Has Arctic sea ice made the 'end of melt season' turn prematurely this year?

It seems possible, given the sort of year it has been. This plot from DMI shows what appears to be the classic “end of melt season” turn in sea ice extent, a good 2-3 weeks before it usually occurs. Whether this is just a wiggle that may be followed by a downturn remains to be seen, but it certainly is interesting.

icecover_current_new[1]Source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php (via the WUWT sea ice page)

JAXA reports a turn as well:

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) – International Arctic Research Center (IARC) – Click the pic to enlarge

So does NANSEN:


Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) – Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (ROOS) – Click the pic to enlarge

If this is truly a turn in the melt season, it will be the earliest one in the satellite record and will mean that the average sea ice extent for September will be well above 6 million square kilometers.

That will put a real twist in the ARCUS sea-ice forecasting contest.

For those who would hold up the NSIDC chart and say “see, not turning!”:

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – click to enlarge

I’ll point out that the NSIDC graph displays a 5 day running average, and like the Titanic, is slow to turn before collisions with near real-time data like we see with JAXA, NANSEN, and DMI.

This may be nothing more than a shift in wind pattern, changing sea ice concentration, only to shift pattern again in a few days, sending the curve downward again. But the air temperature is below freezing, according to DMI:

Mean Temperature above 80°N:

Danish Meteorological Institute – Click the pic to view at source

We will find out in a few days if this is really the end of melt season, or just a curious blip. Watch the WUWT sea ice page.

187 thoughts on “Has Arctic sea ice made the 'end of melt season' turn prematurely this year?

  1. Most unlikely,
    Looking at Nansen data I’d say there’s another dip to it yet. A few days ago I suggested the 9th +/- 1

      • Well even if it’s an economist’s share price style trailing average it can only be 2.5 days out of sync. It does not look that near to turning and it is pretty smooth.
        The short time “cycles” in aay Nansen, seem to be on the scale of 7-10 days and the poor man’s 5 day filter seems to take most of it out.
        Using a properly centred filter it can be either side depending upon when the wiggles happen and what filter is chosen.
        I found it needed at least a 13day gaussian filter to get stable date for annual min/max ice
        That’s comparable to a 26d running average. I’ll need to wait until near the end of October to find a weather-free result for 2014.

      • “””””…..Using a properly centred filter it can be either side depending upon when the wiggles happen and what filter is chosen. ……”””””
        So Greg, why filter ? Is not the measured data more accurate, as a record of what actually happened.
        No filter can ADD information; it can only throw away real information that you already have in your possession.
        I’ll wait for the real future data.

  2. We’ll know how serious this is in four months when Al Roker starts going ga-ga over the polar vortex and the worst, most unprecedented blizzard, to ever hit New York City.

    • I’m in Jasper right now (for the rest of you: north of Banff by three hours if you’re driving waaay over the speed limit). Didn’t go to bed until 5 AM. Never heard rain, which I can always hear on the skylights, nor did I see any, but when I got up this AM the ground and paths looked as if it had been raining. Maybe it was melted snow?
      Hope I don’t have to drive through the stuff when I drive back to the US. This is way too early for snow.

  3. I estimated 6 in the WUWT average….hmmmmm I wonder what all us 6ers will win from Anthony? A new house, boat, vacation to somewhere warm this winter (if we can find a spot)?

  4. Would be weird if the turn is early. Of course being weird means “climate weird-ing” which in turn means CAGW and therefore, an early turn w/ more ice (i.e. cooling) will be touted as an expected outcome to the burning of the evil fossil-fuel.

    • Should Arctic sea ice and multi-year ice start increasing (generally with ups and downs) over the next decade it will be very interesting to read Warmists’ reactions.
      • Oh but the trend is still down from 1850.
      • Oh but it’s just natural variation masking the spiral melt of death.
      • This is another sign of climate disruption.
      • Climate change has caused cold air from Siberia up towards the pole.
      • We never said Arctic sea ice would not increase.
      • Death spiral? Who said that?

  5. Here are the daily changes in NH ice cover in sq. Km. per JAXA data for the past 15 days ending sept 2nd.

  6. Since discovering that my view on the change in climate in Switzerland around 2005 is probably related to the AMO(?) changing at that time and knowing that we are now in a ‘quiet’ Sun phase.
    I’m horrified that uptick may be real.

  7. Come on guys, we’re behaving like alarmists looking for an El Nino!
    let nature take it’s course, it won’t disappoint us.

    • I wish CO2 actually warmed us. We could use some warming in Canada. We’ve had a cold summer that started late and is ending early. We heat nine months of the year in many places.

      • 9 months?? Here in south central Ontario, heat was on until the end of June, then again mid July until the last 1/2 week of July, then on again mid Aug until the last 1/2 week of August. On for good now. Who gets 9 months? On the plus side, I just booked our tickets back to the land of light and warmth for 6 months. I only come back to Canada for winter (in the summer).

    • “let nature take its course” — no, No, NO! When the data shows, as this does, an ice age is imminent we must take steps. Now! The precautionary principle requires that we MUST:
      1) add more CO2 to the atmosphere to increase the greenhouse effect.
      2) build new powerplants that are not vulnerable to icing (as are windmills) and overcast cloudy weather, (as are solar plants) — I suggest nukes.
      3) fire the old scientists and hire a crop of young newly en-doctored climate researchers to spend federal money to forecast the new crisis

  8. With the DMI mean Arctic temp already below -2C, it certainly seems probable Arctic Ice recovery may come early this year.
    It’s highly improbable another string of Arctic vortices will occur two years running (caused huge Arctic temp spikes last year), so this year’s Arctic Ice has the potential to expand multi-year ice substantially, which will really be a source of consternation to the Warmunists.
    Algore said the Arctic summer ice would be all gone by 2015… Not so much..

  9. “But the air temperature is below freezing, according to DMI:” Freezing what? sea water freezing is about -1.8 deg C. not zero.
    Is the NSIDC a trailing average like share prices or is it a properly centred low-pass filter.?

  10. NSIDC apparently hasn’t updated their monitor graphs in about 5 days, Long Labor Day weekend. Their last Greenland “daily melt” graph still shows August 28th as the last day estimated.

    • From the graph above it looks like the last point is 1st Sept. so I’m guessing it’s a trailing 5d average as AW suggested.

      • It is an average temperature meaning some places are colder, some places are warmer. This can certainly lead to ice growth.

  11. There’s a battle going on between gains and losses in different parts of the Arctic. According to daily gain/loss data at MAISE, yesterday Chukchi Sea lost 14,000km^2 while the Canadian Archipelago gained 27,000km^2
    It’s a big tug of war right now! Sunshinehours has a neatly organized blog that charts the daily gains and losses by region that’s well worth a glance.

      • 4 westbound boats (+1 from 2013) and 3 eastbound (+1 hold over from 2013) made it through the Bellot Straits choke point from Aug 27-Sept 2. So they will likely complete the passage by the end of September freeze up. It was a close thing. Favorable winds opened a thin passage between Fort Ross and Goya Haven.
        See: Sept. 1 summary of news and links to other sources.

      • There was at least one other ice capable passage ship that made the NW Passage:
        M/V SILVER EXPLORER: a large 132 passenger vessel. She left Greenland on Aug. 8, must have passed the Bellot Strait about Aug 20, needed Ice Breaker assistance in the Victoria Strait, and got to Nome Alaska on Sept 1.
        The M/V BRENNEN was planning and in and out voyage from Greenland. It went west through Bellot Strait on Aug. 25 with an icebreaker and back again on Aug 26, abandoning the leg to Cambridge Bay.
        The M/V L’AUSTRAL is scheduled for 1st week in September with Bellot Strait on Sept 5-6

  12. About four days ago I estimated the minimum on most metrics would arrive near 09/11. The past few years, I’ve found the minimum to correspond very well with the Navy model “freezing over”. See here:
    When the big “red sweep” occurs, the minimum is close. The above graphic now goes through 09/10, and with the four extra days of output, you can get a better feel for the “red sweep”.
    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised in the CT area minimum could be any day now, possibly even today, given that it has fallen dramatically while other area metrics have been flat lately. 2005 was analogous, with a very early CT area minimum right after a couple days of huge drops.
    In reality, does it really matter? 2013 was a nice rebound with a huge influence from good weather. But last winter should not have been good for ice, and weather this summer was also unfavorable for retaining ice. So basically being equal to 2013 on area/extent metrics and probably exceeding 2013 on volume metrics is great considering the bad weather.

  13. This is an important climate metric. We discussed this in one of our posts a few years ago
    Our findings were
    “The time of occurrence of the maximum and minimum sea ice coverage in the Arctic showed slight trends towards occurring earlier in the year, although not significant. In the Southern Hemisphere, the trends were smaller and also not significant, but the time of ice maximum was becoming later, contrary to the other three trends.”
    An update through this year would be valuable.

      • From the analysis I linked: There has been a notable shortening of the Arctic melting season since the “catastrophic” melting of 2007. Taking the average of the last two years as a typical recent value and comparing to 2005, the derived melting season has shortened by 9 days.

      • just type the URL of the image starting http. This is the one big plus with WUWT recent changes , this was only available to special people before and WP would dump any references to images.

    • Roger: I have been following ice min/max, and to 2013, the ice min/max are both coming slightly earlier. I get both min and max as comimg about just over 4 days per century earlier. The net result is the melt season, using min/max dates, is getting longer by about 1/2 day per century.
      To the end 2013, there is no significant trend in the length of the melt season. It is increasing, but at the rate of 1/2 a day per 100 years. The number of melt days (top graph), only goes outside 1 sigma, 6 times. 3 times its longer, but 3 times its shorter. Only one year, 1997, goes outside 2 sigma. 1997 was the year with the longest melt season.
      Ice maximum averages to be at March 8. Ice minimum at Sept 12.
      The melt season is about 10 days longer than the freeze season, but this is mostly due to the length of the spring-summer seasons being about 7 days longer than the fall-winter seasons.”
      I will update my charts when the Sept minimum is reached.

      • Les, drawing a straight line through an arbitrary segment of data like that is meaingless.
        Also, according to your reckonning 2013 was one of the longest in the record and 2007 very near average.
        I think this also underlines that taking single day minima is not a very useful way to assess the length of the melting season if you want to look at inter-annaul variations.
        You have more noise than signal there and it is not informative. Like Roger found the changes are not statistically significant.

      • Greg: Yes, I found the chnages insignificant too. My charts are based on Rogers, as I used the same data, from his 2009 post, and continued the series.
        I also saw the anomalous seasons in 2007/2013. I think that taking only one season at face value would be foolish. Weather, like the 2012 storm, would drastically change the outcome. But charting the entire data series gives a good indication; ie climate.
        If you don’t like melt days chart, the min/max date chart is stil useful, and it shows very little change

      • Les, the effects of weather are short-term and can be filtered out to a large degree. I suggest you read the link I posted above where I explain the method adopted. Roger may find it useful too, though I don’t expect he is still following the thread.
        A good, circa 20d low-pass filter is enough to remove most of erratic variability and leaves one unique change of direction per year. That is then a better indicator of the general state of the ice and when melting started and finished.
        Using that technique, I get 2007 as a long melting season and all since 2010 as short melting, less then six months.
        With the exception of 1999, we also see a long run of melting seasons greater than 6 months up to 2009 and that matches the major change in ice coverage. We also see the tendency for year to year alternation which has been noted in the literature in relation to ice area.

      • Your dates (for the melt season, for minimum – maximum dates) are Arctic ONLY.
        Antarctic minimum and maxim days are quite a bit different than the Arctic. Given that both poles are working sometimes opposite one another, I strongly recommend you NOT use a combined ice max/min either.

  14. Seems like a blip to me, as sea ice area is still going down fast, which means that areas that had a lot of ice still have ice but less of it, so the melting continues even if the extent seems to be the same. Any wind change and we will see the extent go down, either because it compreses ice in areas where it is sparse now, for lower extent, or because it disperses ice in already low concentration areas to concentrations below 15%, making them not count for extent.

      • When the anomaly is increasing (i.e. bigger difference with average values), it means that it is reducing faster than average for this time of the year. And the arctic sea ice area anomaly has increased quite clearly during the last 10 days or so.

    • I hope they don’t get sucked into the hole Apparently all those who have ventured in have never returned. 😉

  15. In the last sea-ice post Bill Illis posted two satellite pictures, from last summer and this summer, which clearly showed how much more packed-together the ice is this summer. The thing about the “extent” graph is that it doesn’t really take into account how densely packed the ice is. An area may be 75% water and 25% ice, and it gets the same weight as an area that is 95% ice and 5% water.
    At this point in the season some of the “decrease” in ice is due to spread-out ice being packed more closely together by winds, and some of the “increase” is due to packed ice being spread out. However it is hard, this year, to pack the ice more tightly than it already is, while there is plenty of room to spread the ice out. Therefore, at the risk of putting a hex on the graph, I’ll somewhat timidly state that the ice-extent-graph may increase or stay flat from now on.
    This will make no difference in terms of the “volume” or “area” if the ice. However it will make a difference in the composure of Alarmists. I can hardly wait to hear their explanations.

    • There will not be any. As usual they will go very quiet on the subject and wait until next time it increases to start waving thier arms again.
      In the meantime expect much more interest in millenial scale changes in Antarctic ice.

    • I noted some wind changes last week that were coming from Canada into the Arctic. I had wondered if that might push and spread some of the packed ice back out into the central arctic waters. One thing for sure there is no hope for any progress through the Northwest Passage this year.

      • I think you are right. There was a tight little low north of Alaska that had south winds on its east side. Now that low is sliding southeast, heading into inland Canada and perhaps Hudson Bay, and the winds behind it are north. So the ice that was pushed away will now be blown back.

  16. RE The first Graph
    Why are the years 1979-2000 the magic baseline that all others are to be compared to for the rest of eternity?
    (Serious question even if masked in sarcasm.)

  17. It would be great news if the 2014 melt season was over and ice had started to increase, but I think it’s a bit presumptuous to call it at this stage. If you look at graphs from previous years, there are lots of occurrences of the rate leveling off or temporarily increasing before taking another dip (e.g., 2010). Also, if you look at the NRL graph of Ice Speed and Drift, there are several large dark orange regions, denoting substantial ice movement.

  18. I think the really interesting phenomenom is IF in fact ice has turned, it will possibly recover very near the normal or above line from 1 month onwards? Just speculation but it will really devastate the AGW crowd and its theories about ice melting etc. BTW Steven Goddard has alreday shown that before 1979 ice melted dramatically but the warmists removed that part of the graph and only start at the highest levels (1979)

      • So according to the US Gubmint, all the open water around the ice pack is 4+ degrees warmer than normal. According to the DMI, that water is right around 273 K.
        Somebody’s fibbin’…

      • @ LeeHarvey
        Exactly, “It is what It Is” ; )
        Note: Pacific Salinity entering the Arctic is a Key factor for early ice growth and early ice melt.

      • “… all the open water around the ice pack is 4+ degrees warmer than normal. ”
        How many times, there is no such thing as “normal” in climate variation.
        What you have is the change relative to a totally arbitrary reference period. There is NOTHING to say that period is what represents “normal”.
        All this talk of “normal” temperatures and temperature “anomalies” is just part of the spin.

      • @LeeHarvey
        NOAA has a Long slog history of High Seas Treason and stupidity in Science. Don’t look for a good Time with NOAA. 😛

      • John, if you have some point to make how about saying it rather trying to be smart.
        If there is something you think is wrong with my ice analysis or comments, quote what you disagree with and say why.
        If there is something specific that you would like to direct me to at C Etc, by all means but I don’t feel inclined to spend the rest of my life trying to read it all and guess what you may be referring to.

      • @Greg
        I’m uncertain if Kim would even bother to chat with the nonsense though she Loves a great metaphor.
        Deliver a Great Ice Appendage and “She” may become “Amused”!

      • @ Greg September 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm,
        Artist, Scientist, and explorer, we all agree!
        Forgive the past, enjoy the present, and DREAM!!!

    • @Greg September 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm
      Forgive me! The Scene is convoluted, the context absurd, and the Science poorly defined!

    • http://cornellsailing.com/2014/08/northwest-passage-gate-opens/
      “…. having decided to abandon our attempt to transit the Northwest Passage due to
      persistent unfavourable ice conditions.”
      ” Albeit late, the opening of the Northwest Passage does prove
      that climate change is happening, as this phenomenon and the steady
      shrinking of the Arctic polar ice cap are indicators that the global
      climate is changing.”
      The term cognitive dissonance springs to mind.

      • They seem to think that if just one small boat can sneak though by using all the latest technology and satellite observations, this will be will be irrefutable evidence of “unprecedented” change and final proof that all of this is due CO2.
        Even if they don’t get though it will be “weird” enough to prove AGW.
        God ( and CO2 ) works in wondrous ways….

  19. There is really only one year that took a big right turn and had little melt starting as early as late August and that was 1980 (the year of the lowest minimum). And this goes back to 1972 and includes the estimate from September 1964 recovered from Nimbus satellite pictures, so 42 years of record.
    So it is unlikely that we are already at the minimum or really close to it but it is very slightly possible.
    One factor which might point to a very early minimum is the melt rate over 5 days. I’ve been using this measure since it is the shortest period of time where a degree of “persistence” shows up and does [not] seem to be random. The current 5 day melt rate is very low (and is closing in on record low rates in fact) and the persistence factor means it should last for several more days at least.

    • You are basically plotting the 5d running mean, an awful filter which will be full of spurious artefacts. Even if it takes out a lot, you can not have confidence that what is left is meaningful.
      I found that even a 6d gaussian ( roughly twice as long ) was not sufficient to get stable results nor to produce a single zero-crossing in rate of change at either end.

    • @Bill Illis September 3, 2014 at 11:27 am,
      The Arctic is The Amazing mercury in a tube. A “LOOK” at what “IS” and is “NOT”.
      Find the research studies and you may discover “IT” is “Still Unknown”….

      • John, could you try to avoid posting until the mushrooms wear off? It’s getting rather hard to follow you.
        Have a nice trip , see you next fall.

  20. OK. OK! I will refrain from adding ice cubes to my gin ‘n tonics until we are certain the ice machine is properly producing ice again….. ( sigh )

    • The “ice” starts in ENSO, the brew finds its way to the Poles. The only gin in this is Jin as it always starts and ends in this region!

      • It’s also far too sharp to be something that brewed in ENSO and then spread up. The mixing, the lags , the time for the ice to build up would all have spread the peak to be much broader.
        Look at the 98 El Nino in SST and it is far broader than effect in Arctic ice. If anything that would suggest the causality is the other way around.

      • @Greg,
        The “ICE” is ENSO. It simply can not occur in the Arctic without input from “Fresh” Pacific input via the Bering Straight.
        If you “wish” to claim man made input, then start WHERE It begins!!!
        Good luck with that “notion”, there is No basis to claim the scale of change is understood!

    • Oddly and Amazingly, you predicted this event months ago.
      What convinced you to make the prediction?
      Salinity has been my Muse for Arctic Ice… I’d love to understand your Muse for these periodic events!!

    • Wish I could see the images you posted, but clicking on them get me a 403 “access forbidden” error.

  21. Just 19 minutes ago Business Insider published an article that said the Arctic Sea Ice is not getting better in spite of the data. It also says the high level of Antarctica Sea Ice can be explained and is meaningless. I wish we could jump ahead 10 years so all of these excuses would be a thing of the past. Natural variability looks better all the time.

  22. Remember the Arctic-Antarctic tango, Antarctic’s been plummetting so naturally Arctic goes up as that satellite polarising filter is tu-u-u-urning…..

      • Greg, nice chart, but the Arctic-Antarctic tango is not seasonal, rather, it is a *daily* effect — the satellite polarizer is turned so the Arctic anomaly goes one way and the Antarctic goes the other way, every day. In the last week the Antarctic anomaly has plunged and so the Arctic anomaly rises. The Arctic is seeming to lag the Antarctic by a couple days this time, but asymmetrical smoothing rules could explain that.

      • Interesting hypothesis, Do you have anything more concrete than your handwaving description and assertions?
        For example, if I wanted to check how much of my graph could be attributed to you polariser explanation how would I go about it?

      • I doubt the daily chart would have much to say about the seasonal one, A daily chart would be a first derivative one where you compare the slopes of the Arctic and Antarctic graphs. There should be a strong correlation of their having opposite slopes on the same day. I’ve been watching this happen for years now so it’s ho-hum for me and why I call this “dial-turning”. I think the reason for this is because they’re using an algorithm which minimizes the global sea ice total, thus the Arctic and Antarctic trade off.

    • You would make a daily chart, smoothed by (say) 3 days, then compare their opposing slopes, so a first derivative function. You could probably squeeze a year or two into such a chart. Would love to see it.

      • So you have not actually run the numbers on this, it’s just “ho-hum”.
        It should be pretty easy.
        Here’s filter you could use:
        Take the first diference of the data points for the derivative
        Nice, multiplatorm plotting program at gnuplot.info
        You find links to daily data sources if you follow my links under my graphs.
        Let us know when you have something more convincing than ho-hum.

  23. LeeHarvey, September 3, 2014 at 11:02 am
    “So according to the US Gubmint, all the open water around the ice pack is 4+ degrees warmer than normal. According to the DMI, that water is right around 273 K.
    Somebody’s fibbin’…”
    No, the DMI chart is temperature, the NOAA chart is temperature anomaly.

    • Right… and if the temperature is zero and the anomaly is correct at +4, then ‘normal’ would be -4… or frozen solid.
      Again, they can’t both be right.

      • Edge of the ice is minus 2c water under ice is about the same.
        Dmi is not measurements
        Comparing estimates from two different estimating
        Approaches is hard.
        Suggest you stick to reading the Sunday comics

      • Sunday comics? Oooooh… scathing!
        Apparently you are correct, though, that comparing estimates from two different estimating approaches is hard… thus explaining why NOAA seems unable to get their data to correlate with anyone else’s.

      • I think the wind has shifted to the north, and is bringing ice south. Scattered ice, only 3% coverage, will not show up on many maps, and usually appears as “open water,” however when it is blown south to Barrow it can go no further, and builds up along the shore. I think the higher concentrations of ice are still well to the north.

      • Oooh, nasty misconception, Susann, wind chill does not form ice. Wind chill is relevant only to objects of different temperatures (such as warm people and cold air) and gauges how fast thermal equivalence is reached between them. Windy air cools us faster than still air. But for objects at the air temperature, there is no “wind chill”. Hope this helps.

      • Or perhaps Susann meant that the 25 mph wind is coming from the north or east and blowing the ice into shore…

    • Not ice, surf.
      High Surf Advisory
      Statement as of 11:28 AM AKDT on September 03, 2014
      … High surf advisory remains in effect until 6 PM akdt this
      A high surf advisory remains in effect until 6 PM akdt this
      * Waves and surf… northwest winds 25 to 35 mph will generate
      waves as high as 8 feet not far offshore. Waves will diminish
      some as they break onshore. Sea levels are expected to be as
      high as one half foot above normal.
      * Timing… high surf is expected to diminish early tonight.
      * Impacts… localized minor beach erosion may occur.
      Precautionary/preparedness actions…
      A high surf advisory means that localized beach erosion is
      expected. Precautions should be taken to protect property.

  24. With mean air temperatures at about -3° C and falling sea surface temperatures, melting season will come to an early end; I bet! What’s about the Northwest Passage? Seems to be rather icy?
    Gores Fairytale of an ice-free arctic debunked!

  25. Question for Scott or anyone who knows. . . why is there so much more open water along 140 degrees East as compared to 140 degrees West Longitude? At the 140 degree East latitude there is ice only to about the 10 degrees latitude line, while at 140 degrees West there is ice extending nearly to 40 degrees latitude. . . . . .

    • Ben – not sure why you’d ask me, but a variety of things could and probably have contributed. What Mosher just said certainly can contribute. Insolation, wind, and other types of weather all play roles. IIRC, the Siberian side of the Arctic had a very warm winter, so the ice there likely started considerably thinner at the beginning of the melt season. You can see the changes in the Arctic ice starting in 2012 up through the end of July in this animated GIF (to keep from bogging down the thread’s load time with animation, I’ve removed “.gif” from the end of the link, so add it):
      Note that the week/year are in the lower left. That shows ice age, which is a proxy for thickness. Another good reference is the link below, which is a Navy model output for ice thickness for the last year. Again, it’s big and I don’t want to slow down the loading of this thread too much, so add “.gif” to the end of the link:
      The two things to watch are the position of the ice at the end of last year’s melt season and the position of the thicker ice at the start of this year’s.
      Hope that helps,

      • Scott — I asked you because you were the one that posted the nice graphic that I noticed the difference in the ice extent. These two other graphics are superb. . . thanks!! I guess part of the explanation might be the “polar vortex”. . . .

  26. Well, here in Vancouver Labour Day weekend was overcast and cool. The last week of August was also cool, although Sunday (Aug31) was nice. September is usually the best month of the year in Vancouver: warm and sunny days, cool nights. This morning started overcast and cool, but the clouds have cleared and it’s sunny in the afternoon, although still quite cool. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if September this year is cooler than normal. Nature just seems to know that Victoria Day weekend is the beginning of summer (although this year not so much) and Labour Day weekend is the end of summer (in spades this year!).

    • What do you think PIOMAS is ?
      It is a _model_ of sea ice volume. A model that failed to predict the 50% increase that happended last year.
      Like models that have failed to anticipate the ‘pause’ in global warming, it is of no use in it’s current state come back in 5 or 10 years and tell us when it works.
      Wait until Cryosat2 data comes out to see what the best estimation of ice volume is.

  27. Not until the sun is gone or mostly gone, what a strange question. Arctic ice varies! Good records only since 1979, pointless to speculate about this particular season, scientifically at least. To the Great Unwashed, also known as “Low-Information Voters,” might make a difference for maybe one 24-hour News Cycle, but this is not a meaningful story in any way to knowing individuals.
    Amundsen got through the Northwest Passage in 1906 on a small boat with 8 horsepower. How many have done it since? Does it mean anything at all except to foolish non-thinkers?

    • Amundsen took three years though, there have been about 200 transits since. About 50 of those were prior to 1990 which were mainly icebreakers.

  28. > dipchip
    > September 3, 2014 at 8:54 am
    > Here are the daily changes in NH ice cover in sq. Km.
    > per JAXA data for the past 15 days ending sept 2nd.
    > -60153
    > -62752
    > -61959
    > -49621
    > -47635
    > -54083
    > -34281
    > -25253
    > -14682
    > -20646
    > -25829
    > -2435
    > +2730
    > -5180
    > -12925
    September 3rd is now in. Another drop…
    So it doesn’t look like we’re quite there yet.

  29. Considering the Arctic sea ice environment, I still think that DMI’s “old graph” that (unlike the other graphs) displays ice area with 30 % ice concentration gives a more reliable picture. DMI still keeps updating that graph too and it is a pity that Anthony no longer includes it in the otherwise wonderful sea ice section: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/old_icecover.uk.php
    Based on this graph, it seems that the Arctic sea ice is back to the 2005 levels when it comes to the minimum, like last year.

  30. Gentlemen- Please forgive me for what may be a question which reveals my lack of understanding, but here goes. When I view the JAXA graph, I see a substantial slow down in ice retraction approximately 6-7 days ago (Aug 27-28). I understand that NSIDC/CHARCTIC data uses a 5 day rolling average which would show a somewhat delayed/smoothed result on their graph. That being said (per my NSIDC calculations below), I don’t see any significant change in ice extent % decline figures for NSIDC daily totals over the last 5 days (ranging from .52% to .68%). In fact, those decline averages for the last 5 days have increased since the Aug 29 update (.32%). When I view the graphed data for 2012, 2011 and 2007 for both IARC-JAXA and NSIDC, they are consistent with one another although NSIDC is somewhat smoothed due to the use of 5 day average inputs. Unlike those other three years, 2014 shows an apparent deviation to my untrained eyes. Am I missing something, or do we have a sudden deviation between JAXA and NSIDC graphing models?
    Aug 2014 Daily Drop % vs. prior year %
    15 6253 NULL 101.94%
    16 6184 1.10% 101.88%
    17 6108 1.23% 101.55%
    18 6045 1.03% 101.39%
    19 5989 0.93% 101.44%
    20 5926 1.05% 101.23%
    21 5866 1.01% 100.95%
    22 5830 0.61% 101.39%
    23 5810 0.34% 101.75%
    24 5756 0.93% 101.41%
    25 5717 0.68% 101.38%
    26 5691 0.45% 101.63%
    27 5649 0.74% 101.40%
    28 5600 0.87% 101.49%
    29 5582 0.32% 102.18%
    30 5553 0.52% 102.59%
    31 5516 0.67% 102.80%
    1 5479 0.67% 102.83%
    2 5442 0.68% 102.49%
    3 5409 0.61% 102.11%

  31. WUWT needs to add a measure of the actual commercial shipping volume using the over-hyped Northwest Passage. It was one of thousands of claims associated with ice free Arctic after all. This data could be tracked from Canadian permits for transit. A tracking value of zero is useful in this case along with the zero for maritime insurance offerings for this mythical shipping lane and zero for tonnage shipped. But then again there will be those that play up the percentage growth off a zero base in years when a ship does get through.

    • Man!! With the way numbers are handled by the CAGW crowd, if a single ice breaker ever makes it through the NWP and sells a single cigarette do the math: 1/0*100= infinite% increase in trade due to Global Warming!!!

    • The Northern Passage was always a better route for commercial traffic, not so much wending through narrow straits between islands. Traffic is growing rapidly there, 555 permits this year, up from ~350 last year.

  32. The bottom has not hit yet but is close. Anyone with a lick of sense can see that ice melt has to do with winds and currents, not the tiny amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning. The combined word phrase, “atmospheric-oceanic teleconnections” should be in every grammar lesson.
    The lowly weather reporter is beginning to look pretty damned smart compared to the likes of Gavin and Mike. Go with the evening news guy/gal meteorologist who gets paid for accurate weather predictions, not the trough slopping idiots who walk around all phobic about their own exhalent while living high on the hog off my wallet.

  33. Why do most of the Arctic Sea Ice graphs only use the average up to 2006? I see the last graph on this page shows data up to 2010…why?
    Surely it would not take too long to include the entire span of data from 79 all the way up to 2013….is there a solid reason why this is not done?
    Is there any way to get a look at a graph showing all years built into the average?I am betting that 2014 on that graph would be right on the average of the whole.

  34. @Greg, 9/3 12:58 pm
    More than more than one small boat made the NW Passage this year. See summary, Sept 1 in a closed thread.
    One east-west ship was a 6800 ton 132 passenger M/V SILVER EXPRESS.
    Another currently west of Cambridge Bay is the M/V L’AUSTRAL (blog post from Sept 5)
    Plus 3 sailing yachts.
    And another 3 sailing yachts going West to East. along with a 480 ton mega yacht.
    As for whether this proves climate change…. It probably does — for the colder.
    Both big passenger liners needed big ice breakers blazing the trail.
    The other boats made it in about a 7 day window when the one NW Passage Route out of 7 opened a narrow 100 km long lead through 70%+ ice. In fact, one of sail boats, GJOA, got its keep stuck on an ice ledge and had to be towed off by an expedition ice breaker.
    Does this look like a Global Warming Northwest Passage to you? Me neither.

  35. A very good YouTube video of a 2013 transit of the Northwest Passage in 2013
    fount via: NorthwestPassage2014 blog Sept 13, 2014
    The blog page title is:
    If a Soviet ice classed ship requires a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker in 2013 to navigate safely through Arctic ice, HOW WILL THE NON-ICE CLASSED CRYSTAL SERENITY GET THROUGH THE ARCTIC SAFELY? LOOKS LIKE A ROLL OF THE DICE?
    A good question.
    The video has some great scenes of shore line cliffs, ( There is some tectonic geology going on here!), more polar bears than you can shake a stick at (well, more polar bears than there are sticks), and splendid vies of the Larken Icebreaker as it breaks a way for the filming boat. Very good videography.

  36. As probably the last post here before comments close, the is some interesting Northwest Passage 2014 news.
    The S/V ARCTIC TERN announced it cleared the Arctic Circle and completed the westbound Passage in 2014. The problem was the skipper made the announcement at a latitude about 0.46 deg north of the circle, about 30 mi. I bet that’s a Tweet he wants back. A couple more hours and it is legit.
    The S/V GJOA is out of the water at Cambridge Bay. The crew is moving to look after the Tug TANDBERG POLAR over the winter. They reported that Cambridge Bay “flash froze” last night. A local reported that it was the earliest he’d seen the bay frozen overnight in his 14 years of residency. It will melt in the day, but temperatures are dropping to freeze seawater. Is this the date of Ice minimum?
    S/V NOVARA completed a Route 6 westbound Passage at 09/16/2014 23:33:42 PDT. Their GPS reported the right latitude of the Arctic Circle.
    S/V DRIAN should be a day or two behind NOVARA, depending upon how much sightseeing they did.
    A surprise boat, M/V LATITUDE seems on the verge of making a west bound passage. They left Greenland August 10th and are in Alaskan Arctic waters now.
    The 490 ton megayacht M/V TRITON finished the east bound Route 6 Passage on Sept. 13.

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