and how it is measured . . .?
    YET the concentration sure is getting greater in the ‘center’ of the plot. Even if the extent ends up close to 2007, still no ‘death spiral’. And the next few years will be interesting to watch ( . . .with the low solar activity, and any PDO/AMO/EL Nino/La Nina changes . . . ).

  45. DocattheAutopsy says:
    August 31, 2011 at 7:03 am
    As a non-expert, I’m going to make a prediction for next year that we’ll be below the 2007 Sea Ice Minimum, approx 4 x 10^6 km^2.
    But that’s just me. What do I get if I win?

    Bragging rights.

  46. Merrick says:
    August 31, 2011 at 7:08 am
    Somebody please help me understand what I seem to be missing.
    Final ARCUS Forecast – What will the September NSIDC Arctic minimum extent be?
    The answer is in the question.

  47. Hi Rod, one thing to note is that the ARCUS forecast is for the monthly mean for September, not the actual minimum value. So keep that in mind when choosing your value.
    The 4.66 million sq-km value of today is the actual value, not averaged over 5-days which is what we show in our time-series plot that Anthony references in this blog. The reason we use a 5-day running mean is to filter out noise from weather effects. I wasn’t aware that Anthony had asked Walt several times to post the daily values. I suppose one problem with that is what values to post, the actual daily values or the 5-day running mean with the understanding that these values change? I would have to check in with Walt though to better understand why the daily values are not publicly available. Of course you could derive them yourself, since the actual gridded data are available via ftp, and using the data together with the area-per-pixel files we provide, anyone can compute their own ice extent numbers.
    REPLY: You can’t figure out which one to post? Ummm how about the one you just cited, the data set that yelds 4.66 million sq-km? If it is good enough to embarrass me here wit in comments, then surely it must be good enough for public consumption. Obviously you had that value at your fingertips, why can’t the taxpayers of the United States you serve get it? JAXA does this, why can’t NSIDC? – Anthony

  48. Merrick says:
    August 31, 2011 at 7:08 am
    Somebody please help me understand what I seem to be missing.
    We’re voting no the final minimum sea ice extent number, right? Or did I get that wrong?
    Final ARCUS Forecast – What will the September NSIDC Arctic minimum extent be?
    September minium!

  49. REPLY: I have asked NSIDC (via Walt Meier) several times to post the daily values, and the response has been that they have more important things to do.

    That’s one reason why ARCUS should use the JAXA/AMSR-E figures, which come out daily. Another reason is that the satellite JAXA/AMSR uses is less subject to breakdowns, and is more reliable. Those reasons are why Intrade uses the JAXA/AMSR figures for its betting.

  50. Anthony, I think you misread me, I wasn’t trying to embarrass you at all, simply wanted to give the number to help your readers make their choices.

  51. Has anyone ever looked at the 1979-2000 baseline to determine whether it is a good basis for comparison? Were the AMO and/or PDO in positive or negatives phases during that time? Is it a representative period?

  52. Thanks for the information Julienne. I’d forgotten that you’re with the NSIDC. My apologies.
    I guess, though, that I’m with Anthony on this. If all the data is there for us to derive the daily extent, which I haven’t looked at, but I assume consists of hundreds, if not thousands, of individual grid stats, then how much more difficult can it be to add a file that lists the derived daily result, exactly as JAXA does (with whom my only complaint is I wish they’d add the new result to the top instead of the bottom so that I wouldn’t have to scroll down every time I look at it)? In fact, doing so increases the odds that errors will be more quickly uncovered in either data collection or calculation, because others are checking the figures daily.
    As to which result, obviously the daily result is most useful as it’s trivial to then compute a five-day average, whereas it takes a bit of work to re-engineer the daily result from the five-day average. But then, given what is already available, why not just post both?
    Seriously, Anthony has a point. And as another taxpayer, I would like a clear explanation why this information is being withheld when I’ve paid for it and since it’s of obvious interest and would be so trivial to add to the site. I mean, it’s not a “Call your Congressman” issue, but why post all the data except the final calculations? Seems silly to me.
    Besides, dribbling it out like this is just confusing. Is the 4.66 for “today” a number for yesterday 8/30, or is it really the result for today (8/31) and therefore one day ahead of the JAXA number? In either case, it’s low enough that it gives me more comfort in my 4.2-4.3 forecast, so thanks.

  53. Anthony, as an alternative, if the daily NSIDC numbers remain unavailable, why not just switch next year’s poll (assuming there is one) to the JAXA numbers? Might as well give them the benefit of your traffic since they’re the most generous with their data (at least in this case.)
    I’m not sure why the NSIDC wouldn’t want to set the standard, but that would seem to be their choice if they decide not to publish the data for their users. As with other markets, people would drift to the best service available. In fact, it’s entirely possible that the comment someone made earlier about the reliability of the satellites might be obvious if we saw daily data from NSIDC (just speculating now) and that might be the actual reason that it’s not being made available.
    As with anything else, when there’s a void in the information stream, people start speculating as to the possible reasons, in an attempt to fill that void…

  54. Kevin Macdonald says
    When that old vegetation was young and alive, the land it thrived in was considerably further south of where it is now.
    henry@Kevin
    Good point. You could be right. But I think there were also periods in earth’s history when there was no ice at all on the poles.
    .
    Also, it seemed the Dutch seafarers in the 15 and 16th century were convinced that a northern sea route to Asia existed or did exist from some time before
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/53182/Willem-Barents
    I am convinced that that route may have been open during what has become known as the Medeviel Warm Period.
    So there is nothing new for the arctic to lose a bit of ice.
    It seems to be a NH thing.
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  55. Julienne says:
    August 31, 2011 at 9:39 am (Edit)
    Hi Rod, one thing to note is that the ARCUS forecast is for the monthly mean for September, not the actual minimum value. So keep that in mind when choosing your value.
    The 4.66 million sq-km value of today is the actual value, not averaged over 5-days which is what we show in our time-series plot that Anthony references in this blog. The reason we use a 5-day running mean is to filter out noise from weather effects. I wasn’t aware that Anthony had asked Walt several times to post the daily values. I suppose one problem with that is what values to post, the actual daily values or the 5-day running mean with the understanding that these values change? I would have to check in with Walt though to better understand why the daily values are not publicly available. Of course you could derive them yourself, since the actual gridded data are available via ftp, and using the data together with the area-per-pixel files we provide, anyone can compute their own ice extent numbers.
    Hi Dr. S!
    Thanks for proving the gridded data. I noticed that you asked some questions on the R help list
    do you write R? Maybe if I get some time I’ll write up an R package for folks who want to process the data themselves and make their own animations and calculations

  56. REPLY: I have asked NSIDC (via Walt Meier) several times to post the daily values, and the response has been that they have more important things to do. Here’s a good example of why they should. People are using the graph ad I did to try to get the current daily number, and the X-axis is so coarse you have to guess. – Anthony
    The graph of the 5day average shows significantly less than 5.0 so what’s the problem?

  57. The NSIDC did put out – together with the NIC – daily MASIE numbers. But they are not the same.
    MASIE extent is derived from an entirely different set of data products above and beyond microwave products and its a smaler grid — 4km

  58. Bremen Prelim map is out and shows another massive loss day coming. After tomorrow this will slow down a lot and we can go from there. This one is going to be huge though, maybe record setting if it was September But August is going out with a bang. Likely 100-150K on all three major reporting places.
    As for thickness. Buoys and ships both say thickness is at all time recorded lows. We can either pretend this data doesn’t exist or accept it and make better predictions on it. This is clearly backed up by the thousands of photographs taken by Polarstern, Healy, and the Laurents.
    There is less measurements in the Southern Canadian Basin. However this buoy is close:
    http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/2011D.htm
    http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/2011C.htm
    The thickest ice stil resides near the Greenland coast towards the CA Islands but since nearly the entire CA Islands have completely melted out with only winds pushing ice back into that area recently the old storage of thick ice is completely gone.
    Most of this came from bottom ice melt. I have a feeling those computer models that track thickness do not do well with that or even cover it. But real time analysis shows incredible ice loss from this feedback.

  59. TheTempestSpark says:
    August 31, 2011 at 8:49 am
    My guesstimate and vote is 5.4 to 5.5 Million km2, I’m not educated to make guesstimates nor is the sea ice extent my area of expertise, but just for a bit of fun I’ll go with 5.4 to 5.5 Million km2 for four reasons.
    1. It looks like La Niña Will Return This Winter.
    2. Many parts of Europe have experienced it’s coldest summer in 20 to 50 years respectively.
    3. Low solar activity.

    Solar activity is higher now than it was at the time of the record sea-ice minimum in 2007.

  60. @Martin Clauss
    Concentration gets better because melt ponds freeze over as well as small cracks…OBS show thickness over most of the ice pack is low. Cocentration would be 100 percent if the entire arctic was covered in 10Cm of ice with no cracks.

  61. “The southern route of the Northwest Passage now appears to be free of sea ice according to imagery from the University of Bremen and the NSIDC Multisensor Analyzed Sea Ice Extent (MASIE) analyses. However, U.S. National Ice Center analyses indicate that there may be up to 20% ice concentration remaining in some parts of the route.”
    This from the NSIDC web site.
    1 Is it gibberish?
    2 Is the North West Passage navigable at present?
    3 Why don’t they go and see?
    Anthony
    Keep up the good work and remember the nit pickers are just nits?

  62. Back at the beginning of the melt season I predicted the min at 4.285714 Mkm2, fully expecting to be on the low side, but since my estimates of 5,714285 Mkm2 for the last several years had been on the high side I was hoping to bring my avg prediction closer to the avg observed number. In case you’re wondering, my habit of making predictions out to 6 decimal places is meant to be a subtle jab at the tendency of most of these clucks to log their data out to the nearest km2 when their supporting documentation usually indicates that they’re probably only good for the nearest 0.2-0.5 Mkm2. The need for a semi-random looking but easily memorable 7 digit number has lead to my highly scientific methodology for smoothly extracting my predicted value from my anal orifice. Looking at the numbers should give the more arithmetically astute among you a strong clue as to what that method is.
    You may have also guessed that I don’t take any of this crap very seriously. In that you would be correct. Having inquired on numerous occasions as to what exactly is the catastrophe that is supposed to occur if and when the sea ice in the Arctic should go to zero at the minimum, the only answer that has ever been suggested is enhanced ocean warming from the sunlight falling on the expanded areas of open water. My response, since at least ’08, has been to suggest that low solar angles, and the albedo of ocean surfaces at such angles, and rapidly dwindling daylight in the month of September when such a zero point would likely occur, suggest that phenomenon, should it occur, is unlikely to be significant. Indeed we have been experiencing expanding areas of open water in the Arctic for more than two decades now and if anyone can provide a link to some negative climate phenomenon that is well correlated to that expansion I would certainly appreciate it, because my own efforts to find one have so far been entirely unsuccessful.
    A few weeks ago I suspected my low ball estimate might actually turn out to still be too high, but just in recent days both the CT and Nansen graphs of sea ice area are suggesting an early bottom, though it’s way too early to say at this point. BTW, does anyone else find it curious that CT’s number for SIA has been close to a million km2 smaller than any of the others that track that metric for at least two seasons now? WUWT?

  63. Can I start by echoing Mr Watts’ frustration with the non-availability of daily (or 5 day averaged) SIE data from the NSIDC. As mentioned, Jaxa do this as a matter of course, as do CT. The historic month-end averages are of course available from the NSIDC at…
    ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/
    Having to try and extract numbers from a chart is rather like placing a horse behind the cart. (Reversal of an old proverb – justified on grounds of poetic licence.)
    However, and this just could be my 122 year old eyes (between them) playing tricks, when I extend a horizontal onto the y-axis of the above NSIDC chart (for 30th August) it looks a lot closer to around 4.7 – 4.8 million sq km than it does to 5 million. Julienne indicated that today’s (31st Aug) figure was 4.66, so that would seem to stack up.
    I know a couple of people have tried to answer Merrick’s question about the September (yep, that’s the key word) average and how some people can by still sticking with a number that has already been passed for the daily figure. Lacking access to the NSIDC historic daily data, is a bit of a pig, but one can at least get a feel for things by using the Jaxa CSV file. If one looks at this, there have indeed been 2 occasions on which the September average ended up being higher than the daily figure for the last day of August – namely 2002 and 2004.
    Mr Watts also wisely warns against over reliance on Jaxa daily figures to help predict the equivalent NSIDC monthly average. The Jaxa versus NSIDC September averages over the 9 years since they both became available are a bit lopsided. From 2002 until last year, the figures in millions of sq km (with the Jaxa numbers shown first) are as follows…
    (2002) 5.89/5.96; (2003) 6.13/6.15; (2004) 5.96/6.05; (2005) 5.53/5.57; (2006) 5.91/5.92
    (2007) 4.38/4.30; (2008) 4.84/4.68; (2009) 5.38/5.36; (2010) 5.10/4.90
    The reason for splitting these comparisons into two batches is that the ratio crossed unity. For each of the years between 2002 until 2006 the NSIDC figure for the mean September SIE exceeded the Jaxa figure by an average of about 46,000 sq km. However, for each of the last 4 years, the Jaxa figure has been higher, and has averaged around 110,000 above its NSIDC equivalent.
    How will they compare this year – I’ve no idea.

  64. Hi Rod, errors in the daily data (either from us or from JAXA) will result from (1) weather effects, (2) land-contamination, (3) missing swaths (or delay in getting all the swaths), (4) geolocation issues (the near-real-time data we get has not gone through the rigorous geolocation/calibration as our “final” data set does). We are well aware of these errors, which is one of the reasons why a 5-day running mean is used on our ASINA page. But another important thing to note is that after we receive the better quality-controlled brightness temperatures from RSS, all the data is once again reprocessed. So when you go to the Sea Ice Index (ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/) for the monthly data you will notice that there are final #s (the Goddard ones), preliminary #s and the near-real-time #s, and these will eventually be updated.
    Thus I don’t agree with your statement: In fact, doing so increases the odds that errors will be more quickly uncovered in either data collection or calculation, because others are checking the figures daily.
    The data providers (NSIDC, JAXA, Bremen, etc.) are well aware of the potential errors in the daily #s. We worry that others won’t be.
    But I agree that it would be a good idea for NSIDC to make the daily #s available though (with all the caveats clearly stated).

  65. Bill, some of the historical daily extent data is here: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/seaice/polar-stereo/trends-climatologies/ice-extent/
    there you have access to both the “final” NASA Team and Bootstrap #s.
    Thanks for the JAXA/NSIDC comparison, that is interesting and I’m not sure why the differences between the two data sets change after 2006. The 2008-2010 #s from NSIDC will still change though after the NASA GSFC folks send us an updated data set.

  66. Phil. says:
    August 31, 2011 at 10:53 am
    “Solar activity is higher now than it was at the time of the record sea-ice minimum in 2007.”
    Hi Phil, that’s true!
    One years solar minimum is irrelevant but not insignificant in Solar Cycle Progression and as 06,07,08,09 and 2010 were years with lower solar activity before 2011 (which is still lower compared to 00, 01, 02 and 2003) thats why I said “Low solar activity” and not ‘No solar activity’,
    I would expect there to be lower activity before minimum ice extent rises/grows if there is a time lag between the warming and cooling of the planet due to solar activity.
    And like I said, I’m not an expert on arctic sea ice extent but I understand the fact that these cycles are observed over large timescales between cause and effect, and the next solar maximum intensity is predicted to be much lower than 00, 01, 02 and possibly 2003, It therefore seems logical to me that there will be more Arctic ice build up over the coming decade, that’s why I chose the high guesstimate and vote of 5.4 to 5.5 Million km2, there is still a whole month of declining Arctic temperatures that could tip the scales in favor of my vote (whats a million or so km2 in planetary scales), but I think it’s very unlikely that the Arctic will be Ice free this year or decade maybe not even this century, unlike some of the “Experts” in the field that have been franticly Exclaiming that it will.
    (Did I mention that I’m NOT an Expert in Arctic Sea Ice?) 🙂

  67. Chris Biscan (@Frivolousz21) says:
    August 31, 2011 at 11:22 am
    @ Dave Wendt
    CT Uses a 6.25km grid resolution.
    Jaxa uses 12.5km grid resolution.
    Norsex uses 25km grid resolution.
    Thanks for that. Interesting that a 12.5 km gr change between JAXA and NORSEX yields not much difference, but an extra 6.25 km gr change yields such a dramatic difference.

  68. Not entirely off topic:
    Reality of Sea Ice is Starting to Bite
    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/reality-of-sea-ice-is-starting-to-bite/
    South Pole Explorers worried about climate change and the melting Antarctic are losing their ice breaker because the Swedish Government needs it to maintain shipping lanes during the upcoming winter in the Baltic.
    The article includes a letter to Hillary Clinton among other interesting information like the big question why the NSF failed to maintain the US Icebreaker fleet.

  69. I learned something today.
    I had always thought, as a non scientist, that these ice prediction threads were a bit of fun. A humerous diversion from the front line, like soldiers playing laser squad.
    The vitriol in some of the comments has made me think again. It’s nasty out there!
    why did science ever come to this ? It’s a crying shame
    EO

  70. re: Chris Biscan (@Frivolousz21) says: August 31, 2011 at 2:46 am
    That paragraph isn’t cut off in any way by the image in my browser, so you may want to consider either a different screen resolution or a different browser, if the image is causing yours to have problems.

  71. it isnt “science” the politics are NASTY and have nothing to do with science which is impersonal and impartial.

  72. If I had to put my current line of thought on the role of these factors by percentage for different time periods here goes:
    (DIRECT FACTORS, NOT INDIRECT)
    natural Variability
    GHG’s(including Co2)
    Temperatures, including SST’s
    1979-2011:
    Natural variability(40%)
    GHG’s(20%)
    Temperatures(40%)
    2007-2011:
    Natural variability(10%)
    GHG’s(10%)
    Temperatures(80%)
    Since 2007 the role of AGW has likely went from 30-40% of the ice decline from 1990-2006. And Temperature feedback has gone up exponentially.
    If this process can be shutdown by something else for a while…I can definitely see the ice stopping and gaining volume for a while. Until AGW catches up wit the ever increasing rise of GHG’s.
    On the flip side if this does not get impeded. We are about to see the ice dramatically drop to possibly near ice free conditions in less then 5 years.
    The data on this is clear. The SSTs are crushing the ice from the sides and from below. Not AGW currently, even though natural variability and AGW were triggers for the SSTs to get out of control and decimate the ice.
    it is likely since the early to mid 2000s that Ice volume was crippled.
    If this continues, we will see the bottom drop out so to speak.
    As in the ice as we can see in the laptev will melt out from below, not from the top or sides.
    This is a complete admission that i estimated AGW’s role in this as a much larger factor then it was and has been.
    However SSTs are much more dangerous and deadly for ice in the short term.

  73. Forecast interval categories of 1/4 standard deviation are pure roulette–if you happen to “win” with such a play, it is pure luck, not any skill whatsoever.
    I’ll stand by my prediction your May poll: 4.5 or less, for the same reason I did then.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/19/sea-ice-news-call-for-arctic-sea-ice-forecasts-plus-forecast-poll/#comment-665723
    Back then, ~85% of Wattsers polled felt it would be higher than it is now. ~20% of Wattsers overpredicted by more than ten times the spread. I wonder what this set of dart throws will show.

  74. How the #s stack up for August 30th (actual daily values, not the 5-day running mean).
    In my opinion, given the uncertainty in these #s, 2007 and 2011 are tied at the moment.
    2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
    4.5886 5.07877 5.33669 5.21215 4.65878

  75. Looks like we’re going to settle in somewhere between 2007 & 2008, so around 4.4 million sq. km. More important though is of course sea ice volume, and in this category, even by conservative estimates, we’ll have far and away the least amount of arctic sea ice by total volume. Sorry skeptics, but no sea ice recovery in sight, and in fact, quite the opposite. Expect 2007’s record low extent to be beaten by 2015 at the absolute latest– New Little Ice age is postponed indefinitely.

  76. re: Günther Kirschbaum says: August 31, 2011 at 2:50 am

    Anthony is just copypasting monthly NSIDC summaries now. This year only Joe Bastardi has made a wishful thinking fool of himself.

    Gunther, your backhanded ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ attack on Anthony is both unwarranted and wrong. Anthony did make a prediction this year, and linked to it in a comment above yours.

    REPLY: Again you are incapable of reading. I made one prediction personally this year, 4.9 million sqkm seen here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/31/sea-ice-news-arcus-forecast-from-readers-submitted/
    “My choice for my own personal vote was 4.9 to 5.0 million square kilometers.”

    Making out like someone is a fool if a prediction isn’t correct is just absurd. A bunch of top experts have been playing the same game year after year, and the majority of them wind up with incorrect, often wildly incorrect, predictions. Either you must therefore claim that they are all fools (which frankly I think makes you look pretty foolish, not them) or one must recognize that it is a complicated system with many variables that make it almost impossible to ‘correctly’ predict what the final ice amount will be. What fun would a prediction contest be if it were easy to know what the final result would be?
    To make out like anyone, expert or non-expert, somehow owes an apology or mea culpa when they get the final ice extent number wrong is, well, assinine. Anthony displays no hubris or arrogance in making his predictions – he just puts it out there dryly, often along with an explanation of his reasoning. The only possible way it would be reasonable to then castigate any of the folks participating in the contest or even just making a prediction, no matter how far off they were, would be if they claimed they were right when they weren’t. I sure haven’t seen that, and I don’t believe you or Chris have either.
    Please, check your bias at the door, would you?

  77. “Bremen Prelim map is out and shows another massive loss day coming. After tomorrow this will slow down a lot and we can go from there. This one is going to be huge though, maybe record setting if it was September But August is going out with a bang. Likely 100-150K on all three major reporting places.”
    more flash melting???.
    Whats the weather like? That could be impacting the measures. If you have large storms like you did that day ( aug21-22) when the “flash melting” occurred, you had better be wary of the data and wait a day….
    “No warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding the accuracy or utility of the data! False ice concentrations can occur due to bad weather systems”
    and if they are all using microwave sensors then I would be wary of chest thumping until a few days have passed. personally, I’d wait for 5 day averages, and then celebrate the demise of the ice.

  78. Bill Masie numbers are computed with an entirely different set of source data and they use a different method. you can compare it with itself and thats about it.

  79. bill the frog says:
    August 31, 2011 at 11:19 am (Edit)
    Can I start by echoing Mr Watts’ frustration with the non-availability of daily (or 5 day averaged) SIE data from the NSIDC. As mentioned, Jaxa do this as a matter of course, as do CT. The historic month-end averages are of course available from the NSIDC at…
    #######
    data sets are created for different uses, for example some are created for operational use and they need to be done daily. You can see this if you READ the dataset documentation which details the PURPOSE of the particular dataset. There are plenty of unreliable daily datasets to busy yourself with. I would not add another to the stack.

  80. @Rational Debate
    I was under the impression that Mr. Watts predicted a min extent of 5,750,000km2
    With all of the data out there, that would have been absurd. That is all. I wanted accountability for such an absurd prediction. I apologized immediately for my attitude towards that.
    I deal in facts. I have no problems apologizing or admitting I am wrong.
    I just do not like when people make bogus bias opinions…this goes on both “sides is.”
    We have more real time data then ever now.
    @StephenMosher
    there is a relatively weak SLP that has formed the last 3 day and slide from the Bearing to the Western/Central Arctic. This has caused a 15-20mb gradient between it and the HP sliding south over the Beaufort. This spawned 10-18kt winds over a wide area.
    Because the ice is weak and the SST source of the winds are record warm Bottom melt/compaction has caused this. This lasts one more day before winds go chaotic in the Arctic.
    Today will be a major drop and tomorrow will be big then we can reevaluate things with a better forecast.
    I have learned to use daily 3 day forecasts for my ice ideas. It has proven to be extremely effective in nailing daily ice loss.
    by day 2-3 things get chaotic. I have to admit to under estimating the loss of ice with the ice being so thin and waters so warm.
    Even with colder temps a chaotic SLP based September pattern with that warm water out there and thin ice could upheaval warm water that is killing the ice from underneath. Stay tuned.

  81. Michael Twomey says:
    August 31, 2011 at 10:04 am
    Has anyone ever looked at the 1979-2000 baseline to determine whether it is a good basis for
    comparison? Were the AMO and/or PDO in positive or negative phases during that time? Is it a
    representative period?
    I’ve answered my own question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amo_timeseries_1856-present.svg
    Since the AMO was in a positive phase for almost all of 1979-2000, it seems misleading to use that for a baseline against which to compare today’s negative phase temperatures. Or, is that the point?

  82. Michael, the start date of 1979 is used because that’s when the modern satellite data record came on line. The 2000 end point was initially chosen to examine how 2002 compared to the longer term mean (1979-2000). However, I think the mean should now be 1979-2010 since we’ve just completed another decade of observations. In any papers where I discuss anomalies/trends I use the longest time-series possible for that and not the 1979-2000 baseline.

  83. It would be interesting to see some research on how much of the ice is weather dependent and how much is climate.

  84. R. Gates says:
    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    ……”Sorry skeptics, but no sea ice recovery in sight, and in fact, quite the opposite. Expect 2007′s record low extent to be beaten by 2015 at the absolute latest– New Little Ice age is postponed indefinitely.”
    ======
    A trend is your friend, till the bend.
    Prove otherwise.

  85. Chris Biscan (@Frivolousz21) says:
    August 31, 2011 at 10:51 am
    As for thickness. Buoys and ships both say thickness is at all time recorded lows. We can either pretend this data doesn’t exist or accept it and make better predictions on it. This is clearly backed up by the thousands of photographs taken by Polarstern, Healy, and the Laurents.
    If you go around the Arctic chopping the ice up with ice-breakers is it surprising that more of it melts?

  86. if i may use bowling for illustration purposes…..does the individual games bowled have an impact on the average? of course they do because the average is simply the total games bowled divided into the total score to get an average per game……but does the average have an impact on any individual game? NO the average suggests what usually happens but has ZERO control over what IS/will happen.
    the climate is that bowling average and the weather is the individual games in my illustration…..simply put the climate IS nothing more than the average weather over a given period of time(most often 30 years), so the weather in reality controls what the climate will indicate BUT just like in bowling the average had NO impact on the next single game.
    just like the racing form tells you what the horses did in the past it does NOT tell you which horse will run fast TODAY.

  87. Could it be that the small increase in the trace gas, with which, in recent times, we have been so concerned, is making the nice white stuff go all melty-melty?

  88. Looking at everything, sea levels, ice extent and temperature, it really does look like we have entered a plateau and may be heading for another decline. This has been predicted and the last century of data displays it rather well. We have a sine wave going up at an angle of around 1C per century since the LIA.
    I just hope this CAGW scare-fest has been killed and buried by the time the upswing starts again, and that we don’t get another ‘the ice-age cometh’ scare-fest in the mean time!

  89. R. Gates says:
    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    “New Little Ice age is postponed indefinitely.”
    GOOD! You think anyone wants it to be cold? Bring on the warm, bring on the CO2, a more stable and productive biosphere would be a wonderful thing for humanity.

  90. frivolousz21 says:
    August 31, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    “Since 2007 the role of AGW has likely went from 30-40% of the ice decline from 1990-2006. And Temperature feedback has gone up exponentially.”
    See Rigor and Wallace 2004 with updates
    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/research_seaiceageextent.html
    “This animation of the age of sea ice shows:
    1.) A large Beaufort Gyre which covers most of the Arctic Ocean during the 1980s, and a transpolar drift stream shifted towards the Eurasian Arctic. Older, thicker sea ice (white ice) covers about 80% of the Arctic Ocean up to 1988. The date is shown in the upper left corner.
    2.) With the step to high-AO conditions in 1989, the Beaufort Gyre shrinks and is confined to the corner between Alaska and Canada. The Transpolar Drift Stream now sweeps across most of the Arctic Ocean, carrying most of the older, thicker sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait (lower right). By 1990, only about 30% of the Arctic Ocean is covered by older thicker sea ice.
    3.) During the high-AO years that follow (1991 and on), this younger thinner sea ice is shown to recirculated back to the Alaskan coast where extensive open water has been observed during summer.
    The age of sea ice drifting towards the coast explains over 50% of the variance in summer sea ice extent (compared to less than 15% of the variance explained by the seasonal redistribution of sea ice, and advection of heat by summer winds).”
    Rigor updated the accompanying video again at the end of 2009

  91. Here’s my prediction.
    There will be ice.
    The Warmists will say it is less in area than it should be.
    Or thinner.
    Or more fragile.
    Or pinker.
    Or the wrong sort of ice for polar bears.
    The sceptics will say it isn’t.

  92. For comparison with the other readers here, I’m predicting 4511297 km^2 for the NSIDC monthly average extent. Note that this value is derived from my JAXA daily minimum extent of 4463881 km^2…I do all my analyses using JAXA daily values for the regressions, but it shouldn’t skew the conversion to monthly NSIDC too much.
    Note – my methods are statistical and combine CT’s daily area numbers with JAXA’s daily extent numbers. JAXA daily is already below 2010’s value (due to taking a huge beating the last two days), and the CT area dropped below both 2008 and 2010 several days ago before rebounding back (noisier data). I’m putting odds of a record low area ~50/50 with maybe a 25% chance of record low extent (both of these are daily records I’m talking about). That 25% number is just a guess…I didn’t run any confidence intervals.
    -Scott

  93. R. Gates says:
    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    Sorry skeptics, but no sea ice recovery in sight, and in fact, quite the opposite. Expect 2007′s record low extent to be beaten by 2015 at the absolute latest– New Little Ice age is postponed indefinitely.
    Why be sorry? That is excellent news! As we keep trying to tell you people, warmer is better than colder for most living things, and we are in favor of life!
    Please be sure Ol’ Sol gets the memo, as well as the oceans.

  94. Dave Wendt says:
    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    —————–
    Thanks, Excellent animation of the observation period but the time scale for multi-year ice is confusing. As I understand it, multi-yeat ice is 2 years or more. The white in the animation refers to ice that appears to be much older (likely produced at the bottom of the cycle prior to 1979)?
    Since the observation period started at the bottom of the cycle (around 1979) and currently only reflects half of the cycle (assuming that is a valid statement), is the animation reflecting what will occur again as we complete the next cold phase (final half of this cycle) as we once again accumulate more and more multi-year Arctic Sea Ice?

  95. John from CA says:
    August 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    Dave Wendt says:
    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    ————–
    An interesting follow up question, is there any evidence multi-year ice prior to 1979 in the Arctic was older than 15-20 years? If no, the question is solved?

  96. R. Gates says:
    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    ……”Sorry skeptics, but no sea ice recovery in sight, and in fact, quite the opposite. Expect 2007′s record low extent to be beaten by 2015 at the absolute latest– New Little Ice age is postponed indefinitely.”
    Hahahaha — surely you jest? Here I sit, summer 2011, last day of August and I’m typing this dressed in three layers of clothing, in order to keep warm.
    Apologies to Anthony for voting on the high side early on and by so doing leaving him open to the slingshots of the troll-like. However, In truth, rather than, as a skeptic, wishing for more ice – I’d have loved, as a skeptic, to have voted for a negative number of Millions of km2, as that is the kind of insane leap that AGW alarmists make. Sadly Anthony, being sane, failed to include negative numbers in the poll..
    In fact, for a bit of fun, I hereby prophecy that some spokesperson in the AGW alarmist community will in the not to distant future make an announcement that ice has been reduced (over the last few decades ) by an amount that would leave a negative result. Would anyone like to bet against me ? R.Gates perhaps ?
    Anyway – our lack of TRUE scientific knowledge of the world we live in continues to fascinate me.

  97. I thought this was the original data:
    MASIE NSIDC/NIC Sea Ice Product G02186 – Daily Ice Extent by Region in Square Kilometers
    2011239, 5086116.56,
    2011240, 4931552.16,
    2011241, 4889458.95,
    2011242, 4872569.48,
    Am I missing something?
    I originally had 4.8/4.9 to 5.1 MKm^2, so now it can be 4.4 to 4.6
    What really bothers me is not the fact that the Arctic Sea Ice is going to parallel 2007, but the fact that too much heat energy is being transported there and escaping out to space. That’s gotta hurt the Oceanic Heat Content.

  98. Not all sceptics expect there to be lots of ice. It depends on what exactly you are sceptical of. It is only the sceptics who would like to doubt that the world has warmed at all who find low ice levels a problem.
    Personally I have no doubt that the world has warmed. I also have no doubt that CO_2 levels have risen, and this will have contributed to warming to a small extent. However I am sceptical that this has been the controlling factor. In my opinion negative feedbacks predominate, so I would expect sensitivity to be less that 1C per CO_2 doubling, which means natural factors are mostly responsible for recent warming. I am also extremely sceptical of claims that warming is a problem.
    To a sceptic of my ilk, low ice levels are expected. My prediction is for around 4.1 million sq km. I see no signs that the ice is freezing up earlier than normal. Looking at the satellite pictures the ice this year looks particularly weak, especially around the edges of the pack. I give us a 50/50 chance of breaking the 2007 low this year. I don’t see diminishing arctic ice as a problem.
    I would expect ice levels to recover again next year but to maintain a generally steady or negative trend over most of this decade.That is because I see sea temps as the main long term driving factor for sea ice and sea temps respond slowly to change, so we are still be seeing the effects of late 20th century warming. I wouldn’t be surprised to see ice levels below 3.5.
    I wouldn’t have a problem with an ice free arctic, however sadly I don’t think that will happen. The sun seems to be trying to stuff us back in the deep freeze again. I expect we’ll hit a minimum sometime around 2017 and then ice levels will start rising again.
    Predictions:
    1. Low ice this year – 4.1 million sq km.
    2. Continued downward trend over the next few years.
    3. Ice levels down to 3.5 million sq km sometime in the next decade.
    4. Downward trend to stop around 2017 and upward trend to start.

  99. Sticking with my previous prediction 4.6 to 4.7 Million km2….. low.
    From May, “The Dinostratus crystal ball is starting to uncloud. It’s looking like a bad year for icers. It could be worse than 2007.”
    Not bad for an amateur.

  100. This time I predicted a 4.1 to 4.2 as the expanded option was available. My previous was 4.0 to 4.5.
    I am expecting the trend post 2007 to continue.
    The daily ice extent from JAXA was less than 2007 for 16 days in 2008, 23 in 2009, 133 in 2010, and so far 144 days in 2011.
    Thanks for putting more choices in this poll.

  101. Robbie says:
    I hope it will break the record extent of 2007.

    Me too! Tropics From Pole To Pole (TFPTP) However, it’s becoming more and more obvious that CO2 just isn’t getting the job done as we (TFPTP’ers) had hoped. It’s time we employ more potent climate change agents. We will be holding our annual meeting at the predetermined secret location, please come prepared to propose alternatives to CO2.

  102. For a moment, I thought your “snark” comment was referring to my post on July 28th at 1:53pm. Snarky comments are unbecoming, but I am happy to see the improved resolution in the poll.

  103. If there’s still more than 4 million square kilometers of ice around the pole how come six British rowers were able to row through the ice?
    Lewis Smith of the Independent says “Rowers reach ‘impossible’ North Pole, thanks to global warming”
    The Independent wouldn’t lie would they?
    /sarc

  104. Based on the other posts that show slightly warmer temps, I am going to go with 4.5 – 4.6. MK2.
    I spoke with some polar bears who confided and concur. After all they liver there… I do not.
    Prost!

  105. Ian H says:
    August 31, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    The heat loss of the ice melting from below, unless it is due to undersea volcanoes, indicates a problem coming down the road. The atmosphere isn’t very good at holding heat energy, the ocean is. We need the oceanic heat energy to moderate Winter, not wasted on melting renewable Arctic Sea Ice.

  106. The 00z GFS has opened up the Fram again for flushing out of the weak ice in it..which will help drive a hole between it an the main ice pack and flush more ice out.
    The Beaufort stays in a compaction mode that weakens by day 2 and strengthens by day 3. The ESB stays in a compaction mode the next 2 days then sees more variable winds with the Far East part semi diverging but nothing close to the recent beaufort divergence.
    the Barrents, then Laptev, then Kara all face powerful warm winds blowing over warm SSTs..that area will get eaten then compact..the winds slowly wind around to hammer the 135E to 105E with 20-30kt winds.
    we saw what happened in the beaufort.
    I would expect 40-70Km2 drops the next 3 days..closer to 40-55Km2 but 70km2 is possible.
    We will be within 50km2 of 2007 by the 2nd.
    08,27,2007,4773906 08,28,2007,4724844 08,29,2007,4664844 08,30,2007,4616094 08,31,2007,4607031 09,01,2007,4610938 09,02,2007,4617031 09,03,2007,4580000 09,04,2007,4528125 09,05,2007,4484531 09,06,2007,4447031 09,07,2007,4436719 09,08,2007,4413438 09,09,2007,4399531 09,10,2007,4367188 09,11,2007,4343438 09,12,2007,4327969 09,13,2007,4323750 09,14,2007,4291250 09,15,2007,4267813 09,16,2007,4267656 09,17,2007,4268750 09,18,2007,4281406 09,19,2007,4296250 09,20,2007,4310313 09,21,2007,4284531 09,22,2007,4276719 09,23,2007,4267344 09,24,2007,4254531 09,25,2007,4265000 09,26,2007,4297813 09,27,2007,4372188 09,28,2007,4441719 09,29,2007,4499688 09,30,2007,4592969
    the 2nd/3rd will likely be the closest we get this year.
    there will be -10C 850s but just north of Greenland so they do not effect the extent yet.

  107. I don’t think that the Arctic sea ice looks any different this year than it did last year I am comparing this year and last year using Nansen Arctic Roos as I always have.I think that we are in a no win situation with regard to the annual summer ice extent,if it goes up it means nothing but if it falls it is then significant, the warmist have nothing to lose and if they don’t get what they want this year then there is next year.I could say that we should look at the Antarctic as well or that it is not important that sea ice has declined but warmists take the same attitude to global temperatures and global temperatures in some way determine how we calculate co2 sensitivity.I think that what will happen over the next decade is that Arctic sea ice extents will recover and global temperatures will fall(Joe Bastardi and Joe D’aleo) i expect this will happen for the reasons they have given.

  108. @ Don Penman
    Arctic Sea Ice extent is currently 600,000K roughly lower on Jaxa then this date last season.
    And about 750,000K on Bremen.
    Ice thickness by ships and buoy data is quite a bit lower as well.
    Concentration maps are deceiving because a thin layer has developed over the melt ponds and cracks which makes the concentration look solid. But the ice thickness is still as bad.
    I don’t think the ice is much different it has been bad since 2007.
    We likely saw a slight recovery in 08 an 09 and then warmer temps have come back to the arctic…but favorable winds compared to 07.

  109. I’m still amazed people are picking values 5.4-5.5 as the average for September. It’s likely to go down a bit more yet before increasing and it is already at about 4.7 according to Julienne.
    REPLY: I think these are people who don’t like WUWT who are trying to screw up the poll. They’ll be considered outliers though in the submission. – Anthony

  110. don penman says:
    August 31, 2011 at 9:23 pm
    “….I think that we are in a no win situation with regard to the annual summer ice extent,if it goes up it means nothing but if it falls it is then significant, the warmist have nothing to lose and if they don’t get what they want this year then there is next year.”
    Don,
    I agree with you, in part. You stated the AGW proponents perspective above. Let me rephrase that just slightly. “When the annual minimum of arctic ice extent and/or volume increases, it is just weather. When the annual minimum of arctic ice extent and/or volume decreases, it is a sign of Anthropogenic Global Warming (or Climate Disruption, Climate Deception, etc. ad nauseum.).”
    This is not a ‘no win’ situation. Just keep pointing out the logical fallacy of this hypocritical non-argument! Reasonable people understand this… and those are the folks we can and need to convince. The planet has been warming in fits and starts, since the onset of this interglacial period about 10,000 years ago. It will continue until onset of cooling and the next glacial period, regardless of the trace amounts of atmospheric CO2. Year on year, we are ‘winning’ the argument, as various polls show majorities now rejecting the AGW meme.
    As for the AGW confirmed believers, it isn’t worth wasting your breath, time, or energy on them. They are becoming as isolated and irrelevant as Luddites.

  111. Henry@Ron de Haan & on the ice decline
    I also discovered the global warming is not global…
    It is a NH thing. See here:
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming
    My problem is that I could not get any historical reliable temperature data giving me the maxima, means and minima from the antarctic
    but looking at all my results from the SH, I very much doubt that there is any warming in the antarctic at all. I suspect it is cooling there, or at the evry least no warming, which probably explains why it it so difficult for me getting reliable data from there….
    In summary, what I have found:
    1) The statement that an increased greenhouse effect due to the increase in CO2 causes any -or any extra – warming of earth is wrong. 2) Most of the observed warming of the planet is due to natural causes, i.e. the sun shone a bit more brightly and/or there were less clouds. 3) It appears more carbon dioxide is good as it causes more greenery. 4) It is the increase in vegetation observed mostly in the northern hemisphere that causes some additional warming on top of the natural warming as it is trapping some of the extra heat…..It is caused by man (wanting more trees and gardens) and by a little more heat and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    Isn’t that ironic?
    You might want to check how I came to that:
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  112. Actually, the polls here are a great example of the value of concensus.
    When summer arrives, snow is usually a thing of the past, and when winter gets here, you’ll wish you had enjoyed the weather you had.

  113. AndyW says:
    August 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm
    I’m still amazed people are picking values 5.4-5.5 as the average for September. It’s likely to go down a bit more yet before increasing and it is already at about 4.7 according to Julienne.
    REPLY: I think these are people who don’t like WUWT who are trying to screw up the poll. They’ll be considered outliers though in the submission. – Anthony
    I think that is a little harsh Anthony. The NSIDC chart is difficult to assess with regard to accurate estimates as it only has a rough vertical axis with no figure of 5. To get an estimate one has to use a ruler and make a judgement, however this rough method is fraught with discrepancies and can lead to inaccurate guesses.
    REPLY: There’s a dearth of votes between 5.0 and 5.5, thats why I think it’s just people picking the highest number in hopes that will be the top vote getter – Anthony

  114. R. Gates says:
    August 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    – New Little Ice age is postponed indefinitely.
    I do hope you are correct, otherwise the implication for humanity are appalling.

  115. “Making out like someone is a fool if a prediction isn’t correct is just absurd.”
    Wise advice. Remember that when we talk about Hathaway on sunspots and the IPCC on warming, and serreze on the death spiral. Allowing people to make mistakes is something we seem to have forgotten.

  116. All good fun, I suppose.
    Yes, there may be many on here that predicted high.
    But my guess is that they are far more fearful of the endless and boring cacophany of alarmists trumpeting doom and crowing that it somehow proves that the “Science is Really Settled” than they are about the prospect of a completely ice free Arctic.
    I commented somewhere on WUWT a couple of years back (one of Goddard’s posts?) that I promise to sit up and take notice when the Arctic is ice free in February.
    Until then, I’m much more worried about sitting shivering in the dark here in the UK. Thanks, not least, to the fraudulent and incompetent Thermogeddonists and their political stooges.

  117. AndyW said I’m still amazed people are picking values 5.4-5.5 as the average for September. It’s likely to go down a bit more yet before increasing and it is already at about 4.7 according to Julienne.
    REPLY: I think these are people who don’t like WUWT who are trying to screw up the poll. They’ll be considered outliers though in the submission. – Anthony

    Just curious, but how about the people that still vote 5.3-5.4 ? Are these also people that don’t like WUWT who are trying to screw up the poll ?

  118. Pamela Gray, do you want to comment ? Do you want to ‘screw up the poll’ or ‘ picking the highest number in hopes that will be the top vote getter’ as Anthony suggests ?

  119. Bill Illis says:
    August 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm
    If you want to see the NH sea ice extent in an historical perspective, here is the cycle by day from 1972 to today – along with the anomaly versus the 1972 to 2010 average.
    While there is a small decline, I think the disaster projections by some are shown to be greatly exaggerated with this chart.
    http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8826/dailysei1972aug3011.png
    ——-
    Just eye-balling the numbers on that graph it shows that the sea ice extent has dropped from ~7 million to 5 million in 40 years, so a drop of ~30%.
    Small decline is that? I’d hardly say a 30% decline is a small amount would you?

  120. “Reality of sea ice is starting to bite”
    “a little reported story about the way increasing sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere has resulted in Sweden withholding an icebreaker from US use in Antarctica. After increasingly bitter winters that have resulted in more iced over navigation passages, the Swedish government wrote to US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, to announce that the icebreaker Oden (pictured) will be kept at home and not be made available to support the work of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in Antarctica, for the first time since 2006.”
    Read it all including a copy of the letter at Autonomous Mind (h/t Bishop Hill)
    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/reality-of-sea-ice-is-starting-to-bite/

  121. The ARCUS prediction is for the September monthly average – not the extent minimum. Picking a value equal to or only slightly smaller than the current extent is not completely insane, but not likely.
    In the last ten years the Sept 30 value has been consistently equal to or higher than the Sept 1 value (IJIS daily data). The monthly average has been about 2% lower than the Sept 1 value. 2007’s monthly average was 5% lower than the Sept 1 extent.
    Using these past trends as a basis, this year’s IJIS September average should be 4.71mk,^2. If we accept that NSIDC numbers tend to run approximately 140kkm^2 lower than IJIS, we can correct for the offset and predict 4.57.

  122. SteveE says:
    September 1, 2011 at 1:32 am
    Bill Illis says:
    While there is a small decline, I think the disaster projections by some are shown to be greatly exaggerated with this chart.
    http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8826/dailysei1972aug3011.png
    ——-
    Just eye-balling the numbers on that graph it shows that the sea ice extent has dropped from ~7 million to 5 million in 40 years, so a drop of ~30%.
    Small decline is that? I’d hardly say a 30% decline is a small amount would you?

    Look again. The yearly moving average has declined perhaps 15%. Nice cherry-picking, though.
    And anyway, ice extent is higher today than it has been for much of the past 9000 years. Climate was warmer and wetter than today during the Climate Optimum (Alarmists of all stripes should ponder and meditate upon that word). Shockingly enough, there was no “death spiral” of the ice then, and no “climate tipping point”. Since then, there have been periods both warmer as well as cooler than now. It’s called natural climate change, and it has very little to do with C02 (which, obligingly follows along, some 800 years behind whatever the climate does). Imagine that.

  123. Regarding the 5.3-5.4 and above 5.4 discussion, there’s probably two things going on. First, no doubt some anti-WUWT contributors are trying to mess with the poll. It would be amazing if they weren’t given the nature of the web.
    Second, this is a monthly average we’re being polled on. Those who, like Pamela Gray perhaps, think that we will get an early freeze-up might think that 4.6 or so will be the low but that by mid-September we will be back over 5.0 and headed higher, so that a 5.3 average is possible, as it is.

  124. J says:
    August 31, 2011 at 8:33 am
    What is the state of our understanding of underwater volcanoes in the arctic? Do they exists? Are they active? Are there studies about their influence on arctic ice?

    I read somewhere that they recently discovered the volcanoes in the Arctic had become more active around 1999. I haven’t seen anything else since then. That doesn’t mean they are affecting the ice however although the correlation is interesting.
    As I’ve mentioned before I think there is a long lag time in ice buildup and melt. We are now seeing the effect of the warm 80s-00s so don’t expect any significant increase in ice for many years no matter what happens with temperatures. It takes a while to build up core ice thickness and until that happens the summer ice melt will continue to be significant.

  125. Amino,

    There’s more ice in the Arctic now than there has been for most of the last 9000 years.

    You should read the original paper. It doesn’t say what you state here.
    It examines only the Western Arctic, specifically an area of the Chukchi sea that is a fraction of the total Arctic sea ice area. Included in the conclusion is this:

    The Holocene record from site HLY0501-05 illustrates the sensitivity of hydrographical conditions in the western Arctic Ocean. The data show a long-term warming that is
    opposite to what is reconstructed for the eastern Arctic and point to a bipolar behavior of the Arctic Ocean at the timescale of the Holocene.

    http://bprc.osu.edu/geo/publications/mckay_etal_CJES_08.pdf

  126. Henry@barry
    Pity, that you have not learned anything
    obviously you are not interested in learning
    In summary, what I have found:
    1) The statement that an increased greenhouse effect due to the increase in CO2 causes any -or any extra – warming of earth is wrong. 2) Most of the observed warming of the planet is due to natural causes, i.e. the sun shone a bit more brightly and/or there were less clouds. 3) I am saying that more carbon dioxide is good as it causes more greenery. 4) It is the increase in vegetation observed mostly in the northern hemisphere that causes some additional warming on top of the natural warming as it is trapping some of the extra heat…..It is caused by man (wanting more trees and gardens) and by a little more heat and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok

  127. @Anders Valland says:
    September 1, 2011 at 5:36 am
    Guys, bets are off. http://www.barentsobserver.com/gazprom-ready-to-melt-icebergs.4953429-116321.html
No wonder the ice is melting faster than ever
    ——
    CRS Reply

    The method includes the use of helicopters to cover an approaching iceberg with a water-proof coat and the subsequent injection of hot water. The icebergs will melt and disappear, the researchers argue.

    ….and this “water-proof coat” will be comprise of what, exactly??

  128. steven mosher says:
    September 1, 2011 at 12:12 am
    “Making out like someone is a fool if a prediction isn’t correct is just absurd.”
    Wise advice. Remember that when we talk about Hathaway on sunspots and the IPCC on warming, and serreze on the death spiral. Allowing people to make mistakes is something we seem to have forgotten.
    I’m perfectly willing to let people indulge in whatever folly turns their crank. I only get excited when they start to demand that the world transform itself in incredibly destructive ways on the basis of those highly dubious follies.

  129. So this is a race where you can relay bets 10 metres from the finish line.
    The Watts up with that horse was running second last in this race.
    Time to call for a stewards enquiry.

  130. John from CA says:
    August 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    John from CA says:
    August 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm
    Dave Wendt says:
    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm
    ————–
    An interesting follow up question, is there any evidence multi-year ice prior to 1979 in the Arctic was older than 15-20 years? If no, the question is solved?
    I’ve posted that link to R & W a number of times, mostly to point out that what has happened in the Arctic over that last 20-30 yrs can be accounted for largely without recourse to anything anthropogenic. AFAIK the authors have made no projections on long term developments into the future.
    As to the age of the ice prior to the sat era, there is a piece at Rigor’s site
    http://seaice.apl.washington.edu/
    Look in the sidebar under Some Research Highlights for Arctic Perennial Sea-Ice Reduction
    He discusses data back to the 50s based on Drift-Age Model derived from buoy data.
    I recall reading a piece several years ago which claimed ice had drifted up on the coast of the UK back in those days which had tags placed by researchers in the Arctic which indicated it was much more than a decade old, but I never was able to confirm that story.

  131. Not that is prog’s anything but the “North Pole” cam is now depicting the melt ponds in whatever area it’s now in nearly frozen over. Also, there has been recent (perhaps even ongoing) snow fall. And obviously, night is starting to fall at that latitude. A few more weeks then it will all go dark.

  132. FORECAST THROUGH MONDAY…WEST OF 155W. THE ICE WILL MOVE TO THE
    NORTH 15 TO 30 NM THROUGH FRIDAY THEN MOVE 15 TO 30 NM TO THE SOUTH
    SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY. THE NET RESULT WILL BE LOW CONCENTRATIONS OF
    ICE IN THE FORM OF STRIPS MOVING INTO PRESENT AREAS OF OPEN WATER.
    Of course I realize that in the lower longitudes net retreat is still going on and may continue to go on for a while.

  133. Henry,
    it’s not the sun.
    As you prefer to use only temperature data post 1975, here is a plot of the solar index and global temperature from 1976 to 2008. The time period is selected with the solar cycle phase equivalent at both ends of the time series so that the trend derived is not an artefact of the phase. The sun has been trending cooler while the globe has warmed.
    Regarding our past conversations, I found a number of assumptions you worked with were completely untenable – like positing that temperature records from a handful of weather stations (less than 10) faithfully represent global temperature trends. We were unable to come to mutual ground for a useful discourse, though we both tried as best we could. I am sure that situation has not changed. I wish you well.

  134. Looks like Tamino’s updated best estimate is 4.17 +/- 0.4 million km^2. That’s ~5/3 odds of a new record. He estimated 4.22 million km^2 last month, IIRC. He later says the odds are “about 50-50” for a new record.
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/arctic-sea-ice-death-spiral-continues/
    Considering both of our methods are statistical, I find it interesting that he’s predicting so much lower than I am, with my value being near the top end of his 95% conf interval. I’m guessing that’s because he’s using NSIDC monthly average values whereas I’m using JAXA daily data.
    Also Interesting…no update from Zinfan94 who said that we could see 2007’s record beaten by Sept 1…that date has come and we’re still above it…
    -Scott

  135. Scott,
    thanks for pointing out the new Tamino post. I don’t think he is making the prediction you cited – that was only half way through the post. He concludes;

    What’s the bottom line? If I had to bet (which thank goodness I don’t), I’d say the odds are just about 50-50 that this year’s NSIDC September extent will set a new record low.

    As he doesn’t give a final figure, I’d guess that his central estimate is equal to the NSIDC 2007 September minimum, 4.3 million sq/km.. But I’ll ask and see if he quantifies.

  136. I’m still amazed people are picking values 5.4-5.5 as the average for September….
    REPLY: I think these are people who don’t like WUWT who are trying to screw up the poll.

    Maybe, but there are regulars who don’t mislike WUWT who have made predictions on this thread that seem unreasonably high considering the extent nominated when the article was first posted (5 mil sq km). See particularly the bottom few quotes below.
    “I’m sticking with 4.9 to 5.0”
    “I agree”
    “5 – 5.1 Same as I have guessed/voted all season. It’s cold up there”
    “I am going with 5.3 to 5.4”
    “My guesstimate and vote is 5.4 to 5.5 Million km2”
    These people seem genuine to me. If one reflects on the amount of wishful thinking that goes on in climate blogs, maybe not so many of those votes were duplicitous.
    Of course, shame on anyone who may have jigged the vote. But that’s a perennial problem with online polls.
    REPLY: You misunderstand. I don’t disagree with any of those statements above as being disingenuous,(though they are misguided) my issue is only with the cluster of votes at the very top of the vote scale. -Anthony

  137. Henry@barry
    Why don’t you also analyse a handful (15= 3xhandfuls?) weather stations and see if you can prove me wrong??
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming
    I am sure you donot want to come to a different conclusion?
    Like I always say: there are none so blind as those who donot want to see:
    (1) maxima rising faster, clearly pushing up means and minima – anyone with first year stats can do the same sums
    (2) “global” warming is not global – note the difference between NH and SH
    (3) some of the added heat (from the sun) is trapped in the NH due to increased vegetation
    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok
    I am off for my holiday to the arctic to get firsthand reports.

  138. I’ve enjoyed everyone’s observations. I expected a recovery, so I freely admit I was wrong.
    There. That wasn’t so hard, was it?
    The next step is to look back over the reasons I had for making an incorrect guess, and seeing the flaws in my reasoning.
    That is a little harder, but great fun. You learn, and to learn is a joy. It is only when the ego gets involved, (or the wallet,) that being wrong hurts to a degree where the joy is replaced by less pleasant stuff.
    Among things I’ve learned is that much of the worry about albedo-loss is needless fret. By September the sun is so low it glances off the water surface and bounces back towards outer space.
    Open water loses heat to outer space more swiftly than ice-covered water.
    Mild temperatures at the pole indicate colder temperatures to the south, as arctic air is not bottled up by the jet stream, and instead arctic outbreaks and polar outbreaks allow cold air to drain far south of the pole.
    Air melts much less ice than the currents below. When air does melt much ice, it is because it blows ice south to warmer waters. The focus should be on the transport of warmer waters to the north.
    I would like to understand why some branches of the gulf stream’s northernmost extensions wander to and fro, sometimes to the north and sometimes to the south. Is this a regular cycle or does it occur in a random manner?
    I would like to better understand the process of injections into the thermohaline circulation. My understanding is that it is dependant on refreezing. Would this mean that greater ice-melt (and re-freezing) would create greater injections into the thermohaline flow?
    These injections occur at a variable rate, like a heart beat. If increased melting (and refreezing) “increase the pulse,” how do these irregularities effect thermohaline circulation downstream?
    Due to Hansen and Gore vetoing Bill Gray’s desire to study thermohaline circulation in the 1980’s, we know less than we might have, which allows thinkers like myself to imagine all sorts of positive and negative feedbacks, unencumbered by the botheration of facts.
    To sit and theorize is a joy. Data will tell me some of my theories are incorrect. However being corrected is also a joy, for Truth is Beauty.
    Truth is only a pain when people are somewhat maddened by their thirst for power, wealth, and a fatter ego.

  139. Rod Everson said Regarding the 5.3-5.4 and above 5.4 discussion, there’s probably two things going on. First, no doubt some anti-WUWT contributors are trying to mess with the poll. It would be amazing if they weren’t given the nature of the web.
    Second, this is a monthly average we’re being polled on. Those who, like Pamela Gray perhaps, think that we will get an early freeze-up might think that 4.6 or so will be the low but that by mid-September we will be back over 5.0 and headed higher, so that a 5.3 average is possible, as it is.

    I agree Rod. WUWT readers are known to vote unrealistically high. If I recall the May projection where a whopping 113 voted above 5.5 million (20% of the total). And even in the June projection, 54 votes above 5.5 million (7 % of the total) even all through May and June 2011 was below the record 2007 graph.
    Reasons why WUWT voters vote unrealistically high vary, and often seem emotional rather than rational (like the poster on the May projection stating “Just to be a bit contrary”), but reasons are stated. In the case of Pamela, she indeed was pretty clear as to why she expected a 5.3-5.4 minimum and I think you summarized her opinion very well.
    Which is why I was surprised to Anthony’s rather extreme statements. As I tried to post before
    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/2848/wuwtsept1shot.jpg
    (but somehow got moderated out)
    Anthony, your readers cast their vote, and many of them (like Pamela) have the courage to state their reasons for their vote. I feel that it is at least inappropriate for you to judge your own readers as wanting to screw up the poll or picking the highest number in hopes that will be the top vote getter.

  140. barry says:
    it’s not the sun.
    As you prefer to use only temperature data post 1975, here is a plot of the solar index and global temperature from 1976 to 2008
    Henry@barry
    Sorry, slight misunderstanding. When I mean the sun I mean more W/m2 or more sunshine hours. Natural causes. Could be that the sun shone a bit brighter or that there have been less clouds.
    Take your pick.
    If your graph is correct it would be less clouds.
    On the other hand, the down going trend in the sun could affect the creation of clouds?
    Again, take your pick.

  141. Anthony, I understood you. One of the genuine commenters put his vote in at the top figure (5.4 – 5.5). That’s one out of 28 as of this post. But look further down, 22 people voted for 5.1 – 5.2, and fully 40 people voted for 5.0 – 5.1. These aren’t likely votes to jig the system, but they are pretty much equally misguided as the commenter who voted 5.4 – 5.5. I.e, the likelihood of these being the final values for September are next to zero. When you first posted you nominated current extent at 5.0 mil sq km. This was with a couple weeks left of melt. Anyone who voted 5.0 and up was just thinking wishfully. I suggest that whatever made 76 people vote for September sea ice to finish up between 5.0 and 5.4, it’s quite possible the same thing made many or all of the 28 people vote for 5.4 to 5.5. There’s a deal of irrational voting already from 5.0 to 5.4 – why shouldn’t that irrationality extend to the highest extent?
    Nothing to be done, of course. I’d lop off the top tier as well, because it’s silly. But I would include 5.3 to 5.4, because at 4 votes, those are probably genuine responses, and I’d want to reflect the readership more than my own preferences – that was the criteria this poll started with, and should be consistent. I wouldn’t assume that most of the 28 in the top tier are vexatious voters. We know that at least one person means it. I think it’s just as likely pro-WUWT people voted for the top tier because they don’t like the idea of diminished sea ice. IOW, I think there may be plenty of people who are ‘misguided’.

  142. barry says:
    September 1, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    thanks for pointing out the new Tamino post. I don’t think he is making the prediction you cited – that was only half way through the post. He concludes;

    What’s the bottom line? If I had to bet (which thank goodness I don’t), I’d say the odds are just about 50-50 that this year’s NSIDC September extent will set a new record low.

    As he doesn’t give a final figure, I’d guess that his central estimate is equal to the NSIDC 2007 September minimum, 4.3 million sq/km.. But I’ll ask and see if he quantifies.

    Hi barry,
    I did mention his 50-50 comment in the third sentence of my post. I see you’ve confirmed that as 4.3 million km^2 in his comments section. So whoever has read my above post, please disregard it and change the 4.17 number to 4.3. Though I do wonder why he chose 4.3 when his analysis of NSIDC data gave 4.17 and he’s consistently used NSIDC in the past…
    -Scott

  143. Pole cam depicts an ongoing dump. I’d imagine the now frozen or nearly frozen melt ponds in that view will be covered soon by new snow.

  144. SteveSadlov, yes you are right. Since the radiative balance turns negative in the Arctic this time of year, top-freeze (of melting ponds), and subsequent snow deposit is unavoidable. Note that snow and freezing melting ponds only occurs where ice is above the surface, and will show up as increased concentration. Although this results in increase SIA (sea ice area) (and it already did) it will leave SIE (sea ice extent) relatively unaffected. SIE is going to be determined by bottom-melt, largely caused by wasm ocean water, which will knock out more ice until sea surface temperatures reduced so much that open ocean starts to freeze over in a week or two. And that will be the minimum.

  145. barry said I wouldn’t assume that most of the 28 in the top tier are vexatious voters. We know that at least one person means it. I think it’s just as likely pro-WUWT people voted for the top tier because they don’t like the idea of diminished sea ice. IOW, I think there may be plenty of people who are ‘misguided’.
    I agree that many people on WUWT seem to be misguided or simply post a number based on their emotional state, rather than trying to “screw up the poll” as Anthony suggests. Multiple reader comments that posted in the unrealistic 4 upper brackets from Anthony’s past 3 posts on this poll attest to that.
    One reason for this may be that Anthony put the realistically most likely 2011 outcome (4.4 – 4.5 million km^2) bracket in the one but last slot in the poll, with the (eventually chosen, and very unrealistic) bracket of 5.0-5.1 being right in the middle.
    Not surprising that this middle bracket is very close to Anthony’s personal vote of 4.9 to 5.0 million square kilometers, which is also very highly biased and equally unlikely to be realized.
    So maybe readers are not the only ones ‘misguided’.

  146. Rob wrote One reason for this may be that Anthony put the realistically most likely 2011 outcome (4.4 – 4.5 million km^2) bracket in the one but last slot in the poll, with the (eventually chosen, and very unrealistic) bracket of 5.0-5.1 being right in the middle.
    I’m sorry guys. I was looking at the end-of-July post when I compiled this. In this latest (end-of-August) post, the bracket with the most votes is currently 4.5-4.6 which is definitely more realistic.
    I’m glad that WUWT readers came to their senses.

  147. Rob says:
    September 2, 2011 at 10:50 pm
    I think Anthony’s comments on the dilemma of keeping the poll options consistent, or altering them when the situation changes, are perfectly reasonable. Any choice he made would have attracted critics.

  148. I agree barry. It’s not easy to choose a bracket scheme for a poll which will not be considered biased by anyone.
    Still, I have some suggestions for Anthony for if WUWT will participate in the 2012 ARCUS poll :
    (1) Put last year’s sea ice extent smack in the middle of the poll brackets. This assumes a neutral position for WUWT, as opposed to a bias one way or the other. After all, past NH ice variability year-to-year has been half a million km^2 up or down, so without additional knowledge, noone could really tell which way next year’s extent will go. Long term trend is down, but that’s already considering ‘prior knowledge’. So keep it neutral (by putting past year’s extent in the middle of the poll brackets) and people will vote using their own knowledge.
    (2) For the final choice of WUWT, choose the median of choices rather than the bracket with the most votes.
    When WUWT posted it’s first ARCUS poll this year
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/27/august-arcus-forecast-poll-what-will-the-september-nsidc-arctic-minimum-extent-be/
    The median fell in the 5.1-5.2 bracket, which I think was a better assessment of the opinion of WUWT voters than the “greater than 5.5” bracket which won with 86 votes, especially since the “5.0-5.1” bracket (reasonable estimate at that time) had 72 votes only second to the “greater than 5.5” bracket that won.
    Anthony, disregard this message if you feel it’s useless. But considering the fact that serious Arctic sea ice blogs (like Neven’s) show polls that remain consistent (no change in brackets) and have been much more accurate than WUWT polls, I hope that you would inform your audience better on what’s actually happening in the Arctic, and arrange your polls in an unbiased way.
    Besides, long term trend Artcic sea ice extent is consistent with an accellerated downward trend, as a recent analysis by Lucia at the BlackBoard shows quite convincingly :
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/connelly-dekker-bet-actually-robs-got-a-very-good-chance-of-not-losing/
    It turns out that there is a higher chance of 2016 extent being smaller than 3.1 million km^2 than there is of it being larger than 4.8 million km^2. That is another indication that our Arctic may be declining much faster than IPCC models (and WUWT readers) anticipate.

  149. This blog out of the main places for Sea Ice talk seems to ignore all of the real time data that showed 2011 would end up like this. What is even more ridiculous us how horrible winds have been for flushing. While this has been a DPA year based on surface pressure, very little ice has been flushed out the North Atlantic, Barrents, and Fram.
    The opposite has taken place for the most part and the models still show warm water/air being pumped into the arctic through the Barrents which is still torching as well as the rest of the arctic waters. The bottom melt is now where near over. What is worse is the coldest 850s will sit right on top of the ice pack now. Which is still under going bottom melt until October this year because of the torching SSTs, some places on the edge like the Beaufort, ESB, Barrents will have bottom melt till November and December in places on the far edges, that is insane.
    We might see a slow methodical melt with larger days here and there the rest of the month. Just eyeballing the Euro/GFS we can easily lose another 250,000km2 the next 7 days. If so we will sit right at the record on Bremen and NSIDC while around 4,400,000km2 on Jaxa.
    Given the torching SSTs, it won’t be suprising seeing the edges of the ice melt out.
    I havent seen one link on these comments to modis. anyways…
    http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r03c03.2011246.terra
    http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=Arctic_r03c04.2011246.terra
    The ice is in shambles. I don’t think it has sunk in to many who just can’t see pass there heart and where they wish it was on how it really is. There are to many people out there preying on there bias to give them the real story, very sad.
    http://imb.crrel.usace.army.mil/newdata.htm
    There is a thin pancake ice sheet out there. Lets hope we can get some of that volume back soon, or well I think we know whats coming.

  150. as of September 6th:
    Sea Ice Extent:
    Jaxa: The latest value : 4,576,094 km2
    Bremen: is 4,340,000km2(60,000k) above 2007.
    NSIDC: 4,450,000km2.
    Sea Ice Area:
    CT is still right at 3,000,000km2(80,000km2 above 2007 for record low)
    Jaxa is 50,000km2 currently below 2007 at this time and nearly at 2007’s record low set in 2 weeks.
    Sea Ice Volume: Piomas has already passed 2010 as the new record low.
    Weather models are showing a more favorable wind pattern then we have seen most of the summer with also record warm temp anomalies on the EURO and GEM for days 4-10 taking over.

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