Sea Ice News Volume 3, #2

In today’s report

  • Arctic Sea Ice on the rise again, presently in the range of normal levels
  • Antarctic Sea Ice is at slightly above normal levels
  • Why is early satellite data for Arctic and Antarctic Ice extent referenced in the first IPCC report missing from today’s data?
  • Is revisionism going on with the date of the famous USS Skate photo in the Arctic?
  • Bonus – it seems NOAA is taking Arctic soot seriously

First the Arctic from NSIDC:

Source: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

After being out of the ±2 STD area since before peak melt last year, Arctic extent has spent most of March in near normal territory. After what looked like a maximum earlier this month, it was false peak, and ice is on the rise again.

NORSEX SSM/I shows the current value within ±1 STD

Source: http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

A caution, as we saw in 2010, extent hugged the normal line for quite awhile, and that didn’t translate into a reduced or normal summer melt. So, forecasting based on this peak might not yield any skillful ice minimum forecasts.

Antarctic Sea Ice is at slightly above normal levels, as it has been for some time:

Source: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png

Why is early satellite data for Arctic and Antarctic Ice extent referenced in the first IPCC report missing from today’s data?

In a post last week, Steve Goddard pointed out that in the original IPCC FAR in 1990, there was an interesting graph of satellite derived Arctic sea ice extent:

This is from page 224 of IPCC FAR WG1 which you can download from the IPCC here

And here is figure 7.20 (a) magnified:

The IPCC descriptive text for these figures reads:

Sea-ice conditions are now reported regularly in marine synoptic observations, as well as by special reconnaissance flights, and coastal radar. Especially importantly, satellite observations have been used to map sea-ice extent routinely since the early 1970s. The American Navy Joint Ice Center has produced weekly charts which have been digitised by NOAA. These data are summarized in Figure 7.20 which is based on analyses carried out on a 1° latitude x 2.5° longitude grid. Sea-ice is defined to be present when its concentration exceeds 10% (Ropelewski, 1983). Since about 1976 the areal extent of sea-ice in the Northern Hemisphere has varied about a constant climatological level but in 1972-1975 sea-ice extent was significantly less. In the Southern Hemisphere since about 1981, sea-ice extent has also varied about a constant level. Between 1973 and 1980 there were periods of several years when Southern Hemisphere sea-ice extent was either appreciably more than or less than that typical in the 1980s.

I find it interesting and perhaps somewhat troubling that pre-1979 satellite derived sea ice data was good enough to include in the first IPCC report in 1990, but for some reason not included in the current satellite derived sea ice data which all seems to start in 1979:

Since the extent variation anomalies in 1979 seem to match with both data sets at ~ +1 million sq km, it would seem they are compatible. Since I’m unable to find the data that the IPCC FAR WG1 report references so that I can plot it along with current data, I’ve resorted to a graphical splice to show what the two data sets together might look like.

I’ve cropped and scaled the IPCC FAR WG1 Figure (a) to match the UUIC Cryosphere Today Arctic extent anomaly graph so that the scales match, and extended the base canvas to give the extra room for the extended timeline:

Click image above to enlarge.

Gosh, all of the sudden it looks cyclic rather than linear, doesn’t it?

Of course there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth over my graphic, and the usual suspects will try to pooh-pooh it, but consider the following

  1. Per the IPCC reference, it is data from NOAA, gathered by the American Navy Joint Ice Center
  2. It is satellite derived extent data, like Cryosphere Today’s data
  3. The splice point at 1979 seems to match well in amplitude between the two data sets
  4. The data was good enough for the IPCC to publish in 1990 in the FAR WG1, so it really can’t be called into question
  5. If Mike Mann can get away with splicing two dissimilar data sets in an IPCC report (proxy temperature reconstructions and observations) surely, splicing two similar satellite observation data sets together can’t be viewed as some sort of data sacrilege.

Of course the big inconvenient question is: why has this data been removed from common use today if it was good enough for the IPCC to use in 1990? Is there some revisionism going on here or is there a valid reason that hasn’t been made known/used in current data sets?

If any readers know where to find this data in tabular form, I’ll happily update the plot to be as accurate as possible.

Is revisionism going on with the date of the famous USS Skate photo in the Arctic?

It seems our favorite photo of the USS Skate has had it’s date revised.

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.

Since yesterday was the anniversary of the March 17th surfacing of the USS Skate, WUWT contributor Ric Werme was interested in what the photographic conditions might look like on March 17th 1959 when the sun was just below the horizon, and so found a sub and attempted to recreate the photo conditions himself to see if the photograph was actually possible.

See:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/17/submarines-in-the-winter-twilight/

Turns out it was, but then he stumbled on something he didn’t expect to find. The date for the surfacing has been changed from March 17th, 1959 to August, 1958 (with no day given) in Wikipedia and in NAVSOURCE. He at first thought I’d made a mistake in citation, but it turns out dates have been changed since I wrote my original article on the USS Skate on April 26th, 2009.

I wrote about how the original date remains on NAVSOURCE in the Wayback machine

Anthony Watts says:

Navsource, in the Wayback machine, had it stated as March 17th 1959, just days before my original article. This is the April 18th 2009 snapshot from Wayback:

http://web.archive.org/web/20090418161606/http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08578.htm

The caption then reads:

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.

I remember checking NAVSOURCE for accuracy before publishing, my caption then says:

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959. Image from NAVSOURCE

History on that photo changed there at NAVSOURCE since then, probably due to alarmist pressure from Wiki etc. and other folks like Neven who went ballistic over the picture when I highlighted it. It is “inconvenient” in March (during peak ice season) but soothing for them in August (during near peak melt season).

The picture may have been taken a couple of days after the funeral photo in March alluded to upthread.

Se EM Smith comment in my original thread. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/#comment-122932

Oddly, NAVSOURCE now shows a caption of:

So what had been certain and unchallenged for years now all of the sudden is uncertain and may be in August 1958. Seems like a case of the tail wagging the dog.

Obviously there is a need to pin this date down, but I’m amused that so much attention has been brought to this photo since I first blogged on it.

BONUS: I’ve always said that the current drop in Arctic Ice Extent might have roots in soot from the industrialization of Asia causing an albedo change which really took off in the 1990’s, would show up in the summer melt season when solar irradiance is at a peak in the Arctic. Now it seems NOAA is taking Arctic soot seriously:

From the video description:

Small, new, remotely-operated, unmanned aircraft are being flown in the Arctic to measure black soot. The soot is produced by burning diesel fuel, agricultural fires, forest fires, and wood-burning stoves. It is transported by winds to the Arctic, where it darkens the surface of snow and ice, enhancing melting and solar warming. See http://saga.pmel.noaa.gov/ and http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/edd/manta.html

As always, check the latest sea ice conditions on the WUWT Sea Ice Reference page.

UPDATE: Robert Grumbine disputes some the the points related to the IPCC1 report and sea ice with EMMR equipped satellites here. – Anthony

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August 1958, not 1959
REPLY: Yup. typo fixed, thanks – Anthony

Sarah Ferguson

Surely someone in the US Navy reads this blog?

Bob B

It also seems that from about 1980-1990 the “old” data swings about the zero anomaly point. Eyeballing the present data from 1980-1990 the average is about +0.5 million sq kM. Were we remaking history back in 1990 at the IPCC to increase the past?

A. C. Osborn

So it was up there in August 1958 and March 1959 and both times the water was basically Ice free.
LOL

A. C. Osborn

As for Hiding the Incline prior to 1979, that is standard practice isn’t it.
Hide any data that would be inconvenient to have to explain.

Eric

I have been reading WUWT for a few years now and I have been perplexed about the Sea Ice average. Why is it averaged from 1979-2000? Why is it not 1979-2009, since 30 years is the “holy grail” of time periods for climate?

There is a book about the Skate’s voyage called “Surface at the Pole”. This is from one of the reviews on Amazon:
“Captain James F. Calvert describes tactics developed for operating in the Arctic Ocean during the summer. … the USS Skate was able to surface in a polynaya …. (the summer ice was to thin and weak for a plane to land on).
Polyanyas do not exist near the pole in winter so new tactics were required for a winter operation. Taking their clue from beluga whales, the sub was modified and tactics for winter arctic operations were developed during the 2nd cruise discussed. During this trip the USS Skate became the 1st ship to surface at the North Pole by breaking through the relatively thin ice that occurs when ice flows crack forming “leads”. In the winter these leads immediately start to re-freeze but the ice remains thin enough for a sub (modified for this task) to break through for over a week.”
Source: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3ICNLJ0XTXEQZ/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0548388628&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

Eric Webb

One interesting trend I notice with sea ice was that the years with high sea ice minimums tended to translate to cold and snowy US winters. This year and 2007 were the two lowest summer sea ice extents, and those winters that followed were relatively warmer. The two years with high summer sea ice extents, like 2009 and 2010 produced following winters that were cold and snowy, of course we remember the 09-10 winter being quoted as “snowmaggedon”. This year is currently running above all of these years and if we do get a high summer sea ice minimum, I would look towards a cold and snowy winter overall in the US. Maybe, these trends I’m seeing are coincidence or are they not?

Also from http://www.navalhistory.org/2011/08/11/uss-skate-ssn-578-becomes-the-first-submarine-to-surface-at-the-north-pole/
Graham P Davis says: (October 30th, 2011)
“USS Skate did indeed surface at the North Pole but not until 17 March 1959. Ice conditions in August 1958 were too heavy at the Pole for the Skate to surface, as they were for the Nautilus some days earlier. The Skate did surface in several other leads and polynya that August, including one near Ice-station Alfa. The above picture may have been from one of those.
When the Skate sailed for the Arctic the following year, the sail had been strengthened to allow it to break through thin ice. At the Pole, they eventually found a small, refrozen lead, or skylight, and managed to break through it. Later, many of the crew gathered for a service at which the ashes of Sir Hubert Wilkins were sprinkled in the wind. The temperature during this service was -26F (-32C).”

David Oliver Smith

Anthony:
The following is found at Navsource.org regarding USS Skate (SSN 578). The warmists forgot to look farther down at the photo of Vice Admiral Calvert the following is the caption with his photo note that it says that Skate surfaced at the North Pole in February 1959. I included the entire biography for completeness.
“Vice Admiral James F. Calvert played a key role in developing nuclear submarine Arctic tactics during his tour as commanding officer of the Skate (SSN-578) from December 1957 to September 1959. Skate surfaced at the North Pole in February 1959. During this tour, Calvert also helped define the operational capabilities of the Navy’s first series-production class of nuclear submarine.
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Calvert graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1942 and from Submarine School in September of that year. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star while serving aboard the submarine Jack (SS-259) during World War II.
He also served as executive officer aboard the Haddo (SS-255) in 1945. Following the war, he served as executive officer aboard the Charr (SS-328) and Harder (SS-568) and as commanding officer of the Trigger (SS-564).
Calvert served as Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1968 to 1972.”
David O. Smith
Rogers, AR

nc

I went to the Skate SSN 578 page in Wiki and rated it, lacks reputable sources. I suggest everyone do this. The rating input is at the bottom of the page.

Brian Johnson uk

http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/0857809.jpg
Maybe this confirms the original date?
Caption reads “Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Skate (SSN-578), as the first Submarine to surface at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.”

T Gough

The ‘old’ John Daly site still exist:-. http://www.john-daly.com/ The following is based on a report on arctic ice dated 2nd Feb 2001. http://www.john-daly.com/polar/arctic.htm He gives the date for the surfacing of the Skate at the North Pole as ‘late March’ 1959, adding that it was a first to the North Pole. On the same voyage the Skate surfaced at 10 other locations finding open water or very thin ice. He also mentions that the Skate undertook a similar cruise in August 1958, but (since the surfacing at the North pole in March 1959 was a first) presumably NOT at the North Pole.

DirkH

Verity Jones says:
March 18, 2012 at 10:15 am
“Also from http://www.navalhistory.org/2011/08/11/uss-skate-ssn-578-becomes-the-first-submarine-to-surface-at-the-north-pole/
Graham P Davis says: (October 30th, 2011)”
Thanks, Verity. Now, instead of citing this very plausible account, somebody has decided that it’s much better to simply falsify the historical record. CAGW science communication at its best…

Bernie McCune

There is a short piece on the voyage of the Skate at this eBay site. The picture shows the sub with fairly thin ice sheets draped over it. There is no date on it but it looks like Verity Jones’ ice lead breakout site.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Submarine-USS-Skate-SSN-578-1959-Arctic-Voyage-/200678722636
Bernie

Brian Johnson Uk – Great find!
And… the Wiki article on the Skate itself goes into great detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Skate_%28SSN-578%29

“On 30 July, Skate steamed to the Arctic where she operated under the ice for 10 days. During this time, she surfaced nine times through the ice, navigated over 2,400 miles (3,900 km) under it, and on August 11, 9:47pm EDT [1] (the week after USS Nautilus) became the second sea ship to reach the North Pole, earning the Navy Unit Commendation award for “… braving the hazards of the polar ice pack….” She did, however, not surface at the North Pole. On 23 August, she steamed into Bergen, Norway. The submarine made port calls in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France before returning to New London on 25 September 1958.
In the following months, Skate, as the first ship of her class, conducted various tests in the vicinity of her home port. In early March 1959, she again headed for the Arctic to pioneer operations during the period of extreme cold and maximum ice thickness. The submarine steamed 3,900 miles (6,300 km) under pack ice while surfacing through it ten times. On 17 March, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating “… for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter….”

Skate surfaced through ice: null

pat

Incorporating the 1974-1978 data would significantly change the running norm. Say 1974-2000.
And i agree that there seems to be no predictive value in winter ice growth versus summer recession.It would be interesting to graph sea surface temperatures versus ice extent (individual years, not normed), to see if that lends some information as to the probability that soot is an important factor in summer melt.

Eric

The top picture here http://americanhistory.si.edu/subs/work/exploring/exploration/index.html is cited as the North Pole surfacing of the Skate. As you can see the sub has ice draped over it.

Siliggy

Quote
“On March 17, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic waste. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for demonstrating ” … for the first time the ability of submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the dead of winter … .”
From here:
http://www.submarinesonstamps.co.il/History.aspx?h=215

John West

“why has this data been removed from common use today if it was good enough for the IPCC to use in 1990?”
It’s just another example of team CAGW Zohnerism. Noticing these convenient start and end dates and comparisons is what lead me to become a skeptic. Back then (1994) there was no WUWT. How did I ever get by without WUWT? How has a movement that is contingent upon consideration of only a particular subset of available data to make any sense at all lasted so long? It’s like we’ve lost the ability to critically analyze a presentation (sales pitch) to any degree at all.

cwj

A quick search in newspaper archive.
I found a United Press report from March 7, 1958 reporting the completion of a crossing of the Arctic by the Skate “almost entirely underwater”.
I also found a news report on August 13, 1958 reporting the completion of a second crossing of the Arctic by the Skate, the crossing by the Nautilus in the opposite direction having been reported a few days earlier. This report says that the Skate surfaced 40 miles from the North Pole to report its position.

paullm

Isn’t this correction in the post also needed : August, 1959 to August, 1958?
“Turns out it was, but then he stumbled on something he didn’t expect to find. The date for the surfacing has been changed from March 17th, 1959 to August, 1959 (with no day given) in Wikipedia and in NAVSOURCE. He at first thought I’d made a mistake in citation, but it turns out dates have been changed since I wrote my original article on the USS Skate on April 26th, 2009.”
REPLY: Yep, too early, not enough coffee, kids needing breakfast all conspired to make this post be written in segments of attention. Thanks for catching that, will fix – Anthony

spence

Here’s a link to the photp provided by Alan Cheetham in an earlier WUWT thread.
http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/RS_Arctic.htm
I have the photo on my PC with the filename “uss-skate-open-water march 1959.jpg”

Günther Kirschbaum

Anthony, you can combine the IPCC FAR WG1 Figure (a) and UUIC Cryosphere Today Arctic extent anomaly graph, but keep in mind that they both have different baselines.
““USS Skate did indeed surface at the North Pole but not until 17 March 1959. (…) At the Pole, they eventually found a small, refrozen lead, or skylight, and managed to break through it. Later, many of the crew gathered for a service at which the ashes of Sir Hubert Wilkins were sprinkled in the wind.”
An image of the ceremony can be found here. Maybe show it in an update or in the next Arctic sea ice blog post?
REPLY: Well aware of that photo, but I’m interested in nailing down the date on the one in question, not substituting another you would prefer – Anthony

highflight56433

Scrubbing the internet is on ongoing issue. Always save a screen shot of something found that may be historically important in your view. Having written many aeronautic safety papers, I always kept the screen shot as well as the web site address. It is amazing how may of the sites are no longer up or the article is gone missing from the site. Not all of this is devious behavior, but a function of server space or just cleaning what does not receive hits. On the other hand, some of the scrubbing is for political control. It is important as Anthony points to in this post to reveal such things around subjects that are being used to persistently drive some creepy dude agenda.
Here’s to holding their feet to the fire. Prost!

And, it gets better than that. Steve also has a climate assessment from the CIA in 1974 talking about a 10-15% increase in the ice. http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf Contrast that to NOAA’s representation of ice extent prior to the satellites….. and then try and figure out how some cartographers knew where to put some islands (circa 1875) that by all reckoning, if our ice extent was as stable and massive as they insinuate…… both NOAA’s representation and old map may be found here…… http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/how-did-they-know/
I’m off to study the trig and calculus of spheres on planes with reflective boundaries…….

> Why is early satellite data for Arctic and Antarctic Ice extent referenced in the first IPCC report missing from today’s data?
Because it became clear that the data from the different instruments can’t be merged; the ESMR stuff is incompatible with the SSMR. http://nsidc.org/data/nsidc-0077.html perhaps.
REPLY: Ah the king of Wiki revisionism speaks. I’ll have to disagree. The folks at NSIDC are putting together an almost continuous record of sea ice to 1961 from satellite, they are pulling up old imagery and data, even going so far as to find old equipment to play it back. So they must be able to make use of it. Since you guys on the Team love “adjustments” so much, it would seem straightforward to come up with an adjustment to address such incompatibilities.
We’ll see how it pans out – Anthony

Dave

Anthony,
I was pleased to see that you didn’t have to hide the decline when you combined the two figures to come up with the sea ice anomaly from 1971 to present.

Andrew30

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.
I can not find that.
Skate does not appear to have been there in 1959.
The Northwest Passage: Arctic straits By Donat Pharand, Leonard H. Legault
Published 1984 (History)
Page 148. Table 6.
Known Submarine Opeations in the Arctic (1931-1893)
Aug 1958, USS Skate, Trasnsit of Arctic Ocean and Surfacing.
Also.
First person (Raymond Aten) interview trascript
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.23457/transcript?ID=sr0001
Also the Aug 1958 date.
Interview with Raymond Aten [5/30/2004]
“That’s a hard question. There’s a lot of, I think probably got to go with Zapter (ph) War and nuclear powered submarines. I put the USS Skate in commission, the third nuclear power submarine back in ’78 and putting shake down and everything and August, August the 5th — 5th — 12th, 1958, we went to the North Pole. First submarine ever to surface at the North Pole. And we had met the Notlets (ph) at the same time we left the West coast coming to the East coast under the ice, completely submerged. First time ever a submarine had been surfaced at the North Pole. They’d come out and we’d follow them in. And we surfaced nine times through the ice and found this Ice Station Alpha there which was there and that was where they announced to the world that the USS Skate was surfaced at the North Pole.

This 1967 navy film puts Skate (and a buch of other submarines) there in there in 1958 and 1960
12:10 to 13:00 are relevent.

Bob Koss

Here is a non-wikipedia reference to Sir George Hubert Wilkerson referencing some time in March being when his ashes were scattered at the North Pole.
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wilkins-sir-george-hubert-9099

Wilkins lived to learn in August 1958 of the under-ice transits of the Arctic Sea by the submarines U.S.S. Skate and U.S.S. Nautilus. He died suddenly in his hotel room at Framingham, Massachusetts, on 30 November 1958 and was cremated; four months later his ashes were scattered from the Skate at the North Pole.

Ian W

It would appear that there is ‘actionable evidence’ for revisions being made to history to placate the proponents of AGW. So there are written documents giving the dates but the revisionists who only really understand the Internet have changed several areas in an attempt to ‘win’ an argument.
This cannot be allowed to continue surely there is some ‘keeper’ of Navsource’ that could be formally warned to correct the revision. Similarly, the of Wikipedia revision could be used as a ‘cause célèbre showing yet again the lack of ethics of AGW proponents.

Robertvdl

What is normal. The only thing that is NOT normal are the last 10.000 years.
Normal is warmer.
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0162fdd74ba3970d-pi
or
Normal is colder.
http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01538f886886970b-pi

Bob Koss

Arghhh. I’m punchy today.
His last name is Wilkins not Wilkerson.

Siliggy

Two videos one possibly of the event in question:
Atom sub at pole 1959
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/atom-sub-at-pole
Atom subs meet at pole 1962
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/atom-subs-meet-at-north-pole

kbray in california

Arctic ice % of normal = 13.449 divided by 14.053 = 95.70%
Antarctic ice % of normal = 2.695 divided by 2.431 = 110.86%
Averaged together as a grade that comes to 103.28% which is an A+ in college.
I don’t see a crisis.

“forecasting based on this peak might not yield any skillful ice minimum forecasts.”
I think that is what people need to keep in mind. I don’t think the maximum extent is nearly as important as the minimum extent. We will see, for example, a rather significant increase this year in 4yo ice. This is due to last year’s significant increase in 3yo ice. Also, the wind patterns this year have been such that the ice has been packed tighter. This can mean thicker ice that lasts longer this summer but we will have to see how things play out. The problem with Arctic ice is that if floats and because it floats the wind plays a huge role in what happens to that ice. The wind can, as it did in 2007, blow an unusually large amount of ice into the Atlantic during the summer. Or the wind can keep the ice fast against the Asian or North American continent. More storms than usual can break up ice earlier, fewer storms and calmer seas can mean ice lasts longer. So it really depends on the fickle weather and the fickle sea conditions more than it depends on temperature.

cui bono

Has anyone in the AGW camp chirped up an explanation for the minimum in 2007? Clearly not a long-term CO2 / Global Warming Trend at work. Is this another example of “‘natural variablility, but the long-term trend will be obvious..er..any year now.”?
On historical sea ice extents: Is it not possible to take just one year from the first half of the 20th Century (preferably one in which journalists were warning of a Hansenesque submerging of New York) and collate all the shipping observations to try to get a good snapshot of that year? This would surely cost a small fraction of the funds consumed weekly by the Computer Models, and would just take a few slaves – oops, grad students – to research. As you point out, the absence of real data used prior to 1979 is a travesty. Especially when we are told about the ‘unprecedented decline’ of sea ice, and we can’t go back more than 30-odd years.
Anthony. re: USS Skate. I noticed the dates on Navsource.org didn’t mesh when surfing around just after your last post on this but just thought your info was better than was available at the site, not that anything sly had happened. I would have made a crummy detective!

kbray in california

Oh, I forgot….
Increasing ice and snow at the poles is caused by the warming…
Yeah well there’s the crisis… a belief-brain freeze by climate science.
Open your eyes guys. All is well.

Galvanize

Does the log book for the Skate still exist? I bet it does in US Navy archives somewhere.

Jim Little

http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/submar/ssn578.txt
On 17 March, she surfaced at the North Pole to commit the
ashes of the famed explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins to the Arctic
waste. When the submarine returned to port, she was awarded
a bronze star in lieu of a second Navy Unit Commendation for
demonstrating “. . . for the first time the ability of
submarines to operate in and under the Arctic ice in the
dead of winter . . .”

Maxbert

Anthony– This is off thread, but I don’t know how else to inform you. There’s a movie out called “Windfall” that’s critical of wind farms. I haven’t seen it myself, but here’s where you can find a review: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/movies/2017636820_mr02windfall.html
[REPLY: Maxbert, at the bottom of the WUWT banner on each page is a tool bar that includes a Tips and Notes page. Please submit things like this there. Thank you. -REP]

Steve Oregon

I haven’t read every thread or comment but it seems the Skate was there on several occasions.
When there was both ice and clear water.
It would seem logical that the March surfacing was when Ice had to be there and that on an August surfacing it was clear of ice.
Is it even fathomable that there would be no ice in any March?

Steve from Rockwood

Whoever took the photo would have left the sub. I can see in the updated photo (where the sub is covered with ice) that it is possible to walk out onto the ice. But how did the photographer get away from the sub in the first photo (not much ice) to take the shot? Do they have portable dingys on board?
Plus, you need someone from the photo to verify its date if the sub surfaced multiple times in both summer and winter as seems to be the case. The caption should be updated to “some time in 1958 or 1959”.

Taphonomic

The Wikipedia entry for James F. Calvert, Captian of the Skate, (read it quick before someone changes it) states: “The Skate went under the North Pole on August 11, 1958, and became the first to surface near there when it found a lead of open water and surfaced to report its success by radio.”
Note the use of the word “near” not “at” the North Pole.
It then continues: “The following year, after traveling 3,000 miles (4,800 km) to the pole in 12 days, the Skate became the first submarine to surface through the ice when it reached the North Pole on March 17, 1959.”

Bruce

Maybe someone could research library old newspapers , around the above mentioned dates .

mohatdebos

Google still has not revised their information and state that Sir Hubert Wilkins ashes were scattered in the Arctic by USS Skate on March 17, 1959.

Anything is possible

From NIC :
Data Sources:
The global sea ice analysis effort at the NIC requires the fusion of many data sources having widely varying scales, capabilities and resolutions. Theses operational data sources have evolved over the years and can be grouped into the following categories: satellite data, ship and shore station reports, aerial ice reconnaissance observations, drifting buoy reports, data and analyses from other national and international ice centers, and climatology. During the 1950s and 1960s, sea ice information was gathered almost exclusively from visual observations from US Navy aerial reconnaissance missions and from observations reported by ships at sea or shore stations. At that time, ice analyses were typically done only in direct support of ships operating in the ice. In 1972, newly acquired visual and infrared imagery from NOAA weather satellites were combined with aerial reconnaissance data to give the NIC the capability to produce weekly Arctic sea ice analyses year ‘round. Today, approximately 85 percent of the data used for sea ice analysis are satellite-derived products. The two largest sources of satellite data are AVHRR aboard the TIROS series of satellites and OLS aboard the US Air Force DMSP satellite series. Both provide imagery in the visible and infrared portions of the spectrum. AVHRR data has a 1.1 km resolution and is received in both the HRPT and LAC transmission modes on a daily basis. DMSP OLS Fine has a 0.55 km resolution and is received daily at the NIC. ERS-1 SAR data also provided a small and infrequent contribution to the overall composited global analyses from 1992 – 1994.
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That seems to imply they have satellite data back to 1972. Interesting.

Richard carroll

The following ‘retro’ page from the The Polar Science Center website models the sea ice volume back to 1948.
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/zhang/IDAO/retro.html#Satellite_ice
They estimate there was much less sea ice volume in the 1950’s- similar to today.

U. Torvaldsson

Seems indeed that somebody tried to alter the dates. Here is something interesting :
http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/0857809.jpg
Caption :
“Commemorative postal cover issued on the occasion of the Skate (SSN-578), as the first Submarine to surface at the North Pole, 17 March 1959. ”
By the way, lots of interesting photos about the skate here : http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/08578.htm

Andrew30

This might help.
It splices the pre and post sattelite data sets.
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An Analysis of Arctic Sea Ice Fluctuations, 1953–77
John E. Walsh and Claudia M. Johnson
Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801
Abstract
Arctic sea ice data from the 1953–77 period are digitized onto a set of 300 monthly grids covering the polar cap. Each grid contains 1648 ice concentration points at a spacing of 1° latitude (60 n mi). The synthesis of the regional ice data sets is described.
The digitized data are used to evaluate quantitatively the normal seasonal cycle of ice extent, the 25 year extremes for winter and summer, and the longitudinal dependence of the variance and trend of ice extent. Interannual variations of ice extent exceeding 5° latitude are found at most longitudes. The time series of total Arctic ice extent shows a statistically significant positive trend and correlates negatively with recent high-latitude temperature fluctuations.
Received: August 8, 1978; Accepted: October 26, 1978
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0485%281979%29009%3C0580%3AAAOASI%3E2.0.CO%3B2