Sea Ice News Volume 3 number 13 – 2012 Arctic sea ice minimum reached, it's all gain from here

I’ve been watching the JAXA sea ice data on the WUWT sea ice page intently for the last few days. Click to enlarge.

I was ready to call the minimum this morning, but thought I’d get a second opinion, so I wrote to NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier

On 9/19/2012 8:34 AM, Anthony wrote:

> I think we’ve reached the turning point for Arctic Sea ice today, do

> you concur?

> Anthony

who responded with:

Yep: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

If you’re interested I could write up a guest post some time soon (maybe

this weekend); might be useful to expound a bit more on the differences

between NSIDC and MASIE/IMS (it’s still just a bit higher than us, but

as you’ve probably seen it did pass below its 2007 level). Nice

interview on PBS by the way.

walt

__________________________________________________________

Walt Meier                           Research Scientist

National Snow and Ice Data Center    Univ. of Colorado

UCB 449, Boulder, CO 80309           walt@xxxx.xxx

Tel:  303-xxxx-xxxx                   Fax: 303-xxxx-xxxx

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be

called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein

__________________________________________________________

Walt, thanks for the compliment about my PBS interview. As for the guest post, I’ll trade you.  

I’ll trade you a guest post on WUWT for making good on your promise of NSIDC “eventually” publishing your daily data like JAXA and other sea ice monitoring outlets do.

Quite a lot of time has passed since that promise was made. Thanks for your consideration – Anthony

Worth noting is this statement from the NSIDC today:

On September 16, 2012 sea ice extent dropped to 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). This appears to have been the lowest extent of the year. In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will not now climb through autumn and winter. However, a shift in wind patterns or a period of late season melt could still push the ice extent lower. The minimum extent was reached three days later than the 1979 to 2000 average minimum date of September 13.

This year’s minimum was 760,000 square kilometers (293,000 square miles) below the previous record minimum extent in the satellite record, which occurred on September 18, 2007.

I think Walt meant to say “will” instead of “will not” here: In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will not climb through autumn and winter.

[update: he says its been fixed to read “will now”, I’ve corrected text here also. -A ]

At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark:

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

Figure 1. Distribution of individual Pan-Arctic Outlook values (August Report) for September 2012 sea ice extent.

Download High Resolution Version of Figure 1.

Note that NSIDC’s Dr. Meier and WUWT had identical forecasts of 4.5 million sq km submitted to ARCUS, so we share the failure equally. That big storm in the Arctic really busted up the ice as well as the predictions.

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Richard deSousa

It’s not CO2 which caused the lowest minimum of the Arctic ice pack this year but the warm AMO! Once the AMO turns negative, and it will, every thing will return to “normal.”

Eric

“In response to the setting sun and falling temperatures, ice extent will not climb through autumn and winter”
Shouldn’t that read “will not fall….”?

Reblogged this on Tigerland888 News Archive: Assembled Articles, Reports, Essays By Chase Kyla Hunter and commented:
Rapid melting of arctic sea ice presents a whole new plethora of problems no one had counted on needing to address, including a re-assessment of US national security issues related to the appearance [ quite suddenly ] of a new ocean to police to the farthest north of North America.

D. J. Hawkins

I don’t believe the open water will have aborbed much in the way of incoming energy due to the high effective albedo as a result of the angle of incidence. However, I think it will be a huge radiator because of the loss of insulating ice cover. Any back-of-the-envelope estimates on how much more heat will be lost in the Arctic before the ice cover is re-established as opposed to the 1979-2000 average? What effects might this have elsewhere on the planet?

Who ever summarizes the different measures of ice cover (or volume), please also include a mention of the smoothing method and timing (# of days and whether mid point timing or trailing average).

Keith Gordon

There seems to be a lot of ice in the Arctic that is not measured presumably it is not in sufficient percentage to do so, surely this will mean a rather rapid upturn when temperatures drop a little more. About the ice melt this season I concur with others who point to the sea temperatures being a major factor, It can’t be the air temperatures, as the Max. have not risen above normal. If Arctic temperatures are above normal it’s because it is -20c instead of -25c in the winter. Is this a reasonable assumption, I would like to here more from those who know better than me. I am here to learn. Oh. and thanks to Richard Courtney for his earlier response.
Best wishes
Keith Gordon

David L. Hagen

COntrast: Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record – NSIDC Is Silent
Posted on September 16, 2012

Day 258 ice area in Antarctica is the highest ever for the date, and the fifth highest daily value on record.
Antarctic ice area is more than one million km^2 larger than the highest value ever recorded in the Arctic. By definition, excess ice has more impact on the climate than missing ice, because it occurs at lower latitudes where the sun is less oblique. There is no sun at the North Pole now, but lots of sun shining on the excess Antarctic ice at 70S.

@ D J Hawkins at 10:23 am
Exactly. Heat lost to space from open Arctic water is vastly under-rated by the Warmists.
Ice is primarily an insulator.

richardscourtney

Anthony:
Walt Meier is one of the few on the ‘warmist’ side whose behaviour and demeanour I respect.
I think it would be good if you were to accept his offer of a Guest Article whether or not he agrees to your “trade”. I suspect a constructive dialogue would be possible with him and – if so – that could be a breakthrough from the attacks which have dominated the ‘climate news’ this week.
Richard

Chris4692

Looking at just the chart, it could be the minimum, but it looks to me to that it could also be just a wiggle. Do you have other information that leads you to make the call?

BA

At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark
Yes, while some nonscientists have been predicting cycles and recovery, the experts have been predicting ice decline. But real ice has been going down much faster than even most of the experts (except Maslowski) thought it would. Not a good sign.

Wyguy

Area, extent, who cares? What I want to know is the volume. Now that might tell me something. Not that I care a twit about Artic ice.

William

What we are observing – warming of the Arctic while the Antarctic cools – is a cyclic phenomenon that is called the polar see-saw. Based on what has happened, the Arctic will now cool.
The following a link to a paper by Henrik Svensmark that uses borehole temperatures in the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice sheet which supports the assertion that polar see-saw is occurring and that there is no lag in the phenomena.
The fact that there is no lag rules out ocean currents as a possible mechanism. Also recent deep ocean current measurements, using specialized buoys, have shown that there is no global thermalhaline converyor which completely invalidates the ocean current mechanism.
Svensmark`s explanation of the phenomena is decreased cloud cover in high latitude regions causes warming in Arctic as the albedo of low level clouds is higher than open ocean and cooling in the Antarctic as the albedo of the Antarctic ice sheet is higher than low level clouds. There is an interesting twist to the phenomena to explain the 10 to 12 year delay from the onset of major reduction in the solar magnetic cycle and a change in planetary clouds in the high latitude region.
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612145v1.pdf
The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays By, Henrik Svensmark
Contradictory trends in temperature in Antarctica and the rest of the world, which are evident on timescales from millennia to decades, provide a strong clue to what drives climate change. The southern continent is distinguished by its isolation and by its unusual response to changes in cloud cover. While the rest of the global surface is (on balance) cooled by clouds, they have a warming effect on high-albedo snowfields[5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].
NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) [11, 12] provided valuable data on the effects of clouds at different latitudes. They can be interpreted to show that, if changes in cloudiness drive climate change, the anomalous behavior of Antarctica is predictable.
Borehole temperatures in the ice sheets spanning the past 6000 years show Antarctica repeatedly warming when Greenland cooled, and vice versa (Fig. 1) [13, 14]. North-south oscillations of greater amplitude associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger events are evident in oxygenisotope data from the Wurm-Wisconsin glaciation[15]. The phenomenon has been called the polar see-saw[15, 16], but that implies a north-south symmetry that is absent. Greenland is better coupled to global temperatures than Antarctica is, and the fulcrum of the temperature swings is near the Antarctic Circle. A more apt term for the effect is the Antarctic climate anomaly.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513130942.htm
Cold Water Ocean Circulation Doesn’t Work As Expected
The familiar model of Atlantic ocean currents that shows a discrete “conveyor belt” of deep, cold water flowing southward from the Labrador Sea is probably all wet.
A 50-year-old model of ocean currents had shown this southbound subsurface flow of cold water forming a continuous loop with the familiar northbound flow of warm water on the surface, called the Gulf Stream.
“Everybody always thought this deep flow operated like a conveyor belt, but what we are saying is that concept doesn’t hold anymore,” said Duke oceanographer Susan Lozier. “So it’s going to be more difficult to measure these climate change signals in the deep ocean.”
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.999,y.0,no.,content.true,page.1,css.print/issue.aspx

D Boehm

According to the WUWT right sidebar:
Arctic Sea Ice Nearly Disappears in… 3 Days

highflight56433

Just a look at the temperature of the ice coming out of winter could be additional condition to see less ice (sealess ice) come today. ???

It is great too that the ice melt has exposed an Eskimo village that was snowed under 500 years ago. So this great Ice melt does two things. It gives the warmest reason to glee, but gives them a problem as to how to explain the village that existed before we added the carbon to the air. It seems to me that the evidence that this worm spell is a cycle and not man caused is very strong.
Roy

Ian W

Chris4692 says:
September 19, 2012 at 10:55 am
Looking at just the chart, it could be the minimum, but it looks to me to that it could also be just a wiggle. Do you have other information that leads you to make the call?

Look at the DMI temperatures here http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php and in the sidebar sea ice page http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/
The temperatures appear to be dropping albeit a little later than normal. With temperatures below 270K and dropping and rapidly reducing insolation there should be no more melting. Although potentially another severe storm could force more ice out of the Arctic ocean area.

Looks like the Antarctic has set another record as well, on the upside…
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/09/19/antarctic-sea-ice-sets-another-record/

Bloke down the pub

D. J. Hawkins says:
September 19, 2012 at 10:23 am
I said pretty much the same over at Climate etc on Judith’s ice thread.

BA

According to the WUWT right sidebar:
Arctic Sea Ice Nearly Disappears in… 3 Days

Well, minimum sea area ice is down by more than half, and volume by more than three quarters over the satellite record. It looks enough like a death spiral to make that sidebar embarassing in an unintended way.

Taphonomic

Forbes has an article about Antarctic sea ice setting a record: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/09/19/antarctic-sea-ice-sets-another-record/
The comments are going crazy claiming this doesn’t mean anything. Funny that none are spouting the meme that it’s due to ozone depletion nor when they mention the record low Arctic ice noting the big storm in the Arctic.

etudiant

Anthony,
Very much agree with Richard S Courtney’s view.
It is a huge step forward when a well regarded currently active scientist enters the WUWT dialog.
It cannot but help open the communication channels that you have worked so long to build.
Once there is a background of give and take, I think the reciprocal access will follow as a matter of course.
So please let us welcome Dr Meier to WUWT and hear what he wants to say, no strings attached.

Steve C

Roy, can you find a link for that story? I’ve seen occasional similar reports from Greenland, but haven’t come across that one. TIA.

BA

So please let us welcome Dr Meier to WUWT and hear what he wants to say, no strings attached.
Dr. Meier and his colleague Dr. Stroeve have been treated quite rudely here in the past, when people did not like what they heard.

Günther

“I’ll trade you a guest post on WUWT for making good on your promise of NSIDC “eventually” publishing your daily data like JAXA and other sea ice monitoring outlets do.”
Thanks, that was very funny. Looking forward to Dr. Meier’s guest post. It’s always nice to read someone who knows what he’s talking about on WUWT.

Robert Austin

D. J. Hawkins says:
September 19, 2012 at 10:23 am
I agree. The open Arctic Ocean will radiate vast amounts of energy to space, energy which comes mainly from other parts of the globe via ocean currents. Thus we have a climate governor in the north polar region that complements Willis Echenbach’s equatorial thermal governor in the tropics. And this is why there is no stable climate regime substantially warmer than that of the Eemian or Holocene, there is only the other colder regime, the stable ice age regime. Stefan-Boltzman shows us that it takes a great deal of added forcing to warm the globe but a correspondingly small decrease in forcing should have a pronounced effect on global temperature. Climate change in the direction of global warming is a chimera, it is a farce. Mankind’s only climate worry is the descent into the next ice age.

As I said, by my analysis, all the arctic ice will be back, by 2039, as it did freeze back from 1925-1945
Does anyone here have access to that newspaper report from 1920 or 1921 that I saw on WUWT where all were surprised about same ice melt at that time?

Jimbo

BA says:
September 19, 2012 at 11:11 am
At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark
Yes, while some nonscientists have been predicting cycles and recovery, the experts have been predicting ice decline. But real ice has been going down much faster than even most of the experts (except Maslowski) thought it would. Not a good sign.

Indeed. Can you let me know what the cause(s) the decline since 1979?
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

Ally E.

BA says:
September 19, 2012 at 11:11 am
At 3.41 million sq km, that means that in the ARCUS forecasting contest, everybody missed the forecast mark
Yes, while some nonscientists have been predicting cycles and recovery, the experts have been predicting ice decline. But real ice has been going down much faster than even most of the experts (except Maslowski) thought it would. Not a good sign.
*
Watch this space.

Jimbo

BA says:
September 19, 2012 at 11:35 am…………..

Take a look at the death spiral in Antarctica.
http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

We haven’t been measuring global cycles long enough to know for sure what is normal over say 1000 years.

Svend Ferdinandsen

I have followed the Arctic ice for a long time and the comments about it.
It made me wonder if the yearly difference between maximum and minimum could tell a story too.
Normally we only hear about the minimum and some times the maximum, but the change from winter to summer and back again tells also something of the conditions of the polar climate/weather.
I do not feel competent or able to do such an analysis, but maybe someone could do it?

Todd Arbetter

Anthony,
You didn’t post it above, but it’s worth noting that ARCUS called for late summer update after the NSIDC Sea Ice Extent dropped to record levels in mid-August. The breakdown of the handful of responses can be found here (sorry, I don’t know the html tag for an image). Of those, I would say 3 of them were spot-on (we were still projecting from a month out) and the Meier et al contribution was reasonably close.
(Since someone will be quick to notice, yes, mine was the worst. But I did say in the write-up that I thought the results were too high. And I’d said from the beginning that 2012 would be at or below previous records.)

BA

Jimbo:
Indeed. Can you let me know what the cause(s) the decline since 1979?
Not sure why you’d ask me; if you’re curious there are hundreds of articles by scientists on this. Warming air and water are obvious answers, with albedo feedback to speed things along. I’m no scientist but I guess those “north of 80” air tempertures that DMI models will show more warming if the small area north of 80 finally contains more open water; until then it’s just estimating air temperature a few feet above ice.
Take a look at the death spiral in Antarctica.
I don’t think anybody has predicted a death spiral already in Antarctica, especially not in winter. Have they?

richardscourtney

BA:
At September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm you say

I’m no scientist but I guess

Thankyou. I had observed that but your confirmation is appreciated.
Richard

The divergence from the pack of the three lowest years-2007 2011 2012-seemed to happen around August. It was said that in 2012 there was a big storm that broke the ice up. Was there any similar event in 2007 or 2011?
tonyb

BA

richardscourtney:
BA:
At September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm you say
I’m no scientist but I guess
Thankyou. I had observed that but your confirmation is appreciated.

Cue the laugh track! But afterwards let’s restore the rest of my sentence:
“I’m no scientist but I guess those “north of 80″ air tempertures that DMI models will show more warming if the small area north of 80 finally contains more open water; until then it’s just estimating air temperature a few feet above ice.”
Can you explain how that’s wrong? The lateness of DMI temperature going down this week would (in my laymans view) reflect the fact that there is an unusual amount of open water above 80.

Don’t see what is all the fuss about, expect the same or similar again the next summer, and for some years to come.
Ice summer melt and winter formation in the Arctic is all to do with temperatures of the North Atlantic currents inflow.
Less ice build up in the winter larger the extent of the ice summer melt.
The summer temperatures have little changed in the last 300 years, while the winter temperatures have been on the rise for the last 300 years.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/MidSummer-MidWinter.htm

Miket

Anthony,
I would echo Richard S Courtney’s and etudiant’s requests to welcome, without strings, a further contribution from Dr Meier. The more open communication there is, the better.

davidmhoffer

NORSEX and DMI show an even more pronounced “recovery” (see the sea ice page). Don’t know why large chunks of perfectly good ocean being covered with pretty much useless ice is called a “recovery”, but I think the arctic circle temps from DMI are even more interesting. As several people have pointed out, the absence of ice mean an awful lot of energy being dissipated that would otherwise have been trapped under the ice. So, initially I would expect warmer than average air temps, and once the heat from the water has been exhausted, a precipitous decline. Too early to tell, but have a look at arctic circle temps from DMI:
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

CRS, Dr.P.H.

On 9/19/2012 8:34 AM, Anthony wrote: I think we’ve reached the turning point for Arctic Sea ice today, do you concur? Anthony, who responded with: Yep: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Hmmm….I immediately wondered if another cyclonic storm or other wind event could drive it lower, and I see this on the NSIDC page:
Please note that this is a preliminary announcement. Changing winds could still push ice floes together, reducing ice extent further.

Gunga Din

Dennis Ray Wingo says:
September 19, 2012 at 11:27 am
Looks like the Antarctic has set another record as well, on the upside…
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/09/19/antarctic-sea-ice-sets-another-record/
====================================================================
Has Mann tweeted anybody asking if the antarctic ice cover is a record?

Gerry Parker

I can read a graph as well as anyone, and that was a noteworthy melt. I’ve looked at the animations numerous times to try to see what is occurring but can’t see from the one year animation. The ice is clearly too thin along the coast of the former Soviet Union to withstand the summer melt, but it is not clear to me if that is a water temp (current) or other cause. I did some searching, but could not find any temperature data for the Barents Sea that would validate the warm Atlantic current idea.
Gerry Parker

LazyTeenager

Richard deSousa on September 19, 2012 at 10:11 am
It’s not CO2 which caused the lowest minimum of the Arctic ice pack this year but the warm AMO! Once the AMO turns negative, and it will, every thing will return to “normal.”
————
So how do you know that the AMO is especially warm and why is it especially warm?

LazyTeenager

A number of those ice curves show decreases after this time of year. You could still have a weeks worth of down still to come.

David

BA says:
September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm
Jimbo says
Take a look at the death spiral in Antarctica.
=============================================
I don’t think anybody has predicted a death spiral already in Antarctica, especially not in winter. Have they?
============================================================
Wrong, the climate models did, as well as James Hansen.

Crispin in Waterloo

@D. J. Hawkins says:
and to Robert Austin who agrees with him
>…Any back-of-the-envelope estimates on how much more heat will be lost in the Arctic before the ice cover is re-established as opposed to the 1979-2000 average? What effects might this have elsewhere on the planet?
Water has a very high emissivity so it is going to freeze very rapidly but once there is nice white ice on top, that consideration is largely gone. No one has mentioned the temperature of the water, just the presence of ice. If it was actually warm, that might take a little time to freeze.
Please remember that if it is getting colder ‘up there’ the ice buildup in a year can be very large so it is going to be far more interesting to watch the rate of freezing in tonnage than how far it happens to spread. I see lots of ‘multi-year ice’ but that tells us little. Ice volume, lots.
I still can’t get cranked up about an ice free Arctic in summer. It is a normal condition a great deal of the time and it is not causing any harm that does not come naturally. If ships can traverse it, the oil fuel savings will be massive. And if BC remains obstinate, Alberta can run their oil export pipeline to the Manitoba Coast.

davidmhoffer

Crispin in Waterloo;
Water has a very high emissivity so it is going to freeze very rapidly but once there is nice white ice on top, that consideration is largely gone.
>>>>>>>>>
Fresh water yes, salt water no. Salt water bodies have to cool to the freezing point from top to bottom before ice can form. So, once you’re talking about open water, that’s a lot of heat the ocean has to give up to start forming ice again.

noaaprogrammer

It would be interesting to develop a new statistic to capture trends in the polar see-saw – like some sort of weighted average of the two poles taking into account the amount of ice on land as well as water.